Desmond Kinney Exhibition Opens at the Market Place Theatre

The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre in Armagh is hosting Desmond Kinney’s exhibition, BUILE SHUIBHNE ‘SWEENEY ASTRAY’.

Northern Ireland born international artist Desmond Kinney is best known for his revival of the technique of working with mosaics, through various large-scale murals and public art works mainly focused on Irish myths and legends. In the 1980’s he started illustrated calligraphy, working on Seamus Heaney’s translation Sweeney Astray, creating paintings in the medium of watercolour. The Home of Saint Patrick Festival 2020 and The Market Place Gallery are delighted to exhibit sixteen of Kinney’s stunning illustrations which have never been exhibited publically before.

Buile Shuibhne, in English ‘The Madness of Sweeney’ is an old Irish myth immortalised in verse composed during the 12th Century. The poem inspired many writers, including Seamus Heaney, who made his own translation of it, published in 1984. Heaney’s friend, artist Desmond Kinney, enamoured by the work, turned it into a series of watercolours featuring his personalised calligraphy.

Desmond Kinney also transformed the Buile Shuibhne into a large mosaic frieze which is situated at the University of Limerick. The mosaic made in Venetian vitrious glass features quotations from Seamus Heaney’s text. The poet and the painter remained lifelong friends.

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.

Offers of the Week!

Northern Ireland boasts a wonderful collection of places to stay including beautiful B&Bs, luxurious spa hotels and great value self-catering properties. Discover NI has selected the best offers of the week to help you plan a short break.

·         Dream and dine offer at the Clayton Hotel, Belfast from £118 based on two people sharing

Put a spring in your step and enjoy a getaway break in the heart of Belfast city. The newly refurbished four star Clayton Hotel is just a few minutes’ walk to anywhere city centre with shops, bars and restaurants close by. This special offer includes accommodation in a deluxe room, a three course dinner in the Avenue22 restaurant and a full vitality breakfast (subject to availability). To book call 028 9032 8511. Offer available until 31st May.

·         Mourne Forest Parc Holidays at Spelga Mountain Lodge, Newry from £250 per lodge

Treat yourself to a break away at the Spelga Mountain Lodge, located on top of the Mourne Mountains.  Enjoy the forest parks with your family and try an activity at the Life Adventure Centre (pre-book separately). Stay for two nights in the high Mournes, only ten minutes from Newcastle, relaxing by the wooden stove in the modern two bedroom self-catering lodge (Sleeps 5), beside Spelga Dam Wall (subject to availability). To book call 07720432781. Offer available until 31st March.

·         ‘Free night’ spring into spring offer at Cavan View Farmhouse, Dungannon from £390 per cottage

Stay at Cavan View for three or more nights and enjoy a further night completely free. This is a charming, self-catering farmhouse which sleeps up to six, is set in delightful and secluded gardens. It is the ideal base whether sightseeing, visiting family and friends or on short or long-term business trips. It is as much about a relaxing ‘getaway’ for local activity breaks as it is about easy access to all parts of Northern Ireland. This offer includes a ‘Welcome Basket’ on arrival with all you need for that first cuppa and more (subject to availability). To book call 07989583556. Offer available until 2nd April.

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


Join Exploris  Aquarium  this Sunday 15th March for all the craic and banter  with underwater and reptilian friends.  Additional Snake demonstrations led by their team of Aquarists, daily animal demonstrations, themed arts and crafts and a mer-mazing face painter will be joining the craic this St Patrick’s weekend at Exploris Aquarium.


It’s the first Steam of 2020 at Whitehead Railway Museum on Saturday 14th March!  The Museum will be celebrating Saint Patrick’s Weekend with steam train rides from Whitehead Excursion Station platform and a themed treasure hunt.  Experience a taste of steam travel with a mini steam train ride departing from the station platform.


Prepare to be part of the gloriously mad ‘Worst Café in the World’ experience.  The Big Telly Theatre Company’s sell out show from the Belfast International Arts Festival will appear in a top secret location in Armagh… Make you book and you will be contacted with instructions. Tell no-one. 12th to 14th March.


Get your best green on and make your way to Carrowmena Activity Centre this St Patrick’s Weekend for activities that St Patrick himself wishes he could do!  Climb, Zip, Shoot & Hunt for Leprechauns to find the Pot of Gold!  Climbing Wall / Zip Line / Archery / Orienteering. 13th to 17th March.


Dye tracing is a method used by hydrogeologists to track and trace the flow of underground streams and rivers. Join the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and Marble Arch Caves staff to hear about the hydrology of these fascinating caves while watching the Shruh Croppa River turn a luminous shade of green this Saturday.


Hazel Wand students always thrill Omagh audiences with exceptional performances and this all singing, all dancing and all acting showcase has something for everyone! From 12th to 14th March they will present extracts from theatre and Disney classics such as ‘The Aristocrats’, ‘Oliver,’ ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at the Strule Arts Centre in Omagh.


LDN Wrestling, the bone crunching superstars of LDN Wrestling, bring a host of top American wrestling stars to the ring to face the very best of home-grown talent and fans favourites in a two hour rip roaring entertainment for all the family to enjoy. Belvoir Studio Theatre this Friday 13th.

For further 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.

New Temps Agency Recruiting Over 100 Jobs In Bangor & Newry

Newly launched Tyson Wilson Temps has announced a series of temporary job opportunities in County Down, with temporary placements in Bangor and Newry.

The call centre opportunities are such that successful applicants will be offered an immediate start with a minimum of two weeks work, providing not only extra money, but a valuable addition to CVs.

Michelle Tyson, CEO of Tyson Wilson Temps – a division of Tyson Wilson Recruitment – said the jobs have been designed to suit most applicants, and are with a well-known call centre.

“We are looking for over 100 enthusiastic people who are comfortable speaking on the phone,” she said, adding: “This minimum two-week temporary role (with the potential of becoming 4-8 weeks) involves our candidates being the first point of customer contact via telephone.

“You will be working on a major campaign where responsiveness and customer care are paramount.

“Depending on the selection process you may be required to communicate with customers through a variety of other channels such as email, web chat and social media.”

The hours are full-time, but flexible, with a £10 per hour rate, paid weekly.

Applicants must be 18 or over and able to start immediately or within two weeks. Working days are Monday to Sunday, 7am to 11pm in both the Bangor and Newry offices. Full training is provided.

“The employer is committed to providing flexible working so that you can work around commitments such as family,” said Michelle. “Applicants must demonstrate a flexible approach and be prepared to work rotating shifts, with rotas notified one week in advance.”

No previous experience required, but those applying must have basic PC skills, a nice telephone manner, be comfortable speaking with a variety of customers, and have an up-to-date CV and full identification for registration.

Michelle said this will be a vital stepping stone in employment, or ideal for those needing a wage going into the spring months.

“For those who are considering ‘temping’ there are a series of benefits,” she explained.

“It can help improve your CV, filling in a gap and offers the opportunity to learn new skills as well as gain much needed experience in an area that may be lacking.

“It also means that you can look at a new career direction as you learn new skills and consider what path to take. That’s not to mention the financial rewards and flexibility of temping with this client.”

To apply please visit

10 things to do in Northern Ireland

Here are ten exciting things taking place 9th – 15th March 2020.

1.       Belfast-Childrens-Festival Belfast Children’s Festival Belfast, 6 – 11 March. Belfast Children’s Festival has become one of the largest children’s arts festivals on the island of Ireland and the UK, attracting over 15000 people last year. This year’s festival will explore the concepts of home, place and belonging. There’s lots to choose from, so whether you have a toddler or a teen, it’s worth checking out the full programme.

2.       CultureLab CultureLab Belfast, 21 February – 30 November.CultureLab is a place to take a good, hard look at the cultural stereotypes that we all know surround us in Northern Ireland. This new exhibition poses questions about culture and offers a glimpse into how identities have been, and continue to be, shaped. The exhibition includes the famous ‘Differences’ blackboard from the hit TV series Derry Girls, which is on public display for the very first time

3.       Coast-and-Country Coast and Country Coleraine, 8 Feb – 12 December 2020. On this 6 hour tour by private bus sit back, relax and savour the flavours that make this area so unique. Get ready for a truly unique, memorable and heartfelt experience where you will have the chance to sample local food and drinks. Enjoy this time together to eat, discover and take home an authentic taste of our beautiful place.

4. An Object I Love – May Ward Downpatrick, 14 March. Celebrate the life of Mary Ward, accomplished author, artist and astronomer. Tour the rooms of Castle Ward where the team at Castle Ward has unearthed some of Mary’s own treasured belongings to tell the tale of her pioneering life including her famed microscope. Following the talk from their experts, retire to the theatre for tea and scones

5.       Home-of-St-Patrick-Festival Home of St Patrick Festival Armagh, 6 – 17 March. Armagh is at the heart of celebrating the life of Patrick and the “Home of St. Patrick Festival” promises a lively and varied showcase of the best culture, music and spirituality. The festival will provide an unrivalled mix of regional and international music, theatre, spoken word, art and comedy, highlighting the stunning locations where he walked and worked.

6.       Rademon-Estate-Distillery-Tour Rademon Estate Distillery Tour Downpatrick, 21 Feb – 2 May. Learn all about their foraged botanicals, unique gin and whiskey processes, stand next to their three beautiful copper pot stills and meet the founders Fiona and David. Just remember to take time to enjoy the views in their beautiful location with a pre/post tour cocktail at the bar.

7.       Dynamic-Dye-Tracing-Experiment-at-the-Marble-Arch-Caves Dynamic Dye Tracing Experiment at the Marble Arch Caves Enniskillen, 14 March. Join their friends from the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and the Marble Arch Caves staff to hear about the hydrology of these fascinating caves while watching the Shruh Croppa River turn a luminous shade of green. Find out more about the tracing experiments that have been carried out in the wonderfully wet County of Fermanagh

8.       Give-My-Head-Peace Give My Head Peace Derry~Londonderry, 12 – 14 March. The comedy sensation, Give My Head Peace Live returns to the Millennium Forum in March with a brand new show promising a satirical look at everything happening in Northern Ireland today. Join Da, Ma, Cal, Dympna and the rest of the gang for a fun-filled night with plenty of laughter and a few surprises thrown in for good measure.

9.       Saint-Patricks-Day-Steam-Saturday Saint Patrick’s Day Steam Saturday Carrickfergus, 14 March. The Museum will be celebrating Saint Patrick’s Weekend with steam train rides from Whitehead Excursion Platform and a themed Treasure Hunt. Experience a taste of steam travel with a mini steam train ride departing from Whitehead Excursion Platform.

10.   Friday-13th-Special-Jail-of-Horror Friday 13th Special – Jail of Horror Belfast, 13 March. Visitors, if they dare, will enter the haunted prison site and face all their fears on an intense scare after scare journey at Crumlin Road Gaol which only has one way out. The one-of-a-kind Friday 13th Special – Jail of Horror is full of surprises and guaranteed to make even the bravest of visitors jump.

For more information on these events or to plan a short break in Northern Ireland, visit

St Patrick’s Weekend Events at the Market Place

The Market Theatre in Armagh has a packed Bank Holiday weekend of events for all the family starting off with ‘The Hedgehog Prince’ on Saturday 14 March.

It tells the story of a couple who long for a child, be it as beautiful as a snowdrop or as prickly as a hedgehog! The storyteller spins a tale bursting with magic and enchantment; of a boy bewitched, a giant cockerel, a king lost in a forest and a promise never to be broken. The Hedgehog Prince is based on an old traditional folktale and uses puppetry, object theatre and original music, which will enchant young and old alike. Suitable for children aged 5+.

On Sunday 15 March, The John O’Connor Writing School presents a reading of ‘Come Day, Go Day’. John O’Connor’s novel ‘Come Day, Go Day’ is a loving evocation of Armagh’s Mill Row, of a people, a time, and a place long gone. From the poignancy of Teasie’s story, to the exhilaration of the Bullet Match, to the tragedy of Vincent Kelly and his dog Gyp. Come and celebrate this unique and wonderful work, adapted and read by Armagh-born actor and writer Karl O’Neill.

Then on Monday 16th March, we have a film screening of the documentary ‘The Peacemaker’. A New York Times Critics’ Pick and multi-award winning film, ‘The Peacemaker’ is an intimate portrait of international peacemaker Padraig O’Malley – who helps make peace for others but struggles to find it for himself. The film takes us from Padraig’s isolated life in Cambridge, Massachusetts to some of the most dangerous crisis zones on Earth, as he works a peacemaking model based on his recovery from addiction. We are delighted that Padraig O’Malley will be joining us for a short Q&A after the screening. This is a free event although tickets should be pre-booked.

Tickets for all events can be purchased by contacting the Box Office on [028] 3752 1821, or online at

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

IT Apprenticeships Path to Success Through

Higher Level Apprenticeships offer students the chance to learn and earn, with better prospects for the future.

CareerEncode have been partnering with progressive companies located all over Northern Ireland to grow their tech capabilities, and a series of open events are being held to explain to students and their parents the opportunities on offer.

The demand for skilled IT staff is higher than ever, and the Higher Level Apprenticeship in Computing allows school leavers and those changing career to gain a foundation degree without the burden of student debt.

Better still those taking on an apprenticeship will earn a salary, while they learn. CareerEncode is already working with companies to grow their tech teams and to offer another route to employment other than university.

The current skills shortage within Northern Ireland’s tech sector means that there are not enough graduates to fill vacancies, but a Higher Level Apprenticeship offers a pathway that benefits both the employer and the apprentice.

And the rewards are clear. Jobs requiring digital tech skills command higher salaries – 61% more than the average in Northern Ireland with one in five people in Belfast already being employed in the tech sector.

An apprentice with a employer learns on the job with the support of an experienced professional mentor. They are paid a salary whilst they study for their Foundation Degree. This means that they gain their skills without any student debt and get a head start in a future-proofed industry.

Applications for close on March 31st. will host two open nights to explain the application process and to offer interview tips to prospective applicants.

You can find out more about CareerEncode Higher Level Apprenticeships by visiting or by attending the open nights.

These are being held in Ballymena on Thursday March 19th, at Catalyst Innovation Centre; and in Belfast on Tuesday March 24th at Bazaarvoice. Both events take place at 5pm.

Belfast Author Reveals How To Succeed In Business & Life In New Self Help Book

Rising up from collapsed businesses and personal devastation to achieve success Bernie Allen is an inspiration, and she has now revealed some of the secrets of that journey in her new book How To Succeed in Business and Life..What’s Holding Your Back.

Out now Bernie says the book has been written to help readers identify where they have been and why they have been there, or where they are now and how they got there and also to help them get to where they want to go.

“I decided to put my experiences and subsequent success into print after a talk I gave at a convention called Camp Someday,” she said. 

“During that talk, I spoke about the difficulties and challenges I came up against both in my personal and business life, and how I identified and overcame them.

“The audience response was overwhelming and after every event, it was the same response. I decided to put it into this book to help others overcome some issues that might be holding them back. I also run boot camps to give people hands-on help.

In the past two decades, Bernie has overcome a lot of adversities, in family and business, Relationship breakups, two businesses closing leading to debts of £78,000, also health issues, to becoming a once again successful businesswoman.

“I owned a restaurant in a mall that didn’t live up to the promises I was made, and a newsagent that failed because a big garage opened next door.

“I truly didn’t know where to turn; I used to tell people my duvet became my best friend because I didn’t want to get out of bed and face reality.”

I didn’t know where my next income was coming from. I was then introduced to the world of Network Marketing A home-based business opportunity with no overheads and I grabbed it with both hands and ran with it.

I set myself a five-year business plan and my top priority was to pay off my debts. I achieved that in four-and-a-half years and became debt-free and financially secure.

Bernie has interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs, business owners, and thought leaders, to find out what either held or is holding them back,

She explained: “In my experience, all those who succeed are the people who are prepared to do what they need to do to get what they want to get, don’t make excuses, always prepared to learn more of the how-to and is genuinely interested in helping others achieve and get out of the money versus happiness trap.

“To get to the top it’s all about what is going on between your two ears so self-development is even more important than learning.

“I have travelled the world in search of empowerment knowledge and have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on seminars, books, webinars, CDs, booking trainers and attending conventions globally.

“When I was growing my self-confidence and motivation I had to make sacrifices, to succeed, but, it was all worth it, don’t let anyone tell you, you can build a successful business without having to make sacrifices.”

Tina Calder, owner of Excalibur Press who has published the book said: “We’re delighted to welcome Bernie into the Excalibur Press family. Bernie is a dynamic speaker/business mentor whose years of expertise shine through throughout this book.

“If you enjoy self-help and books that help you supercharge your life in a few easy steps then this is definitely for you.”

Since achieving her success Bernie has been working to support charities, including Puppies for the Blind and fundraisers for schools and children in Uganda.

Even though this book has been written with business in mind many readers have said how much it has helped them not only in their business but in life, and how it has helped them grow their confidence.

“Enjoy the book and maybe you will find some golden nuggets for the growth of your own success,” said Bernie.

Bernie Allen’s How to Succeed in Business and Life…What’s Holding You Back? Is available from For more information about Bernie go to

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


Saffyre and Lore present: Take Me Home – A Night of Contemporary Irish & American Music this Saturday evening at the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre in Newry.  Lore and Saffyre, both from Northern Ireland, have come together to create an unforgettable music.


Be an everyday hero this Saturday by joining the  beach clean at Whitepark Bay Beach.  This is a great way to get active and meet others in the community, so you’ll feel good in more ways than one! Suitable clothing and footwear essential.


Armagh is at the heart of celebrating the life of Patrick and the “Home of Saint Patrick Festival” promises a lively and varied showcase of the best culture, music and spirituality.  The festival takes place from 6th – 17th March 2020. See


Gather your trainers and grab your head torch this Friday evening for a NEW night time adventure. The Firmus Energy Northern Lights Walk is the ultimate night-time challenge. Experience Portstewart’s magically lit coastal route and refreshments, cake, music, great banter and a medal that will greet you at the finish line! 5K or 10K.


Join National Trust staff and volunteers on Sunday 8 March between 12.00pm and 4.00pm at Castle Coole and help them on their mission to plant over 100,000 snowdrops in Fermanagh in 2020!  Fun for all the family – outdoor clothing/footwear advised.


Veteran Irish songwriter Kieran Goss and singer Annie Kinsella released their debut duo album: ‘Oh, the Starlings’ on 1st March 2019. See them perform live at the Burnavon Theatre Cookstown this Saturday evening. A show to make you laugh and cry… A show to move you with its honest beauty… A show not to be missed.


In celebration of World Book Day, Belfast Zoo is bringing literary favourites to life with an interactive book reading session on Saturday 7 March from 11am – 12.30pm. Tickets from £6.50 (Child under 4 years free).

For further 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.

St Patrick’s Festival Events at the Market Place Theatre, Armagh

The Market Place Theatre in Armagh is playing host to a stunning line-up of music and drama over the coming weeks to celebrate the City’s St Patricks Festival.

The drama kicks off on Saturday 7 March with ‘Dream, Sleep, Connect’, a bold new comedy about disconnection in the digital world, which takes a timely ‘swipe’ at online dating and appoholics.

Chris is working on a technological solution for the Irish border under the beady eye of his boss, Lucy, when he realises he has no one to invite to the office do. He joins Tinder only to find he’s met his match in more ways than one… But before long, Chris begins to ask the ultimate question: Who is watching who?

Then on Thursday 12 March, join us for ‘A Sharing of Traditions’ as Cavan meets Antrim in a unique coming together of traditional music, song, yarns & humour. Antrim’s own Willie Drennan and Cavan’s Martin Donohoe will show us all how there is much more binding our cultures together than driving us apart.

The Rapparees, a 5-piece folk and traditional band, are about as exciting an act as you’re likely to encounter on the circuit. Coming to The Market Place on Friday 13 March, their unique brand of folk music combines vocal harmonies with lashings of fiddle and banjo, which will have audiences on their feet singing and dancing along. They arrive at The Market Place with a bang, with their new album ‘Recharged’. Join us for an evening of foot stomping belters and heart-warming ballads.