New Podcast Celebrates Cultural Milestones in Galway

New Podcast Celebrates Cultural Milestones in Galway

A new podcast celebrating important cultural milestones in Galway city and county has been launched today. The series focuses on first-hand accounts of, and the reaction to, pivotal cultural changes in the region. The first series features episodes that discuss the arrival of the first televisions, the important role of newspapers in spreading cultural news, the exciting emergence of cinema and film plus the role of the poitín still culture in Connemara. It also asks ‘What was in the water?’ at UCG back in the 70’s and 80’s to simultaneously create successful arts organisations such as Druid Theatre Company, Galway International Arts Festival, Galway Film Fleadh and Macnas.   

Initially five episodes in Irish and five in English will be released every two weeks from February 1st. Cultural Milestones is commissioned by Galway Culture Company. The series was created by Tracey Ferguson, produced by award-winning journalists Sally-Ann Barrett and Barbara Nic Dhonnacha, who travelled throughout the city and county collecting stories from those generous enough to share, and executive produced by Marilyn Gaughan-Reddan at Galway Culture Company. 

Tracey Ferguson has wanted to capture these stories for some time. “It is important for us to record these memories directly from those who were actually present to witness these cultural changes first-hand, many of which will be inevitably lost as time continues to roll on. Hopefully these episodes will serve as a partial audio record of just some of the cultural shifts which have touched all of our lives in, what is often, enormous ways.”

Sally-Ann Barrett reflects on the journey so far. “This project has been a real eye opener for me in how it vividly illustrates the colossal impact that Galway and its cultural players have had on not just the national, but the international cultural stage. It’s been a privilege to have the opportunity to sit down with a wealth of Galway voices, who shared wonderful memories on a number of important milestones in Galway’s cultural journey that have not been previously recorded. Tales of native Irish speakers in Connemara watching John Wayne movies on a blanket for a cinema screen in their local school house, the story of Galway’s first pirate tv station dedicated to the Irish language and how some of Galway’s university graduates forever changed the cultural landscape of the region are just some of the moments that make this series a must listen.”

Barbara Nic Dhonnacha has also spoken with important Galway voices for ‘Cultural Milestones’ as Gaeilge. “The determination of those who forged a path in the arts in Galway was incredible. They had to make work where there was none, not just for themselves but for more of us to be able to stay here and work in the arts. For me the inclusion and development of the Irish language and the cultural shift in meon na daoine faoin nGaeilge, was so important to document and not only makes this some of the work I’ve done that I’m most proud of to date professionally, it has also been a personal highlight for me. We cover first reactions to televisions like turning off the TV during kissing scenes to topics such as the poitín culture, gathering around the stills secretly for generations and growing into a legitimate Irish product which is shipped all over the world.”

Marilyn Gaughan Reddan said, “Galway is a place built on culture and creativity. It was really important to capture the voices and memories of those involved directly in shaping Galway as we know it today in terms of those incredible cultural milestones. Sincere thanks to everyone who gave their voice to this and to those who made it happen.”

Series two will cover additional topics including the all-important era of the showbands and the Ballrooms of Romance. If you have a story or memory that you would like to share, you can reach Cultural Milestones at and you can follow updates on Galway Cultural Company social media channels. Cultural Milestones in Galway is available wherever you get your podcasts.

Podcast channel: Cultural Milestones in Galway on Spotify

Trailer – English:

Trailer – Irish