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New novel marks Nuala’s debut in the UK and US

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Nuala Ni Conchuir.

Ballinasloe author Nuala Ní Chonchuir, who has gained a reputation in Ireland for her award-winning contemporary fiction, has taken a new direction with her latest novel, Miss Emily.

Writing under the name Nuala O’Connor, she has travelled to 19th century Amherst, Massachusetts, to the family home of Emily Dickinson. The arrival of Irish maid Ada Concannon into the household in 1866 saves the Dickinsons from domestic disarray and more importantly, sees the two women form a strong friendship.

The reclusive American poet and the outgoing Irish teenager discover they were born on the same day and that seals their bond, despite the difference in their ages and social class. Ada provides ‘Miss Emily’ with company during her melancholy spells, while Dickinson steps outside of her comfort zone to support Ada when the maid’s reputation is violated and people turn against her.

Told in alternating chapters by Dickinson and Ada Concannon – the plot is somewhat predictable, but the writing is beautiful and engaging and Ní Chonchuir’s attention to domestic detail and the rhythm of small-town life is superb.

Miss Emily, which is being published this side of the Atlantic by Scotland’s Sandstone Press, marks the first time that Ní Chonchuir has been represented in the UK, hence the Anglicisation of her name.

Here at home, the Dublin-born Ní Chonchuir has had two novels published – You and The Closet of Savage Mementos – as well as five short-story collections and four books of poetry. Her awards for fiction awards include RTÉ radio’s Francis MacManus Award, the Cúirt New Writing Prize, the Jane Geske Award (USA), the inaugural Jonathan Swift Award and the Cecil Day Lewis Award. She was also shortlisted for the European Prize for Literature.

Miss Emily also sees Ní Chonchuir make her American and Canadian debut. She is being published there by Penguin-Random House and already the Washington Post has described Miss Emily as a “quietly soaring” novel.

It’s available in bookshops and online priced at €12.99.

 

Connacht Tribune

Sisters in perfect tune for unique musical snapshot

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Breda and Claire Keville, photographed by Nutan. (Inset) The sisters, as depicted by artist Isabel Alegria, on the cover of the album.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

“A snapshot in time,” is how musician and composer Claire Keville from Claran, near Headford, describes Music from Galway, the new CD which she and her sister Breda have just released.

With Breda on fiddle and Claire on concertina, it’s a gorgeous collection of music from all parts of Galway and beyond, a mix of slow airs, gigs, reels and marches. The sisters are accompanied by guitarist and longtime musical friend Terence O’Reilly on several tracks, which they recorded in the studio of his East Clare home in April of this year.

Claire, a French and Music teacher in Coláiste Iognáid (the Jes) in the city for the past decade, and Breda, who works as a radiation therapist in UHG, have previously released solo albums. Breda’s, The Hop Down, was released in 2006 and The Daisy Field, from Clare came out in 2009. Each guested on the other’s album, but this is their first joint recording, a project they’d been discussing for years.

When it did finally happen, it came together a lot more quickly than either of them had anticipated.

“I didn’t think we’d have it done this year,” says Breda, as Claire recalls that they discussed its timeframe in April, while driving from Galway to Terence’s home in Clare.

After that first day, when they recorded 10 tracks and realised that most of them would make the album, they reckoned it was achievable. Another session in An Spidéal with musician, ‘talented engineer and general all-rounder’,  Ronan Browne, convinced them it was and Music from Galway was launched at the Willie Clancy Festival in Miltown Malbay in July.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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

Telebox channel youthful energy into mature sound

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Telebox...new single and Róisín gig.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Guitar-driven, alternative rock four-piece Telebox are the latest product of the talented youth music scene in Galway. And having packed out the Róisín Dubh in all all-ages gig in May, they are returning to the Dominick Street venue this Sunday at 2.30pm to celebrate the release of their second single.

The group consists of frontman Joe Kelly, guitarist Conall Ó Floinn, drummer Stevie Healy and bassist Eoin Killeen – and their Signs of Joy is available on streaming platforms from this Thursday. It is a smooth and hook-laden follow-up to Platonic Plague, a debut reminiscent of The La’s in its ringing guitars and post-punk pop melodies.

Telebox are a shining example of the ability that exists among teenage Galway musicians, and they serve as a reminder of the need for arts spaces that welcome crowds of all ages.

“For us, the reason we did [the Róisín gig] was that half of us are still underage,” Joe explains. “We find it really hard to get pub gigs and we have connections to the Róisín, so we went to them and said we’d love to do an all-ages thing.

“A lot of our friends are underage as well, so it was a chance for everyone to come together again. No one can go to pubs or anything like that and we’re too old for discos and that sort of thing. It’s a nice middle ground.”

“It was unbelievable,” Eoin recalls. “We couldn’t believe the energy that people brought. It’s like 2pm, 3pm in the day. People aren’t drinking, everyone is sober, and they’re still dancing and enjoying themselves.”

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Tunes in the Church returns with August concert series

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Tunes in the Church returns with August concert series

The Tunes in the Church concert series returns to Galway after a two-year break. The award-winning, series held in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, will run for the next two weeks, taking place on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights.

The concerts will feature some of Galway’s finest musicians, singers and dancers, with two musicians and a dancer performing each night. During the interval, there will be a short historical tour of St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, which celebrated 700 years in existence in 2020.

Tunes in the Church began in 2010, set up by Kerry musician and Galway resident Cormac Begley, who wanted a way of presenting traditional music that was family-friendly and respected the tradition. It is an acoustic, authentic, personal and interactive representation of Irish music, song and dance.

Interaction between the audience and performers is central to the experience, Cormac explains, with relaxed, natural, conversation being a feature of all the concerts.

Tunes in the Church provides a respectful and family-friendly setting for the listener and creates a platform where leading exponents of traditional music can showcase their talents. For more information and to book go to www.tunesinthechurch.com

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