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Arts & Culture

A personal look at the Burren

THE unique attractions of the world famous Burren are highlighted in the first personal DVD of the area, which was launched in the Burren Centre, Kilfenora last week by Killimer native, Professor Michael O’Connell of University College, Galway. Entitled Clare’s Wonderland, The Burren the DVD is based on a book of the same name compiled by Br Sean MacNamara, Ennis. The hour-long DVD is a personal account of the Burren by Br Sean, who has been a regular visitor to the Burren for almost 50 years. It contains pen pictures of some famous men associated with the Burren, including Brian Merriman; John Philip Holland, Liscannor; Michael Cusack of Carron; Paddy Nolan, Gleninsheen, who discovered the Gold Collar in 1932; Charles Lucas, who wrote the first account of the natural history of the Burren; Micho Russell of Doolin and Frederick J Foot, a native of Dublin, who produced a botanical map of the Burren and the first worthwhile list of plants …

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Eddie’s new take on Irish legends

THREE books by Crusheen author Eddie Lenihan have simultaneously hit the shelves, telling new stories of Fionn Mac Cumhaill. Speaking about the creative process behind his books, Eddie says it takes him quite a bit of time but that it is important to get some other perspectives on the work. “You can only do it gradually. The one I’m doing now, Foreign Irish Tales for Children, you’d be interrupted and interrupted and then when you have it finished, you’d have to go over it all again or give it to someone else and ask them what they think of this, give them a chance. “The problem is what I think is funny, someone else might be scratching their head at. It’s like Mrs Brown’s Boys, I think it’s a disgusting, repulsive programme, whereas Mary [his wife] loves it. Humour is a very strange thing.” He doesn’t see any problem with giving new adventures to ancient Irish heroes. “You might be …

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Shannon girl in National Final

FIFTEEN year old Shannon girl Alice McGrath is in the final of Teenstars an All Ireland singing competition which will come to a conclusion on May 3. It will be on in the Westgrove Hotel in Kildare and Alice is one of just 32 remaining entrants from 1,200 who entered, meaning she is in the top three per cent. She is the only Clare finalist and the winner will pick up a €5,000 prize. Her mother Martina McGrath told the Clare Champion that Alice has sang a number of songs to reach this stage. ” In the first round she sang an Etta James song. To get through to the All Ireland final she sang I’d Rather Go Blind which is an Etta James song as well and for the final she’s going to sing A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cook.”  

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‘Twin’ team gets a taste of ‘Bridge life

THE foundation stones for a twinning arrangement between Sixmilebridge and Nort-sur-Erde were firmly put in place this weekwhen a delegation from the French town, led by their mayor, Yves Dauvé, visited the Clare village. Strong bonds were forged between the two communities after the Sixmilebridge Twinning Committee extended the hand of friendship to the visiting delegation, by treating them to an action-packed weekend of culturally-themed events. The party of 10, led by Mayor Dauvé, arrived on Wednesday evening and were welcomed by the Sixmilebridge Twinning Committee, headed by chairman Gerald McErlain, at a reception in The Mill Bar. Once introductions were made, the parties settled into an informal and relaxed evening, with an exhibition of set dancing by the children attending classes in an adjoining room. A busy itinerary got going early on Thursday morning, when the group was given a guided tour of Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. The richness of the park and castle’s focus on life in …

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Corofin take 39 Steps to Athlone

Corofin Dramatic Society is one of nine finalists in this year’s All-Ireland Drama Festival taking place in Athlone from April 30. Having picked up numerous awards on the open circuit, the society is returning to the stage in Clare this Saturday night in Glór and in Corofin hall next Wednesday and Thursday with its production of The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow. “It is certainly a busy couple of weeks,” said director John Clancy. “We performed in Glór in February and then after that we did the circuit. The hall [in Corofin] wasn’t ready for us but it is open now and we performed there this week. We will be in Glór on Saturday and we are back in Corofin again next Wednesday and Thursday, before going to the All-Ireland on the May Bank Holiday weekend,” he explained. John acknowledged that it is time-consuming for the cast and crew but no more so than other hobbies. “I know a few lads …

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‘Proud’ Rachel backs Sarah in judges’ spat

Voice of Ireland judge Rachel Stevens insists Scariff singer, Sarah McTernan deserves her place in the Voice of Ireland final this Sunday, despite claims from another judge she qualified because she had the support of her employers, Penneys. Kian Egan has no act in the final since his top acts John Bonham and Helena Bradley Bates were knocked out in this week’s semi-final. However, Kian feels that John, in particular, should be in the final whilst Sarah should not. He said that Sarah has Penney’s behind her, which has made a huge difference to her. He recalled in the quarter-finals, she was in the bottom two and now with Penney’s behind her she has reached the final. Dunnes Stores is also backing Patrick Donoghue who works for the store. Kian, who says he is not bitter about the situation, just feels for his acts, also revealed that he will not return for another series of The Voice of Ireland, even …

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Sarah is “overwhelmed” to reach final

[doptg id=”65″]Scariff singer, Sarah McTernan says she is “overwhelmed” to reach the final of the Voice of Ireland, as she never dreamed she would get this far in the competition. The former Scariff Community College student received a rousing welcome home from family, friends and supporters when she came back to her apartment with her coach, Rachel Stevens on Tuesday afternoon. Her most voiciferous fans on team Rachel chanted “Sarah, Sarah” as we walked up the steps of her apartment in Cathedral Court, Ennis with her team coach. Rachel and Sarah enjoyed tea and refreshments with her mother, Sinead and grandmother, Margaret in the company of her house mates at their apartment. Sinead presented Rachel with a tin whistle as a symbol of her daughter’s musical talent and to recognise Clare’s perceived status locally as the home of Irish traditional music. Rachel’s housemates also gave Rachel a Clare jersey with team Rachel written on the back of it to illustrate …

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Matt breaks from the cage

LOCAL author and illustrator, Matt Griffin will launch his debut novel, A Cage of Roots, this Friday. Matt Griffin was born in Dublin in 1979, grew up in Kells, County Meath, and now lives in Clarecastle with his wife Orla and daughters, Holly and Chloe. Matt works as a full-time illustrator and has garnered a reputation as one of the most eclectic graphic artists in contemporary illustration, collecting awards and accolades for his work in film, blue-ray covers and movie posters, as well as illustrations for editorial magazines, such as Wired. He also illustrated A Cage of Roots. Matt had been working with publishers O’Brien Press as an illustrator and was asked by art director, Emma Byrne if he had any of his own stories. “Funnily enough, I’ve always had lots of stories and hundreds of ideas for stories and had done some journalism in my 20s but I hadn’t done any creative writing in years. She said ‘if you …

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