Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Lifestyle

Crafty idea turns An Ceardlann into a hub of creativity

Published

on

Ceardlann

Lifestyle –  Judy Murphy visits An Ceardlann, the craft and design centre which is thriving on 30 years of success

It’s a picture perfect summer’s day in the seaside village of Spiddal and Sue Donnellan is taking advantage of the fine weather to sit outside her shop as she puts the finishing touches to a set of glass table coasters.

Deep red in colour, shot through with greys, these are among the many colourful glass items made by Sue in her design shop in the Spiddal Craft Centre, or An Ceardlann, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

From earrings to watches to table lamps, there is a vast array of crafts in Sue’s shop – she is always making new things, she explains. “Even in my dreams, I’m creating.”

In the shop beside her, Ciarán Hogan is sitting on a low stool weaving baskets made from willow.  His handmade bread baskets, shopping baskets, turf baskets and more are displayed in his shop, while in buildings further along, artist Ger O’Rourke creates mixed-media paintings, ceramic jewellery and a range of cards, and at her loom, Máire Ní Thaidhg weaves  scarves, wraps, throws, and, more recently, rugs from beautifully dyed natural wools and linens.

Add in potter Rob D’Eath,  as well as a vintage shop, a photography studio, an Irish language sweatshirt and t-shirt business, a jeweller specialising in old Irish coins, and Spiddal’s Ceardlann is a creative and social hub unique in Galway. There’s also an award-winning restaurant, An Builín Blasta which is run by Jamie Peaker and serves some of the best food to be found anywhere in Galway.

In the 30 years since it was established, the Ceardlann has been home to many crafts people and just three of the original residents– potter Rob D’Eath, weaver Máire Ní Thaidhg and Gearóid Ó Murchú of An Spailpín Fánach screen printing – have been there for all three decades.

Sue Donnellan, who is originally from Dublin, although of Galway origins, is one of the more recent arrivals, having changed careers to move west and pursue her love of stained glass.

“I was always dabbling in art, and did oil paintings when I was younger. But I had a job for 20 odd years in Dublin and then decided to give it up,” she says.

Sue had initially visited Spiddal for a holiday, renting a cottage in the village. She knew of the craft village because of her Galway connections and she decided to make the leap and give up her steady job in the family business.

“It was the best thing I ever did, although it was a big leap from having a regular wage. I really believe if you have a dream, you should do it because then you are happy in yourself.”

She chose to focus on stained glass because “my dad always told me to do something different and then you will succeed” and there are very few stained glass artists in Ireland.

Sue set up during the recession, but business has blossomed and she is currently in the process of finishing a new website – she finds that US and Canadian visitors, who buy presents for friends, will often want to buy items for themselves when they return home.

It’s not surprising, because her work is beautiful and very reasonably priced and she is constantly pushing herself.

“If you have regular customers and they want something different, that drives me. People want something unique and it’s up to me to give it to them.”

She mixes stained glass with copper and wood to make it more unusual and to support other local craftspeople who provide her with these materials.

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

Country Living

A day when Tuam Races put paid to the innocence of a young punter

Published

on

The date was Friday, July 31, 1970, and the race was the Carling Black Label Maiden Plate with Lucky in Love, ridden by P. Sullivan just edging it from None Better with M. Kennedy on the saddle. The Tuam Races drew large crowds for their one big day of the year before the reins were pulled in 1973. Photo researched by Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

I couldn’t even remotely claim to have any knowledge of the gee-gees although here and there I’d have the odd little flutter on a horse, and of late, Pateen has been kind enough to me with a couple of good wins across the water. Pateen of course is called after Galway three-in-a-row start, Pat or ‘Pateen’ Donellan, with his original owner, the late Michael Corcoran of solid Dunmore stock.

My childhood memory of horses probably relates to that of many people of a certain generation where the horse – and indeed the donkey as well – were the mainstays of farming life and especially for ageing farmers who just had no interest whatsoever in the purchase of a second-hand or a rebuilt Massey Ferguson. (Ruanes of Athenry were the great specialists of the time in rebuilt Masseys).

We owned the most imperious of a black gelding, his only concession to colour contrast being a white face, and whose pulling power was lauded across the village. But he was never an animal to be taken for granted and especially during the later summer season when the quills or horse flies could provoke him into a sudden and sometimes violent enough tantrum. Only my father could handle him with a mixture of firmness and platitudes but our equine warrior still managed to overturn a load or two of oats or hay when negotiating dodgy gaps that bit too impatiently.

His ageing demise and subsequent sale coincided with my journey into teenage years and that loss of childhood innocence when the realisation strikes that life is transient, made all the more poignant by the fact that it coincided with the gradual decline of my father as he slipped into the 70s and the sunset years of life.

The Galway Races though were always special even if we didn’t venture into Ballybrit that much as a family, as invariably there was always hay to be saved, although a ‘concession’ would often be made in terms of calling into a neighbour’s house with a television to watch The Hurdle or The Plate.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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.

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Happy days for writer Micheál

Published

on

President Michael D Higgins with Micheál Ó Conghaile in Áras an Uachtarain earlier this month as the President congratulated him on his retirment from Cló Iar-Chonnacht after 35 years as a director.

Lifestyle  – In the 36 years since Micheál Ó Conghaile set up the publishing house Cló Iar-Chonnacht, it has given a platform to people writing in the Irish language, especially Gaeltacht writers, as well as championing Irish music and song. As the awardwinning author passes on the baton, he tells  BERNIE NÍ FHLATHARTA about his own work and plans.

A Conamara writer who is not only prolific in his personal creative output but who has also translated English plays into Irish, is currently putting the finishing touches to his translation of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days.

The play, which was first staged in 1961, will be performed on Inis Oírr  as Laethanta Sona during this year’s Galway International Arts Festival in August/September.

The translator of Laethanta Sona, Micheál Ó Conghaile, admits it wasn’t an easy task but thanks to a read-through with actors, Bríd Ní Neachtain and Raymond Keane, and director, Sarah Jane Scaife, the musical style of Beckett’s prose came to life.

Micheál, a native Irish speaker who remembers as a child not understanding his English-speaking cousins when they visited his home on the now depopulated island of Inis Treabhair, always strives to be true to the original work.

When he was translating Martin McDonagh’s plays, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and The Cripple of Inishmaan, he regularly communicated with the playwright to ensure McDonagh was happy with the Irish interpretations — and, thankfully, he was most of the time.

The Beauty Queen had already been translated into 33 languages and Micheál, who was a fan, believed that McDonagh’s Hiberno-English style would translate easily into Conamara Irish. He was right and the Irish-language productions of the plays been well received by audiences and critics alike.

It’s obvious from listening to Micheál that he really enjoyed the McDonagh translation process and was more than happy with the results.

“I hadn’t even written a play at that stage myself,” he laughs, although he has since written three dramas, all of which have been produced.

His productivity is phenomenal, although he doesn’t really have a routine and admits to being easily distracted during the writing process, often needing to sequester himself somewhere away from home, usually abroad and preferably in the sun.

As well as his own creations – which include novels, plays and poetry – he translates other writers into Irish, and since 1985, he has been a director of Cló Iar-Chonnacht (CIC). It was in that year he set up the Irish-language publishing company which, to date has published 800 books.

However, this summer he sold Cló Iar-Chonnacht to Deirdre Ní Thuatháil, who has been a manager there for years. Micheál is confident she will be “a good pair of hands to bring it even further

“Deirdre has worked there for 20 years and I knew this was a good time for me to step back and concentrate on my own writing”, he explains.

“I’m working on a memoir about my island Christmas childhood experiences. We moved onto the mainland [from Inis Treabhair] when I was 15 and, of course, after that it would have been very hard to return to island life, though we loved it when we were there because we didn’t know any better. I remember reading books by candlelight. The family was self-sufficient, up to a point and we learned how to row a boat from an early age.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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.

Continue Reading

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Published

on

Three boys catching up on their reading at the Galway Races in Ballybrit on July 28, 1988. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

1921

Impure milk

Impure and dirty milk supplies do a serious injury to our population. Milk is, perhaps, the most important part of the diet of our infants, who will some day have to take their part in the work of the nation.

It is our duty to see that all forms of disease, which are likely to weaken the race by sapping its vitality, should be vigorously battled with. No form of food is so susceptible to contamination as milk, for it is a natural and complete food substance which is eminently suited to the growth of all kinds of disease germs, especially the dreaded germ which is the cause of consumption.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of our milch cows suffer from tuberculosis. The disease may not be apparent to the eye but can be easily detected by the veterinary surgeon by means of the “tuberculin test”. Milk from these cows often contains germs of the consumption which is causing such havoc and misery in Ireland.

Something must be done by public bodies to insist on the testing of suspected cows, and the frequent sampling and testing of public milk supplies. Educational authorities should urge farmers to take a personal interest in the matter and stamp out disease by keeping cowsheds sanitary and paying strict attention to cleanliness of milking.

It must be brought home to the farmer that it is his duty to produce an article which is acceptable to the public by being pure, of high quality, and free from the germs of infectious disease. It is only by working on these lines that the farmer can hope to gain the confidence of the consumer.

Races weather

Nothing is more necessary to the complete success of the Galway meeting next Wednesday and Thursday than the rainfall which is pretty general all over Ireland at present.

I learn from a reliable source that Galway is getting its quota and that the course is in good condition. This is all necessary to induce owners and trainers to send on horses, and I have no fear that runners will be plentiful on both days.

Writing as a metropolitan, I can safely predict a great attendance – one can only wish he could predict other things so surely. On all sides one hears the questions, “Are you going to Galway? Have you booked your room” and a reference to “the fun of the fair,” otherwise the Bazaar, nearly always follows.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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.

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending