Date Published: 25-May-2011
Every once in a while a musician composes a song so irresistibly catchy and melodic that it gets stuck in your head and feels like it won’t get out without some kind of surgical intervention.
Acoustic pop duo Heathers penned one such song that stormed the airwaves last March and has since been whistled and hummed incessantly in baths and showers up and down the country.
Unless you’ve spent the last year and a half with your head stuck in the ground like an agoraphobic ostrich you’ll have heard Remember When, which was spectacularly launched to prominence when it featured on a Fáilte Ireland commercial last year.
Launched to prominence, too, were the 21-year-old twin sisters behind Heathers, Ellie and Louise McNamara. The use of the song in a commercial promoting tourism in Ireland to a worldwide audience was obviously a seminal moment in the careers of the Dublin girls but their star was already rising before the ad gave them their big break.
Formed in 2007, Heathers recorded their first album, Here, Not There, when they were just 17 and embarked on two month-long tours of the United States the following year. The Fáilte Ireland ad was undeniably a watershed in their burgeoning careers, however, and they have since gone on to play at Oxegen and Electric Picnic, and were invited to perform with Paolo Nutini after he saw them perform last May.
“It was definitely our big break,” says Ellie. “It made our music more accessible and way more people got to hear it than otherwise would have. The fact that it’s on an ad representing our country is really great for us, too.
“Remember When was my favourite song on the album and, even though we’ve played it a million times, I still enjoy playing it. It was a huge boost for us and things pretty much started happening for us right away after it.”
A scout for an advertising agency had heard their music on MySpace and sent them a message asking if they would be interested in Remember When being considered as the theme tune for an upcoming television commercial.
“There were other songs in for it as well and we never thought that ours would be chosen,” recalls Ellie.
But it was, and it has since been played to vast audiences as part of Fáilte Ireland’s Discover Your Own Ireland advertising campaign. Album sales have rocketed. Remember When was released as a single and climbed to number 11 in the Irish charts. They were invited to perform at CMJ festival in New York and at Canadian Music Week in Toronto.
Heathers were selected by 2FM to represent Ireland at Eurosonic 2011 in Holland, leading to a plethora of festival bookings in Europe and the UK this summer. January also saw the UK and worldwide release of their debut album, and another tour of the US beckons later this summer.
The hectic schedule necessitated by their meteoric rise would be enough to exhaust even the most seasoned pop divas, but Ellie and Louise have had to tackle the trappings of their success as part of a delicate balancing act with their ongoing educational endeavours.
Louise is currently sitting her final exams in Geography and Music Technology at NUI Maynooth, while Ellie is studying for a Primary School Teaching degree and finished her second-year exams just last week.
“The exams went fine, they weren’t too bad but it’s been all go, go, go,” admits Ellie. “We’ve been really busy with exams but we’ve also been working on our new album. Hopefully we’ll have a bit more time for working on it now and be able to focus on that for the summer.”
The balance between their promising music careers and their studies must be a difficult juggling act, but it is one that the twins have been used to since they were teenagers.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.