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Nicola strikes right note



Nicola McGuire: releasing debut album.

The city’s best known wedding singer has now created a soundtrack of her own, with the launch of her debut album. Nine months after she was named Church Singer of the Year by the popular industry website, Weddings Online, Nicola McGuire has produced the CD of her favourite songs, But For Now.

Inspired by the two genres of music she was most influenced by in her childhood, the album reflects her distinctive tastes – and her jumbled musical soul.

“As a child, there were two very different musical influences in our house. My mother Helen is American and she inherited a love of Jazz, Motown and Soul music from her mother, my grandmother,” recalls Nicola.

“I spent a lot of time in America as a child and my grandmother had no television, just a record player beside her chair in the living room, where she played jazz music every day and I loved it.”

At home in Galway, her father, Des McGuire, also weaved his musical bow.

“We liked to listen to all types of music including Irish traditional music but I fell in love with Mary Black. I used to sing in my primary school classrooms for the other kids and it was always a Mary Black song. When asked by my teachers what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always reply ‘a popstar’.”

Featuring covers of Jazz and Irish Ballads, tracks include Bright Blue Rose, Caledonia, Georgia on my Mind, She Moves through the Fair, What a Wonderful World, But For Now, Cliffs of Dooneen.

The album was recorded and produced by Peter Maher of Middlewalk Recording Studio in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, who managed to also get a bit of piano playing in.

Galway Musicians Frankie Colohan and Danny Healy played on the tracks and she used her connections with the ‘Trad on The Prom’ outfit to rope in Mairin Fahy, Yvonne Fahy and Ger Fahy to play.

Between church ceremonies and evening receptions with her band, the Cosmonauts, Nicola has managed to squeeze in performances at no less than 10 weddings on a bank holiday weekend.

The Claddagh native, who plied her trade in the Renmore Panto before becoming a professional wedding singer eight years ago, had made the top five three times when she finally took the title of Church Singer of the Year. She is keeping her fingers crossed that she might win enough votes again for 2015.

Already, she is fairly fully booked up for 2015 and is 60% full for 2016 with dates already pencilled in for 2017.

She launches ‘But For Now’ in the g Hotel on December 16 from 7.30pm with a live band. They will play tracks from the album as well as some popular Christmas songs.



Galway City Council to ‘review’ Kirwan junction



Councillors are demanding proof that the €5 million spent to transform Kirwan Roundabout into a signalised junction was money well spent – blasting the new junction as having created long delays and worsening rat-running.

A meeting of the local authority last week heard that while there was a general acceptance there would be ‘teething problems’ with the traffic-light junction after it became operational in July, ongoing issues were continuing to draw the ire of road users and local residents.

Cllr Mike Cubbard (Ind) said he was one of five councillors on the previous Council to initially vote against the removal of the roundabout, based on fears that it would increase traffic through local residential areas – a fear that had been realised.

“What changes have been needed to be done since it went live,” asked the former Mayor, indicating that there had been little improvement.

Cllr Alan Cheevers (FF) said he understood that enhancement works were being done, but more were required.

“A lot of drivers are avoiding it and its driving traffic through the likes of Terryland Business Park. The Tuam Road is now gridlocked,” he said, calling on the Council to do a “PR exercise” to encourage drivers back to Kirwan.

Cllr Clodagh Higgins (FG) said the junction continued to confuse people and suggested that “overhead hanging signs” would be of assistance.

Green Party Councillor Niall Murphy said when the roundabout was slated for removal, it was promised that delays would be reduced by 25% and rat-running by 90% – but as yet, no evidence had been provided to show this.

“We need to put some science on this.

“The rat-running has moved to Dyke Road and there are some sections of that road where there are no footpaths, so it is quite dangerous for pedestrians,” said Cllr Murphy.

Acting Director of Services for Transport, Uinsinn Finn, told the meeting he believed there was a silent majority that were satisfied with the new junction.

He said that the junction’s ‘go live’ date was July 19, which coincided with the reopening of many parts of society that had been in lockdown due to Covid, and that had contributed to additional traffic.

“The first two objectives were to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, and those objectives have been achieved.

“There will be a post project review – that is something that we always do and I would be happy to bring that back to Council for its consideration,” said Mr Finn.

Council Chief Executive Brendan McGrath confirmed that review was set to get underway.

“It will go through the various elements and if issues arise following the review, they will be addressed,” he said.

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Thieves target cars as owners unload shopping bags



Galway shoppers have been advised by Gardaí not to leave their vehicles unlocked or unattended as they bring their shopping into their homes.

This follows reports in the Newcastle area of opportunist thieves ‘striking’ as the shopping bags were being moved into houses.

One resident told the Galway City Tribune that the thieves waited until the person had taken a bag of shopping from their cars to bring into their home.

“This gives the thieves a minute or two to have a quick look in the car – what they seem to be looking for are purses, bags or wallets that are left behind in the car,” the resident stated.

He added that some of local residents had notices two ‘youngish lads’ – possibly in their late teens or early 20s – hanging around the Newcastle Park Road area over the past week or two.

“I just think that people need to be on their guard for this kind of opportunist theft. They just wait until the driver goes inside the house with the shopping and before they come back out, they do a quick search of the car,” he said.

Galway Garda Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Michael Walsh, said that opportunist thieves would always be ‘on the look out for a handy theft’.

“What I would advise is that either have someone to keep an eye on the car when the shopping is being removed – or else lock the car each time, and don’t leave any cash or valuables in the vehicle.

“It might be an inconvenience to lock the car each time you go back into the house, but it is still far better than having something stolen from your vehicle,” said Sgt Walsh.

He also urged, that as a matter of routine, no one should leave any valuables in their cars when they parked them up.

“Even the coins that some people keep in car pockets for parking or other small payments can attract thieves. Never leave anything of value in your vehicles,” he said.

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Connacht Tribune

Boil water notice issued for Barna area



A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes

The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.

The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.

The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.

Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.

Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.

Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.

In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.

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