Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Archive News

After thirteen years, the Babor— childrenÕs festival is all grown up

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

Published

on

Date Published: {J}

The organisers of this year’s Baboró Festival for Children, which was launched on Monday evening, have decided that in the midst of all our economic doom and gloom, people need to be entertained and cheered up. And so, instead of cutting the programme of events at the 14th Festival, which runs from October 11 to 17 they have gone for both quality and quantity.

There are dance performances, theatre clowning, puppetry and music catering from all age groups – from year-and-a-half olds to 15-year-olds, although even 90-year-old ‘youngsters’ will find plenty to please. The companies taking part come from as close by as Connemara and as far away as Italy, taking in Germany, France, Spain and Scotland along the way.

This year there’s even a Silent Disco for kids. Although silent discos – where people dance collectively, but wear headphones, so they can all listen to their own choice of music – are common among adults, this is a first for kids, says Baboró General Manager, Teenagh Cunningham, adding that it’s the brainchild of Gugai, the music programmer of the Róisín Dubh pub and is being co-presented with Róisín Beag.

This won’t be the first time that Baboró has broken new ground. The young people’s event which started in the 1990s as a section within Galway Arts Festival, was first held independently in 1997 and at that time was moved to October from July to make it more accessible for school groups.

It has expanded its remit steadily over the years and, although it’s still described as a festival, it’s much more than that, thanks to an outreach programme for schools and communities, its development work with young Irish companies who produce work for young people,and its role as a forum where international producers can see quality Irish work for young people.

But for most people who’ll be attending the event in October, the programme is what matters and it promises plenty.

There are three reasons why Baboró didn’t have to cut its programme this year, explains Teenagh.

The first was that medical technology company Medtronic has come on board as sponsors; the second is that the festival has a massive box office target with an audience capacity of 20,000 people. The third, and from the audience point of view, the most important, is that Baboró’s Artistic Director Lali Morris “was very judicious in her programming”, according to her colleague.

“The shows are all fantastic quality, but there are also recognisable names,” she says, giving four examples – The Gingerbread Man, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Jack (as in Jack the Beanstalk), and The Secret Garden are all based on well known works.

“With shows like this, new people will come along, while those who are familiar with Baboró will take a punt on all the shows.”

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

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

Judy Murphy

Published

on

A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.

 

For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

Continue Reading

Archive News

Ruby ready to rock again and Bob is worth a big flutter in Gold Cup

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

Published

on

Date Published: 06-Mar-2013

New edge to Galway hurling championship title pursuit

Continue Reading

Archive News

A battle of talent and the ability to pull in public votes

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

Published

on

Date Published: 11-Mar-2013

Here is a question. And there is no holiday or grand prize for getting the answer. But can anyone name the people who have won The Voice of Ireland and what has become of them?

Over across the water in the UK they have The X Factor and while I hate the concept of it, it has produced a few stars even though they don’t last long in the whole scheme of things.

But The Voice of Ireland seems to generate false excitement with the winner ending up become more anonymous than they already were. And it is costing families a fortune in the process.

While the programme is a ratings winner, strangely, it has resulted in those getting through to the final stages investing huge amounts of money in the hope that they will receive enough votes to get through to the next stages.

So, suddenly, it is not about the voice or the talent involved, it is all about votes and who the participants can convince to pledge their support for them. So it is obvious that talent goes out the window.

It means that someone with half a talent could realistically win the whole thing if they generated enough support behind them. From now on, the judges will be taken out of the equation and it will be left to the public to generate income for some phone operator.

Those who get through to the live performances have to engage in a massive publicity campaign in an effort to win votes which makes this whole effort a pure sham. It is no longer about their ability and just an effort to win appeal.

While the initial process does involve some vetting of the acts, now it becomes a general election type exercise in which the most popular will win the competition and the judges will have no say whatsoever.

It is a bit like the recent Eurosong in which the judging panel across the country voted for their favourite song, which incidentally was the best of a very bad lot, but then this was overturned by the public who chose a relatively crap song to represent us.

But again, this was all down to convincing the public about who to vote for rather than having any bearing on the quality on offer. There are times that genuine talent becomes overlooked because of the need to extract money from the voting public.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement

Weather

Weather Icon
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending