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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

Hospitality group raises €90k

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Lorraine Gallagher (left) and Charlene Hurley of Galway Hospice presented with a cheque for €27,537 by Brian Lynch and Eveanna Ryan of Connacht Hospitality.

The Connacht Hospitality Group this week announced that they raised more than €90,000 for a range of good Irish causes throughout 2022.

The group, which owns well-known Galway establishments including The Connacht Hotel, An Púcán, HYDE Hotel, Residence Hotel and 1520 Bar, as well as the Galway Bay Golf Resort, held a range of events at various stages of 2022 to fundraise for Claddagh Watch Patrol, the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI), Galway Hospice and Make-A-Wish Ireland.

The announcement of over €90,000 worth of funds raised by the Connacht Hospitality Group for national and local charities comes off the back of the past 12 months which saw the group aim to make Corporate Social Responsibility a core part of their identity. This focus allowed them to become more aware of the causes that need assistance while also raising the profile of many of the charities.

The group arranged a diverse array of events to raise funds, and had lots of imaginative ways of grabbing the public’s attention. One event saw people attend HYDE Bar to savour a menu made by a mystery celebrity. In the end, it was revealed that TV personality Gráinne Seoige was the Executive Chef on a night that generated over €8,000 for the NBCRI.

Another event saw staff take part in a ‘Sunrise Swim’ in Salthill – and the public donated in their droves. All money raised went towards Claddagh Watch Patrol, an organisation that works to make Galway’s waterways safer by preventing accidental death and suicide.

One of the most successful fundraisers was the Galway Bay Golf Resort’s Golf Classic, which raised over €22,000 for Galway Hospice.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Residents in fear of gangs travelling to rural Galway to burgle homes

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Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins.

Residents in rural County Galway are living in fear of being burgled after one small area suffered at least 10 raids in the month of January.

Councillor Mary Hoade told a meeting of the County Joint Policing Committee (JPC) this week that those figures were for around Headford alone, as she called for additional resources to target travelling crime gangs visiting the county.

“Some of these burglaries are taking place in the morning when people go to work; some are in the evening; and others at night. It’s very frightening.  We recognise that these criminals are coming into the county, but we need more support to fight crime,” said Cllr Hoade.

“Rural garda stations have less resources . . . we’re relying on the resources in the nearest town,” she continued.

The Fianna Fáil councillor said gardaí couldn’t be everywhere at once, but communities needed to act as their eyes and ears and report suspicious activity when they see it. Detective Superintendent Shane Cummins (pictured) told the JPC that Galway was being targeted from time to time by travelling gangs.

“Three different gangs visited the county on one day recently,” said Det Supt Cummins.

Cllr Shelly Herterich Quinn (FF) said she believed increased CCTV and automatic number plate recognition cameras – to capture known gangs on tour – should be rolled out.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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Connacht Tribune

IDA Ireland’s €10m land purchase backs Oranmore for industry base

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Former Mayor of County Galway, Liam Carroll.

IDA Ireland has trebled its footprint on the outskirts of Oranmore by purchasing more than 100 acres of land to support industry.

It’s understood the semi-state body purchased some 42.9 hectares on the outskirts of Oranmore, for a price in excess of €10 million.

The strategic purchase of land adjacent to some 21 hectares zoned ‘business and technology’ and already owned by the IDA, was a “major vote of confidence” in Oranmore and Galway, according Cathaoirleach of the Athenry/Oranmore Municipal District, County Councillor Liam Carroll (FG).

It brings the total amount of land owned by the IDA in the area to over 150 acres.

This latest parcel, purchased at the end of 2022, is located off the N67 Claregalway Road, to the north and east of the Galway to Dublin Rail line.

“It would be ideally suited and attractive to a major multinational company or companies for the establishment of a high tech, pharmaceutical or medical device type facility,” Cllr Carroll said.

The entire site of 150-plus acres is close to the M6 motorway, and an hour away from international links, Shannon Airport and Ireland West Airport in Knock.  It is also close to a number of potential Park & Ride sites, identified by the National Transport Authority as being suitable for commuters.

It’s understood the land is zoned agricultural and would require a material alteration to the County Development Plan to be voted on by county councillors, in order for it to be rezoned before 2028.

(Photo: Cllr Liam Carroll, who believes the land could be developed for a tech or pharmaceutical hub).
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see this week’s Connacht Tribune. You can support our journalism by buying a digital edition HERE.

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