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 ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.