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Arts & Culture

Clare harpers celebrate ‘Lá na Cruite’

TO MARK Lá na Cruite, Harp Day on Saturday, County Clare harper Aisling Lyons will be performing with Elaine Hogan, Cathy Potter, Alisha McMahon and Eithne Walsh in Ennis, at St Columba’s Church and at glór. Harps will chime worldwide to mark Ireland’s 1000-year old harping tradition, and harpers and people interested in the harp are invited to join in celebrating Ireland’s 1,000-year-old tradition on National Harp Day, Saturday (October 17). 2020 is the fourth year that Cruit Éireann, Harp Ireland has co-ordinated this event at home and farther afield in honour of our national instrument.  It will feature harps sounding loudly from dawn to dusk in iconic locations throughout Ireland, north and south and from as far away as Sydney, across the US, New Zealand and Japan. Closer to home, harpers in France, Italy, Switzerland and the UK join us to celebrate our vibrant harping tradition. This year due to Covid 19 restrictions, Cruit Éireann will feature the best of Irish harping online and their Harpers’ Call; where they invite harpers all over the world to …

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Students urged to ‘book’ up their ideas ahead of Ennis festival

STUDENTS are being encouraged to take a leaf out of the book from one of the county’s most successful festivals. Preparations are already in motion for next year’s Ennis Book Club Festival which is set to take place from March 5 to 7, 2021. Festival director, Dani Gill and the committee are currently working on plans for the 15th festival. Book clubs have always been at the heart of the festival’s programming and this year the festival aims to develop new audiences by setting up the TY Book Club. Ennis Book Club Festival are inviting Transition Year classes from Clare schools to participate in a series of workshops on book clubs with Sarah Moore Fitzgerald. Sarah Moore Fitzgerald is a professor and award winning author based at the University of Limerick. She will host three workshops with TY classes from four schools in November, December and January online. The first workshop will give students tools and techniques to generate sharper …

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Scariff links for writer who has made ‘novel’ debut

A FASCINATING novel on the fortunes of an Irish man who fought in World War One has just been published by a man with strong East Clare revolutionary roots. Dubliner Brendan Lynch is the son of a Scariff native and spent many happy summers in the Banner County. Brendan Lynch is the author of nine books to-date, and The Old Gunner and his Medals is his first novel, which he has published at the age of 80. A former racing cyclist and driver, railway clerk and journalist, Brendan was imprisoned in the 1960 for his activities with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). His books include City of Writers, inspired by his acquaintance with Brendan Behan and JP Dunleavy. Author Colum McCann said of the book that that it showed “the who, what, where, when, how and why of a place that is built on the intricacies of language”. Brendan’s interest in history is probably inspired in part by his …

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Broadcaster backs writing project in support of Clare Haven

AWARD-winning broadcaster and author, Rachael English, has appealed for “a ripple effect of kindness and creativity” in response to writing project that aims to support women and children affected by domestic violence. The Shannon native is backing a crowdfunding initiative to support the North West Clare Writers’ Circle to publish a new collection of poetry and prose from writers around the county. After the target for covering publishing costs is reached, profits will go to Clare Haven. “During the first wave of Covid-19, we were asked to stay at home,” said Rachael English. “Home is supposed to be a safe place, but for women and children living with domestic violence, home isn’t safe. Covid-19 has been difficult for us all, but for families living with the horrors of domestic abuse, it’s been harsher still. We know that the demand for refuge services for women and children increased dramatically during this year of Covid-19.” A spokesperson for the Writer’s Group said, …

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Glór closes as county placed under Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions

JUST weeks after glór re-opened its doors to the public following months of lock-down the venue has once again closed as a result of Covid-19 restrictions. Under the Living with Covid Level 3 restrictions imposed from midnight on Tuesday across the country cultural attractions including arts centres such as glór, museums and galleries are closed. Orla Flanagan, director of glór, has confirmed that the county’s premiere arts venue will be closed for three weeks with planned events cancelled or postponed. “We are very disappointed to be closing our doors so soon after re-opening, and we are grateful for all the support from audiences, artists and the community particularly in the past month. We hope to be in a position to offer live performances and visual art before long, and know how valuable connection through art is, particularly in difficult times like these.” She stated that the situation will be continually monitored going forward. Glór’s box office will continue to operate …

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Kilnaboy DJ shares journey of finding ‘creative flow’

KILNABOY native Manus Malone has been selected as one of Ireland’s young creative contributors to a new online series on the challenges that face those who choose the path less travelled in life. ‘Creative Flow’ is produced and created by Limerick native Sarah Edel Hayes, who interviews Manus, and a number of other seasoned and emerging voices from a range of artistic fields. The short series, which launched on SarahEdel.com earlier this month took inspiration from the many conversations that began out of lockdown in Ireland. Sarah said that she wanted to chat to creatives about what it’s really like to follow a creative passion in modern-day Ireland and the challenges that brings to an individual pursuing a creative career. Manus Malone is an up and coming DJ and producer who has played on the stages of Electric Picnic. Since the pandemic restrictions, he has recently turned his hand to writing and producing his own music. In late August, Manus …

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Dramatic lighting installation for Culture Night in Tulla

A DRAMATIC lighting installation will create a blaze of colour on the windswept hill of Tulla for Culture Night this Friday. Locally-based artist Tim Humphries is the mastermind behind the LightsUP installation, which will be live-streamed on Tulla Tidy Towns Facebook page and on culturenight.ie, from 8-9pm. It will involve random LED lights illuminating the high crosses in the graveyard and creating what Tim describes as “a connection between heavens and earth”. “I’ve been working with light installations for over 20 years,” Tim explained. “For one of those, I projected light onto the outside of the old Carlton Cinema building in Limerick. In others, for the EVA International, I would have created words through light in public places.” This time, there are no words involved, but a dramatic illumination of Tulla graveyard’s striking high crosses. “I have been transfixed by the location,” Tim said. “I have put in around 30 LED lights and will have six or seven LED torches …

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An icon of traditional music is mourned in Clare

INTERNATIONAL tributes have been paid following the passing of the acclaimed Bellharbour concerntina player, Chris Droney, who passed away on September 9, at the age of 95. Broadcaster, teacher and musician Kieran Hanrahan, who spoke at Chris’s funeral on Saturday last, said, “He was a chieftain in Clare. Some called him a druid and leader.” The Ennis man credited Chris Droney with inspiring a blossoming of traditional music in the county town and across Clare. “When Chris would come to Ennis for the Fleadhs, he was really what I would call a mega figure,” Mr Hanrahan said. “He was a national figure in the ‘60s and ‘70s and yet he was still so accessible. He always had a word of encouragement, especially for the youth of Ennis in those days. He took a delight in young people playing music. He was always so lovely and so decent. As a person, he was unassuming and an absolutely gorgeous character.” In one …

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