Wednesday 29 February 2012

Recession busting School Tour with Clare Museum

Clare Museum is launching “Recession busting School Tour of Ennis” in conjunction with local businesses. It is now possible to see Ennis on educational tour for less than €15 per person. The day begins with a FREE tour of the Clare Museum where children have the chance to learn about their local history and Irish culture with a guided tour of the museum. Age appropriate worksheets are provided and can be completed on the visit with other worksheets to be completed back in the classroom. A 'Teacher’s Pack' is also available allowing the continuation of the museum experience back in the classroom and there are online quizzes on our web site to increase computer skills for your children. This part of the tour takes 1hr- 1hr 30 min.

After the museum visit, there is a walking tour through the medieval streets of the town with Jane O’Brien of ‘Ennis Walking Tours. The tour is designed with children in mind and is filled with legends, mythology and ghost stories associated with town over a period of an hour. Participants can avail of a lunch deal at Supermac’s and the day concludes at ‘Ennis Leisure World’ where activities include bowling, quasar, astro-turf football and kiddies adventureland. The package is designed to market the town of Ennis to schools within the county and more particularly throughout Ireland. This package is available for primary classes from first to sixth classes and youth groups when booked through the museum. Click here for our opening hours and contact details...

Ceiliúradh Seachtain na Gaeilge i Leabharlann Chontae an Chláir

Tá áthas ar Leabharlann Chontae an Chláir bheith páirteach chun Gaeilge a cheiliúradh le linn Sheachtain na Gaeilge, atá ar siúl idir an 1 agus an 17 Márta. Tabharfaidh Séamus Ó Riain, Cúntóir Leabharlainne i Leabharlann DeValera Inis, cuairt ar 11 leabharlann sa Chontae chun am scéalaíochta a chur i láthair do pháistí Rang 1 agus 2 ó na scoileanna cóngaracha. Eispearas ar leith a bheidh ann. Tabharfaidh Laoise Ní Chomhraí cuairt ar Leabharlanna in Inis agus i mBaile na Sionna, Dé hAoine, an 9 Márta. Cuireadh a leabhar Ag Taisteal le Tarlach sa Pholainn, ar na foilsiú ag An Gúm curtha ar an ngearrliosta do dhuaiseanna leabhar na bpáistí de chuid Chomhlachais Léitheoireachta Éireann in 2011. Buailfidh Laoise le páistí ó Ghaelscoil Mhíchíl Cíosóg i Leabharlann DeValera agus le páistí ó Ghaelscoil Dhonncha Rua i Leabharlann na Sionna. Labhróidh sí lena luchtanna éisteachta faoina taithí thaistil sa Pholainn agus sa tSeapáin atá mar ábhair a leabhair Ag Taisteal le Tarlach sa tSeapáin agus Ag Taisteal le Tarlach sa Pholainn. Beidh an-suim ag lucht féachana ‘sna hábhair chuimhneacháin a fuair sí ‘sna tíortha ar a bhfuil cuairteanna tugtha aici. Tá siad seo mar chuid dá cur i láthair agus taitneoidh sé seo le daltaí Rang 1 go 3, gan dabht.

Clare County Library is pleased to join in the celebration of all things Irish during Seachtain na Gaeilge which runs from the 1st to the 17th of March. Séamus Ryan, Library Assistant at deValera Library Ennis, will visit 11 libraries in the county to bring his inimitable storytimes in the Irish language to children of 1st and 2nd classes from nearby national schools. Laoise Ní Chomhraí whose book Ag Taisteal le Tarlach sa Pholainn published by An Gúm was shortlisted for the Reading Association of Ireland Children’s Book Awards in 2011 will visit Ennis and Shannon libraries on Friday the 9th March. Laoise will meet with children from Gaelscoil Mhichíl Chíosóg at deValera Library and with children from Gaelscoil Donncha Rua at Shannon Library. She will tell her audiences of her travel experiences in Poland and Japan which feature in her books Ag Taisteal le Tarlach sa tSeapáin agus Ag Taisteal le Tarlach sa Pholainn. Her young audiences are sure to be enthused by the many souvenir items from the countries she has visited which form part of her presentation and will undoubtedly appeal to the children of 1st to 3rd classes.
See also Library Events...

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Minister Officially Opens €1.6M Cultúrlann Sweeney In Kilkee

Photos Courtesy Eamonn Ward

The €1.6m redevelopment of a 1950s public library building in Kilkee has resulted in the delivery of West Clare’s foremost cultural and library facility. That’s according to Mayor of Clare Cllr. Pat Hayes who joined Mr. Jimmy Deenihan, T.D. Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, in officially opening Cultúrlann Sweeney at O’Connell Street, Kilkee this evening. The 8,299 sq-ft development, which is almost double the size of the original Sweeney Memorial Public Library, comprises additional library space, theatre and exhibition space, and multifunction spaces. The new theatre and foyer/gallery facilities have been designed to accommodate approximately 110 people, while the number of book titles in the library stock exceeds 12,500.

The project was funded by Clare County Council, in association with the Charitable Commissioners of Ireland, as well as the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Mayor of Clare Cllr Pat Hayes said: “The official opening of Cultúrlann Sweeney represents the completion of one of the biggest infrastructure projects to be undertaken in the West Clare area in recent years. The facility will greatly enhance the social infrastructure of the area and will help the future development of Kilkee and its environs.” Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, paid tribute to the project construction and design team which he said had contributed to the further enhancement of the range of services now being provided by Clare County Library and the Clare Arts Office. Helen Walsh, County Librarian, thanked the public “for their patience and understanding during the redevelopment process”. “The project has led to an improvement in the standard and range of independent functions within the building, allowing for different activities to occur independently. This new facility will play an important public and social role within the town”, she added.

The Sweeney Memorial Library building dates to the 1950s and was designed to provide multipurpose functions, including library, theatre, cinema, and a dance-hall and lecture room. According to Bernadette Kinsella, Director of Services, Clare County Council: “The main reason behind the redevelopment of the previous building was that it did not sufficiently address modern accessibility requirements, nor did it possess efficient heating, advanced stage technology and the expanding functions of a modern community library”. Commenting on the structural changes to the building, Ms. Kinsella stated: “The primary changes to the internal layout are the separation of library and theatre functions within the existing building by incorporating a new first floor level auditorium. The new side extension contains the new floor space and exhibition gallery, the provision of lift access to the upper level, the new entrance foyer, and the upgrade of existing electrical and heating systems”.

The Architectural Services Department of Clare County Council, Architects Andrea Goble & Ruth Hurley, carried out feasibility studies, devised the concept design, developed the brief, and designed the Part 8 Planning application. The brief for the project was developed in conjunction and consultation with dozens of groups, including Clare County Library, Clare Arts Office, Clare County Council, Kilkee Town Councillors, Area Councillors, Kilkee Civic Trust, and drama and community group representatives from the Kilkee area. The library service was temporarily relocated to Kilkee Community Centre during construction, which commenced in January 2011. L&M Keating Ltd. of Kilmihil carried out the contract for the refurbishment and extension to the original public library building. The project design team for the Detail Design, Tender and Construction stages included Denis Byrne Architects (Architects), Malachy Walsh & Partners (Structural Engineers), Matt O’Mahony & Associates Ltd (Mechanical and Electrical Engineers), and O’Reilly Hyland Tierney (Quantity Surveyors). The Project Management team were Clare County Council’s Helen Walsh (County Librarian), Siobhan Mulcahy (County Arts Officer) and Andrea Goble (Architect).

Cammoge Ferry Disaster, 1849

On December 12th 1849, at Cammoge Point, Clarefield, County Clare, 41 people were drowned when their ferry boat capsized within feet of the shore at the mouth of Poulnasherry Bay on the Shannon Estuary. They came from the Parishes of Kilballyowen and Moyarta and had travelled earlier to Kilrush on the 12th of Dec to seek relief at the Workhouse. As none was forthcoming they made the last ferry back to Cammoge in a starving and destitute condition to meet their doom within yards of the shore. In this radio programme we hear their story as told by local historian Paddy Nolan Kilkee, Ciaran O'Murchadha historian Ennis who has written extensively on The Great Famine, Cristóir Mac Cárthaigh archivist, folklorist UCD Dublin, Michael Burke folklorist, farmer, and fisherman, Carnacalla Kilrush. It is about a dark time in the history of West Clare coming to the end of The Great Famine of the 1840s. In making this programme many thanks are due to Sallyann Marron Coore Mary Hamilton Carnacalla Derrick Lynch, Mullagh, and Pat Talty Coore, and also staff and management at Raidió Corca Baiscinn. Further support and material from Clare Library, The Manse, Ennis, and Anne Finnucane, Kilkee Library, Kilkee. The programme was produced by Michael O'Connell for Raidió Corca Baiscinn. This programme was made with the support of The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Friday 24 February 2012

Ronan Browne & Peadar O'Loughlin - Curragh Races, Swallows Tail

Ronan Browne & Peadar O'Loughlin play the Curragh Races and Swallows Tail. Posted on Youtube 22nd of April 2009 by k4hx1.

Murmuration of starlings over Killaloe

"Starlings in flight Killaloe County Clare". Posted on Youtube on the 17th of February 2012 by SpiritofKillaloe.

Josephine Marsh & Ger Hoyne in Brogans Ennis

Josephine Marsh and Ger Hoyne in Brogans, Ennis. Posted on Youtube on the 13th of February 2012 by TheTownieontour.

Patrick Gale - 'A Perfectly Good Man'

Patrick Gale talks about his new novel 'A Perfectly Good Man' which has its Irish launch at the Ennis Book Club Festival on March 2nd 2012. The Ennis Book Club Festival is a wonderful social and literary gathering bringing together book club members and readers from all over Ireland and beyond. Supported by Clare County Library, the festival includes author readings, discussions, workshops and walking tours through the narrow streets and lanes of Ennis. There are sessions on running book clubs, advice on reading lists, poetry, events as Gaeilge, and an opportunity to compare notes and meet with other Book Club members. Over the years the festival has attracted wonderful authors and speakers including Edna O'Brien, Nuala O'Faolain, Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, Lionel Shriver, Joseph O'Connor, Paul Durcan, Peter Sheridan, Paul Murray, Anne Enright and Patrick McCabe to name but a few. Click here for the Ennis Book Club Festival 2012 Programme.

Clare County Library Celebrates World Book Day 2012

World Book Day will be celebrated in Ireland and the UK on Thursday the 1st March and author visits along with book themed art and craft sessions will take place in almost all of Clare’s fifteen libraries. The official World Book Day website is bumper packed with games, videos and an opportunity to watch the biggest authors and illustrators together live and online.

Ennistymon, Lisdoonvarna, Shannon and Sixmilebridge libraries will present author readings by Maeve Friel. Maeve will bring her books to life for young readers introducing them to Tiger Lily, the heroine of her latest series who is a contemporary young Don Quixote, someone whose head is so full of stories she wants to roam the world in search of adventure and become a heroine herself. Her Witch in Training books are inspired by a famous old-fashioned hardware shop near where she lived in Ludlow, where you could buy anything from a watering-can to a wood-burning stove. One autumn, someone put a bunch of spiky broomsticks at the door with a cardboard sign "Birch Besoms £4.99. Flying Lessons Extra" and Jessica the heroine of the Witch In Training series was born. Maeve will explain what happens when Jessica is given a broom by the owner of a hardware shop, Miss Strega, who turns out to be a witch-trainer!

Artist Alan Shoosmith is a self taught artist working mainly in watercolour, He has worked regularly with groups through the Embrace Programme since it began in 2002 and was appointed co-ordinator for this scheme with Clare Arts Office in July 2008. Alan is a regular visitor to libraries in Clare on World Book Day where he facilitates children’s workshops based on books and reading. Children and indeed their teachers are invited to come along dressed as their favourite book characters to take part in this year’s classes which take place in Scariff, Killaloe, Kilrush, Kilmihil and Miltown Malbay libraries. Library staff are looking forward to welcoming young book lovers to their branches to join in this fun celebration of all that’s good about books and reading. Contact your local library for details of events.

Friday 17 February 2012

Patrick Ourceau, Blackie O'Connell, Padraig Rynne, Anna Colliton, and Geraldine Cotter at Catskills Irish Arts Week

"Catskills Irish Arts Week 2011 #18 Tues Concert Highlights. Concert Performance Clips: Patrick Ourceau, Blackie O'Connell, Padraig Rynne, Anna Colliton, Geraldine Cotter." Posted on Youtube on the 25th of January 2012 by TimRaabNorthern.

Stockton's Wing - Polka Set

"Polka Set - Stockton's Wing, 1988. Maurice Lennon, Fiddle; Kieran Hanrahan, Banjo; Paul Roche, Whistle, Flute, Sax; Mike Hanrahan, Guitar; Peter Keenan, Accordion, Robbie Casserly, Drums; John Walsh, Bass." Posted on Youtube on the 25th of November 2008 by stocktonswinglive.

Fleadh Nua Ennis - Josephine Marsh, Tony O'Connell, Cyril O'Donoghue & Friends

Josephine Marsh,Tony O'Connell, & Cyril O'Donoghue & Friends playing in Brogan's Bar at the Fleadh Nua, Ennis, on the 29th of May 2011. Posted on Youtube on the 25th of January 2012 by PRAK14.

Cliffs of Moher - County Clare - Ireland

"A visit to the stunning Cliffs of Moher on the west coast of Ireland. O'Briens tower overlooking the atlantic ocean." Posted on Youtube on the 23rd of January 2008 by wwwcelticvideocom.

Dysert o'Dea

Silent video of Dysert o'Dea castle, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 29th of January 2012 by RiotKidOnline.

Siobhan Peoples & Pádraig Rynne - SlipJigs Steeple Sessions

"Siobhan Peoples and Pádraig Rynne play two slip jigs called Hats off to Dodd and Gortnamona on the 28th of July 2011". Posted on Youtube on the 4th of August 2011 by steeplesessions.

Vinyl Scratches at Ennistymon

"A selection of prints from vinyl records by the artist Sven Saag. Work exhibited as part of The Power of Local, a festival of art & culture, Ennistymon, County Clare August 2011. The music is recorded from a favorite childhood album, days when all we had was an album cover and the recording to evoke the story." Posted on Youtube on the 6th of October 2011 by TheBreenanator.

Set dancing at the Willie Keane Memorial Festival Doonbeg 2011

"Patrons dance a set at Comerfords Pub during the Willie Keane Memorial Festival which is held in the village of Doonbeg on the west coast of Clare every October." Posted on Youtube on the 22nd of November 2011 by comerfordspubdoonbeg.

The Fiddle case in Helsinki

Clare based group The Fiddle Case playing in O'Malley's Irish Bar, Helsinki. The Fiddle Case members are Kirsten Allstaff, Quentin Cooper and Eoin O'Neill. Posted on Youtube on the 1st of October 2011 by markusasunta.

Monday 13 February 2012

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas - all time favourite

Voters across Ireland have chosen John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas as their all-time favourite of the 21 books which have won the annual Bisto Children’s Book of the Year Award since the awards began in 1990! The Bisto Ballot was launched in March 2011 to mark the 21st anniversary of the awards. More info...

Ennis festival nominated for Scottish award

Ennis Book Club Festival has been nominated for a prestigious award in Scotland. The EDGE 2012 awards, which are designed to reward innovation and creativity in Library services, will be announced in Edinburgh on March 1st at a conference organised by Edinburgh City Council. Ennis has been nominated for the Social award which celebrates library engagement with community groups. Festival Chairperson Ciana Campbell said they were thrilled to be nominated for an EDGE award. ‘Ennis Book Club Festival is organised by a voluntary committee in association with Clare County Library,’ she said, ‘and we really value that support. Ennis is a festival dedicated to book club members and readers and given that there are over 150 library-based book clubs in the country it makes complete sense to work together in this way. The organisers of the EDGE 2012 Conference obviously feel that we are a good example of how the public sector can support community organisations like ourselves.’ Helen Walsh, Clare County Librarian, said ‘The festival has enabled the library service to reach out, make contacts and create goodwill with a broad sector of the community. Over the years, links have been forged with local writers, artists, musicians and youth groups and the library service, through the festival, has contributed to the cultural life, tourism and economy of the region and proved that Local Authorities can play a vital role in projects such as this.’ At the cutting edge of digital technology, the EDGE 2012 conference will show how libraries – physically, virtually and socially are revolutionising local authority service delivery. The two-day conference in Edinburgh will bring together top local government figures from the UK and beyond to explore how libraries are key to delivering council services, e-government, learning and digital inclusion. Ennis Book Club Festival 2012 will be held from 2nd to 4th March. The full programme of events, authors and contributors is available on Festival tickets are now available. Booking for all events in all venues is through Glór Box Office. To book, ring 065 6843103 or email

Friday 10 February 2012

Templehouse Ceílí Band - Reels & Jigs (1990s)

"One of Irelands' finest ceili bands playing some reels with some set dancing." The original lineup of the Templehouse Ceílí Band included Kieran Hanrahan and Paul Roche from County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 17th of June 2007 by Stargreened.

"The great Templehouse Ceili Band play some jigs". Posted on Youtube on the 13th of July 2007 by Stargreened.

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill at the Valley of the Moon 2008

"Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill play an amazing set at the Valley of the Moon 2008 concert. Starting at 1.12 is a great slip jig from their latest album with the title The Night Poor Larry Was Stretched." Posted on Youtube on the 30th of August 2008 by fiddlefestival.

Step Dancing From 1963

"John Cullinane, from County Cork step dancing the Liverpool Hornpipe; Seán O Cearbhaill from Limerick on the fiddle & looking on are the members of the Tulla Céili Band." Posted on Youtube on the 29th of February 2008 by clarebannerman.

Noland Folk - Where the Angels Fly

"NoLand Folkies at the Courthouse Studios. A very impromptu session, Sat 6th August. Edel Barry Singing and bumping into camera, Paddy Mul on the Geetar, Billy Hamilton on the Cello and Liam O'Boyle on the Fender Bass." Posted on Youtube on the 6th of August 2011 by fergustighe.

Ennis, County Clare

Silent video of Ennis showing Abbey Street, Club Bridge, Lifford and Ennis Abbey. Posted on Youtube on the 29th of January by RiotKidOnline.

Sorbing at Lahinch SeaWorld

Sorbing at Lahinch SeaWorld. Posted on Youtube on the 17th of July 2011 by surfbum2010.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Scariff Poetry group at the “Meet Your Makers” exhibition.

Scariff Poetry Group took part in the "Three 3s Exhibition - Meet Your Makers" organised by Penelope Chung, which opened at Scariff Public Library on February 7th. The exhibition includes performance artists, paintings, community groups, Scariff poetry group and also a musical act. The crowd of approximately 30 enjoyed readings from three members of the Scariff Poetry group and some lively music from The Swell Berries. Work from the poetry group is displayed until 23rd February as part of the overall exhibition.

Oscar Nominees – Read the Book

Six of the nine nominations in this year’s Best Picture category at the 84th Academy Awards are based on books. Three recent winners of the Best Picture Award have also been adaptations from books – No Country for Old Men in 2008, Slumdog Millionaire (Q & A) in 2009 and The King’s Speech in 2011. Steven Spielberg’s War Horse is based on the children’s book of the same name by Michael Morpurgo. It is about a young boy who enlists in the British Army to find his horse that has been sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. Another Oscar nominated film based on a children’s book is Martin Scorsese’s Hugo - an adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Hugo is the story of a 12-year-old orphan who lives in a Paris railway station and a mystery involving his late father and a robot. Moneyball is an account of the Oakland Athletics baseball team’s 2002 season and their general manager Billy Beane’s attempts to assemble a competitive team. Beane is played by Brad Pitt in this film based on the book Moneyball: the Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis. The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings tells the story of a land baron’s attempts to re-connect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident. George Clooney plays the lead role in the film of the same name. The book The Help by Kathryn Stockett has been a huge word-of-mouth success since its publication in 2009. The book is about an aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s who decides to write a book detailing the African-American maid's point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis. On its American release back in August 2011, the film of The Help took an impressive $166 million at the box office. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer was first published in 2005. The film of the same name, starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, tells the story of a nine-year-old who searches New York City for the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Center.

Lá Fhéile Bríde - St. Bridget's Day - at Clare Museum

Children From Ennis National School enjoying the St Bridget's Day Festival at the Clare Museum.

Generations in Action – seeking participants – Scariff Library

The 'Generations in Action’ group, in collaboration with Scariff Public Library, is seeking participants, 6 older people and 6 children ( 7 to 11 years old ), to take part in an intergenerational project. The project, under the guidance of artist Isabelle Gaborit, will involve the creation of an elderly person’s memory book, whereby the children and older person will make collages or paintings based on some aspect of the older persons past, be it a favourite memory, poem, picture, movie, person, book etc. All the artwork will be bound by the artist into a memory book. The completed project will be publicly launched as part of the nationwide 'Bealtaine festival - celebrating creativity as we age'. The project will run for 6 weeks, on Saturday mornings from 11 to 12, starting on the Saturday 21st of April. All materials will be provided. Please contact Caroline Aherne at Scariff Public Library on (061) 922893 or Isabelle Gaborit at 087-2793819 before the closing date 24th March if you would like to take part. You can also visit the generations in action website at:

Friday 3 February 2012

Bobby Casey & Tommy Keane play Scully Casey's & Bímis ag Ól

Bobby Casey & Tommy Keane play Scully Casey's & Bímis ag Ól, c1986. Posted on Youtube on the 4th of May 2009 by k4hx1.

Thursday 2 February 2012

Ennis Chronicle and Clare Advertiser (1805) now online

The Ennis Chronicle and Clare Advertiser was published between circa 1784 and 1831. The newspaper appeared twice weekly, on Mondays and Thursdays and was published by Foster Parsons in Jail Street opposite the Exchange (now O'Connell Street and O'Connell Square). Each issue contained four pages of four columns each, and measured 18 inches in length and twelve inches in width. Foster Parsons was one of a number of printers active in Ennis in the late eighteenth century, early nineteenth century along with John Busteed, George Trinder, Frances Knox and Thomas Knox. The paper reported on international, national and local issues. The 1805 issues cover topics such as the War between Britain and France, Unrest in India and The Catholic Question. Local news items include court reports, business advertisements and biographical notices.

Clare County Library has a run of the newspaper from 1788 to 1797, 1799 to 1812, 1814 to 1820 and 1825 to 1831 on microfilm. Bound original issues are held by the Library for the years 1805, 1810, 1811, 1812 and 1816. Clare County Library is delighted to now publish online PDFs of individual issues of the paper for the year 1805. These PDFs, ranging in size from 6.5MB to 7MB, require Adobe Reader to view and have been scanned with OCR and are therefore searchable. Click here for the online Ennis Chronicle and Clare Advertiser...

The Irish Rovers in Clare, 1970s

"The Irish Rovers perform seven songs in County Clare and Limerick in the west of Ireland, starting at the Cliffs of Moher ("Come to the Bower" & a reel), in the Burren ("Burren's Rocky Plain"), the peat bogs ("Mick McGuire" and "Dan O'Hara") and at Durty Nelly's Pub by Bunratty Castle near Shannon Airport ("Willie's Gone to Melville Castle" and "Juice of the Barley") for their Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's national half hour series 'The Irish Rovers in Ireland' in the 1970s. The Rovers were Will Millar, Jimmy Ferguson, George Millar, Joe Millar, Wilcil McDowell." Also included in the video is Dinny McMahon playing the tin whistle at the Cliffs of Moher. Posted on Youtube on the 30th of January 2012 by ST40TV.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

The short film The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Posted on Youtube on the 24th of January 2012 by senguntr.

Dromoland School of Falconry

Richard Bangs talks to Dave Atkinson of the Dromoland School of Falconry. Posted on Youtube on the 19th of January 2012 by Tourismireland2009.

Che Guevara in Kilkee, September 1961

"The piece of music that soundtracks this film was written in early 2008 in GarageBand on Apple Mac. 'Cha Che' mixes traditional Cuban sounds with layers of Irish bodhran and Irish voices - a strange mixture but one that proved to work very well. The reason for attempting the mix whilst working was the obvious link between Cuba and Che Guevara as the face on the iconic poster we all know but with the added knowledge that he was actually a South American revolutionary with Irish ancestors! During his travels as a young man across South America he had become outraged at the poverty and harsh treatment of people that he saw in many corrupt countries. Once finished, though, this piece of music had to sit and wait for some lyrics or for a context to appear to finish its story. In late 2011 that context arrived! Browsing the web I came across video clips and news reports of Guevara's several unscheduled stop-overs in Ireland whilst in transit. RTE News provided me with the story that the music had been waiting for. Fog bound, Che Guevara and his party found themselves at Shannon airport and made a detour to visit to the seaside town of Kilkee, Co. Clare. Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick was working in a bar and immediately recognised the man. Jim later went on to produce the world famous poster of Che Guevara which was the very reason for the mix of Cuban and Irish sounds in 'Cha Che'. What's more, Kilkee had also held a festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Che's visit!" Posted on Youtube on the 19th of December 2011 by theyellowfactory.

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Lá Fhéile Bríde - St. Bridget's Day, the first day of Spring

Today is Lá Fhéile Bríde - St. Bridget's Day, the first day of Spring. It is customary for Irish people to make a St. Bridget's Cross of straw or rushes to hang over their doors to protect their homes, families and animals from want and evil. St Bridget is remembered on this day in Clare at St Bridget's Well, near Liscannor, where people gather to pray. Click here for photos of St Bridget's Well and click here to see how to make you own St Bridget's Cross.

Sixmilebridge Library - CBI's Library of the Month Winner

Children’s Books Ireland has been running a library of the month competition on their Facebook page since early January. Throughout January they asked followers of their page to nominate their favourite local library. Two branches of Clare County Library, De Valera Public Library, Ennis, and Kilfinaghty Public Library, Sixmilebridge, were among the final five libraries nominated at the end of the month and Sixmilebridge has emerged as winner. There were several complimentary comments left about both branches throughout the competition. The competition will run again in February so there is ample time for everyone to get nominating their favourite branch. Scariff Public Library already has a nomination waiting in the wings. The most nominated libraries are chosen towards the end of each month and then voting begins. This is a Facebook-only competition and can only be accessed by people who have an active facebook account. You can access the Children’s Books Ireland Facebook page or through Clare County Library's facebook page which can be found at the bottom of our homepage or at

The post from the Children’s Books Ireland facebook page when announcing the winner read: "Congratulations to Kilfinaghty Library, Sixmilebridge, County Clare for winning this month's library of the month! The library will win a great children's title, courtesy of CBI. Nominations open tomorrow [1st February] right here on facebook for February's library of the month, so to nominate your local library upload a picture and tell us why you like it!"