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Arts & Culture

Clare children’s art under judges’ eyes for Texaco competition

THE judging process for this year’s Texaco Children’s Art Competition is well underway with many entries from Clare under consideration. These youngsters are following in the footsteps of leading Irish artists who took part during their early lives – renowned figures such as Graham Knuttel, Robert Ballagh, Dorothy Cross and Bernadette Madden. Winners in the seven age categories, including one exclusively for artworks by young artists with special needs, will be announced in late May. Currently in its 68th year, the Texaco Children’s Art Competition is the longest-running art sponsorship in Ireland. First held in 1955, it is hosted by Valero Energy (Ireland) limited – the company that markets fuel in Ireland under the Texaco brand.

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Clare Marts to ‘HOUSE’ latest performance by Fidget Feet

LOCAL people will be among those showcasing their talents alongside the Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre when the company brings their brand new show to Ennis next week. Fidget Feet are bringing their new show “HOUSE” to Clare Marts, Quin Road on Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10. Ahead of the show, Fidget Feet put a call out to the people of Clare through to join them in this collaborative community spectacle with circus, theatre and drive-in bingo. “HOUSE Open Days” is a community project that integrates local communities into the show itself and will see community part-takers dance alongside 20 experienced and talented Fidget Feet dancers in the show. According to the company this project brings people together both young and old with an integral focus on the arts, wellbeing, mental and physical health. The show is a sequel to their hugely successful show Bingo Wings and brings its bingo fever to the 1980s Royal Broadway Parish Bingo, …

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Musical Society replaces 2022 production with Woodstock gig

ENNIS Musical Society members old and new are coming together this April for an evening of song with A Night at the Musicals. The society will be back on April 10 in Hotel Woodstock where they will be performing numbers from musicals of all eras for all ages to enjoy. Expect songs from favourite shows such as Les Miserables, Wicked, Rent, Seussical to name but a few. The concert comes following the postponement of the society’s 2022 show Legally Blonde until next year due to Covid-19. The society were also unable to put on a show in 2021 because of the pandemic, and their 2020 production was cancelled after just two performances. Ennis Musical Society chairperson Rachael Culligan tells us they have had a “terrific response” to the plans for the upcoming concert. “We initially had planned on doing Legally Blonde but with so many members getting Covid, we just felt that we couldn’t manage that scale of rehearsals with …

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Doolin Folk Festival makes welcome return in early summer

AFTER its Covid-enforced hiatus of the past two years, the Doolin Folk Festival will make a welcome return this summer. The event will take place over three days from June 10-12, with three stages on the go at Hotel Doolin. Organisers have promised top Irish and international acts and among those confirmed are Damien Dempsey, Mary Black and Ye Vagabonds. Festival organiser and Hotel Doolin managing director, Dónal Minihane said “The festival is relatively new on the scene but it feels like it has been going on forever. “When I tell people it is only in its eighth year they can’t believe there wasn’t a festival here before. “Doolin is synonymous with folk music in Ireland and so many musicians and music lovers have a connection with the area, the festival just feels so natural. The weekend is a celebration of Doolin and the music that has drawn and continues to draw people here from all corners of the world.” …

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Aoife to showcase new music at Lahinch gig

LISCANNOR based musician Aoife Doyle will make her debut at The Whitehorse Sessions in Kenny’s Bar, Lahinch on Thursday, March 31. Aoife will perform with her band of stellar musicians pianist Johnny Taylor, bassist Peter Hanagan and drummer John Daly. She will be showcasing music from her brand new album ‘Infinitely Clear’ a soothing, soulful mix of jazz, folk, soul and blues which has garnered much praise across the airwaves. Aoife is originally from Bray but is now living in Clare. 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 of creativity and living in the country and keeping a garden etc. you’re seeing the cycle of creation from seed to plant to harvest. …

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Celebrate Lá na Gaeilge with TG4 star at Ennis book shop

AN Ennis book shop is celebrating Lá na Gaeilge’ with a TG4 children’s star an event on Saturday. Love Leabhar Gaeilge will celebrate ‘Lá na Gaeilge’ in Scéal Eile bookshop on Saturday from 11am-1pm in the company of TG4 presenter Micheál Ó Ciaraidh. In conjunction with LoveLeabharGaeilge Scéal Eile Bookshop is hosting a children’s reading event where children can experience the enjoyment of reading as Gaeilge together with lots of fun with Micheál. This free event promises to be a fun filled event for children aged between 5-10 years of age. Love Leabhar Gaeilge is an initiative that works with book stores throughout the country to promote contemporary books as Gaeilge, for adults and children.  Through its many activities and events it aims to engage children and adults alike in the reading of Irish language books. Let your child’s imagination run free… be it with Rita the little girl with big ideas in the book Rita agus an Fathach or …

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Clare singer set for gothic folk gig in Glór

SONGWRITER and composer from Sixmilebridge, Louise (Lou) McMahon is back with a not-to-be missed Glór show, featuring the legendary Terry Woods. The pair are celebrating a 12-year long musical collaboration with a show that features original material and popular songs rooted in folk music. The gig is set to have an eclectic vibe with influences from pop-folk to folk-rock, psychedelic folk to gothic folk and ballads. The gig, on April 15 is appropriately, entitled Wide Eyed Folk. Louise’s voice is distinctive and euphonious, and her stage personal is mystical and exotic. She has been likened to folk singers such as Stevie Nicks, Joan Baez and Eddie Reader, yet has never compromised her own original sound.  Collaborator Terry is a multi-instrumentalist known for his membership of groups as The Pogues, Steeleye Span, Sweeney’s Men, The Bucks, Dr Strangely Strange and the short-lived Orphanage, with Phil Lynott. Super talented Lou has not been sitting too long on her laurels, despite the challenges all artists …

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Dates set for return of Scariff Harbour Festival

NEWS of the return of the Scariff Harbour Festival has been widely welcomed, after the pandemic forced its cancellation for the last two years.  The event will from July 29 to 31, and is set to be a major highlight on the county’s festival calendar. Organisers said they are still considering the impact that Covid may have on this summer’s event, but are promising a lively weekend that will showcase the rich heritage and culture of the area.  The Sunday night concert act has been confirmed as the Kilfenora Céilí Band. They make a very welcome return to East Clare have brought the town alive with music and dance during previous festivals.  Over the years, the annual event has brought a wealth of talent to Scariff and its environs and provided a forum for reflection on wider cultural and social issues. Details of the 2022 festival will be published on scariffharbourfestival.ie in the coming weeks and months. 

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