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APRIL / MAY 2010

NewsFour Free Community Newspaper serving Sandymount, Irishtown, Ringsend, Docklands, Ballsbridge and Donnybrook Web: • E-mail: • Local Newsdesk: Phone 6673317


THE PAPER YOU NEED TO READ! Glenda reminds us that the highly popular Bealtaine festival for over-55s is returning in May. See page 8

Noel Twamley relives his youth watching films such as ‘Rear Window’ in the Stella Cinema, Rathmines on page 10


ith the new Grand Canal Theatre, pictured above, up and running and other building work around in the last phases of construction, the new look Grand Canal Square is finally taking shape. While retaining some of the industrial her-

itage of the area, the new square looks like no other part of Dublin and would not look out of place in Berlin, Madrid or Milan. Despite the slump, tenants have been found for most of the shops and the apartments are selling well. Is this our first look at post-recession Ireland?

Irishtown Special Olympics Club celebrated their 21st Anniversary last Friday. Good luck in the National Games in Limerick this summer, folks. Pictured Left to Right: Liz Callery, Bernie Nolan, Carmel Malone and Frances Kavanagh.

A not-so-young Carl Jung, right. Nessa explores the great man’s theories on dreams on page 21

Can Niamh Kavanagh, who won Eurovision in 1993, ‘do a Johnny Logan’ and win again? See article on page 39

Left to right, rear: Millie Hawkins, Katie Chesher, Megan McEneany and Lauren Brooke. Front: Emma Byrne and Georgia Byrne. The girls were pictured at the Family Fun Day. See pages 32–33.


NewsFour Managing Editor Christopher Sweeney Advertising Manager Grainne McGuinness Staff Harry Cavendish Nessa Jennings Louise Hanrahan Glenda Cimino John Fitzgerald Paula Young Jason McDonnell Contributors George Humphries Noel Twamley Therese O’Toole Jennifer Betts Teresa Rooney Christy Hogan Deborah Kavanagh Anthony Brabazon Grainne McGuinness Regina Fitzpatrick Donna Walsh John Crowley Sharon Geraghty




The Editor’s Corner

ello again folks, welcome to the latest issue. Believe it or not, I have been doing this for almost a year now! It feels more like six weeks, time flies when you donʼt know what youʼre doing. Just to let people know again, we have moved from 15 Fitzwilliam Street to over HQ Dry Cleaners at 7 Bridge Street, Ringsend. The entrance to the new premises is straight across the street from the old one. We are still getting post at the old address so I have provided photos below for any readers who have had trouble finding us. We are now well settled in the new office but

Swimming in Sportsco

we will be out of action for a few days next week while we get some new stairs. Anyone who has seen the present spiral staircase to our office will understand why this had to be done. If you need to get in touch for extra issues etc while the building work is going on just call me on 087 9115217. Thanks again for your continued support and enjoy the sunny weather– if it lasts.

We have a Swimming Session Every Sunday Morning from 11am to 1pm in Sportsco. Price: €35 per 3 Month Session or €5 for one Swim. Children under 3 years are FREE! This Swimming Session is open to any one who wants to join. It is not just confined to people living in the Sth. Lotts Rd. area. For further Info just call over any Sunday between 11am & 1pm.


Ask for Mary or Billy.



Web Designer Andrew Thorn Photography John Cheevers Design, Typesetting, Layout Eugene Carolan Community Services, 7 Bridge Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4. Telephone: (01)6673317 E-mail: Website: NewsFour Newspaper is part of a FÁS Community Employment Programme. Opinions expressed in News Four do not necessarily represent the views of Community Services.

Ringsend Active Retirement Association

Retired with time on your hands? Why not visit us at the CM&WSI in Ringsend any Tuesday to Friday from 2.30 pm New members (men and women) always welcome PLEASE NOTE OUR NEW ADDRESS: NewsFour, Upper floor, 7 Bridge Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4 Phone: 6673317 • Email: Visit our website at:




PIRATE WHISPERER ’ By John Fitzgerald


ollywood star Samuel L Jackson has recently bought the film rights for the story of a soon -tobe-famous Kenyan named Andrew Mwangura, pictured left. A former seaman, 47 year old Mwangura runs a non-profit o rg a n i s a tion called The East Afric a n S e a f a r e r ʼs A s s i s t a n c e Program and has become a key player in the solving and detection of hijacking cases in the Indian O c e a n o ff S o m a l i a ʼs e a s t ern coast. When a ship is captured by pirates, Mwangura is called in as a go-between and negotiator between the pirates and the shipo w n e r s a n d c r e w. N i c k named ʻThe Pirate Whisperer ʼ a Hollywood movie

is to be made to share his story with the world. Mwangura believes the ʻpiracyʼ on these waters has gone on for years with many foreign vessels taking advantage of Somal i a ʼs c h a o t i c a n d l a w l e s s waters. Ships, many flying under flags of convenience, are engaged in illegal dumping of toxic and chemical waste, industrial-scale fishing without licence and smuggling of arms, drugs and illegallymined resources. L a s t y e a r, a U k r a i n ian-registered vessel was hijacked; on board were 33 Soviet-era tanks destined for Southern Sudan. Paperwork claimed they were for the Kenyan milit a r y. A fearless Mwangura reported the case and was quickly arrested by the Kenyan Government, who held him for nine days w i t h o u t c h a rg e . More than 22,000 ships navigate through the Gulf o f A d e n e a c h y e a r, m a k i n g i t o n e o f t h e w o r l d ʼs

busiest routes. This means it is almost impossible to police. As a coalition of naval vessels from several countries try to keep the shipping lanes up and running, the pirates have become more daring and acquired bigger and faster boats. They now venture more than 1,000 kilometres from their bases on the Somalian coast. Mwangura is the one brave man who dedicates his time to negotiating the release of the innocent sailors caught up in the p o w e r p l a y b e t w e e n c o rrupt shipping companies, b e n t g o v e r n m e n t o ff i c i a l s and ʻpiratesʼ, who justify t h e i r a c t i o n b y t h e c o rrupt practices that have plagued this coast for over a decade. Mwangura says he has never had the pleasure of seeing a Samuel L Jackson movie but hopes the film will raise awareness o f t h e ʻ f o rg o t t e n p e o p l e ʼ – the seafarers who keep the legal ocean trade alive.






nne Le Marquand Hartigan, pictured right, is a true ʻRenaissance womanʼ– artist, playwright, actor, poet and activist on behalf of women. She has published six collections of poetry: ʻLong Tongueʼ, ʻReturn Singleʼ, ʻNow is a Moveable Feastʼ, ʻNourishmentʼ, ʻImmortal Sinsʼ, and ʻTo Keep the Light Burningʼ. The next one coming out will be ʻThe Good Wineʼ. She also has written one book of prose and about six plays. Anne wrote poetry at the age of eight, but early on wanted to be an actor. Her father was a Jersey pagan, and her mother Irish Catholic– “a good mixture”, Anne reflects. One of the first poets that influenced her was T.S. Eliot. The Oxford and Cambridge-educated nuns who also taught her Chaucer and Shakespeare, brought ʻThe Wastelandʼ into the classroom shortly after it was written. Then the big person was Sylvia Plath. Now she is also fond of Auden, Dickinson, Frost, and Horace. The students learned poetry by heart. Later Anne went to art school at Reading University, and was painting and exhibiting. She met her husband-to-be when still at school, and he was just going into the army. She married at 22, then had five children in six and a half years,

which took a lot of energy. She kept on painting and exhibited in Reading and London, but it was difficult. In the early 1960s they, with their five children, rented her motherʼs family farm in Co. Louth, not knowing how they were going to make any money. They farmed it, arable, dry-stock, and sheep. Anne began to write here in Ireland because she was so cut off from her painting roots– England was more into the modern movement at the time– and in Ireland there was more affirmation for writing, though not much for women. Anne turned her hand to writing when she saw one of her own paintings being used to block a hole in a trailer on the farm. In the 1970s she abdicated from ironing and much of the family cooking, deciding the now-six children were all big enough to do it themselves, thereby allowing herself a bit more time for her own work, to link in with an artistic world that she knew was out there somewhere. She published quite a few poems in papers and magazines, including having a poem published in ʻThe Irish Timesʼ in 1975, and then winning the Listowel Writerʼs Week Open Poetry award in 1978. Later the family moved to Newbridge Avenue in Sandymount, from the 70s until the mid-80s, and enjoyed the neighbourhood very much. For a while they lived partly in the town and partly on the farm. Her children were in university and

her husband was changing careers. All of Anneʼs children show talent in the arts, and one is working on a novel. One of her grandchildren, Florence, produced one of Anneʼs plays at university in New Zealand. Anne has three new books in progress at the moment. As an artist, she not only writes but does breathtakingly beautiful covers. She feels that books belong to the time you write them in. ʻNow is a Moveable Feastʼ has a special place because that was an attempt to find out about her own family. It was recorded and broadcast by RTE radio (produced by David Warner) some years ago with music by Eibhlis Farrell. She and a friend are now turning it into a stage production. She had plays produced

in the Dublin Theatre Festival, and acted in her play ʻJersey Liliesʼ in the Sam Beckett Centre. I asked Anne how she goes about writing poetry. “Getting a line is the best way. If you are given a line, you have to go with it. Otherwise it is taken away from you. Thatʼs why people believe in the muse. Lately those lines come less, and I have been practicing the discipline of writing a poem every day. I just sit and do it.” As for advice to writers starting out? “Take your work seriously and get on with it. And never be put off by refusals, because you will get them. I like Margaret Drabbleʼs advice– finish it.” “Writing for me is the way I make sense of life, and my way of finding out what is going on in

mine and other peopleʼs lives, and I love the music of words. Prose also can and should be musical, but seldom is. I am attracted to poetry because it is a song, and probably the best thing you can do in this life is sing a song. It gives me joy.” Anneʼs work covers a wide variety of themes: birth, death, the pleasures and trials of love, grief, loss, menopause. Anneʼs work has been praised as ʻa treat for the sensesʼ and essential nourishment for the soul. Poet Catherine Byron says of Anneʼs poetry, “Her rhythms spring from the page, re-inventing themselves with echoes of chants and prayers and charms. These poems reinvent and rewrite the erotic before our eyes, and ʻrinse and wring the earʼ with their sure emotional intelligence and compassion.” Her plays are ʻBedsʼ (1982); ʻLa Corbiereʼ (1989); ʻJersey Liliesʼ (1996); ʻThe Secret Gameʼ (1995); ʻIn Other Worldsʼ (2003). She has had several plays performed professionally, and in 1996 ʻThe Secret Gameʼ won the Irish section of the Mobil International Playwrights competition. Her play ʻLa Corbiereʼ is published in the collection ʻSeen and Heardʼ (Carysfort Press). She has had short stories and poems published in many anthologies in America, Britain and Ireland, and has given poetry readings and workshops in the United States, UK, New Zealand, Hungary, Romania and Ireland. She is also working on turning ʻLa Corbiereʼ into an opera with the composer Grainne Mulvey. Anne is a founder member of UCD Womenʼs Studies Forum and is an active campaigner on womenʼs rights issues. Her website is


Thorncastle Street, Ringsend. Phone 6680977

‘For a Quiet Pint in comfortable surroundings and a friendly atmosphere’

Pictured at the Daffodil Day event in Cambridge Court, Ringsend are, from left: Peg Gregg, Maureen Barry, Liz Nealon, Liz Gannon and Mary OʼToole.





A home defect and improvement column by Anthony Brabazon Q. Is there a limit to the size of an extension I can build at the back of my house? HMH: Yes. 40 square metres (about 430 square feet) but there are certain limitations you also need to be aware of. Any earlier (post-1963 extension) is taken out of this area. The area is an internal wall measurement but if a section of back wall becomes ʻinternalʼ itʼs

area also needs to be included. The extension must be single storey except for 12 square metres which can be upstairs in a terraced or semi-detached house or 20 square metres for a detached house. This upstairs extension also needs to be at least two metres from the site boundary. There are other restrictions on upper storey windows. Remember that if your house is a protected structure the above rules may not be assumed as the ʻcharacterʼ of the house needs to be considered carefully. Q. I live in a cottage which is freezing in the winter. I put in double glazed windows ten years ago so what else can I do? HMH: The most cost effective and simple insulation to install would be in the attic. If you have access to the roof space you could add to your insulation by rolling out more fiberglass, hemp or sheepswool. Bear in mind that new houses

have 12 inches insulation depth while, in my experience, older houses at best have two to four inches and often none. If the cottage has sloped ceilings it would be worth taking them down to get the insulation on the slope but donʼt rush at this without independent advice. Wall insulation is next and if your walls have cavities (many 1960s houses do) you can get insulation pumped into them for little over €1,000. If walls are solid then either internal dry lin-

ing or external insulation can be considered. If the house is empty during a typical day I would favour dry lining as the house heats up quicker when you get home from a winter dayʼs work! Need a visit? Contact Help My House for a fixed fee of €150. Ring Anthony Brabazon 668 3519 or visit on the web. Questions for this column can be sent to





By Jason McDonnell


itchie Saunders has been involved with Irish shipping and engineering for a long time. He worked on the pilot boats in Dublin Port for most of his life and has had a lifelong interest in all things maritime. Ritchie is currently restoring one of the old Dublin ferry boats that operated on the river before the East Link Bridge was opened. The boats were built in the same dockyard where he is restoring the ferry. The particular boat he is working on is the number 11 ferry, one of five built from steel in the 1960s. Apart from one other boat, now converted to a pleasure cruiser on the Shannon, this is the last remaining example of these boats.

When Ritchie got the boat more than three years ago it was in an awful state, covered with dirt and rotten with rust. Getting it back in the water looked a tall order. But Ritchie, along with his wife, his two sons, Barry and Stephen and Lithuanian boating enthusiast Ernie have worked diligently for three years; chipping, welding and painting, to get the boat back in mint condition. Ritchieʼs boat is the old number 11 ferry with a wheelhouse cabin salvaged from the number 9 boat. After removing all the rust and fitting the wheelhouse, the craft was given 10 coats of paint. It looks better now than the day it was built and Ritchie hopes to have it back in the water by May this year. The 35-foot long boat has a lot of sentimental value for Ritchie as he briefly captained

An Post


• Pension payments • Social welfare • Pay all your bills • Postage • Western Union money transfers • Investments • Postbank • Savings • Mailminder

• Redirection of Post • One4all gift cards and vouchers • Postal orders • Prize Bonds • Phone top up • Passport express • Business deposits • AND MORE

OPEN MONDAY TO SATURDAY MON-FRI 9.OO-1.00, 2.15-5.30. SATURDAY 9.00 TO 1.00 Located at the bus stop, just beside the shops, supermarket and bank. New range of stationery, greeting cards and gifts coming October 1st.


one of the Ferries himself in the 1960s. He got the job after one of the wooden ferries was broken in two by a cattle boat, the ʻSlieve Bawnʼ. Luckily there were no fatalities as a nearby pilot boat was able to rescue the two people on board. In their heyday, the ferries carried around five hundred people a day, mostly dockers on their way to and from work. Ritchie now hopes to get it back to being a working boat once it passes all the tests. He has a mooring for it in Dublin bay near St Patrickʼs Rowing Club. He would love to keep it on the Liffey and is looking forward to doing a bit of fishing in it. But he wouldnʼt mind the idea of seeing it going into a maritime museum some day. Ritchie would also like to thank all the lads on the Dublin Dry Dock for all their help

and advice on the mammoth job of renovation. Also Ciaran Callan, Captain Dave Dignam, Seamus Fitzpatrick and Seamus McLoughlin from Dublin Port and Docks who kindly provided a workspace and a shed for storing tools over the three years of work. We look forward to seeing the



hen the old Village News post office and sweet shop closed down six years ago, Sandymount was left facing a future without a post office in the village. In stepped John MacAlinden (pictured left) and we now have a vital piece of infrastructure for the long-term future of the village. Effectively, John is happy to be here feeling, that the post office contributes to the life

of the village and the needs of people living in it and its surrounds. He says, “we value, and appreciate the support of people who bring their business to the post office,” and that it is the communityʼs goodwill that ensures the post office in Sandymount will remain open. Among the services provided is the paying of bills, the provision of pension services, Passport Express, Western Union money transfers, gift vouchers and a huge volume in bonds and certificates, as well as the

number 11 ferry back in the water. Above: The number 9 and number 11 ferries at the East Link Bridge on their final day of service. Below: Ritchie at the wheelhouse of the newly-restored ʻnumber 11ʼ ferry.

FOR SERVICE comprehensive provision of postal services. With all that in mind, John asks that anything people can do by way of bringing their business to the local post office is a positive for the village and he asks that people please do support their local post office. He would also like to thank the people of Irishtown and Ringsend, who brought their business to him following the loss of their post office in Ringsend. Just think what life is like without a post office in your locality.





By Grainne McGuinness


n these challenging times its great to see a family-run hotel doing well and Mount Herbert has gone from strength to strength over the years. George and Rosemary Loughran founded the Hotel back in 1955, and began with just the one fourbedroom house on Herbert Road near Lansdowne Stadium. Nowadays, after various expansions, the hotel consists of eight semi-detached houses which are

interconnected, giving the hotel a massive 168 bedrooms and parking facilities for 100 cars. The hotel is situated on the site of the old Haigʼs Distillery which stood from 1769 to 1860, occupying 21 acres along the riverbank. The Dodder supplied power to the distillery through a sluice wheel. The distillery was founded by Robert Haig, Laird of Bemersyde, the first distiller of the famous Scotch whiskey. There is a certain irony about this as the hotel didnʼt get a full bar licence until 1998. The houses along Herbert Road were built in 1886 using bricks from the old distillery. The second and third generations of the Loughran family are carrying on the tradition these days as John and his son Gerard are at the helm now. John remembers when the hotel was just one house and he would have to clear out and stay with relatives during the summer season. We were recently given a tour

of the hotel by John and PRO Lynsey Willis. I was impressed by the tastefully decorated bedrooms and well equipped conference halls– nine in all. According to John, Mount Herbert has always prided itself on providing a family atmosphere, something which might appeal to our overseas readers if they are thinking of visiting Dublin. The newly-refurbished Tritonville Bar is very welcoming,

with a sunny terrace overlooking the hotelʼs ample gardens– ideal for smokers and/ or sun lovers. They have recently employed a new food and beverage manager and the new emphasis is on quality, classic Irish fare at reasonable prices. Highly recommended and well worth a visit. Left: The Mount Herbert Hotel circa 1960. Above: John Loughran and his son Gerard.







ealtaine, an Ireland-wide festival, is the worldʼs leading festival celebrating creativity in older age. It runs from 1- 31 May. The theme for this yearʼs Bealtaine, ʻHave dreams and speak them without fearʼ, comes from the poem, ʻWhat Do Men Want?ʼ by the award-winning US poet and novelist Anthony S. Abbott :

COLETTE’S ALTERATIONS Ladies, Gents and Childrens express alterations and repairs (Hems, Zips. etc.) Tailoring Re-lining (Jackets, Coats, Trousers, etc)

Servicing the area for 25 years Call in to see us anytime (Laneway beside Borza’s chip shop)

3A Sandymount Green, Dublin 4 Phone: 087 6183319

What do men want? I donʼt know. The right to grieve and not be mocked, to touch and be touched, to walk beyond the porch steps of the soul, to have dreams and speak them without fear To lie under the willow tree of love, To seek truth in whispers not in shouts. Last year, over 57,000 people over 55 took part in over 2,000 Bealtaine events all across Ireland: concerts, dancing, singing, art classes, drama workshops and plays, tours, lectures and literary events. Bealtaine is a chance to socialise, to be entertained, to debate and connect across the generations, as well as for self-expression. The full programme can be found at There are many different local organisers and events to suit all tastes. Highlights include Age and Opportunity supported projects like ʻDawn Chorusʼ, ʻBlow the Dust…ʼ, ʻInkʼ, ʻIn Stitchesʼ, ʻICA at the National Libraryʼ and ʻProject Brand New Generationʼ– consult the programme for the details. This will be Bealtaineʼs 15th year and the festival has had a profound and highly visible impact on arts practice in Ireland at local, regional and national level over this period. Here are some of the events included: The Abbey Theatre has a Matinee Club for low-price tickets to matinees and members meet writers, directors or cast after the show. Or you can come to ʻMeet the Makersʼ and join dancer Jean Butler and choreographer Tere OʼConnor for a discussion of their new work, ʻDAYʼ (booking essential). ʻTalking Textʼ voice work-

shops with Andrea Ainsworth, using text from ʻMacbethʼ. There are also ʻAssisted Performancesʼ, which feature sign language interpreted, audio described and captioned performances and two dedicated wheelchair spaces in the auditorium. TEL Box Office 01 878 7222 Access. The Irish Film Institute, IFI, in The Studio Building, Meeting House Sq., Dublin 2 has a Nationwide film tour of ʻDean Spanleyʼ sponsored by Seven Seas. Tel: 01 679 4420. They also have a monthly film programme for over 55s, ʻWild Strawberriesʼ, where four euros will get you a film and a cup of coffee before the 11 am show the last Wednesday and Friday of each month. CoisCéim Dance Theatre 14 Sackville Place, Dublin 1 is offering ʻDance Ariasʼ, free dance classes (not too strenuous) in seven centres, followed by a free public performance in the Mansion House. In partnership with Dublin City Council Arts, Sports and Leisure and Community Development. Tel: Philippa Donnellan 01 878 0558. Dublin City Council Arts Office, The Lab, Foley Street, Dublin 1. City-wide dance project with CoisCéim; workshops in various art forms; exhibitions; free concerts; song-writing project; theatre; artist talks; tea dance; film screenings. National Drawing Day workshops. Tel: Ann Marie Lyons 01

222 7305. Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane Parnell Square North, Dublin 1. ʻPerformance, Poetry and Portraits at the Hugh Laneʼ; Macushla Dance Company perform ʻTipping Pointʼ; Bealtaine Writers Group respond to portrait collection and will read for children; interactive tour; poetry workshop; lunchtime talks; conservation tour; ʻChris Morris– Observing in Silenceʼ. Tel: Katy Fitzpatrick at 01 222 5553 Dublin Dance Festival, 26 South Frederick Street, Dublin 2. ʻRoS Indexicalʼ and ʻSpiraling Downʼ, two works by choreographer Yvonne Rainer; ʻSwimming with my Motherʼ by David Bolger and ʻA Corpo Liberoʼ by Silvia Gribaudi; ʻYoung People, Old Voicesʼ by Raimund Hoghe. Many works explore questions around age and youth. An additional strand takes into account the inclusivity of contemporary dance– body types and abilities as well as chronological age. A symposium will be held to stimulate debate and fresh perspectives (pre-registration required). Tel: Box Office 01 672 8815 For brochure. So, go out and enjoy if you are 55 or older. If not– get your parents to try something out. Left: Jean Butler. Below: Esme Lewis and the late Geoff Cox in ʻBlack Swansʼ at the Abbey Theatre. Photo by Ros Kavanagh.



The Letterbox

Dear Christopher What a lovely surprise, l got to see my NewsFour on my return from my week in Queensland. l just had my 80th birthday in February– a great night with my 10 children, 23 grandchildren and lots of my Dublin and Cork friends; one hundred people in all were there. I still get homesick for my Raytown when l read NewsFour. My children all want me to go home once more, maybe even to meet the staff of this great paper. Looking at the photo on page four of the last issue, l knew Bernard Flood and all his family. The picture of Bolandʼs Mill was fantastic. I passed it for 10 years twice a day on my way home from Arnottʼs. Before l got to the bridge l had to pass the Bottle House where all the lads used to sit outside on the footpath eating their lunch– a lot of wolf whistles went on as the girls passed by (good auld days). Again, thank you for the beautiful memories. Mrs J Lynch nee Josie Campbell Victoria, Australia

Growing Up In Irishtown I was born in Stella Gardens in 1921. My parents were Matthew (Sailor) Doyle from Bath Street, and Annie Doyle (Nee Smyth) from Shamrock Avenue, long since gone and now the Square. Shamrock Avenue gave its name to the famous Shamrock Rovers as some of the founder members lived there. My oldest memory is when our houses were flooded when the Dodder burst its banks at Fitwilliam Quay, this would have been in 1926 or ʻ27. As our part of Irishtown was then in Sandymount, I attended Star of the Sea School until 1935. In 1932, for the Eucharistic Congress, we were lined up along the Merrion Road (see photo above) to greet the Papal Legate as he travelled by coach from Dun Laoghaire into the city. A few days later we attended the Childrensʼ Mass in the Phoenix Park and there were children from all over the country there. After leav-

E XAM By Donna Walsh


ore than 10% of students suffer from migraine– a debilitating, neurological condition that can last up to three days. As exam season approaches, stress– the most common trigger factor– can bring about increased attacks in sufferers. “Students with migraine should be aware that special arrangements can be made to facilitate them dur-

ing school in 1935, I went to serve my time as an Iron Moulder at the foundry in Windmill Lane. Long gone of course, as are all the other foundries in Dublin. All my old schoolmates have now passed away, a lot of them played football, Benny Henderson for Drumcondra and Paudge Gregg for Rovers. Paudge– whose father James (Jemmy) Gregg was a founder member of the Hoops– scored the only goal in the 1945 cup final to win the trophy for Rovers. In conclusion, my father, Sailor Doyle, sailed all over the world, rounding the Horn many times as the Panama Canal was not yet built. He visited Australia many times, where he had an uncle also called Matthew Doyle who worked as a stevedore in Sydney. Unfortunately, as far as I know, he never looked him up. If he had, we might be in touch with that branch of the family today. Regards Oliver Byrne Ballyfermot Dublin 1 Dear Editor May I, through the medium of your paper, bring to the attention of the people of Ringsend, the sorry state of the so called ʻPlazaʼ on Fitzwilliam Street? There are botched repair jobs to services such as ESB and Water, there are bent safety rails, bent posts, missing or broken paving slabs and broken uprights. I am calling on the D.C.C. councillors who represent the area to have the ʻPlazaʼ reinstated to its former ʻgloryʼ. This reinstatement will require a crew who know

what they are doing. I have been in discussion with some people with a view to setting up a local environmental group to keep a watchful eye on things. Any volunteers? Derek Murphy Cambridge Court Dear NewsFour I am researching my family tree for the names of Clark & Killeen in Dublin, Ireland. My fatherʼs birth certificate for August 1924 gives the place of birth as 4 St Clareʼs Park, Sandymount Dublin. Looking at the various archives that are available, this address does not seem to appear on any map of that period. If someone has any memory of a St Clareʼs Park in Sandymount or can help in any way, I would be pleased to hear from them. I was actually successful in that I found some record of my family (Killeen) living at 4 Seafort Gardens 1939/ 40 and now think this may even be the location of ʻ4 St Clares Parkʼ. Quite a coincidence in the number 4, so perhaps the name of the road or house has changed? Nick Clark

Dear NewsFour My sincere thanks to one and all for taking me back to my roots, did you fail to drop through my letterbox I would become demented. Your latest issue, in particular pages 10 and 11 opened many doors. I will deal with page 11 first. Noel Twamley and his mention of George OʼReilly. George OʼReillyʼs brother Michael worked in the Ringsend Dockyard, married my cousin and set up home in Newbridge Avenue. Georgeʼs sister-in-law was granddaugher to James Maguire of 26 Irishtown Road, who fought alongside Eamonn De Valera in Bolandʼs Mill (page 10). The attached wedding day picture (below) shows George OʼReilly and his parents at the wedding of his brother Michael on 3rd August 1946. I will be home next month when I will call in and drop off some money. Please, PLEASE PLEASE, maintain your good work and keep us exiles in contact. Kindest regards to one and all. Donal McKenna


ing state examinations,” says Donna Walsh, Information Officer at the Migraine Association of Ireland (MAI). “A letter from the studentʼs doctor should be given to the school in advance of exams and the school can then approach the State Examinations Commission.” However, the MAI advises stu-

dents not to solely rely on the examinations commission to facilitate them but to be proactive in managing their condition at exam time. “Migraine is sparked off by trigger factors,” says Walsh, “Good management involves finding triggers– using a migraine diary– and then eliminating them, if possible, from your lifestyle.æ

Common triggers at exam time include stress, missed meals, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, computer screen flicker and dehydration. “The migraine brain likes routine,” advises Walsh, “At exam time migraine sufferers should try to maintain this routine, so no overnight cramming, missing meals and snacking on junk food. Weʼd also advise migraineurs to get some form of exercise– even just a brisk walk during the day– and to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.æ

Stress can be harder to manage but the MAI advises migraineurs to set early deadlines so they have more time to prepare if an attack upsets the timetable. The MAI has just added a special ʻexam adviceʼ section to their website– and worried students, parents and teachers are also welcome to call the Associationʼs helpline service for advice or to order a free information pack. Call 1850 200 378 (ROI) or 0844 826 9323 (NI). You can also email:





By Noel Twamley


n the 1930s, 40s and 50s most Irish people spent Sunday night ʻat the picturesʼ. Why? Well, we had no other options. Remember, at that time we had no TV, videos or DVDs. Indeed, I remember some people who did not even have a radio up until the late 40s– the good old days my eye. In the early 50s I was in my late teens and I spent most of my free time at the movies. My local cinemas were De Luxe in Camden Street and the Princess and the Stella in Rathmines. We were really spoiled for

choice at the time as there were more than sixty cinemas in the city. The Stella in Rathmines was Dublinʼs first purpose-built cinema, opening on January 29th 1923 with a seating capacity of 1,350. The cinema had a long entrance hall with comfortable seats where people could socialise and chat before going in to the main auditorium. In the cinema, there was a sumptuously plastered ceiling with gold-leaf decorations and wood panelling along the walls. There was an orchestra pit to provide music in the silent film days. By the 1940s, the orchestra pit had been converted to a wa-


ter feature, an elaborately lit fountain which changed colours every few seconds. Upstairs there was a beautiful ballroom with a maple floor which was also used for Irish dancing classes. In the 50s all pubs closed at 7pm on Sundays. The Stella wisely put their opening time back to 8.30 so the ʻgarglersʼ would have a chance to rush home and get some food into them before going to the pictures. As for myself, most Sunday nights I would take my date to high tea in Fergusonʼs Restaurant across the road from the Stella. Long gone of course, this was a pretty Art Deco style place with all the trimmings, porcelain crockery, table cloths, marble floors, great food and friendly staff. It was a bit pricey but it was a great place to push the boat out on Sunday nights. On leaving Fergusonʼs, we would saunter across to the Stella where I would buy a Toblerone for my ʻlatest flameʼ and a pack of ʻDisque Blueʼ cigarettes for me. I loved the taste of French tobacco in those days. Nobody knew about the dangers of smoking in those bygone times. We though we were so cool, God help our ignorance!

Anyway, with cigarettes and chocolate in hand, it was time for the movie, and what movies they were! ʻShaneʼ, ʻHigh Noonʼ, ʻThe Caine Mutinyʼ, ʻThe Quiet Manʼ, ʻRear Windowʼ– and so many more that are shown and enjoyed on TV to this day. By about 10pm ʻthe garglersʼ down in the parterre would start to fall asleep and during quiet moments in the film you could hear them snoring and belching. The fact that everyone smoked in those days helped to obscure any bad smells in the cinema. When the film ended, there was the usual stampede for the exits, all to avoid standing for one minute for our National Anthem. To end our night I always drove down to The Band Box on Richmond Street at Kellyʼs Corner where we would meet up with friends to chat and drink

coffee into the small hours. We would listen to great sounds from the Wurlitzer there– Sinatra, Como, Laine, Mitchell, Starr and Day. In those far off days we thought we were so cool but really it was all so innocent and uncool. The Stella closed in August 2004 and like most people I would love to go back just one last time. One more spin of that wheel– yes indeed. Letʼs have some of that Toblerone bar. Letʼs smoke one last Disque Bleu. Letʼs hold hands one last time in the back seat in the balcony. I wish we could all have one more Sunday night at the Stella. Above: The Stella cinema in Rathmines in its present decrepit state. Below: One of Noelʼs favourites– James Stewart in ʻRear Windowʼ.



ames Christopher ʻLugsʼ Brannigan was born in 1910. Originally his family lived in Graiguenamanagh Co. Kilkenny but moved as a young boy to the Dublin Union complex that saw heavy fighting in the 1916 rebellion. It is believed that here he witnessed the killing of a British soldier. He joined the Great Southern Railways at the age of 14 and served his apprenticeship as a fitter but hated the work and soon afterwards on the 18th June 1931 joined the Garda Siochana. He graduated in December 1931 and was at the Garda depot from 1931-5 and posted in our own Irishtown station fom 1935-6. He was slight of frame even though he was six foot three and became a ʻfitness fanaticʼ

and ʻproved a rugged fighter in the garda boxing clubʼ. At a fight in Germany in 1938 he was knocked down nine times but got back up on each occasion, winning applause from the audience for doing so. In 1936 he was placed in the Coombe, based at Kevin Street Garda Station and spent the rest of his career in Kevin Street A district. He cycled everywhere and absorbed great local knowledge with which he was able to stymie the activities of the infamous ʻanimal gangsʼ before the ʻBattle of Baldoyleʼ on 14th May 1940 when an armed gang from the Coombe attacked and killed a bookmak-

erʼs assistant at Baldoyle Racecourse and again before ʻthe battle of Tolka Parkʼ on 22nd March 1942. He earned a reputation for ʻdispensing rough justice on Dublin Streetsʼ. He used to give petty criminals a ʻbit of a going overʼ rather than bog himself down with paper work that the processing of minor felonies would take. He got his nickname ʻLugsʼ from a Dublin criminal on account of his ear lobes, a name which he hated. In the late 1950s he was seen as instrumental in taming Dublinʼs Teddy Boys, seeing one film ʻRock Around The Clockʼ sixty times in the course of his

duties. He was stern with domestic violence and is credited with saving many marriages, having threatened violent husbands. He acted as an advocate in Court for those he felt needed a break and often tried to fix the wayward youths up with jobs if possible. He became a Detective Garda in July 1958 and was bodyguard to many visiting celebrities to Dublin such as Elizabeth Taylor, Cliff Richard and George Best. Then in December 1963 he was promoted to sergeant and placed in charge of a riot squad, principally to deal with gang warfare. He retired in January 1973, having been given a three-year extension to the time he could serve. On his retirement he

was given ʻa canteen of cutlery and a set of Waterford glass from Dublin prostitutesʼ who regarded him as a father figure. He retired to Summerhill, County Meath and devoted himself to breeding budgerigars until his death from natural causes in 1986. Pictured: Jim Brannigan at the beginning and end of his career.





he concert hall at the RDS was buzzing and filled to capacity for Lorna Byrneʼs first live public interview in Ireland since the runaway success of her first book ʻAngels In My Hairʼ 2008. The book has sales approaching 300,000 copies, and is now being translated into several other languages. My angel was there, Ann Ingle, who had provided the tickets for me and my other angel, Noreen, who came with me. Noreen, from Kerry, has had a lifelong interest in angels. I had read almost half of the book up to chapter 15: ʻThe Power of Prayerʼ, in preparation, and had previously believed that your angels were actually people who you met, who significantly acted as helpers along your life path. By way of introduction, Lorna addressed the crowd, saying we were brightly coloured and radiant, being accompanied, as each of us were, by our guardian angels. She also told us, that when she entered the venue beforehand, she had seen angels dusting every seat in the empty hall, in preparation for the talk. Roisin then commenced the interview, which really led itself, as Lorna, though very gentle and unassuming, has a lot to say about her constant witness to the existence of angels. As a child, she had been a ʻlate talkerʼ as she was always talking to her angels and distracted by them, and they had told her that she must, for the time being, keep it to herself.

At school, she was a slow learner, and diagnosed as dyslexic. Entrusted with this great secret, and misjudged by most as being stupid, her early years were highly unusual. However, her angels reassured her all the time, telling her how she had been chosen to accept this gift, and that one day she would write about it. That time has come with ʻAngels In My Hairʼ published two years ago. She is currently in the process of writing her second book. All I can say from my reading so far, is that ʻAngels In My Hairʼ is enchanting, comforting and simple, and serves to jog many memories from my own childhood, which I consider as an enormous favour. It seemed also that everyone in the hall had been greatly touched and assisted by the book. Roisin Ingle first asked the main question, how does she respond to cynics? The simple answer to this was, that she has been doubted and ridiculed, but because of her seeing angels all the time, she is certain that they exist and is confident to state it. It seems that she has an important message for us, and that it is her duty to help others. Her next book will serve to describe the metaphysical realm, or what is the afterlife. The audience had a lot of questions, which Lorna took on squarely and as honestly as she was able. She could not respond to questions that she had not yet herself asked. Asked what exactly is an angel? She said that they do have wings, can come in different guises, wearing different kinds

of clothing, and that they emit light. She has never seen anyone who didnʼt have one. They serve to remind us to do the right thing, and they are very nagging in their reminders. They can cause us to have happy accidents, such as getting lost or taking the long way home, which might avert catastrophe– youʼve heard of people who did not make it to work at the twin towers on September 11– or we might meet someone significant, or perceive an opportunity, that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. Angels communicate with each other, so if we want to help someone, we can ask our guardian angel to talk to theirs. Our angels have a name, that is, the same as our name, or the name we most like and identify


with. They nag us, and we have to nag them over and over, if we want something. That is, they persevere, and likewise, we have to persevere with them. I know all this sounds unbelievable, and it is highly unusual material. It seems that Lornaʼs writing has come to remind us that there is something more than the mundane. We have souls, and souls are the most beautiful, and can shift us even more than angels can. Angels are here to remind us of that fact. St. Therese talked about the ʻlittle wayʼ, and angels are here to point out the importance of small details. They serve to remind us that life is beautiful, and worth living. When we refuse to listen to them, that


ork is almost complete on the impressive n e w Aviva Stadium at L a n sdowne Road. T he IRFU have con f i r med that the opening f i x ture will take place on S a t urday, July 31st when a c o mbined Leinster/ Ulster s i d e will take on a Muns t e r/ Connacht selection. C ommenting on the an-

is the curse of free will, and Lorna said a few times that she nearly wishes we didnʼt have it, because some of our choices are so misguided. When asked for the second time, had she seen heaven, she said that she had, and that it was indescribable, so beautiful that you want not to ever come back. There is also a hell, and she believes in the existence of the devil, who also has helpers. This explains great cruelty and the evils of war. Lorna practises the Catholic religion, as it is the one she was raised in. But angels are there to help everyone, no matter what their belief. She believes in God, and finds it convenient to talk about a God. She mentioned that it is a good idea to keep holy, or blessed, water in the house. The Q & A lasted nearly an hour, and there were many very personal and sensitive questions, which Lorna handled appropriately, in a very sensitive way. She said that if we thought we had seen something, that we would ourselves know itʼs meaning for us. Itʼs true that loved ones who are deceased can come back to help us, or just to drop in and say hello. She believes that when someone passes on, there is a definite possibility to meet souls on the other side who we have known. There are a lot of whyʼs. Why, above all, all the complication? Well, life is not simple, it is supposed to be interesting, and comes to us as a challenge. At the end of the two hours, filled with Lornaʼs honesty and experience, I felt that we had been privy to something extraordinary and of massive importance. Noreen was pleased that it was an Irishwoman, originally from Kilmainham in Dublin city, who had been blessed with this gift. nouncement, IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said: “The game will see involvement from both Leinster and Ulster, the sides who played the first and last fixtures at the old Lansdowne Road.” The first soccer fixture will be against Diego Ma radonaʼs Argentina on August 11th.





he history of the GAA in Dublin is the focus of a major history project about to be carried out. The GAA Oral History Project is one of the biggest sporting history projects ever undertaken in the world and will leave a remarkable legacy for future generations. Commissioned by the GAA and being carried out by a team based at Boston College-Ireland, the project is collecting a unique body of material that will ultimately be stored at the GAA Museum in Croke Park. Already hundreds of interviews have been carried out across Ireland and overseas and an extraordinary collection of documents and photographs has been put together.

Some of this material has already been used in the best-selling book, ʻThe GAA: A Peopleʼs Historyʼ which was written by the projectʼs directors, Mike Cronin, Mark Duncan and Paul Rouse. Now, the plan is to record the history of the GAA in Dublin. A researcher from the project, Regina Fitzpatrick, will be focussing on Dublin this month. Regina is looking for people to record interviews with, including GAA members and supporters and anyone who has ever had any contact or involvement with

the GAA. In addition to recording interviews, and in order to reach the largest number of people possible, the GAA Oral History Project is also providing questionnaires for people to fill out or people can simply send the project a letter or email about the place of the GAA in their lives. The ambition of the project is that people from every parish, from every club and from every school will contribute, either by doing an interview, filling out a questionnaire, writing a letter or donating material. The project also aims to collect the memories of the members of all the organisations under the umbrella of the GAA, including Ladiesʼ Football, Camogie, Handball, Rounders and Scór.

Regina said: “We want to hear the opinions and stories of everyone. We want to develop an archive that represents every viewpoint on the GAA, good, bad and indifferent. You do not have to know a lot about the GAA or have a lot to say to take part. Without your help, your story and the story of your club, your school and your county cannot be told. Take this opportunity to get your club involved. “The interviews that are conducted and the questionnaires that are collected will allow current and future family members of participants to hear and

see their ancestors, to view their handwriting, to learn about how they lived and the place of the GAA in their lives. “We are hoping to gather photographs, videos and recordings of the social life surrounding the GAA, whether they are of families having a picnic on the way to or from a match, of spectators at a match, of supporters on the train or bus to a match, of homecoming celebrations and commiserations, or of social events. “We are also hoping to collect posters, letters, songs, poems and prayers relating to the GAA. We would like material relating to social events organised around the GAA, records and minute books, correspondence and financial material from counties and clubs and anything which tells us the stories of the people behind the organisation– the jersey washers, tea makers, stewards, grounds-staff, ticket collectors, bus and car drivers, officials, coaches, managers, backroom teams, committee members, players and supporters.” As this project is developing a digital archive, you do not necessarily have to donate the material permanently.The project will take the items on loan for a short time, digitise them and then return them. Some

of the material that has already been collected can be seen on the website www. The project also hopes to involve as many primary and secondary school children as possible. Special curriculum-based packs have been designed to help teachers and students who wish to take part. Finally, the project is looking for people to volunteer to help carry out its work. For further information on any aspect of the project, please contact Regina on

(01) 6147454 or contact the office of the GAA Oral History Project Team on (01) 662 5055. Alternatively, you can write to the project at GAA Oral History Project, 42 St Stephenʼs Green, Dublin 2, or send an email to info@gaahistory. com. Left: Revolutionary hurlers Michael Collins and Harry Boland enjoy a puck around in Croke Park prior to the Leinster Hurling Final, September 1921. Above: Lory Meagher with Jimmy Walsh, Kilkenny Goalie at the 1945 Leinster Final against Dublin.

Congratulations to the 11 oʼclock Club, pictured here at Sandycove, who recently raised €32,500 for the Irish Cancer Society.





By Grainne McGuinness


ome of our regular readers may know that I am the advertising manager of News Four. As part of my job, I have to call into local businesses to sell ads. Recently, I went into Toni & Guy on Sandymount Road. It was there that I met salon owner, Sharon McDonnell and it turned out to be my lucky day. Sharon told me that she was having a ladiesʼ pampering night for her regular customers and that they could bring friends to encourage more customers to use the salon. To my surprise, she asked me if I would like to be a model on the night. This would mean changing my hair completely and giving me a whole new look. Of course I said yes as any time in the past when I went to have my hair done it was the same old story. What would you like? Just a trim, and thatʼs all they did, never suggesting anything different and so I ended up with the same hairstyle for years. I was definitely up for a change. I must admit that when the day came to have my hair cut I was a bit apprehensive. As Sharon explained to me what she was going to do I

couldnʼt help thinking that the last time I had my hair cut short was for my confirmation, many years ago.

As I saw my dark curls falling to the floor I told myself to relax. This lady is a top stylist and she knows what she is doing, and she certainly did. When Sharon finished, she introduced me to top colourist, Amanda Brady, who was also very professional in the way that she explained to me that she would change my hair from black to a soft brown and would also add different colour highlights to lighten the tone of my hair. I told her to go for it. I was delighted with the result. Both the cut and the different colours were fantastic. I felt like a new woman. On top of all that, I was given the ʻtwelve week blow dryʼ which is a Keratin hair taming system which straightens and softens hair. No more frizz or bad hair days for me– for a while anyway.

As the night arrived for the big reveal there was a great buzz in the salon. Top makeup artists applied my makeup. Frances Jones of Image Matters was my very own image consultant who helped me to choose my clothes for the night from Serena boutique in Sandymount. At around 6:30, the guests began to arrive and were given a very warm welcome from Sharon. As the champagne flowed and the nibbles were nibbled, there was a great atmosphere. Everyone got great advice on style from Sharon and all her wonderful, friendly staff as they mingled with their guests. They were also treated to having their make-up done by professionals, their fingernails polished and a free image consultation. They thought of everything, teaching all of their guests about how much better they could look and feel about themselves. As a great night came to an end, everybody received a goody bag to round off a wonderful night of pampering and fun. As I spoke to Sharon afterwards, she was delighted

that the event was such a great success. I wasnʼt surprised as she has such a great personality. She told me that she had been a stylist for Toni & Guy for 15 years and for the past nine years she had been the manager of the Clarendon street salon. Itʼs not surprising that many of her clients, both men and women have followed her to her own franchise in Sandymount. Sharon loves the area and she hopes to stay for a long time. To make an appointment you can call 6684045. Marlon Jimenez will take your call in a very friendly and efficient manner. He is also very helpful if you want to buy any of their top-of-therange hair products or any of their great gift vouchers. Just to mention that if anyone from ʻOff The Railsʼ or ʻExposeʼ is reading this and is looking for a model, I am available. It was an amazing experience and I would do it again at the drop of a hat. Ah well, a girl can dream! Left: Glamorous Grainne after her make-over at Toni & Guy.

Geraldine M. Lynch (formerly of Irishtown Road)

General Legal Practice Telephone: 087 9874577 for appointment Email:





he mythical Garden of Eden may have been in the Euphrates valley, but my friend and I recently visited a newer Garden of Eden in Cornwall. The warmth of the Gulf Stream and resulting milder climate makes it possible for gardens in Cornwall to feature a variety of rare and beautiful plants and trees. Its gardens, beaches, and rambling walks through the countryside have long made Cornwall one of Britainʼs most popular summer holiday destinations. A Dutch-born British businessman, Tim Smit, pictured above, moved to the area with his family and helped restore the magnificent Gardens of Heligan and wrote a popular book about the project. Then he noticed a disused china clay pit and conceived the idea of the Eden project, an £80 million initiative to build, in that eyesore of a quarry, at the very bottom of the pit, two huge transparent biomes with different eco-climates, Rainforest and Mediterranean. Smit helped raise the needed funds, and Nicholas Grimshaw designed the site. Arriving at Eden, you enter an amazing shop full of plants and arts and crafts, where you buy

your ticket. Edenʼs domes are made of hundreds of hexagonal and pentagonal, inflated, plastic cells supported by steel frames. Glass was avoided due to its weight and potential dangers. It looks at first glance like a scene from outer space. In fact, the site was used by the BBC as the planet surface of Magrathea in the 1981 TV series of the Hitchhikerʼs Guide to the Galaxy. Once inside, you can take an electric bus down into the valley below, or follow a meandering path with views of the two biomes, passing by planted landscapes, vegetable gardens, and sculptures. The complex is dominated by two enclosures consisting of adjoining domes that house plant species from around the world. Eden aims to educate people about environmental matters and encourages a greater understanding and practice of responsible management of the relationship between people, plants, and resources. The project contributes to sustainable development, tourism, architecture and landscape architecture. The Tropical Biome covers 1.56 hectares (3.9 acres) and measures 55 metres (180 ft) high, 100 metres (328 ft) wide and 200 metres (656 ft) long. It contains tropical plants, such as fruiting banana trees, coffee,

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rubber and giant bamboo, and is kept at a tropical temperature and moisture level. We enjoyed traipsing up and down inside it. Unlike a real jungle, there are seats and drinking water fountains throughout and a ʻcool roomʼ if the heat gets too much for you. My only criticism of this hot, humid, realistic environment, computer-controlled, is that it is like a zoo for plants. It contains over 1,000 tropical plants from different regions of the world– South-East Asia, West Africa, South America and the tropical oceanic islands, particularly the Seychelles and St Helena– which would not be found together in nature and thus is quite artificial compared to a real jungle. There are also paintings by a Peruvian shaman who visited Eden. The Mediterranean Biome covers 0.654 hectares (1.6 acres) and measures 35 metres (115 ft) high, 65 metres (213 ft) wide and 135 metres (443 ft) long. It houses familiar warm temperate and arid plants such as olives and grape vines and various sculptures. The first part of the Eden Project, the visitor centre, opened to the public in May 2000. The full site opened on 17 March 2001. In September 2005, The Core opened as an education facility, with classrooms and exhibition spaces to help communicate Edenʼs central message about the relationship between people and plants. The design of The Core is based on how plants grow. It incorporates a central trunk and canopy roof that shades the ground and harvests the sun. The Eden Project includes environmental education focusing on the inter-dependence of plants and people; plants are labelled with their medicinal uses. The massive amounts of water required to create the humid conditions of the Tropical Biome, and to serve the toilet facilities, are all sanitized rain water that would otherwise collect at the bottom of the quarry. The only mains water used is for hand washing and for cooking. The complex also uses Green Tariff Electricity– the

energy comes from one of the many wind turbines in Cornwall, which were among the first in Europe. Eden reminds us that the mindless, ongoing destruction of the rainforests is costing us the earth, as they absorb nearly a fifth of all man-made CO2 emissions around the world, which helps greatly to minimise the effects of climate change. However, these same rainforests are currently being destroyed at the rate of an area the size of a football pitch every four seconds.To make matters worse, when the rainforests are burnt down– to clear land for commercial farming or mining, for example– they release all the CO2 that they have stored back into the atmosphere. The alarming scale of this rapid

burning of the rainforests around the world means that CO2 emissions from tropical deforestation are actually higher than from the entire global transport sector. The Eden Project is working with the Princeʼs Rainforest Project to promote awareness of the urgent need for action against tropical deforestation, a major contributor to climate change. Eden is now raising money for its next project, Edge, a proposed desert biome. In December 2009, much of the project, including both greenhouses, became available to navigate through Google Street View. It certainly is a unique venture and worth visiting, if only to remind us of what we have to lose if we donʼt build the low-carbon economies on which our future depends.

Pictured at the recent car boot sale and arts and crafts fair at Christchurch, Sandymount Green are Lana Fitzgerald and her grandmother Heather Moulton, both from Sandymount.





By John Fitzgerald


n 17th March last the worldʼs first Leprechaun Museum opened in a former FÁS office on Jervis Street in Dublinʼs City centre. The brainchild of Tom OʼRahilly, a 43 year old NCAD trained furniture designer, the museum was conceived in 2003. While most Irish people would probably not be attracted to this bit of ʻOirishryʼ it has to be admitted that OʼRahilly did well to wait for rents in the city centre to drop sufficiently low before renting this prime piece of real estate

in Jervis Street. He now has a site in Dublinʼs most visited tourist area. On entry to the museum, the visitor is accompanied by a guide through a series of rooms and corridors giving the ultimate Leprechaun experience. A long tunnel is tapered and appears to shorten the visitor to leprechaun size. One room has giant chairs and a table etc to maintain this illusion. There is a room dedicated to the Giantʼs Causeway, the County Antrim hexagonal rock formation said to be the best hunting place for the little people. A rainbow room leads on to the proverbial crock of gold with €250,000 worth of the yellow lucre sitting in a pot. I hope he recorded his attempts at getting insurance quotes. Another room tells the story of The Children of Lir, with the floor covered with a giant map marked with mythological sites. Next, a room with bronze walls bounces with images, making you feel you

are inside a Neolithic site giving a 3-D effect. The final room is the retail unit which stocks ʻquality productsʼ, according to Ciara Gogarty the Development and Marketing Manager. It has to be said that, on the whole, the museum is a very clever idea, well thought out and executed with style and a sense of humour. The Leprechaun was said to have lived in Ireland before the Celts arrived. One third the size of normal people, their main trade was repairing shoes. They had the ability to go from this world to the next, and were known as trick-

sters with an ability to expose the human weaknesses of curiosity and greed. The origin of the word leprechaun is not clear, some say it is derived from leath the Irish for half, and chorp the Latin word for body… i.e ʻhalf bodyʼ, referring to their size. It is also likely to have come from leath and preachan, the Irish word for a crow. The crow, along with the deer and the salmon, hold a huge place in Irish folklore. The crow was always known as a bit of a trickster and a link between this world and the next. Also, like the jackdaw, the crow is attracted to

shiny objects like gold. On Sunday 28th March last, the medieval village of Carlingford held its 20th anniversary Leprechaun Hunt. Families came from all over to search the Cooley Mountains for the wee folk. In December 1988 the original clothes of the last known Leprechaun were found in the ʻrushy glensʼ of Slieve Foy mountain by P.J. OʼHare, the local publican. The clothes are on display in his pub. The tricky little sneaky people who crave gold had Ireland in the same dire straits in 1988 as they do today. Maybe we should have an economic meltdown interpretive centre, with wax figures of bankers, builders and the entire cast freewheeling the country into its present state, or forget the wax and get them to do a daily re-enactment. Admission priceless. National Leprechaun Museum 1 Jervis Street, Dublin 1. Times: 9.30am to 6.15 pm Entrance fee: €10 adults, €7 children over 5. Above: Albert Sharpe and Jimmy OʼDea (the ʻleprechaun kingʼ on right) from the 1959 film ʻDarby OʼGill And The Little Peopleʼ.


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ʻI USED TO BE IRISHʼ by Angeline Kearns Blain A. & A Farmar, Dublin, 2009 Reviewed by Glenda Cimino


n 1957, 19-year-old Angeline Kearns left her home in George Reynolds Flats in Ringsend and said goodbye to her family at Dublin airport, setting off to marry an American GI she had met in Dublin, with whom she was to have a long marriage and three chil-

dren. Her descriptions of the hardships of families growing up in Dublin in the 40s and 50s is reminiscent of ʻAngelaʼs Ashesʼ, yet she also captures the warmth, love and loyalty of family and community that she experienced in Ringsend, especially her close relationship to her mother. Today she has been for 20 years Adjunct Professor of Sociology and Womenʼs Studies at Boise State University in Idaho, and apparently has remarried. It is the one thing in the book about which she is not totally candid, perhaps to protect the feelings of others. Maybe there will be a sequel later on. The book describes, in colourful language with flashes of humour, remarkably wellremembered detail and dialogue, her long journey to discover America, herself, and Ireland. Her ʻbecoming Americanʼ gave her a new sense of the strengths and weaknesses

of each country, of promises betrayed. She saw America as the land of opportunity, but after the assassination of John Kennedy and the carnage of the Vietnam War, she became aware that ʻAmericaʼs leaders were not as benevolent, upright and moral as I had believed them to be.ʼ Her first husband comes off as some kind of saint, but their paths diverged as Angie grew to know herself better. In America in the sixties, like many other women, she began to question ʻthe folderol of being the perfect wife, the allgiving mom, the happy shopper, and the empty-headed corporate spouseʼ. This led to a clinical depression which she describes honestly and from which she gradually recovered. She tells of nightmares about the period in her childhood when she had to pick cinders on the dump to sell other poor people for fuel and feared being bitten by rats. Over the course of the book her life evolves, from poverty-stricken child in Dublin to working woman to new wife and mother, to university student and political activist. She has also written ʻStealing Sunlight: Growing Up in Irishtownʼ. You canʼt help admiring how far she has come in her personal journey. Below left: From the book, Angeline is pictured with local kids on the balcony at George Reynolds House, who came to say goodbye before she left for the airport. ʻTHE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETʼS NESTʼ by Steig Larsson Reviewed by Christopher Sweeney


ith this, the final volume of his phenomenally successful ʻMillennium Trilogyʼ, Stieg Larsson brings to a conclusion the stories of his diminutive, action hero heroine, Lisbeth Salander and her partner in crime and retribution, the journalist Mikael Blomkvist.

Over the course of the first two volumes we have learnt that Salander has been the victim of a massive miscarriage of justice. She is the daughter of a brutal Russian defector, Zalachenko, who beat her mother almost to death. But the secret police contrive to have her locked away in a psychiatric unit to prevent her blowing his cover. In essence, the three volumes tell the story of Salanderʼs struggles to avenge herself on the state institutions and the men running them, who have wronged her so gravely. As a result of her treatment, Salander will have nothing to do with the authorities, seeking justice on her own, often bloodily violent, terms. At her side is the investigative journalist Blomkvist, editor of ʻMillenniumʼ magazine, exposing the murky machinations of the Swedish state at the end of the Cold War. At the start of book three, we find Salander in intensive care, recovering from an attempted murder, with her father, the man who tried to kill her, lying at deathʼs door a few rooms away from wounds inflicted on him by Salander. There is a concerted effort

underway by the Swedish state to try and get Salander locked away again and cover up the whole mess before the press get a hold of the story. So, as in previous volumes, Lisbeth will need the help of Mikael Blomkvist. He is writing an exposé of the Zalachenko affair that will shake the Swedish government, particularly the secret service, to its foundations. At last, there is a chance for Lisbeth Salander to put her past behind her, and finally there is a chance for truth and justice to prevail. Will Larssonʼs army of fans be satisfied with this final instalment? Iʼm sure they will. There is a sense of impending doom for the villains, as their various schemes to silence Blomkvist and Salander unravel. The pace is relentless and Larssonʼs unconventional plot keeps you transfixed to the last page. Sadly, there will be no further outings for Lisbeth Salander. After delivering the manuscript to his publisher, Larsson died suddenly at the age of 50. Now the second most successful author in the world, he never lived to see his books in print.





ord Edward Fitzgerald, born 15th October 1763, ʻFifth son and 12th child of James, The first Duke of Leinster and Mother Emily Lennox, Daughter of the Duke of Desmondʼ. Born in London, he was brought to Ireland as a youngster to the still-impressive Carton House in Kildare and then to Frascati House in Blackrock, where the Frascati Shopping Centre now stands. Fitzgerald joined the 96th regiment with a commission in 1778. He wanted to see action in America and so bought a lieutenancy in the 19th regiment of foot (the Green Howards). He went to South Carolina with ʻthirty officers, thirty sergeants and 672 men and landed in Charleston in June 1781ʼ. In America, Fitzgerald served as aide de camp to the British Commander. It was a blazing hot summer

in the swamps where he fought General Greene and, indeed, he brought prisoners back to Charleston. In September 1771 a tough and fierce battle was fought at Eutaw Springs, with 550 men on the American side killed and on Edwardʼs side 690. Fitzgerald was wounded and left for dead until he was rescued by a South Carolina slave, Tony Small, who Fitzgerald adopted and kept with him for the rest of his life, showing his first leanings towards egalitarianism and the ʻbrotherhood of manʼ. He believed in the brotherhood of man, with his daughter later claiming “my father got his republican ideas in America” where he travelled widely in 1788-1789. He held a cosmopolitan life, travelling across Spain and Portugal and living in Paris at the height of the French Revolution. He was elected MP for Kildare in 1790 and then embarked on a love affair with the wife of dramatist Richard Brinsley

Sheridan. Unfortunately, she died of consumption. He went to Paris in 1792, having already associated himself with United Irishmen and he had a keen eye for what was happening in revolutionary France. It was on this trip to Paris that he declared himself a republican calling himself “le citoyen Edouard Fitzgerald: I do not like to be Lord Edward.” Unusually for the time, he cropped his hair and relinquished his title, so the army cashiered him in November 1792. He had a long-running affair with a French mistress, but married Pamela Sims, who was connected to French royalty and had three children by her. He was increasingly radical about Irish politics and ʻhe repudiated the Irish establishment into which he had been bornʼ. The couple moved out of Leinster House and moved to Kildare town. He learned Irish, played handball and became the most glamorous of the United Irishmen ʻplanning insurrection till it became maturityʼ. He used his base in Kildare to launch his revolutionary ideas away from the capital but close enough to keep his finger on the pulse.ʻBetween

1796-1798 the United Irish organization was reorganised as an underground revolutionary movement, with Fitzgerald becoming one of its recognised leadersʼ. He travelled to the continent to engage French support for his plans. Meanwhile his family, afraid of treason, closed down any political mutterings they otherwise would have had. ʻFitzgerald invited a tenant on the Leinster estate, Thomas Reynolds, to join the United Irishmen in November 1797 and then promoted him to colonel in the Kildare organizationʼ. Reynolds betrayed them in March 1798 and Edward was forced into hiding in Dublin, with Dublin Castle posting a £1000 bounty for his arrest. He was planning for the insurrection to take place on 23rd May 1798 but the bounty caught him as Catholic barrister Francis Magon claimed the reward, giving him away to ʻspy master Francis Higginsʼ. Soldiers led by Major Sirr set upon

Fitzgerald in his hiding place in the Liberties, where he fiercely resisted arrest. He killed one man but was ʻshot by Sirr in the shoulder at point blank rangeʼ. He was taken to Dublin Castle and then jailed in Newgate. Edward Fitzgerald died of septicaemia and tetanus from his wounds on the 4th June 1798. He was buried in the crypt of St. Werburghʼs under the shadow of Dublin Castle.



Film Scene ‘Me and Orson Welles’ Reviewed by Christy Hogan


his film is ostensibly about a teenager wanting to tread the boards but in reality it takes a look, warts and all, at Orson Welles the actor and Orson Welles the man. The film is directed by Richard Linklater and stars Christian McKay, Claire Danes, Zac Efron and Ben Chaplin and is based on the novel by Robert Kaplow. The film is set in 1937 in New York and focuses on Orson Wellesʼs legendary production of Shakespeareʼs ʻJulius Caesar ʼ at the Mercury Theatre. Richard Samuels (Zac Efron, below left) is an 18-year-old student who dreams of becoming an ac-

tor– his lucky break comes when he bumps into a group of out-of-work actors outside the run-down Mercury Theatre. In an impromptu audition, Samuels impresses Welles with his singing and dancing skills and lands a minor part in the play. Welles (played by Christian McKay, right) gathers a coterie of actors, painters and carpenters and proceeds to renovate the Mercury Theatre. Rehearsals begin and Welles as Brutus, acts, directs, cajoles, threatens and bullies all around him. Heʼs having an affair with Muriel Brassler, the leading lady, Portia (Kelly Reilly) even though his wife Virginia is expecting. The production assistant is Sonia Jones (Claire Danes), a 20year-old beauty who would


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do cartwheels over coals to enhance her career. Wells puts Richard in Soniaʼs care to help him rehearse his lines. One night after rehearsals she invites Richard back to her apartment. After a few glasses of wine she invites Richard into the scratcher. Now Richard, as you can imagine, doesnʼt need too much encouragement. The pair spend the night together and next morning Richard is, guess what, yes youʼre right heʼs in love. Sonia is the best thing since the model T Ford. In the meantime the rest of the cast are not too happy with Richardʼs acting skills. However, Welles is not interested in their concerns; heʼs too busy doing radio shows and having a good time with the ladies. At a matinee preview, Richard announces his love for Sonia but alas, the ruthless Sonia tells Richard she intends to spend the night with ʻbig ego Orsonʼ as Welles has promised Sonia a meeting with Selznick, the producer of ʻGone with the Windʼ and to meet Selznick, Sonia would do anything, anything. His boyhood dreams shattered, Richard is distraught and decides to leave. It is the opening night of ʻJulius Caesar ʼ and Richard is sitting on a park bench in the horrors but Welles arrives and convinces Richard to return and play his part. In the event, the play is a massive success and the audience go wild. There is a

big celebration and Richard is thrilled to bits. However, his joy is short-lived when one of the actors tells him heʼs been fired by Welles. A new actor had been engaged to play Lucius. Welles had persuaded Richard to return for the opening night as there was no quick replacement. To add insult to injury, Richard learns that Sonia knew

of Wellesʼs intentions all along. He returns to school and tells his parents the remuneration as an actor was paltry. With the acting out of the way, he settles down and ponders a life as a writer instead. This film is a good insight into Orson Welles the actor, director and man. Marks: 4 out of 10

Ringsend and District Credit Union Ltd. 5 Irishtown Rd., Dublin 4.

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By Jennifer Betts May Day Parade 2010 May Day! May Day! Your Community Needs You!! Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre are organising the second May Day Parade on Bank Holiday Monday 3rd May at 2pm. The purpose of the Parade is to celebrate growth and development in the community and it also gives

AND I RISHTOWN us a chance to showcase the many wonderful groups and organisations we have. We will parade from the Centre through Ringsend, Irishtown, up Sean Moore Road, around Poolbeg and back to the Centre for food, refreshments and a fun day of activities!!! Special guests on the day include top Irish band Jody Has A Hitlist. We want as much variety as possible so get cracking on making those banners, flags and costumes! Or simply come along with all your family and friends and show your support. If you or your group would like to participate then please contact Lorraine, Barbara or Jennifer in the

C OMMUNITY C ENTRE N EWS €3,000 in the AIB Better Ireland Programme. The money will be invested into our School of Rock and RICC Youth Club. Many thanks for all your votes! RICC Youth Club Please note that the new times for the RICC Youth Club have changed from 6.30pm to 8pm to the new time of 4.00pm to 5.30pm each Wednesday. We continue to enjoy arts and crafts, knitting, karaoke, movie nights and plenty more activities.

centre on 01 6604789 or email Jennifer at It promises be a fantastic day. Lord Mayor of Ringsend and Irishtown RICC are now accepting nominations for this yearʼs Lord Mayor of Ringsend and Irishtown. So if you know someone who has dedicated themselves tirelessly to working for the community or someone who epitomises the exuberance of this

fair town, then let us know who they are! Please send your nominations to the centre for the attention of the manger or call us on 01 6604789. Last yearʼs Lord Mayor Joan Taaffe (pictured above) will hand over to the new Lord Mayor at this yearʼs May Day Parade. AIB Better Ireland Programme RICC are delighted to announce that we secured the second prize of

Afterschool Programme There are still places available in our Afterschool Programme in St Patrickʼs National Schools. The programme is delivered so that children will be assisted by fully qualified teachers with their homework and mainly for the children to have fun doing activities such as Drama, Dance, Football and Music. The programme starts at 2.30pm and finishes at 4.45pm excluding bank holidays and school holidays for a fee of only €50 per term. If you are interested then please contact Barbara Doyle or Lorraine Barry at the centre on 6604789



P R O F E S S I O N A L D RY C L E A N E R S 14 Gordon Street, South Lotts, Ringsend, Dublin 4 Phone: (01) 660 8439

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he name Skelligs comes from the Gaelic na scealga meaning jagged rocks. Skellig Michael and Little Skellig are two such jagged rocks sitting 13 kilometres from the mainland of South Kerry. The 350-million year old Devonian sandstone that forms the backbone of south Kerry runs from the islands to the headlands of the coast and on to the shores of the Lakes of Killarney and was shaped by the last ice age to give us the Skellig Rocks we have today. Skellig Michael stands 230 metres above sea level and measures 42 acres. In the the year 588, as Christianity began to spread across Ireland, a remarkable monastic settlement began here. Though not recorded in writing, its

foundation is widely attributed to the local saint, St Fionan. In the 16th century these islands would have been far more remote than the well-traversed deserts and towns of North Africa, and the Near and Middle East. Isolated at the very edge of the known world, this was the ideal place for a monastic community, devoted to a lonely life of religious contemplation and devotion. The Celtic monks built six beehive huts, clochans, and two oratories on artificial terraces. These were facing south-southeast for maximum sunshine and were surrounded by sturdy outer walls to deflect the strong winds and protect the vegetable patches. A seventh clochan was built higher up on a remote ledge for hermitage (solitary prayer and

fasting). Twelve monks and an abbot would have lived at the settlement, reflecting the cellular structure of Christ and the twelve Apostles. These beehive huts were drystone, built in the corbelled style and have remained in place without even a leak for 1500 years. The 670-step ascent, carved out of the living rock, brings the pilgrim to the settlement. The monastery, comprising huts, oratories, gardens and a graveyard give some idea of the Spartan lifestyle the occupants led. Bird droppings and seaweed were used as fertiliser, while seabirds, fish, seals and farmed rabbits provided meat. Today, the puffins happily nest in the abandoned rabbit burrows. The monastery was invaded several times, with first records

showing Danish Vikings attacking in 795AD. In 812AD the Vikings took the abbot Eitgal and starved him to death. However, two hundred years after the first attack, the future King of Norway Olav Trygvasson was baptised on Skellig Michael and his son Olav the Second went on to become the patron saint of Norway. In the late 12th and early 13th century the Irish church began to shift from a monastic to a diocesan structure. This movement, coupled with a considerable climatic deterioration– severe storms and very cold weather prevailed in this period– led the monks back to the mainland. The monks on Skellig Michael had stayed for 600 years, leaving over 200 years before Columbus landed in America. Over a period of time they moved to the Augustinian Priory at nearby Baillinskelligs, the townland of the Skelligs. Around this time, a church was built on the island and dedicated to St Michael, patron of high places, thus Great Skellig became known as Skellig Michael. In the 16th century the Skelligs were a popular place of pil-

grimage and at Easter penitents came from throughout Ireland to fast and celebrate the Stations of the Cross. In 1578, after the collapse of the Desmond rebellions, Queen Elizabeth dissolved the monasteries under Desmond protection and the islands passed into the secular hands of the loyalist Butler family. Records show their rent as being ʻtwo hawks and a quantity of feathers yearlyʼ. In the 1830s the commissioners of Irish Lights purchased Skellig Michael for £800 in order to build a lighthouse on the island. The lighthouse has been upgraded several times and was fully automated in 1987.In 1989 the state purchased the islands and in 1996 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Licensed local boats bring visitors to the islands, landing on Skellig Michael from April to October, weather permitting. Check out for details. Main picture: The Skelligs from the mainland. Left: The steep stone steps to the beehive huts, pictured above.

Pictured above on Daffodil Day enjoying their tea and biscuits at Cambridge Court are, from left: Rosaleen Sheehan, Mary Harrington, Bridie Berry and Eileen Holohan.






By Nessa Jennings


n a Saturday morning in early March, I found myself scurrying down Grafton Street. I was clutching a flyer entitled ʻThe Selfʼ, in big, bold letters, and on my way to a one-day workshop on self-realization led by Jasbinder Garnermann. In 1989, she and her husband co-founded the C.G. Jung Society, which is based in Manor Street. On entering Buswellʼs hotel, I had no idea what to expect but in the event I was greeted warmly by Jasbinder, an Indian lady, and I was the first to arrive. “Myself and William have been living in Armagh for a few years,” she explained, “and have just begun these sessions again, so the others could be late.” Some others arrived, and were greeted as old friends. “We should begin…” Ignore your dreams at your peril Dreams contain important information drawn from the everyday and the deepest psyche. As a theory, Carl Jungʼs is very inviting, with its glossary of terms, loaded with meaning : Archetypes: Weltenschauung (habitual attitude or ego); Shadow; Compensation Dreams; Self-realisation; Personality Theory; Extraversion; Introversion; Real or Au-

thentic Self; the Feeling-Tone of dreams; Symbols; Projection; Introjection; Participation Mystique; God-Image; Reductive and Purposive function; Maternal and Paternal Complexes; Big Dreams; Transcendence; Paradoxical Symbols; Synchronicity; Neurotic Denial; Process of Differentiation; Psychic Containers; Repression; Individuation; Collective Unconscious and Mandala. I extracted these terms from Jasbinderʼs booklet: ʻSong of the Soul, the Transforming Power of Dreamsʼ. This is a short and powerful essay on dreams, describing intoxicating dream scenes and symbols, and their possible meanings. Often bizarre, these images can only have come from our deepest selves, including nightmare types, which can be desolate and bloody, signalling the loss or ʻmurderʼ of the self. At the other end are the Big Dreams, in which we are redeemed and get a glimpse of heaven. The self can be symbolized here as a numinous object: a beautiful jewel, a rare flower, gold, a royal crown, a stone, the birth of the divine child. Jung described these dreams as ʻthe richest jewels in the treasurehouse of the psycheʼ. The dream being discussed at the seminar that day was that of The Night Sea Journey, where you can

find yourself in the belly of a whale, or, inside a barrel at sea. This is the journey to the self, and signals a time of great introspection during oneʼs life. The others spoke of often tremendous personal isolation, and all shared the same experience. Being interested in Jung to this extent is an esoteric pursuit. It seemed to me a rich, ancient and fascinating way of seeing things that lends itself to creative and moral solutions to personal development. Jasbinder is a true expert in her field, and is full of generosity and integrity. Since the beginning, she has sparked a lot of peopleʼs interest, and has supplied the expertise. Many social and psychology professionals who perform key roles in the community have trained with

her. When I was leaving, she thanked me warmly for my interest, and the others bid me goodbye, even though I was a total interloper. There were maybe 12 of us who attended altogether, but this should increase when the word gets out that these seminars are back. Constantly bombarded with outside demands and influences, the push and pull of external forces, and subject, as we are most of the time, to received opinion, finding your authentic self is a lifetimeʼs work. I would highly recommend this if you wish to improve your understanding of yourself, and get to grips with this somewhat unwieldy body of knowledge. It is well worth knowing about, you will get a great welcome and a chance to connect

with others who are dedicated to Jungʼs theories. CONTACT: C.G. Jung Society of Ireland, 29, Manor Street, Dublin 7. Tel: 01 442 5216 or 085 761 0345. Left: Carl Jung Below: Mandala by Jung.






By Glenda Cimino

n different parts of the world, the weather forecaster will speak of a ʻhurricaneʼ, ʻcycloneʼ or “typhoonʼ. But these are just different names for the same weather phenomenon: torrential rain and maximum sustained wind speeds (near storm centre) exceeding 119 kilometers per hour. These storms are called different names depending on the ocean basin in which they occur. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is the United Nationsʼ authoritative voice on weather, climate and water. According to the WMO, ʻhurricanesʼ (named after the Mayan God Hurakan) occur in the western North Atlantic, central and eastern North Pacific, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. ʻTyphoonsʼ happen in the western North Pacific. ʻCyclonesʼ occur in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. ʻSevere tropical cyclonesʼ is the name for such storms in western South Pacific and southeast India Ocean, while ʻtropical cyclonesʼ is the name for storms in the southwest Indian Ocean. I am convinced that some of the British and Irish so-called ʻstrong galesʼ may actually be hurricanes which have crossed the Atlantic. There are also different names for the stages of the development of these high-powered storms: It is a tropical depression when the maximum sustained wind speed is less than 63 km/h. It is a tropical storm

when the maximum sustained wind speed is more than 63 km/h. And that is when it is also given a name; a personal name. Tropical storm Betty may or may not develop into Hurricane Betty. The practice of naming storms (tropical cyclones) began years ago in order to help in the quick identification of storms in warning messages, because names are presumed to be far easier to remember than numbers and technical terms. Many agree that appending names to storms makes it easier for the media to report on tropical cyclones, heightens interest in warnings and increases community preparedness. Experience shows that the use of short, distinctive given names in written as well as spoken communications is quicker and less subject to error than the older more cumbersome latitude-longitude identification methods. These advantages are especially important in exchanging detailed storm information between hundreds of widely-scattered stations, coastal bases, and ships at sea. In the beginning, storms were named arbitrarily. An Atlantic storm that ripped off the mast of a boat named ʻAntjeʼ became known as Antjeʼs hurricane. Then the mid-1900ʼs saw the start of the practice of using feminine names for storms. Meteorologists later decided to be more efficient and identify storms using names from a list arranged alphabetically. Thus, a storm with a name which begins with A, like Anne, would be the first


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storm to occur in the year. Before the end of the 1900s, forecasters started using male names for those forming in the Southern Hemisphere. Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization. The original name lists featured only womenʼs names. In 1979, menʼs names were introduced and they alternate with the womenʼs names. Six lists are used in rotation. Thus, the 2008 list will be used again in 2014. If you google your own name with ʻhurricaneʼ in front of it, you can find out when there was or will be a storm with your name on it. But donʼt take it personally. Tropical cyclones can last for a week or more; therefore there can be more than one cyclone at a time. Weather forecasters give each tropical cyclone a name to avoid confusion. Each year, tropical cyclones receive names in alphabetical order. Women and menʼs names are alternated. The name list is proposed by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of WMO Members of a specific region, and approved by the respective tropical cyclone regional bodies at their annual/ bi-annual sessions. Nations in the western North Pacific began using a new system for naming tropical cyclones in 2000. Each of the fourteen nations affected by typhoons submitted a list of names totalling 141. The names include animals, flowers, astrological signs, and a few personal names,

used in pre-set order. In 2010, the first hurricane in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic region will be called Alex, and in Eastern North Pacific, it will be Agatha. For more information, see the WMO website on storm naming: http://www.wmo. int/pages/prog/www/tcp/Stormnaming.html. In the East Pacific, sixteen named tropical cyclones were recorded in 2008, of which seven evolved into hurricanes and two of them into major hurricanes at Category 3 or higher. In the Western North Pacific, twenty-two named tropical cyclones were recorded in 2008, ten of which were classified as typhoons compared to the long-term average of twenty seven and fourteen, respectively. Between 1886 and 1998, out of the 566 Atlantic hurricanes in the Atlantic, twenty-two have grown strong enough to become Category 5 hurricanes with maximum sustained

wind speeds exceeding 249 km/h. The worst recent tropical cyclones include Hurricane Mitch (Honduras) in 1998, Hurricane Katrina (USA) in 2005 and most recently hurricane Gustav (Haiti) in 2008, and severe cyclone Nargis (Myanmar) in 2008. In 2008, a total of sixteen named tropical cyclones formed in the Atlantic, including eight hurricanes, five of which were major hurricanes at Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. These numbers are well above the longterm averages of 11, 6, and 2 respectively. The 2008 Atlantic hurricane season was devastating, with casualties and widespread destruction in the Caribbean, Central America and the United States of America. For the first time on record, six consecutive tropical cyclones (Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike) made landfall on the United States of America, and two major hurricanes (Gustav and Ike) hit Cuba. By early November 2009, the hurricane season in the Atlantic counted nine named tropical cyclones, of which three became hurricanes. These numbers are well below the long-term average of tropical cyclones in the region. The Western North Pacific has been hit several times in September-October 2009 by numerous typhoons such as Ondoy, Ketsana, Parma, Lupit and Mirinae, causing many casualties. Detailed information on tropical cyclones is available at the Severe Weather Information Centre. www. This specialized WMO web site gives real-time information on tropical cyclones and severe weather around the world. It is maintained by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) in Hong Kong, China, under the auspice of WMO. Above: Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf of Mexico, 28 August 2005. Below: Searching for survivors in New Orleans after the hurricane. Pictures by NASA and US Coast Guard.






By Harry Cavendish

ublin City Council intends to build flood defences along the river Dodder beside Marian College and Lansdowne Road. The defence level will be 5 metres above the Malin Head mark, the Malin Head mark being the set tidal level in the Irish Grid Reference System, so the flood defences will be 5 metres above the mean at Malin Head. The Part 8 planning process for phase 2b of the ʻDodder Alleviation Worksʼ from Lansdowne Road Bridge back up to the Railway Bridge on both sides of the Dodder will consist of floodwalls at the rear of the gardens on Lansdowne Road and the Green area beside Lansdowne Road Bridge. On the other side at Marian College, the railings lining the pedestrian walk will be taken down and replaced with a wall. The IRFU has been carrying out works on the Dodder in line with the construction of the new stadium and just on the other side next to Lansdowne Village (pictured above right) there are already flood defences going in, courtesy of Dublin City Council. This means residents from Stella Gardens up to the beginning of the Sweepstakes will be protected in times of storms and heavy rain. Dutch dam (a folding standby flood defence system) temporary flood defences will still be required for high water levels on the Marian College side of Newbridge Road and at the rear entrance to Marian College and on the walkway to Railway Cottages. The job of building further flood defences from the railway bridge upstream to Donnybrook Bridge has been put out to tender with the closing date for expressions of interest the 5th March 2010. If a Dutch Dam is put in for Railway Cottages, it will simply divert flooding back up towards the Sweepstakes and Ballsbridge Terrace. Not an easy area for the Cityʼs engineers.

Remembering James Kavanagh


By Deborah Kavanagh

ames Kavanagh was murdered on the 31st of May 2004 outside the Irishtown House Public House. James was stabbed to death while sitting in a car waiting for a friend. Although the Gardaí investigated the murder at the time, no witnesses came forward and the case was never resolved, with no charges ever being brought against anybody. James was the only son of Pat and Bridie and the only brother of Deborah, Sinead and Margaret. He left a fifteen year old daughter and a grieving family behind him after his untimely death at just 34 years old. Even though he died almost six years ago now, he is still fondly remembered by all his family and friends. The Kavanagh family will not be able to end the grieving process until this is cleared up once and for all. For the familyʼs sake, if anyone out there has any piece of information no matter how small, please get in touch with Irishtown Garda Station on 01-6669600. Or call Crimestoppers on 1800 25 00 25.






he Atlantic Salmon ʻSalmo Salarʼ is the most commonly eaten fish in Europe. Its ready availability is due to the relatively new explosion in salmon farming. Norway is the largest provider followed by Scotland and then Ireland. Bizarrely, the vast majority of farmed Atlantic Salmon comes from the Pacific Ocean, with Chile producing more than half the worldʼs supply. Salmon farming began in Ireland in 1974 with the ESB conducting trials at Carna, Co Galway. But it was in the late 1980s that farms really took off, with sites in Donegal, Mayo, Galway, Kerry and Cork. International trade agreements and tariffs played havoc with the price of farmed salmon for a number of years and many farms folded and or changed ownership in this period. Norwegian, Dutch and German corporations now control the industry and own most of the farms in Europe and Chile. A Norwegian worker will get 300% more in wages than a Chilean worker, even though they work for the same employer.

Since the ban on drift netting took effect here in 2007, wild salmon are protected from commercial fishing. This has caused a huge demand for organic salmon, both in Ireland and the rest of Europe. According to BIM,

our fisheries board, the market can absorb 5,000 tonnes more organic salmon without impacting on the selling price. The latest figures are from 2007 and show an overall harvest of 10,000 tonnes, valued at €131million, of which 7,000 tonnes were certified organic. The organic salmon fetch at least 40% more at market. According to industry sources, up to 300 jobs are created with each increase in production of 5,000 tonnes. The industry is not without its dilemmas, however, as the salmon is a highly active carnivorous fish– farming it has been compared to raising tigers for meat. A staggering 37% of all global

seafood is now ground into feed for aquaculture, poultry and animal feed. And some scientists now argue that a salmon farm is a reverse protein factory, with resources used far out-

weighing the end product. The industry claims salmon are very efficient at converting food into muscle (meat). This is measured as FCR or Food Conversion Ratio. The FCR of salmon is 1.2 to 1, whereas pigs are 2.5 to 1 and cows are 8 to 1. This efficiency means the impact on the marine environment is reduced. Sceptics are not convinced and believe that at least three kilogrammes of wild fish go to make up one kilogramme of salmon flesh. Anchovies, herrings, sardines, mackerel, sandeel and menhaden are all caught and ground to make the fishmeal and fish



By Therese OʼToole

tʼs beginning to feel a little like summer so for many, rosé wines are in season. Rosé wines originated in France, but are now produced all over the world. Normally rosé is made from red-skinned grapes that are left in contact with the skins for a short period, typically two or three days. In America, the zinfandel grape is mostly used and is known as White Zinfandel. In France and beyond, the grapes used vary, leading to a really interesting range of rosé wines. Here are a few of my favourites: Rosé Coteaux du Languedoc, 2008, Domaine du Poujol,

France. €10.40 Made from a blend of Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault and Syrah, a small proportion of this wine is fermented in barrel to give structure to the wine. Dry in style with lovely aromas of strawberries and redcurrants, this wine is fresh and fruity on the palate with lively acidity. Roundhill White Zinfandel 2008, California, U.S.A. €12.00 A blend of Zinfandel and a small amount of Muscat, this wine is bursting with fruit aromas of ripe melons and strawberries. This is a dry style with a hint of sweetness on the palate and flavours of ripe strawberries, cranberries and orange. A lovely wine chilled and a great accompaniment to seafood and salads.

Muddy Water Pinot Rosé 2008, New Zealand. €13.85 Hailing from the Waipara region in New Zealand, this wine, made from Pinot Noir, has aromas of raspberries, tropical fruits and a hint of floral notes. The palate had good acidity and a refreshing finish. Simply enjoy on its own or with light meats and poultry. Marques de Monistrol Cava Rosé N.V, Spain €18.00 If you enjoy bubbles, this is an excellent pink cava from Spain. A blend of Monastrell and Pinot Noir, this cava is full of ripe cherries and strawberry fruit on the palate with a lively fresh finish. Delicious! These wines are available at good independent wine stores, including The Wine Boutique, Ringsend.

oil. Some of these populations, such as North Sea sandeel have been decimated as a result. In June 2005 an Irish organic salmon farm had to withdraw its stock from Morrisonʼs Supermarkets in the UK when traces of the banned fungicide malachite green was found in the fish. The farm claimed the dye had come from paper towels during processing.

In late February this year 100,000 juvenile salmon weighing 70 grammes each escaped from a Scottish farm. Storm damage and a hole in a net were to blame. These can play havoc

by competing or, worse, breeding with the wild stock. The farm was owned by Marine Harvest who own 80% of Irish farms. The solutions to the many problems facing this growing industry must lay in enclosed containers. Though a larger capital outlay is required, the system will be cleaner and more cost effective in time. The contained re-circulation system filters recycle the water and wild stocks are protected from disease and parasites. Fewer chemicals are required and feed requirements can be reduced by up to 40%. No antibiotics or delousing treatments are needed. ECOFARM, a Norwegian company, has pioneered this system and finds it 21% cheaper than open net farming. Hopefully, here lies the future. Pictures: The Atlantic salmon– farmed and swimming free.


A VISIT By Christopher Sweeney


he Irish Barber is a unique institution, a place for gossip and chat, an oasis of calm in a difficult world. A good Irish barber will give you more than a haircut– he or she is also an informal counsellor, dispensing good advice and good cheer along with a


TO THE BARBER short back and sides. John Duffyʼs barbershop in Sandymount was by all accounts a place for socialising as much as for grooming. You could sit down, have a read of the paper, follow the horses on the radio, or chat to your friends. Other notable establishments were Cecilʼs in Ringsend (still here– see below) and Gerard McCartneyʼs in Irishtown. The trade is an ancient one, razors have been found in Egypt dating back to 5000 years ago. The ancient Egyptians habitually shaved their heads, though strangely enough they also wore wigs made of human hair to shade themselves from the sun, so having your own hair was a mark of poverty. Egyptian priests

were required to have a full body shave every three days. Of course, haircuts were not always a matter of choice. Alexander the Great insisted that all his soldiers were clean-shaven so they could not be grabbed by the hair in combat. The barber shop as a place of business became established in Roman times. It was the mark of a freeman to be clean-shaven, whereas slaves were bearded, so a daily visit to the barbers was as important as a visit to the public baths. Barbers of former times were also surgeons and dentists, performing minor operations like lancing boils, blood-letting and tooth extractions. The traditional barberʼs pole with red and white stripes is a reminder of this dual trade, representing the blood and bandages one would expect to see on a visit to the barber. The white coats worn by barbers until

recently were also a reminder of their quasi-medical past. Barber shops had their heyday in the days before the advent of the disposable razor. Recently however, the

CECIL’S BARBER SHOP Traditional-Style Barber Shop Established 1939 SPECIAL OFFERS OAPs on Tuesday and Wednesday: €6 Dry Cut: €10 All Week Closed all day Monday 10 Thorncastle Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4 Tel: 6680606

joys of getting a wet shave from a professional using a straight-edged barberʼs razor are being rediscovered, as you will never get a cleaner, neater shave.




By Jason McDonnell


any of you may have seen the two new tugboats in Dublin Port, ʻThe Shackletonʼ and ʻThe Beaufortʼ. The boats, which arrived in


Company recently. As Dublin Port is Irelandʼs largest port, handling almost €35 billion in trade flows annually and getting busier every year, the new tugs were essential to accommodate the 15,000 vessels arriving and departing annually. The tugs were built by the Astilleros Zamakona shipyard in Bilbao, Spain and are 24 metres long with two 16-cylinder engines in each. The engines are capable of generating a massive 5150 horsepower– 50 times stronger than the average motor car– to turn two state-of-the-art Vioth propellors. Though shorter than the older tugs, the new boats have 50% more pulling power and are easier to turn. This will help the port to handle the larger vessels with deeper

launch in March. ʻThe Beaufortʼ was named after Sir Francis Beaufort from Navan, who created the ʻBeaufort Scaleʼ for measurement of wind force. The new tugs will be part of the portʼs VTS (Vessel Traffic Management) system and will work in coordination with the pilot boats and the harbour master to bring ships safely in to dock 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions, all year round. Thanks to Ritchie Saunders and Paul Dorgan (pictured right and left below) for bringing us out on the new boats. The next time you are doing your shopping, you might consider how much hard work goes into making sure your goods arrive in Ireland intact. By the way, amongst many other things, Ritchie Saunders has been Chairman of St Patʼs Rowing Club for the last 20 years. Training has begun for the upcoming May Regatta. Best of luck to all involved.

I could almost hear him howl. In Collins Barracks, there are some new additions which now include a huge moose, and zebra and Irelandʼs moon rock. This stone was collected in 1972 as part of the final Apollo

mission and is accompanied by meteorites. These space rocks include fragments of asteroids, of Mars and the Moon and visitors can touch a piece of our solar system dating back 4.5 billion years. The exhibition area includes spaces to get to grips with the Museumʼs zoological and geological collections. There is something to suit everyoneʼs taste on display. The kids will thoroughly enjoy this marvellous exhibition. Donʼt miss the tropical insects hidden under their covers that protect their delicate colours from fading in the sunlight. The collections are being moved back to the original premises on Merrion Square this week, it will be great to see them home again. Opening Hours: Closed Mondays and Bank Holidays. Tuesday to Saturday: 10am to 5pm. Sunday: 2pm to 5pm.


By Louise Hanrahan


Dublin back in March, were pretty much tailor-made for working in Dublin Port. The two tugs are identical so that the crews will be able to man whichever tug is available. The Boats cost €6 million each, making up the bulk of the €16 million investment made by the Port

drafts who are using the facilities these days. The boats are also equipped with water guns, enabling them to enter a dangerous fire situation in safety and to assist fire brigades by pumping water ashore from the sea. They have a drenching system that allows the tugs to cover themselves in water in the event that they become involved with a very intense fire. The wheelhouses on the tugs are designed to provide a 360 degree view, so the tugs may be controlled easily in reverse. The tugs are furnished with radar and GPS positioning systems, so working in fog or at night will not be a problem. In the past, boats have been named after places in Dublin like ʻThe Clontarfʼ and ʻThe Dalkeyʼ. This time it was decided to name the boats after famous Irish people. ʻThe Shackletonʼ was named after Ernest Shackleton, the polar explorer from Athy, Co. Kildare. Two of his grandsons were present at the

fter watching a very interesting programme about the Natural History Museum, I was eager to pay a visit. The museum has been closed for the last year or two and there has been a major project going on behind the scenes in relocating the animal exhibits and other artefacts to the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks, Dublin 7. The History Museum originally opened in 1857 as the museum of the Royal Dublin Society. It has amazing solid wood and glass cabinets which have almost every animal from all over the world on display! The history of collecting these creatures extends over two centuries and has resulted in a rich variety of

animals, many which are now endangered or more sadly, extinct. Exhibitions in this museum have changed little in style for over a century, adding to the charm and rarity of this national treasure. It brought back sentimental memories for me when I visited. I remember going on a school day trip to the original museum in Merrion Street, and I have missed its closure. It was really a step back in time for me to visit the new venue and see some of the original old favourites. The giant deer; Spoticus the enormous imposing giraffe, the giant polar bear, and all the families of badgers, foxes, otters, rabbits and hares etc. The animals are extremely lifelike and they stare at you through glass eyes in their cases, but it makes you feel they are really alive and could

jump out at any second! I was enthralled by one display of a wolf. He was just exquisite. His fur with the big, bushy tail, the amazing vivid green eyes, and his pointed ears, and sharp teeth made me shiver.


PAGE 27 California. Now they show up as far north as Alaska. Combinations of reasons are thought to be responsible for their range expansion and population increase. Climate change, pollution and lack of predators are all contributory factors. One thing seems sure, if a creature this smart, evolved and powerful looks upon mankind as an adversary or food source it will make ʻJawsʼ look like a kidʼs bedtime story.


By John Fitzgerald

n December 2009, three divers were killed in Mexicoʼs Sea of Cortez when they became the centre of a Humbolt or Jumbo Squid feeding frenzy. Their torn diving gear was found washed ashore some days later stained by the Squidsʼ trademark ink. This has led to increasing speculation that this agressive and highly intelligent carnivore has turned on its main food competitor and become a man-eater. This April a similar story was printed in a Canadian outdoors magazine published in Alberta, the ʻWestern Sportsman Magazineʼ. It alleged a diver was savaged by Humboldt Squid off Vancouver Island, British Columbia. This story, however, was found to be a hoax.

Unconfirmed reports of Mexican fishermen being dragged overboard to their deaths are also common. These shrimp fishermen hunt the Jumbo Squid off-season in the Sea of Cortez and have nicknamed the species ʻlos Diablos Rojasʼ or the Red Demons. Named after the Humboldt Current in which they live off the coast of South America, the Humboldt Squid (Dosidicus Gigas), live at depths of 1000ft to 2300ft, far below the safe diving zone for humans. Much of their behaviour remains a mystery for this reason. Though their eggs have never been seen or recorded, it is believed they lay between 100,000 and 200,000 eggs each on the sea floor. Like other types of squid they are thought to have a one-year life-cycle. They have three hearts

Clockwise from bottom left: A Humbolt or Jumbo Squid; the Sea of Cortez; a dead squid placed for size comparison beside a (live) man. and a huge brain and a beak that is made from one of the stiffest and hardest organic materials known to man. The squid have been studied when they come close to the surface at night to feed in shoals of up to 1,200. They are voracious hunters and pursue prey such as krill, crustaceans, pelagic and demersal fish. They also hunt other squid species and, most unusually, they will immediately turn to cannibalism if food becomes scarce. This is understandable when we realise they grow to over seven feet and weigh 100kg within months of birth. They can reach speeds of 15mph, which renders any divers helpless should food/ territorial issues arise. Their main predators, Tuna, Shark and Swordfish have been severely overfished and the Jumbo Squid has expanded its territory by vast amounts. Not long ago, scientists were surprised when the Humboldt Squid appeared as far north as

T HE C ULINARY C ORNER – HI FOLKS, we l c o m e t o our gastronom i c a l f e a ture of News Fo u r ! This is a n e x t re m e l y versatile and e c o n o m i c al dish for you t o r u s t l e up… What you will n e e d : 1 pound round o r c u b e d steak beef 1 onion ¼ cup of butter/ m a rg a r i n e or better again s o m e c o o k ing oil Pinch of garlic Salt/Pepper for s e a s o n i n g 2 tablespoons of a l l p u r-

BEEF STROGANOFF the mushrooms and soup and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the sour cream. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with parsley flakes. Serve hot and enjoy!!

pose flour P u n n e t o f f re s h m u s h ro o m s 1 c a n o f c o n d e n s e d C a m pb e l l s C re a m o f C h i c k e n Soup 1 c a r t o n o f s o u r c re a m Te a s p o o n o f p a r s l e y f l a k e s (optional) What you do: Cut the beef into cubes a n d s e t a s i d e . C h o p t h e o nion. Melt the oil or butter over a medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook unti l t e n d e r. S t i r i n t h e c u b e d b e e f a n d g a r l i c a n d c o n t i n-

ue stirring until browned. S t i r i n t h e f l o u r, s a l t a n d

p e p per until thickened. R e d uce heat to low. Add

Tit bits: Sour cream makes this creamy dish fit for a king– or a Russian baron. Serve over fluffy cooked rice or egg noodles You can substitute ground beef for the round steak if you like. Happy munching until our next issue.





By Louise Hanrahan



By George Humphries

he last winter we experienced was the harshest I can remember. I must say before I go any further that I never felt the cold as most people do, being an avid outdoor type all my life– all year round, even including the winter months. I rarely used the central heating in my home until a few years ago, and even then it would only be for an hour or so just to heat the house. Family and friends had remarked that my home was cold but I never took any notice of them until last Christmas, when I had a visitor from Vietnam who said the place was freezing, even though I had the heat on full-blast. I decided it was time to enquire about insulation, so I called a company called Premier Insulations in Birr (where else?) Co Offaly. Within a week, a rep arrived to go through the ins and outs of insulation and shortly after that the work began. I have cavity walls back and front and these were drilled with small holes and then filled with foam spray insulation, stopping the cold getting in and, more importantly, the heat getting out. This job took about two hours to do, then three to five days for the foam to dry and a further two weeks for the walls to dry completely. The attic was also insulated with blown Rockwool fibreglass. When the two chaps came to insulate the attic they put a big hosetype tube in through the bedroom window and they had a machine in the lorry with which they blew in the Rockwool, resulting in an even layer of insulation of sixteen inches, which now looks like a mattress in the attic. One thing I noticed immediately was the house was indeed much warmer and now when I do put on the heating it is only for half an hour or so as the house retains the heat much better. I suppose the only thing I do regret is that I did not know about this years ago when my parents were still alive, especially my Da. I can now recall being here just after Christmas one year watching ʻThe Weakest Linkʼ in the bitter cold. I had the heat on but now I realize it was all going out through the walls. One thing for sure is that the heating bills will not be as high as they were in the past and over a period it will pay for itself. There are government grants available for house insulation– you can find out more at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, web pages at:

.M. Barnardo & Son Ltd., is the worldʼs oldest furriers, with a tradition that spans over six generations designing and manufacturing the ultimate fashionable furs and garments for collection and exclusive wear. The business was first established as far back as 1812. I have always had a fascination for this luxurious shop just across from the Molly Malone statue at the bottom of Grafton Street, so my friend and I decided to pay it a visit. The first thing you encounter on arrival is the tight security. You have to be buzzed in by the staff– probably because of the valuable stock inside and ongoing protests by antifur activists. One surprising thing is the size of the shop. From the street it looks quite small but it actually takes up five floors. I spoke with a lovely lady called Caroline, who has been working here for 39 years. Caroline informed me that 90% of the clientele are Irish, which surprised me, as I had always thought the whole business

centred around our visiting tourists, especially the Americans. Most of the fur comes from Scandinavia and the animals that provide this beautiful natural material are farmed fox, mink, squirrel and musquash or muskrat. All the garments in the shop are designed by Barnardoʼs in-house designer From time to time Animal Rights protesters show up at the shop to run riot with their passionate views on the fur trade but Barnardoʼs turn

a blind eye and are still continuing to trade. Business has been unaffected, although I do think it does require audacity to wear such a rich garment in public these days. Everyone has their own opinion and beliefs about this type of trading in furs, leather etc, but I found my fur shop visit very fascinating and it seems that Barnardoʼs are standing the test of time in these dark days of recession.

DO YOU DO SUDOKO? No prizes for cracking the grid below, just the knowledge that you can!



Haddington Road School Communion 1943

Many thanks to Pat Carey who sent in this picture of the Communion Group at Haddington Road School in 1943. Pat is third from the top on the right hand side.



Name:…………………………… Address:………………………… Telephone:…………………

The winner of the prize for February-March was Thomas Butler, Scalp House, Kilternan. Entries for this issueʼs crossword to be in by Friday 11th June. The prize is a book token for €30. ACROSS 1,31 Current leader of the Labour Party in the UK (6,5) 4 There is a General one taking place shortly in the UK (8) 9 Pictures of something not real or present (6) 10 A ʻcup half fullʼ (as opposed to empty) kind of person (8) 12 A defence that you were somewhere else when the crime was committed (5) 13 A tradesman working with wood (9) 15 The self of an individual person (3) 16 Not dirty (5) 17 A soft felt hat with a deeply creased crown (6) 22 A regular and systematic way of accomplishing something (6) 24 Have to do that exam again! (5) 27 An indefinitely long period of time; an age (3) 28 A finder of clues (9) 31 See 1 above 32 Where our honey providers live (8) 33 Not as difficult (6) 34 To twist together into a confusing mass (8) 35 Very thin (6) DOWN 1 Counselling to help school leavers (8) 2 Came to understand (8) 3 Doing what you are told (9) 5 A person avoided by others (5) 6 Unlawful activity (5) 7 Silly people (6) 8 The world of living things and the great outdoors (6) 11 Type of whiskey (6) 14 Old friend (3) 18 Without a doubt (6) 19 Bread often eaten at Halloween (9) 20 An inhabitant of country of north-central Europe west of Russia, capital Tallin (8) 21 Large venomous ray (8) 23 A small child (3) 25 You can eat it! (6) 26 A public thoroughfare in a city or town (6) 29 A mound of stones erected as a memorial (5) 30 Considered the best of its kind (5)






e have previously published theatrical photographs taken by Harry Braine in the 1940s. Braine took the photos shown here at his own garage situated at the Drumcondra end of Dorset Street beside the Royal Canal. The top and bottom right photos date from about 1940. In the ʻEmergencyʼ years (known elsewhere as the Second World War) petrol was very scarce, so he seemed to branch into electrical work and bicycle repair. In the photo below, perhaps about the mid-1950s, the ancient petrol pumps have been replaced by a more modern version and the cobbled road has been surfaced. In the modern photos to the right, Clarkeʼs shop opposite has been replaced by a modern clone but OʼMearaʼs pub is much the same. Meanwhile, there is still a garage on Braineʼs site, with a motorbike shop next door. The old structures are still clearly visible under the modern signs.




Mother Cat

The cat came back I thought she was a goner but she came back From far beyond where houses end, Where feral cats hang out. We were to drive on holidays No time for a black cat. Unless it was for luck and we would relish that. She whined outside the garage door Now why would she do that? I opened up the garage door And there was the why A litter of black kittens That looked like they might die. She took the biggest by the neck And padded towards the wall She scaled the six foot structure No trouble at all. She came back for the next one She did this four times more ʻItʼs really late the road is long Close the door and letʼs be goneʼ One left. I put this mite outside the door I knew this cat and sheʼd be back one time more. By Carmel McCarthy

Alligator Alligator, alligator Solar panels in your back Short legs: deadly jaws Who made you like that? You are a man eating monster We equal food to you Youʼd grab us in your massive jaws And break us in two You bask in still waters Your snout and eyes above Your long tail a rudder to steer you about You can run on land to land a man Youʼre a fearsome predator Yet when caring for offspring Youʼre as gentle as can be You guard them be they yours or not As long as theyʼre alligators By Carmel McCarthy

Blaw Klee

Twenty– for Zoe

Twenty years ago your ecstatic father welcomed you here, and to the other side of the world he sent this news to me, and I used words to celebrate your life.

In the streets of wholesome hatred In the nutshell of the night Some lads were pegging bottles In the graveyard of the light. Red neon wreathed the buildings And kept flashing “Rest In Peace”. A requiem was chanted By the siren blue police. The bridges spread their legs As if to span some sexy truth But the river went on searching For the crystal of its youth. The cinemas went crawling Through a schoolyardʼs sunk black hull Where the March hare and the hatter Put the dormouse in a skull. The parks were breathing fragrance But the bakery sailed on To some titanic breakfast On the iceberg of the dawn.

Today snow purifies your day the branches hold the frozen drops as you walk on into an adult life, we wish you every blossoming good and wave you on to make your art to leave your mark and make your own days full, live your life, grab its beat Dance it– with strong feet. Anne Le Marquand Hartigan

Ritual I put my youngest grandchild to bed.

By Peter Kay

Nowhere in the Inn My daughter and her friend are off to Edinburgh for Hogmanay. Theyʼve booked no accommodation, and there is nowhere to stay now. I imagine them stuck on the street all night in the cold northern wind, or worse, taken home by a fiend.

I baby sit. She is four– she knows her world. Neat and complete she cleans her teeth and I read a story. Together we tuck up the day. She says Now tell me your story. I tell her the actions of my day. Now, she says I need a song. I sing The Fox and the Goose. She does not mind that goose is the foxʼs dinner. I sing a lullaby as her eyes droop– I blow kisses as I leave. “Leave the door open wide.” I do. Both our worlds are full. Anne Le Marquand Hartigan

The Good Wine– Menopause I have poured my blood out. Giving always. Used it.

With the resilence of youth, they do not seem worried, reject my attempts to help. I worry for them, am I becoming my own mother? I who hitchhiked across America, slept in ditches, went home with total strangers, travelled penniless but hopeful and somehow survived.

Curled in my womb. Carried it. Carefully. Forced the child out. Bawling. Six times this womb has filled. It is enough. Now I choose myself, wisdom is my own. Even the moon cannot tempt me, I am full-grown.

But it was a different time, I tell myself. People were friendlier, capitalism less entrenched, psychopaths fewer. But secretly I suspect that the only real difference is that I was young.

Riches I shared so liberally I pull these tides home. The wine that spilled abundance now is mine alone. By Glenda Cimino

As always, we welcome contributions to The Poetry Place, which can be sent to the ʻNewsFourʼ offices at 7 Bridge Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4.

I have bred the world on pushed over a turning, I am stronger than the moon, and those thoughts that give you fear are truer than the sunʼs eye. Anne Le Marquand Hartigan





By Jennifer Betts


hy canʼt they make Prozac chocolate bars? Or serotonin tea bags? The guiltiest of guilty pleasures all wrapped up in foil fresh packets. Because according to Kit Kat these days itʼs the freshest and most durable way to store your sweeties. You know, should you decide to go mountain biking with your Kit Kat in your inside pocket. What happened to have a break? So many products promise us the world and its mother, in particular, chocolate bars. Get more nuts, indulge yourself, melt away, work rest and play, maybe the last one is embarrassingly showing my age. Do I have a point? As much as a Toblerone. Why, oh why do we read about these adverts, watch them on telly, discuss them over endless cups of coffee and then are made to feel guilty with the added notion of diets, weight loss and healthy living? In moderation of course, but I refuse to pander to these social pressures of ʻa moment on the

lips, a lifetime on the hipsʼ. Itʼs quite obvious Iʼm obsessed with food, isnʼt it? Maybe obsession is the wrong word, but food and I have a passionate relationship– chocolate is my white knight, my day off, my significant other. Yes I am single, but when ʻthe oneʼ comes along Iʼm afraid he will have to compete with my Curly Wurly. You see, there are no calories in Curly Wurlys in my world, because they are childrenʼs treats. The same rule applies to Easter eggs, broken biscuits, birthday cakes, chocolate covered strawberries, cinema sweets and well… you get the picture. Too many times have I opened a womenʼs interest magazine to find a delicious, mouth-watering recipe for a chocolate cake, only to find, on the next page, a new diet; how to lose a stone in two days etc etc. And then there are the articles dedicated to people who have shed the pounds by munching on celery for ten weeks. Hats off to them, Iʼm not that cynical. My own friend lost four and a half stone thanks to Weight Watchers, fair dues. But who wants to eat celery?

And do I really have to read about ʻHelen from Cheshireʼ who dumped her boyfriend of ten years because she suddenly found herself sliding into size ten jeans and found that her couch potato boyfriend didnʼt match her new fat-free lifestyle? Eat a doughnut for sugarʼs sake! And guess what, I donʼt care how skinny you are, youʼre making us all feel bad about our muffin top. All I know is that I have gone up a size for the first time in my life and couldnʼt be happier. I get to indulge in the delight of quaffing cream cakes, M&S puddings, curry chips and ke-

babs, because I refuse to succumb to the pressure of maintaining my size 8 figure from when I was 24. I would rather go for a walk and get chips on the way home, because walking while eating doesnʼt make me feel as guilty. Iʼm all for exercise and healthy living and Iʼm proud to say that thereʼs still leftover Easter egg beside me as I write. But come on, thereʼs more to life than sweating away in the gym, counting points and opting for the salad in MacDonaldʼs. Seriously, thatʼs like picking Ricki Martin out of a potential boyfriend line up! Unfortunately Iʼm not qualified to tell you

what to eat, but I will leave you with a parting thought: the next time that Cream Egg is calling you from the fridge, acquiesce! Savour, chomp down, crunch, munch, suck the cream out or eat it in one, whichever way you eat yours and revel in those moments of sheer heaven, let guilt be gone! You can always take the stairs tomorrow. I know I will, because somehow I can imagine that the seven Mars bars in my fridge will swiftly turn to six by the time Iʼm done. Suck on that, Posh Spice. Oh, thatʼs right, you canʼt. (Photo by Robby Ewing)



Winner of the Sack Race Megan McEneany gives a wave.

he Ringsend Community Services Forum held their Easter Festival from 8th to 10th of April. The aim of the forum was to engage our young people of all ages in positive activities to create a diversion from substance abuse, alcohol misuse and anti-social behaviour. A further aim was to create a sense of community spirit by bringing all ages together i.e. parents, grandparents, children, teens and seniors and also promoting positive relationships with the garda, local authority and our local community. The proposal presented by member groups originated as a response within our local community identifying the need for activities during the holidays. Teresa Rooney, Development Officer for the Forum, invited

local groups to participate in the events, sharing their resources in a voluntary capacity, free of charge to all members of our community. The programme of events was a great success. Over one thousand people attended, showing the true community spirit in our area. The Forumʼs Bachelor of the Year 2010 fund-raising event was held in the Clanna Gael Hall in aid of Haiti. Chairperson Derek Bowden opened the event with guest speaker Deputy Lord Mayor Kevin Humphreys thanking everyone involved in supporting such a worthy event. It was a night of great entertainment, with artists from our local area, including Irishtown Stage School, Mark Byrne, The Ennis Twins Matthew and Owen, Ger and Paddy McGuiness, not forgetting our local judges Willie Murphy, Patsy Doolin, Linda Flood and five of our local bachelors, all displaying real talent, skills and

showmanship for such a worthy cause. Participating Groups Garda Siochana; Power of 1 Lone Parents; Irishtown Stage School; G.A.L (womenʼs group); St Patrickʼs Rowing Club; Stella Maris Rowing Club; Dublin City Council; Cambridge Court Senior Citizens; F.A.I. Civil Defence; Catholic Men & Womenʼs Society; Football Association and Irishtown Stadium. Sponsors of the Event are: Dublin City Council; R.D.R.D. (Spellman Centre); Clanna Gael Fontenoy; The Star Shop; F.A.I; McGowanʼs Printing; Ger & Paddy McGuiness; Sundry Supplies; G.A.L. (womenʼs group). The Forum thanks all who volunteered and participated in the events, making the festival a very memorable community opportunity. Special thanks to John Behan, Nicole Collopy, and Shauna Doyle.


RINGSEND COMMUNITY SERVICES FORUM LTD. EASTER FEST 2010 A SELECTION of the Easter Fest events, from above clockwise: The adult footballers have their day; Garda Denise Kane with local children in Irishtown Garda Station; the Bachelor Boys at Clanna Gael; Sports Fun Day at Irishtown Stadium with girls on the ball, junior football team and the the long jump; Ringsend Bachelor of the Year winner Paddy Murphy with young fans at Irishtown Stadium; Punch and Judy still enthralls these kids at Cambridge Court.




The Fontenoy Files By Sharon Geraghty, PRO


he Clanna Gael Fontenoy 2010 season is now in full swing, with adult training and all league campaigns well underway. The last couple of months have also seen the completion of a number of juvenile events– the first U7s football match and participation in the Junior Great Ireland Run, to name but a few. The Club is also busy preparing for the upcoming ʻLá na gClubʼ event, which will take place on 9th May. Intermediate Football league Clanna Gael footballers opened their 2010 league campaign on 28th February, with a disappointing home defeat to OʼTooles. This was a tough assignment, against an experienced outfit, made even more difficult as it came only days after Clansʼ crushing defeat in the 2009 league promotion play-off final. The lads showed great resilience in their next league outing, at home to St Finians, to battle back from a considerable deficit and claim a welldeserved draw. Clansʼ third league encounter was against St Margarets in which they dominated possession for long periods of the match, only to win in the end by a slender margin. This result seems to have spurred the team back to winning ways, as they followed it up with a great result in Cloghran against Whitehall Colmcille. The squad displayed their trade-mark fighting spirit to come out winners by a single point after a tough physical battle. Hopefully, this victory will give the team further confidence and momentum as they continue to seek promotion to the holy grail of Senior football. We wish the team the very best of luck in their next round of league fixtures and the upcoming, much anticipated, first round of the Intermediate Championship. Clans lose out in Junior Football Championship Clanna Gael travelled to

of possession and fighting hard for the victory. Clans scored their third goal early in the half and Ann Marie Roche pointed a free. The Clans defence played and supported each other as a unit throughout– special mention to Donna Murray who led from the back. The midfield of Elaine McDonnell and Assumpta OʼFarrell put in impressive displays and won a lot of possession. The forward line battled hard throughout the match, picking off some fine scores and defending when needed. Hopes are high for continued success this season.

Trinity Gaels for the opening round of the Junior B Championship on Sunday, April 18th last. Clans got off to a positive start as they dominated possession for the first 15 minutes and took an early lead. Trinity Gaels raised their game as the half progressed and picked off some nice scores, which resulted in a one point half time lead for the home side. Clans were slow to get moving in the second half, and as a result, conceded two quick goals. Clans did come back into the game, however, with some well taken points from Colm Reynolds. A late goal from the boot of Ronan Murphy chipped away at the lead. In the end, time ran

out on the Clans lads. When the final whistle blew, they were on the wrong side of a 2 point game. Trinity Gaels 3-08 v Clanna Gael 1-12. Intermediate Camogie team get season off to a winning start Having secured promotion last season, the Intermediate Camogie team has laid down the gauntlet in the opening two matches of this yearʼs league campaign– with wins over Round Towers and Trinity Gaels. The encounter with Trinity Gaels was a tough assignment. The match began at a blistering pace, with neither team found

wanting from the throw-in. Clans got on the scoreboard early, with a goal from the quick stick of Assumpta OʼFarrell. Janet White quickly added a pointed free to extend the lead. The Clans back line was under pressure throughout the half, but great support play from Margaret Mahon, Sharon Geraghty and Siobhan Joyce kept the Trinity girls at bay. Clans secured a second goal, from Lynn Dunne, following excellent link-up play between Claire Wilkins and Natasha Hayes. Clans had a three point advantage at the interval. The second half was nip and tuck throughout, with both teams conceding little in terms

Clanna Gael children compete in Junior Great Ireland Run To prove we have some runners among us, as well as aspiring hurlers and footballers, a group of Clanna Gael juvenile members took part in the 2010 Junior Great Ireland Run on Sunday, April 18th. Spirits were high as the group left Sean Moore Park and headed on the ʻOut of Serviceʼ double decker for the Pheonix Park. Once there, the children were the centre of a media scrum as the paparazzi scrambled to get pictures of the group. Media work, pre-hydration complete and numbers pinned on jerseys, the group made their way to the warm up area. At the starting line, Sonia OʼSullivan had words of encouragement for all as they got ready for the starting gun. Bang!– and they were off. Some ran and some jogged the 2.75 kilometre course. A posse of brave parents ran with the group to provide encouragement along the route. It wasnʼt long until the first of the Clans group reached the final furlong. Muireann Dempsey was first across the line, closely followed by Roisin McGrath. All the children in the Group finished well and each deserved their special commemorative medals and t-shirts. Well earned drinks and good-


ies were devoured back in the club and all headed home with a great sense of achievement. Under 7s first match The Clanna Gael Fontenoy Under 7s first away friendly was played in March. The match was against Templeogue Synge Street and held at Bushy Park. It was a hugely enjoyable event, with almost 25 of the ʻsquadʼ turning out to play a number of matches against an equally excited bunch from Templeogue. ʻLá na gClubʼ and Community Day The Lá na gClub and Community Day will take place on Sunday, May 9th from 1pm to 7pm. There will be a juvenile feile in the afternoon and


adult matches in the evening. Throughout the day, there will be an abundance of activities and entertainment for all the family, including face painting, super slides, bouncy fun and onsite hot-food. There will also be a car boot sale/ market area. Any traders interested in attending must book a space. Any local talent groups/ clubs in the area are also invited to come along on the day and showcase their skills. Any interested parties must advise in advance. Volunteers are needed (including first aid officers). For all enquires regarding bookings etc., please contact Jacqui McDonnell at 087 7832487 or jacquimcdonnell@yahoo.

Club Website To keep up to date with fixtures/ results/ match reports and general happenings within the club, please log on to www. Any contributions to this web site should be emailed to Many thanks to Jacqui McDonnell, Dermot Stratton, Ken OʼByrne, Colm McGarvey and Roger McGrath for their contributions. Page 34: Christy Cooney, President of the GAA, at the tree planting at Clanna Gael recently. Below: Clanna Gael juniors taking part in the Junior Great Run in Phoenix Park. Above: A shot from the first Under 7s football match.

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NE personʼs misfortune is anotherʼs happiness, goes the well-worn saying. It is a maxim that aptly applies to the London GAA, which has benefited from the worst Irish recession in generations. With a noble history that features figures like Sam Maguire and Michael Collins among its ranks, Cumann Lúth Chleas Gael London has been the welcome recipient of waves of emigrants across the Irish Sea for more than a hundred years. During the last 12 months the traffic has, unsurprisingly, been all one way. On a sunny spring day in west London last month when London met Kerry in the national hurling league, the Exilesʼ panel was boosted by several newcomers. Among the small crowd there was an explicit– if slightly apologetic– acknowledgement that the downturn at home had served as a boon to London. “There has been an upsurge in players coming over for sure,” says Declan Flanagan, the associationʼs PRO. “It has been a case where we lost a few clubs to where we have gained a few.” The GAA scene in Britain will never again reach the dizzy heights of the 1950s, when tens of thousands of Irish would watch the leading counties perform at the Wembley Games.

But in its own little way, there are feelings for quiet optimism. In the 1990s, with the Celtic Tiger in full swing, many clubs folded and playing fields were sold as thousands returned home. But what had seemed to be an almost relentless decline for the game in London has been arrested, for the time being at least. Flanagan, newly appointed to the job of PRO, has his work cut out with the arrival of Kerry. The visiting panel that takes to the field at the GAAʼs HQ in Ruislip is almost completely different to that in the official programme. He reads the hastily-scribbled new names over the Tannoy before going on the pitch and greeting an official carrying a LED board. Later on, it will be used to display the substitutesʼ numbers and even the amount of extra time to be played.

“It has been a case where we lost a few clubs to where we have gained a few.” For a supposedly amateur organisation, there is a refreshing degree of professionalism on hand. Rather surprisingly, London race into a lead after scoring four unanswered points. There are some things, however, which remain unchanged. “Players are still coming over

and being looked after by clubs,” says Flanagan. “Since the economy [in Ireland] crashed, there has been quite a lot of it going on. “Young lads are still being set up with a job in construction and a place to stay. I have heard one example where one club has put them up for a couple of months and paid their rent.” Flanaganʼs own club, St Josephʼs, has been one of the beneficiaries. Relegated to junior level in both league and championship in 2008, the club took on up to almost 20 players between January and March of last year. “We went from a panel of 19 to 35 to 40 players. We are getting more emails and contacts from players in Ireland. Every team has got players from all over the country– north, south, east and west.” It is not hard to see why. Britain has been adversely affected by the downtown but has weathered the recession better than Europeʼs smaller countries

through a combination of massive state bail-outs and flexible working practices. Ireland itself won plaudits for grasping the nettle through instigating public sector pay cuts and slashing the budget deficit. But the pain has been keen. Unemployment recently peaked at an eye-watering 12.5 per cent, compared to just four per cent in 2006. Unemployment in the UK stands at just under eight per cent, but the economic powerhouse that is London means that it has fared far better than provincial and rural areas in Britain. Last year, for the first time since 1995, more people left Ireland than immigrated here. A large percentage consisted of East European nationals returning home, but tens of thousands are leaving once again for pas-

tures new. Glitzy destinations such as America and Australia offer a greater pull than Birmingham, Manchester or Glasgow but the call of London is still strong. Emigrants still need to feel a link with home and the GAA still provides that. Kerry eventually run out 2-19 to 0-17 winners but only after they are forced to send on a raft of super subs. “We gave them a really good game,” declares Flanagan, who knows that Londonʼs improved charges did not give Kerry an easy ride. No one has taken delight at what has befallen Ireland of late, but in one corner of London the upside is there to be seen. Above and below left: Action from London versus Kerry.

SAM MAGUIRE was born in Mallabraga, Co Cork, in 1879. He came to London in 1899 and helped the fledgling GAA become a dominant force. Among his achievements was to lead London to several All-Ireland football finals. During his time in the UK he recruited Michael Collins into the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Both worked for the Post Office and Collins found that he could intercept documents to be used to help the nascent Irish struggle. The picture above is of the 1908 Hibernians Senior Football Team. Sam Maguire is pictured in the centre, holding the ball.




By Jason McDonnell


ack in the days before the Internet and Blackberrys, in the untamed western parts of the USA, the only way to send a message was by horse and rider. In 1860 three entrepreneurs, William H. Russell, William B. Waddell, and Alexander Majors founded the Pony Express to bring mail across the continent from St Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California.

The innovation that these professionals in the supply trade introduced was the idea of riding nonstop across the country in relays, getting the mail through far faster than the stagecoach. The Pony Express became the fastest form of communication in North America as hardy young riders risked life and limb in the name of transporting a padlocked pouch of mail. April 3rd, 2010, marked the 150th anniversary of the day the first Pony Express rider left the stables in St. Joseph and crossed the Missouri River heading west on that historic first ride to California, which took approximately 10 days. In March of 1860, ads appeared announcing the new mail service


and looking for prospective riders. It wasnʼt a job many could do. Firstly, there was the weight issue: riders had to be small and light. Then, there was the stamina issue as the riders would be going at full speed in all weather conditions. Last but not least was the danger of riding alone through potentially hostile territory– the riders had to be brave, or maybe a little crazy. One attractive thing was the pay: Express riders were paid $25 per day at a time when the average daily wage was $1. No one knows how those original ads read, but journalist John L. Considine improvised in the October 1923 issue of ʻSunsetʼ magazine in his article ʻEleven Days to St. Joeʼ: Wanted. Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over 18. Must be expert riders. Willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred. Though the ad was a fabrication, the historical embellishment took hold, and the Pony Express became

By Louise Hanrahan


he growing Ely franchise run by Erik and Michelle Robson have opened their third premises on our doorstep at Grand Canal Quay beside the new theatre. I sauntered down there one sunny evening recently with my husbandto-be to sample the fare. They have certainly found a prime spot for an upmarket gastropub. As the development is finishing, the area is taking on the look of a modern European city centre, more like Milan than Misery Hill. The place

even more mythic in the American imagination. A Horse and rider was expected to go at full gallop. Night and day– crossing mountains, rivers, and desert, through hostile Indian territory without regard to blizzards, tornadoes, or brutal sun– as they rode into the Wild West and into American history. Unfortunately, because the Pony Express operated for only 18 months and because no one at the time thought what they were doing was that remarkable or noteworthy, very few records were kept about

many of the riders. Ultimately, the Pony Express was beaten not by finances but by technology. In 1860, the government got behind the building of the transcontinental telegraph. Two days after the line reached Carson City, Nevada, the Pony Express shut down.

was looking great in the sun, with well turned out folk relaxing at the tables outside. Inside, the atmosphere is laid-back with young, friendly staff. We were served by Silva, who hails from Croatia and has been working here for two years. There is a full bar on offer, including an award-winning wine list. Specialty beers from all over the world are also available, including the original Czech Budweiser, Budejovicky Budvar, delicious with a meal on a warm evening. As befits the waterside location, fresh seafood is a feature of the menu and I ordered the catch of the day;

grilled mackerel on a bed of parsnip and sweet potato with a tomato salsa sauce. Absolutely delicious. I sometimes think we Irish underrate our mackerel, an extremely tasty fish which also happens to be really good for you. My partner, being a typical man, ordered the Guinness Pie with mash, mange tout and gravy. Solid fare, but made with a professional touch and, of course, the beef was organic. So if you are planning to see a show in the new theatre or just fancy a bite on a long summerʼs evening I would heartily recommend this place.

Clockwise from top left: The Pony Express statue in St Joseph, Missouri; a contemporary Pony Express ad and the route from St Joseph to California.




does a lot of research. It can be difficult. There is such a thing as ʻchoreographerʼs blockʼ: what will I get the dancers to do today? With ʻFaunʼ, he was interested in Stephane Mallarmeʼs poem, which inspired music by Debussy, and dance by Nijinsky, the interrelations among these, and how to make it new for modern audiences. Sometimes the dancers could improvise, bringing each dancerʼs special abilities to bear. Sometimes they would rehearse in silence. One of the things he noted about creating and rehearsing Faun was that you shouldnʼt do everything on the first day. Some things should be kept in reserve. It was part of the creative process, and in the end, the dancers would have to really own the dance. It was also important to resist the temptation to fill in every moment. There was a place for high energy, but also for still-

ness. He liked combining narrative, music, movement, text. The piece was very layered. Lots of different things are going on at once, so it is not possible for the audience to focus on everything simultaneously. The rehearsal was intense. Five solid weeks in the studio, 11 am to 6 pm, and then another week of rehearsal in the theatre. He was pleased with the audiences and their response to the piece. Part of the CoisCéim outreach programme is to work with older people in dance, which they have done for the last two years. “You are so enriched by that experience,” he mused, “Creativity in older people is incredible. They have more experience of life.” David is interested in what makes us move, and how we move. He sees all movement, walking, etc, as a form of dance. Living dance, he sees dance everywhere. “There are stories in our bodies,” he says, “and we should tell them.”



avid Bolger, pictured above, is the co-founder and Artistic Director of CoisCéim Dance Theatre. (Coisceim, he tells me, means footsteps). His choreography of full length dance pieces for CoisCéim has been seen in Ireland, Europe, America, Australia and China. In 2001, he co-wrote and choreographed the award-winning film ʻHit and Runʼ which won the Paula Citron Award for Choreography for the Camera in the Moving Pictures Festival, Toronto, and the Jury prize in the Dance on Camera Festival at the Lincoln Centre in New York. David was also nominated for the American Choreography Award. David has distinguished himself as a movement director with a knack which ranges from the large-scale to the small and intimate. David created ʻA Dash of Colourʼ– a four-minute dance sequence involving 75,000 people!– for the Opening Ceremony at the Special Olympics held in Dublin. As a freelance choreographer he has worked in the UK and US, and with Opera Ireland, Barabbas the Company, Druid

Theatre Company and the Abbey Theatre. Top of Form In 2005 David directed the award-winning opera production of ʻOrfeo ed Eurydiceʼ at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin and Weisbaden, Germany. His other work includes the choreography for Druid productions ʻSiveʼ, ʻSharonʼs Graveʼ, and ʻThe Playboy of the Western Worldʼ, as well as ʻBig Maggieʼ, ʻTarry Flynnʼ, ʻThe Colleen Bawnʼ and ʻThe Secret Fall of Constance Wildeʼ (Abbey Theatre); ʻSophieʼs Choiceʼ (Royal Opera House, London), ʻThe Coast of Utopiaʼ, ʻThe Relapseʼ, ʻLoveʼs Labours Lostʼ (Royal National Theatre, London), ʻMartin Guerreʼ (Cameron Mackintosh, UK/USA). He choreographed the film, ʻDancing at Lughnasaʼ, directed by Pat OʼConnor. He and Cindy Cummings are the first two members of Aosdána, the invitationonly honorary arts association for Ireland, in Choreography. David met me after his show in the Project Arts Centre. Despite his illustrious achievements, he was charming and modest. He wanted our readers to know that he grew up and still lives in Sandymount. “Sandymount has always had a healthy mix of people interested

in the arts,” David said. “There were concerts, musicals, magic and talent shows when I was growing up.” At one time, during a spell of unemployment, David actually wrote for ʻNewsFourʼ, when Dennis McKenna was editor. But writing couldnʼt hold a candle to dance. He canʼt remember when he wasnʼt interested in dance and theatre. Even as a child, he was devising little shows for his family members to watch and perform in. The circus– Fossetts, the Courtney Brothers– and later the Cirque du Soleil fascinated him, and for a time he dreamed of running away and joining a circus himself. Fifteen years ago he set up CoisCéim, and the main desire was to create dance that would connect with audiences of all ages. He was pleased to see the wide range of people who came and responded to the new show. Being in Aosdána the last three years is a responsibility, and he is glad to contribute to the official recognition of dance as a true art form. I asked him how he begins to design a dance. Does he start with a concept, movement, feeling, theme, music? It could be any of these things. He usually


By Jason McDonnell

arla Daly, pictured above, is an illustrator specializing in nursery wall decor and wall art for kids. Soon after graduation from art college, she went to work as a freelance artist for childrenʼs book publishers, product manufacturers, magazine publishers, and advertising agencies. Some of her clients include Ritzenhoof, a German glass manufacturer, Rigbey Rocket, a childrenʼs book publisher, Oxford University Press, a childrenʼs book publisher, British Airways in-flight magazine, AGFA and many more. Carla Daly illustrated the Twitches Book, which has been featured by the BBC Jackanory, a well-known childrenʼs program. After several years of doing freelance childrenʼs art and illustration for other companies, Carla opened her own online shop featuring her nursery art and wall art for kids. It was her goal to create wall decor for kidʼs rooms and babies nurseries at an affordable price to enable parents to purchase her artwork and decorate their kidsʼ and babyʼs room at little cost. You can visit Carlaʼs online shop at or you can get in touch with her at 6602616.




By Nessa Jennings


s soon as Niamh Kavanagh took the stage at Eurovison 1993 with the winning song ʻIn Your Eyesʼ, for me there were two conflicting emotions, patriotism and fear. Jimmy Walsh had landed an expressive young singer and interpreter in Kavanagh. Discovered by Alan Parker for ʻThe Commitmentsʼ, she had toured and performed at the Academy Awards in 1992 as part of that band. Unsure whether Eurovision was right for her, she just couldnʼt say no to the song: “a very strong ballad with beautiful lyrics and a melody to die for.” These were heady days for our nationʼs growing self-con-

fidence. The scoring was tense and the competition with our arch rival, the UK, was intensified as each local jury called in their results. In the end, Niamh triumphed over the UK entry, and edged Sonya into second place at the finish. The win was a confirmation for Ireland as musically talented, and a nation of singers and storytellers. But there was something else as well, fear of success. How could the country afford to host the competition again? The creation of Millstreet in Cork as a venue had been an enormous feat for our, as yet, ʻtinyʼ country. As it turned out, the 1994 Eurovision, held at the RDS in Dublin contained an interval act, ʻRiverdanceʼ that captured

the mood of our success, and the RDS showcase got the ball rolling on what was to become the worldwide phenomenon that made the hornpipe sexy. Furthermore, Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettiganʼs ʻRock and Roll Yearsʼ again sealed it, making that three in a row for Ireland. Niamhʼs win had followed Linda Martinʼs ʻWhy Me?ʼ in 1992, penned by Johnny Logan. And two years later, in 1996, Eimear Quinn stole it with ʻThe Voiceʼ, bringing Irelandʼs tally to seven wins in the competion. In 2010, when we are all addicted to our own personal taste, honed on Youtube and iPods, not to mention our atrocious record lately in the competition, the 58th Eurovision song competition seems a lot less important. But this time around, Niamh has thrown her hat into the ring again. Almost two decades on, she has, once more, become hooked by a great composition. ʻItʼs For Youʼ is the result of a collaboration of the Eriksson brothers, Lina and Marten, from Sweden, and conceived by Niall Mooney and Jonas Gladnikoff, in association with Niamh. She will be bringing her own band, even though she accepts the widespread use of the backing track in Eurovision. She is definitely a supporter of the Bring Back The Orchestra campaign, saying “I will always

choose to perform live and with real musicians. Backing tracks have their purpose but realistically I miss the orchestra so much, it gives life to songs and performances.” “The ʻgunaʼ I will be wearing will be very special, I am excited about the whole planning process. Itʼs amazing how much work goes into it. In fairness, it also takes a lot more work to make me look right these days so I am grateful for it. It will be beautiful and womanly, and the design will follow through to the other singers on stage, Nikki and Niamh in particular, as they are beautiful ladies and it would be a waste not to show that.” More mature now, Niamh excels at stage performance, and has realised her promise in that she has become a very strong and arresting singer with a big voice. She feels ready again to step into the Eurovision breach. She remembers her first time. “Itʼs hard to compare the two. In Millstreet I was the home representative and we all know how fabulous it was to be there. Oslo will be a different experience and I am really looking forward to it.” Born and raised in Dublin, she now lives in Carrickfergus, just 8 miles outside Belfast with her two boys, who are 7 and 9 years. She spent 4 years at

Arista records, recording two albums during the 1990ʼs: “Flying Blindʼ, and ʻTogether Aloneʼ. As a matter of interest, Simon Cowell was her first contact with the label. More recently, she has featured on a ʻSecret Gardenʼ vocal album, and is responsible for the final vocal on ʻSimply Youʼ for the album ʻInside Iʼm Singingʼ, a compilation album on which the mighty Barbara Streisand also appears. Niamh Kavanagh is appearing at the National Concert Hall as support to the very popular Vard Sisters on May 5th but donʼt count on getting tickets for this event. Also, you can assess her closer to Eurovision time, as she will be on the Late Late Show on 14th May. The semi-finals will be held in Oslo on the 25th and 27th May with the Grand Final following Saturday 29th May. Thatʼs right. Feel the fear all over again. Sheʼs going in as hot favourite to win again at Oslo in May. Remember, itʼs not unheard of to be involved more than once in Eurovision success. After all, Johnny Logan holds the distinction of having three Eurovision victories to his credit, as either singer, songwriter or both. If Niamh wins again, my friends, how are we going to pay for it this time?




aunched on the 11th February, NASAʼs Solar Dynamics Observatory is a satellite dedicated to observing the sun. In a five-year Mission, the SDO will examine the sunʼs magnetic field and will try to understand the solar storms which can disrupt telecommunications back on Earth. It is the most advanced spacecraft ever to study our closest star. This image shows a solar flare shooting out from the surface of the sun with the force (according to NASA) of 100 Hydrogen Bombs.



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April may 2010 news four  
April may 2010 news four