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Tag Archives: book

Ross biography puts Mary Lou under the spotlight

LATE November and December is the peak book-selling time, and the author of a new major Irish political biography was in Ennis last week. Former TD Shane Ross came to town to sign copies of Mary Lou McDonald – A Republican Riddle, which grapples with an intriguing but often unasked question: how did a private school and Trinity College-educated South Dublin woman become leader of Sinn Féin of all parties? There are other questions, such as why Mary Lou wasn’t active at all in politics until her late twenties? Even when she joined a party it was Fianna Fáil; where was her commitment to republicanism? And, perhaps most worryingly in many people’s eyes, to what extent is she really the leader or are ‘shadowy figures’ in West Belfast in control of the party that won most first preference votes in the last General Election? Of particular Clare interest is the experience of Violet Anne Wynne, who Ross spoke to in …

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Enda’s labour of love on Ennistymon’s musical legacy

Ahead of the launch of his new book and double CD on December 10, Enda Byrt reflects on the history of the céilí and dance bands of Ennistymon from 1954 to 1970.   COUNTY Clare is closely associated with traditional music, with an audience made up of traditional purists to passing tourists, and all in between!  Sound Your A: The story of  the Céilí and Dance bands of Ennistymon: families, music and musicians tells as much of the story of the music of Ennistymon and district, not all traditional, as can be gleaned from the recordings and the accounts of the times, as well as the music that could be gathered. Sound Your A tells the stories of the individual musicians, and their families. Much has been and continues to be written about the music and musicians of Clare. The areas receiving most attention in the West of the county are often Doolin, Kilfenora, and Miltown Malbay. All have a …

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Launch of ‘Our Burren Walks’ Guidebook in support of Clarecare

FROM the stunning scenery of the Flaggy Shore to the unspoilt splendour of Mullaghmore, these are just some of the locations that are featured in a brand new book showcasing some of the very best walks to be enjoyed in the Burren. Written by Patrick McGinley, Tim O’Connell and Eddie Joyce, the ‘Our Burren Walks’ Guidebook is being sold in support of Clarecare Family Support Service which provides a range of supports to children and parents in County Clare. Keen and extensive outdoor walkers and adventurers, Patrick, Tim and Eddie regard many of the walks in the Burren as spectacular as those anywhere in the world and they are pleased to have the opportunity to share some of their interesting Burren experiences with readers of ‘Our Burren Walks’. Patrick tells us they are hopeful the book will inspire others to get out and explore all the Burren has to offer. He says there are “dozens of reasons” to go out …

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Book celebrates Clare’s Haven from abuse and coercive control

THE voices of two brave women who escaped abusive relationships and found support with Clare Haven rang out at the Old Ground Hotel during the launch of new book ‘Light on the Horizon’ last week. The book is the inspiring story of a community that said no to domestic abuse, recalling the founding of Clare Haven 30 years ago, and detailing the ongoing efforts to combat domestic abuse and coercive control in the county. At the launch, audio clips of Joan and Norma (not their real names), who had used the Clare Haven refuge, were played leaving some members of the audience visibly moved. Joan recalled when she left her controlling husband with no idea where to turn. “I walked out just with my handbag and I didn’t know where I was going. Him, saying to me shouting, ‘you’d be nothing, you’re nothing without me, it’s cold out there’ and I thought…just don’t turn, just keep walking. I had €10 …

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New book captures history and life of Ennis Military Barracks

A FASCINATING new book detailing the history of Ennis Barracks and life therein is available to purchase. The Old Military Barracks has been written by William Crowley, who recounts his own experience of growing up there, and presents a collection of articles on military history, residents, sport, maps and photographs associated with the the Barracks on the Kilrush Road. “We had a massive big playground within the walls, also loyal neighbours and great friendship,” he said. “We  had our own sports field, our very own handball alley, our own boxing club which we utilized whenever youngsters from other parts of the town tried to overtake our territory and all disputes were handled in McGuane’s Field across from the front gate of the Barracks”. In her introduction to the book, the Mayor of the Ennis Municipal District, Councillor Ann Norton noted the huge history associated with the facility. “It is so important that the history of the Military Barracks is in print …

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The many sides to Morrissey

Reluctant autobiographer Marty Morrissey tells Owen Ryan once he began his memoir, the words just flowed WHEN one looks at the great moments from Clare’s sporting history, Marty Morrissey keeps popping up. Famously quipping that a cow wouldn’t be milked in the county for a week in 1992, the ‘We’re going to do it” moment with Loughnane in ‘95, roaring ‘Holy Moses’ as Domhnall O’Donovan levelled the 2013 drawn All-Ireland. Now 62, Marty has penned an autobiography ‘It’s Marty’, and given that he has made his name as a sports broadcaster there is plenty of that sort of material, but he says it’s really for the wider audience. “It’s not really a sports book, there’s obviously GAA in it, but there’s more than that, it has a broad spectrum I would like to think. I would hope that people enjoy the stories, enjoy my journey to where I am, have a few laughs along the way.” A Marty autobiography was …

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The Irish Diaspora: Tales of Emigration, Exile and Imperialism

In his new book, The Irish Diaspora, Turtle Bunbury explores the lives of men and women whose pioneering journeys beyond the Irish shore played a profound role in world history. Here, he shines a spotlight on figures from County Clare. COUNTY Clare contributes some of the earliest stories to ‘The Irish Diaspora’ through the story of St Donat (Donagh), also known as Donatus of Fiesole, who is said to have both studied and taught at the monastic island school of Inis Cealtra in Lough Derg. “Donat and St Andrew Scotus, a fellow Irishman, were returning from a pilgrimage to the tombs of the Apostles in Rome,” writes Bunbury. “They called into Fiesole, a town north of Florence, where the citizens were just preparing to elect a new bishop. As Donat entered the cathedral, all the bells began ringing and the lamps and candles burst into light. The congregation, not unreasonably, deduced that the intrepid Irishman should become their bishop. Given …

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Full programme for 15th Ennis Book Club Festival launched

THE full programme for the 15th Ennis Book Club Festival was announced this week. This year’s festival will be a hybrid of online events in March with live events taking place in April and September. As always Ennis Book Club Festival 2021 will offer opportunities to engage with favourite authors and features an additional programme of events for younger readers. While the festival cannot welcome book lovers to Ennis this March as ever, it will provide plenty of events to stimulate discussion and inspire reading, from the comfort of the couch. Commenting on the programme for the 2021 Ennis Book Club Festival, Artistic Director Dani Gill, says, “We have had to re-imagine the festival several times this year with the changing circumstances, and while people are having to remain at home, we hope that at least, there have been some good books on the go, and that people will engage with our online offerings next month. “A lot of work …

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