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'We found we had a lot in common, and a similar vision'

Thu, May 26, 2016

Dani Gill and Finbar247 have both made strong impressions on the Galway arts world in recent years - Gill as director of the Cúirt International Festival of Literature, and Finbar247 as a graffiti and visual artist who has transformed many drab city walls into vibrant, colourful spaces.

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'Radio Éireann was a university of the air for me'

Thu, May 19, 2016

How did Terry Wogan inaugurate young announcers? Why did the newsreader fall off the chair? What caused Larry Gogan to collapse in giggles? Irish radio is not always as serious as it has sounded.

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'Maybe I am reaching further but I’m not an organised person!'

Thu, Apr 28, 2016

ONE OF the most popular events at this year’s Cúirt International Literature Festival was the appearance by Galway poet Rita Ann Higgins, at which she read from her terrific new collection, Tongulish, which has just been published by Bloodaxe.

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‘There are two sides to every fish: the good, buttery part, and the bone’

Thu, Apr 21, 2016

Writer Joshua Ferris, who reads at Cúirt this Saturday, has been variously described as "one of America’s sharpest observers of 21st century life" (Daily Express), a "Virgil of the disaffected" (LA Times) and "a gifted satirist very much in touch with the fear and paranoia that undercuts US society" (The Irish Times).

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‘We’re more than just males and females’

Wed, Mar 16, 2016

Not everyone identifies as male or female. Chris Ricketts always knew she did not fit comfortably into either category, and her doctors agreed. But Chris rejected the radical surgery and hormone therapy she was offered, because she felt there was nothing about her that needed to be reassigned.

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'I wanted to have a feisty female protagonist'

Thu, Feb 25, 2016

Orange Boy Blue is the recently-published debut novel by Galway-based writer Julia Roddy, a lecturer in screenwriting at GMIT. A thoroughly absorbing read, the novel is an across-the-divide love story set in Roddy’s native Belfast. It charts the blossoming of an against-the-odds romance between teenagers - Catholic Ella and Protestant Will, an Orange Order member, which unfolds against the fraught backdrop of The Troubles.

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The woman who loves to sing

Thu, Jan 28, 2016

Eddi Reader, one of popular music’s most thrilling and affecting performers, returns to the Town Hall Theatre next month. Having first hit the limelight in the 1980s with Fairground Attraction, Reader’s subsequent solo albums, most recently 2014’s warm and deeply personal Vagabond, have cemented her image as a powerful figure in British music with beautifully raw vocals and an unparalleled romanticism.

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‘We are the ‘elder lemons’ when it comes to online book selling’

Thu, Dec 17, 2015

On Friday November 29 1940, a tiny new bookshop opened its doors for the first time on High Street in Galway city. Little could its proprietors, Des and Maureen Kenny, have then envisaged that this modest business start-up – embarked upon when Ireland was in the early stages of World War II rationing - would go on to be one of Ireland’s foremost bookshops and art galleries and, over its six decades, a valued friend to many of the country’s most eminent writers and artists.

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'I have a lot to thank Connacht Rugby for - I was allowed to progress here'

Thu, Dec 03, 2015

Last weekend's win over Munster was 'an early birthday present' for Connacht captain John Muldoon who turned 33 on Tuesday. Tomorrow evening when leading Connacht onto Arms Park in Cardiff, he celebrates yet another milestone, becoming the first person to play 200 Guinness Pro 12 game.

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‘I’m passionate about seafood’

Thu, Nov 26, 2015

This Sunday, November 29, Oscar’s Seafood Bistro on Dominick Street hosts the launch of chef and proprietor Michael O Meara’s stunning new book, Sea Gastronomy: Fish and Shellfish of the North Atlantic. More than a cookery book, this is an engrossing encyclopaedia of fish and shellfish, which will be equally as valuable to aspiring chefs as to those who are passionate about cooking at home.

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'I’m always fascinated by how people group and connect'

Thu, Nov 19, 2015

The TULCA Festival of the Visual Arts is currently in full swing across the city and among the participating artists is Dubliner Rhona Byrne, whose It’s All Up in the Air can be seen floating in the foyer of University Hospital Galway.

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'I'm a bit of a sponge for visual stimulus'

Thu, Nov 12, 2015

Until a year ago, the artist David Hill did not know how to send an email, and the internet was something of a mystery to him. Fast forward 12 months and he is now successfully operating both a website and Facebook page, that has seen his art bought by collectors, galleries, and retailers across Britain, Ireland, and the USA.

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'Get your coat off and get stuck in'

Thu, Oct 29, 2015

It was something of a red letter day at Kenny’s Gallery last Friday with the dual launch of a major new exhibition by sculptor John Behan, and a terrific book celebrating the artist, by NUIG’s Adrian Frazier, entitled John Behan: The Bull of Sheriff Street - The Life and Work of an Irish Sculptor and published by Lilliput Press.

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Reconnecting with thirty years of enduring songs

Thu, Oct 22, 2015

Glasgow, 1985, a Scotland enduring high emigration and the ravages of Thatcherism, but there still manages to be a thriving and creative music scene in the city, and it is there that songwriter Ricky Ross and singer Lorraine McIntosh form a band named after a key song on Steely Dan's 1977 album Aja.

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‘You have to be honest whenever you’re onstage’

Thu, Oct 08, 2015

The Vodafone Comedy Carnival Galway is less than two weeks away and kicking off this jamboree of japes and jollity is Ireland’s own Patrick Kielty who brings his new show, Help, to the Róisín Dubh on Tuesday October 20 at 8pm.

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'Mam eventually accepted my sartorial elegance'

Thu, Oct 01, 2015

WHEN AL Porter emerged on to the stage of the Spiegeltent, an opening act on the opening night of the Vodafone Comedy Carnival Galway last October, he was little known. Fifteen minutes later, those present knew they would never forget him, and that a new star of Irish comedy had announced his arrival.

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‘I was never interested in performing’

Thu, Sep 24, 2015

ONE OF the highlights of the upcoming Vodafone Comedy Carnival Galway is The Simpsons Backstage Tour presented by series writer/producer Mike Reiss, which will take audiences inside the lives of Springfield’s first family, revealing secret trivia of the show, insane dealings with network censors, and lots of juicy gossip about celebrity guest stars.

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'Poetry can illuminate people’s lives'

Thu, Sep 03, 2015

Among the attractions of the upcoming Clifden Arts Festival is the launch of the latest poetry collection by Moya Cannon, entitled Keats Lives and published by Carcanet Press. It is also something of a homecoming, as Moya was a long longtime stalwart of Galway’s literary scene.

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‘Public libraries are changing’

Thu, Aug 20, 2015

Working out of Library Headquarters in Island House, Galway county librarian Peter Rabbitt oversees a service that comprises 29 libraries across the city, county, and islands, one which has a membership of some 40,000 regular users. The City Library in Hynes Building alone issues some 90,000 books each year, while the total for the county is some 600,000.

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'In burlesque we see a different idea of femininity and it is empowering'

Thu, Aug 06, 2015

It is a story countless Galwegians are familiar with. You meet a person from outside the county or outside Ireland, and they tell you how they came here on a holiday, to study, or perhaps were just passing through, never intending to stay more than a few months, 12 at the most. Years later, they are still here, and regard the city as their home as much as any born and bred Galwegian.

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