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Clare hosting 50 free Culture Night events

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Clare’s cultural community will unite today (Friday) to showcase the very best the county has to offer.

Culture Night Clare 2019 will see 50 free, family-friendly cultural events being held throughout Clare over a 10-hour period from 1.00pm to 11.00pm.

This year’s programme, which is organised by the Clare Arts Office and funded by Clare County Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is filled with free events across the county from Ennis to Doolin, Kilkee to Whitegate and Shannon to Lahinch.

Arts and cultural bodies throughout Clare will throw open their doors offering members of the public a chance to enjoy unique performances and catch a glimpse inside some of the most beautiful buildings and cultural institutions in their area. Highlights of events taking place in Clare include Leslie Dowdall and Mike Hanrahan in Culturlann Sweeney, Kilkee, Steo Wall and Sara Ryan in glór, Ennis and Tommy Hayes and Matthew Noone in Feakle. This year, fifteen towns and villages are showcasing their culture with Shannon, Lahinch, Whitegate and Bunratty coming on board as the new locations this year.

In Ennis, kids can look forward to a science workshop, a hands-on-lab not to be missed! For discerning ‘culturists’ there will be reciting of Ballades, especially written for the occasion, at the old Friary, where it is hoped that both the living and the dead will do light-hearted reflections on their lives! Those who go to Lees Road Wood will be drawn into the action, as poet Tony Maude leads along the trail, performing through poetry and song. To finish the evening in Ennis, three contemporary acts will perform original music at The Sanctuary.

North Clare offers opera in Doolin, music and musings in Kilshanny, spoon carving, trad music, photography and lots of visual art in Ennistymon. Lahinch will highlight it’s culture with a showcase of art, a talk about the old days, music and a chance to screen-print your own Culture Night t-shirt.

It is music galore in East Clare as Tulla, Sixmilebridge and Feakle host concerts and sessions. There will be poetry reading in Whitegate and a chance to ring the Cathedral bells in Killaloe.

Singer/songwriter Leslie Dowdall, the voice of In Tua Nua joins our own Mike Hanrahan for an intimate gig in Kilkee. Kilrush brings movies and music and Miltown brings legends of Mal.

Culture Night national ambassador, God Knows Jonas will lead Shannon into Culture Night where there will be short film and music video screenings and a fireshow like no other as darkness falls.

Commenting on this year’s programme of events in Clare, Siobhan Mulcahy, Clare County Council Arts Officer, said, “Over the past thirteen years this initiative has captured both the public’s imagination and the enthusiasm of artists and cultural organisations in Clare. This year is no different with 50 events planned around the county, including exhibitions, opera, film, concerts, readings, sessions, kids’ science workshops and a fire-show.”

She continued, “Culture Night happens because many people share a vision and enthusiasm for enjoying, celebrating and promoting creativity and culture. It is a fantastic way to encourage more people to visit cultural venues and experience the culture in their locality. It also serves to remind the public of the fantastic resources that we have locally, to raise the profile of cultural organisations, activities and facilities, to showcase the talents of local artists and to encourage people to try new things and help to create a sense of community and belonging.”

As ever Culture Night will be online and the culturally curious are encouraged to explore the website this year with added features to plan their Culture Night adventures and routes in advance.

Details of the full Culture Night programme for County Clare can be seen at www.culturenight/clare. For updates, follow Clare Culture Night on Facebook.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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