Author Archives: Fiona Smith



Fiona Smith

“Writing my way out of that cave”- Meg Grehan on working through anxiety and agoraphobia
in Blog

“Writing my way out of that cave”- Meg Grehan on working through anxiety and agoraphobia

“Writing about anxiety and agoraphobia and all of the other beasties made them seem smaller somehow. It made me bigger somehow. I started to feel my head get lighter, I started to feel my feet touch the ground again.” Author Meg Grehan recently published The Space Between, a beautiful free verse novel about a young woman experiencing isolation and mental health struggles who finds warmth, love...

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12 May 2017
#FiveOnFriday with Donal Scannell, Born Optimistic
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#FiveOnFriday with Donal Scannell, Born Optimistic

DONAL SCANNELL hosts the Born Optimistic podcast, taking  a series of inspirational artists and giving them a leisurely grilling on how background events and their personality traits have shaped their outlook on life. In the couple of months since it kicked off, the podcast has attracted a jaw-dropping roster of guests, Irish and international names in a variety of fields, all with fascinating stories to tell...

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05 May 2017
#FiveOnFriday with Kevin Nolan
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#FiveOnFriday with Kevin Nolan

Singer-songwriter Kevin Nolan, a long-time advocate for First Fortnight and most memorable Master of Ceremonies at the 2015 First Fortnight Festival Hootenanny at St Patrick’s Hospital, has released a live video of his song The Last Days of Harry Carey. Hot Press calls it spell-binding – “a bombastic four minutes of blood and thunder that’s worth the price of admission alone”. The story behind it encompasses...

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07 Apr 2017
Tara Thomas Photography
in Blog, Featured

Farah Elle on creativity and the world-changing power of music

Libyan-born Irish-raised singer songwriter Farah Elle has a unique style and sound, drawing on Arabic rhythms and dynamic piano arrangements to stunning effect. Writing and performing since her teenage years, the now 22-year-old is a recent graduate of the British and Irish Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) and collaborated with Bantum on his Choice Music Prize nominated album, Move. With a slew of shows coming up and hard...

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17 Mar 2017
How beating an eating disorder inspired a cartoon character
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How beating an eating disorder inspired a cartoon character

A NEW Irish graphic novel deals with eating disorders in a humorous and imaginative way – Loopy Loo: A story of Beating Bulimia is available on Amazon, written and illustrated by Dan Reynolds and inspired by the story of Rosalyn Sheehy who decided to share her tale of recovery to help others going through similar issues. First Fortnight spoke to Rosalyn about how the book...

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27 Jan 2017
Creaking – a work that plays on age, movement and mental health
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Creaking – a work that plays on age, movement and mental health

“The starting point was the question, what age do you feel in your head as opposed to your body?” – writer and theatre performer Noelle Browne on Creaking THIS year’s tremendously successful First Fortnight festival wraps up on January 20 with an immersive piece of theatre, Creaking, at the Riverbank Arts Centre in Co Kildare. Creaking was co-created by Oonagh Murphy and writer/performer Noelle Browne,...

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17 Jan 2017
#FiveOnFriday with The Wonder Eye director Alan Gilsenan
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#FiveOnFriday with The Wonder Eye director Alan Gilsenan

Acclaimed filmmaker Alan Gilsenan – known for his portraits of Liam Clancy (The Yellow Bittern), Roger Casement, Gore Vidal and more – has turned his lens on groundbreaking doctor Ivor Browne in The Wonder Eye (showing at Irish Film Institute as part of the First Fortnight festival). The now retired Professor Emeritus at UCD and chief Eastern Health Board psychiatrist ruffled a few establishment feathers...

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13 Jan 2017
Mollie Molumby, director of award winning Half Light
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Mollie Molumby, director of award winning Half Light

“A tale which is as true as it is untrue; simultaneously fact and fiction. Chaotic yet controlled. Childish yet adult. Half dark and half light…” So runs the descriptive blurb for Half Light, a theatre piece which runs at First Fortnight for four nights (and one matinee) from January 10-14 at Dublin’s Smock Alley – the piece follows a 10-year-old boy, Robin, who enters the...

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02 Jan 2017
24.11.17 - Dublin: First Fortnight 2017 mental health arts festival programme launch. Pictured are artist Emma Sheridan; First Fortnight co-founder David Keegan; and Minister of State for Mental Health & Older People Helen McEntee in artist Emma Sheridan's studio. First Fortnight 2017 runs from January 1 to 14 aimed at challenging mental health stigma. 
Photo: Kieran Frost
in Blog

1 in 2 wouldn’t want anyone to know they were experiencing mental health problems, according to our survey

ONE in two people wouldn’t want anyone to know they were experiencing mental health problems, according to a new survey. With the 2017 First Fortnight festival kicking off this New Year’s Day, we have released the findings of our festival audience survey last year which saw 49% of people saying they wouldn’t want anyone to know that they were experiencing mental health problems. The same...

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01 Jan 2017
PHOTO: GracePhotography
in Blog

#FiveOnFriday: Jess from BARQ

PHOTO: GRACEPHOTOGRAPHY BARQ join the music trail at Other Voices in Dingle this weekend and have gotten a great reaction to Bear, their latest single which they kindly issued on Bandcamp for a pay-what-you-want price. I caught up with singer Jess Kavanagh to hear about their music – soaring vocals with edgy guitar sounds or agrosoul, as they’ve dubbed it – and putting herself out there...

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02 Dec 2016
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