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Galway Comedy Carnival has the last laugh

Judy Murphy

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Lifestyle - Judy Murphy hears how Galway comedy festival has overcome obstacles to be major event in the calendar

Lifestyle – Judy Murphy hears how Galway comedy festival has overcome obstacles to be major event in the calendar

The Vodafone Galway Comedy Carnival created plenty of laughs in the City last year, but behind the scenes, things weren’t always so funny. Firstly, the headline act, John Bishop, cancelled despite the fact that the Carnival had extended the event to 12 days to facilitate his busy schedule.

Then, the main venue, the Speigeltent, located by the Claddagh, had to be tied down to prevent it from blowing away as the tail-end of Hurricane Gonzalo hit Ireland’s West coast on its way from Bermuda. The roof nearly blew off and the toilets blew over, while a fence went into the sea.

Despite those logistical difficulties, the event was a major success.

This year, for the 10th Comedy Carnival, which will host some 65 acts between October 20-26, co-organisers Kevin Healy and Gerry Mallon are hoping for no such dramatics. And it should be a more stress-free affair, partly because Galway City Council has agreed to allow the Speigeltent to be located in Eyre Square. That brings the comedy festival into the heart of the city and away from the winds of the Bay.

The beautiful wood and canvas Speigeltent, decorated with mirrors and velvet, and dating from the 1930s will be situated between the Browne Doorway and Eyre Square’s Fountain, where it will host some of comedy’s top names, Irish and international.

“It’s great to see the city opening up public spaces, and the tent will be very picturesque and central,” says Kevin.

The Carnival, sponsored by Vodafone, will host new names, too, alongside more familiar comedians such as Dylan Moran, Nina Conti, Rich Hall and Stewart Lee.

An eye-catching offering is The Simpsons Backstage Tour with The Simpsons long-time writer and producer Mike Reiss, which includes secrets, rarely seen footage and gossip, on some of the 300 celebrities who appeared over the years. This will be an afternoon show in the Town Hall Theatre followed by a Q & A session. And in the way that the Simpsons is a family show, this will be a family event, says Kevin.

US comedian Eddie Brill, who booked the comedy on The Letterman Show, and was the warm-up act there for 20 years, will also be in town, while an upcoming act at this year’s Carnival is a well-known Galway figure.

He is Macnas co-founder and Manager of Galway Arts Centre, Páraic Breathnach who will be performing Stand-up Seanchaí in the Ruby Room of the King’s Head.

Páraic has form on the comedy front, according to Kevin Healy, explaining that the Connemara man participated at Galway’s first Irish language comedy gig in the Róisín Dubh a few months ago and has taken part in events since, including supporting the Rubberbandits, in English, for their May show at the Town Hall Theatre.

“He has plenty of stage presence and has great stories and jokes about growing up miserable in Connemara,” says Kevin with a grin.

A better-known name in Irish comedy who will be gracing the Carnival is Al Porter. Porter, who sold out the Róisín Dubh during the Arts Festival, and who recently signed to top UK agency Off the Kerb which represents comics including Michael McIntyre, Phill Jupitus, Jack Dee and Rich Hall, one of the Carnival’s headline acts.

The Carnival, which is being launched this week, will run from Tuesday, October 20, until Monday, October 26, taking in the October Bank Holiday weekend.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Accidental dealer is still top of his game

Mike Glynn

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Martin Cullinane at Mount Brown Farm with a horse which is out of a half sister of Cheltenham winner Go Native which was Galway owned. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Lifestyle – Martin Cullinane is a man with an astute eye for equine talent. Horses he has sourced and sold over the years include two Aintree Grand National winners, a double Welsh National winner, a Galway Plate winner and a Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite. He caught the dealing bug in the 1980s and hasn’t looked back since, as he tells MICHAEL GLYNN.

Galway’s pre-eminent bloodstock dealer Martin Cullinane doesn’t just sell horses — he is a purveyor of dreams. It’s something he has been doing for the best part of half a century and in that time, he has delivered on the wildest expectation of clients . . . putting many on a path to the very summit of the horseracing world.

Horses sourced, supplied and sold by him over the decades have won the greatest prizes in the National Hunt (NH) game — and quite a few on the flat, too.

The charming stone stables at his centuries-old Mount Brown farm near Athenry have down the years housed two Aintree Grand National winners, a double Welsh National winner, a Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite, as well as a classic winner on the flat among a plethora of other success stories.

Yet, Martin Cullinane’s quest for new equine stars remains undimmed — buying and selling scores of horses every year — and the lush 114 acres of Mount Brown are populated by every category of thoroughbred from foals and yearlings to broodmares and stores (unbroken NH horses bought as foals or yearlings and sold on as three year-olds).

“I suppose you could say horses have been my life and we’ve been lucky with them,” says Martin with modest understatement.

In fact, the Cullinane modus operandi owes very little to luck. Rather, it’s his eye and ingrained instinct for a special talent whether in the sales ring or in a paddock, that sets him apart as a spotter of future racecourse heroes.

“The pedigree is important, but it’s what I see in front of me that decides. The horse has to be sharp-looking and be a good walker and has to have the temperament for the job, not a buzzy individual.”

With around 10,000 thoroughbred foals born in Ireland every year — the third highest in the world — and a goodly proportion of these going through the sales ring at either Tattersalls or Goffs as foals and yearlings, it takes a rare ability to pinpoint the ones with the potential to be better than the majority; to do so as consistently as Martin has done is an innate gift, particularly without paying the astronomical sums that grab the headlines every year.

Yet, his involvement as a bloodstock dealer started more by accident than design, he says. The elegant Mount Brown farmhouse, a couple of miles on the Tuam side of Athenry, is over 300 years old and has been owned by his family for a third of that time, dating back to his grandfather, also Martin, and subsequently in the hands of his parents, John Joe and Nora.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Stephen Corrigan

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Crowds flock to the beach in Salthill on a summer's day in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

1920

Startling experience

Miss Eileen Baker, Baker’s Hotel, Eyre-st., Galway, had a startling experience on Saturday morning, her hair being cut by masked men who entered the hotel directly as she had opened the door to admit the postman.

Miss Baker is 22 years of age, and her father, who lives in the hotel, served as a captain during the war. She recently saved a little boy named Hennessy from drowning in the canal, and gave evidence at the military inquiry touching the death of Constable Krumm, who had stayed at the hotel.

She was much shaken when interviewed on Saturday morning. “I came down about half-past seven this morning,” she said. “The first thing I did was to open the door to admit the postman. He had just got to the opposite side of the street on the footpath and I had turned by back when the doors were flung open. I heard the bang as I turned around. Six tall men came in. they wore black cloths all over their heads and faces. One man walked up to me with a revolver. I thought at first they wanted to go up the stars to the police who were staying with us. Instead, another man pulled me into the middle of the hail, and the other held the revolver to me, whilst the man behind cut my plait.

“I had my hair in plaits at the time near the head. I was too terrified to cry out, and there was no one about but myself. They cut the plait with a single clip. The whole thing came on me suddenly, and was over in five minutes. They said very little, but they searched all the police coats and capes before they walked out. They said before they left that they would be back again. The man with the revolver had a razor, as if they intended to shave my head. I stooped down to pick up my hair after they had left, and was in a state of collapse in the middle of the hall when my little sister, who was going to school, came down and found me.”

Shots in Roundstone

On the eves of the 19th and 20th inst. Considerable excitement was caused in Roundstone by the conduct of two policemen who fired shots into houses in the village, but fortunately nobody was injured.

No disrespect was ever shown to the police in the village. In justice to the officer in charge of the marines at Roundstone, it must be admitted that he showed his disapproval of the police conduct in a practical manner by having them arrested, and reporting them to their superior officers.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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Connacht Tribune

De-bunking all those gut health myths for a healthier body

Denise McNamara

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Improving your gut health could change your life.

Health, Beauty and Lifestyle with Denise McNamara

This week is Love Your Gut Week, which is an apt time to examine some of the myths that exist out there about one of the most important parts of the body. Separating fact from fiction is not easy when it comes to gut health. Dietician Dr Megan Rossi advises us that looking after gut health doesn’t have to be complicated, but it can be difficult when you aren’t sure what advice to follow.

The biggest myth about the gut is that you need to have a restrictive diet to look after it. But all of the misinformation out there about cutting out foods for gut health can be very damaging. Generally speaking, you do not need to cut out gluten, dairy or coffee, go vegan, for good gut health.

“There are a subset of people who may have genuine intolerances to different components of foods, such as lactose. However, it’s worth checking your tolerance level, as hard cheese – which is very low in lactose – is generally well-tolerated.

“Looking after your gut is all about inclusivity, moderation and getting plenty of plant diversity. It’s far more about what you include than what you exclude.”

Another myth which is being constantly repeated is that bloating is all down to what we eat.

“The truth is there is no single cause and there are many different triggers. Outside of conditions such as coeliac disease – an autoimmune condition where your body reacts to gluten – and food intolerances, I find it’s rarely the case that specific foods alone cause bloating. Stress, wearing tight clothes all day and lack of movement are common contributors – as well as how we eat,” insists Dr Rossi.

“Before cutting out foods that are perfectly good for you because an online article said lentils or apples were the ‘biggest culprits’, there are a bunch of simple things you can do to ease the bloat. These include checking for common food intolerances, splitting your food intake into smaller meals, chewing well and avoiding tight clothes. If you are experiencing persistent bloating, it is worth mentioning to your GP who can test you for other conditions, such as coeliac disease.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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