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Arts & Culture

Ex-Ennis resident Ziggy makes mark on South Africa tattoo circuit

A FORMER Ennis resident is making a big impression on the Tattoo Art Convention circuit after setting up his own business in Pretoria, South Africa. Siegfried Avenstrup, better known as Ziggy, originally came to Ennis as a young adult and retuned to South Africa in 2014 after studying at the Community Training Centre at the Clare Youth Service. His parents Siegfried and Nastaja live in Sixmilebridge. Having developed and honed his artistic skills at CYS, Ziggy went to further specialist training in tattoo artistry, “I was originally taught by my grandfather and father and was later inspired by the art teacher at the CYS Community Training Centre. I loved the passion he had for art and our discussions about tattoo art opened my mind to the opportunities.  I have grown as an artist since then by working hard and developing my skill level.” Ziggy now runs his own successful tattoo studio in the Doornpoort area of Pretoria and is known for …

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Clare music legend gets to heart of matter on new TV show

RUAN’S Sharon Shannon is set to feature on a new travel and music television series showcasing Ireland’s hidden gems including a visit to County Clare, writes Conor Clohessy. Fáilte Ireland and TG4 have joined forces with the renowned musician on the programme ‘Heartlands’. The four-week series, commencing on Wednesday, August 11 at 8.30pm, features Sharon and her niece Caoilinn Ní Dhonnabháin showcasing the Shannon River region across Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.  The pair will slowly cruise the River Shannon discovering the country while catching up with a host of musical friends, such as Liam O’Maonlaoi (Hothouse Flowers), Steve Wickham (The Waterboys), Eleanor Shanley, Nathan Carter, The Henshaws, Seamus Begley, Mundy, Gerry ‘Banjo’ O’Connor and Susan O’Neill.  The show will feature Clare and Tipperary on its finale on Wednesday, September 1 having travelled all the way along the river from Cavan. She will pay a visit to Derg Isle and Holy Island, meet and play with Gerry Banjo O’Connor at Garrykennedy, Tipperary, check out Beal Boru with Aindrias …

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Cnoc na Gaoithe redevelopment giving life to the heart of Tulla

CNOC na Gaoithe in Tulla was lauded by the Minister Heather Humphreys as an outstanding example of how local communities can harness support to bring old buildings back into use. The Minister for Rural and Community Development stopped off in East Clare during her whistle-stop tour of the county last Thursday (July 29). As part of the national ‘Our Rural Future Roadshow’, the minister saw a range of projects which are being supported by funding from her department. At the Cnoc na Gaoithe centre, where Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann are redeveloping the old convent and primary school building into a cultural hub, Minister Humphreys was treated to a tour of the work to-date as well as a flavour of the rich musical traditional of the area. “What I’ve seen here is absolutely fantastic,” Minister Humphreys told The Champion. “What strikes me most is community. Community, working with local authority, and realising their ambitions, identifying what they want to do in their …

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75 years of The Tulla Céilí Band celebrated at Clare festival

FROM Camden Town to Carnegie Hall and from the Fleadhanna ‘down in Ennis’ to the Body and Soul stage at Electric Picnic, the Tulla Céilí Band has captivated audiences of all kinds for the last three-quarters of a century. Over the course of its illustrious history, the band has brought the tunes of East Clare to prominence in Ireland’s musical repertoire. It has also fostered some of the country’s finest traditional players, including West Clare legends like Willie Clancy and JC Talty. At one point, it even counted a TD as a member, in the person of the long-serving Fianna Fáil representative, Feakle’s Dr Bill Loughnane. The story of the Tulla Céilí Band is closely woven into the history of modern Ireland. It was formed in March 1946, in the lean times after ‘The Emergency’, when the bicycle was the dominant mode of transport and social life didn’t stretch far beyond parish boundaries. Chris Keane, in his book on the …

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Visual Voices aims to increase access to arts in Clare

A NEW series of free online art tours specifically available to people of older age in Clare has been launched by Clare Arts Office. The series, ‘Visual Voices’ has come about thanks to funding from the Creative Ireland Programme. Visual Voices links a number of projects and programmes by Clare County Council in the area of arts and health to deliver an in-depth programme of online visual arts experiences to older people who may have difficulty accessing galleries and exhibition spaces in Clare. The series is based on Age and Opportunity’s ‘Azure’ programme, which was developed in collaboration with the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), Dublin, and inspired by the highly successful art tours ‘Meet me at MoMA’ running for many years for those living with dementia and their carers’, at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The Arts Office of Clare County Council has over two decades of experience in running arts in health programmes in residential and …

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Feakle Festival goes virtual for second year running

THE 34th annual Feakle Festival gets underway on Thursday (August 5) with a programme that brings together some of the country’s finest musical talent and well-loved local performers. For the second year in a row, the festival is largely online, with all performances available for streaming, free-of-charge on social channels. Festival organisers have been working hard to create an exciting programme which will reach an international virtual audience. “Hopefully, things will return to normal for 2022,” said Gary Pepper of the festival committee. “It’s great that things are now slowly beginning to come back around. Recently, Cormac Begley did a concert by the shores of Lough Graney, for 50 people and it was wonderful. There was a session afterwards with Mark Donnellan outside Pepper’s. “For many of those taking part in the festival, though, this will be their first gig of the year. They’re like children, they’re so excited about it.” The festival will open with a gala concert at …

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Open air performance in glór set to be an ‘air-raising’ experience

GLÓR is continuing to put its best foot forward since reopening, with plans in place for some ‘air’ raising events in the near future. Fidget Feet Aerial Dance, in partnership with Clare Arts Office, are bringing the In the Open arts programme to Ennis with a series of outdoor events planned over the coming months. The first event will be Fidget Feet’s brand new outdoor show,  A Handful of Dreams, currently touring nationwide, which is coming to glór’s car park from August 20 to 22. The free ticketed family event will be accompanied by a complimentary performance of traditional Irish music and dance, featuring local musicians and set dancers. “A Handful of Dreams is an awe-inspiring and heart-warming outdoor show that combines aerial and circus arts with live Irish traditional music and dance. Infusing a specially designed outdoor rig with an ancient magic, this beautiful celebration will connect to the hearts of each audience member while restoring the joy of …

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No show for glór as Ennis Market deemed ‘indoor space’

ENNIS’ Market Building has been ruled out as a location for potential outdoor events by glór, as its walls means it does not meet standards set out by Fáilte Ireland as an outdoor space. However, the covered market building is being considered as a possible site for planned performances by aerial dance company Fidget Feet as well as outdoor live music performances over the summer. Details of the potential use of the market for hosting outdoor events were released at a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District. Councillor Mark Nestor had requested that Clare County Council in conjunction with glór arrange a series of outdoor concerts, to be held in the Market building at times that would not interfere with trading in the area. Responding to the motion, Siobhan Mulcahy, Arts Officer, outlined that Clare Arts Office is currently working with Fidget Feet Irish Aerial Dance Company to provide entertainment in Ennis over the summer months. “If suitable to …

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