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Galway actress acclaimed for role on both sides of the camera

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Irish Screen America has named Connemara filmmaker and actress, Linda Bhreathnach, the winner of this year’s prestigious ‘Rising Star Award’ for her film Adulting.

Adulting – which was written and co-directed by and also stars Linda – was selected to screen at the Irish Screen America Festival and the San Francisco Irish Film Festival, and received its premiere last summer at the Galway Film Fleadh.

Eibh Collins, Manager of Irish Screen America said: “After carefully watching everything we screen for the festival, we’ve selected six Irish talents we are proud to showcase in our programme – talents we want to support, thank and promote for their hard work in their field. Linda was selected for the clearly vital roles she had in making Adulting the fantastic short that it is.”

Linda – who is originally from Rosmuc – previously starred in Ros na Rún and Corp Agus Anam. Adulting was very well received following its premiere at the Galway Film Fleadh over the summer and has since been featured in The Irish Times, Film Ireland and RTÉ Arena.

The short film touches on the pressures of social media and other aspects of modern life on young women today, brilliantly merging the traditional Irish life with technology and various issues that arise during young adulthood. Writing the film was a great experience for Linda, who says seeing the dialogue she had written come to life was one of the best things about the production.

“I wanted us all to sound authentic and I hope that is what comes across. In many ways, it was really hard to motivate myself to co-create Adulting. When we began shooting, I had just come back from volunteering in a refugee camp in Calais the day before and I was just feeling pretty exhausted to be honest and so performing just seemed like such a strange thing to do.

“It was a lot of hard work, organising the logistics and performing and writing and co-directing it. It was stressful, but I felt ultimately that it was a story that I wanted to tell and I’m happy with what we created in the end.”

The hard work paid off, though, and Linda is thrilled to have been selected as one of six Irish talents to be showcased in the States.

“People often say they feel humbled when they win awards and I have to say that this is how I feel. I feel humbled and I feel honoured and I’m so amazed at how receptive people have been to my writing, and I suppose it sort of makes me feel better about this annoying compulsion I have to write and create stories in my head.

“Nothing is guaranteed in the arts, but I have this drive in me to create, so I feel really relieved that the first time I shared one of these stories properly, people don’t hate it. In fact, they really seem to like it. And that feels good.”

Adulting was shot in Galway City and Connemara and combines the old traditions such as working on the bog with new traditions such as Facebook and Tinder, while following the story of a quirky young woman just trying to find her place in the world.

“In many ways the film was charmed; it always felt like a miracle to me when we would get the crew and the actors onto set and we’d complete a scene. When we were going back on everything in the edit, it was hard to believe we’d actually shot it all; it’s sort of surreal to go from conceiving something, to writing it, to co-creating it to viewing it on the big screen at an amazing Festival Such as the Oscar qualifying Galway Film Fleadh and for it to be Screened as part of Irish Screen America,” said Linda.

“In many ways it doesn’t seem real to me. It’s remarkable really. I’m so grateful to everyone who believed in our little film from the start, and I’m grateful to every single person who contributed to making the script a reality.”

■ For information about the film, visit the Facebook page.

CITY TRIBUNE

Swimmer James clocks up one million metres in year

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From the Galway City Tribune – A keen swimmer in Galway has clocked up an astonishing one million metres in a year as part of his gruelling exercise schedule.

James Brennan reached the impressive milestone over 400 swims last years,  which were split between the sea in Salthill and across the road early-morning sessions at Leisureland pool.

He would count the lengths in his head or on his watch, regularly swimming up to 240 lengths over 90 minutes in the pool and up to 2km off the beach for a half-hour. On a regular week he would swim the equivalent of 20km.

When James realised he was at 800,000 metres last November, he decided to go all-out to pass the one-million mark by the end of 2022.

So he concentrated on swimming for at least ten hours a week leading up to Christmas and celebrated passing his goal before breaking up for the festivities.

“I’ve always done a lot of swimming. I’ve competed for my local swimming club in Claremorris, County Mayo, and was involved in the Corrib Polo Water Club races. I won the Heskin League, which is a combination of the 14 different open water races in Salthill. I also won the league in Claremorris,” he reveals.

The software engineer has been living in Galway for  13 years and has been a member of Leisureland for four years.

“It’s a really great pool, it has nice facilities, the staff are all very nice,” he reflects.

Facilities Manager of the Council-owned premises, Ian Brennan, said the phenomenal distance was the equivalent of swimming from Galway to Amsterdam.

He heard about James’s achievement from Green Party Councillor and Leisureland board member Niall Murphy, who happened to be swimming in the lane beside James when the Mayo man reached the goal.

“I felt that this is a hugely worthy event and fills me with amazement that we have a superhero in our midst. The future is bright.”

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CITY TRIBUNE

Ó Tuathail not interested in Galway City Council co-option

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From the Galway City Tribune – A two-time general election candidate for the Social Democrats in Galway West has ruled out filling the party’s vacant seat on Galway City Council.

Niall Ó Tuathail, a health reform advisor, has confirmed to the Galway City Tribune that he will not be co-opted to the City Council seat vacated by the shock resignation of Councillor Owen Hanley in January.

“I’m not going to be put forward for co-option,” said Mr Ó Tuathail.

The father-of-two has lived abroad for a time since taking a step back from electoral politics in the wake of his 2020 General Election defeat.

He confirmed this week he has not reconsidered his decision to take a long break from frontline politics.

“I’m still a Soc Dem member and we’re in a process looking for someone strong to represent the values of the people who voted for us in 2019,” Mr Ó Tuathail said.

He polled 3,653 first preference votes in 2020 in Galway West and was only eliminated after the 12th count in the five-seat constituency.

That was an increase on the 3,455 number ones he received in his first Dáil election in 2016, when he also bowed out on the 12th count.

Mr Ó Tuathail was synonymous with the Social Democrats’ brand in Galway, and was heavily involved with the local referenda campaigns for marriage equality and to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

It surprised many political observers when he opted not to fight a local election for the party in 2019.

That was a breakthrough election for the Soc Dems, when Owen Hanley became the party’s first ever Galway City councillor by winning a seat in Galway City East. Sharon Nolan narrowly missed out on a seat in City Central during the same election.

Mr Hanley cited allegations made against him when he announced in January that he was resigning his position.

He said that the matters were “very serious” and would take a considerable amount of time for the authorities to investigate.

The resignation of Mr Hanley left a vacancy on the City Council.

It is the prerogative of the Social Democrats to nominate a person who will be co-opted to replace him as a councillor at City Hall.

A spokesperson for the party told the Tribune last week that it has not yet chosen a successor.

“We don’t have any update in relation to the co-option. I will let you know when we have a candidate,” the spokesperson said.

One problem faced by the party is that a number of possible replacements for Mr Hanley have left the Soc Dems over policy and other issues.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Cigarettes, drugs and cash seized in Galway

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Officers from the Divisional Drugs Unit seized more than €73,000 worth of cigarettes, cash and drugs after a car and residence were searched in Galway today.
As part of Operation Tara – which is targeting the sale and supply of drugs and related criminal activity in the Galway area – Gardaí  searched a car in the Knocknacarra area. Cash and cannabis were seized.

A follow up search was carried out at a residence in Salthill, where cigarettes worth €70,000, along with €3,100 in cash and a small quantity of suspected amphetamine were recovered.

No arrests were made, but Gardaí say they are following a definite line of inquiry.

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