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Podcast series to share wealth of Clare oral history project

THE first-ever episode of the news Cuimhneamh an Chláir podcast will go live online this weekend.

The Clare Oral History Podcast, produced by Paula Carroll, will provide deep dives into the oral history archive of Cuimhneamh an Chláir, which now contains over 12 years of memories and stories collected from the county’s oldest citizens.

The most surprising, interesting, informative, inspirational and moving of these stories will now be shared in a permanently accessible way, thanks to funding from The Heritage Council.

The pandemic has forced many organisations to review how they work and it inspired Cuimhneamh an Chláir to find new ways to share its material.

Ordinarily, the main focus would have been put on live community events where the stories recorded in an area were brought back to that area.

“The pandemic has made that kind of in-community sharing  impossible in the last 18 months’, said Paula.

“Older people have been isolated in their own homes – the very people who gave us these stories in the first place. Yet the demand is still there. People love hearing stories gathered in their own locality, and people everywhere love a story well told. After all our live events we are always asked ‘Where can I hear more of these stories?’ Well now we’ve got an answer for you!”

The first episode will feature stories from Chris Droney, Bellharbour, Madeleine Killeen, Ennis, Teresa Flynn, Mountshannon, Paddy Malley, Feakle, Pat Flanagan, Luogh, Doolin, and Joe Tuohy, Clonusker, Scariff. Three of these storytellers have since passed on but their voices and stories are preserved forever in the Cuimhneamh an Chláir archive.

“Hundreds of Clare voices have been recorded in the last 12 years by Cuimhneamh an Chláir’s collectors,” Paula noted.

“It was such a pleasure researching this, having all those voices ringing in my ears, and being able to make something permanent with them, that will hopefully bring joy to some.”

The podcast will be available on all the usual platforms and updated once a fortnight. Cuimhneamh an Chláir’s Facebook page (@clarememory) will provide information on the latest episodes.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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