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Arts & Culture

€100k boost for Fleadh hosts

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, has allocated €100,000 for the hosting of Fleadh Cheoil na h-Eireann in Ennis this August. The allocation is part of Fáilte Ireland‘s national funding of just over €1.8 million for 23 key national festivals and events. Welcoming the news, Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Pat Breen said the return of the Fleadh to Clare is a major boost.  During the 10-day event over 300,000 additional visitors are expected into the county as well as 4,000 competitors and 9,000 session musicians and it will generate €40 million in income for the local economy. “There was a 14% increase in overseas visits to Ireland for the first eleven months of 2015 and the most recent figures show that revenue in the sector has increased by 16% to €4.2 billion. A significant factor in this growth is the festivals and events on offer in all parts of the …

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Mark pens Oscar entry

AN Ennis man could be set for Oscar gold after a film he penned has made the shortlist for nominations for the coveted award. Viva, a Spanish language film set in Havana written by Clare’s very own Mark O’Halloran has been named among nine movies shortlisted in the Foreign Language Film category. And in just a few short weeks, Mark the rest of the crew behind the acclaimed film will learn if they have made the final five nominees for next year’s 88th annual Academy Awards. Speaking to the Clare Champion this week Mark told us, “I’m very happy, I’m very surprised. It’s a very low budget film, made with a lot of dedication and heart. I’m pretty sure it’s the lowest budget film in the category so for it to have this impact is great. It’s been a good surprise to get on the shortlist, so fingers crossed, we’ll see how it goes.” The film, selected by the Irish …

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Kinvara exhibition brings Desert to Doorus

A special exhibition of work by two Sudanese artists will open in Kinvara on Tuesday. Kinvara Area Visual Arts (KAVA) is hosting the exhibition of paintings by two prominety Sudanese artists Salah Ibrahim and Ahmed Hussein, both of whom are based in Darfur. Salah Ibrahim’s work is inspired by the ethnically diverse tribes of Darfur; vivid imagery from grandmothers’ bedtime stories intermingle with rich symbolism of traditions and customs to create a beautiful fusion where myth and reality coexist. Ahmed Hussein hails from the Dajo tribe who were prominent in the ancient kingdom of Kush, the black pharaonic dynasty of Sudan. Much of the symbolism and imagery of this civilisation imbues his work. This exhibition promises to offer an insight into a fascinating, ancient and richly diverse culture that is little understood and remains in relative obscurity. The exhibition, titled Desert to Doorus will open on Tuesday, December 29 at 8pm in Kinvara’s newly launched visual art space at The Courthouse …

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‘Champion looking for short stories

ENTRIES for The Clare Champion Short Story Competition 2016 are now being accepted. Second-level students are invited to submit between 1,000 and 1,500 words on any subject of their choice, with Leaving Cert and Junior Cert categories for the young writers. The first prize is €300, with €200 for the runner-up and €100 for third place in each category. There will also be a number of prizes for highly commended short stories. Prospective entrants should submit a typed-only entry with their name, age, telephone number, school, year and English teacher’s name to Second Level Schools Short Story Competition Category (Leaving Cert or Junior Cert), The Clare Champion, Barrack Street, Ennis. The deadline is February 19, 2016. Editor of The Clare Champion Austin Hobbs said the Short Story Competition has proven to be very popular over the years, with the students, schools and parents. “It’s one of the most successful projects that we’ve ever undertaken. While we have a lot of …

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New strategy to boost museums

The new Local Authority Museums Network (LAMN) Strategy 2016-2019 ‘Preserving the Past – Shaping the Future’, has been launched by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys. LAMN represents the twelve local authority museums across Ireland, which play a vital role in the social, cultural and economic life of regions across Ireland. Highlights of this strategy include: Examining ways to exploit the opportunities presented by technology to promote collections and reach out to new audiences; Working collectively to play a distinct role in the Decade of Centenaries; Exploring opportunities for collaboration through the new EU funding programmes; Continuing to strengthen and develop partnerships with key stakeholder in order to deliver on the LAMN’s key mission. Minister Humphreys said, “Local authorities throughout Ireland play a vital and proactive role in promoting and preserving culture and heritage, ensuring the best possible quality of life for their communities. Through their museum services they strengthen local communities by underpinning a sense …

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Luka Bloom at Samaritans CD launch

THE Clare launch of the CD, Don’t Be Afraid Of The Light That Shines Within You, will take place on Saturday night at the Templegate, at which Luka Bloom will play. This CD is being sold in aid of the Samaritans and broadcaster, John Cooke will be MC at the event, which runs from 7pm to 9pm. Spokesman for the Clare and Ennis branch of the Samaritans, Enda Sheehy said, “Luka Bloom is going to be there, the Ennis Gospel Choir will be there and there’s a few local traditional musicians playing at the start of the night – Eoin O’Neill, Briege O’Gorman and Noreen Lynch. Admission is free for anyone who wants to come along.” Speaking to The Clare Champion this week, Luka Bloom said he is looking forward to the evening. “It’s a free event for the Samaritans to announce the release of this beautiful CD and to get a bit of awareness for them and the amazing work …

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New arts development plan

A NEW County Arts Development Plan, which aims to build on the progress made by the local arts sector in recent years, is being prepared. Submissions from interested parties are being invited by the Clare County Arts Office to the proposed plan, the development of which coincides with the development of a National Cultural Policy by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. It also follows the recent launch of The ArtsCouncil’s new 10-year strategy. The Clare County Arts Office says it will be reflecting on the work done over the last number of years in the county and looking forward to help further sustain and develop such work. Siobhán Mulcahy, county arts officer, said, “The aims in the previous plan have stood us in good stead over the last number of years, but we welcome this opportunity to review them and to create tangible objectives, plans and policies that will continue to place County Clare as a leader in …

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