This month’s theme is Lost and we’re delighted to welcome Fiona Barry from Anew Support Services to speak on this theme. Anew is a specialist organisation working specifically with pregnant women and new mothers who are experiencing or have recently experienced homelessness.

Our wonderful sponsor, The Tara Building, has been working with Anew since 2018. This month’s theme, along with the shortlisting of Anew for a Charity Impact Award seemed like the perfect opportunity to invite Fiona to speak. 

Fiona has worked in the social care sector for nearly 30 years and has had a senior role in a number of large homeless organisations. Fiona has a huge amount of drive and wants to deliver responsive services to the people who need it most, and works to ensure people who are experiencing homelessness exit it and return to education and employment as quickly as possible. This is what Anew strives to do with the women who find themselves in need of additional support.

Our own Michelle O’Connor wrote & co-produced the following video with David Laurence for Anew to showcase the amazing work they do. The video was animated by long-time CM_Dub supporter, Guy with Red Beard Motion. Then, Tara Building Alumnus Clare Dunne provided the voice over.

If you get a chance, please cast a vote for Anew in the Charity Impact Awards, as this award will allow Anew to continue their great work while they are often overlooked by some of the larger, more high profile organisations. 

Meet our speakers: Michael Bosonnet

Michael spoke as part of our #CMCommunity event in August, and before he took to the floor, Michelle spoke to him about what ‘community’ means to him. Michael is a member of the Tara Building, and has found that community to be hugely accessible.

Michael has a business background but works in a creative way and has found that the creative scene in Dublin, while it is exciting, isn’t always entirely accessible. However, since joining the Tara Building, he has met all types of creatives: photographers, journalists, editors, stylists and music video directors.

He has attended most CreativeMornings in The Tara Building and really enjoys them. In particular, he loved Jennie McGinn’s talk for #CMPioneer in November 2017. In that, Jennie spoke about the foundation and fall of Opsh, and how their failure led them to new directions.

Michael will be speaking in The Tara Building, as part of Culture Night 2018, where he will discuss the use of data in business and creativity. He will talk about his experience of using data and human decision making with the understanding that combining the two is powerful, which is where his RADAR method comes in.

Find out more about Culture Night at The Tara Building here, and about Michael here.

Meet our speakers: Colette Henry.

Colette spoke as part of our #CMCommunity event in August, and before she took to the stage for her 2 minutes, she spoke to Michelle about what community means to her. Colette is a member of a few different communities, and one she set up herself is the ‘Kinder to Earth’ Facebook group that she runs in order to build awareness as to how we can be kinder to the earth.

‘It’s a community because we share ideas, innovations from companies that are doing well, and we support each others’ posts. I moderate it and encourage others to share, but I also know that there are many people who enjoy the updates and have made changes but don’t share posts or engage.’

Needless to say, World Clean-up Day is something that Colette is very passionate about. ‘It is most certainly a community experience - we are cleaning our community, then we sit and chat and have a quick drink together. It brings people together…’

Colette has been an avid attendee of CreativeMornings since March, and has also been a member of The Tara Building since she attended #CMCourage with Nick Kelly.

She said: ‘A friend invited me along to the event, and I had known Nick Kelly but hadn’t seen him since moving back from London, so I wanted to see him. I was also finishing up a full-time job and beginning to look at co-working spaces in Dublin and Tara was on my list to see. I was the 4th person to get a ticket on that Monday morning when they were released! I never actually even looked at other co-working spaces!’

Colette is a face regularly seen at CreativeMornings now, and it’s because she likes the vibe of the events. ‘I love to see people meeting up with friends they didn’t know were coming, to be introduced to new friends or randomly bumping into someone as they are queuing for coffee.’

For Colette, CM is all about the community: ‘The speakers are important, of course, but I think the most important thing is the sense of community and support.’

World Clean Up Day is happening on September 15 and everyone is welcome, you can see the event here:

Elizabeth Moen was our musician for #CMCommunity, and Specky Scribbler sat down with her for a coffee and some chats about creativity and community.


I got the opportunity to sit down and speak with Elizabeth Moen before she took to the floor for August’s CreativeMornings. We sat down and discussed all things creativity. From Iowa City, Elizabeth never had ideas of becoming a singer-songwriter, and only wrote her first song during her junior year of college.

Then, the songs just poured out of her and she could not stop. Elizabeth said that she was surprised when she wrote something, about how open she was with her lyrics. It was in writing that she was her most honest, with herself and with others.

While in Iowa City, she was hanging around with writers, going to parties that were full of writers, musicians and artists. They all encouraged her to continue doing what she was doing, and when she came to Dublin first, she felt even more encouraged.

The music scene is Dublin, and Ireland as a whole, is very vibrant. There are small, intimate gigs taking part on a nightly basis, and open mic nights where everyone is encouraged to attend, with no obligation to take part.

Elizabeth was in Dublin for a month, and she said that every night she played music, or watched other people. It’s what she loves about playing in Ireland: everyone is supportive. If they’re not playing, they’ll come and watch you play. Elizabeth says it’s a really nice thing, that everyone is working incredibly hard as artists, but still remains supportive of other artists.

Elizabeth’s booking agent for Ireland, Laura, asked Elizabeth if she’d be willing to play at CreativeMornings, and told her it was just a really good environment. As someone who is heavily involved in CreativeMornings, I feel it’s a really supportive space. Hearing others say that the events are supportive and the audience appreciative is wonderful.

It’s exactly what CreativeMornings strives to be, and is why we are up to the members of the community for the theme of Community. Dublin made Elizabeth go for it with her music, and the support she received here is something she has thoroughly enjoyed.

For Elizabeth, music is everything. When she’s not touring, she lives out of her car. Everything she owned she gave away, sold or is in her car. She has no steady place to live and nothing holding her back, which she finds liberating.

Having no ties to any one place has enabled you to come to Ireland and tour for a month, before embarking on a 3 and a half month tour of the United States.

Her latest LP, A Million Miles Away, was released on September 1 and can be streamed on Spotify. Attendees got the opportunity to listen to it before it was released online, and it was powerful, powerful stuff. Give it a listen and see what you think, you won’t regret it. 

CreativeMornings/Dublin open every event with live music from local artists. This month, Dowry will be performing ahead of Briony Somers.

Michelle from Specky Scribbler sat down with the voice behind Dowry, Éna Brennan to discuss all things creative in Dublin (and beyond).

How did you get the gig to perform at CM?

I was recommended to the host by a mutual friend of ours, Robbie Blake, of Tonnta. He suggested to Aiden that I might be a good performer and so then Aiden sent me a brief email and asked if I’d be interested.

I definitely was, and the context of the event made me even more interested. I’d heard about CM, more so the international branches, but I’d heard about them and I liked the sound of them and then watching the archive I saw how engaged people are.

Then when I was asked to perform, I like having to think about the ways in which my music links in with the theme of the event: intention.

My music is going to open up the conversation in the room and I like that. It’s something I’m really looking forward to.

How do you find the creative scene in Dublin?

I got involved in the creative scene/industry in Ireland initially through my social circles in university. Then I got involved in playing with bands, and with people who were in bands. So I initially started in the scene as a performer and then I began to appreciate performances based on participation.

What I love about it is that it’s so supportive. We all go to each other’s shows. We all collaborate with each other. Some people are in 5 bands. It’s also the collaboration between visual artists and musicians.

What are you most excited about for Friday?

The engagement. I’ve chosen music that fits the topic and the event is a very focused one. You can be dynamic as a musician, and adapt to the audience. From watching videos of past events I saw that the audience are respectful and engaged.

I’ll play music to fit a theme, a topic. It gets into the nitty gritty of that topic and it’s a more considered approach to other gigs. I’ve had to think about how I open up the theme of the event, the conversation.

I’m mixing instrumental pieces and pieces with lyrics because as literal as some lyrics are, there is a tranquility in non-linguistic pieces of music. They are evocative in different ways for different people without being imposing.

I’m just excited to get involved.

June’s theme is Craft, and ahead of our event on 29th June, our resident blogger, Specky Scribbler, met with our speaker, Gerry Scullion, to have lunch and pick his brains.

Gerry Scullion is only recently back in Dublin. He’s been back just over 2 months, after spending 12 years in Australia. He set up Humana Design down under, where he offered his human-centred design services to everyone and anyone who wanted them.

I’ll admit that when I heard that Gerry was a ‘human-centred designer’, I thought he coded things for humans. Like artificial intelligence or robots, or something like that. I guess human-centred design could include these things, but it also is a lot more.

When I spoke to Gerry, I had ideas in mind about what I’d ask him. How he came to be a human-centred designer, how he found CreativeMornings, what he thought about the creative community in Dublin. I basically asked him one or two questions and the rest of the time we talked about design, society and what we do.

Human-centred design is design that has people as its focus. Gerry said that being in a cafe was the perfect example of human-focused design. The services offered in a cafe are designed with people in mind, because people need to know how to react and interact with the different aspects of the cafe. That’s what he does. He works everyone involved projects to design a service for people in the way they need it.

This is human-centred design. It’s taking into account how every single human being interacts with the things that are around them. It’s the consideration of the complexities of human perspective into problem-solving.

The other thing I wanted to know, was what Gerry thought of the creative scene in Dublin at present, having left years ago.

He said that he would not have come back to the same Ireland he left, because he wouldn’t want to. He came back to Ireland because he saw potential in it, to become something great. He has been to design conferences here in recent years and he believes that design thinking in Ireland is onto something new.

Given that he’s only been living here for around 8 weeks, he hasn’t fully immersed himself into the creative sphere in Dublin. CreativeMornings is a good start, and his talk is sure to be a good one!

Andrea Horan is a powerhouse. She’s the CEO of Tropical Popical, and founder of The Hunreal Issues, and our speaker for #CMGame

The Hunreal Issues came about after the 2015 referendum when Andrea wanted to engage women in politics in a way that appealed to her and her friends. She wanted to engage and educate them in a fun way, and The Hunreal Issues is perhaps most famous for Maser’s Repeal the 8th mural on the wall of the Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar.

So, Specky Scribbler spoke with Andrea to ask her about the power of art in politics, and how the creative scene in Dublin helps promote human rights.

Given that the past 2 weeks saw the both the reemergence and removal of Maser’s mural, it seemed fitting to ask Andrea what she thought that meant for the repeal movement.

‘I think it’s a positive thing. The amount of media that were present at the removal was huge. We had TV channels, newspaper journalists, loads of people recording for social media. There’s so much coverage had now, that it’s bringing awareness to it.’

For Andrea, art was a really powerful platform for political engagement,

‘Art provides a platform for people who don’t have a voice. Everyone engages in a different way, and some people engage with art. For others, art is an extra platform, a platform that’s visual. Art is playing a key role in getting the message out there - more people are buying and wearing t-shirts, they’re mobilised and galvanised, all because of art - a mural on a wall.’

For Andrea, she only has one game in mind: spending the next 4.5 weeks to get the issue of women’s rights in people’s minds and pushing for the repeal of the 8th amendment.

Specky Scribbler wants to introduce you to: Fiona Ni Bhroin, our valued member. 

Fiona Ni Bhroin was our live illustrator for a number of the CreativeMornings/Dublin events.

Fiona runs FioFioDesigns as an artist, illustrator and graphic designer. She’s always been a creative person: drawing, painting, designing, writing stories, recording music, taking photos, baking, sewing. Pretty much everything that has to do with making something.

Fiona is, once again a member of The Tara Building, and she wanted to try out live illustration or graphic recording. However, she did find that she preferred to take her time and so the illustrations were only finished the next week.

This because Fiona believes in the ‘do what you love’ idea and it allows her to jump from project to project, because she loves them all, and doesn’t like to define what it is that she does.

Fiona loves the events and also loves the sense of community and meeting other like minded people. Her creativity has grown since becoming involved in the community.

Her favourite speaker? Caroline Foran’s take on #CMGenius, when she outlined her life with anxiety.

It’s my turn now. This is Specky Scribbler writing. Or, as I like to be called offline: Michelle.

I’m a full time freelance copywriter. This means that I tell and sell the story of your business. I specialise in content for online, ranging from social media posts, blogs and website pages. I first joined The Tara Building in April 2017, when I decided to bite the bullet and work for myself.

That’s how I found out about CreativeMornings, when in June I found out that Will St Leger was giving a talk and I had to go.

For the next event, Aiden needed someone to live tweet it, and I agreed. I didn’t think it would lead to me being the head of social and resident blogger for CM/Dublin, but here I am.

I love being involved in CreativeMornings/Dublin. I think the events are great for people in the creative world in Dublin, and are definitely needed. Apart from getting great coffee and breakfast while listening to wonderful people speak, the events are great for getting to know people in the creative industry.

My favourite speaker was Will St Leger, I left his speech moved to tears and wished I could experience it again.

My favourite musicians were Pine the Pilcrow. Their music was the perfect accompaniment to Donal Moloney’s talk about Death; completely melodic, haunting and relaxing.

If you want, you can follow me:

CreativeMornings/Dublin is run by Aiden McGale, who spends a lot of time working behind the scenes to ensure everything runs smoothly for each event. Now it’s his time to shine in this interview with our resident blogger, Specky Scribbler.


Aiden not only hosts CM/Dublin, but he also runs a boutique recruitment agency called Affinity Recruitment. This agency headhunts designers for companies in Ireland, and all over Europe.

In June 2017, Aiden took over CreativeMornings/Dublin from Brian Colhoun. He now curates and hosts each event with, as he says, ‘lots of help from an amazing bunch of people who give up their time and skills every month’.

Aiden feels he has big boots to fill because Brian not only ran the events for a few yeats, but he was the one who brought CreativeMornings to Dublin in the first place! Even still, Aiden jumped in when he heard that Brian was looking for something to take over from him!

The reasons Aiden did this were twofold:

‘I love the concept and CreativeMornings felt different to other meetups happening around town. … I work with designers everyday and wanted to be more actively involved in the creative community in Dublin, and having just moved my business into the Tara Building, it felt like the right timing and perfect home for CreativeMornings/Dublin.’

Given that Aiden is behind choosing the speakers for each event, it’s incredibly difficult for him to choose his favourite. He did it, though! 

His favourite speaker was Will St Leger, someone who has committed his life to art and activism and because, ‘his talk is something that has stuck with me, not least because he did the whole thing without any notes!’

Aiden also introduced music to the events this year, and his favourite musician was actually the first musician he’d had, Jackie Hennessy.

‘It was the first time we’d opened an event with music, The Tara Building was flooded with morning sunshine and Jackie’s beautiful voice just filled up the room’.

It was this that lead CreativeMornings/Dublin to having musicians open the events ever since.