The Arts

In association with Sligo Today

Donal Dineen brings ‘Backstory’ to The Model Sligo

Added: 24/11/16 : 06:50:23

The Model are delighted to welcome Donal Dineen back to Sligo for their end of year party on 3 Dec.

Pioneering DJ, Curator, Film-maker, Radio and TV presenter and contributor to the Irish Times, Donal Dineen has always used his discerning ear to seek out, listen to and encourage experimental music in all genres. All manner of rhythms and every kind of beat will be on the menu.

Donal has a very close and long-established history with The Model and for this special evening he will be bringing his 'Backstory' club night to The North-West for the first time. Backstory is a night of dancing tunes and original visuals documenting the many shades of soul music and the myriad mysterious ways of the boogie.

The idea is to tell a story using tunes from all decades of dance music from 1930’s West Africa to the present day. All of dance music’s rich tapestry will be on display. It’s an exploration of the history of the groove with an ear to the present and an eye on the future. Ideally the story should end somewhere in 2025.

A full evening of fun is planned from 8pm onwards with guest DJs playing in The Atrium, a unique audio & visual experience from Donal Dineen in The Model Theatre and a very special visual installation from Hector Castells in ‘The Room’ gallery space. Barcelona-born Hector has an eye like no other for shadows, reflections & abstract imagery.

An exclusive arrangement of visual footage especially prepared for The Model will be on show. Throughout the night some of the finest selectors will take to the decks to play a range of styles and genres including Turn It On (Sligo), Distorted Perspectives (Letterkenny), Ellis (Dublin) and Jahm (Dublin / Donegal).

The Gallery Café will be serving up a wholesome menu for the evening with lots of seasonal delights and treats and will be joined by Trouble Brewing & Kinnegar Brewing for a craft beer tasting experience.
Sligo Barbershop quartet Note-Orious 4. Photo: James Connolly Sligo's International Choral Festival programme launched

Added: 04/11/16 : 07:15:09

Almost 50 Irish and international choirs are set to bring Sligo to life during the three-day Sligo International Choral Festival, which runs from November 11 – 13, 2016.

Now in its 28th year, the festival is one of the largest of its kind in Ireland and events will be taking place in venues and pop-up locations all across the town.

The festival includes competitive and non-competitive singing across a wide range of styles, ages and ensembles — from school choirs and jazz orchestras to gospel and barbershop choirs.

“With many events taking place in venues around the town of Sligo there will be great opportunities for audiences to engage with all forms of choral music over the three days of the festival,” said festival Chairman, Sean Larkin at the launch of the festival yesterday (Thursday, November 3).

“There are the core competitions which the choirs will be taking part in but choirs will be popping up in pubs, restaurants, shopping centres and even barber shops over the three days, bringing right onto the streets of the town,” he added.

The festival was launched at Alfie's Barber Shop in Sligo town by local Barbershop quartet Note-Orious 4 who last month won gold at the Irish Association of Barbershop Singers annual convention in Cork.

The Sligo International Choral Festival was established in 1988 by local businessmen, John Ryan and Joe Kelly. The first festival was held in Summerhill College, Sligo. It was a one-day event and featured 12 Irish choirs), three competitions and the prize money totalled IR£1,000.

Since then, 1,200 choirs, including 45,000 singers, have performed at the Sligo International Choral Festival, with choirs travelling from 33 different countries over the years. Over the years, it has added some 110,000 bed nights and €15 million to Sligo’s economy and is now the second largest event of its kind in the Republic of Ireland.

1916 Rising

Competitions for the 2016 event will take place in both the Gillooly Hall and Sligo Cathedral on Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12. The themes for this year’s competitions include, Barber Shop Choirs, Young People, Text by WB Yeats and Secondary School Choirs. A new edition to this year’s competitions is one reflecting the music associated with the 1916 Rising and the First World War.

The High Hopes Choir will open the festival on Friday 11 November, at the Gala Concert in the Knocknarea Arena at IT Sligo from 8pm. This will be the first time that the High Hopes Choir performs in Sligo and a civil reception is being planned to welcome the choir to the town. Sligo’s Orpheus Choir and friends will join High Hopes in song.

The High Hopes Choir is Ireland’s first choir to be made up of people directly affected by homelessness. Founded by David Brophy, former principal conductor of RTÉ Concert Orchestra, the choir aims to help change the public perception of what it means to be homeless in Ireland today.

On Saturday evening, the Sligo Academy of Music Jazz Orchestra will perform a concert at the Gillooly Hall before the Sligo Champion Grand Prix, Prize Winners competition.

Outside of the competitions and formal concerts, the singing will also spill out onto the streets with the festival fringe events.

Acapella in the City, which takes places throughout Saturday, is a fun way for audiences to engage with choirs who will perform throughout Sligo town in pubs, restaurants, shopping centres, various stores and barber shops.


And the music will continue at the Festival Club, which will take place at the Sligo Park hotel from 10.30pm on Saturday. This is a chance for audiences to meet the competitors and for the singers to let their hair down.

On Sunday, Sing Alleluia will see the choirs fill several churches around Sligo with their voices, enhancing various religious services. Seven churches across the town, including the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and St John’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, will see their services transformed through song.

Tickets to the Gala Concert can be purchased online at and are available from tourist offices nationwide and in Liber bookshop in Sligo town.

Sponsors of the festival include Sligo County Council, Wild Atlantic Way/Faille Ireland, the Western Development Commission (WDC), IT Sligo and Tourism Ireland. Our media partners are The Sligo Champion. Other venues where events will be happening include Summerhill College, The Hawks’ Well Theatre and St Anne’s Church.

Events at the Yeats Society

Added: 01/11/16 : 12:06:45

"To Sligo … and Beyond" by Fergus Lyons

Irish artist Fergus Lyons explores Ireland's landscape, dreams and myths in his painting of the West of Ireland. Irish mythology and legend have become part of the landscape itself and it is this realm of the imagination that Fergus captures in his paintings.

The exhibition continues from 29th October - 25th November

The Hyde Bridge Gallery,
Yeats Memorial Building,
Hyde Bridge,
ph: +353 71 9142693
Martina Hamilton - Shell Small Double Pendant - €125 Sligo's Martina Hamilton featured on

Added: 24/11/16 : 13:04:07

Sligo jewellery designer Martina Hamilton is featured on, a new global online platform for the very best of Ireland’s design and craft.

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) has launched, a new web platform dedicated to showcasing the work of Ireland’s leading designers and craftspeople. aims to provide consumers the world over with inspiration, images and stories about talented Irish designers and their work.

Visitors to the site can browse Irish products across three categories - Home & Gift, Fashion & Accessories and Jewellery – and then link directly to purchase from maker websites or approved stockists such as Arnotts, the Kilkenny Group, Brown Thomas, Irish Design Shop, Makers & Brothers and Stonechat as well as international retailers, including Heal’s, The New Craftsmen and Wolf & Badger in the UK, The Citizenry in the US and Stór in Tokyo. The site also lists where purchases can be made in-store.

Highlighting beautiful work by talented Irish makers, from jewellers and fashion designers to ceramicists and furniture makers, shares the breadth and quality of Irish design and will continually evolve as further designers and their work are showcased. The site features curated collections to assist consumers in finding unique gifts for the festive season and throughout the year, providing ideas and information on the makers, their inspiration and their work.

Commenting on the launch of, Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, said: “This new site forms part of DCCoI's strategic goal to increase awareness of Irish design and craft at home and abroad, capitalising on the growing international reputation of the sector in recent years. Design Ireland has been developed as a premium brand to celebrate and champion the wonderful contemporary work being produced all over the island of Ireland. We hope consumers will be inspired to seek out and purchase unique Irish designed and made work throughout the year, but particularly over the coming weeks as they shop for gifts this Christmas.” features a broad range of Irish brands.  Several of the featured companies are new to DCCoI’s seasonal campaign for 2016, including:

·         INNER ISLAND, launched in 2015 by jeweller Gemma O’Leary who is inspired by
          geometrical forms, frames and structures. The ethos of the brand is to bring a refined,
          subtle approach to design, starting with simple shapes and introducing unexpected details
          to create pieces that will surprise and delight.

·         Bonagrew, a contemporary Irish label crafting simple and beautiful accessories inspired by
          the garden, all designed and made in the small townland of Bonagrew in Co. Wicklow.
          Olivia Hartigan works with renowned Irish linen and tweed weavers and local textile
          experts, taking great pride in material and construction quality.

·         Cooper Handcrafted Furniture, established in Co. Monaghan by Ciaran McPhillips,
          who designs and makes contemporary furniture using traditional Irish joinery methods and
          a wealth of woodworking knowledge and skills.

The full selection of gift ideas and featured makers can be viewed at

The official launch of this global online platform coincides with an exciting programme of week-long pop-ups at 5, Westbury Mall, off Grafton Street, Dublin 2, presented by DCCoI in association with The Doyle Collection. Twelve Irish designers are being featured over a seven-week period which commenced with JRothwell from 7th to 14th November, Chaïm Factor (16 – 20 Nov) and Jennifer Slattery Textiles (21 – 27 Nov). Still to present their work are Brendan Joseph (28 Nov – 4 Dec); me&him&you (5 – 11 Dec); TISSUE, Edel Traynor and Danielle Romeril (12 – 18 Dec); and Magda Bethani and Chloe Dowds (19 – 24 Dec). Full details are available at