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Arts & Culture

War experience inspires Margaretta’s activism

People always ask Margaretta D’Arcy how did she become an anti-war activist? In her new book, Ireland’s Guantanamo Granny, the Galway-based activist answers the question by showing how her early experiences of war motivated her to campaign for peace. “I’m nearly 82 and not many people will remember the effect of World War II. My family had been living in Dublin but when I was about four or five, my father was transferred. He was a civil servant with the Department of Agriculture and we were to go and live in England,” she says. “A couple of days later came the news about the beginning of the war. The whole of London was like a war zone, with all these barrage balloons and sirens going off. It was an extremely frightening experience.” Ms D’Arcy says what followed was “panic” to get the family back to Ireland. “I think when a child has that trauma and the effect of the war …

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Martin Hayes first recipient of UL award

The musical genius of Clare fiddler Martin Hayes has been acknowledged in his selection as the first recipient of a prestigious new award at the University of Limerick. UL has announced a new three-year arts patronage award through the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. The Irish World Academy Artist, will facilitate the creative process of selected artists across a three-year period through a budget of €60,000. Martin Hayes, the first recipient, has been internationally acclaimed for bringing his local East Clare traditional fiddle style to a global audience through his many performances and recording. The Irish World Academy Artist at the University of Limerick will undertake a series of creative projects across the three-year span. Students of the academy will have access to open workshops in the building on the banks of the river Shannon on the University Campus. Professor Don Barry, president of UL, said, “It is fitting that an artist of the stature of Martin Hayes should …

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Council commissions 1916 artwork

THE centenary of the 1916 Rising will be commemorated with the installation of a €20,000 permanent artwork in Ennis, it has been confirmed. Clare County Council have begun the process of commissioning the artwork, with a proposed location of Abbey Street. It is planned to place the new artwork adjacent to the 1916 memorial stone currently in place, which was installed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Rising in 1966. According to Clare County Council, it is envisaged that the artwork will “be inclusive of the Ireland 2016 themes: remembering, reconciling, presenting, imagining and celebrating”. The local authority has explained that the artwork is being commissioned in response to the “great interest” in this period of history and the desire for Clare to play its part in the national commemoration. “Taking into consideration the community’s response to the commemoration of 1916 Easter Rising through the consultation process undertaken by Clare County Council in 2015, it is evident that there …

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€100k boost for Fleadh hosts

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, has allocated €100,000 for the hosting of Fleadh Cheoil na h-Eireann in Ennis this August. The allocation is part of Fáilte Ireland‘s national funding of just over €1.8 million for 23 key national festivals and events. Welcoming the news, Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Pat Breen said the return of the Fleadh to Clare is a major boost.  During the 10-day event over 300,000 additional visitors are expected into the county as well as 4,000 competitors and 9,000 session musicians and it will generate €40 million in income for the local economy. “There was a 14% increase in overseas visits to Ireland for the first eleven months of 2015 and the most recent figures show that revenue in the sector has increased by 16% to €4.2 billion. A significant factor in this growth is the festivals and events on offer in all parts of the …

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Mark pens Oscar entry

AN Ennis man could be set for Oscar gold after a film he penned has made the shortlist for nominations for the coveted award. Viva, a Spanish language film set in Havana written by Clare’s very own Mark O’Halloran has been named among nine movies shortlisted in the Foreign Language Film category. And in just a few short weeks, Mark the rest of the crew behind the acclaimed film will learn if they have made the final five nominees for next year’s 88th annual Academy Awards. Speaking to the Clare Champion this week Mark told us, “I’m very happy, I’m very surprised. It’s a very low budget film, made with a lot of dedication and heart. I’m pretty sure it’s the lowest budget film in the category so for it to have this impact is great. It’s been a good surprise to get on the shortlist, so fingers crossed, we’ll see how it goes.” The film, selected by the Irish …

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Kinvara exhibition brings Desert to Doorus

A special exhibition of work by two Sudanese artists will open in Kinvara on Tuesday. Kinvara Area Visual Arts (KAVA) is hosting the exhibition of paintings by two prominety Sudanese artists Salah Ibrahim and Ahmed Hussein, both of whom are based in Darfur. Salah Ibrahim’s work is inspired by the ethnically diverse tribes of Darfur; vivid imagery from grandmothers’ bedtime stories intermingle with rich symbolism of traditions and customs to create a beautiful fusion where myth and reality coexist. Ahmed Hussein hails from the Dajo tribe who were prominent in the ancient kingdom of Kush, the black pharaonic dynasty of Sudan. Much of the symbolism and imagery of this civilisation imbues his work. This exhibition promises to offer an insight into a fascinating, ancient and richly diverse culture that is little understood and remains in relative obscurity. The exhibition, titled Desert to Doorus will open on Tuesday, December 29 at 8pm in Kinvara’s newly launched visual art space at The Courthouse …

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‘Champion looking for short stories

ENTRIES for The Clare Champion Short Story Competition 2016 are now being accepted. Second-level students are invited to submit between 1,000 and 1,500 words on any subject of their choice, with Leaving Cert and Junior Cert categories for the young writers. The first prize is €300, with €200 for the runner-up and €100 for third place in each category. There will also be a number of prizes for highly commended short stories. Prospective entrants should submit a typed-only entry with their name, age, telephone number, school, year and English teacher’s name to Second Level Schools Short Story Competition Category (Leaving Cert or Junior Cert), The Clare Champion, Barrack Street, Ennis. The deadline is February 19, 2016. Editor of The Clare Champion Austin Hobbs said the Short Story Competition has proven to be very popular over the years, with the students, schools and parents. “It’s one of the most successful projects that we’ve ever undertaken. While we have a lot of …

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New strategy to boost museums

The new Local Authority Museums Network (LAMN) Strategy 2016-2019 ‘Preserving the Past – Shaping the Future’, has been launched by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys. LAMN represents the twelve local authority museums across Ireland, which play a vital role in the social, cultural and economic life of regions across Ireland. Highlights of this strategy include: Examining ways to exploit the opportunities presented by technology to promote collections and reach out to new audiences; Working collectively to play a distinct role in the Decade of Centenaries; Exploring opportunities for collaboration through the new EU funding programmes; Continuing to strengthen and develop partnerships with key stakeholder in order to deliver on the LAMN’s key mission. Minister Humphreys said, “Local authorities throughout Ireland play a vital and proactive role in promoting and preserving culture and heritage, ensuring the best possible quality of life for their communities. Through their museum services they strengthen local communities by underpinning a sense …

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