A Galwayman's tales from the Calais ‘Jungle Camp'

Thu, Sep 22, 2016

Last weekend, newspapers carried headlines about a 14-year-old Afghan boy, Raheemullah Oryakhel. He was killed in a hit and run after being tossed from a lorry in Calais which he had been trying to board in an attempt to get to Britain. The boy had family in the UK, and was entitled to move there, but he had despaired of the endless bureaucratic delays with his application, delays which, he felt, seemed deliberate.

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'Change starts with the people demanding reform'

Thu, Sep 15, 2016

One of the biggest TV hits, indeed phenomena, of the past year, was the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, about the trial of Wisconsin man Steven Avery, who had previously been freed from prison after DNA evidence proved he was innocent of a rape and attempted murder conviction for which he had served 18 years.

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'I don't think anything is more important than satirising ISIS'

Thu, Sep 08, 2016

IN FEBRUARY 2015, three British-Muslim teenagers, Shamima Begum, Amira Abase (both 15), and Kadiza Sultana (16), ran away from their homes in Bethnal Green, east London, to join ISIS in Syria and become 'jihadi brides'. The incident prompted inevitable questions about the nature of Islam and accusations that extremist tendencies and behavior are endemic within the religion.

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The east-west memories of a Japanese-Irish artist

Thu, Aug 11, 2016

FRIDAY AUGUST 12 sees the opening of a dual exhibition at the 126 Gallery in Woodquay featuring the work of Shane Keisuke Berkery and Ruby Wallis. Entitled, With Each It Is Different and The Same, it sees Berkery and Wallis create a visual dialogue between painting and photography.

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For the birds...for the swans

Thu, Jul 28, 2016

The summer months can be hazardous times for young birds. Prowling cats, passing cars, and many other perils can result in birds being injured or orphaned. Luckily, Galway & Claddagh Swan Rescue has become expert in saving such birds, caring for them at its sanctuary in Lough Rusheen Park in Barna, and restoring them to the wild.

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'The little sparks of human nature are evident in the larger mechanisms'

Thu, Jul 07, 2016

THREE PEOPLE have profoundly shaped Mick Flannery the musician, and the music he creates - his mother Elaine; Ricky Lynch, a prominent musician in County Cork; and a chance encounter of a haunting Kurt Cobain performance.

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Awaiting Judgment Day

Thu, Jun 23, 2016

Patricia Philbin is coolness personified. For a woman who is driving a project that is worth an estimated €50 million to Galway, she is very laid back about it all. She is that way because Galway is very confident about its bid — a 100-page document outlining more than 40 projects that will transform this city for a period of five years — and then for about a century after.

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Taking on the world... and winning

Fri, Jun 17, 2016

In a room filled to capacity, with almost 2,000 budding culinary writers and publishers in attendance, Galway author Michael O’Meara sits on the edge of his seat and thinks.

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'I love to be able to get at the work'

Thu, Jun 09, 2016

One of my abiding memories of Brían Bourke is of the day I visited him at his home with my two daughters who were then aged seven and five. Brian took us out to his garden where my daughters saw there was a trampoline. Brian promptly invited them to play on it and, removing his own shoes, was soon bouncing along energetically with them to their huge delight and entertainment.

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‘First time I did standup I thought I’d have to call an ambulance

Thu, Jun 02, 2016

"I took some silage down in Loughrea, to show the farmers I'm no fool. I got plenty money in the bank, I got a new slurry tank and I'm sitting at the bar on a stool."

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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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