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Arts & Culture

Getting set for that Friday cultural feeling

Friday marks the annual Culture Night throughout Ireland and once again Clare is very much to the fore with over 25 free events around the county. The organisers of Culture Night, the Department of Arts, have kept last year’s theme Explore – Experience – Enjoy due to it’s phenomenal success. Ennis sees the largest array of Culture Night activities. The phenomenally successful Riches of Clare concert series will provide a free concert in Glór featuring Mike Butler, Damien O’Reilly and Blackie O’Connell, to name but a few musicians. Music will also be provided by the Jaskane Café Trio in the Clare Museum and there will be a piping recital by renowned uilleann piper David Power in the Friary on Abbey Street, Ennis. There will also be music on the streets of Ennis provided by the Ennis Gospel Choir, Comhaltas and by a members of the international community in Ennis. Music dominates throughout the county also with traditional music happening in …

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Back to Buckingham

NORTH Clare artist, Michael Hanrahan has been invited again to Buckingham Palace to deliver his painting, entitled The Horse-Drawn Carriage At Windsor. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth gave Michael permission to paint various scenes from the historic visit of Irish President, Michael D Higgins to the United Kingdom last April. She also said she wished to see the work on completion. She has now written to the artist, accepting Michael’s gift of this painting. The painting depicts the Australian State carriage as it made its way to Windsor Castle, carrying the Queen and President Higgins. Michael will deliver the painting to Buckingham Palace at 12.30pm on Monday, October 6. This is the artist’s second visit to the palace, having presented a further painting, entitled The Queen at the Garden of Remembrance. This painting followed Queen Elizabeth’s historic visit to Ireland in 2011. Michael was the only artist accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs to capture this visit on canvas. The …

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Rachael’s novel adventures

Shannon author and broadcaster, Rachael English’s second novel, Each and Every One, has just hit the bookshops. Rachael’s voice is among the most well-known in the country, as she presents Morning Ireland, and has more than 20 years’ experience on RTÉ Radio, after starting out on Clare FM, when Irish local radio was launched in 1989. Her first novel, Going Back, was quite well received on its release last year, but her nerves were still jangling last week, as she prepares to see how readers and critics react to the latest novel. Even presenting a radio show to hundreds of thousands of listeners isn’t adequate preparation, she said. “I’d love to be one of those people who doesn’t get nervous about these things but I do get far more nervous about book things than I have ever done about anything to do with broadcasting. It’s mad.” She said she feels like people will almost be passing judgement on a part …

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Clare author misses out on Man Booker shortlist

CLARE-based writer Niall Williams has missed out on being shortlisted for the Man Booker prize. The Kilmihil resident was named on the longlist for the prestigious prize in July but was ruled out of the running when the final six were announced this week. Mr Willians’ book History of the Rain is set in the village of Faha in West Clare, where young Ruth Swain lies bedridden in an attic room piled high with 3,958 books. The character tells the story of herself, her father and the family of English clergymen from which he came. For the first time in its 46-year history, the £50,000 prize has been opened up to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the UK. Unfortunately the prize will not be coming to Ireland as Cork-born author Joseph O’Neill also missed out on the short list. Chair of the 2014 judges, AC Grayling, stated that reducing the 13 books on the …

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Desperately seeking talented canines

THE 70TH annual Scariff Show took place last weekend and the competition was as fierce as ever for this milestone year. Among the events was a special dog category event, helping East Clare Musical Society select a suitable dog actor for their forthcoming production of Annie. Four candidates were selected to play the role of Sandy and, after a trial period working with these dogs, one lucky canine will be selected to perform in December. The shortlisted entries included Jessie, owned by Paul Brooks; Monty, owned by Eleanor Walsh; Sammy, owned by Caroline Ford; and Muffy, owned by Holly Sturton, who will play the role of Annie for the production. The top four dogs will work with a trainer, once rehearsals begin. Chorus rehearsals begin on Tuesday at 8pm in the music room at Scariff Community College. Anyone interested in getting involved are asked to come along, new members are always welcome.   Carol Byrne

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Edwina Guckian

Celebrities to Light Tulla Trad Stage

CON Fada Ó Drisceoil will be the host for the Tulla Trad Festival celebrity concert, which is the main highlight of this year’s festival. Con, a  songwriter and accordion-player from West Cork, is renowned for writing comic songs on a wide range of subjects, from Shakespearean tragedy to unwelcome percussionists and the wildlife of County Clare. In 2009, he received the composer’s award at Gradam Ceoil TG4. Among the celebrity guests taking to the concert stage on the weekend after next are Darren Breslin, June McCormack, Michael Rooney, Tim Collins, Edwina Guckian, Edel Fox and Neil Byrne. There is huge demand for places at the workshops, which are a very important element of the Tulla Trad Festival. The organisers have warned that places are filling up rapidly in most workshops, which feature top-class tutors. For details about the festival, visit tullatradfestival.ie. Carol Byrne

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Giant Spectacle in Treaty City

A GIANT granny comes to Munster this weekend as world renowned French based street theatre company Royal de Luxe bring their newest giant to Limerick as part of the city of culture line-up. Founded in France in 1979 by Jean-Luc Courcoult Royal de Luxe have performed in front of more than 18 million spectators across the world and this weekend they bring their 30 foot tall Grandmother to Limerick. From Friday, September 5 to Sunday, September 7 they will be in Limerick where they will deliver a unique Irish urban tale, bringing their Giant’s Saga to Ireland for the first time. The Giant will tell a story while she is in the city over three days offering plenty of free family entertainment. Grandmother, which is being referred to locally as Granny, stands at 7.5metres tall, and is handled like a marionette by tens of Lilliputians, which have become a directly identifiable signature of the street theatre company. Speaking about the …

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Los Paddys Rotate multicultural musicians

By John Rainsford   The World Cup may be a fading memory but, for Los Paddys De Las Pampas the need for squad rotation goes. Although Los Paddys De Las Pampas have their roots firmly in Clare soil, their transnational style has meant a growing number of multicultural artists in their ranks. Mixing cumbias with reels and sambas they have, by now, developed a truly unique and original sound, which is steadily gaining in popularity. Lead singer, Paddy Mulcahy explained, “The band’s music combines Irish trad with South American folk and rhythm. Our first album, called Come Home, which was released last Christmas, involved 10 musicians from five different countries, who had to be in Ireland for the same two-week period. “These included a third-generation Argentinean-Irish charango and ronroco player, called Tommy Nelson, and other musicians from around Ireland, Scotland, Australia, South Africa and France. “Although we sent them the recording material in advance (via email), it remained a very …

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