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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

Creating treasure from trash on Turbot Island

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A little girl shows the versatility of Hanneke Frenkel's 'Sea Carpets' on Turbot Island during Clifden Arts Festival.

The saying ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ proved true as a collection of ‘sea carpets’ made from discarded fishing ropes was one of the hits at this year’s Clifden Arts Festival.

The sea carpets were exhibited on Turbot Island, the part-time home of their creator Hanneke Frenkel. Over the last two weekends, they were snapped up by festival-goers who jumped at the chance to not only take a tour her of workshop, but also to explore an island that many see off the Clifden coast, but that few get to visit.

Turbot, which has been without a permanent population since 1981, has been Hanneke and her husband Stefan’s summer home for almost 30 years, but an extended stay during Covid was the genesis of her sea carpets as the long-time artist sought a creative outlet.

“As I was walking around the island, wondering what to do, I found a huge amount of black rope washed ashore and thought to myself, maybe there was something I could do with it. From that, I started making my first carpet, just for myself, and it all started from there,” she says.

Over the past two years, the colours and style of carpets have changed, but their unique charm has remained. And they, as well as the island tours led by Stefan and Hanneke, were a winner over the past couple of weeks.

“It’s been a huge success and we’ve been overrun by lots of enthusiastic visitors who loved Turbot and the carpets – nearly all have sold out. We’ve enjoyed welcoming the visitors who came on all types of boats and it was all effortless. Everyone had a great time,” they say.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

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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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CITY TRIBUNE

Putting cartoon art in spotlight

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Willy Brennan, Paul Callanan and Richard Chapman of Galway Cartoon Festival at the launch.

This year’s Galway Cartoon Festival, which will officially open in the city this Friday, September 30, at 7pm, is inviting people to draw a line under “the last couple of miserable years” and start having fun again.

The official opening, to which all are invited, is in the PorterShed, Bowling Green and it also marks the launch of the festival’s flagship exhibition, Drawing The Line, in the same venue.

This group exhibition from top Irish and international cartoonists casts a humorous eye on recent events at home and abroad and, as cartoonist and festival co-founder Richard Chapman observes, “there’s no shortage of material”.

Drawing the Line has contributions from dozens of countries, and includes some of the biggest names in the profession. It will be open daily at PorterShed, Bowling Green, from 12 noon to 5pm until the festival concludes on October 9.

The work of Irish cartoonist Jim Cogan will be in the foyer of the Town Hall Theatre. Jim began drawing for Hibernia Magazine while he was a student at the National College of Art and Design. After initially working in the advertising industry, he became a fulltime cartoonist and illustrator, working mostly for the Sunday Independent and Farmers Journal.

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

Soup – blending art forms to explore memory and grief

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Deirdre Griffin confronts love and loss in Soup. PHOTO: LUCA TRUFFARELLI.

Soup, a new show that explores grief in an Irish context, using live art and physical theatre, will be performed in an intimate setting in the city’s Black Box Theatre next Monday, October 3 at 8pm.

Created by choreographer and dancer Deirdre Griffin in collaboration with sound artist Craig Cox, it’s performed by Deirdre and was inspired by her mother Mary Heneghan.

Originally from Claremorris and living in Meath, Mary died from stomach cancer in 2013. A keen gardener and great cook, according to Deirdre, Mary’s illness left her unable to eat the nourishing food she created.

Since Mary’s death, Deirdre has been collecting the everyday reminders of their life together and in this 45-minute show she explores these, alongside the surreal experience of watching her mother’s body become something other; her sensation of detachment following Mary’s death; and a series of dreams charting her grief.

Deirdre describes Soup as a live diorama that celebrates her mother while considering her own relationship with the grief of Mary’s death.

She does this by including memory-inducing sensory material, such as the disembodied voices of radio presenters; the tactility of hair; the smell of a herb that may not exist and the warmth of home-made soup.

The Artistic Director of Dublin Fringe Festival, Ruth McGowan, described Soup, which premiered at the 2019 festival, as “a genre-bending performance that rewrites familiar experiences in thrilling, intimate new ways”.

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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