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‘Organic’ method of promoting Irish acts proves to be a big hit

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Date Published: {J}

It can be difficult for new and emerging artists to get their music across to a mass audience, as the emergence of fixed playlists, and increased competitiveness among radio stations means that it’s usually more established artists who you will hear over the airwaves.

That is particularly the case with mainstream radio shows, although the likes of Paul McLoone on Today FM (7pm-10pm, Monday to Thursday) does offer an outlet to less well-known musicians.

The dreaded ‘r’ word is providing a perverse boost to the Irish music industry, as musicians who are finding it hard to get a job, are able to spend more time on their music. But without access to a large broadcast base, it’s difficult to get their music out there.

One person who is working hard against that tide – and having some degree of success – is Galway Bay FM presenter and producer, Garry Kelly. The city native has worked at the local radio station for the past three years, and presents The Garry Kelly Show every Saturday from 6pm to 9pm, as well as the early sports bulletins on The Jimmy Norman Show every weekday morning. He found that while there was always a steady flow of new material from Irish artists being sent in to him, the level has increased in the past 12 months.

 

The one-time lead singer with local rock bands Epidemic and Komatose was aware of how difficult it can be to get material on the airwaves. So he put his thinking cap on to see what, if anything, could be done to give new Irish acts the platform they deserve. The answer is ORGANICS (Music).

ORGANICS (Music) is a free hour-long podcast uploaded on iTunes every fortnight. The show’s aim is to expand the opportunities in promoting Irish bands and musicians internationally, whether they are signed or unsigned acts.

Most podcasts are solely talk-based, but ORGANICS (Music) differs in that it is a music-based podcast specially licensed by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) with all unregistered artists just needing to give their permission for their music to feature.

“I was delighted to see the fresh music being released by new Irish bands, but getting airplay can be difficult so when the recession hit I thought ‘what can I give to the person sitting at home with no job or money, and at the same time benefit others through use of my resources and knowledge?’ – hence in February of this year ORGANICS (Music) was founded.

“Making an IMRO licensed music-based podcast available on iTunes allows people to listen to the podcast at their own convenience and in their own comfort. It also taps into new technology in that it is instantly archived and available, which sets it apart from a radio show.

“With radio, once the programme has been aired, usually that is the end of it, but ORGANICS (Music) provides a back catalogue, so new listeners can catch up on previous episodes whenever they want. The episodes are always available on iTunes,” Garry explains.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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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