THE MAGAZINE FOR IMPACT MEMBERS
ISSUE 21 • SUMMER 2013
MEN ON WIRES
Meet the guys who man Ireland’s coastguard BEEF OR HORSE MEAT? rescue service CROKE PARK: CHALLENGE AND CHOICE ALSO INSIDE
RAPE CRISIS SAVING OUR FORESTS SEÁN REDMOND
IMPACT BENEFITS. BEING ‘MINDFUL’ AT WORK. FROM CATWALK TO HIGH STREET. BREAKFAST. SPRING TREES AND SHRUBS. CONSIDERING COUNSELLING. ALFRED HITCHCOCK. IRISH BALLADS. UNDERSTAND THE PROPERTY TAX. DUBS YOUNG DREAM. BOOKS. ALL THE NEWS. PRIZES.
In this issue
work& & life – Summer 2013 WORK
BEEF OR HORSE MEAT? Is the food on your plate safe? CROKE PARK Members face a choice and a challenge.
39. IMPACT PEOPLE The man behind the forest campaign.
YOUR MONEY Understanding the property tax. SPORT
MEN ON WIRES
Dubs young dream.
NEWS From catwalk to high street. Meet the guys from Ireland’s coastguard rescue service.
15. 17. 35.
RAPE CRISIS Vital services under pressure. YOUR CAREER Being ‘mindful’ helps you work better. OBITUARY Seán Redmond.
22. 24. 26. 28. 30. 32.
Work & Life is produced by IMPACT trade union's Communications Unit and edited by Bernard Harbor. Front cover: Photo by Conor Healy. Winchman Ken Skelly, with the Irish Coastguard’s Search & Rescue Service. Story page 12. Contact IMPACT at: Nerney's Court, Dublin 1. Phone: 01-817-1500. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOOD Get a good breakfast inside you. GARDENS Try trees this spring. HEALTH Time for counselling? MOVIES Hitchcock: Master or mysogynist?
36. 36. 36. 37. 37. 37. 38. 38. 38.
WATER CAMPAIGN ABOLOSHING GRADE VI MOTOR TAX COILLTE SALE SLAMMED CROKE PARK RECOMMENDED SPECIAL NEEDS ASSISTANTS BANK DEBT PROTESTS FASHION’S FACTORY FIRES HEALTH AND SAFETY
MUSIC A fresh look at ballads. BOOKS Meet the IMPACT member who’s self-published.
Win €50 in our prize quiz. Rate Work & Life and win €100.
Work & Life magazine is a full participating member of the Press Council of Ireland and supports the Office of the Press Ombudsman. In addition to defending the freedom of the press, this scheme offers readers a quick, fair and free method of dealing with complaints that they may have in relation to articles that appear on our pages. To contact the Office of the Press Ombudsman go to www.pressombudsman.ie or www.presscouncil.ie
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WORK & LIFE: THE MAGAZINE FOR IMPACT MEMBERS 1
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Photo: Photocall Ireland
Only industrial action could prevent the imposition of a worse package.
The challenge and the choice BERNARD HARBOR outlines the options in the Croke Park ballot. IMPACT MEMBERS voting on new Croke Park proposals face an insurmountable challenge and a choice. The insurmountable challenge is called €1 billion. That’s the sum of additional savings that, one way or another, the Government will extract from the public service pay and pensions bill over the next three years.
Ireland’s international reputation. But an agreement is best for workers too.
The choice is whether or not we’ll have the protection of an agreement – with clauses that rule out compulsory redundancies, avoid pay cuts for most, restrict changes to working conditions, and establish procedures and protections on redeployment – while that €1 billion is extracted.
This is not an attractive package. But it’s better than any achievable alternative that can be negotiated at this difficult time. If accepted, the deal will protect 87% of public servants from further cuts in core pay, while most of those subject to pay cuts will have a route to restoration.
The proposed deal is a difficult proposition for the 290,000 people it will affect. But the choice is not between this package and the status quo. It’s between this and something far less certain, and almost certainly worse.
Without an agreement, deeper, wider and probably permanent pay cuts are in the offing. If the proposals are rejected, existing Croke Park protections, including the commitments on compulsory redundancies, redeployment limits and outsourcing, will also be in jeopardy.
Ministers and managers have consistently said they will impose measures to make the savings if the deal is rejected. Naturally they prefer an agreement given the success of the original Croke Park deal and its contribution to stability and
A strategy based on rejecting the deal and its protections in the hope that protests and political lobbying will achieve a better outcome is extremely high-risk. More on page 10 ‰ WORK & LIFE: THE MAGAZINE FOR IMPACT MEMBERS 9
Croke Park In this scenario, the €1 billion insurmountable problem is simply wished away. The inevitability that changes to allowances, premium payments, working hours, flexitime and increments would still be sought or imposed is glossed over. And the vulnerability of public servants in the absence of a deal (just listen to what managers, ministers, backbenchers and commentators have been saying for the last three years) is simply ignored.
In the absence of an agreement, public servants and their representatives will have no such influence over the management agenda. Only sustained industrial action – with no certainty of success – could prevent the imposition of a worse package.
The proposals restrict management demands Management demands
Union negotiated outcome
NO compulsory redundancies
Permanent pay reductions over €60,000
Temporary pay reductions between €65,000 and €100,000
Increment freeze for all
Most get much shorter (3 or 6 month) freeze
Five extra hours a week
Increase to 37 hours for those on 35 or less Increase to 39 for those over 35 No change for those on 39 hours
Sunday premiums at time and a half
Sunday premiums at time and three-quarters
Abolish Saturday premiums
NO change to Saturday premiums
Flat rate overtime (ie, no extra pay)
Overtime premiums retained (at reduced rates)
100km redeployment limit
Limit stays at 45km
Severe flexitime restrictions
Limited flexitime restrictions
No change in allowances
“The choice is not between this package and the status quo. It’s between this and something far less certain, and almost certainly worse.” It’s a mistake to underplay the value of having an agreement. While Croke Park is delivering €3.3 billion in savings and widespread reforms, IMPACT has also been able to use its procedures to curb management demands – for groups and individuals – on many issues including sick leave, redeployment and annual leave.
In any case, trade union-supported economists have confirmed that the budgetary figures for 2013 and 2014 are substantially worse than originally envisaged, and that the biggest single reduction in the Government deficit is planned for 2014. What prudent negotiator would wait until precisely the worst time – when public finances are under most pressure – to enter talks with no protections in place?
Similarly, the recent negotiations allowed us to shape and restrain management demands under virtually every heading. They wanted compulsory redundancies in some circumstances; there will be none. They wanted a 100km redeployment limit; it stays at 45km. They wanted a three-year increment freeze for all; they didn’t get it. They wanted Sunday premiums to be paid at time-and-a-half; they will be paid at time-and-three-quarters, with some compensation for lost earnings. A similar softening of the management position was achieved on working hours, overtime, flexitime and outsourcing. Even on salary cuts, union negotiators ensured a route to restore pay over time for all but the highest paid. Management wanted permanent cuts.
Some believe we can reject the package and keep the original Croke Park protections until this time next year. Again, this would be a high-risk approach. Budget 2013 included additional cost reductions for the second half of 2013. It’s inconceivable that the Budget would be re-written if this deal is rejected.
IMPACT has been advising its members to think about two things before voting. First, what does it mean for you? Second, what’s the alternative? The answer to the first question varies depending on your job, sector and salary. The answer to the second is the same for all: It’s almost certainly worse. IMPACT’s elected Central Executive Committee is recommending that members vote to accept the proposals. A version of this article appeared in the Irish Times on 28th March 2013.
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Rape crisis Photo: Conor Healy
Michelle Grehan of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre says being heard and believed is essential to rape survivors.
Believe there is hope MARTINA O’LEARY finds rape crisis services under tremendous strain. But there’s always someone there to listen. IT’S HARD to believe that one-in-five women and 10% of men in Ireland have experienced sexual assault in adulthood. But that’s what the research tells us. So, as you sit in any large staff canteen or medium-sized gathering, you can bet that at least one person there has been a victim of rape or sexual assault. Rape crisis services are struggling to cope as budgets fall and the scale of sexual crime remains stubbornly high. IMPACT representative Michelle Grehan, who has worked in the Dublin
Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) for over eight years, says its helpline received over 9,000 genuine counselling contacts in 2011 – over 9% more than the previous year. Many can be first time callers to the line and victims of a recent assault. “In this case we urge them to seek medical attention as soon as possible. But a lot of people choose not to go the Gardaí and that’s ok, we are still here to help,” says Michelle.‰ WORK & LIFE: THE MAGAZINE FOR IMPACT MEMBERS 15
Rape crisis Sometimes a call is sufficient. The national 24-7 helpline offers free confidential, listening and “For someone to be heard and support services for women and Survivors of sexual violence are not alone believed can be just what they men who have been raped, and talking can help the feelings to fade. If need for the time being. They may have told no one in their sexually assaulted, sexually you, or someone you know, have been whole life, particularly those of harassed or sexually abused. DRCC also provides crisis and affected, call the national 24-hour helpline the older generation.” Michelle recalls cases of older women in ongoing counselling and therapy on 1800-77-88-88. There’s always services, as well as accomisolated parts of the country, someone at the end of the line. who see something on TV that panying those who do go to the triggers bad memories. “They Gardaí or even the courts. DRCC also runs a training service for call saying ‘I’m 75 and the time professionals and volunteers who come into contact with has passed to get what I need’. But they find it a comfort to talk to us. It’s particularly touching,” says Michelle. issues of sexual violence, rape, sexual assault and child sexual abuse. Demand peaks when a particular incident is reported in the media or when a child abuse report is published. The Fern, Michelle says that first call to the helpline is terrifying for most Ryan, Murphy and Cloyne reports left the service inundated people. “We take a lot of time with the callers. Sometimes with callers desperately looking for support. they ask: ‘Is there hope for me? Will I ever laugh again?’ I just say ‘believe there is hope. You are never going to forget, but we find ways to cope’.”
Suffering in silence “As you sit in any large staff canteen or medium-sized gathering, you can bet that at least one person there has been a victim of rape or sexual assault.”
Even today, only 8% of women victims and 1% of men report rape or sexual assault to the Gardaí. The legal process can be daunting and court hearings are often difficult and confusing. Frequently people are afraid they will not be believed, or will be blamed for provoking the attack. That’s why DRCC offers support and accompanies those who choose to go to the Gardaí or to court.
Victims are encouraged to go to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU), which provides health checks, blood tests and screenings, even if they don’t choose to report the crime. A trained DRCC support person will attend and advise on what to expect. They also collect forensic evidence in very recent cases that can be used in prosecutions.
The reality is that rapes and sexual assaults are vicious, violent acts, with anger and the wish to dominate, not sexual desire, the primary motivation. But many victims feel – wrongly – that they must have done something that led to the assault. “We have run awareness campaigns, and they work. But that stigma is still attached to it. It’s still a very difficult subject to talk about,” says Michelle.
Past crimes Most rapes and sexual assaults take place within a social or family situation and research shows that three-quarters of those who experience rape or sexual assault know the perpetrator. Many victims stay silent for years. “Some clients want to report or come forward on an incident that happened ten years ago. Of course, we are available for them as well. They can be just as distressed as someone who’s experienced a recent rape. They are reliving the trauma,” says Michelle.
Although demand for the services is increasing, money is ever harder to come by. Meanwhile, cuts in other services have triggered increased dependence on rape crisis services. In particular, people with mental health issues, where the underlying issue is sexual abuse, turn to the helpline because they have nowhere else to go. “Victims of sexual violence can feel isolated. The helpline and the other services can give them comfort. Especially to know that they are believed and that we appreciate what they’re going through, Our commitment to survivors will remain constant from that very first call,” says Michelle l
Walk or run for the DRCC THE DUBLIN Rape Crisis Centre has launched a new campaign appealing for women to support them at this year’s Flora Women’s Mini Marathon, in an effort to help them provide crucial counselling and therapy services as well as maintain a 24-Hour National Helpline for those who have been affected by rape and childhood sexual abuse. Last year the DRCC had 50 runners for the marathon whose sponsorship contributions helped funds enormously. This year they hope to sign up over 200 people. Please pledge your support and receive your sponsorship card by contacting our Fundraising Department on Freephone 1 800 77 88 88 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s all in the mind Big corporate names like Google, eBay, Apple, Innocent and Smith-Kline are investing in staff ‘mindfulness’ at work. ISOBEL BUTLER turns her thoughts to the technique. HOW MANY times have you sat in a meeting, but found your mind is still focused on the last thing you were doing? When this happens, you are not ‘present’ in the moment. You’re not being ‘mindful’. The concept of ‘mindfulness’ originates in Buddhist philosophy. So it’s been around a long time. However the last 30 years have seen an increase in research into whether it can improve our mental and physical wellbeing and help enhance the modern workplace. Well-known organisations like Google, eBay, Apple, Transport for London, Innocent and Smith-Kline have all offered their staff classes in mindfulness to try and harness these benefits. Mindfulness is a state of consciousness where attention is focused on the here and now, rather than the past or future. It involves being in the present moment, paying attention to, and being aware of, the external and internal environment. Mindfulness is different from reflection, which involves looking back and sometimes planning forward. It has some similarities with being absorbed in a task, but it’s also different because we narrow our field of attention to the task in hand when we become absorbed. Mindfulness involves opening up and attending to the wider range of internal and external stimuli present in that moment.
Evidence Image: dreamstime.com
A growing body of evidence highlights the benefits that accrue from the daily practice of mindfulness for as little as eight weeks. Reductions in the stress hormone cortisol have been identified in those practicing mindfulness, as has an increase in calmness and focus which can counteract the panic, tunnel vision, decreased productivity and poor problem-solving associated with high levels of stress. ‰ WORK & LIFE: THE MAGAZINE FOR IMPACT MEMBERS 17
Your career Mindfulness has been shown to be associated with enhanced coping amongst those experiencing strong negative emotions and pain. Anxiety and depression have been reduced and general well-being, sense of balance and vitality enhanced.
Sit for a few minutes attending to your breathing. As you sit and do this you may find your mind wanders and that you have got caught up in thinking about other things. Don’t worry this is simply what the mind does. Just bring it back and refocus on the task in hand – sitting, breathing and being aware.
Studies have demonstrated enhanced awareness, which impacts positively on concentration, performance and creativity. Errors and accidents associated with Meng-Tan sees this refocusing as being akin to distraction or the ‘mindlessness’ of performregaining our balance on a bike after we feel it ing tasks on autopilot can be reduced by wobble, and believes that the process of this enhanced mindful awareness. recognising wandering attention and then “Reductions in the stress Greater alertness and attention to the refocusing our attention is key to develmoment improves the ability to oping extended periods of continuous hormone cortisol have been empathise and understand others, attention or concentration. impacting positively on conflict identified in those practicing To start, practice this for ten minsituations and interpersonal and utes every day, slowly increasing mindfulness, as has an increase workplace relationships. the time so that after eight weeks in calmness and focus which Research shows that we are all you are able to sustain this sitting capable of achieving mindfulness. mindfulness for up to 45 minutes. can counteract the panic, tunnel It’s an inherent human capacity. Jon Kabat-Zinn believes mindfulvision, decreased productivity But differing lifestyles, personness should go beyond 45 minutes alities and individual circumstances and poor problem-solving of sitting and “should slip into your mean that some people are able to daily life,” helping you to be present associated with high achieve a mindful state more freqnot elsewhere. As you move from one uently and easily than others. The key is levels of stress.” task to another during the working day, learning what mindfulness is – and then spend a moment recognising that you are practicing it. making a change and refocus on the new task or situation. Sit for a moment, become aware of your breathing, where you are and what the task is; mindfully refocus.
Basically mindfulness is awareness, being in the moment and being consciously aware of what is going on in your environment and within yourself – observing yourself, your feelings, your thoughts and your environment, and being nonjudgmental. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of the mindfulness-based stress reduction programme at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre calls it ‘tuning into the now’ or ‘falling awake’. Chade-Meng Tan, who has run Google’s ‘Search Inside Yourself’ mindfulness training programme since 2007, says it’s “focused on training participants to pay attention, gain self-knowledge and self-mastery and creating useful mental habits.” One definition of meditation is mental training, and mindfulness meditation trains us in the art and science of paying attention.
Practice To practice mindfulness meditation, find a comfortable place to sit and focus your attention. Sit upright with your feet flat on the floor and your thighs fully supported, avoid slumping but be comfortable and avoid being rigid. Rest your hands on your thighs and let your gaze rest gently in front of you. Become aware of your breathing. Don’t try and change it just be aware of the breath coming into your body and the breath leaving your body.
Developing an awareness of your attention, recognising when it slips and refocusing in this mindful manner means that mindfulness moves from being a specific technique practiced for a short period each day to becoming a way of being l
Find out more l Jon Kabat-Zinn leads a meditation class at Google http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nwwKbM l Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes TED Talks http://www.ted.com/talks/andy_puddi combe_all_it_takes_is_10_mindful_minutes.html l Bates, T. (2013), Mindfulness is my playground, it's my way of coming home, The Irish Times, Jan 2nd 2013 http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/health/2013/0 102/1224328317153.html l Chaskalson, M. (2011),The Mindful Workplace: Developing Resilient Individuals and Resonant Organizations with MBSR. Wiley Blackwell l Kabat-Zinn, J. (2001), Mindfulness Meditation for Everyday Life. Piatkus. l Skidelsky, W. (2011), Stars' meditation technique gains mental health experts' approval, The Observer Jan 2nd 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/ jan/02/mindfulness-meditation-meg-ryan-goldie-hawn
Isobel Butler is an independent organisational psychologist who works with people on a wide range of workplace issues including conflict management, dealing with change and solving problems. If there are specific issues you’d like her to tackle in these articles send them in via the editor, Work & Life magazine, Nerney’s Court, Dublin 1 or email@example.com.
High fashion hits the The annual round of ‘international fashion weeks’ will take us from Milan to New York, London and Paris – and plenty of places in between. But what do they have to do with what we see on the high street? TRISH O’MAHONY investigates. FASHION FESTIVAL catwalk creations may seem a trillion light years away from your shopping habits. But, make no mistake, sophisticated imitations will filter down to the high street where inspired retailers copy the looks they think will sell.
when it comes to offering us exactly what we want to buy. And, where Top Shop goes, other high street stores will follow.
Front row seats at glamorous fashion shows have always been the preserve of the fashion world’s elite golden circle. In fact every row is a carefully guarded exclusivity, with invitations rarer than gold dust. This is where the top designers showcase their collections for the season ahead.
This has made high fashion events more realistic – more about the clothes people actually wear, rather than creations that can only be admired on the pages of glossy magazines. You can even watch live backstage goings on, with ‘model cams’ attached to some of the big new names like Vogue girls Cara Delevigne and Jourdan Dunn.
In the past we would all wait patiently for Vogue or Elle to reveal images of the latest creations for us to drool over and contemplate. That’s changed with the emergence of fashion blogs. Now the sneak previews are much more instant. And realistic. According to the Observers’ fashion writer Karen Kay: “It would appear that the line between high street and high fashion is becoming increasingly blurred, with an everincreasing range of premium, limited-edition lines on offer from the big chain stores.”
Other big name high street stores muscling in on their share of the action include River Island in collaboration with celebrities like Rihanna, and Whistles, also staging catwalk shows at London Fashion Week. Rumour also has it that H&M put on a lavish showcase at Paris Fashion Week.
“The line between high street and high
It all started a number of years ago when J Crew very successfully latched itself onto New York Fashion Week, and won itself everincreasing profile and sales ever since. And if it’s high quality Italian fashion labels you want to familiarise yourself with, it’s only a matter of time before that comes to a laptop near you. Bear in mind that you can now watch all the fashion weeks on Fashion TV.
Nowadays, the big money fashion is becoming increasingly blurred, spinner in the fashion with an ever-increasing range of premium, world is – wait for it – Topshop. The king of the limited-edition lines on offer from high street linked up with Google at this year’s the big chain stores.” London Fashion Week to allow ordinary, everyday consumers be part of the event. All from the comfort of their It’s useful to do your homework because the styles, shapes, own homes. colours, textures and fabrics you see on the current catwalk is what you’ll be buying over the next few seasons. Sometimes Its “be the buyer” app lets viewers compose, remix and share certain trends take a while to take off with consumers, but if mood boards of their favourite pieces. The app gives the you see a trend you like on the catwalks you might be able to chain precious insights into what consumers will be drawn bag a bargain on the high street. ‰ to, and will likely leave the high street store ahead of the pack
high street Street style Equally dramatic, and even more inspirational, is the ‘street style’ seen around the shows. Don’t be totally enthralled with the models – check out what people are wearing to the shows as well. Again, the top retailers recognise the sales potential of real people expressing themselves through their everyday clothes. They’ve tapped into this and have set up website access too.
“The styles, shapes, colours, textures and fabrics you see on the current catwalk is what you’ll be buying over the next few seasons. If you see a trend you like on the catwalks you might be able to bag a bargain on the high street.” Fashion show attendees are never seen to let the side down. They may be adorned in Balenciaga and Gucci, but you can steal their style ideas if you spot a good copycat downtown. Copenhagen Fashion Week is not officially up there with the big four – Milan, Paris, London and New York – but If you want inspiration for interesting, edgy and wearable ideas check out Copenhagen Fashion Week Street Style l
Model walks the runway at the Proenza Schouler fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in February, in New York City.
WORK & LIFE: THE MAGAZINE FOR IMPACT MEMBERS 21
In the kitchen
Master your metabolism MARGARET HANNIGAN says a decent breakfast stops the Neanderthal inside you piling on the weight.
HERE’S THE thing. Waking up is traumatic. There’s an alarm buzzing or beeping or cascading its Amazonian waterfall. It’s probably your phone, calling you back to earth from the land of soft pillows and giddy dreams. All those conversations and e-mails, and tweets and facebook updates you never got around to yesterday are circling in cyberspace ready to ambush you as soon as one tired foot hits the floor.
Within minutes, you’re on the move. Half a cup of tea and some toothpaste suds inside you, rushing to the school gate/traffic jam/commuter crush. You should be primed for fight or flight, but all you can think of is takeaway coffee with two sugars and muffins so big they need collars to hold them in.
You storm the nearest coffee outlet and gorge yourself, only to reach work with an aching bladder and a sugar-rush headache, followed by exhaustion and bad breath. Breakfast? That’s for tourists and Christmas day. Every day? Ah no, sure, who has time?
Bananas Who has time when you can wolf down a banana in traffic and watch the peel turn black by Friday? Why not just shred a cereal bar all over yourself, apart from the bits mashed into the gaps between your teeth. Or pretend that doughnut jam counts as one of your five-a-day? Why not? Because it’s bad for you is why not! We’re all looking to eat healthier, lose weight, look better and keep death at bay for as long as possible. But missing meals is not the answer. Missing meals, particularly breakfast, confuses our metabolism, which is still pretty primitive and very fearful of starvation. So it stops burning off the calories and instead stores them as fat against future hunger. ‰
It needs a reassuring boost to get it up and running after its overnight fast. Just as a car without petrol is a big metal brick on wheels, people are mere hairless teddy bears without some nutrition firing up their insides. Without breakfast, concentration levels are demonstrably lower, memory is not as sharp, cognitive processes are slower, we lack energy, and our moods go over to the dark side.
Maybe you’ll buy a blender and make smoothies for your travel mug. If time is still too tight, maybe you’ll make something up at night to have in work the next morning. Treat yourself at least as well as a guest or one of your kids. And don’t let yourself off the hook. If you feel your resolve weakening, check out the Say Hello to Sunday Morning campaign on Spunout.ie. The idea is to give up alcohol for a month and blog about how it goes. In the meantime, learn to enjoy the delights and opportunities of a hangover-free Sunday morning – one of which has to be a really good breakfast, preferably in bed with the papers or a good book. And my point is, why not say hello to every morning? l
Skipping breakfast puts us in a panic for the day. By 11am we’re cranky and hungry for something sugary, because skipping breakfast can increase the body’s insulin response. We eat more of the wrong foods later in the day, and risk weight gain and obesity.
Missing meals confuses our metabolism, which is still pretty primitive and very fearful of starvation. So it stops burning off the calories and instead stores them as fat against future hunger. Consider getting up 15-20 minutes earlier to start the day in a better tone. Just fling some blueberries, or any fruit, into some low-fat natural yogurt and eat quietly with a cup of tea. In a few days you might find yourself sprinkling some flaked almonds over the blueberries, and maybe a drizzle of honey. In the winter, our inner Neanderthal cave-dweller needs convincing he won’t die of cold. So maybe you’ll put lovely warm porridge (three minutes in a microwave) under the yogurt. Or scramble an egg with a slice of toasted brown bread. You might add slivers of smoked salmon to the egg or toss in some spinach leaves.
An eggceptional start to the day
Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon Everyone thinks they know how to scramble eggs, but this is how it’s really done. Serves two. l Four free range eggs l Four tbsp milk (mix in a little cream if desired) l Salt and pepper l 15g butter l 50-75g smoked salmon, chopped l 1tsp chopped chives/parsley (optional) Break the eggs into a bowl, add the milk and pinch of salt (go light as the salmon can be salty) and pepper, and whisk for about 10 seconds. Put the butter into a cold saucepan, add the egg mixture, and stir continuously with a wooden spoon over a low heat until the mixture looks scrambled, but still soft and creamy. Be alert, you want to avoid a shredded consistency. Stir in smoked salmon and herbs, taste for seasoning and serve. Can also be made with 50g fried bacon, cut up small, and 25g grated parmesan added at the end instead of the salmon. Or just plain. WORK & LIFE: THE MAGAZINE FOR IMPACT MEMBERS 23
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At the movies
Master of misogyny? Two recent films about Alfred Hitchcock portray him as a repressed voyeur at best and an abusive misogynist at worst. But MORGAN O’BRIEN thinks his reputation may survive. CRITIC PHILIP French says admiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s films rests on “the ease with which he takes us to our vulnerable dark sides then brings us back to normal life, chastened and restored.” Whatever it is, Hitchcock’s status as a pre-eminent influence in cinema has remained undimmed by time. Last year Vertigo unseated Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane as the greatest film of all time in the Sight and Sound poll of international film critics. Interest in Hitchcock has extended in the past few months with the release of two films that offer counterpoints to the director’s image as a lovable purveyor of deadpan wit – best evidenced through his appearances in Alfred Hitchcock Presents. While the films differ in tone, Sasha Gervasi’s Hitchcock and Julian Jarrold’s The Girl are both animated by the idea that the director’s character is inseparable from his work. 28
Hitchcock focuses on the production of Psycho, while The Girl revolves around The Birds and Marnie. Both portray the director as creepily voyeuristic and
Hitchcock covers the period of the early 1960s and the difficult production of Psycho, based on Robert Bloch’s fictional novel of serial killer Ed Gein. The film focuses on the apparent mental and emotional instability of Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) as he looks to follow the success of North by Northwest. The suggestion of a symbiosis between the looming figure of Gein and the director is resolved by the latter sublimating and channelling his latent desires and tendencies through the creative process of filmmaking.
manipulatively controlling of his blonde female stars. While there is a shared representation of the director as petty, domineering and egocentric, Gervasi’s film is rendered in breezier tones than the grim interpretation found in The Girl.
The controlling nature that Hitchcock exerted over his female actresses, in the case of Psycho Janet Leigh and Vera Miles, is presented more tortuously in The Girl. While Hitchcock implies that James Stewart’s obsessions in Vertigo are emblematic of Hitchcock himself, the director’s machinations are played with relative lightness. The Girl, however, presents us with a more grotesque vision of Hitchcock (Toby Jones) as he subjects his newly found star, Tippi Hedren, to relentless cruelty on set – and sexual ‰
A Late Quartet (5th April) An impressive cast, which includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken and Katherine Keener, stars in this drama about a string quartet forced to face personal issues when one of its members falls ill. provocation off it – during the production of The Birds and Marnie, with both films seen as distilling the misogynist tendencies of the filmmaker. The themes of guilty desires, mental agitation and prepossession evident in cameo in Hitchcock are given free reign in The Girl. Their latency in the former become more dangerously and repugnantly manifest in the latter. Based on Donald Spoto’s books, which drew on extensive interviews with Hedren herself, The Girl shows a director engaged in a process of physical and emotional abuse as a punishment for his star’s rebuff of his sexual advances.
Oblivion (12th April) Joseph Kosinski has adapted his own comic book series in this impressive looking science fiction drama. Tom Cruise features as a drone repairman stationed on Earth in 2073, 60 years after an alien invasion hastened an evacuation of the planet. After rescuing a strange young woman he comes into contact with a rebellion led by Morgan Freeman.
The Place Beyond the Pines (15th April) Ryan Gosling reunites with Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance in this gritty crime drama about a stunt bike rider who turns to crime to provide for his newborn son, but is pursued by a determined cop (Bradley Cooper).
The Evil Dead (19th April)
While the veracity of Spoto’s assertions have been questioned by other ‘Hitchcock blondes’ like Kim Novak and Eve Marie Saint, the film presents an unsettling portrayal of a man increasingly unable to contain his base malevolence. The difference between this and Hitchcock is perhaps most evident in the relationship between Hitchcock and his wife and collaborator Alma Reville. In Hitchcock, many of the best scenes are of Hopkins and Mirren’s domestic sparring, with Mirren’s Alma a far more determined and commanding figure than the portrayal by Imelda Staunton, who suffers more and counters less in The Girl.
A continuation of Sam Raimi’s classic horror series features the familiar tale of friends visiting a cabin in the woods where they stumble upon The Book of the Dead and awaken an evil spirit. From the trailer, it looks suitably gruesome, but we’ll have to wait and see whether it has the original’s laughs.
Hitchcock is ultimately played with more comic brio, with the director as impudent rogue. The Girl is a darker more difficult take on the iconic figure.
The revitalised Matthew McConnaughey, who appears to have shaken off his predilection for feather-brained romantic comedies, features as a fugitive aided by two teenagers as he attempts to reunite with his girlfriend (Reese Witherspoon) and evade capture by police.
Nevertheless, both attempt to draw connections between the man’s psychology and the undertones evident in his films. At best, Hitchcock is presented as a repressed voyeur; at worst, an abusive misogynist. Both diminish the director, but whether they invite a lasting revision of the relationship between the artist and his art remains open for debate l
Pain & Gain (3rd May) Based on a true story, Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson play two Florida bodybuilders who kidnap a wealthy businessman. A promising story with a strong support cast (Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub), although the presence of Michael Bay behind the camera somewhat undermines the confidence.
Mud (10th May)
The Great Gatsby (17th May) Baz Luhrmann applies his hyperkinetic and hyperstylised aesthetic to F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic tale of loss and longing in roaring twenties New York. Luhrmann’s approach may not be to everyone’s liking, but the film boasts a strong cast including Leonardo Di Caprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire. WORK & LIFE: THE MAGAZINE FOR IMPACT MEMBERS 29
Play it loud
Bars about blood. And bars Photo: Gettyimages.ie
RAYMOND CONNOLLY tries to get his head around Irish ballads.
I’VE BEEN looking up ballads and find they’re variously described as narrative poems, often of folk origin, songs of simple stanzas intended to be sung, and ditties that usually have a refrain. Another definition I encountered was a popular song (that’s the entire U2 back catalogue ruled out) especially of a romantic or sentimental nature.” Not Anarchy in the UK, then. But the scope of these definitions could include anything from Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here to Winds of Change by Scorpion. As Basil Fawlty once remarked: “We seem to have both ends of the evolutionary scale in today, Sybill.” In this country the ballad is a slightly different animal. Try sauntering into your local session and belting out Nights in White Satin or dueting The Wild Rose by Kylie and Nick Cave. See where that gets you.
WB Yeats once said that, being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy that sustained him through temporary periods of SUMMER 2013
Yes, it’s usually a toss-up between the fatality count or several jugs of punch, porter or whatever your tincture of choice might be. If Bob Dylan had been Irish, Blowin’ in the Wind might have asked “how many men would have to be maimed, before we can call this a song?”
If Bob Dylan had been Irish, Blowin’ in the Wind might have asked “how many men would have to be maimed, before we can call this a song?”
The ballad in these parts is divisive or ‘Marmite,’ as them across the water would say. After almost a hundred years of rebuilding our esteem and confidence, after several centuries of oppression, the Irish ballad is a most complex legacy.
joy. Sigmund Freud allegedly opined that we were a people “for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever.” A composite of these two statements provides a good indicator of the two foundations of the Irish ballad. Oppression and the gargle.
And purely from a linguistics point of view can anyone explain the meaning of “ring dum da foddle diddle da” or “wack for the toor-ioor-i a.” It’s mad stuff.
Don’t get me wrong folks. I won’t have my patriotism called into question. I’m as proud as anyone of our wonderful sod and would always doff my cap to its proud history. I am particularly chuffed to hail from the east coast, north of Wicklow but south of Meath. But Dublin in the Rare Ould Times, where Pete St John laments the changes that have occurred since most families had not a pot to pass water in? Rare ould times? Do me a favour l
Bored of the sixties
I RECENTLY had occasion to have a drive for a couple of hours of a Sunday lunchtime. I was struck by the number of radio stations that make the assumption that the seventh day was created purely and simply for listeners to enjoy those ‘Classic Gold’ moments. It’s quite institutional. Saturday night – time for your bath. Sunday, one o’clock – time for the sixties and seventies. Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch
Now I’d happily take Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch over One Direction anytime. Even Peter, Paul and Mary at a push. But this Sunday dissemination of 40-50-year-old relics from the Hit Parade is taking things a bit far. Back in the late eighties, the Sunday lunchtime pop slots generally consisted of classic sounds from the same period. Is this when the ‘Classics’ stopped dead? If TV took the same approach we’d all be watching The Big Match at 2.30 and having a right good belly-laugh at the fun spots. This column calls for modernisation.
Five ballsy ballads
Five dire dirges
1. Seven Drunken Nights by The Dubliners (1967) Legends performed this on Top of the Pops. Class.
1. Sometimes When We Touch by Dan Hill (1978) Something’s certainly too much, but it’s not honesty. A lurching favourite, nonetheless.
2. God Only Knows by The Beach Boys (1966) God only knows how good this is. A Pet Sound. 3. She by Elvis Costello (1999) Wonderful interpretation of Charles Aznavour’s classic from the real Elvis. 4
Angie by the Rolling Stones (1973) Jagger wonderfully stretches two syllables into ten and earns himself a rare thumbs-up from Connolly.
The Irish Rover by The Pogues (1987) Ah hell! If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
Summer 2013 solutions
(From page 42.)
5 2 4 8 6 3 1 7 9
9 1 6 2 7 5 8 3 4
8 3 7 1 9 4 2 6 5
6 8 2 5 1 7 4 9 3
7 9 3 4 2 6 5 8 1
1 4 5 3 8 9 7 2 6
3 6 1 7 4 2 9 5 8
2 5 8 9 3 1 6 4 7
Soduko easy solution
4 7 9 6 5 8 3 1 2
7 3 5 1 8 2 4 9 6
8 4 1 3 9 6 2 5 7
9 6 2 5 4 7 8 3 1
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6 2 8 4 1 9 3 7 5
4 5 9 7 3 8 6 1 2
2 1 6 9 7 3 5 4 8
2. The Fields of Athenry by Danny Doyle (1979) Appointed anthem of Celtic and Liverpool FC. As painful as it’s ubiquitous. 3. I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night by various (undated) After seven drunken nights, no doubt. 4. She Moved Through The Fair by various (another genuinely timeless classic) Enough to make you choke on yer folk. 5
3 8 4 2 5 1 7 6 9
5 9 7 8 6 4 1 2 3
Soduko difficult solution
The Lady in Red by Chris De Burgh (1986) The only known song that sounds better as a Shadows instrumental.
Spring 2013 Crossword Solutions
See page 42 for the competition winners from Issue 20.
ACROSS: 1. El Cid 5. Eland 8. Ukelele 9. Steam 10. Roche 11. Molokai 12. Moray 17. Enter 20 Red Hare 21. Crop 22. Elan 23. Open E Mail 24. Chute 27. Morse 30. Gorilla 32. Alter 33. Urban 34. Enfield 35. Relet 36. Ennis DOWN: 1. Epsom 2. Clear 3. Dummy 4. Alto 5. Eerie 6. Ascot 7. Drear 12. Lochinvar 13. Kerry Mail 15. Ostrich 16. Airport 18. Novello 19. Expands 24. Chair 25. Until 26. Egret 27. Maude 28. Robin 29. Ennis 31. Iris WORK & LIFE: THE MAGAZINE FOR IMPACT MEMBERS 31
From the author “Discovering Ireland has a strong sense of place and evokes the naturally rugged drama of Connemara with apparent ease. Her playful novel should prove a charming companion for those who answer the call of The Gathering this year.” Suffice to say, despite the twists and turns, it ends well for both as a couple of hunky Connemara dudes show up in Clifden and… Well, I won’t spoil it for you.
From California to Connemara IRENE LALOR has just written and published her first novel.
Irene had previously been a keen amateur actor and an active member of the Dublin Shakespeare Society. A life-altering experience diverted her into writing. “In 2006, while I was pregnant with my third child, my heart went into super ventricular tachycardia. I was resuscitated in the Mater and three months later it happened again. After my child was born I had an implantable defibrillator inserted. Over the next couple of years I had seven shocks from the device, so I found myself in a long, slow recovery,” she explains. Irene really enjoyed acting, taking on the role of the scheming Goneril in a production of Shakespeare’s King Lear. She figured she had found her true calling. “But after the heart problems and recovery I couldn’t handle any stress, and was in a terrible state for a number of years.”
Contrasts MANY OF us are convinced we have a book in us, but very few people take the plunge and write the book they’ve been carrying around in their head for years. It takes patience, determination, discipline and hard graft to turn that literary aspiration into a reality. Nevertheless, Work & Life magazine has featured a number of published authors from within the ranks of IMPACT’s membership since our first edition in 2008. From history to fiction, to social document, the diversity of our union membership has produced quite a bit of literary talent. And that talent keeps coming. Take for example Irene Lalor. She works as a secretary at Beaumont hospital and has just published her debut novel Discovering Ireland. Not alone has Irene written the book, she’s taken the road less travelled by self-publishing her debut tome.
Hunky Discovering Ireland, which was published in February, is a light-hearted, romantic and transatlantic tale of two Californian girls and their odyssey to Connemara in deepest winter. Set in the present day, Kim and Tizzy have each hit a crossroads in life. Their Christmas road trip through Ireland is the setting where Kim chases promotion and Tizzy chases the man of her dreams, whom she has spotted in an Irish tourism advertisement. 32
“People around me put the idea of writing in my head. My aunt Teresa suggested I try writing as a means of selfexpression. I thought the idea was ridiculous at first. You can’t just go ‘oh, I’ll write a book’. I’d never attempted creative writing, but she had planted a seed and somehow I found myself tinkering around with ideas while the kids were swimming. “Eventually I was coming up with scenes and stories. I spent time researching how to structure a full novel and my husband suggested getting an editor. And I kept going until the book was finished,” she says. Having lived in the USA for four years, Irene hit upon the idea of two American girls travelling to Ireland. “I liked the idea of two contrasting characters, one sensible and one impulsive, each looking out for each other and having an adventure. I wrote it for myself really. It appealed to my sense of playfulness and I could picture the movie in my head.” To Irene’s credit, the book has a strong sense of place and evokes the naturally rugged drama of Connemara with apparent ease. Her playful novel should prove a charming companion for those who answer the call of The Gathering this year. With “one or two” closely guarded ideas already surfacing for her next novel, Irene gives the impression that her restless energy will ensure many stories to come. Interview by Niall Shanahan.
Who is Leela Ghosh? ANOTHER COUNTRY
Anjali Joseph (4th Estate, £8.99 in the UK)
LEELA GHOSH is an educated woman in her early twenties doing what many young women of that age do; living a life that involves work, meeting friends, casual sex, drinking and looking for love. Set in Paris, London and Bombay, this sounds like chick-lit territory. But in this book it really isn’t. The reader sees everything from Leela’s internal perspective and the mood is quite lonely and melancholic.
love life as she is in everything else and can be mean and prickly. Does she love the cinema, have a hobby or play sport? Is she passionate about any issue or cause? We never know, so it’s hard to see what is so lovable about this dull person, still less understand when one lover declares he will never love again as she leaves. The much maligned chick-lit novels often give glorious reality to cities like Paris and London, but here the external is not important. The chapters set in India are illuminating, though, in giving a sense of life there. Another Country was included on the 2012 long list for the Man Asian Literary Prize so it comes with good literary credentials. It will appeal to those who like to read a well-written, thoughtful and contemporary novel.
The main problem though, is that it’s hard to be sympathetic with Leela. We never really get to know or understand her, which is exasperating. She’s well-educated, yet she moves from one casual job in one city to another casual job in another city. All fine but why doesn’t she contemplate a career or a future? She drifts into relationships and moves on, but rarely has any fun. The boyfriends are mad about her, but it isn’t clear why. She’s as vague in her
Bank robber disappoints SUTTON
J R Moehringer (Blue Door, £12.99 in the UK)
JOE MOEHRINGER seems like a nice guy. He’s won a Pulitzer Prize for feature writing and he declined to take credit for co-authoring Andre Agassi’s autobiography. He’s also written a memoir called The Tender Bar, and he takes a nice picture in his Pringle pullover and polo-neck. None of that explains what attracted him to the story of Willie Sutton, bank-robber extraordinaire, jailbreaker, and regular guest on America’s Most Wanted List. Perhaps he thought a story where the banks are victimised by a regular working-class guy, rather than the other way round, might find a willing audience, or perhaps he just thought Willie Sutton was a compelling character. The FBI certainly thought so, regarding him as one of the most dangerous men in New York, even while the public admired him for putting one over on those bloodsucking banks. Legend has it that he never fired a shot or injured anyone, putting him a notch above that nasty Al Capone, or giddy John Dillinger.
Sutton emerged from the Irish-American slums of Brooklyn during the great depression. His father was a blacksmith from Ireland, and his mother kept the family going on $12 a week. Willie was smart at school, but had few options when he reached adulthood. The fast rewards of crime were a honeytrap. And he was good at it. The book opens with a crowd of journalists standing outside New York’s Attica prison on Christmas Eve, 1969. It’s very cold, and they’ve been waiting for hours to see the product of a surprise parole announcement, one Willie Sutton. Sutton is whisked away to meet a reporter who, in return for an exclusive, takes Willie on a tour of New York stopping at all his old haunts. What follows is a mix of real-time narrative and flash-backs, where we get to meet Willie in his home, with his friends, with his girlfriend; the usual stuff. Unfortunately, it’s an uncomfortable mix and neither era feels authentic. Whether bemoaning the dress code of the 1960s (“when did everyone stop getting haircuts?”) or spouting succinct robber-ninja stuff (“crooks root for each other”) it reads like strangers making small talk at a party. What does resonate is the piece published by the New York Post at the time of Sutton’s release, which states: “There are some of us today, looking at the mortgage interest rates, who feel that it is the banks that are sticking us up.” Were he here, Willie would surely agree. Margaret Hannigan
more reviews on page 34 ‰
WORK & LIFE: THE MAGAZINE FOR IMPACT MEMBERS 33
More book reviews
Crime character satisfies CLOSE TO THE BONE MURDER, CRIME and stories involving police procedures all have an enduring popularity and many fans love to find a detective they can follow over the course of a few books. This is the seventh novel about detective inspector Logan McCrae of the Grampian police. It starts with the horrific murder of an unknown male whose badly burned body is found in an area used by local criminals. It appears to have all the hall-marks of a gangland execution and Logan’s investigation quickly leads him to a suspect who’s also involved in a jewellery robbery. But something’s not quite right. Meanwhile there are two missing teenagers. While Logan thinks that the 18-year-olds could have run away together, the negative publicity means he must act in this case as well. The plot thickens gradually and, when another body turns up, it begins to look as though
Stuart Macbride (Harper Collins, £16.99 in the UK) something more sinister than gangland feuding is going on. And might there be some connection between a film being made locally and the murders? Logan McCrae is a well-written character. He has to be tough to do his job, but he avoids the cliché of the hard-drinking, burnt-out cop. He is flawed in the way that normal people are flawed and has to deal with paperwork building up and keeping his superiors happy, as well as finding time to solve the cases. While this book is formulaic and unlikely to win many prizes for literature, it is satisfyingly layered and pacy. It is unflinching in its depiction of the ugliness of violence and the reality of the workplace, but there is an underlying humour running through the dialogue, making it an easier read than you might expect. Kathryn Smith
Judge this book by its cover THE TRAP THERE’S A banging tune by a Monaghan band called The Stripes called You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover (second line: “I look like a farmer, but baby I’m a lover”). Unfortunately, it’s very often just not the case. Look around any bookshop – if you can manage to find one that’s still open – and see how much we intuit from the cover. Chick-lit is generally presented in pastels with bright graphics and cartoon girly figures. Crime thrillers use darker colours, shadows and moody photos. And so on. The cover of this book has a dark background with a picture of a young woman’s face. She looks alert and defensive. We can tell by her hair and make up she’s not an academic or an aristocrat. In fact she looks like she’d be quite happy drinking Bacardis in the pub we can see in the background. She’s a working class bird in a bit of a strop, which is a clue to the kind of story we can expect. Fair enough. What ruins it for me is the endorsement : “Easily as good as Martina Cole” says the
Kimberley Chambers (Harper, £6.99 in the UK) News of The World. That’s right reader, the News of The World, closed last year in a mire of shame and disgrace following the phone-hacking scandals that rocked Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. Somebody at the publisher’s office slipped up a bit. The book itself is exactly what I expected. A hybrid of East Enders meets Love/Hate, but without the snappy dialogue and great characters. It opens with Donald and Mary Walker and their kids arriving in Whitechapel to open a little café. Unfortunately for them, they’ve bought into an area controlled by the Butler family. Inevitably the two families collide, there is violence, mayhem, unprotected sex (well, it is the sixties) and quite a lot of swearing. Through it all, the underlying messages that (a) blood is thicker than water and (b) family is everything, flow with the force and breadth of the Amazon. It’s a well-plotted course, and unlike the real Amazon, holds no surprises at all. Margaret Hannigan
Seán Redmond IT WAS with great sadness that we heard of Seán Redmond’s death last December. Seán was known to many within IMPACT as the former national secretary of the union’s Municipal Employees’ Division. Prior to that he had worked with the Local Government and Public Services Union and the Irish Municipal Employees’ Trade Union, which he led into a merger with IMPACT in 1991.
Seán returned to Ireland to work initially with the Local Government and Public Services Union and later the Irish Municipal Employees’ Trade Union, now both part of IMPACT. On the creation of IMPACT Seán was appointed as National Secretary for the Municipal Employees’ Division, a post he retained until his retirement in 2001. In the 1980s Seán was a founder member of the influential Trade Unionists for Irish Unity and Independence, which contributed to the ‘greening’ of the Clinton White House and the subsequent peace process. Seán found time to play a role in the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, the Irish AntiApartheid Movement, and the Irish Labour History Society.
Seán was born into a radical north-Dublin family. His grandfather Jack was the first president of what became the ETTU following negotiations with Countess Markievicz. His father John James (known as Seán) was an IRA, Communist Party and Republican Congress member. The family moved to London’s Tufnell Park in the 1950s where Seán joined the Communist Party (he later joined the Irish Labour Party) and became active in the Connolly Association. At this time the Association was organising long distance marches around England to publicise the treatment of Republican prisoners, and campaigning in the British Labour movement for Irish unification.
His love of history led him to write extensively on subjects ranging from trade union history to the United Irishmen. Many younger IMPACT members will have met Seán when, after his retirement, he staffed the Irish Labour History Society stand at union conferences.
By the early 1960s Seán had become the Association’s general secretary. He was successful in developing a commitment to civil rights from trade union and Labour Party branches and MPs. This pressure, in parallel with developments in the North, helped make serious change inevitable.
Seán’s life – his honesty, integrity and commitment – was an inspiration to us all. Faced with a state execution, the American trade unionist Joe Hill said: “Don’t mourn: Organise!” Seán would have agreed, but he would also want us to leave time for fun, friends, family and football. He lived life to the full and left the world a better place l
WORK & LIFE: THE MAGAZINE FOR IMPACT MEMBERS 35
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Get your house in order IVAN AHERN explains the local property tax. BY NOW you should have received correspondence from Revenue outlining details of the local property tax (LPT) which comes into effect from 1st July 2013. The tax is payable for the second half of 2013 only, and for a full year thereafter.
Revenue’s valuation bands, which start from €0-€100,000 and increase by bands of €50,000 up to €1 million. You are then taxable on the mid-point of that valuation band.
The LPT is payable on the market value of residential properties where commercial rates are not payable. It’s payable by both owner occupiers and landlords and will be administered by Revenue.
Valuation of your property is € 220,000
Your property falls within the €200,000-250,000 band
You’re taxed on the mid-point of that band – €225,000
This is a self-assessed tax, which means you will be responsible for calculating and paying your own tax liability, based on Revenue guidelines.
Therefore, the tax payable is €225,000 x 0.18% or €405 a year (€202 for 2013).
What do I have to do? If you are the liable person in respect of the property, you are responsible for completing and submitting the return and paying the tax due. To complete your Return, follow these four steps: 1. Decide the current market value of your property 2. Identify the valuation band and calculate the LPT due 3. Select your preferred payment option or check to see if you qualify for a deferral or exemption 4. Submit the completed return. You are still required to submit a return if Revenue haven’t sent you correspondence regarding the property for which you are the liable person.
Valuation The value is based on the market value of your property on the 1st May 2013. This valuation covers your property value for the years 2013–2016. Revenue will issue you with an estimated value of your property based on age, size and location. This is provided as a guide only and you may seek an independent valuation or consult the register of residential property sales on www.propertypriceregister.ie for further guidance.
Rate The rate of the LPT is 0.18% for properties valued at less than €1 million. A rate of 0.25% is payable on any property valued at over €1 million. The amount payable is set out in
This is best explained by an example:
Filing and payment If you are filing your LPT by mail, you must file by 7th May 2013. Paper filing is only available to people who own no more than one property and who are not already registered to file for tax online. The deadline is 28th May 2013 if you file online. Payment is due from 1st July 2013. Revenue will accept full payment through various payment methods. You can also make payments by instalments through salary deductions or direct debit.
Exemptions Properties exempt from LPT include: l
Properties bought after January 2013
Properties for some first-time buyers
Properties constructed and owned by a builder or developer that remain unsold, if they’ve not yet been used as a residence
Properties in some unfinished housing estates
Properties that are certified as having a significant level of pyrite damage
Registered nursing homes.
Get more information from www.revenue.ie. Ivan Ahern is a director of Cornmarket Group Financial Services. This information is intended only as a general guide and has no legal standing. Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. A member of the Irish Life Group Ltd. l
Ivan Ahern is a director of Cornmarket. *Savings based on price comparisons from the Health Insurance Authority effective from 01/12/12. We cannot be held responsible for the content contained on the websites listed in this article. This information is intended only as a general guide and has no legal standing. Cornmarket Group Financial Services Ltd. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. A member of the Irish Life Group Ltd. Telephone calls may be recorded for quality control and training purposes. WORK & LIFE: THE MAGAZINE FOR IMPACT MEMBERS 39
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HOW TO PLAY: Fill in the grid so that every row, column and 3x3 box contains the digits 1–9. There is no maths involved. You solve it with reasoning and logic. 5
Prize quiz Just answer five easy questions and you could win €50. YOU COULD add €50 to your wallet or purse by answering five easy questions and sending your entry, name and address to Roisin Nolan, Work & Life prize quiz, IMPACT, Nerney’s Court, Dublin 1. Send your entry by Friday 7th June 2013. We’ll send €50 to the first completed entry pulled from the hat.* You’ll find the answers in this issue of Work & Life. Horse meat has been discovered A At the bottom of a film director’s bed B In Simon Coveney’s freezer C In so-called beef products.
Jack McCaffery plays: A Traditional ballads B Hurling for Kilkenny C Football for Dublin. Charles Aznavour’s She was also a hit for: A Elvis Presley B Elvis Costello C Abbott and Costello. Hitchcock’s Psycho followed which film? A North by Northwest B Nightmare on Elm Street C Vertigo. The small print* You must be a paid-up IMPACT member to win. Only one entry per person (multiple entries will not be considered). Entries must reach us by Friday 7th June 2013. The editor’s decision is final. That’s it! 42 42
PRIZE CROSSWORD ACROSS 5. 6. 9. 11. 13. 16. 17. 18. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.
5 Throw the time piece to leave Nearly urban bar Sound entranced Potless point enter Nearly ooze news 11 The same 16 clothing Nearly feline pile Some teaching of pain 18 19 Stinking writing 21 material That man heard a little Sense of his 24 jewellery Catch equipment Postition of admin. Extra be less responsible
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Crossword composed by Mary Scott
How many are there in a coastguard helicopter rescue crew? A Six B Eight C Ten.
Either Irish gold Western slice of border Give equipment to old man Eastern small corner Again names quitter Almost grateful for water Golden vegetable Minus I head cook Check some despair
Win €50 by completing the crossword and sending your entry, name and address to Roisin Nolan, Work & Life crossword, IMPACT, Nerney’s Court, Dublin 1, by Friday 7th June 2013. We’ll send €50 to the first correct entry pulled from a hat.
The winners from competitions in the spring issue were:
Crossword: Eugene Boyle, Dr Steevens Hospital. Book competition: Rose Sargent, Kildare, Mary Heery, Westmeath, Frank Sheridan, Kerry. Quiz: Mary Prior, Cavan. Survey: Noeleen Donohoe, Cavan.
Lots more competitions to enter in this issue!
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How do you like Work & Life? WE HOPE you enjoyed this issue of Work & Life, the magazine for IMPACT members. We want to hear your views, and we’re offering a €100 prize to one lucky winner who completes this questionnaire.
Simply complete this short survey and send it to Roisin Nolan, Work & Life survey, IMPACT, Nerney’s Court, Dublin 1. You can also send your views by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll send €100 to the first completed entry pulled from a hat.*
4. What were your least favourite articles? 1 __________________________________________________ 2 __________________________________________________
1. What did you think of the articles in the summer 2013 issue of Work & Life?
3 __________________________________________________ 5. What subjects would you like to see in future issues of Work & Life?
6. What did you think of the balance between union news and other articles?
The balance is about right
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2. What did you think of the layout, style and pictures in the summer 2013 issue of Work & Life? Excellent
7. Any other comments? ______________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________
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IMPACT branch ______________________________________
The small print* You must be a paid-up IMPACT member to win. Only one entry per person (multiple entries will not be considered). Entries must reach us by Friday 7th June 2013. The editor’s decision is final. That’s it! WORK & LIFE: THE MAGAZINE FOR IMPACT MEMBERS 43