Date Published: 17-Sep-2009
A host of big names, including Bachelor’s Walk star Don Wycherley and Single-Handed’s Owen McDonnell, star in a new comedy drama series set against the background of the Galway Races that is set to be one of the highlights of TG4’s autumn schedule.
Rásaí na Gaillimhe is themed around the seven deadly sins – pride, gluttony, envy, lust, sloth, wrath and greed – each one featuring in its own episode.
During race week, the characters paths interconnect and merge as each one embarks on a personal odyssey. By the end of this week, the characters have influenced and profoundly changed each other’s lives and some will find their entire existence has been altered forever.
The de Barra brothers are criminal siblings from Donegal who have decided to stage a daring robbery at the famous Festival. The ultimate target is an oblivious bookie Eoin Boland who happens to be having a very successful and eventful week.
Liam Reilly, meanwhile, is a jockey who is fed up of throwing up and throwing races. In a controversial race, he refuses to follow the dubious instructions of horse-owner Noel Treacy, with far-reaching consequences.
A middleclass mother Sinead Connors has re-invented herself as a high class prostitute in her suburban Galway home. Corrupt politician Ultan Keane is attracting unwanted bad press to his party in an election year. Under pressure and scrutiny, he welcomes a break in his home constituency of Galway. A frustrated local policewoman, bored with her repetitive menial duties, keeps a keen and inquisitive eye on the bad deeds and illegal acts of the other characters. Yet, she’s just as capable of committing a few illicit deeds herself, in the name of ambition.
Filmed entirely on location in Galway, the series has an impressive cast including Don Wycherley, Tom Ó Súilleabháin, Ruth Bradley, Frankie Mc Cafferty, Dairine Ní Dhonnchú, Séamus Moran, Olga Wehrly, Owen McDonnell, Seán T. Ó Meallaigh, Hughie McGarvey, Eoin Mac Diarmada, Owen Roe, Gavin O’Connor, J.D. Kelleher, Charlotte Bradley, Donncha Crowley, Michael Patric, Áine Ní Dhroighneáin and Eoghan Ó Riada.
As well as the Ballybrit Racecourse, Eyre Square, the Meyrick Hotel and many other Galway locations will be recognized by viewers. The first episode airs next Wednesday at 9.30pm.
Documentaries are also to the fore in the TG4 autumn schedule.
Cogar, is the generic title of a series of specially commissioned half hour documentaries which concentrate on people telling their own stories. This series starts on Sunday, 9.30pm.
Of course no TG4 season would be complete without the return of its soap opera, Ros na Rún which picks up the story of its popular characters from the mean bar owner, Tadgh, played by Macdara O Fatharta to tearaway Molly, played by Lisa Ní Laoire.
The new series kicks off with a bang when Tadhg and Frances learn their new-born baby’s life depends on an urgent bone-marrow transplant and the only suitable donor is …Jason, Tadhg’s estranged son. Can Jason put his hatred for his father aside to save Tadhg’s child?
Among the many other storylines in the new season, Caitríona turns entrepreneur when she launches the village’s glamorous new beauty salon, Molly tries to wreck her mother Bríd and Micheál’s happiness, Adelaide gets good news but might keep it to herself and Peadar’s health takes a turn for the worse as does his relationship with Máire.
Na Cloigne is a dark supernatural thriller telling the story of a young couple whose contacts with the violent forces of The Other Side lead, over an intense three day period, to the horrific murder of two young women and to everlasting consequences for the couple themselves.
The series was written by Darach Ó Scolaí from Cois Fharraighe and Lauren McKensie and the cast includes Darach Ó Dubháin, Barry Mc Govern, Siobhán O’Kelly, Macdara Ó Fátharta, Joe Steve Ó Neachtain, Maidhc P Ó Conaola and Seán T. Ó Meallaigh.
Other highlights for the coming year include Stíl na Réalt, An entertaining fashion series that mixes two hugely popular genres: makeover and celebrity biography; Luach ár Linne, A new season for the series that looks at money matters and consumer issues; Sláinte agus Easláinte which meets the people working in the health system; Cowboys, A new series that profiles seven legendary Wild West characters and examines and explores the myths of the old West to reveal what really happened.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.
Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.
She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.
Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.
Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.
When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.
Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.
And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.
All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.
“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”
That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.
For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here
Rory takes on fresh challenge as lauded DruidMurphy returns
Date Published: 03-Apr-2013
TUAM AQUACULTURE COMPANY TO CREATE 30 JOBS
After twenty years Sarah lands dream role in Druid
Date Published: 04-Apr-2013
Sarah Lynch has been living and breathing Druid Theatre since she wangled a job as a runner fresh out of college two decades ago at age 20. After holding down just about every role imaginable there – from company manager to director to stage manager – her appointment as general manager to one of the country’s most prestigious theatre companies last October seemed almost inevitable.
Because once she had tasted the fruit of Druid she was going nowhere . . . and going everywhere. Sarah’s tenure at Druid since 1998 has brought her on a journey that has reached just about every corner of the globe and almost all the islands off Ireland in between.
After graduating from Limerick with a degree in French and English Sarah spent a stint teaching in a secondary school. But it immediately became clear that wasn’t the road for her.
“One thing I was always certain of was I’d be involved in the performing arts, whether on stage or off stage or behind it. The immediate reaction of the audience is such a buzz,” she grins.
Her earliest memory was of her grandfather, Bud Clancy, on stage with his trumpet and dance band. “I must have been three or four because he died shortly after that. But it never left me. I got bitten by the bug. I started playing the trumpet. A friend of my grandfather taught me how to play and I was with the Limerick brass and reed orchestra known as the Boherbuoy Band, I was just a kid with all these adults.”
She learned to play other brass instruments such as the French horn and cornet before turning her hand to the guitar and song-writing. “I taught myself guitar. Sometime I tinker on the piano and I think that’s my next instrument. I love percussion. You can’t get me off a drum kit for love or money. Many is the night I’ve made a fool of myself on one of those,” she laughs.
In 2010, Sarah released her debut album, Letter to Friends, which was launched by playwright Enda Walsh, whose short play, Lynndie’s Gotta Gun, she had directed as part of the 2008 Galway Arts Festival.
The collection of songs was produced by Wayne Sheehy, a musician she had met when opening for Juliet Turner on Turner’s Burn the Black Suit tour.
“I could probably have done it ten years ago but for the manic schedule with Druid and touring so much,” she reflects. “I haven’t done much with it since. I used to play gigs in the Róisín Dubh. The bigger twin is theatre at the moment. The bigger twin bullies the other twin. You don’t get much time to do music.”
After fleeing the classroom, Sarah knocked on the door of a former college mate, Andrew Flynn, now with the Galway Youth Theatre, who kindly offered up his couch. He also managed to get her a job as a runner – the person who does everything from making tea to helping with props – on a Druid production of As You Like It.
“I remember working with Mark O’Halloran, I had great fun with him. There was Helen Norton, it was Maeliosa Stafford directing. He’s coming back to the Druid after ten years to star in Tom Murphy’s A Whistle in the Dark. He left me as a runner, now I’m general manager.”
Much of Sarah’s time behind the scenes at Druid has been spent on the road. In 2009 alone, Druid toured to Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA presenting 364 performances in 26 venues.
Indeed so much of life has been out spent living of a suitcase that she gave up her base in Galway to move back in with her family in Caherdavin, on the Galway side of Limerick city.
The tour of the Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh was so long the crew were instructed to pack two suitcases, one with summer clothes, the other winter gear, as they would be spanning the seasons. Her job now entails a lot of commuting, but driving is where she gets a lot of thinking done.
Sarah’s decision to apply for the more home-based job of general manager was one she made discreetly while on the Druid Murphy tour around the US. She had to undergo her interview in between shows at the Lincoln Center in New York. It was the most nerve wrecking experience of her life, she admits.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.