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SINEAD O’CONNOR, one of Ireland’s most individual, eclectic, and controversial singer-songwriters, and John Grant, the American singer-songwriter, whose music The Guardian described as “completely compelling, profoundly discomforting but beautiful”, play the Galway International Arts Festival this summer.
Perhaps fearing that the refusal by Irish soldiers to carry out army duties in Wellington Barracks at Jullundur, northeast India, on June 27 1920; and that the mutiny would spread to an already sympathetic native population, leading to a general protest such as at Amritsar the previous year, the army authorities quickly took decisive action. The commanding officer, Lt Col Leeds, strode into the crowd of excited and rebellious soldiers, demanding to speak to its two leaders John Flannery and Joe Hawes. He warned the men that they could be shot for this; that such behaviour only excited the natives to rebellion. Hawes, smoking a cigarette, replied that he would rather be killed by an Indian bullet than by a British one (His disrespectful attitude to his commanding officer was noted).
December will be a hectic month for Tommy Tiernan as he undertakes a seven date tour across all corners of County Galway, performing his new show Out Of The Whirlwind. The show, he says, will be a mixture of “storytelling and improv”, but this is also likely to be the last run of ‘world tour of Galway’ styled shows Tommy will do.
The continued unrest, murders, and large-scale protests as the Land War careered dangerously through the Irish countryside, led at last to some reform. William Gladstone’s Second Land Act of 1881 proposed broad concessions to the tenant farmer. But Parnell, the very effective leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party, was not satisfied. He said that tenants were still vulnerable to rent arrears and poverty resulting from poor harvests. He urged that the Act either accommodate these concerns, or be rejected.
THESE DAYS, if an aspiring author is a good editor of his/her own work, and has a talent for self-promotion, it is possible to flog as many copies of a self-published effort – with a little help from Amazon – as the average first book of literary fiction from a mainstream publisher would sell the traditional way.
OONA FRAWLEY was provoked to write her debut novel, Flight, by the atmosphere surrounding the Citizenship Referendum in 2004, which removed from Irish-born children of asylum seekers the automatic right to citizenship.
On this day, July 31, in 1863, “The new Church of St Ignatius on the Sea Road in the vicinity of the city was dedicated by the Most Rev Dr McEvilly, Lord Bishop of Galway. Sea Road is one of the most fashionable and frequented thoroughfares in the suburbs of our city. The Church, which was commenced in 1861, is now complete with the exception of the organ, altar and some minor internal decorations; and we have no doubt the zeal of the faithful will only require such a desirable opportunity of enabling the Jesuit Fathers, whose excellent judgement in these matters is fully acknowledged, to complete the required improvements, and that nothing shall be wanted which the good taste of the architect can suggest to make everything perfect. The Church is built of hammered limestone ashlar work in courses. The south gable, or principal front, the spire and the quoins, dressings etc, being finely punched and the depths of the jambs and arches of the principal doors and windows, which are richly moulded, adds greatly to its appearance. The Church, which is Gothic in style, is in the form of a Latin Cross, 115 feet in extreme length, 36 feet wide and 70 feet across the transepts, 56 to the ridge and 110 to the top of the spire”.
DRUID THEATRE Company’s main contribution to this year’s Galway International Arts Festival is Be Infants In Evil, the professional debut of Dublin-born playwright Brian Martin.
Until recent times there was widespread belief in fairies; both the malignant and the more innocent kind. Many people believed that the fairies would steal away certain children, or an adult, and replace them with a changeling. These beliefs were mostly found in rural communities; and were often an attempt to explain, or to invite compassion or ‘kindness’ for a handicapped child, or someone who was temporarily ‘not themselves.’ The phrases used to describe this transformation are various; but locally included the words ‘touched’, or ‘swept’, or ‘taken’.