Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book Review:The Shelter of Neighbours-Eilis Ni Dhuibhne

Eilis Ni Dhuibhne, Fellow in creative writing at UCD, has written more than twenty books, received numerous awards and is considered one of Ireland's most important short story writers. Her new book The Shelter of Neighbours is a collection of fourteen short stories and the title draws on an Irish proverb "people live in one another's shelter or shadow." The beautiful and slightly haunting watercolour cover design shows a bare winter tree and it's shadow. With praise on the back cover from Edna O'Brien that "her prose shimmers like poetry" we know that we are in for a treat.
 
The titles of the stories are diverse, from the literary and Joycean sounding 'The Yeats',  'Illumination' and 'A Literary Lunch' to the altogether more ordinary sounding 'Bikes I Have Lost' and 'The Shortcut Through Ikea.'
And it is the normalness of her writing that is the charm. The natural voice discussing the weather, the traffic, the sick cat, "seven hundred euros later and now they should consider putting her down. Shouldn't the vet have mentioned that before?",to the creative writing teacher with writers block - surely a true case of the teacher taking her own advice about writing about what you know.

Deconstructing the pretensions of restaurant menus in 'Literary Lunch', where truffles are listed under sausage and mash, she identifies that the restaurant is saying "we can cook and we are ironic as well, it proclaims, put your elbows on the table, have a good time." Ni Dhuibhne  just seems to have her finger on the pulse, as it were, of everyday life and our inner thoughts. Her humour brings a quiet giggle as contemporary restaurants, well known places and Dublin characters are described. "Oh yes!" you keep saying to yourself as you read each story, "you're so right!"
Literary themes abound; working with writer's block, unsuccessful writers, writers retreats, a soon-to-be literature student. The stories include those with unexpected turns, unexpected discoveries (houses in the woods) and teenage romance.
Short stories are a category out there on their own. They can start mid event and end inconclusively. They can have a certain enigma about them which leaves the reader uncertain of their meaning, thinking about them again or almost being left to finish them themselves. One of the masters of the short story for me was Raymond Carver, evoking small town America and whose stories you can return to again and again. Eilis Ni Dhuibhne certainly should be considered high up there in the sometimes difficult to master short story category. She has a natural voice that flows off the page and the added appeal of the familiarity of place from an Irish writer adds an extra level of interest.
A book that will bring pleasure to all types of readers, the young and the old, the seasoned short-story readers and for those new to the genre, it is also a book to treasure for it's no nonsense insight beyond the sometime pretensions of Irish life.

Published by The Blackstaff Press
www.blackstaffpress.com

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book review: Belfast Taxi by Lee Henry

Belfast Taxi: A drive through history, one fare at a time by Lee Henry, a journalist and Web Editor of CultureNorthernIreland.org, is a book based on interviews Henry conducted with more than thirty Belfast taxi drivers of all ages and backgrounds. The author's grandfather was a Belfast taxi driver which may go someway in explaining his interest, but in this book it is Henry's skill as a journalist that shines through as the drivers have each revealed to him their individually interesting stories. Describing the drivers as "opinionated, personable and forthright", like their counterparts all over the world, he points out that what sets them apart is "their experiences of working in the Troubles." Encouraged by the drivers to go ahead with the book so they could tell their stories, some were happy to have their manes revealed whilst others preferred to remain anonymous. The chapters cover all aspects of the trade; origins, during the Troubles, working with the Press, Falls and Shankill taxis, women taxi drivers, Foreign national drivers and modern Belfast.

 One driver is a keen amateur historian, a great source of information on the origins of Belfast taxis, even going back to a public sedan-chair stand in the early nineteenth century. The biggest advance in Belfast taxi history was the arrival of the Austin 'black taxi' in 1958, enabling anyone with the money to buy independent employment.

From the late 1930s private taxi hire grew and by 1960 Belfast was a thriving city. But as the decade progressed tensions arose and during the 1970s, 80s and even 90s, Belfast was not a safe place, with daily bomb alerts, hoax calls and synchronised explosions. Some drivers were inevitably killed but taxi drivers still continued to work, some closer to the danger than others as the chapter 'Working With the Press' describes. Taxi drivers who knew the city were in demand by the press to drive into the high-risk front line, with one driver naming working passengers as Kate Adie of the BBC and Olivia O'Leary of RTE.
Taxis were also needed by the public when bus services were interrupted and suspended in west and north Belfast. a good neighbour scheme of car pooling 'the people's taxi' into the city was joined by taxi drivers who drove a set route for a a fixed route fare.
The first female taxi-company owner Sally Rodgers is afforded a chapter all of her own. A blow-in from Portglenone and remarkably, a mother of fourteen, she took over a struggling taxi depot in 1975 during the Troubles and is considered a pioneer in the industry. Belfast City Airport taxis has grown over the years since the airport "was only a wee wooden box" and Belfast's regeneration has bought visitors to the city, and celebrities such as at the 2011 MTV awards. As one driver tells Henry, "One of the celebrities and her entourage had gone for burgers. would you believe it, she was sick in his cab!...Famous or not...,I would have bucked her straight out onto the road." That's no-nonsense Belfast taxi talk for you!

Henry also interviewed foreign nationals who had made their way into the business, who both spoke highly of their acceptance by the Belfast community. Describing themselves as "ordinary decent people, the advent of peace has made the drivers into better professionals working in one of the up-and-coming cities of Europe.
This book is packed full of stories from the no-nonsense drivers of Belfast city. It is a reader-friendly collection of the information collected by Lee Henry from his interviews. Telling the history of Belfast and the changes in society through the drivers stories, Henry has managed to write an informative and genuinely interesting book without resorting to stuffy date quoting. Using the voices of the drivers he has managed to gather information about real people by real people and it is both a pleasure to read and a way to subconsciously educate yourself about Belfast society and history.
Of interest to anyone who enjoys reading about society and history, particularly of Ireland, it can also be dipped into as each chapter can be read in its own right.
 Author Lee Henry
Published by Blackstaff Press www.blackstaffpress.com

Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Launch: Rory Gallagher - His Life and Times

This is one book launch that must have been great craic. This reviewer unfortunately couldn't make it down to Cork last Thursday when the Lord Mayor of Cork and Philip King,musician, film-maker and broadcaster as guest speaker, officially launched the book of Cork's guitar legend Rory Gallagher - His Life and Times by Marcus Connaughton and published by Collins Press, but it was the apres-launch where things must have really kicked off, at The Corner House on Coburg Street. With music by The Dave McHugh Band, Pat Horgan and other guests I'd say the place was really rocking.
  
Rory Gallagher is claimed as Ireland's first ever rock star, a guitar hero who sold more than 30 million records. The author Marcus Connaughton, blues expert and record industry veteran, has collected together never-seen-before photographs for the biography as well as insights  from Gallagher's contemporaries, road crew, family and friends.
 Marcus  Connaughton

Fans of Gallagher's travelled from afar for the launch including former fanzine editor Dino McGartland, Germany's 'Rory Tribute Show' organiser $20 Bill, and rock photographers Fin Costello and Colm Henry. Also there were U2 sound engineer Joe O'Herlihy and poet Louis de Paor.

For Rory fans and anyone interested in music, this is a great addition to the rock biography category and will surely make its way onto many Christmas lists this year.
 Rory Gallagher - His Life and Times by Marcus Connaughton and published by Collins Press.
www.collinspress.ie




Sunday, October 28, 2012

Book Review: Irish Women at Work

Irish Women at Work is an academic book made up of research from a collection of interviews that were conducted with forty-two women about their working lives between the 1930s and 1960s in Cork, Kerry and Limerick as part of an oral history project. The authors, Elizabeth Kiely and Maire Leane are social policy lecturers in University College Cork.
 
With an introduction by Maria Luddy, a significant voice in Women's History Studies in Ireland, Luddy emphasises how pioneering this work is in offering insight into women's entry into the world of paid work and what it was to be a working woman, highlighting the fact that most gave up this job on marriage. The book is an opportunity for these usually marginalised women to have their stories recorded- an important issue often addressed in women's history. Describing it as a landmark study, it will enter into the world of Irish history and social sciences academia to be referenced by many a third-level  student. But this fascinating book should not just be marginalised to this specialsed group as it contains a wealth of fascinating quoted stories from ordinary Irish women. The brief biographical details of the interviewees listing out the Joans and Marys reminds you that these are real lives we are about to be privy to.
The legislation and policies introduced by the new Irish state from 1921 onwards that limited women's rights, idealising their caring and homemaking roles was the staring point for the questions of how this affected the aspirations and experiences of women in relation to work.
  DeValera's Ireland
The book has six chapters; childhood and entry into work, work in factories and services, work in offices and professions, identities as working women, family and community connections and finally an account of women's accommodation agency and resistance in their work experience. It carries some fascinating photographs including a Christmas party of telephonists circa 1940s, domestic science students with their poultry instructress circa 1950s, a civil engineering graduate in 1949 (surely unusual enough then-as now) and a trainee nurse standing outside Whipps Cross hospital in East London in the late 1940s- the destination for many of the young trainee Irish nurses.
 Nursing Staff at Whipps Cross
Just less than half of the women interviewed had only been in school until fourteen, with no further education and parents played a key role in choosing their daughter occupation. Women who took factory jobs were mainly working class living in urban settings, and the service sector jobs were poorly paid. The professional women were mainly engaged in gender stereotypical jobs with nursing viewed in vocational terms. A professional role gave women the chance to exercise certain autonomy at work and gain advancement. The women were generally accepting of social and cultural norms of the home as being the place to fulfil the role of wife and mother with little regret at employment termination on marriage or pregnancy. But for some this brought physical drudgery or social isolation.

Social class was significant for the married women's experience of employment but opportunities were negotiated by women in their own individual ways.There were expectations of daughterly obedience and women had an awareness of public opinion on the various types of work undertaken. But workplace identity spilled over into their social lives bringing solidarity and identity. Most women saw themselves as compliant workers, fearing parental opinion or work reputation if involved in labour activism- less important if the job was not seen as a life long career. The motivation to organise developed more in terms in terms of the women's lives as housewives and mothers rather than workers in organisations such as the Irish Countrywomen's association and the Irish Housewives Association.
   
A record of oral evidence, not meant to be representative, but with potential for future research maybe into single women's work experience, this book's importance should not be underestimated. It will enter the shelves of university libraries all over the country and be added to required reading for students and any close followers of social and women's history in Ireland. 
A project website was created www.ucc.ie/wisp/ohp with publications and conference papers to download so that the information is accessible not just in the book.
Published by Irish Academic Press

www.iap.ie

Le Petit Parisien

I walked past this place yesterday and it was just calling out to me to come in and sample the delights within.

It's a new cafe on Wicklow Street selling eat in or take out french patisserie as well as breakfasts, filled baguettes, savoury tarts, sandwiches and salads. The interior is beautiful- classy and well, just Parisien. They seem to have got the feel just right. Opening on the 25th (Thursday), Saturday it was packed, so good luck to Le Petit Parisien and I look forward to trying it out for myself.
 

Le Petit Parisien
17 Wicklow Street
Dublin 2

Book Review: Song of Duiske by John A. Ryan

Song of Duiske by Michael J. Ryan is not a new book. First published in 1989 and with a revised version in 2006 it is one of those books that seems to have passed under the radar. And that is a shame, because it is a very satisfying little read. I say little because that's just what it is. At just 52 pages in five chapters; Dark, Seed, Earth, Harvest and Home, it is a novella.
 
The cover design might have put off potential readers -it looks a little like a church prayer or hymn book with its woodcut manuscript miniature of monks on a vellum background that could be much more glossy and 'Name of the Rose'-ish. Despite this, it is worth the read and it could become one of those little treasures you think about a lot after reading , recommend it to others and read again yourself.
With a historical note about the Cistercian abbeys of Ireland and the location of Duiske in South Leinster, the story takes place in the early fourteenth century following the monks in their cycle of life. The atmosphere of the abbey; the bare stone, the cold early mornings, the candlelight and shuffling of monks feet is immediately set.

The reader is with the brothers as they go about their daily tasks of morning prayers, the work on the watermill, tending the fruit crops.We are made privy to the seasons changes in the Abbey and the jobs the monks undertakes, the little breaks in the Abbey rules that went unnoticed, the illicit liaisons and we quickly get to know the monks. On a trip to find wood for masts Brothers Simon and Orion meet a group of men with a tall red-haired leader and Simon considers that this is "when their day had begun to slip from their grasp" and he realises that he could be considered an accessory to a crime.
 Duiske Abbey
Ryan has researched the historical and geographical facts to produce this novella,and a glossary is provided to explain some of the medieval and Latin terms used which adds an authenticity to the tale. This little treasure is a bedside companion and with a newly designed eye-catching cover it could make its way to become a classic Irish tale.

Oddsocks Revival in Whelan's

We're here at Whelan's Front Bar on Wexford Street at an Oddsocks Revival gig and the funk soul vibe is filtering through the crowd.

There's no lead singer in Oddsocks; Michael Conefrey on bass seems to take on the bluesy tracks, Luke Mercer is in middle in a floral shirt and Anthony Mannion with the grungy look going on is in his own place and getting lost in the moment. Not to forget those often overlooked in bands, drummer Eoghan O'Kelly.
Anthony tells us they'll sing us a couple of numbers from Willie Dixie, an obvious influence but it's the move then from blues to funk that really brings them back to life - this is their forte. An unusual enough sound in a twenty-something band these days but one that I really love.

A good funk sound with other covers by The Band, Crosby Stills and Nash sounding harmonies and Rory Gallagher, their influences are obviously wide but they have their own sound as shown by their album It's Time, lyric master being Anthony Mannion. Oddsocks Revival- look them up!
www.oddsocksrevival.com
www.myspace.com/oddsocksrevival

Friday, October 26, 2012

Book Signing No Show or Fashionably Late?

Well, yesterday I was in town for a book signing to meet the authors. Out of respect, from this point all parties shall remain nameless. I arrive early in order to judge the interest in a new gen book by a relatively unknown author. The table is set up and roped off; a few customers stop and pick up the books to look at then wander off. There's nowhere to sit and wait - Eason's O'Connell Street isn't one of those bookshops that encourages sitting on a comfy chair to peruse a book but I am interested in the large central area set aside for Kindles and book downloads. Along with the virtual bookshop at Connolly station Eason's are really embracing new book technology.

I wait at the coffee shop at the back of the shop. It's an awkward time, 6pm on a Thursday night, for a teenage book signing so we'll see what happens. There's no sign of activity yet, oh the life of a touring author-will anyone turn up. Wasn't there some cringing story about less than thirty people turning up for Tess Daly's signing in Dublin a couple of years ago? Poor Tess. The market for teenage fiction or new gen is enormous. A whole new genre has been created where the previous generation jumped straight from Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Frances Hodgson Burnett's Little Princess straight onto Wuthering Heights, Flashman or books pinched illicitly off their parents bookshelves such as Erica Jong's Fear of Flying. Heaven forbid!
 Enid Blyton's Books
Well, it's twenty past six, there's no-one at the desk telling people that the authors are held up or on the way, in fact there's no sign of life at all. I make a decision to leave - did they arrive? Fashionably late? I'll never know.
 (Who cares? I did.)
 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Derry-In Lonely Planet Top Ten Cities

Congratulations to the City of Derry in getting listed by Lonely Planet guidebook in 4th place in its Best in Travel 2013.

With its chequered past it would have been on the bottom of most peoples 'places to visit' list for many years, but this has all changed in recent years and being nominated City of Culture for 2013 has helped it along the way.

The only completely walled city  in Ireland has museums, St.Columb's cathedral, a Guildhall, the Foyle River and what is described as "a vibrant arts scene." Lonely Planet described Derry as an example of a city bouncing back from difficult times.

The other cities listed by Lonely Planet were;
1. San Francisco
2. Amsterdam
3. Hyderabad, India.
4.Derry
5. Beijing
6. Christchurch, New Zealand
7. Hobart, Australia
8. Montreal
9. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
10. Puerto Ignazu, Argentina

http://www.derryvisitor.com/




Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Eason's Virtual Bookshop at Connolly Station, Dublin.

Everyone in Dublin seems to be talking about this cool new virtual bookshop that has popped up on Connolly Station.
Photo: Back to our roots.....check out Ireland's FIRST EVER Virtual Book Shop! But can you guess where it is??
It looks great. First trialled in South Korea, there are QR codes on the picture of each book for you to scan with your phone which directs you to a Facebook page, add your credit card details and the book is dispatched within five days. I wonder how successful it will be, and would you use it? Why not just go to the bookshop and get the book? But maybe there's not one on your route in and out of work or as the press report said  you "don't have time to tackle the queues." When I saw it first I presumed it was for Kindle, some kind of scan and instant download. Open until Christmas with hopes to expand, I'll look out for feedback and report back.

Cakes for a Booklover

How amazing are these? I want them, I want them!
Photo: Posted By
Maja Karlsone
I don't know if I'd want to eat them or just look at them. Found on the Art and Literature facebok page, I hope you think they are as cool as I do.

Book Review: 'The Crocodile by the Door' - Selina Guinness

A lot of advice is given to new writers and the one that you hear the most often is "write about what you know." And this is exactly what Selina Guinness, an editor and lecturer in Dun Laoghaire Institute has done. The Crocodile by the Door; The story of a house, a farm and a family tells the story of her move to  with her partner to Tibradden, a run-down and dilapidated country house in the South Dublin Mountains owned by her elderly bachelor uncle and all the events that ensued. The beautiful cover has a gentrified feel about it and the sepia tinted photos and letters on the back beckon the reader in to find out more about Selina Guinness's story.

It's 2007. A house with a view of Dublin from the south,built on land traced back for several generations and land purchases for new house development on a rampage. A requisition of land for a nearby golf course is being negotiated and custodianship of the house has been passed to Selina. Swayed to sell by the enormous sums offered and the opportunity to restore the house, she feels a responsibility to the land and its history and a need to protect it. Telling her story from arrival in May 2002 to a house seemingly unchanged from her childhood, through the months and years as she was appointed ownership of the house by trustees on her uncle's death in 2004. Her trials with the farm through the five years bring us back to the prologue. Moving on to July 2011 to update the story and to an epilogue dated "April 2012."

The title rather exotically refers to a crocodile sitting on a marble-topped chest inside the front door, shot by her great grandfather's brother in Persia - sending the head to a taxidermist in London to be turned into a letterbox. She tells of her conventional suburban upbringing, lunching in Tibradden on Sundays, her parents' early separation, unusual enough in 80s Ireland and her mother's move into art dealership. Selina's refusal to board at secondary school led to her move to Tibradden to live with her teacher uncle and English-born grandmother. Living in their own world, her grandmother and uncle carry on their lives as they always have, with cook, maid, The Archers on Radio 4 and Erin packet soup served in bone china for dinner.

Her move to the house again as an adult carries touching descriptions of her uncles obvious need for company and his effort to "spruce himself up", but Selina sees through the front to the sellotaped glasses and food stains on his clothes. She moves into a house with one three pin socket (the rest are the original round ones from wiring done in 1939), no white goods or mains water supply-just a gravity fed system from the stream. A great clear out follows, clothes are sold to The Abbey Theatre and minor renovations are done. County development planners visit and Selina fears for her uncle's financial struggle's as well as the threat from burglars and poachers. With her uncle's declining health and hospitalisation we are made privy to an old man's fears of his niece's future and his own imminent demise.

But this book is not about an old man's death. It is the memoir of a woman who felt a familial hold on a house and its land and who by recounting the experiences of just five years of her life manages to interweave a whole history. It is a touching insight into the life led by the post-war generation with a "make do and mend" approach to life, a record of the experience of dealing with big developers- sure to go down in Ireland's history as a sorry affair, and a tale of a woman drawn back to a place and a need to do what's right by it.

The Crocodile by the Door is published by Penguin Ireland.
http://www.penguin.ie/



2012 National Irish Food Awards/Blas na hEireann

I love to read the winners and runners up of the National Irish Food Awards/Blas na hEireann because it takes you into shops you wouldn't normally visit and encourages you to try new foods. One of the things I love is it gets over the 'snob' attitude to the value supermarkets as they have won awards for their own brand foods in the past. (Advance warning- this is a long list; advance at your own peril! You may need to extend your grocery budget with the anticipation of new purchases!)


Awards were given as follows (some omitted);
Grand Champion- Una's Pies; Chicken, Leek & Sweetcorn
Best Artisan Producer-Big Red Kitchen
Best New Product-Ballymooney Foods; Rack of Wild Venison
Best Emerging Kerry Producer- Sasta Sausages
Most Innovative Product- Gallagher's Bakery; Plain Soda Bread (innovative??)
Seafood Innovation- Breizon Teo; Surf n Turf Smoked Scallops and Black Pudding
Best in Farmers Markets- Una's Pies, Skellig Pantry, The Green Apron, Butler's Ice Cream, Sasta     Sausages


In the individual category awards (order gold, silver, bronze);
Chocolates Individual
The Chocolate Garden of Ireland; Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Truffles
Lough Derg Chocolate; Lime Truffles
Gallagher's Chocolates; Mixed Chocolate Box
Chocolate Bars
Gallagher's Chocolate; Cacao Dark 70%
Lough Derg Chocolate; Chocolate and Orange Chocolate Bar
Lorge; Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Bars
Confectionery
The Cake Stand; Chocolate Macaron
The Jelly Bean Factory: 36 Jelly Bean Mix
Blackthorn Foods: Fudge Fondue
Puddings and Desserts
Couverture Desserts; Supreme Desserts Selection for Supervalu
Hunts Bakery; Toblerone Cheesecake
Couverture Desserts; Billionaires Dessert for Supervalu

Sauces and Dips
Big Red Kitchen; Raspberry Dessert Sauce
Bryan Lynch; Sweet Chilli Mayo
BBQ Joes; BBQ Joes Original BBQ Sauce

Yogurts
Irish  Yogurt; Premium Canadian Blueberry for Lidl
Irish Yogurt; PremiumSpanish Lemon Curd fro Lidl
Irish Yogurt; Duneen West Cork Indulgence Toffee for Lidl
Dairy
Irish Yogurts; Creme Fraiche
Milleeven Foods; Trad. Irish Brandy Butter
Glenstal Foods; Glenstal Irish Creamery Butter
Ice Cream
Butlers Ice Cream; Cookie Ice Cream (Supercookies)
Silver Pail; Caramel Fudge for Aldi
Rossmore Farmhouse; Raspberry Sorbet

Cheese Soft
Ardrahan Cheese Simply Better
(joint silver)Fivemiletown Creamery natural Goats Cheese for Supervalu/Gubbeen; Wash Rind Gubbeen for Tesco
Cooleeney; Simply Better Gortnamona
Cheese Hard
(joint gold)Tullyboy farmhouse goats cheese/Coolea mature
Blubell Falls mature orion
Castlemary goats milk cheddar
Cheese Cheddar
Cahills Ballintubber Cheddar with Garlic and herbs
Bandon supreme cheddar for Supervalu
Cahills Balintubber Cheddar with chives
Cheese Blue
Wicklow Farmhouse; Wicklow Blue cheese for Tesco
Glyde; Finest Bellingham Blue cheese for Tesco
J.L.Grubb; Cashel Blue cheese for Tesco

Sausages
AIBP; Jumbo pork sausages for Superquinn
Mallons; Supreme traditional for Supervalu
Mallons; Supreme Cumberland for Supervalu
Black Pudding
Caherbeg Freerange Black Pudding
Sasta Sausages Black Pudding
McCarthy's of Kanturk Queen Style
White Pudding
O'Brien Foods; Simply Better White Pudding for Dunnes Stores
Olhausen White Pudding for Lidl
Granby White pudding 80 year old recipe


Cured meats,charcuterie & bacon
Oakpark; Drycure smoked bacon loin for Aldi
O'Brien; Wiltshire ham on bone for Supervalu
Glenaine; Angus Spice Beef for Horgan's
Bacon
Callan Smoked back bacon joint for Lidl
Callan Unsmoked back bacon joint for Lidl
Ballon Meats bacon steaks
Pork
Kepak; Pork rack with sage and bramley apple butter for Supervalu
Oliver Carty; Smoked Pork Loin Roast for Supervalu
Tendermeats Mexican Pork Chops
Beef
APB; Sup.Qual. Irish Hereford Fillet Steak for Superquinn
APB Cahir; Select cuts fillet steaks for Aldi
Tendermeats ltd; Fillet steak
Poultry
Silver Hill; Crispy roast half duck with pancakes for Lidl
Carton; part boned Chicken breast garlic kievs for Supervalu
Carton; Tendercrunch chicken breast chunks
Lamb
Kepak; Stuffed rack of lamb with redcurrant for Supervalu
Irish Country meats; Wicklow lamb rump steaks for Aldi
(joint bronze)Jerry Kennedy ; Dingle Peninsula rack of lamb/Hilton foods; finest lamb shanks

Seafood
Breizon; Window to the sea cooked and peeled prawn tails
Breizon; Window to the sea whole cooked prawns
Good Fish Co; Monkfish with lemon and garlic marinade for Tesco
Pate
The Smugglers Inn; Chicken liver pate
(joint silver) Skellig Pantry; chicken liver/ Carrygerry House;chicken liver
Ballyhoura; wild and oyster mushrom pate
Savoury Pies
Una's pies; chicken leek and cheese
Una's Pies; roast veg with goat cheese and chorizo
Una's pies; chicken green thai curry
Soups
Carrygerry House; creamy seafood chowder
The Good fish company; seafood chowder
Just Food; organic tomato and basil pesto soup

Sourdough Bread
Cloughjordan bakery; white sourdough boule
Cloughjordan bakery; rosemary and olive oilsourdough
Billy's bakery; wholemeal wheat and rye sourdough
Soda bread
Larkins bakery; Cranberry and orange zest soda
Larkins bakery; apricot,sultana and multiseed wholemeal soda
O hArtagain pure bread;  poppy seed white soda
Yeast Bread
M and D bakery; The Blaa
Ryan Arbutus; Seeded brown yeast bread
Ryan Arbutus; Seeded white yeast bread
Barmbrack
Sean Stafford; Halloween barm brack for Lidl
Larkins bakery; low-fat spelt tea brack
Seery's bakery; tea brack for Lidl
Other breads & Rolls
Panelto; Tuscan bread
Ryans Arbutus; ciabatta pave
Cloughjordan bakery; ciabatta

Ready meals and prepared food-hot
Donnybrook Fair fish pie
Country Crest supreme mash with carrot and turnip for Supervalu
McArdle creamy garlic potatoes
Ready meals and prepared food-cold
Glorious sushi; large mixed platter
Glorious sushi; six maki mix platter
Sushi King; salmon of knowledge

Dietary specific
The foods of Athenry; gluten free flapjack 'the works'
Tasty Parlour; gluten free bakewell slice
Tasty parlour; gluten free coffee and walnut cake
Breakfast cereals
The Different dairy company; rumblers oat clusters with raspberry and yogurt
Sheaffoods; arbo granola
Virginia health; linseed crunch with cranberry and almond for Lidl

Spirits and Liquers
Castlebrand; Clontarf classic blend Irish whiskey triple distilled for Lidl
Terra; Deluxe Irish cream liqueur for Lidl
Robert Merry; Merry's Irish cream Liqueur
Non-alcoholic drinks
Organic for Us; wholemilk
Adare farm; fresh milk
Sunshine Juice; Trad; lemonade for Aldi
Beers
Franciscan Well; Rebel red ale
Carlow Brewing; O'Shea's Irish Stout for Aldi
Carlow brewing; O'Shea's Irish ale for Aldi
Ciders
Dj's juice and cider; Tempted strawberry
Bulmers; Taurus Irish cider for Aldi
Stonewell medium dry cider
Teas
Bewleys original blend
Punjana; Thompson's family teas Titanic
Bewleys Irish afternoon tea

Oils/seasonings/dressings
David Llewellyn Irish balsamic cider vinegar
Newgrange gold; Garden herb cold pressed rapeseed oil
The Green apron Italian butter mix
Pickles and chutney/relish
Follains fire roasted pepper relish
The Scullery; Irish country tomato relish for Lidl
Ballyhoura marinated Shiitake mushrooms
Preserves
The Green apron  apricot, orange and almond conserve
The Green apron chocolate and raspberry preserve
Abbey farm raspberry preserve
Honey/spreads
Big Red kitchen lemon curd
Healy's honey; honey for Supervalu
Chocolate garden of Ireland luxury chocolate and hazelnut spread
Llewellyn's orchard
Cakes
Fusco; Belgian chocolate cake
Just desserts; Raspberry ladyfingers cake
Seerys; luxury lemon cake for Lidl
Christmas cake/puddings
Seerys; supreme pudding for Supervalu
The Foods of Athenry; Luxury pudding for Superquinn
Coffee Domain; Medium rich, very moist Christmas pudding
Biscuits
Cloudberry bakery; luxury Guinness brownie
Gookies Triple choc chip cookie dough
Kooky dough choc chip

Savoury snacks
Christie's celtic kitchen black pepper and salt oat cakes
Just Nuts New York nuts
Detox retox Primal crackers- sea salt
Crisps
Keogh's Shamrock and sour cream
Keogh's Dubliner Irish cheese and onion
(joint bronze) O'Donnell Irish Cider vinegar and sea salt/O'Donnell mature Irish cheese and red onion

Ready-mix cake/bread
Angel foods Chocolate brownie
Cathys spelt for health flapjack spelt mix
Gem pack; Sowans organic gluten free brownie mix
New products
Ballymooney rack of wild venison
Ballyhoura Irish cherries in mulled apple syrup
Tom Durcan cooked sliced spiced beef.

If you've made it this far congratulations! What a list- and  a good number from Supervalu and Lidl. I for one will be trying out a good few of those newly awarded products. Congratulations to all the winners and keep up the good work of producing great Irish food.