The Renowned Armoy Road Races is Back for its 10th Year!

AMRRC Celebrates the Official Launch of the Bayview Hotel Race of Legends 2018

PACEMAKER, BELFAST, 20/6/2018: Armoy road races Clerk of the Course, Bill Kennedy and road racer Adam McLean launch the 10th anniversary Bayview Armoy races at Ballintoy Harbour in Co Antrim today. The event will take place on 27-28th July.

NORTHERN Ireland’s prime motorsport event is set to return with a bang, as the Armoy Motorcycle Road Racing Club officially launch the 10th anniversary Bayview Hotel Race of Legends 2018. Taking place during the last weekend in July, the Armoy Road Races welcome the best-known riders both locally and internationally to the picturesque village of Armoy, County Antrim, for a weekend of world class road racing.

Commemorating the official launch, the Armoy Motorcycle Road Racing Club invited the passionate racing community to an event, hosted by title sponsor, the Bayview Hotel on Wednesday 20th June.

Compered by Pamela Ballantine, the launch saw road racers, sponsors, invited guests and club members come together to celebrate the past ten years of the Armoy Road Races, with a panel discussion from club members, sponsors and the best of racing talent, Northern Ireland has to offer.

It was also announced at the Launch that 23 times TT winner, John McGuinness will be attending the Armoy Road Races this year. A life long admirer of the Armoy Armada, John will be bringing his merchandise to the national road race. He’s looking forward to engaging with his fans in Northern Ireland and visiting the Bayview Hotel Race of Legends for the first time.

Following the launch, Clerk of the Course, Bill Kennedy MBE said, “The turn out for the launch was a great reflection on what we expect from the races this year. There is a lot of expectation for this year’s event, considering that we are celebrating a very significant milestone and I have no doubt that it will not disappoint.

“The news, hot off the press, that TT Legend John McGuinness will attend our 10th Armoy Road Races is just great. As you know, he’s a great fan of Joey Dunlop and the Armoy Armada and we will ensure, that although John is not racing, he will be given a very warm Armoy welcome.

“Race entries don’t close until Monday 2nd July and with the Isle of Man TT just finished many riders are only turning their attention to the Armoy Road Races. I’m confident that Armoy will once again attract some of the best road racers.”

McAdoo Kawasaki Adam McLean, on the back of winning the Post TT Supersport race and Ballymoney man Darryl Tweed attended the launch in advance of the races.

“I am delighted to celebrate the official launch with colleagues, friends and of course our sponsors, who have been crucial in making all of this happen and I would like to thank each and every one of them both personally and on behalf of the club for their continued support.

“Looking back over the last ten years, we have had some amazing highs and we will not forget some of the disheartening lows. All in all, I am very proud of what we, as a community, have achieved and I have full faith that 2018 will be our best year yet!

“It is the support and dedication of the Club and sponsors that ensure the success of the races year after year, so for that, the 10th anniversary celebration is for them.”

This year, Bike Week runs from Saturday 21st July until Saturday 28th July with the races, supported by the Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council, taking place on Friday 27th July and Saturday 28th July 2018 culminating in the Bayview Hotel ‘Race of Legends’.

Bill concludes; “Aside from the anticipated racing, we have got a whole host of fantastic events lined up for race week, from a photography exhibition and barbeque to a classic car display and of course the renowned Miss Armoy competition, I would encourage everyone to extend their weekend and help us in celebrating the fantastic 10 years we have had.”

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Stendhal teams with NI Science Festival for Family Programme.

Family has been at the heart of Stendhal Festival since the very beginning, the team behind the multi-award winning event say they are proud that so many people bring their loved ones and children along to the farm to enjoy the event and they strive to programme the very best in family entertainment for people off all ages.

This year is no different and Stendhal Festival’s dedicated family programme is bigger and better and includes an exciting new collaboration with the hugely respected NI Science Festival, adding to existing partners in family programming which include The Sure start Dry Arch Centre, Live Music Now and In Your Space Circus.

Consisting of everything from Workshops to performances covering science, music, puppetry, dance, sing-a-longs, circus Skills and theatre, Stendhal’s Family programme is comprehensive and fun for all the family.

NI Science Festival will be bringing several exciting shows including; Scientific Sue, Superhero Science and Ready, Steady Science’s Ugly animal Roadshow and Chris McCreery, Director of NI Science Festival says her team are looking forward to being a part of Stendhal this year.

“We are absolutely delighted to be teaming up with Stendhal to bring an eclectic range of science events to the Stendhal audience.  Through its blend of live music, stage shows and workshops, Stendhal has truly become one of the best family friendly Festivals in the UK and Ireland.

He added: “Stendhal’s message, namely that creativity is the seed of innovation, is something that perfectly aligns to the values of the NI Science Festival.  As part of the family programme, we will be presenting stage shows exploring everything from space and the weird creatures of the seas alongside a range of interactive science storytelling and walkabout events.”

Ross Parkhill, Director of Stendhal Festival, added that he was pleased to have added NI Science Festival as a programming partner for 2018.

“Stendhal is dedicated to creating an event accessible for all and one that encourages young people to embrace creative learning, so we are absolutely delighted to welcome the NI Science Festival to an already excellent group of partners within our family programme.

Ross continued:  “This year children and families can expect the very best in all kinds of entertainment and workshops tailored to suit all ages to accompany a stellar line-up of music, poetry, theatre and everything else Stendhal has to offer.”

The Family programme Line-up is as follows; Community Tribal Drummers workshop, Superhero Science,  Brothers Dimm Puppet Show, ArtsEkta presents world dance performances, In Your Space presents Fibideers, The Bubble Trouble Collective, The Mrs H. Sing-a-long band, The Sunshine Project kids laughter yoga, Mr Mess, Twisty Fun Balloon making, Scientific Sue, Ready Steady Science, Fi-Flo hula hoop workshop, Dry Arch sensory play, Toddler Sense NI sensory workshop, The Verbal Arts Storytelling Bus, Kid Art World Craft Workshop and much more.

Along with this the family area will also include the Cothu Breastfeeding Station for any new mums who might require a little support or privacy over the weekend.

Tickets and more information on Stendhal Festival is available now at

Last chance to volunteer at Foyle Maritime Festival!

TIME is running out to volunteer at this year’s Foyle Maritime Festival.

Applications of expressions of interest must be received by Wednesday (June 20th) to guarantee you get to be involved in one of Ireland’s biggest events this summer.

Whether you want to commit to just a few hours or for the full week, the opportunities are endless, from welcoming visitors to assisting with some of the amazing events being staged from July 14th until July 22nd.

Aisling McCallion, Festival and Events Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council said: “Volunteering can be a great way of adding to your experience or giving something back to your community. The Foyle Maritime Festival is looking to add to our existing team of event volunteers and we currently have roles available in a wide range of areas.

“We are looking for enthusiastic people to join our team and help us create an enjoyable, safe and friendly festival for visitors and international guests.

“You’ll have the opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills, build your CV and give back to your community while soaking up the fun at this world class festival. Lunch will be provided each day of your volunteering and a certificate of appreciation will be awarded.”

While the posts are unpaid, there are a range of benefits such as food allowance, a crew uniform, a volunteer recognition event and a certificate as well as free World Host training.

Volunteers must be aged 16 and over and they are requested to give a minimum of 4 hours over the week of the event.

To make an expression of interest, apply online at: or email: by Wednesday, June 20th, 2018. A volunteer briefing will take place at The Guildhall on Wednesday, June 27th at 2 pm.



This Saturday (23 June), families are being invited to participate in an archaeological dig at Brockagh with Lough Neagh Partnership and Queen’s University Belfast.

The excavation and investigation is centred around exploring the lost late-Elizabethan fort that was famously illustrated by the English cartographer Richard Bartlett in 1602.

Located close to Mountjoy Castle the dig will be open to the public on Saturday from 11am until 4pm and anyone over the age of eight can take part in this historic event which the organisers think may provide something promising in the search for the star shaped fort.

Liam Campbell of Lough Neagh Partnership said: “We are encouraging anyone interested in heritage and culture to come along on Saturday and join us for this family day out with a difference, to take part in a unique archaeological dig with the prospect of helping us uncover something very special for the community.

“Staff and students from the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork at Queen’s University have been undertaking geophysical surveys over the past few months at Brockagh to locate the ‘other’ Mountjoy Fort on the old shoreline below St Brigid’s School. It is an exciting find of the Lost Settlement of Mountjoy and to be involved in helping uncover the fort is certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity for anyone who wishes to get involved.”

If you are interested in participating in this exciting project, arrive at the site on Saturday 23rd from 11am and you are advised to bring wellies, boots or old clothes as you will definitely get dirty and you may get wet! The site is located at Maye’s field, opposite the road to St Brigid’s School and Mountjoy Fort. Parking is available.

If you require further information, please contact Aaron Swann at Lough Neagh Partnership on tel 028 7941 7941 or email


This is a project of Lough Neagh Partnership under the Landscape partnership programme funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.


Royal Marine Band play at Antrim Castle Gardens  

Despite the inclement weather conditions, hundreds turned up to watch the Royal Marine Band Concert at Antrim Castle Gardens on Sunday 17 June.

The crowds were not disappointed as they were entertained to two hours of great music from one of the finest military bands around.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Michael, commented “it was an honour to have the Royal Marine Band play in our Borough, in the majestic setting of Antrim Castle Gardens. I am delighted so many people took advantage of the opportunity to experience one of the greatest military bands”.

The Royal Marine Band played as part of our Summer Sunday Music programme which runs each Sunday from 3-4pm at Antrim Castle Gardens and Loughshore Park Jordanstown.

For a full programme visit

Jacqueline shares her pick of what’s on this weekend across NI!


On Saturday 23rd June, the annual Comber Earlies Food Festival welcomes the multi Michelin Star Chef, Jean-Christophe Novelli, who will be hosting this year’s food demonstrations. Join the celebrations and have a relaxing hay bale picnic while listening to a Brass band. With amazing savoury potato-based traditional gourmet dishes to try, children’s activities and street theatre to enjoy this is going to be a great family day out.


Join Navan Fort this Friday 22nd June for Celtic Celebration on the eve of Mid-Summer as the Celts say goodbye to the longest day in the year – why do they do this?  How did they celebrate?  Join the camp and celebrate in style. Arrive and be welcomed into the Celtic camp, mingle and help set up for the evening’s festivities, dine at 9:00pm on something quite wild, caught earlier in the day then sing, dance and listen to stories of the years gone by while watching the sunset.  Pre-booking only, as spaces are limited.


This Saturday 23rd June, join staff at the Marble Arch Caves in a hunt for unseen wildlife in the Marble Arch National Nature Reserve. Hunt in habitats throughout the Nature Reserve, catching and identifying invertebrates as you go!  Why not learn a bit more about these mini-beasts’ fascinating lifestyles and their roles in an ecosystem. You will also get an opportunity to get up close to some of the moth species found in the woodland, as you discover what is inside the moth trap from the night before!  This event is suitable for people of all ages but all children must be accompanied by an adult.  Please bring warm waterproof clothing and suitable footwear. Unfortunately, the Nature Reserve is not suitable for pushchairs.


The biggest summer jam live music festival is in Strabane this year with headline act “Hothouse Flowers”. It all takes place at the Canal Basin on 23rd June. There are five top local bands supporting the spectacular Hothouse Flowers, on two stages, namely The Paul Brady stage and the Flann O’Brien stage. The fun starts at 5pm with “1980’ Something” and the main act hits the stage at 9.30pm. There will be a fully licensed bar area and a selection of food vendors covering the whole area. So summer is here and it’s time to party at Strajamba 2018!


Take a journey through Chocolate & tantalise your taste buds with the Chocolate Manor’s tasting session this Thursday, followed by dinner at the fabulous, award-winning Angler’s Rest.  You are invited to try some new taste sensations in chocolate, beginning with the Chocolate tasting, where you will learn a little about how their favourite chocolate is created, and be guided through a cocoa journey, uncovering flavours you may not have experienced in chocolate before. Focus on tuning your senses so you can enjoy chocolate even more than you do now!  You will then enjoy a 2 course dinner in the wonderfully welcoming Angler’s Rest Restaurant – this award winning eatery brings the best of local produce together to create some stunning dishes!


The Randalstown Soap Box Derby is back on Friday 22nd June! This year it’s even bigger, better and faster, so why not enter your team to take part in this exciting and entertaining event?  If you, your group or business would like to enter a team, entry forms and rules are available from ARCHES Office or email:  All Soapbox Karts must have: – back brakes, steering and drivers must wear a helmet. Age 16+Pre-registration of teams is essential and all drivers competing will be required to provide details for insurance purposes. Entry is free!


W5 Late, this Saturday 23rd June, is a strictly adults-only, after-hours evening at Northern Ireland’s award-winning science and discovery centre!  With over 250 interactive exhibits and four incredible exhibition areas, there’s plenty to see and do!  Meet the life-sized humanoid robot as Robothespian goes LIVE! Scale the heights on Climbit, and engage with the experts in our exciting range of science shows and lecture theatre talks!  Marvel at moving, ROARING dinosaurs as the incredible Dinosaur Encounter exhibition arrives at W5 and try your hand at drawing some prehistoric predators at Sketch Club with local illustrator Blair Bailie, plus so much more!  There will be a fully licensed bar where you can have a glass of wine or cold beer.  Admission is £12.00 per adult. Capacity is limited, therefore online booking essential.


For more details on these events and to add your events free go to Follow us on twitter @whatsonNI and on facebook at for news, competitions and what’s on near you.


Mount Stewart Announces Return of Conversations Festival for 2018

To celebrate, visitors will go free for the whole weekend of 1-2 September

Mount Stewart Conversations Festival is set to return to the shores of Strangford Lough on 1st and 2nd September 2018. This year’s festival will build on the success of two previous events, featuring the very best conversationalists from Ian Hislop to Kate Adie, and offer an unparalleled programme of arts and entertainment.

To celebrate the return of this unique festival, the National Trust, the UK’s largest conservation charity, is announcing that Mount Stewart will throw open its doors and offer free entry to the grounds all weekend*.

This unmissable weekend festival which celebrates the arts, literature, music and big ideas will centre on the theme of Women in Power in this, the year in which we celebrate 100 years since women were granted the right to vote.

The Festival highlights Mount Stewart’s history as a historical nucleus of creativity, individuality and influence. Here, Edith, Lady Londonderry welcomed leading political and literary guests as the famous house and gardens played host to magical debates and discussions.

Once again Mount Stewart Conversations has teamed up with two cutting edge arts partners: Seedhead Arts and Beyond Skin, in order to offer a stellar line-up of acclaimed guests who will engage visitors in debates, performances and talks on a vast array of emotive and inspirational subjects. The programme, which will be announced in the coming weeks, promises a jam-packed schedule of activities taking place around the family home and world-renowned gardens.

Adam Turkington, Seedhead Arts, Programmer, commented, “This festival is an opportunity for people of all ages to join the debate and talk about the things that really matter to us. Now, more than ever, we need conversations to be universal and we need people to come and listen but most of all, to contribute. Mount Stewart is the perfect location for this event and we are excited to encourage guests to debate, challenge and rethink their conversations.”

Jon Kerr, General Manager, Mount Stewart, commented, “With a diverse mix of cultural acts and performances that resonate with Mount Stewart’s place in history as a melting pot of minds, we are delighted to invite visitors from near and far to this wonderful festival.

“Last year’s festival was a roaring success where we welcomed TV personalities, journalists, academics and performers to name but a few. The ensuing conversations and debates were dynamic, topical and entertaining and we are very much looking forward to hosting the 2018 festival this September.”

More details on the fascinating line up of speakers, the exciting programme of events and tickets will be available soon. Visit to find out more.

Access to Mount Stewart will be free. Selected talks will be ticketed and will be available to book in advance.

As a conservation charity, the National Trust is bolstered by the support of volunteers. Our team turns great events into amazing experiences with the help of volunteers. If you would like to get involved by volunteering at Mount Stewart Conversations, visit

Northern Ireland Opera presents the IMAGINE! tour

Northern Ireland Opera is bringing its IMAGINE! tour to the Portico of Ards on Saturday 30 June from 11am to 1pm. Throughout an interactive session of music, art and craft, children are invited to go on a journey of playful engagement with themes of identity, discovery and fantasy.

Ni Opera at the imagine festivel, cresent arts Centre. Photo Paul Moore

The event, supported by Ards and North Down Borough Council, will be led by the talented singers of the Northern Ireland Opera Studio; and children will investigate themes of identity, self-exploration and fantasy through music and art. They will be invited to imagine and create “a new world” with alien creatures, novelty architecture and fashion, undiscovered languages, unknown behaviour. What world would you like to live in and who would you meet there? On their journey, children will encounter studio singers as “otherworldly” inhabitants of an imagined parallel universe, singing their songs. Repertoire will include evocative pieces from children’s and family operas of the 20th and 21st century, as well as 19th century fairy tale operas.

The IMAGINE! tour has been performing across Northern Ireland during the month of June and has already performed in Belfast, Derry and Armagh. The tour is a perfect opportunity for parents to introduce their child/ children to the world of opera in a fun and interactive setting.

Kate Guelke, Director said:

‘‘So far, our young audience are brilliantly curious and imaginative. We’ve been delighted by their questions, suggestions, gasps, laughter! This is children’s opera as it should be – interactive, engaging and magical. Audience participation highly encouraged.’’

The IMAGINE! tour is suitable for children of a primary school age and is a magical introduction to opera and the arts. Previous attenders have been delighted and fully immersed in the event and this is definitely an event not to be missed.

Tickets for the Portico show cost £7.50 per adult and £5 per child and are on sale at:

For further information, please contact:

Emma Martin (Marketing and Communication Assistant) on (028) 9027 2522 or visit

Brighter Nights at Lilian Bland Community Park

Brighter Nights are back at Lilian Bland Community Park from Friday 29 June – Friday 24 August. Join us each Friday evening from 6.30-8.30pm for a range of activities for all ages!

L-R Lauren White, Jamie McIntyre, Farrah Smyth, Evie & Josh Drake , Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Michael.

Kick starting this year’s programme is a special ‘Schools Out Party’ to celebrate the start of the School Summer Holidays. Party on down to Lilian Bland Community Park where we have The Adventure Playbus, Punch & Judy Show, Traditional Games, Multi skilled outdoor activities, Bungee Run, Bouncy Castle with slide and Face Painters to keep you entertained.

Launching Brighter Nights earlier this week Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Michael commented “It is fantastic to have these open green spaces in our Borough which allow us to hold a vibrant programme of events, bringing communities together”.

So if you fancy yourself as a Superhero, a Dancing Diva or a Sports Fanatic you will love Brighter Nights which offers a different theme each week.

For a full listing check out our website

Challenger Battle Tank coming to Coleraine for Armed Forces Day

An appearance by one of the Army’s most impressive battle tanks is set to make Armed Forces Day an event to remember in Coleraine.

The Challenger 2, which is rarely seen by the public here, will be on display in Christie Park when the celebration of military life comes to the town on Saturday 23rd June.

As the force’s main battle tank, it weighs over 62 tonne and spans over 44 feet when its gun is extended.

Visitors can also look forward to getting up close with a Gazelle helicopter while the Royal Navy is bringing its P2000 patrol vessel to the River Bann.

Thousands of people are expected to descend on Coleraine for the regional showcase, which celebrates the ongoing commitment of troops, their families, veterans and cadets. A park & ride facility will be available at Rugby Avenue from 8am – 9.30pm and further details about traffic and travel arrangements will be made available nearer the time.

A spokesperson for Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council said: “We are working closely with our partners in the Ministry of Defence to create a spectacular event for everyone to enjoy. The Challenger Tank showcase will provide an unforgetable sight and it is a real privilege for us to welcome it to Coleraine.”

The event will be compered by well-known media personality Paul Clark who will be on hand to guide visitors through the planned programme of events. This includes the event’s opening parade which will see hundreds of service personnel and veterans pass through the town before a Drumhead Service in the Diamond.

A gun salute will signal the start of a packed programme of family-friendly attractions and live music in Christie Park and throughout the town from 12-30pm-5pm. A water based showcase on the River Bann will feature exciting world class demonstrations of wakeboarding, barefoot water skiing and freestyle jet skiing.

The event will come to a close in spectacular style as the world renowned Band of the Royal Marines will parade through the town before leading the Beating of the Retreat.

And the entertainment doesn’t end there because from 5pm, the Diamond area will be transformed into a live music and dance venue with the return of Rhythm of the Bann.

Held for the first time last year, it promises an evening of superb FREE entertainment including an unmissable performance by the world renowned Royal Marines band.

Keep up to date with the latest announcements about Armed Forces Day and Rhythm of the Bann by following us on Facebook and Twitter @CausewayCouncil and @EventsCwayCoast