Fusion Magazine - Summer 2015

Page 1


Summer Edition July - August 2015





co ntents

4 The Team 6 Opinion 10 People Profile 14 Limerick’s Best Bites 16 Senator David Norris 22 Well Being 24 Fashion 26 Festival Make Up 28 Men’s Fashion 29 Festival Hair 30 Shauna Lindsay Style Guide 32 Fashion Spread 46 Travel 49 Business - Catherine Duffy 50 The Buttery 53 Fo od & Drink 56 The Treasury 58 Baking 60 Online & Technology 62 Culture 66 Local Charity 68 Home 70 Film 72 DJ Profile 74 Band Feature 76 Theatre 80 Events Guide



July / August 2015



Cover - Senator David Norris Photographer - Tarmo Tulit Cover Design - Keith Aherne

Fusion Magazine 74 O’Connell Street Limerick www.fusionmagazine.ie 00353 (0)61-597627 Editor in chief Michelle Costello michelle@fusionmedia.ie Photography Tarmo Tulit www.tarmotulit.com info@tarmotulit.com 00535 (0)87-6837250 Graphic Design Keith Aherne


Proofreading Johanna Aaspollu Kayleigh Ziolo



Sales & Advertising advertising@fusionmedia.ie 061-597627 Event Listings events@fusionmedia.ie Stories & All other Queries hello@fusionmedia.ie Twitter @myfusionmag Instgram @thefusionmagazine Facebook /thefusionmagazine



Michelle Costello - Editor and Founder

Tarmo Tullit

Kayleigh Ziolo Human Interest

Graphic Design

Keith Aherne

Laura Hastings

Olivia Chau

Kaur Ellermae

Hazel Ryan Sheehan

Dave Cuddihy







Shauna Lindsay

Mary Kiely

Rebecca Egan Arts & Culture

Online & Technology

Jennifer Allen

Evan Considine

Fernando Sanchez

Sharon Slater

Rachel Flanagan

Gemma Musgrave

Sophie Butler

Claire O’Brien


Well Being


Stuart McKay Intern


Men’s Fashion


Chloe Cunneen Intern



Johanna Asspollu



If you would like to contribute to Fusion Magazine Email: hello@fusionmedia.ie



My Inner Child and Me


aydreaming one Monday morning while walking to work, I found myself starting to calculate how many years I had left in me until I could retire. Yes I know it is not the best thing to be wishing your life away at half eight in the morning but, in my defence, Mondays do have a tendency of doing funny things to us. What followed were thoughts of another 34 years of the same routine, which was nearly enough to drive me back to bed and shut the world out. I am sure people passing me by were amused by the confused and horrified look on my face as I walked my usual daily route. I was tired and a bit emotionally drained after a quite intense and challenging few months in my life, and I started longing for my childhood when long summer holidays and no responsibilities were the order of the day. That morning I daydreamed my entire way into work, luckily it’s a journey I could do now with my eyes closed as I don’t remember a single step of the journey. Summer as a child is one of the greatest things ever; the excitement on the last day of school was always fever pitch but maybe that was because the whole day was a build up to the annual water fight on the bus home. Health and safety officials would have nightmares these days at the thoughts of 30+ youngsters running up and down the bus aisle throwing gallons of water at each other from the bottles we had spent the previous four weeks collecting, but times were a lot more innocent back then. Once we stepped off that school bus soaked to the skin we knew we had a long summer of adventure ahead of us and we couldn’t wait to see what it brought. Is it just me or did the weather seem better back then? Summer

really was summer and I have very little recollection of bad weather from my childhood holidays. At the start of every summer one of our first missions was to find the best spot on the local river which would be our base for the many hot days to come. The location needed to be carefully chosen taking into consideration accessibility (barbed wire and electric fences were the ultimate enemy), the amount of weeds in the general area, the amount of rocks underfoot, the possibility of building a dam to rise the water levels and of course there had to be a carefully selected area which could be used for jumping in. This was always meticulously planned by many local youngsters as this swimming spot would soon become the most popular place in the village. On a hot summer’s day it was easy to spend full days not seeing any of your family, you were too busy jumping in and out of the river, and working out ways to make improvements to your new outdoor home. We didn’t need swimming pools when we had the local stream, we didn’t need to rush home for dinner as we were fuelled by a constant supply of Mr.Freeze and Wheelies from the local shop, we didn’t wear watches or have phones so we didn’t care about the time, we guessed the time and if we were wrong we really didn’t care anyway. Another favourite time of summer was hay cutting season. There was always a little buzz for a few weeks beforehand as we speculated whether the local farmers would be going with square bales or round bales that year. Round bales were great fun to climb and slide off but we had a preference for the square bales as they were so much more portable and the perfect

size for building elaborate forts. These forts allowed us to become master engineers and builders for a few weeks every summer as we tried to better last year’s creation. We knew our time was limited and that one day soon the farmers would come and collect their bales so we made every second count. Those were definitely simpler times. While daydreaming about all these childhood memories it got me thinking about my life now and how things have changed. When we are younger we always imagine how our lives are going to be when we grow up; we have a fantasy image of how we would turn out, where we were going to live, how successful we were going to be, how many magazine covers we would grace - the usual wild notions. I wonder how many of us have turned out the way we imagined, the way that we dreamed of when we were younger. When asked as a child I don’t think any of us would have said that when I grow up I want to be stressed, over worked and over tired but that seems to be the reality of where we all find ourselves now. When we were younger we never imagined being grown up was going to be so stressful - someone should have warned us about this. No one warned us that when we grow up everything in life will have to have a purpose, money would constantly be an issue and that everything we do would hold responsibilities. All this thinking suddenly had me resenting my grown up life in a way, because it has taken away that carefree existence that I once had. I tried to think of the last time I allowed myself to do something stupid just for the sheer fun of it or got so engrossed in having fun that


time just didn’t matter. When was the last time I stuck my feet in the river, when was the last time I went playing in the bales of hay, when was the last time I fell in the muck and didn’t care how dirty I got and what people thought of me. I had lost some of my sense of carelessness and fun over the years but now I think it’s about time I made a reconnection with my inner child again. Life is stressful enough so I think we deserve to let go every so often. We don’t have to be adults the whole time, none of us ever agreed to that! I can’t see myself casting aside responsibilities with reckless abandonment or anything crazy but this Summer, I will go out of the way to make sure I have a bit more silly fun in my life. We spend too much time these days wishing our lives away and not embracing it enough so I think I’ll start by finding a hill to roll down or maybe sitting on a wall and randomly wave at passing cars (that used to keep me amused for hours when I was younger). Following that, I’m off to the park; any chance of a push on the swings?

Words: Dave Cuddihy Twitter: @davecuddihy Illustration by: Jacob Stack Art www.jacobstack.net





SHEILA DEEGAN Arts Officer, Limerick City and County Council, and Bid Team Limerick 2020

To say that Sheila is immersed in Limerick culture is probably an understatement. From Limerick City of Culture 2014, to, well, pretty much every major arts event in city and county, Sheila has planned, organised, curated, or had some sort of involvement. She is Limerick for life – born, bred, and, apart from work and leisure travel, has never left. Sheila has been working with the Limerick City and Council arts office for more than 25 years. So, where did that long term passion for Limerick art and culture begin? “Well, I studied at Mary Immaculate College, but my cultural passions can probably be traced back to when I was much younger. Like many young children, my parents were sending me to Irish dance classes and other musical pursuits, and I


suppose like many children, at the time I didn’t really appreciate all that was forging my sense of self, and the beginnings of a cultural and creative interest.” Sheila was part of the College Players Theatre Company in the 1980’s and Island Theatre Company in the late ‘80s, and from there her general interest in culture became professional. “My first job was with Analog Devices in the Design department. Then in the 1980s, the Arts Council of Ireland requested that local councils create their own arts offices. There was a desire to make things that were happening in Irish arts less Dublin-centric. Limerick Arts Office was created in 1985, and I joined in 1989.” What was her first major project? “I began by working with EVA 1990. Though I was never much into visual arts personally, I


soon found myself surrounded by it. I was exposed to a whole new world of creativity, at a time when the arts world began very quickly changing and many new mediums were being explored. It opened up a whole new interest for me.” For the unfamiliar, Sheila explains what EVA International is all about. “It’s been going for 37 years. The great thing about EVA is that it was set up by artists themselves. It began as an annual event, and is now Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art. “To put that into a European context, the cities that hold Biennials/Biennales are Venice, Berlin, Liverpool, Istanbul, and Limerick.” What are her most memorable projects? “Oh, so many. I was very privileged to work on Luc DeLeu’s Construction X for EVA in 1994. It was a giant ‘X’ constructed from steel containers, which was erected in Arthur’s Quay Park. It literally appeared overnight: as darkness fell work began, and people woke up to find this giant installation had popped up, it was quite wonderful. Back then the park was pretty new – the trees had only recently been planted so everything looked really raw and urban, making use of that kind of space and exploring the potential beauty it contained. “That’s one of the things I am most proud of as Arts Officer. Being able to occupy the city, bringing art and culture into the everyday landscape and make it part of people’s everyday lives.” And of course there was Limerick City of Culture 2014. “Yes. That gave us a unique opportunity to occupy the city in ways we’d never tried before. And the response was incredible – in fact we found that an astounding 84% of people in Limerick got involved in something during the year. It created a confidence that we knew had to be maintained.” Sheila believes confidence in a place is something that should always be invested in. “Absolutely. So many people who have returned to Limerick in these recent years say just how much of a difference they can feel here. And it’s not just on the ground. There’s a real heartfelt emphasis at a higher level on the creative industries being part of a wider economic plan for Limerick. Usually when we talk about economy, it’s about job creation and business, but for those things to flourish, culture and creative activity have to be part of the equation too. For people to bring their work – and ultimately their lives - to an area, they want to know that there’s a good quality of life there too – allowing them to see unusual sights and experience new things. 2014 changed the city. With Joe Caslin’s murals and Draw Out, it

became a more visually interesting city, and long may that continue. Festivals too, I can’t express how important arts festivals are in the tapestry of a place – it brings everyone together with a collective aim and interest, and shapes the identity of the town, city or region. We have some seriously impressive festivals in Limerick city and county, including Literary Festivals, Music Festivals, Food festivals, Street Festivals all led by dedicated and professional teams of enthusiasts.” So, what exactly goes into competing to be the European Capital of Culture? “Well, it’s like nothing else I’ve ever worked on before! It’s very exciting to be involved in a whole other level of planning. Usually when we are working on a specific project, we know exactly what is being delivered from beginning to end. With Limerick2014, yes we did had a set budget (albeit a much larger one than we’d be used to!) yet the projects were coming in from so many other sources, and what we would end up delivering wasn’t already set in stone, it would evolve as more groups and individuals proposed ideas. We saw artists involved develop a whole new approach to their work and connecting with each other. That legacy is still bearing fruit. “With 2020, we’re taken that professionalism even further. The European bid is much, much broader. Most people probably don’t realise just how complex the whole process is – it’s extremely technical. First, we have to deliver an 80-page document by 17th October. We are continually trying to keep the process and generation of ideas as open and collaborative for the public as possible, because that’s central to the whole essence of the bid. However, we also have to remember we are in competition with other cities, including three other Irish cities vying for the title. So we also have to be strategic and a bit coy with our plans. So unfortunately I can’t share everything with you!” Understandable! So what else can she tell us? “Overall, we’re not just coming up with plans for the year 2020. We have to demonstrate the cultural identity and vision for our past, present and future. Once our document is submitted we find out if we’ve made it through to the next stage. We expect, or hope, that at least two Irish cities will make it through.” How can the public engage with and aid the bid’s success? “As I said, it is an open and collaborative effort. At this stage we’re not demanding specific project plans, it’s more about the bigger picture, general ideas and ambitions for Limerick as a


whole. People are welcome to come to us in Culture House with their visions for what can be achieved.” Sheila stresses it’s all about the big ideas, not looking for one ‘right answer’. She also explains that there will be public consultations and brainstorming sessions to discuss the bid and ideas for socioeconomic development in Limerick, though she baulks at the term ‘public consultation’. “That makes it sound really dry: it’s all about having a valuable two-way conversation and listening to amazing ideas.” So, how would Sheila sum up the unique identity at the heart of Limerick culture? “Warmth... and tolerance. I would say Limerick is very giving, and forgiving! She laughs. “Yes, those things sum up why I was never inclined to leave.”

For more information on the bid, and how to get involved, visit www.Limerick2020.ie, and follow on Twitter @Limerick2020 and facebook.com/Limerick2020

Words: Kayleigh Ziolo Twitter: @Kayleigh_Ziolo Image by: Tarmo Tulit www.tarmotulit.com




The Texas Steakout The Texas Steakout was established over twenty-one years ago. The restaurant offers a unique and inviting dining experience, with unique western inspired decor. The ‘steakout’ caters to a variety of taste, with a wide variety of chicken, fish and vegetarian dishes, and, of course, the finest steak in Limerick. The restaurant also offers a Mexican menu. For more information email - info@ texassteakout.com Address – 116 O’Connell Street, Limerick Phone - 061 - 414440

The Treasury The Treasury is a delicious artisan eatery that offers fresh, organic and local produce. This stunning restaurant offers an intimate and inviting dining experience. The exposed brickwork gives the eatery a cavernous feel that is offset by the warmth created through open fireplaces with burning logs. The Treasury offers a mouth-watering set menu at €35 with a diverse range of main dishes to choose from, including Braised Pig Cheek with Scallop, Slow Cooked Chicken Breast and the famous White Chocolate Bavarois with Honeycomb, Chocolate Brownie, and Chocolate Mousse. For more information email - info@ thetreasuryrestaurant.com Address - 74 O’Connell Street, Limerick Phone – 061 – 590005

Smyths Bar Smyths Bar offers top-quality live entertainment with great food and drink deals in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Smyth’s bar also offers live music seven nights a week with no charge at the door. The bar serves dishes that cater to a wide variety of tastes, including roast chicken, filo salmon and salads. Food is served from 9am-6pm Monday-Saturday, Sunday from12.30-6pm and breakfast is served Monday-Friday from 9am-11.45am. Smyth’s bar is located at Denmark Street, Limerick. For more information e-mail - enquires@ smythsbar.com Address – Denmark Street, Limerick Phone – 061 - 310766

Mejana Mejana is a stylish, relaxed Lebanese dining venue situated in the heart of Limerick city at 52 Thomas Street. It serves authentic Lebanese and international cuisine, and dishes are typically mezze; smaller plates offering a wide variety of flavours, each with a distinctive taste. Mejana offers a wide variety of vegetarian dishes, salads, grills and stews. The Early Bird Menu includes Mixed Grill; Surf & Turf and Castaleta. For more information e-mail - info@mejana. ie Address - 52 Thomas Street, Limerick Phone – 061 – 278989


Bobby Byrnes Bobby Byrnes pub and restaurant is located at the corner of O’Connell Avenue and Wolf Tone Street in Limerick city. The restaurant offers delicious home cooked food, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week from 8.30am-8.30pm. It provides a warm and cosy atmosphere, with an extensive menu including Homemade Seafood Chowder, Crunch Chicken and a tapas menu. For more information e-mail - info@ bobbybyrnes.ie Address - 3 O’Connell Ave, Limerick Phone – 061 – 316949

The Buttery The Buttery, located on Bedford Row, is a stylish, cosy and relaxed eatery, which recently celebrated its 1st Birthday. It offers creative, distinctive and tasty dishes, and has also added tapas and wine to its new evening menus. The Buttery offers a variety of meat, fish and vegetable dishes including Beef Sliders, Vegan Nut Bon Bons and Prawn Pill Pill. For more information e-mail thebutterylimerick@hotmail.com Address – Bedford Row, Limerick Phone - 061-597668 Words - Claire O’Brien





with Senator David Norris

A familiar face in politics and certainly not averse to speaking his mind, Senator David Norris is a man that will go down in the history books as a figure that has changed a generational mindset for human rights in Ireland. An Irish scholar, independent Senator, and human rights activist, Norris is easily one of the most respected figureheads in Ireland – especially by the people. When meeting Senator Norris his most striking attribute is his real and genuine interest in people, often stopping to ask questions about topics we discussed as we sat in his Dublin home. He is passionate, warm, and personable with a wit and intelligence that makes his company enjoyable and thought provoking. His humility is obvious and spirits high as we chat. Fusion - So, if we start from the beginning… Well I was born in Africa, I am not sure people know that, we came back when I was six months old during the war. All of my cousins turned up at the boat to see their little black relative and I was a hell of a disappointment when I turned out to be pink just like them. (Laughs) Fusion - Did you ever think, at the start of your career, that you would be the person that would go down in the history books as the person who championed equality in Ireland for the LGBT community? Not at all, it started off with half a dozen of us over cups of coffee. I was one of the founders of the Southern Ireland Civil Rights Association, which was formed to provide support for the Northern Ireland People The Nationalists and The Roman Catholics, were all looking for recognition of their human and civil rights. The first meeting was so smug, they said, “we do not discriminate against

anybody down here”, I said you do, you discriminate against homosexuals. There was a load of stink about that and I persuaded them to put reform of the criminal law as one of their objectives. A couple of years later there was a big conference held among the welfare officers of the universities. As a result they had a conference in Trinity College and then small organisations such as, Sexual Liberation Movement started off. Then, that was followed by a dozen of us that met in Trinity for tea and coffee… and here we all were, we were all gay and we were writing letters about contraception to the newspapers. I thought, “What is that about?” I said to them, I am fed up of all of this - it is all rubbish, you know we are all gay and I led an argument there and came up with the idea. We are Irish, we are gay and we are a human rights movement. So I said we should call ourselves the Irish Gay Rights Movement. There was a split, six in each camp but the Irish Gay Rights Movement was started off. We did little dances and with that an enormous number of people came. I was surprised by the number of people who were attending discos on Saturday nights. It gradually turned into more discos and that generated the money for a full political movement. Then there was another split because I was very political and some of the others just wanted social arrangements. They took over but they eventually lost the place. So there was nothing for a while and then when people got a hold of me again, I went around and I found an old warehouse in Temple Bar and at that time Temple Bar was completely disused, unknown, and dreary, with a drab warehouse with nothing happening in it at all. I took over that and we started the National Gay Federation in the Hirschfeld


Centre, named after Magnus Hirschfield, a German who, before the First World War, started a gay rights movement in Germany. We had a cinema, disco, restaurant meeting rooms and all of this and it drew a lot of people in. We did discos for Woman’s Issues, Green Issues, The Viking site at Wood Quay and that brought in a lot of young people. They really lifted the whole Temple Bar area. Fusion – Did all of this affect your personal life? I mean I was consumed by the gay movement, I had no private life really. I mean it came to a point where we were running three or four discos a week and I was teaching full time in Trinity College as well. I was teaching, running a disco and there was a political side to the situation - I was involved in a major law case, and I had to be very careful because I could not be caught in any kind of compromising situation. The media would have loved it. They were always interested in that type of stuff, so if they caught me with my pants down they would have been absolutely delighted. I had to be whiter than white, so basically I lived the life of a bloody nun. Fusion - How did you feel the morning after the Marriage Equality referendum? Was there a specific feeling? In a lot of ways it was just another morning, this has been a kind of 40+ year journey as far as I’m concerned. It was absolutely wonderful - I mean the atmosphere in Dublin castle was electric with happiness and joy, it was all so utterly positive. There was not a single negative note and there was not a sign of the no campaign, isn’t that extraordinary? It was just so happy and cheerful. It was sunny, warm and everybody wanted selfie’s it was just great, it was terrific.

The next morning, I was a bit tired but I was very happy. I was on the go from 7am the previous day, we were on the go all day. We came back here at about 8.30pm. I went to neighbours house across the street and took off my shoes put my feet up, had a chat for about a half an hour, then I came home and went to bed. Fusion - What thoughts do you think future generations will have when looking back at the passing of the referendum? Well I am not sure they will look back! These are natural rights that people have and there has been a progression. First of all, we had to get rid of criminal law, that was the first stage, then we had to establish a basis for human and civil rights and build on that. We are actually not getting anything that is unnatural or extraordinary. You know some people say to me do you think young people are not grateful enough? I say I don’t think they should be grateful at all. People used to ring in and contact us and we would go meet them in a hotel. They would come in crest-fallen, miserable, retched, and after spending a half hour talking to a perfectly normal gay person they went out with their shoulders straight and their head high. You know it was wonderful, like curing people from some illness. It was an absolutely wonderful buzz, so I do not think people should be grateful for getting what their entitled to. I do not expect gratitude and you do not want to replace one burden with another. There was a burden of shame and fear – what is the point in replacing that with a

country expected to be grateful all the time? As long as people are happy - that is the thing I get the most satisfaction from, seeing young people together and young people happy. So that is the reward, the reward is seeing people happy not people being grateful that would be embarrassing. Maybe people will look back, I don’t know if they will - historians will, political historians will they will find it interesting. When the word gay came in it was in capital letters and inverted comas and a question mark, gradually these things dropped away and it became accepted as a perfectly ordinary lowercase word so that reflects a major social change that took place in one lifetime, and that is interesting because it is all encapsulated. Fusion – In your spare time, do you have hobbies? Well, I am an enthusiastic collector of early jazz and I read a vast amount of detective fiction. I lectured in trinity for thirty years and I have a library upstairs, I have about 10,000 books in the house. I never throw them out! I have my grandfather’s bookcase and they hold annuals from the 1880’s, stories, court gossip from the European royal families and all this kind of stuff. I have kept all of those, Victorian books, and improving moral stories for children. Fusion – Going back to politics, is it your last term in The Seanad? I am running in the next election and after that I will retire. I want to run in the next

election because I want to push for genuine reform of The Seanad. There was a lot of fuss when Enda (Kenny) got this mad notion of abolishing The Seanad and we only marginally turned that around. I mean I discharged myself from hospital with two weeks to go. Myself, Sean Barrett and John Crown turned around the situation because we were losing hand over fist. I got on to every local radio station and explained the situation simply to people so they could make up their mind clearly. I received an enormous number of emails from people saying “I’m delighted to have heard you on the local radio”, because they were confused. They were saying “I didn’t understand and I was going to vote to abolish but now I’m changing my mind.” The last time I was the father of the house so if I’m re-elected and you can never assume that no matter how popular you think you are. Look at Churchill after the second world war he won the Second World War and they kicked him out. I was involved with the referendum and they could have easily kick me out too. You cannot take the voters for granted; they sense it and they give you a kick in the arse. I would like to talk about reforming The Seanad because I think it should be reformed in a sensible way. I do not think it is sensible to do what Enda Kenny appeared to be planning to get away with mucking around with the universities seats. The universities are already fully and completely democratic. You know the media have sown this complete lie that the universities are somehow elite


“You know some people say to me do you think young people are not grateful enough? I say I don’t think they should be grateful at all”.


and undemocratic. I have about 70,000 voters and NUI have about 110,000 voters - how undemocratic is that? 60% of the children in the country go to the universities. What makes the seats look exceptional is they are the only ones in which the ordinary members of the nominating body have the right to vote. The next one is 43 seats and they are voted on by 1000 county councillors - almost all of them are party so they are told by head office who to vote for and they do deals - they openly do deals. Sinn Fein would say well I’ll do this and they trade seats with each other, so those seats are completely undemocratic. Then there are 11 seats with only 1 voter so we go from 70,000 to 1,000 to 1. Enda Kenny proposes distorting that further by expanding the university seats to 850,000 voters but leaving the 1000 and leaving the 1 so it goes from 850,000 to 1000 to 1, now that is a gross distortion, and that will open up the universities seats to be colonised by the political parties so I think we need to open up the other seats to more democratic participation. Fusion - The government isn’t very favourable at the moment, why do you think this is? Generally speaking I think there is far too much of the whip in political life. In Germany they don’t have a whip, you are required by the constitution to vote according to your conscience and the situation. They do allow the whip on economic matters so you don’t have the government falling every week. I think we should move towards that and I think that there should be conscience votes allowed, wherever they take us and then you would have real argument. I see very decent and intelligent people in the political system and very often there just used as lobby fodder there, just driven in through the lobby division to vote and very often they would feel passionately about one side or another of the argument. They are compelled to vote in the other way by the government or the political party structure. I think that is unhealthy and it has led to a situation where there is a further concentration of power in the hands of a small number of people. I mean it is not The Dáil or The

Senate that make decisions, it is government and within government it is the financial committee, the four person financial controlling committee that make most of the decisions so it is less democratic and there is less accountability and I think people want accountability so that would be the major thing I would do and then I would reform the senate by democratising it, I would take off some of the restraints. Such as, we are not allowed to have anything to do with finance. Look at the balls The Dáil made of finance. I don’t think we could do any worse than that, in fact we have a number of significant experts in The Seanad, I mean we have Sean Barrett a Professor of Economics, and Fergal Quinn who is an extremely successful business man to name just two. These are the kind of voices who should be listened to. Fusion – You have stated that you will not run for president again? I would be 74 and I think that is a bit old. The last time, it was wonderful, seeing the country, seeing the wonderful work people do. But the media were completely and 100% out of control, I mean they thought they could say anything. They could manufacture any form of lie. For example, I gave up a pension that I had paid into and it turned out in the media that I was a pension fraud and a social welfare cheat. They said that I had ignored the asylum seekers. They put a photograph of myself and a friend saying we were lovers and that I had got him a passport - he got his own passport, I had nothing to do with it at all. I had one hundred and eighty two files of asylum seekers that I had helped. It was just an absolute utter, black and white lie. They said that I was an alcoholic, they said I was a cocaine addict, all sorts of stuff. Then they said on the radio that I advocated parents having sex with their own children, I mean where did this stuff come from? What gave people the idea that they just could freely say these kind of unspeakable things? They went after friends, it was utterly shocking, no standards no ethics - just bald-faced lying, such a crescendo of it that could not be dealt with - but I have dealt with it since, I have taken libel action and I have won every single one of them.


Fusion - Is it the media that would put you off running for president again? It is mostly the age. I don’t know if I would get a group of people around me. I have great people who have always stuck by me but I don’t think they would go through it again and why bloody should they? Maybe the media would stop telling lies, but you cannot guarantee that. The Irish people were marvellous but I don’t know if I would have the energy for it. I had a very serious operation. It weakened me physically. I am much better now and the cancer is gone, all of it but it has slowed me down a lot. Fusion - What does the future hold and look like for you? It looks like a coffin (laughs) I’m 71 I have a new liver it looks exactly like the shape of a coffin but I’ve prepared my funeral. It is all organised and arranged. I have recorded the few words that are going to come out of the coffin and the ballad of Joe Hill so it will be great fun. I don’t know what does the future hold? Who can say? I hope to live another while. I have a house in Cyprus and I go over there. I enjoy that! I have given nearly 50 years to public life and I look forward to having more time for my private life and to enjoy my friends. I have friends in various places all over the world, people I really love and would love to see a bit more of them. Fusion – So you will be taking a step back? Oh yes most definitely I will be taking a step back. But I will still speak out when I see things that really upset me - that is if anybody listens. While we wrap our conversation, and we leave Dublin, I cannot help but think that we have not seen the last of Senator Norris in the headlines and just like the sun has set on the marriage equality chapter, I do hope that someday a new chapter begins to write itself and we have a President David Norris, who will be just as outspoken, passionate and stand beside the people of Ireland. Maybe that is just my wishful thinking but for all you have done so far Senator Norris, we salute you! Words – Michelle Costello Images – Tarmo Tulit www.tarmotulit.com




Sea of Vitality


SEAWEED. The unfortunate name, the slimy texture, the chewy mouth-feel and the pungent aroma amount to a not very appealing, even mysterious food, in the opinion of many Irish people. Given that we live on an island, with access to some incredible seaweed, we’re going to change all of that right here. For starters, the name. Shakespeare may well have thought a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but perception is everything. More often than not, anything with ‘weed’ in the title is seen as being useless, something to be destroyed. So let’s call them by the more fitting name, sea vegetables. And that slimy texture? Well, given that many sea vegetables lead a double life of being immersed in water, contrasted with being parched by the wind and sun when washed up on shore, resilience is a key characteristic. Sea vegetables contain hydrocolloids, which act as binding agents, which is why they are used in shampoos, toothpastes and various foods which need a wiggle factor. One really beneficial medicinal effect of this slimy characteristic is in treating wounds - everything from burns to rashes. In the medical world, hydrocolloid dressings have been used to prevent the spread of MRSA. So having dried, cleaned seaweed on hand is an excellent idea for a quick,effective first aid option. You’ll be very thankful for that slimy texture once you’ve seen

how effectively it heals your sunburn! In day to day use, it’s really beneficial too. That moistureretaining trait makes it an excellent base for face masks, helping to lock moisture, and of course minerals and trace elements, into the skin. Not only is this so much cheaper than the shop-bought alternatives, it’s also free of the chemical cocktail found in many standard cosmetics, elements of which are absorbed all too readily through the skin. The thickening nature of sea vegetables is also very much appreciated when cooking. Rather than having to use bovine gelatin, thickeners such as carrageen and agar flakes make a really effective alternative when thickening sauces or making desserts. But what about eating whole pieces of seaweed, which conjures up images of inner tyre tubing? It’s all in how you use it. Flakes of sea salad for example, made from a variety of sea vegetables crushed up into little pieces, can be sprinkled into just about anything, from soups to stir-fries and salads and there’s every chance you wouldn’t even know it’s there. Similarly, seaweed powder, available in health food shops, is a far more nutritious alternative to salt. Yes, it delivers a salty kick, as it’s high in sodium, but it also packs a punch in terms of magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous and iodine, to name a few. Because the mineral and trace element profile of sea vegetables is so

similar to our blood mineral profile, these nutrient-dense building blocks are very well recognised by our cells, making them highly absorbable. So spending your money on sea vegetables can be a much better insurance policy than buying expensive supplements, which you may or may not absorb. There are several varieties of seaweed, with red and brown ones usually growing in salt water and green ones growing in fresh water. There is variation in the amounts of minerals you get from each variety. For example, Hijiki, Arame and Wakame are exceptionally high in calcium, containing about ten times more than cow’s milk. Sea lettuce contains about twentyfive times the iron of beef, while Kelp, Kombu and Arame contain hundreds of times more iodine than shellfish, depending on when and where they are harvested. And that’s an important consideration. Just as it’s important to know where all your food comes from, try to source your sea vegetables from the cleanest waters possible and wash them well before use. Certain bodies of water are exposed to effluent or pesticide runoff, along with heavy metals. Clearly, these are not the types of substances we want to be consuming, if we can avoid them. But supposing you have already been exposed to these toxic elements, either through dental fillings, medication, chemicals in your workplace and so on: Sea vegetables


are exceptionally powerful detoxifiers. They filter harmful substances, such as toxic metals and convert them to harmless salts, which can then be safely excreted. This is one of the reasons why they are such a valuable part of drug and alcohol detoxes. Not only do the sea vegetables remove the harmful elements, they also provide an abundance of building blocks to restoreoptimum health and vitality. The combination of soothing, mucilaginous traits, with a hefty CV of nutrients makes them an invaluable, easily digested food in rejuvenation diets, where the lungs have been abused through years of smoking or the digestive tract has suffered as a result if a less than ideal diet. Because sea vegetables are such a powerhouse of nutrition, a little goes a long way. Start with small amounts, like 5 grams in its dried state, and gradually increase as you come to enjoy that clean, ozone-like flavour, a bit like a daily trip to the seaside for your tastebuds. Yes of course, your skin, hair and nails will thank you, but more importantly, every one of the billions of incredible cells in your body will be bathed in an anti-cancer, anti-viral, rejuvenating tonic. Who are you calling a weed? Words: Jennifer Allen Twitter: @yourkeytothrive Website: yourkeytothrive.com Images – Tarmo Tulit www.tarmotulit.com

FA S H I O N Top 5 Items For Any Man’s Wardrobe This Spring.

PARTY LI K E I T’ S 1999 Has anyone else noticed the litany of “Summer of 1995” posts dominating social media at the moment? What exactly inspired this mass nostalgia is unclear, but 2015 is having a massive ‘90s moment. Post-recession and facing an uncertain future, it makes sense that the world is looking back - to the time of Brit Pop, grunge, and a host of iconic fashion moments. The rise of the It girl saw the likes of Kate Moss, Winona Ryder and Liv Tyler cemented in history as fashion icons (incidentally, who would have thought that doe-eyed Kate Moss in those Calvin Klein ads would be getting escorted off an EasyJet flight for drinking her own vodka 20 years later?). Their look is everywhere right now. On a recent trip to Topshop I had a serious timewarp moment. Crop tops, choker necklaces, plaid shirts and ripped denim as far as the eye could see… and I loved it. The most enthusiastic champions of the ‘90s resurgence are those that were too young to experience

it properly the first time. I saw iconic ‘90s films such as Reality Bites and Empire Records at least a decade after they were first released, and now I want a turn to wear Doc Martens with a plaid mini. I credit Cher Horowitz for being my meticulously organised wardrobe inspiration, even though I was six years old when the film came out. Fashion obsessions start early, I guess. This decade was arguably when street style began to influence high-end fashion. If we look at Marc Jacobs’ grunge-inspired collection for Perry Ellis in 1993, the music scene at the time is an obvious influence. Jacobs was subsequently fired, and the label shut down, but his ideas were quickly copied throughout the fashion world. They say history repeats itself, and with a Clinton (Hillary) and a Bush (Jeb) in the running for the US presidential election next year, even politics is succumbing to the return of the 1990s. Blur are performing a series of concerts this summer,


and, obviously keen to keep the rivalry alive, there’s also news of an Oasis reunion. If you want to celebrate the return of the decade of Cobain and Love, The Spice Girls and Suede, giant mobile phones and Ireland’s Eurovision glory days, there’s plenty of pieces out there that pick up on the trend. A simple cotton crop top with a maxi skirt and a pair of classic Doc Martens is a perfect summer combination. If you’re not into going this far then it’s easy to update by keeping the top half with a with a simple T-shirt or for the bottom half, a pair of high-waisted jeans. There isn’t even a need to go on, 1990s fashion is inescapable this summer, so you might as well embrace it.

Words: Laura Hastings Twitter: @LauraHastings89 Image by: Tarmo Tulit www.tarmotulit.com Model: Nnenna Akamnonu MUA: Natalie Hehir




Festival Make Up… It is easy to create a quick, glowing, colourful and waterproof make-up look that will last all night, especially at a festival. You just can’t rely on the weather here in summer time, so hence the waterproof look– it is always good to be on the safe

side.This look is long-lasting and will keep you looking fresh all day/night. Get as creative as you want with it. This is a time when the make-up does not have to be perfect, so we can go a bit crazy with colour and paints. Festival looks are

really quite simple, have loads of colour on the eye, add some lines/dots/shapes with brushes or cotton buds. Have fun with it. This step-by-step will show how to recreate this look for any festival you’re attending this summer.

Step 3 Get Creative - There are no rules here simply create and design what you like, dots/ lines/shapes. Here I’ve used Inglot ‘Gel Eyeliner’ to create this design around the eye, they come in loads of different colours and also in metallic colours too. The eyeliner are waterproof so they will stay put all day/night, I used a MAC 210 brush the draw the detail.

Step 1 Complexion - Prime the skin, apply BB cream/ foundation, here I’m using Estée Lauder Double wear foundation - this stuff will not budge even through rain. I’ve mixed some Dior ‘Glow Maximizer’ with the foundation to give the skin a gorgeous glow. Leave it out if a more matte look is desired. Apply bronzer and highlighter to contour the face. Here used is Charlotte Tilbury’s Bronze & Glow.

Step 4 On the other eye I’ve used a ball point to dot along the eye area, again from the Ingot Eyeliner range.

Step 2 Eyes - Add MAC Pro Longwear concealer to undereye area to take away any dark circles. Prime the eyelid up to brow bone. Apply brown shimmer eyeshadow all over the lid, blending up to the crease. Then apply a cranberry shimmer eyeshadow into the crease of the eye, blending upwards. Then apply a purple shimmer eyeshadow to just above the crease, then blend up to the brow bone. Remember lots of blending is needed so all the colours blend together softly. Gently blending is best, don’t press too hard with the brush while blending. Add a gold shimmer eyeshadow to the inner corner of the eye. For under the eye I’ve used Dior Kohl chubby eye pencil in number ‘379’ - it’s a shimmer inteal green colour, buffing that under the eye and also applied it to the bottom waterline. Add lots of waterproof mascara.

Step 5 Lips - Prime the lips all over with MAC ‘Prep&Prime’ primer all over the lips for longevity. Then apply MAC ‘Morange’ all over the lips. Step 6 Apply Urban Decay All Nighter Make-up setting spray. It will have your make up looking fresh all day/night. It also comes in a handy travel size perfect for your handbag.

Words: Mary Kiely Twitter: @kielymary Images by: Tarmo Tulit www.tarmotulit.com


M E N ’ S


We Irish are a funny bunch. The first sign of sun and we’re outside with our tops off and the barbeques on. But hey, we have every right: we’ve put down an extended winter, worn parkas in April and now we’re in for the long haul of dull days and dying heat! Welcome to the glorious Irish summer. But listen, just in case of a lovely day in July and August when Mr. Sunshine decides to make an appearance, here is a little breakdown of block colours and how to wear them. So whether you want to make a statement, or you’re looking for a more relaxed approach look no further, we’ve got that covered.

ALL BLOCKED OFF I’m just putting it out there: if you want to pull off this look, you must have confidence. When it comes to bright and colourful clothing, us guys seem to have a much more relaxed attitude. We can look just as manly in canary yellow, as in plain black. However, be very careful when choosing which colours you want to block - you don’t want to end up looking like a clown. I like the idea of taking a super bright cerise pink pair of shorts and a sky blue tee. Super simple, but oh so effective. Team them with some simple shoes like a pair of casual converse, but maybe go for the leather instead of the canvas just to give the outfit that extra bit of pop.

T-SHIRT: Polo Ralph Lauren, €56.75, Brown Thomas SHORTS: Hugo Boss, €74.86, Asos SHOES: Leather Converse, €74.76, Schuh

RICH TONES FOR THE NOT QUITE CONVINCED As much as we like to think of ourselves as outgoing and confident in our fashion choices, sometimes that little voice creeps in and tells us “Not Today”. And that’s fine, because we don’t have to run around in super bright clothes just to be on trend. Colour blocking is in and you can block rich tones if you like, as it’s just as effective. Style some tailored tan coloured shorts with a simple burgundy tee, an amazing fusion of rich and warm colours, for the man that wants to be stylish yet comfortable for those nice long evenings. Team this look with some simple slip-on pumps in a colour of your choice.

SHORTS: Paul Smith Jeans, €131.65, Brown Thomas SHOES: River Island Range, €65.34, RIver Island So with summer underway it’s time you started putting these colours into action and got a move on. Please remember when looking online that catwalks are meant to look dramatic and don’t think you have to capture that look exactly - style it your way.

Words: Evan Considine Blog: Pageforevan.blogspot.com



Festival Hair Bible…

Mini braids are the way forward in the fashion stakes with every Festival season is upon us again designer from Vera Wang to Stella McCartney featuring - YAY!! a form of braiding in their Spring/Summer 2015 shows. Which means us ladies will Braids are here to stay and are spend most of our time worrying evolving more and more with about how three days of fun also each coming fashion season. means three days of no GHDs, wands and not a hairstylist in With that being said, mini sight – The Horror!!! braiding can be tricky and most Coachella set the bar for this clients tell me they find braiding year’s festival hair trends with the most difficult hair task to celebs all sporting tousled master. So I’ve put together this waves, defined curls and mini step-by-step guide to keep you braids being key on trend looks on trend and ready to party with ease and glamour this festival season.

Tips and hints Mini braiding the most important rule: tension. Hold the strands tight, pinching the hair as you braid through to the ends – when braiding onto the scalp, still keep your tension but not so much that it will hurt. If a loose braid is desired you can tease the braid out using your fingers afterwards to ensure you get a loose look that will last. We also saw flower crowns become a cemented trend as

an essential for the Summer of 2015. They add glamour and can be the perfect disguise for dressing up your two or even three day old hair while festivalgoing. The versatility of flowers in the hair is that you can fit them to suit your own personal style and uniqueness, whether it’s daisy headbands to traditional flower crowns to dainty flowers cascading through your curls it’s an enviable look – even if it’s Electric Picnic’s day three and you’re absolutely dying for a

blow-dry and treatment. Speaking of three-days-old hair, one product I couldn’t survive without at a festival is Pillow Proof 2 Day Extender from Redken. This dry shampoo removes oils and odors from the hair leaving it with fresh volumes and light without the chalky powder-like feeling you can sometimes get from supermarket brands. It also works as a great prep before up-styling.

Words: Rachel Flanagan Images by: Tarmo Tulit www.tarmotulit.com





So summer is here and I don’t know about you guys, but I’m jetting off to sunny Ibiza for a week to relax after a busy couple of months.

Being in the sun all day is obviously amazing and probably the best feeling in the world coming from Ireland, but it is so SO important to look after yourself while doing so.


Like any girl, I have a list of holiday essentials and musthaves. From beauty products to bikinis, to nail polish - I will have you looking like a bronzed summer goddess.



So I think one of the most important things when going on a holiday is finding a ridiculously nice bikini. I personally bring a different bikini for each day on vacation, so picking just two proved to be rather difficult. The two bikinis I have picked are both from Missguided, both extremely affordable and both seriously cute.

Mesh Triangle Bikini Set Green €35.00

Being in the sun can really dry out your lips, and let’s be honest, dry lips = unattractive and uncomfortable. Keep your lips moisturised and kissable (very important) with Vaseline. I bring Vaseline everywhere - it is my top rated lip balm and this Vaseline product in particular has an SPF15 so it will help prevent your lips from burning. (Yes, lips burn too!). Additional tip: Vaseline is also said to help eyelashes/eyebrows grow.

I am so in love with this bikini, especially since Khaki was so big this year, along with colourblocking… it will look great with a tan! I am loving this print bikini. I’m addicted to anything floral for holidays as again, it looks amazing with a nice tan and I always love a higher-waist bikini bottom to make yourself feel more comfortable as you strut your stuff down the beach.

Stay Protected with Sun Block




Rule Number 1: WEAR SUNBLOCK. Everyone is at risk of skin cancer when in the sun, so wear sunblock, whether you are fair or not. Stay protected guys, you don’t want to look like a leather couch in 5 years time, or worse. Thank you.

Plus Size Halterneck Bikini Top Hibiscus Floral €25.20 Plus Size Bikini Bottoms Hibiscus Floral €16.80


Kimonos are a must-have on holiday. They can spice up your outfit at night and they’re perfect for throwing over your bikini during the day. I found this snake print kimono on Missguided.


I cannot stress enough how important it is to look after your hair on holidays. Be it the salt in the water, the chlorine in the pool, or the UV rays from the sun - your hair is being constantly damaged. We need to take action against these elements to keep our locks luscious and I have the best products to do just that! I use the Redken Extreme Length products which really work to keep your hair as nourished and moisturised as possible which is a must after spending the day in the sun.

I bring Vaseline everywhere - it is my top rated lip balm and this Vaseline product in particular has an SPF15

Redken Extreme Length products which really work to keep your hair nourished

Kimono Misguided - €35.00




follow me on instagram

@shaunalindsay www.shaunalindsay.com

SHIMMER AND GLOW I don’t wear a lot of makeup on holidays but if there is a night of dinner or drinks when I’m actually going to make an effort, I will most definitely be using the ‘Urban Decay Naked on the Run Palette’. It has everything you need: I call it “My Face in a Box”. I actually think this may have purposely been made for vacationers who are a bit lazy (like me), considering the “On the Run” title. There is a gorgeous blush, bronzer, highlighter, eyeliner, mascara, lip-gloss and five beautiful eyeshadows.


LUNCH MENU €9.95 Mon - Friday

This retails at €44.00


5-7pm Fri & Sat All Day Sun-Thur


Bronzer is my must have for any getaway. I use bronzer even on my ‘no makeup’ days. Add a little underneath your cheekbones to contour and you will look like a brand new you. I use Inglot’s AMC Bronzing Powder in Shade 74 (pretty dark) to contour/transform my face.


Every Thurs €5 cocktail This retails at only €15.00! (Bargain Alert)


Live Music and Guest Belly BELLY DANCER Dancers

Indoor & Outdoor


I’m not sure if this is a ‘summery’ enough scent for you guys, but it is really sweet and I am in love with this smell. The next time you’re passing a perfume shop please pop in and have a spray of this and tell me if I’m wrong (I’m never wrong). It is the Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto Eau De Parfum, and even though it’s an Eau De Parfum, it lasts all day, trust me.

Every Fri & Sat

This retails at €105.00

Mejana Restaurant 52 Thomas Street, Limerick T: 061 278989 reservation@mejana.ie www.mejana.ie



Fashion Credits Photographer – Tarmo Tulit – www.tarmotulit.com MUA – Natalie Hehir Models – Shauna Lindsay, Nnenna Akamnonu Clothing Menswear - Jasper Conrad @ Debenhams Women’s – ASOS.com FUSION MAGAZINE | 34







T R AV E L The Redhead and the Backpack #5 All through my twenties, I promised myself that I would pack a bag, take off, travel, and see the world. As is to be expected, life got in the way: work, relationships, lack of savings. In October 2014, I turned 29 – AGGH! A year until the big 3-0. This birthday was enough to make me take the bull by the horns, hand in my notice and just... GO! On January 23rd 2015, after having a huge fight with my backpack (it didn’t appreciate being stuffed with my Boots money-off cleansing wipes), I set off on my travels to Southeast Asia. It was to start with four friends for the first two weeks (their “summer holiday”). I was to then, set off solo, just me – the redhead and the backpack. Here I chart the journey, the experiences and the adventures along the way.

THIS WASN’T IN THE PLAN! (Yangon, Myanmar) As I’m writing this, I’m sitting at the bar of the infamous “The Strand”- a hotel previously frequented by George Orwell, Rudyard Kipling and...... the moves of Mick Jagger. At over $600 per room, this is a place for most to visit for a beer, not to have a sleepover. I’m listening to an English man pondering (very) loudly “is it Burma or Myanmar, is it Yangon or Rangoon?”. I can’t help but feel like I’m maybe on the same page as him - arriving in Myanmar, this country I knew so little about before, has been a learning curve. After an hour’s flight from Chiang Mai, I arrived at Yangon airport. I never intended to come here until the “backpacker chat” convinced me! Ideally, I would have liked to have travelled overland from Thailand but this is difficult, if not impossible, depending on the day. The queue through immigration was short and when I reached the desk, I just had to provide the officer with my “pre-approval” letter. This was easy to get online and if you don’t do this, a visit to a Myanmar embassy is needed to arrange a visa - you can’t just rock up here. Heeding advice of blogs before me, I took out Myanmar kyat from the airport ATM and exchanged them for US dollars (big mistake - see tips!). After negotiating the taxi driver from $15 to a fairer $10, I was off. The drive from the airport into Yangon itself was eye-opening. The taxi passed children on the side of the road playing in what can only be described as a rubbish dump. 500 metres


further on, we passed shiny new hotel and condominium developments - no doubt born as a result of Myanmar ‘s new found tourist industry. After a 45-minute drive in the sweltering heat, we pulled up outside my hostel, “Myanmar Backpacker”. This hostel is unusual in that all beds are “pods”, one on top of the other. Nice though, as it felt like when you closed your “pod”, you got some privacy. Exploring Yangon has been interesting, especially since tourists have only started to come here in the past 3 years or so. Mostly, I’ve felt like I’m the attraction (for want of a better word!). People seem to be staring (a lot) but when I smile back, that’s what I’m met with - a smile. I suppose seeing a redheaded, single female strolling through the streets isn’t usual here yet! Similarly, Myanmar people are so different for me to see, with so much of their tradition still intact.

Men wear sarong-like trousers call “longhiis” and chew and spit “bettel”- a nut called areca that’s ground up and wrapped in a bettel leaf. It acts like a stimulant that leaves their mouths red-stained. Every man here seems to do it, as the red splotchy stains on the pavements can attest to! The women and children slather their faces in a yellow/white paste made from tree bark called “thanaka”. This is supposedly for cosmetic purposes and sun protection. Yangon has been a good introduction to Myanmar, but I think that two days here are enough. I’ve gotten everything I wanted to do done. On my first day, I went to an amazing gold temple called Schwedagon Paya. The story goes that two merchant brothers met Buddha on their travels. Buddha gifted them with eight of his hairs and when the brothers returned to Yangon, the then king built a gold temple to enshrine them.


Later, I went to the Bogyoke Aung San Market. This market was heaving with stalls selling everything from old Burmese coins to puppies! Bartering in Myanmar doesn’t seem to be as prevalent as in Thailand- maybe as tourism grows, so will sellers’ willingness to haggle? Food here is interesting and completely different to Thai fare. Gone are the fresh fruit shakes and coconut curries. They’ve been replaced with sweet bread rolls and even sweeter coffee for breakfast, oily street food curries for lunch and more of the same for dinner. One day I passed a young girl and her 10 year old brother selling a type of chickpea curry at the side of a busy road. Curiosity, along with the 10 year old’s salesmanship got the better of me and I sat down on a plastic chair next to two Burmese guys in their 20s, to have lunch. Another funny experience seemingly for the locals as they all stopped to

watch! Two monks even came up to me to ask what I was doing. On my second day, I decided to get the circular commuter train. This train costs $1 and will take you on a 3 hour loop of suburban Yangon. I thought that it was well worth it - an amazing way to see “real life” around the city. For me, the 3 hours flew, taking in the sights and chatting to a local English teacher who boarded the train, Timamadae, about life Yangon. From there, I went to a Burmese tea house. Tea houses in Myanmar remind me of a local pub, in the afternoon, in Ireland - without the pints. Mostly middle-aged men tend to congregate, sit on minuscule plastic chairs, drink tea and chat. I arrived, and all chat was temporarily suspended....! There I had tea(!) and a fermented tealeaf salad for 700 kyat (50 cent). As awful as the salad sounds, it tasted amazing and is a speciality here. That night, I met Melissa in Chinatown - a friend who I did some musicals with in Edinburgh about 5 years ago and haven’t seen since. Of all the places in all the world.....! Today, as I wait for the overnight bus to Mandalay, I paid a visit to Aung San Suu Kyi’s house on University Road. Quite ignorantly of me, I didn’t know much about this lady until I got to Myanmar. Aung San Suu Kyi is a Myanmar national who lived

with her husband and sons in the UK. In 1988, her mother took ill in Myanmar and she returned to be with her until her death. She saw how unjustly the people of Myanmar were treated by the military government and became the Secretary General of the National League for Democracy (NLD). With them, she peacefully campaigned for democracy in Myanmar. This lead to her house arrest from 1989 to 2011. It was Aung San Suu Kyi who asked tourists to boycott Myanmar and this regime. She was supported internationally upon this request. Today I met a Myanmar man, now working in Malaysia, who described her to me as “our hero”. Tips for Myanmar (so far): - Information about travelling here becomes outdated in the blink of an eye. Don’t think everything you read is set in stone. - I was told to bring only crisp, pristine, US dollars. Big mistake! Kyat, the local currency, is where it’s at! On my first day, I wondered around with crisp dollars, dehydrating from thirst, as nobody would accept them for a bottle of water. Take kyat from the airport ATM and don’t exchange them all! - Generally the Myanmar people are very friendly but tourism is still in its infancy and there will be some who try to take advantage. I was quoted $5

for a taxi ride that should have been $2. I walked. Ask your accommodation what’s fair. - Have a look at The Lonely Planet’s section on responsible travel in Myanmar. - Again, the friendliness here is amazing! Today, a woman shared her umbrella with me as we walked along a quiet road in the blistering heat. Another lady who was working in a museum, offered to share her rice with me, as I walked past her while she was having her lunch (I was the only visitor there that day!). And if you feel “stared at”, smile back.

Words by: Yvonne Dallman Facebook:/ TheRedHeadandTheBackpack



CATHERINE DUFFY Charming, professional and a woman on top of her game, Catherine Duffy is president of the Limerick Chamber and General Manager of Northern Trust Limerick. Originally from Terenure in Dublin, Catherine came to Limerick in 2008 to manage Northern Trust’s operation here. Back then, the financial services firm employed just 19 people. Now, it has 650 employees and staffed by a growing dynamic and vibrant workforce - a truly positive tower of strength for employment in the region. Fusion chats with Catherine about her work and her life in Limerick.

Tell us a bit background?



Well, I was born in Dublin and have 7 brothers and two sisters. Back in the day, my mum had to retire from the Central Bank once she got married, and my father was a Garda Sergeant before he retired from the force. I married Eugene McWey, a farmer from Laois in 2000 and we have 4 adorable children ranging in age from 5 to 12 years old. My children are very involved in the local GAA club, so that keeps me busy going to matches! Can you tell us more about your role in Northern Trust? I am the General Manager for Northern Trust in Limerick. Northern Trust is a leading global financial services institution, proving investment management, management,


asset and fund administration, banking and fiduciary services to corporations, institutions and affluent individuals worldwide. When Northern Trust acquired Ulster Bank Investment Services in 2000, I joined Northern Trust as part of that acquisition. We opened the Limerick office in 2006 with 19 employees, today we have just over 650 employees across two offices. I love the job - no two days are the same.. Northern Trust’s Limerick offices, together with our Dublin office are key centres of fund administration and are at the core of our business activities. We support global multi-national clients and fund managers with complex and sophisticated regulatory, reporting, fund accounting solutions. My role can be as diverse as working with the University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology

“We offer each employee two days out of the office each year to engage in corporate volunteering projects and I always encourage all our employees to take up this opportunity.”

to source talented graduates, dealing with client enquiries, meeting with staff, attending board meetings, hosting all partner meetings, attending Chamber forums, and meeting with other financial market participants. What is your work environment like? I have to say we have a fantastic work environment in the office, and it is one we are very proud of. Work is about people and an integral part of my role is to know our employees, know what they enjoy doing, where they require support and what motivates them. Our workforce in Limerick is young and dynamic and as much as my role is about leading our operations here in Limerick, it’s also about listening, engaging and being actively involved in the local community. Ireland is a dynamic hub of investment, research and education, and Northern Trust is committed to engaging and giving back to the communities in which we live and work. We offer each employee two days out of the office each year to engage in corporate volunteering projects and I always encourage all our employees to take up this opportunity.

Most crucially, it’s important to enjoy what one does. It was my father who taught me that work isn’t 9-5, a career is about far more than that and is enjoyable and rewarding.

With such a large staff, how do you do your recruiting?

These days there are many tools to help with recruiting LinkedIn, Facebook etc but in my opinion nothing beats an What tools do you use to get the internal referral. Having LIT and the University of Limerick job done? on our doorstep solve all of our It is all about communication. graduate needs. Communication is vital – and never is it more vital then when Is Limerick a good place for it goes wrong. I was helping companies to invest? my husband Eugene move Yes, most definitely. In 2014 cattle recently, with our four a significant international children, and needless to say business report rated Limerick a communication breakdown among the top ten metropolitan whilst following instructions areas of Western Europe to resulted in the animals ending up invest in. The 6th Global ‘Best to everywhere except where they Invest Report’ was compiled by were supposed to be! It’s times Site Selection, an international like these when things go wrong magazine focusing on corporate an assertive approach can be real estate strategy and area needed, but vital as always is economic development. The listening and understanding. report cites Ireland as the best Aside from the obvious written Western European country to and verbal communication invest in and includes a list of approaches, the key is an the top ten metropolitan areas ability to see the non-verbal which includes Barcelona, aspects of communication. It is Birmingham, Dublin, Madrid, often what is not said that needs London, Vienna, Erfurt, Athens, to be acknowledged. The ability Limerick and Antwerp. to recognise and act upon this kind of communication is an How do you manage your time? intuition that comes with age, being a mother and listening to I prioritise my tasks each day according to the time and my gut. urgency required. I like to see tasks/projects through so I can


see the impact and the results they produce. I like to keep myself busy and believe we all need to be productive with our time while recognising a need for time out. To achieve a healthy life work balance is important. What is the one piece of advice you would share? Say “yes” to any opportunities they arise – some will work out and some won’t, but each experience offers a unique learning experience. You may uncover something you enjoy, something you are good at or something you can expand your skills in. Sharing these experiences and remaining focused on continuing to learn will position you well both in life and in your career. Also, put yourself in others shoes – trying to understand the challenges, the goals, the aspirations of those you interact with every day offers a different perspective and an opportunity to grow as a leader and inspire others to achieve their goals.

We are blessed with two ears and one mouth – the importance of listening, really truly listening, cannot be underestimated, especially in our business. Listening to our clients and working with them to deliver solutions that fit their unique requirements is at the heart of our role. What is the best advice given to you? Coming from a family of ten children, my parents Patricia and Gerard Duffy were leaders and managers. They taught us all to “give it a go”. You may not always succeed or end up where you thought you would be, but the most important thing both in life and in a career is to be honest, be fair and try new things.

Words: Michelle Costello Images by: Tarmo Tulit www.tarmotulit.com



Tell us a little about yourself I’m a Limerick man, I did my Junior Cert at Ard Scoil Rís and my Leaving Cert at Blackrock College in Dublin. I’m a qualified carpenter but I have always had my hand in hospitality. I have worked in numerous bars, restaurants and events all over the world. Due to the recession I took off to Calgary in Canada and absolutely loved it, I stayed in Canada for 5 years working as a carpenter but I always knew at one stage or another that I would move home to Limerick, I just needed the right opportunity to pop up, and it did, in the form of The Buttery. My sister Hazel always had the dream of one day opening her own restaurant, and the talk started to shift from a day dream to a serious reality about 2 years ago. Hazel felt it would really be a great thing for both of us to be involved in and do together, while also facilitating my move home so it really did not take her long to convince me to get on board!

Tapas along with a full Wine & Beer menu. The precision Ray takes on creating these dishes is a joy to watch, he is incredible with an unstoppable drive for perfection and an unbelievable work ethic - we are blessed to have him at the helm of our kitchen.

What can we expect when we visit The Buttery for Wine & Tapas? The concept is effortlessly easy, come in a group, alone or as a couple - we recommend ordering 2 to 3 Tapas per person. They come from the kitchen staggered, as they are cooked individually ensuring the absolute best taste possible. We place the gorgeous bright coloured plates with our mouthwatering Tapas in the middle of the table. Your job is to tuck in and share the delights in front of you - and if your still hungry, order more! We have kept in mind that not everyone fancies sharing food, so we also have a Build your own Burger on the menu as well. We What do you like about your have an amazing selection of Red, White, Rosé, Prosecco & job? There is an awful lot to like if I’m Champagne, along with a large honest so it is a tough question selection of Craft beers and to answer, but mainly its getting foreign beers. the opportunity to work hand in hand with Hazel, not many WINE & TAPAS people have her enthusiasm The Buttery Serves and her passion for the business Breakfast - Monday to Saturday The Perfect Way to Spend is just so infectious! Lunch - Monday to Saturday an Evening - in the Buttery on Also, it is such a sociable Wine & Tapas - Friday & Bedford Row. way of spending an evening, Saturday from 6pm sitting with friends, sharing Brunch - Sunday We catch up with Limerick man food together and just hearing Joe Murphy. After spending 5 the laughter booming from years in Canada he returned the candlelit tables with our home to Limerick to help his funky music pumping in the sister Hazel set up The Buttery background, it really is such a Restaurant. The thriving day pleasure to watch. trade, delicious menu and friendly atmosphere at The The Buttery is a year in business, Buttery makes it one of the best how has the menu evolved? Try Tapas at The Buttery places in Limerick for a bite and Well, we now have a delicious Available Friday & Saturday now they have their night trade Tapas menu. Our Tapas menu 6pm - 10.30pm booming as well, with a range of is great, My head Chef Ray mouth-watering tapas, delicious Flynn and I spent a great deal of The Buttery, Bedford Row, wine and champagnes. It is the time bouncing ideas, practicing Limerick perfect place to spend your dishes, coming up with recipes Phone – 061 -597668 weekends after work catching until we nailed down the final Email – up with friends or winding product of our new Tapas Menu. thebutterylimerick@hotmail.com down. We have a choice of over 35 Facebook - /thebutterylimerick



Fruit Syrup 2 measures of Raspberry syrup 1/2 juice of lemon 2-3 slices of lemon Soda water for topping up. Method: Pour your syrup into a tall glass. Add lemon juice, ice if you want it cold, and mix well, then top up with soda water and add lemon slices. If you want to bottle the lemonade just make it into a jug, increase the amounts, skip the ice, pour into a clean re-sealable bottle, close well, refrigerate until ready to drink.

Words - Kaur Ellermae Images - Tarmo Tulit – www.tarmotulit.com



Fruity Simple Syrups It’s time to celebrate the fruits that are in season and take full advantage of their awesome flavour capabilities. I have a big thing for fruity simple syrups. They are easy to make and come in very hand – you can make lemonades, iced teas, hot teas, sodas, or you could use them in cocktails, pour over ice creams, cakes, pancakes and so on. Simple syrup itself is a sweet concentrated liquid, made by boiling water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. When adding

Fruit Syrup 1 cup of Granulated sugar 1 cup of water 1 1/2 cup of fruit (fruit should be preferably cleaned, cored, peeled and cut into small pieces) Method: Bring the water, fruit and sugar to boil. Turn down the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for at least 20 - 25 minutes or until the fruit is really tender and falls apart. Remove from the heat and pour through a very fine sieve. Cool properly and refrigerate. If they are properly sealed and stored, they will last for weeks (mine ‘miraculously’ disappear after few days though). The variety of fruit you could use: raspberries, blackberries, rhubarb, blueberries, cherries, peaches, strawberries, oranges etc. You could also mix the fruit to make different flavour combinations - raspberries and cherries, blueberries and rhubarb and so on. Me and my family are totally hooked on those syrups, no more store bought sodas or cordials. We are making all our own fruit sodas and lemonades. Test it, taste it, love it!

Words - Kaur Ellermae Images - Tarmo Tulit – www.tarmotulit.com


fruit the syrup takes on the flavour and colour of the fruit. I usually use the same ratios for all the fruit syrups I make. Different fruits have different fruit concentration of taste. Some are weaker or some stronger. You can always adjust sweetness by adding or reducing sugar. I like my syrups sweet and with strong fruit content and flavour. If you are not able to get your fruit fresh, you could also use frozen ones: they are less expensive, you have less prep and the result is almost the same.


LIMERICK’S HIDDEN GEM Have you discovered Limerick’s buried treasure yet? Nestled in the gorgeous Georgian Quarter of Limerick, just off The Crescent, The Treasury opened to rapturous reviews last November and has maintained the buzz, rarely seeing a weekend that is not fully booked (so get yours in quickly). Warmly greeted by Natalie, we escape from a humid June evening into the cool but cosy Georgian basement, to get a taste of their latest menu. With open fires, snug corners, and soft lighting, the setting is ideal for winter dining. However, there is plenty on offer for summer months too, with fresh and fruity menu offerings that are light yet bursting with flavour. We are invited by Manager Sean to try a six course taster, and as we are struggling to choose between the arrays of appealing artisan courses, we happily take on the challenge. Creativity and attention to detail is the name


of the game, from the food to the décor. Proprietor Barry Kiely went in full throttle with the refurbishment when he took over, exposing brickwork and restoring many of the original features of the basement. He topped this off with a delicate sparkling touch of décor, with ornate lamps, Venetian masks and shining chandeliers. Its kitsch, but not as we know it - subtle yet decadent. Subtle that is, until you see the party room adorned with a giant pair of sparkly red lips. In fairness, it’s only right that a room historically used as a coal bunker gets a touch of extra glamour… To complete the experience, it is those subtleyet-punchy touches on your plate that really make it. Like the Szechaun Pepper Duck, given aromatic depth with a sprinkling of lavender, or the perfectly balanced herb emulsion of the Rabbit and Fois Gras Terrine. Fruits and sweet flavours play a big part in the selection, with caramelised plums,

The Treasury – 74 O’Connell Street, Limerick Opening hours - TuesdaySaturday 5pm-10pm www.thetreasuryrestaurant.com 061 - 590005

grilled pears, roast peaches and lemon crème fraiche providing that gloriously summery edge. I am not a wine expert by any means, but to me one sign of a good wine is a label that details the location, vines and making process, rather than just rambling at length about what it’s meant to taste like. And the Punto Final Malbec Reserva 2013 recommended to us lived up to the anticipation created by its backstory: full bodied in scent and all the way through to the back of your throat, with gorgeous notes of chocolate, earthy spice, and red and black berries. Knowledgeable staff are of course a must. Sean talked about his favourites with palatable enthusiasm, demonstrating that staff have a detailed knowledge of the fare and are able to give you a genuine and personal recommendation. Indeed, he hinted that they are very well versed in the choice of drinks as he and Natalie talk of late nights in the restaurant bar! It’s great to see that sense of fun, and you feel that the staff really enjoy their work and share true passion for The Treasury and its offerings.

After a sensory deluge, we usually tend to shy away from a rich dessert, but the summery lightness of the prior courses meant we were ready for the White Chocolate Bavarois. With sumptuous chocolate mousse, brownie squares and honeycomb crisp, it was a pleasing mish-mash of textures and a satisfying way to finish us off for the night. I have to admit, as an eternal penny-counter I was pleasantly surprised by the value for money for such fine dining. With the early bird and a two course set menu for €25 it’s an indulgence that doesn’t have to completely break the bank. It was also good to see a varied and affordable wine list, ranging from around €22 - €39. Rest assured that every penny you spend will be well and truly worth it. Overall, The Treasury provides a generous and equal measure of style and substance, cementing itself as one of the shiniest diamonds in Limerick’s up-and-coming foodie scene. So if you’re searching for an intimate location for date night, or a relaxed special occasion venue with a group of good friends, look no further than 74 O’Connell Street basement.



RUM AND PINEAPPLE CAKE With the weather being so hit and miss, as is the Irish way, I have decided to share with you a cake that tastes just like summer! If you like Pina Coladas (and getting caught in the rain) then you will love this cake! I am as big a fan of heavy, stodgy, butter filled cakes as the next guy! I have yet to say no to a fat, doorstop wedge of cream filled Victoria Sponge and I will usually opt for more butter in baking when given


the option. But sometimes, summer calls for a lighter, airier approach, and this sponge gives us just that. The cake batter itself is light and fluffy - with the pineapple curd and rum frosting filling being as gratuitously indulgent as it is, it’s for the best that the sponge itself is comparatively plain. This multi-layer confectionary concoction is perfect for that post-BBQ treat

Bake Time

20 minutes plus cooling & 25-30 minutes plus cooling

Pan Size

Two or three 8 inch round baking pans

Serving Size

8 - 10 people

NOTES: Make the pineapple curd in advance and save yourself some time at the putting-it-all-together stage!

THE PINEAPPLE CURD • 3 large egg yolks • 250ml pineapple juice • 80g caster sugar • 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch • A pinch of salt

1. Place all the ingredients together in a saucepan over low-medium heat. 2. Cook for about 7-8 minutes, whisking constantly till the mixture thickens and looks glossy. 3. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. 4. Store in the fridge until needed.

THE CAKE • 125g salted butter • 225g caster sugar • 275g self-raising flour • 2 large eggs (separated) • 125ml coconut milk • 75g desiccated coconut • 1 teaspoon baking powder • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1. Place all the ingredients together in a saucepan over low-medium heat. 2. Cook for about 7-8 minutes, whisking constantly till the mixture thickens and looks glossy. 3. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. 4. Store in the fridge until needed.

THE RUM FROSTING • 225g softened unsalted butter • 450g sifted icing sugar • Coconut Rum of your choice, to taste (I used Malibu here)

THE HOW-TO PART 1. Line two (or three, or four) 8 inch cake tins with parchment and leave to one side. 2. In a bowl, cream your butter and sugar until light and fluffy and pale, I usually leave my mixer on for about 5 minutes. 3. Separate your egg yolks from your egg whites. Add in an egg yolk, one at a time until the yolks have disappeared. 4. In a separate bowl, whisk your egg whites until they have (at least) doubled in volume. 5. Dry whisk or sieve your flour and baking powder together. 6. Add the vanilla to the egg/sugar/butter combination. 7. Add half your dry ingredients to the butter/sugar/egg/ vanilla mix and then half the coconut milk. Mix until combined and repeat. Be careful not to over mix the batter here as you want them to stay light and fluffy - just make sure all the ingredients have been mixed together. 8. Fold in the egg whites gently until you have mixed them through the batter. 9. Fold through the desiccated coconut, again gently. 10. Fill your cake tins and bake in a preheated oven at 350F, 180C or Gas mark 4.

11. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. You’ll know when they are done as the tops are golden, have a slight spring when you gently push down on the top or a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clear. Allow to cool in the tins for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire tray and allow to cool completely. 12. Make the frosting by adding the softened butter and icing sugar to a bowl and mixing until it has gone pale and fluffy. Add as much rum into the frosting as you like to taste. If the buttercream becomes too soft just add in a fraction more icing sugar until you have it stiff but smooth. 13. Once the cakes have cooled, sandwich the layers together using the pineapple curd and the rum frosting, and smooth out the outside of the cake using an offset spatula. 14. Doll up the top with edible flowers or shredded coconut. 15. Serve and enjoy! Words: Hazel Ryan Sheehan - www.cupcakerys.com Twitter: @cupcakerys Image by: Tarmo Tulit – www.tarmotulit.com



“JOIN CODERDOJO LIMERICK” During Tech Week 2015 I decided to look at how successful Limerick is in encouraging young people to get involved in technology-related activities. The recent “Limerick for Engineering” campaign was aimed at students considering enrolling in an engineering course in 3rd level college, but I was curious whether there are enough opportunities to become involved at a younger age. Shouldn’t we catch their interest and take advantage of the brain’s “absorb-anything” development stage before they get distracted and pulled offtrack by hormones? On Saturdays, in LIT’s Moylish campus, a very busy group of young people comes together to learn the basics of computer programming and web development in a fun and creative way. This free club, called CoderDojo, is run by volunteers to meet the need of after school activities for young people interested in computers and technology. The participants are grouped as Under13s and Over13s, the former attending with accompanying adults. Those groups are then divided into categories based on activities, such as Scratch, HTML or Java and are managed by mentors. CoderDojo is a global network of free computer programming clubs for young people. It is a community driven project with a goal to introduce the possibilities of what computers are capable of and to reveal what goes on “behind the scenes” when you play a game or surf the internet. The movement was

started in Ireland by a Cork teenager James Whelton in 2011 and quickly spread across Ireland and beyond, now listing approximately 700 clubs worldwide. The club is an informal learning environment where volunteers mentor the participants, who will each earn a reward after completing a set of tasks within the chosen category. The attendees are called Ninjas, each earning a coloured belt after presenting to their peers with a completed task for that category. The club itself is called a Dojo, which acts as a “Temple of Learning”, and their doors are always open to anyone wishing to have a go at coding. There are 3 categories of code taught in Limerick Dojo. The beginners start with a visual programming option called Scratch, where the Ninja becomes aware of how code is used to control simple tasks by using visual blocks of code. It is free to download with instructional videos for anyone wishing to start before September: https://scratch.mit.edu/. The Ninjas then move on to Java and HTML (Hypertext Mark-Up Language) to design websites with basic text and images, then adding more complicated interactive elements as they get more comfortable constructing lines of code called Statements. There are over 2000 computer languages, with only a few that are widely used, each depending on the platform and end output (game/website/ program/app…), but once you learn one, the next is just as easy


if you get to know the principles of syntax (the rules of language structure). Beside code, they learn how computer’s hardware functions by taking the physical units apart and they also run Arduino to become more familiar with electronics. On the day I was there, a custom built drone was brought in to show how to put code to use in a fun way. Limerick Dojo is a very busy group, with about 140 attendees each week. As expected, most of the Ninjas are boys, but I was pleasantly surprised to see a few girls present as well. To encourage females to join, there are hack days for “girls only” groups, called CoderDojo Divas. That way the girls get to try it out with the support of older sister-Ninjas without feeling the pressure to ‘perform’… although I was told there are girls in Limerick Dojo who code just as well as (and often better than) the boys. The topics are chosen by the Ninjas themselves, so the game, website or app is developed to showcase their interest. On the presentation day I was impressed with the projects which ranged from arcade and navigation games, to short animations and language apps, to an advanced poker game and a chess tutorial website. The mentors are actively encouraging to take part in competitions, such as The Coolest Project Award and other national prized contests, e.g. Eircom Junior Spiders and This Is Not A Game. I got a chance to talk to Cian – an AIB coding competition award winner who

was preparing for his Junior Cert at the time of interview. His hopes are to study Physics and Programming in University since he’s interested in Space Science. When talking about the potential of programming, he adds confidently: “There isn’t anything you CAN’T do,” while mentioning with regret that the computers at his school still run Windows XP and are not suitable for practicing many of the simplest blocks of code. Programming is a deep subject which rewards repeated exposure, so why not start early? We should either have a go ourselves or encourage youths today with a skill that will most definitely become useful tomorrow in all fields, no matter the interest. Limerick Dojo is celebrating its 4th birthday this September, and it will be a good time to join, as many of the introduction workshops are held for new Ninjas and parents/volunteers. I would recommend anyone to get involved as coding is a skill relevant in all aspects of life – there will come a day when you may need your smart watch to sign your documents or to send your neighbour’s dog to go fetch milk from the shop, and this is when you’ll wish you knew some code. More info: https://zen.coderdojo.com/ dojo/32

Words - Johanna Aaspollu johannabanana.weebly.com Twitter - @ceel88

Breakfast Lunch 3-8.30 Menu Gin & Tapas Craft Beers

Live Trad session Thursday nights 9.30pm Live Music Friday nights 10.30pm TripAdvisor Review, March 2015 “ Fantastic food! Top notch... and that’s the feedback from my teens! Seriously it was one of the best meals we’ve had in Ireland which is saying something given its our fifth day and the food has been outstanding. There is something about the Bobby Byrnes Bar that is very special - not only the food, but the friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere all make for a memorable meal and experience!”

1-3 O’Connell Avenue, Limerick 061 316949 • info@bobbybyrnes.ie



TÍR GAN TEANGA; TÍR GAN ANAM A country without a language is a country without a soul

An tír gan anam muid? Are we a soulless country? I don’t think so, or at least, I certainly hope we are not! Having dallied in the ‘Irish’ circles around me for many years now, I can safely say every person within them goes through highs and lows with regard to our mother tongue. I myself was wallowing in a low for some time, wary of its vitality. Then I turned on the action button and began proactively practicing the language again, and what a delight it is! This article could turn into a history piece, if I were to tell you of how our language was ripped from our tongues and torn from our mouths, or the centuries in which we have struggled to conserve the wonderful, complex beast that is an Gaeilge. But I would rather we focus on the present and future, and be comforted by the progress we have made with

the language. Progress? What progress? I hear you say. It may come as a surprise that Gaeilge has in fact moved with the times. There are many publications and online accounts out there that are as active as a Kilkenny hurler: they are current, witty, insightful, funny and, dare I say it, entertaining. Amidst this excitement came the announcement on social media this February that ‘Fliuch’ magazine will be coming soon. Mind you, little has been heard of it since and the cover image provided was too pun-tastic - on the Irish Mammy line of humour - to be completely credible. To jog your Gaeilge memory, yes, fliuch means wet, and the magazine suggested that the TG4 weather girls would be wearing their birthday suits… I’ll leave the rest to your imagination … or if you’re desperate for a visual aid,

Twitter search @fliuchmag and you’ll see the teaser that has left so many of us awaiting a followup! Not all publications have stood the test of time, due to funding and readership levels - Foinse and Gaelport. com may ring some dusty bells for you. However, some print media still remains: the Irish Independent proudly includes a free publication with the Wednesday edition called Seachtaine; which covers all bases from politics to sport and fashion. Not being a native speaker, I, like many others, have to constantly work on my Irish. This doesn’t have to be a tedious task - just make it part of one’s daily routine. Hearing people say they don’t learn Irish or they are not active in the language because ‘it is not really out there’ does not sit with me. Tá sé. It is. It is


easily done by catching your news as Gaeilge on TV or any of the many active online publications: nós.ie, tuarisc. ie and beo.ie to name a few. Beo.ie is well known amongst those who are still acquiring the language, simply because it has a brilliant educational edge, i.e. when a mouse hovers over a highlighted word/ phrase a translation is provided. Another popular source, particularly with students, is the Twitter account @talkirish. It provides illustrated words and phrases with translations, so no more excuses, you can learn as you scroll. The resource list is healthy to say the least, and the active Irish community should be very proud of what is available, as with each site or publication there has been much passion and hard work involved. I implore you not to use Google translate. Google translate is

never acceptable. You will be spotted and outed in an instant! Use tearma.ie, potafocal.com, and focal.ie instead. Education. Now, we’re getting to the crux of the issue! With every other Tom, Dick and Harry willing to throw their tuppence worth on this one, there is little chance that the nation will ever come to an agreement on how to provide a comprehensive language education for children. Do we even need to teach Irish in schools at all? Are there any intellectual benefits? Does it further enhance employment prospects? A resounding YES is my answer to all of the above. Incidentally, why should you pay heed to what I say? Well, from working in Irish in media settings and having taught in a secondary school and primary schools, you can be confident that I not only have a keen interest in Irish but have experience of it in both personal and professional settings. And Irish is of great importance from an educational and professional perspective, as studies have proved that children who acquire a second language from their younger days have better cognitive and retention abilities than those that don’t. It also enhances their ability to learn grammar and syntax in a third, fourth or fifth language, should French, Spanish, German or whatever other language be taught when they reach secondary level, or indeed in later life. Even more surprising is the improvement in mathematics from bilingual children. With the current primary curriculum divided into two areas for teachers - requirements for English speaking schools and a different set of requirements for teachers of Gaelscoileanna all children are taught Irish (with a few exceptions). Children in other European countries may be learning a second language from birth, they sometimes even learn up to five languages by the time they are finished school, between home and school life. Language is and should be a way of life. A friend succinctly summed up my own musings: “Language is a language and if

treated like a subject will always towards him, saying “Daddy I can count to 50 in Irish”, and remain as one”. proceeded to do so. She then Children need to live the started spouting Irish words and language. Simply rhyming off phrases as she was playing and a collection of verbs in various organising her school things. He tenses and a list of vocabulary was shocked because he knows on a particular topic can be that she didn’t learn that many beneficial for memorisation, numbers in school and he nor but has a detrimental effect to his wife ever encouraged Irish the restoration and love of the use. Then the penny dropped, language if it is not practiced in she had always watched Dora conjunction with daily use in life- the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants as Gaeilge ar relevant, fun situations. TG4. Isn’t that wonderful? That’s I commend the teachers who how simple it is folks, tune actively practice and implement into Irish media and you will the curriculum in the correct be pleasantly surprised at the way, and at an appropriate progress made! accessible standard for their students. It doesn’t take the With many of my college friends brightest tool in the box to teaching Irish in secondary realise that 1) you can only schools, the lack of correlation learn at a level you understand between primary and secondary and 2) that with language, you teaching of the language from learn best through immersion. a curricular perspective is a What is more important: that a line I have heard so often, and child can list off Irish translations is something I noticed when of emotions, or that they can teaching myself. What works in express their emotions as primary schools is making the Gaeilge? An aontaíonn tú? language fun, appealing and Another undeniably crucial interactive. Should this be the point is that teachers themselves focus for the secondary level need to be proficiently educated curriculum, the prospects of in the language. Having student interest developing in attended the Gaeltacht as the language would be greater part of my teacher training and henceforth the language would continue to programme, it is clear that there itself is absolutely no reinforcement develop. This sounds ideal but of a standardised approach or a lot of work restructuring the programme for student teachers, curriculum would be needed, who pay up to if not more than from the government and then within schools. €1000 to attend these courses timetabling on top of funding themselves The Minister for Education throughout the academic year. has acknowledged challenges It is detrimental not to have a in education in Gaeltacht plan, it is utterly ridiculous to communities and a study is have a plan and not reinforce it. underway, but this has yet to translate into real overhaul. Unfortunately, a huge struggle and parents for second level teachers is Teachers the difference in teaching nationwide are closely watching approaches for first years after the proposals for a Junior Cert they leave 6th class. While reform. Would it improve the the primary curriculum is a set quality of Irish? Noticing great curriculum for all, a lot falls on conflict in teacher unions I the individual experience of the have watched the proposed child, or class. For a first year plans closely from their initial pupil to really love and use Irish, introduction. I believe should they will need it in their home, on they be implemented there TV/radio, toys/entertainment would be a detrimental effect and in the primary classroom. to the quality of education we Sounds like a lot of work eh? are supplying in Ireland. While But it’s not, all you have to do I can’t say much specifically is turn on and tune in! A family about the effects on the Irish (because even friend recently told me his six language year old daughter came smiling teachers I have spoken to are


so ill-informed they do not know what the new course would entail), I fear at a general level it would rob secondary students of the opportunity for the development of a comprehensive understanding in any subject area. By modulating choice subjects, all that will ever be taken from a studied subject area is a taster, with no deeper understanding and no true appreciation. In the past few months, some national press have published articles discussing research study results and projected beliefs that the Gaeltachtaí will be non-existent within a decade. When will the national press get behind the people who live through, work through, talk and love the Irish language? There was a backlash on social media to these articles, many young leaders and pioneers of Gaeilge retorted ‘where are we going?’ It is truly heartbreaking to see on such a consistent basis that our national media rarely uses its immeasurable power to promote and advertise the strengths and progressions of Irish, a language recognised by the European Union and the first named language of our country. This lack of support is thankfully not ubiquitous, however, with the Irish Times giving voice to leaders within Conradh na Gaeilge who work wonders for Irish. The Irish Times have shone light on Dr. Conchúr Ó Giollagáin’s Comprehensive Linguistic Study of the Usage of Irish in the Gaeltacht: 2006-2011 and called the government to action, stating that “Gaeltacht communities must be empowered … to be

communities with a future in control of their destinies”. Aithníonn ciaróg ciaróg eile, birds of a feather flock together… but, not always. From talking to other cainteoirí Gaeilge, or Irish speakers, recognising Irish speakers to whom we can speak with is highly problematic. Perhaps some of you have heard of (or better yet own) the fáinne, a ring shaped pendant worn on ones jacket as an emblem representative of their proficiency in Irish; gold for fluent and silver for semi-fluent. I own one but honestly, I don’t wear it often enough. A revival of sporting the fáinne would do wonders for the language. We must be conscious of it, be active in it and be proud of it. There is so much positive energy for Irish language preservation, all that is really needed is a collective movement for people to channel this wonderful energy. Should the government reinstate funding that was cut with the crash, as it has with groups such as Enterprise Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta would have the means to support the existing passion for the language. As some friends from the Gaeltacht pointed out to me “tá sé deacair maireachtaint anseo- ní bheidh teanga phobail ann gan pobal” (“it is hard living here, there will be no community language without a community”). I believe now is a more fitting time than ever to reenergise our use of Irish. With next year being 2016, there will be many commemorations to the battles of our forefathers.


What better way to respect and revive their memory than through a movement and drive for promotion of Gaeilge… Gluaiseacht na nGael? The Government once announced a 20-year plan, ‘Gaeilge 2030’, that I hear nothing of now. It seems they are resigned to the feeling that our language is due to fade away, rather than ignited by the powerful cries of so many, willing it to fight and take flight again. Bród. Pride. That is one emotion I notice in everybody that I hear speak Irish. I don’t have psychological test results saying ‘Speaking Irish makes you happy and proud’, but when I speak Irish or speak of Irish to people, the common resonating emotion is pride; to have that link to our identity of the past, present and, if we continue to play our cards right, our future. Not only that, it is pretty cool to have another language… who of you readers has not used Gaeilge on some level when holidaying abroad? To remark as you check out the talent, complain about prices or maybe just feel like James Bond for a moment… you are rebels to the cause! With young Gaeilge activists and advocates there are always new things to tie into, check out Una Kavanaghs’ twitter platform where #Gaeilgechat is used Mondays from 8-9pm and people nationwide (and sometimes worldwide) tweet as Gaeilge. Una, who has always promoted Irish recognises that the hashtag is in its infancy but promotes its use for everybody; “Remember, Gaeilge is for






I appreciate the irony of this piece being in English, and many times in writing this piece, I got carried away and started typing as Gaeilge. But it is in English for the simple fact that you now understand me, you now understand that you have the power to develop your skills, our language and enhance the lives of everyone around you by practicing it.


everyone. Don’t be ashamed to speak it, practice it, get words wrong. It’s meant to be enjoyed and #Gaeilgechat is to be a stress free zone.”

With passionate proclamations from Gaelgóirí, constant curiosity from those sharing the cúpla focail, and multitudes of people eager to remain living and working through Irish, it is time for us to pull together, to reintroduce, snas a chur, and use Gaeilge. Continued lobbying for the return of funding and support for the language through education policies, community language planning and groups within and out of Gaeltacht areas is also necessary. The government must also pay heed to the studies completed and realise our country needs its language. Ní neart go cur le chéile! (There is no strength without unity!)

Words - Rebecca Egan Twitter - @beccae20

Texas Steakout 116 O Connell Street, Limerick. T: 061 410 350 / E: info@texassteakout.com www.TexasSteakout.com


Rape Crisis Midwest The need to raise awareness and bring perceptions of sexual violence to the forefront of public consciousness has become more apparent than ever, with the Rape Crisis Midwest RCC’s thoughtprovoking and powerful new video ad campaign. The RCC launched the ad campaign in May after the director of Cashmere Media Production Company unexpectedly approached the RCC offering to create a fundraising awareness campaign. The RCC Limerick was at risk of closure after the state cut its funding again last year and Cashmere Media approached the RCC offering its time, services and expertise for free. Rape Crisis Midwest was established thirty two years ago and is a regional service serving Clare, Limerick and Tipperary. The RCC provides support, information and ongoing counselling for both male and female survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse. The RCC also offers numerous other vital services to survivors, including SATU Garda and Court accompaniment and training, and awareness work. While the service


provides indispensible support to survivors of sexual assault, the RCC has experienced six years of cumulative cuts to its funding and was forced to temporarily close its Clare and Tipperary service last year after contending with a 120,000 deficit. The head office of the RCC and its Limerick service operates at Phoenix House, Punch’s Close on the Rosbrien Road. Its Limerick service had to temporarily cut back on operations and was also forced to continue with a small number of staff, with some staff taking a month’s unpaid leave in order to help maintain its services. The RCC publically appealed for funding in order to alleviate the statutory cutbacks, with the public generously supporting the RCC during its time of crisis. Its call for the public’s help enabled the RCC to continue to develop its services throughout the Midwest, and public funding raised between €85,000 and €90,000. The effects of statutory cutbacks to RCC services still persist and vital services in the RCC have severely suffered with RCC in Limerick being unable to hold its second level school awareness talks this year.

Cashmere Productions came up with the idea of putting together an ad campaign raising awareness of sexual violence and as a result, the ad titled “What Happens Next, Matters” was created. Rape Crisis Network Ireland also contributed to the campaign. The vital messages that each initiative wanted to disseminate are acquaintance rape, consent and victim blaming. The one minute ad shows a woman in her car talking with a work colleague and the startling consequences of that encounter. The ad portrays the fact that the majority of survivors know their rapist and serves to change the perception that many perpetrators of sexual assault are strangers. The National Rape Crisis Statistics Report 2013 states that 91% of perpetrators of rape were known to the victim. The ad also underscores the fact that consent is a vital part of sexual relationships. The issue of victim blaming was also a significant aspect of the video ad, as the RIC attempts to highlight the stigma surrounding sexual violence. Victim blaming prevents

many victims from coming forward and the video ad both confronts and challenges the judging and criticizing of survivors. The purpose of the video ad is also to create an important dialogue around sexual violence. The RCC hopes that through people watching this video that they will change the public’s perceptions of who the victim and perpetrator are. The RCC also encourages people to share the video ad as a means of increasing awareness and is being shared with a trigger warning, due to the upsetting nature of the video. Through the video ad, the RCC wishes to increase awareness of the various specialised services that offer support to all survivors of sexual violence in the Midwest Area. In 2013, 32,026 contacts were made to Rape Crisis Centre Helplines throughout Ireland, an 11% increase on 2012 figures. The campaign also encourages viewers to donate €4 to help continue their vital work, by texting RAPE to 50300. Words: Gemma Musgrave




At the first glimmer of sunshine in Ireland everyone and their mother runs straight to the likes of the garden centres to “do up” their garden for, let’s face it, just that one BBQ a year, where all the neighbours, friends and family come around and everyone leaves slightly sunburned followed by a hangover that keeps your head down for at least a month after. A number of years ago “decking” became “the thing” to showcase how wonderful we all are at having a beautiful looking outdoors and become the ho stess-with-the-moste ss. Now as we stare out of our windows as the once shiny BBQ pit and wood faded a bit like our head the morning after, we have put together a list to shake off the cobwebs,

and give your outdoors the can of RedBull it needs. First thing is to give the decking a good power wash. Decking oils that were previously retailing between €49.99-59.99 are now readily available at €34.99. Consequently the 2.5l oil at approx. €30 offers very poor value at present. Choose the colour that suits your garden and get ready for the easy part! Painting a deck on a nice warm day should not be too strenuous a task. Ensure all planters, ornaments gnomes etc. are away from the area to be painted. On a good clear sunny day the deck should be dry and able to be walked on within 6-8 hours but no harm to leave overnight. Have a cold drink and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Opposite page - A visual guide to give you some garden inspiration




“You’re gonna need a bigger boat” - Jaws, and the summer blockbuster phenomenon It is now hard to imagine a world with no mobile phones, or internet, or laptop computers. But that was the world back in 1975, the year when millions of beach hotel bookings were cancelled and a whole generation of people were scared to even dip their toes in the sea, lest the great white bogeyman got them. Last month marked the 40th anniversary of the release of a movie which seemed doomed to fail. Jaws opened in 466 cinema screens across America on June 20th, 1975. The story is, on the surface, straightforward enough: Great White shark picks the warm waters around the holiday resort of Amity Island as its feeding grounds. The island’s chief of police (Roy Scheider), an ichthyologist (Richard Dreyfuss), and a seasoned shark hunter (Robert Shaw) team up to catch the beast. Of course, there are many underlying themes both in the movie and the book which it was based upon, and scholars and film experts have interpreted Jaws as everything from a tale of masculinity in crisis to a post-Watergate, paranoia-filled story of corrupt authorities. Whatever your take on it is, the truth is that Jaws heralded a fundamental cultural shift in the way the movie industry worked, and it can be argued that it singlehandedly gave birth to the summer blockbuster phenomenon. For all its well-deserved merits, the production of Jaws was fraught with problems. For starters, the movie’s very centrepiece, the shark itself, never really worked the way it was supposed to. Nicknamed Bruce, after Steven Spielberg’s lawyer, the shark model was a mechanical contraption which worked just fine in the testing warehouse, but the moment it was launched into seawater, Bruce floundered big time. Shot after shot and day after day of wasted footage became the norm for the production crew, and the movie would eventually – and spectacularly – overshot its production schedule and budget. Spielberg himself thought he would never be allowed to direct another movie again. Yet, in a way, Bruce’s failure would become the very reason that Jaws’ tension and frights worked so well. Out of sheer necessity, since the thing wouldn’t work properly, Spielberg was forced to show as little of the shark as possible, and just like that, the magic happened. It was


what you didn’t see that frightened you. The sense of unseen menace: brief, close up shots of a giant sea monster lurking beneath the waves teased the audience’s primal instincts and long enduring images would become etched in the minds of millions of people worldwide. The template for the summer blockbuster was laid out in Jaws’ very fabric. A whole generation of so-called ‘mall-kids’ would begin flocking to multiplexes nationwide, summer after summer, to watch the latest big-budget wonder from A-list studios. And lots of kids meant lots of dollars. The summer months had traditionally been considered “slow” in terms of big cinema releases. But Jaws changed all that. Producers soon realized that summer was the prime time for movie audiences. The entire release calendar was modified after Jaws’ massive success. Jaws sold 25m tickets in the first month after release. Worldwide, it made close to $2bn, when adjusted to inflation. And just like that, the summer blockbuster machine was born. Of course, the trend has continued over the years. Every summer, our movie screens are graced with the latest Hollywood production – flashier, longer, and louder than the one that came the previous year. This summer will see the release of the latest instalment in the Terminator franchise, Terminator: Genisys (July 2), and of course, the new Jurassic movie, Jurassic World. And for the smallies in the house (as well as the notso-small, as the minions seem to have quite a wide-reaching appeal), the Minions movie is hitting our cinemas on June 26. 40 years on, and probably for 40 or 100 years more, the movie screens will be packed, summer after summer, and overpriced popcorn will make someone a bit richer every time. Yet, that is the enduring magic of cinema.

Words: Fernando Sanchez


DJ PROFILE Name: Deviant Age: 33 From: Born in Galway, raised in Kerry, family all reside in Roscommon now. I’m now quite content to call Limerick home. similar to where jazz was in the 70s. It’s fractured massively into many different avenues but the modern trend for eclecticism holds it all together. I do however have a particular grá for hood rap involving pyrex What first got you interested? and stoves. I could listen to 1996 DMC World Finals VHS, Clipse forever. when I became obsessed with DJ Noize and DJ Swamp. I lit- Preferred weapon of choice? erally wore the tape out, was Vestax turntable (just the one!), quite sad when the VCR ate it. Rane TTM56 skratch mixer, But sure, now we have You- Serato, Akai MPD Tube, so it’s grand. Where can we catch you next? First gig? 1999, UCC College Bar, in Looking after Naive Ted on front of five of my mates and a his wee Irish tour this summer. few stragglers from the Social- Dates coming soon. It’s gonna ist Party meeting that was on be messy... beforehand. No one paid any attention but I got a polite clap at the end. I was well chuffed. How long have you been a DJ? Nearly 18 years – I got my first set of turntables when I was 15. I’ve done very little else since.

Type of music you play? Hip-hop and all its derivates and roots, typical sets include Wu-Tang, Lee Scott, Danny Brown, Mr. Carmack, Dr. Zygote, Flying Lotus, and everything in between. It’s a really interesting time for hiphop, we’re in a ‘post’ period

Interview by: Olivia Chau Twitter: @olliechau Image by: Tarmo Tulit www.tarmotulit.com



Silent Noise Parade have only been together for a few short years but in that time they have played countless gigs and festivals, not to mention one of their newest songs “Fears” has been used in a Scandinavian advertising campaign. A band from Nenagh, they blasted onto the music scene with their upbeat “dark electro, synth pop”. They’ve had an amazing 2015 so far with much more in store. Olivia Chau sat down and chatted with the lads from the band about what lies ahead for them.

Tell me about how Silent Noise Parade got together? Silent Noise Parade came together from a side project Owen and Gary had been working on, we had no preconceived idea of what we were going to sound like, we just wanted to write something that was different than anything we had done before - it was all about experimenting with new techniques, instrumentation and ideas and seeing where we ended up. We never planned on doing the live thing. The first album was written and released before we ever played a live gig, the ball started rolling once we got offered a slot at Castlepalooza. We had to get a live show together within a week, which was pretty much impossible as we discovered – we had never attempted the songs live before, but it did get the wheels in motion. It took a lot of work to get a live set together but eventually we got there. It was a big learning curve developing a system that works for us, incorporating both software and hardware in to a live set. What was your first gig together? Our first gig together was upstairs in Dolans. We had just about figured out how to play our set live and were really hoping to, just about, pull off the gig without any hitches. It was an incredible first gig without any problems and the reaction we got was amazing. Hard to believe that was almost 3 years ago.


What was one of the best gigs you’ve ever played – and what was the worst? The best gig we ever played was probably at Electric Picnic 2014. We were on at 2.30 in the morning. It was pretty crazy with a packed venue full of lunatics, as you would imagine. It was the perfect audience for us –we didn’t want to leave the stage. As for the worst, I better not name any venues, but I do remember one of our early gigs we had a serious technology malfunction we couldn’t return from, early bugging problems that still haunt me to this day - it was painful. I remember a very quiet drive home. You have a very different sound to a lot of bands out there at the moment, how would you describe your sound? Firstly thank you! Our sound has been described as marrying both dark electro with synthpop. This is a fair description of our sound at the moment. Our latest release “Sirens” is melancholic musically and lyrically. With “Fears” the song is more on the pop side, but it’s still lyrically

dark. The lyrics are definitely one of the main elements creating this darker tone to our sound. We write music that appeals to us, without worrying too much about what genre it falls into.

means a lot to us to be nominated for such an award and shows that all the rehearsals and long hours of travelling to play gigs etc. doesn’t go unnoticed, which is nice.

“Sirens” is your newest single out, can you tell me a bit about the writing and recording process for the single and is there an album in the pipeline? “Sirens”¬ – that was a tricky one. We ended up with a lot of different versions of that song before we settled on the final product. Between the writing, recording and mixing, then rewriting and so on, it got to that stage where it was hard to even be critical anymore. Most songs seem to get to that You were nominated for a Pure point before final production, M Magazine award for “Best it’s never an easy process. You Irish Act 2015” – that must have get so close to the song that you been a really proud moment? eventually just have to abandon It is amazing for us to even be it and just go with your gut nominated for this award along feeling and hopefully it lands with other brilliant Irish acts. It with your audience. You can You seem to be having a busy summer so far, playing loads of festivals around the country. Are festivals something that you guys as a band enjoy doing? We love festivals! We feel our music –and live set especially – is really suited towards festivals. Our set tends to really get the crowd going which is great, and seeing people dancing during our set in the mud and rain is something special.

stay tweaking and changing things forever, but sometimes you just have to know when to stop. We kept the song fairly minimal, it’s easy to overcrowd a song – less is often more. We wanted to keep the attention on the lead vocals and the vocoder harmonies and let them shine through, and let the ambience and reverbs fill the mix. A lot of our songs would have a big sound, so it was nice to create something a little bit different and show a bit of contrast. We have plenty of material ready but our plan is to release an EP instead of an album. We are currently in the process of recording our next single titled

“Berlin”, which we aim to have out before the end of the summer.

Finally, what has Silent Noise Parade have coming up for the rest of 2015? A big priority for us is to start reaching an international


audience as the reaction from different countries has been positive towards our sound. “Fears” was used on a big TV advertisement campaign in Scandinavia for a while, which was really cool and really helped get our music out to a larger audience. We are looking at a few international dates towards the end of the summer - there are a good few venues in London that have contacted us to play, which we will announce within the coming months. We also have a few other dates lined up that we can’t announce yet. Then the plan is to get the untitled EP finished and released by November 2015.

Interview by: Olivia Chau Twitter: @olliechau Image by: Tarmo Tullit www.tarmotullit.ie Design by: Keith Aherne


BOTTOM DOG THEATRE COMPANY TO DEBUT IN NEW YORK Language UnBecoming A Lady is to have its international debut at Origin’s 1st Irish Theatre Festival in Manhattan. The production is the first project selected from Limerick as part of a new initiative – Culture Connect Limerick – founded by George C. Heslin, a Limerick man living in New York. After touring to 19 venues across Ireland from 2009 to 2011, the award nominated show comes to The Cell Theatre in New York City, from September 14th to 27th as part of the hugely prestigious festival. This one-man show, written and performed by Myles Breen, has played to numerous standing ovations in Donegal, Galway, Cork and Dublin and had record sell out runs at both the Belltable and Loft Venues in Limerick. Originally presented as part of Limerick Pride in 2009, the play is set in the dressing room of an ageing drag queen who reveals his life and loves, victories and defeats. Exploring the themes of identity, love found and love lost, and using the music of Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Billie Holiday and more, Language UnBecoming a Lady tells the story of one gay man’s life. From his childhood through adolescence and onto adulthood, the one constant in his life is the music of the divas who provide comfort, strength and inspiration.

The show has had unanimous positive reviews including: Irish Times: “Unadorned, vulnerable and comically self-critical, Breen is a shining and believable presence” Irish Theatre Magazine: “Fabulously written, wonderfully acted and tells an extremely important story” Irish Examiner: “Robert’s story is touching, funny and achingly sad… it’s emotional honesty is compelling” Dublin Gay Theatre Festival “A rural tour de force that sweeps back the fraudulence of city life today” Limerick-born Myles Breen is a founder member of Bottom Dog and as well as being a writer and director he is one of the busiest actors in the country with a list of theatre, television and film credits stretching back over twenty five years. Breen said: “Personally I’m very excited because this play means so much to me. Both as an actor and a writer, I found this piece a huge challenge. But I’ve been overwhelmed by the audience reaction from around the country. Whether old or young, gay or straight – everyone seems to connect with Robert’s story. To now bring it to New York five years later is a dream come true.” Bottom Dog’s Artistic Director Liam O’Brien directs, whose theatre credits include world tours with Edward Hall’s Propeller Shakespeare Company and the West End hit The Rat Pack. He also directed Breen’s most recent play The Bachelor of Kilkish, as part of Limerick City of

Culture 2014. Themes in both plays evoke an Ireland where growing up gay was a painful, confusing and very different experience than today. In light of the monumental YES vote for Marriage Equality, this play’s themes have never been more timely and now is a perfect opportunity to stage it in New York. “Origin Theatre Company is delighted to bring Bottom Dog Theatre to America for the first time – especially with this brilliant and important Limerick show. We look forward to providing opportunities for the many artist organizations from Limerick as we continue to build a sustainable cultural bridge between our two great cities. “ George Heslin (Artistic Director of Origin Theatre Company) Taking the show to New York is a costly proposition for an unfunded company, and to that end Bottom Dog are hosting a Gala Fundraising performance of the show on Thursday August 26th at the Lime Tree Theatre. The gala begins with a drinks reception at 7pm sponsored by Mary Immaculate College Drama Department - where Liam O’Brien studied and directed his first play – followed by a performance of the show at 8pm. Following this Dolan’s Warehouse kindly sponsor a cabaret with the Divine Diana (Breen’s character from the play) featuring a host of Limerick’s finest entertainers. Tickets are €50 for the entire evening and can be booked at www.limetreetheatre.ie. Image - Arthur Gough



The Changing Lives Foundation, in partnership with Sunderland AFC and Childline, presents the inaugural Southside City Summerfest this coming August. The Southside City Summerfest is a collaboration of sporting and family events intended to empower community spirit and bring families, neighbours, friends and overall communities together within the Southside of Limerick city. The vision is to directly engage the younger members of the community through a structured, sports-based programme that provides opportunities for participants to improve physical fitness, develop a better quality of life and acquire life skills and vocational qualifications. To achieve sustainable success, the Southside City SummerFest has partnered sporting bodies, local community groups and relevant agencies to provide high-quality facilities and activities for the area’s young population and their families. In doing so, the Southside City Summerfest will demonstrate the

potential of existing resources and the positive community spirit, through supporting the healthy outlook of the area’s future. The festival will run from Monday August 17th – Sunday August 23rd, 2015. The event is anchored by the DoorStepSports Summer camp, where coaches from Sunderland AFC, the FAI and various local sports clubs will train 350 local children over a free, week-long sports camp. Participating children will also receive coached introductions to rugby, Gaelic games, boxing and general fitness training. They will also receive daily meals provided by Food Consultants and Chefs John J Flynn and our own Valerie O’Connor, intended to encourage and support healthy eating. 20 participants of the DoorStepSports camp will also be selected by the coaches to attend a Sunderland AFC workshop in September. Other key activities across the week include music talent


workshops, a community games gala, a family fitness fun-run and a charity soccer match. The week concludes on Sunday, August 23rd with a free concert headlined by Paddy Casey and Fresh Re, featuring local acts selected from the Music Workshops, and welcoming an audience of 2,500. Core to the activity of the Southside City Summerfest is encouraging awareness of and contributing funds to the ISPCC Childline services. With the week’s programme fully sponsored by MJH Services and ConackConstruction, all proceeds raised from funrun sponsorship and charity collections will be donated to Childline, with Changing Lives setting target of €20,000. It is intended that the Southside City Summerfest 2015 will become an annual event, and will add a Northside City Summerfest in 2016, as Changing Lives works toward fostering, supporting and connecting communities across the city.


EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER WAS AT THE TODD’S FIRE The building we know today as Brown Thomas was completed in 1962, following one of the most frightful and eventful days in Limerick’s living memory. The William Todd & Company Limited department store occupied about fourfifths of a large city block fronting onto O’Connell Street. This store was affectionately referred to as simply, Todds. The store was founded by William Todd and Archibald Murray in 1899 on the site of two older stores, Limerick Warehouse Company and Slattery and O’Neill, which were built in 1873. On Tuesday, 25 August 1959, at 11am, a fire was noticed and reported in the building. By 12:30pm the entire block was a blazing inferno. In the end, Todd’s, Burtons, Liptons, Goodwins and Cesars were completely gutted. There is a story that when the fire was raging it was a wall of flames. It is speculated that you could hardly see the actual wall on the William Street entrance, and that a fire truck parked there actually partially melted with the intense heat. All the tyres of the bicycles chained to the railings of the barracks across the road on William Street also melted to the ground. Noel Hanley was a member of the Red Cross at the time and was called to the scene. The following is his first-hand account of what happened that day: “It was during that time frame that Todd’s went up in flames, and we parked the Red Cross Ambulance at the corner of Bedford Row and O’Connell St. Our first priority was to evacuate the patrons from Sullivan’s Bar in Thomas St as smoke

started to enter from the restrooms area. During this trek we also liberated some Hennessy’s Cognac which was taken to the Ambulance. Mullany’s Restaurant donated a large churn of fresh tea, and this is when we went slightly wrong. We added the contents of our bottles to the churn, and it tasted pretty good! Now the bad news, I went to relieve the Fireman with the hose trying to dowse the flames above the jewellery shop next to Todd’s. As the firemen got replenished, we were slightly inebriated and suddenly the entire front of Todd’s facade crashed to the ground. We could hear a gasp from the onlookers that gathered, but when the smoke and dust settled we were both still erect aiming the hose at where we thought the window was previously. Lacking pressure in the hose, (The tide was out) we were unable to break the windows of the Hairdressers above Burtons Tailoring on the corner of William St. This is when we reverted to throwing stones to try and break the glass. Unfortunately, we could not hit the side of the building as the bricks we threw were landing and causing havoc in William St. Somewhere around this time, we lost one fire tender, and resumed trying to prevent the telephone wires leading into William St Garda Station from melting completely. For those unfortunates who chained their bikes to the railings outside the station, the tires had melted to the footpath. Faced with a lack of hoses and no pressure, the fire raged on. I resorted to throwing a steel bucket filled with water through the plate glass window of Burtons store


front on William St. This enabled the fire to take control and burn the entire block from William St to Thomas St to ground level and below. The only remaining feature was a large safe on what was the second floor. In the days following they used a helicopter to assist in demolishing what we failed to achieve. And a good time was had by all.” After the flames died down, and the fears, excitements and dismay of the people began to settle, the rubble from the fire was taken to the baths on the Mill Road in Corbally. It was spread in the area where estates such as Silverbrook and Meadowbrook exist today. At the time, it was alongside the city nursery where they grew the plants for the city. For years locals could see bits of the Todd’s pillars sticking out of the ground. While Gayware, Cromers and Nicholas were badly damaged, they were able to be restored, while all the others had to be completely rebuilt.

Words - Sharon Slater Twitter - @limerickslife


HOT FUSS Friday 10th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick

PLAN B Tuesday 14th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick

LIVE PERFORMANCE-SAVING THE HOUSE OF DELMEGE Friday 10th July @ 7pm, Saturday 11th July @ 3pm The Hunt Museum, The Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick

LIMERICK PRIDE 2015 Thursday 14th-Sunday 19th July

JIM CROWLEY IN CONCERT Friday 10th July @ 8pm Friars Gate Theatre, Sarsfield Street, Kilmallock, Co.Limerick FATHER BROWNES FIRST WORLD WAR: PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE FRONT EXHIBITION Friday 10th July @ 11am The Hunt Museum, The Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick FATHER BROWNE, LIMERICK AND IRELAND’S GREAT WAR, A LECTURE BY KEVIN MYERS Friday 10th July @ 1PM 60 O’Connell Street, Limerick UV5 Saturday 11th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick CENTRESTAGE SUMMER CAMP SHOW Saturday 11th July @ 7pm Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick PIG ‘N’ PORTER FESTIVAL Saturday 11th July Rosbrien, Limerick UNUSUAL SUSPECTS Sunday 12th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick RODRIGO Y GABRIELA LIVE AT THE BIG TOP Monday 13th July @ 7.00pm Dolans Warehouse, 3/4 Dock Road Limerick TRAFFIC Monday 13th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick

SWITCH Wednesday 15th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick ESCAPADE Thursday 16th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick MID-SUMMER LUNCHTIME POETRY WITH DAVID BRENNAN AND IMELDA MAGUIRE Thursday 16th July The Hunt Museum, The Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick LIMERICK GOT TALENTS HEATS 2015 Thursday 16th-Saturday 18th July @ 7.45pm Best Western Perry’s Hotel, Glentworth Street, Limerick July 17th-31st LOVE SHACK Friday 17th July, Smyths Bar, Denmarks Street, Limerick FATHER BROWNE’S FIRST WORLD WAR: PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE FRONT Friday 17st- Friday 31th July The Hunt Museum, The Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick MAKING EUROPE: COLUMBUS AND HIS LEGACY Friday 17th – Friday 31st July The Hunt Museum, The Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick BRIAN BORU HARP ORCHESTRA FEST Monday 17th-Saturday 22nd August Chapel Hill, Castleconnell, County Limerick


FLANN’S YER ONLY MAN BY VAL O’DONNELL Friday 17th July @ 8pm Friars Gate Theatre, Sarsfield Street, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick ELECTRIC RUN NIGHT LIMERICK Friday 17th July @ 9.30pm University of Limerick, Castletroy Limerick DJ Saturday 18th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick ISL INTERPRETED GUIDED TOURS OF THE COLLECTION Saturday 18th July The Hunt Museum, Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick FAMILY FUN DAY IN SUPPORT OF THE DEAF COMMUNITY CENTRE Saturday 18th July, 11am-4pm The Hunt Museum, The Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick HANDS IN HARMONY PERFORMANCES Saturday 18th July @ 12pm, 1.30pm and 3pm The Hunt Museum, Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick SEDUCERS Sunday 19th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick THE FOUR SEASONS TWICE THE IRISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA Sunday 19th July @ 8pm St Mary’s Church, Rathkeale, Co.Limerick

MID-SUMMER LUNCHTIME POETRY WITH CALEB BRENNAN AND BETH DENNEHY Thursday 23rd July The Hunt Museum, The Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick ESCAPADE Thursday 23rd July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick TWILIGHT RACING-MIKE DENVER Thursday 23rd July @5.30pm Limerick Racecourse, Greenmount Park, Patrickswell PAPA ZITAS Friday 24th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick MEITHEAL SHOWCASE 2015 Friday 24th July @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick DEVINE INTERVENTION Saturday 25th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick SWITCH Wednesday 22nd July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick SWITCH Sunday 26th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick FOYNES AIR SHOW 2015 Sunday 26th July 3pm-5pm Foynes, County Limerick

TRAFFIC Monday 20th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick

TRAFFIC Monday 27th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick

PLAN B Tuesday 21st July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick

PLAN B Tuesday 28th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick

SWITCH Wednesday 22nd July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick


BEAST OF BALLYHOURA Tuesday 28th July Monday 3rd August University of Limerick, Castletroy Limerick SWITCH Wednesday 29th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick BEN MILLER BAND Wednesday 29th July @ 9pm Dolans Pub & Warehouse, Dock Road, Limerick FAILURE-GETTING AN F MIGHT BE THE BEST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU Wednesday July 29th@ 9pm The Locke, 3 George’s Quay, Limerick MID-SUMMER LUNCHTIME POETRY WITH ARTHUR WATSON AND NOREEN MORTELL Thursday 30th July The Hunt Museum, The Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick ESCAPADE Thursday 30th July Smyths Bar, Denmark Sreet, Limerick BEDROCK Friday 31st July Smyths Bar, Denmark Street, Limerick August 1st-8th KID’S ARTS & CRAFTS CLUB Sunday 2nd August, 2.30pm4.30pm The Hunt Museum, Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick August 9th-19th ISSTC 2015 RESONANCE AND RECAPITULATION: ECHO OF A RENAISSANCE Wednesday 12th-Thursday 13th August Limerick City

CHAMBER PHILHARMONIA COLOGNE-VIVALDI, BACH, MOZART Wednesday 12th August @ 8pm St.Mary’s Cathedral, Bridge Street, Limerick City

IRISH YOUTH WIND ENSEMBLE Saturday 22nd August @ 6.30pm University Concert Hall, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick

LIMERICK’S GOT TALENT FINAL 2015 Friday 14th August @ 7.45pm Limetree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick

LIMERICK SHOW Saturday 22nd-Sunday 23rd August Limerick Racecourse, Greenmount Park, Patrickswell

WOLF TONES IN CONCERT Saturday15th August Thomond Park Stadium, Old Cratloe Road, Limerick CAPPAMORE AGRICULTURAL SHOW Saturday 15th August @ 10am6pm Portnard, Cappamore, Co.Limerick August 20th-31st

SARSFIELDS DAY FESTIVAL WEEKEND Friday 21st-Sunday 23rd August Limerick City Riverfront S.T.A.R. SHOWCASE Saturday 29th August @ 8pm Millennium Theatre, Moylish Park, Limerick, Co.Limerick

LIMERICK WORLD CLUB SE7ENS Friday 21st-Saturday 22nd August Thomond Park Stadium, Old Cratloe Road, Limerick THE GENEALOGY EVENT & DNA DAY Thursday 20th-Sunday 23rd August Fitzgerald’s Woodland House Hotel, Knockanes, Adare, Co.Limerick HOMETOWN Thursday 20th August @ 8pm University Concert Hall, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick JOHN HORGAN’S ‘JIM MC CANN’S SONGS AND RARE GEMS’ Friday 21st August @ 8pm Friar’s Gate Theatre, Sarsfield Street, Killmallock, Co.Limerick



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Rodrigo and Gabriela will play Live at the Big Top on Monday, July 13th at 7:00pm.

Ben Miller Band will pay at the Kasbah Social Club on Wednesday, July 29th at 9:00pm.

The Mexican acoustic guitar duo began their careers in Dublin where they lived for eight years in 2000. Rodrigo and Gabriela met at the age of 15 in Mexico City where they now reside. However, they regularly return to Ireland to perform and produce music. They have performed at festivals such as Latitude, Glastonbury and T in the Park. They have even performed in The White House for President Barack Obama in 2010. The duo have also featured on several movie soundtracks such as ‘Puss in Boots’ and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strangers Tides’ where they collaborated with music producer and composer, Hans Zimmer.

Ben Miller Band formed in 2005 in Missouri, USA after guitarist, Ben Miller set up an open-mike night where he met his future bandmates Doug Dichary and Scott Leaper. Previously called ‘Ozark Stomp’ the band mainly plays various types of American heritage music which involves instruments like the harmonica, banjo, washtub bass and even a washboard. The band are currently supporting ZZ Top on their tour around Europe and soon the USA. They previously toured with them in the summer of 2013 after the success of their debut album, ‘Heavy Load’.

Tickets are €35.00 and available from dolans.ie and Ticketmaster. Tickets are €10.00 and available from dolans.ie.



Wheatus will play The Library on Friday, August 7th at 8:00pm.

The Wolfe Tones will play the Thomand Suite in Thomand Park on Saturday, August 15th at 8:30pm.

Wheatus are of course most known for their 2000 hit single ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ which went to number one in several countries and was featured in the movie ‘Loser’. Since then, they have released five studio albums and have gained twenty former band members. They are currently on their 15th anniversary tour with their new Brazilian drummer, Leo Freire. Freire is their fourth drummer, replacing Will Tully. They are also working on their seventh studio album which is due to be released in 2016. When Wheatus play in The Library, they will be supported by The Venture Project and 2FMs JJ Hartigan.

The Wolfe Tones have been around for over fifty years, since 1963 to be exact. They are an Irish rebel music band who are named after the Irish rebel, Theobald Wolfe Tone. They incorporate elements of traditional Irish music into their own songs. After producing countless hits over the years, including ‘Streets of New York’ and ‘Up and Away’, they planned to stop touring last November after their 50th Anniversary tour had finished. However, they’re still on tour with numerous dates around Ireland this summer. Tickets are €10.00 and available from dolans.ie.

Tickets are €10.00 and are available from The Library bar. Tickets are €35.00 and available from dolans.ie and Ticketmaster.


Words – Sophie Butler