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Fregoli tackle issue of memory in revived Tape



Peter Shine, who stars in Fregoli Theatre's production of Tape.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Tape, a hard-hitting and blackly comic play that explores the nature of friendship, memory and truth, will be staged at the city’s Nuns Island Theatre from Tuesday August 30 to Thursday September 1.

In Stephen Belber’s three-hander, three school friends have been re-united by circumstance in a motel room, where they revisit their past and compare memories of events that have left a lasting legacy on their lives.

Tape is being presented by Fregoli Theatre, one of Galway most innovative and energetic theatre companies, which was founded in 2007.

Directed by Rob McFeely, the play stars Jarlath Tivnan, Peter Shine, and Eilish McCarthy, and it sees Fregoli and Rob revisit a drama from the company’s early days.

“I’d directed it before so it comes naturally to do it again,” says Rob of Tape, which was written in 1999 and subsequently made into a film.

Tape has been described as a “terrific” piece by The New Yorker, while Fregoli received a five-star review when the group brought it to the Edinburgh Festival in 2008, following a short run in the studio of Galway’s Town Hall Theatre.

Since then, Fregoli have become more experimental in the work they do, introducing drama “with humour, but packing a punch, crazy character-driven pieces, with music”, according to Rob.

In more recent plays, they have consciously worked to remove ‘the fourth wall’– the imaginary wall that traditionally exists between cast and audience.

However, while their style has evolved over the years, Tape is a play that has stayed with them and this seemed like a good time to revive it, Rob explains.

Fregoli stage two plays a year, one big one such as last year’s well-received Pleasure Ground, and another smaller one.

“For the bigger one, we explore what’s meaningful for us to write about and to create,” Rob explains. “With the second play, we don’t want to put our creative energy into writing it, so we’ll do something with a script that’s already polished and our very talented actors will tackle that.”

And he feels Tape, a fast-moving 50-minute piece, fits the bill.

“It’s very moving and very funny and has a great reveal in it. There’s a lot of energy in it, as in character-driven energy rather than people jumping around the place. It’s a play about how people’s perception of something changes over time. Three different people are recalling the same event and their memories are different, so it raises the question ‘what is truth?’.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Confusion reigns – but publicans continue serving pints outdoors



Galway City publicans continued this week to serve alcohol in newly created on-street outdoor dining sections – despite warnings from Gardaí that it was against licensing laws.

The local branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) said it is hoping Government will, if necessary, introduce legislation that facilitates pubs serving alcohol in public spaces reclaimed for outdoor hospitality.

On Friday last, our sister newspaper, Galway City Tribune revealed that Gardaí had visited a number of city pubs warning they were not legally permitted to serve alcohol outdoors in temporary on-street seating areas created by Galway City Council.

Publicans were told that if they continued to flout the rules, files would be sent to the DPP.

When the crux subsequently hit the national headlines, Justice Minister Heather Humphreys urged Gardaí to ‘use their discretion’.

“The overwhelming majority of licensed premises are operating safely, and we in Government are determined to continue to support them. If local issues arise, I would urge local authorities, Gardaí and businesses to engage.

“However, I will also examine whether further measures are required from Government. Licensing law is a complex area but I have spoken to the Attorney General this morning and we will take further action if necessary,” Minister Humphreys said.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from

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Connacht Tribune

Apple plans second bite at Athenry data centre



An artist's impression of the proposed Apple Data Centre.

Apple intends to have another bite at plans to build a data centre in Athenry.  Apple Operations Europe has applied to Galway County Council for more time to construct a controversial data centre on a greenfield site at Derrydonnell.

The company said it will identify “interested parties to develop the project” between now and 2026 to meet global growth in demand for data storage facilities.

It will spark hope in the County Galway town of a revival of the €850 million project that was dogged for years by planning delays and court appeals and was subsequently shelved. It may also attract fresh objections.

The world’s largest technology company was granted planning permission to build a €850 million data centre near Athenry in 2015.

An appeal to An Bórd Pleanála by a handful of local residents was not successful, and the planning appeals board confirmed the local authority’s decision in 2016.

But the company ultimately aborted its plans for County Galway in 2018 after three objectors sought a review of the decision through the courts.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from

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Connacht Tribune

Mum’s dream holiday turns to nightmare after cancer diagnosis



Julia McAndrew, in hospital in Mexico.

A mother who went to Mexico on a dream holiday to spend Christmas with family is too weak to return home after being diagnosed with advanced cancer.

From the minute Julia McAndrew landed in the South American country, her health took a major downward spiral.

Her son and daughter were shocked when she asked for a wheelchair to make it through the airport.

She and daughter Eliska had flown out to see her son Patrick, who had relocated to Mexico to run an online learning business.

They initially thought she had fallen ill due to the rigours of a 22-hour, multi-stop flight.

But when her stomach problems did not improve and she began to lose a lot of weight and suffered from very low energy, they sought medical help.

This had to be done privately and without the financial help of an insurance company, Patrick reveals.

She was initially diagnosed with anaemia and kidney failure and underwent various treatments, including blood transfusions that appeared to be working.

But three weeks ago, medics discovered that what she had was Stage 4 breast cancer. Julia had cancer a decade ago but was given the all-clear after receiving treatment and a major change in lifestyle.

“It’s returned with a vengeance this time around. It’s spread to her pelvis, ribs and lungs,” reflects Patrick.

The cost of the treatment is $40,000 (€33,000) a month. Her family are hoping to build up her strength enough to endure the long flight home to Oranmore.

They have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise €280,000 to pay for her treatment and in less than a week a phenomenal €36,000 has been donated.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. Or you can download the digital edition from

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