Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Lifestyle

Madness, creativity and hope in Druid production of Murphy plays Brigit and Bailegangaire

Published

on

Marie Mullen as Mommo and Catherine Walsh as Mary in Bailegangaire.

REVIEW – BRIGIT and BAILEGANGAIRE – Druid Theatre

Tom Murphy’s Bailegangaire, with its larger-than-life central character of Mommo, is one of the most powerful, challenging plays in Irish literature.

Mommo with her stories, her piseogs and her razor-sharp tongue, which is also capable of great tenderness, is as Irish as rain. Her two granddaughters, Mary and Dolly, were shaped in Ireland and could only be products of this country. Yet, their emotions – grief, disappointments, anger, love, hope – are universal. But while Bailegangaire has great humanity, it’s not an easy play either for actor or audience. Druid first staged it in 1985 when, under Garry Hynes’ direction, it was universally lauded. Now director and company have revived it, alongside a companion piece, Brigit, which getting its first stage outing.

Both stand alone, but are also being presented as a double bill, with Brigit offering an insight into the early life of Mommo, her husband Seamus and their grandchildren.

It’s an interesting mix. Bailegangaire, set in 1984 is a play where words flow in torrents, emotions overflow and tragedy lies close to the surface. Brigit, set in the 1950s, is an 80-minute piece; more restrained, and as much about the process of artistic creation as it is about domesticity.

Mommo’s husband Seamus (Bosco Hogan) is commissioned by the Reverend Mother of the local convent (Jane Brennan) to carve a wooden statue of St Brigit. His approach to the project, aided by Mommo (Marie Mullen), generates discussions about the transition from paganism to Christianity in Ireland. At times, it’s almost like a lesson in folklore. On other occasions, the play explores the grip of the Catholic Church on 1950s Ireland, with Seamus standing out from the crowd as he refuses to bow to its dominance. We get glimpses of the couple’s domestic routine as they care for their three orphaned grandchildren Mary, Dolly and Tom (Lily McBride, Ailbhe Birkett and Colm Conneely), but this play is more a vehicle to explore ideas and notions than a drama with real, vibrant characters. There are strong performances from all the cast, including Marty Rea as Fr Kilgarrif. It’s an interesting insight into the playwright’s creativity, but not his finest work.

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

Connacht Tribune

A jaunt to the islands is like a staycation abroad

Published

on

The Glamping Clochan sleeps four.

Health, Beauty and Lifestyle with Denise McNamara

If there’s one piece of advice everybody arriving on an Irish island should be armed with, it’s this: don’t say a word about anyone. Good or bad. Because the chances are you are talking about their relation, neighbour, ex-lover or friend. And whether you are heaping praise on them or running them into the ground, it has the potential to get sticky.

We found it time and again when we when he recently spent a night on Inis mór, the largest of three Aran Islands.

And now the second bit of advice: if you have ever in your life visited this island for a day trip, it’s time to do so again. And this time stay at least a night or two because you’ll have more to do there during a staycation than you would in an action-packed European city.

With the luxury of travelling from the city on the splendid new boat with Aran Island Ferries called Saoirse na Farraige which departs and arrives at the docks, we were blessed with a lovely morning so got to do the crossing from the top deck.

The first thing we did on disembarking was head for Aran Bike Hire where we were promptly kitted out with suitable bikes (€15 adults €10 kids). I happened to get the last electric bike (€40) in the shop and boy is it worth the extra cash.

Even the fittest would struggle up some of those hills; I looked every inch the smug momma as I sailed on by with minimal effort, apologising as I did for cheating. One tip my three cycling companions were very grateful for was to head down the road opposite Tigh Joe Watty’s, avoiding the very nastiest hill on the way to Dun Aonghasa while taking in the seal colony.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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.

 

Continue Reading

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Published

on

President Eamon de Valera speaking at the opening of Coláiste Lurgan, Knock, Indreabhán, on August 4, 1968.

1921

Life in internment

A Gort man at Ballykinlar sends to the West and interesting account of the conditions in the internment camp, where so many men from our country are at present held prisoner without charge every having been preferred against them, without trial or conviction.

There are some disturbing features in his report, the cause of which might well be removed at this period when the Truce is being so well observed, when peace is in the air. For instance, he begins by the complaint that whilst the English papers are freely delivered, there is difficulty in getting their own papers.

“The camp,” he goes on, “is an improvement on the Earl’s Island death trap or the Town Hall poison den. There is a greater sense of security here than in either of those places. The food is inadequate, and doubtful of quality, as you may have seen by the Press. The men here have to put up a great fight against the ennui, which anyone acquainted with internment has experienced. Physical development classes and outdoor sports, football, handball and hurling, have kept their devotees fit and energetic, but the vitality is slowly and surely ebbing away.

“Exercises are being less violently participated in, brisk walks are being less frequently indulged in, and a general apathy and listlessness, hardly observable as yet, is, nevertheless, gradually setting in.

“The education board, which owes a lot to Mr. O’Connell, Duniry, to whom all students are deeply indebted, has been instrumental in endowing many of the boys with a liberal increase to their attainments (a description of the work would require a great deal of space), and has provided a much-needed antidote to the deterioration of the mind, which is so invariably associated with internment. The study of Gaelic has pride of place in the curriculum, and many students have made great headway. It is not unusual to find half-a-dozen in a hut almost at any hour carrying on a laboured conversation in Irish or debating some of the finer points in grammar. I believe one f the boys (none of them had a word of Irish coming in) passed for a fáinne at the recent examination.

“Hobbies in arts and crafts have an enormous sway, and a surprising amount of latent talent has been discovered and developed. Silver rings, chased, engraved and inset, have been made from silver coins, that, placed beside the finished works at Faller’s or Dillon’s, would not cause the designs to blush! Bones, more plentiful than meat at the cookhouse, have been manufactured into brooches of beautiful and distinctive design, which, I am sure, will be seen gracing the fair necks of favoured colleens later on.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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.

 

 

Continue Reading

Country Living

Sixty years on and Debbie is still a very fresh memory

Published

on

The Connacht Tribune edition of Saturday, September 23, 1961, reporting on the damage caused by Hurricane Debbie across Galway on the previous weekend (Sept.16). The photo shows the trees in Eyre Square that were felled by the winds.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

On this very date, September 16, 60 long (or maybe that should be very short) years ago, one of the biggest ever weather events struck our shores in the form of Hurricane Debbie, wreaking destruction on large stretches of our island but particularly so along the counties of the west and north-west.

It was a September Saturday like no other across the country, as Debbie ripped up trees, moved cocks of hay and stacks of oats from one field to another, blew roofs off buildings, and caused 18 fatalities across the island of Ireland.

Those were of course very different days in terms of weather forecasting both in Ireland and across the world. There was no national television service with RTE television only launched on December 31 of 1961, so in terms of weather information, the only source was one daily forecast broadcast on Radio One.

There were no yellow or red warning triangles to let people know of what lay in store for them that day, and given the limitations of forecasting at the time, it probably is fairly safe to assume that preparation or precautionary measures in the run-up to Debbie were pretty minimal.

Debbie was a deceptive piece of work. She started off as your typical storm pulse off the west coast of Africa around September 6 of that year, taking the usual westward track towards the Caribbean and eastern USA, but in a portent of things to come, her high winds caused a plane to crash  near the Cape Verde islands, claiming the lives of 60 people.

After that, she continued to track westwards but five days later on September 11, Debbie made the most unusual of moves, doing a U-turn in the middle of the Atlantic, and heading towards our shores. Why this happened, no one is quite sure about, although author and meteorologist, Dr. Kieran Hickey, has given one possible reason for the change. Possibly, according to Dr. Hickey, Debbie got subsumed by our old friend the jet stream (the high flying ribbon of air that tends to blow in depressions and bad weather), and carried her along towards Ireland.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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.

 

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending