Fusion Magazine - February 2015

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Feb. 2015


l ime r i c k ’ s

f r es h es t


mon t h l y




Editor’s Note

Welcome to Fusion Magazine Limerick’s Freshest Monthly Publication

This year, many of us have vowed to better ourselves: hit the gym, eat healthier or learn a language. Others chase their goals: a new job, a new house, a promotion, a move. And then there are those of us that follow a lifelong dream: to travel, to start a business, embark on the journey of parenthood or it could be you just want to have more fun! Some will stick their resolutions some won’t but by now you should know which one of these you are. Making a change for the better doesn’t have to begin on January 1st. It can happen anytime you wish. In this edition we look at ways to improve your life, health and happiness. We speak and get to know the Chief Executive Officer of Limerick City & County Council, Conn Murray, who talks about his job, family and what is in store for Limerick. We meet, in my opinion, the unsung heroes of Limerick who are Limerick Search and Rescue. The tireless work they do deserves all the support that they can get. So if you are involved in a charity event this year, please keep them in mind. I speak candidly with TV presenter and former Mr World Kamal Ibrahim about his life, career and growing up in Limerick. While, talented wedding planner Sharon McMeel gives helpful advice and tips to those loved up couples who have got engaged over the holidays or who will be using Valentine’s Day to pop the question. This edition is dripping with talent, we profile visual artist Ken Coleman and chat music to Men of 20, we have a bulging fashion and beauty section and not to forget some soothing recipes from Val’s Kitchen, baking from Hazel Ryan Sheehan and delicious cocktails from Kaur Ellermae. And as we are slowly starting to see a stretch in the evenings we starting to think about getting summer holiday ready. Be it travel or festival hopping, we have you covered. We have some great new additions to our team, strengthening the quality of Fusion Magazine, which is our priority so we can showcase all of the wonderful things about Limerick. I hope you enjoy this edition. Until next month, Michelle Costello Editor & Founder Fusion Magazine



3 Editor’s Note 6 Contributors 8 Opinion 10 People Profile 14 Arts & Culture 16 Student Profile 18 Cover Story 22 Well Being 24 Fitness & Health 26 Visual Artist 28 Bridal 34 Beauty 36 Fashion 46 Business 48 Feature - Fab Lab 54 Fo od & Drink 58 Travel 59 Limerick Life 60 Charity 62 48 Things 64 Men of 20 66 DJ Profile 68 Theatre - Beowulf 70 Festivals 72 Events Guide 74 Online & Technology


Cover - Kamal Ibrah i m Clothing by Brown Thomas Photographer - Tarmo Tullit

Fusion Magazine 74 O’Connell Street Limerick www.fusionmagazine.ie 061-597627 Editor Michelle Costello michelle@fusionmedia.ie Photography Tarmo Tulit www.tarmotulit.com tarmo@tarmotulit.com 087-6837250 Proofreading Johanna Aaspollu MairÊad Collins Graphic Design Jason Yu Sales & Advertising advertising@fusionmedia.ie 061-597627 Or louise@fusionmedia.ie valerie@fusionmedia.ie Event Listings events@fusionmedia.ie Stories & All other Queries hello@fusionmedia.ie FUSION MAGAZINE | 5

“She’d sell her soul for a sausage roll” @valoconnor


Olivia Chau


“A sickly sweet, self-confessed eater of cake for breakfast” @cupcakerys



D ave C u d d i h y


“To keep in the loop to what’s on in the street, Olivia will tell you where to find the beat” @olliechau



“Want to get fit without turning green, Eric will turn you into a machine” www.ttr.ie

Eric Johnson


“Full of life, full of beans and full of opinions” @davecuddihy

H a z e l R ya n S h ee h a n

Va l e r i e O ’ C o n n o r

“A pocket rocket, not polly pocket”



Ta r m o T u l i t

“One click and his flash, makes you shine with class”


M a i r é a d Co l l i n s


“Clothing and style are her main passion, she will have us all in the best of fashion”

“She writes about business and people inspired, what’s new in Limerick not what’s retired” @Kayleigh_Ziolo


M a r y K i e ly


HU M A N INTER ES T “She will Make-Up your face with great style and grace” @kielymary



“She digs up the past because it’s a blast” @limerickslife



“Just give him a scissors and a can of hairspray and it can be sure that he will make your day” @HCHairGroup



Rebecc a E g a n O NL IN E & TE CHN O LO GY

“Johanna Banana, she likes to play with toys, which are mostly for boys”


“All things creative makes her happy, she will keep you up to date nice and snappy” @beccae20



Kaur Ellermae

“If you like drink stirred or shaken, Kaur knows what is taken”

“She gives tips on your health, which is really your wealth” www.yourkeytothrive. com

O P INION Will you make the after party? The craic is 90 and you’re enjoying yourself a little bit too much. The next thing you know, the music stops, the lights come on and you’re left in a state of confusion/ embarrassment dependent on what pose you were pulling before the flick of the switch. Surely this can’t be it, we’ve just got here, we only just started to enjoy ourselves and now you’re telling us that’s it? Well, we’ll see about that! You look around and get that all too familiar epiphany, where are we going to go to next? Everybody loves a good after-party! Having spent 2014 boasting the proud title of City of Culture, what happens to us now? Inevitably there will be the compulsory hangover period (January) where we can’t move from the couch and rely on our trustee smart phones to keep us informed of the outside world and to have greasy sustenance delivered to our doors. Once the head clears we will be left with the sudden realisation, that we are now titleless! Sash, tiara and fancy gown discarded in a post-party heap in the corner. What comes next? Do we insert the word “former” into our title and live in our past glories for years to come, lamenting over how we were once beautiful or do we apply a fresh face of make-up, iron out the creases in the frock and let everyone know we are still fabulous and we are ready for our close up?! It turns out Limerick has a thirst for culture and the first steps are already being taken in the fight for the next big accolade - European City of Culture 2020, we’ve got our eyes on you kid! We have had a taste and now we want to step up the game, we want to spread our wings and show Europe what we’ve got. Right now we stand with our chests puffed out and fire in our bellies looking towards the future whilst also cherishing the now. We must not let ourselves go into hibernation and lie dormant for the next few years and hope that our one year stint will be enough to get us noticed. We need a certain level of continuance here in Limerick; as if we sit on our laurels, we run the risk of getting

fat and lazy on our newly digested glory. What we do next, will define us. The big funding is gone, the glitz and glamour of the title is gone and the ones who were in for a quick buck have left a trail of dust behind as they search out their next lucrative deal. What’s left behind, though, is what really matters, the people who care, the people who will continue to work tirelessly year in, year out, to make Limerick the place it is. It is the ones that remain with Limerick and strive to make it become all that it can be, are the ones that will bring us towards our future. You, me and us! Everyone who created an event or attended an event has had the fires of culture lit from within and should be looking to do so again this year. Culture is not just for the creators but just as much about the attendees. On paper, Limerick has great plans for itself over the coming years both culturally and structurally. By 2030 we should be seeing a whole new City and with it I’m sure a whole new enthusiasm for all things cultural, but what do we do until then? Plans are currently underfoot to utilize new found facilities to draw the likes of film studios which could see a major artistic coup for the City. Amazing as it is, what does that do for us, the average Joe on the street? Not much really, to be quite honest, bar generating a certain level of excitement that we could potentially see a few Hollywood types every so often. I do believe, that while the bigger picture is being looked after, we also need to concentrate on the smaller elements, the elements of culture that bring people together on a ground level. I’m a strong believer that the best way to keep the momentum going is participation. We, as the general population, need to educate ourselves on all that Limerick has to offer and support our City and County in its vision towards the future. We should attend what we can, discuss what we see, support those that work so hard to bring us a taste of culture in Limerick but most importantly,

we engage with culture in Limerick. We can sit back and complain about not knowing what goes on, but we should all make it a point for the New Year to learn about all that is around us. I cast my mind back to September just passed; in particular Culture Night 2014, this is the night that sticks out in my mind as something special. One thing that always strikes me about Limerick is the fact the entire city centre appears to go into hiding every evening at 6pm so it was amazing to see the streets of the City buzzing well into the night with people searching out their next cultural thrill. The novelty of seeing friends and families strolling around our streets at this time of the evening was something I think we could all get used to. That night I stood in the Hunt Museum with a group of friends and wondered why we hadn’t been here before. We took in a performance in the Milk Market shortly after, which left us on a culture buzz, coupled with a fantastic sense of pride in our City. It made us realise that we need to be active participants in culture when it presents itself to us so easily. There is certainly a vision going forward for Limerick, it may take a time to get there but while we are waiting, we must not become complacent. We have been given a taste of what can be achieved during City of Culture 2014 and we can all agree that we would like to see more. By being active participants in culture we will feed this seed that has been planted and watch it grow strong, but only if it is nourished. We all have a part to play in the future of this City and how others see us. Whether you are an instigator of culture or a participant of culture, your part is equally as important. We can only achieve greatness when we work together, when we work as a whole. I, for one, had my eyes opened by culture over the past year and have made a resolution to educate myself more on what my City has to offer. Will you do the same? Let us approach the after party with the same gusto that we showed whilst enjoying the main event. Article by Dave Cuddihy Illustration by Jacob Stack



pe o p l e p r o f i l e

Conn Murray An office on the top floor of the Council building on Merchant’s Quay, hosts one of the most beautiful views of our city and the River Shannon I have ever seen. The glass walls bring a slick modern look to the workplace as well as renewed freshness to the space. There, the furniture from the previous County Council Offices is in place and the entire office is like a symbol of the recent unification of the Councils and a new chapter in Limerick’s history. It is here Conn Murray works as Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council. A Meath man by birth, no more than most on finishing school, was unsure of what road to take next. Conn got a job in the public service and the rest of his story wrote itself. “I got a grá for what was being done in the public service and how it was being done. I saw opportunities and decided to push for them. I didn’t know how hard I could push or how far… it took me on a journey I wasn’t anticipating but it’s been an exciting one, it’s been a developmental one. As you grow up in the system you become at least a little bit more ambitious, but certainly you get a better understanding of what the public service is about. I enjoy what I do, I have remained a student of what I do in terms of the learning curve that we all, as people, remain on.” It’s no breaking news that it has been a time of highs and lows for Conn. The last two years in particular have been an incredible period of challenge and change so it must take someone with a real passion for their work to stick with it, for better or worse. “As the old saying goes The labour we delight in physics pain. There is an element out there that you must enjoy what you do. I’ve an incredible bunch of people around me in the organisation who are equally enthusiastic for change. It’s also coming out of the period when the public sector have been under an extraordinary siege, in many cases highly unwarranted. We became the focal point for a lot of problems of the past and yet it has been a strong public service and the decisions the public service have taken in the last number of years, in the context of political leadership, that are taking us to a different platform.” But the highlights are evident too, with a recent award and our City of Culture among the joys experienced by Conn and his team. “It’s been an extraordinary intensive couple

of years. The fact that the Council came together in the manner that it did was very heartening. The recent acknowledgement of that through achieving ‘Local Authority of the Year’ was unexpected, but a welcome shot of confidence in terms of the direction we want to go. The City of Culture has become a highlight of the year but it has also been one of the most difficult time periods that I have experienced in my 35 years being part of the public service, so there are the extremes that you go through.”

“I hope the fact that Limerick demonstrated that first of all it can do it, that when the community actually come together in a positive fashion, it can be exceptionally strong and that positivity needs to actually continue into 2015 because there’s now a credibility behind that, hopefully an opportunity will present itself in terms of resources.” With the City of Culture officially over, but memories still lingering of its amazing productions, Conn is one of the many of us who experienced its cultural delights throughout one of the greatest years Limerick has ever seen. “When we look over the 12 month period… 2.5 million has been spent in new productions, new developments and new creations. We have demonstrated very clearly that if you invest in the community that is there, you will get an enormous return and some of the productions I would hope will go to greater things… I was very heartened recently when I met with the group who put together ‘The Unlucky Cabin Boy’. To hear how it came together; a group of artists, accomplished professionals in their own right, because of the opportunity that 2014 presented, actually came together to produce FUSION MAGAZINE | 11

what I think was a marvellous production which I genuinely hope goes much further and I believe it will, but that became one of the best examples in my mind of what it did for the artistic community in Limerick itself.” With what feels like waking up from a wonderful dream and stepping into the cold morning air, what really needs to happen for Limerick to continue the magic we felt in 2014? A question being pondered by so many, but surely Conn would have the answer. “For 2015, number one, is our preparation for the bid for 2020 which built a very strong base over the last 12 months, or two years to be realistic about it. What is now the best vehicle for Limerick to develop and invest in is the arts community. And I think the special purpose vehicle, which has been the City of Culture to date, presents us with an opportunity to re-examine how we have done this and what we can do. I’ve looked at places like Edinburgh and Glasgow and other places across the UK who have developed a new mechanism of managing the arts and culture by also finding opportunities to invest in that area and I think we need to broaden our thinking in that area to see that we can actually capture that going forward.” The European Capital of Culture bid for 2020 is given to a city, that not only has a remarkable programme of events, but that will also cultivate a European identity. This is an exciting opportunity that carries great cultural prestige, if awarded. On a different scale, the 2030 economic and spatial plan is an intricate and impressive plan of action. “From a 2030 perspective, we have identified strategic sites, we have got control of the strategic sites, we have planning applications through, we are continuing to invest in smarter travel… and we are developing and advancing the discussions of greater connectivity between the third levels and the heart of the city. With 2030, it’s a more long term plan, recognising that we need the heart of Limerick operating at a high level to drive the overall economy, not just of Limerick but of the Midwest itself… there is a commitment of nearly 3,000 jobs at the moment, but what we are missing is the construction side in the heart of the city to demonstrate the confidence in the 2030 plan and I hope in 2015, we will see that emerging.”

With so much of our talent emigrating for assumed greener pastures, if anyone would know what’s next for Limerick or worth waiting around for, it’s Conn. “Will Limerick be one of the more exciting places to be? It will. Insofar as we are starting to recapture what Limerick once had above anyone else and that is to be innovative at a local level… it’s so fantastic to see the level of community commitment there has been across the city and county and I get a chance to quietly meet with various parts of those communities that don’t get highlighted but are a stark and important reminder of the importance of people in the context of the services we provide… I get more out of these meetings than some of the bigger profile meetings.”

Conn is an interesting character. He is probably a man that most of us have heard or read about rather than met, so I always welcome and appreciate the opportunity to get to know the person behind the name. He strikes me as a man who is passionate and dedicated to his job and appears to harvest great energy from his work. But behind the meetings, memos and public appearances, Conn is a family man who spends time at the weekend at his son’s soccer matches. “Shouting at under 10s and under 8s at a match can be as exciting as the Council chamber on occasion, and as intense.”(Laughs) Conn has had a real run of hurdles in his work but is committed to it and seems to have no problem overcoming them. “I’m passionate about public service, I’m not necessarily conventional nor have I ever been, it hasn’t always been helpful, there is a personal drive there in terms of doing the best you can. That sounds awfully pious and all the rest but when you enjoy what you do, you want to make sure you are making a difference.”


Article by Mairéad Collins Image by Tarmo Tulit


A r t s & C u lt u r e


Limerick Literary Festival in Honour of Kate O’Brien

Elaine Paige - A Final Farewell

Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd, Mary Immaculate College and 69 O’Connell St. (formerly the Belltable).

Saturday 14th February 2015 @8pm, UCH Limerick

Born in Limerick in 1897, Kate O’Brien is one of our greatest literary heroes. Without My Cloak, 1930, was her first best-seller. Kate spent her later years in England but often returned to Limerick. The festival started in 1984, to mark the 10th anniversary of Kate’s death. The event was so successful, that it has been running annually ever since! Continuing to celebrate the life and works of Kate O’Brien, the event attracts strong participants and speakers from all corners of the globe. Mary Immaculate College will open the 31st celebratory literary event with a free public event of an inaugural conference on the “literature of loss” with the esteemed Eugene O’Brien and Joe O’Connor amongst the keynote speakers. The festival shall offer a prize this year for the most popular Irish author nominated by book club members across the country. The list is available on the website: w w w. l i m e r i c k l i t e r a r y f e s t i v a l . c o m

It is only in recent years I have discovered the might of Elaine Paige, who came generations before me but emblazoned an almighty path for female performers on both the West End and Broadway. Elaine Paige confirmed this would be her ‘farewell’ tour. “I’ve thought long and hard about the decision, but feel this landmark event, my 50th Anniversary, is a good time to bid adieu. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone – it’ll be As If We Never Said Goodbye!” Known as ‘The First Lady of Musical Theatre’, Elaine shall sing some of the greatest hits of her career on her final celebration of 50 years in the business, including hits from Chess, Cats, Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar and many more. Tickets: Available online at www.uch.ie

Luke Murphy presents “Your Own Man/ Mad Notions” Thursday 26th, Dance Limerick Space (St John’s Church) @8-9pm. Luke Murphy, born and reared in Cork has earned a reputation in the arts world; His own work has been presented throughout New York, Ireland and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. US based, Luke will return to Dance Limerick to premiere this new piece, where he completed residency last year. The piece fuses storytelling, rich imagery and dynamic movement, creating his tale about the nature of leaving, returning and searching for home. Identified as an intimate and personal piece of dance, it divulges the quiet story of a man- a dancer from Cork away from Cork, away from Ireland, away from home. It explores the struggles of sustaining one’s cultural identity from afar. Definitely a story so many of us can relate to nowadays, and one I cannot wait to see! Check out the websites: www.dancelimerick.ie

Illustration by Patrick Edmund Lynch


Movie Night: Pride, Directed by Matthew Warchus Fri 6th February @ 8pm, Desmond Complex, Newcastle West. The Newcastle West film club returns this February to open the doors and minds of those who enjoy viewing the movies. This English movie is based in summer 1984 - Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike. At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay activists decide to raise money to support the families of the striking miners, and later set off in a mini bus headed for a mining village in deepest Wales to make their donation in person. This is the beginning of an extraordinary story of two seemingly alien communities who form a surprising and ultimately triumphant partnership. “Pride” stars Bill Night, Dominic West, Andrew Scott, Imelda Staunton, Paddy Considine and George McKay and is 119 minutes long. There is a trailer available on YouTube should you wish to take a sneak preview! Seminar on Art Therapy by Peter Lunn Saturday 28th February – 10.30 – 4pm, Friars Gate Theatre Kilmallock Artistic in nature, anytime I feel stressed or deserving of a break I pull out some pastels or even just a biro for a doodle. What is the theory behind this? I wish I could tell you, but alas I can’t! However, this seminar with Peter Lunn will act as an introduction to the history, principles, theory and practise of art therapy. The day will consist of experiential workshops, theoretical analysis and an opportunity to gain insight and awareness around some of the many aspects of art therapy. Who knows, I might see you there! Website: www.friarsgate.ie

Counter Culture Where did you get the idea to develop this production? Katie O Kelly: I knew I wanted to write a play about the world of retail, and all the hierarchies, quirky customers and highs and lows that “that” world entails. But I still didn’t have a strong foundation to build the story on. The idea was mulling around my head for a long time, but it wasn’t until I found a photo in 2013 that the show really sprang to life. I was looking through photo albums at home, and came across a picture. It was of my Granny, on strike, holding a placard outside Clery’s in Dublin in 1982. She worked there for over 30 years. She was campaigning for better pay and conditions for workers, and the right to form their own union. It was a side of my granny I had never known about, and seemed so different to the world of retail that I knew, where employees were treated almost like replaceable commodities. So I decided to write the show about workers’ rights. Counter Culture was part of the 2013 Dublin Fringe Festival’s Show in a Bag programme, where the Dublin Fringe, Fishamble Theatre Company and the Irish Theatre Institute mentor actors to write their own tourable show. It was such a help having so much support, as I found the whole idea of sitting down and writing a play absolutely terrifying in the beginning! I was writing it in the early half of 2013, when the centenary of the Dublin Lockout was being commemorated, a celebration of Irish workers standing up for their rights in the face of great adversity. But at the same time, the retail industry was rolling out new contracts called zero hour contracts, which are just as crazy as they sound - No sick pay. No holiday pay. No guarantee of work hours. So no guarantee of a wage at all. That was what I wanted to write about. A story of a very real struggle for a lot of people in Ireland at the moment, but one told using all the fun and magic of storytelling to create an entertaining, laugh out loud and heartbreaking show. It’s a modern-day fairytale. What do people relate to the most in the production? Katie O Kelly: The reality of zero hour contracts seems to affect a lot of people who see the show. I’ve had people ask me how I made up these zero hour contracts and I have to tell them that everything about them in the show is completely true. It’s like seeing inside the belly of the beast – we have all shopped in department stores, but the show looks behind the super friendly smiles and cheery music of Irish retail to see what is really going on. Do you have a specific target audience? Counter Culture is a modern day fairytale for Ireland, covering a wide range of generations in retail. It’s also a madcap journey through one day working on the shopfloor. If you’ve ever been on either side of the cash register, there is something in it for you! Can you round off, in one sentence what people should expect on the night? A whirlwind flurry through one day of working on the Macken’s department store shopfloor, which will leave you wanting to laugh, cry and stand up for your rights!


Arts and Culture with Rebecca Egan


Counter Culture, written and performed by Katie O’Kelly Friday 6th February @ 8pm, Friars Gate Theatre Kilmallock When talking to Katie O’Kelly, writer and sole performer of Counter Culture, she explains: “Counter Culture is a modern day fairytale for Ireland, covering a wide range of generations in retail. It’s also a madcap journey through one day working on the shopfloor. If you’ve ever been on either side of the cash register, there is something in it for you!” The inspiration for the tale came from a photograph of Katie’s Granny striking for better rights of retail workers in 1982. Katie, who loves multi-character performances (20 this time!), is really looking forward to performing in Kilmallock, and hopes the audience enjoys the madness of the Macken’s retail world. The show looks behind the super friendly smiles and cheery music of Irish retail to see what is really going on; zero hour contracts and more. A modern-day fairytale, it uses all the fun and magic of storytelling to create an entertaining, laugh out loud and heartbreaking show. This whirlwind flurry through one day on the Macken’s department store shopfloor, will leave you wanting to laugh, cry and stand up for your rights! Website: www.friarsgate.ie



Jennifer O’Brien L.I.T B.A Social Care – 3rd Year

Best event you were at as a student? Definitely the college ball, sure a girl loves any excuse to get dolled up!

Favourite Limerick phrase? Aboy de kiiiiiid

Why did you go back to college? I was once told that if you find a job you love that you will never work a day in your life. I had done some volunteering in the past and really enjoyed it and looked forward to it, so I did my research and found that getting my BA in social care studies would enable me to continue working in that area.

Favourite place to grab lunch? On a budget you can’t beat Caffe Waffe, always have great deals and the food is always nice and fresh.

Highlight of your college life so far? (A) Being a part of arranging the class selfie for breast cancer awareness, the girls went without makeup and all the guys wore makeup. It was a fun day full of giggles: some of the guys looked too good. Plus money was raised, so it was a win-win situation. Favourite student dinner? Chicken, broccoli and pasta would last me a week.

Favourite place for a quiet pint? Bobby Byrnes

Favourite place to take someone special out for dinner? La Piccola, great food even better wine and always friendly service, what more could you ask for?

Tell us something about you? I have been involved with school boy soccer for the past 5 years with Fairview Rangers and I am currently the co-coach with my boyfriend James Deedigan for the under 14s team. I started with this team when they were only 9 years old and it’s been a pleasure watching them grow in character and ability. One piece of advice that you would give to students? Go to Aldi or Lidl for a weekly shop. Always have student card to avail of student offers every little helps. Stay on top of all your assignments, remember college is not a competition help someone out when you can.

What nightclub would you inevitably end up in on a night out? Being as I, am a mature student, if I am with my friends then we always end up in Bentleys, but if I go out with the girls from college then its Costello’s every time you can’t beat beer pong.

Image by Tarmo Tulit


Choosing a Career Path

1. TED You are probably the 10 millionth person who has struggled to work out what career path to follow. (Really. You’re not alone.) Sometimes all it takes is one little piece of advice to completely change your perspective or even your whole life. Make a habit of watching a TED talk every day. It takes under 20 minutes and is hugely inspirational. 2. Write down your values People always generalize that you have two options when it comes to choosing a career — do what you love OR go after a bucket load of money. Are you better off working solo, or do you love socializing in a team environment? Do you like the routine of the 9-to-5 day, or mixing it up with irregular and unusual hours? Are you the indoor or outdoor type? Think about your current lifestyle, habits, and preferences, and write down what you really value. Having a passion/ interest for something and making money are just two pieces of a much larger puzzle. 3. Interview people People working in their dream job tend to feel proud of their achievements. They

generally love talking about what they do and retelling the story of how they got there. So just ask! Look up their number or email (it only takes two minutes) and reach out. Explain (politely) that you are interested in their industry or role, and it would be really helpful if you could ask them a few questions. If they live or work in your area, offer to hand deliver them a free coffee or lunch. If they are on the other side of the world, no problem — suggest a Skype chat or just email back and forth. It feels kind of weird to contact a stranger out of the blue, but you will be surprised at how open people are. Don’t feel guilty for taking up their time either – it feels good to offer advice and help people out. You are giving them the opportunity to enjoy that warm buzz of helping someone else. 4. Test the waters You won’t ever know if you really love (or despise) something until you give it a try. There are twelve months in the year. How about devoting one month to researching each possible area of interest? Spend a month reading up on/doing courses on/ trying your hand at/speaking to people in

– writing, finance, psychology, art, design, social work, events, marketing, business, manufacturing, or whatever else sparks your interest. You will be amazed at what you learn. Even discovering that you totally suck at something or simply can’t stand it is really useful. It narrows down the field of possibilities, which can feel so overwhelmingly large. 5. Chat with friends Your friends often see things in you that you can’t see yourself if you didn’t have their help to guide you. Next time you’re all out grabbing dinner or a drink, ask those in your inner circle what they picture you being good at. If their answers take you by surprise, that’s great! It will get your mind ticking over at a whole new path that you hadn’t considered. If their answers align with what you had in mind — well, it’s a bit of a confidence booster to know that other people see it as a perfect fit for you. Either way, it’s a win-win. Elyse Gorman runs positive life blog – www.notesonbliss.com


SHOO T IN G F OR t h e St a r s Kamal Ibrahim Limerick man Kamal Ibrahim has certainly fit a lifetime of adventures into a short number of years. Currently being the host of The Irish National Lottery while writing, producing and editing concept shows. Kamal takes every opportunity that comes to him and grabs life by the balls. His energy and charisma certainly sets him apart and his ability to take on a challenge, grow and evolve from his experiences will see Kamal do many more great things in time to come. Described as the face of modern Ireland, former Mr. World, an actor, model, TV presenter and not to forget adventure fanatic Kamal, sat down on a snowy day in January in the Fusion HQ to talk about his life, career and of course - Limerick.

You’re a great ambassador for Limerick; did you ever think growing up here, that you would have such an impact and be in a position to have your opinion counted? “I never thought when I was growing up in Limerick that my opinion would have an effect the way it has. A lot has happened for me in the past 5 years personally, in terms of maturing, seeing the world and having my mind opened quite a lot. When I was younger, I was always at the forefront of things, although (in my youth) sometimes that would involve me getting into trouble, but I was lucky to have channelled my energy into things, be it flying or modelling, and I found myself in a position where I have a platform to voice an opinion. I don’t say very much, but if something means something to me, I will say it.” Kamal talked about his childhood and growing up in Limerick: “Well, I was born in Limerick in the Maternity hospital and grew up in Limerick, but shortly after I was born myself, mum and dad moved to Nigeria because my dad owned many restaurants there. He was very successful. Moving back when I was eight was the beginning of a new chapter for me - the mid-90s was the start of the Celtic Tiger and Ireland was a very monocultural society. We were one of a few multicultural families in Limerick and that did come with challenges; more so for my dad, as it came as a huge contrast to our life in Nigeria, where my dad had been wealthy, successful and influential. The economy went down the drain there, so we came back to Ireland, as my mum is from Limerick and we have family here. We lived in a one bedroom apartment with the whole family and my aunt. Our first Christmas presents were donated from St. Vincent de Paul; we had no money. It was polar opposite lifestyles, adding onto that you’re black or different. It was very new in Ireland… there was a period of integration that we went through, and my dad did suf-

fer. There have been a few instances over the years of bullying because we were different. So growing up, in that respect, was interesting. Looking back on it now, thankfully it didn’t hinder or affect me in any negative way; if anything, it gave me the knowledge to be able to speak about it. Because I have experienced it, I have seen the whole spectrum of attitudes and how they began to change… I was once described as a foreigner - ten years later I am on The Saturday Night show with Brendan O’Connor and he describes me as the face of modern Ireland.” As a student, Kamal describes himself as “bould out”, “I never did anything way over board, but I was a very active kid when I attended JFK School; I was always loud, talking and being told to shut up,” (laughs) “A bit of a messer, really, but nothing too bad, always pushing the boundaries as a young kid - a little brazen and immature, but I always had a drive. Even when working in Bewley’s Café on Cruises Street as a teenager, I would be asking for a pay raise even though I wasn’t turning up to work half the time”. Kamal’s college career was second to his passion of flying: “When I went to college in LIT, the academic world wasn’t for me… in that form. I’m a very hands-on type of person, I took electronic engineering, but since the age of 11, I had always wanted to become a pilot. I was in the FCA (now RDF) since I was 15. I went and tried to become a pilot through the royal air force, but since the war in Afghanistan started at that time in 2003, they changed the entry requirements, and you could no longer apply to be a pilot, unless you were a British citizen. I was gutted. So that is why I went to LIT in 2003 and finished my first year there and didn’t go back… I had thought that by the time I was 26, I would be a professional airline pilot and my plan was to finish my degree, join the Royal Air force and


do it that way. When that couldn’t happen, I planned to get a job, save all of my money, go to flight school in America, do it myself - which I did - up until the private level and I now have that licence. But, it costs €100,000 to get your full licence, so it was back to work in Limerick – to save and save! That was how I got into modelling: extra money to become a pilot; but then, that amount of money was a lot to save up and the modelling path began to show itself and that is the way it ended up going.” I asked Kamal where the modelling journey started for him. “There was a girl, Natalie Katilius, Natalie used to model for Hillary Thompson and one day Natalie invited me to an Ann Summers fashion show in The South Court Hotel. I was sitting in the front row in this horrible cream suit with a red shirt that I bought in America (laughs), after just coming back from flight school. Hilary was beside me and I asked out of curiosity, how does someone become a model? Hillary responded, “I like your style, I’ll tell you what: if you get up on stage right now, I will be very impressed. So they found me some “clothes”. I ran to the bar, drank back a shot, went backstage, decided to get creative and come out as a sexy waiter, handcuffs and all… I wolf whistled, played up and did my catwalk and came out with all the other models at the end. That was my very first time modelling.” The modelling world opened its doors very fast for Kamal after that. “Within a week, I looked into modelling and came across the name Celia Holman Lee and I gave her a call. I meet with her and her husband and sat in Aubars, she sent me to Brown Thomas to get my measurements done and that was it - half an hour later I was on her books. The next week I was on Ireland AM doing the catwalk and got paid €80. It just happened to be hitting the Summer season and Brown Thomas were having a lot of truck shows and

ended up doing almost all of them. I’m very lucky how that all happened, but I took the opportunities and never said no - with the idea of still saving money for flight school. Two years later, I was asked to enter Mr Limerick, which I passed on, because I already had an agent and was not into beauty pageants. As two more years went on, modelling was still a part-time thing, I had gone back to the National College of Ireland and studied Corporate Training and Human Resource Management, got qualified and worked in recruitment. I was modelling on the side and working Trinity Rooms V.I.P, hosting a security. So I had all of these things going on. Then in 2009, I was asked by the same people would I be interested in doing Mr Ireland. I said the same thing: no I’m fine, thank you very much and I passed it up. However, Shane Lennon, who had won Mr Limerick in 2007, convinced me. Shane came second runner up and I came first at this event on July 31st 2009. That was the real beginning of my profile and people began to take notice. I was going to take part in Mr World, which is not at all a beauty pageant. It is an international contest, a boot camp environment; we did a fashion show for charity, but there was none of that bikini rubbish. It was all about public speaking and leadership skills. The kind of thing you would find on a really good corporate CV. I was in South Korea for a month for this and funny enough, it was not something that I planned or aspired to do, it just came and I took it. I ended up winning Mr World, which was such a defining moment and it had over 1 billion viewers watching it. By now, my whole wanting-to-become-a-pilot was fading slowly into the background and the modelling progressed as a matter of course.” The entertainment industry is a tough industry full of very big highs and very big lows, but Kamal has had a great friend throughout. “I have been so fortunate to be kept grounded, especially by Shane Lennon, who is like my brother, so if there was any sign of me acting up or cocky behaviour, he pulled me back down to earth. I had a bit of a moment in 2010, around my birthday…that I wanted to do something meaningful with life. Now this job can be very challenging, sometimes you have work, sometimes you don’t. I was waiting for work and not doing great and Shane called me over to talk, I was annoyed at my agency and a few other things… and Shane, he

stopped me very straight and said, “Kamal, look, you are not the same Kamal you were a few months ago - if you were in Mr World right now, you would not win, your spark is gone, only for the fact that you had that title, you are nothing at the moment”. Very hard words; and I sat there thinking about it, nodding and I burst into tears; because it was true, he was right. He came over, gave me a hug and told me to let it all out. It was then, I really realized how good a friend he is and how he has been a great influence on me. It is still a challenge I face; these positive and negative cycles that come with being in this industry and I’m still learning how to live a balanced life.”

That then became a big part of my character, because I just love it. So in Australia, I was this extreme sports Irish presenter, but while there, I got an email from Bill Malone from RTÉ who told me the National Lottery would be screen testing and asked whether I would be interested? I said “Absolutely!” - I went straight away and spent €2,500 on a last minute flight back to Dublin to do the screen test, went back to Australia and heard nothing for a month and got a call then, saying “Congratulations we would like to have you on-board”. I decided that I was going to come home. I got the job. It was actually 2 years to the day of when I first decided to go down the path of being a presenter.”

It was after this, Kamal spent some time thinking about his future by figuring out what made him happy. “That, for me, meant I had to make some serious decisions, so I decided: I like being on stage, I like talking to people, I like Dermot O’Leary, I like Ryan Seacrest - I want to be a presenter. So, I started calling myself a presenter. In January 2011 I started a TV presenting course. I moved to London that July for 8 months. While there, I took acting classes, voice training, dance classes in Pineapple Studios and more presenting courses. I was getting great experience and I was getting good.

International projects became to open up to Kamal. “I got asked to present Mr World with Myleene Class, they had seen the different projects, that I had worked on and liked them, or maybe they couldn’t afford to hire anyone else (laughs). The biggest show and my career highlight to date has been presenting Miss World in 2013; they rang said that I “would be working again with Myleene, it was on in Bali, any interest?” The answer, of course, was “Yes!” - I was so happy… They really looked after me over there. The show went out to 250 million people live and on top of that, “E! Entertainment” took it on. That was my big Dermot O’Leary moment; I thought this must be what it is like when he does the X-Factor. It made me feel great and I saw it as making

Then, I got asked to do an episode of the show “Two For The Road” and do an adventure with someone with a disability. I shot the episode with Adele Rex - the woman whose idea it was. It was a defining episode and got very good reviews. That brought me to the attention of some people in RTE who thought I had come across well. For personal reasons, I ended up moving to Australia that year. I was still doing the same style of work over there. So my adventure side just happened to emerge again in Australia: I was sky diving, scuba diving, I got my rescue diving licence there, glider training, I got my motorcycle licence, surfing, kiteboarding, and do as many adventure sports as I could.


great strides to where I want to be, I learned so much from that experience. I’m now in my third year with The National Lottery and now I’m creating more opportunities - you always have to push it further. I have been very fortunate to have all of these experiences. I have had my mind opened culturally, professionally and personally.” Kamal and I spoke of Limerick and upcoming plans. “I think we should reach for the stars, we did a good of “Limerick, City of Culture”… it had a rocky start, but an amazing finish. It left everyone feeling differently and it is the beginning of something new for Limerick. Not just practically, but also for the mentality. I think it is fantastic that we are making the 2020 bid for the “European City of Culture”, but we should not run away with ourselves either. We need to focus on what we are going to do next. (Within the next 5 years) As far as 2030, it is a hugely ambitious plan; it is exciting and it instils confidence and pride. I can’t wait to see the end result. It is 15 years away… so how will we acknowledge the work, that has been done

and what are we going to do next? My thoughts would be to capitalise on the “Limerick and Proud”, identify what that is and why are we proud of Limerick. Let’s look at our history, re-educate ourselves. Limerick is full of creative people, very talented people in so many sectors. Let’s get those people together to come up with some great ideas. We have officially come out of this negative image of Limerick that has been thrown around the press, we just need to recognise that by our own merits and I’m looking forward to seeing the transformation. You can bet that every opportunity that comes up, I will be sure to get Limerick in there as well.” With that lovely sentiment, I said bye for now to Kamal and I couldn’t help but feel how lucky Limerick is to have such strong ambassadors, willing to be open, forward thinking and ambitious. Kamal can be seen on the Irish National Lottery on RTÉ - if you want to buy a ticket, who knows, you might have some of his luck rub off you after reading this.

Interview by Michelle Costello Images by Tarmo Tuilit Clothing by Brown Thomas Limerick www.kamal-ibrahim.com/ or Twitter @Kamal_Official FUSION MAGAZINE | 21

w e l l

be i n g

Re-solution not Resolution

New Year’s resolution. Could there be a less inspiring term? Perhaps ‘final exams’ is up there, or ‘unfinished homework’. In terms of turning over a new leaf, feeling inspired and motivated, resolutions have a very poor success rate and I think I might know why. For one thing, a lot of resolutions revolve around cleaning up your diet, stripping it back to basics, maybe eating some raw foods, or going on a juice fast. While the calendar year might insist the 1st of January represents new beginnings, the fact is, (and our cells know this) we are still in the depths of Winter. Winter, traditionally, has been all about hibernating, reflecting, drawing energy into the body, conserving heat. So our primitive instinct still wants warming foods, ideally with some healthy fats in there, such as nuts, seeds and oily fish. Maybe even some slow-cooked meat. Certainly, when the weather starts to warm up in a few months’ time, it will make sense to transition to lighter, rawer, cooling foods. But for the time being, emphasise home-made curries, with warming pungent spices which boost circulation, are full of antioxidants and of course pack a punch in terms of flavour. Add in a wide variety of vegetables, lentils, beans and some meat to sustain energy levels and help to ground your energy. Soups and broths, made well, not only taste wonderful, but also have a profound effect on boosting immunity and warding off colds


and flu. Add in some quinoa seeds for extra protein and essential fats. Sprinkle in some ground seaweed during cooking, too. This will add a powerful range of minerals and trace elements in a highly absorbable form. You’ll feel well-fed, warmer and happier than forcing down that raw smoothie can possibly make you feel. Remember, living with the seasons is a huge part of staying healthy, particularly in cultures where living to a ripe old age is the norm. Tune in to what feels good for your health as opposed to what you think you should be doing for your health. Warm, nourishing foods will generally come out on top to offset the cold, dark, damp time of year we find ourselves in. So, perhaps another resolution was to become more active. You were going to start each day with a trip to the gym. Yet all that pumping music, bright lights and smell of chlorine make you feel mildly ill. What to do? Activity comes in all shapes and sizes, so don’t settle for the first option to come along. Perhaps dancing is more your style, or gardening (yes, gardening can be really vigorous, as anyone who has ever dug a vegetable plot will know). You might be more geared towards climbing, Pilates, boxing or simply being outdoors. Can you find a friend who also wants to get out and stretch the legs? Walking in beautiful scenery, whether it’s the local park, or up in the hills, will usually be a lot more inspiring than running on a treadmill at the gym. A huge part of the benefit of being active is that activity rewires the brain. By generating new connections in our neurons, we become better at problem-solving, our cognition improves, we sleep better, so we manage pain and stress more efficiently. The benefits are profound.

But it’s vital that your activity comes in the form of something you really enjoy. For one thing, this makes it far more likely you’ll do it day after day, willingly. And for those of you forcing yourself to get up at cockcrow to get your activity in before you start work, maybe consider getting some of your activity in during the day. We spend minimal time outdoors nowadays, with the vast majority of our time spent under artificial light. We need natural light to set our body clock, regulate our sleep and help us to function more effectively all round. Try going for a walk during your lunch break, so you get your physical exercise and ‘light therapy’ in one go. Finally, profound lifestyle resolutions. How long they last often depends how much we really want something. If you wanted to learn to tap dance when you were twelve and it still makes an annual appearance on your list of resolutions, ask yourself if it’s really something you still have any interest in? If not, take it off the list, acknowledge you’ve changed over the years, as have your priorities, and get crystal clear on what resonates with you now. And if the word ‘resolution’ fills you with dread, get rid of that while you’re at it. Think of it as re-solution, so you focus on solutions rather than problems. Adding positives to your life rather than feeling guilty about the negatives just seems to sit well, in any case. In yoga, when meditating, you often focus on a mantra or resolve. This is simply an affirmative statement which helps to keep your focus and energy on the moment, rather than dashing off fretting about things which haven’t even happened yet. Maybe we should take a leaf from the yoga book. Your resolve could be to really listen when someone is talking to you, to focus on finding humour and joy as often as possible throughout your day. Better yet, to resolve to help others find humour and joy in their day. Perhaps your resolve is to really enjoy and appreciate the food you eat, as opposed to obsessing over the calories in it. As you start to feel your life improve in so many tiny ways, the ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ associated with resolutions will be kicked to the side-lines, to be replaced by contentment, fulfillment and vitality. Article by Jennifer Allen



Don’t Fear Change, Embrace It Have you started every January with the intentions of being better this year? Why is it that so many people fail to keep up their New Year’s resolutions? We are so easy to plan nights out and trips away, but when it comes to something that brings improvement to our every day life, we just cannot seem to hack it. Our mind set and how we organise our lives play a massive role in making sure that we can become the best version of ourselves in 2015. 1. Be Realistic The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. Start by making small changes each week. If you’re looking to start clean eating, remove one bad food and replace it with a healthier option each week. If you fall off the wagon don’t just say “oh well”. Continue as planned, you are human and we all make mistakes. 2. Plan Ahead Make a plan of action: have everything you need so you can hit the ground running. Make life easier for yourself, plan ahead and it will curb temptation and help keep you motivated. 3. Support Net Make sure your family and friends are all on board to support you and your goal. Better yet: why not find a buddy who can share your resolution with you. Surround yourself with support and their encouragement will help you along your way. 4. Don’t beat yourself up Changes are always going to be tough, the occasional slip is going to happen. When they do happen, dust yourself off and go again. Each day brings the opportunity to be better than your last. 5. Be Patient Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. It won’t happen overnight, so be persistent and patient!

Eric’s Simple Smoothie Recipes The Strawberry Breakfast Surprise

Mango Pick Me Up

The Flat Belly Blast

Great for breakfast on the go.

Great for an energy boost any time of the day plus you get 4 of your 5-a-day.

This one promotes healthy weight loss with cutting nutritional content.

1 ripe mango peeled or diced 5 frozen or fresh strawberries 1 cup of chopped pineapple 1 cup of orange juice Pop into the blender and you have a delicious smoothie.

Boil green tea in water for 3 minutes then add honey until it completely dissolves 1 banana 1 cup of blueberries frozen or fresh Low fat or skimmed milk Pop into the blender and you have a super snack.

1 pot of plain fat free yogurt 1 banana 7 to 8 strawberries 1/4 cup low fat or fat free skimmed milk 2 tbsp of honey 1 cup of ice

by Eric Johnson The Training Room www.ttr.ie 085-8224421


Commit to Get Fit

Name: Niall Counihan

Aura Leisure Centre in Grove Island, Corbally has certainly shaped up for action this year. It is the largest facility in Limerick outside the UL Arena and features a 25 metre adult pool & 2 baby pools. A family friendly centre with a ton of children’s activities. The centre has invested in renovations which have included a brand new gym floor and each cardio machine has its own personal TV, two new fitness class studios are now open, one being a dedicated spin studio. These studios A feature a variety of 45 fitness classes per week including pre work classes at 7am, lunch time 30 minute classes for those of you who want a quick lunch time workout. A sample of class’s available range from Pilates, Yoga, Zumba, Spinning to Suspension Training. Free parking is available, which is a massive bonus so the gym bill doesn’t double. With all these exciting changes we spoke with two of the personal trainers Niall Counihan and Eimhin Hogan of Aura to talk getting fit for 2015.

Why did you become a personal trainer? It is a job that compliments my lifestyle, I’m a very active person with a thirst for knowledge about the industry and Personal training is something that I can wake up at 6am on a Monday morning and look forward to. What is your coaching style? I like to take an athlete’s technique, break it down and rebuild it better and stronger. Taking an athlete’s/client’s needs into consideration is a huge aspect of how we do things in this industry and if I don’t achieve this then I’ve failed. What’s your fitness philosophy? Nothing worth having comes easy. It’s hard work and can be painful, but it’s fun and enjoyable and the feeling of being fit and healthy is one of the greatest feelings ever. Are most of your clients long term or short term? At the moment I’m only training athletes and they are long term. How many days per week would I (a Client) need to work out? Minimum of 3, this is because I would recommend a 3 day split routine where you work different body parts or different aspects of fitness and of course rest is important. What should I eat before a workout? I always have a banana, it has a suitable GI to energise your body for the work ahead. What should I eat after a workout? A protein based meal to help repair the damage you have just done, but you also need some energy so carbs are essential. Beans on brown bread toast is a near perfect meal after working out.

Name: Eimhin Hogan

How did you become personal trainer? I was 18 years old, 18 stone and 30% body fat; now I’m 14 stone and 11% body fat. After my own transformation all I wanted to do was show and help people to change their lifestyle, so I went to college and qualified with a lot more knowledge than I had on my own journey. Do you specialize in any training styles? Yes, I do one-to-ones with clients that are looking to shed the fat and get in condition for a “beach body”, I also do some work with a few soccer teams over the summer months in pre-season training bringing fitness levels back up for the coming season. What is your strategy for preventing injury? All our bodies are going to go through an injury sooner rather than later, in our training career; but you have to listen to the body when it’s hurting and rest (it up) after all “no pain no gain”, Stretching is key, I think. Everyone should do at least one whole session a week on stretching. What is your coaching style? I get some clients that come to me who are very strong but haven’t built the muscle they want. I sit down with them and talk about their training routine and then the diet. It’s the quality not the quantity that matters. What is your fitness philosophy? You can’t climb the ladder to success with your hands in your pocket. It’s all about hard work! There will be times when friends are going out partying and you’re at home because you will be training at 7am the next day. There will be times when you travel and you will no longer be eating from the café, you’ll have your Tupperware box with you filled with your chicken. It’s all about being dedicated.


V ISUAL AR T IS T Ken Coleman Amy Lowell once said: “Art is the desire of a man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in.” From drawing Disney characters in school when he was just six, to selling work at the San Diego Comic Con, to most recently winning the Community Choice award for his Paloma Faith artwork for the international creative hub Talenthouse, Ken Coleman is a fascinating digital artist with a wealth of talent, ambition and recognition under his belt. Originally from Lisnagry, County Limerick, Ken has been obsessed with art all of his life and is a great example of someone, who combines technology and art in incredible ways. Standing out artisticaly in school, Ken naturally proceeded on to LSAD, which was an entirely different experience for him. “That really opened my eyes to competition because being the only (artistic) person in primary school, I was doted on.” It was a difficult time for Ken at first while he got his degree in sculpture. He then did second degree in print and was hugely inspired on his Erasmus experience in Sweden working with graphic industrial designers where he developed his love of technology. When it comes to the creative process, Ken said he could never just come up with an idea and draw like many artists can. Instead, he would be more comfortable in the area of working from the subconscious which is an entirely different mechanism altogether. His work ethic shows exceptional commitment and this thirst for understanding, learning and creating is a rarity. Technology is advancing at a rapid rate but Ken continues to keep creatively flowing at similar speed by taking on new challenges as they come, learning new skills as he goes and ensuring he understands other elements

of his work. He cannot be defined as purely a digital artist when there are so many components to his work like sculpting and painting to name but a few. His motivation is simple; it all benefits the art. If he can understand light from a photographer’s perspective, it will have a knock-on effect to his comprehension of another aspect of the piece. “I guess my stuff now would be an amalgamation of all that I’ve learned between different mediums. I still paint stuff with inks, I would sculpt things and photograph, like there are so many elements, I don’t just sit in front of the computer and go ‘Oh I’ll just use a 3D model’. If I can build it, I’ll build it or if I can paint it, I’ll paint it and use the elements. The beauty of digital is that there is no end to the amount of blending and combinations you can come up with.” Ken’s work varies due to different projects, but his own art is layered with intricate detail, complexity and an interesting use of colour. He doesn’t intend on symbolism but it’s difficult not to let the eye be drawn and the mind wander when engaging with his art. “My work tends to come from a combination of nature and mechanics. My dad was a mechanic so he had a lot of old parts around the house that I would use to build things for my work. So ya, I have just these crazy ideas coming up… I think my own work can be put into two sections, one is the fantasy side…where the other, my own personal stuff that comes up from the back of my head, is based on the idea of proprioception or the awareness of your body and your mind and how your negative and positive emotions physically affect

your body. So we all suffer from anxiety or guilt or depression from time to time and I always found it kind of interesting to find ways to illustrate that.” More often than not, we lose talents like Ken in Limerick to faraway hills that appear greener but he has a different opinion on moving away and the people of Limerick. “I’d love to thank the people, especially in Limerick who supported me with the Paloma project, it gave me a lot of encouragement…after working up the country, there is so much potential in Limerick. I don’t believe that you really have to move somewhere else.“ With so much at his fingertips, the future is clearly bright for Ken wherever he would like to go. “If I could just be a fulltime freelance artist, that one day you are doing an album cover for a pop star and the next day it’s a death metal band, and then the next you are developing monsters for a gaming company that would be great because you are never going to get bored. I just love the freedom to be...If one day I have a family, a house and a future, I’d love to be able to say, I painted dragons and robots and got all of that.” (Laughs) Ken Coleman went from being afraid to put his work out there to getting published, noticed and most importantly, becoming motivated him to keep creating. Ken Coleman is truly a digital artist who takes his environment, experience, mind and imagination and channels it into amazing pieces of art.

Article by Mairéad Collins Image by Tarmo Tulit Illustration by Ken Coleman


Bridal toP tiPs For WeDDing Planning

set a buDget beFore you start making any Plans. The first thing that most people do when they get engaged is rush to visit lots of venues and put down a deposit before they have looked at their guest list or

budget. in doing this you risk falling for a venue and having your heart broken when you realise you can’t afford it or in order to afford it you have to reduce your guest list or give up your dream band. by creating a realistic budget and rough guest list you will be able to select venues that are the best fit for you as a couple

choosing your Date Family and friends have been told; champagne has been popped and dran k! You are officially a fiancé/fiancée. So now you have to decide when to get married. When you sit down to look at what date you want to get married there are several things you should bear in mind and questions you need to ask: •What season do you like – do you dream of a summer wedding sipping champagne in the garden or does the smell of mulled wine and roaring fires make you smile. Remember we are in ireland so always have a weather back up plan no matter what time of the year you choose. •How long will it take you to save for your dream wedding? if you have a budget of €20,000 and can afford to save €1,000 a month then you will need just over a year and a half to save unless your parents are contributing to the big day. •Check the sporting calendar. Some people will say i’m mad saying this but the last thing you want is people disappearing during your reception to go watch a match or special event. i’ve seen it happen! so check to see when events such as the european rugby champions cup, World cup, all ireland and so on are taking place. •Check for other occasions happening around the same time.

have your friends set their wedding date around the same time? having dates too close together can be a bad idea and costly to any guests attending both weddings. is your niece/nephew/cousin making their communion or confirmation the same day? •Where would you like to go on your honeymoon? if you want to visit Dubai then the best time to go is between november and april as the temperatures reach the mid 40’s in the summer. Or if you are considering the caribbean you don’t want to arrive in hurricane season!


and won’t leave you paying off loans and credit cards for 10 years! Make sure it’s a complete budget which includes things like under garments, tips and accessories, things which a lot of people forget. Do not torment yourself by visiting a 5* venue if you have a 3* budget, you will only see what you can’t have and this will cause

see the Venue setuP When doing site visits at your shortlist of venues make sure you visit it at a time when they have it setup for a wedding that is similar size to yours. A lot of venues will tell you they can fit 250 but when the room is setup it looks very crammed and would be more comfortable for your guests if it was set for a maximum of 210. this will also affect how your room looks – remember you want a beautiful looking room that is comfortable for everyone and doesn’t have people packed in like sardines! if the tables are too close together then this will also impact service during the meal and your guests will be bumping off each other every time they stand up from the table. this is not the memory you want them going home with.

DON’T TRY TO LOSE 2 DRESS SIZES BEFORE your WeDDing i have seen countless brides stress themselves out trying to lose weight before their wedding. you need to look and be yourself on your wedding day. so many brides lose far too much weight and end up looking too thin and not at all like themselves. often times the dress you spent so much time picking out now doesn’t look as well on you because you have lost your curves or womanly shape. remember your partner chose you for you, not a stressed out, super thin and hungry you and that’s the person they want to see walking down the aisle. listen to your dress maker they will advise you on the appropriate size to order. Do however commit to exercising and eating healthy, this will help you to glow from the inside out and look your very best and one of the big benefits is healthy, great looking skin. It’s better than any facial!


knoW you DeaDlines

Don’t try Do it all yourselF

With wedding planning there are certain deadlines that you will need to be aware of. if you want a particular dress you may need to order the dress more than 6 months before your big day. For all weddings or civil partnerships in Ireland you give at least 3 months’ notice to your local Civil Registration Office. Bear in mind that if you are having a civil partnership or civil ceremony and want to have your ceremony outside of the registry office you may need to give more than 3 months’ notice in order to have the registrar available on your preferred date. Putting together a timeline will help you keep on top of these all important dates.

if you have talented family and friends then put them to work. there are a lot of tasks to complete in the months leading up to your wedding day and it can be very stressful trying to do it all yourself. be cautious that you choose the right people to delegate tasks to, the aim is for others to get things done for you and not add to your stress levels. and if there are no reliable friends at hand hire a wedding planner! i know i’m terribly biased here but wedding planners plan weddings for a living and have many helpful tips and tricks up their sleeves in order to help you have the best wedding day possible.

Don’t get lost in the internet before you get lost in a sea of Pinterest, google and etsy write down what you want from the day, you will be amazed at what elements come out when you write them down and see what is really important to you. Do you want a black tie wedding or are you a true vintage couple, would you love to have a particular song at some point during the day, what did you see at a friend’s or celebrity wedding that you loved. Write them down and then use the internet in all its glory. last but not least, have fun! enjoy every minute of planning your wedding, keep the focus on you as a couple and what will make you happy.

W EddIN G P l A NN Er

sharon mC mEEl

article by

Wedding Planner of the Year 2014 (Weddings online awards)

For more advice and tips visit www.sharonmcmeel.ie


cut out the stress oF WeDDing Day hair.

With senior style Director amanda Whittome of melo yelo, shannon street, limerick

1. Plan aheaD.

if you are getting your hair coloured or treated, have it done one to two weeks before your wedding date - the extra time will soften your hair so it looks more natural.


get a trim a few to neaten up your

weeks before your wedding date tresses and eliminate split ends.


on the day of your trial bring anything you think will help the stylist understand the looks you love, also bring a couple of looks you don’t like as this will help the stylist to get an idea of your own taste. have someone take a picture of you in your dress and bring this along, it will allow the stylist to see your style and the neckline of the dress and decide what way to best enhance your look.

4. accessorise.

there are so many great hair accessories out there now that will add a gorgeous accent to your wedding hair. it will depend on the look you have in mind. For a more classical look you might want to wear a swarovski brooch, jewelled barrels can be great: some of my favourites at the moment are bird cage veils and flowers.


Don’t shy away from clipped-in hair extensions on the day of your wedding. if you have your heart set on a particular style but have spent ages growing it to no avail, don’t worry extensions are great if you want a little more length or fullness (and no-one needs to know!).


on your wedding day have clean dry hair. avoid using a lot of conditioner (we normally suggest washing the hair the night before). stay away from silkening products they will weigh your hair down and make it slippery to work with.

7. enJoy yourselF.

remember this is not a dress rehearsal. From the moment you open your eyes - this is your day, so enjoy it. coming into the salon should be an enjoyable experience. everyone together, open a bottle of champagne and make some magical memories.

call 061 33 55 66 weddings@castletroypark.ie Castletroy Park Hotel, dublin rd, limerick



Make-Up your Wedding Day with Mary Kiely

My favourite part of being a make up artist is getting to help a bride out with planning her makeup for her big day, to be there (then) on the actual morning of the wedding and to spend a chaotic time with the bridal party. It’s so much fun and can be a very emotional time. Your wedding day is probably going to be the biggest day of your life, so you want to look and feel at your very best. Drinking more water, eating healthy and also starting a beauty regime will help, but it can be very hard to fit in all of these extra things as well as plan a wedding and still have your job and life to focus on as well. Here are some tips for any brides to be: You should start this planning roughly about 6 months before the wedding date.

TIP 1.

Get started with a skincare regime, cleansing, toning with a good serum and moisturiser to go with your skin type. Always get a sample of the products from any beauty brand/counter first to try out before investing a lot of money on something that might not suit your skin, you don’t want to chance getting any breakouts.

Recommended product

TIP 2.

If you (the bride) is having tan done for the wedding day, make sure and get a trial about 2 months before the wedding date. A light natural spray tan would be the best option, in my opinion. Leading up to the day you will have to exfoliate and moisturise often to make sure your skin is in good condition so the tan will develop flawlessly.

TIP 3.

Make up and hair styling trials are key to the preparations. You have to be 100% sure you are happy with what look you are getting, remember - the photographs from the day are forever so you want to look perfect. Normally I do trials about 3-4 months before the wedding date. Sit down with your make up artist and talk about what you want. Collect pictures and write down ideas. Always listen to advice and make sure that you decide the look that suits your features best.

TIP 4.

Once you are happy, I recommend that you buy the lipstick that you are wearing on the day, so you will have that to top up your lips throughout the day and also powder or blotting paper will be another essential for top ups. With those in hand, you won’t need any more. If you could get the hair and makeup trials done on the same day, it is better again as you can really have an idea of what everything will look like on the big day.

Micro Nail – €49.95, Boots We all love our nail polish and manicures but you can’t bet the natural look especially as your nails will look so good after using Micro Nail. Perfect for all those ladies showing off their new diamonds after the holidays. This product gives your nails a high natural shine in seconds after smoothing out the nail by buffing transforming nails that are dull and rough to smooth and shiny in seconds. It also acts as a primer for nail polish. Micro Nails is well worth the investment and can be used by the men as well.

TIP 5.

Always make sure you’re getting the best make up artist and hair stylist. Someone trained and completely professional. This ensures you are well looked after on the morning of your wedding. It’s a special day so you want to be able to take it all in and enjoy every minute. These are the memories you’ll treasure forever.


Image by Tarmo Tuilit MUA - Mary Kiely Hair - Stephen O’ Driscoll Model - Siofra Donnellan



Sanctuary Spa Hot Sugar Body Scrub, €16.50, Boots Sanctuary Hot Sugar Scrub has been brought back to Boots by popular demand! With a new improved, extra scrubby formulation. This thermal heating product will gently warm, invigorate and smooth your skin. A tip would be to use it after a sauna in the gym. Your skin will thank you.

REN ClearCalm 3 – Clarity Restoring Mask, €27.99 www.beautyfeatures.ie

The REN brand is still a bit of a hidden gem but it is fast becoming a must in many skin care routines in recent years due to their high quality products. This treatment mask is formulated to combat and help prevent breakouts. It will reduce visible blemishes and leave skin looking clear, calm and even-toned. It stays creamy for as long as you leave it on and it is just perfect for blemish prone skin that is also dehydrated. It leaves the skin balanced, refreshed and soft without compensating on moisture.

Detox Your Locks. If the obligatory post-festive excess has left you with a resolute determination to live a healthier lifestyle, then the word detox must be forthright in your mind. I’m not talking about a week of juicing that will make your insides shudder every time you pass a cake shop. That being said, one simply cannot ignore the benefits of a dietary detox, but we are here to introduce you to something else. A hair detox followed by the correct analysis of your hair type to give your tresses what they lack naturally. Purging hair of toxins, impurities, mineral deposits and environmental damage does not have to be a conclave of clay, aloe vera, cider vinegar or any other ingredients that the internet might suggest. It is as simple as purchasing a detox shampoo. Hair cleansing cream clarifies and helps remove deposits such as copper, iron, hardware, lime and styling product build-up on all hair types. Lime in the water in the southwest is a common problem turning gorgeous blondes into irksome green and leaving the hair feeling tacky. If left unchecked it will also affect any further colouring service. So here’s how to deal with that accidental greenish hue. - Apply cleansing cream to dry hair and cover in a plastic bag, using a hair dryer on low heat to aid the cleanse. - Leave this for 15 mins and rinse this well. - Following this with a towel dry and condition the hair well using extreme conditioner for colour treated hair. This will aid greatly in the removal of lime from your hair but remember: it’s still in your water, so perhaps a filter for your showerhead or getting the water treated is another option. If the build-up of lime in the hair is excessive, you may need a professional deep cleanse.


A way to remove product build-up and environmental damage is to simply alternate your cleansing cream once a fortnight and make it a part of your hair care regime. Detox done and impurities washed away, it is time to move on to the correct hair analysis and why it’s important. Simply put, different hair has different needs. Once your regime meets your needs, then your hair will never look better.

RITUALS No.2 Gentle face scrub for men 75ml, €16.20, Debenhams

LAB Series Daily Moisture Defense Eye Balm 15ml, €29.50, Debenhams

Face No. 2 is a scrub based on vitalising ginger and the soothing effect of basil. Stated to be the ideal preparation for a perfectly smooth shave. This refreshing face scrub polishes the skin, leaving it smooth, clean and refreshed while gentle exfoliating. This product rapidly improves skin texture and brightens the complexion. And with more and more men investing into a good skincare routine, this is a no brainer for any skin kit.

“Eye Balm, what the hell is eye balm and why would I need that” I hear you say… Dryness, Lines, Dark Circles and Puffiness. All of these things ring a bell? Well this product instantly hydrates, while smoothing out the appearance of fine dry lines. It also reduces the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. This helps protect skin from the appearance of signs of premature ageing caused by lifestyle habits and general not protecting your skin.

We are all different. If you have got fine hair, it is weaker and it needs protein to strengthen it. Whilst thick hair is courser and lacks moisture naturally so it needs moisture rich products. It is prudent to take the hair condition into account when deciding on a hair care regime, whether it has poor condition due to over colouring or over ironing, the hair should guide your choice. Don’t be afraid to ask your stylist questions! We are there to give advice.


Article & Hair by Stephen O’Driscoll Image by Tarmo Tulit MUA - Mary Kiely Model - Christina Lynch



There is, believe it or not, a certain art to hitting the post-Christmas sales or sales in general. If you are the shopper looking to pick up actual bargains, as opposed to the idle browser (the idle browser is an obstacle to avoid in the shops, identify them by the glazed look in their eye and their shuffling pace), then keep a few bits of information in mind when you next prepare for the sales. Put down those laptops and put your game faces on. It’s time to shop. Choose the right shops to visit - the sales are a time for getting bargains from shops you might not normally be able to afford. While it’s always tempting to make a trip into Penneys, these prices are low year-round, so look a little further afield. Time is money, people. Pick a good shopping buddy or fly it solo - there’s no bigger hindrance to getting your hands on those bargains than the uncommitted co-shopper. How will you find that perfect coat with 70% off with a chorus of “the shops are too crowded/my feet hurt/I’m hungover” in your ear? While it can be handy to have a second opinion, make sure it’s someone that you trust, and not someone who’ll tell you what you want to hear so they can escape the sales mob. Research beforehand – browse beforehand, it’s no harm to check out what’s around, and what might be going into the sale. If you’re already familiar with the stock, it will make darting around the crowded shops that much easier. Don’t be dazzled by trend pieces - I know that I personally come back from the sales every year with at least one item that will eventually end up charity shop-bound after a few months of languishing at the back of my wardrobe. A few memorable examples that come to mind include a pair of turquoise velvet shorts and some rose-gold stripper heels (separate years, not intended to be worn together). This year I’m going to try harder to follow my own advice and look for classic items, such as the perfect white shirt for work and a classic check mini skirt. All of this organisation may call to mind OCD Monica shopping for wedding dresses in “Friends”, but is that such a bad thing? If I could get two friends to wade into Brown Thomas with whistles in search of discount Prada, you can bet I’d do it. Shame has no place in the hallowed ground of the sales.

Article by Laura Hastings Image by Tarmo Tulit Model Jane Lyons Make Up Annette Smyth Hair Stephen O’Driscoll






“Styled from ASOS and Vintage Stores. All fashion should be fun and vintage shops are amazing places to find something a bit different or a statement piece that does not have to break the bank. Get creative” Photographer – Tarmo Tulit – www.tarmotulit.com Stylist and Hair – Stephen O’Driscoll MUA – Mandy O’Loughlin Models – Shauna Lindsay, Danielle Sheehan FUSION MAGAZINE | 45


It’s easy for those of us who know and love Limerick to say that it has everything going for it to be a big economic success, but what are the tangible signs that 2015 could be the start of a new brighter future for Limerick City and County? There was something magical in the air at the end of 2014 – and it wasn’t just the Fidget Feet elves lighting up the Bedford Row Christmas tree. It was noted by this magazine, and many others, that fortunes were changing – at last Limerick had left behind the negativity of the recent past and was experiencing a new dawn. Yet, as the twinkling lights are consigned to dark boxes for another year, should we worry that the sparkle will fade? While January and February tend to be the gloomiest of months, there is still much for Limerick business to feel optimistic about. Here are just some of the lights that can help Limerick continue to shine in 2015 and beyond…

Cultural Legacy

The Shannon Swell

The 2014 National City of Culture events have not only raised Limerick’s profile, it reinforced the city as a hub for art businesses, media organisations, theatre projects and much more. The year’s success has proved the city is a collaborative space where creativity can flourish, which is as important for enterprise as it is for the city’s artists. With the legacy projects of 2014 continuing, and a Limerick new cultural body being established, this creative high is set to inspire artistic and entrepreneurial spirit for years to come.

Across the river, Shannon Airport is experiencing a turnaround of its own. Last October there was news of a proposed increase in Ryanair flights at Shannon Airport for 2015. Overall passenger traffic was up by 26% year-on-year in November, according to The Clare Herald, and the airport also received the Airport Achievement Award from the European Regions Airline Association (ERA). Shannon appears to be succeeding in recapturing what Clare TD Joe Carey dubbed its “entrepreneurial spirit”. The revival is good news for all of us in the Mid-West in the quest to attract more industry, tourists and employers.

Retail Revival Nigel Dugdale of Limerick City Business Association wrote on his blog recently that there are signs “that larger big name brands are once again considering the city centre as a worthwhile retail and leisure destination”. Costa Coffee, Ecco shoes are just some of the big brand names that came here in the last year, along with a plethora of fantastic independents and eateries such as Hook & Ladder and The Treasury. The overall sense of pride and engagement appears to be translating into genuine belief and investment in the city by business big and small.

Rebuild and Rejuvenate As 2014 drew to a close plans were announced for Sarsfield House to be demolished, creating 250 construction jobs - a big boost to the Limerick construction industry and a giant leap forward for the 250 million economic plan. If more developments get the go ahead this year, such as the state-of-the-art office proposal for the Opera Centre, it could be the final sign that things are truly looking up. If your enterprise has its own reasons to be excited about 2015, get in touch – hello@fusionmedia.ie or tweet @fusionlimerick

Adare Manor’s New Lease of Life Limerick multi-millionaire JP McManus can’t be accused of not bringing anything back to the county, as he was reported to have purchased Adare Manor for a cool 30 million in November 2014. The (potential) prospect of another Pro Am at the prestigious resort - with the 2005 & 2010 fundraising tournaments featuring the likes of Tiger Woods, Sir Alex Ferguson, Hugh Grant and Samuel L Jackson - could prove to be a big draw for visitors, benefiting local businesses as well as the many charities likely to be funded by the event.

Article by Kayleigh Ziolo


our philosophy is simple - introduce limerick to limerick and then introduce limerick to the rest of the country and rest of the world” mark explained.

cousins serena and tara hartigan along with mark Manning have each over 15 years experience in their respective fields - IT, Marketing and graphic Design. they knew their combined skill set could build something very special.

the platform was coming together nicely, but that never stopped new ideas forming and it was also around the summer of 2013 that their local village, castleconnell, was taking part in a Pride of Place competition. they went to the village hall to see the activities and quickly realised that in all their lives living in the village they did not realise just how many groups and clubs were in their locality. not only the local gaa or Football club, but book clubs, Playgroups, karate clubs - the list was endless.

With modern society taking a major focus on social media, the trio noticed a gap where there was a need for a place of interaction for limerick as a whole. a place where people can communicate with each other, get to know what’s happening around the area, their village or town and very importantly get to know one another. but rather than providing creating another news site they decided to look into to the principal of a social network and the trio quickly realised that creating a localised version was the way forward. The ideas were flowing and they were flowing fast - the first localised Social Network in ireland was coming into fruition. it was to be a user-driven platform that would act as a directory for all aspects of the city and county. and so limerick was born. “We see so limerick as being an asset to all websites and businesses within limerick city and county; effectively a feeder site, a one-stop-shop” serena states. the principal was simple: become a member and add the information you want to promote and then it would be listed on so limerick for everyone to see and it would promoted through so limerick’s various social media channels. they noticed limerick as a whole did not seem to have a definitive business directory – somewhere people, be they local or visiting, could go online to find a directory of all the cafes or the restaurants in the area or even the nearest accountancy firm or hair dresser so a Business/Pages Directory was the first module implemented. they also noted that there was no all-encompassing events calendar within the city and county. it’s not that there weren’t event calendars – there were – but they were all dotted around different websites and publications. so that was the natural next step.

Just how were people to find out about these things? Word of mouth? Very quickly the groups Directory was born. a place where all the groups and clubs could be listed geographically. a place where, not only public clubs but private groups, could share documents, where events or services could be listed, and eventually hold fundraisers or sell tickets. Following the implementation of all the modules a Topics & Blogs section was included – this is where limerick based individuals and limerick Diaspora contribute their blogs and musings about their subject of choice, be it their interests, passions or even their professional area of expertise, giving a fascinating insight into life in limerick, and life after limerick. “We are encouraging every individual, business, community group and association to actively join the site. We are offering a platform to boast everything the city and county has to offer. it is there, it is free and it’s a wonderful way of communicating” tara explains. Since launching softly in January 2014 So limerick has been gaining momentum and getting in the region of 20,000 hits per month and growing daily. the team at so limerick are encouraging everyone in limerick to get on board, add your business, add your event and use this free platform. connect limerick. www.solimerick.com team@solimerick.com twitter: @solimerick Facebook: /solimerick

another point they noticed is that there were so many amazing hidden gems and landmarks dotted around the locality but no way of knowing what was on your own doorstep - a Places of interest Directory was established. this was to encourage communities and individuals who were proud of their locality to promote themselves. they knew this would play a pivotal role in promotion of local areas not only for tourists, but for locals also. “many of us don’t know just what is on our doorstep, but since we started building so limerick we have noticed just how much is going on, and how many amazing facilities limerick has. We want to share that with everyone. FUSION MAGAZINE | 47

BusinEss ProFilE

During the spring of 2013 three Castleconnell based entrepreneurs began laying the foundations of their new social media marking business, bundlbee.

3D Model of Limerick City by Fab Lab


MA K E RS WI T HOU T LIMI T S A Fab Lab, or Fabrication Laboratory, is a space for people passionate about digital fabrication processes; a space to learn, test, develop and discover new ways of making with a little help from custom built machines. Fab Lab Limerick, located on 7 Rutland Street opposite the Hunt Museum, is not just a hub for UL students to build their prototypes, it is open to the public to come and explore digital fabrication methods. Anyone can participate in their weekly workshops which aim to introduce and familiarise new technologies. A fab lab is normally equipped with several machines such as 3D printers, CNC routers and laser cutters which are mostly self-assembled on the premises from kits bought online. Fab Labs all over the world are working together to advance these technologies and their main goal is “to bridge the gap between digital fabrication methods and local makers from all disciplines” The Limerick project started 2 years ago as part of electives in School of Architecture in UL, where students and staff began exploring new ways of fabrication by building their own equipment. First machine they assembled was one of the two CNC routers currently on the premises in Rutland Street. It took them just over 2 weeks but the outcome proved the chosen approach to be possible and continued building. S oon, after running out of space in UL, they got their own place from Limerick City Council and some funding from the City of Culture project to develop it into a cultural space and offer educational programmes. Fab Lab Limerick is run by director Javier Burón, lecturer of School of Architecture, and coordinator Michael McLaughlin, a School of Architecture graduate; both committed to assist anyone with an interest in abovementioned technologies. “Every Wednesday we have introductions to the processes – that way, anybody can come, learn how to operate the machines and then use the equipment afterwards.” 3D printing, CNC routing, laser cutting introduction courses plus several other lectures are held in Fab Lab every week and no previous experience is necessary, so anyone can attend. Javier and Michael have a genuine interest in teaching how to use their machines and are welcoming everyone regardless of their background. Come with an open mind and explore what this space can offer you. The door is always open to anyone curious about what digital fabrication is and how it could be used for making… just about anything.

The process starts with creating designs on a computer using softwares developed to instruct the different machines in Fab Lab. The programs range from simple user-friendly beginner oriented applications to highly sophisticated engineering ones. These digitally generated drawings are sent to fabrication machines which can engrave, cut and carve into a variety of materials or print using plastics. CNC (computer numerical control) router is driven by g-code software which determines the position and depth of the intended cut into solid materials such as foam board, wood, plastic and metals. This machine can be used to make anything from furniture to musical instruments and sign boards. A laser cutter uses a high-powered laser beam to cut, engrave or burn into lighter materials like paper, card, fabrics, wood sheets, glass and plastics – it has been popular among fashion students for cutting fabric, leaving “sealed” edges which won’t fray. 3D printers are capable of extruding layers of material to produce a solid object mainly from a variety of plastics. Can be used to make prototypes, small household items and fashion garments or accessories (check out Iris van Herpen). All these techniques are appreciated for their high quality accurate results and near-endless possibilities. School of Architecture staff and students have built some impressive examples with the help of Fab Lab’s machines. “The School is actively researching the city of Limerick – its buildings, history, plans” and with all the collected data, a 3D model of Georgian Limerick was created using their in-house 3D printers. It is extremely detailed with elements such as windows, doors and roof structures all distinguishable. Although the makers’ space is called a Lab, don’t expect to see guys in white coats wearing protective gear; think of it as your older brother’s shed and you’ve been invited to come and play with his toys. Their self-assembled equipment is easier to repair than industrially produced equivalents, which means that you shouldn’t worry about possibly damaging the machines since they know exactly how to fix them should problems arise. For the hobbyist and professionals alike, Limerick’s Fab Lab will inspire anyone from crafties to techies, needle pushers to keyboard cowboys and everyone in between – the only requirement is to bring a curious mind. Fab Lab is a place for people from different backgrounds interested in the possibilities of digital fabrication. These spaces are becoming more popular as awareness spreads of their principles to collaborate and share ideas with a common goal to create something new. Fab Lab is expecting a busy year for 2015 - Year of Irish Design. They are continuing their weekly workshops and lectures which now will include visitors from other fab labs around the world to come and share their knowledge and introduce new projects. They are hoping to expand and deliver more educational and cultural programmes to the people of Limerick, from kids to students to adults and elderly, as “the technology is constantly improving and it is important to grow with it.” I hereby encourage all readers to visit their website fablab.saul. ie, to read more about it and to sign up to their weekly events. #explore #discover #share! Article by Johanna Aaspollu



COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and lot of us are wrecking our heads about how to surprise our lovely other halves. Here is some simple recipes that will have you in the good books, and yes most important it includes chocolate as well. Death by Chocolate Serves 2 2 measures of Baileys 1 measure of coffee liqueur (Kahlua, Tia Maria) 1 measure of Butterscotch (Bols, Mickey Finn’s) 4 scoops of good quality chocolate ice cream. Place all ingredients into a blender with a handful of ice. Blend until smooth. If it is too thick, you probably used too much ice, no worries there - you can add more Baileys to loosen it a bit. Serve in a Margarita or large Martini glass, if you don’t have any, you could also use wine glass or a small whiskey glass. Decorate it with some chocolate shavings or some crushed Maltesers. Yum! To practice your shaking skills, you can start with some easy and inexpensive cocktails, like sours. You only need 3 ingredients. A spirit of your choice, lemon juice and sugar syrup or caster sugar. By Kaur Ellermae Image by Tarmo Tulit


CHEF PROFILE A: Only when my better half tells me to order it. (Laughs)

Chef – Keith reynolds


Q: What do you make of reality shows about kitchens? A: They don’t interest me to be honest and between working and training I don’t have much time to watch TV. Q: Which celebrity chef’s cooking do you like most? A: I really admire Jamie Oliver. It’s all simple cooking you can easily replicate at home. Q: What got you interested in such health conscious food? A: I have always been into competing in bodybuilding and looking after myself so they really go hand in hand with healthy food.

Q: What is your earliest memory of cooking? A: Helping my mother bake apple pies in our kitchen. I would have been around nine. Q: Where did you train/learn how to cook? A: Jury’s Hotel on the Ennis Road, now The Strand, under Head Chef Mike Maher. Q: What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given about cooking? A: Make your dishes simple and clean. Never rush it. Q: What’s your favourite thing about being a chef? A: I love to see the expression and wow on people’s faces when they taste a really good dish. Q: What is the strangest thing you have ever tasted? A: It has to be frogs’ legs, I don’t know why people do it. Q: What is your favourite dish to eat? A: I love homemade bacon & cabbage with parsley sauce. It’s the simple things that do it for me. Q: Favourite cuisine to cook? A: Healthy food, of course, but at home I cook a lot of #simple traditional Irish cuisine. Q: If you could cook for anyone dead or alive, who would it be? A: My grandmothers, both of them. I would be honoured to cook for them just one last time. Q: Do you ever order a sneaky take away?


Q: Why do you think so many people care about what they eat now than in the past? A: I think people care more about what they eat now because they have to. Convenience and bad food is everywhere you turn these days and is causing a huge increase in diet related diseases such as coeliac disease and diabetes. Also people are becoming increasingly conscious of their appearance more than ever before. Q: Do you find it more difficult to create recipes with so many dietary restrictions? A: No, once you get into it it’s pretty straightforward to cook with only all natural ingredients, little dairy, little grains and clean carb sources and you are 90% of the way. Q: Where do you get your inspiration for your dishes/menu? A: I use healthy recipe books & eBooks and Google a lot. If you think of the wildest recipe possible pop it into google with ‘healthy or paleo’ beside it and I can guarantee you will get a healthy version of the recipe. Q: Finally, have you a kitchen tip for all our readers? A: Don’t over think a dish just keep it plain and simple with all natural ingredients, remember, if it has a TV advert or more than 4 ingredients on the label, you probably shouldn’t use it.

Image by Tarmo Tulit


Chicken Soup for the Soul One of the things about this time of year is the incessant ranting you see everywhere about losing weight and eating well. It’s all “detox this” and “green juice that”. Well, I’m happy to tell you that this column is no different either! This is a sort of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory for the body and soul, without the chocolate. Don’t be fooled into eating low fat food and tons of salads this winter, your body feels better when it’s nourished by food that is at least steamed or lightly cooked and warm. The easiest way to get nourishment into yourself is with a bowl of bone broth, aka chicken soup. Of course, there are many variations on this idea and happily it’s the new ‘IT’ food for body conscious types and apparently hip New Yorkers are supping it from take-away cups like they once did with their

soy-chai-lattes. If you decide to make any of these soups, invest in a big pot – a 10 litre pot is ideal as otherwise you’re just faffing around with small pots and making a huge mess. Also make space in your freezer as you won’t use all this up in one go. . Keep empty glass jars to freeze portions in and you’re all set. This soup is a life saver, a soul soother, great for when you’re sick or to stop you getting sick. Known as “Jewish Penicillin” and by a good friend’s daughter “Jesus Soup”. Even if you don’t have a cold, this soup soothes your body and your soul, it is basically like a hug in a mug. Bone broth is full of collagen which helps skin keep its elasticity, so make it for your vanity if nothing else!

Basic Chicken Broth The easiest and cheapest way to make chicken broth is to use the bones leftover from your roast dinner. If you use a good quality chicken, you will get good quality stock. Try to get a grass fed/ organic chicken like the ones from Silverwell in Tipperary which you can now get at the Limerick Community Grocery Store on Mulgrave Street. It’s difficult these days to get giblets with a chicken but if you can then do add these to the pot. Maybe you know a farmer who has their own chickens for sale, or a small producer who will save some giblets for you. The feet of the chicken also add valuable flavour and gelatin to the stock - gelatin makes collagen, so if you can get some of these then do. If you are boning a whole chicken for a casserole (as in page), then the raw carcass is also perfect to use. You can easily swap some of your daily mugs of tea for this once you get into a habit of making it.


Bones/carcass from one chicken (either raw or cooked) Chicken giblets - neck, feet 2 onions - peeled and cut into quarters 2 sticks celery - washed 2 carrots peeled and cut into chunks 2 cloves garlic - peeled 6 whole peppercorns 2 bay leaves 1 tsp sea salt


Beef Bone Broth Eating bone marrow (that delicious spongey substance that lives inside bones) is said to help with digestive health, improve immunity, help repair wounds and even help with cancer treatment. Bone marrow is also delicious and is served as a delicacy in many restaurants. Ask your butcher for some beef bones for this, shin is good for ease of access and get them cut into pieces about 2 inches deep. Place them on a roasting tray and sprinkle lightly with sea-salt and roast for 1.5 hours until the marrow is bubbling up. You can eat the marrow by simply scooping it out with a knife or a chopstick. We usually fight over this and devour it in a frenzy as soon as it comes out of the oven. Making stock is easy and gives you a delicious beefy broth, the cooking of the bones for several hours draws out the proteins. Be sure to use bones from grass fed animals. This stock is based on a more French style of cooking, the sweating of the vegetables will result in a rich and flavoursome broth. If you don’t want to bother with this step then simply put everything in the pot and follow the simple steps for making chicken stock. Makes about 6-7 litres


6-8 beef bones 2 large onions - cut into quarters 2 carrots - peeled and cut into chunks 2 sticks celery - peeled halved 4 cloves garlic - peeled 2 bay leaves 1 spring thyme 12 peppercorns 2 tsp sea salt 1 tblsp white wine vinegar



1. Put all the ingredients into a large pot, and fill up the pot with enough cold water to cover everything. Put the pot on to boil and keep an eye on it as scum will appear on the surface, skim this off with a slotted spoon and discard it. 2. Once the pot is boiling, turn the heat down and allow it to simmer gently for 4-10 hours - this does seem like a very long time, but the slow cooking results in a flavoursome stock that has all the goodness drawn out from the bones. 3. Once the stock is cooked, ladle some into a mug and top with freshly chopped parsley and a sprinkle of sea salt if needed - enjoy the warming goodness. Leave the stock to go cold and strain it, discarding the cooked bones and veg. You can now freeze the stock in cleaned glass jars or plastic tubs for later use. The strained stock will keep for about 4 days covered in the fridge.

1. Roast the beef bones by sprinkling them with a little sea salt and roasting them on a large tray in a hot oven 180°C for 1 hour, nibble on the delicious bone marrow that bubbles up, you may have to fight people for this pleasure! 2. Add the cooking veg to the roasting dish, drizzle them with a little melted coconut oil or lard and return the tray to the oven for 30 minutes for the veg to take on some colour 3. Tip everything into your stock pot and deglaze the pan by pouring on some hot water and scraping off any ‘goodness’ into the pot, top up with cold water to reach below the top of the pot 4. Bring the pot to a boil, skimming off any scum as it boils, reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer and allow it to cook for 4-10 hours. 5. Strain the stock and discard the bones and veg, use the broth as beef tea or as a base for other soups and stews

Article & Images by Valarie O’Connor - www.valskitchen.com



B A K IN G B read & Butter Pudding

Bread and Butter Pudding is one of those nostalgic kitchen staples that everyone loves. People always seem to have fond memories of it and think their Mam’s version is the best! But whether you use sliced pan or cottage loaf, douse it in cream liquor or spread jam on the bread before layering the slices and baking, it always turns out the same way - you end up with an empty plate or bowl, licked clean by your hungry diners! A good festive recipe to have handy on those cold winter nights, this version uses brioche as the bread base. It is warm and hearty and perfect for any blustery day. It’s incredibly easy with minimal fussing required and because it uses left over bread, or pretty much whatever you have to hand, it makes the perfect no-waste dessert. It’s honest baking that speaks for itself, baking that will have you asking for seconds with a satisfied smile and a trip down memory lane.

Bake Time

30-40 minutes

Pan Size

One 8-inch round deep baking dish.

Serving Size

10 people

What you need:

Putting it all together:

• 500ml fresh cream

1. Whisk together the cream, milk and eggs.

• 500ml milk • 3 large eggs

2. Slice the vanilla pod in half and scrape the seed into the wet mix. If using vanilla paste add in a teaspoon, or a teaspoon of extract/essence.

• 1 vanilla pod (paste, extract or essence will do fine)

3. Add the caster sugar, the nutmeg and whisk it all together.

• 150g caster sugar

4. Arrange the slices of brioche in an ovenproof baking dish. Pour over the cream mixture and make sure the brioche is evenly soaked.

• 500g loaf, store bought brioche • 1 teaspoon nutmeg • 50g soft brown sugar • A handful of flaked almonds

5. Sprinkle the brown sugar and flaked almonds evenly over the top. Leave it stand on the counter at room temperature for about 15 minutes. 6. Preheat the oven to 190°C/ 170°C fan/ Gas mark 5. Place in the oven for a good 25- 30 minutes or until the top is golden and crispy.

Article & Image by Hazel Ryan Sheehan - www.cupcakerys.com




Quick Guide to Cocktail Making at Home.

So it is drink O’ Clock, but you don’t want to go out, you want to entertain at home, but you are new to the mixing and cocktail making game and you are not sure where to begin - no worries I am here to help.To make a proper cocktail you need a few essential gizmos, and a little bit of alcohol. First of all you need a shaker, there are two common types. One is a three-piece style you will probably see in most homeware shops. It is cheap and easy to use, but if you use it often, it will wear down pretty fast, after time metal will get stuck to metal and the strainer on them is not the best either. The other type is called Boston shaker, which consists of a mixing glass and a shaking tin. You would have to buy a separate strainer for that one. This shaker is easier to open and is used by most pros. A good chef knife is a must, (to cut all the delicious fruit and vegetables) a tall bar spoon, (for stirring or layering) a muddler, (for your Mojitos and Caipirinhas, use a wooden one if you can get it) a jigger, (very important for measuring your liquids) and a few different types of glasses to give your drinks some style (Martini, Champagne flute, highballs and lowballs).If you have all those essentials ready, you would have to master a few different techniques to prepare a fabulous cocktail. First of all, there is building, layering and floating. Building is the simple task of pouring all the ingredients, one by one, over ice into the glass in which the cocktail will be served. (The way you make a Gin & Tonic or a Screwdriver). Layering is a bit trickier. You need greater concentration and a steady hand. You have to pour the heaviest liquid first, working through to the lightest using a bar spoon. It is

a great skill to know, to impress your friends with some amazing layered shots like B52, Baby Guinness or Butterballs. Floating is a technique when you are adding a top layer. When making a Harvey Wallbanger you float the cocktail with Galliano. Stirring is the purist’s choice, the mixology method when you want to retain the strengh of the spirit. Drinks should be gently stirred in a mixing glass. That’s how Dry Martinis are made (not the ones that James Bond likes). Shaking would be the most flamboyant method of making a cocktail. The one that Mr. Bond prefers for his Martinis and which skyrocketed Tom Cruise’s career. Always fill the shaker two-thirds full of ice cubes (never use crushed ice, it will melt), pour over the ingredients and shake well for 10 seconds or a little bit more if you have cream or yogurt in it. Always hold the shaker firmly with both hands and never ever, ever, ever put fizzy drinks into shaker or you will end up renovating your kitchen. The easiest technique of them all is blending. Just throw some ice and all other ingredients into a blender, make sure the lid is closed tightly and blend until smooth. That’s how you can make your own Frozen Daiquiris, Margaritas and ice cream based cocktails. When you are stocking up with alcohol, don’t worry about the expiry dates, because strong spirits have none and most of the liqueurs, if they are kept in a dry and cool place, will last for years. Now, you are all set and ready to tackle the task, here is an easy recipe to impress your friends or dinner guests. It is perfect to start a party or as a welcoming drink.

Elderflower heaven

Serves 6

2 measures of Elderflower Liqueur (available in well stocked off licences) 10-12 strawberries 1-2 teaspoons of caster sugar or use 1 measure of sugar syrup Prosecco or Cava to top it up First, place strawberries and sugar into a mixing glass and muddle well (you could also use a hand-blender and you will end up with an amazing strawberry puree) add Elderflower liqueur, mix well. Take 6 chilled Champagne flutes, pour your muddled strawberries or your puree into the glass, (filling 1/3) top it with bubbly, gently mix and enjoy!


Article by Kaur Ellermae Image by Tarmo Tulit

T r aV E l We are all going on a summer holiDay… your summer holiday is your main escape of the year, your chance to relax and laze by the pool while your worries melt away. there are lots of benefits to forward thinking when it comes to booking your holiday - better deals and more options to name but two. here are some tips to help you plan and get the best value for your trip - for a moment let your mind drift away from this cold wintery weather we have in limerick to the warm sun soaked visions of foreign lands.

the early birD catches the Worm.

by getting an early start on your holiday booking can make it easier to find a bargain. For a start, you’ve got a huge range of destinations and options to choose from, plus there are usually plenty of offers to entice you. you can also secure most packages with a deposit, giving you months to save up (don’t forget to allow for spending money, too). For last-minute deals, six weeks before departure is the optimum time to get your booking in, as that’s when airlines usually start to discount seats they haven’t yet sold.

be a Fly-by-night.

Flexibility can really lower the cost. Do you really need to go in July or august? if you can go either side of these months, or wait until october half-term, you are likely to get a better deal compared to travelling in peak season. if you can only go in high summer, the last two weeks of the school holidays tend to be cheaper. and if you’re booking your own flights, the time and day of the week can have a surprising impact on your budget, with tuesday afternoon apparently the best day to travel.

stay young anD inVincible.

seeing the continent by train is no longer restricted to students, and europe-wide train passes are available to all these days, opening up the continent to low-cost travel for all. good hotel deals can be available if you time your booking to coincide with the availability of online discount codes, while many modern youth hostels have the comfort of decent hotels and are even family friendly. of course, travelling through euro-landscapes on glitzy overnight trains can save a packet on hotel rooms.

minD hoW you Pay.

While many credit cards charge up to 3 per cent per transaction if you use them abroad, some others are specifically aimed at being suited more to spending in other countries, often offering 0% fees on foreign purchases. if you do get one of those cards though, make sure you pay the bill off in full when the bill arrives. it’s also advisable to let your lender know you are going abroad, so as to prime them in case it raises suspicion when they see you make large purchases in Duty Free!

take the hassle out oF searching.

mike shinnors at holiday experts in limerick can take all the hassle out of planning your getaway and rid you of searching endlessly for the best travel deals. As he is not affiliated with a specific brand or company, this means he will always offer you the best choices for your holiday at the very best value. If you find a better price for the same holiday then he will do his best to match or even lower that price for you! You can get in touch with Mike by calling him on 061-536700 / 085-1016862 or by email at mike.shinnors@holidayexperts.ie



William Roche was born in Limerick in 1775 to Stephen roche and sarah o’brien. his father was the son of John roche, a limerick merchant, and his mother was the heir to large estates in rathkeale, co. limerick and tuam in galway. his uncle, Philip Roche, built the Mardyke Warehouse in 1787, which is now known as the granary where the limerick city library is held. the street sign he inserted during construction can still be seen today. William and his brothers were keen financiers, he and three of his four brothers went into banking. george and James, set up a wine exporting company from bordeaux, France. While in France, James was imprisoned for 6 months in France during the French revolution. after his release, James returned to ireland where he set up a bank in cork with another brother, stephen. In 1801, William set up a bank in Charlotte’s Quay, Limerick with his brother thomas, with whom he would remain in business with for over 20 years. Three years later they bought a building on 99 George’s street (o’connell street) which they moved into two years later. During the 1819-1820 National Bank Crash, they were the only bank to survive in Limerick and in 1824 they were the only bank recorded in Pigott’s Trade Directory of Limerick. In 1825 their bank was acquired by Provincial Bank and in 1966 it was acquired by A.I.B. Bank. Not only was William a banker, but he was the first Catholic M.P. for Limerick. He entered government on 10 December 1832 and left 23 June 1841. He was good friends with Daniel O’Connell, who was also born in 1775. Daniel O’Connell would stay with him while visiting Limerick. While in government, he was very vocal on issues surrounding the emancipation of the catholics, Jews, and opposed slavery. He was a Magistrate for Limerick and the first Roman catholic in ireland to become a commissioner of the Peace. During his political career he would stay at 5 Duke Street, Westminster, London. Daniel o’connell declared: “William roche was the only man in ireland from whom he would not demand a pledge”.

William roche’s hanging garDen: In 1808 William Roche built his extensive garden to the rear of his bank on george’s street to henry street, covering approximately one acre of land. these cost £15,000 at the time, which is the equivalent of €600,000 today. At its highest point, the garden reached 70 feet above street level. the terraces were connected by stairways. the garden sat on a series of vaulted roofed stores. the floor of the garden was flagged and cemented together and excess water was directed out of the garden by lead pipes to prevent leakage to the stores below. the soil in some of the terraces went up to 5 foot deep. The garden was heated and cooled by a series of flues, channels, vents and windows. the top terraces of the gardens were hot houses, conservatories and glass houses. here he grew grapes, pineapples, peaches and oranges. the middle terraces were where he grew pears, apples, plums, and various types of vegetables, with a section in the centre for melons and cucumbers. the bottom terrace was dedicated to the growth of a variety of different types of flowers. William died unmarried and childless on 27 April, 1850, soon afterwards, his garden was sold and dismantled. the stores below the garden remained and they were considered sturdy enough to be allocated as air raid shelters during the second World War. the shell of these stores can still be seen today on henry street.

article by sharon slater


MairÊad Collins Meets With Limerick Marine Search and Rescue Standing beside a lifeboat in the Limerick Marine Search and Rescue headquarters, I looked and felt like a drop in the ocean in comparison. It’s easy to be clueless about a world like this if you are fortunate enough to never need to know about it. I naively visualised these boats like specs on the riverfront on dispatch. But to see them up close, to feel the sturdiness of their materials, to measure my body against their smallest boat and really feel that physical insignificance, smacked me with the reality of the vastness and power of the water and the incredible manmade efforts being made here in Limerick to tackle its conditions.


It all starts with a beep. The response. The rush. The dispatch. The search. The find. The return. Then the beep again. Conditions are never ideal and can never be predicted - the freezing cold water in the dead of winter, the unexpected fog, the endless piles of mud, fading daylight. Nonetheless, the service dispatch with renewed gusto every time and within an outstanding time of two minutes from call. The third responder takes over in the radio control room and anyone after that follows the initial boats and embarks on the river. This process felt like it was on loop for the brave and committed team in early 2014. In the twenty-eight years of the service, they never had such a busy time as they did last January until May with a record number of searches during this time. They had 35 calls which resulted in them being deployed 59 times and some of the searches in the water lasted for as long as 20 days. There were 8 fatalities. For this small group of twenty-three volunteers, this was an extraordinary undertaking. This was also a bleak time for many people in Limerick; families, friends, volunteers, who searched day in and day out alongside this service. I met two male volunteers, Jimmy Connors and Terry Logan who were wonderful company. After showing me around the impressive operation, we sat at the kitchen table of their rec room, a place designed to bring a little normality to those working nights and being on call. Both retired, they have devoted years to this service, which started back in 1986. It was set up by a group who were professional divers at the time and one day got called in by emergency services to save a ten year old boy that had went into the river. Tragically, he could not be saved but those involved realised that there was no official service trained in this area and despite the disbelief some had about the sustainability and potential growth of such a service, I’m sure we can all agree that there is nothing small or insignificant about this place or the work they do today. In fact, if they were gone in the morning, I dare not think what we would do without them.

The service survives entirely on donations and like many charities since the recession, they too have felt the effects of regular corporate cheques and donations being chopped. They cannot plan or buy ahead so it must be all on a day-to-day and save up basis. The costs they incur are enormous with each kit for new recruits being in the region of 1500 euro as well as the cost to put the volunteers through intensive training – which is why they have a limited amount of volunteers despite a long waiting list. Like many charities or non-profit organisations, they can get lost in a series of protocols when there are very simple things that would make their life and work a lot easier. A water supply with a stand pipe at the slip way would mean they could wash the boats before bringing them back to the Dock Road and extending an area of the slip way another 20 feet would mean less damage to their trailers when there is a low tide. Nothing really compares to seeing the place, talking to those so devoted to what is a dangerous, unglamorous vocation with no guarantees of successful savings or finds and no financial security for the service. It’s far from a couple of people out on a boat but a rigorous and strenuous operation involving immediate response, heavy gear, a precise course of action and preparation for anything. You definitely have to be a special type of person to work in this area and unlike the devotion that goes with dedicating your life to something like the medical profession, this has a similar level of commitment required but by volunteers, no pay, on call day and night and with little to no reward. This is a truly amazing service that has been grown by the salt of our Limerick people. These founders and volunteers embody community, selflessness and respect for others more than most. It was definitely a visit that will have a lasting effect on me. I got the impression that the men I spoke to were so committed to this cause that they may not truly know how much it means to the people of Limerick to have it. Their efforts are not gone unnoticed but perhaps we could make an effort to remind them by looking out for their flag days or keeping them in mind for our next charity run or charity table quiz. I know I will. Article by Mairéad Collins


48 Little Things You Can Do To Make Yourself Happier


1. Read a whole chapter of that book you have been meaning to finish for so long – no interruptions.

13. Draw 3 random shapes or scribbles on a blank page – then try and make it into a coherent picture of something.

2. Spend five minutes soaking up the sunshine on your back.

14. Have an afternoon nap guilt-free.

3. Listen to an old favourite song that hasn’t been in your music rotation for months, maybe years. 3. Grab a coffee to go and sit on the grass in the nearest park. 4. Indulge in a daydream about achieving one of your wildest dreams. 5. Pick a vegetable you don’t recognize at the grocery store and make a meal with it for dinner. 6. Paint one of your old photo frames a new colour. 7. Freeze your favourite fruit to eat as an icy snack (grapes and bananas are the best). 8. Wash all of your favourite items of clothing so you are free to wear any of them. 9. Pick some local flowers and make a flower crown.

15. Eat a random platter of your favourite snacks for dinner – olives, brie and caramel popcorn, anyone? 16. Have a real conversation with the next person who serves you in a store. 17. Watch a TED talk on YouTube. 18. Change your phone screensaver to something that makes you smile. 19. Buy a small potted plant and give it a name. 20. Spend a morning taking photographs of your city – see what you’ve never noticed before. 21. Create a new cocktail with whatever you have at home. 22. Google how to say ‘thank you’ in five languages. 23. Tidy your desk.

10. Offer to make dinner for a friend – ask them what their favourite dish is.

24. Have a glass of ice water with lemon and mint leaves.

11. Get lost in a second-hand bookstore and keep an eye out for old notes hidden in the pages.

25. Write three things you are grateful for.

12. Wake up early enough to watch the sunrise.

26. Watch a film that you have always pretended to have seen.


27. Text an old friend and invite them for a drink. 28. Write a positive review online – for a book, restaurant or bar. 29. Spend an extra five minutes in bed in the morning feeling the sheets on your skin and soaking up the comforty-goodness. 30. Sign up to a free online course – there are thousands available. 31. Hand make the next birthday card you need to give. 32. Melt down a chocolate block and add milk to create the best hot chocolate. 33. Try and do a cartwheel, no matter how bad you are at it.

41. Record a short, silly video message and send that instead of a text. 42. Spend ages picking the ripest avocado to eat with a little olive oil and sea salt. 43. Sleep naked in fresh sheets. 44. Set one of your favourite dance songs as your alarm. 45. Use a piece of cardboard to create a fake business card with your dream job title. 46. Stretch as tall as you possibly can. 47. Research a holiday or plan a road trip. 48. Smile at the next person walking past you on the street.

34. Spend an hour playing with a free online DJ program, mixing up your favourite songs. 35. Write a to-do list and draw cartoons to illustrate each item. 36. Indulge in your favourite take-away food, like a big slice of pizza. 37. Check out the very first posts by your favourite blogger – and see how much they’ve transformed. 38. Try a new yoga pose, either in a class or by watching a video. 39. Share one of your life dreams with a friend. 40. Rearrange your apartment/house using the principles of Feng Shui.

Elyse Gorman runs positive life blog – www.notesonbliss.com


MEN OF 20 Can Men Of 20 Please Stand Up. Like all of us, Men of 20 had to grow up at some point. Formally known as Animal Beats, the boys from Limerick were one of the top picks for Guinness Amplify this year. Cultivating their sound as they mature, making sure not to forget their roots. With a new name, new songs, and a bit more facial hair, they talk about their tour, the current EP and musical influences.

How and when did Men of 20 get together? We all went to school with each other and began playing music together from a very young age. Paul, John and I began playing in a rock band at the age of 14, but it wasn’t until roughly the end of 2007 when we began playing as Animal Beats. Over time then, as we grew older, we felt our music was maturing so we decided on the name change to almost re-brand the band, so to speak. You guys were one of the top picks for Guinness Amplify this year, how did that make you feel? It was amazing, of course. We hadn’t heard about it until about nearly three weeks before the first set of dates. We had a quiet summer, so we were excited to get back into the swing of gigging! We had been booked for various shows all around the country, so in those four weeks we definitely improved our live set and had an amazing time doing them all. You have an EP out called Cheap Carnival, tell me about the process of writing and recording this EP. The EP is a small collaboration of material we had written since the band formed and it took quite some time to lay down the entire recording, with school and college holding us back a bit. For anyone who may know of the band from the early days, they’ll know we had certain rawness to our sound. We felt Cheap Carnival had to feature a lot of our older tunes so we could almost move on from that part of our song-writing career and explore a broader sound. Water to Sand is one of your most popular songs, you guys have reworked it a little bit, was this a conscious effort to make an already great song better? Water to Sand, for us, is really a special song. We like to think of it as the older child in the family of ‘Men of Twenty’ material. We spend a lot of time focusing on the younger songs, tweaking them here and there; but we’re always keeping an eye over our shoulders, on our eldest. We owe a lot of our success to that one song. It reminds us of our younger selves and we still love playing it to this day. We feel we’ve done enough to the song over the years; we generally kept to the same format. As they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Have you guys been in the studio recording new material? If so, when are we going to hear these new songs? And are you guys releasing an album? Well, we’re always in the studio anyway. We’re very lucky to have access to The Big House Recording Studios, so it’s handy for the four of us to lay down demos here and there. We will be back in the

studio, come January, to record a second short EP to give people a taste of our matured sound. After that, who knows - it may be a while before we release an album. It is something we’re always discussing. Who have been your major influences in the past couple of years, musically? Well, this is where some people may sneer a little, but we have always said Kings of Leon have had a big influence on us. Even from their early days. We have our own little influences here and there; for example, John has always been a huge fan of The National. We were at one time likened to them, so that put a smile on all our faces. Conor has his rock and indie influences, but some people may not know that he’s actually a classically trained pianist. So a lot of our piano and keys have that influence - which we love! You guys have a new single coming out in March and a massive gig at the Button Factory in Dublin. First tell me about the new single and secondly are you excited about the gig in the Button Factory? We wrote the song just before we went to New York back in 2013, so we’re very excited to finally have a professional recording of the song. We decided to have this as our first release of 2015, because we feel it is a nice transition from a lot of the material we have released in the past year which has been mostly heavier stuff e.g. Watching You or Water to Sand. It’s quite an intimate song and we had a great time recording it. We spent many more hours on recording this time around, so hopefully we did the song justice! Saying that, spending so much time in studio the past couple of months, we are very excited to start playing again. The Button Factory will be our biggest show to date and certainly the biggest performance since we moved to Dublin. The gig itself is in relation to the Searchlight Production deal we’re currently involved in, so we’re very thankful to all of the engineers and students who have been helping us with the recording and production of our material. The gig itself is on March 25th and it’s FREE IN!! So we’re quite eager to get a good few Limerick heads in the door. What does the future hold for Men of Twenty? As I mentioned, we’ll be doing a single release, come March, which will include a new music video. We’ll also be doing a second single release sometime before summer. Most of our time will be spent focusing on the (those) single releases and hopefully doing as many gigs and promotion as possible. Provided all goes well, we’ll be doing a few festivals, maybe gigging in some areas we haven’t before and generally just writing and demo-ing new material. Interview with Olivia Chau


DJ P R O F IL E Ricard (Entropy) From: Pretoria, South Africa (Currently Lahinch, Co. Clare) Day Job: M.Sc. Research Student in Music Technology / Promoter / Full Time Dad

What first got you interested? I suppose initially it was the way electronic music made me feel. No matter what time of the day or what mood I’d be in, electronic music always gave me a lift. I have always been into different types of experimental music, especially towards my later teen years where an introduction into industrial music elements grabbed my attention. The influence of that and multi-cultural music styles in South Africa was a massive aspect that led to my curiosity about how the music was made. By the time I was 22 I had done a fair bit of traveling across the globe, visiting many music festivals and seeing first hand the symbiosis between the DJ and the crowd. It was during this time I realised I’d love to be up there playing the music that I love to people enjoying music as much as I do. I ended up settling down in Ireland where I acquired my first set of turntables and records and the rest is, history. First gig? Mmmm, this is a tough one. I think for most DJs the first gig and probably many more after that is free, playing at parties and house sessions. It’s a good testing ground to see how people respond to your music and also a softened kind of critique from friends before you step into the professional domain. It makes you realise the work and commitment that goes into learning the skill but also breaks down the illusion that it’s all glamour and party from morning to night. I think if my memory serves me correct my first paid gig was for a friend’s wedding. The setting for the celebrations was what made it so special for a gig. The married couple rented a small island on one of the lakes in

Connemara. It was no more than 3 acres with a huge two-story farmhouse centered amongst the old trees. The whole wedding party including sound equipment, cake, food and dogs were brought over on two canoes. It took countless crossings as you can imagine but the end result was a spectacular weekend.

Type of music you play? I don’t really limit myself to any specific style or genre. Each gig has its own vibe and crowd so it depends on those factors. Predominantly I love all bass driven music and anything experimental. If it’s forward thinking electronic music I’m game, no matter the style.

Where have you gigged? I’ve been very lucky with my friends and their networks across the planet. During my travels, I’ve had the pleasure of playing in various settings from outdoors festivals to underground secluded spots. All have had their own unique experience, some amazing, some terrible but certainly all of them very memorable. The last 2 years have been my busiest to date with support slots for some big names in the industry through various club nights run by crews here in Ireland and the UK. I’ve also had the pleasure to play some festivals here in Ireland, most memorable Life Festival last summer. The response from the crowd was just incredible and fueled by support from friends during the set it made for an unforgettable experience. I am also part of several collectives promoting and running club nights in Limerick and Lahinch so throughout the year residencies with both ensures a lot of time behind the decks. Big shout outs to the Elemental and D.I.E. crews!

Where can we catch you next? At any of the previously mentioned spots. D.I.E. in Limerick has the busiest calendar running every month from September to May whilst my other project Elemental Music focuses on a smaller, kind of boutique night. Info on all gigs can be found on the various online social outlets. I’m also hoping to hit the festival circuit again this year and some more gigs with some of the inspirational crews pushing underground music across the country.

Preferred weapon of choice? I’ve tried them all and have a soft spot for each one but I’m gonna have to go with Serato, using either CDJs or turntables. Having my whole library of music at the tip of my fingers can make for a much more versatile and adaptable set.


Interview by Olivia Chau Image by Tarmo Tulit


B E OWUL F : T H E B LO C K B US T E R February 19th @8pm, Lime Tree Theatre This captivating and inspiring interview has left me awestruck at the power of the arts. I don’t suggest you see the event Beowulf: The Blockbuster, I urge you to go. Written and performed by the acclaimed actor Bryan Burroughs - the show triumphs countless sold-out productions and an ‘Acting Excellence’ award from Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014 - the world’s largest theatre and arts festival. Speaking to the humble Burroughs, he shares the credit with his experienced team who regularly hone the details of the show to the finest tune. Working with David Horan, who has acutely developed and directed the production, has been a fulfilling experience with a stripped-bare approach for set, sound and light scape by Maree Kearns (design), Philip Stewart (sound) and Kevin Smith (lighting). Pat Moylan, is equally deserving of such respect for producing Beowulf: The Blockbuster, bringing internationally credibility, “she keeps the show protected and manages the advertising and promotion in a way that I never could”. Warily self-questioning what audience may appear in Limerick, a brief look at Burroughs’ biography would instantly banish any doubts that you may have if an award from Edinburgh Fringe alone didn’t relinquish them! Having been trained in the Samuel Beckett Theatre in Trinity College, Burroughs now teaches physical

theatre at The Lír; both a mere hat tip to his multiple accolades, which include; Times Theatre Award Best Supporting Actor 2009, stage experience in NYC, London and various other venues worldwide with many renowned theatre companies, The Beo Show on RTÉ- and countless more. Naturally, I had to ask about his most recent Fringe Award, for Beowulf: The Blockbuster to which he replied: “It’s funny, I don’t know anybody who expects an award, Andrea Ainsworth (Irelands’ leading voice coach) said to me: “These things rarely go our way but when they do we should enjoy it”. The award meant a huge amount to Burroughs as it consolidates his beliefs and teachings of theatre as a performer and a teacher, developing this as an art form in the country. With such extensive experience in directing, teaching, performing on stage and on TV, I had to ask what Burroughs’ favourite element is; “The stage is the most rewarding for me, you feel a narrative is present and alive - the audience join with you and the narrative, and particularly in Beowulf, you are all connected by basic humanity… I find it profoundly sublime”. Infused in our discussion was a passionate authenticity, for the notion that once on stage, the audience intertwined with the narrative and the production company, all become one. Burroughs links this passion to that of teaching physical theatre and directing, proclaiming that igniting a belief and awakening an

understanding in students also illuminates a shade of this profoundly sublime experience of unity of understanding achieved onstage. This intimate story has very few bells and whistles, with a minimal set and no props, the design adds to it in a very simple way, “It is inspiring for working with my students, that theatre can be that simple… but that effective”. The father-son tale “more than any other play I’ve ever done, is a bit like the matrix you need to see it yourself, it cannot be described, it provokes an inexplicable, unanimous surge of warmth…” Burroughs recycled the words of David in saying “Because the boy in the story is excited by superheroes, the Dad wishes to explain that true heroism is the heroism to live a normal life, a brave life and the way in which the message is expressed connects with people”.The experience promises to be very humanistic and multi-faceted; in Burroughs own words, from his own perspective and from audience feedback: “a moving, funny exhilarating and worthwhile experience, where the adults naturally understand things the boy doesn’t, about life’s lessons”.

Interview with Rebecca Egan



You could say I’m a bit of a festival veteran. Over the last few years I have been to Castlepalooza, No Place Like Dome, Bump Muzik, Sea Sessions, Indiependence, Electric Picnic (too many times to count), Body & Soul, Primavera Sound (Barcelona) and Knockanstockan. Phew! With every year, the one thing I look forward to in the summer is the festival season. We are lucky enough now since you can get early bird tickets before there’s even an announcement of acts and they are usually a steal. I’m going to recommend some of my favourite festivals to you and, why maybe, if you’ve never been to a festival before, this year could be your year to go. Here are my top five festivals that I have loved and would go back to in a heartbeat.

Number Five: Sea Sessions, which is on in Donegal at the seaside coastal town of Bundoran. It is a music and surf festival spread out over three days and early bird tickets only cost €79.50. The festival takes place mid-June, so you are generally guaranteed good weather. The vibe you can expect is festival-meetssmall-town and has a giant party. It has a capacity of 5000, so you won’t feel at any point that it is overcrowded. The locals are pretty accommodating and even though there are food stalls, you can go to any of the restaurants or cafés in the town. Last year the festival played host to Kelis, The Dandy Warhols, Ella Eyre, Walking on Cars, The Minutes and Hermitage Green to name a few.


Number Four: Primavera Sound, which takes place each year in Barcelona, is more of a holiday than going to a festival. There is no camping available, but you can rent apartments or get a hostel on the cheap, if you are pretty savvy with finding good deals online. What’s great about this festival is, that you are not in Ireland so you know you are going to have great weather (although there were some freaky rain storms last year). Also, no tent means no wellies and no rain gear! The festival has had some great acts over the years like Arcade Fire, Queens of the Stone Age, Chvrches, Warpaint, The National and Pixies. That’s just too much good music to comprehend! Early bird tickets go on sale as early as June, right after the festival wraps up and can be as cheap as €99. Full price tickets are €195, which is cheaper than some of the Irish music festivals held each year. Get cheap flights with your early bird tickets and your laughin’!

number three: electric Picnic is by far the biggest irish festival now that oxegen is no longer around. last year it increased its capacity by 8000 which brought up the festivalers (that’s a word) to 40,000 and that isn’t including all the vendors and crew working there. if you have attended more than three times and can prove it, you will be approved for cheaper tickets. the last two years, I got my ticket for €154.50 (Early bird price) but tickets are generally €194.50 (again early bird price) if you haven’t been to it before. While over the years the festival has gotten bigger and some of the acts haven’t been always to my taste, it still hasn’t deterred me from going. last year the weather was actually pretty great and seeing outkast were one of my main highlights! the thing about electric Picnic is that there’s so much to see and explore that sometimes three days just isn’t enough, so that is what keeps bringing me back.

number two: knockanstockan in co. Wicklow is by far the smallest of the festivals on my list, but is one of the best. it’s a festival run by musicians for musicians. all the bands that play are irish and mostly up and coming or unknown, so you are sure to discover some gems. there’s no such thing as fancy camping, or glamping. It is just “find a space and put your tent up”. it’s now in its 7th year and doesn’t show signs of slowing down. It puts on over 150 acts each year. the atmosphere is so chilled out and you just mingle among other revellers and you even make great friends there. It’s a non-profit festival, so all the money they make goes back into the community, not their pockets. Early bird tickets are normally €65 and full price tickets are €75. The festival is small so if you are planning on going, snap up a ticket as fast as you can.

Number One: Body & Soul has to be my favourite festival of all time. its capacity is 5000 people and last year it was so sunny and hot, i was eating ice-cream for breakfast. early bird tickets start off at €89.50 but full price are only €150. For a three day festival, i have to say it is one of the best priced. My first year I got to see St. vincent and M83 which was just unreal. everything is so close together that you never feel like you’ll miss out on any of the bands if you forget the stage times. it’s a lot more relaxed than electric Picnic with music lovers who enjoy great music. last year they had John grant, caribou, goldfrapp and gary numan. What i love about this festival is that it has some great acts but on a small scale. you never feel that the crowd is too big or that the queues are too long. it’s really well run and it tries to be as eco-friendly as possible. it also has a great family atmosphere so people with kids never feel like they are being left out. there is nothing about this festival that i could complain about, well one thing and that is, i always have to wait a full year to go back.

Those are my top five festivals, but there is a whole host of them every year. They start as early as May and finish up as late as October in ireland. i totally recommend going to a festival at least once in your life just for the experience. you never know you might catch the festival bug and bring your kids in years to come. article by olivia chau images by tarmo tulit


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THE HILLSIDE PLAYERS PRESENT ‘DON’T DRESS FOR DINNER’ Wednesday 28th January - Sunday 1st February @ 8pm Ardpatrick Community Centre, Ardpatrick, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick

The Hunt Museum

University Concert Hall


LIMERICK - MY CITY MY HOME LECTURE BY JENNIFER MOORE Friday 6th February @ 1pm - 2pm The Hunt Museum

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS- COLAISTE CHIARAIN CROOM Thursday 29th January - Saturday 31st January @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College

‘ON THE NAIL’ LITERARY GATHERING Tuesday 3rd February @ 8pm The Loft Venue

MOTHER AND DAUGHTER COOKING CLASS Friday 6th February @ 7pm - 9.30pm Hook and Ladder, 7 Sarsfield Street, Limerick

THAT’S LIMERICK CITY - POP UP PEOPLE’S MUSEUM February 2015 Limerick Milk Market EXHIBITION: LIMERICK MY CITY MY HOME Open until Sunday 15th February The Hunt Museum SECOND HAND BABY MARKET Sunday 1st February @ 12pm - 2.30pm Radisson Blu Hotel KIDS ARTS AND CRAFTS CLUB Sunday 1st February @ 2.30pm - 4.30pm

LIMERICK - MY CITY MY HOME LECTURE BY JAVIER BURON GARCIA Wednesday 4th February @ 1pm - 2pm The Hunt Museum AN EVENING WITH THE KING’S SINGERS Wednesday 4th February @ 8pm University Concert Hall AS IF SHE HAD A RIGHT TO BE THERE - AN EXHIBITION OF PAINTINGS BY AISLINN O’KEEFFE Thursday 5th - Saturday 28th February Friars Gate Theatre, Kilmallock IRISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA WORLD PREMIERE Thursday 5th February @ 8pm


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PJ GALLAGHER Friday 6th February @ 7.30pm Dolans Pub & Warehouse AN EVENING WITH BRENDAN GRACE Friday 6th February @ 8pm University Concert Hall, CATALPA Friday 6th February 2015 Lime Tree Theatre COUNTER CULTURE Friday 6th February @ 8pm Friars Gate Theatre, Kilmallock

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A PLUMBER’S GUIDE TO WORLD MUSIC 1 Saturday 7th February @ 11.30am Lime Tree Theatre

MODERN VEGETARIAN COOKERY CLASS Tuesday 10th February @ 7pm - 9.30pm Hook and Ladder, 7 Sarsfield Street

ARTHUR’S DIG Friday 13th February @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre

DROP IN ARTS AND CRAFTS Saturday 7th February @ 12pm - 1pm The Hunt Museum

SEE FOR CINEMA -THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS Wednesday 11th February @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre

MUSIC: TOMMY FLEMING Friday 13th February 2015 @ 8pm University Concert Hall

MAKE YOUR OWN PUPPET Saturday 7th February @ 2.30pm Lime Tree Theatre JASON BYRNE - YOU NAME THE SHOW Saturday 7th February @ 8pm University Concert Hall AFTERNOON TEA COOKERY CLASS Sunday 8th February @ 10am - 1pm Hook and Ladder, 7 Sarsfield Street TOM WALSH 10K RUN & 5 MILE WALK Sunday 8th February @ 2pm Caherconlish, Co. Limerick

ALLBACK THEATRE PRESENT THE HOLE Thursday 12th & Friday 13th February @ 8pm Friars Gate Theatre, Kilmallock NIGHTS ON BROADWAY - THE BEE GEES STORY Thursday 12th February @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre RTÉ CONCERT ORCHESTRA WITH DECLAN O’ROURKE Thursday 12th February @ 8pm University Concert Hall


NATIONAL SELF PORTRAIT EXHIBITION Ongoing until Sunday 15th February The Hunt Museum I LOVE THE HUNT Saturday 14th February @ 2pm The Hunt Museum ELAINE PAIGE 50TH ANNIVERSARY FAREWELL TOUR Saturday 14th February @ 8pm University Concert Hall


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THE ACOUSTIC CLUB Thursdays @ 9pm 52 O’ Connell Street, Limerick

PATRICK SARSFIELD - THE MAN AND THE MYTH Tuesday 17th February @ 1pm - 2pm The Hunt Museum

LIMERICK LITERARY FESTIVAL IN HONOUR OF KATE O’BRIEN Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd February Various locations

THAI FLAVOURS COOKERY CLASS Tuesday 17th February @ 6.30pm - 9.30pm Unit B4 Annacotty Business Park


LIMERICK SCHOOL PROJECT MAGIC OF THE MUSICALS Tuesday 17th January Wednesday 18th January @ 7pm Lime Tree Theatre DEBT SOLUTIONS TOUR LIMERICK Wednesday 18th February, 2pm - 6pm Limerick Strand Hotel, A FISHY AFFAIR Wednesday 18th February @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre WINTER CAMP AT THE HUNT MUSEUM Thursday 19th & Friday 20th February @ 10am - 4pm The Hunt Museum

BEOWULF: THE BLOCKBUSTER Thursday 19th February @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre

EDDI READER Friday 20th February @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre TAKE 5 PRESENTS THE MONOLOGUES Friday 20th February @ 8pm Friars Gate Theatre, Kilmallock Eddi Reader Friday 20th of February @8pm Lime Tree Theater Drag Hens Den Drag Competition 21st of February @9pm Dolans Warehouse


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SPRAOI Saturday 21st February @ 12 noon & 2pm Lime Tree Theatre LEAVING CERT REVIEW SESSION Saturday 21st February @ 1pm - 4pm The Hunt Museum CROAGH SCHOOL OF MUSIC 10TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT Saturday 21st February @ 8pm University Concert Hall Wedding Showcase Sunday 22nd of February - 2pm to 6pm Castletroy Park Hotel SYNAESTHETIC DRONE ORCHESTRA WORKSHOP Sunday 22nd February @ 2pm - 4pm The Hunt Museum THE RTE CONTEMPO QUARTET Tuesday 24th February @ 1pm Lime Tree Theatre MEN ONLY COOKERY CLASS Tuesday 24th February @ 7pm 9.30pm Hook and Ladder, 7 Sarsfield Street ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST Tuesday 24th February - Saturday 28th February @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre BOYHOOD Wednesday 25th February @ 8pm Friars Gate Theatre, Kilmallock

Cobblestone Joes February Listings 1st Nudie Suits 2nd Real Talk 3rd The Racklers 4th Stop & Think 5th Hags

6th The Lemon Suckers 7th Trees Fall Down 8th We Shot JR 9th Flakey Jacob 10th Maeve Ellen 11th LSAD Night 12th The New Social 13th Mrs Henry

14th Trees Fall Down 15th We Shot JR 16th Emma Langford 17th Pigs As People 18th Stop & Think 19th The Longtails 20th The Lemon Suckers 21st Trees Fall Down



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ITALIAN MEALS COOKERY CLASS Thursday 26th February @ 6.30pm - 9.30pm Unit B4 Annacotty Business Park ULTIMATE EAGLES Thursday 26th February @ 8pm University Concert Hall THE ACOUSTIC CLUB Thursdays @ 9pm 52 O’ Connell Street, Limerick THAI CUISINE COOKERY CLASS Friday 27th February @ 7pm 9.30pm Hook and Ladder, 7 Sarsfield Street, Limerick MIKE DENVER WITH BIG BAND AND SPECIAL GUESTS Friday 27th February @ 8pm University Concert Hall THE FUREYS Friday 27th February @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre INTERESTED IN ART THERAPY? A SEMINAR WITH PETER LUNN Saturday 28th February @ 10.30am - 4pm Friars Gate Theatre, Kilmallock DUKE SPECIAL Saturday 28th February @ 7pm Dolans Pub & Warehouse HUDSON TAYLOR Saturday 28th February @ 8pm Dolans Pub & Warehouse THE THREE TENORS IN CONCERT Saturday 28th February @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre 22nd Atomic Chicken 23rd Real Talk 24th Emma Langford 25th The North Sea 26th Race The Flux with Gascan Ruckus 27th Disolutes 28th Trees Fall Down

o n l i n E


T E C h n o l o G y

gear For your gaFF

Whether it is for personal enjoyment or to entertain guests, a source of sound is an expected sight in today’s nest. We have moved on quite a bit from what used to be just a manually tuneable cassette radio in the kitchen to a range of devices from portable speakers that fit into the palm of your hand to sophisticated sound systems. each to their own, the choice depends on the sensitivity of one’s vibration receptors and funds available. music is how we describe those sound waves which enter the ear canals, are passed on by the eardrums as vibrations and travel through the middle ear bones

€0-100 Every category is overflowing with options and so is the under €100 range. For a home that requires only a cD player/radio, there are still plenty of traditional “hi-fi” systems in this category. For a gaff that has many devices and Pcs with wireless connectivity, there are plenty of options, too. trying to steer away from docking stations, as they often become limited - the player device used is stationary and you can only use one model of a certain brand (e.g. iPhone 4 has a 30pin dock connector vs. 5’s “Lightning” port). Costing just slightly below €100, besides reliability and quality, Sony’s SRS-BTM8 has the best features, offering an awful lot more than you might expect from its price. With portability in mind, the handbag-shaped speaker runs on four aa batteries for up to 20 hours and weighs 1060 grams. It is able to connect via Bluetooth and NFC (near-field communication) to all bluetooth-enabled devices and laptops. The 2+2W speakers won’t shower you with bass, but will keep you entertained at home and on the move.

into the inner ear. inside the cochlea there are thousands of tiny hair cells which change those vibrations into electrical signals our hearing nerves will respond to and we recognise this as music. so whatever way you prefer your acoustic receptors tickled, the industry has an overwhelming amount of products for you to choose from. i have put together a short list of what is available into 3 different price ranges, just because there are gazillions to choose from and it makes for a more effective comparison.

€100-200 the major player in this price range would be the bose soundlink mini. the most compact mobile speaker from bose will not fail to perform. it serves up every single sound wave on a silver tray like a fastidious waiter in a five-star establishment. Whether your favourite artist is coltrane, beethoven, ac/Dc, Prydz or indeed rihanna, this apparatus will not let your senses down. it is capable of delivering notes with clarity and depth, both at high and low decibels. Decades of research are noticeable with bose.

€200+ Well, if you already have a little bit more to spend, the Sonos multiroom is definitely worthy of consideration. you can start with one or two speakers and build it up as you go along, spreading to other rooms in the nest and linking them all to be controlled on one device, whether it is a phone, tablet, computer or even your tV as it has WiFi connectivity besides bluetooth and nFc. these examples should be enough to get your head around what’s out there for your pocket if you’re looking for a box that is compact yet performance-wise reliable. all mentioned options are not meant to be “blasted like nitro-glycerine until your brain turns into clam chowder”, but deliver quality sound that is worth the price.

article by Johanna aaspollu