Banter at Another Love Story (197, Aug 2018)

After last year’s debut in the wilds of Co Meath, we’re delighted to be returning to Another Love Story at Killyon Manor on Friday August 17.


As with 2017, we’ll again be hosting Banter Stories at the festival, a series of one on one interviews with some very special guests. We’ll be talking to these folks in The Library between 9pm and midnight on the night.

John Connell is the author of The Cow Book, one of our books of the year. This lovely heartsore memoir captures a season on his family farm in Co Longford as he returns from the flim-flam of a modern world to a place where tradition continues to hold sway as it has always done. Between charting man’s 10,000 year history with cattle and rubbing a finger over the charts of his own family bloodlines and relationships, Connell produces a work of considerable honesty and majesty.


Ruth McGowan is the festival director of Dublin Fringe. She’ll join us to tell us how they ended up in that gig, what a day in the life of a festival director looks like, her preview of this year’s event and her views on the current comings and goings in Irish culture.

Fuchsia MacAree is the Clare-born Dublin-based illustrator who is one of the country’s foremost craftswomen when it comes to creating iconic, accessible, colourful and deadly maps, characters and visuals. We’ll be talking to her about her heroes, working methods, ambitions and fondness for deadlines.


Banter at The Beatyard (196, Aug 2018)

We’re back at The Beatyard for the third year in a row. Just like we did in 2016 and 2017, we’ve rounded up some fascinating folks for you to hear from, with themes and topics covering sport, politics, media, film, dance music, culture, food, fashion and legends. Here’s what we have in store for Banteryard 2018



1pm – A Mother Brings Her Son To Be Shot

A conversation with director Sinead O’Shea about her documentary A Mother Brings Her Son To Be Shot, a powerful look at paramilitary activity at a time of peace in Northern Ireland.

2pm – Is local media really dying (and would anyone care)?

Curated by our pals at Dublin Inquirer. A discussion on the health of Ireland’s local and regional press. Who reads it? What role can local newspapers play in rebuilding trust with readers? How have changes in distribution and the rise of online affected them? Is greater consolidation the only way forward? Featuring David Burke (Editor, The Tuam Herald), David Lynch (Editor, Dundalk Democrat) and Stephanie Costello (Centre for Critical Media Literacy, Dublin Institute of Technology) and hosted by Lois Kapila (Editor, Dublin Inquirer)


3pm – Irish feminism after Repeal

Curated by Jeanne Sutton (writer, former deputy editor of STELLAR magazine and currently completing a MSc in Science Communication in DCU while working in non-profit communications). Where are we going to see the energy we saw during the campaign go? Featuring Emily Carson (Body & Soul festival, Dublin Digital Radio and freelance writer and marketer), Sinéad Mercier (primary researcher for the Green Party, a SIPTU just transition activist and a member of Not Here, Not Anywhere grassroots group), Rachel Watters (Belfast-based reproductive justice activist, student and Deputy Chair of Project Choice at Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union and Women’s Officer of NUS-USI) and guests


4pm – Censor sensibility

A conversation with Subset, Cian O’Brien (Project Arts Centre) and Grace Dyas (playwright and activist) about art and censorship


5pm  – You dancin’? You askin’?

Kelly-Anne Byrne on the soundtrack of her life


5.30pm – A tour of Dublin Oldschool

Director Dave Tynan on turning an award-winning play into a vivid, swaggering snapshot of Dublin’s session zone

6.00pm – How Bohs became the people’s club

Bohemian FC strategy and marketing dude Daniel Lambert and new-school fan PJ Gallagher on the resurgence of the Phibsboro club



1pm – Eating and drinking

A discussion on Irish food culture in the company of With Relish podcasters Harry Colley and Aoife Allen


2pm – The high cost of fast fashion

Fast fashion brings catwalk styles quickly and cheaply to the High Street, but it’s a process which comes at a huge human and social cost. A conversation with Alacoque McAlpine (DIT) around her recent piece for RTÉ Brainstorm on this topic


3pm – Streetwear Supreme

The current state of the streetwear game from drops and celebrity co-signs to vintage comebacks, the Supreme bubble, authenticity, the appropriation of streetwear by high fashion and what comes next. With Grace Enemaku (Enemkau), Katriona Flynn (DIT) and James Fagan (Coffee & Kicks).


4pm – The Second Captains’ story 

Co-founder Eoin McDevitt on the who, what, why, how and when of Second Captains, Irish media’s buccaneer shape-shifters


5pm – The life and times of Orbital

Before they go onstage to headline The Beatyard, Paul and Phil Hartnoll roll back the years.

As is always the case with festivals, all times subject to change on the day because someone has gone to the wrong stage despite the map at the top of this page!

100 years of #ImmodestWomen (193, June 2018)

It’s 100 years since Irish women first received the right to vote. While the intervening century has seen many other wins and advances across different parts of Irish life, there’s still a lengthy to-do list to be enacted to bring about real equality for women in our society.

As part of the Vótáil 100 series of events to mark a centenary of women’s suffrage and representation in the Houses of the Oireachtas, this special Banter discussion curated by the Irish Research Council will examine where the road goes from here and the challenges which lie ahead.

What are the priorities on that to-do list and why? Are future changes the preserve of parliamentarians or will they come about through sustained people pressure? What can we learn from the experiences of other countries? Indeed, what can we learn from our experiences at the ballot boxes here in 2015 and 2018? And will the day a woman Taoiseach steps up in Dáil Éireann be the day to say the job’s done?

The details: this Banter event will take place at The Liquor Rooms (Wellington Quay, Dublin 2) on Thursday June 28 with Ailbhe Smith (Co-Director of Together For Yes and Convenor of Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment), Sarah Robinson (UCC School of Psychology PhD candidate and current Irish Research Council awardee), Alison O’Connor (journalist, columnist and broadcaster), Síona Cahill (incoming president Union Of Students In Ireland) and guests. Doors open at 6pm and the discussion begins at 6.30pm. Tickets are now available here and all proceeds go to Women’s Aid.

About the Irish Research Council: the Council was formed in 2012, is an associated agency of the Department of Education and Skills, and operates under the aegis of the Higher Education Authority. The core function of the Council is to support excellent frontier research across all disciplines and all career stages. The Council promotes diverse career opportunities for researchers by partnering with enterprise and employers. The Council also has a particular role in supporting research with a societal focus, and has established partnerships across government and civic society. Further information:, @IrishResearch, #LoveIrishResearch

A conversation with Bell X1’s Paul Noonan (195, June 2018)

It is 20 years since Bell X1 came our way. As they note on their website, lots can happen in 20 years. There has been a rake of great albums in this time from the band – for our money, “Arms”, the “difficult seventh album” from 2016, stands tallest – and they continue to forge onwards and upwards.

Given that the band are marking 20 years of Bell X1 with a run of sold-out shows up and down the country, we thought it would be a good idea to bring lead singer Paul Noonan to Banter for a discussion about life, work, music and all the rest of it as part of the Wellington Weekender at the Workman’s Club on Saturday June 30.



Spend the afternoon with us in the Workman’s Club venue bar and hear some yarns, anecdotes, asides and insights.

Doors open at 2.30pm and the conversation kicks off at 3pm-ish. Tickets are available here with a €2 charitable donation to Aware.

The art of darkness (194, June 2018)

After a very successful outing at Dublin Castle in April, we’re back in the big gaff in the heart of the capital on Saturday June 30 for another event.

As the hugely successful Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger exhibition draws to a close at Dublin Castle, this discussion will look at the dark art around tragedies and disaster. How does art capture the horror of these situations? Is the role of the artist to document what has occurred or produce another perspective? How does the work impact not just on the audience but the artist as well?


The panel: Niamh O’Sullivan (Professor Emeritus at National College of Art and Design and curator of Coming Home: Art and the Great Hunger), Gillian O’Brien (historian at Liverpool John Moores University and dark tourism specialist), Brian Maguire (artist whose work is featured in the exhibition) and guests

The details: this discussion will take place at Dublin Castle on Saturday June 30 at noon. Tickets are now available here.