Thursday 27 September 2012

Postcards from County Clare

Clare County Library's Postcard Collection contains a miscellany of photographs of County Clare and elsewhere, mainly covering holiday resorts, scenic views, towns and villages and historical buildings. Many of the postcards are tinted. The main producers of postcards in Ireland - The Lawrence and Valentine Studios - are well represented in the collection. The postcard collection forms a small part of the library's online collection of images at

Music: The Humours of Tulla (Reels) from the album "The Tulla Céilí Band 60th Anniversary Collection" by the Tulla Céilí Band; Connemara Stockings, Jim McCormick's, Rip the Callico and Music in the Glen from the album "The Best of Irish Trad Music from Ireland's No 1 Ceili Band" by The Kilfenora Céilí Band; and Rambling Pitchforks from the album "After 10.30" by Mary Custy. Posted on Youtube on the 24th of September 2012 by clarelibrary.

Clare County Library launches online Music of Clare project

Corcomroe Céilí Band c 1960

Photo above is of the Corcomroe Céilí Band, c1960

Clare County Library, in association with The Clare Arts Office, is delighted to announce the launch of its online Music of Clare project, on the library’s website at The main aim of the project is to present a sample of the rich musical culture of the county of Clare.   “The library service in Clare offers a wide range of music for lending throughout the county, and we have had a very strong traditional music collection in Miltown Malbay for many years”, says Clare County Librarian Helen Walsh. “This new online project will allow immediate access to all those interested in the music of County Clare, and will greatly enhance the existing historical and cultural resources on the library website itself”, she adds.  

This first stage of the project concentrates on the traditional music of the county. “We want you to be able to listen to traditional tunes associated with County Clare, played by musicians who are from the county or who have lived in it for many years”, says the initiator and manager of the project, Senior Executive Librarian Anthony Edwards. Although it is not intended to be definitive or comprehensive, the project does hope to represent the best of a rich tradition.  “We have also included transcriptions of the featured tunes, to help anyone who wishes to learn the basic notes of a tune so as to be able to play it. Links to alternative transcriptions are also provided”, he added. The project also includes a Music Videos feature, a collection of embedded online videos of Clare musicians from YouTube. Historical and biographical articles place the music of Clare in context and provide background and further resources for study and enjoyment. The Traditional Music of Clare Jukebox gathers together all of the tracks featured in the Music of Clare project so that they can be listened to easily and in sequence. The Music of Clare project is based on the same software system that the library has used to publish Foto, its online collection of photographs, so many of the project’s features will be familiar to users of Foto. For example, clicking on a keyword link will bring up all other instances of that keyword in the collection, whether that keyword be the name of a tune, the name of an artist, a type of tune, or a specific instrument. The Quick Search and Advanced Search features enable searching of the collection by artist, name and type of tune, and instrument.

The project would not have been possible without the financial support of the Clare County Arts Office which, with Arts Council funding, sponsored an initial researcher, Paddi O’Connell, for a number of months, and funded the transcription of some of the tunes by Geraldine Cotter.  “The County Arts Office is committed to promoting the wealth of traditional music in Clare and we were delighted to work with Clare Library Service on such an exciting and important project,” said Siobhán Mulcahy, County Arts Officer. 

The Music of Clare Project team consisted of Executive Librarian Maureen Comber, Library Staff Officer Jackie Dermody and project manager Anthony Edwards. The project team is very grateful to Geraldine Cotter for providing contact details of many of the featured musicians and for answering many of their queries. Their thanks also go to Mary Custy for her transcriptions of tunes, to Vince Brennan for the sheetmusic from O’Neill’s ‘Music of Ireland’ and Allan’s ‘Irish Fiddler’ on his Old Music Project and to Jeremy Keith for sheetmusic on The Session Website. They’d also like to acknowledge the help of Aisling McMahon, and give special thanks to Michael Kelleher of Ennistymon for his wonderful list of tunes which are commonly played in Clare and which acted as the foundation of this project. Maureen Comber adds that “we have been astounded at the generosity and support we have received from musicians, record companies and authors featured in the project. All those we have been able to contact have responded with enthusiasm and goodwill. To those few we have not been able to contact, despite our best efforts, we give our assurance that we do not take their participation for granted and welcome any response to” The Music of Clare project was officially launched on Friday, September 21st in Glór, Ennis, as part of Culture Night 2012. See the project online now at

Music of Clare Project

Willie Clancy plays The Connerys

"The air of a song about two brothers, Patrick and John Connery from the Déise district of County Waterford, who were transported to New South Wales in 1838 as a result of legal conflicts about land and other matters. Another brother, James, was likewise transported in 1835. From Miltown Malbay, County Clare, Willie Clancy had a legacy of old Clare music that he learnt at first on whistle and flute from his father and mother. As an uilleann piper he was greatly influenced by the travelling piper Johnny Doran, and won first prize for uilleann piping at the 1947 Oireachtas. He went to work as a carpenter in Dublin in the early 1950s and then to London, but returned to Miltown in 1957. He was frequently heard on radio and at fleadhanna ceoil, and made several commercial recordings before and after these 78s. A summer school founded in his memory in the year of his death has become internationally famous. In these pieces Clancy is playing on a set of B flat uilleann pipes made by Moloney of County Clare in the 19th century. He was also a singer and dancer." Posted on Youtube on the 26th of July 2012 by muisire.

Colm Walsh sings The Bonny Bunch of Roses in 1965

"Clip from 1965. Sung by a young Colm Walsh from County Clare. The earliest known version of the tune is in William Christie's "Tradition Ballad Airs" (1881), but there is another tune, of Irish origin. It is a conversation between Napoleon's son (Napoleon II, 1811-1832, named King of Rome by his father upon birth)and his mother (Marie Louise, Napoleon's second wife, whom he married after divorcing Josephine). The sentiment is pro-Napoleon, which would indicate an Irish origin. The Irish, who were themselves under the British thumb through the 18th & 19th century, were actually big fans of Napoleon Bonaparte. His bravery captivated the national imagination, as did his defiance even in defeat. The Irish also adored the tragic story of the romance between the doomed emperor and his second wife, Marie Louise. So it's no surprise they chose her words to frame the story of Bonaparte's fall." Posted on Youtube on the 3rd of October 2008 by clarebannerman.

Poet Donal O'Siodhachain's talk at Dylan Thomas Literary Weekend in Ennistymon

"Donal O'Siodhachain speaking at the Inaugural Dylan Thomas Literary Weekend which was held in the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon, County Clare from 18th - 20th May 2012." Posted on Youtube on the 20th of september 2012 by TheFallsHotel.

Clare V Limerick Munster Hurling Championship 1993

Posted on Youtube on the 18th of September 2012 by tallowmanirish.

From Inis Oírr to The Cliffs of Moher

"A summers day on Inis Oírr (Inisheer). 'The Plassey' ran aground on the rocks here in 1960. The ship broke her back, and, has been pushed further up the rocks over the years by the winter storms of the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy a different view of The Cliffs of Moher as the camera zooms through the rusted hulk. We don't get to see this panorama of the cliffs so clearly very often so i thought you would enjoy it." Posted on Youtube on the 17th of September 2012 by clare virtually.

This is Mountshannon, County Clare

"A video of Mountshannon, County Clare, Ireland. A different and entertaining Céad Míle Fáilte for the visitor to the town. Where you can eat, drink, stay and tour when you come for The Iniscealtra Festival of the Arts, The Mountshannon Traditional Festival or our newest attraction The White Tail Sea Eagles that have made Bushy Island their new home." Posted on Youtube on the 22nd of May 2012 by clare virtually.

Barefield Junior Ceili Band in Glór

The Barefield (County Clare) Junior Ceili Band at the Glór Spring Concert 2010 in Ennis. Posted on Youtube on the 17th of March 2010 by paulamontwill.

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Into the Darkest Corner - You Don’t Need a Bruise to be Abused

In Ireland, it is estimated that one in five women experience domestic violence.  This year,  to mark the 16 days of Action and Awareness on Violence against Women,  which runs from 25th November to 10th December, the Mid-West Local Area Networks (Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary) are actively targeting libraries and book-clubs to promote literature with the theme of ‘violence against women.’ Readers and book clubs in the region are invited to read Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes with a view to raising awareness within our community of domestic abuse and holding open discussions on the topic.  While this book is a work of fiction it captures the very stark reality of a woman living with an abusive partner and the danger that occurs when she tries to leave him.
‘Catherine Bailey has been enjoying the single life long enough to know a catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic and spontaneous, Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell. But what begins as flattering attentiveness and passionate sex turns into raging jealousy, and Catherine soon learns there is a darker side to Lee. His increasingly erratic, controlling behaviour becomes frightening, but no one believes her when she shares her fears. Increasingly isolated and driven into the darkest corner of her world, a desperate Catherine plans a meticulous escape. Four years later, Lee is behind bars and Catherine - now Cathy - compulsively checks the locks and doors in her apartment, trusting no one. But when an attractive upstairs neighbour, Stuart, comes into her life, Cathy dares to hope that happiness and love may still be possible . . . until she receives a phone call informing her of Lee's impending release.’
Book-clubs and readers will meet to discuss ‘Into the Darkest Corner’ in libraries in Ennis, Shannon and Kilrush during the Awareness Campaign where representatives from Clare Haven Services will attend to discuss how the real life cases are often as shocking as the fiction, thereby creating an awareness of the prevalence of domestic abuse in our communities. Shannon Library will host a discussion group on Tuesday 27th November, Kilrush Library on Wednesday 28th November and DeValera Library, Ennis on Tuesday 4th December. All meetings take place at 7.00 p.m.

‘Into the Darkest Corner’ was winner of the 2011 Amazon Best Book of the Year. It is an edgy and powerful thr
iller. Readers’ comments include:
‘a real page-turner, you won’t want to put it down’;
‘not often do you find a book so disturbing and yet so enjoyable to read’;
‘It gave me the same feeling as ‘We need to talk about Kevin’, while reading I felt physically sick, but had to keep going, and really, I’m glad I did, this is an amazing book’ and
‘WOW. What an incredibly intense book! I can see why film rights have already been picked up by

Get your copy now and join us in
Kilrush, Shannon or Ennis Library to discuss and compare notes.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Harry Potter books - best selling books since 1998

Books in the Harry Potter series heavily dominated the list of the top 50 bestselling books since BookScan began keeping records in 1998 claiming seven places on the list. According to The Bookseller magazine, the list was topped by Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code with Angels and Demons, The Lost symbol, Deception Point and Digital Fortress also claiming places on the list. All three books in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series made the top 50 with Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn all featuring.

The Lovely Bones, The Kite Runner, One Day and Birdsong were among the bookclub favourites on the bestselling list. Children’s classics such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Gruffalo also made the top 50 list. The highest earning authors since BookScan began keeping records in 1998 were JK Rowling, Jamie Oliver and James Patterson. Maeve Binchy reached number 22 on the list selling over 6.4 million books with Marian Keyes at number 30 selling over 5.6 million.

EL James, author of Fifty Shades of Grey, reached number 26 on the list, despite having had only 3 books published. Although exact figures are not available for ebooks, it is reckoned that including books sold in this format, Fifty Shades of Grey is the best selling book ever.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Tom Lenihan sings The Hills of Clare

"Tom Lenihan (1905-1990), Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay. Recorded July 1991. From the album Around the hills of Clare, songs and a recitation from the Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie Collection, An Goilin." Posted on Youtube on the 10th of August 2012 by krisberwouts.

Eoin O'Neill, Quentin Cooper, Yvonne Casey & Ger Hoyne on Geantraí

Eoin O'Neill, Quentin Cooper, Yvonne Casey & Ger Hoyne playing in Pepper's Bar, Feakle, County Clare, on TG4's Geantraí in May 2002. Posted on Youtube on the 30th of June 2010 by Faha10.

Plain Set in Kilkerin Battery

Plain Set in Kilkerin Battery. "As part of the 2012 Dan Furey Weekend, participants were invited to visit Battery Castle, a fort on the Shannon near Labasheeda, County Clare, built 200 years ago. During a session in the castle, three figures of the Plain Set were danced to music by local musicians." Posted on Youtube on the 29th of August 2012 by Bill Lynch.

Ballyvourney Jig Set in Labasheeda

"Johnny Reidy Céilí Band played for the opening céilí of the 2012 Dan Furey Weekend in Labasheeda, County Clare, where this Ballyvourney Jig Set was danced." Posted on Youtube on the 27th of August 2012 by Bill Lynch.

Cashel Set in Kilrush

"At a céilí on the Market Square in Kilrush, County Clare, the Cashel Set was danced to music by Brian Ború Céilí Band and calling was by Mike Mahony." Posted on Youtube on the 15th of August 2012 by Bill Lynch.

Surfing in Lahinch

"Took a day trip to Lahinch in County Clare. Trying to catch some long clean waves! The forecast was 4ft, 13 seconds, 5mph cross-offshore wind." Posted on Youtube on the 6th of September 2012 by deafvision.

My Destination - County Clare

"My Destination County Clare... Locally informed, globally inspired & lovingly handmade on the ground by our local experts! Find out more at:" Posted on Youtube on the 13th of September 2012 by mydesinationvideo.

Polldubh Cave in the Burren

"This cave has a hip-deep pool, one close passage with a beautiful forms and short narrow corridor where travers technique is essential. It is very friendly for beginners. Cave is situated in Burren, Ireland. We took part in Clare Caving Club trip." Posted on Youtube on the 17th of April 2012 by www4x4sbcom.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

New audio books available to download

Clare County Library has added new titles to its list of audiobooks available for download from our website.

The new titles include:
Live Wire by Harlan Coben
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
Dead Centre by Andy McNab
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday
Postcards from the Heart by Ella Griffin
Deniable Death by Gerald Seymour

Clare County Library's e-audio service allows registered library members to download electronic audio books for free. All you need is a PC with broadband internet access and you can download the selected eAudio book, play it on your PC or transfer it to your MP player, iPod or even your mobile phone. You may download and 'check out' up to ten audiobooks at a time for a 'loan' period of three weeks. Audio books may be renewed once. Each title offers unlimited availability and simultaneous access for all borrowers, so every library user can download all the latest bestsellers at the same time, making waiting lists a thing of the past. Access hundreds of bestselling Clipper Audio titles and download them at home.

Friday 14 September 2012

The Clare Museum - the Riches of Clare

The Clare Museum was developed by Ennis Urban District Council in association with Clare County Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht & the Islands, and its website at was developed by Clare County Library. The Riches of Clare - its people, places, treasures - occupies two galleries of the Clare Museum. The displays have been designed to have a wide visitor appeal and comprise a large loan of artifacts of Clare provenance from the National Museum of Ireland, the de Valera Museum collection, and artifacts collected locally. The galleries incorporate the traditional method of displaying original artifacts with modern interpretive tools such as colourful display panels, audio visual and computer interactive presentations, models, some replicas and specially commissioned art pieces. All showcases have been specifically designed with their contents in mind and environmentally conditioned to the requirements of the artifacts displayed in them. The concept of the exhibition is thematic, focusing on the lives and experiences of the people of Clare through the themes of Earth, Power, Faith, Water and Energy. Music: The Carnival of Ennis by Ellen Cranitch from her album Karst. Posted on Youtube on the 31st of August 2012 by clarelibrary.

Kitty Hayes, Eoin O'Neill and friends on Geantraí

"Geantraí 2002 at Pepper's Bar, Feakle, County Clare. Kitty Hayes, Eoin O'Neill, Quentin Cooper, Yvonne Casey, Ger Hoyne and Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich." Posted on Youtube on the 1st of January 2011 by Faha10.

Kate McNamara plays Sergeant Early's Dream & The Plough and the Stars

"Kate McNamara performs during a presentation on the great County Clare concertina player Elizabeth Crotty during Catskill Irish Arts Week, East Durham, NY. July 2009. This track features Kate playing a set of reels: 'Sergeant Early's Dream' and "The Plough and the Stars". Kate called the second tune 'The Reel on the Doorstep' on her CD because John Naughton taught it to Mary MacNamara on the doorstep when they were locked out of Mary's house. It was composed by Larry Redican." Posted on Youtube on the 2nd of August 2010 by garymartin.

The Music Tradition of East Clare

Posted on Youtube on the 10th of April 2012 by purcellaudio.

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival on RTE News

Posted on Youtube on the 11th of september 2012 by RTENewsNow.

Ballyvourney Jig Set with the Kilfenora Céilí Band

"The Kilfenora Céilí Band plays the Ballyvourney Jig Set at the Gathering Festival in the INEC, Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney, Co Kerry." Posted on Youtube on the 19th of March 2012 by SetDancingNews.

Ballykeale Set Figure 1 at Cois na h-Abhna, Ennis

"Figure 1 of the Ballykeale set, danced at Cois na h-Abhna, Ennis, County Clare on Saturday, 21st January 2012. Video posted with the permission of Pat Murphy." Posted on Youtube on the 4th of September 2012 by TimeToPolka.

Hemp House Tulla, on RTE's Nationwide

"Hemp building by OldBuilders Company - an interesting octagonal hemp house built with hemp and lime on a timber frame. Hemp-lime is a natural building technique." Posted on Youtube on the 18th of August 2012 by Olbuilders. The video repeats after six minutes.

Drake Choir performs at the Cliffs of Moher

"On its 2012 European tour, the Drake University Choir from Des Moines, Iowa, performs My Soul's Been Anchored in the Lord at the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare." Posted on Youtube on the 6th of June 2012 by LisaLisaNoCultJam.

Thursday 13 September 2012

Art and craft in Miltown Library

Weekly art and craft sessions were held at the Dr. Patrick J. Hillery Public Library, Miltown Malbay, on Friday mornings during July and August. Both local children and holidaymakers enjoyed hours of fun, making quick and easy crafts with each child ending up with their own unique piece. Sea-stones, paper-plates, glitter and glue were all used to make these items and many new friendships were also made along the way.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Property Registration Authority - new online service

TheProperty Registration Authority (PRA), which includes the Land Registry and the Registry of Deeds, is now offering online access to its services. For the first time, customers who wish to search the Authority’s maps, view its folios and request certified copies will be able to do so without having to open and maintain an account with the PRA. Access is via its website There is no fee to view or search the maps - customers only incur a fee if they wish to view a folio that they have identified, or request a certified copy. The Register is a public register and anyone can view a folio on payment of the required fee. Payment of fees is by credit or debit card via a secure transaction system. Folios are viewable in Adobe PDF format and can be printed or saved by the customer. See also

'The Book of Kells: Unwrapping the Images' with Dr. Rosemary Power

Dr. Rosemary Power will give a talk entitled 'The Book of Kells: Unwrapping the Images' in Sean Lemass Public Library, Shannon, at 7pm on September 21st 2012 as part of Culture Night 2012.

Monday 10 September 2012

Ennis wins major Tidy Towns Award


Ennis has won the Ireland's Tidiest Large Urban Centre category in this year's Tidy Towns competition. More info...

Thursday 6 September 2012

Flowers of the Burren, Carsten Krieger's images on Foto

Carsten Krieger is a freelance photographer specializing in nature and landscape photography. His main themes are the flora and the habitats of his chosen home in County Clare on the west coast of Ireland. His collection of Burren flora images was purchased by Clare County Library in 2003 and we are happy to present the photos here, with accompanying music - 'Kilnaboy' - by Ellen Cranitch from her album 'KARST' inspired by the geology of the Burren region in north Clare. Carsten's photos are featured in Foto, Clare County Library's online photo collection. Posted on Youtube on the 27th of August 2012 by clarelibrary.

The Ceili Bandits - Rain & Snow

"This is the Ceili Bandits first video! - A murder ballad and all. Jon O'Connell - Double Bass and singing, Quentin Cooper - Guitar & Backing vocals, Yvonne Casey - Fiddle, and Eoin O'Neill - Bouzouki. Also Carla Beggan - Wife, Fergus Tighe - Black market man, and Alan Hilliard - Priest. Video by Quentin and Phillip Greaney. Many thanks to Phil's brother Liam Greaney for helping out in the Doolin shoot, much appreciated!". Posted on Youtube on the 1st of September 2012 by burrencrawler.

Micho Russell plays The Retreat

"Micho Russell was one of Ireland s best-known traditional musicians in the latter half of the 20th century. He was born in Doonagore, Doolin, Co. Clare where he lived all his life." Posted on Youtube on the 9th of November 2008 by clarebannerman.

Martin Hayes & Paddy Glackin

Martin Hayes and Paddy Glackin play Sean Ryan's Jigs. Posted on Youtube on the 28th of February 2012 by lindamon8.

Trip to Corcomroe and the Cliffs of Moher

"Tour a los acantilados de Cliffs of Moher." A trip from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher, taking in Clarinbridge, Dunguaire Castle, The Burren and Corcomroe Abbey. Posted on Youtube on the 5th of September 2012 by zarzarbaruzze.

Kayaks on Lake Inchiquin

"Kayak Fun Lake Inchiquin, Corofin, County Clare." Posted on Youtube on the 30th of June 2012 by WakeboardEamonn.

The Pub Fronts of Ennis

"All 31 Ennis town pubs that were trading as of 28 June 2012. Produced by". No sound. Posted on Youtube on the 28th of June 2012 by Backstraitcom.

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Dolman Travel Book Award shortlist

The six shortlisted titles for the 2012 Dolman Travel Book of the Year award have been announced. They are: 
Thin Paths; journeys in and around an Italian Village, by Julia Blackburn; 
To a Mountain in Tibet, by Colin Thubron; 
To the River: a Journey Beneath the Surface, by Olivia Laing; 
White Fever, by Jacek Hugo-Bader;
Wild Coast, by John Gimlette Harlem is Nowhere, by Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts.

The winner will be announced on 5th September in London. Chairman of the 2012 judging panel, and founder of Lonely Planet Tony Wheeler said: "This year’s Dolman Travel Book of the Year award is going to be a difficult choice. We have cities and countries, mountains and rivers, driving and walking, but probably most important we have judges with strong opinions on their personal favourites. So it could be strolling the streets of Harlem in New York or walking the length of the River Ouse in England. Will it be driving to Siberia in a beat up old Soviet era car or exploring the mountain paths around an Italian village? Perhaps circumnavigating a holy mountain in Tibet or exploring the trio of Guyanas in South America? I look forward to finding out on 5 September". The Dolman is the only prize dedicated to travel literature in the UK. The £2500 prize was founded in 2006 by the Authors’ Club after the Thomas Cook Award was abandoned by the tour operator after a run of 20 years. It is open to any travel writer whose book has been first published in Britain, and looks for works of literary merit that show excellence in the tradition of great travel writing, combining a personal journey with the discovery or recovery of places, landscapes or peoples to instil a sense of place, excitement and wonder in the reader. The Authors’ Club – a club for writers, publishers, editors, agents, journalists, academics and anyone professionally involved with literature - awards three annual literary prizes: the Best First Novel Award, the Dolman Travel Book Award, and the Banister Fletcher Award for the best book on art or architecture. The 2011 award was won by Molotov’s Magic Lantern by Rachel Polonksy and in 2010 by The Dead Yard by Ian Thomson.

Arts & Crafts session in Newmarket Library

Newmarket-on-Fergus Public Library held an Arts and Crafts session for children on Friday 24th August 2012. The theme of the session was "What I did on my summer holidays". The children used paint, glitter, pipe cleaners and other materials to create their pictures.

Children’s Book Festival 2012 - Let Your Imagination Run Wild

Libraries in County Clare are gearing up for Children’s Book Festival 2012 with events planned in all its branches over the month of October. Up to one hundred events are planned to spark the imagination of young readers from toddlers to teens! In association with Childrens Books Ireland, everything from readings by popular authors, to writing and illustration workshops, plus storytelling and competitions will be part of the line-up with countless opportunities to explore a wide array of books! Headlining this year’s festival in Clare are Marita Conlon McKenna (The Children of the Famine Trilogy), and literary superstar Derek Landy who will be celebrating the publication of the latest title in his Skulduggery Pleasant series, Kingdom of the Wicked. Both authors are making a one-off visit to Glór Theatre, Ennis, to celebrate Children’s Book Festival in County Clare. Bookings by schools for both events must be made by contacting 065 6846266 or by email to before September the 21st.

Other visiting authors to individual library branches include Alan Early whose first book Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent has enjoyed extensive media coverage and has been hailed as the Irish Percy Jackson. Alan Nolan will be here as well with his graphic whodunits for 10 to 14 year olds including The Big Break Detectives Casebook, Death by Chocolate and Six Million Ways to Die published by O’Brien Press and there’s more… Nicola Pierce will give four readings based on her novel Spirit of the Titanic, now in its fifth reprint since publication last year. And staying with the Titanic, Michel Moylan’s Irish History Live will present an interactive show to his audiences on the making of the ship, how it was powered, the class system on board, how the ship sank and more. Michael’s living history shows never fail to enthrall his audiences and are booked out on announcement whenever he comes to Clare.

Other authors who will celebrate this year’s festival with us include Gerry Boland, Laoise Ní Chomhraí and Tomi Reichental. Tomi Reichental’s visit to deValera Library, Ennis on Tuesday October the 2nd is exclusively for Leaving Cert students. His book I Was a Boy In Belsen, which coincidentally was ghost written by another CBF visiting author Nicola Pierce, tells the story of his life from the age of nine years old when he was rounded up along with members of his family in a shop in Bratislava and taken to a concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen. In Tomi’s words "the Holocaust didn’t start with ...'gas chambers and crematoria' but with whispers, taunts, daubing and then abuse and murder. One of the lessons we must learn is to respect difference and reject all forms of racism and discrimination". Altogether 35 members of his family died in the Holocaust. Now living in Dublin and one of only three Holocaust survivors in Ireland, he travels the country giving talks on his unimaginable wartime, boyhood experiences to Leaving Cert students. Clare County Library is honoured to have him visit deValera Library in Ennis as part of this October programme of library outreach events to share stories of his life with Leaving Cert students from Secondary Schools.

Storytellers Niall de Burca and Pat Ryan are regular performers at Clare’s children’s book festival and never fail to entertain and delight audiences of all ages with their folktales, myths and legends, riddles, rhymes and proverbs from all around the world. Both will be back this October to delight children in seven of the county’s library branches. Hands-on workshops facilitated by experienced artists are always popular and this year classes can choose from percussion workshops to journal writing by Isabelle Gaborit or story creation workshops with Donough O’Malley. Visual artist and co-founder of Dog and String Theatre, Sarah Fuller will also be on hand to guide children in making their very own animated film show based on characters they will create on paper.

By visiting the Children’s Books Ireland’s website children can find out how they might win fabulous prizes for their school by designing a book jacket or writing a short story and there’s guaranteed to be loads more information and activity on that site in the coming weeks. Don’t forget to visit your local library and keep an eye on for full details of all events here in County Clare. Events are planned specifically for school audiences and teachers are advised to book classes in early to avoid disappointment.

‘Genealogy for Beginners’ at Kilrush Library

To mark Heritage Week 2012, Paddy Waldron of Clare Roots Society, in association with Clare County Library, provided a very informative and interesting workshop on ‘Genealogy for Beginners’ at Kilrush Library on Friday 24th August. There were 40 people in attendance, some of whom were absolute beginners, while others are members of the Kilrush Historical Society. This workshop taught people where to begin tracing their roots, where to find free sources and how to document them.