Friday 20 August 2010

Noel Hill - "March Of The Kings Of Laois" and "Kitty Lie Over"

Noel Hill from West Clare (on the concertina) with Brian McGrath (on keyboards) playing "March Of The Kings Of Laois" and "Kitty Lie Over" (aka "Paddy's Return") on Geantraí, TG4, on the 19th of August 2007. Posted on Youtube by TG4gaeilge on the 9th of December 2007. and Brian McGrath

Fifty best cookbooks of all time

The Observer Food Monthly has recently published its list of the fifty best cookbooks ever. The panel of judges was made up of cooks and cookery writers including Raymond Blanc, Simon Hopkinson and Prue Leith. The chosen books ranged from The Constance Spry Cookery Book, published in 1956 and containing the original recipe for coronation chicken, invented for Elizabeth’s ascent to the throne in 1953, to Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, published in 2010 and containing vegetarian recipes such as pear crostini and scrambled smoky duck eggs on sourdough. The list contains books on clearly defined subjects such as Dan Lepard’s The Handmade Loaf on bread-making using wild yeast to Escoffier’s classic reference work The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery containing 5,000 recipes for everything from salads to jams. See for the complete list.

Aftermath wins Dagger award

Aftermath: the Omagh Bombing and the Families’ Pursuit of JusticeThe first set of winners of the Crime Writers’ Association’s Dagger Awards was announced in July. The CWA also announced the shortlists for its remaining Daggers, which will be awarded in October at the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2010.

Ruth Dudley-Edwards took home the CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction for Aftermath: the Omagh Bombing and the Families’ Pursuit of Justice. This is the story of how the families of ten of those killed in the bombing decided to pursue those suspected of their murder through the civil courts. The book is an account of how these families – who had no knowledge of the law and no money, and included a cleaner, a mechanic and a bookie – became internationally recognised, formidable campaigners and surmounted countless daunting obstacles to win a famous victory.

Ariana Franklin won the CWA Dagger in the Library for her Mistress of the Art of Death series. The award is given for the body of an author's work, not for an individual title and is awarded to a writer nominated by library users and chosen by a panel of librarians, all of whom work with the public.

Johan Theorin won the CWA International Dagger for The Darkest Room, translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy. The Crime Writers’ Association’s International Dagger is a competition for crime, thriller, suspense or spy fiction novels which have been translated into English from their original language, for UK publication. Theorin beat off competition from best-selling author Stieg Larsson to claim the award.

Earlier in the year Val McDermid was awarded the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award in recognition of her work over more than 20 years. For the shortlists for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, Ian Fleming Steel Dagger and Gold Dagger see

Kilfenora Ceili Band on the Late Late Show

The Kilfenora Ceili Band on the Late Late Show on the 13th March 2009 featuring Michael Donnellan Dancer, Sharon Shannon and Kieran and Mike Hanrahan. Posted on Youtube on the 14th march 2009 by lafpat.

Clare Stories: a reading by Eddie Stack in the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon.

Eddie StackEnnistymon native and award winning Irish writer Eddie Stack will read from his books at the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, on Wednesday 25th Aug at 8.30pm. Eddie Stack emigrated to San Francisco in the 1980s and there he founded "The Island", an Irish journal. His books include The West: stories from Ireland, for which he received a Top 100 Irish American award. The seven stories in this collection are set in the West of Ireland. From the opening tale, "Time Passes," to the final story "Derramore," these pieces reveal the soul of a community-its hopes, dreams and schemes. Stories from The West have been read worldwide on radio, and the book has been released on CD which also features the music of Martin Hayes and Denis Cahill. Eddie is currently working on a book about the culture and traditional arts of Doolin. On Wednesday at 8.30 in the Courthouse Gallery Eddie will read stories that are set in Clare and the reading coincides with the publication of a new editon of his classic book The West. The cover of this edition features a painting of Blake’s Corner, Ennistymon, by Phillip Morrison. and

Make Friends With Reading during Clare County Library’s Children’s Book Festival

Children’s Book FestivalMarking its twentieth consecutive year, this October’s Children’s Book Festival is encouraging young people across Ireland to make friends with reading, with hundreds of exciting book-themed events and activities taking place nationwide. The fun kicks off on Friday 1st October in County Clare when world famous author Darren Shan visits Glór Theatre in Ennis to meet with hundreds of fans from Clare’s schools. An amazing line-up of authors will tour the county’s branche libraries during October, including Bisto Book of the Year winner Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Bob Burke whose Third Pig Detective Agency was also shortlisted and Celine Kiernan who will bring her books in The Moorehawke Trilogy to life for teenage book lovers. For the entire month of October a non-stop programme of readings, puppet theatre, art and craft workshops and several other surprise events will take place in all branches of Clare County Library. Tom Donegan, Ireland’s CBI Programme Officer says, "We're delighted to be showcasing such a strong contingent of Irish authors and illustrators in this October’s programme, including both new names and familiar faces. In such a challenging year, it is also incredibly positive that we are able to maintain the festival as a truly national event. It really is testimony to the creativity, talent and enthusiasm to be found around Irish children's literature at the moment, from the artists and publishers who produce the books, to the teachers and librarians who do so much important work on the ground." CBF brochures with full events listings will be available through all branches of Clare County Library by mid September.

Thursday 19 August 2010

James Cullinane, Carol Talty & Dermot Byrne (1987 )

James Cullinane, Carol Talty and Dermot Byrne from the first series of THE PURE DROP, recorded in Ostán Dún an Oir in Baile an Fheirtéirigh, Co Kerry, in December 1987. Playing the reels 'Farewell to London' and 'The Glen Road to Carrick' are Clare musicians James Cullinane of Kilnamona on fiddle, with Carol Talty of Ennis on piano, and Donegal man Dermot Byrne, who lived in Shannon in the 1980s, on accordion. (This recording is from the programme Come West Along the Road, TG4). Posted on Youtube on the 17th of February 2009 by k4hx1.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney’s The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are currently among the most popular titles borrowed by children through Clare County Library. The books which give a humorous account of Greg Heffley's life as a wimpy kid trying to manage the trials and complications of middle school are also illustrated by the author. The first book of the series has been made into a movie by Twentieth Century Fox, and will be released in cinemas nationwide on the 25th of August 2010.

Friday 13 August 2010

Ballina-Killaloe Winter Morning

Posted on Youtube on the 10th of July 2008 by Svanhilds

"Corpus Christi Procession"- Kilrush

"A nostalgic look back to Kilrush of yore with a glimpse of the June 1960 Corpus Christi Procession. Original filmed by local chemist, James A. Doyle and destined for the bin. Recovered by, his nephew, Richard Doyle and edited by: Michael A. Donnellan. The soundtrack is taken from the Easter Sunday Mass of 2007, which was sung by the Kilrush Church Choir under the direction of Gerardine Rush." Posted on Youtube on the 11th of October 2009 by franciedonnellan.

Kindle bestsellers

Amazon's KindleSteig Larsson has become the first member of the Kindle million club, selling more than one-million paid-for e-books of his work on Amazon. All three books in Larsson’s Millenium trilogy are in the top bestselling Kindle books of all time. lists the Complete Works of William Shakespeare and the Works of P.G. Woodhouse among the top ten titles. Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol and Stephen King’s Under the Dome also feature on the list with Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science being the only non-fiction title on the top ten list. Amazon will launch an all-new Kindle on August 27th which it promises will be 21% smaller and 15% lighter than the current model. It will also have 20% faster page turns and double the storage (up to 3,500 books) of the existing reader. Amazon claims that the new product will have 50% better contrast than any other e-reader. Over 400,000 books are available to buy in the Kindle bookstore with a further one million free titles available.

Writing a Novel - a six-month course

Writing a Novel, a six-month course offered by the Faber Academy in Dublin, will begin in October 2010. Designed to develop a wide range of novel writing skills, the weekly workshops progress from an outline idea through the various stages necessary to shape that idea into a novel. The course directors are novelists James Ryan and Eilís Ní Dhuibhne. They will be assisted by a number of internationally acclaimed writers including John Boyne, Claire Kilroy and Hugo Hamilton. The final weeks of the course are designed to bring students into contact with editors, literary agents and other personnel associated with publishing. The course will take place at The James Joyce Centre in Dublin and will consist of 20 sessions on Tuesday evenings and 7 full-day sessions on Saturdays. See

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Merriman Summer School 2010 in Ennis

Faith: Beyond Belief?
Creideamh: Creid é nó ná creid?
Cumann Merriman has a long tradition of exploring and reflecting on topical and pertinent societal issues. The theme of the 2010 Merriman Summer School, which will be held in Ennis from Wednesday 18th to Sunday 22nd August, is Faith: Beyond Belief? Lectures and symposia this year will address the question of faith, belief and religion in Irish culture and society. This will be the 43rd consecutive Merriman Summer School which will take place in the context of turbulence in matters of faith, religion and religious practice, and in particular a crisis of confidence in the structures and organisational behaviour of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland. The debates will reflect on where we've come from as well as looking critically at the current and possible future role of religion in Irish society and in the personal lives of Irish people. Although it can be anticipated that there will be some emphasis on the current crisis brought on by the scandal of clerical and institutional child abuse, and the failures of the Roman Catholic Church, Cumann Merriman wishes to take a broader view.
Topics for analysis will include subjects such as:
• Philosophical considerations of faith and religion as elements of culture and society.
• Clericalism and the people of God.
• Religion, ethos, ownership and diversity in education.
• Faith and the law.
• ’The way we were’, piety and popular religion in both rural and urban Ireland prior to Vatican 2.
• The role of women in faith and Church.
• The decline of the influence of the Roman Catholic Church.
• The secularisation of Irish society.
• A Church of Ireland perspective on the current state of religion in Ireland.
• Islamic and Humanist perspectives.
You can obtain more information about the 2010 Summer School by sending an email to or by phoning 086 382 0671 or on the website

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Storytelling with Billy Teare and Kathleen O’Sullivan

Billy Teare and Kathleen O’SullivanClare County Library presents two storytelling sessions on Thursday 26th August. The first session takes place in Kilkee Public Library at 3.30 pm and the second at 8pm in the DeValera Public Library in Ennis. The storytellers are Billy Teare and Kathleen O’Sullivan and the event is suitable for adults and families. Born in Ballycarry, storyteller Billy Teare now resides in Larne, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland. He has appeared on the big screen, stage, TV and radio in guises ranging from chicken hypnotist to jester. In the past thirty years, he has been a featured artist at all the major folk and storytelling festivals around the world, including the far reaches of the Yukon. He will be joined by Kathleen O’Sullivan, who is recognised as a fine exponent of traditional Irish singing, as well as being a witty, sometimes surreal wordsmith. Kathleen was the host for recitals of music by Celtic Women, held in Greenwich. She has had some of her poetry published in an anthology, along with other Irish women living in London, called Fresher than Green, Brighter than Orange, and more recently in Irish Lifelines. Together, Kathleen and Billy have gained a formidable international reputation as a story and song combination. Representing the finest aspects of the verbal arts, their work is an entertaining cultural treasure trove of stories, songs, poetry and music for all. The event is free in both libraries. Don’t miss it!

Friday 6 August 2010

Currach making and racing

Time Lapse of Kilkee Boat Club Building a Currach

"The construction and design of the currach is unique to the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland, with variations in size and shape by region. It is referred to as a naomhóg in counties Cork and Kerry and as a 'canoe' in West Clare. It is related to the Welsh coracle, but can in fact cover far larger craft than the Welsh version. The traditional all wooden rowing boat found on the west coast of Connacht is also called a Currach or Currach Adhmaid 'wooden Currach' Its style of construction is very similar to the canvas covered Currach. A larger version of this is known as a Bád Iomartha." Posted on Youtube on the 14th of May 2010 by munsterimages .

Racing currachs off Inis Meain, off the coast of County Clare.

"Men and women of Aran brave the Atlantic ocean for the annual inter-island currach races which took place in tricky conditions with a stiff breeze blowing in the first weekend of August, 2008. These are specially made racing boats, unlike the heavier currachs used by fishermen around the islands. They ride high in the water and as they have no rudder must be steered by the oars. This presents a tremendous challenge to those on the oars as the breeze can push the high-prowed boats quickly off course. Winning in a racing currachs is all about skill, stamina, strength and a measure of good luck..." Posted on Youtube on the 15th of June 2009 by AranIslesMedia.

The Booker longlist 2010

Room by Emma DonoghueTwo books by Irish authors have been included on the 13-strong longlist for the 2010 Man Booker prize - the leading literary award in the English speaking world. Emma Donoghue's Room was one of 14 novels called in by judges – rather than being submitted by the publisher. Room, inspired by the case of Josef Fritzl who kept his daughter prisoner for 24 years, is told entirely in the voice of five-year-old Jack, who lives with his Ma in a locked room. Donoghue says that the book is not a horror story but a celebration of the love between parent and child. Skippy Dies by Paul Murray is the second book by an Irish author on the shortlist. The book is a comic but dark tale of adolescence set in a Dublin boarding school. Parrot and Olivier in America is the favourite to win the 2010 award. Its author, Peter Carey, is one of only two authors to have won the prize twice, in 1988 for Oscar and Lucinda and 2001 for True History of the Kelly Gang. Three authors have been shortlisted before: David Mitchell (in 2001 for number9dream and in 2004 for Cloud Atlas), Damon Galgut (in 2003 for The Good Doctor) and Rose Tremain (shortlisted in 1989 for Restoration).

The 13 shortlisted novels are:
Peter Carey: Parrot and Olivier in America
Emma Donoghue: Room
Helen Dunmore: The Betrayal
Damon Galgut: In a Strange Room
Howard Jacobson: The Finkler Question
Andrea Levy: The Long Song
Tom McCarthy: C
David Mitchell: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet
Lisa Moore: February
Paul Murray: Skippy Dies
Rose Tremain: Trespass
Christos Tsiolkas: The Slap
Alan Warner: The Stars in the Bright Sky.

The chair of judges, Andrew Motion, commented:
"Here are thirteen exceptional novels - books we have chosen for their intrinsic quality, without reference to the past work of their authors. Wide-ranging in their geography and their concern, they tell powerful stories which make the familiar strange and cover an enormous range of history and feeling. We feel confident that they will provoke and entertain." Ion Trewin, the Man Booker prize's long-serving administrator said this year's books could be characterised by their humour. "There's been a great deal of laughter this year." A total of 138 books were considered for the prize, 14 of which were called in by the judges rather rather than being submitted by the publisher. The shortlist of six will be announced on September 7th, with the winner revealed on October 12th. The winner will receive £50,000 and can look forward to greatly increased sales and worldwide recognition.

Tim Dennehy sings 'Sé Fáth mo Bhuartha

Tim Dennehy singing 'Sé Fáth mo Bhuartha on the Geantraí programme on TG4. Posted on Youtube on the 9th December 2007 by TG4gaeilge. Originally from Kerry, Tim Dennehy has lived for many years in Mullagh, County Clare, and was a founding member of the Ennistymon Festival of Traditional Singing. More info...

Genealogy Day at the De Valera Public Library, Ennis

As part of its contribution to Heritage Week, Clare County Library will host a Genealogy Day on August 24 at the De Valera Public Library, Ennis, featuring five talks on various aspects of family history research related to County Clare. The event is free and all are welcome.
The programme for the day includes:
11.00am Introduction by Helen Walsh, Clare County Librarian;
11.15 ‘Getting Started on Family History’ with Larry Brennan (Clare Roots Society) and ‘Using School Registers’ with Fíona de Buitléir (Clare Roots Society);
12.00 ‘Clare Heritage & Genealogical Centre, Corofin’ with Antoinette O’Brien;
14.30 ‘Civil Records; Births, Marriages and Deaths’ with Brid Doohan ;
15.00 ‘An American Perspective on Tracing Family’ with Clare Curtin;
15.30 Tea/Coffee;
15.45 Launch of Clare County Library brochure ‘Tracing Your Family Tree’;
16.00 Close. Contact: 065.6899090/

Dublin – UNESCO City of Literature

Dublin – UNESCO City of LiteratureDublin has been designated a UNESCO City of Literature in recognition of its cultural profile and its international standing as a city of literary excellence. The UNESCO City of Literature award is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network launched in 2004. Dublin is one of only four cities in the world with the City of Literature designation, the others being Iowa City, Melbourne and Edinburgh. This award is a permanent title which aims to create synergies between cities of the same designation as well as encouraging cultural diversity. Minister for Culture and Tourism Mary Hanafin said Dublin was granted the accolade "because of the rich historical literary past of the city, the vibrant contemporary literature, the variety of festivals and attractions available and because it is the birthplace and home of literary greats". She said that the award will be a welcome boost for cultural tourism in the capital in the coming years. The criteria used to evaluate applications for the UNESCO City of Culture designation are:
quality, quantity and diversity of publishing and editorial initiatives;
quality and quantity of educational programs focusing on literature;
urban environment in which literature plays an integral role;
experience hosting literary events and festivals aimed at promoting domestic and foreign literature;
libraries, bookstores and cultural centers;
active effort to translate literary works from diverse languages;
active involvement of media, including new media, in promoting literature and strengthening the market for literary products.
The Dublin application was led by Dublin City Public Libraries.

Tuesday 3 August 2010

West Clare on Féilte, TG4

West Clare will feature in Féilte, a TG4 series, next Thursday. The series, which travels around the country’s coast, will stop at Loop Head and Kilkee to look at the area’s aquatic tourism industry which includes dolphin watching, sea nature trails and sea and shore angling. The West Clare Currach Club, which has been instrumental in reviving currach building in the county, will also feature. Travelling to Miltown Malbay, the programme will interview Muiris Ó Rócháin about the Willie Clancy Summer School. Musicians from the school and other local musicians will also feature. Seafood recipes will be provided by Cullinan’s Restaurant in Doolin. The programme will be broadcast as Gaeilge at 20.30 on Thursday 5 August. If you miss the live programme, you should be able to watch it online at