Thursday 21 August 2014

The Boruma Trio at Feakle Festival 2014

The Boruma Trio featuring Eileen O’Brien, Geraldine Cotter and Andrew MacNamara at Feakle Festival 2014, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 17th of August 2014 by Feakle Festival.

Dancing on the street, Willie Clancy Festival 2014

"A street session with the mighty Antóin Mac Gabhann (aka Tony Smith) is certainly one of the highlights of the Week. Here Tony is joined by the likes of Marcas Ó Murchú on flute, Eoin O'Neill on bouzouki - and a lovely half set of dancers (including Angela Crotty). Miltown Malbay, County Clare, July 2014, during the Willie Clancy Summer School." Posted on Youtube on the 8th of August 2014 by Memories of Willie Week.

The Cliffs of Moher from the air

The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, filmed "with a DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ quadcopter on August 18th, 2014." Posted on Youtube on the 18th of August 2014 by Wiebe de Jager.

Planning your visit to the Cliffs of Moher

"This video provides information on how best to plan your visit to the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. It may be of particular interest to those with accessibility concerns." Posted on Youtube on the 26th August 2013 by Cliffs of Moher Experience.

Ocean diving in Quilty, County Clare, June 2014

"A weekend of diving with Oceandivers in Quilty, County Clare, Ireland." Posted on Youtube on the 16th of June 2014 by Aquavidify.

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Rediscover your heritage with Clare County Library during Heritage Week 2014

2014 is the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family at the United Nations and to celebrate The Heritage Council has adopted the theme of ‘Family…generations exploring heritage together’ for National Heritage Week 2014. Each year, during the last week of August, many national and local community organisations participate in National Heritage Week by running events throughout the country. The programme highlights the abundance of great work that is carried out in all communities in Ireland to preserve and promote our natural, built and cultural heritage. Heritage Week is co-ordinated by the Heritage Council with support from the Department of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Fáilte Ireland and, in Clare, Clare County Council.

There are over 75 events planned by various organisations in County Clare to celebrate the week, which runs from the 23rd-31st August, and Clare County Library is proud to count itself among them again this year. Gerry Kennedy of the Clare Roots Society will visit the De Valera Public Library in Ennis on Tuesday 26th August at 7pm and Sean Lemass Public Library in Shannon on Wednesday 27th August at 1pm to give talkson genealogy with Q&A afterwards.

Members of Cuimhneamh an Chláir, the Clare Oral History and Folklore Group, will host events entitled ‘Come here ‘til I tell ya’ in Kilrush Public Library on Wednesday 27th August at 6.30pm and in Kilfinaghty Public Library, Sixmilebridge on Thursday 28th August at 6.30pm. Cuimhneamh an Chláir aims to record, document, archive and share the memories and experiences of County Clare's older population. Over 600 people from County Clare have been recorded so far. These events will feature a series of audio recordings from people of Kilrush and surrounding areas and Sixmilebridge and surrounding areas respectively.

Killaloe Public Library is delighted to host a talk by Nigel Beers Smith on Wednesday 27th August at 7pm. Nigel will give a fascinating insight into the Mountshannon eagles. Younger fans of all things winged will also be catered for in Killaloe with story time, games and a craft session focusing on bats on Tuesday 26th August from 2.30pm. This event is aimed at children aged 4-8. Many more of Clare County Library’s branches will also have special story times and book displays for children, all themed to mark Heritage Week. You can contact your local branch for details.

On Saturday 30th August Tulla Public Library will open at 10am especially to host a genealogy workshop. Staff member Ann McNamara will host this workshop which will provide an opportunity to learn more about getting started on researching your family tree and what resources are available at the library.

All library events are free of charge and everyone is welcome, so be sure to take this opportunity for the whole family to discover and enjoy your heritage and history. Details of events can be found at or or by phoning 065 6846350.

Craft making at Kilrush Library continues

This week twenty four children participated in the Summer Craft Programme at Kilrush Public Library. A mixture of colourful book marks containing flowers made from felt and other embellishments were created, together with fridge magnets and boxes made from lollypop sticks. The children really enjoyed the workshops and were delighted to take home their own hand made crafts with them.

Tuesday 19 August 2014

The singing will never be done: Tom Munnelly, Collected Essays and Lectures, 1990 – 2007

The singing will never be done: Tom Munnelly, Collected Essays and Lectures, 1990 – 2007 (Old Kilfarboy Society, 2014)

The Munnelly family, together with the Old Kilfarboy Society, is delighted to announce the launch of a comprehensive, edited collection of essays and lectures by Tom Munnelly. Largely previously unpublished, the range of articles gathered within the pages of this volume are a testament to the life’s work of Tom, a titan of folksong collection in twentieth century Ireland. This book is a treasure trove of insight and interpretation for singers and non-singers alike and makes a valuable contribution to the scholarship of English language song in Ireland in particular.

Tom Munnelly was born in Dublin but spent much of his life living in Miltown Malbay, County Clare. He worked as a full-time song collector with the Department of Folklore in UCD, was chairman of the Willie Clancy Summer School for a number of years, a member of the Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon from 1985 to 1988, and was also a founder member of the Ennistymon Festival of Traditional Singing

Rionach uí Ógáin, Director of the National Folklore Collection, UCD, describes Tom’s life in song: ‘Tom viewed traditional song in the general landscape of Irish culture, in the broadest sense. He shared his wisdom in relation to all his areas of interest, of the seventeenth century ballad tradition, of twentieth- century folklore collecting or of twenty-first century academic research in folkloristics, with enthusiasm and ease. At the core of his output as collector, lecturer and scholar was his passion for song’.

Corofin’s Eugene Macnamara , The Maverick Irish Priest and the Race to Seize California

‘El Proyecto Macnamara’: The Maverick Irish Priest and the Race to Seize California 1844-1846 by John Fox, published by Irish Academic Press, 2014.

This is the story of Eugene Macnamara, a maverick young priest from County Clare who sought to establish a colony for Irish families in the 1840s in Alta California, Mexico’s far north-western territory. Had the ’10,000 ready volunteers from Limerick, Clare and Cork’ of whom he boasted, actually arrived, a ‘New Ennis’, ‘New Clare’ or ‘New Ireland’ could have been born. His scheme failed when the US seized California in 1846. Macnamara’s life spanned half the globe and was dramatic: expulsion from a Paris seminary, a dash to Rome from Guiana to expose a convulsing mission, a year in revolutionary Mexico, two months in threatened California (backed by the Royal Navy) and asylum in Mexico City during the Mexican War, 1846-8. He followed it all with a ‘Macnamara Scheme II’ in Chile.

Eugene Macnamara was born circa 1814 in Baunkyle, Corofin, County Clare. In the period immediately before Catholic Emancipation in Ireland he left County Clare and studied for the priesthood in the Irish College in Paris, at a time of revolution and change in the French capital. Duly ordained, he served in ministry in the Kilkee – Doonbeg parish under Father Michael Comyn, and then at Borrisokane in County Tipperary, within the Diocese of Killaloe. In Tipperary, he took the temperance pledge from Father Theobold Mathew. He left Borrisokane following an allegation of a sexual misdemeanour under an exeat from the Bishop of Killaloe and proceeded to British Guiana in South America. There too he encountered difficulties with parishioners who petitioned that Macnamara report to the pope in Rome. En route, he disembarked in Mexico.

His arrival in Mexico, 1844, was at a time of tension between North America’s landlords, Mexico, the US and Britain. His 1846 licence to settle 20,000 square miles with 15,000 settlers, was formalised by Mexico in 1847 and even qualified for a US hearing in 1852, but it was not appealed. British diplomats, merchants and bondholders supported him. When US President Polk learned of El Proyecto Macnamara he acted immediately to stop any British colonising in North America. In Washington, Macnamara personified at the highest levels a political and commercial conspiracy between Britain and Mexico against the US. This biography is the compelling story of this ‘international’ Irishman and his lingering aftermath.

More info...

Thursday 14 August 2014

Over 25,000 images now online in Foto

The number of images in Clare County Library's online photographic collection has now exceeded 25,000. The collections cover people, family albums, archaeological sites, buildings and graveyard inscriptions. We would like to thank all those who have contributed photograph and collections, and who have identified people and places in the photos. All photographs of which the library has copyright can be downloaded for personal use from the website.

The photo above, from the O’Callaghan-Westropp Collection, shows members of the Free State army (with bouquets attached to their bicycles) on patrol in the grounds of Moyriesk House, Clooney after the kidnapping of Mrs Geraldine Crowe by local people during the Civil War, following a dispute over grazing rights.

Tony Smith plays the Bohola Jig, street session, Willie Clancy Festival 2014

"Antóin Mac Gabhann (aka Tony Smith) playing an old version of the Bohola Jig with Marcas Ó Murchú at a street session. Pure beauty. Miltown Malbay, County Clare, July 2014, during the Willie Clancy Summer School." Posted on Youtube on the 8th of August 2014 by Memories of Willie Week.

Tommy Browne dancing in Cree, County Clare

"Tommy Browne (79) dancing in this home in Cree, County Clare, August 11th 2014. His son Kieran & granddaughter Emma also in view. Music on concertina: Caitlin Nic Gabhann. Reels: the Bucks of Oranmore & Lucky in Love. This is a style of Clare battering practiced by older men in the county. Others who dance in this style: Willie Keane (RIP), Ollie Conway (RIP), Aidan Vaughan, John Murphy, Paddy King (RIP)." Posted on Youtube on the 13th of August 2014 by Caitlín Nic Gabhann.

Féile Cnoc na Gaoithe, Tulla Comhaltas Cultural Centre, TG4

"Weekend music festival at end of June in Tulla, County Clare, with special emphasis on the fiddle. Cnoc na Gaoithe, the Tulla Comhaltas Cultural Centre, is the 17th Comhaltas Cultural Centre in Ireland. Our mission is to promote, preserve and showcase the rich Irish traditions and culture of the Tulla and the East Clarearea. The centre is situated in the heartland of East Clare, on top of the famous Hill of Tulla, an area renowned for traditional Irish music, song and dance. The name Cnoc na Gaoithe translates in English as the Windswept Hill, made famous by the late Kerry man Bryan MacMahon in his song "Lament for Tommy Daly" in praise of the great Tulla and Clare goalkeeper, Dr. Tommy Daly." Posted on Youtube on the 12th of July 2014 by TG COA.

All Little Angels Now by Terence O’Flaherty

Terence O’Flaherty’s mother, aunts and uncles were orphans, the girls attending the Convent of Mercy Orphanage in Ennis. Terence has written this poignant song in their memory accompanied by the evocative use of photographs - some from the Michael John Glynne Collection on Clare County Library’s website. Terence O’Flaherty was born in Ennistymon and moved to England in the early 1970s for work. Terence sang and played in Gus O’Connor’s pub in Doolin and used to sing with Gerry Egan in Murt McMahon’s pub in Ennistymon. He has played all over England in traditional Irish bands and also in Europe and America. He has released two albums in recent years - Crosscurrents in Ireland and Ghosts in England and is about to release two more albums. Terence is now a building contractor in London. Posted on Youtube on the 13th of August 2014 by turlach10.

You Won't Miss Me When I'm Gone - Peter Dooley & Catherine O'Halloran

Ennis-based Peter Dooley & Catherine O'Halloran with Peter's composition You Won't Miss Me When I'm Gone. "Recorded, mixed and mastered at Paul Hayes Studios, Ennis. Guitars and drums also by Paul Hayes. Video by Gerry Doyle. Filmed at Dhá Láimh Theatre, Ennis. Words and Music ©Peter Dooley 2014. Video ©Ginger Jam Music 2014. Big thanks to Eoin O'Neill." Posted on Youtube on the 27th of May 2014 by Gerry Doyle.

Scattery Island Festival, July 2014

"This video is about a festival held (July 27th 2014) on Scattery Island - an island in the Shannon Estuary between Clare and Kerry just off Kilrush. This is amateur footage/audio recording stitched together in a hurry but I hope if gives a sense of the occasion." Posted on Youtube on the 10th of August 2014 by buckwar.

The Cliffs of Moher from the sea

Posted on Youtube on the 6th of August 2014 by Douglas Lemos.

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Art Workshop in Kilrush Library

Twenty-four Primary School children took part in this week’s art workshop in Kilrush Public Library. They created beautiful colourful designs on cotton bags using acrylic paints. Every child took home their work and some children are going to use their new bags for their library books - what a great idea!

Monday 11 August 2014

Niall Williams on Booker longlist with History of the Rain

History of the Rain by Niall Williams has been chosen as one of the 13 titles on the 2014 Man Booker Prize longlist. The prize is one of the world's most important literary awards and has the power to transform the fortunes of authors and publishers. Born in Dublin, Niall Williams has lived in Kiltumper, County Clare, for the past 30 years. He is the author of eight novels, three stage plays, four non-fiction works and several screenplays. History of the Rain tells the story of the bedridden daughter of a dead poet trying to find her father through stories - and through generations of family history in County Clare. Williams and his wife, author Christine Breen, are holding a creative writing workshop in Kiltumper on the October bank holiday weekend. For further details see

The shortlist for the 2014 Man Booker Prize will be announced on Tuesday, September 9 with the winner of the £50,000 prize announced on Tuesday October 14. For the full longlist see:

Friday 8 August 2014

Alec Finn, Noel Hill, Tony Linnane, Eamonn McGivney and Sean Talty on Geantraí in 1997

Alec Finn, with County Clare's Noel Hill, Tony Linnane, Eamonn McGivney and Sean Talty on the TV programme Geantraí in 1997. Posted on Youtube on the 14th of May 2014 by MRBGS57.

The Brock Maguire Band, Riches Of Clare Concert May 2014

The Brock Maguire Band playing at The Riches of Clare lunchtime concert on the 28th of May 2014. Posted on Youtube on the 7th of June 2014 by Niamhaines.

Interview with Kilfenora Céilí Band at Westport Festival

"Interview with the Kilfenora Céilí Band as part of MPS Goes To... Westport Festival!" Posted on Youtube on the 28th of June 2014 by DCU MPS.

Canoe Sailing in Kilkee, County Clare

Canoe Sailing in Kilkee, County Clare - Waterman 16 Canoe. Posted on Youtube on the 19th of July 2014 by Niamh Hickey.

Concertina Cruinniú - Oidhreacht an Chláir

A TG4 news report featuring the 2nd Annual Concertina Cruinniú, in Miltown Malbay, County Clare, organised by Oidhreact an Chláir, a local community group whose aim is to foster and promote the Irish traditional arts in their native environment. Posted on Youtube on the 3rd of August 2014 by TG COA.

The Goats of Lahinch Golf Club

"The goats of Lahinch Golf Club create a unique atmostphere on this famous championship links course. This video was shot during this years South of Ireland Golf Championship. Video by Dan Linehan." Posted on Youtube on the 28th of July 2014 by irishexaminer.

Aerial footage of Woodcock Hill in County Clare

"Some aerial footage of Woodcock Hill in County Clare." The Irish Aviation Authority has a radar unit on the top which includes two rather interesting looking white dome-shaped structures. More... Posted on Youtube on the 29th of July 2014 by Kestrel Aerial.

Thursday 7 August 2014

Clare County Library celebrates Tolkien Festival

The second Burren Tolkien Society Festival is set to run from 15th-24th August 2014 and Clare County Library is delighted to lend its support. This unique gathering is a celebration of the eerie beauty of the Burren area, which is believed to have been a considerable influence on J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic novel ‘The Lord of the Rings’. The untamed, rugged local landscape, including a cave known as Poll na gColm, as well as elements of Irish mythology, may have provided inspiration for Tolkien’s creation of Middle Earth.

Ennistymon Public Library and Lisdoonvarna Public Library in North Clare will host events to celebrate the festival throughout the week. Coimicí Gael will be attending Ennistymon Library on Friday the 15th of August at 2.40pm, offering an hour long workshop for Tolkien fans to draw fantasy illustrations. Workshop facilitator, illustrator and founder of Coimicí Gael, Aidan Courtney will take participants through how to draw elves, orcs & hobbits as well as other fantastical creatures and will encourage participants to draw their favourite scenes from either 'The Hobbit' or 'The Lord of the Rings' during the latter half of the session. The fun workshop welcomes anyone aged between 11 and 14 years with an interest in reading and drawing to take part. A maximum of 25 places are available so book early by phoning Ennistymon Library on 065-7071245.

Beginning on Saturday 16th August and continuing through to Saturday 23rd August Ennistymon Public Library will have a Tolkien Exhibition on display with free viewing during opening hours. The launch of the exhibition will take place at 10.30am on Saturday 16th August. The launch will be followed at 10.45am by a brief talk entitled ‘Why read Tolkien’ by Seamus Ryan, a Clare County Library staff member. Seamus will read extracts from Tolkien as part of the talk. This will conclude at 11.15am. There will also be a Tolkien book display in the library throughout the week which the public can view and/or borrow from during opening hours. A Tolkien book display will feature in Lisdoonvarna Library as well.

On Wednesday 20th August Ennistymon Library will be transformed into a movie theatre when it puts on a screening of ‘The Hobbit: the desolation of Smaug’ (Rating 12A). The film starts at 2pm and running time is 2 hours 35 minutes. This is a free event and all are welcome. Also throughout the week you can test your knowledge of all things Tolkien by picking up a Tolkien-themed quiz sheet at any branch of Clare County Library. The lucky winner of the quiz, who will receive a €50 book token, will be announced in Ennistymon Library on Saturday 23rd August. So, whether you are a Tolkien expert or a newcomer to the genre, there is a plethora of events to keep you enthralled during this festival. Library events are just part of a wide programme of events organised by the Burren Tolkien Society. The festival is also supported by the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark. Information on library events and opening hours of the North Clare branches can be found at and information on all events is available at

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Art and Craft sessions continue at Kilrush Library

More than twenty children were entertained at Kilrush Public Library again this week with the ongoing Summer Craft activities. This week some children created a range of beautiful hand made cards, while more children made pretty boxes from lolly pop sticks and then decorated the covers of the boxes with decopatch. A fun time was enjoyed by all. The Art and Craft Programme will continue at the library every Tuesday morning for the duration of the Summer holidays. Booking is necessary by phoning the library at 065 9051504.

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Clare to host 75 events during National Heritage Week - 23rd to 31st August 2014

Co-ordinated by Clare County Council and The Heritage Council with support from the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and Fáilte Ireland, the annual initiative will once again focus on Clare’s built, natural & cultural heritage. Some of the highlights of Heritage Week 2014 include a commemoration of the life of submarine inventor and Liscannor native John P Holland, a tour of towerhouses around Shannon Town, a lecture on the life of Kilrush-born Boer War General Sir Thomas Kelly-Kenny, a Victorian Heritage Walk around Kilkee, a tour of Lisdoonvarna's famous restorative waters, and a recital of traditional Irish tunes on the uilleann pipes by Matt Horsely at Ennis Friary. The centenary of the outbreak of World War I is also being marked with a lecture by historian Cormac O’Comhrai on life in Ireland during the Great War, while Killaloe will also be marking the millennial anniversary of the death of one of its most famous citizens, Brian Ború. Meanwhile, annual festivals such as the Tulla Week of Welcomes and the Dan Furey Weekend in Labasheeda are holding heritage events as part of the weeklong celebration. Heritage Week is part of European Heritage Days, a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union. Download the free "National Heritage Week" App for iPhone or Android smartphones at For further information contact Congella McGuire, Heritage Officer, Clare County Council, New Road, Ennis, County Clare, Tel: 065-6846408 Email:

Friday 1 August 2014

Magic in Mullagh - The Pipers Gather

"For the last ten years on the Monday of "Willie Clancy Week" talented pipers gather and create magic... I heard about this and felt the urge to make a film! It was a magical evening in Mullagh in the heart of County Clare." Posted on Youtube on the 31st of july 2014 by The Filmik Fairy.

Survey of Churches and Graveyards Collection - complete collection of photos now online

All of the photographs from the Survey of Churches and Graveyards in County Clare have been added to the online photographic collection, with a total of 1,872 images now online. This collection is a photographic record of the medieval churches of County Clare and their graveyards. The photographs are part of “A Church and Graveyard Survey in County Clare” carried out by the late archaeologist and colleague Simon Large for Clare County Council. The survey was an action under the Clare Heritage Plan and provides a clear picture of the state of County Clare’s medieval churches in 2011. The photographs record in detail the walls of each structure, inside and out – wherever possible – and show their overall condition as well as recording items of particular interest such as doorways, windows and other architectural features. The condition of any associated graveyards is also recorded.

Films, Fire Engines and Fun at Scariff Library

Scariff Public Library’s Children’s Summer Programme got off to a start on Monday 21st July with artist Grace Burton who put on a lovely puppet show of The Frog Prince for 3-8 year olds. Then the children made their own felt picture based on the show. On Tuesday afternoon children had a real cinema experience at Scariff Library as they watched Despicable Me 2 on the big screen. There was the added treat of freshly made popcorn and drinks for the movie watchers. Later that evening teenagers explored their creative side with a jam jar decoration workshop with specialist glass paints. They produced some very beautiful colourful jars and enjoyed thinking up original patterns for their jars. On Wednesday it was the turn of the younger children to get crafty. Three to six year olds made and decorated bright and colourful sunflowers and were thrilled with the final product. Thursday morning children were very excited about the annual trip to Scariff Fire Station. They had such fun trying out the hoses and getting into the fire engines and the visit was topped off with treats provided by the fire station. Everyone wanted to be a fireman or woman in the end! It was definitely a visit to remember. Later in the afternoon children revelled in the noisy balloon twisting workshop and went away with their own dog, octopus and flower balloon creations. The week of fun for Scariff children came to an end with a comic strip workshop with Aidan Courtney. He showed a rapt group of 8-12 year olds how to create their own cartoon characters, write a script and put it all together to make their own comic strip. Children and parents alike were very happy with all the events and appreciated the variety and quality of the activities.