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Boxing legend’s story for Film Fleadh premiere

Judy Murphy

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A Fighting Heart, (Croí Trodach) the epic story of Johnny Kilbane the longest reigning World Featherweight Champion of all time, will have its European premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh.

The film, directed by Galway based filmmaker Des Kilbane, will be screened on July 13 and 14.

 A Fighting Heart (Croí Trodach) is a rags-to-riches story that begins on Achill Island, from where Johnny Kilbane’s ancestors originated. It finishes in Cleveland Ohio, where Johnny both entertained and served his community until his untimely death in 1957.

A Fighting Heart had its world premiere at the prestigious Cleveland International Film Festival in April, where it sold out seven screenings over three nights. The Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper described it as “…an enchanting film”, adding“you will love Johnny Kilbane’s story even if you do not love boxing films”.

Its director, Des Kilbane, who is originally from Achill, is a distant relation of Johnny and had been intrigued by the boxer’s story for many years.

“In the late 1980s I picked up a copy of The Book of Lists, where celebrities pick their favourites in their chosen fields. Mike Tyson was the world champ at the time and he picked Johnny at number seven, which really amazed me. So the idea was always there but it wasn’t until I found a website on Johnny created by his great-grandson, Kevin OToole that it came to fruition.”

The film was commissioned by TG4 and was part funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

In A Fighting Heart Des recounts the boxer’s tough early life growing up in The Angle on Cleveland’s Westside, the rough side of town, his love of vaudeville, his chance discovery as a boxer and his elevation to World Boxing Champion in 1912.  The film goes on to trace Johnny’s role in the US Army during the First World War and his impressive boxing career of 142 fights before finally losing the crown to a French opponent in 1923.

Des was fortunate in that he managed to source rare archive footage of some of Johnny’s fights, particularly his World Title fight against Abe Attell, when he deposed the reigning champion.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Sharon goes global for lockdown album The Reckoning

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Sharon's new album will be available from this Friday.

Despite Covid-19 travel restrictions, Sharon Shannon has gone global for her latest studio album, The Reckoning, which is being released this Friday, November 27.

The Reckoning, which was composed, written and recorded during lockdown, features more than dozen remote collaborations from locations across the world.

All the twelve tracks have been co-written by Sharon and band members and various guest collaborators.

The full-on method in which it was recorded marks a new departure for the Clare-born musician who lives in Galway City, she says.

“Normally when we work on an album, we do one track at a time,” Sharon explains. “But with this, it seems to be an avalanche when you’re working on 13 or 14 tracks every day. It’s like a minefield!”

One of the key tracks, The Jolly Roger, resulted from a challenge which rugby player Robbie Henshaw presented to Sharon during the first Covid lockdown. Issued via Facebook, her task was to learn a new skill. And she did. After five days of intense practice, she created The Jolly Roger Facebook video . That clip of Sharon and her electric guitar has attracted more than 289,000 views since it was uploaded earlier this year.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Artists going to dogs in aid of annual auction

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Work donated to MADRA by Galway artist Grace Cunningham and Achill Island’s Padraig McCaul.

Works by some of Ireland’s top artists, including Grace Cunningham and Finbar McHugh from Galway as well as Padraig McCaul from Achill Island and Charles Harper from Valentia Island, will go under the hammer at this year’s MADRA Dog Rescue Charity Art Auction.

The popular event, which kicks off for viewing next week, will take place online year due to Covid restrictions.

The event, will open for registration and online bids next Thursday, December 3 and will remain available to view and bid online until Monday, December 7 .

The goal is to raise €3,000 to contribute towards vet bills for the Connemara-based dog rescue and adoption charity. MADRA is facing major bills, all without the financial support that’s normally generated by its two charity shops – they have been closed for months this year due to the pandemic.

“We have stunning artworks available with an amazing variety of subjects and styles,” explains MADRA co-founder and director, Marina Fiddler, adding that the organisation is “honoured that so many talented artists have donated such beautiful pieces to support the homeless dogs in our care”.

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

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Celebrating Romania on Great Union Day

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ConTempo, will perform a programme from thier native Romania for next Tuesday's lunchthime concert.

The next instalment of the lunchtime music series, From Europe with Love, will take place next Tuesday, December 1, at 1pm. Hosted by Galway Music Residency, it’s the last one for 2020.

It promises to be a special event as Galway’s Ensemble in Residence, the ConTempo Quartet, who are from Romania, celebrate their homeland on what’s known as Great Union Day. This national holiday marks the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918.

ConTempo will perform a varied programme, showcasing the best of Romanian music. This will feature works by celebrated composers George Enescu and Theodor Grigoriu alongside lesser-known musical treasures. There will be a strong folk theme throughout, making for a lively lunchtime show.

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

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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