The Tribute Artist

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Travelling the length and breadth of the country with a boot full of sequins and synthesizers is all part of a night’s work for Ireland’s jobbing performers. I joined the ranks of the roadies and met with some of our hardest working entertainers.

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All the Fun of the Fair

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“The Macarena is one tune you might well hear at one of the many carnivals taking place in towns and villages all over Ireland at this time of year. But the tune may well be overshadowed by the buzz of bumper cars, the whir of the candy floss machines, and the clatter of arcade games as the fun fair rolls into town. Our reporter Liam Geraghty caught up with the Pipers, one of Ireland’s oldest carnival families, in their home town of Kinsale.”

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The Secrets of the Humble 99

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With its vanilla creaminess, fresh crunchy cone and of course the sweet crumbly chocolate topping, the 99 has long been a staple of the Irish Summer. But don’t let its simplicity fool you, there’s more to the humble cone than meets the eye as I found out.

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Casting an Eye on the Critics

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This week, Irish Times critic Eileen Battersby (above), ended up being the centre of attention in writing circles when she wrote a negative review of Paul Murray’s latest novel The Mark and The Void. But can critics really impact the bottom line? I went to find out.

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Stags and Hens

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This weekend is one of the most popular for stags and hens to strut their stuff in towns and villages up and down the country. We all know of the places that are favoured by the feathered boas brigade – places like Kilkenny, Carrick-on-Shannon and Temple Bar. But there are new suggestions on the horizons, much to the dismay of locals as I’ve been finding out.

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Kilkenny Design Workshops

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More than 50 years ago a study into Irish design was commissioned by the then Irish Government, it found that the design sector in Ireland was practically non existent and proposed a year of Irish design to help promote home grown creativity. happily in 2015 we finally have that Year of Irish Design, but that 1963 report also recommended the introduction of the Kilkenny Design Workshops – a project aimed at putting Ireland on the map internationally. Many of the international designers and their apprentices have stayed in the Kilkenny area. I went to find out more.

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Summer Jobs

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The Leaving Certificate is finally done and dusted for another year, which is a huge relief to thousands of students all over the country. What now for the rest of the summer? Will they be lounging around in hammocks or will they be going out looking for jobs? And if they do, is there any work available? I’ve  been checking out their prospects.

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From Fire to Robots: Corporate Events

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As with a lot of sectors, businesses that had been built on providing services for corporate events took a serious hit during the downturn. Now it seems that Irish companies are beginning to spend in that space again. I met with some of the people at the coalface of this renaissance.

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Anyone for a Career in Tennis?

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If you’ve ever had a dream of becoming a world champion in your sport – you will know just how much persistence, hard work and luck is needed. I took a look at the competitive world of professional tennis to see how hard it is to become the next Federer or Williams sister.

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Reviving The Liberties

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The Liberties in Dublin is synonymous with street traders, weekend markets, and the smell of roasting hops wafting up from the Guinness factory, as has been well-documented in song and poetry. Some local businesses in the area say they’ve been suffering in recent years, and they’ve come together to attempt to rectify the situation. I went to find out more about their plans.

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