Friday, 1 May 2015

Tiarnán and Breandán Ó'Conaill at Kilfenora Music Festival 2015

"Tiarnán O'Conaill, All-Ireland 12-15 mandolin champion, opening Lumiere concert in Kilfenora with Breandán (also an All-Ireland winner) on bodhrán. Two jigs - "Bóthar na Faille" by Fiontán Ó'Meachair and "The Mystery Inch" from Damien O'Kane. Accompanied by brother Breandán. Tiarnán got this chance to play support to Lumiere at the Kilfenora Music Festival thanks to Garry Shannon and Meitheal Trad Summer School." Posted on Youtube on the 30th of April 2015 by Magh nEalta.

My Heart's Tonight in Ireland (in the Sweet County Clare), Andy Irvine and Friends, Royal Albert Hall, London

"Ceiliúradh (Celebration), a special evening of music, spoken word and dance, featuring artists from Ireland and the United Kingdom, took place in the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday 10 April, 2014 to mark the historic occasion of the first State Visit by the President of Ireland to the United Kingdom. The concert takes its inspiration from the Irish session where each artist contributes towards the creation of a unique and intimate evening. The line-up of artists to perform in the presence of the President Higgins included Imelda May, The Gloaming, Paul Brady, Lisa Hannigan, Glen Hansard, Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny, Peter Coughlan (curly red hair with glasses, front man of the Hungry Grass.), The West Ocean Quartet, Joseph O’Connor and Fiona Shaw, etc. The house band included acclaimed musicians Liam Bradley, John Carty, Anthony Drennan, Graham Henderson, Mike McGoldrick, Paul Moore, Caitlín Nic Gabhann, Máirtín O’Connor and Brendan Power. Put together by the inimitable Dónal Lunny."

My heart's tonight in Ireland in the sweet County Clare, (Andy Irvine)

My heart tonight is far away across the rolling sea In the sweet Milltown Malbay it is there I'd love to be So long ago and far away but nothing can compare My heart's tonight in Ireland in the sweet County Clare

In the town of Scariff the sun was shining in the sky When Willie Clancy played his pipes and the tears welled in my eyes Many years have passed and gone since the times we had there But my heart's tonight in Ireland in the sweet County Clare

My heart tonight is far away across the rolling sea In the sweet Milltown Malbay it is there I'd love to be So long ago and far away but nothing can compare My heart's tonight in Ireland in the sweet County Clare

That August in Kilrush when the rain was lashing down And our hotel was that haybarn on the outskirts of town We were all sick and feverish and Dolan had the flu But Johnny produced some whiskey and the sun came smiling through

My heart tonight is far away across the rolling sea In the sweet Milltown Malbay it is there I'd love to be So long ago and far away but nothing can compare My heart's tonight in Ireland in the sweet County Clare

Those nights in Six Mile Bridge when the music flowed And it came to closing time the lights were turned down low And the sergeant from Kilkishin he would buy us all one more And we never left that pub before the clock was striking four

Lahinch and Enistymon, Lisceanar and Kilkee But best of all was Milltown when the music flowed so free Willie Clancy in the County Clare I'm ever in your debt For the sights and sounds of yesterday are shining memories yet

My heart tonight is far away across the rolling sea In the sweet Milltown Malbay and it is there I'd love to be So long ago and far away but nothing can compare My heart's tonight in Ireland in the sweet County Clare In the days of Sweeney in the sweet County Clare.

Posted on Youtube on the 7th of February 2015 by TG Amhrán.

The Yanks playing some hornpipes at Corofin Traditional Festival 2015

"The Yanks (Isaac Alderson, Dylan Foley, Dan Gurney, and Sean Earnest) performing hornpipes at the 14th Annual Corofin Traditional Festival 2015." Posted on Youtube on the 7th of March 2015 by Niamhaines.

Claire and Sinéad Egan with Jack Talty

County Clare's Jack Talty on piano with sisters Claire (fiddle) and Sinead Egan of London. Posted on Youtube on the 17th of December 2014 by Raelach Records.

Castlebawn on Lough Derg, County Clare

"An aerial tour of Castlebawn filmed by This Tower House sits on its own tiny island on Lough Derg and was beautifully restored by the Cody family. Castlebawn is only accessible by boat and appointment. The drone really gives you a perspective that is impossible to get in any other way. Castlebawn enjoys spectactular views of the ancient Oak wood in Raheen as well as Holy Island and other parts of County Clare and County Tipperary. With a haunting soundtrack by Kate Purcell, this truly is a beautiful video of one of Ireland's hidden gems." Posted on Youtube on the 25th of April 2015 by clare virtually.

Mit den Freunden aus Vach am Lough Derg – Ein Tagebuch

Anglers from Vach in Germany enjoying the delights of Lough Derg. Posted on Youtube on the 9th of August 2014 by Dietrich Bohnhorst.

Ennistymon Courthouse Gallery

A short film on Ennistymon Courthouse Gallery by Kieran Roche. Posted on Youtube on the 23rd of April 2015 by Kieran Roche.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Once Upon A Place - a unique storytelling experience comes to The Burren

Clare County Library and Clare County Arts Service in association with Laureate na nÓg, are set to bring a unique storytelling project to children in twelve primary schools in the county.

On the 6th and 7th of May 2015, a team of six storytellers will visit the following schools: Ballyvaughan, Boston, Tubber, Furglan, Moy, Lahinch, Liscannor, Lisdoonvarna, Fanore and Doolin. Carron and New Quay National Schools will attend the opening event at the Michael Cusack Centre on May 6th, where Carron’s own storyteller Paddy Hynes will join visiting author Alan Nolan to regale local schoolchildren with tales of The Burren.

Current Laureate na nÓg, Eoin Colfer, initiated the Once Upon A Place programme to bring stories to children all over Ireland, focusing on fantastic places and extraordinary settings in which to stage very special and unforgettable storytelling events. The events will spark children’s imaginations and bring the magic of stories and books to young people in an experiential way. County Clare was chosen as one of sixteen locations on foot of a successful application by Clare County Library in June 2014.

The two-day storytelling festival will feature some of Ireland’s finest authors and storytellers including Alan Nolan, Sarah Webb, Erika McGann, Nuala Hayes, Sadie Cramer and County Clare’s Matt Griffin, with at least one storyteller visiting each of the participating schools.

An additional event will be hosted by Jessie Lendennie at the Salmon Bookshop and Literary Centre, Parliament Street, Ennistymon at 4.30pm on Wednesday May 6th where the project’s participating writers and storytellers will meet with children and parents at what will undoubtedly be a memorable storytelling event. Join writers and storytellers Sadie Cramer, Matt Griffin, Nuala Hayes, Erika McGann, Alan Nolan and Sarah Webb for a special public storytelling and reading. There'll be an opportunity to meet the writers and buy their books and CDs. Once Upon A Place is supported by The Arts Council, Clare County Library and Clare County Council Arts Office. Image above of Mullach Mor and Sliabh Rua, Burren National Park, courtesy Dr Charles Nelson.

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.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Mangan Gully, Nanango, Queensland - the Crusheen/Gallipoli connection

A gully near Nanango, Queensland, in Australia has just been officially named Mangan Gully after Gallipoli veteran Michael Mangan. Michael’s father left Crusheen for Australia in 1878. At the outbreak of WWI, Michael enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force for service abroad and served in Gallipoli and on the Western Front. His bravery as an Anzac has led to Mangan Gully being named in his honour. The story of this Mangan family, and of Michael’s experience of WWI are recounted by Liz Caffery & Deirdre Carroll in an article on Clare County Library’s website here