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Music, art, performance and film in Mœscailt Festival

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Date Published: {J}

The line-up for the 10th annual NUI Galway Arts Festival programme, Múscailt, which runs from February 8-12, was launched on Monday. The Festival contains a superb programme of music, art, performance and film, with many free events to which the public are welcome.

Múscailt, which is organised by the NUI Galway Arts and Theatre Office, will feature emerging artists and entertainers performing through the medium of Irish and English. Among the venues for the Festival will be the University’s newly opened arts and cultural centre, the Bailey Allen Wing.

The launch featured rap artist Bubba Shakespeare performing ‘as Gaeilge’, along with performances from The WIZ by the Galway University Musical Society (GUMS).

Festival highlights include:

Musical:

GUMS will perform their version of The WIZ, a musical based on the 1978 movie starring Michael Jackson which is full of jazz, soul and funk numbers.

Gaeilge Night:

A night of rap and comedy ‘as Gaeilge’, will take place in Tigh an Táilliúra, An Cheathrú Rua. Bubba Shakespeare and GMC will join comedienne Kathleen O’Ruairc, writer and voice of the animation, Granny O’Grimm, which has been long-listed for an Oscar. This will be followed by DJ Ben O’Faoláin.

Visual Arts:

During Múscailt the visual arts will feature strongly. Alice Maher will unveil two of her iconic pieces, Coma Berenices and The Seduction, which were recently acquired by NUI Galway. As well as giving a short talk on her work, Alice will also open the visual art exhibitions in Múscailt, including Slippage, a temporary solo exhibition of drawings and animations by acclaimed visual artist Aideen Barry.

A group exhibition, Acquisitions, featuring recently acquired works by Robin Jones, Aideen Barry, Ben Geoghegan, Dagmar Drabent, Brian Maguire and Brigit Beemster will also be on display. Many of these artists, including stone carver Pat Bracken, will participate in a series of informal morning conversations. MUSE, the 30th annual Art Society exhibition, will feature a collection of drawings, paintings, textiles and sculptures. A new ceramic sculpture by Simon Murphy, specially created for the 10th Múscailt Festival, will also be unveiled.

Performance Arts:

Múscailt will have a selection of new shows on offer in the Performing Arts, including Plastic Age by Francomime and Colours the Opera by Colours Street Theatre. A new initiative, SOLO SHOW – Monologue for Múscailt, will feature short solo performances. Comedian John Colleary will perform with student comedian Steve Bennett in support.

In association with Arts in Action, artist Benji de Burca, will create a giant cut-out painting using stencils of images of students created on the day. Juggling Society will perform with special guest juggler extraordinaire Marco Paoletti, while Cumann Drámaíochta will provide a performance ‘as Gaeilge’.

For film fans, new releases will be shown throughout the Festival and the Fantasy and Science Fiction Society will run a marathon of retro Sci-Fi films.

Music:

Múscailt, together with Music for Galway, will host pianist James Lisney, currently in mini-residency at the University, and will celebrate 200 years of Schumann and Chopin, with a series of recitals. Irish rappers Bubba Shakespeare and GMC will perform ‘as Gaeilge’ on the opening day of the festival. Students from the Dioplóma sna Dána (Coiriú agus Stáitsiú an Cheoil Thraidisiúnta) class will present a traditional music performance and NUI Galway Chamber Orchestra, Traditional Irish Music Society, Rockapella (Barbershop), and grunge band 21 Outs will also feature in the musical programme.

Fionnuala Gallagher, NUI Galway Arts Officer, said: “In these financially tight times, it is important and fulfilling to encourage emerging performers and artists, working in both Irish and English, who are edgy and original. The artists featuring in this year’s 10th Múscailt Festival are definitely making waves, and we are proud to have them in our programme”.

All events are open to the public and almost all are free, with the exception of the James Lisney piano recitals in the Aula Maxima (tel: 091 705962 / info@musicforgalway.ie) and The WIZ at the Black Box (tel: 091 569777 / www.tht.ie ).

For further details about the festival visit www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie, or telephone the NUI Galway Arts and Theatre Office at 091 493766 for a brochure.

For information on the Comedy and Rap night in An Cheathrú Rua email funkygaeilgeloba@yahoo.com.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past

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A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.

Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.

She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.

Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.

Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.

When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.

Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.

And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.

All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.

“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”

That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.

 

For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here

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Archive News

Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr

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Date Published: 23-Jan-2013

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Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup

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Date Published: 29-Jan-2013

Athenry FC 1

Kilbarrack United 2

(After extra time)

For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.

On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.

An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.

However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.

They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.

With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.

Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.

Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.

Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

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