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Connacht Tribune

Casting call as Ballinasloe makes the big screen

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It may lack the glamour of Hollywood or the tradition of the silver screen – but aspiring movie stars will be bounding into Ballinasloe this month for what producers are calling the Carnival of Chaos!

That’s after West Coast Casting issued their clarion call for extras for new feature film called ‘Finky’ which will be shot over the next two months – all in the Ballinasloe area.

The producers are looking for 250 to 300 people of all ages, shapes, sizes and ethnicity – particularly those who think they have a special skill or talent.

All are welcome to apply to become part of the Carnival of Chaos’ psychotic symphony.

Mairead Campbell of West Coast Casting described it as ‘the craziest script I’ve ever read’.

It is completely open for anyone to apply regardless of whether you have any previous acting experience or not – but you should mention in your application if you do.

Extras may end up as part of the Carnival of Chaos or just sitting in a café, dancing in a club or walking down the street – and there are also a small number of positions available for children.

The movie tells the story of Micí Phincí Ó Foghlú (whose nickname is ‘Finky’) a musician and puppeteer from the West of Ireland who is recruited by a violent and avant-garde circus and experiences the darker side of life.  Micí Phincí will be played by Dara Devaney, who is best known for his roles in ‘An Klondike’ (2015), ‘An Bronntanas’ (2014) and ‘School Run’ (2008).

Micí Phincí is originally from Ballinasloe, which is why most of the filming will take place in the town.

“The town fits the story really well,” said Mairead. “We don’t need to shoot anywhere else, because Ballinasloe caters to the story, as it is a town with hotels, cafés, clubs and all we need.

“It’s a great spot; it has everything,” she added.

The casting team are also looking for bands, rockers, anyone that can play a musical instrument to help bring this crazy and exciting story to life.

As well as general extras, West Coast Casting are also looking for more specific things such as people who are fluent in Irish; people who have Scottish accents – and a one-armed male.  Specific casting updates such as these are available on the West Coast Casting Facebook page. And all extras will be paid daily for their work.

The film comes from Galway-based award-winning Abú Media, and is developed and funded through the new Cine4 initiative.

The Cine4 initiative was set up to encourage strong storytelling, visual flair and high production values appropriate for the big screen through Irish – although a small part of ‘Finky’ is in English.  That said, you do not have to be fluent in Irish to apply to be an extra.

‘Finky’ is directed by Dathaí Keane and written by himself and Diarmuid de Faoite. It is produced by Eileen Seoighe and Pierce Boyce.

Anyone interested in getting involved and becoming an extra should email a recent photo and contact details to westcoastcastingireland@gmail.com

Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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