Friday 28 February 2014

Crag Road play McHugh's & The Mist Covered Mountain in Kilshanny

Crag Road (Quentin Cooper, Eoin O'Neill, Noirin Lynch, & Aoibheann Queally) playing McHugh's & The Mist Covered Mountain at Kilshanny House, County Clare. Filmed by Phil Greaney and James Skerritt. Posted on Youtube on the 14th of January 2014 by burrencrawler.

Mary McNamara, Conor Keane & more on the Pure Drop, 1990s

Paddy Glackin, Ronan Browne (Dublin), & Mary McNamara (Clare) play The Tempest Reel, Gilbert Clancy's (The Pure Drop - 1991, March 1992 @ The Pearse Museum, St Enda's);
Seán & Padraig Keane, Dublin May 1991, Jigs: Australian Waters, Give Us a Drink of Water, The Holly Bush;
Mairtin O'Connor, Máirín Fahy, Galway May 1991, Reels: The Ringfort, The Clarecastle.
Deirdre Havlin (Fermanagh), Bríd Harper (Donegal), May 1991, Reels: Hogan's Kevin Coyne's;
John & Pip Murphy (Wexford), June 1991, Jigs: Mickey the Moulder, Tatter Jack Walsh;
Ciarán Tourish (Donegal), Seán Potts (Dublin), March 1993, Jigs: The King of the Pipers , JOHNNY BOYLE'S;
John Lee (Leitrim) & Seamus Maguire (Sligo), June 1991, Reels: Old Mickey, McKiernan's, The Old Schoolmaster, Over the Bridge to Peggy;
Jackie Daly (Cork), Conor Keane (Clare), Paddy Glackin, Reels: New Custom House, Dowd's No 9, Doug Briggs.
Posted on Youtube on the 9th of December 2013 by TG Craic.

The Waterfalls in Ennistymon - a bird’s eye view

Footage of the Cascades in Ennistymon, County Clare, taken by Tony Grehan with a DJI Phantom 2 using a GoPro Hero Black camera. Posted on Youtube on the 23rd of February 2014 by Tony Grehan.

Night Of The Lonely Dead, a short film by James Skerritt set in storm-damaged Lahinch and Doolin

"A short ZomCom making the most from the destruction on the west coast of Ireland. Directed and Produced by James Skerritt. Screenplay by James Skerritt/Peadar Clancy. Make-up by Aoife Murray. Soundtrack by Paddy Mulcahy. Camera Assistant/Photographer - Cathy Duffy. Runner - Branwen Kavanagh. Zombie Jim - Peadar Clancy. Zombie Sarah - Cliona Falvey. Zombie Hugo - Hugh Galloway. Thanks to, O'Looneys Bar, Tom and Joan, Paul and all the cast and crew!" Posted on Vimeo on the 19th of February 2014 by James Skerritt.

Ireland, Sculpted Isle - A BBC Documentary featuring The Burren, County Clare

"Ireland - Sculpted Isle is a captivating journey through Ireland's most beautiful and enigmatic landscapes. This island in the Atlantic Ocean might seem like a land trapped in time, but appearances are deceptive. From the great limestone features of The Burren to the wide, bleak boglands of County Mayo the programme reveals how the Irish landscape has undergone some of the fastest and most profound changes of any in Europe." Narrated by Fergal Keane. Posted on Youtube on the 23rd of February 2014 by GangChannel1.

Ag ceilúireadh Seachtain na Gaeilge le Leabharlann Chontae an Chláir

Maidir leis an suíomh idirline, tá na himeachtaí cláraithe, tá an aip réidh, agus tá Seachtain na Gaeilge seolta ó cheann ceann na tire! Beidh páirt le glacadh ag Leabharlann Contae an Chláir sa cheiliúradh leis na himeachtaí atá beartaithe go speisíalta acu do dhaltaí bunscoile agus meanscoile i rith na seachtainne.

First and second classes in primary schools are invited to seisiúin scéalaíochta in library branches delivered by Teresa Carmody O’Shea and Seamus Ryan. And local illustrator and founder of the children’s comic RíRá, Aidan Courtney, will be with us to present workshops through Irish for budding illustrators.

Is file í Doireann a scríobhann as Gaeilge agus as Béarla araon. Tá filíocht léi foilsithe i réimse leathan irisí in Éirinn agus go hidirnáisiúnta: san Fhrainc, i Meicsiceo, sna SAM, in Albain agus i Sasana. Bhronn an Chomhairle Ealaíon sparánacht uirthi faoi dhó (i 2011 agus i 2013). D’fhoilsigh Coiscéim an chéad cnuasach léi, dár dteideal Résheoid, agus a dara chnuasach Dúlasair. Tá a leabhairín Dordéan, Do Chroí ar fáil ó Smithereens Press. Bhuaigh sí duais filíochta Ghaeilge Wigtown 2012- duais náisiúnta filíochta na hAlbain. Ainmníodh í do duais Pushcart 2013 (S.A.M.)

Poetry and short story writing will be explored in branches of Clare County Library during Seachtain na Gaeilge 2014. On March 7th prize-winning poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa will visit Ennis and Shannon Libraries to work with groups of students. She will read from her own work and encourage classes attending to engage their imaginations in writing a poem or two of their own to be shared and discussed among the group.

Scríobhann Ré Ó Laighléis ábhar ficsin don pháiste, don déagóir agus don léitheoir fásta, é sin idir Ghaeilge agus Bhéarla. Tá aistriúcháin déanta go forleathan ar a chuid úrscéalta agus cnuasaigh gearrscéalta agus tá iliomad duaiseanna agus gradaim bronnta air.

Giving two workshops for second level students in Scariff and Tulla libraries during Seachtain na Gaeilge, Ré will speak on his life as a writer, focusing particularly on writing for a teenage readership. He will give an insight into the writing of his novels with lots of inspirational advice on the importance of reading and writing for life. These sessions will take place on the 5th of March. Full details of events are available from library branches.

Thursday 27 February 2014

Brian Ború comes to life – puppet show to tour libraries

As part of the Killaloe 2014 celebrations Clare Arts Office has commissioned a puppet show on the life of Brian Ború, which will tour in March to libraries throughout the county. The organisers of Killaloe Ballina 2014 were anxious to ensure that Brian Ború was more than a figure in the history books. They were anxious to bring him to life, particularly to engage with young children and to show how important he was. With this in mind they approached the County Arts Office, who agreed to commission the show. Honest Arts Production Company, founded by Tara Doolan and Pius McGrath (who both co-wrote the piece), were selected to create a short, entertaining play for children that brings the life and times of Brian Ború to life using actors and puppets. The approach by Killaloe Ballina 2014 to the Arts Office was made in the context of the full programme of events being organised by Killalloe Ballina 2014, who are being supported by Clare County Council.

According to Bróna Moriarty from the Killaloe Ballina 2014 committee “We are delighted that the Arts Office felt that our proposal for a puppet show was an exciting addition to this year's programme. A lot of planning has gone in to the year, and the inclusion of child friendly events is integral to the community spirit that is marking this special year”. The Brian Ború Puppet Show will be launched on Thursday, March 6th at 10am in the Lakeside Hotel, Killaloe by the Mayor of Clare, Cllr. Joe Arkins. It will then tour to libraries in Scariff, Kilkee, Kilrush, Ennis and Shannon. It is anticipated that the puppet show will also feature at various events celebrating Brian Ború's life throughout the year. For further information contact: Siobhán Mulcahy, County Arts Officer at 065 6899091 For national events visit For local events visit

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Adult Learners’ Festival in Kilrush

The Adult Learners’ Festival 2014 (24th February - 1st March) is a nationwide celebration of adult learning, which marks the achievements of adult learners, showcases and promotes the work of adult education providers. As part of the celebration, there is an information stand on display at the Kilrush Public Library which highlights the various courses available to all individuals including Adult Basic Education Services together with Community Care, Business Studies, Childcare, Food Production. Noteworthy local events which are taking place during the festival are a ‘Getting Ready for Spring’ workshop on Wednesday 26th February at the Vandeleur Walled Garden, Kilrush, from 10am - 1 pm. In addition, there is a Woodwork/DIY workshop on Thursday 27th February at the Adult Education Centre, Cooraclare Road, Kilrush from 2 - 4pm. Contact 065 9052131 for further details.

Adult Learners’ Festival in Scariff

As part of Adult Learners’ week three members from Scariff Brothers of Charity fronted an insightful presentation entitled S.O.U.L - "Scariff Outreach Unites Lives" in Scariff Public Library on Wednesday 26th February 2014. The three speakers, Brian Hogan, Liam Moloney and Emma Malone, spoke admirably about their involvement in the community and how the Brothers of Charity, the VEC and Scariff Library have helped them develop a wide range of skills as well as discover an important social outlet where they have made many strong friendships. Scariff Adult Literacy Club has become a meeting centre for the three groups and has been running successfully for the past 3 years, now approaching a membership of 20. It is run through the combined efforts of library staff member Aileen McDonagh, VEC coordinator Mary Mullane and several staff from the Scariff Brothers of Charity including Padraig Brody, Aoife McMahon, Mark Pearl, Michelle Murray and Ray Regan, all of whom provide unquantifiable support to all students. We are delighted with this year’s presentation and wish to extend a big well done to all involved.

Monday 24 February 2014

Old Ennistymon Society Collection of photographs added to Foto

Mrs Mary Carrigg with her children Joe and Ita standing by her son Austin’s taxi car in Oldtown Street, Ennistymon in June 1927.

The Old Ennistymon Society began collecting images for a major photographic exhibition to commemorate its 21st anniversary in 2013. The exhibition, entitled “Ennistymon: Vanishing Heritage”, was developed by Frances Madigan, Kathryn Comber and Anthony Edwards of the society, and was intended to celebrate the rich architectural, economic and social heritage of Ennistymon. The photographs date from the early part of the 20th Century and capture a long-forgotten age. The society is the voluntary organisation responsible for the preservation of Ennistymon Courthouse and developing it into the stunning arts complex “The Courthouse Studios and Gallery”. The Old Ennistymon Society is grateful to those individuals who donated photographs for this exhibition, to those who subsequently donated additional photos which now form part of the Old Ennistymon Society Collection, and to Maureen Comber for her assistance with the exhibition and collection. Click here for the Old Ennistymon Society Collection...

Aughty – trailer for a film by Tom Flanagan and Megs Morley

“Set against the stark and beautiful landscape of the Sliabh Aughty mountains in the west of Ireland , 'Aughty' is a documentary portrait of a unique place and people untouched by the boom and bust motions of the Irish 'Celtic Tiger', capturing a moment in time through the ordinary lives and traditions of Irish people in community, culture and resistance. In a landscape and population that is changing rapidly, 'Aughty' leads us on a poetic journey into rural Ireland through the relationships of people and place.“ This trailer posted on Youtube on the 19th of April 2013 by Tom Flanagan.

Megs Morley and Tom Flanagan, the creators of this project, “are currently running an online crowd-funding campaign on '' to produce a beautiful book of photography and DVD of the feature documentary 'Aughty'...” With only a few days to go to the funding deadline they have not yet reached their target for the publication, and are seeking support. See

Friday 21 February 2014

Riches Of Clare with Padraig O'Reilly, Caoilfhionn Ni Fhrighil, James Cullinan & Damien O'Reilly, July 2013

A Riches of Clare concert in Ennis on the 17th of July 2013 featuring Padraig O'Reilly, Caoilfhionn Ni Fhrighil, James Cullinan, & Damien O'Reilly. Posted on Youtube on the 30th of November 2013 by Niamhaines.

Ensemble Ériu - The Tempest

"Ensemble Ériu is a 2013 project developed by concertina player Jack Talty and double bassist and flute player Neil O' Loghlen from County Clare, Ireland." Posted on Youtube on the 3rd of January 2014 by thepipesarecalling.

Paddy Reilly sings My Lovely Rose Of Clare

Paddy Reilly singing My Lovely Rose Of Clare to a live audience in 1983. Posted on Youtube on the 22nd of September 2013 by Patrick Hickey.

Oh my lovely rose of Clare
You're the sweetest girl I know
You're the queen of all the roses
The pretty flowers that grow
You are the sunshine of my life
So beautiful and fair
And I will always love you
My lovely rose of Clare

For full lyrics see

Tribal Spirit song to the sunset, Boghill, Kilfenora

"This song, Awo awo Manye, was recorded at a Tribal Spirit retreat facilitated by John Bowker at the Boghill Centre, Kilfenora, County Clare, in October 2010. This short clip is all that was filmed of a deep chant session which in itself was just a small part of a weekend retreat. Written by John Bowker, this version of the chant was unrehearsed and harmonies were created in the moment by John and the group. More info at" Posted on Youtube on the 12th of February 2011 by clockwisehat.

Scuba Diving in The Mermaids Hole, Doolin

“The Green Holes of Doolin which lies north of Doolin Harbour is a complex network of submerged passages. There are four separate cave systems. The Reef Caves, The Hell Complex, Urchin Cave and Mermaids Hole. More info...” Posted on Youtube on the 20th of February 2014 by Kas Maziu.

Burren, Ireland, 2012

Includes Poulnabrone, Burren Way, Coast Road, Cliffs of Moher, Lahinch, Kilkee, Moneen, Loop Head, and Kilmacdouagh. Posted on Youtube on the 16th of February 2014 by Ben O'Connel.

Craggaunowen, County Clare

Posted on Youtube on the 6th of February 2014 by VisitorFlix.

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2013 In Ennistymon

"A parade through the streets of Ennistymon in County Clare, western Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Filmed by Frier Jeff during one of his many visits to the Emerald Isles." Posted on Youtube on the 14th of February 2014 by Frier Jeff.

Thursday 20 February 2014

Clare County Council - Panel for Beach Lifeguards, Summer Season 2014

Applications are invited from suitably qualified persons for inclusion on a Panel for employment as Beach Lifeguards for the 2014 Bathing season.
Age Limit: Not less than 17 years of age on 7th March, 2014.
Qualifications: Current Irish Water Safety, National Beach Lifeguard Award or equivalent as recognised by the International Lifesaving Federation (ILS).

All candidates will be required to undergo a practical test in Basic Life Support (BLS), swimming ability, lifesaving techniques and a theory test conducted by an Examiner(s) nominated by Irish Water Safety.

The Garda Vetting process will be carried out in respect of all applicants.

Application forms and further particulars may be obtained by forwarding a stamped self-addressed envelope (A5 size) to the Human Resources Department, Clare County Council, Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road, Ennis, or can be downloaded from or or

Certificates in respect of qualifications/training other than those listed on Page 5 of the Application Form should not be submitted as no additional marks will be awarded and Clare County Council cannot guarantee the return of such certificates.

Completed applications and completed Garda Vetting Forms must be forwarded not later than 4.00 p.m. on Friday 7th March, 2014, marked Private & Confidential, to Ms. Siobhan O’Keeffe, Administrative Officer, Human Resources Department, Clare County Council, Ắras Contae an Chlair, New Road, Ennis, Co. Clare.

N.B. The Garda Vetting Form must be fully completed by every candidate. The Parent/Guardian Consent Form should only be completed in respect of candidates who are under 18 years.

Scriobh chugainn as gaeilge más fearr leat.

Clare County Council is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

Olympic Champion 'Mighty’ Matt McGrath

'Mighty’ Matt McGrath from Nenagh, County Tipperary, won three Olympic medals for the USA for the hammer throw in 1908, 1912 and 1924, when he was 47 years old. His throw which won gold in Stockholm in 1912 set an Olympic record that stood for 24 years. This photo of Matt is from the Killaloe Heritage Centre Collection on Foto, our online images collection, which depicts the people and places of the Killaloe area and also includes many photos from Ballina and North Tipperary.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

An exploration of Cumann na mBan's role In the Irish War of Independence

The North Clare Historical Society continues its current lecture series on Monday February 24th at 8 p.m. in the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, with ‘Pledged as a Rebel: An exploration of Cumann na mBan's role In the Irish War of Independence', a talk by Tomás Mac Conmara, Oral Historian and PhD Candidate at University of Limerick. According to Mac Conmara, “given the unconventional nature of the war, IRA units required both active and passive support from the general population. In many cases communication between companies in the same battalion area was difficult, which elevated the role of Cumann na mBan considerably. They smuggled guns, carried dispatches, organised public meetings, arranged concerts and fundraisers. Much of the activity brought the women in direct confrontation with the British authorities and meant very real danger for them and their families. It is unfortunate that historiography on the period does not sufficiently reflect the key role they played in the struggle for freedom in the country.” The lecture on Monday 24th February will explore Cumann na mBan generally and will also examine the organisation in Clare during the same period. Admission €5.

Thursday 13 February 2014

The Darling Girl from Clare played by the Brock McGuire Band

"Brock McGuire Band performs an instrumental version of "The Darling Girl from Clare" and "Turkey in the Straw" on WDVX's Blue Plate Special. For more information on the Brock McGuire Band, visit Find WDVX online at" Posted on Youtube on the 20th of September 2011 by Knoxville News Sentinel.

"Gradam an Chomhaltais" Chris Droney

"Honoring Chris Droney for his lifelong guardianship of Traditional Irish music, July 2013." Gradam an Chomhaltais – Comhaltas National Award - was presented to Chris Droney from Bellharbour, County Clare, in Cois na hAbhna, Ennis, on Saturday 27th July 2013. More info... Posted on Youtube on the 24th of January 2014 by Niamhaines.

Ann Kirrane live in concert at Kilfenora

Ann Kirrane on concertina (from Bellharbour, County Clare, and the daughter of renowned concertina player Chris Droney) with Garry O'Briain on mandocello, Ronan Greene on fiddle and Barry Brady on accordion playing the Congress & Going West Along the Road reels. Posted on Youtube on the 31st of May 2013 by Ann Kirrane.

Guinness World Record Attempt for Largest Irish Band in Kilfenora

In August 2013, an attempt was made to break the Guinness World record for the Largest Irish Band in The Square in Kilfenora, led by the Kilfenora Céilí Band. While that attempt was unsuccessful, it is hoped to attempt the record again on Sunday 14th April 2014 at 2.30pm. See Posted on Youtube on the 30th of August 2013 by IsMiseKey.

Lovely Old Miltown sung by Tony O'Loughlin

"Ennistymon singer Tony O'Loughlin, who I met at the O'Lochlainn Clan Gathering 2010 in Ballyvaughan. He informed me we are "thirty-first cousins". Fine company indeed!" Posted on Youtube on the 15th of November 2010 by KOProductionsUSA.

Wild Atlantic Way - Loop Head Discovery Point

"With the Atlantic on one side and the River Shannon on the other, at Loop Head in County Clare you can discover a different rugged side to the Wild Atlantic Way. Check out" posted on Youtube on the 4th of February 2014 by wildatlanticway.

Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey, a film by Lelia Doolan at Ennistymon Courthouse Gallery

Made over a period of nine years, this is the first full-length film on Bernadette McAliskey’s work and ideas since John Goldschmidt’s pioneering documentary in 1969. It will be screened in the Courthouse Gallery in Ennistymon on Friday 21st of February 2014 at 8pm. In Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey, she reflects on some arresting and painful moments in her public life. When Bernadette Devlin first exploded into the public arena in 1969, she and her fellow students in the People’s Democracy were described as belonging to the politics of impatience. As John Bowman said of her: ‘She was not prepared to grow old in an unjust system. At 21, she was a veteran of the “Battle of Bogside”. Described as an Irish Joan of Arc and a mini-skirted Castro, she won the mid-Ulster by-election in 1969, the youngest woman ever elected at Westminster. She survived an assassination attempt in 1981 and remains a radical socialist republican. Commenting on the peace process in the North, she said, ‘Whether we like it or not, no matter how much we paid in the struggle to be somewhere else, this is where we are!’ Bernadette Devlin McAliskey is currently co-ordinating a publicly funded cross-community, grassroots organisation from her home in County Tyrone. The director Lelia Doolan will attend the screening and do a Questions and Answers session after the screening. Running Time 90 mins. Admission €5. Ennistymon Courthouse Gallery and Studios is supported by Clare County Council.

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Music of Clare videos from Youtube

Fans of the Youtube clips of traditional music and musicians which are featured regularly in this blog should check out the page dedicated to them on the Music of Clare section of the library’s website. Videos showing everyone from Willie Clancy, Paddy Canny and Tony MacMahon to the most recent clutch of young musicians can be enjoyed. Treat Yourself!
Click here for the videos
and click here for the Music of Clare project...

Towards a Better Kilkee: A Town Improvement & Economic Development Strategy 2014-2024

A new strategy aimed at guiding the future promotion and development of Kilkee, County Clare, was launched in Kilkee at Cultúrlann Sweeney on Monday, 3rd February, 2014. Towards a Better Kilkee: A Town Improvement & Economic Development Strategy 2014-2024 has been prepared by Clare County Council, in association with Kilkee Town Council and various community groups. According to Clare County Council, the key focus of the 10-year strategy is to generate new employment opportunities in a town that has a 36% unemployment rate, promote the local tourism product, and enhance the physical appearance of Kilkee. Click here for the strategy publication (PDF format).

Pictured at the launch of a 10-Year blueprint for development of Kilkee are L-R Bobby Kerr, Broadcaster and Former TV Dragon, Paddy Collins, Kilkee Town Mayor and Cllr Joe Arkins, Mayor of Clare.

A Song of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones)

A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of epic fantasy novels set in an age of knights and chivalry by American novelist George R.R. Martin. A Game of Thrones the first volume of the series was published in 1996. Initially a word of mouth success, later books in the series featured on the New York Times bestseller lists and HBO’s 2011 television adaptation of A Game of Thrones, proved a huge sales boost to all books in the series. The books have been translated into more than 20 languages and have sold over 25 million copies worldwide. Time magazine has called Martin “the American Tolkien”.

The books in the series are
1. A Game of Thrones
2. A Clash of Kings
3. A Storm of Swords Part 1: Steel and Snow Part 2: Blood and Gold
4. A Feast for Crows
5. A Dance with Dragons Part 1: Dreams and Dust Part 2: After the Feast

Martin is currently working on the 6th book in the series entitled The Winds of Winter. The series will conclude with A Dream of Spring. A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings are available as ebooks through the library website. The Game of Thrones TV series is also available to borrow on DVD.

Thursday 6 February 2014

Riches of Clare concert featuring Padraig O'Reilly, Caoilfhionn Ni Fhrighil, James Cullinan and Damien O'Reilly

Riches of Clare Series, Ennis, July 17th, 2013 #6 Padraig O'Reilly, Caoilfhionn Ni Fhrighil, James Cullinan, & Damien O'Reilly. Posted on Youtube on the 30th of November 2013 by Niamhaines.

Sharon Shannon Band with Donal Lunny - The Mouth of The Tobique

Sharon Shannon and her band with Donal Lunny on bouzouki. Posted on Youtube on the 29th of December 2007 by tomscotland.

Ciarán Mac Mathúna, Mo Laethanta Saoire, Cill Chaoi (Kilkee)

"In this programme, one of our most respected broadcasters, Ciarán MacMathúna (26th November 1925 – 11th December 2009), returns to Kilkee County Clare. As a young boy throughout the 1930s and 40s Ciarán spent every summer in Kilkee. It was here that he developed his love of music and throughout the programme he revisits the places which inspired him to pursue a career in broadcasting." Posted on Youtube on the 26th of January 2014 by TG Craic.

The Burren Winterage

"The Burren Winterage - A New Film by Gavin Frankel in association with Burrenbeo Trust and the BFCP @2013." Posted on Youtube on the 22nd of August 2013 by BurrenBeoTrust.

Eco-Eye interviews Burren farmers

"The Irish T.V programme Eco-Eye looks at the variety of life on our planet and looks at what exactly those benefits are. They take a look at what is being done to protect some of Ireland's unique habitats, such as in the Burren. Eco-Eye conducts interviews with Burren farmers and Burren biodiversity expert and co-founder of Burrenbeo, Dr.Brendan Dunford." Posted on Youtube on the 12th of January 2012 by BurrenBeoTrust.

Pat Sweeney on The Wild Atlantic Way

"Discover the rugged beauty and history behind the magnificent Cliffs of Moher in County Clare." Posted on Youtube on the 4th of February 2014 by wildatlanticway.

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Romance and cookery books helped readers through the recession in 2013

Almost 545,000 items were borrowed from Clare County Library in 2013. Although there is an increasing demand for electronic resources, 92% of the items borrowed were physical books. Rachel Allen’s cookery books claimed 4 of the spots on the list of the 10 most popular non-fiction books borrowed from Clare County Library in 2013. As further evidence of the increased popularity of home cooking two other cookery books, Avoca Café Cookbook 2 and Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals, also made the top 10 list. As has been the pattern for many years The Official Driver Theory Test – questions and answers topped the most popular list. Memoirs by retired politician Mary O’Rourke and author Michael Harding experienced strong demand from readers. World Football Records 2013 was the tenth most popular non-fiction book of 2013.

ADULT NON-FICTION – top ten books in 2013:
The Official Driver Theory Test
Rachel's baking secrets by Rachel Allen
Home Cooking by Rachel Allen
Staring at lakes by Michael Harding
Easy meals by Rachel Allen
Rachel’s Food for Living by Rachel Allen
Just Mary by Mary O’Rourke
Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver
Avoca Café Cookbook 2 by Hugo Arnold
World Football records 2013 by Kier Radnedge

Books by Irish romance writers Sheila O’Flanagan, Patricia Scanlan, Cathy Kelly, Marian Keyes and Roisin Meaney continue to generate huge demand among fiction readers at the library. In 2013 Hilary Mantel’s multi-award winning Wolf Hall was only beaten to the top spot on the fiction list by Sheila O’Flanagan’s Better Together. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – a word of mouth bestseller – claimed number 5 on the list. This psychological thriller has been very popular with readers and especially bookclubs worldwide. A John Grisham book regularly features on the list of the most popular fiction books among readers in Clare County Library and 2013 was no exception with The Racketeer claiming the number 10 spot. Lee Child fans eagerly awaited the 17th Jack Reacher novel A Wanted Man. There was renewed interest from readers in James Plunkett’s Strumpet City, due to the publicity around the centenary of the 1913 Lockout.

ADULT FICTION – top ten books in 2013:
Better Together by Sheila O’Flanagan
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
With All My Love by Patricia Scanlan
The Honey Queen by Cathy Kelly
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
A Wanted Man by Lee Child
The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes
One Summer by Roisin Meaney
Strumpet City by James Plunkett
The Racketeer by John Grisham

A short demonstration video of the Ask about Ireland website

AskAboutIreland is an initiative of public libraries together with local museums and archives in the digitisation and online publication of the original, the unusual and the unique material from their local studies' collections to create a national Internet resource for culture. The participating organisations have selected material of particular public interest from their holdings within a variety of common topics ranging from sport, transport and architecture to flora and fauna and Irish writers. The material is then digitised and set in a narrative context. AskAboutIreland is managed by LGMA Libraries Development, supported by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government with funding from the Information Society Fund. Posted on Youtube on tyhe 30th of January 2014 by AskAboutIreland.

Monday 3 February 2014

Most popular children’s books of 2013

Despite their smart phones, tablets and games consoles the children of County Clare borrowed 263,000 books from the library in 2013. The top issuing children’s book of 2013 in Clare library branches was guaranteed to be a title in the phenomenally popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney. Book Two in the series, Rodrick Rules, came in at first place in the list of top issuing books for children in the past year. Books written in diary format are becoming increasingly popular, with many writers taking note and writing books in a style that appeals to today’s social media savvy children. Instant conversation directed exclusively at the reader with text broken attractively into small chunks is an appealing approach and is also less daunting for reluctant readers. Lined pages, pen and ink sketches and cartoons work together to make the books seem like actual diaries or journals. Irish authors who have emulated this format in the past year or two are Anna Carey in her latest instalment of the award-winning series about Rebecca Raftery, Rebecca Rocks, and Marita Conlon McKenna in her very moving story, Love Lucie. Three other books by Jeff Kinney in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series; Last Straw, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid ( first book in the series) and Dog Days are second, third and fourth of the top issuing children’s books in 2013.

Horrid Henry’s Holiday shares joint fifth position with The Guinness World Records 2013. Created by Francesca Simon and illustrated by Tony Ross, the first Horrid Henry book was written and published in 1984 with new titles appearing every year since then as well as several collections, activity books and joke books. The Guinness World Records is always a hit providing the ultimate record breaking facts and achievements in a reference book that appeals to both children and adults. For children who dislike long reads or favour non fiction books it is the perfect substitute to dip in and out of.

Jacqueline Wilson has held top position for many years now in the best selling book charts for children and teenagers, and her latest title My Secret Diary was sixth in the list of Clare County Library’s most borrowed books. Renowned for and sometimes questioned about her exploration of controversial issues in her books for children, this prolific writer and recent Children’s Laureate remains hugely popular among child and teenage readers. Horrid Henry and the Bogey Babysitter, Horrid Henry’s Underpants and Horrid Henry’s Christmas Cracker take seventh, eight and ninth positions respectively followed by The Match Annual 2013 at number ten.

Most popular children’s books 2013:
1. Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney
2. The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney
3. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
4. Dog Days by Jeff Kinney
5. Horrid Henry’s Holiday by Francesca Simon
Guinness World Records 2013
6. My Secret Diary by Jacqueline Wilson
7. Horrid Henry and the Bogey Babysitter by Francesca Simon
8. Horrid Henry’s Underpants by Francesca Simon
9. Horrid Henry’s Christmas Cracker by Francesca Simon
10.The Match Annual 2013

Almost all of the above books have inspired movies or TV serials which in turn increases the popularity of the original books. The adaptation of books for the big screen always sees a surge in demand for these titles, which the library service is more than happy to meet. The same is true of the top issuing books for teenagers. Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games was the runaway success of 2013. The popularity of all three books in the series which came in at 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in Clare County Library’s most borrowed books in the young adult category was undoubtedly due to the massive box office success of the film released in 2012. Consistent with previous years’ results other authors featuring high on the most popular books for teens include Darren Shan and Jacqueline Wilson.