The Donabate Portrane Dramatic Society were delighted to enchant the audiences once more following a three year hiatus due to covid. It has been a long time for the drama group to showcase their performances of ‘Melody’ by Deirdre Kinahan directed by Lisa Buckley & ‘Lockdown In Little Grimley’ by David Tristram directed by Noelle Corcoran two one act plays that have been on production since August 2021 and was postponed due to the restrictions that were in effect while the plays were due to be performed.

Each night the cast and crew were rewarded with a full house in the newly refurbished Donabate parish hall and standing ovations. The group, being one of Ireland’s oldest amateur dramatic society’s founded in 1936 was delighted to welcome mayor of Fingal to close the shows on the final performance Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh who gave a heartfelt speech to the group to congratulate them on their success. Followed by a speech by honorary guests from Ukraine who thanked the society for the invitation to the performance quoting it was “The first time we’ve laughed since February 21st”. If you would like to become a member or a patron of the Donabate Portrane Dramatic Society please feel free to get in touch on donabateportrane.drama@gmail.com

Maria Butterly will launch her new song ‘HERO’ produced by Bill Shanley and recorded in the world famous Windmill Lane Recording Studios in Naul this month. This song touches on an important and hot topic hitting young teens today-bullying. There is an interesting Story behind Maria’s new single ‘HERO’.It is a story of a young teen being called names in school, who dreams up a fictional hero character that represents the inner strength within us all, which allows us to confront and overcome the challenges presented to us whether internal or external. And addresses anti-social behaviour, bullying, and the challenges young students can be faced with in their world! Music has the power to connect with people and this new single from Maria ‘HERO’ is another example of that. A lot of my songs are inspired from true stories, some my own and some of others like this one. It’s radio friendly and the story is a good talking point!…. Not so long ago, I received a handwritten letter from an LMFM listener who was on the verge of taking his own life at 1am in the morning, until he heard my song ‘ANGEL’ being played on LMFM radio, he said the words of the song lifted him and brought him comfort and most of all ‘Hope’ that night and stopped him from doing the unthinkable. He is still with us today!

LAUNCH GIG: Friday 11th February, 2022.
Venue: Seamus Ennis Arts Centre,
Naul, Co Dublin.
Tickets are limited! €16 Available from TSEAC.i or mariabutterly.com

First Time author Balbriggan Woman Linda Murray recently launched a children’s book called ‘Dragon Fire and Fairy Dust’ with all the proceeds of it going to Temple St Childrens Hospital.
Linda said, ‘I am a Balbriggan local and started writing during the first Lockdown as I was not an essential worker. I found myself very isolated, being alone all day and missing my working life and social outlet. So I started writing poems and moved onto verse stories which are great fun, because you can really let your imagination run. I post my stories on a public Facebook page- Linda Murray Poetry for Life and I got a lot of encouragement so I decided to get a children’s book together. ‘ Well done Linda !

For each of the past nineteen years the talented students of the Catherine Lawlor School of Art have been holding an Art Exhibition to raise funds to support local charities in the Dublin area, including an online exhibition, in November 2020, in the midst of the Covid Pandemic.This year, Catherine is delighted to be hosting the Catherine Lawlor School of Art – Juliette Gallery Art Exhibition. This exhibition is close to Catherine’s heart as it will be held in memory of her dear mother, Juliette. The Juliette Gallery Art Exhibition will be held on 12th – 14th November, 2021 in Malahide Tennis Club from 10am to 6.00pm. This promises to be a most exciting and entertaining event. It will include an exhibition of a wonderful selection of over 60 pieces of art work on show. It will offer a great opportunity to meet the artists, talk to them about their work and possibly commission an original piece for yourself or as a gift.All paintings on display at the event will also be available to view on Catherine’s website at dublinartclasses.com in the online Juliette Gallery.Check out the website too for the calendar of events, classes, workshops, guided gallery visits, students’ art work and details regarding trips at home and abroad. All levels are catered for in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere online on Zoom and face to face in Balgriffin Hall, Malahide Road. Catherine is an inspiring teacher who provides numerous opportunities for all students to develop. This dynamic school of art is the largest on the northside of Dublin.

By Willie Maxwell (A CHINKWELL WRITER)

Tommy Ryan was known as a shrewd farmer and a sound man, in the parish. He had to be, he lost his father when he was fourteen and it fell to him and his mother to make a living on their modest farm. Early on Tommy took to growing maincrop Kerr Pinks Potatoes to supplement farm income. Smart lad that he was, instead of selling his crop to the greedy wholesalers or grasping supermarkets Tommy attended the open-air market in the county town and sold four stone hags direct to the townies. Tommy liked the market banter, and he liked the cash, and to top matters off he did not trouble the revenue with any tax either but as they say ”Sin sceal eile” One early November Tommy stepped into the yard to check his already loaded and canvass covered car trailer containing twenty bags. He rechecked the count and was in turn astounded and then angry to discover that he now had only eighteen bags. He cursed and fretted but decided to keep his own counsel and stepped into the barn and filled two replacements.This was one mistake he was going to remain stum about.The market was disappointing that day, too close to Christmas and the townies had other exotics on their minds, other than Kerr Pinks.Tommy’s humour did not improve when he had to return home having swapped three unsold bags for cheap Christmas tat from other stallholders.The following Saint Patricks day there was a huge funeral in the church. Tommy was standing respectfully outside with his neighbours when a young layabout son of a well to do farmer across the valley sidled up to him. “Tell me said the newcomer did you ever find the fella who stole your two bags of spuds last November? “I never did until just now. but I know now where to go to get the best calves at the very best price this spring” Tommy replied.The layabout realising the enormity of his mistake swallowed air, while his neighbours looked on baffled.

Artist Sarah Browne is looking for autistic young people aged between 16 - 21 from across Fingal to participate in making a new short film.Echo’s Bones is an ambitious, collaborative project responding to the language and locations of a collection of short stories by Samuel Beckett, set in Fingal. Commissioned by Fingal County Council under the Infrastructure 2018 – 2021 Public Art Programme. The project will be developed through a series of workshops held online which will involve elements of creative writing, acting, composition and filmmaking etc. and will also involve the viewing and discussion around a selection of experimental films made by autistic artists, writers and performers.The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. David Healy said: “It is so important that we provide platforms for members of our communities that do not get seen enough in our cultural mediums. That is why this project from Sarah Browne is one that needs to be supported. It is one that will help show the perspective of Fingal through film, performance and writing by a community with a diverse perspective.” Details are as follows:The project will be developed through a series of online workshops held between February –May 2021. Shot in June 2021, with a relaxed screening in Autumn 2021, Looking for Fingal-based autistic young people aged 16-21 years of age,No film experience required,There is no cost to participate in the project,The creative team leading Echo’s Bones is trained by autistic performer and former AsIAm youth leader, Eleanor Walsh,Workshops will be facilitated by drama practitioner Sarah Fitzgibbon, with Sarah Browne,Participants need to have internet access and be comfortable navigating Zoom (online meeting platform) after some initial guidance.Zoom sessions will have captions provided by Otter.ai for people who prefer reading/typing to speaking, who use screen readers or are hard of hearing,Participants need to be available to explore their local Fingal area and comfortable working in a group.You can express your interest by emailing echosbonesfingal@gmail.com, If your preference is Whatsapp text/voice call, a member of the Echo’s Bones team can happily answer all related questions.Text or call Sarah Browne on 086 602 0292.

I grew up in Finglas, through the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, I came from your typical Irish family of that time. We lived in a household of ten, our parents, four girls and four boys. There were two sets of twins, two boys of which I was one and a boy and girl, my mother was also a twin. I started writing poems about my childhood first as a hobby to keep those memories alive and fresh. As I progressed in my writing, I found there was a lot of interest in the content of my poetry by those of a similar age to myself. I started posting on Facebook in Finglas Memories and the response was immediate, people very much related to the poems. It was the followers of this page who encouraged me on many an occasion to put my poems in a book.This is my first collection of poems which I have combined with old photographs from both sides of my family who came from Finglas and Cabra. I could not have completed the book without the help of my wonderful daughter in law Vivian. Without her incredible energetic input, her encouragement, enthusiasm, organisational skills and choreography of the graphics, my book would still be just an aspirational idea.The book can be purchased on Amazon.

James English RHA, an artist from Loughshinny was the awarded the 2020 Fingal County Council Graphic Studio Award. James is renowned for still life and landscape paintings which respond to his interest in nature and ornithology, often capturing shadow patterns, abstract forms and reflections in water.James is a member of The Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) and his work regularly features in the RHA annual exhibition as well as numerous galleries in Ireland. His work is represented in the public art collections of; The Royal Hibernian Academy, Allied Irish Bank, The Office of Public Works, Dun Laoghaire - Rathdown County Council, the National Library, Leinster House, along with many private collections both in Ireland and abroad. The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. David Healy said: “I congratulate James English on being awarded the 2020 Fingal County Council Graphic Studio Award. Fingal County Council has always supported artists and now more than ever it is important that we continue this support as artists face a difficult period during the pandemic.” As part of an on-going commitment to professional artists, Fingal County Council offers a fine art print residency at Graphic Studio Dublin. This residency provides an emerging or established artist with the opportunity to make a fine art print with the master printer Robert Russell at Graphic Studio Dublin. During his residency at Graphic Studio Dublin in October, James created a limited edition of prints, the artists proof will enter the Fingal County Council Municipal Art Collection. Speaking about the residency, James said: “The residency at Graphic Studio Dublin has been an exciting and uplifting experience for me. I have no doubt that it will enrich my own practice of painting. I am also looking forward to the time when I can return to make another print with them.” James also added his “thanks to Fingal County Council Arts Office and Graphic Studio Dublin for the privilege of the residency.”Emer O’Gorman Director of Economic, Enterprise, Tourism & Culture Development added: “Now more than ever it is important to support our artists and creative industries through continuing to create opportunities such as the Graphic Studio Award.”

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Fingal County Council is delighted to present a film trilogy by artist Anthony Haughey and The Global Migration Collective. The trilogy of short films This is What We Call Progress, Can you Hear us Now? and Waiting for Tomorrow reflect on the impact of global migration from the viewpoint of youth living in Fingal with a particular focus on Balbriggan.The films were developed by an array of young people from Fingal and commissioned under the Infrastructure Fingal County Council’s Public Art programme.A series of Film Posters advertising the films will celebrate the local participants at prominent billboard sites in Balbriggan. The films can be viewed on http://www.globalmigrationcollective.com/recommends/film-trilogy (not accessible through this medium).The films explore concerns expressed by these multi-ethnic youth who are growing up in a time of rapid change in Ireland and Internationally. In Can you Hear us now? A group of students from Lusk Community College calls for equality in the context of a xenophobic Europe. The second film This is What We Call Progress takes the audience to the beautiful red room of the 18th Century, Newbridge House. In this sequence, a group of young local women activists from a collective called My Sisters Keeper articulate and assert the positive role that African women have played in feminist discourse and human rights.The last film sees a group of young men engage in conversation about what is at stake for their generation where they discuss historical speeches and claims for civil rights and equality espoused by Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, and others. This film Waiting for Tomorrow, set in Balbriggan references Beckett’s seminal play, Waiting for Godot. The waiting, in this case, points to the existence of a permanent state of crisis where fear and division are continuing to test the patience of so many generations of multi-ethnic communities especially in light of recent Black Lives Matter global protests.The Film Poster Schedule is: 30th Nov – 11th December – Main Street Balbriggan 12th – 25th December – Main Street Balbriggan

by Emma Dennis

Lusk the little town that we love so well,We’re so lucky to reside here-happily we dwell.
Lusk is the anglicized version of LUSCA meaning ‘cave’,
St.Maccullin is our saint, his incorruptible body rests eternally in our Round Tower grave.
There’s sunshine galore it rarely rains,
We’re the gourmet hub of market gardening set amidst luscious green country plains.
We’ve our very own vineyard brewing the sweetest tasting Lusk wine,
We’ve the historic church of St.Maccullin where we gather to worship God divine.
We’re of Viking descent-our veins pulsate of courageous Norse blood,
Genetically amalgamated with early Christians who fought at our Round Tower & bravely stood.
We’re fused together down the years by strong ‘Luskian’ family ties,
The matching surnames remain today-they shall never die.
We’re a close knit village all united for the same goal,
Deep delight in our little village seeps through each heart & soul.
We support neighbours & deliver COVID shopping to their door,
Kindness & generosity is engrained within EACH Lusk person’s core.
New settlers have flocked in droves and today alongside us abide,
We embrace them with open arms to Lusk-Welcome to North Dublin’s BRIGHTEST side!
They’ve brought new philosophies & help us as a community to improve,
Thanks for stepping up and volunteering YOUR talents every contribution we gratefully use!
There’s the new parkland ‘hub’ where locals casually walk their dogs,
Everyone greets you with a smile-we’re a working class community of friendly Joe Bloggs!
There’s the local GAA & soccer clubs.
A hive of bustling connectivity-with their very own private pubs!
There’s Lusk AC who RUN THIS TOWN,
And the fighters in the Taekwondo and Judo Kan who never surrender or lie down!
There’s the kickboxing, Tidy Towns & Drama School,
Growing up in Lusk there’s a host of opportunity-you won’t turn out a fool!
There’s horses & carts- a Santa at Christmas who rides the ring road,
There’s Bernard who pridefully cycles a painted Dublin barrel with a navy & blue flagged load!
We’re a bunch of colourful characters who stand out a mile,
Yet, we’ve hearts of gold- nobody beats our unique FINGALLIAN smile!
We’ve Supervalu & McCabe’s our ‘Lusk Centre’ shopping stores,
As well as Costcutters where teenagers ‘hang’ outside the front doors!
We’ve the Top Shop & the Bottom Shop where we drink our beer,
As well as Boyle Sports to give our six to one horse a winning chequed cheer!
We’re an eclectic mix of young & old, Vibrancy & good spirit here in Lusk flows like gold.
We’re the best little town in Dublin by far,and you’ll reach us in 20 mins from the city centre by car!
We’re a genetically modified bunch of assorted faces,
We’re a thriving modern suburb with a blessed addition of so many diverse cultures & races!
There’s the rural residencies & mansions out the commons road,
It’s like Connemara up there with a Dublin post code!
We’ve the Black Raven pipers who puff out Amazing Grace from the bandstand,
There’s the Skinny Batch Cafe-opportunistically into any local there you could land!
There’s the scouts who guide the local kids & take them under their wing,
Each weekend is a trip outdoors hiking in Howth or a spot of orienteering!
We’ve The Square, Community Centre & St. Patricks Day parade,
There’s the Bandstand barbers who give a great number 1 with a slick balding blade!
We’ve the dreaded ‘dog snatchers’ who put on cable ties to mark our bins,
We’ve also got Fr.George who acts as Jesus & wipes away all sins!
We’ve the St. Vincent De Paul who advocate alongside our poor,
Here in Lusk we all look out for each other nobody is ‘très grandeur’.
Lusk the town that I love so well,
I wrote this little poem so that the whole world I can tell!