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Connacht Tribune

Austrian virtual music club has taste for Irish

Judy Murphy



Seán Keane who will be performing on Monday night. It was his trip to Austria in 1994 that led Dietmar Haslinger to set up Club Weltenklang.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

In pre-Covid-19 times, singer Seán Keane had been booked for a tour of Austria that would have seen him returning home around now. Instead, he’s busy in his garden in Caherlistrane as he explains that he’ll be on YouTube next Monday night, May 25, giving a short performance from his late aunts’ cottage as part of the Club Weltenklang mini-concert series.

Club Weltenklang is the roots music agency that is responsible for bringing Seán – and many other folk and world music artists worldwide – to Austria on tours.

Speaking from his home in St Poelten, Dietmar Haslinger, who runs it the club explains it all began with Seán Keane or something like that.

Reared by hippy parents, Dietmar had always been surrounded by music and loved it. As a teenager he had already amassed a huge vinyl-collection, including records from the Chieftains and the Bothy Band. But he didn’t start out promoting music.

“After 10 years in the bar/restaurant business I came across a culture festival, which I started to run and programme,” Dietmar recalls.

“That was when I heard of Seán Keane first. His debut album, There Were Roses, was given to me, and I booked him for two festivals in Austria in 1994. After we met, Seán asked me to work for him, and that was basically it.

“I changed from barman to tour-promoter and Seán and I still are friends working together. I booked 20 tours for him so far and he will come back to Austria in Spring 2021.”

Seán also recalls their first meeting.

“I was doing a couple of festival gigs in Austria and there was one in St Poelten. It was my first gig in Austria and I brought the Irish weather. It teemed. But to my amazement, people stayed. They were a lovely audience and I wanted to go back to Austria. I met Dietmar afterwards and one thing led to another . . .”

Seán and his band did a regular Austrian Christmas tour for six years and the event broadened out to become An Irish Christmas. Galway group, Dordán were the first to take part in that bigger event and it continued to grow. Dietmar eventually started running Spring tours too and performers including Seán Tyrrell, Lúnasa, the Alan Kelly Gang, Dervish, Alec Finn, Eleanor Shanley and Seán Ryan also took part.

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




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

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Connacht Tribune

UHG nurse battles for her life in ICU

Dara Bradley



Leona Paula 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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Connacht Tribune

Gort boy reunites Tipp star with broken hurl from famous point

Dara Bradley



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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