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Arts & Culture

The Rainbow Warrior – Eddie McGuinness speaks about his battle with cancer and HPV vaccine

April 2020. As the first Covid 19 lockdown brings life in Ireland to a shuddering halt, Eddie McGuinness, the founder of the world’s first LGBTQ+ matchmaking festival, The Outing, is busy doing exactly what you’d expect him to be doing, calling balcony bingo for his neighbours from his second floor apartment. But after weeks of calling numbers and rallying local spirits, Eddie began to realise that something wasn’t quite right. His throat was increasingly sore at the end of each session, he was losing weight and low on energy. His first thought, naturally, was Covid 19. But when his symptoms worsened week after week, he began to fear that his health was facing something altogether more serious. Unbeknownst to Eddie, he was suffering from stage four throat cancer and he was about to face the fight of his life. “I was being extra careful at that time, we all were, every time you felt unwell you thought it might have …

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Ríoghnach Connolly comes west in the footsteps of Willie Clancy

CULTÚRLANN Sweeney in Kilkee plays host to the renowned BBC 2 Folk Singer of the Year, Ríoghnach Connolly, next week. Fresh from a recent performance on the Tommy Tiernan Show with guitarist Stuart McCallum, the Armagh woman is looking forward to their upcoming Kilkee concert on Monday, February 19. Ríoghnach, who is signed to internationally renowned musician Peter Gabriel’s Real World record label, is on a short Irish tour with McCallum before they tour Britain and Scandinavia for a few months. The duo is known as The Breath, and Ríoghnach is also lead singer with the Afro Celt Sound System. She is also nominated for Best Original Folk Song this year at the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards for her collaborative single ‘Not Your fight’ with The Henry Girls. Speaking to The Clare Champion, she is modest about the BBC2 award. “As far as I think I broke the whole competition – it hasn’t happened since. I am still dining …

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Monsters, Misfits and Mayhem to take over Bunratty this Halloween

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in County Clare hosts its biggest Halloween celebration yet when Monsters, Misfits and Mayhem take over the castle grounds from Saturday October 28th to Monday October 30th. From ghosts swooping from the skies to a deathly torture chamber in the castle basement and from the witches’ kitchen to the haunted train that snakes through the Folk Park, no gravestone will be left unturned at the 26-acre visitor attraction later this month. The Witch’s Kitchen, located within the nearby Loop Head Farmhouse, will see Grandmother Witch prepare her latest magic spell in a cauldron filled with secret ingredients. The Witches come under suspicion too during the Witches Trial as Ardcroney Church is transformed into a courthouse for the event. The solemn wake of Mickey McNamara will be hosted in The Shannon Farmhouse where the farmer demonstrates he has some unresolved business to attend to as his family pray for their beloved. Visitors to the neighbouring outhouse …

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SHANNON Fine Art student, Asha Murray, has been named the first ever recipient of the TUS Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) Global Travel Award, worth €5,000. The inaugural award ceremony was held on the Technological University of the Shannon’s Clare Street Limerick Campus last week as part of the inaugural Masters in Fine Art Exhibition reception. As the first ever winner of the award, Asha plans to use the funding to enrol in a master class in Berlin, and complete internships in some of the most recognised art galleries across the world. “This award will allow me to continue to achieve the goals I have set out for myself after leaving LSAD and to support me to reach them; whilst also giving me the confidence that I can make a place for myself in a global sense,” she said. The moving images artist plans to enrol in a film course or workshop in Berlin. “The course I have …

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GALLERY: Scariff Harbour Fest

Scariff has that festival feeling Newly crowned, Clare Junior All-Ireland Camogie Champions, received a rousing reception as set dancers battered the floor to the Tulla Céilí Band bringing Scariff Harbour Festival 2023 almost to a close. Darkening clouds and squally showers had earlier threatened the enjoyment of the festival opening on Friday night when Monica McWilliams, Co-founder of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition endeared and captivated her audience at Waterways Marina, marking the 25th Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. Signatory of that Agreement, she was accompanied on stage by the Mayor of Clare, Cllr Joe Cooney (FG), Brian Treacy, newly appointed Waterways Ireland Western Regional Manager and Mike Rodgers, Chair of Scariff Harbour Festival Committee with Jim Collins as MC. Undeterred by any weather threat, the festival was a huge success bringing thousands into the town and on to the streets over the four-day event. Qween Tribute band led by vocalist, Brian Keville was hugely popular while northern bands …

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‘Clarescapes’ show returns to Scariff

SCARIFF Library Gallery is to host an exhibition of watercolours that were first hung in early 2020, but never seen by the public because of the pandemic. In conjunction with Clare Arts Office the Library Gallery welcomes back ‘Clarescapes’ – an exhibition of watercolours by Philip Brennan. Following its initial showing in Ennis in late 2019, part of this exhibition was then toured to Kilkee and Scariff. The paintings were hung in the Scariff Library Gallery in March 2020, but the showing never happened due to the Covid-19 outbreak a few days later. This exhibition features a selection of paintings from around the county and Philip’s fascination with so many aspects of his native county is reflected in the many themes on display. There are seascapes and landscapes, with inspiration from Clare’s rivers, coast, weather, history, wildlife, old stories, and music. Each painting tries to capture a moment in the Clare year, everything including the Tau cross at Kilnaboy, Skylarks having a territorial …

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