Page 1


A Community Magazine for Blessington


& Surrounding Areas



contents 12| In Cinemas Movie Reviews

Batemen & Sudeikis conspire against their Horrible Bosses, Brendan Gleeson & Don Cheadle fight crime in The Guard and Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood still haunts the cinemas

22| Sport A.P (Tony) McCoy

John Bohan discusses the legendary National Hunt Jockey

30| Cover Story Gustave

The story of the legendary man-eating crocodile of Burundi

09 Sudoku 10 Recipe 16 Tech Talk

17 What’s Going On? 20 Health - Insomnia 24 Music Reviews

Copy Deadline - September 2011: Monday 15th August

Contact colm

T: 087 6430519

Email: Editor / Graphic Design: Colm Geoghegan Cover Image: (Rogue - Village Roadshow Picture)

Blessington Magazine. Tel: 087 6430519 Email: All material copyright © Blessington Magazine 2011. All rights reserved Printed by Punctual Print, Blessington


Look for us on Facebook: Blessington Mag The opinions and views expressed in Blessington Magazine are those of the individual authors or contributors and are not necessarily those of the Editor of Blessington Magazine. Blessington Magazine assume no liability for accuracy, errors or omissions in editorial or offer content. No advice or information given by contributors, Blessington Magazine or any other party shall create any warranty or liability. Blessington Magazine cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may arise as a result of any errors, omissions or inaccuracies in this magazine. All information, facts & advertising are understood to be correct at time of going to press. However, Blessington Magazine cannot accept responsibility for any changes after the deadline. Final proofing is the sole responsibility of the client.

Movie Images: Warner Bros., Sony Picture Classics, Element Pictures Film Actor Images:


LOCAL news

GARDEN FORCE...... BLOOMING BRILLIANT Being asked to do a show garden in Bloom is a very daunting proposal and even more so when the sponsors are Lyric FM. However the temptation to be compared with the best designers and landscapers in Ireland was too tempting and I accepted the challenge. I constructed a lot of the design in my own garden in Lacken under a marquee kindly loaned to me by John Cullen a local builder. Then I had to transport this bit by bit to the Phoenix Park and create it to show standard within one week ! Michael and Ambrose Durcan were very kind to supply me with materials at short notice and help me overcome some practical issues. Lyric FM were great partners to work with and Sheena Vernon, the designer with whom I worked closely, was an inspiration but the build project was my responsibility and I really did not want to fail in any way. The morning the judges were to provide the results was terrifying and it was the first day for the public to arrive. I was nervously watering plants when the Silver Gilt award was placed on our garden. The relief was immense. The rest of Bloom was a pleasure. The Lyric FM presenters, including Trish Taylor, Marty Wheelan and Liz Nolan, presented live from the garden with the sound of the Purple Water Features who played their own background music. The enthusiastic public enjoyed the live music played from the garden and gave us some very nice comments on our work. Thank you to the Blessington community for the support you showed me during Bloom, especially those that attended and made a point of saying Hello! If you would like to understand more about the concept of the metal covered stage being invaded by a garden, please call Michael for a chat on 0879977123 04

by Michael Corr



local news

DURCAN’S PRODUCTS AND COMMUNITY SPIRIT Two brothers have bravely opened a new business in Blessington situated on the N81 on your left hand side as heading for Dublin.

A recent open day displayed the initial range of products including Building providers materials, General hardware, Garden centre, Timber sheds, Log cabins, Stables, Steel Sheds and Landscape Gardening Materials. Also, more uniquely and to the delight of our local children, Durcan’s play systems; various exciting climbing apparatus, houses castles, firemans station, dolls house, Garda station, whatever your childs imagination tells you they are then that’s what they are! Quite different from the all too prevalent computer games that give children a distinct lack of exercise and challenges for the imagination. It was great to see the children running, jumping, climbing and laughing together while the parents made good use of the pig roast and BBQ. Mr Sean Gallagher, of TV’s Dragons Den, spoke at the opening and some of his comments were very motivational. He referred to hard work and supporting the local community which in return would result in the support of the local community. Ambrose and Michael Durcan have taken on a challenge that has been a life time ambition to open a business together as a team. Ambrose


The first 50 people to bring this magazine to Michael or Ambrose Durcan and purchase a play system receive a FREE safety landing mat worth €50 or €50 worth of plants ! has been living locally for over fifteen years and knows the area and people well .The brothers are exploring options to fully understand how they can meet the requirements all year round of local people, many of whom drive past each day on the busy N81 not knowing the gold mine of information passing with them. The two brothers are keen to integrate further into the local community and would love to hear the comments on their new business and how it can be tailored to the needs of those busy motorists passing by and the wider community. Why not call in for a coffee and meet Michael and Ambrose personally and see what plans they have that you could benefit from.




The Eagles Annual Charity Parachute Jump

Once again you will have the opportunity to experience the Fun and Adrenalin of a Tandem Sky Dive from 13,000 feet when “The Eagles” Annual Parachute jump takes place in Edenderry on Saturday 10th September. This year’s event will aid “The Bellarose Foundation”. The Challenge is two fold with participants raising much needed funds to support the charities which provide practicle care and home support to women living with Cancer. Join a host of celebrities and business personalities for the challenge of a lifetime. The venue for this year’s event is “Irish Parachute Club” Clonbollogue Airfield Edenderry Co. Offaly. Sponsored this year by “Maud’s Home Services”, the leading cleaning service in Ireland, the event is sure


to be a great success. Firstly you must raise a minimum of €650 and than choose between a Tandem Skydive from 10,000 feet at a speed of 200km a hour attached to a tandem master or a more daring Solo Static Line jump from 3,000 feet! You will be trained to the highest standards by the Instructors of the “Irish Parachute Club” before boarding the Pilatus Porter PC6 or Cessna 206 (Turbine) for what will be the experience of a lifetime. Afterwards you can join the party and relive your experiences as a Member of “The Eagles” where you will be awarded a certificate of achievement and be sure in the knowledge that you have helped to provide Care and Home support to women recovering from Cancer.



How to Play:

Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9, with no repitition! Solving the problem takes reason and logic!

Solution on Page 27 09



Spiced bbq mushroom burger TV chef Simon Rimmer’s vegetarian burgers are great all year round, but especially good in the summer cooked on the barbecue. Stuff large mushrooms with a mouth watering filling and let them cook directly on the BBQ


1. Light / preheat the barbecue. Brush the field mushrooms all over with 3 tbsp of the olive oil, then season. 2. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a low heat and gently fry the onions and garlic for 5 minutes until softened. Add the spices and cook for 2 minutes more, then transfer the spiced onion to a bowl. 3. Put the spinach in a colander, pour over boiling water from the kettle to wilt, refresh under cold water, squeeze dry, then roughly chop. 4. Stir the spinach, chillies, lemon zest and feta into the onion mixture and season to taste. 5. Barbecue the mushrooms for 5 minutes, flat-side up, place to one side, turn over and divide the filling between them. Place back on a medium-hot part of the barbecue for a further 10 minutes until cooked through and the filling is hot. 6. Toast the flatbreads on the barbecue for a minute, then use to wrap the mushrooms, and top with a dollop of yogurt, and serve. 10

Serves 4-6


8 large field mushrooms 4 tbsp olive oil 2 small red onions, finely chopped 2 large garlic cloves, crushed 1 tsp ground cumin Good pinch ground coriander 180g baby spinach 2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped Grated zest of 1 lemon 120g feta, crumbled 6 flatbreads and Greek yogurt, to serve Source:


If you are interested in advertising your recipes please contact Colm on

087 - 6430519 or email:



in cinemas

Reviews by Colm Geoghegan

horrible bosses

15 cert

Directed by Seth Gordon. Starring Jason Bateman Kevin Spacey Jennifer Aniston Colin Farrell. Out Now, 98 minutes

It’s great to see Kevin Spacey on Swimming with Sharks form once again in this fun but formulaic comedy. Nick (Jason Bateman), Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) and Dale (Charlie Day) hate their bosses! They have a number of reasons why they should. Nick’s corporate tycoon looney of an employer (Kevin Spacey in despicable form) dangles a promotion over his head for years only to take it away and use threats like “If you quit I’ll make sure you never work in this town again”. You believe him. Kurt (Sudeikis) actually loves his job but it’s the bosses son (Colin Farrell) who he can’t stand and recently engaged Dale (Day) is being sexually harassed by maneat-

ing dentist Julia (a game Jennifer Aniston). The only thing that could make life bearable again would be to ‘off’ their respective bosses. This revelation hits on a booze fuelled evening where they hire ‘murder consultant’, the brilliantly named Motherf***er Jones (Jamie Foxx). From this brilliantly simple premise though we get a strangely inconsistent comedy. The majority of the cast are great, especially Aniston’s sex crazed nymphomaniac. The problem lies in two of the leads. You get the inherent feeling that Sudeikis and Day are struggling to keep their head above water when thrown in with the likes of Bateman, Farrell and Spacey. Jason Bateman though, as

Fun but not as nasty and darkly funny as it should be but Bateman, as always, is superb.

always, is superb. His dry wit and subtle delivery (first brought to light in the excellent Arrested Development) is the perfect antidote to the ott ramblings of the other two leads. It’s fun but not as nasty and darkly funny as it should be. Some of the setpieces work while others feel a little forced but it’s a decent night out. CG

All Movies reviewed at Storm Cinemas, Naas, Co. Kildare For more info visit: 12


in cinemas

the guard

Reviews by Colm Geoghegan

15 cert

Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) is a small-town Irish Guard. He’s partnered with FBI agent Everett (Cheadle) after stumbling upon a murder with connections to a local drug smuggling operation, headed by Francis Sheehy (Liam Cunningham) and his two psychotic henchmen, Clive (Mark Strong) and Liam (David Wilmot). This great little Irish film follows the same pitch black humour of another excellent Gleeson vehicle In Bruge which, incidentally was made by John Michael McDonagh’s brother Martin. As Sergeant Boyle Brendan Gleeson is a revelation. A renowned character actor, he breaths life into the role with ease, some brilliant observational humour

and dry wit. In one early scene he searches a dead body to discover drugs. As he shoves the bag into his pocket he turns to the corpse “Your mammy wouldn’t be very happy with that now would she”. Inspired. The film is full of these wonderful one liners. Everett, unfortunately, is a less fleshed out character, only really there to show the cultural contrasts behind the mentality THE MONTH of Irish and American but he is still game for a laugh. The final showdown is also a little rushed and doesn’t have the impact it should have but this is Directed by John Michael McDonagh. really only a minor quibble in Starring Brendan Gleeson what overall is a darkly funny Don Cheadle film. Destined for cult greatness Liam Cunningham. like it’s sibling In Bruge, The Out Now, 96 minutes Guard is a great night out. CG



12 cert

Every few years a film so bad it makes your skin crawl, limps lifelessly into your local cinema. This year was the turn of Catherine Hardwicke’s retelling of the age old Little Red Riding Hood yarn. Although it’s been out a little while now it is still on limited release for anyone looking to bore themselves to death for 100 minutes. Ironically Hardwicke, whose career started with the brilliant Thirteen, a great little indy movie, has pretty much become the poster child for Hollywood mainstream with Twilight et al. She is essentially the Black Eyed Peas of

the movie business. This rushed, badly written and terribly acted mess manages to make even a Wayan’s Brothers movie look like Citizen Kane. Even the Twilight fans, who this is clearly aimed at, will baulk at the shockingly bad dialogue. The ‘Wolf’ too is laughable. The CGI Smurfs from the upcoming animation of the same name are far more menacing than this digital pooch. If your unlucky enough to be dragged to Red Riding Hood you can always use the time in a productive way and catch up on a well deserved snooze. Utter Rubbish. CG

still showing

Directed by Catherine Hardwicke. Starring Amanda Seyfried Gary Oldman Billy Burke. Last Run, 100 minutes 13



the real names of movie stars The reasoning behind an actor’s choice to go by another name ranges from a disliking of their birth name, to rules involving no two people being allowed to register the same name with the Actor’s Guild. Here is a list of the real names of some of the world’s most famous...

Woody Allen: (Allen Stewart Konigsberg)

This noted Academy Award winning director from New York City spent his early years chasing a career in comedy and comedy writing. He adopted the stage name Woody Allen around the age of 16. His directorial debut was the film What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, and he has been going ever since with his special blend of comedy; love it or hate it.

Jennifer Aniston: (Jennifer Anastassakis)

Born February 11, 1969 Jennifer is first and foremost known as Rachel from the hit television demonstrate Friends. She has gone on from Friends to star in a wide variety of film roles with comedies such as Bruce Almighty and thrillers like Derailed, as well as suffering through a high profile divorce with actor Brad Pitt.

Nicolas Cage: (Nicolas Kim Coppola) 14

As the nephew of famed director Francis Ford Coppola, Nicolas residence out to gain his own recognition based on his own talent and not a famous relative. The “Cage” in his name is said to have come from a comic book character. With Nicolas being a fan of comics, as well as having extreme interest in things involving Elvis Presley. Even though he is sometimes regarded as an oddball, Nicolas has a substantial fan base and has had loads of success on the big screen.

Michael Caine: (Maurice Joseph Micklewhite)

Born in London, Maurice took his stage name from a 1954 film: The Caine Mutiny, due to a request by his agent. He is a two time Oscar winner who has starred in many hit films such as the Batman Trilogy, Children of Men and The Prestige.

Tom Cruise : (Thomas Mapother IV)

Originally Thomas aimed to become a priest, following his deeply religious beliefs of youth. However, at the age of 18 he changed his mind, dropped out of school, and the rest is movie history. His marriage to actress Nicole Kidman led to divorce and his marriage to a worthy, younger Katie Holmes has added controversy to the media coverage of his

already familiar public antics; most notably a hand crushing, couch hopping event on Oprah Winfrey’s couch. In 1990 Thomas renounced his Catholic religious beliefs altogether and joined the Church of Scientology, which he claims cured him of dyslexia.

Jodie Foster : (Alicia Christian Foster)

Her big break came as a child in the film Taxi Driver starring Robert De Niro; she played a child hooker, him a mentally disturbed man. She not only caught the eye of the general public for the role, but also became the obsession of John Hinckley Jr. who tried to assassinate President Ronald Regan to impress her. Alicia went on to more critical acclaim as an adult with the lead in Silence of the Lambs and has since become not only an A-list actress, but also a producer and director. Her name Jodie was applied to her by her siblings as a child.

Christopher Walken: (Ronald Walken)

A friend suggested to a young Ronald to change his name to advance his early career. This trained dancer known for his creepy roles and trademark dialogue delivery states that it is his preference to be referred to as just Chris as opposed to Christopher.



computers / phones / gadgets

Smart Phone Security

The Smart Phone seems to be everywhere these days. Gone are the days where it was purely a business tool, it seems that no matter what age or gender, there is a smart phone to suit your needs. Unlike standard phones, Smart Phones hold a lot of very sensitive information. For example, your Smart Phone will have access to your email account, facebook account, twitter account and a host of other social networks. A lot of sensitive information can be garnered from these accounts if your phone fell in to the wrong hands. Many people have a tendency to leave their phones unlocked and this makes it very easy for anyone to browse your phone. I would suggest using the built in passcode Lock on the iPhone and the built in Pattern Lock on Android phones. Both are simple to set up and offer basic protection from people browsing your phone. There are more advanced options, for example on the iPhone, you can set it to delete the contents of your phone if the wrong passcode is entered 10 times in a row. If you decide to use the wipe feature, remember to keep children away from your phone as they could accidentally enter the wrong code 10 times and wipe your phone! The iPhone App Store is more heavily regulated than its Android Market counterpart. Whilst the chances of getting a dodgy app in either store are slim, there have been reports of such apps in the Android Market. Android users are also not limited to just using the Android Market 16

to download apps. Unlike iPhone users, there are many other Markets out there to download applications from and there is no need to hack your phone to do this, you just enable the choice to download an app from an Unknown Source. If you are going to enable this feature, I would suggest that you install an Anti Virus package on your Android phone. The two that I am familiar with are Eset Mobile Security by Eset and Anti-Virus Free by AVG Mobilation. These security suites should offer some peace of mind when downloading apps from non official sites and also offer protection from spam SMS messages. They both also offer security features should your phone be stolen. For more information on Eset Mobile Security, go to and for more information on Anti-Virus Free go to vJd7N. If you have any queries about this article or would like advice on any of the points raised by it, please don’t hesitate to call our office on 045 855761 or email us at


what’s going on? - your guide to upcoming local events Blessington Citizens Information Centre

‘THE EAGLES’ charity parachute JUMP In aid of “The Bellarose Foundation”. Edenderry, Saturday 10th September. Contact Dermot McGuckin on: 086-8793242

Punchestown Montessori School

A FREE preschool year is being offered at Punchestown Montessori School September 2011 ! For further details please contact Gaye Mullen on Tel: 045874175

hollywood fair

Harvest Fair 20th August 2011 Thrashing Display, Photo Exhibition Scarecrow Exhibition, Showing of pre1950’s film. Harvest Fair 21st August 2011: Photo Exhibition, Games of the Pre 1950 era, Brass Band, Dog Trials Play, Vintage Car Display, Vintage Tractor Display, Weaving Display, Basket Making Display, Patchwork Display, Herbal Remedies , Traditional Sweet Stall, Pitch & Toss, Wellington tossing, Gold Fish Dip, Duck Race, Match-making, Fortune Telling, Stone Cutting Display, Wood Turning Display, Traditional Cooking Story Telling, Sheep Fair, Butter Making Display, Fun Tug-O-War These and further events will be updated on our Facebook page

Blessie Nessie

Blessie Nessie fun mini triathlon. Saturday the 13th of August at 2pm. bbq and music in Mileys that evening. €400 for a team of 6 entry forms and sponsorship forms are available from Conleth 086-1706688

The CIC based in Blessington Library will be closed for the month of August. It will re-open on Tuesday 6th September from 1.00pm to 4.00pm. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause. In the interim please telephone Bray CIC with your information inquires at (01) 286 0666

Heritage Walk

A Heritage Walk is taking place on Saturday August 27 commencing from Lacken Church at 2.30pm


Cemetery Sunday is taking place in Baltyboys Cemetery on Sunday August 28th at 3pm


St. Kevin’s Community Centre, Blessington on Sunday August 14 commencing at 8am

trevor geoghegan’s summer art school

Trevor Geoghegan’s Summer Art School is now open! Classes for Beginners, Intermediate & Advanced. Indoor & Outdoor subjects (Still Life, Landscape, etc.) will be covered. Offering group and individual tuition. For further details and booking forms contact Trevor on: 045-865529 17

§ BEAUTY skin & makeup tips Anyone want some green tea? Not only is it great for your inner body, its also great for your skin. A number of encouraging studies have shown benefits of green tea on the skin. Reducing sun damage and inflammation, green tea is a natural antioxidant that fight damaging free radicals and its an anti-inflammatory. Green tea is widely available andf I would opt to buy the organic kind.

How to use green tea in your skin care For tighter pores, a fresher face and over all glow to your skin, you can make your own green tea spray, which you can use in the morning or at night.

You will need: Organic green tea, Water, Jug, Spray bottle & Spoon. Boil the kettle, place a green teabag into the jug and add boiling water Stir, let it completely cool down and put it in the fridge, take your spray bottle (you can buy these in a pharmacy) and when your green tea is cool, pour into your spray bottle. This will last approx 2 to 3 days & you can keep this in the fridge and use it as a cold refreshing spray for your face (great for travelling to if you want a fresh face). You can also pour the mix into an ice cube maker and freeze them, when you want to use the green tea ice cubes, take them from the freezer and let them sit for 3 to 4 mins, until they start to melt. Do not apply directly to the skin from the freezer. When the cubes are ready you can run them over the face and under the eyes if you’ve had a late night. I know it sounds crazy but it is so nice and very refreshing.

by Stephanie Bannon

your brow should begin at the inner corner of your eye, the arch should start at the outer edge of your iris and end at the outer corner of your eye. Like I said these are only guidelines. It is an idealistic brow. It will not suit everyone. If you are not sure make an appointment with your beauty therapist and be clear as to what you want.  If you are plucking, pluck in the direction of hair growth. This will minimise pain, and ingrown hairs. Now, what to put on those brows. Pencil, gel or powder?  Pencil is good if you want definition. Use light feathered strokes from inner to outer of the brow  Powder (or just brown eye shadow) Use this with a clean mascara wand or you can use an angled eyeliner brush. You will achieve a very natural look with powder and this has to be my favourite.  Gel - this comes like mascara, and it’s great for defining and taming your brows and most importantly, keeping them in place.

Tips for beautiful brows

 Brush the brows upward and very carefully trim any excess hair over the top of your natural arch. Take your time and be careful not to take too much off just a little at a time.  Have a look at the shape. The general rule is

To advertise call 087 6430519 or Email: 18



face-it studio Face-it Studio, Your local Beauty and Hairdressing Academy. At Face-It Studio, we are committed to providing the best quality training at realistic prices. We add as many free extras as we can possibly afford to ease the burden on our students. We have many courses coming on stream this year. ITEC Beauty Specialist, with a staggering €1150 worth of extra FREE courses added on is perfect for those who want to train but cannot afford all the extra courses required to bring them right up to date with all the new treatments coming on line.

The next date is September 2011, and it will run until May 2012 (but hurry, the course is filling up very quickly!) ITEC Diploma in Hairdressing Skills, which is an internationally recognised Diploma in hairdressing. Not just a salon certificate, this is an International Diploma recognised worldwide. It’s fully insurable and fully accredited. This course is commencing in September and will run two days per week for 10 months. We also offer Make up Artistry courses and make up workshops suitable for the complete

beginner or those who want to brush up on their make-up skills. We provide up to the moment, on trend up-skilling short courses keeping therapists right up to date with all the latest treatments available and keeping them one step ahead of the competition. We have just introduced our ITEC Waxing Certificate course which is run over 4 weekends and is suitable for the complete beginner. Visit www.face-it studio com for a full list of courses available. Contact Martina: 087/9078002 or Jacki: 087/9220776




by Kathy Joyce

How To Overcome Insomnia and get a good nights sleep

Insomnia is a very common problem and affects one in three adults. Insomnia means lack of sleep and can be triggered by a variety of different causes. Stress is a common cause for example a break up of a relationship, redundancy at work, financial worries or a health worry can mean lying awake at night trying to sleep and fighting against a very active mind that’s turning over worries and possible solutions. The more you try to sleep the worse the situation becomes. Try to completely switch off from worries before you go to bed, and tell yourself that everything will work out fine. This may be very hard to do, but you can help yourself by not drinking any caffeine drinks such as coffee in the evening and having a warm bath before you go to bed. Make your bedroom a comfortable temperature but not to hot, and have a window slightly open to allow oxygen to circulate. These simple attentions can help you to sleep better and manage your insomnia. Drinking alcohol can cause drowsiness and make you fall into a light sleep, however it certainly isn’t a cure for insomnia as it also dehydrates the body. After a couple of 20

hours you will wake up as your body is telling you it needs water. One solution though is to drink plenty of water before you sleep, however you will probably still wake up a few hours later as you will need to pass water! Sometimes insomnia can be caused by health issues such as a head ache, stomach upset or other types of aches and pains. Asthma and other breathing problems can cause insomnia. I have suffered briefly from Asthma in the past and know that propping yourself up in bed with a couple of extra pillows really does help. Some people find that they can’t sleep in bed but will easily fall asleep while watching a film on tv while lying on the couch. Heartburn that causes pain or tightness in the mid-chest area is also a cause for insomnia. This can be much worse at night while lying down. It may wake a person from sleep and can be painful. Medication for heartburn or acidity can relieve this and lead to better sleep. Gaviscon is one medication that does work immediately to relieve symptoms. Try to relax and enjoy life. Don’t get stressed as most of what we worry about in everyday life never happens anyway.




by John Bohan

A.P. McCoy National Hunt Jockey AP (Anthony Peter) McCoy is regarded as not only the greatest jump jockey of our time but the greatest of all time and he is Irish! He has been described as a ‘genius like Lester Piggott, a one off, incredible ’by former Flat Racing Champion Frankie Dettori. AP or Tony as he is sometimes called was born in Moneyglass, Co. Antrim in May 1974 to Mum Claire and Dad Peadar. He has three sisters Anne Marie, Roisin and Kelly and a brother Colm. In his younger days he hated school and initially showed no interest in Horse Racing. His favourite sports were football (he is an avid Arsenal fan) and snooker (Alex Higgins was his childhood hero). His Dad built stables beside his house and it was only when he bought his son a pony that AP began to take an interest in horses. During his early teenage years he started riding out at local Trainer Billy Rock’s yard and eventually started working for him. It was Billy who got him into Jim Bolger’s yard in Coolcullen Carlow just shy of his 16th birthday. Then when he became sixteen he signed apprentice forms and a few months later in September 1990 he had his first ride on a 22

racing track ‘Nordic Touch’ in a flat race at the Phoenix Park. His first winner was Legal Steps for Jim Bolger in a flat race at Thurles in March 1992. But it soon became obvious that he was getting too heavy to ride on the flat and he made the decision to have a go at National Hunt and the rest they say is history. He crossed the Irish Sea to Britain and linked up with trainer Toby Balding in August 1994 and a month later rode his first National Hunt winner over hurdles Chickabiddy for trainer Gordon Richards at Exeter. Toby introduced AP to an agent Dave Roberts who began to get him plenty of rides and AP went on to win the conditional Jockey Championship in his first season in Britain 1994/95. The following season he became Champion Jump Jockey for the first time and has gone on to win the title every year up to and including this year. This was largely due to him being the no.1 jockey for Martin Pipe for a number of years. By the end of the 90’s decade he had set a new National Hunt record for winners in a season and became the fastest jockey to reach 1000 winners mark. In 2002 he broke Gordon Richards unbeaten record for all types

of racing when he rode 289 winners for a season. That year he also surpassed fellow Ulster man Richard Dunwoody’s record of all time jump winners and is now the leading jockey of all time having gone on to ride over 3000 winners. He has ridden the winner of all the major races in National Hunt. However it looked like he would never ride an Aintree Grand National winner. But that all changed in 2010 at the 15th attempt when he rode ‘Don’t Push it’ in the colours of JP McManus for trainer Jonjo O’Neill to an emotional victory. AP was awarded an MBE in 2003 for his services to Horse Racing and in 2010 was named Sportsperson of the year at the British Sports Awards in London and was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year becoming the first ever Jockey to win such a prestigious award. He is married to Chanelle and they have a daughter Eva. These days AP is retained by owner J P McManus to ride all his horses and he also rides a lot for Trainer Jonjo O’Neill. So he looks set to continue to be Champion Jump Jockey until he decides to call it a day. That will be a sad day for the sport of horse racing.



by Will Hamilton

Premier League Preview The season is almost upon us again and as always, hope springs eternal. New signings still have the potential to be the final piece of the puzzle, as opposed to yet another over-priced flop. Below is a look at how the top teams are shaping up for 2011-12.

Manchester United

As disappointed as Ferguson was with the Champions League final defeat in May, he was surely delighted to overtake bitter rivals Liverpool as the most successful team in League history. Never one to rest on his laurels, Sir Alex has already added to his squad with the signing of Ashley Young, Phil Jones and Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea. Up front, the partnership of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez will provide the goals.


Roman Abramovich’s lack of patience with his managers continued with the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti just one year after he led the club to a League and FA Cup double. The recruitment of Andre Villas-Boas will obviously draw comparisons to a certain Mr. Mourinho, whether the young Portuguese manager likes it

or not. After a record breaking year with Porto, the pressure is on to deliver. His main challenge will be to get the best out of Fernando Torres, who at the minute is looking nothing like a €50 million striker.

Manchester City

Another manager under pressure, Roberto Mancini will be expected to step up to the next level and challenge for the title. However the disruption caused by want-away striker Carlos Tevez will surely have an effect on City. The Argentinean will be missed, and the onus will now be on Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli to live up to their massive transfer fees and provide the goals that will help City challenge both domestically and in Europe.


Despite being in the running for four trophies in February, Arsene Wenger’s men still ended up with nothing. His refusal to invest heavily in areas of the team where there are clear weaknesses (particularly in defence) has attracted criticism from pundits and fans alike. This coupled with the unsettling pursuit of Cesc Fabregas by Barcelona, means that the League title looks a long way off. Their Champions

League status is also in doubt, with Tottenham and Liverpool breathing down their necks.


After qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history last season, Spurs fell short of repeating this achievement and have to settle for the Europa League. To have any chance of getting back there, they’ll have to hold on to their top players, most notably Luka Modric (who at the time of writing is being courted by Chelsea).


With Kop hero Kenny Dalglish back in charge, and new American owners FSG providing investment, Liverpool supporters are hopeful again. However eyebrows were raised when €35 million was spent on Andy Carroll in January, and again this summer when huge amounts were spent on midfielders Jordan Henderson and Stuart Downing. If (and it’s a big if) these players can gel quickly, and Luis Suarez can repeat the form he showed last season, then Liverpool could break back into the top four.


1. Manchester United 2. Chelsea 3. Manchester City 4. Liverpool 5. Arsenal 6. Tottenham 23


music - SINGLES

Reviewed by Michelle Daly

jessie j Who’s Laughing Now Release date: August 2011

British singer songwriter Jessie J is releasing her fourth single ‘Who’s Laughing Now’ from her impressive debut album ‘Who You Are’. The track hits back at old bullies who ridiculed Jessie in the past. Unlike Miss J’s previous hits like ‘Price Tag’ and ‘Do It Like A Dude’ the beat takes a back seat, and Jessie’s powerful vocals take centre stage for the lyrics to make an impact. Jessie J stands up to the bully’s who tormented her and she also thanks them for making her a better person and who she is today. ‘Who’s Laughing Now’ won’t make as big of a bang in the charts as her previous hits but more importantly it has strong sentiments against bullying and will maybe help kids out there today who are going through the same thing.

One night only Can you Feel It Release date: August 2011


British indie- rock group One Night Only produce really cool, feel good, energetic music. They are doing just that with their new track ‘Can You Feel It Tonight’ with its take over the world appeal. The single is being released as part of Coca Cola music for the hugely successful soft drink franchise’s new global TV advertisement. The track flows well, it has a great kick and boost of energy in every verse and with lead singer George Craig’s British vocal gives it a distinct edge. With the exposure of the TV commercial and with the memorable advertisements Coca Cola always produce, this song is going to stick around for a while yet and will be a huge bonus for the One Night Only boys.





Spanish surgeons claim first double leg transplant Spanish surgeons have performed the world’s first double-leg transplant on a man whose legs were amputated above the knee after an accident, officials said. Surgeons operated through the night on the man, who had faced life in a wheelchair because prosthetic limbs were unsuitable, said the health authority for the eastern region of Valencia. “It is the first time in the world that such a transplant has been carried out,” it said in a statement after the surgery, carried out in the La Fe hospital in the city of Valencia. Neither donors nor the patient were identified but the health authority promised to give further details later, depending on his condition. The doctor in charge of the operation, Pedro Cavadas, said he would need at least 48 hours before being able to provide more information. Spain’s health ministry authorised the transplant last November. Cavadas is known in Spain for having made several ground-

breaking organ transplants. In October 2008, he carried out the first double arm transplant in Spain and the second in the world and in August 2009 he performed Spain’s first face transplant. Spanish Health Minister Leire Pajin telephoned Cavadas to congratulate him on the “success” of the latest operation, Spanish media reported. The surgery “brings hope to other patients who have suffered amputations,” the minister said. She also praised the “generosity” of the donor’s family who had helped “make our country an example of solidarity in the world.” The director of the National Transplant Organisation, Rafael Matesanz, confirmed the operation was a world first. “The indications for this kind of surgery are very rare; it is when the amputation is so high that there is really no space to fit a prosthesis and the patient is condemned to remain in a wheelchair,” Matesanz told Spanish public radio.

the knee, a prosthesis is the recommended treatment, he said. The Spanish transplant chief said the search for a donor was “very complicated” because the person had to fulfill a series of requirements including being of the right age and blood type, and not being too far from the operating hospital. Spain has become a world leader in organ donation since it set up a network of transplant coordinators in 1989 at all hospitals to closely monitor emergency wards and identify potential donors. When they learn of a death, they tactfully talk to the grieving families to get permission to use the organs to help save the lives of others.


When a patient is missing one leg or the amputation is below

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Do you know how to see the future? If you do, then the whole world is all yours for the taking. At least, that’s what internet marketing guru Jonathan Budd says in his video Get Traffic 3.O. Jonathan shows us the importance of predicting the future - know the trends and how to be in front of them! Now here’s a trend that all of us internet marketers and homebased business owners should be paying attention to: the rise of a new internet superpower - Facebook! In his video, Jonathan talks Facebook vs. Google. He says that the days of Google PPC is over and that it is dead for MLM and home based marketers! He says Google was the source of traffic and leads for almost all marketers on the internet and while it’s still pretty much in its number one spot, the next big thing (which could potentially turn out to be bigger than Google!) is happening right now. With all his amazing, surprising statistics shown in graphs and tables, Jonathan shows us that the social networking giant CAN be bigger than Google. In fact, it’s growing to be the most important advertisting medium to the home business industry today! If you want hot leads and active, engaged buyers, you should be paying attention to the Facebook vs. Google issue. And I agree with Jonathan. I mean, the very same people you’re eyeing on Google are hanging out on Facebook! I think the reason why a social site such as Face28

facebook vs google

book can offer better targeting with keywords and demographic-specific ads is this: social media knows you better. Facebook knows what are important to you -- which videos you like to share and how often you make recommendations to your friends, games you like, people and companies you’re a fan of.

showing us that it’ll ultimately be the world’s no. 1 source of traffic for homebased business owners. Jonathan foretells that Facebook is going to be bigger than Google. In fact, it’s exploding now. Yes, it’s going to get better in the next 12 months, so wake up and master the next internet superpower!

What does this mean for us? Facebook is where our prospects are going. It’s gobbling up market space, so position yourself in front of the next 500 million users or more and profit from this site! Social media advertising opportunities in this social networking giant are yielding better-qualified, higher-ROI results! Indeed, it has got to be the most innovative, brilliant, rapidly emerging internet company today, and it’s

A lot of websites and blogs have talked about the Facebook vs. Google. I watch in anticipation at what both companies will have to think about provide us with a lot of genuine utility. All I know is, when the brains behind these sites get creative, we get better web experiences. Are you for Team Google or Team Facebook?




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In the African, conflictridden country of Burundi lives the greatest man-eater of our times, a male Nile crocodile measuring six meters long and weighing around one ton. He is the largest Nile crocodile alive, as well as the largest individual predator in the entire African continent and according to the natives and to Patrice Faye (a French naturalist who has spent years trying to capture the man-eater), he has killed over 300 people by now! Although still alive and active, the crocodile (nicknamed “Gustave” by Faye) has already become a legend. (There’s even a movie loosely based on his story called Primeval). Natives say he kills for fun, not just for food; that he kills several people in every attack and then disappears for months 30

or even years only to reappear later in another, different location to kill again. No one can predict when or where he will appear next. He is also said to have a monstrous appetite and rumor has it that he killed and devoured an adult male hippopotamus (an extremely dangerous and powerful animal that most crocodiles avoid). Gustave’s body armor carries countless scars made by knives, spears and even firearms. A dark spot on the top of his head is the only remaining trace of a bullet wound that was supposed to put and end to his reign. But all hunters (and even once, a group of armed soldiers) have failed to kill him. Faye himself tried to capture Gustave by building a huge underwater trap but, although the crocodile did show up, he never approached the cage. He just swam around it, “as

if mocking his would-be captors”. Said to be over 60 years old, Gustave is probably too experienced and smart to be fooled so it seems likely that he will continue with his depredations and perhaps soon, claim the title of the most prolific man eater for himself. Things have changed a lot since the times of the Champawat tigress; Patrice Faye no longer wants to kill Gustave. He wants to protect him from human retaliation; by capturing Gustave alive and keeping him in a safe enclosure, Faye hopes to save human lives as well as the man eater himself, and perhaps use him as breeding stock to help the conservation of the Nile crocodile as well. The enclosure has already been built in the Ruzizi National Park of Burundi, waiting for the capture of the greatest man eater of our times. Source:

Blessington Magazine - August Issue 2011  
Blessington Magazine - August Issue 2011  

Blessington Magazine - August Issue 2011