Monday, 20 October 2014

Laureate for Irish Fiction - three Clare authors nominated

The Arts Council has just announced the full list of nominees for the Laureate for Irish Fiction, with County Clare's Edna O'Brien, Niall Williams and Ré O’Laighleis joining the likes of John Banville, Sebastian Barry, Emma Donoghue, Anne Enright, Eimear McBride, and Joseph O'Connor among the 34 authors nominated. Nominations were made by 119 organisations and individuals, including book clubs, bookshops, poets, playwrights, arts organisations (including the Ennis Book Club Festival) and public libraries.

In December 2013 the Arts Council announced the establishment of a new award which will honour an outstanding Irish fiction writer and encourage the next generation of Irish fiction writers. The Laureate for Irish Fiction will be awarded by the Arts Council to an Irish writer of national and international distinction. The honour will be used to promote Irish literature nationally and internationally and to encourage the public to engage with high quality Irish fiction. The video above offers an introduction to the Laureate and outlines the nomination process via interviews with Orlaith McBride, Arts Council Director, Sheila Pratsche, Arts Council Chair, and Denis Staunton, Deputy Editor of the Irish Times.

Click here for the full list of nominees:

Friday, 17 October 2014

Sharon Shannon & Alan Connor - 'Mickey Joe Mikes'

County Clare's Sharon Shannon with Alan Connor on TG4's Bosca Ceoil. Posted on Youtube on the 5th of October 2014 by Bosca CeoilTG4.

The Famine in Kilrush, County Clare

An 1851 Report on Kilrush Workhouse published in the memoirs of Dr Robert Madden was recently added to the library website. In February of that year Dr Madden witnessed “ a multitude of human beings, exceeding a thousand, congregated round the building, men, women and children, in every state of famine debility and disease, arising from want of food, want of sufficient raiment, and in many cases want of shelter fit for human beings in that inclement season.” A number of other articles on the website throw light on the tragic situation in Kilrush Union during this period including the Minute Books for the workhouse for 1849; a return of deaths in the workhouse for 1950-51 and a report on evictions in Kilrush Union, 1847-49 by Captain Kennedy. Reports and drawings in the Illustrated London News vividly convey the dire circumstances as they unfolded and more local newspaper reports are collected in the History of Kilrush by Senan Scanlan who also addresses the role of the Vandeleur family during the Famine.

2014 Samuel Johnson Prize Shortlist announced

Six titles have been shortlisted for the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. The winner of the award worth £20,000 will be announced on November 4th. There are two memoirs on the shortlist. Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk tells of how she trained a goshawk, and Marion Coutts’ humane account of her husband's loss of speech and death from a brain tumour is recounted in The Iceberg. Village of Secrets by Caroline Moorehead tells the story of how villagers in France’s Massif Central mountains saved thousands of people from concentration camps during the Nazi occupation. The Empire of Necessity is an account of how slaves on board a 19th-century ship rose up and slaughtered most of the crew. The final two books on the shortlist are John Campbell’s A Well-Rounded Life, a biography of politician Roy Jenkins, and Alison Light’s Common People, an exploration of her family through generations of obscurity and poverty.

Historian Ruth Scurr of the judging panel said “It has been a very uplifting experience to read these books. Even the straight historical narrative books on the list are as compelling as the best novels.” Lucy Hughes-Hallett won last year’s prize for her book The Pike, a portrait of the Italian Fascist poet Gabriele D’Annunzio.

Roald Dahl Live! at Miltown Malbay Library

The children attending Wayne O’Connor’s Children's Book Festival show at the Dr. Patrick J. Hillery Public Library, Miltown Malbay, laughed all the way back to class and so did their teachers. Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes were introduced and explored through Wayne’s hilarious banter and his quirky drawings. The Big Bad Wolf, Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk all featured. By the end of the hour they had been re-created in Wayne’s drawings wearing tattoos, earrings and dressed like never before with lots of help from his audience. The children, teachers and library staff said that "Wayne was absolutely amazing. A fantastic, energetic performance!"

Discover Ireland - Discover Lough Derg

"Sitting cosily between the three counties of Galway, Tipperary and Clare, Lough Derg on the Shannon offers 32,000 twinkling acres – just waiting to be enjoyed. Lough Derg is a handsome inland sea set in an attractive blend of mountain and hillside, woodland and farm and has become a major area for waterborne sport and leisure. Yet at its southern end, the Shannon ceases to be a leisurely river moving gently southward across quiet countryside." Posted on Youtube on the 30th of September 2014 by

Surfing at Barrtra, Lahinch, October 2014

"Short edit from place called Barrtra, few miles from Lahinch, County Clare, Ireland. Waves were pumping. What an incredible day..." Posted on Youtube on the 6th of October 2014 by Michal Púchy.

Cliffs Of Moher - Walking on the northern path to O´Brien´s Tower

"Northern path on Cliffs of Moher, near Liscannor, County Clare, Ireland." Posted on Youtube on the 12th of October 2014 by Daga Muten.

The unveiling of Brian Boru Shield at Killaloe Library

On Saturday 11th October 2014 a spectacular copper shield commemorating Brian Boru in his birthplace was unveiled outside Killaloe Public Library and Heritage Centre by local author, teacher, and historian Seán Kierse. Local Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Clare Tony O’Brien, representatives of Feile Brian Boru, the local 2014 Millenium Committee and St Anne’s Community College Kincora Call Group, local residents and visitors were present at the event.

The shield was commissioned by the Feile Brian Boru Committee and created by the adults and children who took part in copper-craft workshops in July with silver-smith Suzi Lewisohn at the CELT Traditional Craft Experience. The shield is a copper sculpture using different techniques, including stamp work, riveting and wirework. The artwork was created and finished by East Clare-based blacksmith Mark Wilson, and the design for the piece was taken from a woodcut created by artist and printmaker Suzannah O’Reilly with the assistance of Ballinahinch Primary School children. Both the staff in Killaloe Library and Tourist Office and the community in general are delighted with this fabulous artistic addition to the building.

The photograph above shows Sean Kierse, local historian; John Grimes, chairman of Feile Brian Boru; Tony O’Brien, Deputy Mayor of Clare; Una Kierse, 2014 Millenium Committee and Mark Wilson, blacksmith, under the Brian Boru Shield.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Absence – An Adam Pomeroy exhibition in Glór

'Absence' is an exhibition of new works by the Clare-based figurative artist Adam Pomeroy. Inspired by the theme of loss, the collection includes figure painting, portraiture, still life painting, and drawings. Pomeroy is probably best known in local art circles for his ‘Annunciation’, which hangs in Ennis Cathedral. It was one of a series of large-scale biblical paintings on display in various cathedrals around the country. The exhibition will continue until Friday 31st October in Glór, Ennis.