Fusion Magazine - march 2015

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Mar. 2015


L I M E R I C K ’ S











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6 Contributors 8 Opinion 10 People Profile 14 Viagogo 16 Visual Artist 18 Student Life 20 Cover Story 24 Well Being 26 Fitness & Health 27 Men’s Fashion 28 Beauty 30 Fashion 42 Business 45 Travel 47 Fo od & Drink 56 Comedy 57 Limerick Life 58 Charity 60 Spring Cleaning 62 Walking on Cars 64 Pat Shortt 67 Arts & Culture 68 St. Patrick’s Day 69 DJ Profile 71 Events Guide 74 Online & Technology


Cover - Shauna Lind say Photographer - Tarmo Tulit

Fusion Magazine 74 O’Connell Street Limerick www.fusionmagazine.ie 061-597627 Editor Michelle Costello michelle@fusionmedia.ie

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Stories & All other Queries hello@fusionmedia.ie

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Michelle Costello EDITOR “Happy Birthday, Mum”

































O P I N I O N Dust of the Winter - Spring is here Once again we arrive at the stage of the year where we start to notice the days getting longer and brighter. It’s not a strange phenomenon by any means, we have witnessed this before but still it whips us into a positive frenzy and gives us something to look forward to after the darkness of winter. Everyone you talk to almost feels compelled to point out the “grand stretch” in the evenings. It is ingrained in our culture, we live for things like this perhaps to fill out idle chit chat and is, of course, the ever-faithful conversation starter to fill awkward gaps. With this extra daylight we so lovingly relish comes a need to leave the house in the evenings: we have spent so long cooped up indoors during the winter we simply cannot wait to make it outdoors again. Akin to a sudden bout of claustrophobia we need to break free of the shackles of the house; but what do we do and where do we go? At this time of the year the evening stroll becomes a national past time, everyone wants to be outdoors, making use of this extra daylight that has been magically bestowed upon us. The increased volume of people taking to the streets and walkways of the city outskirts is quite notable and should be admired. We are blessed with beautiful river walks in Limerick and we can’t argue that they are not utilised. Truth be told, it is probably one of our only free and easy options left to us in the evening time: we’ve spend the day cooped up in an office, we need to get out and about to dust the cobwebs off for a few hours. Walking around Limerick on an evening during winter months, there is almost a feeling of emptiness about the place: the shops have closed, the offices have emptied, it’s dark, the streets have become quiet and more often than not it is raining in some way, shape or form! It is so welcoming at this time of year to know that this will begin to change. The extra daylight we have been granted

almost awakens the City again from post New Year slumber. I, for one, am looking forward to leaving the house in an evening and going on a little exploring session, along the river, possibly to stop off in one of the parks, maybe even to just sit and watch the world go by. I suppose this is what they call the ‘joys of spring’. Outside of the leisurely stroll, it’s a nice bright evening, you don’t feel like being stuck indoors, you feel like being social – what are your options? More often than not socialising in the evening is going to involve the pub. Have we become too dependent on pub culture or is it a case that it is our only option? Over the past year through various projects I found myself involved in I have been required to have my fair share of evening meetings. These do tend to take on a more casual approach, as out-of-office meetings usually do, but it was whilst organising these that I often found myself at a loss at times as to where to have these meetings. As fantastic as the café culture in Limerick is, it appears to cease to exist after the hours of 6pm, along with most things in the city centre. The choice of meeting venues during out-ofoffice hours for me was one of two options: the hotel bar or the regular pub. We are left with very little choices when it comes to evening time socialising when we cut the pub out of the picture. Maybe we have become too dependent on the pub? I think we use it as an all too familiar crutch at times rather than familiarise ourselves to what is available to us. I have found myself many a time organising a meeting and automatically thinking: which bar would be appropriate? – it is the easy option, after all. You know the bar is going to be open, you know you won’t have to rush through things at ten to six as the floors start getting their evening sweep and the empty chairs start getting stacked on tables. I found myself feeling that there were no options in Limerick in the evening


time bar the good old faithful pub. It was only when I decided I would rant about this to a friend, that I was proven wrong and I was provided with some options that I could have chosen. The list, albeit sparse, did spring a bit of hope within me: indeed there were coffee houses catering to the evening market. Lost in a daydream, I wondered could we be heading down the roads of our continental counterparts where that thriving café culture goes on well into the evening and brings with it a whole new life to the city which so badly needs it. Wouldn’t it be great to see the streets busy in the evening time, no one rushing around and a certain casual air descends on those who have ventured out! How do we go about achieving this, is the next question. The answer is quite simple, we need to educate ourselves to what is available to us in Limerick and we need to support those who dare to be different, those who dare to operate outside of the constrictive 9-5 regime. Those who break the mould need to be admired, if we do not support them, they cannot grow. I have been hugely guilty in the past of always choosing the easy option and not going in search of what was in front of my eyes, but it’s a trap we all fall into. Maybe this spring we should open our eyes and start bringing our City to life in the evening; after all – life does not finish at 5pm, for a lot of us it just begins. Do you have an opinion on evening time in Limerick, do you think there is enough out there to keep us entertained or have you found the perfect way to unwind in Limerick during these long evenings, join the conversation on twitter @ fusionlimerick & @davecuddihy

Article by David Cuddihy Illustration by Helena Grimes www.helenagrimes.com

p e op l e p r o f i l e

Bridie Breen Bridie Breen enters the Fusion office on a bitterly cold afternoon in the city. She is elegantly wrapped in a green wool coat, a beautiful chocolate brown fur stole and matching beret, set off by a brooch with multi-coloured stones like hard boiled candy. We are introduced by her son – actor, writer and director, Myles Breen. Bridie has lived all of her 94 years in Limerick, so naturally there will be a lot for us to talk about. Once we’ve warmed up a bit, I ask her to start in the logical place: from the beginning. She talks about her father, James Walsh. “He was a very smart man. He worked with the Embassy, travelling all over the continent. He spoke many languages, and was completely fluent in French. After some years, he became homesick and returned to take on the role of butler to Edward Thomas O’Dwyer, the Bishop of Limerick.” It was during a visit to Shanagolden that he met her mother, then a housekeeper. “She didn’t like him much at first – found him too bossy, always fussing.” Not quite ‘love at first sight’ then? “It didn’t appear to be, but when he asked her to marry him, she said yes!” It was their marriage that led to the family’s life in the Limerick Chamber of Commerce. “The Bishop knew of my parents’ desire to start a family and when he heard of a job going at the Limerick Chamber, he put in a word for my father.” As we walk through the early stages of her life, she remarks to Myles on the memories that keep springing to her mind: “Isn’t it funny, the things I’m remembering? They seem like small things, but they were important to me at the time.” She recalls a remarkable amount of detail. From the colours and patterns of the outfits she wore while competing in Irish dancing in schoolhouses, to the sights and sounds of the Chamber. She may well have been the most well-connected child in Limerick. “I knew all the big businessmen – though, of course, I didn’t think much of it then! I knew them from them visiting the chamber, and from cycling to each member house to deliver invitations when my father was too busy to do so.” Bridie went back to the Chamber, which is currently celebrating its 200th anniversary in January of this year. She explored every room in the place she once called home. “There are photos of former Presidents of the Chamber on the walls – I remember most of them from our time there.” She also remembers a happy childhood. Irish dance was a big part of their lives, Bridie

danced all over the country and her brother Jack became 1931 Irish Dancing Champion of Ireland. “Jack competed until he felt the call of the priesthood. He was about 17 when he told my parents, and soon after he went to study in Surrey, England.” Jack was ordained in 1941. “It was wartime, and as you can imagine everything was in a mess – it was difficult to travel as a civilian, passports were out of the question so my parents couldn’t travel to the ceremony. Such a big moment in his life, and they missed it. That was sad.” The family had its share of tragedy. Bridie’s sister Peggy, born two years before her, died of meningitis aged two and a half. It was December 24th 1969 that her brother Jack died. “We got the call around midnight to say that he was gone. Christmas Eve is a sad time for me. To make it worse, his funeral was delayed for more than 2 weeks - there was such a hard frost that they could not even dig the ground. That was hard on my parents, and on all of us. All we wanted to do was say goodbye.” Bridie and her family stayed in the Chamber for many years to come, but it was her mother’s talent for cooking that lead to a different path. “My father’s wage wasn’t great, so after my grandfather died in 1938, we started the family catering business. As the business grew, it took us all over the country. We catered for racing, golf clubs, funerals – all sorts of events.” Then, in 1956 Bridie purchased the old Country Club which she turned into The Cecil hotel, and the family relocated there. It very quickly gained a strong reputation. In the same year, a Limerick Leader review of the hotel wrote ‘Miss Walsh takes a keen personal interest in every aspect of her hotel… In these charming surroundings one could not but enjoy the delicious repasts all served in that high-class tradition that has characterised Walsh family catering for so many years.’ The family business also led her to meet her husband, Myles Snr. “We were catering at an event at Shannon Rowing Club and this young gentleman entered the room, stopped to shake my hand and complimented our food.” After that meeting he invited her to a dinner dance and soon they were married at St Joseph’s Church. Myles was a widower, with 6 children. “Two sons and four girls. His sons stayed with him, but the girls were younger, so they were taken into the convent at The Mount FUSION MAGAZINE | 10

St Vincent.” At that time in Ireland this was common practice, as young children were not to be brought up in a ‘broken’ home. “The first thing I did after we were married, was go to get them out of there.” Myles and Bridie then had two children of their own: Myles Junior and John. As she did when talking about her days of dancing, Bridie recalls the most details when she talks about the arts. She and Myles reminisce animatedly about The Savoy Cinema, The Coliseum (now The Belltable Arts Centre) and Carlton Cinema, “all gone now”. It’s easy to see where her sons got their inspiration for their chosen careers.

“Oh she dragged us to everything!” Myles says fondly. “Every show or film that was on, we would go. Though I suppose it still came as a shock when I returned from studying a degree in commerce, and declared I wanted to be an actor.” -Myles Breen


“Shocked? I nearly had a stroke!” Bridie laughs. “Especially when not long after, his brother John told us he had similar intentions…” Myles is quick to clarify: “Despite the initial surprise, my mother and father were amazing, and they couldn’t have been more supportive of us.” Myles’s brother John Breen, as theatre and rugby lovers will know, is famed for his play Alone it Stands, based on Munster’s victory over the All Blacks in 1978. Bridie saw it when it opened in London. There is another association that the Breen name holds: Limerick’s Myles Breen pub. Bridie and her husband Myles were at the heart of the Limerick social scene. “We knew all the famous rugby players,” she says proudly. She also talks about serving the bingo crowds who would burst in on their break. “They had 15 minutes, which meant we had less than 10 to get their drinks lined up on the bar ready for them!” In 94 years, Bridie has seen many changes in the city. I ask what is the main difference between the Limerick of her early days and the city today? “Well, the traffic is terrible! When I was growing up it was mostly horses and traps. Occasionally, a horse drawn carriage would rattle down

O’Connell Street and we’d all rush out to look. Then came the motorcar, and we had to be much more careful on the road. I was hit by a car once when I was young – I was running across O’Connell Street and either I ran into it or it ran into me. I can still see it now.” Bridie remains a regular visitor to Limerick theatre, particularly the Lime Tree, which is close to where she currently resides, as well as going to see shows at UL. Arts, business, hospitality and community: Bridie is a living embodiment of Limerick, and she and her family have played a part in so much of what makes the city such a vibrant and fascinating place to live.

Article & Interview by Kayleigh Ziolo Twitter: @kayleigh_ziolo Photography by Tarmo Tulit & The Breen Family Pictured above with sons John & Myles Breen




In late 2014 the viagogo Group, which operates viagogo.com - the world’s largest ticket marketplace, opened a purpose built international operations centre in Limerick. With over four million tickets available on viagogo’s network of 55 global websites, viagogo’s global online platform has helped customers in more than 160 countries to buy and sell tickets to live sports, entertainment and theatre events all over the world. The Limerick operations centre is now home to a wide variety of technical and customer service staff boasting a range of skills and languages. Nigel Dugdale spent time with the company getting an understanding of why they chose Limerick as an investment destination. Walking through the door of viagogo in the National Technological Park the first thing that strikes you is the design. This is very obviously a trendy company. Think Facebook, think Google. Located in a building that stood idle at a key focal point of the park, the former site of Flextronics, the viagogo space has been transformed into a futuristic, funky work environment which is now home to over a 100 employees. Because of the international nature of their business viagogo required a customer service centre of excellence that fitted European time zones. The company initially looked at Dublin as the obvious choice but, with the help of the IDA, was gradually convinced to consider other locations across the country. Eoin O’Sullivan, Customer Service Operations Manager for viagogo Ireland, is keen to stress the importance of the work of the IDA in convincing the company to choose Limerick. “The company certainly was not lazy about the decision. I think everyone just gets off the plane and thinks Dublin’s a great set up. Instead we decided to look at the whole country and the IDA immediately set up site visits”, he says. O’Sullivan notes that a key factor that convinced viagogo to come to Ireland and to Limerick was the interaction with companies that already exists here. viagogo met with leaders of other FDI’s such as Northern Trust, Gilt, and Vistakon who spoke glowingly about Limerick and why it’s a lovely place to be. “I moved back to Limerick from Dublin, what struck me immediately was the difference

from what we saw in Dublin and what we saw in Limerick”, O’Sullivan says. “Business leaders such as Catherine Duffy in Northern Trust and Barry O’Sullivan in Vistakon would come up to me at events and say “if you need anything here’s my card. Call me, we’re going to be neighbours, we’ll help you out in any way we can”. You would never see that in London or even Dublin or other parts of the country. Limerick is a really close-knit business community. Instantly you feel welcomed here and that is very interesting”. As a company that relies on a multilingual staff base the talent available in Limerick and the University in terms of the output in applied languages courses was another crucial decision making factor. The network of businesses at the Technological Park are already discussing how they can work to grow a German, French and Italian cohorts to encourage more customer service staff to choose Limerick as their place of work. What is very interesting is the fact that most staff are in their 20s and seeing Limerick as an attractive place to live and work. “They see Limerick as a small city” O’Sullivan says. “It’s not a large European city like Munich, Berlin or Madrid but what they see as soon as they land here is that it’s welcoming and very friendly. The nightlife here is fantastic and that’s what attracts them. City of Culture last year was also a big help and that legacy continues to have an impact”. 33% of the staff employed by viagogo come


from outside of Ireland with 8 languages officially spoken at their Limerick centre of excellence. Only 20% of the staff drive, so public transport and Limerick City and County Council’s Smarter Travel initiative are highlighted as important factors in attracting staff to choose the company as a place of work. The most striking aspect of the viagogo offices is the interior design and the sense that this is a cool place to work. Designed by the FKM Group the interior walls have a 10 degree slant which immediately adds a sense of playfulness to the space. Other design aspects such as flooring, furniture, electrical fitting and painting were all sourced locally in Limerick. “The design of the office has been a very important factor when it comes to recruiting new staff,” O’Sullivan notes. “Now we have people sitting in reception waiting for interview with a smile on their face from the moment they cross our threshold. They see a colourful space with funky walls and an open-plan lively environment. I’ve had 2 people say to me after they’ve been hired that the moment they walked in through those doors they wanted to work here. The layout, the design and the environment sold viagogo to them.” viagogo are committed to Limerick. The company plans to double their Limerick staff numbers over the next few years. The mood within the office is one of confidence, youth and energy. This is truly a visionary company with an international workforce who have chosen Limerick as a place to live, work and play.

Despite her initial perceptions of Limerick guided by online comments Jennifer is keen to stress how happy she is with her decision to move here. “If I need a supermarket, it’s right there. If I want to go for a drink, it’s right there. If I need a hairdresser, it’s right on the corner. I don’t drive, but I don’t need to drive. I use public transport to get around and for the most part it is an easy commute to Castletroy. I am much happier living in the city. I want to enjoy my life in Ireland and want a separation from work also. The whole package of work and play is offered to me on a plate here in Limerick and I love it”. Jennifer certainly isn’t planning to leave Limerick any time soon. “I came here for a relationship. It ended after two months, but it was the friends I met here both from Limerick and from around the world that have kept me here,” she says. “The mentality of the people in Limerick is awesome. Every day I meet friendly, genuine people. I loved City of Culture and was so proud to see the French Granny come here in September. I also love the rugby connections – coming from Toulons we have a similar passion for rugby.” Jennifer would advise any company considering Ireland as a location to give Limerick consideration. “The region is lovely,” she says. “You are in the middle of the country with easy access to three other big cities. It’s affordable to live here offering you a quality of life that is far better than other cities. Having Shannon Airport on the doorstep is also a really big asset. I can access the world within half an hour”.

Jennifer Barbier met an Irish guy in France. She moved to Limerick to follow her heart. The relationship may not have lasted but her life in Limerick did not end there. Jennifer is from Toulons in France. She studied foreign languages and tourism management in Nice and worked for some time with private jets at Nice airport after graduation. “After moving to Limerick last April I spent some time getting to know Limerick,” she says. “I knew there was a Limerick in Ireland, but really didn’t know much about it so I started to Google it. That was an eye opener!” Jennifer’s experience whilst researching Limerick online didn’t give her much encouragement. Negative reviews on certain chat forums made her question her choice but ultimately she gave Limerick a go and hasn’t looked back. “The perception that I had before coming here is totally different from the actual experience I have been gifted,” she says. “I would describe Limerick as a big town. I have been lucky to find a good life here and the last 8 months have been a very positive experience. People are so nice here and in my point of view there really is so much to do.” Jennifer knew about viagogo because, coming from Toulons, she is a rugby fanatic and would have used viagogo for tickets in the past. She describes her time so far at viagogo as ‘a great experience’. In just two months she was given the opportunity to move departments and already feels she is growing in her working life. “I live in the city centre and wouldn’t have it any other way,” Jennifer adds. “From my point of view Limerick is a big town which is peaceful and it is easy to live. Everyone is laid back. The city is relaxed and commuting is easy. I go to work and I’m not stressed.”

Article by Nigel Dugdale Twitter: @nigeldugdale Photography by Tarmo Tulit


VISUAL ARTIST Evan Kennedy One ordinary day, a devout comic collector took one of his prized comics out of its wrapper. Then, taking a scalpel to it, he was about to change his world forever. CRASH! BAM! KAPOW! Within a flash, Evan Kennedy became the Superhero known as... ARTPASTE! Evan Kennedy always denied being an artist, but it took that sacrilegious night where he had a ‘water into wine’ moment that turned his love of comics into an artistic career path. “I made one or two collages for friends as gifts and I started to get this really cool reaction to it. So I took down my collection of my original comics from the attic. Everything and anything, you name it, I’ve got it. I took out this really prized edition of Spider-man comic. I remember, I bought this when I was in college and I recall going without food that week because I had to have it... this was the nineties, so I was part of that whole thing of the consumer being sucked into the buying of comics, bagging them, storing them and having to have each edition of everything. It was sealed in a plastic bag and they hadn’t used the correct sellotape, so when I took it out, the cover got caught on it and it ripped a tiny shred, so now it was crap. I looked it up online and it turned out the comic I had paid a huge amount of money for was actually 75c on eBay (laughs). So after that, I just took out a scalpel and turned it into a canvas and from there then I went, “Wow this is actually really cool.” The first cut was the hardest, and now I don’t care, I will take anything and chop it up.” The style of his work is really eye catching for a number of reasons; the colours, patterns, the identification. So much of this line of work is based on something you might recognise or connect with. “It’s called decoupage which is French for ‘cutting up’. As a technique, it’s as old as the hills. It’s collage, but I suppose there are differences in what I am doing. It’s hugely popular in the States; you can do anything from furniture,

shoes, bags, a wall... what I’m trying to focus on is who I’m selling to.” Evan was surprised to learn who many of his customers actually are. As it turns out, there are a lot of guilty women out there who cast away the final piece of their partner’s superhero paraphernalia when they moved in together and now, here they are buying Judge Dredd pieces as an apology. “At the moment it’s all comic books with me because that’s what I know and what I have and it’s my target audience... but I have diversified my work, it’s not just from comics... I’m trying to do books and mad things, CD packaging, Lego instruction manuals... I did a nice gift box at Christmas: they were just sending some Irish things to Germany, like biscuits and so on, so I did a shoe box with Brennan’s bread wrapper, Siucra, Cadbury’s... it depends on what the person actually wants.” Let’s face it, we are in an age where you can pick up a cheap Wonder Woman t-shirt or a pair of Superman jocks pretty handy, but Evan’s work takes this interest a lot more seriously with designs for a modern audience and characters you wouldn’t normally get, like Tank Girl. He not only has a great knowledge of this area, but his inspirations are endless. “I do enjoy doing mad collage stuff. As I have been going on, I have been really influenced by other people that are super successful at doing this: a French guy, Mr. Garcin and a guy from Texas, Mike Alcantera. I’m open to everything; I mean I’ve worked with everything from Ireland’s Own to Playboy... Everything I make is a one-off and I won’t make it again, so I don’t repeat designs or patterns.” With many in the fan world having their comics in the correct wrapping and some dreading the idea of them being tampered with, it’s a type of artwork that has indeed, albeit not too often, come under fire. Evan came across the different attitudes at the Dublin Comic-con. “Some people are going from like ‘Why would you do that? That’s


crazy! That’s insane!’ to ‘I’ve got to have it...I’m not going to be stupid and cut up an issue of something that’s worth a lot of money, but if you want to give me one to do it for you, I will no bother’ – that’s my attitude to it.” The comic book artist Ian Churchill who has drawn for Marvel was very impressed with Evan’s piece he made based on his work on The Hulk which was a drawing Churchill hadn’t seen in years. He signed it, Evan kept it at the original price and it was later sold to a lucky fan. This kind of work could go many different directions. Evan still works as a graphic designer, performs drag and is starting a new club on March 14th in the Kasbah Social Club beside Dolan’s, so where would he really like to go next? “I often think I would love to run a comic store or something or have that space again in Limerick. I really miss Forbidden Plenty because it was great... I’d love to see something like that come back because it is a huge market... but for me personally, the dream would be that I could be an artist full-time and make a living from it. Ideally, I’d love to be doing 12 huge canvasses in the year and spend all my time doing that would be perfect.” Evan specialises in custom pieces. You can find Evans’s work currently on www.artpaste. com but his new site www.evanisart.com will be live soon.

Interview by Mairéad Collins Twitter: @magtweetsagain Photography by Tarmo Tulit



STUDENT PROFILE Best event you were at as a student? It has to be Limerick race day last year – you suit up, have some beers and betting; can’t beat it.

Brian McCarthy, Mary Immaculate College Course: Bachelor of Education (Primary teaching), 2nd Year

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) launched its campaign to secure a ‘YES’ vote in the forthcoming marriage equality referendum. USI believes that equal access to civil marriage in Ireland is one of the most important civil rights issues of our generation and that students have a valuable role to play in making this a reality. “Students have a once-in-ageneration opportunity to make Ireland more equal in the upcoming referendum on marriage equality. It is clear that students want to live in a more inclusive and egalitarian society. Access to marriage equality is a crucial part of this. USI has registered over 20,000 students to vote, and we plan to add to this number over the coming months. We know students are excited by the referendum and anxious to have their voices heard on the issue of marriage equality in Ireland. ”

USI VP Equality and Citizenship, Annie Hoey, said: “Students for Marriage Equality is the campaign by students and for students, in preparation for the upcoming referendum on marriage equality. The campaign is designed to engage students on the issues of marriage equality, and to mobilise students to vote on polling day. It is the platform for students to build support for the referendum and put students in the centre of history”. Make sure your voting address has been changed so you can vote in May.

#ShareTheLove See the new website voteforlove.ie

Best event you have been involved in as a student? It has definitely got to be either ‘The Beauty and the Beast’ by MIDAS in Mary I in 2014 or ‘Hit ‘n’ Miss’ for the Writer’s Soc in 2014. The week of the musical you basically feel like an absolute celebrity; you eat, sleep and drink the musical. You don’t make college for the week of shows: you essentially get up, do a show, sleep and do another, then sleep again, during which you’ve got to get food and the occasional hello to your roommates to whom you’re basically a ghost for the week! Cool stuff! Are you involved in any production at the moment? Yeah, I’m just after finishing a run of ‘The Valiant’ with my drama group Kilmeen that got to the ‘One Act’ All-Ireland finals. MIDAS are doing ‘CLOSER’ directed by Shane HickeyO’Meara; I’m playing one of the main parts (Larry) and we’re hoping to get to the All-Ireland for colleges, in Trinity. I think it’s shaping up to be an absolute belter. MIDAS are doing ‘Les Misérables’ too, which will be a cracking production in itself; I’m playing the sleazy foreman who fires Fantine. Both are in March, so I’ll be unbelievably busy but loving every second of it! Why did you choose Mary I? Natural choice, really. My sisters had gone here so it was always high on the list and I’ve always liked the idea of being a primary teacher.


Favourite student dinner? Mince with Uncle Ben’s sauce, pasta; quick, easy, cheap, lovely. Favourite Limerick phrase? ‘Dat’s pure daycent’ Favourite place for a pint? O’Dwyer’s, Wolf Tone Street; I’ve had some great nights in O’Dwyer’s, lovely pints and there’s always the usual crew there. Favourite place to grab lunch? Centra or Supermac’s on the Dock road, the hot chicken and wedge rolls are the cure for any illness. Favourite place to take someone special out to dinner? I’ve taken my girlfriend to the Steakhouse and that was very good – decent portions that would definitely keep a hungry Irish lad going! What nightclub would you inevitably end up in on a night out? The Library or Icon, since the death of Angel Lane. Tell us something about you? I’ve a tremendous fear of stamps. One bit of advice you would give to students? Pay attention to Papa John’s texts or any Four Star deals, you will be very happy!

Image by Tarmo Tulit




Exams are an inevitable factor in student life. Nearly everyone will have to sit exams at some stage and very few of us can get through them without the stress levels getting quite high. With the right preparation exams can be manageable allowing you to show how much you have learned which is what exams are all about. It’s so important to make study easy. Here are some study tips from the USI that help. Space - Arrange your study space to ensure that it’s warm, quiet and comfortable. Plan - Make a study plan. Ensure it is straightforward, includes all of your subjects or modules and is realistic in terms of how much you can cover each day. Try to stick to the plan. If you have a lapse (we all fall into those four hour coffee breaks), don’t stress out, just go back to it again. Past Exam Papers - Practice exam questions. Past papers should be available online or from your lecturer. They can be a useful insight into what your exam will be like and also provide a guide for what you know and the areas where you need help. Notes - Make clear notes when you’re studying. Next time you study that subject, you can revise your notes. Avoid procrastination – This is when you do everything else but the task you need to do. It’s normal to procrastinate a little. However, too much can just add to your stress and result in you not giving yourself enough time to prepare. Managing your time and setting realistic goals for each study session can be helpful ways to avoid procrastinating and make tasks seem less overwhelming. Breaks - Take breaks and give yourself rewards for time spent studying. Sleep - Make sure you get enough sleep. You won’t perform well in an exam if you are sleep deprived. Ask for help - 3 people to talk to; Your lecturer, Classmates, Your Students’ Union. Your lecturer can help if you’re having trouble developing a study routine or need help with particular topics, don’t be afraid to ask. Try out study groups with your classmates, it might help you understand topics better and your Students’ Union are always there to support you and give advice when needed. Visit www.usi.ie for help & guidance being a student in Ireland

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A LA CARTE MENU Music and Live

Guest Belly BELLY DANCER Dancers

Every Fri & Sat

Mejana Restaurant 52 Thomas Street, Limerick T: 061 278989 | reservation@mejana.ie FUSION MAGAZINE | 19 www.mejana.ie


#GOSHGirl2015 Shauna Lindsay Last December, Shauna Lindsay was named GOSH Girl 2015 and the prize was well earned. Young, smart and driven, this lady has something special about her. A ball of energy bursts into the room when Shauna arrives at the Fusion Studio. She is chilled out and relaxed, her laid-back charm is most intriguing. It is refreshing to meet a girl with no makeup on and who can take the piss out of themselves – funny faces and accents included. In a very short period of time her career has taken off: she has won Miss Limerick, competed in Miss Ireland, has a huge following on social media and is signed to Assets Modelling agency, this 19-year-old beauty has a very bright future ahead of her, indeed. Mairéad Collins sat down with the fun, energetic and down-to-earth beauty who tells us her secret on how to succeed, the modelling industry and they discuss the pros and cons of social media for young people today.

You are quite the fashionista, were you always that way inclined growing up? Oh no, I was an absolute little boy growing up. I wore hats, I wore my brother’s clothes. I would rip the heads off Barbie dolls. On my Communion day, I ripped the dress off me. I swear, I wouldn’t wear it. I just hated anything girly. When did it change? I don’t even know, must have been about 12 and I became obsessed with make-up. I would rummage in my mom’s drawers and find bits of foundation and started playing with it and then it took off from there. I started curling my hair and I started actually looking like a girl. So how did you get involved in modelling, where did it all begin? My mom’s friends kept telling me to do it, so I went to a casting (that) Celia Holman Lee did in Castletroy and I remember there was a room of girls and she made you walk and it was terrifying. (Laughs) But that’s where it all started and they gave me a call and I started doing shows. At the casting, you had to give your details and they seemed impressed with me which was a major confidence boost. Then, when I actually started doing the shows, even though I was terrified, I experienced such an adrenaline rush. The people around me were all so nice as well... and you get to get really dressed up! Who would be your inspirations? Roz Purcell, I’m in love with her. I actually met her at my GOSH shoot and she had no makeup on and she is a goddess. Amazing. Miss Limerick was the start of things for you in a lot of ways, tell me about that. When I was with Celia, she obviously knew

that I wasn’t very confident. So she said: “You are entering Miss Limerick.” and I was like: “No I am not.” I was booted into it, I had to and I was saying to my Mom that I can’t do it: “I’m going to cry if I’m asked questions in front of all these people, I can’t do it.” It’s my worst nightmare, but I did it. Celia said: “Do it for the experience, for the confidence boost. It will help so much.” And I did it and I won. (Giggles) I was so surprised, I had no idea. I really did it for the confidence. Then you went onto Miss Ireland, tell us about that? People think that at these competitions girls are being mean and nasty to each other and in my experience it isn’t like that at all. Before the competition, we went to Westport to an adventure centre. I had the time of my life. There was water trampolining, kayaking – everything you could think of; climbing up ropes 50ft high – crazy! So we all bonded there and then when the Miss Ireland competition came along, everyone were so friendly and everyone got along; it was unreal. When the winner was announced, it was all good vibes. Everyone were delighted, there was no one annoyed or any of those stereotypical portrayals out there.

it. There were over 2,000 girls who entered online and they narrowed it down to twenty three. We then went to the Morgen Hotel. It was just another one of those things... my heart was nearly falling out of my mouth. Glenda Gilson, Sarah Morrissey, Courtney O’Hara from Assets and Evan Doherty, the photographer, were judges. The whole thing was filmed which didn’t help the nerves. There was no thought in my head that I could win it... Then I found out there was a second and third place, so I thought maybe third... and when my name wasn’t called I thought I was done... then they called the winner and it was me and I nearly had a heart attack; I was smiling from ear to ear! So the GOSH competition relied heaving on social media and even outside of that, it seems like a big part of your life? From back in the day, the BEBO day (laughs), I have all the accounts: Twitter, Instagram; but I never really used them. Then, after I won Miss Limerick, I posted a picture to say I had won and it kind of started from there. People started asking me about my nails, my eyebrows, my eyes, everything; so picture after picture, selfie after selfie, it just grew. I am now addicted to social media.

Your most recent success was being named the face of GOSH Cosmetics 2015. How did that come about?

Is social media very important for models in today’s world when it comes to promoting themselves?

It started through online voting and luckily I got the most votes because I’ve such supportive people in my life. My Mom, hands down, is the most supportive person in the world. Although she was probably driving everyone crazy sharing the online link every day on Facebook saying: ‘Please, please vote.’ But thank God she did because I got to number one in the votes and went on to win

Oh yeah, Instagram is the way to do it. If you look at America at the moment, the amount of models that are found on Instagram alone. Girls, now modelling for Guess, were found on Instagram. Fingers crossed, please let that happen me. (Laughs) Definitely though, to promote yourself; and brands are using girls and bloggers to promote themselves as well.


Any plans to take your social media presence a step further? Yes, I’m starting a website. From the whole life experience of Miss Limerick and Miss Ireland, I was putting up pictures on Instagram - I could spend my a whole day on Instagram looking at things, I love it! Mom was always telling me I should blog and I was like, “Oh I don’t know,” because you are putting yourself out totally there. On an Instagram account, it’s your own little personal thing but when you start a blog, you are letting people in to see everything about you. I was a bit iffy about it. But I have such a huge following on Instagram and I thought, “You know what, these girls genuinely want to see how I’m doing my make-up and things,” so I decided I was going to set up a website. It’s not up yet, it will be up and it’s so much work. I never thought it would be such hard work, so kudos to all those bloggers! I want it to be up by my birthday, which is March 12th, so I want it done then… eyebrow tutorial on the go, so everyone can have those eyebrows! (Laughs) Just when you mention putting yourself out there, have you ever had any bad experiences with how public everything is on the Internet? My pictures were robbed from my Facebook page along with other girls from school and put on adult’s sites. It was really disturbing; all the comments men and women were leaving were just vile. They have all been taken down now, but that was possibly one of the most disturbing experiences of my life.

Do you feel the need to keep up an appearance outside of work hours or can you switch off? Have you seen me right now? (Laughs) I switch off 100%. I don’t know about other models but I always go out to Adare or Dromoland for long walks and if you think I’m putting on make-up to go out there, it’s not happening. If it’s my day off and I want to put in an effort I will, but if I’m not in the mood to wear make-up or want to wear sweat pants, it’s going to happen. Is Limerick a good place to be a model? To start out, yes. I would actually say that Limerick is better to start out than Dublin, with modelling. Especially, if you’re starting out young; just because you don’t want to put yourself under stress or pressure or anything, but I don’t think modelling goes very far in Limerick. If you do want to pursue a career, you have got to go to Dublin, London or LA. Have you any advice for aspiring models? I mean, I would just get out there. Get your face out there. Go to events, even if you aren’t invited. (Laughs) Just go, get your face and name out there, it starts picking up from there. And enjoy every minute of it.

What would you say to anyone who experiences negative comments online? Brush it off completely. I mean, these people don’t matter. You have got to believe in yourself and if you believe you can do something, I am telling you now, that you most certainly can. I’m proof. (Laughs) Seriously though, I never thought from people saying nice things to me that I would get confidence and start believing it and things just took off. So it’s all about what you think yourself, people’s comments don’t mean anything. I mean, obviously for every 100 good comments you are going to get, you will also get a bad comment. There is always going to be a hater, to be fair. Not everyone is going to like you. I’m ok with that, you don’t have to like me. FUSION MAGAZINE | 22

Interview by Mairéad Collins Photography by Tarmo Tulit


W e l l

IT BEATS about forty million times a year, no days off allowed. It is intrinsically linked to every emotional rollercoaster ride you take over the course of your life. It guarantees each cell in your body gets the oxygen it needs to perform its vital functions. I’m talking about the heart and the incredible job it does in keeping us functioning optimally. Your Emotional ‘Brain’ As the heart is very strongly driven by our emotional state, any irregularities which present in the heart, such as a quickening pace, tachycardia, sluggish pace, bradycardia or skipping a beat, palpitations, should be taken as an indicator to slow down and take a breath. The temptation to resort to coffee, alcohol or other drugs to push through exhaustion or hurdle towards a deadline simply stresses the heart out more. Given that it is the heart which provides allimportant circulation to every other cell in the body, if it is not happy, none of your cells will be at optimum health. So if you’re not happy, it jeopardises the whole cycle of events. Spend time with uplifting people, be creative, show gratitude, pay it forward and meditate. Make smiling your new favourite activity! Walk the Walk While taking a walk may seem far too simple and certainly far less glamorous than resorting to recreational drugs, it’s the drug of choice for your heart. It’s not as strenuous as running, so even people with

B e I N G

no background in being active can do it. It encourages circulation by activating the muscles in the legs and enhancing blood flow throughout the body. One of the big benefits of walking relates to its impact on our mental state. The action of walking, using left and right sides of the body, stimulates the left and right side of the brain. These two halves obviously work together but they operate in very different ways, dealing with every thought process, perception and concept we can grasp or imagine. If we are under prolonged stress, the dominant pattern in the brain is geared toward coping, rather than thriving. The feeling of overwhelm is very real, based on our physiological response to having to cope with stress. By walking, not only do we burn off some of the adrenalin and cortisol which makes us feel so wound up, we also release natural endorphins, which help to boost mood and enable better problem-solving. Hence the very issues which keep us tied to our desks seem to magically become resolved, if we do allow ourselves the time to go for a walk. Don’t underestimate the important role it plays. Heal Your Heart with Diet In terms of diet, we all know by now how important a natural diet is, eating plenty brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables for their calcium and magnesium content as well as nuts and seeds for their healthy proteins,


beneficial fats and vitamin E. Oily fish and garlic have been synonymous with optimum heart health for years, as are dark red fruits and vegetables. Just eat little and often to get the best benefits from them. While the heart requires a constant supply of readily available energy to keep up with is incredible workload, too much sugar is not useful for heart health, or any of the cardiovascular system, for that matter. Sugar tends to leach nutrients out of the body, nutrients like B vitamins which play a key role in stabilising the nervous system. There goes that stress and heart health connection again! Be aware too, that other foods – starchy foods like pasta, bread and rice – break down into ‘sugar’ in the body, so you really don’t need to bulk up on these. The heart contains very specialised cells, called pacemaker cells. As the name suggests, these cells enable the heart to set its own rate of contraction. They receive input from the nervous system, telling them when to increase or decrease the rate of contraction. You can see then why any factors which influence the nervous system have a serious impact on cardiac health. Chronic sleep deprivation, chronic stress, emotional suppression and nutritional deficiencies can really take their toll on this hard-working organ. Continued on next page.

Forever Living with Amy & Nicola O’Mara If you are reading this and are a person that wants to work for themselves and you are asking yourself could you find a way… Could I build my own dreams and not someone else’s? Or could I become passionate about work so it no longer feels like a battle to pay the bills? These 2 girls can show you how. We talk to sisters Amy & Nicola O’Mara, about their thriving Health & Wellness Company, Forever Living Products. Nicola O’Mara, a graduate from University of Limerick and Amy O’Mara a Holistic Therapist and Fitness Instructor, are sisters from Annacotty Co Limerick. They are business owners of a work - from - home business under the umbrella of a multibillion dollar global Health & Wellness company called Forever Living Products. The company was founded 36 years ago and has been in Ireland since 1992 - they, themselves, are 2 years in the business. Both are passionate about all aspects of health & wellbeing and this company is a way for them to share this passion. From Aloe Vera drinks, to toothpaste, cleansers, sports/fitness products, makeup, supplements! They are aloeholics! Nicola and Amy work also as business mentors and coach others to do the same. “Through social media and technology we can do this with people all over the world and it has brought us amazing new friends and security for the future,” Nicola tells us. “Through a very simple process we work closely with people and coach them how to become part - time distributors (from home) and/ or if they wish to earn more we mentor them to become “business builders” or team leaders. One great thing about this business is that it is completely flexible, so people can still carry on about their normal lives/careers and earn a second stream of income. So better health and more wealth. An average part time distributor with us would earn €300 - €500 per month. An average business builder/ team leader with us would earn anything from €1000 - €5,000+ per month. It’s a no brainer for us,” added Amy.

using them. When they saw a gap in the market they went for it as there was no risk. “We can safely say it is the best thing we have ever done,” states Amy. “We have over 150 products in the range, the signature product is the Aloe Vera drinking gel and last year 33 million bottles were sold worldwide but our 9 - day cleanse & weight management products tend to be our most popular. The 9 - day - plan will gently kick - start your weight management goals. Most people tend to lose between 5-10lbs in the 9 days through a healthy and sustainable programme. It is amazing for general health and we adapt the plan to the individual so that each person can achieve optimal results,” Nicola tells us when discussing the products. The girls love what they do and find that every day they get stories from customers about the benefit they are getting from the products. That, and watching their teams develop their own businesses from it, for them is the best feeling. “We really are a part of something special that allows us to enrich peoples’ lives,” Amy adds. We asked them if they have any advice for a person who would like to do the same for themselves? Which Amy was happy to answer, “First of all we would pat them on the back for having the courage and belief in themselves to change their life. There is no risk, no overheads, no targets. You will be a part of the number one team in Ireland and have full support and training. If you want more information then get in touch and we will forward all the necessary information, you have nothing to lose and plenty to gain.” To contact Amy or Nicola O’Mara Nicola O Mara - 087-6695578 nicolaomara@flp.com facebook.com/nicola.omara

Amy O Mara – 086-4474555 amyomara@flp.com facebook.com/ amyomaraglobal.

The ladies got involved in Forever Living due to the personal benefit they got from the products and the weightloss they achieved when Unlocking Energy One vital nutrient for energy release throughout the body is the co-enzyme Q10. It is effectively like a key, unlocking energy to be used by the mitochondria, or battery, of your cells. Given that the heart is one of the hardest working organs in the body, cardiac muscles have an immense need for copious Co-Q 10. The trouble is, certain medications, especially heart medications, can deplete your levels of Co-Q 10, leaving your energy levels at an all-time low. In some cases, supplementation is required to restore levels to optimum status. From a dietary point of view, oily fish, like salmon and organ meats like liver are really good sources of Co-Q 10. Demands for this vital nutrient are influenced

by your lifestyle i.e. if you train a lot, if you have a history of congestive heart failure or other coronary conditions, the very process of aging or having a lifestyle which accelerates aging in your cells. ‘Beat’ root One incredibly cheap way of supporting heart health, or in other words: your whole body’s health, is to eat beetroot. Naturally high in antioxidants, beetroot contains nitrates which help to mobilise circulation, which is fundamental to the smooth running of the cardiovascular system. Beetroot juice has long been known as a treatment for high blood pressure and for its ability to regulate heartbeat, but wherever possible, eat foods FUSION MAGAZINE | 25

in their entirety rather than simply isolating the juice. Whole beetroot is a great source of soluble fibre, which helps to reduce cholesterol, while the high antioxidant content neutralises oxidised cholesterol, which has potential to cause quite a lot of harm to your cells. So the whole form delivers a much more rounded heart-protective package. Buy cooked or raw beetroot, just avoid beetroot which has been soaked in vinegar. It’s only about the size of your fist, you only have one and when it stops, you stop. So take good care of it! Article by Jennifer Allen www.yourkeytothrive.com

F I T N E S S & H E A LT H

Paleo Banana Bread Smoothie

The Incredible Hulk Smoothie

Paleo Strawberry Smoothie

Ingredients • 1 cup cashew milk • 2 frozen banana, sliced • 2 tablespoons almond butter • fresh ground nutmeg, to taste

Ingredients • 1 cup fresh baby spinach • ¾ cup coconut milk • 1 cup frozen pineapple

Ingredients • 1 cup coconut milk • 1 frozen banana, sliced • 2 cups frozen strawberries • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 1. Combine all ingredients in high-speed blender and blend until smooth. 2. Garnish with fresh nutmeg.

Instructions 1. Add coconut milk and spinach to blender. Blend on high speed until completely smooth. 2. Add frozen pineapple and blend again, until smooth.

Instructions 1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.

Tips for Working Out Effectively

OVERtraining? Yeah Right! Imagine hearing that your friend has decided to take up a new exercise regime. They decide to chuck themselves in at the deep end. All they ever talk about now is how many workouts they got in this week or how hard a certain session was. What would your reaction be after hearing this for a number of weeks? Ah jayus, you must be overtraining! I have heard this time and time again from clients, friends and family. When it comes to the term ‘overtraining’ most people think of slugging away for hours in the gym. Truth be told 90% of the population don’t do enough exercise to even consider feeling the effects of overtraining. When it comes to training, it is everything but the workout causing damage. Don’t expect to live off 4 hours sleep most nights and see fitness gains. Lack of sleep will only inhibit your progress and your body’s ability to


recover and let’s face it – when you’re tired you’re more likely to do something stupid in the gym. Following workouts you have seen on YouTube or seen Justin Beiber do, isn’t the answer to your fitness prayers. As individuals, our bodies move, act and respond differently. If you are serious about training, seek a trainer’s advice. What we put in our bodies to fuel ourselves is half the battle. If you eat chicken hut then your will have a chicken hut body. Eating healthy and training go hand in hand. Choose healthy nutritious food at every opportunity; doing this will only boost your body to becoming the machine you have always wanted to be and leave you ready for the next workout. So when it comes to overtraining, just ignore the term and take a look at all the other factors in your life. It might just be time to make a lifestyle change outside of the gym.

• Have a plan. Going to the gym and deciding to do 1000 burpees, 100 chinups and chasing a chicken around the gym is going to get you injured. This isn’t crossfit! Have a plan of exactly what you want to achieve and a program that you are sure will get you there. •Mix it up. If you are following a program or routine, make sure to have de-load weeks. This will allow your body to fully recover and boost your fitness gains. • Go hard, not long. Get in, get out – it’s as simple as that. Don’t spend hours in the gym torturing your body. Once fatigue sets in, you’re more likely to get injured. Train short, but train smart. • Nourish yourself. The quantity and quality of the food, sleep you get, can make or break the best fitness program. Remember: go for fresh food as often as possible. • Seek balance. Remember that any and all forms of stress affect your body’s ability to recover from exercise. Trying something new like yoga or Pilates will expose your body to different stimulus away from the weight room or treadmill. Article by Eric Johnson The Training Room www.ttr.ie


M e n ’ s Fashion

1 - River Island Black Quilted Panel Leather-Look Biker Jacket €85.00

3 - DieselBomber Jacket J-Soter Satin Embro Detail €328.58

The Bomber Jacket Now firmly established in the modern man’s off-duty wardrobe, a bomber jacket is ideal for the transitional months when weather conditions prove unpredictable. The bomber jacket’s simple shape and lightweight construction have secured its position as a cool classic. Supersize your streetwear with bomber jackets in longline lengths, leather, jersey and varsity styles. Formally the flight jacket, this style refers to a garment originally created for pilots. They eventually became part of popular culture and apparel. Throughout 2014, the silhouette stamped its mark on the runways, where we saw everything from military-inspired designs (Moschino and Tim Coppens) to varsity-influenced styles (Bottega Veneta and Haider Ackermann). And the bomber jacket doesn’t show any signs of budging. It was all over the catwalks for Spring/Summer 2015. The Christopher Raeburn collection and also London-based designer Richard Nicoll, included a bomber that incorporated another burgeoning trend: metallics.

2 - Only & Sons Bomber Jacket with Contrast Sleeves €85.72


BEAUTY Complexion – S/S 15 is all about the “natural beauty”, having simply a BB cream/ light coverage foundation or just moisturizer and a highlighter is all that is needed to make a statement with your natural beauty. • Powder highlighter – ‘Soft and Gentle’ by MAC. Cream highlighter- ‘Hush’ by MAC. • Blush – Blush is back with a bang, use loads of it and add plenty of pink for that fab flushed look. • Powder blush – Dior ‘Rosy Glow’. Cream blush – MAC ‘So Sweet So Easy’. • Bronzer - It goes with out saying that bronzer is a must for S/S 15, whether it’s just to add a bit of warmth to the skin or to really contour the face. Charlotte Tilbury’s ’Filmstar Bronze and Glow’ face sculpt and highlight is fantastic for contouring or Chanel’s cream-gel bronzer (Soleil Tan De Chanel) these leave your skin with a beautiful sunkissed look. Lips – Red lips are big for S/S15, nothing makes a statement like a bold red lip but there are many ways to pull off a red lip, it could just simply be a light red stain, or gloss. Pink is another main colour for S/ S15, you can choose from a soft baby pink to a bright candy pink, or even fuchsia and purple. Lipsticks – RedsMAC - ‘Rubywoo’. Rimmel – Kate Moss 01. Inglot – Lipstick 127. Pinks/ Purples – MAC – ‘Candy Yum Yum’. MAC – ‘Heroine’. Urban Decay – ‘Obsessed’. Chanel – Rouge Allure Velvet ‘La Sensuelle’.



Eyes – For statement eyes this S/ S15 don’t be afraid of using bright colours, glitters and of course a winged liner, the crazier the liner the better. If you’re not into the big eyeliner look, then stick with a softer thin liner for that sexy, classic ‘Cat Eye’ look. EyelinerEstee Lauder’s ‘Double Wear stayin-place’ eye pencil. MAC – ‘Feline’ Kohl eye pencil. Inglot -- Gel liner no77. Article by Mary Kiely Twitter: @kielymary Photography by Tarmo Tulit FUSION MAGAZINE | 28

After seasons of Rapunzel-like tresses dominating the trend-orientated fashion world, I for one have waited and anticipated the day the haircut returns. Coming to fashion forefront, spring-summer 2015 sees shorter strands echoing the Youth Quake movement of the 60s, but with a 70s boho inspired feel .

# Short is the new long. Shorter lengths have it, providing looks that can be daring and tailored to provoke every woman’s individual beauty. Fashion forward celebrities such as Lauren Conrad, Kirsten Steward, Kylie Jenner, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, Coco Roche and Kelly Osbourne have all embraced the shorter hair trend, it’s alluringly unforgettable. Why not embrace the Youth Quake Trend with a beautiful haircut that takes face shape and bone structure into consideration and results in an alluring aesthetic.

# The Blunt Midi As seen on Alexa Chung and gracing the international catwalks on Kendall Jenner. This style is a firm favourite among Fashion’s Elite. It is defined by a blunt base line that sits below the collar bone. It is best teamed with longer layering and a structured frontal layer to frame the face of the wearer.

# The Wavy Bob Adorned by Emma Stone, the wavy bob typifies Hollywood Zeitgeist. This loose longer bob is best teamed with hidden layering for movement and dressed wavy for a casual elegance. To achieve this look a curl creme and a wand are a must.

# The Edgy Pixie Sported by Kirsten Stewart, this shorter look is not for the faint hearted. The edgy pixie is shaped in at the neck with a little length left through the sides. It can be dressed out for a softer look or tucked behind the ear to emphasise the length on top. If you are thinking of changing your hair up a bit just remember: suitability is king. Bone structure and hair texture should be important factors to consider when updating your look. Article by Stephen O’Driscoll - Marbles Cruises St. Photography by Tarmo Tulit Models - Danielle Sheehan, Christina Lynch, Marie Rainsford & Laura O’Shea FUSION MAGAZINE | 29

“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life “ – Coco Chanel.

H ai r


The psychology of choosing spring-time fashion is fairly straightforward, but the same cannot be said for the end results when we actually have to start wearing it. When we are returned to temperatures above freezing, and lazy summer barbeques are on the horizon, it’s only natural to get over-excited and embrace exciting new trends with abandon. Throwing sartorial caution to the wind is maybe not the wisest choice however, as matching pastel two-pieces can be tricky to pull off after months of woollen coats and opaque tights. Spring 2015 provides ample “two fingers to winter” inspiration. Gingham, midriff-baring crop tops, obi belts and oversized denim are all to be seen in the shops currently, tempting us with their promise of sunshine and picnics. The Pantone fashion colour report for Spring 2015 is themed “en plein air”, taking a cue from nature with softer, cooler tones of pastels and neutrals. There’s something Marie-Antoinette-esque about the description behind the colour choices: “Remembrances of retro delights, folkloric and floral art, and the magical worlds of tropical landscapes restore a sense of well-being as we head into warmer months.” A doomed, fantasist, monarch look is precisely what you want to avoid, however (although it does sound quite fun). Look to the likes of Simone Rocha for spring-time outfits done to perfection. Floral pieces were kept baggy, almost dishevelled looking, and teamed with lace-up flats to avoid being too pretty. There was also a healthy smattering of black and dreamy sheer pieces, including a fabulous take on the spring essential that is the trench coat. In the end, as always in fashion, it’s all about mixing and matching. Just because the matching floral two-piece looks great on the mannequin doesn’t mean you have to wear it that way. Looking out the window at an overcast sky, I am excited to cheer up my wardrobe by pulling out my sky blue palm tree-print jumper, but I’ll still be pairing it with a wool mini and black tights. Surviving another winter plagued by numb fingers and boringly sensible shoes to navigate icy paths in is indeed a reason to celebrate, so pull out those bright pieces, paint your nails in pastel ice-cream shades, and have fun trying to remember where you left last year’s bikinis for the annual try-on session. Just try not to get over-excited with too many clashing floral prints, the Blossom look is best left in the early 1990s. Article by Laura Hastings Twitter: @laurahastings89 Photography by Tarmo Tulit



Concealing Tips We all need a little help from our concealers, which have become a staple in many men and women’s beauty routine, but many people are unsure of what colour concealer to use for their skin, so we have put together some guidelines and helpful tips to brighten your complexion. Green concealer is used for redness, blemishes and broken veins. Yellow concealer is for under-eyes, evening out skin tone, age spots, blemishes, bruising (blue tones), orange will also cover blue tones. White concealer is used for brightening any dullness in the skin. Always apply foundation first then apply concealer afterwards, you’ll find you won’t need as much concealer that way. When applying concealer under eyes, make the shape of a triangle from the bottom base of the eyes, and bring the point down to your cheek, then buff it into the skin, this gets rid of circles and also gives illusion that the face is more lifted. To make your brows pop, after filling your brows in and shaping them, get your concealer that’s one shade lighter than your skin tone, with an angled brush go around the shape of your brow with the concealer, it makes them more defined. When it comes to winged liner, I’m sure most people are in the same boat, that some days the eyeliner goes on like a dream and others you are fit to pull your hair out as it just won’t go to plan! So if you have problems with your eyeliner going on and you’re in a rush, I would always clean up the liner with my concealer rather than fixing it and maybe adding more and making it worse, get your angled brush and clean up the edges and straighten it all out.

When it comes to lips after the colour is filled in, I would go around the edges with my angled brush and concealer, straighten up those lines – it’ll give you the perfect lip shape. If you want bigger lips you can reshape by covering the whole lip with concealer, then trace out a new lip shape with a lip liner pencil to give you that slightly fuller lip shape, but stay close to the natural lip line, don’t go too crazy, then just fill the whole lip in. This one is great for people who suffer with puffy eyes. By mixing some eye cream, cream highlighter, and concealer (same small amount of each) together, then apply under your eyes with a finger, and really push it into the skin rather than rubbing it into the area. This will straight away brighten the area and hide any puffiness.

Article by Mary Kiely Image by Tarmo Tulit


Name: Kieran Styles Where are you from? Limerick What are you wearing? Black jeans - €35 River Island Hoodie - €15 River Island Leather jacket - €45 River Island Boots - €87 River Island Who is your style guru? Ed Shearan

Name: Sarah O’Sullivan Where are you from? Limerick What are you wearing? Leather jacket - €30 Penney’s Tartan skirt - €25 New Look Boots - €40 River Island Bag - €20 Penney’s Who is your style guru? Suzanne Jackson

Name: Ellen Courtney Where are you from? Kerry What are you wearing? Blazer - €25 H&M Top - €19 Zara Jeans - €25 New Look Scarf - €8 Penney’s Bag - €30 New Look Who is your style guru? Kate Middleton


Name: Paul O’Connor Where are you from? Kerry What are you wearing? Slim fit jeans- €48 Jack & Jones T-shirt - €19 Hollister Hoodie - €60 Diesel Body Warmer - €79 Superdry Shoes - € 54 Converse Who is your style guru? Tommy Bowe

Products of the month


CLINIQUE - HAPPY - AVAILABLE FROM BROWN THOMAS - DEBANHAMS We just love the name of this adorable perfume and it smells awesome too! It’s got a lingering fragrance of grapefruit, boysenberry bush flowers, Hawaiian wedding flower and is multifaceted. It’s floral, it’s pretty, it smells amazing and it’s by far one of the greatest date night perfumes out there!

Chanel - Chance Eau Tendre - Available Brown Thomas - The Perfume Shop - Debanhams


Eau Tendre is now one of the go - to’s for work, and such a refreshing, ladylike scent. It started out very far out of my comfort zone, since it’s quite a watery-fruity-floral. It evokes the carefree feeling of a spring/summer day, something you’d probably be wearing whilst lounging in a lawnchair with tacky heart-shaped sunglasses, sipping iced tea next to a plastic lawn flamingo. All things pink, fruity and fabulous.

Hermes - Terre d’Hermes - Brown Thomas This is a woody vetiver-orange scent that is out to make a point and make its presence felt. Wear this when dressing up more formally (and by this I mean on an occasion like a wedding) or on a date or even when you’re feeling bit rugged on the weekend and have that seven o’clock stubble... It is definitely a versatile and signature-worthy scent.


Fashion Shoot Credits - Photographer – Tarmo Tulit – www.tarmotulit.com = Stylists – Michelle Costello, Annette Smyth, Stephen O’Driscoll MUA – Annette Smyth - Hair – Annette Smyth, Stephen O’Driscoll - Models – Natalie Katilius, Danielle Sheehan Jewellery - Portobello Antiques - Ellen Street, Limerick. Tel: 061-317138 for appointment.





A Beginners Guide to Funding a Startup Getting funding can be the most daunting task for a start-up. The good news is, that there have never been more options available to new businesses in need of a cash injection. Here we look at just a few of the choices available to get your business off the ground. Although, deciding on the best route, is very much up to you! The bank It’s easy to dismiss the country’s banks as a closed shop, as the credit crunch hangover lingers on. However, in conjunction with state supported initiatives, the financial sector is actively trying to change perceptions with inspiring marketing campaigns such as AIB’s Backing Brave and other investment options targeted towards smaller emerging businesses. If applying for a business loan, you will need to have a comprehensive financial track record and clearly demonstrate your ability to repay, and amounts tend to be on the smaller side. For larger amounts, other options such as AIB Seed Capital Fund, or Bank of Ireland’s Start-up Fund provide access to venture capital investment. AIB’s Seed Capital Fund works in partnership with Dublin Equity and Enterprise Equity, while Bank of Ireland has put a total of €17m into an investment fund for those who have the potential to export, operating in one of the following sectors: greentech/cleantech, life

sciences, medical devices, ICT, software, internet, emerging technologies, R&D and trading companies. Angel investors A problem many startups find is, that they are just too small to qualify for many venture capital funding options. This is where the angel investor comes in, and these days you don’t need to hope you had a wealthy friend or distant relative to step into that role. Entrepreneurs can connect with a readymade bank of angel investors via networks such as the Halo Business Network. Halo created investments totalling €9.4m in 48 companies in 2014 and can provide access to funding from individual investors or from a syndicate in which two or more private investors work together to share the risks and rewards of the investment. Crowdfunding Small pennies from many – creative entrepreneurs are increasingly turning to crowdfunding to simultaneously raise funds and public interest in new ideas. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the larger ones of a growing list of online crowdfunding platforms. When setting up a crowdfunding campaign, it’s important to be specific with your aims. Very few people, bar the ones that love you, are going to respond to a general plea for hand-outs to fund your business costs. You

Coffee & Feeding Johnny: Interview with Colm O’Brien

Colm O’Brien, founder of Carambola Kidz, started his businessowning journey when an opportunity came knocking with Bewley’s in Limerick. His recently published book, Feeding Johnny, tells the story of his journey from small time start-up to national success. Here, he gives us the lowdown… A lightbulb moment ‘It was never our intention to move from Dublin, and initially when it was suggested that I would take over the Bewley’s Limerick franchise, I said no. But after spending time in the city, a little light came on and I couldn’t ignore it. I said to my wife “we’ll go, stay for 5 years and move on”. At that time Limerick’s reputation was not a positive one, but we didn’t even consider that when we decided to come. And it turned out we were right not to be concerned – we fell in love with the city, and stayed for life, and almost two decades on are proud to consider ourselves citizens.. (Continued on Page 44)


need to state what the money is going to help you do – be it open your first high street shop, or develop a new game-changing product. Enterprise Ireland If you’re not already a member of Enterprise Ireland, now is the time to join, as membership can open the door to grants and growth programmes galore. The government-owned organisation provide a range of financial supports aimed at both high potential startups (HPSU) and established SMEs of less than 10 staff. Funding is also open to college-based researchers to assist in the development, protection and transfer of technologies into industry via licensing or spin-out companies. Local Enterprise Office There are also support networks closer to home. Local Enterprise Offices around the country have a range of financial supports designed to assist with the establishment and/or growth of businesses employing up to ten people. Feasibility, business expansion and priming grants are just some of the funding options available. To contact the Limerick office, go to www.localenterprise. ie/limerick Article by Kayleigh Ziolo Twitter: @kayleigh_ziolo

Over the past two years the importance of connecting with Limerick’s global diaspora has been highlighted on numerous occasions. The Gathering in 2013 welcomed over 250,000 overseas visitors to Ireland with approximately 270 individual Gathering events held in the Limerick region. Limerick’s designation as National City of Culture allowed us to build on that momentum. A social and economic study will now be commissioned to highlight the impact the year had on our city and county. One thing is certain: we have made huge inroads into reengaging with those with Limerick connections who are based overseas. Last month a report on the Limerick diaspora was released. This scoping study and survey was commissioned by the newly formed Global Limerick Network – a working group established by Limerick City and County Council with a brief to strategically continue the strong connections we have developed with our diaspora. The findings in the report are very interesting. Without a doubt there now exists a strong appetite for connection with Limerick amongst our diaspora. The responses and feedback gathered from those who responded to the survey over the course of last year give some very useful guidelines as to how we should move forward. During the initial stages of the #limerickandproud campaign last month I did some research into who was engaging with this remarkable display of civic pride via social media. Over 60% of those who used the hashtag over the first two weeks of January were currently living outside of Limerick. Social media users based in the United States, Britain, Japan, Hawaii, Germany, Australia, South Africa and even Fiji were engaging with the campaign. They identified with home and now had a tool to show their pride. A report following the Royal de Luxe event in Limerick conducted by News Access gave us some insight into the phenomenal effect our Granny’s journey had on social media. Over the three day period in September, Limerick Giant hashtag achieved a potential social media reach of 20.9 million. Limerick consistently trended on Twitter as many of the 230,000 visitors to our city centre told the world of their experience. These facts clearly show that the Limerick reach is massive if it is marketed and packaged in the correct way. Engaging with our citizens who have gone to distant shores allows us to exchange information, network, share ideas

and to develop or re-establish relationships. In the appendices of the Global Limerick Network report, respondents to the survey gave their suggested ideas as to how we in Limerick could further engage with them in the future. The phrase ‘social media’ keeps being used. Our diaspora clearly want to hear our good news stories. They want to feel connected. They want to have their own success stories told to the people of Limerick. We have a huge opportunity to continue the momentum we have started in relation to how we interact with our friends, family and acquaintances with Limerick connections across the globe. Our diaspora are our greatest ambassadors. We must facilitate them in their ambassadorial role by engaging with them, communicating our good news stories and inviting them to share all we are proud of to an international audience. How we define our diaspora is also important. The University of Limerick welcomed the largest cohort of International Students in its history in 2014 with 2,500 students representing over 100 countries attending the University contributing in the region of €19 million to the mid-west region. These students will graduate and go on to develop successful careers around the world. They are an important part of our diaspora. The most important foundation for any rebuilding is a belief in what we are able to achieve. For far too long the zeitgeist of some parts of Limerick society was an inherent need to knock ourselves and to allow others to knock us. It is now becoming cool to big Limerick up – this is a fundamental mind-shift that will allow us to lay the foundations of a great future. This newfound confidence is being felt by those with Limerick connections around the world. The stories we can tell from Limerick as it continues to develop economically and culturally, are very powerful. However, the success stories our diaspora can tell have potentially much greater power. We are rightfully proud of our city and county but we must equally be as proud of our citizens who have gone on to do great things around the world. This can only be achieved by us listening, reaching out and inviting our global community to tell us their story. The world is at our fingertips. Limerick has a story to tell. The Global Limerick Network has the potential to tell the story of our future to a global audience. Article by Nigel Dugdale




“Limerick is a very comfortable place to live and do business… it should be proud of itself, it’s very edgy and cool” When we took on Bewley’s in 1998, Cruise’s Street was rocking. We were riding the crest of the wave of the Celtic Tiger, but then a series of blows followed by the Tiger’s demise finished the franchise off. I won’t pretend it wasn’t a difficult time, but we got through it by saying “ok, what do we do now?” That led to the next venture, Cruise’s Coffee, but sadly the timing was wrong and, quite simply, it didn’t make enough money. From Coffee to Carambola While it wasn’t meant to be for the coffee chapter of my career, I still felt that Limerick was where I should stay. It is a very comfortable place in which to live and do business – a city that behaves like a village – and being heavily involved in the business and social activity within it helped in so many ways, especially when it came to founding Carambola Kidz. I’ve always said that Limerick needs to be proud of itself for what it is. There’s no need to try to be like Galway or Cork or any other – it’s very edgy and cool, and it feels like people are now finally starting to embrace that. My affection for Limerick meant that part of my vision for Carambola Kidz was for it to be a national success story born in the city, and I am very proud to say that’s what it has become. It started in Moyross in 2003 and has grown from 2 people supplying 1 school to 20,000 individual lunches being sent every day to 163 schools nationwide. The next chapter When I turned 50, I started to look at what I still had yet to do. I had always dreamed, somewhat romantically, of being a writer, so I decided that maybe it was time to tell my story! I wrote Feeding Johnny with small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs specifically in mind. Feeding Johnny is the term we use for what we do. “Johnny” is every child in Ireland that needs a healthy lunch. We feed Johnny by making and supplying individual tailored lunches to schools. The book is broken down into a series of stories that explain how I got to where I am today. It may be my tale being told, but I hope that each part provides something identifiable and valuable to everyone – as well as being a good fun read! And finally, one other thing you may not know – Carambola is the other name for star fruit!’ Our verdict: Feeding Johnny is a fascinating account that we can all take something from. Written in lively prose, Colm effortlessly sets the scene and makes us feel we are standing there with him at every stage of his journey. He is an honest narrator - with every life changing event and career defining decision, he is never afraid to share his fears and emotions. It’s a warm, human and inspiring book that serves to convince the reader that their business dream is always within reach. Feeding Johnny – How to Build a Business Despite the Roadblocks is available to buy in O’Mahony’s Booksellers For more info visit www.feedingjohnny.com Interview by Kayleigh Ziolo Photography by Tarmo Tulit FUSION MAGAZINE | 44

T R AV EL The Redhead and the Backpack 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.

Bangkok (take one) After two long flights, we touched down in Bangkok. A huge queue at immigration followed, before we finally got outside to be hit by the wall of heat that is Thai humidity. A taxi from the airport to Bangkok’s CBD was 500 baht. To put this in context, that’s an hour’s drive for €13. We settled into the hotel, had some Singha beer and food, and then hit the infamous Khao San Road. Khao San Road is craziness! A short, narrow road lined with bars, music blasting onto the street, plastic chairs and tables strewn about, beer everywhere – the Zante of Bangkok! We sat ourselves at a table on the side of the road and ordered some beers, about 80 cent each. Every time the police drove past, chairs and tables would be pulled inside and the speakers taken down, only to be reassembled the second they were gone. Khao San Road.... my first taste of a cricket: crunchy and tasted like chicken, a chicken that’s been left in the bin for a week. The next day, we headed to Chatuchak market on the other side of Bangkok. I could easily have spent all day there taking in the smells, sights and sounds (despite the crazy heat). This market is packed full, with thousands of stalls selling everything from knock-off Mulberry bags to Pad Thai. Haggling is definitely the order of the day and great craic. It’s on every Saturday and Sunday and really is a “must do”. From the market, it was back to the hotel to pick up our bags and head to the overnight train that would take us to Surat Thani – the route we had to take in order to get us to Khao Sok National Park. We got to the station at about 5.30pm and I decided, that while I was waiting on the 7.30pm train, I would do a bit of re-packing. So there I was, in the middle of the station’s departure hall, sorting through my backpack, oblivious to the hustle around me. Music suddenly came on over a tanoy. I looked up to see everyone upstanding, facing a picture of the king and singing the Thai national anthem. It turns out that twice a day, everything stops in public places and the anthem is sung. The respect for the monarchy in Thailand is huge, as is respect for monks here. In the station, there is a designated section for monks to sit in, to ensure that they always have comfortable seats. 7.30pm came and we boarded the train to Surat Thani..... FUSION MAGAZINE | 45

“You playboy” “You ladyboy” (Khao Sok National Park) After a rubbish sleep on the overnight train from Bangkok, we arrived at Surat Thani in Southern Thailand at about 8am and were met by a taxi to take us to Khao Sok National Park. This place is breath-taking: the world’s oldest evergreen rain forest, surrounded by huge limestone mountains. Here, we stayed in one of several cabins, run by Rattina and her family and got our first “real experience” of Thai hospitality and food. Our first day there was spent bamboo-rafting down a river, elephant-trekking and visiting a “monkey temple” where dozens of wild monkeys ran to greet us when we arrived – by greet, I mean jump up our legs to check if we had food in our hands. At one stage, I held out a closed fist to one of them, he approached and gently opened my hand to see that there was nothing there, he proceeded to then turn around, stick his bottom out at me and slap it – kiss my a*se! Day two here was spent on a jungle trek with Doo, Rattina’s sonin-law. Such a lovely man. After walking in the heat for what seemed like forever, we FINALLY got to a waterfall and got our first experience of the beautiful aqua blue water of Thailand. We met Doo’s friend here: the “Don Juan” of Khao Sok, apparently! Doo: “you playboy” Don Juan: “you ladyboy, Doo” The afternoon was spent playing with Sa-Noh (named after Snow White). Sa-Noh is Doo’s 7-month-old and the most beautiful baby I think that I’ve ever seen in my life! He was having none of it when I tried to take her on my travels – the redhead, the backpack and the 7-month-old....

“A little bit of Limerick.....” (Ao Nang) After two peaceful days at Khao Sok, we arrived at the bustling resort town that is Ao Nang. This was a quick one-night-stay before we headed to Koh Phi Phi. Ao Nang itself is really nothing to write home about: a busy street lined with souvenir shops and filled with touts and ladyboys. We decided to head to Krabi, a nearby town, to go to the night time food market. Here, we picked up some amazing food and sat ourselves down at a picnic table in the central square. Unfortunately, I don’t have a clue what the dishes were called, as most menus were in Thai but it went something like this... Coconut fish curry, Vietnamese spring rolls, coconut pancakes, sweetcorn fritters all washed down with... Singha beer (shock!). The square was overlooked by a stage where a Thai girl sang karaoke. When she started The Cranberries’ “Zombie”, I just HAD to join in. You can take the girl out of Limerick but.......!

Article by Yvonne Dallman Facebook: /theredheadandthebackpack


FO O D & D R I N K

COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH Irish Cucumber Delight 1 ½ parts of good quality Vodka ¾ parts of lime juice ¾ parts of sugar syrup 4-5 cucumber slices 6 mint leaves Club soda Add lime juice, cucumber slices, sugar syrup and mint leaves into a shaker or mixing glass and muddle gently. Add ice and Vodka and shake well, fine strain into a whiskey glass filled with ice top up with soda. Garnish with cucumber peel and mint leaf. Enjoy!

By Kaur Ellermae Photography by Tarmo Tulit


Valerie O’Conner

PR for Restaurants/ Writer of Bread on the Table/ Owner of Val’s Kitchen Can you tell us a little about yourself? Well, I’m born and bred in Limerick, both my parents come from the city and I grew up off the Ennis Road. I studied graphic design because I didn’t have a clue and just wanted to do something artistic, I got into photography and spent most of my time in the darkroom, developing film and black and white prints, and doing other peoples projects for them, for money of course. I spent four years living in Germany where my two sons were born and returned to Ireland in the height of the boom when I went to work as a press photographer in Dublin. The lack of creativity I was finding working for the tabloids led me to start my blog www.valskitchen.com in 2006 which ticked a box for me as I could write about my first love, food and dabble in food photography too. How did you first get involved with food professionally? I spent a year in Brussels in my early twenties where I got a job in an expat bar serving drinks to folks working in the European Commission. The chef couldn’t help but notice my interest in food so I started helping him in the kitchen and we became two chefs serving mostly steaks and I used to whip up mean omelettes for the whole bar late at night when everybody was very drunk. I went traveling for a year in Asia and found work in a resort on the East Coast of Malaysia

where I was taught to cook by a Chinese man. I got the job by making Irish stew for the owner. We would spend the days shopping at the local market and preparing spice pastes, and the nights cooking, two woks each with flames flying high over gas burners. I created a dish of Shark in Lime Leaf sauce which I can still taste. What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about food? Food is our medicine but we are far removed from that notion. Mostly people fixate on how to get thin but not how to get nutrition from our food. An interest in food is a wonderful thing as you learn so much about a culture from its food, how people eat and what they eat. Sitting down at the table to eat is so important as you really taste your food and I love the rituals of eating especially my quiet breakfast time at the kitchen table with eggs, toast and coffee. To be able to cook is something I inherited from my Mother, my Dad loves good food too, so it was always a big deal at home. I cook constantly because I love it and I do all of my shopping in small local shops, the butchers, fishmongers and the Limerick Community Grocery store as well as getting meat direct from some small farmers. I love to feed people, the right food can soothe you in hard times. If you can cook, you can live well on little money.


What might people be surprised to know about you? Maybe that my background is more in the newspaper business than in the kitchen. I struggled with ‘who I am and what I do’ for many years until I decided to embrace all the things that I love, food, writing, photography, press relations and storytelling. Life becomes difficult when you try to pigeonhole yourself and we live in time now where it’s more acceptable to work in a few different strands of the same business. I studied organic horticulture for two years when I went back to college and I love growing my own food, though on a micro scale as I have a yard not a garden. I was a couch potato until a few years ago too and tried roller derby for six months but I couldn’t handle the bruising, so I turned to yoga which I love. I love dancing too, salsa or just arms flailing and a good blow out with pals is good for the soul. What’s the best thing to happen since you started working in your industry? After I started my blog the people at the Bridgestone Guides asked me to be a restaurant critic for them which was great except for the time I had to review half of Chinatown in Dublin in one week, that’s a lot of noodles. As a single Mum it was expensive to get babysitters so I brought my two boys with me, they love their food too and it meant we could spoil ourselves. My first book Bread on the Table came out in May last year and it was a lovely thing to hold my book in my hands and so many people came to the launch. I worked hard on the book because I was keenly aware that traditional skills like bread baking were dying out in Ireland and I wanted to write something very definable. Everybody loves bread, if they say they don’t they’re lying! I was also screen-tested for the job of Masterchef presenter but goes without saying I didn’t get it, it would be a hard job telling people to go home every week when they put so much into it and there’s only ever one winner. But I’d manage! What is next for you? With my broad background in food and press, people with food businesses began asking me to help them with their PR and I really enjoy that as it helps people and I get results as I have many contacts in the press still. My bread book brought to light a large gap in our food world where people are having all sorts of digestive problems so I’m in the middle of writing a book about traditional foods that are healing as well as accessible and affordable. I’ve featured some of them here in Fusion, like meat stocks and the recipe here for Kombucha. Happily things like butter are back on the menu and it’s all coming out about how we’ve been duped into believing that a low fat diet is good. I’ve taught lots of classes in cooking and now am giving classes in food fermenting which is so easy when you know how, it helps your digestion, balances your hormones and gives you energy, plus it’s cheap and easy to do. The next book will be out by the end of this year, it’s a labour of love but when you love what you do it isn’t really work at all. To keep up with what’s happening with Valerie check out www.valskitchen.com Photography by Tarmo Tuilit FUSION MAGAZINE | 49


May you taste the sweetest pleasures that fortune ere bestowed and may all your friends remember all the favours you are owed. It’s March and here we have the first favourite holiday of the year - St. Patrick’s Day, when you can proclaim your proud Irish heritage (or proud “Irish for a day” heritage) with a pint of Guinness in your hand. Although, I do that three times a week, anyway. St.Patrick’s Day is not all about drinking, but if you do partake in a few drinks you should indulge in different kind of concoctions - Irish Whiskey Cocktails, Tri-coloured flag shooters, Bailey’s Shakes, Green Beers, Irish Coffee. Beware though – with these drinks you are guaranteed a sore head next day. Stick with the classics, easy drinks are fun. If you want to surprise friends with a St. Patrick’s Day drink, I am going to give you a few easy DIY recipes that you can master in no time. Starting with the easiest.

Green Beer- How to make it? Get yourself a couple of bottles or cans of your favourite lager (preferably Irish), and green food colouring (available in grocery stores in the baking isle). Pour your beer gently into a glass, less foam the better, add five to six drops of the green food colouring and you should end up with an emerald green beer. You can also try it with different colours, so you could make beer flags.



2 measures of your favourite Vodka 1 ½ measures of Midori Liqueur Shake well with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime or honeydew melon slice. Just beware, that is a sneaky little drink – it will hit you when you least expect it. If you are at home and you have no shakers, but you have a blender or mixer in the kitchen, fire it up and get ready to make some delicious blends.

2 measures of Bailey’s 1 measure of vanilla flavoured Vodka 1/2 measure of Crème de Menthe 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream (you could also use chocolate ice cream if you want, for more depth) Add all ingredients with a handful of ice into the blender. Close the lid tightly and blend until smooth. Pour into cocktail glasses, garnish with mint leaves. Don’t forget that no celebration or gathering should end without at least one good round of rhymes, blessings or limericks being said. Prepare a toast for your friends, they sure will appreciate it, even when it is lame or embarrassing. Sláinte! Enjoy a drink but drink responsibly this St Patrick’s Day. Article by Kaur Ellermae Photography by Tarmo Tuilit




BAKING Chocolate Stout Meringue C ake This cake couldn’t be easier to make, trust me! There are a few steps involved which are not at all taxing and will not take away from any of the fun on St. Patricks Day. I promise, your efforts in the end will be oh-so-worth-it! This intensely moist stout-infused chocolate cake has been a staple in bakeries across our Fair Isle since stout itself was invented! While I can’t say that you will be blown away by the stout flavour, it does make this cake so much more special. It provides a soft and subtle undertone and gives the cake a very interesting finish. The stout acts as a counterbalance to the brown sugar, cutting through the caramel sweetness, but keeping plenty of moisture and allowing the crumb to stay sticky. The chocolate swirled meringue, layered with lashings of Bailey’s Cream adds sophistication to the cake, making it perfect for spoiling yourself after dinner. All together this cake is rich but light, smooth yet bold. It’s wonderfully luscious and a cinch to make. When shared with friends over the month’s patriotic frivolities, this cake is sure to impress!

Bake Time

20 minutes plus cooling & 25-30 minutes plus cooling

Pan Size

Two 8 or 9-inch round baking pans.

Serving Size

8-10 people

What you need Meringue: • 4 egg whites • 225g caster sugar • 1 tablespoon cornflour • 30g cocoa powder Cake: • 100g dark chocolate • 60ml hot coffee • 225g soft brown sugar • 3 eggs • 275g self-raising flour • 100g cocoa powder • 100ml vegetable oil • 330ml Guinness Filling: • 300ml fresh cream • 50g caster sugar

Getting Started: •Trace two circles using your baking tins on a piece of baking paper/parchment. Make sure the parchment fits a baking tray that will fit in your oven. •Preheat the oven to 180*C and line two 8/9” round cake tins with baking paper/parchment. Making the Meringue: 1.Whisk egg whites until frothy and almost dry looking. Then slowly add in sugar in three separate batches, making sure the sugar has been fully incorporated before adding in the next batch. Keep whisking until white and glossy. 2.Add cornflour and mix to combine. 3.Spoon two heaped tablespoons of the white meringue mix into a small bowl and sift over the cocoa powder. Whisk vigorously to combine and don’t worry if the mixture deflates. 4.Using the circles you have traced on your parchment, and with the pen side facing down, spoon out the remaining white meringue evenly between the two circles. Plop little teaspoons of chocolate meringue on top of the white and swirl the meringue out until it is about ½ an inch away from the circle guideline. 5.Pop it in the oven, on a lower shelf for 20 minutes and when complete, switch off the oven and leave the meringues inside to cool for at least one hour. Do not open the oven door during this time. Making the Cake: 1.Melt the dark chocolate in 60ml of hot coffee and set aside to cool. 2.Cream the eggs and sugar with a whisk or beater until a light shade of yellow. 3.Fold in the dry ingredients and then add Guinness, mixing until combined. 4.Add the oil and mix through until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. 5.Equally divide the mixture among the prepared pans. 6.Make sure to take your meringues out of the oven and then pop in your cake. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle is a little damp, with a few crumbs clinging to the stick. The tops may crack in the middle as they bake and then collapse slightly when cooling. Allow to cool completely before assembling the cake. Making the Filling and Assembling the Cake: 1.Whip the cream with sugar and then add as much Bailey’s as you want until soft peaks form. 2.When the cakes are cooled, starting with a cake layer, sandwich the meringue and cake with cream. 3.Add more cream to the meringue layer and pop the other cake layer on top of that. Finish with a layer of cream and then the other meringue. 4.This cake will last about 3 days is stored covered. Article by Hazel Ryan Sheehan - www.cupcakerys.com Twitter: @cupcakerys FUSION MAGAZINE | 53



Kombucha Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that many people pay good money for in supermarkets and health food shops. It’s tasty and moreish and kids go mad for it. It’s also ridiculously easy to make, once you can get a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) or kombucha mushroom from someone or by taking a class in fermented foods. Kombucha originates from Russia and even though it is ‘fed’ on sugar – the one thing we are trying to avoid – the health benefits of enjoying this delicious drink are many. As it is a fermented food, it is naturally probiotic which helps to restore good gut flora, promotes good digestion which leads to a reduction in allergies and illness. Kombucha is made from simple household ingredients and once you get into making it on a regular basis, you won’t want to stop. Kombucha is a great support for your liver, helping to rid it of toxins and it boosts your immune system, and oh – it’s really yummy!

Special equipment required


1 x 3 litre glass jar or plastic tub - scrupulously clean and sterilised A funnel Bottles flip top lids for fizzy drinks - see pic, you can buy these online or collect Grolsch or French lemonade bottles, the airtight lid is essential and the bottles can be recycled Makes 3 litres or 6 x 500ml bottles

1. First make sure all your equipment is clean, sterilize your jar by putting it through the dishwasher cycle or by putting the washed jar into the oven at 160’C for 10 minutes. 2. Pour 1 litre of boiling water into the jar, add the sugar and stir to dissolve, pop in your tea bags and cover loosely with muslin or a tea towel and allow to cool 3. Top up the jar to 3 litres with cold filtered water and pop in your kombucha mushroom, cover with muslin and secure this in place. 4. Transfer your jar to a hot-press/airing cupboard that is generally warm at around 22 degrees for the first ferment. 5. Leave the jar there for 5 - 7 days and then you are ready to bottle for what’s known as the second ferment. Taste it at this stage: if it tastes sweet and pleasant, then this is a good time to bottle it. Make sure your bottles and caps are all sterilised and cooled down 6. The mushroom and the bacteria will have sunk to the bottom of the bottle where it has been hungrily chomping away on all that sugar so simply pour the kombucha via the funnel into your bottles. Taste the kombucha at this point, if it doesn’t seem sweet enough, add maybe half a teaspoon of sugar to each bottle. 7. If you want to try adding flavours or fruit, pop a few slices of peeled fresh ginger into some of the bottles and maybe a couple of sliced strawberries or blueberries into a few more. 8. Return the bottles to the hot-press for 3 more days. After this time, transfer the bottles to a cool place to slow down the fermenting process. Pop your mushroom into a jar with some cold tea and sugar and cover with muslin secured with string. The mushroom will multiply, giving you one to give to a friend or simply make a bigger batch next time.

Ingredients 1 Kombucha mushroom 3 litres boiled water 6 x organic unbleached black tea bags, Clipper is a good brand and widely available 3/4 cup sugar Optional extras: ginger/strawberries/blueberries/dried mango

Kombucha Troubleshooting – What can go wrong/Will go wrong

Photography & Article by Valerie O’Connor www.valskitchen.com Twitter: @valoconnor

1. My kombucha tastes sour – if your finished kombucha tastes sour it’s most likely because you left it for too long in the first ferment, and maybe at a too high temperature. So try leaving it for less time, maybe 3-5 days. 2. My kombucha isn’t fizzy – chances are you need to leave it for longer. To add fizz for the second ferment add fruit or ginger which works especially well and will give you a lovely, refreshing flavour.


“What does it mean to be Irish? It means I’m not f#£$%=g English!”


The above question was originally asked and answered by my great comedic namesake Tommy Tiernan on his debut DVD, Live in Galway. Actually, there’s no way that’s correct. It was probably originally uttered as Ghaeilge, by one of our equally disgruntled ancestors, but the sentiment remained intact with Tommy, albeit slightly more amplified, and it is not entirely true. Not that obvious part of course; by definition, claiming Irish nationality directly dismisses a whole host of other national persuasions in an instant, leaving aside our often unspoken, but undeniable affinity with the indigenous tribes of Papua New Guinea. No? Just me? Perhaps I simply feel I’ve yet to be truly discovered. Reverting slightly, Tommy’s statement harbours grains of truth mostly in his definition of Irish-ness as existing in opposition to something, and more often than not something completely out of our hands. Readers, as we fast approach the birthday of our camouflagefond, serpent-slaying patron saint, we must once more face our annual pondering of what it means to be Irish and whether it’s worth the gold in the harp on our passports. How cometh we to this fair land? I know the theories of Charles Darwin are at the time of writing (who knows what deities may reach down and smite as this article meanders, serpent-like, to print) generally accepted as fact (with the obvious exception of that one he had about the island in Lost being Galapagos, which was total horseshite) but it’s easier to examine the origin of Irish-ness from a creationist point-of-view, especially when you consider this island isn’t even warm enough for monkeys to live here. Take that, science. When you consider the planet a failed science project by some colossal figure of agency (“All this food here and starving children over here? Straight ‘F’, Mr. God, have your Dad sign this.”), it becomes easier to narrow down what makes the Irish people intrinsic to this particular pile of muck. One imagines all sorts of beautiful people were sent towards this Fair Isle “in the beginning”. It is, in practical terms, a great deal; bountiful toil for tilling, plenty snakes to show you where the apples were AND a free water supply. Well, I suppose it was a great deal. Faced with the total non-practicalities of human nature, however, it must have taken a special breed to come here. After the Spaniards found it too cold and wet and the English decided that being closer to be closer to mainland Europe was more to their imperial advantage, our glorious deity must have, after several failed attempts (stand up, Aran Islands!) come upon a perfect mix of ardent begrudgery and steely determination to moan that had a group of former-apes step off their boats and go “Ah lads, ‘tis miserable and wet and there’s no jobs or spuds – unpack the boats! This’ll do grand.” It is, unquestionably, our enthusiasm for insurmountable, uphill struggles that forms the basis of our national identity, and all other factions may bow down and pay tribute. Our penchant for alcohol is but a struggle against our tendency towards alcoholism. Our struggle for independence began when Michael Collins cleverly passed on the six counties in order that he might give the lads something to do (1). And as for Catholicism, well if a religious order defined by a mystery as apparent bollocks as 3=1 that is held together by the golden rule of ‘no audience Q&As’ isn’t an uphill struggle then I’m a Sherpa summiting Everest for the seventh time this Sunday; I’d have said “Monkeys Uncle” but having already denounced evolution on this page I didn’t want to appear insincere. In the year preceding this, our most glorious day of sainthood (and booze), we as a nation have seen many an uphill struggle take root. Will we put up with water charges!? Will the Aran Islanders become released from the shackles of being likened to Hobbits (2) by the collective public imagination!? Will we let Joan Burton out of her car!? Perhaps, but only when we come across something better to bitch about. Tabair dom an cáca milis! Tá alán scamaill sa spear, an bhfuil cead agam dul go dti an leithereas? 1)This is historical fact dealt to me by a boozer who wished to remain unnamed in Tom Collins two Wednesdays ago. 2)I’ve given “Hobbits” a capital H as it was the only way to have it pass a spell-check. Article by Donnachadh Tiernan Twitter: @thefilibusters



A Limerick man was one of the first people to represent Ireland as in Independent nation in the 1924 Olympic Games.

John O’Grady, a champion weight thrower, was born on February 17th, 1891 (though he was often recorded as born in 1892) in Ballybricken, Co. Limerick. His parents were William and Catherine O’Grady, who were farmers. Sadly, his mother died when John was only 6 years old, leaving his father, William, to raise five young children on his own. John was a formidable sight with an enormous stature, he stood over six feet tall and weighed more than 18 stone. All accounts tell of his jolly disposition. This was noted by a sporting teammate of John’s who states a practical joke played on John at the Triangular International Contest in 1923. The night before the competition, another team member, by the name of Stuart, decided to steal all of John’s collars. At the time collars were not permanently attached to the shirt, but detachable so they could be washed and starched separately. The following morning the rest of the team began to search for the collars and resorted to trying to buy a new one, but they could not find one large enough to fit. John had to attend the event wearing a scarf in its place. When asked why, he kept the joke up so long, Stuart replied that he was scared the gentle giant would knock him out in one blow. In 1924, Ireland – then known as the Irish Free State – competed for the first time as an independent nation at the Olympics in Paris. John was given the honour of flag bearer,

carrying the tri-colour which did not become the official flag of Ireland until 1937. He participated in the shot put, which he threw a distance of 12.75 metres which placed him 17th at the Olympics. In his later years, he was the rates book inspector for Limerick County Council. He died on November 26th in 1934 at his home in St. Kevin’s Alphonsus Terrace, Limerick. His funeral took place in St. Michael’s Church (R.C.) and he was buried with his parents in Kilmurry, Caherconlish. His headstone reads: “Erected by his admirers in proud memory of John O’Grady - World’s Champion Weight Thrower born at Ballybricken, Co. Limerick on 17th Feb 1891. Died Limerick 26th Nov 1934. He worthily upheld Ireland’s Athletic prestige and endeared himself to all by his loveable character and simple bearing.” There is a memorial to John O’Grady’s achievements on Ballysimon Road which was erected in the 1940s. This memorial is a large limestone and steel weight set upon a pedestal with inscriptions on each side noting John’s sporting achievements. Article by Sharon Slater Twitter: @limerickslife

CHARITY ADAPT Domestic Abuse Services

When you hear the term ‘domestic abuse’, what image comes to mind? A man hitting a woman perhaps? I know that’s what I think of and I doubt I’m alone. But there is so much more to it than that - ‘You don’t need a bruise to be abused.’ I spoke with Deirdre Barrett, the Training and Development Officer of ADAPT Domestic Abuse services in Limerick. They are working tirelessly to widen our understanding of domestic abuse so we can identify when we or a loved one might be in an abusive relationship and she really opened my eyes to what’s actually happening to/with some women in our society. There are several different types of abuse: physical, financial, verbal, sexual, emotional and mental. Physical abuse can appear in many forms from a black eye to a broken bone, but in many cases the area hurt will be easily covered up by clothing. Financial abuse could be a situation where the man is controlling all of the household money or spending, withholding money from the woman or refusing to let her work. Verbal abuse can be heard through name-calling, lecturing, insults, sarcasm or humiliating the abused. Sexual abuse is sex without consent or in many cases, forcing a woman to perform or recreate pornographic acts she may not be comfortable with. Emotional abuse could be making the woman feel guilty, threatening her, or publicly embarrassing her, playing mind games, manipulating her and her emotions. Mental abuse can be identified through acts like the abuser denying the abuse (denial of abuse), threatening to kill the victim or take away the children or even threatening to harm himself. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone. You don’t have to be a certain age, race,

class or religion and it can be at any stage of a relationship. Many women live in these relationships for years before leaving and people ignorantly misjudge them thinking: “How could she let things get that bad and for so long?” We have to understand however, that the man she fell in love with was unlikely the man he is today and it is never her fault. Fast forward to a few years together, a ring, a house, a child. It might not seem that easy to up and leave and she may opt for more efforts to try and ‘fix’ things, often believing that she is to blame. It can also be extremely difficult for someone to identify a problem while it is happening to them, let alone make the move to get out of it. That’s where ADAPT come in. Situated in Rosbrien, in Limerick, they provide an incredible array of services to help, support and assist women who are experiencing domestic abuse to get to a safe place in life. 1 in 5 women in Ireland experience domestic abuse with 1 in 3 women experience psychological abuse. ADAPT recently celebrated their 40th birthday and have been a refuge for so many women and children over the years. They started out in 1974 as a place for women who were known as ‘deserted wives’, meaning they had been left by their husbands. Over time, the need grew and the face of the refuge changed, all the while remaining as a safe place for women. They are open 24/7, 365 days of the year. They offer several supports from the phone service, in-house refuge and outreach programmes where a member of the team can meet women in their community or a space more comfortable and accessible for them. They also provide one-to-one support and translation is available. They have child care services and play therapy groups for children who are affected by


being exposed to this abuse. They also run educational programmes on healthy and unhealthy relationships, training workshops for front line staff to spot domestic abuse and Domestic Abuse Teen Support (DATS) where young people can meet to discuss their experiences or concerns. Let us be clear on one thing however, ADAPT are not anti-men. They recognise the role of good men in preventing domestic abuse. Their “Man Up Campaign” last year focused on the responsibility men have to deter other men from domestic abuse and encouraging them to respect women. Their tagline is “Strong men stand against domestic violence”, stating “We believe behind every great man there’s kindness, courage and support for women and children.” We all have a role to play. You might be reading this and know of a friend who could be in an abusive relationship and wonder what you can do. Well ADAPT have advice on that too. You can call the organisation for advice or support or follow information on their website. If you want to help or support the charity, there are a number of options available to you from making regular donations or buying items like towels and pyjamas for the refuge. Like with many charities, there is a very high demand on their services and they rely heavily on their annual Church gate collection for funding which will be on Sat and Sun 19th-20th June. The number to call at any time even just to talk, in complete confidence is 1800 200 504 or 061 412354 and remember - there is no excuse for domestic abuse. Article by Mairéad Collins Twitter: @magtweetsagain

International Women’s Day - #MakeItHappen When: 8th of March Where: Everywhere What: International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday. Why: Suffragettes campaigned for women’s right to vote. The word ‘Suffragette’ is derived from the word “suffrage” meaning the right to vote. International Women’s Day honours the work of the Suffragettes, celebrates women’s success, and reminds of inequities still to be redressed. International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring

their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers. The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men. However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past

Event: JJ O’TOOLE LTD and the HOPE FOUNDATION invite you to an INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY LUNCHEON – March 6th 2015. Tickets €75 - www.hopefoundation.ie

few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives. Annually on the 8th of March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more. Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google some years even changes its logo on its global search pages. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as ‘Women’s History Month’. So make a difference, think globally and act locally! Make every day International Women’s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.


About: Former Bond girl Fiona Fullerton will be visiting Limerick as JJ O’Toole Ltd host a unique International Women’s Day Luncheon in aid of The Hope Foundation at Dunraven Arms, Adare, Co Limerick - with guest speakers, prosecco and music reception at 12pm, 3 course lunch with wine.



Tricks and shortcuts for the Spring Clean It is starting to smell like spring and days are becoming longer. We get home from work and might still catch some sunlight finding its way into the kitchen making us draw the curtains back for half an hour to brighten up the room. We are also starting to notice the fingerprints on those windows and water drops behind the sink. Then the cobwebs. And, oh no - what is all that stuff on the kitchen floor underneath the oven door? – “That’s it! I’m out for coffee until it’s dark again,” we decide and deal with it some other day. We know that once we start, it will take days to do the whole round and we’d rather postpone it: “During the weekend, definitely!” We start seeing ads glamorising the process of cleaning only to convince us their spot-specific or one-for-all product is a must-buy. In their ad we meet a slightly exhausted-looking housewife pulling a 100 bottles of cleaning solutions out of her press


in favour of that “Mr. Miracle”. We watch it and think: “hardly, now!” Besides the hassle of trying to store this collection of sprays, foams and rubs, there is the environmental side to consider – all of them contain harmful chemicals that we could do without. Having a self-diagnosed mild form of OCD, I decided to test many of these “alternative DIY cleaning solutions” and can now confidently reach for a home-made recipe instead of running out to get a litre of Mr. Wonderful or a tub of “I’m pink, so I must be effective!”

Most industrially produced domestic cleaners can be swapped for simple combinations of items found in our kitchens. The most popular ones are white/ cider vinegar, lemon juice, rubbing alcohol, baking soda, table salt, chalk, oil and borax. Vinegar and lemon juice are acids that are good for breaking down bonds of organic substances. I would use it to lift food, limescale, grime and soil from floors, counters and bathroom surfaces (also works for mold and mildew). Mix it with a drop of washing up liquid and some water to speed up the process and you have a solution as good as any cillit and the bang won’t be felt by your pocket. Equipped with this knowledge, we just need to keep it away from metals (iron, aluminium, steel - e.g. taps, sinkholes), marble and natural stone. Salt (or sodium chloride) is also sometimes added to encourage the chemical reaction as it is a crystal which dissolved in water becomes electrolytes that conduct electricity and thereby act as catalysts in the process. Baking soda and chalk are very effective as mild non-abrasive cleaning powders. Use baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate) mixed in little water to soak up dirt and grime from grout lines, around the sink/shower tray and even some hardwood floors (testing required!). It acts as a buffer by neutralizing the acidic and/or alkaline substance it is added to. So baking soda is useful as a deodorizer as well (anyone with male cats? It is non-harmful to animals!). The fluoride in toothpaste can also help to remove calc, but I wouldn’t recommend it to clean your kettle with it. Other ‘transferable’ products would include using shampoo to lift stains from fabric. The foaming reaction process can be used to treat tougher stains like tomato sauce! I do agree that the industry has managed to develop “green cleaning” solutions for us, but they are often too expensive to “experiment” with and sometimes do not deliver the results we are after. These abovementioned household ingredients, though, are available to be mix-and-matched depending on our goal and nature of the stain/surface/grime. Baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and borax are very inexpensive products and we don’t need to store them in litres to sense that we are “equipped to tackle the Spring Clean marathon”! Besides, these elements are mainly odourless (vinegar will just take a few minutes longer to vaporise) , so we don’t have to put up for weeks with the noxious scent of wild orchid just because the manufacturer couldn’t find an odourless chemical to sell us. Besides avoiding harsh chemicals that are corrosive, flammable, irritants and allergens, and thereby keeping ourselves healthy; we are doing a favour to the environment by not flushing it all down the drain for the sake of “crossing it off our list”. I hope this selection of items has opened your mind to take advantage of these few household ingredients and remember – always test before applying! Happy cleaning and don’t forget to wave to the passers-by who can now peek in through your crystal clear window! Article by Johanna Aaspollu Twitter: @ceel88


WA L K I N G O N C A R S From humble beginnings, Walking On Cars have to be one of the hardest working bands currently in the country, they put whatever money they make back into the band and don’t pay themselves a wage. Now having signed to Virgin EMI in England, this band from Dingle, Kerry have come a long way but still have an immense amount of music to show us. Currently rehearsing and touring Ireland and England, Patrick Sheehy (singer/lyricist) chats with Olivia Chau about life together as Walking on Cars.

Fans know the story of Walking On Cars, but for the people who might not… could you tell me about how you got together? We were all in Dingle about 4, 4 ½ years ago and umm, a few of us had part-time jobs and some of us were in college. I gave Sorcha a call and I knew she played piano. We got together for a jam session and the jammin’ went well, so we decided to get a proper band going. Within a week, with Evan and Paul, we started rehearsing in their kitchen and we literally started writing straight away. We weren’t into doing covers or being a cover band, and we had been writing our own stuff individually for a long time and we got together and started writing. Obviously at the start, the songs we were writing weren’t that good but our family and friends told us they were, so we kept on it. We locked ourselves away in a little cottage in the Dingle peninsula for about six months. It was probably our best writing session back there. We had no one to bother us. We had no internet, no coverage on our phones, just us in a house, writing. It was really cool and really nice and there was no pressure on us either. We literally did it because we wanted to. We were all on the dole, we couldn’t find jobs but we had enough money for food and stuff for the fire that was kind of it. After that, we came out of there with 10 or 15 songs and started gigging. Slowly, but surely, we started and got the first couple thousand fans under our belt after a year or 2 of gigging. We recorded our first EP and put that up on iTunes and sold copies at gigs, and before we knew it we had people with labels knocking on our door.

In 2010 when you first got together, could you imagine the immense following you would get in just a few short years? We hoped that we would, but we couldn’t be sure, you know. You never know how people are going to perceive you or your music, or whether they pay any attention to you at all. We kind of knew and we thought people would really get the first song we released, “Catch Me If You Can”. We had a really good feeling about that one because emotionally it was really raw and when the piano intro kicks in, I was caught by it and hoped other people would be too. You can’t predict these things; we’re still a small band in the grand scheme of things but we have a lot of goals and a lot of work to do, still. The future should be interesting. There seems to be an Irish take over at the moment, with Hozier, Kodaline and yourselves, what, in your opinion, is making Ireland so popular at the moment? To be honest, I think the reason for so many musicians writing their own material at the moment and are doing so well, is because the country, is kind of fucked. You have these young people writing about it and everyone in the country can relate to that. That’s probably what it’s down to. If everything was rosy and everything was fine, there’d be nothing to write about. People are leaving the country to get jobs abroad and the artists are all writing about it and people can relate to that.


So a reflection of the times…. Yeah, I think so. If things were good, you probably wouldn’t have half the bands. There’s no such thing as a happy Irish guy….. (Both of us laugh at this) You’d rarely hear an Irish guy singing about something happy. I, personally, don’t like to listen to happy music myself. Go with the sad tunes; everyone digs a sad tune. Who does your videos for you? Initially, we had a production company up in Dublin. One of the guys in the company was a friend, so we had a connection there. They were new on the scene and we were new on the scene, so we said sure, let’s give it a go. We gave them “Catch Me If You Can” and they really liked it. They had a vision for the song and they went for it – it’s a bit heavy. When we were sent the treatment, we didn’t know the extent of how heavy it was going to be and when we got the final cut, it was fucking awful but it kind of had to be to make an impression on people. So we went for it. And before we got signed, the videos got an incredible amount of views. We don’t like normal videos.

You guys just signed to Virgin EMI. That must’ve been surreal and exciting and amazing, all at the same time? Yeah it’s great to have them on board, but a lot of people who know we’ve signed, think our lives have changed and that we don’t have to worry about money any more. So untrue! It’s really untrue, but we do have the chance to change our lives and make the most of it. We’re going to keep writing and doing what we’re doing and hopefully with the label, we can get exposure in different areas around the world – especially in the UK. America is a huge place, so we don’t know if we will break there with the album but it’s definitely in our sights.

You donated a portion of your ticket sales to Jigsaw Ireland from your gig in Killarney. That was a conscious effort on your part for mental health. Do you think mental health is such a big issue in Ireland and is something we all need to address at the moment? Yeah, I think it is. I think a lot of young people are falling by the way side. So a lot of people don’t have a focus in life or something that they love and it’s really easy to get down on yourself. It’s something that we all need to look at and it’s something that we were very glad to help with.

“Always Be With You” the new single is available to download now. Walking On Cars are currently in rehearsals at the moment ahead of their tour around Ireland and the UK. They are playing in the Big Top in Limerick on Friday, 13th of March. Don’t forget to check out their videos, as well as their music which can be found on iTunes and Spotify. They are set to release an album this year, so watch this space!

Interview by Olivia Chau Twitter: @olliechau


Greeting Fusion sporting the most fantastic purple glasses I’ve seen this year, Pat Short needs no introduction. That said, the only more appropriate titling of an “Irish comedy legend” would accompany an illustration of one of the Flann O’Brien’s penned Cuchulainn yarns. For those among our readership born in the nineties, Pat has been a legend of the Irish small screen for almost twice as long as you can recollect. Taking on board all our most indigenous performance comics from The Hardy Bucks, to The Savage Eye, before anybody did anything, Pat Short did everything. Pat was polite, well-spoken, enthused and informative. I’ll waste about as many characters to introduce this man who needs no introduction as Pat and I did moments for pleasantries; this was exactly as time-efficient an interview as one would expect from the hardest-working Irishman in show-business. I remember first seeing you with John Kenny at 5-minute slots on an Irish music programme. Is that correct? Pat: You could be right, that would be a TV show called Gort na Clu which was with Tommy McCarthy on RTE, about 1993. It was a concept that myself and John Kenny put together with Tommy McCarty; Tommy’s retired now but a very well known writer/ director/producer… and performer - himself and his brother John were two comedians, actually. So, the concept was a summer show and we played the two characters of D’Unbelievables. Our inserts were basically travelling around to different festivals over the summer following the demise of these two musicians. We actually played the Féile the following year on stage to about 30,000 or 40,000 people, myself and John, it was about the second or third Féile. I think there were a few after it. It was a sketch that we got into with this band, who turned out to be The Stunning. They helped us in and then we got on to the main stage. We did the Hucklebuck for filming purposes and it was actually one of the most terrifying things, it was a rock and roll gig and we were two daft comedians with two silly wigs. “I was probably 21/22! So it was scary as hell for me! You know, you’re thinking “How are they going to take these two guys with mockbellies and wool wigs?” but myself and John Kenny were huge at the time and we didn’t even realise it. We were the biggest selling DVD, bigger than U2! They had a meeting about sales with Paul McGuinness in Sony… the sales were astronomical. My own personal favourite, of your outings with Jon would have to be D’Mother. Yeah! Dark and twisted… the mother being

the father underneath it all… Funny, the Dan character on Killinaskully came out of that video at the time, so I’ve fond memories of that – I always loved “the mother” as a show. Tell us about your Broadway experience? P: Yeah, The Cripple of Inishmaan; it was a great experience. I find that when you’re in the throws of these things, you’re concentrating on it and a lot of stuff passes you by. You don’t really wallow in the whole razzmatazz of Broadway – the parties and all that – you end up at them and they are great but it is only afterwards you think back and say “Oh, yeah; that was kind of cool.” Hanging out with Neill Patrick Harris, myself and James Franco with a bottle of beer for the night – this kind of thing. I understand you got into a bit of trouble with Daniel Radcliffe? P: No! I didn’t, I’ve no idea what you’re talking about! I was at a dance with him one time… he is an amazing guy and friend I wouldn’t have a bad word said about him. That [referring to reports he attended a rave with the Harry Potter megastar] was taken out of proportion, he is a great guy to work with, he has worked with everybody – some amazing actors. He matured as an actor before the world doing the Harry Potter series. If you watch the first one he did to the very last one, it’s like a master-class in acting. The things he has done since Harry Potter – he has worked on some great projects; some amazing stuff and he hasn’t been afraid to take risks which he doesn’t need to since money and reputation was earned with Harry Potter but he is still pushing the boat out and he is well capable of it.


Do you want to talk a little bit about Calvary and your role as a Buddhist publican? Were you head-hunted for that? P: I don’t know is head-hunted the term. I did The Guard and I know John-Michael for many, many years; and funny enough – I worked with Martin many years ago with Druid on The Lonesome West and got to know John as well around the same time, I’ve a lot of time for them. So then Guard came up and it was just the one day shoot and a bit of craic, so I worked with him on that and funny enough, I had a tiny part in The Guard but some great dialogue and I was very lucky with that as it was a part that jumped out off the screen. So then they came along and asked me to do Calvary and I had a much bigger part in Calvary, so it was great and again – working with a star cast. Did you enjoy bashing Brendan Gleeson’s face in? P: (Laughs) It wouldn’t be the first time I hit him a few clatters both on and off-screen!! We go back years – myself and Brendan – to a film we did many, many years ago, we just got to know each other and we have a common connection with Thurles as well: his family are all from Thurles. So it’s always good craic working together, having a few pints and what have you, so it’s been a pleasure. Look, it was a great script, anything John does is outstanding; he’s a really good director, both McDonnaghs are... it’s so unique to see two brothers like that, they are both geniuses. For me, to get the opportunity to work with them at any time, I’d jump to it you know, The Cripple of Inishmaan, and also Calvary and The Guard.

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Have you received any tell of what would be the third part of what’s being called “the glorious suicide trilogy”? P: No, I don’t know anything about it. I do remember sitting above in Sligo over a few pints and talking about it with Brendan himself, but I didn’t pay much attention to the conversation, do you know what I mean? We were just having the banter and the craic talking about these characters and their follow-up. It will have to be this and it will have to be that... I actually thought they were just talking shite! And then it was some time after, on The Late Late or something that they mentioned about doing a trilogy and I went “Ah jeez – that’s what they were talking about!” Your next thing now which is the stage-show Selfie. Where did you launch it? P: Yeah, I started it... I opened a show in Manorhamilton up in Leitrim – strange venue, but wonderful people up there – and I did a show in Manorhamilton the previous year and Anna Legge, the administrator there, said to me that if I wanted to try out new material in the show to come back to her. And it’s one of those places - its a hundred seat theatre in the middle of the countryside, a small little village and they’ve an apartment attached and I said yeah, this is the job - I’ll go there for the last week and do the tech week.

Do you have a co-writer? P: Yeah, Mike Finn and myself have worked together a lot – Mike has worked with me on Killinaskully and various other projects down through the years - so all the live shows – I get Mike in to work with me, just to bash the stuff off somebody as opposed to sitting there myself looking at a blank page. Like, I come up with the concepts and ideas and characters; I tend to come up with an idea – a global idea and then pick out the characters that I’ll work with. I know from stage: it’s so different from T.V or film, you know – with a stage show you need to start big, you tell your story a little bit through, then you have to have something big in the middle, then you can go a bit more and then you need to finish on something big so the audience walk away enthralled. Have you ever come across an audience member that was just not up for it? P: Yeah, would you believe it, I had it in this show already, I normally go down and move somebody and every night they move, I don’t really get them to do anything, I just move them around and this night this woman wouldn’t get up and I was like, I just wanted her to move down a tiny bit and it would have worked; but I was thinking if she doesn’t move, we have a problem. She would not move and just as I was about to yank her out of the seat, her husband said she’s just after having surgery! So I brought the show to her because I have to keep her, she’s now


a character and you can’t ignore her so I brought her some sandwiches and tea! Have you any more television in the near future? P: Yeah, I’m working on a project with BBC at the moment and I’m over and back to London every second week, It’s at very early stages, but I’ve just been teamed up with two writers, which is interesting and I’m working with them. Well, they’re writing it with me which is a concept that I came up with. I won’t go into it too much because it’s very much in its infancy stage and if I tell you it’s all about a midget with a spaceman’s hat, and by the time it comes out it is all about a farmer with a bicycle!! Do you know what I mean?! It’s a project that’s in development at the moment, is probably the best way to put it. It’s exciting because I’m over and back to the UK meeting up with the heads of BBC comedy and meetings with writers who have written great stuff and it’s just great to be mingling in those circles. Selfie comes to UCH on March 7th. And the tour is national - Running from February 20th – May 23rd 2015 Visit www.patshortt.com for full details Tickets are on sale now. Interview by Donnachadh Tiernan Twitter: @thefilibusters Photography by Tarmo Tulit


Charles Harper and Jim Savage founded the Drawing Awards for students of all artistic disciplines in Limerick School of Art and Design 10 years ago. It welcomes a whopping average of 450 works, from which an invited curator selects the eventual show. A strong punch in the calendar, the event sticks with its’ original aims “to both celebrate and stimulate the continuing practice of Drawing”. This student show has pieces displayed by choice of the curator – a person whose job I do not envy! The selected work will be photographed and uploaded to a website between selection and the opening. It therefore varies year on year, sometimes work that gives the broadest possible meaning to the term drawing is displayed while other times, minimalistic pieces that focus on specific areas/ technical aspects of drawing are shown. After more details? Check out www.lit.ie/lsad Synesthetic Drone Orchestra Workshop The Hunt Museum, €50 (€15 due on booking), 7th March 10am-4pm I would be lying if I said I knew how to pronounce this word confidently on first reading, but this wonderfully interesting word represents a wonderfully interesting event! This is a practical hands-on workshop with instrument builder Ed Devane where attendees will acquire indepth knowledge about sound and musical instrument design. They will leave with an enriched appreciation and understanding for music while enhancing their craft skill – not to mention the fun exploration process! This is a 16+ event. For booking, email education@ huntmuseum.com or call 061312833

Askeaton Contemporary Arts Firstly, I must explain what exactly I am delving into: established in 2006, Askeaton Contemporary Arts has commissioned, produced and exhibited a broad variety of contemporary art in County Limerick. If only all little towns had similar initiatives! It hosts an annual residency programme “Welcome to the Neighbourhood” for both Irish and international artists each summer, thematic exhibitions and associated events are a regular occurrence. ‘A small Irish town with a big fancy gallery?’ I thought in confusion, but no – Askeaton offers something better, something that welcomes the community and has created a beautiful ripple effect of creative endeavors and drawn people together. Artists in Askeaton work in public spaces throughout the town. Purposefully designed this way, “This form of engagement focuses on the existing dynamics of the local place and people, intending to bring forward the diverse layers of daily life and create a rich framework for subjective encounters.” Locals are drawn in by the creativity and often interact or implicate the development of projects, testing the belief that contemporary art can be used as an active hub for locals. This working concept places artists at the centre of dialogues, where they play a critical and concrete role in engaging a community in critiquing, investigating, exploring and celebrating art. Askeaton Contemporary Arts has introduced the work of artists from all over the world to Askeaton. The March programme for Askeaton Contemporary Arts is bursting at the seams. A local wood carver, Seanie Barron, whose work shows an innate understanding of nature, shall feature. With a keen eye, Seanie watches out for suitable wood on his walks and makes surreal creations such as walking sticks or whistles with carvings of seahorses, fists, foxes or swimmers and sometimes even incorporates found objects like coins, bullets or animal bones! Intertwining overlooked and exotic ideas and materials, Seanie carries a unique talent in his skilled hands which shall be on display at the Civic Trust. As part of St. Patricks’ day celebrations, a development from residency in Askeaton, Susan McWilliams returns with a “psychedelic cosmic sensation” in the form of street art in the town – but not necessarily in a traditional sense; Susan links her residency project and elements of a novel 1954 The Doors of Perception with accounts of a Meteorite Fall in Limerick, 1813. With so much to say on the many projects of Askeaton, I have decided to talk about just one more and to leave the rest for you to discover – you can let your artistic heart flurry to this craft nook in the woods! Another completely different piece, also to be displayed at Askeaton Civic Trust (from March 16th, 8pm) is Allan Hughes’ exhibition Neutral States. Based upon the legacy of World War II battlement infrastructure along the Shannon Estuary, this video, audio and photographic installation is a unique collection from interviews by local volunteers in the LSF and LDF (Local Security Force & Local Defense Force) in the 1940s. It explores the neutrality of Ireland during ‘The Emergency’ but the accounts prove that “landscape and territory are anything but neutral” in the most fascinating way. You can research your trip to Askeaton further online at www. askeatonarts.com or leave the other works a surprise when you land on the streets of this wee little Limerick town!



Drawing Awards - 10 years on! LSAD Church Gallery, no fee, 3rd March

ST. PATRICKS’ DAY PARTY- HOW WILL YOU CELEBRATE? The Main Event: Well, the main event has got to be the big Parade, which indeed takes place on Tuesday, the 17th of March. Needless to say, the novelty of having a fantastic spectacle here in Limerick, right our doorstep has not worn off! If you are reading this from another corner of the country, go to your local parade, or better again – come to Limerick! Every party is better when it is themed: possibly, or undoubtedly reaping inspiration from revels of the city, Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr Kevin Sheahan encourages entrants “to perform and entertain as they proudly parade through the main streets of Limerick” with an artistically ‘Spring’ themed entry. With creative winds whirring louder than ever in the South West, this year, the entrants we see will have gone through a tighter application process to guarantee our entertainment and the parade route will be shorter this year. The music; we cannot forget the music! St. Patrick’s Day always shines light on fantastic music that most mainstreamers forget, lives exuberantly in the talented lives of many who travel near and far for the celebrations. It is also a celebration of the 45th Limerick International Band Championship, which will take place on March 15th and will feature bands from all over Ireland, the

USA and Europe. So if you are somehow caught working on St. Patrick’s Day, make sure to enjoy the celebratory atmosphere on Sunday! After the arts and cultural work the people of Limerick have committed, I think I can safely say That’s Limerick citaaay! for the most wonderful reasons! There will be a live music galore on the streets and in the pubs; from buskers, cover bands and trad bands alike, so folks, get your dancing shoes on and be ready for a set… or twenty! The St. Patrick’s Day festivities will be co-ordinated by the Galway based production company, Grooveyard who won a year-long contract with Limerick City Council. We are in their trusty hands and are super excited to see the line-up they provide!

Article by Rebecca Egan Twitter: @beccae20

BEAT ON THE STREET Aisling Henry What’s playing on your ipod? I’m listening to Goldfrapp’s album ‘Seventh Tree’ at the moment. Who is your favourite band/solo artist? It’s so difficult to choose but I’d have to say Ben Howard, he is incredibly talented. He supported Mumford and Sons in 2013 in Phoenix Park; it was incredible to be there. What was the best gig you have ever been at? Definitely Kings of Leon when they played in Marley Park during the summer. I’ll never forget when they played ‘Temple’, the crowd just went crazy! What was the last album you bought? Ben Howard’s new album ‘I Forget Where We Were’, it seems a bit darker than his first album but it’s brilliant. What is your favourite Limerick venue? Dolans, it’s a terrific venue for live music, or even just to go for a drink with friends.


DJ P R O F IL E Peter Byrne Age: 34 Day job: Code monkey - iHomes

How long have you been a DJ? Way too long (laughs) 17/18 years. What got you interested? The love of music, that is really what gets us all into it. First gig: The local teenage disco when I was 15.

Type of music: My first love will always be house but anything from hip hop to house to techno and everything in-between. Tune of the moment: Sade - pearls (timo jahns remix) Favourite song: Afrika Bambatta - Planet Rock

Favourite DJ: Hard to pick but if I had to probably Carl Cox because he has done so much. Format: Vinyl, Cd, Digital, I have used them all at one point in time. Next gig? The Library on Cornmarket Row on Saturday nights.


Photography by Tarmo Tulit


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The Limerick Film Festival is back! Now in its sixth year, the LIT-founded three-day event has grown in size and reputation – attracting hundreds of filmmakers and visitors from home and abroad. Countries such as USA, Canada, Japan, Belgium, France, Israel and Spain have been represented since its inception. The Limerick Film Festival team is excited to be bringing professional filmmakers, actors, producers, directors and many more to the city in April 2015. The continued focus on expanding the festival in and around the city remains. The Short Film Awards Show will give the filmmaking talent of Limerick a chance to show off their skills to a wider national and international audience. Deadline for entries is March 6th with the main event taking place Thursday 23rd - Saturday 25th April www.limerickfilmfestival.net

TREATY COMEDY It would seem that in these times we could all use a good laugh. So why not check out Treaty Comedy, which is on in Cobblestone Joe’s and JP’s Bar & Lounge around the city. They’ll tickle your funny bone and make you forget all your woes. Treaty Comedy was founded in August 2013 by Brendan O’Grady, who tells us how it got started and how far they’ve come in just the last year. Brendan was frustrated with the lack of opportunities for Limerick comedians to hone their craft. At the time, there was only one other club doing one night a week which was not enough for the growing number of comics in the city. In December of 2013, I started working with Tim Foran, a previous UL Comedy Society president and we got to work turning Treaty Comedy Club into Limerick’s premier comedy night. One of these decisions was to switch from being monthly to bi-monthly – effectively doubling the opportunities for local acts. We focus on the “breaking through” acts who are preparing to hit the UK market, Jake Bourke being the stand out name we give regular stage time to. Jake has a run in the Brighton Fringe Festival in May. We’ve held Edinburgh previews for acts going to the Edinburgh’s Fringe festival. In September 2014, Tim Foran moved to Dublin to set up his own club in the capital and I now work with current UL Comedy Society president, Amy Lee Fox. We’re working closely with the UL Comedy Society to allow a springboard for students to get into the Irish comedy circuit and provide contacts for gigs in Galway, Cork and Dublin. You can check out Treaty Comedy’s Facebook page for all upcoming events. /TreatyComedyClub Article by Olivia Chau


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TUMBLEDOWN Sunday 1st March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick

JOEY RYAN TRIO Wednesday 4th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick

IDOL BONES Friday 6th March The George Hotel, Limerick

MALTYTEASER Sunday 1st March The Red Hen, Limerick

HIDDEN TREASURES FROM RUSSIA AND IRELAND: TCHAIKOVSKY AND JOHN FIELD Thursday 5th March @ 1.15pm Irish World Academy of Music & Dance, University of Limerick, Limerick

EMMET SCANLON AND GOOD THOUGHT Friday 6th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick

FIVE WEEK FISH COURSE Every Thursday from 5th March – 2nd April @ 7pm - 9.30pm Hook and Ladder, 7 Sarsfield Street, Limerick

GETTING PUBLISHED (INTENSIVE ONE-DAY COURSE) Saturday 7th March, 10am - 5pm 12 Barrington Street, Limerick

MICHAEL HARDING: HANGING WITH THE ELEPHANT Thursday 5th March @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick

SYNAESTHETIC DRONE ORCHESTRA WORKSHOP Saturday 7th March @ 10am - 4pm The Hunt Museum, Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick City

‘ON THE NAIL’ LITERARY GATHERING Tuesday 3rd March @ 8pm The Loft Venue, The Locke Bar, 3 George’s Quay, Limerick

TONGUES AND SACRED MURMURINGS - A SPECIAL ‘CANDLELIGHT’ PRAYERFORMANCE Thursday 5th March @ 8pm Kilmurry Church, Castletroy, Limerick

PUPPET WORKSHOP WITH MARC MAC LOCHLAINN Saturday 7th March @ 2.30pm Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick

NIAMH CARMODY & FRIENDS Tuesday 3rd March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick

MIDNIGHT UNION Thursday 5th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick

LSAD DJ SOCIETY Tuesday 3rd March The Red Hen, Limerick

IRISH OPEN LONG COURSE MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2015 Friday 6th & Saturday 7th March 2015 University of Limerick Castletroy Limerick

PAT SHORTT - SELFIE Saturday 7th March @ 8pm University Concert Hall, University Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick

RACHEL SAGE Monday 2nd March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick 30 MINUTE MAINS COOKERY CLASS Tuesday 3rd March @ 6.30pm - 9.30pm Recipe4Success Cookery School, Annacotty Business Park, Annacotty, Limerick LIVING WELL WITH ARTHRITIS COURSE Weekly from Tuesday 3rd March – 14th April, 7pm - 9pm The South Court Hotel, Raheen, Limerick

OUR LADY OF LOURDES - SPRINGTIME SPECTACULAR Wednesday 4th March @ 7pm Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick SEE FOR CINEMA - PALO ALTO Wednesday 4th March @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick

PIGGING OUT COOKERY CLASS Friday 6th March @ 7pm - 9.30pm Hook and Ladder, 7 Sarsfield Street, Limerick VIRTUOSIC VIOLIN Friday 6th March @ 8pm University Concert Hall, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick


DARA FAHY Saturday 7th March The George Hotel, Limerick TREES FALL DOWN Saturday 7th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick




M A R TWO BROTHERS VLADIMIR & ANTON JABLOKOV Sunday 8th March @ 8pm University Concert Hall, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick THE DEANS Sunday 8th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick

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MIDWEST REGIONAL NETWORKING EVENING Wednesday 11th March @ 6.30pm Radisson Blu Hotel, Ennis Road, Limerick URBY WHALE & DAVID HOPE Wednesday 11th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick METAMORPHOSEN FOR 23 SOLO STRINGS Thursday 12th March @ 1.15pm Irish World Academy of Music & Dance, University of Limerick, Limerick

REAL TALK Monday 9th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick MOTION PICTURES @ THE MEZZ Monday 9th March @ 9pm The Red Hen, Limerick EARLY 19TH CENTURY IRISH WOMEN ARTISTS Tuesday 10th March @ 1pm - 2pm The Hunt Museum, Custom House, Rutland Street, Limerick City MODERN IRISH CUISINE Tuesday 10th March @ 7pm - 9.30pm Hook and Ladder, 7 Sarsfield Street, Limerick MOMENT Tuesday 10th - Saturday 14th March @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick STOP & THINK Tuesday 10th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick

STOCKON’S WING Thursday 12th March @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick TRAVIS OAKS Thursday 12th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick

TREES FALL DOWN Friday 13th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick ST. PATRICKS FESTIVAL OF RACING Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th March @ 12:30 Limerick Racecourse, Greenmount Park, Patrickswell FRONT LINE STAGE SCHOOL Saturday 14th March @ 7pm (Castletroy group) Sunday 15th March @ 7pm (Raheen and Adare group) Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick THE DARKNESS Saturday 14th March @ 8pm Dolans Pub & Warehouse, Dock Road, Limerick

WALKING ON CARS Friday 13th March @7pm Dolans Pub & Warehouse, Dock Road, Limerick

GARY CONNOR Saturday 14th March The George Hotel, Limerick

THE KEOGH FAMILY IN CONCERT Friday 13th March @ 8pm Friars Gate Theatre, Kilmallock, Co. Limerick

FOX JAW SUPPORT SILENT NOISE PARADE Saturday 14th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick

JOHN FRAWLEY Friday 13th March The George Hotel, Limerick

Business Calendar - Events and Training

Midwest Regional Networking Evening 11th March, 6.30pm Radisson Blue Hotel & Spa, Limerick This hugely popular event books up fast, so get in while you can for the chance to make valuable connections, strengthen existing relationships and stay informed of current issues that could affect your business. Don’t forget your business card! Cost: free to members, €20 non-members www.limerickchamber.ie

ICBE Business Excellence Skillnet – Project Management Essentials 9th & 10th March 9am - 5pm The Absolute Hotel, Limerick Get formal recognised industry training in complex Project Management. The course is aimed at people new to Project Management or Project Team Members who need to interact more efficiently with the Project Manager and Project Stakeholders. Cost: €375.00 to members, €450.00 for non-members www.icbe.ie

Munster Breakfast Seminar ¬– 2015 Economic Outlook Thursday 26th March, 7.30am - 9am Clarion Hotel, Cork Hosted by The Sales Institute, what better way to start your day than to get expert insight on Ireland’s economic recovery? The event will look at the numbers behind the recovery, how the financial services sector is reinventing itself and the vital foreign direct investment section of the economy. Seminar speakers will be JP Hughes of Friends First, Gerard O’Neill of Amarach Research, and Julie Sinnamon of Enterprise Ireland. Cost: free for members, €80 non-members www.eventbrite.ie If you have an event you would like us to promote, get in touch: hello@fusionmedia.ie


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LIMERICK ST. PATRICK’S FESTIVAL 2015 Sunday 15th - Tuesday 17th March Various locations LIMERICK INTERNATIONAL BAND CHAMPIONSHIP Sunday 15th March @ 12pm O’Connell Street, Limerick PETE T. Sunday 15th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick TIGWARA Monday 16th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick PADDY’S DAY UNLOCKED Tuesday 17th March, 3pm - 7pm Limerick Milk Market, Cornmarket Row, Limerick TWO EASI Tuesday 17th March, 5.30pm8pm The George Hotel, Limerick THE RACKLERS AND THE LEMON SUCKERS Tuesday 17th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick SEE FOR CINEMA - LEVIATHAN Wednesday 18th March @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick DNA Wednesday 18th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick COLLAILM DUO Thursday 19th March @ 1.15pm Irish World Academy of Music & Dance, University of Limerick, Limerick


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PARLIAMENT SQUARE Thursday 19th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick THE GIRL WHO FORGOT TO SING BADLY Friday 20th March @ 10am, 12Noon & Saturday 21st March @ 12Noon, 2.30pm Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick BASSAM Friday 20th March @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick CHRISTY MOORE WITH DECLAN SINNOTT Friday 20th March University Concert Hall, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick ROBBIE HINCHY Friday 20th March The George Hotel, Limerick TREES FALL DOWN Friday 20th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick BOOKA BRASS BAND Saturday 21st March @ 9pm Dolans Pub & Warehouse, Dock Road, Limerick FRANK SHANLEYZERODISCO Saturday 21st March The George Hotel, Limerick LITTLE MAMMOTHS Saturday 21st March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick

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SECOND HAND BABY MARKET Sunday 22nd March @ 12pm 2.30pm Radisson Blu Hotel, Ennis Road, Limerick

CURRIES, CURRIES, CURRIES Friday 27th March @ 7pm 9.30pm Hook and Ladder, 7 Sarsfield Street, Limerick

WE SHOT J.R. Sunday 22nd March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick

BERNARD O SHEA LIVE Friday 27th March @ 7.30pm Dolans Pub & Warehouse, Dock Road, Limerick

RHYTEMISATION Sunday 22nd March @7pm The Red Hen, Limerick FRESH FILM FESTIVAL Monday 23rd - Saturday 28th March LIMERICK LIFELONG LEARNING FESTIVAL 2015 Monday 23rd - Sunday 29th March Various venues throughout Limerick City & County STOP & THINK Monday 23rd March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick MOTION PICTURES @ THE MEZZ Monday 23rd March @ 9pm The Red Hen, Limerick REAL TALK Tuesday 24th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick LES MISERABLES Wednesday 25th - Friday 27th March @ 11am & 8pm, Saturday 28th March @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick TREATY COMEDY Wednesday 25th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick RESTORE CONFERENCE 2015 Thursday 26th March @ 9am and Friday 27th March @2pm University of Limerick Castletroy Limerick MA CLASSICAL STRING PERFORMANCE Thursday 26th March @ 1.15pm Irish World Academy of Music & Dance, University of Limerick, Limerick THE HANDSOME FAMILY Thursday 26th March @ 8pm Dolans Pub & Warehouse, Dock Road, Limerick DREA Thursday 26th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick


ALL TVVINS Friday 27th March @ 9pm Dolans Pub & Warehouse, Dock Road, Limerick TOUCHE Friday 27th March The George Hotel, Limerick MRS. HENRY Friday 27th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick CLOUD CASTLE LAKE Saturday 28th March @ 8pm Dolans Pub & Warehouse, Dock Road, Limerick THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK Saturday 28th March @ 8pm University Concert Hall, University of Limerick, Castletroy, Limerick GARY CONNOR Saturday 28th March The George Hotel, Limerick TREES FALL DOWN Saturday 28th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick TUMBLEDOWN Sunday 29th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick EASTER KIDS COOKERY / BAKING CAMP Monday 30th March Wednesday 1st April Recipe4Success Cookery School, Annacotty Business Park, Annacotty, Limerick AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 MINUTES Monday 30th - Tuesday 31st March @ 8pm Lime Tree Theatre, Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick KAREN HEGARTY Monday 30th March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick TIGWARA Tuesday 31st March Cobblestone Joes, Limerick

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CLEVER GADGETS Got a new smartphone but it is starting to bore you? Have you tweaked all the settings, played all the games, tried out all the possible selfie-taking apps? Has your friend bought a newer model and yours doesn’t cut it anymore? Your Siri jokes are way too old and your phone is just a phone now? Luckily, the Gods of Gadgetry have blessed us with a wide range of add-ons to keep us entertained and amazed by the ingenuity of these solutions. From lens dials to clever yoga mats to smart travel luggage, designers have come up with plenty of answers to make our lives either more productive or just simpler in general. On this page I have compiled a list of “extra bits” that either connect to your smartphone physically or can be monitored/controlled with just an app. A smartphone’s camera has always been one of the most important features of the device. Although megapixels are far from a perfect measurement of camera quality, it gives an idea of how high a resolution each camera can handle. Even if your device is a Nokia Lumia with a 20 MP rear camera, you could always enhance that with an extra clip-on lens which range from wide-angle to macro to Super Fisheye – your insta feed will make you proud!

Another ‘bit’ of genius in my opinion is the Tile, which in their own words “is the smart companion for all the things you can’t stand to lose.” It is a small trackable device that measures 37x37x5.3mm and uses Bluetooth signal to interact with your smartphone. You can attach it to anything from laptops to keys to wallet and handbag – even your pet I guess and it is even waterproof to withstand outdoor conditions. For those people who never got the hang of typing on a smartphone, there is an answer – a laser projection keyboard. This device will turn any flat surface into a full QWERTY keyboard and it simply connects via Bluetooth. Use it with your laptop, tablet, phone and type by tapping your fingers on the projected red laser keys and the letters pop up on your screen. Just imagine the look on the face of the person next to you when you’re typing in thin air…


Travelling either abroad or within the country is always stressful and exhausting to all counterparts. To make life a little easier, clever heads have come up with Bluesmart travel luggage. This carry-on luggage has many clever features that are simply wonderful: it has a built-in digital scale, a digital lock, battery charger for your smartphone, location tracking, distance alerts when your belongings start moving in the wrong direction, and it also has a clever compartment specially designed to hold your electronic valuables. And you can control all that from an app on your phone – genius, I think!

Article by Johanna Aaspollu Twitter: @ceel88