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Connacht Tribune

Californian sojourn adds new edge to acoustic core

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Niamh Regan....debut album on the way.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Niamh Regan has enjoyed a prolific presence on the Galway folk scene over the last few years – and now she is taking the next step; because working with the Black Gate’s new independent label, she is set to release an official debut album that also shows an edgier side to her acoustic staple.

With a refreshingly unique, melodic vocal and an ability to hook listeners with poignant and authentic lyrics, those acoustic sets are already familiar affairs for folk fans in the west of Ireland.

Niamh released Save the Day, the first single from her maiden LP, on Wednesday, June 10 – her most ambitious launch to date. The track plays with sounds and styles that haven’t previously held much weight in the singer-songwriter’s extensive catalogue of original music.

Taking on the grungier tone of an indie band, Save the Day may not reflect the atmosphere of the album as a whole, but it is a sign of the freedom and authority with which Niamh is currently writing.

“The single that’s just come out is basically a one-off on the album. There are only about four other tracks that are full-band,” she admits.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in California because my family are there and I went to a lot of gigs and saw grunge-y bands doing the indie chug and I was just really taken by it. I wrote this song with that in mind – I wanted to experiment with a full band with that sound and I really enjoyed it.

“I think it’s a sample of me dipping my toes into that kind of thing but the whole album is still quite folky. The next single that I’m releasing on July 10 is quite influenced by Van Morrison with double bass so it’s totally different again.”

Appropriately titled Hemet, the album largely consists of songs written in and around Niamh’s time in the Californian city. Hemet’s music scene appears to have acted as inspiration for the new single.

“It’s the city my husband is from,” she explains. “It’s just that a lot of those songs I wrote either in Hemet or when I came home so it’s this collection from this quirky little place. It’s a special place for us.

“My favourite part of a lot of that kind of music is that it isn’t very dynamic and it brings a sort of ‘this is what we’re about and this is the pace we’re setting’ so people can really focus on the lyrics and actually get in on the groove of it. This is just a self-reflection but with a lot of the songs I perform live I tend to go up and down and all over the place and it’s a lot more expressive I suppose.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Hospitality group raises €90k

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Lorraine Gallagher (left) and Charlene Hurley of Galway Hospice presented with a cheque for €27,537 by Brian Lynch and Eveanna Ryan of Connacht Hospitality.

The Connacht Hospitality Group this week announced that they raised more than €90,000 for a range of good Irish causes throughout 2022.

The group, which owns well-known Galway establishments including The Connacht Hotel, An Púcán, HYDE Hotel, Residence Hotel and 1520 Bar, as well as the Galway Bay Golf Resort, held a range of events at various stages of 2022 to fundraise for Claddagh Watch Patrol, the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI), Galway Hospice and Make-A-Wish Ireland.

The announcement of over €90,000 worth of funds raised by the Connacht Hospitality Group for national and local charities comes off the back of the past 12 months which saw the group aim to make Corporate Social Responsibility a core part of their identity. This focus allowed them to become more aware of the causes that need assistance while also raising the profile of many of the charities.

The group arranged a diverse array of events to raise funds, and had lots of imaginative ways of grabbing the public’s attention. One event saw people attend HYDE Bar to savour a menu made by a mystery celebrity. In the end, it was revealed that TV personality Gráinne Seoige was the Executive Chef on a night that generated over €8,000 for the NBCRI.

Another event saw staff take part in a ‘Sunrise Swim’ in Salthill – and the public donated in their droves. All money raised went towards Claddagh Watch Patrol, an organisation that works to make Galway’s waterways safer by preventing accidental death and suicide.

One of the most successful fundraisers was the Galway Bay Golf Resort’s Golf Classic, which raised over €22,000 for Galway Hospice.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Connacht Tribune

Residents in fear of gangs travelling to rural Galway to burgle homes

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Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins.

Residents in rural County Galway are living in fear of being burgled after one small area suffered at least 10 raids in the month of January.

Councillor Mary Hoade told a meeting of the County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) this week that those figures were for around Headford alone, as she called for additional resources to target travelling crime gangs visiting the county.

“Some of these burglaries are taking place in the morning when people go to work; some are in the evening; and others at night. It’s very frightening.  We recognise that these criminals are coming into the county, but we need more support to fight crime,” said Cllr Hoade.

“Rural garda stations have less resources . . . we’re relying on the resources in the nearest town,” she continued.

The Fianna Fáil councillor said gardaí couldn’t be everywhere at once, but communities needed to act as their eyes and ears and report suspicious activity when they see it. Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins (pictured) told the JPC that Galway was being targeted from time to time by travelling gangs.

“Three different gangs visited the county on one day recently,” said Det Supt Cummins.

Cllr Shelly Herterich Quinn (FF) said she believed increased CCTV and automatic number plate recognition cameras – to capture known gangs on tour – should be rolled out.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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Connacht Tribune

IDA Ireland’s €10m land purchase backs Oranmore for industry base

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Former Mayor of County Galway, Liam Carroll.

IDA Ireland has trebled its footprint on the outskirts of Oranmore by purchasing more than 100 acres of land to support industry.

It’s understood the semi-state body purchased some 42.9 hectares on the outskirts of Oranmore, for a price in excess of €10 million.

The strategic purchase of land adjacent to some 21 hectares zoned ‘business and technology’ and already owned by the IDA, was a “major vote of confidence” in Oranmore and Galway, according Cathaoirleach of the Athenry/Oranmore Municipal District, County Councillor Liam Carroll (FG).

It brings the total amount of land owned by the IDA in the area to over 150 acres.

This latest parcel, purchased at the end of 2022, is located off the N67 Claregalway Road, to the north and east of the Galway to Dublin Rail line.

“It would be ideally suited and attractive to a major multinational company or companies for the establishment of a high tech, pharmaceutical or medical device type facility,” Cllr Carroll said.

The entire site of 150-plus acres is close to the M6 motorway, and an hour away from international links, Shannon Airport and Ireland West Airport in Knock.  It is also close to a number of potential Park & Ride sites, identified by the National Transport Authority as being suitable for commuters.

It’s understood the land is zoned agricultural and would require a material alteration to the County Development Plan to be voted on by county councillors, in order for it to be rezoned before 2028.

(Photo: Cllr Liam Carroll, who believes the land could be developed for a tech or pharmaceutical hub).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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