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Galway comedy festival laughing all the way to the bank

Ciaran Tierney



 Up to 40 of the 55 shows which are taking place as part of the Bulmers Galway Comedy Festival look set to sell out as the eight year old festival – which begins this evening – continues to punch above its weight on the European comedy circuit.

 Shows by Kevin Bridges at the Radisson SAS Hotel, David O’Doherty at the Town Hall Theatre, and the Faulty Towers Dining Experience at the Salthill Hotel have already sold out as the festival looks set for record takings at the box-office.

The seven night bash features the strongest line-up yet of international and Irish comedians for a festival which started with much more humble beginnings – ten shows at three venues – in 2005.

“People on the international comedy circuit really took notice of what we did when we put on 50 shows last year,” said Artistic Director Kevin Healy yesterday.

“We decided to put on more big acts and people have really responded positively to having so many big names on the bill. It looks as though we are going to sell out between 30 and 40 of the 55 shows, which is phenomenal for a city of Galway’s size.”

The packed programme of events includes some big names on the international circuit such as Lee Mack, Bridges, Stewart Lee, and Phill Jupitus, who loves Galway thanks to his regular appearances at the old GPO night club on Eglinton Street back in the 1980s.

Both of Kevin Bridges’ shows sold out within an hour of going on sale, proving there is a huge appetite for big name acts in Galway. Russell Howard is playing three shows, of which tonight’s bash at the G Hotel has already sold out – but there are still a limited number available for Seapoint tomorrow night (Wednesday) and the Town Hall Theatre on Thursday.

Mr Healy is thrilled to have secured the likes of Eddie Pepitone, Abandoman, and Iranian native Omid Djalili for this year’s programme.

Irish acts on the bill over the next seven nights include Sean Lock, David O’Doherty, Jason Byrne, Neil Delamere, Andrew Maxwell, Maeve Higgins, Colin Murphy, Barry Murphy, Karl Spain, The Nualas and the Stars of Father Ted.

“We reckon 50% of the people who come to our shows come from out of town, so the festival does provide a boost to Galway over the October Bank Holiday,” said Mr Healy.

Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel



Council to consider new pedestrian ‘plaza’ for Galway City

Stephen Corrigan



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Councillors will be asked next month to consider a sweeping overhaul of traffic flow in the city centre as the local authority seeks to create a more pedestrian-friendly core in the wake of Covid-19.

Currently under proposal in City Hall are major alterations to traffic flow which will allow for restricted car access to Middle Street – creating additional outdoor seating space for businesses in the area struggling to cope amid social distancing requirements.

Senior Engineer at City Hall, Uinsinn Finn, said they are currently considering three different proposals to alter traffic flow on Merchants Road, Augustine Street and Flood Street to reduce the need for car access to Middle Street, while still maintaining access for residents.

“We already pedestrianised Cross Street and we will be maintaining that, and there will be a proposal for Middle Street and Augustine Street.

“Businesses in the area are very much in favour of pedestrianisation – one business has objections but the others are supportive. Another consideration is that there are residents there with parking spaces and we are trying to encourage people to live in the city centre,” said Mr Finn.

The Latin Quarter business group submitted proposals for the temporary pedestrianisation of Middle Street and Abbeygate Street Lower but Mr Finn said the proposals the Council were considering were more in the line of creating adequate space for pedestrians while still allowing residents vehicular access.

This would involve creating a circuit for car traffic moving through Merchants Road around onto Augustine Street and exiting at Flood Street.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Residents want laneway closed following pipe bomb scare

Francis Farragher



From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Residents in part of Knocknacarra are calling for the closure of a laneway and for more Community Gardaí to be put on the beat following the discovery of a ‘viable’ pipe-bomb type device in the area last weekend.

Up to 13 homes in the Cimín Mór and Manor Court estates had to be evacuated on Friday evening last when the incendiary device was discovered by Gardaí concealed in an unlit laneway, leading to the emergency services being notified.

An Army EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) unit was called to the scene and removed the device – according to local residents and councillors, the Gardaí have confirmed that the device was viable.

Gardaí have declined to comment on the detail of the case but have confirmed that the matter is being ‘actively and vigorously investigated’.

Chairman of the Cimín Mór Residents’ Association, Pat McCarthy, told the Galway City Tribune that the discovery of the viable device on the narrow laneway that links their estate to Manor Court was extremely frightening for all concerned.

“For the best part of the past 20 years, we have been seeking action to be taken on this laneway which has been used for dumping and unsociable behaviour on a repeated basis.

“But what happened last Friday evening was really the last straw for us. This could have resulted in serious injury to innocent people and what is also of concern to us is how close this was to the two schools in the area,” said Mr McCarthy.

He said that over the coming days, the residents’ association would be petitioning all residents in the three estates concerned – the other two being Manor Court and Garraí Dhónaill – for action to be taken on the laneway.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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Galway designer’s necklace is fit for a princess!

Denise McNamara



Kate Middleton wearing the necklace designed by Aisling O'Brien

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A Galway jewellery designer is the latest to experience the ‘Kate effect’ after fans tracked down the woman who created a necklace for the Duchess of Cambridge which she has worn several times since it was gifted to her during her trip to the city last March.

Aisling O’Brien’s website crashed on Wednesday night when orders poured in for the piece from around the world. The necklace costs €109 with initials, while the earrings retail for €49.

“I’d never sold more than two things outside of Ireland before. I only had three of Kate’s necklaces in stock – and now I have orders for at least 50. I’ll have to start recruiting some elves,” laughs Aisling, who only set up her website during lockdown.

The 14-carat gold necklace and earrings set was designed by Aisling specially for Kate after examining her style – “understated, elegant, simplicity” is how the Tuam native describes it.

She was contacted about the commission by physiotherapist Thérèse Tully, who wanted to give the future queen a gift as she was using her room to change at Árus Bóthar na Trá beside Pearse Stadium when the royal couple were meeting with GAA teams.

(Photo: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton wearing the necklace)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the full details, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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