Playing hits from the Beautiful South and the Housemartins, Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott will be in Seapoint Ballroom, Salthill, on Thursday, October 30. There will be new material too, taken from their acclaimed new album What Have We Become?
The pair reunited last year when Paul was working on what he had initially intended would be a solo album.
“It was suggested that I ask Jacqui to sing, and when she said yes, I went away and wrote another five or six songs that would be better suited to her voice,” Paul says.
Paul and Jacqui were in The Beautiful South at the height of the band’s success, and Paul has retained some writing habits from his days with the chart toppers.
“Traditionally, with The Beautiful South, I went to Holland to write the lyrics and Spain to write the music,” he says. “With this present bunch of songs, I wrote all of it in Holland. This last album was written in Alkmaar, which is probably a similar size to Galway.”
Heaton’s trademark wit is evident throughout What Have We Become, and Abbott’s voice remains distinctive as ever. Some of the barbs are sharper than those of The Beautiful South though. They include the Cameron-baiting lyric, ‘the real terrorist ain’t reading the Koran/He’s sitting in 10 Downing Street and he works for Uncle Sam’.
“I don’t think there has been a Prime Minister to feel affinity with in decades,” says the staunchly socialist Heaton. “So, yes it’s an attack on Cameron, but they all work for Uncle Sam, don’t they? Look at the situation in your country; you’re working for the IMF.”
The album also sees Heaton and Abbott take aim at Phil Collins and Sting. But, in the UK at least, the Beautiful South were as successful as those acts. What does Heaton set himself apart from them?
“Well, I’m a UK resident,” he says. “I have only one house, that is a terraced house, where I’m sat now, in England. Which is slightly different. I’m a UK taxpayer, I’ve always paid my tax in this country and haven’t attempted to avoid taxes.”
Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised
Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.
A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.
Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.
Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.
Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.
He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.
Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .
Anger over ANC ‘snip’
ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.
Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.
In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.
Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.
At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Siblings find each other – and their Connemara roots – after 80 years
By Erin Gibbons
A family separated for over 80 years was reunited at the end of an emotional journey in Connemara last weekend – thanks to DNA testing and the expert help of heritage researchers.
Pat McKeown, who lives in Staffordshire in the UK, is the daughter of Síle Gorham from Roisín Na Mainiach, Carna – but she was given up for adoption and reared for a time in a Belfast Mother and Baby Home.
Now, at the age of 81, she found her roots – returning to her mother’s native place for the first time last weekend, in the company of her long-lost brother Micheál.
It was an emotional end to a lifelong search for her roots that even led her to hire a private detective to try and locate her family and to discover her name.
All of this proved unsuccessful – and she had effectively given up her search when she was contacted unexpectedly by a man called Miceál McKeown, who turned out to be her brother.
Micheál – an artist and sculptor – and his daughter Orla had made the connection through DNA testing, after Miceál too had set out to discover more about his own roots.
That revealed that Síle Gorham had married Michael McKeown in 1939, and Síle went on to have three more children named Áine, Séan and Miceál.
Pat visited Connemara last weekend for the first time to learn about her mother Síle and the Connemara ancestry which she feels was robbed from her for her entire 81 years.
She was accompanied by Miceál, his wife Rosemary, daughter Orla and son-in-law Rueben Keogh.
Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie