Report: Longford Sleep out for Simon raises over €30,000

Longford people sleep outside for Midlands Simon Community fundraiser

On Good Friday night my good friends Sharon Devlin, Aisling Reilly and I joined others in the Longford Sleep Out for Simon in Longford’s Army Barracks.

At first we made this great fort to sleep in, but unfortunately the rain fell so hard we were forced in doors with all of our stuff drowned.

We “slept” in a barn then for four hours damp and cold, but on learning we just raised €30,000 for sleeping out, our spirits were not dampened.

At 6am it was lights on, clear out time and as I lay on my bed waiting for the water to heat so I can shower; I was never so thankful for my warm sheets, comfy pillow, hot water and a roof over my head.

Lying outside in the rain that night, even for a few hours, then in the barn on a hard ground beside loads of others really hits it home; our homeless, the refugees, these nameless…we really haven’t got the faintest clue.

I for one am humbled.

€30,000 in one night is an incredible feat; but a drop in the ocean of what we need to do.

I was reporting on the night for Shannonside FM, listen below to the report featuring interviews from those who slept out; CEO of Midlands Simon Tony O’Riordan, Community Fundraising Officer for Midlands Simon Noel Greene and Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Gerry Warnock.

Longford Sleep Out for Simon:


A cuppa with: We Were Giants

Tea and a chat with We Were Giants


Having recently seen We Were Giants at The Ruby Sessions, I was keen to find out more about this amazing Irish band.

We Were Giants are a four piece band from Dublin who have been making major waves on the music scene in Ireland and abroad. Made up of brothers Colm, Ste and close friends Danny and Jay, We Were Giants have what has been described as a ‘sky-scraping indie rock band with an anthemic touch’.

I met with the two brothers in their cool studio in Inchicore for a cuppa with We Were Giants. We discussed the concept behind their recent video, recording with a top Scottish producer, and how well two brothers get on in a band. The quote of the series “we’re not vicious, we’re not like tigers we are like architects, skilled craftsmen!”

A cuppa with: Mongrel State

Tea and a chat with Mongrel State

Mongrel State

A couple of weeks back the lads from Mongrel State invited me around to their studio for a cuppa. It was a really cool insight into the life of the band, in what they call their “home”.

Mongrel State are a four piece band based in Dublin, made up of members with international origin (and one Sligo lad); all of whom claim they are proud to now be Irish musicians.

Their southern folk-rock tones are complimented with a Latin American twang, and what they describe as “honkytonk pianos & wide harmonies sitting side-by-side with New Orleans grooves”.

I was delighted they invited me round to hang out. During our “a cuppa with” we discussed their upcoming album, how they all met, and how the Spanish and Italian members of the band felt that Ireland offers more possibility to follow your dreams.

Check it out. Stay tuned for something extra special that the guys and I worked on coming soon!

A cuppa with: Only Rivals

A cuppa tea and a chat with Only Rivals

Only Rivals

Only Rivals are a four piece rock band from Dublin. Having toured extensively across the UK, receiving rave reviews from massive rock outlets such as Kerrang! and Q magazine, they are ready to release their debut album.

“Life is Perfect” is set for release tomorrow, September 18, with the official launch happening in Fibbers on September 23.

I met with three of the Only Rivals gang for a cuppa, we talked about meeting your idols, becoming Japanese superstars and banoffee pie. Check it out!

A cuppa with: Dwayne Woods

A cuppa and a chat (and dinner) with Dwayne Woods from the Co-Present


For the first time in “a cuppa with” history, presenter took on presenter over a cup of tea. Dwayne treated me to a lovely dinner before we discussed the future of his radio show.

Dwayne Woods is the presenter of The Co-Present on Radiomade. Running for two years now, and not happy with “just a radio show”, Dwayne has grown it into a bit of an empire.

Curating gigs across the Capital, and all across the country, managing artists and in general promoting Irish music in any way he can, the Co-Present has become a way for musicians to let their voices be heard.

Currently undergoing a bit of a make-over, the show has an interesting future ahead. I met with Dwayne to talk all things Dwayne, the Co-Present, and how hard it is to have a love life when you’re a busy media mogul.

Check it out:

A cuppa with: Hvmmingbyrd

A cuppa and a chat with Hvmmingbyrd


Recently Deborah and Dolores from Hvmmingbyrd came to the Ceol Caint HQ for a cuppa with and a few bikkies. Fast becoming a household name, appearing at loads of brilliant festivals across the country, Hvmmingbyrd have transcended to become one of the best Irish bands.

With a beautiful melodic sound which avoids fitting into any particular style or genre, this band are paving the way for “girl bands” to stand out on their own, breaking the mold.

We talked jingles, lard, festivals and matching sexy outfits, with a lot of giggles in between. It was a pleasure to have a cuppa with Hvmmingbyrd, have a listen:

Watch Hvmmingbyrd:


A cuppa with: Naoise Roo

A cuppa and a chat with Naoise Roo

a cuppa with naoise roo

Last week I met with Naoise Roo in Doyle’s Ruby Sessions where she was about to play a headline slot.

We enjoyed a cuppa whiskey, while we talked about what’s going on in her life. Off-stage Naoise is cool, laid back and somewhat shy; quite the opposite to her on-stage persona which is intense and completely hypnotic.

A review of this gig is to come on Ceol Caint later today, but for now sit back and enjoy a cuppa with Naoise Roo: