William Crozier – fantastic new exhibition in IMMA (Ireland)

Last night I attended the opening night of the exhibition of William Crozier in IMMA, Dublin Ireland. There was a lecture first with the curator Sean Kinsella – who gave a fascinating account of Crozier’s life and influences from post war, the cold war, Irish and UK landscapes, existentialism, and finally how he painted with ordinary paints – from his local hardware store. I met a new friend and artist Mary Cooke and we viewed the images together – and I even got a selfie with Crozier’s selfie Well worth a visit – website And here is a short video 

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Thinking Men’s Erotica

Men’s Erotica It is a thing you know. I found out by accident. As PRO for a top football club in Ireland I met a lot of new faces and lots of new sporting (male) journalists. A number were intrigued by a woman holding such a position. They checked out my history and discovered amongst other things that I have written a trilogy of erotica — not just any old erotica — but as it turns out, Thinking Men’s Erotica. It is sassy, fast paced modern writing; comic in parts, interesting in parts. It is a modern essay on post Celtic Tiger Ireland but with sex, lots of it. That is the bit that surprises men. They don’t expect to get wood from reading. At least not without any pictures on the side. So there you have it — Men like to read for Pleasure. Watch the video HERE 

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Humans of Dublin

“I exited bankruptcy in July 2016 and was questioned on RTE news about what would now change. ‘Nothing’ I said and it was true at the time. If anything I was in a harder place than when the banks repossessed my home and my business collapsed six years ago. I was heart-broken and good for nothing. I wrote an article about homelessness in the Irish Times and the next day a friend offered me a cottage to rent. One year later it feels like home. My tiny cottage sits snugly in the hills overlooking the pretty village of Shillelagh. I have work in PR and as a freelance journalist. I pay my bills. I even go out to dinner on occasion. I have never been happier. My children live nearby and they are amazing young women. I get up each morning with gratitude in my heart. I have put the survival mode behind me and I am shining now. Every human being deserves to shine and this time is mine.” LINK

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My Little Pony

  Gianni Matera is a man who knows what he wants – three or four ponies would suit him very nicely thank you. Only he is not speaking of our four legged friends but of startups valued at between $10million and $100million. The term ‘pony’ was coined by US money man Dave McClure of 500startups fame back in 2015. Ponies grow up to be Centaurs, valued between $100million and $1billion and then a lucky few make it to the Unicorn stage of $1billion plus. Matera, an Italian entrepreneur successfully sold his last company, DigiTouch, in 2007 for €44million and decided to look for a life and career outside of Italy. He chose Ireland as his new home because of the ease with which he fitted into Irish society, the support of Enterprise Ireland (EI) and the close business connections to the US.   For the past two years he has operated as a Super Angel Investor in Ireland through his fund Growing Capital. He has invested a total of €4.8 million in 14 startups of which €2.2 million came from his own personal wealth; €1.5 million came from EI (HPSU Fund) and the remaining €1.1 million from the European Angel […]

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An Open Letter to Bray Wanderers FC

Dear Management of Bray Wanderers, I write to you today with genuine sadness, some bewilderment and above all deep embarrassment at your recent statements, press releases and actions. The final straw was discovering that I had been personally blocked from the official Bray Wanderers Twitter Account. That action has directly forced me into responding publicly today. Let me explain firstly who I am. I was taken on last year, in August 2016, as media liaisons officer for the club. Three years ago I had met with a Bray club think-tank headed up by prior chairman Philip Hannigan, and had submitted a proposal as a public relations consultant. Nothing came of that and so I was surprised to be approached last summer by the then chairman Denis O’Connor. We had many talks over the following weeks and finally I submitted a detailed brief of work and my services were retained. It was a steep learning curve. I was unfamiliar with the world of soccer in general and of League of Ireland in particular.  However, I found myself falling head over heels in love with the club. I became a defacto Seagulls Supporter. I met fans, old and new. I worked with […]

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First Bonded Whiskey warehouse on Clare Farm

The lost art of whiskey bonding has been restored to Ireland once again after being neglected for almost a century.  Clare-born Louise McGuane returned to the family farm after an international career in the drinks industry to set up a new bonded whiskey warehouse on the farm, on a site nestled between the Shannon Estuary and the Atlantic. This unique micro climate will be used to create a very special flavour of whiskey – the first bottles of which will be available in five years’ time. Louise has come full circle. She remembers growing up when the local creamery was still operational. ‘We bought the bulk milk tank down to the creamery using the tractor very day. I even remember the pails before that,’ she says. ‘Naturally, those are in the past but the community has retained its rural bearing.’ Now she is reviving another ancient tradition of bonding that had all but died out in Ireland. ‘Back in the last century many local grocers or pubs would also be bonded agents and blend or mature their own brands of whiskey. They bought the plain spirit off a main distiller and then matured it in casks for a number of […]

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Snail Success in Ireland

Eva Milka came to Ireland by accident in the middle of a tourism degree in her native Poland when her then boyfriend suggested she join him in a job interview for the newly opened Lyrath hotel in Kilkenny.  She got the job while he did not, and so she cast aside her degree to work in Ireland much to her parent’s disappointment. ‘It just felt it was the right thing to do,’ says Eva. ‘ We moved over and settled into Ireland but the one delicacy we could not find was escargot snails – so we set up a mini breeding farm using plastic containers in our one bedroom apartment in Kilkenny.’ The love of snails only grew and now Eva is looking for other pioneering spirits to join her in the growing snail business. ‘Four years ago my partner and I decided to look at farming snails professionally,’ says Eva. ‘We took one year to conduct research and development, the second to set up our infrastructure and for the last two years we have streamlined snail production, found distributors and are now looking at value added products through a processing plant in Greece.’ ‘There are no facilities to do […]

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Sometimes a Farmer needs a nurse

First ran in Farm Ireland on June 5, 2017 Four years ago, the HSE in conjunction with the Irish Heart Foundation (IHF) ran a pilot to provide a free heart health check for farmers in their shared place of work, the Mart. The pilot was initially met with some resistance and suspicion according to Marese Damery, health check manager with the IHF. ‘Farmers were reluctant to agree to appointments,’ she said. ‘Some were in fear of what it might cost, although we explained it was free, and others were in fear of what they might discover medically.’ The IHF is a charity and is 93% funded through public donations. The remainder comes in the way of government funds of which the HSE is partially responsible. Most years the charity screens in excess of 15,000 people across the country in communities, institutions and corporates. There is a panel of 26 nurses sourced from across the country and one mobile unit recently purchased to travel to more remote areas. ‘The idea of checking farmers in marts was genius,’ says Marese. ‘It made sense to reach out to more isolated members of society, especially as recent census figures shows the growing number of […]

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Young Farmer spends his Communion Money on a Belted Galloway

This article first ran in Farm Ireland on May 1, 2017 Ewan Hannay is ten years of age. A bright talkative child he meets your eyes confidently and answers questions in a direct manner. Last April his parents held a party for his First Communion and he collected rather a lot of money in presents. When asked just how much, he answers ‘loads’ while his mother Linda tells me it was almost €900. Most children faced with such loot might consider buying the latest X Box or games console. Indeed Ewan tells me his friend Cormac used his money to buy a Samsung tablet. However, Ewan had different plans. His tells me his father is Scottish and that he is named after Ewan McGregor but Ewan had his eye on another Scottish celebrity – this time a Belted Galloway Ewan lives next to his uncle’s farm in Moneyteigue, near Aughrim in county Wicklow. Ever since he could talk he has said he wants to be a farmer – as well as a construction worker, a driver of a lorry and a horse rider. Basically all the careers followed by his uncle Tom. As soon as Ewan could walk he has […]

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Wear your Pants at all times!

First published in the Irish Independent on March 31 Earlier this month I attended a theatrical performance in the Courthouse Art Centre in Tinahely in County Wicklow. There were two short monologues, both performed by Cora Fenton, co founder of Call Back Theatre. The second piece was called Bonfire Night. It was narrated by a middle aged woman with a history of disappointments and left to care for her elderly father. It was bonfire night and she was heading out. Oh, and she had a gun. The monologue riffed backwards and forwards through her life but always seemed to come back to the gun. It was very much Chekhov’s gun and we all knew it was going to be used. However, when the moment came it was totally unexpected and the audience reacted with a collective intake of breath. The Courthouse is a tiny centre and sadly, due to clash with another drama festival in Wicklow, there were only ten people in the entire audience. So as to show solidarity with the actor I insisted to my friend and fellow writer that we sit in the front row. We were two feet from the actor. That level of intimacy is […]

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