Thursday 17 August 2017

Clare County Library Celebrating our National Heritage

Clare County Library is proud to once again take part in National Heritage Week, which in 2017 will run from August 19th to 27th. National Heritage Week is part of European Heritage Days, which is celebrated in over 40 countries across Europe. The Week is coordinated by The Heritage Council and its aim is to build awareness and education about our heritage thereby encouraging its conservation and preservation. Each year, during the last week of August, many national and hundreds of local community organisations participate by organising events throughout the country. Many of the events that take place during the week are free and 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. In 2017, the Heritage Council is inviting you to be active, have fun and get involved with our natural heritage

For its part in celebrating the week, Clare County Library will host a number of free events throughout the week. On Tuesday, 22nd August staff from Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge, DCU will visit library branches in Ennis, Shannon and Sixmilebridge to provide information sessions on Meitheal DĂș and Meitheal

Meitheal DĂș is an opportunity to transcribe folklore material collected by schoolchildren for the National Folklore Collection in the 1930s in Ireland. It is one of the most successful crowdsourcing projects of its kind in the world. Discover more at Meitheal encourages the recording and sharing of minor placenames. The public is asked to record minor placenames, such as field names, via a simple online form. Discover more at

The aim of the talks/workshops is to show the public how easy it is to access the information contained in these valuable cultural resources - via PCs in their local library or from the comfort of their own homes. The sessions also aim to show that these resources are available to everyone - no matter how limited your computer skills may be you can still get involved!

Also on Tuesday 22nd August at 6pm, to coincide with Clare County Library's touring display based on the 1917 East Clare By-election, writer Kieran Sheedy will visit Shannon Library to give a talk on that topic. On June 7th 1917 Willie Redmond, the Member of Parliament for East Clare, was killed in the battle of the Messines Ridge and a contested election (the first in fifteen years) took place in the following month. The candidates were Patrick Lynch K.C., a native of Ennis (Home Rule Party) and Eamon De Valera (Sinn Fein), the Irish Volunteer Commandant at Boland’s Mills during the 1916 Rising who had been recently released from an English jail. The election campaign and its result became pivotal in the emergence of Sinn Fein as a National party and is equally as significant in Clare political history as the 1828 by-election, won by Daniel O’Connell. Kieran Sheedy held a number of posts in RTE Radio One, including Head of Documentaries, before concentrating on a career in writing. His historical works include Upon the Mercy of Government, The Tellicherry Five, Peerless Tom Malone, The Clare Elections, The Horse in County Clare (2 volumes), The United Irishmen in County Clare and The Clare Anthology (Ed.). The Library’s display continues to travel to various branches throughout the county. See for details.

On Thursday 24th August, at 12 noon, Scariff Public Library will host a special lecture by Steve Dolan of the Irish Workhouse Centre in Portumna entitled The Workhouse System in Ireland. The topic of the lecture will be the workhouses system in Ireland, with a specific focus on Scariff, and the afternoon will also see the launch of a free booklet by the Irish Workhouse Centre staff.

The following day, Friday 25th August, John Rattigan, curator of Clare County Museum, will visit Scariff Library at 2.30pm to give a presentation on some of the ancient objects found in east Clare that are housed in the Museum in Ennis. He will also bring the catalogue of objects from Clare that are in the National Museum so individuals can find out about archaeological items found in their parish/townland over the last 150 years. This is a free event hosted in conjunction with CABES.

To finish off the week, on Friday 25th August at 6.30pm,  native of north Clare and author of The Fanore School Case, Joe Queally will visit the De Valera Public Library in Ennis to give a talk based on his book about "one of the most bizarre episodes in the history of Irish education". As Joe shows in this fascinating book, the conventional account does not tell the full story. Leaning on a wide range of sources, from court records to oral history, Queally reveals many new aspects to the case, the violent means used by his supporters to intimidate the new teachers who succeeded him, and the bitter divisions caused in the community by the results of the affair. This absorbing and exhaustively researched book brings together all the facts of the Fanore School Case. It balances previous accounts with the Catholic Church's version of events, derived from diocesan archives, which were made available for the first time to the author. A short documentary commissioned by RTE on the story will also be shown during the talk. Copies of the book will be on sale after the event. For more visit

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 all events can be found at or by phoning 065-6821616/6846350. Information on nationwide events is available at

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