It’s a long way from Sri Lanka to Ireland!

According to Google, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) is an island nation south of India in the Indian Ocean with a population of 20 million. Its diverse landscapes range from rainforest and arid plains to highlands and sandy beaches. And yet, Nalin Wickramaratne left Sri Lanka in 2002 to work as a bar man in the Ashdown Park Hotel, in Gorey, […]

Catalan chess supremo charms Gorey

Manuel Gardenes was born in Catalonia but moved to Ireland six years ago when he was asked to represent Ireland in a chess team championship. “It was a great honour – it was not very practical as I was doing reasonably well as a business consultant in Barcelona, but I chanced it!” He is still in Ireland and, after some […]

Listening lessons from Trump victory

The responses I’ve heard most frequently to Donald Trump’s US presidential victory are: I did not see that coming (me neither!) And This is not the outcome we wanted (me neither) What is interesting to me is that, in hindsight, the clues were there to anyone who listened closely to the opinions that were being expressed on our airwaves night […]

How drumming therapy helps Conor beat anxiety

When you meet Conor Moore, you wouldn’t think anxiety was an issue for him. And when you hear that, as a drummer, he has supported artists as big as American singer Kelly Clarkson in Wembley, you don’t think anxiety should be an issue for him. And, yet, like thousands of Irish people, anxiety has crossed his path and he works […]

Writing therapy helped overcome mental health issues

When you meet Carina McEvoy, you’re immediately struck by her brightness and, yes, her niceness. She’s happy, bubbly, and excited about the launch of her debut novel, To Have, Not Hold. This novel is the result of years spent writing – an activity she took up in her teens to express the emotions as she went through a maelstrom of […]

Have anvil, will travel …

When I meet him in Co Wexford, blacksmith Finin Liam Christie is just back from winning the Mjonøy Blacksmith Challenge, held in Vinje, Norway. And he’s preparing to head off to exhibit as just one of two European blacksmiths at the Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil Conference in the US. So just who is this globe-trotting blacksmith with his ‘have anvil, will travel from […]