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Galway film projects boosted by WRAP fund cash

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Two movies planned for Galway are among the recipients of a cash injection – thanks to a pioneering scheme operated across the West.

The €2m Western Region Audiovisual Producer’s Fund — or WRAP Fund — is a unique initiative of the Western Development Commission and the Galway Film Centre and was set up to stimulate the industry in the region.

The newly-announced projects are Death of a Ladies Man’, by Cohen Productions DAC/Port Pictures, which will start shooting across Galway in late May – and Ooops! Back in the Deep End, an animated feature by Moetion Films which is in production in Galway City.

Two other projects are based in Sligo – Screamers, a documentary by Dot Television and Marcie Films, and the Winter Lake, by Winter Lake Productions/Tailored Films.

Death of a Ladies Man stars Gabriel Byrne and Brian Gleeson, and tells the story of Samuel O’Shea, a hard-drinking womanizer has seen better days. His second marriage is ending, and his first wife and two grown children have turned against him. More problematic, he has begun seeing things: Frankenstein sidles to the bar; strangers sing and dance to Leonard Cohen tunes; and his much-missed father Ben O’Shea, who died when Samuel was just a boy, pops up for chats.

Samuel retreats to his family shack in remote Ireland, where he begins work on that great novel he always meant to write, and meets and falls in love with a surprising local woman. All this leads Samuel to an utterly unforeseeable, but surprisingly happy ending.

Oops? Back in the Deep End is an animated movie, featuring the voices of Dermot Magennis, Tara Flynn and Alan Stanford.

Life in an Ark with 50,000 others has many dangers – icebergs, unwelcome visitors, storms, woodworm and a very fragile truce between carnivores and herbivores.

All hopes are pinned on a dove dispatched into the wild in search of land.

These recipients are in addition to the previously-announced Calm with Horses, which was shot in Clare and across Galway city and county and is currently in post-production.

Calm with Horses stars Cosmo Jarvis, Barry Keoghan, Niamh Algar and Simone Kirby and is set in darkest rural Ireland, where ex-boxer Douglas ‘Arm’ Armstrong has become the feared enforcer for the drug-dealing Devers family, whilst also trying to be a good father to his autistic five-year-old son, Jack.

Torn between these two families, Arm’s loyalties are truly tested when he is asked to kill for the first time.

In addition to its production investment, WRAP is announcing the recipients of the first round of development investment to assist local producers to develop projects that can undertake production within the region.

This was as a result of a call out with a deadline of October 2018. Companies based in Clare, Donegal, Galway and Mayo have received support.

These include ‘Trace’, a feature film developed by Galway production company Magamedia and written by Ray Lawlor; and ‘St John’, a television series developed by Galway production company Danú Media and Dearg Films and written by Brian Reddin.

WDC CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin said that developing the audio visual sector as part of the Creative Economy is a key goal of their recently published five-year strategy.

“As the lead agency for the Creative Economy under the Government’s West Regional Enterprise Plan, we already see the benefits a dedicated fund such as the WRAP fund can bring to a region: high-calibre projects adding €4m extra spend to the local economy together with invaluable training and experience for local talent interested in working in this industry,” he said.

Galway Film Centre Manager Alan Duggan described the WRAP Fund as a game-changing initiative for the region in terms of the opportunities it provides to talent across film, TV, animation and games.

“It also represents a unique collaboration between the eight local authorities, Galway Film Centre and the WDC – each with the foresight to support the audiovisual sector at a time of unprecedented opportunity for the region,” he added.

Connacht Tribune

Homemade Wimbledon is a different bale game!

Francis Farragher

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James Craughwell about to serve over the tape – and the sheep gates – to brother Christopher with mum, Anne, in the background. The family dog Prince is showing a keen interest in taking up the role of ‘ball boy’. The brollies on the deck chairs were actually purchased at the Wimbledon tournament that the Craughwells attended in 2017.

WIMBLEDON mightn’t be happening for the tennis professionals this year due to COVID-19 – but one North Galway family are planning their own version of the tournament.

The younger members of the Craughwell family in Menlough village have had a tradition over the years of lining out their own court on the silage slab that’s available for recreation purposes during the early weeks of the Summer.

The three sons of Jarlath and Anne Craughwell – Christopher, Shane and James – rarely missed the opportunity through the years to ‘get the silage slab ready’ for their own Wimbledon tournament.

“The dimensions of the silage slab are almost exactly the same as a tennis court [78 feet X 36 feet} so back the years we always organised our own games. When the silage was made, then that was always it for another year,” Christopher Craughwell told the Connacht Tribune.

As the lads grew older the summer tennis court hadn’t been used for a few years but in 2020 with the introduction of the coronavirus restrictions, it seemed like a perfect time to bring it back.

“This year we took it a stage further. We used the sheep gates for the net with a line of white electric fence tape along the top so this is probably the best job we’ve ever made of it.

“The silage won’t be made for at least another month so were planning to stage our own family tournament over the coming weeks. With the weather so good, it’s been a great way to pass the time,” said Christopher.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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Connacht Tribune

City Council houses Travellers in county

Declan Tierney

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Cllr Donagh Killilea.

Galway City Council will spend close to half a million euro to house a Traveller family – in a property well outside its own local authority boundary.

Instead the family of four, who previously lived on the Carrabrowne halting site, will be accommodated in the house at Kiltulla near Carnmore, which is deep in Galway County Council’s local government area.

The City Council is understood to have paid €388,000 for the property which will require another €50,000 to refurbish – leaving little change out of half a million euro.

Angry residents, who were unaware of the plan, have now organised a petition to City Council CEO Brendan McGrath to voice their objection to the move.

But Cllr Donagh Killilea believes that there is a bigger issue at stake – with Galway City Council acquiring property wherever they like.

And Senator Ollie Crowe said that he believed the City Council – of which he was a member up to his Seanad election – should be acquiring property within their own area and that this acquisition was ‘unprecedented’.

He said that it was his view that there would be nothing bought outside the city boundary and that the money spent on this property would refurbish a lot of the City Council’s housing stock that had fallen into a state of dilapidation.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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Connacht Tribune

Long drives still out of bounds for golfers

Declan Tierney

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Teeing off from the 12th tee at Galway Bay Golf Resort in Oranmore this week on the re-opening of golf courses around the country. There is nothing to suggest that any golfers travelled more than 5km to play in Oranmore. Photo: Keith Kelly.

This week’s relaxation of travel restrictions saw an exodus to the garden centres and the golf courses – but Gardaí have this week reiterated their warning to those planning to excede their five kilometre limit that they may find themselves in the heavy rough.

The first phase of a return to ‘normality’ went to plan, despite the early rush to newly reopened facilities. Even the rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of furloughed golfers, who were on the first tee from daylight.

Time sheets for golf clubs across the county were choc-a-bloc as they opened their doors to members for the first time since the end of March – but many clubs privately admitted that more than half of those who played had travelled way beyond the 5k restriction.

That led Gardaí to warn that they will be mounting checkpoints and turning people back home – adding that the golf clubs themselves have a responsibility to advise members on the travel rules.

Tuam Sergeant Pat Hastings confirmed that Gardaí had the power under the Health Preservation and Protection Act 2020 to turn back individuals travelling more than 5k from their homes.

He warned that a file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions to deal with anyone who continually breached the regulations.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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