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Arts & Culture

Depicting Clare Moments

Newmarket-on-Fergus based artist Philip Brennan to unveil 23rd solo exhibition NEWMARKET-ON-FERGUS based artist, Philip Brennan, will unveil his 23rd solo exhibition in Ennis on Wednesday September 11 after taking a six year break from exhibiting. The exhibition, entitled Clare Moments, feature 43 paintings which in the main comprise of watercolours, with a few mixed medium pieces. Philip who is based in Stonehall, has always had a fascination with landscapes and wildlife, and it is no surprise that these feature heavily in his latest works, but there are still a handful which capture people, although as he says “not nearly enough”. Clare Moments is to be officially launched by Seosamh O Conchubhair at the Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis at 8pm on Wednesday next, with a preview at 6pm, and it will be on display until the following evening at 8pm. Philip will then follow this with a three week exhibition of the same paintings at Culturlann Sweeney in Kilkee in …

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Prestigious Award for Tulla’s Mary MacNamara

TULLA based concertina player, Mary MacNamara is to be celebrated in a memorable concert featuring the best in the county and country as she has been announced as this year’s MÓRglór Award winner. Glór has this week announced that the MÓRglór Award 2019 will go to the legendary concertina player who has been an inspiration to many musicians, both in Clare, nationally and internationally, and an outstanding ambassador for the traditional arts in Clare. Mary was in Australia when she got the news that she had been named as this years recipient. “I was in Australia when I got the call. I was in a lift at 11.30pm and obviously the coverage was bad in the lift, and I could hear a little bit  and I had to ask them to email. I got that at 12 midnight and it was a lovely surprise before I went to bed,” she said. Mary had been in Australia and New Zealand playing music with Eileen O’Brien and Angela Usher and …

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Hurling declared part of Ireland’s Living Cultural Heritage

THIS week hurling has been recognised by the State as one of the key elements of Ireland’s Living Cultural Heritage. The move comes after the sport was inscribed recently on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. This was largely down to the work by a team spearheaded by two Clare men, Daniel McCarthy and Dr Padraic Quinn. Mr McCarthy, from Lissycasey, was the manager of the GAA’s Heritage Framework Policy which identified the merits of seeking UNESCO designation for hurling, and he worked alongside Sixmilebridge man and Clare GAA team doctor, Dr Padraic Quinn. Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market & Data Protection Pat Breen said, “Today the sport has been included in the list of Ireland’s Living Cultural Heritage along with Winterage in the Burren, Clare’s Holy Wells and Irish Traditional Music. This official recognition will serve to protect and promote these practice for generations to come.” “None of this …

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Hospital Choir Sings Out for Staff Wellbeing

THE Healthy Harmony Choir was formed by a group of medical practitioners at Ennis Hospital as a way to unwind and de-stress after a busy day’s work and now two years on, the 30-strong group are singing its praises in terms of its impact on their well-being. Brenda Bleach, a registered advanced nurse practitioner at Ennis Hospital, is one of the choir members and has been involved with the choir since it began. She explained how it got off the ground and why it has become such a popular outlet for staff across the entire UL Hospitals Group. “We started off as staff from Ennis Hospital and we are two years old now. The first year one of the nurses was interested in singing and always wanted a choir, so I ran it by health and wellbeing and asked if it was something we could look at. We started the choir and we didn’t initially have funding. We had paid …

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Dog Friendly Day

My friends at the Dogs Trust charity have come up with a wonderful idea I want to tell you about. Next Friday week, June 21, is Dog Friendly Ireland Day, a day when all business owners are encouraged to open up their premises to us canines. We’ve a lot of work to do in this area. Despite 40% of all households in Ireland taking the enlightened decision to have a dog about the place, we lag far behind the rest of Europe when it comes to dog-friendly facilities. When I went on holidays to Devon and Cornwall a few years ago – come to think of it, it’s high time I went back – everywhere I went I was welcomed with open arms. Nearly every pub, café or restaurant had a sign that said ‘Well behaved dogs welcome’. I’m always well behaved and it was lovely to sit under a chair while my humans enjoyed a drink or meal and …

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Kenny Brings Crowman to Glor

Jon Kenny takes to the Glór stage next week where he brings a new one man play, Crowman, by rising Irish writer Katie Holly. First performed as part of the Cork Midsummer Festival in 2018 to nightly standing ovations Jon Kenny, (D’Unbelievables) will bring it to Ennis on Friday April 5. Crowman is a new darkly comic play, which is littered with surreal and humorous characters, all expertly juggled by Jon, and tinged with tragedy. Set in a sparsely decorated kitchen, this intimate one-man show, is a window into the soul of a lonely bachelor, Dan. Dan is a man with a mission; to scatter, maim or kill every crow that has blighted his land and his life. Discussing the central character and the play, Jon outlines how interesting and funny a character Dan is. “In the course of the piece, we are introduced to Dan and he is living on his own, and we see an awful lot through Dan’s eyes. Quite early in the play he …

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Creepy and Kooky Antics from The Addams Family

ENNIS Musical Society is setting the scene for a musical with a difference this month as it stages The Addams Family A New Musical. Featuring an original story this show has all the spooky characters audiences will know and love from the two films. Based on an original story and score the show sees the head of the Addams clan, Gomez, played by Galwegian Alan Greaney, placed in every father’s nightmare, when his only daughter, Wednesday, played by Aoibheann Malone, has grown up and fallen in love. This musical comedy sees Wednesday, the ultimate princess of darkness form an unlikely bond with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family – a man her parents have never met, Lucas Beineke, played by Ennis’ Daniel Lynch. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before – keep a secret from …

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Mountshannon Couple’s Creativity Shines Through Dark Times

Sam Gaines and his partner, Sadhbh O’Neill, have experienced first-hand how creativity has healed and given purpose to their lives, following a life-changing diagnosis. TWENTY years ago life changed for East Clare based couple Sam Gaines and Sadhbh O’Neill, when Sam was diagnosed with MS. Both working artists, Sam and Sadhbh have journeyed along a tough road adapting to their changing circumstances. They had no idea what MS was or how it would effect Sam but they never let the illness define Sam or stop them from doing anything. “MS is very personal and effects everyone in different ways. Two years ago Sam’s health plummeted and everything changed again. MS now stopped us in our tracks. Never in our wildest dreams did we think we would end up where we are today. We had plans and dreams for our future, this wasn’t one of them. We have absolutely no idea what tomorrow will bring or how Sam will be. It …

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