Home » Regional » East Clare (page 20)

East Clare

Mountshannon woman makes creative use of lockdown

LOCKDOWN has been put to good use by Mounthsannon musician and researcher Cliodhna Donnellan, who took advantage of the period to record a debut album and to revisit a CD released in memory of her late father. “For everybody involved in the arts, this has been a very different year,” said Cliodhna. “The slow down gave me an opportunity to just go for it in terms of the album and I recorded it in six weeks. It was probably at the back of my mind for two years though.” Finding time for a solo project was all the more important, given Cliodhna’s recent PhD studies at the University of Limerick (UL) and her long stint with the Mountshannon Trad Festival. “I was working part-time and studying at UL, looking at how traditional musicians can enhance their own performance experience,” she explained. “In terms of the festival, I had established that and coordinated it for ten years and it was winding …

Read More »

Post-pandemic vision for Clare outlined in Development Plan submission

A TULLA-based environmental and climate activist is hoping to “herald a new era for County Clare,” through an ambitious submission the County Development Plan (2022-2028), calling for ‘organic’ and chemical-free status for the area. Swiss national Cornelia Wahli is the driving force behind a number of high-profile initiatives including Operation De-Plastification and the Slim Your Bin Challenge. She has now asked the local authority to declare a the County Clare “organic, chemical-free and GMO-free”. Ms Wahli told the council she hopes that in 2050, at the age of 33, her granddaughter will “live in a county, in a country, on a planet that is still green and capable of supporting comfortable and enjoyable life”. In the submission, seen by The Champion, Ms Wahli said, “an organic, chemical-free and GMO-free County Clare is able to solve and combat a wealth of serious and damaging environmental threats, such as water pollution, air pollution, soil pollution, species extinction, habitat loss and loss of …

Read More »

Whitegate commemorates The Scariff Martyrs

WHITEGATE marked the legacy of the Scariff Martyrs on the 100th anniversary of their capture at Williamstown House on the shores of Lough Derg. A wreath was laid last Sunday at the house of Michael Egan, the caretaker of the stately home who, despite being tortured by British forces, steadfastly refused to give away the hiding place of Brud McMahon, Alphie Rodgers and Martin Gildea. The three has been on the run since an attack on the Scariff RIC Barracks that September and sought shelter at the secluded house. Another wreath was laid on the grounds of the house itself, which now stands in ruins, with short orations from local historian Tommy Holland and from Dr Tomás Mac Conmara. On Monday, the centenary of the martyr’s capture, the church bell rang out in Whitegate at 9.30am, the exact time the men were discovered and taken to Killaloe for questioning. Children from Lakyle National School were present for a socially-distanced ceremony …

Read More »

Viral success as musicians ‘seize the day’ for Eimear

A MUSICAL challenge in memory of the late Caher woman, Eimear Noonan, has gone viral, attracting over 400 online performances, across all genres and styles. Carpe Diem Sing and Play: Remembering Eimear has also raised thousands of Euro for a bursary for music students, which is taking applications up until this Saturday. The online challenge was the brainchild of Eimear’s brother Michael and driven by a dedicated team involving family and friends, who have marked, in an extra special way, the third anniversary of the young musician’s untimely passing. “The response across the globe has been phenomenal,” said Eimear’s mother, Mary. “The purpose of Carpe Diem is to support music education and performance and was given a whole new audience as talented young players, together with seasoned musicians and household names, shared their gift of art and music-making for two wonderful lockdown weeks, this November. The music continues to roll in as over 150 performances have yet to be shared. …

Read More »

East Clare prepares to mark centenary of Glenwood Ambush

AS EVENTS in the War of Independence are commemorated across the country, communities in East Clare are preparing to mark the 100th anniversary of the Glenwood Ambush in the New Year. On January 20, 1921 at about 4pm, a motorised patrol of ten armed Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) and Black and Tans, travelling from Sixmilebridge to Broadford, approached the back gate of Glenwood House. Waiting for them, concealed behind the walls of the Glenwood estate was a group of approximately 37 armed volunteers, from the East Clare Brigade of the IRA, led by Michael Brennan of Meelick. As the patrol passed by the gates, a fusillade of gunshots struck the patrol. Six RIC and Black and Tans were killed, two were injured and two escaped unhurt. One IRA volunteer was injured. The ambush party then withdrew through the forest and mountains to the East of Glenwood, towards the village of Oatfield. The surviving members of the patrol made their way …

Read More »

Drama on air as Scariff Bay gets set for feast of radio plays

WITH the normally vibrant amateur drama circuit among the casualties of pandemic restrictions, a new creative initiative aims to bring some of the best local acting, writing and directing talent to the airwaves early next year. Scariff Bay Community Radio together with The Clare Drama Festival have launched the inaugural Clare Drama Radio Play Festival, which will be broadcast on the community station in the spring. The station will also work with local national schools to bring short plays, written by pupils, to the airwaves. The Clare Drama Festival is one of the most popular and longest-running in Ireland and its loss, along with the cancellation of all other theatrical events, has been a huge loss to East Clare. “The amateur drama circuit like so many other cultural activities has been in hibernation since March this year,” said Eoin O’Hagan, PRO of Scariff Bay Community Radio. “Several festivals had been up and running and with the lockdown were forced to …

Read More »

McKernans weave strands of success in Tuamgraney

SUCCESS came as something of a surprise to husband-and-wife team Anke and Eugene McKernan, who set up their woollen mills in Tuamgraney in the 1980s. “We really didn’t plan it,” Anke told The Champion. “We were originally weavers, but realised that it was the market for hand-crafted scarves that was really going best for us. In 1995 we replaced our handlooms with a 120-year-old cast iron shuttle loom, and in 2012 we purchased our first knitting machine. We just couldn’t have imagined how the business would grow.” Now, McKernan Woollen Mills, produces over 500 different product lines which combine the crafts of weaving and knitting in innovative designs, textures and styles. With 70% of the pre-Covid business coming for export channels – to countries including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, the US and Canada – the company has had to switch gears to some extent because of the pandemic, and put more of a focus on retail business in outlets including …

Read More »

Fourth generation remembers legacy of ‘martyr’ Alphie Rodgers

SCARIFF businessman Mike Rodgers still lives in the house where his famous granduncle was born. Pictures of Alphie Rodgers and his family hang on the wall of the house in The Square where the man who was to become one of the legendary Scariff Martyrs came into the world in 1897. Alphie was one of a family of four and grew up alongside his brother Gerald – Mike’s grandfather – and his sisters Gertie and Kathleen. As respected shop-keepers, with a wide and loyal customer base, the family could never have imagined the devastation the events of the War of Independence would bring to their home. “Alphie was a bit of a golden boy,” Mike told The Champion. “We have letters that he sent when he was a pupil at Rockwell College, thanking his mother for sending him sweets. He was as good boy, but must have had a strong personality too.” Alphie was just 23 when he was fatally …

Read More »