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New book records Clooney Graveyard Inscriptions

THE fascinating history of an East Clare cemetery has been brought to light in a new publication by Jane Halloran Ryan, in association with Clare Roots Society.  A genealogist and history enthusiast, Jane is current researching for a PhD and is one of the team behind the hugely popular annual journal from heritage group Tulla Reaching Out. In recent years, Jane has been following another historical passion and has recently published Clooney Graveyard Inscriptions, containing a wealth of lore dating back to the early 1700s.  This cemetery dates from the early eighteenth century and contains about 150 headstones, with both Catholic and Protestant families from the parishes around Clooney, Tulla and Quin, buried there at one time. The church is believed to date back to the thirtieth century, but it is not known what saint it was dedicated to.  “One of the main reasons that pushed me to record Clooney was the fact that my great-great grandparents are both buried …

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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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Libraries book in full programme for History Week

CLARE County Library’s History Week is running from October 16-22, with its programme covering the county during the revolutionary period. There will be exhibitions, online lectures, music and talks, with most of the programme accessible at www.clarelibrary.ie. Dr Joe Power will speak on Clare and the Civil War, Áine Hensey will speak on the Rebel Priests ofMullagh – Fr Pat Gaynor and Fr Michael McKenna and Rita McCarthy on the County ClareNursery (Mother and Baby Home). Distinguished historian Mary McAuliffe will talk on Republican Surveillance of Women during the War of Independence with reference to Co Clare and Sinéad McCoole, who specialises in the history of Irish women, talks about Mná100 – Explore a Century of Change. Joe Ó Muircheartaigh will present an audio documentary about the friction between the East and Mid Clare Brigades during the War of Independence called Brigades at War and Brian Spring will launch his Primary School Resource Pack The Brave and the Bold: the …

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Joe Kenneally, child of 1921

JOE Kenneally, Child of 1921 is the title of a Zoom event that will be held on Tuesday, October 19 at 7.30pm as part of Clare County Library’s History Week. Born in Kilshanny at the end of the War of Independence in July 1921, Joe still lives in the house he was born in. His was an ordinary farming life in many ways and was reflective of the lives of many born into the new Irish State. But no lives are really ordinary. Joe has been recorded by three different collectors for Cuimhneamh an Chláir, by the National Folklore Archive in UCD and by many other song collectors. The story that emerges is of a man with an intense artistic engagement with the songs and stories carried by generations of his family. These songs and stories link him to a past far back beyond 1921, which he makes real and present for us today in 2021. The event is hosted …

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Book to show historical area was far from ‘run of the mill’

Gerry Woods’ and Clare Roots Society publication brings the history of Ennis’ Old Mill Street to life “PRESERVING the history of an area gives us all a sense of place,” says Gerry Woods who, this Friday, releases a new book in conjunction with Clare Roots Society. The book, exploring the history of Old Mill Street, including Cornmarket, Considine’s Terrace and Old Cloughleigh, is a collection of articles, including on sport, poetry, maps and photographs. Unfortunately because of Covid-19 restrictions an official book launch cannot take place, however the publication will be available locally with all proceeds going to the Clare Roots Society. The contents of the publication were originally to be included in an upcoming book on Hermitage, but due to the quantity of material available on the area the decision was made to publish the history of Old Mill Street separately. Gerry says he was “very pleased” when he was approached by Larry Brennan of the Clare Roots Society …

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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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100th anniversary of Clarecastle church burning commemorated

A LOCAL heritage group have made sure Covid-19 would not extinguish their plans to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the burning of a church in Clarecastle. The Clarecastle & Ballyea Heritage & Wildlife Group had planned on marking the centenary of the attack on St Mary’s Church of Ireland back in April, however the plans had to be put on hold due to the pandemic. The group have now reignited the commemoration, but instead of hosting an event they have produced an information brochure detailing the history of what has been described by local historian Dr Joe Power as a “shocking sectarian incident”. Eric Shaw of the Clarecastle & Ballyea Heritage & Wildlife Group, who compiled the publication told us, “The burning of the church is an event not known to the younger generation here or to newcomers to Clarecastle in more recent times. The burning marked a turbulent time in our local history. Nothing remains of the building. The …

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Newly discovered film of Clarecastle to be released this month

OLD cine-films taken in Clarecastle in the 1950s showing aspects of the village in that era and the unloading of ships at Clarecastle Quay have been discovered and digitised. The film is now set to be released by the Clarecastle & Ballyea Heritage & Wildlife Group on Saturday, August 15 to mark the start of Heritage Weeks 2020. The Clarecastle & Ballyea Heritage & Wildlife Group has amassed a large collection of old photographs over the years. This was done by appealing to the local community through the local press, the press used by the Irish community in England, parish newsletters, open nights where the local community brought in old photos. These images were scanned, with the group not only capturing the picture, but also the story behind the photographs. During one of these sessions the group was told of the existence of reels of old cine-film with images of the village and Quay areas. They approached the owners and …

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