The Dublin Horse Show Hotel

The Dublin Horse Show And 9 Other Hidden Attractions

During a recent visit to the United Kingdom I brought up The Dublin Horse Show with a group of people and was shocked to discover that most of them had never heard of it. I assumed it had the same notoriety as the likes of The Cheltenham Festival or The Antree Grand National. It inspired me to take a step back and look at Dublin through the eyes of a stranger. What would I love to see again for the first time?

1. The Dublin Horse Show

The Dublin Hrse Show Hidden Dublin Attractions

Equestrian Perfection

What blew me away about the Dublin Horse Show on my first visit was the atmosphere of joy in the air. I was walking towards the RDS with a friend and everyone was immaculately dressed and there was a big smile on every face. It was not like the anticipation you feel before a normal sporting event of anticipating the spectacle and competition. At The Dublin Horse Show there is a feeling that the people are just as much the event as the horses. It is the smiles, the conversations as well as the wonderful show jumping which truly makes this a unique Dublin event.

2. Deer Park Summit, Howth

Deer Park Dublin Hidden Attraction

View From Deer Park

Nothing prepared me for the view of Dublin Bay after I reached the summit behind Deer Park Golf Club. But half the adventure was in reaching the summit as it is secluded and hidden behind the golf course. I did not think it could be accessed until a fellow Dubliner told me about this secret gem. If I was a tourist in Dublin this would be my first port of call.

3. The Yeats Exhibition, The National Library of Ireland

The W.B Yeats Exhibition Hidden Dublin Attractions

The W.B Yeats Exhibition

When I first heard of the W.B Yeats Exhibition and how these ancient masterpieces were presented using modern technology, I was skeptical to say the least. But the exhibition blew me away. It brought Yeats’ background and up-bringing to life and made his works more accessible to a wider audience.

4. Arbor Hill Cemetery

Arbor Hill Cemetery Dublin Hidden Attractions

The Arbor Hill Memorial

Here lies a true piece of Irish history and and a true hidden gem in the nation’s capital. This is truly for the history buff as both British and Irish military personnel are buried here and the fact that it is located beside a prison adds to the adventure.

5. Blessington Basin, The Secret Garden

Blessington Basin Hidden Dublin Attractions

Inside The Garden

It is entirely possible that this hidden garden provided Frances Burnett with the inspiration for her classic children’s book, The Secret Garden, it certainly moved me. It is rare to find such a tranquil and picturesque place in the middle of a capital city, yet this is exactly what the Blessington Basin provides.

6. The Viking Theatre

The Viking Theatre Hidden Dublin Attractions

The Secret Theatre

No this is not just another Dublin pub, it is a theatre located in a Dublin pub. I was truly shocked when I discovered this theatre as I grew up in this area and had even been in this pub! This is for those who love amateur and engaging theater or just for those seeking something out of the norm and a truly unforgettable experience.

7. The Sporting Emporium Casino

The Sporting Emporium Casino Hidden Dublin Attractions

On The Casino Floor

This is literally a hidden Dublin attraction as it is located down a lane-way in the south of the city centre. It is not quite Vegas but the atmosphere is always exciting and everyone there including the staff are friendly.

8. The Seamus Ennis Cultural Centre

The Seamus Ennis Cultural Centre Dublin Hidden Attractions

The Seamus Ennis Cultural Centre

I am unsure which word best describes this Dublin attraction, perhaps museum, restaurant  or even homage. All three of these terms could be used. This building is a tribute to the famed Irish musician Seamus Ennis, it is a traditional Irish house that serves excellent traditional Irish food. Why go to a boring everyday restaurant when visiting Dublin, when you could come here.

9. Punchestown Race Course

punchestown race course hidden dublin attractions

Horses Galloping In Full Flight

Yes horses have made the list for the second time. Horse racing and show jumping form a huge part of Irish sporting culture and no place is this more evident than in the faces of the excited fans at the Punchestown Race Course. There are at least two events each month with the summer events being the most exciting.

10. The Padraig Pearce Museum

The Padraig Pearce Museum Hidden Dublin Attractions

The Bust of Pearce Facing The Museum

Pearce is believed by some to be the founder of the Irish Republic we know today. For any history buff or even sociologist the works and beliefs of Padraig Pearce are worth analysing. The grounds of the museum are magnificent and always peaceful.

If you have visited Dublin or are a native (born bred and buttered as the Dubs say) please let us know your own secret Dublin gems.

Aristotle and Alexander The Great

4 Digital Marketing and Strategy Lessons From Alexander The Great & Aristotle

Mieza Aristotle Alexander The Great

The Ruins of Mieza

  1. Identify The Aristotle In Your Office

Alexander’s father knew that knowledge and education were the key to his son becoming “Great”. He identified Aristotle to be his son’s chief educator and built him a school he named Mieza. He knew that his son would need educated generals to stand at his side so he encouraged the Barons of Macedonia to also send their sons to be educated at Mieza. This strategy would help to secure his sons legacy as well as his own.

In my world, Digital Marketing, the landscape is ever changing. Most of what I now know will be outdated in 3 years. Facebook is already slowly dying with Tumblr and Pinterest eating up their customers. It is important that all Digital Marketers create their personal Mieza and identify a number of Aristotles. I have identified a number of authors and podcasts that I learn from frequently.

An organisation can also create their own Mieza. I spoke with a gentleman who worked for a Digital Marketing agency in Boston and he told me an excellent way that they stay ahead of the competition. They created an office book club. His manager identifies a book for each month that he believes would help the staff and when they have read the book they get together and discuss what they all took from it. I think this would create a wonderful environment for learning and the sharing of ideas; perhaps you can call the meetings, The Mieza meetings!!



  1. Humility

When roaming with his giant army in strange lands, Alexander was never above asking even peasants for advice over his own botanists, zoologists or meteorologists. He was a man that was excruciatingly meticulous when it came to detail. Before invading he would have his team tell him, how many soldiers this area could sustain and for how long. He would know what type of weather to expect and what types of military tactics his enemies would use. However he was often known to ask local shepherds to aid him and his army navigate across a mountain range. He knew that the locals would have been tending to their sheep on these mountains all their lives and would therefore know the safest route for his army to travel.

When I read this of Alexander and began to wonder how it would apply to Digital Marketing, I immediately thought of the people that comprise an office. I have often worked in an office where there has been a wealth of experience, talent and knowledge severely under utilised. I can think of one place where there had been a secretary working there for 12 years. She would always meet and greet clients and potential clients and talk to them about their interest and hobbies. However, when the marketing department was creating client personas as part of market research they never once consulted this wealth of knowledge that was sitting at the reception desk. Offices can be busy but there is always time that can be made. A member of the marketing team could have suggested lunch or a beer after work and found out which websites the clients were most likely to be on, what they talked about on Facebook or where they went on holidays. The result could be a better application of marketing resources and a greater ROI.

Creativity Logic Side of Brain

Logic Vs Creativity

  1. Dialogue

The famed Greek philosopher Socrates was in fact Aristotle’s teacher. Socrates was one of the first educators to engage his students through dialogue. In turn Aristotle engaged Alexander in dialogue.

People often overlook the fact that digital marketing is primarily marketing. It should be clear that people that are creative should generally excel in marketing. However in digital marketing a logical person should excel in analytics and measuring the success of campaigns.  So it is good to have a mix of both logical and creative people working on digital marketing but a manager should be aware of how to best utilise staff. I have often found that logical people can be quite stifling to creativity and ideas, particularly in their infancy. This might be due to having difficulties perceiving how the idea may work when implemented. The logical people are best utilised for appraising an idea after it has been assessed by the creative people. The assessment is best done through creating scenarios and problem solving in the same way that Aristotle thought Alexander and his Companions to do.

Aristotle Ethics

Aristotle & Ehtics

  1. Ethics

Aristotle believed that every being has a central goal that it is supposed to achieve in its life cycle. A sunflower seed, for example, is supposed to grow into a sunflower. The “Right” circumstances will help the sunflower to achieve its goal. Anything that prevents the sunflower realising this goal can be considered “Wrong. People are obviously different “Wrong” or “Right” may be done to them but most of the time they chose “Right or “Wrong” themselves. It is these decisions that help a person grow into a healthy and happy human being or as Aristotle puts it a fulfilled human being.

This is the same with a business proposal or marketing proposal. Each idea starts out as a seed and the company or department wants that seed to grow to achieve its ultimate goal which they have decided.

A person or employee who has excellent experience and a relevant education should be better placed to know what is “Right” and what is “Wrong” for a business proposal. If someone for example has never used Google Adwords then they are unlikely to help a campaign reach its goal.

Often a good university will give students real companies to work with for their assignments. This promotes accountability and adds to their experience as well as their education. In a real life situation with accountability to a real client students are more likely to learn “Right” from “Wrong”.

Aristotle educated the young Alexander in the same way. He maintained that getting something “Wrong” particularly in matters of ethics could happen in many ways, however there was only one “Right” way. This made making the “Right” choice more difficult and thus it required a lot of practise.

This philosophy is practised by Harvard Law and Business schools and is in keeping with the 6th century BC Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tzu’ statement: ‘If you tell me, I will listen. If you show me, I will see. But if you let me experience, I will learn.”

This blog is based largely on the literary works of Pertha Bose. If you do not agree with sentiments and theories in the blog then that is fine. What I was trying to illustrate is that even if you are not a student of History and Philosophy there is still much to be learned from studying them. Aristotle and Alexander The Great are two of the most fascinating figures in history and many of their actions and/or writings are still relevant today.

Please contact us on Twitter if you have any comments and suggestions, particularly if there are any inaccuracies.

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My Twitter crush on @PaddyPower

utter digital

I’ve long been a silent admirer of the marketing antics of Paddy Power, the Irish bookmaker, but I feel it’s time to come out of the closet and openly declare my huge Twitter crush on @PaddyPower.

The seemingly ‘don’t give a shit’ approach is proving to be a powerful marketing strategy, but the truth is, their strategy is to give their customers and potential customers what they want – and that means they do give a shit!

They know their market, and rather than trying the hard sell approach, they have earned their fans’ loyalty. Through banter, controversy, engagement, humour, and originality, they have won the hearts of the Twitter masses. Not for the prudish or easily offended, Paddy’s tweets have pushed the boundaries and at times have received a negative backlash. Is that bad? Hell no! It’s just what they want! More attention, more controversy, more Twitter Power!


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The Top 6 Hashtags For Irish Businesses

There have been numerous reports indicating that what is preventing economic recovery in Ireland is a lack of digital skills including, skills in digital marketing. However if you are a small SME with 1 to 3 staff it can be difficult to either train yourself or your staff, or hire the expertise.

One of the easier ways of leveraging digital marketing to get your business name out there is using Twitter and an even easier thing to do is to Tweet with Hashtags. The only problem is, what Hashtags do you use? Well today is your lucky day here is a nice list you can use; feel free to vote for your favourite.

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#IrishBizParty – Wednesday night 9-11pm

This is a hashtag with serious chops, on average 2,000 Tweets containing this hashtag will be seen on 6 million Twitter accounts. The average number of Followers that each person has who uses this hashtag is 1,716, so you are likely to see some serious exposure when using this.

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#GalwayHour – Tuesdays 9PM-11PM

Yes you may have guessed it, this Hashtag is for the City Of The Tribes, but in my opinion it is for all of us. Who wouldn’t want to get to know Galway businesses. 2,000 Tweets containing this hashtag has resulted in impressions on just over 1.5 million accounts. The average number of Followers of people who Tweet using this hashtag is 1,255. The total number of contributors in the 2,000 Tweets analysed was 190.

Belfast Hour Hashtag

#BelfastHour – Thursday on Twitter 9pm – 10pm hosted by @Edwardsandco_

This hashtag is used by our brothers and sisters in the north to promote businesses and network and to great effect according to our research. In the same number of Tweets (2,000) this hashtag reached a staggering 2.8 million accounts with 358 contributors. On average each contributing account has a healthy follower count of 2,053.

Biz Action Group

#BizAction – Run by the Biz Action Group

The Biz Action Group are dedicated to structured networking and creating trading opportunities, throughout Ireland. Unlike the other groups this Hastag is not run on a particular day and time, therefore it would be unfair to assess it using the same criteria. However we wanted you to know that it does exist and it is widely used for networking and exposure.


#CorkHour – Weekly on Mondays at 9pm

This Hashtg is for the Rebel County but who wouldn’t want to network with some Corkonians and build your customer base. Based on 801 Tweets analysed this hashtag has reached 1.1 million accounts with 113 contributors. Each contributor on average has a healthy 2,445 followers.


#DonegalHour – Thursdays 9pm to 11pm

This Hashtag spreads from Donegal to the surrounding areas of Derry, Sligo and to a lesser extent Tyrone. This hashtag has reached 1 million Twitter accounts with 163 contributors.

Poll closed on Wednesday the 15th of September 2014.

One of the criticisms I have heard from Irish business people about some of the above Hashtags is that the people using them are not in their target market. This is not the point, the key point of Tweeting using these Hashtags is to network with other Irish entrepreneurs and to build lasting business relationships. Also, during these Twitter sessions people will often Retweet your content and these Retweets will most likely result in your Tweets being shown to your target market. Keep in mind that social media marketing is never an overnight success story. It requires good marketing of your business, persistence and hard work. Using these Hashtags will allow you to find people who can promote your business to your target market and drive traffic to your website. For a better understanding of how industry influencers can be located and used read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. For Tips on getting your Tweets Retweeted click here and to get more Followers click……

The research was done using Tweetdeck.

Please contact us on Twitter if you have any comments and suggestions, particularly if there are any inaccuracies.

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Some of Ireland’s Finest Tweeters

Silicon Republic

Silicon Republic is excellent to have in your Twitter feed if you like tech news related to Ireland. Don’t worry it is about far more than just gadgets. They address a wide range of issues from commerce and start-ups to digital marketing and tech related news in Ireland. They have an excellent Social Authority of 63.

Silicon Republic Social Authority

Small Business Can

If you are an Irish entrepreneur then I would advise following Small Business Can. This account will give you access not only to excellent content but also access to professional advice. Small Business Can have a significant Social Authority of 47.

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Samantha Kelly

Better know as Tweeting Goddess, Samantha is a Twitter Expert who holds frequent seminars on the subject around the country including DIT in Dublin. What I find great about Samantha’s account is that she is outstanding when it comes to engagement. If you are willing to engage with her content then in my experience she is more than happy to reciprocate. She started the hugely popular #IrishBizParty and seems an outstanding lady. Despite having just over 4,000 more Followers than Small Business Can, Samantha has a far greater Social Authority of 70. This score is a testament to the engagement taking place on this account. Social engagement is a huge factor in Followerwonk’s Social Authority calculations.

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Niall Harbison

Niall is Ireland’s king of Twitter, he’s also an author and a successful entrepreneur. I saw an interview with him on RTE’s Mirriam O Callaghan show and he came across as a great guy with a refreshing take on life. Niall’s Twitter feed is a must have for any Irish altruist, lover of comedy or marketing enthusiast. Niall’s account has a Social Authority of 71.

Screen shot 2014-08-03 at 1.47.24 AMSilicon Republic have more Followers than Niall and Samantha’s account combined however have far less Social Authority than either account. This proves that Twitter is a forum for engagement as well as a platform for content sharing and production.

Social authority is calculated using an algorithm set up by Moz, if you want to know how it works feel free to click here.

This blog was brought to you by Online Marketing Ireland (IRL) a Not For Profit Organisation, Founded to bring Irish Businesses together with Irish Marketing Professionals. We hope you enjoy and share.

Silicon Republic

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What is Online Marketing Eire and How Did it Begin?

Online Marketing Eire began four months ago and came about from a conversation I was having with an Irish recruitment consultant. I asked him about his experience working with Irish businesses and how they viewed their needs for Digital Marketing Professionals working within their businesses.

The reasons they thought they needed to hire someone were largely the same. They had heard of the benefits of SEO or Facebook Marketing, they had heard of increased profitability or simply, their competitors were doing it. However, what they did not know was who to hire. Who, meaning what exact qualification should an ideal candidate have, what level of experience should an ideal candidate have or even how many staff were needed. He told me that sometimes companies had 3 members of staff when all that was really needed was one, and sometimes companies had a completely unqualified person doing far too much work.

I thought to myself it would be excellent if an organisation could provide that expertise to Irish SMEs. They could talk to the SMEs identify exactly what skills they needed, then provide the details of an ideal candidate and tell them the amount of hours of work that were needed a week. I assumed that organisations like Enterprise Ireland would provide such a service. However after extensive research I found that the only companies providing this service were private consultancy companies that charged a huge fee.

So I set up Online Marketing Eire. This was set up, to help Irish SMEs identify their digital marketing needs and assign a value to its application. I set up this blog and a Twitter page and so far feedback has been excellent and we have consulted with a number of SMEs throughout the island. If you are reading this and you feel you may know somebody who could use this service please let them know where they can find us.

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