The national Irish language theatre, Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, has been granted almost €1 million to support the delivery of its work over the next three years.
Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, Joe McHugh announced annual funding of €320,000 for Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe for each of the years 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The city-based theatre, which re-opened in 2012, had applied for annual funding of around €400,000, which is what it was receiving a decade ago.
The grant of €320,000, however, is an increase of €20,000 on the amount of funding it received in 2013. Anne McCabe, artistic director of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, yesterday welcomed the funding and said it offered certainty for the company for the next three years.
Ms McCabe said the additional €20,000 in funding meant that an Irish language pantomime would be staged again at the theatre this year.
Some 27 schoolchildren and some well known Irish language actors wowed audiences in December with the popular Beauty and the Beast pantomime.
“I am absolutely delighted with the announcement and the increase in funding. We submitted a three year business plan and strategy and this is an endorsement of the plans that we have for the theatre over the next three years. I suppose it is also recognition of how successful last year, which was my first year, has been. We wanted to do a panto this year and this grant enables us to do that.
“The grant will allow us to continue our core objective of staging Irish language drama and theatre, and also supporting other Irish language groups, including theatre groups, and Gaeltacht groups, in their work,” she said.
Ms McCabe said the ‘centrepiece’ of the theatre’s programme in 2015 would be Maamtrasna, a drama about murders in Connemara in 1882. It will run during the Galway Arts Festival. Other highlights include a celebration of actor Maura Stafford, as well as events to mark the centenary of Walter Macken. The funding announcement was welcomed by local politicians.
Galway West TD Brian said the funding was indicative of the Government’s commitment to the Irish language and a boost for one of the city’s most important institutions.
“This is an important signal of continued support for our national Irish-language theatre, which has a rich history and a vibrant future,” he said.
“My maiden speech following my election to the Dáil in 2011 was on the subject of An Taibhdhearc, after which €300,000 was secured for the renovation of the theatre, and it continues to be a cause very close to my heart. I am very pleased that this level of funding has been committed, which will allow the theatre to continue its excellent work, plan ahead, and grow over the coming years,” added Deputy Walsh.
Senator Hildegarde Naughton said: “The Taibhdhearc does vital work fostering our national language through a range of activities including plays, workshops, competitions, shows and exhibitions. This funding is also timely in terms of Galway’s 2020 Capital of Culture bid.
“As a member of the Board of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, I am delighted this operational grant has been made available. With the completion of recent major renovations of the theatre, which were jointly funded by the Government and the City Council, Galway has a state-of-the-art Irish Language Theatre which I would urge the people of Galway to come and enjoy.”
Water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna due to burst watermain
Galway Bay fm newsroom – There are water outages across Knocknacarra and Barna this morning due to a burst watermain
The burst is in a rising main from Clifton Hill in Galway City to Tonabrucky Reservoir
The city council and Irish Water says while every effort is being made to maintain supply to as many customers as possible, the burst has caused water levels in Tonabrucky Reservoir to deplete
Houses and businesses in Knocknacarra, Barna and surrounding areas will experience low pressure and outages.
Dedicated water service crews have mobilised and repairs are underway and are expected to be completed by mid-afternoon.
Traffic management will be in place and Letteragh Road will be closed between Sliabh Rua and Tonabrucky Cross until 6pm.
Householders and businessses are being asked to conserve water where possible to reduce the pressure on local supplies and allow reservoir levels to restore.
Woman sustains serious injuries after being struck by firework in Eyre Square
Gardaí are appealing for witnesses after a young woman was struck in the face by a firework in Eyre Square in the city overnight.
It happened shortly after midnight and gardai say it’s understood the firework had been launched from close to the Tourist Information Kiosk.
The young woman suffered serious injuries and was hospitalised as a result.
Gardaí understand there was a large group of people in Eyre Square at the time and are now asking that any person who may have witnessed the incident make contact with the investigating team.
In particular Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have video footage of the incident, either on mobile phone, CCTV or dash-cam to make contact with them.
This incident comes just days after a policing committee meeting was told of increasing concern about anti social behaviour around Eyre Square.
Garda chief suggests closing Eyre Square to curb anti-social behaviour
From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Closing Eyre Square at night-time was among the radical suggestions put forward by Galway’s top Garda this week – in response to claims that the city centre’s famous landmark had become a ‘no-go area’ after dark.
It comes as Gardaí confirmed that since January they issued almost 500 fines for breaches of the city’s alcohol bylaws, which prohibit the consumption of alcohol in public spaces.
Responding to claims that people were afraid to visit parts of the city centre at night due to anti-social behaviour, Chief Superintendent Tom Curley said that the authorities might have to look at closing Eyre Square at certain times.
Chief Supt Curley also said that improved lighting and better CCTV were other tools that could be used to deter anti-social behaviour and to detect crime in the city centre.
“I’d need another five officers in there – and I haven’t got them,” said Chief Supt Curley of the requirement for more Gardaí on patrol in Eyre Square.
He was responding to a charge by former mayor of Galway, Councillor Frank Fahy, who said Eyre Square was dangerous at night. “It’s a no-go area,” he said at a City Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting this week.
Cllr Fahy said that the illegal activity and anti-social behaviour in the city centre was a product of the Covid-19 pandemic and people socialising outdoors. Eyre Square was safe pre-Covid, he said.
In a written reply to the JPC, Chief Supt Curley said that anti-social behaviour issues had been ‘de-escalated’ along the city’s canals, Woodquay and Spanish Arch ‘as a result of extra Garda patrols’.
“The resulting consequences have led to crowd movement from these areas (and they) are now congregating at Eyre Square. Garda attention is concentrated on Eyre Square, however the return of students and the continued restrictions has led to increased numbers,” he said.
(Photo: a scene from Eyre Square at night this week taken from a video circulated on social media)
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.