In the Name of Love (097, Dec 2014)

One of the big Irish stories of 2015 is set to be the marriage equality referendum, due to be held sometime in the coming months. It’s another indicator of the huge social change which has occured in Ireland in recent years.

Written by Una Mullally and published by The History Press, In the Name of Love is a new oral history which traces the history of the movement for marriage equality in Ireland narrated by those who took a stand, including politicians, activists, artists, drag queens, lobbyists, feminists and those who rocked the boat.

From the dawn of Irish LGBT activism to an organised protest movement, from the legislative battles fought to the personal stories that paved the way for visibility, In the Name Of Love is the story of how we got from the decriminalising of homosexuality 22 years ago to today’s new brave world.


On Wednesday December 10, some of those who contributed to the book will join us at Banter to talk at length about the story so far, what’s to be learned from the various victories and setbacks so far in the path to marriage equality and what lies ahead in the referendum campaign in 2015.

The panel: Ailbhe SmythJohn Lyons TDTonie Walsh and the book’s author Una Mullally. The discussion will be chaired by Banter producer Jim Carroll, there will be an audience Q&A afterwards and the book will also be on sale.

Event details: Twisted Pepper, Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1; Wednesday December 10; doors open at 6pm and the discussion begins at 6.30pm; tickets available here

Review of the Year (096, Dec 2014)

It’s nearly the end of 2014 as we know it and that means the annual Banter Review of the Year.

You know the story as we’ve done this in 2009201020112012 and 2013. We bring together a panel of folks – some of them who’ve made the news in 2014 and some of them who’ve reported the news in 2014 – to run the rule over the stories of the last 12 months, to nominate the winners and losers of the year and to bring some semblance of sense to the events of 2014 in an hour or less. It’s always one of the highlights of the Banter year, chiefly because we keep remembering stuff which happened which we’d forgotten all about.

2014, the year of water protests, loom bands, Garth Brooks, Alan Shatter, GSOC bugs, Star Wars on Skellig Michael, Ukraine, Pantigate, the World Cup, ISIS, Malaysian planes, Kanye and Kim’s honeymoon, crazy summer seagulls, Gaza and a million other things besides (including perhaps Fr Padraig O’Baoill and Jessica Lauren, though not together).

One of the stories of the year? Me?
One of the stories of the year? Me?

Our panel who will be reeling in the last 12 months: Mick Wallace TDRory “Panti” O’Neill2fm’s Louise McSharry and journalist and author Ann Marie Hourihane.

Banter’s Review of the Year takes place on Monday December 8 at the Twisted Pepper, Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1. Doors open 6pm, the rewinding starts at 6.30pm and tickets are available here.

Pretty Honest: Sali Hughes in conversation with Marian Keyes (095, Dec 2014)

We’re very pleased to welcome Sali Hughes to Banter. She’s one of the leading beauty writers in the business, a woman who started out as a makeup artist to George Michael, Pet Shop Boys and Belinda Carlisle before turning to writing, commentating and broadcasting about the beauty world for such publications as ELLEgirl, The Face, Red, Grazia, Elle, Cosmopolitan, The Observer, The Guardian, Glamour, Stylist and Shortlist. She has been The Guardian Weekend’s beauty columnist since January 2011.

Sali Hughes
Sali Hughes


Her new book is Pretty Honest: The Straight-Talking Beauty Companion. It sets out to disprove the notion that beauty books have to be “product review-heavy volumes which become almost instantly outdated, or tracts of holistic mumbo jumbo, like how to make an unproven face pack from organic molasses and rough-hewn porridge oats”.

Instead, she draws on over 20 years of wisdom, advice and expertise to show cover everything from teenage skin to mature beauty, botox to bridal make-up, sickness to good health. It’s a work that is both instruction manual and love letter to makeup, all written in a style that combines beauty editor, feminist and painfully funny best friend.


For this Banter, we are delighted to also welcome novelist Marian Keyes to Banter who will be hosting the conversation with Sali. Marian’s latest book The Woman Who Stole My Life has just been published.

Banter guest host Marian Keyes
Banter guest host Marian Keyes

The details: Banter presents Sali Hughes in conversation with Marian Keyes takes place at the Twisted Pepper (Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1) on Thursday December 4. Doors open 6pm, the event begins at 6.30pm promptly and there will a book signing afterwards. Ticket details are here (please note the event is now sold out)

Banter’s Cocktail Happy Hour (094, Nov 2014)

It’s time to shake it like a polaroid picture as Banter goes to Tippletown, the citywide festival which aims to raise a glass to all things cocktails and spirits.

We will be bringing together some of the city’s finest cocktail craftsmen and women to talk about what goes into the making of a great cocktail.

We’ll explore the city’s new fascination with elaborate drinks of all hues, muse about how it all started, ponder about what goes into a great drink (and what shouldn’t) and do some glass-half-full thinking out loud about where cocktails and the city go from here.


Banter’s Cocktail Happy Hour mixologistsAlan Kavanagh (Edward Dillons Spirit Portfolio Ambassador and owner of Total Cocktail Solutions), Paul Lambert (Upstairs @ Kinara Kitchen and The Blind Pig), Joanne Cronin (Stitch & Bear food and drink blog) and Stephen Teeling (former head at Kilbeggan Whiskey and now part owner at Teeling Whiskey, the first distillery to be built in Dublin in over 125 years).

The ingredients: Banter Uptown at Tippletown takes place at MVP (Clanbrassil St. Dublin 8 ) on Wednesday November 26. Doors open at 6pm and we start at 6.30pm. Tickets can be obtained here.

Connected (093, Nov 2014)

Connected has proven to be one of the big ol’ hits of RTE’s autumn season. Setting out to deliver a snapshot of what life is like in Ireland in 2014 for six women, the show has gathered rave reviews and dedicated audiences as the series has progressed.

What has had many glued to the screen is how the series has flipped many reality TV conventions. At this stage of the game, we know reality TV’s tropes and tricks insideout and back to front and we’re a mite fed up of them, as the ratings for many shows demonstrate.

But Connected puts control of the cameras in the hands of the participants. Each of the six women decide what and when to film, meaning they direct their own scenes. Instead of scenes which are contrived for the cameras, we get searing honesty and real worlds.

The Connected cast: Alanna Diggin, Nicole McQuillan, Elayne Harrington, Venetia Quick, Anna Ryan and Kate McGrew
The Connected cast: Alanna Diggin, Nicole McQuillan, Elayne Harrington, Venetia Quick, Anna Ryan and Kate McGrew

At Banter, we’ll look at the success of the show from the point of view of some of those who took part, the people who commissioned the show at RTE and TV veterans who have become fans of the show.

Were peope enthusiastic or reserved about the first approach? What did they expect? What did they think of reality TV shows before? What are the plans for the show now? What’s been the participants’ reaction to the critical praise? And what nexts for the participants and the show?

The Connected panelVenetia Quick (Connected), Kate McGrew (Connected), Bill Malone (Channel Controller, RTE 2) and Anna Nolan (TV presenter and journalist)

Banter on Connected: Twisted Pepper, Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1; Tuesday November 25; doors open 6pm and Bantering begins 6.30pm sharp. Ticket details are here.

A conversation with Fintan Drury (092, Nov 2014)

Brite Space Dublin is a week-long series of discussions and activities from Eventbrite that will explore the future of events and Banter will join the party on Monday November 17 for a conversation with sports agent and Platinum One boss, Fintan Drury.

Formerly a news and current affairs journalist at RTE, Fintan moved into PR and sports managements in the early 1990s. Platinum One has a formidable client list, especially when it comes to football and rugby representing the likes of Johnny Sexton, Gordon D’Arcy, Sean O’Brien and over 70 professional footballers in Britain. It’s also the agency of choice for some of the world’s biggest sports clubs when it comes to tours, training camps and friendly matches, has huge experience in the management of golf events (such as the 2006 Ryder Cup) and is deeply involved in many aspects of Gaelic games.

Platinum One's Fintan Drury
Platinum One’s Fintan Drury

We’ll talk to Fintan about his role as an agent, his observations on the changing face of professional sport, his views on how the expectations of sportsmen and women have changed as more money comes into play, the places where he sees untapped potential, how he and his fellow agents deal with would-be partners and his thoughts on Ireland’s relationship with professional sports events and sports tourism.

Banter’s conversation with Fintan Drury takes place on Monday November 17 at 6.30pm at 42 Dawson St., Dublin 2. Admission is free but tickets needs to be reserved in advance here. Complimentary beer will be provided by McGargles Irish Family Brewers and there will also be complimentary non-alcoholic options.