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Connacht Tribune

Rising costs acting as barrier to education for students

Stephen Corrigan

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A generation of young people will not reach their potential unless the Government takes action to create equal access to education, the President of NUI Galway Students’ Union has warned.

This comes following comments last week from the Minister for Education Joe McHugh that those who could not afford the rising costs of third level accommodation should consider options “at a regional level”.

However, a breakdown of where grant-assisted students from County Galway go to college, released to the Connacht Tribune, shows that almost 70% are already going to institutions such as NUI Galway, GMIT, Galway Technical Institute and Galway Community College.

A further 18% look to the wider Western region, with most opting for Athlone IT, followed by the University of Limerick, Limerick IT, Mary Immaculate College in Limerick and IT Sligo.

Just 13% of Galway students are going further afield to places like UCD, Trinity College and DCU.

NUIG’s Students’ Union President Clare Austick said this indicated that students are already opting for colleges closer to home and commuting – and meant that people were selecting courses based on what they could afford, rather than what they wanted to do.

“That is another barrier to education. Access to education is being treated as a privilege, which it’s not – education is a right, not a privilege,” she said.

“The Minster should not be asking students to come up with the solution to a problem that the Government has created,” added Ms Austick.

Rising accommodation costs faced by Galway students was the greatest barrier, said Ms Austick – with the lack of space driving up prices and putting students and parents to the pin of their collar to afford it.

The Minister with responsibility for Higher Education, Milltown-native Mary Mitchell O’Connor, suggested that students should use their grant to cover the rising costs of accommodation.

Figures obtained by this newspaper show that just over 5,000 Galway students are in receipt of a grant. In total, approximately 13,000 Galway students are enrolled in full-time and part-time courses at third-level institutes.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Tristan’s Ciúnas nominated for award at Dublin Film Festival

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Tristan Heanue shooting Ciúnas in Connemara.

Connemara filmmaker Tristan Heanue has been nominated for the Discovery Award at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival for his short Irish-language film Ciúnas (Silence) which was shot around Connemara. The winner of the award will be announced at the closing ceremony of the festival on Sunday, March 8.

Previous recipients include Barry Keoghan, Niamh Algar and John Connors.

Ciúnas won the Físín Script Award at the 2018 Dingle Film Festival and that festival came on board as co-executive producer on the finished short, which Tristan wrote, directed and produced,

The plot centres on a couple embarking on a journey in the midst of a family crisis and it stars Gary Lydon (The Guard, Calvary, Pure Mule, The Clinic) Ally Ní Chiaráin (The Drummer and the Keeper, Michael Inside) and rising star Hazel Doupe (Float Like a Butterfly, Michael Inside, Calm with Horses).

“I’m hugely honoured to be nominated for this award among such an incredible list of Irish talent,” says the Letterfrack man. “I am so happy with how people seem to have connected with the film since we screened at the Galway Film Fleadh last July.”

Ciúnas has already won the Grand Prix at the 64th Cork Film Festival in November, which means it’s now on the Academy Awards longlist for 2021.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Eclectics aim for a musical smorgasbord for all tastes

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Eclectics success…Liam Ó Maonlaí and Me Auld Flower.

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

There’s a hint in the name as to what you might expect from the night – and it’s that diversity of styles that helps explain how, right through the second half of 2019, Eclectics emerged as one of Galway’s premier nights for original music.

Curated by David Boland, the showcase gained huge support by prioritising quality and putting artists first. In the Black Gate, Eclectics has a venue that matches its own ethos – it is the city’s most intimate venue not just because of its size but because, invariably, its patrons are intent on listening to the act on stage.

The 2019 programme began and ended with Cavan songstress Lisa O’Neill but it featured a long list of talented Irish musicians in between.

On a Galway scale, local artists including Jack Lee, Maija Sofia and Dead Horse Jive all played headline shows in the latter stages of the year. There were performances too from experienced Irish musicians like John Spillane and Hothouse Flowers’ Liam O Maonlaoi.

Eclectics is a place for artists at the start of their careers as well as those that have long established themselves in the industry. There are no set criteria for the acts David books.

While the venue may lend itself to a quieter sound, the Black Gate hosts musicians from all styles and genres.

Invariably, the shared trait among Eclectics performers is originality. As the name suggests, the showcase champions diversity and authenticity.

Galway’s arts community is one of the best and most vibrant in the country. There is something of a disparity, however, between the number of quality artists we have in the city and the number of venues that encourage their work.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Corofin’s history makers return to a heroes’ welcome

Declan Tierney

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Gary Sice with his daughter Sadhbh after Corofin defeated Kilcoo to win the All-Ireland Senior Club Championship final at Croke Park last Sunday.

Bonfires blazed and hundreds lined the route as the classy Corofin champions made their way home to a rapturous reception on Monday evening following their historic All-Ireland success the previous day.

The stage was set in Dr Duggan Park, as supporters of all ages dressed in their saffron and green colours waited patiently for the team bus to arrive in the village – and when they eventually did, they were greeted by one of the most energetic homecomings ever witnessed.

This was their fifth All-Ireland club success and by far the most special – not just because the side achieved three-in-a-row, but because of the manner in which they pulled away in the first period of extra time.

Many of those loyal Corofin supporters were convinced that the reception might not have been as ecstatic, had they snatched victory in normal time.

Indeed, the huge Corofin support witnessed their side doing what they do best in that opening period as sub Conor Cunningham sneaked a goal from a rebound and heroes Ronan Steede, Dylan Canney, Liam Silke and Gary Sice put daylight between the sides.

Monday’s homecoming began as the team bus crossed the Shannon in Athlone around mid-afternoon and were even treated to a warm welcome in Ballinasloe along the route.

But it was when they arrived at around 6pm in Abbeyknockmoy that the celebrations began in earnest, as players disembarked from the bus with the Andy Merrigan Cup to the delight of the local GAA club and well-wishers.

See full coverage of the homecoming and that historic win in Croke Park – all in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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