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East Clare peace concert to have live link to Bethlehem


An East Clare documentary maker, who had commenced a short film on artists in Palestine prior to the most recent conflict, has called on the East Clare public to get behind this weekend’s concert in Scariff in aid of the children and families caught up in the war.
Bonnie Boyle, who is one of the organisers of the ‘East Clare for Peace in Palestine’ concert in Scariff GAA hall on Sunday night, said that Palestinian people she interviewed last year, during a visit there for filming of her documentary, are gripped by a fear that even they had not previously known.
The ‘East Clare for Peace in Palestine’ concert is a coming together of some of the best-known performers from the Scariff, Ogonnelloe, Whitegate, Mountshannon and Bodyke areas to create what promises to be a special night of peace and Christmas songs to raise funds for the Irish Emergency Alliance response to the ongoing horror unfolding in Gaza.
The alliance comprises member agencies Action Aid, Christian Aid, Trócaire, World Vision, TearFund, and Plan International, whose emergency appeal is aimed, in particular, at providing immediate help to children and families affected by the atrocities and escalating humanitarian crisis.
Speaking ahead of the concert, Bonnie explained that a key moment in it will be the bridging of the 5,000km or so between East Clare and Bethlehem as one of the people she interviewed will be sending a personal message directly to what’s expected to be a packed hall.
“The situation out there is just horrific. We’re all seeing the images from Gaza and it’s difficult to comprehend that this is actually happening today, that innocent children, their parents and other loved ones are being attacked and killed in a region that’s a crossroads of faith for some of the world’s dominant religions. We’re hearing of children’s names being written on their arms so they can be identified should their homes or place of shelter get bombed,” she said.
“The West Bank is also under siege, hundreds have been killed, thousands injured and detained there by Israeli authorities. Fear is constant there as well. In recent days we’ve even read about the destruction of a Palestinian school built using Irish Aid funds in the West Bank.
“This is what they are living with day to day. They’ve gone from living under an apartheid system to living in fear of their lives. The attacks of October 7 last in Israel, in which 1,200 people were killed, were horrific however the response is just a continuation of shocking inhumanity. Over 17,000 people have been killed in Gaza and the West Bank since the war broke out.”
Bonnie said that despite this daily fight for survival, the people there remain incredibly grateful for support and know that Ireland is very much behind them.
“We told them that we were doing our bit in East Clare and while what we will manage to raise will be miniscule by comparison with the need, they’re so grateful for it, not least knowing there are people out there who are thinking of them. They’re particularly taken with the idea that we would come together in music and song to raise money,” she said.
The line-up for the concert, which will have John O’Brien as its musical director, includes the East Clare Community Choir, East Clare Musical Society, Jim O’Brien, Terry Cronin, Sarah King, Noel Hogan, Anna Cronin, Maeve O’Brien, Ger Treacy, Sandra O’Halloran, Noel Daly and Eugene Hogan.
Tickets are available from Eventbrite.ie and in local shops such as Rodgers’ and Bane’s in Scarriff, McDermott’s in Whitegate, Josie Anne’s in Ogonnelloe and Treacy’s in Tuamgraney.

Andrew Hamilton

Andrew Hamilton is a journalist, writer and podcaster based in the west of Ireland.

About Andrew Hamilton

Andrew Hamilton is a journalist, writer and podcaster based in the west of Ireland.

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