Carrick Manufacturer Ryobi Raise Vital Funds For NI Hospice

After hosting a hugely successful family fun day recently, Carrick-based engineering firm Ryobi are celebrating raising over £10,000 to support the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

A variety of activities were available on the day for both children and adults, including a bouncy castle, face painting, a raffle and many more fun-filled options.

The event raised a grand total of £7,938 for the charity, an amount that is sure to go a long way and be greatly appreciated.

This huge amount is less than half of what Ryobi have donated to the NI Children’s Hospice, having already donated £7,000 to sponsor one of the elephants included in the Big Elmer Trail that took place across Belfast this summer.  

Speaking on the fundraiser, Rachel Beattie, from the CSR team at Ryobi, expressed her joy at the opportunity to be involved with both the Elmer Trail and the family fun day.

She said: “Ryobi sponsored one of the elephants at a cost of £7,000.

“A couple of us within the CSR team then created a small subdivision team to try and fundraise more money on top of that for the hospice.

“I organised this fun day because we wanted to reach out to the local community and help other businesses in the process.”

As well as the fun day and Big Elmer Trail Ryobi staff also organised a charity at Carrickfergus Golf Club recently where they raised £2,500 for the Hospice.

Ciarán Maxwell, who organised the golf day said: “The typical NI September downpour didn’t dampen the spirits on the Charity Golf day – a fantastic effort from all the players to brave the conditions and finish the round, and a massive thank you to all hole sponsors and players who helped raise £2,500 for Northern Ireland Hospice.”

All the proceeds raised will provide crucial funding towards the NI Children’s Hospice, enabling them to continue their services within the community helping young children in need.

The Hospice is currently self-funded, making fundraisers such as these even more critical as it ensures further care can be given.

Rachel said: “We know that the Hospice is completely self-funded, they don’t get any government funding. 

“It costs £700 for one day of palliative care for a child in their home. None of us know when we will need that. That’s why it’s so important.”

Marco Emig, managing director of Ryobi, was at the fundraising event, and was delighted by the outcome and support it received.

He said: “I’m actually amazed by the turnout of how many people actually came to support us here today. 

“Around a year ago we set up the corporate social responsibility team, and the idea for the family fun day and the charity golf day events came from that team.”

Marco also addressed how the community rallied around the cause, with individuals from across Carrick and beyond attending and donating to the Children’s Hospice.

He said: “We’ve been in Carrickfergus for more than 30 years, and it’s time to start giving back to the community. 

“It’s really good to see Ryobi employees and their families here, as well as a lot of people here who are not our employees, which I think is really important.”

Gwyneth Evans, HR Manager, also expressed her delight at the sense of community seen on the day.

She said: “We have been supporting the Northern Ireland Hospice throughout the year with various fundraising activities. 

“We wanted to take this opportunity to bring all of our employees and their families together so that they could spend time in a social setting. 

“And also, we wanted to outreach to the local community, so we made the family fun day open to the public too.”

Ryobi did a fantastic job at raising vital funds for the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice and hopefully this will be an annual staple within Carrick for years to come.

For more information on how you can join the Ryobi team go to

County Fermanagh Apartments Awarded Four-Stars by Tourism NI

The Enniskillen Watersedge Apartments in County Fermanagh have been awarded four stars by Tourism NI. 

The Watersedge Apartments are an ideal place for a staycation to explore the Fermanagh Lakelands and the breath-taking local scenery. Located within walking distance of Enniskillen they are an ideal spot for families and weekend getaways with friends.

The self-catering apartments are also close to some of Northern Ireland’s top tourist spots including Enniskillen Castle Museum, Marble Arch Caves, Castle Coole, Belle Isle Estate and Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail. 

Alison Leslie, Tourism NI’s Quality Assurance Manager, commented:  

“The Enniskillen Watersedge Apartments are a fantastic addition to the tourism product in the County Fermanagh area. They are the perfect base for both local and international visitors to relax and unwind, with Enniskillen only a short distance from the apartments. This four-star rating now gives them a great springboard to draw even more visitors to the area.”

Alison added: “I commend Shane and the Cassidy Hospitality Group for all their efforts and wish them every success for their future.”

Shane Browne, Group Sales & Marketing Manager at Cassidy Hospitality Group, added: “We are delighted to be recognised as a four-star property by Tourism Northern Ireland, this recognition acknowledges the high standards and quality of the Enniskillen Watersedge Apartments. It allows us to position ourselves as a recognised self-catering offering in the Fermanagh Lakeland’s region, providing customers a four-star service and self-catering visit. We hope this recognition will drive business and tourism to the region and benefit growth for our business.”

North Belfast’s Tribute Fest Back This Weekend With Sounds Of Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran, Garth Brooks and ACDC Among Others

A tribute festival which attracts thousands of music fans is returning to Seaview Football Stadium in North Belfast this weekend.

Tribute Fest, taking place in the grounds of Crusaders Football Club on the Shore Road, will see local and visiting performers bring to life a whole range of popular music acts.

From Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran and Garth Brooks to Robbie Williams, George Michael and Erasure organisers say they’re delighted to be “bringing an eclectic mix of music for all tastes on the day”.

Also taking to the stage on Sunday October 2 are tributes to Status Quo, Neil Diamond, AC/DC and Garth Brooks.

U105’s Drivetime star Johnny Hero will be compere for the event which runs from 4pm-11pm with gates opening at 2pm.

Promoter John Rogers said: “Seaview is the perfect spot to end the festival season with a great mix of local talent.

“Danny Lowry who has appeared on both ITV and MTV will be performing an array of Robbie Williams hits, both old and new with a touch of swing and maybe a little bit of a Take That medley too.

“While Norris Stephens, who has been dubbed Europe’s number 1 tribute to George Michael, will be wowing the audience with his uncanny resemblance to the global music icon.”

And it’s not just solo acts on the bill, co-promoter Mervyn Boyd said the audience will be able to enjoy the full live band experience.

He explained: “Northern Ireland five-piece band Q The Quo will have the audience rocking out to all the biggest Status Quo hits including Whatever You Want, Rockin’ All Over The World and Down Down among others.

“Another local five-piece band taking to the stage will be the fantastic AC?DC who of course will be performing a range of hits such as Highway To Hell, You Shook Me All Night Long and Thunderstruck.”

Downtown Country DJ and tribute performer to Garth Brooks Jason Hughes will be recreating some of the star’s recent Croke Park magic with his country show.

Having toured all over Europe, America, Ireland and Scotland Jason is no stranger to the stage.

And while he’s looking forward to the show he revealed he still gets surprised by the audience’s reaction.

Jason, who has performed as Garth Brooks for over 20 years, said: “I am actually quite a shy person when I am not on stage and the reaction from the audiences at times leaves me gobsmacked.”

Tickets for Tribute Fest are free with a £5 booking fee. VIP tickets are also available at £10 +booking fee.

To book tickets or for more information go to

Tourism NI Hosts Coach and Group Workshop

Tourism NI recently hosted a Coach and Group Workshop in Derry~Londonderry. Twenty five coach and group operators from Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland held face to face sales appointments across two days and toured the local area on a familiarisation visit. 

Northern Ireland industry included three and four star hotels, visitor experiences, tour guiding associations and activity providers offering group visits as well as local Councils and regional tourism organisations.

Pictured at Brooke Hall are, l-r, Caroline Mulligan, Tourism Ireland, Janine Cuff, Albatross Group, David Gilliland, Brooke Hall & Estate, Nathalie Brohan, Classic Britain Hotels and Nikki Paterson, Tourism NI.

Pictured at Brooke Hall are, l-r, David Carton, Grand Tours, Karen Henderson, Visit Derry, Colin Wynne, Abbey Ireland & UK, Gwen Beveridge Tourism NI and Nikki Paterson, Tourism NI.

One World Festival Poetry Competition Returns For 2022

In addition to the One World Festival returning this autumn, so too is the poetry competition, which sees young writers from across Northern Ireland submit their poetry in relation to the festival’s beliefs and motto.

The competition, open to all students aged 12-18 years old, aims to get young individuals thinking about important issues raised across the festival through their writing.

Poems submitted should revolve around this year’s theme of ‘Displacement, Migration, Movement’, which should consist of the movement of people and those displaced from their homes.

Siobhan Hanley, chair of CADA NI, said: “Seeing the major changes in how our global population is changing geographically in recent years due to conflict, famine, and climate change, we feel it is crucial to explore the issues and impacts, while also providing opportunities to create change.

As a coalition of aid and development agencies (CADA NI), we are proud to collaborate in presenting the One World Festival – a variety filled programme, including; talks and discussions, storytelling, music, documentaries and films, and much more.”

Submissions for the competition should be no longer than 250 words and only one entry is allowed per person, with entrants needing to have submitted their poems by 12 noon on September 23. 

Aside from sticking to the selected topic, poems can be written in any style and feature any techniques desired, enabling writers to have free reign over their creations. 

The winner will be gifted a £100 book voucher and be given the opportunity to read aloud their poem during the One World Festival flagship event on Thursday 13 October. Two runners up will also receive a £25 book voucher. 

The event features Belfast poet Niamh McNally who will hand out the award, as well as the likes of the Belfast Operatic Society and is free to attend.

For more information and to  download an application form, visit or email

Family Fun Day In Carrick Tomorrow To Support Children’s Hospice

Following the success of the Children’s Hospice Big Elmer Trail throughout Belfast, Carrick based engineering firm Ryobi, one of the companies who sponsored an elephant, are hosting a family fun day on Saturday September 17 (tomorrow).

The event is being held at Carrickfergus Cricket Club, where the entertainment-filled afternoon is celebrating 21 years of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

Open to Ryobi staff and all members of the public, the event takes place from 1pm-4pm, featuring a whole host of activities for the family to enjoy, including a bouncy castle, penalty shoot out, face painting, giant Jenga, Army climbing wall and much more.

Speaking ahead of the event Marco Emig, managing director at Ryobi said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to support the Northern Ireland Hospice with a family fun day.

“The event not only gives us an opportunity to raise funds for a very worthy cause but also gives us a chance to get out and about and meet with the local community and spend time in a relaxed setting with our staff and their friends and family.”

Also available on the day is a raffle, offering a variety of prizes to be won from donating businesses, ranging from a PS5 bundle to experience vouchers.

The raffle costs £2 per ballot, with all proceeds going directly towards NI Children’s Hospice as a continuation of the Big Elmer Trail.

Tickets for the raffle are available until the end of Friday September 16 and can be bought from in the materials office on both the main and Kilroot site.

There are plenty of fantastic prizes to be won and fun to be had across the afternoon for everyone in attendance.

The four-hour long event will see special appearances from Paw Patrol characters and a police landrover and motorbike for the children to enjoy.

Ticket prices cover entry to all activities aside from the raffle are £5 per adult, £3 per child or £12 for a family ticket.

One World Festival Returns For 2022

CADA NI members and L-R are: Pauline Ross, Habitat for Humanity Restore, Emma Hassard, Concern worldwide and Deputy Chair for CADA NI, Rob Brannie, Habitat for Humanity Restore, Jan Lindsay, Habitat for Humanity Restore, Niall McConkey, Habitat for Humanity Restore.

One World Festival returns this October with its diverse line-up increasing awareness about the Global South, promoting understanding of issues that affect the lives of the poorest people and inspiring action in our communities towards a just, peaceful and sustainable world.

This year’s theme is ‘Displacement, Migration, Movement’, with the festival holding a whole host of talks, films, music, spoken poetry, exhibitions and more on the topic.

Taking place from October 10-14, the festival will showcase a unique festival experience centred around sustainability and work towards a just, peaceful and sustainable world.

2022’s festival sees a hybrid of in-person and virtual events, most of which are free to attend. Activities include a variety of workshops, discussions and family fun sessions, ranging from topics such as the climate crisis and the global economy. 

Siobhan Hanley, chair of CADA NI, explained: “One World Festival is back with a focus on Displacement, Migration and Movement in our 2022 events. Seeing the major changes in how our global population is changing geographically in recent years due to conflict, famine, and climate change, we feel it is crucial to explore the issues and impacts, while also providing opportunities to create change.

“As a coalition of aid and development agencies (CADA NI), we are proud to collaborate in presenting the One World Festival – a variety filled programme, including; talks and discussions, storytelling, music, documentaries and films, and much more.”

Highlights from this year’s festival include the flagship event on Thursday night held both online and in-person at the Accidental Theatre, Belfast. Aptly named ‘One World on the Move’, the show will look at the movement of people through mediums such as poetry, dance and music, featuring the Belfast Operatic Society and Belfast poet Niamh McNally.

Siobhan said: “This year, One World Festival moves toward in person events again while also embracing the opportunities to include and connect with as many as possible through online events also. Our main event, One World on the Move seeks to connect in a hybrid format with the activity being held at the Accidental Theater in Belfast while also being broadcast online.”  

Also included on the night is the announcement of the winner of the One World Festival Poetry Competition 2022, the successful young poet will recite their poem on this year’s theme.

Other events featured in the line-up include ‘Threads For Corporate Justice’, a show of solidarity through textiles held at Ulster University, and ‘Home: Stories of the displaced’, a photo exhibition detailing a number of stories from those who were displaced but now have a safe place to call home. 

The festival will also bring interactive online events such as One World Quick Fire Debates!, a range of lively five minute quick fire debates on the most important issues facing us today and in person workshops like Nonviolent Struggle In The Global South which will explore nonviolence and nonviolent struggle in the Global South.

Spanning across five days, the festival works to increase awareness and understanding of the developing world and is organised by the Coalition of Aid and Development Agencies (CADA NI), covering 19 overseas humanitarian charities who are based primarily in Northern Ireland.

Issues explored during the festival vary from climate change, modern slavery, gender equality, poverty and many more.

Encouraging people to take part in the festival, Siobhan said: “Join us at One World Festival 2022, either in person or online, to stand in solidarity with those for whom injustice, poverty, hunger and inequality are still a factor of daily life, both around the world and here at home.” 

For more information and to reserve tickets online go to

School Summit Northern Ireland Will Help Pupils Focus on Career Options

To help school leavers explore future opportunities and career pathways, the School Summit NI will welcome students from years 11 – 14 across Northern Ireland on October 3-4.  

The two-day careers and education event will take place at the Eikon Exhibition Centre in Balmoral Park in Lisburn, bringing together representatives from universities, industries and businesses from across the country. The Eikon Centre, Balmoral Park is conveniently located 15 minutes’ drive from Belfast and 85 minutes from Dublin.

The School Summit has been running successfully since 2017 in the Republic of Ireland with over 15,000 students having already attended the event.

The Inaugural School Summit NI took place in Autumn 2021 and will now be an annual event on the academic calendar.

Now in its second year in Northern Ireland, this annual event has turned into the top destination not only for pupils and teachers but also for universities, employers and businesses for exhibiting their courses, early careers and apprenticeships on offer along with networking opportunities for exhibitors and schools alike. 

Rachel Hanna, from Bell Media who organises the event, said: “A multitude and diverse range of exhibitors along with thousands of students from across Northern Ireland will be in attendance at the School Summit NI 2022 event.  It’s an excellent Summit for students to start thinking about their future steps and get an insight into various career options, apprenticeships and courses on offer.

“The event will have a variety of speakers this year to provide valuable experience and advice for all students, offering them the opportunity to explore a wide range of industries as career options.”

On both days, the event will run from 10:30am – 2pm, where participating exhibitors will have interactive stands with information leaflets and useful materials about their early career options, apprenticeships, further and tertiary opportunities and application procedures. Their representatives will be available to answer questions personally.  

Last year’s attendees have said that the event was both excellent, well organised, enjoyable and informative, providing access to useful information and resources. On their part, university & employer representatives have found the School Summit 2021 fulfilling as they enjoyed helping school leavers with their journeys into higher education & employment.

The School Summit NI is organised by Bell Media, a dynamic events and publishing company producing tailored high calibre events, magazines, event catalogues, reference guides and all kinds of printed and digital media to professional, commercial and membership organisations.

For booking and more information go to or call Rachel on 00353 4451900. 

Northern Ireland Authors To Appear At Ireland’s International Crime Writing Festival

Author James Murphy who has just released his new book Dark Light. Photo by Francine Montgomery / Excalibur Press

Murder One, Ireland’s International Crime Writing Festival is back with a bang from 4-9 October with a host of in person and online events, with some of crime fiction’s most wanted authors.

After two years online, Ireland’s celebration of the genre returns at a new venue, Dun Laoghaire’s stunning dlr LexIcon Library and Cultural Centre, just south of Dublin. 

Many events will still be live-streamed online, with several online-only events, including a masterclass with Peter James police adviser ex Chief Super Graham Bartlett, plus online interviews with US greats, Laura Lippman and Jean Hanff Korelitz.

With a significant contribution from Northern Ireland’s crime writing community led by international bestseller Steve Cavanagh, Brian McGilloway, Claire Allan, and James Murphy will feature in a blend of in conversation, panel events and readings.

James Murphy said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be lending my support to the Crime Writing Festival this year. It’s a pleasure to be working alongside some of the finest crime writers in Northern Ireland.

“The festival is jam packed with a great lineup which is testament to the sterling work and dedication to the industry by author Sam Blake who is a regular contributor to my Crime Scene radio show and podcast on Belfast 247.”

Cultural historian and TV presenter, Lucy Worsley, will be discussing her latest biography of Agatha Christie while man of the moment, Mick Herron, talks to fellow crime author Declan Hughes about his latest novel, Bad Actors. Ann Cleeves will be discussing her latest Vera Stanhope mystery, while international bestseller Lisa Jewell will also headline. Award winners Vaseem Khan and Nadine Matheson will also be joining the cream of Irish crime writing talent including Catherine Ryan Howard, Andrea Mara, Edel Coffey and Sinead Crowley among those appearing on a range of hot-topic panels.  

From twists to hard boiled  courtroom drama, the festival promises to grip audiences as the plot unfolds across three days at Dun Laoghaire’s LexIcon Library and Cultural Centre or live online

Murder One is run by bestselling crime author Sam Blake, who together with festival director Bert Wright, has established Murder One on the Irish festival circuit.

Sam Blake said: “Murder One is supported this year by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Libraries as well as The Arts Council and Dublin City of Literature – it’s a festival all about readers and post pandemic, when reading became such an important distraction, we want to re-introduce you to the irreplaceable experience of live author events while retaining an online presence to widen access for those who find it difficult to attend festivals. We are thrilled that we can feature so many Irish authors from both North and South to create a unique Steve Cavanagh festival offering.”

All tickets can be booked, for in person and online. Visit for booking details or follow @MurderOneFest on Twitter.

Tourism Chief Highlights Potential in Mid and East Antrim

Jason Powell, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Clare McKitterick, The Gobbins, John McGrillen, CEO Tourism NI, Mayor Alderman Noel Williams, Laura Cowan, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Helen McGorman, Tourism Ireland.

Tourism NI Chief Executive John McGrillen met with tourism representatives across Mid and East Antrim this week and visited a number of key attractions in the borough. He was joined by Tourism Ireland’s Head of Stakeholder Engagement for Northern Ireland, Helen McGorman.  

They both spoke to Council officials and industry about plans to further support tourism in the area.  The visit included the Andrew Jackson Cottage and the US Rangers Centre, a walking tour of Carrickfergus, the Whitehead Centre, an e-bike tour to scenic Blackhead Lighthouse as well as a tour of the Whitehead Railway Museum and the Gobbins Cliff Path.   

Commenting on his visit John McGrillen said;

“Mid and East Antrim offers significant growth opportunities in tourism and I was delighted to visit the borough and meet with so many inspiring people who are striving to realise the potential of the area”.

“The tourism led regeneration projects within the City and Growth Deal Programmes will have significant impact for Carrickfergus and The Gobbins as well as the wider Mid and East Antrim area and will help Northern Ireland to stand out internationally and remain competitive. In the meantime we must also continue to support smaller experiences which appeal to our core market segments and encourage more people to visit, stay longer and spend more”.  

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams said:

“As Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, I am delighted to welcome Tourism NI to our Borough and I’m very proud to highlight our wonderful businesses and attractions locally.  Council is committed to the ongoing expansion of businesses and today provided the opportunity for us to showcase our plans to support tourism going forward.  

“From the rugged Antrim Coast to Carrickfergus Castle to the beautiful villages and vibrant towns – Mid and East Antrim has something for all to enjoy.  Visitors can embrace our many open spaces and stunning scenery in places such as The Gobbins, Slemish, Portglenone Marina and Carnfunnock Country Park.  If Museums and arts is your thing, we have the fantastic Whitehead Railway Museum plus the historic US Rangers Centre.

“I urge everyone to come and see what our vibrant Borough has to offer – taking the scenic route of course!”

Helen McGorman, Tourism Ireland added; “I was delighted to visit some of the exciting tourism experiences in the Mid and East Antrim Borough and to hear about their plans for expansion. This area includes ‘must see’ attractions for overseas visitors to Northern Ireland, particularly those with an interest in history. The Andrew Jackson Cottage and US Rangers Centre, Blackhead Lighthouse, Whitehead Railway Museum and Gobbins Cliff Path tell stories of our rich history and are in close proximity to the beautiful County Antrim coastline. The Tourism Ireland teams around the world will be excited to learn more about these attractions.”