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Smalltalk: Adam catches up with up-and-coming Killarney singer/songwriter Cathal Flaherty

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Cathal Flaherty set to launch new EP

Adam Moynihan chats with up-and-coming Killarney singer/songwriter Cathal Flaherty about his new EP, hearing himself on Today FM and his relationship with his fans

Hi Cathal. You’re launching your new EP The Head & Heart next week. What’s the plan for that?

Yeah, next Friday at the INEC Acoustic Club. So May 25. It’s been booked for five or six months at this stage. When I started recording songs, I booked that date before I even considered bringing out the CD. That was my deadline. So it’s been a while in the works but I’m looking forward to it.

The plan is I’m going to be singing all the songs off the EP, so there’s five on that, I have songs that I wrote years ago that were on another CD so I’ll be playing a few of them, and I’ll be doing a few covers as well on the night.

The singles have all been very well-received. You must be pleased with the reaction so far?

Yeah, it’s gone great. I think it all kind of started when I brought out A Thousand Miles on December 29. The day that came out, Fergal D’Arcy played it on Today FM. That was a huge boost for me because that would have been on the bucket list, to be played on Today FM, because it’s a station I listened to growing up. After that happened then I was like, “right, I’m actually going to record this EP now.”

Since then I’ve brought out two singles. All We Need came out in March and then Grow came out last week. All We Need did really, really well on the likes of Today FM and it was playlisted on RTÉ Radio 1 and Radio Kerry and Spin South West and a good few stations around the country. It’ll take another couple of weeks before I know how well Grow does because we don’t even have a music video recorded for that yet. We’re hoping to get it done in the next week or two. Fingers crossed the latest single goes as well the first two.

What’s it like releasing a song or an EP? Do you get nervous?

I wouldn’t be nervous bringing out a single because you can only put it out there and hope for the best. But with the EP, it’s an investment because I’m putting a lot of my own money into it. You’re kind of hoping that once the actual physical CD is out that people will buy it. A lot of people are streaming music basically for nothing on Spotify or Apple Music so it’s very hard to get people to buy music now. It’s always a risk bringing out a physical copy of a CD because they cost quite a bit of money to produce. So I’d be nervous in the sense that I don’t want to have boxes at home full of CDs. I’m going to try and make it my mission to sell as many as possible.

How do you find the recording process? Has it been challenging?

Not really, no. I’m working with Brendan O’Connor who’s a really good producer and he’s also from Killarney. We started recording around two months before the first single came out and we gelled really well. We have very similar music tastes and he’s very positive about my music. He does his best to bring out the best in me. It’s been fun.

You write your own songs as well. Is that something that comes naturally to you?

Most of the time it does, yeah. I go through phases. I could go through a month of writing nearly every day, and then I could go two or three months without doing a thing. It just kind of comes and goes all the time. So when I do feel like I’m writing good stuff, I try to write as much as I can at that time. If I feel like it’s not coming, you can’t really force it because it’s going to end up being crap.

Since we finished recording three weeks ago, I haven’t written much but I know that once the EP is out I’ll be writing again. Definitely over the summer because I’m trying to get more singles out anyway.

You’ve already built up a loyal fanbase. How would you describe your relationship with your fans?

I kind of started using Facebook and Instagram a lot more when I started recording and bringing out music. It’s mad, like… Obviously people from Killarney would come into contact with my Facebook page but it’s great when you get people from other parts of the country messaging you on Facebook and stuff, and they’re saying, “we heard you on Today FM”… It’s cool.

I always reply to everyone who gets on to me. I think that’s really important. I had a chat a few months ago with Picture This and they were telling me how important it is to like everything and just reply to people. I’m always on my phone anyway as well, so why wouldn’t I do as much as I can?

What’s it like being a musician in Killarney? Is it a good place to make music?

I think it is. I’ve been gigging in bars in Killarney for 10 years now. I kind of got in by accident but the years started flying by and I’m still doing it at the weekends. For people who are starting out, it’s quite hard to get into bars here because there are a lot of the same people playing the same things all the time. I’m lucky that the likes of Charlie Foley’s and The Fáilte and other place around town have been so good to me over the last number of years. I’ve never had a weekend off unless I took it off myself. But I know there are other people who are finding it hard to get gigs around the place, especially in the summer because a lot of places are booked months in advance.

What’s your favourite music venue?

I love Whelan’s. It’s obviously up there as one of the best live music bars in the country because of the amount of people who have played there over the years. Van Morrison has played there, Hozier started off there and you still get huge artists going back. Ed Sheeran played there two years ago. It’s just one of those iconic music venues and it’s always been a dream of mine to play there. I’ll be there on June 3 so that’s going to be another big gig to cross off the bucket list.

What’s your proudest moment in music?

In terms of my own music, probably getting national airplay. Last year I played guitar for Shane Filan and Nadine Coyle on The Late Late Show as well so that was a cool moment. But I’d prefer if I was doing my own thing rather than playing for someone else.

And have you had any embarrassing moments?

Oh loads. Jesus. My guitar has fallen off me a good few times. I broke my last one because it fell off me… It fell on the stage and the whole thing just shattered.

Was this mid-song?

In the middle of a song, yeah. The strap just fell off. I had it taped together for ages but I had to get a new one in the end. I’ve done gigs where the sound system has broken and that’s your worst nightmare. I was doing an outdoor gig and the whole sound system went. We still had five songs left so I decided to just get up on one of the tables and do the gig acoustically. It actually turned out alright. But there have definitely been a lot of embarrassing moments.

Well, hopefully everything goes to plan next Friday night! All the best with the EP.

Thanks Adam.

Cathal will take to the stage at the INEC Acoustic Club to launch his brand new EP The Head & Heart on Friday, May 25. Tickets are €12 ex. booking fee and are available to buy today at INEC.ie and ticketmaster.ie

He will also headline Dublin’s iconic Whelan’s on Sunday, June 3. Tickets available at whelanslive.ie

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The secret is in the book!

By Michelle Crean  The secret to finding your true happiness is all in a new book which will guide readers to unlock their potential. Brazilian native Michelle Hadad, who moved to Ireland 14 years ago has written ‘The Secret Box: Concave and Convex’, a 432 page book which addresses the issues of suicide and develops into […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

The secret to finding your true happiness is all in a new book which will guide readers to unlock their potential.

Brazilian native Michelle Hadad, who moved to Ireland 14 years ago has written ‘The Secret Box: Concave and Convex’, a 432 page book which addresses the issues of suicide and develops into two different narratives.

It is also a follow up to her previous work ‘The Secret Box…Finding the Key’, a 192 page paperback launched by Michael Healy-Rae TD and reviewed by now retired judge James O’Connor, in October 2017.

Michelle, who studied adult psychology and is a NLP practitioner who encourages clients to transform limiting self-beliefs, explains that this version continues the story of Maria from the first book.

In the first book, the reader compares and contrasts their own life experiences with those of Maria and ask themselves the very question posed at the end of the book in the final chapter or ‘Padlock 13’ – “who are you?”

“Readers are outside the box, they see their own stories – that’s when we judge others,” Michelle told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It is fiction and the story is in two versions, the positive is bigger than the negative. There is always hope regardless of pain.”

She added that people need to forget about what others think, and focus on their own values and traditions.

“It’s a self help book, it doesn’t matter what people think of us, life’s too short. I’m motivating people in a positive way because of my NLP and psychology qualification.”

However, she emphasised that readers don’t have to have read the first book to understand the second one.

“Maria is the leading figure and there’s a few characters from book one but you don’t have to read that to get book two.”

She added that she’s thankful to everyone who helped her along the way.

“I have been blessed to have met so many people to help with my books.”

Both books are available from O’Connor’s Centra, The Reeks and Horans Health Store on Beech Road.

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By Michelle Crean  Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead. An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment. The teens living within the premises […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead.

An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment.

The teens living within the premises will be supervised by applicant Eileen O’Brien who will live on the ground floor of the premises.

The two one-bed apartments on the second floor would either be rented out or used for independent living for the teenagers as they reach adulthood.

The two-bed apartment will be on the third floor. There are also plans for balconies at second and third floor levels.

The proposed apartment building is contemporary in design with a mix of stone and render finish on the lower floors and synthetic burned timber finish on the upper floors. The second floor is recessed at the front and the third floor is recessed at the front and the rear with a decorative feature on the front elevation comprising dark grey timber steel poles. The building will also have a flat roof.

Planning permission was granted subject to 14 conditions including a two-metre high boundary wall to be constructed on south, south-western boundaries of the site and there’s to be no overnight commercial guest accommodation.

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Fans return to Fitzgerald Stadium after eight months

By Sean Moriarty Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game. Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the […]

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Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game.

Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the first game at the stadium since the 2020 Kerry Petroleum Intermediate Club Football Championship Quarter-Final when Glenbeigh-Glencar played Beaufort on October 4 last year.

Due to current restrictions only 200 fans were allowed attend Saturday’s big match. That will remain in place for Kerry’s opening Munster Championship tie with Clare on June 26.

“It had been more than eight months since Fitzgerald Stadium welcomed back fans to the venue,” stadium PRO Tatyana McGough told the Killarney Advertiser. “Everything went exceptionally well.”

She is hopeful that more restrictions will be eased on July 5, paving the way for an increase in capacity to 500 fans in time for the July 25 Munster Final.

“It is likely that from July 5 up to 500 spectators may be permitted to attend games. We hope this number will increase for the Munster Final. If it is a Cork versus Kerry Munster Final the game will be fixed for Sunday July 25 at 4pm in the Fitzgerald Stadium. The stadium’s staff are very confident in being able to host any number of fans that may be allowed.”

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