Council-owned company takes the reins at Belfast Waterfront

Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Ltd is to take over the daily running of Belfast Waterfront from Friday 1 April.

With just over a month to go until opening, Belfast Waterfront is to be run by a council-owned company from Friday 1 April. Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Ltd will oversee the daily running of the newly expanded venue, which is aiming to generate £100 million for Belfast by attracting 50,000 conference delegate days each year by 2020. Marking the handover outside the new look venue are Ellvena Graham, Chair of the Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Ltd Board, and Councillor Brian Kennedy, Chair of Belfast City Council’s Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Ltd Shareholders Committee.

The new arm’s length company will be responsible for the operation and commercial growth of the venue, along with the Ulster Hall, on behalf of Belfast City Council, which will continue to own both buildings.

The handover comes as the newly expanded venue prepares to open for business in just over a month’s time, following a £29.5 million investment from the council, Tourism Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund, through the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.

The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Arder Carson, will officially open the new facilities on Friday 29 April, with the first business event – the NI Chamber Champions Dinner 2016 – taking place on Wednesday 4 May, ahead of the first major conference – the annual International Surgical Congress of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI) – on 11-13 May.

“This is good news for both Belfast Waterfront and ratepayers, as it puts the venue in the best position possible to achieve our ambition to transform Belfast into a major destination for international business tourism,” explained Councillor Brian Kennedy, Chair of the Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Ltd Shareholders Committee.

“Commercial flexibility is essential in competing with other cities to attract the biggest and best events to Belfast, and ensuring that we fully maximise the potential of this investment to be a major stepping stone in the city’s development.”

Ellvena Graham, Chair of the new Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Ltd Board, said staff were looking forward to welcoming the first delegates to the new look facilities, which have doubled in size to host up to 5,000 visitors at a time.

“This is the start of an exciting new chapter in Belfast Waterfront’s history, and both the board and employees of Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Ltd are hugely excited about the journey ahead,” she said.

“With over 20,000 people expected through our doors in the first six months of opening, and more than 30 national and international events already on our books for the first three years, we are confident of creating a fantastic experience for our customers which really sells Belfast to the rest of the world and helps reaffirm the Waterfront as a key driver in the city’s economic growth.”

Newtownards Gears up for Circuit of Ireland!

Circuit of Ireland fever will hit Newtownards once again on Friday April 8 when thousands of spectators are expected to line the streets to watch 140 rally cars sweep through the town for the Ards TT leg of the 85th Circuit of Ireland Rally.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down Alderman Alan Graham test drives one of Eddie Irvine’s simulators ahead of the Ards TT Leg of The Circuit of Ireland which is taking place on April 8th. To coincide with the leg, Ards and North Down Borough Council are holding a free event in Conway Square which will include simulators, children’s crafts and live music provided by Ards Guitar Festival. Also included in the photo are Sarah McCormick and Hannah Thompson from Ards and North Down Borough Council.

The Ards leg which was a key element of last year’s rally, attracted a record 25,000 people onto the streets of Newtownards, and Circuit organisers alongside hosts, Ards and North Down Borough Council, very much hope to repeat its success once again this year.

Speaking about the event The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Alan Graham said:

“We are delighted to host a leg of the 2016 Circuit of Ireland and be part of this prestigious and exciting motorsport event.  We’re very much looking forward to seeing some of Europe’s top drivers compete in the 3-day spectacle of racing which will showcase Northern Ireland to a huge audience.”

The Ards route will cover 2.3 kilometres and the 2 and a quarter laps will start at the Old Cross/High Street Junction then the route will follow Mill Street, Regent Street, Francis Street, Castle Place, High Street and finish at Conway Square. The race starts at 7.30pm but road closures will be in place on the route only from 5.30pm to 11.30pm. Special crossing points will open for 3 minutes every 15 minutes to facilitate spectator movement.

To mark the occasion, Conway Square, will play host to live music and children’s activities which should provide a great atmosphere for spectators and their families. Enjoy the Eddie Irvine experience with fun simulators, come and make your own car with specially-themed children’s crafts and enjoy the Ards Guitar Festival with live music provided by Los Dramaticos and Emerald Armada. This event runs from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.Tap to unmute

Last year over 78,000 people came to view the stunning stages across counties Antrim and Down and organisers anticipate the three-day festival will this year attract over 80,000 visitors and spectators from countries worldwide. The event will be broadcast on Discovery, Eurosport and global partners, BT Sport, Channel 4 and Irish networks to over 40 million viewers across the world.
Rally fans will have several opportunities to see the action from Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th April.  The Qualifying Stage of the rally will be based at Antrim Castle Gardens on Thursday 7th April, followed by a ceremonial start outside the Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum that evening.

Friday 8th April features rural stages close to Larne and Ballymena and includes a refuel halt at the famous Ballymena Showgrounds. Friday’s route includes stages encompassing Torr Head and Glendun as well as a passage control at the Dark Hedges and a regroup at Bushmills Distillery, with the special Ards TT Stage taking place on the Friday night.

Saturday will include stages close to Banbridge, Ballynahinch and Dromore with town centre regroups in Downpatrick and Banbridge. The rally will finish back in Belfast on the Saturday evening April 9th and will culminate in a special closing ceremony outside Queen’s University when the 2016 winners will be presented with the famous Circuit of Ireland trophy.

For further information on the 2016 Circuit of Ireland visit or


Northern Ireland is the place to be this Easter for some egg-citing family fun and Tourism Northern Ireland is encouraging people of all ages to get out and about to enjoy the packed programme of events taking place over the holiday.

Tourism NI’s Communication and Destination PR Officer, Rachel Quigg, has praised the array of activities happening throughout Northern Ireland.

“With schools off for the holidays and the days starting to get longer, Easter is a great time for families and this year there is plenty going on in all parts of Northern Ireland to make sure the holiday is fun, educational and action-packed.

“Whatever your age and wherever you live, there will be something for everybody to do this Easter,” Rachel concluded.

To help you to plan your Easter break in Northern Ireland, Tourism NI has highlighted some of the many events taking place.


Easter Afternoon Tea, Titanic Belfast, March 27. Enjoy a wonderful Easter Afternoon Tea in the opulent surroundings of the Titanic Suite for a wonderful celebration by the Grand Staircase.  Live jazz music will add atmosphere to your afternoon as you dine on a delicious selection of finger sandwiches, delicious cakes, sweets and freshly baked scones with clotted cream.

Spring into Easter Festival, City Hall, March 26-29. Enjoy the Easter break by going along to Belfast City Council’s annual Easter Festival which will include a range of fun entertainment such as an unforgettable ‘Nearly True’ walking tour through Belfast City Hall, a Punch and Judy show, themed workshop, farmyard animals, face painters, balloon modellers and much more.

Some Guy Called Hamburger, Belvoir Players, Belvoir Players Studio Theatre, March 28-30.  Theatre goers will enjoy this new play by David Bell which is set in an old folk’s home run by the formidable Mildred Fitch. This comedy will provide fun for the whole family with an entertaining group of characters and a guaranteed evening of fun and laughter.

Co Antrim

Watertop Farm’s Monster Easter Egg Roll, Watertop Farm, Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, March 27-28. Watertop is a family run farm in the Glens of Antrim, with its annual Monster Easter Egg Roll taking place at 2:30pm on Easter Sunday and Monday. There is lots of fun to be had and prizes to be won, as well as a variety of activities taking place around the farm continuing into Easter week.

Naturally North Coast and Glens Easter Market, Marine Hotel, Ballycastle, March 28. Come along to this exciting Easter market where you can browse great quality produce and look for a special Easter egg. Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market has been established for a number of years and gets bigger and better with each event.

Easter Monday Family Fun Day, Ballymoney, March 28. Enjoy a cracking day out at Drumaheglis Marina which will host a range of fun entertainment for all the family including a Punch and Judy show, an Easter Egg hunt, a live DJ and kids characters.

Co Armagh

Old MacDonald’s Farm, Navan Centre and Fort, Armagh, Co. Armagh, March 26-29. Join in with a wacky interpretation of the ever-popular nursery rhyme. Start with some face-painting or mask making so you can be part of the Farm, there’s a real choice of animals to be. Join the gang on an adventure to get to Grandpa’s Farm. Pre-booking for this interactive family sing-along is essential.

Easter Crafts and Games Club, Palace Stables, Palace Demesne, Armagh, March 31-April 1.

Children can enjoy a fantastic Easter at the Easter Craft Club where they can get their hands dirty making traditional Easter crafts, take part in egg rolling, games and of course an Easter egg hunt.

The Good Life Festival at Oxford Island, Oxford Island, Co. Armagh, March 25-26. The Good Life Festival takes place in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the shores of Lough Neagh. It is a fun-filled and creative day out for all the family with ideas and inspiration for getting the best out of life. From up-cycling and restyling to knitting and quilting there will be a wonderful range of handmade products to buy and new creative skills to try out, with a range of comedy, theatre, dance and children’s activities on offer.

Co Down

Castle Ward Easter Fair, Castle Ward, Downpatrick, Co. Down, March 27-28. Enjoy a family fun packed Easter weekend at the stunning Castle Ward. Solve the clues in the Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunt to win a delicious prize, join in the mad scramble as the annual mega hunt takes place on the front lawn, visit Phil’s Farm, take part in the chicken run race and enjoy a range of local craft and food stalls.

Easter Monday Pirate Invasion, Bangor, March 28. Enjoy a pirate invasion at Bangor Seafront this Easter Monday with a fun filled day featuring the annual Easter Parade, motorbike trial action and lots of pirate themed family fun throughout the day.

Easter Celebrations, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, March 27-29. If you’re looking for a place where the whole family can work off those chocolate Easter eggs, then the range of traditional Easter activities is just the ticket at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum. Why not bring your own decorated egg and take part in the great egg-rolling experience down Bleach Green Hill and don’t forget to wear your Easter Bonnet to enter the Easter Bonnet Competition and maybe win a prize.
Co Fermanagh

Easter Activities & Bunny Cruise, Share Discovery Village, Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh, March 27. Come along to Share for a fun filled family day out this Easter, where you can enjoy a range of activities including a Bunny Cruise, face painting, balloon modelling, crafts, games, challenges and much more.

Picnic in the Park, Forthill Park, Enniskillen, March 28. Come along and experience some fantastic fun for the whole family including entertainment from singer Cathy McGovern, Jo Jingles, a free Easter egg trail and face painting, balloon modelling, games and lots of animals such as Easter chicks and rare breed hens.

Easter Monday Family Fun Day, Florence Court, Enniskillen, March 28. Bring your friends and family along to Florence Court for a day of Easter fun for all the family. Keep an eye out for your very own Cadbury chocolate treasure on an Easter egg hunt whilst enjoying live music and other entertainment.

Co Derry~Londonderry

Eggciting Easter Entertainment, Roe Valley Arts & Cultural Centre, Limavady, Co. Londonderry, March 26. A great way to spend a couple of enjoyable hours with the kids this Easter, Babcock & Bobbins will entertain and amuse all the family with their hilarious antics. The show features Giraffe Unicycles, Stilt Walking, Rola Bola and Fire Breathing.

Easter Egg Hunts at Downhill Demesne & Hezlett House, Castlerock, March 27-29. Come and join a fun Easter extravaganza which will include an Easter egg hunt around the beautiful surroundings of Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne.

Easter Crafts Drop In, Green Lane Museum, Limavady, March 28. Families are in for a treat as they can join experienced craft tutor Thelma Whitehead for an afternoon full of fun and creativity, giving children aged 6-plus a chance to discover new skills whilst creating exciting Easter crafts.

Co Tyrone

Easter Celebrations at Ulster American Folk Park, Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, March 26-28. Stallholders, shopkeepers, travelling journeymen and entertainers are set to keep you amused this Easter as you stroll down Ulster Street witnessing the sights, smells and sounds of a busy market day. Try your hand at traditional crafts, meet the Easter chicks and enjoy story-telling sessions as you travel back in time to April 1916.

High School Musical, Alley Theatre, Strabane, March 31 – April 2. Join the very talented Encore Performing Arts Academy students as they bring the cult classic and Disney Channels smash hit movie-musical to life on stage.  Dance along to an unforgettable cast who will sing and perform their hearts out.

For further information on Easter in Northern Ireland click on

The Trials of Galileo at McNeill Theatre, Larne

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council will play host to The Trials of Galileo by the Icarus Theatre Collective on Wednesday 13 April 2016 at the McNeill Theatre, Larne.

The Trials of Galileo focuses on the events surrounding Galileo’s trial for heresy in 1633.

‘The Universe is a divine miracle Galileo, not a clockwork toy! Proof denies faith, and without faith we are nothing.’ In this reprimand by Pope Urban is Galileo’s tragedy, a mistaken belief that if he supplied the church with proof, he would enlighten the world while escaping persecution. He understood the science better than any man alive, but never grasped the politics. Until it was too late.

This witty, chilling, and passionate one-man rollercoaster stars Tim Hardy (professor at RADA, and star of The Royal Shakespeare Company, The West End, TV and film) and is written by Emmy Award-winner Nic Young.

The performance starts at 7.30pm .Tickets are £12 adult/ £10 concession and are available to purchase from Larne Visitor Information Centre or by telephoning 028 2826 2450. The performance will last approximately 70 minutes plus a 15 minute interval. It is recommended for 11 years + but open to all.

This is just one of a large number of events taking place in Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. Keep up to date with what is happening in Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne at




The SSE Arena, Belfast: Thursday 12 January to Sunday 15 January 2017

Tickets for Marvel Universe LIVE! – On general sale THURSDAY 14 APRIL

The SSE Arena, Belfast Box Office: Tel. 02890 739074
Book On Line:

Ticketmaster: In person: From 100 Ticketmaster Outlets Nationwide
By Telephone (24 Hour):   0844 277 44 55 (ROL: 0818 719300)
Book On Line:

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND: Marvel families unite! For the first time ever, iconic Marvel Super Heroes and villains will be brought to life in a spectacular live action family arena show, when Marvel Universe LIVE! Super Heroes Assemble touches down in BELFAST.

This show is taking the live entertainment experience to a whole new level, with an epic show unlike anything seen before. Bringing together the largest assembly of Marvel characters in a live production, audiences will be able to watch some of their favourite Marvel Super Heroes step out of the silver screen and onto the stage – bringing the action to life right before their eyes.

Everyone will be able to cheer for  their favourite Marvel Super Heroes, including Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and more, as they battle Loki and Marvel’s most sinister villains in a live, action-packed arena performance for the whole family. It’s being hailed as the most technically advanced live show ever, with cutting-edge special effects, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts, motorcycles and more.

From the creative team that brings you such arena spectaculars as Disney On Ice, Feld Entertainment Inc, the world’s leading producer of touring live entertainment is excited to announce the UK tour of Marvel Universe LIVE! This arena stunt spectacular will be swinging into seven major UK cities – Nottingham, London, Birmingham, Glasgow, Sheffield, Manchester and Belfast – for an electrifying run of over 40 shows that have already entertained almost 2 million families in over 65 US cities to date in its first tour.

“We are delighted to bring Marvel Universe LIVE! to the UK, giving families an opportunity to enjoy this spectacular live show for the very first time. The audience will feel like they’ve been transported into a jaw-dropping Marvel blockbuster film, with an engrossing storyline and non-stop stunts”, said Steven Armstrong, VP of Europe North at Feld Entertainment, Inc.

Featuring over 50 cast members and taking over two years to research and develop, Marvel Universe LIVE! utilises some of the latest innovations in arena set design and aerial pyrotechnics, with stunts developed by the team from Hollywood blockbuster, Thor, and the recent The Amazing Spider-Man films. The set includes innovative lighting design, transformative 3D projection, 21 projectors, the largest flying system ever used for a live arena tour and the debut of a new Spotlight Tracking System.

Marvel Universe LIVE! begins its quest across the UK on Thursday 8th September 2016 at Motorpoint Arena Nottingham, before visiting The 02 in London; Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham; the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow; Sheffield Arena; Manchester Arena and The SSE Arena, Belfast.

“To see all the elements of this spectacular live show come together has been truly incredible,” said Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada. “The technology utilised in the show is not only going to blow your mind, it is going to take you to a whole new Marvel world like nothing British families have ever seen before.”

Join Marvel families for this monumental performance. The fate of the universe depends on it!

Tickets go on sale to the general public on THURSDAY 14 APRIL.

Eager fans can sign up to receive advanced priority bookings, discount offers and advanced show information from:

The website features the complete list of UK tour dates and fans can check the latest news and announcements via social media:

Darkness into Light Charity Walk/ Run at V36

The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Thomas Hogg officially launched the Darkness into Light charity walk which will take place on Saturday 7 May 2016 from V36 at The Valley.

Darkness into Light was started in 2009 by Pieta House Suicide Awareness Centre in Dublin, with a few hundred people supporting the event in its first year. There are now over 110,000 supporting Darkness into Light events across 100 locations and 4 continents which are essential for raising funds and awareness of the tragedy of suicide.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council are delighted to assist local mother Colette Snoddy, who made contact with Pieta House in an effort to do something positive in memory of her son Matthew who was tragically taken by suicide in May 2015.

The new V36 event space and park is the perfect location to hold a dawn walk and run which aims to bring the community out in support of this worthy cause and help prevent more loss of life and distress to so many families. This walk will be fund raising both for Pieta House and local suicide prevention support service Light House.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Thomas Hogg commented “Statistics have shown Northern Ireland has the UK’s highest record of suicide for the second year running, and I am delighted to be backing this event. I would encourage you all to show your support and help raise awareness of Suicide prevention by registering for this 5km walk/run.”

Darkness into Light will take place on Saturday 7 May at V36 starting @ 4.15am when it is still dark with participants walking into the light as dawn arrives. This event is in conjunction with Pieta House and Light House.

Please show your support for this event and register today

A Day Out in Comber to Become Curiouser and Curiouser

To celebrate the completion of the Public Realm scheme, visitors are encouraged to jump down the rabbit hole to Curiously Comber to see the town become transformed into a ‘Wonderland’ on Thursday 24 March with some very curious goings on.

Celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, Alice in Wonderland is a story of a curious girl who meets fun characters while exploring a magical world and Comber is filled with many undiscovered hidden gems.

This free family event, Curiously Comber will include many fun activities but as Alice says:

“Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have tea first?”

Visitors can start their adventure at the Mad Hatters Tea Party in St Mary’s in the Square Church Hall were visitors may also find some curious creatures!

There will be special appearances throughout the day from Alice, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

A unique acrobatic show ‘Curious World’, will take place around Comber Square at 1pm and 3pm with Alice and the Mad Hatter

Comber Farmers’ Market will run for the day from 9am with the very finest local producers bringing their distinctive seasonal wares.

There will be an array of fun filled themed events across the town.

Using the special Curiously Comber magical map, visitors will be able to discover workshops, displays, special offers, demonstrations, ‘Eat me’ Macaron stations and much more.

Local children have been involved in the event with the ‘Alice in Comberland’ story writing competition and their work will be displayed in venues across Comber.

The Curiously Comber map will be available as a pull out supplement on the day of the event in the Newtownards Chronicle, showing visitors all the best places to explore.

Further information on the event can be found at

Hooray for Holywood! Bringing the glam of Hollywood to County Down>

Holywood County Down is transforming into ‘Tinseltown’ for the day on Tuesday 29 March.

: You never know what stars you might come across in Holywood on Tuesday 29 March, celebrating ‘Hooray for Holywood’ from 11am – 4pm

To celebrate the completion of the Public Realm Scheme, visitors to the town will receive the red carpet treatment with lots of ‘movie madness’ for all the family– bringing all the glitz and glam of ‘la la land’ to Ards and North Down.

Star spotters will be able to draw their own star on the Holywood Walk of Fame, get snapped by paparazzi and pose with celebs in our Holywood Photo Studios.

There will also be themed art workshops, a special ‘Star Search’, music from the movies and an array of other fun activities.

Premises across the town will be joining in the celebrations, running special events and offers on the day.

Hooray for Holywood will offer all the family a very special and unique fun filled day out from 11am to 4pm.  Further information on the event can be found at


Easter Monday  The Belfast Giants, together with multi award winning Peninsula Care Services, will be hosting an eggcellent fundraising campaign for Belfast toddler Cavan O’Neill, at the Belfast Giants’ last home game at the SSE Arena against Nottingham Panthers.

Belfast Giant Brandon Benedict is pictured with Jonny Cook and Simon Brown from Peninsula Care Services and Emma and Cavan O'Neill to launch the 'Cavan's First Steps' fundraiser at The Belfast Giants Game on Easter Monday.

Jonny Cook, MD of Northern Ireland’s leading domiciliary care, nursing and recruitment agency is encouraging as many people as possible to attend the Giant’s game and show their generosity to help young Cavan O’Neill take one giant step towards taking his very own first steps. Jonny says;

“Two year old Cavan has a specific kind of cerebral palsy, which means he cannot walk.  Cavan’s family are presently fundraising through the campaign Cavan’s First Steps, to take Cavan to St Louis’ Children’s Hospital, where Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery will, in the words of the American surgeon, ‘allow him to walk unaided in all environments.’  Peninsula raised a lot of money at their annual Peninsula Care Awards last year and we will continue to support the charity throughout 2016.  Hopefully people will dig deep during the Giants’ game next Monday and text donations to help Cavan’s family raise as much money as possible, so that they will get closer to their target of £80,000, a sum that will not only cover the pioneering surgery, but the intensive post-operative physiotherapy and equipment needed.”

Belfast Giant Brandon Benedict, who met Cavan last week says;

“Cavan is full of energy and fun and thoroughly enjoyed it when I took him in my arms for a spin around the ice-rink. On behalf of all the Belfast Giants, we appeal for as many people as possible to come to our last home game of the season and give as much money as they can to help this beautiful, smart little boy walk. Hopefully this time next year I’ll be teaching Cavan to skate.  Now, wouldn’t that be amazing!”

Tickets for The Belfast Giants’ Game cost £16 for an adult and £9 for a child and family (2 adults, 2 children) cost £44.00 from the SSE Arena box office or by calling 02890 739074 or from Face Off is at 7pm.

Belfast Libraries Launch ‘Two Cities One Book’

The Two Cities One Book programme of events was officially launched in Belfast Central Library by DCAL Minister, Carál Ní Chuilín.

The ‘Two Cities One Book’ project sees Libraries NI and Dublin City Libraries work co-operatively, in association with Penguin Random House Ireland book publisher, with the aim of promoting reading.

During the month of April, people in Belfast and Dublin are encouraged to join in the One Book project by discussing and sharing the chosen novel ‘Fallen’ by author Lia Mills.

The novel is a remarkable love story exploring social issues which promise to provoke thought and discussion for all. Set in Dublin against the backdrop of the Easter Rising and the First World War, ‘Fallen’ is a magnificent portrait of a young woman, Katie Crilly, which intertwines history throughout to illustrate how she finds life and independence amid a backdrop of death, destruction and grief.

A programme of events is planned during the month of April which explores and supports the themes raised in the book and these will be held in many Belfast venues including Belfast Central, Falls Road, Finaghy and Ormeau Road libraries.

Irene Knox, Chief Executive of Libraries NI, explains:

“The ‘Two Cities, One Book’ initiative provides a great opportunity for people to connect through reading and we hope to encourage this further with a number of interesting and thought-provoking events.

“The full programme is now available in libraries across Belfast and on our website and these events present the opportunity for people to get involved by not only reading the book but enjoying workshops and presentations focusing on the subjects covered by the book as well as the art, drama, fashion, music and poetry from that era.”

Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister Carál Ní Chuilín offered her support for the initiative.

She said:

“Two Cities One Book is an excellent initiative that encourages people to engage with reading. It is particularly appropriate given the enormous significance of the year 1916 within the Decade of Centenaries to both major traditions on this island.

“I am very pleased that the network of libraries in Belfast is teaming up with their counterparts in Dublin City and County in order to help commemorate this important year. A range of stimulating events are planned and, with the novel ‘Fallen’ being available to borrow completely free of charge, it’s easy for anyone to get involved.

“I hope the initiative will encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to reflect on the complexity of events in 1916 and its impact on the history of the island north and south.”

This is the first time Belfast has teamed with Dublin for a one book project so whether you read in libraries, in a coffee shop or anywhere else, seize this unique opportunity to make a bit of history.

For the latest information on this exciting project check out the Libraries NI website, follow Libraries NI on Facebook and Twitter #2cities1book and keep an eye out in the local press.

Copies of the book are available to borrow for free in local libraries and an eBook version is available to download on the Libraries NI catalogue