Friday 28 January 2011

Data Protection Day: guaranteeing your right to privacy

Worried about future employers seeing your facebook page? Think the interview might go badly if they did? And if you cancel your account, why should people still be able to see your photos? What protection do you have for e-mails, photos, business details? Here's a quick look at one unlucky "interviewee". Today, 28 January, is Data Protection Day, jointly promoted by the Council of Europe (the Human Rights Body) and the European Commission. The annual Data Protection Day aims at giving people the chance to understand what personal data is collected about them and why, and what their rights are. Click here for details...

2011 Irish Times Poetry Now Award

The shortlist for the 2011 Irish Times Poetry Now Award has been announced with Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Sara Berkeley, Ciaran Carson and Dermot Healy all named. The €5,000 prize, presented annually for the best single volume published in the preceding 12 months, was judged by poet, novelist and screenwriter Brian Lynch, poet Leanne O'Sullivan and lecturer and critic Borbála Faragó. This year's winner will be presented with the award during the DLR Poetry Now International Poetry Festival, which takes place from March 24th to 27th.

“Some Tower Houses of North Clare” - at Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon

“Some Tower Houses of North Clare” a talk by Risteárd Ua Cróinín & Martin Breen

Friday 21 January 2011

Gael Warning Playing "The Sounds of County Clare"

Gael Warning Playing "The Sounds of County Clare" from their CD "Intoxikilted".

“... Ennis is a music town
and the sessions roll like they haven’t got a care,
I come from the land of rock and roll
and I have that music in my soul
but I never heard nothing like the sound in County Clare...”

Posted on Youtube on the 31st of January 2007 by StevieToledo.

New Grass Revival – Playing "County Clare"

Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Pat Flynn and John Cowan of New Grass Revival playing a tune they call "County Clare". Posted on Youtube on the 28th of December 2007 by BluegrassLibrary

"Skippy Dies" in Time Magazine’s top ten fiction books of 2010

Skippy Dies by Paul MurrayTwo books set in Dublin have been chosen by Time Magazine among their top ten fiction books of 2010. Paul Murray’s Skippy Dies has been listed at number 3 with Tana French’s Faithful Place in the number 10 position. Skippy Dies, which opens with the death of a fourteen-year-old student at Dublin’s venerable Seabrook College on the floor of the local doughnut shop, is described by Time as "one of the liveliest and most poignant books of the year". Faithful Place is a psychological and emotional thriller which follows an undercover cop as he returns to his childhood Dublin neighbourhood to investigate the disappearance of his girlfriend 22 years earlier. French’s previous novels In the Woods and The Likeness, were both New York Times bestsellers.

Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom topped the list which also included A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan; The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell; Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon; Wilson by Daniel Clowes; Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes; How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu and The Passage by Justin Cronin. Freedom - which details the tribulations of a Midwestern family, the Berglunds, whose successes, failures and appetite for self-invention reflect the larger story of millennial America - and A Visit from the Goon Squad - a rock ’n’ roll novel about a cynical record producer and the people who intersect his world - also featured on the New York Times list of the best 5 fiction books of 2010. They were joined by Room by Emma Donoghue, Selected Stories by William Trevor and The New Yorker Stories by Ann Beattie.

Costa Book Awards Category Winners announced

The Hand That First Held MineCosta has announced the Costa Book Awards 2010 winners in the Novel, First Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book categories. The winner in each category receives £5,000. One of these five books will be selected as the overall winner of the Costa Book of the Year award and will receive a further £30,000. The Costa Novel Award was won by Maggie O'Farrell for her fifth book The Hand That First Held Mine. The award is O’Farrell’s first major literary prize. The novel cuts between two time frames; the present day with two new parents struggling to get a grip on the change in their lives, and fifty years earlier in bohemian Soho, where the newly-arrived Lexie Sinclair throws herself into the London art scene. Kishwar Desai won the debut novel prize for Witness the Night, a story exposing the hidden scandal of female infanticide that still exists in India. Edmund de Waal collected the Biography Award for his highly-acclaimed memoir, The Hare With Amber Eyes. The book, which uses 264 delicate Japanese carvings to tell the extraordinary story of a family living through tumultous events in Paris and Vienna, has become a bestseller and has been described by one critic as the "book of the decade". Debut writer Jason Wallace claimed the Children's Book Award for Out of Shadows, a moving and disturbing coming-of-age story set in Zimbabwe. The Costa Poetry Award was won by Jo Shapcott for her collection Of Mutability. The poems are rooted in the poet's experience of breast cancer but are all about life, hope and play. The Hare with Amber Eyes is the bookmakers' favourite to collect the overall prize which will be announced on January 25th.

Friday 14 January 2011

Protecting the Burren

This video is taken from the EcoEye series, and was originally broadcast on RTE in 2009. Produced by Earth Horizon in association with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), EcoEye is among Ireland's most popular television programmes, bringing news and updates on a range of environmental issues to a weekly audience of up to 400,000. For further details on the EPA and its role in protecting Ireland's environment, see For an accessible version of this video, and associated educational resources for second level teachers, see: Posted on Youtube on the 16th of August 2010 by EPAIreland.

Clare 'Live The Life' DVD now online

Clare Live The Life DVD now online

The new Clare ‘Live the Life’ tourism DVD is now available to view on, the main website for all tourist matters in Clare. See

Top Names for Ennis Book Club Festival 2011

Ennis Book Club Festival 2011High profile Irish and international literary figures will participate in the 2011 Ennis Book Club Festival, details of which were announced on the 12th of January. In association with Clare County Library, the three-day programme of events is expected to attract hundreds of Book Club members and book lovers from all over Ireland and the UK to the County Clare capital from 4th to 6th March 2011. The Festival programme features author visits, readings, lectures and workshops in various venues around Ennis. It also includes the ‘Irish Book Club of the Year Award’ and a professional development workshop for library staff. This event on ‘Marketing Strategies for Libraries’ is free to all library staff nationwide. It will be presented by Nancy Dowd, co-author of Bite-Sized Marketing: realistic solutions for the overworked librarian and Director of Marketing for the New Jersey State Library. The workshop takes place on Friday 4th March at 2.30 pm. For further information, or to book a place, phone 087 226 2259 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              087 226 2259      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email

Among the Irish contributors to the festival will be Anne Enright, Booker Prize-winning author; Pauline McLynn, stage and screen actor and author of eight bestselling novels; Peter Sheridan, playwright, film and theatre director, and recipient of the Rooney Prize for Literature; Paul Murray, Irish author of Skippy Dies which has been selected as the third best fiction book of the year by Time magazine; Eamonn Sweeney, journalist and author of Down Down Deeper and Down: Ireland in the 70s and 80s, and the bestselling Road to Croker; David Norris, Senator and Joycean scholar; Dr Eibhear Walshe, author of Cissie’s Abattoir and senior lecturer in the Department of Modern English at University College Cork; and John Curran, author of Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks.

International contributors include Doug Stanton, US author of Horse Soldiers and New York Times bestseller In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors; Blake Morrison, former literary editor of The Observer and the Independent on Sunday, Professor of Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths College, and author of The Last Weekend and Things My Mother Never Told Me; and David J. Lynch, senior writer with Bloomberg News, former war correspondent, and author of When The Luck Of The Irish Ran Out: The World’s Most Resilient Country and Its Struggle to Rise Again.

There will also be poetry readings by Vona Groarke and Tom Conaty, while well known broadcaster Marie Louise O'Donnell will be choosing ‘10 Books You Should Read’. Elsewhere, the Festival will feature a Clare Youth Theatre performance of ‘Ex Libris’, and the launch by the Clare Three-legged Stool Poets of the late Brendan O’Byrne’s poetry collection, Reality the Graveyard of Dreams. The young winners of The Clare Champion’s short story writing competition will also be reading their work. Clare County Librarian Helen Walsh said that this year’s three-day programme of events promises to be as exciting and wide-ranging as the previous four festivals. ‘The numbers attending the Festival has grown year-on-year and we expect hundreds of readers from all around the country to travel to Ennis this March’, she explained. Hope you can join us!

Tickets for all events will be on sale in early February. Further festival information is available from (web), (t), (e) and (t) 087 226 2259 and 087 9723647

Friday 7 January 2011

Cliffs of Moher: 7 Wonders of Nature Finalist

"The Cliffs of Moher are listed in the top 28 in the global online campaign for the New 7 Wonders of Nature. The third and final phase of voting is now underway with people again able to vote for the Cliffs from the selection of 28 official finalist candidates. All votes from phase one and two are not counted in the final phase so it is vital that everyone votes again. The new 7 natural wonders of Nature will be chosen by an estimated 1 billion votes. Voting will continue throughout 2010 and 2011 with the official declaration of the new 7 wonders of Nature taking place on 11 November 2011. The famous County Clare landmark is Ireland's entry and need your support more than ever. VOTE FOR THE CLIFFS NOW AT"

Posted on Youtube on the 22nd of september 2010 by lahinchdreamcatcher

Readers recommend their favourite books of 2010

Readers of The Guardian newspaper recently recommended their books of the year for 2010. "Readers loved novels by AS Byatt, Philip Roth, Rose Tremain and William Trevor, poetry by Derek Walcott and Robin Robertson, Philip Larkin's Letters and Candia McWilliam's memoir." For more details just click here...