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Connacht Tribune

Declan O’Rourke brings it all back home for Town Hall gig

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Kinvara resident Declan O'Rourke who has rereleased his debut CD, Since Kyabram, with a beautifully designed 20-page booklet detailing the stories attached to each song.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

He’s been to the forefront of an illustrious group of singer-songwriters that Irish music has produced over the last 20 years – but now, with his destiny back in his own hands, Declan O’Rourke cannot wait for the next chapter in a critically acclaimed career.

Having recently regained the rights to his acclaimed debut album, Since Kyabram, Declan will play Galway’s Town Hall Theatre on Tuesday, December 11.

The respect and admiration for his music is evident in the praise from his peers –he’s  lauded by artists like Glen Hansard and John Prine, not to mention Paul Weller who famously described Galileo (Declan’s debut single) as ‘possibly the greatest song in the last 30 years’.

Given that much of Declan’s success has come on the back of that first album, the journey to reacquiring the rights to Since Kyabram was, at times, arduous and frustrating – although the process of re-releasing the album seems to have been anything but.

Declan describes reconnecting with his earlier work as though he’s talking about childhood friends.

“Some [songs] more than others feel like they’re still a part of me, a part of the same person,” he admits.

“Some of them I sing all the time – probably half of the record. Then there’s a few that I’d probably only play if I had a band and I was trying to rock out a little bit. They feel like they’re from a younger person alright. I enjoy them, I really like them as songs and as pieces of music when I’m performing them but I don’t feel hugely connected to them at times – that’s only a few of them though.”

The newly available Since Kyabram CD includes a beautifully designed 20-page booklet detailing the stories attached to each song.  There’s a sense of nostalgia about the memories but also an extreme clarity – the detail with which Declan recounts that period of his life is indicative of his careful approach to songwriting and instrumentation.

“It began with the process of having to remaster it for vinyl, therefore listening in to what was there and what was going to happen,” he notes.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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