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Free Issue #6 Aug/Sept 2012

ISSN 2009 4515

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CLOSING TIME FOR TSB BRANCHES Enjoying the sunshine: Aoife, Sinead and Jade with their mother Jessica enjoying a day out in Corcaigh Park

Permanent TSB has announced the closure of 16 of its 92 branches nationwide in the coming months.

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The bank, which only recently came under state ownership due to the recapitalisation of Irish Life & Permanent, is expected to lose up to 250 full-time staff, with almost 150 people expected to be made redundant because of the move. 530 staff members have already lost their job at the bank over the past two years, and UNITE trade unShutters & Security doors Maintenance Contracts Available 24 Hour Contract Service

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ion, which represents the majority of Permanent TSB workers, has said that they are currently in talks to reduce the number of permanent job cuts in the bank

By John Bodkin

Branches in Dublin which are set to be closed include those in Lucan, Blanchardstown, Sutton and on Henry Street in Dublin’s city centre. A further two branches in The Northside Shopping Centre and

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“CLOSING TIME FOR TSB BRANCHES” CONTINUED FROM PAGE 0NE ... Tyrellstown are also set to become mere “service locations”, where no staff members will be present, but customers will still be able to make lodgements. It has also been announced that the St. Stephens Green branch will close at some point during 2013, with the Grafton Street outlet being expanded to create a “flagship Dublin city centre site” for the bank. The Government took control of Permanent TSB in 2011 following a €2.7 billion bailout, with a further €1.3 billion pumped into the bank in the last month. Labour TD Joanna Tuffy for the Dublin MidWest area has spoken out against and expressed her disappointment at the impending closures. Tuffy said: “It is a pity the retail bank in lo-

cal towns and villages are losing out in the changes that are taking place. I hope the impact and disruption on customers who are reliant on public transport and need to visit a branch in person to do their banking with the Permanent TSB are kept to a minimum. I hope also that the needs of customers are kept in mind during the changes that are planned. I would also like to take this opportunity to commend the staff on the service that they have given to the local community over the years.” The main aim of these extreme changes to the bank is to cut operating costs by 10 per cent, and to reorganise the bank’s main functions into three separate entities: Permanent TSB, an asset management unit, and a UK mortgage loan business. Permanent TSB’s chief executive Jeremy Masding has said that the development is necessary in order for the bank to minimise its

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overheads and secure a stable future for itself. Masding, a British banker, took to his role in February of this year and is confident that the new measures will prove to be a success. “Our objective is to carve out a viable, efficient, and competitive and customer focused Permanent TSB bank from within the current group. We believe that such a bank can make a positive contribution to the Irish banking landscape and is the best way of protecting the taxpayer’s investment in our business,” he said. “We face significant challenges; however we are very confident about our future prospects once this restructuring plan has been implemented,” concluded Masding. The bank has insisted that the changes will not impact upon the quality of the customer service provided in any way, and that the progress of the new plan will be reviewed.

OLYMPIC FAST FOOD The Olympic Games has never been short of its sporting controversies, but it was the Games’ main sponsors which raised the most eyebrows when the event kicked off on the 27th of July. A flurry of critics slammed the decision by the London Olympic Committee which allowed fast food and junk food brands such as McDonalds and Coca-Cola to be amongst the main sponsors for this year’s Games. London’s Olympic park is home to the world’s largest ever McDonald’s restaurant, which holds a capacity of 1,500 people, and is said to have queue’s so large on the opening day of the Games that security guards had to hold people back at the entrance. Jenny Jones, member of the Green Party, stated, “London won the right to host the 2012 Games with the promise to deliver a legacy of more active, healthier children across the world, yet the same International Olympic Committee that awarded the

games to London persists in maintaining sponsorship deals with the purveyors of high calorie junk food that contributes to the threat of an obesity epidemic.”

By John Bodkin McDonalds were quick to have their say on the debate, as a spokesperson for the multinational quipped, “Ultimately it’s up to individuals to make the right food, drink, and activity choices for themselves.” McDonalds also announced that it would be introducing a new QR code system during the Olympics Games on all of their meals, allowing their customers to look up the nutritional value of their foods by simply scanning them with their smartphones. This new development will be in the majority of McDonalds outlets throughout the globe by the end of 2012. For the first time during the Games, children’s Happy Meals also included either a fruit, vegetable or low-fat dairy option, in a

further attempt to minimize the negative feelings towards their major sponsorship of the event. The controversy comes in the wake of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s open letter, published in the UK Times, in which he criticised professional athletes such as David Beckham for fronting junk food brands such as Diet Pepsi, noting that it sends out conflicting messages to the youth of today. “With one in three children in Britain & Ireland overweight or obese by the age of nine, we have a public health crisis that requires urgent intervention. We would ask athletes to be very conscious of the effect their endorsements may have on the future lives of youngsters,” reads the letter.

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ARRIVE ALIVE - SPEED KILLS, BELT UP! Worrying statistics from the RSA have announced that Drivers and passengers alike should take extra care with belting up and car weight restrictions. 23% of drivers killed were not wearing seatbelts and alarmingly 29% of passengers killed were not belted up.

The shocking fact in this on-going problem is that passengers are more likely to suffer and a high figure of these victims have been ejected from the vehicle. Last year two people were tragically killed and six people were seriously injured over the August Bank Holiday period. Large numbers of drivers will be travelling to sometimes unfamiliar places around the country, so Gardai are appealing to all drivers to slow down, take their time, be well rested, wear their seatbelt at all times and never, ever drink and drive. Over the next few weeks Tourists, Students and holiday goers will be gracing the roads, thus increasing the risk of accidents. Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar last week announced a crack-down for drivers not wearing seat belts and cars exceeding weight restric-

tions. The points system will be changed and drivers who ignore these basics rules will receive 6 penalty points. Significant strides to reduce the number of deaths have been made in recent years. However, the Gardai still report that a large number of people do not wear their seat belts or allow other passengers to travel unrestrained.

By Dave Penny Minister Varadkar said: “Shocking as it may sound there are still motorists who permit children under 3 to travel without being properly restrained. Failing to wear a seatbelt or allowing a passenger to travel unrestrained is a breach of the law and you risk a fine and penalty points on your licence which will remain in place for 3 years.” Assistant Commissioner Gerard Phillips said : “An Garda Síochána welcomes the changes to the penalty point system, and since their introduction in 2002 many lives have been saved as a result.

In particular, the use of a seatbelt in the front and especially the rear of a vehicle is the most basic form of Road Safety. It is the simplest and most effective way to protect all occupants in any vehicle. We also wish to remind all road users to take extra care on the roads during August & September. August and September are known to be high risk periods on our roads. Finally, as with all existing penalty point offences, we wish to remind the public that they have nothing to fear from penalty points once they are compliant with our road traffic laws. Ultimately they are designed to save lives and prevent injuries and at the end of the day this is our number one goal” Minister Varadkar concluded: “I would like to take this opportunity to remind all road users, motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians, to take care on our roads over the forthcoming months” The basic message is to arrive alive, belt up and obey the speed limits accordingly.

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See something you fancy ? Obtaining the deal could not be easier, just log onto our website LIFTING AWAY THE DIABETES According to a new scientific study, lifting weights can significantly reduce the risk of diabetes.

The Health Professionals Follow-Up Study analysed data from 32,000 American individuals who took part, and concluded that those who engaged in weight training slashed their chances of developing the most common form of diabetes by up to 34%. The study also suggested that combining weight lifting with any form of strenuous aerobic exercise would even further reduce the risk of developing the disease. In short, weight training helps increase glucose uptake by the muscles. Stored glucose in the body is referred to as glycogen, and this glycogen is hugely beneficial for diabetics. The study recommends that partaking in up to two and half hours of weight training a week, along with following a balanced diet, is the best way to cut the risk of the disease. The study, which was conducted by both researchers of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and the University of Southern Denmark,

spanned an 18 year time period from 1990 to 2008, and of the 32,000 participants, more than 2,700 of its participants had developed type 2 diabetes.

By John Bodkin

Leading researcher of the study, Anders Grøntved said: “Until now, previous studies have reported that aerobic exercise is of major importance for type 2 diabetes prevention. “But many people have difficulty engaging in or adhering to aerobic exercise. These new results suggest that weight training, to a large extent, can serve as an alternative to aerobic exercise for type 2 diabetes prevention,” he continued.

Participants of the study were required to fill out questionnaires every two years on topics which included their alcohol consumption, exercise habits, age, ethnicity and the medical histories of family members. Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health noted: “This study provides clear evidence that weight training has beneficial effects on diabetes risk over and above aerobic exercise, which are likely to be mediated through increased muscle mass and improved insulin sensitivity. “To achieve the best results for diabetes prevention, resistance training can be incorporated with aerobic exercise,” he concluded. Finding in the study also pointed to the condition being most common amongst those of South Asian, African-Caribbean or Middle-Eastern descent. According the recent figures from the NHS in the UK, over a million people are said to be living with type 2 diabetes unbeknownst to themselves. Worldwide, an estimated 346 million people are said to have the disease.


On July 20th a horrendous and mass assassination occurred in a Denver Cinema which saw James Holmes (24) killing 12 people and shooting and injuring 58 others.

Holmes who claimed to be the real Joker was wearing a baine-like gas mask and was equipped with tear gas grenades, and several assault riffles. Only a few years prior to this was the Columbine high school massacre, again 12 students were killed and a further 21 injured. This feature asks the simple question, is the mass media to blame or the influence behind these explicit acts of violence? This gives you, the reader, a chance to further endeavour into this. Who do you believe is to blame?

Many murders/massacres, particularly in the States have been influenced by a media source, be it Movies, Video games and even music, rap in particular.

By Dave Penny Be under no illusions, vast areas of media which expose this violence affects how children and teenagers in particular think negatively in the society they live in. It comes as no surprise that we are all vulnerable to what we see on television and the influences it has over us. Some are brought up to believe that media violence does not affect the way that teens or children act. TV does influence them, it depends on if they want to get influence by what they are

watching. As teens and children get older they try new things. Trends are set, trends set trends, this is a vicious cycle that will never end. After all, for many of us, we idolise our favourite movie stars at a young age, Actors we see on television come across as important rich successful characters. So we are vulnerable to act and think the way they do. There’s no denying that media influences us a lot. In modern society, any sort of media plays an important role in our daily life. Media being an entertaining function, it might touch almost everyone more or less. As a result, the importance of the media content could not be overemphasized. That’s why we censor before televising it in public, especially some of the news or contents not suitable for children.

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Business Directory

GARDAÍ CRITICISE MCD FOR PHOENIX PARK UNREST A new report has emerged which suggests that MCD’s lack of security was to blame for the antisocial events that took place at a recent Phoenix Park concert.



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The scathing Garda report outlined how the number of security staff employed during the Swedish House Mafia concert on the 7th of July was severely inadequate, and also claimed that the Phoenix Park was an unsuitable venue for an “electric music” event. While the review will not be officially published due to it containing extensive operational details, Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, has released a summary of the report from the Garda Commissioner in order to highlight its key points. The Garda Commissioner also suggested that the security staff on the night were not properly briefed on MCD’s policies for dealing with drug incidences and ID checking, as many believed there was an abundance of underage individuals inside the main arena at the event.

Temporary wooden signage used by MCD at the event has also been criticised, as the Commisioner believes that the signs in question had the potential to be removed and used as offensive weapons, and that temporary lights on-site were also left unattended throughout the evening.

By John Bodkin The concert, which was billed as Swedish House Mafia’s final Irish gig, was marred by shocking scenes of public disorder and anti-social behaviour from youths. Over 45,000 fans had attended the event which also included performances from international acts including Tinie Tempah, Calvin Harris and Snoop Dogg. Just hours after the concert had finished, two young men who had attended the event had been confirmed dead

RTÉ SUFFER FURTHER LOSSES According to the latest reports, RTÉ has posted an annual loss of €16.8 million, a number which has almost tripled in just two years. RTÉ’s annual report shows that the state broadcaster received €183.6 million from TV license revenue in 2011, which is 6% less than it received in 2010. The report also showed that €167 million was generated for the broadcaster through commercial revenue. This loss comes as RTÉ had recently reported cuts to operational costs, culling of staff members and the implementation of further measures to reduce overheads for the broadcaster. Operation costs have fallen by just over €25 million in the past year, from €376.7 million at the end of 2010 to €376.4 in 2011. These latest numbers are a far cry from the heady days of 2007 when RTÉ celebrated at 45% profit rise, with revenues generated amounting to €440 million. The cutbacks at RTÉ mean that a number of high-profile presenters are unlikely to have their contracts renewed by the end of 2012, in an attempt to further slash costs. Already this year, 2FM experienced the cancellation of one of its headline morning shows when the plug was pulled on Baz Ashmawy’s and Lucy Kennedy’s weekend slot, while it has already been announced that magazine programmes

including The Daily Show and Four Live will not be returning this autumn.

By John Bodkin However, big name presenters including Ryan Tubridy, Kathryn Thomas and Grainne Seoige are all said to be in the final stages of renewing their contract for next year. It was also been claimed by a TV insider that RTÉ’s programming budget has fallen dramatically over the past few years, with a reported fall of almost 50% compared to what it was back in 2007. Noel Curren, director-general of RTÉ has said that while the noticeable drop in revenue is worrying, the broadcaster is implementing the necessary measures to curb further losses. “For RTÉ to continue to fulfil its public service obligations it will have to adapt; to deliver existing and new high quality digital media services; to have clearer priorities that underline our public value, fulfil the needs of the public we serve and differentiate RTÉ from its international and domestic competitors. In parallel we must continue to reduce our costs, optimise our commercial potential to eliminate our deficit and return to a sustainable financial footing,” Curren said.

due to suspected drug overdoses, while several stabbings and violent assaults had also been reported to authorities. MCD has hit back at the report, issuing a statement calling the claims “unbalanced”, while also requesting that the entire report be published in the public interest. Denis Desmond, Managing Director of MCD productions, said that he was disappointed “that an individual or a very small number of individuals engaged in anti-social behaviour.” “Unfortunately, anti-social behaviour has become more and more part of our daily society with no town or village across the country escaping such conduct,” said Desmond. MCD also added that all ticket holders were subjected to searches upon entering the event site, and that there was a reasonable number of security staff and Garda personnel on-site for a licensed event in an area the size of the Phoenix Park.

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Katie Backed By Jet Fueled Roar The decibel level during Katie Taylor’s first fight with Team GB’s Natasha Jonas hit 113.7. To compare, the noise of

a jet engine is around 140 decibels. Ireland truly has the best supporters in the world!

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This September, Phibsboro will be celebrating it’s third annual “Phizzfest”- a festival showcasing the rich wellspring of talent and creativity that exists in the vibrant and multi-cultural community.

Phizzfest is an community arts festival which is financially appealing as most events are free entry and open to all of the public. This festival has enjoyed critical acclaim in recent years as 2011 winner of the “Epic Awards” – an initiative by the Voluntary Arts Sector who encouraged the participation of amateur and voluntary groups of the UK and Ireland to engage in community arts festivals. Phizzfest also won the People’s Choice Award at Dublin Living Awards in October the same year and is certainly a rising star on Dublin’s already wonderful and diverse culture and arts scene.

By Henry Connaughton The festival will be packed with a wide variety of activities and events from comedy and sport to drama, the visual arts and music. Activities taking place along the Royal Canal include Canoe Polo tournaments, model raft building for children and the Phizzfest Boat Rally. In the spirit of encouraging and showcasing local arts and talents, Phizzfest features Poetry and Creative writing workshops as well as Guitar and Drama. In something familiar with an unusual twist, there will be a Fashion show with Cynthia Baloula - where all clothes

are sourced from Phibsborough Charity Shops! You can get the chance to learn the Charlestone and the Swing with dancers from the Cat Club at the Vintage Style Tea Dance, which will be accompanied by tea, cake and old style jazz era music. Phibsborough is certain to be packed full of arts and culture, with a visual arts trail to be found through the area as well as music and comedy to be found in the pubs across the neighbourhood. This year’s programme is packed and contains a wide range of activities to interest all age groups including families and children. For information on dates, venues and bookings visit



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In Kent, England, a man had to undergo emergency surgery after medics left a pair of forceps inside his body during an appendix operation.

The eight-inch long forceps were left inside the man and were only discovered weeks later after he returned to hospital for a routine X-ray.

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A bulldog in Oklahoma, USA, was left with 500 quills stuck in her face and feet after the bulldog became tangled with a porcupine. The poor dog was left looking like a pin cushion! After emergency surgery some of the quills are still inside the dog’s body. We’re lucky we don’t have porcupines over here in Ireland. Ouch!

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Business Directory

LITERARY WORLD SUFFER’S GREAT LOSS Maeve Binchy was widely recognised as a major player in her field with her books outselling the likes of Oscar Wilde and James Joyce, and beat the likes of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens in a 2000 poll for World Book Day. Although her first book was rejected five times, she went on to sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and her novels have been translated into 37 languages and she has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide. Maeve also managed to crack the U.S when she appeared on the New York Times bestseller list and appearing on the Opera Winfrey show in 1999. Maeve began writing a column for the


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Curiousity Pays Off It has taken eight and a half months and 352 million miles but Nasa’s high-tech craft named ‘Curiosity’, finally landed on Mars on the 7th of August. ‘Curios-

ity’ will now scour the surface of Mars for basic ingredients essential for life, including carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, sulfur and oxygen.

Irish Times, which kicked started her career as a writer. She moved to London and began as editor where she met her husband, Gordon Snell, a presenter for the BBC.  It was there she began to write short stories. This led to the collections Central Line and Victoria Line and her first highly successful novel Light a Penny Candle, published in 1982.

gan who loves Charles and is prepared to go through all this (like she has gone through so much already) from the sheer accident of falling in love with him”. However she always maintained she didn’t have anything against Britain’s Royal family.

By Henry Connaughton

Perhaps one of the highlights of her career, her novel Circle of Friends, was made into a 1995 Hollywood movie starring Chris O’Donnell and Minnie Driver.

No stranger to controversy, Maeve caused a stir in 1973 with her Irish Times column, typically tongue-incheek report on the wedding of Capt Mark Philips to Princess Anne. In 2005 she took another shot at the royal family, saying she thought Camilla was “basically a decent and horsey cardi-

During her career, Maeve has also won many prestigous awards such as a Jacob’s Award for her RTÉ play, Deeply Regretted By, the British Book Award for Lifetime Achievement and a People of the Year Award In 2001 Maeve is survived by Gordon, her brother William and sister Joan.

LUAS TO CREATE 800 NEW JOBS AND IMPLEMENT NEW SERVICES Great news for Luas customers as An Bord Pleanala has given the go ahead for the Luas link up in Dublin City Centre. This news not only improves the cities transport service but is set to create 800 new jobs in the capital. The Red Line From Saggart to Connolly and the point will link up with the Green line from Stephens Green shopping Centre to Brides Glenn. The RPA has welcomed the decision, which will see passenger services on the new link-up operating from 2017.

By Dave Penny

The eventual route will be named the LUAS Broombridge line. An interchange with the Maynooth Line will be provided at Broombridge. A station will be built at the newly sanctioned DIT campus at Grangegorman. The project is expected to cost in the region of €370m. The new line will feature 13 stops, offering a journey time of 24 minutes. It is expected to attract an additional eight million passenger journeys, a 25% increase. The Dublin Chamber of Commerce said that the project would be a key piece of an integrated public transport network for the region that will benefit commuters, shoppers and tourists. “The development of this Luas line is a ‘missing link’ for public transport in the region as a whole,” said Gina Quin, Dublin Chamber Chief Executive. “Luas BXD will join the Luas lines but also

link the north and south side of Dublin city centre in an important way which will improve life for commuters, shoppers, and tourists. “When we link up our transport network more effectively, we give passengers greater options on where they can get to in the city and create more value for the public transport network as a whole.” Minister f or Transport Tourism and Sport, LeoVaradkar welcomed the decision by An Bord Pleanála. Speaking today, Minister Varadkar said: “Luas BXD will revolutionise public transport in Dublin. It will deliver a joined up commuter railway network by linking the two existing Luas lines. It will extend Luas into the north inner city to the new DIT campus at Grangegorman and will terminate at Broombridge where it will interchange with the Maynooth line.” “When complete, Dublin will have an integrated rail and light rail network that is the norm in other modern cities. “For the first time, it will be possible to get a train in Maynooth or Leixlip and get out in Dundrum or Sandyford with just one change. “Similarly, you will be able to get on the Luas at Tallaght and with just one change, get out at the new DIT campus or at Trinity College.” “The Business Case for Luas BXD needs to be updated to take into account the changes made by An Board Pleanála. “However I am confident that the business case remains robust and I expect that the arrangements for advance works and tendering will be finalised as soon as possible. “This morning I have instructed the RPA to begin work on this immediately with the intention that construction can commence in the near future.”


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TREMENDOUS SUCCESS AT ROADSTONE The President Of the Pitch and Putt Union Myles McMorrow congratulated the R.G.S.C.Pitch and Putt Club on the magnificent hosting of one of the most prestigious events in Pitch and Putt. He complimented the grounds staff on the magnificent condition of the course.

VICTORY: Winner of the Senior Championship Jonathan Goodall from the Tralee Club, Kerry

It was evident that all the work done prior to the championships resulted in a course in pristine condition. He was delighted with the large crowds of spectators who enjoyed all the facilities available to them over the weekend. He said the Roadstone Club is the ideal venue for any event, with restaurant, bar facilities on

the premises. The Championships got under way on Saturday with The Junior and Intermediate Championships. Both these event went without a hitch even though there was some heavy showers. The weather did not deter the spectators who turned out in large crowds. Junior Championship won by David O’Mahony from Drimoleague, Cork with a great score of 153. Intermediate Championship was won by Daniel Clinton, Cement Club, Drogheda also with a great score of 152. Senior Championship Sunday as expected was very strongly contested from the commencement

of play till the last ball holed out. The scoring was magnificent . Leading the field after 36 Holes was Jonathan Goodall, Tralee,with a Score of 90 followed by Phillip Byrne Glenville,(Dublin) 91, Damien Fleming Deerpark 92, John Walsh Collins, Junior Smith R.G.S.C., Chris Scannell Collins, Sean Boggins Cement, Joseph McGrath Erry, and Ray Murphy Templebreedy, all on 94. These looked like the strong challengers in the final 18 holes. The final round had the spectators thrilled with the excellent shots which were being played by the contestants. A great display of the

sport by Irelands top class players. It was the man from Tralee, Co. Kerry Jonathan Goodall who emerged the 2012 Senior Champion with a score of 25 under par. Followed by Damien Fleming Deerpark, Co. Kerry. 3rd was Phillip Byrne from Glenville,Dublin. Junior Smith R.G.S.C. and William Buckley Erry,Co. Offaly shared the 4th position.. Jonathan Goodall left Roadstone a very happy contestant he surely is the King Of The Swing in Pitch and Putt.with such a magnificent exhibition of the sport with this achievement he is now Irelands Number 1.

being congratulated bytony Tracey, Chairman of Roadstone Pitch and Putt Club


Meanwhile, Beyond all the usual bad stuff in the world A six year old blind cat named Stevie Wonder has started playing piano! It is believed that the cat tinkles the ivories as it comforts him to hear the sounds made by his movements.

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DUBLIN HOUSING PRICES CONTINUE TO FALL Irish housing prices have once again fallen in the month of June after a brief upturn in May of this year.

are currently in more than three months or more of arrears, with the majority of these accounts needing the repayments on these mortgages to be lowered.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) had only recently announced that housing prices experienced a 0.2% increase in May, despite an overall decrease of 15.3% compared to the same month in 2011. This increase was short lived as prices fell by a further 1.1% a month later, bringing the overall decrease in the past year up to 14.4%.

Housing prices have taken a huge knock since the property crash almost 5 years ago, as they are only half of what they were in 2007, according to the CSO. In January of 2012, the average Dublin house price had fallen below the €200,000 mark for the first time since the early months of 2000. For example, apartments in Dublin are worth 61% less than in February 2007, while residential properties are worth 57% less during the same period. Experts have said that weak bank lending and increased unemployment are likely to drag house prices down even further. Mortgage expert Karl Deeter has suggested that if house prices continue to fall it could help curb the rise of mortgage arrears. Recent figures from the Central Bank have showed over 116,000 mortgages

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current property depression has seen the of mortgages given out in the past year to only €2bn, compared with €30bn the property boom in the mid-2000s.

Financial analyst Michael Greany believes that austere fiscal consolidation along with the falling housing prices is likely to curb the increasing amount of arrears for Irish mortgage holders, but has said that state incentives and mortgage forbearance policies will be key in the coming years in influencing arrear performance. However, economist Ronan Lyons believes that the Dublin property market is looking much healthier than in recent years despite the continued fall in prices in the month of June. “In June, 34% of properties that were put on the market two months previously had sold - up from 25% last December. All these figures suggest that the Dublin market is closest to being a normal property market again,” said Lyons.

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Lyons also admitted that it won’t be an overnight recovery for the nationwide market, noting “it is important to remember that recovery in the property market is not about prices - it will take over four decades of “normal” house price inflation of 2% to reach the prices last seen in 2007 - rather, recovery is about activity.” Other economists have shown cautious optimism at the situation with Alan McQuaid of Merrion Stockbrokers remarking that the ESRI and Central bank have shown signs of hitting bottom, aswell as stating that there has been an increased demand amongst families under 35 looking to invest in the property market. A global survey conducted at the beginning of 2012, deduced that housing prices have fallen so much in Ireland that it requires only three times the average salary to buy a house here. During the boom, it was 10 times the average salary in comparison. The study, known as the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey, examined housing prices in 325 English-speaking cities across the world including those in Australia, Ireland, France, Germany and the US. Finding in the study showed that Waterford is Ireland’s least expensive city to invest in property, followed by Galway, Cork and Dublin respectively. 4X8 Ad only €40+vat


Unable to give up smoking? According to recent studies, you may need to question the role of your friends in this struggle against addiction. Recent research carried out by pharmaceutical company Pfizer revealed an unsettling social phenomena – one of three smoker’s admits to being a “saboteur”.

The data was collected from 6,300 current and former smokers by Pfizer as part of its Don’t Go Cold Turkey campaign. The word saboteur is being used to describe the act of deliberately sabotaging somebody’s attempt at giving up smoking. The underlying psychological motives for such acts were commonly reported to be jealousy, avoiding shame over one’s own smoking habits and having or keeping a “smoking buddy”.   However, the study also found that 72 per cent

of smokers who have tried to quit already suspect someone has been trying to stop them.

By Henry Connaughton “Beating a smoking addiction is hard enough without the negative influence of others around you casting doubt,” the DailyTelegraph quoted London-based GP Sarah Jarvis as saying. In the study it was found that the majority of those that try use the “Cold Turkey” approach to giving up will fail within eight days and only three per cent will be smoke-free after one year. It has been suggested by Sarah Jarvis that success rate increases could be raised signicantly with the aid of healthcare professionals or local Stop Smoking services.

Page 12 Business Directory

NORTH POLE TENSIONS Flaring tensions have been building over the past 4 years as the Americans and Russians realise the natural riches with an enormous price tag, lie beneath the northern ice cap. Territory disputes arose between the two super powers, each claiming the oil, gold and other natural resources. The potential is enormous: the Arctic is said to contain up to 500bn barrels of oil, huge gas reserves and significant deposits of diamonds, nickel, tin and gold. Growing interest in the Arctic has been driven by the recent spike in energy prices, which makes developing energy resources in hard-to-reach areas increasingly lucrative. Onshore mineral resources are being depleted, and the Arctic will soon become the world’s only untapped reserve. Consequently, no contender for the North Pole’s resources is likely to give up without a struggle. According to the study, the Arctic holds 30pc of the world’s undiscovered gas and about 13pc of oil. Most of the oil reserves lie within the state of Alaska, in the United States, while the gas is concentrated in Russian territory. Another interesting note to point out….Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867 for 7.2 million dollars. Scientists have been studying the area in depth. The study has also revealed that the riches are lying in shallow waters, which will make retrieving, pumping and transporting the oil and gas a handy number. Other countries which are on the hunt for oil and gas under the sea bed have developed anti weathering equipment that can access the natural resources that may lie 2000 meters below ice covered shores. The icy Arctic is turning into a real hot spot, and this has more to do with geopolitics than climate change. Disputes over the Arctic’s potential deposits are likely to increase. Norway led the way two years ago, submitting a claim for an extensive chunk of Svalbard and the Jan Mayen continental shelf. As the result, the UN commission formally granted Norway some 235,000 sq. km of Arctic and Atlantic Ocean seabed, which constitutes as much as three quarters of the region’s total land territory. Telegraph What’s behind Norway’s Arctic rush? According to experts, Norway’s North Sea oil production will decline some 50pc by 2030, providing the impetus for rapid action. All states bordering the Arctic claim rights to its continental shelf. The Arctic nations are the US, Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and Norway. Three other polar states – Iceland, Sweden and Finland – have no marine borders with the Arctic, yet could also make claims. The United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, India and China are also increasingly interested in the Arctic reserves. Russia’s first attempt to claim rights to the Lomonosov Ridge was in 2001, but the claim was rejected, citing a lack of scientific evidence. Two years ago, a Rus-

sian expedition using two submarines descended to the seabed 4km below the North Pole. Researchers planted a titanium Russian flag and took water and soil samples for analysis. The mission’s aim was to justify Russia’s claim on 1.2m sq. km of Arctic territory.

By Dave Penny

The Americans, Russia, Norway, Japan and Korea are all busy building off-shore platforms and Ice breakers in order to transport and consume the gas and oil, at the same time the greed is getting in the way of what truly matters here. They are making global warming a lot worse, in turn heating up our planet at an alarming rate, thus rising sea levels, melting ice caps and glaciers and killing off penguins, polar bears and other arctic species. In the past 20 years, images from space show us that the north pole has shrunk quite considerably, it is shrinking at a rate of 3% per decade, the north ice cap acts as a reflector, the bright ice causes the sun’s rays to bounce back up into the atmosphere, But due to the vessel ice breakers more water is exposed to the sun, thus attracting the suns raise to the water, which in turn means ocean warming and melting ice, it is not just global warming that is contributing to the melting poles. The Russians are the world’s largest gas supplier, 22% of their overall GDP and 20% of all exports. Three of Russia’s biggest gas fields which account for just 1% of Russia’s population, all lie in the western arctic and are pining all their hopes on what else could possibly lie beneath the northern arctic basin. Researchers estimate that overall takings could be worth $15 trillion. Other countries involved clearly know how valuable the North Pole could be. Violence and even a third world war could be the outcome if the territory dispute is not handled with care. The Russians have already claimed that exploration will commence in 2020. A Russian national security strategy has been put under way by the Russian president. Troops have already been deployed and are out their protecting the area right now as you read this article. This highlights the fact that potential violence could erupt and casualties could fall. Nikolai Makarov, first deputy defence minister and chief of the general staff, recently said: “Russia will have to work hard to protect its interests in the Arctic.” Konstantin Simonov, director of the National Energy Security Fund, puts it even more bluntly. Speaking at the Russia, Nato and Future of European Security Confer-

ence, he said Nato countries are aggressively expanding their military presence in the region. He believed a military clash in the Arctic is only 20 years away. We all know that this is not the first time natural resources have caused conflict and subsequently kicked off wars, which by the end of the gun fire, thousands of innocent lives shattered and destroyed. In April 2001, just 6 months prior to the 9/11 attacks, President Bush announced an invasion on Iraq to improve the flow of oil for the International community. The Bushes cabinet all agreed that Iraq remained to be a destabilizing influence to the flow of oil, demanded exports were not met. America of all countries had to take action. Bush and other wealthy men who put large sums of money into Bushes campaigns have huge investments in major oil companies, these are the only ones who would benefit from a war in Iraq. The invasion of Iraq had very little to do with the 9/11 attacks. The wide population were lead to believe the Americans were in the to disarm them from their ‘weapons of mass destruction’, ‘human rights’, or any other factors or lies that the American government lead the UN to believe. It is estimated that the Americans took in $4.5 billion of Iraq’s oil. How many innocent people died, how many families and communities were ripped to shreds? How many soldiers died just for America to make another buck? Figures are in the 6 figure thousands, we will never know for sure as much on casualties and lives lost as cover ups took place. Wiki leaks released a video of an American black hawk helicopter shoot down at a crowd of innocent civilians, killing at least 100. This was never reported in the news until it got leaked. How many of these executions took place?? We will never really know for sure the full extent of casualties. The North Pole is definitely a territory dispute for us to keep a close eye on. We know how desperate the super powers are to be the richest, the best and the most powerful. They will commit mass murder to get what they want. It is very worrying to think about the innocent civilians that may suffer in this potential war. Judging by previous wars and invasions, all hell will break loss. The only positive thing about this situation is that the North Pole is not populated by humans. The only people they will harm is each other, which is of course still a bad thing. The UN laws state that bordering countries of the North Pole can claim territory of 200 miles adjacent to the countries coast. We now must wait and see what happens over the coming years, global warming and human destruction will determine what happens with this untapped reserve of natural riches.

HIDDEN HISTORY OF ANCIENT OLYMPICS Perry Terrotet, Historian and Author of The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games, revealed how the ancient Olympics were the “total pagan entertainment package”. In an interview in National Geographic prior to this year’s Olympic games in London and kicked off with an opening ceremony as memorable and culturally significant as anything in 2012  London.

The opening ceremony of London 2012, which was orchestrated by the director Danny Boyle (creator of Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire) was predicted to have been tuned into by a whopping 900 million viewers on the 27th of July this year according to the International Olympic Committee. How-

ever, it is unlikely that many could trace this ritual practice back to a time where the games would feature “nonexistent sanitation, pervasive prostitution, broken bones, animal sacrifice, and even doping”.

By Henry

Connaughton “Today’s Olympics is a vast, secular event” noted Perry Terrotet, “but it doesn’t have the religious element of the ancient Olympics, where sacrifices and rituals would take up as much time as the sports”. According to the historian, the Olympics significance in Greek Antiquity was “ first and foremost a religious

event, held on the most sacred spot in the ancient world. It had this incredible aura of tradition and sanctity.” Where today we gathered to witness a celebration of popular British culture, you could expect to find “fireeaters, palm readers and prostitutes” in the ceremonial proceedings of antiquity - some that would even include animal sacrifices. The first Olympic games featured only a single foot race, and the occasion was held for mythological reasons - namely as part of a worship ritual to their God Zeus. The nature of the true origins of the Olympics have been “lost in the midst of time” claims the Historian, however, this celebration of athleticism is believed to have been practiced ever four years from 776 BC to AD 394 as they are today.

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BizBlitz Reviews Cinema Releases Movie Written by Jessica Sloan

DVD & BLU RAY 21 Jump Street(2012) 21 Jump Street is a feature length revival of the 1987 television series of the same name, which starred Johnny Depp, as officer Tom Hanson in his breakout role. This feature length version is an action comedy with a surprising amount of heart, as well as plenty of gags and one liners along the way. 21 Jump Street follows the premise of the original TV series, as Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum who are police partners, are faced with the humiliation of going undercover as high school students to bust a drug ring. After their own turbulent high school experience (Tatum was a jock, and Hill was a nerd), both are shocked to find out how the PC generation has changed the popularity stakes in high school, with Hill now seen as the more popular of the two. This leads to some hilarious scenes and quotes from Jonah Hill’s character, which is to be expected after his turn in hugely popular comedies such as Knocked Up and Superbad. Tatum is also equally hilarious and holds his own in the comedic value stakes alongside Hill, which may come as a surprise as he has never had a lead comedy role before. In an outrageous way, 21 Jump Street provides some real laughs, in some ways creating a new age Police Academy. But what really stands out about 21 Jump Street is that it’s not just enjoyable and hilarious, it also tells a genuinely interesting and emotionally compelling story, developing its characters in a way you probably wouldn’t anticipate from a high school comedy. If you enjoy outrageous, immature comedy movies similar to Superbad, Hot Rod and The Hangover, then you will thoroughly enjoy this film, and I guarantee you will be laughing throughout. 21 Jump Street is available to rent now.




The Bourne Legacy(2012)

The Bourne Legacy is the fourth instalment in the Bourne film series. With Jeremy Renner (The Hurtlocker, The Avengers) in the lead role replacing Matt Damon as the central character of the Bourne films, alongside Rachel Weisz (The Mummy, The Constant Gardener). The Bourne Legacy follows a similar premise to the first three films, with Jeremy Renner’s character Aaron Cross, escaping execution at the hands of the CIA. With the help of scientist (Rachel Weisz), they set out to expose the crimes of his superiors. The Bourne Legacy is in cinemas the 13th of August

The Expendables 2(2012) The Expendables 2 may not be a long awaited sequel to The Expendables, but you can guarantee that it will be as action packed, leave-your-brain-at-the-door entertaining as The Expendables. The Expendables 2 returns with the original cast of Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Bruce Willis, and of course Arnold Schwarzenegger. Mr Church (Willis) enlists the Expendables to take on a seemingly simple job, which turns nasty, very nasty. All your favourite movie action heroes are here, and this is definitely one for the boys. But girls don’t worry we have some eye candy in the form of newcomer Liam Hemsworth. So if you are dragged along to see this, at least you have something to look forward to! The Expendables 2 is in cinemas the 17th of August.

Taken 2(2012) The long awaited sequel to the hugely popular Taken, starring Liam Neeson as our favourite retired CIA agent, is nearly here. Taken 2 follows on a year after the events that transpired in Paris, only this time Bryan Mills’ ex-wife Lenore and daughter Kim are both kidnapped by an Albanian gangster as revenge for Bryan torturing and killing his son Marko in Paris. Bryan is once again forced to take action, and we get to see some glorious action packed scenes with the great Liam Neeson, who needless to say takes no prisoners. Taken 2 is in cinemas on the 5th of October 2012.

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Page 15

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