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Pioneering Eileen Gray inspires Festival show

Judy Murphy

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Ivonne Kalter, Justine Cooper, Kate Ellis, Alex Petcu, Kate Stanley Brenan, Ingrid Craigie, Deirdre O'Leary, Emma O'Kane, Ronan Leahy and Maria Ryan who are appearing in Invitation to a Journey, a show mixing theatre, dance and music which celebrates the life of Eileen Gray. Gray was a leading figure in modern design and her work (pictured) remain hugely popular. PHOTO: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland.

Arts Week with Judy Murphy

The life and work of Wexford-born architect and designer Eileen Gray, a key figure in modern design, will be celebrated in Invitation to a Journey, a new show premiering at this year’s Galway Arts Festival.

Invitation to a Journey merges drama, music and dance to give a glimpse into “moments of the life of this very private person”, says theatre director Jim Culleton of Fishamble: The New Play Company who is directing the piece. He’s working alongside choreographer David Bolger of CoisCéim Dance Company, which is providing the dance element of Invitation to a Journey. Music is courtesy of Crash Ensemble with an original score by Deirdre Gribbin and musical direction by Kate Ellis.

“We all work in different art forms but we’re all dedicated to new and original touring work,” says Jim Culleton of the three companies involved in this show, which is a co-production between them and Galway International Arts Festival.

Over the years, Fishamble, CoisCéim and Crash Ensemble had joined forces for successful Culture Night events, and these inspired their collaboration on this major Festival show which will visit Dublin’s Project Arts Centre after its Galway run. They felt that Eileen Gray, “a hugely influential designer and architect, one of the first modern architects, whose influence can be seen today in Ikea’s furniture” would be a perfect subject, not least because her private life was also eventful.

“We were interested in celebrating her life, and because she worked in different art forms, we had the idea of bringing the three groups together,” Jim explains adding that the project has been in gestation for a few years.

Born in 1878, and educated in London, where she was one of the first women to be admitted to the Slade Art School, Eileen Gray moved to Paris as a young adult and lived in France until her death in 1978. There, admirers of her work included such influential modernist figures as the architect Le Corbusier – although he wasn’t above interfering with one of her famous house designs. E.1027, Gray’s villa on the Côte d’Azur, was the first modernist building completed by a female architect. Her wish that it be a decoration-free zone was later flouted by Corbusier who painted garish murals of naked women on its walls, including one sporting a swastika.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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