Dublin

Win passes to see Dublin movie Animals

Animals, directed by Australian Sophie Hyde, opens nationally on September 12.

The movie, based on the novel by Emma Jane Unsworth, is shot entirely in Dublin and showcases the Irish capital’s growing reputation as a cool, cosmopolitan city.

“Dublin is a very vibrant city. It's very romantic,” director Hyde said.

“It can be quite raw and rough as well. It has a kind of old world and a new world charm all at the same time, and it would be easy to be distracted there. It's very social. And yet, there's this great love of writers and literature.

“So it was a very perfect city to set our girls' world in because all of those things combine, and there is a history of lauding these great writers and loving the idea of drinking and the party and being in the world in a certain way.”

The film is a fierce and unapologetic celebration of female friendship, an intmate, funny and bittersweet examinaton of the challenges of turning talent into action, and being a modern woman, with faults, longings and competing desires

Alia Shawkat and Holliday Grainger play best friends Tyler and Laura in Animals, directed by Sophie Hyde.

Alia Shawkat and Holliday Grainger play best friends Tyler and Laura in Animals, directed by Sophie Hyde.

Laura (Holliday Grainger) and Tyler (Alia Shawkat) have been flatmates and best friends for 10 years, marauding around the streets of Dublin, rejectng the expectatons that bombard modern women and actng purely on desire.

For Tyler, this is the best version of life, even with the inevitable hangovers, but when Laura's (younger) sister Jean gets pregnant... on purpose... Laura panics.

Should she still be partying into her mid-thiries? And where has her supposed talent as an aspiring writer got her, apart from notebooks full of scribbles?

In an inky-dark bar she meets rising-star pianist Jim, who falls for Laura’s wit and passionate attitude to life, and the two soon become engaged.

Inspired - or maybe intimidated - by teetotaler Jim’s commitment to his work, Laura knuckles down to finish the novel she’s been writng for a decade.

Tyler, however, is convinced that marriage is the wrong thing for Laura and that her literary success depends on a life of excess, adventure and - crucially - variety... startng with the devilishly handsome Marty.

Holliday Grainger, Alia Shawkat and Irish actor Fra Fee in a scene from Animals.

Holliday Grainger, Alia Shawkat and Irish actor Fra Fee in a scene from Animals.

As Laura tries to balance these precarious pieces of her life, she only makes things worse.

Can she really have it all? Or is her life of debauchery with Tyler ruining her attempts to create something meaningful?

As Laura struggles to come to grips with what it is that she really wants, she begins to realise that living a life for herself might mean leaving someone else behind.

Alia Shawkat, who plays Tyler, said she loved shooting in Dublin.

“I love Dublin. I'm so happy that the film ended up here. I think it's a special place. Very special. It feels like a small town that I can't believe I never knew about before. It's like a big city at a small town. And yeah, the Guinness is great, people are nice. It rains a little too much, but makes the sun more worth it.”

We have ten double in-season passes to see Animals, which opens around Australia on September 12. To be in with a chance to win a free double pass, just fill in the entry form below. All entrants will be added to our Irish Echo email newsletter database.

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Fare war delivers amazing flight deals to Ireland

Airlines are offering amazing flight deals to Ireland with return fares as low as $1039 on offer.

A fare war has broken out between carriers flying one-stop into Dublin from Australia’s major cities resulting in record low fares.

While an economy trip to Ireland at peak periods like Christmas can often cost close to $3,000, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Cathay Pacific are all promoting return fares under $1500 if people are prepared to fly between September and November or between January and May.

Flights to Dublin airport from Australia have never been cheaper.

Flights to Dublin airport from Australia have never been cheaper.

Until July 22, booking return flights from Perth to Dublin will set travellers back as little as $1,029* when flying with two or more people on Qatar Airways.

The Doha-based carrier is offering similar deals from Sydney ($1059), Melbourne ($1039), Adelaide ($1029) and Canberra ($1079).

To take advantage of the See the World Together offer, travellers need to book on select dates between September 21, 2019 and March 31, 2020, excluding the busy November to December Christmas period.

ALSO READ: Echo lists the Top 100 Irish Australians of all time

Cathay Pacific, the most recent carrier to offer a one-stop option into Dublin, also has a Global Sale on until the end of July.

Travellers can fly to Dublin return for as little as $1210** from Perth. The Hong Kong-based carrier is also offering great return economy fares from Sydney ($1326), Melbourne ($1310) and Brisbane ($1332). Some exclusion dates apply and travel must be completed by the end of May, 2020.

Etihad, meanwhile, is offering great return deals into Dublin from Melbourne ($1294***), Sydney ($1322) and Brisbane ($1477). Bookings must be made by July 26 and travel must be completed by May 31, 2020. Once again, exclusion dates and some terms and conditions apply.

*Qatar Terms and Conditions: Offer valid until 22 July 2019, unless sold out prior. Fares (AUD) quoted above are the lowest adult return prices per person including taxes, fees, and airport charges departing from the mentioned cities to Dublin when booked with one or more companions. Other sale dates may be available. ‘Companion’ refers to a minimum of two (2) and maximum of nine (9) people travelling together on the same booking for the entire journey. Economy Class companion fares shown above are for departures from 21 September - 22 November 2019, 23 December - 31 December 2019, and 12 January - 31 March 2020. Business Class companion fares shown above are for departures from 1 October - 30 November 2019, 23 December - 31 December 2019, and 1 February - 31 March 2020. Inbound blackout dates apply: in Economy Class between 25 September - 15 October 2019, 12 December - 22 December 2019, and 1 January - 26 January 2020; in Business Class between 15 September - 31 October 2019 and 10 December 2019 - 31 January 2020. All travel must be completed by 31 March 2020. Fares may vary due to currency fluctuations. Seasonal surcharges, weekend surcharges, and blackout periods may apply. For all other terms and conditions please review at time of booking.

** Cathay Pacific Terms and Conditions: Offer ends: 31 JUL 2019 23:59 (AEST) Departures: UK & Europe: 11 JUL 2019 – 26 JUN 2019; 8 JUL 2019 – 12 Dec 2019; 28 Dec 2019 – 31 MAY 2020. Prices displayed are based on the lowest fare available for travel in low season. Prices are inclusive of all taxes and surcharges, current as at 12 Jul 19. Seats are limited and availability may vary based on flight number, departure date and airport.

***Etihad Terms and Conditions: Discounts only valid for bookings until 26 Jul 2019, for travel until 31 May 2020. Fares are inclusive of applicable taxes, the break down will be shown during the online booking process. Weekend surcharges apply. Flight/day restriction and blackout periods may apply. The airport taxes are subject to change without prior notice and will be confirmed at the time of booking. For full list of destinations and detailed terms & conditions, visit etihad.com .