Date Published: 05-Apr-2012
Alan Murphy has become a familiar voice on Galway Bay FM over the last eight years, and in this time he has also found time to interview celebrities, cover showbiz news and write a weekly magazine column.
The Ballinrobe native recently moved to an earlier time slot of 8-10pm with his new show, The Social Network. As the title suggests, the new show relies heavily on Alan interacting with the listeners through social media. It offers music, chat and features on a range of topics but listeners are actively encouraged to have their say.
“It’s a really interactive show called The Social Network,” he explains.
“The whole point is that we use Facebook and Twitter and it is all about interaction. I have a lot of celebrity guests on the show so listeners can ask the questions for me and get in touch on Twitter. They can choose the music. We also have different slots on, like a fashion slot.
“No matter what we have, the listeners can get their questions answered, choose their music, or have their say on the show.”
The self-confessed Twitter fanatic enjoys the way the medium lets him connect with listeners.
“I’m a tweetaholic. I think it’s great. People tweet constantly throughout the show, whether it’s songs they want or opinions on an interview or just opinions on you. I love Twitter. Follow me on Twitter @AlsTheGreat.
“My show is really geared for young people but with something for everyone. It’s not just Rihanna pumping for a few hours. There’s a lot of chat as well as music. There’s a really young vibe going on and it’s just fun.”
The Journalism and Media graduate initially imagined a career in written journalism but the immediacy of radio instantly appealed and he secured a job in Galway Bay FM shortly before he graduated.
“I still love the writing side but I just love the buzz of radio and the whole live aspect of things. I always thought I’d be all about writing until I did radio and now I just totally love radio.”
One of his favourite parts of the job is interviewing people. He got the first of many celebrity scoops when he secured an exclusive interview with Paris Hilton.
“I’ve interviewed so many people over the last few years. I remember when I’d just been in Galway Bay for a few months, Paris Hilton came to Dublin. Nobody was getting interviews. I rang up and I was told that it was doubtful that I’d get an interview.”
However, his persistent approach and a coincidental contact in the PR agency earned him a one-on-one interview.
“So one of my first interviews was with Paris Hilton. I had to keep it up then. So I just applied, applied and applied again for big interview after big interview. In the beginning, you’d only get a couple and then I’d built up so many contacts that I got a lot of people. She was really big.”
Alan has interviewed numerous other big names but two of his favourite interviewees over the years have been Jedward.
“I’ve got to mention Jedward as well, because they are the funniest people to interview and the nicest people on the planet. They get such flak but you couldn’t meet two nicer people than Jedward. I’ve got to know them so well over the last two years. They’re the nicest people to their fans, they’re such brilliant role models, they don’t drink, they don’t smoke, and they don’t do anything wrong. They are so funny!”
His access to celebrities presented him with an opportunity to return to written journalism, and to get his own showbiz column.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.
Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.
She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.
Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.
Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.
When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.
Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.
And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.
All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.
“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”
That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.
For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here
Galway have lot to ponder in poor show
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
FRANK FARRAGHER IN ENNISCRONE
GALWAY’S first serious examination of the 2013 season rather disturbingly ended with a rating well below the 40% pass mark at the idyllic, if rather Siberian, seaside setting of Enniscrone on Sunday last.
The defeat cost Galway a place in the FBD League Final against Leitrim and also put a fair dent on their confidence shield for the bigger tests that lie ahead in February.
There was no fluke element in this success by an understrength Sligo side and by the time Leitrim referee, Frank Flynn, sounded the final whistle, there wasn’t a perished soul in the crowd of about 500 who could question the justice of the outcome.
It is only pre-season and last Sunday’s blast of dry polar winds did remind everyone that this is far from summer football, but make no mistake about it, the match did lay down some very worrying markers for Galway following a couple of victories over below par third level college teams.
Galway did start the game quite positively, leading by four points at the end of a first quarter when they missed as much more, but when Sligo stepped up the tempo of the game in the 10 minutes before half-time, the maroon resistance crumbled with frightening rapidity.
Some of the statistics of the match make for grim perusal. Over the course of the hour, Galway only scored two points from play and they went through a 52 minute period of the match, without raising a white flag – admittedly a late rally did bring them close to a draw but that would have been very rough justice on Sligo.
Sligo were backable at 9/4 coming into this match, the odds being stretched with the ‘missing list’ on Kevin Walsh’s team sheet – Adrian Marren, Stephen Coen, Tony Taylor, Ross Donovan, David Kelly, David Maye, Johnny Davey and Eamon O’Hara, were all marked absent for a variety of reasons.
Walsh has his Sligo side well schooled in the high intensity, close quarters type of football, and the harder Galway tried to go through the short game channels, the more the home side bottled them up.
Galway badly needed to find some variety in their attacking strategy and maybe there is a lot to be said for the traditional Meath style of giving long, quick ball to a full forward line with a big target man on the edge of the square – given Paul Conroy’s prowess close to goal last season, maybe it is time to ‘settle’ on a few basics.
Defensively, Galway were reasonably solid with Gary Sice at centre back probably their best player – he was one of the few men in maroon to deliver decent long ball deep into the attacking zone – while Finian Hanley, Conor Costello and Gary O’Donnell also kept things tight.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013