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Rach Writes Stuff named one of top three Journalists to watch out for in 2016

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In a recent blog post by Media HQ, they named me as one of top three Journalists to watch out for in 2016. They listed some of my experience to date, and ranked me alongside two other amazing female Journalists.

Read the full article here.

The Longford Leader also picked up on the story, and wrote about me in the paper.

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Why Irish YouTubers are important

Why Irish YouTubers are Important

Irish YouTubers

“YouTube was for me a way to become more comfortable with who I am”, says You-Tuber Kevin O’Sullivan, on why it is important. For many YouTube has become a platform for self-expression, self-promotion and in general getting your thoughts and emotions out there.

Launching in 2005, YouTube was always place for sharing user generated content. Ten years on, the platform has seen an evolution from amateur videos, to a daily high volume of well-produced footage. Producing this footage has become as simple as pressing record on a mobile phone, with many graduating on to industry standard cameras.

Among the mass of music videos, short films and blooper mashes, emerged a new generation of celebrity. These celebrities burst forth from their bedrooms, sprouting ideas about love, life and a multitude of interests. Known as “YouTubers” or “Vloggers”, they are the bloggers of the video world, uploading regular content to communicate with their fans.

Often surpassing many TV presenters and celebs to become the go to people for news and entertainment, YouTubers have created this online podium from which to launch themselves onto the world. While becoming well-recognised still takes a lot of hard work and dedication, it no longer requires knowing the “right” people or getting that “lucky break”. By establishing a network of like-minded people, and constructing creative and often comedic content, it has become easier for people to get noticed.

These creators will quickly gain a solid foundation of fans which steadily grows over time. Fans and creators can become friends through networking, and a massive support community has formulated.
“I love the diversity of the community, the sheer number of different options for video making. It’s a path which leads to many options from gaming, TV presenting, a music career and even dealing with major issues of society. I’m particularly inspired by giant collaborative efforts like YouTube Symphony and the many giant charity events that have happened in the community” continued Kevin.

YouTuber Jamie Carr said “I find Irish YouTubers important because they give people who wouldn’t normally have a voice in the media, a chance to be creative a chance to shine a light of shamrocks and sexy Irish-ness across the Internet world.”

YouTubers in Ireland have encouraged others to find their voice, and become part of this important emerging media. Irish YouTubers are inspiring as it proves if you work hard at pursuing your goal you will achieve it. YouTubers are great role models to younger generations as they have that strong work ethic. It also shows if you want to follow a career in TV or presenting, it is important to start at home as soon as you can as you will become well-known. Especially in Ireland where the media is very much taken up with a small few, it paves the way for new talent who might have been overlooked otherwise.

To find out more about YouTube and how to launch yourself on the platform, attend Dub Web Fest “The YouTuber Experience” in Filmbase for only €15 tomorrow night, November 20. With talks from Clisare, The Voice of Ireland’s The V-Report (David Atkinson & Mark Holland) and Jessica Spencer, two screenings and the afterparty in Liquor Rooms it will be a great night of learning and networking.

Santa Fun Run for Irish Deaf Community

Take part in a Santa Fun Run for Irish Deaf Community

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Fasten the Santa hats, tie up the laces and get yourself to the Phoenix Park at 12pm on Sunday, November 29. Deaf Sports Ireland and the Irish Deaf Society are collaborating for the second annual Santa fun run with Inspire Fitness Centre Cabra on board as the main sponsor.

Become part of something special and join hundreds of others dressed in identical Santa T-Shirts, with proceeds going towards the Irish Deaf Community.

This event is open to all ability levels and it is up to each entrant whether they choose to run or walk the 5km. It is a family friendly event, and everyone is encouraged to bring along children for a fun-filled day.

Each entrant will get a Santa t-shirt, Santa Hat and surprise at the finish line. Water and fruit will be available at the registration tent and stewards will have water throughout the route.

Registration is available online and cost of entry is €15 for adults, €5 for children (under 12) with a special offer of just €35 for a returning Santa and two friends.

Registration is available on the day for a higher cost, so get online to register ASAP, deadline is November 22.

santa fun run map

 

santa fun run for deaf

Improv Fest Ireland kicks off to a fantastic start

Improv Fest Ireland opening night by John Loftus

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Improv Fest Ireland kicked off its 3rd year in fine style in The Teacher’s Club on Dublin’s historic Parnell Square on Sunday November 15th.

Improv Fest is the brainchild of Neil Curran & Orla McGovern who have trawled stages far and wide to bring the most eclectic line-up of Irish and international improvisers to grace these shores.

The first day of this week long festival of fun begins with a double bill featuring The Improvorphans from Dublin and the debut of “It’s Relative” by members of Choke Comedy from Limerick.

The Imrovorphans are a great choice to commence proceedings with their high energy short form improv show. We are treated to host of quick fire games, with everything from the story of a gerbil (or was it a hamster) and his efforts to emulate James Bond, to a very competitive Olympic ironing board competition that definitely got very unruly towards the end with some unscrupulous use of the boards. The show culminates with some very strange goings on in the fictional town (or is it?) of Deidrekearneyville featuring spider rats in a haunted house and unusual remedies for black eyes including dead animals.

There is a slight pause for breath before the next act takes to the stage. “It’s Relative” is a new show for Tracy Aspel, Matt Cannon & some lad called John Loftus from Limerick’s long lasting improv troupe Choke Comedy. Given that I am actually in the show it goes without saying that it’s a brilliantly executed piece of improv performance combing short form & long form elements along with a few show stopping songs all with a view of exploring the nature of a relationship chosen by the audience.

On this occasion it’s teachers and students that are the focus of the show which gives our improv gang plenty scope to work with. So we have the student that will do “anything” to get her gold stars, teachers in detention dreaming of ways of not having to teach but still getting paid and a teacher who thinks that acting as some sort of gigolo is the best way of connecting with his students. After a stirring debate on whether teachers are worthy or just plain stupid the show is brought to a rousing conclusion with a heart warming anthem dedicated to teachers everywhere sung by our cast of characters.

Later on in the afternoon we have another double-bill this time featuring the first international performers of Improv Fest 2015 in the shape of The Alphabetties who share the entertainment duties with another Dublin troupe Not The Eyes.

The Alphabetties are four ladies from London whose show is triggered by a single word suggestion from the audience, in this case the word is “lemon”. This commences an insight into the wine industry where we find out that (as we always suspected) that there is only two types of wine – red and white and that rose (the link stuff) is merely a bit of both shaken together. Wine apparently has some other interesting affects on female fertility as does heroin which is also used by politicians to encourage voters to vote for them. Wine apparently is also the achilles heel of James Bond which leads to a number of schemes to get rid of 007 only to be foiled by see through glasses, a gun is suggested but dismissed by Mulcahy (our assassin). This leads to an insight into the gun industry and apparently there are only big guns & small guns. Our entertaining time with the 4 ladies from London is brought to a close with a lesson on juicing and we’re left with the lesson that while everything can be juiced, the juice might not taste too good.

I have seen Not The Eyes a number of times and they are always entertaining – today is no exception. We are treated to a surreal soap opera set in Middle America surrounding a corrupt sheriff, poorly paid professors and a dysfunctional family who eat off the floor or from basins. Red Rock has nothing on the drama that unfurls in a place where coal is the ultimate commodity and there is much confusion over a lot of things including whether there has been an outbreak of black psoriasis or have some coal thieves just been a little careless? Who cares anyway as it’s all highly entertaining.

I couldn’t make the rest of the day’s proceedings but there was a Women in Improv discussion panel and the Celebrity Improv show in The Workman’s Club (in aid of Crumlin Hospital) and that was only on the first day !

Improv Fest Ireland runs till next Saturday November 21st in The Teacher’s Club on Parnell Square, Dublin – details at www.improvfestireland.com.

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Video: Dublin You Are showcases real Dublin

Dublin 2020 release video showcasing real Dublin

Dublin 2020 release Dublin You Are video

Dublin You Are is a fantastic video which was produced as the result of a collaboration between Dublin-based artists, Dublin2020 and the people of Dublin

Based on the poetry of Stephen James Smith which portrays the very heart of Dublin, the good and bad, the video showcases iconic sites and the real faces of Dublin’s people.

Not glossing over the major issues and struggles within the Capital, it discusses the successes and failures, the community and the divide.

The words are captivating, reminding us of the diversity of the fair city, all the languages within one town and the different cultures which have come together to build the current state of the Capital.

Reflecting the conversations which have come about in Dublin2020 workshops with people throughout Dublin this past year, the project is real Dublin as seen by real people. The team then created a visual narrative combining all of these thoughts and ideas.

It is a really heartwarming and beautiful piece, yet tinged with some sadness. It is honest and pure, capturing the love that people have for Dublin, yet also the struggles faced every day in a variety of ways. How hard it is to live in a city so cold, yet one whose people are so warm.

It remembers those who have gone before us, who held a special place in Dublin’s City streets and those who work hard every day within the same corners. All of us who are part of the same community, yet similarly so disconnected. It is the city we love to hate; it’s our home and one which we criticize, yet couldn’t bare to leave.

It praises those who have come into our city to establish something new, a home for themselves, and asks us to remember a time when we went abroad in search of new life but were turned away.

We have our international feel but still retain out authentic charm. We have everything that makes us Irish, and those special things that make Dublin feel so much like home. This video characterizes Dublin past, present and future in a way that is absolutely genuine.


Dublin You Are is presented by Dublin2020 in association with:

Stephen James Smith: http://stephenjamessmith.com/
Wissame Cherfi: http://www.wissamecherfi.com
Aoife Dooley: http://www.aoifedooleydesign.com/
Aidan Kelly: http://www.aidan-kelly.com
Derek Kennedy: http://www.dublindaily.ie/

A beautiful snap of Galway’s Claddagh at Sunrise

Perfect picture of peaceful Galway

Picture of the day

Galway is such a beautiful part of Ireland, it is no surprise why it is a favourite for most.

Walking through the city at any time of day has its charm, however this photo sent in to me by Richie from Purple Muse Designs captures the peaceful tranquility of the early hours; a rare moment in the hustle and bustle of Galway.

As the sun rose over The Claddagh, this scene caught Richie’s eye on the way to work and he captured it perfectly.

Hat tip to @PurpleMuseDesigns for the photo. If you want to send in your snap to be featured on the site, get in touch!

Halloween Movies for Wimps

Halloween movies for people who don’t like to feel scared

Halloween is traditionally a time for ghosts and ghouls, when people like to get scared out of their skin. People go out of their way to play tricks on people, scaring the bejaysus out of friends and family. However, some of us don’t liked to get tricked, we just love all the treats of Halloween.

While there are 100’s of scary movies, new ones surfacing all the time, they’re not to everyone’s taste. I can think of a more enjoyable cinema experience than getting the life frightened out of me thank you very much.

What I do like, and I’m certain I’m not alone in this, is joyfully reminiscing about my childhood, watching movies that I have loved since I was little. Colourful witches, loveable creeps, misunderstood weirdos and strange happenings make-up perfectly enjoyable and altogether not frightening entertainment.

So for the wimps among us, here are a few of my Halloween faves. Please feel free to comment your own as I love nothing more than a cosy evening in with a nice Halloween movie.

  1. Hocus Pocus: The ultimate in childhood reminiscence, Hocus Pocus brought Halloween to life in a way which we looked forward to every year. Hocus Pocus defined what we all imagined American Halloween to be like, they really go all out over there. The costumes are fabulous, the story got to the heart of a spooky Halloween legend and it is a timeless classic which will be enjoyed for generations. Roll on Hocus Pocus two!
  2. The Craft: Again with the witches. The charm of this film is it portrayed the idea that witches walk among us. For those who were into the occult, it also opened the idea that witchcraft is open to everyone. It tied into that mean girls theme of high school cliques turning on eachother. The beauty of The Craft is the notion that good triumphs over evil, and if you send out badness into the world, it will be returned to you. Do good, and you will be repaid in good. Be honest, how many of you actually tried that “light as a feather, stiff as a board trick”?
  3. Nightmare Before Christmas: The argument remains as to whether this is a Halloween or Christmas film, but really who cares as it manages to bring together two of the best holidays in cartoon form, with a third momentarily introduced. Nightmare Before Christmas has all the feel-goods, you really root for the main character despite the fact he kidnaps Santa and almost destroys Christmas, and cheer for Zero the hero as his big red nose lights up the sky. I do admit though, the Oogie Boogie man scared the shit out of me.
  4. BeetleJuice: BeetleJuice, BeetleJuice, BeetleJuice. This golden oldie is a total gem and has proven to be a costume favourite up to the present day. From stripey suits to goulish make-up, there are a number of character favourites to dress up as plus it even brings in the classic bed-sheet ghost!
  5. From Dusk till Dawn: This is a funny one, while not exactly a “Halloween Movie” per say, it does have elements of an enjoyable, albeit somewhat surprising Halloween movie. I don’t want to ruin the twist for those who haven’t seen it so I will leave it there.
  6. Edward Sissorshands: The ultimate in nostalgia, which again can be questioned as a Christmas or Halloween movie. Edward Sissorshands captures what it’s like for the outsider trying to fit in. This film is really beautiful, with Depp barely speaking a word throughout. It is hard not to fall in love with this, it being one of Tim Burton’s finer works.

While these “wimpy” movies won’t tickle the fancies of hard core Halloween fans, they provide a sweet nostalgia for those of us who love Halloween for the colours, the games and the sweets.

What’s your favourite Halloween movie?