About Peter

Horticulturist. Yapper. Gardener. Human. Landscaper. Loves coffee. Dublin. Makes gardens. Radio Podcasts The @Sodshow. Lives in a tree in Dublin @DoneganGardens or www.doneganlandscaping.com

New Irish Music: Martin Byrne, A Long Long Way From Ireland

Martin Byrne, a long long way from ireland, promo

It’s no big secret that I love my Irish music and more that I’ve a wee soft spot for the trad Irish. And when a promo copy of the new Martin Byrne single, A Long Long Way From Ireland came in my post this morning I was literally over the moon. This isn’t my first time to review Martin’s music. But, then again, I’ve also done that for great new Irish acts like Wicker Bones and The Hot Sprockets. On a mild side note ? I still hold dear cracking memories of The Galtymore dance hall in Cricklewwod. Sad to say however the place were Declan Nearney and so many of the greats once played has since moved on. What is genuinely amazing is when that era is given a reprieve or a rebirth of sorts. And Martin Byrne’s music just does that. By the truck load. Seriously ? Try … There’s more

Free Tickets: You Couldn’t Make It Up on Newstalk

sez Pat O’Mahony: Jaze, how did we get here so quickly?  This Fri, January 24th, is our second-last You Couldn’t Make It Up recording for Newstalk.  It seems like only…oh alright, just over eight weeks since we did our first show in The Helix in DCU on November 29th.  How time flies when you’re busy as feck. Looking back on the last two months, it’s been a steep learning curve for all involved.  Even though the format’s been a long time in the preparation – my co-producer, Mark Warren of Firebrand Productions, first approached me with an idea he had for a comedy news panel show in early 2011 – it’s only when you actually go into production that you really see what does and doesn’t work. It took a lot of effort to get it as far as the starting block.  Long evenings were spent over tea and biscuits … There’s more

Damian Corless: 9000 Years of Irish Weather

9000 years of irish weather

Never heard of Damian Corless ? Say Collins Press, Damian Corless, [is] a journalist and a former editor of Magill and In Dublin, currently contributes to the Irish Independent. He has written comedy sketches for BBC TV’s classic Big Train and RTE’s award-winning Stew. His acclaimed books include The Greatest Bleeding Hearts Racket In The World…. As he says himself, I have no idea what an isobar is…. But he will happily tell you how the Irish won a war by doing nothing, how Cork had it’s revenge on and [sort of] killed Cromwell and the wonderful story of the Mayo postmaster who delayed the D-Day landings by 24 hours and changed what is now world history, to name but a few. And though the book has flip all to do with Irish weather technically speaking or with gardening, I angled it onto The Sodshow, in part because the weather … There’s more

The Upbeat Podcasts: Mental Health Matters

Mental Health

Upbeat Radio aired over the new year 2014 on 103.2 Dublin City FM. Presented by Brian Greene of The Sodshow Upbeat Radio brings Mental Health & Mental Wellbeing to the airwaves and extends the discussion on topics such as advocacy, reform, access to services, stigma & getting help. Over the course of the four themed shows Upbeat Radio interviewed OCD Ireland, Mental Health Reform, Bodywhys, Aware, First Fortnight & St. Patrick’s Mental Health Services. The broadcast heavily promoted Ireland’s Mental Health Arts Festival First Fortnight (Jan 02-11) with 10 specially created event promos for the 39 events in their calendar. Speaking at the conclusion of the broadcasts Brian Greene said it was great to chat to some of the main players in the Mental Health sector. The issues relating to our mind and its wellness are too often not discussed. Radio with less distractions is a perfect medium to explore … There’s more

Luke Kelly 30th Anniversary Tribute Night

luke kelly tribute night

This in from musician Ronnie Delaney who sez: The Fingal Folk makes a special return for 2014 with the first concert on Fri 31st Jan being dedicated to the memory of Luke Kelly of the Dubliners on his 30th Anniversary. The night will feature songs from the Dubliners repertoire to include Luke Kelly classics. Now starting its fourth season the Fingal Folk Club encourages musicians singers to perform in an all-acoustic setting incorporating participation form the audiences. The folk club takes place on the first and last Friday of each month throughout the year full schedule below and incorporates many theme nights through the year.  Next Folk Club Dates: Friday 31st Jan: Luke Kelly Tribute Night Friday 7th Feb: Love Songs Night Friday 28th Feb: Around the house session. Details: Where: St Patrick’s Hall, Ballyboughal, Fingal, Nth. Co. Dublin Time: 8pm – 10pm Sub: Adults €5, Musicians donation, Children Free … There’s more

St Tiernans Dundrum, Dublin. Evening Classes 2014

st tiernans, dundrum

With everything from chinese cookery to Zumba and not thinking you have a note in your head to but wanting to join a choir to computer skills… the list is absolutely endless should you wish to get yourself away from watching the tele box one evening per week and taking on something new years resolution for the year 2014. Disclaimer [if that's even necessary] I teach the evening horticulture class at St Tiernans. Either or it is highly recommended, something a bit different and a grand bit of craic to break the Spring blues. I was at the open day Saturday just gone. The spring rolls tasted superb and the choir [Corus - who as a by the way of recent played The Helix, The Late Late to name but a few - don't be scared off they do a beginners class] were absolutely genius. Go on. Go on. G’wan. … There’s more

Morning Dew. Sundays at The Carnegie Court Hotel

morning dew band

At the Carnegie Court Hotel, Swords every Sunday from around 8pm play a band called Morning Dew. And last Sunday I had the honour to watch and listen to them play. If you have never heard of them before, they are a highly entertaining mix of trad Irish, country, folk and upbeat songs that could only make you wan’t to tap your feet and sing along and be merry and God knows when it comes to January and floods and new years resolutioned mice pie-less diets that life needs happy people like the father and son team that are Ronnie and V Delaney. listen to ‘The Auld Triangle – Morning Dew’ on Audioboo Higher than highly recommended. And pure genius good old fashioned Irish Sunday evening guitar and a bodhrán entertainment. Every Sunday. listen to ‘Morning Dew – Ring of Fire’ on Audioboo

Congregation 2013

Congregation 2013

  November 30th and cities & towns around Ireland will have tumble weed blowing through them as the social media brigade heads down to sleepy west of Ireland village Cong.  Remember the John Wayne movie, the Quiet Man – well that, Ashford Castle and now Congregation.ie are putting Cong back on the must visit map.   Congregation is kinda different to your normal pile ‘em high in hotel rooms with a high flying oil snake salesman selling social media kool-aid. Not in Cong.  First you cannot buy a ticket (although I am now thinking I could probably find a buyer for mine on eBay) – no sir you have to write a blog post and send it to them and if they upload it to the site www.congregation.ie - then you’re in.  At least this means you get to do your home work in advance.  On the day you get to present … There’s more

New Music Review: Tod Doyle and The Troubled – These Days

tod doyle and the troubled

It was in my review of the Spirit of Folk Festival that I noted: my find [?] of the gig, if not the year was, the now very highly recommended Tod Doyle and The Troubled. I fell so in love with their song Kirbman, that I forgot to record it. I’ll make sure to rectify that Tod, I promise. I was walking through the woods, not towards the stage, when not for the first time I was drawn towards a sound. And as I sat down to see what they were like, as one does at a festival and a new sound, this song started playing….  First formed in Budapest in 2012, in the same year released their debut album “These days” and since have been hard at work touring and promoting the album across the water in Ireland and the UK. How good do others think they are ? … There’s more

New Music EP – Carriages


I first heard Harry Bookless and Aaron Page of Carriages play The Spirit of Folk Festival 2013. They were on the main stage and this was a folk festival. And in my head that conjures up images of bearded men with pipes and a sheep under one arm and a woman doing crochet quietly in the corner. And though the festival was very far from that, a little further afield was the music that emminated from the PA system.   And in my head there’s a wee little man with a telephone directory and a rolodex flicking through at a pace of knots searching for category to file them under, or in between some sound that I’ve heard before. And all he and I could come up with was a quasied version of the intro to U2′s Numb meets The Who’s Teenage Wasteland, played backwards at a slower beat. In context … There’s more

Tonight: Midnight Openings For FIFA14

ea sports, fifa14

As the countdown to FIFA 14 continues, games retailers around the country have confirmed they will be opening their doors at midnight tonight, September 26th 2013. I have played it. And yes and as always with EA and FIFA it is good. More on that to follow…. Suggested cost I’m told will vary around €64.99 – that said, if you know of any good deals or promo’s around the country feel free to note ‘em below or over on the Culch.ie bookface. Of note to taller people. It is the one game I have always owned, even when I was wi-fi less that lasts a full 9 months. If you are gonna buy 1 game etc… Midnight Openings: Gamestop will open 24 of its stores at midnight at Letterkenny; Dundalk; Castlebar; Cork (Douglas, Blackpool, Wilton SC and Patrick Street); Tralee; Mallow; Killarney; Dublin (Henry Street, Santry, Donaghmede, Clarehall, Pavilions SC, … There’s more

Review: Spirit of Folk Festival 2013

spirit of folk 2013

Above image: Myself with organiser Martin Duffy, courtesy Brian Greene. Year 3, my third year at The Spirit of Folk Festival kicked off Saturday 22nd September and though it was only for 1 day and night, it was as always so very beautiful. It seems funny to want a passage of time to never end… and this year was no different. A bit like the happiest game of snakes and Ladders played within a Jamesless giant peach, it is a very beautiful thing to see a feeling turn into an event and watch it grow only then to ram it into a calculator and press the square root button. And then you realise that the #soF13 family could have asked me to come to the field with nothing but a tree under my left oxter and it would have been as beautiful, solely because of the people there. Now add … There’s more

The Hot Sprockets set to play The Late Late Show

And about fohoking time. Yup absolute legends and total frickin’ gentlemen The Hot Sprockets have just announced that they will indeed be playing The Late Late show. Tomorrow. Friday. Sept 20th 2013. Last time we met was at Indiependence 2013. listen to ‘The Hot Sprockets chat @ Indiependence 2013’ on Audioboo The choon of choice for Fridays show, Soul Brother is from their soon to be released second album. You can find their first album Honey Skippin in iTunes and all good record stores. More info: The Hot Sprockets website   Hot Sprockets on facebook @thehotsprockets

Welcome: The Spirit of Folk, Festival 2013

spirit of folk 2011 (117)

This weekend sees the very much anticipated return of The Spirit of folk Festival 2013. Culch.ie has been and gone there since it began way back in 2011 and this it’s 3rd year is one I simply cannot wait for. I’ll grant you #SOF13 is probably not the type of gig where you’d spot that many fake tan pushers, complete with Gucci aftersahve flavoured Beckham Wellies, because I’m worth it ? More this gig really is about The Spirit of Folk. For me, for us, it is the place where myself and Brian Greene were made to feel part of The Family in 2011 as they aired on The Sodshow. And we had tea there. It is were Anthony McGuinness  and I first met The Hot Sprockets. It is were Darren and Ellie went shamanic drumming and Brian interviewed a viking. It is bring your own Germania beer, a hug … There’s more

100 Years After The 1913 Lock Out @ Glasnevin Cemetery

glasnevin cemetery, peter donegan pic

First Up, This From The Press Release: It is 100 years this year since the start of the great Dublin Lockout, when members of ‘Big’ Jim Larkin’s Transport Union walked off the trams of the Dublin United Tramway Company (DUTC) over the refusal of then DUTC chairman (and leading shareholder) William Martin ‘Tramway’ Murphy to allow some workers to join the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union. Glasnevin Cemetery is the final resting place of many of the men and women who were to witness this great event in Irish Labour history. The Lockout saw 20,000 Irish workers being locked out of their workplaces, due to industrial conflict between them and their employers. The bit that you might like – note the last day is tomorrow – yeah I know it’s late an’ all, I was in a garden:  Re-enactments will be daily 26th – 31st Aug at 2.30pm. To … There’s more