'When I go onstage in Ireland I’ll come on as Jim Royle'

Thu, Mar 14, 2019

Ricky Tomlinson, star of TV shows The Royle Family and Brookside, films by Ken Loach and Shane Meadows, proud Scouser and socialist, is coming to the Town Hall Theatre on Sunday March 30 to regale us with stories from his colourful life.

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Drawing 'on the hop' and exhibiting On The Boards

Thu, Mar 07, 2019

Throughout the six decades of his vibrant and varied artistic career, Brian Bourke has had an abiding love of theatre and actors. He has frequently drawn actors in the flow and moment of rehearsal or performance, and also made them the subject of considered portraits.

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'The medium of the stage is language and I have a lot to say'

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

John Connors, star of Love/Hate, brings his acclaimed one-man show, Ireland’s Call, to the Town Hall Theatre next week. His debut as a playwright, it has been called "cathartically honest’" by The Irish Times, which also praised Connor’s "charismatic" performance.

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'Out and out Galway man' commemorated in London

Thu, Feb 21, 2019

A few months ago, in London, a commemorative plaque was erected in honour of Dr Robert Dolan, a proud Galway man who was a brilliant forensic psychiatrist and medical administrator.

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'Nimmo’s Pier is one of life’s treasures; you can see so many different species of bird'

Thu, Feb 14, 2019

Most people are content to get by with one trade or profession, but Tom Cuffe’s CV has a whole medley of colourful and intriguing jobs including photographing birds, devising his own pieces of modular origami, and exploring family history.

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'I love Galway and that I am firmly rooted here'

Thu, Feb 07, 2019

A new book from Rita Ann Higgins is always a cause for celebration and Friday February 15 sees the publication of Our Killer City, a scintillating and spiky compendium of essays and poems.

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'Poetry, simplicity, and an undercurrent'

Thu, Jan 31, 2019

Veteran US folk singer Jim Page, author of the Moving Hearts' hit, ‘Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Russian Roulette’, plays The Crane Bar tomorrow night [Friday, February 1], for what promises to be a great gig.

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'Galway is fertile ground for creating a programme that speaks to the local, national, and international community'

Thu, Jan 24, 2019

Having endured a succession of negative news stories, Galway 2020 had a welcome good news day last week with the announcement that the project’s creative director role was being taken on by leading creative company, Artichoke, under the leadership its CEO and artistic director, Helen Marriage.

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Restoring and building Galway's hooker fleet anew

Thu, Dec 20, 2018

Last Friday evening, The King’s Head hosted the launch of Bádórí an Cladaigh’s 2019 calendar, a lavishly illustrated production that, with its wonderful photographs of Galway hookers, would grace any wall.

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'If I can just get in there and swim I can be on the road to recovery'

Thu, Dec 06, 2018

It is winter. Cold out. Most of us sane people cosy up to a toasty, warm, fire in the evening. On the other hand there are the hardy souls of the Atlantic Masters Swimming Club who plunge into the icy ocean at all times of the year and live to tell the tale and even thrive on the experience.

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'People are saying they’ve waited their whole life to see something like this'

Thu, Nov 29, 2018

Mixed race Irish people will be celebrated, and questions and ideas of Irish identity examined, in #IAmIrish, an absorbing and thought-provoking photographic exhibition, which opens at the Galway Arts Centre next week.

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'People talk about rape when it hits the headlines but we should talk about it on an ongoing basis'

Thu, Nov 22, 2018

For more than 30 years, the Galway Rape Crisis Centre has been offering vital support to victims of sexual violence and abuse. Founded in 1984, the centre is the second largest in the country, after Dublin, and facilitates nearly as many client appointments as its capital counterpart while operating on half the budget.

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'The Staircase has given me a platform to talk about issues I care about'

Thu, Nov 15, 2018

Fans of the gripping Netflix courtroom documentary, The Staircase, are in for a treat when defence attorney David Rudolf comes to the Town Hall Theatre this month to discuss the case and issues arising from it.

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'Always learning something new'

Thu, Nov 08, 2018

In the course of a long, varied, career Bibi Baskin has been a schoolteacher, a journalist, a ratings-topping broadcaster, a hotelier, and motivational speaker, and her life’s journey has taken her from her native Ardara, in Donegal, to Kerala, in India. On Sunday November 17, she will be coming to Galway, along with writer Gerard Beirne, to present Suaimhneas, ‘a day of words and wellness’ at the Maldron Hotel in which Bibi will share the wisdom and insights she has accrued through her eventful and remarkable life.

These days Bibi lives in Cork and, ahead of her Galway visit, she spoke with me about her life and times and outlined what participants can expect from the day of Suaimhneas. Given that her career has seen her leave secure jobs several times for new adventures I began by asking if there was anything in her family background that gave her that daring or restlessness. “The singular transformative event of my childhood that did contribute to a later life of hopping around the world and changing careers was that one day when I was six years old my beloved father took me out for a walk after school in Ardara,” she begins. “It was a November day, about four o’clock, and by six o’clock Daddy was dead of a heart attack. What that taught me is that nothing lasts forever. I think if you carry that principle with you through life you react less strongly when something disappears out of your life that you valued, but it also sets you the example that if you are not happy with something then change it. That is the main motivational talk that I give nowadays and I will be giving it at the Suaimhneas workshop –I go through my various careers and countries and tell people how you can do that as well for yourself, you don’t have to wait to be pushed.”

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‘I’m very privileged to be the rector, full stop, it’s not an issue of gender'

Thu, Nov 01, 2018

In November 1990, Ireland elected its first female president in Mary Robinson. That same year - but six months earlier - the Church of Ireland approved the ordination of women as priests and bishops.

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'I tried not to judge Edward VIII while playing him'

Thu, Nov 01, 2018

ALEX JENNINGS, recently seen in the hit Netflix series The Crown, playing the role of the abdicating King Edward VIII, is coming to Galway to take part in a Music for Galway event marking the 100th Anniversary of the death of the innovative French composer Claude Debussy.

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'Samhain and Macnas suit each other'

Thu, Oct 25, 2018

The word “energy” peppers Noeline Kavanagh’s conversation as she talks about her time with Macnas and looks forward to this weekend’s Halloween parade, Out Of The Wild Sky. Kavanagh herself is a human dynamo; though sitting at her office desk she is still a constant whirr of motioning arms, expressive gestures, and infectious enthusiasm.

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'We’ve been so focused on building our economy we have forgotten to build up the people'

Thu, Oct 18, 2018

The procession of presidential hopefuls through Galway continued last Friday with the visit of Joan Freeman, founder of Pieta House, the annual Darkness into Light walk and, since 2016, a member of Seanad Éireann.

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'I fell into comedy completely by accident'

Thu, Oct 11, 2018

‘Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud’ James Brown famously sang, and something of that spirit also fires Gina Yashere who will bring her high-energy brand of comic brilliance to Galway for the Vodafone Comedy Carnival.

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'We’re a more modern society than even seven years ago at the last presidential election'

Thu, Oct 04, 2018

Sinn Féin’s presidential candidate Liadh Ní Riada was in Galway last Friday as her campaign kicked off in earnest and she took time to sit down with me and chat about the race for the Áras and the issues that drive her political vision.

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