The Oprah interview with Meghan and Harry broadcast on the 8th of March was most watched television programme in Ireland this year with almost 800,000 people tuning in

  • Streaming levels remain higher than pre-Covid averages, between 47% – 140% depending on the player
  • Six Nations dominates TV viewing with four matches in the Top 10 most watched programmes of the first half of 2021 with an average viewership of almost 700,000

Weekly admissions to the cinema have grown to over 220,000 in the first week of July, with Irish movie goers returning to cinemas after a long absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On TV, Ireland’s Six Nations campaign dominated Irish screens in the first half of 2021 with four matches featuring in the list of the top ten most watched programmes. However, though Irish rugby action averaged nearly 700,000 viewers, it was RTE2’s broadcasting of Oprah’s Interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that was the most watched programme in Ireland so far this year with nearly 800,000 viewers.

Compared to the first half of 2019, streams on RTE Player have risen 47% in 2021, though this figure is down marginally (11%) compared to 2020. Sport led this market once more with over 1.6 million streams of the EURO 2020 on the RTE Player in June. Having only started on June 28, Love Island was already the most streamed programme on Virgin Media in by June 30th.

Online conversation, meanwhile, has been dominated by Covid-19 and nearly 500,000 mentions of the ‘Third Wave’ in January was the hottest topic. Online searches were more varied with the following being the items most researched:

  • Around 500,000 searches for Danish footballer Christian Eriksen who collapsed during a EURO 2020 match in June
  • Former US President Donald Trump had the most searches in January with around 200,000 while the return of Penney’s in May had around 200,000 searching for an appointment at the retailer

Speaking about these findings, Colm Sherwin, Managing Director, Core Investment:

“This report has revealed some great insights into how the Irish public has consumed media over such a changing period in Irish history. Though the advent of streaming was obviously picked up during restrictions, it has clearly stayed with Irish viewers compared to figures in 2019. While it’s not overly surprising that the online conversation has been dominated by Covid-19, it is great to see Ireland’s passion for sport and entertainment hasn’t faltered with major tournaments dominating TV screens.”

To register to receive the full report, please visit


Notes to Editor:

Core Research is part of Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company. Core employs a team of 330 people and consists of eight practices – Creative, Data, Investment, Learning, Media (comprising of Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith), Research, Sponsorship and Strategy.

Christmas FM announces Barnardos as official charity partner for 2021

Christmas FM aims to raise over €250,000 for Barnardos to Give the Gift of Childhood this Christmas for over 5,000 children living in poverty

Christmas FM, the popular radio station that is seen by many as the official soundtrack to the festive season, is delighted to announce Barnardos, Ireland’s leading children’s charity, as the official charity partner for 2021. Christmas FM is aiming to raise over €250,000 which will go directly towards Barnardos’ mission of working to give vulnerable children living in disadvantaged communities a better chance – because childhood lasts a lifetime.

Listener donations raised for Barnardos will be used to provide targeted and intensive support for over 5,000 children most in need – providing nutritious food, support with education, and therapeutic services with their trained support teams.

Barnardos is a trauma informed organisation working directly with about 18,000 children and their families every year across its 45 projects. Their aim is to deliver services and work with families, communities, and partners to transform the lives of vulnerable children who are affected by adverse childhood experiences.

Christmas FM will be celebrating its 14th year on air this year when it launches on FM in November and, since it began broadcasting, has raised over €2.7 million for a range of charities.

Garvan Rigby, co-founder of Christmas FM, says: ‘We have experienced the most unprecedented era in our lifetime over the past 18 months, and the children that Barnardos work with have felt this pressure acutely. Barnardos is a very special organisation who, now more than ever, need our help and we are delighted to be partnering with them for Christmas this year. Christmas FM creates a feel-good festive factor and brings people together when they’ve been apart for so long while broadcasting a unique and unrivalled service. We look forward to sharing that with everyone at Barnardos – staff, volunteers and, of course, all of the children who avail of its wonderful service. As sponsorship pays the running costs of the radio station, this means that all listener donations can go directly to Barnardos.”

Commenting on the Charity Partnership, Suzanne Connolly, CEO of Barnardos, says: “We are delighted to have been chosen as this year’s Christmas FM charity partner, so that we can share more about the impact of our work and raise vital funds to help us continue supporting children most in need. With the help of Christmas FM listeners, we hope to raise money to ensure we can provide nutritious meals to children in our centres, that we can continue to support them in their educational, physical and emotional development and that our specially trained teams can offer targeted therapeutic support to those who need it most. You can help us transform the lives of vulnerable children all across Ireland. Our gift of childhood partnership with Christmas FM, with your support, can make a difference.”

About Barnardos

Barnardos’ mission is to deliver services and work with families, communities, and its partners to transform the lives of vulnerable children who are affected by adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, parental mental health, neglect, family separation or bereavement. Because childhood lasts a lifetime. For more information about Barnardos vital work go to

About Christmas FM

Christmas FM plays round-the-clock Christmas tunes, spreading an abundance of festive cheer and seasonal goodwill every single day in the run up to Christmas. Broadcasting almost nationwide, Christmas FM is listened to by nearly one in three adults. The costs of running Christmas FM are covered by various sponsors, ensuring listener donations go directly to the charity partner.  The station is run each year by a core management team, assisted by more than 100 volunteers who devote hundreds of hours of their time.

Christmas FM will launch in November

Christmas FM is available online at

You can follow the station on social at


Christmas FM – Bringing You the Magic of Christmas

Vaccine rollout builds confidence and drives lowest level of public concern about Covid-19 since beginning of pandemic – Core Consumer Mindset Report

  • 37% of people concerned about Covid-19 compared with 71% in January 2021
  • 74% of people say the vaccination rollout is significant for the country
  • Nearly half (49%) of people are happy about indoor dining returning

Levels of worry about Covid-19 have reached their lowest in Ireland since the beginning of the pandemic, with just 37% of adults currently concerned about the virus, according to the latest Consumer Mindset Report from Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company.

This optimism around the vaccine rollout is a welcome boost in public morale in comparison to January 2021, when levels of public concern about Covid-19 peaked at 71%.

This report also highlights that during the first two weeks of major restrictions easing (including indoor dining re-opening), approximately 700,000 people used their Covid-19 Digital Certs to dine indoors or fly, which was just 17% of the eligible population at the time.

Though 49% of people are happy about indoor dining returning, the stats confirm that Irish citizens are still proceeding with a certain degree of caution as the country re-opens, and while we are confident about the future, we are not prepared to say the pandemic is over yet.

  • 59% of people are optimistic Ireland will overcome the Covid-19 outbreak (this is a slight increase from 55% last month)

Speaking about these research findings, Core’s Marketing Director, Finian Murphy said:

“It is clear that the successful vaccine rollout amid the Covid-19 pandemic has increased a certain level of confidence among the Irish public. While people are feeling more protection from the rollout, they are also aware of trends in other European countries which they do not want to see happen here. This has encouraged Irish consumers to remain patient, be practical and continue to act cautiously while restrictions ease. This research shows that we are all aware the pandemic is not over just yet, however, if we continue to prioritise what we want to do as restrictions lift, rather than rush to do everything, we are on the best and safest track back to everyday life resuming.”

While the success of the vaccination programme has been at the forefront of the Irish public’s mindset this month (74%), Core’s report discovered the top stories Irish consumers felt were also of significant importance:

  • 62% of people say boxer Kellie Harrington’s Olympic gold medal was important for the nation
  • 24% of people under 40 said they were happy Love Island was on
  • 64% of people believed the reports of heavy rain and floods in Western Europe were a significant story highlighting public concern about the climate crisis

The stats reveal the nation was buoyed by sporting success in the Olympics, with 160,000 people rising early to watch Kellie Harrington’s gold medal match live, and over 70% of people were aware of Cork rowers Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy’s gold medal at Tokyo 2020.

Methodology: Research was conducted between 6th and 12th of August, interviewing 1,000 Irish adults online and representative of the adult population in Ireland.

To register to receive the full report, please visit

Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland releases latest Complaints Bulletin

  • 16 advertisements found to be in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds related to a range of issues including Principles / Misleading, Promotional Marketing Practices, Substantiation / Health & Beauty, Recognisability and Nutrition and Health Claims

19th August 2021 – The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland’s (ASAI) independent Complaints Committee has released its latest Complaints Bulletin, which contains 16 case reports on complaints recently investigated by the organisation.

13 of the 16 advertisements were found to have been in full breach of the ASAI Code. One of the 16 advertisements was found to have been partly in breach, one was found to have been in breach on one of two issues, and an intra industry complaint was found to be in breach on one of two issues raised.

The 16 advertisements were found to be in breach of the ASAI Code on grounds related to Principles / Misleading, Promotional Marketing Practices, Substantiation / Health & Beauty, Recognisability and Nutrition and Health Claims.

The advertisements complained of related to Social Media, Direct Mail, Online (Influencer’s social media account), Online (3rd party website), National Press, Social Media (advertiser’s own page), Online (company’s own website).

The Complaints Committee is a completely independent arm of the ASAI and is responsible for considering and adjudicating on complaints submitted by the public, by an organisation, by a Government Department or any other person or body. The Committee is made up of a range of experts from the advertising, media, education, consumer and marketing sectors. See further details here –

Commenting on the latest ASAI rulings, Orla Twomey, Chief Executive of the ASAI, stated:

“The latest complaints bulletin from the ASAI illustrates our ability to handle complaints across a variety of platforms, and demonstrates how we ensure that ads in Ireland stick to the advertising rules. The main role of advertising self-regulatory organisations (SROs), such as the ASAI, is to ensure that ads and other marketing communications are legal, truthful, decent and honest, prepared with a sense of social responsibility to the consumer and society and with proper respect for the principles of fair competition.”

“The ASAI is committed to protecting society in relation to advertising across all mediums. Self-regulatory ad standards provide an additional layer of consumer protection which complements legislative controls and offers an easily accessible means of resolving disputes.”

“The ASAI provide a free and confidential copy advice service to the advertising industry to help them create responsible ads. If an advertiser, agency or medium has any concerns about a marketing communications’ compliance with the ASAI’s Code, they can contact us and avail of the free and confidential copy advice service.”

Brian O’Gorman, Independent Head of the Complaints Committee of the ASAI, says:

“Over the past few years, the Complaints Committee, comprised of independent and industry members, has dealt with a broad range of complaints. The Complaints Committee has also spent considerable time highlighting awareness, through its adjudications, to advertising best practice within the advertising industry, ensuring all relevant parties are equipped with the knowledge and resources to correctly identify commercial marketing content across their platforms.”

Below is a list of advertisements that have been found to be in breach of the ASAI Code:

Company/OrganisationComplaint CategoryFurther Details
  Hertz Car Sales Blarney  Principles    The complainant considered the advertisement to be offensive as they did not consider it was appropriate for anyone to laugh at another person’s car just because it was older or less valuable than a new model   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of Sections 3.3 and 3.10 of the Code.   Link:  
  Bluecrest Health Screening   Principles / Misleading  The complainant objected to the mailing on the following grounds:     Issue 1:   The complainant considered that the mailing was misleading as they initially thought that it was a government led initiative as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic that was aimed at older people.   Issue 2:   The complainant considered that the mailing, being aimed at older people, was preying on their fear and vulnerability around their own health during a time of a public health concern around Covid-19.   Issue 3:   The complainant did not consider that it was ethical to encourage people who were classed as vulnerable to go outside during a time when there were being asked to stay indoors.     Complaint Upheld on issues 1 2 and 3.   In breach of Sections 3.10, 3.23, 3.24(a) 4.1, and 4.4 of the Code.   Link:  
  Inglot    Misleading  The complainant objected to the Instagram story because the influencer, who was a brand ambassador for the advertisers, had not stated on every part of the story that she was a brand ambassador. The complainant also noted that while the influencer had included the required hashtag on some of the parts of the story, the hashtag was not always clear as a white background had been used.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 3.31, 3.32, 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.   Link:  
  Period Doors Property Ltd  Misleading  The complainant considered the advertisement to be misleading. She considered that by omitting the requirement for an additional €150 surcharge for bills the advertisers were not advertising the full amount of the rent and that this was misleading to renters and a way to ask for more rent than that advertised.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 3.10, 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.   Link:  
  Waterford City and County Council  Misleading  The complainant noted that the cost of bringing waste in a car was €20, however, when the complainant arrived at the centre with their waste in their car, they were charged €40 rather €20. As the complainant was advised that they were being charged for each bag they had in their car rather than ‘per car’ charge, the complainant considered that the advertising was misleading.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of section 4.1 and 4.4 of the Code.   Link:  
  Linenbundle   Misleading   The complainant considered that the advertising was misleading as it gave the impression that the advertisers manufactured their products in Ireland and distributed them from Ireland when in fact the complainant’s order was shipped from the UK via Royal Mail and the products delivered were labelled as being made in Israel.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of section 4.1, 4.4 of the Code.   Link:  
  Pure Pharmacy  Misleading  The complainant queried whether the claim was valid due to the lack of information provided. She said that when she had checked further it appeared the savings only applied to one or two medications which she did not take, and that the pharmacy she frequented charged the same.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 3.10, 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 4.10 of the Code.   Link:  
  Brentwood Coffee    Misleading / Promotional Marketing Practices  The complainant considered the competition to be misleading as it was not stated that this was an Irish competition only. The complainant was declared a winner of the competition, however, as she was not resident in Ireland, she was advised they would not post the prize to her.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 5.15(e) and 5.16 of the Code.   Link:
  Kiwi Country Clothing  Misleading / Promotional Marketing Practices  The complainant said that they could not find any evidence to support the claim that the socks could “actually heal chilblains” as indicated. They enquired whether there had been any tests conducted on the product to substantiate this claim.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9 and 11.1 of the Code.   Link:
  Lidl  Misleading / Substantiation / Health & Beauty  Issue 1:   The complainant referred to the advertised benefits indicated for the product and challenged whether the advertisers held substantiation for the claims outlined.   Issue 2:   The complainant challenged whether the light source referenced was an “environmentally friendly light source”. He considered that as the light was said to warm the salt spheres, it could not be an LED source, which would minimise power consumption.   Complaint upheld on Issues 1 and 2   In breach of Sections, 4.9 and 11.1 of the Code.   Link:
  Powerball  Misleading / Substantiation / Health & Beauty  The complainant objected to the statement “Massively speeds up recovery times” as they did not believe that it could be proven, as they believed that no studies had been carried out.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10 and 11.1 of the Code.   Link:  
  X CaraDenise X  Recognisability / Misleading / Substantiation / Nutrition and Health Claims  Issue 1:   The complainant considered the influencer was promoting the products without declaring the posts were marketing communications.   Issue 2:   The complainant also considered that the influencer has been advertising untrue benefits that arise from one’s use of these products.   Complaint Upheld on Issue 2.   In breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10, 8.8. 8.9, 8.10, 8.11, 8.14(f), 8.26 and 8.27 of the Code. Link:
  Kilogarm Vintage Clothing  Misleading / Substantiation / Promotions  The complainant said the competition was for a 100-euro gift card to spend on their online clothes shop. The complainant said for Black Friday the advertisers launched a half-price sale which meant their prize would stretch a little further. They finished picking out their items and messaged the advertisers letting them know they were ready to order. They said the advertisers stated that the items would be full price and they could not avail of the discount.   Complaint Upheld.   In breach of Sections 4.1, 4.4, 5.15(a), and 5.35 of the Code.   Link:
  Tipperary Water  Recognisability / Misleading  Issue 1:   The complainant considered that the Instagram post was misleading because it was not clear that the influencer had taken part in a paid collaboration as the term “#AD” had not been used on the post which the complainant understood was a requirement of the Code.   Issue 2:   The complainant considered that the Instagram story was misleading because it was not clear that the influencer had taken part in a paid collaboration as the use of the term “AD” appeared to be hidden.   Issue 1 Statement:   The Complaints Committee decided to issue a statement rather than a formal Decision in this case, in accordance with options under the ASAI Complaints Procedures.   Issue 2 – Complaint Upheld:   The Committee did not consider that the advertising was in compliance with Code Section 3.31 of the Code.   Link:  
  KALLEVIG  Misleading / Substantiation / Promotions  The complainant considered that the countdown clock was misleading as they said the time did not run out but rolled over infinitely.     The Complaints Committee considered the detail of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. They noted that the countdown clock had been removed from the website, however, they considered that the continual presence of the timer as it appeared had constituted a breach of the Code.   Complaint Upheld   In breach of Code sections 4.1, 4.4, 4.9, 4.10 and 5.32.   Link:
  Lidl   Misleading  Issue 1:   Aldi challenged the number of price drops identified in the advertising. They said that while readers had been invited to  “See in-store for even more!” that having visited some Lidl stores around the country, they could not see evidence of any permanent price drops let alone 180 identified on 17th February.   Issue 2:   Aldi said that contrary to what was claimed in the advertisement visit Lidl’s website “for full details and lots more” they could not find any information on the permanent price drops on the website. They considered, therefore, that the advertising was misleading.   Complaint Upheld on Issue 2.   In breach of sections 4.10 of the Code.   Link:    


The ASAI conducts ongoing monitoring of advertising across all media and since 2007, has examined over 27,000 advertisements, with an overall compliance rate of 98 per cent. The ASAI Monitoring Service monitors compliance with the Complaints Committee’s adjudications.

Media are reminded that advertisements found to be in breach of the Code cannot be accepted for publication.

Follow The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland on LinkedIn and Twitter @THE_ASAI

Speed Fibre Group announces one office day per week for 200+ employees as part of post-covid hybrid working model

  • Employees at Enet, Airspeed Telecom and Magnet Networks in Limerick and Dublin can work up to four days remotely
  • Flexibility with start and finish working times also central to new hybrid working model
  • Organisation is the first SME in the Irish telecoms sector to announce hybrid working plans

Speed Fibre Group, the home of telecommunication businesses Enet, AirSpeed Telecom and Magnet Networks, has become the first SME telecom group in Ireland to announce its post-covid hybrid working policy – with just one mandatory in-office day required per week for staff, with the exception of those essential workers whose role requires full time attendance. The business, which has offices in Limerick and Dublin, has over 200 staff and the move means the team will be able to work from home for up to four days a week.

This new progressive approach has been informed by a detailed survey of the entire Speed Fibre Group community to ascertain their preferences for hybrid working. Flexibility, Connectivity and Collaboration were the main themes which emerged and led the change to implementing a new way of working. While all employees currently continue to work remotely under government guidelines, the new policy will come into effect pending further Irish government announcements over the next few months.

Team members will have the option to attend the office for more than one day if they desire, dependant on workstation availability and on relevant government guidance. They will also be able to choose when they start and finish their work day. If required, they can choose to begin work anytime between 8am and 9am from Monday to Thursday, and therefore finish earlier. On Fridays, team members can finish between 3pm and 3.30pm, depending on their start time that day.

Another significant element of Speed Fibre Group’s new hybrid working model is the support of the code of practice on the ‘Right to Disconnect’. All team members, including senior management and the Executive Leadership Team, are now encouraged to refrain from communications outside of office hours, including sending emails, instant messaging, mobile messaging, or telephone calls unless there is a significant business need or priority. This move, the business believes, will allow time to switch off and reconnect to personal and family time. 

Claire Murphy, Group General Counsel, Company Secretary and Head of Shared Services at Speed Fibre Group, says: “Throughout the pandemic, we experienced a strong performance from our team while working with a largely remote workforce. The structures we adopted during this time allowed us to maintain productivity and achieve our goals and our team demonstrated fantastic commitment and met the increased demands placed on them. As well as engaging in our day to day work, we also used our time during the first lockdown to strengthen the communication and collaboration between all departments by introducing cross functional huddles enabling all employees to meet with co-workers in an informal virtual setting twice a week.”

“As a result, we’re delighted to be in a position to continue offering remote working in the future. We have adopted a mindset and culture that ‘nothing stands in our way’, and this has resulted in a high-performance culture where teams are solution focused and extremely agile in meeting the needs of our customers.” 

“Equally important is the wellbeing of our team and a recognition that people who are rested and live full lives are happier and more productive at work. This initiative also lends itself to our commitment to supporting sustainable communities and reducing our carbon footprint. This is strategic priority not only for Speed Fibre Group but for our suppliers and our communities. The recognition by all stakeholders of our collective responsibility is evident and this played a significant part in our decision making on the model we are adopting.”

An Post Money collaborates with Core to launch significant gaming partnership to promote new An Post Money Mate service

  • An Post Money Mate is to become an official partner of the Gamerstore Legion Content Creator Programme and the title sponsor of The Legion Esport Series
  • Legion brand ambassadors and tie-ins with and Sport for Business will augment the sponsorship

Core, Ireland’s largest marketing communications company, has developed and negotiated an innovative partnership between An Post Money Mate, a new digital money management app, and The Legion, Ireland’s first Content Creator Programme, creating one of the most significant gaming collaborations in the Irish sponsorship industry.

An Post Money recently launched An Post Money Mate which is designed to help young adults manage their personal finances.

As part of the gaming partnership, An Post Money Mate will become an official partner of The Legion community and title sponsor of The Legion Esport Series. The gaming audience is one of the fastest growing communities in the world.

Research estimates that over 2.4 million people in Ireland are engaged with gaming. Core identified the gaming community as a significant opportunity for An Post Money Mate, as it allows the brand to connect with the Millennial and Gen Z customer.

The central pillar of the partnership will focus on leveraging ‘The Power of Community’, a value shared by An Post Money and the gaming world. This will underpin the partnership and position An Post Money as more than just a bank for the gaming community.

To complement the partnership, a number of Legion ambassadors have been appointed who will engage in a range of activity including the creating and sharing of content on their online platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. The ambassadors are:

To further amplify the content, a partnership with will extend reach to gamers across Ireland. This will involve a full takeover of the gaming section on and also streaming parts of the tournament live on their website via twitch. Sport for Business will host an in-depth interview to discuss the various partnership elements, the reasoning behind the partnership and the benefits of the An Post Money Mate App for Gen Z’s.

Speaking about the Gaming partnership,Conor Barron, Digital Marketing and CRM Manager at An Post, said:

At An Post, we are hugely excited to be involved with The Legion as the first Irish brand to enter a partnership of this size and scale with them. We share a keen sense of community with gamers and the gaming industry and we look forward to using this innovative and exciting medium to communicate with them both.”

Colm Roche, Sponsorship Director – Talent & Esports with Core, added:

“Brand partnership in the Irish gaming market has been relatively underdeveloped until now, although not for lack of potential from a gaming perspective. In 2020, the Irish gaming market was an estimated €91 million, with 80% of Irish gamers playing every day.”

“For An Post, a long-standing brand embedded in the Irish community, to partner with an Irish company in the gaming industry known for having a predominantly youthful audience and community, is a hugely significant moment. The partnership is one of the biggest gaming collaborations in Ireland, so for Core to be directly involved in making that happen is very exciting and rewarding.”

Speaking about their involvement, Stuart Dempsey, CEO Legion Esports Series, said:

“We are incredibly proud to welcome An Post Money Mate as Title Partner of the Legion Esports Series and Official Partner of our Legion Creator Programme. An Post is a brand that has always been synonymous with community, something that aligns perfectly with the thousands of gamers and viewers that make up our Legion audience. This partnership is a great vote of confidence in our growth and success to date and we look forward to a really exciting collaboration.”

Core is Ireland’s largest marketing communications company. Core employs a team of 330 people and consists of eight practices – Creative, Data, Investment, Learning, Media (comprising of Mediaworks, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith), Research, Sponsorship and Strategy. Core has been voted one of the top workplaces in Ireland by the Great Place to Work Institute, for over ten years.

To learn more about Core, please visit


Nationwide search underway to find the ‘An Post Bookshop of the Year 2021’

New initiative unveiled by An Post Irish Book Awards offers book lovers across Ireland the chance to choose their favourite bookshop

A search is officially underway to find the ‘An Post Bookshop of the Year’ for 2021. The category has been added to the upcoming An Post Irish Book Awards, the annual literary event that celebrates and promotes Irish writing to the widest range of readers possible.

The new ‘An Post Bookshop of the Year’ category is designed to acknowledge the significant role played by independent bookshops and local book store chain branches right across the country in helping their local communities to find and savour the titles of their choice, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Customers simply have to click onto to submit their nomination for their favourite bookshop. They will also have the option to explain the reasons for their choice. Readers can also enter by scanning the QR code in their preferred bookstore and following the instructions. Everyone who votes will be entered into a draw to win a €100 book voucher.

Nominations for the ‘An Post Bookshop of the Year’ will close on 31 August and a shortlist consisting of one shop from each of the five regions (Leinster, Dublin, Munster, Connaught, Ulster) will be identified. The overall winner will be revealed at the An Post Irish Book Awards on 23 November, 2021.

Each year, the An Post Irish Book Awards bring together a vast community passionate about books – readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians – to recognise the very best of new and established Irish writing talent and 2021 will be no different. The ‘An Post Bookshop of the Year’ will now be added to the wide range of other categories already in existence including Novel of the Year, Children’s (Junior and Senior), Cookery, Crime Fiction, Popular Fiction, Nonfiction, Sports, Short Story, Poetry, Teen and Young Adult and Irish Language.

John Treacy, Chairperson of the An Post Irish Book Awards, says the new An Post Bookshop of the Year category is a very welcome addition:

“The past year has been tumultuous for all businesses, but what it has shown is that bookshops really do sit at the heart of their communities’ cultural and social lives. They often function as valuable community hubs that encourage personal connection and create vital local networks that greatly enrich the lives of people they serve.

“In the age of eBooks and podcasts, these bookshops are proving that the print book is still very much in demand. We are therefore really delighted to introduce the ‘Bookshop of the Year’ category to recognise and acknowledge the important role bookshops and booksellers play in the Irish literary industry.”

Aoife Roantree, Chair of Bookselling Ireland, says the organisation is fully supportive of the initiative:

“Bookselling Ireland are delighted that bookshops and booksellers are being celebrated in this way and that the best of Irish bookselling takes its place alongside the best of Irish writing and publishing. These last two years have demonstrated more than ever the incredible bond between bookstores and their communities as well as between Irish booksellers and Irish writers. As Sebastian Barry recently saidOur bookshops are the lighthouses for every writerly boat on the ocean. Without them we cannot set sail. They are the little churches and heroic temples of our endeavours.”

Commenting on the resilience of bookshops over the last year, David McRedmond, CEO of An Post, said:

“We are forever impressed by the business acumen and creativity of the many great local Irish bookshops and their ability to reach and engage with different audiences, as demonstrated through their commercial resilience and collaborations over the last year in particular. We want bookshops from all over Ireland to be recognised and praised in this new category for the really extraordinary impact they have made by nurturing and anchoring customers and communities in 2021.”

The shortlist for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2021 will be announced on Thursday 21 October, while the winners will be announced on Tuesday 23 November.A television programme will be broadcast on RTÉ One television in December and will culminate in one of the 2021 winning titles being announced as the ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year 2021’.

An Post is also continuing with their hugely successful #ReadersWanted campaign, celebrating the value and joy of reading and encouraging everyone to pick up more books, more often. Simply search for the hashtag online to get involved.

Facebook: @AnPostIBAS

Instagram: @anpost_irishbookawards

Twitter: @AnPostIBAS

For a range of reading recommendations, check out

Irish Renewable Energy Developer DP Energy partners with Chubu Electric Power Company and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha to develop its significant tidal energy project in Nova Scotia, Canada

DP Energy, one of Ireland’s leading renewable energy developers, has entered into a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with a major energy utility company Chubu Electrical Power Company (Chubu) and international cargo shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (“K” Line) to develop the first phase of its tidal energy project in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Head-quartered in Cork with a reputation spanning over 30 years, DP Energy develops projects worldwide and already has a global portfolio of over 5GW under development across onshore wind, solar, and offshore wind technologies in Australia, Canada, the UK as well as here in Ireland.

As DP Energy’s lead development in the Ocean Energy space, the Uisce Tapa project is located at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) site in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. The area is home to some of the highest tides in the world, with tidal range in excess of 13 metres and currents that exceed 10 knots (5 m/s).

The project holds a 15-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) of $530/MWh awarded under Nova Scotia’s Marine Renewable Energy Act and is the recipient of a $29.75 million grant from Natural Resources Canada under their Emerging Renewables Power Program. The project is already well advanced, with testing underway for the environmental monitoring platform being developed together with the Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA) under their Pathway Program.

The Uisce Tapa project will utilise the 1.5 MW Andritz turbine technology that has successfully operated for many years in the MeyGen project in Scotland. After completion of the first phase, DP Energy plans to expand the generation capacity to 9MW in the second phase before the technology moves to being fully ‘commercially ready’. The Andritz turbines are expected to deliver predictable renewable power from the tides driven by the lunar cycle over an operational life of some 25 years.

The signing of the Joint Development Agreement marks a significant milestone in the company’s Ocean Energy aspirations, with the Uisce Tapa project solidifying DP Energy’s presence in the Ocean Energy sector and reinforcing its position as a leader in the implementation of innovative new renewable energy technologies.

Commenting on the partnership, Simon De Pietro, CEO of DP Energy, Co-President of Ocean Energy Europe and a Board member of Marine Renewables Canada says; “We are delighted to be partnering with Chubu and “K” Line on developing an exciting project in one of the most challenging marine environments in the world, and believe our combined skillsets, together with the proven Andritz technology, will enable us to meet that challenge and deliver what will be a ground breaking project for the sector.”

In relation to the significance of the announcement, Simon also commented: “Whilst our first Ocean Energy project, Uisce Tapa, is modest in scale we anticipate it will fill the essential step from technology demonstration to early array demonstration that will lead to the development of further tidal energy projects at utility scale in Canada and other markets, and provide a stepping stone to DP Energy’s plans for wave energy off the West Coast here in Ireland.”

Irish writer and director Antaine Furlong unveils debut movie “Rising Wolf” – a sci-fi thriller featuring a young woman trapped in an elevator in a Shanghai skyscraper

  • Charlotte Best (Home and Away and Tidelands on Netflix), Jonny Pasvolsky (Mortdeckai opposite Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow and McLouds Daughters) and Alex Menglet (The Seagull) are amongst the cast members who feature
  • Rising Wolf is distributed by Sam Goldwyn Films and will air in Ireland and UK on digital and cable from August 9th, 2021

A dramatic new sci-fi thriller written and directed by Irish man Antaine Furlong is set to be released in Ireland and the UK next month. Rising Wolf, which is set in Shanghai, was filmed in Fox Studios in Australia and has been acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Film for US, Canada and rest of world distribution.

Featuring music by Academy Awards nominee and BAFTA winner David Hirschfelder, Rising Wolf has already had a successful opening in cinemas in Australia and New Zealand, will open across cinema and multiple platforms in the US on 6 August, and is due to open in Japan and across Europe on 9 August on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Sky, and Virgin.

Rising Wolf is a slick and deliberately disorientating thriller about a young environmentalist, Aria Wolf (Charlotte Best), who wakes up in an elevator in a high-rise building – with no recollection of how she got there! Trapped in a futuristic space and at the mercy of the villains responsible for her kidnapping, Aria knows she has to rely on her instinct to survive in a situation that is completely out of her control.

The film boasts an impressive ensemble cast of well-known names such as Charlotte Best (Home and Away and also Tidelands on Netflix), Jonny Pasvolsky (Rabbit, Mortdecai and McClouds Daughters), Alex Menglet (The Seagull), Susan Prior (Aftertaste and The Rover, for which she won an AACTA) and Tahlia Sturzaker (Netflix’s I Am Mother)

Rising Wolf is the brainchild of Wicklow man Antaine Furlong, who recently returned to his first love – film – after a stellar 20-year career in financing in the global entertainment industry. His interest in film goes back to his childhood in the small Wiclow village of Roundwood where his father used to run the local cinema out of their living room. From there, Furlong went on to do small jobs during summer holidays on various films like The Old Curiosity Shop with Peter Ustinov. He was also a production runner on Sweeney Todd with Ben Kingsley, directed by Academy Award Winner John Schlesinger as well as an assistant director, working with Mike Myers, on the Irish film Pete’s Meteor.

Rising Wolf is co-written with Kieron Holland and Sydney based Furlong says he is delighted that his dedicated team managed to successfully portray his unique and uncompromising vision to create a sci-fi psychological thriller – despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Myself and Kieron wrote this story 12 years ago and we’re delighted that it has finally come to fruition. When Covid struck we hit a lot of hurdles, but we got back up and persevered. It was a Herculean feat by everyone to get the movie completed, but we did it. When I watch Rising Wolf now, it represents to me everyone’s unwavering love for making the film, their professionalism dedication, and need to create. This is what art is – creating something from nothing.”


“……harnesses its strength through its ability to surprise with both its story and psychology”

“Antaine Furlong’s ambitious sci-fi-leaning action/thriller is a testament to the first time Australian filmmaker’s bold vision and wily intelligence to pull such a feat off

AU Review, Australia’s No.1 Arts, Film & Music Magazine (Online)

“Australia’s answer to Christopher Nolan”

Heavy Cinema – Radio & Podcast Reviewer Melbourne

“Furlong is a talent to follow”

Canberra Times – Australia’s Capital City News Paper

To watch the official trailer of Rising Wolf, visit:


Produced by: Antaine Furlong, Kristy Vernon (Sweet River, Gabriel), James M. Vernon (Hacksaw Ridge, Predestination, A Few Best Men), Drew Bailey (June Again, Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt))

Directed by: Antaine Furlong

Written by: Antaine Furlong, Kieron Holland

Cast: Charlotte Best (Tidelands, Puberty Blues), Jonny Pasvolsky (Westworld, The Front Runner, Mortdecai), Alex Menglet, Susan Prior (The Rover, The Gloaming, The Commons), Justin Stewart Cotta, Tahlia Sturzaker, Karelina Clarke

Genre: Sci-Fi, Mystery, Suspense Thriller, Fantasy

Runtime: 102 mins 

Hashtag: #RisingWolftheMovie #RisingWolfMovie

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