Category Archives: Information

Anything about some upcoming event or some news item.

Kilkenny Arts Festival 2011 Theatre and Dance Strand

The Kilkenny Arts Festival launched this morning in the grounds of the beautiful IMMA in Dublin amid the song of a Baroque Choir. Or so I am told as I couldn’t make it along.

Each of the bloggers this year have taken charge of blogging a particular strand of the festival. I’ll telling you all about the Theatre & Dance Strand. Each of the strands are curated by someone who works (and usually lives and breathes) the art that they are curating. This year Tom Creed has taken on the Theatre & Dance Strand and again it looks magical, as it did last year. I’m very excited about the festival again this year!

I’ve put the official info from the Kilkenny Arts Festival site below on each piece but plan to write a bit more about them individually coming closer to the festival. You can keep on top of Festival News on the blog, on twitter, on Facebook or by signing up for email updates at the bottom of the homepage. And let’s not forget YouTube. Continue reading Kilkenny Arts Festival 2011 Theatre and Dance Strand

Kilkenny Arts Festival 2011

One of the highlights of my summer last year was the Kilkenny Arts Festival. Purely by accident I was asked to work on the online PR for the festival which I did and as part payment got to go down to Kilkenny with Darragh for the first weekend and go to as many shows as I liked. We really packed them in and saw a great variety of shows, performances and gigs.

I promised myself that I would go back this year no matter what and luck intervened again – I’ve been asked to be one of a large team of bloggers blogging events at the festival. Yay!


So you will see me wandering around Kilkenny in August with a big smile on my face running from one end of the town to the other, from event to event and loving it. You might also see me sneaking up to Café Sol Bistro for some well-deserved delicious dinner 😉

I wonder what the talk of the town will be this time round? Last year it was definitely this.

Kilkenny Arts Festival runs from 5th -14th August 2011 and you can check out the programme once it has been announced on

I haven’t got time for that!

How many times have you thought of volunteering and then thought, “I haven’t got time for that!”? Many people are under the impression that to volunteer requires dedicated hours every week for an indefinite period of time. And for volunteering with some charities, particularly helplines that require you to undergo extensive training, it is true.

However there are many things we do from day to day that most of us don’t think twice about but are considered volunteering all the same.

Maybe you offer a lift to a neighbour who has no car?

Maybe you call on an elderly neighbour for a chat or to see if they need anything in the shops?

Maybe you mind children for a friend so they can get some valuable time out with their partner?

All are a form of volunteering – giving your time free of charge for someone else’s benefit.

On 1st October next, Volunteering Ireland will be celebrating a National Day of Volunteering and they would like as many people as possible to participate. One idea is the Random Act of Volunteering. They are asking that everyone make an effort to do one thing for someone else on that day, no matter how small. And if you really can’t do anything, then maybe you could thank the people you know who volunteer their time or services either by thanking them in person or by adding them to the Thank You Roll of Honour on the website.

“Even if a person can just do just one small thing on the day, such as walk an elderly neighbour’s dog, or register to give blood, it does make a difference.  And, as all the research indicates, helping in this way is just as beneficial for the volunteer, as it is for the recipient”, Dr. Yvonne McKenna, CEO of Volunteer Centres Ireland says.

Miriam O'Callaghan volunteers her time at the launch of National Day of Volunteering

It’s not all about helping others – volunteering can be good for you too. VolunteerMatch, a US counterpart of Volunteer Centres Ireland, released a study in April 2010 showing that volunteering not only enhances physical and mental health, but also strengthens relationships between employers and employees.

Key findings were that 68% said volunteering made them feel physically healthier, and 29% of volunteers suffering from a chronic condition said volunteering helped them manage their illness.  73% of volunteers reported lower stress levels, and over 75% volunteering through work said they felt better about their employer as a result.

Dr. Yvonne McKenna, Volunteering Ireland and Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh at the launch of the National Day of Volunteering

It has been a pleasure to be part of the steering committee for the National Day of Volunteering, everyone involved was incredibly enthusiastic, a wonderful group of people! And I am reliably informed that being on the steering committee also counts as me volunteering my time 🙂

If you want to find out more about the National Day of Volunteering, please follow them on Twitter, visit the website and tell as many people as you can about it.

August in Blanchardstown Library

Libraries – I think when most of us think of a library we think firstly (and maybe only) of books. But these days the library is a focal point for many groups, a community hub, an information point and a refuge from outside life.

You can now borrow cds, dvds, computer games and paintings to hang temporarily in your home. You can read the daily papers. You can look up local historical archives in the reference section or practice your language skills in the language room. Maybe these services are not available in all libraries but a selection of them certainly are.

Aside from these facilities, there are many other group meetings going on from day to day in the library.

For August, this is what will be happening in my local, Blanchardstown Library:

Children’s Events: Tuesday 3rd August at 7pm : Beginners Hip Hop (9 to 12 Years). Second session Tuesday 10th August 7pm.  Please book at desk.

Friday 13th August at 3pm : Puppet show with Julie-Rose McCormick (Ages 3-10 Yrs.)  All welcome.

Monday 16th August (10am to 12pm) : Party-time  with Mr. Podzo (arts & crafts, magic dress-up box, storytelling,  party games & much more (Ages 4-13 Yrs). Please book at desk.

Monday 16th August at 2 to 4pm: Party-time with Mr Podzo (arts & crafts, magic dress-up box, storytelling, party games & much more) (Ages 4 to 13 Yrs) Please book at desk

Wednesday 25th August at 7pm: Animal Magic Show (All ages) All welcome

Friday 27th August at 10am to 12pm: Party Time with Mr Podzo (arts & crafts, magic dress-up box, storytelling, party games  & much more) (ages 4 to 13 Yrs) Please book at desk

Friday 27th August at 2 to 4pm: Party Time with Mr Podzo (arts & crafts, magic dress-up box, storytelling, party games & much more) (Ages 4 to 13 Yrs) Please book at desk

The Last Airbender Movie : Look for details in your local Library in early/mid August about “The Last Airbender” competition!

Adult Events:

Heritage Week: Monday 23rd August at 11.30am:

Your Story, Your Place’ : Story – telling with Brenda Nolan

Wednesday 25th August at 7pm: Old Photographs of the Dublin 15 area : a talk by Jim Lacey

Tuesday 31st August at 7pm: Grow it Yourself: The Co-operative Group to support growing your own food meets. All welcome

Readers Groups: Adults

Readers Groups: The Morning Book-Club meets again on the 19th August at 11am. A selection from the shortlist of the Impac Award will be discussed. The evening  Book-Club meets again on the 9th of September and the book choice is The Importance of being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Grow it Yourself: The Co-operative Group to support growing your own food meets on Tuesday 31st August at 7pm. All welcome.

Book Crossing

Feel free to avail of our free selection of books at the entrance to the Library and help to track the book’s journey around the globe as well as its variety of readers

Europe Direct presents Travelling in Europe”

This helpful exhibition about travelling in Europe will be on display in the Reference Section during  August.

Questions about Europe? Visit the Library’s Europe Direct Centre – your local link to Europe.

Local History

South-West Fingal Heritage Society / Cumann Oidhreachta Fhine Gall Thiar-Theas meets once a month on the last Saturday of each month from 2pm to 3.30pm. Enquiries to Aingeal on 0868438812.

Conversation exchanges:

New Conversation Groups in Spanish and French have been set up in the Library: (i) Spanish Conversation meets each Monday at 7pm and (ii) French Conversation meets each Tuesday at 7pm. All are welcome to practice their language skills.

The Irish Conversation group meets every Saturday at 12 noon and the English Conversation Group meet on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. All are welcome.

African Literature

Our dedicated collection of African Literature includes fiction and non-fiction by African writers and also subject-matter on  Africa. Art, poetry, memoirs, biographies, travel writing and fiction are all included


St. Brigid’s Photography Group meets every Wednesday in the Library at 7 p.m. New members welcome.

Parent & Toddler Group

The parent and toddler group  meets each Tuesday from 11am to 12 noon and each Wednesday from 11am to 12 noon.

Also, the Irish Multiple Births Association meets each Thursday from 10.30am to 12 noon as a venue for twins, triplets and other multiples

Support Groups

GROW – mental health movement in Ireland.

Are you feeling depressed, anxious, lonely, panicky or just fed up? GROW is here to help. The group meets every Wednesday at 11 a.m. All are welcome. For more information phone 873 4029 or 087 229 1718 or log on to

Library on the Radio

The Blanchardstown Library Show is broadcast every Friday evening at 7.30pm on Phoenix 92.5 FM, with a new edition on the last Friday of every month.

Do you know?

Borrowers can now renew and reserve their books online. Ask at Desk for your Pin Number to avail of these services. Also if you wish to be on our monthly listing of events please add your name at the Information Desk or e-mail

Follow our events on Twitter:

Oh and the most important part of all this? It’s all FREE.

Booze and Schmooze is back

Booze and Schmooze logoAfter a bit of a break, the Booze and Schmooze networking events will make a return next week. Booze and Schmooze is run by Alan Duncan and they are primarily aimed at those in the media and PR industry though this net is now widening to include marketing folk this time round. I have yet to attend a Booze and Schmooze event so perhaps next weeks will be my perfect opportunity.

So what’s changed?
Much like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly (or for my fellow nerds, Gandalf the Grey becoming Gandalf the White), we’ve changed a few things with the aim of making these events even more worthwhile.
1) No longer will our events be confined to just one venue. Unlike the Government we’re here by the people, for the people. The democratic state of Booze ‘n’ Schmooze (more commonly known as Inebriationland) will vote on venues and we’ll do our damnedest to organise them there.
2) There are no more presentations – these interfere with the boozing and the schmoozing. We will strongly encourage as much mingling as possible though.
3) While Booze ‘n’ Schmooze is primarily for the media sector, we’re going to open our doors up to those from the land of marketing too, as we believe they’ve got something to bring to our proverbial table.
What’s the same?
The reason for Booze ‘n’ Schmooze’s existence has not changed. Below are a few key points about us.
  • Free monthly networking event for young journalists, PRs, other media workers (and now marketing folk).
  • The aim of Booze ‘n’ Schmooze is to provide a relaxed environment in which to make useful and interesting contacts – essential to their success in the industry – without the awkwardness involved in formal networking.
  • Targeted at professionals, who are starting out or about to start out in their chosen industry and, of course, anyone who can employ them.
  • Lots of free finger food and great drinks promos.

So what are the need to know details?

Booze and Schmooze will take place next Thursday at 6.30pm in The Sycamore Club on Sycamore Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

All you need do to attend is RSVP to Alan, letting him know how many friends or colleagues you are bringing with you (if any) at

I might see you there 🙂