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Film on Burren offers a European dimension

IN celebration of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, Galway Film Centre, in partnership with Clare and Galway county councils, with support from the Heritage Council of Ireland, have announced the commissioning of a documentary series with filmmaker Paul Murphy. Entitled Stories from the Landscape: The European Dimension, the project will involve the production of two short documentaries on the theme of landscape and will record aspects of our built and natural heritage across Europe, in both Ireland and Austria. The first film will look at the tradition of dry stone wall building and will visit two festivals that celebrate this; Féile na gCloch on Inis Oírr on the Aran Islands and Stein Und Wein, which takes place in Langenlois in the north-east of Austria. Though many miles apart, both Inis Oírr and Langenlois celebrate the tradition of dry stone walling with festivals that are both regional and local development strategies towards sustainable tourism. The second film will focus on …

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Shannon novelist on the scene of the crime

CERTAIN unsolved crimes echo in Ireland’s consciousness over decades, with names like Philip Cairns, Raonaid Murray and Trevor Deely still recognisable long after their deaths or disappearances. What happens when a crime goes unsolved for far too long is the theme of Rachael English’s new novel, The Night of the Party, set in Clare during the heavy snow of 1982. In her fictional village of Kilmitten, parish priest Fr Galvin is killed, and the crime remains still unsolved a generation later. “Even though it starts with a crime, I wouldn’t really call it a crime novel. You could probably call it a mystery in the old-fashioned way. It’s not a modern thriller, with fingerprints and DNA and serial killers,” says the author and RTÉ presenter, who hails from Shannon. The story shows how being close to a terrible event, but not talking about it, can reverberate through a life, with one of the main characters carrying a dark secret from …

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Tony nomination for Ennis actress

Ennis actress Denise Gough has spoken about receiving a nomination for a Tony Award. The Tony Awards are among the most prestigious in theatre and recognise excellence in Broadway productions. The 2018 event will be held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 10, while it will be broadcast live by CBS across America. Ms Gough has been nominated for her part in Angels in America, a play set in the mid-1980s, during the AIDS crisis and the conservative Regan administration. Unusually, the play is performed in two parts, due to its massive duration. Part One: Millennium is three and a half hours long, while Part Two: Perestroika is four hours long. Ms Gough has received her nomination in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play category. Susan Brown, who also appears in Angels in America, has been nominated in the same category. “I was in bed when my agent …

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Gathering from far and wide

THE tentacles of Irish music reach very far from its strongholds and people from around the world have made it to the narrow streets of Ennis for this week’s festivities. Many have strong roots in this county, such as Graham Killoughery, who grew up in London, the son of Mary and Tom Killoughery, who hail from Lissycasey and Ballyea respectively. Graham was in Lord of the Dance for six and a half years, while his sister, Shona, was also part of the show for several years. On Tuesday, he was really enjoying the sounds around the streets. “I’m a big fan of the music. Shona and myself danced when we were younger. Feis music would be a little bit different to trad but I’m actually a bigger fan of the trad music. It’s good to go around the pubs, meet up with some old friends from the dancing and listen to some more enjoyable tunes. Some of the dance music …

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Ennis hits high note for Minnesota mothers

AMONG the throng of overseas visitors to the Fleadh in Ennis this week were Laura Coleman and Alisa Mee from Saint Paul, Minnesota. Eleven of the group are staying in a house in Spanish Point for the duration of the Fleadh, while their children are among 18 musicians representing the Centre for Irish Music in the Mid-West US city. Laura’s son Finn plays the harp, much to the bemusement of his mother. She has yet to work out why but is going with the flow. “Our kids have been involved at the Centre for Irish Music for about three and a half years. It all started because our youngest son Finn woke up one day and decided that he had to play the harp. We don’t know why. The harp? It’s not our national instrument. There’s nothing iconic about the harp in Minnesota,” Laura explained. “It’s not a scene,” confirmed Alisa, whose son Cathal plays the button accordion. “We signed …

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Michael Flatley Opens Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann

  The crowds came out in force again this year as Michael Flatley opened Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis for 2017. Ahead of playing a tune on flute, accompanied by his friend Ger Fahy, Michael Flatley told of his love for music and dance and commended the organisers for putting on another wonderful festival this year. He paid tribute to Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann for all the work they do and for bringing music into his life. “Labhras Ó Murchú who was dear friends with my father, God rest his soul, brought music to Chicago when I was a young man and I can never say thank you enough. Thank you to Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann because they brought that little ray of sunshine into our lives, they are the ones who got me started playing music. I’m sure most of you here would have benefitted in some way from that wonderful organisation,” he said.  Reflecting on his family, who encouraged …

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West inspires Dympna’s Soul Space

SOUL Space, an exhibition by Ennis-based artist Dympna Bonfield is going on show at Glór on Saturday, September 7 and will be there until October 26.

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Tulla tunes up for trad festival

THE Tulla Trad Festival will kick off on Friday, September 6 with a parade through the East Clare village by the Chapel Gate Wrenboys.

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