Nominate Your Favourite Local Business for an Award.

The local shop, café, pub, hairdresser and service provider are the lifeblood of rural Kilkenny and this is your opportunity to give them the recognition that they deserve. The awards honour excellence in business and provide an important platform for local enterprise.  Any individual or company can nominate a favourite local business for one of the prestigious Glanbia Kilkenny Business Awards. Local businesses can nominate themselves or one of their suppliers in up to three diverse categories including Service Provider of the Year, Family Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year and Customer Service Provider of the Year. Nomination forms are available from  or 056 7752767 – The closing date is October 8th for submissions.

The local Glanbia Kilkenny Business Awards are now open for business!

New report on community care for stroke victims reinforces The Carers Association’s continued call for action on homecare services in Ireland

Transfer of care protocols could save the State €12million per annum

The Carers Association is renewing its call on the Government to take action on legislation for statutory homecare entitlements, following a report published today, which states that stroke patients could benefit from better rehabilitation in the community rather than longer stays in hospital as they recover.

The report carried out by the ESRI and the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland entitled “Towards earlier discharge, better outcomes, lower cost: stroke rehabilitation in Ireland” was funded by the Irish Heart Foundation.

The study found that 54% of stroke survivors could be discharged from hospital earlier each year and that this move to care in the community would free up acute hospital beds and save up to €12m from reduced hospital length of stay. The authors also added that some 3,000 patients would benefit each year from community rehabilitation, reducing hospital bed days by 24,000.

Catherine Cox of the Carers Association says, “The government has to look at statutory entitlement to homecare services. We have been calling for this for years and it is included in our pre-budget submission once again this year. There needs to be a ‘transfer of care protocol’ when a patient is being discharged from hospital to be cared for at home or in the community. We have been highlighting the inadequacies in available resources to fund this service for a long time as we already know that the level of care in the home is superior to that of hospital when a patient is at recovery stages.”

The report also found that the funding of community care could be found in the savings made from the reduced number of bed days patients needed. Although the report pointed out that for community care to succeed, there would be a substantial increase needed in the resourcing of community nurses and community therapists.

“Money has to follow the patient,” said Catherine Cox. “We need to see legislation to ensure a statutory entitlement to homecare services and we have to see this government policy implemented before community or home care becomes a viable option. In practice there is poor support for home carers or for patients recovering at home and this level of support varies widely from region to region. We already know that we could save appox €12million by simply reducing the lengths of stays for patients in hospitals and increasing community supports, freeing up beds for patients who are more in need of hospital beds.”

The Carers Association has been calling for statutory rights to homecare services similar to those of the Nursing Home Fairdeal Scheme and this report has echoed those sentiments in its recommendations that homecare for stroke patients requires a substantial increase in funding if it is to be implemented.

The Carers Association has lobbied for support for homecare services on an annual basis outlining the savings to the exchequer if a patient could be cared for at home. The marginal cost of implementing homecare for stroke survivors is one third of the cost of an in-patient day.


Gloriously Gluten-Free at ‘La Rivista Gluten-Free Week’

Gluten-free diners are top of the menu for ‘La Rivista Gluten-Free Week’ Sep 22th – 29th

La Rivista Italian Restaurant on Parliament Street in Kilkenny is firmly focussing on gluten-free goodness from September 22 – 29th with their gloriously gluten-free menu.

Gluten intolerant diners are invited to dine at La Rivista during their special in-house ‘La Rivista Gluten-Free Week’ and receive a free glass of wine with their gluten-free meal just for coming along.

Gluten intolerant diners often feel neglected or ‘second best’ in restaurants and La Rivista would like to illustrate just how good their gluten-free menu is to coeliac or gluten-intolerant customers by setting aside one week to firmly focus on this clientele.

“We have extensive gluten-free options with the majority of our menu available gluten-free,” said head chef and co-owner, Therese Maguire. “We cater specifically to the needs of our customers and always have done. However, this week, we would like to devote our expertise to our coeliac and gluten-intolerant clientele to remind them of the variety that is available to them at La Rivista as so many complain of restricted menus when dining out. We want gluten-free diners to feel welcome and very much catered for at La Rivista,” she added.

Traditionally, Italian food has been a difficult choice for gluten intolerant diners due to the nature of its pizza and pasta dominated menus. Now La Rivista is offering gluten-free pizza dough, gluten-free pasta, gluten-free grills and gluten-free deserts.

“There is very little on our menu that can not be made to order gluten-free” says Therese. “Our gluten free dishes are carefully prepared separately as we understand that there are difficult consequences for some diners who have a serious intolerance to gluten and we are dedicated to serving these clients as well as we do our regular customers.”

With 1 in 100 Irish people suffering from Coeliac Disease or some form of gluten intolerance, it has never been more important for restaurants to cater for this dietary requirement. However, more and more non-gluten intolerant diners are also asking for gluten free options.

“La Rivista is delighted to focus on gluten-free customers for a week and it doesn’t end there. Every day we get customers asking us for gluten-free options. They are always concerned about ingredients and cooking process as it can seriously affect their health. Our staff are all trained to ask questions and deliver the appropriate information to the chefs about the clients’ needs. We pride ourselves on offering gluten-intolerant clients, the best gluten-free menu in Kilkenny, not just throughout this week but every day,” says Jennifer Quinn, co-owner and front-of-house manager at La Rivista.

For further information on the gluten-free options at La Rivista and for information on La Rivista Gluten-Free Week from September 22 – 29th please see and La Rivista also offer vegetarian, dairy-free and lighter bites options and will do everything possible to accommodate any other dietary requirements.

Last Chance to Nominate the Carer of the Year

The Carers Association is calling for final nominations from people across Ireland to nominate their chosen Carer of the Year. There are over 187,000 family carers in Ireland caring for older people, people with disabilities, terminally ill and those with special needs.

‘Time’ is the theme of this year’s awards, highlighting the significant increase in the number of older carers who have dedicated decades of their time caring for loves ones. Nationally there are over 30,000 carers aged over 60 years while a further 8,676 are over 75 years of age. Many sacrifice retirement to continuing their caring role.

“While the work of family carers can be rewarding and a real labour of love, the cost of that care in physical, emotional, and psychological terms can be immense. We want to honour the thousands of family carers who dedicate so much of their time and lives to caring for their loved ones. There are so many wonderful carers in Ireland and I would invite people across the country to nominate their carer of the year” says Catherine Cox, Head of Communications with The Carers Association.

The Carer of the Year and Young Carer of the Year Awards 2014, sponsored by Tunstall Emergency Response, celebrate the dedication shown by family carers providing unpaid care in the home for their loved ones. The awards are based on a national nomination process with the public invited to nominate their chosen family carers. All entries receive a commemorative certificate and local award recipients are invited to attend the Carers of the Year Awards 2014 ceremony being held in November in Dublin. Ireland’s Carer of the Year and Young Carer of the Year (under 18) will be presented with their awards by patrons of The Carers Association and RTÉ broadcasters, Marty Whelan and Mary Kennedy.

Nomination forms are available from The Carers Association’s Resource Centres nationwide, Freefone 1800 24 07 24 or nominate online at

Closing date for entries is September 19th 2014.


What is PR?

What is Public Relations

What is Public Relations? A question that sees over 200 business owners and career seekers per month in Ireland take to Google for answers! We wondered how many more people were curious about PR and how it can enhance their business or, as we all know, make for an exciting and rewarding carer choice!

At PM we have such a diverse team with backgrounds in radio, television production, business, journalism, hospitality and marketing; all with a unique viewpoint on what exactly public relations is. We put it to some of our colleagues and clients to get to the bottom it!

Naoise Coogan – Account Director with Purcell & Masterson

PR tells – advertising sells – this is what some PR gurus say – however, I think PR does both. By offering positive narrative on a product or a service – ‘telling’ – this will in due course assist with ‘selling’. PR is a subtle relaying of information from a ‘reliable source’ that a product or service is of value and there is no better way of selling than consistently telling this information.

Edward L. Bernays Public Relations Consultant (1923)

Ed Bernays was born in 1891 was well known for his use of propaganda and persuasion and wrote the first book in PR called the Crystallising of Opinion (1923). He advised Eisenhower, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt and is said to have had 350 clients

‘Public Relations is the attempt by information, persuasion and adjustment to engineer public support for an activity, cause, movement or institution’

Catherine Cox – Spokesperson for The Carers Association and client of 10 years

PR has a vital role in our work at The Carers Association. We use PR to respond quickly to political decisions that affect carers, the silent workforce who save the State €4 billion each year, to tell the human stories behind the numbers and to recognise individual family carers who dedicate their lives to providing care for their loved ones. Through the use of Public Relations we have seen the profile of our organisation as well as that of family carers and their political strength increase over the past ten years. It remains a key priority for us and one we will continue to focus on.

Kathleen Leadbetter – Jerpoint Glass Studio and client of 10 years

As a small family run craft studio, with small budgets, PR offers great value for us. PR not only gets our name and brand into all the right places, it also acts an endorsement from the targeted publications when our story appears in print.  We always see a great return on investment for our PR activity and exposure that otherwise we simply could not achieve.

John Masterson – MD of Purcell Masterson

Public Relations probably means a different thing to each of our clients. And it probably means something different to them now than it did when they first began working with us at Purcell Masterson. The early part of any relationship with a new client is used by us to gain a clear picture of what they want to achieve, and to manage their expectations about what is achievable and what impact it will have on their profile and business. Some think we just pick up the phone to ‘our contacts’! That is not the case.

We work with our clients to recommend the best media strategy for them, the stories and events that are suitable for the type of publicity and audience they desire. We bring creativity and new ways of looking at their communications. This is part art and part science, part inspiration and a big part perspiration! I often make the distinction between advertising as ‘bought’ media and public relations as ‘sought’ media. We all see an advert as what it is. But how many of us know which of the interesting things we read and hear, that hold our attention or change our perceptions, have been placed as part of a public relations campaign?

Have your say!

Tell us what is PR to you or your business…tweet us @PM_Communiate

To meet the Purcell Masterson PR and Communication team, learn more about our multi-disciplinary approach, the experience and training that we bring to every campaign visit our About Us page.


John Masterson takes the #IceBucketChallenge

Thanks to Aisling Kelly at KCLR96FM for nominating John Masterson for the Ice Bucket Challenge!

Take a look at our YouTube video below to see John doing his bit for Motor Neuron Disease at The Pembroke Hotel with the help of Jennifer McCreery of McCreery Contract Cleaning!

John has nominated Eimear O’Shea from Newstalk, Paul Broderick from The Pembroke Hotel and Jennifer Quinn at La Rivista.

Don’t forget to donate €2 for Motor Neuron Disease text MND to 50300


‘Dining in the Dark’ to help people see at Roly Saul The Restaurant

Press Release

Dundrum Restaurateur Ronnie Saul embarks on 720 kilometre charity cycle from Paris to Nice

Dundrum restaurateurs, Roly and Ronnie Saul of Roly Saul The Restaurant, are set to turn the lights out on diners at a once-off event, entitled ‘Dining in the Dark’. The event will raise money for two Irish charities, Fighting Blindness and Dublin South Arch Club on Thursday, August 28th at 7.30pm in their Dundrum Town Centre restaurant.

Guests of ‘Dining in the Dark’ will be presented with a blindfold upon arrival and go on an exciting journey of heightened senses where taste, smell and sound will take on new meaning. Joining the usual professional team, a number of people who are living with sight loss, will become servers themselves for the occasion, in the beautifully restored 300-year-old mill house. Patrons will be treated to an exquisite four course meal at Roly Saul The Restaurant in total darkness bringing the words of Paul Gauguin to life, “I shut my eyes in order to see”.

‘Dining in the Dark’ will take place alongside the annual charity race ‘Paris to Nice’ that takes cyclists 720 kilometres across France over seven days to support eighteen Irish charities.

Avid cyclist Ronnie Saul, will take part in Paris to Nice this year for the second year running. Ronnie explains, “I love to cycle for fitness and for enjoyment. I got involved with the Paris to Nice charity cycle for the first time last years as it is an excellent way to support Irish charities and combine two of my passions, cycling and travel!”  She will be joined by local Dundrum man and Tour de France winner Stephen Roche to complete the last leg of the route from Paris to Nice.

All proceeds from ‘Dining in the Dark’ at Roly Saul The Restaurant will be split between Fighting Blindness and Dublin South Arch Club. Fighting Blindness is an Irish charity that aims to cure, support and empower those experiencing blindness.  An estimated 224,000 adults and children in Ireland are affected by sight loss according to Fighting Blindness of which they claim 75-80% is preventable. Dublin South Arch Club provide a social environment for people with special needs.

Ronnie and Roly Saul of Roly Saul The Restaurant lend their patronage to a different charity each year from the eighteen Irish charities that ‘Paris to Nice’ supports.  Ronnie Saul went on to say, “This year I will cycle to raise money for Dublin South Arch Club, a wonderful local charity that supports people with special needs and who are in desperate need of a new club house. We are really excited at Roly Saul The Restaurant to host ‘Dining in the Dark’ on August 28th to raise funds for two P2N charities, Fighting Blindness and Dublin South Arch Club.”

‘Dining in the Dark’ will take place on Thursday at 7.30pm, August 28th at Roly Saul, The Mill House in Dundrum Town Centre. The specially designed menu for the event costs €70 and all proceeds from the evening will go towards the two charities. To make a reservation call 01 299 0003 or visit for more information. Donations to Fighting Blindness or Dublin South Arch Club can be made online at or in person at Roly Saul The Restaurant, Dundrum Town Centre.

Good PR is Never Spin

What is PR

By John Masterson

08 August 2014

Like many people who work in PR I bristle a little when I hear the word ‘spin’. At its worst it implies that a PR consultant is happy to tell lies on behalf of their client. At its kindest it means something like accentuating the positive with no regard whatsoever for the negative sides of their client’s position.  Neither are practices a good PR professional would advise or engage in.

The truth is a good starting point because it is usually where we all end up in the long run. There is no point if getting a restaurant publicity if we know that there are problems with the food, service, pricing, ambience or whatever. If you use your contacts to get publicity for a venture that is not what you say it is you can rest assured you will not have your contacts for long. You can only sell a pup once. When I was the other side of the fence and being pitched to in RTE I well remember the difference between PR companies who delivered what they said they would, and the ones that let you down. The latter only did so once and probably wondered why they never got past the front door again. In overpromising one always does the client a disservice.

Truth can be presented in many different ways. What is left out may cause as much damage as what is communicated. It is the job of the PR consultant to present the facts in the most advantageous manner for their client. But if the truth becomes twisted it will most likely end up leaving your client with explaining to do, and if you are explaining you are losing.

I always go back to the definition of a lie as the ‘intention to mislead’ and that usually clarifies any issues.



The Carers Association launch ‘The 2014 Limerick Masquerade Ball’ for Family Carers across Limerick, North Tipperary and Clare

The Carers Association in conjunction with Limerick City & County Councils and Thomond Park has launched ‘The 2014 Limerick Masquerade Ball’. The high profile fundraiser was launched on Tuesday, July 29th with the Mayor of Limerick Michael Sheahan, the 2013 Limerick Family Carer and Carer of the Year Anne Curtin and Young Carer of the Year Niamh Duffy.

The Limerick Masquerade ball will help raise vital funds for the over 16,500 Family Carers across Limerick, North Tipperary and Clare while recognising the dedication, commitment and contribution that they make. Taking place on Saturday, September 20th in Thomond Park, the night will be MC’d by Rugby Legend David Wallace.

Catherine Cox, Head of Communications with The Carers Association explains “We are delighted to once again launch The Limerick Masquerade Ball which was a resounding success last year. We hope to once again help raise vital funds that will support the 16,500 Family Carers in the region. The night is all about recognising the commitment and dedication of Family Carers to those that they care for.”

The event will embrace Limerick’s ‘City of Culture’ 2014 crown and some of the highlights from the night will see guests enjoy a Champagne Reception with one lucky person receiving a piece of jewellery worth 1,500 in their glass of bubbly which is being sponsored by Keane’s Jewellers and an Original Oil on Canvas by Local Artist Ann Daly will be auctioned on the night. Those in attendance will also be treated to music by the ‘Unity Gospel Choir Limerick’, a pre-dinner reception with a 3D lighting show by Byblos Production Company, a five course dinner and music by ‘The Village’ Show Band until late.

“We would also like to acknowledge the sponsors of the event, whose support is greatly appreciated. The event is also important in recognising the importance of the services delivered to Family Carers by the H.S.E Mid West, Limerick City & Councils role in implementing initiatives for the elderly along with Thomond Park’s commitment to community social responsibility. We are all really looking forward to the event in one of Limerick’s most well-known landmarks.” says Ms. Cox.

The event is hosted by Thomond Park, Limerick and Limerick City & Co. Councils and will be kindly sponsored by Rusal Aughinish Alumina, Askeaton, Co. Limerick, Lisheen Mines, Co. Tipperary and Keanes Jewellers. For those who would like to attend please contact or 086 172 6270



A Photograph is Worth a Thousand Words

By John Mastersion – 14th March 2014

The great days of photography were long before everyone, and I mean everyone, had a camera. You cannot go a half hour now without seeing someone taking a photo with their phone. Hands up anyone who has not taken a selfie.

Recently I have been travelling and I have noticed the return of the real camera.  More and more people are actually interested in taking photos again as well as just point and press snaps. Five years ago I would have predicted the camera manufacturers would become as  rare as Kodak film. But no. People are realising that thinking about an image, focus, depth of field, composition and lighting gives a more satisfying result.

The amateurs are getting better. But the people who do it day in, day out, are called photographers. Their extinction was also prematurely predicted. Their work is still what I look at first before I read a word in the papers. Long may they prosper.