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Connacht Tribune

Academic evolution is a whole new production

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Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

The Academic have been at the top of Irish music for the best part of five years – but the Mullingar four-piece could still feasibly pass for secondary school students. Fittingly, the group’s music has remained as vibrant and youthful as their appearance – their latest single SUPERLIKE emphasises just how contemporary the band’s sound has become.

The band – who play the Big Top as part of the Galway International Arts Festival on Saturday, July 20 – burst onto the Irish scene with a raw, rocky sound on tracks like Different and Mixtape 2003.

But the group chose to hone their production style on last year’s debut album Tales from the Backseat. Retaining the gritty, raspy vocals of lead singer Craig Fitzgerald, the songs have slowly embraced the key features of modern pop. With minimalist synth and reverb, the LP and subsequent single show that The Academic have made conscious efforts to adapt their sound.

“It’s definitely conscious,” Craig admits. “We didn’t want to step away from what the album was and we didn’t want to be too guitar-y at heart… we use guitars but just experiment a little bit more with sonics.

“We were listening to a lot of 80s music and synthesisers and kind of using those as textures in songs and then letting synth take up major lead parts more so than guitars. There’s a bigger need for space in modern production.

“Reverbs definitely help do that. Rather than having lots of things going at the same time, it’s nice to let the song breathe. I think we definitely did that on SUPERLIKE. It’s a modern thing… you can hear it a lot now in pop music.”

The Academic are Craig, Dean Gavin on drums and brothers Matt and Stephen Murtagh on guitar and bass respectively. Having partially formed in their early teens, last year’s album felt like the pinnacle of a long journey. It’s a record with real value for each of the lads.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway’s newest garden centre has arrived at McD’s in Galway Crystal

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Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building

For over 10 years people have been flocking to McD’s Garden Centre in Loughrea to get the very best range for garden, home and much much more.

This weekend McD’s are proud to announce the opening of a brand new Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building.

Nicely located with good parking and serviced by the 404 Newcastle to Oranmore bus, McD’s Garden Centre at Galway Crystal is a must visit location if you need anything from plants, shrubs, pots, garden furniture and more. They have a dedicated solar garden lights section, gorgeous array of water features and garden ornaments and practically everything you need for your garden.

Visit their Facebook today where they are running competitions and keep track of other promotions too. You can visit their website online at www.McDs.ie

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Connacht Tribune

UHG nurse battles for her life in ICU

Dara Bradley

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Leona Paula Leoncio...in ICU.

UHG remains braced to rapidly respond to any rise in Covid-19 patients as a result of a second surge – but the plight of one of their own colleagues this week showed just how precarious this pandemic can be.

Because while senior management at the Saolta Group vowed to stay ‘vigilant and alert’, a staff nurse at UHG was battling for her life in the hospital’s own ICU.

Leona Paula Leoncio, a 36-year-old mother of two boys, tested positive for Covid-19 last week, and was moved to ICU on Monday where she was intubated and ventilated.

The staff nurse, who had no underlying health conditions, is now battling for life in ICU at UHG, according to the Philippine Consulate in Dublin, which has urged people to pray for her.

Ms Leoncio moved to Ireland in 2017, with her husband and two children, to work in the country’s health system.

“We might have different faiths and beliefs but can I ask of you . . . to take a pause and say a prayer of healing and strength for her and her family,” said Chuck Giner, her nursing colleague at UHG, in a posting relayed on the Philippine Consulate’s social media.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – along with all of the latest news on the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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Gort boy reunites Tipp star with broken hurl from famous point

Dara Bradley

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Liam Linnane from Gort holding Brendan Maher's broken hurley from the All-Ireland semi-final club game. Photo: Hardiman Photography.

Tipperary All-Star hurler Brendan Maher has revealed that a young lad in Gort has found his long-lost hurl – the one he used to score one of the points of the last sporting year.

The broken hurl, the one that broke the hearts of St Thomas’ fans back in January, was used to fire over a point in Borris-Illeigh’s All-Ireland semi-final victory over the Galway club at the Gaelic Grounds.

Maher revealed last week that he tried to retrieve the hurl after the match to keep as a memento, but couldn’t find it. He subsequently got a letter from twelve year old Liam Linnane from Gort, who had found it.

“After I scored the point I got kind of carried away and I threw it over my shoulder into the open stand in the Gaelic Grounds. After the match, I thought I would really like to have that hurley but we could not find it and the club even contacted the Gaelic Grounds afterwards to see if it was found.

“Several weeks had passed and I’d given up on it when I got a letter from a young fella in Gort and I read down through it. He said he was twelve years old and that he was at the game where I scored the point with the broken hurley and that he had the hurley.”

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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