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Compántas Lir on Road Again with Sparkling Farce

SPRING would not be complete without a new production from Compantas Lir, the Carnmore-Claregalway drama group. celebrating their 20th year, the group have already begun touring with the hilarious John Chapman farce Dry Rot which will open the Claregalway Drama festival on March 14 and will be staged for three nights in Galway’s Town Hall Theatre on April 11, 12 and 13. Directed by Ann Greaney, the new show has been in rehearsal since January and has already thrilled audiences up and down the country with judges applauding the group for transposing the classic British farce to an authentic Irish setting. Starring in order of appearance Philip Cribbin, Carmel Kenny, Liz Hession, Bernadette Prendergast, Declan Varley, Paddy Greaney, John Heneghan, Simon Kavanagh, Seamus McNulty and Fidelma O’Rourke, this action-packed farce is guaranteed to sell-out the Town Hall Theatre just as the Compantas Lir shows have for the past four years. Set in a country house hotel in rural Galway, mayhem ensues when three crooks arrive intent on switching a racehorse in the big race at Galway. The hotel is run by the recently retired from India Colonel Wagstaff (Philip Cribbin), his wife Doris (Carmel Kenny), their daughter Susan (Bernadette Prendergast) and the eccentric maid Beth (Liz Hession).

Their peaceful existence is shattered by the arrival of the three crooks Alfred Bulger (John Heneghan), Fred Phillips (Paddy Greaney) and Flash Harry (played with aplomb by Simon Kavanagh). They have hired sight unseen an unsuspecting secretary John Kelly (Declan Varley) to “give them a bit of class” as they bid to carry out their crooked plan. However, when French jockey Albert Polignac (Seamus McNulty) arrives at the hotel followed by the fearsome “woman policeman” Sgt Fire (Fidelma O’Rourke) all hell breaks loose, with rampaging horses and hormones influencing proceedings. This play marks the Compantas Lir debut of both John Heneghan and Declan Varley. John is an experienced actor having won awards for other groups throughout the west; Declan has been involved with the group for several years and has written works and taken backstage roles with the group but this is his first time on the stage.

The lighting is carried out by Frances and Adrian Moran; sound is by Thomas Maguire; props by Mary Duggan and Ailbhe Hession; stage manager is Patsy Cahalan; set crew are Regis Golding, Tony Broderick, John Whelan, Fabrice Gabrillaurd, Cyril Duggan, John Brennan and Malachy Noone. Make up is by Ann Moran and Sile Mannion of Calista Beauty.

Over two hundred people were turned away from the Town Hall last year because of the popularity so in order to avoid disappointment, book now at (091) 569777. Tickets are E14 and E12 for concessions. For corporate customers, the third night in the Town Hall is a fund-raiser for the Special Olympics Committee for which Compantas Lir have agreed to hand over all their proceeds to the charity. During the year, Compantas Lir have also staged a series of weekend workshops in which learned directors, technicians and actors gave masterclasses to the group and to new members. The group is cognisant of the importance of the support of the local community. That is why thought of awards along the route to the All-Ireland are at the back of the minds. What matters for Compantas Lir is that we entertain and educate and give back something to the community from which we come. We hope you all enjoy our new production and thank you for all your help during the past two decades.

Quotable Quotations

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time – Abraham Lincoln.

The world is a fine place and worth fighting for—Ernest Hemingway.

“An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity.
A pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity”

The world’s a bubble, and the life of man less than a span—Francis Bacon.

Dates for Your Diary

Fri 14th—Sat 22nd March 2003

As March beckons it means that the Annual Claregalway Festival of Drama is fast approaching and 2003 is a special year in that the Festival celebrates its 21st anniversary. The committee are delighted that Liam Thornton of Pegasus Theatre Company who officially opened the 1st Festival in 1982 will do the honours once again and that founding members of the committee Agnes and Tom Lenihan, Mary Moran, Mary Fleming are still actively involved. The Festival has been held each year with the exception of 2001 due to the Foot and Mouth situation.

The Festival opens on Friday 14th March with local group Compántas Lit performing John Chapmans “Dry Rot” which is a hilarious farce full of action throughout. K.A.T.S. from Knocknacarra perform at the festival for the first time on Tuesday 18th March with Fay and Michael Kanins Rashomon which is set in Japan about 1000 years ago. Groups from Carlow, Clare, Cork, Dublin, Sligo, Tipperary also perform.

The committee looks forward to the usual high level of support to give a warm welcome to the groups, some of whom are here for the first time.

Claregalway N.S.

Two past pupils of Claregalway National School returned to the school recently with their All-Ireland medals and team trophies. Hannah Coen (Cregboy) was a member of the Calasactius College, Oranmore team which won the Girl’s Junior (A) Basketball Final in The National Basketball Arena, Tallaght in early February while Conal Lambert MacMichael (Cahergowan) played on the Boys’ Junior (B) team which made it a memorable day for the Oranmore school by taking home a second All-Ireland title on the same day. The girls were in command throughout their final against Our Lady’s, Castleblaney but the boys had to rely on a dramatic three-pointer with tree seconds remaining to force extra time with Ballincollig C.S., Cork. Despite falling behind early in extra time they rallied again to win by three points.

Both Hannah and Conal began their basketball careers with Claregalway Basketball Club and both are now actively involved in coaching the younger members and in refereeing.

Claregalway Leisure Centre AGM

The AGM of Claregalway Leisure Centre Ltd was held in the Centre on Tuesday 3rd March. In her chairman’s address, Carol Steven reported that the Centre was now being fully utilised, with very few vacant slots. Activities based in the Centre include basketball, badminton, indoor soccer, indoor cricket, scouts, karate, and various meetings in the upstairs meeting room. New activities this year include Unislim and HipHop dancing. The annual local Drama Festival is based here, and several summer camps also take place. The Centre is also available free to the local primary school during school hours. A Youth Club based in the Centre is now in its second year and is going from strength to strength. The Chairman complimented the Youth Club on its success and assured it of all possible support. Thanks were expressed to the local Fás scheme, in particular Peter Greally, supervisor, and to Tony Clarke, local co-ordinator. This year the Centre had to employ a part-time caretaker, Neil Webb, who has been an invaluable addition. Thanks ere expressed to him for his hard work and dedication. A well maintained Community Centre requires a lot of funding, and the committee have been hard at work fundraising throughout the year. Events have included bag packing in Super—valu, Eyre Square, Galway. The annual Craft Fair was a great success again this year, and the addition of a special children’s corner greatly added to the enjoyment for everyone. The committee again brought out a fundraising calendar, which was on sale locally. Thanks were expressed to local photographer Gerry Mooney for again putting his expertise to the disposal of the Community Centre, and providing all of the photographs for this year’s calendar, with the sole exception of the one from Michael Corbett, who was also thanked. The Centre have sold roughly 600, with complimentary ones being given to the sponsors. Thanks were also expressed to them for their continuing support. Thanks to the local shops which sold calendars and to the committee members also.

Last Spring, the Centre submitted an application for funding to Udaras, in order to refurbish the showers, toilets and kitchen area. Unfortunately, the chairman had nothing new to report to the AGM, but was still hopeful that the application would be successful. She expressed sincere thanks to all the members of the committee, especially to outgoing members Maura Harte, Ann King and Hugh Farrell. Ann was, along with Gabriel Kearney, instrumental in setting up the youth club last year, and has served a year on the committee as a representative. Hugh Farrell, representing the Claregalway Drama, was thanked for all his hard work. Maura Harte has been a dynamic force within the committee for the past seven years. Her enthusiasm for basketball, and her foresight for seeing the potential of the Centre as a basketball arena, along with all her hard work, has led to the Centre’s development as one of the most popular venues for basketball in the Galway region. She thanked her outgoing fellow officers, secretary Siobhán Lynskey, treasurer Helen O’ Connor and vice—chairman Tony Clarke for their dedication and support throughout the year. If it had not been for the work of Tony Clarke and Mary Reidy in recent years, the Centre might not have survived and become the thriving centre of sport and community activity which it is now. On behalf of the committee, Tony Clarke thanked Carol for the immense amount of time and work she put into the Centre in her three years as chairman.

The following committee was then elected: Gabriel Kearney (Chairman), Tony Clarke (Vice-Chairman), Helen O’Connell (Secretary), Carol Steven (Treasurer), Siobhán Lynskey (PRO and Irish Officer), Mary Forde (Badminton Representative), Tom McCann (Scouts Representative), Patricia Carton (School Representative), Tom Lenihan, Gerry Mooney, Paddy Barry and Ger Brett. A representative from the basketball club will join the committee later. It is Centre policy that all major organisations using the Centre have a representative on the committee. The sub-committee who have looked after the submission for funding remains unchanged—Tony Clarke, Carol Steven, Siobhán Lynskey, Hubert Newell, Sean Harte, Peter Lynskey and Gabriel Kearney.

Thanks to all those who have supported the Centre over the year, either by giving their time, sponsorship, or by attending fundraising events, buying the calendar, or just using the Centre.

Siobhán Lynskey (PRO)

Aromatherapy Treatments for Home Use

Tea Tree 2 drops
Lavender 2 drops 10 mls Carrier Oil
Geranium 1 drop

Aching Muscles
Rosemary 5 drops
Juniper 3 drops 20 mls Carrier Oil
Lavender 2 drops

Back Pain
Juniper 2 drops
Rosemary 4 drops 20 mls Carrier Oil
Lavender 2 drops

Nausea & Travel Sickness
Put a few drops of Peppermint essential oil on a handkerchief and inhale periodically throughout the journey.

Respiratory Conditions
Eucalyptus 5 drops
Tea Tree 3 drops 20 mls Carrier Oils
Lavender 2 drops

The Immune System
Oils such as Lavender, Lemon, Tea Tree, Rosemary, Eucalyptus and Sandalwood have a stimulating effect on the immune system.

Circulatory System
Aromatherapy massage can lower the blood pressure temporarily especially when the hypertension is caused by stress.
Oils to use: Lavender 5 drops
Marjoram 5 drops 20 mls Carrier Oils

To improve the circulation
Lemon 2 drops
Cypress 3 drops 20 mls Carrier Oils
Geranium 1 drop

Fennell 2 drops
Juniper 2 drops 10 mls Carrier Oils
Geranium 1 drop

Primary Prevention of Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease is a progressive disease. Symptoms develop in the latter stages, so the disease can be present for many years before diagnosis is made. Primary prevention can be used to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. This is a challenge for healthcare workers as it is difficult to convince people to change habits when they have no disease symptoms.

Risk factors include age, gender, family history, previous medical history and ethnic background, all non-modifiable, however those factors, which can be modified, include smoking, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and exercise.

  1. Smoking Cessation: The risk of heart attack is 2 to 4 times greater in heavy smokers (> than 20 cigarettes a day) than in non-smokers. Within a few months of stopping smoking the risk reduces and within 2 to 3 years the risk decreases to near that of non-smokers.
  2. Blood Pressure Reduction: Important factors to consider include obesity, excessive alcohol intake, excessive salt intake and lack of exercise. Lifestyle changes may be enough to control high BP. However its control often requires antihypertensive therapy.
  3. Cholesterol Reduction: There is clear link between high blood cholesterol levels and the risk of coronary events. Drug therapy is recommended if the cholesterol level remains above 5.0mmol/l after a three-month diet. This diet consists mainly of reducing saturated fat and increasing polyunsaturated fat, fruit, vegetable and fibre intake.
  4. Obesity: Obese people are at an increased risk of many illnesses, including diabetes, stroke, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis. The risk of heart attack is 2 to 3 times greater in people who are overweight. Weight reduction and increased physical activity are obvious lifestyle changes.
  5. Blood Glucose Control: Good control of blood glucose levels helps to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and other illnesses.

Lifestyle modification is an essential factor in the prevention of coronary heart disease, although drug therapy may also be required to control blood pressure, blood glucose levels and cholesterol levels.

Good luck to the Claregalway footballers as they begin life as a senior football club.

John Duffy MPSI.

She’s a Mum

She’s a Working Mum

She washes up the breakfast dishes by moonlight.

She can’t help feeling cross after a day in the orderly, grown-up world when she returns home to find a scene from The Day The Toys Took Over My House.

She can’t give any hello hugs to the kids till she’s taken off her work jacket.

She can get her legs waxed and her hair done during the lunch hour.

She spends her Saturday doing five days’ housework.

She can’t remember how to told up the new pushchair or adjust the car seat.

She doesn’t know any of the other mothers at the school fete.

She feels her family needs what she does.

Full-Time Mum
She has the patience to walk very slowly with a small baby across miles of town and country just so he will go to sleep.

She does not spend any money on herself, so she has hair cut along with the kids.

She can list, in order of merit, all of the outdoor paddling pools in the area.

She knows the hours and prices of every drop-in, one o’clock club, library session, baby gym, tumble tots and ballet/judo class in the county.

The school thinks she’s a bun-baking, fete organising handy woman with time on her hands.

She is not used to talking to men.

When she talks on the phone to a friend, the toddler has to be allowed to gurgle into the receiver every third sentence.

She knows which parks allow cycling on the path.

She feels that her family needs what she does.

She’s got a Part-Time job
She does twice the work in half the time, and looks more like a cartoon blur than a human being

As she rushes past.

She never gets told about any decisions made in the office while she was at home.

People at work like to ring her at home to ask questions and pick her brains.

She doesn’t have a share in the office tea and coffee kitty.

She’s always in a rush, and feels guilty about having a proper home life.

She knows what’s fashionable, but could only afford it if she worked more hours.

When she phones home she talks in code because she thinks the boss wants to fire her.

As long as she sees enough of the kids she can cope without promotion.

If she’s looking smart, you know she’s off to work.

She feels her family needs what she does.

Irish Mammy
The smell of thyme is bringing to mind, my Irish Mother, making the stew in the kitchen,

Whilst the hungry few, attempt to dip in the brown bread, Jesus watch you don’t get caught you’ll end up dead.

Typical cáilín my Mammy always making sure the páistí are fed, in between making beds, checking the head lice and putting the poison down to kill off the mice.

By the time Daddy comes home she’s like an anti-christ.

But the love in her heart shines through and you know she’s not really mad at you.

Although she can’t give lots of hugs she’s too busy taking up all the dirty mugs. I am sure of one thing the joy I truly bring cause she’s my Mammy and I a very happy she shows her love the Irish way and I’m sure I will do the same with my páistí cause I’m proud she’s my Mammy.

Suzanne Doyle

Special News

Congratulations to Ciara Joyce (past pupil of Claregalway N.S.) who recently took silver and bronze relay swimming medals at the Irish Secondary Schools Championship in Belfast. Twelve year old Ciara is a member of Laser Swimming Club and represented Dominican College, Taylors Hill, Galway on the Girls junior Medley team. Ciara is daughter of Carmel and Michael Joyce, Carheenlea. Well done Ciara.

Congratulations to local rowers Eoin Glynn, Roounmore and Niall Farrell, Cregboy who won the Junior 18 Eights at Cork Head of the River in Inniscarra on the 1st March. The time they achieved in this event was also enough to gain them a title of fastest crew on the day, beating off stiff competition, including crews from U.C.C. and U.L. Eoin Glynn was also part of the crew that won the Junior 18 Fours at the same head. Well done lads and continued rowing success.

(See for the latest updates on the Bish Rowing Club.)

Claregalway Agricultural Show

Thank you from Claregalway Agricultural Show. Saturday March 1st was such a wet day that it was feared the races in Claregalway would have to be cancelled, but all race goers were kept under cover in Summerfield Bar. It has proved an excellent venue for the races each year. All the horses were in fine form and there were no non -runners. Betting was excellent throughout the night, the bookies were kept busy.

The Auction race was a great attraction with horses sold for very good prizes. Local man Tom McKenna horse romped home first in this race. Tom was presented with some beautiful galway crystal.

Philip McManus gave a superb commentary throughout the night. The show committee is most grateful to all who supported us on the night. Our sincere thanks to all our sponsors, all sho bought horses and all those who helped out in any way.

Special thanks to Philip McManus and to Julie and Tom McKenna for providing the venue.

Gather Music Project—Agapé

Agape is a performance work inspired by the “agape feast” of the early Christian Church. Although it resembles a Roman Catholic Mass in its form and its elements, it is not a liturgy or sacramental event. Rather, Agape is a dramatic reflection upon the sacred communal experiences of storytelling and meal sharing. It utilises music from many cultures and the prophetic voices of our day to bring alive a story of struggle, hope and celebration. It is written for adult and children’s choirs, soloists and instrumentalists and is presented in three parts.

Since last October a very enthusiastic group of people have come together every Sunday in the Jesuit Hall on Sea Road to participate in what I can only describe as a wonderful experience of song and dance. The music is totally uplifting and meaningful and the dance movements are very symbolic. Every Sunday afternoon the rafters were lifted in the Jes with over 90 voices including tenors, bases, altos, sopranos, descants, and a brilliant group of young children. Under the expert direction of Deirdre Newell and Fr. Frankie Lee, we learned wonderful harmony and melody, made friends with people from all the corners of creation (this being one of our songs) and having held on to our scores for perhaps longer than necessary, we did manage to let them go eventually and sing from the heart! Our first performance was in the Galway Cathedral during the Novena last month and after the nerves abated, and all eyes on Deirdre we sang with gusto. Our next performance was in the Jesuit Church recently at the 5:30 p.m. mass which has brought us closer to our most exciting upcoming performance in the Black Box on the 20th, 21st and the 22nd March. For some of us, it will be our first time on stage and the nerves will be running riot! For me personally, being involved in Agape with my daughters and son has been a truly great experience and one I will remember with fondness.

Local people involved in Agape include Mary Casserly, Erin Dolan, Averyl Farrell, Emmet Farrell, Josette Farrell, Rachel Farrell, Ailbhe Hession, Catherine Hession, Patricia McCaul, Eleanor O’Reilly, Ita O’Reilly, Sarah Gilligan.

Do come along and support us on the night, not only us but come and celebrate this wonderful Christian musical by Marty Haughen. The use of contemporary music, drama, dance and animation will enhance you as it has done us. We will miss our Sunday rendevous but perhaps an Agape II will follow?


Maura Fleming

Congratulations to local girl Maura Fleming, (Cregboy), who gave a wonderful performance in a leading role in the PMS production of The Gondoliers. Although it’s been nine years since Maura appeared in a musical she is no stranger to the stage having been involved in productions with the Galway Musical Society, Dramsoc NUIG, Taibhdhearc na Gallimh and the Patrician Musical Society where she played such roles as Mercedez in “Carmen” and Cupid in “ Orepheus in the Underworld”. A member of the Irish Youth Choir four years Maura first trained with Patricia Lillis and whilst working in London studied at the School of Old Bel Canto under the direction of Oleg Lapa.

This was Maura’s debut in a leading role with the PMS and I am sure we can look forward to seeing lots more of her in the future

If I Knew

If I knew it would be the last time that I’d see you fall asleep,

I would tuck you in more tightly and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time that I see you walk out the door,

I would give you a hug and kiss and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise,

I would video tape each action and word, so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time, I could spare an extra minute, to stop and say “I love you,” instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.

If I knew it would be the last time I would be there to share your day, well I’m sure you’ll have so many more, so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there’s always tomorrow to make up for an oversight, and we always get a second chance to make everything just right.

There will always be another day to say “I love you,” and certainly there’s another chance to say our “Anything I can do?”

But just in case I might be wrong, and today is all I get, I’d like to say how much I love you and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike, and today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you’re waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today?

For if tomorrow never comes, you’ll surely regret the day.

That you didn’t take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss and you were too busy to grant someone what turned out to be their last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today and whisper in their ear, tell them how much you love them and that you’ll always hold them dear.

Take time to say “I’m sorry,” Please forgive me,” “Thank you,” or “It’s okay.”

And if tomorrow never comes, you’ll have no regrets about today.

Reading to Your Child

Oh listen, child who looks so lonely (whether fifth or one only)

Child who’s driving people crazy,

Child everybody knows is lazy,

Child who’s frightened of the dark,

Child as happy as the lark,

Busy child or child who’s bored,

Child who’s left books unexplored,

Come and be bewitched, beguiled,

For blessed is the reading child.

10 Reasons to Read to your Child

Because when you hold them and give them this attention, they know you love them.

Because reading to them will encourage them to become readers.

Because children’s books today are so good that they are fun even for adults.

Children’s books illustrations often rank with the best, giving them a lifelong feeling for good art.

Books are one way of passing on your moral values to them. Readers know how to put themselves in another’s shoes.

Because, until they learn to read themselves, they will think you are magic.

Because every teacher and librarian they ever encounter will thank you.

Because it’s nostalgic.

Because, for that sort space of time, they will stay clean and quiet.

Because, if you do, they may then let you read in peace.


Hello and welcome to our March issue of Nuacht Chláir. The Drama Festival time has come around once again. Our local actors have entertained us down through the years and this year’s production is no exception—a laugh a minute!

Mother’s Day is also fast approaching—hope you enjoy the article on Mum’s. Read also Suzanne’s poem on The Irish Mammy—written at great speed in the Gym the other day! The Library in Oranmore is a wonderful facility to have and is well used by the local community in Claregalway. Access to the internet is available on request. Our article on “10 Reasons to Read To Your Child” is thought provoking. Children are spoiled for choice with the wide selection of books available to them and being a member of the Library is free for children— no excuse for not using it! Spending some time activating the brain in the Library surely beats staring at a television screen in total passivity. Now that the Lenten season is upon us, perhaps we could include a visit to the Library more often?

Until next time,