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TG4 captures the drama of seven deadly sins at the Galway Races !



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.

Galway in Days Gone By

The way we were – Protecting archives of our past



A photo of Galway city centre from the county council's archives

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

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Archive News

Teenage Kicks hard to beat Ð unless youÕre Eden Hazard



Date Published: 28-Jan-2013

A receiver has been appointed to Greenstar, which operates Kilconnell dump near Ballinasloe with a staff of approximately 15

The company has a workforce of 800 across the country in collecting waste from 80 thousand households and 12 thousand businesses

It is part of the NTR group which last month (july) published a report stating its subsidiary Greenstar will close its nationwide landfills over the next three years unless prices improve

However in a statement today the board of Greenstar said it wanted to express its disappointment at what it called the ‘unexpected’ move of the appointment of a receiver

The company said it was regrettable that its lenders have chosen to take this action – as the company has not missed any scheduled repayments and is in a strong cash position to continue trading for the foreseeable future

Business Analyst Ian Guider says Greenstar feels there was no need for the banks to take this drastic measure

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Archive News

Galway loses a vibrant voice with the passing of Tony Small



Date Published: 31-Jan-2013

With the passing of Tony Small, Galway has lost a truly vibrant voice. Growing up the son of a tailor in Corrandulla, Tony was reared in a musical house. His brother Jackie was the host of RTÉ 1’s The Long Note, and is also a piper and accordion player of some repute.

Over 30 years ago, Mick Crehan, who runs The Crane Bar, struck up a friendship with Tony Small.

“The first time I met Tony I was playing with an outfit, we were touring around Germany,” he recalls. “Tony was playing with The Wild Geese. They were huge in Germany at that time. There was Tony, Peadar Howley, Norman White, Christy Delaney, Mick Ryan and later Eoin Duignan. They were wild in every way! Tony was a great frontman, a tremendous voice.”

At the time, De Dannan and The Bothy Band were also touring Germany, but as Mick says, ‘The Geese were always top of the bill.’ Tony had a deep affinity with Irish traditional music, but he also put his own spin on it.

“Tony had an extra quality that I find hard to put into words,” says Mick. “He had a vast repertoire of traditional songs and ballads, plus he was writing his own. He had great respect for tradition, but he always added something extra. He bred new life into old songs; he was very innovative.”

“I’d put Tony in the same league as Andy Irvine, who I have tremendous respect for. Andy did things with traditional music that I don’t think have been improved upon. Tony had that type of approach to the songs as well.

Tony Small and Gerry Carthy played the very first gig in The Crane back over 33 years ago. The occasion was re-lived at the beginning of January, when Tony and Gerry played together once more.

“Luckily for Tony, shortly before he died, Gerry was over from the States,” says Mick . “We had a gig here with Gerry, Tony, Jackie, and Sean Tyrell was here, and Johnny Mulhern, and Eugene Lamb, the piper. A fantastic gathering of old buddies.”

Last year, Tony Small released Mandolin Mountain. Recorded in Dingle by Donogh Hennessy from Lunasa, it saw Tony at the peak of his powers.

“It’s definitely his best work,” says Mick. “Nearly all the songs are written by Tony – or re-written. I had the privilege of launching it and writing the notes. There’s a huge variety of stuff on it, there’s philosophical songs, travellers’ songs, rakish songs, very deep songs. I think it gives you a picture of Tony and what he liked, and a very good picture of himself.”

Tony Small took a delight in music that was infectious. In an interview with the Connacht Tribune last November, he reflected on a lifetime’s playing.

“I’m able to sing and I’m able to play a bit,” Tony said. “I’m no virtuoso, but I love doing it. And I love sharing it. I do the best I can. What more can I do?”

Tony Small loved playing music, and had an effect that will endure beyond his lifetime. The Galway music scene has lost a truly gifted player. As Mick Crehan says, “he’ll be really missed.”

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