Friday 28 October 2011

Muiris Ó Rócháin

A report from TG4 on the funeral of Muiris Ó Rócháin, (Dingle, 1944 - Miltown Malbay, 17 October 2011), co-founder of the Willie Clancy Summer School, Miltown Malbay. Posted on Youtube on the 23rd of October 2011 by stevenmoss1.

Tony MacMahon - My Love is in America, and Castle Kelly (reels)

"Classic clip of the master box player, Tony MacMahon from Clare. Sonny Brogan is named at the beginning of the clip as the major influence on this (then) 17 year-old musician." The clip is introduced by the late Ciarán MacMathúna. Posted on Youtube on the 15th of July 2011 by martinmcmutrie.

Betje Wolff Choir at Poulnabrone

"Singing next to the Poulnabrone Dolmen (a portal tomb in the Burren, County Clare, Ireland)." Posted on Youtube on the 8th of October 2011 by Mongolino88.

Peadar Clancy Festival, Cranny, 2010

Peadar Clancy Festival, Cranny, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 25th of August 2010 by PhilipMcKernanInc.

The Playful Doolin Dolphin

"This playful Dolphin spent its time swimming and diving amongst a group of swimmers at Doolin Pier. Doolin, in County Clare, is one of the maritime gateways to the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland from where ferries to the islands depart." Posted on Youtube on the 10th of October 2011 by corkfireman.

Films for Halloween

Fancy a scary movie for Halloween? Films on DVD are available in Ennis, Ennistymon, Kilrush, Scariff and Shannon Libraries and may be requested from any library. We've got The Birds, Blair Witch Project, Bride of Frankenstein, Dawn of the Dead, Nosferatu, The Wickerman and lots, lots more. Check the library catalogue at and for a list of new DVDs just click here...

Girls’ Night Out at De Valera Public Library to celebrate Ennis Fashion Week

Girls’ Night Out at De Valera Public Library

Clare County Library celebrated Ennis Fashion Week (October 24th-29th) in style. A special Girls’ Night Out was held at the De Valera Public Library, Ennis on Tuesday 25th October at 7pm where attendees enjoyed an evening of glamour, style and, above all, fun! Experts were on hand to give all the hints and tips needed to prepare for any night out. Sarah Mulvihill from Visage Hair Studio gave advice on hair care and explained how to get the salon look for any night out, Linda Carey from Radiance Beauty Clinic demonstrated what is needed to create that flawless finish from cleansing & toning to the completed made-up look while Niamh O’Brien from Forty Coats Fifty Pockets had some amazing tips to share on how to revamp one’s existing wardrobe to make it look like you’ve just been shopping on the High Street. Every girl loves a good night out and wants to look her best when going out and these ladies certainly showed how to save on time and money getting ready so that there can be more of both left to spend when you leave the house!

The library also had book displays on the evening for recommended reading for those who wanted to learn even more about style and beauty. Surprise opportunities were given to win a spot prize at the end of the evening when random members of the unsuspecting audience found more than they bargained for under their seat! Prizes given on the night included bottles of wine, book vouchers for Ennis Book Shop, a Pantene Hair gift set kindly donated by Clarecastle Pharmacy and a delicious box of Wilde’s Irish Chocolates sent especially from their factory in Tuamgraney. Tea, coffee and delicious refreshments were provided by The Tea Rooms, Quin, who also provided the tea cups and crockery with a style all of their own. All in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the night and said it was the ideal opportunity to indulge in the perfect Girls’ Night Out.

Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards

The shortlists for the 2011 Irish Book Awards have been announced.
The categories are:

Argosy Nonfiction Book of the Year
Easons Popular Fiction Book of the Year
Hughes and Hughes Irish Novel of the Year
International Education Services Best Irish-published Book of the Year
Ireland AM Crime Novel of the Year
John Murray Show Listeners’ Choice Award
Specsavers Irish Children’s Book of the Year (Junior)
Specsavers Irish Children’s Book of the Year (Senior)
Sports Book of the Year
Sunday Independent Best Newcomer of the Year

Vote for the book you would like to see win in each category at Everyone who votes will be entered into a draw from which five winners will receive €100 worth of National Book tokens. The closing date for voting is 13th November.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Halloween Festival at Clare Museum

Halloween Festival at Clare Museum

Clare Museum launched its first Halloween Festival on 25th October to run until 1st November inclusive. There are tours at 10am and 3pm on most days and other activities include face painting, traditional storytelling, pumpkin carving, quizzes and prizes. The festival is designed to accommodate schools and family groups. For more information call curator John Rattigan at 065-6823382.

Monday 24 October 2011

Clare well placed to gain from genealogy tourism

Genealogy RecordsNicola Corless, writing in this week’s Clare Champion newspaper, reports that County Clare is well placed to gain from genealogy tourism, not least due to the work done by Clare County Library on its website. She writes that

Clare could attract thousands of overseas visitors to the area as part of a national project targeting the Irish diaspora but only with a long-term approach, a local genealogist has said. While the county has yet to find its Katy Perry or Ned Kelly, Clare is ideally placed to take advantage of a resurging interest in genealogy and a growing genealogy tourism market according to the chairman of the Clare Roots Society, Gerry Kennedy. “Clare is very well placed because of two things. The Clare County Library website has a genealogy section, which is attracting a lot of interest from people all over the world. It is regarded as one of the foremost genealogy sites in Ireland and we are very fortunate that Clare library has such an excellent site”, he told the Clare Champion. “The second reason is that Clare was one of the counties in the West of Ireland that had a lot of people emigrating over the years. There is a huge interest in Clare, particularly from Australia, because of the large numbers who left,” he continued…..

Robert Burns night in Scariff Library

Robert Burns night in Scariff Library

Scottish Poet Dr Fred Freeman recently presented a lively session of folk music and literary discussion at Scariff Public Library on the life and songs of poet Robert Burns. The audience clapped along to the rhythm and beat of Burns’ songs introduced by Dr Freeman in wholly original way. The performance was both a lasting tribute to Robert Burns and to the contemporary folk movement in Scotland. This event was thoroughly enjoyable.

Clare County Library ageing positively and happy to volunteer

Shannon Library Knitathon

Marie Clohessy with Smoothies

Positive Ageing Week 2011 took place from September 23rd-30th and, as it coincided with National Day of Volunteering on September 30th, Clare County Library seized the opportunity to celebrate both of these worthy occasions together. A nationwide Knitathon took place as part of activities organised for National Day of Volunteering so members of the Shannon Apostolic Society visited Sean Lemass Public Library in Shannon on Friday, September 30th where they formed a cosy circle and knit and chatted to their hearts’ content. The ladies in attendance created beautifully knitted squares of all colours to be put together at a later stage to produce a blanket that will be donated to a local charity. Members of the public were encouraged to come along and watch the fun or to join in and some even got handy hints and tips from the experts.

In the De Valera Public Library in Ennis on the same date local senior citizens joined forces with local volunteers to knit a huge number of little hats for the Innocent Smoothie Big Knit campaign. The wonderful array of hats will be placed on special promotional bottles of Innocent Smoothies. Last year as part of the innocent big knit campaign a whopping 80,000 little hats were knit by generous people all over Ireland, raising €20,000 and much needed awareness for Age Action Ireland. The funds were put to great use to ensure that older people in Ireland stayed well and warm and the plan is to achieve the same, if not better, results this year. Clare County Library was delighted to be able to take part in such a worthwhile activity and extends sincere thanks to all who participated.

Also to mark Positive Ageeing Week, Therese Hourigan from the Commission for Communications Regulation held an advice clinic in the De Valera Public Library in Ennis. The aim was to empower consumers to take direct action regarding poor service provision, quality or other issues and to provide users with sufficient information to deal with their service providers. Consumer guides were distributed on the day and many people commented on what a useful service it was.

Photos above show the Knitathon in Shannon, and former Clare County Library staff member Marie Clohessy in De Valera Library, Ennis with smoothies.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Sky Ride Etape Hibernia - North Clare August 2011

"135 km (85 miles) of closed roads, beautiful and Irish hospitality in County Clare, Ireland." See Sky Ride Etape Hibernia for more details...

Julian Barnes wins Booker Prize 2011

Julian Barnes: The Sense of an EndingJulian Barnes was last night named the winner of this year's £50,000 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for The Sense of an Ending. Barnes has been the bookies' favourite to win since the shortlist announcement on the 6th of September. Barnes, who previously described the prize as 'posh bingo', has been shortlisted three times in the past for Arthur and George (2005), England, England (1998) and Flaubert's Parrot (1984). The Sense of an Ending, a 150 page novella, is the story of a seemingly ordinary man who, when revisiting his past in later life, discovers that the memories he holds are less than perfect. Dame Stella Rimington, Chair of the 2011 judges, made the announcement at the awards dinner at London's Guildhall, broadcast by the BBC. She commented: "Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending has the markings of a classic of English Literature. It is exquisitely written, subtly plotted and reveals new depths with each reading." Barnes was presented with a cheque for £50,000 and can expect a substantial increase in the sales of his book. Sales of the books shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize have been the highest selling since records began.

The other shortlisted books were:
Carol Birch - Jamrach's Menagerie
Patrick deWitt - The Sisters Brothers
Esi Edugyan - Half Blood Blues
Stephen Kelman - Pigeon English
A D Miller - Snowdrops

Variety of music in Killaloe Library during Children’s Book Festival

Tony Maude at Killaloe Library

John Lillis at Killaloe Library

During Children’s Book Festival 2011, Killaloe Public Library was joined by thirty 5th and 6th class boys from Killaloe Boys National school for a music workshop with John Lillis. The boys were highly entertained by a mixture of hip hop, beat-boxing, scratching, DJ culture and sampling of their voices etc. John had no problems holding the boys attention for the hour and his session was very well suited to their age. The workshop was very interactive and hands on and all the boys had a chance to use the variety of technical equipment that he had. Lots of fun and entertainment was had by all! Also during the festival, Killaloe Library had an excellent session of songs, stories, riddles and rhymes with Tony Maude, with over fifty 3rd to 6th class girls from Killaloe Girls National school. Tony kept them enthralled with a diverse array of music and song. His performance was very interactive and fun and the girls were more than willing to participate in every aspect. Tony brought a new approach to the works of Shakespeare and Robert Louis Stephenson by performing them to music and encouraging the girls to contribute and sing along. All in all a very enjoyable and worthwhile performance from a talented musician and poet.

Clay pot making and herbs - Heritage Week 2011 at Scariff Library

Heritage Week at Scariff Library

Scariff Public Library staff member Simon Large and artist Isabelle Gaborit recently celebrated Heritage Week 2011 with a culture rich craft afternoon at the library. Fifteen children attended a clay pot making session during which they were taught how to make clay pots in the style of those used in Ireland thousands of years ago. The event was a great success and the children were delighted with their resulting creations. Also as part of Heritage Week herbalist Vivienne Campbell shared her wealth of knowledge with an enthusiastic audience in a well attended hour long talk followed by a Q and A session at the library. Vivienne focused on the medicinal uses of common garden plants and weeds. Visit Vivienne’s website at

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Renew your books, CDs and Films online

Online CatalogueTo renew any items you have on loan from the library, simply go to the library website home page at and click on 'Library Catalogue'. Then click on 'My Account' or 'Login'. Enter your name and your borrower card number using the instructions provided (09P followed by the digits after the letters CE P). Click the 'Submit' button, and then click the 'Renew' box beside the item(s) to be renewed. Click 'Renew Selected' (or 'Renew All'). You should then see a message which says: 'The following item(s) will be renewed, would you like to proceed?'. Click 'Yes'. Your new due date will appear on screen. You can then write the new due date on the item's date label to remind you when to return the item.

Friday 14 October 2011

Martin Hayes, Kevin Crawford & Josh Dukes play The Clare Reel, The East Clare Reel & Sporting Nell

"Martin Hayes on fiddle, Kevin Crawford on flute, and Josh Dukes on guitar play three reels, The Clare Reel, The East Clare Reel and an unusual version of Sporting Nell. Performed at the CCE ( & Institute of Musical Traditions ( Concert, Takoma Park Community Center, Takoma Park, MD, USA on July 20, 2011." Posted on Youtube on the 11th of August 2011 by imtfolk.

Sharon Shannon, Mike McGoldrick, Dezi Donnelly & Jim Murray play The Full Set

Sharon Shannon, Mike McGoldrick (flute), Dezi Donnelly (Fiddle) & Jim Murray (Guitar) play The Full Set as a jig and then as a reel at the 2007 Cambridge Folk Festival. Posted on Youtube on the 3rd of November 2007 by tomscotland.

The Francis McPeake School of Traditional Music (Belfast) at Willie Clancy festival 2011

"I am a student who went to the Willie Clancy Week with the McPeakes - Francie McPeake and Eugene McPeake. Playing a Reel Set and Jig Set and a Slow Air from Francie McPeake." Posted on Youtube on the 28th of August 2011 by caramelsteam52.

Clare Sports Partnership 2011 / 2012 Grant Scheme - €20,000 available for clubs and organisations

Clare Sports Partnership Clare Sports Partnership is pleased to announce that it is in a position to offer sporting clubs and community organisations the opportunity to avail of funding for the 2011 / 2012 season. The aim of the funding is to increase participation numbers within their organisation, especially in the target groups of women and girls, people with disabilities, older adults, disadvantaged communities and the unemployed. Speaking in behalf of the Clare Sports Partnership, Ms. Máire Johnston, Chairperson, said that “we are delighted that we are in a position that we can offer such a grant scheme, given the current economic climate. We have approximately €20,000 available for clubs and organisations to apply for. This funding has been generated through core funding from the Irish Sports Council and monies raised from the An Post Tour de Burren, our flagship cycle mass participation cycle event that this year attracted over 2,200 cyclists.” John Sweeney, co-ordinator of the Sports Partnership said, "successful applicants will have to prove how they can increase active participation numbers with this grant. We do not have a lot of money to give out, but whatever is given out will have to count". Application forms and guidelines can be downloaded from or obtained from Closing date for applications is strictly 4pm Wednesday 26th October 2011. If you have any queries in relation to this scheme please contact Catherine Ryan, Clare Sports Partnership, Unit 1 Westgate Business Park , Ennis, Co. Clare 065-6865434

Thursday 13 October 2011

Bob Burke reads from ‘The third pig detective agency’ at Kilrush Library

Bob Burke reads from ‘The third pig detective agency’ at Kilrush Library

Children’s author Bob Burke read from his award winning book ‘The third pig detective agency’ to an audience of 110 children from the local Primary Schools at Kilrush Public Library on Thursday 13th October. The children showed great interest in his work and asked many questions about what inspired this story, how to write a book and get it published. This author is working on his third book, which he hopes will be published next year. Meanwhile his two books are available from all Clare libraries.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Free entry to Vandeleur Walled Garden, Kilrush

Vandeleur Walled Garden, Kilrush

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Walled Garden Enterprises, entrance to these beautiful gardens is FREE from now until April 1st, 2012. Please make time to enjoy this wonderful experience and avail of the opportunity to purchase some of the rare and exotic plants, take a leisurely stroll through the tranquil garden, enjoy a coffee with home baking and/or take a walk along the newly developed woodland walkways. You are guaranteed a magnificent treat. So make the journey and tell all your friends about this fabulous amenity!

Urban music workshop at Scariff Library

Urban music workshop at Scariff Library

Facilitator John Lillis had no shortage of willing volunteers to the microphone to try out beatboxing and scratching in an urban music workshop given as part of Children’s Book Festival in Scariff Public Library. Fifth and Sixth year pupils from Whitegate and Ogonelloe National Schools displayed great musical talent and took much interest in the techniques and technology that John demonstrated.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Billy Teare & Kathleen O’Sullivan at Kilrush Library

Billy Teare & Kathleen O’Sullivan at Kilrush Library

Renowned Irish storyteller Billy Teare and singer, artist and published poet Kathleen O’Sullivan captivated the attention of 60 Primary School children at Kilrush Public Library on Tuesday 11th October during Children’s Book Festival 2011. The combination of stories, juggling, music and songs, together with art and craft ideas ensured active participation by the audience and proved very popular with both children and their class teachers.

Storytelling at Kilrush Library

Storytelling at Kilrush Library

Reading Picture Books to children is a great way to introduce them to the joy of reading. Teachers at St. Senan’s Primary School, Kilrush, are regular visitors to Kilrush Public Library with their classes, where they borrow books and read stories.

Shannon Library celebrates The Children's Summer Reading Challenge

Shannon Library celebrates The Children's Summer Reading Challenge

Almost 200 children and their parents from the Southern Region libraries of Shannon, Sixmilebridge and Newmarket-on-Fergus attended the certificate presentation event for this year’s Circus Stars Summer Reading Challenge in Seán Lemass Public Library, Shannon, on Tuesday 4th October. In attendance at the event was special guest Mayor of Shannon, Councillor Mary Brennan. The Mayor said a few words commending the children on their efforts in reading six books over the summer months and very kindly gave of her time in presenting certificates to the young people at the event. Following the presentation of certificates, the children and adults present were treated to a magic show from Tony Baloney. The audience (including library staff!) were enthralled by Tony’s magic tricks and comedy routine. The event was another testament to the continuing success of the Summer Reading Challenge in Shannon, Sixmilebridge and Newmarket-on-Fergus Libraries.

Friday 7 October 2011

Josephine Marsh Band

"The Josephine Marsh Band performing on Flosc tv series for TG4 in 2000. Josephine Marsh (Accordion), Declan Corey (Mandolin), Paul O'Driscol (Double Bass) and Tommy Carew (Guitar)." Posted on Youtube on the 26th of June 2010 by maspeth46thstreet.

The Neck Belly Reel - Sharon Shannon and friends

Sharon Shannon with Gerry O'Connor and friends playing The Neck Belly Reel. Posted on Youtube on the 29th of September 2007 by tomtscotland.

The Kilfenora Ceili Band in Basel

The Kilfenora Ceili Band playing at the Manuela Riedo Tribute Concert held in Basel, Switzerland, on the 25th of July 2009. Posted on Youtube on the 18th of May 2010 by BaselBantam.

Ennistymon Falls Kayaking

"Kayaking at Ennistymon Falls in Co. Clare, Ireland in September 2011." Posted on Youtube on 10th of september 2011 by kayakincheese.

"Che do Bheatha" Festival in Kilkee

"Her Excellency the Cuban Ambassador to Ireland, Teresita Trujillo Hernández, opens the "Che do Bheatha" festival in Kilkee Co. Clare. The festival commemorates the 50th anniversary of the visit of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara to Kilkee in September 1961." Posted on Youtube on the 1st of October 2011 by salsatanja. More info: Clare Champion article and Guerrillero Heroico.

Love your library

A fast fact presentation on public libraries in Ireland, brought to you by An Chomhairle Leabharlanna 2011.

Tony Maude in Scariff for Children’s Book Festival 2011

Tony Maude in Scariff for Children’s Book Festival 2011

Poet and musician Tony Maude introduced children to the work of such diverse artists as Shakespeare, Hemmingway, Robert Louis Stevenson, Monet and more in a fun and interactive workshop in Scariff Public Library as part of Children’s Book Festival 2011. Children from Whitegate and Scariff national schools sang along to old favourites such as ‘Summertime’ and worked on new compositions such as a musical rendering of the 3 witches “When shall we 3 meet again” speech from Macbeth.

Best Irish Bookseller Award

Bord Gáis Energy, headline sponsors of the Irish Book Awards, is launching a new prize category for 2011. The award is designed to recognise booksellers, and the vital role they play in connecting writers and readers. The 10 shops which receive the most votes – two shops for each region Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Connacht and Greater Dublin – will be shortlisted on the 20th of October. Those shortlisted will be requested to set up an Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards window display and submit a brief write up on their passion for selling books. The winning shop will be chosen by a judging panel who will visit each store. The winning bookshop will receive €5,000 worth of free electricity, while two voters will win €1,000 of free electricity. Public voting runs until October 14th with the shortlist announced on 20th October. To vote, visit the Bord Gáis Energy book club at

Thursday 6 October 2011

Scariff Poetry Group 2nd poetry exhibition

Scariff Poetry Group 2nd poetry exhibitionScariff Poetry Group is delighted to present its second poetry exhibition of the year, which opened at Scariff Public Library on Tuesday 4th Oct. The group meets every second Tuesday to discuss various themes, topics and poets. Earlier this year under Aileen’s direction the group produced an exhibition as part of the Iniscealtra Festival and it was very well received. The present exhibition consists of a mixture of poetry and art with members displaying between 5-10 poems and a piece of art related to their work (this ranges from pastel drawings, oil paintings, porcelain figurines, a flower display and even a musical audio piece with displayed lyrics). Eight members are displaying their work – each with an individual theme and concept. For example, one member, Maureen Devanney, displays her work themed “Crossing” with poems including “Borders” and “Journey”, “The Land Mine Years” and “Bethlehem”. A few years ago Maureen toured the Middle East and her experience there inspired her work for this project. Other group members displaying their work include Jinny Thomas whose display was inspired by her life on a farm; Michael O’Gorman whose writings have a paranormal theme; Deirdre Vallely who focuses on the life of a woman and the passage of time (she displays beautiful handmade figurines to accompany each poem); Eileen O’Shaughnessy whose pieces include “I am not Well” and an art piece displaying her empty medicine boxes; Aileen McDonagh who displays a set of 5 poems, each focusing on a different sense - sight, sight, touch, smell, taste and sound; and two more writers who would prefer to remain anonymous. Scariff Poetry Group, set up by Aileen McDonagh of Scariff Library, has been running successfully for almost three years and has a core attendance of approx 10 members. Passing tourists often attend also so there is a constant flow of new perspectives - and new members are always welcome!

Children’s Book Festival event at Kildysart Library

Children’s Book Festival event at Kildysart Library

Forty children from the local Primary Schools in Kildysart and Labasheeda recently attended an interactive workshop by Tony Maude, who is a talented poet and musician, as part of Children's Book Festival 2011. This hour long show, which the children thoroughly enjoyed, afforded them the opportunity to use unusual percussion instruments including a rainmaker and a thunder maker, which greatly complemented the poetry and songs.

Monday 3 October 2011

Presentation of Summer Reading Certs at Kilrush Library

Presentation of Summer Reading Certs at Kilrush Library

There was a great attendance at the presentation of Summer Reading Challenge certificates at Kilrush Public Library on Thursday 28th Sept. Over 90 children in the Western Library Region participated in the challenge. The theme of the Reading Challenge, which was ‘Circus Stars’, was echoed by the performance of magician 'Tony Baloney’ who entertained the audience with his magic tricks.