January Showcase 2019

Joe Mallon first took an interest in art when exposed to the new art room in the modern extension to St. Macartans college in Monaghan. The combination of a room without school desks in a bright contemporary architectural space was the perfect springboard to set a young mind a wandering.

Post leaving cert he drifted around Dublin and London before starting his art education in Croydon college of art design and technology. Here again he was exposed to a new example of modern architecture in a high rise building. This time situated in a “new town” suburb of London. Having completed a foundation course at Croydon a place on the fine art course at Liverpool polytechnic (John Moores uni.) beckoned. The interesting scene in Liverpool was the variety of buildings available to students .The one which first drew his attention was a derelict building formerly a deaf school it offered lots of space but was freezing in winter. Having been introduced to the ceramics department , situated in the main college building,next to the fashion department, where his future wife studied, on Hope Street a life long affinity with clay was born.


Wayne Hall
Born in Enniskillen & Lived in Drum Co. Monaghan, Wayne would always be found drawing or creating something growing up.
Having moved to Dun Laoghaire in 2010 to attend IADT he graduated with a BA in Visual Arts Practice in 2014 & moved back to his hometown in Monaghan. “There is no place like home”.

Bio – Simon Jackson
Born & raised in Monaghan, Simon often found ways of being creative. Be it sculpting the land at the back of the house, or designing sound systems, he is in love with attention to detail always having multiple projects on the go with no sign of slowing down.

The Crafty Tale
We are The Crafty Irish Beggars and we live to create, it has been in our blood since we were kids. We want you to fall in love with nature as we have many years ago, so we share with you our latest creations.
From Bespoke furniture to handcrafted accessories, you name it we’ll endeavor to make it. We see the astounding beauty among Ireland’s forests and believe it should be cherished and respected.
Then one day it happened & all the stars aligned, in where else but in our workshop in Monaghan.

One day we were gifted Bog Oak…

from a Farmer near Ballinode Co. Monaghan. Research into this showed us that this solid black wood was thousands of years old, Truly an Ancient piece of Ireland. A piece of time & country we aim to share.

I (Wayne) found a small interesting piece of wood I thought looked like a person & decided it would look nice as a necklace & Simon found an interesting piece of wood he thought would make a rather enchanting lamp (which I must say, it really was enchanting).

We were concerned that our nature inspired treasures wouldn’t appeal to the public, that people would laugh & call us crazy.

But then…

We were taken back by the reactions & intrigue shown by the locals at our first market over our handmade treasures.
We decided to set out to create the most unique & elegant array of jewelry & lamps for all the nature loving souls out there.

It turns out…

the road was more difficult than we imagined.
We could spend hours searching the forest floor getting rained on yet find nothing of interest to work on & learning the hard way that not every interesting piece of wood is capable of being a lamp or worthy of being a necklace.

Our intentions are to preserve nature, not cut it up, which limits what we can find from the forests. We discovered that the best time to find some good interesting wood without harming trees was to go out to the forests the day after a storm. Now we have wood we collected from last year’s storms that’s been seasoning in the shed since.

Through it all…

we kept creating & expanding the treasures we love. Creating all sorts, from jewelry that heals physical & emotional pain to lamps that silently whisks you away to an enchanting realm & even the concept of time in a jar.

The response has been exceptional, so we have decided to take on the world with our own website making our fantasy your reality.
Our Work can be seen on Social media such as Instagram, Pinterest & Facebook.
Our Treasures are available on our own Website “craftyirishbeggars.com” as well as on Etsy “etsy.com/CraftyIrishBeggarsIE”


Ryan Woods is a singer songwriter from Tydavnet and is also a newcomer to the Monaghan Arts Network showcases. An Avid fan of both music and comedy his enthusiasm for performance has grown recently performing in plays in the Garage Theatre as part of a performing arts course. His influences cover an array of artists from Muse, The Smiths to Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel. His set will consist of Acoustic covers and original songs



Briono Gallagher
Brioni holds an undergraduate degree in Music and English from University College Cork, a postgraduate diploma in Music Education from University of Limerick and a Masters in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from Goldsmiths, University of London. During her academic study, she was a soloist and chorister with Madrigal 75,The Clerks Choral, UCC Baroque Ensemble and the internationally renowned choir Anúna; and is a former vocal student of Robert Beare (Cork School of Music) and sean nós singer Muireann Nic Amlaoibh.

In 2008, Brioni became the lead vocalist with the international show Riverdance with whom she toured across mainland Europe, Taiwan, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, India, UK and Ireland. Some highlights include singing in The Kremlin Place in Moscow, Palais des Congres in Paris, Hammersmith Apollo in London’s West End and the Mao Li Arena in Taiwan. In 2010, Brioni was chosen as the lead female vocalist for the Riverdance- Live in Beijing dvd, celebrating the shows 15th anniversary, which has been broadcasted on PBS USA, SKY 3 and TG4.

In 2011, Brioni was lead female soloist with Irish music and dance sensation Ragus-The Show on a sell-out tour of France.

Brioni’s voice and unique interpretation of songs are influenced by her love of Irish traditional music, folk songs, and medieval and Early Renaissance music. Brioni also plays the Irish harp receiving two TSB High Achiever awards for her Royal Irish Academy of Music exam performances. Brioni has also worked in arts and concert management since 2012, coordinating large scale events such as orchestral and choral concerts at Kings College in the University of Cambridge and St. Johns’ Smith Square in Westminster and most notably the finale performance of the Ceiliúradh concert at The Royal Albert Hall, in honour of the Irish President’s state visit to the UK, broadcasted on BBC 4 and RTE.