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Connacht Tribune

Tuam’s Brendan strikes a note with X-Factor judges

Declan Tierney

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One of the most talented singers to come out of Tuam in recent years says that he just wants a second chance to pursue a career in showbusiness.

And Brendan Murray, formerly one fifth of the boyband Hometown who were managed by Louis Walsh, has certainly grabbed the public’s attention following his performance on X-Factor last weekend.

And it was somewhat ironic that he was also given a second chance on stage in front of the judges after he had initially struggled with the lyrics – but he was afforded another opportunity to impress and he didn’t disappoint.

In fact, he received a standing ovation from the judges of the hugely-popular ITV show and this has given him a fresh impetus to get his music career back on track as he currently works as a plumber.

One of the judges Louis Tomlinson (a member of the boyband One Direction) said that he was really proud of Brendan’s performance.

“Almost an impossible task learning a song in a couple of hours,” he said before describing describe the performance as “legend”.

When Brendan (21) came on stage, he informed the judges that he was about to perform the Kate Bush hit “Woman’s Work” which he had just learned a couple of hours earlier.

He stumbled twice with the lyrics, was handed a glass of water by top judge Simon Cowell and then gave a performance, with the aid of the lyrics sheet, that brought them to their feet in applause.

The Irish 2017 Eurovision performer admitted to The Connacht Tribune that he was very nervous about performing. “I had butterflies,” he said.

“I din’t know what to expect. I had very mixed emotions as it was full-on and a long day.”

Asked how difficult it was learning a song in a few hours, Brendan said that it was probably one of the hardest tasks he ever had to do.

“It wasn’t just learning a song I didn’t know, it is also a really hard song to sing. It was a big task and I had to push myself to the limits, so I’m delighted it worked out well,” he added.

Regarding the standing ovation from the judges, he said: “I was just relieved. I was relieved that the whole thing was over. It was a big task that the judges set for me, but to get such a good reaction was amazing.

“The reaction since my audition has been amazing as well, especially online and back in Tuam. Everyone is very supportive. I’m a go-getter and someone said to me the other day that they thought I was a great role model.

“That really meant a lot. I’ve had a great reaction from my family and friends. They’ve always been very supportive and are really happy for me.”

During his time with Hometown, he performed in front of a sell-out crowd for the Sugar Beat Festival in Tuam back in 2015. They have since disbanded.

Connacht Tribune

Student nurses face all the risk – for no reward

Dara Bradley

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Working on the children’s ward of a busy hospital during a global pandemic is no joke; less funny still when you’re not getting paid for your toil.

All the risk and none of the rewards of qualified staff – that’s the lot of Edel Moore, a student nurse who is currently on placement at University Hospital Galway.

Edel, and hundreds of student nurses like her on placement in UHG and Portiuncula in Ballinasloe, want more than a round of applause and platitudes from Government.

“None of us want a pat on the back for struggling. We’d just like to be recognised,” she said.

“The Government are full-time talking about front-line workers, and they want to give them a ‘clap hands’. Then you see Junior Ministers getting massive raises. For what? What have they done for us, the student nurses, that they’re getting a €16,000 wage increase?

“We’ve put ourselves through a four year degree but all I’m worth is a clap? Thanks! It’s ridiculous. They say that front-line workers deserve all the help they can get but it just seems that the ones who are able to give us the help we need are not going to give us the help that we deserve.”

Edel Moore is a mature student originally from Westmeath but living in Leitir Mealláin in Connemara with her husband and three children.

A third year student nurse of NUIG, she is currently on placement at the paediatric ward at UHG.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Island museum gets the green light

Declan Tierney

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An artist's impression of the proposed Inishbofin museum.

Work is expected to begin shortly on the construction of a museum on Inishbofin after planners gave the green light to the project.

The museum at Middlequarter is being developed by local historian and photographer Marie Coyne – and when completed, it will be home to items of historical significance from both Inishbofin and Inishark.

There is an existing museum on the island but it is too small to house the amount of artefacts, photographs and family histories that have been assembled over the years.

The new building will also include a photographic exhibition room, restoration workshop along with a gift shop and coffee dock. It is proposed that the new 3,400 square feet museum will be built on a site at the rear of Ms Coyne’s home.

Eamon Gavin of Eamon Gavin Architects based in Cornamona told the Connacht Tribune that this was an important project for the island and it was a welcome decision.

And he said that the green light would kickstart the process of conserving the vast and unique artefacts and archives built up over the years.

“As a practice, we have a long history of dealing with planning consultancy on unique rural sites in Connemara and the islands, therefore we fully understood how sensitive the proposed location of the project would be – the site is located in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and National Heritage Area,” he said.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Tuam woman a picture of health a year after Covid crisis

Declan Tierney

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Tuam's Kitty Farrell with her dog Lulu a year after her Covid diagnosis.

Last year was a Mother’s Day like no other for Kitty Farrell who spent it in the back of an ambulance being rushed to hospital with Covid – but the 80 year old Tuam woman can look forward to a more sedate celebration this time out….thankfully restored back to full health.

Kitty, from Ballygaddy Road, had developed a debilitating cough the previous week – and when she was admitted to UHG on Mother’s Day, she tested positive for the coronavirus despite a lack of symptoms.

The retired businesswoman spent the next nine days seriously ill in isolation – and all alone as her four children could not visit her.

“To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to come through it but I was so sick that at times, it didn’t really matter. But the thought of passing away in isolation made a bad situation even worse,” Kitty said at the time.

A year on, she is back to full health, and while she restricts her movements, Kitty told The Connacht Tribune that she is just happy to be alive and she spends her days ‘pottering about’ and looking forward to the arrival of family members.

“Even though I don’t particularly agree with the current lockdown because everyone should be responsible for their own behaviour, I am living a life of relative isolation at the moment,” she said.

Read Kitty’s full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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