WITH some of Northern Ireland’s best food and drink events set to take place over the next few months, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) is urging food lovers to prepare their taste buds and follow the scent of fine food.

Food has always been a key ingredient of Northern Ireland’s identity with its strong agricultural traditions, but in recent years local produce has been gaining international recognition for sensational seafood, delectable dairy products, indigenous breads, bumper vegetable crops and high quality meats.

NITB’s Culture & Heritage Officer, Julie McLaughlin commented that the array of events taking place over the next few months offers great opportunities to sample some of Northern Ireland’s culinary delights.

“Our food has gained a world-renowned reputation in recent years with a number of accolades being awarded to local producers, most recently the Great Taste Awards, putting us firmly on the culinary map. Comber Potatoes, Lough Neagh Eels and Armagh Bramley Apples have all been granted Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) status under European Law, joining the elite ranks of food products such as Parma Ham and Champagne.”

“As well as this, McCartney’s of Moira was named the UK Supreme Food Champion for its handmade corned beef, the first time the award has been won by a Northern Ireland company, while Strangford Lough’s Cuan Oysters were named the best in the world by The Observer’s Killian Fox,” she said.

“Food festivals provide great opportunities to taste some of the wonderful local produce on offer as well as experiencing the skills of our talented chefs, all while enjoying packed programmes of fun and entertainment,” she added.

With everything from an oyster eating contest to a Chocolate Festival taking place over the coming weeks in Northern Ireland, there’s bound to be something to suit everyone’s tastes from this list of tasty food and drink events;

The Kilkeel Fish Fest takes place August 24 – 27 and offers a carnival atmosphere for all the family while boasting a seafood buffet, numerous food and fresh fish stalls, cookery demonstrations, children’s entertainment and oyster eating competitions.

Ireland’s oldest traditional market fair, the Auld Lammas Fair, runs on August 27 and 28 in the traditional setting of Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, usually attracting thousands of visitors.  As well as street entertainment, horse trading and market stalls, revellers can sample local specialties such as dulse (dried edible seaweed) and the famous and deliciously sweet chewy indigenous confectionary known as Yellow Man.

Now in its 20th year, the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival has put the historic village of Hillsborough firmly on the culinary map.  Taking place from September 6 – 9 the festival attracts crowds of approximately 14,000 people with visitors from across the world.  The event famously hosts the World Oyster Eating Championships, with other entertainment and competitions running throughout the weekend including a family fun day, the Miss Oyster Pearl beauty pageant, a live concert and BBQ and of course the famous Gourmet Food Market where fine locally-produced food and drink is available in the Festival Marquee.

The Bushmills Salmon & Whiskey Festival, the first of its kind, takes place on September 22 in the famous Co. Antrim town and boasts a full programme of events.  Included in the day’s line-up are culinary displays, stage performances, market stalls, history talks and tours, family entertainment, fancy dress, traditional games and community competitions as well as a stunning fireworks display.

For those with a sweet tooth the Hans Sloane Chocolate and Fine Food Festival makes the perfect day out.  The festival takes place in the grounds of Killyleagh Castle, Co. Down, on Sunday September 23 and will be jam-packed with fun and fine food including a marquee filled with a selection of the finest chocolatiers from across Ireland.  It’s not all about chocolate though as the event will include the NITB Signature Kitchen where local chefs will delight and entertain as they cook up various dishes with a focus on fine local produce allowing visitors to pick up tips and recipes from the experts.  Visitors can also browse the many stalls and taste, nibble and buy an array of goods.  Activities for children include a Circus Skills School and a chocolate themed W5 stage show.

On the Causeway Coast, Larne Loves Food will take place on Saturday September 24.  Visitors are invited to come along and enjoy food demonstrations by chefs from Taste of Ulster and the ‘Focus on Food’ stalls with samples from local food retailers and producers as well as family entertainment.

Set your taste buds alight at the fantastic two-day Taste of Tyrone Food Festival on September 29 and 30.  Forty local food producers will be laying out their wares with taste kitchens and cookery demonstrations.  Visitors will experience a range of food crafts including butter churning and apple pressing.  This Dungannon based food event will also boast kids fun activities and live music.

Meanwhile on the shores of Strangford Lough, Food Glorious Food will take place at the National Trust’s Mount Stewart property on September 29 where food lovers can taste, talk and buy a range of produce directly from producers.  There will also be live music and autumnal themed children’s craft sessions.

Back in Belfast, for those wishing to find out about the stories behind Northern Ireland food, the Belfast Bred Tour is ideal.   This theatrical walking tour is led by ‘Barney’, a chef from RMS Titanic, who has been restored to life following the melting of the iceberg in which he was frozen solid!  Barney takes the tour group on an ingredient hunt in contemporary Belfast in a bid to recreate the famous ship’s menu.   Along the way Barney will introduce the very best of local produce, meeting and talking with local chefs and weaving Belfast‘s history into the tour.  Skip breakfast and meet Barney at 10.15am outside Sawyers Deli to begin the tour which departs every Friday and Saturday until September 30.

In addition to the scheduled tours the new Belfast Bred iPhone App enables visitors to take a self guided tour outside of the scheduled times, however following along with Barney means visitors get the full experience with all the tastings along the way!

The first ever Belfast Restaurant Week runs from October 6 – 13 and will see the city’s top restaurants coming together to celebrate the richness and diversity of the city’s food, from the farm to the fork, with special menus, promotions and competitions throughout the week.  There will also be special events taking place in St George’s Market on Saturday October 6 and Saturday October 13.  Whether you are a discerning gourmet or wishing to try a new dining experience for the first time, there will be something for everyone.

For further information on local produce and events taking place in Northern Ireland click on or visit your local tourist information centre.  You can also keep up-to-date with the latest news, images, videos and competitions by visiting

‘Beckett Bike It: Pedal for Purgatory’

As part of the HAPPY DAYS Enniskillen International Beckett Festival, Share Discovery Village, in partnership with Colebrooke Estate, are running the ‘Beckett Bike It: Pedal for Purgatory’ – a family cycling event for teams of 4 with great prizes!

The family challenge takes place on Saturday 25th August with registration opening at 9am and the event starting at 10am. For only £25 per team of 4, families can enjoy a fun, competitive family cycling event around the beautiful Colebrooke Estate (featured on Country House Rescue – Ch 4) completing various physical, mental and skill based tasks and challenges en route which will be scored throughout.

Each team will be presented with a map, route and series of challenges that they must undertake which will be scored throughout. Team members must be 6 years old and over and children (under 16) must be accompanied by an adult. The team completing the route with the most points will be deemed the winner. Bring your own bike + helmet or hire one of ours (small extra cost). Entrants will be in with a chance of winning some fantastic prizes including: 1st Prize – Bicycle Voucher for £150, 2nd Prize – Family Membership to Share Fitness and Pool, 3rd Prize – Family Activity Day at SHARE.

To book, simply contact or call 02867722122.


Leading ferry company Stena Line aims to ease the financial burden on students and their families by offering FREE travel to Scotland and England in time for starting or returning to university!

Students Jordan Poole, Rebekah Wallace and James Preston celebrate that students can go free to university when they travel with Stena Line. One adult can travel on any of Stena Line’s five Irish Sea routes from as little as £79 single and bring a car full of students for free, as well as everything needed for university life including cases of clothes, textbooks, TVs – everything you need to make your new place home from home!

With demand for university places in Northern Ireland extremely high, more and more students are likely to seek education across the Irish Sea in 2012 than in previous years.

“Reports this week have shown that up to 8000 students will miss out on places at universities in Northern Ireland due to a record number of applications,” said the ferry company’s Marketing Manager Ian Baillie. “Therefore, the need for places in Scotland and England is set to rise accordingly, so travelling across the Irish Sea is a very likely option for lots of our students.”

This is the eighth year Stena Line has run its Students Go Free campaign which has proven successful not only with students, but the parents who are able to accompany their son or daughter to ensure the university term gets off to a good start.

With University fees on the increase, Stena Line believes that this year, saving where you can is an extremely important factor for parents and students alike.

“Starting university has always been a costly business”, said Ian, “but with universities charging up to £9,000 in fees from 2012, the financial burden is that extra bit heavier.

“As well as saving money, we are also conscious that students leaving the nest can find the new situation very overwhelming and we hope that by parents travelling with them, it will help make settling in that little bit easier.”

One adult can travel on any of Stena Line’s five Irish Sea routes from as little as £79* single and bring a car full of students for free, as well as everything needed for university life including cases of clothes, textbooks, TVs – everything you need to make your new place home from home!

Students not travelling by car can also take advantage of Stena Line’s Sail & Rail offer from Belfast to Glasgow or Edinburgh from only £27** per person single. Student coach fares to Ayr, Glasgow and Edinburgh begin at only £26 single.* Student coach fares to Birmingham, Manchester and London are from only £30 Single.*

For further information or to book, click on, call 08447 70 70 70 or visit your local travel agent.

* Subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply. **Valid for single ferry and rail travel from Belfast to Ayr, Glasgow or Edinburgh.

Paralympic Flame Festival has the X Factor

Former X Factor and Pop Star to Opera Star winner, Joe McElderry, will be top billing at next weekend’s Paralympic Flame Festival in Belfast.

The singer will perform as part of the celebrations at City Hall on Saturday, August 25. Also performing on the night will be Luminous Soul and the Open Arts Choir and there will be activities and displays by Disability Sport NI.
Tickets for the event are free and are available from the Belfast Welcome Centre, Donegall Place, on a first come, first served basis.

The special event – sponsored by Games partners BT and Sainsbury’s – will see the grounds of City Hall come alive with music and entertainment ahead of the lantern parade arriving and the showcasing of the Paralympic Agitos on the front of City Hall.

Lord Mayor of Belfast Alderman Gavin Robinson said: “We are all still on a high from the Olympics and celebrating the achievements of our local athletes. Now here we are, gearing up for another spectacular celebration of sport.
“The Flame Festival, along with the lantern parade, promises to be an unforgettable spectacle for the city. There will be something for everyone with free entertainment and family fun in the grounds of City Hall and I hope people will come along and join us.”

Next Wednesday (August 22) the Northern Irish flame will be lit at the summit of Slieve Donard. A group of young disabled and able-bodied Scouts will go up the mountain to kindle a flame which will then be placed in a miner’s lantern and transferred to Belfast for the Paralympic celebrations.

On the morning of Saturday, August 25, the Northern Ireland flame will be brought to Stormont with seven district councils lighting their own lantern to take back to their respective areas.

The Belfast flame will visit communities across the city ahead of a lantern parade from the Belfast Waterfront to City Hall that evening. The Paralympic cauldron will then be lit at City Hall.

For more information visit or to enquire about tickets contact the Welcome Centre on 028 9024 6609.


THE Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has invested £200,000 in the expansion of the Downpatrick and County Down Railway tourist attraction to include a new Carriage Gallery and Museum.

Housed in a spectacular building, which harks back to the great Victorian termini, the Carriage Gallery and Museum is now Ireland’s only dedicated carriage gallery which tells the story of the development of railways in Northern Ireland from the 19th century to today.

The attraction contains vehicles from all over Ireland as well as artefacts and an exhibition of the old railway which used to run between Belfast and Downpatrick.

The museum is an expansion of the already popular Downpatrick and County Down Railway attraction which has been opened since 1987 and runs vintage trains through the drumlin countryside of County Down to Inch Abbey.  The steam train rides operate every weekend of the summer and during special annual events throughout the year such as Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Funding for the new gallery, which will open on August 17, was also provided by the National Lottery Scheme.

NITB’s Destination PR Officer, Pauline Gormley said, “This investment is a major commitment by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to develop and support tourism and attractions in the County Down area.

“The new gallery and museum will make a fantastic day out for families and train enthusiasts and visitors can not only hop onboard a steam train to experience railway travel as your grandparents would have but now they can also explore the history of train transport in the local area,” she continued.

“I’m positive this new attraction will encourage a number of visitors to the area which will in return benefit the local economy,” Pauline added.

There are also a number of other railway and transport attractions across Northern Ireland so why not take some time out to go exploring;

Steam Trains Ireland, Whitehead, Co. Antrim

Whitehead Excursion Station is where all the locomotives and carriages from the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland’s (RPSI) Northern Ireland collection is stored and maintenance and overhaul is carried out.  The RPSI operates its steam-hauled excursions on the present day Irish railway network from here, for families and railway enthusiasts, with a number of short steam train rides running throughout the year.

Giant’s Causeway & Bushmills Railway, Bushmills, Co. Antrim

Jump onboard and enjoy a truly heritage experience on a steam locomotive along a two mile coastal stretch between the historic town of Bushmills and the famous stone columns of the Giant’s Causeway.  The railway has been built to the Irish narrow gauge of three feet and the carefully planned design of the railway’s station, workshops, carriage sheds and signs hark back to its golden era.  The Giant’s Causeway station offers various facilities including a picnic area, cafe and cark park.

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra, Co. Down

The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum is comprised of two separate museums, the Folk Museum which illustrates the way of life and traditions of people from Northern Ireland in the past and present and the Transport Museum which explores and exhibits methods of transport by land, sea and air in Ireland from its early history to the modern era.  Climb on and off majestic steam locomotives, experience the sensation of flight or explore the museum’s fascinating collection of horse drawn carriages, electric trams, motorbikes, fire-engines and vintage cars.

Headhunters, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh

A trip to Headhunters Barber Shop & Railway Museum is like taking a remarkable journey into the past and bringing the golden age of the railway vividly to life.  Step onboard and enjoy the evocative nostalgia, social heritage and amazing artefacts associated with railways which operated throughout Fermanagh and the border counties until their closure in 1957.  The museum’s fascinating historical exhibition looks at the impact which railways had on people’s lives at a time when it was the gateway to the wider world; stimulating exports, providing greater access to education, enabling honeymoons and encouraging seaside holidays.  Why not combine your visit with a unique opportunity to have your hair professionally styled in the most nostalgic surroundings.

To find out more information about things to do and attractions in Northern Ireland visit

Best Creative, Social Economy and Green Businesses recognised by BBAs

The Belfast Business Awards will recognise the various sectors of local business this year with awards for the Best Creative Business, Best Social Economy and Best Green Business.

In their 7th year, these awards are among 11 up for grabs to celebrate the fine work and achievements of the Belfast business community. Organised by the City Council in partnership with Belfast City Centre Management (BCCM), the BBAs will take place in the City Hall on Thursday 8 November, hosted by the BBC`s Sarah Travers.

The Best Creative Business Award is sponsored by Invest NI and will recognise the growing importance of the creative industries to the local economy. This category celebrates those businesses whose skill, creativity and innovation delivers world class products, services and designs for its customer base.

The award is open to businesses from the creative industries sector including film, TV, digital media, music and design who can demonstrate, in the last three years – skill, creativity and innovation in the development of a unique product, service or design

Oonagh Hinds, Invest Northern Ireland’s Eastern Regional Manager said: “Invest NI sees the creative industries as a sector with huge potential for generating both wealth and job creation. Belfast has become a hub for digital media, film and television production, music and design companies. Our sponsorship of the Best Creative Business Award will help demonstrate the strength of the sector in the city and show others how successful businesses can be developed through the exploitation of intellectual property.”

The Best Green Business Award, sponsored by Power NI, will celebrate those businesses that have identified opportunities to minimise their impact upon the environment. It is open to businesses that have developed a green product/service or have implemented environmental management policies or principles.

Alan Egner, Business Sales and Marketing Manager from Power NI, said the company was delighted to sponsor the Best Green Business Award this year.

“Sponsorship of the Best Green Business Award is the perfect match as Power NI pioneered ‘green’ energy in Northern Ireland and has been offering renewable energy options to local businesses since 1999,” he said.

“We continue to provide a full range of products and services including discounted fixed and variable contracts plus energy efficiency grants and special offers to help our customers cut their energy costs. I would like to take this opportunity to wish the category entrants the best of luck and we look forward to the prestigious awards evening on 8 November to celebrate business excellence in the city.”

The Best Social Economy Business Award – sponsored by DETI – is open to all social enterprises in the city that have been trading for social or environmental purposes. The award recognises and champions the outstanding work carried out by social entrepreneurs in Belfast and marks the contributions they have made in positively changing the future of their communities.

To enter for these awards or find out more about the Belfast Business Awards 2012, you can visit the awards official website or telephone 028 9027 0482. The closing date for entries is Friday 14 September.

The Belfast Business Awards` categories this year are `Best International Trade`, `Best New Business`, `Best Green Business`, `Best Hospitality Business`,  ‘Best Creative Business` and ‘Best Social Economy Business`.

There will also be awards for `Best Young Business Person of the Year`,  `Best Business Innovation`,  `Best Business Expansion`; `Customer Excellence in Retail` and the `Best Business Person of the Year`.

Alderman Christopher Stalford, Chairman of Belfast City Council`s Development Committee, said: “The Belfast Business Awards 2012 will give local businesses a chance to shine by showcasing the excellent contribution they make towards the development of our city.

“Winning an award will be a mark of quality that brings real prestige to any business. I would encourage companies and businessmen and women from across the city to sign up for the awards which are free to enter!”

The council would like to thank our sponsors this year – Victoria Square (Best Young Business Person of the Year); University of Ulster (Best Business Innovation); Profile (Best Business Expansion); DETI (Best Social Economy Business); Northern Ireland Tourist Board (Best Hospitality Business); Firmus Energy (Best New Business); Power NI (Best Green Business); Invest NI (Best Creative Business); Castle Court (Customer Excellence – Retail); DELL (Business Person of the Year) and Barclays Bank (Best International Trade).


The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has put together a list of 12 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland over the next week (August 20 – 26).

For all events in ni2012 click on, visit your local tourist information centre or log onto

  • Newry Film Festival, Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, Newry, Co. Down, August 21 – 26.  The Newry Film Festival hopes to nurture the next generation of young film makers with a programme of workshops, a number of screenings and a short film competition.
  • Roads of Renown, Ulster Grand Prix – 90th anniversary, Ballymoney Town Hall, Co. Antrim, until August 22.  Race through 90 years of excitement and thrills with this exhibition of the history of ‘The Ulster’, an outstanding, local sporting spectacle
  • Literary Lunchtimes with Reggie Chamberlain-King, Ulster Hall, Belfast, August 22.  Belfast-based writer and broadcaster reads from his metaphysical murder mystery series, Brittaine & Molly, singing gruesome murder ballads with his gruesome band and speaking softly about terrible topics.
  • Donaghadee Historical Walking Tour, Ards Tourist Information Centre, Co. Down, August 23.  Learn about the influence of the Montgomery family in the establishment of Donaghadee Harbour, visit the Lighthouse and Grace Neil’s, reputedly the oldest pub in Ireland.
  • Happy Days, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, August 23 – 27.  The world’s first annual festival to celebrate the work and influence of Nobel Prize writer Samuel Beckett with a number of events including the world and UK premieres of his major and lesser-known works, the influences on Beckett, from music to comedy, and those that influenced him including writers, directors and actors.
  • The Owl Man, Castle Espie Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre, Comber, Co. Down, until August 24.  Meet a menagerie of birds of prey from various parts of the world including owls and raptors, learn about their habitats and why conservation is so important to their future.
  • Blues on the Boat, Donegall Quay, Belfast, August 24 – 25.  Jump onboard with the Titanic Boat Tours and enjoy Blues music as your sail upon Belfast Lough with Rev Doc and Beesting Braidner on Friday 24 and Rab McCullough & Co on Saturday 25.
  • City of Derry Guitar Festival, North West Regional College, Co. Londonderry, August 24 – 26.  A weekend of classical, electric and acoustic guitar courses and concerts for everyone to enjoy and for the first time this year there will also be songwriting workshops.
  • Hillsborough Courthouse Market, Hillsborough Village, Co. Down, August 25.  Browse an array of fresh, local produce, crafts and gifts at this warm and friendly market.
  • Guided Tour of Enniskillen Castle, Co. Fermanagh, August 25.  Learn about the history of the Castle from its origins as a Medieval Maguire Castle to its later history as a military barracks.
  • Edwardian Afternoon Tea, Milford House Museum, Co. Armagh, August 25 – 27.  Celebrate the centenary of William Street with afternoon tea and birthday cake served in the gracious surroundings of the Dining room or Study before taking a tour of the house.
  • Summer Jazz Nights with Jazz Gazette, The Alley Theatre, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, every Friday until August 31.  Jazz Gazette is back for another summer of wonderful jazz music.  Sit back and enjoy the summer nights with some exceptional music.

For further information please contact Pauline Gormley from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board on 028 9044 1650 or Alana Taylor of Duffy Rafferty Communications on 028 9073 0880.


Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today encouraged women to pick up a pen and enter the second Women in Business NI Awards in association with Invest Northern Ireland.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster joins Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive of Women in Business NI, to launch the second Women in Business Awards in association with Invest Northern Ireland. There are 10 categories open and the deadline for entries is 28 September with the awards ceremony to be held on 22 November.

The awards will take place on Thursday 22 November in the Ramada Hotel, Belfast.

Minister Foster said:  “Northern Ireland’s women have a reputation for working hard and achieving success, both locally and in the global marketplace and the second Women in Business NI Awards are a fitting acknowledgement of the contribution women make to our economy.

“These awards recognise all that is good about being a woman in business in Northern Ireland. I would encourage entrepreneurs and those in senior management positions to consider the categories, enter and seek the recognition that their efforts deserve.”

Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive of Women in Business NI, said:  “It is vitally important that we recognise the effort being made by business owners and business leaders across Northern Ireland, especially in such tough trading times.

“The interest in the first Women in Business NI awards surpassed all our expectations in terms of the number of entries received and the number of attendees at the glittering ceremony.  The entries produced a shortlist of outstanding women from which the eventual remarkable winners were judged.

“This year we have therefore decided to offer all finalists the opportunity to attend the first ever Women in Business NI Finalists Retreat.  An exclusive and intimate event which will stimulate networking and personal development, the retreat will be aimed at inspiring those women who will reach the shortlist for this year’s awards.”

There are 10 categories open for entry – best new start up, entrepreneurship / innovation, outstanding management / leadership, best marketing campaign, best small business, best customer service, best in professional services, best young business woman of the year, advancing gender / diversity in the work place, best exporter.

Closing date for entry is Friday 28 September 2012.

Women in Business NI is the largest and fastest growing business network for female entrepreneurs and business leaders in Northern Ireland.  Established in 2002, the network has almost 700 members spread throughout all industry sectors.

To join Women in Business NI, log onto  Follow Women in Business NI on facebook at or on twitter @wibni.

Women in Business NI Awards categories 2012 are:

Best New Start Up

Entrepreneurship / Innovation

Outstanding Management / Leadership

Best Marketing Campaign

Best Small Business

Best Customer Service

Best in Professional Services

Best Young Business Woman of the Year

Advancing Gender / Diversity in the Work Place

Best Exporter

Women in Business NI Awards winners and shortlisted 2011 were:

Outstanding Businesswoman of the Year – Orla Corr OBE, The McAvoy Group
Best New Start Up – Barbara Hughes, Managing Director/Owner, Boozeberries Liqueurs

Shortlisted: Tracy Gilligan, Managing Director, Therapie Clinic

Maria Saddiq, Managing Director, O4 Research

Entrepreneurship / Innovation:

International – Orla Corr OBE, Business Development Director, The McAvoy Group

Indigenous – Shauna McCarney, Managing Director, Heavenly Tasty Organics

Shortlisted: Alyson Hogg, Managing Director, Vita Liberta

Elaine Willis, Linden Foods

Johann Muldoon, Director, Manor Architects

Lorraine McAleer, General Manager, Learning SPACE

Outstanding Management / Leadership Ann McGregor, Chief Executive, NICC

Shortlisted: Gillian Creevy, Chief Executive, NICFC

Cathy McCorry, Managing Director, Grafton Recruitment

Helen Kirkpatrick, UTV Media

Patricia O’Hagan, Managing Director, Core Systems NI Ltd

Best in Marketing/Communications Tracy Hamilton, Director, Mash Direct Ltd

Shortlisted: Ruth Morgan, Communications Executive, Belfast City Airport

Cathy Martin, Managing Director CMPR
Debbie McLorinan, Dunmurry Dental Practice

Best Exporter – Celine Doherty, Director, Re-Gen Waste Ltd

Shortlisted: Liesa Johnston, Business & Marketing Director, Genesis Crafty

Barbara Hughes, Managing Director/Owner, Boozeberries Liqueurs

Saleswoman of the Year – Heather Boyle, Business Advisor, A Slice of Heaven Ltd

Shortlisted: Belinda Moran, Advertising Sales Director, IN! Magazine

Angela Stewart, Autoline Insurance Group

Best in Professional Services Phyllis Agnew, Senior Partner, Tughans

Shortlisted: Carrie McDonagh, Associate Partner, DPP

Caroline Keenan, Tax Director, ASM

Best Customer Service – Caroline Currie, Sales Director, Autoline Insurance Group

Shortlisted: Sarah Lyons, Creative Director, Redhead Conference & Exhibition

Brigid Derry, Managing Director, Derry Bros Shipping Ltd

Lisa Millar, Director, Beauty Culture

Best Sole Trader – Jacqueline McGonigle, Owner,

Shortlisted: Lorraine McAleer, General Manager, Learning SPACE
Loretta Gallagher, Owner, Lorsha

Young Businesswoman of the Year – Cara Macklin, Director, Macklin Group

Shortlisted: Jayne Finlay, Managing Director, Legal-Island

Elaine Willis, Linden Foods

Rebekah Patterson, Executive Sales Manager, Miglio Jewellery

What’s Coming Up in North Down!

NEXT WEEK & WEEKEND Mon 13 – Sun 19 Aug

Art Classes at North Down Museum, Bangor

Tuesdays, until 28 August
Tickets £8 per class. 2pm – 4pm. Mary Feeney will be running art classes for all levels of ability, including beginners. Each class will combine drawing exercises using pencil and charcoal and painting exercises in oils and acrylics. You will need to bring your own materials. For info and booking contact the Museum on (028) 9127 1200.

Gardening Workshops for Beginners at North Down Museum, Bangor
Fridays, until 31 August
Tickets £10 per class. 2pm – 4pm. Caroline is a previous employee of The Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh and Pershore College Worcester. She’ll be giving you an overview of various gardening techniques and giving you some great planting ideas, designed to get green fingers twitching! Pre-booking essential. For info and to book contact the Museum on (028) 9127 1200.

Lunchtime Music in the Courtyard at North Down Museum, Bangor

Every Friday in August

FREE. 12.30pm. A series of performances by young local musicians and music teachers working in the North Down area. Pianist Robert Sinclair, saxophonist Dave Howell, violinist Lauren Gibb and flautist Susan Gibson will all be performing during Friday lunchtimes, easing you into your weekend in style. For info contact the Museum on (028) 9127 1200. (Seating priority given to Restaurant customers).

Clandeboye Festival (Camerata)

Monday 13-Saturday 18 August

Clandeboye Estate, Bangor. Event Programme. Info Frances Floyd, (028) 9042 7600.

Pervasive Gaming Summer School

Tuesday 14 – Saturday 18 August

North Down Museum, Bangor. Tickets £40. A brand new Arts Summer School activity for 12 to 16 year olds. Learn how to create games that use the streets and landscape around you as a board, with yourselves as players! You’ll be using creative writing, arts and crafts and performance skills to bring the public spaces of Bangor to life. Pre-booking essential. For info and to book contact the Museum on (028) 9127 1200.

Kids Nature Trail in Castle Park, Bangor

Wednesday 15 August

Tickets £3. Departs North Down Museum at 2.30pm. Join this interactive nature trail led by Patrick Cregg from the Woodland Trust and well-known bird expert Dot Blakely, where you will learn all about the natural habitat and bird life that exist in the Castle Park grounds. Approximate tour length: 2 hours and covers around 2 miles of Castle Park, finishing at the North Down Museum. Pre-booking essential. For more info & tickets contact Bangor Tourist Information Centre on (028) 9127 0069.

Bangor Abbey Graveyard Tour

Thursday 16 August

Tickets £3. Departs Bangor Abbey at 7pm. Discover some of the graveyard’s most famous graves and memorials, including a memorial to John Simpson, surgeon on the Titanic and the graves of Archibald Wilson, hanged after the 1798 rebellion and W.G. Lyttle, author of ‘Betsy Gray‘ the popular novel about the rebellion. Approximate tour length: 1 hour (tea / coffee served at tour end). Pre-booking essential. For more info & tickets contact Bangor Tourist Information Centre on (028) 9127 0069.

Vocal Masterclass with Rebekah Coffey

Thursday 16 August

North Down Museum, Bangor. Tickets £10. If you are interested in singing solo, or have an audition to prepare for, Rebekah will help with pointers on breathing and vocal technique in a group session and through one to one tuition. Attendees will need to provide a copy of the piece you’d like to work on with Rebekah, a short description of the singing you have done to date and what this session is helping you work towards. Suitable for 15 – 18 year olds. Pre-booking essential. For info and to book contact the Museum on (028) 9127 1200.

Contemporary Dance with Maiden Voyage

Thursday 16 August

North Down Museum, Bangor. Tickets £10. Belfast-based dance company Maiden Voyage Dance is running a one-day workshop in contemporary dance. Participants will take a contemporary technique class, followed by sessions on learning choreography, improving performance skills and unlocking your own creativity. Participants should be aged 15+. Pre-booking essential. For info and to book contact the Museum on (028) 9127 1200.

Summer Saturdays at North Down Museum, Bangor

Saturday 18 August

Tickets £1. Visit the Museum on Saturdays during August for special summer events for children of all ages. and children aged 7 and under must be accompanied by an adult. This Saturday bring the little one’s along at 1.30pm for the World of Owls workshop –  get close up to creatures but stay safe! Pre-booking essential. For info and to book contact the Museum on (028) 9127 1200.

Free children’s fun at Cockle Row Cottages, Groomsport

Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 August

Free event. 2pm-4pm. The Circus Skills group will be showing off their amazing techniques on Saturday 18th August. Alongside the children’s entertainment there will be Ulster-Scots Traditional Music by ‘Family Folk’. On Sunday, 19th, there’ll be ‘Clowning Around’ and face painting. The cottages are open daily in August to 2 Sept from 11am to 5pm. For more info call Bangor Tourist Information Centre on (028) 9127 0069 or visit Full Cockle Row Programme for August

Street Theatre Summer Entertainment in Bangor

Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 August

FREE. 3-5pm. The Butterfly and the Caterpillar will bring the Sunken Gardens to life at McKee Clock, this Saturday, beside Bangor Seafront. A beautiful, entertaining, colourful  and interactive storytelling musical show is not to be missed for a memorable Saturday afternoon with the kids. On Sunday, The Louie Comedy Magic Show will bring a different feel altogether to McKee Clock – be prepared for plenty of laughs! Don’t forget about music in Ward Park on Sunday too, 3-5pm. For info on the full programme of events visit or call Bangor Tourist Information Centre on (028) 9127 0069.

Live Music Summer Entertainment in Bangor

Sunday 19 August

FREE. 3-5pm. Kyron and the Bookworms perform at the Ward Park Bandstand this Sunday, playing songs of Leonard Cohen, Tom Waite, Carol King and other greats. For info on the full programme of events visit or call Bangor Tourist Information Centre on (028) 9127 0069.


Theatre at the Walled Garden

Wednesday 15 AugustThe Tales of Peter Rabbit & Benjamin Bunny SOLD OUT

Thursday 16 AugustA Midsummer Night’s Dream SOLD OUT

Aspects Irish Literature Festival 2012, 26 – 30 September 2012

Tickets on sale now

Renowned as the premier Irish Literature Festival in Northern Ireland, the Aspects Irish Literature Festival 2012 will take place from 26 – 30 September in various venues around Bangor.

2012 sees the Festival turn 21, the traditional age when people are given the key to the front door; however in Aspects’ case we’ve been given the key to Bangor Abbey! We’re delighted that this year we will be hosting Aspects at the Abbey and we look forward to welcoming you there for the eclectic mix of prose and poetry for which the festival is renowned.

You can find the programme and book tickets online at or by contacting North Down Museum (028) 9127 1200 or Bangor Tourist Information Centre (028) 9127 0069.


Save 20% on motorist fares when booked by 15 August

Northern Ireland’s leading ferry company, Stena Line, is giving customers the opportunity to visit the Liverpool Food & Drink Festival  and save 20%* on motorist fares from Belfast to Liverpool.

The festival, which is held at Sefton Park on 1st and 2nd September, boasts cooking demonstrations from The Fabulous Baker Brothers and Michelin star chefs Tom Kitchin and Aiden Byrne as well as live music and multiple themed dining areas. Not to be left out, there is an interactive children’s area where the kids can learn how to make their own culinary masterpiece.

For a relaxed afternoon, why not treat yourself to a glass of fizz in the Champagne marquee or a cocktail in the entertainment area while listening to some of the city’s most talented music acts perform. There is also a fabulous beer festival and Heavenly Chocolate Garden!

And if that is not enough to whet the appetite, there will be a Stena Line marquee where visitors can enjoy lively Irish music while they sample traditional Irish food and pints of Guinness.

To avail of this 20% discount*, book by 15 August for outward travel to be taken between 30 August and 1 September and return between 2 and 4 September.

To book go to or call Stena Line on 08447 70 70 70.

*Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. Admission to the festival is not included.