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CITY TRIBUNE

Town Hall initiatives lay foundation for return to normality for performers and artists

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James Riordan of Brú Theatre is encouraging applicants from across a range of artistic disciplines.

Galway’s Town Hall Theatre, which devised a range of innovative schemes to provide work for artists since lockdown began last March, has launched a new programme of supports, worth over €150,000.

The venue’s Director, Fergal McGrath, described the scheme – which will involve commissions, awards and residencies – as “ground-breaking”.

All the money will be distributed before July, helping artists in Galway to develop and create work, especially “in these difficult times”.  Funding has come from the Arts Council and Galway City Council, among other sources.

Playwright Christian O’Reilly (Inside I’m Dancing, The Good Father) will take part in a residency scheme at the theatre and is being commissioned to write a new play. Other Artists in Residence include writer and performer Little John Nee and James Riordan of Brú Theatre. There will also be a dance residency with choreographer and dancer Breandán de Gallaí.

All four will engage with local artists and audiences, Mr McGrath explained.

The venue is also running a series of Open Call commissions. This includes a second series of the successful Bringing It All Back Home project for which theatre-makers, musicians and writers engaged with residents of nursing homes and care homes across Galway last summer and autumn. The digital stories they created as a result are available to watch on the Town Hall website. Up to ten commissions are planned for Bringing It All Back Home 2021, supported by Creative Ireland. On top of that, the Town Hall is now offering a module of Bringing It All Back Home to all Transition Year classes in Galway City.

Projects such as Bringing It All Back Home demonstrated the value of arts during Covid, according to Mr McGrath.

“But we need to remember there can be no arts without artists and arts workers. Through these initiatives, we hope in some small way to help artists cope with this devastating pandemic. And, like the Arts Council, we believe the work being done by artists and arts organisations will inspire Irish society as we recover from the pandemic.”

Another artist-support initiative from last year, Remote Control, will return and is being extended.

This mentoring programme is being run by James Riordan of Brú Theatre, and by Galway Dance project. It involves four artists receiving remote mentorship. There will also be in-person engagement, networking and professional development events when that’s possible. These four places are Open Call. For information on how to apply visit tht.ie.

The venue is also establishing a Theatre Development Programme to support independent and emerging artists. This will be facilitated by the Director of Decadent Theatre, Andrew Flynn.

He and a panel of experienced theatre-makers from across various disciplines will share their knowledge and experience with independent artists, and will also work with artists and companies to develop their art form.

The Town Hall Theatre introduced its Patron Donation Awards last year to help fund its work. This was a great success, said Mr McGrath, and next month the venue will hold an Open Call for the 2021 awards. These will support Galway-based artists, companies or producers to research, develop and complete original, ambitious projects “which have something to say about the times we live in”.  The venue will offer at least five awards of up to €5,000 each. In addition, participants can avail of rehearsal/development space in the Town Hall Theatre and mentoring, as required and when feasible.

The Town Hall is also working with An Grianán Theatre in Letterkenny on the commission of a new play by Sarah Jane Scott.

“We might be locked down, but we are not out and there’s so much we can do help artists,” said Mr McGrath.

 

CITY TRIBUNE

24/7 Garda surveillance on feuding Galway families

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Specialist Garda units have been maintaining round-the-clock surveillance over the past week in different parts of the city in an effort to keep the lid on a vicious ongoing feud between two families.

The feud, which resulted in a number of houses being firebombed and a gunshot being fired into a doorway earlier this month, is still simmering but Gardaí have put in place a ‘watch and follow’ strategy in relation to gang members.

Gardaí have also confirmed that they are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry into what they regard as the most serious of the incidents which occurred in the latest outbreak of the feud.

That involved a shooting incident on the Wednesday night of June 15, when a gunman fired a shot into the door of a house in the Bohermore area at around 10.30pm – he is believed to have initially making his getaway on foot before being picked up in a waiting car in the Forster Court area.

Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins, who is heading up the investigation into the series of incidents, said that . . . .
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Highwire performers to stage Claddagh spectacular

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – It’s a skill known as funambulism – highwire or tightrope walking – and later this month it seems set to draw huge outdoor crowds to the Claddagh Basin.

Staged on seven highwires spanning the River Corrib, south of Wolfe Tone Bridge, the performances on July 16/17 (Saturday/Sunday), will feature a cast of 150 people from all ages and backgrounds.

Entitled ‘LifeLine’, this spectacular event is being produced and presented by the Galway Community Circus group and will be one of the highlights of the upcoming Arts Festival.

Originally, ‘LifeLine’ had been pencilled in as part of the Galway European Capital of Culture 2020 events, before being scuppered by the Covid pandemic.

The highwire event also has a more serious undertone, in its promotion of the importance of mental health wellbeing at a location renowned for its beauty – but also for many personal human tragedies.

This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Knives, live ammunition and drugs seized in Knocknacarra

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – Knives, live shotgun cartridges and over €10,000 worth of drugs were seized by Gardaí in an operation earlier this week in the Knocknacarra area.

Four young males – who were acting suspiciously in the Lios Mór area at Cappagh Park on Tuesday evening last at around 7pm – were approached by a Garda unit and searched.

During the search, Gardaí found a quantity of cocaine on one of the men, while nearby they also seized a number of offensive weapons including knives.

All four were detained for questioning by Gardaí after being taken to Garda HQ in Murrough, Renmore and in a follow-up search at a house in Knocknacarra, €10,000 worth of cannabis was discovered as well as three live shotgun cartridges.

One of the men – aged in his early 20s – is . . . .
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see the July 1 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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