Friday 29 October 2010

Changing Currents - O'Brien's Bridge Co. Clare Close Up!

"A Documentary done by the locals of O'Brien's Bridge County Clare Ireland. With History and a close up look at life in the village." Posted on Youtube on the 16th of June 2007 by peadarmurphy.

Knappogue Castle medieval banquet

"Highlights from the medieval banquet nights run in Knappogue castle in County Clare, Ireland. For more info please visit". Posted on Youtube on the 28th of February 2009 by wwwcelticvideocom.

Vote for your favourite Irish Book of 2010

Irish Book AwardsThe shortlist for the fifth Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards was announced on October 28th unveiling a typically eclectic range of titles including books by Colm Toibin, Joseph O’Connor, Sheila O’Flanagan, Cecelia Ahern, Ryan Tubridy, Shane Ross, Fintan O’Toole, Johnny Giles, Ruby Walsh, Derek Landy, John Boyne, newcomer Amy Huberman and children's author Sarah Webb. Established in 2006, the awards are dedicated to honouring Irish writers and Irish publishing. Extolling the virtues of the awards David Bunworth, MD at Bord Gáis Energy, commented "the new Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards is a fantastic event which celebrates the very best of Irish writing both at home and abroad. This year’s shortlist is a tribute to the talent and range that exists in Irish writing. It will be hard to choose one but I would encourage people to cast their vote and pick deserving winners.” From October 29th, the public are being asked to cast their vote on the best books of the last year via the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards website or by post on a form to be found in the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Preview magazine. The preview magazines are available in public libraries and bookshops. Every person who votes will be in with a chance of winning one of five €100 National Book Token vouchers.

The award categories are the John Murray Show Listeners’ Choice Award; Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year; Ireland AM Crime Fiction Book of the Year; Eason Popular Fiction Book of the Year; IES Best Irish-published Book of the Year; Energise Sport Irish Sports Book of the Year; Newcomer of the Year; Argosy Irish Non-Fiction Book of the Year and the Dublin Airport Authority Irish Children’s Book of the Year – Junior and Senior Section. Voting takes place until November 21st with the winners announced at the Awards Dinner in the Mansion House on November 25th.

Click here for the full shortlist in categories...

Friday 22 October 2010

Sharon Shannon & An Big Band - Cavan Potholes - Beo ó Dolans (Part 1)

"Sharon Shannon agus bannaí ceoil beo i Dolans. I measc na gceoltóirí tá Damien Dempsey, Declan O' Rourke, Dessie O' Halloran, Gerry O' Connor, Jack Maher, James Delaney, Jim Murray, Jon Kenny, Mary Shannon, Mundy, Paul Moore, Richie Buckle, Robbie Casserly, Roesy, The Brennans & Winnie Horan." Posted on Youtube on June 12th, 2010, by TG4gaeilge.

Quin Abbey

"Quin abbey was built between 1402 and 1433 by Sioda Cam MacNamara. The abbey is roughly 9 miles from Ennis town. A visitor centre is located near the abbey and the structure and grounds can be visited free of charge. The graveyard surrounding the abbey is still in use." Posted on Youtube on October 6th, 2010, by wwwcelticvideocom.

2010 Nobel Prize - Mario Vargas Llosa

Mario Vargas LlosaMario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian novelist, has been awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature. The academy honored him "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt and defeat". The Nobel tends to be given as a lifetime achievement award — it goes to a writer, not to a particular work — and Vargas Llosa, 74, earned it with decades of critically acclaimed writing across literary genres. His works have been translated into 31 languages. In winning the Nobel, he joins an elite group of Latin American writers: Octavio Paz, Garcia Marquez, Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda. Vargas Llosa’s next book is based on the life of Roger Casement. Faber plans to publish the book in English early in 2012. The title of the book, The Dream of the Celt, is taken from a line in one of Casement's own poems.

Lady Chatterley’s 50th Anniversary

Lady Chatterley’s LoverNov 2nd, 2010, marks the 50th anniversary of the acquittal of Penguin Books by an Old Bailey jury on the charges of obscenity for publishing an uncensored version of DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Though privately published in Italy in 1928, only a censored version of the book was legally available in Britain and the United States until the 1960s. Only a year before the trial, Roy Jenkins had secured the passage of a new Obscene Publications Act, leaving a crucial loophole – the question of literary merit – through which works might escape prohibition. And in May 1960, Penguin saw its chance, announcing its plans to publish 200,000 paperback copies of the complete work at just 3s 6d each. On November 2, after just three hours’ deliberation, the jury acquitted Penguin Books of all charges. Almost immediately, the book became a best-seller. Penguin will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the trial with a new edition of the notorious novel.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Limerick ( European City of Sport 2011) Fireworks Ceremony

Limerick ( European City of Sport 2011) Fireworks CeremonyLimerick, European City of Sport 2011, Fireworks Ceremony,
October 23rd, 9.30pm, Limerick City Centre.
To celebrate and to welcome the European City of Sport to Limerick, and to welcome all visitors, the City will be putting on a fireworks display which will light up the skies over the majestic Treaty City following the International Rules game between Ireland and Australia at Limerick Gaelic Grounds on Saturday evening. King John’s Castle provides the stunning backdrop to this breathtaking display where dazzling colours and explosive effects will be unleashed over the magnificent River Shannon. Supported by Limerick City Council, GAA County Board and Shannon Development. More details...

Space Hop Summer Reading Challenge at Scariff Library

The Kennedy Family who completed the Summer Reading Challenge at Scariff Library

There was great excitement in Scariff Public Library on Friday 1st October at 7pm as children were presented with their certificates for completion of the Space Hop Reading Challenge. With readers as young as age four taking part, books of all kinds were read and enjoyed over the summer holidays. Magician Paul Beattie amazed both children and adults with a 45 minute magic show as bags of goodies were enjoyed by the successful Space Hoppers. A great night was had by the 80 strong crowd of children and parents. Well done to everyone and also a big thank you to parents who encouraged children to participate in the challenge and ferried them to and from the library.

‘Biodiversity on Blackhead’ - Burrenbeo Trust November Walk with Clare’s Biodiversity Officer, Shane Casey

‘Biodiversity on Blackhead’
‘Biodiversity on Blackhead’ - Burrenbeo Trust November Walk with Clare’s Biodiversity Officer, Shane Casey, at 2pm on Sun 7th November 2010. Meet .5km before Murroughtouhy layby going west (OS51. N14.9 W11.4). Everyone welcome. Free for members and donation from non-members. More information contact or 091 638096.

Shane Casey’s first education of the Burren and its ecology began as he grew up on his family’s farm in Blackhead. Seeing the intricate relationship between the Burren’s ecology and the local farming systems encouraged him to study Agricultural and Environmental Science in UCD. Understanding that the future of the Burren rested on the viability of these farming systems, Shane went on to study Rural Development, focusing on target market analysis for Burren lamb as his dissertation. Before his current position as Clare Biodiversity Officer, Shane worked as an agricultural and environmental advisor in south Galway , and then as a social research officer with Clare County Council. His current role involves education and awareness of biodiversity, both within and beyond the Burren. This walk is open to everyone. It is free for Burrenbeo Trust Members and a donation from non-members. It is advised to be of a reasonable level of fitness, and to wear comfortable and sensible walking shoes or hiking boots with a good grip as much of the Burren’s terrain is uneven, and to be prepared for Irish weather - warm and waterproof clothes are recommended


OS51. N14.9 W11.4

From the East (Ballyvaughan)
In the centre of Ballyvaughan take a right at the ‘Tea Junction Café’ and go out the coast road (R477). Continue along this for approx 10kms around Blackhead passing the lighthouse on your right. Continue another km and you will see two gates opposite each other. This is where the walk begins.

From the West (Lisdoonvarna)
From Lisdoonvarna take the R477 Coast Road heading towards Fanore. Continue on this approx 16kms going through Fanore village. Another 5kms past the Fanore post office there is a layby called Murrooghtoohy. Continue past this another .5km until you reach two gates opposite each other. This is where the walk begins.

Friday 15 October 2010

Geology of the Cliffs of Moher

"The story of the formation of the Cliffs of Moher, Clare, Ireland." Posted on Youtube on the 17th of December, 2008, by wwwcelticvideocom.

Cliffs of Moher - History of O'Briens Tower

Posted on Youtube on the 17th of December, 2008, by wwwcelticvideocom.

Hags Head - Cliffs of Moher

"The story behind the tower at Hags Head at the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland." Posted on Youtube on the 17th of December, 2008, by wwwcelticvideocom.

Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia Four years after it was first published, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia remains on the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list. With over 7 million copies now in print, it is claimed that around one in every fifty people in the US owns a copy of the book. The memoir chronicles the author's trip around the world after her divorce and what she discovered during her travels. The travelogue has got a new boost with the recent release of the film version of the book. Kensington Tours in London are offering bespoke month-long trips to three countries to eat, pray and love, just as Elizabeth Gilbert did. Guests get to eat in Italy, reflect in India and find balance in Bali – for around €7,800. Gilbert has published a sequel to the book entitled Committed: a Sceptic Makes Peace with Marriage which covers her life after Eat, Pray, Love ends.

Man Booker Prize Winner 2010 - The Finkler Question

The Finkler QuestionHoward Jacobson has been named the winner of the £50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for The Finkler Question, published by Bloomsbury. Jacobson has been longlisted twice for the prize, in 2006 for Kalooki Nights and in 2002 for Who's Sorry Now, but has never before been shortlisted. The Finkler Question is a novel about love, loss and male friendship, and explores what it means to be Jewish today. Andrew Motion, chair of the judges, commented “The Finkler Question is a marvellous book: very funny, of course, but also very clever, very sad and very subtle. It is all that it seems to be and much more than it seems to be. A completely worthy winner of this great prize”. Over and above his prize of £50,000, Howard Jacobson can expect a huge increase in sales and recognition worldwide. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel which won the Man Booker Prize 2009 has now sold over half a million copies in the UK alone. Sales of the books longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize have been stronger than ever before, with sales over 45% higher than last year.

Irish hopes rested on Emma Donoghue’s novel Room which was shortlisted and was joint favourite to win with Tom McCarthy’s C. Room, based on the Fritzl case, is told from the perspective of a five year old held captive with his mother in a garden shed. It is a brilliant portrayal of the psyche of a child raised in captivity and a celebration of the resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child. Betting on the Man Booker prize was suspended by Ladbrokes bookmakers after an "unprecedented" flurry of bets on Tom McCarthy’s book, C. Ladbrokes said that many were placed by figures linked to the literary world, setting alarm bells ringing and prompting them to close their books. Paddy Power bookmaker also noted an increase in betting for C. A spokeswoman said: "Up until the beginning of the week, there had been equal interest between McCarthy and Donoghue. But bets for Donoghue dried up while customers with a good strike rate, those who we might watch above others, have suddenly been placing money on McCarthy". But the bookmakers worry about a leak from the judging panel were unfounded as McCarthy’s novel failed to win the prize. C centres on Serge Carrefax, whose birth at the time of wireless radio during the First World War finds the ramifications and possibilities of the new method of communication dominating his whole life.

The Man Booker Prize App is free to download from the App Store to an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch and is the UK's first app for a literary prize. Free audio extracts of all 13 of the longlisted titles can now be downloaded to mobile phones via GoSpoken at To support and stimulate reading groups' discussions, reading guides for each of the longlisted titles are available online. Each guide provides an introduction to the authors, their books, starting points for discussion and ideas for extended reading. Other resources on the website include the Toolkit 2010, which provides a range of ideas for reading groups. See

Tuesday 12 October 2010

Banned Books Week

Banned Books28 library services across the UK recently participated in a London Libraries’ reader promotion called Banned Books, which featured 50 books that have been banned or challenged, historically or currently. Banned Books brings public libraries together with organisations that promote freedom of expression to raise awareness of censorship and raise the profile of libraries. The books were selected by Article 19, Index on Censorship, English PEN (the charity to promote literature) and International PEN, the International Publishers Association, and UK librarians.

The 50 banned books are listed under four categories:
Corrosive to young minds – includes Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone by JK Rowling and Forever by Judy Blume;
Politically incendiary – includes The grapes of wrath by John Steinbeck and The unbearable lightness of being by Milan Kundera;
Downright sexy – includes The Country Girls by Edna O’Brien and Ulysses by James Joyce;
Just wrong – includes The dark by John McGahern and The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.

The American Library Association hold an annual Banned Books Week (BBW) to celebrate the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. To see the titles on the UK Banned Books list see

Friday 8 October 2010

The Burren - Aerial tour

An aerial tour of parts of the Burren, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 26th of May, 2010, by wwwcelticvideocom.

Enchanted Way Tour of County Clare, June 2010

"This part of the Tour included The Cliffs of Moher, The Aran Island Inis Oirr, The Burren, and Traditional Music in the Pubs of Doolin." 'Enchanted Way' Tour of County Clare, June 2010, vocals by Tom Pigott and Friends - 'Along the Enchanted Way'. Posted on Youtube on the 4th of July 2010 by jocatgo123.

Clare singer and songwriter Lucy Foley releases 'Copenhagen'

<a href="">Copenhagen by Lucy Foley</a>

Clare singer and songwriter Lucy Foley has often felt like somebody’s imaginary friend,showing up in unlikely places. But it was her move to Denmark in 2004 that sparked a liberating creative journey over three years spent as a street performer and photographer that is conjured throughout the seven songs on her richly imaginative debut, Copenhagen, released on 1st October 2010 and available from her website and iTunes and Amazon MP3.

Pike making in Mountshannon, Ireland with blacksmith Mark Wilson

Pike making in the historic forge of Mountshannon, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 2nd of November 2009 by aveire.

Monday 4 October 2010

Lisdoonvarna included in Penguin Anthology

Christy Moore, Declan Sinnott & Donal Lunny perform Lisdoonvarna. Posted on Youtube on 11th of December, 2009, by pddybrry.

The words of Christy Moore’s song, Lisdoonvarna, are to be included in a new anthology of Irish poetry. The Penguin Book of Irish Verse, running at over 1,000 pages, has just been published at a cost of €50. It will include all the greats of Irish poetry - Yeats, Beckett, Heaney, Swift, Wilde, Joyce, Kavanagh and others. Christy’s ballad describes arriving and performing at the Lisdoonvarna Folk Festival and has become his best-loved song.

(First verse and chorus:)
How's it goin' there everybody,
From Cork, New York, Dundalk, Gortahork and Glenamaddy.
Here we are in the County Clare
It's a long, long way from here to there.
There's the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher,
And the Tulla and the Kilfenora,
Miko Russell, Doctor Bill,
Willy Clancy and Noel Hill.
Flutes and fiddles everywhere.
If it's music you want,
You should go to Clare.

Oh, Lisdoonvarna
Lisdoon, Lisdoon, Lisdoon, Lisdoonvarna

Hanif Kureishi scoops PEN Pinter prize

Hanif KureishiA panel of judges including Harold Pinter's widow, Lady Antonia Fraser, Lisa Appignanesi and Mariella Frostrup chose Hanif Kureishi as winner of this year’s PEN Pinter prize. The award, which goes to a writer who – in the words of Harold Pinter's Nobel Prize speech – casts an "unflinching, unswerving" gaze upon the world, was established last year by English PEN in memory of the Novel-winning dramatist, its former vice-president. The prize aims to honour a writer of "outstanding literary merit" who exemplifies Pinter's own "fierce intellectual determination … to define the real truth of our lives and our societies". Fraser said her husband "would have been proud" of the selection of Kureishi, author of the Whitbread award-winning novel The Buddha of Suburbia and the Oscar-nominated screenplay My Beautiful Laundrette. Last year, poet and playwright Tony Harrison won the inaugural PEN Pinter prize, worth £1,000. More info…

Frank O'Connor award goes to Ron Rash

The Frank O'Connor award has been presented to American author Ron Rash for his 'bleak' collection of short stories set in Appalachia, Burning Bright. This award is considered the world's richest prize for the short story form. Rash’s collection contains stories that range in time from the American Civil War to the present day and that tell of characters such as a pawnshop owner who intervenes when his nephew throws his parents out of their house to fund his meth addiction, to the portrait of the wife of a Lincoln sympathiser in Confederate territory. Rash said he hoped that "even though the stories are very regional in one sense", they also have a universal flavour. Rash was named winner in Cork on Sunday 19th September and beat experienced writers such as TC Boyle and Charlotte Grimshaw as well as debut writers such as Wells Tower and Simon Van Booy to claim the €35,000 (£29,000) award which honours world-famous short story writer Frank O’Connor. Rash is currently based in Western Carolina University where he holds the John Parris Chair in Appalachian Studies. No stranger to awards, Rash has won the O Curry Henry prize twice and was shortlisted twice for the PEN/Faulkner award. Previous winners of the Frank O’Connor prize include Haruki Murakami, Yiyun Li and Jhumpa Lahiri. More info…

Loop Head earns water tourism award

Loop Head in County Clare is among twenty five tourist destinations which were awarded the "2010 European Destination of Excellence" (EDEN) title on 27 September. The EU scheme promotes all-round sustainable tourism development models outside mainstream locations where unique (and economically viable) experiences are provided by a combination of cultural relevance, local involvement, environmental sensitivity. This year EDEN focused on aquatic tourism assets with the West Clare peninsula being praised for its exceptional scuba diving, diverse sea and bird life and dramatic cliffs. Previous Irish winners have been Clonakilty (2007, emerging rural destination), Carlingford and the Cooley peninsula (2008, local intangible heritage), and the Sheep’s Head peninsula, Co. Cork (2009, protected areas). More info…
Loop Head web links

Public libraries seek new role for digital era

More than 200 participants from 27 countries met to think about the future of public libraries in Europe. They regard the librarian as a guide in the internet world and no longer as a book collector. The European Congress on e-inclusion (ECEI10) - “Delivering digital Europe in public libraries" - organised by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU, took place in Brussels on 20-21 September. The conference was organised within the framework of the European Year of Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion and with specific reference to the new ‘Digital Agenda for Europe’ policy which sets out to respond to the challenges and opportunities brought about by an increasingly digital age including the social, cultural and economic benefits they bring. The event looked at a range of areas including the opportunities public libraries have to bridge the digital divide, the role they can play to increase accessibility of services and information as well as their role in supporting digital literacy programmes. Among the conclusions reached were that the core added value of the public library and librarian in the future will be in a role as a guide who makes users familiar with the internet and with the access to new skills it offers. Delegates also argued in favour of libraries entering into external knowledge and skills partnerships.
More info…

Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize

Cheshire-born poet Sian Hughes has been announced as the inaugural winner of the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize for Best First Collection. Speaking about her collection of poetry, The Missing, published by Salt, Hughes says “It's hard to believe that writing down these very small texts and trying to make them as clear and honest as I can could somehow turn me into a real poet”. The judges Ciaran Carson, Michael Longley and Sinead Morrissey “singled out her work for particular praise from a competitive shortlist of new British and Irish poets”. Rosemary Kelly, chairman of the Arts Council, commented: “Sian Hughes is a worthy first winner of the prize and we are looking forward to seeing more from her in the future”. Hughes was announced as the winner at a reception, hosted by the Arts Council, to mark the opening of the British and Irish Contemporary Poetry Conference, which will take place at Queen’s University from September 15-17. The conference, now in its second session, is being hosted by the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University Belfast for the first time, drawing together poets and academics from across the UK and Ireland. It will feature poetry readings from renowned poets such as Christopher Ricks, Michael Schmidt, Christopher Reid, Peter McDonald, Carol Rumens and Gerald Dawe. Anyone who is interested can contact Gerry Hellawell at Queen’s University on 028 9097 1070 or email More info…

Annabel Lyon's top 10 books on the Ancient World

Award winning Canadian writer Annabel Lyon has chosen her top 10 books concerning the ancient world that she says “subvert, surprise, challenge and please”. The books that make her list are An Imaginary Life by David Malouf (1978), Dragonflies by Grant Buday (2008), Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault (1969), I, Claudius by Robert Graves (1934), The Moon in the Cloud by Rosemary Harris (1968), Plato’s Symposium (385-380BC), Aeschylus’s Oresteia, translated by Ted Hughes (1998), If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho, translated by Anne Carson (2002), The Gathering Night by Margaret Elphinstone (2009) and The Centaur by John Updike (1963). More info…