Home » Arts & Culture (page 2)

Arts & Culture

An icon of traditional music is mourned in Clare

INTERNATIONAL tributes have been paid following the passing of the acclaimed Bellharbour concerntina player, Chris Droney, who passed away on September 9, at the age of 95. Broadcaster, teacher and musician Kieran Hanrahan, who spoke at Chris’s funeral on Saturday last, said, “He was a chieftain in Clare. Some called him a druid and leader.” The Ennis man credited Chris Droney with inspiring a blossoming of traditional music in the county town and across Clare. “When Chris would come to Ennis for the Fleadhs, he was really what I would call a mega figure,” Mr Hanrahan said. “He was a national figure in the ‘60s and ‘70s and yet he was still so accessible. He always had a word of encouragement, especially for the youth of Ennis in those days. He took a delight in young people playing music. He was always so lovely and so decent. As a person, he was unassuming and an absolutely gorgeous character.” In one …

Read More »

Clare man instrumental in Concert4Cancer fundraiser

A CLARE man has been instrumental in bringing together some of the country’s biggest musical acts to raise funds for The Marie Keating Foundation. Quin resident John Wall, who has stage-four prostate cancer, is among the team behind the Concert4Cancer event which will be broadcast on Virgin Media One on Friday night (August 28), with aim of raising €1m for services around Ireland. To-date Gary Barlow, Gavin James, Kodaline, Nathan Carter, Paddy Casey, Lisa McHugh, Hot House Flowers, Brian Kennedy, Lisa Lamb and a host of other stars, have recorded performances for the event. Their performances will be interspersed with messages from Mr Wall, Vicky Phelan, Stephen Teap and others affected by cancer. The event will be hosted by Anna Daly who will update audiences on live fundraising. The concert, which is sponsored by Permanent TSB, will also include a special performance from Riverdance to mark the 25th anniversary of its inaugural performance at Eurovision. “The work of the Marie …

Read More »

Sunny summer soundtrack on Ennis streets

THE streets of the town have come alive to the sweet sound of music, to the delight of locals and visitors alike, thanks to musician Damien Gormley and some very special friends. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the Ennis singer-songwriter is bringing a lively set to the heart of the town, teaming up with the likes of Stockton’s Wing front-man Mike Hanrahan. “When the pubs closed I had two options,” Damien outlined, “sit and get depressed over having no music, or get a live Facebook gig going. I chose ‘option two’. I have played online on Saturday nights for the last 20 weeks and have gained an enormous following, from as far away as Australia tuning in every week. It’s fantastic. The people lifted my spirits and gave me hope.” That support inspired Damien to think beyond the lockdown and, when the economy started to re-open, he decided to get back out performing in real life. “Fast forward to Phase Two, …

Read More »

Harsh realities inspire jailers’ tales

PRISON might seem an unlikely environment to inspire a creative career. For Lisdoonvarna’s Bill Bradshaw, however, working in that tense, high-pressure environment did exactly that. The Rathkeale native is an award-winning screenwriter and novelist, and credits a long career as a prison officer with his unique writing style, as well as some of his subject matter. Bill has just published his third book, Delphine, which draws on influences such as horror writer Stephen King and explores moral taboos and family dynamics. Two more novels are in the pipeline and Bill is actively fundraising to turn Delphine into a six-part Netflix series. He is also part of a Clare-based publishing initiative, backed by the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) and bringing together a number of other creative minds. While his work in the Irish Prison Service is partly responsible for Bill’s approach to his writing, it is a career that has taken a heavy toll. “There is a raw reality in a …

Read More »

First live performance in months for glór a sell-out

THE first live performance to be held in glór since lock-down began back in March has sold out, the Ennis venue has confirmed. The venue will be fully re-open from September 1, however ahead of this date a special live show will take place this Friday (August, 14) with The Albiez Trio, presented by Music Network with a line-up featuring Tóla Custy, Laoise Kelly and Cormac Breatnach. The very limited capacity gig will be the first in a range of events planned by glór for the coming months, with the venue adapting to meet the challenges of Covid-19. A spokesperson for glór told us they were delighted that this week’s live performance, with a very limited audience, has sold out. And they are looking forward to returning with a new season of events from September. “We have re-shaped our autumn programme to offer a range of experiences from theatre, to music, comedy and film and visual arts, presenting each experience in …

Read More »

‘We need more dissenting voices,’ says emerging Ennis poet

AT 74-years of age Ennis man Martin Knox admits he left it rather late to start publishing poetry, but the trained chemist is certainly making up for lost time. After a fruitful working life, which took in stints at Syntex, later Roche; as well as teaching at some of the country’s most prestigious educational institutions, Martin made the leap into poetry and has just published his first book. Entitled, Words Without Song: Vignettes of Reflective Dissent and Childhood Reflections, the volume is a collection of over 100 poems which “go against the establishment” and give voice to Martin’s long-standing belief that the purpose of literature is to highlight uncomfortable truths. “Racism, poverty, mental health, corruption, environmental damage, the unequal distribution of wealth, suffering, those are some the main themes of my poems,” he said. “Writers should ask serious questions. For a long time, I didn’t have the time to write. When I retired, I found that time. So many questionable …

Read More »

The show goes on for musical society

IN true show-biz style the future of Ennis Musical Society has been secured with a fantastic response to a GoFundMe appeal. Society chairperson Rachel Culligan said is it phenomenal that their €7,000 target had been reached within just eight days of the fundraising launch. In addition, the society has received financial support from organisations and individuals with an interest in the arts. “Now we can pay off our debts and look forward to getting back on track for next year’s production in Glór,” she said. Continuing, Rachel said, “Maeve Fox of Pantaloons Ennis came forward, as well as Allen Flynn of Ennis Players. He’s also decided to come on board as our main sponsor for next year – that’s fantastic. Allen went through his contacts and then came back to say that a Clare man living outside the county wanted to make an anonymous donation of €6,000. Our society president Pat Buckley contributed too. All this helped to get us …

Read More »

Éilís binding the stories of people’s lives

  BOOKBINDING is an intriguing age-old craft, which is being nurtured by artist Éilís Murphy at her Corofin studio. Her expertise and creativity have recently been rewarded with a €10,000 RDS Craft Awards bursary. Éilís was one of five emerging Irish craftspeople awarded a bursary for the development for their burgeoning craft and business skills under the programme. A judging panel of five craft and design professionals chaired by Irish artist, Róisín de Buitléar, shortlisted 12 candidates to interview in the RDS. Physical examples of their work were shown to the panel and five winners were selected following two days of discussions. In addition to the €10,000 bursary, the 2020 RDS Craft Awards winners are provided with a free stand at Gifted – The Contemporary Craft & Design Fair held in the RDS in December. To be eligible to apply for the craft awards, emerging craft makers must have won a Design & Crafts Council Ireland, Future Makers Award or …

Read More »