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Arts & Culture

Zoe on top of the world

A Clarecastle woman has danced her way to the top of the world. Zoe Griffin has been named senior ladies champion at the World Irish Dancing Championships in Glasgow. “I’m delighted, this is always something that I wanted to do and I couldn’t believe it when it happened. When I went to the competition I was aiming for top five but to win, I’m just delighted,” the 21-year-old told The Clare Champion. Zoe was just three-weeks-old when she first visited Scoil Uí Ruairc School of Irish Dancing accompanying her older sister Sonya. “I’m part of the furniture now,” she laughs. She explains, “My sister was a dancer so I just went with her. She was eight and I was only a baby then, I suppose I was born into it.” Zoe was among the 14 solo qualifiers and a céilí team from Scoil Uí Ruairc to compete in Glasgow. Collectively, the dance school have brought home a world championship, two …

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Singing the praises of Bushypark

Music lovers are in for a rare treat this Friday night in Ennis with a concert featuring the award-winning Seoda Chamber Choir and renowned singer-songwriter Lucinda Drayton. The fundraising concert in the Templegate Hotel is in aid of the local Bushypark Treatment Centre which does tremendous work to support individuals and their families struggling with alcohol, drug and gambling addictions. The Seoda Chamber Choir from Limerick is a talented group of female friends who share a love of choral music and fun. Together they have created a magnificent sound under the very talented director, Máire Keary Scanlon. Now in their eleventh year together, Seoda has travelled extensively both at home and abroad and has achieved many accolades and tremendous success in competitions and performances alike. The choir reached a gold standard at the Prague Choral Festival in October 2015 and Máire Keary Scanlon won the Best Director of the Festival Award. “We like to sing popular songs that people will …

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Olivier award for Ennis actress

Ennis actress Denise Gough has been named Best Actress in this year’s Olivier Awards for her critically acclaimed role in the play People, Places and Things. The actress from College Green was the bookies favourite to take the award where she was up against actresses including Nicole Kidman, Gemma Arterton, Janet McTeer and Lia Williams. Denise used her acceptance speech in London’s Royal Opera House to voice concern about the lack of diversity. The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has described Denise as “an ever rising star of stage and screen” as she congratulated both the Clare actress and other Irish winners. The Minister added, “When we see Irish successes on this scale at ceremonies such as the Olivier Awards, it underlines the importance, and indeed the benefits, of providing funding to Culture Ireland, which helps Irish artists to bring their work overseas and helps to showcase Irish talent internationally.” Critics have been raving about …

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Lights, camera, action

Two Bridgetown film-makers have scooped second prize at Ireland’s Junior Young Filmmakers of the Year competition, organised as part of the Fresh Film Festival, Ireland’s major youth film festival. Trinity and Eden Minehan were presented with their award by TG4 television presenter, Micheál Ó’Ciaraidh at Fresh Film Festival. More than 40 short films, made by primary children from around Ireland, were screened at the festival in the Odeon Cinema in Limerick City. From the spooky to the fantastical, animation to factual, the Minehan brothers faced off stiff competition to scoop first place with Oscar and the Gdoifs, a fun, high-energy film about a lost puppy. Trinity, aged 11 years, and Eden, aged nine, have been entering Fresh Film Festival with their short films for the past three years. The brothers attend Bridgetown National School and got their whole school involved in this year’s film production. Festival director, Jayne Foley said, over the past 20 years of the Fresh Film Festival, young …

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Tulla boycott notice goes under the hammer

A NOTICE issued by the IRA during the War of Independence in 1920, calling for a public boycott of Pepper’s grocery shop in Tulla, will go up for auction this Saturday. The notice, issued by “Oglaigh na hEireann – West Clare Brigade IRA” and handwritten on a sheet of the shop’s own headed notepaper, has a pre-sale estimate of €300 to €400. Newcastle West antiques auctioneer Pat O’Donovan, who puts the document under the hammer, described the notice, which has come to light after 96 years, “as very rare”. Also a noted local historian, Mr O’Donovan explained that such notices were very rare because “most businesses supplying the British army in Clare heeded verbal warnings and so, presumably, the IRA didn’t need to issue written boycott notices”. The shop, owned by John Pepper and his family, was a general merchant shop that also sold tea, wine and spirits, ran a posting establishment and also operated flour, meal and bran stores. Mr …

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‘Champion support for the arts

THE Clare Champion is just the ticket when it comes to supporting the arts. Glór, the county’s premier arts venue, has once again joined forces with the newspaper, announcing that The Champion will be continuing its sponsorship of the venue’s ticket-printing. The arrangement will mean that every ticket for events in Glór will not only gain its holder entry to a top-class performance in a stunning venue but it will also provide details about the award-winning local newspaper. Clare Champion company director, Shelly Galvin commented, “We are delighted to be able to support the arts in Clare through our continuing sponsorship of the ticket printing for Glór. “This Ennis-based vibrant arts venue attracts some of the biggest names to County Clare and we at The Clare Champion are thrilled to be able to support Glór and the continued promotion of the county.

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St Patrick’s Day parades in photos

Thousands of people turned out to enjoy St Patrick’s Day parades in towns and villages all over County Clare.  The biggest parade was in Ennis where Pakie Wall from Kilmihil – the oldest Patrick in Clare – was grand marshal. We capture all the excitement and colour of the parades in photos. ENNIS:   GORT: KILLALOE: TULLA: SHANNON: KILRUSH: LISDOONVARNA:

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lady gregory, derbhle crotty

Gregory and Cusack to feature in Fire in the Blood

FIRE in The Blood, a series of four programmes on the Celtic Revival begins on RTE One tonight (February 29) at 8.30pm. It focuses on four areas of the revival: drama; the Irish language; art; and, sports. Each episode will focus on one individual who played a central role in the Revival, including Lady Gregory and Michael Cusack, and will be presented by a contemporary figure who can speak with credibility about that individual – assessing their lives, and the influence of their work. The Celtic Revival was a broad-based cultural movement whose stated purpose was to address many diverse areas of Irish life – literary, linguistic, visual and sporting. The purpose of this four-part series is to give a real sense of the breath of those ambitions and the scale of their impact on Irish society.  The Celtic Revival contained a number of outstanding and colourful individuals, but producers selected four who they believe will provide insights to some …

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