Renewables Firm Everun Driving the Future of ScottishPower Renewables’ Irish Wind Farms

NI firm achieves Outstanding Availability Performance for ScottishPower Renewables’ Wind Farms in Ireland

Belfast renewables firm Everun is celebrating the announcement they’ve achieved exceptional performance as the latest provider of Service and Maintenance (S&M) services for ScottishPower Renewables’ wind farms across Ireland.

Since taking over the contract in April 2022 and additional contracts in October 2022, Everun has reported a high level of wind farm availability during operation, demonstrating commitment to ensuring efficient and uninterrupted renewable energy generation. 

The results represent a continual improvement of the performance on ScottishPower Renewables wind farms across Ireland.  In the wind farm industry availability is the measure of the potential for a wind turbine or wind farm to generate electrical power. What this means is that if a turbine is “available” and there is sufficient connectivity to the grid along with other conditions such as wind speeds then power will be able to be generated.

As a renowned renewable energy company, ScottishPower Renewables has been actively developing and operating wind farms across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Its developments play a vital role in reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable energy solutions, contributing to a greener and more environmentally friendly future.

Everun’s selection as the S&M provider for ScottishPower Renewables’ wind farms is a testament to their expertise and dedication to maintaining optimal performance and longevity of renewable energy assets.

Ian Thomson, Head of Field Operations at ScottishPower Renewables, said: “We are really pleased with the Service and Maintenance support Everun has provided so far, with consistent delivery of results. Their high levels of commitment and performance has allowed us to not only minimise any downtime on our wind farms, but to also maximise the energy production and ultimately optimise the operations on our Irish sites.” 

“We are delighted to have achieved such outstanding availability performance for ScottishPower Renewables’ wind farms in Ireland,” said Michael Thompson, Managing Director of Everun. 

“Since assuming the S&M contract in April 2022 we have worked tirelessly to implement proactive maintenance strategies and deploy cutting-edge technologies to optimise wind farm operations.

“Our goal is to support ScottishPower Renewables in their commitment to delivering clean energy while surpassing industry standards in terms of availability and performance.”

Through the deployment of advanced monitoring systems and data analytics, Everun has successfully identified potential issues proactively, allowing for timely interventions and minimising any disruptions to energy generation. 

Ongoing diligent efforts have resulted in improved availability across the applicable wind farms, ensuring a reliable and consistent supply of renewable energy to the Irish power grid.

The partnership has not only driven sustainable energy generation but has also enhanced the economic benefits and job creation opportunities within the renewable energy sector in Ireland.

As Ireland continues its ambitious journey towards achieving renewable energy targets, the collaboration between Everun and ScottishPower Renewables sets a benchmark for operational excellence and underscores their joint commitment to a sustainable future.

For more information on the services provided by Everun go to

Lughnasa events at Armagh’s Navan Fort & Centre

Tales of the Past

Navan Fort & Centre, Friday 4th August , 7:30pm

Enjoy an evening of myth, music & exceptional home cooked food on Friday 4th August at the Navan Centre & Fort, Armagh, to celebrate the Celtic festival of Lughnasa.

With storytelling from Gráinne Holland, music from Bog Bodies & An Fuaim and food provided by Safari Banbridge, this is sure to be a fantastic evening of entertainment. Taking inspiration from some of Ireland’s great mythological tales, Gráinne combines storytelling and song in her performance specifically tailored for this evening.

Bog Bodies are an alternative folk band with their songs charged with energy from the ancient megalithic sites and are often ethereal and Celtic in theme. Their genre-bending, high-energy folk sound is somewhere between Christy Moore, Kíla and Rage Against The Machine with a dash of psychedelia for good measure.

An Fuaim is the support act for this evening; an amazing local collective of young musicians and dancers.

Tickets also include barbecue style home-cooked food from Safari Banbridge, with vegetarian & vegan options available.

For more information or to book, please visit:


Games of the Past

Navan Fort & Centre, Saturday 5th August , 1:00pm

As part of our Lughnasa celebrations, enjoy a packed afternoon of family fun on 5th August at Navan Centre & Fort, Armagh as we explore the Games of the Past! Discover how the Celtic clan would have used games as a fun way to train their young warriors in the art of battle and meet some of our greatest warriors and hunters.

Hone your warrior skills in the assault course, crawling under hessian sheets, dribbling a ball around a series of posts, balancing the ball, and striking at a target. Learn how hurling would have been a training method to strengthen the arms before moving on to wielding a sword. Discover how to hunt for your own food in Celtic times by using a spear & throwing a javelin! Our special hobby horses can lead you to victory in the Tailteann Derby and you can even experience the local sport of road bowling!

Meet some of the most skilled hunters we know, in the form of the amazing birds of prey from the award-winning World of Owls, such as owls, eagles, falcons, hawks and vultures.

The afternoon will conclude with a special hand-fasting ceremony as we gather around the Sacred Stone and witness trial marriages.

For more information or to book, please visit:

Offers of the week from Discover Northern Ireland

Hillyard House Hotel, Castlewellan, County Down

If you are looking for an outdoor adventure that combines breathtaking scenery and fun activities with a relaxing overnight stay, the Hillyard House Hotel is the perfect getaway. Experience a biking adventure through the fabulous forest trails just adjacent to this boutique style hotel from £183 a night. A perfect weekend getaway. £183 mountain biking B&B or £217 for a three-hour e-biking session. Visit for more information.

The Old Inn, Crawfordsburn, County Down

A summer treat at the Old Inn awaits. Enjoy B&B, a three-course meal in The Restaurant with a bottle of wine and a full Irish Breakfast next morning from £260.  There is also access to the Tranquil Treetop Spa, overlooking Crawfordsburn Country Park. Visit  for more information.

Corick House Hotel and Spa, Clogher, County Tyrone

Escape to the countryside for a two-night break from £160 per person. Relax in the walled garden or spend an hour in the thermal suite enjoying the hydrotherapy pool, sauna, and steam room. Spend the evening dining on a three-course meal in the lovely Carelton Restaurant. For extra indulgence, there is late checkout. Visit  for more information.

Book in advance to avoid disappointment. Subject to availability.

For more information on what’s on or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit

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


This summer the Summer Fun is coming to Antrim Lough Shore with the Sixmile Festival!

Find out more HERE


Summer in the City hosts free pop-up events and activities for all ages in Armagh city centre every Saturday throughout Summer.

Find out more HERE


Code Clock are once again hosting their annual ‘Summer School of Programming’ in the magnificent Computer Science building in Queens University, Belfast, running from Monday 31st of July until 4th of August 2023.

Find out more HERE


Magical Musical Creatures and where to find them. Interactive family fun! No musical experience required – just bring enthusiasm! This is an interactive concert for children based on the theme of Magical Creatures and exploring how music can bring this to life.

Find out more HERE


Music by the Lake.

Crom is looking forward to two music nights this year:  Saturday 29th July with The Hand me Downs. Saturday 12th August with The Sentrals. Find out more HERE


Saturday Lunchtimes Live in the Park! North Coast TradSat 29 July12:00 – 13:00Free Outdoor Lunchtime Performance.  Pack a picnic, some camp chairs or a blanket, and join us for a Lunchtime Live in the Park performance. We are delighted to welcome Laoiseach McGarry, Steven Iveson and Peter O’Kane from North Coast Trad to perform at Flowerfield.

Find out more HERE


Irish country sensation Derek Ryan’s road to stardom is set to continue with his biggest concert tour yet. Following on from the phenomenal success of his recent Soft Ground tour, Derek Ryan returns with a brand-new concert show for 2023.

Find out more HERE



10 things to do in Northern Ireland

Here are ten exciting things to do 31 July – 6 August

  1. EastSide Arts Festival, Belfast, County Antrim, 31-6 August. More than 60 events will be held to showcase this part of the city’s vibrant cultural and creative arts scene. It’s the birthplace of cultural giants like Van Morrison, Gary Moore of Thin Lizzy fame and George Best. There’s theatre, literature, music, and cabaret staged in great venues like the refurbished Templemore Baths and the Harland and Wolff Staff Club. Among the experiences on offer will be comedy at Banana Block, a walking tour for foodies and a free family fun day at CS Lewis Square to celebrate the event’s 10th birthday.
  2. Classic Bike Festival Ireland, Downpatrick, County Down, 4-6 August. For a celebration of motorcycling Bishopscourt Racing Circuit is the venue. There’ll be track racing for Classic Superbikes 250GP as well as Classic GP 250/350 machines and sidecars. As well as the action on the track fans can see 100’s of rare motorcycles in the display marquee.
  3. Games of the Past, Armagh, County Armagh, 5 August. Discover how a Celtic clan would have used games as a fun way to train their young warriors in the art of battle! It’s all part of Lughnasa celebrations, the ancient festival celebrating the beginning of harvest time. There’ll be an assault course and target practice with the chance use a spear and javelin! You can also meet some of nature’s most skilled hunters: eagles, falcons, and hawks.
  4. Honey Fair, Hillsborough, County Down 5-6 August. ‘Bee’ Inspired and learn more about the vital role honeybees play in our environment set against this beautiful backdrop. Savour the sweetness and sample mouth-watering local food and drink from more than 50 artisan producers. Discover how to make your garden bee-friendly, speak to beekeepers and experience food demonstrations with the likes of local chef and food writer Paula McIntyre.
  5. Cuilcagh Lakelands UNESCO Global Geopark, County Fermanagh. Straddling Fermanagh in Northern Ireland and County Cavan in the Republic of Ireland, this global geopark is simply breath-taking. Take in the views of stunning waterfalls, lakes and gently rolling drumlin as well as spectacular cliffs and hidden caves. Explore prehistoric tombs, Iron Age forts and early Christian monasteries. This is an ideal destination for anyone with a love of the great outdoors.
  6. Strangford Lough Adventure Centre: Full Moon Paddle, Strangford Lough, County Down, 1 August. A unique way to experience the water and the beauty of the full moon. Departing at twilight on a kayak, SUP or canoe be guided by an instructor around the islands of the Lough. Take in the mystical atmosphere and weather permitting great view of the stars before returning to dry land for hot chocolate and treats. Weather dependent.
  7. Island Town Dinner & Cruise, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, 1-6 August. Enjoy a two-hour cruise onboard the MV Kestrel around Lough Erne before stopping off in one of four of the town’s finest eateries to have dinner. You will then be given a £15 Voucher to bring to your chosen venue and use it as you please.
  8. Bad Bridget Banner Making, Omagh, County Tyrone, 5 August. Join Fiona McDonnell, the illustrator behind the Bad Bridget exhibition artwork, for a banner making workshop based on her work as part of the exhibition. Throughout history, political and social movements such as these have always utilised the power of banners for group solidarity and to communicate their message of change. Taking the Bad Bridget exhibition as a starting point, this workshop will be a creative exploration in banner making for a cause you care about, or just a relaxing way to spend your afternoon!
  9. Benone Artisan Market, Limavady, County Londonderry, 5 August. Benone artisan market by Naturally North Coast and Glens is an excellent showcase of local food, culture, heritage, and traditions, and it is an ideal destination for anyone looking for an authentic experience. The stallholders are themselves producers – people who grow, make, create, style, rear, craft, design or bake the products that they sell. It’s a place to explore, to ask questions, to discover new flavours, stumble upon raw talent, unearth entrepreneurship, nurture bygone mastery, and to savour a unique, buzzing atmosphere.
  10. August Craft Month 2023, across Northern Ireland ,1-6 August. This is a must for all makers and lovers of things handmade and artisan. With over 150 events taking place across Northern Ireland, including courses in everything from jewellery making to basketweaving there’s the opportunity to learn a new skill! Open studio events allow you to see high skilled craftspeople at work. This year’s theme is “Pathways”, inspiring people to begin their own creative journey.


For more information on what’s on or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit

Creative Peninsula Twilight Market and Arts Night for Newtownards

Creative Peninsula – Northern Ireland’s premier celebration of Art and Craft, will showcase the Borough’s most talented artists and makers at the Twilight Market and Arts Night event next Friday, 4 August. Formerly known as ‘Craft in the Square’, this year’s event has been renamed and moved to the later time of 4pm – 9pm.

For one evening only, Conway Square and Ards Arts Centre in Newtownards will be transformed into a creative hub with 28 artists and makers displaying and selling their work. 

Artist Ray Elwood at work at a previous Creative Peninsula event.

With a selection of ceramics, textiles, print, paintings and mixed media on offer and a drop-in area for children’s arts and crafts. Meanwhile, Ards Arts Centre will be alive with creative activity, so make sure to drop in and try your hand at printing, painting or drawing and watch artists at work, demonstrating their techniques.

Taking place throughout August, Creative Peninsula, which is now in its 22nd year, offers a range of free and bookable opportunities for people of all ages and levels of experience to see, learn about and even ‘try their hand’ at some of the many art and craft forms that are practiced in the local area.

Other highlights include;

Alfresco Demonstrations at North Down Museum: be inspired as you watch the Artists and Makers at work in the Courtyard of North Down Museum. There will be free demonstrations on offer throughout the afternoon and some hands-on activity to try yourself. Sunday 6 August. Free admission.

Bangor Art Tour and Tipple: join this walking tour of Bangor to visit three creative spaces where you can meet the makers and try your hand at making a print, enjoying a tipple along the way. Wednesday 2 August, £12. Booking essential.

Open Studios: some of the Creative Peninsula Artists have opened their studios to deliver workshops. For full details of participating artists and how to book, visit the Creative Peninsula website.

Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Jennifer Gilmour said:

“Ards and North Down boasts one of Northern Ireland’s most vibrant creative communities, with a remarkable concentration of talented artists and crafts people. The Creative Peninsula offers visitors an unparalleled opportunity to witness the very best of local arts and crafts and interact with the talented creators behind the artwork.”

View the full Creative Peninsula 2023 programme at:

You can also pick up a programme and find out more information on all the events on offer from Ards Arts Centre or North Down Museum.

Castlereagh Hills Golf Course welcomes The Hills Bar & Restaurant

A new restaurant and bar has opened at Castlereagh Hills Golf Course. 

The Hills Bar & Restaurant, founded by entrepreneur and owner of Dished Up Deli catering company Philip Davison, has created 10 new jobs for the venue with plans to add to the team throughout the summer.

The menu consists of a variety of classic homemade dishes focused on supporting local producers. 

From Sunday lunch and breakfast frys to burgers, fish dishes and a range of delicious desserts the bar and restaurant is open seven days a week for both members of the golf club and the public.

Philip said: “We’re delighted to have been appointed to manage the hospitality services here at Castlereagh Hills Golf Course and I’m delighted to bring the Hills Bar & Restaurant brand to our patrons.

“Not only are there breathtaking views across the green but we have the ability to host up to 150 people for private functions such as weddings, funerals, christenings, birthdays, engagements and much more.”

Based at the stunning location of Castlereagh Hills Golf Course, the aptly named The Hills Bar & Restaurant boasts scenic views of the magnificent Castlereagh countryside.  

Located less than five miles from Belfast city centre, the family-run restaurant has an impressive menu of local cuisine and is the ideal location for those after a quick scone and coffee, lunch or an evening meal and beverage in the fully licenced bar. 

Attending the official opening of The Hills Bar & Restaurant, Chair of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Communities and Wellbeing Committee, Councillor Thomas Beckett said: “I was pleased to attend the launch of the newly opened The Hills Bar & Restaurant at Castlereagh Hills Golf Course. Having gained a merited reputation as one of Northern Ireland’s best hidden gem courses, The Hills is a welcomed addition to the popular 18-hole golf course in the Lisburn Castlereagh area.  

“The menu has a varied offering coupled with the remarkable views from the balcony overlooking the course, this is sure to be a popular eatery with golfers and members of the public alike.”

Catering for all types of functions including birthdays, weddings and other family gatherings in our stunning, modern and bright setting, The Hills Bar & Restaurant is open daily from 10am.

Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Andrew Gowan said: “It is encouraging to see this new venture in the Lisburn Castlereagh area, offering a local option for families, individuals and couples to enjoy an eating out experience. 

“The family-run restaurant prides themselves on excellent customer service so I would encourage locals and those further afield to come down and enjoy The Hills experience.”

Mr Davison added: “We are thrilled to open here at the scenic Castlereagh Hills Golf Course and to be able to welcome members of the public and golfers to our fully licensed bar and restaurant. 

“You can expect excellent customer service, a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and good wholesome cuisine. We also have an express menu for golfers to enjoy before or after their round plus our popular, traditional Sunday lunch.”


To make a booking or to find out more, telephone 028 9013 4508 or email

Discover a treasure trove of family fun at Belfast Maritime Festival

Belfast’s rich maritime history and spirit of innovation will take centre stage with a host of free family activities on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September.

The Belfast Maritime Festival will take place along the city’s Maritime Mile, with activities stretching across Queen’s Quay to HMS Caroline in the Titanic Quarter.

Visitors can enjoy nautical-themed fun from 11am each day, including live music and pop-up performances, street entertainers and the colourful Belfast Bazaar, featuring the very best local produce and crafts.

The first ever ‘Science Street’ on Titanic Slipways will host an array of fun interactive activities, demonstrations and live shows exploring topics such as navigation, marine biology, climate change and biodiversity. Whether you’re a seasoned science enthusiast or a curious learner, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The youngest crew members will love the hands-on activities delivered by Wee Critters and Mini Explorers over at the Kids’ Zone at Queen’s Quay, while a flotilla of vessels and ships will dock at Queen’s Quay and Belfast Harbour Marina, where visitors can hop on board to meet the crew and experience life at sea.

The visiting ships will include Granuaile (Irish Lights), Leader, Brian Boru and La Malouine.

A diverse music programme, featuring over 40 leading musicians from across NI, will take place in outdoor venues across the Maritime Mile, celebrating homegrown talent and marking Belfast’s status as a UNESCO City of Music.

Featuring Americana, trad, jazz, opera, bluegrass, classical, indie and folk artists, highlights will include the Maritime Festival Showcase on Saturday 9 September, with four leading singer-songwriters and NI Music Prize winners, premieres especially commissioned for the festival, new collaborations and a 30-piece brass band. Then, on Sunday 10 September, come and experience the power of 25 opera voices performing much-loved classic works together, presented by the award-winning Northern Ireland Opera.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Ryan Murphy, said: “I’m really excited by what’s on offer at this year’s Belfast Maritime Festival – always a very popular event with local families, as well as visitors travelling into Belfast to enjoy the festival.

“The diverse line-up of free events and activities really brings our maritime and industrial heritage to life, while the sight of ships docking along the spectacular Maritime Mile is always something to be enjoyed.

“The addition of ‘Science Street’ offers visitors the chance to celebrate Belfast’s spirit of innovation and will inspire future generations to explore more, while there’s so many opportunities to enjoy the very best of our local talent, through live music and street theatre performances, great food and handcrafted products at the Belfast Bazaar.

“I’d encourage everyone to put Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September in their diaries and get on board for a weekend of fun!”

The Belfast Maritime Festival has been organised by Belfast City Council and is supported by Tourism NI, delivered in partnership with Maritime Belfast Trust, Belfast Harbour, Odyssey Trust, the Department for Communities and Titanic Quarter Ltd.

Aine Kearney, Director of Events at Tourism NI, said: “Tourism NI is delighted to support the return of the Belfast Maritime Festival, a much-needed post-pandemic boost to the wider tourism and hospitality industry with a projected economic benefit of circa £1.5 million.

“The event is a great opportunity to showcase this key Titanic and Maritime Belfast heritage destination and its wealth of visitor experiences. This immersive event will further awaken the giant spirit in our visitors, igniting their sense of discovery and demonstrating the warm welcome Northern Ireland offers to all.”

Visitors attending the Belfast Maritime Festival are encouraged to walk, cycle or take public transport to reach the event activities.

Walk or cycle along the quaysides all the way to HMS Caroline. Cycle parking is available outside Titanic Belfast and there are also Belfast Bike docks at the SSE Arena and SS Nomadic.

You can also hop on the Glider from Belfast city centre directly to the Titanic Quarter or travel by train to Titanic Quarter Halt.

For more event information, visit


Fun For Little Ones This Summer At The Market Place

The Market Place Theatre in Armagh has plenty lined up to keep the youngsters entertained this summer.

On Saturday 5 August, Banyan Puppet Theatre returns with their production of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. A playful and imaginative re-telling of the timeless Brother Grimm’s story, this is the tale of a curious young girl who weaves her way through the wintery woods to her grandma’s house in a journey full of surprises. A blend of live performance, puppet operation and visual invention, ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ is suitable for 3-11 year olds, with tickets only £26 for a family of 4.

For those kids who are a little more hands-on, there will be plenty of workshop fun to be had. On Saturday 12 August, 5-12 year olds can join the ‘Oh We Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’ workshop which will allow youngsters to create a quirky colourful beach scene featuring cute summer-ready characters, using air drying clay.

Then on Saturday 19 August, children aged 7-12 can make a splash creating your own Merpeople. Let’s start by making them a magical underwater world to live in. It will be a mixed media extravaganza, using a wide variety of materials to create a three-dimensional nautical artwork. There will be painting and designing, with lots of decorations available to add that extra touch to your piece [sequins anyone?]. Perfect opportunities to free their imaginations!

Tickets for all performances and workshops can be booked online at, or through the Box Office on 03300 561 025.

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

Classic Bikes Set for Armoy Road Races

ALTHOUGH most road racing fans love to watch the big Superbike and Supersport Races at the Armoy Road Races there are also a fair number of fans who love the sound and smell of a Classic bike.

Armoy Road Races have another good entry of modern and pre 73 classic bikes. Pictured with rider, Barry Davidson, is William Munnis, Clerk of the Course and Chairman of the Club and Fay Stewart who is sponsoring the Senior Classics.

This year at the Armoy Road Race there is another good entry of modern and pre 73 classic bikes. None more so than the exotic MV3 350cc ridden by English rider Andy Hornby. The last one raced in Ireland was likely to be by multiple world champion, Giacomo Agostini, in the late 60s.

There are also the modern classics like the Davis Motorsport Yamahas ridden by Dominic Herbertson and Paul Jordan, plus Dave Suddes on the Harris Yamaha to name but a few.

There has also been a lot of interest for the Steadplan Sales Classic Superbike race with some memorable bikes from the 80s and 90s where Phillip Crowe from Market Rasen is on a Suzuki XR69 and Whitby’s John Cliffe is on a Harris Suzuki F1.

This year Fay Stewart is sponsoring the Senior Classics and will see many riders including Ian Lougher on the Chapman Racing MV Augusta and local Ballymena man Barry Davidson who recently celebrated the milestone of his 100th Irish national road racing success riding Team Gimbert Honda 500.

Barry will also be riding a Team Gimbert Honda 350 in the MJF Builders Junior Classics and Ballymoney man Darryl Tweed on a Neil Vickers 350.

William Munnis Clerk of the Course and Club Chairman, said, “The grid at Armoy Road Races has bikes and competitors to cater for all ages and enthusiast of the sport. The sound will be something else particularly for the younger generation who may never have had the opportunity to hear and see such great racing bikes of the past. Both Friday and Saturday will see a great spectacle indeed. I’m looking forward to seeing the races begin and a safe two days of racing.”

This year, Bike Week runs from Sunday 23rd July until Saturday 29th July with the races taking place on Friday 28th July and Saturday 29th July 2023. The Armoy Road Races are part funded by the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and culminates in the Bayview Hotel Races of Legends.

For more information on Armoy Road Races, visit or search for ‘AMRRC’ on Facebook or follow on twitter @ArmoyRoadRaces.

Please support the Armoy Road Races by buying a programme or a package. They are available from the Armoy office or on the website but need to be collected from the office in Armoy.