Press Release for KIlcranny House

August 23, 2009

Summer Daze at Kilcranny House

Coleraine is set for a bonanza week of arts and culture [15th-22nd August] as Kilcranny House hosts its Summer Daze festival, offering entertainment, enlightenment and a chance to experiment with a new skill.

Boasting an international flavour, the week kicks off this Saturday [15th] with a Festival Fun Day at the Centre with Bollywood Dancers and South American mask makers adding a touch of glamour to the day. There will also be a chance to learn a new skill through participating in one of the glass painting or drumming workshops. Bouncy castles and face painting will keep the children entertained for the afternoon and for adults looking simply to unwind, there will be live music on offer, ensuring an activity packed afternoon for all.
On Monday and Tuesday mornings there will be the opportunity to learn mask making from the Latin experts in Ballysally and Kilowen areas. On Monday evening listen to Roberta Bacic present ‘Threads of Hope’, an inspirational Chilean documentary. Bacic was a powerful voice against the military regime of Chile in the 1970s, suffering the consequences of being fired from her university job and being arrested. After many years as a member of the peace group War Resistors’ International, Bacic now lives in Northern Ireland and has a powerful story to tell.
For those with more of a palette for local history, local author and storyteller Dr Bob Curran will provide a stimulating historical tour of Garvagh on Tuesday afternoon, complete with lunch. On Wednesday and Thursday evenings, why not try a new skill, be it Bollywood Dancing, or Jewellery making?
The week’s activities, which are funded by Coleraine Borough Council and International Fund for Ireland, finish on Saturday 22nd with a Gallery Exhibition at Coleraine Town Hall.

Kilcranny House was established in 1985 as a residential, educational and resource centre. Set alongside the River Bann, the centre aims to promote reconciliation in the local community, not just between residents, but between locals and the land.

For more information on the Summer Daze festival, or to make a booking telephone Lisa on 077*******7


Soccer Sight – Another triumph for ‘Football for All’

July 11, 2007

Published: Coleraine Times, 11th July 2007

Are you planning on heading down to Coleraine Showgrounds on Saturday to watch Northern Ireland XI against Everton?  Are you hoping to see attractive football and goals?  If you are, consider yourself fortunate.  In Northern Ireland there are 5000 people who are registered blind or partially sighted.  However, whilst there are many difficulties to be faced, sight problems do not seem to quench the passion for sport.  Football can overcome many obstacles and thanks to the RNIB, in conjunction with the Irish Football Association and the George Best Foundation, blind or visually impaired folks will still be able to take in the action and the atmosphere at this weeks showpiece match.  The project is called Soccer Sight and provides audio description via a personal receiver and transmitter.  It allows the blind or visually impaired person listening to sit in their normal seat with their mates rather than go to a special designated area to receive the commentary.  It was launched in March of this year and made its debut at Windsor Park for Northern Ireland’s 2-1 victory over Sweden

In order for the scheme to run smoothly and consistently, the IFA ran a competition via their website to find two commentators.  The winners of the competition, as judged by the BBC’s Joel Taggart were Brian Elliot of Newtownards and Robin Peake from Ballynahinch.  After a trial run at the Setanta Cup game between Linfield and Glentoran and some Visual Awareness training, the pair were put to the test for the European Championship qualifier.  Robin says “It’s fairly nervy, because you know that there are people listening who are forming opinions on the match from how accurately and objectively you describe what’s happening on the pitch.  I was surprised how tired you can get by concentrating on describing what’s going on, so it’s good to have Brian with me to break it up with his analysis.”  Funded by the George Best foundation, the system will allow older members of the crowd to still enjoy the atmosphere despite diminishing eyesight.  As Robin explains, it differs from Radio Commentary in a number of ways: “If you took a walkman and tuned into the game you might get interruptions as they cross over to other matches, but importantly a radio commentator is not as focused on describing what’s happening off the pitch, be it a manager fuming on the sideline, a substitute warming up or what is happening in the crowd.  These are things that make the football match experience whole, and for those who can hear the crowd react around them but not know what they are reacting to, that must be very frustrating.”

The Milk Cup team have decided to utilise the scheme for the 25th Anniversary Challenge match between Everton and a Northern Ireland select side.  As a result the equipment and commentators will be in place so that those with little or no eyesight, can still enjoy the full matchday experience.  If you know of anyone who may benefit from this scheme then contact Barry Macaulay at the RNIB on 90329373 or email