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Arts & Culture

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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Luka Bloom at Samaritans CD launch

THE Clare launch of the CD, Don’t Be Afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You, will take place on Saturday night at the Templegate, at which Luka Bloom will play. This CD is being sold in aid of the Samaritans and broadcaster, John Cooke will be MC at the event, which runs from 7pm to 9pm. Spokesman for the Clare and Ennis branch of the Samaritans, Enda Sheehy said, “Luka Bloom is going to be there, the Ennis Gospel Choir will be there and there’s a few local traditional musicians playing at the start of the night – Eoin O’Neill, Briege O’Gorman and Noreen Lynch. Admission is free for anyone who wants to come along.” Speaking to The Clare Champion this week, Luka Bloom said he is looking forward to the evening. “It’s a free event for the Samaritans to announce the release of this beautiful CD and to get a bit of awareness for them and the amazing work …

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New arts development plan

A NEW County Arts Development Plan, which aims to build on the progress made by the local arts sector in recent years, is being prepared. Submissions from interested parties are being invited by the Clare County Arts Office to the proposed plan, the development of which coincides with the development of a National Cultural Policy by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. It also follows the recent launch of The ArtsCouncil’s new 10-year strategy. The Clare County Arts Office says it will be reflecting on the work done over the last number of years in the county and looking forward to help further sustain and develop such work. Siobhán Mulcahy, county arts officer, said, “The aims in the previous plan have stood us in good stead over the last number of years, but we welcome this opportunity to review them and to create tangible objectives, plans and policies that will continue to place County Clare as a leader in …

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Preparing a plan for Holy Island

A team of specialists has been appointed to prepare a Visitor Management and Sustainable Tourism Development Plan for Holy Island on Lough Derg. Clare County Council has announced that Dublin-based Solearth Architecture has been engaged to prepare proposals in relation to improving access to the island and the provision of tourism facilities on or near the island, as well as proposals on the marketing and promoting of the island as a visitor destination. In June last, the council acquired 41 acres on Holy Island which, together with the two acres already in the ownership of the Office of Public Works (OPW), resulted in the entire island being brought into public ownership for the first time. Dating back to the 7th century, the island is one of the most important historical and ecclesiastical sites in Ireland, and it has important links to Brian Ború. Buildings on the island include a 24-metre high round tower, an oratory, and a number of churches. …

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Pulitzer novelist reads at UL

Pulitzer prizewinning novelist, Richard Ford gave a rare public reading at the University of Limerick on Tuesday evening. Invited and introduced by Professor Joseph O’Connor, UL’s Frank McCourt Chair in Creative Writing, Ford read from his latest book, a quartet of overlapping stories, Let Me Be Frank With You and took questions from full-to-capacity audience of over 350. The event was Mr Ford’s first ever visit to the region and was co-sponsored by the University of Limerick Arts office and Limerick City and County Arts Office. Professor O’Connor commented, “Richard Ford is one of the world’s leading writers in the English language, an author of immense range and importance. To host him here at UL is a pleasure and an honour.” Meanwhile, the second cohort of MA in Creative Writing students, have commenced their studies at UL. The programme is taught by internationally successful authors including our Chair of Creative Writing, Professor Joseph O’Connor (author of the million-selling Star of …

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From the Banner to Hollywood

A SHORT film co-produced by two Ennis companies and shot in Feakle is set to go from the Banner to Hollywood, having wowed the international film festival scene. The film, The Long Night Followed, has just won an award for Best Short Narrative at the TOFF International Film Festival based in New York and has been selected for the Miami Independent Film Festival and Los Angeles CineFest. Preparations are also being made for the film to be shown at an upcoming festival in Berlin. Lead actor Zeb Moore was also nominated for Best Actor at the 12 Months Film Festival in Romania. Hopes are high that local film lovers will get a chance to see the film, with efforts being made to have it screened at the upcoming Richard Harris International Film Festival. Co-produced by Scorpion Films and Black Umbrella Productions, the film was written and directed by Bill Bradshaw. Bill said the team have been very surprised by the …

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Clare historians frozen out of 1916 commemoration

WITH Easter 2016 just over six months away, the Banner County has not allocated enough funds to commemorate the event properly nor involved those with the best knowledge of the period, it has been claimed. At This week’s meeting of Shannon Municipal District, Fianna Fáil’s Cathal Crowe criticised Clare County Council for the level of preparations to commemorate one of the seminal events in Irish history. He said he will be calling on the council to increase the amount of funding allocated five-fold and to involve some prominent local historians in the preparations. Regarding the sum he wants to see spent on commemorating the centenary, he told The Clare Champion, “I’d hope around €150,000. I just think €30,000 (the current figure) is insulting to those who fought for independence”. In general terms, this country fails to honour those who fought for Irish freedom, he believes. “I’m a realist; funding is limited for everything but this is the centenary. I lived …

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