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Treatment of children makes for horrific viewing

Denise McNamara

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TV Watch with Denise McNamara

If ever there was an argument that the country needs Prime Time more than ever – even if it severely wronged a Galway priest – it was aired on Tuesday night.

Like just about every parent of small children in the country, I was glued to my couch to watch the investigation into crèches, which had been widely leaked the week before after the facilities involved hired PR firms to get their side of the story out before the programme was broadcast.

It surely won’t live up to its billing, its thunder has been scorched, I thought to myself before.

After all it’s nothing new that some crèches breach the regulations, it’s nothing new there aren’t enough inspections – our sister paper, the Galway City Tribune, has covered several stories on the failure of crèches to adequately meet the standards set by the HSE. There have been revelations in the national papers and all sorts of promises to clean up the sector which were then quietly shelved.

Boy was I wrong. The undercover filming captured the core of what a thousand shocking reports could never achieve.

Children repeatedly being flung like rag dolls on mats, strapped up to three hours at a time in chairs, roared at continuously, in one case sworn at, force-fed – this is all behaviour that would never be witnessed by a HSE inspector or a parent.

The attitude of the childcare workers was deeply disturbing. When you think these girls get little over the minimum wage for a very challenging job – and in these three cases they were seriously understaffed – it’s easy to see why frustration creeps in.

I readily admit to shouting – okay sometimes cursing – at my kids, and there has been the very odd ‘clip’.

But there can never be any excuse for the plain cruelty witnessed on the documentary.

The regime of humiliation and ritual aggression which all served to create a horrific atmosphere in the institutions – which made millions of euro in profits, compounded by millions of taxpayers’ funding – left me feeling sick to my stomach for hours.

Some of the staff seemed to abhor the very sight of the kids, which makes you wonder why on earth they wouldn’t just go on the dole, surely they would be better off financially than spending their days in utter misery.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.

CITY TRIBUNE

Sharon goes global for lockdown album The Reckoning

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Sharon's new album will be available from this Friday.

Despite Covid-19 travel restrictions, Sharon Shannon has gone global for her latest studio album, The Reckoning, which is being released this Friday, November 27.

The Reckoning, which was composed, written and recorded during lockdown, features more than dozen remote collaborations from locations across the world.

All the twelve tracks have been co-written by Sharon and band members and various guest collaborators.

The full-on method in which it was recorded marks a new departure for the Clare-born musician who lives in Galway City, she says.

“Normally when we work on an album, we do one track at a time,” Sharon explains. “But with this, it seems to be an avalanche when you’re working on 13 or 14 tracks every day. It’s like a minefield!”

One of the key tracks, The Jolly Roger, resulted from a challenge which rugby player Robbie Henshaw presented to Sharon during the first Covid lockdown. Issued via Facebook, her task was to learn a new skill. And she did. After five days of intense practice, she created The Jolly Roger Facebook video . That clip of Sharon and her electric guitar has attracted more than 289,000 views since it was uploaded earlier this year.

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

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CITY TRIBUNE

Artists going to dogs in aid of annual auction

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Work donated to MADRA by Galway artist Grace Cunningham and Achill Island’s Padraig McCaul.

Works by some of Ireland’s top artists, including Grace Cunningham and Finbar McHugh from Galway as well as Padraig McCaul from Achill Island and Charles Harper from Valentia Island, will go under the hammer at this year’s MADRA Dog Rescue Charity Art Auction.

The popular event, which kicks off for viewing next week, will take place online year due to Covid restrictions.

The event, will open for registration and online bids next Thursday, December 3 and will remain available to view and bid online until Monday, December 7 .

The goal is to raise €3,000 to contribute towards vet bills for the Connemara-based dog rescue and adoption charity. MADRA is facing major bills, all without the financial support that’s normally generated by its two charity shops – they have been closed for months this year due to the pandemic.

“We have stunning artworks available with an amazing variety of subjects and styles,” explains MADRA co-founder and director, Marina Fiddler, adding that the organisation is “honoured that so many talented artists have donated such beautiful pieces to support the homeless dogs in our care”.

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

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Celebrating Romania on Great Union Day

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ConTempo, will perform a programme from thier native Romania for next Tuesday's lunchthime concert.

The next instalment of the lunchtime music series, From Europe with Love, will take place next Tuesday, December 1, at 1pm. Hosted by Galway Music Residency, it’s the last one for 2020.

It promises to be a special event as Galway’s Ensemble in Residence, the ConTempo Quartet, who are from Romania, celebrate their homeland on what’s known as Great Union Day. This national holiday marks the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina with the Romanian Kingdom in 1918.

ConTempo will perform a varied programme, showcasing the best of Romanian music. This will feature works by celebrated composers George Enescu and Theodor Grigoriu alongside lesser-known musical treasures. There will be a strong folk theme throughout, making for a lively lunchtime show.

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

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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