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Connacht Tribune

Wheatus still keeping it fresh two decades on from Dirtbag

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Wheatus...Galway gig.

Groove Tuve with Cian O’Connell

It is rare for the frontman of a successful band to continuously face questions about a song he released eighteen years ago; rarer still is a long career that revolves around such a song – a fan base that seems to grow with every new teenager that discovers it.

Brendan B. Brown, founder and lead singer of Brooklyn pop-rock group Wheatus, recorded Teenage Dirtbag, their debut single, in 2000.

They play Monroe’s on Wednesday November 28, bringing their UK and Irish tour to a close.

The song is unashamedly adolescent – centred around the reliefs and anxieties of school and early relationships. It’s catchy and emotive; the chorus is joyous and euphoric. Teenage Dirtbag is a generational anthem that has stayed relevant and relatable.

“I would’ve been in a band writing other songs,” Brendan says, imagining life had the single never been released.

“I wanted to have a band above all things since I was about ten or maybe even nine years old. I started worshipping Angus Young [AC/DC] – I just wanted to be in a band like he was.”

In just the last six months, Teenage Dirtbag has forged a connection with the Irish language; Wheatus feature in RTÉ 2FM’s Ceol 2018 alongside artists like the Coronas and Picture This in the annual compilation of contemporary tracks performed ‘as Gaeilge’.

“RTÉ reached out and said they wanted to do Dirtbag in Irish,” Brendan reveals. “They flew over to our studio in New York and they kind of coached me through it phonetically.

“In a kind of a weird irony, my grandmother was from Roscommon and I’ve been told that her first language was Irish. She came to the States in maybe the 1930s or the ‘20s but she died very young and I never had a chance to meet her.

“It was kind of weird singing in what I knew was probably her language, but not quite understanding it myself,” he says.

Galway is one of a string of Irish dates for Wheatus this November – and the affinity this country has with the band goes back a long way.

“Australia was the first place that really understood us and put Dirtbag in the charts – England followed and then Ireland followed them,” Brendan recalls.

“It’s from way back in March 2001 when we played our first show in England and Ireland shortly after. It’s still fresh. Every time we come over it still feels that way.”

Things stay busy off the stage too, with a seventh album is in the works. The band have released two singles in the last year and a half – Tipsy and Lullaby – and they spend little free time outside of the studio.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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