'Pálás is a cathedral of cinema'

Thu, Mar 01, 2018

At long last it is open! More than a decade after it was first mooted, Galway’s arthouse cinema, Pálás, opened its doors to the public last week and early responses have been very favourable.

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'Working for MADRA puts a smile on my face every day'

Thu, Feb 22, 2018

A dog may be man’s best friend but the charity MADRA (Mutts Anonymous Dog Rescue and Adoption) is often a dog’s best friend here in the west of Ireland. Throughout the year MADRA finds new homes for hundreds of unwanted, neglected, abused, and abandoned dogs.

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Looking to the future as An Taibhdhearc reaches 90

Thu, Feb 15, 2018

In August this year An Taibhdhearc will celebrate its 90th birthday. There are also changes afoot at the venue at board level and a re-casting of staff structures. Last week Aodh Ó Coileáin was elected chair of An Taibhdhearc and, following his accession, sat down with me to outline his vision for the Irish language theatre.

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'People with autism can have a unique vision of the world'

Thu, Feb 08, 2018

Last week, family website MyKidsTime announced that Galway Autism Partnership as the joint winner, with Cork’s Down Syndrome Centre, of its annual Charity of the Year Award. The recognition is a huge morale boost for GAP and provided the perfect backdrop for my interview with it's co-ordinator, Aisling Colreavy.

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'There is a coming together between priests and people as the church gets smaller'

Thu, Feb 01, 2018

On Sunday February 11, Bishop Brendan Kelly will be officially installed as the new Bishop of Galway, replacing Bishop Martin Drennan who retired in 2016. For the past 10 years, Bishop Kelly has been at the helm of the Diocese of Achonry, but previously spent many years working in Galway and its environs so his succession to the bishopric is something of a homecoming.

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'Being on the edge of Europe gives us a different perspective on the world'

Thu, Jan 25, 2018

NUI Galway starts 2018 with a new president at the helm, Prof Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, who comes to the university after a seven-year stint as principal and dean of UCD College of Business, leading its schools in Dublin and its overseas programmes.

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'Food is very much about bringing people together'

Thu, Jan 18, 2018

Gourmets of Galway have an exciting year in store as the city and county have been chosen as the 2018 European Region of Gastronomy - the first time the award has gone to Ireland.

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From Oranmore girl to Derry Girl

Thu, Jan 11, 2018

Tonight, Channel 4 broadcasts the second episode of Lisa McGee’s sparky new comedy series, Derry Girls, about a group of teens coping with life, school, families, and the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

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astor of Romanian Orthodox community

Thu, Dec 21, 2017

Among the many religious pastors in Galway, Fr Tudor Ghita of the Romanian Orthodox church is surely one of the most remarkable. We had first arranged to meet in the bar of NUIG, because Fr Tudor works as a kitchen porter there. An apologetic phone call from him told me he could not meet because he was required to serve as a translator at a court case. And when I suggested we might meet or chat later he informed me he was working for a local pizza company from teatime onwards. It is all a far cry from the nine to five routines of our Catholic priests.

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'It’s been an exciting journey, and still is'

Thu, Dec 14, 2017

The incomparable Frankie Gavin was recently announced as the winner of the prestigious TG4 2018 Gradam Ceoil Traditional Musician of the Year Award - an accolade that marks the culmination of an eventful year for Gavin, and the Gradam Ceoil gala concert and award ceremony in Belfast next February, is an early highlight in a year that also promises much.

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'I’ve always tried to encourage new writing in Irish'

Thu, Dec 07, 2017

For the past four years Anne McCabe has enjoyed a fruitful tenure as artistic director of An Taibhdhearc but that reign has come to a surprise ending following the theatre board’s decision to abolish the position.

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'We’re about bringing people together'

Thu, Nov 23, 2017

Galway’s LGBT community is a vibrant part of the city’s civic life and its interests are championed by advocate-group Amach! and its sister resource-centre Teach Solais in Victoria Place.

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'My writing background is not Joyce or Yeats but the Americans'

Thu, Nov 16, 2017

The Ghosts Of Galway, Ken Bruen’s 13th Jack Taylor novel, has just been published and to mark its arrival Bruen met me in the Hotel Meyrick last Monday to range widely over his eventful life and acclaimed work.

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'We want to highlight the incredible richness of the city and its hinterland'

Thu, Nov 09, 2017

Today, Thursday November 9, the Galway City Museum officially celebrates its 10th anniversary and, by any measure it has been a decade of success. Annual visitor numbers have risen from 16,000 in its first year to 216,000 last year. The museum has received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for five years running and it meets all 34 requirements in the Heritage Council’s rigorous Museums Standards Programme.

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'It’s frustrating Irish art is not more widely known internationally'

Thu, Nov 02, 2017

Tomorrow - Friday, November 3 - sees the launch of this year’s TULCA Festival of Visual Art which features 17 artists from Ireland and overseas - including Yoko Ono - exhibiting across Galway city, and with many of them presenting new work.

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'Galway 2020 is something we want to tap into and see how French artists can participate'

Thu, Oct 26, 2017

Last Friday, as Storm Brian dragged its squalls of wind and rain across the city, I met Ireland’s new French Ambassador, Stepháne Crouzat in the snug environs of the Black Gate Centre on St Francis Street. It was an ‘entente tres cordiale’ as Stephane’s soft-spoken, warm, and personable manner is the very embodiment of diplomacy.

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'My mission is to keep it funny'

Thu, Oct 19, 2017

She has achieved renown as an actress, author, comedian, script editor, and memorable interviewer of celebrities but in recent years Ruby Wax has become best known as a highly articulate, yet still witty, mental health campaigner.

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'If kids learn empathy they do better academically'

Thu, Oct 12, 2017

The modern world is full of fraught trials for children and young people, ranging across issues like exam pressure, bullying, poverty, homelessness, radicalisation, suicidal impulses, and the impact of social media.

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'This is Galway’s church, not just our church'

Thu, Oct 05, 2017

For the past eight years the rector of Galway’s much-loved St Nicholas’s Collegiate Church has been Reverend Gary Hastings, an amiable Belfastman who is esteemed in Irish traditional music circles as a flute player.

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'It’s like Fawlty Towers for kids'

Thu, Sep 28, 2017

Last Monday, at 5.30 pm, RTÉ 2 broadcast the opening episode of Drop Dead Weird, a madcap teen comedy following the hilarious antics of an Australian family who move to a seaside village in the west of Ireland to run a B&B.

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