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Arts & Culture

Doonbeg looks forward to a jazz-packed weekend

This year’s Doonbeg International Jazz Festival will be running in the village from May 30 to June 2. Festival programmer, Philippa Siegrist, said there are several popular groups playing over the weekend, which should help draw a very large crowd to the West Clare village. “It’s our 15th year, which is brilliant, it’s amazing. This year, we have a band coming from Holland, called The Busquitos (pictured right), and they’re very good. We have a band from Scotland, called Jazz Main. They’re coming back, due to popular demand. The Paul O’Driscoll trio from Dublin are coming; we have Ace Minski. I play in a band called Skazz myself, who should be top of the bill! “We have a children’s fun day on the Saturday and that will be free. We’d expect to have three, maybe four thousand people over the weekend. It’s great,” she said. Philippa said the organisers try and make sure the music is accessible to everyone. “We …

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June Rodgers coming to Ennis

  By Owen Ryan NEXT month June Rodgers will be hitting the road for her first ever nationwide tour, while she has a part in Mrs Brown D’Movie, which will also be released during the month. She will be at Glór on June 7 and she said that other commitments prevented her from going around the country up till now. “I’ve been asked for many years to do it, but with other commitments we just never got around to it. People have travelled to Dublin to see shows and they keep saying why don’t you come down. After the Christmas show at the Red Cow we decided we’d hit the road with this show and most of the cast were around which was great, because a lot of them go off and do other things and I may not see them until the following Christmas.” She says that all of her best known characters will be included in the show …

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Junior category winner Aoife Daly, St Annes Killaloe with John Galvin, Clare Champion Managing Director.

Short Story winners announced

The winners of eighth annual Clare Champion Short Story Competition have just been announced, with the prizes being presented at a ceremony in DeValera Library, attended by students, parents and teachers. The winning entries were: Junior Category Highly Commended – Missing Figure by Aneesha Abdalla, Coláiste Muire Highly Commended – Success by Seán Lyons, St Flannan’s College Highly Commended – In a Foreign Field by Jane O’Loughlin, Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna 3rd place – Storm Christine by Róisín O’Donoghue, Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Lisdoonvarna 2nd place – Mistaken Identity by Michael McNamara, Rice College, Ennis 1st place – I Am by Aoife Daly, St Anne’s Community College, Killaloe Senior Category Highly Commended – A Teenager’s Guide to Life by Muireann Duffy, Scoil Mhuire, Ennistymon Highly Commended – A Noble Profession by Roisin O’Sullivan, St Joseph’s Secondary School, Spanish Point Highly Commended – Just Another Day by Eve Quinn, Coláiste Muire, Ennis 3rd place – Brooke’s Magazine by Seán Hanrahan, …

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The Nualas on their way to Ennis

By Owen Ryan HAVING first come to prominence in the 90s the Nualas are on the road again and will be in Ennis next week, coming to Glór on Saturday, April 26. Anne Gildea is one of the group and she says they are defying a convention that women in entertainment vanish from the scene after a certain age. She also says that the group has changed focus somewhat since the early days. “Obviously your motivation is different when you’re older. Now, we’re not that much older, but I find it more fun, there’s more depth in what we can talk about and it’s more interesting to do now. In showbiz, you’re supposed to disappear when you get a bit older, if you’re out of your thirties as a woman you’re supposed to disappear or something.” The current show builds on the alter egos developed when they first burst on the scene. “The basic Nuala show started in the 90s …

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Marissa Carter, founder of Cocoa Brown, wearing one of Bríd’s beaded collars.

Collars up for Brid

By Carol Byrne CLARE milliner, Brid O’Driscoll, who is now based in Kinvara, with a further studio just opened in Ballyalla, has been working on a new craft of late, which has managed to catch the eyes of Hollywood celebrities. Beaded collars and headpieces she designed were worn by Cocoa Brown tanning range founder, Marissa Carter, to this year’s Oscars, and were also seen by a number of Hollywood talents at a pre-Oscars event held in Beverly Hills. Meanwhile, in a separate development, she has been the inspiration for a new novel based on two milliners which has been released by Irish bestselling author, Colette Caddle. Speaking about how this new craft has developed in a few short years, Bríd said she has only been making these new beaded bespoke headpiece and collar designs in the last year. Her millinery work began in October 2011 but her passion for art and design has always been there. “I’ve always had a …

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Arts Projects in jeopardy

by Carol Byrne THE future of nine arts projects in Clare, worth €343,500, are in limbo after Irish Water indicated it is going to discontinue the Per Cent for Art Scheme. Clare County Council applied for grants following the construction of nine water schemes in the county. Three applications for arts funding of €51,000 were sought in relation to the construction of the Newmarket-on-Fergus Water, Ennis Water Treatment Plant and West Clare Contract Six Water Schemes. A further three applications for €38,000 in arts funding were made following the development of the Ennis Augmentation Water Scheme, Corofin Sewerage Scheme and Lisdoonvarna Water Supply Scheme extension to Ballyvaughan. Two applications for funding of €25,500 were sought under the Per Cent for Art Scheme following the construction of the Tulla Serviced Land Initiative (SLI) and the Clonlara SLI Sewerage Scheme, while one application for funding of €25,000 was made in respect of works at the Clarecastle SLI. The information emerged in a …

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Concertina convention comes to town

by Peter O’Connell THE first staging of the National Concertina Convention (Consairtín) will be held in Ennis this weekend.  The festival directors are concertina player and teacher Tim Collins along with Áine Hensey, who is also very involved in the traditional arts in Clare. “It’s a new music festival on the music landscape of Clare,” Tim said. “It’s about capturing the colossal interest in the instrument, not just in Clare anymore. In the last 20 or 30 years the concertina has become a very popular instrument right across the country and beyond. “Áine Hensey and I felt that the time was right to bring an international festival to Ennis that would capture the interest in the instrument. We have a broad weekend planned including a mixture of teaching and a lot of performances,” he added. The festival will be officially opened by Jurgen Suttner on Friday at 7.30pm in the Old Ground Hotel. “There are lectures as well each day …

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Another award for renowed Killaloe accordion player

By Dan Danaher RENOWNED Killaloe accordion player, Martin Connolly was presented with an award during the Kincora Music Weekend recently. Martin accepted the award on behalf of his family as the accolade was an official recognition of the huge contribution made by the Connolly family to Irish music, song and dance. Martin received a piece of glass crystal with an inscription the “Fort of Kincora”, which is a reference to some of his previous work. He will also be honoured in his own home town by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCE) during the Clare Fleadh. CCE Ard Sturthoir, Labharas O’Murchu will present Gradam an Chomhaltais to the Killaloe native. Clare CCE public relations officer, Councillor Joe Arkins said it was fitting that Mr Connolly should be feted in his own home place following his “immense” contribution to Irish traditional music, in particular accordeon playing. In addition to winning several All-Ireland titles as a performer, Clare’s first citizen noted he had repeated this …

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