The Donard Veterinary Clinic

With the help of an Ulster Bank-backed investment, County Down entrepreneur Catherine Savage, who previously worked as a vet in Castlewellan, was able to set up her own business.

Catherine has launched a new 1,000 square foot surgery in Newcastle near the Slieve Donard Hotel. The Donard Veterinary Clinic will specialise in small, domestic animals and currently has employed 3 staff members with the hope of creating more jobs.

The Business Development Manager of the Ulster Bank, DJ Wilson, said, “We were impressed with Catherine’s ambition and business planning, and are pleased to support her with her new venture.”

Catherine Savage said, “I always wanted to run my own company, and having developed quite a lot of experience as a vet, I thought now was the perfect time to do it. Ulster Bank have been extremely supportive, and I feel that I have a great location in which to develop and grow the practice.”

For more information about the Donard Veterinary Clinic, visit their website:

DJ Wilson, Ulster Bank helps launch the new practice with owner, Catherine Savage alongside Timmy the Jack Russell and Bella the Cockapoo
DJ Wilson and Catherine Savage with Bella the Cockapoo 

‘Looking at Landscape’ Exhibition

The late Irish painter, Basil Blackshaw, is considered one of Ireland’s most talented artists of his time. A new exhibition featuring his work will be showcased for the first time on Friday 23 June at the Ulster Museum.

The ‘Looking at Landscape’ exhibition explores how artists interpret the natural world. The works on show depict different representations of nature. Blackshaw is often associated with Irish landscape and we will be able to see five of his pieces including Dromara Landscape, 1953.

Also present will be the work of other highly acclaimed local artists including Patrick Collins, Jean Duncan, Tracey Quinn, Tom Carr and T.P. Flanagan.

Anna Liesching, Assistant Art Curator at National Museums NI, said, “The motivational power of the Irish landscape, with it’s shifting light, vast skies and varied natural environments, has enticed artists to explore and capture this place in many ways.”

‘Looking at Landscape’ will run until February 2018 and admission is free. For more information go to


Dromara Landscape, 1953 by Basil Blackshaw

On a Better Day, 1989 by Tracey Quinn

Lunn’s Jewellers Unveils New Interior

The iconic Lunn’s Jewellers store, which has been located in Queens Arcade, Belfast for 64 years, recently celebrated a makeover designed by interior stylist Suzanne Garuda, with a #LoveLunns event for media, bloggers and influencers to allow them to try on jewellery from design houses like Cartier and Chopard as well as Mikimoto, Brietling, and Lunn’s in-house marque, Portfolio of Fine Diamonds. Daniel May from Craigavon won the exciting ‘Lock & Key’ competition on the night, when his key, one of 50 given out on the evening, opened the safe containing a beautiful necklace.

Check out our July issue, on sale Tuesday 27th June, for more coverage of this event. 

Rowel Friers Performs at Carnegie Hall NYC

At 5 years of age, Rowel Elesio Friers won the Carrickfergus Music Festival and received ‘The McCullough Silver Salver’ for being the Most Promising Pianist of the competition. That same year, he won the Dublin International Piano Competition’s William Finlay’s Programme that searches only for Ireland’s most exceptional young musicians.

After achieving distinctions in all of his piano exams to Grade 8 by the age of 12, as well as distinctions in his music theory, he has become a very sought after pianist and has performed in many places of prestige such as the Parliament Buildings, the Great Hall Stormont, The National Concert Hall Dublin and Queens University Belfast.

It is not surprising that Rowel recently performed at Carnegie Hall at only age 14. His Carnegie Hall Debut in May 2017 made him a New York Concerti Sinfonietta International Shining Star, which was an outstanding achievement, as on approaching his audition, he had been out of practice due to a hand injury.

Rowel currently attends Sullivan Upper Grammar School, but this doesn’t stop him from further pursuing his musical career, as he commutes to Dublin weekly to attend the Royal Irish Academy of Music. His ultimate ambition is to gain recognition as a concert pianist worldwide.

Julie Jordan, Founder of the New York Concerti Sinfonietta with Rowel on     the day of the Carnegie Hall audition.
                            Rowel Elesio Friers performing in New York at Carnegie Hall, age 14.

Have Fun This Summer

Children today don’t get as much physical exercise as they should which can lead to an increased risk of strokes and heart disease as they get older.

To tackle this growing problem, Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke with the help of it’s Ambassador, Ulster and Irish International rugby player Chris Henry, have created a new campaign, ‘Ready Set Summer’ to encourage children to have fun by being active this summer.

The charity has joined up with the Park Life education programme and have organised two days of activities, on Friday 11 August at Botanic Gardens and Tuesday 15 August at Falls Park, both featuring a scavenger hunt, wildlife olympics, crafts and ultimate Frisbee.

Special packs of activities have been made available to anyone interested in the ‘Ready Set Summer’ campaign along with a competition including multiple prizes for children who participate, sponsored by the National Trust and MACE.

Rugby player, Chris Henry said, “The summer holidays represent a massive opportunity for young people to take part in brand new activities, learn some new skills and most of all have fun.”

To be ready for action this summer, request a ‘Ready Set Summer’ pack at

Chris Henry is helped by kids from Elmgrove Primary School Belfast to launch ‘Ready Set Summer’.


“Striding Forward” Summer School

To mark 30 years since the death of John Hewitt; poet, political writer and commentator, The John Hewitt Society has established the ‘Striding Forward’ Summer School, taking place on Monday 24th July – Saturday 29th July at The Market Place Theatre & Arts Centre in Armagh.

The partnership with Poetry Ireland and support from The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund will be presented through the poetry, music and drama featured during the week.

We will see many well-known and successful faces, such as Scottish poet Liz Lochhead accompanied by prize-winning American poet, Mark Doty. The event will feature New York Times bestselling author John Boyne.

The ‘Striding Forward’ Summer School will host eight different workshops with a range of genres to choose from.

To honour John Hewitt, Head of Literature and Drama, Damian Smyth stated, “Once again this year’s programme includes an impressive collection of exceptional artists and events and is a fitting programme for this important anniversary.”

See the full programme online: Tickets on sale now: call The Market Place Theatre on 028 3752 1821 or book online

Young Filmmakers ‘Call Action’ on Cinemagic Feature Film

‘Grace and Goliath’

Thirty Seven young film makers aged between 18-35 have began work in Belfast on Cinemagic’s second feature film, ‘Grace and Goliath’. The lucky participants have the opportunity to earn their first ever film credit on a feature, whilst training along side top industry professionals. The team will be led by director, Tony Mitchell  and actors Ciarán McMenamin, Emy Aneke and Aoibhinn McGinnity. Young filmmakers across all departments will have the opportunity to develop their talents and skills on the film. Joan Burney Keatings MBE, Cinemagic Chief Executive said, “We are delighted to be embarking on Cinemagic’s second feature film, and with support from Department for Communities, Creative Skillset, Panavision, Yellowmoon, Tourism Ireland, Belfast City Council and George Best Belfast City Airport we are able to offer hands-on training to develop young people’s talents and skills in filmmaking. The project will unite young people from diverse cultural backgrounds and allow them to work on a common goal. We have a brilliant crew on board including a past Cinemagic Festival participant, Aidan Gault, our director of photography on the film, and it’s fantastic to see so many creative people working together to inspire young people.”

Grace and Goliath follows the success of Cinemagic’s first feature, A Christmas Star in 2014-15, which gave young filmmakers an invaluable opportunity to work across disciplines such as directing, production, costume and make-up, sound, lighting and music composition. With the experience from this Cinemagic opportunity, trainees have gone on to secure work with various film and television companies in the last two years including BBC, HBO, Disney, Sky Atlantic, RTE, and Bedlam Productions.

Councillor Mairead O’Donnell, newly appointed Chairperson of Belfast City Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, said:  “The creative industries are vital to the future economic success and competitiveness of Belfast on the international stage.  The city’s reputation for its creativity is growing rapidly, as evidenced by the success of the likes of ‘Game of Thrones’.  The Council is fully committed to nurturing and growing our creative economy, and therefore is delighted to support this initiative, which in turn will help to develop the new talent needed to drive this growth.”

The Grace and Goliath trainee filmmakers will be joined by 10 young students from Los Angeles, from Cinemagic partner schools based there who have participated in Cinemagic LA Festival activity over the last 8 years. Filming will take place throughout June in Belfast and on the North Coast, including scenes at Odyssey Pavilion and Belfast’s National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.




Craigavon & District Pipe Band Championships

Over 1000 performers descended onto Luragn Park this weekend to participate in the Craigavon & District Pipe Band Championships. The Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Alderman Wilson was the first ever Lord Mayor to act as ‘Chieftain of the Day’ at the annual Co. Down Section Championships.

Hundreds of spectators gathered in the sun to enjoy the impressive musical performances and traditional dancing, along with delicious food, face painting, balloon modelling and a kid’s zone to entertain the whole family.

A raffle also took place during the event for a chance to win set of bag pipes which were donated by R G Hardie & Co from Glasgow. The raffle raised £1000 for the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice and a cheque was presented to Diane Cherry on the day.



Monet Hair Making Waves and Turning Heads on Belfast’s Lisburn Road

The ‘Style Mile’ of Belfast’s Lisburn Road is set to see a new addition this month with the opening of an exciting new hair salon, Monet Hair.

The new salon will boast some of Northern Ireland’s leading hair stylists on its team with a combined experience of over 40 years in the industry.

Multi award-winning makeup maestro, Paddy McGurgan is also onboard with a make up pro store concession within the salon. This makes Monet the perfect one-stop shop for hair and beauty in the South Belfast Area.

Speaking of this latest venture, Mone said:

“Fashion, hair and beauty are all so tightly interlinked and my previous experience in these areas will ensure that Monet Hair will be at the forefront of styling and colour in Belfast.

I’m excited about our collaboration with Paddy McGurgan. Having make up and beauty on site as well as hair means that a visit to Monet is both convenient and enjoyable.”

A new initiative will be offered which is a first for Northern Ireland which is ‘Monet’s Blow Dry Club’. The exclusive, members only club will offer access to unlimited blow drys as well as other special discounts for a monthly fee.

Monet Hair will launch on 23 June 2017 and will be open 10am until 6pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and until 9pm on Thursdays with a slightly earlier closing time of 4pm on Saturdays.

The Monet team outside the new salon premises on Lisburn Road, Belfast.

‘Here We Lie’ To Premiere At Craic Theatre Coalisland This Month

A stellar all female cast  is to take to the stage at the Craic Theatre Coalisland on the 20th of June to preform the premiere of ‘Here We Lie.’

Following last years huge success of ‘As the Tide Ebbs’, Rawlife Theatre Company, in association with the Lyric Theatre, has once again teamed up with writer Patrick J. O’Reilly to bring the comedy of ‘Here We Lie’.

The dark and physical tale takes an unconventional look into our post-truth world of fake news and alternative facts to bring hilarious and terrifying results.

Writer of the play, Patrick J. O’Reilly, said: “It explores our moral compass and asks do we continue to go around in circles or do we finally draw the line? Here We Lie is also an exploration of Brexit and political elections such as Trump and Stormont.”

Here We Lie will be at Craic Theatre Coalisland 20th June (, Cushendall Golf Club 21st June ( and Naughton Studio Lyric Theatre from 22 June- 2 July (

Louise Mathews, Claire Connor, Rosie McClelland, Bernadette Brown and Antoinette Morelli.

Anti-Bullying Week 2017

Anti-Bullying Week 2017 is on the horizon and schools and youth organisations are being encouraged to register before the deadline on Friday 23rd June to be a part of the week of inclusivity.

The theme this year is “All Equal, All Different, All together” in an aim of celebrating diversity and bringing young people together while creating welcoming environments across Northern Ireland.

With almost 700 schools and youth organisations being involved in last years event, it is anticipated that there will be an even greater interest in 2017.

With many activities taking place during anti-bullying week to raise awareness, the creative arts competition is a favourite among children and young people, allowing them to get inventive, and say no to bullying through their creations.

Pupils from St Anne’s Primary School, Dunmurray, Belfast


Michael Keenan, Principal of last years joint winning school, St Anne’s Primary School, Dunmurray said:

“Anti-Bullying Week is a very important week in the school calendar for us.  The whole school community uses it as an opportunity to refocus minds on the important message that bullying of all kinds is wrong and can negatively impact all involved.”

Members of Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum and Anti-Bullying Week’s sponsor Translink will judge all entries this year.

To find out more about anti-bullying week go to:

Bid For A Fitter Belfast With The Every Body Active Scheme

Belfast City Council has secured £1.5 million of National Lottery Funding to deliver Sport Northern Ireland’s Every Body Active 2020 scheme.

The scheme aims to encourage the people of Northern Ireland to become more active and has a number of representatives including special guests rugby players Andres Trimle and Rodney Ah You.

Belfast Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Mary Ellen Campbell is joined by rugby players Andrew Trimble and Rodney Ah You for the launch of the ‘Sport NI Every Body Active 2020’ at Belfast City Hall.

12 delivery partners are engaged including Athletics NI and Ulster Badminton who between them will offer 15 separate citywide sport programmes in a further bid to motivate people to get involved in the scheme.

Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Mary Ellen Campbell said: “We’ve set out in The Belfast Agenda that we want Belfast to be a city where everyone experiences good health and wellbeing – and taking part in sport and physical activity is a key way of helping to make sure that we keep fit and well, both physically and mentally.

We’re especially keen to increase the number of women and girls, people with a disability and those in areas of greatest social need taking part. But not only that, we want to help them enjoy, engage in and excel at their chosen sport.”

(L-R) International athlete Amy Foster, Sophie Thomas Ulster Squash, international netball player Niamh Cooper, rugby player Rodney Ah You and Ian McClure, Irish Bowls Federation launch the ‘Sport NI Every Body Active 2020’.

Sport Northern Ireland Chair George Lucas added: “We believe passionately in the power sport has to enhance our physical and mental health, and to promote community cohesion. Thanks to the support of National Lottery players, we are able to invest £1.5m into projects and activities which will allow more people in Belfast to participate in sport and enjoy the many benefits of an active lifestyle.”


To get involved, register at: