This unique gathering is a celebration of the eerie beauty of the Burren area, which is believed to have been a considerable influence on J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic novel ‘The Lord of the Rings’. The untamed, rugged local landscape, including a cave known as Poll na gColm, as well as elements of Irish mythology, may have provided inspiration for Tolkien’s creation of Middle Earth.
Ennistymon Public Library and Lisdoonvarna Public Library in North Clare will host events to celebrate the festival throughout the week. Coimicí Gael will be attending Ennistymon Library on Friday the 15th of August 2014 at 2.40pm offering an hour long workshop for Tolkien fans to draw fantasy illustrations. Workshop facilitator, illustrator and founder of Coimicí Gael, Aidan Courtney, will take participants through how to draw elves, orcs & hobbits as well as other fantastical creatures and will encourage participants to draw their favourite scenes from either ‘The Hobbit’ or ‘The Lord of the Rings’ during the latter half of the session. The fun workshop welcomes anyone aged between 11 and 14 years with an interest in reading and drawing to take part. A maximum of 25 places are available so book early by phoning Ennistymon Library on 065-7071245.
Beginning on Saturday 16th August and continuing through to Saturday 23rd August Ennistymon Library will have a Tolkien Exhibition on display with free viewing during opening hours. The launch of the exhibition will take place at 10.30am on Saturday 16th August. The launch will be followed at 10.45am by a brief talk entitled ‘Why read Tolkien’ by Seamus Ryan, Clare County Library staff member. Seamus will read extracts from Tolkien as part of the talk. This will conclude at 11.15am. There will also be a Tolkien book display in the library throughout the week which the public can view and/or borrow from during opening hours. A Tolkien book display will feature in Lisdoonvarna Library as well.
On Wednesday 20th August Ennistymon Library will be transformed into a movie theatre when it puts on a screening of ‘The Hobbit: the desolation of Smaug’ (Rating 12A). The film starts at 2pm and running time is 2 hours 35 minutes. This is a free event and all are welcome.
Also throughout the week you can test your knowledge of all things Tolkien by picking up a Tolkien-themed quiz sheet at any branch of Clare County Library. The lucky winner of the quiz, who will receive a €50 book token, will be announced in Ennistymon Library on Saturday 23rd August.
So, whether you are a Tolkien expert or a newcomer to the genre, there is a plethora of events to keep you enthralled during this festival. Library events are just part of a wide programme of events organised by the Burren Tolkien Society. The festival is also supported by the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark. Information on library events and opening hours of the North Clare branches can be found at www.clarelibrary.ie and information on all events is available at www.burrentolkiensociety.ie.