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Arts & Culture

Shannon novelist on the scene of the crime

CERTAIN unsolved crimes echo in Ireland’s consciousness over decades, with names like Philip Cairns, Raonaid Murray and Trevor Deely still recognisable long after their deaths or disappearances. What happens when a crime goes unsolved for far too long is the theme of Rachael English’s new novel, The Night of the Party, set in Clare during the heavy snow of 1982. In her fictional village of Kilmitten, parish priest Fr Galvin is killed, and the crime remains still unsolved a generation later. “Even though it starts with a crime, I wouldn’t really call it a crime novel. You could probably call it a mystery in the old-fashioned way. It’s not a modern thriller, with fingerprints and DNA and serial killers,” says the author and RTÉ presenter, who hails from Shannon. The story shows how being close to a terrible event, but not talking about it, can reverberate through a life, with one of the main characters carrying a dark secret from …

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Tony nomination for Ennis actress

Ennis actress Denise Gough has spoken about receiving a nomination for a Tony Award. The Tony Awards are among the most prestigious in theatre and recognise excellence in Broadway productions. The 2018 event will be held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 10, while it will be broadcast live by CBS across America. Ms Gough has been nominated for her part in Angels in America, a play set in the mid-1980s, during the AIDS crisis and the conservative Regan administration. Unusually, the play is performed in two parts, due to its massive duration. Part One: Millennium is three and a half hours long, while Part Two: Perestroika is four hours long. Ms Gough has received her nomination in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play category. Susan Brown, who also appears in Angels in America, has been nominated in the same category. “I was in bed when my agent …

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Council opens artists studio in Ennis

A new artists studio facility, initiated by the Arts Office of Clare County Council, will open in Ennis on Tuesday next. Orlaith McBride, director of The Arts Council of Ireland, will officially launch the EASI studios, based in the Tracklands Business Park. The development of the facility was one of the actions identified in the Clare Arts Development Plan and will support artists in the Ennis area by providing flexible and affordable studio facilities across a variety of artistic disciplines. “EASI, stands for Ennis Access to Spaces Initiative, an initiative aimed at developing creative spaces in the town,” explained Siobhán Mulcahy, Clare County Arts Officer. She continued, “This particular facility offers artists the opportunity to work in individual and shared workspaces. It is envisaged that the studios will appeal to a range of artistic disciplines including, but not limited to, visual arts and digital based activity.” She explained that the artists studio will also facilitate arts organisations and those working …

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Dame Edna O’Brien

EAST Clare author Edna O’Brien has been honoured with her appointment as Dame of the British Empire for her services to literature. It comes six weeks after the Tuamgraney native was named as the winner of the PEN/Nabokov award for achievement in international literature. Her nephew, Michael Blake, said this was “a long time coming” and said, having spoken to her on Wednesday and Tuesday of this past week, that Edna is delighted with the honour. He said she is currently busy working on her latest book and has found the last few weeks very busy, but rewarding. “She is very happy to have this title, she got it for her contribution to literature and that is what her life is about, it’s not about monetary reward. She got the Pen award and now she’s got this so now she feels ‘maybe I’m doing something right and maybe all those hours of frustration and desperation were worth it’. A writer …

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Second Olivier award for Denise Gough

ENNIS actress Denise Gough has won her second Olivier award. Denise was named best actress in a supporting role for her performance as Harper Pitt in Angels in America at the National Theatre, Lyttelton. The actress from College Green was unable to make the ceremony in London’s Royal Albert Hall on Sunday, as she was busy preparing to appear on stage in the same play on Broadway. However, she did prepare a speech, which was read out in her absence, in which she voiced her “solidarity for the Time’s Up movement”. She stated, “It’s an important time for us in the industry and I couldn’t be prouder of the progress being made. With the Time’s Up movement ensuring that we will have a safe, supported environment to work in, going forward, I am excited at what lies ahead. I’m very moved by the very real power behind this movement and the women who created it.” She thanked the cast and …

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Ennis artist presents rare works in documentary

ENNIS artist Mick O’Dea has been given unprecedented access to the State’s art collection housed in Leinster House for a landmark one-hour documentary, which will debut on Monday. For the first time in broadcasting history, the collection will be showcased in House of Art. Having been given unprecedented access, Royal Hibernian Academy president, Mick O’Dea, discovers the stories, the artists and the people behind this unique collection, revealing a rich tapestry of our socio-political history. The documentary, produced by Red Shoe Productions, will be launched with a premiere screening in The Little Museum of Dublin, where Mick and director Maggie Breathnach will do a question and answer session.The documentary will then debut on Oireachtas TV on Monday at 8pm. There are over 300 pieces of priceless art housed in Leinster House. With the foundation of the State in 1922, successive governments were keen to create a pantheon of heroes aimed at affirming national self-image. With over 18,000 pieces in the …

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Help make a child’s wish come true

Twenty-five local volunteers are needed on Wish Day, which takes place on Friday, March 9 to support Make-A-Wish Ireland’s flagship fundraising day. Volunteers are asked to give just a few hours of their time to sell wristbands in order to raise much-needed funds for the charity. Last year, in Clare alone, the charity made wishes come true for four children living with life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Another teenager to benefit from Make-A-Wish is self-taught Ennis musician, Stephen Price. He had his wish granted a few years ago when he received a custom-made Pearl drum kit. Stephen was very patient while waiting for his kit to be built and spray painted to his specifications. His family and friends were invited to join him for the reveal and not only did Stephen receive his fantastic drum kit, but he was also invited to join one of his favourite bands, The Coronas for a sound check …

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IFTA nomintion for Ennis actress

ENNIS actress Denise Gough has been nominated for an IFTA Film and Drama Award. She has been named in the category of Best Actress in a Leading Role (Drama) for her performance in the BBC’s revenge thriller Paula. She is up against such names as Ruth Negga, Amy Huberman, Caitriona Balfe and Elaine Cassidy for the coveted award, which will be announced on February 15. Speaking during the announcement of the nominees, the academy CEO, Áine Moriarty commented, “What a fantastic kickstart to the academy’s 15th anniversary year, with this superb line-up of Irish nominees showcasing the very best of Ireland’s creative talent, delivering world-class film and drama across the globe. “The academy looks forward to acknowledging their achievements and rewarding excellence at the IFTA awards ceremony next month.” Denise played the title role in the BBC drama by Dublin playwright and filmmaker Conor McPherson. She was joined in the three-part drama by Tom Hughes, who is known for his …

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