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Sky’s still not the limit when it comes to GAA

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The Sky Sports GAA team

There’s still something slightly unsettling about watching GAA on Sky Sports.

Nothing wrong with the camera angles or even the commentary most of the time, and the guests are household names from the worlds of hurling and football – but it’s still a little like drinking Heineken when your brother works for Guinness.

RTÉ has been the home of the GAA from a television standpoint ever since the channel came on air – and even then it was just adding pictures to the voice of Micheal O’Hehir who’d already been in situ since the dawning of time.

And as TV3 found out in the past, it’s hard for viewers to get out of the habit – although if anyone can do it, Sky can. But they’re not there yet.

For a start, it’s hard to take anchorwoman Rachel Wyse seriously; not for the sexist reasons expounded by Joe Brolly, but simply because her depth of GAA knowledge seems puddle-deep. And were someone to remove her statistics, she’d be left without a crutch to traverse what is already a difficult half-time break for her.

Former rugby league star Brian Carney is a little better, but not much.There are times it would make you pine for Darragh Moloney – and that’s saying something.

The studio analysts have all of the big game experience you’d ever require from a panel – Jamesie O’Connor, Peter Canavan, Paul Earley, Nicky English and our own Ollie Canning know their stuff by any yardstick.

But some of them are more pre-occupied with getting a go on the big screen – with its little rings to show where players are standing and its bolts of blue from the sky or snail-like blue lines to illustrate another mazy run.

It’s all a little forced and stilted, mainly because the presenters lack any real passion for what is unfolding in front of them – and then there’s the occasional commentator who is simply trying too hard.

Dublin’s Senan Connell, for example, endured a sort of Phil Neville meltdown on social media over his attempts at analysis in Cork’s recent qualifier win over Sligo. Neville was rounded on because he was sleep-inducing during his own outing at the World Cup for the BBC, but Connell’s problem was that he seemed to have only one word to sum up good play.

“Quality” was his word of choice, and it became so repetitive that there were suggestions it should be turned into a drinking game – except that if you took a slug for every ‘quality’ quip, you’d be unable to remember your own name by half-time.

Nicky English was a great hurler, but he could as easily have been a curate giving out long sermons; he just doesn’t capture the passion of the game he knows so well, no matter how he tries. In many ways, Sky’s coverage has worked in RTÉ’s favour because it’s shown how good some of its contributors are.

You won’t beat Marty Morrissey for colour and drama; Ger Canning has the calmness and authority that a lifetime of experience brings; and while Pat Spillane and Joe Brolly can be utterly infuriating, nobody could ever accuse them of sitting on the fence.

Cyril Farrell and Michael Duignan read a game, and spot the trends almost before something happens – it’s all so seamless and familiar, and that’s what Sky is up against.

CITY TRIBUNE

Reeling in the years to celebrate iconic album

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Pearse Doherty, John ‘Turps’ Burke, Johnny Donnelly, Davy Carton and Leo Moran on stage at the Warwick, for the album’s back cover. PHOTOS: FRANK MILLER.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s Galway City was on a creative roll, with the Arts Festival and theatre groups such as Druid, Punchbag, Na Fánaithe and Macnas expanding our creative horizons in all directions.

Down in the Quays Bar – then very much a local pub renowned for the calibre of its music sessions – a group from Tuam was creating waves and attracting fans, including Mike Scott of the Waterboys.

That group was the Saw Doctors, “all the way from Tuam”, and Mike Scott had encountered the lads when his band was in Spiddal, making the album Fisherman’s Blues.

They ended up supporting the Waterboys on a tour of Ireland and the UK and, in 1989, Mike Scott produced their debut single, N17, in Dublin’s Windmill Lane. Leo and Davy’s song about youth and emigration captured the experience of so many young people at that time – but it didn’t capture the public imagination. After a few radio plays, it faded away quietly.

“As a teenager, you’d have a dream of having a hit single,” recalls Leo Moran of that debut release. “But when you are writing songs, you become a bit more practical. And we were older and were gone beyond pop-star dreams.”

Their aim was simple.

“Our ambition was to put out a single.”

The group, then made up of Davy, Leo, John ‘Turps’ Burke, Pearse Doherty and Johnny Donnelly, had to earn a living too, and that wasn’t always easy.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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CITY TRIBUNE

Legendary trio for live Town Hall concert

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Máirtín O'Connor who will be joining forces with Frankie Gavin and Johnny Duhan for the concert on July 3.

Fans of quality music who have been pining for live gigs can look forward to Saturday, July 3, when Frankie Gavin, Máirtín O’Connor and Johnny Duhan will be on stage at the Town Hall Theatre at 8pm, for a one-off concert, Part of a Tribe.  The venue will have a limited capacity of 50 people and the concert will also be livestreamed.

Each of the three will perform solo works and collaborate on well-known instrumental pieces.

Tunes will include The Road West, The Queen of Sheba, The Belfast Hornpipe, Thomond Bridge, Joe Cooley’s Reels, and songs like The Voyage, Don’t Give up til it’s Over and The Beacon.

Part of a Tribe comes from the title of a song that the three musicians recorded with the cream of Galway’s folk and traditional musical community some years ago for St Vincent de Paul. Its theme of co-operation and team spirit is especially relevant as the country moves out of the shadow of Covid-19.

The concert will last 70 minutes and there will be no interval and no bar.

The maximum number of tickets that can be purchased per person is four. They cost €25 for the in-person event. Online tickets are €15/Online household €20.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

‘Cowgirl’ love song that hits all the right notes

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The Raines, from left, Yvonne Tiernan, Ruth Dillon and Juliana Erkkonen.

The wonderfully titled Love is sublime (til it draws out its gun) is the latest single from Galway based folk-Americana trio, The Raines. Launched on Friday, it went straight to number one on the iTunes singer-songwriter charts in Ireland and number 12 in the overall charts.

It follows their debut single, 2020’s Bare Feet on Grass, which also reached number one in the iTunes singer-songwriter Chart and was Song of the Week on RTE.ie’s culture section, with over one million impacts on Irish radio.

The Raines are Ruth Dillon, Juliana Erkkonen and Yvonne Tiernan, all terrific performers in their own right.

Ruth (vocals, guitar, ukulele) who toured and recorded with Dolores Keane, is a former member of The Molly Hicks, and has three solo albums of her own. Juliana (fiddle and vocals) has been at the forefront of Ireland’s Americana musical scene and released seven albums with various groups, including one solo album.

Yvonne Tiernan (vocals and ukulele) has toured as lead singer with ‘The Chieftains’.

This up-tempo summer single again showcases the beauty of their vocal harmonies, strings and their overall rapport.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

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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