Destination Store seeks 30 Eggs-traordinary staff to hop on board for Ireland’s largest Easter Eggstravaganza

Destination Store seeks 30 Eggs-traordinary staff to hop on board for Ireland’s largest Easter Eggstravaganza

Having launched Ireland’s largest Easter Eggs-travaganza, leading destination and activity store, Rathwood, are now seeking 30 recruits to become part of their egg-citing Easter team.  This is the second year Rathwood will host its special Easter train event and due to its phenomenal popularity they have doubled the number of tickets available. Over 10,000 people are expected to visit the Tullow, Co Carlow based store this April.

Rathwood are looking for 30 eggs-traordinary fun staff to hop on board and become part of the experience which will run from April 12th to April 21st. The recruits will assist a host of fairy tale characters like the Easter Bunny, Humpty Dumpty and the Mad Hatter in creating a magical experience for visitors.

“We look forward to welcoming families from all over Ireland to our Easter train Eggs-travaganza but first we need to recruit 30 Easter soldiers who will assist Humpty Dumpty and the other magical characters. Successful candidates will be egg-ucated in what will be an egg-zosting but worthwhile eggs-ercise on all things Easter!” said James Keogh, MD of Rathwood.

“This year we are celebrating 20 years in business and we are committed to offering a top class destination to visit for special times of the year. We are extremely proud to have reached this significant milestone and a lot has changed over the past couple of years but we continue to adapt to the changing landscapes. It is a privilege that from our humble beginnings in 1994, we are now in a position to generate these employment opportunities while offering an unbeatable experience to our customers”.

The award-winning family run business has firmly established itself as Ireland’s leading venue for family activities and this year they will celebrate 20 years in business. The company employs 60 full time staff with this figure rising to over 150 at peak times such as Halloween and Christmas. A leading destination store housing clothing boutiques for men, ladies and children, gifts and home-ware, hand-crafted furniture, an extensive garden centre, a falconry attraction as well its popular Rathwood train attraction.

The Rathwood Easter Train will run from April 12th to April 21st and tickets are on sale now. Applicants wishing for more information can visit

The Carers Association and RTÉ broadcaster Mary Kennedy launch the 10th annual Kilkenny Mini Marathon

 The Carers Association and RTÉ broadcaster Mary Kennedy launch the 10th annual Kilkenny Mini Marathon

The Kilkenny Mini Marathon, which this year will celebrate its 10th anniversary, was launched by The Carers Association charity patron and RTÉ broadcaster, Mary Kennedy. The annual mini marathon, hosted by The Carers Association, will take place on Monday, May 5th beginning from Kilkenny’s Aspect Hotel.

This year’s event will cater for all levels of runners, walkers and family participants including a 10km (chipped) run or walk for the serious competitors and a new 5km (not chipped) run/walk for the more relaxed participant. The Carers Association is seeking the support of the public once again and are urging the people of Kilkenny to register and join in the fun and encourage friends and family members to take part.

“It is wonderful to see the support for The Carers Association today as at the beginning they had to shout very loudly to get their voice heard – but they did it and it has worked and this 10th anniversary event is very positive recognition of the great work carried out by all at The Carers Association,” said Mary Kennedy

“I am not as fit as I used to be during my marathon days in 2001 as I simply don’t have time to run with work and travel, however, I do love to run and I will definitely be taking part in this fun event on the Bank Holiday weekend.”

Gina Delaney, Outreach and Development Officer with The Carers Association speaking at the event at the Aspect Hotel today said, “Our supporters and volunteers mean so much to us and without their continued support this event would not be so successful.”

Nora O’ Gorman, Kilkenny Carer of the Year was also present and highlighted the value of the event to the people on the ground in Carlow Kilkenny.

“The fundraising from this event means that the Kilkenny/Carlow centre can continue to support local Carers. Supports like the respite service are invaluable to giving peace of mind to families and the Support Groups let you meet with others in a similar position to help break down the feeling of isolation.”

There are approximately 6,200 family carers in Carlow/Kilkenny alone carrying out an immeasurable number of caring hours on a weekly basis. Funds raised during this event will go towards much-needed respite care for these dedicated carers and their families.

The Registration fee is €15 (Late registration €20) and should be returned to The Carers Association, Springhill Clinic, Waterford Road, Kilkenny no later than Monday, April 21st. Forms can also be received by calling 056-7721424 or by logging on to A sponsorship card will be sent out to those who wish to raise much-needed funds for The Carers Association.

Choose to be a Yummy Mummy this Mother’s Day with Pink Lining baby changing bags

Butterslip Kilkenny offers new S/S14 range of changing bags for the yummiest of mummies

Step out in style with your new arrival this Mother’s Day with the newest and most-wanted baby accessory – the Pink Lining, Yummy Mummy baby changing bag.

Kilkenny’s leading destination gift store, Butterslip has a great selection of baby bags with the Spring/Summer range from Pink Lining now in stock.  Pink Lining release two collections a year, always eagerly anticipated by mums-to-be in particular!  This year’s new original prints all come with their signature, pretty, whimsical style, and shocking pink lining!

The latest spring prints include frolicking flamingos, classic owls, bounding deer and retro bicycles, all in the prettiest shades of pink, cream, grey and minty green.  As practical as they are pretty, Yummy Mummy bags all include a quality padded changing mat, wet pouch, insulated bottle pockets, nappy pockets, key fob, lipstick mirror, plus plenty of handy pockets for your keys/phone and personal items.  And as they are completely wipe cleanable inside and out, you can stay ahead of life’s daily dramas…

Pink Lining Yummy Mummy changing bags are an ideal gift for a new mum for Mother’s Day or a great gift for a mum-to-be in the near future.  With such gorgeous selection of pretty styles, the only problem is which to choose?

Butterslip Kilkenny is a one-stop-shop for all things pretty and practical for mums and babies with brands such as The Gro Company, Sophie the Giraffe and Daisy Roots infant shoes. Offering the latest trends in baby products and stunning gifts for new mums, Butterslip is the go-to destination store for all things pretty for you and your new arrival.

Butterslip and Truffle Fairy combine pretty and tasty in one magical location

The Butterslip, Kilkenny’s prettiest gift shop has added an exciting new line of luxury chocolate to their repertoire – The Truffle Fairy Chocolates have become the latest addition to the wonderful selection of goodies on offer.

The award winning Truffle Fairy from Thomastown, is well known is Kilkenny for their magnificent artisan chocolates and truffles. Set up in 2005 by local chocolatier Mary Teehan, The Truffle Fairy Chocolate Café and Production Kitchen, is a regular hotspot for chocolate lovers.

The delectable chocolates are currently available at the Farmer’s Market on the Parade in Kilkenny city on Thursdays, but now, city-based chocolate lovers will have the luxurious truffles available in The Butterslip, all week long!

Anne Barber of the Butterslip says, “I’m delighted to stock the Truffle Fairy in the shop as I’m a big fan myself! They are some of the finest chocolates available and they are locally made which is extra wonderful.”

The Butterslip Shop in Kilkenny is renowned for being packed with all things pretty! The perfect spot to pick up an unusual gift, the Truffle Fairy chocolates are a natural addition to the wonderful array of jewellery, sparkly bags, wooden toys and mother and baby products, which are constantly in demand.

With brands such as Nica Handbags, Pink Lining, E.Coudray Perfumes & Sophie the Giraffe, the Butterslip has gifts for all occasions.

See and for further information

Rathwood set for Ireland’s largest Easter Eggs-travaganza

Leading destination and activity store, Rathwood has launched Ireland’s largest Easter Extravaganza.  This is the second year, Rathwood will host its special Easter train event and due to its phenomenal popularity they have doubled the number of tickets available. Over 10,000 people are expected to visit Rathwood’s Easter train over the season which will run from April 12th to April 21st and tickets are on sale now.

Following the success of its ‘Santa Train’, which last year sold over 45,000 tickets, the family-run business has firmly established itself as Ireland’s leading venue for family activities. The Easter train will see children and adults hop on board the Rathwood express for a magical one hour experience.

Visitors will journey through the enchanted forest and help the Easter bunny on his quest for Easter eggs. Along the way, children will encounter a host of magical characters from much loved fairy tales including Humpty Dumpty. The magical train will pull into its final stop where children will be treated to a wonderful tea-party with the Mad Hatter and some of his other zany friends.

“We look forward to welcoming families from all over Ireland to our Easter Extravaganza, which we hope they will find to be egg-cellent! As a family business, it is so important to us that we help create lasting memories throughout important family holidays” said James Keogh, MD of Rathwood.

“This year we are celebrating 20 years in business and we are committed to offering a top class destination to visit for special times of the year. We are extremely proud to have reached this significant milestone and a lot has changed over the past couple of years but we have continued to adapt to the changing landscape”

Rathwood, an award-winning family business founded in 1994, is celebrating 20 years in business this year. Just 40 minutes from Dublin, Rathwood is a leading destination and activity store housing clothing boutiques for men, ladies and children, gifts and home-ware, hand crafted furniture, an extensive garden centre, a falconry attraction as well as its popular Rathwood train attraction. Visitors can also enjoy delicious dining at Rathwood Restaurant.

The Rathwood Easter Train will run from April 12th to April 21st and tickets cost €10.00 for children, €5.00 for adults and babies 0-12 months go free. Tickets are available now from

Forest shades are inspiration for new colour at Jerpoint Glass Studio

Although spring appears to be on the long finger this year, Jerpoint Glass Studio has not let the inclement weather conditions affect their brand new, spring-inspired collection of glass that has just become available this week.

The exceedingly talented team at Jerpoint have come up with a stunning new spring colour for their renowned glassware, entitled ‘forest’.

As the name would suggest the colour is inspired by the ‘the transformation in the trees from russet brown to lush green at this time of year, with bluebells in early spring and daffodils finally bounding forth signifying new beginnings.

The colours created include a mixture of speckled turquoise and green with a hint of citrus, which is applied by hand, in a band around each piece of glass individually.

Celebrating 35 years in business this year, Kathleen Leadbetter says, “We are fortunate to work in the heart of Kilkenny, with Mount Juliet on our doorstep and other woods such as Jenkinstown and Woodstock Gardens nearby. Each year, we witness first-hand, the countryside burst into colour and it is this dramatic transformation that has inspired our latest offering.”

“’Forest’, is the perfect reflection of the coming of spring complete with its bluebells, daffodils and emerald foliage,” she says.

Kathleen and her husband Keith who together founded Jerpoint Glass are responsible for creating the unique blends of colour that have become synonymous with Jerpoint Glass over the years. Today, the whole family is involved in the business, which has become a household name for reasons such as the popularity of their use of colour and their quirky designs.

Having recently established a new online store, Jerpoint has travelled far beyond the realms of home and is now supplying glassware to customers as far away a USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand

The new ‘forest’ collection is expected to be a big hit with local and overseas customers alike with the warm spring – summer tones enticing a contemporary clientele.

The new colour is now currently available online at and also in studio at Jerpoint in Stoneyford, Co Kilkenny, The Design Centre, Kilkenny, the Kilkenny Shop on Nassau Street, Dublin, McElwee’s, Dongloe and Quinlans in Macroom, Co Cork.

Don’t let coeliac disease quell your appetite – learn to cook gluten free at Kitchen in The Castle

[18/02/14]With Ireland having one of the highest prevalence’s of coeliac disease in the world, gluten free cooking has become more popular than ever in Irish society.

If you are tired of dried-up, shop-bought, gluten free bread, cakes and treats then the Kitchen in the Castle cookery school is your recipe to a tastier future.

Chef and proprietor of the Kitchen In The Castle Cookery School, Edwina St Lawrence has herself recently been diagnosed as coeliac and gluten-intolerant, inspiring her to develop exciting new gluten-free cookery courses at Howth Castle. Her students learn about delicious gluten free cooking during a four week intensive course on cooking without wheat, barley or rye

“It’s only since I was diagnosed myself as a coeliac that I have come to understand the culinary difficulties that people with a gluten intolerance have to endure on a daily basis. The gluten free options in many shops and restaurants are dull and unappetising and do not entice coeliacs to eat out,” she says.

“Myself and my colleague Eleanor Martin who has been cooking gluten-free for years as members of her family are coeliac, have devised a selection of sumptuous, gluten free recipes that will tempt the taste-buds of gluten and non-gluten loving diners, enabling gluten-intolerant people to feed themselves and their families from the one pot, which is often not an option for coeliacs.”

Edwina and Eleanor offer clever, gluten free substitutes along with advice on which gluten free flours are best to use in bread and which mixes best replicate that just-baked spongy freshness of home baking.

The Kitchen In The Castle four-week gluten free cooking course aims to illustrate how coeliacs can overcome the difficulties of cooking without gluten, across a wide range of dishes.

“Here at the Kitchen in the Castle we don’t believe in compromising on taste and if you are cooking for a coeliac or simply want to follow the trend and go gluten free, we are here to give you all the tools to successfully cook gluten free,” says Edwina.

And in case this all sounds like hard work the Gluten-Free Cookery course includes a sit-down dinner and glass of wine at the end of each class.

‘Gluten Free Baking’ takes place on Thursday 20th February from 7pm to 9:45pm. Cost: €65

The ‘Gluten Free 4 Week Course’ takes place from Monday 10th March from 7pm -9:45pm. Cost €240. *Due to St. Patrick’s Day, there won’t be a class on Monday 17th March but will resume the following Monday 24th and the series will end on Monday 7th of April.


Study finds carers of children with behavioural difficulties are at higher risk of depression – Carers Association

A recent report carried out by researchers at the Department of Psychology at the University of Limerick on carers raising children with developmental difficulties, has produced worrying results according to the Carers Association.

The report revealed that in carers of children with disorders such as autism, dyspraxia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, there was a 10% increased prevalence of clinical depression, compared to parents of typically developing children.

It was also revealed that some 15% of carers of children with disabilities who were surveyed as part of the 8, 500 children in the Growing Up in Ireland Survey, were classified as depressed but less than half of those were treated for their depression.

Stemming from this report and given the impact of caring on care-givers, experts have called on authorities to classify care-giving as a major public health concern.

Catherine Cox of the Carers Association supports this move and points out that carers are often so busy caring for others that they neglect their own physical and mental health.

“We would support the call to classify care-giving as a major public health concern as we are at the coal face on a daily basis and see first-hand the strain that our members are under. It is worrying but not surprising to note that while parents are suffering from depression many are not receiving the treatment that they require. This may be because of financial difficulties preventing them from attending a GP if they don’t have a medical card or simply because they feel guilty that they have to seek help as there is still stigma attached to mental health issues.

“These parents are constantly fighting for their childrens’ rights – from fighting for a diagnosis to fighting for early intervention, right through to primary and secondary school assistance. Once their child reaches 18 they have to fight for after-school services and day care centre support. One of the biggest and most worrying problems facing these parents is the lack of therapies available for their children such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language services. Many children are languishing on waiting lists for years, and those aged over 7 are at high risk of never receiving the supports. Is there any wonder that there is a higher rate of depression recorded in carers as their lives are a constant battle for services that they should be receiving automatically in many cases from the State,” says Ms Cox.

The report also found that the high rates of depression recorded in carers could be due to the need to control child behavioural problems in children with developmental difficulties with the health and well-being of the child also taking priority over the carers’ own. It was found that more problematic behaviours accounted for increased risk of depression.

“It is vital that interventions are found for the treatment of depression in these parents as evidence has shown that depressive symptoms may worsen over time. We have seen families recently losing home support for their children which is putting tremendous pressure and stress on already stressed parents and families. We point out also that if the carer’s health fails then the State will be faced with an even larger bill to look after both the carer and the person for whom they are caring. It is in everyone’s best interest to care for the carer and put in place systems that consider the carer’s mental and physical health needs as a priority,” says Ms Cox.

Family carers provide some 900,000 hours of care daily and save the State €4billion each year. Over 21% of family carers provide 43 hours of care per week. The Carers Association provides assistance and support to some 187,112 family carers across the country.

Chocolate Comfort with Neven Maguire & Flavoursome Fowl from Brian McDermott

Some chocolate comfort from ‘The Nations Favourite Food’ by Neven Maguire 

MacNean Chocolate Orange Truffles

This is on our Petits Fours section in the restaurant and we tend to change the flavour on a weekly basis, much to the delight of our customers. If you would like to experiment with different flavours, here is a selection that we serve in the restaurant. Try adding 2 tablespoons of Coole Swan Dairy Cream Liquer instead of the Cointreau or the same amount of Créme De Menthe also works well.

Makes about 35

You will need:

125ml (4 1/2fl oz) cream

finely grated rind of 1 orange

250g (9oz) plain chocolate, broken into squares (at least 70% cocoa solids)

125g (4 1/2oz) butter

4 tbsp Cointreau liqueur

For the coating:

225g (8oz) plain chocolate, broken into squares (at least 70% cocoa solids)

cocoa powder, for dusting

How to do it:

Place the cream and orange rind in a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, then whisk in the chocolate and butter until smooth and melted. Stir in the Cointreau and transfer to a bowl. Leave to cool completely, whisking every 20 minutes so that the butter is evenly distributed. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and chill for 2–3 hours, until set firm, stirring occasionally to present a skin from forming.

When the mixture is cold and set, use a melon baller to scoop it into 1.75cm (3/4in) balls. Make sure to dip the melon baller in hot water to give the chocolate mixture a better shape. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with non-stick parchment paper.

To make the coating, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave. Leave to cool a little, then dip the truffles in the melted chocolate and quickly roll in the cocoa powder. Place in the fridge to set.

To serve, arrange the truffles on a plate and hand around to guests while they are enjoying their coffee.

Neven’s Top Tip:

These truffles will keep well in the fridge for up to 1 week in an airtight container. They can also be frozen very successfully, but should always be left at room temperature to thaw out completely.

And … From Brian McDermott’s book ‘Reunite with Food’ – His Favourite Chicken Casserole

Chicken casseroles are delicious, easy, comforting and fabulous recipes to make ahead of time. This is a great meal to get people sitting together and chatting. I believe while we still all love roast chicken it is nice to have a change and this recipe does exactly that.  This is a very economical dish and will easily feed six people.

 Serves 4

You will need: 

1 Whole Chicken approx 1.5kg

50g Flour

2 Carrots

1 Onion

8 – 10 Mushrooms

2 Cloves Garlic crushed

400g Chopped Tomatoes

2 Tablespoons Tomato Puree

Olive Oil

100 ml Chicken Stock

100ml  Red Wine

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

4 Sprigs of Thyme

Fresh parsley


How to do it:


Preheat oven to 160°C. Dip chicken cuts into flour. Slice the onion, carrot, mushroom. Heat the pan with oil. Add the floured pieces of chicken and sear well then transfer chicken to casserole dish.Season with black pepper.

In the pan in which chicken was fried, add the onion, garlic, carrot, thyme, mushroom, and fry for 1 minute then add red wine and allow to reduce by half.

Now add tomatoes and tomato puree followed by the chicken stock.  Pour sauce in between the chicken pieces and not over the chicken as you want the skin to stay crisp.

Place in preheated oven for approx 50 minutes @ 160°C. Once cooked remove chicken pieces and leave to rest. In the casserole dish add chopped parsley.Garnish with sprig of thyme. Serve either plated or family style.

BRIAN’S TOP TIP: Serve with roasted potatoes & Add other vegetables like green beans and celery.



Blog 31st Jan 2014

Great performance yesterday by Edwina St Lawrence from the Kitchen in the Castle cookery school. Some great healthy options that you can view on the TV3 website.

Time is always tight on these cookery slots, and there is a lot of assembly and a little cooking. Edwina had gone for roast salmon with puy lentils and herbs for her main course and it looked scrumptious presented on a magnificent platter made by Bridge Pottery from Burnhurch, Co Kilkenny.

Preparation is the key to these slots. Edwina had rehearsed with Kitchen in the Castle colleague Eleanor Martin and they arrived at the studio will all of the ingredients ready to go. Then over to floor manager Derek who was a great help in laying it all out correctly before presenter Anna Daly arrived for their friendly chat.

Thank you to all at Ireland AM

Watch it here
John M