‘There are many ways to connect - for me music is the one’

Thu, Feb 26, 2015

Andres Martorell.

ANDRES MARTORELL is a man on the move. Sunday night found the singer in Carna, where he was taking part in a traditional singers circle. The following morning comes this interview. An hour later he is en route to Dublin to catch a flight to Denmark.

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‘Life led me away from writing another novel until now’

Thu, Feb 19, 2015

Liz McManus.

Percy Bysse Shelley once famously declared that “poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world”. While he may have been boosting his own profession with the remark, history furnishes quite a few examples of authors who were actual legislators.

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‘I’m proud to have Connemara blood in me’

Thu, Feb 12, 2015

Actor Gary Lydon takes on the role of Ariel in Martin McDonagh’s play The Pillowman. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy

FOR SOME 25 years, Gary Lydon has been among the most stalwart of Irish actors with a string of acclaimed performances on stage, television, and film. His credits include leading roles in Billy Roche’s Wexford Trilogy, TV series The Clinic - for which he won two IFTAs - and the films Calvary, Small Engine Repair, and Michael Collins.

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‘I have no regrets and it’s not over yet’

Thu, Jan 29, 2015

MARY BLACK describes Galway as “a particular favourite place of mine”, but it is no idle platitude. It was here, and more specifically during her tenure with De Dannan, where she came of age as both singer and performer, setting her on the path to her now unassailable position as Ireland’s leading contemporary folk artist.

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The Pub Landlord - twenty years of ‘behaving appallingly humbly’

Thu, Jan 22, 2015

Al Murray as the Pub Landlord.

IT WAS 20 years ago this year that Al Murray introduced the world to the Pub Landlord, his pompously loveable, slightly jingoistic, opinionated font of ‘common sense’, who espouses a ‘Thank God I’m an Englishman’ view of the world, and is hopelessly in love with being British!

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‘I saved myself from being bullied with the plays I wrote’

Thu, Jan 15, 2015

Ann Henning Jocelyn. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy.

GALWAY HAS been enriched with many artistic immigrants down the years and among their number is Swedish playwright and translator Ann Henning Jocelyn.

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‘People should stay rather than emigrate, it’s too convenient for the Establishment for them to go away’

Thu, Dec 18, 2014

Eamonn Kelly.

In these times of ongoing austerity, looming water charges, and general disaffection, God knows we could all do with a laugh. Let us raise our glasses therefore, in thanks and salutation, to writer Eamonn Kelly who delivers guffaws a-plenty in The Franz Kafka Centre for the Uninvolved, newly e-published and ready for download to a Kindle near you.

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‘I wanted something like an Irish version of Dante’s Inferno’

Thu, Dec 11, 2014

Mick Donnellan. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy.

Dark and audacious, Fisherman’s Blues, the rambunctious new novel from playwright, novelist, and screenwriter Mick Donnellan covers a myriad of genres from crime noir to comedy with an odd bit of religion for good measure.

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‘Galway has something between a tolerance and an appetite for experiment’

Thu, Dec 04, 2014

Tommy Tiernan.

December will be a hectic month for Tommy Tiernan as he undertakes a seven date tour across all corners of County Galway, performing his new show Out Of The Whirlwind. The show, he says, will be a mixture of “storytelling and improv”, but this is also likely to be the last run of ‘world tour of Galway’ styled shows Tommy will do.

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‘I borrow from my surroundings, create fantasy landscapes from my head’

Thu, Nov 27, 2014

Joe Boske. Pic:- Mike Shaughnessy.

He grew up loving outdoor pursuits and the natural world, despite living close to the world’s largest car manufacturing plant. He has lived in Ireland most his life, but his interest in the country was stimulated in part through British Army radio.

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‘Being an outsider gives me a different view on things other people might take for granted’

Thu, Nov 13, 2014

Cecilia Danell. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy

There is a horse farm about a mile and a half outside Motala, a small town located between Stockholm and Gothenburg in southern Sweden. There it is surrounded by vast woodlands, a huge lake, hunters cabins, and amid the rural isolation, an old mental asylum.

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Roll over Rick Stein and tell Nigella the news

Thu, Nov 06, 2014

The Domestic Godless are (LtoR): Stephen Brandes, Mick O’Shea, and Irene Murphy.

‘Quenelles of Goldfish’, ‘Piglet Brains and Barley Wine’, ‘Chilli-Chocolate Songbird Hearts’, ‘Fag-Ash & Seaweed Anti-Cupcake’; these might sound like ingredients from a Monty Python sketch but in fact they are all from menus dreamt up by the fiendishly fertile imaginations of The Domestic Godless, an absurdist gastronomic art collective from Cork.

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Paul Heaton - ‘My audience is used to me being a grumbleweed’

Thu, Oct 16, 2014

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott.

AFTER 19 highly successful years, The Beautiful South called it a day in 2007 humorously citing “musical similarities” as the reason for the split. It marked the close of the second chapter of band leader Paul Heaton’s career - his first having been as leader/singer of The Housemartins - opening the way for his ‘third act’, that of solo artist.

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David Baddiel - ‘I’m very unreligious, but it doesn’t stop me being Jewish’

Thu, Oct 09, 2014

David Baddiel.

David Baddiel has been one of the major names in British comedy over the past near quarter of a century, even if, for most of that time he has been a writer rather than a stand-up, but his new show Fame, Not The Musical, is finally bring him face-to-face with audiences again.

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Judah Friedlander - ‘I kept hearing people talk about Galway. I thought ‘I gotta go there’

Thu, Oct 02, 2014

Judah Friedlander.

On the comedy stage, Judah Friedlander is The World Champion. He is the best athlete in the world, greatest martial artist, the sexual dream of every woman, and a role model to children.

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Remembering The Great War’s fallen Irish through art

Thu, Sep 11, 2014

Holly Mularkey. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy

THE CENTENARY of the First World War has prompted many commemorations of, and fresh reflections on, that vast and cataclysmic conflict. Here in Ireland it has occasioned a reclaiming of the history of the many thousands of Irishmen who served and died in the war and whose stories had largely been erased from official memory until recent years.

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Willie Ruane - from fullback to Connacht CEO

Thu, Aug 14, 2014

Fullback Willie Ruane - Ballina, Galwegians, Connacht and the Barbarians - in action with Galwegians in the All Ireland League in 2001.

New Connacht CEO Willie Ruane’s career might be steeped in making tough financial decisions necessary for his new role, but he is distinctly nostalgic when recalling his playing time with the province.

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The Sardinian who loves the Galway rain

Thu, Jul 17, 2014

Ambra Porcedda

“I decided to be a proper writer because of Galway. It gave me the power and belief to do things. I hope to move here and spend more time in the city. There is nothing like Galway - I even love when it rains here.”

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Gabriel Weston: The world of a high functioning multi-tasker

Thu, Jul 03, 2014

Gabriel Weston is a woman of many professional pursuits, between being a practicing surgeon, an accomplished writer, and a BBC presenter.

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Born radical - Margaretta D’Arcy at eighty

Thu, Jun 19, 2014

Margaretta D’Arcy. Photo:- Mike Shaughnessy

“You’re not meant to be here! You’re meant to be at home with a cat on your knee, listening to the radio!”, so said inmates in Limerick Prison and Mountjoy upon seeing Margaretta D’Arcy join them behind bars.

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