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Arts & Culture

€400,000 to reach out to new music generation

CLARE Music Education Partnership (CMEP) is to receive more than €400,000 in seed funding, enabling high quality, accessible music education programmes to be provided for children and young people in the local community. The funding was announced as part of Music Generation, the U2 and Ireland Funds’ supported National Music Education Programme initiated by Music Network. Clare was selected for participation in the fourth and final round of the programme. Chairperson of Clare Music Education Partnership George O’Callaghan said, “It is a great boost in terms of delivering a musical educational programme for those who will find it difficult to access music education in the county. “Currently, there is great work being done by private providers and this will add to that and will allow other children, who up to now hadn’t been able to access music education. There will be a hub in Ennis and various out-centres across the county,” Mr O’Callaghan added. He said the funding will be …

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Gabriel Foley back in Glór

COROFIN Drama Society will stage The Two Loves of Gabriel Foley, by Jimmy Keary in Glór, Ennis on Tuesday and Wednesday next. The play was performed in the county town in early December, but after selling out on both nights, the society decided to stage it again. “This is a hilarious comedy and it is a play that rarely comes around. We all go to different plays and sometimes they are really a chore to get through, but this one is a real joy to behold”, explained Stephen Bermingham, PRO of the society. “We staged it in Glór in early December for two nights and we had a fantastic reaction from the crowd. We got a standing ovation each night and they were howling with laughter during the show. I don’t know when I saw a reaction like this, I don’t think I ever have. People were nearly getting sick laughing. We filled Glór both nights. Anyone who I met …

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Clare Champion short story competition launched

THE Clare Champion Short Story Competition 2014 has just been launched. Open to second-level pupils, the  competition has gone from strength to strength over the past eight years, with a record number of 270 entries received last year. The stories can be on any subject and should be approximately 1,000 to 1,500 words long. There are two entry categories for the competition, Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate, but entries are open to those from first year to sixth year. The first prize in each category is €300, second prize is €200 and third prize is €100. There are also awards for those highly commended and all those shortlisted will have their stories published in The Clare Champion. The competition aims to recognise the talents of young writers across its readership, which not only encompasses County Clare but extends into South Galway. Clare Champion editor, Austin Hobbs said, “Practically every school in the county has had a student on the winners’ list, …

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Clare Museum visitors up

A TOTAL of 28,947 people visited Clare Museum in Ennis during 2013, making the year the busiest  since 2008.  More than 3,000 extra visitors came to the museum during the year representing 12.5% increase on 2012 and continued an upward trend that began in 2011. While both the The Gathering and increased traffic into Shannon, particularly from the United States, were important factors in this increase, a number of museum initiatives were hugely successful during the year also. Among these initiatives were public talks on the Hidden History of Clare that attracted great interest locally during the winter and spring.  Another was the Festival of Poland, a project designed to build a bridge between the museum and the largest ethnic minority in the county.

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Hail to the High King

THE night skies over Lough Derg were illuminated with fireworks, as the new year dawned, marking the start of the Brian Boru Millennium Celebrations – Killaloe Ballina 2014. It’s a year-long festival, built around the famous High King of Ireland, who was killed after victory in the Battle of Clontarf  in 1014. The aim of the organising committee is to “reclaim” during 2014 Killaloe’s place as capital of Ireland, as it was during the Clare king’s reign. On New Year’s Eve, people from near and far descended on the twin towns to witness a ceremonial march from four locations to meet at Kincora, the spot where Brian’s palace once stood. In addition to the launch, the festival will include four other key anchor events: Killaloe Ballina St. Patrick’s Festival April Millennium Commemorations Féile Brian Boru 2014, leading a packed summer programme including the Killaloe Pink Ribbon Walk October 10.14 Celebrations The festival will also see the launch of the new National Brian …

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Early 20th century Clare in photos

LIMERICK  City Museum and Archives (LCMA) is to host a major photographic exhibition featuring rare images of South East Clare and Limerick City, dating back to the early 20th century. “The Street” exhibition, comprising of photographs from The Haselbeck Collection, will be launched at Limerick City Hall on Monday, January 13 by Mayor of Limerick Kathleen Leddin and Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan. Franz S. Haselbeck worked as a professional photographer in the Mid-West from 1912 until his death in 1973. He cycled all over Limerick City and throughout South East  Clare to photograph the important events of his time, including the War of Independence and major construction projects, as well as everyday events. Today, The Haselbeck Collection is regarded as one of the most important collections of 20th century Ireland. Some of the earliest photographs featured in the exhibition relate to the Irish Volunteers and the Royal Irish Constabulary in 1913 and 1914 at a time …

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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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