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Music lovers set to swing



Date Published: 13-Nov-2009

JAZZ lovers are in for a treat next week when Galway’s fifth Jazz Festival takes place from November 19-22. Although the event is still small, it has more than doubled in size since last year, with a line up that includes artists from Norway, the US, Germany, the UK, Italy and Ireland.

The festival opens with a gala concert in St Nicholas’ Church next Thursday, November 19 when saxophonist Trygve Seim leads a band that reads like a who’s who of Norway’s jazz scene. Trumpeter Arve Henriksen and accordionist Frode Haltli are among the ten piece orchestra that utilise rare instruments like the bass saxophone.

Rebecca Martin is an understated singer who occupies a space somewhere between Joni Mitchell and Norah Jones. An adopted New Yorker she works with the cream of that city’s musicians, who are drawn to the soulful sensibility in her songwriting. In Galway she performs at Druid Theatre with the peerless bassist Larry Grenadier, on a break from touring with piano great Brad Mehldau. Their show is at 7pm on November 20.

The Irish quintet Metier, led by bassist Ronan Guilfoyle, will play the Crane, also on Friday, November 20. Metier are just back from London, where they played in the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Hall.

From London comes drummer Seb Rochford and Polar Bear, named for an animal that can appear cuddly, but is capable of violent flare ups. It’s an apt metaphor for the ethos of this Mercury nominated quintet. They are at the Crane on November 21.

A brace of European pianists are taking part in this year’s jazz festival. Turin born Francesco Turrisi was formerly harpsichordist with acclaimed Baroque ensemble l’Arpeggiata, an experience he has put to productive use in his trio, which draws inspiration from early music and Italian folk melodies. They are at Druid Theatre on November 21.

Bonn pianist Julia Hulsmann has been a stellar figure of the German jazz scene for well over a decade, making music that is poetic and approachable. Her recent release, End of Summer has received much critical acclaim. Hulsman’s trio are at Druid Theatre on November 22.

Dubliner Hugh Buckley is also back at the festival, with some impressive friends, in a show that will explore the guitar from both jazz and classical perspectives. The jazz element comes from John Stowell, the American guitarist whose career spans three decades; the classical aspect is from Ballinasloe born John Feeley, Ireland’s premier classical guitarist. They are at the Crane on November 22.

Rounding off proceedings nightly at the festival club in the Crane Bar is Headford saxophonist Matt Berrill. He is taking time out from studies in The Hague to lead a specially convened festival group that features the best of emerging Galway voices like guitarist Aengus Hackett and trumpeter Conor Cantrell.

All concerts are individually priced or there is a special all-in ticket costing €80 for all concerts. Book online at or phone 091-569777.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



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



Date Published: 23-Jan-2013


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Archive News

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



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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