Friday 28 November 2014

Martin Hayes - We Need to Talk About Ireland

County Clare's Martin Hayes speaks & performs to a live audience at We Need to Talk About Ireland. This event was produced by The Trailblazery at The Round Room, The Mansion House, Dublin, Ireland on March 17 2014. Posted on Youtube on the 11th of November 2014 by The Trailblazery Ireland.

Kirsten Allstaff, John Joe Kelly & Eoin O'Neill play tunes from Gallowglas

County Clare based Kirsten Allstaff plays some music from her new album Galloglass with John Joe kelly and Eoin O'Neill. "The album is a blend of Irish and Scottish music played on the wooden flute featuring some of the finest musicians in the tradition - John Joe Kelly, Eoin O'Neill, Mhairi Hall, Jean Damei and others." Posted on Youtube on the 23rd of November 2014 by irishmusicacademy.

Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards

The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards were presented recently at a ceremony at the Hilton Hotel, Dublin. Highlights from the night will be broadcast on RTÉ One on Saturday 29th November 2014. Debut novelists fared well in the awards with Mary Costello winning the Novel of the Year award for Academy Street. Liz Nugent was awarded the Ireland AM Crime Book of the Year award for her psychological thriller Unravelling Oliver with Louise O’Neill being awarded the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year for her novel Only Ever Yours. Cecelia Ahern’s The Year I Met You was chosen as the Popular Fiction Book of the Year.

The Life and Loves of a He Devil by Graham Norton was named the National Book Tokens Non-Fiction Book of the Year. Rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll’s autobiography The Test scooped the Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year, beating Roy Keane’s The Second Half. The RTÉ Radio 1’s John Murray Show Listeners’ Choice Award was won by Majella O’Donnell for her autobiography It’s All in the Head. Other non-fiction award winners were Neven Maguire and Thomas Morris. The Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year junior award was won by Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton. The senior award was won by Moone Boy by Chris O’Dowd and Nick Vincent Murphy.

All of the winning books are now entered into a competition to decide the Bord Gáis Energy Book of the Year. The public are asked to vote for their favourite by going to and the winner will be announced on December 5th.

Children’s Books of the Year

The Specsavers Children’s Books of the Year were announced recently at the Irish Book Awards.

Chris Haughton’s Shh! We Have A Plan won the Junior Children’s Book of the Year and Moone Boy by Chris O’Dowd and Nick Vincent Murphy won the Senior Category.

Shh! We Have A Plan is instantly recognisable to fans of this picture book creator whose previous two titles are also award-winners. The words are spare and simple and the illustrations combining collage and silhouette combine to produce a book that should be compulsory for all toddlers and their parents.

Moone Boy is the book on which the sitcom of the same name is based. Chris O’Dowd’s book is semi-autobiographical and focuses on a young boy's life growing up in Boyle, Co. Roscommon in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. A fun read for older children and young teens.

Sur les chemins de Burren

"Dans le cadre d'un voyage linguistique et culturel qui a eu lieu du 15 avril au 21 avril 2014, des classes de 3e du Collège Jules Simon sont allés en Irlande. Direction Burren, un plateau karstique désertique situé au nord-ouest du Comté de Clare et dont la visite avait pour objectif pédagogique d'observer et de comprendre la mise en place de ces figures d'érosion et leurs conséquences en profondeur." Posted on Youtube on the 20th of November 2014 by College Jules Simon.

The first European Skatewave skatepark opens in Ennis, County Clare, in 2007

"The first European Skatewave skatepark opens in Ireland in Ennis, County Clare [in 2007]. The problem of skateboarders skating on the streets and car parks has disappeared since opening and it continues to draw in riders from outside Ennis and across County Clare." Posted on Youtube on the 17th of November 2014 by Lanscape Structures Inc. Se also

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Shortlist for the 2014 Costa Children’s Book Award

The Costa Book Awards is one of the UK's most prestigious and popular literary prizes and recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year, written by authors based in the UK and Ireland. The prize has five categories - First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book - with one of the five winning books selected as the overall Costa Book of the Year. It is the only prize which places children’s books alongside adult books in this way.

The books shortlisted for the Children’s Award are:
Running Girl
by Simon Mason (David Fickling Books)
Listen to the Moon
by Michael Morpurgo (Harper Collins Children’s Books)
Five Children on the Western Front
by Kate Saunders (Faber & Faber)
The Ghosts of Heaven
by Marcus Sedgwick (Indigo)

The winners will be announced in January 2015.

Patrick O'Brien, "The Limerick Piper" (1844)

Joseph Patrick Haverty (1794-1854) was an Irish figure painter, portraitist and illustrator from Co. Galway best known for his lithograph ‘The Limerick Piper’ which now hangs in the National Gallery of Ireland. The picture actually portrays Patrick O'Brien, a blind piper from a prosperous farming family in Labasheeda, County Clare. Read more about the picture and its subject in our People of Clare section here...

Goosebumps – The Movie

The first ever Goosebumps film will be released in August 2015. Goosebumps is the second best selling series of all time surpassed only by Harry Potter. 21 Goosebumps titles will be re-issued next year and the new covers will be updated versions of the originals.

Costa Book Awards 2014

20 books have been shortlisted for the 2014 Costa Book Awards. There are 5 award categories - biography, novel, first novel, poetry and children’s books - the winners of which will be announced on January 5th. On January 27th an overall winner will be chosen from the five category award winners. Last year's top prize went to The Shock of the Fall by debut novelist Nathan Filer.

Colm Tóibín’s Nora Webster is one of the shortlisted books in the Novel category. Toibin’s Brooklyn won the 2009 award. Academy Street by Mary Costello from Galway has been shortlisted for the First Novel category. It follows Tess from her childhood in the west of Ireland through her relocation to America and her life there, concluding with a moving re-encounter with her Irish family after forty years of exile.

For the full listing of shortlisted books see:

Friday 21 November 2014

Newmarket-on-Fergus Parish graveyard transcriptions online

Five graveyards in the Catholic Parish of Newmarket-on-Fergus have been added to our online Graveyard Inscriptions recently. The graveyards were originally transcribed in the late 1990s by Pat Carrig for OBAIR Newmarket-on-Fergus. Canon Reuben Butler of that parish kindly lent the original notebooks to Clare County Library for transcribing. The graveyards are Clonloghan, Drumline, Fenloe, Kilconry, and Kilmaleery. Transcriptions of headstones in Bunratty Graveyard, also in Newmarket-on Fergus Parish, were posted earlier, and was donated by the Clare Roots Society. The image above is of Fenloe Graveyard.

Thursday 20 November 2014

Launch of Safe Ireland’s Man Up Campaign & Exhibition at De Valera Library, Ennis

Senator Tony Mulcahy will launch Safe Ireland’s Man Up Campaign on behalf of the Clare Local Area Network on Violence against Women in the De Valera Public Library, Ennis at 6pm on Tuesday 25th November. Men in particular are being asked to attend the launch to show their support to women and children who experience domestic abuse and to the services that support them directly. Women of course are very welcome and encouraged to attend also! The Man Up Campaign was launched nationally on 22nd October by Lyn Rosenthal (White House Advisor on Violence against Women) and Ryan Tubridy. The Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice have both given their support to this campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness that domestic and sexual abuse is not just a women’s issue but one that both women and men need to address. More information is available at The exhibition will be on display and available for viewing during opening hours in the De Valera Public Library from the 24th-28th November 2014.

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Diversity - Creating Community Well-Being Conference, Ennis

To celebrate the International Human Rights day 2014, Intercultural and Diversity Education Centre - Ireland (IDEC-Ireland) will host its fifth conference in the 'Humanising Rights and Responsibilities Series' on Wednesday the 10th December 2014 in Cois na hAbhna, Gort Rd, Ennis, County Clare. 10am to 3.30pm.

The theme of the 2014 IDEC-Ireland Conference, Diversity - Creating Community Well-Being, highlights the importance of diversity within society, recognising its value, its potential to influence everyone's life in a positive way and its capacity to create well-being in communities.

IDEC - Ireland members are: Clare Intercultural Network; Clare Women's Network; Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission; Ennis Community Development Project; University of Limerick; Educational Disadvantage Centre, St Patrick's College; Community Knowledge Initiative, National University of Ireland, Galway; Galway County Intercultural Forum; Galway County Council.

To register, please go to the following link:

Monday 17 November 2014

Be a Champion for Clare County Library!

Clare County Library is launching a ‘Library Champions’ project. Clare Library Champions are people who love their libraries and want to be in the know about library events and activities. Anyone can become a library champion… you just have to love and use libraries! We are hoping over the next few months to build a list of people who are willing to share with us, and with the public, how important libraries are to us all. We will be inviting applications from our patrons, and their families and friends, to become library champions.

Becoming a Library Champion is very straightforward! All you need to do is write a short paragraph on what it is you love about libraries, or how libraries have helped you in your life. We would also invite you to provide us with a photograph of yourself in one of our library branches or with a literary theme, e.g. enjoying a book in your favourite reading place. We then plan to put the short piece you have written on our website, along with your photo if you submit one. We may also use this material in the local press or as part of a library exhibition. You can submit your piece at your local branch library or email it to using the subject “Library Champions”.

The aim of this project is to champion libraries and promote them as a place for all; a place where everyone is welcome and can avail of equal opportunities, regardless of age, gender, race, class or education. We want people to be aware of the library as being their resource and their gateway to knowledge, leisure and pleasure. We hope you will join us in spreading that message.

'Move It' Science Show at Shannon Library

The children fron St. Aidan's National School and Gaelscoil Donncha Rua were enthralled by the 'Move It' Science Show at Seán Lemass Public Library, Shannon. Scientist Paul had no shortage of volunteers including Muinteoir Muireann! The fast moving show explored the forces that are so important in allowing us to move. One girl was hoovercrafted across the floor to the amazement of her class friends while another boy inflated marshmallows using the pressure of air. The library was a hive of activity during the 60 minute science interactive event. It may well have inspired some future scientists...

Friday 14 November 2014

The Trí-Tones at Ennis Trad 21 Festival

"The Trí-Tones at Ennis Trad 21 Festival at The Old Ground Hotel, Ennis, County Clare on the 9th of November 2014. This was filmed at the CD launch of the self titled album "The Trí-Tones". The Trí-Tones are: Conor Moriarty - button accordion; Tara Breen - fiddle; Stephen Rooney - Guitar and vocals. They have been All Ireland champions at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann over the years. Also guesting: Ciara McCrickard - Vocals; Eamon Rooney - Bodhran." Posted on Youtube on the 11th of November 2014 by PRAK14.

Farewell to Miltown Malbay sung by Tom Lenihan

Farewell to Miltown Malbay sung by the late Tom Lenihan from Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 5th of November 2014 by Tom Lenihan - Topic.

Mad Professor Science Show at Miltown Malbay Library

An educational and fun filled show dealing with various aspects of science using everyday household objects and products was enjoyed by local schoolchildren attending the Dr. Patrick J. Hillery Public Library, Miltown Malbay ,on the 12th of November to celebrate Science Week. 39 children from 3rd class upwards revelled in a lively show hosted by an enthusiastic Mad Scientist, aka Niall O’Dwyer. The children were totally amazed by all the experiments that were performed and were extremely willing participants. Niall had maximum audience attention and participation and took care to choose a different child to help with each task. The show was very educational, yet was delivered in a fun filled way that was appealing to children. Teachers attending were delighted to be invited to such a worthwhile event at their local library.

Noel O'Donoghue, Hugh Healy & Damien O'Reilly - Riches of Clare CD launch

"Noel O'Donoghue, Hugh Healy & Damien O'Reilly perform at the launch of Riches of Clare CD Volume 2, Ennis Trad 21, 2014." Posted on Youtube on the 11th of November 2014 by bflatflute.

2014 Science Book Prize

Mark Miodownik’s Stuff Matters has won the 2014 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. 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.

Subtitled The Strange Stories of the Marvellous Materials that Shape Our Man-made World, Miodownik entertainingly examines the materials he encounters in a typical morning, from the steel in his razor and the graphite in his pencil to the foam in his sneakers and the concrete in a nearby skyscraper.

Sean Carroll's story of the hunt for the Higgs, The Particle at the End of the Universe, won the award in 2013.

The Shady Groves of Piedmont & The Humours of Ennistymon

Two jigs, The Shady Groves of Piedmont and The Humours of Ennistymon played by Bernard O'Sullivan and Tommy McMahon from County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 8th of November 2014 by Tommy McMahon - Topic.

Twin Headed Wolf at Ennistymon Courthouse Gallery

"Twin Headed Wolf short promo shot at the Courthouse Gallery and Studios in Ennistymon, County Clare." Posted on Youtube on the 11th of November 2014 by Fergus Tighe.

Memories of St. Martin's Day by Teresa Flynn

"St Martin’s Day, Teresa Flynn, Mountshannon and Miltown Malbay, County Clare." A Cuimhneamh an Chláir project. Posted on Youtube on the 9th of November 2014 by Cormac McCarthy.

Rumble on the Burren

"Wild goats fighting it out for superiority on the Burren in County Clare, Ireland." Posted on Youtube on the 20th of October 2014 by Sherry Ott.

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Clare Museum acquires 1916 journal

A journal and autograph book that provides a unique insight into life and conditions at Frongoch prisoner of war camp, where an estimated 1,800 Irish participants of The Easter Rising were interned between June and December 1916, has been acquired at auction by Clare Museum.

Belonging to IRA Volunteer and future Clare T.D. Patrick Brennan, from Meelick, the album features accounts of life in the North Wales camp, poetry in Irish and English, and coloured illustrations of the camp and its inhabitants. The journal is also autographed by many of the camp’s prisoners including Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy, who would later become instrumental figures in the ensuing Irish War of Independence and the establishment of the Irish Free State.

“Outside of the author’s historic connections with County Clare, this journal and autograph book is hugely important considering the upcoming centenary of the 1916 Rising and the significant influence of the Frongoch camp experience on the future leaders of the Irish War of Independence,” commented Cllr. John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council. The Cathaoirleach added: “As a native of Sixmilebridge in East Clare, I have long known about the contribution of Patrick Brennan from nearby Meelick during the struggle for Irish freedom and subsequently as a politician, including as a TD for Clare (1921-22, 1922-23). I warmly welcome the acquisition of this book which serves as a timely and poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by Irish men and women for their country.”

The book, which is expected to go on public display before Christmas, was successfully acquired at Whyte’s auction house on Saturday for €5,000 by Clare County Librarian Helen Walsh, acting on behalf of Clare Museum. Ms. Walsh explained: “I viewed the book in Whytes ahead of the weekend auction and deemed it of great value and significance for County Clare. It is beautifully illustrated in parts with water colour drawings of the camp, poetry in Irish and English, and numerous signatures of note. It also contains an artwork by Cathal Mac Dubhgall featuring the words “Fianna Fáil”, which was an alternative Irish language translation for the title of the rebel Irish Volunteers. The name was later adopted by Eamon de Valera’s political party some ten years later.”

“We anticipate that the journal and autograph book will be placed on public display at Clare Museum in Ennis before Christmas. We are also arranging to have the document digitised so as to allow people to view its contents online at,” added Ms. Walsh. Meanwhile, Ms. Walsh acknowledged Cratloe-based Councillor Cathal Crowe who informed Clare County Council that the book was being auctioned at Whytes, and would be a historically significant acquisition for Clare Museum.

Patrick Brennan was one of the Irish Volunteer leaders in Clare at the time of the 1916 Rising and was interned at Frongoch in June 1916 by the British Army because of his Republican activities. On his release shortly before Christmas 1916, Brennan became leader of the 1917 Volunteer campaign in Clare which ultimately led to the Mountjoy Hunger Strike of September 1917, the martyrdom of Tomás Ashe and the consolidation of Republican sentiment across the country. Brennan took part in the Cratloe Ambush of January 1921 and some other military actions but became more important as a political figure from the Anglo-Irish Truce of July 11, 1921. He was later elected TD (pro-treaty) for East Clare and was central to the development of the Civic Guard (later An Garda Síochána).

See also: Art O'Donnell Manuscript from Frongoch at

Thursday 6 November 2014

A Stór mo Chroí, sung by Ollie Conway

Ollie Conway (1922-2009) was a noted set dancer, singer and storyteller from Mullagh, County Clare, where he ran Conway’s pub. The pub was a well known spot for musicians and dancers for many years, and was famous for its sessions during the Willie Clancy Week.

"A Stór Mo Chroí is Irish and means approximately 'Treasure of my heart' and was written by Brian O'Higgins, an Irish patriot who took part in the 1916 Rising and was an active Republican for the rest of his life. He wrote a large number of patriotic songs and poems, many under the pen name of Brian na Banban." This 1973 recording by Ollie Conway is taken from ‘Around the Hills of Clare: Songs and Recitations from the Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie Collection’ (2004) Musical Traditions Records MTCD331-2/Góilín Records 005-6. Posted on Youtube on the 10th of January 2013 by kris berwouts.

Matty Talty, 91, Playing the Concertina

"Matty Talty, 91, first learned to play the concertina by ear as a child, growing up in a farmhouse in County Clare, Ireland. After 60 years of not playing he resumed in his mid-80s and still plays the Monday night sessions of traditional Irish music at the Landmark Tavern in Hell's Kitchen, New YOrk City. Here he plays a bit at home in the Bronx, and talks about being a wee lad in County Clare learning to play the concertina. 'We had no flat TVs, we had no radio. We had nothing, only people coming in to play...'". The New York Times story... Posted on Youtube on the 25th of October 2014 by Corey Kilgannon.

Ireland: A Nation's Memory (1973)

"This is the first documentary of a series for the French 3rd National Channel, which follows the history of a country according to the local music, produced by Claude Fleouter and Roviros Manthoulis in 1973." It features Patrick McCarthy, a farmer in North Clare; Doolin, County Clare, with Willie Clancy and Packie Russell; Seán O Riada; Tony MacMahon; Planxty; hedge schoolmasters, emigration and the Cliffs of Moher. Posted on Youtube on the 9th of March 2012 by arzearvar.

Lough Gar, County Clare, from the air

"This is a video of Lough Gar near the village of Broadford in County Clare. It was filmed in August 2014 using a DJI Phantom V2 quadcopter. The nearby lake is called Doon Lough and the mountains in the background are the Slieve Bearnaghs..." Posted on the 25th of October 2014 by Skymount Aerial.

Miltown Malbay from the air

"Miltown Malbay and its environs seen from the air in this stunning aerial video filmed by Neil Hynes." Posted on Youtube on the 27th of October 2014 by HyneSight TV.

Doonagore Castle, Doolin

"Doonagore Castle, Doolin, County Clare. The music is by Christy Barry, a legendary musician living in Doolin. I shot the video in October 2014 and the picture in the Fall of 2013." Posted on Youtube on the 4th of November 2014 by Craig Considine.

Armistice Day, November 11

Armistice Day will be celebrated next Tuesday, November 11. The photo above shows Private Patrick Halloran leaving Ennistymon for the Front in 1914 where he was killed the following year. The story of the Hallorans and Connoles of Ennistymon can be read at

There are other records relating to Clare men and women who fought and died in the World War I on the Clare library website including a list of Kilrush men at and soldiers from North Clare at, Claremen and women who served in the Australian Imperial Forces at, Claremen who served in the Canadian Forces at and Clarewomen who served in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps at

There is also a list of British Army WWI Pension Records for Claremen in service at and the Commonwealth War Grave Commission Burials in County Clare Graveyards at gives the burial places in Clare of soldiers who died in both World Wars.

All 49,000 Irish soldiers who died during the First World War or as a result of wounds sustained during battle can be searched in Ireland’s Memorial Records in Flanders Fields Museum at and, for soldiers buried abroad, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records details of Commonwealth war dead so that graves or names on memorials can be located at ( provides access to millions of WWI records and South Dublin Libraries have recently launched a site – Our Heroes ( - which makes available photographs and short biographies of Irish officers and men in the British Army who were either killed in action or were mentioned in dispatches for acts of bravery during the war.

New Irish Times book club launched

The Irish Times has launched a new book club. A book will be chosen each month and over the course of the month a stream of material that will enrich the reading experience will be published. This will include a review of the book, along with the reviewer’s suggestions for themes to explore and questions to reflect on; an article by the author, explaining the inspiration for their book and addressing its themes; a quiz, testing your knowledge of the author or the theme of the work; an author interview; and archive material, such as reviews of previous works. These articles will all be open to comments from readers, to encourage discussion around the book. The book club will climax with a podcast, in which the author will discuss his book with three readers, followed by an online discussion forum, in which every book club member will have the opportunity to pose their own question.

John Boyne's new book A History of Loneliness has been chosen as the book club’s book for November. It tells the story of abuse in the Catholic Church seen through the eyes of a good priest. An article by John Boyne himself will be published in The Irish Times this week , in which he opens up about his own experience of abuse at the hands of priests. They will also publish a reflection by a priest on the theme of loneliness in the priesthood. On a lighter note, the weekly book quiz will be devoted for one week to the works of John Boyne and for another to the theme of priests in literature.

To join the bookclub see

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Crochet workshop at Kilrush Library

Twelve people took part in a crochet workshop with Mary Flanagan on Tuesday 4th November 2014 in Kilrush Public Library. Mary gave instruction on various stitches from beginners to advanced and a most enjoyable evening was had by all.

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Children’s Book Festival 2014 in Scariff Library

Children’s Book Festival 2014 was a great success in Scariff Public Library with hundreds of children participating in a jam-packed programme designed to encourage children to enjoy the experience and the magic of reading. Storytellers Niall de Burca and Pat Ryan held audiences spellbound with shows full of energy, wit and humour. Two award winning children’s authors, Nicola Pierce and Paula Leyden, attended the festival this year and brought with them stories from Zambia and Stalingrad. Both spoke enthusiastically about their lives as writers and have no doubt inspired a new generation of storytellers and writers. With a mixture of pictures, sounds and videos, David Lyons, wildlife ranger with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, brought to life the amazing wildlife to be found in County Clare and two hands-on events, a Halloween Arts and Craft session for younger children and an Introduction to Animation Workshop for older children and teenagers, brought Children’s Book Festival 2014 to a close.