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THE 27TH annual Galway Film Fleadh kicked off last night with the world premiere of a new Irish film, My Name Is Emily, and the story behind the project is almost as interesting as the film itself.
You might think that those at the core of the Irish literary renaissance at the beginning of the 20th century, were one big happy family beavering away in their rooms at Lady Gregory's home at Coole, Co Galway. In those early days it was a house full of voices and sounds. Sometimes you heard WB Yeats humming the rhythm of a poem he was cobbling together; or the click-clacking of Lady Gregory's typewriter as she worked on another play for the Abbey. There was the sound of the Gregory grandchildren playing in the garden; the booming voice of George Bernard Shaw, as he complains that he is only allowed to have either butter or jam on his bread, but not both to comply with war rations (He cheated by the way. He put butter on one side of his bread, and when he thought no one was looking, piled jam on the other!); or the voices of the artist Jack Yeats and JM Synge returning from a day messing about on a boat calling out to a shy Sean O'Casey to come out of the library for God's sake and enjoy the summer afternoon.
The sinking of the Lusitania on May 7 1915, off the Cork coast, by a German submarine electrified Ireland, Britain and America. In Ireland, the fact that German submarines were lurking so close to the Irish shore, added fuel to the propaganda that Germany was planning to invade the country. It spurred recruitment into the armed forces. In Britain, the shameful practice of using passenger liners to carry munitions across the Atlantic without telling the passengers they were in effect travelling on a British war ship, was to come to an end.
Dear Celia, I should have written to you long ago but I’ve felt so absolutely smashed and not capable of talking to any one about what happened (three weeks earlier, her sister Assia had gassed herself, with her four-year-old daughter, Shura,). Your letter was a lot of support to me. I always liked you in your letters, and in what Assia told me about you, and you said just what was needed.
How many famous people lifted that heavy brass knocker on the door of Lady Augusta Gregory’s home at Coole, Co Galway, and gave it a resounding rat- a -tat -tat? It resounded again last weekend with all the authority of a grumpy judge’s gavel. The writer and broadcaster John Quinn, chairman of the 19th Autumn Gathering, used it to great effect to keep speakers to their time, and to summon people to the next event.
Grace’s Londis Plus store has been a long-standing fixture at the centre of Loughrea’s retail industry on Dunkellin Street, providinig an excellent and comprehensive service to the local community for many years.
St Bride’s was situated on Sea Road and was opened in 1916 by Dr William AF Sandys. He was soon joined by Dr Michael O’Malley and by Dr Joseph Watters, who was the anaesthetist. Both doctors Sandys and O’Malley lived in the Crescent, so it was very convenient for them. It was a private nursing and maternity home accepting medical, surgical, and maternity cases. Generations of Galwegians were born here, and many more would have had their tonsils out or their appendix removed here.
GALWAY’S MEPHISTO Theatre Company will bring their exciting new staging of Marina Carr’s powerful play, The Mai, to the Town Hall main stage next week.
MARINA CARR’S powerful play The Mai is coming to the Town Hall Theatre in a new staging from Galway’s Mephisto Theatre Company which is sure to be a definite highlight of the venue’s August programme.
COOLE LADY, a play which reveals the character and feelings of Lady Augusta Gregory, comes to County Galway next week for performances in Loughrea and Gort, on May 18 and 19.