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Arts & Culture

Raising funds for Papal ‘crusaders’

IN 1860, over 1,200 volunteers from Ireland travelled to Italy to fight for the Papal States in the Papal Wars. An appeal was made throughout the country for funds to support the volunteers. Twenty-three Catholic parishes from Clare published lists of subscribers in newspapers of the day and, now, members of Clare Roots Society have undertaken to transcribe the names of these subscribers, resulting in a database of over 4,000 names. This week, members of Clare Roots Society handed over the Papal Army database to county librarian, Helen Walsh. In recent times, staff at the library’s Local Studies Centre came across extensive lists of subscribers names published in The Clare Journal, the local newspaper of the day. The subscriptions were in response to an appeal for funds to support the Irish volunteers to the Papal Army in the summer of 1860. Peter Beirne, Local Studies Centre librarian, immediately saw the value of these lists to genealogy researchers tracing Clare families. …

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A night on the wild side

INTERNATIONALLY renowned wildlife cameraman and TV personality, Gordon Buchanan will give an illustrated talk at Glór on Wednesday next. Perhaps best known for his BBC One series The Bear Family and Me and The Polar Bear Family and Me, he is also a regular contributor to BBC’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch series. In recent years, he has made a name for himself as a filmmaker specialising in big cats. Filming lions and hyenas at night in the Serengeti in 1999 led to him making two films for the BBC’s Natural World series. His Glór appearance will be an evening of exciting personal recollections, inviting the audience into his world of weird and wonderful wildlife, including the footage of his encounter with a hungry polar bear. This terrifying segment of the series has been viewed millions of times on YouTube and will be recounted on the night. Speaking about that incident, he says, “We wanted to have a way of getting close …

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Old scórs to be settled

MEMORIES of cultural contests of years gone by will be rekindled at the West County on November 21. Settling Old Scórs is being organised by Kilkishen’s John Torpey. He said he wanted to revisit the heyday of Scór in Clare. “I’m organising a celebratory concert of Scór from the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s and the millennium. Scór was a huge thing, probably one of the greatest social items that the GAA ever came up with,” he said. In the early days of the competition, there was incredible interest in it, not least in his own part of the county. “Christy Curtin from Miltown Malbay came up with a notion that there should be a social aspect to the GAA. Coming out of that, all of the clubs in the county were contacted, including myself and Robert Frost in O’Callaghan’s Mills. A few of us met in Kilkishen on a Saturday night and we said ‘you sing a song, you do this, …

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Capturing moments of history

THE people of Clare are used to seeing the creative mind of photographer John Kelly jump out of them from the pages of The Clare Champion each week but for the next year, the public will also get an opportunity to view his photography in a new setting. An award-winning photographer, John has worked with The Clare Champion for almost 25 years, displaying his passion for photography and for capturing the unusual of everyday life. In recent weeks, John was invited by Glór in Ennis to exhibit a selection of his favourite photographs from his extensive collection at the café and lobby. Seven of his photographs are on display in the building and take over from an exhibition by Christy McNamara. Sponsored by The Clare Champion, they will showcase until September 2015. “Glór is always looking for ways to support our local artists, photographers, musicians and we see this as an ideal space or opportunity for photographers, in particular, to …

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Mario has the gift of the gab

MULLAGH’S own Marty Morrissey is now playing a major part in Mario Rosenstock’s show. Speaking about RTÉ’s GAA correspondent, Rosenstock says, “Marty Morrissey has a huge part in this show, it’s at the beginning of act two. His thing in the audience is to find the most beautiful girl in the audience and to shift her. That’s basically what I do, seek out the most beautiful girl I can find, bring her up on stage. We do several seductive dances on stage together, before I try and shift her!” Rosenstock’s Marty has an enviable record over the last few months, he adds. “I’ve done it 29 times. Marty Morrissey has had 29 different shifts!” It’s hardly surprising that there are sometimes problems with that segment of the show. “There have been varying degrees of success. Some women are not okay with it and some women go mad for it. It really depends on the Marty obsession factor in the audience,” …

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Clare journalist in World Press spotlight

A senior reporter with Clare FM is exhibiting her work as part of the World Press Photo exhibition which opened in Dublin’s chq Building on Friday. As well as working in the radio station, Aisling O’Rourke has been pursuing a Masters in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism at the London College of Communication. Now Aisling is among three Irish people to have been selected to exhibit their work alongside some of the best photojournalism in the world as part of the Young Journalist Spotlight. Every year following the World Press Photo Contest, the winning images go on tour. The exhibition is officially opened in Amsterdam and can be seen at venues around the globe as it tours to approximately 100 cities in 45 countries. As well as showcasing photojournalism, the exhibition also encourages and stimulates the work of press photographers around the world. It attracts a wide audience and an eyewitness record of world events from the previous year. The World Press …

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Ennis library fund reallocated to municipal districts

IN an email to all 28 county councillors on Monday, Clare County Council chief executive, Tom Coughlan said €75,000, which had been earmarked for the development of Ennis library, would instead be distributed to all four municipal districts and allocated according to population. “I have again reviewed the proposed budgetary allocation for 2015 and it has been determined that a sum of €75,000, which had been provided in respect of advance cost for the Ennis library development, may not be provided from the revenue account in 2015,” Tom Coughlan said.“Accordingly, I have suggested to the Corporate Policy Group that the sum of €75,000 be made available to the municipal districts and that this sum be allocated proportionately on a population basis to each municipal district,” he added. Meanwhile, the council chief executive also referred to the report issued on Friday, September 26, which, in the context of the Local Property Tax, set out the financial position of the council. “That …

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TV cop reveals Crusheen roots

AN Bronntanas is a new five-part contemporary thriller, set in a fictional village in the West of Ireland, which is under pressure. Featuring John Finn, an actor with strong Clare links, the show is told in the style of a Celtic Noir, with elements of the Coen brothers’ influence thrown in. It tells the story of the village’s struggle as the economy crashes and unemployment runs high. The main employer is the local fish factory and that, too, is beginning to go under and many will be broke. When a rescue crew receives a distress call on a stormy night, to discover an abandoned fishing boat with a cargo of over a €1 million worth of drugs, the crew is faced with a moral dilemma. Do they hand the drugs to the authorities or sell the drugs and save their struggling village? An Bronntanas stars Dara Devaney (Na Cloigne) and Owen McDonnell (Single Handed), alongside veteran American-Irish TV and theatre …

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