I was walking for something to eat last Friday night when I noticed some action up by the Powerscourt Centre.
South William Street in Dublin City Centre was also cordoned off, so naturally, being the inquisitive sort, I wandered up to have a look.
Turns out there was an event on later that night as part of Dublin Fashion Festival. which I was unaware was even going on, but then I’m not much of a Fashionista to be fair!
When I arrived on the scene the models were already on the scene, preparing for the show ahead and, no doubt, seeing if they could safely negotiate the steep, stone steps in sky-high stilettos. I took a few candid snaps there before going to dinner and then stopped back afterwards to see a small bit fo the show, taking a few more photos.
On my return to the scene, it was packed with people, but the official photographer for the event kindly invited me up the other side of the ladder he was using in a great spot across the road. I don’t know if it was a completely altruistic gesture or if he just wanted my bodyweight as ballast for equilibrium/safety purposes, but either way I’m grateful to him.
Interestingly, he was quite annoyed with the background lighting (the big blue spotlights you can see in the photos that follow) as it was being left on throughout at the beginning, making it impossible for him to get the shots he wanted. I, on the other hand, completely unconcerned with the clothes, found it quite interesting!
Eventually, he got the problem sorted and the lights came on for the entry of models and were turned off as they strutted their stuff on the Powerscourt steps, ensuring he got some great fashion shots… quite unlike what I took! These are a mix of shots from the rehearsals and the show itself. As ever, click for the big versions.
THOUSANDS of seafood lovers will flock to a small Co Wexford fishing village this weekend.
Kilmore Quay is famous for its many thatched cottages and it’s fishing, with the latter taking centre stage over the coming days as the picturesque seaside village hosts its annual Seafood Festival.
The festival begins in seafaring style Thursday night with a maritime-themed parade through the village and the programme of events continues through to Sunday evening.
Tonight also sees the festival’s famous seafood platter prize competition, where the local restaurants and bars compete to create the best seafood platter, with bragging rights bestowed on the winner as their creations are enjoyed by the crowd.
The local fish processors in Kilmore Quay have come together for the traditional fish market, which starts Friday and will offer visitors the best of freshly caught seafood at once-off, specially reduced rates. Fresh seafood will also be available to buy at the harbour stalls on Saturday and Sunday.
However, there’s more than seafood on the menu, Kilmore Quay will also be serving up “mussels” of a different variety during the Republic of Ireland’s Strongest Man competition and there are a vast array of exhibitions and activities, from yacht races to sandcastle building competitions.
Festival Co-ordinator Sylvia Kehoe said this year’s festival is centred on “seafood, fishing and free family fun”.
“This festival has been firmly established over the last 26 years with families who travel to Kilmore Quay to join in the traditional family fun of the festival and to enjoy the fresh catch from the Wexford coastline,” said Ms Kehoe.
“We are expecting large crowds and we have a five day festival programme with something for everyone to enjoy,’ she added.
I was down in Kilmore village and KIlmore Quay this evening and as I have started running again this week (a whole other blog post in the making!) I said I’d get one in while I was down there.
So I took my dodgy hip and rickety shins through the dunes on The Burrow. Beautiful scenery, but Maram grass is not my friend!
It’s not easy being a small town in rural Ireland these days.
Businesses are closing, young people are emigrating and in many cases the lifeblood of a lot of once vibrant towns is being drained away. The challenges facing these towns are huge and the government coffers are empty.
However, that’s not to say that all is lost and, to its credit, the Enniscorthy community seems to be rising to the challenge.
It’s a town I, like many others, usually just pass through on my way to Dublin, though I spent a few weeks working there last year and will again this year I’m sure.
My last visit there was for a piece for the Irish Times on the re-opening of Enniscorthy Castle, which was a great development for the town, which is steeped in history, and well worth a visit. It’s informative, uncluttered and has a nice social history aspect, always the most enjoyable part for me.
Hot on its heels was the recent installation of a new footbridge over the Slaney, which has extended the prom into a longer and (I’m assured by my colleagues from that part of the world) lovely riverside walk. I’ll be giving it a spin on my next working sojourn in Enniscorthy.
This weekend is a big one for the town as the long-running Strawberry Festival is taking place, here’s a preview piece I wrote about it.
It’s fair to say that the festival had lost its lustre in recent years and last year’s effort – for various reasons – was not well received in most quarters. But, the response to that setback has been emphatic.
The festival is back. It’s bigger and it should be a lot better. A huge amount of work has gone into it and there’s a wide range of events taking place, a lot of them for free. Crucially, the line-up of bands is a lot better too and it seems to cater for younger and older fans (Rubberbandits and Saw Doctors, Jedward and UB40 etc) .
You can check out the festival and all the various events for yourself here. Visitors from further afield than Co Wexford are being encouraged to come too and you don’t need to book into a local hotel, with camping available at Bellefield GAA grounds.
From the many fringe events, such as jazz in Market Square to a public paranormal investigation of Enniscorthy Castle (I didn’t pick up anything on my visit there!), and the big gigs on the weekend nights, it should be a fun weekend.
I hope that all the time and energy (and money) that has gone into it pays off this weekend as it’s great to see a town putting its best foot forward and trying to bring about something positive.
There are many more worthwhile initiatives underway in Enniscorthy than I have touched on here, just like there are many problems that need addressing there and in other Co Wexford towns too.
This post is not to suggest that everything is rosy in the garden in Enniscorthy, but merely to point out that green shoots have been emerging quietly this year amid what can sometimes seem like an overpowering cacophony of negative news.
Let’s hope the town can bask in sunshine for its big Strawberry weekend. If you are looking for a good day out then maybe consider heading down to Enniscorthy.
P.S. Some of my talented colleagues from this office will be in action in Enniscorthy this weekend, so make sure to cheer on Darragh Clifford in the Strawberry Half Marathon and keep an eye (and ear) out for the musical stylings of Shea Tomkins!