The November CreativeMornings/Dublin event is taking place on 1 December at 8:30am in The Tara Buildings. The theme is Death, and the speaker is Donal Moloney, who’s a photographer with more than 30 years experience. Our resident blogger, Specky Scribbler, sat down with him to discuss all things photography, death and decay.

Donal is perhaps best known for his documentary, Martin, about a man who lived under the railway bridge on Westland Row for years. Donal came to know and build a relationship with Martin, and to this day, they go out once a week for dinner or to the cinema. Donal loves ‘characters’, and getting to know people’s stories. Perhaps then you might wonder why he loves taking photos of derelict and abandoned buildings.

‘Well, when you go into these houses or buildings, you find things left behind. Often the houses are left because there are no families to take them back, so nature does.’

But if nature takes them back, how do you find the stories and find out more about the people?

‘I just ask. I go to the next neighbour - they may be 20 miles away - and I ask about the house up the road, what happened to the people there. Then people just start to talk. They love to talk and share. They don’t mind. I just tell them I’m a photographer and this is what I do for fun.’

It was about 5 years ago when Donal decided that there was something missing. His agency work is something he really enjoys, but he didn’t get the chance to get back into photography, back into what he loved doing.

‘I’ve been behind a camera since I was very young. 5 years ago I just wanted to get back to it and find my love of photography again. So that’s what I did. I looked for abandoned and derelict properties around Ireland and I infiltrated them. I liked going into old abandoned asylums and seeing what was left. Generally though, they’re small little normal houses. The big manor houses don’t exist anymore, but the small ones do. Little farm houses, coach houses. They’re left on the edge of property, left just the way they were years ago.’

So, Donal is known for his commercial work, and for Martin, but that’s not what he’ll be talking about in December.

‘There’s nothing to do with Death in Martin’s story. Nothing at all. I hope people don’t expect to see much of that stuff when I discuss death. I’ll be showing photos of the old buildings I found. Hopefully they don’t find it boring.’

If my coffee with Donal is anything to go by, his talk will be the farthest thing from boring.

CreativeMornings couldn’t happen without sponsorship, and we’ve been so lucky here in Dublin that we have found wonderful sponsors. This month, our resident blogger, Specky Scribbler, sat down with the director of coffeeangel, Caroline Sleiman-Purdy to chat about what involvement in CreativeMornings/Dublin means to her.

For Caroline Sleiman-Purdy, the origin of the coffeeshop is the salon, where creative minds met and shared ideas. In the salon, creative minds met, debated and fleshed out ideas over a cup of coffee (or four). That’s why, when CreativeMornings got in touch, she jumped at the opportunity to get involved in the creative community.


“It’s exactly what I wanted. I love the idea of the salon, and I wanted to enable people to come together to share creativity over fantastic cups of coffee. The people who go to CreativeMornings make the effort to be up early, to hear someone share their story. For us, the creative spirit tied in exactly with what we wanted to do with coffeeangel.”

CreativeMornings sets out to do just that: provide people with a space to listen to someone speak about their idea/business/art, drink coffee, talk to like-minded people and kick start their Friday morning with some creative thinking.

“The people who attend CreativeMornings are passionate about art/social change/music. We’re passionate about coffee. Every coffee has a different flavour profile, which is why we bring different blends to CreativeMornings/Dublin. We want to let people see that there is more to coffee than just a caffeine fix, or a coffee with milk.”


coffeeangel is about giving people a great cup of coffee in the right environment, and the muted, understated design of the coffeeangel shops is to enable people to do just that. Everything to do with coffeeangel is sophisticated. The aesthetic is one of muted colours, clean lines and well-thought out design. So much creative thought has gone into the design of coffeeangel shops and products, so that you can focus on enjoying the coffee without the clutter.

“The walls are kept clean so that our customers are not overwhelmed by visual clutter. When you sit down for a coffee in our café, we want you to be able to enjoy yourself. Sit down, take the time to relax, indulge in the coffee, and savour its flavour profiles and clear your mind. Focus on what you want to do, and any creative thoughts you might have. It’s hard to do that if there’s a lot going on.”


coffeeangel will be at our Pioneer event in The Tara Building on Friday, 27 October, and you’ll get the chance to take a moment to enjoy the coffees they have. Chat to Justin, who’ll ask you what you look for in a flavour profile, and then sit back, relax and enjoy the creative morning because that’s what it’s all about.

“Everyone who’s called a genius rode their own bandwagon. I’m all for that.”

Our speaker for August’s edition of Creative Mornings was Caroline Foran. Caroline wrote a best-selling, non-fiction book about overcoming anxiety, which has been on the top of the charts in Ireland since it was released. 

Owning It: Your Bullsh*t-Free Guide to Living with Anxiety details how Caroline lives with anxiety and how it came to be. So, for her take on our theme of Genius, Caroline spoke about what genius means to her.

“Everyone who’s called a genius rode their own bandwagon. I’m all for that.”

Caroline discussed how, genius to her, means going against the tide of what’s expected and embracing who you are. When she realised her anxiety had overcome her, she sought out ways to feel better.

For her, part of that was embracing it, embracing how she felt, understanding her triggers and finding ways to live with it.

Be a genius, embrace who you are, toot your own horn. 

That’s right people, the special biscuit is coming out for January. Coz you all Rock! (Black Books fans will get it)

Is Street Art powerful?

Ask Solus, who presented at our Creative Morning this morning. When you listen to him describe the impact this form of visual art had on a violent and struggling New York street corner. When you view the creations that have transformed building faces. It’s hard to believe we don’t take every opportunity to explore the powerful world of street art across our city. 
It’s not just painting walls, its telling stories, its sharing journeys and its whispering truths about the things that we don’t like to talk about. Sharing with us some images that have gone viral across the globe, this gifted artist was a pleasure to listen to and well worth getting up that extra bit early this morning to meet! 
So, in a week advertised as “Web Summit Week”; here’s to the IT guy who made the decision to put away the keyboard and follow his creative passion. Thank you Solus for presenting today at our Creative Morning.
**This post was submitted by an attendee**

Tony Boylan finds a fine balance of humour and provocativeness in this excellent talk on the Space theme for July, 2013. Thank you so much to Zendesk for helping sponsor this event! Enjoy!