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Turf boats of Galway – 1985

Connacht Tribune 4th January, 1985

Photo: EO'D
Photo: EO’D

Last Tuesday, January 1st, the world priemere of the new film “Turf Boats of Galway” was shown in Kinvara and the local makers of this hour long film have made arrangements for marketing 2,000 copies of it, mainly in the U.S. market. If the country at large needs an example of enterprise, this is it.

Behind the film is local man Gerard Conneely, who produced and directed the filming. Shooting totalled five hours and it was conducted earlier this year. Tomás Rua Mac An Iomaire of Carraroe was the cameraman and his brother Liam, was the narrator. Because there are two tracts attached to the film there can be two narrations, and one of these in Irish. Dolores Keane, the popular ballad singer, provides background music. The film will be made into a video cassette tape, suitable for use in the most ordinary video equipment both at home and abroad.

The main target for this tape will be the identified market of Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco, where people with Galway connections live. At present the issue of 2,000 tapes is looked on as sufficient for this first venture.
Gerard Conneely said yesterday; “Our aim is to break even with this venture and with the capital outlay recouped, to undertake another similar video later on in the year.”
The film basically concerns the history of turf boats in use in Galway Bay, from the earliest visual records to the last boats in the 1940’s. There are several old photographs intermingled in the story, as well as such historic photographs as that of the family group conversing with Charles Sturt Parnell at the Quay, Kinvara on November 9th, 1886, two days before the famous Galway Election, involving Captain O’Shea, husband of Parnell’s subsequent wife, Kitty O’Shea.

There are many delightful shots of Cruinniú na mBád and the revival of the Hooker Festivals in recent years. All in all a delightful film and one to be seen for its visual quality and the nostalgia evoked. The exiles will be pleased with its content and the expertise displayed throughout its production.