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‘Senior’ singers and dancers take to the stage

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The older the fiddle the sweeter the tune, they say – and the same goes for the fiddler too! Because a group of musicians and storytellers who have been entertaining in their own circles for up to 40 years are now taking their talents to the stage.

The performers call themselves ‘An Stíl Mar A Bhí’ (‘The Style That Was’) and they hail from all over the Connemara Gaeltacht – An Spidéal, Indreabhán, Leitir Móir, Rosmuc, Cill Chiaráin and Carna – with singers, dancers, musicians, poets and storytellers among their ranks.

And they will be performing in Galway city when they take to the stage in the King’s Head for a lunchtime cabaret next Thursday, March 10, as part of Seachtain na Gaeilge, which runs from March 1 to 17.

The silver-haired headliners have a knack for enrapturing their audience with tales and songs of old as well as ‘rince beo’. Performances are delivered in a “theatre in the round” format, meaning performers demonstrate their skills in the centre of a circle whilst a circumference of spectators surrounds them.

There is no amplification; everything remains faithful to the style of old.

The group is the brainchild of Ristéard Mac Aodha, who, although articulate and fluent in Irish, was born and bred in South Boston and served as a soldier during the Vietnam War.

But a visit to Ireland was to leave a lasting impression on the Bostonian. He found refuge and solace in the Connemara Gaeltacht; a peace of mind far divorced from the war zones that besmirched his earlier years.

After spending the best part of thirty years living the quiet life, Ristéard – himself an experienced sean-nós dancer and musician – recently decided to make the move to Cathrach Na Gaillimhe.

The lunchtime recital is in association with Conradh na Gaeilge. Musicians, dancers and singers, now in their dotage, put their personal “party pieces” together on a voluntary basis.

The senior singers do not seek to profit from performances, but rather, they do it out of love for culture and tradition – a nostalgic return to ‘The Style That Was’.

‘An Stíl Mar A Bhí’ promises to deliver traditional entertainment in an atmosphere of “rince, cultúr agus cairdeas”.

An open invite is extended to all, and people are “welcome to take part in the event – should they be so inclined”. Admission is free, but as always “donations are greatly appreciated”.

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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