Bram Stoker Festival

Bram Stoker Festival

Halloween is a festival enjoyed by millions of people around the world each year, it is spooky and fun, and is good for everyone. Dublin has a number of events that will fall on Halloween weekend, including a fantastic display at the Dublin Wax Museum, and The world famous Bram Stoker Festival. bram-stoker-festival Continue reading

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Irish Greyhound Derby Day 2013, Shelbourne Park Dublin

Irish Greyhound Derby Day 2013, Shelbourne Park Dublin

Dublin is going to the Dogs

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It is official; Dublin is going to the Dogs, on Saturday the 14th of September 2013 Dublin will officially go to the dogs, for what is Irish Greyhound Derby Day at Europe’s Premiere Greyhound racing and Hospitality Stadium, Shelbourne Park in Dublin. The picture below was taken 21st August 2013, and shows how Shelbourne Park Stadium sits neatly behind Aviva Stadium from the Ringsend view, please, click on the picture to get a high definition view.


Shelbourne Park tickets call 1890 269 969 or call into Shelbourne Park reception.

Irish Greyhound Derby Day Timeline 2013 Continue reading

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All Ireland GAA Quarter Finals 2013

All Ireland GAA Final 2013

Croke Park will continue to play host to Ireland’s All Ireland GAA hopefuls right up to the All-Ireland GAA Final on Sunday 22nd September 2013, who the finalists will be remains a mystery, however, the Sam Maguire Cup will be the silver they will be seeking to take back to their respective county.

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Leinster GAA Final 2013

Leinster GAA Final 2013, Dublin GAA, Meath GAA, Croke Park, Accommodation near Croke Park

Leinster Final 2013

GAA Supporters attending Sunday’s Leinster Senior Football final 2013 meeting of Dublin and Meath are reminded that the senior game has a 2.00pm throw-in, arrive early, park safely, enjoy the game.

Meath GAA

Jim Gavin is tangled up in Meath GAA and this has not happened so much since 1995. The difference now is the Dublin GAA Manager is trying to sell the old rivalry ahead of Sunday’s Leinster football final 2013, unlike the final Gavin played in eighteen years ago, when all that kind of talk took care of itself.

Dublin GAA come to Croke Park having won three of their last four championship meetings with the Royals, including last year’s provincial final, and the bookmakers agree they only have to show up to claim their eighth title in nine seasons.

Gavin said, “Well I still think that tradition is there,” “Yes, it might have been stronger in the 1990s, but anytime we have come across Meath in recent times there has been a cut to the game”.

Form: “Both teams have good form, league and championship, both of us have got big scores in their opening games, and similar enough styles of play, physical defences and competitive midfield and very good forwards – so both sides will feel they have a chance to win.


Gavin goes on to say, “With the whole social demographic situation as well, there is a big Dublin community that has moved across the border into Meath, so I think there is still that sense of a local derby between Meath and Dublin.”

It is only three years since Meath GAA stunned Dublin GAA in the Leinster semi-final, winning 5-9 to Dublin’s 0-13 – and Gavin was also at the receiving end of a Meath defeat when in charge of the Dublin under-21s, in 2011. Sunday marks their 60th championship meeting; Dublin winning 32 to Meath’s 19, with eight draws.

Dublin v Meath GAA Leinster Final 2013

“To me, the Dublin-Meath games have always been competitive in the championship, and 2010 is an example of that. Games are still very unpredictable. But as a manager, and, as players, we’re not looking back at what happened in the past. That is completely outside of our control. All we’ve been doing is preparing for this Meath team.”

Gavin, however, can’t completely avoid the past: Dublin fairly destroyed Meath in the 1995 final, 1-18 to 1-8, Gavin playing at left-half forward, Paul Clarke providing the goal, and a 19-year-old named Jason Sherlock a new hero for Hill 16, and maintained that momentum to win the All-Ireland. It still ranks as one of Dublin’s best Leinster final performances against their old rivals.

“It was a good performance,” Gavin conceded, “but then the next year they beat us, and went on to win the All-Ireland final.”

Meath actually have the edge in recent Leinster finals, winning three (2001, 1999, and 1996) of the last five, Dublin’s win over Meath last year their first final win since 1995.

That 2012 final was a lot closer than expected, too, as Meath closed it to down to a goal, after outscoring Dublin 1-6 to 0-2 in the final quarter.

Dublin GAA Strong

Still all current form points strongly towards Dublin, even if their 16-point wins over both Westmeath and then Kildare suggest they haven’t yet been properly tested.

“Well, I think if you asked any of the Dublin players at half-time against Kildare they would have said they were (tested). I think it was a big test. And if you were in both dressing-rooms afterwards, both sets of players were fatigued from a big game given from both sides.

“I think if you let either of those teams play football, and they had shown potential what they could do, both Westmeath and Kildare, they could have got a run at us, and it would have been a completely different score at the end of the game. The players had a job to do and they did it well so we move on to the next game.

“I think the players showed good application in both games but there still is room for improvement, and that’s not to be glib about it. It’s just a fact from the players’ perspective. We still haven’t been consistent for the full 70 minutes. And this team haven’t won anything yet.”

Meath GAA Supporters

Meath supporters attending Sunday’s eagerly-awaited Leinster Senior Football final against

Dublin are advised to arrive early as the senior game has a 2.00pm throw-in and watch out for the Tayto Park bus for your free snack.

Those attending are advised to purchase tickets before arriving at the stadium to avoid queues on the day of the match.

Tickets can be purchased at a variety of outlets

1. online at

2. Leinster Council’s offices in Portlaoise.

3. The GAA Ticket Office in Dorset St.

4. Centra and SuperValu stores.

Patrons are also urged to arrive in time with the largest attendance of the championship season to date anticipated.

For the first time this year Croke Park’s Family Fun Zone will be open from 11.0 until 1.30 on Sunday.

This facility is free and offers interactive activities for children, pre-match analysis with former players, music, face painting, food outlets and other family fun.

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Childrens Theatre

Childrens Theatre, Dublin Theatre, Irish Theatre, Smock Alley Theatre, Theatre summer specials, school holidays whats on
Children’s Theatre, Family Fun, for Everyone
Children’s Theatre is as old as time itself, throughout the ages theatre was the medium most easily understood by the majority of people, however, in the modern day when all things appear to happen in cyber space, the reality is that children and adults continue to be enthralled by the love of theatre.

Theatre companies are achieving crossover successes by tapping into the nostalgia and escapism that attract adults and children to Pixar movies and Harry Potter.
“A nostalgic generation,” as Collapsing Horse Theatre Company director Dan Colley put it to the cast of their hit show Monster/Clock last year. He was referring to the fact that the majority of the audience who came to see Monster/Clock, a theatre piece for all ages using puppetry and music, were in fact their peers.

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This group of theatre-makers, in their early 20s, were evidently tapping into some zeitgeist and whetting the same appetite that brings adults out to Pixar movies such as Up and Toy Story, or has them reading popular fiction aimed at younger audiences, such as tales of a famous boy wizard.
Every generation has nostalgia for elements of their childhood – and in theatre, some of the most talked-about shows in recent years have been designed for all the family: this might be children’s theatre, but it’s in mainstream venues and with no expectation that an adult should necessarily bring a child.
James Thiérrée’s show Raoul, which played at the Abbey Theatre in 2011, was spectacular, while Theatre Lovett’s The Girl Who Forgot to Sing Badly and The House that Jack Filled were hits with children and adults. The latter show had a majority of adult attendees at the last Dublin Theatre Festival.
Engaging everyone
“We do work really hard at developing work that engages absolutely everyone,” says Muireann Ahern, Theatre Lovett’s artistic director, along with her husband Louis Lovett, who performs in their shows. “Louis calls it a win-win-win situation.”
Lovett explains this as a “triangle of energy between performer, adult and child. It is unique to play to all ages; in many cases, one or other parties is left out. We’re like the US marines – no one gets left behind.” The pair have just returned from a US tour funded by Culture Ireland. It was the first time Irish theatre for young audiences was represented Stateside on such a scale and Theatre Lovett was the first Irish company to play at New York’s New Victory Theatre.
“No matter where you go in the world, children are still children. They want to be brought on a cracking good story; adults too,” says Lovett.
The couple arrived home to find bundles of envelopes, letters and pictures from those they had met on tour. “Doing shows for children is the closest I’ve come to being a rock star,” he laughs.
Collapsing Horse Theatre Company is opening its new show, Human Child, at Smock Alley Theatre tonight.
“The children’s theatre I’ve been really excited by recently has done away with a lot of the formality we associate with theatre, which hides everyone from the making of it. Instead, it was present and sincere,” says its writer/director Dan Colley.
Eoghan Quinn, who wrote Monster/Clock and is dramaturge for Human Child, points out that the term “children’s theatre” is almost an oxymoron in that it’s created by adults.
So how do theatre-makers access that part of themselves necessary to make work for children of all ages?
“Well, we don’t take ourselves too seriously,” says Jack Gleeson. He is one of the founding members of Collapsing Horse, previously starred in Monster/Clock, and is best-known to audiences here as Joffrey in HBO’s Game of Thrones television series.
“We started by telling stories we were told as children, but we also did things like build a blanket fort,” says Colley.
Aaron Heffernan (23) is an actor and puppet-master on Human Child (his next major role is in TV series Love/Hate).
Heffernan says he sometimes “forgets what people expect from adulthood”, before embarking on an impromptu riff about his childhood teddy bear Simon, a polar bear – “I’ve never slept a night in my own bed without Simon” – and how visitors to his apartment often found him “cutting up teddy bears, with a big stag’s horn made from piping on the wall, as if I’d caught it . . . They were just wondering what was going on with me . . . in life,” he says. (He was making puppets.)
“But I do adulty things as well, like, I, eh . . .” he stops. “You pay taxes,” offers Jack. “Yeah,” says Heffernan, laughing. “But I am very serious about it,” he says, before showing the scars on his arms from hot glue. “This one looks like Guatemala.”
Heffernan lists the raw materials that go into his puppets: “Coat-hangers, chopsticks, towels, bike handles, tyres, cuttings of teddy bears (it’s a very high-quality fur), taxidermy, human hair, umbrellas, chair legs . . .”
“Would you ever cut Simon up?” I ask, thinking of his Arctic friend.
Aaron: “I can’t even think about that.”
Jack: “That’s disgusting.”
Both: “What’s wrong with you?”
Playful, not infantile
“Do we stop playing because we grow old or do we grow old because we stop playing?” asks Louis Lovett, who stresses the importance of play in what he and Ahern do, while pointing out the difference between being infantile and being able to play.
“We’re very lucky, neither of us have stopped playing. I’ll never confuse myself with being a child. Play shouldn’t be phoney. It’s not about getting on hands and knees to a child’s level. Theatre Lovett take play very seriously.”
Another quality to which both companies attribute part of their appeal is basic theatricality. Collapsing Horse and Theatre Lovett use physical theatre, storytelling, puppetry, comedy and music.
“It’s full-on theatricality,” says Lovett. “Children’s theatre directs everything to the audience.”
“It’s about bestowing enjoyment upon the audience,” says Gleeson. “Some adult theatre might be about the piece itself. For me, it’s 90 per cent what the audience will enjoy.” “If we want to shower the stage with beautiful stars we can. You can get away with being spectacular,” Colley adds.
Degree of escapism
Both agree that there is a degree of escapism at play in their work.
“It’s about that confusion, pain and fear – true of being a child and of being an adult – we draw on being able to alleviate it for a moment. It might be a cliche, but to leave yourself in theatre, fantasy or wherever, allows you to come back to yourself with fresh eyes.
“Human Child is inspired by the Yeats poem Stolen Child and it says it all really,” says Colley. “Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild./With a faery, hand in hand . . .”
For Quinn, a “sense of loss is always latent in children’s fantasy; we are trying to create for an audience of which we are no longer a part”.
Human Child is at Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, until July 6th.

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