Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Ageing Positively at Clare County Library this October

This year, from Thursday 1st of October to Friday 9th October 2015, Age Action celebrates 13 years of Positive Ageing Week and both young and old coming out in force in their towns and communities to celebrate ageing in a positive light. Positive Ageing Week over the last number of years has expanded rapidly due to the enthusiasm of older people and their communities who have embraced the idea and made it their own.

Clare County Library is delighted to once again count itself among the many organisations that embrace Positive Ageing Week and will celebrate it with a variety of activities this year.

Seán Lemass Public Library, Shannon, will host a wool spinning and textiles crafts demonstration with Susanna Anker at 11.30am on Friday, 2nd October. Susanna is a heritage expert on wool spinning and is based in Kilmihil, County Clare. On Tuesday, 6th October at 3pm, Kilrush Public Library will host a jewellery-making workshop with Mary Reynolds. Both events are free but places are limited and booking is required.

Scariff Public Library will transform into a cinema on Thursday, 8th October, with a free movie screening. Details are available at the library desk or on 061-922893. Also on Thursday 8th October at 12pm, the Hillery Public Library, Miltown Malbay, will welcome Carron native and storyteller Paddy Hynes with his unique blend of storytelling and entertainment, which he will share with the children of Rockmount National School. Senior citizens are also invited to come along and enjoy this free event where young and old are guaranteed to be captivated by Paddy’s tales of days gone by.

Throughout the week selected branches around the county will have book displays featuring positive ageing related titles. There will also be free copies of the library's booklet entitled "Positive Ageing: A Reading List from Clare County Library" available to pick up at all branches.

Remember too that Senior Citizens can avail of free library membership in all of Clare County Library’s branches. So, during Positive Ageing Week, or at any time of the year, why not join your local branch library? You’ll discover a whole world of books, CDs, DVDs and more. You may even join one of our many clubs including book clubs and scrabble clubs. A whole new experience awaits you! For details of all events check with your local branch, phone 065-6821616 or visit Details of national events are available at

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Seán Lemass Public Library gets down to business

A range of new services being provided at Seán Lemass Public Library in Shannon to help people access employment and consider creating their own business will be officially launched on Tuesday, 29 September at 6.30pm.

The new services include free Wi-Fi and Public Access Internet PCs; a Surfbox printing, scanning and photocopying service; an employment noticeboard and free access to online resources such as, as well as access to the Library's enhanced selection of business books, journals and newspapers.

Tuesday's public event will also feature a talk, entitled ‘Start Your Own Business’, by Padraic McElwee, Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office, Clare. The talk will outline what is involved in starting a business and how individuals and start-ups can go about accessing the supports available.

Contact Seán Lemass Public Library on (061) 364266 for more information.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Aoibheann Queally and Eoin O'Neill performing at the Corofin Trad Fest 2015

Aoibheann Queally and Eoin O'Neill performing at the Corofin Traditional Festival on March 2nd, 2015. Posted on Youtube on the 7th of May 2015 by Niamhaines.

Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill on KUNM Radio Studio Sessions

"Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill visit with Carol Boss on KUNM's Afternoon Freeform, talk and perform three songs." Posted on Youtube on the 5th of July 2015 by KUNMradio.

Clare County Library celebrates the Summer Reading Adventure

This past week saw hundreds of children receive certificates of achievement for having completed the Summer Reading Adventure. The guest entertainer, who went down an absolute treat with children and parents alike, was artist and storyteller extraordinaire Wayne O’Connor, whose hilarious tales with a twist and quirky drawings had children jumping out of their seats. The Summer Reading Adventure was rolled out in all branches of Clare County Library at the beginning of July and ended on the last day of August. Participating children read at least six books during the Summer holidays with several reading many more. Special programme incentives motivated the children as they received stickers, wristbands, bookmarks etc. at various milestones during the Challenge. Children were invited to review their favourite reads and their recommendations for other children looking for a good book were not only extremely useful but created colourful displays in local libraries.

A specially designated website ( supported the children who joined the initiative, recommending the best reads, offering encouragement from famous authors and sports personalities and providing a treasure trove of book-related activities and helpful hints to explore.

Such is the interest in this programme annually that some libraries simply cannot accommodate the audiences. Clare County Library wishes to thank the Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis and the Bellbridge House Hotel, Spanish Point for providing first-rate venues for two of the celebratory events. Library members in West Clare attended Cultúrlann Sweeney, Kilkee, to receive their certificates and enjoy the entertainment and the Seán Lemass Public Library, Shannon was the celebratory venue for the children from Sixmilebridge, Newmarket on Fergus and Shannon libraries who completed the Reading Adventure. The final awards event will take place in Scariff Library on the 26th of September.

Hardkoor Jubileumtour - singing at the Cliffs of Moher

Hardkoor Jubileumtour at the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 20th of September 2015 by H. Werhoven.

"Anything" by The Impossibles from Ennis, County Clare

"In partnership with Music Generation, the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus was in Ennis, County Clare with some fresh up and coming artists, continuing the tradition that creating original music is! Today's peace... inspired by a certain representative flag it seems. Imagine Peace!" posted on Youtube on the 31st of august 2015 by John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.

Culture Night 2015 - Ennis Vlog

"A little vlog of Culture Night 2015 in Ennis, County Clare. Events visited: 'Wood from the Trees' - Honans Antiques 'Music from around the World' 'Visit the Museum' 'Light of the Burren' - County Museum 'Poetry & the Delta Blues' - The Record Break Cafe 'The Secret Life of Plastic' - Monastery Park 'Rooted - a Collective Collaboration' - Zest. Video by Aoife Lenihan." Posted on Youtube on hte 20th of September 2015 by Gary Collins Photography.

Caving at Ballyvaughan, County Clare

Caving at Ballyvaughan, County Clare. Posted on Youtube on the 6th of September 2015 by Sarah Keogh.

The Outing Lisdoonvarna LGBT Matchmaking & Music Festival

"The Outing Lisdoonvarna LGBT Matchmaking & Music Festival County Clare, October 2nd – 4th 2015. Now in its third year, the fast growing offshoot of the historical matchmaking festival is back and bigger than ever. With pop-up clubs, drag performances, comedy, live music and interactive events, it’s a guaranteed craic-filled weekend away on Ireland’s stunning west coast." Posted on Youtube on the 15th of September 2015 by The Outing Lisdoonvarna.

Scattery Island, Vandeleur Walled Gardens, Kilrush Marina & Shannon Estuary

"Kilrush Entente Florale" featuring Scattery Island, Vandeleur Walled Gardens, Kilrush Marina & the Shannon Estuary. Posted on Youtube on the 13th of July 2015 by Alan Magner Photography.

Newhall House, Ennis, County Clare

"Newhall is a splendid mid-18th century mansion in attractive brick, with earlier stone wing and set within a fine parkland estate of some 300 acres." Posted on Youtube on the 16th of september 2015 by SherryFitzGroup.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Riches of Clare Concert 29th July 2015 featuring Eimear Coughlan, Francis Cunningham, Anne Rynne, & Marian Curtin

Eimear Coughlin (harp), Francis Cunningham (concertina), Anne Rynne (fidle), and Marian Curtin (flute) performing at the Riches of Clare concert series on July 29, 2015 (Session 12). Posted on Youtube on the 6th of August 2015 by Niamhaines.

Laoise Kelly & Tola Custy play Aube Mauve

County Clare's Tola Custy with Laoise Kelly from Mayo live on the Loft Stage for FleadhTV at the All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil 2014. Posted on Youtube on the 4th of August 2015 by Fleadh TV.

Two Minutes at Lough Derg, County Clare

"At 32,000 acres, Lough Derg is the second-biggest lake in the Republic of Ireland. Teaming with wildlife, the long, narrow lake is known for fishing, sailing and a host of other outdoor activities. It borders the counties of Clare, Galway and Tipperary." Posted on Youtube on the 30th of August 2015 by newsocracy.

The Nature of Design - The Wild Atlantic Way

"Stunning video from Irish Design 2015 shows how brewers, bakers, perfumers and weavers get inspired on Ireland’s west coast!" Posted on Youtube on the 11th of September 2015 by TINordics.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Man Booker shortlist 2015 announced

The shortlist for the 2015 Man Booker prize has been announced. The judges remarked on the variety of writing styles, cultural heritage and literary backgrounds of the writers on the shortlist, which includes new authors alongside established names. Two authors come from the United Kingdom, two from the United States and one apiece from Jamaica and Nigeria. Two of the favourites for the award, former Booker winner Anne Enright and Pulitzer and Orange prize winner Marilynne Robinson, were omitted from the shortlist. The novels explore grim themes including child abuse, self-harm, gang violence, sibling murder and the exploitation of illegal workers.

The 2015 winner will be announced on Tuesday 13 October in a ceremony to be broadcast by the BBC.

The shortlisted titles are:
A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Satin Island by Tom McCarthy
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
The Year of the Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Clare County Library celebrates Children’s Book Festival

This year, wherever you are in Ireland, events and activities will be taking place to encourage children to enjoy the experience and the magic of reading! With stories that can be read everywhere, October is a jam-packed month of fun-filled opportunities featuring authors and illustrators, and catering for the reading preferences of everyone from toddlers to teens and beyond.

Activities will be running in libraries throughout Ireland in October. This will include everything from readings by popular authors to writing and illustration workshops, plus storytelling, competitions and much, much more! With so many opportunities for fun there’s no doubt bookworms everywhere will be satisfied. The festival is the biggest celebration of books and reading in Clare County Library’s events calendar for children and this year’s programme features some of the best authors and entertainers for young people that Ireland has to offer.

The festival’s main event takes place in Glór on October 20th. Shane Hegarty will meet with over 500 children from schools in the county to bring them the background to, and stories from Darkmouth, his sensational series that has secured him record-breaking publishing deals in the UK, US, Germany, Brazil and further afield. Movie rights to this first book in the series have already been sold for a six-figure sum with a strong possibility the film will be produced next year.

Other authors and illustrators touring library branches this October include Alan Nolan who is famous for his Big Break Detectives Casebook and the Murder Can Be Fatal Mysteries series of graphic novels. His humorous hurling novel Fintan's Fifteen, “hooked” young readers from the first page with its variety of narrative techniques including traditional story text, comic strips and Alan’s trademark graphics. His latest children's illustrated novel, Conor's Caveman, about a boy and girl who find a caveman frozen in a glacier in the Wicklow mountains, is available now!

Ré Ó Laighléis is a writer of novels, short stories, plays and screenplays and picture books in both English and Irish. He writes for child, teenage and adult readerships and many of his award-winning works have been translated into various languages. Novels and collections of his have been required reading on curricula both here and abroad. Currently, his novel Gafa is on the Leaving Certificate Irish curriculum. Ré is a regular participant in the library’s programmes for teenagers.

Le linn a sheisiúin, léifidh Ré as saothair éagsúla agus tabharfaidh sé indearcadh ar a mbunúis agus a ndéanamh. Labhróidh sé ar an draíocht a bhaineann le húsáid teanga agus an tábhacht atá leis an eadarghaol idir inseoireacht agus comhrá maidir le múscailt spéise agus coinneáil aird an léitheora. Tá memoir ar a óige díreach críochnaithe ag Ré trí mheán an Bhéarla agus tá súil len é a fhoilsiú i 2016.

With his 2015 publication for children, Matt Griffin has created an exciting world, one in which the lead character encounters a "fate that has been lying in wait for centuries". Early reviews have described the book as "a remarkable of those rare books that has the potential to imprint itself permanently in your memory". Matt has received many awards and accolades for his work in publishing, advertising and, in particular, the field of poster art. Clare County Library is delighted to welcome him to six of its branches this October.

Derek Mulveen’s Irish Tour to promote his book Oisin the Brave - Robot Island takes him to Clare this October with a Doodle Hour and Story-Time that will captivate the imagination of young listeners. Published by Eire's Kids Publishing, Oisin the Brave - Robot Island is a whimsical and imaginative adventure through The Dolmen of Time. Derek’s stories will inspire his audiences to help him create exciting illustrations when he visits local libraries during Children’s Book Festival 2015.

Kim Hood grew up in Canada, but has chosen North Clare, with its wild seas and barren landscape, as her home. Finding a Voice is her first novel and was nominated for the Bookseller’s inaugural Young Adult Book Prize earlier this year. Her second novel Plain Jane will be released in the spring of 2016. Kim offers talks for teenagers that will touch on themes of not fitting in, mental health, disability and diverse families while her workshops for older children in Primary School will focus on facilitating students to find their own writing voice.

Children are invited to join the buzz and explore the magic of stories with author Debbie Thomas in Kildysart, Kilmihil, Corofin and Newmarket on Fergus libraries. In her story workshops children will create their own characters, plots and settings using themes from Debbie’s new book Class Act, a buzzing tale of bees, courage and Curly Wurleys. Debbie’s sessions are guaranteed to be very participative and lots of fun, drawing on her experience of having written four books to date for children; Dead Hairy, Monkee Business, Jungle Tangle and her very latest is called Class Act.

Sadie Cramer’s delightful workshops for younger children were loved by teachers, librarians and children last year and this October Sadie will visit Kilmihil and Kildysart libraries. Her work with schools has been recognized by Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, earning her their inaugural ‘Above and Beyond’ Award in 2011. She is the illustrator of Juliette Saumande’s best-selling book for children Chop Chop Mad Cap. Sadie’s wide and varied experience in working with children ensures that her workshops will be accessible, participative and hugely entertaining for her young audiences.

Storytelling always features in the children’s book festival and this year is no exception. October is that time of year when the days grow dark and the nights grow long, - the perfect time to get together to hear a story or two. Author Dave Rudden (Knights of the Borrowed Dark, due Spring 2016) and storyteller Gráinne Clear will be coming to your local library to share stories of sea kings, stuffed monsters, invisible warriors and a whole family of mysterious witches.

Niall de Burca will visit libraries in West Clare on the 7th of October with his unique style that turns traditional storytelling on its head and drives it into the 21st century. His storm of stories for CBF 2015 will leave his audiences asking for more.

Michael Moylan, known the length and breadth of Ireland for his live history shows visits Clare’s libraries again this October with a fascinating, lead-in event for the commemoration of the 1916 Rising. During his hour-long, not-to-be missed show, children will dress in the clothes of the time and take up the guns of the Irish Volunteers and the I.R.B. With Michael’s expert knowledge of history in a show that has unique appeal for children, they will recreate the rising of 1916 and discover how our country became a nation.

Music and story workshops come to us courtesy of singer, songwriter, musician, TV presenter and script writer, Tadgh Mac Dhonnagain who is also the founder and director of the publishing company Futa Fata.

I gcomhar le Tionscadail na Litríochta, Clár na Leabhar Gaeilge tá an t-amhránaí, údar agus stiúrthóir Futa Fata, Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin, ag tabhairt camchuairt ar leabharlainn na tíre leis an seó spraíúil, siamsúil, SPRAOI SA LEABHARLANN. Is ar pháistí bhunscoile a freastlaíonn ar Ghaelscoileanna atá an seó dírithe. Árdófar díon na leabharlanna le neart rannta, amhráin agus scéalaíocht. Bígí linn.

Futa Fata believes in building audiences for Irish books and its publications Gugalaí Gug Peigín Leitir Móir and Ceol na Mara are widely used in Irish schools. Tadhg will bring these stories to life for the children of Gaelscoileanna when he visits Shannon, Ennis and Kilrush libraries on the 7th and 8th of October.

Muso songwriting workshops will form part of the CBF line-up in Scariff and Killaloe libraries. Muso is an educational company that provides alternative learning workshops to schools around Ireland. Their sessions will focus on the art of songwriting to explore key areas of literacy.

The wildlife of County Clare will come alive for children who visit Tulla, Newmarket on Fergus and Sixmilebridge libraries to hear David Lyons, Wildlife Ranger, National Parks and Wildlife Service. David will talk about the amazing wildlife to be found on our doorsteps. From the smallest flower to the biggest animal this presentation examines some of the many living things we find around our local communities and how each plant, insect and animal have their own methods to survive and thrive in their environment.

Drawing and illustration are synonymous with children’s books and who better to give children an insight into story creation through drawing than Clare’s very own Aidan Courtney. Cartoonist, former bookseller, book reviewer, workshop facilitator, editor, writer and publisher Aidan is the founder of Coimicí Gael. He has also written for publications in Ireland, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. He was a judge with Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year 2014 and when he’s not doing all that, it goes without saying that he simply loves to teach kids all over Ireland (and particularly in County Clare)how to make comics through Irish and English!

The Inis Reading Guide, published annually by Children’s Books Ireland will be available free of charge, just ask at your local library. The guide contains 270 book reviews over 84pages, organised by age section from 0-2 up to Young Adult alongside specialist poetry and non-fiction sections.

Children’s Books Ireland is running an exciting competition to celebrate Yasmeen Ismail’s inventive Read Everywhere artwork based on the theme of this year’s festival. Young readers are invited to share the places they like to read; on the bus, in your treehouse, in the cupboard under the stairs? Children are asked to simply take a picture in their favourite or most unusual place to read and share it on Children’s Books Ireland’s facebook or twitter, using the hashtag #readeverywhere. The lucky overall winner will receive €1000 worth of books for their school library as well as a special personal delivery of books!

The ever-popular O’Brien Press Cover Design Competition once again allows fledgling illustrators and designers to see their artwork on the cover of a published book. This year Gillian Purdue’s title Conor’s Canvas has been selected for re-design in Spring 2016. The lucky winner’s designs will not only be featured on the covers of the re-published book, stocked in libraries and bookshops throughout Ireland, but will also be invited as guests of honour, along with their entire class to a special awards ceremony where they will receive five complete sets of Gillian Purdue’s books for their school. Further details on both competitions can be found on the CBI website or at your local library.

With all of this and much more in store for October, 2015 is truly the year to read everywhere. Visit Clare County Library’s website or your local library branch for further information about Children’s Book Festival. Let the celebrations begin!

Children's Book Festival Programme 2015 (pdf file)

De Valera Public Library Ennis – A Dementia Friendly Location

September is World Alzheimer's Month and Home Instead Senior Care has launched a public education programme called "Dementia Friendly Businesses". The programme offers free training to businesses with the aim of educating business owners and their staff so that they will have the tools to welcome family caregivers & understand the challenges for those living with Dementia who may otherwise be reluctant to leave home or take their loved ones into public places. The staff members of the De Valera Public Library in Ennis were delighted to be among the first to receive this training and are proud to now call the library a Dementia Friendly Business. Sincere thanks to Aodhnaid Lennon of Home Instead Senior Care Ennis for providing the training.

Celebrating Culture Night at Clare County Library

Culture Night is an annual all-island public event that celebrates culture, creativity and the arts. This year, it will take place on Friday 18th September 2015. Culture Night comprises hundreds of events across Ireland and overseas. From the nation’s capital to county towns, everyone’s getting involved! Arts and cultural organisations open their doors until late with hundreds of free events, tours, talks & performances for everyone to enjoy. Special events and workshops are specifically programmed at participating locations and everything is available free of charge. Clare County Library has planned two events to celebrate, and both events are free of charge and all are welcome.

The Life and Works of Edna O’Brien, a Culture Night event at Scariff Public Library
Clare County Library has produced an exhibition on the life and works of Clare-born writer Edna O'Brien entitled "From Country Girl to Literary Queen". The exhibition will go on display in Scariff Public Library on Friday, 18th September to coincide with Culture Night 2015. Also in the library, from 5.30-6.15pm on the same day, actor Eleanor Feeley will give a selection of dramatic readings form the works of Edna O'Brien.

A Passion for Books: The early letters of Nancy Nolan to Leonard Woolf (1943-1944), a Culture Night event at De Valera Public Library, Ennis
Anne Byrne, from the School of Political Science and Sociology in NUIG, will visit the De Valera Public Library in Ennis to celebrate Culture Night with a fascinating insight into the letters written by Nancy Nolan, Dublin housewife and fan of author Virgina Woolf, to Virginia’s husband Leonard Woolf. Nancy’s admiration for the life and literature of Virginia Woolf first prompted her unsolicited 4-page letter to Leonard on the 9th of February 1943, two years after the death of Virginia. Anne Byrne's interest in what Nancy wrote about to Leonard and what circumstances prevailed so that Nancy took up her pen and wrote that first letter, Irish woman to English man, in the middle of World War 2, prompted Anne to look further into this unique correspondence. This talk will consider the first year of the correspondence, in which Nancy writes 17 letters to Leonard, sometimes twice a month; a correspondence that is wholly concerned with a passion for books. Anne will share her views that Mrs Nolan’s letters to Mr Woolf might contain more than musings and were a possible source for biographical reflection on women’s lives in 20th century Ireland.

Hats off to Clare County Library

Milliner Fiona Mangan, in conjunction with Irish Design 2015, Clare County Library and Ennis Fashion Week will give a millinery workshop over two evenings on Tuesday 22nd September and Tuesday 29th September from 7-9.30pm in the De Valera Public Library in Ennis.

Over the two evenings, this FREE event will cover many aspects of the art of millinery including wearing a hat and choosing the right hat to suit you; information on some of the master milliners and designers including Philip Treacy; how a hat collection is designed from inception to completion; demonstration of some basic millinery skills and instruction on how to make small trimmings for a hat. A pillbox hat, which will be started and finished over the course of the two evenings, will be raffled off for one lucky attendee.

Fiona Mangan is an award-winning milliner originally from Ennis whose hats have been worn at Goodwood by Zara Phillips of the British royal family and by many winners of the “Best Dressed Lady” competitions at Irish racing festivals. Fiona’s work has been featured in local and national newspapers and fashion magazines including Marie Claire. For more information on Fiona visit For enquiries on the workshop contact the Library at 065-6821616 or visit

Clare County Library Rewarding Eager Readers

Hundreds of children participated in the Summer Reading Adventure run by Clare County Library during the summer months. As part of this free annual programme children were invited to register at their local library, choose books to read during their summer holidays and record their progress on a Summer Reading Card. They also received a library reward stamp on their reading card and additional fun incentives after reading each book. Further incentive was access to the Summer Reading Adventure website at, an online resource offering lots of fun activities, games, Talking Ebooks, reading tips, book suggestions and funny interviews with children’s authors and other celebrities.

Clare County Library is delighted to invite all children who participated and returned their Reading Card to attend an award event at which they will be presented with their award certificate, recognising all the hard work that they put in over the summer. This event proves hugely popular each year and provides encouragement to the children to participate.

Award events are planned at four venues throughout the county as follows:
Monday 21st September, Bellbridge House Hotel in Spanish Point for participants in Ennistymon, Lisdoonvarna and Miltown Malbay libraries;
Tuesday 22nd September, Kilrush Library for participants in Kilrush, Kilkee, Kilmihil and Kildysart libraries;
Wednesday 23rd September, Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis for participants in De Valera Library (Ennis), Corofin and Tulla libraries;
Thursday 24th September, Shannon Library for participants in Shannon, Sixmilebridge and Newmarket-on-Fergus libraries.

Entertainment will be provided by artist and storyteller Wayne O’Connor who will blend art and performance employing his own unique style at each of the four venues. His Roald Dahl storytelling sessions promise to entertain his audiences with the famous author’s tales and rhymes in a most suitably revolting manner!