Featured In the Media Love

Galway based artist Lorraine Fletcher launches new collection

November 17, 2022

Time & Place exhibition symbolises the impacts of relationships and memories

Galway based artist Lorraine Fletcher who creates a series of wildlife inspired prints and giftware showcasing the beauty and strength in animals through colour is launching a new collection titled Time & Place.

Time & Place has been created from her workshop at The Burren Nature Sanctuary with her trusty dog Amber, Lorraine has developed a distinct style of work. Her paintings are a combination of vivid colours and focus on the subject. Beginning with an initial sketch and finishing with an original acrylic painting. A select range of originals are then captured to produce limited edition giclee prints on fine art paper using archival inks.

The paintings within Time & Place are symbolisms of relationships and memories, the people and the impact they have had over the years. The subject matter is Irish wildlife and in particular the hare, a song written by Dick Gaughan “The Granemore Hare”,which tells a tale from where she grew up.  

Expressions, stance and compositions of each piece are what tell the story of what Time +Place means to me as an artist, individual, partner, mother, friend, musician, and family explains Lorraine.

Time and Place has different meanings to the three artists within the exhibition, none of which have seen each other’s work or will not until opening night. “For me it has a strong link of home from home. I have lived in Galway since 2002 on and off going travelling but always returning. The place is Galway to Armagh and back, I could drive these roads with my eyes closed. The journey is imprinted at this stage.

Expressions and compositions are important in Lorraine’s work, with an importance on the beauty and strength in each animal, from the elegant stag to the curious and beautiful fox. If you love wildlife and colour, you have found the right place.

Time & Place exhibition will be opened in Armagh Marketplace Theatre on 11th November 2022. Lorraine has created 15 paintings all of which are acrylic on canvas or board in varying sizes. The entire collection will be available to view from www.lorrainefletcherartstudio.com.

Featured In the Media Love

Galway Food Tours get crafty in 2023

November 17, 2022

Gifting experiences is THE gift of 2022

The award-winning Galway Food Tours who guide people through the food scene of Galway have launched their craft and food tours gift vouchers. The gift vouchers can be for one of their food and experiential tours or can be out towards joining their craft tours which they launched in November 2022.

Long after the festive season, you can enjoy a craft tour in Galway. This February 12th join Galway Food tours as they take you on a journey through Galway like no other. Beginning in Galways westend, In Plamas where a coffee and sweet treat from Kai is the order of the day before heading up the town to the hear and learn from the icon that is Anne O’Maille who runs O’Máille – The Original House of Style, founded in 1938 in the heart of Galway City. Famous for their unique Hand Knitted Aran Sweaters. Proudly showcasing Top 100% Irish Weavers | Contemporary designs for Men, Women & Home in natural fiber.

Then it’s onto one the city’s most iconic restaurant spaces, Ard Bia where lunch is served. The creative juices can then be awoken with a Weave workshop where you will make a St Bridget’s cross with Sarah Jenkins in the surroundings of the Galway City Gin Distillery and talk (and drink!) about Imbolc – Early Childhood with Claire Davey.

“People want experiences now, so we wanted to bring the best of fashion, craft, and food together. We are so lucky in the west to have all these incredible people, places, and resources. So, get your friends together or come on a date with us yourself, a brilliant day eating, chatting, a tipple or two and of course having conversations, getting creative and learning from the people that are around us. Perfection,” said Sheena Dignam Owner of Galway Food Tours.

Tickets for this tour are €85 pp. Reserve your spot with Sheena on 086-7332885 or galwayfoodtours@gmail.com.  Check out www.galwayfoodtours.com

Featured In the Media Love

Galway Ranked 13th in Global Sustainability Index

November 17, 2022

Galway Named One of the Most Sustainable Business Cities

Galway has been ranked 13th in Europe in the latest Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index, a rating system designed to recognise responsible practices in the business tourism and events industry. The GDSI Results showed an improved score from 67.50 in 2021 to 73.16 for 2022.

Galway has also been named as the 30th most sustainable business city in the latest Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index for 2022, recognising the city’s proactive approach to responsible practices in the business tourism and events industry.

The rankings are designed to help MICE planners choose progressive destinations with top sustainability credentials. The index is compiled by measuring and comparing the social, environmental, supplier and destination sustainability strategies, policies, and performance of participating cities around the world.

Under the Convention Bureaux of Ireland brand, Fáilte Ireland provides both strategic and operational direction as well as funding via service level agreements.

Galway Convention Bureau, which led the city’s application, welcomed the news. Niamh Stack, of Galway Convention Bureau, said:

“We are delighted to have improved our score year on year. There were a lot more entrants in 2022 which is another positive step in ensuring that countries and this industry are not just playing lip service to the very real environmental problems we are facing. We have a lot of work done but we still need to do more in the area of sustainability. But we can now confidently market Galway as a sustainable destination to the global events industry which may help secure future sustainable conference business to Galway.”

“We are looking to improve at getting better all the time. Our aim is to see Galway breaking into the top 10 in the next 2-3 years. Working with our industry partners as a collaborative effort, and leading the way Galway can become a world leader and set the start for sustainable green business tourism.”

Ruairí Lehmann, Tourism Officer – ‘We are delighted to see Galway improve its scoring on the Global Destination Sustainability Index. This index showcases the great work being done within the sector and we would encourage more businesses to engage with the Galway Convention Bureau on improving their sustainability credentials. Galway City Council have a number of measures underway to improve the sustainability of the city and working together with the businesses and the Convention Bureau, we can continue to improve Galway’s position on the list.’

For more information check out www.galwayconventionbureau.com.

Featured In the Media Love

Galway Bar wins best Outdoor Space in Ireland

November 17, 2022

O’Connells Beer Garden best in the country

O’Connells Bar in Eyre Square has been named as The Best Outdoor Space in Ireland at the Irish Pub Awards held in Dublin on Wednesday 16 November. After being named as Connacht Regional winner in September, the Galway bar went on to represent the west nationally and last night took home gold as they were named as the best Outdoor Space on the Island of Ireland.

The former Grocery Store that has been solely a pub since the 1970’s has become one of Galway’s most loved places to meet, have a drink and eat.

Inside the bar, the décor has all original features including tiled floors, antique lighting, stained glass windows, solid wooden seating and a pressed tin ornate ceiling in the main bar. Nostalgia fills every corner with historic photos lining the walls. 

Then outside, enter the O’Connells Beer Garden. The mock street outside is the ideal place to eat the award-winning Dough Bros Pizza and new addition to the garden Pratai Chips whilst enjoying the best of cocktails, pints of Guinness or sampling one of their many bottles of whiskey as well as live music. 

A custom-built bar was installed as well as retro fit vintage neon signage to bring the garden beautifully from day to night.

The bar also released exclusively their Powers 12-year-old Single Cask Whiskey in 2021. 200 years of expertise means the people in Midleton know all there is to know about creating some of the best whiskey Ireland has. With their help and guidance O’Connells have chosen a wonderful example of Pot Still Irish Whiskey. This cask was originally laid down to mature on the grounds of Midleton in 2007, released and bottled in 2021 and now available in the bar.

Pop in and enjoy O’Connells in Eyre Square 7 days a week or get social on Instagram at OConnellsGalway.

Featured In the Media Love

Galway to become a gateway to connectivity to Europe

November 17, 2022

Work completed on telecoms cable between Galway and Iceland

Farice, (a company fully owned by the Icelandic Government, currently owns, and operates two submarine cables linking Iceland to Northern Europe) announced this week that the IRIS Sub-Sea Telecoms Cable System connecting Galway to Iceland and onwards to Denmark and the Nordics, on existing Farice networks is now in its final phase of implementation.

In 2019 The West coast of Ireland and Galway was designated as a landing location for international telecommunications cables with Increased availability of terrestrial networks across the country enabling this. This modern high-capacity telecom cable will connect Galway to Iceland, the presence of the Farice system landing in Galway will provide direct high-capacity links to Iceland but also to Northern Europe via Denmark and will greatly increase capacity and connectivity in the Galway region.

Farice signed a contract with SubCom, LLC, a global undersea fiber optic cable system supply company, to install the IRIS Cable System and SubCom has now received provisional acceptance for the IRIS Cable System, the final phase before officially handing the system over to its owner, Farice.

The IRIS system will be ready for service in the first quarter of 2023 and will be the third submarine fibre optic cable system connecting Iceland with Europe. The system provides further redundancy in telecommunication connection between Iceland and Europe, with low latency connections around 10.5 ms, between Reykjavík and Dublin. The IRIS system is integrated into Farice’s network in Iceland and Europe to enhance the network and provide comprehensive, diverse, and secure connectivity between Farice’s network POPs in Iceland and Europe.

Eamon Ryan, Minister for the Environment, Transport, Climate and Communications

‘The development of new digital infrastructure is essential for job creation and new business opportunities. Ireland is at the forefront of this digital development and is pursuing a strategy to be a gateway to Europe for all internet traffic. The IRIS subsea cable is a remarkable project which ensures we now have direct links from Ireland to Iceland and further diversifies the connectivity links across Ireland. This has extensive positive implications for Galway and the West, potentially opening up the entire region for new investment. And it highlights the West as a key destination for Europe’s internet connectivity infrastructure which is likely to attract future investments’

Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Universities, Industry and Innovation

IRIS, a new submarine cable connecting Iceland and Ireland, is a major milestone in strengthening and securing Iceland‘s electronic communications with Ireland and other countries. Together with Iceland‘s green and renewable energy sources this new submarine cable makes Iceland a highly competitive option for data centers, cloud service providers and high performance computing. Connecting Iceland and Ireland brings on new opportunities for both countries for co-operation in the highly connected digital world,“ said the minister in her message to Galway.

Sturla Sigurjónsson, Ambassador of Iceland

In his address, the Icelandic ambassador said that from the point of view of internet telecommunications, IRIS brings Iceland closer to Ireland. “We are two neighboring islands that share values and interests that are reflected in the history and culture of the nations. Recently, both countries have achieved very high levels of digitization and internet connectivity, including hosting data centers. IRIS shows that we can do things even faster and more efficiently and safely. The fourth industrial revolution has already begun, and the connectivity offered by IRIS improves our ability to embrace and leverage these fundamental changes even better.”

Ossian Smyth, Minister of state

Minister of State Ossian Smyth remarked that “Today is a landmark in the history of Irish communications. Ireland has been an intercontinental communications hub since 1858 when the first transatlantic cable linking London and New York was routed through Ireland. Today is the first day that a subsea cable has connected to Ireland that is not linked to the UK or North America. This is the start of a strategic move by Ireland to connect directly to Northern and Southern Europe. Ireland is now open for business to further subsea cables. These new connections will increase resilience and reduce latency. They provide the infrastructure needed for the 100s of thousands of people employed in Ireland in the ICT and pharmaceutical sectors.”

Þorvarður Sveinsson, Farice CEO

“IRIS will enable us to accommodate the capacity needs of customers, and bring diversity and resilience to our existing network by providing an important additional route for traffic flowing between Iceland and Europe,” explained CEO of Farice Thorvardur Sveinsson.

Debbie Brask, SubCom

“Our congratulations to Farice as they officially take the reins of the IRIS cable system,” said Debbie Brask, vice president of project management, SubCom. “IRIS presented SubCom with unique design, technology, and implementation challenges that were overcome in order to meet our customer’s needs. We worked closely with Farice to ensure that the system was manufactured and deployed according to its specifications. Reaching these final stages is a testament to the hard work, creativity, and resourcefulness shown by both the Farice and SubCom teams.”

Galway is identified as a landing site in Europe

Galway was identified as a landing site in Europe with suitable seabed approaches; the location had the ability to land a cable in the heart of the city therefore greatly enhanced the attractiveness of Galway as a landing site and as a potential hub of global connectivity. Explaining why Galway, Thorvardur commented, “After careful consideration of many factors, Galway was selected by Farice as the European cable landing location. . The suitable seabed conditions and strong local infrastructure was a key decision factor for us when selecting Galway as the landing site of our IRIS system. This coupled with Galway’s reputation for business, education and hospitality will lead to a win win situation. The enhanced global activity provided by the system will be a catalyst for attracting high tech business to the city and the regions.”

For more information on Farice log onto http://www.farice.is/.

Featured In the Media Love

Blue Teapot – Owning the Space!

October 12, 2022

Blue Teapot Theatre Company has launched its Strategic Arts Plan 2023 – 2027 ‘Owning The Space’ which sets out the company’s vision for the next five years. This is their first arts strategy that is built on three key priorities of Production, Progression and Provision and is a response to the positive development of disability arts in Ireland over the last 20 years.

CEO Artistic Director Petal Pilley said, “We are proud to present our 5 year Strategic Arts Plan ‘Owning The Space’ which reflects a coming of age for Blue Teapot Theatre Company and the unique talent and contribution our artists make to Irish cultural life. With over 25 years performing on the main stages of Ireland, it is all about the artists who can engage and develop on their own terms through three distinct programme strands. They own the space.

Fortuitously, we also recently became the new owners of our theatre premises on Munster Avenue that we have inhabited since 2008. We are thrilled to have a permanent home in the heart of this very special neighbourhood in Galway City. It is time to celebrate!”

Creating the strategy involved the company artists, staff and Board Directors and was developed in consultation with arts advisor & cultural planning specialist Mary McAuliffe, who has over twenty-five years’ experience working in the public and cultural sectors.

Blue Teapot has worked consistently to radically transform theatre practices by telling stories through the lens of disability and pave the way for inclusive practices to become the norm. Particular focus is given to how the company is positioned today at local, national and international levels.

Speaking at the launch, Chairperson Fiona Coffey said, “The Board of Blue Teapot is delighted to be presenting such a visionary and progressive Strategic Arts Plan. Delivering on its goals and objectives will nurture and progress the skills and talents of the company artists and help inform arts and disability policy in Ireland. We look forward to ambitious and exciting times ahead”.

Commenting on the building purchase Chairperson of Galways Westend Traders Association, Simon Heaslip, “Everyone in Galways Westend is ecstatic to hear the news, that our beloved neighbours Blue Teapot, now have a permanent home in our area. This very welcome news only adds to our reputation as the cultural quarter of the city.”

Owning The Space purposely aligns with the Government of Ireland Culture 2025 policy and the Arts Council’s 10-year strategy Making Great Art Work. It informs the development and delivery of artistic programmes and shapes Blue Teapot’s role as influencers in the longer-term for disability arts across Ireland. 

The plan is available to view on their new website at www.blueteapot.ie  which includes accessibility controls for those who are visually impaired.

Featured In the Media Love

Macnas introduces CON MÓR 

October 4, 2022

Macnas Are Back with CON MÓR, The Giant  at Macnas HQ, Fisheries Field, Galway on Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th October 2022  from 12 noon to 8pm.
 
And they are inviting kids and grown-ups to join them in welcoming
this special visitor to Galway!
 
 29th September 2022 – This year, Macnas are back with something big and different! Come down to Macnas HQ at Fisheries Field, Galway to see CON MÓR, The Giant situated on the banks of the River Corrib on Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th October 2022.   
 
Noeline Kavanagh, Artistic Director said – “Con Mór celebrates the Macnas tradition of conjuring Giants into being… Who can ever forget Gulliver on the beach?!  
 
This year we are inviting the public to see Con Mór at Fisheries Field, our home in the centre of Galway city, where he will be for 48 hours only… It’s a rave, it’s a pilgrimage, it’s the Bank Holiday Weekend! Pop up performances on site across the two days. Bring your feathers, your messages of hope and your wellies and we’ll see you there…”
 
Adding – “For fans, devotees and lovers of another great Macnas tradition… The Halloween Parade… Macnas will reclaim the streets of Galway next year, October 2023. And we can’t wait!”
 
A stellar team of local and international talent have come together to bring CON MÓR, The Giant to life, with Director Noeline Kavanagh joined by Co-Designers Paul McDonnell and Dave Young, Lighting & Special Effects Designer Richard Babington, Costumer Designer Cherie White and Composer & Sound Designer Mathew Berrill, as well as local structural steel engineers Pat Rynn Engineering Ltd.
 
The Bank Holiday weekend will also see pop-up performances from the Macnas Drummers, Macnas Brass, Macnas Youth Theatre and Macns Stilt Ensemble across the city, made up of performers and participants from Macnas’s year round education and public participation programme.    
 
Famed for making giants in both familiar and unexpected landscapes around the world, this year Macnas will bring the magic to their own doorstep with Con Mór emerging for the first time at Fisheries Field in Galway city, the company’s home for over 35 years.    
   
And one for the diary! The spectacular storytellers will light up the streets of Galway once again in 2023, with the world-famous Macnas parade scheduled to make its return at Halloween next year.  
 
The Story of CON MÓR, The Giant
 
Inventors and explorers from all over the world are baffled by evidence of an ancient giant living underneath the Macnas workshop at Fisheries Field in Galway city. Macnas called on Professor Marjorie Morrigan, an expert on Giants & Where They Come From for help.
 
Marjorie told them – “This giant seems to have been here for centuries. There is a very large iron nose, so big and rusty, you could park a car in one of the nostrils.”
 
Marjorie Morrigan went on to confirm that this big fella belongs to the legendary Tuatha Dé Danann tribe. His name is CON MÓR and he comes from an ancient Island of Giants off the coast of Connaught. CON MÓR was so famous across Ireland for his love of birds and nature, his friends used to call him The Bird King!   
 
To help welcome him to Galway, Macnas is asking kids to make or find a feather – with a message of hope for the future – and deliver it to CON MÓR at Macnas over the Halloween Bank Holiday Weekend.  Visit www.Macnas.com for more information.
     
 
CON MÓR, The Giant is made possible by support from the Art’s Council, Galway City Council, University of Galway, Smyth’s Toys Superstores, Connacht Hospitality Group, AIB, Acorn Insurance, Galway County Council, The Latin Quarter and PWC.

Featured In the Media Love

Galway Food Tours launch winter tour program

October 4, 2022

Fashion, food and getting crafty this winter in the west

The award-winning Galway Food Tours who guide people through the food scene of Galway have added to their offering this winter with a new program of tours that will combine food, fashion and craft through a vibrant tour of Galway city. 

Happening on Saturday 26th November, on this tour guests will get to discover some of Galway’s eco-conscious businesses and get the opportunity to meet some local entrepreneurs whilst taking in some of Galway’s best known and secret food haunts.

Beginning in Galways westend, In Plamas where a coffee and sweet treat from Kai is the order of the day before heading up Henry Street to The Tweed Project studio to meet one of its founders Aoibheann McNamara. The Tweed Project creates handmade, one-off pieces that combine beautiful Irish fabrics with modern tailoring for a truly authentic expression of Irish design. Their collections are made entirely of Irish fabrics, in Ireland for the world. Operating from a small Atelier in Galway, the collection is hand made from specially selected cuts of premium Donegal Tweed and Irish Linen.

Then it’s time to cross the river to one the city’s most iconic restaurant spaces, Ard Bia where a two course Lunch (with wine!) will be served. From here it’s onto Merchants Road to Galway City Distillery where Grace O’Connell owner and designer at Carve will lead guests through a fun and creative silver ring making workshop. Here you can design and sculpt your own unique ring out of jeweller’s wax, that will then be Cast in Silver for you to have forever. This activity will of course be paired with a Gin Cocktail.

“People want experiences now, so we wanted to bring the best of fashion, craft and food together. We are so lucky in the west to have all these incredible people, places and resources. So, get your friends together or come on a date with us yourself, a brilliant day eating, chatting, a tipple or two and of course having conversations, getting creative and learning from the people that are around us. Perfection,” said Sheena Dignam Owner of Galway Food Tours.

Tickets for this tour are 125€pp. Reserve your spot with Sheena on 086-7332885 or galwayfoodtours@gmail.com. Galway food Tours will be bringing more exciting creative tours in 2023 so stay tuned to their social channels or at www.galwayfoodtours.com