Archive for December 1st, 2008

New Friel Centre

1st December 2008 by Maura McHugh

According to The Stage a new state of the art research facility in Queen’s Univerity Belfast will be named after playwright Brian Friel.

Already an honorary graduate of the university, the Northern Ireland-born playwright, who will celebrate his 80th birthday in January, will give his name to the Brian Friel Theatre and Centre for Theatre Research. The complex, within the university’s south Belfast campus, will form part of Queen’s Centre for Drama and Film Studies, which was opened in 2004 at a cost of £1.6 million, complete with a 120-seat studio theatre.

The Centre for Theatre Research is an entirely new development and will, says David Johnston, head of the university’s school of languages, literature and performing arts, “be a fitting tribute to Ireland’s greatest living playwright by providing a focus for cutting-edge research into theatre practice”.

Acknowledging the accolade, Friel said he hoped the new facilities would help the university’s students “nurture their talent and develop the skills necessary to succeed on the stage and screen”.


1st December 2008 by Maura McHugh

Last week the Media And Multicultural Awards (MAMA) 2008 were handed out at a ceremony in the Abbey Theatre.

The awards, which were established by multicultural newspaper Metro Éireann, aim to recognise people, groups, companies, institutions and media platforms that promote diversity and multiculturalism in Ireland.

Saviours, the documentary film by Ross Whitaker and Liam Nolan about the St Saviours Boxing Academy, won two awards: first place in the Visual Media category, and the St Saviours Boxing Academy was awarded a special bursary of €5,000 from the Iris O’Brien Foundation. This award was for an individual or organisation that positively responded to cultural diversity in Ireland.

The documentary was funded by the Irish Film Board, and it reports:

Liam Nolan picked up the award for Saviours and said afterwards, “It’s brilliant for the film to be recognised at these awards because we really felt that the film could say something positive about the benefits of a multicultural outlook. And we’re very happy that the club has received a very well-deserved award too – it’s nice to give something back.”

Ross Whitaker added, “We didn’t want the film to be overtly political but we still feel that it raises awareness about some issues related to race and we feel that the film can really make people think differently about these issues. We feel that this is a really important award and we’re delighted to have been won it.”

Here is a full list of all the Awards and their winners:


  • Individual: Utsav Lal
  • Non-Governmental Sector: Fáilte Isteach Project (Third Age Foundation/Mary Nally)
  • Public Sector: Dublin City Libraries – Many Faces Many Places
  • Private Sector: Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dublin Northwood
  • Multinational Organisations: Dell


  • Print Media: Kid’s Own Publishing
  • Broadcast Media: Spectrum, RTE Radio One
  • Visual Media: Saviours Documentary – Ross Whitaker & Liam Nolan
  • Student Media: Julian Ulrichs and Richard Walsh – FGM: No Way Home
  • Online/Web Media: Garda John Condruin /

Foras Na Gaeilge Award: In the Name of the Fada/Des Bishop

Iris O’Brien Foundation Bursary Award: St Saviours Boxing Club

National Action Plan Against Racism Award: O’Connell School, Dublin