Mayor of Newtownabbey Hosts Pantomime Charity Evening

Mayor of Newtownabbey, Alderman Thomas Hogg teams up with pantomime frontrunner Mr.Hullabaloo ahead of their charity performance of Sleeping Beauty on the 2nd December.

All proceeds raised for this special charity performance will go to the Mayor’s three amazing charities: Alzheimer’s Society, NI Hospice and SANDES.

The creative team that brought you Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, Aladdin and Cinderella and now Sleeping Beauty will take you and the family on a mystical adventure that will have everyone clapping along! Featuring a fantastic cast of live performers, puppetry, stunning sets and extravagant costumes, children of all ages can join in the excitement and enter a fairy-tale world, watching as the magical story unfolds.

Ticket prices of Sleeping Beauty’s charity performance remain at £9.50. Sleeping Beauty will run at The Courtyard Theatre Friday 28th November to Saturday 20 December. We would be delighted if you could join us for this special charity event. Book your tickets as normal at or by calling our Box Office on 028 90340202

A Very Vintage Christmas for Lisburn – Frock Around The Clock Returns!

This festive season, Northern Ireland’s favourite vintage event, the fabulous Frock Around The Clock Vintage Fair, will be visiting Lisburn on Saturday 6th December for a Christmas extravaganza of vintage and handmade treasures for sale and a big helping of timeless glamour, reminiscence and fun.

This highly popular event always brings discerning Lisburn shoppers out in their hundreds to browse and shop for quality vintage & handmade treasures from a superb selection of handpicked Irish vintage dealers, designers and crafters. Now on 6th December you will have another chance to get your hands on unique gifts, collectibles and crafts not found on the high street!

The Christmas event will be appearing in a new venue – The Wallace, Riverside Pub & Eatery on Bridge Street – where visitors will find an amazing line-up of 30 Irish vintage dealers and creative designers offering a fantastic array of vintage, handmade and upcycled fashion, jewellery, furniture, homewares, collectibles, sweet treats art, crafts, gifts and much more – it’s the hottest shopping destination to find the coolest Christmas gifts on the planet as well as treats for you, your wardrobe and your home.

The impressive exhibitor list will include Norma Jean Vintage selling authentic vintage fashion accessories and collectibles, Emily Loves Vintage, designer of gorgeous handcrafted jewellery, The Tea Emporium offering a beautiful range of vintage china, handmade aprons and bunting, B-Louise, specialising in exquisite crocheted fashion  accessories, Strombolitwo designer of jewellery and fashion accessories crafted from vintage kimono silks, Shabbie showcasing quirky and colourful cushions, throws and quilts, The Tea Boutique with a scrumptious selection of cupcakes and baked goods, I Of The Needle, purveyor of fantastic haberdashery and craft supplies, Gracefully Vintage, specialising in a fine assortment of vintage-inspired art and crafts, and Vintage Heirlooms by Gillian Shaw, creator of decadent handcrafted lamps and candles!

Local Lisburn author Norah Humphreys will also be in attendance at the fair selling her first novel ‘No Greater Love’, having obtained a publishing deal at the age of 79! Set against the backdrop of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, the book centres around Rob Hampton, who suffers a bereavement as a young boy of 9 and traces how it affects him and his family through four generations. It is a powerful story of love, betrayal and tragedy, yet one of hope and the ultimate power of forgiveness. Norah’s second novel ‘The House on Waring Street’ will be released on 28th November in time to be promoted at the fair on 6th December, and also promises to be a real page turner!

Visitors will also be able to relax and revive with delicious afternoon teas in The Wallace restaurant overlooking the river. Afternoon tea must be booked in advance by calling the restaurant on 028 9264 1155.

Frock Around The Clock organiser Becky Moore comments ‘we are very excited to bring Frock Around The Clock back to Lisburn as we always receive such a warm reception and it is a wonderful day for shoppers and sellers alike. We are delighted to announce that thanks to our sponsors Lisburn City Centre Management (LCCM) we are once again able to make this a free admission event so visitors can come in and browse without it costing them a penny. But don’t forget your purse as you will be blown away by the unique vintage treasures and handmade designs on offer!’

The Frock Around The Clock Very Christmassy Vintage Fair will take place on Saturday 6th December from 11am to 5pm at The Wallace Riverside Pub & Eatery, 88 Bridge Street, Lisburn BT28 1XY, and admission to the event will be free.

More information on the event and the exhibitor list can be found online at

Women In Business NI pre-Christmas Networking Lunch with Guest Speaker, Denise McNally

Are you from Mid-Ulster or just looking to broaden your network throughout Northern Ireland?  If so, join us for a networking morning where you will have the opportunity to do just that.

Assisted by WIBNI Regional Ambassador and Award winner, Jacqueline McGonigle, Owner of, facilitated networking and lunch will be provided.

Our speaker for the pre-Christmas event is the inspirational Denise McNally BSC, AMAC.

Denise McNally has extensive experience in the field of Training and Personal Development.  Since 2005 Denise has successfully established herself as a highly respected, multi-skilled trainer, facilitator and mentor.  In addition on an employed basis she manages a successful Business Park boasting a successful property portfolio and training facilities.

Denise has acquired a Teaching Certificate, a Certificate in Management and Teaching of Literacy, and a Certificate in Coaching and First Line Management. She has acquired a First Class BSc Honors in Social Psychology.

Denise is a trained Dance Fitness Professional and Holistic Therapist; she is continually acquiring new skills in the field of Positive Psychology and brings these new strategies and techniques to all her clients. Denise combines body work, energy release and talking therapies as part of a whole person context to get her clients to “dance to the beat of their own drums” and acquire personal and business success.

Denise will be delivering an uplifting and reflective talk on the role of women in today’s society. She will reference amazing writers and poets that have inspired her and will discuss the unique journey of the feminine in all her roles.

Register your place now at

An Audience with Peter Hain Wednesday 19 November

Peter Hain has a rich political history, as Leader of the House of Commons from 2003 to 2005 to Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from 2005 to 2007.

However he has also received over 16 author and editior credits, his most recent being a biography of Nelson Mandela.

Hain spent the majority of his childhood in South Africa during a time when the Apartheid regime (a system of racial segregation) was becoming ever more prominent on South African society. He therefore became highly involved in the movement of opposition to the Apartheid regime with the influence of his passionate parents who were jailed, banned and forced into exile to Britain in 1966.

The struggle his parents suffered has a massive impact on Hain, becoming involved in politics to take up the fight against injustice. Following his arrival into Britain he become involved in anti-Apartheid protests resulting in his position as chairman of the Stop The Seventy Tour Campaign which effectively used non-violent direct action to isolate white South Africa from international sport.

An Audience with Peter Hain guarantees to be a night of very interesting conversations.

To purchase tickets contact the box office on

028 9034 0202 or book online at



With over 7,000 seats already sold and counting, The 2014 pantomime at The Market Place Theatre, Armagh has been officially launched and the cast and artistic team were in town to tell all mums and dads to get their skates on for the spectacular ‘Scrooge’s Christmas’ which runs from Monday 1st to Sunday 21st December.

This is the enchanting story of the meanest miser of them all, based on the Charles Dickens’ seasonal classic, ‘A Christmas Carol’. Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year? Not for the miserable, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge! However, Scrooge is soon to be shown the error of his ways when the three ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future pay him a visit one cold and wintry night. Will their visits make him realise that a kind heart and generous spirit make the world a happier place for everyone? With a bit of panto magic, and a lot of help from the audience, maybe anything is possible!

This much-loved story perfectly captures the magic of Christmas and positively sparkles on stage with an ensemble cast playing the many memorable characters – Scrooge, his nephew Fred and the beautiful Lucy he wishes to marry, the Cratchits complete with Tiny Tim, a trio of hilarious ghosts, plus a myriad of colourful characters in a gloriously funny version of the spellbinding tale. And of course, there’s the dame! No pantomime would be complete without her… she’ll put Scrooge right! OH YES SHE WILL!

‘Scrooge’s Christmas’ promises an unforgettably festive experience coupled with The Market Place Theatre’s renowned reputation for high quality, professional pantomimes that are acclaimed as among the best in Ireland… Ideal for children aged 5 to 95!

There are public performances on: Fri 5 Dec 6.30pm | Sat 6 Dec 11.00am & 3.00pm & 6.30pm | Sun 7 Dec 1.00pm & 4.30pm | Fri 12 Dec 6.30pm | Sat 13 Dec 1.00pm & 5.00pm | Sun 14 Dec 1.00pm & 4.30pm | Mon 15 Dec 6.30pm | Tues 16 Dec 6.30pm | Thurs 18 Dec 6.30pm | Fri 19 Dec 6.30pm | Sat 20 Dec 11.00am & 3.00pm & 6.30pm | Sun 21 Dec 1.00pm & 4.30pm  

Tickets for ‘Scrooge’s Christmas’ are priced £13.00 & £11.00 [conc] with a FINAL WEEK TICKET OFFER…£10.00 & £8.00 [conc] for performances on Mon 15 Dec 6.30pm | Tues 16 Dec 6.30pm | Thurs 18 Dec 6.30pm.

There is also a Captioned Performance on Thurs 18 Dec at 6.30pm and a BSL Signed Performance on Sat 13 Dec at 5.00pm

The pantomime is presented in association with Ulster Theatre Company and is written and directed by Michael Poynor with music by Mark Dougherty, designed by Elroy Ashmore and choreography by Deborah Maguire.

Vote for Charis Cancer Centre in Funding Showdown

Charis Cancer Centre’s ‘New Ways of Thinking’ initiative is one of the projects that has been shortlisted for receiving funding in the People’s Millions TV contest, a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and ITV.

Charis Centre Director, Imelda McGuckin

Charis Cancer Care is a self- funded charity which supports cancer patients through their journey by providing body therapies such as massage, aromatherapy and reflexology, counselling, advice on benefit entitlements and nutritional advice. Therapists and tutors work with the person as a whole, ensuring they benefit from advice and treatments which are free of charge.

There are four £50,000 awards up for grabs in the region, one for each night from November 24 to November 26, as well as a bonus award for the runner-up with the most votes across the week.

Imelda McGucken, Director of Charis Cancer Centre explains the opportunity and how local people can support the ‘New Ways of Thinking’ project to secure vital funding:

“It is a fantastic achievement for Charis Cancer Centre to have been shortlisted in the People’s Millions TV Contest.  Though now that we’ve managed to reach this stage, we really need the support of local people to help us successfully compete and secure vital funding for a project that is focused on helping local people who are coping with cancer.

“For those who may not be familiar with this fund or the process that goes with it, two projects are identified to go head to head every night for three nights from Monday 24 November.  The Charis Cancer Centre ‘New Ways of Thinking’ initiative will feature in the first broadcast on Monday 24 November alongside the ‘Build a Beach’ Project which is linked to the Titanic Foundation.

“A short video will be shown about Charis Cancer Centre and the ‘Build a Beach’ project.  The public will then be asked to vote for the project that they would like to receive the award via a phone vote.  The number that people will be asked to ring will be featured in the TV programme but it will also be published in the Mirror on Monday 24 November.  Votes are counted and then the results will be announced the following day.”

Imelda adds: “I would ask everyone to actively get involved and grasp the opportunity that exists to help secure vital funding that will make a tangible difference to individuals that are coping with the impact of cancer on their lives. Voting lines are open from 9am on the morning of the broadcast until midnight and we need everyone to pick up the phone and vote.

“Since first opening its doors to the public in March 2010, Charis has helped in excess of 2,300 people with their cancer journey. It costs approximately £500 to pay for each individual’s treatment at the centre. So, if the charity were successful in winning the £50,000 prize, this would mean that the organisation could help 100 people on their cancer journey.

“Charis Cancer Care is based close to Cookstown and we currently work with people across Northern Ireland offering a range of services covering financial and benefits advice, counselling and nutritional advice and body therapies, reflexology, massage and aromatherapy. In addition the charity also provides advice on specialist services such as wig fitting.”

Charis Cancer Centre Patron, Jenny Bristow says: “This funding will benefit people at all stages of their cancer journey. Charis can broaden the services offered to patients coping with diagnosis, detection and treatment.  The programme has been designed to complement rather than replace orthodox cancer treatments with the aim of providing physical, psychological and emotional support through the relief of symptoms.

“Many of the activities are included to help patients cope with stresses caused by cancer and its treatments, providing a relaxing environment which helps raise spirits and esteem at times when people feel low. ‘Touch therapies’ such as massage and reflexology and ‘mind body therapies’ covering relaxation and visualisation are available within the centre but rarely on a group basis where people with similar circumstances and needs can benefit from one another as opposed to in isolation with a therapist. The funding will make a huge difference to service delivery over the next twelve months and will help broaden the services already offered.

“The Charis Cancer Centre will be providing updates in the run up to the funding showdown on social media outlets.  Lend your support to this really worthy cause by using the #votecharis.  When the phone number becomes available we will add this onto the hashtag.  Everyone can play a role in helping to secure funding and we really value your support.”

The charity receives no funding from any of the statutory bodies. All of the finance to run the organisation is obtained through fundraising events run by the local community.


NORTHERN Ireland’s Little Wing Pizzeria is dishing out sports bursaries to five local sports clubs as part of its Little Wing’s Little Sports Stars scheme.

Northern Ireland’s Little Wing Pizzeria is dishing out sports bursaries to five local sports clubs as part of its Little Wing’s Little Sports Stars scheme. The bursary programme was open to all local children’s sports clubs located nearby each of Little Wing’s branches and the five lucky clubs awarded were Bangor Rugby Club, City of Belfast Swimming Club, Junior Belfast Giants, Holywood Rugby Football Club and Ormeau Table Tennis Club. The teams were invited to submit a 300 word application to be in the running to win the bursary and the winning teams received £500 each. Photo by Matt Mackey, Press Eye. Pictured left to right: Bangor Rugby Club players , City of Belfast Swimming Club players, Junior Belfast Giants players, Holywood Rugby Football Club players join Luke Wolsey, MD of Little Wing Pizzeria at the new Holywood Little Wing.

The bursary programme was open to all local children’s sports clubs located nearby each of Little Wing’s branches and the five lucky clubs awarded were Bangor Rugby Club, City of Belfast Swimming Club, Junior Belfast Giants, Holywood Rugby Football Club and Ormeau Table Tennis Club.

The teams were invited to submit a 300 word application to be in the running to win the bursary and the winning teams received £500 each.
Commenting on the sports bursary winners, Luke Wolsey, Managing Director of Little Wing Pizzeria said:

“We are always looking for ways to support the local communities where the Little Wing Pizzeria branches are located and the Little Wing Little Sports Stars bursary is a way of doing this.

“It was a tough call to pick five teams to reward from all the entries we received but I am thrilled to be able to present the bursaries to the winners.

“We hope the money will offer the teams some much needed financial assistance to help towards the general running of the club whether it is new sporting kits, equipment or even a chance to treat the kids to a fun day at their clubs,”

Little Wing is part of the Beannchor Group, Ireland’s largest hospitality group, which boasts a portfolio of over 50 pubs, hotels and restaurants across Northern Ireland.

For further information visit

C.S. Lewis Nearly True Tours

Actors Patrick Sanders and Mary Jordan join Ethan Noble ahead of a Narnia - themed magical mystery tour around the author's old school. The Nearly True Tours form one of the hightlights of this year's C.S. Lewis Festival

C.S. Lewis Nearly True Tours at Campbell College: Saturday 22nd November, 12.30pm and 2.15pm and Sunday 23rd November, 12pm and 1.45pm.

Tickets £3 each or a *family ticket for £10.

You will enjoy a blend of historical fact with hysterical fiction as C.S. Lewis is explored as never before during this walking tour with a difference.

‘Nearly True’ George will take you on an unforgettable excursion around Campbell College that will shed new light on C.S. Lewis’ history. On ‘Nearly True Tours’ everything you are told is guaranteed to be ‘nearly true’. Fake facts and true stories mingle in this colourful and comic journey.

Book here:

(*Family ticket includes 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children)


The search to find Northern Ireland’s top pubs came to a dramatic conclusion this week, as the cream of the local hospitality industry gathered at La Mon Hotel & Country Club on Wednesday 12th November for Pubs of Ulster’s Pub of the Year Awards 2014.

: The Goat’s Toe, Bangor Pubs of Ulster Chairman, Mark Stewart, Andrew Gedge from The Goat’s Toe, Bangor and Finance Minister Simon Hamilton pictured at Pubs of Ulster’s prestigious Pub of the Year Awards 2014, where The Goat’s Toe in Bangor was named the overall Pub of the Year 2014.The Awards night, hosted by Cool FM Breakfast Show Host, Pete Snodden, was attended by the best in the hospitality business and was held at the La Mon Hotel and Country Club on Wednesday 12th November 2014.The annual Pub of the Year Awards are the only industry recognised awards and provide a valuable opportunity to recognise the significant contribution local pubs make, not only within their own communities, but to the industry as a whole. This year’s awards were sponsored by Britvic, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Dillon Bass, Heineken Northern Ireland, Molson Coors, Richmond Marketing, Tennent’s NI, Drinks Inc. and media partners, Sunday Life, Downtown/Cool FM and Hospitality Review NI.

A total of 38 shortlisted premises from right across Northern Ireland went head to head in 10 categories.

There could only be one winner for the highly coveted overall Pub of the Year 2014 award – which was clinched by The Goat’s Toe in Bangor.

Judges commented that The Goat’s Toe “clearly cares about its customers and community”; that it has a “strong, enthusiastic committed workforce” and “the management team are brimming over with fantastic and unusual ideas.” The judges also commended the venue for “championing local music and local food to achieve a wide and varied age profile of customers that all enjoy the venue side-by-side.”

Celebrating the prestigious award win, Andrew Gedge, The Goat’s Toe said:

“Being named Northern Ireland’s Pub of the Year is a real honour. Our entire team works so hard and we are continually improving our premises to ensure we stay at the top of our game; most recently we installed a unique roof top beer garden that’s open all year round and features its own bar and caravan; it has become a great talking point for regulars and visitors alike.

“To have our dedication and commitment recognised by Pubs of Ulster is a tremendous achievement for the whole team; it provides a real incentive for us to keep up our hard work and live up to the prestigious title of Pub of the Year.”

A total of 10 awards were handed out at the ceremony, which was hosted by Cool FM presenter and Bangor resident, Pete Snodden and attended by VIP guests including Finance minister, Simon Hamilton, mindreader and mentalist, David Meade; BBC weatherman, Barra Best and actor, Charlie Lawson (Coronation Street’s, Jim McDonald).

In Belfast, Ryan’s Bar and Restaurant scooped Best Big Idea; Shiro was named the winner of Best Marketing Idea; The Albany won Best New /Improved Pub and The National Grande Café won Best Pub Week Event. Further afield, the Adair Arms in Ballymena was awarded the Best Hotel Bar title; Clare Johnston of The Railway Arms in Coleraine was crowned Best Barperson in association with Sunday Life; Sallys of Omagh clinched Best Charity Event; The Maghera Inn in Castlewellan won the Best Food title and The Wild Duck Inn in Portglenone picked up the Best Entertainment award.

Commenting on the awards, Mark Stewart, chairman of Pubs of Ulster, said: “Pubs of Ulster’s Pub of the Year Awards recognise and reward excellence and the important contribution local pubs make, not only within their own communities, but to the hospitality industry as a whole.

“This year we received our highest level of entries to date. The high standard of our finalists is a clear indication of the increasing professionalism and quality of pubs right across Northern Ireland.

“I would like to congratulate all of this year’s winners, and in particular The Goat’s Toe for being named the overall Pub of the Year 2014.  I would also like to commend all of our shortlisted pubs – to reach the final of a competition of this scale is no mean feat; each and every pub should be proud to be counted amongst the best in Northern Ireland.”

The Pub of the Year Awards is the culmination of an extensive search for the best pubs in a range of categories across Northern Ireland.

This  Pub of the Year’s expert judging panel consisted of mentalist and hospitality expert, David Meade; digital media expert Russell Moore;  retail specialist, Hugh Black (formerly Victoria Square, Belfast);  retail, digital and marketing expert Enda McShane (Velocity Worldwide);  Worldwide drinks industry veterans, Maire Campbell (former Coca-Cola); Padraig Gribben (CEO, Vintners Federation Ireland); Norman Trotter (former head of C&C); Terry Loughins (former Diageo) and Brigid Simmons (CEO, British Beer & Pub Association); Martin Breen, editor, Sunday Life; Nicola Daly, manager, Hospitality Review; Jordan Moates, Downtown/Cool FM; Gary McDonald, business editor, The Irish News; John Mulgrew, digital journalist, The Belfast Telegraph and Richard Sherriff, business editor, The News Letter.

After rigorous judging by the panel, the shortlisted pubs from across Northern Ireland were put through their paces with mystery shoppers visiting their premises, ensuring they adhere to best industry standards before the winners were decided.

The Pub of the Year Awards are the only industry recognised awards, this year’s awards were sponsored by Britvic, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Dillon Bass, Heineken Northern Ireland, Molson Coors, Richmond Marketing, Tennent’s NI, Drinks Inc. and media partners, Sunday Life, Downtown/Cool FM and Hospitality Review NI.

For further information, the full list of winners and pictures from Pubs of Ulster’s Pub of the Year Awards 2014, visit


It’s hard to believe the Belfast Christmas Market has been taking place at City Hall for 10 years. What started as a small group of gazebos and a handful of traders has grown into one of our best-loved festive events.

Nowadays the grounds of City Hall are transformed into a traditional festive German style market complete with 90 hand crafted wooden chalets and other structures, twinkling lights and the aroma of the traditional spirit-warming Glühwein.

This year the multi-award winning Belfast Christmas Market which generates millions of pounds in economic benefits for the City of Belfast each year opens its gates on Saturday 15 November at 12noon, signaling for many the start of the Christmas season in Belfast City Centre.

Over 800,000 visitors are expected to enjoy the gastronomic delights at this year’s market which include: Crepes from France, Belgian chocolates and an exotic selection of ostrich, wild boar and crocodile burgers for those with a taste for adventure. Giant Bratwurst are cooked and sold from a brand new iconic Schwenkgrille, Spanish Paella, and nougat from Italy is also on offer for hungry festive shoppers.

Close to 30% of the market is made up of local traders (many who started at the award winning St George’s Market) selling products such as non alcoholic cordials, hand carved name plaques, locally produced chocolate and original art. Suki Tea will be brewing up in the festive village for the 10th year themselves, as it was at the very first Christmas market that Oscar Woolley and his team first dipped their toes in the tea trade.

Wrap up warm in preparation for the threatened chilly winter in Peruvian clothing made out of genuine Alpaca wool, update your accessory collection with some Aztec jewellery or style your wardrobe with some Parisian fashion. Handcrafted gifts such as soaps, wooden toys and decorations are also showcased, perfect as unique stocking fillers.

The young at heart can visit our famous Santa’s Grotto and help support the Lord Mayor’s charity, Youth Link, the inter-church youth service for Northern Ireland established in 1991, to provide support and training for youth workers and community relations experiences for young people.

The Christmas Market ’Buddy Scheme’ runs from 10am-12pm Monday-Wednesday, the initiative aims to provide additional assistance for those who may require it, during their visit. After a walk around in the brisk winter air, the complimentary tea and coffee (served in the Lavery’s beer tent as part of the scheme), provides a welcome treat.

Spoil your inner child and take a ride on the carousel made especially for the Belfast Christmas Market by the Goss family, or have a picture taken in the Snow Globe before relaxing in one of our continental bars, serving drinks from around the world late into the evening.

Open from 10am each day (1pm on Sundays), the Belfast Christmas Market runs until 21 December and for those who want to squeeze in that extra bit of shopping, St George’s Market is operating on additional days, for more information visit

Don’t miss your chance to make this Christmas an extra special one. For information on any of our initiatives follow us on Facebook and twitter or visit

Opening hours of the market

Mon – Wed 10am – 8pm

Thurs – Sat 10am – 10pm

Sun 1pm – 6pm