Posts Tagged ‘ Dubai ’

A Year in Brief: Part One


What a year it’s been; Hitler birthday cakes, mutant rats, and Bob Geldof off to space! To celebrate the end of another 365 days here are some of NIB’s favourite stories of the year.

Kicking off the year in festive spirit a man in Derry was fined after stealing a CCTV camera which “became his friend”. Police found Peter Morrison, 24, drunk and “petting” the camera as they arrived to arrest him. CCTV pets are for life not just for Christmas. Continue reading

Norwegian Rape Victim Pardoned In Dubai

Justice has prevailed as A Norwegian woman who was jailed for 16 months in Dubai after she reported she had been raped, has had her sentence overturned.

24 year old Marte Dalelv told police she had been attacked by a male colleague but found herself charged with extra-marital sex, drinking alcohol and filing a false statement. Despite a solid knowledge strict legislation in the UAE, the western world was shocked when the Norwegian found herself portrayed as a criminal. Continue reading

News in Brief-Ireland Set For Scum Town As Quinn’s Daughter Loses Her Memory

Aoife-QuinnCounty Clare may soon boast the first Irish “scum town” following the introduction of similar in Amsterdam. The idea was mooted by Fine Gael Councilor Joe Arkins at a council meeting on Monday. “It sounds drastic but we are at a stage where something drastic must be done” Arkins said. These villages of the damned would house anti-social neighbours together until eventually they unite, rise up and kill us all. Continue reading

The Ultimate Guide To Christmas Markets

There is about four weeks to go until the big day and the run up to Christmas is definitely the best time of the year. Streets markets any time of the year can offer unique and creative products but street markets at Christmas have that added ingredient of magic. If you have never been to a market Christmas time is definitely a great way to start. Christmas lights adorn picturesque wooden huts, with Christmas performances and beautiful Christmas music filling the sky.  The lights, the music and the sheer general ‘Christmassy’ creates a feeling of such extreme excitement for the countdown to Christmas.

Stroll up and down the stalls, mulled wine in one hand to keep the chill at bay and have a gander at all the incredible products on sale. Christmas markets are held all over the world from November to December and each offer a unique experience that only that city can offer.

I have compiled a list of Christmas markets that will take you all over the world from Galway to Prague to Dubai each offering an incredible and unforgettable experience.


Galway Continental Christmas Market in Eyre Square is open from Friday 23rd November to Saturday 22nd December. Santa’s Grotto will be there along with lantern making and a Christmas Youth Pageant to name a few of the activities that Galway offer.

Christmas Markets at the Milk Market Limerick in Cornmarket Row runs from the 30th November to 24th December  (Friday to Sunday until 13th December and then every day from 13th December) will contain Christmas choirs, food and craft stalls.

Kilkenny Christmas Market along the Parade Kilkenny runs on certain days from 1st December to the 23rd December 10am – 6pm. There will be carol singers, wooden log cabins, daily kid’s storytelling, and traders selling fantastic Christmas gifts.

Ballina Christmas Market in Mayo runs during the weekend of the 8th and 9th December and 15th and 16th December. Two weekends of Christmas festivities, including the arrival of Santa, craft and food stalls and a Christmas carol services.

Gorey Christmas Market, Wexford will be held on the 4th December on the Main Street with craft and food stalls a carol service, mulled wine and of course Santa!

Waterford Winterval Christmas Market on George’s Street will be starting 30th November and running each weekend until 23rd December with traditional Christmas food and craft stalls.

Docklands Christmas Market Dublin will be held from the 7th December until 23rd December and showcases the magic of Christmas through the Victorian fairground rides, gourmet food stalls and arts and craft stalls. Santa will be turning on the lights on the 7th December


Cologne Christmas Market, Germany, is set on the backdrop of the Cologne Cathedral and will make for a picturesque weekend trip. Cologne has six markets all eluding a different sense of Christmas, from the 26th November until the 23rd December. All six markets have their own unique spirit of Christmas from the Christmas Market at Cologne Cathedral, “Home of the gnomes” Christmas Market, and the Fairytale Christmas market, the Christmas market at Stadtgarten, the new maritime Christmas Market and the Angels Market. Each Market holds Christmas performances and offers you traditional arts and craft, and delicious food and drink stalls.  Lufthansa fly to Cologne (Friday to Sunday) from €205.02

Krakow Christmas Market, Poland runs for a much longer period than the Irish Christmas markets from the 24th November to 6th January. The Krakow Christmas market will celebrate the Christmas spirit with beautiful wooden stalls selling crafts and jewellery. Nothing could be more beautiful than picking up a traditional Polish craft as you walk through white winter snow winding your way past lit up wooden stalls. Ryanair fly to Krakow Friday to Sunday from €92.00 (approximately), Aer Lingus fly to Krakow from €462.00 (approx. Friday to Sunday flight)

Outside Europe

If walking knee deep in snow doesn’t appeal to you why not skip the snow and try a Christmas Market in style. Dubai doesn’t do things by half measures and the Dubai Christmas Festival certainly showcases this. Running for three days 6th, 7th and 8th December the Dubai Christmas Festival is the ultimate Christmas festival and includes celebrity chefs, a music stage, Winter Wonderland which has bouncy castles and Christmas arts and crafts, Christmas Market and of course the man himself Santa. Etihad fly to Dubai from approx. €560.00 (flying out on a Wednesday and returning on a Monday)

Mary Byrne

The GAA in London: Retaining a connection with home

There has been much debate recently as to the relevance of Irish cultural activities outside the island of Ireland, and whether involvement in such activities inhibits Irish emigrants from interacting with their host society. As part of my PhD research at Queen’s University, Belfast I am considering the role of sport in the Irish Diaspora. I’m particularly interested in the different roles of the GAA in London, and the ways in which it engages with London’s Irish community, other emigrant populations and wider society.

The GAA holds a prominent position within Irish society as a sporting, cultural and social institution. Therefore it is unsurprising that GAA structures exist in locations as far apart as London, New York, Belgium, Dubai and Sydney. Whilst many Irish people make a conscious effort to avoid anything remotely associated with Irish culture in a bid to embrace and become immersed in their host society, the growth and development of the GAA abroad demonstrates how Irish culture remains part of the Irish emigrant experience.

Every year during the month of February, the British University GAA Championships (BUGAA) attracts Men’s and Ladies university Gaelic football teams from across Britain, with a record sixty-three competing in 2012 including representation from France and the US in the form of Rennes and New York. Many of these teams comprise of a combination of Irish and British born students, with many second and third generation Irish involved as well as those who have no familial or historical connection to Ireland whatsoever. This indicates that the GAA in Britain is more than just an Irish sport for Irish emigrants, but encompasses members of the Irish Diaspora and wider British society. For example, GAA clubs in London attract Irish emigrants, second and third generation Irish as well as people who are not Irish.

In 2011 there were approximately 40 clubs established across London, with thirty-six Men’s Gaelic football teams, eleven hurling teams, eleven Ladies Gaelic football teams and six Camogie teams. Many of these clubs have been established for several decades and are situated in and around locations which are strongly associated with Irish emigration in North and North West London. Clubs such as Tir Chonaill Gaels, Fr. Murphy’s and Tara have a strong second and third generation Irish representation with many players referring the involvement of their parents in a club as their main reason for joining and playing for a particular club. Developing and maintaining Irish culture abroad enables both Irish emigrants and second and third generation Irish to retain a connection with ‘home’ and celebrate a sense of Irish identity.

I suggest that the GAA can be of benefit in terms of interacting with other Irish people, other emigrants in London and local Londoners who have no connection whatsoever with Ireland. Established clubs which have strong links with local communities and schools, attract non Irish players. This is the case with Dulwich Harps which attracts many London born underage players of African/Afro-Caribbean descent who play Gaelic games to a high standard at St Paul’s Academy in South London. It will be interesting to see if many of these young people continue to play after they finish school and underage level, and whether senior club teams become more diverse as a result.

The Ladies GAA scene in London attracts a diverse range of players from different backgrounds including Irish emigrants, other emigrants in London and London born women both second and third generation and those who have no Irish connection whatsoever. The London Ladies Gaelic football team, which won the All Ireland Junior Championship in 2008 comprised of Irish born, second generation Irish, Australians emigrants and English girls from London.

The London GAA is continually changing in response to the changing times and the shifting dynamics of Irish emigration. New clubs to the London GAA scene include Fulham Irish in 2006, Eire Og early in 2011 and there are current proposals to establish South O’Hanlon’s in 2012, all of which emerged in locations that have seen an increase in Irish emigrants within the local population. Many Fulham Irish Gaelic footballers and hurlers work in the city and live in and around the Clapham area which has become synonymous with the young Irish emigrants currently arriving and living in London. The club has become increasingly successful in recent years, with in excess of seventy players turning up for some Men’s Gaelic football training sessions. The level of commitment required in London is considered to be far greater than at home, as there is often a lengthy commute to training or matches to negotiate as well as the distraction of other attractions available in London. For many, the GAA provides a familiar structure which enables people to negotiate their new environment whilst retaining a connection with home and offsetting feelings of isolation.

Indeed there are some who do not require the established network of the Irish emigrant community or the GAA to find employment, accommodation and friends, preferring to immerse themselves entirely in their new environment. It has been suggested by several London based GAA players I have spoken to, that involvement at home is a general prerequisite for wanting to become involved in the GAA abroad. Those who had no more than passing interest in the GAA in Ireland are unlikely to seek out a club in London, New York, Amsterdam or Singapore. Whilst they don’t actively engage with the GAA scene or the Irish community, many will show interest in the fortunes of their county in the All Ireland Championships. The GAA is always a talking point for Irish people and those of Irish descent, everyone has an opinion on the style, players, management and the relevance of it with regards to Irish identity and the Irish Diaspora. The changing dynamics of the Irish emigrant population in London has influenced the role of the GAA, and the expectations held by individual emigrants.  The GAA and Gaelic games continue be a repository of Irish culture and identity for many Irish emigrants whilst also attracting members, players and support from those outside the Irish community.

To participate in my PhD research on the GAA in London an online survey can be found at: