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Web: = Email: = Local newsdesk phone: 01 667 3317 Serving Sandymount, Irishtown, Ringsend, Pearse Street, Docklands, Ballsbridge & Donnybrook



By Tracy O’Brien efore the crash, Liam Carroll’s Zoe Developments Group was building a new headquarters for the Anglo Irish Bank on the North Wall Quay. But when they went into receivership in 2009, the planned Anglo headquarters sat dormant for years and turned into an eyesore on the river’s landscape. Paschal Mahoney, owner of Mahoney Architecture, passed the shell frequently and began to dream of creative, sustainable ways to utilise the site for the betterment of our society. Together with community groups, artists, and others from the media, political, financial and business arenas, Mahoney Architecture founded the Trees on the Quays (TOTQ) initiative. Speaking to NewsFour Mahoney explained the intention, to turn the ruin “into an innovative Public Park and Urban Space.” There are three main concepts incorporated into the TOTQ endeavour. The first

is a Neighbourhood Park, on the ground level aimed towards children and their education in our native flora and fauna, which will include an inverted hill, forming a hallowed area. This is to be a public space which will act as an open-air debating arena. The second idea relates directly to the shell of the Anglo Irish Bank’s offices. TOTQ plans to convert it into a vertical park. The current layout of the eight floors in the building will remain, but TOTQ suggests taking out levels between the stories to

establish a “honeycombed lattice” with terraces, creating a “stepped landscape” in the shell of the building. Indigenous trees will be planted and wild flowers and plants will be introduced into the space. Within the core of the Vertical Park, a centre of education would be included which could house exhibition areas and research facilities. A lift would be installed to allow for access to the roof, where an ellipsoid erection would accommodate a conference room. A cable car would travel from the roof of the Vertical Park

to the South Quays, over the River Liffey, where commuters could enjoy views across the city skyline. The TOTQ project was submitted to government ministers and departments, NAMA and the Central Bank. While many were in favour of the venture, the Central Bank formally signed the contract with NAMA to purchase the former Anglo Irish Bank headquarters for €7 million. The TOTQ group approached them explaining that if the Central Bank moves into this site, without implementing the TOTQ project, it could be sitting in a wasteland, for years to come. The group explained how the TOTQ project and the relocation of the Central Bank could very successfully co-exist in the location by showing their redesigned plans to include the Central Bank in another of the NAMA properties, which faces onto the parks in the TOTQ site. They clarified this by expounding how the development of the High Line Park in New York’s Meatpacking district has now become the city’s most successful tourist attraction. The High Line generates $8 billion in revenue for the Big Apple. The TOTQ group are awaiting a response from the Central Bank and they remain hopeful that the Central Bank will also advocate the use of the site for the advancement of our citizens and as a showcase of our country’s future direction.


April / May 2013


Tea with Tina Turner? Jason McDonnell reveals all on page 8

Canada has long been a refuge for Irish emigrants. See page 17

Noel Twamley recalls the short, tragic life of Marilyn on page 19 To p left, a computer-gener a ted mock-up of the Vert i c a l Park and bottom left, i t s position in relation to t h e Liffey.

Year-round swimmer Kieran Foley (78). Photo by Maura Hickey. See page 27


NewsFour Editor Karen Keegan Assistant Editor Caomhán Keane Staff Gemma Byrne Eimear Murphy Jason McDonnell Joan Mitchell Liam Cahill Tracy O’Brien Eric Hillis Ruairi Coneely Contributors Jimmy Purdy Kirstin Smith James O’Doherty Noel Twamley Austin Cromie Nicky Flood David Nolan Ron Waddling Trish Ryan Ron Byrne Niamh Wynne Ruadhan MacAodhain Geraldine O’Connell Cusack Web Designer Andrew Thorn Design and Layout Eugene Carolan Ad Design Karen Madsen Sandymount Community Services, RICC, Thorncastle Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4. Telephone: (01)6673317 E-mail: Website: NewsFour Newspaper is part of a FÁS Community Employment Programme.


The Letterbox

Dear NewsFour, I could hardly believe my eyes when I spotted my Dad (John Clarke) in the LDF photo on pg 7 of your Feb/Mar edition. I may add I don’t think my family knew of its existence. Best regards, Liam Clarke Good afternoon to all at NewsFour, On pg 22 of your February/March edition you showed a photo of Communion Day at Lakelands School 1957 and asked: Do you recognise anyone you know? I certainly do – top row second from the right is myself – Anne Kiernan (now Anne Selvidge). I lived in 66 Beach Road, Sandymount and I now live in Canberra Australia. I received a copy of NewsFour along with my St Patrick’s Day card from my niece who directed me to the photo. What a fantastic surprise to see myself there - a very big hello and thank you to Lorraine Dunwoody Collins for submitting the photo - not sure if you remember me Lorraine? Kind regards, Anne Selvidge Hi Karen, I hope that all goes well with you and NewsFour. I’d like to thank you most profusely for the review of the Ballsbridge book that you did in the last issue. Eric Hillis did a very thorough and accurate job and it was great to have such accolades bestowed on the book, which I much appreciate, since NewsFour is so widely read through D4. It was a very interesting book to compile and since it came out, the reaction to it has been absolutely astonishing, sales too, so the NewsFour piece has been the icing on the cake. With all best regards, Hugh Oram Dear Editor, It was lovely to see the photo of Sally the paper seller in the last issue of NewsFour. It brought back great memories for me. My mother is Annie Driver (the lady at the back of the picture wearing a house coat). She used to rush up to Sally at 3 o’clock to get her paper and after having a quick read she would drop it into Cecil’s barbers (my father’s business) for the customers to read. Miriam Green Clontarf (formerly of Ringsend over the Barber shop) Dear Eamon Thomas, I was so happy to read your big write up about Brugh Padraig Youth Club. I came from Dodder View Ballsbridge. My name was Peggy Molloy. My three brothers: Eddie, Noel, George were all in Brugh Padraig. Seeing them and Fr. Lemass on the pictures brought back very happy memories. We are enclosing a photo with Fr. Lemass, he married Michel and I at Star of the Sea church. Michel is from Anglet near Biarritz, south west of France. After completing hotel school he came to work in Ashford Castle first and then Hibernian Hotel in Dublin. We met at a dance and we will be happily married 50 years next July. We now live in Huntington Beach California. We both enjoy reading NewsFour sent to us by a very good friend Bridget Tiedt (nee Gough from Ringsend). Best Regards Michel and Peggy Molloy Arotcharen PS: We hope George enjoyed his reunion in Manchester City with all his club members.

The Editor’s Corner


pril, usually the month where the sun peeps its first rays of sunlight out from beneath the grey clouds, has been a little slow off the bat this year, treating us instead to weather that would make Idi Amin seem sane and rational. Instead of the corn beef thighs we Irish expose at the first glimmer of sunlight, we’ve been layering the fur of many dead animals over padded polyester to keep our teeth from chattering at anything other than our shock and dismay at the apocalyptic weather. Meanwhile, Karen Keegan, our beloved editor, is on holliers, bronzing herself, leaving me to pen this piece prior to her return to the new Ice Age. I’m the new assistant editor, Caomhan Keane (hi), and first up this month we bid a sad adieu to our long time and long loved journalist Jason McDonnell. Read his thoughts on his time at NewsFour on pg 8. God never closes a door without opening a window, or in this case, floodgates. Many local legends will be returning to the D4 area as part of the Gathering. Do you know any prodigal sons or daughters of the D4 district who we should talk to, who can tell us about memories of the area that saw them through their hard times abroad? We welcome Ruairi Coneely, our newest journalist, into the NewsFour fold. And he repays us with an article on that precursor to this year’s One City, One Book-Strumpet City, in his examination of the legacy of the novel Paradise Alley. Contributor Ron Waddling gives us some interesting tips on how to move your life to Canada (pg 17) as well as reflecting on the long ties between our two countries, while new to D4 is Trish Ryan, who on pg 25 compares life in the UK to that in our own community. Joan Mitchell tells us how your support for women in the Flora Mini Marathon is helping out-patients in our local hospitals (pg 9) and sports groups (pg 36); Liam Cahill examines how the leg up social media gives us in getting the leg over may be preventing us from establishing deep and meaningful relationships; Eric Hillis explores the tawdry Hepburn who lived in D4 for nearly 30 years (pg 16) while in her last article for us Tracy O’Brien takes a look at the Trees on the Quays project before the bankers squash it as they do so many dreams. Enjoy Caomhan Keane


Opinions expressed in News Four do not necessarily represent the views of Sandymount Community Services. Printed by Datascope Ltd, Wexford

Me and three other crazy Germans visited your great city in January. We drank many, many pints of Guinness, had what you call ‘the craic’ and found your wunderbar NewsFour paper. I had to send you this picture of NewsFour with the Cologne Dom and the Hohenzollern Bridge in the background. Herzliche Grüße, Jens Piepenbring



By Ruairi Coneely ince opening in June last year, Angel Inspirations has already become a fixture in Sandymount Village, occupying a unique role within the community. The shopfront, at 94 Sandymount Road, is a popular aspect of the operation, warmly lit from inside and host to a wide array of statues depicting angelic beings, Buddhas and mythic figures. Upstairs hosts a Holistic Centre for consultations such as Tarot or Angel Card readings, Cranio-Sacral Therapy and a variety of other more-or-less esoteric practices. NewsFour met up with Angel Inspirations owner and founder Phil King for a brief talk.



p o p u l a r. Aromatherapy Oils and semi-precious stones. Books on reincarn a t i o n a r e v e r y p o p u l a r.

NF: What items in the shop are the most popular? PK: Oh, Himalayan Salt Lamps. [exotic salt crystal shells fashioned into light sources]. They’re v e r y p o p u l a r. Ve r y h e a l ing, you can feel it in their presence. They soften the feeling in a room, people like them. Statues of Buddhas are very

N F : Wa s t h e r e a n y thing else you wanted to share with our readers? P K : To t h e b e s t o f m y knowledge, I’m the only person in Ireland who does Soul Plan readings. I t a k e a p e r s o n ’s d a t e s o f birth and similar details and construct a model of their personal spiritual d e s t i n y. I t ’s a u n i q u e service, people should take advantage.

n o u n c e y e t . I c a n s a y, t h e first one coming up will b e i n M a y.

NF: What community outreach events does the shop take part in? P K : We l l , a r o u n d l a s t Christmas we ran an event for the disabilities charity Enable Ireland. We d i d t h e f u l l w o r k s , everything; Santa, mulled wine, presents, and we also offered our own services, like advice on connecting with your personal angels. Also, we held a huge raffle.

First prize was a hamper worth €250, and other businesses from the area supplied prizes too. The whole event was paid for by Angel Inspirations. NF: Have you plans for more events like that? P K : P l a n s , y e s . We h a v e lots of projects pending – Angel Days with intere s t e d g r o u p s , w o m e n ’s groups and the like – but nothing I can really an-




By Joan Mitchell he Flora Women’s Mini Marathon is the biggest all-woman sporting event in the world. It started in 1983 and, as you read this, over 40,000 women are training, walking in groups, getting their trainers and T-shirts ready, for the big day. Two years ago I took part – walking mind you. The whole experience was amazing, from gathering in Merrion Square with 2FM blasting out feel-good songs, to bands playing along the route, people shouting support as we passed by, to seeing the flyover at UCD and realising we were over half way. Passing the finishing line and get-




ting a medal was completly overwhelming and I instantly became a fully paid-up member of the Mini Marathon Appreciation Association. Any woman I met for months after that day was told about the high I felt walking the route and chatting to women from all over Ireland. There are charities in this area which have been involved for years with the Mini Marathon. So this year, as I am preparing, I wanted to catch up with some of the local charities in the area which may be in need of your support. I spoke with Roisin Fitzgerald of Rehab Group in Roslyn Park in Sandymount. “Hundreds of women

from all across Ireland have been running the Flora Mini Marathon in aid of Rehab for many years. Thousands of Euros have been raised for people with disabilities attending Rehab services. This is a very important event on our fundraising calendar and each year we look to increase the number of women running for Rehab.” When someone signs up to do the Mini Marathon for Rehab they get a T-shirt, a sponsorship card, a training plan and the marathon route. On the actual day, after the event they all meet up to have a celebratory drink. Where exactly the money is spent depends on where the walker is from, and if they have any particular project locally in mind within Rehab. Royal Donnybrook Hospital also has women taking part in the Mini Marathon. Brenda Wilkes runs the ‘Friends of Royal Donnybrook Hospital’ and she told me how pivotal it is to them. “The money raised by the event is part of our fundraising year and hugely important to us. Last year, we were able to purchase a machine which helps us to identify bed sores. So rather than all the effort being put on curing a bedsore, which can take months and is a painstakingly slow process, with our new piece of equipment we can spot them before they occur, and the Occupational Therapist and nursing staff work together to prevent them from ever occurring”. There are approximately 700 charities that organise walkers, joggers and runners. They may be small local charities like a school or Cats’ Aid, or Irish Therapy Dogs. They may be the household names like Irish Cancer Society, Irish Heart Foundation, MS Ireland or Medicines Sans Frontiers which have a huge presence on the day. My advice is to get a group of women together, get registered and start walking. Pick a charity that means something personal to you, or just raise money for your local school or church. When you ask for sponsorship and say you are doing the Mini Marathon you will be surprised at people’s generosity. For me personally there is nothing, nothing like seeing that finishing line and getting a medal to hang around your neck to make you feel like you have truly achieved something. Register now online at:


By Eric Hillis was woken in the early hours of Sunday morning, February 27th, by a brief, shrill ring. My eyes were drawn to the flashing light of my mobile phone. Upon checking it I discovered I had just missed a call. The caller hadn’t given me much chance to answer. They had allowed for less than one full ring. At first glance, the number appeared to be an 086 number with too many digits. In no mood to return a call at an hour when even dairy farmers are out cold, I switched off the phone and returned to my slumber. The following morning, my curiosity led me to check the web in order to find the source of the call. The country code, (386), I discovered, was Slovenia. “Who do I know in Slovenia?” I wondered. Drawing a blank, I shrugged it off as a wrong number and thought no more of it. Later that day, a friend brought it up in conversation that he too had been awoken in the same manner. We compared the numbers of our respective callers and, save for the last four digits, they were identical. That evening, during the weekly call from my mother, she revealed that a similar number had appeared in her ‘missed call’ log. This was no longer a coincidence. I consulted the website where I was confronted with a litany of reports from Irish mobile users who had received these mysterious calls. All the calls had originated in Slovenia and seemed to specifically target those with 087 numbers, regardless of network. Some had called back the number and heard “girls laughing and chatting in a foreign language”. It seemed as though an elaborate scam was being pulled to fool Irish mobile users into placing calls to a premium number based in Slovenia, with charges of up to €2 per minute. Since then, ComReg, Ireland’s Telecommunications Regulator, have issued a statement regarding the incident. They ensure that Irish mobile users targeted by the scam will not be left out of pocket, as they work with the country’s four mobile networks to ensure refunds are issued to those affected. The numbers responsible in question have been blocked by ComReg but new numbers can still make it through. On Friday 15th February, several 087 users reported similar calls from numbers originating in Lithuania. A spokesperson for the regulator gave the following advice “If you see a number you don’t recognise, and there’s no accompanying message explaining who the caller is, be vigilant and wary about it and do not call back”. Above: Drew Barrymore from the movie ‘Scream’.




By Eric Hillis ust what exactly are they? Do they still exist? Looking for answers, NewsFour spoke to Karen Jones of Gibney Communications, the company responsible for the marketing of Prize Bonds. Bonds are sold at a price of €6.25 each but a minimum of four must be purchased at any time. There are three ways to purchase bonds; visit, call 1850 30 50 60 or pop into your nearest post office. A computerised random draw is made every Friday morning, with the winners listed online from 12.30pm. You can also find out the top six winning bonds from any post office branch. Over 8,500 prizes are awarded in each weekly draw. On the last Friday of every month, one lucky bond-holder wins €1 million, with a top prize of €20,000 issued on all other weeks. Each draw, five winners receive €1,000, 500 are awarded €100 and 8,000 re-

ceive €50. The main attraction of prize bonds is that, unlike lottery numbers, bonds never expire and thus can win multiple times. Another draw is the option to cash in your bonds for their ini-

tial value at any time. Prize bonds have been in Ireland for over half a century, having been first introduced under the 1956 Finance Act. All money received goes to the National Treasury Management Agency, a state body which manages the country’s national debt. Essentially, when you purchase a bond, you’re loaning the government money. Despite recent economic woes, prize bonds have seen an upsurge in sales with €399 million worth of bonds sold in 2010. There are approximately 258 million individual bonds currently in existence, with a staggeringly high value of €1.6 billion. Many bond-holders are unaware of being winners, with approximately €2 million worth of prizes remaining unclaimed. If you have some stashed away that you’ve forgotten about, you may want to dig them out and visit to see if a windfall awaits you.



Ballsbridge kiosk for sale

Text and photo by Eric Hillis ne of Dublin’s most valuable pieces of property is back on the market: the kiosk opposite the Ballsbridge Hotel at the junction of Lansdowne Road and Northumberland Road. The site had originally been used by the Pembroke Fire Brigade, who stored emergency ladders there. Then, in 1920, the hexagonal kiosk we’ve become familiar with was erected. For the majority of its life, the kiosk functioned as a small newsagent, bearing the logo of the Irish Independent. Before the service was discontinued, the Dalkey tram-line would pass by the kiosk. The structure came to be known as ‘Moran’s Kiosk’, named after one of its tenants. With the building of the Jury’s and Berkeley Court hotels in the late seventies, the kiosk found itself sitting on an extremely valuable piece of land. In 1989, the structure made history when it was sold for £132,000 (approximately €168,000, inflation notwithstanding) by property developer Phil Monahon (who made his name with the development of The Square, Tallaght), making it Ireland’s most expensive piece of real estate by square foot value. In 1996, O’Brien’s Sandwich Bars leased the kiosk and occupied the site until early 2012. When the property was put up for sale at a price of £250,000 in 1998, bids fell far short, with the highest offer just £155,000. Now, with an asking price of €200,000, the kiosk is back on the market. Handling the sale is Natalie Brennan, Associate Director of Capital Markets. She told NewsFour there are “a lot of parties interested”. Since April 2012, the site has been occupied by Silverskin Coffee Roasters, who serve a variety of specialty coffees including ‘Kopi Luwak’, an Indonesian blend made from cat faeces. “They initially leased it for a period of two years” Natalie says, “There’s an option for them to extend it for a further two years and nine months should they wish.” A cup of ‘Kopi Luwak’ will set you back €30; one of the world’s most expensive coffees served from one of Ireland’s most expensive (per square foot) buildings.




By Eric Hillis n 2014, ‘Formula E’, a new electric car alternative to ‘Formula One’, will host its inaugural tenrace season. The project has been met with little enthusiasm. Motorsport fans are extremely cynical about the venture, feeling the lack of engine noise will detract hugely from the spectacle. The silence of electric cars doesn’t just pose problems in the racing world. While there are relatively few on the road today (less than 200 in Ireland), these vehicles are much more likely to be involved in pedestrian-relat-

ed accidents, precisely due to their quiet nature. While many of us have grown accustomed to crossing roads in something of a daze, often with music blasting through our headphones, we still have the faculty of sight to alert us to oncoming traffic. Those who are visually impaired, however, rely heavily on the sound of an approaching engine for their safety. Maura Masterson is the Chief Executive of St. Mary’s Home and School for the Blind, a facility based in Merrion, Dublin 4. She informs me that many of her

NEWSFOUR APRIL / MAY 2013 residents are people who lost their sight late in life and so are unaccustomed to the new dangers posed by traffic. “We have lots of vehicles going through our grounds, but thankfully there aren’t too many silent cars in Ireland yet,” she tells me. “It stands to reason that, if you’re visually impaired, these cars will be problematic.” Maura would like a system, similar to the ‘beeping’ sound at traffic lights, installed on electric cars to avoid mishaps. On February 6th, the European Parliament ruled that all ‘silent’ cars must be fitted with a device known as A.V.A.S (Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System). It will become compulsory for all manufacturers of electric cars to fit their vehicles with this device, in a manner which prevents drivers from disabling it. The plan is for this legislation to be enforced from early next year. Hopefully, a balance can be found between protecting both the environment and vulnerable pedestrians.



By Ruairi Coneely n light of a recent much-publicised fox attack in the UK, Fine Gael Councillor Edie Wynne has expressed her concern over a perceived increase of the fox populations in urban areas of Dublin. Reacting to appeals from citizens, Cllr Wynne asked Dublin City Council to address the matter on potential public health and safety grounds. NewsFour made contact with her at home in Terenure. “I had brought this matter before the City Manager last November, and I felt I had to again after this situation in the UK. That particular animal did not attack because it was cornered. It was opportunistic. What worried me then and now is that people have been known to feed them, which could encourage them. They are wild animals after all.” Some reserve a certain scepticism, however. Laura Broxson, of the National Animal Rights Association told NewsFour “Foxes have a bad reputation with some people, mainly due, I think, to the claims of the hunting community. But the reality is foxes are barely bigger than cats and are afraid of people, even children. This attack in the UK is very unusual and to be honest, we tend to reserve judgement as in a previous similar case where it turned out to have been the family dog that was responsible. It’s only natural to see more foxes in urban areas. Dublin has expanded into their habitats and we throw out a lot of waste food.” A dog attack is, statistically, far more likely than a fox attack. A recent National Health Service survey in the UK indicated that nearly 60% of all bites admitted to emergency rooms were inflicted by dogs. Cllr Wynne’s assertion is that “information and information-based action is needed. We should know the population. Has it increased or decreased? Is there a possibility they might spread disease?” David Wall, formerly of University College Dublin’s Urban Fox Project, felt Cllr Wynne had some valid points. “No census of foxes in Dublin or Ireland as a whole has been carried out,” he said but stressed that there is “absolutely no evidence of an increased danger from foxes. Foxes carry much the same diseases as domestic pets and as such, present a low risk for humans.” Above: This sun-loving suburban fox lives well on the food humans do not want.






By Liam Cahill met Michael Nugent, pictured right, for coffee in the Muse Café above Easons on O’Connell Street recently. He has worked for Radio Sandymount, has written three books, co-written two more, was a writer on the critically acclaimed play I, Keano and is Chairperson of Atheist Ireland. He began by ordering a custard pie with a side plate of crisps- enjoying it while he told me about Hans L Trefousse’s book on the American politician Thaddeus Stevens – a book he began to read after seeing the film Lincoln. Nugent, a 51-year-old immensely gifted writer, speaks about Stevens as a politician who stood on the libertarian wing of Abraham Lincoln’s Republican Party. “His whole position was, you don’t compromise, you just say this is the line and this is what we


want, whereas Lincoln wanted to bring people on board,” he said. “There’s a modern link there in terms of what’s happening today with the Republican Party,” I said. “The irony was the Republicans were on the right side of the argument and the Democrats were on the wrong side,” he replies. In person, Nugent has a humorous face, slightly red cheeks, and greying hair. His voice sounds like it should fill the mid-afternoon spot on Today FM, with his extensive use of the English language emphasising important words as he speaks. Nugent’s interest in writing and sarcasm began in St. Aidan’s Secondary School in Whitehall, where he started to question the very nature of the Bible and religion. He later attended the College of Marketing and Design – now a part of DIT – where he graduated in visual communications in 1983. It was around this time when he became deeply involved in radio, setting up radio stations in Sandymount, Ringsend, Donnybrook, Wicklow and Glasnevin North. “It grew out of Alternative Radio Dublin (ARD). I was involved in the latter stages of ARD when it was closing down. There was a gang of us who were involved in

that,” he says. Nugent worked with Dave Reddy and Charlie Sheehan, both of whom lived in Sandymount, with the latter being a local postman. This was a time when radio in Ireland wasn’t regulated (with the 1988 Broadcasting Act still to come), which left the field open for local radio and stations like Sunshine and Radio Nova. “We were in different places, being very much a migrant station. I remember when we did Glasnevin North, we broadcasted from one of the rooms in my house,” he says. “That’s what’s so exciting about radio,” I said. “Initially, Haughey said that he was going to be closing down the stations but, when asked in the Dail, he said ‘How can the Taoiseach close down pirate radio stations when his own Ministers are appearing every day on them?’” “That links into the prank letters and Irish politics,” I said, “tell me about your book of satirical letters to Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and his predecessor Charles Haughey.” “It grew out of a couple of things, I’ve a weird personality in that I veer between doing serious things and silly things. I think satire is a useful tool, not only for life but in general, and particularly important concerning political issues,” he says. The first book written by Nugent with the help of journalist and Broadcaster Sam Smyth was Dear John – the John Mackay Letters (1993), a selection of prank letters sent to the then Taoiseach Albert Reynolds to help the fictional ‘John’ get a grant to produce dog bowls modelled on dinner plates. The book also asked Charles Haughey to help ‘John’ set up a ‘Bring Back Charlie’ campaign. Nugent also crafted other books including: Dear Me – The Diary of John Mackay (1994), Ireland on the Internet – which made the Irish Times list of top ten computer books of 1995, That’s Ireland with Damien Corless, and Absurdly Yours – The Michael Nugent Letters where the author picked on Michael O’Leary (planes without seats) and got

a request from the FAI to help with his left-footed football. Nugent says he got his start in political satire when he had just graduated from college; setting up a fake organisation called the ‘co-coordinating committee for Christianity in politics’ the initials of which were CCCP. “We were writing to various bishops and politicians looking for support – like the most completely exaggerated version of right wing catholic parties you could think of,” he says. With slogans like ‘it’s jobs we want, not condoms’ his organisation raised a few eyebrows and led to both his literary and atheist career. It’s as his role as a writer for I, Keano that Nugent really made his name known. “Yes, he came to see it,” he says, before telling me about a moment when a cast member (also a big fan of Keane) got so excited at the prospect of meeting Keane that he literally ran

into him backstage. As we begin to wrap up our coffee meeting, Nugent tells me a story that pretty much sums up both Ireland and how Nugent works. “When Johnny Giles left as captain of Ireland, it was between two former Ireland players to fill the position; Paddy Mulligan and Eoin Hand. Hand got it by one swing vote at the FAI Council meeting. One of the lads – who voted for Hand instead of Mulligan – said that the reason he voted for Eoin Hand was that he thought that Paddy Mulligan was the person who threw a bun at him on one of the away trips,” he says as we laugh and exit onto O’Connell Street. Clockwise from top left: Michael Nugent today; radio times with Victor Ryan, Michael Nugent and Al O’Rourke; Radio Sandymount five-a-side from the same era.








By Jason McDonnell ince I’m at the end of my wonderful time here at the NewsFour office I thought it would be an appropriate time to say goodbye and farewell and say thank you to everyone who has been reading my articles over the past four years. Ann Ingle was the Editor when I first started with NewsFour and she was very accommodating and helpful. I wrote my first article on damaged daffodils in Ringsend Park which had been vandalised the day before (pretty hard hitting stuff). From then on, it got better and I met lots of interesting people from boat builders to bodhrán makers and two of my articles made the front page; Return of the Ferryman (April 2011) and more recently Amazing Grace (Dec 2012). My favourite part of being a journalist over the past four years was highlighting all the up-and-coming artists and bands and creating popular segments of the paper like the Artist in Profile and the Culinary Corner. My only regret in the past four years would be taking Dublin Bus at face value; I had been covering all bus service schedule changes when I got a letter of complaint from them saying I had not covered their side of the argument. When I did approach them for their side of the story, all I got was misinformation which, unfortunately, went

to print. After telling our new assistant editor Caomhán about all the jobs I had in the area, he thought it would make a great article. After leaving school in 1987 I went to the Regal House, Ringsend and started a catering course. We used to get the best of meat from Clyne’s Butchers and our veg from the corner shop and spend the day cooking for the senior citizens of Cambridge Court retirement complex and others in the community of Ringsend. We learned how to cook Quiche Lorraine, Beef Stroganoff and all sorts of interesting and traditional dishes. The catering instructor was Fergal Corr – an excellent chef, who managed the place with great success for many years. After that, I got a job in Johnston Mooney and O’Brien’s bakery in Ballsbridge slicing and wrapping bread. Unfortunately, the bakery got into a bread war with Dunnes Stores and the highest paid bakery in Ireland was forced to take cuts, causing the unions to take strike action. It was good at the time for me as we used to get a lot of double and treble time when we went back to work, but eventually it caused the Ballsbridge bakery to close and the building of the new Herbert Park Apartments went ahead, moving Johnston Mooney’s business to Finglas with much less staff. I found myself back on the

dole and back looking for work. Not wanting to return to catering due to the anti-social hours that were involved, I decided to go to the local stadiums in search of work. Within a few weeks, I got a start in the RDS as a general cleaner getting the stage and seating ready for shows. My first day on the job was “Simply the Best” as I got to meet Tina Turner, who was performing that night. On my 1 o’clock break, we had a cup of tea together. She was the first African American woman I had ever met. I thought to myself “aren’t I lucky, my first time meeting an African American woman and she is the most famous and beautiful African American woman that there is.” She had a great aura, a sort of angelic glow from her and she was also at the peak of her career at the time. You could see she was as fit as a fiddle and strong as an ox from all the singing and dancing. She looked even more crazy with her spiked Thunderdome hair. It was a powerful experience. I asked her if she was looking forward to playing the gig that night. She said she was and thanked me for doing all the work setting up her show on my own – I had told her while we were making tea together that

the two guys I was meant to be working with had called in sick that morning. One of the perks of that job was not only meeting lots of interesting people, but also being able to stay back and see the live acts for free. A year later, I found myself working in Lansdowne Stadium now the Aviva, once again as a general cleaner but this time it was more sports-orientated than music, although I got to meet the odd music star up there too. There was a lot of fun in Lansdowne and the ground staff were great craic to work with, we had a lot of fun preparing the stadium for big events. I got to see every international rugby match that was on that year and lots of international soccer friendlies,

but the most memorable of my time there was seeing the New Zealand All Blacks doing their Haka War Dance and directing it at me as I swept around the side of the pitch. I don’t scare easily, but I was scared that day after being the object of their practice Hakas pre-match. I decided after the second one to start sweeping around the back of the stadium instead of in their line of sight. A week later I met Christy Moore, who is a big rugby fan and could be found walking around the stadium on occasion. We talked for a while about music and he said, he prefers “nothing more than sitting around a warm fire at home playing a bit of music”. Eventually Lansdowne Road closed for renovations and I ended up doing a trade as a coppersmith under a local Ringsend man called Paul Scott. Together, we put the copper roof on Bray Bandstand and the six kiosks along Bray seafront. After working as a roofer for a couple of years, I decided to go back to college and become a Web Designer and Photographer. After obtaining several certificates, I became a journalist with NewsFour and have been working here as a Journalist/Photographer ever since. When I finish working with NewsFour next month, I intend to return to photography and I will be hosting my second exhibition upstairs in the Art of Eating in Dun Laoghaire from 11th May to 19th May, 1pm to 6pm. It is a Maritime and Coastal Photography exhibition and is open to the public, all are very welcome. Clockwise from bottom left: This film still of Tina Turner with an unnamed actor was recently discovered. Jason and another of his passions: playing the guitar. Front page articles by Jason in NewsFour.




explained, “Myself and Deputy Clare Daly have been working on amendments to the new Animal Welfare Bill; we were advocating a national roll-out of the policy of Trap, Neuter, Return.” This is a strategy where the animals are rounded up, given medical attention such as vaccinations, spayed to prevent further breeding in the

wild, and released. She continued, “We have concerns about companies being called out to deal with ‘feral’ cats who are not feral at all and there are individuals and families who have lost the family cat through these agencies being too quick in their actions.” The distinction between stray and feral is simple. The former is a pet that has wandered and become lost. A feral cat was born and raised wild, completely outside a domestic setting. The DSPCA advise that should you come across a mother and kittens, under no circumstances attempt to separate the mother from her litter. Tame cats will miaow and be responsive to receiving food and water. Feral cats will hiss and exhibit hostility and fear. In either case, you are advised to contact the DSPCA at 014994700 and make arrangements for the animals to be placed in safe hands.

to manage one patient in the HSE with bed sores, prevention is key.” The FSA Pressure Map linked up to a computer clearly shows what action needs to be

taken. The support the Friends of RDH have given and the difference they have made to the lives of the patients, carers and families is immense.



By Ruairi Coneely s this year’s kittening season approaches, animal rights organisations are renewing their on-going campaign to raise awareness about Dublin’s population of feral cats. The seven-month period from April through October covers the months when the majority of kittens are born and concerned parties are keen to emphasise that irresponsible pet ownership is the main cause of the rising population of undomesticated felines. The animals pose a threat to tame cats, to whom they can spread disease or injure more directly through their natural aggression and territoriality. If a kitten is not tamed within the first two months of its life, there



is little hope for a domestic life. This leaves these populations of animals with nowhere to go. In an urban context, with so many abandoned retail outlets and undeveloped lots of property, the likelihood of coming across a litter of newborn kittens is higher than it might seem. The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimated last year that feral cat populations in Ireland may be as high as 200,000 animals nationwide, which they characterised as “crisis levels”. ISPCA’s affiliate group, the DSPCA (Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) assert that 80% of kittens born are born wild and have an average lifespan of less than two

years. The most effective way to prevent this situation is for people to have their pets spayed or neutered. NewsFour wanted to know what other counter-measures could be undertaken, so we contacted Maureen O’Sullivan, Independent TD for Dublin Central, an animal rights enthusiast who


By Joan Mitchell aving a stroke or suffering from any brain impairment rocks people to their core. Royal Donnybrook Hospital is dedicated to helping people at this vulnerable time. Joe Cannon who runs the Occupational Therapy unit said, “Our aim is to get a patient adapted to the changes they have undergone and get them ready to live back in their own home.” They have an award-winning Activity of Daily Living Centre (ADL) which shows patients first-hand how they can manage safely and happily once they leave the hospital. Like a set from a TV show, patients, carers and their families can explore the different options there are to turn

their home into a safe environment. Purpose-built staircases highlight different stair lifts and a range of bedroom options promote independence. There are two fully-adapted bathrooms with level shower access and raised toilet seats and grab bars, so the patient feels safe getting in and out of bed to use the toilet at night. In the ADL kitchen, with the press of a button, the worktop raises and lowers to either wheelchair height or a standing height, so it can accommodate everyone in your home. Also, there were simple items like a kettle cradle to help pour a heavy kettle, to breadboards with a sharp cutting knife attached for anyone with

poor mobility in one arm. They also work with technology, particularly iPads, to help patients who have challenges with their speech. Using the ‘grid player’ app, a patient can press a number of one-button requests to say ‘I need a drink’ or ‘I am hungry’. Or type in letter-by-letter to create their own sentence. They use the iPad for simple memory apps to help them regain some of the ability they have lost. While others use the iPads to Skype relations abroad and have daily or weekly chats with them so they don’t have that sense of isolation that can often occur. “We are really only at the beginning of what we can achieve with the iPads. I can see them being a key part of our rehabilitation package in the future,” Joe continues. Friends of RDH are a dedicated group of volunteers who fundraise in the hospital. One event raised the money to buy a state-of-the-art FSA Pressure Map, which fits under a cushion or chair pad and shows how pressure is distributed by the patient. The aim is to prevent bed sores and detect vulnerable areas so the sitting posture can be corrected, thus eliminating the formation of bedsores. “Research shows that pressure sores remain a significant cause of death for patients,” Cannon tells me, “and it takes €119,000



This year is the 1,550th anniversary of King Laoghaire. Since his reign was the start of literacy and the dawn of Irish recorded history, we thought we would send our resident correspondent Jason McDonnell out to visit one of Dun Laoghaire’s tourist hot spots, the Maritime Museum, which was reopened by their patron President Michael D Higgins in 2012.


By Jason McDonnell met with John Paul Durcan, one of the directors at the Old Mariners’ Church on Haigh Terrace recently and he told me about how it was built specifically for seafarers in 1830. At the time, Ireland was ruled by the British Empire and the church was used by the British Navy. An organisation called The Maritime Institute of Ireland was founded in 1944 to advise the government on seafaring historical facts, and to represent seafarers. This was the only voice for seafarers in Ireland at the time. Now, there are lots of organisations representing them. The Maritime Institute of Ireland still exists in name. It is that institute which owns and runs the museum. It is a voluntary organisation and in the early 1970s the church authorities gave the institute the building to act as a museum. The early committee filled it with artefacts, but it fell into disrepair due to lack of funds. The church itself had various issues relating to leakages and general wear and tear but fortunately around eight years ago they

sought government funding to restore the church and prepare it for the future so it could continue to be a museum. They were given €3.5 million in grant aid over different allotments. Most of the money was put into the restoration of the church, for example sand blasting, pointing and also the roof work inside and outside, with all inside walls having to be replastered also. Due to the fact that it was a historical building, it had to be restored using the same original methods, which was quite expensive. They later put in for more money for further fittings and fixtures that would bring it up to

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the specifications simular to that of Collins Barracks but unfortunately that did not happen as government money had run out. So they are beholden to the services of the community and the people of Ireland who come and support the museum. Their cover charge of €5 (€3 for the unwaged) goes towards the upkeep of the church and museum.

NEWSFOUR APRIL / MAY 2013 The building holds a number of artefacts which are of significant importance. There’s a display of documents and items belonging to Captain Halpin, commander of the ‘Great Eastern’, the largest ship in the world. It was built in 1857 and a clockwork model of the ship in the museum is over one hundred years old. A working optic, pictured left, from the Baily Lighthouse in Howth, North Dublin is also on display. It was installed in 1902 and removed in 1972 when the lighthouse was modernised. Originally gas, then oil-powered, the light now shines a lesser light over the museum. There’s a naval display tracing the history of the Irish Naval Service from before independence to the present day, those displays include models, photos, documents and uniforms connected with the history of the Naval Service. My personal favourite is a rare artefact from the ‘Titanic’, a light bulb that was taken from her before she sailed out to sea from Belfast which was kept in the custody of the electrician who had replaced it. Most museums only have ‘Titanic’ artefacts which were recovered from the seabed. They also have the Lloyd’s register of ships. Llyod’s of London were the insurance company that insured shipping back in 1912 and, of course, in that is the register of the sinking of the ‘Titanic’.

A display dedicated to the sinking of the ‘RMS Leinster’, which was sunk in October 1918 and was used to deliver the mail by the postal service is also available. There were around a thousand workers on board, most of them from Dun Laoghaire and Holyhead, when in 1918 the Germans got word that the boat was also being used by some British soldiers as they returned to the Western Front in France, making it a legitimate target. They fired two torpedos from the German ‘U Boat 123’ into it on the morning of 10th of October as it left Dun Laoghaire. She sank outside the Harbour and 535 lives were lost. John Paul Durcan would like to make an appeal for volunteers, who are essential to the running of the museum.



By Austin Cromie he old Dublin Cattle Market, the biggest in the city and one of the largest on these islands, was situated off the North Circular Road on Prussia Street for 90 years. Cattle ‘marts’ as they are known today had not come into existence, nor had the transport of cattle in lorries by road been developed, which meant that cattle had to walk all the way from farm to the market. As the Dublin market was held on Thursday, the cattle were driven in by road on Wednesday night so as to arrive early on Thursday morning in time for the auctions. Large droves of cattle came from Celbridge, through Chapelizod, Dunshaughlin and Ashbourne. Some cattle were grazed overnight in fields along the Cabra Road, which led people nearby to continually complain about the bleating of the flocks of sheep all through the early hours of Thursday morning. The pubs and boarding houses never complained, though, as the

City Arms Hotel in Prussia Street and Hanlon’s Pub saw the clinching of many a cattle deal. After the market, cows were run all the way down the North Quays or, towards the end, were shunted by rail from the Cabra rail depot to the North Wall station for the Dublin-Liverpool boat. A different type of cattle can be seen queing up outside the station today. But this lot aren’t catching the 11pm ferry to Birkenhead. They’re

waiting for a gig. It’s now the O2 venue. When Dr. Patrick Hillary signed the E.E.C. Treaty in 1972, it was the beginning of the end for the Dublin Cattle Market. Today, all that remains are the iron gates and the plaque commemorating the opening by the Rt. Hon. J.P. Vereher, Lord Mayor of Dublin, dated 1863. Above: The Market circa 1948.




By Eric Hillis s a result of the current high level of emigration, the age make-up of Ireland is rapidly changing. Young emigrants are leaving behind an increasingly ageing population. With Ireland’s elderly having to deal with a multitude of varying issues, it can be a struggle for them to find the relevant information. Many senior citizens struggle with technology, putting them at a disadvantage in an age when so much information is chiefly distributed online. Launched in the Mansion House on Friday March 1st, Senior Citizen: The Essential Guidebook is a publication which gathers all this information in one place. Produced by Home Instead Senior Care and supported by Age Action and the HSE, the book offers senior citizens answers to a wide range of topical questions, and is available free of charge. Topics covered include: allowances and entitlements, health, safety, nursing homes, dealing with bereavement and advice on legal and financial affairs. 40,000 copies of the publication are being distributed across the country to those involved with the welfare of seniors. Speaking at the launch, Age Action’s Eamon Timmins said “Currently Ireland is awash with information. Unfortunately, much of it is only available online, where it cannot be accessed by those older people who do not have computer skills. This guidebook addresses this issue by providing an array of useful information in a format which most older people can access.” Bernie Byrne is Home Instead’s Community Education and Development Officer for the Dublin 4 area. She is willing to co-operate with any relevant local groups who may require assistance and can also furnish groups with multiple copies of the book. Her office can be reached at 01 6670911. If you would like a free copy of ‘Senior Citizen: The Essential Guidebook’, simply dial 1890 989 755. Alternatively, you can download a PDF version from

Above: Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh launches ‘Senior Citizen: The Essential Guidebook’. Pictures courtesy of Home Instead.


Go on, the Bridge!

By Jason McDonnell ridge United, pictured above, played Donaghmede on the 10th of March on the all-weather pitch in Ringsend Park. Donaghmede went ahead in the first few minutes, then Bridge United came back to win 2-1 in a hard fought game, which put them in second position in the league with a game in hand on the leaders Railway FC. The club has been active since 1974 and are going from strength to strength, unbeaten all season as they aim to get promotion. They would like to thank their sponsors Rom Massey Funeral Directors, South Dock Bar and Quattro Pizza. Photo, top left to right: Ritchie Cummins (Coach), Daniel Burke, Aron Gaynor, Alan ( LA LA) O’Connor, Paul Shannon, Martin Consil, Gary McLoughlin, Deke Rivers, Scotie Uzel, Jason Flood (Manager). Bottom left to right: Geral Kavanagh, Stephen Brennen, Georgie Gannon, David Spain, Eamon Augusta, Derek Ridgeway, John (Gidda) Murphy.

Europe Gags on Donkey Burger Scandal By Nicky Flood What started as concern over horse meat in burgers in Ireland has now blown up into a Europe-wide scandal. The scandal started small last year when horse DNA was detected in burgers being sold in several large supermarket chains. Since then, it has snowballed across Europe and various packaged ‘beef’ products have been found to contain anywhere between 60% – 100% DNA of various different animals such

as donkey, horse and goat. Europeans have different views on eating horse. The Irish and English are typically repulsed by the idea, the French are not so averse. Either way, consumers across the region are irate about being hoodwinked. Pinpointing exactly how and where the horsemeat got into the products has proven difficult. As authorities have attempted to trace back to determine exactly where the horsemeat entered the food supply chain, they have shone some light on just how murky and unregulated the European meat market is, as the blame seems to shift from food company to supplier to slaughterhouse. Sales of frozen burgers and ready meals have fallen dramatically since the scandal, with burger sales now down 43%. And what about Bute (a frequently administered horse painkiller)? What does this mean for us now that it has entered the food chain? What does it mean for a growing child or foetus?

PAGE 11 Food fraud massively violates food labelling regulations but also poses economic, religious, ethical and health impacts. And it does not stop at beef. Water, protein powders, skin and bone from other animals like pork and beef are routinely injected into chicken to increase its weight. Some religious groups such as observant Muslims, Jews and Hindus do not consume beef or pork. It is unacceptable at a base level that people are being deceived in this way. Nicky is a Naturopathic Nutritionist practising in Dublin. She writes, speaks and advises nationwide on all aspects of health, nutrition and wellbeing. Check for further info, upcoming courses and workshops.





Haven a good time

ost of you will have read Tracy O’Brien’s brilliant article on Robert Hanley, Tom McManamon and Patrick Cumiskey in the last issue, the lads who hightailed it to Haiti to help build houses for those affected by the horrendous earthquake in 2010. Some of you may have had your interest pickled. Well, Haven, the charity with whom the lads worked, are delighted to announce that the first of the new Volunteer Programmes will take place this coming May. Haven is looking for 40 volunteers to travel to Haiti to work with the communities of Ile a Vache. Haven is returning to Ile a Vache as a result of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, which tore through the island on 23rd of October 2012. Farms were left devastated and livelihoods destroyed. Sandy tore trees by their roots, landing on homes and businesses, and taking lives. This, added to the consequences of the 2010 earthquake, is why Haven is returning to the small island. The departure date for volunteers travelling from Ireland is 24th of May 2013, returning to Dublin on the 2nd of June 2013. Volunteers are required to raise €4,500, the majority of which goes towards local community development, meals, and transport to and from Haiti. For more information please call Alice, Haven’s Volunteer Coordinator on 01 6815 443.



A Pedigree Chum

By Joan Mitchell rish Therapy Dogs (ITD) are a charity who arrange for dogs and their owners to visit people in hospitals, residential homes, hospices and care centres in the 26 counties. The dogs spend time with people who are in a health crisis, who don’t have many visitors or who may be overwhelmed with rehabilitation after a stroke or accident. Therapy dogs come with their owner on a pre-arranged day every week and residents build a relationship with the dog. Some will save a treat or some will be encouraged to take him for a short walk as part of their rehab. Every resident receives unconditional love from their time-share dog. Staff and residents have been surveyed by ITD and they all noticed a significant lift in the mood of everyone on the day the dog is due to visit. It helps with depression, with co-ordination for stroke victim or with speech development. Brenda Rickard, Chief Executive of Irish Therapy Dogs, told me some success stories. “One man had been in residential care for two years and had not spoken to anyone until our volunteer approached him with the dog and asked if it was okay to come closer. The man put his hand on the back of the dog and because of his stroke he had limited movement, so the volunteer guided his hand as he patted the dog. Later, as the volunteer was leaving, the man started to speak and slowly and laboriously said his first word in two years – ‘dog’. Contact Brenda on 01-2189302 or email


By Liam Cahill or Gemma (36), an administration assistant based in Sandymount, the influence of technology on Irish dating culture can pose some problems. After constant texting with a guy she met on a night out, she suggested meeting up. The guy got angry, telling Gemma he felt undue pressure was being applied. He never texted her again. Gemma’s experience was typical of anyone familiar with the changing dynamics of Ireland’s dating culture. The days of secret phone calls and late-night meetings under Cleary’s clock are gone; instead there’s the technological-driven dating culture of Facebook, Twitter, texting and online dating sites. “Mobile phones have changed the way people date. The first thing you do when you meet somebody is swap numbers, and then depending on the type of person you’re possibly dating, there could be a lot of texting going on,” says Gemma. According to Gemma, the rise of technology has meant communication between two people is constant, a far cry from the day when extensive communication was limited to the night you met your date. In some cases, communication between two people could start online and go on for weeks or months – without any discussion of meeting. “If I’m interested in somebody I just want to get out and meet them and see how we get on in the flesh,” says Gemma, who has had incidents where guys seem to be

more comfortable shielded behind a barrier of technology rather than going on an actual date. This technological barrier can also hinder future communication between two people, as Dan Massey, (27), originally from London, will attest. “I’ve often given a guy my number online, not really remembered who they are, received texts and just vaguely chatted away,” says Dan who also says he can’t remember a time when dating didn’t include technology. “In London a decade ago, people met people through chat rooms and all of that stuff. You also met people out in bars, but the two things went hand in hand. I would say that Facebook has changed dating way more than dating sites have,” he says. The changing dynamics of dating through technology has also led to a significant change in our sexual habits; creating a hook-up culture that thrives on instant technology. For Sebastian Caine, a performance artist from Drogheda, online dating allowed him get his foot back in the door after his inital attempt to woo Linda went badly wrong. “We met through friends and I really liked her, so I went out of my way to impress her. Which made me seem really overt and attention seeking. She wasn’t interested at all. But over time I engaged her by responding to tweets and status updates and any kind of music or movie related posts she would put on her page. This led to her posting on my wall, us both talking

late into the night on FB chat and eventually, two months later, getting together when our two groups of friends went on holidays to Ibiza.” They got engaged last Christmas. In the book ‘The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy’, Donna Freitas, the book’s author who taught gender studies at Boston University, examines young people and hook-up culture and how it has had an adverse effect on the traditional date. Another author, Dan Slater in ‘Love in Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating’, suggests technology and online websites offer “endless choice, combining to form a vast mate-seeking arena I came to think as ‘date-osphere’, not a physical construct but not an entirely virtual one either,” he says. “It is harder to find someone to go on a genuine date. Guys are better at detaching emotions and can see sex as just another fun activity,” says Josh Dean*, (23), an international business student at Dublin Business School. For Josh, technology creates options for people, and makes it easier to dump one person and move onto the next. He does want a boyfriend, but the advent of technology gives guys sexual and relationship options unforeseen just ten years ago. This more illicit side of dating is glamorised in shows such as ‘Sex and the City’ and the more recent HBO show ‘Girls’, where hook-ups from technology are quite common. “I think Sex and the City had an influence on Irish dating and I think that made Irish people think ‘I can do that,’” says Gemma. “I think technology has changed dating beyond recognition, and on a personal level, I find it frustrating that there are people who stick in the technology world, and don’t want to be dating in reality,” she says. *Josh Dean is a fictional name created to protect the identity of the source. Illustration by Ron Byrne.




By Liam Cahill he No to Property Tax Campaign (NPTC) and several other local residential groups are aligning in opposition to the new local property tax. NPTC has held a number of meetings over the past year opposed to the Government’s plans to introduce a property tax. Recently, the campaign has aligned itself with groups from Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount (campaigning under the banner Dublin South East Against Home Tax) and local advocacy groups from St. Andrew’s Resource Centre on Pearse Street, creating a local political movement that is determined to make their voices heard. “We oppose the property tax on the grounds that it is a unjust tax. We think people are being unfairly taxed while others are being let off the hook,” says Annette Mooney an organiser of the NPTC and a member of the United Left Alliance (ULA). She stresses that ultimately the introduc-

tion of a property tax is more about paying off bank debts than local services – an argument regularly voiced by those opposed to the tax. The NPTC have held a number of meetings in the past few months leading up to the official introduction of the new tax, one of which was at-

tended by Thomas Pringle an Independent TD from Donegal South West. The campaign also held a national day of local protest at the Ringsend Library in March. “The campaign is in every area, and basically we need people to come on board and join us. In the Fine Gael man-

PAGE 13 ifesto it said they would not impose a property tax. We were lied to by the government,” says Mooney. Dermot Lacey of the Labour Party strongly rejects this accusation and has suggested the Property Tax will provide financial help to local government. “Following a successful meeting between Labour councillors and the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Labour councillors welcome the fact that the government has listened and agreed our suggestion that a minimum of 80% collected from the Property Tax must be retained in the area in which they are collected. While defending the principle of a Property Tax to fund local government services, the Labour Party is also demanding that the government use the period between now and Budget 2014 to further refine the legislation to ensure that some account is taken of the higher property values in Dublin, that an ability to pay element is included

and that account is made for the enormous sums paid on Stamp Duty in the Dublin area during the property boom,” he said. Recently Dublin Chamber of Commerce also welcomed the new tax, suggesting it will provide for investment in local services and better local government accountability and efficiency. “Business has always had an interest in good, efficient local government as they pay directly for it from commercial rates. Homeowners should see this move as a democratic gain as their tax will now be linked to local services,” said Gina Quin Chief Executive of Dublin Chamber of Commerce. The Local Property Tax (LPT), as it is officially known, will come into effect from July 1st 2013 and be administered by the Revenue Commissioners.



By Ruairi Coneely he Ryan’s Beggar’s Bush pub on Haddington Road has a long and storied history. Taking its name from the now-defunct barracks nearby, a pub has occupied the site for 210 years, and now a very personal anniversary is about to be celebrated: the Beggar’s Bush will mark one hundred years under the management of the Ryan family. The pub’s proximity to Landsdowne Road makes it a fixture in the weekend routine of many, some of whom only frequent the bar après match but are, in that capacity, regulars of many years’ standing. NewsFour spoke with the bar’s current proprietor Peter Ryan: “The actual centenary celebrations are set for the 17th through 19th of May,” he explained “which also happens to straddle the Heineken Cup Final, on the 18th. That’ll be a busy Saturday.” He continued: “The idea is to host a mini-festival. We’ll have a marquee, barbeque and a range of live music to try and suit people’s tastes. There’ll be a trad band, a jazz band, that sort of thing. Guinness have


agreed to sponsor the event, so we have pint glasses engraved with the anniversary logo, commemorative beermats, and banners which are going up as we speak.” He added, with humour: “We’re aware that the pints glasses will disappear over the weekend. We’re really expecting people to take

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them. The regulars feel a great affinity with the place.” This observation brought us around to the topic of regulars. Peter continued: “I think we have one of the most unique customer bases in the country. Five generations of Ryans have run the pub; nephews, nieces, sons and daughters

have manned the bar and the same is true on the other side of things. We have regular customers who are the sons of my father’s generation of regulars, so there’s an intergenerational bond between staff and the people who drink and socialise here.” Ryan’s Beggar’s Bush was,

NEWSFOUR APRIL / MAY 2013 for a time, under the ownership of the Office of Public Works, who for many years harboured a plan to establish a Kennedy Memorial Hall on the site. This never came to pass but through these years the Ryans retained management of the pub. “The man from the OPW would arrive on Holy Thursday to take the keys and return on Holy Saturday to give them back. Practically speaking, that’s all their propriety over the place amounted to.” Was there a source of information on the history of the pub for the public? “There will be a flyer circulated with a potted history of the bar. My grandfather Thomas, who also owned the 51 nearby, purchased the Beggar’s Bush in 1913. In fact, part of the reason Guinness have been so co-operative is the fact that we’ve had an account with them for 100 years. They still have the ledger with my grandfather’s name entered.” Ryan’s Beggar’s Bush celebrates its Cenetenary from the 17th to the 19th of May 2013.



By Tracy O’Brien acebook bought Instagram, a photo-sharing site, in August 2012. It was a noble acquisition as users were uploading images to Instagram at the rate of approximately 60 images every second. In their own marketing terms, Instagram is “a free app” and “a fast, beautiful and fun way to share your photos with friends and family”. It has over a 100 million users. In December last year, Instagram announced their revised policy on the use of consumers’ images. The most pertinent alteration to this policy would allow Instagram to sell users’ images commercially to third party businesses. This meant they could sell your picture and make a profit from it. There was uproar from users and Instagram were forced to back down in the same month. Nonetheless, users were spooked over their rights to their own images. Irishman John McHugh is a professional war photographer, based mainly in Afghanistan. He often uses Facebook, Twit-

ter and Instagram to circulate his images, but this modification in Instagram rights had threatened not only McHugh’s images, but also his whole career. He had already spent a year developing an application, called Marksta, that would protect his intellectual property and hence his career. His app is not only for professional photographers, but also for all of us who want to “share photos with friends and family”. Marksta permits users to easily and quickly place watermarks on their photography using text. Marksta offers a vast range of

options on your choice of watermark, such as your website address, your Tumblr name or your logo, including the copyright symbol ©. You can incorporate your choice of watermark from your iPad or your iPhone and then you can safely share your images online, protecting your copyright. There were already applications available on the market to watermark images, but McHugh did not find them very user friendly, as they were clunky and did not have sufficient choices on which watermark a user could choose. As he is a photographer himself, he knows exactly what is wanted and needed by users. And he was proved right. Marksta became the top-rated application on the Apple store in the Photo and Video Category within the first week of its launch in January 2013. It costs €1.79 and is available on iTunes. Marksta’s success continues, because users of social networking sites are now only too aware of how the site owners may choose to ‘acquire’ the rights to their images in the future. Marksta:



Big Dom’s Brown Bread


By Gemma Byrne

his is one of those Chinese whispers recipes – I got it from my Dad, who got if from his good friend Dominic, who got it from his friend and so on. Just like Chinese whispers there have been a few tweaks and changes as it was passed along. It’s a hearty and moist brown bread with a lovely, crunchy crust. This recipe makes two small loaves. Ingredients: 500g wholemeal flour 150g porridge oats 40g wheat germ 3 tablespoons seeds (sesame, pumpkin, linseed, sunflower or a mixture of all) 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 level tablespoon bread soda (sieved) 2 eggs (beaten) 300 – 400 ml buttermilk Method: Preheat the oven to 150ºC. Generously grease two 1lb loaf tins. Mix all dry ingredients in a very large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and most of the buttermilk. Mix thoroughly with a spoon or fork until it forms a sticky dough. If it needs more moisture, add the remaining buttermilk. Put half the mixture into each of the loaf tins and flatten out slightly with the back of a spoon. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 mins. Remove the bread from the loaf tins and return to the oven for a further 5 mins cooking. To make sure the loaves are cooked through, tap them on the base – they should have a hollow sound. Enjoy the bread while it’s still warm with real butter.

‘A Social and Natural History of Sandymount, Irishtown and Ringsend’ which was first published in 1993 is available to buy from the NewsFour office and Books on the Green, Sandymount for €13.99 Phone 6673317 for details. Also available on eBay





By Eric Hillis ew of us don’t look forward to big events, (communions, confirmations, weddings, birthdays). But how many can honestly say we plan ahead adequately for the financial toll they can take? If you find yourself struggling each time one of these events arises, MABS (Money Advice and Budgeting Service) have some sound and helpful advice. “Preparation is the key,” Lorraine Waters, of MABS Lombard Street branch, tells NewsFour, “Make a list early in the year of what you need to buy for all the big occasions ahead that year.” For events centred round children, it is easy to forget to factor in the costs of the adults in attendance. Think of how many family members you expect to attend and work out a budget for food and alcohol etc. Will guests be bringing their own food and drink? Do you need to purchase gifts or new clothes for the occasion? “Add up the total cost of what you need to buy and ask yourself – can I afford it? If not, then think again” is Lorraine’s advice. “Focus on your budget – it’s often possible to trim things back without making the event less en-

joyable.” You may need to work on your budget a few times until you find a figure you’re financially comfortable working with. Lorraine warns against borrowing to pay for events. “You will still need to pay this back,” she says. Should you find yourself forced to borrow, Lorraine advises you to repay the debt as soon as possible. This will allow you more breathing space to prepare for the next big event. Being well prepared will allow you to take advantage of sales and reductions in stores. A winter outfit may be greatly reduced during the summer, for example, but could be used for occasions later in the year. Do you even need new outfits? There may well be dresses or

suits in your family which could be used. The internet can often be a source for bargains, offering items at a more competitive price than what’s in stores. Irish websites like and can be a great source for secondhand items. Recently, the government announced an amendment to the ‘Exceptional Needs Payment Scheme’. Previously, a maximum payment of €110 was available to assist with religious occasions, but this provision will cease in 2013. If you had planned to avail of this service to help cover the costs of a communion or confirmation this year, you will need to take another look at your budget. As these are communal events, the financial burden can often be shared. If family, friends or neighbours are also taking part in such occasions, communication can cut down costs. Get together and pool your resources by working out a joint budget. Big occasions should always be enjoyed and, with careful financial planning, they’ll leave lasting memories for all the right reasons.





By Eric Hillis n Mount Jerome Cemetery in Dublin’s Harold’s Cross rests an unspoken piece of Hollywood history. There you can find the grave of one Anthony Hepburn-Ruston. His name may be meaningless to you, but if you read the inscription you’ll see mention of a daughter named Audrey. Yes, Anthony was the father of one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars, Audrey Hepburn. Anthony spent no less than thirty-five years living in Dublin, and was a resident of Sydenham Road, in the leafy suburb of Ballsbridge, at the time of his death, October 16th, 1980. How did the father of one of the world’s most famous celebrities come to live in our

fair city? Was it due to a love of Dublin and its culture? The truth behind his residence in Ireland is far more sinister. In London, Anthony was born into gentry in 1889, the son of an English father and German mother. By the end of World War I, he was based in the Dutch East Indies as part of the British Diplomatic Corps. While married, he conducted an affair with Ella Van Heenstra, a member of the Dutch aristocracy, whom he married in 1926 after divorcing his first wife, Cornelia Bisschop. By 1929, the couple had moved to Brussels, Belgium, where Anthony was employed by the tin magnate Maclaine Watson. In May of that year, Ella gave birth to Audrey. As was the case with so many members of Europe’s elite class, Anthony became seduced by fascism, a political philosophy gathering steam across the continent. In 1935, he left Ella and moved to London, where he began working for Oswald Mosley, the leader of Britain’s fascist movement. His fundraising skills for the organisation led to him accompanying

Mosley on a trip to Munich, where the two dined in the company of Adolf Hitler. Audrey had been attending a British boarding school and, at the outbreak of World War II, her father sent her to Holland, wrongly thinking that country would have no involvement in the conflict. Due to his fascist allegiance, Anthony was arrested and spent the duration of the war in an internment camp on the Isle of Man. Carrying the brand of a fascist, travel options were limited following his release in 1945. It was then he made the

move to Dublin. In 1950, he wed Fidelma Walshe, a Dubliner thirty years his junior. Three years later, his daughter became an Oscar winner for her role in ‘Roman Holiday’, having been discovered by Hollywood director William Wyler while performing on stage in London. Knowing his political past would be detrimental to Audrey’s career, Anthony refrained from making contact with her. She showed little interest in a reunion, though it is rumoured they had a brief meeting in the Shelbourne Hotel in 1959. Several letters were exchanged by the two, with Audrey signing them as ‘Monkey Puzzle’, the nickname her father had bestowed on her. Some of these letters can be seen on display in New York’s Rendell Gallery.

In September of 1980, Audrey visited her ailing father in his Ballsbridge apartment. A week later Anthony was buried in Harold’s Cross. His movie star daughter declined to attend the funeral. She did, however, stay in touch with her father’s widow, beginning correspondences with ‘My dear Fidelma’. One of these letters is currently on sale for $7,500 on the website Clockwise from left: Audrey Hepburn in a film poster for ‘My Fair Lady’ (1964); the letter, below, from historical-autographs. com and the grave of Anthony Hepburn Ruston in Mount Jerome Cemetery. (Photo by Eric Hillis)






By Ron Waddling anada is big. The Province of Ontario alone is 10 times the size of Ireland. Is big better? There is a proverbial saying, ‘it is not the size that counts but what you do with it.’ This is a good approach when thinking about migrating to Canada. In 2013, the Canadian government passed legislation opening the migrating doorway to Canada for some 6,300 people from Ireland. Opening a door is one thing. But what’s on the other side? Many of these questions are more easily answered today than in 1847 when the purpose for seeking Canada was caused by famine. There was one thing offered then… life. People headed to the unknown, to anywhere they would be accepted to save the lives of their families. With the speed of information available today a family can determine if moving to a country is worthwhile from their desktop. Seeking a new life and new opportunities can be explored easily. Desperation does not have to be a deciding factor. The site www.workpermit. com will take you to current information on prospects in Canada like the Start Up Visa program for entrepreneurs or the need for plumbers, electricians and metal workers. Your local Dublin removal firms can connect to www. and quote you in less than a moment the cost of receiving and delivering your family household goods anywhere in Canada. In most cases these sites have webpage links to all housing and amenities available. Soon the bigger picture of costs, lifestyle and prospect becomes clearer. The Canadian response to the Irish famine is well documented. In some cases it was not favourable but Canada surpassed many other ports when it came to accepting the distressed Irish and providing positive results. It should be known Irish had migrated to Canada before the famine and after, building Canada, not just the cities but the villages, the farms and the spirit. Along Custom House Quay, moored to the dock, is the fam-

ine ship with heart-wrenching, life-like sculptures by Rowan Gillespie portraying the sorrow of departure, the desperation of tragedy, starvation and the memory never to be forgotten of Irish men, women and children leaving their homeland. In Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the dedicated Ireland Park www. Rowan Gillespie sculptures depict wretchedness from sordid travel but the works of art reach for hope. They convey a want for a future. The descendants of the famine ship, along with those who came before and those who came later, found a future in Ontario and Canada. The Irish continue to give back greatly and wholeheartedly to the growth of this fine, respected country which welcomes immigration. Areas like Kingston, Peterborough, Brantford, London, Toronto and most of the surrounding countryside are spotted with Irish influence. Many Canadians of Irish heritage represent the excerpt from the National anthem ‘the true north strong and free’ with sincere passion. There are also Indian, Thai, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Polish, almost every nation represented, creating a true mosaic of society. Today, our reasons to move, emmigrate and change homes may not be hunger but opportunity. Unlike the famine ship departing the ports of Ireland with little knowledge of a destination, today Irish seeking a new life in Canada can depart with full awareness and… expect a hearty welcome. Above: The Jubilant Man, on the right, one of the Migrant sculptures by Rowan Gillespie pictured in Ireland Park, Toronto, Canada. Below: The Famine Memorial on Custom House Quay, Dublin. Photo by Tracy O’Brien.

“Bee Bee” Whearity R.I.P. Seafort Villas, in the heart of Sandymount, lost one of its most loved neighbours with the recent sudden death of “Bee Bee” Whearity (nee Forry), beloved wife of Dick. Those who knew Bee Bee were privileged to have a trusted friend. Through her many very quiet acts of kindness nobody will ever know the good she did for those in difficulty in the wider community of Sandymount. A good neighbour is a cherished relationship in these tough times and is so important for both young and old in our community. As her longstanding neighbours Anna Kavanagh and Kay Radford said, “the Villas has taken a severe blow with Bee Bee’s death but her generosity of spirit will live on here.” Bee Bee’s husband Dick wishes to thank most sincerely all of those who sympathised with him and those who sent him Mass cards and floral tributes. Also a very special thank you to all of his wonderful friends and neighbours from Sandymount and Crumlin and especially those in Seafort Villas. To Father John McDonagh and Father Peter O’Connor for their helpfulness that everything ran so smoothly in the Star of the Sea Church and particularly for their kind support in helping Dick cope with his very sad bereavement. To the management and staff of O’Reilly’s and all of their patrons and the members of their golf society; to An Garda Síochána in Irishtown; to his stewarding colleagues from the IRFU and especially to his former colleagues in Pickerings Lifts Ltd., some of whom Dick had not seen in many years and finally to Dick’s fellow taxi drivers for all their kindness. It is fitting that Bee Bee is buried in Shanganagh Cemetery with its views across Dublin Bay; she loved the sea, which was only natural coming from Sandymount. She now joins her former great neighbour from Seafort Villas, Jim Kavanagh, who is also buried there. They can both now reminisce on great memories from the village of Sandymount. May she rest in peace.




By Joan Mitchell was 28 when Paul took a fatal overdose. He was my fiancé and my first love. He was injured at work and what started out as a simple break, ultimately led to his death. His leg wouldn’t heal properly and despite two operations and a bone graft from his hip, it was inevitable that his right leg would need to be amputated below the knee and a prosthesis fitted. He was always a drinker and when he could no longer work, his drinking intensified. He was in constant pain with his leg and wore a calliper to walk. He would never work again as a plumber and he was back living at home with his parents. Unknown to me or his family, he began taking painkillers and drinking whiskey in his room. He took more and more to ease the pain. One night he took 38 painkillers and never woke up. My world was torn apart when he died. Paul’s suicide catapulted me into a world of support groups and counselling, some of which worked some didn’t, but I kept trying until I found the counsellor that worked for me. It’s a personal relationship with a counsellor. Keep looking until you find someone you connect with. When my editor asked our group of journalists who wanted to write a piece about suicide I volunteered – it had been 18 years and I was ready to tell my story. I wanted to find out what the signs are, what can we do as an individual contemplating suicide? It seems the media is full of sensational stories about the prevalence of suicide in our so-


ciety, but in real terms, in practical terms how do we prevent it? I spoke with Sandra Hogan from Aware and asked her what are the warning signs and what should we do when we see them. She told me there are eight main symptoms of depression and if we feel five or more over a prolonged period then we should seek help. Feeling sad, anxious or bored; low energy or feeling tired; under-sleeping or oversleeping or waking frequently in the night; poor concentration; loss of interest in hobbies, family or social life; low self-esteem or feelings of guilt; pains associated with stress; loss of interest in living, thinking about death or suicidal thoughts. You can contact Aware, who are open from 10am to 10pm seven days a week on 1890 303 302, and when you call you will be listened to confidentially and given the space to share your story, you may be offered coping skills to minimise how you


By Jason McDonnell here was a great turn-out for the launch for the new guidelines for Leisure Craft Launch held at the Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club recently. Jimmy Murray and Ciaran Adamson, in conjunction with Dublin Port Company, have just published a new instructional guidebook for leisure boats entering, leaving and travelling through Dublin Port safely. Released in a document known as the ‘Dublin Port Guidelines for Leisure Craft’, it was launched by Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr. Clare Byrne and is aimed at all recreational users of the River Liffey and is a result



feel until you can see someone. I wanted to know how long depression can last. Sandra explained to me. “Many people experience a one-off bout of depression, and even where someone has a more enduring or recurring experience, it is important to remember that they may have periods of wellness also. The important thing to tackle is the cause and also to make positive choices to help the depression from continuing or recurring.” So the first step is to recognise you are feeling depressed and talk to Aware, but what if you have moved beyond that and are now feeling suicidal? I spoke with Cindy from Pieta House. She said it is hard to think rationally when you are emotionally aroused, so when you are feeling overly emotional you can’t make a rational decision about your life. So the clichè ‘don’t let your heart rule your head’ is never truer than when someone is feeling sui-

cidal. They can’t think rationally about their personal circumstances, they can’t see that they will find a new job or they will get out of debt in a few years’ time – they can’t see past their present situation. Cindy told me that most suicides are preventable if the person engages with them. People don’t attempt suicide because they want to die. They attempt suicide because they want the pain to stop. Their thinking becomes what Cindy terms ‘narrow’ and they can’t see any other solution. From their experience in Pieta House, the reasons behind contemplating suicide include relationship breakdown; alcohol dependence; debt problems; job loss or addiction. Of those people who feel suicidal and seek help with Pieta, 85% survive and move on with their lives. I kept repeating that statistic in my head and thought about my own situation. Paul died by suicide in 1995

and in rural Ireland in those days the only option we were aware of was AA, where you admitted you had an alcohol problem. Paul had an alcohol problem, but he was also divorced, which was a stigma in rural Ireland then and he was facing the loss of his right leg and an altered future and often described himself as a cripple. He went to rehab, but only lasted two days before he discharged himself. What would have happened if he had spoken with Aware, or spoken with other young people who had turned their life around after an amputation, or if he could have rationally looked into the future? But that’s the thing I now have learned – that he couldn’t think rationally, he was thinking with his heart. I felt sad and heavy in my heart when I imagined a Pieta House close to us and what could have been the outcome. Keep all channels of communication open with your children, siblings, parents and partner. If they mention suicide keep talking, don’t dismiss that topic, talk about it, ask them why, ask them how they feel, and how long they have felt that way and most importantly tell them you will help them get help. Tell them you will support them and talk anytime and help in anyway. Help them make appointments, drive them there, look after them anyway you can and keep talking. Above all else remember this statistic 85% of people who engage with Pieta House survive. 85% is maybe the most positive figure you will hear this year. Photo from www.facebook. com/lorcofacer


of trying to make the complexity of navigation more legible and user friendly. The guidelines are an essen-

tial source of information and create a practical link between the commercial aspect of Dublin Port and the recreational

boating community. The aim of these guidelines is to share local knowledge with every boat user so that more

people can utilise and experience this great resource safely and capitalise on the potential of the River Liffey at the heart of the city. Dublin Port Company Harbour Master David Dignam who also attended the launch said, “This booklet is a very informative publication for the leisure sector, as it sets out the routes to be followed when entering or leaving Dublin port in a very clear and easily understood manner. The excellent maps, drawings and photographs show the routes for leisure craft when navigating on the River Liffey, thereby minimizing conflict with commercial shipping.”





By Noel Twamley was very surprised to read recently that Marilyn Monroe, arguably the greatest movie star and icon, was fifty years dead. Tempus Fugit. Born Norma Jeane Mortenson (mother’s name Baker) in North Hollywood in 1926, she never knew her father and Gladys her mother, was quite mad indeed, dying in an asylum in 1936. Norma spent the rest of her youth living with various relatives before in 1942 marrying Jim Dougherty. They were divorced within two years. In 1944, she got a job in Burbank California and started her early career doing pin-up shoots. Her infamous nude shot was in the first issue of Playboy. In 1948, Johnny Hyde became her agent. Johnny had her teeth fixed, her hair dyed blonde and renamed her Marilyn Monroe. He got her a one-year contract with Columbia, where she landed a small role in ‘All About Eve’. Marilyn then moved to 20th Century Fox’ where she made many B Movies.

Her big break came in 1952 when she made ‘Niagara’ with my old friend Dennis O’Dea and his lovely wife Siobhan McKenna, who lived near us in South Richmond Street. That same year, she met the ‘Yankee Clipper’ Joe DiMaggio, her next husband. Her next big movie was ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ with Jane Russell, where she was furious to discover that Jane was paid nine times more than her. When they were imprinting their hands and feet in wet concrete, Marilyn shouted to the phalanx of media, “This is not our best bits. It should be my bum and Jane’s tits.” Christian churches were soon calling for her head. Her studio suspended her again and an unrepentant Marilyn said, “I don’t care. It was great publicity. I made world headlines.” In 1954, she married DiMaggio. They were divorced six months later. She would later marry and divorce Arthur Miller, amid numerous affairs and miscarriages. She was a disaster to work with,

always late, always sick, suspended several times and attempted suicide several times more. Billy Wilder, who directed her in ‘Some Like It Hot’, recalls that it took two days to direct the scene where she simply utters, “Where’s the Bourbon?” Wilder said, “It took 82 takes, 150,000 feet of shot film and I paid her $250,000. I am furious.” “Like kissing Hitler”, Tony Curtis, one of her many lovers, snapped

at a simmering hack when asked what it was like to kiss the starlet. At this time, Monroe was on top of the world. She had landed the cover of ‘Time’ magazine and the US Post had released a 32 cent stamp with her face on it. Yet she had no self-esteem, no commitment, nothing. In 1962, Marilyn got involved with her own kind of louche set that included Sinatra and his cronies and Jack and Bobby Kennedy. But there

was no happy ending for Marilyn. She died alone of barbiturate poisoning on August 5th, 1962. Her death made headlines, all of them sad, sordid and nasty. The media were told that Marilyn died alone and naked in bed with the telephone in her hand. Her home was like a bombsite. Nothing was clean or tidy. Her clothes were all stuffed in plastic bags. Nobody claimed her body until her knight in shining armour, the Yankee Clipper, the greatest baseball player ever, Joe DiMaggio arrived from New York with his young son, in full dress uniform. Joe took command, calling a press conference, telling the media they were not welcome at Marilyn’s funeral. “I hold everyone in Hollywood morally responsible for her death.” He gave her a magnificent and dignified send-off and left the following orders with the florist, “Until the day I die, deliver fresh flowers to Marilyn’s grave every week.” I’ll leave the last word to Marilyn herself. In the late 1950s she left a quote that would have made our own Oscar Wilde proud. “In Hollywood, you will get a thousand dollars for a kiss and ten cent for your soul.” Pictured: The public image of Marilyn Monroe.





By Ruairi Coneely ublin 4 has a rich architectural heritage that shows to the eye. A walk from Pearse Street onto Ringsend Road and beyond is like a tour of the city’s past and present all in one, and an eye on the Docklands skyline and the Aviva Stadium maybe gives hints about the future. Looking to learn more, NewsFour sat down for a talk with Lisa Cassidy, who runs the online architecture blog Built Dublin. Based on the weblog platform Tumblr and also on Twitter, Built Dublin is an ar-



By Tracy O’Brien wo men walk into a bar. “Story bud?” says Tom. “Story bud?” says Andy. They’re old classmates from Trinity where they studied Film and English together and have not seen each other since their student days. After college, both men lived abroad for a few years. Andrew Flaherty and Tom Rowley, both in their twenties, freelanced in film around Europe. In 2011, both are back in Dublin, they chat about their hometown. They love their capital city, even though, economically, she is going through a hard time. They want to do her justice. So they start to collect all the appealing stories that Dubliners have to tell about this fair metropolis. Using their film skills, they go out onto the streets to meet the locals and hear their stories. They film Dubliners telling a

chive of Lisa’s exploration of the city, with her eye and her camera lens on the variety of styles that make up Dublin’s urban heritage. We asked Lisa to tell us a little about herself and what led her to start the Built Dublin project. “I studied architecture of course, and am working towards completing my M.A at University College Dublin. I realised a few years ago that I preferred the writing and research side of architecture. I love using the web, I love walking and taking pictures, and I wanted to practise writing short pieces and swiftly, so I started the Tumblr. Lately, I’ve been concentrating on posting with Twitter where more people see the pictures.” Does she have any favourite sites around Dublin 4? “I love D4, it’s so diverse. I like the Pigeon House near the Great South wall, Texaco House in Ballsbridge, and some of the older parts of the docks have real character. Ringsend and Irishtown are full of these small lanes you can wander around in. I want to explore some of those sometime soon.” Warming to the topic, Lisa expounds on her feelings: “It’s an interesting mix. I especially love exploring the office blocks from the 1960s and 1980s,

around Ballsbridge and Donnybrook. The original focus of Built Dublin was on modern and contemporary architecture, so places like that were the main agenda. “Very quickly, I realised that what was interesting was the mix; the blend of styles of buildings and the contrast between the old and the modern. So, for instance, you have Boland’s [Flour Mill] down the road in the middle of Grand Canal Dock, that’s a very obvious example.” The journey, on foot or in a vehicle, along Pearse St, through Ringsend and Sandymount, to the Ballsbridge Road and beyond presents a lot of conflicting styles to the untrained eye… does she think that’s accurate? “Not so much conflicting, just varied. I think it’s a good thing. It’s something people miss about the areas you’re talking about because Dublin 4 doesn’t really have a ‘brand’ identity in peoples’ eyes. It’s associated with Ross O’Carroll-Kelly and the Celtic Tiger years, so people think of Donnybrook or the Embassies but they don’t think of the Docklands connection.” Lisa gathers all the photos and information for the blog herself. We wanted to know, what is her agenda when she goes out to

take pictures? How does she decide the worth of a subject? “I don’t have any formal criteria. I look for what’s strange or interesting or beautiful. I’m not very research-driven, it’s more about play. I have an affection at the moment for old-fashioned shop fronts like O’Donovan’s on Pearse St. The right light for shots is important, of course, although it’s not vital. We’re getting a bit of late afternoon sun as Spring comes on, so that helps.” Lastly, what does she think of that great one-time controversy, the Aviva Stadium? She finds this funny. “I have

mixed feelings about it. Stadia are always interesting because they combine small interior spaces with one large one. Initially I wasn’t a fan of the Aviva because I don’t like curvy architecture but I went to a match there with my dad and had to admit I was impressed. It’s very well planned from the inside and very sort of sci-fi. So a successs overall.” See or for Lisa’s Work

map where all the anecdotes are collated together, “like one big pub” where the swapping of stories is the mainstay of the conversation. Storymap is available on a

website, but also as an application for the iPhone and Android. They now have 88 chronicles broadcast over high quality audio or high-definition video on the application and the website has slightly more tales, offering up to 90 stories. Jamie Osler and Eoin Rogers, both former DIT students, assisted with the technology side of the application development. You can watch the video stories at home or, if you are out and about in the city, the app can send you an alert when you are near a locality with a story, so you will be entertained along your route.

Tom and Andy add a narrative each week, so the site and app are forever expanding. Tom and Andy have great plans for Storymap and at the moment they are working on a new application with Dublin UNESCO City of Literature to offer 20 literary narratives on Dublin. They are also engaged with Fáilte Ireland for the Dubliner project. Dubliner is a tourist trail from Trinity College to Kilmainham. Storymap will collate the relevant stories along this route to promote places of interest to visit. Do you have a captivating saga to tell about a Dublin location or legend about a Dublin character to divulge? Contact Tom and Andy and tell them your tale about our locals and your locality. Twitter: @storymapdublin Facebook: Storymap Storymap App: Apple App Store (€2.69) and Google Play (€2.69).


story about a particular location. For example, comedian Conor O’Toole weaves a funny anecdote on how Turleyhide whales beached in Ringsend on 24th June 1331. There was a famine in Dublin at the time and the locals ate the whales, which saved many people from starvation. Tom from Storymap told us, “The area is recorded in the annals of Dublin as being saved from the famine by the whales and Joyce references the Turleyhides in Ulysses”. You will have to go to Storymap for the full account. Tom and Andy also collect accounts about infamous Dublin characters such as Patrick Kavanagh. Brendan Lynch tells us about the “legendary cranky poet” and the night he was thrown into the Grand Canal. Tom and Andy wanted to share these captivating and enthralling tales, so they developed Story-

Top left: The Marian grotto at Ringsend Bus Depot. Above: Merrion Hall.




By Geraldine O’Connell Cusack hile working on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in the United States, I was part of a delegation of Native Americans to a Bilingual Education conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Native Americans across the continent were going through a period of great social unrest. Indian reservations had become breeding grounds for alcoholism and more recently, teenage drug abuse. These ills were all rooted in the policies of early American expansionism and sustained by an alarming breakdown in tribal family structures, the erosion of native languages, and the spectre of tribal in-fighting. The conference was addressed by several elders from the Mohawk, Muskogee and Ojibway tribes. Here is the address by Mohawk elder Tom Porter from New York State. “Two Indians went out in a canoe on the clean, clear waters of the river. They were going fishing. As they moved along the river, a sparkling flash caught their eyes from the shore. They stopped and looked. Like all Indians, they loved shiny sparkling things. They went up the tree and brought down two tiny little snakes, so small, only the length of their hands. One was gold and one was silver. The Indians fondled the lovely little creatures and thought: “If we leave them here a great bird might come by and swallow them up. Or some other Indians might come by and kill them because, after all,

they are snakes. But oh, they are too pretty to die.” Also, they thought, “If we bring them back to the village, all will come to see them and they will talk about us and we will have a great name.” So back they went to their village with the snakes, their fishing forgotten. They built a small pen for the snakes and tended, fed, and watched over them. The Indians noticed a curious thing about the snakes. They never slept. No matter what the hour, there they would be, wiggling and moving about with their eyes open. It was like the Indians were hypnotised by those wakeful eyes and those shining bodies. The Indians caught mosquitoes and insects and fed them to the snakes. But no matter how many mosquitoes they fed them, the snakes were never filled. They grew bigger and bigger and a new pen had to be built to hold the snakes, who were now as long as the long house. Deer were hunted and fed

to them and the snakes swallowed them whole. One day, the men of the village went away hunting. The women heard a loud crash and children screaming. When they rushed outside, they saw one grandson inside the snake’s mouth. The snakes had broken out of the stockade and were devouring the children. Grandmothers grabbed up sticks and stones and began beating the monsters, hoping they could cause the snakes to vomit up the children. But the snakes grabbed up the grandmothers and swallowed them too. When the men came back and saw the snakes devouring their families, one of them called out. “Here is what we must do.” But another said, “No, you are wrong. Here is what we must do.” And yet another said, “No, No. We must do this.” Suddenly, the monsters stopped. They turned and moved off to the woods. Well, they were gone and life in



By Jason McDonnell ail Training Ireland and Dublin Port Company are delighted to make the wishes of those dreaming of a life at sea come true this June Bank Holiday Weekend. Six small and tall ships – The Pelican of London, Soteria, Johanna Lucretia, Ruth, Irene and Gulden Leeuw, will sail from Belfast to Dublin, arriving in the capital in time for the Dublin Port River Festival, where up to 50 smaller traditional sailing boats expected through the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association and many other activities will be taking place on the river and quayside. Anyone interested in experiencing life at sea on a traditional ship can purchase a berth (€320 for four days) leaving Belfast on the

PAGE 21 the village settled down. Now that the danger was past, the people pushed the snakes to the back of their minds. They did nothing. One day, a runner came streaking into the village from the north. He had been out hunting and suddenly the mountains began to move. Then over the top came the monster with eyes darting in and out and hot smoke was coming from his mouth. Well, the men of village began to fight and argue. “We must do this.” “No, we must do this.” And all the while, the snakes were closing in. They were now coming over the nearest hill, ready to pounce and finish off all that remained of the village. Then, there appeared a small figure who commanded them: “Stop fighting one another or the monsters will devour you. You must listen and do what I tell you, if you are to save your people. Go and cut down the strongest, tallest tree and make of it a bow and arrow. Then get a white arrowhead for the tip. Take a long, strong hair from the clan mother’s head and string your bow. With these, you can kill the monster.’ And there the story stops, but it does not end. The gold and silver serpents are the powerful countries of North America. The tree is the Indian people and the arrowhead stands for their chiefs. The hair is the power of the Indian woman. Neither the arrow nor the bow can have any power without the power of the hair of the woman. The serpents are the two nations of the US and Canada that swallowed the Indian children who have lost their language and traditions. The grandparents who were devoured were those who did not

teach the children these things. The serpents never slept, like the great cities that never sleep. The eyes of the serpents flashed like the neon lights in those big cities, drawing in and deluding the young. The bodies of the serpents threw up dirt and mud in the waters as they passed through, like the great nations now muddy the rivers and oceans. The heat and smoke from the mouths of the serpents are the smog and pollution from those cities. And who is Small Boy? Could this be Chief Smallboy of the Ojibway Nation who has left his reserve in Canada and moved far to the north? He has left the alcohol and drugs and the new civilisation of his reserve and taken his people back to their old Indian ways. Is this the beginning of the American Indians’ selfsalvation?” In these times of great struggle for the people of Ireland, we might do well to reflect on the startling corollaries between the American Indian’s experience and our own. The serpents of the EU/IMF confuse us with their flashing eyes and they muddy the waters with their false starts. They pollute the air with their fabrications. Their appetites grow bigger and bigger. No matter how many concessions they get from the Irish people, they want more. Their demands grow greater and greater. And when we have no more to give, they will devour us all. Meanwhile, our own chiefs bicker and bicker. “We should do this.” “No, we should do that.” Where is our own Chief Smallboy? Who will lead us off this Irish reservation – surrounded by, and being devoured by, the great countries of Europe? Step forward, Chief Smallboy. The Irish nation needs you.


28th of May and arriving in Dublin on the 31st. All ages are welcome to sail, and no experience is necessary although there are limited places available. Other similar voyages are taking place into Ireland this year as part of a bigger Sail Training Initia-

tive around the Irish Sea and the hope is to make this initiative an annual sail-training programme to Dublin. Contact Sail Training Ireland at: or check out for more details.





By Eric Hillis ith Ireland boasting such a strong literary tradition, our other indigenous art forms can often be overlooked. This is arguably the case with film, which has struggled to gain acceptance in this country – as opposed to continental Europe where visual arts enjoy an equal footing with music and literature as a cultural medium. Attempting to redress this cultural imbalance is the Irish Film Archive, housed in



Temple Bar’s Irish Film Institute since 1986. The Archive is committed to preserving Ireland’s past on film and is home to approximately 20,000 reels of film, 5,000 tapes, and 30,000 documents, including posters and stills. The collections of film-makers Neil Jordan and John Boorman are also housed in the Archive. Kasandra O’Connell has been the Archive’s head for the last 13 years and has overseen many changes. Film can be a very


By Tracy O’Brien e Irish love to horse it back. We cherish our world-renowned reputation. Previously, if our national inclination to drink to excess was troublesome or worrying to you, you were likely to keep such ideas to yourself as everyone around you availed of any opportunity to get hammered. If you did voice your concern, you could be accused of being a lightweight or ‘no craic at all’. But a change is occurring in our relationship with alcohol. Perhaps with all our international travel – and with an ever-diversifying ethnic society, our eyes have been opened to the colossal difference in how other countries consume alcohol. Some people are now comfortable acknowledging what they see as our dysfunctional rapport with booze. But this does not mean they do not want to go out and have fun. But if you do not want to drink or be surrounded by drunken people on a


night out, where do you go, on a Saturday night, when the only places to socialise are pubs, bars and clubs? Funky Seomra is a music night for non-drinkers, featuring styles such as klezmer, electro swing, soul, funk, reggae, Afro beat, Brazilian, West and South African and old-school dance, all under the one roof. This eclectic night features much more than just dancing. You get a range of entertainment such as live drumming, massage and shiatsu, face painting, cafes, an arts and games zone, a funky chill-out area and wall visuals. Funky Seomra started off in Cultivate in 2003 in Temple Bar. But, after only four events there, it had to move to the RDS. The crowds that turned up were too large for the size of the venue, with queues of people down the street trying to get in. In the RDS, volunteers spend the day before each event decorating and dressing up the space with snazzy and funky furniture and drapings. People who at-

delicate material, which makes preservation a key priority. Kasandra hopes to eventually have all the content digitised online, but stresses that a digital copy is simply that, a copy, and shouldn’t be considered a replacement for the original footage. “Some have suggested we just put all our content on YouTube and throw out the originals” she says. Such an idea is akin to suggesting that an art gallery scan all their paintings onto a website and dispose of the originals. “We’ve grown to think that, if something doesn’t appear on Google, it doesn’t exist.” Kasandra is regularly approached by film-makers wishing to research specific periods. “Footage of everyday life is invaluable as a means of viewing our past. This amateur footage gives an insight into how people behaved in a specific time period, for example”. Much of the Archive’s material consists of footage shot by amateur film enthusiasts, often tend the events compare it to a “mini Electric Picnic”. Folks of all ages, from teenagers to retirees, attend and there are also special dance events to cater for children. Individuals and groups used to travel up to Dublin for Funky Seomra in such large numbers that the events are now being run in Cork and Galway as well, on a regular basis, with plans to expand to Belfast and Limerick too. David Mooney is the main man and founder of Funky Seomra. When he was 23, he was a dance student and his dance training made him aware of healthier options he could take. He tells us he had “done the drinking scene” and realised that it was not the craic he thought it would be. When he was 25, he started to organise the Funky Seomra events, where people could go out to socialise without alcohol or drugs being present. For David, Funky Seomra encompasses three core ideas. The first is to give a choice to people who want to get dolled-up and go out for a dance, but who are not intent on getting drunk for the sake of being drunk. The second idea revolves around dance. He is promoting a non judgemental space to dance, as the RDS has a very large space to encourage a freedom to express yourself through dancing. Many of his dance students attended the Funky Seomra events and their freedom on the dance floor en-

NEWSFOUR APRIL / MAY 2013 on out-dated formats like 8mm film. “What we look for is footage of historical interest” Kasandra says, “It might just be a family day out but there could be a building in the background which no longer exists.” The Archive’s oldest piece of footage dates as far back as 1897 and features images of Dublin and Belfast filmed by the pioneers of the medium, the Lumiere Brothers, as part of their project to document European cities on film. The oldest home-grown footage comes courtesy of the Horgan brothers, who captured moving images of Youghal and its surrounding area from 1910 onwards. An antique projector used by the brothers is also on display in the Archive. Preserving film is a costly business and, with just over a quarter of running costs covered by state funding, the Archive relies on public donations, as well couraged other attendees. Funky Seomra challenges the need for drink to loosen people up before they get up on the dance floor. He recognises that drink is treated as a medication to help people “to keep up” when they are out and David finds that once people are in a non-alcoholic space they do not carry the usual inhibitions. You will see for yourself when you attend a Funky Seomra occasion; sobriety stops no-one having a boogie. The third notion is community, people meeting up on a regular basis and building relationships.

as profits from the Irish Film Institute’s cinema, café and bookshop. The philanthropist, Sir John Paul Getty, left £1 million to the British Film Archive upon his death in 2003, and Kasandra dreams of finding a similar, Irish film-loving, benefactor. The Irish Film Archive is situated in the Irish Film Institute, 6 Eustace St, Temple Bar. For more information, visit or dial 01 679 5744. Left: I.F.A head Kassandra O’Connell with film-maker John Boorman, whose collection resides at the Archive. Below: A selection of the Archive’s many film cans. Pictures courtesy of Kasandra O’Connell.

Patrons at Funky Seomra enjoy the night and they actually “remember the conversations they have had with others” the next day. Funky Seomra has also been responsible for quite a few weddings since it’s inception, so the success of Funky is marked in family life and not just in the craving for a good bop at the weekend. Funky Seomra is next on the 20th of April in the RDS. €15. Volunteers get in free. Picture by David Mooney.

The idea for the Funky Seomra grew from the Embodiment dance classes that David teaches. They are held each week on Wednesday evenings in St Andrew’s Resource Centre. Embodiment is quite different from other dance classes. They are a practice of dance and meditation that concentrate on the freedom of bodily movement and your enjoyment of dance, as opposed to the performance of specific dance steps. It focuses very much on meditation and the experience of dancing in a non-judgmental space. It is more of a movement and mediation practice. David describes the sessions as “two hours per week where you can come back to yourself, instead of being outward focused, as most of us live quite busy lives in the city now”. This is where the meditation side of the practice comes in. The purpose of the class is to connect your heart, body and mind, in a quiet space, away from the fast pace of life, by de-stressing your body through dance. Men and women, of all ages, attend. The classes are on a drop-in basis with about thirty people turning up to each class. There is no need to commit to a number of classes and you can go when you feel the need for some time on your own quiet “island”. Some attendees have been attending for years. David’s approach to his classes comes from his studies at the School of Movement Medicine, which he then incorporated with his education in Psychotherapy. Embodiment Class: Each Wednesday at 7.45pm-9.45pm in St Andrew’s Resource Centre, Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Drop in pay per class rate is €15 or €12 for low waged, unemployed and students.




By Joan Mitchell new bridge is currently being constructed on the Liffey to link the red and green Luas lines. The ‘extension line’ will come down Dawson Street from Stephen’s Green and, at the end of Hawkins Street, will pass over the Liffey, passing the front doors of The Abbey. Councillor Paddy McCartan (FG) told me “Connolly has a train station and a hospital named after him. I think, as the LUAS passes right past the front of the theatre, we should be pushing to call it The Abbey Bridge.” Other suggestions from other parties include ‘The Tony Gregory Bridge’, and ‘The Maeve Binchy Bridge’. The story of The Abbey Theatre began in 1899 with the foundation of The Irish Literary Theatre by WB Yeats, Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and George Moore. They wanted to promote Irish writers and they staged plays in The Gaiety and The Ancient Concert Rooms which were loved by the critics but not so much by the public and sadly the company ran out of funding by 1901. The influential brothers Liam and William Fay had a crucial impact on the establishment of the national theatre. They had been touring all over Great Britain and Ireland with their repertory theatre group and when they settled back in Dublin they formed W.G. Fay’s Irish National Dramatic Company in 1902. The Fays were focused on developing Irish writers and had great success with the working class of Dublin.

The Fays had experience and creativity but, most importantly, they were packing out halls every night, all they needed was financial backing to make it work on a permanent basis. This last financial piece of the puzzle was secured when WB Yeats worked with Annie Horniman (a tea magnate’s daughter) in London. He told her of the need for a national theatre in Dublin to promote Irish writers and Irish culture, and when she received an inheritance she bought the old Penny Bank on Lower Abbey Street. The Abbey Theatre was born in 1904. Annie Horniman did not reside in Ireland so William Fay was appointed theatre manager in 1904. He was responsible for training actors for the newly established repertory theatre and at the same time Jack Yeats was commissioned to paint portraits of all the key people involved. On the night of King Albert’s death in May 1910, Annie Horniman requested the closure of the



By Ruairi Coneely coalition of environmental groups has called upon the Government to halt the planned sale of public forest assets, currently managed by Coillte company. The coalition, named The Environmental Pillar, issued a press release in anticipation of International Day of Forests on the 21st of March this year condemning the proposed sale of publicly-owned forests and the likelihood of the use of funds from the sale to pay toward the debts incurred by the on-going financial crisis. NewsFour spoke with An-

theatre as a mark of respect for the King. Colm O’Connor (Abbey Tour Guide) said “Apparently there was a telegram sent to London asking for clarification and a reply was sent back but the delivery boy didn’t arrive until after the show had started.” Angered by this lack of respect, Annie Horniman ceased funding the Abbey. In today’s money, Annie was donating approximately £1 million annually. With such a dramatic loss of funding the Abbey made the decision to tour America to fundraise. Playboy of The Western World caused hysteria in New York, leading to several of the cast being arrested for a few hours, which ultimately generated great publicity and the show was a sell-out. The play also caused riots in the Abbey for using the term ‘shift’, which was a piece of ladies underwear, and this incident later became known as the ‘Playboy riots’. In fact, the Abbey was to be-


drew St. Ledger, spokesperson for the Environmental Pillar. “A similar notion was proposed by the government in the UK last year, and it was opposed in the same fashion as we are now,” he says. “The sales were suspended and an independent review was commissioned on the use of forest resources throughout the UK. The review board’s findings led to a change in national forestry policy.” The British Government intended to sell packages of forest land on 150-year leases, with the intent to raise £250 million. Here, the leases would

be 90 years in duration. Mr St. Ledger pointed out that “practically speaking, an 80-year lease is as good as ownership.” “It’s important that people from urban environments are


come no stranger to riots. When Shadow of a Gunman was first staged, it was clear from some of the dialogue that the 1916 Rising had not been socialist enough and it raised the question: were we any better off? Widows of those killed in 1916 were in the audience and they were obviously insulted by this. Riots ensued and the police were called. But that just goes to show the strong connection the ordinary people of Dublin had with The Abbey. In 1925, the Abbey Theatre was given an annual subsidy by the new Free State, and the Abbey became the first ever state-subsidised theatre in the English-speaking world. The state continues to support the Abbey Theatre in the form of an annual grant from the Arts Council of Ireland. And when the building went on fire in 1951, passers-by were seen running in to save the original oil paintings in the foyer, (thanks to their bravery they hang in The Abbey today). After the fire, the theatre moved to the Queens Theatre for fifteen years and in 1966 they were able to move back into their newly-designed (Michael Scott was the architect) home. The new theatre was designed

to give each person a perfect sound and lighting experience, indeed the wood for the panelling was imported from Brazil and had for the times amazing acoustics. The lighting is worldclass and in each of the 600 seats the view of the stage is now uninterrupted. The Abbey used to have its own scenery warehouse, but with the price of storage they now rent scenery from a company in the UK and it is delivered via the backstage entrance. There are no resident actors now and haven’t been for a number of years. Now, a team of actors come in for one production and the schedule of plays is organised up to two years in advance. A few months ago, the Abbey purchased an adjoining building which is on the quays looking towards the Liffey. There have been numerous discussions in the media that the Abbey was going to be knocked down, or reorientated towards the Liffey, but Colm O’Connor from the Abbey assured us they are still talking about their options and nothing has been decided. Interesting times lie ahead as we look to the future and more so than the other suggestions we feel the bridge should be named after our National Theatre as it is embedded in the psyche of people as the home of Irish Theatre.

alerted to these concerns. Public Forests are our children’s and grandchildren’s inheritance. The current administration sees the status of forests as an aspect of agriculture. It’s short-term economic thinking. They’re not considering the matter of mineral rights they might be giving away with the sale, they’re not thinking about remedying the lack of native Irish species in our forests. Our first policy objective is to halt the sale of

the Collite land and our second will be the establishment of an independent review of national policy on forest land, as we saw last July year in the UK.” “What’s needed is a change in national policy” asserted Mr St. Ledger. “In 1906, Ireland established a forestry policy modelled after the equivalent in the UK. That’s no longer appropriate.” The scheme has been argued by the Troika as intended to be like the successful privatisation of forest land in New Zealand, which has a population comparable to Ireland. However, Ireland has the second lowest tree coverage in Europe – only 11% compared to an average of 30%.





The Beat Girl goes on

By Eric Hillis ith technology changing the way we consume media, ‘multi-platform’ releasing is considered the future of film distribution. Under traditional methods, a movie is released in cinemas initially, followed by a DVD release as late as six months later. Dublin production company BeActive Media are bucking this trend with their latest release, Beat Girl, the tale of a young girl’s journey through Dublin’s DJ-ing scene. In May, the film will hit theatres in Ireland and across Europe, while at the same time it will become accessible online through ‘On Demand’ services like Netflix and 4OD. Triona Campbell, Company Director of BeActive, spoke to NewsFour about this ground-breaking venture. “We try to be everywhere our audience is. If you really want to connect with an audience you need to be on all platforms.” Beat Girl began life as a novel before hitting YouTube in the form of serialised ‘webisodes’. Spurred by its online popularity (over four million views and counting), BeActive decided to adapt the story for a feature film. The company was formed in 2008, their first production being Sofia’s Diary, which Triona describes as “an interactive teen series”. The series originally debuted on Bebo before being acquired by Channel 5 in the U.K. “It was one of the first series to cross from the internet to television,” Triona says. Beat Girl was shot entirely in Dublin by first-time director Mairtin De Barra. “We filmed a lot in the Grand Canal area, which has great reflective light. “We shot all around Dublin 4, so you’ll recognise a lot of our locations,” Triona says. The film has impressed renowned American producer Ben Silverman, whose company Electus have optioned the rights for a U.S made-for-T.V remake. Silverman is responsible for hit shows like Ugly Betty and The Office. Triona describes the producer as “incredibly skilled at taking European formats and translating them for an American audience”, having adapted BBC’s original British version of The Office for U.S T.V. “It’s the first Irish drama to be picked up in this way,” Triona says. Netflix subscribers will be able to view Beat Girl from May, while Jasmina Kallay’s novel can now be purchased from Amazon. The original web series is available to view on YouTube. Above: Actress Louise Dylan prepares for a take and, right, Louise as Beat Girl. Photos courtes y o f B eA ctive Media.



Reviewed by Eric Hillis aniel (Mark Ivanir), Peter (Christopher Walken), and married couple Robert (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Juliette (Catherine Keener) form ‘The Fugue Quartet’, New York’s most respected string quartet. With their 25th anniversary approaching, a number of events conspire to tear the group apart. Cello player Peter is diagnosed with the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, rendering his hands incapable of performing the more complex expressions of his instrument. Robert is unhappy with playing second fiddle (literally) to first violinist Daniel and falls out with Juliette when he forces her to admit she doesn’t think he has the skills to lead the quartet. Juliette herself is becoming increasingly estranged from her daughter Alexandra (Imogen Poots), who rebels against her mother by conducting an affair with Daniel. For first-time director Yaron Zilberman, whose only previous credit is the 2004 swimming documentary Watermarks, the task of directing such a trio of acting heavyweights as Hoffman, Walken and Keener must have been a considerably intimidating one. The same can be said for the relatively unknown Ukrainian actor Mark Ivanir, the odd one out on a roster of top-quality American acting talent. Both men hold their own admirably. Casting an unknown for the part of Daniel was an inspired choice, as his character, a Russian immigrant, is himself some-

thing of an outsider amongst the quartet. A familiar face in the role wouldn’t have conveyed this quite so convincingly. Equally impressive is the young English actress Imogen Poots, who gets some of the film’s most dramatic scenes. She may bear a physical resemblance to Scarlet Johansson but, unlike the American star, she can act. Hoffman and Keener are brilliant, as you would expect, but the standout is Walken, here allowed the opportunity to play a real character rather than a parody of himself. Zilberman wisely gives his cast freedom, employing what Spielberg refers to as, a “quiet camera”, eschewing any flashy camerawork. On this evidence, he’s a director of promise. Unfortunately, his script, cowritten with Seth Grossman, lets him down. Every scenario on display feels like one we’ve seen countless times before. The musician who is slowly losing the use of his hands. The daughter who accuses her artist mother of not being around her enough during her childhood. The performer tortured by a lack of recognition of his talents. While its story is nothing we haven’t seen before, the performances from its ensemble cast and some stunning work by legendary cinematographer Frederick Elmes make ‘A Late Quartet’ a worthwhile watch. As a scriptwriter, though, Zilberman could heed the advice of that old musician’s joke, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice!”

Upcoming DVDs April/May sees some big new releases hitting the DVD shelves, including Oscar winners Django Unchained (Best Screenplay, Quentin Tarantino, May 20th), Silver Linings Playbook (Best Actress, Jennifer Lawrence, April 1st), Les Miserables (Best Supporting Actress, Anne Hathaway, May 13th) and Life of Pi (Best Director, Ang Lee, April 29th). The first instalment of Peter Jackson’s three-part The Hobbit also hits stores on April 8th. Here are my top three DVD recommendations. The Impossible (May 1st) – Based on the true story of a vacationing family separated by the 2004 Asian tsunami, this Spanish/U.K co-production never opts for cheap sentimentality, instead giving us a realistic portrayal of how people react to such tragedies. Jack Reacher (April 22nd) – It flopped at the box office due to competition from ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘The Hobbit’ but Tom Cruise’s latest is an enjoyable old-school thriller with some cracking set-pieces. Quartet (May 1st) – Acclaimed actor Dustin Hoffman steps behind the camera for his directorial debut, a charming tale set in a retirement home for musicians.





By Trish Ryan oving from the UK to Dublin with my husband and young family in November, I expected a seamless transition into life over here. I’m fairly well-travelled and have lived in various different cities over the last decade or so. My husband is Irish and I was raised by an Irish parent in a corner of London so populated with Irish immigrants it was known as County Kilburn, and I had spent a lot of time in Ireland, and with family in Dublin 4, before we made the decision to move over. As such, I didn’t anticipate any major problems in fitting in, or even that there’d be many discernible differences between our everyday life in the UK and our new one in Dublin. However, I wasn’t prepared for the “It’ll be grand”-ness of it all. Hearing “It’ll be grand” is refreshing and liberating when you’re stressing about some minor detail on a weekend break. Less so when the online shop is delivered several hours late again and, once again, bears very little resemblance to what was ordered. It’s carrots she wants? Ah sure, give her some turnips instead, it’s all the same thing. It’ll be grand. Potatoes are evangelized here as some form of health food, three kinds served with every meal – mash, roast and chips usually, but occasionally your meal is garnished with a couple of waffles too. Sorry to stick with cliches, but the weather really is something. For the first three months of living here, I



thought I was the only stay-at-home mum in Dublin. I pounded the streets, got rained on in parks and loitered in toy shops, all in a vain quest to find other women with buggies. I now realise that they were all sequestered indoors, shielding themselves and their babies from the elements, and are only just starting to emerge from hibernation as Spring makes its appearance. And before any of you try to say that the weather in London isn’t much different, let me just assure you that it is. Whilst not exactly boasting a Caribbean climate, London’s weather pattern doesn’t alter 27 times over the course of a day, so you can at least get dressed in the morning and be reasonably confident that your attire will be weather-appropriate for the next nine hours. Not so here, where my handbag has grown to epic proportions to accommodate the extra waterproofs, tops, trousers, socks, wellies, umbrellas, scarves, sunglasses and rain hats that I and the kids might need to avail of upon a changing hourly basis. Then there are the thank-you cards. For everything from a generous and thoughtful birthday gift to a packet of Smarties lobbed at my kids by a vaguely familiar biddy in the street. It took a while for me to work out why the greetings cards we’d receive often had the sender’s address scribbled into the top left hand corner, or why I’d have a random address texted to me after receiving said packet of Smarties, but I’ve since been enlightened. I like the mannerly principle of it, but not the time it takes, and so I don’t send them.

By Tracy O’Brien n 2011, Dublin City Council (DCC) introduced an innovative scheme to link up landlords who possess vacant property, with artists and designers, who are short on funds, but who are in need of a working space. The initiative evolved from the availability of unused retail and commercial space lying idle in Dublin. Citizens asked their Local Authority to offer space for locals, who add value to the area and to encourage growth in local business and employment. As the former Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague explained “It is in everybody’s interest to have vacant spaces in the city utilised. Leaving them empty leaves a negative impression, while artistic and cultural activities can enhance individual streets, which is something the en-

I’ve probably caused offence far and wide. Ah well, they’ll be grand. Being told “That’s great value.” A lot. Particularly when something isn’t. I don’t know whether it’s Celtic Tiger that’s genuinely warped any sense of financial reality or whether it’s an insecure and burning desire to be seen as loaded but, just so you know, €200 for dinner a deux is never great value. €300 for a pair of boots is never great value (even more so when the label the shop has tried desperately to hide says £150). These are treats and extravagances you’re perfectly entitled to have and enjoy, but they’re never “great value.” Then there is – the perfect marriage of traditional and modern Ireland. Today’s Irish Mammy might still be preoccupied with who’s shuffled off their mortal coil in the last 15 minutes, but she no longer relies upon the newspaper obituaries of yesteryear. Instead, she can log onto the World Wide Web and ensure she’s fully apprised of any morbid happenings in the vicinity. I am grateful that we do still have much in common. The English and Irish definitely share the same begrudgery of positivity and success, and universal delight at spectacular downfall – the numbers of us tuning into the first round of X Factor auditions, or pondering “who do they think they are?” at some chirpy young upstart tells us this alone. The sizeable crowds spilling out of Dublin and London pubs on wet Wednesday evenings show our determination to keep our social lives going, whatever the media tells us about how broke we are. Our sustained, or even increased, travel spend on both sides of the water demonstrates the same. However, it’s the many little differences that’s preventing me from feeling fully settled at this stage and it’ll be in finding ways to accept those that really annoy me, such as paying for kids’ healthcare, and embracing those I’m loving, such as the strong sense of community right here in the capital’s city centre, that I will learn to settle in. It’s early days after all isn’t it. Couple more months and it’ll be grand.



By Tracy O’Brien he name Festa is an old term for parties along waterways. And that’s just the atmosphere artist Kathryn Maguire will be aiming for on the 11th and 12th of May when she holds a unique event called Festa on the Grand Canal. Working with The Men’s Gardening Group, from St Andrew’s Resource Centre, South Circular Road, she is creating a collection of floating artworks including a floating allotment, a mirrored shed called ‘Us Again’ float and a heritage barge 107B, which will be decked out with turf. When speaking to NewsFour, Kathryn describes the floating garden as “a brick wall with plants flowing out of sculptured wall on a flotilla”. The bricks used are from Dolphin’s Barn’s Brick Works, which closed in 1939. The second float is a shed, which will be covered with mirrored panels on the outside walls and roof of the shed. It will float along beside the allotment “constantly reflecting both the floating garden and the beauty of the surrounding Canal and persons who walk along the Canal”. Kathryn is hoping we get to enjoy the reflections of the sunsets in her work. The Lord Mayor of Dublin will launch Festa at 1pm on Sat, 11th May. The event is sponsored by RDA (Rialto Development Association), Common Ground, Dublin City Council, Inland Waterways and Waterways Ireland. There will be talks around heritage and ecology on the 107B Heritage Barge on the Saturday. The history of the industries that supplied goods for transport along the canal will be covered, concentrating on the predominant goods, which were bricks and vegetables. The biodiversity of the Canal life will be explored. And in the late afternoon, the barge and the floats will travel down the Canal to dock up at Portobello for the evening. On the morning of Sunday, 12th at 11am they will progress down towards the Waterways Ireland Visitor Centre in the Grand Canal Basin. Kathryn will host classes where you can learn to make origami ships and has already been working with children in local schools creating other origami ships, which will be launched at 4pm. Musican and artist, Nick Roth will present his work ‘The Water Project’ in the Visitor Centre also on Sunday 12th May. The floatillas will stay in the Grand Canal Basin for two weeks for the Docklands Festival.


tire surrounding community can benefit from too.” To this end, DCC, acting as ‘matchmaker’, made a call out to property owners and real estate agents, to gauge their interest in placing their vacant buildings on a Register. Artists and collectives or organisations, who were in need of a working area, then applied to DCC to be added to the Register. They then meet up with the respective landlords. Diverse individuals and groups ‘clustered’ together, to work in the same location, in order to reduce costs. All payments, such as the energy bills and rent, are agreed between the artists and the property owner. DCC are encouraging short term lets from one week to six months, where the percentage paid is usually 50% of

the standard charges. One such building is Eblana House on Marrowbone Lane near the Cornmarket, which just welcomed new tenants before Easter. The spaces are all used for creative, non-profit, cultural, and craft purposes. “This is a win-win situation” says Declan Wallace, Executive Manager in Dublin City Council Development Department, “where the owners of vacant properties get activity in and around their property and the artistic and cultural community get temporary access to space not normally used for creative purposes”. At present, all the proposed buildings have tenants, which will promote our reputation as an artistic city. DCC wish to continue the scheme, so if you have an empty building, please contact or if you are an artist in need of a work space, get in touch with





The ‘Higgstrument’… a rubbish performance Thomas Doyle from Ringsend sits in Captain James T Kirk’s seat on the set of the ‘Star Trek’ travelling exhibition, which came to Mosney around 1998. Star Trek merchandise and memorabilia was also on sale at the event.

Frances Patton, President Ballsbridge ICA, presenting a cheque for €1,500 to Dr. Fergal Kelleher of The Clinical Cancer Research Trust. Also in the picture Geraldine Schofield, Data Manager of the Trust. The money was raised at the annual Ballsbridge ICA auction of unwanted Christmas gifts.

By Jason McDonnell Dublin City Council funded and hosted a unique music performance at Ringsend Bring Centre, Pigeon House Road between 12noon and 1.30pm on Saturday 9th March under its Public Art Programme. Attended by the Lord Mayor, Naoise O Muirí, it was the first performance of ‘The Lost and Found Sound Assembly’ by Ireland-based US composer George Higgs. The work was performed on a musical structure called the ‘Higgstrument’ made from steel pipes and tubes, bike wheels, copper, Wavin pipes, kitchen tins, discarded wood and drums made out of steel boilers sourced from Council recycling centres. George performed the work with four students from St Mary’s School for Deaf Girls, Cabra and a local percussionist Sean Carpio. Setting the ‘Higgstrument’ up was part of the performance, which finished in a crescendo of beautiful music. Left to right: Sean Carpio, Enya Lynch, Patricia Barret, Shauna Farrell, Helen Ward, George Higgs.

Congratulations to Dr. Joanne Kavanagh from Irishtown who recently graduated from Trinity College with a PHD in Microbiology. She is pictured with her proud mother Denise and grandparents Anna Hulgraine and Tommy Hulgraine.

1965 Ringsend BNS Hurling Team

Back row, l e f t t o r i g h t : G a y B y r n e , P h i l i p G r e g g , E a m o n G r e g g , N o e l K i l r o y, J o e S myth, David Tilly, Martin Moey, Mick McCann. Front row, left t o r i g h t : P a t G r e g g , J o e M a n n i n g , M i c k C a s s i d y, P a d d y M u r p h y, E d d i e M urphy, Eamon Murphy, Donal O’Brien, Joe Keogh.





Undercover by Nick Bradshaw A cat enjoying the shelter offered by a bird table!

1ST PLACE – POLITICS Taoi-shock!! by Steve Humphreys Ali Skehan, aged 6, from Donnybrook can’t contain her excitement while sitting beside Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the launch of Daffodil Day.

e’re big fans of the AIB Photojournalism Awards here at NewsFour and we’re sure you will be too when you check out some of the images here on the photo page. Over 2,000 images were entered into this year’s competition, by 120 photojournalists from all around Ireland, across nine categories – news, daily life, sports action, sports portfolio, portrait, environment, politics, arts & entertainment and reportage. The AIB Photojournalism Exhibition, featuring 125 prints, opened in AIB, Bankcentre Branch on Tuesday, 19th February 2013 and has been on tour since, visiting selected AIB branches and other venues nationwide. Masterclasses for schools, camera clubs and photography students will also be held in locations throughout the country over the coming months. To view more winning photos visit http://www.


YEAR 2013

Armchair rioter by William Cherry A rioter takes a break during riot with PSNI after Orangemen pass the Ardoyne on their return parade from the main demonstration in Belfast.

God Calling by Alan Betson Sr. Gwen of the Holy Spirit from the Carmelite Monastery, Delgany, at the Discalced Carmelites exhibition stand during the 50th International Eucharistic Congress.

Mixed Opinions by Eric Luke Spectators with d i ff e r i n g o p i n i o n s w a t c h i n g t h e Best Dressed Lady competition at Galway races.


Jim Biggs R.I.P.

Today you take a new voyage into the unknown rucksack on your back, to far flung places you called home. 62 years existence with feet that mapped the globe. Of sparkling mind, wit inclined you now seek deep repose. In your many boats you shall rest, with waves and salty sea to caress. You have gone Jim to Fiddlers Green, from the old Ringsend you will be seen. Friends and kin will pay you visit in the darkening hours and in this village we will remember the voyager of Irishtown. From Clare Island you are in the wind. In its island sun we will see you smile. It will not be long to wait for all of us, a full crew in a while! You were funny and eccentric with engines on your mind, an old engine was your preference, Kate Moss lagged far behind. From gigantic cranes to stock cars you kept us well amused, endless unfinished projects that never saw the light of day, yards of junk all over Ireland instead of fields of hay. You kept us on the move Jim, arriving with that smile, bags of unfinished business to occupy us all the while. I see you now in Cuba with your Panama hat, thinking of your next project, a house beside Hemmingway’s. In your hand a bit of rum, you didn’t like it without blackcurrant, alas in Cuba there is none. I say goodbye Jim, I will see you soon. We will all take the same voyage, sure we are your old crew. Safe voyage dear brother, keep up the smile. You are not alone, we are by your side, or as you often said, “rust in peace, engines”. Love, your little sister xxxx Above: Jim Biggs on board ship in Mombassa some years ago.



By Jason McDonnell uropean Sensoria Band (E+S=B for short) are a well-known local band from Ringsend who were formed between 2002 and 2003 after a few improvising sessions between Fergus Cullen (clarinet and lead guitar), Anthony Carroll (bass) and David Carroll (drums). Before forming E+S=B they were members of successful punk bands Wormhole and Memory Cells, who had great success in Ireland, the UK and Asia, making them some of the most successful original recording bands from the Dublin 4 area in the past 20 years. Fergus Cullen, who was a longtime Wormhole fan, asked the twin brothers Anthony and David if they would like to play with him at the legendary Dublin improv club Lazybird and if they would be interested in doing something new, ditching the guitars in favour of Casio keyboards and adding some electro-drumpad which,

at the time, were played by Adrienne Flynn of Memory Cells. E+S=B was born. With releases on their own Last of Our Kind label as well as Deserted Village and Ninepoint Records, they have played and recorded with the likes of Japanese artists Damo Suzuki and Itaru Oki, among others. Since then, taking more and more inspiration from the American free jazz scene of the 60s, E+S=B have now scaled down to a threepiece line-up with an interesting yet hard to describe sort of avantgarde art sound or ‘weird rock’. Their first gig as E+S=B was in Mother Redcaps. It was around the time of the SARS epidemic when the band happened to be wearing dust masks for the craic but the audience had the impression they were ultra health conscious. Their first recording together ended up on a compilation CD, which received a great response so they decided to keep going with this new sound. Since 2008, they have mostly

NEWSFOUR APRIL / MAY 2013 stepped out of the pub scene after a narrow escape from a punk pub in Newcastle, where the crowd got a bit hostile towards them after they realised they were from Ireland. Originally, the audience thought that they were from Scotland, but when they announced they were from Dublin, the crowd got a bit cold and rowdy so now they spend most of their time playing art galleries; a much better experience with a more receptive audience. Most of the venues change every couple of months as they move around from places like the Joinery and the Shed and sometimes in derelict buildings which have been set up as temporary art exhibitions. Dave said the great thing about playing art and photo exhibitions is that you can put up your own artistic video on walls and interesting back drops. They even, on occasion, get permission from film directors to use their work. If you are interested in bands like the German band CAN or maybe The Residents, you will love these guys. There are also some great live HD videos online and if you are a curator or artist who would like to get in touch you can do so on their website below. I was lucky enough to hear the latest recordings during this interview and I thought it was great; a sort of early free jazz sound similar to, say, Coltrane or Miles Davis but not as stuffy as regular jazz. Thumbs up from NewsFour, lads. Keep up the good work. Above: David Carroll, Anthony Carroll and Fergus Cullen, after playing a great gig in the Joinery on 24-02-12.



By Jason Mc Donnell met with local Dublin 4 photographer Karen Forrester and talked about her new Kiki La Femme hand-crafted greeting cards. Firstly, why greeting cards? “It was a natural extension of what I have always done for occasions for family and close friends.” The idea came to her when she saw a completely unique niche in the Irish market to create specialist cards that are like miniature works of art. She makes every greeting card one-of-akind and original and she can ship them out within one to two working days free of charge to anywhere in the world. Her greeting cards come in two categories ‘The Dainty Collection’ and ‘The Edge Collection’. The Dainty Collection Cards are made with textures, buttons, beads and ribbon, inspired by

all things pretty and feminine, while the Edge Collection features threading and trimming, creating a greeting card that

has a strong combination of flair and kookiness. All of the cards are blank and finished with a wax seal. Karen says, “I will be adding new cards to my collections on my website over the coming months and intend to start using photographs in my card making.” After living in Dublin 4 for over ten years now, Karen is very familiar with the sights and sounds of Ballsbridge, and she has found inspiration from many places in the area, such as the Georgian buildings around the Pepper Canister Church, the Grand Canal and the linear nature of Grand Canal Dock and Charlotte Quay. These locations are a starting point for many of her cards through the use of colours, textures and shapes, so be sure to bookmark for future reference. Left: Flowers n Shapes design.




Reviewed by Tracy O’Brien n the 1970s, newborn babies from Holles Street Maternity Hospital were brought to Westland Row Church for Christening before they left hospital, in case they died. A local lady Lena Redmond was a street trader at the time and Lena, being an entrepreneurial woman, used her pram to transport these babies from the hospital to the church. New mothers remember Lena walking around the wards carrying up to six newborns in her arms and depositing them in ‘her large framed pram with buckled wheels’. One of these new moth-




ers was Susan Weir’s mum. Susan Weir was always fascinated by old prams, because of their beauty, sturdiness and resilience compared to modern buggies. When she was a young girl in Dublin, she called into neighbours to ask if she could take their children out for a walk in the pram. She admits that her interest was not in the child itself, but in the pram. When she grew up, she spent hours eying up the street traders and their perambulators. One day, she overheard two English tourists talking about how unusual and intriguing the pram sellers were. She watched them taking photos of the ladies and she realised that this tradition was particular to Dublin. Susan decided she wanted to honour the women by documenting them and their prams in ac-

tion on our streets. Sally Dwyer, the newspaper lady who we featured in our last edition, also sold from a pram. The collection of Susan’s images in ‘Dublin’s Working Prams’ are complemented by a concise history of the pram, from the Victorian era up, where Susan tells us how the popularity of the pram increased because Queen Victoria was a fan and bought three ‘child carriers’ for her own children, despite doctors claiming that fresh air was unhealthy for babies. Susan explores the crisis the streets traders lived through in the mid-1980s, as they were deemed a threat by some of the powerful business interests in the city centre. Susan interviews the ladies, who tell stories of being chased down the city’s streets by the Gardaí, as they did not hold licences for selling from the prams. Some funny anecdotes from these times tell us about ladies hiding in confession boxes to avoid the Gardaí, or drinking tea in the police station when they were arrested and having a great sing-song while they waited to be released. ‘Dublin’s Working Prams – A Photographic Portrait of Dublin Street Traders’ is priced at €19.99 and is available in Easons and all good book shops. Photo from from Susan Weir’s book ‘Dublin’s Working Prams – A Photographic Portrait of Dublin Street Traders’.


By Tracy O’Brien f you think science is boring you must never have visited the Science Gallery on Pearse Street, ‘where art and science collide’. Exhibitions are represented by diverse fields of study from ‘general nerdiness’ to fashion, mixed in with other subjects like chemistry, physics, astronomy, earth sciences, biology, mechanics, neurology and maths. The Science Gallery is part of Trinity College. Opened in 2008, it is housed in the Naughton Institute. To date, over a million people have visited the Gallery. Admission is free to all exhibitions and while a not-for-profit charity, it is all-for-education, as the shows include exhibits, experiments and events. The purpose of the Science Gallery is to introduce 15 to 25 year

olds to all the joys of science. The intention is to demonstrate to young people that science links to so much in life. The current show Oscillator surveys rhythms, cycles, waves, vibrations and feedback loops. Shaun O’Boyle, from the Gallery, explains oscillation in layman’s terms as “the patterns we find around us, such as the flow of traf-

fic on Pearse St at different times of the day and how it increases during rush hour.” At the exhibition, these loops and cycles are explained in various ways, including blood flowing around a pig’s body via its heart or the synchronicity of a pendulum. Risk Lab is showing from May until June and explores why we think the improbable is probable.



By Jason McDonnell icola Kelly is a selftaught artist from Bray Co. Wicklow. During 2007 she began painting using acrylics and more recently oils. She is influenced by surrealism right through to street art. Her earlier work is reminiscent of and inspired by old classic film noirs; her recent work explores less constrained ideas and concepts. She has always had an instinctive need to discover the ‘peculiar’ in the otherwise ordinary; she is intuitively drawn to the unusual. Her relentless and still intensifying need to paint was the fortunate consequence of an inquisitive encounter with some acrylic paints. The expressive nature of painting allows her ideas to exist and evolve further into something not always expected, while creating a harmonious interaction between the illogical and rational. Her paint palette is kept lively with a preference for strong, vibrant tones conveying an energetic, optimistic feeling. One of her most recent paintings based on W.B Yeats, who was born in Sandymount, appears in the form of fifty Euro notes beginning to come off the canvas, this one element of the painting is clearly indicative of an uncertain economy. With intentions of amusing and igniting feelings of curiosity within the viewer, simultaneously she aims to engage them in a visual ‘anagram’ of sorts which challenges them to question how they interpret their surroundings and hopefully look again intently with renewed enthusiasm. Having displayed some of her paintings locally, and receiving commission work which is currently displayed in Molloy’s Coffee Shop, on the Quinsborough Road in Bray, she now hopes to exhibit and share her passion with a wider audience in the near future. And for the moment she intends to continue developing and refining her skills further, while thoroughly enjoying the entire process of creating something with the capacity of evoking so many emotions. Some of Nicola’s recent work can be viewed at www.newirishart. com/NicolaKelly Illusion starts in July and explores why we see what we do. In October the exhibition Living Machines questions how close we are to creating synthetic life. To help visitors to the exhibition, there are mediators, who explain in detail each installation. Usually students in the college, this opens up the whole experience, as their conversation and chat attaches significance to what you are seeing, touching, hearing or smelling. This flourishing science gallery is the first of its kind. It is to be expanded to other cities around the world, such as London, Moscow and Singapore, due to its accomplishments in science education and promotion here in Dublin via the gallery’s exhibitions and advice on school subject choices, college courses and decisions relating to future careers. Dr. Michael John Gorman, director of the Science Gallery, clarifies. “We’re planning eight

Science Gallery hubs around the world by 2020. In each city, we tap into a vibrant local creative community of researchers, designers, artists and entrepreneurs to engage and inspire the next generation of innovators.” A visit to the Science Gallery should also include a trip to the shop, full of curiosities and the Flux Cafè, where you can sit and observe the traffic flow on Pearse St for yourself and chat about what you saw at the exhibition. So head on down to explore all kinds of everything, as this gallery is a world leader in fun. Science Gallery: Facebook: Science Gallery Oscillator Exhibition: http:// or Image, above left, sourced from the Science Gallery.





By Tracy O’Brien ith so many emigrating, Eamonn Fingleton, left, is one Irish man who returned home recently after living in London, New York and Tokyo for many years. He is now a local in Dublin 4. Fingleton is a world-renowned author in financial circles and his tomes are listed on and Business Week’s ten best business books of the year. A decade ago, Fingleton warned the US government against financial deregulation. Unfortunately. his advice was ignored, to the detriment of the US economy. And to our own, as we followed the example set by the U.S and London. He points out that Ireland, forty years ago, understood the advantages to be gained from investment in manufacturing. But we moved away from this dependable business configuration and instead concentrated on service industries. History now proves Fingleton’s postulations to be more astute than those of many political leaders. Fingleton studied economics at Trinity College and learnt his trade as an economic journalist in Dublin before moving to London, where he became the youngest financial editor on Fleet Street. He went on to be an editor of ‘Forbes’ in New York. In his capacity as a journalist and editor, he called those ‘in-the-know’ to interview them. He has interviewed, among many other reputed business and political trailblazers, figures such as Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump and Milton Friedman. His publications have been read into the record of the U.S. Senate by Senator Ernest F. Hollings. Now, with his reputation as a reliable economic analyst firmly established, they call him. Henry Kissinger once asked to see him for advice. So what does he advocate for us here in Ireland? He extols Intel and Glen Dimplex as leading examples in manufacturing. Fingleton expands on the three key reasons for his proposal. Firstly, manufacturing will increase the “good” jobs. He specifically means that this is a job for everyone, with additional jobs feeding in from peripheral services in local communities. Manufacturing creates positions at all levels in society, not only jobs for graduates, as happens in the many service industries we currently promote. Secondly, the jobs will be “capital and know-how” intensive. Thirdly, he clarifies that this will lead to increased exports. He cites the example of an electrical device. When it goes for export, all that needs to be included are additional languages in the user manual. If you export a service, there are many levels of cultural and social alterations required. Fingleton’s guidance to our manufacturing industry could be the positive instruction we require to retain and develop much-needed employment here in Ireland. If you wish to investigate Fingleton’s advice further, please visit his webpage for a full listing of his eminent economical and financial publications. Eamonn Fingleton:



By Eric Hillis s a music-obsessed teen in the mid-nineties, I would often spend my Saturday afternoons traversing Dublin’s numerous record shops, blackening my thumbs with the dust of a thousand record sleeves. Even if I didn’t make a purchase, (being a broke music-obsessed teen, this was usually the case), it was never a waste of a day. There was something magical about those stores; especially the smaller, independently owned ones. The stale air, sweat, and cigarette smoke, all mixed with the distinctive scent of vinyl, created a unique atmosphere, one thoroughly enticing to a young music connoisseur. By the time DVDs had arrived on the scene, my love of film equalled my musical obsessions. While it was never quite the same experience as record shopping, hunting down my favourite movies on disc brought a lot of enjoyment. To recreate such an experience in the Dublin of today is almost impossible. The independent outlets have long been run out of town by HMV, who themselves shut down all sixteen of their Irish stores back in February, resulting in the loss of over three hundred jobs. That leaves Tower Records’ two outlets (Wicklow St. and Easons) as the only major record stores remaining in the city centre. With the video rental store also nearly a thing of the past, those wishing to indulge their love of film and music are increasingly turning to the internet. The rise of iTunes is commonly cited as the greatest contributor to the death of brick-and-mortar

record stores. With almost thirty million songs available, there’s enough content to suit the most demanding consumer. The major advantage the service has over its high street competitors is the ability for customers to purchase on a song-by-song basis. You love one particular track on an otherwise dull album? Just pay for the song you want and ignore the rest. The biggest criticism of iTunes is that it overwhelmingly favours the biggest artists, thanks to the ‘front-page’ of its online store, where only the most commercially viable acts are featured. In a traditional record store, one can browse and discover new artists. iTunes removes this randomness; if you don’t already know the name of the artist you’re looking for, you can’t search for it. This puts smaller acts at a huge disadvantage and leads to a monopolising of the charts by the bigger acts. Twenty years ago, it was rare for an artist to have two tunes in the top twenty at once. Now, artists like Rihanna and Beyonce can take up half the

slots on a chart by themselves. Of course, the web gives independent artists a means of distribution without having to rely on a record label. Without the backing of a label, however, these artists won’t find themselves being promoted on iTunes, instead they’ll find themselves relying heavily on word of mouth. Every now and then we hear of an ‘internet sensation’ being discovered on YouTube but, with sixty hours of video uploaded to the site every minute, these ‘discoveries’ are one in a billion. Conversely, independent filmmakers have fared much better in the digital age. Netflix has become such a force in the U.S that video rental stores have practically become a thing of the past Stateside. For the price of one DVD rental from a high street store, you can view as many movies online as you have time for. With Netflix desperate for content, independent film-makers have benefitted greatly. A lowbudget drama can sit beside the latest Hollywood blockbuster on the menu screen; a far more democratic process than the big-name monopolisation of iTunes. T.V series are hugely popular among Netflix subscribers, with the ability to watch a full season in one sitting if you so desire. Netflix have even begun to produce their own material, starting with ‘House of Cards’, a Kevin Spacey starring series whose thirteen episodes were all made available instantly. These new ways of consuming our favourite media may be convenient but, if you ask me, nothing beats the fun of flicking through a dusty rack of records in a damp, dingy basement. Photos by Eric Hillis.





By Ruairi Coneely ohn D. Sheridan’s classic 1945 novel ‘Paradise Alley’ has been published in a new edition. East Wall based publisher, the Seven Towers Agency has re-issued the classic story of poverty and politics in a Docklands slum in the early 20th Century. Told from the point of view of a school teacher, the events of the novel take place during the pivotal months of the 1913 Lockout. Long out of print, the new edition represents a neglected voice in the city’s literature and history. In its day, ‘Paradise Alley’ was regarded as the direct predecessor of James Plunkett’s ‘Strumpet City’. Given its extended absence from the shelves of bookshops everywhere (even only has listings for second-hand first editions), this printing has a new introduction detailing the historical context of the story and providing documentary information on the author and the setting. John D. Sheridan was an author of considerable renown in his day, probably best known for his regular column in the Irish Independent. A collection of these were issued in 1979, the year before his death, based on selections made by Gay Byrne who was an admirer. These

saw print as ‘I Have Been Busy With Words: The Best of John D. Sheridan’. He also published a number of novels and poetry collections and a biography of the influential poet James Clarence Mangan. Alongside these achievements, Sheridan taught for six years at the National School on East Wall Road (now St. Joseph’s Co-Ed National School). His experiences there became the basis for ‘Paradise Alley’. I wanted to know how Seven Towers had come across the book and what made them want to publish it? Sarah Lundberg, pictured above, Managing Director of the Seven Towers Agency is co-writer of the introductory essay with historian Joe Mooney. “Two former pupils of St Joseph’s School, Rita L’Estrange and Charlie O’Leary, were sharing their memories of the school with us. Charlie remembers Sheridan having been in his class briefly in infants and he told us about the book and that it was written about the school. So we investigated and found this to be the case. It was published as part of the celebration of East Wall in connection with Pride of Place 2012, an all-island celebration and competition that East Wall had won, selected by Dublin City Council.”

PAGE 31 Was Paradise Alley well regarded at the time of its original release? “It seems to have received only limited publicity, although it was reprinted on both sides of the Atlantic more than once so that would indicate it was favourably received. After ‘Strumpet City’ was published, some critics compared the two and said that ‘Strumpet City’ owed a debt to Sheridan. Contemporaries of his seemed to appreciate it too – Paddy Crosby, for instance, quoted it in his famous book ‘Around the Corner’.” Has the Seven Towers edition done well? And are there any plans for more historical publications? “It has done well, and continues to do well. We’re looking at publishing more titles, either non-fiction, local history or out-of-print books. Our emphasis will be on local history, or that of an area, including an oral history of people still living. 2013 will see the publication of a short book on the Schoolboy Strike, as part of our Road to the Lockout event series. In September 1911, the pupils of St Joseph’s staged a strike. They demanded an end to caning, shorter school hours and free books and they had a chant to that effect. There was even a picket line.” And lastly, what do you think the book has to offer a reader today? “Well firstly, it is very well written so it’s simply enjoyable. There’s a little bit of nostalgia in there too. Secondly, it’s a very accurate depiction of the times and it’s always good for the current generation to know where they came from and how we got here.” ‘Paradise Alley’ is available through and in selected bookshops.


‘The Ticking Clock’

By Jason McDonnell he end of February saw the release of a great little book by George Fitzgerald (right) on e-books. ‘The Ticking Clock’ is about a man called Mark, a handsome and rich character who is prone to having affairs with a string of women. One of the affairs is with a woman called Sarah, who later asks Mark to murder her husband. The situation gets heated when Mark gets involved with gangland Dublin and later realises he has bitten off more than he can chew. In time, he considers doing the job himself leading to a lot of intrigue and conspiracy and eventually his death. This then brings him and the reader into hell, a ‘Dante’s Inferno’ scenario. He later manages to escape and tells the story from the outside when he gets his life back and totally turns it around. This will be George’s seventh book and will be free to download to all NewsFour readers. If the book is successful online, George plans to release ten thousand hard copies into the public domain at a minimal price. If you are interested in reading more books by George, his best seller to date is ‘Tommy Two Coats and Miss’s Jacob’s Coin’, a ninety-thousand word book.

Fire stations go green with new plan


By Liam Cahill he staff of Donnybrook Fire Station have incorporated a ‘green plan’ aimed at helping the environment. It was conceived by Neil McCabe – a fireman based in Kilbarrack Fire Station who manages the plan, which started at his own station and was eventually incorporated by Donnybrook Fire Station last year. The plan includes seven main points such as: tackling waste, growing the station’s own food, reducing carbon emissions, conserving energy, saving water, and enhancing biodiversity through a series of measures such as recycling and using old cooking oil as biodiesel for vehicles. Savings from the incorporation of the plan are ring-fenced and invested in new technologies for the individual fire stations and outreach programmes across the community. Recently, Donnybrook Fire station was fitted with new wooden handmade windows paid from cost savings at Kilbarrack Fire station. The green plan has also been incorporated into the vehicles, also known as fire tenders, used by the Fire Brigade. “The document has seven themes to become sustainable. I just got fed up with the way everything was allegedly sustainable these days, but nobody took any actions to be sustainable,” says McCabe. To date, the plan has seen 40% of Kilbarrack’s waste recycled. Everything from glass, paper, plastic and tin is recycled. Organic waste is composted and electricity consumption was reduced by 80% by simply knocking off unused lights. Water consumption has been reduced significantly, reducing costs by 90% according to Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB), with hot water produced by thermodynamic panels on the outside of the station. “To become sustainable, you take on the two core principles of the Green Plan and they are: behavioural change and carbon emission reduction. What I’ve done is install all these themes and philosophies into Kilbarrack Fire station and I got the staff to buy into my idea,” says McCabe. The plan is the first effort by Dublin Fire Brigade to reduce its overall costs, due to budget constraints and cutbacks. McCabe is now preparing to incorporate the Green Plan nationally and is working closely with Dublin City Council. Pictured are former Lord Mayor Andrew Montague and Neil McCabe.


DCC N OTES Compiled by Liam Cahill

LACEY RAISES DRAINAGE PROBLEMS At the monthly meeting of the Dublin City Council (DCC) Cllr. Dermot Lacey raised a question relating to drains on Newgrove Avenue in Sandymount. According to Lacey the drain has a habit of overflowing every time there is severe rain, leaving huge puddles near the bus stop at the Rehab Institute. In Lacey’s question, the Council said the Drainage Division inspected the area and concluded the location is in need of additional “gullies” which the Council hopes will be installed within the next few weeks. CITY MANAGER RESIGNS John Tierney the City Council Manager is to resign. Tierney notified the Lord Mayor Naoise Ó Muirí of his intention to stand aside. According to the City Council, it’s believed Tierney will take up a position as Managing Director of Irish Water. Tierney has been the Chief Executive of Dublin City Council since 2006 with responsibility for daily operations of the Council and implementation of executive decisions. The resignation will take place from April 28th, at that time the City Council will discuss candidates for his replacement. FLOOD DEFENCES QUESTIONED BY LACEY Cllr. Dermot Lacey asked the City Manager, John Tierney, if he can provide an update on flooding prevention measures for the Newgrove Avenue and Strand Road areas of Sandymount. Lacey said residents are concerned with the reliability of flood defences – such as the floodwall – currently in place, and asked what else can be done besides sandbags during stormy conditions. “Sea water has come in through the back door of 25 Newgrove Avenue via a laneway running to the back of the house from Strand Road,” said Lacey. The City Manager responded by saying the Drainage Division is pleased to hear that the residents on Newgrove Avenue are installing flood defences – such as sandbags – and should consider installing non-return valves on their private drainage systems.


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By Liam Cahill reparation for the City Council’s monthly meeting begins at the Civic Offices on Wood Quay. Once inside, you travel to the third floor and reach the glass-encaged offices of the City Manager. On the left is a table with some brochures and old magazines; to the right the glass looks over a grand, open area. On this particular day, the Council is in the process of printing the agenda for the next meeting “We have deadlines all the time,” says one of Dublin’s City Council’s administrative officers. “Each Councillor is allowed submit four questions. I have staff members who take the questions, get them into a document, co-ordinate the replies, make sure they’re suitable, and answer what the Councillors asked.” What happens here determines both what will be discussed at the Council meeting, and the length it will take. Over City Hall, it’s hard to believe that 52 Councillors can fit into such a small, confined space. When you enter the main debating chamber, the media are on the left, the Councillors form a ring around the administrative staff, the Lord Mayor and the City Manager. The Council meeting starts just after six and continues until ten. Sitting right next to me are staff from The Irish Times, The Herald, and RTÉ. At one point, the Times’ man turned to me and asked what had just been said with a puzzled look on his face. This happens a lot in the media pen; fellow journalists pass information and documents to each other in a bid to get the best story. Opposite us, the Councillors, all well dressed, articulate language that at times can be confusing. They all have their own interesting story,



having seen their fair share of adversity, and having battled long and hard to get to where they are. “Very little work actually gets done, because an awful lot of Councillors use it as an opportunity to grandstand and to make noise,” says Fine Gael Cllr. Kieran Binchy. “If I was a member of the public watching one of our Council meetings on the webcast, or in person, I would seriously question how our taxes are being spent.” Over on the middle row, is Christie Burke, an independent Councillor who offers words of wisdom when the meeting gets out of hand. If this were a circus, he would be the ringmaster, keeping everyone in check. Fine Gael is represented quite well, but Dr. Bill Tormey stands out as the most vocal. At a recent debate about gay marriage, he made a speech concerning a mash of issues in one; it lacked any substance – the Council eventually voted in favour of supporting gay marriage – much to Tormey’s reluctance. Labour has always held a strong lead at these meetings, with mem-

bers attempting the awkward balancing act of a party who are firmly in Government. Fianna Fáil, a member of Éirígí – a socialist republican party – a few independents, People Before Profit, and Sinn Féin make up the rest of the chamber. After speaking to several Councillors, it’s clear that the debating style and use of legal language, an agenda that is the size of a telephone book, and heckling can be troublesome. “A lot of the shouting and heckling that goes on is unnecessary, it doesn’t lend anything to the business of the evening and women generally don’t operate like that. It’s a male thing,” says Labour Cllr. Gerry Ashe. Another Labour Councilor, and brother of Ashe, Dermot Lacey, called a recent walkout by Sinn Féin “ignorant and deliberately designed to grab a headline.” Back at Wood Quay, the Administrative official points to the door and says to me “you can let yourself out.” Illustration by Ron Byrne.


By Liam Cahill There’s still no word from Dublin City Council concerning the Bottlemakers Hall in Ringsend. Local Labour Councilor Gerry Ashe said she had posed the question at several meetings of the City Council but failed to get any reply. The current state of the derelict building has come under scrutiny from residents of Ringsend. The building, located on the Irishtown Road, has been left vacant for a number of years with no word on its future. Previously, the hall acted as a social club for Irish Glass Bottle workers, whose factory was located nearby. In 2002, the factory closed, along with the hall, ending Ringsend’s 100-year glass-making chapter. The Hall is listed as a protected structure in a planning, heritage and conservation document obtained by NewsFour.




By Niamh Wynne enerations of South Dublin is a look at growing up in Dublin from two very different perspectives, contrasting the world in which the older generation grew up in with that of today’s teenagers. Each of the 10 half-hour programmes relates to a theme including love, marriage, childhood, school and work, where the experiences of the two generations are worlds apart. Tune in to hear the comparisons and contrasts that highlight the differences, and even more strikingly, the similarities. Each show is presented by teenagers aged between 15 and 17 from local areas. They interview senior citizens from a range of clubs including the South Dublin Senior Citizen’s Club, The Active Retirement Association from the Stillorgan, Dun Laoghaire and Ballinteer branches, Blackrock U3A and Mount Merrion Friendship Club. The lives of today’s teenagers are markedly different to those of their grandparents’ generation, in ways that you might not normally consider. Nowadays, we take for granted the convenience of having mobile phones with us everywhere we go or public transport with wi-fi access. But what was living in Ireland like before these modern marvels, and are they an improvement? People say that being young is the best time of one’s life, but would the older generation agree? As Mary Bartley from the Mount Merrion Friendship Club says “Being elderly is fun in our groups!” ‘Generations of South Dublin’ will be broadcast on 93.9 Dublin South FM at 15.00 on Mondays starting on the 1st April for 10 weeks. Listen live on where podcasts are also available.

Pictured left: Local teenagers Bianca and Tom interview Colm and Eileen from Blackrock U3A for ‘Generations of South Dublin’ on 93.9 DSFM.



By Ruairi Coneely rances Fitzgerald, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, has announced the release of €500,000 in funds to develop and support new youth projects around the country. Eight new projects – Youth Cafés – will be established as a continuation of an on-going national scheme to provide facilities for young people and promote their involvement in their local communities. The premise of a Youth Café is that it is run by young people for young people, with co-operation from local authorities and supervising adults, with an emphasis on partnership

and co-operation between adults and young people. The aim is to provide safe, drug and alcohol free environments with versatile resources, which may range from a pool table and games, to venue type equipment suitable for staging shows and concerts. In her announcement of the plan before the Dáil on Wednesday February 13th, the Minister stated: “As Minister, I have been delighted to officially open many of these new facilities and I hope that the funding being announced today, along with the additional funding being provided for 2013, will allow for the

opening of many more youth cafés in communities across the country.” The first round of funding this year will go to facilities in Templemore, Wicklow, Waterford,and other cities around the country. Later in the year, an additional €1.75 million will be released, €1.5 million of which will continue the establishment or improvement of youth cafés and youth-related projects, while the remaining €250,000 will go toward play and recreation resources. Dublin City Council estimates indicate that at least €50,000 is needed to establish a new Youth Café and at most €100,000. Funding for development and improvement of existing facilities is in the €5,000 to €10,000 range. The Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre has had a Youth Café initiative planned since the receipt of a donation in 2011. The RICC Youth Café will likely be sited on a property in Irishtown. The facilities planned were focusgrouped with local young people, who it is hoped will form the basis for a committee who will manage the facility with co-operation from community personnel.

Bagging plant opening in Dublin Port


By Jason Mc Donnell n 27th February 2013, Ecocem’s new plant was officially opened by Brian Hayes, Minister of State at the Department of Finance with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works. A huge crowd gathered at the plant in Dublin Port to join Ecocem for the opening, tea, coffee and pastries which were provided by The Fair Play Café, Ringsend with all the proceeds going towards their initiative ‘Share Your Lunch’. On the day, Ecocem also announced its plans to create 61 jobs (direct and indirect) as part of a new three-year, €19 million investment programme. The new plant will be used to bag Ecocem’s eco-friendly cement, which among other things, reduces the carbon footprint of traditional cement by up to 60%. Ecocem Next Generation Cement is now the highest quality, lowest carbon cement product produced in Ireland. Brian Hayes, Minister of State, said during the opening of the plant “I am delighted to be here today to share this good news story. The creation of 25 direct jobs and an estimated 36 indirect jobs in this new Ecocem cement bagging plant. Ecocem are one of Ireland’s success stories, being a wholly owned subsidiary of the Irish company Ecocem Materials, founded in 2000 by Donal O’Riain. The company manufactures environmentallyfriendly cement, which facilitates sustainable design and construction, and is central to the Government’s Green Public Procurement Policy for Construction, currently being developed by my office, the OPW. In the current economic climate, it is heartening to see Ecocem make an investment of €5million, with a further €14million planned over the next 3 years.” Above, left to right: Conor O’Riain, Don Whyatt, Keith Harcourt, Minister Brian Hayes, Garett O’Connor, Aidan Dooby and John Newell.






By James O’Doherty s the days get longer and the nights shorter, nature unfolds in all its beauty and we are once again in love with life. Surrounded by land that is covered in green, it is leaf again, light again, life again. In the theatre of the gardening world, in which I have a permanent seat, at this time of year I see pictures of incredible beauty as nature busies herself preparing for the Summer months. There is lots to do in your garden at this time of year and plenty of tasks to keep us busy. So let me offer a few words of advice as you prepare to welcome Summer. April and May are months of sunshine and showers. Growth is rapid, apple blossom, tulips, cherries, lilacs and an increasing array of flowers fill our gardens. Lilacs are synonomous with May and we will soon see the regal magnolias battle with the rhododendrons and azaleas for our attention. It is good to remember that in all fruit-growing areas we are soon approaching the main honey flow of the year, bees are


By Joan Mitchell hen Pope Benedict resigned a few weeks ago, it sent shock waves around the Catholic World. Not since Pope Celestine V in 1294 had a Pope resigned. I spoke with Professor Salvador Ryan of St. Patrick’s College, Mayooth, whose specialty is Ecclesiastical History, who reflected on these events. “In 1294, the Papacy had already been vacant for over two years as the cardinals were divided as to who should succeed to the Papal throne. A saintly and other-worldly hermit named Pietro da Morrone soon had enough of this and, from his mountain retreat in southern Italy, wrote an impassioned letter to the Cardinals.” His letter made them question their actions and they soon wrote back to say they had indeed elected a new Pope. Him! Pietro Da Morrone rode into Rome on a donkey and cut a strange sight among his palatial surroundings. He took the name Celestine V. But, with little political experience he, not surprisingly, lasted but a few months. He resigned and attempted to go back to obscurity in his mountain hideaway. But his replacement

busy among the blossoming in the trees, so be careful about spraying. The beautiful camellias will continue to flower until late May, use plenty of ericaceous compost when planting these magnificent plants, which also do very well in large containers. Prune the forsythia after flowering, as this flowers on new wood. To encourage it to make plenty of new growth, Winter jasmine will also benefit from this pruning. This is a good time for planting shrubs, conifers and hollies in containers and open ground. For those of you who would like some scented climbers try the lovely Clematis Montana Elizabeth and Clematis Armandii. These will cover dark walls and any garden eyesores. They are long-flowered and scented. Lonicera Halliani and Jasmine Officinala are lovely scented plants and don’t forget sweet pea and many roses. When planting these, incorporate plenty of compost and apply a general fertiliser, water as well. There is a huge interest in growing plants in containers. Great pleasure can be had from

creating and looking after a small or large group of planted pots. You can grow vegetables in containers and dwarf fruit trees, cherry tomatoes, Spring and Summer bedding and all kinds of shrubs. Raise the pots up on bricks to enable good drainage. Keep in mind that planted containers are entirely dependent on you for their care, watering and feeding are very important especially in Summer time. Remove faded flower heads from hydrangeas. In the open, continue to sow hardy annuals such as Cosmos Clarkia, Larkspur, Sweetpea and Calendula. Prepare the ground well and apply a general fertiliser. Grow the bright and breezy sunflow-


ers, children will love them. Dwarf forms are available. Sow them directly into the ground. Continue to cut your grass regularly. Sow grass seed and lay turf, and apply a Spring feed to your grass and water regularly. Plant lillies as soon as possible and grow blueberries in containers, fill the pots with ericaceous compost. It is best to plant two close to each other to help pollination. No pruning is required for several years. Use an ericaceous feed or tomato feed during the growing season to help the fruit develop. In the vegetable garden sow, plant, hoe; beetroot, carrots, turnips, these are the mainstay of the vegetable garden. Successional sowing of all vegetables

in recommended. Earth up potatoes, plant cabbage, sprouts, cauliflowers. Sow white runner beans, white Lisbon onions and all salad crops. Once the threat of frost has passed, plant outdoor tomatoes. These need regular watering and feeding. Towards the end of May, sow in the open ground; wallflowers, Canterbury bells, sweet william, myosotis, all are intended for Spring bedding. As June approaches, it is time to think of the floral pageant of Summer. June is the month of the roses, geraniums, marigolds, petunias, begonias and flower beds of beautiful colours, hanging baskets and window boxes. Soon we will welcome the return of the beautiful butterflies to our garden, so make sure you have at least one shrub of the butterfly bush Buddlia. So, welcome the joy inspired by nature’s rebirth and look forward to greeting the queen of the flowers, the rose, as she reigns supreme all Summer. It is incredible that anyone could think that all this happens, that there is no mastermind, no God. For me, I recall a quote I came across that is attributed to one Frank Lloyd Wright, “I believe in God, only I spell it nature.”

A Papal election – behind the scenes Bergoglio started the 14th of March in the conclave casting his vote. By that evening he was Pope Francis. What was involved in getting him elected?

When a Papal election gets under way, there are procedures which should be followed. There are 120 Cardinals under the age of 80 who were allowed to vote in the most recent election; 14 from USA/Canada; 21 from Latin America; 11 from Africa; 11 from Asia; 1 from Australia/New Zealand and 63 from Europe.

feared that someone would attempt to have him reinstated as an antipope and had him imprisioned. He died nine months later. We’ve yet to see if Pope Francis has similar plans for Ex Benedict, Joseph Ratzinger. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is, by all accounts, a humble man and only became a priest aged 42. He joined the Jesuits and was a frequent visitor in AIDS centres, prisons and in the poor areas of Buenos Aires. Those who know him speak of a friendly fellow who took the bus and made his own meals. But since his election he has been plauged by rumors that he aided and abetted a

vicious dictator and by reports that he has questionable views on both women and homosexuality. On the morning after he was elected, Pope Francis went to a local Church in Rome on his own and dropped into a local school. On Holy Thursday the Pope visited a juvenile detention centre and washed the feet of 12 of the inmates. Hopefully, his actions are a better reflection of his character than his words. Pictured: This photo of the two Popes, one retired, one dead, is of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Celestine V.

The chances of having a European Pope were significant. However, even with this concentration of eligible Cardinals in Europe it was believed before the election that, since Catholicism was growing rapidly in South America, Africa and Asia, that there might just be a Pope from beyond Europe for the first time.

Before beginning, Cardinals met and took part in a public mass to ask for help and direction with their decision. After the mass, the Senior Cardinal issued an Extra Omnes order, which meant all those not eligible to vote had to leave the room. The doors were then closed and a conclave began.

Each Cardinal was given a voting slip on which they wrote their choice and voting papers were immediately burned to ensure their contents were kept secret, the smoke of which came out of the temporary chimney on the roof of the Cistine Chapel indicating, through its colour, how the Cardinals were progresing. Black meant no decision had been made and white meant a Pope had been chosen.





By Ruadhan MacAodhain espite adverse weather conditions during the month of March, Clanna Gael underage hurling and football have recorded a number of stunning victories, in recent weeks, for both boys and girls. The high-level performances at different age levels is further evidence of Clanns’ innovative and family-oriented youth structures. In hurling, the Under 13 boys team kept the high profile hurling club, Ballyboden St Endas, score-


less on the Saturday of St Patrick’s weekend in Sean Moore Park: 8-1 to 0-0. The home team got into their stride from the throw-in and quickly took control of the game. Clann excelled in every position, particularly in defence. There was particular effective performances from the Morgan brothers, Karl and Cian, especially considering both normally play at a younger age level. In the Girls Under 14 football game, Clann played some determined passing football and earned a

deserved victory against St Tooles: 2-10 to 3-5. Amy Carroll, Niamh Shaw, Emer Vaughan and Laoise O’Connor produced outstanding performances, while Amy O’Hora and Claire Byrne saved the day several times in defence. The victories of Under 13s and 14s have been repeated on all age categories: the talented Under 16s boys running riot against Naomh Olaf: 7-16 to 0-3 over the same St Patrick’s weekend. With Club Coach, Jonney Sadleir, outreaching to primary schools in the locality, along with youth camps, such as the recent Clanna Gael Easter Camp, the club seeks to continue to attract boys and girls at all levels to participate in the club. Clann’s continued investment in youth structure, along with the support of families at all ages, has been instrumental in its ongoing success. Above: The Under 13 boys team.






















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By Ruairi Coneely he literary pedigree of Dublin 4 is without question. Baggot St, still haunted by anecdotes of Patrick Kavanagh and the exploits of Brendan Behan, was home to the celebrated Parson’s Bookshop, which both writers frequented (often at varying times, so as to avoid one another) as did other literati such as Flann O’Brien. Since those days, however, the book trade has undergone a succession of changes. The consolidation of chains like Hodge’s and Figgis into franchises, the arrival from overseas of megastores like Borders and Waterstones, and then the advent of Amazon and internet buying have altered the business of book-selling into something of a blockbuster concern. NewsFour decided to investigate the state of independent book shops in the Dublin 4 district. Books on the Green, of Sandymount Village, is owned and run by Brian O’Brien. He describes business currently as “quiet, but things are always quiet this time of year.” March carries over part of the February lull, he explains, things always fall off after Christmas. We asked how he marks the shop out from its competition. “We stock games and toys, as well as books. A lot of local history

Prize of a €25 book token. Post entries to NewsFour, RICC, Thorncastle Street, Ringsend, D.4 by 17th May 2013. Winner of our February/March crossword competition was Kitty Keogh, Lansdowne Villas, Lansdowne Park. which appeals to people in the area, of course, and we try and focus on providing a personal service.” “In the past we have done special events, late night book launches and the like, but there hasn’t been much call for that lately. We miss the days of a cash cow like Harry Potter.” Brian emphasises that the focus of his business is securing customer loyalty. Hampton Books of Morehampton Road, Donnybrook similarily depends upon a reciprocal loyalty with its customer base. Owner John Keane explained “We don’t really have any special strategies to distinguish ourselves, other than to stock as broad a range of books as we can. We take orders from customers if they’re seeking a particular work, we have some very loyal regulars. We’re a small shop, so hosting events isn’t much of an option. But we’re hanging in there.” The direct sales book trade is about more than just the high street. NewsFour’s last stop was the University College Dublin campus in Belfield, where we spoke with Philip Harvey, manager of the Campus Bookshop. Unsurprisingly, the Campus shop predominantly sells academic texts and specialist manuals. They also have access to Print-On-Demand facilities, allowing them to pro-

duce editions of certain books on spec, rather than order a minimum number of copies from distributors. “We don’t have much call for it at the moment but the service is there for those who wish to use it”. Harvey explained that “there is little incentive for us to stock books for a general audience. The students need what they need and can get it here. If we were to stock, for example, a particular cookbook, we are losing out in the long run to sellers like Eason’s, who also have a wholesale division. We might buy a shipment from them for 70% of cover price, but their size and number of outlets means they can comfortably sell the same book at 40% of the cover price. So we end up paying them to out-sell us overall.” How has the economic situation affected their sales? “Comparatively little, since we are a specialist shop. Our competition comes from the Internet; Amazon discounts, e-books and students using online resources of questionable merit.” The Campus Bookshop is the exception that proves the rule. Independent retailers of all sorts need support in these straitened times and the book trade in particular is seeking to trade loyalty for loyalty with its customers.

ACROSS: 1) The bard of Avon (11) 7) Ovoid laid by a hen (3) 10) Kindly and caring (like an uncle) (9) 11) Cuban ballroom dance (5) 12) A theatrical whisper to the audience (5) 13) Eggplant (9) 15) Fragrant Asian flower (7) 18) Culinary Arts school in France Cordon ---- (4) 19) --- Thurman, American actress (3) 20) Go solo in this capital city (4) 22) A D4 road which Luke Kelly sang about (6) 24) A small or insignificant amount (3) 25) Self-respect/pride (7) 26) The type of job that entitles one to a retirement fund (11) 27) Work produced by creative expression (3) 29) This acronym is a cry for help (1,1,1) 30) Ali Baba’s favourite seed. Open ------ (6) 31) Border, brink (4) DOWN: 2) Jilted spinster in Dickens’ Great Expectations, Miss -------- (8) 3) A territory or state ruled by a royal (7) 4) Throb (7) 5) Gymastic performers (8) 6) Mistakes (6) 8) Shut your --- (slang) (3) 9) Those with 23 across grow old this way (10) 14) Brightened with light (11) 15) Place side by side for comparison (9) 16) Small fish, often tinned (8) 17) Clever and inventive (9) 20) Atop (2) 21) Superman’s love interest (4, 4) 23) Lists of items to discuss at meetings (7) 28) Story or fable (4)




By Joan Mitchell new outdoor adventure activity is about to be introduced into the heart of Dublin 4. Wakedock, a company based in the Grand Canal Dock, have recently launched Ireland’s first cable wakeboard park. Similar to water skiing, instead of being pulled behind a speed boat you are connected to a zip wire which allows you to do amazing jumps and turns on the water at top speed. Wakeboard have built a two tower cable wakeboard system in the Grand Canal Dock which replaces the need for a motorboat, making wakeboarding more accessible and less expensive. I spoke with company director Colin Harris on a sunny March afternoon at the Dock who said, “Wakedock will provide an exciting sporting experience in a unique location that will put Ireland on the map for cable wakeboarding as the latest adventure sport. Waterways Ireland, have been very supportive from the start of this project and we are delighted that they have made it possible. We believe the cable is a great attraction for tourists and residents alike.” The company will create up to six jobs in its first year and offer wakeboarding tuition, ride passes, private group sessions for adults and children as well as programmes for schools and youth groups. You can follow Wakedock’s activities on their website or call 01–6643883. On the same sunny March morning, I also met up with Fiona Tiernan, who set up Plurabelle Paddlers in 2010. They are a group of women who have survived breast cancer and who have found that exercise involving paddling reduces lymphatic swelling which can cause pain after breast surgery. Fiona began with only two people and no boat, they now have two boats ‘Anna’ and ‘Livia’ and over 60 members. Fiona showed me around their very own new clubhouse/boathouse right on the Grand Canal Dock. They managed to secure the premises rent-free and got a number of donations including a complete new kitchen, new tables and chairs. Fiona said, “One of our members who used to be a landscape gardener is making plans for our back garden which is our next project.” They have also been talking to Orla Kaminski, a local artist, who has agreed to do a ceramic mural on the outside of their new building. A year ago, they were operating out of two container lorries and now they have an amazing premises with the finishing touches near completion. The Plurabelle Paddlers are taking part in the Mini Marathon again this year, they see it as an integral part of their fundraising, so if you want to mix with a positive, inspirational group of can-do women, speak to Fiona at 087-2806048. Above: the Plurabelle Paddlers. Right: Children’s wakeboard lessons.



By Liam Cahill elsey Reynolds (late 20s) from Ringsend and Tara Kelly (early 30s) from Donnybrook got the chance to participate in one of O2’s ‘Bring on the Green’ campaigns during Ireland’s bid to win the Six Nations. Reynolds and Kelly became official jersey guardians during the Ireland and England game in the Aviva Stadium, where Ireland were defeated by their old rivals. “We had to meet in the Shelbourne Hotel at 8:15am where we were given the jerseys,” said Tara, who was randomly selected after registering with 02’s website. The guardians were greeted at the Aviva Stadium by rugby officials, given access to the Irish team dressing room where they got to hang jerseys at each player’s individual area. “We were brought back to the team hotel and had breakfast with Paul O’Connell and then had a few drinks after the match,” Tara says. “I love the idea of jersey guardians,” said Ireland and Munster player Paul O’Connell. “Every year O2 come up with something new and different for supporters to engage with the team.”


Previously, O2 launched the ‘Be the Difference’ campaign which won the European Sponsorship Association’s (ESA) Business to Consumer sponsorship award in 2010. In 2011 they had ‘make the roar be the difference campaign’ where supporters could upload the best roars and upload them to the O2 website. A few were picked and shown on the Aviva’s big screen. “The experience of them getting into the team dressing room is so special; I’m really enjoying playing a part in it” says O’Connell. The jersey guardians competition has been a key feature of O2’s



By Jimmy Purdy own through the years, Ringsend has produced many sporting personalities of all kinds; soccer, hurling, yachtsmen, skiff rowers, greyhound racers and boxers. People marched in marching bands and Irish danced. The group I want to highlight are a GAA team. I became aware of them back in St Patrick’s BNS in Ringsend when our master Seamus Kavanagh told us a story from three to four every Friday afternoon. He brought GAA to the school, winning the Miller Shield in their first year and on one Friday he told us about the famous Isles of the Sea team or Inse Na Mara as Gaeilge. The team all came from the Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount areas. They most likely had their premises in the area as well. It would appear they were competing in the 1890s, becoming Dublin champions in 1890. They beat Young Ireland’s 0-5 to 0-3. The winning team was captained by Charlie Thompson. Dan Holland, Tommy Dunne, M. Downes, Fran and Bartle North are names that might ring a bell for Ringsenders. The Norths had pubs on Bridge Street and Thorncastle Street. A son had a betting shop on the back street (Fitzwilliam Street), where the Regal Cinema was and the building is


still standing there. In 1895 Isles of the Sea won the Dublin Championship again with Tommy Dunne as the captain before winning it six years later in 1901 with Captain Dan Holland, when they beat Ballymun Kickhams in the final. Having won three championships, Isles of the Sea now qualified for the All Ireland Final against London Hibernians, winning 0-14 to 0-2 points. J. Darcy, Paddy ‘Cocker’ Daly and Val Harris who played soccer for Shelbourne played best for Isles. Captain of the opposing London Hibernians was Sam Maguire, for whom the All Ireland trophy would later be named. No doubt this was an exciting time in Ringsend’s history. Isles of the Sea were again in the final in 1914 but lost to Bulfin 3-2 to 2-2. All three teams are listed below. Does anybody recognise grandfathers or great grandfathers amongst them? It would be great to hear any stories or see any photographs that some of you might have during this great time for Gaelic football in the area. It’s a long time ago but Ringsend left their mark on Gaelic Games. We respect you, Isles of the Sea. I believe there is a cup in storage in

‘Bring on the Green’ campaign, which coincided with the kick off of the Six Nations. O2 also gave 23 other rugby supporters a chance to deliver the green jerseys when Ireland took on France last month. The jersey guardians competition is a key feature of O2’s rugby supporters’ campaign that has used online advertising and social media as a way to garner attention. Most of you will be aware of O2 TV advertisements showing former Irish player Jonathan Sexton kicking a rugby ball in the middle of a field, or videos showing Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell going door to door to request a rugby game. For more information on how to ‘Bring on the Green’ and support the team log on to via your mobile device.

Above: Jonathan Sexton with Antoinette Thunder from Balbriggan. Collins Barracks museum that Inse Na Mara won outright. C’mon the Paddy, C’mon the Stella. 1890: Charlie Thompson (Captain), Tommy Dunne, J.Joey, Fran North, Bartle North, Peter North, F. Rourke, T. Whelan, Kevin Dunne, J. Reid, K. Fitzgerald, William ‘Punch’ Connolly, Phil McGrath, K.Byrne, J. Hennesey, M. Kearns, R. Lalor, Peter Hoare, D. Kennedy, M. Downes. 1895: Tommy Dunne (Captain), Denny Adams, M.Ward, Bartle North, J. Dunne, F. Wall, J. Whelan, J. Beehan, P. Rourke, J. Hoey, Charles Dunne, T. Knott, Peter Hoare, G. Murphy, M. Brien, William Connolly, K. Lawlor, P.Walsh. 1901: Dan Holland (Captain), J. Gaffney, Edwards, Gale, M. Whelan, John Whelan, T. Whelan, James Whelan, William Boland, J. Fitzpatrick, C. Kelly, Peter Byrne, Thomas Lawless, Dan Dunne, B. Connor. Below: St Patrick’s Boys’ School, Ringsend, winners Inse na Mara/ Miller Shield 1943–1944.






By Joan Mitchell got married in a five-star resort in the Caribbean. The thought of being nearly ten miles from the nearest flush toilet leaves me with chills. So, when my husband’s best friend became a Scout Leader and started pushing the joys of camping on us, I was nervous. I had visions of mud-filled sleeping bags, mud in the chill box and mud on our clothes. I felt quite stressed at the thought of taking the kids out of their routine. What would they eat? How would they amuse themselves? I needn’t have worried. Without the Xbox our kids seemed to step back in time. They made and raced paper boats. They made a dam in a small stream. Most impressively, they taught our dog to swim. They would cycle around the small campsite, go to the playground, take the dog for a walk or meet up with their new-found friends. They had the absolute freedom that they never have at home. To step into the world of camping doesn’t need to cost a fortune. We borrowed what supplies we could from friends and family and only bought a basic four-man tent the first time we went. We progressed the following summer, splashing out on airbeds, a cool box, a kettle and a single ring gas cooker. Lots of campsites have an on-site kitchen so you don’t need to go mad buying stuff initially. What we bought we picked up in sales at the end of the season in Tesco, Argos and Lidl – so nothing cost

too much and we felt happy we had a bargain. We used the Camping Ireland website (below) as our bible. It gave unbiased advice on where was best for adults or kids and what facilities each site had, so we were able to find campsites close to Dublin which would cater for our kids’ age group. The best one we found was River Valley in Red Cross in Wicklow. The campsite is clean and has a fully-equipped camper’s kitchen, a playground and a small farm, plus they have a dog-walking track which takes a good 40 minutes to complete. There is a shop across the road for any food or camping essentials you may have forgotten. For the first few trips, we indulged in the local chipper just outside the gates of the campsite. Believe me, nothing tastes as good as a chip butty in the fresh air. Mickey Finn’s is the pub/restaurant just at the entrance to the campsite which has kids’ clubs, kids’ movies and the most amazing family banquets (two adults and two children) for €25. When we first went camping, we would eat out more often, but as we became more used to the experience we knew what to bring ourselves. We chose a favourite cereal which can be eaten cold for the kids, but for us the heart of the weekend was the fry-ups. For lunch, we stuck to bread rolls, meat and some salad. For dinner, we cooked spaghetti bolognaise at home and kept it chilled in our cool box which we could easily re-heat. We

found pasta and sauce was easy to prepare, as was any type of barbecue food and salad. That may seem trivial to some, but kids being well fed with their favourite food is the perfect start to a good family holiday. The other thing we worried about as a family was getting the kids to sleep at night. My advice is to bring bikes, hurling sticks or swing ball – whatever activity they are into at home. They will be up early and on the go all day, and they will stay up until dark, so they will collapse on the airbeds at the end of the day and be sound asleep in seconds. I brought lots of books and activity pads, as I learned over the years that they may need some relaxing time, and at home that may mean TV, so lying on top of a sleeping bag reading helps to re-charge their batteries. Before the recession, my kids had been to Italy and France on their holidays. They didn’t know where Ennis or Connemara was, and now they know Ireland as well as I did growing up. When I asked them what was their best holiday, they immediately said “Red Cross, when Dad rolled out of the airbed in the middle of the night.” So, start slowly and don’t go mad buying equipment, go for one night only and bring sandals, wellies, t-shirts and fleeces. Learn to enjoy just playing with your kids and spending time with your family and friends. It truly is a joy to go camping.




By Ruairi Coneely few months in and it is easy to feel that the novelty of the New Year has worn thin… even if our bodies haven’t. It is a time of year when, maybe, the resolutions we made for January are starting to slip. But the holidays are coming, nonetheless, and the beaches will need their beach bodies. NewsFour went looking for some refreshing alternatives to the sad spectacle of a renewed, but neglected, gym membership. Our first stop is the Wild Geese Martial Arts Academy. Located at 14–16 Magennis Place, just off Pearse Street. Wild Geese Martial Arts teaches a variety of classes based around martial fitness and combat training for fun or for competition. NewsFour spoke with Dave Hedges, one of the founders of the academy. “Beginners are very welcome; people of all skills or fitness levels. The thing is, any of our classes would be suitable – everything is applicable to the beginner, it just depends on what your goals are. For developing fitness fast, I’d recommend Kettle Bell Training or Muay Thai Boxing.” Other disciplines include Escrima (south Asian stick fighting), Judo and Brazilian Jujitsu among others. On the gentler side of things, there are Pilates and Yoga classes for conditioning and core fitness. If Yoga is more your speed than fight sports, but you’re still looking for some intensity and fast results, then head east along Pearse Street, crossing onto Ringsend Road you’ll find Init Yoga Studios. Init operate a franchise of Bikram Yoga, a patented high-intensity approach to traditional Yoga training. Bikram was developed by yogi and entrepreneur Bikram Choundary as a results-oriented style. Classes last ninety minutes, in studios heated to around 40ºC to promote flexibility and detoxifying sweating. There are a set number of postures to master and students are obliged to bring water, a towel and dress for heat and freedom of movement. Maybe not for the faint-hearted (or those prone to fainting), Bikram Yoga gets results quickly: Init Yoga Studios also run a 30 Day Challenge – do one lesson a day for thirty days and see the results. Lastly, at 20 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, west of the Samuel Beckett Bridge, there is Crossfit Docklands. Crossfit Training is a unique, comprehensive strength and conditioning programme. We spoke with Linda Piper-Roche of Crossfit Dublin. “The aim of Crossfit is to always be giving 100%, in a way that suits you. It’s training that can complement any other activity you might be involved in. The focus is functional and the aim is for a full range of motion.” “Is it easy on a beginner?” we asked. “Yes, we’re very beginner-friendly, and the training is age-scalable, so you could be 16 years old or 83. We try and create incentives for all types of people. So, for instance, we offer a 15% discount for military personnel and first responders like Gardaí or fire fighters. “What’s rewarding is seeing development. You get results.”




t’s that time of the year again folks, Spring is in the air and the hectic football mid-week period is almost upon us. The latter stages of league and cup competitions are in full swing and I’m delighted to report that once again CY finds itself in the thick of it all. Beginning with our Division 2 Sunday side who, having gone through a slight dip in form just after the Christmas break, have since gone into domestic overdrive. With a large, competitive squad, Ed Saul’s charges have catapulted themselves into second position in the league and with games in hand over leaders Ballybrack they will hope to overtake their rivals soon too. A Cullen cup semi-final looms against an as of yet unknown opponent. What we like to see as our “development” or “emerging talent” side has already produced a star for the future with goal keeper Claudio Valaen recently been promoted to first team action.




In his absence, assistant manager Paul Andrews has donned the gloves and his experience is surely paying dividends. Just like our Div 2 Sunday side, our Major 1 Saturday side are also chasing domestic honours on two fronts – although promotion to the top Saturday division is most important. With provincial and national cup interest now subsided, attention in recent


ocal resident Elaine Coburn, pictured right, has been elected president of Railway Union Cricket Club for 2013. She is the first woman president in the 109 years of the Club and with the new season at Park Avenue starting in mid-April, she sends a message of welcome to the people of Sandymount, Ringsend and Irishtown, especially the schoolboys and schoolgirls. “As president this year, I want to ensure that Railway Union maintains its reputation as a good place to visit and play cricket, while continuing to strive hard for honours on the field of play. “It has been a difficult

Top class Mens Hockey at Railway Union, Park Avenue on Saturday April 6th

Irish Hockey League

2p.m. Railway Union v YMCA 4p.m. Monkstown v Pembroke Wanderers

weeks has turned to the league, important wins over local Rivals Ringsend Rover and UCD has positioned the team in second place with games in hand over leaders St Francis, a 2nd round Lanigan cup tie with Glebe North is also on the horizon. Hopefully Derek Bowden’s men can do the business. On to first team news. League-wise it’s been a very patchy season. But back-toback wins against Malahide

UPDATE Utd and Mount Merrion FC in recent weeks have pushed CY up closer to mid-table safety and with just seven league games remaining, it is hoped that better form and a bit more luck in front of goal will keep the bottom end of the table at a safe distance. Meanwhile, cup action brings a welcome distraction, having secured FAI Senior cup entry again this season, through our Inter-

mediate cup exploits. The draw for the Senior cup first round was good to CY in that a home draw was pulled from the hat against Junior qualifiers Carew Park FC. That game is scheduled to take place at the end of March. In addition to this, Mark Benson’s side are also in the second round of both the Metropolitan and Cahil cups, two great competitions we will be hoping to make a mark in. All in all, senior status again next season is the main goal and we wish the lads all the best over the coming busy schedule. Finally, we would just like to thank Inter7’ for their recent generous sponsorship of a new away kit worn recently by our Saturday side (pictured). Inter7’s do fabulous work in the community and we are proud to partner with them. If any other local businesses would like to sponsor the club through various means, please, as always, contact a member of our hard-working committee. By David Nolan

R AILWAY U NION C RICKET C LUB number of years for the club, but I hope to help us to redouble our efforts to regain our position as the premier club in Leinster and Ireland. Like all clubs we rely on a small number of people, and I

would encourage all members to spend more time improving our club – by helping with the facilities, coaching the young players, attending our vital fund-raisers or even just by supporting all the sides in the

club. Drop down to watch the 4ths or the Under 13s, you’ll enjoy the craic and your support means a lot. “May I wish all our members and friends a happy and successful 2013 season.”




half. However, Railway defended resolutely with the stronger US pack exerting a lot of influence and the home team did superb to keep the visiting team scoreless. Railway went on the attack in the second half and produced four tries to win the game 24-0. In a busy month of cup cam-

paigns and hosting touring teams, Railway then found time to go on a tour of their own. Both men’s and women’s teams travelled to Madrid for the St. Patrick’s weekend, and after spending two days taking in the sights of Madrid, both teams played a match against local team XV Hortaleza. Both teams recorded wins against their Spanish counterparts and afterwards enjoyed the hospitality of their hosts with a traditional Spanish meal. To say that the first few months of 2013 have been busy would be a huge understatement. In addition to all the action on the pitch, the Club has announced several new initiatives, including the Jones Lang LaSalle Girl’s Rugby 7s School’s Programme (which is already underway) and both a Women’s Rugby 7s Academy and Girls Rugby 7s sub-academy kicking off in April. As always, new players are always welcome at Railway, particularly now with the advent of the Rugby 7s season. Further information can be obtained from or by checking out our website ( or Facebook ( railwayunionrfc).

says Keith Sothern, a men’s coach for the 1st XV team at Railway Union RFC. Sothern tells me that when an individual player in rugby becomes goal-orientated they become a little more focused and determined to be the best. This attitude will naturally have an effect on a player’s mental state, but according to Dr. Tara Magdalinski, a lecturer at the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy Population Science, whether or not those mental skills are transferred into everyday life is highly debatable. “Whether these skills are context-specific, i.e. they only happen in sport, or transferable is not established, there is a stereotype that sport leads to a whole host of positive characteristics that mean the person will become a much better human or citizen, which is why we encourage sport for convicted criminals, drug ad-

dicts, youth at risk. The assumption is that sport will rehabilitate. I would suggest that it is not sport but simply any structured activity that gives the participant some achievable goals,” says Dr. Magdalinski. Generally, the sport of rugby has been quite visible in the mental health field. Recently Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll, Paul O’Connell and Johnny Sexton became mentors to young people for Headstrong – an organisation promoting positive mental health. Former Munster and Ireland rugby star Alan Quinlan took part in the Lean on Me Campaign – studying mental health in athletics in Ireland. At Railway Union Rugby club however, both Professor Ryan and Coach Sothern get ready for another match and another season of putting players’ mental and physical health first.



By Kirstin Smith ast issue we reported on the successes of the Railway Union RFC Women’s team, who in their inaugural season, won their league campaign, while maintaining a perfect record conceding no scores. Now it seems that Railway’s men are following suit, with both the men’s 1st XV and 2nd XV winning their respective leagues. The men’s 1st XV took the Leinster Division 2B title back in February when they beat Edenderry 11-10 away from home. This left Railway top of the table with one game in hand and left nearest rivals unable to catch up. This is the club’s first league title since winning the old Division Three title in 1995/96 and there are two connections between the Railway side then and now. Current 1st XV team manager Jack Walsh played on that team and, even more remarkably, John Fitzgerald played both in 1995/96 and 2013. The men’s 2nd XV confirmed

their position as league champions the following week, rounding off the most successful season in the club’s history. The Club’s annual dinner dance will take place on Saturday 20th April in the Aviva Stadium, where the successes of the season will be deservedly celebrated. Since winning their leagues, the teams at Railway have not been resting on their laurels. Cup season has begun and both women’s teams have won all matches to date. French side Les Gasbarians and the Monmouth Renegades, from the USA, took on the Railway Legends and Railway Women respectively. The Railway Legends found tough opposition in the Frenchmen, going down a try in

the opening minutes. However, Railway began to climb back into the game and produced five tries to win the match 31-5. The women’s match followed and the Renegades proved the toughest opposition to date, dominating field position, possession and up front in the first



By Liam Cahill ost Friday nights, when the lights come on and fans start pouring into the stadium here at the Railway Union Rugby Football Club in Sandymount, John Ryan, a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at UCD, and Chair of the Railway Union RFC Player Welfare Committee, can be found not only examining players’ physical injuries but mental ones too. “We’ve not had many incidents concerning mental health issues,” says Professor Ryan, “…as Chair of the Welfare Committee, the responsibility rests with me to make sure the players get the right access to advanced mental health care,” he says. Professor Ryan tells me Railway Union Rugby Club has come across some players with mental health problems and provides counselling and other forms of psychological therapy if needed. In some cases, Professor Ryan may obtain the medical information of individual players, with their consent, if he feels further action is needed. A recent study by the African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance,

released at the end of 2012, examined the mental health and well-being of rugby players. The study titled ‘Mental skills of South African male high school rugby players: sport psychology,’ looked at a number of key areas concerning a professional athlete’s mental health – such as their mental health compared to people who don’t participate in the sport. Other studies, such as one by the University of São Paulo titled ‘Physical activity and mental health: the association between exercise and mood,’ looked at physical activity and mental health in more broad terms. That study showed that increased physical activity might play a role in reducing many psychological problems in athletes such as depression and anxiety disorders and may help with a person’s personal confidence. “It is generally agreed that regular physical activity creates a sense of well-being and may even help counter milder forms of depression and anxiety disorders,” says Professor Colin Boreham, the Director of the UCD Institute for Sport and Health, and, previously, a sports consultant to the

Irish rugby team. Professor Boreham tells me that his personal observation of rugby players has indicated that the more sport someone plays, the more confident they become, which has a direct impact on the player’s mental health. According to the book Rugby Tough by Bruce Hale and David Collins, rugby players must be physically and mentally fit in order to play well on the pitch. Many managers and rugby coaches have, as a result, become increasingly aware of the mental state of their players and have applied the necessary mechanisms to promote positive mental health. Railway Rugby Union has adopted a similar approach, by keeping an eye on the mental state of its players, and allowing sessions for players to talk about their feelings with healthcare professionals. Professor Ryan suggests that the camaraderie of rugby promotes this advancement of positive mental health, and allows the players to be team-orientated and focused on certain goals both during training and matches. “Rugby is played first and foremost for the enjoyment factor,”



April–May 2013 Newsfour  
April–May 2013 Newsfour