Decade of Centenaries Arts Project Awards 2021

In 2021 and 2022 Clare County Council commissioned a number of artists to commemorate the Decade of Centenaries

Funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Community Strand of the Decade of Centenaries Programme, the commissions aim to ensure that events are remembered at community level in a respectful, measured and non-partisan manner.

Clare Arts Office was delighted to support the artists to interpret local historical events by creating artistic work that provides a platform to encourage reflection and the consideration of issues, both past and present, which may be challenging, difficult and sometimes deeply personal. Visual art, music, theatre and film were all commissioned.

2021 Commissions were awarded to Tim Collins, Marie Connole and Dermott Petty. Listen here to their stories.


Tim Collins – I Fought the War: Re-voicing Clare women in the Revolutionary Period 1919-1921

Tim Collins leaning on a stone wall holding a concertina

I Fought the War is a 10 minute audio track that imaginatively communicates to its audience, some of the multifarious roles and experiences of Clare women in the War of Independence (1919-1921). The track comprises of:

  • Six newly-written monologues. The context and content of these monologues is based on the testimonies of six Clare women who lived through the War of Independence: Nora Canavan (b 1908), Bridie and Mary Meaney, Tessie Hill (b 1920), Mai McNamara (b 1920), Babs Durack (b 1910). The source of these testimonies is Cuimhneamh An Chláir digital archive. The monologues were narrated and recorded by six well-known female artists from within the arts community in County Clare.
  • A newly-composed sound track that evocatively and imaginatively accompanied the monologues. This music was woven into the recording in a sensitive manner, receding and intensifying in keeping with the varying mood of the track. Written and arranged by Tim Collins the track was  recorded by accomplished and highly respected musicians, Sharon and Eimear Howley.

Marie Connole – Irrepressible Women of Clare

Marie Connole created a series of oil portraits depicting five ‘Irrepressible Women of Clare’, exhibited in the Clare Museum.

  • Peg Barrett
  • Georgina Frost
  • Kathleen Griffin
  • Beatrice O’Brien
  • Kathleen Talty

Through the experiences of Clare women from various backgrounds the project assisted in the development a of a greater understanding of the events and consequences of the Revolutionary Years in Ireland (1913-1923).

Accompanying the portraits there was a short documentary film and downloadable PDF Posters available online from October 2021 from Marie’s website.

Dermott Petty – 2 Days in September

Black and white picture of Dermott Petty and his black dog in the Burren on the limestone rocks

‘2 Days in September’ is a play is set in West Clare during the War of Independence. Directed by Joan O’Hanrahan, with music & soundscape by Barry Dillon, and produced by Ballycartoon Players, the play created a tense filled tale that brought to life the events and happenings of the 22nd and 23rd of September 1920 in West Clare.

The play began with the ambush of an British Army convoy, at Rineen, by the local unit of the IRA,  followed by the revenge sacking and burning of the villages of Ennistymon, Lahinch and Miltown Malbay by the Black and Tans.

The play is the story of ordinary people living in extraordinary times, forced to take action (or not) thereby creating their own history, their own narrative.

The play toured to Doolin and Cultúrlann Sweeney in Kilkee and scenes from it featured in Breith.