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BALLYMUN ESTATES BECOMING DERELICT SITES DUBLIN City Councillor Paul McAuliffe has called on the Health and Safety Authority and Dublin City Council to examine the condition of an abandoned building site and unfinished housing estate in Dublin 11. Parkview, once the site of a public park, was constructed by the Lyndonbarry Group and initially saw a large number of families with young children moving in. The site now has many unfinished and unoccupied housing units and local residents believe there is a serious risk to the

health and safety to children. The builder Lyndonbarry has effectively abandoned the site leaving a large amount of building material. One area which was used to store materials is now totally unsecured and can easily be accessed by children living in the estate. Outlining the problem Cllr McAuliffe said “There are numerous hazards which could cause injury, including building rubble, unprotected manholes, open sewerage and waterlogged trenches. There is even a water


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stone trowing. “Local councillors have held special meetings with residents and the Gardai but I believe as long as the site remains as it is, it will be impossible to end the antisocial behaviour.” said McAuliffe


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GLASNEVIN VARIETY MARKET Pictured at the Naomh Fionnbarra GAA club 65th Anniversary. See page 11 for more. pipe continuously pouring water, crazy given the recent water shortages in the city. The hoarding which was erected to secure the site collapsed in early January and it now leans

dangerously. We have to see some resolution immediately or some one will get hurt.” The building site was formerly part of Poppintree Park but was sold to the developers as part of the

Ballymun masterplan. “The manner in which Parkview has been left has resulted in a significant increase in antisocial behaviour in the area with almost weekly fires and even some

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A 16-year-old crack cocaine dealer has been detained for 28 days at the Dublin Children's Court. The teenager pleaded guilty to possessing €500 worth of crack cocaine for a sale or supply in a public area, in Ballymun, in Dublin, last October. Judge Clare Leonard heard that while he had a drink and cannabis problem, he did not use crack cocaine, which he admitted he was selling to make money. Garda Trevor Bulger had told the court that the teenager admitted that he had the drugs “for sale”.

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“He said he got involved to earn money,” he said. The teenager had been placed on supervised probation earlier for other public order charges. The boy's mother had made an application to the council to be rehoused in a different area to help divert her son from crime. However this failed as a result of the boy's “anti-social behaviour”.

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Calls on Minister for Finance to use lottery funds to save Dublin pools CATHERINE Byrne TD, has called on Minister Brian Lenihan to allocate funds collected by the national lottery to save 3 local authority swim-

ming pools in Dunlin which are currently under threat of closure. “The recent lotto jackpot of €16 million saw over €60 million

in sales collected by the national lottery. According to Minister Lenihan, the surplus from the National Lottery may be used for a number of purposes

Senior Help Line extended Senior Help Line has opened its fourteenth centre in Ireland and expanded the work of an existing centre enabling the service to extended opening hours on Monday, Tuesday & Thursday. On these days, from this week, Senior Help Line is open from 10 am to 10 pm each day. On Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Senior Help Line is open from 10 am to 4 pm and 7 pm to 10 pm. The LoCall national number is 1850 440 444. Senior Help Line is a national confidential listening service for older people by trained older volunteers. The service is a national programme developed and administered by the Third Age Foundation, a community organisation working for the empowerment of older people, based in Summerhill, Co Meath. The extended hours have been made possible by the opening of a new centre in Naas, Co Kildare, and the commitment of our Co Wexford volunteers who have taken on extra hours. Senior Help line has seen a consistent increase in caller volumes since its opening over 10 years ago. Last year the help line received in excess of 13,000 calls from older people all over Ireland. Loneliness continues to be the largest single issue, with almost one in two of all callers either stating or implying loneliness as a reason for their contact in 2009. Thirteen per cent of callers cited health concerns, with twelve per cent disclosing family problems as their reason for getting in touch. The economic downturn was also reflected, with four per cent of callers presenting with financial problems, Calls reporting such financial worries included concerns over managing on pension, fears of losing medical card, cutbacks to community services such as home helps, worries about security of pension and investments, and anxiety regarding the economic difficulties being experienced by adult children, including fears about their unemployment or ability to pay their mortgage. Calls reporting elder abuse or expressing fears about elder abuse peaked in midsummer 2009. Overall elder abuse calls rose to 3%, though this increased percentage point also reflects a number of people who phoned frequently over a period of crisis. More females than males reported elder abuse. Elder abuse can be: physical, emotional, financial, or linked to neglect. 49% of elder abuse calls in 2009 reported emotional abuse, 24% of abuse calls reported financial abuse, 19% of abuse calls reported physical abuse and eight percent of abuse calls reported neglect. Bullying and control is often a factor in elder abuse, and some callers need support in seeing that the behavior they are suffering under is abusive and unacceptable.

including sport and other recreation. I am therefore asking him to grant badly needed funding to Dublin City Council to retain the swimming pools at Crumlin, Coolock and Sean McDermott Street. These pools are used by the local community and would be a huge loss to the city. “Public amenities must be supported by Government, especially in times of recession when many people cannot afford

to join private heath clubs to use a swimming pool. I urge the Minister for Finance to liaise with the Minister for the Environment without any further delay to allow Dublin City Council access funding to keep these pools open”, concluded Catherine Byrne. The community's response to the proposed closures is taking different forms. When the council announced a sdhortfall

of their budget for 2010 of €100,000 for the Crumlin pool, local groups have offered to raise this money and loan it to the Council. This may not be as strange as it sounds as some community members have already done this, albeit on a smaller scale. Some years ago, the condition of the goalmouths at Pearse Park had been allowed to deteriorate and the council had claimed there was not enough

funds to carry out a repair. When it was pointed out that the condition of the goalmouths could lead to serious injuries to youths in the area, the council on insisting that while no funds were available, if they were in such condition, maybe they should declare the pitches unplayable. Costs of repair were just over €6,000 at the time and local paid up for the repair on condition that they be re-

imbursed when the new budget for the following year was agreed. This arrangement was honoured. Meanwhile locals who use Sean McDErmott Street pool are actively trying to raise monies for their pool by increasing the numbers using the pool. This different strategy could become an effective budget balancing feature for the council if the goodwill exists at council level.

Local schools to get upgrade over summer 18 LOCAL schools under the Government’s summer works scheme have been approved. The scheme is designed to upgrade local schools as well as generate work for local trade’s people. The work in the 18 schools could total about €1.4million. In the 18 schools, there are eleven primary and seven secondary schools included. Nine are in Finglas and Glasnevin with five in Ballymun and four in Whitehall. The works are to be completed while

the schools are on summer holidays. Works locally will be for electrical enhancement in four schools, mechanical works in four schools, windows in three schools, toilets in three schools, disabled access and curricular requirements. Speaking at the announcement local Minister Pat Carey said “These grants are a major benefit to local schools. Its important that an innovative scheme like summer works continues during these

tougher times and it helps employ trades people who would not otherwise be employed and plus it helps enhance our local schools at a reasonable cost.” “While the cost of the works is yet unknown the total investment could be as high as €1.4million in the Dublin North West area. That is a significant commitment in the current climate from the Government” The Minister concluded.

Four in court over foiled robbery Four men have appeared in court charged over a foiled armed robbery in which one man was shot dead by gardaí. Gareth Molloy, aged 28, from Sheriff street in Dublin was shot dead and another man wounded last May after gardaí moved in on a gang which had targetted a cash in transit van delivering money to an ATM on Foxborough Road in Lucan. This afternoon Darren Keane (aged 24), of Foxdene avenue in Clondalkin, Derek Hutch (aged 25) of Chapel Farm Avenue in Lusk, Gareth Hutch (aged 29) of Drumalee Avenue in Dublin city centre and John Boylan (aged 23) of Foxdene avenue in Clondalkin appeared before Blanchardstown District Court. They were charged with possession of a sawn-off shotgun and attempting to rob a securicor employee on Foxborough road. They were remanded in custody until May 17 to appear again before the same court.

"The increase in call numbers year on year and the issues raised on the help line shows how much our service is needed. We are the only peer listening service for older people in Ireland, we are open every day of the year including Christmas Day," says Mary Nally, Chairperson of the Third Age Foundation and Chief Executive Officer of Senior Help Line. "Our plans for 2010 are for continued expansion, and by the end of this year we expect to be able to offer this 12 hour service seven days a week. Our ultimate aim is that every older person in Ireland will know our LoCall number, and when they phone us will get the helpful and empathic response they need," she says.

Senior Help Line 1850 440 444

EVERY 10TH SESSION FREE Pictured during the march to Kildare Street which was in protest at the Government's plans to inject billions of euro into the country's banks, at the expense of the taxpayers.This march was organised by the Right to Work Campaign and began at the Garden of Remembrance off O'Connell Street. It made its way through the city to the Dáil where a rally was held, when a small number of people came through the gates. They were kept back by garda reinforcements who used their batons. Photo: Rita Cahill.



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Man jailed for abusing daughters A 79-YEAR-OLD man has been jailed for two and a half years for sexually abusing his two young daughters during the 1970s and 1980s. The Dublin man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his daughters, was found guilty by a jury at the Central Criminal Court last February of rape, buggery and 19 charges of indecent assault against one daughter and 25 counts of indecent assault against another between 1975 and 1981. The jury re-

turned the verdicts of guilty on all counts after just over an hour's deliberation on day 10 of the trial. The eldest complainant outlined in her victim impact statement how she had lost her family as a result of the abuse and had difficulties in her marriage. She said she is still dealing with the shame and anger that are a legacy of incest. The younger complainant said trying to deal with the abuse had been like “like burying rubbish under the ground but it

keeps bubbling to the surface.” She described her father as “evil” and said he had caused devastation within the family. She said home was not a safe place for her as a child and held the threat of violence. She described how as a child she had spent as much time as she could in other people’s homes and would feel isolated when she saw how happy and secure the families were. She said it had been difficult to be in the same room as her father

YOUR GUIDE TO LOCAL COUNCILLORS Our guide to local Councillors is not necessarily a complete guide to all Councillors in a particular area. Some opted not to be included. We invite all Councillors to include their details in our ongoing guide. You can contact us at 087 913 3614 or

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL North West – Artane/Whitehall

JULIA CARMICHAEL Phone: 087 245 5527 Email: North West – Cabra/Glasnevin

CIERAN PERRY Phone: 085 722 6043 Email: North West – Ballymun/Finglas

DESSIE JOHN ELLIS Phone: 086 854 1941 • (01) 834 3390 Email: North West – Ballymun/Finglas

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SÉAMAS MCGRATTAN Phone: 087 784 8153 • (01) 868 3934 Email: Central – Cabra/Glasnevin

MARY O’SHEA Phone: 086 803 8044 Email: Central – North Inner City

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during the trial and he had showed them no sign of compassion. Mr Justice George Birmingham said the accused man’s protestations of innocence had been rejected by the jury. He noted the

accused had sought to “bargain with the court” by sending it a letter saying if he received a suspended sentence there would be no appeal. He said the seriousness of the offence and the prolonged impact it has had on the lives of his victims had emerged in the victim impact statements outlined to the court. He had to take into account the age and frailty of the ac-

Brothel clients saved embarrassment MARK McCormick (aged 26) of Ballaghbeg Park, Newcastle, was described as being “at the top of the ladder” in an organised prostitution ring that spanned the breadth of Dublin city. He has admitted running a network of brothels and will be sentenced later this week. McCormick pleaded guilty to seven counts of acting or assisting in the management of a brothel at six locations in Dublin city centre on various dates between November 2005 and April 2006. A co-accused, Duane Killen (aged 37) was given a suspended sentence last March for his role in renting Dublin apartments to be used as brothels. Detective Garda Larry Duggan told Mr Sean Guerin BL, prosecuting, that McCormick, who was just 22 at the time of the offences, was among the subject of a major garda investigation into the online advertisement of prostitution known as ‘Operation Quest’. Det Gda Duggan told Mr Guerin that as part of their investigations gardai raided a number of premises, including apartments on Bachelors Walk and in Herbert Park, and placed several people under surveillance, including McCormick. On March 8 2006, McCormick was brought to Store Street garda station after he was observed having lunch with Mr Killen and taking a brown envelope from him. During an interview with McCormick, gardai obtained a key for an apartment at the Gasworks building on South Lotts Road, which Det Gda Duggan described as the “nerve centre” of the operation. McCormick had previously been observed entering the building through an underground car park. At the apartment gardai found a laptop computer, which was open and logged on to an Irish escorts website. The laptop contained a manual with instructions on how to run a brothel which was saved under the moniker “Bible”. He said the laptop also detailed a shopping list for items needed to run a brothel and contained several bogus references for Mr Killen Subsequent analysis of the laptop by a garda technical expert revealed that spreadsheets detailing the names of prosti-

tutes, dates and amounts of cash received were also saved to the hard disk. One of the spreadsheets indicated that takings of €25, 000 were recorded for the month of January alone. Fingerprints found on the laptop matched those of McCormick. Gardai also examined a mobile phone bill found at the apartment which recorded €4,000 in calls for the months of January and February 2006. Det Gda Duggan agreed with Mr Remy Farrell BL, defending, that McCormick’s plea of guilty saved the court proceeding with a trial which would have been of great complexity. He agreed that McCormick also saved the brothel clientele from the considerable embarrassment of having to give evidence in court. Det Gda Duggan rejected the suggestion that McCormick’s father, who was convicted of organising prostitution in 2003, was regarded by many of the prostitutes working in the brothels as the “owner”. Det Gda Duggan told Judge Tony Hunt: “This man is at the top of the ladder, there is no one above him.” However, Det Gda Duggan conceded that some of the prostitutes were of the opinion that McCormick’s father owned the apartments where they worked. Mr Farrell reminded the court that McCormick had pleaded not guilty to a charge of directing prostitution and strenuously denied any involvement in this. Det Gda Duggan agreed with Mr Farrell that the women had come to work in the brothels of their own volition and there was no “hold” on them. Judge Hunt remanded McCormick on continuing bail until sentencing on Friday, May 14 and directed that he surrender his passport to Dundalk garda station,

cused and he had to be conscious of the fact that any sentence imposed would be a significant portion of the remainder of the man’s life. He imposed concurrent sentences totalling two and a half years, ordered two years post release supervision and ordered that his name be placed on the sex offenders' register. Garda Nuala Burke told Mr Paul McDermott SC, prosecuting, that the elder girl was abused between the ages of eight and 11, while the

younger girl was abused by her father between the age of five and 11. The accused man was arrested in September 2007 and denied the allegations. He continued to maintain his innocence throughout the trial and gave evidence in his own defence. He has no previous convictions. Defence counsel, Mr Blaise O’Carroll SC, handed in a letter of apology from the accused to the court regarding the last letter the accused had conveyed to Mr Jus-

tice Birmingham. He said the accused was in frail health and had problems with his heart. Mr O’Carroll said the accused had “deteriorated in an extraordinary way since the verdict” and submitted that jail was taking a heavy toll on him. He asked the court to take into account the amount of time that had elapsed since the offences. “As a result of what happened his life and what little of it is left has been destroyed,” said Mr O’Carroll.

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Why do so many people have problems reading? MOST OF US take reading and writing for granted but for thousands of Irish people it’s a constant struggle. ‘Stuck for Words’, a fascinating 6-part RTÉ documentary, tells the story of some of these people and the profound impact going back to education is having on their lives. It will be broadcast at 7.30pm on RTÉ One. In the first programme, we meet four very different teenagers from Coolock. Paul, Chantelle and Chez all struggled in the traditional education system and dropped out of school early with very poor literacy. 17 year old Julie, a member of the travelling community, had never been to school. Now all of them are attending their local Youthreach - a centre that gives teenagers a second chance at education. This programme lets them tell their own story in their own words and shows how a little support can go a long way. ‘Stuck for Words’ is a personal transformation series that fo-

cuses on the journey of each individual person. It is a fresh, honest, often moving and insightful look at how people cope with having to learn the basic skills many of us take for granted. One in four adults in Ireland have difficulties with basic reading and writing skills, enough to affect their everyday lives. Many people invest a lot of time and energy into hiding this, due to the stigma associated with having literacy difficulties in today's society. This series aims to dispel this stigma and deepen our understanding of the importance of good literacy skills in 21st century Ireland. “Motivation is key in adult learning – with so many Irish adults with low literacy due to poor schooling it is critical for them and Irish society that they take up learning opportunities to build their reading, writing and maths skills. Education is fundamental to Ireland’s recovery and state support, however limited, must go to those who need it

GAA museum enters a new era 2010 will herald a new era for the GAA Museum at Croke Park. Having undergone extensive renovation works since November 2009, the GAA Museum at Croke Park has unveiled its new look. The upgrade was completed following a substantial €1million investment by the Gaelic Athletic Association and grant aid from Fáilte Ireland. Visitors can now enjoy many new and innovative features when visiting the GAA Museum. One such addition is a distinctive club-focused wall at the main entrance; Falla na gClub, which welcomes all visitors to the Museum with an outstanding display of every GAA Club's logo. Further renovations to the GAA Museum include a specially commissioned central display unit for the original Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy trophies which forms the centre piece of the museum. Updated match footage from both clubs and county teams from around the country will be displayed on twenty new 52" plasma TV screens, whilst the upgrade of an All-Ireland Resource Centre will appeal to purists of the game.

most and with the lowest level of educational attainment. These programmes represent the brave and inspiring people who are sharing their learning journey so that others might follow,” said Inez Bailey, Director, National Adult Literacy Agency. ‘Stuck for Words’ highlights how significant an impact not

being able to read and write can have on a person’s everyday life. In programme two we meet Tom Flynn, a farmer from Knocklong in Co. Limerick. Like many people his age, Tom left school at 14 without being able to read and write and spent many years living with the fear of being found out. 35 years after leaving school, Tom made the

brave decision to go to his local adult education centre, parking the car two miles away so no one would know his business. In programme three we meet Anita, a mum of one from the North Inner City. She left school at 12 to work in a sewing factory but since her daughter was born 3 years ago, she has realised the importance

of education and this year will sit her Junior Cert Maths. Stuck for Words’ is a joint project between RTÉ and the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) with support from the BCI Sound & Vision fund. It will be broadcast on RTÉ One Television on Monday evenings at 7.30pm from the 10th of May.

A new Clubs database has also been created, which will add greatly to the depth of knowledge stored at the GAA Museum. Clubs can update this online at any time, thereby ensuring it accurately records their history, and most recent achievements. The specially-designed interactive games area of the Museum has had a complete re fit. Visitors can now test their own GAA skills in hurling and gaelic football! Since it’s opening, the GAA Museum has welcomed over 600,000 visitors to date. Indeed, 2009 marked a special year for the GAA Museum with over 80,000 people taking the time out to pay a visit to this unique Irish sporting monument. This marked an increase of almost 20% on visitor numbers since 2008, ensuring that the GAA Museum is one of the top visitor attractions in Dublin and Ireland.

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Be your own life coach Clinical Hypnotherapist Kieran Fitzpatrick advises in his regular column on how to achieve your goals... IN ONLY THE last article I was talking about people “buddying up” to take exercise. And whatever the cause of the sad and untimely death of radio star Gerry Ryan, much of the coverage around his death referred to many of the factors which are often the cause of premature death. Some of his friends were said to have been worried about his physical and indeed emotional condition in the weeks up to his death. As a man of the people, I’m sure Gerry wouldn’t mind me using some of this to highlight things that we can all do. Things that we often overlook or get out of the habit of during our often hectic lives. And the great thing is that none of the things we should do to take better care of ourselves need be hard work or severe. The first thing is regular exercise. This has obvious physical health benefits. It can help to control your weight obviously. But probably more importantly, using your body helps strengthen your muscles and bones. It improves your circulation keeping vital organs such as heart and lungs strong and healthy. Another very important and often overlooked benefit of exercise is its stress reducing benefits. Anyone with a stressful life should really be taking regular vigorous exercise. It is a great way to discharge the stress in your body. And how often do we hear about someone who has died young being under a lot of stress? And what comes out regularly as the best form of exercise is, simply, walking! Recenlty I heard a fitness expert reveal that fast walking also burns as many calories as jogging. Walking also has a very calming effect on the mind. The rhythm, the left-right motion, not to mention the connection with nature when you walk outdoors. Many people nowadays can also use a personal stereo to listen to music, books, radio podcasts, etc. while walking and give themselves some personal time out. So there is no excuse for not getting reglar exercise. Park the car that little bit farther from your destination. Get, or get off, the bus a few stops farther along. (I see so many, even young, and usually overweight, people wait for and take the bus for just four of five stops!) Other simple ways to get exercise in your normal day would be to slip out for a walk at lunchtime. Use stairs instead of escalators or lifts. Stress is not just a possible killer, it also affects your mental and emotional health. Make relaxation a priority in your life. Schedule hobbies, exercise and interests into your week. Even if it is only a little time to read or to watch your favourite t.v. program. We all need “time out”. Some time to just chill and relax. A little time to clear our mind. Our minds and bodies are intimately linked. Every thought that we have has a physiologial effect on our body. So while we are thinking about “stuff”, our body is reacting to these thoughts. So bad or stressful thoughts will have bad and stressful effects on your body. But equally, “good” and relaxing thoughts will have beneficial effects on your body too. So the more of it you do the better it is for you not just mentally, but physically. Kieran Fitzpatrick ADHP MIAPH (Member of The International Association of Pure Hypnoanalysts) is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP, Practitioner and Personal Coach. His practice is between Terenure and the M50 in Dublin. For more details call 087-1227361, e-mail: or see

Dogs Trust Finglas Home FIGURES just released by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government show a massive decrease in the number of healthy dogs being destroyed in Irish Pounds. In 2008 over 10,000 healthy dogs were euthanased within the Pound system, however this number was significantly reduced to 6,536 in 2009, a massive 35% reduction. Dogs Trust, Ireland’s largest Dog Welfare charitable organisation has been investing in a nationwide neutering campaign since 2005 at a total cost of €5 million. Dogs Trust has a non destruction policy; and never destroys a healthy dog. The Centre is based at the Ashbourne Road, Finglas. Since the commencement of the campaign the number of dogs entering Irish Dog Pounds has fallen from 25,510 to 16,413 and the numbers euthanased from 16,546 to 6,536. Dogs Trust also offer free Education workshops to primary schools teaching children about responsible dog ownership. Dogs Trust opened a state of the art Rehoming Centre last November in Finglas, Dublin and have

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Alterations already rehomed over 500 Irish dogs. On average 70% of the dogs rehomed through this facility originate from the Pound system. Commenting on the positive news Mark Beazley, Executive Director for Dogs Trust Ireland said “We are very pleased to see such a huge decrease in the numbers of dogs

being euthanased in our Pound system and the significant decrease in the numbers of dogs entering Pounds in the first place. I am proud that our neutering campaign has played a significant part in this reduction. Dogs Trust will continue to work tirelessly with our colleagues in other animal welfare organisations to ensure that the numbers of heal-

thy dogs dying needlessly in Pounds continues to decrease. Indeed our aim is to reach the day when all dogs can lead a happy life free from the threat of unnecessary destruction.” Dogs Trust is Irelands largest dog welfare charity and plans to rehome over 1,000 stray and abandoned dogs in 2010. Dogs Trust has

Keane calls on Dubliners to support shades 2010 IPSWICH Town Manager and Irish football legend Roy Keane officially launched the annual Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind / SuperValu SHADES campaign. The campaign focuses on raising funds for the provision of guide and assistance dogs. ( It costs approximately €38,000 to breed, train and support a single guide or assistance dog partnership. All of IGDB’s services are offered free of charge

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and over 85% of the charity’s income is secured through voluntary donations and fundraising. Throughout May, SHADES pins will be available for purchase in most SuperValu stores as well as through IGDB volunteers in shopping centres and outlets countrywide. Pins cost €2 each. You can also make a donation by simply texting the word ‘SHADES’ to 57252 or logging onto

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Cuts to dental care for medical card patients Fine Gael Health Spokesperson, Dr James Reilly TD, today (Wednesday) said Guidance given by expert dentists responsible for advising the HSE on the medical card scheme for dental patients has been ignored by the HSE when implementing Government Budget cuts, according to Dr James O'Reilly TD. “A letter from the Lead Principal Dental Surgeons who advise the HSE on the Dental Treatment Services Scheme for medical card patient shows recommendations provided by them at the HSE’s request were ignored in framing the implementation of Budget cuts to the scheme. “What is the point of the HSE having experts at its disposal if it is going to take no notice of what they have to say? The result is that the HSE circular sent out on 26 April implementing the Budget cuts has caused great confusion. No proper notification has been made to medical card patients who may be in the process of dental treatment and whose entitlements have now been cut. The lack of notification to the dentists contracted to carry out the scheme will also undoubtedly lead to problems. Sadly this is all very true to form for the HSE. “Mary Harney pays a lot of lip service to patients but as usual they’re the ones who are going to take the pain here. Ireland’s two tier

health service will become even more unfair as those who can afford it will have all the dental care they need while those on medical cards will not. Medical card patients can no longer access routine scaling, fillings and extractions. They cannot get dentures and they cannot get treatment for gum disease, including some very painful conditions, because of the cuts to this scheme. The entitlement of Hep C sufferers is also unclear. “It was always going to be extremely difficult to meet the Budget decision to reduce the Dental Treatment Services Scheme funding to 2008 levels considering the increase in medical card holders. However, the HSE has once again succeeded in making everything worse. It is all the more likely that targets will not be met since there is now just over half a year to make the savings. Even if the estimated €30 million saving can be made it is very difficult to justify such a retrograde step for a relatively small saving. Neglecting dental health affects general health and this could well end up costing more than it saves in the long run. Patients suffer from this penny wise and pound foolish approach. The Government’s chronic myopia is at play once again and patients are always in their blind spot.”

52 beds closed in Beaumont while patients wait on trolleys 52 BEDS HAVE been closed at Beaumont Hospital, while up to 42 patients a day are left waiting on trolleys. “How can it make sense to close down 52 beds in a hospital that had an average of 42 patients on trolleys in A&E each day in April?' asked Dr James Reilly TD. 'In the same month almost 400 patients a day were on trolleys in hospitals all over the country. Is each of them supposed to follow suit and close beds when the money runs out? It is the ultimate indictment of the fail-

ure of Government policy to make hospital budgets follow the patients they treat, instead of arbitrary year-on-year budgets that leads to nonsensical decisions like this. “It is really depressing that the first thing that happens after 50 patients from acute beds are found nursing home care is that beds are closed down for other patients. The whole idea of finding more appropriate places for those people who are delayed in acute beds is to make these beds available, not to close them

down. “It also flies in the face of avowed Government policy that 33 of the beds to be closed are in a five-day ward. These are the kind of beds for day case and short stay procedures that the Health Minister claims we’re moving towards but Beaumont is closing them down. “More beds closed means more patients suffering needlessly on trolleys and more patients waiting at home in pain due to cancelled operations.”


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Caring and Sharing win top award

Local charity, Caring and Sharing Association (CASA) has won the top award of €5,000 as part of the AIB Better Ireland Programme. CASA, which organises social activities and respite breaks for people with disabilities received the highest number of votes of the three shortlisted organisations in their group. Pictured at the cheque presentation at AIB Bank Drumcondra were: (L-R) Front- Frances Hargadon and 11 yr. old Darren Breen from CASA (Caring and Sharing Association) with AIB Branch Manager John Kelly and Ms. Noreen Donegan, Better Irl Programme Co-ordinator. Frances Hargadon from CASA commented, “We are delighted to receive this award and would like to thank all those who took the time to vote for us. This will really make a big difference to our Children’s Group in Swords”.


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Renting your property How does it smell? It sounds obvious but make sure you don’t fail on this one. If your house smells bad, it will turn off a potential tenant.

With the property market just a tad sluggish, many would-be sellers have decided to rent rather than sell, for the time being. As for selling, property staging for rental does matter. You want to attract

reliable tenants that will care for your property – so make sure that your house sells itself. DECORATING your house to rent is a different proposition from interior design for living. We've asked the interior designers from, the website of Dublin home improvement professionals to tell us how to turn your property into a “must have” for renters without breaking the bank.

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Should I buy new furniture? If your house is unfurnished, consider holding off. Some tenants may want an unfurnished house, or maybe alr e a d y h a v e their own beds for example. You can al-

is a website which promotes local professionals including landscapers, tradesmen, interior designers, architects etc. For each company on, we show photos of their work and provide detailed testimonials from their previous customers. If you would like to find a garden or home improvement specialist in your area please visit What are the first easy fixes? First impressions count so always present a well kept exterior. Tidy the garden, paint the front door,

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replace worn door mats and put away any clutter laying around. Inside, it must be scrupulously clean. Double check bathrooms, showers and windows. Clean the carpets or replace if they’re past it. Fix what’s broken, such as cabinet doors that are hanging off their hinges. What are the most effective décor changes? If your house needs more than cleaning and decluttering, try these decorating tips from our experts. Paint gives the best bang for your buck! Choose neutral colours or opt for a soft clean bright paint palate with a bit of colour like pastel blues and shades of lilac. Hang plain noprint curtains on nice brushed chrome poles with matching cushions for the sofa. Mirrors are great for reflecting light and brightening up a room whilst adding character and detail. Cast a critical eye over the decor. A rental property might seem like the ideal home for those pictures, vases and crockery that you don’t want. But ask yourself, if your ideal tenant would want them too. It might seem thrifty to recycle but it’s not if you end up missing out on the right tenants.

ways agree what to buy once you have a firm agreement. Be sure to get some feedback from local estate agents before your make any big decisions here. Is it worth getting a professional stager or interior designer to help? Generally, people call in an interior designer for one of two reasons. If you can’t take on this project because of time or distance, then consider using an interior designer to organise any necessary work


and to source furniture and fittings. Alternatively if you can’t see where to start, then definitely get someone in at least to consult for an hour or so. If any further work evolves from that, then at that stage make a decision regarding further investment. Ready, set and go! After all your hard work, your house is ready is pay its way! Good luck! is a web site which promotes local professionals including landscap-

ers, tradesmen, interior designers, architects etc. For each company on, we show photos of their work and provide detailed testimonials from their previous customers. If you would like to find a garden or home improvement specialist in your area please visit If you operate a home improvement company and would like more information about presenting your work on, please call us on 01 4966176.



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Small food producers guide available downturn in the economy and people looking for new business opportunities. On the positive side, it is showing that people wishing to take their first entrepreneurial step to establish a food business, wish to do so in the correct manner, seek-

ing the best advice available to them. Our Guide to Food Law for Artisan/ Small Food Producers Starting a New Business provides proactive advice, details of the law governing this area and a checklist on criteria required of them.”

“The responsibility for food safety rests firmly on food industry and this guide provides details on the fundamental requirements for setting up an artisan or small food business, including contact details of the various agencies which can assist in

fulfilling a start-up. This will ultimately allow those new to the industry to be self-sufficient in setting up their food business in the correct way, so that they are complying with food safety legislation,” stated Prof Reilly. The guide is free

to download on the FSAI website Alternatively, any additional queries in relation to setting up a new food business can be directed to the Food Safety Authority of Ireland Advice Line on 1890 33 66 77 or

DVD available on Ombudsman

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has published a comprehensive guide to food law to assist artisan and small food producers who have started or are planning to start a new food business. The publication of the Guide to Food Law for Artisan/Small Food Producers Starting a New Business is timely given that the FSAI has witnessed a marked increase in interest in starting a new food business from members of the public. In 2009, there was a 50% increase on 2008, on the number

of enquiries to the FSAI’s advice line asking for information on how to set up a new food business. To operate legally the food business operator must ensure: that their food business is registered, or approved; that they have a food safety management system in place; that their business has an effective traceability system; that staff handling food have received food safety training; and that they comply with food law. This guide provides concise and clear details on these

legal requirements. It also includes simplified summaries on food legislation including: General food law, Food hygiene, Microbiological criteria, Labelling and marketing standards, Additives, packaging, contaminants and pesticides Prof Alan Reilly, Chief Executive, FSAI, welcomes the growth in interest from new artisan and small food producers. “We are seeing a big increase in the number of requests for information on starting a new food business. It is possibly a reflection of the

A new and fully accessible information DVD about the role of the Ombudsman and the free, impartial and independent service her Office provides, has been launched by Minister of State John Moloney TD. The DVD design and structure includes facilities such as lipreading, sign language and subtitles to help more people and especially those with a disability, who feel badly treated by public bodies, to make a complaint to the Ombudsman. Speaking at the launch in the National Disability Authority headquarters, Dublin, Ombudsman O´Reilly said "The level of complaints made to me under the Disability Act about accessibility of buildings, services and information is remarkably low - just a few to date. Given that since 2007, my Office can accept complaints about the hundreds of voluntary bodies providing services to disabled people on behalf of the HSE, or with assistance from the HSE, there is clearly a deficit here

to be addressed". Citing a number of cases where complainants with a disability, were treated badly by public bodies and where her Office made a real difference to their lives in putting a wrong right and gaining redress for them, the Ombudsman commented "My remit extends not only to the more high profile investigations and re-

ports but also to what one might regard as the bread and butter issues of concern to people". In one example, Ms O´Reilly resolved a complaint against a County Council which had refused to pay a man a disabled persons grant. Following an examination by her Office the Council reversed its decision and the man got €17,000 to do the work on his house.

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The Little Pest book that is a BIG help IDENTIFYING which creatures are responsible for eating the valuable fruit, vegetables salads or herbs which you have lovingly tended to all summer long, can be a real challenge. Harrod Horticultural has come to the rescue with the Little Book of Pests supported by the email advice service provided by Pest Control Expert Julian Ives. The Little Book of Pests contains information on all the common garden pests from ants and aphids to vine weevil and whitefly – how to spot them and what to do about them, which is where our new Natural Choice range of completely organic

pest control products come in, all perfectly safe to use around children, pets and wildlife and kind to the environment. Read on for Julian’s pest control advice and suitable remedies for the months of May and June, straight from the expert. Early summer is the season to capture and trap moths and damaging beetle species, not only to reduce their numbers but also to check for presence and plan how to control them. Early summer is

or Plum Fruit Moth Trap and Lure (GPC028) £7.95. A first in the gardening market, this trap uses a specific attractant lure to entice and trap adult Garden Chafer beetles, an early warning of forthcoming Chafer grub damage in lawns later in the summer. If beetles are caught it is a good idea to pre-order Chafer Grub Killer Nematodes (GPC-290 £29.95) for delivery in August

the time that pheromone traps should be put out to catch the male moths just beginning to fly. The new pheromone lures

will last the whole moth flying season, not half of it like traditional trap lure and by replacing them each year the traps can be

reused. Hang the traps in fruit trees and wait for the traps to start catching moths. Codling Moth Trap and Lure (GPC-214)

when the Chafer grubs may appear. Garden Chafer Trap and Lure (GPC-117) £16.95. Now is protection time for raspberries. The attractant lure used in the trap lasts for up to six weeks, by topping up you’ll have an up to date attractant lure in the trap through summer and autumn. If you start catching large numbers of beetles, consider spraying them with Insect Killer Spray (GPC-027

£5.95) from Harrod Horticultural. Raspberry Beetle Trap and Lures (GPC-126) £16.95. The Little Book of Pests is available to download from – just visit our ‘Pest control by Pest’ category or email for FREE expert advice and monthly pest control tips to your inbox superior products to grow your own.

Plants that can kill! In this fascinating book, John Robertson, Warder of the famous Alnwick Poison Garden, answers the FAQs on poison plants • Why are plants poisonous? • What's the biggest killer? • Have they ever been used as murder weapons? • Which poisons are undetectable? • Does mandrake really scream? Running the gamut from stinging nettles to strychnine; from catnip to cannabis, Robertson puts a surprising variety of plants through their paces, investigating, interrogating and illuminating his subjects with a natural curiosity, humour and extensive knowledge. In 2002, John Robertson became a volunteer for the Alnwick Garden in Northumberland. In late 2003, he was asked to undertake research into the stories of the plants planned for the Poison Garden, then under construction. In 2005, when the garden opened, he was asked by the Duchess of Northumberland to become Poison Garden warden. John trained staff and volunteers to take Poison Garden tours, as well as taking tours himself and giving talks in the conference suite at the garden. He currently runs the website and continues to give talks. He is a member of the Society for the Study of Addiction. £9.99 paperback.

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Naomh Fionnbarra GAA club celebrated its 65th Anniversary with a Black Tie Ball in the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Saturday 1st May. The club also celebrated winning the Dublin Intermediate Hurling Championship last year and qualifying for the Leinster Final. Presentations were made to all the players and mentors. Players of the year and other Club awards were also presented on the night. The club has been promoting Gaelic Games in the Cabra area since 1945 and today fields 20 teams in Gaelic Football, Camogie and Hurling from its Tiny Tots section up to Senior level. For more info about joining any of the teams call the club at 01-868 6209 or check

Pictured at the Ball are Club Chairman Noel Paget, Juvenile Chairman Cllr. Seamas McGrattan and Mary Lou McDonald.

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Train for the marathon in just 20 weeks and then finish it? Yes, you can! INCREASING personal achievement is something that most

of us strive for in our lives. The wish to improve our lives in

some way is something that we all share. We may have the de-

sire but we are not always sure what steps to take to lead us to increase our personal achievement. The Dublin Marathon Challenge is a new training programme that not only trains you to run; it trains you to improve your life - for good. The programme is an investment in your future, in yourself. Alex Kotsos, founder of the Dublin Marathon Challenge is a fitness trainer, life coach and NLP practitioner. She has completed 4 marathons as well as numerous 5k and 10k races. After

turning her own life around a few years ago through training, personal achievement and taking on new challenges, she came up with the idea of passing on her wealth of experience to others who need a life change. Commenting on the programme, Alex said “I know that fitness and health are important for all the reasons that people tell us – live longer, reduce risk of disease and heart problems etc. I also know that it is hard to become fit and healthy when, in your mind, you feel terrible and you hate

your body. I know that I can help people change this perception about themselves; and through this program they will start to feel good about themselves and take control of other areas of their lives.” Training for the Dublin Marathon Challenge will take place each week in the Phoenix Park. Alex will train participants in groups of 12 for up

to 4 sessions a week. There will also be continuous support and advice over the 20 weeks, as well as a starter pack, and most importantly, the sense of achievement as you complete each stage of the programme and get closer to your goal. According to Alex “This programme isn’t about fitness or weight loss – those things will happen as

a by-product. This is about aiming for and achieving something you never dreamed possible – completing a marathon in this case – working hard and supporting others, and building your self esteem with every new step that you take. “For full details and to register for this programme visit m.

Rough Guide to the iPad Apple sold a million iPads in just 28 days in the US. Is this device truly set to revolutionize the way people work, play and organise their digital lives? Yes, according to Peter Buckley, author of The Rough Guide to the iPad. “The iPad can truly be whatever you want it to be and as such has an almost limitless potential market and limitless possibilities of use. It’s amazing just how quickly this device can become an essential part of your day-to-day life”. The Rough Guide to the iPad, the ultimate companion to the newest toy, will publish within just a few weeks of the iPad hitting UK shelves, along with an iPad-compatible ebook version, available when the much-talked about iBookstore launches in the UK. Content includes:Jargon-free explanations on what an iPad is, how it works, and what you’ll need to get started. How to get the best from all the iPad’s features including the iBookstore, iTunes, iWorks and Mail. Tech-insider tips to apps, websites and services enabling you to do pretty much anything you want to do on your iPad, from playing games and reading eBooks to making Skype calls and streaming TV from the web.


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Carbon tax a ‘burning issue’ for pensioners ACTIVE Retirement Ireland has said that the introduction of a carbon tax should not worsen the level of ‘fuel poverty’ felt by those dependent on State pensions, and has called for clarification from the Minister for Social Protection, Éamon Ó Cuív, on the measures being planned to offset the impact of the

tax on pensioners. According to the Chief Executive Officer of Active Retirement Ireland, Maureen Kavanagh, “The potential cost of the carbon tax is emerging as a burning issue for people who are dependant on a State pension. On a daily basis, we are receiving dozens of calls and emails from re-

tired people who are concerned about the impact which the carbon tax will have on them. “There is an acceptance among our membership that efforts have to be made to adapt in order to protect our climate. We understand that policy changes need to be implemented to change behaviour

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across all of the population. However, we also believe that the carbon tax is something that not everyone will be in a position to carry. “To avoid turning the carbon tax into a national crisis, the Government should immediately clarify its plans on how exactly it intends to administer the scheme, with particular emphasis on the measures it intends to implement to off-set the cost of the tax on pensioners. In the event that it does not have a proposal for the roll-out of the tax, it should postpone its implementation until 2011. In the meantime, it should consult with groups representing older people to agree on the most effective mechanism for protecting those on State pensions from suffering hardship as a result of the tax,” said Ms. Kavanagh. Active Retirement Ireland is recommending that a payment should be attached to the existing Household Benefits so that they can pay the carbon tax without suffering additional hardship.



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Home Help cuts ‘inhuman’ Catherine Byrne TD. has described HSE proposals to cut the cost of home help services as ‘inhuman’ and a false economy which is targeting those who are the most vulnerable. “The HSE seems to think that home helps are dealing with machines instead of real people. You cannot timetable the needs of elderly people. It will hurt people a great deal to have their hours reduced so severely and home helps will find it almost impossible to stick to these inhuman time limits. Home help patients need to have time spent with them and it is wrong to assume that cutting the light housework home helps do won’t be missed. It means a lot to older people who are no longer able to do all of their own cleaning to have some help with it. “This may well prove to be a false economy as home helps do a great deal to keep people well at home and out of hospital. Elderly people who do end up in hospital will continue to get stuck in acute beds as the reduced home help hours will mean they won’t have the support to be discharged home. “This is another sign of this Government’s policy to target those in need while treating the most privileged with kid gloves. The Government parties refuse to compel their members to surrender Ministerial pensions, exempt judges from public service pay cuts and shelter 600 senior civil servants from taking the same cuts as the low paid. Now the elderly and other patients who need help at home are in the firing line as they continue to heap pain on those least able to take it.”





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