Thursday 25 June 2015

Stockton's Wing play The Green Fields Of Rossbeigh & The Reconciliation

County Clare's Stockton's Wing play The Green Fields Of Rossbeigh & The Reconciliation. Posted on Youtube on the 25th of May 2015 by DOUGLAS HADDEN.

Sharon Shannon, Dermot Byrne, Eoin O'Neill, Quentin Cooper and friends in O'Connors, Doolin

"Thierry Masure was on hand in O'Connors, Doolin, County Clare, to capture Eoin O'Neill, Quentin Cooper, Jon O'Connell, Dermot Byrne, Sharon Shannon and friends playing some nice reels after their gigs at the Doolin Folk Festival, June 2015." Posted on Youtube on the 13th of June 2015 by Noirin Lynch.

Clare Men and Women in the Great War 1914-1918 by Ger Browne

Ger Browne recently updated his material on Clare men and women in World War I on Clare County Library's website, and has also added new articles. His extensive study details the Armies, Regiments and Corps that Clare men fought with, the battles they died in, those who won awards and medals, became POWs, had shell shock, were courtmartialled, who died or were shot at dawn. Also included is a list of those who participated in the War, an index of where they came from, a timeline of when and where they died, and details of the cemeteries and memorials throughout the world and in Co Clare where the Clare War Dead are buried or remembered. A new article also outlines the Big Houses that featured in the war. Ger Browne’s research is augmented by his large collection of newspaper cuttings from Clare papers concerning the war and articles by Peadar MacNamara, Charles E Glynn, Guss O’Halloran and the Kilkee Civic Trust. This is a work in progress. Ger is hopeful people will come forward with information on their relatives who took part in the Great War, so that this project can be completed by 2018.

Material can be sent to

More material relating to Clare and WWI can be viewed here:

The Burren in Spring by Martin Critchley

"From the Irish 'Boíreann' meaning a rocky place, the rolling hills of the Burren are composed of limestone pavements criss-crossed and gouged by fissures called grykes, leaving clints - raised, slab-like flat areas. The limestone, laid down in a shallow tropical sea in the Lower Carboniferous some 350 million years ago, has been shaped by episodes of glaciation, most recently during the last Ice Age. Covering roughly 360 square kilometres, parts of this karst landscape lie in one of Ireland's six national parks. The Burren boasts the most extensive area of limestone pavement in Europe, harbours a unique floral diversity with Arctic, Mediterranean and Alpine flowers blooming side by side, and is one of the finest examples of a glacio-karst landscape in the world.

We consider the Burren in County Clare, to be Ireland's most unusual, striking and memorable landscape. It is our favourite part of this island. Featuring panoramas, time-lapse and medium close-up shots of the various flowers, our footage, to make the fourth in our 'Wild Ireland' series, was captured in 4K over three visits from early-May to mid-June, when the flora is at its very best. Enjoy!" Posted on Youtube on the 21st of June 2015 by martin critchley.

Timelapse - Lahinch and the Cliffs of Moher

Timelapse photography of Lahinch and the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 8th of June 2015 by Epic Journey.

Clare Hurlers Charity Crossbar Challenge

"The Clare Senior Hurlers have raised money for charity by becoming the first county side to take on the Charity Crossbar Challenge. All monies raised by the Clare side have gone to the Irish Heart Foundation and Cahercalla Hospice. Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald nominated the Waterford Senior Hurlers to take on the Challenge next. It is hoped that all funds raised by participating teams will be split evenly between the Irish Heart Foundation and the teams' choice of local charity. The video was recorded during a training session at Cusack Park, Ennis, County Clare, on June 16th, 2015." Posted on Youtube on the 17th of June 2015 by Clare Hurlers.

An Post (Cycle) Tour de Burren 2015

"Over 2,200 cyclist from all over the world traveled to Ballyvaughan, County Clare, for the the 2015 An Post Tour de Burren on the 20th June. Filmed by Seanchas Productions." Posted on Youtube on the 23rd of June 2015 by Clare Sports Partnership.

Burren Tolkien Festival 26th - 28th June 2015

"Peter Curtin, the Artistic Director and founder of the Burren Tolkien Society, tells us of the connection between J.R.R. Tolkien and the Burren landscape of North Clare. He also gives an insight into the 3rd Burren Tolkien Society Festival that is taking place between June 27 to June 29th in the Burren in County Clare, in Ireland. For more information please visit the Burren Tolkien Festival page" Posted on Youtube on the 12th of June 2015 by StoneCracker.

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Surfbox self-service Print-Scan-Copy station now available in Shannon Library

Surfbox is a new self-service Print-Scan-Copy station available in Seán Lemass Public Library, Shannon. Customers can print from a library computer and can now remotely print from their laptop, home PC, tablet or smartphone. Both Black and White and Colour Printing is available. An A4 black and white print costs 20c and an A4 colour print costs 60c.

Customers can also use Surfbox to scan documents to email or to USB, a flat scanning charge of 60c applies to documents of 10 pages maximum. Surfbox can also be used to photocopy documents.

To print remotely from your laptop/smartphone, email your document to one of the email addresses below. Customers will receive an email reply with a 6 digit Privacy Release Code. This code needs to be inputted at the Print Station in the library to retrieve your document and customers are allowed 3 days to do so.

Email colour documents to
Email black & white documents to

This service is open to all members of the public. Free WiFi is also available in Seán Lemass Public Library, Shannon. Contact the Library at 061 364266 for further information.

Fertile Rock, an illustrated display in Ennistymon Library to mark the 2015 Burren Tolkien Society Festival

North Clare’s world-renowned Burren region has long been a place of inspiration to writers, poets and artists from near and far. The landscape of this special place has been imaginatively depicted by Nobel Laureates, wandering bards, academics, dreamers and scribes of every hue.

An illustrated display from Clare County Library will run in Ennistymon Public Library from the 25th of June to the 17th of July 2015, featuring seven well-known writers and poets with examples of some of their Burren-inspired writings:

W.B. Yeats and Corcomroe Abbey
Seamus Heaney and the Flaggy Shore
George Bernard Shaw and new Quay
Anthony Trollope and the Cliffs
Emily Lawless and the Burren
John Betjeman and the Burren
Charles Lucas and the Burren

Friday 19 June 2015

Straighty Flanagan sings Spancil Hill

Spancil Hill Fair in County Clare has been running for over 300 years and will be celebrated next Tuesday 23 June 2015. There have been many versions of the well-known song associated with the fair recorded over the years, most famously by Robbie McMahon. Michael ‘Straighty’ Flanagan from Inagh gives a rendition of ‘Spancil Hill’ in the Singers and Songs of County Clare section of Clare County Library’s website. Straighty uses his own air – an air which he uses for a number of his songs – suggesting that he learned the song from print rather that by ear:

Harvest - winner of the 2015 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award

Harvest by Jim Crace has been announced as the winner of the 2015 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award.

The Award is organised by Dublin City Council and at €100,000 is the world’s largest prize for a single novel published in English. Uniquely, the IMPAC DUBLIN receives its nominations from public libraries in cities around the globe and recognises both writers and translators. Harvest was nominated by Universitätsbibliothek Bern, Switzerland; and by LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library, Tallahassee, USA.

Harvest is Crace’s eleventh novel. Set in an unspecified time in the past, in a green corner of England, it is the story of the last days of a village and the death of an age-old way of life.

“Harvest is a story that explores some of our greatest fears, those of change and difference” said Margaret Hayes, Dublin City Librarian. “Jim Crace, our 20th winner, joins a unique creative collective whose stories will continue to cast a spell over readers for many years to come.”

The 2015 shortlist included three novels in translation and authors from Australia (Richard Flanagan and Hannah Kent); Brazil (Bernardo Kucinski); France (Andreï Makine); Ireland (Colum McCann); Morocco (Mahi Binebine); Nigeria (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie); the UK (Jim Crace) and the USA (Alice McDermott and Roxana Robinson).

Remembering the 1914 All-Ireland Hurling Champions in Clare Museum

One hundred years ago, Clare were the reigning Senior and Junior All-Ireland hurling champions, both defeating their Laois counterparts during 1914. A small exhibition of items commemorating these achievements are on display in a temporary exhibition at Clare Museum.

The exhibition was assembled slowly from within the resources of the museum collection beginning in the late summer of 2014. While all staff were involved in its creation the exhibition would not have been possible without the research of Tomás MacConmara, museum attendant and the graphic design skills of volunteer Karen Dunn.

The exhibition features some rare items, including the All-Ireland Hurling medals awarded to both Ned Grace and Brendan Considine respectively, along with Brendan’s Munster championship and County championship medals from the same year.

These All-Ireland successes are placed in the context of the turbulent decade of a century ago. One player, John Fox, served in the British Army during the First World War and the service medals of Private William Cunningham of the Turnpike in Ennis are featured. Private Cunningham was killed in action on the same weekend as the Senior All-Ireland victory which serves as a reminder that any elation at winning the All-Ireland title was tempered for many by issues of life and death in the Great War.

Another link to the war is Willie Redmond, the Nationalist political leader and MP for East Clare who also features in the exhibition. Remembered today for his death on the Western Front in 1917, and the subsequent East Clare by-election which resulted in the beginning of Eamon de Valera’s political career, it was Redmond who led the Clare team out on the day of the senior final.

Several of the players and administrators around both the Senior and Junior teams played their part in the republican movement during the War of Independence, including Tom McGrath, “Tull” Considine, and Ned Grace amongst the players, and Patrick Hennessy who had tried out for the team earlier in the year.

McGrath and Hennessy found themselves on opposing sides during the Civil War. McGrath joined the Free State Army and rose to the rank of Colonel and retired after a distinguished career, while Hennessy aligned himself with the anti-treaty forces. He was captured along with another comrade at Clooney was tried and condemned on evidence that would not stand up to scrutiny today.

In January 1923, while serving as the GAA County secretary, Hennessy and became one of the 77 men executed by the Free State during the Civil War. Both Hennessy and McGrath are represented in the exhibition.

After 1914, Clare failed to win another All-Ireland for another 81 years and the story arose that Biddy Early, the wise woman of Clare, had placed a curse on the team. In fact, Biddy Early had died in 1874 and the oil stock used to anoint her on her death bed is on display in the exhibition.

Between the 1914 and 1995, Clare appeared in only one All-Ireland Hurling final – the 1932 defeat to Kilkenny. That Clare team was captained by the great John Joe ‘goggles’ Doyle, who famously wore a homemade device on the field of play to protect his glasses. In memory of John Joe and other great players these goggles are part of the museum exhibition.

The exhibition will run until early 2016 and admission to visitors is free.

Thursday 18 June 2015

Summer Reading Challenge - Biggest Adventure in the County this Summer!

Last year, almost a thousand children in Clare participated in the Summer Reading Challenge. Staff at Clare County Library are confident that numbers joining will be even higher this year and are looking forward to welcoming you be part of the adventure which begins with a visit to your local library.

Did you know that reading gives children a head start in life in more ways than you might imagine? With the school holidays approaching, the summer months provide an ideal opportunity for children to take time to find books they really enjoy and experience reading as an activity which is fun and a source of entertainment. To support children’s reading this summer, the public libraries in County Clare are running a reading adventure for children from 1st of July to the end of August. The Summer Reading Adventure is a free programme open to all children.

Each child who registers for the adventure at their local library chooses books to read during their summer holidays. They will receive a Summer Reading Card to record their progress along the way and a library reward stamp will be added to their reading card at the library after each book read.

Children will be encouraged to continue reading throughout the adventure and they will receive additional fun incentives along the way. The Summer Reading Adventure provides the whole family with an opportunity to explore the full range of events and facilities which are available from their library service: story time sessions, book clubs, children’s activities, access to talking books and games, workshops, computers and internet access, and of course children’s books for all ages.

Children will have access to fun reading activities on the Summer Reading Adventure website at The online resource includes lots of fun activities, games, Talking Ebooks, reading tips, book suggestions and funny interviews with children’s authors and other celebrities. At the end of the adventure, all children who participated are invited to attend an award event at which they will be presented with their award certificate.

The general exposure children have to books has been found to be particularly important for children’s overall development. Numerous studies have shown strong connections between reading and children’s levels of self-confidence, independence, emotional development, empathy, imagination and creativity as well as their social skills and overall well-being. The research has also found that children who have easy access to books in their homes, schools or from regular visits to a library develop stronger reading skills and more positive attitudes towards learning.

Monday 15 June 2015

Vision-net Online Business Information Service now free for all library members

Vision-net is now available, free of charge, to all members of Clare County Library. This service gives immediate online access to information on every registered Irish and UK company. It includes reports on directors, company owners, credit ratings, industries, insolvency trends plus every document filed by companies with the CRO (Companies Registration Office). Other documents include audited company accounts, changes in directors, allotments of shares and mortgages or charges. Information is updated daily.

Vision-net can be used by jobseekers to research potential employers and by entrepreneurs to investigate industry competitors (each company search includes a link to the top 20 companies in that industry). Existing business owners can source information to help manage business risks and keep up to date with their suppliers and competitors. Consumers can also use the service to investigate any companies they may do business with.

Information is sourced directly from the CRO in Dublin and the UK Companies House as well as the Irish Courts, Office of the Examiners and the Insolvency Service of Ireland. All information is from publicly available records. Vision-net itself is based in Dublin.

To access this free service, follow the link on and log in using your library card number.

Friday 5 June 2015

Riches of Clare Concert May 2015 - Elaine Hogan, Martin Glynn, David Sanders, and Alan Wallace

"Elaine Hogan, Martin Glynn, David Sanders, and Alan Wallace performing at the Riches Of Clare concert series as part of the Fleadh Nua - May 21, 2015 (11)." Posted on Youtube on the 25th of May 2015 by Niamhianes.

Riches of Clare Concert May 2015 - Johnny Ringo McDonagh, Kevin Finnucane, Conor Keane, and Dave Harper

"Johnny Ringo McDonagh, Kevin Finnucane, Conor Keane, and Dave Harper performing at the Riches of Clare concert series on the final day as part of Fleadh Nua - May 22, 2015 (01)." Posted on Youtube on the 25th of May 2015 by Niamhaines.

Riches of Clare Concert May 2015 - James Devitt, Christy Barry, Conor McCarthy, and Johnny Falkner

"James Devitt, Christy Barry, Conor McCarthy, and Johnny Falkner performing at the Riches Of Clare concert series on May 19, 2015 as part of Fleadh Nua (10)." Posted on Youtube on the 22nd of May 2015 by Niamhaines.

Riches of Clare Concert May 2015 - James Duddy, Anne Marie McCormack, Niamh O'Dea, and Martin Dermody

"James Duddy, Anne Marie McCormack, Niamh O'Dea, and Martin Dermody kicking off the first session of the Riches of Clare 2015 summer series as part of Fleadh Nua - May 18, 2015 (#6)." Posted on Youtube on the 19th of May 2015 by Niamhaines.

Ballyvaughan, County Clare, May 2015 - Der Zauber der grünen Insel

Ballyvaughan, County Clare, May 2015 - "Der Zauber der grünen Insel". Posted on Youtube on the 26th of May 2015 by Fridi Mauma.

Thursday 4 June 2015

"How to be both" by Ali Smith - winner of Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2015

Ali Smith has been announced as the winner of the 2015 Baileys prize for her experimental novel How to be both. The book is split into two sections; one following the spirit of the Renaissance painter Francesco del Cossa as he explores the modern world, and the other focusing on troubled teenager George.

Shami Chakrabarti, Chair of Judges said “There are universal themes about grief, loss, exploration of gender, but also contemporary issues like technology, surveillance, pornography. It is very, very accessible on the one hand, but also great art”. She described Smith as a James Joyce or Virginia Woolf of our time.

How to be both begins as a poem, changes to standard paragraphs, then goes back again to a poem. There are two versions of the novel, one starting with del Cossa, the other with George, as she struggles to make sense of the recent death of the mother who had taken her to see the artist’s frescoes. The plot remains the same but your understanding of the novel changes depending on the character order you're presented with.

The shortlisted titles were:

Rachel Cusk – Outline
Laline Paull – The Bees
Kamila Shamsie – A God in Every Stone
Ali Smith – How to be Both
Anne Tyler – A Spool of Blue Thread
Sarah Waters – The Paying Guests

The award was won in 2014 by Eimear McBride for A Girl is a Half-formed Thing. Other winners include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Half of a Yellow Sun, Zadie Smith for On Beauty and by Lionel Shriver for We Need to Talk About Kevin. The prize, until 2012 known as the Orange Prize for Fiction, sets out to reward excellence, originality and accessibility in writing by women from throughout the world.

Images of Corpus Christi Processions in Clare

The Feast of Corpus Christi falls on Thursday 4th June this year. In Ireland the feast day is now celebrated on the following Sunday. In the past, the procession on Corpus Christi was a major event in the communal life of every town and village in the country. A handful of photographs capture the events in Foto, Clare County Library’s online image collection. Click here...

Image above shows A Procession in Abbey St, Ennis, from the Bluett Collection.

‘The Middle of Nowhere / The Centre of the Universe’, an exhibition of new colour lino-cuts by Mike O’Connor at the Courthouse Gallery

12th June - 9th July 2015
‘The Middle of Nowhere / The Centre of the Universe’, an exhibition of new colour lino-cuts by Mike O’Connor [with some photographs and collages],
The Courthouse Gallery, Ennistymon, County Clare.
Official opening on 12th June at 8 pm.

Mike O’Connor has been making prints in North Clare for over thirty years, mostly landscape images. This show is called ‘The Middle of Nowhere / The Centre of the Universe’. “It seemed to me that they are one and the same. The notion celebrates the growing excitement to be met in the everyday, in farmland, weather, roads – everything”, says Mike. “I grew up with printing, my father being an engraver and Art-School principal. Although I have a particular fondness for the simple print in black on white paper, I work with colours printed with multiple blocks. This opens out the process to a huge variation of options, images large and small, bright and sombre. More variation comes from the techniques used, some blocks being cut boldly and printed roughly, others cut slowly with detail in fine lines or a scratching method. My images come from the things and places I see every day. To transmit the excitement from the eye, through the head onto paper is the task. With printmaking, this process is less direct, as a block has to be cut [and maybe one or two more for a richer image], then inked and printed in successive layers onto paper. The process of getting this as one wants is called proofing. The work is printed on an iron Albion press made in 1831, though an extra large print has to be pressed by hand with rollers”.

About Printmaking:
There is no original that is copied. The print, once cut, proofed and printed, is the original. Made by the artist from the first idea to the finished work. This is the essential difference between a printmaker’s print and a reproduction, which is merely a photograph of an artwork [made in any medium or size] industrially printed - as for a magazine or poster. Because a print is a multiple, unlike a drawing or a painting, there are more than one. The printmaker limits the number produced in an edition [this might be between 5 and 100]. This means that they are less expensive to buy, and can go home with more than one person, while remaining an original artwork. As a seminal printmaker, Eric Gill, declared some 80 years ago, these are things, not pictures of things.

Top image: Battle of the Hedgerow, by Mike O'Connor.

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Clare Museum seeks to expand its service

Clare Museum in Ennis is seeking to meet community groups with a view to identifying ways the museum can assist in their activities. The museum is reaching out to groups in the community that provide recreational and educational activities in Clare and also environmental groups, and historical organizations, or indeed any other group that may feel the museum could assist them to achieve their goals. The museum is working to identify needs in the community and ways that it can meet those needs.

According to curator John Rattigan “While the museum attracts some 30,000 visitors a year, it is believed that the museum and community groups in the locality could mutually benefit by forging links. Some creative thinking between groups and the museum could help to identify opportunities for us to work with communities and help the museum fulfill its mission as a socially inclusive cultural service.”

A recent review on Trip Advisor comments that ‘This museum is a treasure trove of information about County Clare from earliest times… [and] is of as much relevance to locals as tourists. Upstairs there is an exhibition of local interest reflecting the different strands of life in Clare including sport, music, the sea, religion. The most amazing thing is that there is free entry.’

Any groups interested in exploring the opportunity to link up should contact Clare Museum at 065-6823382 or by email at