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Value for Money with Dearbhla Lennon

Monday, 28 September 2009

Each week we'll look at topical bargains, current offers and penny-wise prices.

As the recession has officially taken hold, people are no longer spending their dosh willy nilly! The people of Ireland are demanding value for their hard earned cash and are not content any longer to put up with overpricing and unnecessary overspend. In this strand we'll be looking at everything from supermarket deals to online steals, prices at the pumps and frugal fashion finds.

Who is the guest?

Dearbhla Lennon: there once was a deer hunter, now there's a bargain hunter.

Dearbhla is probably one of Ireland's best known dancers, having starred in four runs of "Celebrity Jigs N' Reels". Dearbhla Lennon began dancing at the tender age of two under the expert tuition of her mother, the legendary Móna Ní Rodaigh. She comes from a family steeped in traditional Irish music and dance, her entire family talented in one or other discipline.

Having achieved multiple accolades at regional, national and World Championship level, Dearbhla went on to represent Ireland at numerous International & Celtic Festivals throughout the world, from Galicia to Zambia and many in between, dancing for both dignitaries and underprivileged, Presidents and orphans.

Aged just 17, she was invited to join the original cast of Lord of the Dance, where she subsequently performed as principal dancer (in both female principal roles) for over five years, touring in such places as North/South America, Europe, The Middle East, South Africa and Australia. Her first principal role was opposite the renowned Michael Flatley.

Dearbhla debuted as principal female dancer with "Riverdance- the show" in 2005 and traveled extensively in this capacity, performing in theatres across the Far East, Europe and Egypt.

Dearbhla graduated with a first class honours degree in Journalism and Media Communications in 2004. She was also awarded "Student of the Year" at Griffith College Dublin. Later that year Dearbhla worked with Riverdance director John McColgan in his highly acclaimed production of the play 'The Shaughraun' for the Abbey Theatre Dublin. During her time at college, she worked as both a fashion model and dancing teacher, having obtained her TCRG exam in 2001.

She continues to teach dancing alongside her mother and sister Ciara; their school being one of the world's most successful- last year alone, they took home 17 Gold World Medals; the success continued this year with the schools highest ever medal count.

Some of the highlights of Dearbhla's dancing career include performing on The Academy Awards, performing for Prince Charles at The Royal Gala in The Royal Albert Hall, The opening of the 2003 Special Olympic Games (in front of an 80,000 strong live audience), The BBC Proms in the Park (where she performed as a soloist), winning RTE's 2007 'Celebrity Jigs N' Reels' with her partner Gavin O'Fearraigh and representing Ireland at the 2008 Eurovision Dance Contest.

After a brief period as a print journalist, having had a number of magazine cover stories, Dearbhla began working in television in 2005, both in front of and behind the camera. Currently working as a roving reporter for RTEs "The Afternoon Show" she has also recently been involved in an Irish language series for TG4 where she is being followed as she learns to play the concertina!

Her most recent project will air on TG4 in the Autumn where she takes the hot seat as a judge on An Jig Gig, an Irish Dance talent show.

One of Dearbhla's favourite pastimes, is hunting for bargains and she is a self-confessed value vixen!

Value for money 1

It suits you!

Discount supermarket, Lidl are bringing back Ireland's cheapest ever 2 piece suit this week with the return of their €27.99 men's suit. With times being tighter than ever, who can afford to go out and spend hundreds on a new tin of fruit, so be it a rare interview opportunity, a wedding or a funeral, this could just be the answer to your fashion woes.

Suits are on sale since yesterday (Sunday) and are expected to run out fast- so if you're in the market for a new suit, you might want to get in quick!

When you compare the price of this suit to Dunnes' cheapest suit (€60) and M & S' cheapest (€67) it's a pretty incredible deal! Prices correct as of 21/9/09.

Value for money 2

Music to VFM's (value for money.)Ears!

Ok, so if you missed all the big festivals this year, Electric Picnic, Oxygen, Cois Farraige etc but you still want to see some of those fabulous bands, well then take note. Maybe you're just suffering from withdrawal symptoms, and need a music fix- this is fantastic value for money.

Although not comparable in terms of scale etc, an Electric picnic ticket cost €240. The tickets for The Music Show are an incredible €12 and yet you get to see some of the top bands in Ireland and hear from all kinds of industry professionals. In its 2nd year, The Music Show are really encouraging families to come out this year with a family ticket for 2 adults and up to four children for just €28 if you book online (€33 if you pay at the door)

Billed on Ticketmaster's website as:

"The Music Show is Ireland's ultimate music event. An Access All Areas event, the Music Show features Ireland's Biggest Music Exhibition: The latest technology, the classiest equipment, the best studios, music schools, fun and much more
The Live Stage: Featuring Ireland's hottest acts and international virtuoso musicians

Seminars & Workshops: The leading lights of the Music Industry both nationally and internationally come to the RDS to educate, debate & illuminate.

The Music Show presented by Hot Press in association with RTÉ 2fm runs from October 3rd-4th in The RDS, Dublin. Saturday 3rd October 10 am - 6.30 pm, Sunday 4th October 11 am - 6 pm.

Daily Tickets in advance are €6 for children, €12 for adults and €28 for Families (2 adults + up to 4 children) and are available on Ticketmaster now. Weekend tickets are also available

Presented by Hot Press, The Music Show promises a feast of live bands, all the latest musical instruments, equipment and accessories, workshops, seminars, and of course, great music.

On THE LIVE STAGE this year:



Special Guest: SHARON CORR

Plus: the first ever live performance by VENGEANCE AND THE PANTHER QUEEN (Featuring Tara McCormack, Darach O Laoighre as well as Mik Pyro, Benjamin Loose & Andres Antunes from Republic of Loose).

Plus loads more top Irish acts to be announced!
EXPERIENCE THE MUSIC all under one roof:
Check out all the latest instruments, equipment & technology!
Plus Panels, Debates, Public Interviews and Masterclasses with the top Irish and international experts including: -

* Glen Hansard
* David Arnold (James Bond composer)
* Jim Kerr (Simple Minds)
* May Kay (Fight Like Apes)
* Christy Moore
* Nick Seymour (Crowded House)
* Gemma Hayes
* Paul Brady
* Jim Sheridan
* Andrew Ferris (Smalltown America)
* Vince Power (Promotor)
* Nick Angel (Ex-Island Records A&R, music supervisor)
* John Kennedy (CEO, IFPI)
* Shane O'Neill (Snr VP, Liberty Global)
* Rick O'Shea (RTE 2FM)
* Noel Hogan (The Cranberries)
* Camille O'Sullivan
* Luka Bloom
* Paul Brady
* Conor O'Mahony (Warner Music UK)
* Noel McHale (MCD)
* Steve Strange (Agent to Eminem, Robbie Williams, Coldplay)
* Ruth-Anne Cunningham (songwriter for Pixie Lott)
* Hector O hEochagain (iRadio)
* James Hyland
* John Carney (Director, Once)
* Philip King
* Dermot McEvoy (Late Late Show music supervisor)
* BP Fallon
* James Morris (Irish Film Bord)
* Barry Devlin (Horslips)
* Nicky Ryan (Producer, Enya)
* Stephen Rennicks
* Steve Iredale (Live production Led Zeppelin)
* Bill Whelan
* Stephen Shannon (Halfset)
* R.S.A.G.
* John Reynolds (Music producer & manager)

Guitar legend JOHNNY FEAN (Horslips)
Drum Workshop with CONOR GUILFOYLE

Exciting stands and displays including all the latest musical instruments, equipment and accessories, state of the art computer technology, sound systems, studios, home entertainment and more.

A whole host of events and activities for music fans, musicians and music professionals.

Whether you're a fan with a large vinyl collection, a musician who wants to work with the best back-line, or you simply like quality music, The Music Show is for you."


Opening Times:
Saturday 3 October 2009 10:00 - 18:30

Sunday 4 October 2009 11:00 - 18:00

Check out for further details and ticket information

Value for Money 3:

Small towns- "Doin' it for themselves"!

A. Clonmel, Co. Tipperary
Calling all 'fashion enthusiasts': make a date in your diary this October for Clonmel Style Festival!

Clonmel style PR, Valerie says:

"Taking place from the 6th to the 15th of October, this event will be hosted by the Clonmel Chamber of Commerce along with well-known retail and style consultant Eddie Shanahan. With host of enterprising and energetic retail and service providers from the South Tipp' town, Clonmel are encouraging you to 'Consider Us First'.

The economic downturn has affected each and every corner of Irish life over the past 12 months, with research reporting retail sales down significantly (5.5% if excluding motor sales) since the same period in 2008, and towns and cities across the country are now competing heavily with each other for business.

Never ones to run from a challenge, the innovative and energetic business people of South Tipperary's county town have come together to take-on the competition now facing them to launch the premier offering from 'Brand Clonmel' which is Clonmel Style Festival.

. For the beauty and makeover events on 6th and 15th we are giving guests the option to buy products with €20 off - (ie the cost of your ticket). You also receive free consultations at these events such as bra measurements, makeup advice and style consultation.
. We are also offering entry to the three events for €70 instead if €80.
. Participating clothes stores are giving 10% discount.
. Participating pharmacies are giving special offers such as 'Buy 2, get one free'. They are having a makeup artist in store for free consultations. They are also offering 'Free gift with purchase.'
. Beauty salons are giving a complimentary treatment such as a facial or Indian head massage with any treatment and also 'Bring a friend for free on the same day for the same treatment'. (Every salon has their own offer)
. Margaret Doyle, style consultant is giving a complimentary hour shopping trip with a one hour style consultation."

B. Monaghan town
Check out

Mandy Muldoon from Taste of Monaghan says:
"The Taste of Monaghan promotion is about Food and Fun.

Kicking off with an event packed Launch Festival on 1st October; Taste of Monaghan is a show case for local producers and restaurateurs to display their products and to enable friends and families to enjoy good food and an excellent dining experience in Monaghan at special promotional prices.

Participating restaurants are offering two course meals (the courses of your choice) at a special promotional price of €12.00 or less from Monday to Thursday for October and November. This special promotional menu will run alongside the restaurant's regular menu so as to extend your choice and suit everyone's taste.

"Taste of Monaghan" is an ongoing promotion and is being launched with a special Taste of Monaghan Festival from Thursday 1st October through to Sunday 4th October.
The Festival will bring fun - and a few challenges - to all the Family"

Value for Money 4:

Beauty Bargains - It's a new season so maybe its time to give yourself a mini makeover

Ladies do you have a make up bag full of half used lipsticks/glosses. Are you sick of buying the latest colours only to find that they don not suit you well, how is this for a fix to all those problems, seven shades of lip-gloss in one container.

AVON SpectraColour Lipstick.
The revolutionary design offers women seven lipsticks in one with a dial mechanism that controlsthe lip colour dispensed. It's the smarter way to shop, taking your look from demure to dramatic, with no need to buy multiple products.

SpectraColour Lipstick is available in six colour palettes (The Pinks, The Roses, The Nudes, The Lilacs, The Wines and The Browns) each containing seven shades.

SpectraColour Lipstick can re-create all the trends seen on the catwalk this season from 'crazy colour' to subtle 'English rose.' Now you can get a light and a dark version of your favourite colour in one low cost product, just twist the dial and slick-on the shine. Formulated with Vitamins A, C and E, this lightweight, high-shine formula delivers beautiful colour that lasts.

Avon products are available from a network of independent Avon sales representatives all over the country.
To find your nearest one or to see a brochure please call 01 8706540 or visit


Peter Mark
This is one the guys can avail of also. Peter Mark stores Nationwide are offering 20% off all hairdressing nationwide. They also have some other great savings like: €30 off selected ghd's, €5 off all Redken products and 20% off Kerastase products. So you don't have to spend a fortune to look fabulous. Whether it is a treatment, highlights, cut or colour, there's 20% off all services in Peter Mark salons nationwide. Just pop into your nearest salon for a free consultation from the fantastic team of hair stylists.


Toni and Guy
And Toni and Guy are also offering a 20% reduction on your next appointment. You simply ring, make an appointment and ask about their new loyalty card system that has been introduced. Whether you are an existing customer or yet to be customer, you can avail of the card's 20% discount as soon as you make an appointment.

These are the stores offering the 20% loyalty card:

Toni&Guy Limerick
Toni&Guy Galway
Toni&Guy Cork
Toni&Guy Naas
Toni&Guy Waterford
Toni&Guy Malahide
Toni&Guy, Dame Street, Dublin
Toni&Guy, Clarendon Street Dublin / Metro Medi Spa - one stop shop for all hair and beauty under one roof


Value for Money 5:

10 point SIMI Safe Car Check

Running until the end of October all SIMI (The Society of the Irish Motor Industry) member garages are taking part in their Safe Car Campaign which offers consumers a 10-point visual check, free of charge. The main aim of the campaign is to highlight the importance and benefits of regular vehicle servicing, to promote safe driving and awareness of the importance of vehicle maintenance.

As part of the Safe Car Campaign 2009, all motorists can benefit from this free Safe Car Check scheme at participating SIMI garages. SIMI is offering all motorists a free 10 point check at participating SIMI garages. The check identifies any potential problems that may exist in the main safety features of the customer's car. A full list and map of participating garages can be found on (click on the Campaign ad on the homepage)

In cost-conscious times, there can be a temptation for people to postpone their vehicle's annual service, however, this may cost you significantly in the long run and ultimately be dangerous for you, your passengers and other road users.

The 10 point free check includes:

1. Wheels
2. Tyre condition & measurements
3. Brakes
4. Suspension
5. Steering
6. Levels
7. Interior controls
8. Lights
9. Exhaust system
10. Glass

Participating SIMI member garages will offer this check without any obligation to the customer.

An appointment for this free check may be necessary please check out to find your nearest participating garage.