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Artist Ger captures a year in the life of Prom



Geraldine Folan leaving her studio to go painting on the Salthill Promenade. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Lifestyle –  Bernie Ní Fhlatharta talks to Geraldine Folan about her mammoth achievement of chronicling a year in Salthill on canvas

Anyone who walked Salthill Prom over the past year may have noticed a woman working on a canvas perched on an easel. Anyone who bothered to ask was told what she was doing. There is no doubt that some regular walkers who saw her on and off in the past year might have thought she was taking her time!

Geraldine Folan was actually capturing A Year on the Prom on canvas and the fruits of that work can be seen in her new exhibition of the same name when it opens on September 15 at the Connacht Tribune Printworks.

After a lifetime of painting, rearing a family and giving private art classes, the project proved hugely enjoyable for Geraldine, if a little daunting at first.

It is apt that Geraldine undertook this project – having been born and reared in Salthill (a Kelleher from Rockbarton Road). “I was wheeled up and down the Prom in a pram by my mum and auntie.

“I thought I knew the Prom but not as much as I do now,” she laughs adding that she hopes her paintings will bring more awareness of it to others.

“It’s not just walking along the Prom itself, it’s what you see all around you, from out on the ocean to the buildings to the wildflowers to the rocks.”

She started in August of last year and decided to capture the Prom in all sorts of weather and light during the course of the year. She also committed to blogging about it – so if she failed, it would be a spectacularly public failure.

But there was little chance of a failure as long as Geraldine could put one foot in front of the other. The mother of six and a grandmother to two toddlers, is fiesty, hardy and determined.

She is also passionate about Galway, especially her native Salthill and wanted to share it. She has done this spectacularly in thirty canvasses, three of them a large triptych.

The hardest part of the project was “battling the weather” and though she wanted to capture Salthill Prom in all sorts of weather, the wind was her biggest obstacle.

She laughs now remembering trying to put up an easel and having to tie the canvas to her wrist. She makes a sketch first and then roughly outlines her scene in acrylics using a palette knife as they dry quickly. Sometimes she had to use a water sprayer. She also took photographs, lots of them.

“The buildings and rocks never change so I could always put them in later but I needed to capture the mood there and then on canvas, like the sky or the sea,” she explains earnestly.

Geraldine finished all her works in her studio at her home in Barna in oils.

At the time of our interview, she was still putting the finishing touches to a few canvasses in her studio before they headed off to the framers.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.



50 domestic abuse 999 calls to Galway Gardaí cancelled



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Galway’s Garda Chief has committed to a ‘root and branch investigation’ after an internal review unearthed over 50 domestic abuse calls that were cancelled by local Gardaí.

An internal Garda inquiry has revealed that nationally, members of the force cancelled between 3,000 and 4,000 domestic abuse-related ‘999’ calls between 2019 and 2020.

At a meeting of the City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) on Monday, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley told members that the inquiry found 53 such calls in the Galway Division.

He said he had been tasked by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to sift through the calls and follow up on how they were handled by Gardaí.

“In relation to domestic incidents where calls were cancelled, I have 53 from my division. I am carrying out a root and branch investigation and perhaps at the next JPC meeting, I will be able to give an update of the findings.

“I have only listened to a number of the calls at the moment and I’d rather be in possession of the full facts before commenting any further,” said Chief Supt Curley.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Councillor claims dealers are using jet skis to bring drugs to Galway



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Drugs are being delivered into the city by jet skis coming down the Corrib, a meeting of the city’s Joint Policing Committee (JPC) heard on Monday.

Cllr Frank Fahy (FG) said there had been reports of dealers using jet skis to come down the river from areas around Headford and Cong, dropping deliveries in the city without fear of detection.

“Do we have a Garda water unit in Galway City to deal with that,” asked Cllr Fahy.

The Chief Superintendent, Tom Curley, said he was not aware of the practice but if anyone had any information on these deliveries, they should bring it to Gardaí.

“We haven’t got a water unit in the city but there is one in Athlone that is available to us any day of the week,” he added.

This came as the JPC was informed that drugs seizures have soared in the city, with year-on-year figures for detection of dealing up 84% in the first five months of 2021.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Walk-in Covid test facility to open in city centre next week



Galway City Tribune – A new walk-in Covid testing centre will open in the old tourist office off Forster Street next Tuesday.

The centre will replace the one at NUIG, where students were being encouraged to get tested without an appointment if they showed symptoms or were close contacts of somebody who tested positive.

It will be open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm.

The new location will be a more convenient base for people visiting the city to check for the virus over the coming weeks as the tourist season ramps up.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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