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Forgotten showband gems to feature in new CD from Tuam

Declan Tierney

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Back in the early 1960s the Johnny Flynn Showband from Tuam travelled to New York and in an unprecedented move at the time recorded a single in a state-of-the-art studio with the intention that it would become an instant hit.

It was a very ambitious career move, but unfortunately the single was never released as three members of the band subsequently quit and joined another group.

Now, 50 years later, the recording of that very same single has found its way to a new CD of showband music from the Tuam area, which is set for release before the end of the year.

This is one of the great stories from the showband era in North Galway which produced more than a dozen bands over the years. Now a selection of their music, dating back to the ‘fifties, will be heard for the very first time. Apart from the Johnny Flynn Showband, the area also produced the Ollie Maloney Showband, Gerry Cronin and the Ohio, The Bandits, The Raindrops, The Millionaires, The Liam Ivory Band, Gerry Fahy and The Fleet, Frankie Carroll and The Ranchers, The Problems and many more.

Connacht Tribune

‘Home’ is theme of diverse Clifden Arts Festival

Judy Murphy

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‘Home’ is the theme of year’s annual Clifden Arts Festival, which runs from September 12-23.
The event will explore the concept of home, as well as showcasing Ireland’s diverse arts community with a wide variety of shows and performances,
“The physical place of birth holds a special place within us, while for others it isn’t physical but rather the feelings, the emotion, the character, the people and the culture, that shape it and make it,” explains Festival Director Brendan Flynn of the decision to focus on home. “We hope to capture that feeling and explore a sense of home and how it is unique for each of us.”
The strong line-up at this year’s Festival includes headline names, some familiar and others new to Clifden.
The RTÉ Concert Orchestra and RTÉs ConTempo Quartet will both make the journey West, as will other big names in Irish music including Aslan, Máirtín O’Connor, Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, Martin Hayes, Bill Whelan, Lisa Hannigan, Declan Nerney, Frankie Gavin and Fiachra O’Regan, Seán Keane, Charlie McGettigan, Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny and Paddy Glackin.
Poets and Aosdána members, Paul Durcan and Rita Ann Higgins will also take part, while Mayo novelist, EM Reapy, whose novel Red Dirt, set in Australia, which won the 2017 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, will read with Sligo-born Galway-based poet, Michael Gorman.
There’s a one-man play, Padraig Potts, by Séamus O’Rourke and a drama about Constance Markievicz, written by journalist Mary Kenny and performed by Jeananne Crowley.
On the comedy front, award-winning Danny O’Brien will bring brings his Lock In show fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Museum exhibition on former slave and champion boxer Tom Molineaux

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Galway City Museum is hosting a special exhibition in memory of former slave and champion African-American bare-knuckle fighter, Tom Molineaux, who died in the city in 1818.
Tom Molineaux was discovered sick and destitute on the streets of Galway in the summer of 1818. Aged just 34, the washed-up fighter was given shelter in the band room of the Shambles Barracks – where St Patrick’s National School is today – by three drummers from the 77th (East Middlesex) Regiment. Like him, they were freed slaves.
However, despite their kindness, Molineaux died on August 4 and was buried in a pauper’s grave in St James’s Cemetery, Mervue. It was a sad end for a unique man.
By the time he arrived in Galway, Molineaux was destitute and worn down by drinking and fighting, but this man had once been among the world’s top boxers, mixing with the wealthiest people in England.
In 1810 and again in 1811, Molineaux had fought the English champion, Tom Cribb. He was defeated both times in what were the first and second world title fights, although there were allegations that he had been robbed of victory due to underhand behaviour by Cribb’s supporters. Afterwards, Molineaux had gone on a tour of Scotland and Ireland where he fought off challengers, gave public displays of his skill and taught the ‘sweet science of bruising’.
Galway City Museum is marking the 200th anniversary of Molineaux’s death with an exhibition and a series of events including a talk by boxing historian Patrick Myler and a screening of the documentary, Ag Trasnú An Atlantaigh Dhuibh (Crossing the Black Atlantic). This documentary is the work of local filmmaker Des Kilbane and was shot in Virginia and Ireland. It premiered at last year’s Galway Film Fleadh.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and  county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Macnas warming up for annual Halloween parade

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Macnas Theatre Company is one of Galway’s real treasures, a creative company that has reimagined itself in recent years under the artistic directorship of Noeline Kavanagh. Its talented members will take to the city’s streets on Sunday, October, 29, for this year’s Halloween Parade, for which the main sponsor is The Latin Quarter. The following day, Macnas will take part in Dublin’s Halloween celebrations and later this year, will bring that parade to Hull, the UK’s City of Culture.

Giants, goblins,wolves and the otheworldly creatures that Macnas are so good at creating fit in particularly well with Halloween, a time of year when the veil between the world of the living and the dead is at its most permeable. The usual mix of mischief and mayhem can be expected at this family event, with the promise from Macnas of “some truly incredible new work”.

More details of that new work will be announced in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, the company is seeking volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering in the parade and are over the age of 18, check out the details on the group’s Facebook page. Or, if you or someone you know is interested in sponsoring or supporting the parade, you can email admin@macnas.com.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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