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Couple’s bedtime stories grow into full-time business

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A couple who started writing down the stories they were telling their first child has now set up their own publishing house and hope to encourage more Irish authors of children’s books.

Derek Mulveen and his wife Michelle Melville’s latest book is Oisín the Brave – Robot Island, the second of a series of books about Oisín who looks set to work his way through a range of adventures, inspired by Irish myths.

The book was launched in Charlie Byrne’s bookshop on Saturday week and is now widely available in shops for €7.99.

It is the story of Oisín the Brave and Orane the Dragon as they travel across many seas, meeting strange creatures to help a little robot on a quest to find the golden key and save Robot Island before time runs out.

The couple from Oranmore have two children now, Mikaela aged five and Matthew, just 20 months and the idea to start writing the books originally came from them telling their first born bedtime stories. Their first book was called Oisín the Brave Moon Adventure.

“I love childrens’ stories and childrens’ books and it was something I thought I would do but this became more real after having children.

We do sit down and come up with storylines and characters. Then Derek draws the characters and we use a service in the US to put those characters into illustrations for the book.

“It has been easier to market the second book because we are the ones getting invites now to go to book festivals – Derek has been to Milwaukee Irish Fest and that went very well and he has been asked to return,” said Michelle.

The books certainly have an Irish flair and the last three pages give Irish language translations of some of the words that pop up in the book. All of the books will include this feature and will all feature Oisín the Brave and his friends.

The books are meant to be interactive and aimed at children aged 3 to 7 years old, she said. As her children get older, she is not ruling out another series involving older characters that would appeal to older children.

“So far we are concentrating on the 3 to 7 years old and in fact plan to bring out one for younger children but we might in the future, as our own get older, write for older children. But the writing is still done on a part-time basis,” adds Michelle who works for a construction company.

Derek used to be in the construction industry as well until the economic bust and decided to change careers. He is now a Special Needs Assistant in Lakeview School in Renmore.

They didn’t approach any publishers when they completed their first book but decided to self-publish and set up their own publishing house.

“We were both in business and we decided to give it a go and it is our plan to expand it to include other writers of childrens’ books.”

The books were printed abroad as they couldn’t find any Irish printers who could print the book at a price which would be affordable.

“We feel that at €7.99 the books are very affordable but if we were to print them here, we wouldn’t be able to sell them for less than €24,” she explained.

The books are receiving great attention because of there Irish flavour.

The books are available in bookshops or can be bought on line by visiting their website www.EiresKids.com.

CITY TRIBUNE

Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill as event confirmed

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – Car enthusiasts say they have “every right” to use Salthill this weekend as an event has been announced for Sunday.

It’s been confirmed by organisers on social media – who say they’re being unfairly portrayed in a negative light.

In a statement, the Galway Car Scene group say they pay road tax like all other road users – and they have “every right” to be in Salthill this weekend.

It comes as they’ve confirmed the event will be taking place there on Sunday as originally planned.

They add it’s unfair to accuse them of blocking up Salthill and other parts of the city given the chronic traffic issues every day of the week.

They’ve also created an online petition calling for a designated place for car enthusiasts to go – which has so far gathered almost 250 signatures.

It claims the car enthusiast community in Galway has been unfairly painted as a negative and anti-social group.

The group say they’re happy to go elsewhere, but say any time they try to find a venue they’re shut out.

The event planned for Sunday has encountered significant opposition, much of which is based on a previous “Salthill Sundays” event held in May.

Those opposed say they’re not against an event of this kind in principle – but they strongly feel that Salthill just isn’t the right venue.

It’s also argued that if the organisers want to be taken seriously, they have to engage with stakeholders like Galway City Council and Gardaí to ensure a well-planned and safe event.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cars down to one-way system on Salthill Promenade

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A one-way system of traffic may be introduced along the Promenade in Salthill to facilitate the introduction of temporary cycle lanes.

The suggestion appeared to come as a shock to some City Council members who supported the cycle lane in a vote last month – one has called for a “full discussion again” on what exactly they had actually approved.

Councillors had voted 17-1 in favour of the principle of providing a cycleway that will stretch from Grattan Road all along the Prom.

The motion that passed at the September meeting proposed that the Council “shall urgently seek” to create a two-way segregated cycle track on a temporary basis along the coastal side of the Prom.

It was agreed that from the Blackrock Tower junction to the Barna Road would be a one-way cycle track.

The motion was voted on without debate, which meant Council officials did not have an opportunity to question the proposal.

At a meeting on Monday, the debate was revisited when Uinsinn Finn, Director of Services for Transportation, indicated that a one-way traffic system would be introduced in Salthill to facilitate a two-way cycle lane from Grattan Road to Blackrock.

This could mean that the outbound lane of traffic, closest to the sea, could be closed to all traffic bar bikes.

Mr Finn said that he would have sought clarity at the previous meeting – if debate were allowed – about what was meant by ‘temporary’.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway Christmas Market gets go-ahead for next month

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s the first real sign of a restoration of normality in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors in the city – the return of the Christmas Market next month to Eyre Square.

This week, the City Council’s planning department gave the go-ahead for the outdoor retail and gourmet food ‘spread’ that has been part of the festive season in Galway since 2010.

The exception was last year when, like so many other public gatherings since the Covid crisis broke in March 2020, the event had to be cancelled because of public health concerns.

Christmas Market Organiser, Maria Moynihan Lee, Managing Director of Milestone Inventive, confirmed to the Galway City Tribune, that she had received official confirmation on Thursday from the City Council of the go-ahead being given for the event.

“This is really wonderful news for the city and especially so in terms of the retail and hospitality sectors. For every €1 spent at the market another €3 will be spent on the high street – this will be a real boost for Galway,” she said.

Maria Moynihan Lee confirmed that the market would have an earlier than usual start of Friday, November 12 and would run through until the Wednesday evening of December 22.

(Photo: Declan Colohan)

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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