Clare County Library has announced details of the annual Bealtaine festival.
This national arts event, celebrating creativity in older age, is now in its nineteenth year. Over 120,000 people now take part in Bealtaine with over 3,500 events happening all over Ireland during the next coming weeks. The Bealtaine festival provides an opportunity to communicate traditions between the generations, to try something new, to share your talents or to come back to something you haven’t done for years. It is a chance for the novice to discover a talent until then unseen and a chance for a long-dormant skill to find a new outlet.
This year the theme for the festival is ‘And catch the heart off guard’, a phrase from Seamus Heaney’s poem Postscript. Events will be held by Clare County Library to mark the festival throughout the month of May.
As with previous years, library events for Bealtaine are varied and widespread. All events are free of charge and everyone is welcome. There will be craft displays in Kilfinaghty Public Library in Sixmilebridge and in the Dr. Patrick J. Hillery Library, Miltown Malbay, a cardmaking workshop in Sweeney Memorial Public Library in Kilkee, storytelling with Niall de Burca in Killaloe Public Library, “Come here til I tell ya” with Cuimhneamh an Chláir – the Clare Oral History and Folklore Group in Sean Lemass Public Library in Shannon and a sugarcraft demonstration by Geraldine Whelan in the De Valera Public Library in Ennis. Bluebird Care has distributed copies of their “Irish Pensioners Handbook” to all branches of Clare County Library while Aodhnaid Lennon from Home Instead Senior Care will provide talks and information displays in selected branches. Dates and times of all events can be obtained by contacting your local branch or at www.clarelibrary.ie.
The library is also delighted to be taking part in the Bealtaine Film Tour which is presented by access>CINEMA in partnership with the Irish Film Institute. This year’s films are “Quartet” (2012), starring Pauline Collins, Billy Connolly and Maggie Smith, and “High Society” (1956), starring Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly. Screenings will take place in branches in Ennis, Kilrush, Scariff and Shannon where the library will be transformed into a cinema with a difference for your viewing pleasure. You can contact your local library for screening times or visit www.clarelibrary.ie.
Clare County Library will take a small section of the Local Studies Library on tour throughout the month of May when library staff will visit nursing homes and day centres in various areas including Ennis, Ennistymon, Tuamgraney and Newmarket-on-Fergus. A selection of Clare Champion newspapers from times past will be transported, along with photographs and books, so that extracts can be read and discussed, evoking memories of times past. The newspapers are part of a complete set of Clare Champions dating back to 1903 which are housed at the Local Studies Centre on Harmony Row, Ennis. They are available to the public for reference use.
Senior Citizens can also avail of free library membership in all of Clare County Library’s branches. So, during the Bealtaine Festival, why not join your local branch? You’ll discover a whole world of books, CDs, DVDs and more. You may even join one of the many clubs being run including book clubs, scrabble clubs and a poetry group. A whole new experience awaits you! For more information on the Bealtaine events and much more visit Clare County Library’s website at www.clarelibrary.ie or phone 065-6821616.