From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
Western People 10 Dec 2003
14, Dec 2003 - 16:16

Three from the Western People:

‘Beauty And the Beast’ panto for Castlebar

Castlebar Pantomime Committee will be presenting their 2004 production of 'Beauty And The Beast' at TF Royal Theatre, Wednesday January 14 to Sunday, January 18. While it is easy for both audience and cast to enjoy the show, it is also at times easy to forget the amount of work that is involved in the finished presentation. Long rehearsal hours and a few sacrifices are often the recipe for many a fine production. But the audiences appreciation and the friendships made within Castlebar Pantomime over 19 years make this all worth while. This year our Production Team consists of Director Tony Varley, Musical Director John Flatley and Choreographer Jason Guthrie and Castlebar Pantomime Committee members. These co-ordinate approx. 100 members of Cast, Backstage crew and Front of House personnel.

Master Farrier has bright hopes for profitable future

A farrier or horse shoe maker, may not be the most modern of jobs but it is one that certainly still appeals to some people. In Ballaghaderreen, Niall Hanley has just become the first registered Master Farrier throughout Roscommon and Mayo having received a qualification from the Irish Master Farriers Association last week. For the past four years, he has been training for his qualification at Enniskerry in Co. Wicklow and to say it is not as easy as it seems is an understatement. Niall firstly got his apprenticeship in Enniskerry with a Master and had to attend college. Every November he did exams and had assessments through the year.

Sinn Fein sensation on the cards if Ruane switches to Mayo

A political scenario may be about to unfold in Mayo that could shake the political landscape as much as the arrivals of Michael Ring in the 1990s and Dr. Jerry Cowley last year. Caitriona Ruane from Castlebar, who was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly two weeks ago, looks set to greatly enhance her profile if and when the Assembly finally gets down to business. Regarded as one of the bright new stars of the party, Caitriona is a formidable campaigner and, by the time the next General Election comes around in this part of the country, it is my belief that Sinn Fein may well decide to run her in the Mayo 5-seater. Sinn Fein won two seats in South Down and polled 26% of the first preference. The SDLP polled 35% in this constituency but dropped one seat from three to two with Sinn Fein showing an 11% increase to move from one to two seats.

The now long-running Castlebar Panto has entertained us in the Old Town Hall and more recently in the TF for the past 19 years, since it restarted after a break in production. The effort is appreciated by everyone in the Town. Indeed there were some years there when the Panto may have been almost the only live theatre production that you could see in Castlebar. That’s not so now with many fine performances almost weekly in both the magnificent Linenhall Theatre and the TF’s large performance space.

It’s good to see old crafts being kept alive outside of the museum context. My great grandfather was a blacksmith up Sligo way in the early part of the last century but the closest I have ever come to a horseshoe is the lucky one hanging in the garage or the nag that lost me money at the Curragh. Hopefully Master Farrier Hanley will make a good living putting shoes on horses.

Catriona Ruane coming back to Mayo to run for office here? So she could be an MLA and TD at the same time? I wonder does the dual mandate ruling stretch to other jurisdictions apart from the European Parliament?

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