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Gazza documentary a sobering insight into alcoholic’s life

Dave O'Connell

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TV Watch with Dave O’Connell

Such is the range of multiple personalities at his disposal, Paul Gascoigne probably has enough of them to form his own team – with a few left over to fill the subs’ bench on top of it.

So Being Paul Gascoigne (UTV, Tuesday) was never going to be a simple story – although the tabloids have managed to narrow it down to ‘brilliant former footballer, now hopeless alcoholic’ over the last decade or two.

But Gazza was always a more complex character than that – and this documentary at least managed to dig a little deeper than the footballing genius with the drink problem.

He was neither painted as the victim nor the epitome of all that’s wrong with the modern game; indeed Being Paul Gascoigne had very little to do with football – this was the story of a man battling a life-threatening illness that just happens to come out of a bottle.

The tabloid Gazza is always in trouble – downing a bottle of neat gin in an off licence in full view of the CCTV cameras that then found their way to the Sun, beating his wife, attacking security guards, falling down on the street, bringing drink and a fishing rod to a multiple killer.

But the same wife who has come in for so much abuse is also the woman who opens her door and her heart to him every time he comes to his senses.

Sheryl and their children give him chance after chance and just love him when he’s sober; days after another incident, for example, they forgave him yet again and took him to the races for his birthday.

Because at heart Gazza wouldn’t appear to have a bad bone in his body; he just didn’t cope with fame and he cannot cope with drink.

He surrounded himself with people who weren’t good for him, but it didn’t matter as long as he was playing and earning – he was a genius with a football whose life on the pitch was in complete contrast to his existence off it.

Being Paul Gascoigne was a sad story to watch, but a salutary lesson for those who see only the positives in fame.

The lovable Geordie lit up the football world but these days his only headlines relate to his drink problem – he almost died during a recent rehab stint in the US when he suffered a serious reaction to his bid to go cold turkey and was rushed to hospital.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel. 

CITY TRIBUNE

David’s debut album on sale in local shops

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David Larkin’s debut album, With A Toot on the Flute and a Twiddle on the Fiddle, a tribute to his fellow Roscommon man, Percy French, featured on these pages last week.

For those who want to purchase a copy, the range of places where it’s on sale has increased. Anyone who wants to buy the album can do so by contacting David through Larkin’s Beehive Facebook page. It’s also available at Bell, Book & Candle, The Small Crane, Galway City; Funky Beans, Westside Retail Park, Galway City; OMG / Zhivago, Shop Street, Galway City; and Custy’s Traditional Irish Music Shop, O’Connell Street, Ennis.

Galway City 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.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Saileog takes up sean-nós singing residency at NUIG

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Saileog Ní Cheannabháin. Her Carna-born father Peadar was her earliest singing influence.

Saileog Ní Cheannabháin has been named as Sean-Nós Singer in Residence at NUIG’s Centre for Irish Studies for 2021.

The sean-nós singer, musician and composer, who was reared in Dublin in an Irish-speaking family, learned traditional and classical music from a very young age.

Saileog’s father, Peadar Ó Ceannabháin comes from the rich tradition of sean-nós singing in Carna and  was one of her earliest influences.

Saileog grew up listening to singers from Iorras Aithneach in Conamara and she includes Seán ‘ac Dhonncha, Sorcha Ní Ghuairim, Dara Bán Mac Donncha and Josie Sheáin Jeaic ‘ac Dhonncha as formative influences.

Her mother Úna Lawlor is a classical violinist and her siblings Eoghan and Muireann are also singers and musicians.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway City 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.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Award-winning author Doireann finds truth ‘in little rituals of life’

Stephen Glennon

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Doireann Ní Ghríofa, whose book A Ghost in the Throat won this year’s An Post Non-fiction Book of the Year Award, took her first breath in Galvia Hospital – now the Bon Secours.

When A Ghost in the Throat, the beautifully-written book by Galway-born author Doireann Ní Ghríofa, was announced as the An Post Non-fiction Book of the Year winner last week, the news came as little surprise to those who’ve read it.

Since its publication, A Ghost in the Throat has received rave reviews. Interweaving lyrical passages with striking prose, it tells the story of a present-day young mother who is drawn to the life of 18th century-poet Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill and her poem, Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire.

Although this was Doireann’s first book of prose, she is far from unknown, having written six critically-acclaimed poetry collections. These have earned her numerous awards including the Seamus Heaney Fellowship and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature.

Arranged a week in advance, the phone call from the Tribune in the wake of the awards announcement proves to be a timely one. Doireann is giddy with excitement. “I am delighted. The funny thing is that it doesn’t just feel like a win for the book; it feels like a win for the way this book tries to tell the stories of women.”

This is hugely important to Doireann – A Ghost in the Throat begins and ends with the line, ‘This is a female text’ – and she hopes the book is viewed as a celebration of the lives of women, past and present, and the work they do, visible and invisible. “That still often goes overlooked,” she says.

As with Emile Pine’s Notes to Self, Doireann casts light on issues affecting women by sharing intimate details of her life. And it’s not just the big themes she gives consideration to, but life’s banalities. When added together, these can also become a burden.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Galway City 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.

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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