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A Danish weekend with Elspeth on Inis Meain

A Danish (?) weekend in July on Inis Meain

RTE One - Currachs on Inis Méain 1977

Hat tip to Una Ni Choinceanainn for pointing out this beautifuly filmed and narrated  documentary about the use of currachs in daily life on Inis Méain in the never-ending summer of 1977.
"Hands" was an Irish television program that showcased some of the country's finest craftsmen and women. Who do you recognise in this short film?  Please tell us.Aranislands@hotmail.com

Pádraic Connolly becomes a YouTube star


                                                   
 Filming Pádraic Connolly a tPoll na Peist,  aka the Serpent's Cave or the Worm Hole on Inis Mór, for Tourism Ireland's online film highlighting the 'hidden gems' of County Galway

Galwayman Pádraic Connolly is doing his bit for tourism this year by presenting a short film on the 'hidden gems' of Co Galway on Tourism Ireland's website.  It is one of a series of ten short films or 'webisodes' which have already been viewed by almost 400,000 potential visitors around the world - see here for the video on Aran-Isles.com
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Pádraic Connolly takes a trip to the Aran islands

Tourism Ireland recently launched the series of films which feature real local characters from around the island of Ireland introducing their favourite 'hidden gems'.  Galwayman Pádraic Connolly was selected from the 1,000+ people across the island who applied to take part, to tell viewers and potential holidaymakers around the world about some of his favourite places in his home county. 

In the film, Pádraic takes the viewer on a journey around Connemara - highlighting the spectacular scenery and beautiful coastline.  He begins in Roundstone Harbour where he meets some of the local fishermen.  He continues to the beautiful Coral Strand at Carraroe and then it is on to his own birthplace, Rossaveal, and from there to Inis Mór.  Throughout the film, he regales the viewer with his many tales and legends - including a story about the local man who disappeared at the Worm Hole on Inis Mór!  He finishes his journey on Inis Oírr with its cluster of ancient ruins.

"Visitors repeatedly tell us that what distinguishes the island of Ireland from other destinations - what sets us apart from our competitors - is our people and our scenery", said Laughlin Rigby, eMarketing Manager, Tourism Ireland.  "This online movie, presented by Pádraic, provides an added dimension of information on the many attractions on offer in Co Galway, in a novel and entertaining way". 

"Customers are not just searching for the lowest fare any more; they are seeking information and recommendations on the perfect holiday experience - where to go, what to see and do and where to eat.  These movies complement our new global advertising campaign 'Go Where Ireland Takes You'.  The campaign has been designed to capture the spontaneity and fun of holidaying here and to show that some of the most wonderful and memorable experiences you are likely to have here will be stumbled on by chance", Rigby added.

The ten films or 'webisodes', which have been translated into five European languages, feature on Tourism Ireland's suite of 41 websites and are also being promoted in its main overseas markets on Yahoo.  The films will also feature on a new promotional DVD, which will be distributed to potential holidaymakers in the all-important GB market during August.  To see the films, visit www.discoverireland.com/go


BSP Soundtrack Man Of Aran

British Sea Power
British Sea Power will soon soundtrack a movie I discovered in a university documentary film class about an island that's since become one of my favourite places in the world.

The Brighton, England band plan to record a soundtrack to director Robert Flaherty's 1934 film, Man Of Aran, after they finish their current tour with a show in Istanbul, Turkey on Saturday.

The award-winning but controversial documentary depicts the harsh life led by the residents who fish and farm on the desolate and hostile but beautiful Aran Islands, off the western coast of Ireland near Galway.

Flaherty's estate is apparently interested in releasing Man Of Aran on DVD with British Sea Power's soundtrack.

British Sea Power members Hamilton (real name Neil Wilkinson) and Abi Fry will soon leave Brighton to live on another rugged island, Scotland's Isle Of Skye, where perhaps they'll locate Donald's troosers that Andy Stewart was trying to find.

British Sea Power previewed part of their Man Of Aran soundtrack at the Tan Hill Festival in August. Here's the footage:

Part one:


Part two:

The remarkable story of James Concannon a  fascinating man who kept heading west has been made into a documentary. James left his home on Inis Meain/Inishmaan in the Aran Islands off the West coast of Ireland  in 1865 to seek his fortune in America. James was a pioneer, a prospector and a profiteer. He seized every opportunity possible, from hotel manager to book seller to rubber stamp sales man to America's first Irish vintner. Concannon's escapades also brought him to Mexico City where it is said he became friends of the famed dictator Porfirio Díaz.

His legacy still thrives at Concannon's Vineyard in the Livermore Valley today - one of California's oldest wineries. Deirdre Ní Chonghaile, a member of the Concannon family still living on the Aran Islands, traveled with Neal Boyle, Director/Producer of 'Fíniúin Inis Meáin', and the Esras crew tracing the footsteps of her ancestor.

Filming on the Aran Islands, across Mexico and in San Francisco, the Cogar ends in Livermore California on St Patrick's Day 2006 where family and friends gather in the vineyard's barrel room for a special celebration on the birthday anniversary of James Concannon.

'Fíniúin Inis Meáin' is an Esras Films production for TG4 and is produced by Neal Boyle and Conall Ó Móráin






(Irish) Boy in the Striped Pyjamas




Adapted from Irish author John Boyne's critically acclaimed internationally best-selling novel, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is an unforgettable story seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight-year-old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy, Shmuel, on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences
 It offers a unique perspective on how prejudice, hatred and violence affect innocent people, particularly children, during wartime. Through the lens of an eight-year-old boy largely shielded from the reality of World War II, we witness a forbidden friendship that between Bruno and Schmuel. Though the two are separated physically by a barbed wire fence, their lives become inescapably intertwined.