'If I can just get in there and swim I can be on the road to recovery'

Thu, Dec 06, 2018

It is winter. Cold out. Most of us sane people cosy up to a toasty, warm, fire in the evening. On the other hand there are the hardy souls of the Atlantic Masters Swimming Club who plunge into the icy ocean at all times of the year and live to tell the tale and even thrive on the experience.

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'People are saying they’ve waited their whole life to see something like this'

Thu, Nov 29, 2018

Mixed race Irish people will be celebrated, and questions and ideas of Irish identity examined, in #IAmIrish, an absorbing and thought-provoking photographic exhibition, which opens at the Galway Arts Centre next week.

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'People talk about rape when it hits the headlines but we should talk about it on an ongoing basis'

Thu, Nov 22, 2018

For more than 30 years, the Galway Rape Crisis Centre has been offering vital support to victims of sexual violence and abuse. Founded in 1984, the centre is the second largest in the country, after Dublin, and facilitates nearly as many client appointments as its capital counterpart while operating on half the budget.

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'The Staircase has given me a platform to talk about issues I care about'

Thu, Nov 15, 2018

Fans of the gripping Netflix courtroom documentary, The Staircase, are in for a treat when defence attorney David Rudolf comes to the Town Hall Theatre this month to discuss the case and issues arising from it.

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'Always learning something new'

Thu, Nov 08, 2018

In the course of a long, varied, career Bibi Baskin has been a schoolteacher, a journalist, a ratings-topping broadcaster, a hotelier, and motivational speaker, and her life’s journey has taken her from her native Ardara, in Donegal, to Kerala, in India. On Sunday November 17, she will be coming to Galway, along with writer Gerard Beirne, to present Suaimhneas, ‘a day of words and wellness’ at the Maldron Hotel in which Bibi will share the wisdom and insights she has accrued through her eventful and remarkable life.

These days Bibi lives in Cork and, ahead of her Galway visit, she spoke with me about her life and times and outlined what participants can expect from the day of Suaimhneas. Given that her career has seen her leave secure jobs several times for new adventures I began by asking if there was anything in her family background that gave her that daring or restlessness. “The singular transformative event of my childhood that did contribute to a later life of hopping around the world and changing careers was that one day when I was six years old my beloved father took me out for a walk after school in Ardara,” she begins. “It was a November day, about four o’clock, and by six o’clock Daddy was dead of a heart attack. What that taught me is that nothing lasts forever. I think if you carry that principle with you through life you react less strongly when something disappears out of your life that you valued, but it also sets you the example that if you are not happy with something then change it. That is the main motivational talk that I give nowadays and I will be giving it at the Suaimhneas workshop –I go through my various careers and countries and tell people how you can do that as well for yourself, you don’t have to wait to be pushed.”

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‘I’m very privileged to be the rector, full stop, it’s not an issue of gender'

Thu, Nov 01, 2018

In November 1990, Ireland elected its first female president in Mary Robinson. That same year - but six months earlier - the Church of Ireland approved the ordination of women as priests and bishops.

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'I tried not to judge Edward VIII while playing him'

Thu, Nov 01, 2018

ALEX JENNINGS, recently seen in the hit Netflix series The Crown, playing the role of the abdicating King Edward VIII, is coming to Galway to take part in a Music for Galway event marking the 100th Anniversary of the death of the innovative French composer Claude Debussy.

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'Samhain and Macnas suit each other'

Thu, Oct 25, 2018

The word “energy” peppers Noeline Kavanagh’s conversation as she talks about her time with Macnas and looks forward to this weekend’s Halloween parade, Out Of The Wild Sky. Kavanagh herself is a human dynamo; though sitting at her office desk she is still a constant whirr of motioning arms, expressive gestures, and infectious enthusiasm.

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'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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