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Connacht Tribune

Musical ‘Playboy’ takes to highways and byways

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Philip Sweeney and Kate O'Toole who are performing in the musical version of The Playboy of The Western World.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Nobody could accuse Justin McCarthy of lacking imagination, because this man of many parts – musician, television director, videographer, dramatist – will go to any lengths to get his long-cherished pet project to the biggest audience he can. The Playboy of the Western World – The Musical started out as a radio production, broadcast to critical acclaim on RTÉ; it became a stage show at An Taibhdhearc and the Town Hall Theatre before Covid forced it outdoors into a giant tent – and now it’s about to embark on a national tour.

Once again, it will be staged under canvas, with an all-star cast that includes the legendary Kate O’Toole as narrator, amid a host of home-grown talent, many of whom have been part of the story through its various incarnations.

Two nights at Coole Park in Gort on August 27 and 28 will wrap up the short tour, by which time it will have been staged on the grounds of IMMA in Dublin, from August 5 to 7, and at Muckross House in Killarney, from August 19 to 21.

This is the culmination of an idea that has burned brightly for over three years now, ever since Justin – whose own professional background is in directing for television – and actor and director Diarmuid de Faoite first got the idea to develop a musical version of John Millington Synge’s classic drama which tells the story of the arrival of a young man, Christy Mahon, into a village in West Mayo, claiming that he’s on the run after having killed his farmer father.

Problem was they couldn’t find any theatre company willing to take on the risk – so they re-imagined it as a radio play and approached RTÉ’s head of drama, Kevin Reynolds, who loved it.

Thus, The Playboy of the Western World – the Radio Musical was broadcast on RTÉ Radio and won a silver award at the annual PPI Radio Awards in Kilkenny, adding to the bronze which it won at New York Festival’s Best Radio Program Award.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised

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Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.

A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.

Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.

Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.

Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.

He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .

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Connacht Tribune

Anger over ANC ‘snip’

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Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue

ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.

Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.

In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.

Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.

At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.

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.

 

 

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Connacht Tribune

Siblings find each other – and their Connemara roots – after 80 years

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Reunited...Pat and Miceál McKeown outside their mother Síle’s birthplace in Carna.

By Erin Gibbons

A family separated for over 80 years was reunited at the end of an emotional journey in Connemara last weekend – thanks to DNA testing and the expert help of heritage researchers.

Pat McKeown, who lives in Staffordshire in the UK, is the daughter of Síle Gorham from Roisín Na Mainiach, Carna – but she was given up for adoption and reared for a time in a Belfast Mother and Baby Home.

Now, at the age of 81, she found her roots – returning to her mother’s native place for the first time last weekend, in the company of her long-lost brother Micheál.

It was an emotional end to a lifelong search for her roots that even led her to hire a private detective to try and locate her family and to discover her name.

All of this proved unsuccessful – and she had effectively given up her search when she was contacted unexpectedly by a man called Miceál McKeown, who turned out to be her brother.

Micheál – an artist and sculptor – and his daughter Orla had made the connection through DNA testing, after Miceál too had set out to discover more about his own roots.

That revealed that Síle Gorham had married Michael McKeown in 1939, and Síle went on to have three more children named Áine, Séan and Miceál.

Pat visited Connemara last weekend for the first time to learn about her mother Síle and the Connemara ancestry which she feels was robbed from her for her entire 81 years.

She was accompanied by Miceál, his wife Rosemary, daughter Orla and son-in-law Rueben Keogh.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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