Jonathan Traynor

Northern Ireland journalist. Rock & metal enthusiast and owner of belfastmetalheadsreunited.blogspot.com.

Dark, Witty, Poignant Observational Discourse On A City And A Person

Christophe Owens already has collected much writing kudos from debut collection, A Vortex of Securocrats, with authors, musicians and commentator heaping praise on its hellish visions of post-conflict Belfast. To follow it ups Owens takes the reader back to the streets of the city in ‘dethrone god’. Here the comparison ends. The novella is chock […]

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Belfast Author Launches Latest Book, As A Love Letter To Belfast

Belfast-based author Christopher Owens has launched his latest book, ‘dethrone god’, as a follow-up to his debut collection, A Vortex of Secutocrats. Published by Brighton’s experimental company Sweat Drenched Press, is an amusing, poignant and thought provoking story that takes the reader along the struggles getting home from a night at a city centre pub.

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Comment: Health Service Broken – Is It Beyond Repair?

This week it was reported that 350 people were on trolleys in accident and emergency departments in Northern Ireland waiting for a hospital bed. When one sees elderly patients waiting for 36 hours, when one sees staff in casualty juggling multiple patient conditions, when one sees ward staff desperately free up space it is clear

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House Prices See Slight Rise In October

House prices across the UK experienced a slight rise in October after six months of falls according to the latest set of data released by Halifax. The annual picture shows that over the preceding two months show drops in the selling value of falls, based on mortgages completions, including Northern Ireland. The monthly update from

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Video Trailer For Belfast Author’s Debut Book

Writer Christopher Owens, had launched a video to celebrate his debut book, ‘A Vortex of Securocrats’ reaching the milestone of 100 sales. A Vortex of Securocrats is a work that observes, through prose and poetry, the crushing conformity of a post war Northern Ireland, and how that has impacted on those who live there. “The

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NI Bands Ready To Blast Bloodstock Fest

Three local acts to play at prestigious English heavy metal festival Northern Ireland’s heaviest and hardest will play at premier English heavy metal festival this coming weekend, alongside superstar bands Killswitch Engage, Megadeth and Helloween. Cookstown’s Acid Age, Doagh’s Skypilot and Belfast’s Wild Heat play Bloodstock Open Air, which will see 20,000 fans of extreme

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Entertainment: Blu Hydrangea To Front New Show, Hit The North Is Back, Osmonds Show For GOH, CQAF returns & more

Northern Ireland’s drag Queen of the World to front BBC show After winning BBC Three’s Drag Race UK’s versus The World Northern Ireland’s Blu Hydrangea will host Stitch, Please!, a three-part BBC series. Contestants, under Blu’s watchful gaze will compete to create garments inspired by the hottest looks in pop culture. In each episode, new

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ukrainian refugees

Belfast To Bangor Ferry Service, R&D Job Drop, Advice Centres Open For Ukrainian Refugees & More…

Belfast to Bangor ferry service set for 2024 Plans have been unveiled for a Belfast to Bangor ferry service using a zero-emissions wave rider 150-seat vessel. Said to be “the world’s most advanced zero-emission commuter ferry service” it will be operated by Condor Ferries alongside the Belfast Maritime Consortium. Beginning in 2024 it is set

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northern ireland space space race astronaut in outer space

NI Space Sector Grows, Mash Direct Turnover Soar, Jack And Grace Top Baby Names & more…

Northern Ireland space race launches further Space industry jobs are burgeoning in Northern Ireland, with the sector tripling in size in the last financial year. There are now 413 people employed, according to figures released by the UK Space Agency, an increase of 318 from 2019.  Northern Ireland workers account for almost a third of

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GP doctor on the phone to patient

Phone GP Service To Continue, Children Hepatitis Cases Investigate, New Whiskey Warehouse In Newry & more…

Keep hanging on the telephone with your GP Telephone first consultations with Northern Ireland GPs is set to continue, even as Covid-19 restrictions are being eased. The Royal College of General Practitioners, Dr Laurence Dorman said the phone service was more efficient and while GPs are aware some patients are having difficulties accessing services, he

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Picture of the Harland & Wolff cranes at Titanic Docks in Belfast, the shipyard where the Titanic was built

News In Brief: New Gin School, Luxury Liners For H&W and NI Pubs Named Top Spots & more…

Gin School set for Cathedral Quarter Belfast’s Thirsty Goat is set to be the second venue to host Belfast Artisan Distillery’s acclaimed Gin School. With their Premium London Dry Gin already a success founders Robert Borne and Jo Davison expanded their portfolio with help from Mallusk Enterprise Park, to now include Belfast Artisan Gin School

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See The Sights of Northern Ireland In Unparalleled Luxury

Exclusive NI Tours new fleet of Range Rovers and XJ Jaguars is offering visitors tours and chauffeur services that transport them in the lap of luxury and deliver special bespoke experiences. Owner, Trevor Patterson believes that personal service and luxury cars are what makes his company appeal to those who want to see the best

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Tumble Circus’ Tina Segner Promises “Circus Skills With Comedy, and Theatre” At This Year’s Winter Circus

Belfast’s Writers’ Square will see the Big Top being raised aloft for Tumble Circus’ Winter Show, and co-founder, Tina Segner promises that audiences need to prepare to be surprised, and amazed. Running from December 17 to January 3 the all-human performances combines acrobats, aerial artists and jugglers in an hour-long fun-filled show. For Tina, a

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Tumble Circus’ Ken Fanning Promises “daring skills, comedy and theatre” at this year’s Winter Circus

Deep in the heart of Cathedral Quarter the big top is about to be hoisted aloft and a dazzling array of circus skills, comedy and theatre are in the final throes of preparations for Tumble Circus Christmas show. As performers put the final touches to the extravaganza in Belfast’s Writers’ Square co-founder of the troupe,

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Post-Furlough Options Available For Those Who Lose Jobs

Recruitment agency says there are employers hiring right now Tyson Wilson Recruitment has today (Friday October 1) said that the ending of the government-backed furlough scheme will cause stress for many workers, but there are plenty of options available. Michelle Tyson, director of the agency said that while some employers may not be able to

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Don’t Rush Post-Furlough Staff Decisions Urges Recruitment Specialist

Tyson Wilson Recruitment has urged employers to not make hasty staffing decisions as the government-backed furlough scheme comes to an end. Michelle Tyson, chief executive of the agency said it was a worrying time, not helped by the lack of news of any further support for businesses. “It is an incredibly stressful time for those

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Cathedral Quarter Bid Gets Backing For A Further Five Years

Members vote overwhelmingly for business improvement district to continue Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District, Destination CQ, has received an impressive vote of confidence with members voting for it to continue operating for a further five years and implementing its new business plan. All business improvement districts across the UK are required to poll their members

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Spectacular Ogham Grove Opens Tonight In Cathedral Quarter

Cathedral Quarters Writers’ Square will tonight (September 17) be transformed into a spectacular installation from the creative team for CNB21 Presents: The Ogham Grove. From 6pm tonight through until Sunday evening visitors can experience an interactive celebration of the ancient druidic language, with massive representations of trees, sounds and lighting weaving a path of learning

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Father And Son Team Behind Massive Culture Night Installation

Monumental Ogham Grove interactive structure will dominate Writer’s Square Father and son team Gawain Morrison and Dylan McCaughtry will bring an ancient Celtic language to life with a massive construction across Belfast’s Writer’s Square for this weekend’s Culture Night Belfast. Having worked on music videos, short films and art projects they are now preparing for

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Twin Brother’s Emotional Plea For Missing Model Derry Man Emmette Dillon

The twin brother of missing Derry man Emmette Dillon has made an emotional plea for help in finding the 33-year-old. Ryan Dillon made a direct plea to his twin: “Emmette we love you and we want to help.  Please come home so we can look after you and find a way forward.” Emmette was last

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Businesses Need To Seize Opportunities Created By Brexit

Ards businessman, Dr Adam Hunniford is urging Northern Ireland businesses to seize the opportunities created by the contentious Brexit NI Protocol. Dr Hunniford, of PiP Chemicals said that whilst the issue remains politically divisive businesses can use the unique position of Northern Ireland to boost existing trade with the EU and develop new contracts. “The

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Slemish Market Supper Club Hosts Exclusive Summer Fine Dining Experience

The popular Slemish Market Supper Club is set to offer food fans a new experience next month as their exclusive dining experience returns for another six-course event featuring well known chef Rob Curley. Based in the beautiful surroundings of the greater Ballymena area, the unique pop up dining experience, Slemish Market Supper Club, creates an

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Digitally Enabled Change, Data and Storytelling: the Way Forward for Tourism in Northern Ireland

Tourism NI’s head of digital explains plans for recovery Digital development, increasing use of data and a vision of transformation for how the tourism industry gears up for the post-pandemic recovery are some of the priorities for Tourism NI as it prepares to revive Northern Ireland’s world-leading tourism status. The recent Tourism Recovery Action Plan,

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Neil Shawcross Presents Kinky and Friends In ArtisAnn Gallery

The ArtisAnn Gallery on East Belfast’s Bloomfield Avenue is to play host to a new selection of work from one of Ireland’s most eminent artists, Neil Shawcross. The exhibition – Kinky and Friends – will run at the gallery until Saturday 28 August (closed for July break 13-17 July) and will feature some of the

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Black Box Hosts Emma Brennan Online Exhibition

Belfast’s Black Box is hosting a free online exhibition from inter-disciplinary artist Emma Brennan throughout July, each evening from 6-7pm. Emma’s work is predominantly in performative practices, including multi-media installation, moving images and collaborative processes. Originally from Dublin, she is now based In Belfast. She is a former Co-Director and Chairperson of Catalyst Arts and

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Employee Wins £2,000 Compensation From Belfast Trust Following Pride Poster Row

An incident between a gay man and his manager, which led him to lodge a complaint of harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation, has ended with his employer settling the case, with no admission of liability, for £2,000. The case was assisted by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. Rory Harbinson works for the

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OG Cancer NI Welcomes Minister’s Cancer Plan

Charity warns that patients need referrals dealt with without further delays OG Cancer NI, the charity that supports those with oesophageal and gastric cancers has today welcomed Health Minister, Robin Swann’s, three-year Cancer Recovery Plan to rebuild Northern Ireland’s cancer services. Chair of OG Cancer NI, Helen Setterfield, said the plan, together with £30m to

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Online applications open for Free school meals and uniform grants 

Families entitled to extra support with school meals and uniforms can now apply online. Paper application forms continue to be available on request for applicants who do not have digital access. Education Minister, Michelle McIlveen said: “The Education Authority (EA) has sought to improve services for families by making it easier for them to apply

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Crime author joins Belfast 247 presenting team

James Murphy to showcase the best of crime fiction Author, James Murphy is joining the Belfast 247 radio presentation team with an exclusive two-hour slot each Wednesday evening with a show dedicated to the world of crime books and shows. From 7-9pm James will talk to guest authors, review books, and host a guide to

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Culture Night Belfast Is Back With A Fresh New Format

Culture Night Belfast returns to the Cathedral Quarter this September with a new format and a new approach designed for a COVID-safe, post-pandemic environment. Running from 17 – 19 September, Culture Night Presents The City Garden will transform Cathedral Gardens, Writers’ Square and the area around into a colourful, nature-inspired place for play, enjoyment and

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New Business Venture Provides Mood Boost after Mental Health Battles

Lifestyle changes bring lockdown business success When a difficult time in her life left Jessica Thompson struggling with mental health problems, she thought she would never be able to recover, but now she is at the helm of a new company, Benergy with her partner Ben Cochrane. The nutritious snack company aims to bring foods

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St John Ambulance 999 Defibrillator Fund Walk Underway

Volunteers from St John Ambulance are walking and running 999km throughout June in a monumental feat, to raise funds to replace the organisation’s life-saving defibrillators. With more than 150km already completed, volunteers from St John Ambulance Head Quarters Transport Division have dedicated yet more of their time and take on the challenge. Interim Unit Manager

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Kann O&M £250,000 Investment Plan For Solar Farm Panel Cleaning

Department of Agriculture back innovative product Kann O&M plans a three-year £250,000 investment after they received grant aid of £19,425 from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs that was used to assist with the purchase of the leading solar panel cleaning system on the market today. The Sunbrush system is used to wash

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Food Impacts Mood Says Chef Making Healthy Changes For All

Healthy snacks and breakfast company heralds better options Skipped breakfasts, supermarket meal deals and 60+ hour weeks fuelled by energy drinks were plunging chef Ben Cochrane’s health all in the wrong direction, but now he is back with the message food impacts mood and a business to help others make the right dietary choices. The

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Time For Government To Step Up For Hospitality Sector

By Emma Bricknell, restaurant owner The welcome re-opening of hospitality after long, depressing months is something everyone in the sector has been longing for but the government needs to back us after such a tough time. I have had to take seriously the impact on my business, and will be changing the brand of all

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