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Connacht Tribune

Peter’s music flying high in glorious ‘Two Balloons’

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A scene from the animated film, Two Balloons which will be screened at this year's Film Fleadh.

Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – tribunegroove@gmail.com

The beguiling animated short Two Balloons will be shown at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh. Directed by Mark Smith, the film tells the tale of two explorers who cross paths in the middle of a storm. The idea for Two Balloons came to Mark when he was on a sailing trip to Grenada and the boat approached a funnel cloud. He described the cloud as “daunting and mesmerising to watch” and it inspired the short film.

American composer Peter Broderick, who now lives in Galway, wrote the piano music for Two Balloons. The 31-year-old explains how he and Mark Smith came to work together.

“I think he originally heard my work through a mutual friend of ours,” Peter says. “Over ten years ago, almost 15 years ago now, I played in this band from Portland, Oregon. All the others were quite a bit older than me, and one of those guys was friends with Mark Smith. I believe that’s how he discovered my work, but not until years later when I was doing my own thing.”

Peter came to Mark’s mind when the director wanted something for his animation film in waltz-time and came across More of a Composition, released by the composer and multi-instrumentalist in 2009.  Ensuring that his music suited the film involved revisiting the original, says Peter.

“The piece that he was inspired by is only four minutes long, and the film itself is about nine minutes. We ended up completely rerecording all of the music and rewriting it and adding in little sections here and there to fit more perfectly with the film.

“At a certain point, when the film was close enough to finished, we began in earnest to record the actual score. Because when you record the score, you need to make sure the timing fits exactly. It doesn’t make sense to do too much work before the picture is locked in place.”

Because it uses the painstaking stop-animation process, which works to bring static objects to life on screen, Two Balloons took five years to complete. But Peter is delighted with the completed work.

“I went up to the Foyle Film Festival in Derry where it premiered,” he says. “It was its first public screening, after five years in the making. It’s just amazing to have it done, and out there and doing really well at some of the festivals. It’s just one of those projects that brought a lot of joy to all the people involved. I’m really glad to be part of it.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Homemade Wimbledon is a different bale game!

Francis Farragher

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James Craughwell about to serve over the tape – and the sheep gates – to brother Christopher with mum, Anne, in the background. The family dog Prince is showing a keen interest in taking up the role of ‘ball boy’. The brollies on the deck chairs were actually purchased at the Wimbledon tournament that the Craughwells attended in 2017.

WIMBLEDON mightn’t be happening for the tennis professionals this year due to COVID-19 – but one North Galway family are planning their own version of the tournament.

The younger members of the Craughwell family in Menlough village have had a tradition over the years of lining out their own court on the silage slab that’s available for recreation purposes during the early weeks of the Summer.

The three sons of Jarlath and Anne Craughwell – Christopher, Shane and James – rarely missed the opportunity through the years to ‘get the silage slab ready’ for their own Wimbledon tournament.

“The dimensions of the silage slab are almost exactly the same as a tennis court [78 feet X 36 feet} so back the years we always organised our own games. When the silage was made, then that was always it for another year,” Christopher Craughwell told the Connacht Tribune.

As the lads grew older the summer tennis court hadn’t been used for a few years but in 2020 with the introduction of the coronavirus restrictions, it seemed like a perfect time to bring it back.

“This year we took it a stage further. We used the sheep gates for the net with a line of white electric fence tape along the top so this is probably the best job we’ve ever made of it.

“The silage won’t be made for at least another month so were planning to stage our own family tournament over the coming weeks. With the weather so good, it’s been a great way to pass the time,” said Christopher.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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Connacht Tribune

City Council houses Travellers in county

Declan Tierney

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Cllr Donagh Killilea.

Galway City Council will spend close to half a million euro to house a Traveller family – in a property well outside its own local authority boundary.

Instead the family of four, who previously lived on the Carrabrowne halting site, will be accommodated in the house at Kiltulla near Carnmore, which is deep in Galway County Council’s local government area.

The City Council is understood to have paid €388,000 for the property which will require another €50,000 to refurbish – leaving little change out of half a million euro.

Angry residents, who were unaware of the plan, have now organised a petition to City Council CEO Brendan McGrath to voice their objection to the move.

But Cllr Donagh Killilea believes that there is a bigger issue at stake – with Galway City Council acquiring property wherever they like.

And Senator Ollie Crowe said that he believed the City Council – of which he was a member up to his Seanad election – should be acquiring property within their own area and that this acquisition was ‘unprecedented’.

He said that it was his view that there would be nothing bought outside the city boundary and that the money spent on this property would refurbish a lot of the City Council’s housing stock that had fallen into a state of dilapidation.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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Connacht Tribune

Long drives still out of bounds for golfers

Declan Tierney

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Teeing off from the 12th tee at Galway Bay Golf Resort in Oranmore this week on the re-opening of golf courses around the country. There is nothing to suggest that any golfers travelled more than 5km to play in Oranmore. Photo: Keith Kelly.

This week’s relaxation of travel restrictions saw an exodus to the garden centres and the golf courses – but Gardaí have this week reiterated their warning to those planning to excede their five kilometre limit that they may find themselves in the heavy rough.

The first phase of a return to ‘normality’ went to plan, despite the early rush to newly reopened facilities. Even the rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of furloughed golfers, who were on the first tee from daylight.

Time sheets for golf clubs across the county were choc-a-bloc as they opened their doors to members for the first time since the end of March – but many clubs privately admitted that more than half of those who played had travelled way beyond the 5k restriction.

That led Gardaí to warn that they will be mounting checkpoints and turning people back home – adding that the golf clubs themselves have a responsibility to advise members on the travel rules.

Tuam Sergeant Pat Hastings confirmed that Gardaí had the power under the Health Preservation and Protection Act 2020 to turn back individuals travelling more than 5k from their homes.

He warned that a file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions to deal with anyone who continually breached the regulations.

See the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops or available for delivery with your groceries. You can also order the paper from An Post at no additional charge – or purchase a digital edition on this website.

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