Galway City arts group Macnas are using a crowdfunding website to appeal to the public for €10,000 which will ensure that a parade can take place on the streets of the city over the October Bank Holiday Weekend.
The funding is needed to ensure that the street parade, which traditionally took place in July in previous years, can go ahead on the afternoon of Sunday, October 27.
Members of the public can make donations of as little as €10 through www.fundit.ie to ensure that the parade featuring 300 volunteer performers will take over the city centre over the Halloween holiday weekend.
But they must reach their target by Sunday next – last evening the amount pledged had reached €3,600, leaving six days to close the gap. If the amount falls short, the project does not get Fund It funding, and people who have pledged money are not charged.
The switch to a new date on the calendar for the parade is seen as a brave move by the street theatre company, who still need to make up the €10,000 in funding from the public despite strong support from Galway City Council, the Latin Quarter, the West End traders, the Galway Clinic, and Avaya.
“We are aware that a lot of people have not got a lot of money these days and we acknowledge that,” said the Macnas Artistic Director, Noeline Kavanagh, this week.
“But having a free, civic event like the Macnas Parade is really important for the city. It gives people access to the arts for free. It provides an outlet and a ritual for our community. It’s something special to the West of Ireland and celebrates our wildness and heritage.”
With the city’s annual comedy festival and big concerts by Chic and Primal Scream already planned for the October Bank Holiday Weekend, Noeline believes that a Macnas Parade on this novel date will provide a fitting end to a fantastic summer of festivals in Galway.
“The Halloween Bank Holiday weekend has become an increasingly dynamic weekend in Galway and the addition of a Macnas Parade will be a huge attraction for local audiences and attract many visitors to the city,” said Noeline.
“What’s brilliant about our parade is that the public become the performers with over 300 costumed volunteers taking part. It provides an outlet and a ritual for our community. We are expecting an audience of up to 40,000 to gather for a collective celebration in the heart of the city.”
To donate to the FundIt site, click here
Read more in today’s Connacht Sentinel
Elective surgeries cancelled at UHG as overcrowding continues
Galway Bay fm newsroom – Some non-urgent elective surgeries are being cancelled at UHG in a bid to tackle severe overcrowding at the city hospital.
It follows the issuing of a warning from the Saolta Hospital Group that the emergency department is extremely busy and there is ongoing pressure on bed availability.
General Manager at UHG, Chris Kane, says over 500 people presented at the hospital on Monday and Tuesday.
She says the overcrowding situation is very serious, particularly in relation to the ED, the Surgical Unit and the Acute Medical Assessment Unit.
Members of the public are urged to only attend the hospital in the case of emergency, and contact their GP or out-of-hours service if their health problem is not urgent.
Saolta is also reminding the public that the Injury Unit at Roscommon University Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, to treat adults and children over 5.
Speaking to Keith Finnegan on Galway Talks, Chris Kane said the current level of patients presenting is extremely high and “unusual” for this time of year.
She also noted there’s also been a rise in patients being treated for Covid-19, including in the ICU.
Galway rowers aim for Olympic gold!
Best of luck to two Galway rowers – Aifric Keogh of Aill an Phréacháin in Na Forbacha, and Fiona Murtagh from Gortachalla in Moycullen – who are part of Team Ireland’s Women’s Coxless Fours team who compete in an Olympic final in Tokyo at 1.50am (Irish time) Wednesday.
Coverage on RTÉ 2 television begins from 1am.
Ireland – who were second in their heat after Australia, who set a new Olympic Record – are in lane two, with Great Britain on their outside, and Australia, favourites for a gold medal, in lane three.
The Netherlands, China and Poland are in lanes four, five and six at the Sea Forest Waterway.
Poor weather meant some rowing events were re-scheduled but the Women’s Fours final was not impacted.
Jim Keogh, Aifric’s father, told the Tribune he was hopeful ahead of the final.
“To make the Olympics is tough, to make the final is tough, to make the medal is tougher,” he said.
Photo: Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty.
*Full coverage of the race and reaction in this week’s Connacht Tribune and Galway City Tribune
Paedophile sentenced to a further 17 months in prison
A convicted paedophile, described by a Garda as ‘a prolific child abuser’, has had a 17-month prison sentence added to a 13-year sentence he is already serving for the rape and sexual abuse of children.
Disgraced primary school teacher and summer school bus driver, 69-year-old Seosamh Ó Ceallaigh, a native of Tuirín, Béal a’ Daingin, Conamara, had at all times denied two charges of indecently assaulting a ten-year-old boy at a Gaeltacht summer school in Béal a’ Daingin in 1979.
The offence carries a maximum two-year sentence.
A jury found him guilty by majority verdict following a four-day trial at Galway Circuit Criminal Court last month.
At his sentence hearing last week, Detective Paul Duffy described Ó Ceallaigh as a prolific child abuser who had amassed 125 child abuse convictions, committed while he was a primary school teacher in Dublin and while he operated an Irish language summer school in Beal a’ Daingin.
They included convictions for rape and sexual assault for which he is currently serving sentences totalling 13 years.
Those sentences were due to expire in August 2024, but last week, Judge Rory McCabe imposed two, concurrent 17-month sentences on Ó Ceallaigh, before directing the sentences begin at the termination of the sentences he is currently serving.
The judge noted Ó Ceallaigh’s denial and lack of remorse and the lifelong detrimental effect the abuse had on the victim as aggravating factors.