black friday

Top Black Friday Deals from the West of Ireland for 2018

Black Friday is almost here. We know there are plenty of folks who aren’t comfortable with the materialism of this imported event. However, given the potential benefit for those small independent shops and makers who are trying to leverage it, this list is here to support them.

If you’re heading for town or shopping online this weekend, why not support the work and livelihoods of small independent shops, craftspeople, and designer-makers from across the West this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. We have picked the best of the Black Friday deals from West of Ireland online retailers.

If you have a special offer this weekend, please tag us @LookWestie and we will add you to the list.

West of Ireland Makers:

martin gallagher

Pamper Yourself with the best of the West of Ireland Beauty Brands

  • Voya: From Friday at Midnight: 15% off one product, 20% off two products, 25% off three products +(excluding seaweed bath vouchers and products already in a discounted bundle)   voya.ievoya black friday
  • Kinvara Skincare – Award-winning, Galway based skincare company is offering 20% off until Friday kinvaraskincare.comKinvara skincare

lottie dolls donegalDon’t forget the Páistí Beaga!

  • Donegal toy company Lottie Dolls is offering up to 50% off their brilliant dolls online until 26 Nov.

Sort your Christmas List

  • County Mayo online retailer Carraig Donn is running a full week of special discounts for its online store. They’re offering 20% off for Black Week and have a daily online special. Don’t say we didn’t tell you!
  • Sligo clothing bricks-and-clicks retailer FTK Clothing is offering 20% off everything in store and online and some special deals with up to 60% off items. They have a physical store on Wine St in Sligo.

Green Friday

cait and i
  • Cait & I: Using the #GreenFriday hashtag on social media, the Sligo design and craft shop Cait & I is encouraging local shoppers to support their local independent businesses between this Friday and Christmas, considered by most to be the busiest shopping season of the year. Cait & I offering 15% off online sales on our website at as well as selected discounts off in-store in their shop on Market Street in Sligo town.

shells cookbook

  • Shells Café: This Friday 23 November Shells Cafe and Little Shop in Strandhill, Co Sligo is encouraging customers to shop green, Shop local and shop with your heart. They are not promoting Black Friday & excess but are ‘trying to encourage people to rethink how we live and shop’. They have 15% off all Keep Cups & Chilly Bottles on Friday 23 November.

Give Back Friday:

  • Instead of Black Friday discounts, outdoor store Call of the Wild in Sligo is donating 10% of the day’s takings to the North West Hospice Sligo and giving back to this very deserving local charity 
armistice day sligo

Call-Out for Volunteers to participate in Armistice Day Memorial in Sligo

Armistice Day is commemorated every year on November 11th to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.

An estimated 5000 men from Sligo, (or of immediate Sligo origin) were volunteers during the Great War. Building on war records research by Sligo historian Simone Hickey currently details 602 of these men lost their lives during the conflict or subsequently because of the injuries they suffered. Five civilians including two women also perished.

Sligo’s Blue Raincoat Theatre company is now seeking men and women to join in their silent procession through Sligo town on November 11th. It will be a non-political event, no emblems, and non-militaristic in nature, a dignified community remembrance for the first time of 602 young men who were lost to Sligo in the First World War, 100 years on from the final moment of that conflict. Each participant in the walk will represent an individual casualty on the day. Women and men are welcome to walk.

How To Participate:

If you can take part the process is simple. Register at The Factory Performance Space on Saturday, November 10th from 10am – 6pm. You will be given the name and some historic details of the soldier you will represent on the walk, as well as a costume, and costume advice.

More on the Blue Raincoat Theatre Facebook Page

hawkswell sligo docks

Hawk’s Well Theatre stage off-site theatre piece, The Deepwater Rambler at Sligo Dock

Hawk’s Well Theatre will stage a unique piece of theatre, titled The Deepwater Rambler at Sligo Harbour on Sunday the 14th of October. Celebrating the rich heritage of Sligo’s docklands, this new play has been written by actor, writer and director, Bob Kelly; author of previous productions ‘Bless the Mark’ and ‘The Big Wall’ written during his role in recent years as theatre artist in residence.

Taking place in Sligo Dock, the immersive nature of this piece of theatre will bring the audience that bit closer to life in the Port of Sligo, which was once one of the busiest in the country; the quays alive with stories of adventure, emigration, fortune-hunting and shipwreck. The port of Sligo grew from a medieval quay into one of Ireland’s principle emigration ports during the famine years. Today exports are on the rise and it is the only working harbour between Galway and Derry.

The play features three performers; actor and core member of Blue Theatre Raincoat Company, Ciaran McCauley; Martin Maguire (star of Red Rock,TV3 & RTE’s The Clinic) and talented violinist and Waterboys member, Steve Wickham. There will be three show times: 2.30pm, 3.30pm and 4.30pm. Audience sizes will be limited for each show, ensuring an intimate and unique experience for all assembled.

The theatre performance will be followed by a history talk and Q&A with current Sligo Harbourmaster, John Carton and invited guests, who will discuss the many aspects of life at Sligo port, past and present. With post-performance teas and coffees served to warm up the assembled audience, an exhibition by County Sligo Heritage and Genealogy Centre will also be available to enjoy on-site. In addition, volunteers from the local boating enthusiasts group, The Metal Mariners will attend the event, adding a further dimension to the docklands experience.

In preparation for this event, the Hawk’s Well Theatre has coordinated an exhibition featuring stories about the industry and people behind the port taken from the Sligo Weekender newspaper archives. Displayed in their foyer space, the exhibition also features a logbook where the public have been asked to share their own experience and knowledge of the port. All of this collective experience has come together to inform The Deepwater Rambler and it undoubtedly will make for a unique experience that concentrates our focus on what has been a most important bedrock of Sligo life.

Supported by The Metal Mariners and Malin Waters, this project has been funded by The Heritage Council.

Tickets for this event are €10 (plus €1 Renovation Fee) and are available from the theatre box office on 071 91 61518 or online at

macnas website

Macnas officially launch naming of the 2018 Parade for Galway

Macnas Artistic Director Noeline Kavanagh announces Halloween Parade 2018, with next generation artists, magical new inventions and an extended route

“Out of the Wild Sky” the 2018 Macnas parade will traverse through the streets of Galway at 5.30pm on Sunday October 28th, 2018. Beginning at its home on the NUI Galway campus the parade will weave its way through the heart of Galway, the Macnas Halloween Parade is the highlight of Ireland’s cultural calendar. It is the largest free event in In Ireland for Halloween with over 54,000 people lining the streets every year to be awed and amazed by this epic scale of storytelling.

This years story celebrates the act of transformation being unleashed upon the city. A world that is hypnotic and intoxicating, glittering, mysterious and filled with shadow and nobility.

Between the white fire of the stars and the whispering woods, you can hear the breath of small kingdoms rising and falling, dreams floating light as moths among the branches of the trees, where sweetness and tangibility flicker amongst the dark hug of time.

Macnas bring “Out of the Wild Sky” to the streets of Galway, packed full of love and magic, as they sculpt a new cosmos into being, where the language of birds and the stars take flight, bells ring out stitches of lightning burst forth as a new horizon lights up the deep and the wondrous and lifts up the sky.

Always a gigantic undertaking, this year’s parade will feature the signature Macnas giant creations and sculptural images, pyrotechnics, bespoke costumes, and epic performances to live and original music. Delivering this wondrous chaos are hundreds of performers from the Macnas Young Ensemble, Youth Ballet West, the Macnas Youth Drummers, the Public participation programme, The Hit Machine and many more.

The Macnas parade includes the work of the Macnas creative ensemble, comprised of 45 professional artists and 300 volunteers directed by CEO/Artistic Director Noeline Kavanagh. The creative wizards behind this years inventions include Orla Clogher and Dave Young on design, Saileog O’Halloran on costume, Alma Kelleher on sound design, The Face on hair and Michelle Ruane is our makeup designer. Eimhin Craddock will head up the Macnas Youth Drummers and Miquel Barcelo is once again at the helm with the Young Ensemble.

“We are very grateful to be supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Galway City Council for our year long programme of creative work. We are delighted to have the support of our partners  Latin Quarter who will co-present this iconic event for the sixth year in a row with Macnas. For the Halloween parade we are thrilled to have the additional support from local Galway businesses patrons: O’Connells Bar Eyre Square, Acorn Life, and Galway Clinic. This year and up to 2021 the Connacht Hospitality Group have jumped on board the Macnas train to support the Macnas Young Ensemble which is terrific “ Noeline Kavanagh

The parade will begin at NUIG (Aula Maxima), and take to the streets along the following route: University Rd, Salmon Weir Bridge, St Vincent’s Ave, Francis St, Eglington St, William St, Shop St, Church Yard St, Mainguard St, Bridge St, O’Brien’s Bridge, Dominick St Lower, Dominick St Upper, Crossing canal, Raven’s Terrace, Claddagh Quay.

Hit the streets of Galway early to catch Macnas 2018, to find out the latest on Macnas check social media for the parade countdown or visit for more information.


design west

World of International Design to converge for Design West summer school

Design West is an international summer design school located in the beautiful village of Letterfrack in Connemara, on the West Coast of Ireland.

For two weeks this summer, from June 23rd to July 6th 2018, participants will get the opportunity to work with leading international designers from renowned studios across Europe. Unplugging from our hectic everyday working lives—commuting, cell phones, deadlines, media saturation—participants will immerse themselves in the wild and rugged Connemara landscape and use it both as a mode of research and as a source of inspiration.

Summer is a time for exploration and discovery, for meeting new people and taking on new challenges. It is also a time to get away from the grind of ‘the everyday’ and to reflect upon one’s role and purpose as a designer. Design West offers the perfect environment for studying design in a non-urban environment—away from the noise of the city and the pressures of deadlines. Students will participate in a two-week programme of discovery, learning, reflection, adventure and making.

The course will take place at the GMIT campus in Letterfrack which boasts CAD, CNC technology, laser equipment, robotics and digital, manufacturing all ideal for the realisation of 2D and 3D design expressions. The campus has excellent Wi-Fi connectivity. In the rural setting beyond the campus, connectivity is weaker, an opportunity for students at Design West to ‘unplug’ from the busy world of design and gain new perspectives.

Design West is proud to be listed as one of the ‘most exciting design summer schools of 2018 around the world’

More at Design West will be doing a social media takeover on our Twitter and Instagram, so check it out there as it happens!

Digital Transformations Funds 10k Digital Society Bursary

Details of a major award for writers and artists, creative professionals, developers and designers to be launched in Ballina on 19 May 2018.

This year-long bursary provides a significant opportunity for practitioners of any discipline (visual, performing, musical, literature, media, technology) to deliver a project responding to the emerging digital society. The bursary will be open to individuals and groups in Ireland and abroad and the recipient will be launched at the Digital Transformations conference in Ballina on the 19th of May.

An information session for potential applicants will form part of the conference programme.

The purpose of the bursary is to increase awareness of the digital society and to make artistic responses to it a more central part of the debate.

The winner of the bursary will be required to consider the themes of the digital transformations conference in developing their work: Digital Human, Networked Personality, Art for What’s Sake, and Manifesto. Studio, rehearsal and accommodation space at the Ballina Arts Centre in Mayo will be made available and the recipient will be required to provide some educational outreach and workshops at the centre.

“I’m thrilled to be offering this bursary as a way of supporting people who want to explore the digital society in their work, and to put that response centre stage in the debates happening today about what kind of society is emerging via digital technologies,” said conference director Scott Coombs. “Enriching human contact and the human voice is essential for this transformation to be beneficial,” he said “and this artistic response needs to be heard not just on the street, but in classrooms and boardrooms as well. The digital society is throwing arts, policy, education, culture, media, technology and business together in ways that only the arts can really fathom.”

See for full details.


Two New Bursary Programmes for Flmmakers based in Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon.

As part of a new partnership Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon County Councils have come together with filmmakers from the three counties with a view to enabling the film sector here to grow and develop.​

Each of the three local authorities involved in this project recognise the value of film as an artform and the contribution that film can make to the region – socially, culturally and economically. In adopting a regional approach, we recognise that we can achieve a lot more by harnessing the capacity, resources and energy of agencies and practitioners of all three counties.

Find out more about the SLR Film Development Project at Leitrim County Council Website HERE

The closing date for both opportunities is 30th June 2018.

Courtesy Leitrim County Council


A remarkable year for

2017 has been an important, and very busy, year for Under a creative momentum project, the website was fully revamped and re-launched in March. is a hub for anyone looking for inspiration and insights into the creativity of 5 different regions on Europe’s Northern Edge – in Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Sweden. currently showcases the work of 232 creatives working in the fields of Arts, Crafts, Design and Media & Technology, around half are based in the West of Ireland.  We’re hoping to grow that number throughout 2018, so sign-up to our monthly newsletter to keep up to date!

my creative edgeDigital marketing campaign

A key objective of is to make creative entrepreneurs from Europe’s Northern Edge more visible to potential international clients and customers. To this end, the first phase of an international digital marketing campaign was launched at the end of June. The campaign mainly targeted consumers based in the regions and the cities of London, Dublin, Stockholm, Reykjavik, and Helsinki. Facebook ads were the main channel used.

During July-August, there were 8,445 unique sessions on the website from 6,770 unique users. This was a 69% increase in the number of sessions since the same period in 2016, and a 107% increase from the previous two month period.

A second phase was launched in September and targeted Dublin, Stockholm, Belfast, Reykjavik and Helsinki, as well as cities in the UK, US and Canada. In addition to Facebook ads, Google display ads were also used.  The site registered a 100% increase in the number of sessions since the same period a year previously.

And in the run up to Christmas, a creative momentum project has been promoting as a hub for unique, inspiring gift ideas. Four businesses from the West of Ireland were among those featured in the Christmas campaign: Celtic Fairy Doors, Lynsey De Burca, McKernan Woollen  Mills, and Hawthorn and Rose.

These businesses were among the 21 enterprises from the region who received support earlier in the year from a creative momentum project to collaborate with professional photographers from the West of Ireland. In just over a month, the Christmas campaign resulted in 4,168 sessions on the site mostly from the UK, Ireland, Finland, the US and Canada.

Register now

The digital marketing activities linked to will continue into 2018. By registering and publishing their profile, creative enterprises based in the West of Ireland can benefit from this advertising, as well as having the opportunity to connect with other creative businesses in the same, or different fields.

And remember, if you want to keep up to date with what’s new on sign-up for our newsletter.

Ireland’s First Ever Feature Stop-Motion Film Being Made in Galway

Post-production on Captain Morten And The Spider Queen is nearing completion in Telegael’s stop-motion studio in Galway. This is the first ever feature film to be animated in stop-motion in Ireland. It is a co-production between Telegael (Ireland), Nukufilm (Estonia), Grid VFX (Belgium) and Calon (UK).

“Captain Morten And The Spider Queen” has taken three years to complete. Its voice cast is entirely Irish and includes, Brendan Gleeson, Ciarán Hinds, Pauline McLynn, Michael McElhatton, Jason Byrne, Tommy Tiernan, Neil Delamere and introduces Cian O’Dowd and Susie Power as Morten and his friend Eliza.

The film tells the story of a young boy who learns to take control over his life when he is shrunk to the size of an insect and has to sail his own toy ship through a flooded café. But with a wicked Spider Queen and Scorpion Pirate already aboard, being captain is going to be anything but child’s play!

The majority of the animation has been produced in Studio Telegael with a crew of more than 30 artists drawn from all over Ireland and further afield.

Morten on the Ship of Fools – Promo from Telegael Studios on Vimeo.

More info at of

Galway man wins top prize at the RDS Visual Art Awards

Galway man Kevin O’Kelly has won the RDS Taylor Art Award of €10,000 for his BA work Something About the Way You Look which was announced at the launch of the RDS Visual Art Awards Exhibition on Tuesday. Kevin follows an illustrious roll-call of previous winners such as Harry Clarke, Seán Keating, Louis Le Brocquy, Dorothy Cross, Maria McKinney, Sam Keogh and many others. Kevin was presented the prestigious award by fellow Galwegian, RDS President Bernie Brennan.

The NCAD student’s winning installation paces the line between solitude and loneliness, highlighting the sense of disconnection sometimes felt in modern urban living.

He is interested in the balance between the value of time spent on your own with your thoughts and the difficulties that can arise from a lack of meaningful relationships with others. He is motivated by a desire to create an immersive environment that encourages reflection, thought, and empathy in the lives of others

Something About the Way You Look is an interactive installation which consists of a small corridor leading into a room. The instructions are to enter the room alone and sit down. Upon doing so, the visitor is suddenly aware that they have a view through the window into a room across the road. Attendance is limited to one person at a time to enable the development of a unique relationship between the viewer and what they encounter in the space.

Speaking about the winning work, exhibition curator Nick Miller said: Kevin has created an extraordinary immersive artwork in which you the viewer participates in its realisation. As you go alone through the door of his installation It is like entering a living painting, an unsettling encounter. His work engages with contemporary art on multiple levels of medium including film, painting, sculpture and performance to address complex feelings of loneliness human contact in modern society. His highly ambitious constructed installation makes us question ourselves as we look at others and are seen ourselves.

Kevin was born in Galway and is from a family of artists and craftsmen. His father runs pottery classes for adults and children, which Kevin grew up attending and then eventually teaching himself. He qualified from the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland’s Ceramics Skills and Design Course in 2012. He is currently enrolled in a two year Masters in Fine Art Programme in Digital Art in NCAD.

The RDS Visual Art Awards exhibition runs Wednesday October 25 – Monday October 30. It will also be part of the Metropolis Festival on Sunday October 29, allowing Metropolis ticket holders to visit the exhibition.

The prestigious RDS Taylor Art Award has been presented by the RDS since 1860 and is one of the most important awards for emerging visual artists in Ireland today. Thirteen artists were selected by a judging panel of five for inclusion in the exhibition which is open free to the public and represents the best graduating visual artists of 2017. Earlier in the year the RDS sent eight professional curators to visit the end of year BA and MA degree shows in thirteen art colleges around the country. In total they longlisted 122 graduates, who were invited to apply for the awards. The arts are a key component of the RDS mission to see Ireland thriving culturally and economically.

There 4 West of Ireland exhibiting artist in the RDS Visual Arts Awards:
  • Stephanie McGowan- Graduate of IT Sligo
  • Yvonne Casburn Graduate of GMIT Galway
  • Ara Devine, from Donegal from NCAD & raised in Gaeltacht as native Irish Speaker
  • The Taylor Award Prize winner: Kevin O’Kelly from Galway

More about the RDS Visual Arts Awards at