Niall Tyrrell, formerly one half of the hugely popular Tyrrell & Brennan couture fashion label, is now running his own label after his former business partner, Donald Brennan, retired and moved back to the UK for family reasons.
Like Philip Treacy, Niall is another fashion genius to put the quiet, east Galway village of Ahrascragh on the fashion map. Niall's loyal following of fans have always appreciated the distinctive signature handwriting in the Tyrrell & Brennan designs and nothing has changed.
In his AW14 collection, Niall merges a 1950s-inspired silhouette with a modern sensibility and quality fabrics which he is known for. This cocoon-style, grape coloured wool cashmere coat costs €1,290 and the collection also includes wool cashmere and angora mixes in long, fitted and oversize coats.
Expect to be surprised by his lace ponchos, kimono-inspired tops in jersey and silk and basque-style belts.
BUY: See the full collection at nialltyrrell.com
Fun fact: when The Nutcracker first premiered in 1897, it was deemed to be a failure by both the public and critics and composer Tchaikovsky died under a year later without ever knowing how beloved the ballet and his score would become.
These days it's considered as Christmassy as mince pies and mistletoe, especially Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy. Catch this classic today, presented by Cork City Ballet, with internationally renowned prima ballerina Erina Takahashi playing the Sugar Plum Fairy. There is a matinée at 2.30pm and another performance at 8pm.
BOOK: Tickets are priced from €25 at corkoperahouse.ie
Late November can be a fairly dull time of year so hurrah for the arrival of Christmas markets around the country. What better way to buy your Christmas presents without the stress of over-crowded shopping centres?
Some 650,000 people are expected to sample the delights of Galway's Continental Christmas market, which has just opened in Eyre Square and runs until December 22. There's plenty to like, from crafty presents to choirs and carollers, and the German Bierkeller with its wide range of traditional German beers.
Must-visit stalls include Unique Oak, which boasts hand-made woodcrafts and Elf On A Shelf, the children's book that's establishing itself as a new Christmas tradition for future generations.
Visit: Thursday to Sunday from 10am to 10pm, and Monday to Wednesday from 12 noon to 8pm.
Why hello Russell Crowe! After sell-out performances at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Gladiator Live arrives in the Dublin next weekend. Admirers of the New Zealand actor and fans of Ridley Scott's Oscar-winning film can experience Gladiator in HD on an enormous 40-foot screen, while the score is brought to life by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and guest vocalists.
It promises to be a spectacle and a thrilling way to remind yourself of the noble Maximus (Crowe), the nasty Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) and what an epic movie Gladiator is.
BOOK: Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 November. Tickets are priced from €20 (restricted view) to €59.50 at bordgaisenergytheatre.ie
A trip to Listowel is always a welcome thing and when it involves family fun and food, even better. The Listowel Food Fair, celebrating its 20th anniversary and ending tomorrow, has established itself as a premier food event on the national foodie calendar. This year, the fair features an expanded range of workshops and talks to celebrate it's second decade of delicious existence. Today's events include a Cookarama kids baking workshop throughout the day for children aged six to 12, as well as a vegetarian workshop, a cake decorating demonstration, coeliac information and a cooking advice seminar.
Tomorrow: The fun in the village continues with a craft fair taking place in the Listowel Arms Hotel. Drop in to scoop up some bespoke Christmas pressies - or just to walk off today's gastronomic excesses! For details, see listowelfoodfair.ie
For a pre-Christmas detox with a difference, take yourself to Waterford for a stay in the Cliff House Hotel. Located in the idyllic village of Ardmore, the view of the ocean from the balcony is enough to calm the soul in itself.
For those in need of more thorough detoxing of body and mind, the Cliff House is offering a special yoga retreat on Sunday November 30 and Monday December 1. The two-night package includes three days of yoga sessions with resident instructor Sarah Coleman.
Enjoy energising hatha in the mornings and calming yoga nidra in the evenings. There's two lunches and dinners included, as well as a ready supply of fruit and herbal teas.
BOOK: From €455pp at thecliffhousehotel.com
The temptation to fire off some emails - or even text messages - instead of sending actual Christmas cards can be mighty. If you're on the look-out for slightly tongue-in-cheek season's greetings, Irish designer Kerry Lyons' creations will have you digging out your address book and putting pen to card immediately. Proclaiming: "Merry: The most important word at Christmas" and designed to bring to mind a festive glass of wine, these cards are not only fun and festive, they are eco-friendly too. Other messages available include "Merry Kissmas" and "Naughty/Nice". There are some very sweet family-friendly options, too.
BUY: A pack of eight cards costs €17.50 at kerrylyons.com
Christmas is a time for cake, pudding and selection boxes, all of which require cup after cup of tea. To celebrate Ireland's favourite tipple, Barry's Tea has created a limited edition tin of its Master Blend.
Mixed in Cork by the high priest of tea, Denis Daly, the teabags contain a blend of leaves from Kenya, Rwanda and the Assam Valley - all of which create the perfect taste of home. Pop the sturdy tin, containing 50 teabags, in the post to give a taste of an Irish Christmas to loved ones abroad.
BUY: The Barry's Master Blend Tin is available from Dunnes Stores and SuperValu nationwide, priced €5.95