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CITY TRIBUNE

Homecoming show to celebrate new albums

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Fans of quality trad and folk music are in for a treat next Thursday night, September 20, when Irish-American supergroup, Cherish the Ladies join forces with Galway’s Don Stiffe and a host of guests for a concert to launch two new CDs.

Heart of the Home is the 17th album from Cherish the Ladies, whose American-born co-founder Joanie Madden has strong Portumna roots, and whose members include Mirella Murray from Claddaghduff, outside Clifden.

Singer-songwriter Don Stiffe, who tours extensively with the group, will also launch his CD, Longing for the Day, at the concert in the city’s Galmont Hotel – formerly the Radisson, which is part of an Irish tour.

Mary Coogan and Joanie founded the band in 1985 and both now have houses in West Clare – Joanie’s mother, Nelly, is from Miltown Malbay. The initial plan had been to settle in her dad Joe’s home place of Portumna but that changed after he died nine years ago, following an accident, she explains.

It was tough, but she’s grateful that “we got him into a studio a few months before that, in Spiddal with Charlie Lennon and recorded A Galway Afternoon. It was hard to get him in there and it’s great to have that recording”.

Composer and flute-player Joanie pays tribute to her father’s roots in Heart of the Home’s stunning first track, a march followed by a reel, entitled The Portumna Workhouse and The Hurling Boys of Portumna. And she has connections with those hurling boys. Joe’s uncle Mick Kenny captained Galway’s first victorious All-Ireland hurling team – in 1923 – while her dad and her uncles also played.

Joe, an All-Ireland winning musician, emigrated to the US in 1958 and Joanie was one of seven children born to himself and Nelly. They lived in the Bronx and her father was highly influential in New York’s music scene, heading up a 12-piece band, Joe Madden’s Orchestra for many years, having inherited it from Paddy Killoran. Joe had joined the Sligo-born fiddle-player’s band after moving to New York and music was central to the Madden household.

While the Maddens grew up in an Irish-American community, Joanie is the only one of her siblings to play traditional music – the others weren’t interested and her father didn’t push them into it, she says.

“He noticed I had music in me, but I had a troubled beginning,” she adds with a laugh.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

€46,000 Lotto winner comes forward as deadline looms

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Knocknacarra winner of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus from the 12th of December has come forward to claim their prize, just two weeks before the claim deadline.

The winning ticket, which is worth €46,234, was sold at Clybaun Stores on the Clybaun Road on the day of the draw, one of two winners of the Lotto Match 5 + Bonus prize of €92,000.

A spokesperson for the National Lottery say we are now making arrangements for the lucky winner to make their claim in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the Lotto jackpot for tomorrow night (27th February) will roll to an estimated €5.5 million.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Voice of ‘Big O’ reflects on four decades

Denise McNamara

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The daytime voice of Big O Taxis is celebrating four decades in the role – and she has no plans to hang up her headset any time soon.

Roisin Freeney decided to seek a job after staying at home to mind her three children for over a decade. It was 1981 when she saw an advert in the Connacht Sentinel for a dispatch operator.

The native of Derry recalls that the queue for the job wound its way past Monroe’s Tavern from the taxi office on Dominick Street.

“There was a great shortage of work back then. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the line of people. My then husband who was giving me a lift in never thought I’d get the job, he was driving on past and I said, let me off.

“I got it because I worked as a telephonist in the telephone exchange in Derry. But I was terrified starting off because I hadn’t been in the work system for so long.”

Back then Big O Taxis had only 25 drivers and just a single line for the public to book a cab.

“We had an old two-way radio, you had to speak to the driver and everybody could listen in. It was easy to leave the button pressed when it shouldn’t be pressed. People heard things they shouldn’t have – that’s for sure,” laughs Roisin.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of Róisín’s story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Baby boom puts strain on Galway City secondary schools

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A baby boom in the late 2000s has left parents of sixth class pupils in Galway City scrambling to find a secondary school place for their children next September – with over 100 children currently facing the prospect of rejection from city schools.

The Department of Education is now rushing to address the issue and confirmed to the Galway City Tribune this week that it was fully aware of increasing pressure and demand on city schools

Local councillor Martina O’Connor said there were 100 more children more than there were secondary school places for next year, and warned that this would put severe pressure on schools to increase their intake numbers.

“This will put a lot of pressure on schools because they will have been working out the number of teachers and what resources they would need in October or November last year and they could be facing a situation where they will be asked to take an additional eight or 10 students.

“There would normally be a small excess – maybe two or three – but this year, it’s over 100. There is a bigger number of children in sixth class this year and there will be the same issue for the next few years,” said the Green Party councillor.

A Department spokesperson said while there were capacity issues, factors other than numbers could be at play, adding that there were approximately 1,245 children in the city due to move onto secondary school in September.
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.

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