'We’ve been so focused on building our economy we have forgotten to build up the people'

Thu, Oct 18, 2018

The procession of presidential hopefuls through Galway continued last Friday with the visit of Joan Freeman, founder of Pieta House, the annual Darkness into Light walk and, since 2016, a member of Seanad Éireann.

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'I fell into comedy completely by accident'

Thu, Oct 11, 2018

‘Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud’ James Brown famously sang, and something of that spirit also fires Gina Yashere who will bring her high-energy brand of comic brilliance to Galway for the Vodafone Comedy Carnival.

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'We’re a more modern society than even seven years ago at the last presidential election'

Thu, Oct 04, 2018

Sinn Féin’s presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada was in Galway last Friday as her campaign kicked off in earnest and she took time to sit down with me and chat about the race for the Áras and the issues that drive her political vision.

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'I don't think you can approach anything without having as a consideration the representation of women'

Thu, Sep 27, 2018

The Mai is a richly-woven story of four generations of women in one midlands family. At the centre of the household is The Mai, a 40-year-old woman torn between her wayward husband and her family’s happiness in a play that brims with passion and poetry, love and lyricism, heartache and hope.

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'I am an optimist by nature'

Thu, Sep 20, 2018

Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin made a whistle-stop visit to Galway last week, during which he sat with the Galway Advertiser and candidly reflected on Labour’s recent electoral travails while looking forward to restoring the party’s fortunes.

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'You can’t have the edge without the middle'

Thu, Sep 13, 2018

Jason Manford had a realisation. His origins are as a working class lad from Salford in the north of England, the child born to an Irish emigrant and English family, but his children, thanks to their dad’s success as a comedian, actor, writer, singer, and broadcaster, means they are very much middle class.

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'A symptom is your friend'

Thu, Sep 06, 2018

Combining the qualifications and skill-sets of both GP and herbalist, and with a passion for knowledge and healing, Dr Dilis Clare, owner of Dr Clare Apothecary on Sea Road, is a woman of enviable energy, commitment, and wisdom.

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'Sing like yourself'

Thu, Aug 30, 2018

Widely revered as one of Ireland’s finest interpreters of song, Seán Tyrrell is in the Town Hall Theatre studio next week with Message of Peace, his celebration of Irish hero John Boyle O’Reilly (1844-1890).

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'When I talk to Catholics on the street, I find we have a lot of common ground'

Thu, Aug 23, 2018

The papal visit this weekend will see plenty of celebratory flags and bunting on show but the Ireland of today is very different to the one which greeted John Paul II in 1979. One small, yet vivid, symbol of our changed country is the advocacy group Atheist Ireland, founded in 2008, and which has some 500 subscribers, as well as 13,000 likes on its Facebook page.

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'We feel no nostalgia for the imperial era'

Thu, Aug 16, 2018

Galway will host European royalty on Tuesday August 21, when His Imperial and Royal Highness Archduke Imre de Habsbourg-Lorraine of Austria, will participate in a ceremony at Galway Cathedral honouring his great-grandfather, Blessed Karl of Austria, who, as Karl I, was the last Habsburg Emperor.

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'The harmonica is the most expensive instrument in the world'

Thu, Aug 09, 2018

Nestled amid the cluster of arts and crafts enterprises to be found around the small courtyard of The Forge, in New Road, is the workshop of Cathal Johnson, player and repairer of harmonicas.

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'I will talk to anyone; all of the parties, all of the independents'

Thu, Aug 02, 2018

Sinn Féin’s new leader Mary Lou McDonald made a whistle-stop visit to Galway last Thursday and, despite that day’s chaotic traffic and torrential rain, she found time to sit with me and talk about issues like Brexit, Stormont, and entering government in the Republic.

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The final countdown

Thu, Jul 26, 2018

One hundred and forty nine years ago, Captain Wilson Lynch offered the use of one hundred and sixty acres of his family land on the outskirts of Galway city to host the Galway races. Hence the name for the new building which racegoers will see for the first time next week.

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'A bakery is a real inter-generational hub that connects people in a unique way'

Thu, Jul 19, 2018

Generations of Galwegians will know the deep pleasure of stepping through the doorway of Griffins Bakery and inhaling the delicious aromas of its freshly baked breads, cakes, and pastries. That tantalising joy of heady fragrances is further fulfilled when one then gets to taste the wares. Yum, yum, and thrice yum!

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'Ireland has become front and centre in Brexit debate and British politicians are having to get their heads around that'

Thu, Jul 12, 2018

Brexit D-Day is coming ever closer and yet the British government continues to lurch shambolically through the issue, its approach a chaotic mix of delusion and ineptitude. A refreshingly clear-eyed and illuminating view of Brexit can be found this weekend at the Galway Film Fleadh, when David Wilkinson’s documentary Postcards From the 48% will be screened at the Pálás cinema on Sunday afternoon.

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'If I want to achieve anything, I hope it will be Galway as a special place to live'

Thu, Jul 05, 2018

Walking through Galway city centre with Niall McNelis is something of a stop-start experience, albeit a most cordial nature. He seems to know every second person we pass, and given he has just been elected Mayor of Galway City, a lot of people want to wish him well. “I swear, these are not plants!” he jokes. “It’s not staged! But I have been flabbergasted by the amount of good will.”

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'Resistance to the far right has to come from the local level'

Thu, Jul 05, 2018

Among the speakers at the Galway International Arts Festival’s ‘First Thought Talks’ is Liz Fekete, director of Britain’s Institute of Race Relations. Her recently published book, Europe’s Fault Lines, examines the ominous rise of far right parties across the continent and attendant upsurge of racist and authoritarian policies and ideas.

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'I’ve always wanted to put a hole in a gallery floor'

Thu, Jun 28, 2018

Scottish artist David Mach is sure to supply a ‘wow factor’ to this year’s Galway International Arts Festival with his large scale installation, Rock’n’Roll, at the festival gallery in Market Street.

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'Country music full of soul'

Thu, Jun 21, 2018

Padraig Stevens and Leo Moran are about to launch their terrific new album, News From The Old Country.The product of a year’s work in the studio, and boasting contributions from The Whileaways, Pauline Scanlon and Mairtín O’Connor, it is a glowing affirmation of Stevens’ unique gifts as a songwriter and warm singer.

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‘Ulysses is a big, democratic book... and Joyce has a tonic sense of humour’

Thu, Jun 14, 2018

This Saturday, June 16, is Bloomsday and the Town Hall Theatre marks the occasion with a superb exhibition, Nighttown, featuring Joyce-inspired prints and drawings by Charles Cullen, which runs until the end of July.

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