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Last week, I received an e-mail from a Dublin startup called Meetingsbooker who are currently running a project called ‘My Favourite Meeting Place’ to discover the best meeting places in Dublin. One of my favourite places has to be the Chester Beatty Library.

It is in the centre of Dublin located in the grounds of Dublin Castle and listed in the Lonely Planet as “not just the best museum in Ireland, but one of the best in Europe”. In order to gain access you walk through the beautiful Dubh Linn gardens which is usually packed on a summers day. This is a lovely place to take a book and relax on a bench or have coffee on the grass with a friend. The museum is completely free and runs great events throughout the year. One of my favourite things to do lately is their monthly Qigong on the Roof Top Garden. The museum houses the collections of mining magnate, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty with a strong focus on the Orient showing his interest in Islamic, East Asian and Western Collections. They are always showing interesting exhibitions. Their beautiful Silk Road café with its middle-eastern dishes is also worth checking out.

It’s definitely worth checking out – don’t just leave it for the tourists.


The Oktoberfest started on Thursday the 30th of September and runs until the 10th of October in George’s Dock in the IFSC.

Experience traditional German fun, food and entertainment with over 30 German barmaids dressed in traditional Dirndl’s!

In order to comply with Irish licensing laws, every person who is present at the Oktoberfest after 10pm is required to purchase a food voucher to the value of €5. The €5 voucher is redeemable against a selection of a substantial meal which is worth 10€ . This voucher can be purchased at the entrance or in a special signed pagoda on the platform, you will easily find it!

There will be over 30 German food stalls at the Oktoberfest with typical Bavarian fare like crepes, German sausages from a charcoal barbeque, some Bretzel’s & Pastries. Select from the range of Black Forrest specialities, including smoked ham, potato pancakes,cheese, mushrooms and delicious dumplings.

Monday to Saturday – Lunchtime (12am-2pm)
When would you get the chance to sing and dance along to an authentic Bavarian Brass Band on your lunch break? Well now you can from Thursday the 30th of September to the 10th of October. Come on down to the Oktoberfest in George’s Dock and listen to the traditional Bavarian band Mostland Stürmer followed by a Bavarian DJ playing traditional music from the region.

Monday to Saturday – Evening (6pm to 12pm)
Wind down after a busy day with the Bavarian band Mostland Stürmer and enjoy some excellent Erdinger Weiss Beer and some German sausages from the charcoal barbecue. Enjoy some lively Bavarian music played by a DJ to keep you dancing and enjoying yourself.

For more information, go to the Oktoberfest website.


Culture Night takes place this Friday September 24th 2010, a night of entertainment, discovery and adventure in Dublin and across 20 towns, cities and counties in Ireland. Arts and cultural organisations open their doors until late with hundreds of free events, tours, talks and performances for you, your family and friends to enjoy.

Read more about it in the Irish Independent’s A night at the museums.

The full programme can be downloaded here.

Prepare to be culturfied!

Two online photo collections capturing moments in Irish history were recently launched which are worth taking a look at.

Ballymun, 1969

NLI Digital Photos Online
The National Library of Ireland have 34,000 digitised glass plate images from their early photographic collections which are now searchable through their online catalogue including:

•Clarke Collection
76 images, showing Dubliners in their city between 1897 and 1904. The photographs were taken by medical student JJ Clarke.

•Eason Collection
2772 images of Ireland, originally created for the Irish postcard trade by Eason & Son between 1900 and 1940.

•Independent H Collection
3,250 early images from the Independent Newspaper collection. The glass plates digitised here show people and events from 1912 to 1936.

•Lawrence Royal & Cabinet Collections
19,272 images from a collection of commercially produced photographs taken between 1870 and 1914, showing topographical scenes throughout Ireland.

•Keogh Collection
300 images, created by the Keogh Brothers of Dorset Street, Dublin. They provide excellent coverage of the political figures and events of 1915-1923.

•Poole Whole Plate Collection
5119 images of the south east of Ireland (1884 -1954), created by the family firm of AH Poole in Waterford, including studio portraits and social and political events.

•Stereo Pair Collection
2,821 images created by the Lawrence Studios, documenting Irish life (1860-1890). The original glass plates had two nearly identical images, which produce a three dimensional effect when viewed in a stereoscope.

•Tempest Collection
41 images, showing scenes from county Louth in the early part of the twentieth century.

Michael Collins

Sackville Street

RTE Stills Library

Wanderly Wagon, 1977

RTÉ Stills Library digitisation project was initiated in 1996 to archive the original images held by RTÉ Stills Library and to provide for easier browsing and retrieval. To date over 100,000 images have been digitised through this project. Over 70,000 of these digitised images have been catalogued so far. These are available to search, view and order on RTÉ’s Online Photographic Archive. As well as containing images from famous RTE shows like ‘The Late Late Show’, the library also contains images of iconic people and historic events as well as the everyday, common people.

Muhammad Ali, 1972

Group of women and children, York Street, Dublin

Princess Grace of Monaco, 1961

Photo: Brian Bielmann

The World’s Best Action and Adventure Sports Photography has arrived in Ireland
The best 50 photos from nearly 23,000 action and adventure sports images that were entered into the Red Bull Illume Image Quest 2010 will be displayed in Dublin, Ireland at a stunning unveiling exhibition from August 31, 2010.

As night time falls, the 50 winning images will illuminate the court of Trinity College. The university, in the heart of Ireland’s capital city, will host the exhibition until September 11, 2010. Gates are opened to the public between 8-10pm every night during the course of the exhibition. This is arguably the world’s greatest collection of action and adventure sports photography and it is fully open to the public.

“These are truly incredible images, I was floored,” said Judge Nick Hamilton, Director of Photography at Transworld Snowboarding. “It will be amazing to see them as a collection.”

“’Staggered’ is the word that comes to mind when considering the quality of images in this year’s Red Bull Illume,” says Steve Dickinson of Adventure Magazine. “As a judge I was staggered by the quality, staggered at the variety and staggered by the creativity. I spend my professional life immersed in action based images and this year’s entries to Red Bull Illume are without doubt the very cream of the world’s best action images.”

For those who cannot wait for the Unveiling, a sneak peek of the 250 semi-finalist images on can be seen online.

Photo: Jacques Marais







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