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Family duo turn Headford into little Hollywood

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A husband and wife duo from Headford look to be onto a winner with their new comedy drama – what might be described as an Irish twist on the classic cop show, Cagney and Lacey.

Quinn & O’Grady is the story of a hardnosed Garda, Jo O’Grady (Sharon Sexton), who joins forces with local Reserve Garda, Mary Bridget Quinn (Ríona O’Connor), to investigate bizarre happenings in the village of Blackhill.

And it has made the cut for the sixth series of Storyland, the RTÉ collaboration with Northern Ireland Screen – one of five twenty-minute dramas, commissioned from over 200 applicants.

Quinn and O'Grady ... Sharon Sexton as Jo O'Grady and Ríona O'Connor, who stars as Mary Bridget Quinn.

Quinn and O’Grady … Sharon Sexton as Jo O’Grady and Ríona O’Connor, who stars as Mary Bridget Quinn.

Quinn & O’Grady was produced and directed by husband and wife Ivan McMahon and Molly O’Driscoll of Two Hungry Fish Productions, a small operation based in Headford.

The couple met years ago at Roger Corman’s Concorde film studios in Inverin. Both were with TG4, which was in its infancy at that time. Molly operated cameras for TG4 news and Ros Na Rún, where Ivan was assistant director.

She recalls her time working in Connemara with fondness, reflecting on those days she remarked “great bunch of people, great fun”.

The husband/wife duo, both hold a Masters degree in screenwriting. Molly currently lectures in the Huston School of Film and Digital Media with NUIG and Ivan is First Assistant Director on the television drama series Jack Taylor, featuring Game of Thrones star Iain Glen.

“It’s all go,” admits Molly, who manages to balance lecturing with a side of television drama production, feature film production and raising two boys, Robert (10) and Gregory (8).

Indeed this is the second comedy production for RTÉ Storyland by the husband and wife team. They previously created a four part web series – the Outlaw Concy Ryan – for the 2011 RTÉ Storyland competition.

Storyland itself is an award winning commissioning project that aims to bring original stories to audiences and showcases creative talent across writing, acting, producing and directing.

The effort by RTÉ encourages aspiring television and filmmakers by showcasing their work on a multiplatform site which reaches 4.2 million streams per month and 1.7 million downloads.

This year’s finalists include a gripping crime drama Costigan; a chilling dystopian drama Dinosaurs, a dark coming of age drama Hot Knives, and another comedy Smitten – as well as Quinn & O’Grady.

The story was developed with the help of writer Janet Hayes, and together they spent two months drafting the story. When all was preened and perfected the team cut together a production package and sent it off to RTÉ.

Judges were tickled and shortlisted them for the 2016 Storyland Competition.  They were called to interview before panellists from RTÉ and Northern Ireland Screen.

Not ones to be coy, this Galway couple had them “falling over themselves laughing” by the end of it, successfully securing their place in the competition.

“We were thrilled,” Molly says, as she recounts being told the good news.

RTÉ provided €30,000 funding and as such are executive producers of the show. They were instructed to create a pilot with a view to develop a series.

This year’s Storyland format focuses on one twenty-minute production in contrast to previous 2011 format which required teams to create four six-minute productions.

Molly finds the current format more favourable. “It allows room for the character to breathe, time to generate the story, engage the audience and set up the world,” she explains.

One of the most notable aspects of this short comedy drama is the fact that it goes against the grain by boasting two female leads.

“I think we need that; foregrounding female protagonists,” Molly maintains.

The five Storyland finalist productions will feature on the RTE Player website for five months – and with 4.2 million views per month, that a potential of 21 million views.

CITY TRIBUNE

Cycleway trial may be heading for courts

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Galway healthcare workers show their support for the proposed Salthill cycleway.

Plans for a temporary cycle lane in Salthill may ultimately be decided by the High Court.

Residents directly impacted by the project are weighing-up the possibility of taking a Judicial Review if Galway City Council proceeds as planned.

They cite a recent case where the High Court halted Dublin City Council plans for a two-way cycle lane at Strand Road in Sandymount.

Concerned residents in Poolnarooma West and Kingston Road are contemplating launching a Judicial Review into Galway City Council’s decision making.

They argue that – just like in the Sandymount example – the proposed temporary cycle lane should not proceed without an Environmental Impact Assessment and an Appropriate Assessment under the Habitats Directive. One reason is because it is in an SAC, Special Area of Conservation.

Gráinne McMahon of Pollnarooma Residents Association, and John Glynn of Kingston, have written to city councillors arguing that the cycle lane cannot proceed without an EIA and AA screening.

They said it needs to go through a proper planning application process with full screening and statutory public consultation, and not be introduced as a ‘traffic calming measure’ under section 38 of the Road Traffic Act.

Ironically, in July of last year, officials at City Hall had been making the same argument in correspondence to councillors before they voted on the Notice of Motion in September.

In his letter to councillors last Summer, Uinsinn Finn Acting Director of Services for Transport at Galway City Council, said: “A two-way temporary cycleway cannot be accommodated along the Salthill Promenade as to proceed without going through a planning consent process and undertaking environmental screening would be in contravention of the statutory provisions of the Planning and Development Act and the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive”.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Council looks to develop ‘outdoor museum’ to focus on Galway’s waterways

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New focus...Galway’s waterways.

Consultants will be hired by Galway City Council to develop an “outdoor museum experience” to “tell the story of the waterways of Galway”.

Tender documents estimate the project will cost between €220,000 and €250,000.

It is part of the Fáilte Ireland funded Tourism Destination Towns initiative to help tourist towns and cities offer more attractions to visitors.

The consultants will be asked to devise an outdoor museum that “tells the story of” the city’s waterways.

“The variety of water in Galway City Centre – the rushing river, still and reflective canals, historic mills and locks, and tidal Galway Bay – create a diversity of sights, sounds, smells and textures which enrich Galway for visitors and locals alike,” the tender said.

This “new attraction”, it said, will be located along walking and cycling routes leading from the Spanish Arch area along the River towards Woodquay, along the Canal to NUIG and along the Claddagh to Salthill.

“The outdoor attraction should assist in managing visitor flow by drawing visitors from the crowded areas of Shop Street, Quay Street and the Spanish Arch and dispersing visitors to other attractions such as Galway’s Westend, NUIG, Salthill and Woodquay,” according to the plan.

The waterways will be used to “tell an interesting and compelling story on the development of Galway”.

“By adding a new experience along the route we have an opportunity to increase visitor satisfaction levels by bringing the past and present to life so that it resonates with visitors, and gets them thinking, talking and engaging,” the plan said.

It is envisaged that the contractor will tell the story of Galway, including its waterways, “their development, industrial heritage and how they help shape modern Galway”.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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CITY TRIBUNE

Garda concern blow for cycleway plans

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Salthill Prom...D-Day for cycleway plans. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy

The city’s emergency services have raised ‘significant concerns’ over both the proposals under consideration for the Salthill temporary cycleway.

The Galway City Tribune understands that An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance Service and Fire Service raised these concerns at a meeting with city officials on Monday – and were due to lodge an objection to the proposals ahead of today’s (Friday) public consultation deadline.

According to sources, the greatest disquiet is over increased emergency response times – all three services believe emergency vehicles will be delayed under both plans.

This comes as it was revealed that cycling campaigners have been out in force to back the plan – in excess of 1,000 submissions were received by the Council’s Transport Department in the first week of the consultation process.

Almost €1 million was allocated by Government this week to fund the temporary lane which is set to be in place from March to September – provided it gets the final go-ahead from the Council.

The two proposals include Option 1, which would make way for one-way vehicular traffic along the R336 from Grattan Road Junction to the Barna Road Junction; and Option 2 which would maintain two-way vehicular traffic along the R336 as far as the Pollnarooma West Junction, dropping to one inbound lane from there as far as the Barna Road.

A spokesperson for Gardaí in Salthill told this newspaper that while there was no opposition to the rollout of cycle lanes in general, both plans currently under consideration would limit their service.

For more, read this week’s Galway City 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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