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Connacht Tribune

Passion for violin born out of a love of owls

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Carolin Widmann credits her parents with nurturing her musically:"They loved to play and they loved to listen."

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

Owls. One of Germany’s leading musicians Carolin Widmann, who will be in Galway’s Leisureland next Thursday with the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra, can trace her career as a top violinist back to owls.  Carolin laughs as she says, in fairness to her, she was only six when the creatures stole her heart.

It happened was when she was attending a production of The Carnival of the Animals, the renowned piece by French Romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns, that was being produced by a local amateur orchestra.  Carolin’s mother, who played violin with the group, was in the owl section and the creatures – complete with feathers – blew the child away.

“It was more a visual than a sound thing at the time,” Carolin recalls. In any case, she has never looked back.

The Munich-born violinist has won countless awards for her playing and recordings – her albums include CDs of Schumann and Schubert’s music as well as more contemporary composers. And she’s a regular in the world’s top concert halls, performing with the likes of the London Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Nuremberg Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony.  Since 2016, she has been Professor of Violin in Leipzig’s University of Music and Theatre.

Carolin credits her parents with nurturing her passion for music – “they loved to play and they loved to listen”, she recalls. Her brother Jörg has also carved out a successful career as a composer and clarinettist.

Carolin performed in Ireland in 2016 with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and has also played Sligo International Chamber Music Festival. She’s very much looking forward to returning to ireland.

Well-informed about the implications of Brexit for Ireland, she is interested in politics generally. Her grandparents, who were children in the aftermath of World War II, endured great hardship before Germany rose from the ashes. They felt the good times couldn’t continue indefinitely and as she looks at Europe and the world now, Carolin sees why they held those views.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Progress stalls on setting up Eating Disorder Community Health Team

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Despite an increasing number of young people experiencing eating disorders, a new specialist community team has yet to be set up in Galway well over a year after it was announced.

The delay is mainly due to a difficulty recruiting a consultant psychiatrist to lead the team, this week’s HSE West Regional Health Forum meeting was told.

Councillor John Connolly (FF) queried the progress on the new Eating Disorder Community Health Team within the Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) after the HSE revealed in September 2021 that it would be set up in response to the hike in youths presenting for treatment.

Chief Officer of HSE Community Healthcare West, Breda Crehan-Roche, said interviews had been conducted to recruit a clinical lead, but so far none had been appointed. Six other staff had been appointed and these had been assigned to existing teams within CAMHS while a psychiatrist could come on board to manage the team.

“We have difficulty getting locum cover. Interviews were held. It’s a priority. We are doing a running recruitment process,” she told this month’s meeting.

It took between six and nine months to appoint a person to such a senior post.

“There is a lot of work in specialist intervention in the eating disorders team.”

She admitted that there were no records of how much of an increase there had been in referrals to CAMHS Galway for youths troubled by an eating disorder as all records were on paper rather than on computer.

“I can’t ask clinicians and therapists to pull together manual figures,” she stated. But the indication from staff on the ground was that there had been a downward trend in referrals post-Covid.

There was a move to keeping digital records by the middle of next year.

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Connacht Tribune

Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan dies aged 78

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Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan has passed away at the age of 78.

Born in Kilkenny in 1944, Bishop Drennan studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth from where he was ordained in 1968

As a priest, the then Fr Drennan served as curate in both St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish in Kilkenny and then in Ballycallan.

From 1975 he taught Sacred Scripture at St. Kieran’s College, returning to Rome in 1980 to become Spiritual Director at the Irish College there for the next five years.

When Fr. Martin again returned home he became a Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth where he continued to teach until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997.

Following the retirement of Bishop James McLoughlin, Bishop Drennan was chosen as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora and was installed on 3rd July 2005 in Galway Cathedral serving to his retirement in 2016.

A brief statement released by the Diocese of Galway this afternoon confirmed his passing and offered their sympathies to Bishop Drennan’s family and all those who mourn his loss.

Funeral arrangements for the late Bishop Drennan will be announced later

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Connacht Tribune

Gardaí appeal for help to locate missing man

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Gardaí are seeking help from the public in locating a 66-year-old man who has been missing from Clonbur since Thursday.

Michael Harte is described as being 5’ 9” in height, of slim build with short grey hair. When last seen, he was wearing blue jeans, a blue jumper, a tan / khaki padded jacket and tan boots.

He is understood to have access to a black Renault Megane with a 02 C registration.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Clifden Garda Station on 095 2250,  the Garda confidential line on 1800 666111 or any Garda station.

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