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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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Are you getting enough sleep?

By Angela Kerrisk from Activate Fitness We have all heard the phrase “routine is the killer” however for many of us who, on a daily basis, stretch ourselves thin wearing a variety of different hats, simply creating a specific and sustainable routine will separate the successful and organised from the stressed and overwhelmed. Incorporating a […]

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By Angela Kerrisk from Activate Fitness

We have all heard the phrase “routine is the killer” however for many of us who, on a daily basis, stretch ourselves thin wearing a variety of different hats, simply creating a specific and sustainable routine will separate the successful and organised from the stressed and overwhelmed.

Incorporating a routine helps to bring direction and structure, and as Craig Ballantyne so wonderfully put it in his book ‘The Perfect Day’; “Structure = Freedom”.

In our childhood, we became accustomed to a bedtime routine. In fact, those of us who are parents go to great lengths to create this routine for our own children, knowing the benefits it brings. However, as we moved into adulthood, that same routine was thrown out the window by the demanding world of school and full-time work.

Sleep and health are locked together. When we improve our sleep, we have better energy, mood, and recover easier from exercise. When we sleep better it helps us to make better nutrition choices because sleep regulates our hormones. Yet it’s one of the first things we sacrifice in order to get through our full to-do list. Whatever these or our end goal is, jeopardising our health seems to be counterproductive and also just a little crazy! Why is it that as adults we stray so far away from one of the very foundational rituals that can keep us feeling grounded?

So how much sleep do you need? About six to eight hours is good but the exact number depends on the person. No matter who you are, you’ll feel worn out if you don’t get enough.

Here are some suggestions to help you achieve greater balance and a sound night’s sleep:

Limit caffeine:

It takes a long time for caffeine to get out of your system, so avoid it late in the day. Typically, have your last caffeinated drink 10 hours before your bedtime.

Be active:

Physical activity reduces stress and improves sleep. One exception is not to do a hard workout right before bed as it might be tough to wind down for a while afterwards.

Unwind early:

Turn off screens well before bedtime. Bright screens can mess with your body’s sleep mechanisms, so turn off TV’s, tablets and smartphones earlier in the evening. Take the dog out, brush your teeth, get into your pyjamas, and get into bed before the time you want to be asleep.

Brain dump for the next day:

Spend 5-10 minutes each night writing a list of to-do items to ensure you hit the pillow feeling organised and in control.

Set out your clothes the evening before:

This small task can save you a lot of last-minute rushing. Take the extra five minutes now when you have it.

Cool, dark and quiet:

When it comes to sleep, you want it cool, dark and quiet. Adjust the temperature or get a fan going, hang some blackout curtains and try to reduce any noise near your bedroom.

Buy an alarm clock:

This will help you to avoid being distracted by notifications should you wake and check the time in the middle of the night. Set an alarm right now for tonight. When it goes off, start your evening routine so you get into bed on time for a good night’s sleep!

Here at Activate, we promote and encourage balance to ensure we are living a happy and healthy life. Sleep is one very essential and key component of this. We hope these tips help you get some much-needed rest! When you combine great sleep with sound nutrition and solid training, you’ll feel amazing and make more progress toward your goals.

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Kerry Stars “pursuing dream to build own sports centre”

By Sean Moriarty Kerry Special Olympics Club is still pursuing its dream to build a sports centre in Derreen, a senior club official has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser. The club has identified a site, with support from Kerry County Council, between the existing Killarney Legion and Killarney Celtic sports grounds. However, the project remains […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kerry Special Olympics Club is still pursuing its dream to build a sports centre in Derreen, a senior club official has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser.

The club has identified a site, with support from Kerry County Council, between the existing Killarney Legion and Killarney Celtic sports grounds.

However, the project remains on the long finger as the club has been concentrating on the safety of its members throughout the pandemic.

The delay prompted Cllr Donal Grady to ask Kerry County Council if it had any plans to build houses on the site.

Mr Grady asked the question in the context of making sure the land did not go to waste and not in opposition to any plans by Kerry Stars.

“The site referred to was originally identified as a potential site for development as a specific sports facility. That project has not materialised,” a Council official said.

“Kerry Stars had been in contact with Kerry County Council regarding use of the site, and it was expected that further communication would be received from them in the very short-term. As yet, Kerry County Council is awaiting further communication and will liaise directly with the Kerry Stars group before we can give consideration to use of the lands under the ‘Housing for All’ housing plan.”

However, Kerry Stars chairman John Spillane said they still “have every intention of pursuing our dream of have our own sports centre”.

“The location makes perfect sense, it is the sports hub of Killarney and all the clubs there could help and learn from each other.”

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