College GameDay Built by The Home Depot to Originate from Dublin, Ireland, Ahead of 2020 Aer Lingus College Football Classic:

Notre Dame vs. Navy

First-Ever College GameDay Outside the United States

Fighting Irish-Midshipmen Matchup will be First Football Game Under ESPN’s Rights Extension with the American Athletic Conference

College GameDay Built by The Home Depot is bringing its iconic pregame show to Dublin, Ireland, on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, kicking off a new college football season and marking the first time in history the travelling roadshow will originate from outside the United States. The 11-time Emmy Award-winning pregame show, in cooperation with Aer Lingus, the flag carrier of Ireland, and Tourism Ireland, will set the scene for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic between Notre Dame and Navy at Aviva Stadium. College GameDay is expected to begin at 11 a.m. ET/4 p.m. GMT and the game will kick off at 2 p.m. ET/7 p.m. GMT. Both will air on ESPN.

College GameDay has built its legacy travelling from city to city, campus to campus showcasing the unmatched passion of college football fans and the pageantry surrounding the game,” said ESPN Senior Vice President of Production Lee Fitting. “The Notre Dame-Navy rivalry serves as the perfect backdrop for College GameDay’s inaugural international appearance. We look forward to giving the great fans of Ireland and the thousands of Americans traveling to Dublin an unforgettable experience.”

Aer Lingus CEO Sean Doyle says:

“We are delighted to welcome ESPN’s College GameDay to Dublin in 2020. With firm Irish roots, we are proud to connect Ireland to North America, flying direct to 14 North American destinations. We are gearing up for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic 2020 which will see Notre Dame vs. Navy on Irish soil and are pleased that, thanks to ESPN, fans everywhere can get a slice of the action live from Dublin. Aer Lingus’ ambition is cantered on becoming the leading value carrier across the Atlantic and this cooperation with ESPN will provide us with an exciting platform to communicate our message and bring Aer Lingus into millions of homes right across the U.S.”


Dublin, Ireland, Adds to Rich History of College GameDay Sites; Marks Show’s Latest Milestone
To date, College GameDay has staged 372 roadshows from 86 cities within the United States. Notre Dame was the first institution to host the live event on November 13, 1993, and their fans welcomed it with such fervor, a college football tradition was born. Now, College GameDay has travelled to 72 different colleges and universities, with its undetermined weekly destination becoming one of the sport’s key storylines each week.

Overall, Notre Dame has hosted the spectacle nine times, most recently during Kick-off Weekend of the 2018 season (September 1, 2018), and College GameDay has originated for a total of 30 Irish game sites. For Navy, College GameDay now traditionally concludes its regular-season tour by televising from the annual Army-Navy game.

For roadshow number 385, ESPN will utilize Aer Lingus to travel from the United States to Dublin, Ireland. The show will mark its latest milestone.


Pregame Show Honored Multiple Times; Recognized as the Best in the Business
College GameDay’s rich history is also critically acclaimed, as the show has won 11 Sports Emmy Awards in the previous 11 years. Its Emmy awards have been multi-layered, including its recognition for overall show content, storytelling and remote/technical expertise. For five consecutive years, the show was honoured in Outstanding Studio Show Weekly category and has won that category a total of 11 times (2008, ‘10, ‘11, ‘14, ‘15, ‘16, ‘17, ‘18).


Commentators Shape the Show, Recognized as the Sport’s Key Voices
The show’s accolades extend to its commentators. Analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who began on the show in 1996, was honoured with the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Studio Analyst across all sports this past year – the former Ohio State quarterback’s third such award for his work on the show (2010, 2011). Rece Davis, who is in his fifth season hosting the show, was nominated in the Outstanding Studio Host category. Lee Corso, who coached at Navy from 1966-68, has been part of the program since it began in 1987. His legendary headgear selection concluding the show each week has become part of college football history.

Analyst Desmond Howard is in his 15th season on the program, while this is David Pollack’s ninth season. Howard’s pedigree is among the best of any analyst, having captured a Heisman Trophy and named a Super Bowl MVP in his playing days and later was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (2010). Pollack is looking to join Howard in the Hall of Fame this season, as the former three-time first-team All-American is nominated for the honour.

College GameDay’s interviews and storytelling, which is a backbone of the show, is fronted by Maria Taylor, Tom Rinaldi, Gene Wojciechowski and Jen Lada.  Chris “The Bear” Fallica is in his 24th year on the show, having started the same year as Herbstreit. Fallica continues in his research role, providing key pieces of information throughout the show.


Nearly Two Million Viewers Tune-In in Each Week
This season, through the first five full regular season Saturdays, College GameDay is averaging 1,931,000 viewers, up 7% year-over-year. The premier pre-game show has averaged more than 1.8 million viewers per season for more than a decade.


ESPN Ushers in New Era with the American Athletic Conference
For ESPN, the Aer Lingus College Football Classic between Notre Dame and Navy will be the first football game under the new long-term media rights extension with the American Athletic Conference which was announced in March of this year. The network’s lead commentating team of Chris Fowler, Herbstreit and Taylor are expected to call the game.

For ESPN, next year’s season opener will mark the first time a Notre Dame-Navy game has been televised on an ESPN network since 1993, when ABC aired the game from Philadelphia, Pa.

For more information on the 2020 College Football Classic visit: 


Eddie Quilty of ABP Cahir Ireland, World Steak Challenge 2019 Champion John Sashi-Nielsen, director of JN Meat International (Finland) and Aaron Hofman of Jack’s Creek Australia pictured at the awards ceremony in Dublin, Ireland

Irish producers secure a record 75 medals this year at The World Steak Challenge 

An Irish bred Fillet steak, produced by ABP Cahir, was ) crowned the World’s Best Fillet Steak at the World Steak Challenge 2019.

The winning Fillet, which was produced and entered by ABP Cahir Ireland, is a grass-fed Angus cross reared in Limerick.

The steak beat international competition to secure Ireland’s first ever category title in the annual competition.

The award was presented by Chair of the Judges Richie Wilson to ABP Cahir Ireland before an audience of 250 guests in the historic Round Room, Mansion House, Dublin.

It is the first time the World Steak Challenge has been held in Ireland, supported this year by Official Host Partner Bord Bia and venue FIRE Steakhouse & Bar.

It was an incredible night for ABP Cahir Ireland which secured 18 medals in total including six golds, four silver and eight bronze medals.

Aidan Fortune, the editor of Global Meat News which organised the event, said:

“This is Ireland’s first category win in the competition with a real quality steak. This was an extraordinarily close competition and ABP Cahir came very close to the overall winner.”

Chair of the judges Richie Wilson, executive head chef of FIRE Steakhouse restaurant, said:

“It was a remarkably pretty steak. It had a perfect strip of fat running along the edge and was delicately marbled. This was a picture perfect Fillet with all the flavour to back it up.”

Eoin Ryan of ABP Ireland said:

“ABP Ireland is delighted to have achieved this great success for our certified Irish Angus Fillet especially given the huge number of entries. We supply this premium steak to  retail and food service customers in Ireland and Europe. The win is even more special given this is the first time the competition has been held in Ireland.”


It was Finland who secured the overall championship title of ‘World’s Best Steak’ for a second year running with a grass fed Rib Eye produced by JN Meat International of Denmark.

Richie Wilson chair of judges with World Steak Challenge 2019 Champion John Sashi-Nielsen, director of JN Meat International (Finland) pictured Dublin championships with prize-winning Rib Eye

But Ireland delivered yet another strong performance, with 15 other producers winning a record total of 75 medals.

Silver and bronze medals went to the Redmond Family Farm, which took silver for a grass fed Rib Eye Angus cross raised in Craanford, Wexford. The farm also won bronze for a grass fed Sirloin. Both steaks are served at the Ashdown Park Hotel, Wexford. This is the first year the farm has entered the competition.

The other winning Irish producers are:

  • Liffey Meats – three golds for Fillet and Rib Eye steaks, all grass-fed and raised in Ireland; three silvers; one bronze.
  • Musgrave – three golds for grass-fed Fillet, Sirloin and Rib Eye raised in Co Cork; one silver;
  • ABP Ireland – two golds for grass-fed Fillet steaks raised in Co Lough; five silvers; one bronze;
  • Ashbourne Meats – gold for a grass-fed Fillet; and one silver;
  • Dawn Meats – two silver; one bronze;
  • Dunbia UK – gold for a grass-fed Aberdeen Angus Fillet raised in Scotland; two silvers;
  • Higgins Butchers – two silver.
  • James Whelan butchers – gold for grass fed Sirloin Angus raised in Co Tipperary; one silver;
  • Kepak – gold for a grain fed Sirloin SMX raised in Scotland; one silver; three bronze.
  • Kerrigan’s – silver for a grass fed Sirloin Waygu/Holstein.
  • Martin Jennings Wholesale – gold for grass-fed Aberdeen Angus cross Fillet; two silver.
  • Martin O’Dwyer Butcher – one bronze for a grass fed Rib Eye raised in Co Tipperary.
  • Ralvale Ltd T/A F X Buckley Steakhouses – gold for grass-fed Aberdeen Angus fillet, raised in Ireland and sold at their Dublin restaurant; two bronze.
  • Tendermeats Limited – gold for a grass fed Rib Eye Aberdeen Angus cross raised in Co Galway and available through Dunnes stores; one silver.

The World Steak Challenge took place at FIRE Steakhouse Restaurant, Dawson Street, on 9th and 10th July 2019.

Now in its fifth year, the World Steak Challenge 2019 is designed to benchmark the quality of beef production against other international competitors and establish a quality mark that everyone can trust. This year the competition hosted a record of 24 countries, with the Czech Republic among the new entrants to the event.

More than 40 expert judges convened in Dublin to decide who will become the 2019 World Steak Champion.

A record 25 countries are competing for the World Steak Challenge title which is being defended by the 2018 winner JN Meat International. The producer was crowned 2018 world champion with a grass-fed Ayrshire reared in Finland.

Judging took place at FIRE Steakhouse restaurant and lounge in Dawson Street with the awards being announced on 10th July at the Round Room at The Mansion House next door before an audience of around 250 guests.


This year, more than 300 steaks are being blind tested and tasted. The challenge, which is presented by Global Meat News, requires the services of eight butchers, nine chefs drawn from both FIRE and SOLE restaurants and a team of nine waiting staff. The judging process is supported by an official adjudicator and three official scorers.

The chair of the judges this year is Richie Wilson, executive chef of FIRE, supported by this year’s deputy chair, the celebrated chef and meatologist Ioannis Grammenos.

Executive Head Chef at FIRE, Richie Wilson will be present at the announcement of the winner and is looking forward to seeing who will go home with the title of “World’s Best Steak”. Speaking about the event, Wilson says;

“There is a great atmosphere here at FIRE today, as tastings have taken place and we have gotten to know a lot about the background of each entrant’s beef, its origins and how they raise the herd to give each cut a unique taste. As a chef, hosting an event like this is really exciting as you learn more about the meat and variations in taste and cuts.”

The other judges include the Argentine master griller Fernando Laroude, the Dutch butcherGertjan Kiers, the Swiss chef Thierry Fischer and the Welsh butcher Catherine Butler.

The full line up of judges is here.






The team at  SOLE Seafood & Grill are celebrating winning a top award at the prestigious World Luxury Restaurant Awards which took place in St Petersburg, Russia. The seafood restaurant, which opened in 2o18, is delighted to be recognised as the best in the “Luxury Seafood Restaurant” category in Europe.

Established in 2015, the World Luxury Restaurant Awards are considered the most prestigious in the luxury restaurant industry, offering international recognition to winners. There were 850 entries to the 2019 awards and the restaurants are shortlisted on a voting basis with guests, travellers and industry players casting over 100,000 votes over a four week period to select the winners. Speaking about the win, Executive Head Chef at SOLE Richie Wilson said;

“The team at SOLE are absolutely blown away. Since opening in 2018, the whole team have worked so hard to raise the standard of seafood in Dublin and offer patrons a top quality dining experience with Irish produce on the top of our agenda. To win such a prestigious award is such a testament to the whole teams passion and dedication.”

SOLE recently launched its new “Afternoon Seafood Towers” lunchtime offering which offers guests a selection of the best Irish seafood on a tiered platter for 29.50 pp.

SOLE is open from 5pm Monday – Thursday and 12pm Friday and Saturday.

SOLE Seafood & Grill opens for lunch on Fridays and Saturdays from 12 noon and the “Afternoon Seafood Towers” are available until 4.30pm.

SOLE also offers both an A La Carte menu and an Early Bird menu which starts at €32.50 for two courses.

SOLE Seafood & Grill 18-19 South William Street Dublin 2


T: +353 (0) 1 544 2300

Ireland is fast becoming known as one of the World’s top seafood destinations, which is no surprise when you consider the unspoiled coastline and abundance of shellfish, native oysters and fish that comes from our shores. At SOLE Seafood & Grill, on Dublin’s busy South William Street, Executive Head Chef, Richie Wilsons, focus is on provenance and utilising the best of Irish produce to create a menu full of show-stopping dishes which connects their customers with the wealth of amazing ingredients on offer from our sea and our land.

SOLE, which opened in 2018, is about the full customer experience whether you are indulging on oysters and champagne or enjoying a classic Irish Fish ‘n’ Chips you can expect high-quality seafood for great value every time you dine.

The newest addition to SOLE’s menu this summer is the “Afternoon Seafood Tower”, created for lovers of seafood to come and enjoy a leisurely lunch in the warm chic surroundings of SOLE, which has quickly become Dublin’s number 1 seafood restaurant.  The towers offer a selection of the most popular Irish dishes in one spectacular serving including; Howth smoked Irish organic salmon, Dublin bay prawns, Irish rock oysters, Irish brown-crab claws and steamed west Cork mussels.  Priced at €29.50pp the “Afternoon Seafood Towers” offer the best of SOLE without breaking the bank!

Chef Richie Wilson says;

“With SOLE, we want to show our guests that Ireland really does offer mouth-watering seafood and with the new Afternoon Seafood Towers, you can taste the best of everything. It’s a wonderful way of sampling all of SOLE’s greatest hits- perfect for a casual lunchtime bite. We also have dishes on the menu like fish and chips (€19.50), chowder (€13.50) and SOLE’s famous fish pie (€22.50)- all the classics for a reasonable price, and why our clients always come back again once they experience the quality and taste here at SOLE.”


SOLE Seafood & Grill opens for lunch on Fridays and Saturdays from 12 noon and our “Afternoon Seafood Towers” are available until 4.30pm. SOLE also offers both an A La Carte menu and an Early Bird menu which starts at €32.50 for two courses.

SOLE is open from 5pm Monday – Thursday and 12pm Friday and Saturday.


FIRE Restaurant and Lounge, Dawson Street, unveiled its new vibrant, botanical summer look to a host of well-known faces. Bloggers and socialites such as Natasha Rocca Devine, Roz Lipsett, Clementine MacNeice, Chloe Townsend and Justine King enjoyed a live DJ overlooking the lawn whilst sipping cocktails from the new summer cocktail list and tasting new dishes on the FIRE menu. FIRE’s terrace is the ideal summer go-to destination for those looking for a perfect day out in the Dublin city. With fabulous new summer menus and delicious new dishes to choose from, FIRE Restaurant and Restaurant will no doubt be hopping all summer long.

See more at

FIRE Steakhouse & Bar at the Mansion House gets a fresh look for summer with its new floral and foliage themed garden terrace, seasonal summer menu and summer cocktail list.

One of Dublin’s most loved and renowned restaurants is getting ready for summer with the launch of its new green-themed outdoor sun terrace. Dawson Street’s FIRE Steakhouse Restaurant & Bar has always been known for its fabulous food offerings, a beautiful outdoor terrace area and an extensive drinks list and now it is getting ready for the sizzling summer season with its new décor, bursting with greenery, hanging florals and foliage.

The restaurant, on trendy Dawson Street, has been one of Dublin’s favourite hotspots for the last fourteen years for those who appreciate good food and a well-made cocktail.  Now they can enjoy both in the soothing surrounds of the new green-themed outdoor terrace.

As well as unveiling a new botanical themed look, the restaurant has just launched a new summer Early Bird menu. Executive Head Chef, Richie Wilson, has enhanced the menu at FIRE to include seasonal dishes such as Salmon Nicoise; roast salmon, quail egg, sautéed baby potatoes, fine beans, black olives, red onion with tomato pesto and wilted rocket and a  vegan Fennel and Citrus Salad bursting with flavour; fennel, blood orange, radish, chard, rainbow carrot ribbons, Finca olive oil, red pepper and ruby grapefruit dressing.  The FIRE Early Bird also includes an award-winning 8oz Irish Hereford Prime Aged Sirloin Steak with tobacco onions, Pont Neuf chips, micro cress salad, brandy pepper and cream sauce.

Speaking about what has inspired the new menu, he says: “At FIRE we prioritise the quality of the ingredients, what is in season, what is popular, and we also offer a wide variety of choice on the menu. FIRE is known for great food in a fantastic setting and we are looking forward to welcoming in both new and regular customers this summer to experience the new interiors and menus.”

FIRE’s mixologists have also been busy working on a new cocktail list for the summer. New additions include the “Pistachio and Lime” cocktail, a treat for the pallet which features Dingle gin, pistachio Orgeat, lime juice and green chartreuse. Another decadent number bound to attract caffeine addicts is the “Limoncello Kick”, an interesting take on the classic espresso martini, it features Absolut Citron, Limoncello, and has flavours of hazelnut, lemon curd and espresso mixed throughout- simply divine!


FIRE will no doubt be the place to eat, drink, celebrate and relax on Dawson Street this summer.


FIRE is open late 7 days a week:

Monday – Friday from 5pm

Saturday 3pm

Sunday 1 pm

FIRE’s Early Bird menu is available daily and is €32.50 for two courses.

For bookings contact:

01 676 7200


On Monday, January 21st 2019 the centenary of the 1st sitting of Dáil Éireann at the Round Room of the Mansion House will be marked with a joint sitting on the Houses of the Oireachtas, followed by a State Reception hosted by the Department of An Taoiseach across the entire Mansion House complex; The Round Room, The Oak Room and The Supper Room (FIRE Restaurant & Lounge since 2005).

Some interesting facts from almost 200 years of the Round Room hosting historical and prestigious events:

  1. Did you know that the Round Room is Ireland’s oldest purpose-built events venue originally built in 1821 to welcome King George IV to Dublin as there was no venue in the city deemed suitable to welcome a King?
  1. It was built on the grounds of a former bowling green and took just 6 weeks to build.
  2. Queen Victoria was the 2nd Royal to visit The Round Room in 1900.
  3. Michael Collins once posed as a janitor by sweeping the floor of the Round Room and successfully duped the British Army who were there specifically to arrest him but failed to recognize him.
  4. The venue and house were almost demolished in the 1930s to enable the building of a new Dublin City Hall before, thankfully, plans were abandoned.
  5. The Lord Mayor’s Banqueting Hall, also known as the Supper Room, was added to the venue in 1864. This space now operates as FIRE Restaurant & Lounge. In its period as a cultural centre, many of Dublin’s residents would remember visiting the venue to attend one of The Irish Dancing Championships that took place regularly.
  6. Princess Grace (Grace Kelly) of Monaco’s visit to Ireland on 10th June 1961 took in a visit to the Round Room where she presented various charities with 700 punts before a four-day private holiday in the west to visit her ancestral homeland of Co Mayo.
  7. The Lord Mayor’s Ball began shortly after the Mansion House had been acquired in 1715 as the residence for Dublin’s first citizen. The ball originally took place in the Oak Room on St. Stephen’s night (26 December) and the principal invited guests were the city’s 24 Aldermen and their wives. Proceeds back in 1715 went towards the support of poor boys at the Blue- Coat School in Blackhall Place. In 2019, on the 26th January, 500 guests will be in the Round Room for the Lord Mayor’s Ball which intends to raise €100,000 for Hugh’s House, The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Jack and Jill Foundation.
  1. The members of U2 – Bono, the Edge, Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton, plus their then manager, Paul McGuinness – became freemen of Dublin on March 18th, 2000 in a ceremony in The Round Room. Under one of their new rights, Bono and the Edge grazed lambs on St Stephen’s Green the next day.
  2. The Web Summit’s inaugural event took place in the venue in 2009.
  3. In 1821 the venue hosted just one event. Today the venue regularly hosts 2 events per day.


Host your next event in the Round Room, the venue that hosted the first-ever Dáil Éireann and which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this 2019!
Contact our team today: T:+353 (0)1 6344 628 / E: