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Dublin based Social Enterprise ‘We Make Good’ has partnered with ChildVision and Coolmine Therapeutic Community to develop a range of hand-crafted soaps & self-care products with a progressive business angle; the soap range, Soap with Soul, is created by those conquering addiction or living with disabilities to offer a utilitarian approach to tackling issues of inclusivity.

The Soap With Soul range includes each of the following and we think they will make a beautiful Christmas gift.

  • Oatmeal and Honey Soap
  • Irish Sea Moss Soap
  • Irish Heather & Lavender Soap
  • Irish Garden Mint Soap
  • Wild Irish Rose Soap
  • Doggy Soap
  • Vegan lip balm
  • Lavender Bath bombs

You can purchase online here.

This project comes at an appropriate time in Irish culture, as Covid19 sweeps through our communities to reveal the fractured systems underneath – ones that have pushed many vulnerable people to the fringes. This project is here to raise the bar for inclusivity and wash away the stigma of disability and addiction, paving the way for a new kind of inclusive and enterprising Ireland. The process is innovative in that it empowers makers to redefine damaging perceptions that they have of themselves and that society has given them. It confidently allows its makers to take their place in society while also providing a beautiful product with a real story.

“Covid has really shown us that we need to change the way we prioritise the environment and work for a more equal society, where we focus on leaving no-one behind. These soaps exemplify these communal values in a really tangible way. They each come with a little story in the wrapper of how the project supports the makers to reach their potential, making them a really inspiring gift for this Christmas” Caroline Gardner, Co-founder of We Make Good.

“This range is beautiful – all natural and uniquely Irish, made here in Dublin and bringing about real change for the makers. It truly encapsulates what our brand is all about.” Joan Ellison, Co-founder of We Make Good.

The brand provides on-the-job training and an income for the makers and will either support them to move on to mainstream employment or aims to provide steady employment for the makers. ChildVision’s Lifelong Learning students, aged 18-23 years, have been working on valuable enterprise projects such as soap-making for some time but partnering with ‘We Make Good’ gives them the opportunity to collaborate together and have a direct connection to the public, a space to showcase all their hard work and see it sell.

“For many young people with sight loss and additional disabilities, once they finish their time with ChildVision there are very few further education or employment options available to them. This project is about harnessing their creativity and letting them, and the wider community, appreciate their ability to create something beautiful and useful. The knowledge that they can do something of value brings a real sense of purpose and that can be, quite literally, life changing” Amanda Deaton, Project Lead, Lifelong Learning, ChildVision.

This view is also reflected in the experience of Coolmine, an addiction treatment provider that believes that everyone should have the opportunity to overcome addiction and lead a fulfilled and productive life. Coolmine provides a range of quality community and residential services to empower people and their families to overcome addiction and support long-term recovery.

The range is made with locally sourced botanicals – and they’re sustainable, all natural and made by hands, not machines; so they’re good for every body!

This soap is a beacon of hope and a sign of things to come; new Ireland, new beginnings and everyone’s included. Every bar bought helps to keep this mission alive and makes a direct impact on amazing people, so spread the word and see how this little soap can shake things up for a better Ireland.

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Penneys is officially open again. It feels like a decade has passed since we stepped foot inside every Irish gals favourite shop, but the countdown is officially over. Hundreds queued up outside Penneys this morning and we don't blame them.

We've been longing for a fresh pair of Disney pyjamas, a five-pack of knickers and some bobby pins for far too long.

If, like us, you've yet to brave the queues then let us re-jog your memory, here are 10 things that always happen every time we go on a Penneys shopping spree.

1. You skip down the road super excited about the prospect of buying at least ten new things

 

2. You eye up a fab new dress but you spot someone else has their eye on it too…

3. You pick up the pace and grab it as soon as you can – WE WIN!

4. Everything is SO CHEAP!

5. The crowds are starting to get to you now…

6. You trip over a shoe lying idle in the jumper section and begin to think your shopping trip is over

7. You go to pay and realise you spent way more money than you meant too…

8. You’re on the bus home and realise you forgot to get the Penneys essentials like hair bobbins, bobby clips and socks…damn.

9. Nevertheless, the joy you feel when you get home and lay out your new items cannot be matched

10. You try on everything you bought and put on a fashion show for your extremely jealous sisters

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Nostalgia is well and truly here to stay, it seems. The one and only Sinead O'Connor has just announced that she's playing four gigs around Ireland this year.

The Nothing Compares 2 U star is set to take to the Vicar Street stage on October 27 in a highly anticipated return to music.

She's also be performing at the famous Roisin Dubh in Galway on October 17, Spiegeltent in Wexford on October 24 and Cork Opera House on Oct 26.

Sinead is apparently ready to release new music, according to The Sun, and will embark on a tour worldwide afterwards.

Sinead debuted her new song, Milestones, last year under the name Magda Davitt. The track was a demo, produced by Northern dance DJ David Holmes.

Speaking to the Irish Sun, she said: “David wrote the music. I wrote the lyrics and melody.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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She added; "This is just a first demo for fans because they never get to hear a demo. I thought it would be fun to share it.”

Tickets are priced €45 and are on sale next Friday, August 16 at 10am via ticketmaster.ie. Finally some good news for the people of Ireland.

After Greg O'Shea's Love Island win and Westlife on a massive tour with new music; it's feelin' like the year of the Emerald Isle.

Feature image: Instagram/@yesterkid

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News that one of Dublin city centre's most noteworthy artworks, the beloved red squirrel mural beside Tara Street dart station, is being removed has hit the town hard.

The latest update from Lovin Dublin has our hearts sinking: the mural removal date has been officially confirmed along with the news that a new hotel will be built in its place. *Sigh*

The mural is set to be taken down on Tuesday, August 6, and is the latest in a string of Dublin creative spaces to be replaced with commercial infrastructure.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Portuguese environmental artist Artur Bordalo created the red squirrel mural, using a combination of painting and sculpture to create the beautiful 3D illusion.

The talented artist has created similar works in 24 fellow countries, which makes it even more shameful that one country is removing his masterpiece.

The work was constructed using rubbish and waste discovered around Dublin, like televisions, bicycle frames, used car parts, chicken wire and office materials.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The installation took a total of five days to make, and the creation was captured over two years by Irish filmmakers Trevor Whelan and Rua Meegan in their award-winning short, A Life of Waste.

Co-director and co-curator Trevor Whelan said at the time; 

“We wanted to make this film to illustrate the character, motivations and creativity of Bordalo II and to highlight the environmental dangers of our wasteful society."

"Together with an amazing, dedicated team, we overcame many obstacles to make this documentary and to bring the artist to Dublin to create one of his iconic sculptures," Trevor added.

“We are very saddened by the news that Dublin’s ‘Red Squirrel’ will be removed to make way for yet another hotel. The artwork has had a great impact on the city and has received a lot of love from both locals and tourists.”

Feature image: Instagram/@ispottedit

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We may be over *gasp* half way through summer 2018 but don't put your Penney's sunnies and your Bardot tops away just yet, ladies. 

With the whole month of August still to come, we have sooo many more chances to take (fifty drafts) of that sun-drenched Insta snap in The Perfect Outfit. 

If you're feeling like you've worn out every possible summer '18 fashion trend, then no look for further for fabulous inspo from our very own home-grown gals who are absolutely slaying it on Instagram.

1. Straw sun-hat/matching bag combo 

As seen on the stunning fashion, travel and lifestyle blogger Louise Cooney, who shared the image with her 115k followers while on holiday in the Cinque Terre Riviera.

Straw hats and bags have been a summer staple forever – but they're a staple for a reason.

They are practical and stylish. A summer classic, if you will.

Grab a simple straw hat in H&M for €12.99 and instantly become a beach goddess. Minus the 155k followers, obvs. 

2. The baggy shirt 

Only Erika Fox (@retroflame) could make a baggy shirt and short-shorts looks this effortlessly cool but it's summer and we're gonna try, goddammit. 

Zara are killing it in the shirt game, but this one for €29.95 is simple but gorgeous.

Pair it with your trusty denim cut-offs and you're Insta-ready, no matter the backdrop. 

3. Wrap dress

This whole outfit is just ''Wow.''

And the best bit?

It's Penney's, hun.

Yes, Courtney Smith has paired a matching wrap dress and trousers together and it looks unreal, doesn't it? And not bad at €25. 

4. The jumpsuit

 Louise O'Reilly (@stylemecurvy) has nailed the jumpsuit in one fell swoop.

The stunning red literally pops off the screen and it's such a simple piece to style around. 

As Louise writes herself, it can be worn as workwear or evening wear and it's available at River Island for €75.

We think it's worth every penny.

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Ah, the Gaeltacht. Remember the days? Busloads of mid-teen adolescents would head down to the depths of the Wesht for three weeks (costing a bomb) to try and shove Irish into our mouths…

Most of the time we came back with less of the mother tongue than when we left, and had some interesting experiences at the céilí with some lad you've probably seen in Coppers seven years later and almost died of mortification.

The jealousy of the other kids who managed to get a bean an tí who could actually cook was too real. News has now hit us that a scheme similar to the Erasmus programme will allow up to 175 students to study in the Gaeltacht for a semester.

College students will be offered the chance to spend three months in Connemara under the new language immersion scheme announced today by the Department of the Gaeltacht.

New government funding worth €250,000 will allow students to live with families while attending third-level courses for the entire summer.

Minister of State for the Irish language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands Seán Kyne made the announcement in Ionad Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in Carna, an off-site part of the NUI Galway campus.  

Image: Flickr/janmennens

The Minister said the scheme “will be of benefit both to the Irish Language and the Gaeltacht”, and is aimed both at students with Irish as a core subject in their university, and at those who need the language to work in certain jobs and the public service.

The subsidy is worth up to €1,428 per student, and is payable to families qualified under the department’s Irish Language Learner’s Scheme.

Minister Kyne commented:

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to announce this new funding in further supporting third level students across Ireland to further enrich their Irish through spending three months living with Gaeltacht families while they are attending a qualification course in the Gaeltacht."

Image: Flickr/Will

"For many years, students learning languages have had the opportunity to spend time immersed in a target language while studying abroad on Erasmus. A fund will now be available for the first time which will help students to spend an entire semester in the Gaeltacht.” 

Students studying primary school teaching often visit the Gaeltacht as part of their course, as a proficiency in Irish is required.

We've all got some hilarious teenaged memories from our time in the Gaeltacht, be the recollections good or bad, so this should be interesting…

Feature image: Flickr/Dora Meulman

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St. Patrick's Day is this weekend and you know what that means, Irish or not?

Yes, getting locked. 

Apparently, more than 13 million pints of Guinness will be consumed worldwide as we celebrate St Paddy himself.

When Irish women were asked who they wound most like to have an aul pint with on the day, their response wasn't too shocking. 

Image result for st patricks day gif

Love Irish Tours surveyed 1,000 Irish people and they chose…Amy Huberman.

Possibly the soundest woman on the planet and we deffo agree.

So who else made the list?

Image result for amy huberman drinking gif

We have other Irish gems like Saoirse Ronan, the O'Donovan brothers and Blindboy.

If you can overlook Saorise God-awful accent, then go right ahead.

Rather surprisingly, Conor McGregor was chosen by some people before the likes of interesting political figures like former President Mary Robinson and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.    

For us, it's a toss up between the RIDES that are Pierce Brosnan, Robert Sheehan and Colin Farrell. 

Who would you have chosen? 

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Prepare the throne; Azealia Banks has officially declared herself 'The Queen of Ireland' after arriving to her gig in Dublin via…FERRY. Ok then, your highness.

The 212 rapper was forced to get the boat after storming off an Aer Lingus flight last night.

The 27-year-old seemed pretty confused after trying to change her travel arrangements, asking her Insta following if Ryanair and Aer Lingus were the same airline.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by (@azealiabanks) on

She claimed she had been given clearance to fly with Aer Lingus, whatever that means, according to Dublin Live.

Calling herself "Queen of Ireland", she ranted:

"I've been asleep, and I woke up to some excellent news. It's out, I'm the Queen of Ireland! I never knew I was the Queen of Ireland!" We never knew either, henny.

She continued;

"Aren't you happy to have such a Queen like me? Oh my God, the first black queen of Ireland! I really just woke up in the Irish Spring and the girls can't take it." She wasn't done yet…

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"I got the pot of gold, b*tch. I've got the pot of gold, and I'm not even from here! Now wait, until I do this sold out f***ing show. Y'all b***hes are gonna see who the f***ing Queen of Ireland is." 

Understandably, she got a fair few angry messages in her inbox, but Banks said she was sick of the "oompa loompa crazy looking b***hes". Oh my.

"The girls have scurvy, they're like vitamin deficient, they need some calcium tablets and some Camaraderie soap. Anyways, I'm back on the Chardonel (wine)." We Celts are just very pale, and can't do much about it unforch.

She enlisted the Notorious Conor McGregor for support, sharing a screenshot of a message, where she wrote; "Conor help they are bullying me".

Image: @azealiabanks/Instagram

Banks got into a massive row on Monday morning with a female cabin crew member, after boarding a flight from Gatwick to Dublin airport. 

Aer Lingus confirmed that the rapper left the 10.55am flight from Gatwick but declined to comment on her allegations.

They have released a statement following the incident.

They said: "Aer Lingus can confirm that two guests scheduled to fly on 10:55am flight from London Gatwick to Dublin (EI233) this morning disembarked themselves prior to departure."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by(@azealiabanks) on

"The guests in question got off the plane safely of their own accord, while all other guests remained on board…Aer Lingus has a strict no-tolerance policy towards disruptive guest behaviour.

"The safety and security of our guests and crew remains our first priority."

Azealia, poor little divil, said she was 'treated like a wild animal' in the lengthy post, portraying the incident as her 'travel day from hell'.

Banks plays a sold-out show at the Academy on Abbey Street tonight, that should be an interesting one to say the least…

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Hugh Jackman has proven why he's The Greatest Showman by making one little Irish girl's dream come true.

Seven-year-old Emma from Lucan is a superfan of Hollywood star Hugh Jackman after seeing his latest film, and her mother thought of a genius plan to get his attention.

After failing to nab tickets to see the star on his new tour, Jacqueline Cooney recorded her daughter singing A Million Dreams in the hopes of getting him to see it.

Devoted mum Jacqueline appeared on Muireann O'Connell's lunchtime show on Today FM yesterday, and revealed her reasoning.

"My daughter Emma is a huge fan of The Greatest Showman. She spent all Christmas singing the songs and Santa brought her a sing-along CD," she said.

"We missed out on tickets to see the show in the 3Arena so I said I'd record her singing a little song for him from the movie and send it to him and see would he see it."

The mother of three posted the video of Emma singing to Hugh, but it initially failed to get a response from the man himself, until fellow actor Liev Schreiber showed it to him.

The mother of three posted the video of Emma singing to Hugh, but it initially failed to get a response from the man himself.  "I said to myself that this is going to need something big . . . " Jacqueline said.

It turned out that Ray Donovan star Schreiber, and one of Jackman’s childhood friend Gus Worland were the ones to get the Australian actor to watch Emma's tribute.

"At first we were thinking of giving up but then four days later or so he saw it and he sent a special message that I know he wouldn't have just sent to anyone," she said.

"I was pretty freaked out when I saw it yesterday afternoon," Jacqueline added. "I was looking at something else and then it came up, 'Hugh Jackman mentioned you on Twitter'".

The actor sent an adorable message to Emma, addressing her directly;

"I just want to say your little girl, thank you so much for singing that song. Thanks so much for being a fan. And never stop dreaming. Remember, life is what you choose to make it so make it fantastic!"

Emma and her mum were over the moon after seeing it; "I was expecting maybe a text or something but a video and what he said was so lovely and so genuine," she continued.

What a wonderful story, the actor truly is a gentleman.

Congratulations to Emma, she certainly has a bright future of singing ahead of her with connections like these.

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Are you a lover of PHASHUN but are searching for a great cause to donate to? Well, boy do we have the event for you.

Faisean Éire's unique Fashion Showcase will exhibit stunning pieces from novel Irish designers tonight at 7pm in the Chocolate Factory, and it's set to be quite the night.

Proceeds from the evening will be donated to Pieta House, whose 'Two in Eight' campaign reflects the statistic that one in four people in Ireland will experience mental health issues at some stage of their lives.

Performances will include a catwalk show with 30 gorgeous and unique pieces designed by 10 fashion grads and students.

The show will bring three art forms together in a spectacular charity event; a fashion show from professional and diverse designers, murals on the walls of an industrial setting and last but not least, aerial artists showcasing their skills.

Chloé Commins and Polly Shapkina are two aerialists featured in the event, who will be using hoops and silk to impress the fashion-forward guests.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by A T A L I E R (@atalier_by_a) on

The pioneering show 'Two in Eight' marks the shocking statistic that one in four people in Ireland will suffer from mental health problems; Pieta House will use the funds to help counsel those with suicidal ideation.

Sinéad Ronan Wells, Fundraising Executive for Pieta House, commented on the vital need for events such as these;

Pieta House operate a network of centres across the country, employing 270 qualified therapists. In 2018 we saw over 7,000 clients who were either at risk of suicide, engaging in self-harm, or bereaved by suicide," she added.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Pieta House (@pieta.house) on

"Demand for our one to one, free, professional counselling services continues to grow year on year which would be unattainable without public fundraising initiatives such as this," she concluded.

It's a crucial cause, why not attend a catwalk show of ground-breaking Irish artists for only €25? Don't miss your chance to get the first glimpse of Ireland's future famous faces.

Get your tickets here for the special Faisean Éire showcase, tonight at 7pm in the Chocolate Factory, Dublin.

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Everyone is now obsessing over Derry Girls since it arrived on Netflix and we are not one bit surprised.

The beloved show stole our hearts when it first made its debut on Channel 4 in January 2018.

The comedy series follows the lives of Derry teens Erin, Orla, Michelle, Clare and James and is written by the unbelievably talented Lisa McGee.

Lisa recently gushed about the shows well-awaited return to the telly box. Fans of the show won’t have long to wait as she shared the potential release date during an interview on The Nolan Show on BBC Radio Ulster.

The writer said: “They’re talking about March, early March. See, that’s all Channel 4. That’s when I think it will be released.”

We have mere weeks to go until the second season of the comedy show and we honestly couldn’t be more excited about the show’s return.

Season two is bound to be a major crowd-pleaser. Lisa said it is even better than the first, which will be hard to top.

Fans are in for a real treat: “I love it. We’re editing it now,” she shared.

Lisa continued: “It’s better than season one, it’s a bit more ambitious and because we know what we’re doing a bit more, it’s better.”

We’ll be seeing a hell of a lot more Derry Girls in the future too with a potential third season in the works.

“We’re talking about doing a third series. Hopefully, if the second one goes well and everything goes according to plan, we’ll do a third series,” she added.

Bring on March 2019.

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2019 is set to be an absolute smash for rising Irish star Dermot Kennedy, if this latest announcement is anything to go by.

News has just hit that the singer-songwriter from Dublin is set to hit the Coachella stage this April, joining the ranks of headliners such as Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino and Tame Impala.

The world famous California music festival attracts attention from all over the world for the big names it procures, and now Irish talent will be joining them.

The singer made the big announcement over Twitter, writing that the opportunity is "a dream come true" for the artist,

Despite the fact that Kennedy has yet to release an album, he has sold a whopping 75,000 tickets worldwide in the last year alone following the release of his EP, Doves and Ravens.

His latest track, Power Over Me, has generated over 300 million streams globally and the Dubliner has over 2.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify.. 

He is also part of YouTube's first ever Ones To Watch list, and his 2019 tour which kicks off in May has sold out four nights in the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, Brixton's O2 Academy and Manchester's Albert Hall.

Irish singer-songwriter Gavin James was the only Irish artist to make the Coachella 2018 list, which attracted 99,000 concert-goers to the festival.

Congratulations to Dermot, he'll do us proud.

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