Thursday 30 April 2015

Clare County Library celebrates creativity during Bealtaine Festival in May 2015

May belongs to the Bealtaine Festival, celebrating creativity as we age. Over 120,000 people now take part in Bealtaine, which will celebrate its 20th year in 2015. Each year Age & Opportunity invites local authorities, arts centres, libraries, Active Retirement groups, care settings, community groups and clubs and associations from every part of the country to run Bealtaine events that celebrate creativity as we age. Clare County Library is proud to once again be counted among the hundreds of organisations around the country that participate in the festival each year. As always there will be a varied and widespread programme of events throughout the month of May in branch libraries throughout the county. All events are free of charge and everyone is welcome.

Events will include craft displays in Kilfinaghty Public Library in Sixmilebridge from the 5th - 29th May and in the Dr. Patrick J. Hillery Public Library, Miltown Malbay, from the 5th - 16th May. The library is also delighted to once again be taking part in the Bealtaine Film Tour which is presented by access>CINEMA in partnership with the Irish Film Institute. This year’s films are The Hundred Foot Journey (2013) starring Helen Mirren, Manish Dayal and Om Puri, and The Quiet Man (1952) starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Victor McLaglen and Barry Fitzgerald. Screenings will take place in branch libraries in Ennis, Ennistymon, Kilrush, Scariff and Shannon where each library will be transformed into a cinema with a difference for your viewing pleasure. You can contact your local library for screening times or visit

Senior Citizens will have an opportunity to get in touch with their artistic side at an art workshop entitled “An Introduction to Watercolour Painting” with The Guinness Artist, David Gilhooley. David is an Irish artist and the author of Ireland in Watercolour and Dave's Dublin Sketchbook. He was brought up in Liverpool and has exhibited in The Royal College of Art and Dublin Arts Club. David is known as ‘The Guinness Artist’ for his use of the famous stout in his work. David has also used Irish bog, melted Connemara snow and Venetian canal water, giving his watercolours a unique foundation. David will host three workshops as follows: Kilrush Public Library on Monday, 18th May at 11am, Killaloe Public Library on Tuesday, 19th May at 10.30am and in Scariff Public Library on Tuesday, 19th May at 2.30pm. Places are limited so contact your local branch for bookings. More information on the artist is available on his website at, on Twitter - @davesixtyfive44 and on Facebook - David Gilhooley Watercolours.

Clare County Library has teamed up with Friends Ireland who will provide basic computer/laptop/tablet/mobile phone classes in Seán Lemass Public Library, Shannon, from the 26th - 29th May. The classes are free but places are limited and can be booked through the library at 061-364266. For more information on Friends Ireland visit

North Clare-based writer and hotel manager Dónal Minihane will visit Ennistymon Public Library on Thursday 21st May at 11am to talk about and read from his recently published first novel Clíona’s Wave. Dónal was shortlisted for the 2014 'K' Award for short fiction and is the founder and director of the Doolin Writers’ Weekend. Clíona’s Wave was a winner of the 2013 Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair. Everyone is welcome to this free event. For more information on Dónal Minihane visit

Ennistymon Library will also host a screening of a selection of photos from Foto, the Clare County Library collection of photographs, featuring North Clare people, national school photos from over 50 years ago and scenes and events from the area. Those with good memories will have the opportunity to put names to faces!

Clare County Library’s new Lusitania exhibition will begin its tour of the county’s branches in Kilrush Public Library on Wednesday, 6th May, and can be viewed there during library opening hours until Tuesday, 19th May. The Cunard passenger liner RMS Lusitania, travelling from New York to Liverpool, was torpedoed by a German submarine off the Old Head of Kinsale on 7th May 1915, and sank within 18 minutes. The library’s exhibition marks the hundredth anniversary of this tragic event. The sinking of the ship impacted directly on County Clare as four of the victims and one of the survivors were natives of the county. Also, twelve of the victims whose bodies were washed up on the coast of Clare were interred in local graveyards. The exhibition will move from Kilrush to Kilkee Library on Wednesday 20th May where it will remain until the 2nd June. It will also be displayed in several branch libraries and in the Clare Museum over the coming months. For a full schedule of the exhibition contact the Library at 065-6821616/6846350 or visit the website at

Clare County Library will take a small section of the Local Studies Centre library on tour throughout the month of May when library staff will visit nursing homes and day centres in various areas including Ennis, Ennistymon, Kilrush and Tuamgraney. A selection of Clare Champion newspapers from times past will be transported, along with old photographs and local history books so that extracts can be read and discussed evoking memories of times past. The newspapers are part of a complete set of Clare Champions dating back to 1903 which are housed at the Local Studies Centre on Harmony Row, Ennis. They are available to the public for reference use.

Thursday May 7th 2015 has been designated Poetry Day Ireland. On and around this day Poetry Ireland intends to reveal the richness of the art form to the public in appealing ways - making poetry both inescapable and irresistible. To celebrate this, Clare County Library invites you to pick up a copy of our specially compiled poetry quiz in your local branch from Thursday 7th May and answer the poetry-themed questions correctly to be in with a chance to win a book token to the value of €50. Ask at your nearest branch for all the details.

Remember too that Senior Citizens can avail of free library membership in all of Clare County Library’s branches. So, during the Bealtaine Festival, why not join your local library? You’ll discover a whole world of books, CDs, DVDs and more. You may even join one of the many clubs being run including book clubs and scrabble clubs. A whole new experience awaits you! For more information on the Bealtaine events and much more visit Clare County Library’s website at or phone 065-6821616.

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