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The Clare Anthology

Clare's History Captured in Book
The Irish Times 29/01/2000

The Clare Anthology, a book produced by the Clare Local Studies Project (CLASP), captures some of the county's history of the last 1,000 years.

Sponsored by the county council, the project was carried out in partnership with FÁS. It was "a very special way of seeing out the old century", according to the county manager, Mr Willie Moloney.

The anthology contains a mix of fiction, biography, local history and lore, and international events as they affected Clare. Principal among these was the 1588 Spanish Armada, from which Spanish Point derives its name. Sailors who had survived the storms and shipwreckings were hanged there for their misadventure.

The Spanish theme continues with a letter from Clare man Daniel Huony in Spain to his nephew in 1749. He cites the reasons why he will not return home after a 38-year absence, among which is the disadvantage of retiring "to the cold climate (in my advanced age) from a hot one I am so long used to, where I enjoy the sweet liberty of the free exercise of my religion".

The free exercise of his business was on the mind of the "well known society entertainer", Percy French, who, in 1896, found himself five hours and 20 minutes late for his engagement at Kilkee because of the tardy service of the West Clare Railway. Yet French had his day in court, being awarded £10 plus expenses. He was also inspired to write his most famous song, Are Ye Right There, Michael? Among the 10 publications which have been brought out by Clasp Press is Mary John Knott's book, Two Months at Kilkee, 1836, an account very different from the experiences of current weekend trippers.

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Other Reviews

Sunday Tribune,

Books Ireland,
Feburary 2000