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Arts & Culture

De Dannan Perform in Kilkishen

Kilkishen Cultural Centre is delighted to launch into 2015 with a performance by Frankie Gavin and De Dannan on Saturday January 3 at 8.30pm. For many years traditional super group De Dannan were the forerunners in the Irish traditional music world but after 33 years, 14 albums and a number of changes in the line up, the group disbanded in 2003.  A new De Dannan was formed by original founding member and world famous fiddle player Frankie Gavin which in his own words “will reflect a De Dannan of the 21st century”. The new De Dannan line up is led by original De Dannan member Frankie Gavin on fiddle, flutes and whistles, Barry Brady on accordion, Colm O’Caoimh on Guitar and Vocals, Paul O’Driscoll on Double bass and vocals and with Michelle Lally on vocals. Frankie Gavin is the most celebrated Irish fiddle player of all time and has performed and recorded with rock legends The Rolling Stones, Jazz Legend …

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Ennis singer auditions to be the next Voice of Ireland

THE Voice of Ireland may have found an Ennis voice to represent County Clare ahead of the screening of Sarah McTernan’s audition in the New Year. The popular singing competition returns for a fourth season on Sunday January 4 on RTÉ One where the coaching panel made up of Una Foden and Rachel Stevens, Kian Egan and Bressie will determine who gets a spot in the series. Among those who are due to go on stage to perform in blind auditions in front of them is Sarah McTernan from Ennis. The 20 year old is currently studying vocals and dance at the University of Limerick and she will sing Who You Are by Jessie J for her audition. Speaking about her passion for music and reasons for going on the show, the Ennis woman says her Mum has always pushed her to sing and play instruments. However, she says she has only recently started gigging and writes some of her …

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Canadian TV Show ‘The Travel Guy’ Films in Clare

Canadian TV personality and travel writer Frank Greco has been visiting Clare and Ireland, to film for his popular show ‘The Travel Guy’, as a guest of Tourism Ireland in Toronto. The special Ireland episode, which will be seen in millions of households in Canada and elsewhere around the world, will include footage of many of the county’s top visitor attractions – including the Cliffs of Moher, Loop Head Lighthouse, the Music Makers of West Clare in Miltown Malbay, and a traditional Irish music session at McGann’s Pub in Doolin. During their time here, the crew stayed at Crotty’s Pub and B&B in Kilrush and Hotel Doolin. ‘The Travel Guy’ series is broadcast on many networks across the world including Discovery World HD (Canada), the Back9 Lifestyle Network (United States), Asia Television Network, Japan Television and U7 (Russia) – reaching millions of potential holidaymakers for Ireland. Dana Welch, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Canada, said: “We are delighted that Frank Greco …

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Ennis Fleadh bid gets a boost

CLARE could be tuning up for a €30 million Fleadh Cheoil windfall in 2016, after a bid to secure the return festival to the Banner County got a major boost. Efforts to host the lucrative 2016 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann competition in Ennis got a significant shot in the arm after a submission from the local branch defeated Cork City by 11 votes to nine. For the first time ever, counties have to submit their plans for hosting the event and Clare’s bid, which was in the name of the Abbey branch in Ennis, triumphed, with two votes to spare. It is expected a final decision on the current shortlist will be made next March. Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann was last held in Ennis in 1977. People always remember the 1956 Fleadh too, made famous by the Robbie McMahon song, The Fleadh Down in Ennis. Ennis is now in a three-horse race involving Sligo, who are hosting the All-Ireland showpiece …

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Kim finds a voice with debut novel

KILSHANNY-based Canadian, Kim Hood  has been shortlisted for The Bookseller’s inaugural Young Adult Book Prize for her debut novel, Finding A Voice. The competition was open to writers in Britain and Ireland and the winner of the £2,000 prize will be announced in March. “Basically, it’s a story about friendship. A girl, who is 13, is basically a caregiver for her mother, who suffers from mental illness. Life isn’t going so great for her, between home and school where she kind of has the reputation of being ‘the weird kid with the weird mother’. She volunteers in the special education wing and she meets a character called Chris, who has cerebal palsey and cannot talk. It’s basically about how they both develop a voice through their friendship,” Kim said of the book. Writing for young people comes quite easily to her, she says, while her own teens, difficult as they were, have given her a useful insight. “When I started …

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Students given dramatic licence

Students all over Clare are being encouraged to get creative this Christmas and put together a submission for the 2015 Student Theatre Awards writing categories. There are two writing categories in this year’s Bord Gáis Energy organised awards. In the Best Dramatic Critique category, students are invited to submit a critique of any theatrical production they’ve seen. Any performance based production is suitable for this category. So if you go along to a panto, choral evening or variety show over the festive period, be sure to take the time to create a review for the awards. In the Best Short Scene Script category, students are given the freedom to create their own scene and there are no limits except their own imaginations. There are a couple of things to bear in mind; ultimately this is a performance scrip, so think about how it will look and sound, not just how it reads. Open to primary school students from 3rd – …

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Reciting poetry aloud

SCION Flanagan from Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna is the winner of the intermediate category in the annual Poetry Aloud competition, organised by the National Library of Ireland and Poetry Ireland. Poetry Aloud, an annual poetry speaking competition for post-primary school students across the island of Ireland, was launched in 2006. Since then, it has grown enormously from just a few hundred entries to over 1,700 this year alone. The Poetry Aloud competition comprises three stages: the regionals; the semi-finals; and the final. This year, over 118 schools took part in the competition, including Mary Immaculate Secondary School in Clare, at 18 regional heats in venues across the country. Today’s finalists were then chosen at two semi-finals involving 149 participants. Three other Lisdoonvarna students reached the semi-final stage

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Audio walls make oral history accessilble

CUIMHNEAMH an Chláir has launched three new audio walls at Aillwee Caves, the County Museum in Ennis and Bunratty Folk Park Cormac McCarthy of the group said visitors can view footage of people talking about times gone by and explained the installation of the audio walls is part of their work to increase access to oral history. “We were fortunate enough to get funding from Clare Local Development Company. The last bit of funding that we had we put towards the development of these interactive audio-visual displays. A core part of what the group is about is recording the oral history and also trying to get it back out there into the community. This is a project we devised that would get it out there into the public and the locations that we’ve chosen have among the highest footfalls in the county,” said Cormac. The interactive audio-visual displays will showcase 55 clips from the massive Cuimhneamh an Chláir archive and …

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