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Arts & Culture

Protecting our built heritage

  AN allocation of  €121,000 has been provided to Clare County Council under a newly announced Government scheme aimed at the repair and conservation of protected structures and generating employment in the local construction sector. The funding is being provided by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme, the closing date for which is Friday, February 7. Eligible structures include those listed in Clare County Council’s Records of Protected Structures (RPS), those proposed for inclusion in the RPS but have not yet been formally approved for inclusion, and those within Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs). Risteárd Ua Cróinín, the council’s architectural conservation officer, explained that the scheme seeks to leverage private capital for investment in a significant number of labour-intensive, small-scale conservation projects across Clare and to support the employment of skilled and experienced conservation professionals, craftspeople and tradespersons in the repair of the historic built environment.

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A personal take on the Troubles

MANY of us associate The 4 of Us with the late ’80s and early ’90s but the Northern rockers have never gone away and are about to release a new album, which explores growing up in the Newry of the Troubles. They perform in Glór on December 7 and speaking to The Champion, vocalist and songwriter Brendan Murphy said they will be playing material from the new record along with some of their older songs. “We’ve an album coming out next spring and it’s also our 25th anniversary next year, so we’re gearing up for that. We decided to do a number of shows before Christmas; we’re in Vicar Street in March and we wanted to test out the new record. It’s nearly done and we’re doing maybe half the new album. It’s a longer show because we still play the songs people would expect us to play. Bruce Springsteen is never out of the country now, so you have …

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Orla enjoys dream RTE news job

IT’S a tough time for young people in the workplace, with high unemployment and an internship culture keeping many out of full-time employment or nudging them towards emigration. However, Shannon’s Orla Walsh isn’t having that experience, having landed something of a dream job presenting RTÉ’s News2Day programme. She applied in May and has been on TV screens since September, having graduated with a BA in Journalism and New Media from UL in 2012. Speaking to The Clare Champion, she said she has settled well at Montrose and wants to carve out more of a niche for herself with the national broadcaster. She is always pleased when her work gets bumped up and used for the main news. “I absolutely love it. Since I was young, I always wanted to be on RTÉ and I always wanted to present the news. To get the chance to come in, do the children’s news and get such fantastic training is amazing. Every time …

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Gray sounding out intimate venues

A HUGE star in this country since the success of the White Ladder album more than a decade ago, David Gray is on his way to Glór as part of his Irish tour. In October, announcing he would be coming to Ireland for a tour entitled Sounding Out in early December, he came up with a unique method of deciding where he would visit. People were asked to register on his website for tickets and to indicate what county they’d like him to visit. He said the decision on venue would be made either by the strength of numbers or the “compelling eloquence” of the arguments. When the venues were announced, Clare had made the cut on December 10. Speaking about the tour on his website, he said he wanted to play in some of Ireland’s smaller venues. “When you get venues over a certain size, it’s sort of incumbent on me to make more of a show of it …

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Thomas captures the face of Richard

A PAINTING of Richard Harris by Clare artist Thomas Delohery is to be used as the promotional image for the inaugural International Richard Harris Film Festival, which runs from December 4-6. Originally from O’ Callaghan’s Mills, Delohery now lives in Melbourne, Australia. He said he was very honoured to be asked to do the art work for the festival. “I think this is the perfect way to honour the late and great Richard Harris, who was a very proud Limerick man but who saw Kilkee as his spiritual home, so much so he named his house in the Bahamas, Kilkee House,” he said. His image was projected onto King John’s Castle last week when the programme for the film festival was launched. “As Richard was a local man and had gone to such heights in his career, for that reason I saw him as an inspiration. I have been very fortunate that I have got to know the Harris family …

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A memorable night with Dave’s orchestra

AN audience of 600 already have their tickets for what will be one of the most unique experiences for traditional and classical music lovers on the Clare stage. Premiering The Clare Concerto, composed by Dave Flynn, The Clare Memory Orchestra, which has grown to an ensemble of 70 musicians, will perform for one night only in Glór. In what is a fusion of the classical orchestral structure and traditional aural learning, the performance has already sold out. Featuring musicians from classical and traditional backgrounds, as well as those who have experience in both, this is the first orchestra of its kind and was the brainchild of Dublin native and North Clare resident Dave Flynn. He outlined how the ambitious project came about. “I had the idea for a long time and it kind of originated from working with Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill in 2006, when I was commissioned to write a piece for them with a classical violinist. From …

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Town tunes up for trad festival

Ennis will provide a welcome break from the winter blues, the rain and the recession this weekend when the town resonates to the sound and strains of the best of Irish traditional music. The county town will host the twentieth instalment of the Ennis Trad Festival and the festival’s magnetic appeal will draw musicians and audiences from all over the country and further afield, providing a financial fillip for those in the hospitality sector. The official launch will take place this Thursday at 6pm in the front bar of The Queens Hotel. Ennis native, musician extraordinaire and noted scholar Dr Geraldine Cotter will cut the proverbial ribbon. All are welcome to attend or play as the mood takes them. Later that night, at 8pm in The Great Hall of the Templegate Hotel, Ann Lynch-Loyns will launch her debut CD “Silvery Light”. Ann comes from near Oldcastle Co Meath but now lives close to Newmarket. She learnt her first songs from …

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Kevin shows no sign of stopping

COMEDIAN Kevin McAleer has been talking nonsense for 30 years and shows little sign of stopping. One of the founding fathers of modern stand-up, he has influenced a whole generation of comedians in Ireland and the UK. On November 8, he comes to Patrick’s Bar in the Market, Ennis after a very long absence from the Clare stand-up scene. “I haven’t been to Ennis for a long time, too long…some hotel back in the mists of the 20th century I think, but the best pint of Guinness I ever had in my life was in Ennis with a friend around 1993. We both cried. “It was a very emotional moment. We still reminisce fondly about it. Maybe I can reconstruct that moment when I am there,” he said. The Tyrone ‘space cadet’ shot to fame back in the 1990s with his regular appearances on RTE’s Nighthawks, leading to sold-out nationwide tours and the best-selling EMI video Turn it On. He …

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Playwrights make tracks for Kilkee

THE third annual Kilkee Playwright Festival takes place from Friday, November 1 to Saturday, November 2 with some new and exciting events being added to this year’s line-up. Organised by Cultúrlann Sweeney and Banner Productions, this year’s programme is more far-reaching and varied than ever with performances from Cork, Galway and West Clare, as well as a one-day playwright workshop. The festival will kick off at 8pm in Cultúrlann Sweeney with The Great Hunger by Cork-based Theatre Makers Ltd. This one-man play is performed and adapted by Jack Healy from Patrick Kavanagh’s epic poem that deals with the trials and tribulations of its central protagonist, Patrick Maguire, a small farmer in post-Treaty Ireland. Maguire fails to seize day-after-passing-day, as he watches in despair as his life edge closer and closer to an unconsummated conclusion. On his “headland of carrots and cabbage” he dreams of an idyll of marriage and children and yet boasts to his friends of his mastery in …

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A Wyrd Tale Retold In Shannon

MUSE Productions in Shannon return to action following their production of Waiting for Godot earlier this year and make a move towards the vaguely ridiculous and spooky with Wyrd Sisters. The production, which will be a special treat for those getting into the Hallowe’en spirit, is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Terry Pratchett. It was adapted for the stage by Stephen Briggs and is a parody of Macbeth. Running for five nights at the Oakwood Arms Hotel, Shannon, Wyrd Sisters is a fun-filled drama for all the family featuring demons and ghosts, ghastly forests and storms. The play is set in the Kingdom of Lancre, but something is rotten in the state. The evil Duke Felmet has murdered the previous king and now newly crowned, he will stop at nothing until the whole kingdom is under his iron fist. The only one who could take the throne away from his grip, however, is the missing …

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