The Social Scene
The Phantom has had an inkling for a while now that Dublin-based five piece Fontaines DC were destined for big things, so it came as no surprise whatsoever when they were the first Irish act to be announced for Eurosonic Festival 2019. The festival, in Groningen, is a four-day showcase and conference, and was an early stop-off for artists like Hozier, Kodaline and Walking On Cars on the road to stardom. How will our European neighbours take five rowdy punk-poets from the Irish capital? Fairly well, you’d imagine…
The Phantom sends felicitations to Northern Irish writer Anna Burns, who secured a place on this year’s Man Booker Prize shortlist. Burns’ novel, The Milkman, is the most inventive Troubles story yet and thoroughly deserving of the literary world’s most prestigious annual award. Gasps went up at Phantom HQ, however, that Sally Rooney’s superb Normal People and Donal Ryan’s heartbreaking From A Low And Quiet Sea had missed out. Still, Irish fiction is in a fantastic place right now…
The inaugural RTE Radio 1 Folk Awards have been announced and the first year’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to the incomparable Andy Irvine will scoop the gong. Speaking about his contribution to music, Ann-Marie Power, Head of Arts and Culture at Radio 1, said: “We are really delighted to be honouring Andy Irvine at the inaugural RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards. For over five decades, Andy has been pushing the boundaries of folk music while also staying fiercely loyal to the Irish tradition. His contribution and influence will be long lauded when the rest of us are long gone.” Agreed... Contenders for Best Original Folk Track include Dermot O’Rourke, Mick Flannery, Niall Hanna, and two tracks from Lankum’s sensational album Between The Earth And Sky. Radie Peat, Lisa O’Neill, Iarla Ó Lionáird and Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh are all up for Folk Singer of the Year. David Keenan, Emma Langford, Niall Hanna and Ye Vagabonds vie for the Best Emerging Folk Artist Award, while The Whileaways, Beoga, Ye Vagabonds, The Lost Brothers, Lankum and The Gloaming will battle it out for Best Folk Group. It all happens at Vicar Street on October 25...
There was a double-blow for anyone who had a telly in the ‘70s and a good sense of humour, with both British presenter Denis Norden and Irish TV legend Bunny Carr passing away. Bunny was well-loved and prolific in his service to RTÉ. He’ll be remembered for shows like Quicksilver – and the catchphrase 'Stop the lights!' – and Going Strong. His other shows included The Life Game, The Politicians, The Person In Question and Encounter. RIP to a true Irish legend...
The Phantom was delighted to hear that Newstalk host Pat Kenny has agreed a new two-year contract with the station, keeping him on the morning beat ‘til at least 2020. The Pat Kenny Show currently attracts an audience of 152,000. Speaking about the announcement, Kenny told RadioToday: “For the past five years, the show has examined the main issues in Ireland and around the world and I am looking forward to providing the same forensic analysis and insight for our listeners in the future. In Newstalk, I am lucky to have a brilliant, dynamic team behind me and we will strive to continue making fresh and compelling radio.”
We hear that Focus Features film studio have slated September 2019 for the release of the
Downton Abbey film. The hit period drama will take to the big screen on September 13, with a slightly later release date in the US. There’ve been unconfirmed reports that some Irish people have even taken notions and found themselves enjoying the show, which focuses on aristocracy, excessive wealth and industry built on Empire... For those who have, it’d be worth sitting down to watch Irish Famine film Black 47. Directed by Lance Daly, it is now the top grossing Irish film of the year. It's also the first Irish film to pass the €1 million mark since The Young Offenders in 2016. Black 47 now joins the ranks of other classic Irish films such as The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Michael Collins and The Guard to pass this Irish Box Office milestone. Congratulations to Lance, and everone else invoved...
The highly anticipated documentary Katie, about the life of Irish World Champion boxer,
Katie Taylor, will hit cinemas across Ireland on Friday, October 26. The film – named Best Irish Feature Documentary at the Galway
Film Fleadh earlier this year – follows Taylor as she attempts to rebuild her career after a year of turmoil that threatened to derail her career. With many writing her off, Taylor decided to start again, and the notoriously private champion agreed to let a small crew document her attempt to rescale the heights... Katie isn’t the only female Irish boxer getting the silver screen treatment. Float Like A Butterfly, a film about an Irish Traveller girl who is pursuing her dream to be a boxer, recently won a major award
at the Toronto Film Festival. Funded by
Screen Ireland, the fim won the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize for the Discovery Programme. Directed by
Carmel Winter, it is set in 1960s/’70s Ireland and stars Hazel Doupe as the young traveller girl, who wants to make her idol Muhammad Ali proud, as well as her father who has recently been released from prison...
This year’s Dublin Fringe Festival was one of the most successful yet. The amount of talent to be seen across the 16-day festival was truly phenomenal and the festival’s mission statement of offering a home to bold ideas meant that the weird, the wonderful, the strange and the marginalised were all represented. Special mentions to Lady Grew’s furious, hilarious stand-up event Hookers Do It Standing Up, which sent out an important message about the treatment of sex workers. We also enjoyed Stop/Over, which evoked palpable tension – and real emotion...
Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon is lending his voice to raise money for the My Lovely Horse Rescue organisation. Having written the legendary Father Ted song, ‘My Lovely Horse’, 20 years ago, Neil has gone to be an official patron for this animal charity, along with his partner and fellow musician
Cathy Davey. Now, a video campaign has been launched m to help raise €60,000 to keep their horses fed – and lovely – this winter. Go to mylovelyhorserescue.com/mylovelyhay...
Our man Stuart Clark was on Jeremy Paxman duties again as Hot Press, the Ana Liffey Drug Project and the London School of Economics staged lively and thoughtprovoking Drug Policy Town Hall Meetings in Waterford’s Garter Lane Theatre and Limerick’s Hunt Museum Café recently. Making his DPTH bow in the Déise, retired Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan
was particularly concerned about young people getting criminal records for the personal possession of drugs... There were powerful performances from Anna Jordan and Sasha Terfous – stay tuned for an upcoming Hot Press report on Waterford’s buoyant spoken word scene – and an interview with Claire O’Sullivan, head of the
Tintean Housing Association – a sobering insight into how addiction impacts on homelessness. We’ll be chatting to Claire soon... The guest of honour in Limerick was
Mayor Daniel Butler, a drug worker, who has made addiction a cornerstone of his year in office and spoke impressively about a range of issues including stigma, medically supervised injecting rooms, inter-agency cooperation, suicide and giving first responders the tools they need to deal with drug overdoses. I…
Other guests included spoken word performer Dyrt who talked with great honesty about the friends and family members he’s lost to heroin addiction; Conor Ward whose ‘Hope’ single conveys the important message, “It’s okay not to be okay”; and Lucy O’Hara from Limerick Suicide Watch whose work is highlighted in this issue’s Frontlines section... We also heard from several Limerick service users who spoke about the harsh realities of
battling addiction. Mr. Clark had to bail – what is it with journalists wanting to have holidays, eh? - but the Drug Policy Town Hall Meeting tour continued on to Galway and Dublin where similarly productive discussions were had. Plans are already afoot for more #SaferFromHarm events in 2019…
There was a great buzz at this year’s
SARI (Sport Against Racism in Ireland) football tournament, held as always in the Phoenix Park. The Mighty Men of Hot Press Munchengladbach 1891 had a very good tournament indeed, winning their group with two victories out of three games. They leapt through the ‘Group of 16’ stage via a penalty shoot-out and then outplayed a team from Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro 3-0 in the quarter final. It is a long day, however, and a number of the Munchies had to head to work before their semi-final joust with Belfast –a team itself packed with friends of Hot Press and a few who have played for the Grand Old Club. An excellent contest saw Belfast come through 2-0. They were beaten in the final, however, by a very fine Sunday Astro side, who prevailed on penalties after a 2-2 draw. The Munchies goals came from Jordan Ojo, Pedro Rodriguez, Javier Barona, Usman Akintola and Soly Akambi.
The atmosphere was impressively positive and convivial throughout. It's a measure of just how enormously Ireland has changed – in a hugely positive way – over the past 20 years. A big congratulations to SARI chair Perry Ogden,
Ken McCue, Barnie Juka, event co-ordinator Robbie Taylor, Kerrie Clohessy, Amina Moustafa and all the rest of the SARI team. It's a huge undertaking, which is not adequately supported by the relevant authorities, with the Department of Justice inexplicably cutting funding this year by €10,000… The women’s tournament, the Respect Cup, was won by Football People; and the Plate was won by Our Lads. The Munchies will be back next year, more determined to win than ever! We promise…
Grace O'Flynn and Nadine King at the screening of Crazy Rich Asians in Dundrum
Mary Kennedy, Neven Maguire and Marty Whelan at the launch of Neven's new book Home Economics For Life at Dunnes Stores HQ, Dublin
Lenny Abrahamson with Ruth Wilson and Domhnall Gleeson at the European Premiere of The Little Stranger in the Lighthouse Cinema
Ray D'Arcy and Allison Keating at the launch of Allison's book The Secret Lives Of Adults at Dubray Books
Brendan Gleeson at the European Premiere of The Little Stranger at the Lighthouse Cinema
Rachel Allen and Kathryn Thomas at the Ploughing Championships in Tullamore
Fiona Michale and Doireann Hughes at the preview screening of Cora - The Greatest in the Stella
Brook Wright and Sian Walton at the opening of the Couture Club in Dundrum Town Centre
Jessica Ramsey and Lucianne Hughes at the launch of Joanna Fortune's new book 15 Minute Parenting at Dubray Books
Lorraine Keane, Susan O'Dwyer and Peter Devlin at the Make-A-Wish End of Summer BBQ in the Sandymount Hotel
Jordan Ojo and Joe Ajoku of Hot Press at the SARI tournament