Author Archives: Karl Monaghan



This just in

Broadsheet Pub Spook Karl went inside the €3.40 a pint, Guinness-free JD Wheterspoon-controlled controversial new pub in Blackrock , Co Dublin.

The verdict:

“Since I’m based often around the corner from The Three Tun Tavern, it was inevitable that I would and up there for at least one meal there today. I’d forgotten it had opened for breakfast till I got to the office, so the next best thing was to go for lunch.
Inside it seemed brighter and airier than the previous incarnation, Tonic. The bar has been moved from the center of the building to along the back wall, opening it up a lot more space. Some of the internal walls have been removed as well so there’s more overlooking the central area. The over all impression though wasn’t of a brand new pub, rather one relatively recently renovated but lived in.
There were an awful lot of staff on but it’s not clear if that’s just because it was opening day or will be the norm. They were certainly needed today as there were a constant stream of customers coming in, as well as a few curious people just having a nose around.
Food wise, the menu is rather extensive albeit standard pub grub fare. They’ve various food ‘clubs’ on during the week with themed specials.
Being lazy and since it was their Tuesday Steak Club, I (and most of the rest of the guys I was with) ended up having a rump steak and chips for €9.95 (it’s normally €12.95). A few more chips wouldn’t have gone astray and the steak was a tiny bit overcooked for rare but the meat was flavourful. Considering the price (which included a soft drink) it was good value.
It was opening day though, so there was the inevitable hiccup with one of the meals which left one of the guys waiting 30 minutes for his veggie burger. It’s probably a little unfair to judge them on this though since it was opening day.
Overall the consensus was that the food was fine and filling but nothing spectacular. It’s another lunchtime option for Blackrock, but you wouldn’t be going out of your way to eat there.
I will be back at least once more though as they’ve a good selection of craft beers on tap that I’d like to try (and retry Hobgoblin to see if my college days impression of it being vile is true).
Okay so it’s a Wetherspoon’s pub but to be honest, it’s not particular different to many pubs already operating here. It’s probably going to do a decent lunchtime trade from the off but I wouldn’t like to make predictions about the evening.


guinnessAh here.



 (Mark Stedman/Photocall ireland)

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Despite being around since the earliest days of the web, Amazon still doesn’t have a site in Ireland. You can switch on their currency converter but that only shows the final checkout total in Euros.

Shop Ireland fill the gap by presenting the catalogue with Euro pricing and Irish VAT calculated into the prices.

A semi-finalist in last year’s WebAwards “Ugliest Website in Ireland” category, this ugly duckling is a labour of love for its creator Donovan Hutchinson. It all started off as a little side project to play with Amazon’s affiliate program while sharping his web development skills. 

Ten years on, it’s still chugging away while dealing with Amazon’s fickle product descriptions and Google’s ever changing indexing requirements.

No cash, favours, etc. were given for this post. Do you have an Irish site? Get in touch



The guys in Showoff have done the right thing and released an Android version of their Ice Cream Finder app we featured a couple of weeks ago.

It’s every bit as good as the iOS version but with extra amusement since it runs on an operating system code named Ice Cream Sandwich.

Off the back of the apps, they’ve partnered with the Irish Times to find the best 99 in Ireland. Not bad for an app one commenter declared had no hope of taking off.

The app is available now on the Google Play Store (as well as the iOS version on the Apple App Store).

Do you have an Irish app (especially an Android one)? Let us know:

As always, no favours, cuddles, or pints were given for this post. We have some guidelines on submissions.




With World Cup fever in full swing, thoughts will soon turn to attempting to organise a few games of 5-a-side.

Then you remember trying to sort it all out is like herding cats into a small bag and you forget all about it.

That’s where Scaboodle comes in with their event management apps.

With the apps you can invite friends, sort out a time and place and hopefully get to kick a ball around. Afterwards you can dissect it all and share all your photos.

If you’re not interested in organising your own, you can also search through other open events to something that piques your interest.

It’s not just for the sportsball fans as it’s flexible enough for any sort of event.

Everything from creating the event to posting afterwards is quick and easy. The little cartoons throughout add a nice bit of personality to what could otherwise be a dry process.

The app is available now on the Apple App StoreGoogle Play and the Windows Phone Store for free.

Do you have an Irish app (especially an Android one)? Let us know:

As always, no favours, cuddles, or pints were given for this post. We have some guidelines on submissions.



One of the more interesting things to come out of yesterday’s keynote to Google I/O was Cardboard.

The plain name hides a  nifty concept – using your Android phone, a bit of cardboard and a couple of easily-ish obtainable parts, you can make your own Oculus Rift without the $350 price tag.

If you want to watch the whole keynote, it’s on YouTube in all its 3 hour glory (the first 27 minutes are silent).

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It’s all about mobile these days – we’re spending up to 3 hours a day consumed by our slabs of intelligent glass.

For all that, we’re a fickle bunch and it’s hard to keep us engaged and happy with an app when it’s so easy to discard them like a used tissue.

That’s where Somaries Quintana from Converser comes in

“In a nutshell, we are all about helping mobile focused businesses create smarter marketing for their mobile apps. Instead of the going for ‘spray and pray’ method of sending everyone a one size fits all message, we focus on bringing the personal element back into mobile marketing by empowering you with the ability to send the right message to the right app user at the right time.

“…We give you valuable insights into your mobile app users to help you determine what gets them ticking so you can send targeted, interactive in-app notifications. These help you boost engagement, retention and loyalty so you can make a meaningful impact on your mobile app’s ROI. The reason we call them interactive in-app notifications is because instead of appearing like a banner ad on the screen, you can actually guide your mobile app users to complete any call to action you like with just the tap of a button.”

From a development perspective, it was easy for me to integrate it all into an upcoming version of the Broadsheet apps and support from the the guys was top notch.

Do you have an Irish start-up? Get in touch

No cash, favours, etc. were given for this post. Full disclosure: Karl does an Apple-centric podcast with Oisin, one of the co-founders.