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Aoife Valentine

Dublin, Ireland
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About Aoife
I am a freelance journalist based in Dublin, Ireland, who has been published in the Irish Times, the Guardian, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday Business Post, the Irish Daily Mail and Confetti Magazine. Predominantly, I work in features journalism across a variety of areas including news features, profile interviews, arts, life and style, health and family, property, business, books and reviews, though I also have experience in straight news.
Feature Stories Content Writing Corporate Content
Business Politics Current Affairs


04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
Trophy is an art installation and performance piece located in Barnardo Square, Dame Street, which has received a four-star rating. The installation consists of nine white tents, each housing a storyteller who shares a pivotal moment of change from their life. These stories range from themes like homelessness, addiction, power, cronyism, sexuality, feminism, to broken dreams. Audience members are invited to participate by answering a question posed by the storyteller, writing their responses on coloured plastic that is displayed within the tent. The intimate setting and personal narratives encourage visitors to reflect on their own experiences, fostering a sense of shared humanity. The thought-provoking questions linger with the audience, making Trophy an insightful and entertaining experience.

Empathy, leadership, confidence: the Irish schools teaching more than the 3Rs

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses innovative educational programmes implemented in several Irish schools aimed at empowering students and addressing their social, emotional, and mental health needs. Donabate Portrane Educate Together in Dublin, recognized by Ashoka Ireland as a Changemaker school, has introduced positive mental health and peer mediation programmes. Eglish National School in Ballinasloe has a public-speaking programme inspired by Toastmasters, while Corpus Christi Primary School in Limerick integrates equine-assisted therapy. Little Angels Special School in Letterkenny uses technology and sensory rooms to aid students with special needs. The initiatives focus on developing empathy, leadership, teamwork, and creativity, with the goal of helping children become active community members and reach their full potential. The article also touches on the challenges of resourcing and integrating new programmes with existing curricula.

ChangeX Aims to Spark Community Engagement with New Campaign

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
ChangeX, a social-change start-up, aimed to initiate community projects by encouraging individuals to become 'starters' or 'joiners'. Despite surpassing its goal of 100 projects in 100 days, the challenge of recruiting volunteers remained. To address this, ChangeX launched a new campaign, ChangeX 2016, to recruit 2,016 participants in 100 days. The platform supports a variety of community efforts, such as educational programs and environmental initiatives. Examples include the creative-writing workshops by Fighting Words in Castlebar, The Green Plan in Mulrany to make buildings eco-friendlier, a men's shed at Morning Star Hostel in Dublin, and the incorporation of mindfulness in Scoil Íosa, Ballina. ChangeX plans to expand into the US and UK, with the belief that facilitating community involvement can lead to significant social impact.

7 Ways to Celebrate St Patrick's Day Without the Booze

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses various ways to celebrate St Patrick's Day without consuming alcohol. It suggests that one can still go out and enjoy the day by attending the parade in Dublin, participating in non-alcoholic events of the St Patrick's Festival, taking cultural tours, visiting funfairs, and enjoying street theatre. The article also recommends going to the cinema to watch an Irish film, enjoying Irish food at quieter restaurants, attending a traditional Irish music session, or hosting a singalong. It concludes by highlighting the benefit of not having a hangover the following day.

New Showhomes in Hollybrook at Robswall

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
Hollybrook is launching a new phase of homes in the Robswall development in Malahide, with two new showhomes opening this weekend. Last year, 60 homes were sold, but only off plans. This phase includes 24 properties, part of a larger 150-unit scheme. The three-bedroom houses have increased in price from €420,000 to a range of €450,000 to €465,000, while the four-bedroom houses have seen a price drop from €630,000 to a range of €540,000 to €570,000, with a new Type B four-bedroom house priced at €640,000. The properties are A-rated for energy efficiency and come with fitted kitchens and separate utility rooms. The development is well-connected to Dublin city center and the airport. Jackie Horan of Knight Frank New Homes reports a high standard of finish in the properties.

Swap homes for the holidays and live like a local

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses the experiences of several individuals and families who have participated in house swapping through services like HomeLink and HomeExchange. Barbara Stack and her family have been swapping their home in Dalkey for 17 years, primarily with destinations in the United States, and are planning a trip to Thailand. Karl Jordan, who has homes in Dublin and Wexford listed on HomeExchange, receives numerous swap offers and enjoys the local experience it provides. Edel McMahon from Ennis swaps homes multiple times a year, including within Ireland. Paula Carthy, a solo swapper, has exchanged homes with couples in various countries. The article highlights the benefits of house swapping, such as living like a local, saving on accommodation and car rental costs, and the trust built between swappers. It also mentions the preparation involved in making one's home ready for swappers and addresses concerns about privacy and property safety. The article concludes with information on where to sign up for house swapping, detailing the services and fees of platforms like HomeExchange, Homelink, Intervac Home Exchange, and Love Home Swap.

Redwater: EastEnders spin-off is a mix of drama and mystery

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses the new drama series 'Redwater', a spin-off from the popular British soap opera 'EastEnders'. The series focuses on characters Kat and Alfie Moon as they arrive in the Irish town of Redwater, searching for Kat's long-lost son. The show promises a mix of drama and mystery, with a darker tone compared to its parent series. The cast includes Jessie Wallace, Shane Richie, Fionnula Flanagan, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Angeline Ball, Ian McElhinney, and Peter Campion, with Danish director Jasper Nielsen influencing the production style. The article highlights the change of pace from the fast-paced soap to the more nuanced drama, the actors' experiences, and the potential appeal to both EastEnders fans and new viewers. 'Redwater' is set to air on RTÉ One and BBC One.

Returning emigrants prompt executive relocation business

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses the trend of Irish emigrants returning home, a movement that has been increasing since the peak of emigration in 2013. David Johnson, the managing director of Inhous, a property brokerage consultancy, observed this trend through the spike in enquiries about relocating back to Ireland, leading to the opening of a Dublin office. Inhous provides corporate relocation services, helping professionals, including those from large multinationals attracted by Ireland's corporate tax rates, to find accommodation and manage the logistics of their move. The company, which started in London, has expanded its services to include residential properties in Ireland due to the fast-moving property market in Dublin. Johnson highlights the trust clients place in Inhous to secure quality properties within their budgets. The Dublin office's business is split between corporate relocations and sales and lettings, with the latter growing faster than expected. Inhous works as a middleman, offering independent advice and services to maximize property values for sellers and landlords.

Fancy an old mill with a history and considerable potential?

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
Colliers is offering a property for sale in Ballinaclash, Co Wicklow, known as Avonbeg Mill. The property includes a dilapidated house by the Avonmore river with planning permission for a new three-bedroom home. The asking price is €200,000, and the land spans 1.45 acres. The location has historical significance as it was mentioned by John Millington Synge and is the site where Eamon De Valera had a near-drowning incident. The property is conveniently located near Rathdrum, which offers a commuter train service to Dublin.

Navan named as 2016's Healthy Town by The Irish Times and Pfizer

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
Hector Ó hEochagáin, known for his television and radio career, has recently become an advocate for fitness and healthy living. Last year, he opened a gym in Galway and is now the ambassador for The Irish Times Pfizer Healthy Town in Navan, Co Meath. The campaign aims to improve mental and physical health in Irish provincial towns. Ó hEochagáin emphasizes the importance of diet alongside exercise and encourages moderation in children's diets. Despite Ireland's struggle with obesity, he sees a positive trend in fitness and health. The article also highlights the upcoming Healthy Town project in Navan, which includes free talks, health screenings, and events focused on wellbeing, featuring experts like runner Catherina McKiernan and psychologist Harry Barry.

Knights of the Borrowed Dark - Dave Rudden's debut novel

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
Dave Rudden, an Irish author, has recently received the first copy of his debut novel, 'Knights of the Borrowed Dark', just before its industry launch in London. Two years prior, he signed a significant book deal with Puffin while financially struggling. Rudden's background includes studying teaching, a stint in Egypt, and involvement in Dublin's literary scene. His novel, aimed at children over ten, deals with dark themes and reflects his own experiences with bullying, depression, and self-harm. Rudden emphasizes the importance of discussing mental health, especially among young men, and believes in respecting children's intelligence and experiences in his writing. His approach to writing for children is influenced by his teaching background and his respect for the complexity of children's lives.

Body and Soul day two: Rain fails to dampen spirits

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article reviews various musical acts at a festival, highlighting the performances of Saint Sister, Neon Indian, Floating Points, Silences, Kormac with Lucent Dossier, St Germain, Hudson Mohawke, and Mother. Saint Sister's performance is described as magical, with a mix of electro and folk music. Neon Indian's energetic show wins over the crowd despite the rain. Floating Points delivers a set that captivates the audience with its ethereal tone. Silences connects with the audience through heartfelt music. Kormac impresses with his audio-visual show, stealing the night. St Germain's nuanced set combines different music genres, and Hudson Mohawke's performance is likened to a rave. Mother DJs provide a lively end to the festival with their DJ sets and activities.

Body & Soul 2016 Festival Begins in Co Westmeath

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The Body & Soul festival has commenced at Ballinlough Castle in Co Westmeath, Ireland, with a capacity of 15,000 attendees, an increase from the previous year's 10,000. The festival features hundreds of acts across 14 stages, including late-night discos, an art trail, and hot tubs. Despite initial transportation issues with buses, the site managed the increased crowd well. The festival promises a variety of weather conditions and a mix of musical performances from artists like The Gloaming, Girl Band, and a surprise guest on Sunday. Food offerings focus on organic, fair trade, and locally sourced ingredients, with a variety of options available to festival-goers. Transportation to the festival includes buses and a recommendation for carpooling as part of the Travel Better policy.

Women in research are anything but boring

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
Grace McDermott and Catherine Connolly, two PhD students from Dublin City University (DCU), have created a blog titled 'Women Are Boring' to challenge the stereotype that women are uninteresting. The blog showcases female academics' research in an accessible format, aiming to normalize women as intellectuals and authoritative figures. The initiative was born out of frustration with the lack of female representation in academia and the media. The blog has gained international attention, reaching 95 countries, and addresses the gender disparities in academia, particularly in Ireland, which has the second worst glass ceiling in Europe. McDermott and Connolly also discuss the personal importance of the project and their plans to expand it through podcasts and videos to further amplify women's voices in research and academia.

Iris (6) compared to Monet, sold art to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and has a therapy cat called Thula

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses the story of six-year-old Iris Grace Carter Johnson, a child with autism from Leicestershire, who has gained significant attention for her watercolour paintings, which have been compared to Monet's work. Iris struggles with social interactions and does not speak in full sentences, but her art has attracted many fans, including celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Her mother, Arabella Carter Johnson, has dedicated herself to homeschooling Iris and has written a book titled 'Iris Grace' to raise awareness about autism. The article highlights the positive impact of art therapy and the introduction of a Maine Coon cat named Thula, which has helped Iris with social interaction and communication. Arabella emphasizes the importance of focusing on a child's interests and the unique abilities of children with autism.

Staying connected to home is important for recent Irish emigrants

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses the findings of the Generation Emigration Survey conducted by Ipsos MRBI for The Irish Times, focusing on the habits of recent Irish emigrants in staying connected with their homeland. It reveals that a significant majority of emigrants follow Irish media and current affairs, participate in Irish community groups or sports, and use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Skype, Facetime, and Google Hangout to keep in touch with people in Ireland. The survey also highlights that most emigrants return home at least once a year, although the frequency varies by location, with those in Australia and New Zealand returning less often. The survey was conducted via phone interviews with Irish nationals who emigrated since 2008.

Holiday tips for people with disabilities

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses the various aspects of planning a holiday for people with disabilities, highlighting the challenges and solutions for accessible travel. It suggests booking with specialized travel agents like Accessible Holidays, Enable Holidays, and Traveleyes International, which cater to specific needs. The Irish Wheelchair Association's Anita Matthews emphasizes the importance of thorough research and communication with accommodation managers to ensure accessibility. The article also covers accessible transport options within Ireland, including Dublin's public transport and GoAccessible365.com. European legislation requires airlines to assist disabled passengers, with prior notice. The article provides holiday ideas for people with disabilities, including cruises, theme parks like Disneyland and Legoland, accessible beaches in Europe and beyond, and safaris tailored to various needs. It encourages sharing tips and stories for accessible travel.

Remembering the Civilians of the 1916 Easter Rising Through Art

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses the 1916 Sackville Street Art Project, an initiative to commemorate the civilians who died during the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland. The project, led by Ciara O’Keeffe and Sharon Harris-Byrne, involves creating 262 houses, each representing a civilian casualty, using various materials. The project aims to involve the community, with schools, youth groups, and individuals participating. The houses will be displayed on O'Connell Street as part of RTÉ's Remembering the Rising and later at the National Botanic Gardens. The project also includes a book to ensure the civilians' memories are preserved and to raise funds for a homeless charity. The article highlights the personal connections and stories that have emerged during the project's development.

Is This IKEA's Best Product Ever?

04 Apr 2024  |  houseandhome.ie
IKEA's design manager, Marcus Engman, has declared the KLIPPAN loveseat as his favorite IKEA product, a piece designed by his father, Lars, in 1979. The KLIPPAN sofa is praised for its adaptability, with interchangeable covers and a size that fits through most doorways, making it a practical choice for many homes. Over the years, the design has evolved from a wooden frame to lighter materials and aluminum legs, with the added convenience of being flat-packed since 2004. Priced at €195, with additional covers costing around €45, the KLIPPAN also comes with a ten-year warranty, factors that Marcus believes contribute to its enduring popularity, especially among first-time apartment owners.

The Biggest Interior Design Mistakes According to Irish Designers

04 Apr 2024  |  houseandhome.ie
The article discusses common interior design mistakes as identified by seven Irish interior designers. The first mistake is not adding personality through smaller items, with a suggestion to use neutral tones for larger investment pieces and add color with smaller, easily replaceable items. The second mistake is neglecting lighting, which is crucial for appreciating the beauty of home decor. The third is the fear of using color, especially dark or vibrant ones, which can actually enhance the coziness of a room. The fourth mistake is using oversized furniture and generic accessories in small spaces. The fifth is painting the chimney breast a statement color, which can overemphasize its protrusion. The sixth mistake is painting before choosing fabrics, as it's easier to match paint to fabric than vice versa. Lastly, the seventh mistake is the hesitation to hire interior designers, who can provide valuable insights into redesigning a home. The designers encourage openness and honesty with designers for the best outcomes.

Hijackers, bulls, bears, grenades: the dangerous art of the ultimate selfie

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
Ben Innes, while being held captive on a hijacked EgyptAir flight, asked his captor for a selfie. The flight, bound for Cairo from Alexandria, was forced to land in Cyprus. Innes, from Aberdeen, was one of the last hostages released. The article also discusses other dangerous selfie-related incidents, including Sara Albone's hypothermia on Ben Nevis, a Japanese man's death at the Taj Mahal, a Spanish man gored by a bull, and various accidents in Russia leading to a 'Safe Selfie' campaign. The article highlights the extreme risks people take for selfies, with more deaths from selfies than shark attacks last year, and calls for awareness of the dangers of pursuing 'likes' over safety.

Alison Spittle: ‘I just tried stand-up like you would try abseiling’

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
Dublin-based comedian Alison Spittle discusses her career and her monthly chat show, the Alison Spittle Show, which she compares to a punk version of a chat show. She talks about her comedic process, her team of writers, and her journey in comedy, which started over five years ago when she was working for iRadio. Spittle also touches on her stand-up show 'Alison Spittle Discovers Hawaii', which deals with mental health, and her aspirations to play at venues like Vicar Street. She mentions her work on Newstalk and the RTÉ Player, and her plans to take 'Discovers Hawaii' to the Edinburgh Comedy Festival. The article also details her plans to relaunch the Alison Spittle Show with a more pared-back format and a podcast.

Should you get your fitness advice on Instagram?

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses the impact of 'fitstagrammers' on Instagram, who share fitness and nutrition-related content to motivate their followers. It highlights the positive aspects of this trend, such as encouraging physical activity and healthier eating habits. However, it also addresses the potential negative consequences, including the spread of misinformation by unqualified individuals and the risk of injury from following unsupervised workouts. The article features opinions from professionals like clinical specialist physiotherapist Antoinette Curley, dietician Orla Walsh, and clinical psychologist Dr. Eddie Murphy, who emphasize the importance of qualified advice and the diverse representation of body types. Personal experiences of Instagram influencers like Joanne Larby, Nathalie Lennon, and Maeve Madden are also shared, discussing their approach to fitness content and the responsibility they feel towards their followers.

Gold Panda, The Evertides, Loah, Batida, David August, Santigold: Live at the Festival

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article reviews performances by various artists at a music festival. Gold Panda, a London-based artist, delivered a minimalist set that was well-received by his fans despite a subdued production. The Evertides, an all-female trio, charmed the audience with their harmony-driven folk sound and an acapella performance. Loah, an Irish/Sierra Leonean singer, captivated the crowd with her 'art soul' music. Batida, an Angolan/Portuguese artist, engaged the audience with his energetic music and social commentary, even inviting audience members to dance on stage. David August created a mellow electro atmosphere, while Santigold delivered a high-energy set with visual effects, despite logistical challenges. The performances were diverse, with each artist bringing their unique style to the festival.

Dave Alred: ‘Working with a golfer (74) was no different to working with Johnny Sexton’

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
Dr. Dave Alred, a coach with extensive experience in sports psychology, has distilled his teachings into eight key principles of performing under pressure, which he explores in his book 'The Pressure Principle'. These principles are anxiety, language, managing learning, implicit-explicit balance, behaviour, environment, sensory shutdown, and thinking correctly under pressure. Alred emphasizes the importance of positive self-belief and productive language in overcoming the psychological barriers to performance. He shares insights from his coaching career, including working with notable athletes like Jonny Wilkinson, Johnny Sexton, and Padraig Harrington. Alred's approach is about shifting focus from fearing mistakes to celebrating successes and enjoying the process of improvement, which he believes is not just for elite athletes but for anyone willing to embrace the challenge.

Juno and the Paycock: ‘You can smell the poverty off this production’

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
Emmet Kirwan, an actor and playwright, discusses his perspective on modern theatre and its reflection of contemporary life. He talks about his play 'Dublin Oldschool', which explores Dublin's dance music scene and addiction, and his role in Sean O'Casey's 'Juno and the Paycock' at the Gate Theatre. Kirwan emphasizes the importance of presenting plays that resonate with audiences and address social issues without moralizing. He criticizes the limitations imposed on playwrights due to economic constraints and shares his plans for future works, including a comedy set in a video shop. Kirwan also mentions his award from the Stewart Parker Trust and his desire to avoid being typecast for writing about a single theme.

Ireland’s family-owned pharmacies under threat from big chains – The Irish Times

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses the evolution of the role of pharmacists and the challenges faced by independent pharmacies in Ireland. It highlights the stories of several family-run pharmacies, such as those owned by Rosemary Conway, Elenora Hogan, and Veronica Cosgrove, emphasizing their generational ties and community involvement. The piece also touches on the changes in pharmacy practice, from compounding medications to providing additional services like vaccinations. Economic pressures, such as HSE cuts and reference pricing, are identified as significant challenges, along with competition from pharmacy chains. The importance of independent pharmacies in maintaining community cohesion is underscored, with personal anecdotes illustrating their value to local customers.

Heading to the supermarket without a shopping list leads to food waste, so be sure to always plan your shops in advance

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses the importance of planning grocery shopping to avoid food waste and make healthier food choices. Orla Walsh, a dietitian with the Dublin Nutrition Centre, emphasizes the need for a shopping list to prevent buying unnecessary items. The Environmental Protection Agency notes that the average Irish household wastes €700 annually on uneaten food. Janis Morrissey, a dietitian for the Irish Heart Foundation, suggests using apps for meal planning and taking advantage of offers to save money and eat healthily. The article also provides tips for making healthier choices at the supermarket, such as choosing whole foods and understanding food labels. It concludes with a list of healthier food swaps provided by dietitians as part of the Pfizer Healthy Town project.

Organ Donor Awareness Week Highlights the Importance of Organ Donation

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
Jonny Quigley, who has a rare AB+ blood type and no antibodies, received a kidney transplant from Beaumont Hospital after a shorter wait due to his unique compatibility requirements. Diagnosed with polycystic kidneys at 29, Quigley's condition deteriorated by age 42, necessitating dialysis and a kidney removal before he could be placed on the transplant list. Post-transplant, his health improved remarkably, allowing him to return to family life and work as the senior vice-president for business development at Northern Trust. The article also shares the story of Una Smith, whose mother Kathleen's organs were donated after a fatal aneurysm, emphasizing the importance of discussing organ donation within families. Organ Donor Awareness Week is highlighted to encourage public engagement in organ donation.

13 things dietitians wish you knew

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses the perspectives of various dietitians on healthy eating and weight loss. Orla Walsh, Janis Morrissey, Aoife Hearne, and Gillian McConnell emphasize the importance of sustainable dietary changes rather than quick fixes or restrictive diets. They advocate for a balanced approach to eating that includes a variety of foods and nutrients, and they stress the importance of enjoying food. The dietitians also debunk common misconceptions about fats, carbohydrates, gluten, and protein. They highlight the role of diet in managing conditions like heart disease and encourage integrating exercise into one's lifestyle. The article also warns against taking nutrition advice from unqualified sources and promotes evidence-based information.

13 things top personal trainers wish you knew

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article features insights from three personal trainers, Niamh Fitzgerald of Lift Training Studios, Paul Byrne of BodyByrne Fitness, and Pat Divilly, who offer advice on what they wish clients knew about fitness and training. They emphasize that initial intimidation at the gym is normal, weight loss shouldn't be the sole focus, and sustainable lifestyle changes are key. The trainers suggest that training too often can be harmful, honesty about diet is crucial, and enjoying life is still important. They debunk the myth that a high-protein diet is necessary for muscle building and share their own struggles with motivation. The trainers also clarify that they don't aim to push clients too hard to the point of sickness and ultimately want to see clients grow confident enough to train independently.

The tech sector usually weathers economic downturns reasonably well, so now might be the time to consider a career move into IT

04 Apr 2024  |  businesspost.ie
The article discusses the potential for individuals to consider a career move into the IT sector in light of economic downturns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It references the European Commission's economic forecast for Ireland, which predicts an 8 percent contraction in the Irish economy and a 7.5 percent unemployment rate for 2020. The article suggests that the tech sector often remains resilient during economic hardships, implying that IT careers could be a stable option for those looking to shift their professional paths amidst the current economic uncertainty.

Ikea's Influence on Furniture Shopping and Design in Ireland

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses the calm atmosphere of the Ikea store in north Dublin on a weekday, contrasting it with the weekend rush. It mentions Ikea's announcement of a new, smaller store opening in Carrickmines, south Dublin. The article provides insights into Ikea's success in Ireland, with the Ballymun store's impressive profits and customer statistics. Shoppers and professionals share their views on Ikea's impact on contemporary design and furniture shopping habits. While some appreciate Ikea for its affordability and design, others express concerns about the devaluation of bespoke interior design due to Ikea's pricing. The article also touches on the convenience of shopping at Ikea and the popularity of its restaurant among local university students.

Generation Emigration Survey 2016

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses the findings of the Generation Emigration Survey conducted by Ipsos MRBI for The Irish Times, which explores the reasons and intended duration of stay abroad for Irish emigrants. The survey, which interviewed 350 Irish nationals who left Ireland since 2008, reveals that younger emigrants (under 25) are more likely to have left voluntarily and plan to return sooner than older emigrants (over 35). Older emigrants are more likely to have left due to economic pressures and are less likely to return, with many having settled down with families and homes abroad. The survey highlights differences in motivations, with younger people seeking change and older ones looking for better job opportunities. Both age groups, however, are skeptical about the Irish economy's improvement and opportunities for return.

Youtube star Tanya Burr on equality, empowering girls and beating anxiety with baking

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses YouTuber Tanya Burr's visit to Dublin for the biggest book signing event at Easons for her second book, 'Tanya Bakes'. Burr, with 3.5 million YouTube subscribers, started her channel in 2009 and has since expanded her brand to include a makeup line and two books. She talks about her journey, the therapeutic nature of baking, and her efforts to raise awareness for gender equality through her 'Time for Girls' campaign. Burr also touches on her personal struggle with anxiety and her commitment to using her platform for positive change. While she has hinted at future aspirations in beauty and film, she emphasizes that YouTube remains her priority.

Travel health: the big issues for 2016 – The Irish Times

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses various health risks associated with travel, particularly in regions such as Africa, Southern Asia, and Central and South America. It covers diseases such as Malaria, Ebola, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Cholera, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya, and the Zika Virus. The article provides advice on preventative measures like vaccinations, using insect repellent, and being cautious with food and water consumption. It also highlights the importance of consulting a doctor before traveling and the risks of fake medications in malaria-endemic countries. The World Health Organisation's warnings about Ebola flare-ups and the necessity of hospitalization for certain diseases are also mentioned.

Iris (6) compared to Monet, sold art to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and has a therapy cat called Thula

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
Iris Grace Carter Johnson, a six-year-old from Leicestershire with autism, has gained significant attention for her watercolour paintings, even from celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Diagnosed as a toddler, Iris struggles with social interactions and does not speak in full sentences. Her mother, Arabella Carter Johnson, left her job to care for Iris and has written a book titled 'Iris Grace' to raise autism awareness and share their journey. Arabella emphasizes the positive impact of art therapy on Iris's development, noting improvements in her social interactions and communication. The introduction of a Maine Coon cat named Thula as a therapy animal has also been transformative for Iris, helping her with sleep, bathing, and further developing her social skills and language. Arabella advocates for focusing on a child's interests and strengths rather than forcing them to conform to typical expectations.

Body & Soul Festival: A Charming Celebration Amidst Growing Pains

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
Body & Soul, an Irish festival known for its boutique charm, arts, and music, has grown from 10,000 attendees in 2015 to 15,000, causing some loss of its intimate magic. Despite this, the festival still featured interesting acts like Kormac and Saint Sister, who outshone bigger names. The Vodafone comedy tent was a hit with performances by The Rubberbandits, Edwin Sammon, and Eleanor Tiernan. The festival faced challenges with queue management and crowd control, but improvements were noted from the previous year. The site's expansion to accommodate the larger crowd changed the festival atmosphere. Rain on Saturday turned the site muddy, impacting the experience. The article anticipates Santigold's closing set on the main stage.

Irish Property Market Attracts Expatriates and Investors Amid Favorable Exchange Rates

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses the growing interest in Irish real estate, particularly among those with Irish heritage and expatriates looking to return home. Real Estate Alliance (REA) found that a significant portion of inquiries at a New York property exhibition were from Irish families, retirees, and investors. The strong dollar against the euro has made Irish property more attractive, especially for those considering the high cost of education in the US. Estate agents like Michael O’Connor and Charles McCarthy have noted a rise in inquiries from abroad, with many seeking homes over apartments, prioritizing sea views, and valuing the quality of life in Ireland. The article also showcases three properties for sale in different parts of Ireland, highlighting their features and prices.

Body and Soul Festival: EMBRZ, Rubberbandits, BadBadNotGood, The Gloaming, Girl Band, Optimo Performances Reviewed

04 Apr 2024  |  irishtimes.com
The article reviews performances at the Body and Soul Festival, highlighting various artists and bands. EMBRZ, known for his electronic remixes and original tracks, started the evening with chillwave sounds but quickly transitioned to more energetic beats. Rubberbandits, a comedic duo, entertained with their unique humor and music. BadBadNotGood, an experimental jazz trio, captivated the audience with their energetic set. The Gloaming, despite their exceptional acoustic set, struggled to fully engage an audience more interested in conversation. Girl Band, an all-male rock group from Dublin, delivered an intense performance that energized the crowd. Optimo rounded up the night with a house set, followed by Lumo DJs who played Ireland’s Italia 90 World Cup song, ending the night on a high note.

Behind the Scenes with Ireland's Longest-Serving Panto Writer

09 Dec 2023  |  The Irish Times
Karl Broderick, Ireland's longest-serving panto writer, discusses his career and the process of writing the annual panto at the Tivoli Theatre, this year featuring 'Beauty and the Beast'. Broderick emphasizes the importance of panto in Irish Christmas traditions and the emotional connection audiences have with the performances. He also highlights the balance between humor and maintaining the integrity of the love story within the panto. The article includes insights into Broderick's writing techniques and character development, particularly for recurring characters Sammy Sausages and Buffy. The journalist, Aoife Valentine, also participates in writing a scene for the panto, learning about audience interaction and the culling of jokes. The article concludes with a brief scene from the panto, showcasing the humor and character dynamics.

Gold Panda and Other Acts Shine at Music Festival

03 Apr 2023  |  irishtimes.com
The article reviews performances by various artists at a music festival. Gold Panda, a London-based artist, played a minimalist set that was well-received by his fans despite a subdued production. The Evertides, an all-female trio, charmed the audience with their harmony-driven folk sound and an acapella song. Loah, an Irish/Sierra Leonean singer, captivated the crowd with her blend of folk, soul, and jazz. Batida, an Angolan/Portuguese artist, engaged the audience with his music and social commentary, despite technical issues. David August created a mellow electro atmosphere, and Santigold delivered an energetic performance with visual effects, despite nearly missing the event. The article captures the essence of the festival's diverse musical acts and the artists' interactions with the audience.

What makes a beautiful home? Home of the Year judge Hugh Wallace shares his top tips

12 Feb 2023  |  houseandhome.ie
The article discusses the upcoming new series of 'Home of the Year' which will premiere on RTÉ One. The show features 21 homes from Ireland, showcasing a variety of styles and designs. Architect and judge Hugh Wallace highlights three key elements that make a beautiful home: inspiration, consistency, and personality/homeliness. He shares examples from the series and explains the importance of each element. Wallace also mentions the biggest mistake people make when extending their homes, emphasizing the need for personal taste and creativity in home design. The first episode of the fifth series is set to air on February 19th, and viewers are encouraged to engage with the show using the hashtag #myhouseandhome.

Gyms benefit from New Year resolutions

31 Jan 2023  |  Independent.ie
The article by Aoife Valentine discusses the surge in gym memberships in January, attributing the increase to New Year resolutions to work off Christmas indulgences. It highlights the growth of low-cost gyms in Ireland, such as Ben Dunne Gyms and Flyefit, and their appeal due to the economic consciousness of consumers. Judy Eivers of Ben Dunne Gyms and Jackie Skelly of Flyefit discuss their business models, which include flexible membership options and a focus on providing value. The article also touches on the traditional annual contract model still used by higher-end gyms like Energie Fitness. Corporate memberships are mentioned as a key aspect for Energie Fitness, while low-cost gyms maintain a fixed-rate policy. The piece suggests that despite the growth, Ireland's gym market is not yet saturated and is still behind the UK market.

Pancakes: vegan, gluten-free and low-calorie recipes

25 Feb 2020  |  The Irish Times
The Irish Times presents five pancake recipes catering to vegan, coeliac, and dairy-free diets. The recipes include 100-calorie quinoa protein pancakes, simple gluten-free and dairy-free pancakes, simple vegan pancakes, almond and flaxseed pancakes, and vegan, gluten-free chocolate pancakes. The article also mentions Donal Skehan demonstrating the art of making pancakes for Pancake Tuesday.

The Hidden Dangers of Tick Bites: A Personal Struggle with Lyme Disease

14 Jun 2016  |  irishtimes.com
The article discusses the risks of Lyme disease in Ireland, particularly during the summer months when tick bites are more common. The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has issued warnings to the public to be vigilant against tick bites. Denise Ryan, a woman from Dublin, shares her debilitating experience with Lyme disease after being bitten by ticks while in Canada. Despite numerous doctor visits, her condition was not diagnosed until she got tested in Germany. She has been severely affected by the disease, suffering from various symptoms and additional infections. Ryan is currently fundraising to return to a treatment center in Seattle that specializes in her condition, as medications for her infections are not available in Ireland.

‘I get the children laughing and I create happiness for that family’

08 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
The article is a personal account of a pediatric nurse who has worked in various capacities, including neonatal cardiology and orthopedics, before moving into palliative care at Laura Lynn in 2012. The nurse is currently pursuing a master's in palliative care at Trinity College Dublin. The nurse describes the role in providing home-care services to children with life-limiting illnesses across several counties in Ireland. The services include continuous assessment, symptom management, interactive play, and family support. The nurse emphasizes the importance of individualized care plans, teamwork, and the emotional aspects of working with children at the end of life. The article highlights the value of the home-care team to the families they serve, providing a safety net and enabling families to maintain their routines while ensuring their children receive professional care.


08 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
Teachmeet Ireland is an innovative platform for teachers to share educational tips and methodologies through informal nano or macro presentations. The meetings, characterized by a degree of unpredictability and informality, encourage the exchange of ideas across various disciplines at the primary level. Co-founded by Ciara Brennan and Kathleen Byrne, Teachmeet Ireland has expanded from its initial focus on technology to include a wide range of subjects and teaching methods. Presentations have covered diverse topics, including positive classroom behavior and the use of social media for educational purposes. The Teaching Council has recognized the potential of Teachmeet as a form of continuous professional development for teachers. Upcoming events are scheduled across Ireland, with the aim of integrating these meetings into formal professional development programs.

Irish Comedians Take on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

08 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
The article discusses the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world's largest arts festival, which draws numerous visitors and performers to Edinburgh each year. It focuses on interviews with several Irish comedians who are participating in the festival, sharing insights into their shows, survival tips for the festival, and their past experiences. The comedians, including Conor O'Toole, Eleanor Tiernan, Chris Kent, Alison Spittle, Sean Nolan, and Niamh Marron, talk about the themes of their performances, their personal strategies for success, and why audiences should choose to see their shows. The article provides a glimpse into the challenges and excitement that come with performing at such a prestigious event.

Alison Spittle Discovers Hawaii

08 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
Alison Spittle's show, set in a tropical-themed venue complete with inflatable palm trees and garlands for the audience, is more than just a comedic act. While it appears to be lighthearted fun, Spittle uses the platform to tackle the subject of mental health, a topic she relates to personally. She refers to Hawaii as a mental escape for a 'cool headspace.' Despite some initial nervousness and repeated attempts to explain her show's concept, Spittle's confidence shines through her sharp one-liners and willingness to share her own mental health struggles. Her conversational style and humorous anecdotes, even when they stray from the main narrative, keep the audience engaged and entertained.

Florence and the Machine at 3Arena, Dublin: A Fiery Performance

08 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
The article reviews a concert by Florence and the Machine at the 3Arena in Dublin, awarding it a five-star rating. Florence Welch, the lead singer, captivates the audience with her presence and performance. The review mentions a callback to their recent performance at Electric Picnic and highlights the dynamic setlist, including hits like 'Shake It Out' and 'You've Got the Love.' Welch's interaction with the audience, including a moment where she asks them to be her choir and another where she encourages them to remove their trousers, is noted as part of her unique stage persona. While her energy and vocal prowess are praised, the review also points out moments where the physical theatrics of her performance border on excessive. The encore, featuring 'What Kind of Man' and 'Drumming Song,' ends with Welch dramatically collapsing on stage, concluding a remarkable show.

Ed Sheeran's One-Man Band Charms Croke Park

08 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
Ed Sheeran delivered a captivating performance at Croke Park, despite the venue's warning against selfie sticks. The concert attracted a large audience, including teenage girls and their mothers. Sheeran, known for his simple stage presence with just his guitar and loop pedal, proved to be a one-man band and an excellent showman. He performed songs from his album 'X' and was joined by Kodaline for a song, dispelling rumors of Bono's appearance. Sheeran's success includes being the biggest selling global male solo artist in 2014 and the most streamed artist on Spotify. His performance assured fans that his voice was ready for the next show, leaving some with hoarse voices from the excitement.

How to keep clutter to a Kondo minimum

08 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
The article features an interview with Marie Kondo, a decluttering expert and author, who is providing advice to Aoife McArdle, an Airbnb host. Kondo, known for her KonMari method and the book 'The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up', emphasizes the importance of keeping items that 'spark joy' and categorizing belongings to maintain a tidy space. She suggests a dramatic decluttering process that involves touching each item to decide its fate and expressing gratitude to items being discarded. Kondo's method is not just about physical decluttering but also leads to personal transformations, as clients often feel more confident and make significant life changes after applying her principles. The article also touches on the common issue of accumulating more than needed, leading to cluttered homes.

Tommy Steele: ‘Show business has been one big cuddle’

08 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
Tommy Steele, Britain's first rock'n'roll star, reflects on his 60-year career in entertainment. He discusses his beginnings with The Steelmen, his transition to film acting, and his current role as Glenn Miller in the musical 'The Glenn Miller Story', directed by Bill Kenwright. Steele shares anecdotes from his career, including learning to tap dance from Gene Kelly and working with Fred Astaire. He reveals a fun fact about his inability to whistle, which led to a tea lady whistling on his hit 'Singing the Blues'. Steele expresses his love for theatre and performing, stating he has no regrets and will never retire as long as good roles come his way. He emphasizes the timeless nature of theatre and the enduring appeal of Glenn Miller's music.

Athlone Boundary Review: The Battle for Monksland

08 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
The article discusses the potential boundary review in Athlone, which could see the Monksland area, currently part of County Roscommon, being annexed to County Westmeath. This has sparked concerns among local residents about the decline of the west side of Athlone, the loss of community identity, and the financial implications for Roscommon. Monksland has become a hub for pharmaceutical industries and generates significant revenue for Roscommon. The Save Roscommon campaign has been vocal against the boundary change, emphasizing the area's importance to the county's economy and identity. The article also touches on the demographic impact, as Monksland has a younger population compared to the rest of Roscommon. The boundary review is seen as a threat to the local GAA culture and the sense of belonging for the residents. The arguments for the boundary change include administrative efficiency and economic growth, while the arguments against focus on the loss of revenue, identity, and community support for Roscommon.

20 years of 'Clueless': A look back at a film that defined a generation's fashion

08 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
The article celebrates the 20th anniversary of the film 'Clueless', highlighting its enduring cultural impact, particularly in the world of fashion. The author reflects on the fashion lessons taught by the film's protagonist, Cher Horowitz, played by Alicia Silverstone. These lessons include the importance of a well-chosen outfit, the concept of not being a 'Monet' (appearing fine from a distance but messy up close), the transformative power of fashion, the art of dressing for dates, the strategy of layering, maintaining high standards, and the cyclical nature of fashion trends. The article also references the influence of 'Clueless' on modern pop culture, noting its impact on celebrities like Taylor Swift and Iggy Azalea, and underscores the film's message that fashion should be fun.

Why do girls outperform boys in the Leaving Cert?

08 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
The article discusses the recurring pattern of girls outperforming boys in school, specifically in the context of the Leaving Cert results in Ireland. It references PISA surveys and an OECD report to highlight that girls read more, spend more time on homework, and are generally more motivated in school. The article notes that girls outperform boys in most subjects except for maths-related fields. It suggests that societal perceptions of masculinity and femininity contribute to these differences. The article also points out that while girls could improve in maths and science with increased confidence, boys could benefit from a greater interest in school and reading. The author proposes that parents could use 'learning contracts' to balance boys' study and leisure activities, and emphasizes that the current system may not be allowing either gender to reach their full potential.

Looking back on the Leaving Cert: How it affected my career

08 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
The article revisits past students who were featured in The Irish Times after receiving their Leaving Certificate results, exploring where they are now and their reflections on the exam's impact. Susan Spillane, a top achiever in 2005, is now a senior pharmacist and discusses her education and career path. Adam Glynn Finnegan, from the class of 2003, is a senior designer at Evernote. Emer McGrath, the highest achiever in 2002, is now a resident in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Lorcan Fox, from the class of 2001, is a freelance filmmaker, and David Campbell, class of 2000, is a physiotherapist at Hartmann International Sports Injury Clinic. Deirdre Ní Fhloinn, class of 1992, is a PhD candidate at Trinity College Dublin. The article highlights the diverse paths taken by these individuals and the varying significance of the Leaving Certificate results in their long-term career trajectories.

Generation Rent: ‘It’s totally out of your control’

08 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
The article discusses the challenges faced by renters in Dublin, Ireland, particularly the difficulty in saving for a deposit due to high rents and the new mortgage lending rules by the Central Bank. André Filipe's personal struggle to find a family home highlights the broader issue of housing affordability and the trend of older first-time buyers, as noted by mortgage broker Karl Deeter. The article also touches on the perspectives of housing charity Threshold's CEO Bob Jordan, solicitor Anne McCarthy, PR professional Anne Reid, and UCD lecturer Stephan Köppe. The latter emphasizes the need for better rental regulations to provide long-term security to renters, a sentiment echoed by others in the article. The piece suggests that while home ownership remains a cultural aspiration, many may have to adjust expectations and consider long-term renting as a viable option.

Michael Ball: ‘The pretty cherub who sings nicely? He’s gone’ His career was almost derailed by depression, but Ball recovered to the point where he has his pick of parts and can focus on surprising audiences, as in Mack and Mabel

The Happy Pear: ‘When we started, people looked at us with pity’

08 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
David and Stephen Flynn, the twins behind The Happy Pear brand, which includes cookbooks and cafes, are profiled in this article. They share their daily routine, which involves yoga, social media engagement, and their passion for vegetarianism and healthy living. The article discusses their journey from business graduates to successful entrepreneurs, their vegan diet, and their approach to not pushing vegetarianism on others. Their best-selling cookbook and affiliation with Jamie Oliver's FoodTube are highlighted. The twins' strong bond and business acumen are evident, as they plan for more international projects and continue their 'healthy food revolution'. The article also includes a recipe for 'The Ultimate Chilli' from The Happy Pear.

‘I asked the bank if they wanted the house back. They said no’

08 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
The article presents personal stories of several individuals in Ireland who have faced severe financial difficulties due to the housing crisis. Niall Donovan and his wife bought a house in Swords for €428,000, which is now worth less than €300,000. After losing his job and falling into arrears, Donovan struggled until he returned to full-time employment. Emma Lawlor's initial home purchase fell through, but she later bought a similar property for a much lower price. Maria Murray, who bought a cottage in Rathmines for €600,000, faced financial strain after wage cuts and a separation from her partner. William Ralph, a GP, moved to Australia after financial difficulties with his practice and home in Gorey. Jillian Godsil's house in Wicklow, once valued at €1.65 million, was repossessed and sold for €155,000 after her business and marriage failed. Catherine, an accountant, bought a house for €365,000, now worth about €200,000, and struggled with mortgage payments after losing her job. These stories highlight the ongoing struggles with negative equity, bank negotiations, and the emotional toll of the housing crisis.

The Irish stars of YouTube spill the secrets of their success

08 May 2016  |  Independent.ie
The article discusses the success of Irish YouTubers who have turned their video blogging into lucrative careers. Jonathan Saccone Joly, known for The Saccone Jolys, shares his journey from animation to vlogging his family life, which has garnered over 500,000 subscribers. BriBry O'Reilly, a singer and vlogger, talks about how YouTube has supported his music career, while Hazel Hayes, a former YouTube Partner Manager, has shifted to writing and directing short films. The article touches on the celebrity culture emerging on YouTube and the discomfort some content creators feel about it. It also contrasts YouTube's interactive platform with traditional television, suggesting that both can coexist as they offer different experiences to the audience.

Rising tide lifting all boats in Dublin docklands

07 May 2016  |  The Irish Times
The article discusses the transformation of Dublin's docklands, particularly since Google's establishment there in 2004. The area has experienced a downturn but has since become a vibrant and growing part of the city, attracting a young working population. The demand for residential property has increased, with estate agent Owen Reilly noting strong asking prices and demand. The docklands are now divided into four distinct neighborhoods: IFSC, Point Village, Grand Canal Dock, and Ringsend, each with its own character and type of residents. The article mentions specific properties for sale in these areas, highlighting the development and attractiveness of the docklands for various buyers, from first-time buyers to investors and long-term residents.

Blue Monday – tips to beat the winter blues

18 Jan 2016  |  irishtimes.com
The concept of Blue Monday, deemed the most depressing day of the year, was created by psychologist Cliff Arnall in 2005 but is considered a myth. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), however, is a real condition affecting 7% of people according to the HSE, with symptoms including depression, anxiety, and over-eating. Treatments for SAD include light therapy, lifestyle improvements, socializing, stress management, medication, and cognitive behavioral therapy. The American Psychiatric Association notes that while winter depression is common, true SAD affects 1-10% of the US population.

Generation Rent: ‘It’s totally out of your control’

16 Nov 2015  |  irishtimes.com
The Irish Times article discusses the challenges faced by renters in Ireland, particularly in Dublin, where rising rents and strict mortgage lending rules are making it difficult for people to afford housing. André Filipe's personal struggle highlights the insecurity of renting, especially for families with children. Mortgage broker Karl Deeter and housing charity CEO Bob Jordan comment on the effects of new Central Bank rules on the property market, which are keeping more people in the rental sector. Solicitor Anne McCarthy and PR professional Anne Reid share their experiences with the high cost of renting. UCD lecturer Stephan Köppe suggests that long-term rental can be made attractive with the right regulations, similar to those in continental Europe. The article underscores the need for better rental regulation and a shift in expectations regarding home ownership.

Stephen Fry leaves QI: here are a few of his best bits

14 Oct 2015  |  The Irish Times
Stephen Fry is stepping down as the host of the British comedy panel quiz show QI after 13 years. Fry, who was initially a last-minute replacement for Michael Palin, has become a beloved figure on the show. He expressed gratitude towards the show's creators and his co-host Alan Davies. Sandi Toksvig will take over as the new host, while Davies will remain as a resident panellist. The article also highlights some of Fry's memorable quotes on various topics.

Alfie Deyes on his 4.4m followers: ‘It scares me. What if I did something stupid?’

11 Jul 2015  |  The Irish Times
Alfie Deyes discusses the overwhelming response to his YouTube channel, Pointless Blog, and his book signings, expressing concern over the influence he has on his young audience. With 4.4 million followers, his events draw thousands, necessitating ticketed events to manage crowds. His second book, 'The Pointless Book 2', encourages reader participation and features an accompanying app with exclusive content. Despite his fame, Deyes insists he's just a normal person and shuns the label of celebrity, emphasizing his desire to spread positivity without the pressure of being a role model.

Arthur's day: Ireland faces up to the dark side of the Guinness celebrations

24 Sep 2013  |  www.theguardian.com
The article discusses the evolution of Arthur's Day, an event launched by Diageo in Ireland in 2009 to celebrate the founder of Guinness. Initially a celebratory event, it has increasingly been associated with excessive drinking and related health issues. The article notes a significant increase in ambulance callouts and hospital admissions due to alcohol-related illnesses during the event. There is a growing backlash against Arthur's Day, with criticism from public officials, youth organizations, and musicians who highlight the negative impact on public health and emergency services. Diageo has been criticized for not taking responsibility for the irresponsible drinking associated with the event, although they have pledged to send a corporate representative to witness the consequences in an emergency ward.

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