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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Actress Clare makes waves as Druid sets sail for Inis Meáin

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Date Published: 15-Jun-2011

It’s 3.30pm Irish time and it’s 10.30am in Charleston, South Carolina where actress Clare Dunne is having a well-earned morning rest.

The previous day she performed in two showings of Martin McDonagh’s play, The Cripple of Inshmaan with Druid Theatre Company, as part of a major tour of America.

Clare is playing Slippy Helen in The Cripple which began its American tour in February and will wrap up the visit with a trip in New Haven on June 19.

Then the play – which was inspired by Robert O’Flaherty’s visit to Aran in 1934 to make the famous film Man of Aran – returns to Ireland, where its destinations include Galway city and Inis Meáin.

The Inis Meáin visit marks the final stop on the company’s five-month tour of the dark comedy with its central character of Cripple Billy, a disabled boy whose aim in life is to reach Inis Mór and take part in O’Flaherty’s film.

As is common in McDonagh’s plays, there is a cast of comic characters, including local gossip Johnny Pateen Mike, and of course Slippy Helen, the sadistic girl next door who torments Billy when she isn’t ‘pegging eggs’ at people who annoy her.

These characters are capable of seemingly meaningless acts of small cruelty, which is what gives McDonagh’s work such an edge.

The Cripple of Inishmaan is Clare’s third play with Druid – not a bad achievement given that the Dublin actress has only been working professionally for two years, since graduating from the Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.

“Druid gave me my professional debut, she says, explaining that the company’s casting director Maureen Hughes auditioned her in 2009 and immediately said “you’d be a great Pegeen Mike”.

Druid’s Artistic Director Garry Hynes agreed, casting her in a revival of The Playboy of the Western World after hearing Clare read the role for a few minutes. Straight out of college, Clare appeared in Playboy, touring Ireland and the UK in 2009

Taking on such a major role with a company of Druid’s stature might have been daunting, especially since the rehearsal period was very short, but it was also a great opportunity for Clare.

“It was a bit mental,” she laughs.”I didn’t have an agent then, but I got one out of that.”

And although she has had short periods of unemployment for a few months here and there since, she has also worked with Druid on The Silver Tassie (playing Susie Monican) as well as with the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, London on several productions including Chekov’s The Three Sisters and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Galway Bay FM News Archives

Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement

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Date Published: 07-May-2013

Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.

It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.

Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores

This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.

However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week

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Date Published: 09-May-2013

Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.

That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.

The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.

 

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing

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Date Published: 13-May-2013

Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.

Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.

He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.

Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.

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