This week marks 110 years since the very first edition of the Connacht Tribune – entering the world at a time of great political uncertainty and economic difficulty…proving that, while the years go by, nothing really changes.
That first edition was published on May 22 1909 from a premises in Market Street which had once been a Poor Clare Convent.
In that issue, they laid it down that they ‘would support the Constitutional Party of the Irish people and the fullest freedom that the Irish People could obtain; the preservation of the faith of the Irish People; the preservation of the Irish language and the economic independence of the country through the development of agriculture and industries’.
The first editor was Tom ‘Cork’ Kenny, born – as his name suggests – in Cork, who learned his journalistic trade in Manchester before returning to Ireland and eventually to Galway as reporter and leader writer on the Connacht Champion, a paper which actively supported William O’Brien MP and often virulently attacked the Irish Parliamentary Party.
He spent about two years there when he was approached by Augustus ‘Gus’ O’Reilly who hoped to secure him for a paper he wished to start in opposition to the Champion, and in support of the Irish Party.
Gus O’Reilly had a couple of thousand pounds which would be enough to start this paper called the Connacht Tribune – to be managed by O’Reilly and edited by Kenny.
Then – as now – the Tribune was independent of the rest; never amalgamated into a bigger media group but securely in the hands of owners who nurtured and invested in its content and its staff for all of the last 110 years.
See the full feature in this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Supply chain challenges in retail
SPONSORED CONTENT – EZ LIVING FURNITURE
There has been a huge demand for consumer products in 2020 and 2021. Covid-19 has resulted in people spending more time at home than ever before. Lockdown especially saw all non-essential workers previously confined to their homes. Investing in goods such as clothing, electronics and furniture was one of the few ways that people could spend their discretionary income from the comfort of their own homes. However, this major spike in consumer purchasing is only one of many challenges that the retail industry is currently facing.
Every retailer and consumer across the globe is being affected by rising costs and frustrating delivery delays and this, unfortunately, includes EZ Living Furniture. As Ireland’s most loved and well-known furniture retailer, we wanted to help our customers understand the issues the entire retail industry is currently facing and will continue to face for some time by outlining the order fulfilment process to you.
Supply Chain explained
Many suppliers (including EZ Living Furniture) source their products from overseas. When Covid-19 first struck in the Far East in March 2020, illness and a lessened workforce lead to a dramatic decrease in production. When those countries entered lockdown, supply stopped coming from the Far East entirely.
When these countries began to recover and started to exit lockdown, Europe, unfortunately, went into lockdown. Because we were unable to sell stock to the same capacity, we stopped ordering from these countries.
Customers began ordering products again, but only online as all of the physical stores in Europe were closed. It took us, and many other European businesses a number of weeks to come to terms with the new working from home arrangements and the redirection of resources towards the increase in online sales that occurred subsequently.
Product manufacturers and raw material manufacturers in Europe were still closed due to the pandemic. This meant materials and products were not being produced in Europe at all.
This caused major issues with supply and production. For instance, foam is one of many materials used to make mattresses, dining chairs, and sofas. When this is in short supply, so too is the furniture that uses foam.
Hospitals around the globe began ordering thousands of containers of PPE. With no warehouses to store these essential healthcare items, they remained in the containers at ports. This lead to congestions at ports and a shortage of shipping containers worldwide.
Shipping ports closed due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in ports.
The Suez Canal was blocked by a container vessel for six days. This put further strain on supply chains that were already burdened by the coronavirus pandemic.
We are still continuing to suffer from the lack of containers. This is causing a rise in transportation and raw material costs. Deliveries to customers are also now taking longer than usual.
What are we doing to resolve this?
Stores like us are working even harder to ensure that customers receive the same products in the same time frame and at the same price-point that was in place before the pandemic. Any solution to this supply chain problem is not perfect. Prioritising faster delivery will inevitably lead to higher costs while focusing on lowering product prices will inevitably delay delivery times.
Alternatives and long-term solutions are being explored such as supply chains in eastern Europe. However, this is a time-consuming process primarily due to quality control and logistics.
What you need to know
Already this year, we have had to increase our stock levels to try to compensate for any future delivery delays. Until now, we have been absorbing the increases in transportation costs and raw materials in order to continue to offer our customers such a wide range of furnishings.
Unfortunately, due to the prolonged nature of the pandemic, stock is going to be limited, especially during certain holiday periods. Prices may also have to be increased again in the future with smaller companies likely to be affected to an even greater degree. We want to be completely transparent with our customers and make you all aware that our promotions listed below may be the last chance for you all to purchase EZ Living Furniture items at such low prices.
So, don’t wait to buy that EZ Living Furniture Item you have been eyeing and prioritise our in-stock items. The products available in all retail stores now could sell out and take a long time to return to stock. Shipping delay issues could also mean you are waiting months to receive your items.
Although we are uncertain as to how long these global supply-chain issues will last, we aim to keep you updated at all times. We appreciate your patience during these unprecedented times.
For any queries regarding your order, please contact our Customer Service team by phone, email or live chat:
Monday – Friday 9:30am – 5:00pm
Phone: 0818 222 272
Customer Service Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website Enquiries Email: email@example.com
SPONSORED CONTENT – EZ LIVING FURNITURE
Free House provides a launch pad for Galway’s musical talent
Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell
Back in the summer of 2019, a series of ticket-free, DIY gigs took place in a packed-out Club Áras na nGael on Dominick Street. Dubbed Free House, the nights breathed life into Galway’s local music scene and raised the profile of the featured acts – as well as that of the venue itself.
It began as a vehicle for punk four-piece Turnstiles who – largely through bass player Jake Tiernan – curated and performed in the events and, as they went from the strength to strength, so too did the project.
Now, as venues prepare to welcome fully-fledged gigs back, Free House is returning, with Jake and Turnstiles’ drummer Luke Mulliez facilitating the project.
Beginning this Friday with two surprise bands back in Áras na nGael, the plan is to stage an event every two weeks.
When they first occurred, the gigs were defined by their inclusivity as much as the quality of the acts that performed. It was all manner of artist in a venue that could host any type of gig-goer. The challenge now is to cultivate the same atmosphere in an ever-changing environment.
“I’ve had this fear that, even for the next year, everything is going to have to be super regulated and what was good about those gigs was that everything was unregulated,” Jake admits.
“The furthest I can see restrictions going is a capacity limit so if they say ‘a hundred people max’ then that’s fine. We could have a hundred free tickets and I think we could get the same atmosphere.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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One half of Hollywood’s golden couple sings Galway’s praises after trip
He may be married to the highest paid actress in the world, but that did not stop Magic Mike star Joe Manganiello savouring the best that Galway had to offer – hailing the people, the cheese, chocolate and salmon during his trip west.
The American actor, who played stripper Big Dick Richie in Steven Soderbergh’s box office hit Magic Mike, was not joined by Modern Family’s Sofía Vergara until a week later on his trip around Cork.
But he did ring his wife of six years in the US while exploring the countryside of south Galway and Clare with guide, Fergus Lally, who had picked him and his chihuahua Bubbles up from the Glenlo Abbey Hotel in Bushypark on the city’s edge.
“I had a great time with him. I brought him to the Cliffs of Moher and along the way we stopped off at the Hazel Mountain Chocolate factory, the cheese shop at the Aillwee Caves and he had a tasting at the Burren Smoke House in Lisdoonvarna,” reveals Fergus.
“He had an amazing time tasting all the foods. The back of the car was full – everybody did well out of him. He was blown away with the places I brought him. He loved the history of the Corcomroe Abbey and Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara. He was a great guy. I was delighted to drive him. The two of us just clicked.”
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