Walled City Market and North West Angling Fair

Walled City Market

Join us for the new look Walled City Market in the Guildhall Square, Derry/Londonderry on Saturday 7th May from 9am – 4pm.

The first of a monthly market, the Guildhall Square will welcome the very best of artisan traders, offering visitors a friendly shopping experience with a wide selection of speciality foods ranging from fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, homemade jams and preserves, artisan breads, cakes, sweets and treats plus handmade crafted products. There will also be a kidz farm for little ones to enjoy.

Over 21 stalls will be taking part including Pykes and Pommes, Coffee n Crepes, Molloys Fish Market, Amara Burt Dexter, Granny Knitter plus many more.

For more information and a list of traders visit www.derrystrabane.com/walledcitymarket

Also check out the 71st anniversary of the surrender of the U-Boats with events happening in the Guildhall and Tower Museum on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th May. Lots of activities including a full size replica spitfire plane in Guildhall Square. For more information visit http://goo.gl/D98YWA

North West Angling Fair

Join us at Melvin Sports Complex, Strabane on Sat 28th and Sunday 29th for the first ever North West Angling Fair. Over two days we will welcome a host of world class Fly Dressers, Casters and Angling Celebrities including:

Andrew Toft
Gordon Armstrong
Peter O’Reilly
Scott Mackenzie
Steve Munn
Pauline McClenaghan

Visitors to the event will have the opportunity to watch fly dressers practice their art and fly casters demonstrating their techniques and tactics.

There will also be a series of talks and seminars from these expert anglers on a range of angling related topics as well as a range of quality trade stands selling everything an angler needs.

There will be something for all the family, from educational programmes delivered by the Loughs Agency, Guided Tours of the River Mourne, Fly Tying and Pole Cupping Competitions, Cookery Demonstrations, Virtual Angling, Birds of Prey and much more.

So come along for a fishing extravaganza! Free Admission


The 50 years that made Mini Legends

Gracehill House, which is adjacent to the famous Dark Hedges, is playing host to the Mini Legends event on Friday 3rd, Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June.

Further to an idea by long term Mini enthusiasts George Jennings and Trevor Barlow the countryside will come alive with three days of events which include a Rally on the Saturday and a Family Fun Day with an opportunity for Car Enthusiasts to show off their vehicles on the Sunday.   Appearing on all three days are names that are synonymous with the legends that surround the iconic BMC Mini – Paddy Hopkirk MBE, Rauno Aaltonen, Terry Harryman, Mike Wood and a host of others.

Full details – including what makes this event unique – are below

1. What prompted this event?

With the longstanding interest in Minis in Northern Ireland and with four works cars in this relatively small country, friends and Mini enthusiasts George Jennings and Trevor Barlow decided it would be a great idea to organise an event to celebrate the “Minis'” success.  It is exactly 50 years since the BMC Works Minis were disqualified from coming 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Monte Carlo Rally which became known as the “Monte Carlo Fiasco“.

George and Trevor’s wish is that, after costs, all proceeds would go to a Rally Charity but since none exists in Northern Ireland they felt the most appropriate was the Air Ambulance.  Just a year ago such a service was merely a dream but thanks to the efforts of a special few the Government recently announced that it was releasing funding to help make it a reality.  “What people maybe don’t realise is that whilst the Air Ambulance will be a great asset for local sport, the general public will also benefit with its unique ability to reach sometimes difficult locations with great speed and so it wasn’t difficult to decide this was our favoured charity.”

2. Why Paddy, Rauno, Terry and Mike?

Paddy and Rauno were B.M.C. works drivers from the 1960s and it was Rauno Aaltonen who finished 2nd and Paddy Hopkirk 3rd behind team mate Timo Makinen in 1966 when they were disqualified. This was achieved in a period where other manufacturers had much bigger engines thus producing more power but the minis had the advantage of exceptional handling.  Terry Harryman and Mike Wood were B.M.C. navigators in the 1960’s and indeed Terry continued well into the 80’s.

3.  What’s the current interest in Minis?

Today the Mini still competes thanks to drivers such as Mervyn Johnston from Kesh who has been rallying in them from the early 60’s and is still right up there with the best.  Ray Cunningham from Galway managed to beat the more powerful Escorts and Porsches in recent events and Lloyd Hutchinson from Wicklow is a regular class winner when competing in his modified Mini.  Glen Leece from the Isle of Man is another very experienced and successful Mini driver as is his fellow countryman Adrian Kermode.  And there’s also Rory Tougher and Colin McDowell, two more fast and skilled Mini drivers who have achieved great results. These multi-talented competitors will make this a very exciting day indeed!

4.  What of the Rally Line-up?

This event brings a host of talented Mini drivers from all over Northern Ireland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and even an entry from Florida. Any one of these drivers could end up as Winners but with names such as Sam Bowden and Norman Ferguson showing their skills from their autotest days it’ll be no walkover!  One thing that’s assured it’ll be highly entertaining as it’s been a long time since such an array of talented “Mini” drivers took part in an event like this and it is a privilege for all concerned to line up with the Mini Legends that are  Hopkirk, Aaltonen, Harryman and Wood.  As one enthusiast described it, “We’ve all heard of the golf masters but these are the Mini Masters”.



JKC Mini in Coleraine are being very supportive of this three day event and will play host to Rauno Aaltonen and Basil Wales on the morning of Friday 3rd June to meet and greet mini enthusiasts.  Basil Wales was the special tuning department manager in the 60’s at BMC so this will be a very nostalgic visit for him.  They’ll all then make the journey to Gracehill to witness the scrutineering.


The scrutineering at Gracehill starts at approximately 11.00 am and continues until approximately 4.00pm. This will be followed in the evening by a Barbecue and a Forum at Gracehill for which a limited number of tickets are still available – for tickets mail jointheminilegends@gmail.com with your name and number.


The Official Start of the Rally is at Gracehill from 10.00am when competitors will compete a half mile route around Gracehill before heading off to Ballycastle Forest Park.  With the unique sound of the vehicles’ straight cut gear box echoing in peoples’ ears they’ll travel via Torr Head to Cushendun where they will have a regroup followed by lunch at the National Trust’s Glenmona House and then onwards to Glendun.  They’ll then head back to Gracehill via the famous Dark Hedges where they’ll repeat the morning’s special stage around the Estate and then to the Finishing Line.

There’ll be time to relax before the Prize-giving Dinner at which there will be a raffle and auction of celebrity items.  Well known local Compere and DJ Brian Moore will act as host for the night which will also feature the superb duo Partners in Crime.


Sunday is a Classic Car and Motorcycle Show which starts from early morning until approximately 5.00 pm. Entries for this event are open to all car clubs and/or anyone with a classic car or motorcycle.  Entry Forms can be downloaded from the M.I.N.I. website.   The aim here is to make this a Family Fun Day with stalls, food facilities, side shows, children’s entertainment, music hosted by Brian Moore and guests and admission is absolutely free – although opportunities to donate to the Air Ambulance Charity will, of course, be available.

The Mini Legends Paddy Hopkirk M.B.E., Rauno Aaltonen, Terry Harryman and Mike Wood will be in attendance for all three days.  Visitors will also be able to purchase the book “King Fisher” by the iconic Bertie Fisher as well as publications by Mike Wood and others.  Details on these and other additions to the programme will be made known as they are added to what is becoming a very busy schedule of events.


Since coming under new ownership Gracehill House is aspiring to become a top resort offering quality golf and accommodation.  Set in the stunning surroundings of Gracehill and sitting in the shadows of the famous Dark Hedges future plans include quality culinary experiences such as a farm shop and cafe offering local produce, a bar bistro and high end dining – and that’s only the beginning!  Of this event they said, “We’re delighted to host The Mini Legends and we hope this will serve as a catalyst for other activities with the motoring clubs of the UK and Ireland.  Gracehill House has so much to offer whether it’s corporate, charitable, functions, leisure or any of the myriad of current day events and we’re only too willing to discuss any such plans with you be they big or small.  Gracehill House has the ambition to be a quality destination for both the local and international market and a major strategy is currently being put in place to achieve all of these goals”.



T – 028 20751209

Navan Centre & Fort, one of the first in Northern Ireland to use innovative photography technique

The Navan Centre & Fort, Armagh is one of the first venues in Northern Ireland to use amazing cinemagraph photography.  This literally allows our images of the Centre to come to life!

The technique is already popular in the States, but as one of the first users here this allows Navan to give customers a taster of the amazing visitor experience at the Centre.

A highlight of the Centre is a visit to the Iron Age dwelling where visitors meet characters who bring the Celtic era to life through weaving, cooking, pottery, weaponry and much more.  Cinemagraph allows us to give potential customers a sneak peak of the Iron Age dwelling before their visit.

You can also view at www.navan.com

For information please contact: Navan Centre, 81 Killylea Road, Armagh.  BT60 4LD.  Tel 028 3752 9644 or www.navan.com


Ards and North Down Borough Council are pleased to announce that this year’s much-loved Sea Bangor Maritime Festival is taking place on June 4 & 5. Sailing into Bangor for the event is the impressive tall ship “The Mercedes” which will be moored alongside The Eisenhower Pier and open to the public for both days of the festival.

This is the Mercedes’ second visit to Bangor, having previously been here in 2014. She’s a fully square rigged two-mast tall ship with 900 square meters sail area on 18 sails.

If you fancy sailing the high seas on the spectacular “Mercedes,” there are opportunities available for hour-long sailings on both the morning and evening of June 4 & 5. There will be morning sailings at 9am on both days, then Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 8pm. Tickets cost £15 each for the morning sailings and £20 for the evening and are available now at Bangor Visitor Information Centre, Ards Visitor Information Centre and North Down Museum. Tickets are also available online at www.visitardsandnorthdown.com

This year’s Sea Bangor, is absolutely packed with something to do for everyone. Situated in a tented village in Quay Street car park, highlights of the festival will include the “Big Bangor BBQ” competition hosted by SERC which will include demonstrations by celebrity chefs, sausage making challenges and lots more. Over in the kid’s tent “Tiddlers,” Cahoots NI will be performing a special illusion show and The Dockside Emporium promises to be a world of entertainment and wonder with demonstrations and crafts from lots of local artists.  With maritime themed street theatre, a gourmet food tent, a fantastic live music programme, an aerial display from the Twister Aerobatic Team, Jet Lev demonstrations and so much more, Sea Bangor is definitely not to be missed!

Speaking about the event, Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Events Officer, Wendy Smith said; “Sea Bangor is always a highlight of the Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Events Programme. It’s a fantastic event with something on offer for all the family and we would encourage everyone to come on down and join in the fun.”

Sea Bangor will be open from 10am to 6pm on Saturday 4 June and Noon to 6pm on Sunday 5. This is a FREE event.

For further information check www.visitardsandnorthdown.com


Tourism NI has put together a list of 10 exciting things to do in Northern Ireland next week (May 2-8).

  • Comber Food Tour, Ards Visitor Information Centre, Newtownards, Co. Down, May 5. If you are interested in cooking and eating food, then this is the tour for you! The tour includes a visit to the popular Comber Farmers’ Market, a short information talk on the history of the Rollo Gillespie War Memorial and the Titanic Memorial before arriving 5 minutes later at Indie Fude Delicatessen for a demonstration from a top food producer. Next, you will walk back to the Square where the bus will pick you up and drive you to The Old School House, an award winning restaurant, owned by talented young chef Will Brown. Pick-up by coach from Ards Visitor Information Centre at 10am.
  • ‘Travel Through Time’: Guided Bus Tour of the Geopark in West Fermanagh, Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, May 7. On this guided bus tour you will visit some of the highlights of the Geopark in West Fermanagh. You will learn more about the stories the landscapes have to tell from our tropical past to the big freeze and everything in-between and how this has helps shape the fantastic and unique landscapes visible in this area of the Geopark. Lunch will be provided and is a fantastic opportunity to sample some of the local produce the Geopark has to offer.
  • Carrowmena May Bank Holiday, Carrowmena Activity Centre, Limavady, Co. Londonderry, May 2. This is a fun filled day of various activities for all the family, or a group of friends. An action-packed adrenalin-filled day is promised, with activities including Zip Line, archery, canoeing and kayaking. Tea coffee and biscuits provided for full day adventurers, with a snack bar on site selling sweets, chocolate, crisps and drinks. Bring a picnic or enjoy a relaxing lunch in the nearby town of Limavady.
  • Glass Blowing Workshop, An Creagan Centre, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, May 7-8. You will learn all the basic skills of hot glass working in order to make your own piece with a professional glassblower and learn the magical way glass is sculpted. No previous experience is necessary. During the course you will be introduced to techniques such as gathering glass from the furnace; shaping and tooling the molten glass, applying colour and finishing. You will be able to take your piece of art home after it has cooled overnight.
  • Allianz Garden Show Ireland, Antrim Castle Gardens, Antrim, Co. Antrim, May 6-8. Antrim Castle Gardens will be all abuzz from May 6-8 as Allianz Garden Show Ireland returns to the beautiful venue for a three day festival of flowers, food and fun. With a renewed focus on gardens this year there will be more to entice and inspire every level of gardener, not least the return of firm favourite Show Patron Monty Don.
  • 2016 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon, various locations, Belfast, May 2. Over 17,500 runners are expected to hit the streets of North, South, East and West of the City for the Belfast City Marathon. The race starts at the Belfast City Hall at 9am and finishes at Ormeau Park, covering all areas of Belfast to include plenty of support from all the local residents.
  • The Walled City Tattoo, Millennium Forum, Derry, Co. Londonderry, May 6-7. The Walled City Tattoo returns with a brand new show to the Millennium Forum. As well as Tattoo favourites such as The Massed Pipes & Drums and The Walled City Tattoo Highland & Irish Dancers, there will be an appearance from Britian’s Got Talent finalists Old Men Grooving, as well as some of the richest musical talent the city has to offer. Show begins at 8am.
  • Antiques Vintage and Collectables Fair, Mahon Scout & Community Hall, Portadown, Co. Armagh, May 7. A large variety of items will be available at this fundraiser for the 4th Armagh Scout Group, such as model vehicles, militaria, antique and vintage jewellery, china and crystal, clocks , furniture and vintage clothing. Opens at 10am.
  • Enniskillen Comic Fest, McArthur Hall, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, May 6-7. The Enniskillen Comic Fest will host a wide range of events taking place to celebrate comic art and culture, and promote sequential art and storytelling. The Festival includes a variety of workshops, talks, mentoring sessions and portfolio reviews over the two days.
  • May Day in Holywood, Holywood Town Centre, Co. Down, May 2. Enjoy the annual May Day celebrations in Holywood town centre with traditional May Day dancing by local school children, a selection of market stalls and fantastic family friendly entertainment. From 10am-4pm.

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

Jacqueline from whatsonni.com shares her pick of What’s On this May Bank Holiday Weekend across the NI


This Saturday step into Winterfell and take aim where young Bran was taught archery by Jon Snow. Have a go at archery in the very place where the BAFTA award winning TV show was filmed – in  the courtyard aka ‘Winterfell’.  Stand in the recreated Game of Thrones archery film set tipi, dress in a Game Of Thrones like costume to look the part and get ready to take aim. Suitable for 8 years+ for an open Bran session (50 mins) and 4 years+ for a private Ned session (1hr).  (Under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult).


Crunch your way around Armagh as Ireland’s Orchard County marks its first three-day apple blossom festival in 2016.  If you love apples, apple juice, cider, and tarts, with a generous helping of fun and entertainment, the good news is that Armagh’s Apple Blossom Festival is now three days long and not far away.  Celebrating its Orchard County status, Armagh will mark the start of this year’s growing season over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend from Saturday 30 April to Monday 2 May against the breath-taking pink backdrop of 4,000 flower-filled acres of land.


This May Bank Holiday (30th April to May 2nd), try out all Share Village’s extravaganza activities for an amazing price of £5 for 1 hour sessions and £10 for 2 hour sessions if pre-paid, (£8 for 1 hour sessions and £13 for two hour sessions pay on the day).  For every two activities you get a free swim.  Mad May offers not to be missed!


The biggest country weekend of 2016 is fast approaching and tickets are selling fast. This May Bank holiday Weekend will see the return of the number one country music event in Northern Ireland, Jamboree in the Park. Over this one weekend country music fans are set to come together to form a weekend that is an unforgettable experience for all.  Showcasing all of Irelands top country acts at the one venue in the one weekend!


Whether you want a relaxing, fun-filled or adrenaline-pumping May Bank Holiday, they have it all at Foylehov Activity Centre, Limavady, with lots of activities that everyone can enjoy including Hovercrafts, Powerturn Buggies, Laser Combat, Archery, Laser Clay Shooting, Football and Golf.  Prices start from £5 per person with a wide range of fun activities and packages available for all ages.


Cushendun’s Big Arts Weekend is a four day festival of music, drama, poetry, art, walks, workshops and family fun in one of the most beautiful villages in the Glens of Antrim.  The programme has something for everyone and many of the events are free. 29th April to 2nd May.


Belfast’s largest free festival, The Festival of Fools, returns over May Day Bank Holiday Weekend for its 13th edition.  From 29th April to 2nd May, daredevil acrobatics; chaotic clowning; heart-stopping Hip Hop and madcap musicians will be putting smiles on the faces of strangers and sending the sounds of laughter around Belfast City Centre.

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

Van Morrison – ‘CONEY ISLAND TOUR’

In Sir Van Morrison’s 1989 album ‘Avalon Sunset’ he describes a road trip to Coney Island.

His beautifully mundane descriptions of a day out in the south Down area has become one of the most evocative songs ever written about any part of the world. This particular road trip guided tour with the ultimate Celtic soul soundtrack, along with stunning visions of the Mountains of Mourne, has touched the heart of many Van Morrison fans and others.

Along the way he name-checks Downpatrick, St John’s Point, Strangford Lough, Shrigley, Killyleagh, the Lecale District, Ardglass, and finally, Coney Island.  Follow in the footsteps of a lyrical genius in this half-day guided tour, and depending on availability, perhaps sample some potted herrings in case we get famished before dinner.

The Van Morrison ‘Coney Island’ Irish Heartbeat Tour normally starts at Downpatrick at the grave of Saint Patrick and costs £85 per group tour (industry standard rate). Hotel pick-ups/drop-offs are available at additional cost (Belfast, Newcastle and surrounding areas).

For further details and bookings:
email: irishheartbeattours@yahoo.com
tel : 07807015403 /  07779102448.

‘Coney Island’ by Van Morrison

Coming down from Downpatrick
Stopping off at St John’s Point
Out all day birdwatching
And the craic was good
Stopped off at Strangford Lough
Early in the morning
Drove through Shrigley taking pictures
And on to Killyleagh
Stopped off for Sunday papers at the
Lecale district, just before Coney Island
On and on, over the hill to Ardglass
In the jamjar, autumn sunshine, magnificent
And all shining through
Stop off at Ardglass for a couple of jars of
Mussels and some potted herrings in case
We get famished before dinner
On and on, over the hill and the craic is good
Heading towards Coney Island
I look at the side of your face as the sunlight comes
Streaming through the window in the autumn sunshine
And all the time going to Coney Island I’m thinking,
Wouldn’t it be great if it was like this all the time.


THE May Bank Holiday is the perfect time to get out and enjoy the long weekend with friends and family and to help people along, Tourism NI has listed some of the exciting events and things to see and do that are available all over Northern Ireland.

Rachel Quigg, Communications & Destination PR Officer, explains why everyone should get out and about this May Bank Holiday:

“With so much choice on offer from arts festivals and walks to family fun days and music events, everyone will find something they really want to go and experience.

“For those with an adventurous side there are a wide range of fun outdoor activities and events to choose from and if you prefer something a little bit more laid back there are lots of places to visit where you can kick back and enjoy some rest and relaxation.”

To help make the most of the May Day Bank Holiday, Tourism Northern Ireland has highlighted a number of fun events which are happening across NI.


The sound of laughter will be echoing all over Belfast this Bank Holiday weekend, as the 13th Festival of Fools comes to town. Over 120 performances will be taking place from April 29 – May 2, all free of charge with daredevil acrobatics, circus acts, comedy, magic and much more from some of the leading street theatre companies from Europe, America, the UK and Ireland.

On Bank Holiday Monday, line the streets to support over 17,500 participants in the 2016 Deep River Rock Belfast City Marathon, which will take in the north, south, east and west of the city.

The 17th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival will provide a packed line-up of music, comedy and spoken word beginning on April 28, through May Day weekend and continuing until Sunday May 8. To celebrate Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016, the festival will also include a one day meat-free mini-festival, Vegstock, taking place in the festival marquee on May 2.


Cushendun is one of the most picturesque villages in the Glens of Antrim and will be hosting four days of music, drama, exhibitions and family fun as part of Cushendun’s Big Arts Weekend from April 29 – May 2. Showcasing the rich culture and spectacular landscape of the area, this fun and varied weekend is sure to have something for everyone.

For those who would like to do something more active over the Bank Holiday weekend, there is the Causeway Coast Challenge Walk on May 1, commencing at Portballintrae and following the coastal cliff path via Giant’s Causeway to reach Portbradden, before returning. Not for the faint of heart, the walk is 30km in length and is organised by local club Bannside Ramblers, attracting walkers from all over Ireland and beyond.

Visitors to Ballycastle can invigorate their senses and tickle their taste buds as the Naturally North Coast & Glens Artisan Market comes to Ballycastle Seafront on Sunday, May 1, featuring food and craft producers from all around the North Coast and Glens area.


The Orchard County celebrates its reputation as the Orchard of Ireland over the holiday weekend with the Apple Blossom Fair, taking place from April 30 – May 2. The festival comprises many different events at Ardress House and Loughgall Country Park, with shuttle buses to transport visitors between the two sites. Celebrate local food traditions with orchard tours, cider tastings, barbecues and entertainment for all the family.

Armagh is also home to plenty of places for a family walk or cycle on Bank Holiday weekend, such as the beautiful Gosford Forest Park and country estates like the The Argory or Derrymore House.


Enjoy the annual May Day celebrations in Holywood town centre with traditional May Day dancing by local school children, a selection of market stalls and fantastic family-friendly entertainment from 10am – 4pm on Monday, May 2.

Elsewhere in County Down, Newry will be holding its first annual Craft Beer Festival on April 30 and May 1, with ten craft breweries exhibiting over 30 craft products to taste including Mourne Mountain Brewery, Armagh Cider Company, Whitewater Brewery and more. Enjoy the best of local craft products with a top notch entertainment line-up.

The Newry and Mourne Museum is hosting the last weekend of its ‘The World Has Become Smaller – Transport in Newry and Mourne’ exhibition, examining all aspects of transport in the area over the centuries, and open to visit until May 2.


It is the golden jubilee of Castle Archdale Caravan Park and Camp Site, and the whole family is welcome to join in the celebrations, which on Saturday April 30 include balloon modelling with Mr Twister and a kid’s quiz with prizes.

April 30 will also be an exciting day for dogs, dog owners and dog lovers as Castle Coole holds Paws In The Park. Dogs are always welcome at Castle Coole, but especially on this day, when dogs and their owners can join in the dog walk, enter the pet dog show, and pick up some behaviour techniques and grooming tips.

The May Day weekend is also the perfect opportunity for families or groups to visit SHARE Discovery Village. The Share Extravaganza gives visitors an opportunity to try out an array of land and water activities in one-hour, two-hour or taster sessions.


Fun for all the family is on offer at The Jungle NI in Moneymore on May 1 as its popular Family Fun Day takes place, where visitors can buy tokens to exchange for a variety of outdoor activities on offer throughout the day.

During the evenings from April 29-May 1, music lovers should head to the village of Macosquin near Coleraine for the Big Marquee Weekend II. This year’s line-up features a thrilling mix of big name dance, indie, country and Britpop stars, in a purpose-built marquee in the grounds of Mary Pat’s Bar.

However if jazz is your musical style of choice, the City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival is a must, with Derry~Londonderry reverberating to the sound of jazz from bars, theatres, shopping centres, restaurants and on the streets around the city from April 28 – May 2.


Pull on your wellies as rare and minority breeds of cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry make the Ulster American Folk Park home for the weekend in the Rare Breeds Show. Experts will be on hand to answer questions about the variety of farm animals on show. The event takes place from April 30 – May 2.

Also this Bank Holiday weekend in Co. Tyrone, the number one country music festival in Ireland returns as Jamboree In The Park comes to Ecclesville Centre, Fintona. Taking place on April 30 and May 1, there will be headline performances from Nathan Carter, Derek Ryan along with many other exciting artists, making this a must for country music fans.

Finally, on April 30, beer enthusiasts can enjoy the North West Brew Fest at Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh. The inaugural event will showcase local beer, ale, stout and cider produced across the North West, with the hotel’s pavilion transformed into a beer garden theme with fantastic live music across the weekend.


Leapin’ Lizards! It’s back!! The Market Place Theatre Youth Musical for 2016 will be the world’s best-loved family musical, ‘Annie’.

We are looking for budding actors and actresses to audition for the roles of Annie, Daddy Warbucks, Mrs Hannigan, Grace, Rooster, President FDR and many, many more. Auditions will take place on Saturday 14th May, at 10.15am for 10-15 year olds, and at 1.30pm for age 16+. Contact the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821 or visit the website at www.marketplacearmagh.com to book your audition now!

Auditionees should wear loose clothing (no jeans), trainers and bring a bottle of water. Everyone will be expected to sing – please prepare a short piece and bring along the music. All participants must be available throughout the period Monday 18th July to Saturday 23rd August 2016. Performances will take place from Tuesday 16th – Saturday 20th August 2016. Please note that there is a participation fee of £100.00 for successful candidates. A number of free places are available for families on state benefit.

And to keep up-to-date with the latest news at the Market Place Theatre, you can follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/marketplacearmagh) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/mptarmagh) where you will find all the latest information, special offers and video previews.

New advertising campaign to showcase Northern Ireland to millions of Games of Thrones® fans worldwide

Game of Thrones® fever is on the rise once again all over the world – and no more so than in Northern Ireland. With anticipation mounting among fans everywhere for the long-awaited sixth season, Tourism Ireland today launched its latest campaign to showcase Northern Ireland to millions of Game of Thrones® fans worldwide.

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell; Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; and John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism NI, examining the intricately carved door which depicts scenes from episode one of series six, at the launch of Tourism Ireland’s new Game of Thrones campaign.

The new campaign, created in partnership with HBO, celebrates Northern Ireland as Game of Thrones® Territory for the sixth year running. The campaign will also be rolled out by Tourism NI in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

An exciting feature of the 2016 campaign is a series of 10 intricately carved doors, depicting moments inspired by this season. The doors will be unveiled each week as season six unfolds – referencing key scenes and events from the latest episode and incorporating some of the iconic symbols of the show. The doors will be carved from the trees blown down in Storm Gertrude at the Dark Hedges in Co Antrim – which serves as the backdrop for the Kingsroad, perhaps the most iconic Game of Thrones® location in Northern Ireland. The wood from the fallen trees has been salvaged and will be carved into legacy pieces marking each episode, demonstrating the connection between the show and Northern Ireland. The doors will hang in pubs and other venues near filming locations across Northern Ireland, giving visitors a brand new Game of Thrones® Territory trail to follow. The first door – from episode one, which aired last night (Monday, 25 April) – will hang in The Cuan guest inn in Strangford.

Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Jonathan Bell, said: “Screen

tourism continues to be a growth area and the filming of Game of Thrones® here in Northern Ireland continues to showcase our stunning scenery and countryside to the world. Fans from around the world have travelled to visit filming locations here and this Tourism Ireland campaign will help build on the success of their previous social media promotion, which saw dragon eggs for sale in Belfast and three-eyed ravens spotted across Northern Ireland. The online videos generated in the region of five million clicks, comments and shares and reached about 100 million fans across the world. I am certain the new initiative will continue to be a huge success, further encouraging fans to come and see for themselves the filming location of their favourite show.”

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with HBO in 2016, to highlight Northern Ireland – through the exciting events of Game of Thrones® – on the global stage. TV and film are recognised as strong influencers on travellers everywhere and the stellar popularity of Game of Thrones® is a fantastic opportunity for us to promote Northern Ireland to a huge audience of potential visitors. Our latest campaign is a fun and innovative way to bring the destination to the attention of Game of Thrones® fans everywhere – they will see our ads, spiking their curiosity about the landscapes and locations featured in the series and inspiring them to come and explore them for themselves.”

John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism NI, said: This highly creative and innovative campaign will raise the profile of Northern Ireland as a holiday destination and encourage people to explore our stunning landscapes. There are over 20 Game of Thrones filming locations in Northern Ireland that are accessible to everyone including Tullymore Forest Park in Co Down, Pollnagollum Cave in Co Fermanagh and Ballintoy Harbour in Co Antrim.

“Across Northern Ireland we have embraced the global interest in Game of Thrones and developed a range of exciting and engaging visitor experiences built around the locations used in screening. Visitors wishing to explore the filming locations can do so independently or can choose from a range of guided location tours or immerse themselves in Game of Thrones themed adventures such as archery, cycle tours or banquets.”

Another element of the campaign includes a limited edition Game of Thrones® stamp for mail posted in Northern Ireland during the campaign. The campaign will also include some other surprising features around Northern Ireland, which will be rolled out by Tourism Ireland over the coming weeks – so watch this space!

Tourism Ireland will release a mixture of short films and images from the campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube in ten markets – including Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. It will build on the success of Tourism Ireland’s previous Game of Thrones® campaigns, which generated about five million clicks, comments and shares and reached about 100 million fans across the world.

Tourism Ireland will also target its own social fanbase – posting and tweeting to about 3.4 million Facebook fans and more than 323,000 followers on Twitter globally. The campaign will direct fans to a special section on Tourism Ireland’s international website, Ireland.com, which attracted more than 16.5 million views in 2015.

The campaign kicks off this week and will continue to roll out weekly until the end of season six, at the end of June.