Banter at Shore Shots (106, Apr 2015)

Shore Shots is a two-day festival of surfing which takes place at the Light House Cinema in Dublin taking place on April 11 and 12. The third outing for the festival will feature the best new films, photography, art and adventures from the world of cold water surfing, as well as talks and entertainment from the finest surfers in Europe.

Banter teams up with Shore Shots this year to run the rule over what’s going on with Irish surfing.

Nature means Ireland is on many agendas when it comes to surfing, with those wild, wild swells out west and along our 3,000km of coastline attracting many surfers keen to take on the biggest cold water challenges and enjoy some true soul surfing. When Discover Ireland take an interest in the sport and pimps the attractions of waters from Donegal to Kerry and even Waterford and Wicklow to surfers, you know that the surf is definitely up.

We’ve invited four stalwarts to come along to Shore Shots to talk about the current state of the sport in Ireland. What do they think of Ireland’s rep as a surfing destination? Is it still something of a best kept secret or is the word out? Is there too much focus on attracting international surfers to the detriment of encouraging more domestic fans to come onboard? What are the issues which the local scene face which need to be addressed? Or is everything hunky-dory?

Our panelists:

Peter Conroy – founder member of the Irish Tow Surf Rescue Club. A paramedic and firefighter by day he is also a regular surfer at Ireland’s most infamous big wave spots. Through his association with the Irish Tow Rescue club, Peter has gone from breaking his neck in huge surf to organising rescue training for Irish big wave surfers and making Mullaghmore a slightly safer place to surf and centre for international best practice in surf rescue.

Ed Temperley – editor of Magic Seaweed, Ed is a regular visitor to Shore Shots and his work is essential reading for anyone hoping to progress as a surfer in this country.

Brian Britton – one of the forefathers of Irish surfing, Brian helped set up the Irish Surf Association way back in 1969. Since then, he has been instrumental in every development in Irish surfing, from major international tournaments to developing young surfers and introducing training standards at surf schools around the country.

Henry Moore – chairman of the Irish Surfing Association

Banter details: Banter on surfing takes place at the Light House Cinema, Dublin on Saturday April 11 at 4pm. Tickets are €7 and are available here.

Over the weekend, Shore Shots will screen such flicks as Behind The LinesOut In The LineupTierra des PatagonesDeath 2 Hipsters and the Shore Shots edit contest

What’s the story with the Irish pub? (105, Apr 2015)

You don’t need us to tell you about changes to the Irish pub over the last few years. Between new arrivals coming in from across the water, competition from off-licences and changes in public behaviour and social trends when it comes to drinking, the Irish pub sector has probably seen more change of late than it’s ever done before.

Banter is linking up with The Locals and Discotekken for a special event about the Irish pub on Easter Sunday, 48 hours after the day when prohibition rules the roost across the country.

Banter’s contribution to the event is a where-we-are-and-where-we’re-going discussion about publand featuring a number of Irish publicans, namely Tony McMahon (owner of Johnnie Fox’s), Trevor O’Shea (Bodytonic, the Bernard Shaw, The Twisted Pepper, MVP, The Back Page and The Yacht), Seáneen Sullivan (L Mulligan Grocer) and Oliver Hughes (CEO the Portherhouse Group and founder of the Dingle Distillery).

Aside from the Banter discussion, the event will also feature a screening of The Irish Pub documentary, produced and directed by Alex Fegan, and a performance from Ensemble Eriu.

It all takes place at the Sugar Club (Lower Leeson St., Dublin 2) on Sunday April 5 from 7pm and tickets are available here.

Banter on mindfulness (104, Mar 2015)

There are some Banter topics which are on the to-do list for a long time and mindfulness is definitely one of them. Over the last few years, we’ve noticed how the practice of mindfulness has began to appear on agendas more and more. It has always been a daily habit for many, but the massive buzz around a wave of apps, courses, workshops and retreats means mindfulness has become an everyday experience for many more to enhance how they live and work.

This Banter discussion panel gathers together some people who use mindfulness practices in their daily life and work to help us examine the benefits of mindfulness when it comes to our attention spans, concentration levels, creativity and emotional well-being. How do you begin? Where do you begin? What do you need to do? Does the fact that practices and habits which have been around for many years and decades are now branded as mindfulness change everything or nothing at all?

The panel:

Ivor Browne – retired psychiatrist, former Chief Psychiatrist of the Eastern Health Board, professor emeritus of psychiatry at University College Dublin and author of Music & Madness (Cork University Press)

Karen Hand – a doctoral researcher who co-curated the National Happiness Experiment and is co-author of Happy Nation? Prospects for Psychological Prosperity in Ireland (Liffey Press)

Colm Mac Con Iomaire – musician and member of The Frames, who will be releasing his new solo album “And Now the Weather/Agus Anois An Aimsir” on April 17

Ruairí McKiernan – social innovator, campaigner, Presidential appointee to Ireland’s Council of State, founder of SpunOut, co-founder of Uplift and a board member of the Soar Foundation and Gaisce.

The details: Banter on mindfulness takes place at the Twisted Pepper (Middle Abbey St., Dublin 1) on Tuesday March 31. Doors open at 6pm and the discussion gets underway at 6.30pm sharp. Tickets are now available here (please note the event is now sold out)