Fingal outspend neighbouring county councils in public art

Fingal County Council has spent more on commissioned works of art under the Per Cent for Art scheme than any other suburban county council in Dublin in the past five years.

From 2012 to 2017, Fingal County Council spent exactly €327,474 on funding for commissioned works of art under the Per Cent for Art scheme, according to recently released figures.

Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council, in comparison, spent €154,384 while South Dublin County Council spent only €34,260 during the same period.

Under the Per Cent for Art scheme, 1% of the cost of any publicly funded capital, infrastructure and building development can be allocated to the commissioning of a work of art.

According to recently released information, the most expensive installation, which was funded by Fingal County Council, was a permanent sculpture located at Balleally Landfill in Lusk as part of The Hide Project. The installation as a whole cost €174,640.

The sculpture (pictured above) functions as both public art and as a fully functional bird-viewing tower.

Records released by Fingal County Council also showed that a total of €85,000 was allocated to the commissioning of various 1916 Remembrance installations. This included a statue of Thomas Ashe, a founding member of the Irish Volunteers.

The most expensive piece of art commissioned by Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council cost €55,500. The same records also showed that a further €12,864 was spent in additional costs including selection processes, events, curation and management costs.

Records released by South Dublin County Council failed to show individual allocation amounts. However, they did note that no works of art were commissioned between 2013 and 2015.

By Conor Shields

Access to music education on the rise

In 2016, then Taoiseach Enda Kenny pledged to have music education accessible to every young person in Ireland within the next five years. That might have seemed over ambitious to some; or to others, simply another case of the government making more false promises.

However, this claim may be proven to have a strong foundation based on recent data.

Since 2010, the goal to achieve national access to music education for young people has been taken on by Music Generation, Ireland’s national music education programme. In 2010, Music Generation began a six year long project to give as many young people as possible across the country access to free performance music education.

The programme, which is co-funded by the Ireland Funds, U2, the Department of Education and local music partnerships has the ultimate goal of ensuring that every child and young person in Ireland has local access to high-quality music education in the form of learning an instrument. The last three years of this plan have proved particularly successful.

2014 saw 26,000 young people participating in Music Generation programmes, a 25% increase from 2013’s 19,500, with 2015’s 38,000 participants representing a near 32% increase on 2014’s figures.

The successes of 2015 saw 38,000 children and young people participating in 99 different tuition programmes in over 640 different centres across the country.


Perhaps what’s most impressive about Music Generation’s figures to date is that the initial projected target of spreading across twelve counties in the country within six years from 2010 was achieved in mid-2014, eighteen months ahead of schedule, representing a 25% improvement on the projected time that this would take.

Below is the initial projected expansion for the organisation over six years which aimed for a steady albeit slow consecutive growth and its actual geographical growth from 2011 to 2014 when the target was achieved, showing a much quicker expansion than what was initially forecast.


Commenting on the early achievement of these targets, Aoife Lucey, Communications Manager at Music Generation said: “Successful early-stage implementation of the programme at each phase enabled us to reach those targets ahead of schedule. Throughout the implementation stage each Local Music Education Partnership would have worked closely with partners and stakeholders at all levels, and with the Music Generation National Development Office, to ensure successful implementation.”

As well as providing young people with music education on a national scale, Music Generation has also been responsible for the creation of 350 jobs and employment opportunities for professional musicians and staff alike since its formation.

Evolution of counties reached, source:

Increased expansion into more areas of the country means increased demand for musicians to teach the local young people in performance music education, be it vocals or instrument tuition.

“Job opportunities are allocated based on local need and context, but the bottom line is that setting up centres in hundreds of areas across the country means that thousands of young people who otherwise would not have access to music tuition can now receive it from the professional musicians hired to give them excellent quality teaching,” said Aoife.

Music Generation has since released their strategic plan for 2017 – 2021, propelled by their success so far. The plan is centered around ensuring the programme’s growth, sustainability and quality and aims to expand into more areas of the country through working with new Music Education partnerships and investing in strengthening the existing infrastructure so that continued performance music tuition can be achieved.

By Killian Dowling


Fingal Graduate Award Winner 2017

Visual Artist Róisín McGannon has been awarded the Fingal County Council Arts with Block T Graduate Studio Award 2017.

Róisín McGannon is a visual artist based in Dublin who will be graduating with a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art from NCAD this month. According to Róisín, her work explores “the acute knowingness we have of our bodies, a causality brought by the activation of the body in space. It attempts to uncover the power balance between the physical and psychological state of being in the body.”

The Graduate Studio Award winner is awarded with a year’s residence at Block T Studios in Dublin 8, home to many creative events and workshops. Then, at the end of the year, they will have their own solo exhibition; a fantastic opportunity for graduating artists.

Róisín is determined make the most out of her studio space for the year.

“It’s one of few opportunities for graduates, so it is very much needed and valued,” she said.

When asked what her plans will be for the studio space, Róisín said she plans to explore projects she never had the chance to throughout her time in NCAD.

“My first step is to look back on the work I made during my final year in college, evaluate and critique it, see what worked and what didn’t. I hope to explore thoughts that had to be put on the back burner due to time constraints, to build up a solid body of work. I’ll continue to apply to open calls, hopefully invite curators to discuss my work and bring what I’ve learnt to the show at the end of my time here.”

The project that won Róisín the award was her degree show in NCAD titled ‘The Insidious Nature of Honey’. The show consisted of an immersive installation made of UV sensitive perspex, a video piece and large scale digital prints.

Fingal Award 2

Róisín put an immense amount of time and energy into her show to make it what it was and her efforts were rewarded.

“I spent the entire year working on a self directed brief. My work is heavily supported by philosophical theory so I spent the first half of the year reading and researching what area of interest I wanted to explore and how to do that in a visual way. The second half of the year was testing and testing, really narrowing things down to be quite specific and then fine tuning that,” she explained.

When asked for advice for future graduates hoping to win this award or others, Róisín said applying for them all is key.

“I think when you’re in college you should be aware of the opportunities and awards and definitely apply for them all whether you think you’re able or not, but don’t let them distract or dictate the work. Make the work you need to make, not the work you think you should make. That’s what stands out to people.”

The Graduate Award is awarded by Sarah O’Neill, the Deputy Arts Officer at Fingal County Council and Chris Cullen, Director of Block T Studios. Graduating artists who live, work, or study in Fingal are invited to apply for the award.

You can visit Róisín’s website or follow her on Instagram @RoisinMcGannon.

By Jenna Cox

RHA Gallery to host Dublin Doc Fest

Dublin Doc Fest will take place on the 11th of November in the Royal Hibernian Academy Gallery, Dublin 2.

The short documentary festival, founded by filmmaker Tess Motherway in 2013 uses alternative screening spaces like the National Library of Ireland to showcase the work of filmmakers against iconic Dublin backdrops.

According to Dublin Doc Fest, the festival’s objective is “to create a new platform for short documentary film in Ireland – to give it its own space and context for exhibition – in carefully curated programmes.”

The festival will kick off at 6:00pm and will run until 10:45pm.

The first programme of the documentary will include five short documentaries: Become Invisible (director Edward Costello), Barber Shop Clacton-on-Sea (director Luc Vrydaghs), Se Shin Sa (director Eunhye Hong Kim), The Rock (director Hamid Jafari) and UZU (director Gaspard Kuentz).  

The second programme will begin at 7:50pm and features: (Almost) Freedom (director Puck Lo), Whatever the Weather (director Remo Scherrer), and Different Names for Bullying (director Marco Poggio).

The third programme begins at 8:35pm and includes: The Fourth Kingdom (director Alex Lora-Cercos), Familiar Tale (director Sumie Garcia), Rose Amongst Thorns (director Kris Van den Bulck) and the Sound of Winter (director Tizian Büchi).

The last programme will commence at 10:05pm and includes two short documentaries – All Skate, Everybody Skate (director Nicole Triche) and The Truth About Irish Hip Hop (director Gavin Fitzgerald).

Short documentaries are important for Irish film, and particularly important for emerging filmmakers.

According to Tom Wallis, Marketing and Programming director for Dublin Doc Fest, “Short form documentaries are vitally important for film culture, because this is the genre where a lot of filmmakers hone their craft before getting into feature film production.”

Wallis explained: “Sometimes even experienced filmmakers work in the genre to try out new techniques or to explore pet projects. And yet, there are virtually no commercial outlets for short documentaries, which means few people have access to them. Film festivals like Dublin Doc Fest give these innovative films by emerging talents an audience.”

Tickets are €12 for a student and €15 for a regular ticket and are available on  A limited number of tickets will also be available to buy at the door.  

By Jenna Cox

Ten things to do in Dublin for Halloween

In order to get into the spooky spirit, here’s a list of fun and frightening things to do in Dublin this eerily festive season.

1)  Samhain Tours & Tales at the GAA Museum

This family friendly event consists of a scavenger hunt through the grounds of Croke Park, searching for Séamus the Samhain Scarecrow, who guards the elusive Harvest treasure. Following this, visitors will be entertained by the renowned storyteller, Eddie Lenihan. The whole family will be enthralled as Eddie tells the tales of his own childhood Samhain adventures and recalls hurling with the fairy folk. Tickets for adults cost €16, for children €12 and students or OAPs, €14. A family of four ticket is €50.  Each ticket includes a hot Halloween drink for all adult ticket holders, a small gift for all children and late entry to the GAA Museum. This event runs from the 28th October to the 1st November.

2) The Macnas Parade

This is an annual spooky, elaborate, night-time parade, performed by the world-renowned theatre group Macnas. The city is transformed as the group showcase their enormous, creepy floats through the city centre, while actors jump out and walk alongside them in an unnerving manner. The whole event gives off a chilling, demonic vibe, especially as it takes place right after dark, to give it the full effect. This is actually the last event in the Bram Stoker Festival and is a free event, suitable for all ages. It takes place on Monday 30th October at 6pm and the starting point is on Moore Street.

3) Bram Stoker Festival

As we all know, Bram Stoker was the Irish author most famous for writing the novel Dracula. For the past few years during the month of October there has been a festival in honour of the man himself and the creation of vampires. This year is no different, in fact it’s bigger and better than ever. There are tons of events which the Bram Stoker Festival are holding between the 27th and 30th of October, including a screening party of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a screening and live score performance of Vampyr, the Irish horror expo, Al Porter’s camp Dracula, and many more. The festival includes a wide variety of events all held in Dublin, which are not to be missed.

4) The Nightmare Realm

mb nightmare realm 2017 01_preview

The Nightmare Realm is an immersive, haunted house like no other. It plays on your deepest fears and twists them into reality. It’s an extreme, horror filled walkthrough event which has been torturing its victims in Cork since 2009. However, this is its second year in the RDS in Dublin, and this year it’s even more petrifying, grotesque and thrilling than ever before, with three different scare attractions. It’s not for the faint-hearted, and strictly suitable for teenagers and adults only. If you book your tickets online they’re slightly cheaper and range between €16-€21 depending on if you’re a student or adult, or if it’s off-peak or peak time.

5) Movie Nights at the Lighthouse Cinema

The Lighthouse is one of Dublin’s most iconic cinemas with its vibrant presentation and unique programming style. This Halloween season it’s showing a variety of horror flicks, including Carrie and The Shining. The bar in screen makes this cinema experience even more pleasurable, as patrons can enjoy a craft beer, wine or even cocktails while watching a film. If you’ve got an itch for horror, then check out your local cinema to see what seasonal movies they’re showing.

6) Spooktacular Boo at Dublin Zoo

This year, Dublin Zoo are hosting a family friendly event for Halloween, including creepy arts and crafts, spine-chilling keeper talks, spooky face painting, monster music on the Great Lawn, as well as many other festive activities. So bring the youngsters down to Dublin Zoo in the Phoenix Park on October 31st to enjoy all of this spooktacular fun!

7) Halloween mid-term activities at The Ark

The Ark, which is a cultural centre for children based in Temple Bar, has created eight days worth of Halloween-themed workshops and events to keep the kids busy throughout the mid-term break. The first programme kicks off on October the 28th with a ‘Make your own Deadly Dance Track Workshop’, which is a music technology workshop that enables children to become a dance music producer. The Ark’s other workshops and events include ‘The Supernatural Pop-Up Choir Family Workshop’, ‘Dracula’s Disco’ and ‘Spooky Songs and Sounds Workshop’. The programme finishes on November 4th with the beautiful show, ‘Strange Feathers’, which is an engaging, humorous, interactive, non-verbal show specifically designed and created for young children.

8) Enchanted Halloween at Malahide Castle

This Halloween you can experience Malahide Castle like never before. They are holding a spooktacular storytelling and sound experience for all the family. Visitors can interact with some of the oldest paintings and should listen out for creepy surprises as their storyteller shows them around the haunted rooms. No matter your age, all visitors will have a chance to play with the live sounds throughout the interactive exhibitions. This event is running from Friday the 27th October to Tuesday 31st October. Adult tickets are €8 each and child tickets are €10 each. Bookings can be made through their reservation team’s number only, on 018169538.

9) Samhain Festival

The Samhain Festival is a fancy-dress music festival like no other and this year it’s back and better than ever. It will be held in a brand new location, a hangar in Weston Airport, which has never hosted a gig before. The weekend festival is taking place on October 28th and 29th and the lineup this year so far includes Liam Gallagher, to headline Sunday the 29th October, with special guests the Strypes and Touts. The Saturday night welcomes Annie Mac, Eats Everything, Melé and Kelly-Anny Byrne to this spectacular gig. With the location this year being a bit unusual, there will be a dedicated shuttle service available to all concert goers from the city centre. Weekend ticket prices start at €99.50 excluding service charges.

10) DoDublin Ghostbus Tour


This is a chilling and truly entertaining bus tour incomparable to any other you’ve seen before. Passengers enter the bus and explore the sinister maze-like corridors and rooms below leading up to a stark Victorian theatre above, where the show truly begins. Passengers will be enthralled by their storyteller’s compelling tales which may leave you shocked, repulsed or horrified! You’ll stop off at one of the city centre’s creepy hidden graveyards and visit a medieval vault beneath Dublin Castle. You will hear of menacing Dublin surgeon Dr. Clossey, learn all about the art of body snatching, hear about the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s famous character Dracula, and much more. The tour starts at Dublin Bus Headquarters, on Upper O’Connell street, at 8pm Mondays to Thursdays and 7pm and 9:30pm Fridays and Saturdays and costs €28 per person.

By Alison Egan