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The good, the bad, and the ugly of a musical year

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The brilliant Moxie played Monroe's in October with their multi-cultural brand of music.

Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – tribunegroove@live.ie

A simple greeting announced the arrival of 2015’s most successful album. Hello, Adele sang at the beginning of a song that quickly became ubiquitous.

Saleswise, 25 is the album that towered over all others in 2015, with close to three and a half million people buying it in its first week of release. The record itself treads familiar ground, but the power of Adele’s voice is still connecting with people, and tickets for her 2016 Dublin show were snapped up in seconds. Her 3Arena show is unlikely to feature the bells and whistles that U2 brought to the venue, but, for her fans at least, she doesn’t need them.

U2 have been masters of spectacle since their Zoo TV in tour in the 1990s, but many reviews of their Dublin spoke of a show that was genuinely moving. As always, the question is where do they go next, but with a new record already in the can it won’t be long before they answer it.

Further west, in smaller rooms, music still continues to have a big impact. Father John Misty’s show in Róisín Dubh in October was rapturously received. It was a major coup for the venue to get the American songwriter, who also played a sold-out show in Vicar Street.

Earlier in the year, King Creosote played a quietly astounding gig in the Róisín. The Scottish singer came to town in April, joined by a cellist and a djembe drum player. Interspersing his melancholic tunes with witty between song banter, King Creosote sang gems like Bats In The Attic and Pauper’s Dough to a rapt room. It would be great to see him return.

Monroe’s began 2015 in style with a show from the excellent Aldoc in January. Featuring a New Zealander, a Dutchman, two Germans, and led by an amazing flute player from Tallaght, Aldoc returned to raise the roof in Monroe’s for the Arts Festival. They’re a band who bring a wildness and energy to a trad, as are Moxie. The brilliant five-piece came to Monroe’s in October and are unmissable live – be sure to catch them when they come to town again. They may come across as young, ribald and carefree, but Moxie are seriously talented musicians, who spent some of 2015 working alongside Christy Moore.

“We’re playing music that represents multi-culturalism,” says Ted Kelly, who plays banjo with the group. “With the internet and YouTube, you can listen to any type of music in the world. We all live in Dublin, and there are so many different nationalities and cultures. We’re trying to create our music, the way we see it, through our eyes.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City publican in heroic River Corrib rescue

Francis Farragher

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A city publican who last week helped save the life of a woman who had entered the waters of the Corrib off Wolfe Tone Bridge has made an appeal for young people to ‘look out for each other’.

Fergus McGinn, proprietor of McGinn’s Hop House in Woodquay, had been walking close to Jury’s Inn when he saw the young woman enter the river.

He then rushed to the riverbank on the Long Walk side of the bridge, jumped into the water, spoke to the woman and stayed with her until the emergency services arrived.

The incident occurred at about 3.45pm on Friday last, and a short time later the emergency services were on the scene to safely rescue the woman.

“She was lucky in that the river level was very low and she didn’t injure herself on the rocks and stones just under the water.”

He also appealed to the public to support in whatever they could the work being done by groups like the Claddagh Watch volunteers.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Pubs face court – for serving booze on their doorsteps!

Dara Bradley

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Gardaí have warned city publicans that alcohol cannot be served outside their own premises – even in newly-created on-street spaces designated by Galway City Council as suitable for outdoor dining.

Councillor Mike Crowe (FF) said three Gardaí visited a number of city centre pubs on Thursday afternoon informing them that drinking outdoors was not allowed under licensing laws.

“They warned publicans and restaurants that the area outside their premises is not covered by the licence, and therefore under national legislation, they are breaking the law, because they are not entitled to sell alcohol in non-licensed areas.

“The operators were told that this was an official warning, and they will be back again in a few days and if it persisted, they [Gardaí] would have no option but to issue a charge and forward files to the Director of Public Prosecution. You could not make this up.

“All of the big operators were visited, and received an official warning, and they will be charged if they persist. According to the guards, they’re getting instructions from [Garda headquarters in] Phoenix Park,” he said.

The matter will be raised at a meeting of the Galway City Joint Policing Committee on Monday.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Call for 50% affordable homes in new Galway City Council estates

Stephen Corrigan

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – The next Galway City Development Plan should include a greater provision for affordable housing than that recommended by Government, a meeting of the City Council has heard.

Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) told the meeting that while it was the Government’s intention to introduce a stipulation that new estates should have 10% affordable housing, Galway should go further – building anything up to 50% affordable in developments that are led by the local authority.

The Affordable Housing Bill, which is currently working its way through the Oireachtas, proposes that all developments should have 10% affordable and 10% social housing as a condition of their approval.

Affordable housing schemes help lower-income households buy their own houses or apartments in new developments at significantly less than their open market value, while social housing is provided by local authorities and housing agencies to those who cannot afford their own accommodation.

The Council meeting, part of the pre-draft stage of forming the Development Plan to run from 2023 to 2029, was to examine the overarching strategies that will inform the draft plan to come before councillors by the end of the year and Cllr McDonnell said a more ambitious target for affordable housing was absolutely necessary.

“It must be included that at least 50% of housing must be affordable [in social housing developments],” he said.

This sentiment was echoed by Cllr Eddie Hoare (FG) who questioned if the City Council was ‘tied down’ by national guidelines, or if it could increase the minimum percentage of affordable housing required locally.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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