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Connacht Tribune

Galway singer’s new single aims to build on Spotify success

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By Martha Brennan

With nearly 12,000 monthly Spotify listeners and a critically acclaimed debut EP already behind her, the Galway singer known simply as Laoise is making waves in Irish music.

The singer/songwriter from the city centre released that new single – entitled ‘Bother’ – this week, and the 21 year old has plenty more planned for 2018.

Laoise started out playing traditional music – a sound she has strayed far from since.

Citing the origins of her musicality as hailing from her parents, Laoise learned the fiddle at just five years old and would accompany her father to various trad sessions around Galway growing up.

“Playing in these sessions taught me about musicianship and community and following on to write and perform my own songs just made sense,” Laoise said.

As she grew older the musician started to find her own voice away from her traditional beginnings, learning to play the piano and guitar and starting to write her own songs at just 15.

Now known for her electro-pop sound, Laoise said that she was originally inspired to sing by her Galway trad roots. “

It’s funny, I remember when I would play in trad sessions there’d be a singer, and when they began to sing the whole pub would fall silent. I thought this was so magical, everyone listening to just one voice following the energy of an abundance of instruments”.

When she started recording her own songs in her bedroom at sixteen, she found herself messing with different electronic sounds on her laptop which she says felt ‘natural’ to her and sought inspiration from her 80’s idols – like David Bowie and Stevie Nicks.

In 2016 Laoise released her first single and the success of the track surprised the singer, who recorded the song on a laptop with her partner. The song reached over 200,000 hits on Spotify and climbed to number four in the Viral 50 UK chart.

“Releasing ‘You’ only taught me that I want to continue on this path and develop and evolve,” said the artist.

Her first EP ‘Halfway’ was released last June to more positive acclaim with the website BuzzFeed including the title track in their April playlist alongside a host of major stars.

Writing from personal experiences, Laoise’s music is known for its dark honesty which resonates with listeners.

“The music I write is usually very momentary, fleeting, I’m capturing snapshots of my life and putting them in songs” she said.

Her newest release ‘Bother’ follows the same path telling the story of a relationship gone sour.

Laoise said that it was the hardest but quickest song that she has written.

“It says all the things I wish I had said a long time ago and writing this taught me that I am enough as I am, and I hope that resonates with people,” she explained. “I’m really excited about sharing it!”

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Fuel for thought as we try and energise our wheels

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

A good few years back . . . well probably even decades . . . I remember asking quite a knowledgeable motoring correspondent, long gone to his eternal reward, about the pros and cons of staying with petrol or switching to diesel. By the time his reply had finished, nearly 20 minutes had elapsed, and I was avalanched with so much data that I was no wiser at the end of the conversation than I was at the start.

I thought of that a few weeks before Christmas when I happened to tune in to a programme on Channel 4 – Dispatches – which examined the practicalities of owning and driving an electric car across the roads of the United Kingdom.

There is a wish amongst all of us to pursue a more environmentally friendly way of life. At this stage, we all probably know someone who has purchased a fully electric car and certainly many more who have dipped their toes into the waters of the hybrid models.

Anyway, the main theme of the Dispatches programme was that after 10-years of investment by the UK authorities in the infrastructure needed to support electric cars, quite a shocking number of charging points were either out of action or were not working to their full efficiency.

Nearly 10% of the ‘rapid chargers’ sampled across the UK were found not to be working properly, while 30 new ultra-rapid charges were also found to be dysfunctional to varying degrees. Some of the charging points had been out of action for six years and a percentage of those were unrepairable as their technology base was now obsolete.

Apart from their significant extra cost – even if one qualifies for the maximum €5,000 Government grant – the great fear I would have with the electric cars is that I’d find myself marooned in a corner of Kerry or Antrim, out of ‘juice’, and unable to access a charging point.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Covid boosts college coffers

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NUI Galway

NUI Galway reported an operating surplus of almost €19 million during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic when its campus was closed for months.

The healthy finances reported by NUIG has prompted its student body to call for it to waive repeat exams’ fees and student levies, and to invest in mental health services.

Consolidated financial statements for NUIG for the year ended September 30 2020 show the university reported an operating surplus of €18.9 million. This was up by €16 million on the surplus generated in 2019.

The financial statement said that while Covid-19 was ‘extremely challenging’, the ‘extraordinary dedication and work ethic of its staff have mitigated against the financial impact’ of the year.

The report said a surplus of €18.9 million was a ‘commendable performance’ given that 95%  of staff and students withdrew from campus in March 2020 to study and work remotely in line with Government regulations.

It noted that core income fell by a net €4 million compared with the previous year.

“Drops in research income of €9m and a Covid-related decline in commercial and student accommodation income of some €5m were offset by increased fee income of €4m, a €3m increase in the fair value of investments, and other increases of €3m relating to Government grants and other income,” the report said.

It said that the increase in Government grants includes Covid Support grant funding from the Higher Education Authority to cover additional specific Covid-19 related costs of €2.2m.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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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Connacht Tribune

Farm buildings can be used as business hubs in rural areas

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Cllr. Declan Geraghty (Ind)

RURAL farm buildings should be utilised for small business enterprises which would supplement the income of landowners as well as creating some local employment in the process.

This was the view of the vast majority of Galway councillors who passed a motion that buildings directly relating to farming be considered for other purposes that would be financially advantageous to the owners.

The matter came up for discussion at a meeting of the Galway County Development Plan when it was suggested that the farming community needed to be allowed develop small business opportunities.

A motion from Cllr. Declan Geraghty (Ind) – deviating slightly from Galway County Council policy – proposed that they be allowed carry out businesses such as the servicing and repair of machinery, land reclamation, drainage works, and agricultural contracting was carried.

The motion added that this be allowed where it is financially advantageous to locate in a given area and where it would not have an adverse impact on the environment.

The Williamstown councillor said that it could result in hundreds of small business enterprises being developed out of farm buildings.

“At the moment they cannot get planning permission for such enterprises given that they are located in a rural area,” he argued.

He was supported by Cllr. Pete Roche (FG) who went further by saying that even the establishment of pet farms or animal farms that could be opened up to the public were also options that could be considered.

“There are farm families at the moment who cannot earn a decent living out of agriculture alone and would relish the opportunity to diversify,” he added.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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