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Connacht Tribune

Unique nightclub hits the right note

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Natasha Lydon

Lifestyle – Bounce, a nightlcub for people with intellectual disabilities, takes place every month in the city’s Róisín Dubh. As it celebrates its second anniversary, the DJs, VJS and organisers tell DENISE McNAMARA about its growing success.

It’s a Monday on a wet, miserable February night. Galway City is deserted.

Except for the Róisín Dubh. The weather makes not a jot of difference to the tribe who have gathered in the city’s West End. They arrive by the busload, travelling from as far afield as Dublin, Clifden and Ballina.

Welcome to Bounce, the monthly nightclub for people with intellectual disabilities.

But this is not some tokenistic night out for the community. The people behind the decks have trained as DJs, some of them for years. The videos being shown here have been shot by adults attending the Brothers of Charity facility in the Woodlands Centre in Renmore.

Unique throughout the 26 counties, Bounce celebrates its second birthday this month. And it’s just about to go national.

“We’ve been invited by the Dublin Dance Festival to bring Bounce to the Button Factory in May – the Button Factory, imagine!” exclaims Laura O’Connell, one of the initiative’s key organisers.

Laura is a support worker with the Brothers of Charity who moonlights as a DJ and is responsible for training the Bounce DJs.

The idea of holding a monthly nightclub so that people with intellectual disabilities could socialise together in a safe, fun space while working as DJs and VJs (Visual Jockeys) was born out of Club Tropicana, the annual club night that’s been held at the city’s Black Box every summer for seven years.

Club Tropicana attracts up to 250 adults and features live bands as well as professional DJs. The Black Box is transformed for the event with a host of elaborate props created by a team of 30 people who attend the Woodlands Centre on a daily basis. The night also features a performance by Electric Dreams, a six-piece indie pop outfit consisting of four people with intellectual disabilities and two professional Galway musicians who together write their own music.

“There was a real demand there for more clubbing events but we struggled to find a venue,” explains Andrew Madec, music coordinator of That’s Life, the Brothers of Charity arts programme.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Progress stalls on setting up Eating Disorder Community Health Team

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Despite an increasing number of young people experiencing eating disorders, a new specialist community team has yet to be set up in Galway well over a year after it was announced.

The delay is mainly due to a difficulty recruiting a consultant psychiatrist to lead the team, this week’s HSE West Regional Health Forum meeting was told.

Councillor John Connolly (FF) queried the progress on the new Eating Disorder Community Health Team within the Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) after the HSE revealed in September 2021 that it would be set up in response to the hike in youths presenting for treatment.

Chief Officer of HSE Community Healthcare West, Breda Crehan-Roche, said interviews had been conducted to recruit a clinical lead, but so far none had been appointed. Six other staff had been appointed and these had been assigned to existing teams within CAMHS while a psychiatrist could come on board to manage the team.

“We have difficulty getting locum cover. Interviews were held. It’s a priority. We are doing a running recruitment process,” she told this month’s meeting.

It took between six and nine months to appoint a person to such a senior post.

“There is a lot of work in specialist intervention in the eating disorders team.”

She admitted that there were no records of how much of an increase there had been in referrals to CAMHS Galway for youths troubled by an eating disorder as all records were on paper rather than on computer.

“I can’t ask clinicians and therapists to pull together manual figures,” she stated. But the indication from staff on the ground was that there had been a downward trend in referrals post-Covid.

There was a move to keeping digital records by the middle of next year.

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Connacht Tribune

Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan dies aged 78

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Retired Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan has passed away at the age of 78.

Born in Kilkenny in 1944, Bishop Drennan studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth from where he was ordained in 1968

As a priest, the then Fr Drennan served as curate in both St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish in Kilkenny and then in Ballycallan.

From 1975 he taught Sacred Scripture at St. Kieran’s College, returning to Rome in 1980 to become Spiritual Director at the Irish College there for the next five years.

When Fr. Martin again returned home he became a Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth where he continued to teach until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997.

Following the retirement of Bishop James McLoughlin, Bishop Drennan was chosen as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora and was installed on 3rd July 2005 in Galway Cathedral serving to his retirement in 2016.

A brief statement released by the Diocese of Galway this afternoon confirmed his passing and offered their sympathies to Bishop Drennan’s family and all those who mourn his loss.

Funeral arrangements for the late Bishop Drennan will be announced later

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Connacht Tribune

Gardaí appeal for help to locate missing man

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Gardaí are seeking help from the public in locating a 66-year-old man who has been missing from Clonbur since Thursday.

Michael Harte is described as being 5’ 9” in height, of slim build with short grey hair. When last seen, he was wearing blue jeans, a blue jumper, a tan / khaki padded jacket and tan boots.

He is understood to have access to a black Renault Megane with a 02 C registration.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Clifden Garda Station on 095 2250,  the Garda confidential line on 1800 666111 or any Garda station.

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