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The Cliffs of Moher, 8km from Lisdoonvarna, Co.Clare   

Art at The Roadside

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Academy-Award-winning director Cynthia Wade & The Hutchins Consort coming to a pub in the west of Ireland

This was a BIG, HUGE event that took place in the Roadside Tavern. Possibly the biggest ever in the history of the pub.

Six musicians from the Hutchins Consort, California, all with their one-off, precious string instruments, came to the Roadside Tavern to play with local musicians.

On top of that, Academy-Award winner and documentary director/producer Cynthia Wade from New York filmed the session.

Extract from the RTE News page:
"Oscar-winning documentary maker Cynthia Wade is to shoot part of her new film in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare on St Patrick's Day.

Wade is making Second Fiddle, a film about the life and work of legendary violin maker Dr Carleen Hutchins, whose eight scaled instruments are played by California violin ensemble The Hutchins Consort.

As part of the film, The Hutchins Consort will be performing with Irish traditional musicians at The Roadside Tavern in Lisdoonvarna on March 17. Admission is free and the concert begins at 2.00pm.

Peter Curtin of The Roadside Tavern said: "We are delighted to be able to host a wonderful afternoon of St Patrick's Day musical entertainment by an ensemble known for its unique classical performances."

Curtin continued: "We are also honoured to welcome Cynthia Wade to The Roadside Tavern and we look forward to the upcoming concert featuring in her new film.

"It will be a day of musical extravaganza as the musicians join with Irish traditional musicians for a day of craic at the Roadside Tavern."

Wade won the Best Short Documentary Oscar in 2008 for Freeheld, and was again nominated in 2013 for Mondays at Racine."

Photos: Carsten Krieger Photography


A new gable for the Roadside Tavern -
by artist Jim Ricks

The Roadside Tavern has a newly painted gable, and quite a dramatic one at that.

Some people might argue that it is somewhat in contrast to the traditional pub which has been in existence for roughly a century and a half.

Also, it is in keeping with all the different kinds of music that are played - at an excellent level - in the Roadside, like traditional Irish music and modern singer/songwriter, Blues, Jazz, Skazz and many more styles. 



In this spirit, Peter Curtin, the owner of the Roadside Tavern, gave artist Jim Ricks no brief and the freedom to paint whatever he wanted. 


Jim chose this graffiti style design as to make the gable almost look like somebody - possibly from New York - had come to Lisdoonvarna during the darkest part of the night, and left his trademark signs on this old wall. 




He deliberately didn't make it look like a painting by not colouring in all the spaces perfectly. This way, the artwork still looks like a graffiti. 

And graffiti is a piece of art albeit illegal in most cases, but still beautiful and stunning if properly done by graffiti artists. 

Like this gable. 




Over the course of two days, Jim Ricks painted the gable under trying weather conditions in July 2011. 

We think it is a great design and was well worth the effort Jim put into it, and congratulate him on his work!

Definitely the most recognisable gable of any pub in Ireland.

Update July 2015: Unfortunately, we had to paint over the graffiti in the course of the building of the Burren Storehouse next door. 





The Truth Booth

by Cause Collective artists Ryan Alexiev, Hank Willis Thomas and Jim Ricks

The Truth Booth landed in Lisdoonvarna on 9 September 2011 for one day, a day during which everybody had the opportunity to record 2 minute videos starting with and based on "The truth is...".

They are looking for the truth. In Search of the Truth (The Truth Booth) is a giant inflatable speech bubble and video recording booth that is traveling the world.




It was launched in 2011 at the Galway Arts Festival. The exterior is iconically shaped like a giant cartoon speech bubble with the word 'TRUTH' boldly printed on the side. The interior acts much like a photo booth, but serves to compile 2 minute long video responses from the public. Once seated inside they will then be invited to record their opinions and thoughts on the starting with the statement: "The truth is...". The video footage will be compiled and edited into a video artwork after the tour.

The booth travelled throughout Ireland until the end of September 2011. As such, it captured the diversity of viewpoints and of people in Ireland at a time of change and uncertainty. To expand and engage with audiences, the movements of the 'Truth Booth' and sample responses will be tracked on a dedicated website ( Once the tour was completed in Ireland in September 2011, The Truth Booth started to travel the world.    


Commissioned by the Arts Council of Ireland and the SF Foundation and supported by The National Ploughing Association, The Grounds Up Artists Collective, Catalyst Arts, The Roadside Tavern, Context Gallery, The Science Gallery and more. 

Until the end of September 2011, the Cause Collective was touring the project In Search of the Truth (The Truth Booth) to the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, Trinity College in Dublin, The National Ploughing Championships in Athy, Co. Kildare, Belfast City Culture Night and Derry city. The booth will be a free event open to the public (weather permitting).|