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glór celebrates 20 years at the heart of Clare arts and entertainment

Following the official opening on Friday 30th November 2001 by Minister Síle de Valera before a specially invited audience, over 60 great Clare performers – three generations of the best players of Clare music took to the glór stage, including Tony McMahon, Paddy Canny, James Cullinan, Tony Linnane, Noel Hill, Siobhan Peoples, Martin Hayes, Josephine Marsh, Maura O’Connell, the Tulla Ceili Band, and the Kilfenora Ceili Band, to present a night of music such as has never been heard before. With Martin Hayes and the Sawdoctors performing over the next two nights, without doubt the opening weekend of glór was one of the best three nights of music ever staged in County Clare. The opening night concert was broadcast in full by Clare FM, and RTÉ Radio One transmitted the second half. Built at a cost of €8.5m, glór was the largest investment in the Arts in County Clare. With two auditoria, seating 485 and 65 people respectively, glór hosts …

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Burren flowers inspire brilliant designs

AN Ennistymon-based jewellery maker has been chosen from hundreds of crafts people nationwide to participate in a prestigious exhibition organised by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland. Rowena Sheen is based at the Courthouse Gallery in the bustling North Clare town. She is among the highly skilled markers whose work will be on show in the National Design and Craft Gallery in Kilkenny until January 30, before the exhibition moves to Dublin and later the North of Ireland. The Made in Ireland exhibition has gathered together the largest visual and sensory feast of fresh ideas and craftsmanship and offers an insight into current activity in skilled making on a national scale. It is not only reflective of the skills of Ireland’s community of makers, but it also celebrates work by different generations of the same family, and by collaborative groups and partnerships. It also demonstrates the importance of passing on skills, of cross-pollination and innovation. Rowena takes inspiration from …

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New book records Clooney Graveyard Inscriptions

THE fascinating history of an East Clare cemetery has been brought to light in a new publication by Jane Halloran Ryan, in association with Clare Roots Society.  A genealogist and history enthusiast, Jane is current researching for a PhD and is one of the team behind the hugely popular annual journal from heritage group Tulla Reaching Out. In recent years, Jane has been following another historical passion and has recently published Clooney Graveyard Inscriptions, containing a wealth of lore dating back to the early 1700s.  This cemetery dates from the early eighteenth century and contains about 150 headstones, with both Catholic and Protestant families from the parishes around Clooney, Tulla and Quin, buried there at one time. The church is believed to date back to the thirtieth century, but it is not known what saint it was dedicated to.  “One of the main reasons that pushed me to record Clooney was the fact that my great-great grandparents are both buried …

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Clare schools called on for Christmas carol competition

CLARE schools are being urged to give vocal expression to their Christmas spirit by taking part in an online carol competition. On the back of the phenomenal success of last year’s competition, Audiology Medical Services this week launched their nationwide Online Christmas Carol School Competition, with a prize of €2000 for the winning school, chosen by the public. Last year, the competition was deservedly won by Cara Junior School from Banduff in Cork following their rendition of ‘Let it Snow’. Cara Junior School scooped the impressive €1000 prize, winning by the minutest margins of just 0.5% of the votes after a staggering 18,500 public votes were made for all finalists selected. Speaking at the launch of the competition, Kay Lewis, Chief Operating Officer of Audiology Medical Service, one of Ireland’s leading independent hearing healthcare companies, said: “We were blown away with the popularity of last year’s competition, so running our Christmas Carol Competition again this year was a no brainer. …

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Reah pours soul into debut poetry volume

Caher woman supporting Clare Haven Services with proceeds from book of poems POEMS can pop into Reah Higgins’ head at any time of the day. The Caher woman has been finding her creative voice over the course of the last year-and-a-half, when lockdowns kept many people at home with a little extra time on their hands. “I don’t sit down to write,” she said. “The poems just keep coming. It could be something that comes into my head while I’m reading or watching TV, or a poem could be sparked by something someone says. “It’s been a childhood dream to write and lockdown started something by giving me more time for creativity.” Last year, the Wexford native launched her first CD collection of poetry to give something back to the Irish Kidney Association (AKA). In 2017, the organisation was a lifeline when Reah donated a kidney to her husband Aaron. Now, the professional social care leader has turned her literary …

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Clare poets receive Poetry Town bursaries

THREE Clare poets have been named as recipients of Poetry Town Bursaries. Sixmilebridge based Carrie Barrett O’Donnell is based in Sixmilebridge, Eileen O’Malley who lives between Miltown Malbay and Spanish Point and Marianne Slevin living in Doolin are among the 24 awardees of the bursary scheme. Poetry Ireland put a call out during October for submissions from poets all over the island of Ireland, with three categories (New Poets, Experienced and Spoken Word). Each bursary was worth €300-500, depending on the level of support requested by the applicant.   The bursaries are designed to be used by the awardees for opportunities to develop their poetry – some examples given during the submission process were: taking a writing course, attending a writing residency, paying for mentoring or critical assessment, paying a filmmaker to create a film of poetry work, or simply taking time off work to devote to writing.   Niamh O’Donnell, Director of Poetry Ireland, said, “We were overwhelmed with the number of applications for bursaries and …

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Liscannor-based singer’s latest single inspired by County Clare

COUNTY Clare has provided the inspiration for the latest single by singer songwriter Aoife Doyle. Aoife has released Clare Sky, the second single from her upcoming album Infinitely Clear. The song is a folk infused lament set in the beautiful west coast of Clare. Originally from Bray, County Wicklow she moved to Liscannor in 2014. “I wrote Clare Sky after a tragic incident that happened in the community. It’s a lament and a tribute to this magical place and the warmth of the people here. I have found great solace and peace on the West Coast of Ireland. With Clare Sky I’ve tried to paint a picture of the places I love the most.” While she has been performing for many years, it was upon moving to the West Coast of Ireland that she found her songwriting voice. “In Clare I had more quiet time to reflect. The lack of billboards, traffic and other superficial stimulation makes life a lot simpler. I think nature is the most primal form …

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Clare musician honoured at Irish Folk Awards

CLARE musician Susan O’Neill was honoured at the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards this week. O’Neill’s partnership with Mick Flannery continues to bear fruit with the pair taking the  Best Original Folk Track prize for Chain Reaction. It is the second year running O’Neill and Flannery have won the category. The song  is on the In The Game album O’Neill and Flannery have released this year and the pair are scheduled to perform in Ennis next month as part of a tour promoting the work.  

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