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Teenage Gort singer brews up a storm!

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A teenage singer from South Galway has had her original song included on a US label’s new album, designed as a showcase to promote the best of musical talent from across the globe.

Gort student Jenna Coughlan’s song has made the cut to appear on the California-based record company’s album, following an international song competition win.

BY SIMON FLATLEY

And the producers were so impressed by her talent that have since been in touch to make another one.

The sixth year student at Gort Community School is one of six young musicians from across the world to be included on a new album, with her award-winning song ‘Smoke Storms’.

The recording is being released by Future Youth Records, a non-profit record label dedicated to helping rising talents to create and distribute music, promoting social justice.

Landing a $1,000 prize for her song, Jenna admitted she was ‘definitely really surprised’ to discover she was then one of the six winners of the competition, and the only one from Ireland. In previous years, winners of the song writing competition had been flown out to Los Angeles to record their track – but that wasn’t possible this year due to Covid-19.

“It would have been a nice experience to record over there but I also have to concentrate on exams at the moment, as the Leaving Cert is coming up. It did work out well though as I was able to record the song from my bedroom,” she said

The 18 year old revealed that, a year or two ago, she bought recording equipment and “because I’d decided to try recording some of my songs, I guess that came in handy”.

“I saw an ad on Instagram for the competition, and I looked up Future Records to learn more about them,” she explained.

I learned they help young people to distribute music and promote environmental justice and I was really interested in the competition.”

Jenna revealed that her dad, John, is also very environmentally friendly, having covered the roof of their house and his business, Coughlan’s Centra, in solar panels, which she says is working extremely well.

“I never thought that I would actually win when I entered the competition. I did it more as a challenge for myself because I write music all the time,” said Jenna.

“Then they sent me an email, firstly to say that I was picked as one of the final ten, and then within a week or so later I got an email saying I was a winner. Within a few days I had a meeting with the producer on Zoom about how the song would go,” she added.

The song which she wrote is called ‘Smoke Storms’ explaining “it is kind of a song about how we really need to protect our planet, as we’re not looking after it and we are destroying it. Climate changes causes these smoke storms when the sky is filled with smoke, which happen a lot over in the States.”

The international song-writing competition received submissions from youth ages 16-24 living in Australia, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Kenya, Morocco, New Zealand, the Philippines, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, the UK, the US, and Zambia.

Songs were voted on by an all-star panel made up of musicians, social justice advocates, entrepreneurs, educators, and music industry professionals.

Joining Jenna on the Think Earth Vol 1 are musicians from Canada, South Africa, the USA and Sweden.

Jenna has been writing songs since the age of 14 and is inspired by the likes of Pink, Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift.

Her family are obviously delighted with the win and her friends and teachers at school aren’t shy in playing the song over their phones.

Musicals and drama at the school was where she developed an interest in music and happily acknowledged the support of her music teachers Edel Quinn, Fiona Lyons and Eva Coyle and school musical director Tara O’Carroll, over the years, saying “I probably would have never started song-writing or playing music if it wasn’t for them.”

Next up for Jenna is the Leaving Certificate, after which she intends to record the song for the next album. Given her early success, it’s no surprise the 18-year-old plans on continuing to follow her musical dream, hoping to study music at Munster Technical University in Cork.

The ‘Think Earth’s Volume 1 EP’ and Jenna’s original recording ‘Smoke Storms’ is available on Spotify and Apple Music.

Connacht Tribune

Time and history conferred character on this home

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The Hermitage, Ballymoe: on the market with a €425,000 guide price.

The Hermitage at Lisnageeragh, Ballymoe is a property on which time and history has conferred a character that no new property could mirror.

Overlooking 16.3 acres of rolling green fields which are included in the sale, this is indeed a unique house and comes to market with charming well maintained stone buildings. These could provide further family accommodation, holiday rentals or craft studios.

The front hall has a beautiful, curved window and leads to two reception rooms on either side of the house. The sitting room has an open fireplace with a black cast iron surround and wooden floors which gleam from years of care and reflect the light coming from two large windows. To the right-hand side, the dining room also has an attractive bay window and an oil-fired stove and it is indeed the perfect social /entertaining space.

To the rear of the house the kitchen is a classic example of a successful marriage of the old and the new. Bespoke shaker style units combine perfectly with modern recessed lighting, attractive tiling and includes a pantry area to one side. A good-sized bedroom and adjacent bathroom complete the downstairs of the main house.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms one of which has an en suite shower. The main bedroom is a delightful space which leads to another small room, a perfect nursery or walk in wardrobe.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

A time when we learned once more that no man is an island

Francis Farragher

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Country singer Dolly Parton getting the jab: she sang about it and part-funded research on the vaccine.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of the oft-repeated pub jokes whenever the price drink was increased, whether it by Finance Ministers or publicans who felt that their margins were being whittled away, was that: “As long as it doesn’t get scarce, we’ll be happy enough.”

Who could have believed though in the first month or two of 2020 that this scenario would unfold (at least in pubs), where the opportunity to meet friends – and the odd ‘auld enemy’ too – over a couple of pints in the local bar would be snatched away from us?

We probably have learned to adapt to the reality of the pandemic and most of us will remember the real sense of fear and constriction that pervaded our every word and action early last year.

2020 was the universal version of ‘annus horribilis’ – the term made famous by Queen Elizabeth in 1992 when royal marriages started to collapse like cards houses in the breeze.

Being of rural stock, I loved the little video earlier this from country music icon, Dolly Parton, who adapted a verse of her famous Jolene song to mark her first shot of the Moderna vaccine (she also donated $1 million to its research) in a very sincere effort to try and encourage the general public to get inoculated.

“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

I’m begging of you not to hesitate,

Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

Cause when you’re dead that’s a bit too late.”

A year before that, times were indeed very strange across Ireland and indeed the world. I remember on the Sunday night before St. Patrick’s Day when a sense of incredulity greeted the news in my own local that ‘a lot of the pubs in Galway city were closing down’. Surely, this couldn’t happen in our own little watering hole in the sticks, but it did.

Michael Karmen’s soundtrack from the Band of Brothers series – a wonder piece of music even to my untrained ear – will always remind me of that early Spring period of lockdown in 2020.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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

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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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Connacht Tribune

€4.5m worth of property sold during online event

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This detached house at Seacrest in Knocknacarra attracted a "staggering" level of interest.

More than €4.5 million worth of sales were recorded at the O’Donnellan & Joyce auction last week, where 350 people had pre-registered to bid on the 40 properties which went under the hammer.

80% of the properties sold during the auction or following negotiations immediately afterwards.

Among the properties sold at the auction were:

106 Seacrest, Knocknacarra, Galway. Guiding at €250,000 due to the extent of renovation and upgrade works required, the auctioneers were staggered at the level of interest in this 4-bed detached house.

Siobhra Hennessy, Senior Auction Co-Ordinator, said: “There is an increasing demand for city centre homes in need of repair. Couples want to put their own stamp on a property and often look for properties similar to this.”

Bidding commenced at €250,000 but quickly rose to over €350,000. After intense bidding from a number of internet and telephone bidders, the sale price of €364,000 was reached and the deal was done.

192 Bohermore, Galway. A 2-bed terraced house which attracted great attention, with many enquiries and bidders pre-registering. The house needs complete restoration and modernisation works but obviously appealed to a wide audience. It guided at €120,000, but sold for €179,000, despite the great amount of work required. Again, this is an example of a near-derelict building that offered great potential.

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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