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wicklowvoice SAY HELLO TO THE GARDEN COUNTY’S FREE, POSITIVE PAPER!

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September 2013

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Big rise in tourist numbers TOURISM has received a welcome boost in Wicklow this summer with a noted increase in both domestic and foreign visitors to the Garden County. Coastal resorts including Bray, Greystones, Wicklow Town and Arklow have performed well in recent months, experiencing welcome increases in visitor numbers and business levels. Inland visitor attractions also performed very well with Glendalough getting a great boost from the visit of US First Lady Michelle Obama and her two daughters in June. Speaking to the Wicklow Voice, Chairman of Wicklow County Tourism Cllr Tom Fortune, said the summer has proven very positive on the tourism front. “The past few months have provided a welcome boost for Wicklow,” said Mr Fortune. “It demonstrates the demand to holiday in Ireland and that there’s a huge amount on offer here, both to foreign and domestic tourists. While not everyone in Wicklow has seen a boost, many have, and we should be encouraged by that.” Travel website ebookers.ie revealed the scorching weather

brought an 81% increase in “staycations” for July and August, with Bray seeing 400% more visitors making a lastminute dash to the town than during the same period last year. Meanwhile, the Taste Of Wicklow Town and Arklow’s Seabreeze Festival all brought locals and visitors alike out onto the streets to enjoy. “We were delighted with the success of Seabreeze this year,” said vice-chairman Colm Moules from Arklow. The Gathering appears to have been a resounding success with the Greystones Arts Festival, The Hollywood Fair and Canada Come Home being the stand out events among the 100 or so held in the county as part of the tourism drive. “There is no doubt that Bray and Wicklow has benefited from an uplift in domestic tourism,” said Pat O Suilleabhain, General Manger National Sea Life Centre and spokesman for Bray Tourism. “The weather played a big part this year but the great coverage the town received from Katie Taylor in 2012 also helped. Things are definitely heading in the right direction.”

East Coast FM’s summer round up: Page 6

HELLO!

Welcome to Wicklow’s positive newspaper. NEWS: 2 One third of Wicklow pupils are in ‘supersized’ classrooms 4 Pat Kenny drops in to help cancer charity 7 No sign of Darth Vader ... just yet Opinion 10 Good riddance to the local councils, says Michael Wolsey You’ll miss them when they’re gone, says Cllr Mick Glynn 11 Derry by birth, Wicklow by choice - Brian Quigley on Seamus Heany PIZZA THE ACTION: Eliseo Del Forno (Chef), Jake O’Neill (5), Ruby Fergus (Assistant Manager), Max O’Neill (4), Pawel Kozlowski (Head Chef) celebrate the announcement that Platform Pizza Bar has created 20 jobs with the opening of a new 40-seater restaurant located on the seafront in Bray, Co Wicklow. » See story on page 9

inside back 22 Who dares to speak of ‘98?


2 | NEWS

wicklowvoice.ie September 2013

One third of Wicklow pupils in ‘supersize’ classrooms Pictured at the Presentation College Debs was, left: Tadhg Devlin and Juliette O’Callaghan; right: Rayann Murray, Aaron Nolan and Amy Howard. Pic: Joe Keogh . For more pictures from the night, log onto www.keoghphotography.com

news inbrief Search on for millionaire Have you noticed anyone acting a bit strange this weather? Booking an exotic holiday or buying a new car? The search is on for Wicklow’s latest millionaire as it emerged that one lucky local has scooped the €1m top prize in this month’s An Post Millionaire draw. The newly minted millionaire is one of 8,965 prize bond holders across the country who won prizes this month. More than €1,477,900 was won in the draw after recent changes to the prize structure. There is now a €1m draw every second month. Two more €1m draws will take place at the end of October and December, with €20,000 the top prize for all other weekly draws.

Are you staging event?

If you are organising an event in Co Wicklow, we want to hear from you! Please send all information to wicklowvoice@gmail.com and we will be delighted to help get your event out there. All listings from community organisations and sporting clubs are welcome.

Wicklow has come out tops in an education survey … but for the wrong reasons. Almost one-in-three school pupils in the county are now in a “supersize” classroom of more than 30 children. Wicklow tops the table with 31.5pc of children in classes of 30 or more, slightly ahead of Limerick county at 30.6pc. The average class size nationwide rose to 24.7 in 2012-13, up from 24.5 the previous year. It compares with an EU average of 20. The children of commuter-belt families are suffering the most overcrowded classrooms, the new figures confirm. As primary-school enrolments rise, average classes are getting bigger almost everywhere throughout the country, with a spike in the number of pupils in classes of 30 or more. But some communities are being hit much harder than others, according to the latest figures from the Department of Education. Children living in areas of rapid population growth on the outskirts of Dublin, and neighbouring counties, are also among the worst affected. There is also a big squeeze in classrooms in Cork county and Waterford county, parts of which experienced a population boom in the past decade. In contrast, class sizes are generally stable, or falling, in many rural areas and in cities, reflecting trends in population.

However, the slight increase in the national average masks a shocking jump in the number of pupils in classes of 30 or more, the precise impact of which depends on where a family lives. Primary pupils in Wicklow are almost twice as likely to be squeezed into a class of 30 or more, when compared with those in the largely rural Cavan and Roscommon, where the rate is 16.2 pc. However, teachers in small rural schools may be dealing with the complexity of more than one class in each classroom. At the other end of the scale, the department’s figures also show a drop in the number of smaller classes in schools. The 70,000 junior infants starting in primary schools this week have pushed enrolments to their highest levels for more than 20 years – and about 10,000 more than last September. As more children pour into schools, the number in classes of 30 or more has risen by 8,000 since 2011/12 to over 121,000 in 2012/13. It is up from 97,000 in 2010/11. That amounts to an overall average of 23.5 of primary pupils – almost one in four or – in “supersize” classes, up from 22.3pc the previous year, as a result of growing enrolments and cuts in staffing in small primary schools. At the same time, the proportion of pupils in classes of fewer than 20 has dropped to 10.6pc, from 11.9pc in 2011/12.


NEWS |3

September 2013 wicklowvoice.ie

joe keogh’s people in pictures

Amy and Lucy Ryan enjoying the sunshine on Bray Beach. Pic: Joe Keogh

Sisters, Aimee and Gail Flanagan at the Groove Music Festival in Kilrudderyduring the summer.

Aibhe O’Meara (2.5), Anna Ryle (4), Cibele Ribeiro (from Brazil) and Tess Ryle (7) enjoy the sun on Greystones beach wwereas.

Lorcan and Keelan (11 months) O’Neill pictured at Air Spectacular, as part of Bray Summerfest, which attracted a record breaking 85,000 spectators this year.

Jim Kelly tries to shelter from the sun on Greystones beach.

Bressie gets ready to take the stage at Bray Summerfest.


4 | NEWS

wicklowvoice.ie September 2013

Newstalk of the town ... Pat Kenny drops in to help fight against cancer

Pictured at the Bray Cancer Support Centre are: Trisha Gibbons, Margaret Byrne and Joan Vickers; and right, Veronica O’Leary with Pat Kenny Newstalk’s newest star Pat Kenny dropped into Co Wicklow last week to help a charity raise funds for a new vehicle. Bray Cancer Support Centre last week launched an exciting project to facilitate the demand for its volunteer transport service. The centre is aiming to purchase a vehicle to continue to transport its clients and those

who care for them in and out of hospitals and clinics for their treatment. At present the team of volunteer drivers are using their own cars and are on the road almost daily. During 2012, Bray Cancer Support Centre provided 488 free transport services to cancer patients in the Wicklow and south Dublin areas to St Luke’s Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital,

St James’s Hospital, Blackrock Day Hospice, Blackrock Clinic, Beaumount Hospital, St Michael’s Hospital and St Colmcille’s Hospital. Thanks to grants already donated from the Hug Charity Group at Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and Bray Town Council, they are close to their target of €16,000 and are asking the public to help raise the remaining €8,000.

Anyone who can help, should visit www.globalgiving.org where they can donate online during the month of September. The transport service has been in existence for 15 years and has helped thousands of people in the community. “We rely on Bray Cancer Support Centre to bring my Mother into hospital for her treatment. “I can’t drive and have no oth-

er family to do this. “The hospital is unable to help us with transport due to cut backs. If it weren’t for Bray Cancer Support Centre helping us I don’t think my Mother would go to her treatment,” said Mary, a client user of the centre. Bray Cancer Support Centre is a community-based registered charity and they receive approx one quarter of their annual funding from the HSE and the rest is

made up of donations and fund raising. They are not funded by any National Charity or any other government agencies in Co Wicklow. For further information contact Bray Cancer Support Centre, Aubrey Court, Parnell Road, Bray or telephone 01.2866966, email info@braycancersupport. ie or visit our website at www. braycancersupport.ie.


September 2013 wicklowvoice.ie

NEWS |5


6 | NEWS news inbrief Anger over Sunbeam cuts

Locals have reacted with anger after a decision by the HSE to cut funding to Sunbeam House Services has left 44 people with special needs in Wicklow without transport to and from their day care centre. Sunbeam House provides support to adults with intellectual disabilities across Wicklow, It saw its budget slashed by €189,000 last month.

wicklowvoice.ie September 2013

A sizzling summer for the East Coast FM Crew Declan Meehan, Ronan Coveney and Diarmuid Gavin at Arklow RNLI lifeboats outside broadcast

Calling all past pupils!

The Loreto class of ‘93 reunion will be held in the The Martello on Friday, September 13 at 8pm. Come along to catch up on the last 20 years, bring your old photos, stories and your old uniform if you’re lucky enough to still fit into it!

SuperValu invests €8m

SuperValu in Wicklow invested over €8 million in the local economy last year. The sum was reached through wages and sourcing from local suppliers.

The East Coast FM promotional Crew had an exceptionally busy summer out and about in Co Wicklow. The Crew made up of Marlena, David, Cillian, Arron, Grace and Sophie set off in the distinctive East Coast FM jeeps every weekend to all sorts of events happening in the county. From the Bray Summerfest to the Tinahely Agricultural show

and everything in between they were on hand giving out goodies and having fun with everyone they met! The glorious summer weather ensured record attendance at all events and the garden county never looked better. The Crew joined the hundreds and thousands of visitors who flocked to the Bray Summer Fest events held over five themed weekends

in July which included the spectacular Bray Air display where the wonderful weather drew 85,000 people including the crew to the sea front to see the acrobatic air display. The Groove Festival on over July 6 and 7 in the sun drenched ground of Killruddery House Bray, proved to be one of the coolest festivals out there. With whole families enjoying the

music of Damien Dempsey, Jerry Fish, Big September and Imelda May to name a few and of course the Crew were there to soak up the atmosphere. The Taste of Wicklow Town could not have asked for better weather when it showcased the best food that Wicklow has to offer. Held in the Abbey Grounds it was fun for all the family with the Crew joining in many of the events August was jam packed with events including the Wicklow Regatta Festival on from August 2 to 5. The maritime festival was celebrating its 135th year and the crew enjoyed all the fun of Battle of the Bands, Best dressed doll, Family Sports Day, Funfair and Regatta Queen Pageant. And of course they made it to the Tinahealy Show on bank holiday Monday, still going strong after 70 years! These are just a few of the events the East Coast FM Crew attended this year it’s not over yet, watch out for the East Coast FM crew at festivals and events happening throughout the county including the Enniskerry Victorian Field Day on September 15.

+ Chips or wedges + Garlic bread + 4 drinks Wicklow 0404-20599 | Arklow 040 241400 | Greystones 01 2878000

The Garden of Ireland Vintage Car on September 21 and much more. East Coast FM Launches it’s new iphone app East Coast FM’s brand new iphone app is ready for download from the app store now! Interactive and engaging, the new app allows you to listen to your favourite station while doing other stuff on your phone. You can talk to us through the app be it on facebook, twitter, email or text. It’s the coolest thing in the room! Wicklow’s favourite radio station once again! The latest JNLR ratings for East Coast FM were released at the end of July and once again East Coast FM is the number one choice for listening in the county! Beating all other rival stations, the station’s programme controller Carol Dooley believes it’s down to the content of the shows that makes for a winning formula. “Our unique selling point is that we are Wicklow and we never forget that in everything we do. No other radio station can cater to the needs of the people in Wicklow like we can,” she said. “We provide up to the minute traffic, weather and breaking news stories and we’re at the pulse of all things Wicklow.”


NEWS |7

September 2013 wicklowvoice.ie

.... someone said Star Wars was coming to Wicklow We all know that Wicklow can be full of space cadets at times but it now looks unlikely that they will be joined by a whole new galaxy of stars. Recent reports had suggested that the Irish Film Board (IFB) is working hard to bring filming of the new instalment of Star Wars to the county. However, the IFB has moved to distance itself from the speculation and insiders in the film business in Ireland have said that if it is happening, they have managed to keep it quiet. “In essence the Star Wars/ Ireland story is just that until something more concrete happens,” an Irish source close to the project said. “I imagine they would have had scouts and location managers on it by now and people would know if it was going to happen. But then again, I could be wrong!” When the Wicklow Voice attempted to contact Darth Vader

JJ Abrams

about the speculation, he did not return our calls. Hollywood director JJ

Abrams, who is married to Irish woman Katie McGrath, was signed up by Disney to take

over the film franchise when the film studio bought the rights from George Lucas last year.

Abrams is no stranger to Ireland and was made an ‘honorary Irishman’ at the 2010 Oscar Wildes ceremony by the US-Ireland Alliance. Abrams is also believed to have taken great interest in the recent Sundance Award winning documentary, The Summit, which was made by former Bray resident and next-door neighbour of Morgan O’Sullivan, Nick Ryan of Image Now Films. Officials from the IFB are

believed to have suggested a range of different locations to Mr Abrams including the Avoca mines and a number of lakes and forests around the county when they met in January. Wicklow was previously used as a science fiction location for Reign Of Fire which starred Christian Bale in 2001 and the IFB is also believed to be trying to lure Abrams to shoot parts of the next instalment of Mission: Impossible in the county too. The film board has also proposed a number of other locations around the country including Ben Bulben in Co Sligo and the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday.. Pinewood studios in London has been chosen as the base for Star Wars VII but shooting locations have not been decided. Abrams met the film board and the US-Ireland Alliance earlier this year and publicly expressed his interest in filming in Ireland. Both organisations have remained in touch with Abrams’s film company, Bad Robot Productions. Abrams, who created the TV series Lost and directed the last two Star Trek films, met the film board and the US-Ireland Alliance earlier this year and publicly expressed his interest in filming in Ireland. The last Hollywood blockbuster to shoot in Ireland with a budget of €100m or over was King Arthur in 2003.


8| HISTORY

wicklowvoice.ie September 2013

down the decades

Stars shine at the Glenview Hotel

The Glenview Hotel and Elizabeth Taylor who visited the hotel on many occasions

The Glenview Hotel has come up with a unique way of celebrating its 100th anniversary by bringing out a commemorative book in 2014 to celebrate its heritage. The hotel, which has seen many past Hollywood icons and legends pass through its doors, has teamed up with IMAGE magazine’s Tina Koumarinos, who lives in Wicklow, to bring out Glenview Memories. Due to its proximity to Ardmore Studios, many stars have dropped into The Glenview Hotel down through the years including such legends as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Fred Astaire, Orson Wells, John Huston and David Niven. The Glenview Hotel dates back to 1914 when it originally opened as a cottage, hunting lodge and guesthouse with five bedrooms and was part of the Powerscourt Estate. Tina and Glenview Hotel General Manager Brian McNamara are now calling for people to share their stories and photographs of their happy times at The Glenview Hotel over the years. Whether you got married there, had your communion, met Hollywood royalty while visiting, or your own special Glenview memories, the Hotel would love to hear from you. Those who share their memories will be entered into a special competition to win a weekend for two at The Glenview during the weekend of the Centenary Celebrations on 14 March 2014. Anyone interested in taking part can email memories@glenviewhotel.com or post photos and stories to Glenview Memories, The Glenview Hotel, Glen of the Downs, County Wicklow.

The Bray Droleens in action

All photos will be returned.

Sail of the century

A group of maritime enthusiasts have come together to resurrect a fleet of boats which once sailed off Bray at the end of the 1800’s. Spearheaded by Paul Finnegan of Barracuda Restaurant, the group is building a fleet of Bray Droleens in collaboration with community and business organisations at The Bray Design Centre (Opposite Entrance to The Royal Hotel). The group would love to hear from anyone with information on the original boats or their owners and can email braydroleen@eircom.net. It is hoped that a fleet of six will be available to community groups, businesses and visitors for sailing, fishing, rowing and racing on Bray’s waterfront, adding an additional experience to Bray’s seafront. The “Droleens” are a one design dinghy class of boats of the then Bray Sailing Club adopted in the year 1897 and then consisted of eight boats. The boats were original designed by Mr W. Ogilvy of Dublin and Bray, who was a member of the Bray Sailing Club. It is thought that the boats disappeared due to the majority of their owners not returning from the Boer War while the boats themselves were destroyed by storms.

Romantic Ireland’s dead and gone – September 1913, WB Yeats

The State Commemoration of the 1913 Lockout took place in Dublin on August 31 as it was exactly 100 years after police

attacked crowds at the start of Ireland’s largest-ever industrial dispute. On that day the Royal Irish Constabulary baton-charged crowds on Sackville Street now O’Connell Street - in what became known as Bloody Sunday. Four died and over 300 were injured in related violence and the dispute involved 20,000 workers and their families. While the Lockout mainly affected Dublin, Bray also featured in the dispute, which is often portrayed in black and white terms between the forces of capitalism and socialism – you were either on the side of the workers looking for trade union recognition or you were on the side of business and profit. However as in most things, it was not that simple. One employer, Edward Lee was the owner of a chain of drapery shops, including one in Bray. Mr Lee disagreed with the tactics of the employers and said so: “The employers should withdraw the pledge requiring their employees to cease to belong to the Transport Workers’ Union. “To my way of thinking such a pledge is an unfair interference with the personal liberty of the worker”. Meanwhile on October 15, 1913, a fierce battle ensued at Bray Harbour as police battled strikers in trying to protect coal imported by Heiton and Company.

Calling all historians!

If you like to contribute to this column, please email wicklowvoice@gmail.com and put Down The Decades in the subject line.


NEWS | 9

September 2013 wicklowvoice.ie

Locals on song as Big September play Harbour Bar gig

New restaurant creates 20 jobs

Paul O’Toole and Joe Duggan check on progess as the Harbour Bar gets ready for a new coat of paint

Platform Pizza Bar has announced that 20 jobs have been created with the opening of a new 40-seater restaurant. Platform Pizza Bar creates all its dough daily from scratch and uses only the best local produce and freshest of ingredients. “We’re delighted to provide 20 new jobs in Bray,” says Conor Duggan of Platform Pizza Bar. “The addition of the new fulland part-time jobs demonstrates our commitment to creating jobs in the local community. “We opened the doors several weeks ago so far we’ve received extremely positive feedback in relation to the much needed jobs boost and the excellent levels of service demonstrated by members of the new restaurant team. “Anyone interested in finding out more should visit our website platformpizzabar.ie or drop into us on the seafront in Bray.” The contemporary restaurant will serve popular and innovative dishes, including a wide range of pizza, pasta and grills. It will also offer a range of tapas-style courses, and a selection of wines and craft beers

which have been matched to individual dishes. Located adjacent to the train station on the seafront in Bray, Co Wicklow, the eatery aims to create a new experience in dining. “We developed the concept having seen similar restaurants abroad over the last few years,” adds Conor. “We are very happy with how the new premises have turned out and I am confident that customers will enjoy the outstanding food and atmosphere.” The Irish restaurant industry employs 64,000 people – one in four tourism jobs – and contributes €2bn to the Irish economy each year. The Restaurant Association of Ireland claimed earlier this year that the sector could create an additional 5,000 jobs if the Government maintains the 9% tax rate introduced to help the hospitality sector. Platform Pizza Bar is part of a group of hotels, restaurants and bars owned by the Duggan family in Bray which includes the Martello Hotel, Ocean and the iconic Harbour Bar. Collectively they employ more than 250 people in the Bray area.

news inbrief

Calling all men! Bray Gospel Choir are holding auditions for singers from all over the county on Thursday, September 26 at 7.30pm in the Martello Hotel on Bray Seafront. They are particularly looking for male singers but all are welcome. If interested please mail braygospelchoir@ gmail.com for an audition time.

Calling all musicians!

Holland’s on Bray Main Street are looking for musicians, singers and punters. Every Monday, they have an open session where musicians of all styles can play rock, country, jazz and blues. Then on Thursday nights, they have a traditional music night. For further information call (01) 2867995.

Locals in Bray’s Harbour Bar have reacted positively to the improvements undertaken by the new owners as Big Septmber are set to take to the stage on Saturday, Septmber 7, for what promises to be one of the most highly-anticipated gigs of the year. The Bray rockers have received rave reviews for their two hit singles The Preacher and Moneyman and several big players in the music industry are expected to show up on the night. The pub was bought by the local Duggan family in early August from the O’Tooles who had owned the iconic bar for 82 years, and despite initial concern that some of its unique character would be lost locals have warmly welcomed the changeover. “So far, so good,” said plumber Mick Smith. “I’ve been drinking here for the best part of 20 years and did have my concerns. But I came down last week for the first live gig since they put in a new stage, and I have to say it is a great improvement. It helps that Paul O’Toole Jnr (the previous owner) has stayed on to work.” The iconic Harbour Bar was famously voted as ‘The Best

Bar in the World’ by the Lonely Planet travel guide in 2010. “I started drinking and playing darts here in the 1960s with my brother Nano (Patrick),” said Anto O’Neill. “Our father Pat worked with Joe Duggan in 1970s and now Nano’s son, Scott, who is the lead singer with Big September, is playing in the Harbour Bar – it’s all come full circle. The place looks great, but in fairness to the Duggans, they know how to run a good shop.” The Harbour Bar is famous for attracting a glittering clientele and its visitors book is a who’s who of famous names down through the decades. Originally opened in 1831, it has been the local watering hole of stars such as Peter O’Toole, Bono and Neil Jordan when they all lived nearby, while Laurence Olivier, Katherine Hepburn, Brendan Behan and Liam Neeson have all darkened its doors. Katie Taylor also trains next door in the boxing gym which famously had no toilets and the Olympic Gold medal winner has been known to drop in to use the facilities. Located across the road from the former home of James Joyce, the Harbour Bar subsequently featured in ‘Finnegan’s Wake’.


10 | OPINION

opinion&comment I welcome the move to abolish councils

I

cut my teeth on a local newspaper, covering courts and council meetings. The courts offered a menu of petty crime and traffic offences, seasoned with the occasional serious case. Defendants could be quirky and the justice arbitrary but the hearings were interesting and unpredictable; often lively, rarely boring. Council meetings were the opposite – marathons of boredom where pompous windbags droned on interminably about their pet subjects. Even the councillors looked bored with the proceedings, slouched in their chairs, waiting for the chance to rise and bore everyone else. One exception seemed to be Andy, a newsagent and grocer who was partially deaf. He would adjust his hearing aid at the start of each meeting and smile happily through it all. I always suspected he just turned off the device but years later, when I had left the local paper and Andy had left local government, he admitted to a more interesting deceit. This was the Sixties, the age of the mini skirt, the mini car and the mini radio. Small transistor radios were a new craze and Andy had one in his jacket pocket with an ear phone indistinguishable from the one on his hearing aid. While his council colleagues bored for Ireland, Andy enjoyed his favourite music programme, paying just enough attention to the proceedings to know when it was his turn to speak. At that point this entertaining and articulate man would get to his feet and prove that he could be just as a big a bore as the rest of them. Back in the day, Andy and his pals weren’t paid for their services. Indeed, I’m pretty sure some would personally have paid for the privilege, had they been asked. Then councillors started to get expenses, a travel allowance and a phone allowance and, since 2002, a ‘representational payment’ – money for turning up. They are paid for chairing committees and for holding such offices as mayor. All in all, becoming a councillor is now a reasonable career option, although most, like Andy, do have another source of income. A survey last year revealed that on average city and county councillors were taking home €31,600 for their efforts and some were earning more than €80,000. Town councillors do not fare as well as their city and county counterparts. But they are still an expensive item when you add in the price of running the councils themselves, staff wages and office costs. So when people talk about the need to preserve local councils, I say that’s fine, just so long as I am not expected to pay for them. Since I am expected to pay, I would be quite happy to say goodbye to the lot of them. Failing that, a severe pruning would be welcome. A country with a population less than that of greater London could manage fine with just eight councils: two for greater Dublin, one each for Cork, Galway and Limerick and one each for Leinster, Munster and Connacht-Ulster. Any other local assemblies should be what, in England, they call parish councils: powerless, unpaid bodies, with a brief to discuss local issues and influence them if they can. They would have

the right to lobby TDs and ministers, who would probably give them a bit more attention than they do the rest of us. Taxpayers should pay for the use of the hall. That’s all. It’s not just a matter of cost. Local government creates a level of bureaucracy which the country would be better off without. Councils like to portray themselves as cornerstones of democracy and councillors will tell you that, without them, centralised authority would steamroll over the needs and aspirations of local communities. Councillors see themselves as our representatives in the big bad world, fighting our case against the uncaring politicians of Dublin and Brussels. Really? In my lifetime I have lived in several parts of the country. I have lived under city councils, town councils, rural councils and county councils. Yet other than at election times, or in the course of newspaper work, I have never once spoken to a councillor. If they’ve been performing stalwart deeds on my behalf, they’ve kept them very quiet. I couldn’t name most of my councillors, never could, and I bet most of you would say the same. I welcome the move to abolish town councils as a very small step in the right direction. I have nothing against the town councillors of Bray, Greystones, Wicklow Town or Arklow, who certainly do no less a job than their counterparts elsewhere. But I don’t believe these towns will suffer any for having their affairs controlled by Wicklow County Council or that it would suffer from being under the control of a Leinster council. Local hearts might rail against such developments but local heads will know they make sense. Michael Wolsey is a former deputy editor of the Irish Independent, features editor of the Irish Press and managing director of the Drogheda Independent group. Michael sits on the judging panel for the National Newspaper of Ireland Journalism Awards.

‘So when people talk about the need to preserve local councils, I say that’s fine, just so long as I am not expected to pay for them.’

with Michael Wolsey

“I

with Mick Glynn

Town councils will only be missed when they’re gone

We have heard so many times that we need national politicians looking after national issues – and equally we need local politicians looking after local issues.

understand the frustration of people with politicians in general, but the complete dissolution of town councils will not, in my opinion, be a good thing. While there can be little doubt that local government was badly in need of reform, there will be unforeseen consequences when town councils are abolished after next year’s elections. Bray Town Council, where I am a member, is staffed by dedicated, honest and hardworking people who strive to make the town a better place for all its citizens. I am sure it the same in Greystones, Wicklow Town, Arklow and elsewhere, and I believe many citizens will only miss their respective councils when they are gone. It is estimated that the plans to reduce the number of local authorities by two thirds and remove 500 elected councillors will save up €400m. The reform agenda will also see the existing powers enabling councillors to challenge planning decisions removed, and without any internal checks and balance system and will now be left up to An Bord Pleanála and An Taisce alone. No other sector has attained the same levels of savings as the local government sector, with €830m saved by the reduction of costs and wages since 2008 while the number employed in the sector has been reduced by 18.5pc. While some of these savings are welcome, there is another aspect: the damage to local democracy. In a time when apathy towards politicians and public representatives is at an all-time high, we need to make the local electoral process more inclusive and accessible. Smaller numbers of elected members in smaller councils, or new Municipal Districts, suits the bigger parties – 75pc of the vote in the 2009 local elections went to the State’s three biggest parties.. Our proportional representation system will mean that a first-time local candidate will stand little chance as well-established candidates affiliated to bigger parties will be able to

protect their seats. The reforms also do little to help the shortage of women and younger people getting involved in the electoral process. In the new electoral reforms a 30pc female gender quota will be linked to state funding for political parties. But it stands to reason that they will find it hard to attract new women to run for office when the chances of gaining a seat are non-existent. In the 2009 local election, 20pc of the seats on town and borough councils were taken by independent candidates, against only 12pc at county council level. The figures get even worse at national level, with only seven per cent of the seats taken. The local electorate finds it easier to vote for an independent candidate that might be working on a single issue that appeals to many. The number of independent seats suffers as the electorate size increases – the localised agenda becomes diluted and the electorate tends to follow a party path when the stakes of representation are higher. We have heard so many times that we need national politicians looking after national issues – and equally we need local politicians looking after local issues. Local democracy has always thrived on real differences of opinion and helps the fringes of the public get their voice heard. A reduction in the numbers of seats decreases diversity of the representatives, and fuels the ivory tower attitude which has developed. We need to bring forward ideas that will help communities with a wide range of views feel part of the process. In the future, consideration for an elected voluntary grassroots or community council that would feed into the new Municipal Districts might have to fill this vacuum.

Cllr Mick Glynn is a member of Fine Gael and sits on Bray Town Council and Wicklow County Council.


OPINION | 11

September 2013 wicklowvoice.ie

focus on faces

THIS WEEK we speak to Ivan Cloney from Cloney Audio Audio in Blacrock. Got something to say about your business? Contact us at wicklowvoice@gmail.com if you like to feature you or your business here

Sound man

How’s life?

Life is good. I’m just back from Spain and getting ready for the busiest time of the year for us.

Favourite Book/TV Show/Album?

Papillon by Henri Chariere The Sopranos Anything by the Foo Fighters

What do you do to relax?

I like to go shooting – I’m a member of a local gun club where I store my gun. I also like to spend time with my wife Hazel and our three daughters, Anna, Isobel and Erin. We’ve lived in Bray most of our lives, so we spend a lot of time socialising with our friends.

Where did it all begin?

My dad Noel (pictured right with Ivan) began his career with Brownlee Brothers on Dublin’s Molesworth Street. He then honed his craft in London during the Sixties before returning to Ireland in 1966 and founding Cloney Audio on Blackrock’s Main Street, where the business remains today. He installed President Erskine Childers’ hi-fi in Aras An Uachtarain and when Peter Sellers lived in Carton House in the 1970s, dad became good friends with him – he still has reel tapes of old Goon shows with ‘Please return to Peter Sellers’ written in crayon on the

box. And long before the Celtic Tiger of private jets, Noel flew a Mooney M-20 light aircraft to make deliveries and service calls. He was known as the flying doctor of hi-fi.

How have the last few years been?

Like most businesses, Cloney Audio has been hit by the economic downturn – turnover is down compared to 2006. Due to our pre-eminent position as the home automation specialists of choice for developers during the boom, several clients are now in NAMA, leaving some of our bills unpaid, just like so many other suppliers hit by the property collapse. In 2005, Cloney Audio was the subject of a multi-million takeover bid by one of the country’s largest and longestablished building companies who wanted to diversify. However despite coming to a suitable sale figure and undergoing due diligence, my brother Alan and I decided that rather than cash-out, we wanted to buy-in and invested in the business. Along with Michael O’Neill, we are now the majority shareholders. We believe in what we do and selling out at the time would have diluted the brand that we have worked so hard to build. While some of our products are at the high-end of the market,

that does not mean we are highprice. Yes, we sell speakers that are used in Abbey Road, where The Beatles recorded, and in Lucasfilm studios. However, the majority of our customers are normal people who are looking for value and that’s what we offer. We also sell preowned products, most of which were sold by us originally.

What does the future hold?

Opportunity. The retail business is still very challenging but the installation and home automation end of the market is strengthening. Sales of turntables are doing well – vinyl is making a comeback as a collectors’ item so we are benefitting from that – and we have just done a deal to sell our products in Tower Records. More and more people are turning to streaming devices and anyone interested in good Hi-Fi equipment should come to us as we are regarded as leaders in our field. While many of our competitors have fallen by the wayside, we believe our brand is strong enough to carry us through. For further information on Ireland’s premier hi-fi and home entertainment specialists, Cloney Audio, visit their store at 55 Main Street, Blackrock, Co Dublin or visit cloneyaudio.com.

we sell speakers that were used by The Beatles and George lucas. However, the majority of our customers are normal people who are looking for value and that’s what we offer.

Derry by birth but Wicklow in his heart

I

t was a huge shock this week to learn of the death of Seamus Heaney. He was a towering figure in the literary world, and easily the most famous and respected poet of his generation. I spent Friday evening watching some tributes to him and re-runs of interviews he had given and felt a deep sense of loss. They helped bring into focus for me what Seamus Heaney meant to me personally. Heaney had moved to Wicklow in 1972 at a critical point in his life. Aged 33, he left his lectureship in Queen’s University and moved to the Garden County with his young family. He was suddenly a full-time poet, his apprenticeship over, completely embracing his vocation at a time when, amongst

Brian Quigley other things, the Troubles in Northern Ireland were escalating and needing to be addressed in writing. Bad things needed to be written about, not ignored. Poetry could write about these matters and refuse to be beaten by them, offer some hope and alternatives. This was an attitude Heaney kept faith with and touched on in some major speeches later in his life. Glanmore, near Ashford, pro-

vided an environment where there was peace and tranquillity for Heaney to ruminate and write about these and other matters of importance. Heaney would continue to live between Wicklow and Sandymount in Dublin for the rest of his life, in between extended periods of time abroad where he worked in some of the world’s leading academic institutions, such as Harvard and Oxford University. ‘The Glanmore Sonnets’ in Heaney’s 1979 collection Field Work are named after the Wicklow location, as well as being an example of some of his finest personally-felt writing. Heaney was 74 when he died and considering he released his first collection of poetry in 1966 (Death of a Naturalist) and his twelfth and final collection in 2010 (Human Chain) it struck me that in terms of these releas-

es he has travelled roughly the same time path as another great hero of mine and chronicler of the human condition, Bob Dylan. The mediums they operated in were different but releases of Heaney’s poetry collections, like Dylan’s very best albums,

were looked forward to and acknowledged as major landmarks at the pinnacle of their respective crafts. Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, possibly his most famous album, was issued in 1966 just as Heaney was launching his debut collection. Just as Dylan scored a latecareer US1 album with the excellent Together Through Life in 2009, an album which partly deals with growing old gracefully, Heaney’s Human Chain collection of the following year dealt with some of the same subject matter. In between there were other times of overlap, such as 1975 which saw Dylan release his major come-back album Blood on the Tracks and Seamus Heaney issue the celebrated North collection. Heaney had a reputation as

being kind to and having time for up-and-coming poets. He offered advice in a fatherly way while still being at the top of his game himself. This reminds me of say, Sir Alex Ferguson – still winning things in his 70’s but having the time, humility and generosity to offer advice to younger managers starting out in such a precarious profession as modern-day soccer. Incidentally, Sir Alex himself is known to be well-read in Irish history and literature, including Seamus Heaney. Seamus Heaney’s poetry will be read long into the future. It is of great importance and comfort to me that, passing him by in Trinity College earlier this summer, I made a big deal of pointing him out to my children and taking the time to explain who he was and what he had achieved.


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12 | WHAT’S HOT

By Jonathan Sheils

wicklowvoice.ie September 2013

CHILDREN’S Activity of the month ClapHandies Comes to wicklow town

Tuesdays 9.45pm-11.45pm from September 17

Local woman Adrienne O’Sullivan is bringing the awardwinning ClapHandies PlayLabs baby and toddler classes to Wicklow Town. The classes will take place between 9.45 and 11.45 on Tuesdays in Wicklow Town and anyone interested in registering can do so at www.claphandies.ie. “This is a dream job for me, it’s not often you get to make people happy all day. There’s a huge demand among parents in the area for the PlayLabs,” says Adrienne. ClapHandies’ PlayLabs are specifically engineered to develop a positive relationship between parent and child in a fun and creative environment, focussing on inspiring play ideas to encourage a baby’s progress through key developmental

areas including motor skills, spatial awareness, language and hearing, and cognitive skills.

Entertainment of the month The Nualas Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, September 13 Ireland’s top all-female comedy singing sensations The Nualas are back with both guns a’blazing for more madness, music, and mayhem! You’ll hear Nuala favourites like ‘Manolo’ alongside fabulous all-new classics, such as ‘Yummy Mummy Recession Blues’, ‘The Sexy Farm Song’, and ‘Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Why Am I So Fat?’ Expect scintillating vocal harmony, ambitious choreography, bags of bling, and a night packed solid with craic, laughter, tears, and chat.

Book of the month City of Bohane by Kevin Barry Forty years in the future. The once-great city of Bohane on the west coast of Ireland is on its knees, infested by vice and split along tribal lines. There are the posh parts of town, but it is in the slums and backstreets of Smoketown, the tower blocks of the Northside

Rises and the eerie bogs of Big Nothin’ that the city really lives. For years, the city has been in the cool grip of Logan Hartnett, the dapper godfather of the Hartnett Fancy gang. But there’s trouble in the air. They say his old nemesis is back in town; his trusted henchmen are getting ambitious; and his missus wants him to give it all

up and go straight... And then there’s his mother. City of Bohane is a visionary novel that blends influences from film and the graphic novel. A work of mesmerising imagination and vaulting linguistic invention, it is a taste of the glorious and new. Available from Dubray Books on Bray Main Street and Bridge Street Books in Wicklow Town.

DVD release of the month STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Sequel to the 2009 Academy Award-winning spin-off of the classic 1960s sci-fi adventure series. Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) and the crewof the U.S.S. Enterprise are called back to

Earth after a devastating force from within their organisation leaves the planet in chaos and Starfleet in pieces. Determined to settlethe score, Kirk embarks on a manhunt with the rest of his crew including Spock (Zachary Quinto), Scotty (Simon Pegg) and Chekov (AntonYelchin)

 Killruddery Film Festival September 27-29 Killruddery Film Festival returns in 2013 and this time round we the organisers are changing the library in to a cinema from Friday, September 27 to Sunday, September 29. This year sees a cracking line up of movies including Come On Over, a comedy which has recently been acquired by the IFI Irish Film Archive from the Film Department of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Coen Brother classic Miller’s Crossing; The Informer (1935) which won Oscars for star Victor McLagen and director John Ford and is based on Liam O’Flaherty’s novel about the IRA; The Iron Horse (1922) one of the first films with which John Ford found major success; and the Trail of ’98 is a silent epic telling the story of the Klondike gold rush in 1898. Kevin Brownlow returns and will be presenting a few films over the weekend while Stephen Horne will showcase his live accompaniment of several films. www.killruddery.com

to find the party responsible before their whole world is laid to waste. As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew. Available in Xtravision throughout County Wicklow.

FESTIVAL of the month


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WHAT’S HOT | 13

September 2013 wicklowvoice.ie

MENU of the month

The Strawberry Tree, Brooklodge Hotel

The ‘Big Harvest’ Farm Menu 2013 will appear as a 7-Course Tasting Menu in The Strawberry Tree Restaurant daily, from September 3 until October 6 at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. The Strawberry Tree is the only certified organic restaurant in Ireland, with a daily changing menu that reflects the seasons, and featuring the freshest organic and wild foods, many grown to order on nearby organic farms, or foraged by their own chefs and fulltime food forager, on the lanes and in the fields and woods surrounding Macreddin. For futher information, log onto www.brooklodge. com.

Fun day of the month Enniskerry Victorian Field Day 2013 Step back in time and experience the magic of a traditional rural festival! The Ennsikerry Victorian Field Day 2013 will be held on Sunday, September 15th, on Knocklinn Farm in an idyllic setting with the Sugarloaf Mountains providing a spectacular backdrop. The fantastic

programme of events guarantees a day out like no other! There are plenty of activities that will appeal to all ages! The festival programme includes; Steam Threshing, Tug of War battles, Sheaf Pitching, Vintage Car and Tractor Shows. Visitors can enjoy rambling through the craft stalls at the Artisan Market and savor Wicklow’s rich culinary landscape at the Food Fair where kids will love dining on straw bales. www.enniskerryfestival.ie

FUNDRAISER of the month

September 19, Greystones Cancer Support, La Touche Place; 01 2871601 Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning is an all-island fundraising event to raise much needed funds for local hospice services – all money raised locally, stays locally. People in work places, homes and local organisations are asked to host a coffee morning and collect €2 from their guests for each cup of coffee provided.

The Wicklow Hospice Foundation says it has almost reached its €3 million fundraising target and is ready to proceed with plans to build a longawaited 12-bed hospice at a site at Magheramore, overlooking the sea near Brittas Bay. The foundation needs the HSE to cover the balance of 50% of the building cost and to fund the day-today operation of the hospice, which it says was a commitment given. Local resident and multi-Oscar winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the foundation’s patrons,

Gig of the month

Neil young tribute Hotspot Cafe, Greystones, September 6, 9pm The Universal Funk Orchestra continue their live performance of classic albums this month with Neil Young’s Harvest. Harvest is the 1972 album that cemented Young’s reputation as one of the great singer/songwriters of his generation, and included such hits as Old Man, The Needle And The Damage Done and

CULTURE NIGHT

September 20

Heart Of Gold. Changing their line-up for each gig by casting the musicians and singers who best fit the album in question, those taking on Harvest include singers Mia Parsons and Charlie Lamson alongside musicians Stuart Crampton, Garvan Gallagher and Paul Byrne. Doors open at 9 p.m. Admission is €8 with an early bird price of €7 before 9.30 p.m. For more information call (01) 2016888.

and said the people of Wicklow had contributed in the full understanding that the HSE would honour its commitment. Chairperson of fundraising at the Wicklow Hospice Foundation Evanne Cahill said it would like to see building next year and patients in the facility by the end of 2015.

topten

Ireland’s Biggest Coffee Morning in Aid of Wicklow Hospice Foundation

‘Pullquote here– In the Mafia, EVENT of the Month those who go against the wishes of the Dons can have a short life’

Locals and visitors across Wicklow will enjoy the unique experience of Culture Night, a free night of entertainment, discovery and adventure taking place in a record 34 towns, cities, counties and islands in Ireland. Museums, galleries, churches, historic houses, artists’ studios and cultural centres will open their doors late into the evening welcoming people of all ages to taste and sample their cultural delights for free on this special evening. Remember so many of the venues open on Culture Night are open for you to enjoy all year round so keep your Culture Night programme handy for use throughout the year as you plan your cultural adventures! For more infoformation on events trhoughout the county l0g onto: http://www.culturenight.ie


14 | LIVING

wicklowvoice.ie September 2013

my favourite things When September comes ...

When September rolls around I immediately think of back to school... but nowadays that means night school. My school days are definitely behind me but I’m still hungry to expand my knowledge of interesting subjects that always crops up this time of year. With that in mind I thought about all the things I’m likely to need...

With night classes likely to run anything from 6 - 12 weeks the bag needs to be rain proof and of course make me look smart. This nude and black satchel bag features a fawn faux leather flap top with easy magnetic fastening. It fits the bill beautifully... it says “take me seriously” and would bring me from a business meeting to the night class no problem. Look for yours in Warehouse, Bridgewater Shopping Centre in Arklow for €49.

Blaze a trail

Bag it

Having the right school bag is essential, keeping your notebook, iPad or smart phone in style.

Stand out with this red tailored ponti blazer, available in A-Wear, Arklow this season for just €40. Great for those Autumn evenings when you just don’t quite need a coat but there’s a chill in the air. It’s a beautiful soft fabric, single breasted and sleeves that turn up for this season’s trend making it ideal for smart work or daywear. With a fitted waist and structured shoulders it gives a flattering shape and offers a wonderful splash of colour, perfect over skinny jeans or a floral dress.

All Wrapped Up

Layers are the way to go with changeable weather and nothing says versatile like a scarf. This beautiful yet funky fine-knitted Robin scarf was exclusively designed by the Avoca Studio designers in Co. Wicklow. Made from a blend of cashmere and wool this stripy option is likely to go with all the classics already in your wardrobe. Getting you through Autumn and Winter for €29.95.

Peekaboo

Fast becoming a staple of the season, the boot sandal hybrid is the latest trend. Having accumulated a couple of ankle boots from last year, if I was going to invest my money it would be on this pair from New Look in the Bridgewater Shopping Centre, Arklow. The wearable heel height should mean they wouldn’t pose any problems for at least a few hours and they’d be perfect with skinny jeans. At €34.99 these black zipped shoe boots would get me bang on trend without breaking the bank.

Washed Away

This face wash gel is a firm favourite in our house and we’ve just run out so it’s on my list of musthaves! Nuxe Facial Cleansing and Make-up Removing Gel is creamy in texture with a sweet honey fragrance, perfect for the daily care of my sensitive skin. It has a soap free formula, with honey and sunflower extracts so it cleanses without drying out the skin. Although my face is left soft I would generally use a toner before moisturising afterwards. A 200ml pump bottle is €14.10 and I’ll be heading to the Dargle Pharmacy in the Superquinn Shopping Centre in Bray to stock up.

Joining In

So if like me, you are thinking you’d like to join a class, why not take a look at the cookery calendar at Ballyknocken House, in Glenealy near Ashford. The huge benefits include learning something you can then try at home while eating the meals that you make on the day! Run by celebrity chef and food writer Catherine Fulvio, the Ballyknocken Cookery School offers a fabulous list of 1 day and weekend courses

WHAT’s HOT

with Audrey Vance

to pick from. Two classes caught my eye and made my mouth water upon reading the meals prepared on the day (places available when we went to print). ● 7 Nights, 7 Meals - 1 Plan on Sunday 29th September €115pp ● Fabulous Mains and Desserts on Saturday 19th October €115pp Lots of classes are available every weekend so contact them on 0404-44627 or www. cookeryschool.ie. Bray Institute of Further Education classes start on September 25th www.bife.ie and the Wicklow County Enterprise Board also starts new courses in September www.wicklowceb.ie.

Evernote

Keeping organised is a must and with all the creative juices flowing from the night classes it’s great to jot down information on the run. I’ve just started using the free Evernote app recently and wanted to share the joy! This little phone app keeps notes, to-do lists, webpages and photographs all together making it easy to work on big or small projects, keeping all your information together. Download from iTunes for free with a premium upgrade for the business package.

A Good Read

Has everyone heard the story of this Irish writer’s lucky break? Forty seven rejections and then longlisted for the UK’s Man Booker Prize 2013. Donal Ryan from Limerick is the acclaimed author of ‘The Spinning Heart’ and his book is definitely next on my list to read. Although the outline for the book is intriguing it’s Ryan’s rise to fame that has captured my attention. Plucked from a the huge slush pile by an intern at Lilliput Press his novel was also catching the interest of an editor in Doubleday. He walked away with a two-book deal and the intern, Sarah Davis Goff has since set up her own publishing house called Tramp Press. Hoping to finish the book before the Man Booker Prize Winner is announced on October 15th. €11.99 from all good bookshops.

PICTURE PERFECT

Audrey Vance, fashion illustrator and owner of Wedding Dress Ink, has a home studio in Co Wicklow. Find her gallery at: www. weddingdressink.com


PARENTING | 15

September 2013 wicklowvoice.ie

The best toy ever for your child is you Children

with Liza Crotty We often ask new ClapHandies mums what, in their opinion, is the best toy for their baby or toddler to play with. Normally after a fun chat discussing the merits of different brands of toys we explain that the best ever toy that should win all the awards

is, of course, parents! To do this I have put together some of my favourite tried and tested activities to inspire you with hours of entertainment and resources for when you need them most. Babies and small children are naturally inquisitive and energetic and so the desire to play is with them from the day they are born. We know that the best play is not over-complicated and that much enjoyment can be found from watching a snail crawl from one leaf to the next, as can be found when building the world’s best fire engine from cardboard boxes. In the early days with your tiny baby, it may have looked like most of their day was spent chewing and drooling over any object that was within reach. As they get older, it seems toys are just objects caught in the whirlwind of activity that is a

fast moving toddler. But what you may not see is that from day one, your child is learning and before they go to school, the majority of this learning will come from play. For example, putting a ball in and out of a box is teaching them about size and shape, playing with a puzzle teaches problem solving skills and hand-eye coordination, and playing with toy animals helps them learn about language and size, while playing with a doll is helping their emotional development. Through play, little ones are also learning how to do things and complete tasks independent of you. This is so valuable as they learn self-reliance and the ability to figure out what makes them happy and interested. Little ones learn about themselves through play as well. Simple tickle games on the hand or foot are teaching

After School Club proves a hit Since the After School Club opened its doors in Greystones in December 2012 it has gone from strength-to-strength. They offer a new concept in childcare providing a flexible service for primary school children in the local and surrounding areas. Their activities are tailored specifically to a child’s age and aim to be interesting, challenging but most of all fun! The Club is different to creche but is open all year except for two weeks over Christmas. They provide full day care from 8am-6pm on mid-term breaks, Easter and Summer holidays at no extra charge to members. Parents are welcome to pop in anytime or contact Kerrylee on 086 468 0758 or info@theafterschoolclub.ie

Children given a lift at Elevation

Located in Arklow, Aughrim and Laragh, at Elevation School of Performing Arts (ESPA) provide an outlet for students to explore, create and express themselves through the performing arts. Offering classes for children from 3.5 years+ in dance (modern theatre jazz, hip hop, street and ballet), musical theatre and drama, students have opportunities to take part in graded examinations, annual end of year performances, festivals, television and more! ESPA is known countywide for its quality classes taught by qualified, fun, inspiring teachers. You can contact them on 086- 825- 6775 to book a place or for more information go to www.elevationdanceschool. com or find them on Facebook.

body awareness, playing with telephones allows them to act like the adults around them. Play teaches them about concepts, relationships, sizes, colours, textures, emotions and sounds among other things! Babies and toddlers learn most by actual contact with real objects, events, and people. Play that includes seeking out new experiences by themselves and trying something challenging helps them learn more about the world around them. Play is learning, trying, being, and feeling, but most of all playing is fun. Here are some simple moodchanging distraction tips when you need a quick activity to bring your darling happy child back from the duldrums of grumpy land. Blowing Bubbles – sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.

Bubbles distract a crawling baby who just bumped his head, or get a garden full of toddlers running and jumping for joy. Get several small hand-held versions to keep in the nappy bag, change table, or kitchen. Perfect to while away five minutes before tea, or distract a baby while you change her. I’m in the mood for dancing – the magic of music can calm the most fussy baby. Turn-up the radio, plug in your ipod or simply sing out loud! A quick tango can end a toddler’s tantrum, or a slow waltz just before bedtime will get them ready for sleeping (hopefully!). Blow me away – Upset babies get hot and bothered very quickly. Next time tears are on the horizon, grab the nearest piece of paper or magazine

and fan their face or simply blow on their face. They’ll be surprised by and enjoy the cool breeze (those souvenirs that you brought home from Spain are ideal!). Splash, Splash, Splash – need a distraction fast? Then quickly put a small amount of water in a basin, add washing up liquid, and you’ve made yourself an exciting, sensory activity for baby to observe and play with. For an older toddler, bring the stool to the kitchen sink and ask them to do the washing up (avoid the bone china!). Liza is a child development expert who is a regular media contributor to TV3 and Sunshine Radio. She runs ClapHandies (.ie), which is holding classes in Wicklow Town on Tuesday mornings, and PlayFit (.ie).


16 | FOOD & WINE

wicklowvoice.ie September 2013

recipe of month Organic Pork Plate

Chef de Cuisine at Gordon Ramsay Peter Byrne

Serves: 4

2 kg Pork belly 4 x 140 grams Pork loin Salt mix: 100 grms Maldon sea salt 2 crushed Star anise 5 Cardoman Orange zest

Directions n Salt the pork belly for four hours. Then wipe off the salt, cover in duck fat and cook at 130 for approx three hours, or until tender. n

Peter with Gordon Ramsey at Powerscourt. Peter has a strong belief in the use of local produce, seasonal ingredients and building relationships with farmers.

so it doesn’t dry out the meat and keeps it very juicy and flavour some.

Ingredients

For the pork loin season with salt and pepper and seal in a pan until nicely caramelized. Add butter a sprig of thyme and garlic. Cook till just over medium

8 Organic carrots 50 grms butter 5 grms sugar 5 grms salt Tarragon n Peel the carrots, cover with water and add rest of the ingredients Bring to a boil and simmer until cooked. 1 kg Baby spinach 100grms butter Nutmeg Salt and pepper n

Put the butter in a pan and brown. Add the spinach and season. Grate some fresh nutmeg and taste. Drain the excess liquid.

Peter Byrne is Chef de Cuisine at Gordon Ramsay at Powerscourt, Enniskerry. Previously, he spent over seven years working as Senior Sous Chef in Chapter One Restaurant. Peter has a strong belief in the use of local produce, seasonal ingredients and building relationships with farmers who are passionate about their crafts. The concept at Gordon Ramsay at Powerscourt is focused around this ethos. Peter has also worked in the Morrison Hotel ;Roly @ The Pavilion and started his career as Commis Chef in the Killiney Court Hotel.

wine choice Domaine Martin emphasises the strengths of southern Rhône. This wine is Medium ruby red with purple hues in colour with lovely plum and spicy aromas. Rich and full on the palate with lovely red fruits, crisp acidity and a touch of oak. The wine is rounded and smooth with good tannins and a long length. Ideal on its own or with all sorts of red meat. Available from Holland’s on Bray Main Street, €9.99

Tasty summer snaps ...

Wicklow’s Catherine Fulvio joking around. All pics Joe Keogh

Kaila De Souza at Wicklow’s Food & Garden Festival

Multi-Michelin Star award winning chef ,JeanChristophe Novelli at Wicklow's Food & Garden Festival

Jessica Gioia wins the Campo De’Fiori Restaurant pasta eating competition at the Bray Summerfest’s Street Party.


OUTDOOR LIFE | 17

September 2013 wicklowvoice.ie

gardening

John Adamson

Goodbye summer, hello spring!

We now find ourselves in September and the last of the summer flowers are trying their best to give us one last show whilst hints of autumn are only around the corner. It has been an amazing summer this year and the flowers have been only too happy to continuously flower and be at their best.

plant, why not ask the horticulturist in the shop where you are buying your bulbs, they will be glad to assist and point you in the right direction.

To Do’s

PlanTing

Believe it or not it’s now time to start thinking about your spring flowering bulbs as you will be planting them between October and mid December before the frosts arrive. Daffodils, Crocus, Tulips, Hyacinths, Snowdrops, Bluebells are just some of the bulbs you can choose from. When selecting your bulbs make sure that they are firm and not soft or have any disease on them. As you decide on your flowering bulbs to plant, keep in mind that larger calibre bulbs provide big, showy displays, but can cost more. Smaller calibre bulbs more often than not less expensive, with a lesser show and sometimes may only flower in their second year. As you start planting your spring bulbs, keep in mind that mass planting of one flower variety or colour can create a far better effect than an assortment of many colours.

September

It is time to plant your Peonies now, but please make sure that the crowns are buried 3

Paeonia lactiflora to 5 cm under ground level. Deeper planting just keeps the plants from blooming. Don’t plant them too near trees or even shrubs as they are hungry plants and thus will compete for nutrients and moisture with

established plants. They are a great investment as they last for many years and may even outlive your own lifetime. It is especially important to mulch after planting if bulbs are planted very late in Autumn.

Mulching insulates the soil, keeping it warmer for longer so good root growth can happen. If marginally hardy bulbs are heavily mulched to survive winter, it is good practice to pull back the mulch toward the

Four Steps to create your Hanging Basket Hanging baskets are a much loved method for featuring favourite plants hanging in well-selected places at home, either indoors or outside. This article provides a brief rundown on preparing a hanging basket before planting. Select a basket. There are a variety of baskets available on the market. Consider what will fit with your decor and what theme works well with your garden and plant choices. Also select the size that best suits the type of plant that you will be planting, including consideration for its likely future growth. Line the basket. Lining a basket helps to keep thesoil in place and reduces the

need for watering; it also neatens the appearance of the basket. The best lining for a hanging basket is sphagnum moss. This works especially well with hanging baskets that are wire based. Another lining that can be substituted for sphagnum moss is polythene; be sure to punch some holes in the base of this lining to allow the water to seep through and ensure good drainage. For the most successful water retention and reduced need to water in large baskets, combine sphagnum moss and polythene linings (polythene over the sphagnum moss, with small holes poked in the polythene). Choose good soil. A good quality potting mix or

compost should be used for hanging baskets. Add a slowrelease fertiliser and mix well before filling the basket. Select strong plants that are appropriate for growing in a basket. The best plants to use in a new hanging basket are well-established plants that are either flowering or are close to flowering. Arrange large plants first and tuck in smaller plants around these, including trailing plants at the edge. There is a huge variety of plants that work well in hanging baskets; some plants that are ideal for hanging baskets include Gypsophila (baby’s breath), Lobelia, Nasturtiums, Geraniums, Hoya, Begonias, Verbena, Fuschias, Pansies and Polyanthus.

end of winter. This prevents premature growth as the sun warms the soil. There are plenty of good places to purchase bulbs whether it is in a garden centre or online. If you are unsure as to what you want to

• Rejuvenate your lawns by plugging, reseeding and fertilising. • Why not dig, divide and replant some of your perennials that have finished flowering like Agapanthus, Daylily, Penstemon, and Coreopsis to name a few. • Dig up spent flowers and compost them. • Remove any Dahlias that you have in the garden over the next few weeks and bring them under cover for the winter to protect from the elements. • Don’t put away the lawn mower when the growth of your lawn slows down this Autumn. As long as the grass continues to grow, it should be mowed. • Autumn is really the best time to feed your lawn with a good quality, slow-release lawn food, with at least two feedings between the months of September, October, November and December. Particularly after the summer we have had with plenty of sun but little water. • Remember to make sure that the blades of your mower are sharp and that you raise them up a little as you don’t want to have your grass cut too short at this time of the year John Adadson is a native of Wicklow.


18 | MOTORING

wicklowvoice.ie September 2013

DISCOVER A DISCOVERY

Pound-for-pound probably the best 4x4 in the world, Land Rover’s recently refreshed Discovery 4 is worth getting to know.

A

rguably the most finely judged model of all is the Discovery, the perfectly pitched 4x4 for families wanting a vehicle that can go all the way from muddy bog to Mayfair mews but without the final few layers of pampering luxury and posh polish afforded to the Range Rover. Here, we look at the entry level GS variant. When the fourth generation Discovery was launched in 2004, it very nearly fulfilled the brief to the letter. The Discovery 3’s 2.7-litre turbodiesel engine, although smooth and refined, struggled with the Discovery’s two-tonne-plus bulk with the upshot that while it wasn’t very quick on road, it was very thirsty. The introduction of the 242bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel was transformative, and with an additional 10bhp and a fresh 8-speed ZF auto for the latest version, the revised fourth generation model

tested here really comes into its own. Driving Experience Despite a 10bhp power hike to 252bhp and a fresh 8-speed ZF auto transmission, the revised Discovery 4’s CO2 emissions and fuel returns are both improved. But from the driver’s seat, it’s the enhanced feeling of effortless, on-demand thrust

that impresses most, aided in no small way by the peachy-smooth shifts and quick responses of the ZF auto. It’s all backed up by some impressive stats. Land Rover claims shift times of just 200 milliseconds and that the latest 3.0-litre diesel delivers 500Nm of torque in just 500 milliseconds from idle, making 95 percent of the engine’s maximum torque available almost in-

stantly. It certainly steps off the mark with the verve of a car half its weight. And if you’re really feeling in a ‘move along’ mood, there are steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters to complement the Jag-style ‘Drive Select’ rotary gear selector. And the idea that ‘proper’ 4x4s don’t handle on road? The latest Discovery emphatically puts that one to bed. The precision with which the big Land Rover steers is surprising enough but it’s the way the suspension system quells body roll through faster bends that sets it apart and seems to remove the inherent disadvantages of weight and a high centre of gravity. Add in superb refinement and strong brakes and you have a vehicle that gives away little to a more orthodox luxury saloon. Off road, the Discovery is more formidable than ever. Enhancements to Land Rover’s patented Terrain Response system (imagine having an off-roading expert

sitting alongside you operating a set of dual controls) add a launch control function designed for deep sand as well as improvements to the Hill Descent Control and the Rock Crawl mode to ensure tricky manoeuvres are made that bit easier, giving you more time to admire the scenery. Simply brilliant. Cost of Ownership Can the latest Discovery 4 compete with Audi and BMW on economy and emissions? No. But it’s no longer the disaster the old 2.7-litre Discovery 3 was. Despite this revised model’s engine’s extra power, you can expect 32.1mpg on the combined cycle (recently improved from 30.4mpg) and 230g/km of CO2 (14g/km better than the original version of this car). And of course, that’s hugely better that the figures achieved by the 2.7-litre diesel in the old Discovery3 which was some 40g/km dirtier. True, economy takes a hammering off road, but Land Rover has thought of that, too, with an Intelligent Power System that recharges the battery only when it’s most efficient to do so, an

energy-saving air-conditioning pump and numerous aerodynamic modifications. What else? Well, residual values should you see you getting around half of your purchase price back after three years.

Summary

No, the entry-level GS isn’t the most desirable model in the Land Rover Discovery range. But it is, by a fairly sizeable margin, the most affordable and, therefore, in a position to lure customers into the Land Rover fold who might, ostensibly, have been shopping for a smaller, less capable (off road) Audi or BMW. But even if you discount the Discovery’s magical ways with mud, it still makes an extremely convincing luxury 4x4 for on road duties. It’s swift, comfortable, refined and handles like a dream considering its size. Truth is, if you’re willing to forsake a few frills, the most affordable Discovery really does take you to another level that can only be bettered, in some respects, by the Range Rover. As such it’s something of a bargain.


PROPERTY | 19

September 2013 wicklowvoice.ie

Property Crash – end of an era?

Positive news for Wicklow housing market as green shoots emerge

Property

with Clodagh Doyle During the property boom, property seemed to be our stable topic of conversation - in fact it was hard to avoid. When you think about it now, has anything changed? If the truth be known, we have probably ended up talking more about all things property. Strong media coverage keeps us fully informed with mainly ongoing negative updates – until recently. The latest figures released from the central statistics office confirmed that Irish residential property prices have shown their first annual increase since 2008, suggesting that the housing market may be showing signs of recovery after one of the world’s biggest property crashes. It is claimed that prices in Dublin are up almost 8pc yearon-year and 2.3pc nationally – Wicklow is likely to lie somewhere in between those figures. Commenting on a recent Daft. ie report, economist with Daft. ie Ronan Lyons said: “This is the first time such a rapid growth in asking prices has been recorded anywhere in the country for six years. “The underlying cause of

rising prices in Dublin is a lack of supply in the capital, while demand has steadily been rising. But with conditions still weak in many parts of the country, it is likely that over the next 12-24 months, we may have to get used to the idea of prices rising in some places – particularly in urban areas – while they fall elsewhere. So what can this mean for Wicklow property - is there light at the end of the tunnel? Over the last few months there has been an obvious heightened level of activity in the property market and Wicklow agents will certainly verify this. While this activity may be somewhat inconsistent it is still highly positive news. It is likely that some parts of Wicklow will see price increases while other parts may experience further price drops before rising. With Wicklow’s close proximity to Dublin we would hope that this will enhance our chances of a speedier recovery over other parts of the country. Also in our favour is the fact that Wicklow offers so much to prospective buyers and is a great place to call your home. With so many intervening factors, not even the best economists can accurately predict the path the property market will take, but one thing for sure is that property conversation is not going to fade. Our in-depth interest in property has not diminished it almost seems to be part of our culture passed on from generation to generation. Speaking of which, very soon l will be giving you a sneak preview on what’s hot to market in Wicklow, courtesy of our Wicklow agents – watch this space!

Clodagh Doyle’s company Placelift specialise in preparing, presenting and styling property for the market. Whether you are a landlord or a property owner who may be selling, be it your family home, investment property or executor sale, or you are a prospective buyer, I hope to bring some useful practical information, advice and tips on all things property - visit www.placelift.ie for more information.

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Tinnapark, Tooman Road, Kilpedder Nestled along a quite country road “Tinnapark House” comes to the market offering the discerning buyer a large detached home of well proportioned accommodation extending to 238 sq m(2,561sq ft) set on ¾ acre with uninterrupted panoramic views of the Wicklow mountains and the Irish sea. The property has been well maintained over the years by its present owners and a recent attic conversion (2007) has extended the living accommodation to further compliment what is on offer. Accessed via an electronically controlled wrought iron gates one enjoys the large lawn area to the front of the property whilst taking in the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Well defined boundaries ensure the privacy of this home and a large lawn area to the rear and detached garage completes the picture on the outside. Tinnapark although enjoying a rural setting it is well serviced by its neighbouring towns and villages of Greystones, Bray,

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Summary 2,561 sq ft detached property on ¾ acre Recently converted attic space (2007) C1 Energy rated home Detached garage with loft area Well proportioned accommodation throughout 6 bedrooms (3 en-suite) Panoramic mountain & sea views Rural location Ample parking area Well maintained gardens Large “Liscanor” paved patio area Access to N11 less than a mile away Delgany and Newtown whilst access to the N11 is less than a 5 minute drive away. Accommodation ground floor briefly comprises of entrance hall, living room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast room, utility, guest wc, family bathroom, three double bedrooms one of which is en-suite. First floor comprises open plan living dining area, two double and a single bedroom two of which have en-suites, bathroom, and utility.

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20 | CLASSIFIEDS

wicklowvoice.ie September 2013

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Buying? Selling? Contact one of our team today

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PHOTOGRAPHY| 21

September 2013 wicklowvoice.ie

peter evers wicklow through the lens

Green Tree at Pipers Brook

Fireweed at Rathnew

Swans in Bray Harbour

Win a copy of Peter’s book Peter Evers is a leading Irish photographer whose collection of Wicklow Photographs has been lauded by critics: “Haunting and beautiful.” Sunday Independent

Lough Tay

“The Garden of Ireland has rarely looked as beautiful as it does here…A wonderful, indulgent stocking filler for nature lovers or lovers to be.”

- Taragh Loughrey-Grant, RTE Guide “This amazing book is an incredible debut and testament to the talent of an eminent photographer.” Herald A.M. A native of Dublin, but a former resident of Wicklow, Peter has been a successful fashion and advertising photographer for

almost 20 years and his work has been widely published, both in Ireland and internationally. He is also a noted wedding photographer, who runs Penry Photography (www. penryphotography.ie) with his wife Susie, also a trained photographer. A testament to his skills, Peter has become the photographer of choice for other photographers’ weddings.

We have five Wicklow Photographs by Peter to give to lucky readers – just simply email your name and address to wicklowvoice@gmail.com and put Peter Evers Photography in the subject line. Alternatively, the book is available for purchase - please telephone +353 (0)86 858 1921 for more details or visit www. wicklowphotographs.com to order a copy..


22 | SPORT

wicklowvoice.ie September 2013

Smart kids are active kids Exercise

with Mark Sweeney

Wicklow is blessed that it has so many great places for children to enjoy outdoor activities – our woods, parks and beaches are among the best and cleanest in the world. By and large we live in a very safe environment and our kids can play outdoors without us having to be by their sides constantly. It was great to see children of all ages out and about around Wicklow this summer – running, cycling and swimming to their hearts content – but as the kids go back to school and the weather changes, we need to ensure that they stay active. While we can’t expect all our children to be brilliant at sports, we should note that more and more research is confirming the importance of physical activity for the development of young minds. In modern times, less than one-in-five of our children meet the recommendations for health

Having a ball: Jake O’Neill (5) from and Blathnaid Quinn (4) from Co Wicklow enjoying one of Mark’s PlayFit sessions enhancing physical activity: at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity, preferably on every day of the week. Numerous studies over the last three years comparing children with high physical activity levels and children with low physical fitness are showing that they are not only physically fitter but perform better academically and in executive functions. Executive functions is a term that includes brain processes such as planning, organising, memory and behavioural

inhibition which includes attention, behaviour and emotions. In addition, inhibitory control in children is shown to be an important predictor of not only academic performance but also physical and mental health in adulthood. It is believed that the positive effects of physical activity on brain function are caused by physiological changes in the body including increased blood flow to the brain and by improving neural networks in the brain. The studies have looked at

celebrated its 40 year anniversary this year to great acclaim. This show strives to encourage young and inexperienced riders to compete as well as catering for more advanced competitors. There is always a fantastic fun element to it with fancy dress competitions and new this year, a Scarecrow Building Competition! All funds raised go to charity. Traditionally the Season drew to a close in September but nowadays there are shows right into November. This month sees the Breeders Classic taking place in Barnadown, Gorey, County Wexford from September 6 to 8. A strong contingent from Wicklow is expected to compete for their share of the spoils. The Breeders Classic is in its second year and provides a showcase for young Irish horses being produced in the country. It features the €50,000

euro five- and six-year-old Irish Breeders Classic. This is the richest young horse class in the world and will attract the top young horses in the country. The prize money is funded by contributions from a wide variety of people and companies who rely on the Irish Sport Horse industry. Riders, Producers of Equitation Products, Farriers, Vets, Horse owners and many more join forces to show how a simple idea can grow to be a huge success. As an added bonus for spectators this year the final of the TRM Horseware Grand Prix League will take place on September 7. This gives people an opportunity to see all of the top riders in action. Side attractions for the family include a Donkey Derby in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, a foal auction, a novelty Dog Show and the National Miniature Horse Championship.

different types of physical activities and have found that aerobic type activities such as running are extremely important in creating high levels of fitness and hence brain efficiency through improved circulation. However, motor skills such as whole body co-ordination have shown to have positive effects on cognitive functions of the brain, with fine motor skills in young children directly relating to reading and maths skills in later life. These findings have particular importance in relation to the obesity epidemic. Studies

suggest that obese children not only have lower fitness levels but also poorer motor skills in comparison to normal weight children. This negative relationship between obesity and cognitive function may be partially explained by poor development of fitness and motor skills through a lack of physically and mentally challenging activities. In fact, there exists the threat that sedentary children may not reach the appropriate level of physical activity to adequately support brain function and development.

In summary, the overwhelming evidence suggests that the more physically active a child is will not only have a positive effect on their general health but can have an equally positive effect on their brain health and function. The key to maximising these positive effects is to ensure that the physical activity is carried out daily and that there is a mixture of aerobic type exercise and challenging motor skills. Below are some examples of each: • ‘Moderate to vigorous aerobic activity’ – these are activities such as walking, running, cycling, swimming whereby your heart and breathing rate increases. • ‘Demanding Motor Skills exercises’ – activities such as gymnastics, specific skills for ball sports, complex jumping patterns (hopscotch!). So even if the weather is changing and the evenings are getting shorter, try to get the kids out for some exercise in Wicklow – you’ll hopefully see the benefits come exam time! Mark Sweeney is a qualified physical therapist and a graduate of both UCD and Trinity, holding a Masters in Exercise Physiology and a BSc in Applied Health studies from the Institute of Physical Therapy and Applied Science. He is the managing director of FitForLife (.ie) and PlayFit (.ie). He is a native of Wicklow and played rugby for Greystones.

Great season so far for showjumping Horses

with Caroline Kennedy It has been a great season so far for showjumping in County Wicklow. The fine weather during the summer months saw the return to popularity of the traditional “grass shows”. These shows provide a fantastic learning experience for horses and riders alike. They also foster great community spirit and the hard work that goes into their organization and running is always greatly appreciated. The County show in Tinahely was an outstanding success again this year and a myriad of activities kept everyone entertained. Founded over seventy years ago the show is one of the longest running agricultural shows in Ireland. It is a great celebration of rural life and an event not to be missed. The Kilmacanogue Show

news inbrief New Classic Race for Wicklow

St Tiernan’s Cycling Club is delighted to announce its return to Open Race Promotion on September 15th 2013 with the St. Tiernan’s Laragh Classic sponsored by Friends First. This pioneering and exciting race will fill an obvious gap in the late season cycling calendar and in the race programme for the Leinster/South East region. Weaving through the heart of the Garden County, the dramatic 24k circuit presents riders with challenging climbs, tough drags and a fast-paced descent through the stunning village of Laragh. The technical and demanding surfaces on

sections of the course promise to give competitors a real test of skill and an authentic taste of European style Classic racing. In addition, the finish, situated just before the T-junction that brings you onto the R763 between Annamoe and Ashford follows a demanding drag which will have the potential to split the fields on the day. “Friends First is delighted to be supporting the inaugural Laragh Classic and together with St Tiernan’s we hope this become a fixture in the Irish Cycling Calendar,” a spokesman said. The race is open to senior men, ladies and juniors within the A3 and A4 race categories. Entries are now open online. For further information on the St Tiernan’s Laragh Classic proudly supported by Friends First please visit www. sttiernanscc.com or contact

info@sttiernanscc.com

Merrill Leisure open weekend

The newly refurbished Merrill Leisure Club is holding an open weekend on the weekend of September 13, 14 and 15, when you can inspect a wide range of weights and cardio equipment, a state of art kinesis wall, and classes that cater for mobility to high intensity needs. Their facilities include an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, steam-room, children’s swimming pool and fully equipped gymnasium with kinesis wall. The Merrill Leisure Club also a relaxation area where you can avail of a variety of massages, facials, waxing, eye care, spray tan and many offers on packages and treatments each week.


Sport| 23

September 2013 wicklowvoice.ie

insideback

with Brian Quigley

1998 and the year of the French – let’s hope we’ve learned lessons

This summer marked the 15th anniversary of one of the biggest sporting events to take place – or more accurately pass through – county Wicklow. July 12, 1998 saw stage 1 of the world’s most celebrated cycle race start and finish in Dublin and pass through Wicklow in the process. The race went down the N11 as far as Arklow, then took in Avoca, Rathdrum and Laragh before going up the Wicklow Gap, to Hollywood and then back to Dublin. It was a great spectacle. Supple like a snake or a string of pearls, the peloton splitting around roundabouts making wristwatch shapes. Simulating helix patterns around hairpin bends. The radial-spoke twinkle and domino shuffle, the puppetand-string routine that reeled the breakaway in, jerseys interchanging like a Rubik cube. The Garden County shown off via camera from helicopters and motorbikes to a world stage. An event like that makes you realise that sport can be art, and can inspire art – candidates for any list of greatest singles and albums in pop music history, namely Kraftwerk’s ‘Tour de France’ single and album released in 1983 and 2003 respectively, were inspired by this classic race. I’m not naive enough to suggest we ignore the uglier side of the Tour de France. The 1998 version of the event had more drug scandals than most other years, with some critics dubbing the event a ‘pharmacy on wheels’. There’s an age-old debate about how real is elite sport that we have served up to us on television, and does it really matter so long as the end-product is an engaging spectacle. We don’t discount albums by our favourite bands or well-written books on this basis so should we with sport? Well, yes we should. For our own sake and the sake of our children who may be inspired by what they see on television. We should be aware that with a natural talent for your sport and a lifetime of hard work and training, you can reach the pinnacle without needing any short-cuts. Look at our own Katie Taylor, or Andy Murray this year at Wimbledon. No short-cuts, just dedication,

Chris McCann’s picture from Irish corner on Alpe d’Huez during this year’s Tour De France. Katie Taylor and Gary O’Toole are two great Wicklow Olympians. vision, talent and honest hardwork. Likewise, in my opinion, with Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, their natural physique so suited to their events that with the hard work to compliment it put in, they were destined to be champions (although the recent drug scandals that have befallen athletics make me nervous). I was rooting for Murray this year and delighted that he delivered where Henman had failed. Growing up you watched Wimbledon and dusted down your racket when it was over. You watched the Tour de France and were keener to get out on your bike in its aftermath than you would be at any other time of the year. When you saw Wicklow’s Eamon Darcy on the Ryder Cup team you wanted to try golf. Swimming in Wicklow was given a great boost in the mid1980s when its relay team won two Community games gold medals in 1895 and 1986, spurred by the success of Gary O’Toole who trained assiduously in his native county until he literally outgrew the

local swimming pools. Gary went to on to win silver at the 1989 European Championships and represent Ireland at the Seoul and Barcelona Olympics and has served with distinction as an expert analyst for RTE’s swimming coverage at subsequent Games. Gary is also to be commended for his bravery in helping expose abuses in his sport, not an easy thing to have done. Fionnuala Britton will have encouraged some of the next generation of Wicklow boys and girls to take up running after seeing her on the gigantic stage that was the London 2012 Olympics. And when Ed Joyce from Bray made the England cricket team, it will have no doubt inspired people to take up the sport, even more so now that Ireland is progressing nicely towards the coveted Test status. And of course there’s enough paper in the world to list all of Wicklow’s great sportsmen in either football, rugby or GAA. Bray also had the distinction of being represented by Padraic Moran at the London 2012

Let’s hope that the recent success of NICOLAS Roche and Dan Martin, will inspire a new generation of Irish cyclist and that they won’t be tempted to take the Lance Armstrong route.

Paralympics. Padraic is an elite Irish paralympic athlete and a former World Champion in the sport of boccia (a precision ball sport related to bowls, boccia was originally designed for people with cerebral palsy but can be played by people with other disabilities affecting motoring skills). Padraic is currently training towards the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Let’s hope that the recent success of Stephen Roche’s son and nephew, Nicolas and Dan Martin, will inspire a new generation of Irish cyclist and that they won’t be tempted to take the Lance Armstrong route. Wicklow of course has a great history of cycling beyond 1998’s Le Tour and has produced Olympians Peter Crinnion and Peter Doyle amongst others. Ireland’s first professional Shay Elliot, although born in Dublin, lived in Enniskerry, and the race that bears his name takes place in the Wicklow Mountains every Spring. If anyone wants to discover more about Wicklow’s great cycling history, they should drop into Frank Duff’s

pub on Bray’s Main Street – you can’t miss the Champs Elysee sign on the front. I read an article a few years ago written by a couple of British cycling enthusiasts who covered the Tour de France route in a camper van just after the actual event. They were using bikes slightly but not too inferior to the professionals, sleeping in the van and eating quite a lot of jam sandwiches but they still covered the course in a respectable time. Cycling doesn’t need drugs, whether it’s EPO or anything else, nor does any sport. Drugs crept into sport in a big way during the Cold War when the prestige of winning on the sports field replaced the need for victory on the battlefield, and the battle to eradicate drug cheats has raged ever since. Producing real heroes and role models is the best way to continue this fight – let’s hope that our new sporting stars in Wicklow decide to go that way. Brian Quigley is a native of Wicklow.


24|FITNESS

wicklowvoice.ie September 2013

Run like a puppet not a Muppet With the great weather that we are having at present in the Garden of Ireland and the downturn in the economy so many people are taking to the roads, putting on a pair of shoes and heading out the door for 10-30 minutes of enjoyable running. It’s amazing to see so many people in Greystones, along the Murragh and even along the Bray seafront. As a Coach, I can’t help myself observing the various different running styles that are around these days. However, I would just like to share with you some tips that I have picked up over the years. It might even prevent you from getting injured and possibly increase your speed and performance going forward and, who knows, you might even hit that magic P.B. time you have been dreaming about. I found that there are a lot of ways to help you develop as an athlete/runner. By changing your running style, may be even investing in suitable equipment i.e. the right running shoes, you can achieve great improvements to your time and performance. Most shops now can test your style by using video analysis

Training

with Eamonn Tilley and foot pads, which test out your gait and see how you are landing and offer you the best shoe that offers you comfort and performance without reducing the power output. However, I believe that you need to go back to basics first. Form & Core Imagine that someone is holding a string over your head “i.e. like a Puppeteer” His job

is to pull the string taught, thus causing the body posture to return to a strong and upright position. Most runners slouch or sit back and just go through the motions; the long term effect is that they end up getting back pain or, in some cases, injured. Core fitness is one of the key areas that are neglected by most athletes, runners or joggers. The key areas that you need to work on are the head, shoulders, arms, hips, legs and feet. The end results will be to help you move in a forward not upward direction. This will translate to you running more efficiently and of course achieve some better running times. The head should feel comfortable, not strained in any way, this will set up the whole body for an enjoyable run or race, Try if possible not to look up too much, imagine you are looking at the horizon, and just slightly tilt the head downwards, now you have got it to a T. If your neck is tense it will cause the upper back to get sore and will then move to the shoulders and finally to the lower back. The shoulders should always feel relaxed and comfortable

Aoife Heffernan and Daniel Sheridan before they set off on their 600km cycle to Paris in France in aid of Bray Cancer Support Centre.. The pair were joined by hundreds of members of the public along the first leg of their trip through Wicklow, the 100km cycle from Bray to Arklow Bay Hotel and back again. Pic: Joe Keogh for efficient performance. If the shoulders are too tense the body will struggle. Be careful not to bring the shoulder up too much or let them sag, try if possible not to over rotate them, you are looking to go forward not from side to side. The arms play a vital role

and assist you with balance when descending, working in harmony with your legs to assist with the propulsions of the body in a forward motion. I have observed so many people aggressively swinging their arms from side to side, which causes the hips to rotate and this

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in turn causes the body to over stride to the side. Remember we are looking to go forward when we run. Your core needs to be firm and your body needs to be upright and strong, This will help you finish the race while other athletes form goes out the window, Try and do some Pilates or yoga classes, or develop your own strength and conditioning set, to include the following… planks, press ups , sit ups, lunges. These will help you develop you core. I know that there are some great S & C Coaches in Wicklow that would only be happy to help you on the right track to becoming fit, healthy and a more streamlined person in 2014. Start now, don’t wait till 2013 Till the next time, stay healthy, stay active and be happy. Happy Days ! Eamonn Tilley is an international runner and head triathlon coach at etsports (.ie). ET (Extreme Team) Sports is a one-stop shop for coaching, sports products and events.

Wicklow Voice September 2013  

Wicklow's Positive Paper!

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