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Hanrahan unveils JFK paintings

Monday, May 29 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of assinnated US President John JF Kennedy. To coincide with this, Clare artist Michael Hanrahan unveils the final four paintings from a series of nine paintings he painted in 2013. They will be on view at 6pm at his gallery on Main Street, Ennistymon. Michael wrote to Caroline Kennedy back in 2013 requesting images of the historic visit of the President to Ireland in 1963. The Kennedy Library sent him archival photos of the visit and he was able to base the paintings from these images. The Kennedy Library selected the painting of ‘JFK in Cork’ and Aer Lingus flew Michael and the painting to Boston where the painting was presented to Tom McNaught Chief Executive of the Kennedy Foundation in the private Kennedy room. In 2013 the painting of JFK speaking in New Ross was presented to Caroline Kennedy in New Ross during the 50th anniversary celebrations of the …

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Musical society enters the Little Shop of Horrors

ENNIS Musical Society will present its 60th production, the dark and hilarious comedy Little Shop of Horrors this month, opening this Wednesday night in Glór. The story is told from the perspective of a downtrodden florist shop assistant Seymour Krelborn, played by Eoghan Rice from Quin, whose interest in weird and exotic plants leads him to find a rather unusual plant of the fly-trap variety. The plant – with the right food – promises to drag this former street kid out of the gutter and into the arms of a loving woman, bringing him fame and fortune along the way. Seymour has to struggle between his conscience and his desire for wealth and notoriety. This year’s musical is being staged slightly earlier, with performances from March 8 to Saturday, March 11 in Glór. Typically, the society has a six-show run so with just four performances, Ennis Musical Society chairperson Anne-Marie Hassett said demand will be high. “This year is a …

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60 shows from Ennis Musical Society

FOUNDED in 1953, Ennis Musical Society has been responsible for bringing the most popular Broadway and West End shows to a County Clare audience and this year is no different, as it embarks on a milestone performance. Ennis Musical Society’s 60th show is the dark comedy, Little Shop of Horror. The Franciscan Order is the foundation on which the Ennis Muscial Society breathed its first life and, in 1953, the society, then known as the Friary Choral, took its first steps onto the amateur stage. Under the dedicated direction of its founder, the late Fr Eunan OFM, it held its début performance of The Country Girl at the New Hall, which was known locally as Paddy Con’s/The Jet Club and is now home to Madden’s Furniture. It took six years before it staged its next production, Wild Violets, in May 1959. The revived society was by then known as the Franciscan Musical Society. Someone who has been involved since the …

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Council has arts grants to award

The Arts Office of Clare County Council is seeking applications for the 2017 annual Arts Grants, which is aimed at developing and promoting the arts in the county. Grants will be awarded in three areas – support to individual artists, organisational support, and support for projects and events. “Allocated annually, this is a hugely popular scheme with almost 100 applications received in 2016,” said Siobhán Mulcahy, Clare county arts officer. She added, “Under the 2003 Arts Act, the arts are defined as painting, sculpture, architecture, music, film, drama, dance, literature, design in industry and the fine arts and applied arts generally. The awards can be used for the professional development of artists, the arts and/or increasing access and participation in the arts.”

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George Michael’s Labasheeda connection

A MAN with strong West Clare links has spoken of his enduring admiration and close working relationship with the late George Michael. Toby Bourke, who lived in Labasheeda with his wife Alicia and still owns a holiday cottage there, has told The Clare Champion of his admiration for the pop superstar, who died on Christmas Day. Toby sang with the world-renowned artist on the 1997 single Waltz Away Dreaming, which was the first release by the Aegean record label established by George Michael after he left Sony. “We first met in 1994, when he was mooting the idea of setting up his own record label. That finally happened in 1996,” Toby explained. “From about 1996 onwards, I was his direct employee as an artist on his record label. We had that in common but ironically my father-in-law then, from my first marriage, had prostate cancer and was in the room next to Lesley, George’s mum, at Charing Cross Hospital in …

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A poem for Christmas Day

Light of Christmas THERE in a manger in a stable dark and forlorn, The baby Jesus was born With Mary and Joseph by his side In their sweet love he did abide The stable was dark and cold But in it was a treasure more precious than gold The baby son of God most high Who came to save both you and I The poor shepherds came to kneel before the baby king And his praises they did sing Then the magi from the east Came their eyes on the baby king to feast We too on this new Christmas day Should take a little time to pray And give heartfelt thanks to God in heaven above For his most precious gift of love And on bended knee with heads bowed low Ask him on you his blessing to bestow And be filled with peace and joy As you recall the birth of Gods little boy. Dermot Maguire, Shannon.

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Christmas Day to ring out across Europe

SHANNON singer/songwriter David Hope has a new seasonal release, Christmas Day, which will be heard all around Europe in the coming days. The song takes up the common theme of struggling to get home to loved ones for Christmas, with a rather robust pop-oriented sound. It comes with a funny and entertaining video, which was shot in Lahinch. Christmas Day was chosen as the RTÉ Radio One song, selected for the European Broadcasting Union Christmas Music Project and will feature on a playlist across all member states. The single will also feature on RTÉ Radio One’s Christmas Playlist 2016 and a number of stations in Germany and Austria. David says, “I suppose I didn’t intentionally sit down and write a Christmas song; it just kind of happened that way. The song kind of led me to write it and I kind of went with it. It kind of took on a life of its own really. It took a turn …

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Homeless to benefit from Where I find God

TWO school chaplains from Clare will this week launch their thought-provoking book, which sees many of Ireland’s finest thinkers share where they have found, and continue to find, God in their lives. The book, which is the brainchild of Cora Guinnane from Clarecastle and Joanne O’Brien from Quin, features contributions from former president Mary McAleese, Brent Pope, Finbar Furey, as well as Bishop Willie Walsh and Fr Harry Bohan. Where I find God will be launched in Ennis on Friday and all royalties from the book will go to the Peter McVerry Trust and Focus Ireland. Joanne is a secondary-school chaplain at St John Bosco Community College in Kildysart and Cora, who is on a career break currently, is a secondary-school chaplain at St Caimin’s in Shannon. Joanne said as they share an interest in spirituality, they liked the idea of exploring where people find God. She said they felt that people in general are moving away from the traditional …

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Clare Champion Halloween Party (Photo Gallery)

Pupils of Ennis NS and The Holy Family schools visited The Clare Champion office earlier today gfor their fill of festive fun, treats and entertainment.

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Socks in the Frying Pan sizzling hot

SOCKS in the Frying Pan must be the most distinctive band name in Irish music today but the group are keeping its origin quiet. When asked, guitar player and vocalist Aodán Coyne was giving nothing away. “If I told you that, I’d get in a lot of trouble. The lads would kill me,” he said. The lads in question are the Hayes brothers, Shane (button accordion) and Fiachra (fiddle, banjo and bodhrán), who make up the trio with Aodán. All three are from Ennis and they will launch their next album, Without A Paddle, when they play at Glór on October 20. The three first began playing together in a popular Ennis venue. “We started about eight years ago in Cruise’s Bar, doing a session. We were there for about five or six years playing sessions and getting a bit tighter. We got that first CD out. We got a manager and an agent and we went over to the …

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