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Pulling power of the black stuff as Storehouse welcomes 1m visitors

GUINNESS Storehouse welcomed 1,025,677 visitors through its doors last year, retaining its position as Ireland's top international visitor attraction.

"Over the past number of years, the Irish tourism industry has been under severe pressure and we are proud to have played a part in enticing overseas visitors to Ireland and encouraging domestic visits too," said managing director Paul Carty.

Audiences will be treated to the spectacular drumming extravaganza that is Kodo, otherwise known as the world's most notable Japanese drum ensemble. Celebrating 30 years, Kodo make a welcome return to the National Concert Hall, Dublin, on February 11 and Sunday, February 12 at 8pm as part of their One Earth Tour.

'The War of Independence: Four glorious years or squalid sectarian conflict?' will be the topic of the History Ireland hedge school in association with the National Library, Kildare Street, Dublin which takes place on Wednesday at 7pm.

UNICEF Ireland has launched an appeal to assist families affected by the tropical storm that unleashed devastating flash floods on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines.

The appeal will support Unicef's response in the areas of water and sanitation, health and nutrition, education and child protection. Just €64 will provide 18 blankets to give children warmth and reassurance whilst displaced. A gift of €45 can provide 10,000 water purification tablets, each able to turn dirty water into safe drinking water.

Donations can be made online at www.unicef.ie.

Emirates, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, will launch its new Dublin route tomorrow.

It is the third new route to be added to Emirates' flight network in the opening days of 2012.

Sunday Independent