MOYA BRENNAN of CLANNAD to perform in NORTHERN IRELAND on a St. Patricks’ Celebration Tour.

Moya Brennan, widely considered Ireland’s First Lady of Celtic Music will play three shows in Northern Ireland in March as part of the St. Patricks’ Celebrations across the province.

Moya with her band play the following concerts;

Friday 18 March – The Millennium Forum, Derry – Tel: 028 71 264 455
Sat 19 March – The Market Place Theatre, Armagh – Tel: 028 37 521 821
Sun 20 March – The Lyric Theatre, Belfast – Tel: 028 90 381 081

When Bono stated recently, “I think she has one of the greatest voices the human ear has ever experienced”, he was heralding what many people know already about The Voice of Clannad, Moya Brennan. She sings like nothing you’ve ever heard before! So it makes sense that her live solo shows – with all the musicality and power of Clannad but with added, heart-warming intimacy – should be such a rich and moving experience. Her effortless vocals and timeless music pay homage not only to her vibrant traditional Irish heritage but also her grasp of contemporary forms.

“I’m thrilled to be coming to Northern Ireland again”, says Moya “It’s been a while since I played there and I’m looking forward to reconnecting with audiences who have an enthusiasm and appreciation which I rarely come across anywhere else. This is going to be very exciting!”

With Clannad she rose to prominence with a pioneering approach to traditional music which has garnered them 15 million record sales worldwide and a string of awards, including BAFTA and Ivor

Novello Awards for their Theme from Harry’s Game and a Grammy in 1998. Their sound has since become the benchmark for the Celtic music genre. Sister Enya joined Clannad for a time before pursuing her own successful career.

Moya’s solo career has continued that success with 8 albums to her credit and more in the pipeline. Her live show has developed into a visual (as well as sound) spectacle with rhythm, atmosphere and vibrant harmony.

Besides her solo work Moya has been much in demand for a number of other projects and is both vociferous and active in her championing of Irish arts and culture abroad. Her career to date includes 25 albums, numerous film scores and she has sung with many great artists, including The Chieftains, Robert Plant, Bruce Hornsby, Michael Crawford, Paul Brady, Shane MacGowan and, of course, Bono.
Her voice continues to be in demand in dance music and includes collaborations with Chicane(Saltwater), DJ Roger Shah and Schiller.
Moya is currently writing the soundtrack for a 26 episode Sci-fi TV animation series which will be broadcast later in 2016.

In recent years she has been involved in a groundbreaking collaboration with renowned harp virtuoso, Cormac De Barra. who will join Moya for her Northern Ireland concerts. Their two albums, Voices & Harps and Affinity
have been widely acclaimed. Moya’s band will also include her
daughter, guitarist, Aisling Jarvis (herself an emerging solo singer-singwriter, and Derry-born keyboard player Feargal Murray.

For further info on Moya Brennan, her music and and additional ticket booking details of all her shows visit

Toals Bookmakers Ulster National 2016 at Downpatrick Racecourse

Last year Downpatrick Racecourse celebrated 330 years of racing in Northern Ireland.

In conjunction with Down Royal Racecourse they rounded off their celebrations in December with the Byerley Turk Ball which raised over €25,000 for the Irish Injured Jockeys Fund, a charity which raises money for jockeys who have been injured while racing. The Byerley Turk is a famous horse that was one of three stallion’s who are the forefathers of almost all of today’s Thoroughbred race horses. He won a race at Downpatrick on Thursday 16th March 1690 while on his way to fight in the Battle of the Boyne. The Ball was a great success and a wonderful night was had by all.

Following on from a hugely successful year the racecourse is hoping to emulate their success for the upcoming 2016 season. On Sunday the 20th of March 2016 Downpatrick Racecourse will hold the Toals Bookmakers Ulster National.

This race meeting is one of the highlights of the racing calendar and this year Downpatrick are holding an exciting ‘Lady with Yellow’ competition where the most glamorous lady on the day wearing a splash of yellow in their outfit will win a Spatisserie Experience at the luxurious Slieve Donard Resort and Spa in Newcastle, Co Down. The yellow theme is to support Marie Curie’s Great Daffodil Appeal which takes place in March.

The racecourse offers Hospitality and Punter’s Packages which can be booked online at They are also taking bookings from Clubs, Charities or Societies who are looking to raise some much needed funds for their club through a ‘Day at the Races’ Fundraising package. Contact Ashley on 0044 28 4461 2054 or for more details.

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Flax Gallery, Museum at the Mill, Newtownabbey

“Ways of Seeing: A Sense of Place”

Friday 4th March to Saturday 26th March 2016

This exciting new exhibition features paintings of notable buildings and local well known scenes in the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council areas. The exhibition is the result of a community engagement initiative by Mid-Antrim Museums Service to encourage community awareness of the importance of built heritage and will take place at The Flax Gallery , Museum at The Mill,  Newtownabbey from Fri day 4 – Saturday 26 March 2016.

The Chair of the Mid-Antrim Museums Service Partnership, Councillor Declan O’Loan commented: “The Ways of Seeing project has allowed groups to learn about local buildings by looking at artworks held in public ownership by our two partner councils. Groups have also enjoyed talks, tours and site visits, demonstrating that the way we see these sites and landmarks can encourage a sense of place in a community and individual locality.”

Visitors to the museum can enjoy 22 pieces which have been taken from the local museum collections, including work by Irish artists Gerard Dillon and Norman Wilkinson.

The exhibition includes a free digital workshop for children delivered by Mid-Antrim Museums Service in partnership with CultureTECH using Minecraft to encourage exploration of the built heritage and the wider historic environment of the area. The workshop will be held in the Museum at The Mill on 12th March from 1.00pm until 3.00pm.  Places are limited and must be booked in advance.  To book a place on the workshop or for more information, please contact the Museum at the Mill,  Email: or  Tel. 028 9034 0129.

The exhibition runs from Friday  4 March until Saturday 26 Mar 2016 and is open  Mon-Wed 10am-5pm, Thurs 10am – 9pm, Fri 10am – 4pm and Sat: 11am-4pm. Admission free.

Take Your Seats for the Big Bang Theatre at W5!

Take your seats and cover your ears because this show gets loud! Prepare yourself for exciting, experimental and somewhat explosive family theatre.

Our time travelling explorers have crash landed in a strange laboratory. Here they must find a way of producing enough energy, and the biggest bang they possibly can, to jump-start their malfunctioning time machine. Searching the lab for chemicals, gases and equipment, our explorers must attempt to create a series of energy releasing flashes, bangs and explosions!

Bubbles are set alight, fireballs are shot through the air, balloons explode and rockets whoosh into the audience!! See a series of wild experiments, culminating in one final BIG bang!

This spring, danger, humour, excitement and some very cool science combine to make a really entertaining experience for all the family.

And best of all, it’s FREE with admission to W5.

Show Dates:
Saturdays & Sundays from 5 – 13 March 2016
Daily from 17 March – 3 April 2016
Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 April 2016

Show Times:
10.30am, 11.45am, 1.30pm, 2.45pm and 4.00pm
Please note, on Sundays, the Big Bang Theatre will run at: 12.30pm, 1.45pm, 3.30pm and 4.45pm

Full info:


Tourism NI has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland next week (February 29 – March 6).

  • Discover Fermanagh Open Weekend, various locations, Co. Fermanagh, March 4-6. Supported by Waterways Ireland, Discover Fermanagh Open Weekend is the perfect opportunity for you to visit and experience some of Fermanagh’s top visitor attractions, free of charge. Visit a selection of stately homes, museums, ancient sites, cruise Lough Erne or explore the subterranean depths of the Marble Arch Caves, all for free!
  • Belfast Children’s Festival 2016, various locations, Belfast, March 4-9. Belfast Children’s Festival is an annual international festival for children aged 0-14 and their accompanying adult organised by leading arts company Young At Art. Events take place around Belfast both in and out of school time for schools, groups and families to attend. Events include shows, art workshops, literary activities and much more.
  • Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea, Larchfield Estate, Lisburn, Co. Antrim, March 6. Treat the special lady in your life to Afternoon Tea at Larchfield Estate. Relax in the atmospheric Larchfield Barn as you enjoy a wonderful spread from the fantastic French Village, with a beautiful tiered selection of savoury and sweet treats, accompanied by a glass of something sparkling and a selection of Suki teas or Bailies coffees. Afternoon tea will be complimented by the sound of Sepon String Quartet, and when you’re finished dining, guests are welcome to take a stroll in Larchfield’s stunning Walled Gardens.
  • The Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra, Riverside Theatre, Ulster University, Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, March 4. The Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra was formed in 1993 after a series of summer courses held in the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast. They have performed all over Northern Ireland as well as Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Belgium. The Riverside Theatre welcomes this talented ensemble back under their distinguished conductor, Ken Jordan. Show begins at 8pm.
  • A Reading by Award-Winning Playwright Daragh Carville, Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich Memorial Library, Armagh, Co. Armagh, March 3. The City Chapter invites you to a reading by the award winning playwright Daragh Carville. Daragh Carville, born in Armagh, is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. His plays, which include Language Roulette, Observatory and This Other City have been widely produced in Britain, Ireland and further afield. Admission is free. Begins at 7.30pm.
  • Shortcross Gin Evening, Galgorm Resort & Spa, Ballymena, Co. Antrim, March 1. Celebrate the very best of Northern Irish Gin with a sensory voyage through the history and heritage of Shortcross with head distiller David Boyd-Armstrong. Signature serves, nibbles and an exclusive tasting of Rademon Estate Distillery’s exciting new launch will be provided. Begins at 7pm.
  • Meet the Makers – A Craft Demonstrations Day, The Space Gallery, Ards Crafts, Newtownards, Co. Down, March 5. As part of Creativity Month, Ards Crafts host a ‘making it’ day in the Space Gallery. Enjoy free craft demonstrations by local wood turners, textile artists and potters, and browse the craft centre for that unique perfect gift. 12-3pm.
  • City of Derry Drama Festival, Waterside Theatre, Derry, Co. Londonderry, March 4-12. The City of Derry Drama Festival is an amateur drama festival staged annually each spring in the heart of Derry~Londonderry. The festival is one week long showcasing some of the best amateur productions attracting top, award-winning groups from all over Ireland.
  • Blackie O’Connell, Cyril O’Donoghue and Davy Spillane, Alley Theatre, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, March 4. An evening of Irish Traditional music and song on Uilleann Pipes, Low Whistle and Bouzouki, with particular focus on the legacy that has been handed down by the great Traveller musicians of the past 100 years. Show begins at 8pm.
  • Sing Rock Live, Belvoir Players Studio Theatre, Belvoir, Belfast, March 4-5. The Big Belfast Choir, Bel Canto Chamber Choir and The Belfast Violin Kids bring you a fantastic evening of music and singing from some of the most talented men, women, boys and girls in Belfast. Show begins at 7.30pm.

Please note some of the events require pre-booking. For more details on these and other events click on, visit your local tourist information centre or log onto

Jacqueline from shares her pick of whats on this weekend across NI


Gimme gimme gimme a fabulous night out! Oh thank you for the music! After a string of sell out shows, one of the UK’s leading ABBA tribute bands, The Bjorn Identity, makes its first stop at Portico in Portaferry this Saturday 27th February.


For help with planning your wedding, visit the Armagh City Hotel Wedding Show this Sunday 28th February. There will be over 50 exhibitors, samples and discounts and a bridal fashion show. Special show offer and competitions on the day. Entry is free.


Joe McCadden Management presents The Fureys this Saturday 27th February at the Ardhowen Theatre. Renowned for their hit songs ‘I Will Love You’, ‘When You Were Sweet Sixteen’, ‘The Green Fields Of France and many more, The Fureys have been entertaining audiences worldwide for many years. Along with all their hits, they will also be including songs from their recent album ‘The Times They Are A Changing’.


The Glenavon Hotel Cookstown are delighted to be hosting their annual Bridal Fayre this Sunday 28th February 2016. A perfect opportunity to view the hotel. There will be a number of exhibitors onsite to help with all you wedding needs and this year the highlight off the fayre will be a fabulous Bridal Fashion Show.


ANNIE, the world’s favourite family musical, comes to the Millennium Forum for one week only from Tuesday 23rd until Saturday 27th February. Starring Birds of a Feather star Lesley Joseph as the tyrannical Miss Hannigan, this much loved show returns to the city to delight its legions of local fans.


Join Dara, artisan bread making expert of Ursa Minor Bakehouse, and learn how to make true artisan pizza from scratch at Dalriada House Ballycastle this Sunday 28th February. If you aspire to make great pizza at home, then this workshop is for you. You will learn how to mix the dough, shape the base, learn about sauces, toppings, cheese and take home the skills needed to bake a delicious pizza at home!


Titanic Belfast’s Ocean Exploration Centre is delighted to join forces with RSPB Northern Ireland, Ulster Wildlife & Queens University to bring two weekends of family-friendly activities to NI Science Festival 2016! Find out what happens when biology meets technology with the interactive Queen’s University tracking station and join the Ocean Exploration Centre’s crew in the experiments and demonstrations which explain some of the fascinating science behind how our oceans operate. Admission is free and booking is not required.

Add your events free at Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at for news, competitions and what’s on near you.

Ajendance qualify for the UDO World Street Dance Championships in August 2016.

Annika Graham and Clare Montgomery own and run Ajendance Dance Company which is situated in East Belfast and this weekend did something spectacular which exceeded all expectations.

Having entered a number of Crews from the Dance Academy, 30 children qualified for the UDO (United Dance Organisation) World Street Dance Championships which will be held in August 2016.

Ajendance has a dance studio based on the Newtownards Road and the children come from far and wide to join in the family fun. The youngest member of our Team competing in the Worlds will be 5 years old and the oldest member being 20 years in our adult crew, both members took first place at the UDO competition on Sunday at the Devenish Complex.

Ajendance children are from all across the province – Newtownards, East Belfast, West Belfast, Glengormley, Larne, Portadown, Banbridge and many more areas .  Rising to the challenge the Dance Company are now pulling together four teams to compete in the World championships in Glasgow.  Each city has a qualifiers competition and only the “Best of the Best” place top 3 to secure their spot at Worlds. Ajendance Crews took two 1st and two 2nd place positions in their teams and a 1st and 3rd place in their solos. These fantastic results have put them through to the 4 day event in Glasgow in August 2016.

This is where each member of our dance family will step up to the plate and we will be non-stop fundraising and working harder than ever over the next few months to ensure everyone can afford to get their children to the World’s.  This is a massive dream for all of our kids and young adults and we want to make every effort to make their dreams come true and help them be the best they can be.

Please get behind us as a dance family and watch this space as these children go above and beyond and take Glasgow by storm!


Hastings Hotels invests almost £40k in its Newcastle bar/restaurant

The Percy French bar and restaurant in Newcastle, a popular destination for holidaymakers and golfers, has just undergone a programme of refurbishments costing thousands aimed at ‘enhancing the visitor experience’ and to ‘make the most of the stunning location’.

Visitors to one of Northern Ireland’s premier hotels, the 4-star Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, Newcastle, will be familiar with the Percy French, explained James Toal, Manager of the Percy French.

“The award-winning Percy French just got better following an investment of almost £40k.  The improvements include new larger windows which help to make the most of our stunning location here in Newcastle.    Visitors can now enjoy the view made famous by Percy French in his haunting song, ‘The Mountains of Mourne’ which he noted, ‘sweep down to the sea’ as they relax in front of a roaring fire.”

The Mountains of Mourne have just been voted ‘the nation’s best view’ following a major survey beating stunning locations from across the UK, including Snowdonia in Wales and the Lake District in Cumbria.

“Our patrons are already used to fantastic food and a warm welcome and following the refurb we are delighted to say that the captivating atmosphere and ambience we are known for has been enhanced with better views and a brighter space”, said James.

James continued:  “Additionally, Percy French memorabilia and books are being catalogued and will be displayed prominently throughout the bar/restaurant so that our customers can learn more about one of Ireland’s foremost songwriters and entertainers. An interactive museum will follow later in the year which will tell the Percy French story in full including why we named the bar/restaurant after such a talented and famous visitor to the area.

“I would like to pay tribute to the fabulous Percy French team who do a marvellous job ensuring we offer our customers the very best in seasonal menus and an exceptional dining experience every time.  And on your next visit be sure and try our refreshing new beer, Percy’s Porter, which is exclusive to the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa and the Percy French.” James added.

Visit Fermanagh’s most popular visitor attractions for FREE!

Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism is encouraging locals and visitors to Fermanagh to rediscover some of the county’s most stunning visitor attractions for free as the Discover Fermanagh Open Weekend gets ready to kick off over 4 to 6 March 2016.

The Discover Fermanagh Open Weekend, supported by Waterways Ireland and Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, is the perfect opportunity to visit and experience your local visitor attractions, FREE of charge.

To help people make the most of the Open Weekend, a leaflet providing details of participating attractions, will be distributed to every household across Fermanagh this week.

Tanya Cathcart, Marketing Manager at Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism, explains; “The Discover Fermanagh Open Weekend is the perfect excuse for people who live in the area to reacquaint themselves with some of the county’s most famous attractions and for newcomers to get out and see just what makes this such a wonderful place to visit.”

Over the weekend people will have the opportunity to visit a selection of stately homes, museums, ancient sites, cruise Lough Erne, enjoy a guided pottery tour or explore the subterranean depths of the showcaves at the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, all for FREE.

To help get you started, we have highlighted some of events taking place over the Discover Fermanagh Open Weekend – there is something for everyone;

Visit Aughakillymaude Mummers Centre in Derrylin. The Mummers Centre boasts a detailed life sized mumming sculpture exhibition with an informative photographic mumming display and will be open to the public for FREE on Saturday 5 March, 10.00am-3.00pm.

Explore Drumskinny Stone Circle for FREE with an experienced guide from Erne Heritage Tours on 5 & 6 March, 1.00pm – 4.00pm, to explain the significance of this 2,500 year old astronomical calendar and the history of the site.

The kids will love FREE Super Saturday at Share Discovery Village on Saturday 5 March. Enjoy climbing, archery and a bouncy castle but remember booking is essential – T: (028) 677 22122.

Join Orchard Acre Farm for a FREE lunch time cookery demo, Irish breads of the Griddle and Pan, on Friday 4 March 12noon–2.00pm. See how traditional breads of Ulster are made first hand. This event is bookable online at

A visit to the Inniskillings Museum at Enniskillen Castle is a journey through more than 300 years of history as encountered by the town’s two distinguished regiments. The Museum is open to the public for FREE on 4 & 5 March, 2.00pm-5.00pm.

All three Fermanagh National Trust properties, Florence Court, Crom and Castle Coole, will open for FREE over the weekend, 5 & 6 March.  Take this opportunity to take a house tour or enjoy a leisurely stroll around the grounds with family.

Enjoy a FREE guided Walking Tour of Enniskillen on Saturday 5 March at 3.00pm. The guide will introduce you to the history of Enniskillen as well as a new way to “Walk Enniskillen”. Explore and discover the island town of Enniskillen, it’s fascinating past and architectural beauties.

Some of our neighbouring attractions are also participating this year – Travel back a few thousand years to ancient Ireland through a visit to the Bronze Age site at An Creagán in Omagh, open for FREE on 4 & 5 March, 11.00am-5.00pm.

Feeling more energetic? Blessingbourne Estate is opening for FREE on Sunday 6 March, 1.00pm-5.00pm. Bring your bikes and discover over 13km of professional mountain bike trails, fun for all the family.

For further information visit Also on Facebook & Twitter #DFOW16

Austen’s Women Brought to Life!

Thirteen of Jane Austen’s heroines come to life in Austen’s Women Wednesday 2 March at The Old Courthouse Antrim and Friday 4 March at Theatre at The Mill Newtownabbey.

In a solo performance of extraordinary virtuosity – using only Austen’s words – actor Rebecca Vaughan answers this question by boldly revisiting the most rewarding moments from all six major novels – including Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Emma – plus those in lesser known works such as Austen’s Juvenilia and the unfinished Sanditon.

Jane Austen created some of literature’s most celebrated characters, defining her era, sex and class.  Two hundred years on, her works continue to speak for the yearning heart as much as they did when they were written – so just how much has really changed for women since?

In scenes of high comedy and profound pathos, Vaughan deconstructs the souls of Emma Woodhouse, Lizzy Bennet, Mrs Norris, Miss Bates and nine other beautifully observed women.  Divorced from their historical context (and in the absence of their men), these women present a glorious distillation of 19th century feminism and speak volumes about love, friendship, and notorious improprieties.

Austen’s Women was a sell-out success at Edinburgh 2009 & 2013, as well as Adelaide 2010.  It is adapted and performed by Rebecca Vaughan whose

I, Elizabeth and Female Gothic were five-star successes in Edinburgh 2010 and 2012 respectively.  It is directed by Guy Masterson, whose credits include Scaramouche Jones and the Olivier Award-winning Morecambe.

This brilliant, illuminating and – above all – entertaining evocation of Jane Austen’s works is a treat for Austen lovers and the perfect primer for the uninitiated.

★★★★★ ‘Truly extraordinary… one of the most exciting performers on the British Stage’ British Theatre Guide

Tickets available from £12 at Box Office 028 9034 0202 or 028 9446 3113 or online