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Connacht Tribune

Johnny Duhan – a life of songs and stories

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When an artist has a body of work that stretches over half a century, coming up with his Finest Collection can be a job in itself – but Johnny Duhan’s latest album can truly be described as his definitive voice.

The Irishman’s Finest Collection will also form the backdrop to his Galway show next week, when he takes to the stage in the intimate surrounds of the Town Hall Studio, next Thursday, May 3, for one night only.

Johnny Duhan has been making music since the sixties, when he was a mere teenager and the frontman of Granny’s Intentions – and he is instantly recognised through his classics like the Voyage and Don’t Give Up Till It’s Over.

But it is through the intensely personal lyrics of songs like Your Sure Hand, To the Light, In Our Father’s Name and the River Returning that you discover the real heart and soul of a man who draws his inspiration from the world around him.

The Irishman’s Finest Collection features 17 songs, drawn from a host of his previous albums and featuring a stellar cast of musicians from Davy Spillane and Mairtin O’Connor to Tony Maher, James Blennerhasset, Carl Hession and the late Eugene Kelly.

By his own admission, Johnny – born in Limerick but long domiciled in Barna – has always ploughed his own furrow.

“I’ve never followed trends or fashions since I started out as a folkie,” he says.

Instead, he draws on personal experience – growing up in Limerick, the world of nature, his spirituality; his observations on the bigger questions – to craft a body of work that truly stands the test of time.

Promoter and novelist Paul Charles – head of Asgard Promotions – is one music business veteran who recognises Johnny’s talent, and particularly his new Finest Collection.

“A work of real beauty. Sympathetic arrangements, perfect instrumentation, and all topped off with a perfect, story-telling, soulful voice,” he says.

“The songs, as a set of classic short stories, seem as though written for this collection even though they span John’s career….I really love the album,” he adds.

And those stories that he refers to cover everything from Song of the Bird – a childhood memory of a wounded bird nursed back to flight – to the River Returning, his ode to the Shannon that has been such a touchstone all his life.

And because he is a storyteller – in song and in between songs – the intimate surrounds of his Town Hall Studio gig next Thursday will allow those tales to pour forth.

It starts around 8.15pm and tickets are on sale on the night or in advance from www.tht.ie

Connacht Tribune

Hospitality group raises €90k

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Lorraine Gallagher (left) and Charlene Hurley of Galway Hospice presented with a cheque for €27,537 by Brian Lynch and Eveanna Ryan of Connacht Hospitality.

The Connacht Hospitality Group this week announced that they raised more than €90,000 for a range of good Irish causes throughout 2022.

The group, which owns well-known Galway establishments including The Connacht Hotel, An Púcán, HYDE Hotel, Residence Hotel and 1520 Bar, as well as the Galway Bay Golf Resort, held a range of events at various stages of 2022 to fundraise for Claddagh Watch Patrol, the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI), Galway Hospice and Make-A-Wish Ireland.

The announcement of over €90,000 worth of funds raised by the Connacht Hospitality Group for national and local charities comes off the back of the past 12 months which saw the group aim to make Corporate Social Responsibility a core part of their identity. This focus allowed them to become more aware of the causes that need assistance while also raising the profile of many of the charities.

The group arranged a diverse array of events to raise funds, and had lots of imaginative ways of grabbing the public’s attention. One event saw people attend HYDE Bar to savour a menu made by a mystery celebrity. In the end, it was revealed that TV personality Gráinne Seoige was the Executive Chef on a night that generated over €8,000 for the NBCRI.

Another event saw staff take part in a ‘Sunrise Swim’ in Salthill – and the public donated in their droves. All money raised went towards Claddagh Watch Patrol, an organisation that works to make Galway’s waterways safer by preventing accidental death and suicide.

One of the most successful fundraisers was the Galway Bay Golf Resort’s Golf Classic, which raised over €22,000 for Galway Hospice.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Residents in fear of gangs travelling to rural Galway to burgle homes

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Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins.

Residents in rural County Galway are living in fear of being burgled after one small area suffered at least 10 raids in the month of January.

Councillor Mary Hoade told a meeting of the County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) this week that those figures were for around Headford alone, as she called for additional resources to target travelling crime gangs visiting the county.

“Some of these burglaries are taking place in the morning when people go to work; some are in the evening; and others at night. It’s very frightening.  We recognise that these criminals are coming into the county, but we need more support to fight crime,” said Cllr Hoade.

“Rural garda stations have less resources . . . we’re relying on the resources in the nearest town,” she continued.

The Fianna Fáil councillor said gardaí couldn’t be everywhere at once, but communities needed to act as their eyes and ears and report suspicious activity when they see it. Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins (pictured) told the JPC that Galway was being targeted from time to time by travelling gangs.

“Three different gangs visited the county on one day recently,” said Det Supt Cummins.

Cllr Shelly Herterich Quinn (FF) said she believed increased CCTV and automatic number plate recognition cameras – to capture known gangs on tour – should be rolled out.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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Connacht Tribune

IDA Ireland’s €10m land purchase backs Oranmore for industry base

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Former Mayor of County Galway, Liam Carroll.

IDA Ireland has trebled its footprint on the outskirts of Oranmore by purchasing more than 100 acres of land to support industry.

It’s understood the semi-state body purchased some 42.9 hectares on the outskirts of Oranmore, for a price in excess of €10 million.

The strategic purchase of land adjacent to some 21 hectares zoned ‘business and technology’ and already owned by the IDA, was a “major vote of confidence” in Oranmore and Galway, according Cathaoirleach of the Athenry/Oranmore Municipal District, County Councillor Liam Carroll (FG).

It brings the total amount of land owned by the IDA in the area to over 150 acres.

This latest parcel, purchased at the end of 2022, is located off the N67 Claregalway Road, to the north and east of the Galway to Dublin Rail line.

“It would be ideally suited and attractive to a major multinational company or companies for the establishment of a high tech, pharmaceutical or medical device type facility,” Cllr Carroll said.

The entire site of 150-plus acres is close to the M6 motorway, and an hour away from international links, Shannon Airport and Ireland West Airport in Knock.  It is also close to a number of potential Park & Ride sites, identified by the National Transport Authority as being suitable for commuters.

It’s understood the land is zoned agricultural and would require a material alteration to the County Development Plan to be voted on by county councillors, in order for it to be rezoned before 2028.

(Photo: Cllr Liam Carroll, who believes the land could be developed for a tech or pharmaceutical hub).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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