Stories

Long reads about real people
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A midwife and illustrator that used her art to get through postnatal depression

Emma Flynn is a mother, a midwife and a successful artist. Her hugely popular Instagram page showcases her illustrations about her experience of motherhood, the highs and the extreme lows. In this interview Emma talks candidly about her experience with post-natal depression and how she used art to help herself get better.

The man behind Ireland’s first bar celebrating Poitín

Dave Mulligan is the man behind the newly-opened Bar 1661, which is dedicated to celebrating the incredible variety and history of Poitín, a drink with an unique story. Here he explains how his passion for Poitín came about, and how its taken him on a journey from bar to brand owner and back again, via the streets of London and Dublin.

Teaching the Irish what real Mexican Food Is

Lily Ramirez-Foran has called Ireland home for the past 18.5 years. In this interview we learn about her route here. Why she is passionate about Mexican food and why the history of it is so important.

A Cork DJ Making Reggae-infused Hot Sauce

Read about the story of Conor Lyons’ ‘island inspired’ Rock Steady Food Company is much like the batches of hot sauce he and business partner Aaron Comerford concoct, just the right amount of luck, support, passion and timing were necessary to bring the mix together.

A Caribbean Kitchen in Dublin Inspired by His Nan’s Cooking

Nick Reynold’s Caribbean Kitchen ‘Lil Portie’ has proven to be a hit with Dubliners. Here he explains how he developed the idea to fuse the Jamaican recipes taught to him by his Nan with cooking techniques inspired by his travels in South America.

A Dubliner Making Colourful and Healthy Vietnamese Takeaway

Barry Wallace opened his latest eatery Pang on Dublin’s Kevin Street a year ago, a healthy takeaway specialising in Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls. Here he explains how the recession became the catalyst for starting his own business, how a market stall opened with a friend in a suburban business park became a successful brand and how his travels in Asia and passion for variety and sustainability inspired him to bring this latest unique concept to Dublin.

The Curator of an Incredible Dublin Hidden Gem

The Trinity College Zoological Museum is tucked away towards the back of the Trinity College campus. Housed within the busy Zoology Department, the museum is enthusiastically staffed by the students themselves. Curator Dr Martyn Linnie discusses his vision for the future of one of the city’s most unusual attractions, and shares some of the fascinating tales behind the specimens themselves.

A Former Punk Musician Turned Irish Pop Culture Archivist

A death in the family prompted Brian McMahon to digitise his prized collection of old Irish adverts and pop culture keepsakes. What began as a hobby evolved into a blog, and from that grew the award-winning Brandnewretro.ie, a digital time-capsule preserving over 3,000 of them, all scanned and uploaded by Brian himself.

A Couple Making Proper Bean-to-Bar Chocolate

Kelli and Patrick Marjolet started dabbling in chocolate-making after getting an unexpected gift of cocoa beans from a friend in San Francisco. Their passion for the process eventually led to them leaving their respective careers in the corporate world to start their own business, The Proper Chocolate Company.

An Irish Independent Brewer Thinking Outside The Box

Ireland is experiencing a craft beer revolution, with smaller independent brands swaying the masses away from the mainstays. One of these is DOT brew. Founded by Shane Kelly in 2015, they have focused on serving up distinctive brews to their followers. Here Shane describes his passion for brewing, and how it all came about in the first instance.

An Irish Textile Designer Based In London

Breaking into the fashion industry can be tough but Dublin-native and National College of Art and Design graduate Aisling Duffy is blazing her own trail. She’s creating work that is resonating at home and abroad. Here she describes the process of discovering her identity as an artist, developing a brand of her own that was true to her values and the various passion projects, and commissions she keeps up on the side.

From Latvia To Leopardstown: An Award Winning Cocktail Maker

Laura Molloy is a Latvian native that made the move to Ireland well over a decade ago. In this interview she talks about how she graduated from working in a factory to running an award winning cocktail bar in south Dublin.

A Community Building A Celtic Structure On The Dublin Mountains

Artist Ciarán Taylor talks about his ambitious (and successful) community art project. He is recreating a cairn (old Celtic structure) on the Dublin Mountains with the help of the local community. Individuals are walking from Tallaght to the cairn site with pieces of boulder. In this interview he talks about his reasons for doing this project.

An Acclaimed Costume Designer Based In Malmö & Dublin

Just a browse of Maria Tapper’s CV will have you in awe. She is a costume designer that has worked with Ikea, the Wexford Opera Festival, Macnas and John Rocha to name but a few. In this interview she explains how she broke into the industry and what entails staying relevant in it.

A Dublin choir made up of people affected by homelessness

The Dublin branch of the High Hopes Community Choir explored the concept of home as part of This is Pop Baby’s ‘Where We Live’ performance series at the St Patrick’s Festival. High Hopes have a particularly special insight into the word as they are no ordinary choir, being entirely made up by individuals who have experienced the hardship of having nowhere at all to call home. In this interview we chat with what the choir means to its members.

From redundancy to a burgeoning baking business

The Cupcake Bloke aka Graham Herterich talks about how he went from working in high end kitchens to studying to become a priest, to dropping out to create his own business. This interview details how a series of lucky breaks took him to where he is now, a successful business owner with a regular TV slot.

Making a Business out of Graffiti

In this interview we meet Steve O’Donnell the owner of the creative agency, All Out Design. He explains how his love of graffiti and teaching led him to working with organisations like RTÉ and Adidas. He also talks about a stunt that got him over a million views worldwide and his work philosophy.

Reviving the Art of the Spoken Word in Ireland

Alicia Byrne-Keane (stage name ABK) talks about her path to Spoken Word, what the scene is like in Ireland and her preferred poetry form. Her humourous style has made her a fan of many. She is a regular performer and organiser on the Spoken Word scene.

An Independent Brewery That Loves A Good Pun!

Paul O Connor and Stephen Clinch are cousins and owners of Trouble Brewing. In this interview they talk about their desire to get away from working for someone else so that they could own something of their own. They also chat about not chasing targets and their love of a good pun.

The sport of Parkour: Connecting with the city through physicality

A rugby injury helped Adam Kilbride discover Parkour. He talks about his love of the sport and how it allows him to connect on a deeper level with an urban environment.

This Mexican Man is on a Mission to Show the Irish what real Mexican Food is

Hugo Camacho Romero is the owner of Café Azetca in Dublin. He’s from Mexico City and has lived in Ireland since the 90’s. In this interview he talks about his passion for real Mexican food and his mission to teach people about it. He shares his love of Irish culture which led him to learn the tin whistle and flute. He also talks about his other love, water polo.

A Dublin DJ Is Revolutionising How Music Is Taught In Schools

DJ Killian Redmond talks about how Dabbledoo Music, an online music resource for teachers, came into being. He chats about how everyone is capable of musical ability, it just depends on how it’s taught. He also laments the lack of funding the arts get in contrast to the sciences.

Teaching a child to read and write won’t stop suicide but compassion can

Bethan talks about how her son’s unexplained illness spurned her on to develop a compassion based training targeted at children. She also expresses her skepticism about the mindfulness movement.

The talented florists behind Dublin’s most creative shopfront

Read about a couple that both left their respective careers in animation and film. They transferred their creative skills into opening a unique florist, locally famed for it’s imaginative displays.

An Irish Champion Swimmer & Firefighter that Swam the Channel

Rachel Lee set an Irish record when she swam the English channel. She also rescued a man from the river Liffey in the course of her job as a Dublin firefighter. In this interview she talks about how to train for the channel swim with a family and full-time job.

A New Coffee Roastery in Glasnevin Dublin

Brian Kenny, founder of Silverskin, details how his first job in coffee at aged sixteen determined his career. He shares his experience of opening up a coffee-shop in Dublin’s most expensive property, to getting nudged out by Starbucks. Read how he get to where he is now, owner of a coffee roastery.

This Mountaineer Talks about his Quest to Climb the 7 Summits of the World

Peters day job is as a firefighter for the Dublin Fire Brigade but it’s his activities outside of work that piqued our interest. From champion kick-boxer to president of the Irish whiskey association to his current quest, to climb the seven summits of the world… he’s got two left to climb.

Local Dublin Maker Laments The Loss of Local Markets

Ali Lowndes talks about the current landscape in Dublin for makers. She shares her story about how she built her business, a vintage inspired company that creates handmade cards, miniature teacup jewellery, laser cut jewellery, collar brooches and retro head scarves. She also explains the realities of being a self-employed mother.

Veteran Dubliner Firefighter Recounts A Career Spent Saving Others

Niall Kinsella is a veteran firefighter for the Dublin Fire Brigade. He talks about his long career. From colleagues that committed suicide to ungrateful members of the public. He explains the adrenaline rush of going into a fire as well as the comradery of his squad and why he loves his job.

A Forgotten Irish International Soccer Team

Violet Connaughton talks about her time playing soccer for Ireland in the 1970’s. She recounts the camaraderie of the women and how a funeral reunited them once more. It was a period of Irish sporting history that the Football Association of Ireland still has not recognised.

Using Gardening to Empower the Unemployed & People With Mental Disabilities

Read about Ciaran Burke, a gardener that set up a social enterprise gardening initiative in Dublin. Its mission is to support the unemployed & people with intellectual disabilities.

Making Chinese Dumplings In Ireland

Oliver talks about why he set up his dumpling business in Ireland. He explains why doing business in China is oppressive compared to the openness of Ireland. He also enthuses about why he wants people to try real Chinese food.

Read How Childhood Bullying Spurned On This Successful Irish Illustrator

Steve McCarthy is a celebrated illustrator that has worked with several worldwide brands such as Jameson whiskey. In this interview, he recounts how he never took a formal educational exam. He details how he managed to get admitted to art school despite the challenges set against him.

From Nothing To Everything: A Polish Emigrant’s Business Success In Ireland

Peter Sztal, co-founder of Cloud Picker coffee, talks about his journey from Poland to Ireland. He details how a family tragedy inspired his motto, “no regrets”. He shares how he fell in love with an Irish man and how their relationship produced two companies.

A Young Irish Artist Talks About Failing And Succeeding

Artist Leah Hewson talks about how she shunned art at one stage in order to fit in. She charts the point that she finally embraced it. She shares how her art has evolved and the challenges for an artist starting out.

An Alaskan Designer That Wants You To Love The Great Outdoors

Tae Kim explains how his childhood in Alaska informed his current business. He details his career from the design director of The North Face for over six years to his creation of a movement he calls casual camping.

Bringing Manufacturing Back To Britain

Alec Farmer, founder of Trakke, talks about the journey of his company who specialise in handmade outdoor bags; the importance of Glasgow and his ambition to bring manufacturing back to Britain.

Two Independent Berlin Based Directors On How They Set Up Their Agency

Nadine Schrader and Julia Wilczok share a love for moving images. After their ways had parted for many years they finally crossed again at a New Year’s Eve Party in Berlin. It marked the start of a new beginning, indeed: They founded their own business Acapulco to direct movies for the advertising industry. Here they talk about their varied experiences as an independent directors duo.

Whisky Specialist Angus MacRaild Gives An Insight Into This Huge Industry

Whisky specialist Angus MacRaild has witnessed the whisky industry dramatically change in the past decade and not always for the best. Here he speaks candidly about his passion for whisky that began from a surprisingly young age.

Dublin Artist Talks About Graffiti & Re-branding Whiskey

James Earley is a successful Dublin based artist. In this interview he talks about his family ties to art, how he got into the sub-culture of graffiti and why his designs were chosen by Jameson Whiskey.

Freestyle Footballer & Music Producer Daniel Dennehy Talks About His International Success

Daniel Dennehy is an Irish champion freestyler footballer that is based in London. He also talks about producing beats for American chart topper Fatty Waps.

Learning To Navigate Berlin In A Wheelchair

Ben had an accident that resulted in him having to use a wheelchair. His Doctor’s advice was to not return to Berlin. However, Ben proved him wrong.

Turning His Back On A Career In Sales For Meditatation And Morning Raves

After many attempts Chris Flack left the corporate world to dedicate his life to teaching Eastern philosophy in a Western world. Read how volunteering in India and morning raves in Ireland helped him get on his path.

Ireland’s First Incubator For Food Start-Ups

Shane Bonner has set up the first shared use kitchen in Ireland. He talks about going from the dole to challenging the government to get it done.

A Woman Helping Get Irish Music To A Global Stage

Angela Dorgan is the CEO of First Music Contact. In this interview she explains why she is driven to protect musicians with the fierceness of a brown bear.

Her Brother’s Suicide Spurned Her On To Become A Champion Bodybuilder

Cheryl Dolan’s brother’s suicide led her to find the sport of bodybuilding. She talks about her tumultuous journey to that point and her success in the sport which is a surprise to her.

Read About A Scientist Turned Radio Producer

We talk to Shaun O’Boyle, about his work in the Science Gallery, the radio he has produced and why the future for him is entertainment.

Secret Colonies On Rooftops: Beekeeping In A City

Eamon McGee is president of the Federation of Beekeepers of Ireland. He explains why he loves bees.

This Popular Photographer Talks About Dealing With Racism In Dublin

Timi Ogunyemi spent his childhood living around the world but now Dublin is home. He tells us about his experience living in Ireland’s capital city.

A Dubliner Resurrecting Pro Wrestling

Leonard Hanna is the man behind the huge resurgence of pro wrestling interest in Ireland. He tells us why he loves what he does.

Making Cocktails With Ingredients From The Irish Landscape

We talk to Mick Reddy & Pieter Reid of Native Blenders. They talk about lack of government support for their business & how money does not drive them.

A Man Obsessed With Producing Memorable Radio Features

We talk to radio producer Julien Clancy about working at luck and what drives him to make radio.

A World Champion Boxer You Probably Never Heard Of

World Champion boxer Alicia Ashley talks about her background in dance, how she regrets turning pro and being a stuntwoman in films like Girlfight.

A Popular Irish Journalist Recounts His Journey Into His Successful Career

Journalist Jim Carroll is a rarity in a modern world that his become scared to offend, he asks the hard questions. He talks to us about his journey to where he is now.

An Irish Emigrant Turned Champion Boxer

Dublin native Ruth O’Sullivan talks about her boxing career in New York and how she balanced it with motherhood.

Starting A Cold Press Juice Business In Ireland

We talk to Kevin Johnstone & Ray O’Hara about why they left their office jobs to make cold press juices.

An Irish Artist Uses Code To Create Art

With his thick beard, long hair and softly spoken voice an immediate parallel to the singer Devendra Banhart circa 2008 springs to mind when you first meet artist Adam Gibney.

A Couple In Cork Making A Career Change Via Brewing Beer

Blacks of Kinsale is a husband and wife team. We learn why they left their careers in nursing and engineering to brew beer.

London Based Graphic Designer Talks About His Popular Stamp Project

Graphic designer Duane Dalton talks about his hugely popular stamp project and about his path to a London agency.

From Nairobi To Starting A Coffee Roastery In Ireland

Alex and Luigi are childhood friends from Nairobi. They came together in Celbridge, County Kildare, Ireland to set up their coffee shop, Baobab.

An Irish Designer Captivated By Clowns

Pierce Healy is an illustrator, jeweller and musician. After several years pursuing a music dream in San Francisco he returned to his home in Dublin to focus on design.

From Rescuing Italian Earthquake Victims With Dogs To Now Training Them In Ireland

Alex Petrilli used to work for the Italian army as a dog specialist during natural disasters. He then went on to work for tech companies like Facebook, eventually his love of dogs called him back.

A Bike Mechanic Talks About Leaving Bike Couriering To Set Up His Business

Bike shop owner and mechanic, Sean Papenfuss talks about travel, fatherhood and taking risks.

An Award Winning Bean To Bar Chocolate Business In Cork

It’s not about the money for chocolate maker Shana Wilkie. Her motivation is to create an environmentally sustainable business.

Ditching A Career In Medicine To Make Gin In London

Dr Brock distills gin in south London. We learn why she decided against a career in medicine.

Bespoke Jeweller Talks About Learning To Value Your Time And Being Inspired By Japan

Irish designer Niamh Spain talks about how Japan influences her as well as the risk of undervaluing your work.

A Retired School Principal Talks About Teaching In Ghana In The 1960s

Ms Joan Stokes talks about her time teaching in Ghana during the 1960s.

A Brewer Using Art To Inspire His Beer Making Process

Hailing from Atlanta Georgia, Brian Short talks about his background in art which eventually led to brewing beer in Dublin Ireland.

Read How Belgium Inspired This Monaghan Coffee Roaster

Brian Birdy is a coffee roaster from Monaghan. He tells us how a series of chances led to where he is now.