Fingal Arts Office in partnership with the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) are delighted to announce Aoife Dunne as the recipient of the 2023 Fingal County Council and RHA Studio Award. The award offers a funded studio space within the RHA for one year providing valuable support for an artist to develop their artistic practice. The artist will also have access to the ancillary activities of the RHA school such as master classes, seminars, artist talks and drawing groups as well as placing them directly in an environment with other professional visual artists. Sarah O’Neill, County Arts Officer commented, “Fingal Arts Office is proud to support Aoife Dunne through this exciting opportunity at the RHA. This award responds to the Fingal County Council 2019 – 2025 Arts Plan objective to enable the creative and professional development of artists and encourage individuals to excel in their thinking and practice.” Aoife Dunne is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores the intricacies of contemporary existence through ambitious digital installations, fusing sculpture, video, sound, performance, technology, and costume. Her approach incorporates improvisatory, interactive, and performative elements, harnessing digital technology in innovative ways. Her research centers around the profound impact of technology on our perception of place and the dynamic interplay between physical and virtual spaces. With a dedicated focus on exploring the transformative effects of these influences on reality, identity, and community. Aoife commented on being awarded, “The Fingal County Council and RHA Studio Award holds immense value for me as it provides the ideal space to experiment and continue developing my large-scale immersive works. I am very thankful and excited for the opportunity.” During her time in the Fingal RHA Studio Residency, Aoife will continue her research on the impact of technology, examining concepts of identity, intimacy, and the nature of reality, further exploring the intersection between technology, art, and embodiment. Aoife Dunne (B.1995, Ireland) graduated from NCAD Fine Art Media in 2016 and has since exhibited extensively internationally. Her work has been featured in prominent exhibitions, including shows at The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver USA, The Royal Academy of Arts London, and The Irish Museum of Modern Art..
Fingal County Council is excited to announce the launch of its Festival and Event Funding Scheme for 2024. This initiative aims to encourage groups and organisations to host their upcoming events in Fingal, building on the success of previous years and fostering community engagement and tourism within the region. Fingal has a rich tradition of hosting diverse and vibrant events, from the renowned summer music series at Malahide Castle to Flavours of Fingal, Ireland’s largest County show or the new Unison Festival. Each year, over 100 events captivate audiences across the County, spanning from major music and theatre festivals, seafood celebrations, local summer festivals, community-driven events, and parades. John Quinlivan, Director of Economic Enterprise, Tourism, and Cultural Development at Fingal County Council expressed the council’s commitment to supporting a wide range of events and festivals in the area. He said: “Fingal is already dedicated to supporting a wide array of events and festivals taking place across the County, and we want to ensure other organisations are looking at Fingal as their destination of choice for gigs, festivals, and other events. Not only will this help drive tourism and develop the visitor experience in the area, but we also hope this will help residents connect with their community and bring joy and excitement to people’s lives.” The 2024 Festival and Event Funding Scheme comprises three distinct strands of support, each catering to different event scales and objectives: Strand 1: Designed for smaller-scale events expected to attract audiences of fewer than 1,000 people. Funding of up to €6,000 will be available to eligible applicants. Strand 2: Targeting larger events that draw audiences exceeding 1,000 people and span a minimum of two fully programmed days. Organizers can apply for funding of up to €25,000. Strand 3: Tailored to support groups interested in exploring the feasibility and long-term sustainability of a festival or event. Grants of up to €10,000 are available for this category. For comprehensive information on the various funding strands and application requirements, please visit Fingal County Council’s Festival and Event Funding webpage. Applications for the 2024 Festival and Event Funding Scheme will be accepted from 28 September 2023. The deadline for submission is 31 January 2024 giving organisers ample time to prepare and submit their proposals, Fingal County Council looks forward to collaborating with event organisers to create memorable and impactful experiences for residents and visitors alike in 2024. This initiative reflects the council’s dedication to fostering culture, tourism, and community development within the region.
On September 19th , volunteer and puppy raiser Anne Mulligan and our branch said goodbye to puppy in training Cosmo, who went to Cork to continue her training to be a future Guide Dog/Assistance Dog. We wish Cosmo the best of luck and thank Anne for her hard work and we will of course keep you updated on Cosmo’s progress. Our Balbriggan/North County Dublin Branch had a coffee morning fundraiser on the 18th October in the Senior Citizens Centre, High Street, Balbriggan. There were sweet treats provided by our volunteers and also a raffle was held. Among other things, we had a beautiful canvas picture of a sunset over Balbriggan harbour valued at €250 and taken by local photographer Martin McNamara which was kindly donated by Anne Nightingale. We also had a hamper that was raffled. A fun time was had by all and there were some very happy winners.
It is almost that time of year again where we dust off the Christmas decorations from the attic and search for the perfect tree and that means our Balbriggan/North County Dublin Branch will soon have our Christmas 2024 calendars and car raffle tickets available. Christmas cards will be €6 a pack or 2 packs for €10, the calendar will be €10 and car raffle tickets will be €5 each. The car draw will take place on the 7th February 2024 and the lucky winner will win a Citroen E-C4 worth €40,000-€43,000, so make sure to get your tickets to be in with a chance to win and you could be the lucky person starting the early new year in style with a new car! Keep an eye on our social media pages in the coming months as our merchandise stands will be set up in SuperValu, Balbriggan and on the 24th and 25th November we will be in Millfield Shopping Centre in Balbriggan. We can’t wait to see you all and get into the festive spirit. If you are interested in volunteering with us, please do feel free to contact us: Balbriggan/North County Dublin branch of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, you can phone or text us on 085 7663107, email us at GuideDogsBalbriggan@gmail.com or find us on our own Facebook page at Balbriggan Branch of Guide Dogs.
August has been another busy month for the Balbriggan/North County Dublin branch of Guide Dogs. Tom O’Neill Guide Dog Owner and his family and friends in Farrell’s Bar in Ballinalee Co. Longford which is owned and ran by Breeges sister Mary and husband Martin held a Trad Session on Sunday 20th August where Mick Flavin Country and Western star plus, champion flute player Noel Sweeney and many others played to honour Breege O’Neill’s (nee Reilly) wonderful legacy. Farrell’s Bar said the following on their Facebook page, “While Breege was training with her last guide dog, Qeb, with The Irish Guide Dogs for The Blind in Cork, she noticed how the bus which was used to transport students was not in great shape. On that trip Breege decided she was going to fundraise to buy a new student’s bus for the centre and set about doing so when she got home from Cork in November 2019. In true O’Neill fashion, Breeges wish was carried out after she passed away in June 2021 to get a new eight-seater minibus to be donated to Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind in Breege’s memory. Tom O’Neill gave a fantastic speech as he launched Breege’s bus and of course Qeb had to make himself known and was in fine voice on the video emphasising everything Tom said in all the appropriate places. Qeb added to Tom’s fine speech and a wonderful evening. If you would like to listen to Tom’s speech in full, you can visit our Facebook at Balbriggan Branch of Guide Dogs or our Instagram page @balbrigganbranchguide. A big well done and thank you to all involved. It was a beautiful tribute to a wonderful woman, and we have no doubt Breege would be so proud. The bus was officially handed over to Guide Dogs Cork on Saturday 26th August at the National open day for volunteers at the centre. If you are interested in volunteering with our Balbriggan branch of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, please feel free to contact us by call or text: 085 7663107, or of course you can always email GuideDogsBalbriggan@gmail.com.
Fingal County Council’s Waste Enforcement Section has taken part in a multi-agency checkpoint operation recently to tackle illegal waste activities and to ensure compliance with waste regulations in terms of movement of waste materials. Dublin City Council in its role as lead authority for the Eastern Midlands WERLA (Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authority), coordinated yesterday’s operation on behalf of An Garda Síochána’s Dublin Metropolitan Region’s Multi-Agency Forum. This intelligence led vehicle check point was conducted in Fingal, in an area known for significant waste activity. The check points were located both northbound and southbound on a main artery within close proximity to the M1 to capture waste movements within the area and en route to other counties outside of Fingal. Representative agencies for this joint operation included An Garda Síochána, Fingal County Council’s Waste Enforcement Section, Dublin City Council’s Waste Enforcement Section, the Road Safety Authority and the National Trans Frontier Shipment Office (NTFSO). The Dublin Metropolitan Region is one out of four of the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s multi-agency regional networks, which, enable a multi-faceted enforcement approach by bringing together key stakeholders. The participation of different agencies proved to be very beneficial. Multi-agency operations such as this have a positive deterrent effect on criminality, help to raise awareness and lead to positive outcomes relating not only to waste but other offences also. Fingal County Council supports this collaborative approach and will provide any and all further assistance through multi-agency operations to help combat illegal dumping and tackle unauthorised waste collectors.
As I enter my third month as Mayor of Fingal, I am immensely proud of all we have done, as a community, to create a month filled with cultural significance and sporting success. There are so many people to congratulate, from both the Dublin ladies’ and men’s GAA teams who were successful in their respective All-Ireland Football Finals, the Irish Women’s football team, the Irish ladies’ and men’s Hockey Teams.
I had the pleasure of attending so many sporting events this month, including the TY Girl’s Mini World Cup, the Balbriggan Beach Volleyball, The Croquet Cup, St.Ita’s Mini Euros, the Morton Games, the Donabate and Swords Parkrun, the Women’s World Cup Watch Party, the Euro Hockey Championships and the Under 23 Swimming European Championships.
That’s why I was honoured to open the Rathmore Park in Lusk. This 20 Acre Town Park is within easy walking and cycling reach of the centre of Lusk and close to residential areas and local schools making it very accessible to the local community.
Another highlight of the past month was the Swords Castle concerts,with Nathan Carter and Martin Kemp each putting on a fantastic show in this amazing venue in the heart of our County Town. Part of our vision in Fingal is to make this a great place to do business in and it was great to attend the opening of Keeling’s new flower processing facility in St Margaret’s, Keelings are one of the top businesses in Fingal and it is great to see them continuing to expand. News that construction of fast-charging facilities at Drogheda Station for new DART+ trains will commence this year is a major step to improving the rail service to Donabate, Rush-Lusk, Skerries and Balbriggan. The Dart+ Service is due to commence in 2025 and Irish Rail have 95 electric carriages on order. This is going to lead to passenger capacity and improved services for residents and is extremely welcome.
Finally, I would like to remind everyone to ensure they are registered to vote! Whether you are a recent resident to Fingal, or have been living here your whole life, it is imperative to check the register and update your details when needed.
Fingal Poetry Festival returns to Skerries on the 15-16th September 2023. This year we are thrilled to launch The Big Poetry Day Out — a trail of events that showcase emerging and established poets from across the island. Our mission is to connect people with the written and spoken word in an inclusive and celebratory way. With readings, music, seaside walks, and children’s open mics, there is something for everyone. It is set to be a memorable weekend, with poetry performances from Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Stephen James Smith, Jessica Traynor, Paddy Bushe, Sheila Ryder, Harry Clifton, Caitríona Ní Chléirchín, Lucinda Jacob, Maeve O’Sullivan, Victoria Melkovska, Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin, Anne Tannam, Marcus Mac Conghaíl, Enda Coyle-Greene, and the winners of our regional community slams. Over the festival weekend we will also be joined by local musicians RVE, Naoise Mac Conghail, Lucy Killian, Lola Coady, Sarah May Rogers, and Oscar Churcher and Diarmuid Slattery. At the Fingal Poetry Family Festival, Jane Landy will read from ‘Claus Clamhsánaí’, the new translation into Irish of her successful children’s book ‘Gringer the Winger’.
Tickets now available to book: fingalpoetryfestival.com. Join Enda Coyle-Greene for a seaside walk punctuated by poetry from featured poets Maeve O’Sullivan, Victoria Melkovska and Ceaití Ní Bheildiúin. From 2-4pm, Floraville Park will transform into a hub of family-friendly fun. There will be something for all ages with featured poet Lucinda Jacob, art activities, games, and even an open mic for children and young adults. Local author Jane Landy will read from ‘Claus Clamhsánaí’, the new translation into Irish (by Gabriel Rosenstock) of her successful children’s book ‘Gringer the Whinger’. As the evening approaches, the Bridge Club will see readings by Jessica Traynor and Paddy Bushe, judges of the 2023 Fingal Poetry Prize and An Fiach Dubh, and the unveiling of the winning poems. If you would rather spend an hour or two chatting away, come along to The Gladstone Inn for Craic agus Comhrá, a casual Irish language conversation group that takes the old saying “is fearr Gaeilge bhriste ná Béarla cliste” to heart. Finally, we will bring our festival home to Skerries Mills — the place where it all began four short years ago. This is set to be one of our most special Poetry at the Mills events to date, with wonderful featured poets Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Harry Clifton, and Caitríona Ní Chléirchín.We are guided by a strong-held belief in inclusivity. Everyone is welcome at Fingal Poetry Festival. A limited number of assisted listening audio sets will be available for our Poetry Walk by the Sea. Some events include ISL interpretation. Fingal Poetry Festival is supported by Fingal County Council, Fingal Libraries, Poetry Ireland and DHL Global Forwarding.
Another busy month for the Balbriggan/North County Dublin Branch of Guide Dogs. Tom O’Neill and his Guide Dog Qeb and volunteer Maebh Mitchell had an exciting visit to Google Headquarters who invited them along to attend a cake sale in aid of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. Google Headquarters kindly said they would match the funds raised. Both Tom and Maebh answered a lot of questions from the international staff, one person even told Tom that Qeb was the first dog they had ever touched! It’s safe to say, a fun and most tasty afternoon was had by all and we would like to thank the Google staff and management for their support.
The Balbriggan/North County Dublin Branch of Guide Dogs has been graciously given a beautiful canvas photograph of the sunset over Balbriggan harbour by local photographer Martin McNamara and it has been suggested that we could use it to fundraise. The value has been set at €250 and the measurements are width of 90cms and depth of 60cms. If anyone is interested in buying it or has any suggestions as to how we could use it to fundraise please get in touch with us via the below contact details.
If you would like to support us, Skinny Batch Coffee Shop in Lusk Co. Dublin has recently added a new Tap to Donate machine, this means you can find our Tap to Donate machines in Oakes Pharmacy in Skerries and also Specsavers in Millfield Shopping Centre, Balbriggan. You can also come along to the open day in Balbriggan Garda Station on Saturday 9th September from 12pm – 3pm.The first hour (12pm-1pm) will be a sensory hour. We will not be fundraising but there might be some fluffy four legged friends with us that want to say hello. Make sure to keep up to date with our Facebook page as more details are to follow. If you are interested in volunteering with us please feel free to contact our Balbriggan/North County Dublin Branch of Irish Guide Dogs by phone/text 085 7663107, you can email us at GuideDogsBalbriggan@gmail.com or find us on Facebook at Balbriggan Branch of Guide Dogs.
What a successful May and June for the Balbriggan Branch of Guide Dogs. We are delighted to say that between our merchandise stand on Guide Dog Day the 26th May in the magnificent Millfield
Shopping Centre, Balbriggan and also on SuperValu, Balbriggan on 27th May, our branch raised a truly wonderful fundraising total of €1,433.78. Skerries Community College also organised a sponsored dog walk for Guide Dog day on the 26th May where the teachers and students walked and raised a wonderful €330 in aid of Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. We also attended Summerfest festival on the 4th June, there was sunshine and smiles all around and we are delighted to say, we actually raised €337.70. On our Guide Dog funding page we also raised €355 throughout the month of May, a massive thank you to Ms Reilly and also Ms O’Neill’s class at Scoil Chormaic CNS who raised €320 of that for our Branch. We also want to say a massively big thank you to those who supported us and continue to do so. We appreciate it. There will be more events coming up over the following months, so make sure to keep an eye on our social media pages and feel free to contact us if you would like to volunteer or help out. We have a request for an old usable iPhone if anyone has one they would kindly like to donate to the Balbriggan/North County Dublin Branch. We currently have an iPhone 5 but are looking for an upgrade, preferably sim free. This is used for events which is in conjunction with the Sum Up machine, which makes it possible to tap your card at our own merchandise stands. If you have an old iPhone you would like to donate to us, you can contact us through our own Facebook page at Balbriggan Branch of Guide Dogs or indeed call us or text us on 085 7663107. If you are interested in volunteering with us please feel free to contact our Balbriggan/North County Dublin Branch of Irish Guide Dogs by phone/text 085 7663107, email us at GuideDogsBalbriggan@gmail.com or find us on Facebook at Balbriggan Branch of Guide Dogs.
Despite running a rigorous recruitment campaign over the last few months, the Council will be unable to put lifeguards at all its designated bathing areas. This shortage of available lifeguards will leave some beaches exposed during the summer, with patrols not possible on all popular beaches. Beachgoers are reminded that if there’s a red over yellow flag flying from the lifeguard station, a lifeguard is present and it is safe to swim. A red flag means there is a lifeguard on duty, but it is not safe to swim. No flag means there is no lifeguard on duty. A lifeguard is only on duty in the summer months from 11am to 7pm as follows: Every day during July & August (N.B. locations will be dependent on staffing availability), - The first two weekends in September (Blue Flag Beaches only. To maximize beach safety and minimize potential hazards, Fingal wants beach goers to keep the following tips in mind: (1) Swim in designated areas: (2) Keep a close eye on children: (3) Follow lifeguard instructions: (4) Please do not bring inflatable toys to the beach:(5) Avoid alcohol and drugs: Drinking alcohol is forbidden under Fingal County Council beach bye- laws. Remember that alcohol and drugs also impair judgement and coordination, increasing the risk of accidents in the water. Stay sober and alert while enjoying the beach. (6) Be aware of weather conditions: (7) Learn basic water safety: If you’re not a confident swimmer,please consider taking swimming lessons or familiarise yourself with basic water safety techniques. (8) Stay hydrated and use sun protection: Protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays by wearing sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid heat-related illnesses.(9) Leave No Trace: Respect the environment by cleaning up after yourself and disposing of trash in designated bins.Take your rubbish home with you, if our bins are full. Also, please do not bring BBQs to our beaches, as they can lead to serious burns if left behind. (10) Be alert: Where an area is not being lifeguarded and you get into trouble or see someone else in difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. By adhering to these guidelines and being responsible beach goers, we can all contribute to a safer and more enjoyable summer experience.