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Family story shines a light on modest hero of Ireland’s struggle for freedom

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Frank Shouldice Jnr will be in Charlie Byrne's Bookshop in Galway City next Thursday, March 10, to discuss Grandpa the Sniper, his book about uncovering the role played by his grandfather, also Frank Shouldice, in the Easter Rising and War of Independence.

In his work as a producer and director with RTÉ’s Investigations Unit and Prime Time, Frank Shouldice is well used to researching stories.

But when he began his exploring his grandfather’s part in the 1916 Rising and War of Independence, this investigative reporter had no idea of what to expect.

As it happened, he found much more than he could have bargained for and the outcome is a fascinating new book, Grandpa the Sniper: The Remarkable Story of a 1916 Volunteer.

Frank’s grandfather, also Frank, and grand-uncle Jack were what the journalist and playwright describes as ‘reluctant heroes’ during that era and played a central role in Ireland’s fight for freedom.

But they rarely talked about it, and it wasn’t until Frank Jnr’s extensive research, trawling through archives in Ireland and the UK, that he realised just how involved they had been.  Along the way he also discovered the role played by their sister, Ena, and how her life was changed unbeknownst to her, as a result of the Rebellion and of being spied upon by police and British agents.

“It started off as a labour of love and it grew into something that involved much more than I’d allowed for,” the author says of the project.

Frank Shouldice and his brother Jack – older by 10 years – were born in Ballaghaderreen when that town was still in Mayo, the sons of an RIC officer who was originally from Co Clare and who had joined the force in 1848.

The brothers moved to Dublin where they were hugely involved in the nascent GAA – Jack Shouldice became the first Mayoman ever to win an All-Ireland, albeit with Dublin. They were also involved in the Irish Volunteer movement which had decided that a rebellion against England was the only way to achieve independence. Later they were joined in Dublin by their younger sister Ena, who worked in the GPO, and the three siblings were very close.

Frank Jnr didn’t have a plan when he began researching his grandfather’s role in Ireland’s battle for independence – initially he thought it might make a documentary, “but as the story evolved, it started growing in ways I didn’t expect”, he says of the decision to publish it in book form.

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

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Legendary Andy Irvine in concert

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Andy Irvine

Legendary singer/songwriter Andy Irvine will play the Gig Room in the Kinvara Community Centre next Saturday, May 28, at 8pm.

With an impressive repertoire of Irish songs and Balkan dance tunes, he is renowned for his unique fusion of Irish and World music.

Andy’s musical career took off when he joined Sweeney’s Men in 1965, touring extensively with them before leaving in 1968 to pursue his own musical journey. That took him to Bulgaria, Romania and Yugoslavia, as he studied the music and traditions of these places.

During this time, he began playing the bouzouki professionally, as it allowed him to develop his own style while deepening his knowledge of Balkan music.

Back in Ireland Andy founded the now-legendary Planxty with Christy Moore, Donal Lunny and Liam O’ Flynn. When the group took a break in 1967, he recorded an album with Paul Brady, simply entitled Andy Irvine & Paul Brady, which became a classic.

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

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World premiere to feature in free concert

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Dave Flynn

The world premiere of E-Bow, a work for string quartet and electric guitar by  composer Dave Flynn, will take place this Sunday, May 22, at 3pm at the O’Donoghue Theatre, NUIG. Admission is free and all are welcome.

E-Bow will be performed by Galway’s quartet in residence, ConTempo, and Dave Flynn himself. A work in three movements, it plays with the tradition of the guitar quintet, which dates back to the late 18th century, but brings it in new directions by using an electric guitar with the addition of an e-bow.

This is a hand-held electronic bow invented by Greg Heet in 1969 and patented in 1978, after which it became an essential tool for rock guitarists. Performers including Blondie, U2, Radiohead, Big Country, Genesis, Pink Floyd and R.E.M. have used them, but e-bows are less common in classical music because they don’t work on nylon-string classical guitars.

The work was co-commissioned by long-term commissioning partners Galway Music Residency (GMR) and Galway City Council and is being presented  as part of Arts in Action, by  GMR, in association with Dublin’s Contemporary Music Centre.

Sunday’s show will also include a performance of Philip Glass’ Mishima, arranged for string quartet and electric guitar, with special permission from the composer. Philip Glass composed this piece for the film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, about Japanese author Yukio Mishima who died in November 1970 after performing Seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment).

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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Hidden Horses in Kinvara’s KAVA gallery

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Hidden Horses in Kinvara’s KAVA gallery

Hidden Horses, an exhibition of work by Clare-based artist Kate Browne will open at Kinvara Area Art Gallery, KAVA, this Friday, May 20, and will run daily until Sunday, May 29, from 11am – 4pm.

It’s an exhibition that grew from the loss she felt over the past decade as her children left home and began to forge their own paths.

Kate, who’d had a passion for horses in her younger years, rediscovered that passion.

“Now my muses are the mountain ponies of neighbours, the rescued equines and forgotten horses in our countryside and cities.  Hidden Horses asks you to see that the lives of all sentient creatures, is our moral obligation and to speak up when in doubt.”

All are welcome to view the work at the KAVA gallery in Kinvara’s  former courthouse.

 

 

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