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Fleadh fingers crossed for Keira

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Keira Knightley Begin Again

All eyes will be on Galway and whether it has the X-Factor to draw Hollywood A-lister Keira Knightley to the red carpet for the Irish premiere of her new film.

The 26th Galway Film Fleadh opens with the new film from ‘Once’ writer and director John Carney. Begin Again set in Manhatten boasts an impressive cast led by the star of Pirates of the Caribbean and Atonement alongside Mark Ruffalo and musician Adam Levine.

The Fleadh gave Once its world premiere back in 2006. In the audience was a key programmer from the Sundance Festival which saw the Irish musical opus get to the world stage. Musicians Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová starred and wrote the soundtrack for the movie, later winning the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song for the title track, “Falling Slowly”.

The backroom team of the Galway Film Fleadh are working flat out to secure the appearance of Knightley at the Town Hall Theatre on July 8, who is currently doing the world circuit of publicity for the film.

“It’s impossible to say at this point. John Carney is the only one totally confirmed. We’re crossing our fingers,” revealed publicity officer William Fitzgerald.

“Mark Ruffalo would also be a big draw after his role in the Avengers. We are hoping a number of stars will be here but we’re waiting to lock in travel details before we announce anything.”

Begin Again is an American musical romantic comedy-drama featuring Gretta (Knightley) and her long-time boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) who are college sweethearts and songwriting partners who decamp for New York when he lands a deal with a major label.

But the trappings of his new-found fame soon tempt Dave to stray, leaving a distraught Gretta on her own.

She then hooks up with Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a disgraced record-label exec, who stumbles upon her performing on an East Village stage and is immediately captivated by her raw talent. From this chance encounter emerges a mutually transformative collaboration. John Carney and Glen Hansard also contributed as songwriters for the film’s music.

For more on this story see the Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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