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Knowledge of salmon: new book reveals all

Judy Murphy

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Lifestyle – Judy Murphy meets cookery author  Máirín Uí Chomáin who shares her  lifetime’s passion for cooking salmon

Afternoon tea at Máirin Uí Chomáin’s house near Oranmore is just as you’d expect it to be from one of the country’s foremost cookery writers, a former TV presenter and a leading light in the Irish branch of the international Slow Food movement.

The table is covered with a white linen cloth, it’s set with china cups and saucers, and there are miniature chocolate brownies for the perfect guilt-free treat – home-made, naturally.

Our interview is meant to be about Máirín’s latest book, the beautifully produced Celebrating Irish Salmon, but in reality, the conversation takes off in many different directions. She is a warm, animated woman who has had so many different roles in life – among them teacher, wife, mother, TV chef, award-winning children’s writer, giver of refuge to unmarried mothers back in the 1970s and 1980s – that it’s almost impossible to keep to one topic for too long.

But the priority is the book, which sees Connemara-born Máirín share her expertise via a selection of over 100 recipes – mostly her own but also some from leading Irish chefs, including Derry Clarke, Kevin Thornton and, closer to home, Heather O’Flaherty of McCambridge’s and the Michelin-starred Aniar team. 

In fact, there are several Michelin-star contributors to the book, which has a foreword by marine biologist Professor Kevin Whelan. It also contains a brief history of the Atlantic salmon and its life cycle, a chapter on conservation, and for those who are following the recipes, suggestions by wine writers Betty Murphy and Peter Dunne about the ideal accompaniment for each dish.  The photographs are by renowned food photographer Walter Pfeiffer and the dishes were styled by Tricia Doyle – making this a really professional production from Letterfrack based Artisan House.

Over a pot of tea in an elegant, fun teapot decorated with colourful high-heeled shoes – a gift from her daughter to celebrate Máirín’s love of heels– she explains that this new book is her proudest achievement to date.

Máirín is a bundle of energy – tall and elegant with not a spare ounce on her. The mother of four adult children is 77 and three quarters years old, but could easily pass for 10 years younger, something she attributes partly to her positive outlook on life, partly to her diet which includes an abundance of the fish she loves. She has it for dinner most evenings.

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

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Sharon goes global for lockdown album The Reckoning

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Sharon's new album will be available from this Friday.

Despite Covid-19 travel restrictions, Sharon Shannon has gone global for her latest studio album, The Reckoning, which is being released this Friday, November 27.

The Reckoning, which was composed, written and recorded during lockdown, features more than dozen remote collaborations from locations across the world.

All the twelve tracks have been co-written by Sharon and band members and various guest collaborators.

The full-on method in which it was recorded marks a new departure for the Clare-born musician who lives in Galway City, she says.

“Normally when we work on an album, we do one track at a time,” Sharon explains. “But with this, it seems to be an avalanche when you’re working on 13 or 14 tracks every day. It’s like a minefield!”

One of the key tracks, The Jolly Roger, resulted from a challenge which rugby player Robbie Henshaw presented to Sharon during the first Covid lockdown. Issued via Facebook, her task was to learn a new skill. And she did. After five days of intense practice, she created The Jolly Roger Facebook video . That clip of Sharon and her electric guitar has attracted more than 289,000 views since it was uploaded earlier this year.

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

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Artists going to dogs in aid of annual auction

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Work donated to MADRA by Galway artist Grace Cunningham and Achill Island’s Padraig McCaul.

Works by some of Ireland’s top artists, including Grace Cunningham and Finbar McHugh from Galway as well as Padraig McCaul from Achill Island and Charles Harper from Valentia Island, will go under the hammer at this year’s MADRA Dog Rescue Charity Art Auction.

The popular event, which kicks off for viewing next week, will take place online year due to Covid restrictions.

The event, will open for registration and online bids next Thursday, December 3 and will remain available to view and bid online until Monday, December 7 .

The goal is to raise €3,000 to contribute towards vet bills for the Connemara-based dog rescue and adoption charity. MADRA is facing major bills, all without the financial support that’s normally generated by its two charity shops – they have been closed for months this year due to the pandemic.

“We have stunning artworks available with an amazing variety of subjects and styles,” explains MADRA co-founder and director, Marina Fiddler, adding that the organisation is “honoured that so many talented artists have donated such beautiful pieces to support the homeless dogs in our care”.

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

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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Celebrating Romania on Great Union Day

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ConTempo, will perform a programme from thier native Romania for next Tuesday's lunchthime concert.

The next instalment of the lunchtime music series, From Europe with Love, will take place next Tuesday, December 1, at 1pm. Hosted by Galway Music Residency, it’s the last one for 2020.

It promises to be a special event as Galway’s Ensemble in Residence, the ConTempo Quartet, who are from Romania, celebrate their homeland on what’s known as Great Union Day. This national holiday marks the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918.

ConTempo will perform a varied programme, showcasing the best of Romanian music. This will feature works by celebrated composers George Enescu and Theodor Grigoriu alongside lesser-known musical treasures. There will be a strong folk theme throughout, making for a lively lunchtime show.

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

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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