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Sr Bosco from the Sisters of Mercy with Martin Murphy, building contractor; Breda McNamara, chairperson of the cultural centre committee; John Deaton, Deaton-Lysaght Architects and Paul Spratt, MED Building Services, in the oratory at the convent in Tulla during renovations for phase two of Cnoc na Gaoithe, the Tulla Comhaltas Cultural Centre. Photograph by Declan Monaghan

End-of-June féile to mark Cnoc na Gaoithe phase 2

Sr Bosco from the Sisters of Mercy with Martin  Murphy, building contractor; Breda McNamara,  chairperson of the cultural centre committee; John Deaton, Deaton-Lysaght Architects and Paul Spratt, MED Building Services, in the oratory at the convent in Tulla during renovations for phase two of Cnoc na Gaoithe, the Tulla Comhaltas Cultural Centre.  Photograph by Declan MonaghanPHASE two of Cnoc na Gaoithe, the Tulla Comhaltas Cultural Centre is almost complete and is due to be opened to the public at the Féile Chnoc na Gaoithe at the end of June.
At the Gathering event, which runs from June 28 to 30, the second phase of the cultural centre build will be opened, unveiling the newly restored oratory of the old convent. 
As part of the renovations, the original stained glass windows are to be reinstalled. The oratory will house a collection of photographs and memorabilia commemorating the Sisters of Mercy in Tulla since 1883, which has been donated by the Sisters of Mercy.
According to the committee up to 10 local people have been employed in the construction phase of the development and approval has been given to the centre to provide employment for two people under the Tús scheme. These posts will be in respect of caretaking and administration.
The original parlour in the former convent has also been renovated and developed into a museum, which will be home to local memorabilia, historical documents, implements, tools and artefacts donated for display to Cnoc na Gaoithe.
Féile Chnoc na Gaoithe is a Gathering event and aims to bring locals back to Tulla for Friday, June 28 at 7pm when an exhibition of photographs from the schools in the Tulla parish, dating back to the early 1900s, will be held.
All past pupils’ class photographs will be available for viewing as will a collection reflecting more than 100 years of education in Tulla, Drumcharley, Knockjames and Glendree.
A weekend of music, song and dancing is planned for the festival, kicking off with a singing session at Cnoc na Gaoithe at 9pm on June 28 with fear a tí Joe O’Connor and special guests.
Socks in the Frying Pan will launch their new album and song The Gathering, there will be céilís, workshops, masterclasses and competitions over the course of the weekend.
An open fiddle feis will be held on Saturday where young musicians will be vying for the title, Young Fiddler of East Clare. Age categories include: U-8, nine to 10 years, 11 to 13 years, 14 to 16 years and 17 to 20 years.
Competition details, times and workshop information are available at www.cnocnagaoithe.com.
The festival’s gala concert takes place on Saturday June 29 at 7.30pm in Tulla Courthouse and will feature Patrick Ourceau, Anton MacGabhann, Bernadette and Caitlín NíGabhann, Macdara Ó Raghallaigh and Danny O’Mahony, Geraldine Cotter, sean-nós dancer, Emma O’Sullivan as well as singers, Nell Ní Chroinín and Mícheál Ó Sé.
June 30 has a varied programme and Tulla library will hold an open day where historical documents and photographs of significant events in Tulla over the past century will be on display.
Vincent Griffin will host a session with his long time friends Anton MacGabhann and Chris Droney at Cnoc na Gaoithe from 12 noon. At the same time, singers will be catered for at a singing session at Teach Ól hosted by Nell Ni Chroinín and Mícheál Ó Sé.
From 2pm, there will be an afternoon of dance in the backroom of Minogue’s Bar with Emma O’Sullivan, Mícheál Ó Sé, Scoil Uí Ruairc School, Suzanne Leahy and sean nós dancers, Helen Hehir, Niamh Normoyle  and the Lissycasey set dancers.
The Gathering festival will close on Sunday evening with a farewell session with Patrick Ourceau and friends.
For more information on any of the events, visit www.cnocnagaoithe.com or phone 087 8350996 or 087 1715760.

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