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With just four weeks to go, Michael Ring TD, the Minister for Rural and Community Development is joining forces with Dancing With The Stars winner, Mairéad Ronan and calling on people to reach out to their neighbours as part of The Big Hello!, the first National Community Weekend which takes place this May Bank Holiday Weekend (May 4-6).

“The Big Hello!” supports communities to host events in their local area in order to strengthen community ties and help tackle the problem of social isolation.

Minister Ring said: “In a world where people are spending less time in their communities and more time at work, it is important to find new ways to connect people and focus on the importance of neighbours. In our busy lives we rarely make time for each other outside of our network of family, friends and social media contacts.”

In order to support these events, Minister Ring has allocated €10,000 to each of the 31 Local Authorities and asked them to allocate funding to The Big Hello! events in their areas. The target is for at least 1,000 local events to be held throughout Ireland.

Funding for events is available to residents’ committees and community and voluntary groups through their Local Authorities. Further details can be found here, and on The Big Hello! Facebook page.

Minister Ring continued: “Sadly, many people living among us are experiencing social isolation and loneliness. I firmly believe that this initiative can help people to connect or re-connect with their neighbours and communities.”

Mairéad Ronan said: “We all lead such incredibly busy lives nowadays; The Big Hello! is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with our neighbours by organising an event or attending one in our local communities. No matter how big or small, it’s up to you to decide with your neighbours what type of event you’d like to host in your area.”

The event is being organised by the Minister’s Department in partnership with representatives of Public Participation Networks, Local Community Development Companies, Volunteer Ireland, Young Social Innovators, Macra na Feirme, Street Feast, An tOireachtas and Change X.

It is intended to have at least one Irish language event in each Local Authority area.



If you're the offspring of an Irish Mammy, you'll know that trying to buy her a present is an absolute minefield… not least because she refuses to offer guidance, provide suggestions or even engage with the notion her child intends to spend money on her.

Put simply, presents (and discussion surrounding presents) is an Irish Mammy's kryptonite.

This, in turn, makes choosing a gift for her absolute torture when you know full well you'll be in for a world of pain if you exceed the €5 limit or buy anything she can't put to good use.

And with Mother's Day fast approaching, here are just 9 classic moments we've all endured in recent years.

1. The awkward conversation

Every year, we attempt to tackle Mother's Day head-on by asking our mothers if there is anything they're currently hankering after, and every year we're met with the same dismissals.

Between insisting there's nothing on God's green earth they desire to suggesting we're a little touched for even broaching the subject, Irish Mammies really know how to make us work for the info.

"Sure, what would I be needing? No seriously, WHAT would I be needing?"

2. The subtle hints

Accepting that it's highly unlikely they'll come up with their own suggestions, we tentatively test the waters by throwing out a few suggestions of our own.

With a blank canvass to work on, we run wild with ideas only to be quickly reined in by an incredulous-looking woman.

"Afternoon tea?! A spa-day?! Holy Mother, it's far from afternoon tea I was reared."

3. The outright refusal to play ball

While up until now, they may have allowed us to dance around the subject, there comes a point when they officially shut down all lines of communication on the matter.

They're no longer playing ball whatsoever, and it looks like we're officially on our own.

"And don't go asking your father either. Sure, he hasn't a notion what I'd want…. not that I'd want anything."

4. The bizarre suggestion

And then comes a time when relations appear to thaw, and your mother seems to actually want something in honour of Mothering Sunday.

It just so happens that her suggestion is so ridiculous, you can't help but question whether she's testing you, and the surly teenager inside you is now the one refusing to play ball.

"I've been looking at the same dado rails for the guts of 20 years. If you want, you can choose new ones with me."

5. The indulgent online browsing

With talk of dado rails bringing you to crisis point, you do what any upstanding millennial would do, and you turn to the world wide web for inspiration.

And promptly realise that the litany of prolonged discussions you had with your mother over the importance of Mother's Day has left you with no time to actually order anything for Mother's Day.

"I love her, but there's no way I'm paying express delivery at those prices."

6. The blatant resentment

While the whole point of Mother's Day is to honour the woman who has raised you, you – in spite of yourself – find yourself cursing her inability to help you out on the present front.

Why can't she take a leaf out of our Christmas book and list anything and everything she has seen over the last 12 months?  

"She'll be lucky if she gets anything off me at this rate. And she'll only have herself to blame."

7. The frantic dash

If you haven't done a frantic dash through the halls of a department store the day before Mothering Sunday, have you even celebrated Mother's Day?

When you find yourself jostling for space between stressed-looking young lads, you know you've effed up yet again.

"Drop that silver picture frame, and there'll be no trouble."

8. The mother/ daughter gift

If crowded department store aren't your thing, then chances are you've gone with the gift of 'experience' right?

The very thing you mother said you'd need notions to even consider.

"I don't know what it's all about either, but just eat your cucumber sandwich and shush Mam."

9. The 'next year' promise

Next year, it will be different. Next year, she'll be sounder, and you'll be better able to deal with her classic Irish Mammy-isms, right?

Well, not likely, but you'll be better prepared with the help of Brooke & Shoals who are a veritable haven for anyone on the hunt for a Mother's Day present.

From candles and diffusers to eau de toilettes, the frustration of the last few years will be a distant memory with this range of handmade award-winning, stunningly packaged products.

Brooke & Shoals, take a bow.




Even though the world gets busy celebrating us, we get a day off work and are basically encouraged to sip up from sun up, St Patrick's Day isn't actually all it's cracked up to be.

Like New Year's Eve, the day of our Patron Saint invariably involves sidestepping pools of vomit, losing your friends and judging those who have taken to the holiday with gusto.

There's not an Irish person among us who wouldn't fear being labelled a buzzkill, but when it comes to March 17, more and more of us are admitting that we're actually grand with that label if it means we can avoid wearing a plastic arse and having someone puke on our shoes in public.

Here are 8 reasons why St Patrick's Day is… well… urgh whatever.

1. All major towns and cities are basically brought to a standstill with the help of a parade.

Yes, we envied those cheerleaders back in the day, but right now these gals from Georgia are the only things standing between us and our sanity.

2. You will see something that actually makes you question your fellow countrymen.

Blokes wearing nothing but tricolour mankinis in the middle of our capital's street is not something we need in our lives.

3. Society makes you feel the need to mark the day in some way, so you can't even enjoy your day off on the couch without feeling guilty.

Surely playing the National Anthem before your Netflix binge is enough?

4. You will see something that reminds you that alcohol and bodily functions don't mix.

"Don't look now, but that girl is puking into her own handbag."

5. You will hear the term St Patty's Day used at least one… unironically, we might add.

And it will make your teeth feel itchy and your toes feel curly.

6. You will see something that will make you want to cry a little despite your best efforts.

A dignified-looking elderly man with a shamrock pinned to his lapel is enough to make you weep.

7. The fiddly-diddly music belting out of every establishment loses its appeal very quickly.

"They're bloody murdering Raglan Road."

8. You will be forced to watch your fellow citizens confirm the archaic stereotypical perception once held of us.

"Ah yeah, vomit on yourself there before starting a row with that lamppost, good man."

Can we sit this one out?!


With the expense level of living in Dublin at the moment, you'd be forgiven for feeling down in the dumps about wages right now.

Good news is needed, and thankfully some was released today regarding the average weekly earnings for Irish workers; it's actually…*deep breathing* … INCREASED.

Increased? We haven't heard that word in a long time. Too long.

According to the Central Statistics Office of Ireland, the average weekly earnings in the fourth quarter of 2018 were €761.64, which is a four percent increase. We'll take what we can get, eh?

The preliminary estimates of the Earnings and Labour Costs Quarterly release were published by the Central Statistics Office on Monday, and the increase is from the same period in 2017.

It's an increase of just under €20 per week from the figure taken from the third quarter of last year.

Average hourly earnings increased from €22.60 in the fourth quarter of 2017 to €23.46 in the fourth quarter of 2018. However, the figures represent gross amounts before deductions for PRSI, tax and other levies.

The average weekly earnings for Irish employees in the public sector increased to €966.40 in the fourth quarter of last year, while average weekly earnings increased in all 13 sectors of the economy in the same time frame. 

The Information and Communication sector saw the highest average weekly earnings in Ireland, with a weekly figure of €1,175.46, followed by the Financial, Insurance and Real Estate activities sector at €1,084.89. We're not jealous, though.

The lowest average weekly earnings were €360.73 in the Accommodation and Food Service activities sector and €493.12 in the Arts, Entertainment, Recreation and other service activities sector. (That's us…Oh sh*t…)


If you're a social media lover in Ireland, and addicted to beauty and cosmetic products, you have DEFINITELY heard of Niamh Cullen and Aideen Kate.

As two of the country's biggest influencers, with a following of 200,000 followers between them. they're a force to be reckoned with.

Niamh focuses more on lifstyle, health and fitness, and Aideen is the queen of make-up on Instagram. 


A post shared by Influencer Is A Dirty Word (@influencerisadirtyword) on

Now the pair have officially joined forces to produce a weekly podcast together, and we couldn't be more excited,

The gals captioned their first post on the new Instagram page, Influencer is a Dirty Word;

"New podcast coming Sunday. Episode 1: How To Deal With A Breakup. Grab your hunnies and some snacks (or some dranks), available on YouTube."

Image: @niamhcullenx/Instagram

The two teased their new project via their Instagram stories yesterday, saying, "How to deal with a break-up? Or how to help a friend dealing with a break-up? Go!!!" 

Niamh and Aideen suggested that their followers ask them questions, but their fans had no idea that a podcast was coming.

We're assuming that Influencer is a Dirty Word is about life as Instagram royalty, brand ambassadors and garnering a following of thousands, while looking and feeling great.

Image: @niamhcullenx/Instagram

This is major news for the influencer industry, which is growing more and more competitive.

We can't wait to hear all their gossip about their work-life, wellness tips and discussions about young women going through problems in their daily lives. 

The gals are unreal on their own, but we're delighted they've decided to come together for the magic of podcasts. It's sure to be a great one to listen to with your mates and a bottle of Pinot Grigio.


New research findings by global technology leader Huawei have just revealed that more people now aspire to be a social media influencer than a pro sports player as their 'dream job'.

Seeing as we're all budding photographers, they've decided to launch the Creatives competition for the fourth year in a row, which aims to find Ireland's most creative and talented amateur photographer.

The winner? You can earn the prize of travelling to ANY destination in the whole world, taking snaps on your Huawei premium device from their flagship P30 series as an extra gift.

You can have the opportunity to travel to anywhere in the world, putting Huawei's camera to the test in the trip of a lifetime.

Huawei coincided the launch of the competition with their research findings, which state that 67 percent of Irish people believe that social media inspires them, and 78 percent say it gives them ideas for creative projects.

For a traditionally sports-obsessed country, it speaks volumes that more of us now want to be an influencer. Irish people took a whopping 3,924,723,984 photos in 2018 alone, and social media is now a way to showcase creativity.

Talent can be promoted from your phone nowadays, so Huawei's Creative competition fits perfectly with our budding photographer nation. Why not enter?

All you have to do is share a photo entry with the hashtag #HuaweiCreatives, and one lucky winner will gain flights and accommodation for two to search for new photography experiences.

Last year, the competition had 15,000 entries, but 2019 now has SEVEN additional categories, including night, nature, street and cityscapes.

Capturing Irish scenery, skylines, buildings and fashion shots on Instagram could now lead to a life-changing all-expenses paid trip.

To apply for the Creatives campaign, photograph, your should be uploaded to Instagram with the hashtag #HuaweiCreatives as well as the hashtag for the category they are entering.

Find out more on their website, happy snapping ladies. We hope your travel dreams come true.


We've finally found the perfect outdoor cinema trend that is DESPERATELY needed on Irish land: Hot tub theatres.

Some absolute genius had the idea to combine hot tubs and watching movies, and we owe them so much for that wonderful conception. God bless them.

Organisers Tub Life have created an event where Londoners can test out the Hot Tub Cinema for real this August, but Dublin is normally about 20 years behind the England capital.

The cinema event of the century is scheduled to take place on August 31 from 6pm to 9pm, and we're contemplating booking our flights now, before Brexit goes and ruins everything for us.

Film fanatics will be able to strip and dip into relaxing hot water while enjoying whatever classic is playing on the big screen, with a cheeky bevvy. No skippy dipping allowed, sorry to disappoint you.

Tub Life wrote on the event page on Facebook: "Tub Life is coming to London and we’re bringing our hot tubs with us! Expect performers, hosts, BBQs, round-the-clock tub service and the biggest portable screen in the UK."

"Note: the scheduled date is preliminary as we’re currently finalising the few remaining details to this event. Click ‘Interested’ to be notified with more information," they concluded.

They'll confirm the exact location for London at a later date, and will also be visiting Maidstone, Liverpool, Chester, Brimingham, Manchester, Leeds, Bristol and Newcastle.

Who knows, they might even pop up in Dublin this summer if the demand is high enough, which it totally will be. Start the petition today lads, shall we?

Feature image: hottubcinema.com


It's happened to many of us…we're travelling to the most Instagram-able spots in the world, yet there's nobody to take photos of us in all our cultured glory.

Whether it's Niagara Falls, the Colosseum of Rome or the white sand beaches in Bali, sometimes a great candid is all we crave. Why waste the opportunity?

If your own significant other can barely hold a camera, or if you're a single solo traveller, finding somebody to capture us at our finest moment can be tedious at best. 

Not all of us have a John Legend to work his magic on the lens for the sake of our followers:


A post shared by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on

Luckily for us, specialist tour operators Roma Experience are now (hilariously) offering an Instagram boyfriend to follow you around all day and get those #travelgoals snaps you've always wanted.

They spotted a gap in the market, that's for sure. Their timing couldn't be better, seeing as social media is playing a massive role in the lives of global youth.

Instagram is even acting as an influential factor in choosing a travel destination, with a ludicrous 40.1% of millennials deeming the site an important factor when considering a holiday. My God, what have we become?


A post shared by ChuFLos (@chuflos_) on

The Roma Experience's 'boyfriend of Instagram' is sure to be a sell-out, offering the unsung heroes of 'likes' to women (and fellow men) from every corner of the world. Bless them.

The Instagram Boyfriend has become an obsession in its own right, with countless pages dedicated to the men who play their part in giving a partner the PERFECT shot for the feed.

Not all heroes wear capes, just selfie sticks.


A post shared by Boyfriends Of Instagram (@boyfriends_of_insta) on

The wonderful service allows travellers to hire a profesh photographer to join them on their tour for three hours, taking pictures of them around some of the most picturesque Italian sites the gorgeous country has to offer.

You will then be emailed the iconic new pictures of you at your fiercest, fresh and ready for the gram. Or just your fridge?

The service is an additional €350 on top of the price for the full-day tour of Rome, but can you put a price on insta-worthy images? Hell no. It's 2019, this is our lifestyle now people.

Roma Experience’s Full Day Tour of Rome and Vatican City costs from €643, including all entrance fees, and private transfer from the city centre to the Vatican. The photographic service is an option extra, priced at €355.


Finding the perfect getaway can be a challenging business; you want to feel at ease, relaxed and replenished, but where can you find a spot with the perfect amount of privacy mingled with life-changing views?

Well, this tree hotel in the northern Swedish forests offers rooms perched among the pines with an awesome aesthetic landscape to boot.

It's essentially something straight out of a dream, with different room types like the Bird's Nest, The Cabin and the UFO (legit a flying saucer).


A post shared by Taylor O'Sullivan (@taylorosullivan) on

Each of the seven available rooms are all modern variations of tree houses designed by Scandinavian architects, which allow you to bond with nature in the lap of luxury. 

The Tree Hotel is so private and remote that you have to fly all the way from Stockholm to the Lulea Airport, and then the hotel organises for a car to collect you, or for a train journey.  

You can totally disconnect and enjoy the natural lifestyle, as well as possessing that crucial WiFi in case you need to post an emergency Instagram of your incredible surroundings. Oh. it also has HEATED FLOORS and towers.


A post shared by Rosie – The Londoner (@rosielondoner) on

There's also a gorgeous restaurant on the property which makes sure to serve only local ingredients. Daytime activities include dog sled tours, ice fishing and photography walks.

You might need to tap into your savings to afford this one, however. Prices range from about €113 to €680 per night, depending on the time of year and type of room.

Maybe add it to the bucket list, or find a sugar daddy to help you out (joking…joking…)

Absolute boujee-ness goals.



If you struggle to muster up ANY enthusiasm for Kylie Jenner’s lip kits and think you’re more likely to find a highlighter in a pencil case than a makeup bag, you’re not alone.

While the rest of the world pry open palettes and have conniptions over contour techniques, the less interested among us remove the rubbery gunge from our pharmacy-bought foundation and power on.

And while it might seem like no big deal, it’s actually incredibly confusing to hear friends and family members gush over items that you don’t even know how to use.

Here are just ten things any girl with zero interest and zero skills in makeup department will know to be true.

1. You need a degree from NCAD to perfect the contoured look.

"Is the brown stripe meant to go here or here? And where will I put the cream stripe?"

2. You think hysteria over Kylie Jenner's lip kits is the end of humanity as you know it.

"You're joking right now, right?… Are you crying over lipgloss?"

3. Primer is nothing but a swizz and you won't be falling for it any time soon.

"€30? Thanks, but I'll be slapping on my €3 moisturiser as usual."

4. You replace makeup as it runs out, and not because a reality show star has released a new line.

"But don't you already have 13 of her glosses?"

5. You don't think you have enough face for the amount of products you've been advised to wear.

"My face will literally enter the room five minutes before I do if I add another layer, lads."

6. You thought you had cracked it when you splashed out on an eyebrow gel.

"Ladies, it's like mascara but for your BROWS."

7. Your makeup routine takes you 15 minutes and that's when you've used every single item in your makeup bag,

"I swear to God, I tried. I looked up a tutorial and everything."

8. You're not loyal to any brand, and you generally snap up a mascara if it's on special offer.

"Plastic wand? What would I care?"

9. Bristles stick to your face because you haven't splashed out on new brushes since your Debs.

"Yeah girls, cos I'm gonna spend €40 on a bloody brush?!"

10. You secretly wish you could get excited, and sometimes wonder if you're missing the cosmetic gene.

"Oh my God, have you guys seen the new palette by… oh, forget it. I can't fool yee."




If you've spent much of your life desperately trying to make your hair seem thicker, longer or more volumised, then you'll know that this mission is an ongoing one.

Having hair that resembles blonde dust or a barnet that breaks at the hint of heat is not for the faint-hearted.

It takes grit and determination to power through your mane mishaps especially when the rest of your crew are boasting barrel curls and rocking real-life ringlets.

If you have hair which REFUSES to grow or are, shall we say, a little sparse on top then you'll know ALL about the following struggles.

1. The bun bother

What looks like an effortlessly sexy way to keep your hair off your face makes YOU look like Miss. Trunchbull from Matilda.

"It's like a Malteaser on top of a beach ball, girls."

2. The grease glitch

When your hair is particularly fine even at its best, a little grease or light rain can actually make you look like you have a comb-over.

"I swear I could count the strands right now."

3. The straightening situation

You KNOW you're not doing yourself any favours, and yet you still insist on burning that crispy hair of yours to an actual cinder with the straightener.

"I can't help it. It's force of habit!"

4. The kissing conundrum

In the throes of passion, your significant other may have attempted to run his hand through your hair…only to find out you pretty much don't have any.

"Only do that after a salon blowdry! I've told you before!"

5. The parental pity

Like any Irish mammy, yours is just FULL of reassuring words and woe betide anyone who disagrees with her.

"You've fine hair, but LOTS OF IT, dya hear me?"

6. The fringe fuss

When you've got fine hair (but lots of it) you need to keep round-the-clock surveillance on your fringe.

"I swear, if I don't comb it every 20 minutes it starts looking like a barcode."

7. The patience problem

There's a special place in hell for people who tell you that your hair would just grow 'if only you left it alone'.

"You make me sick."

8. The hair hope

Every so often you'll land upon a product that SPEAKS to you, only to have your hopes dashed after the first application.

"Fooled again, girls. Fooled again."

9. The endless envy

Other girls covet each others bums, tums and boobs, and there you are salivating over every wave in that random stranger's hair.

"Honestly, I nearly reached out and touched it."

10. The nonstop negotiations

If you have to have one more argument with your hairdresser about the amount she's allowed to take off, you'll be forced to call the police on her.

"It's like she's robbing me blind every time I see her."



Kate Middleton's dapper brother James has made his Instagram public, and it's full of the cutest animal photos you can find.

The 31-year-old is allowing the public to see his social media, including images which date back to 2013 as well as his charity work with animals.

His dog Ela as recently becoming a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog, and his pride is palpable;


A post shared by James Middleton (@jmidy) on

He captioned his latest snap, dated New Year's Eve;

“Proud of Ella for becoming a PAT dog this year. Animals can provide a sense of calm, comfort, or safety and divert attention away from a stressful situation and towards one that provides pleasure.”

He shared photos of at least eight other dogs, among his own pet family includes a gorgeous Golden Retriever, a black Labrador, and multiple Cocker Spaniels.

“The ever growing pack,” James captioned the snap, adding a paw print emoji for good measure.


A post shared by James Middleton (@jmidy) on

Looking through his posts that offer an insight into his Scotland life, three main themes which emerge about the future Queen Consort's little brother are; animals, selfies and celebrity cameos.

Many candid family moments are also on display, such as those from charity events with Pippa and even some images of his ex-girlfriend Donna Air.

James also features chickens, birds and even a little white lamb on his unreal page. We wanna see the royal lifestyle we can never afford, TBH.


A post shared by James Middleton (@jmidy) on

He also shows off his travel pictures, such as ski trip shots and throwbacks to his extravagant holidays, with Pippa included.

Last week, James visited St. Barths with his sister Pippa and her husband James Matthews, who recently welcomed their son Arthur Michael William.

We're hugely excited to see even more insight into the Middleton brother's lifestyle. This is some MAJOR good stalking content.