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Gráinne finds her voice as a singer with real soul

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Gráinne Cotter

The Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Gráinne Cotter is a soulful, multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter whose music brings Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen to mind. And next Wednesday, October 24, she and her four-piece band perform an intimate set at the Black Gate Cultural Centre on Francis Street.

Having grown up in a family of traditional musicians it was her eventual exposure to jazz that saw Gráinne’s music take shape.

“Initially, the route I was going down seemed to be the fiddle and the classical violin,” she notes. “It has moved slightly away [from a traditional sound]. Each genre benefits the other. Having come from that background, I think it maybe opens your mind musically to other genres.”

Gráinne, from Kilmaley, Co Clare, released her debut album TIDES in September 2017 with launch nights at The Workman’s Club in Dublin and Galway’s Róisín Dubh. The decision to record was a spontaneous one.

“I went on The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk and he was like ‘Gráinne, what are your plans?’” she recalls. “Right there and then I said ‘I’m making an album!’ I had only two members of the band at that stage and they both went ‘what?’”

TIDES was recorded in Galway city with producer Ray Diamond before being sent off for mastering in Dublin with Gavin Glass, a former band mate of Lisa Hannigan.

“I tried to produce it myself but I realised you can’t do everything. Ray and Gavin were fantastic – so professional and so helpful.”

Many of the tracks on the album come at major moments of change in Gráinne’s life. She ties her songs to the different locations that inspire her – from a year’s scholarship at Boston’s Berklee College of Music to a three-month sabbatical in Paris.

“Some of them are from when I came back from America, in the limbo-land of your twenties when you’re questioning what you’re doing,’ she laughs. “Paris was the first time in three years that I’d taken a break from work, stepped back and realised what it is that I actually want to do.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Connacht Tribune tributes to loved ones

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These past few months have seen so many communities left to silently mourn family members and friends, whose funerals they would have attended in such numbers, were it not for the current Covid-19 restrictions.

But those that are gone have not been, and will not be, forgotten – which is why we want to open the pages of the Connacht Tribune to you to tell their stories.

If you’ve lost a loved one, whether to Covid-19 or not, or if your community or organization or sports club is mourning the death of a valued member and friend, you can email us your tribute and we will publish it in our papers.

CONNACHT TRIBUNE OBITUARY TRIBUTE

All you have to do it to click on the above link, and it will take you to a short set of questions which you can fill in – and then add whatever you feel tells the story of the life of your friend, family member or colleague.

You can email that with a photograph to us, to news@ctribune.ie or you can post it to ‘Obituaries’, Connacht Tribune, 21 Liosban Business Park – and please enclose a contact number in case we have any queries.

We sympathise with anyone who has lost a loved one at this awful time, particularly given that so many people were unable to mourn with them and their family in person – and we hope that this will help in some small way to show those family members that we are all united in grief, even from a distance.

This is an additional feature we are providing alongside our long-established weekly Family Notices section where loved ones are remembered immediately by Months Mind Notices and annual anniversary remembrances.  You can contact our team for further details at salesadmin@ctribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Alison’s Euro Award for Covid information project

Dave O'Connell

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Mike Feerick...found of Alison.

The Galway-established online course providing information about coronavirus in more than 70 languages – reaching over 350,000 people worldwide – is among 23 projects from the EU and the UK recognised for their outstanding contribution to fighting COVID-19 and its disastrous consequences.

The European Economic and Social Committee has awarded the Civil Solidarity Prize to the Irish learning platform Alison – founded by social entrepreneur Mike Feerick and based in Loughrea – for its free online course which was developed and published at the very start of the pandemic to educate as many people as possible about the virus, its spread and its effects.

The EESC, an advisory body representing Europe’s civil society at the EU level, selected the learning platform Alison as the best Irish candidate for the Prize, saying that its project “Coronavirus: What you need to know” stood out as a shining example of solidarity and civic responsibility during the COVID-19 crisis.

The online course was launched in February 2020 when the knowledge about the virus was still very scarce and the governments were still struggling with how to respond to the looming crisis.

With its training programme, based on WHO and CDC guidelines and continuously updated to include the latest information, the Irish platform has given people free access to potentially life-saving knowledge.

Translated in less than four months into more than 70 languages, with the help of 5,000 volunteers many of whom were immigrants, it had been completed by approximately 350,000 people as of September 2020. Some 100,000 people signed up for it in a single day.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www/connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Covid a whole different ball game for Galway camogie nurse

Dara Bradley

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Pictured at the presentation of a Galway jersey and message of thanks from Galway GAA to frontline workers at UHG this week were (from left) Galway Senior Camogie player and nurse Emma Helebert, Galway GAA Chairman Pat Kearney, Galway Senior Ladies Football player and nurse Tracey Leonard, Galway Bay FM commentator Tommy Devane, and Eoin McGinn, Assistant Director of Nursing.

Galway camogie star Emma Helebert doesn’t shy away from a question about Covid-19 anti-vaxxers and their online conspiracy theories.

“Personally, since this pandemic has hit, I’m allergic to social media over the whole thing,” she says.

A midwife at University Hospital Galway, the 2019 All-Ireland winner agrees that vaccines involve personal choice.

But that choice should be informed by trusted sources of information, such as the HSE or NHS websites – and not random often nefarious and anonymous contributors on social media.

“There are more reliable sources of information than turning to places like Facebook or whatever online forums are talking about it,” she says.

“What’s scaring people more than the actual thought of the vaccines is these opinions that are being forced down people’s throats and they’re seeing it every time they go on Facebook and scrolling on social media.

“My only advice to people who are scared is to do your own research. Go to the reliable sources of information and don’t believe what you see on Facebook.

“Unfortunately, there are people out there who create pages that are full of negativity or full of lies. It only takes one scary thought or piece of information you’ve heard to cling to you that’ll make you not want to get it,” she adds.

Read the full interview with Emma Helebert in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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