Exhibitions and Merrion Square Heritage Open Day

Merrion Square (from Mount Street)

This weekend, I envisage tons of people heading out to Dun Laoghaire for the Festival of World Cultures. Getting out there by public transport is easy, either by DART or by bus (numbers 7, 7A, 46A, 746), and if previous years are any indication, it’ll be packed out there by about 2.30pm or so.

However, your cultural fill is not just out in Dun Laoghaire. Even within city centre itself, there are a couple of events of note.

First up, the People’s Photography exhibition of 2009 will be taking place both Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th, from 10am to 6pm, at St Stephen’s Green. Expect to see amazing photographs hanging along the railings around The Green, and talk to the photographers if there are particular techniques they use that intrigue you. Better, buy a photo or two for your home!

If arts and illustrations are more of your thing, then on Sunday, saunter over to Merrion Square. Merrion Square Open Air Art Gallery is a weekly event, from 10am to 6.30pm, where artists display their works for your perusal and to purchase without a middleman’s commission (read: more affordable prices). Organised by the Dublin City Council, the artists that exhibit there changes every so often, so there would be new artists and new style of artwork from time to time. Opens all year round on Sundays, unless the weather is absolutely crippling that they have to cancel it.

Speaking of Merrion Square. Ever wonder what Georgian Dublin is like, in terms of architecture, history, literature, music and fashion? This is your chance to get to know these aspects of Dublin better, as Merrion Square Heritage Open Day takes place on Saturday 29th August. You will get the opportunity to see properties that are normally closed to public, attend some tours and special events, and see this part of the city with a new eye. Bookings are recommended for some events, since the number of places are limited. Have a look at the full programme (in PDF) and get dialling at 01-7026165 to reserve your spots.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Too many festivals!

The next 7 weeks will be buzzing with numerous festivals going on in the city. We are all going to be spoilt for choice – and possibly also go broke from paying for tickets to all the tempting offerings. But, there are still some events which are free, and some which are free but ticket-requiring.

The only key is, if tickets are required (be it free events or not), get them as soon as possible because once they’re gone, they’re gone!

(Scroll over the banners to get to the relevant festival homepages)

Heritage Week 2009

Festival of World Cultures 2009

Fringe Festival 2009

Bulmers Comedy Festival 2009

Mountains to Sea Festival 2009

UB Dublin Theatre Festival 2009

There you have it, the major events that will keep you entertain (and out of trouble?) between now and early October.

A couple of things to note. The festivals that boast some free events are those during the Heritage Week, the Festival of World Cultures and DLR Mountains to Sea Book Festival. For the Fringe Festival, there are several workshops which are ticketed at €30 each, places are limited and can only be booked either in person at the box office or by phone.

Something for the Tweeps : @HeritageWeek, @FoWC, @dublinfringe, @DubTheatreFest and last but not least, @DUBMetblogs.

Urban Circus Skill Workshops


How quickly time passes and it’s already mid-August. The Leaving Certificate results were out, the students are now getting college offers and soon will be embarking the journey of their third level education. As for the young ones, school will be starting soon enough but before that, they should have a little more time for summer fun.

Roll in the Urban Circus Skill Workshops.

Organised by Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID), 2 weekends of free workshops will be taking place at Wolfe Tone Park (next to Jervis Shopping Centre). More precisely, 22-23 August and 29-30 August, from 2pm to 5pm.

The workshops will be conducted on a walk-in basis (so no tickets, no reservations) and they include juggling, Diablo, tightrope walking and stilt walking. There will be a couple of face painters around too to splash some colours on the faces of the young and merry. :-)

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Dining by DART Week 2009

Foodies of Dublin who use the DART – here is one promotional week that you must not miss! If you’re a foodie and you don’t normally use the DART, perhaps it’s time to hop on one of the suburban trains. ;-)

Between Wednesday 19 August and Wednesday 26 August, if you’ve been commuting by DART, bring along your DART ticket to a participating restaurant and you’ll find yourself sitting down to 3-course meal for either €25 or €30 (depending on where you go). That’s a bargain, considering these are probably usually the prices on offer at lunch and not during dinner hours.

Diningy by DART 2009

Diningy by DART 2009

There are 43 participating restaurants, of which some of my favourites include One Pico, Fallon & Byrne, Koh and Saba. For more information of participating restaurants, please check this link.

For the undecided, between 4pm and 7pm, travel through the following stations : Connolly, Tara St and Pearse. There will be sample nibbles distributed to help nudge you along decision making. If you like it, then what are you waiting for? It’s time to check that restaurant out!

Back to school for the unemployed


A couple of months ago, the Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe announced an initiative for the currently unemployed to return to education in order to retrain and upskill the labour force in this country. In the last few weeks, the details were announced. In total, 2500 places are open under the Labour Market Activation scheme, of which 1000 of them are at postgraduate level and 1500 at undergraduate level.

In Dublin, the following universities and institutions have places on offer:

  • University College Dublin
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • Dublin City University
  • Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Institute of Technology Blanchardstown
  • Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
  • Institute of Technology Tallaght Dublin
  • National College of Ireland

For more information, please have a look at this page on the Higher Education Authority website of which there are links to FAQs related to both the postgraduate and undergraduate level free places (the files are PDF files).

For a list of postgraduate courses, click here.
For a list of undergraduate courses, click here.

Please note that some institutions are running information evening (e.g. National College of Ireland on Wednesday 19 August) while some require applicants to contact the relevant departments directly. As the majority of the courses will begin in September, it is prudent that anyone who’s interested start looking into this scheme as soon as possible. Moreover, some courses are allocated on a first come, first serve basis and places are limited. Good luck!

Ps: if you are on Twitter, you should follow Education Ireland.

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Omagh Community Youth Choir – Love Rescue Me

We have posted about Playing for change already twice, here and here, and this is third one, but I wanted to post this one all along, but the video was not available. I found the video, original full version here, of the Omagh Community Youth choir performing ‘Love Rescue Me’ and as I said last time it is meant to be brilliant and It Is. Daryl J Simpson, choir director and founder, also talks about his reason for founding the choir and how music has brought people together for generations.


Its our world, share music n care for all.

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The Parlour – Point Village

Image Courtsey - Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland

Image Courtesy - Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland

LiD architecture firm recently won the competition for the redesign of the space at the Point Village. As you can see from the image above, its entirely based on reusing shipping containers as the main building components of the design. The benefits of such are obvious – environment friendly, no concrete, flexibility in changing the space to accommodate the artists/events, open space, like the LUAS connectivity and as LiD philosophy says “dissolving the distinction between building and landscape encourages a richer interaction and supportive relationship between the two. Indeed a simple and great concept design.

Using (or reusing) shipping containers for such building projects hasn’t really been mainstream, though similar projects are catching the attention of the city developers, also recently NYC’s waterfront development authority approved a similar but bigger project to convert one of the shipping docks into a shopping n art district (via inhabitat) and hopefully we’ll see more of such.

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Bubble bubble!

There’s a new exhibition in the Science Gallery and it’s full of bubbly fun. No, not quite champagne bubbly, but more of sud and soap variety. Just bigger (enough to have you enclosed in it!), more colourful (have you seen the art works produced using bubbles as the medium of work?), and detailed (use laser to view the microscopic structure of a bubble’s surface).


There are several special by Sam Sam, Steve Allman and others, of which pre-booking is required and the ticket varies betwee €5 and €7.50 each (10% discount for members of Science Gallery). On 29 August show by Steve Allman at 5pm, he will even attempt to break the Guinness World Record for creating the longest bubble chain!

For more exhibition information, check out the Science Gallery’s Bubble page, whereas for ticket information and booking, check the event page.

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Opera in the Open 2009

Opera in the Open

Opera in the Open

A new season of Opera in the Open is back today at the Civic Office Amphitheatre at Wood Quay. Celebrating the 10th year of this initiative targeted at music, opera and cultural lovers, this year’s offering are as follows:

  • Thursday 06.08.2009 – The Magic Flute (Mozart)
  • Thursday 13.08.2009 – Julius Caesar (Handel)
  • Thursday 20.08.2009 – Don Pasquale (Donizetti)
  • Thursday 27.08.2009 – Hansel Und Gretel (Humperdinck)
  • Thursday 03.09.2009 – Idomeneo (Mozart)

All shows start at 1pm, and as usual, fingers crossed for dry lunchtime so that everyone can be out and enjoying these operatic offerings.

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Dublin sand sculpture exhibition 2009

Dublin Castle will be playing host to a series of sand sculpture from 7-27 August, themed under “Irish Literature”. At the moment, the courtyard is being transformed by tons of sand transported from Rathcoole and you can watch the artists at work.

I happened to pass by the area a couple of weeks ago when they had just started working on a couple of pieces (yes, the preparation for this exhibition is 2-3 weeks long!) so here are a couple of sneak peek shots.

Sand sculpture 1

Sand sculpture 1

Sand sculpture 2

Sand sculpture 2

I can’t seem to find get further information from Dublin Castle website (the link appears to be broken) so I guess for the full picture of the exhibition, it’s time to take a stroll over to the courtyard of the castle and have a look at it yourself.

If you find yourself with some spare time at hand after that, why not pay a visit to Chester Beatty Library (which is free to enter) and admire the excellent collection of oriental arts and other cultural-related exhibits? Also, the Silk Road Cafe at the Chester Beatty Library is well-worth sitting down to, as they serve delicious Middle-Eastern food.

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Shortlisted : Cliffs of Moher

A few months ago, Mo wrote about requests by Moher Man on supporting the Cliffs of Moher into making it one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Looks like Moher Man’s hard work have paid off, and it had been a very successful endeavour, for Cliffs of Moher is now officially one of the 28 shortlisted wonders for final round of voting. The voting for the final 7 will take place over the next two years (vote here!) of which the winners will be announced in 2011. So there you go, a long time yet, but it also means plenty of opportunity for you to push the cliffs into top 7!

The Cliffs of Moher is of late magnificently featured on the big screen in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Think of the scene when Dumbledore and Harry were on the quest for a horcrux hidden in a cave. Yup, that’s Cliffs of Moher right there. Pretty awesome, right?

Using Visa Electron

July came and went, started with some crazy overnight downpour which ended up with flooding in Dublin and quickly deteriorated into puddles of rain throughout the month. The supposed summer heatwave must have ended before we noticed it had actually came round. Oh well.

We apologised though, for the lack of news on Dublin Metblogs. It had been a crazy period of time with work, work-related travel, moving, and all sorts of randomness. We will try to restore some news regularity here the best we could.

A headline that caught our attention last month was re the use of Visa Electron. Or should we say, the lack of. Visa Electron is a debit/credit card system that somehow never quite arrived in Ireland (along with Australia, Canada and USA). Bummer really, because if you’ve been booking for flights online and look around a bit, you would have noticed, if you were paying using Visa Electron, those pesky card handling charges go away!

According to this article in Irish Independent, you can now circumvent this little issue by signing up on Entropay and get yourself a functioning (virtual) Visa Electron. Mind, there is a fee attached to using this service (4.9%) but it is still cheaper than that of charges you otherwise will have to fork out to buy your cheap flights to escape the Irish summer rain.

Giving it a try?

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Ryanair’s website maintenance notice


This is an important notice for all passengers of Ryanair who intend to travel in a couple of days’ time. Ryanair is running an upgrade to their system which will see the website closure for 10 hours, of which during this period there will be no online check-in service, nor reviewing and/or amendment of existing bookings, nor booking of new flights.

The system closure will be in place from 8pm, Wednesday 24 June until 6am, Thursday 25 June.

(Technically speaking, apart from online check-in, all other services are available up to 10.30pm on Wednesday 24 June, but to play it safe and not having to worry if your reservation goes awol or not, I would just avoid going near the website at all during that 10 hours period.)

This is the press release from Ryanair and don’t be alarm that the times shown here are different – all times mentioned are based on GMT on the website/press release and remember that daylight saving time is currently in place.

Ryanair travellers from other countries should check the relevant sites in order to obtain the right time notification. E.g. closure for French site : 8pm GMT to 5am GMT which translates to 10pm to 7am local time. And if you need help with time zone conversion, here’s a converter that you can use.

Travel safe.

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Dublin Freeze : The Spire

Quick announcement for any of you who’s into flashmob/improv events – there will be one later today on O’Connell St. For you who doesn’t know what an improve freeze event is, check out the following video of the Grand Central freeze a while back in New York.


Details for the participation:
– location : Dublin Spire, O’Connell St
– date/day : 20 June 2009, Saturday
– time : 3.00pm – 3.15pm sharp

There is a Facebook page set up but unless you’re a registered Facebooker, I’m afraid you won’t be able to access the page and therefore the information. Nonetheless, if you do take part in the freeze, have fun!

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Midsummer in Temple Bar

The longest day of the year will be upon us once more soon. In conjunction with this little magical time (I’ve always associate midsummer with fairies and whimsical tales for some reason – I blame Shakespeare!) the Temple Bar Cultural Trust is celebrating the summer solstice with a number of events in Temple Bar.


Some of the events include fire entertainment, special walking tour, open air movie screening and maypole dancing! Click here to view the list of programmes. The list is quite impressive and I hope you have lots of fun here, particularly if you’re seeking alternative to Street Performance World Championship.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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