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YOUR NEW FREE LOCAL MAGAZINE

Blessin ton Issue 5: March 2011

A Community Magazine for Blessington

MONSTER Mash The TOP 5 Creature Features as voted by you!

& Surrounding Areas

what did you call me? Names you LEGALLY can’t call your child

PLUS LOCAL NEWS & EVENTS RECIPES MOVIES HEALTH SUDOKU MUSIC


contents 12| In Cinemas Movie Reviews

Pegg & Frost have a close encounter in Paul, Mark Wahlberg punches above his weight in The Fighter and Jeff Bridges gets all boozy and lawless in the Coen’s Western True Grit.

26| Sport Lionel Messi

John Bohan asks Is he The Greatest Football player ever?

30| Health Under Pressure

How to look after and manage your Blood Pressure.

08 09 16

17 What’s Going on? Recipe 18 Gaming Reviews Sudoku Competition 24 St. Patrick’s Day

Copy Deadline - April 2011: Tuesday 15th March

Contact colm

T: 087 6430519

Email: blessingtonmagazine@gmail.com Editor/Graphic design: Colm Geoghegan Printed by Punctual Print, Blessington

Cover Image: The Hulk: www.xinfo4u.com (manipulation by Colm Geoghegan) Blessington Magazine. Tel: 087 6430519 Email: blessingtonmagazine@gmail.com All material copyright © Blessington Magazine 2011. All rights reserved

DELIVERED FREE TO 6,000 HOMES & BUSINESSES EVERY MONTH

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.

Movie Images: Paramount Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Universal Pictures Creature Feature Movie Images: www.hometheaterloft.com


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LOCAL news

John Ward Construction Sponsors new kit for Blessington Community College

The College is extremely grateful to John Ward for his generous sponsorship of the new football strip. The new strip brought good luck to the U14 boy’s Gaelic team when it was worn for the first time in their game against St. Brendans’s of Bray which was held in Blessington in February. Blessington CC recorded a 5 point victory over St. Brendan’s in the Leinster U 14 boy’s Gaelic football league. It was a closely fought game with the teams being level on no more than 3 occasions. However the persistence and discipline of the Blessington boys prevailed with the four scores coming unanswered from Bray. Best players for Blessington were Josh Gray, Jordan Nolan, Martin Shannon, Patrick Nolan, Miles Fitzpatrick and Marcel Pieczka. 04


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local news / SCHOOL LIFE

students qualify for Trinity College ‘TYPE’ Physics Programme As part of Science Week last November, Jemma O’Connor, Niamh Connolly and Thomas Morrissey from transition year were given the opportunity to take part in the TYPE Programme in Trinity College in Dublin.

The three students from Blessington community college were selected from 100s of applicants from all over the country. Being selected for the programme was a great

achievement for both the students and the College. The week included lectures on all aspects of physics such as; medical physics, nanophysics, and astrophysics. The students also got to go to the observatory in Dunsink for a day trip as part of the astrophysics section. Jemma who took part in the Programme explained some of the of the activities involved; “We had to do a poster project on a topic that we were given at the

by I.T. Monkey

start of the Programme, which can be seen hanging up in the physics lab. We did many other things, such as tour a science lab, visit the science gallery in Trinity, interview a working physicist and even got to make our own asteroids out of dry ice. The trip was extremely beneficial because we got a genuine feel of what it is like to be in college, we learned a lot about physics and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the week.”

child welfare & safety in the g.a.a. Blessington GAA is proud to be working towards best practice in Child Welfare & Safety. We believe by being proactive and encouraging participation and skills development in a safe environment that we can enrich the lives of children in our community. To achieve this goal we have undertaken a number of initiatives to ensure compliance and protect all young people from any form of abuse, discrimination or bullying.

Code of Conduct

This comprehensive document outlines the Club’s policies and procedures on a wide range of 06

issues such as behaviour for coaches, players and parents, drug & alcohol abuse, bullying and dealing with allegations of abuse.

ensures the implementation and promotion of the relevant Child Welfare Codes and Guidelines for good practice in the Club.

Training Courses for Coaches

Garda Vetting

Blessington GAA also ensures that coaches and mentors complete a variety of national training courses which are designed to give participants practical knowledge on coaching young people.

Nominated Children’s Officer & Designated Person The Children’s Officer and Designated Person is the link between the young people and the adults within the Club and

Blessington GAA also confirms adherence to the Garda Vetting Scheme to promote best practice in the recruitment and selection of those who work with our young children. For further information and literature on any of the items in this article, please log on to www.blessington.wicklow.gaa. ie or contact the Children’s Officer Mick O’Rourke at 087 661 3068.


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RECIPEs

St. Patrick’s Porter Cake

Ingredients

Paddy’s day isnt complete without a slice of porter cake before the parade! Method

1. Preheat oven 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. 2. Line a 20cm/8” round cake tin with greaseproof paper. 3. Sieve the flour, salt, baking powder and mixed spice into a bowl and add the sugar. 4. Rub in the butter and add the fruit and mix. 5. Add the porter to the beaten eggs and add to fruit mixture. 6. Mix well. 7. Transfer to the prepared tin. Place on a low shelf position in the oven bake for approximately 2 hours.

notes:

Check cake after an hour and if it is browning too quickly, cover with a double layer of greaseproof paper until baked. Cake can also be baked in a 23cms/9” cake tin and will bake a lot quicker! About 1 1/2 hours.

450g/1lb Odlums Cream Plain Flour Pinch of salt 1 level tsp baking powder 1 level tsp mixed spice 225g/8oz sugar 225g/8oz butter 375g Packet of Shamrock Sultanas 100g Shamrock Cut Mixed Peel 300ml/½ pint Guinness (Porter) 2 eggs (beaten)

did you know? The phrase ‘chancing your arm’ originated in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin , where you had to put your hand into a hole to open the Medieval Chapter House door.

Source: www.shamrockfoods.ie pLEASE MENTION BLESSINGTON MAGAZINE WHEN RESPONDING TO ADVERTS 08


ยง

sudoku

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 31 09


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computers / phones / gadgets

Backup those photos

One of the most common requests we get when repairing a computer is to try and recover those users photographs. Previously, in a non-digital world, after you delivered your film to the chemist to be developed, you received back a hard copy of the photographs and a copy of the negatives. If something happened the prints, or if someone wanted a copy of the photographs, you could use the negatives to get them a set. Today, with the advent of digital photography, you don’t get a hard copy unless you print them off yourself. You certainly don’t get a negative. If you lose your digital camera or if the memory card gets corrupt, then you have lost your pictures. Likewise, if you copy those pictures on to a PC, as most people do, you tend to delete them off your camera to free up space. That’s all well and good, but what happens when your PC crashes? Do you have a backup of your pictures? There are many ways to backup your photographs. One of the simplest is to copy them to an online photo sharing service like Picasa from Google, Flickr from Yahoo or Photobucket. You can then share photographs with friends and family all around the world safely. We would also suggest having a local backup of your photographs. Although the photo sharing websites are a great idea, nothing beats having a physical backup. The simplest and easiest way to do this is to buy a small portable hard drive. Using a small backup program, this can be automated to do the backup daily, 10

weekly monthly or on demand. It puts you in charge of your data. The added benefit of the external drive is that you are not just limited to photographs, you can backup whatever data you require. Remember, if your PC crashes, you may lose a lot more than your data, you may lose precious memories. Be safe and backup your PC regularly.


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in cinemas

paul

Reviews by Colm Geoghegan

15 cert

Directed by Greg Mottola. Starring Simon Pegg Nick Frost Seth Rogen Jason Bateman. Out Now, 111 minutes

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have done it again. Following the comedic brilliance of both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Paul marks a hat trick for the Spaced double act. From the TV trailers you would be forgiven for thinking this was just some sort of E.T. carbon copy suitable for the kiddies but nope, you’d be very much mistaken. The hint is in the ‘15s’ Cert! This is a sweary, dirty, funny little vehicle. Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost) are two British geeks on a road trip of the US tracking the famous Sci-Fi hotspots from Area 51 to The Black Mailbox. Along their way they pick up the titular Paul, a foul mouthed, dope smoking alien who convinces them to help get him back to his home planet. Unfortunately, the government have other ideas and want Paul captured at all

costs. So yeah, in premise, it’s vaguely like E.T but this little green man is like that loveable aliens outcast, stoner sibling. Pegg and Frost are both self confessed Sci-Fi nerds and have been tinkering around with this idea since way back in the Shaun of the Dead era. It shows. The loveable attention to detail and the “blink and you’ll miss ‘em” Sci-Fi Movie references peppered throughout prove that this is indeed the film they’ve always wanted to make, for themselves and for their fans. Although it starts a little slow with what come across as some dull laughs, the film goes into Light Speed (sorry, unavoidable) once the Seth Rogen voiced Paul hits the screen. And when he does the film is a full throttle riot with shoots outs, explosions, willfully dense government agents and

small Cowboys? Hold on what?... Yeah I won’t give that little gem away but it’s priceless, trust me. Pegg and Frost are...well, Pegg and Frost. If you already like them, then you know what your getting. But come on, who doesn’t like them? They are two of the best British comedy exports in recent years. Worth a mention too are Jason Batemen as the dead eyed agent chasing down Paul and the great cameo which I won’t spoil! Greg Mottola’s direction echoes and traces memories of all the best old Movies of it’s genre perfectly whilst still remaining fresh. This film though, belongs solely to Seth Rogen who is at his brilliantly chilled, slacker best and has an absolute blast with the material. If you loved Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz you truly will not be disappointed by Paul. Enjoy. CG

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


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in cinemas

true grit

Reviews by Colm Geoghegan

16 cert

The Coen Brothers have struck gold once again! This is their first ‘real’ Western (No Country for Old Men is more a modern take) and the level of care and respect for the original Novel by Charles Portis remains intact here. Forget the so-so 1969 Henry Hathaway version starring John Wayne. This is the definitive article and is a beautifully written and performed film. As before this is the tale of Mattie Ross, an exceptionally mature 14-year-old from Arkansas, who sets out to track down her father’s killer with the help of a boozy, grumpy, one-eyed US Marshal named ‘Rooster’ Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), with occasional interference from Texas ranger La Boeuf

THE FIGHTER

(Matt Damon). Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie is something to behold. The newcomer standing toe to toe with the screen chewing ability of Bridges, Damon and Brolin and playing the head strong young girl effortlessly. People will remember John Waynes take on Rooster Cogburn but after witnessing Jeff Bridges turn all memories are eclipsed. He’s fantastic! All gravel voiced and world weary but eventually his granite demenour is stripped away by the hugely impressive Mattie. The Coens have made this story their own. True Grit is a hugely enjoyable film with flecks of their trademark wit and some of the best performances you’ll see this, or any other year. CG

OF FTHILEM MONTH Directed by Joel & Ethan Coen. Starring Jeff Bridges Matt Damon Josh Brolin. Out Now, 108 minutes

15 cert

The Fighter is exceptional. It tells the true story of ‘Irish’ Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his brother Dickie (Christian Bale), a crack addict who’s claim to fame was that he once knocked out Sugar Ray Leonard. Dickie’s only way of holding onto his past is by training his younger brother to follow in his footsteps and become the champ Dickie could never be. We really do get the sense of Mickey’s fractured mindset as he has to choose between his obsessive manager mother Alice

(a brilliant Melissa Leo), his brother and the opportunity to go and train, all expenses paid, in Vegas with professionals. Both Wahlberg and Bale are a revelation in the lead roles. Sparring both physically and verbally throughout and creating a rock solid chemistry. David O. Russell’s direction is sedated but fitting for the small scale of the movie. The fights too are impressively gritty and a pure ringer for any ‘real’ pay per view fight on HBO. Go root for this modern day Rocky . CG

Directed by DAVID O. RUSSELL Starring MARK WAHLBERG CHRISTIAN BALE MELISSA LEO. Out Now, 115 minutes 13


§ Your top FIVE creature features Monster Mash

You voted. We coun ted. Here are the TOP FIVE cr eature features as picked by our friends on FACEBO OK!

Tremors (1990)

Unsuspecting handymen Val and Earl pass though a sleepy, dusty town called Perfection where they help rescue the inhabitants from a plague of giant underground worms hellbent on chewing up the populace! This fantastic Creature Feature has stood the test of time due to its brilliant central performances by Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward. The puppetry looks a little dated but only adds to its old school feel. With action, humour and one of the most original creatures ever, it’s a classic.

04

Jurassic Park (1993)

A Billionaire (Attenborough) has cracked the code for cloning dinosaur DNA and has built a theme park with living, breathing dinosaur attractions, which he hopes to open to the public. A group of scientists are invited to preview the park but things inevitably take a turn for the worse! Spielberg’s massively hyped dinosaur extravaganza didn’t fail to deliver. It is still, quite simply, one of the greatest blockbusters ever made and set a benchmark for the future of visual effects.

KING KONG (2005)

Though there are many incarnations of this timeless story, Peter Jackson’s superior version showed us just how much it meant to him to get it right. Brilliantly shot and perfectly paced, it’s an absolutely amazing journey. The attention to detail given to KONG himself is breathtaking and the emotion portrayed in his face has to be seen to be believed. Stripped to its most basic though this is a love story and although you know how it will end as your watching it is a truly heart breaking finale.

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PREDATOR (1987)

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A team of commandos on a rescue mission in the jungle find themselves prey to a creature from a distant planet. John McTiernan’s groundbreaking 1987 action film has become one of the most popular of this genre over the years and also created an iconic creature to match the Xenomorph from the movie ALIENS (both creatures were designed by Stan Winston for screen). Packing in action, sly humour (check out Arnies chucklesome one liners), suspense, horror and Sci-fi this cult classic is still a powerful juggernaut. It also contains what is probably Arnie’s greatest performance. As ‘Dutch’ he is the perfect fit, as too are Carl Weathers as Dillon and Sonny Landham as Billy. The reason the film works so well is down to the chemistry of the fine cast and the intrigue and mystery of the iconic Predator himself. If you haven’t seen it, seriously, check it out. You won’t be disappointed.


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monster mash - your top five creature features

01

Billy’s (Zach Galligan) Dad brings him a gift from a business trip - a Mogwai. There are three rules to keeping the pet - never get it wet, never feed it after midnight, and never expose it to sunlight. Of course, it’s not ten minutes before all the rules are broken and all hell breaks loose in suburbia. When Joe Dantes’ dark family horror slithered onto screens back in 1987 no one knew what to expect. A movie about scaly green creatures attacking a small american

4) 8 19 ( S N I L GREM town didn’t seem like the type of film you show your children and yet it was marketed that way. In my opnion it certainly is not a family movie. It’s a dark, nasty and blackly comic affair aimed squarely at adults and it is pure brilliance in it’s execution. Groundbreaking special effects and a pitch black streak running throughout, Gremlins is one of the highlights of the 1980’s film wise. It also launched the icon status of one small adorable furry little guy called ‘GIZMO’!

WIN SOME CREATURE FEATURES! Enjoy some monster movies courtesy of THE GOGGLE BOX Video Store in Blessington who have given us a bunch of the best dvds to give away to one lucky winner.

To be in with a chance of winning just answer the following question:

“Who played the two leads roles in the 1990 monster movie Tremors?” Email your Answer along with your Name & Address to:

monstermoviecomp@gmail.com

Closing Date for Entries: Thursday 17th March 2011. The Winner will be notified by email.

PLEASE NOTE: ALL ENTRANTS MUST BE 18 OR OVER

Congratulations to last months winner Victoria Boughton who bagged herself a batch of Romantic DVDs! 16


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what’s going on? - your guide to upcoming local events

CAR BOOT SALE

Monthly Car Boot Sale is taking place at St. Kevin’s Community Centre Blessington on Sunday March 13th from 10am – 4pm.

ICA DINNER DANCE

Blessington ICA will hold their annual Dinner Dance on Tuesday March 8th in the Avon Ri Burgage.

RACE NIGHT

Blessington Soccer Club will be staging their Annual Race Night on Friday March 25th in ‘The Lakes’ Blessington.

GOLF CLUB

Blessington Lakes Golf Club Baltyboys Blessington will have their Captain’s Drive-in on the weekend Saturday March 5th & Sunday March 6th.

PITCH & PUTT CLUB

Poulaphouca pitch &putt club will be holding their first competition of the year on Saturday March 19th. Tee off time 2pm.

GAA CLUB DINNER DANCE

Blessington GAA Club will be holding their annual Dinner Dance in Tulfarris Hotel Baltyboys on Saturday March 5th. Music will be by Epic. 17


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gaming reviews

by Ian McWilliams

call of duty:black ops

Console: Wii, PS3, Xbox360 & PC Game Type: Shoot Em Up certificate: 18 Eight years after its release in 2003 Call of Duty is now 1 of the most successful game franchises ever, taking in $3 billion dollars worldwide & should take in more following the success of Call of Duty Black Ops. Set during the Cold War gamers take on the role of Alex Mason voiced by Sam Worthington (Avatar) who is strapped to a chair on February 25th 1968, unaware of his whereabouts. He is bombarded with questions by his unseen captors about the location of number stations which leads the players to play missions through the flashbacks between the years 1961 – 1968. This sees you, by order of President John F Kennedy, carrying out missions in Cuba, Kazakh SSR, Vietnam, Rusalka & Kowloon. Along with the Campaign mission the game contains a Zombie style game which allows between 1-4 players to choose characters in the game to shoot Zombies in the Pentagon. The Multi-

player mode is cracking and it also has the more expansive online multiplayer for all consoles. In its Team Death match mode it has Capture the Flag & a Free for All. The Multiplayer allows people to gain experience points that were used in COD 4. While the PC version allows u to record clips from online game play The Wii version is the first to use in-game Voice Chat for the Wii. You also get a currency system in the online gaming to allow players to buy certain items for your character. Along with Worthington other characters are voiced by the likes of Gary Oldman, Ed Harris & Ice Cube. Call of Duty Black Ops has sold well with its use of story, action, Multiplayer & catchy classic rock songs that pop up now and again throughout the game. In my opinion this is the best of the series so far. I recommend for wiki fans to go out and get this as soon as possible. VERDICT: 5 out of 5.

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gaming reviews

by Ian McWilliams

golden eye Console: Nintendo Wii Game Type: Shoot Em Up certificate: 16+ When Nintendo & Rareware released Goldeneye in 1997 for the Nintendo 64 it raised the bar for Shoot Em Up games when during the 90’s Shoot Em Up’s were mainly Arcade style games & Space Marines vs Aliens. Goldeneye stood above them because it used Enemy Intelligence, required stealth & Mission Objectives to carry out. The main highlight was its classic Multiplayer which gave u the choice of many characters, levels & stages from the game. Years after its release many other James Bond games have been released on the other consoles but have not had the same impact that Goldeneye had, now 14 years after its release Activision’s Goldeneye may not be as good as the original but it makes it feel very outdated. Using a Call of Duty style of game play & replacing Pierce Brosnan with Daniel Craig. Activision’s Goldeneye is Shorter than Rare’s & well handled with practice using the Wii Zapper. The Graphics are much better than the original & the mission objectives are tough but addictive to pass & it has a much wider & better range of weapons to chose from. There are some flaws though - body armour can only be gotten through harder difficulties and you don’t earn new levels from completing the single player or any specialities, weapons in Multiplayer have to be earned from many wins & specialities in the Multiplayer & original are given through

passwords. I haven’t played it on Multiplayer yet but I have heard its good & the other exception of it is the Golden joy pad which presents you with the Golden Gun. Even though it isn’t as good as the original, Goldeneye is definitely worth a purchase for the serious gamer looking for serious games for the Wii or I would recommend it for anyone who never played the original on the N64. VERDICT: 5 out of 5.

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music - SINGLES

Reviewed by Michelle Daly

Clare maguire The Last Dance Release date: February 20th 2011

“Last dance” is the second single off singer Clare Maguire’s debut album “light after dark”. The last dance is a powerful ballad and is supposedly a tribute to Michael Jackson as she wrote it a day after he passed away. The delivery of the song is pure perfection and when the drums and bass picks up pace towards the middle of the song it really gives it that extra kick. The last dance is a big power track and with vocals as powerful and completely mind blowing as Maguire’s, 2011 is sure to be a promising year for the Birmingham songstress.

take that Kidz Release date: February 28th 2011

::\\

“Kidz” is the second single off the new Take That album “Progress”. The track is definitely a different direction for the man band. It’s not the typical sound we are used to hearing from the lads. But a change is always good and in this case I think they are on to a winner. It’s still on pop territory, with a little glam rock and Mark Owen and Robbie Williams on vocals, kicking off with pounding drums throughout the song, and fuzzy synths. “Kidz” is sure to be pounding around in your head for days after the first listen.

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local interests

by Aidan Cruise

the first farmers

When the Stone Age Hunters were going about their simple way of life great changes were taking place. People were learning how to grow crops and rear animals, thus changing from being hunters to cultivating the land. They began to study the weather and realised that their was a time for sowing and a time for harvesting. They realised that land that was cultivated would produce more crops. This came about when trees were uprooted leaving bare soil and fresh growth where animal’s would head for first. They would manure the area around the tree roots thus cultivating. Now that they were rearing animals they would need some way of holding milk and a way of feeding them. They discovered a way of making pottery. Now they had vases and containers the women would grind corn on an a granite slab called a quern to make meal for bread & porridge. She would make bread on a hot slab in a fire, They would bury their chieftain’s on top of a mountain so as the subjects in the land down below would be able to see their burial site. Our area is a haven for such burial sites. All you have to do is look at the hills around us and the majority of them have burial sites on them. If you felt like doing a short walk to look at one of them, head across the Blessington bridge and turn right for Lacken. Keep right at v junction at Knockerian upper, look out for sign for road 22

to left, park on the right and proceed up this steep road. When at stables on left look to right and you will see a burial site. Please note that it is on private land and not accessible. In the next field there is another burial site, this is also on private land. Continue on to the forest entrance on the left then continue along forest road. Look out for a pyramid of stones alongside the road, go in along the track and you will come to a cist grave. Take the time to view the surrounding views which are spectacular.


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interests

by Will Hamilton

ST. PATRICK’S Day Chicago “theyIneven dye

their river green! St. Patrick’s Day!! Guinness may have tried their hardest over the last couple of years to make Arthur’s Day our country’s (and indeed the world’s) official day of drinking to excess, but for me it will always be the 17th March. On this day we celebrate the man who drove the snakes out of Ireland, and made everybody Catholics while he was at it.While St. Patrick’s Day is still technically a religious holiday, is religion really the main focus of the day? Well not quite. As mentioned above, for many people the 17th March is used as an excuse to get blind drunk and live up to the national stereotype. If it falls during the week then all the better. We can ring in sick the next day, and the boss can’t give you grief because after all you were just doing your civic duty.

television is of some cheerleading group from Ohio or Virginia marching down O’Connell Street. There they were, twirling a baton in a vain attempt to keep warm on what Gift Grub’s Michael Flatley might call a ‘soft day, thank God’. It’s also quite interesting to note that most other countries do a better job of celebrating our National Day than we do. In Chicago they even dye their river green!

So what would the man himself make of modern day Ireland? Legend has it that St. Patrick was brought to Ireland as a slave around 400AD, before eventually spreading the word of God to the natives. In those days, Ireland was a dark and desolate place, being run by barbaric chieftains who would fight to the death to remain in control of what they felt was rightfully theirs. We’ve come a long way.

The other main feature of St. Patrick’s Day is the parade. Before I continue I should probably qualify my opinion on this by making a confession. Unlike most children, I was never brought to the parade. In fact the closest I ever got was getting stuck in traffic in Tallaght for about an hour behind one. I therefore may have a biased view on what they bring to the overall celebrations. While I admit the quality of the festivities has improved in the last decade (Dublin now has a weeklong festival including music concerts and funfairs), the supposed showpiece event still leaves me cold. Maybe that’s because one of the most vivid images I have from watching it on To advertise call 087 6430519 or Email: blessingtonmagazine@gmail.com 24


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interests

what did you call me?

The Pope has declared war on parents naming babies after celebrities, fruit or popular sports cars. In an address to parents, the ever-progressive pontiff pleaded with worshipers to ‘give your children names that are in the Christian calendar’. But Benedict’s not the only authority figure to stamp down on one of the sillier by-products of celebrity culture. The following names have all been banned around the world for reasons of taste, decency or just plain daftness. 1) Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii (New Zealand) New Zealand law bans names which could cause offence to a ‘reasonable’ person. Good thing too - the country is a stupid name hotspot. We found a couple from the islands who tried and failed to call their son ‘4Real’, but nothing beats the ridiculous moniker above. It belonged to a 9-year-old girl before a judge had her renamed during a custody battle. ‘It makes a fool of the child,’ he said. It certainly made applica26

tion forms a pain in the butt. Has New Zealand banned any other names? Oh yes. The judge listed some that were also blocked: Fish and Chips (twins), Yeah Detroit, Keenan Got Lucy and Sex Fruit. Number 16 Bus Shelter and Violence were allowed. 2) Venerdi AKA ‘Friday’ (Italy) Maybe this is what the Pope was talking about. The judges reckoned the name - taken from ‘Robinson Crusoe’ would expose the boy to ‘mockery’ and was associated with ‘subservience and insecurity’. The parents, however, might have the last laugh; they threatened to call their next child Mercoledi (Wednesday). Has Italy banned any other names? Italian courts can step in ‘when the child’s name is likely to limit social interaction and create insecurity’. In Turin, Andrea was rejected (and changed to Emma) as it’s a boy’s name in Italy. Dalmata has also been rejected, as it means Dalmatian. 3) Brfxxccxxmnpcccc lllmmnprxvclbb11116 (Sweden) No, we didn’t fall asleep on the keyboard. That is an actual

name a Swedish couple tried to inflict on their son back in 1996. Apparently the name is pronounced ‘Albin’ (we’re not sure how), and the parents chose it as a protest against Sweden’s admittedly strict naming laws. Tax authorities must give their blessing to both first and surnames before they can be used. Has Sweden banned any other names? Oh yes. Some favourites include Metallica, IKEA, Veranda and Q. Google was OK though. 4) Gesher - ‘Bridge’ (Norway) Back in 1998 those Norwegians threw a woman in jail (admittedly for only two days) when she failed to pay a fine for giving her son an ‘unapproved’ name. Eccentric Kristi Larsen said she was instructed in a dream to name her son Gesher (Hebrew for ‘Bridge’), but the court were having none of it. Has Norway banned any other names? Undoubtedly, though in recent times they have replaced their list of officially sanctioned names with a general ban on monikers featuring swearing, sex and illnesses.


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interests

Victorian women criminals’ records show harsh justice of 19th century Victorian justice records which show how the harsh punishments were given to women criminals – such as five years in jail for stealing one rasher of bacon – have been published online for the first time. More than 4,400 parole records and 500 mug shots of Victorian criminals have been made available by Ancestry.co.uk They provide an astonishing insight into the way justice was imposed during the late 1800s. Those convicted of lesser crimes such as theft, and ‘domestic housebreaking’ often felt the full force of law. Examples include Elizabeth Murphy, a19-year-old Elizabeth was sentenced to five years of hard labour in prison and seven years of police supervision for stealing an umbrella. She served three years of her sentence before receiving parole in 1887. Dorcas Mary Snell, 45, was sentenced to five years of imprisonment with hard labour

in 1883 for the theft of a single piece of bacon. She was paroled two years later. Mary Richards was sentenced to five years in 1880 at age 59 for stealing 130 oysters valued at eight shillings, which were the property of John Tyacke. Mary served almost all of sentence, receiving parole in 1885. The records also detail the lengthy, unforgiving sentences given to women who procured abortions, including Mary Billingham who was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment and hard labour in 1875. It would appear that age was not necessarily taken into consideration when sentences were passed. The youngest female in the records, 11-year-old Ann McQuillan, was convicted in Perth and sentenced to four years in prison for ‘theft by housebreaking’. Ann is just one of 115 girls under the age of 18 who feature in the collection. In contrast, the oldest convict in the records is 76-year-old Ann Dalton who was convicted for stealing ‘two sheets’ in

1863. She was sentenced to five years imprisonment and served three of those before receiving parole in 1866. Mary Morrison, a 40-year-old servant, threw sulphuric acid over her estranged husband for not paying her weekly allowance, shouting ‘take that – I’ll make you worse than you are’. She received five years in 1883 but served only three. While early criminals were often sentenced to transportation, later records, predominately those post-1860, indicate a prison sentence had become the preferred punishment. Those who did receive transportation often saw their sentences overturned and were instead jailed and subsequently paroled. This was the case for Mary Daly, who was sentenced to 15 years transportation for theft in 1855 but was instead incarcerated in Brixton prison until her parole in 1862.

For more info visit:

Ancestry.co.uk

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save the date: daffodil day FRIDAY MARCH 25TH 2011

Tramway Treasures & Crafts is located on the N81 at The Lamb and stocks a range of antique furniture, porcelain, objet d’art, pottery, jewellery, rugs, scarves, leather goods and a selection of gift items.

Tramway Treasures & Crafts. Sharon would like to thank all of her customers who have supported her business and Daffodil Day Coffee Mornings over the years and looks forward to seeing you again in the near future.

Proprietor Sharon Hamilton has been in business for almost 20 years and has established a business which caters to a large and varied customer base some of whom travel large distances to visit. Annually Sharon, along with the help of friends, has held a Coffee Morning on Daffodil Day which has been a great success raising much needed revenue for the Irish Cancer Society. This year Sharon will host the Coffee Morning all day on Friday March 25th. As one in three of us will be affected by cancer, we need your support more than ever if the Irish Cancer Society is to continue to provide vital Cancer information, support and care to those who so badly need it. She invites everyone who can attend to come on Daffodil Day and visit with friends and make new ones. Many customers have enquired about Nicholas Mosse Pottery for many years now. It is with great pleasure that Sharon is delighted to announce that it will now be available locally at To advertise call 087 6430519 or Email: blessingtonmagazine@gmail.com 28


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sport

by John Bohan

LIONEL MESSI GREATEST FOOTBALLER IN THE WORLD When you have lived through the era that has seen some of the greatest footballers of all time such as Di Stefano, Pele, Best, Maradonna, Cruyff, one never expected to see their likes ever again on a football pitch. That is until along came a young Argentine kid called Lionel Messi.

bills provided he came to live in Barcelona. His family then moved to Barcelona and the rest is history. Lionel made his Barca debut in November 2003 at 16 years and less than a year later in October 2004 the then Barcelona manager Frank Rijkard gave him his La Liga debut at 17 years of age against cross town rivals Espanyol becoming the youngest player ever to play in La Liga.

Lionel or Leo as he is sometimes called may be only 23 years old but has already been described as the greatest footballer the world has ever seen.

In 2005 he scored his first of many goals for the club in La Liga. That year he also made his full debut for Argentina in a friendly match against Hungary.

Lionel was born in June 1987 in Rosario Santa Fe Argentina to parents Jorge and Celia. He began playing football at the age of five for a local side Grandiola a team his Dad coached. In 1995 he moved on to Newell Old Boys Rosario and at the age of eleven he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency. At that time one of the top Argentine clubs River Plate showed an interest in signing him but could not afford his expensive treatment. Barcelona was made aware of his talents and he came over to have a trial. They signed him and agreed to pay his medical

Lionel has progressed every year since winning every trophy possible with his club Barcelona as well as wining every individual honour in the game. With him in the team Barcelona have won two champions leagues, four league titles and a world club title while he himself won the Ballon Dor and Fifa World Player of the year awards in both 09 and 10. In ‘09 Barcelona had their greatest season ever in their history winning six major trophies World Club, Champions League, League, Cup, European Super Cup and Spanish

Super Cup an achievement that may never ever be equalled again by any team. Lionel signed a new contract with Barca in 09 which makes him the highest paid footballer in the world and keeps him at the club until 2016 with a buyout clause of a mere €250 million. Away from football in 2007 Lionel established the ‘Leo Messi Foundation’ a charity which supports Argentine children with medical conditions. The Foundation pays for them to come to Spain for medical treatment. In 2009 he was announced as a goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF an organisation aimed at supporting children’s rights. How fitting that is as his club Barca has UNICEF on the front of their jerseys for the past number of years. At 23 years of age Lionel has achieved so much. He is without doubt the most exciting and enjoyable player to watch. He is an entertainer and a wonderful honest sportsperson. He scores goals for fun. Last season he scored a record equalling 47 goals for Barca and is on course to surpass that total this season. Long may he stay healthy so we fans can enjoy his brilliance on a football pitch for a long time to come.

To advertise call 087 6430519 or Email: blessingtonmagazine@gmail.com 29


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health

by Amanda Tivnan

Ph.D

under pressure Blood Pressure (BP) is the pressure that is exerted on the walls of the blood vessels by the blood circulating through the body. During each heartbeat, BP varies between a maximum (systolic) and a minimum (diastolic) pressure. Routinely, blood pressure is measured at a person’s upper arm on the inside of the elbow at the major blood vessel called the brachial artery. It is expressed as the systolic pressure over the diastolic pressure in millimetres (mm) of mercury (Hg), e.g. 140/90 (mmHg). Normally, blood pressure is maintained within the body by four mechanisms, the autonomic nervous system which receives messages from the pressure sensors in the blood vessel wall, relays this information to the brain and the intensity of the heart beat is modified accordingly. The capillary shifty mechanism, where the body exchanges fluid from the blood vessels into the surrounding tissue in order to relieve pressure on the blood vessel walls, hormonal control and finally the BP is also regulated by the kidneys, the most important organ for long-term control of blood pressure. While an expected blood pressure value is accepted for certain populations, blood pressure varies from person to person and also from one moment to the next; however an average BP reading would be considered to be 120/80 (mmHg). Factors such as age and gender affect blood pressure with exercise, emotional distress and sleep also contributing to variations between BP readings and the average. The term “high blood pressure” is also known as arterial hypertension and may be an indicator of additional health issues and have long term effects if left untreated. Hypertension can be subdivided into prehypertension, Stage 1 hypertension, Stage 2 and hypertensive crisis, the latter of which is deemed when systolic measurements are in the region of >180 or diastolic readings are >110 mmHg. Uncontrolled hypertension can place individuals at higher risk of stroke, kidney and heart failure. Hypertension is the main causal factor in stress to the kidneys because a rise in 30

BP causes excess

fluid to accumulate in the body and the kidneys are required to work harder. Uncontrolled hypertension is responsible for 15,000 new cases of kidney failure a year in the US alone. Elevated BP is also indicated in increased risk for stroke (as a result of blood clot formation) and those with hypertension are more prone to experiencing angina (extreme chest pain). Low blood pressure, hypotension, is a medical concern only if it causes signs or symptoms such as dizziness, weakness or fainting. Also, blood pressure can sometimes drop rapidly when a person stands up from sitting (orthostatic hypotension) and severe cases of hypotension may lead to a rapid reduction of oxygen to the brain and the induction of shock. Routinely, individuals suffering from hypotension live a relatively symptom-free life. Regular moderate intensity walking is still an effective way to help manage your high blood pressure and studies have shown that even in modest amounts, regular walking can reduce peak blood pressure and help with weight control, especially in the important mid-body region, where experts say excess weight is especially dangerous. Regular check-ups and monitoring your blood pressure are critical to ensure control of this condition without any damage being caused. With over half of Irish people aged 50 and above presenting with high blood pressure…..perhaps it’s time for your check up?


ยง

sudoku solution did you solve it?

Check your answers against our solution below

Source: www.sudoku.com.au 31


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IRISH HYPNOSISNaas Clinic NOW OPEN Hypnosis is the fastest, easiest and most natural way of achieving the changes you want. Unlike many other methods that people use for change, hypnosis allows you to change the feelings or emotional part of your mind.

Quit Smoking

Have you tried to give up smoking using patches, gum, pills, inhalers or willpower without success? The power of hypnosis combined with your desire to quit provides you with a quick and easy solution that takes only one session and lasts a life time! Hypnosis is proven to be the easiest, fastest and most effective way to successfully free yourself from the habit and addiction of smoking. We have a 95% success rate with our clients. These techniques have helped thousands of people just like you to become happy and permanent non-smokers. Doctors are so impressed with the medical benefits that they are now referring more and more of their patients. These patients are able to stop smoking easily, without gaining weight, while enhancing their general health and energy levels.

Do you Want to lose Weight?

Now that the summer is just around the corner do you want to lose Weight ? Do you eat too much, eat the wrong type of foods,or need to exercise more? If your answer to any of these is yes, then this programme may be suitable for you. What is the difference between dieting and hypnosis? Most diets do actually work, that is, while you stick to that diet. However, it takes willpower. As soon as the willpower weakens, 95% of people give up on their diet. Unfortunately, once a person starts to diet their body automatically lowers their metabolism. The longer that person stays on the diet the lower their metabolism will get. After the diet, even when a person starts to eat normal amounts of food, they gain weight. This continues until 32

they are heavier than they were before they started the diet! Instead of losing weight – they end up heavier than before! 95% of people actually gain weight by dieting. Hypnosis, on the other hand gently changes your mind in the way that you want, to help you achieve your goals. Hypnosis is the easiest way of reprogramming old or unwanted behaviour pattern or creating new, positive patterns. Do you suffer from: Panic Attacks, Depression, IBS, Insomnia, Fears & Phobias? If you suffer from any of these symptoms and especially if it’s causing problems in your life, Simply Telephone Naas Clinic: 6 Railway Terrace, Dublin Road, Naas, Co. Kildare Clinic: 087 165 0063 / Lo call: 1890 252 567


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interests

by Paula O’Sullivan

don’t worry be happy

“Listen… are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?” –Mary Oliver Wow this hit me like a ton of bricks when I read it, because up til last year, I was only breathing just a little and calling it my life. In fact I can elaborate further and go so far as to say I don’t even think I was breathing at all, I think I had died inside. Anyone else been there? Have you been that low? Has the darkness overwhelmed you? It was so dark that I couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, but then I realised that I had my eyes closed! And when I opened them and opened my mind, then I could see how very bright life actually could be. Yes I’m still in the same world I was last year, but my perception of it has changed. There’s a story about a man, I forget who wrote this, apologies to the author, but this man had two sons, the elder son was ready to leave home and face the world, the father was in an unhappy relationship at the time and told his son never to

trust anyone, for no one could be trusted, and to get all he could get in life regardless of others, and so his son did. A few years later his second son was ready to leave home, by this stage the father had remarried and was in a very happy, loving relationship and gave the advice to the second son to love all he could, to trust everyone and to always give more than he got. Many years passed and the father died. At the funeral the two brothers met up and discussed how their lives had turned out. Both found that life was exactly as their father had told them it would be. Our perception of things is amazing. We all view our same world differently. Some of us view it with fear, anger, and mistrust, some of us with love, joy and hope. Same world, different perceptions, but like the story I related, the scary thing is, you will also experience life as you perceive it to be. Think about this, it’s shocking! So what is your life like today? Examine your thoughts. What

would you like it to be? Better? Then think it into existence, and don’t delay, start this moment, there’s no time to waste. Life is very, very short to be unhappy, by our own making. What more can I say? Here’s some life advice. Go out there and make it happen for you. Don’t just sit there complaining, letting it pass you all by. Grab life with both hands and DANCE! Enjoy it! If not now, when? What are you waiting for? To die? To go to heaven before you can be happy? I’ve been in hell on this earth and I can tell you now I am in heaven on this earth right now, don’t wait for others, make yourself happy, do what you love to do. Be love in every cell, love yourself, love others, be joy, be grateful, do no harm to others, be kind as often as you can, never be cruel. or selfish to yourself or others. Think positive, find positive people who help, uplift and support you, and you will find your measure of heaven too. Enjoy LIVING! I am! 33


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dumb & dumber

Celebrities have said some really dumb things over the years. Here’s a collection of some of the dumbest and funniest!

“Smoking kills. “I think war is If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very a dangerous place” important part of george w. bush your life.” Brooke Shields

“I think gay

marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.” arnold Schwarzenegger

“I owe a lot to my “So, where’s “Fiction writing th e C an ne s parents, especially Film Festiva is great. You can being held this year?” l make up almost my mother and Christina Aguilera anything.” father” ivana trump greg norman,golfer

“Whenever I

“Facts

“I was in a no-win watch TV and are stupid see those poor situation, so I’m glad things.” starving kids all that I won rather than lost” ronald reagan over the world, frank bruno,boxer I can’t help “I’ve never really but cry. I mean wanted to go to I’d love to be Japan. Simply skinny like that “I have opinions of my ow because I don’t n. but not with like eating fish Strong opinions....but I do n’t And I know that’s all those flies always agree with them” very popular out and death and george w. bush there in Africa.” stuff.” britney spears mariah carey

“So Carol, you’re a housewife and mother. And have you got any children? ” michael barrymore 34


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Blessington Magazine - March Issue 2011