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


THE PAPER YOU NEED TO READ! This guy certainly has an inflated opinion of himself. More of his antics on page 4

John Crowley visits a part of Cape Town far removed from the tourist hotspots on page 8

The doggedly dedicated Gillian Saunders brings fun and learning to canine-loving kids. See page 26

Glenda Cimino finds ‘roughing it’ in the Peruvian Amazon a lively experience. See page 36


n between the showers, people in the area are making the most of a mixed summer. The tag rugby competition, held on 4th of July on Sandymount Strand and pictured on left was a roaring success, with twenty-five teams taking part. Meanwhile on Pearse Street, St Andrewʼs Resource Centre rounded off their South Docks Festival week on the 24th of July with a parade from St Andrewʼs to Merrion Square via Westland Row. Pictured above at the parade are volunteers Gavin Boland, Rosemary Phipps, Gavin OʼToole and Michelle OʼReilly, their costumes were designed by Artastic. Festival organiser Noel Watson said that this yearʼs festival had proved hugely popular, with over 100 volunteers running twenty-four different events in the locality, including exhibitions in the Ely HQ building and in the Oisín Gallery on Westland Row.


NewsFour Managing Editor Christopher Sweeney Advertising Manager Grainne McGuinness Staff Harry Cavendish Nessa Jennings Louise Hanrahan Glenda Cimino John Fitzgerald Paula Young Jason McDonnell Contributors Shay Connolly Michael Hilliard George Humphries Grainne McGuinness Lorraine Barry Aoife Murphy Ruth O’Doherty John Crowley Derek Sandford Michael McAuliffe Valerie Coakley (McDonnell) Katherine P Meyer Vanessa Harriss Ellen O’Dea Web Designer Andrew Thorn Photography John Cheevers Design, Typesetting, Layout Eugene Carolan Community Services, 15 Fitzwilliam Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4. Telephone: (01)6673317 E-mail: Website: NewsFour Newspaper is part of a FÁS Community Employment Programme. Opinions expressed in News Four do not necessarily represent the views of Community Services.



The Editor’s Corner

ell o a g a i n e v e r y o n e . H o p e y o u enj o y t h e l a t e s t e d i t i o n . S i n c e it i s h o l i d a y t i m e , w e h a v e cast our ne t f a r a n d w i d e t o b r i n g y o u stories and i m a g e s f r o m a l l o v e r t h e world: Per u , S o u t h A f r i c a , S k y e , s o even if you a r e s t a y i n g p u t t h i s y e a r, you will g e t a t a s t e o f f o r e i g n t r a v e l here. Ann Ing l e , w h o u s u a l l y c o m p i l e s our prize c r o s s w o r d , w a s a w a y t h i s time aroun d , s o I h a d a g o a t c o m p i li ng it mys e l f . I t i s a l o t h a r d e r t h a n


y o u m i g h t t h i n k , a n y w a y h e r e ʼs a f r e e s t a r t , y o u g r o w o r a n g e s i n a n o r a n gery (33 Across). As it may be a bit harder than the usual, Iʼve upped the prize to €30! If you are really stuck, you can always call us here. F i n a l l y, w e w e r e t h i n k i n g o f s t a r ting a classified small ad section in the n e x t e d i t i o n o f N e w s F o u r. A n y b o d y w i t h s o m e t h i n g to s e l l o r s o m e t h i n g t o e x c h a n g e s h o ul d g e t i n t o u c h w i t h us in the coming weeks. E n j o y t h e s u m m e r.

Tom Sheridan RIP

t is with sadness that we note the passing of Tom Sheridan RIP. Tom worked tirelessly for the church, Catholic Men and Womenʼs Society, various organisations, all in a voluntary capacity. Tom was a very special man and anyone who met or knew Tom canʼt help but be

touched by him. This small article is just an appreciation for Tom. In the next edition a bigger article will be put in remembering Tom and all the good he did. May he rest in peace and reap the rewards in heaven of his good deeds. Betty Barry

Ringsend Active Retirement Association

Retired with time on your hands? Why not visit us at the CYMS in Ringsend any Tuesday to Friday from 2.30 pm New members (men and women) always welcome SHELBOURNE PARK RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION LTD Swimming in Sportsco

We have a Swimming Session Every Sunday Morning from 11am to 1pm in Sportsco. Price: €35 per 3 Month Session or €5 for one Swim. Children under 3 years are FREE!

Play Rugby in Sandymount Based in the heart of Sandymount for over 100 years, Monkstown Rugby Club welcomes all new members Mini Rugby: Boys / Girls Sunday mornings 11.00am Manageable numbers & enjoyment for all Contact: Marcus Fogarty 087 265 0808 or U.20 / U.21: We offer player development & regular game time for every player Contact: Kevin West 087 683 7265 or Adult Rugby: We field 4 adult teams each week with our senior team in the highly competitive Leinster League Div.1 (Saturday League) Contact: James Ferris 087 935 3402 or Visit our website: Situated on Park Avenue (opposite St. John’s Church)

Watch out for details of our OPEN DAY – all are welcome !

This Swimming Session is open to any one who wants to join. It is not just confined to people living in the Sth. Lotts Rd. area. For further Info just call over any Sunday between 11am & 1pm. Ask for Mary or Billy.

DO YOU HAVE SOME FREE TIME? Would you like to go on the Board of Ringsend and District Credit Union, which is an honorary position? There is a vacancy till the end of our Financial Year, which is 30th September 2009. Please leave your name or phone number with one of our staff.

Our address: NewsFour, 15 Fitzwilliam Street, Ringsend Phone: 6673317 • Email: Visit our website at:






veloping their academic and skills base alongside our own students.” The student exchange programme between ROC and Ballsbridge College of Further Education is the outcome of yearlong discussions between ROC Amsterdam and colleges within the City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee (CDVEC). Preparatory work on the

link took place between the principal and staff from Ballsbridge College and their colleagues in ROC during two staff visits held in Amsterdam and Dublin. The partnership between Ballsbridge College and ROC Amsterdam is considered a longterm link and it is hoped to further develop ties between the two educational institutions over the coming years.

YMCA Sandymount Pavilion and Fitness Centre Claremont Road

Telephone: 01 607 7102

By Ruth OʼDoherty


ollowing an agreement with a partner educational network in Amsterdam, students from Ballsbridge College of Further Education will have the opportunity to complete an international work placement in Amsterdam in 2010.

Students from a variety of business-related courses in the college will spend two weeks working in event management companies, financial institutions and other relevant businesses in the Amsterdam area putting their business skills and knowledge to practical use in an international setting. Funding for the student exchange is provided by Léar-

gas, the Exchange Bureau. “We are very excited about the student exchange programme we have agreed with ROC Amsterdam,” said Dan Bradley, Principal of Ballsbridge College. “Our students will gain invaluable experience from their time in Amsterdam as will the ROC students who will spend their time in Ballsbridge College de-


PARK YOUR CAR at the YMCA for €5 flat rate (from 10.00 am to 3 pm Monday to Friday)





By Louise Hanrahan

was delighted to attend the recent Street Performance World Championship festival held in Merrion Square, from 18th until 21st June. The range of quirky artists and the atmosphere was just electric. Along with my friend on a lovely sunny afternoon, we just soaked up all the action. The day was thoroughly enjoyable and the crowd was a great mix of



young and old. The effort that was put into the festival was just outstanding. For just four magical days in June, the best contortionists, jugglers, magicians, break-dancers, and comedians in the world descended on Dublin city to battle it out for the most coveted title in street performance. Stand-out acts for me included Titan, the awesome dancing robot who stood in the middle of the square at 8 feet, 2 inches tall weighing a massive 635 pounds! Also, Bendy Em, a tiny female contortion-


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ist, who for a finale to her act somehow squeezed herself into a little perspex box balanced on a sevenfoot scaffold, or Mr Toons, pictured above, a lunatic Dane with an act based around climbing in and out of a giant balloon. First prize at the end of the day went to the USA Break Dancers, a hugely impressive and professional group of performers from The Bronx in New York Admission was free for all and main sponsors AIB once again made this lovely family festival a superb event.



By Grainne McGuinness


first met Martin Lacey when I joined the NewsFour team in 2001, Martin was editor of the paper at the time. He was a very good friend to myself and many others, he was a great man for encouraging us into further education and updating our IT skills. He used to say to all of us: “Iʼll make journalists out of all of ye yet.” Martin was a free spirit and had wonderful stories about his travels in many countries around the world. He would laugh when he talked about growing up in Donnybrook and the antics he and his

brother Dermot would get up to playing by the Dodder. In short, there was never a dull moment when Martin was around, he was a very kind and giving man. His untimely death was a ter-

rible shock to his family and friends and he will be sorely missed. Martin was also a joint founder of the Ireland-Burma Society and the picture shows him visiting friends in Burma.




Free Chiropractic Screening @ Fitzwilliam Health Clinic

Book your FREE SPINAL SCREENING today Please mention News Four when booking

By Lorraine Barry


ingsend and Irishtown Community Centreʼs Sewing Circle hand-made a patchwork quilt which was raffled in aid of Temple Street Hospital. €650 was raised through ticket sales and €600 was donated. The ladies would like to thank

Happy Anniversary to John ‘Elvis’ and Pat Loy from Deco, John and Audrey

all who contributed to the draw. RICC are proud to announce some new fantastic services at your centre. These include: Free Legal Aid If you need legal advice and cannot afford a solicitor, drop into Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre where we have a completely confidential Free Legal Advice Service. You can discuss any legal queries with a qualified volunteer lawyer free of charge. The free legal service is held at Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre, Thorncastle Street, Dublin 4 on Monday evenings from 7.00–8.30pm on a first come first served basis. For more information please contact FLAC on 01 8745690 or the Citizensʼ Advice Information Service on 01 6604789/01 4053760 Counselling and Psychotherapy RICC are now offering a confidential and professional therapy service. Faye, a trainee psychotherapist will be on hand to provide you with a compas-

sionate, non–judgmental therapy session where you can explore your thoughts and feelings about the challenging situations in your life. Psychotherapy sessions last one hour, offered on a weekly basis. There is no fixed fee per session but a small donation of €10 to €15 is optional. Please feel free to contact Faye if you have any queries on 087 7654665.

19 Fitzwilliam Square South, Dublin 2 Phone 01 6618949



(RICC) Ringsend Development Forum. As part of the ongoing development and promotion of joint community initiatives in the Ringsend and Irishtown area, RICC invite ALL GROUPS in the community to a meeting on the third Tuesday of every month in the Centre at 7.30pm. The purpose of the meeting is to identify ways in which the Community Centre could facilitate, foster and promote Community Activities and help Groups in the area to achieve their full effectiveness and potential. All welcome– Next meeting 15th September 2009 Above, pictured left to right with the quilt: Marie OʼBrien, Antoinette Jenkins, Lily McDermott, Pauline Casey, Joan Taaffe.

Carmel Malone is pictured with her son Brian. Brian was on the winning relay team at the recent Special Olympics.





By John Fitzgerald

n the ʻProteusʼ episode of Joyceʼs ʻUlyssesʼ, set on Sandymount Strand, Stephen closes his eyes to hear his boots crush crackling wrack and shells. The mudflats are still filled with inter-tidal bivalves. Razorfish, cockles and mussels are all exposed when the tide is out and were eaten in former times. Perhaps the fate of the entire OʼConnor family, when James the father and his wife and four daughters all died of mussel poisoning, was surely one of the reasons the Irish found smaller shellfish unpalatable for much of

the last century. This was over 100 years ago, and it is hoped with all the initiatives being implemented to clean up the water in Dublin Bay, a day will come when Dublin shellfish will be fit for human consumption. The Shellfish Water Directive is a EU directive which aims to improve and protect the quality of the brackish and coastal waters where the shellfish live, and to help improve the quality of the edible shellfish products. The Shellfish Waters Directive was signed into Irish law by the Quality of Waters Regulations 1994. Designated Shellfish waters are subject to a quality moni-

Thank You from Councillor Kevin Humphreys

toring programme in which samples are tested against a series of parameters including temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and suspended solids. Although there are no designated Shellfish Waters in the Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study (GDSDS) Area, the Nanny Estuary, which lies just north of the GDSDS, is a designated Shellfish water area. It is interesting that recently shellfish have been harvested from the Portmarnock coast, although this area has not yet achieved Shellfish water designation. Progress is being made, and monitored. In June 2007 the Irish Government was found guilty by the European Court of Justice of failing to introduce proper pollution control programmes and failing to introduce proper laws to protect shellfish areas around the coast. A complaint by the Irish Shell-

fish Association led to the European Commission taking the action. The court also found that Ireland had failed to designate enough shellfish areas for protection. The Irish Shellfish Industry was valued at €63 million per annum, with exports going all over the globe.



ublin Port workers have been picketing the Marine Terminal protesting against imposed redundancies and swingeing cuts in pay and conditions. The Scottish-based company which bought the business has also imposed redundancies without warning. Many local families will be affected if the company

The abundance of empty cockle, razorfish and mussel shells on Sandymount Strand is a sure sign of a large, thriving population present. The sooner the area earns its Shellfish Water status the better. We can then begin to harvest and enjoy this valuable resource.


get their way. Local SIPTU organiser Paul McDonough said: “This company has behaved appallingly and has avoided all our attempts to negotiate with it. I can tell them now that they will get the redundancies they are looking for provided they negotiate normally and are willing to offer a decent package. But they will

not achieve their objectives by bullyboy tactics. “We used to have very good relations with the company until it was taken over by its new Scottish-based owners, Peel Port, a few months ago. They have shown nothing but contempt for Irish workers, our industrial relations procedures and our institutions.”





he Ceiliuradh Chamber Choir held its annual summer concert on Saturday 6th June. It took place in St. Maryʼs Church of Ireland Church on Anglesea Road in Ballsbridge. It was quite a varied programme performed in just under two hours. The Ceiliuradh Chamber Choir opened proceedings with about twenty minutesʼ of songs unaccompanied by instruments, with many songs from the 16th century such as ʻThough Philomena lost her Loveʼ. This was composed in 1593 and according to Breda O Shea, the choirʼs musical director, Philomena means Nightingale. The most sparkling part of the evening was a performance from DIT Conservatory of music student Hannah Macaulay. Hannah, pictured right, has already performed a range of solo



By John Fitzgerald


soprano roles, including the Conservatoryʼs production of Mozartʼs ʻMagic Fluteʼ and also performed in the Feis Ceol last March. She is going to the Yorke Trust Opera course this summer, singing a small solo piece for them in ʻCastor et Polluxʼ by Jean Philipe Rameau. Accompanied by organist John Shera, Hannah sang pieces by Beethoven, Mahler and Thomas Moore as well as the hauntingly beautiful ʻLa Wallyʼ by Catalani. Hannahʼs singing voice carries the power and range you might expect of a future opera diva. Then a trio comprising Niamh Kerley, Clare Nolan and Cliona Anderson sang with a fine melodic sound. They were accompanied by John Shera on the organ through ʻA Gaelic Blessingʼ and ʻGershwin for Girlsʼ, a medley of songs by George Gershwin that included ʻSomeone to Watch Over Meʼ. They are first years at the DIT Conservatory and surely

alented six-piece Dublin-based group, The Sick and Indigent Song Club, played their fifth anniversary gig to a full and happy gathering on Monday, 20th July in the heart of the City Centre at the Haʼpenny Bridge Inn. All accomplished musicians in their own right, they blend a huge range of styles ranging from Bluegrass and Country to Gospel and Blues, rousing the audience with original pieces and covers alike. As they say themselves, they will play any-

have a promising future. The second part of the night again began with the Choir, though with shorter performances. ʻThe Salley Gardensʼ, Tchaikovskyʼs ʻCrown of Rosesʼ and ʻThe Lambʼ by Sir John Tavener.


thing from the last few centuries in no particular order. Named by front man, guitarist and vocalist Gary Fitzpatrick after the oldest non-denominational charity in the city, The Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers Society, they have had a Monday night residency at the bar for five years now. Fitzpatrick and Angie McLaughlin started the group to fill the Monday night slot at the Haʼpenny Bridge Inn. There is no cover charge, just a tip jar for punters to add to as they see fit. There must be something to it, they have funded two albums out of that jar. Their last album: ʻThe In-

istioge Follyʼ was released to great critical acclaim in 2007. The evolution of the band could be a lesson to other groups. Rather than endless touring and touting of themselves as the next big thing, the band have stayed in one place, perfected their sound, and allowed their fanbase to grow by word of mouth. The Sick and Indigent Song Club are due to release a third album, as yet unnamed, later on this year. Catch them before they get too famous at The Haʼpenny Bridge on Monday nights. Check out www.myspace. com/sickandindigentsongclub

Hannah came on stage again for about 20 minutes followed by the choir singing a ʻCanticle for Evensongʼ by Henry Purcell, who was court musician at Westminster Cathedral over 300 years ago. This was accompanied with the organ and there certainly was

a hallowed feel to the music. The night was wrapped up with a few glasses of wine for audience and performers alike. Anyone interested in becoming a chorister should contact Breda OʼShea at bredaoshea6@gmail. com




By John Crowley


ake the N2 motorway east out of Cape Town and the sun-dappled villas nestled against Table Mountain give way to an unremarkable plain known locally as ʻThe Flatsʼ. The term is certainly a literal one as this sprawling, arid and unloved expanse is home to millions of people who live in prefabs that rarely climb higher than a single storey. Here, a patchwork quilt of

corrugated iron and breezeblock stretches out towards the horizon. Taken individually, each shack looks like a rectangular piece of scrap found crushed at a demolition yard. Mangy dogs roam the litter-strewn streets and barefoot children beg, not for money surprisingly, but for their photo to be taken. It is in every sense a world away from the whitewashed mansions and sandy beaches of the achingly-hip Atlantic seaboard just the other side of South Africaʼs most iconic mountain range.

The Cape Flats became the Apartheid governmentʼs dumping ground for non-Whites in the 1950s and still remains an eyesore despite valiant attempts in the last decade to alleviate the living conditions. My visit to this area on an organised township tour in April coincided with the general election that gave a third landslide victory to the ruling ANC government. In the Republic of Ireland where we take our freedoms somewhat for granted, it was humbling to see the unbounded enthusiasm of those who were prepared to queue for hours to exercise their democratic right. I expected people living in such squalor to be angry and frustrated at their lot. Instead they spoke of their hopes for the future and, most significantly, the need for patience. This is why calls for a swift ʻsolutionʼ to South Africaʼs chronic housing problems are too much to ask of a country with a fledgling democracy. The townships of Cape Town throw the housing difficulties of Dublinʼs poor into sharp relief.

There is simply no point taking a wrecking ball to the thousands upon thousands of corrugated iron huts because there is currently nowhere else to ʻplaceʼthese people. Instead, the authorities have concentrated on improving their quality of life. This has come in the simple form of electricity and running water. Millions of children now attend schools and scores of projects have been started to give the unemployed crucial life skills. One such place I visited was in Kanga, South Africaʼs oldest township. Guga SʼThebe is an arts and cultural centre which has been built to empower the people in the surrounding area. Unemployment here runs at 60 per cent. Many children and adults support themselves by street vending or running Spaza shops (a convenience store selling everyday household items). Of the few that have acquired jobs, the majority work in low-grade tourism industry jobs in Cape Town itself. Guga SʼThebe, though, gives an outlet to as many disenfranchised people as it can. Being guided around the centre by Mthobeli Kanzi, a 23year-old outreach worker, was a heartwarming experience. He proudly showed off the ebony carvings, traditional African garments and pottery ware created by local artisans. Alongside the craft centre and theatre space were experts schooling young people in business studies and steelwork. In the nearby township of Gugulethu, I was similarly struck by its denizensʼ joie de vivre. People evidently make do with what they have got. One man at a market stall I walked past had fashioned a model airplane out of crushed Coke cans. He saw his prey and successfully persuaded me to part with some

rand. What surprised me was that these townships were fullyfunctioning towns and, in some cases, cities. If not self-sufficient, they boast shops, markets, and restaurants– many of which are safely visited in daytime in the company of a local or guide. At a school I was besieged by children (again who wanted to have their picture taken). Their motto next to a South African flag ʻwe shall build and brighten this nationʼ even impressed an old cynic like myself. Conditions were not all rosy. I was taken into one typical home to experience– in a very superficial way– the squalid and cramped conditions. Three couples were sleeping in separate beds in the same room. I shuffled around the 10 by 10 foot space like an interloper with a faint, westernised air of embarrassment. Next year the eyes of the globe will turn on South Africa for the 2010 football World Cup. In Cape Town a 70,000-seater stadium is being built close to the Victoria and Albert Waterfront tourist quarter. Huge efforts are been made to build world-class stadia and improve infrastructure around the country. But if the Boys in Green do make it to the finals and indeed to Cape Town, make sure you take a detour off the N2 if you travel there to cheer them on. Be bold enough to venture away from the tourist-sanctioned districts of Cape Town. Change is always called for and not always seen through, but in the townships you will see how the real South Africa is beginning to throw off the shackles of its past. Pictures by John Crowley: Poverty brings its own form of apartheid.




By Derek Sandford


hitney Houston is on her way back. These days, it is easy to forget just how popular she once was, but sixteen years ago, when she made the film ʻThe Bodyguardʼ with Kevin Costner, she was the most popular recording artist on the planet, selling one million albums a week. Unfortunately, her career has been in seemingly terminal decline since her peak in the mid-nineties. While she is still adored by millions of fans all over the world, she has been through the mill over the last few years in her personal and professional life. But back in 2008 Whitney successfully won custody of her daughter Bobbi Christina from her estranged husband, Bobby Brown. He had also tried and failed to obtain the


THE NEW Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Emer Costello launched Dublin City Councilʼs new BIKE START cycling training programme at the Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 on Wednesday 15th July 2009 at 11am. Dublin City Council is the first Local Authority in Ireland to introduce BIKE START an integrated cycling training programme, which offers the highest level of training in Europe.

The BIKE START programme comprises four progressive levels of cycling training that will provide safety awareness and practical cycling skills for primary school children. The programme will be rolled out by Dublin City Councilʼs Safe Cycling Team to all senior primary schools starting from September 2009. “The BIKE START programme is, I believe, a vital part of childrenʼs education and I am delighted that it will be introduced to pri-

mary schools in September. This programme will encourage both students and adults alike to foster positive and responsible attitudes towards their own personal safety and that of other road users while cycling,” said the Lord Mayor. Pictured left to right: Michael Byrne, Road Safety Development Officer; The Lord Mayor Emer Costello; Councillor Andrew Montague; Michael Philips, City Engineer.


lionʼs share of what money Whitney had earned during her illustrious career. So now it is starting to look as if her past tragedies may finally be behind her. At the Grammy Awards she performed some songs in honour of her friend and mentor Clive Davis, former head of Arista Records and the pivotal man behind Whitneyʼs rise to success. Houston performed a foursong set and despite Clive Davis stating she would perform tracks from her upcoming album, she sang the hits, ʻI Will Always Love Youʼ, ʻI Believe In You And Meʼ, ʻItʼs Not Right But Itʼs Okayʼ and closed the set with a rousing version of ʻIʼm Every Womanʼ. A comeback album is planned for later in 2009. According to her label, Arista, the release date has been set for September 1st, and the album will be called ʻI Look To You.ʼ Earlier this year, I also saw

Houston introducing an award to the Swarovski Crystal fashion show and I am happy to say all her former beauty has been restored to her following years of addiction and a disastrous marriage. As I am sure most people know, Whitney comes from a musical dynasty; she is the niece of Motown legend Dionne Warwick and her mother Cissie is an acclaimed Gospel singer in her own right. Her godmother is the soul diva Aretha Franklin. Whitney is a true inspiration to people battling demons or addictions whatever form they take and I sincerely hope and pray the girl with the angelic voice goes on to further personal and professional happiness. It is a joy to have such a talented singer back on the music scene. Left: Whitney Houston pictured singing in South Africa.






By Michael McAuliffe

ʻT The students from St Matthewʼs School are paragons of tidiness. Here they are cleaning up Sandymount Green. See letter below. Hello there News 4 In early May this year, I was out for a walk along the Irishtown Nature Walk in Sean Moore Park, when I saw some students from St Matthewʼs Primary School. Accompanied by a teacher, the students were doing a complete clean-up of the area. It made me so proud to see them there. They had been supplied with gloves and Dublin City Council bags. I want to congratulate them one and all for their efforts, they are a credit to St Matthewʼs. Perhaps more of the local schools could get involved in this project. It could be part of their Civics training– keeping your own area clean and tidy is a lesson everyone should learn, I think. I myself have cleaned up rubbish in this area on numerous occasions in the past and I get in touch with the Council from time to time if the place is getting too dirty. Kind Regards Margaret Dunne PS: I enjoy your paper The Scribe Meets a Diva in Portugal Whilst taking a weekend break, on 19th June, to visit a niece living in Lisbon, I noticed the Portuguese Capital city has a lot of cultural development happening at present. On Sunday 21st June, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum I was lucky to have been able to attend a concert performance by Ana Pinto, in the auditorium of the modern art wing. This lady is an operatic singer of some note, a diva. She performed five pieces of music by the composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883), four pieces by Emmanual Chabrier (1841-1894), and eight pieces by

the composer Gabriel Faure (18451924). She was accompanied by pianist Cristovao Luiz. Anaʼs repertoire covers operatic pieces in French, German, Spanish and English, she performed in many countries of Europe. I spoke with her after she acknowledged a standing ovation following her recital performance at the venue in Lisbon. She has a happy temperament and likes to meet her admirers. She told me she would be performing in London soon, and she was looking forward to that venue. Ana hails from Porto, in the North of Portugal, and is well known to Portuguese audiences. Asked if she might be singing in Dublin in the near future, she smiled a big ʻperhapsʼ. I can recommend her beautiful singing voice; it is like that of an Angel. By Geoffrey P. B. Lyon Dear Editor Peggy (Margaret) Irlamsʼs letter in the June/ July issue of NewsFour about her childhood memories mentioned the sound of sheep she used to hear coming from Landsdowne Road. Those were my fatherʼs sheep, his name was Jack McDonnell and he lived at The Dairy, Seafort Avenue, Sandymount. A Mr Mervyn Fox from Donnybrook also kept sheep there. My father also made hay on the back pitches before the sheep were put there. He lived in Sandymount all his life as did I until I got married to Joan Dunwoody 46 years ago. We enjoy reading NewsFour and all the memories it brings back for us. Keep up the good work. Enjoy your retirement Ann. Regards Joe McDonnell

he partyʼs over– itʼs time to call it a dayʼ. Thatʼs my swansong for the Lions but not to be sung until after the tour of Australia in 2013. What a wonderful sporting concept it was over a century ago: the British Lions (we swallowed it); long voyages by ship, three months away for home with enough pocket money for sweets, lemonade and even cigarettes, ask Willie Duggan. Those were the amateur days, now the game is totally professional with all professionalism entails; mostly good, but bad and sometimes downright ugly too. Let me start with the good, and there were good things to be seen on this tour, in particular the handling, passing and tackling by both sides. Also, the camaraderie that eventually evolved between a bunch of guys who are essentially rivals for the top fifteen places was encouraging. Contrary to Martyn Williams and other commentators, I firmly believe that Paul OʼConnell was the right man to lead the team on and off the pitch. The touring team mixed well with locals wherever they went, unlike Sir Clive Woodwardʼs Lions team in New Zealand. In a nation still recovering from apartheid, this was a positive. As for the South African play-

ers, they are not holders of the World Cup by accident and they will have wanted to show the Lions just how good they are. The memory of Willie Johnʼs Invincibles of 1974 still rankles in South Africa, so when the man himself said he reckoned Paul OʼConnell would boss his opposite number Victor Matfield, it was like waving a red rag at a raging bull. But then again, was it Willie Johnʼs fault, or was it the fault of sports writers from both sides trying to spin an of-the-cuff remark into an international feud? The

press on this side of the world lauded the Lionsʼ many stars but gave little attention to the man of the tournament, Morne Steyn, the rookie Springbok who stepped up to the 55-yard penalty kick that sealed the series for the Boks The Bad: like the All Blacks and the Aussies, the intense national pride of the South African players is reflected in their commitment and intensity of play. Camaraderie aside, this is not something the Lions can match. This is why I think the Lions tours should be scrapped. Let the home nations stand alone. Take Scotland for example, two players selected to travel in 2005 and two again in 2009, yet the Scottish Association picks up a million quid like the other three. Granted, the tour makes money big time, but how? Tickets for the test matches were €115, way beyond the means of most locals, a sort of economic segregation. In conclusion, the ugly: it is no coincidence that Schalk Burgerʼs gouge, like Tana Umagaʼs spear tackle in 2005, took place in the first few seconds of the first test, with the referee funking the red card on both occasions. If that was not bad enough, there were also De Villierʼs post-match denials. This sort of stuff destroys the great game that rugby can be to watch and especially, to play. Above: Schalk Burger. Left: Paul OʼConnell.







By Valerie Coakley (McDonnell)


s I stroll past St Patrickʼs Church and on down to Pigeon House Road I expect any minute a head to peep out of a doorway on Pigeon House Road and ask “are you going to the shops?” and without waiting for an answer you were on your way to Hopkins shop for two woodbines or a bottle of milk. My brother, John (Longy) McDonnell, was born just before the war in 1939. My brother Chris was 11 months younger than John, and I came next, followed by Breda, Barbara and finally Cora. The boys were educated at Ringsend National School and at The Tech near The Jets, as it was called then. As a lad, John used to go out in Jack Pullenʼs row boat and cast nets with him. Some mornings he would bring home some whitebait and all the girls would clean the fish and have a good fryup for breakfast. He was 6 feet 2 inches tall and very lean, he was a very snazzy dresser and loved teddy-boy draped jackets and tight trousers and soapy sole suede shoes or ʻbrothel creepersʼ as they were called then. Music played a big part in our lives, both the lads were

big fans of Bill Haley and The Comets and of course Elvis was king of them all. I remember Breda and I going with my brothers to a Bill Haley concert in the Adelphi Cinema in Abbey Street, and going frantic at a brilliant live show. John was very protective of his sisters and would bring us to the Regal cinema on Saturday afternoons. Our first stop on the way would be the sweet shop opposite to get loose sweets: Scots Clan or Love Hearts or Cushions. Getting into the Regal was

bedlam, a big queue four or five wide would form outside with lots of pushing and shoving. It was four pence to get in so it was called ʻthe four penny rushʼ. For a time, John and Christy worked together as glass blowers in the Portland Glass Factory in Portland Row. It was shift work, hard work. German and Polish workmen were hired to teach the Irish workers glass-blowing. I remember a Mr Hoffman who was a very nice man and used to come and visit us at home. When the company expanded and moved to Bray, my dad went to the city centre with Christy and John to get them a scooter for commuting. They bought a Lambretta Scooter; in those days I donʼt think you needed a driving licence for a scooter or even lessons for that matter. The shop assistant showed them how to turn it on and off and after a few goes the deal was done. Dad got the bus home. It was a very exciting day all around. John met his wife Mary in Bray while she was working at the ʻSOLUSʼ light bulb factory. We all loved Mary, she was a real lady. John and Mary lived in a house in Cambridge Avenue. They had two

sons Graham and Jason. Mary loved her two sons to distraction and was very proud of them. John and Mary were great hosts to my family in 1978 when we returned from London and invited us to live with them until we got sorted with our own house. Later on, after working for Neon Signs, in Westland Row for many years. Chris started his own neon business and was a master at his craft. He

was responsible for quite a few well-known signs around the city: the Donnellys Sausage sign on the quays; the Guinness signs on the Harp bar at OʼConnell Bridge and at Tara Street Bridge and the Baileys Irish Cream sign on Bachelorʼs Walk. In later life, John worked for many years for Dublin Port and Docks as a gateman He loved his job and worked long hours, purely his choice Iʼm sure. He was always a great worker and whatever he did he did well. Christy and Cora his wife and children Sandra, Adrienne, Edward and Joanne lived in Gordon Street. Christy loved plants and growing things. He created a roof garden and loved tropical fish. Chris sadly passed away four years ago. Recently we all got together to celebrate a significant birthday of his wife Cora. Sadly, John too died in January of this year, he was a diabetic and had one of his legs amputated just below the knee last year. He was a well-respected and loved patient in Beaumont Hospital; the medical staff all treated him with respect and friendliness. I loved my brothers dearly and I have enjoyed taking this trip down memory lane. Ringsend was a great place to live way back then and I have such fond memories of the wonderful warm, friendly people I lived amongst. Above: The Fountain at the Ringsend Park/ Cambridge Road junction and below, the nearby ʻJetsʼ.

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By Louise Hanrahan


cool new grooming salon has arrived in Ringsend. The salon is open just two months and is run by Nicola Lacey, who is in the business of pampering and grooming pooches for the last 11 years. She holds numerous certificates and awards and is extremely personable. Your pet is in safe and caring hands when given a full make-over by Nicola and her team. She won Irish Groomer of the Year in 2006 and 2008 and is fully City & Guilds Qualified. The walls are adorned with

certificates galore proving Nicolaʼs expertise in the specialised field of dog grooming. The salon itself is a training school for potential dog groomers. There is also another salon open in Charlemont Street. Business is certainly growing from strength to strength. Thereʼs no excuse not to treat your pet to some TLC and a boost. After all, they bring lots of love and joy into our lives on a daily basis. The salon also serves as a day care créche, so if you leave your dog in the salon, they will be looked after while you catch up on your important chores! Sitting in the window are Nicolaʼs own two dogs who give you a welcome bark on your arrival to Mutt Ugly. Rio is a white boxer and Mia is the side-kick, a little mutt. They sit placidly at the window waiting for their counterparts to arrive for a make-over. I wanted to run away with them when I visited the salon. They were adorable. There are lots of treatments on offer at the salon and a full price list is available on request.

Colaiste Mhuire, Lakelands Cricket Team Back row, left to right: Emma Berney, Kate Green and Alison OʼReilly. Centre row: Hannah McQuaid, Eimear Divney, Aisling Stokes, Ciara Barry, Lorna Groves and Catherine (Cath) OʼNeill (Coach and former player). Front row: Hanna McDevitt, Olivia Collins, Niamh Kenihan and Robyn Boon Lawless.


Thorncastle Street, Ringsend. Phone 6680977

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

An example of what your pet can receive is the Puppy Pamper for €50. Itʼs a fun introduction to grooming for puppies under five months, including a health check, brush out, warm bath, light trim, nail file and ear and teeth cleaning. The Full Works is a full headto-paw professional groom tailored to specific breeds. It

includes a health check, thorough brushing, warm bath, anal glands emptied, blow dry, hair cut or clipped, nail trim, ears plucked or swabbed and teeth cleaned. The In Between treatments for €15 include nail clipping and pawdicures, ear plucking/ cleaning, teeth clean/ breath fresh, brush outs/,bath and

brush. Prices may vary depending on the type of trim required and the condition of your dogʼs coat. I think my Jack Russell Benjy will certainly lap up a visit to this homely salon in the near future. Mutt Ugly is at 22 Fitzwilliam street, Ringsend. Phone: 01 6707700




By Katherine P Meyer


ll friends and neighbours are warmly invited to our late September Harvest Festival Weekend, traditionally a time of thanksgiving for the harvest. More recently, however, this season has also become a time to deepen our ecological understanding and to commit ourselves in practical ways to creation care. On Saturday, 26 September, a craft fair and cafè will be held in the church hall from 10.00am to 2.00pm, with a car boot sale outside. This event offers us a way to meet our neighbours, buy locally-made crafts, and share our household belongings with others to whom they might give pleasure or be useful! The church building itself is traditionally decorated for the



Harvest Festival. During the fair, the church building will be open, and all are welcome to wander in and look around, or to stay for a few minutes of quiet reflection. On Sunday, our Service of Harvest Thanksgiving will be held at 11.00am, and again, visitors are most welcome. The service will be designed to enable the participation of people of all ages, including children. The service will last about 45 minutes and will be followed by refreshments. On Sunday afternoon, the church building will again be open, and visitors will be welcomed with hot mulled apple cider if the weather is chilly! Prayer cards will be available on both days, if you wish to use them to guide your reflections. There will also be information available in the church porch on creation care, practical responses to climate change, and the inter-church

eco-congregation movement. The day will finish with an evening service, whose theme will also be thanksgiving for the harvest, but which will have a more reflective style. The evening service will also be followed by light refreshments. If you have any questions about the craft fair and car boot sale, please ring Mr James Bailie, at 086 851 9745, or if you have any questions about the two services, you are welcome to ring the minister of the congregation, Rev Katherine P Meyer, at 219 5725. We hope to see you there! The Harvest Festival Weekend takes place 26–27 September 2009 at Christ Church on Sandymount Green On right: Damien Wall, Kathrine P Meyer and Kira Wall.



he Paddy Bradshaw Boat Competition took place in Dingle Co. Kerry over the June bank holiday Weekend with 12 anglers participating. The boat competition was held in memory of ʻThe Commodoreʼ who sadly passed away in 2007. Paddy, pictured above, was a very keen angler and a man who loved the sea.

The boat competition took place on Saturday 30th May amidst glorious weather and calm seas. A large variety of fish was caught and the eventual winner was Joe Doyle who caught a lovely ray weighing five kilos. In joint second place were Christy Dunne and Mick Kemple. After a very exciting dayʼs

fishing we all retired to the local hostelry for refreshments. Joe was presented with a Waterford Crystal Bowl at the presentation ceremony in the Shipwright Pub, Ringsend. The presentation was attended by all the participants and Paddyʼs family.

His family thanked all those who took part and in particular Paul OʼNeill, a very close friend of Paddyʼs. Paddyʼs memory will live on through this event and the organisers have pencilled in October 2009 as the month for the third competition.

Anybody wishing to take part could they please forward their names to Paul OʼNeill. Main photo, left to right: Paddy Murphy, Antoinette Jenkins, Joe Doyle with the Waterford Crystal Bowl and Paul OʼNeill.



WORD MAGIC DAYS OF THE GODS By Glenda Cimino Mondayʼs child is fair of face, Tuesdayʼs child is full of grace, Wednesdayʼs child is full of woe, Thursdayʼs child has far to go, Fridayʼs child is loving and giving, Saturdayʼs child works hard for his living, And the child that is born on the Sabbath day Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay. nursery rhyme In the 21st century, we rarely think about the fact that the workaday names of the week in English are derived from the names of ancient gods or planets. But they are. THE NAMING OF OUR DAYS The Greeks named the days of the week after the sun (Sunday), the moon (Monday) and the five known planets, which were in turn named after the gods Ares, Hermes, Zeus, Aphrodite, and Cronus. The Greeks called the days of the week the Theon hemerai, or ʻdays of the Godsʼ. The Romans substituted their equivalent gods for the Greek gods: Tuesday was named for Mars, Wednesday for Mercury, Thursday for Jove (Jupiter), Friday for Venus, and Saturday, Sat-

urn. The two pantheons are very similar. Most Latin-based languages still connect each day of the week with one of the seven ʻplanetsʼ of ancient times: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The link with the sun has been broken in French, but Sunday was called dies solis (day of the sun) in Latin. Some Asiatic languages (for example, Hindi, Japanese, and Korean) have a similar relationship between the weekdays and the planets. English has retained the original planets in the names for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. (Saturn, Sun, and Moon). For the four other days, however, the Roman gods that gave name to the planets in the romance languages were at some point replaced by the Germanic peoples with the names of AngloSaxon or Nordic gods. The gods chosen had similar qualities to the Greek and Roman gods. Monday The name comes from the Anglo-Saxon monandaeg, ʻthe moonʼs dayʼ. This second day was sacred to the goddess of the moon. Tuesday Our Tuesday comes from Tiuʼs day. Tiu (Twia) is the English/Germanic god of war and the sky. He is identified with the Norse god Tyr. At the time of the Vikings, Tyr had to make

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way for Odin, who became the god of war himself. Tyr was by then regarded as Odinʼs son He is the boldest of the gods, who inspires courage and heroism in battle. Tyr is represented as a man with one hand, because his right hand was bitten off by a gigantic wolf. His attribute is a spear; the symbol of justice, as well as a weapon. Wednesday Our Wednesday was Wodenʼs day. Woden is the chief AngloSaxon/ Teutonic god. Woden is the leader of the Wild Hunt. Woden is identified with the Norse God Odin, who is a god of war and death, but also the god of poetry and wisdom. He hung for nine days, pierced by his own spear, on the world tree. Here he learned nine powerful songs, and eighteen runes. Odin can make the dead speak to question the wisest amongst them. Odin is accompanied by two wolves to whom he gives food, as he consumes only wine. Odin has only one eye, which blazes like the sun. His other eye he traded for a drink from the Well of Wisdom, and gained immense knowledge. Thursday Our Thursday is Thorʼs day. Thor is the Norse god of thunder. He is represented as riding a chariot drawn by goats and wielding the hammer Miˆlnir. He is a son of Odin and Jord, and one of the most powerful gods. He is married to Sif, a fertility goddess. His mistress is the giantess Jarnsaxa. Thor was usually portrayed as a large, powerful man with a red beard and eyes of lightning. Despite his ferocious appearance, he was very popular as the protector of both gods and humans against the forces of evil. He even surpassed his father Odin in popularity because, contrary to Odin, he did not require human sacrifices. Friday Friday comes from Freyaʼs day. The root Freo is from the Germanic frijaz meaning ʻbeloved, belonging to the loved ones, not in bondage, freeʼ. Freya (Fria) is the Teutonic goddess of love, beauty, and fecundity (prolific procreation). In Germany, Freya is similar

to, and may be a different form of, Frigg, the Teutonic goddess of clouds, the sky, and conjugal (married) love. She is the wife of Odin and one of the foremost goddesses of Norse mythology. She is the patron of marriage and motherhood, and the goddess of love and fertility. Friggʼs attributes are the precious necklace of the Brisings, which she obtained by sleeping with four dwarfs, a cloak (or skin) of bird feathers, which allows its wearer to change into a falcon, and a chariot pulled by two cats. She has a reputation of knowing every personʼs destiny, but never unveils it. Saturday– Saturnʼs day Saturn is the Roman and Italic god of agriculture and the consort of Ops. He is believed to have ruled the earth during an age of happiness and virtue. Sunday The name comes from the Latin dies solis, meaning ʻsunʼs dayʼ– the name of a pagan Roman holiday. It is also called Dominica (Latin), the Day of God. The Romance languages, which are derived from the ancient Latin language (such as French, Spanish, and Italian), retain the root. (French: dimanche; Italian: domenica; Spanish: domingo). It is common Jewish and

Christian practice to regard Sunday as the first day of the week. However, the fact that, for example, Russian uses the name ʻsecondʼ for Tuesday, indicates that some nations regard Monday as the first day. In international standard ISO8601, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has decreed that Monday shall be the first day of the week. The ʻday of restʼ for Jews is Saturday, for Christians is Sunday, and for Muslims is Friday. Irish Days of the Week Irish days mostly had a very different origin from English days. Monday is still An Luan (day of the moon), while Tuesday is An Máirt (day of Mars). Wednesday is An Céadaoin (day of the small fast), Thursday is An Déardaoin (day between two fasts), Friday is An Aoine (day of the fast), Saturday is still An Satharn (day of Saturn), and Sunday is An Domhnach (the day of the Lord). Next time you make an appointment, you might reflect on the history of the date in your diary. Above: Despite being a bad-tempered and vengeful individual, Thor (pictured above with his favourite hammer) had a day of the week named after him.




By Jason McDonnell


eld annually in Milltown, Kerry; the World Bodhrán Championships is one of Irelandʼs newest and most exciting musical events. The event promotes and showcases

the Irish frame drum, aiming to find the best bodhrán players in the world. I was lucky enough to attend this yearʼs festival with a local player, Martin Lawlor. Martin has been blind since birth and started playing the Bodhrán in 1994 and has loved its sounds,

beats and rhythms ever since. He is fascinated with the different tones you can get from the instrument. His first Bodhrán was a 10-inch model which he got as a present. He started going to sessions with it but he has now graduated to the more professional 15 or 16 inch Cristian Hedwitschak drums.

Originally from Rathvilly in County Carlow, Martin moved to Dublin in 2002 and is now a regular performer at the Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann branch in Monkstown, he also plays in The Oarsman in Ringsend and The Cobblestones near Smithfield Market. Martin first heard about the championships in 2006 and decided to give it a go, finishing sixth overall that year. This year, Martin managed to get into the finals and finished joint second in the Solo competition. A panel of renowned adjudicators was assembled for the championships and they looked for the best style, rhythm and technique in the world. The competition was judged by Mel Mercier of University College Cork, Sandra Joyce of the University of Limerick and Svend Kjeldsen from Denmark. Martin also entered the street entertainment competition with Comhaltas Groups with prize money for the best performers and managed to bag himself first place in this competition. The festival aims to promote the bodhrán and encourage new innovations in bodhrán playing as well as being a celebration of its place in Irish traditional music and heritage. The bodhrán is an ancient frame-

drum made with a wooden body and a goat-skin drumhead and is played with a double-headed stick called a cipín, tipper, or beater. Bodhráns were traditionally made with goatskin, sheepskin, or greyhound skin. The skins were prepared by burying them in lime for six to eight weeks, then soaking them in a river to wash away the hair. Although it has existed in Ireland for centuries, the instrument was not widely used until the folk revival of the 1960s and 70s. More recently, a significant functional development of the Bodhrán has been the introduction of tunable bodhráns. Between six and twelve tuning screws move a ring which presses against the skin, allowing the drummer to tighten or loosen the skin to change the pitch and adjust it for varying humidity. Surprisingly, one of the leading manufacturers of these new drums is Cristian Hedwitschak, based in Bavaria! Surely an opening for Irish light industry in this area. The World Championships will be held on the last weekend in June next year. I am sure it will be a great weekend and well worth a visit. Left: Martin tries out some of the Cristian Hedwitschak drums.

A lighthearted moment at the Special Olympics, which were held recently in Santry Stadium.



Bookworm Reviewed by Nessa Jennings

FREE MONEY by Declan Lynch ʻ...sometimes I wonder if gambling is the most powerful of all the addictions, the purest form of addiction in that it doesnʼt involve you taking any substance up your nose, or drinking anything or eating anything, and it definitely doesnʼt involve your staying too late at the office.ʼ Last year, Declan Lynch took on a new research project, in the interest of science, and pushed the limits of an addiction made much easier by the internet. Combining his love and deep knowledge of sport with the ease of placing bets using his credit card, despite, or maybe because of, the hairy moments and nail-biting close matches, he enjoyed every moment of it. Follow Declanʼs year of spread betting and fluctuating

bank account details. Gauge the state of his nervous system, especially during last summer when Wimbledon, the European Cup Finals and the Flat Racing Season coincided! Hanging out in the bookies these days is a multi-media experience, with banks of screens, and matches and races going off simultaneously, with the added excitement of money changing hands, and free newspapers (no, not the appointments section).The online facility is ʻcleanerʼ and makes it possible to juggle all these complicated tasks! ʻWithout all that sport on TV, I donʼt believe that my internet gambling would be nearly as enjoyable. And Iʼm sure the same goes for my brethren in the global fellowship of puntersʼ. But then, Declan , by his own admission, bets conservatively (on Roger Federer and Tiger Woods, who he compares to Blue Chip investments),

and never wagered beyond his means. At no time did he feel driven back into the treatment room. But, to the results of his important research. Declanʼs ruminations on the nature of addiction (the ʻnew sinʼ) are nothing short of brilliant. Now, Iʼm a woman, and I managed to back the winner in this yearʼs Irish Grand National at 33/1. How did I do it? Well, Iʼd say it was a combination of prayer, excitement, superstition, and divine guidance! But in reality, I liked the name of the horse (ʻMarket Nicheʼ) and I remembered something my brother said ʻAlways put it on the noseʼ(go for a win). The book has a glossary of betting terms to help you. More about me..I only had a fiver on the horse. Yes, I did go back to the same bookies and place 3 further bets: Two losses (Horses), and One, balancing, win (a forecast on greyhounds)because now I felt I was playing with ʻthe bookies moneyʼ. On the day of the English Grand National, a week earlier, I ʻstudiedʼ the form, and picked an Irish horse, who finished the race, but who died on the way out of the enclosure, his heart burst. Now, this should make me weep normally. But a true gambler is only interested in results, and I reflected, that ʻifʼ I had been using my feminine intuition that day, I ʻmightʼ have picked a horse with a French name, Mon Mome, the 100/1 outsider, and I ʻmightʼ have been under a better spell for picking winners that day had the bookies not been crammed with amateurs. Now online gambling removes all these distractions (though you might miss the aulʼ fellas), and Declan fears for our nation, and world, with such excitement available in your own home. He fears especially for women who think they know something about sport, and a new generation of gamblers who never came up ʻnormallyʼ, at the racetrack in Dundalk and at the local bookies in Blackrock, as Declan did. As he says: ʻAnd after all, I turned out alrightʼ.

THE SAVAGE GARDEN by Mark Mills (HarperCollins©2007) ʻ…the house attracted illluck to itself, like a flame draws moths…ʼ File this under Creativity. Set in post World War I Italy, on a Tuscan estate, the garden, created by Federico as a memorial to his dead wife has a macabre atmosphere and sombre beauty. The book is an historical murder mystery of an ancestral crime. The riddle is contained in the very arrangement and design of the garden to be solved by our sleuth. The statues are the clues, referencing the work of classical Italian philosophers. Our noble hero, though frightened by the ominous gloom and foreboding, revisits the garden over and over to unlock the code, and rifles through family files and notes in the library to confirm his suspicions. The locals, and his hosts at the villa keep dropping hints and warnings. Whatʼs more, the top floor of the villa has been completely sealed off, unused and unseen, and can only be accessed by a small key. Our art student has a mor-

bid curiosity to go in, for it is an untouched murder scene, a frozen moment in time. He is distracted briefly, by his unpredictable brother, who insists on coming over from England to visit. The solution to this mystery is where the disciplines– art, architecture, literature, science and philosophy– meet. There is a map of the savage garden, and the story unfolds slowly, very slowly sometimes. Conversations are heated discussions about art, or are about family skeletons of the past. If you like the countryside of olive groves, orchards and terraces, and Italian cities of cathedrals, galleries and museums, youʼll love this. There are some great descriptive passages about Italian art and architecture. Otherwise, you might need more patience, finding it like an art house movie, without the sound or subtitles, or like watching a fresco dry! Might be worth it though, as matters eventually do reach a head, and there is a very satisfying denouement. Overall, I found it a relaxing read; a great book to take on holidays, especially if you are lucky enough to be travelling to Italy.




By Harry Cavendish


andymount and Merrion Residents Association (SAMRA) held a family fun day on the afternoon of Sunday 28th June at Sandymount Green. It was organised by SAMRA Chairperson Joan MacArthur in conjunction with the Community Garda and Dublin City Council. The Council provided traditional music for the event in the shape of a group of players from Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Éireann from Booterstown. Butlerʼs Pantry, who have a shop on Sandymount Green, gave out free cakes, cookies and lemonade. They also organised a teddy bearʼs picnic for the under-fives. The idea was that each child would enter a name for a giant teddy bear and the winning entry pulled out of a hat would receive a box of goodies delivered to them on their birthday. Face-painting kicked off proceedings with Pixie and Trixie (not their real names!) doing ever so brightly coloured faces that pleased their customers hugely. Then there was the magic and juggling by Jack Flash (again not his real name) who entertained both adults and children. The races for the children (some twenty-six in all) were organised by local resident Ulla Callaghan, with as many medals as possible going to the contestants. The raffle was sponsored by various businesses and a range

of prizes were on offer. These included tickets from Irish Ferries, Stena Sea Lines, a Sportsco summer camp voucher with more vouchers from the Art and Hobby shop, Marioʼs restaurant, Cafe Java, Browneʼs Brasserie, Borzaʼs fish and chip shop, Aura, Butlerʼs Pantry, Jazz Hair studio as well as an assortment of individual prizes. Butlerʼs Pantry handed out a recipe for the lemonade they were dispensing on the day and for the fine weather it certainly was a perfect thirst-quencher. It goes as follows: Heat a cup of water and a cup of sugar till the sugar is completely dissolved. Use a juicer to extract the juice from 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice. Put the juice and the sugar syrup together in a pitcher and add 3 to 4 cups of cold water depending on the strength required. Put it in the fridge for 30 to 40 minutes and add lemon juice if the mixture is too sweet for you. Serve over ice with a slice of lemon or lime, serves six. For pink lemonade add a cup of cranberry juice. Great credit is due to Joan MacArthur for having run the event for a number of years on behalf of SAMRA. It is great to see the kids enjoying themselves so much and must be a great outlet for parents too. Above: The ever-entertaining sack race, while, on right, juggler Jack Flash ʻfeedsʼ a hungry youngster.



Film Scene By Michael Hilliard

‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ The follow-up to 2007ʼs ʻTransformersʼ is more of the same: ultra-stylish explosions, some occasional ridiculous plot devices, and dialogue so bad it doesnʼt bear thinking about. But then, thatʼs the point isnʼt it? A movie about giant alien robots that have the ability to turn into any hightech piece of automotive eye candy they choose, is never going to a appeal to anybody on an intellectual level. The plot isnʼt really worth going into detail about here, but if youʼve seen the first movie, you know it will be relatively convoluted, and ultimately, not that important. Thereʼs no denying the fact that ʻRevenge of the Fallenʼ is a treat for the eyes. The special effects are seamless, with effects company

ILM pushing the envelope yet again with their blend of computer graphics and motion capture, often leaving the audience scratching their heads and asking how on earth did they do it. Shia La Beouf has perhaps the most difficult role here, as Sam Witwicky, the main human protagonist. One can imagine that the majority of his filming involved acting alongside the empty spaces where the Transformers would be digitally added later, which is no mean feat. It is disappointing then that the other members of the cast donʼt necessarily find this method as natural as La Beouf, leading to an array of clunky and awkward performances. The humour, while occasionally hitting the mark, feels completely out of place for what is essentially a kidʼs movie, including some decidedly adult conversations


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between the parents of Sam (La Beouf). Director Michael Bay is notorious for these kinds of effects movies, and while occasionally he gets the human element right too (ʻBad Boysʼ, ʻArmageddonʼ), here all he seems to have cared about is blowing things up. Steven Spielberg as executive producer must have known that if you want explosions, you get Bay for the job. All in all, a satisfying blockbuster– just remember to leave your brain at the popcorn stand. Rating: 3 out of 5

prise appearance by another astronaut leads him to further question his own sanity. The remainder of the movie is a big surprise, but the twist is so unexpected and treated with such smarts, that the viewer canʼt help but be impressed by what director Duncan Jones has achieved, especially on, by todayʼs standards, a shoestring budget. The visual effects and set decoration are sublime, and really hark back to classic science fiction such as ʻAlienʼ and ʻ2001: A Space Odysseyʼ. Both the script and Sam

Rockwellʼs performance are nothing short of spectacular and surely ʻMoonʼ will gain huge recognition come awards season. The incidental score also deserves a mention as does Kevin Spaceyʼs voice work as Gerty. The audience was clearly wowed by the movieʼs emotional climax, and ultimately by the questions it raises as an allegorical reflection on the ethical vagueness of many multinational corporations. ʻMoonʼ is highly recommended viewing. Rating: 4.5 out of 5

‘Moon’ We meet Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) on the final twoweek stint of his three-year contract working for Lunar Industries. His role at their lunar station is to harvest and supply supplies of helium-3, the clean fuel used on Earth. All communication with Earth is done through recorded video messages as the live feed has malfunctioned. Samʼs only personal interaction is with an artificially-intelligent assistant robot called Gerty, voiced by a typically laconic Kevin Spacey, who attends to most of his everyday needs. The isolation and loneliness begin to affect Samʼs mental well-being and he begins having hallucinations. While focusing on his reunion with his wife and child back on Earth, and distracted by another hallucination, he accidentally crashes his mechanical harvesters and is knocked unconscious. He awakens back at the station in the infirmary, presuming he has been assisted by Gerty. He discovers all is not as it seems, and a sur-

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By Jason McDonnell Irish Artist Paul Flynnʼs current work is based on the Burren. is work is evocative of the unique landscape in which beauty is sheltered and preserved in the wonderful, rugged charm of the limestone of County Clare He was born in Ireland and currently lives in Bray. His work can be seen every Sunday at Merrion Square between 10am and 5pm. He has studied colour and images in detail on a professional level for many years. His Art is influenced by Irish landscape, culture, writers, storytellers, the people and all aspects of Irish life which in itself has a story to tell. His work forms part of collections in Europe, America, Australia and China. He started in 1982 as a lithographer working for John Hinde, learning how to etch plates and following it on to the final print. His skill in the area of print was well recognised and he gained invaluable knowledge of the chemistry




July 26th - August 30th 2009. If you would like an invitation to the opening or would be interested in knowing more about Paulʼs art you can contact Paul at Left: Checking the Form. Below: Autumn River Shallow.

and mechanics of printing with oil-based inks. He has used his knowledge of oils to bring paintings to life using the transparent nature of paint. His exposure to the worlds landscapes has given him a

great appreciation of the island of Ireland itʼs landscape and culture. His work stands out as unique, being one of Irelandʼs most creative and original artists. His first solo Exhibition ʻWild Beautyʼ will take

place in the Providence Market Gallery, Galway. It will be mostly figurative work that will run in conjunction with the Galway races. The Gallery can be found opposite Meadows and Burns.




By Vanessa Harriss


alking holidays have a worthy sound. They have none of the party hedonism of the beach, none of the braininess of a cultural trip and none of the ʻIʼm so busy and important I only have time for a 48-hour city breakʼ. They are what they say: you go somewhere, walk about for a few days and thatʼs pretty much it.



Except it isnʼt, itʼs so much more, as I discovered when I went on a weekʼs walking to Skye. In our busy world, walking is about the only thing we do at the pace we were designed to do it. Information pours at us from all sides. Phones ring, emails ping, everyoneʼs on Facebook. It never stops. A walking holiday switches all that off in an instant. Thereʼs a guide, a map, some people youʼve never met before, and a

day stretching ahead of you. Along the way there are some fantastic views, silence youʼd forgotten existed, and– eventually– a few pints before bed. This was only my second time in the wilds of Scotland and Iʼm addicted. We drove up from Edinburgh, which takes about five hours plus, because you have to go round so many lochs on the way. At first this bothered me but I quickly realised that the journeyʼs

the thing. Itʼs not all about motorways and getting where you need to be in the minimum time. Itʼs about taking it slowly, having a laugh, watching the clouds drift and the views change. The crossing point is the Kyle of Lochalsh. Thereʼs a bridge now so youʼre over in a couple of minutes, and as we arrived the sun came out. The previous week had been dreadful, with severe weather warnings, torrential rain, wind and hail, but we were blessed. Day after day we opened the curtains to cloudless blue. So much for the thermals, fleeces and hats weʼd packed. It was sunblock and T-shirts all the way. Skye is basically volcanic rock scoured by Atlantic gales. The Black Cuillins are made of hard stuff, resulting in fantastic crags that loom over the valleys, whereas the Red Cuillins are softer and have weathered into gentler, rounder shapes. Both are a type of granite, which is very rough and easy to grip, making the Cuillins a magnet for rock climbers. They all looked very hardy marching along the path with their ropes and helmets; we nodded them past and finished our flapjacks.

In this landscape you start recalling geography facts you never knew you knew. Huge boulders are scattered across fields, dumped by glaciers. Fantastic rock formations leave scary overhangs. Great chunks of land, like the Table in the Quirang (pronounced ʻKerrangʼ), have simply broken off and slid down the hill. Despite its small size, Skye has a surprisingly varied terrain, from easy coastal wanders to scrambles up slopes and breathtaking mountain views. This means you can pick and choose– depending on your mood and the state of your legs. On the Wednesday we felt energetic enough to try Corrie Lagan. We scrambled over the lip of the crater and had a picnic by the loch, watching crazy hardcore climbers slither down the Stone Chute from the crags to the loch– a perilously steep descent over loose scree that can only be done at a run. After three days of uninterrupted sunshine, I staggered off the hills with a headache and feeling sick– sunstroke! In Scotland! But a couple of paracetamol and some ice cream soon perked me up.

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NEWSFOUR AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2009 The next day we took it easy so we caught a boat, the Bella Jane, from Elgol past basking seals across to Loch Corruisk– a stunning lake in the heart of the Cuillins. It was a boggy walk, even after days of sun and wind, so we were happy to stop and paddle in the loch instead before getting the boat back a couple of hours later. One of the great advantages

of walking is that you have to eat a lot, so we milled into local dishes: haggis, salmon, spuds, turnip and venison stew, washed down with Red Cuillin, a local beer. And if I had to choose one place to eat every night for a week, it would be Café Arriba in Portree.Their thinking is simple: delicious food, made fresh every day, with four meat and four veggie options. The helpings are huge, the staff fantastic,

PAGE 21 the atmosphere relaxed and the bill very reasonable. After a week of good food, good beer, long walks and deep sleep, my batteries were recharged. And even still, when life gets too much, I know I can just close my eyes, dream of Skye, and escape– if only for a while. Views across to the Hebrides and, right, the Black Cuillins.

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ern teaching methods and aids. Classes have a maximum of 15 students and centre on reading, writing, listening and speaking. There is a cultural trip in Dublin once a week using public transport and a full excursion outside Dublin in a private coach on Saturdays. Evening activities include discos, debates and a cinema club where the DVDʼs subtitles are used. One particular group of Italian students came with the express intention of improving their rugby skills and come from seven different Italian rugby clubs. The school recently organised a match between Marian College under 15s and Italian under 15s at St. Michaelʼs School in Ailesbury Road. Normally they would use the back pitch at Lansdowne but canʼt this year because of the Lansdowne Road redevelopment. Next year they hope to be able to avail of the new synthetic pitch at the back of the new Aviva Stadium.

Afternoons are generally given over to sport with games including basketball, volleyball, badminton, soccer, rugby (coached by Kevin Lawlor), swimming, handball and unihoc (hockey played on a hard surface with a plastic stick and plastic ball). Indoor activities include table tennis, snooker, table soccer and the movie room. The team started planning for D4E back in 2007 and argue that education is recession-proof, with language skills in particular important to career progression. However, bookings came in quite late this year and numbers were down on what they anticipated back in 2007. Marian College was the first educational establishment in Ireland to run a language school way back in 1966. It is to be hoped that D4E will be with us for another forty years. They can be found on the web at www.dublin4english. ie and can be e-mailed at

ALL’S FAIR AND SQUARE By Harry Cavendish


nglish language teaching for foreign students has returned to Marian College. A school ran there from 1966 to 2005 but closed because of the difficulty of finding host families. This year it has opened again, running from the end of June to the end of July and targets those

who want English as a second language. Heading up ʻDublin for Englishʼ or D4E are Kathy Donovan, pictured above with Donal Donovan and Marian Collegeʼs Deputy Principal Kevin Lawlor (on right). Numbers at Marian summer school were up to 600 at one stage. This year there are 75 students from Spain, Italy, France, Russia, Belgium, Germany and


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Poland. They stay for 2 to 4 weeks and are between the ages of 12 and 17. Kathy also runs a year-round education facility called ʻShandon Language Solutionsʼ where, during the academic year, she brings in third-level teachers in training who want a generally broadening experience while honing their English. It was through Kathyʼs contacts that D4E was able to overcome the problem of finding host families. Host families receive approximately €165 to €175, depending on location and seasonal factors. The main locations found are Sandymount and along the Dart as well as Foxrock, Deansgrange and Cabinteely. Classes start at 9.30am and go on till 1pm with a half-hour break. The first morning they start at 9am so that an assessment of the studentʼs standard of English can be made. They are placed according to their level from beginners to advanced, with classes bigger for beginners and intermediate and smaller for advanced. All D4E teachers are university graduates with qualifications in TEFL and have 26 classrooms at their disposal with full mod-

At the ʻFair in the Squareʼ, part of the South Docks Festival held in Merrion Square are, at rear, Christopher OʼToole. Front, left to right: Nathan, Luke, Kym and Abby.





PAGE 23 Sunday after Sunday until I was twelve I wiped the birdshit from your gravestone, Or knelt bare-kneed beside my father, Uncertain whether to pray to you or for you; Guilty that in secret I was glad You, not he, were dead And now I no longer pray. But I can hold you here undrowned forever, hands lifted in my fatherʼs hands, above the waves.

By Glenda Cimino


liver Marshall is a longtime Dublin-based poet who was born in 1948 in Clonmel. In 1966 he graduated from UCD, where he achieved a BA and MA in English and American Literature. He became a qualified librarian, and worked for 20 years as librarian in the Department of Education, from which he took early retirement in 1994. His first book, Fatherʼs Day, was published in 2005 by Summer Palace Press in Donegal, and has received deservedly excellent reviews. Lorcan Byrne in the Bray Arts Journal called Marshallʼs work ʻunflinchingly honestʼ. While the poems touch on bereavement, suffering, loneliness, and loss, there is no despair, no self-pity, but ʻa stoic strength and a recognition that love is the balm for any wound that time might inflictʼ. Gywn Parry finds in this book an Ireland that is fast disappearing or maybe already gone– a rural childhood populated by ʻpeople and places that seem extraordinary to us nowʼ. Michael Coady praises the book highly, saying that ʻthis is work which shows you why we need poetry for sustenanceʼ. What poets have you enjoyed reading? I read widely in poetry– Emily Dickinson, Philip Larkin, Thomas Hardy, Yeats, of course. But poetry at one time was the last thing I thought I would write. Earlier, I got encouragement from my older brother, who got me reading Frank OʼConnor, Mary Lavin, and Edna OʼBrien, among others.

What got you started as a writer? I didnʼt actually start writing until 1978, when my eldest daughter was born. I was present at her birth, and somehow this jolted me into writing as a form of self expression. I was living in Rathmines, and writing just began to pour out of me. My writing came out of issues related to my childhood and feelings. In 1980–81, I wrote three radio plays which were put on RTE: ʻFantasia in the Darkʼ, ʻHappy Ever Afterʼ, and ʻRemainsʼ. I felt as John B Keane said, that ʻwriting is something that happens to youʼ. I personally have gone through cycles of creativity and depression. I still feel I am struggling to be a writer and to accept it– for me, writing is a gift. When did you start writing poetry? That actually came later. I began to write poetry in 1984., publishing poems in New Irish Writing, Poetry Ireland, Poetry Wales, and other periodicals. My first book, ʻFatherʼs Dayʼ, came mainly out of my experiences of being a father and a son. My favourite poem in your first collection is ʻUnclesʼ. It is so moving. How did you come to write this? While I wrote this poem many years later, it was based on a tragedy that happened when I was three years old, and affected my childhood. My uncles, my fatherʼs two brothers, drowned tragically on a post office outing to Clonea on Aug 5, 1951. My father tried unsuccessfully to save them.

H a v e y o u r e a d o r p e rformed your poetry in public? Ye s , q u i t e a f e w t i m e s , i n t h e I r i s h Wr i t e r s ʼ C e n t r e , t h e O s c a r Wi l d e A u t u m n S c h o o l i n B r a y, a n d the Bray Arts Club. I am also a member of a group c a l l e d t h e Wi l d e s i d e Q u a rtet, which has performed a t v a r i o u s v e n u e s i n Wa l e s , for instance. Any advice for budding writers? Wr i t i n g c a n b e c a t h a r t i c and quite difficult– it may bring out emotions and issues you have not dealt well with in life. I would say


w r i t e w h a t y o u k n o w, a n d donʼt be afraid of strong e m o t i o n s . Yo u a l s o h a v e t o have some form– it is the way the writer communic a t e s t o t h e r e a d e r. I a l s o believe that if the writing is good enough, and the writer really believes in it, it will get published. Do you have any future projects?

I have a second collection ready for publication. Also, I would love to write for theatre in future. Thanks for your time, and good luck.





The SCOOP Foundation (Save Children Out Of Poverty) is a new and exciting Irish charity that seeks to raise funds for schools and orphanages i n t h e w o r l d ʼs p o o r e s t r e gions by hosting fun and innovative events and by encouraging people to become more involved in their own charities all

ready working in the voluntary sector or as social workers. The team has already hosted hugely successful events in the form of concerts, table quizzes, poker tournaments and DJ/ club nights. They also ran a hugely successful Art Auction and have begun a ʻLost Property Reunionʼ where they sell clothes left behind in some of D u b l i n ʼs t r e n d i e s t p u b s and clubs for next to nothing. Wi t h t h e f u n d s r a i s e d

around the world. “ We b e l i e v e t h a t p e o ple in Ireland have become disillusioned with the idea of charitable givi n g r i g h t n o w, d u e t o t h e onslaught of ʻchuggersʼ on the street and at your doorstep, the use of manipulative and expensive advertising, the waste of f u n d s o n o v e r- p a i d d i r e c t o r s a n d s t a ff , e v e n c o rruption,” says Chairman A n d r e w S w e e n e y. “ We d o n ʼt j u s t w a n t t o e n c o u rage donations; we want the thoughts and the ene rg y o f o u r d o n a t o r s t o o . ” T h e S C O O P ʼs b o a r d o f Directors are a handson, driven and passionate team who come from a h o s t o f d i ff e r e n t a r t i s tic backgrounds or are al-

they have helped extend an orphanage in Cambodia by building an extra bedroom and a classroom that can now teach English to over 45 children. They continue to support this orphanage as it receives no funding at home. I n J u l y, t h e y a r e s e n d i n g one of their directors on a research trip to Uganda and Somalia to find their second project. Depending on funds raised, they hope to be able to help a school for street kids in India, an orphanage in Peru and a school in Jamaica, as Andrew explains: “As travelling has become much simpler tod a y, w e h a v e a l l t r a v e l l e d to Asia, Africa or South America, and have vol-

By Aoife Murphy Photographs Andy Sweeney


unteered at some of these schools and orphanages that exist under the harshest conditions, most even without government fundi n g . We b e l i e v e t h a t i f w e can fund these schools, in due process we can promote the idea of a comm u n i t y. ” “ T h e S C O O P ʼs v i s i o n for the future is to be able to build our own schools, and house them with Irish teachers and volunteers o ff e r i n g s p e c i a l i s t c o u r s e s like mechanics, photograp h y, e v e n j o u r n a l i s m . ” The SCOOP Foundation is also working hard on projects here at home. They plan to run a DJ workshop in a residential home for teenagers, encouraging them with their passions for dance music. T h e y a l s o w a n t t o e n c o u r-

age primary schools and secondary schools to become more informed about children or teenagers their own age around the world by ʻlinkingʼ classrooms here at home with those i n t h e w o r l d ʼs p o o r e s t r e gions. “If you have the chance in your own surroundings and in your own circumstances to make the dayto-day lives of others less fortunate that little b i t b e t t e r, o r e v e n c r e a t e a chance for them to improve their own futures and that of their commun i t y, t h e n w e s h o u l d n o t see this as a burden, or even a challenge, rather as an opportunity” T h e S C O O P ʼs v i s i o n f i t s in with the The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which are eight

international development goals that 192 United Nations member states and at l e a s t 2 3 i n t e r n a t i o n a l o rganizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. They include reducing e x t r e m e p o v e r t y, r e d u c ing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS, and dev e l o p i n g a g l o b a l p a r t n e rship for development. The SCOOP Foundat i o n ʼs b o a r d h a v e o n l y just embarked on what they believe will be an exciting and extraordin a r y j o u r n e y, a n d w a n t your thoughts, views and e n e rg y. For more information please visit scoopcharity or email them at thescoopfoundation@gmail. com






from high into the water in their school uniforms, as a pact on the last day of their junior cert exams, bonded together forever by the jump. L a t e r, b a c k a t t h e t o w e r, now a listed museum, I b o u g h t a t i c k e t o ff t h e e r u dite, well-spoken chap in a dapper candy-striped suit, and explored my way up t h e n a r r o w, w i n d i n g s t a i rcase, past the sparse living quarters, to the circular r o o f t o p w i t h t h e b r e a t h t a ki n g v i e w o f D u b l i n B a y. I n your face, Bono, I thought, looking around at the 360º v i e w. B u c k M u l l i g a n h a d the best digs in Dublin. A n o t h e r b e a u t i f u l a ct r e s s , B r e n d a M c S w e e n e y, was on stage reciting Paul D u r c a n ʼs p o e m ʻ U l y s s e s ʼ where he is begging his dad to get the 21 shillings to buy his first copy of ʻUlyssesʼ. From the polite audience, a guest was pulled to read an excerpt, a German visitor with his girlfriend, and a lover of literature, who read a piece in German, w h i c h p i e c e , I d o n ʼt k n o w,

I c ould just make out the n a me Stephen Daedalus, a s a homage. A nd I, seizing the op p o r tunity, blessed myself a n d threw open the book a t a random page, and happ e n ed upon what was a t e n nis match, which ends o n the ropes as a boxing m a t ch! Or so it seemed. We waited for Barry McGovern, actor and s c h olar, who described the s t r u cture of Joyceʼs odys se y of one day. He chose t h e first chapter from Part I I I , a languid, drunken rant a m ong men on all things. G r e at to read and hear, as J o y ce is all in the ear. D ear Nora, I want to pay h o mage to your family and l i f e , and what it took to g e t this masterpiece out. I c onsider the providence t h a t led you two to meet, a n d how you handled it, a y o u ng girl from Galway at t h e outset of life. I know t h a t Joyce would never h a v e completed his mast e r pieces without you as m u se and helper. In your s p e ech, you emphasised t h e good times, and gave

that idealised view of the Paris which is inhabited by artists. At the outset of today, I got out early, saying to myself, with any luck, this will be over by lunchtime. It ended with my buying the Bodley Head edition of ʻUlyssesʼ stamped by the girl with a picture of the tower, and dated 16th June 2009, Bloomsday. Yours Sincerely, Nessa Jennings. Above: Nora Barnacle (Joyce). Left: One of Noraʼs ʻcont emporariesʼ pictured on by Bloomsday. (Photo Marianne Domville).

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Nora Joyce, Fluntern Cemete r y, Z urich, Switzerland June 16th 2009 Dear Nora Jo y c e ( n e e Barnacle), I hear d y o u r l i f e story today from t h e l i p s of a veteran Iris h a c t r e s s , recounting mainl y o f y o u r times living in v a r i o u s European cities p o s t - w a r, Trieste-Zurich-P a r i s , w h e n you raised your t w o c h i ld ren Georgio a n d L u c i a , and finally back t o Z u r i c h where your husb a n d J a m e s was laid to rest i n J a n u a r y 1941 in the Flun t e r n C e me tery. Th e actress wa s d r e s s e d in black mourn i n g f r o c k coat down to th e g r o u n d , and pulled back h e r v e i l for the photograp h e r d o w n at the Forty-Foo t , t a k i n g too many shots o f t h e a c-

tr e s s b e s i d e h e r t o o - y o u n g companion, another actor i n g a r b a g a i n s t t h e b a c kdrop of the rocks and sea of your daily recreation and ablutions. Life with James must have been romantic and idyllic sometimes at least, and Iʼm sure, filled with many happy memories, desp i t e L u c i a ʼs f r e q u e n t o u tbursts, and your constant financial struggles. I t o o k a s wi m i n t h e b l u e green sea in the brilliant sunshine. I chatted with a r e g u l a r d o w n t h e r e , a D u bli n w o m a n f u l l o f q u i c k w i t , e x e m p l i f y i n g t h e d a y. A bunch of high-spirited Mt. Anville students were exploring the high rocks, r e s p l e n d e n t i n t h e i r f r e s hly l a u n d e r e d b o t t l e g r e e n and white long socks. They proceeded to jump

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or those who donʼt go away in August, there are a number of events which will certainly be of interest to some of our readers. Ballsbridge, Donnybrook and Sandymount Historical Society The Ballsbridge, Donnybrook and Sandymount Historical Society was founded in Pembroke Library in 2006 with the aim of promoting an interest in local history in the area. To this end the Society arranges lectures, exhibitions and walking tours. (They also publish an ʻAnnual Recordʼ if you are curious about talks and events that went on during the previous year.) There are no lectures in August, and the September schedule will be confirmed later this month. Lecture meetings are mostly held in St Maryʼs National School, Belmont Avenue, Donnybrook at 8.00 p.m. The night and venue can vary, so it is advisable to check the website,, for up-to-date information. Programmes and membership application forms are also available from Pembroke Library. You donʼt have to be a member to attend the talks, but if you are, the talks are free. For further information, contact pembrokelib

A UGUST or phone 016689575. Saturday 8 August: Tour of Donnybrook Graveyard People are invited to come along to one of the scheduled openings of Donnybrook Graveyard in Donnybrook Village, and enjoy a tour with David Neary, retired Parks Department Officer, Dublin City Council. All tours will begin at 3pm alongside the graveyard entrance on Donnybrook Road. There are many famous people buried in the graveyard, which is larger than it looks from the road. According to David Neary, “The Donnybrook Graveyard Tour is for me a celebration of life of the lives of the Dubliners who have been put to rest there over the past eight hundred years, and possibly earlier.” Some Library events in August and September On Wednesday August 5th, from 2–4 pm, at the Central Library, ILAC Centre, Henry Street, Dublin 1, there is an information stall for adults from other countries who are seeking employment and/ or further training and education in Ireland. Staff from EPIC (Employment for People from Immigrant Com-


munities) will be available to provide information, advice and support. This event is free of charge, and all are welcome. For more information, call 01 873 3996 / 873 4333 or email the Walking the Camino through the Ages: An Epic Journey from St. Jamesʼs Gate to Santiago de Compostela This is an illustrated talk with Robert Poynton of the Irish Society of the Friends of St. James. St. Jamesʼs Gate in Dublin was, traditionally, a main starting point for Irish pilgrims to begin their journey to Santiago. Their pil-


Taking part in the South Dock Festival Celebrations at St Andrewʼs Resource Centre, Pearse Street are these three dignitaries. ʻKingʼ Paul Graham and ʻQueenʼ Louise Murray are joined by Lord Mayor Cllr. Eimer Costelloe, who has no crown but does have a chain of office.

grimsʼ passports were (and still can be) stamped there before setting sail, usually for La Coruna, north of Santiago. Waterford and Cork harbours were also starting points for Irish pilgrims. Nowadays, many fly and train it to their starting points within Spain or mainland Europe. Le Puy (France), St. Jean Pied de Port (France), Pamplona, Burgos, Leon, Sarria, and Oporto (Portugal) are all popular initial destinations. The braver are drawn to more complicated methods and itineraries! Accommodation en route comes in the form of refugios or albergues. Part of Heritage Week 2009, this event is on Wednesday 26th August at 6pm in the Dolphinʼs Barn Library, at Parnell Road, Dublin 12. Admission is free but booking is essential. Heritage Week 2009: 22-30th August Heritage Week again features many activities in all parts of the city and country. To make the most of these one-off opportunities, it is a good idea to get a programme as soon as possible to plan your participation, because if you blink, youʼll certainly miss something you wish you had known about. Heritage Week is a week dedicated to celebrating who we are and where weʼve come from. It is part of European Heritage Days, a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union. In Ireland, Heritage Week is coordinated by the Heritage Council with support from the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Each year many national and hundreds of local community or-

ganisations participate by organising events throughout the country. There is something to appeal to almost everyone and the main aim is to build awareness of our built, natural and cultural heritage, thereby encouraging its conservation and preservation. Whatʼs On? There is something taking place in every county and most activities are free of charge or offer great value for money. Everyone is encouraged to get involved and activities range from fairs, nighttime bat walks, wildlife tours and lectures to music recitals, historical re-enactments, and outdoor activities. Many heritage sites and stately homes will offer free admission or special concessions. The website event search on lists as of this writing, 27 pages of events in Dublin alone, and more may be added. One local event is a talk on late Victorian heritage, the history of Mount Eden Road with Patricia McKenna at 6.30pm in Pembroke Library in Ballsbridge. This will be followed by a walk at 7.30pm. Admission is free, but booking is essential. For more information on this or other events, please check with the Heritage Councilʼs 2009 event search, or contact them directly on 1850 200 878, or by email to: Pictured above in Ringsend Library Gillian Saunders from ʻDogs Trustʼ hosted the enjoyable and entertaining ʻCaring for Dogsʼ along with her own dog Coco. Each child who took part received a present and was presented with a certificate. (Photo and text John Cheevers)





By Glenda Cimino 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy, and Astronomy Ireland is running many events in August and September.


ith 11,000 members, Astronomy Ireland is the largest national astronomy club in the world relative to population. Their aim is to promote astronomy and space interest and education in Ireland, and to do this they hold talks, lectures, observing sessions and other events nationwide. They also produce a monthly 48-page magazine, ʻAstronomy & Spaceʼ, which is sent free to members.

Public Lecture programmes for August and September: Lectures are usually held at 8 pm in Trinity College, in the Fitzgerald Building, near the Westland Row or Lincoln Place entrances. Admission is €7 (€5 members and concessions). Some of these lectures will also be available on DVD, which you can order from the society.

Monday, 10 Aug– Public Lecture: ʻMad about Meteoritesʼ By Dr Matthew Parkes, a geologist with the National Museum of Ireland , and formerly with the Geological Survey of Ireland. Every hour of every day, the Earth experiences a rain of dust and left-over debris from the formation of the Solar System. When these particles enter the Earthʼs atmosphere at high speed, the friction of the air causes them to get extremely hot. What results is a spectacular streak of light in the sky, known as a meteor. Sometimes the pieces of debris are large enough to survive the burn-up process and can make it to the ground. When they do so, they are known then as meteorites. Dr Matthew Parkes will talk about how meteorites can give us the opportunity to investigate the origins of the Solar System and how it was formed. He will explain how particularly unusual meteorites arrive on Earth (rock blasted from the surface of the Moon or Mars, for example). Finally, Dr Parkes will describe the consequences to Earth and humanity should a very large object

strike our home planet. Saturday, 22 Aug– Star-B-Q The Star-B-Q– Irelandʼs biggest annual star party– combines fun, food and astronomy, and is the main fundraising event of the year for Astronomy Ireland. It is held in Roundwood, under the dark skies of Co. Wicklow, and is open to all. It starts at 7 pm, with gate open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are €40 for adults and €30 for under 16s. The night begins, as ever, with an introductory slide show talk from David Moore. This is followed by barbecue food and soft drinks. There will also be a talk ʻThings you should know about astronomy and stretching your mindʼ by Emlyn Jones. There will be an imaging display as well as a naked eye ʻWalk through the Heavensʼ presented by Tony Ryan, ideal for getting to know the stars and constellations. The telescope viewing session is being organised by Astronomy Irelandʼs David Grennan. There will be lots to see all night, including open clusters, galaxies, planetary nebulae, coloured and double stars as well as the planets.

This event is suitable for beginners and advanced astronomers alike. It is a fun get-together and a great family night out. Make sure to dress warmly on the night as the temperature can get quite cold under clear skies Monday, September 14, 2009 at 8:00pm– ʻSearching for exoplanets: modern methods and future prospectsʼ by Dr. Christopher Allan Watson, research scientists at the Astrophysics Research Centre, Queenʼs University Belfast. Extrasolar planets are planets that orbit stars other than the Sun and constitute perhaps the most exciting and rapidly-developing area of astronomy today. From their initial discovery in 1995, around 353 have been found, ranging from planets larger than Jupiter down to the realm of Super-Earths (planets a few times the mass of the Earth, and presumably rocky bodies). Dr. Watson will discuss the various ways of finding extrasolar planets. Sept 17–19: 9th European Symposium for the protection of the Night Skies in Armagh. This event takes place in Armagh. The Symposium will deal with the issue of light pollution, its effects on the environment, health, and astronomy and examine how bad lighting is contributing to global climate change. Friday, 25 Sept - Nationwide Jupiter Watch Jupiter Watches will take place in locations over the country from 9pm on 25 September 2009. Astronomy Ireland will set up very powerful telescopes for the watch, with locations in Cavan, Carlow, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Louth, Mayo, and Sligo. Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System

and is a stunning sight through any telescope. Not only will its larger moons be visible, but the famous Great Red Spot, a storm hundreds of years old, will dominate the huge disk. Friday 9 October at 8:00pm ʻThe View From Saturn: Images From The Cassini Spacecraftʼ by Professor Carl Murray, Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at Queen Mary, University of London. The Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn was launched in 1997 and entered orbit about the ringed planet in 2004. The project is a collaboration between NASA, ESA and ASI, the Italian space agency. The spacecraft is the largest ever sent to the outer solar system and it comprises the Cassini orbiter and the Huygens probe. In January 2005 the released Huygens probe descended through the atmosphere of Titan, Saturnʼs largest moon, and landed on its surface. The Cassini spacecraft has continued in orbit transmitting data back to Earth about Saturn, its moons and rings. Carl Murray was selected as a member of the Imaging Team on Cassini in 1990. Carl, originally from Belfast, is the only UK member of the team. He has a particular interest in Saturnʼs rings and their gravitational interaction with small moons orbiting in the Saturn system. In the talk he will discuss the Cassini-Huygens mission and show some of the spectacular images taken by Cassiniʼs cameras over the last five years, emphasising what has been discovered about Saturnʼs ring system. For more information, contact . Above: Light pollution as seen from space. Below: Moon shadows on Jupiter.




The family of the late Alan Young are pictured above with the two finalist teams competing in the Alan Young Memorial Trophy tournament in Irishtown Stadium on 4th July.




The winner of the prize for June-July was Fiona Moloney from Stepaside, Co. Dublin. Entries for this issueʼs crossword to be in by 22nd September. The prize is a book token for €30.

Address:………………………… Telephone:…………………

Across 1 9 10 11 12 14 15 16 18 21 24 26 30 31 32 33 34 35 Down 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 11 13 17 19 20 22 23 25 27 28 29

Where our money is safe, supposedly (4,5) Lift, raise (4,2) -------- Scales, Actress, played Sybil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers (8) Mr is the abbreviated form (6) Flaws, defects (6) Notion, conception, thought (4) Ingested, gobbled, scoffed (5) Amhrán na bhFiann is ours (6) Citrus fruits (7) Take two for a headache (7) Pardoned, let off, reprieved (6) Scotch Whisky, ----- Whiskey (5) Fast period preceding Easter (4) Gazed, gawped, goggled (6) Writer (6) A building where orange trees are grown (8) Hang around (6) The act of including (9) Not in ones own country (6) Start a fire with small sticks (6) Finally (2,4) In front of in a race (7) A native of Fiji (6) Person making a rough drawing (8) Self-contained dwelling in larger building (9) ʻBy all-----ʼ of course (5) A strong taste or flavour (4) John -------- 19th century English landscape painter, or member of the British police (9) Slaughterhouse (8) -----down, duck whose feathers are used for quilts (5) An ---- the service for delivering parcels and letters (4) Take a seat (3,4) Ran away to get married without parentsʼ permission (6) Nation in the Middle East, capital: Jerusalem (6) Scottish national dish (6) Close by (4,2)




By Jason McDonnell


n Friday, 26th June, Roslyn Park College of Beach Road, Sandymount, celebrated its 25th anniversary. The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley, was there to mark the event, presenting over 150 graduates with certificates. The Minister has visited the College on many occasions as it is in the heart of his community but this was his first official visit. Speaking at the event Minister Gormley said, “I am delighted




to be here today to join the staff, graduates and their families and friends at this very special occasion as Roslyn Park College celebrates 25 years of providing high-quality training and education.” Marie Kelly, Director of Training and Employment with Rehab, said, “This is a day to celebrate not only Roslyn Park Collegeʼs 25th birthday but also the success of its students. The nationally-recognised qualifications that the graduates receive today are a testament to their hard work and commitment. Some 90 per cent of students who complete courses at Roslyn Park College

progress to employment, higher education and further training. It is great to see them now reaping the benefits of their learning. We congratulate them for their achievements and wish them every success for the future.” Roslyn Park College currently provides courses to 300 students and is part of the National Learning Network, the training and employment division of the Rehab Group. All of the training programmes provided by Roslyn Park College are tailored to the individual needs of each student and extensive support services enable people to access courses both on


and off campus. In addition to the training programmes, a wide variety of extra-curricular activities are available to students at the College. The ʻFast-Track to Employmentʼ and the ʻComputer Programming and Game Designʼ course, are specifically developed to enable students to learn the skills necessary for a career in the growing digital industry. Roslyn Park College is one of the best-resourced training centres in the country and has helped thousands of people to learn the skills they need to build lasting careers in jobs that reflect their interests and abilities. All of the training programmes provided by the College are tailored to the individual needs of each student. The National Learning Network is Irelandʼs largest non-Government training organisation with more than 50 purpose-built training and employment units nationwide, catering for around 4,500 students each year. Roslyn Park College operates a continuous entry system. This system enables prospective students to enter courses all year round. Foundation Courses are up to 12 months duration and

vocational courses last from 18 months to 2 years. All courses have a three-month trial period after which a place on the course may be confirmed. The Roslyn Park College staff is highly qualified to teach in their respective subject areas and many have written textbooks or developed innovative modules in the areas of business, computer applications, computer game design, enterprise development and PC assembly. The College also maintains a very low student to staff ratio, with class sizes from five to 12 depending on the course. The record of progression to employment by students completing courses in the College is excellent. The College also has an active Studentsʼ Union that is affiliated to the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). Roslyn Park College Studentsʼ Union organises regular events such as student parties, concerts, information days and theme weeks. You can contact the college at 01 2613400 or Fax: 01 2613403. Above: A group of students celebrating at their graduation ceremony.

Mount Herbert Hotel ! * Tritonville Bar – Food served daily * * Cordyline Restaurant * * 9 Conference Suites * * Room only rates from €69.00 * * Free Parking * Christenings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, whatever the occasion we can cater for all your needs…

Mount Herbert Hotel Herbert Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4 Tel: 614 2000 • Fax: 660 7077 Back row, left to right: Adam Gannon, Cian Nolan, Kyle Smith, Ellie OʼFlaherty, Ross King and Roisin Kane Front row: Bonita Murphy, Kyle Doolin, Naoise Byrne, Abbie Linkin and Oisin Carey. Missing are Lee Geoghan, Dylan Bissett, Ella Hollowed, Kayla Gregg and Shane Bermingham.

Email: Web:


THE SIGN SAYS IT ALL! Pictured Left to Right Back Row: Tommy Cullen, Charlie Byrne, ?, T. Harmon (or Hamilton), ëMuggyí Moran, Robbie Gilbert, Michael Chester Middle Row: Mick Feeney (Teacher), Tony Dodrill,


Dermot Kilduff, Paddy Hiney, Paddy May, Brendan Kenneally, T. Butler, M. Keenan Front Row: Michael Kinsella, Michael Moylan, Robert Daly, Gerry Boylan (Captain), Ernie Tiedt, Michael Furlong, Tommy Lysaght Paddy May, who now lives in Stillorgan, very kindly

allowed us to take a copy of this photograph. He also told us that Mick Feeney, the teacher, was a sub on the 1949 All Ireland winning Waterford hurling team and that Michael Furlong (front row) was a native of New Zealand who lived in Dublin with his family for just two years.


THE MILKMAN Can anyone identify or supply any information on this photo? We recognise ʻLarry the Milkmanʼ, now sadly deceased. We also know that the photo was taken between 1964 and 1971 on the Pigeonhouse Road. The photo was found in a house in Crumlin, the occupants of which had no known connection with Ringsend. The owner is Sheila Dunne, who can be contacted at 086 8150581.




In my element

Picked you up Each Wednesday From the créche On Pearse Street.

I am water, I am tidal I always find my own level I am like the sea water reflecting the many colours of the sky I am defined by such

The big window Is still there. Looked in Among the strange faces,

Surrounding myself with beautifully coloured flowers Iʼll present you with an image of them In my mood, you will see them

To see where you were. Tied you into the buggy, Wheeled you Into the College Park,

In my smile, you will smell them In lightness of my touch the delicacy of their petals The mixture of colours gives rise to the Evocative elevated sense of being I am swept off my feet by textures and forms

Always afraid It would rain. Always afraid You would cry.

The basis of my sense of self is colour Blissfully captivated and enraptured by all the colour above, below, to the right and left of me Colour the essential factor I am in my element.

Never sure How to placate your moods. Struggling inside myself To placate my own. At two oʼclock, I handed you back To your mother, At the tree

By Valerie Coakley

What time…

On Nassau Street. It was as if You were being passed From one to the other.

I canʼt believe youʼre really gone I keep picking up the phone To call, to chat, to say hello, What time will you be home?

When the split-up came, You sided with your mother, Shutting me out For years.

The house is feeling empty Even though weʼre all still here Iʼm dreading how itʼs going to be Next week, next month, next year.

Leaving me To loneliness, Damaged emotions, Tears. ©By Oliver Marshall February, 2009

Fidelity As I look back along a path of rounded cobble stones, I see a tall but lightly built stone door. Behind the door the path leads to a time when Constellations of Stars were the mysteries of my life And Humanity and its politics were not yet rooted. At the threshold of this door Julius Caesar Ruled the World and there I was braced For travel, waiting, with my brother Fingers, So called for he is a delicate thief. There we were on horseback And surrounding us were the spirits of greatness, No journey could ever fail us as long as they were there, And now without ever touching the ground We have arrived at a new place Where we are siblings in a world that has clocks that tick Not by the rhythm of the seasons But by the paucity of menʼs deeds to valour And the scarcity of menʼs vows. By Harry Cavendish

All your books are really tidy And your prayers and music too Everythingʼs been kept just so All thatʼs missing Dad is you Iʼm looking at the tins of paint Youʼd stored beneath the stairs And the boxes full of all your tools So neatly stacked in pairs. Iʼd love to sit beside you Watch you laugh while telling me, All about the goings on In ʻGrayʼs Anatomyʼ Iʼm watching all your programmes I sing and hum your song What time will you be home Dad Youʼve been really gone too long.. By Theresa Whelan Written for Thomas (Tom) Whelan With Love.

As always, we welcome contributions to The Poetry Place, which can be sent to the ʻNewsFourʼ offices at 15 Fitzwilliam Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4.

Magnolia Brainstorming

Severed branch Breathtaking beeauty Flowers of the East Magnolia Soulangii Branches laden with blossom Bound feet Ladies with white faces Enrobed in silk caftans Mincing footsteps High-pitched voices Bicycles breeding like rabbits Houses bereft of clutter Simplicity – peace – restful By Valerie Coakley

Elegy For John McGahern Night in Aughawilan. You sleep beside your mother In the countryside you wrote about. You have gone Into that darkness Where the mind is happy with itself, And does not need To worry about how Something should be named. Yet your imagination Still threads things together: The day you picked flowers For your mother, your mind Not worrying about how To name them, As if their names Were inside you anyhow. Time would bring them out. Or you remember The short September days When you took up Apples from the grass, Your eyes observing Their plae red skins, Your hands Wary of the dying wasps Clinging to the sides. You do not need To describe these things anymore. You are content enough As you sleep Beside your mother, Facing the rising sun. ©By Oliver Marshall



The Fontenoy Files By Shay Connolly

U16 championship The U16 footballers brought home the Dublin County Championship in glorious fashion last May. In the last edition I told of the build-up to this fantastic occasion and kept my fingers crossed in anticipation of writing the winning article for this edition. And writing it I am! The preparation was all done. The bus pulled in to the Club car park at 11.00am for the 12.30 throw-in at OʼToole Park. Parents and Club members were arriving around the Club and there was a sense that something big was happening. The management team of Gareth Saunders, Albert Hannon, John Diviney and Bernard Lawless were in a huddle together in case there was some lost stone that was left unturned. The cavalcade left the club and car horns beeped in hope rather than confidence. At the game, we started brightly and led by a couple at half time. We went further ahead just after half time but then St Peregrines clawed their way back into it and brought it back to a draw with five minutes to go. It ebbed and flowed in those last five minutes and the screams and shrieks were on an emotional par to All-Ireland day in Croke Park. There was no more scoring and everyone was relieved to hear the final whistle. Two 10-minute periods of extra time followed and this is where the boys repre-

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final play-off with Lucan next week. Inter Footballers have recorded six wins in a trot for the first time ever in this lofty league and are currently in the playoff positions to go on to Senior Football. Junior footballers who have recorded five wins in a trot are also challenging for promotion. Keep raising the bar lads and lassies! Condolences Sincere condolences to J.J. Barrett and Bernard Barron on their recent sad family bereavements

senting the villages of Ringsend, Sandymount, Irishtown, Donnybrook, Pearse St and Ballsbridge really came into their own, with goals from Bob Lacey and Kenneth Lines eventually settling the issue. The clouds of emotion opened and poured on to the glades of OʼToole Park as the first U16 championship since the Legendʼs team in 1973 reached the shores of Dublin South East. No doubt this was one marvellous campaign and credit to everyone who helped deliver it. We are raising the bar of expectation here in the Club. It is great experience for our youngsters to be competing with the best and it will have a knock-on effect for all of them in later life. The Squad who brought home

the silverware were: Lee Weafer, Aidan Bolton, David Nangle, James Tobin, Paul Healy, Jordan Barnes, Jay McCarthy, Robert ʻBobʼ Lacey, Dean ʻFitzyʼ Fitzgerald, Ciaran Diviney, Conor Saunders, Kenneth Lyons, Ciaran Crowe, James Kavanagh, Davide Ianelli, Michael Gilroy, J.P. Pugh, Dean Coleman, Jacob Farrell, Sean OʼRourke. How teams are progressing A lot of the Adult teams are right up there with the big boys and girls. At time of writing, the Ladies footballers are in the Intermediate Championship SemiFinal, the Adult hurlers are going great guns in the Senior Hurling League and are in the Dublin Junior Championship Semi-Final. Camogie play their league

Race Night The Juvenile Section ran a very successful Race Night last month and would like to thank all who supported this venture. This was the place for all the new mentors to lay down their claims on life. From the start of the night the boys meant business. All doors were manned for entrance-fee avoidance by security personnel under the stewardship of Microsoftʼs own Security Specialist, Ken OʼByrne. He was ably assisted by Tipperary Tiger, Bernard Barron and John OʼMalley, who spent the night signing autographs as Elvis Costello. One embarrassing moment was when Juvenile Chairman Dave Walsh was caught sneaking in a back toilet window by security, Dave blamed the downturn in market share for his act of folly and he had to pay double for his moment of madness. Inside all the parents and mentors were having a relaxing evening. Roger ʻWhoʼ McGrath had an identity card stuck on his lapel which read ʻClubman of the Yearʼ and he regaled all the parents on what trickery he got up to win the award. Felix OʼRegan was gambling heavily, trying to win some funds for the troubled banks. John Dodd and John Hunt were spoofing away about having played with the Sligo minors in the Polo Grounds in 1947. Geraldine Dodd, from Westmeath said nothing as there was nothing to say about Westmeath. J.J. Barry bid the highest for the Dublin jersey and then immediately set about examining it for strains of swine flu.


Simon Beirne was crying away about his negative equity purchase in the Docklands. The Yank Saunders was sobbing uncontrollably about his negative equity in Sandymount. Donagh McDonagh was boasting about having represented Louth at U.6 level and defending Kentucky residents against corporate giants in Americaʼs deep south. Ray Walsh was Ray Walsh and kept looking out the window to

… ON

make sure his bike was locked. Pat Duffy tried to sing but was jumped upon by a group of concerned parents. Maurice Hennessy couldnʼt make it because of fog in Dublin Airport. Seamus Collimore was claiming that Sean Lemass adapted his policies in the 60s economic revolution. Stephen McCann was claiming a B cap for Ireland in rugger. Gay Murphy was exaggerating his bronze medal for Rowing at

PAGE 33 the 1956 Olympics in Uganda. (I thought they were held in Northern Rhodesia). Amid all this, the new parents were amazed at the amount of important people and life achievers that Clanna Gael Fontenoy have in their Juvenile ranks. Some politicians were there with brave faces. The President and the Taoiseach sent their apologies. Towards the end of a very long night and the net profit of sixteen pounds, sixteen shillings and five and a half pennies was counted everybody togged out for an after midnight charity match that included, Football, Hurling, Rowing and Rugby on the pitch outside the Clubhouse. But fair play as all were out strutting their stuff the following morning with the Juveniles. The club is holding its Annual Family and Fun Day on Saturday August 8th. A host of events are pencilled in that include Slidy Castle, Clown, Gladiator Ring, Ice Cream Man, Bar-beque, Music etc. Please see poster (on left) for special integration day for nonnationals in this episode which will also take place on this day. Everyone welcome! Summer Camps Gaelic Football: Monday 10th–14th August 2009. 10am– 2:30pm Hurling: Monday 17th–21st August 2009. 10am–2:30pm (VHI Camp) Application forms are available from the Club. Please phone club coach Jonney Sadlier at 085-7343066 for details. Talk to you next time folks!

Page 32: Alice Foley and some of the bright young stars of the club at the Active Prevention of Drugs Week in June. Above: Bharat Anil of Clanna Gael challenges Ballyboden St Endas. Below: The Under 8s team lines out.

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Dublin Port Company Port Centre, Alexandra Road, Dublin 1. Telephone: 887 6000, 855 0888 Fax: 855 7400 Web: This happy trio were pictured by our photographer John Cheevers during the recent Dublin City Cycle.

PAGE 34 Prof Brendan Drumm opens Irishtown and Ringsend Primary Care Centre


By Ellen OʼDea

rishtown and Ringsend Primary Care Centre was officially opened on the 7th July 2009 by Professor Brendan Drumm, CEO of the HSE. The centre is run by a Primary Care Team (PCT) of health professionals and experts. The Irishtown and Ringsend PCT comprises three GP practices and eleven existing HSE staff who provide services to a population of approximately 9,000 people, a large proportion of which is older people, in the densely-populated community of Irishtown and Ringsend . Professor Drumm said that Primary Care Teams (PCTs) were unlocking Irelandʼs potential to deliver a first-class communitybased health service and reduce our over-dependence on acute hospitals. More than 850,000 people can now avail of the ʻone-stopʼ shop health and social care from PCTs. The HSE is on target to have 530 local PCTs in place by the end of 2011– everyone in the country should then be able to access up to 95% of the care they need within their local community. PCTs provide an easy access point to local health and personal



social care services such as GPs, physiotherapy, public health nursing, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy services, dietetics, community welfare and support for chronic illnesses such as diabetes,asthma etc in a full, integrated way. Dr Tony OʼSullivan PCT GP

said: “Primary care teams are greater than the sum of their parts. They are encouraged to develop more integrated team working than before. They treat a defined population, and work together through inter-referral and regular team meetings to provide a comprehensive, integrated service to patients. This service is no longer a reactive one, simply responding when patients become ill, but a much more pro-active one,


using education and preventive approaches to preserve health and empower people to maintain their health.” The members of the Irishtown and Ringsend PCT are located in a new purpose-built primary care centre in Irishtown. The centre which was completed in December 2008 was designed by A& D Wejcherts and Partners and is a low-energy and sustainable design.

Two weeks ago it was awarded the Best Accessible Project 2009 from the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland for its inclusive design. Facilities include a physiotherapy and occupational therapy treatment room, wound clinic, minor surgery, dental suite, health promotion room and interview and clinical rooms used by staff. Additional staff have been appointed to the team, including a physiotherapist, occupational therapist and social worker while additional staff such as a dietician will support a number of teams. All those living in the defined population can access the team and can self-refer to any team members. Assessment and discussion in team clinical meetings leads to a co-ordinated plan of action, which has a positive impact on recovery and helps the client to maintain their health and independence. For more information please contact: Ellen OʼDea, South Inner City Partnership/ Dublin South City, Meath Community Unit, Heytesbury St., Dublin 8. Telephone: 014545385. Mobile: 086 8064961. Email: ellen. Pictured at the opening are Dr Jim McCafferty, Dentist; Colleen OʼNeill, Principal Dental Surgeon and Rosaleen Doyle, Dental Nurse with Professor Brendan Drumm, CEO of the HSE. (Photo: Jason Clarke Photography).


During an interval in the recent Sony Ericsson Beach Tag games on Sandymount Strand, these ladies got in some good old-fashioned relay sprinting.



H ACKING Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire by Iain Sinclair Hackney in the east end of London, is a part of the city that has been in seemingly permanent decline since the late nineteenth century. Although it started life as a leafy and desirable suburb on the fringes of London, the city quickly spread out to engulf it and by the turn of the century it was a warren of grimy slums, factories, fever hospitals and poorhouses. It has continued to be an unloved corner of London ever since, although it has gained some cachet of late as artists and trendy types have begun moving in. These days, it is a wonderfully diverse and bustling neighbourhood, with mosques and Pentecostal churches rubbing shoulders with Somali internet cafes and Turkish groceries. Iain Sinclair has been living and working in Hackney since the 1960s and knows





that part of London intimately. Though Sinclair has written extensively on other parts of London, concentrating mostly on the darker side of the cityʼs history, he has chosen to focus on his home turf for his most ambitious work to date. Sinclairʼs writing style is an elegiac mixture of local history, reminiscence and cultural history which he has termed ʻdocumentary fictionʼ, In the book, Sinclair meets a cast of the dispossessed, including writers, photographers, bomb-makers and market traders. In particular, he chronicles the history of legions of famous names who have passed through Hackney down the years, Lenin and Stalin attending communist party conferences shadowed by the police, novelists Joseph Conrad and Samuel Richardson, film-makers Orson Welles and Jean-Luc Godard, even for a year or two, Tony Blair when he was beginning his political career, not to mention a Baad-


By John Fitzgerald


ephrops Norvegicus, more commonly known to us as the Dublin Bay prawn is also known as the Norwegian lobster or langoustine. The strange thing is that this creature is not actually a prawn at all, and is found all around our coast, though not in Dublin Bay. Nephrops is scientifically classified as a lobster and is found in the Irish Sea, the Celtic Sea and all around our west coast. Nephrops are essentially a small orange lobster which can grow to 80cm but can be legally caught at 20cm in the Irish Sea and 25cm in the other fishing grounds. It has a lifespan of around10 years. Its habitat spreads from Iceland in the North Atlantic to Portugal and Morocco in the south. It reaches into the Mediterranean as far as Egypt, and is found in the North Adriatic, occurring at depths of 15 to 800 metres. It is a preference of nephrops to inhabit muddy seabed sediments, with more than 40% being silt and clay. This soft mud means the burrow does not need

constant maintenance and reburrowing. The burrows are of a semi-permanent nature, and vary in structure and size. The typical burrow is 20 to 30 centimetres deep, with a distance of 50 to 80 centimetres between the front and back

entrances. Nephrops spend most of their time either lying in their burrows or by the entrance. They only leave their shelters to forage, or mate. Nephrops often share their homes with the small Fryʼs

Goby– which acts as a sentinel keeping guard, alerting itʼs landlord of danger when a predator approaches. They are hunted by many species which include cod, dogfish, and ray. The goby thus has a symbiotic relationship with the ʻprawnʼ as the goby feeds on

er-Meinhof urban guerrilla on the run. And he tells his own story: of forty years in one house in Hackney, of marriage, children, strange encounters, deaths. His depth of knowledge, and the associations he makes, between Russian revolutionaries, local gangsters, various eccentrics and the pubs, clubs and parks of the area make for fascinating reading. Sinclair has problems with many aspects of Hackney today. The main ground of the 2012 Olympics is being built in the borough and to Sinclairʼs mind; a huge swathe of the areaʼs history is being wiped out by the project. He bemoans the modern London of traffic calming and CCTV, longing for a time when Hackney was a wilder, more unpredictable place. Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire by Iain Sinclair Published by Hamish Hamilton €25.00

DUBLINER scraps the nephrop leaves behind. The Dublin Bay prawn is the second most valuable species fished by the Irish Fleet. The 2004 catch was worth €19,507 million. Nephrops are also a very important species for the processing industry in Ireland, using peeled prawn tails to produce the value added ʻscampiʼ. Due to difficulties in ageing coupled with their complex biology and behaviour, stock assessment of nephrops is notoriously difficult.Since 2002 the Marine Institute has been using underwater TV surveys to independently estimate abundance, distribution and stock sizes. In order to ensure the sustainable harvesting the species, it is essential that stock management is underpinned by sound marine science that is clear, impartial and conclusive. Nephrops is the only shellfish species in Irish waters subject to externally-imposed quotas, with the EU setting the Total Allowable Catch (TAC), for nephrops each year in an attempt to manage the fishery.






By Glenda Cimino


e flew from Dublin to Lima and then north to Iquitos, where we were collected in motocarros (basically a carriage seat attached to a motorbike– not very safe but a lot of fun) by our friendly indigenous guides, who drove us to our hotel. Iquitos is the worldʼs largest city that cannot be reached by road. Most people fly there, but it is also the starting point for boats heading north on the Amazon River. It is the remote jungle capital of the huge department of Loreto.


It was founded in the 1750s as a Jesuit mission, fending off attacks from local tribes who did not want to be ʻconvertedʼ. Iquitos felt remote, until we set off on a boat that would take us 14 hours and 200 kilometres further north on the Amazon. We reached a very small town called Genaro Herrera, where we had a delicious breakfast of water buffalo cheese. Then we got into a leaky canoe to go two hours further, to the jungle home of our guide, Rubar, where we stayed for about a week in true native fashion, in wooden houses on stilts,

with hammocks and mosquito nets. The day we arrived, we learned we could swim safely enough in the Amazon River, in the daytime. But NEVER after 6pm, when the local predators– anaconda, caiman crocodiles, and others– start to hunt. Imagine my dismay when our tour leader, Peter Gorman, an expatriate American journalist, cheerily informed us that he had arranged a night canoe trip for us, rowed by a local native. However, we did not get eaten by anything, and I will never forget the beauty of the Amazon in the moonlight, or the myriad of jungle sounds all around us. It was like a dream– and not just because I was still jetlagged. In our outdoor kitchen, cooks prepared fish and eggs for us. One day they had a ʻtreatʼ, a huge dead water rat which someone had shot. I stuck with the fish and eggs, although several tried the rat and found it tasty indeed. Another Peruvian delicacy is cuy– guinea pig. I also decided I could live forever without trying worms. Also, a toucan and a parrot helped

themselves on a daily basis to our fruit and bread, and no one ever said ʻshooʼ to them. If anyone had a health problem of any kind, a local person headed off into the jungle and invariably came back with a leaf or root or tea as a cure. One day we hiked for three and a half hours into the jungle. I am not a fast walker, and keeping up the pace with our Matses tribe native guide, Pepe, armed with rifle and machete, nearly killed me. As we sweated our way through, up and down hills, occasionally swinging on vines, we clutched our water bottles. Pepe smiled and chopped off a thick branch of some kind. Out of the wood poured the coolest, most delicious water I have ever tasted, enough for all of us to quench our thirst. Local people are very fit and seemingly think nothing of a five-day trek through the jungle. As we walked, our guide showed us the plant that had cured his kidney stones ten years ago; a tree for cancer, a tree for diabetes, a sap for skin ailments, a sap to treat poisonous spider bites, a tree that provided fuel when you lit the bark, a leaf that treats swelling. The only thing that attacked me was a vine, that I swear reached out and grabbed me and wrapped itself around my body. Our

guide untangled me and looked grave. “That is a bad plant,” was all he said. I was truly in awe and relief by the time we ʻescapedʼ to a clearing, and were met by people who gave us coconuts filled with watery but delicious coconut milk. If you read only the health warnings, you would never go to an exotic place like Peru. Yellow fever, malaria from mosquitos, rabies from animals, trichinosis from pork or guinea pig or rat (microscopic worms crawl between your muscles), hepatitis A, bartellonosis (from sandflies), not to mention ticks, leeches, and snakes. The piranha, by the way, evidently does not deserve all the bad press it has gotten and unless starving they tend to leave you alone. To sum up, with plenty of insecticide sprays and mosquito-repellent clothes from the Great Outdoors, we braved it, met wonderful people who live healthily in and love their jungle– and we have lived to tell the tale. Hopefully, the so called ʻcivilisedʼ world will stop calling them savages and killing them off, and realise that oil production will never replace the true treasures of the jungle– its foods and medicinal plants and the people who depend on them. Pictured: Snapshots of Peruvian life.


D ON ’ T



By Jason McDonnell


orget your Bhutanese Archery and your rock Paper Scissors Tournaments, Ireland has come a respectable eighth place in the International Wife Carrying Championships held on Saturday the 4th July in Sonkajarui in Finlandʼs Eastern Lake district. The competition was first set up in 1992 by local business people in Sonkajarui to draw visitors to their beautiful lakeland tourist region. Drawing over 10,000 spectators, this unusual event has gained huge recognition. This year saw 36 contestants from 13 different countries compete for gold. With qualifying rounds taking place in each country, contestants from Australia, China, USA and Israel all sent their best.




The sport appears to be very popular in the Scandinavian and Baltic regions, with the Estonians hugely outperforming all others. Representing Ireland were Skellig Island Boatman John OʼShea carrying his ʻwifeʼ, music teacher Aoife Niamh Desmond, both from South Kerry. They had won the qualifiers in Sneem, Co Kerry in July last year. Though not legally married, they held a Sham Wedding last month and raised over €3,500 for Donʼt Mess With The Baldies, an important cancer fightback charity. For the first time in 11 years the host nation Finland took Gold with Taisto Miettinen carrying Kristiina Haapanen over the line just half a second before last yearʼs champion pair, Estonians Alar Voolagand and Kristi Viltrop. The basic rules of the contest are that the man carries the wom-

an through a 250-metre course which includes grass, sand, water and tarmac. The ʻwifeʼ must weigh at least 49kg, weight can be added in a rucksack to make up the 49kg. She must also be over 17 years old. If the wife is dropped over the course a 15-second penalty is incurred. Considering the course record is a mere 55.5 seconds and only half a second separated this yearʼs gold from silver, a drop would have dire consequences. A spokeswoman for the event, Anni Keranen, explained how the tradition is supposed to stem from a local bandit who, over a century ago, used to lead a gang of raiders who would steal wives and ʻcarry them away over the rocksʼ. Rosvo-Ronkainen was the name of this Nordic legend. The grand prize nowadays is your wifeʼs weight in beer. Anni also explained that it does not have to be your wife, it can be

T HE ‘G REEN D RAGON ’ By Jason McDonnell


ell, if there is one place in the country that knows how to throw a party, it is Galway. They held the biggest festival of the year from 23rd May to 6th June, attracting over 650,000 visitors over the two-week period. The highlight of the festival was the stop-over of boats in the Volvo Ocean Race. I managed to make it down for the last two days and got to see Aslan play live at the bay. The weather was exceptional and made the festival one to remember. The ʻGreen Dragonʼ came

home to a heroʼs welcome in Galway after securing a third place on Leg seven of the Volvo Ocean Race. It had been an epic transatlantic leg with gusts of over 40 knots, breakages, adverse weather and some of the best sailing that the fleet had experienced up till that point in the race as they made their final approach into Galway Bay. The idea for a stopover in Galway had been planned three years in advance, but finishing in a podium place on their home leg made it all the sweeter for the crew. The building of the boat was funded privately by a syndicate of Irish business people, and the

your daughter or even someone elseʼs wife. Estonian Margo Ulusorg set the course record of 55.5 seconds

and won the final seven times before retiring gracefully. In his colourful career he carried three different women to victory.


principal sponsors are a consortium of Chinese companies. The hull was built in China to an American design, the mast was made by Southern Spars New Zealand, the sails came from North Sails UK, rudders and dagger boards from McConaghy Australia, keel bulb from Irons Brothers UK and the keel fin was built in the USA. The sails are light and easy to handle but also strong enough to maintain their shape. They were built for durability to survive in the harsh and variable conditions they would be subject to. For the sake of longevity, Kevlar fibres have been used instead of carbon together with a Mylar film on each side of the sail. The ʻGreen Dragonʼ is crewed by an eclectic mix of nationalities with members from Ireland, China, The UK, Australia and New Zealand. The offshore round-theworld sailing race tells an inspiring story about dedicated individuals and teams who go about a daunting task with passion, energy and endurance as they climb the ʻMount Everest of sailingʼ.

The Volvo Ocean Race is one of the very few truly global sports events– taking place on

four different continents, involving multi-national, multi-cultural teams and support teams. On Sunday 12 July 2009 Dun Laoghaireʼs west pier welcomed the ʻDragonʼ home, having completed a voyage of 37,000 nautical miles around the world over the last nine months. She was only one of four boats in the race to complete all legs and had visited ports including Alicante, Capetown, Kochi, Singapore, Qingdao, Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Galway, Maarstrand, and Stockholm, finishing in St Petersburg at the end of June. One of the partner sponsors, Discover Ireland, said the boat had raised the profile of Ireland as a tourist and maritime destination, not least in China, a new and potentially huge source of tourism. The stopover in Galway was acknowledged by all involved as one of the highlights of the 200809 Race. Congratulations to everyone involved with the ʻGreen Dragonʼ Team and best of luck in the future. Pictures: The wet and dry ʻGreen Dragonʼ.




By Harry Cavendish


he National Print Museum, housed in the old Garrison Chapel at Beggarʼs Bush Barracks, began life back in 1996. The Museum aims to ʻpreserve the history of printing in Irelandʼ. It houses a collection of working print technology operated by volunteers, many of whom are ex-print workers. The Museumʼs mission is to ʻcollect, document, preserve, exhibit, interpret and display the material evidence of printing craft and foster associated skills of the craft in Irelandʼ. The Museum has a strong educational element to its activities and facilitates programmes for school and other childrenʼs groups but also caters to a wider audience. You can get a guided tour of the history of print at the museum, starting in the 1440s, when Johann Gutenberg revolutionised the process of making printed documents and books when he developed a printing process using individual pieces of raised metal type. These pieces could be assembled and used to print off a page. It was Gutenbergʼs move-

able type that made the change so great. In the earlier woodblock process, each page had to be individually carved, whereas in Gutenbergʼs process, the individual pieces could be assembled and disassembled, so once a page had been printed off, the type could then be re-used for the next page. This was the main method of printing until the late 1800s. In 1884 a hot metal type-setting machine, the Linotype machine, was invented. The machine revolutionized printing and especially newspaper publishing, making it possible for a relatively small number of operators to set type for many pages on a daily basis. The Linotype ʻLine of Typeʼ machine allowed printers to produce whole lines of text rather than setting text one character at a time. Linotype came to Ireland in 1893 and was mostly used for the production of newspapers. This technology was further complimented by the Intertype which held more matrices so that different fonts and styles could be accommodated on the same page. In the 1930s Eamonn De Valera brought these machines in from America for the Irish Press newspaper. These ma-

chines are now housed in the Museum The Linotype and the Intertype were more suited to producing newspapers, but in 1895 Tolbert Lanston developed the Monotype, which was ideal for the production of books. Instead of producing a metal slug of composed type the Monotype produced individual pieces of type so if the operator made a mistake he could simply go to a wooden case called an ʻeconomy caseʼ where pieces of type were stored, select what he needed and fix the mistake with the appropriate pieces of type. The economy case contained two partitions where type was stored, capital letters above and small letters below, hence upper and lower case. The type was brought to a smooth surface called a stone on a ʻgalleyʼ where the type was secured with page cord. It was then placed within a ʻchaseʼ which was a frame about the size of a newspaper page and the type was held in place inside the chase with bits of metal known as ʻgutters and furnitureʼ. The completed piece, called a forme, was lifted off the stone and taken to the printing press. The museum has a collection of antique printing press-

es such as the simple but clever Colombian press invented in 1812 and the Wharfedale Stop Cylinder press invented in 1858. A Wharfedale Press was used to print the 1916 Proclamation at the old Liberty Hall. The printers in Liberty Hall were short of type which resulted in the Proclamation being printed in two parts and with awkward typesetting such as a C carved from an O. There is a Shaw Pen Ruling machine which looks like a loom and could line paper for copy books and ledgers. The

whole range of what was used in printing up until the advent of computerisation is there. There are a number of workshops taking place over the summer and autumn months in calligraphy, Japanese woodblock printmaking, book making, paper making and origami. The Museum is open Monday to Friday 9am–5pm and Saturday and Sunday 2pm–5pm except for bank holiday weekends. Telephone 01 6603770 or Email: info@nationalprintmuseum. ie or on the web at

A History of Speedway: The Dublin Experience By George P. Kearns SPEEDWAY as a sport in Ireland has been very much a minority pursuit in recent years. But George P. Kearns remains an avid fan. In this meticulously researched history of the sport, George recalls the days when thousands of fans would go to watch Speedway races at the Greyhound Stadiums in Shelbourne Park, Santry and Chapelizod. The book chronicles the evolution of Speedway in Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s, where it is widely assumed the sport began. Intriguingly, George has found information of a race that took place in Dublin way back in 1902, could Speedway have been invented here? George goes on to describe the Speedway scene in Dublin in great detail, I doubt any important developments have been overlooked. The book is richly illustrated and is surely a must for any fans of the sport out there. Copies available €20 in selected bookshops or directly from the author at



Grainne McGuinness talks to writer Fiona OʼBrien


tʼs amazing how many famous people live in our area. Walk through Irishtown, Ringsend, Bath Avenue and Sandymount and you are sure to see a famous face such as Hollywood star Colin Farrell, ʻFair Cityʼ actors, poets, writers, musicians, artists and TV presenters, carrying on a long tradition, going back to the silver screen days of Milo OʼShea and Noel Purcell to name but a few. The renowned author, Fiona OʼBrien, is another such, she lives in Sandymount and I recently went to meet her and ask her a few questions about her career so far. How long have you been


HAS GOT IT ‘ WRITE ’ living in Sandymount and how do you like it? I have been living here for about two years and I love it. Even when I didnʼt live here, I always wanted to. What did you do before you became a writer? I used to work in advertising. I was a copywriter so that was a natural progression for me. I started working in advertising years ago in the production department and discovered that the copywriters seemed to be the ones having the most fun, so that was what I decided I wanted to be. I couldnʼt manage that here so I went to London and wrote a funny letter to ten big agencies and received some funny replies. The first agency I went to hired me so that was the start of my creative career. When did you write your first book? I wrote my first book, ʻCharityʼ in 2002. It was about Dublin 4 ʻladies who lunchʼ back in the boom times. My second book, ʻSoldʼ, was about the madness of the property boom in Dublin and the sale of the most expensive houses ever. My third, ʻNone of my Affairʼ, was about a classic love triangle. My latest book, called


ʻReservationsʼ is set in a restaurant and is about the lives of people who frequent the place and also about the restaurant chasing its first Michelin star. Where do you get your inspiration from? All around me. I could be doing anything. Sometimes an idea just pops into my head, or something I read or something I see on a chat show like ʻOprahʼ might throw up an idea and Iʼll think there could be a book in that. You just never know if there is a book in it at the time. You just hope that you string out a sentence into one hundred and fifty thousand words. How long does it take to

gus Deayton in London. At the time, he was really huge in voice-overs. That was before he did ʻHave I Got News For Youʼ. Do you like to travel? Yes, I find I donʼt have the energy I used to have for long haul flights these days. I just like short city breaks. Itʼs nice to be able to flake out for about ten days or so. What is your favourite country? I love the States, not necessarily for a holiday, but I love the sort of positive mental attitude that they have. I suppose my favourite place would be France, and in particular, Paris. I also love Rome in Italy. Fiona is in the process of writing her fifth book and we wish her every success in the future.


By George Humphries


llotments or ʻplotsʼ as they were sometimes called were once much more widely used by local people to grow their own vegetables. I remember allotments on Park Avenue at the number three bus terminus, and I remember in my own childhood days going up there and getting cabbage plants from a Mr Murray. Later, my brother and I had a small plot up beside the Dart line at Ailesbury Gardens just off Sydney Parade Avenue where we grew cabbages, Brussels sprouts and lettuce more as a hobby than out of necessity. We spent a lot of time tending to this little patch, which we really enjoyed. The plots on Park Avenue were much bigger than ours and the men, who were mostly retired, grew almost everything: lots of

write a book? How long is a piece of string? As long as the deadline will allow. It usually takes me the best part of a year. Do you write from your own experiences? Not directly, but I suppose everything Iʼve been through would form me and form my characters. Yes, a lot of myself would come through in that aspect. So yes, I do write about myself and some of my experiences. What do you do to relax? I walk a lot on Sandymount beach. I love a good night out or rather a night in with friends with a few glasses of wine. I love a bath with scented candles. That is probably my favourite. Who is your favourite author? It changes all the time. I love Marian Keyes, Cathy Kelly, Patricia Scanlon and Jilly Cooper, all of whom I think are great. I like quite fast-paced stuff. I also love classical writing. Really, what I love is a good story well told. Do you know any famous people? I met quite a few over the years. The first ad I did in London was with Gerry Hall and she was really nice. I met Michael Parkinson when I was doing an ad in Australia and he was also a really nice man. I worked quite a lot with An-

potatoes, cabbage, onions, scallions, rhubarb, etc. I well remember the local greengrocer in Sandymount going up to Mr Murray and getting the best of what he had grown for the shop. You couldnʼt get the produce any

fresher. People would often go up and buy their vegetables there too. There was another set of allotments at Ringsend Park down the Pigeon House Road at the end of the ʻdrainʼ at what was then kown

as Gleesonʼs Field. George Reynolds House is on that spot now. While speaking to a Mr Philip Roche out at the Forty Foot recently, he fondly recalled that his Dad had a plot in Gleesonʼs Field where they grew the vegetables for their dinner table. As a young lad he helped his Dad to look after the plot. Phil was born and reared in Pembroke Street here in Irishtown and now lives in Dun Laoghaire. There were also some allotments on the Goatstown Road. I often got rhubarb there and even enquired about renting a plot from the council. They took my details but the next time I was up that way houses were being built on the ground. In my own family, my late Dadʼs family lived in Seafort gardens on Sandymount Road. The family had moved out from the Liberties and my Grandad was very proud of his garden, he

would spend hours in it. It was during the war years, so food was rationed for everyone. That garden certainly fed many a hungry mouth when times were hard. It was great for us going up to our Granneyʼs on a Sunday morning getting lots of gooseberries and a nice head of cabbage to bring home for the dinner. While going to Enniskerry recently I saw a sign saying that allotments were available to rent. I suppose in the current economic climate some people may well turn once again to growing their own veggies.






By Christopher Sweeney

Wheels started trading just two weeks ago off Sandymount Green. Brian McDermott and Kevin Hiller (pictured) decided to open the business after completing a 21,164 kilometre cycle trip along the entire length of the Pan American Highway, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. The cycle trip was for charity and the lads, along with four friends, have raised €150,000 so far in aid of street children in Kenya. The charity chosen was Aidlink, a Dublin-based charity Third World Development Organisation providing over €2,000,000 per annum to long-term community development projects in Africa. Before going on their marathon journey, neither Kevin nor Brian had any experience of cycling or knowledge of bicycles. However, cycling an average of 130 kilometres per day, 6 days a week, is a good way of learning the practicalities of bike upkeep and repair. They have come though their gruelling apprenticeship with a thorough knowledge of bikes and biking. 2 Wheels is in the alleyway behind Mira Mira on Sandymount Green or you can browse their stock online at

TIRED OF GETTING BOGUS CHARITY STICKERS THROUGH YOUR LETTER BOX EVERY DAY? Why not donate your unwanted clothes, bric-a-brac, books, CDs etc to a worthwhile charity working with older people throughout Ireland AGE ACTION is the national charity on ageing and older people. We promote positive ageing and advocate for the rights of all older people. Our vision is to make Ireland the best place in the world in which to grow older. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO ARRANGE A COLLECTION:

Tel: 01 4756989 • Email: Thank you for your support Charity Number: CHY 10583. Registered in Ireland No: 198571


August september 2009newsfour  
August september 2009newsfour