Date Published: 25-May-2011
Cormac Ó Beaglaoich is a busy young man. When he’s not working on his PhD in psychology at NUIG, he can be found playing his concertina at sessions in Galway or further afield. He is also the organiser of Tunes in the Church, a summer series of traditional concerts in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church in Galway City, now in its second year. The 2011 Tunes in the Church was launched on Sunday evening at St Nicholas’ by renowned traditional fiddle player, Martin Hayes.
Cormac had seen this kind of musical event enjoying success in St James’ Church in Dingle in his native West Kerry, and last summer, with the support of the rector, Gary Hastings – himself a well-known flute player – he organised a series of concerts in St Nicholas’.
“The musicians last year worked off a percentage, and I’m grateful to them because they invested in it,” explains Cormac, whose aim is to see any money made return to the performers “who are at the root of the tradition”.
The 2011 series kicks off next Monday with a strong local flavour. Galway piper Cormac Cannnon and Headford fiddle player and singer Breda Keville will be joined by Clare woman Lorraine O’Brien on concertina and sean-nós dancer Máire Ní Chuaig for the event which begins at 8pm.
The concerts, which will run three times a week until September feature some of the leading names of Irish traditional music.
They include Ringo McDonagh, Brian McGrath, Jacqueline McCarthy, Tommy Keane, Alan Kelly, Johnny Connolly, Lillis Ó Laoire, Dermie Diamond, Seán Tyrrell, Ronan Browne, Charlie Harris, Kathleen Loughnane, Mary Bergin, Tim Dennehy, Len Graham and Breanndán Begley and family – including Cormac.
The concerts will take place in the south transept of the church, in an intimate setting. Most concerts, although not all, will feature a musician or two, as well as a singer and dancer.
Cormac is hoping to expand this series to other churches in Westport and Killarney and has spent recent months – when he’s not working on his PhD or playing music – attending tourism seminar and meeting with tour operators in a bid to increase the profile of Tunes in the Church.
“It’s good for traditional music to have a stage there and to dispel the notion that the home of traditional music is the pub,” says Cormac, adding that the venture, which still in its infancy and is about offering visitors and fans of Irish music an opportunity to enjoy concerts away from the pub environment.
This year the audience will also get a chance to interact and ask questions of the musicians. The performers, meanwhile, are guaranteed an attentive audience, which isn’t always the case in a pub.
“It makes musicians appreciate what they have and they get a lot more out of it,” Cormac feels
He says that he himself didn’t fully appreciate traditional music when he was a youngster, despite being a member of the famous Begley musical family from Kerry – his father is accordion player and singer Breanndán.
Cormac had played concertina since he was a kid but when he was in secondary school in Kerry, “was fairly embarrassed about it” as none of his friends or the people in the years around him at school played. In his late teens, he started play in sessions with his father and siblings and then, when he came to NUIG and got involved in the Trad Society “I started to appreciate what I’d grown up with”.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.