Happy New Year. As we kick off 2012, Irish music and storytelling are alive and well in New Zealand. Here’s some news about what’s coming up:
Accordions and craic
Famed Irish accordionist Sharon Shannon will be lighting up Wellington’s Town Hall with her infectious tunes and seven-piece big band at the International Arts Festival on 14 March.
She will also play two concerts at Womad in New Plymouth and one in Auckland.
Shannon has toured and recorded with musicians including Bono, Sinead O’Connor, Steve Earle and Mark Knopfler. She hails from the tiny village of Corofin in County Clare.
Storyteller Niall de Burca isn’t the first Irishman to spin a yarn in New Zealand, but he’s probably one of the few to make a living from it. His tour of the North Island’s backblocks from Levin to Eketahuna and Martinborough to Wairoa should be a treat for family audiences.
News: Eejits in Galway and protests in Cork
Take this story with a grain of salt but it’s a bit of a hoot anyway. Apparently Galway councillor Seamus Tiernan has refused to apologise to fellow councillor Martin Shiels for telling Shiels to ‘go f*** himself’.
Tiernan had been arguing that Connemara would be a great place for cloud computing because it has cloud cover for nine months of the year. As any IT geek knows, ‘cloud computing’ refers to the Internet’s next stage where everything — from computing power to infrastructure, applications, and personal collaboration — can be delivered wherever and whenever you need.
A gob-smacked Shiels replied: ‘You must be a fecking eejit to think that cloud computing has anything to do with climate.’ That’s when Tiernan let fly. Here’s the full story…
They’re angry too in the Cork village of Ballyhea, but for good reason. Every Sunday for the past 43 weeks, residents have marched in protest at the Irish economic crisis.
It’s not so much the unemployment and cutbacks that have them up in arms, but the fact that the holders of bonds issued by Irish banks could be bailed out to the tune of 100 billion euros. ‘This is the biggest bank robbery in history,’ says organiser Diarmuid O’Flynn. ‘The difference is it’s the banks robbing us.’
The protest caught the attention of the Guardian newspaper, who noted that Ireland has been relatively free of the strikes and demonstrations that have hit countries like Greece that has also had austerity measures imposed.
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