NI Sporting Stars Launch Dairy Council’s ‘Milk in Action’ Website

International rugby professional Bryan Young and rising sports star, pro-biker Jacob Dickson, urged young people to ‘Milk it for all it’s Worth’ today as they helped launch a dynamic new website from the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland. is designed to deliver a fun, high impact, digital resource that explains the nutritional qualities of milk in a way that will resonate with the younger generation in Northern Ireland, especially those involved in sport.

The ‘Milk it for all it’s Worth’ site offers an interactive way of learning about the benefits of the nutrients milk provides through its quizzes and games and downloadable video clips. It provides users the chance to upload their own videos as well as the opportunity to win great prizes at its competition section.

Commenting on the new website, rugby star, Bryan Young, said: “My father is a dairy farmer so I know only too well the benefits of drinking milk. I’ve grown up drinking milk and enjoy it first and foremost because of its taste and secondly because I think you can’t beat the stuff for its nutritional value.

“I’d recommend that young sports people or anyone who enjoys being active check out the ‘Milk it for all it’s Worth’ website. It’s a fantastic and fun site where you can get some tips on how to eat healthy so that you can give your best performance, whether you’re into rugby, dance, snowboarding or athletics.”

Twelve year old biker Jacob Dickson from Dromore, added: “This website is seriously cool. It tells you what you need to know about milk in an exciting way.  I always knew that milk was good for me but if I’m honest I didn’t really understand the number of nutrients in milk and their benefits.

“Mountain biking and BMXing can be pretty intense so it’s important that I have the energy to keep going, especially during competitions. The website has helped me understand how the nutrients in milk such as calcium, protein, vitamin B12 and B2, iodine and potassium can help with an active lifestyle”

Visit for yourself to see how a balanced diet can improve your game and to be in with a chance to win some itune vouchers!

The ‘Milk it for all it’s Worth’ website is part of the Dairy Council’s ongoing Milk in Action campaign. The initiative is financed with aid from the European Union.

Calling all greenfingers!

Grab your wellies and your trowel and come to Minnowburn in Belfast on Saturday 9 October to help National Trust staff and volunteers plant 1,000 Bluebell bulbs.  Even if you don’t know your dicotyledon from your morifolium the National Trust needs your help to plant the bulbs in a new part of the wood.

Visitors to Minnowburn in previous years have enjoyed the colourful carpet of bluebells that lead up to the old rose garden at Terrace Hill. The wash of blue is an all too familiar sight and the intense colour and sweet scent that comes from this delicate perennial make it a breathtaking spectacle when out and about.  The display of colour next spring in the newly planted area will be stunning.

Unfortunately the popular plant is an endangered species. Despite the UK playing host to half of the world’s population of bluebells the number of bluebells we see on our travels is on a steady decline.  The Spanish bluebell is frequently planted in gardens and over the years hybridised with the native bluebell to form a hybrid.   This hybrid is threatening the population of the pure native bluebell.

As Northern Ireland’s largest conservation charity, the National Trust relies on its volunteers for support and extra hands for bulb planting will be very welcome.  It’s a great way to spend a lovely autumnal day, getting soil under your fingers and being out in the fresh, crisp air.  Bring the children along too and engage little minds with nature.

The woodlands at Minnowburn play host to a diverse range of flora and fungi and the trees will alive with autumn colour, so make sure you come along on the 9 October.

Meet at Minnowburn car park at 11am.

Catch up with all the latest news from the Alley Theatre!

Did you notice a slight chill in the air this morning? Well it does feel that summer is finally over and the winter season is certainly starting to get into full swing at the Alley.

After a majestic series of shows over the last few weeks, including three sell out shows by Conal Gallen and Channel 4 stand up star, Kevin Bridges, the Alley is set to reveal further show news today! So take a break for 2 minutes and see what’s on offer at the North West’s leading arts venue this month!

Time to hit the catwalk!

Strabane fashion retailers will be taking centre stage at the Alley this weekend (October 2nd from 7.30 p.m.) as the Alley Theatre is set to host “Fashion Rocks the Alley”, a fabulous fashion show featuring the very best on show from Strabane and across the North West.

Over 12 local retailers are set to take part in this superb fashion show, with models set to take to the catwalk wearing the latest fashions from the sizzling Electric Candy, Menary’s, La Moda, George of ASDA, Mark James, O’Neills, Crafty Yarns, Strabane EyeWear and Blanca Bridal to name but a few. Strabane’s popular “Orlagh’s Hair and Beauty Salon” will be on hand to offer models those stunning hairstyles, while DSL will be providing the show’s sound track! “Fashion Rocks the Alley will be hosted by the very dashing Paddy Hunter from Q102 FM, so don’t miss out and book the last available tickets now. Priced at only £5, it offers a great night out!” commented John Kerr from the Alley Theatre. “This event is one of the final nights of the St Mary’s Boys Primary School 50th Anniversary celebrations, so it would be great to see as many parents, friends and families associated with the school attending”. Click here to book now!

Expecting a new arrival?

Surestart Strabane are set to host another packed “Mums2Be” information night at the Alley on Thursday, Sept 30th from 7 p.m. Packed full of guest speakers, information stalls, this now annual event is almost a sell out, with only 30 free tickets now available at the Alley Box Office. “If you are expecting a new arrival over the next 9 months, then this event offers essential information on what you need to know and what is available to support your new family”. For more information click here.

What’s coming up?

October features a packed programme for the Strabane venue, with leading clairvoyant Sharon Neill returning to the Alley by public demand on October 20th, the Johnny Crampsie Festival featuring the Fureys and Davey Arthur, The Border Collies and CRAIC takes place between October 21st – 23rd, while Bruiser Theatre company visit the Alley with their hit new comedy “Low Pay, Don’t Pay” on October 13th.

Superb magic show for kids coming!

Parents and children from across the North West will be delighted to hear that the world famous children theatre company, Cahoots NI, are set to return to the Alley with “Leon and the Place Between”, after their sell out run at the Belfast Opera House with the award winning “Snail and the Whale”. Their new show, based on the top selling children’s book by Angela McAlister, takes place on Saturday, October 9th at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

“When little Leon goes to see a magic show with his brothers and sisters, he is the only one who truly believes in the magic. Magician Abdul Kazam appears on the stage to entertain the audience with his spellbinding illusions and fascinating conjuring tricks. When Abdul asks for a volunteer Leon knows that it must be him. He bravely steps onto the stage, through the door and into ‘the place between’. It is a place where magic becomes real, full of mystery and illusion. But when his adventure is over will Leon be able to find his way back to where his brothers and sisters are waiting for him? This is a delightful tale all about magic and the power of believing and features live music, magic and circus acts on stage, ideal for all ages! Tickets for this wonderful children show are only £5 and can be booked from the Alley Theatre Box office or by clicking here!

Wrestle mania set to sweep North West

Strabane’s Alley Theatre is preparing for an invasion of some of the world’s top wrestlers on October 14th, including special wrestling guests from Mexico, the US and Japan!

“I grew up with the 1980’s icons of wrestling like Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks, however this new generation move so much faster, get into tighter grips and fly through the air

like wild bats, it has to be seen to be believed!” commented Nathan Flatman from the Alley Theatre. ”So let’s get ready to rumble at the Alley! Catch the event of the year when the Superstars of American Wrestling roll into Strabane for the American Invasion Tour.”

“The Alley will be transformed into an exciting fighting arena for this unique occasion, as some of the best wrestlers from the USA, Mexico, Japan and Europe line up to produce the thrills and the spills that we have come to expect from major league wrestling. It will be the biggest wrestling event seen in the area as the heroes and villains of the squared circle go one-on-one using a combination of strength, skill and expertise, often defying gravity and serious injury”. Tickets are only £15, with show time starting at 7 p.m. To book click here.

And finally …….

Finally, patrons are being warned to book early for the Alley’s Christmas shows as strong demand has already seen some show sell out early. “Not only will we have a fantastic festive concert by the Ulster Orchestra at the Alley on December 1st, but we are set to welcome Des Bishop for the first time at our award winning venue. Limited tickets now left on sale for Des’s show, which has had a sell out run in the Edinburgh Festival.

We expect heavy bookings for the Strabane Community Christmas Carol Concert as it was announced this week that RTE ‘s All Ireland Talent Show winner Chloe Coyle is set to appear in the show, with proceeds on the night going towards Marie Curie Cancer Care.”

To get your free copy of the Alley Theatre Winter Events Guide click here or to book tickets, please contact the Alley Theatre Box Office on 028 7138 4444 or visit

Upcoming Performances

  • Mums 2 Be

Thursday 30 September 2010


  • Kevin McAleer’

Friday 01 October 2010


  • Fashion Rocks at the Alley

Saturday 02 October 2010


  • Stars in Your Eyes’

Tuesday 05 October 2010 Wednesday 06 October 2010


  • Leon and the Place Between

Saturday 09 October 2010


  • Concerto – Malaga – Massimo Paris

Monday 11 October 2010


Featured Event

Get Ready To Rumble!

Catch the event of the year when the Superstars of American Wrestling roll into Strabane for the American Invasion Tour.

The Alley will be transformed into an exciting fighting arena for this unique occasion, as some of the best wrestlers from the USA, Mexico, Japan and Europe line up to produce the thrills and the spills that we have come to expect from major league wrestling.

It will be the biggest wrestling event seen in the area as the heroes and villains of the squared circle go one-on-one using a combination of strength, skill and expertise,  often defying gravity, to bring us wrestling with a capital E – that’s E for Entertainment!

Thursday 14 Oct @ 20:00 PM – 22:00 PM



What are you doing on October 27th?

With three weeks to go until Ireland’s largest international arts festival gets underway, the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s have launched a major online scheme to give away almost 600 free festival tickets.

Building on the success of last year’s ticket give-away, the website gives would-be festival goers across Northern Ireland the chance to apply for free tickets to all festival events taking place on Wednesday October 27.

If you’re feeling blue and don’t know where to go to..why not try the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s: Ulster Bank staff Brian Haslett (Fred Astaire) and Bernie Crossan (Ginger Rodgers) quickstep their way to the Ulster Hall where Ava Astaire McKenzie will host a musical tribute to her father in Putting on your Top Hat as part of the Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s. The Festival has launched a major online scheme to give away almost 600 free tickets to shows taking place on October 27 including Putting on your Top Hat, Black Watch, Circa, Roddy Doyle, and Colin Bateman’s first-play National Anthem amongst others. To claim your free tickets log on to

From toe-tapping music to jaw-dropping acrobatics and thrilling drama, theatre lovers have the chance to bag free tickets to National Theatre of Scotland’s infamous army regiment drama Black Watch, the exhilarating acrobatic circus performance Circa, the first-ever play by local novelist Colin Bateman National Anthem and Alan Bennett’s latest smash-hit play for the National Theatre The Habit of Art.

Music fans can apply for free tickets to see Ava Astaire McKenzie host a musical tribute to her father in Putting on your Top Hat, Grammy award-winning artist Imogen Heap and the Jagodzinski Trio or why not apply for free tickets to see one of Ireland’s favourite comic writer’s Roddy Doyle.

Speaking on the initiative Festival Director Graeme Farrow said;

“From entertaining talks to world-class theatrical drama and dance, A Night for Belfast gives everyone across Northern Ireland the chance to come to Belfast, experience our award-winning festival and enjoy internationally-acclaimed productions courtesy of our festival supporter Ulster Bank.

“Circa is majorly entertaining and will be enjoyed by all members of the family. Black Watch is a world-wide phenomenon and not your typical theatre piece as it hurtles from Fife to the battlefields of Iraq. If you loved Divorcing Jack and Murphy’s Law you will love National Anthem and as for any History Boy fans – The Habit of Art is not to be missed.”

Whatever you are interested in – I guarantee there is something to be enjoyed by everyone.” Graeme added.

Mike Bamber, Chief Executive of Ulster Bank, Retail Markets, says
“Ulster Bank’s support for the festival is not confined to helping with running costs and finances. We fully endorse the creation of accessibility to festival events so that people from all sections of our community can participate. We are very proud to be part of a festival which aims to open the arts to as broad and wide a public as possible.”

To apply for your free festival tickets log on to Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are only available for performances taking place on Wednesday 27 October.

For more information on the festival programme or to book tickets, log on to or contact the festival box office Mon-Fri 9am-6pm and Sat 10am-2pm on 9097 1197.


Thousands of people came together at 17.59 last night, Thursday, 23rd September to raise a toast to Arthur Guinness, the pioneering brewer and philanthropist who introduced Guinness to the world.

Arthur’s Day is a fitting tribute to Arthur Guinness and his legacy, with all ticket proceeds from the day going directly to the Arthur Guinness Fund. The Arthur Guinness Fund has already distributed €1 million to Irish Social Entrepreneurs who are making a positive and sustainable impact on Irish communities.

Over 1,500 planned events took place across the island of Ireland today, with over 150 confirmed artists and 200 hours of live music performances.

Speaking at Arthur’s Day, Tanya Clarke, Head of Guinness said, “Arthur’s Day is all about celebrating the legacy of Arthur Guinness and the iconic brand he created, with all ticket proceeds benefiting the Arthur Guinness Fund. Thousands of events are taking place all around the country today as a fitting tribute to Arthur Guinness. The mix of international acts and emerging Irish talent is incredible and some lucky people even get to enjoy international artists perform in the intimate surrounding of a pub, which has certainly added to the sense of excitement”.

(See below for list of studio artists who made surprise pub performances)

Brandon Flowers performed in Whelan’s Bar, Dublin
Manic Street Preachers performed in Sinnot’s, Dublin
Cathy Davy performed in the Stag’s Head, Dublin
Imelda May led the toast to Arthur at 17:59 in Galway
David Gray performed in Roisin Dubhs, Galway

Speaking at the Arthur’s Day celebration, Westlife said, “Arthur’s Day is the first time we have performed in a pub. It has been incredible, we are so excited to be involved. Here’s to Arthur and a brilliant day!”.

Snow Patrol added, “We’re really excited to be involved with Arthur’s Day this year. It’s great that our fans get to enjoy us up close. It’s also really great that some of Irelands best up and coming acts get a chance to join in.”.

The official Arthur’s Day iPhone app provided people with an opportunity to come together at 17.59 to share in the celebration. Within 72 hours after launch, it had gone to number one in the Apple App Store. It offered information on events taking place throughout the country and allowed users to share toasts with friends and on live TV and also track where their friends were toasting on the night via a geo locater and a Facebook link up.

Arthur’s Day is also being celebrated in other countries with live music events taking place in the USA, the Caribbean and Asia, as well as other countries all across the world.

Drink Responsibly
Visit for the facts
The GUINNESS word and associated logos are trademarks.

Great Nights out with GUINNESS® Black Lager

Throughout September GUINNESS Black Lager and Cool FM are helping pub and club goers across Northern Ireland make the most of their weekends.

Cool FM and GUINNESS Black Lager will be taking over Saturday nights – on air, in pubs and in clubs. As part of the takeover Cool FM DJs will be playing in venues across the country to ensure that party goers enjoy their night out with the new lager.

The Master Brewers of GUINNESS have built upon 250 years of rich brewing heritage to create this new GUINNESS Black Lager. Hailed as ‘lager evolved’, it takes lager enjoyment to a new level by combining the refreshing taste of lager with a unique flavourful character.

GUINNESS Black Lager, best enjoyed ice cold from the bottle, is currently being trialled throughout Northern Ireland – one of only three countries in the world to experience this exciting product so far. Its unique black colour comes from the roasted GUINNESS barley which is cold-brewed for a crisp, refreshing lager taste.

The GUINNESS Black Lager events are taking place in:

Friday 24th September

The Bank Bar, Newry

The Harbour Point, Carrickfergus

Bennetts Bar, Portadown

Taphouse, Belfast

Auntie Annies, Belfast

Saturday 25th September

The Limelight, Belfast

Sandino’s, Londonderry

Downey’s, Londonderry

Shenannigans, Portstewart

Bellinis Bar, Newry

Bound for Boston, Londonderry

Town and Country, Magherafelt

Thursday 30th September

Anchor Bar, Portstewart

Over 18’s only.

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Abseiling for Aware!

Calling all adrenaline junkies! Aware Defeat Depression has a few spaces for people who want to abseil down Scrabo Tower, near Newtownards! The tower itself is over 100 ft high and offers stunning views across Newtownards, Strangford Lough and further afield towards Belfast and Bangor. Taking place on Saturday 2nd October, we need a few more daredevils to descend over the edge of the viewing platform to terra firma to raise money for Aware Defeat Depression!

Aware Defeat Depression works exclusively in Northern Ireland to support people who experience depression or bipolar disorder. Our support groups and helpline provide vital services to help people recover and lead fulfilled lives, but we need donations to help continue our good work!

One brave member of the Aware team will even be taking up the challenge herself! Lorraine, who abseiled down the Europa a few years ago says, “I can’t wait to abseil down Scrabo! I think it’ll be much more exhilarating than abseiling down the Europa- the view will certainly be much better this time! There is nothing like the euphoria when you take that first peek over the edge as you start to descend!”

If you wish to join Lorraine and raise some sponsorship, contact her on 9032 1734 or email To make a donation to Aware, just visit

For more information on the work that Aware Defeat Depression does or information about the support groups, visit or call the helpline on 08451 20 29 61.


Consumers around the world join in the global celebration in addition to live music events and celebrations in Ireland, the USA, the Caribbean and Asia

23 September, 2010 – The owners of GUINNESS®, the world’s number one stout, is tonight hosting the 2010 Arthur’s Day global celebration, which kicks off at the world famous St. James’s Gate Brewery. Westlife, The Script, Brandon Flowers, Snow Patrol, Kelis, The Manic Street Preachers, Westlife and Paolo Nutini will perform in local pub venues across, Ireland, whilst millions of consumers across the world will take part in a global “To Arthur” toast which begins at 17:59 in Dublin, Ireland and will finish in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 24 hours later.

Arthur’s Day was created in 2009 to mark the iconic brand’s 250th anniversary of the signing of the 9,000 year lease on St. James’s Gate in Dublin by the beer’s famous philanthropist founder, Arthur Guinness. This year’s events will continue to support the philanthropic legacy of Arthur Guinness with the launch of <> , continuing to build on the good work that has already started in supporting social entrepreneurship around the world.

In total over 60 artists will perform across the country with the celebrations beginning at 17:59 local time with the global toast to Arthur Guinness and his remarkable legacy. Consumers will enjoy the celebration at over 30 venues across Dublin, Cork and Galway from intimate gigs in pubs to music venues and a concert at the St. James’s Gate brewery itself.

Additionally, GUINNESS & Co. has recently committed to increasing the Arthur Guinness Fund™ to €7.4 million by 2012 as it continues its commitment to maintaining the philanthropic legacy of Arthur Guinness, by further supporting the search for the next generation of social entrepreneurs worldwide. As part of this, the Arthur Guinness Fund has launched and is also announcing a new three year partnership with Ashoka – the world’s leading community of social entrepreneurs – to enable the deployment of the funds to new social entrepreneurial projects around the world. The global application process will begin just after this year’s Arthur’s Day on Tuesday 28 September 2010.

The GUINNESS, ARTHUR’S DAY and ARTHUR GUINNESS FUND words and associated logos are trade marks. As leaders in social responsibility, Diageo and Guinness & Co. encourage everyone to celebrate Arthur’s Day responsibly.

Drink Responsibly
Visit for the facts
The GUINNESS word and associated logos are trademarks.

Horslips return to Belfast!

The Dancehall Sweethearts Are Back On The Road.

Horslips Confirm Irish Winter Tour Dates

A year on from the sell-out triumph of their December ‘09 concerts in Dublin and Belfast, Irish rock legends Horslips are back with a new tour for 2010.

Horslips have confirmed they will play the following concert dates: 27 November INEC, Killarney; 28 November Royal Theatre, Castlebar; 01 December Waterfront, Belfast and 04 December The O2, Dublin.   Tickets for all concerts will go on sale Friday 17 September at 9.00am.

Last December’s concert dates saw Horslips peform songs from their ten albums and from the Rollback unplugged session to rave reviews in the media and huge feedback from audiences North and South.

The two concerts were flagged as “must see’’ and in response to that strong countrywide interest the band  are enthusiastic about taking the show back on the road, this time to a wider audience.

After a brush with illness during the summer which saw the cancellation of Horslips’ “Live At The Marquee”  gig in Cork, Jim Lockhart is fighting fit and raring to go…and Ray Fean will fly in from his gruelling tour schedule Stateside to sit in behind the kit. ‘It’s going to be a bit like the old days”, says guitarist John Fean – Ray’s brother.’We’ll be reaquainting ourselves with room service in towns we used to play in our time on the road. This is a tour I’m really looking forward to.”

MCD Proudly Presents
Tickets on sale Friday 17 September at 9.00am

INEC, Killarney
27 November 2010
Telephone: (064) 6671555 Book On Line: <>

The Royal Theatre, Castlebar
28 November 2010
Telephone: 0818 300 000, Book On Line:

The Waterfront, Belfast
01 December 2010
Telephone: 02890 334455, Book On Line:

The O2, Dublin
04 December 2010

From Ticketmaster
In person: From 100 Ticketmaster Outlets Nationwide
By Telephone (24 Hour):
ROI – 0818 719 300, Northern Ireland – 0844 277 44 55
Book On Line:

Best-selling author and screenwriter Colin Bateman confirms guest appearance at Aspects Irish Literature Festival

Bangor-born author and screenwriter of Divorcing Jack, Colin Bateman, has confirmed that he will be making a guest appearance at the 19th Aspects Irish Literature Festival when it takes place in North Down from 22-26 September.

The prolific author will join the Festival’s already stellar lineup that includes fellow Irish crime writers Declan Hughes, author of the Ed Loy PI series and Alex Barclay whose new book, Time of Death, was launched in July 2010.

Bateman will read from his latest book Dr. Yes., which is the latest installment in his Mystery Man series, in which Mystery Man, the owner of the fictional No Alibis bookstore combines book selling with solving crimes in the Belfast area, via many trips to Starbucks.

Festival Director, Patricia Hamilton commented, “As Northern Ireland’s longest running literature festival, Aspects has come of age whilst managing to remain true to its original ethos.  It promotes Irish writing in all its forms and has lured big-names to the intimate surroundings of North Down. This year sees a lineup that includes Nobel-Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney, the BBC’s Fergal Keane, Chris Binchy and now Colin Bateman.”

Bateman’s guest appearance will follow the Declan Hughes and Alex Barclay event, Crime Pays, on Friday 24 September, at which all three authors will present readings from their new books.

With tickets still available from the Festival Box office or online at, this is sure to be an entertaining event not to be missed.

For general ticket enquires contact the Box Office on 02891 271200 or visit

For interviews, photos, review copies contact Eddie Canning on 02891 270371 or email