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Arts & Culture

Cnoc na Gaoithe to host two free concerts

TULLA’S traditional music venue, Cnoc na Gaoithe is to host two free concerts this Friday (May 20) and next.  On May 20 at 8pm, fiddle maestro Liz Kane from Letterfrack, Connemara will take to the stage alongside acclaimed accordion player Danny O’Mahony from Ballyduff in Kerry.  On Friday, May 27, multi-instrumentalist Fergal Scahill, best known as the fiddle player with We Banjo 3 will perform along with Tyrone native Ryan Molloy, an accomplished contemporary classical and traditional piano player.  Admission to both concerts is free but must be pre-booked due to limited seating. Bookings can be made on Eventbrite.com. The concerts are support by Clare Arts Office and The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, under the Local Live Performance Support Scheme (LLPSS). Earlier this month, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, announced details of live events to be staged using the €5m in funding allocated to local authorities for the …

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Award winning Beata’s passion for photography

PHOTOGRAPHER Beata Rosik recalls she felt “positively surprised and appreciated” when she discovered she was to be the recipient of Clare Arts Office’s TONES Studio Residency Award. Beata, who is living in Ennis having moved from her native Poland, hopes this honour will lead to greater recognition of her work, which has already received many prestigious international awards and appeared in exhibitions around the world. “It’s a really nice feeling that my work was noticed and appreciated here in Ireland. I’ve been photographing since I came here, which is about 14 years ago, it’s a long period of my life. “To be honest, it is not easy to be noticed even in your own country, or maybe in your own country in particular, let alone living abroad. I hope that this awareness will help me to develop, and hopefully be a small bit more recognised in Ireland. I’m confident to say that Ireland is my home and Ennis is my …

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Ukrainian artist to auction her work to support compatriots

Ukrainian artist Liudmyla Sikorska, who has been living in the Mid-West since 2015 will host an auction of her works in Ennis next week to support the works of volunteers providing support for the people of Ukraine. Liudmyla’s art adorns the walls of homes and businesses in Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, New Zealand, Luxembourg and of course in her beloved Ukraine and Ireland. Liudmyla has decided to auction a number of her paintings in order to support the work of the UCCI- Ukrainian Crisis Centre Ireland. The Art for Ukraine auction will take place in the Old Ground Hotel on Thursday May 26 at 7pm.  The auction will be conducted by local auctioneer Cormac O’Sullivan and the art can be viewed at the County Museum from this weekend.

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Revealed: final destination for controversial Púca sculpture

The new location for the controversial Púca statue that was rejected by the people of Ennistymon has been revealed. Clare County Council confirmed today that the Michael Cusack Centre, situated in the heart of the Burren, has been selected as the new home for Aidan Harte’s work. Two applications from Michael Cusack Centre, Carron and Ballyvaughan Community Development Group were subject to an adjudication process in which representatives of both groups presented their case for hosting the artwork to an independent panel of judges. The judges noted in their citation: “While both applicants put forward compelling arguments for hosting the sculpture, the operators of the Michael Cusack Centre demonstrated how there would be mutual added value to both the installation and the community-run visitor attraction, the location of which was historically named ‘Poll a Phúca’.” “Michael Cusack Centre demonstrated compatibility to bringing the Púca to its natural home, confirming the interpretative element and story that will be told through the …

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Harp festival returns to Tuamgraney

TUAMGRANEY Harp Festival returns in full bloom this weekend and final preparations are being made.  Artistic Director and harper, Fiana Ni Chonaill is at the helm with a dedicated committee behind her. “We are really excited to have such a wealth of talent coming to Tuamgraney,” she told The Champion. The Castleconnell native said she is honoured to take over from the esteemed founder Elisabeth Affolter. “LIzzie taught at the Harp School in Castleconnell and I met her there,” Fiana explained. “She was living in Tuamgraney and got me interested in the harp festival. I studied Music at the University of Limerick (UL). That’s my musical home and it’s lovely to be back so close to it.” The pandemic meant that the festival had to be cancelled in 2020 and it ran online in 2021. This year, it is making a welcome return to venues around Tuamgraney, but will retain an online element. “It just wasn’t the same last year …

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‘Tis the Seasons – Vladimir’s take on Vivaldi at glór

ONE of the world’s most famous and popular pieces of classical music, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons gets an amazing reshaping by renowned Slovakian violinist Vladimir Jablokov on Friday May 13 in glór. Performed as part of his Four Seasons Explained tour, with this unique arrangement, not only will the audience get to hear the most amazing music, but also get a visual translation of the 300-year-old sonnets that inspired the pieces. Vladimir’s father performed Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons regularly and some of his performances and recordings go back to 1985 – the year Vladimir was born. “I remember one concert in Bratislava when I was about 10 years old. Dad was not only playing the full Four Seasons with his chamber orchestra, but he was also reading the sonnets published in the original Vivaldi score 300 years ago.” In August of last year, Vladimir’s Dad sadly passed away. Vladimir now wants to continue his father’s legacy and explain the sonnets to …

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Smother cast and crew visit Clare 250 Cancer Centre

CLARE 250 Cancer Centre welcomed some of the cast and crew of the hit TV thriller Smother for a couple of days filming at the woodland retreat in Ballygriffey recently.   Due to the pandemic, the day centre, which provides a haven away from daily life, for those going through cancer, has not been able to raise any money for the last two years. Fundraising activities get underway once again with a Coffee Day on Saturday, May 21, and a chance to support a local cyclist on the annual cycle which takes place on Sunday, May 22.

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North Clare venue X-PO is back on the go

AFTER an enforced two-year closure, one of North Clare’s premier creative community facilities has opened its doors once again.  The X-PO is a social and cultural space in Kilnaboy’s former post office and the hope is that its summer season will reconnect and revitalise the community after the long months of lockdown. The brief season will kick off with an Open Mic evening at 8.30pm this Friday night,  May 6. Events will also involve a new book club; a board game evening; film screening; heritage talks and a ‘skill-share’ workshop on how to grow grapevines in Ireland. “It’s very exciting to be opening up again after so long and we have quite a range of events,”  said William Hederman, a member of the collective that runs X-PO. “We traditionally close for the summer months but we decided it would be great to open for a few weeks to bring people together to reconnect after two years of our doors being closed. …

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