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Crafty idea turns An Ceardlann into a hub of creativity

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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.

Connacht Tribune

Unique pilgrim talking the walk

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Breandan will give a talk on his pilgrimage this Sunday evening at Clifden's Station House Theatre with all proceeds going to the Irish Cancer Society. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

Lifestyle – Breandan Ó Scanaill returned to Clifden last month after a six-month pilgrimage on foot from his home on Beach Road to Santiago de Compostela – a journey of some 3,500km that took him across Ireland, Wales, England, France and Northern Spain. In his final column for  The Connacht Tribune, he reflects on his experiences and the people he met.

Having travelled through Ireland Wales and England, by the time I reached central France in mid-Summer, the temperature was getting hotter by the day.

I’d say it topped 40 degrees on several occasions, but was in the high 30s almost every day.  I managed to keep walking, and found myself thinking of the old song, which I changed one word of, “Mad dogs and Irishmen go out in the mid-day sun”. I probably was mad to be doing this but I was being very careful.  I was drinking around six or seven litres of water each day and anywhere I found water I would pour it over my head.  I also had a light towel around my neck which I kept wet at all times, while my wide-brimmed hat kept the worst of the sun off my head and face.  I would shelter from the heat for an hour or so in the mid-afternoon.

This heat the fires which were raging just ahead of me in France were constant worries and on a number of days the paths were closed and I had to take to small roads to move forward.

One of the hottest and strangest days was just north of Bordeaux.  I was walking in a forest which was not closed but which had warnings about the risk of fire.  It had all the feeling of a Hitchcock film.  Nothing stirred, there was no breeze, no insects, no animals and the heat radiated up from the ground.  The grass and leaves below my feet cracked and broke, they were so dry. I was completely alone and I was fully expecting someone to come emerge from the bushes armed with a large knife.

I finally arrived in Bordeaux to be given the expected bad news, all the trails south were closed and it was against the law for anyone to be found crossing that part of the country. There were a number of reasons for this. One was the obvious risk to life, another was that anyone embarking on these trails was putting the fire fighters’ lives at risk and also taking them away from their main task, which was trying to control the blaze.  A further reason was that as thousands of people had been evacuated, homes were at risk of being looted.

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.

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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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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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A little girl celebrates Sarsfields’ success in the County Hurling Final in 1997.

1922

The ‘pay-nobodies’

The righteous wrath of members of Galway County Council very properly manifested itself against the “pay nobodies” at the meeting on Saturday last.

“I am quite satisfied,” declared Dr. Walsh, “that numbers of people who defend the policy of not paying rates are thoroughly dishonest.”

Mr. Kennedy said the policy to-day was to pay nobody and the people who were in debt themselves “wanted everybody else to be in the same position”.

Mr. Tierney invoked the dictum of the Irish Hierarchy in regard to the payment of just and lawful debts. Verily, “there are greater thieves than Cacus” – men who have such noble and patriotic notions that, to their mind, national freedom is synonymous with freedom from just and lawful obligations. It is time the people paid their rates and debts and gave up their outworn cant.

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.

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Connacht Tribune

Guru to the stars to breathe life into seminar

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Patrick McKeown

Health, Beauty and Lifestyle with Denise McNamara

Patrick McKeown has some rather high-profile followers. The Galway clinician – who runs one of the largest breathing schools in the world from his Moycullen clinic – can count Coldplay singer Chris Martin and his ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow, the Oscar-winning actress turned lifestyle entrepreneur, as followers.

It was the rock star who made headlines when he gave a copy of Patrick’s book The Oxygen Advantage to cricketer Ollie Robinson after the England team saw Coldplay at Wembley before their Test series against South Africa.

Gwyneth, who has over eight million followers in Instagram, last week posted online that she is using Mytotape, the product Patrick invented in his Moycullen practice which aims to train people to breathe through the nose while sleeping rather than through the mouth.

“This is probably the single best wellness tool I have found recently. Breathing through your nose at night apparently creates alkalinity in the body and promotes best quality sleep,” she exclaimed.

Patrick is one of six speakers at the international Functional Medicine Conference (FMC) held this weekend at the Galway Bay Hotel where doctors and nurses, complementary medicine practitioners and students convene to hear from experts, share experiences and network.

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.

 

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