Monday 21 December 2020

An Post Irish Book of the Year 2020 winner – the Clare connection

The AN POST Irish Book of the Year for 2020 has been awarded to Doireann Ní Ghríofa for her book A Ghost in the Throat. The book was also named as the Foyles Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2020 and the Hodges Figgis Irish Book of the Year.

The book, a combination of essay and autobiographical fiction, is the acclaimed bilingual poet’s prose debut. It has received widespread praise for its use of language and original approach as it weaves two stories together: the narrator’s own relationship with pregnancy and motherhood and the life of 18th-century poet Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill.

Doireann was born in Galway, grew up in Clare and now lives in Cork. A former Gaelcholáiste an Chláir student, she still has family in Kilnamona and Doolin and says that much of her writing is inspired by and based in Clare. She beat off competition from winners in 13 other categories for the top prize, which was chosen from an online public vote.

The category award winners are:
Old Ireland in Colour by John Breslin and Sarah-Anne Buckley
Break the Mould by Sinéad Burke
Cnámh by Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde
Neven Maguire’s Midweek Meals in Minutes by Neven Maguire
Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty
The Great Irish Farm Book by Darragh McCullough
Home Stretch by Graham Norton
After the Silence by Louise O’Neill
Never Mind the B#ll*cks, Here’s the Science by Luke O’Neill
Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan
A Light That Never Goes Out by Keelin Shanley
Savage Her Reply by Deirdre Sullivan
Champagne Football by Mark Tighe and Paul Rowan

Wednesday 9 December 2020

Clare County Library announces December activities

Clare County Library has announced an enhanced range of activities during December to facilitate access to Library services and to celebrate the festive season.

Best Books of 2020
Looking for gift ideas? Or something to read yourself over the Christmas holidays? Library staff have been busy doing the work for you. Staff have read, reviewed and recommended books published in 2020, including Irish-published and international fiction and non-fiction for adults and children. You can now order your library books online and there is also a range of e-books and e-audiobooks to choose from. Check out ‘Best Books of 2020’ on the Clare County Library website. Every Christmas Eve, Icelandic people practise a tradition called ‘Jolabokaflod’, which translates as ‘Christmas book flood’. Jolabokaflod involves the giving of books as presents, so that friends and family can curl up with a good story on cosy nights in. We have exported and imported many Christmas traditions over the years, and this is one that librarians would recommend: the Icelandic Jolabokaflod.

Family time at your library with over 10 online events
Clare County Library is offering a range of family events in December to promote the importance of reading at home. This programme of events is provided by children’s writers, local artists and library staff. Activities include storytime with author Mary Murphy, art workshops for schools with Natasha Mac a Bháird and Audrey Dowling, and crafts with library staff. A popular offering is library staff’s ‘Favourite Childhood Books’, where library staff pick their favourite childhood reads. There is something here for everyone from the very, very young to the young at heart.

New Library software available
Clare County Library is delighted to announce the roll-out of two pieces of software for library patrons.
The Library has developed an app to enhance your visit to the library. You will soon be able to check in and check out your own books in our Wi-Fi-enabled libraries (De Valera Library, Ennis, Shannon, Kilrush, Scariff, Sixmilebridge, Ennistymon and Miltown Malbay). You will also be able to check your own account, update your loans, search the catalogue, reserve books and e-resources. The Clare County Library app is free and available on the App Store and the Google Store. Why not download the new Clare County Library app before your next visit to the library?
Clare County Library has received Dormant Account Funding grant aid to provide literacy software to Clare schools. Library staff have contacted over 100 primary schools in the county in the past number of weeks to offer Touch-type, Read and Spell (TTRS) licences to students. So far, Clare schools have requested 365 licences for their students. Library staff have also contacted adult education providers and a number of licences will be issued for adults engaged in learning this month. Library staff are also providing training for teachers and administrators on how to use the software.

Online book clubs
Clare County Library has supported a number of book clubs in many of the libraries. The Library has also provided book club sets to book clubs. Over the past number of months, a number of branches have been offering online book clubs. Again, it gives the opportunity for people to ‘meet’ and link up with other book lovers.
One exciting upcoming book club event is with Scariff Library. The group there will be reading Charlotte by Helen Moffett in a new online book club on Tuesday, 15th December, at 11:00am. Helen Moffett, the author, will also be making an appearance on the day. Check out for further information on the author. It is a real treat of a book, a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. It is also available on Borrowbox as an e-book or e-audiobook. Scariff Library, similar to our other branches, is now open for those preferring a library visit in order to browse and select for yourself, if you prefer.
For further information or to book the event, contact Scariff Library on 061-922893 or email

For more information on all Clare County Library services, visit