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CITY TRIBUNE

The show goes on as Film Fleadh ‘pivots online’

Judy Murphy

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Galway Film Fleadh Managing Director Miriam Allen (right) and Kate O'Toole, Chair of the Film Fleadh Board. PHOTO: JOE O'SHAUGHNESSY.

Fans of Galway Film Fleadh won’t be congregating at the Town Hall Theatre or the Pálás this July to see the best of Irish and international movies and documentaries – and they certainly won’t be enjoying the post-screening festivities at Galway Rowing Club.

But the good news is that although the 32nd Galway Film Fleadh cannot take place in its usual format because of Covid-19, it will be held, starting on July 7.

People can buy tickets and stream their chosen films via the Film Fleadh website, watching them at home on their TVs or other devices, with a streaming quality that’s equal to Netflix.

“We’re going to try and stick to the physical festival format as much as possible,” says the Fleadh’s Managing Director Miriam Allen.

“So, on July 7 we will have the opening film, with the introductions and a Q&A afterwards.”

There will also be “a virtual party at the Rowing Club”, she adds.

Some events will be free, while tickets for feature films will be between €5-€7 across the board. And the Fleadh will only sell a maximum 400 tickets for any screening, keeping to the format of the physical festival – the capacity of the Town Hall is around 400.

The programme will include international screenings as well as Irish documentaries and shorts. Normally the Fleadh runs from Tuesday to Sunday but it will run over a longer period this year, Miriam says, with a scaled-back programme of 50 films, between features and shorts.

“These will be over a more extended period. What we are still working out is the window people have in which to watch a film. Say, if the film you book is showing at 8pm on Tuesday, will you be able to watch it at 10pm or 11pm if you can’t watch it live? That’s what we are trying to work out because films can’t be left up indefinitely.”

Security is a big issue in the film world given the prevalence of piracy. For that reason, the Fleadh has partnered with top-of-the range streaming platforms, Festival Scope and Shift72, which are used by companies such as Warner Bros and by other film festivals worldwide.

And every film shown will have to be watermarked so it can’t be pirated.

All screenings are geo-blocked to the island of Ireland, which means you can only access films if you have an Irish IP address – that’s what identifies your computer when you go online. But, because the festival is online, once you have an Irish IP address, you can watch a Fleadh film from anywhere in the country, which she’s thrilled about.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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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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