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CITY TRIBUNE

Uplifting and vibrant, ‘The Fall’ has a profound message

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The Fall mixes drama, narration, music and song in a production that has won plaudits from ciritics all over the world.

In April 12015, a statue of Cecil Rhodes was toppled from its plinth at the University of Cape Town (UCT) by a group of student activists.

The English mining magnate who’d been a key figure in the colonisation of southern Africa, died in 1902 at the age of 42, and the statue to him was erected in 1934, during at a time when imperialist ideas of white supremacy still held sway.

Rhodes was Prime Minister of what was known as The Cape Colony from 1890-96, when the colonial government effectively excluded blacks from voting by raising the financial requirements to do so. He was also responsible for annexing huge swathes of land from black South Africans.  So, it’s no wonder he was a much-hated figure.

The UCT students involved in Rhodes’ removal in 2015 included a group who were in their final year of a four-year acting degree at the University’s Baxter Theatre Centre. They were also part of the #Feesmustfall movement, opposing the prohibitive fees in South Africa’s universities.

“A bright, talented and political group, they were out on the barricades in their final year,” is how UCT Drama lecturer Clare Stopford recalls them. Based on their experience of that campaign, the group subsequently went on to devise and perform The Fall at the university.  It has since toured South Africa and travelled to Edinburgh, London and New York, earning rave reviews, including one from The New York Times’ Ben Brantley who described it as ‘exhilarating . . . stirring . . .an infectious heady joy’.

Now, it’s coming to Galway where it will be performed as part of the Arts Festival from this Sunday, through to Saturday next, July 21.

The Fall has its legacy in South Africa’s Protest Plays of the 1980s, explains Clare Stopford, who began her career as an actor before moving to Johannesburg where she joined the renowned Market Theatre and, under the mentorship of its founder, Barney Simon, moved into directing.

The company was renowned for its Protest Plays during those troubled times, when the campaign against South Africa’s apartheid regime was gaining in strength at home and abroad.

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

CITY TRIBUNE

Mercury hit 30°C for Galway City’s hottest day in 45 years

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –

Wednesday was the hottest day in the city over the past 45 years when with a high of 30.1 Celsius being recorded at the NUI Galway Weather Station.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the city dates back to June 30, 1976, when the late Frank Gaffney had a reading of 30.5° Celsius at his weather station in Newcastle.

Pharmacists and doctors have reported a surge in people seeking treatment for sunburn.

A Status Yellow ‘high temperature warning’ from Met Éireann – issued on Tuesday – remains in place for Galway and the rest of the country until 9am on Saturday morning.

It will be even hotter in the North Midlands, where a Status Orange temperature warning is in place.

One of the more uncomfortable aspects of our current heatwave has been the above average night-time temperatures and the high humidity levels – presenting sleeping difficulties for a lot of people.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Property Tax hike voted down in Galway City

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A proposal to boost Galway City Council coffers by half a million euro every year by increasing Local Property Tax (LPT) did not receive the support of city councillors.

Councillor Peter Keane (FF) failed to get a seconder at this week’s local authority meeting for his motion to increase the LPT payable on Galway City houses by 5%.

Cllr Keane said that the increase would net the Council €500,000 every year, which could be spent evenly on services across all three electoral wards.

It would be used to fund services and projects city councillors are always looking for, including a proposal by his colleague Cllr Imelda Byrne for the local authority to hire additional staff for city parks.

The cost to the taxpayer – or property owner – would be minimal, he insisted.

“It would mean that 90% of households would pay 37 cent extra per week,” he said.

Not one of the 17 other elected members, including four party colleagues, would second his motion and so it fell.

Another motion recommending no change in the current rate of LPT in 2022 was passed by a majority.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Galway City Council needs 40 more workers to help deliver on projects

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From this week’s Galway City Tribune –  Forty more workers are needed at City Hall ‘right away’, the Chief Executive of Galway City Council has said.

Brendan McGrath has warned city councillors that the local authority is understaffed and it needs to hire more staff immediately to deliver its plans and projects.

The total cost of the extra 40 workers, including salary, would be between €1.75 million and €1.95 million.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council had a workforce now that was below what it had in 2007, but the city’s population has grown and so too had the services the Council provides.

The population of Galway City grew by almost 11% in the 10 years to 2016, he said, and total staff numbers in the Council fell by 13.6% during that period.

Though more staff were hired in recent years, Mr McGrath said that the Council was at 2007 and 2008 staffing levels, even though the Census will record further increases in population since 2016.

Mr McGrath said that the City Council now provides 1,000 services across a range of departments, far more than during the 2000s.

He said that currently, 524 staff are employed at the City Council. This equated to 493 Whole Time Equivalents when part-time workers such as school wardens and Town Hall workers are included.

Mr McGrath said that 12% of all staff are in acting up positions, with many more in short-term or fixed-term contracts. There was a highly competitive jobs market and the Council was finding recruitment and retention of specialist staff difficult.
This is a shortened preview version of this article. To read the rest of the story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.

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