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Tag Archives: Gary Pepper

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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Proper order as Banner hospitality comes back

MONDAY saw the return of outdoor drinking and dining, with hundreds of people taking the chance to return to Clare’s bar and restaurants. Since then the Abbey Street car park in Ennis saw large numbers gathering in specially assembled areas linked to the various licensed premises in the area. General manager of Knox’s Declan Kelly said that the reopening has gone well, and the bar/restaurant has done quite a lot of business. “It’s been very good, people have been enjoying it and behaving themselves. There has been no drama, it’s been very good to be honest. “We’ve been tipping away. We were very busy on Monday as it was the first day. Last night (Tuesday) we filled all our tables out the back, which was great. We were very happy with that, we weren’t expecting it as such. There’s a good oul buzz around it, people are looking to come back out and socialise.” One thing about outdoor drinking and …

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Fears that ‘2m rule’ will force rural pub closures

PUBLICANS in Clare have reacted positively to news that pubs will be allowed to open three weeks earlier than planned, but have voiced concern that the two metre social distancing rule will force some rural pubs to remain closed. Under the accelerated road map unveiled by government last Friday, so-called “wet pubs,” which don’t serve food, can open for business from July 20. Pubs serving food may re-open, along with the rest of the hospitality sector, from June 29. While the news has been welcomed by organisations representing the trade, there is broad agreement that the two metre social distancing rule could mean smaller pubs face closure for the foreseeable future. In Feakle, Gary Pepper of Pepper’s Bar and Restaurant, said described the two metre rule as “a non-runner,” but expressed optimism about the pledge by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to reconsider the guideline. “We’re looking forward to June 29.” he said. “There is a lot of …

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Blow to East Clare as Feakle Festival is cancelled

THE festival calendar for East Clare has suffered another major blow with the cancellation of the Feakle Festival, due to the Covid-19 restrictions. Organisers said they decided to cut this year’s event – which would ordinarily attract thousands to the region at the height of the summer season – “with deep regret,” in order to minimise the risk to the general public. Already, the legendary Spancilhill Fair has been called off, with organisers deciding that they could not guarantee social distancing at the event which draws thousands annually on the now immortalised date of June 23. A number of smaller community festivals, including the Bodyke May Bank Holiday Weekend, have also been shelved, with hopes of postponing some of them as the government’s road map for the re-opening of public life begins to unfold. In Feakle, a world-class programme of traditional music had been under wraps since February and there is widespread disappointment that the hugely popular festival won’t go ahead …

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Music sends tills jingling in Feakle

THE 27th Feakle Festival of Traditional Music came to an end on Monday but the memories will  live on for locals and visitors alike. GaryPepper was involved in its organisation and, as the dust was settling, he was exuberant about how well things had gone. “It was a total success. The crowds were similar to last year and maybe a little bit bigger than last year. It was very well supported, the concerts, céilís and recitals all had more people at them than last year,” he said. He added that people had travelled from far and wide to attend the event and there were numerous musical highlights. “It was a fabulous festival, the atmosphere was absolutely brilliant. The general warm feeling that we’ve had in the last number of years was there again this year. We had people from all over the world, all followers of the music, who came to listen and play and enjoy and participate. All in all, …

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