Monday 31 March 2014

SOLAS and Clare County Library launch Equal Skills at the Library computer courses

SOLAS, in partnership with Clare County Library, is launching Equal Skills at the Library, basic computer courses in branch libraries in Ennis, Shannon, Scariff, Ennistymon, Kilrush and Kilkee. It is a FREE opportunity for beginners to learn about computers in participating libraries with the help of a tutor, who is there to guide you through the learning experience.

The course assists with setting up an e-mail account, navigating the Internet, desktop, windows and file management. It serves as a useful preparation for progressing to a European Computer Driving Licence qualification (ECDL).

At the end of this 10 week course each successful learner will be awarded an Irish Computer Society (ICS) Equal Skills Certificate.

Details to note:

• Equal Skills at the Library commences on 14th April 2014.
• Learners must be available to attend for one class per week, lasting approximately two hours for a period of 10 weeks.
• There is no charge for the programme and no allowances are paid to participants.
• Equal Skills at the Library is free and open to all adults.
• Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis, however, preference will be given to those learners who are in receipt of Social Welfare entitlements or signing for credits.
• Use of library facilities and PCs is provided.
• Participating libraries are Ennis, Shannon, Scariff, Ennistymon, Kilrush and Kilkee. All class sessions shall take place in the morning from 10.00 am – 12.00 pm with the exception of Kilkee Library. Class room sessions at Kilkee Library shall be in the afternoon from 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm.
• Closing date for applications is the 9th April 2014.

If interested, please collect an application form at the library desk in one of the branch libraries listed above, or download a form by clicking here. Please return completed forms to one of the libraries listed above.

Please note that Clare County Library is not involved in the selection process and candidates will be selected in line with SOLAS selection criteria.

Thursday 27 March 2014

Chris Droney - Gradam Saoil 2014, TG4

Chris Droney of Bellharbour, North Clare - TG4 Gradam Saoil, Lifetime Achievement Award Winner 2014. Posted on Youtube on the 18th of March 2014 by TG4.

"Sa mbliain 1924 a rugadh Chris Droney i mBéal an Chlogga i dtuaisceart an Chláir, ar chósta theas Chuan na Gaillimhe. Fuair sé ceol an chonsairtín le hoidhreacht óna athair, James agus a sheanathair Michael (1829-1927). Ní raibh Chris ach ocht mbliana d'aois nuair a bhí an bosca beag ina lámha féin, rud atá ó shin. Deir sé gurbh iad The Wearing of the Green agus Clare's Dragoons an dá fhonn is túisce a d'fhoghlaim sé, de réir a chuimhne féin." Posted on Youtube on the 21st of March 2014 by TG4.

The Sounds Of The Wild Atlantic Way

"Two musicians drove the west coast of Ireland in a mobile studio, soaking up and recording the sounds, the sights, the people and the places along this stunning coastline. Their aim was to create a sound track inspired by and featuring the sounds encountered along this beautiful road known as The Wild Atlantic Way." The video features Doolin Cave and the Cliffs Of Moher, and music from Christy Barry. Posted on Youtube on the 18th of March 2014 by discoverireland.

Paragliding in Fanore, June 2012

Paragliding in Fanore, North Clare, in June 2012. Posted on Youtube on the 1st of June 2012 by biezunscy.

Pictiúr - a Laureate na nÓg exhibition presented by Glór

For more than thirty years Ireland has developed a reputation in children’s literature. Writers such as Eoin Colfer, Darren Shan, Derek Landy, Siobhán Parkinson and Roddy Doyle have all created significant profile for children’s literature both in Ireland and internationally.

While we continue to excel in the written word for young readers, more recently the reputation of Ireland’s illustrators has grown. Within the past decade we have seen a major development in Irish illustration with more and more illustrators receiving international recognition and many new names joining our existing talents.

As a way of highlighting Ireland during its EU Presidency in 2013, Children’s Books Ireland, under the auspices of Laureate na nÓg, brought the work of twenty-one Irish children’s books illustrators to international audiences in Austria, Italy and Belgium. After a short tour of Ireland, the Glór gallery is delighted to present this wonderfully exciting and colourful of exhibition of outstanding art. There is also a library of children’s books, so that visitors to the exhibition can see the books from which the illustrations were chosen.

Children’s illustration offers a unique opportunity for literature and visual art to intersect. Showcasing twenty-one artists, Pictiúr demonstrates the range, scope and skill of Irish illustrators. The exhibition comprises 42 art pieces by 21 of Ireland’s leading children’s book illustrators, and includes illustrations from books written in English and Irish. The exhibition is curated by Ireland’s current Laureate na nÓg Niamh Sharkey and illustrators featured include PJ Lynch, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Chris Haughton, Kevin Waldron, Oliver Jeffers, Chris Judge, Steve Simpson, Andrew Whitson, Mary Murphy, Michael Emberley and Olivia Golden.

Friday 21 March to Wednesday 30 April, 10am - 5pm daily, Free of charge. Glór, Ennis, Co. Clare. Glór box office 065-6843103 or For further information, please contact Sinéad Cahill at 065 6845 370 or Glór acknowledges the financial support given by Clare County Council, Ennis Town Council and the Arts Council of Ireland in making this programming possible.

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Flying Boat ‘Clare’ at Foynes, 1940

The Clare, BOAC'S Short S.30 Empire Flying Boat, moored at Foynes with Mexshell refueling boat beside it. The flying boat refuelled at Foynes on the 3rd August, 1940, under the command of Captain J.C. Kelly Rogers. This was the first passenger and mail flight from Foynes by BOAC. One of its three passengers was Colonel 'Wild' Bill Donovan, advisor to President Roosevelt. On 'Clare's' return journey through Foynes on 10th August, 1940, four of the six passengers were the first American civilian pilots to be recruited for the ferrying of military aircraft to Britain. 'Clare' crashed off Bathurst in September 1942. This and other photographs of Foynes Airport - and some of Shannon Airport - are now online in Foto, Clare County Library’s online photograph collection.

The photographs were collected and donated by Valerie Sweeney and Dúchas na Sionna. The complete story of Foynes Airport can be found online at Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum.

Science Book Awards

A book about the hunt for the elusive Higgs Boson was winner of the 2013 Royal Society Winton Prize. This prestigious prize celebrates outstanding popular science books from around the world and is open to authors of science books written for a non-specialist audience. Sean Carroll’s The Particle at the End of the Universe was described by judges as an 'important, enduring piece of literature’.

The books shortlisted for the 2013 award were:

Bird Sense: What it’s Like to be a Bird by Tim Birkhead
The Particle at the End of the Universe by Sean Carroll
Cells to Civilizations: Principles of Change that Shape Life by Enrico Coen
Pieces of Light: the New Science of Memory by Charles Fernyhough
The Book of Barely Imagined Beings: a 21st Century Bestiary by Caspar Henderson
Ocean of Life: How our Seas are Changing by Callum Roberts

Previous winners of this prize have included Stephen Hawking and Bill Bryson.

Political Book Awards

Margaret Thatcher: the Authorized Biography by Charles Moore has been named the Political Book of the Year at the Paddy Power Political Book Awards. Judge Mary Beard said of the winning book: ‘This is an elegant and sometimes witty book; it is the kind of authoritative study that people will be referring to for decades – or even longer.’

Simon Sebag Montefiore’s novel One Night in Winter - a mix of love story, thriller and historical fiction set in Stalin’s Russia won Political Fiction Book of the Year. The award for Political Biography of the Year was won by The Pike: Gabriele d'Annunzio: Poet, Seducer & Preacher of War by Lucy Hughes-Hallett which charts the controversial life of Italian poet and fascist D'Annunzio.

Damian Barr’s book Maggie & Me, a touching and darkly witty memoir about surviving Thatcher's Britain, won the Political Humour and Satire Book of the Year. The award for International Affairs Book of the Year was presented to Margaret MacMillan for her book The War That Ended Peace: How Europe abandoned Peace for the First World War. Iain Dale, founder of the awards, said, ‘These awards celebrate the fantastic breadth of political writing in the UK today, and I hope that they will encourage more people to both read and write political literature.’

Monday 24 March 2014

Novel Destinations

This book promotion, currently in Seán Lemass Public Library, Shannon, features a selection of novels set in holiday destinations popular with Irish holidaymakers. Fiction can often create a sense of place more powerfully than any travel guide. Reading a novel set in a country that you’re visiting can enhance your appreciation and understanding of the place, while being surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of the country can enrich the story that you are reading. These atmospheric books will transport readers to their next potential holiday destination or allow them to relive a previous visit. They enrich the experience of travel by capturing the spirit of a place and remain with the reader long after the visit is over. For those who can only dream of escaping abroad, these novels will transport you from the wild landscapes of Western Australia via the Piazza of Venice and the rural French village of Lansquenet to the streets of New York. The majority of the novels have been published since 2000 although some earlier novels that capture the spirit of a place particularly well have been included. Some of the novels are translations from the original language. So whether you are planning your next holiday, reliving a previous one or are content to ‘travel’ from the comfort of your armchair, we hope that these recommended novels will take you there.

See also our promotion Around the World in 22 Days – a selection of the best in non-fiction travel writing, and our Book Promotions for Adults at .

An Taisce’s National Spring Clean - "Clean-Up Day" for Ennis, Saturday, 5th April

In conjunction with An Taisce’s National Spring Clean, a “Clean-Up Day” for Ennis has been organised for Saturday, 5th April 2014 between 10.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. meeting at Ennis Town Council Waterpark House. The event will be run by the Town Council, Tidy Towns Committee and other voluntary organisations. This event is specifically organised to clean up all the approach roads to Ennis, along with the green areas, footpaths, roads and streets in both residential areas and housing estates.

Groups wishing to participate in National Spring Clean are required to register their event and receive a free clean-up kit from An Taisce on line at, by phone at 01-4002219 or by completing the registration available from Mairead Griffin, Environment Section, Clare County Council, New Road, Ennis (tel 065-6846386). Photo above shows some of the 2013 Volunteers who helped out in the national spring clean.

Kilrush Community College teenagers enjoy Teen Week at the Library

26 second year students attended a workshop at Kilrush Public Library by Tony Maude entitled ‘Hitting the Road with Shakespeare…Stevenson…and Others…’. Tony’s performance helped to bring alive the magic of great literature written by William Blake, R.L. Stevenson and Shakespeare. During this hour long performance, Tony also sang and recited some of his original songs and poetry.

Also as part of Teen Week celebrations, students from Kilrush Community College attended a highly interactive workshop with John Lillis at Kilrush Public Library on Tuesday 18th March. John’s vast experience of working with young people in musical environments was highly evident as he engaged with the students and helped them to create their own rap lyrics and beats.

Thursday 20 March 2014

Seamus Begley, Oisin MacDiarmada and Padraic O'Reilly - "The Banks Of The Ban" at The Corofin Traditional Festival 2014

Seamus Begley from County Kerry with County Clare's Oisin MacDiarmada and Padraic O'Reilly sing and play "The Banks Of The Ban" at The Corofin Traditional Festival, 2014. Posted on Youtube on the 16th of March 2014 by Niamhaines.

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Ennis, 2014

"The theme this year was Brian Ború. That explains the medieval element! Most shots taken from just before the Club Bridge, then a few bits in O'Connell Street." Posted on Youtube on the 17th of March 2014 by Jen Pacific.

Miltown Malbay St Patricks Day Parade 2014

Posted on Youtube on the 18th of March 2014 by Neil Hynes.

Irish Dancers at Saint Patrick's Day Parade 2014 in Shannon

Posted on Youtube on the 17th of March 2014 by rabii hamdaoui.

Deireadh le Seachtain na Gaeilge 2014

Seachtain na Gaeilge has drawn to a close for another year and was widely celebrated in the Clare library branch network over the past two weeks. Staff members Seamus Ryan and Teresa Carmody O’Shea visited several branches to deliver fun interactive storytimes to children from 1st and 2nd classes in primary schools. Using our library books and story sack resources from An Mála Mór they regaled their young audiences with stories of Teidi and his daily exploits as gaeilge. The children were thrilled to help choose Teidi’s clothes and set out his breakfast things, all to be found in these wonderful resources from the storysacks of An Mála Mór which are based on the Primary School Curriculum. The sacks cover three topics, Mé Féin, Éadaí agus Bia. The main character ‘Teidi’, is a cuddly teddy bear with a variety of clothes specifically designed and made for him. The packs have been written and designed by primary school teachers and the books address verbs, prepositions and actions. They also include toy furniture and food for Teidi to make the packs more interactive for the children.

Ceardlanna Léiriúcháin le Aidan Courtney

Aidan Courtney, local illustrator and founder of the children’s comic RíRá, ran two workshops through Irish for eager young artists in Lisdoonvarna Library and deValera Library, Ennis, during Seachtain na Gaeilge. Children from Doolin National School and from the Holy Family Senior School in Ennis had a hugely entertaining session with Aidan as he sketched the kids’ suggestions and chatted to them as gaeilge for an hour in each library. The children were busy throughout, sketching cartoons and contributing to the workshop using the Irish language as they wished, in light hearted, no pressure sessions. Aidan’s presentation and easy manner entertained them from start to finish, promoting the Irish language in the very best of ways for children.

Tugann Rang a hAon Cuairt ar an Leabharlann

First Class from St Enda’s National School, Lisdoonvarna, visited Lisdoonvarna Public Library on the 11th of March and were treated to a reading of Cinnín Óir agus na Trí Bhéar by librarian Caitriona Lucas. Caitriona chose the story to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge and was expertly assisted in bringing the story to life by the young actors and puppeteers in her audience.

Author Maria Burke visits Killaloe and Scariff libraries

The Ark of Dun Ruah books by Maria Burke were brought to life for the children of Scariff and Killaloe National Schools when they visited their local libraries on World Book Day. Maria is a writer, radio presenter and artist and having also worked as a primary school teacher, was well equipped to entertain her young audience bringing her love of storytelling to them through her two fantasy novels published to date. She spoke to the children about how she writes and how they in turn could work towards becoming writers themselves. She also spoke about the importance of reading and formulated 10 good reasons to read with the help of the children present. She brought along her sketchbook and spoke of how the cover art for the book came about and this part of the session was particularly appealing to the audience who later listened attentively to extracts from her book. Most of the children present had read some of Maria’s book and they had lots of questions for the author and well thought out comments. Their teachers were very grateful to the library for organizing the event and commented how proactive Clare County Library was in encouraging reading amongst children. Maria’s two books, The Ark of Dun Ruah and The Ark of Dun Ruah: Protectors of the Flame are available for borrowing from Clare County Library branches.

Tuesday 18 March 2014

Ag Ceiliúradh Seachtain na Gaeilge i Leabharlanna Phoiblí na Scairbhe agus na Tulaí

"An inspiring presence, always a hit in the library, teachers and students found the 90 minute session flew", are just some of the comments from staff in Scariff and Tulla public libraries on the Seachtain na Gaeilge visits to their branches by author Ré O Laighléis. Ré is a regular visitor to the libraries in Clare and his sessions are always appreciated and enjoyed by staff, teachers and students. Getting to know his audiences in a short time is one of his specialities and his sessions go far beyond readings, to become performances full of energy and enthusiasm that inspire an interest in books, libraries and reading among his teenage audiences. In both Scariff and Tulla libraries Ré had his listeners hooked from the beginning and pitched his talk at just the right level using gaeilge agus béarla to ensure everyone got maximum benefit from the sessions. Míle buíochas do na múinteóirí agus na daltaí ó scoileanna na Tulaí agus na Scairbhe as ucht tacú le clár Sheachtain na Gaeilge na bliana seo.

In Memoriam: Barrie Cooke (1931 – 2014)

Born in Cheshire in the UK in 1931, artist Barrie Cooke's love for nature and fishing brought him to County Clare in the early 1950s, where he became inspired by the Sheela-na-gig at Killinaboy Church, not far from where he lived. The Sheela-na-gig became an important theme in his early works and was the subject of a recent thesis by Sonya Ocampo-Gooding. Cooke’s early art was nurtured by the Burren’s barrenness and richness, and he later developed a close connection to writers such as Seamus Heaney and Ted Hughes. Cooke honoured his neighbours’ friendship in his work “Map of Kilnaboy in 1954” (1984) and is remembered by P.J. Curtis as "a good friend, a great artist and a gentleman". The photo above shows Sonya Ocampo-Gooding, Barrie Cooke and Seamus Heaney at the opening of the 2011 exhibit at the Irish Museum of Modern Art celebrating Cooke’s 80th birthday. The paintings in the background were inspired by the Killinaboy Sheela-na-gig. Photo courtesy of Sonya Ocampo-Gooding.

Seán Mac Mathúna 1876-1949: Diarist and Dedicated Recorder of Clare Tradition - a talk by Pádraig Ó Héalaí

The North Clare Historical Society concludes its current lecture series on Monday 24th March with a talk entitled “Seán Mac Mathúna 1876-1949: Diarist and Dedicated Recorder of Clare Tradition” by Pádraig Ó Héalaí.

Seán Mac Mathúna was born 1876 and grew up in Ennistymon where his parents had a pub. The business did not prosper, and when Seán was eight years old, the family moved to their farm at Lúch, Dúlainn. He later moved to his sister’s house where he spent most of his life working on the farm with her husband, Peter Barrett. Séamas Ó Duilearga, Director of the Irish Folklore Commission, visiting the Doolin area in 1929, met Seán, and was so impressed by his interest in folklore that he immediately asked him to set about doing some collecting work.

Seán occupies a very special position among those who collected folklore in County Clare by reason of his own intimate acquaintance with the material, and also because of the extensive range and volume of his collection. His entire work is now held in some 50 volumes in the archives of the Delargy Centre for Irish Folklore at UCD, commonly referred to as the Irish Folklore Collection. These comprise some 11,000 pages written in his own hand, of which a little under 4,000 are diary entries, covering the period from June 1937 to February 1942. This talk will focus to a large extent on the diary entries which offer some fascinating insights into life in North Clare in that period and also reveal interesting aspects of his own personality.

Pádraig Ó Héalaí is retired for some years now from his position as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Irish at NUIG where he specialised in the area of Irish folklore. He has numerous publications on a range of topics in this field especially relating to legends of the supernatural, religious tradition, and rites of passage. The venue is the Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, at 8pm. Admission is €5. The Society would like to hear from any relatives of Seán Mac Mathúna, (Seán Mártin or Johnny McMahon as he was known locally). Contact O86 8493089.

Wednesday 12 March 2014

Scenes from Life in County Clare by James Skerrit

Showreel 2013 from James Skerritt Music by Posted on Vimeo May 2013 by James Skerritt.

Irish Whitewater Race League, Ennistymon Falls

"Event no.2 of the Irish Whitewater Race League took place at Ennistymon Falls in Clare. A super stretch of river with a great crowd and some class weather made it into a savage day." Posted on Youtube on the 10th of March 2014 by Mawd Vidjo Productions.

Horses In The Mist, On The Burren

"Horses In The Mist, On The Burren. This was out on a Galway Mountain Skills 1 Course a couple of weeks ago. Very impressive! More details on our Mountain Skills Courses are here..." Posted on Youtube on the 7th of March 2014 by Outdoors Ireland.

A Minute’s Wait from The Rising of the Moon by John Ford, Kilkee, 1956

Kilkee Extras from the Murphy Hynes Kilkee Collection in Foto, Clare County Library.

Some of the extras from Kilkee who featured in ’A Minute's Wait’, one of three parts that made up John Ford's film ’The Rising of the Moon’. Based on a one-act play by Martin J McHugh, ’A Minute’s Wait’ was partly filmed in Kilkee in 1956 and featured Jimmy O’Dea, Maureen Potter and the West Clare Railway. Some of the film can be viewed here in two parts (con subtítulos en Español):

Monday 10 March 2014

Teen Week 2014 in Shannon and Kilrush

Teen Week 2014 will be celebrated by Clare County Library from the 18th to the 21st of March in Shannon and Kilrush branch libraries. This is the fourth year that the library service has programmed a series of artistic and cultural events exclusively for teenagers. The week serves a dual purpose raising awareness of reading, art and culture among young adults in County Clare and it gives library staff an opportunity to promote its bookstock and electronic resources for this age group.

The programme is supported by teachers and pupils from local second level schools who appreciate the scheduling of a free, week-long festival for second level students at their local library. The same events are scheduled for both branches on alternate days and the response through bookings to date has been very encouraging.

This year’s events include video production workshops, a novel exploration of great literature and hands-on experience of making music through digital technology. More information...

Two debut novelists on Folio Prize shortlist

The winner of the newly established literary prize The Folio Prize will be announced on March 10th. Set up to rival the long-established Man Booker Prize amid claims that the Booker Prize’s focus on ‘readability’ was leading to a ‘dumbing down’ of standards, the founders of the award said that their mission was to “establish a clear and uncompromising standard of excellence” for books. The £40,000 award is the first major books award to consider English language writing from all over the world. It is open to any English language fictional book published in the UK during a given year, regardless of form, genre or the author’s country of origin.

The list is dominated by writers from North America, with five US and one Canadian, Anne Carson, making up the contenders. Jane Gardam is the only English author on the shortlist. The final author is Eimear McBride who was born in Liverpool but grew up in the West of Ireland. Her book A Girl is a Half-formed Thing tells of a young woman's relationship with a brother still afflicted by a childhood brain tumour. Considered too experimental, it took McBride nine years to find a publisher. The other debut novelist on the shortlist is Sergio De La Pava whose book first appeared as a self-published work in 2008.

The eight books in contention for this year’s prize are:
Red Doc by Anne Carson
Schroder by Amity Gaige
Last Friends by Jane Gardam
Benediction by Kent Haruf
The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride
A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava
Tenth of December by George Saunders
The winner of the £40,000 prize will be announced on 10 March.

World Book Day Art Workshop with Alan Shoosmith in Shannon Library

Local artist Alan Shoosmith entertained 29 children from 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes from Gaelscoil Donncha Rua with his World Book Day Art Workshop in Seán Lemass Public Library, Shannon, on Thursday 6th March. The pupils from the Gaelscoil are weekly visitors to the library with their teacher and are particularly keen on the ‘Big Nate’ series of books by Lincoln Pierce. Alan was delighted to show them all how to draw Big Nate and his pals. There was hushed silence from the children while Alan demonstrated how to draw the characters and then there followed a lively discussion amongst the students about drawing and about the Big Nate books. When the workshop was over, one of the students thanked Alan on behalf of the class. They took some of Alan’s drawings back to the school with them and they plan to hang them up in their classroom as a reminder of the fun they had in the library.

Free Computer Classes at Scariff Library

Scariff Public Library's latest computer class just finished its six week course. Participants are pictured with library assistant Samantha Morrissey who runs the classes. They now have their own email and can send and receive messages and also can search for things on the Internet on their own. Classes are ongoing. Ring 061 922893 for more details.

Brian Boru Puppet Show at Kilrush and Scariff Libraries

Over 110 children were entertained at Kilrush Public Library on Friday 7th March with a new interactive production of Brian Boru by Honest Arts Production Company. This 35 minute show brings to life the times of Brian Boru with an entertaining story using artists and puppets. It ties in very well with the commemoration of the 1000th anniversary of the death of Brian Boru.

Scariff Library marked World Book Day with a lively puppet show celebrating the life of Clare’s hero, Brian Boru. Honest Arts Production company presented a wonderful half hour interactive show at Scariff Library. Almost 100 children aged between 9-12 years from Scariff National School, Tuamgraney National School and Whitegate National School attended the event. The show was highly energised and informative, bringing to life the life-story of Brian Boru. Children and teachers alike enjoyed the production

Open The Book art and craft session in Kilkee Library

Krystyna Pomeroy hosted an art and craft session, entitled ‘Open the Book’, in Sweeney Memorial Public Library, Kilkee, recently, in which the children of third and fourth class in Scoil Réalt na Mara, Kilkee, created their own 3D books.

Fun Science Show in Scariff Library

Scariff Public Library hosted a hugely enjoyable “Fun Science Show” on Saturday 1st of March. The event was presented by Dipankar Biswas as part of an initiative run through Clare VEC. Twenty seven children and their parents took part in various experiments including assessing lung capacity using a bottle of water and a straw, along with testing ways to stop a balloon bursting over a flame and also creating a circuit. The show proved an excellent introduction for children to the exciting world of science and discovery.

Friday 7 March 2014

The Blackie O'Connell Band at Corofin Trad Fest 2014

"The Blackie O'Connell Band Friday night at the Corofin Traditional Festival. From your left - Cyril O'Donoghue (my apologies to Cyril - when they added another row of seating in front of me, he became the invisible man - heard but not seen), Siobhan Peoples, Blackie O'Connell, and Damien O'Reilly." Posted on Youtube on the 2nd of March 2014 by Niamhaines. This one's especially for Donna O'Shaughnessy, Illinois, USA.

De Dannan at Corofin Trad Fest 2014

De Dannan performing at the 13th annual Corofin Traditional Festival February 27th, 2014. Posted on Youtube on the 4th of March 2014 by Niamhaines.

Kilfenora Céilí Band rehearses before live audience in Corofin

"The Kilfenora Céilí Band prepares for National Concert Hall and Cork Opera House at the Teach Ceoil, Corofin, County Clare. Tunes: Nora Marshall's Scottische & Kitty's Reels." Posted on Youtube on the 2nd of March 2011 by TheKilfenora.

Winter on Lough Derg

"A short film of Lough Derg and its colours as it prepares for winter. The Jewel of the Shannon is a beautiful and special place and I think you'll agree after watching this." Posted on Youtube on the 4th of December 2013 by clare virtually.

Limerick Sub Aqua Club visits Cameron Creek, Kilkee

Limerick Sub Aqua Club visits "Cameron Creek" in Kilkee. "Summer of 2013 we got out midweek after work. The sea was like a sheet of glass so we hauled it up north past the usual spots and settled next to the blue pool at Cameron Creek. Unforgettable." Posted on Youtube on the 18th of February 2014 by Mike Orth.

Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way

"Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way launches in April 2014, at 2,500 miles it's the world's longest defined coastal touring route. When are you coming to explore?" Posted on Youtube on the 25th of February 2014 by discoverireland.

Great drives: Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland:

"The Wild Atlantic Way is a 1,500-mile route along Ireland's rugged coast. Nick Rufford, editor of Driving, took a 2013 Range Rover Sport across the Irish Sea to try it out and find out what sort of delights can be found along the way." Posted on Youtube on the 24th of October 2013 by Sunday Times Driving.

Thursday 6 March 2014

World Book Day Quick Reads promotion at selected branches of Clare County Library

Image shows the Quick Reads promotion in Kilrush Library.

Each year the Quick Reads organisation commissions big name authors to write short books that are specifically designed to be easy to read. They are the same as mainstream books in every respect but are simply shorter and easier to tackle for adults who are less confident in their reading skills. The books are then sold through major retailers and online booksellers and are loaned from libraries. Clare County Library will have the new 2014 Quick Reads titles available to borrow from branches in Ennis, Ennistymon, Kilrush, Scariff and Shannon to coincide with World Book Day 2014. Anyone who borrows a Quick Reads title from one of these branches on Thursday 6th March, either a new title or one from previous years, will receive a delicious complementary bar of Galaxy chocolate from Galaxy, the sponsors of Quick Reads.

Wednesday 5 March 2014

World Book Day Celebration in Kilrush Library

On Wednesday 5th March, Kilrush Public Library hosted an interactive art and craft session for a class of 17 fourth and fifth class primary school children. Artist Krystyna Pomeroy, who specialises in paper sculpture, instructed the children on various papier mache techniques and together they created wonderful 3D designs called ‘Open a Book’. These beautiful creations are currently on display at Kilrush Public Library.

The Changing Face of Memorials in Western Ireland

O’Curry Monument, Doonaha from the Schorman Collection, Foto, Clare County Library.

As their Building of the Month for March, the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage is examining the Changing Face of Memorials in Western Ireland. A study of these public memorials by Eduard Krakhmalnikov looks at how we collectively remember, how the forms of memorials have evolved since the nineteenth century and what that evolution tells us about the place of public memory within the contemporary condition. The O’Connell Monument in Ennis and the O’Curry Monument in Doonaha are two of the memorials included in the article. The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage collection of photographs covering County Clare can be viewed in Foto here.

Monday 3 March 2014

World Book Day celebrations in Clare’s libraries

World Book Day is a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

This is the 17th year there’s been a World Book Day, and on 6th March 2014 children of all ages will come together to appreciate reading. The main aim of World Book Day in the UK and Ireland is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books and reading. To celebrate the day Clare County Library has added a number of events to its outreach programme for children.

Clare artists Alan Shoosmith and Krystyna Pomeroy will host workshops on book-based themes in Kilrush, Kilkee, Shannon and Ennis libraries.

Author Maria Burke is from Cork. She is a writer, radio presenter and artist. She worked as a primary school teacher for some years and her love of story telling started there. Her fantasy novel for young readers, The Ark of Dun Ruah, was published by Currach Press in November 2012 and was followed to her readers’ delight by the second book in the series, Protectors of the Flame in October 2013. Maria will share her stories and bring her love of reading and now writing for children to schoolchildren in Killaloe and Scariff Libraries on the 7th of March.

Shane Casey is bio-diversity officer with Clare County Council and is also the author of Nature’s Secret Adventures, a beautiful new publication for children, telling of the most amazing adventures that happen to the most ordinary creatures that live all around us. On World Book Day Shane will give two talks about his book and the animals whose adventures inspire his stories to primary school children in Miltown Malbay and Ennistymon. Clare County Library invites children from nearby schools to come along and find out all you need to know about the lives of the creatures with whom you share your garden, school grounds and local parks.

Family Reading Programme at Scariff Library

The Family Reading Programme aims to bring the tradition of reading into local crèches/playschools. It is hoped that by getting young children interested in books early in their development, reading will become a fundamental part of their lives. Scariff Public Library staff member Aileen McDonagh visits crèches/playschools in the local area once a week for a number of weeks for a story time session, and each crèche class visits the library on the final week for a fun story time party. The children are introduced to a variety of different children’s picture books in a fun and colourful way and parents are welcome to attend the party at the library for the final session. The programme is free of charge.

National Tree Week 2nd - 8th March 2014

National Tree Week runs from March 2nd to 8th 2014. To find out about the trees most suited to growing in County Clare, see
Buds of the Banner: a guide to growing native trees and shrubs in Clare by Clare County Council and Rural Resource Development Ltd.

Other books about Irish trees include:
Trees of Ireland: native and naturalized by E.Charles Nelson and Wendy F. Walsh;
Meetings with remarkable trees by Thomas Pakenham;
Flora Hibernica: the wild flowers, plants and trees of Ireland by Jonathan Pilcher and Valerie Hall;
Native trees & forests of Ireland by David Hickie;
Irish trees: myths, legends & folklore by Niall Mac Coitir.

Oscar win for 12 Years a Slave

The film 12 Years a Slave has won the Best Picture Oscar, the Best Supporting Actress Award and the Best Adapted Screenplay Award at the 86th Academy Awards. Based on the 1853 memoir of the same name by Solomon Northup, the book, Twelve Years a Slave, presents a shocking first-hand account of one man’s remarkable fight for freedom after 12 years of slavery. Born a free man, Northup was kidnapped and sold into slavery in pre-civil war Louisiana. This narrative reveals how Northup survived the harsh conditions of slavery, including smallpox, lashings, and an attempted hanging. His account describes the daily life of slaves in Louisiana, their diet and living conditions and the relationship between master and slave. A bestseller upon its release, the book then fell into obscurity before being rediscovered by a Louisiana historian.