Thursday 23 December 2010

Nollaig Shona - Happy Christmas

Nollaig Shona - Happy Christmas

Christmas in Bunratty Folk Park

"Christmas time at Bunratty Folk Park... All the festive fun of the Folk Park in the run up to Christmas, December 2009." Posted on Youtube on the 5th of January 2010 by Production63.

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Ballyhannon Castle (also known as Castlefergus), Quin, Christmas 2009

"Ballyhannon Castle (also known as Castlefergus), Quin, County Clare. View from roof-top after severe frost over Christmas 2009. The grounds of Ballyhannon Castle are always a lucious green pasture, except during Christmas 2009 when a severe cold snap hit Ireland with temperatures at the lowest [then] ever recorded! This video captures how the surrounding farmland and estuary was covered in a blanket of fantastic white frost!". Posted on Youtube on the 31st of January, 2010, by castleinireland.

Catch up on your reading over the holidays

One Day by David NichollsThe Sunday Tribune Book Club’s selection for December is One Day by David Nicholls. One Day is a tale of two unlikely friends that is told one day at a time, on the same day each year. Readers are invited to submit their book review, totalling no more than 100 words, by email to or via their Facebook and Twitter pages. The best review will be published and the winner will receive a €100 National Book Token.

The Thing is… by Dave Fanning is the book for discussion on the Bord Gáis Energy Online Book Club. The book provides an entertaining account of a hard-working, music-loving life. Join the book club at to participate in the forum and be in with a chance to win lots of lovely goodies.

The Irish Times Bookclub choice for December is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The Help addresses the emotive topic of black nannies raising the children of their white employers in early 1860s Mississippi. The club features a weekly column, a blog and interaction with the club host, Rosita Boland via Twitter.

The Specsavers Book Club has announced the ten titles that will be discussed on its new series which begins in January, 2011. The third series of the TV Book Club show begins on More4 in January, with repeats on Channel 4 during the following day. The selected books are

Room by Emma Donoghue
The Long Song by Andrea Levy
The News Where You Are by Catherine O'Flynn
Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor
Bleed for Me by Michael Robotham
Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst
The Junior Officer's Reading Club by Patrick Hennessey
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna
My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin.

Monday 20 December 2010

Start Your Family Tree Week - 26 December to 1 January

Start Your Family Tree WeekChristmas is traditionally the time when families gather together to celebrate – in fact research reveals that 96% of Irish people plan to meet up with family this Christmas. But how much do we really know about our families? In a recent poll, Eneclann, Ireland’s leading Irish historical researcher and publisher, revealed that while 89% of Irish people are able to name all of their first cousins and grandparents, only 31% are able to name all of their great-grandparents. This Stephen’s Day sees the launch of Ireland’s first ‘Start your Family Tree Week’, an opportunity to find out more about your Irish family history. The initiative, which is supported by Eneclann, the Genealogical Society of Ireland and the Irish Family History Society, aims to encourage people to find out more about their family history, and to hand down the stories and memories to the next generation. ‘Start Your Family Tree Week’ aims to encourage people to find out more about their families in a fun and interactive way. People can sign up for a series of seven daily emails from 26th December – 1st January. Each email is designed to help you develop your family tree further and includes advice and features from experts, links to useful websites and competitions (see below for details of prizes). People can participate by visiting and signing up for the newsletter.

Competition Prizes include:

• A two night stay for two people sharing in their choice of Blue Book country house or historic hotel
• 5 hours’ Irish family history research by Irish genealogy experts, Eneclann
• 4 subscriptions to Irish Roots, the Irish genealogy magazine
• 5 subscriptions to Ireland of the Welcomes, the Irish magazine
• 5 reproduction historical maps of the Irish county of your choice from
• 5 prizes of a printed and bound hardback book of your family history research from
• 7 subscriptions to the Irish Ancestors website
• 7 memberships of the Irish Family History Society
• 7 memberships of the Genealogical Society of Ireland
• 7 memberships of the Irish Genealogical Research Society
• 7 one-day subscriptions to the Irish Times Online Newspaper Archive

Christmas Crafts session in Killaloe library

Christmas Crafts session in Killaloe library

On Wednesday 8th December a Christmas Crafts session was held in Killaloe Public Library for the actively retired. A few hardy souls braved the icy conditions to attend this workshop run by Nathalie El Baba, and some gorgeous Christmas centre-pieces were created.

Friday 17 December 2010

County Clare (The Banner County), Ireland.

Featuring Leamaneh Castle, thatching, Ballyvaughan, the Burren landscape and flora, potholing and Aillwee Cave. Posted on Youtube on the 13th of November 2007 by clarebannerman.

Fishing on Doon Lake near Broadford

Fishing on Doon Lake near Broadford, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 9th of August 2010 by wegorx444.

Friday 10 December 2010

Lahinch, Cliffs of Moher, Fanore and Ballyvaughan Summer 2009

Posted on Youtube on the 20th of August 2009 by jungmichael. Music: Ride On by Christy Moore.

Would you like 48 copies of your favourite book to give away?

World Book Night

The inaugural World Book Night will take place on Saturday 5 March 2011. This industry-wide initiative to celebrate adult books and reading will see one million free books given away on World Book Night by 20,000 passionate readers to other members of the public across Ireland and the UK. World Book Night will take place two days after World Book Day, the established nationwide reading campaign.

From 2nd December 2010, members of the public are invited to apply to be one of the 20,000 givers of 48 copies of their favourite book chosen from a carefully selected list of 25 titles. Most givers are expected to be passionate readers who will take pleasure in recommending a book they love to other readers. However, World Book Night will also encourage givers to pass the books on to others who either may be reluctant readers or who are part of communities with less access to books, bookshops and libraries. 960,000 books will be distributed by givers and a further 40,000 will be distributed by WBN to people who might not otherwise be able to participate.

Jamie Byng, Chairman, World Book Night says:
“World Book Night is a unique collaboration between publishers, booksellers, libraries, writers and individual members of the public and one that I think is going to have an enormously positive impact on books and reading. There are few things more meaningful than the personal recommendation and having one million books given to one million different people on one night in this way is both unprecedented and hugely exciting.”

An independent editorial committee composed of a broad mix of booksellers, librarians, authors, broadcasters and other individuals carefully selected the 25 titles to be given away to the public on World Book Night. Prior to this, the entire book trade was canvassed for recommendations and hundreds of lists were received. The final selection offers a wide array of outstanding books encompassing all types of fiction be it historical, literary, crime and commercial as well as poetry, memoir and young adult. Whether a huge bestseller, a prize-winning debut, a lesser known gem or an undisputed classic, it was felt that every book needed to be an accessible work of enduring quality that people would feel passionate about sharing with others. Seamus Heaney’s New Selected Poems 1966 – 1987 and Marian Keyes’ Rachel’s Holiday are among the selected books.

The World Book Night website will serve as the primary means through which members of the public can apply to be a giver. People will be asked to say in up to 100 words why they want to give away a book chosen from the list and the sort of people they would like to give it to. Information about World Book Night will also be available via libraries and bookshops across the UK and Ireland. The closing date for entries is 4 January 2011. The 20,000 givers and members of the public will be invited to take part in events, parties and celebrations on World Book Night across the UK and Ireland, with many libraries and bookshops extending their opening times.

A night to remember – the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2010

A Coward if I Return, a Hero if I FallThe gala dinner to announce the winners of the Irish Book Awards has become one of the major events in the Irish literary calendar. The ceremony on November 25th was attended by over fifty Irish authors and many more from the publishing industry and the media. Almost 30,000 public votes were cast to help decide the winners. Maeve Binchy was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to Irish literature by President McAleese. She joins a distinguished roll-call of John McGahern, William Trevor and Edna O’Brien, the previous recipients.

Emma Donoghue’s Room, inspired by the Josef Fritzl case, won the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award.
Neil Richardson’s book on Irishmen who fought in the first World War, A Coward if I Return, a Hero if I Fall, took the Argosy Irish Non-Fiction award.
Johnny Giles’s autobiography, A Football Man, chronicling his time with some of England’s biggest soccer clubs won the Energise Sport Irish Sports Book of the Year prize.
The book by Ross O’Carroll Kelly (Paul Howard), The Oh My God Delusion, took top honours in the Eason’s Irish Popular Fiction category,
Gene Kerrigan’s Dark Times in the City won the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award.
The Best Newcomer of the Year Award went to RTÉ broadcaster and Late Late Show presenter Ryan Tubridy’s JFK in Ireland: Four Days that Changed a President.
Good Mood Food by Donal Skehan was the winner of the IES Best Irish-Published Book of the Year award.
Cork hurler Donal Óg Cusack’s frank autobiography Come What May, ghostwritten by Irish Times sports writer Tom Humphries, won RTÉ Radio 1’s John Murray Show listeners’ choice award. In the best children’s book junior category, Niamh Sharkey’s On the Road with Mavis and Marge took the top prize, while in the senior category, Derek Landy’s popular Skulduggery Pleasant: Mortal Coil won.

Wednesday 8 December 2010

'Dogs Singing' at the Courthouse Gallery‏

Dogs SingingSalmon Poets read from new poetry anthology "Dogs Singing" as fundraiser for Second Chance Animal Rescue (S.C.A.R.). To celebrate the publication of "Dogs Singing - A Tribute Anthology" Salmon Poetry, in association with the Courthouse Gallery, will hold a poetry reading at The Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, on Wednesday 15th December at 7.30pm. 'Dogs Singing', which has been compiled and edited by Jessie Lendennie, brings together poems which highlight and examine and celebrate the canine world. Among the 200 contributors are John Montague, Paula Meehan, Micheal O'Siadhail, Alicia Ostriker, Matthew Sweeney, Neil Astley, Rita Ann Higgins, Gerard Smyth, Thomas Lynch, Mary O'Donnell, Maxine Kumin, Joseph Woods, C.K. Williams, David Wheatley, Peter Fallon, Nessa O'Mahony, Mary O'Malley, Theo Dorgan, Pat Boran, Conor Mark Kavanagh, Padraig O'Morain and Mary O’Donnell. The anthology is divided into three sections: 'By' (a smaller section, since dogs are often reluctant to describe themselves as poets!), 'For' and 'About'. The order of poems reflects the eclectic mix of style and content. Readers on the night include Ilsa Thielan, Jean Kavanagh, Jessie Lendennie, Knute Skinner, Christine Jenkins, and Mary Mullen. Proceeds from copies of "Dogs Singing - A Tribute Anthology" sold at the reading will go to Second Chance Animal Rescue. Free event with mulled wine reception. "Here is a big book of many poems, all inspired, devoted, motivated by a sacred bond that happens, the supreme privilege, that something far bigger than romance - a relationship with a dog...." Eileen Battersby, Arts Writer and Literary Correspondent, The Irish Times.

Friday 3 December 2010

Mandolin duet at Ennistymon Farmer's Market

"Andy & Dave are entertaining the shoppers" at the weekly farmer's market in Ennistymon. Posted on Youtube on the 6th of June, 2010 by PaddyCourtney

Courthouse Gallery Ennistymon Animation Workshops

"Stop Motion Animation workshop held over four days at The Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, County Clare with artist Vanessa Daws. The group was a mixture of adults and teenagers and the numbers varied every day." Posted on Youtube on April 17th, 2010 by TheAquaness.

Book on St. Joseph’s Doora-Barefield named Sports Book of the Year

William Hill Irish Sports Book of the YearThe Club by Christy O'Connor has been named the William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year for 2010. The story of the small hurling club's ups and downs beat off stiff competition from fellow Clare sportsman Tony Griffin, and one of Ireland's greatest soccer players, John Giles. The Club follows O’Connor’s club, St Joseph’s, for whom he was goalkeeper, through a season in 2009 as they looked to revive past glories spurred on through personal losses and tragedy. In accepting his award, O’Connor said "I wanted to pay tribute to my daughter Róisín and former team-mate Ger Hoey, both of whom passed away in the space of a week. I also wanted to portray the essence of what defines us in the St Joseph's Doora-Barefield club, which required me to be as honest as I possibly could be". The author has been closely associated with St Joseph's for years having been the team goalkeeper and able to give first hand accounts of the fading club's attempts to revive past glories and of the harsh truths facing rural teams. The award is voted for by some of Ireland's top journalists, sports commentators and pundits. Previous winners include footballer Paul McGrath's life story Back from the Brink and retired rugby star Trevor Brennan's autobiography Heart and Soul. Last year’s winner was Dónal Óg Cusack with his book Come What May. Tony Kenny, William Hill Ireland PR Manager, said; "The Club is certainly the best sports book in Ireland this year and according to many of our judges, one of the best sports books they have ever read. The book will resonate, not only with GAA fans but sports fans in general and communities across the country. It depicts the triumphs and tragedy of one season for a hurling club but also looks at how important communities can be and gives a fantastic insight into the impact sport can have. Christy’s book is an excellently told story and is a very deserved winner of the William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year."

The shortlist:
My Story by Bernard Dunne
A Football Man by John Giles
Screaming at the Sky by Tony Griffin
Days of Heaven by Declan Lynch
The Club by Christy O'Connor
Ruby by Ruby Walsh

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Scariff Library on TG4's Imeall show

TG4The 2nd annual Young People's Art Exhibition in Scariff Public Library which includes sculpture, photography, painting, film and more will be featured on Imeall, TG4's weekly arts & culture series made by Red Shoe Productions on Thursday, 2 December, at 10pm. The item is part of a specially devoted youth programme which also contains items about Clare electronic violinist Daithi O Dronai, the National Youth Theatre and 16-year-old County Offaly ballet dancer Chris Furlong who recently started training at the Central School of Ballet in London. That's Imeall, Thursday, 2 December, 10pm, TG4.