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December 2011 / January 2012





Hilarious Christmas disasters: Page 14

Congratulations to Mr. Tilly of Bath Avenue, who creates a wonderland every Christmas. He raises money for a special charity each year, so be sure to contribute to the collection barrels!

Plurabelle Paddlers in Malaysia: Page28

Jedward and the Beanstalk: Page 30

Look what we found! Page 37


By Caomhan Keane or some, ‘tis the season to be jolly but for others Christmas is just a further compounding of the hardship heaped upon them by these desperate financial times. So when it comes to lending a hand, in the words of Tesco, ‘Every Little Helps’. One woman doing more than her share is Health and Fitness Consultant Helen Walsh, pictured right, a celebrity trainer, who runs a Christmas Hamper Appeal at the YMCA on Claremont Road in Sandymount. “I was sick about 12 years ago and was watching the ‘Oprah Winfrey Show’ and it was about all these people who had collected stuff for the poor. It had made such a huge difference and I thought I wanted to make a bigger difference,” said Walsh. She started by collecting stuff for older people. “Woolly gloves, luxury tissues, stuff they

had stopped spending money on themselves.” That first year she made 10 to 15 hampers. Then people started knocking on her door. “They started saying, ‘well this family don’t have any food. Or they don’t have this, they don’t have that’. So people started giving me stuff to give to other people.” Last year, she ended up with 149 hampers, each one containing a decent week’s shopping and a Christmas Ham and Turkey. “We give them enough to tide them over for a week to ten days and the money they can save on their shopping is enough to be able to get a toy for a kid, or pay a bill and take the pressure off.” When Walsh started taking part in the actual deliveries two years ago she saw levels of poverty that she didn’t think existed. “I knocked on one door and there was this young woman, her husband who was paralyzed in a car

accident and their two young kids. When we opened the door and handed her the hamper she started to cry. It was three days before Christmas and she opened her fridge and had a Satsuma and a pint of milk in the fridge. I was left with marks on my shoulder and my neck; she was gripping me so hard. “It turns out she had no toys for the kids. And that’s what she was

really panicked over. This was a woman sitting in panic thinking ‘where is it going to come from?’ She couldn’t get out. She was nursing her husband 24/7.” They say pride comes before the fall. In Ireland it can last long after. “We need to keep an eye out for one another,” says Walsh. “If you think a family is in trouble don’t be afraid to knock on the door with a cake, or with something small. Say ‘I cooked a couple of extra mince pies and I made you some.’ We need to stick our necks out more for our neighbours. When someone is in trouble the biggest thing that can be done for them is to show that you notice and that you care.” If you know of anyone who could avail of a hamper this Christmas (or indeed if you could avail of one yourself) or to find out where you can drop off donations for the hamper drive, email Helen,


NewsFour Editor Karen Keegan Staff Gemma Byrne Eimear Murphy Jason McDonnell Sandy Hazel Joe McKenna Caomhan Keane Rupert Heather Contributors Therese O’Toole Dave Fleming James O’Doherty Noel Twamley Lorraine Barry Ann Ingle Shay Connolly Nicky Flood Eddie Bohan Anthony Brabazon Concetto La Malfa Esti L. Tuazon Jimmy Purdy Kirstin Smith Des McInerney Geoffey Corcoran Saoirse O’Hanlon Proof Reading: Glenda Cimino



�e Editor’s Corner

still can’t quite believe Christmas is nearly upon us and this bumper edition of NewsFour is packed full of Yuletide cheer to see you into the season. We have some great competitions to get you in the festive mood; our crossword on page 35 is sponsored by the Sandymount Hotel and the lucky winner and a friend will be treated to a sumptuous three-course meal with a bottle of wine. Our friends in Sportsco are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a one-year, all-inclusive membership to their gym, leisure suite, pool and fitness classes on page 17. And on page 12 you could be in with a chance of winning a luxurious ‘Payot Clear Skin Facial’ courtesy of Penrose Beauty Salon, so get entering and good luck! 2011 was one quick and busy year for all at NewsFour. We moved office twice, said a fond farewell to Grainne, Louise and Nessa and welcomed Caomhan, Joe, Rupert, Eimear and Karen to the existing NewsFour team of Gemma, Eugene, Sandy, Jason, John and Glenda. We gradually introduced some layout and design changes to the paper and I’m delighted that we’re featuring our brand new masthead in this issue. On that note, I’d like to personally thank the entire NewsFour team for their continuing hard work, commitment and dedication to the paper. What a year, onwards and upwards! Happy Christmas and New Year to our loyal readers, both at home and abroad, to our invaluable contributors and to our advertisers old and new for their ongoing support. Don’t forget to like us on facebook and keep sending us your photos of ‘NewsFour around the world’. Karen

HAPPY CHRISTMAS to all our family in Chicago from the Kinsella family in Irishtown, especially Megan, Keely, Rylie, Jack and Delaney. Happy New Year.

Web Designer Andrew Thorn Photography John Cheevers Design Eugene Carolan Ad Design Karen Madsen Community Services, Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre, Thorncastle Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4.


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I am attaching a photo of NewsFour here in Melbourne. My friend Rodney Devitt sends it to me. I’m a past contributor to NewsFour– my dad was the late Actor and Freeman of Dublin, Noel Purcell. The Boroondarra Sports complex is a public sports area with swimming pools, basketball and netball courts and many keep-fit programs for young and old. A Great Idea! Cheers, Patrick Purcell.

The Letterbox Dear Editor, The June/July issue of your newspaper was sent to me from a friend who recognised my name on page 12 (Drill Display in Haddington Rd) circa 1950! I actually can’t identify anyone else in the picture even with a magnifying glass. I would like Marie MacSweeney from Drogheda (the sender) to know that the paper came to me through a schoolmate from Haddington Rd and I am delighted to get it. It took a while but I did remember Marie. I am now living in Dalkey, Co. Dublin. Perhaps you will print this letter and thanks again to Marie. I am not in touch with anyone from my class and wonder if anyone else did get in touch after seeing this photo? Sincerely Monica Farren (nee Nicholson) Dear Sir/Madam, During some recent research, I came across the poem ‘Trawler Times’ by Larry Pullen, which you published in the Christmas 1996 edition of your newspaper. I was so taken with the poem, I mentioned it to one of our friends, who is Pastor of the Royal National Mission for Deep Sea Fisherman here in Brixham in South Devon, England. We wondered if you or Mr. Pullen would give us permission to display a copy of your poem at the Mission. I expect you know of Brixham, currently the subject of a 10-week TV series on Sky Atlantic called ‘Fish Town’. Am I right in assuming that your area is also engaged in the Fishing Industry? I look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely, Margaret Atwill (Mrs.) If anyone knows Larry Pullen perhaps you could ask him to contact the NewsFour office on 6673317.

Dear Editor, I always enjoy reading News Four which is great for local history and old photographs. Your readers might be able to help me. I am preparing my family tree and I am looking for information on my great grandfather Richard Patterson, who lived at 9 Leahy’s Terrace, in Sandymount. He was Assistant Superintendent of the Post Office Sorting Office on the Mail Boat circa 1900 to 1918 and was one of the 21 Post Office workers drowned when the Leinster was torpedoed in 1918. He was 54 when he died. As a young man he was active in the Dolphin Rowing Club, which was situated where Whelan House is now on Thorncastle Street in Ringsend, and served as Treasurer and President. He would have been active in rowing in the late 1890s to early 1900s. I was wondering if any of your readers had archives, information or old photographs of Dolphin Rowing Club from that period. Unfortunately I have no photographs of or details on whether his body was recovered from sea or not. Any help your readers can give me would be deeply appreciated. Please contact me at or on my mobile 086 8573270. With thanks, Peter Geoffroy 8 Cathedral Street Dublin 1 Dear Editor, I was delighted to see the photograph of Dodderville F.C. sent in by Mr Joe Lindsay in the latest edition of NewsFour. My father Gerald Duff of St. Brendan’s Cottages Irishtown, who sadly passed away last year, featured in the photo. We have lovely memories of the stories he told us over the years and among them his football days with Dodderville F.C. Many thanks to Mr. Lindsay for taking the time to send in the photograph and making my day. Also, thank you most sincerely for the copies of the paper which I have distributed amongst my seven brothers and sisters, one of whom lives in Brisbane, Australia. We are all so happy to have this lovely unexpected photograph. We came across an old photograph of the Ringsend Confirmation Class of 1937/1938 (featured on page 18) in which my father features again. All the names are included and perhaps your readers will find it interesting. Yours sincerely Joan O’Reilly (nee Duff) Firhouse, Dublin Another story about the Dodderville Cup is on page 37.





By Esti L. Tuazon housands of years ago this country witnessed the first Christmas when the Messiah was born in a manger in Bethlehem. In today’s time, Christmas is just an ordinary day as most of the population of Israel are Jewish and Muslim. But the day is still very much celebrated by the remaining Arab Christians in the country, as well as the tourists who come and celebrate the origin of the birth of Jesus Christ. Despite the decrease in the

number of Arab Christians, they still make the season as joyful as possible. Arab Christians from Galilee, Nazareth, Haifa, Jerusalem’s old city and of course Bethlehem hang decorations in their shops and houses. There are also giant Santa Clauses and Christmas trees on display. Christmas songs can be heard in the air; even Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda Street is full of Christians Christmas carolling. Tourists and some local Jewish people listen to them and help the spirit of Christmas come alive.

Since Israel opened its doors for migrant workers, many nationalities flocked to the country. Many of them are Christian and during this season each has their own unique way of celebrating Christmas, thus making the season more festive and colourful. One of the well-known migrant communities (as in Dublin) would be the Filipino Catholic community. They are known for their Misa de Gallo which starts from December 16th. It is a Christmas Novena in preparation for Christmas day. It is a tradition in the Philippines

but is carried out by the Filipino Catholic Christians around the globe. It is usually done in the early morning, but due to the working schedules of the Filipinos, the Misa de Gallo is often celebrated during the evenings. On the big day, December 25th, most of the Christians (natives and tourists) troop down south to Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas day and see for themselves the manger where the Messiah was born. In today’s time, the manger is not there but a big star marks the exact place of birth. They celebrate a Mass as well, though a midnight Mass is held on the 24th and broadcast all over the world. The three famous destinations in the area during this time are the Nativity Church, which is the birthplace of Jesus and also where St. Jerome translated the Bible; the Shepherd’s Field. the place where an Angel of the Lord visited the shepherds and informed them of the birth of Jesus and the Milk Grotto, where the Holy family hid during Herod’s slaughter of the innocents and where Mary nursed baby Jesus. A drop of her milk fell to the floor of the cave, turning the

rock white and giving rise to the chalky stone. Personally, Christmas away from home for me as a Filipino in Israel is sometimes sad but celebrating it in the place of our Lord is so special. You get a feeling and experience beyond words. And to be smiled at and greeted by nonChristians with a Merry Christmas is really something I can’t explain. If you are interested in visiting the Holy Land for Christmas, return flights are around €900 after tax and accommodation is very reasonable. Pictured left: Church of Beatitudes. The place where Jesus delivered His Sermon on the Mount (Galilee). Below: The remains of a 4th century white Synagogue built upon a Church of Jesus at Capernaum, Galilee.


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By Rupert Heather nterSevens is a local weekly seven-a-side soccer league run on the large ‘all-weather’ pitch at Irishtown Stadium that is leading the way in channelling funds into local and global causes. It’s a football league with a difference, providing a positive social experience and a great way to keep fit, but here the proceeds are given back to the community and other good causes. The aim is to raise funds for charity, clubs and churches, while offering a professionally-run event that is value for money. League Champions win a charity pool for a cause of their choice and go through to a Champions League, where they can win prizes for themselves and their teams. Organiser Emmet Switzer says, “Our sporting USP (Unique Sell-


THE BAR ing Point) is that we do not use referees. Games are managed through the team captains and a monitor who manages all four pitches at the same time. This social experiment has been a huge success with fewer incidents than at games with referees. In fact, the FAI’s ‘Don’t Cross the Line’ campaign, along with Giovanni Trapattoni and Packie Bonner, visited us and commended us on our success,” he adds. Savings made by not having to pay refs are directed to charities like SVP, The Cancer Society and Doctors Without Frontiers. The prize pool is around €35,000 each year. Slattery’s Pub on Upper Grand Canal Street is the main sponsor, providing significant funds to cover many of the operating costs. The Chop House, Presto and Google also contribute, with others such as Juniors participat-

ing in the past. The recently-started over 35s 11-a-side team replaces a nowdefunct senior team and has merged with another local club, Harding FC. InterSevens raises significant sums of money, in excess of €230,000 in the past two years, with a staggering €82,000 going to Haiti through Concern Worldwide. This year Harding FC, SVP


Home safety at Christmas


By Jason Mc Donnell ell it is Christmas time again, and everybody lets their hair down and has a lot of fun, but it is always good to have safety in mind. The first thing you should do if you have small children is to make sure all the decorations are safe and have passed health and safety standards. Avoid ones that look like sweets or food as they may tempt a child to eat them. After the excitement on Christmas morning remove all wrapping papers, bags, paper, ribbons and bows from the tree and fireplace areas as they pose a threat of suffocation and choking to small children. Make sure candles are placed away from decorations, curtains, and other combustible materials. Extinguish candles and turn off decorative lights before leaving home or going to sleep. When dealing with food make sure to keep raw foods away from cooked meats and raw vegetables and fruits. Foods that require refrigeration should never be left at room temperature for more than two hours. Unfortunately, Christmas is a time when robberies are on the rise. It is a time when burglars know that your home has a lot of cash and new gifts in it. The first thing they look for is an easy way into your home and an easy escape route. So make sure all doors and windows are secured with good locks. Never leave Christmas gifts on display or easily visible from the street, as this might tempt a smash and grab by opportunist thieves. If you are away on holidays, ask a trusted neighbour to take any mail from your letter box or porch. A light timer can also be useful to make it look like you are home. Set it to come on at different times. The biggest mistake of all is to hide the spare door key under rocks or in flowerpots, or above door ledges. And one last tip: don’t pile up your empty gift boxes from your new computer, DVD player, or stereo on the street for the bin man as this would be an advertisement for burglars who will still be looking for expensive gifts to steal in the new year. Cut up boxes and turn the cardboard inside out to conceal the items they contained. Enjoy the festive season, but remember these little tips to help make it a pleasant experience. Above: Keep candles away from decorations!

and the FAI’s kids clubs among others shared €10,000. One-off tournaments raised €50,000 for the ISPCC. Four divisions, with eight teams in each, run on Mondays and Wednesdays all year around. Each season is 15 weeks long which allows for three seasons in a year. By default InterSevens has ‘ended up’ as a men’s league.


By Eddie Bohan donkey and a half years ago I ran the Nova/ Puma 10K in Dublin and ever since I have had the ultimate admiration for anyone who takes on long distance running. Over ten thousand took to the streets of Dublin on Bank Holiday Monday and for the first time since the tranquilising of the Celtic Tiger I was able to go out and spectate with this fascination, increased by Mr. D’Arcy’s chat on Today FM. I was devastated as I had to walk the one hundred and fifty yards from my house to the junction of Bath Avenue due to road closures. Truly exhausted (perhaps I am not fit), I got there about 11am and took my place on the footpath with my newfound community of supporters. The banter was good.

Plans to encourage a women’s league are being formulated. Unaffiliated players and teams can register on-line or can simply turn up. Switzer says, “Our community integration has involved us in partnering with Irial and Alex at Slattery’s, who both sponsor the league and provide massive support and encouragement to us. They have been a major supporter of us, developing this and using our funds locally to develop the area.” InterSevens are set to expand throughout Dublin over the coming months and the organisers are researching launching the leagues in a region of Madrid. With the help of local businesses, InterSevens have successfully tapped into the sense of community that is alive and well in Dublin 4. Get involved. More information is available at Pictured: Organiser Emmet Switzer with Packie Bonner.


So what did I learn? There was no age barrier, young and old, side by side. There was tall and small but a definite lack of beer bellies anywhere to be seen (as I look at my own and wonder what could be). There was also a noticeable lack of facial hair on those massed on the grey streets of the capital and I only spotted two pairs of spectacles, so running must be either good for the eyesight or laser surgery is extremely popular. The look of pain and anguish on many of the faces was as plentiful as the smiles, grit and determination taking comfort and encouragement from the support. If as a nation we display as much grit and determination, we will find the light at the end of our dark economic tunnel. It was remarkable that, long after the winner Geoffrey NDungu

had received his prize and adulation, entrants were passing me at the 40K point running faster than the winner. I can only begin to imagine the many thousands of miles put in to training for the Monday grueller. What makes a person punch drunk with exhaustion want to continue and inflict more pain on their overworked muscles and limbs? What was my over-riding impression of those pounding the tarmac? The amount of spit and mucus expurgated in front of me was truly shocking. The smell of sweat filled the air, mingled unceremoniously with Wintergreen and Deep Heat. What impressed me most was the quality of the watches being worn on the wrists of the multitude. Random question! Why in a time of employment deprivation did RTE have to import British BMW motorbikes and staff for live TV coverage? The camaraderie between runners to never leave a man behind stood out loud and proud, to lift the spirits and the legs of the struggling runner. After two hours fifty-two minutes at exactly 1.52pm, my marathon ended as Today FM’s Ray ‘The Million Dollar Man’ D’Arcy trundled by looking good and feeling fine on his way to a four hour time.




Bin collections: Another vital public service to be privatised

By Glenda Cimino here is such a build-up to Christmas that it is almost inevitable that many people’s holidays fail to match the hype. Christmas holed up in close quarters with relatives you’d rather avoid and the same old Christmas films on the TV, giving someone gifts they don’t need, smiling gratefully for presents you don’t want isn’t everyone’s idea of fun. Or perhaps circumstances mean you are alone on that most familyoriented of all holidays? Almost everywhere is closed in Dublin on Christmas Day and there is no public transport except for a few sporadic taxis. You can get out and about, but dress warmly and bring your own thermos with a hot drink and snacks. Tell your friends and family that this year, instead of giving them gifts, you are giving money in their names to Oxfam to buy a goat or chicken for an African family in need. Or donate to the World Land Trust to save an acre of rainforest. You will look philanthropic and as a side benefit,

you can avoid shopping. If you like running, you can participate in the Christmas Day Goal Flagship Mile at UCD. You don’t have to get sponsorship, just turn up between 10am and 1pm, make a donation, then walk, run or crawl the mile around the Belfield campus. Or organise your own race with friends. Contact for more information, or for a list of gifts you can donate in your own or friends’ names. Get out and exercise. Go for a cycle, take a walk on Killiney

Beach, stroll along the Dodder, or hike in Djouce Woods. Go for the Christmas Day swim, with or without a wetsuit. Or just relax at home. Spend the day with your pet. Listen to music, read a book beside the fire. Take a nice long bubble bath. Invite a friend over for popcorn and drinks and watch your favourite DVDs (not Christmas themed). Take some time to plan next year’s Christmas– maybe in a country where they don’t celebrate it.

By Glenda Cimino efuse collection and waste management was established in Dublin in the late 1800’s to stop the spread of diseases like cholera. Since then it has been a publicly-run service. But now Dublin City Council are withdrawing this service from midJanuary. Under Section 4 of the Waste Management Act 2001, the city manager can overrule elected councillors on matters to do with waste. He has decided to invoke these powers, against the majority of the elected councillors, and hand over the bin services to private contractors with higher charges. On three occasions, Dublin City councillors have voted to reject the manager’s decision and keep the bin service, and three times they have been told by management that he is going ahead regardless. Once the system is privatised, the cost of rubbish collection will increase, and the waiver system for the poorest section of the population will be removed. When the poor cannot afford to pay for waste collection, illegal dumping will increase, causing a new health hazard. “It is a question of democracy,” Councillor Brid Smith of Ballyfermot/ Drimnagh said. “We run for office and work hard to get elected, only to have our decisions overturned by an appointed government official on a big salary.” At the end of September, letters were issued to the 150 bin collection workers informing them of the privatisation of the bin service. One worker, Ciaran Doyle, said “it is disgraceful to be treated so badly after 34 years of service.” The men haven’t been told what their new terms and conditions will be. They protested outside Dublin City Council in November and are awaiting the outcome of a Labour Court hearing on the matter of redeployment or redundancies. “Many of these workers have given a lifetime of labour in collecting our rubbish and are now treated in this demeaning way,” Annette Mooney of the United Left Alliance said. The Irish Waste Management Association said DCC’s decision would also have inevitable consequences for the development of the Poolbeg incinerator. Above: Annette Mooney and Paul Shields at the public meeting in Ringsend Community Centre.

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By Glenda Cimino any festivals at this time of year relate to the theme of light returning to the world after a time of darkness, since the shortest day of the year is the Winter Solstice, December 21st–22nd, after which our days start to lengthen again. This article will only deal with the Northern hemisphere, as the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemi-

sphere. For instance Inti Raymi, the festival of the Sun, a winter solstice festival in Peru, occurs in June (on our summer solstice). Even in the Christian world we celebrate different dates. For most Christians in the West, December 25th represents the birth of Christ. But the Armenian Apostolic Christmas is January 6th, and the Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on January 7th.

In America, Thanksgiving is squeezed in between Halloween and Christmas on the fourth Thursday in November, a family feast recalling the survival of the first colonies with the help of native Americans. Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah, an eight-day festival commemorating the miracle of the oil after the desecration of the Temple by Antiochus IV Epiphanes and his defeat in 165 BC. People of African origin celebrate Kwanzaa, December 26th to January 1st. The Buddhists celebrate Bodhi Day on December 8th, the day that the historical Buddha experienced Bodhi (enlightenment). The Celtic festival is based around the winter solstice, December 21st–22nd. Winter officially starts after Samhain, on November 1st and lasts until Imbolc, February 1st, the first day of spring. In Taiwan, December 25th is a secular national holiday. The Chinese New Year, celebrating the end of winter, occurs in late January or early February. In pagan and neo-Pagan traditions, the New Year (October 31st) precedes the winter solstice or Yule celebration of the rebirth of the sun. The Saxon winter solstice festival was Modranect, or Mothers’ Night,

while the Germanic winter solstice festival was Yule, from which we get Yule logs. The Roman winter solstice festival was called Saturnalia. December 25th was the Day of the Birth of the Unconquered Sun. Roman winter ended on Lupercalia, February 15th. The Hindus have several festivals this time of year. One of the most famous is Diwali, a five day Festival of Lights celebrating the victory of good over evil with ceremonies, fireworks and sweets. On December 21st - 25th, the Hindus celebrate Pancha Ganapati, a five day festival in honour of Lord Ganesha, Patron

of Arts and Guardian of Culture. The Muslims look forward to Eid, a four day holiday marking the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael. The Persian (ancient Iran) tradition celebrates Sadeh, a mid-winter feast to honour fire and defeat the forces of darkness, frost and cold. Sadeh in Persian means hundred and refers to 101 days and nights left before the New Year celebrated on their first day of spring, March 21st. Whatever you celebrate this time of year, have a good one! Pictured left: Diwali festival.

Recycling Centre still taking domestic waste By Sandy Hazel Following concerns voiced by locals about Ringsend Recycling Centre taking domestic waste, NewsFour asked DCC about the planning implications of this use. “The Ringsend facility has a long-established use as a recycling centre and the acceptance of domestic refuse was examined in detail and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is in line with many other recycling centres throughout the country which accept household waste: it provides an outlet for members of the public who may not have space for a wheelie bin and who wish to dispose of domestic waste together with their recyclable material. There are no plans to no longer accept household waste at the Ringsend facility,” a Dublin City Council spokesperson told NewsFour. Above: Ringsend Recycling Centre.




By Sandy Hazel rom geography teacher to Government adviser, Jacinta Stewart has moved from contours and elevations to the education of generations. Experienced in adult education and holding a master’s degree in management, Stewart is CEO of the City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee (CDVEC), the first woman to hold this post. She talked to NewsFour about the organisation and how it is positioned to help Dublin grow. Offering education to all, the CDVEC has 22 schools and colleges serving second level, further education and adult students throughout Dublin and operates out of more than 100 centres across the city. Stewart oversees a student population of 30,000 annually and manages a staff of 3,800 from her wood-panelled gothic headquarters, the landmark

Town Hall in Ballsbridge. She is a member of the Grange Gorman Development Agency and a member of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, which advises the Government on issues impacting enterprise and employment growth. So what are emerging needs in education at the moment?

ʻIt is not just one big solution; it is lots of small solutions.ʼ “Information technology, cloud computing, renewable energy,” says Stewart. “We are everywhere in the city and offer huge expertise in our courses. We offer a fast track into a technology programme that helps adult returnees, are closely aligned to the labour market and we keep up with international trends, too.

We offer courses like medical laboratory science, preliminary engineering, pre-university courses, sports and leisure and alternative opportunities that students might not have thought of initially.” With “a broad education” as its main ethos, Stewart points to a horticulture programme running at Pearse College as a practical example: “We have allot-

ments attached, so we offer hands-on experience while giving back to the community.” She also feels that no course should operate for longer than three to five years “without being totally reviewed, because things change. A good example of change in education provision is social care; we needed childcare workers, then we needed special needs assistant and looking to the future it will be more care of the elderly. It is not just one big solution; it is lots of small solutions.” Solutions are provided by the CDVEC with the help of “freedoms around curriculum development” along with better qualifications and quality assurance certifications. CDVEC is also taking on the training functions of FÁS which offers fresh challenges. Stewart agrees there is a case

to be made for offering more degree courses. Some colleges “have specific expertises.” This, however, would require “a policy shift and finance from the Higher Education Authority,” says Stewart. Is there a perception that the CDVEC does not bang its own drum loud enough? As a brand, Stewart admits that CDVEC has some work to do. “It is a contradiction of the local philosophy. People in Dublin don’t always think city, they still think local. Much of our course delivery is promoted locally, by word of mouth and by reputation. “Rathmines, Ringsend and Ballsbridge colleges have built up expertise in certain areas and they would be strong in terms of people coming in from outside the area. But we do advertise strongly and produce comprehensive guides.” English classes at CDVEC colleges are a fraction of the cost of some private colleges. Stewart agrees that her organisation offers good value. “People sometimes look to private colleges for their accountancy technician courses but we run excellent programmes in that area too.”





By Noel Twamley ingle Bells, Jingle Bells. Yes folks, it’s Christmas time rushing at us at a much earlier dateline every year. It seems to kick off months ahead of December 25th. In the 1940s and 50s it started about two weeks before December 25th. Money was very tight then and we bought modest and simple gifts. Dinner was served at 4pm after much hard work by our mothers and sisters.

Later that night, the Grace family, our cousins, would call over. Tom would play piano, Robert on guitar, everybody singing. They were simple innocent times but we all had great fun. Today, most people stay in and watch some great movies on TV; ‘The Wizard of Oz’, ‘Sound of Music’, ‘Gone with the Wind’ and my favourite, ‘Casablanca’. This was a film of the highest class set in Never Never Land that grips from the opening montage.

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2–5pm 2–5pm 2–5pm


Wishing everyone in the Community a Very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year

Casablanca was shot in 1942 at the Warner Brothers back lot. They just built three sets for this film. A French street, an Arab quarter and Rick’s café. The few exterior shots were at Van Nuys Airport in west Los Angeles, about 10 miles from Warner’s studios. On release in 1943, ‘Casablanca’ won three Oscars and had made four million dollars. God only knows how many millions it has made since then. This film moved Humphrey Bogart up to the top table. Until 1943, Bogie had made dozens of average and ‘B’ movies. From now on his salary was doubled and he was a five-star romantic lead. He never looked back. He was now a star like Cagney and Flynn. ‘Casablanca’ cost $900,000 to make. Bogie’s fee was $37,000, Paul Henreid $25,000, Ingrid Bergman $25,000, Claude Rains $22,000, ‘Sam’ Dooley Wilson $3,500. These figures may seem small today but these were the days of the studio system and they called the shots in the early 1940s. Please note also that a skilled tradesman in 1942 had a salary of $8.00 per week. Casablanca had some of the best movie lines in the history of cinema. Here are just a few: “We’ll always have Paris”; “Here’s looking at you kid”; “Round up the usual suspects”; “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine”; “Louis, this is going to be the start of a beautiful friendship”; “Play it again Sam.” All of the above are in the top 50 great movie lines. Ingrid Bergman said many times, “I thought Casablanca was going to be the biggest turkey in Warner Brothers’ history. Every morning I came on set my lines were changed and I had to rehearse and learn new lines every morning.” How wrong

Ingrid was. My own favourite actor in this film is Claude Rains. He played the totally corrupt French policeman with great aplomb. He was always smiling and you could not dislike this charming rogue. Let’s leave the last dialogue on Casablanca to the head of studio Jack Warner and Oscar winner Director Michael Curtiz. These two movie moguls mangled the English language as they discussed the sets for Casablanca, first the dreadful Jack Warner: “Hey Curtiz, what the f*** did you do to my set? My ‘experts’ tell me you did not tell the exact truth with my sets.” On hearing this foul-mouthed attack, Michael Curtiz replied: “Mr Warner, the sets may not be the full truth but I have the facts to prove it.” The mind boggles. Warner’s and Hollywood’s highest paid star Errol Flynn had a run-in with Jack Warner when he asked for a pay rise to buy a new car. Warner roared at Flynn “Get the f*** out of my office. My spies tell me you bought a new car

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last week.” Quick as a flash, the cheeky Flynn replied, “Yes, I did, but all the ashtrays are full.” Meanwhile, over at MGM that fine singer Perry Como had just finished his one and only film. It was Sam Goldwyn’s birthday. The cast had bought a cake for Sam and asked Perry to sing for him when he called to the set. When Goldwyn called in, Como sang “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, Mr Goldwyn, Happy Birthday f*** you.” On hearing this, Sam sacked everybody and told Como he was finished in Hollywood. All the studio heads closed ranks and Perry Como never got his foot in the door again. From 1920, these people ruled by fear and terror until the studio system collapsed in the early 50s. I am astounded that these truly awful people controlled billion dollar empires. Finally, I would like to wish all the staff at NewsFour, our advertisers and most of all our loyal readers a very happy Christmas and a super 2012.

999 or 112

For a five day forecast see: 5day-ireland.asp or Aertel pages 160 – 163 Health services: 1800 520 520

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Department of the Environment:1890 20 20 21 Office of Emergency Planning: 1890 252 736

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Name: Santa Claus AKA Saint Nicholas, Kris Kindle, Kris Kingle or Santy. Address: Ice House, 17 Snowy Street, North Pole.

Education: Master’s Degree in Toy design and Manufacture; University of Chilly Tundra, Primary Degree in Child Psychology.

Experience: Junior sleigh assistant and reindeer handler, I worked at bell polishing and sack packing for Santa Senior for 460 years before I was promoted to naughty or nice children research assistant.

Naughty or Nice researcher: I am a skilled researcher of data bases and letters for clues to wonderfulness and generosity. Before the age of eleven, ALL children are wonderful. When a letter writer wants a gift on someone else’s behalf, the writer’s wonderfulness is quadrooopled. I have a full, advanced, sleigh licence with no penalty points. This licence does cover me to convert to automatic controls after some house visits where Jack D may have been left out. I am proficient in analysis of the chore indicator crystal ball. I know if they really do clean their rooms. I am skilled in elf management and will take no lip.

When taking requests from childer at malls, or corporate ding dongs, I have an extraordinarily comfortable knee but it is not a compulsory knee. High Fives or Hugs only on request and never demanded. I always have minty breath and no halitosis.

I will ask Mum if she is really the au pair. I will ask Dad if he’s busy at work ‘these days’– I have much experience in managing expectations of childer; if coal and an orange are anticipated then actual delivery will surely please.

I will allow Mum and Dad to take their own photos, despite store photo provision, provided they are not talking or texting on said camera phone during this significant parenting milestone. My whisper technique is perfect: to the childer they are lucky to have such a great Mams and Dads. Mam and Dad should already know how lucky they are to have such beyoootiful childer. Hobbies: Bad poker playing, skateboarding, Toblerone scoffing, elf tossing, reading anything by David Sedaris By Sandy Hazel



By Glenda Cimino veryone knows that there are English words in the dictionary which are not on the tip of everyone’s tongue anymore. Words like huggermugger (confused or disorderly; secret or clandestine) or skimble-scamble (rambling; confused; nonsensical). But did you know that there is a Compendium of Lost Words, words so rare that they have fallen out of the dictionaries entirely? This compendium is compiled by Canadian Stephen Chrisomalis, and lists over 400 of the rarest modern English words. The Compendium is probably the only web page on which each of these words occurs in its proper English context. If you don’t believe me, just google If you know of any words that have escaped the English dictionaries, he would gratefully receive them. Consult a major dictionary first, of course. A word must meet a stringent list of requirements to


be listed as a true Lost Word. I have read through the compendium, and have picked, in no particular order, a few personal favourites, black sheep I would love to see return to the dictionary fold. Aeipathy (1847-1853) a continued passion; an unyielding disease. Her aeipathy for stamp collecting bordered at times on the pathological. Boreism (1833 -1839) behaviour of a boring person. The professor, while brilliant, was afflicted by boreism when lecturing. Cosmogyral (1808) whirling round the universe. The great cosmogyral peregrinations of galaxies follow simple physical laws. Defedate (1669) to defile; to pollute. The toxic chemicals continue to

defedate our town’s water supply. Epalpebrate (1884) lacking eyebrows. If you don’t stop plucking, soon you’ll be epalpabrate! Fallaciloquence (1656-1761) deceitful speech. The candidate’s fallaciloquence, though charming, will not convince the public to elect him. Graocracy (1830) government by an old woman or women. High voter turnout among elderly women may soon lead us into a graocracy. Homerkin (1662-1663) old liquid measure for beer. “I’m so thirsty I could drink a homerkin of beer,” Simpson lamented. Nameling: (1706) persons bearing the same name. If your name is Mary, when you meet another Mary you could say, “Oh, I see we are namelings.” It could be quite useful. I could start throwing these words about. But it is easier to lose a word than to re-insert it into the language.



MARRIAGE EQUALITY The Sound of the City


By Joe McKenna et’s face it; the majority of mainstream radio is garbage. If you’re not being bombarded with ego-laden opinions from self-righteous journalists, you’re being blasted out of it with music you either don’t like, or are just not cool enough to understand. What’s a weary traveller to do behind the wheel of their car? Trying to change CDs while driving is a dangerous skill to master. Step forward Dublin City FM. Founded in November 1992 as Anna Livia FM and originally broadcasting from Grafton Street before being renamed Anna Livia Dublin City FM in 2001 and then re-branding in 2007 to Dublin City FM, the station is dedicated to offering listeners something outside of the mainstream; a station people can tune into and feel part of. Now based at the Docklands Innovation Park on the East Wall Road, Dublin City FM offers a diverse mixture of shows covering Arts and Entertainment, Multi-Cultural, News and Current Affairs, Special Interest, Sport and Music. It is also the Irish home of Little Steven’s Underground Garage (above), the phenomenally popular rock show hosted by E-Street Band guitarist, Bruce Springsteen collaborator and Sopranos star Steven Van Zandt, who actually hosted his show live from Tower Records on Wicklow Street in July 2009; all with the help of Dublin City FM. CEO Mick Hanley spoke with NewsFour about the station. “We hold the only Special Interest license in Ireland and broadcast programmes to the Dublin City and County areas. While we don’t hold a community licence, our ethos is very much focused on the community of Dublin. We broadcast over 90 programmes a week across a wide spectrum of subjects. Our flagship show is LiveDrive from 7–10am and 4–7pm Monday to Friday. It’s an on-the-spot traffic programme run in conjunction with Dublin City Council’s Traffic Management Centre, where the show is actually broadcast from. We broadcast every genre of music to satisfy the needs of niche music lovers, we get new acts in to play live and we actively encourage people to come to us with ideas for shows and volunteer with us. Our goal has always been to give the people of Dublin a station they can feel part of; very much for the people and by the people.” The people who run Dublin City FM do it out of a love for good music, interesting debate and the desire to be heard. All you have to do is tune into 103.2 FM and listen to the voice that’s speaking to you and for you. The voice of Dublin.


By Caomhan Keane ivil Partnership is not the same as civil marriage– that is the message reiterated by Marriage Equality as they creep towards their fourth birthday. After the light-bulb moment that occurred in 2009 when the viral video ‘Sinead’s Hand’ was viewed by over 300,000 people, they premiered a follow-up in August on their website which outlines a basic difference between civil partnership and civil marriage. Called ‘Rory’s Story’, it explores just how devastating it can be for same-sex families when the children are not seen as the legal next-of-kin. A beautifully-made piece, Rory is your average son. He kicks a ball about, scrapes his knee and brings home a girl. The only difference is that when he brings a girl home it is to meet his two mothers. By the end of film we see Rory deprived of his human rights when his non-biological mother is in hospital and a Doc-



arian College in association with Muckross Park presented the musical ‘Disco Inferno’ from 23rd to 25th November. This show, based on the Faust legend, is packed with hit songs of the 70s, and proved to be a very popular choice. Jack (played by Luke Dunleavy) longs to be a pop star, and can’t believe his luck when his wish is granted by Lady Marmalade (Sorcha Hoare), but only after he signs away his soul! Things go pear-shaped for a while, but like all good musicals, everything works out in the end! Sadly, we bid goodbye to choreographer Sinead Leonard, who did a superb job as always. Sinead will be heading for the USA in January, and we wish her every success in her new life. The other members of the production team were Bernard Lynch and Grainne McCarthy, directors, Peter O’Donoghue, stage manager, Kevin Kelly, stage designer, and Lorraine Lee and Ray Ryan, musical directors. Ray Ryan, musical director from

1975 to the present day. Pictured below are two local lads who performed in the show, from left: Simon Heapes (who played Tom) and Adam Boland (who played Terry).

tor won’t speak about potentially life-saving treatments because he is not legally the next-of-kin. Such viral videos have encouraged people to get involved in a number of fundraising and volunteer efforts, most notably Marriage Equality’s TD Campaign. “When you join the TD campaign,” Moninne Griffith of Marriage Equality says, “our volunteers will update you on what’s happening. They give you support and encouragement about making contact with your local TDs, giving lots of information on why marriage equality is needed, who your local TDs are and how to contact them.” As a direct result of this contact, TDs and Senators have had the argument humanized for them. Griffith has said there has been a huge change in the levels of support Marriage Equality has received from individual TDs. “When the Civil Partnership debates were held they spoke passionately about the gays and lesbians they had met.”

She has high praise for most of Dublin 4’s Dáil representatives. “Ruairi Quinn has been vocally supportive of marriage equality. He has spoken passionately about the centenary of the state and how he would like to see all sexualities treated equally by then. Kevin Humphries was also very articulate during the election campaign about the samesex people he met.” Eoghan Murphy, the young, new Fine Gael TD really impressed. “He came out very strongly in favour of gay marriage, even though it’s not FG policy.” Public opinion and support of the issue has risen in Marriage Equality’s lifetime from 56% in 2008 to 73% in a March Red C Poll, but the road remains bumpy in the months ahead. “Atlantic Philanthropies, who have funded all their work to date, are winding up their funding globally and as part of that wind-down process they made the decision not to fund Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender work in Ireland.” “It’s very scary for the sector,” says Griffith. “We depend very heavily on this funding, and they have been so generous to us. We have done some fundraising on the side but with the recession it has been very difficult. “Gays and lesbians want to get married for all the same reasons,” she concludes. “Sometimes it’s for love and commitment because people have been together a long time. Sometimes it’s because they have property and children together and they want their family to be recognised in law and have all the same rights and protections that other families have.”

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By Sandy Hazel andymount and Merrion Residents’ Association (SAMRA) held its AGM last month with several councillors, TD Eoghan Murphy and Minister Lucinda Creighton in attendance. TD Kevin Humphreys sent his apologies. “He is up to his knees in water and wellies,” said Councillor Dermot Lacey. The meeting took place just after the floods last month. A full agenda included debate on the following topics of concern: Dumping of rubble on the causeway near the strand is seen by DCC as flood defence and necessary work. SAMRA are not happy with this response calling the DCC reply a “terminological inexactitude.” SAMRA has asked DCC to remove the dumped material and sees the work as creating “a highway by stealth.” There were queries from the floor on why exactly heavy goods vehicles need to travel that route and queries too as to the whereabouts of the ‘kissing gate’ which has been replaced by a metal barrier. SAMRA reckons the dumping, considered to be spoil from various building projects and tunnel excavations, breaches the EU habitats and birds’ directives and says it will take the case further. Some resi-

dents asked if the work was so unsightly that it needed to be removed and the committee suggested that “landfill by stealth” happens since land in urban areas is considered a commodity. “A big problem for the residents in the area is the fact that nine different State bodies are ‘in charge’ of Dublin Bay,” said one resident. A call was made for a round table, with all agencies there, and to re-establish the Dublin Bay Task Force. During discussions about the state of the roads in Sandymount, which bear five and six-axle trucks, Minister Creighton suggested to residents they might renegotiate a longer HGV cordon. It was said that a 24-hour cordon would force the traffic to use the Port Tunnel. But the hours of the Port Tunnel were queried. TD Eoghan Murphy said that maybe cameras could be used to catch offenders. He also told the assembled residents that they should never underestimate the power of 30 or 50 emails to representatives to put an issue on the radar. Speaking of emails, the committee have put out a call for some extra bodies to assist with running the association. A resident suggested it should use Facebook and/ or Twitter to put word around about issues and



By Joe McKenna

t’s this time of year that the nation faces the ultimate brain teaser: the one question that perplexes parents, children, uncles, aunts and grandparents. No, I’m not talking about the true meaning of Christmas, the reason we eat turkey non-stop for a fortnight or even where on earth a person would find a partridge in a pear tree, let alone package

it up and send it off to someone they truly loved. Nay, I’m talking about the BIG question: What are the most wanted toys this year? On a recent visit to the excellent Toy Show Experience held at the Convention Centre Dublin, NewsFour got a glimpse of what Santa will be packing into his sleigh on the 24th of this month. First up is the Nerf

events. “There are a lot of families in Sandymount who appreciate the good work of SAMRA but who do not get notified of the good results and who might like to get more involved,” said Cllr Dermot Lacey. The costs of the Compulsory Purchase Order for the foreshore for the proposed Poolbeg incinerator were queried at the SAMRA meeting. The figure of €8.5 million was to take charge of seven strips of land on the Shelley Banks Road. A State agency, paying this cash to another State agency, for land based on old land values, was called a “running debacle” by those present at the meeting. Even though contracts for the proposed incinerator are being revisited this month, it was noted by some that “ground had been broken” to make it look as though work had started. It was thought this would be a legal argument later. However, some residents complained that Covanta was being

demonised in this affair. “It is an international company with a good record and doing well for itself. The problem lies with DCC,” said one resident. “We keep hearing about financial penalties,” said another. “What are these penalties and will it actually cost more to proceed?” With privatisation of bin collections in Dublin thought to start in January 2012, there are also questions over the quotas of waste that DCC promised the incinerator operator as private collectors will be deemed the owners of the waste. The spread of noxious and toxic Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam is occurring daily according to SAMRA. These invasive species of plant can kill all other plants in their way and are very expensive to eradicate. SAMRA feels that DCC is causing these plants to spread in its use of machinery in the area. It is proposed to highlight the invasive species and how to deal with

them. It was suggested that there are grants available from the Environmental Protection Agency to help eradicate these species. On a good note– wild salmon are back in the Dodder again. The proposed expansion of the waste-water treatment plant to comply with EU laws on removing phosphates was discussed. The required outfall tunnel, nine kilometres out to sea, would bring the effluent from over one million homes out to deep water where it is proposed to be agitated and broken down. Residents at the SAMRA meeting suggested that building on top of existing storm tanks might be a better solution as it would enable DCC to maintain the size as is and not need a tunnel out to sea. Friday 9th December is decided as the date for the Christmas tree lighting event in Sandymount Green. SAMRA, which organises the event every year, has been told by DCC that the cost of providing the tree is about €4000 and this may be the last year they can afford to supply them. SAMRA has shared the costs with DCC this year but may not be able to bear the costs next year. Existing trees may be lit, or a tree planted to serve as a perennial. Other sources of funding are to be looked at in the future. Above: Councillor Paddy McCartan at the new barrier which replaced the ‘kissing gate’.

Vortex Nitron Blaster. This boy’s toy looks like something from the future and rapid fires discs from a 20 disc capacity magazine. Because nothing says Happy Christmas like an automatic weapon. Fun for all the family comes in the form of Doggie Doo. Feed and walk your little pup, when he makes a mess you clean it up. The first player who has three pieces of dog mess on his shovel wins the game. Smells like fun to me. For the young tech heads there is the new Leap Pad Tablet, shown below. Basically, it’s an iPad for kids who would naturally destroy something as delicate as an iPad. This device can handle your anger when you lose at Angry Birds and fire it against the wall. The Leap Pad Tablet comes with 100plus learning games, book apps, videos and more. Not forgetting the little kiddies– we have the one mainstay of Christmas toys: Let’s Rock Elmo. With the staying power of Bono and a lifetime cuteness factor, this little

red squeak box is always a winner. Jim Henson would be proud; Kermit, not so much. But if the Toy Show Experience proved one thing, it’s that boys and girls alike will always queue up to try their luck with an old classic. Yes folks, nothing says

Christmas delight like a good old Scalextric track, above left, and yes, they still come with those cars that will bust your granny’s nose when they career off the track at high speed, into the air and across the room. But isn’t that what Christmas all about?

We would like to wish all our customers a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year and thank you all for your support in 2011 Bob, Monica and Staff





Naturopathic Nutrition by Nicky Flood


ingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way… what, already?! Christmas songs, decorations, lights… already! The marketing campaign for Christmas seems to extend and escalate every year and, unfortunately, so do our stress levels with it. Stress is said to lead to 70% of doctors’ visits and 85% of chronic illnesses. Despite this, it is probably the most ‘socially acceptable’ issue around and it is now accepted as part of day-to-day living. Originally, stress was a reaction to encountering predators in caveman times whilst hunting for food– today we experience the same reactions in our body and mind– just with different stressors (mortgage, relationships, job, screaming kids). However, there is one major difference– the amount of time that we are exposed to stress today has become almost constant– and unfortunately our bodies have not undergone an evolutionary overhaul to cope! The body’s initial reaction to stress, called the ‘fight or flight’ response is a natural and healthy reaction. However, over time, sustained high levels of stress hormones deplete both nutrient and energy reserves, creating an overall state of exhaustion. Stress is not all bad, a certain amount of stress is necessary to motivate us, allowing us to meet challenges and excel. But it is a fine line when stress stops becoming helpful and starts damaging our health, mood, energy levels, relationships and quality of life. There are many situations that affect the beauty, charm and spirit of Christmas: an overload of people, alcohol, food, spending and over-excited children can all contribute to increasing levels of stress and whilst it is not possible to remove all stress from our lives, it is possible to manage it and the effect it has on our body and our lives– so make this ‘holiday season’ truly a time to rest, relax and enjoy yourself. Peace to all! Nicky is a Naturopathic Nutritionist practising in Dublin. She writes, advises and speaks nationwide on all aspects of health, nutrition and wellbeing. e:; m: +353 8634 11850.

By Rupert Heather ou’re lying on the sofa, eating chocolate, drinking wine and bracing yourself for yet another Christmas dinner. As some long forgotten cousin of Phil in East-Enders emerges from a skeletal closet to spark mayhem in the Queen Vic, you think, “better start that detox diet.” ‘Detox’ is the term that replaces ‘January’ in most people’s diaries, above the entry ‘can’t pay the gas bill’ and ‘not going out again until April’. An altogether worse problem is where to begin? It’s quite easy to feast, no special skills required. The purge is much more demanding. First you have to choose between all those crash diets, alternative health treatments and food supplements. Once committed, you must discard anything enjoyable and accept that some form of luminous green gruel and epic quantities of water is your new staple. Trying to get excited about swapping a bacon sandwich and coffee for a glass of water and a grape is tough. As Carol Vorderman put it, “the first couple of days on the detox diet aren’t pleasant.” Most disconcerting of all is the fact that there is no scientific evi-

dence to support claims that detox actually works. According to Dr Ben Goldacre, journalist and author of the book Bad Science, “the idea that you can do something useful to your health in five days of abstention is obviously ridiculous.” Conventional wisdom about detox is based on misinformation about how the body works, spread by those who profit from the detox industry. Most of what we believe is contrary to what real scientists have been telling us for years. “They do it mainly by promoting the idea that toxins build up in the body and you need to aid the removal of them in order to feel good. What concerns us is that this idea plays upon the public’s fears, and is used to sell products that nobody actually needs,” says Julia Wilson

from Sense about Science. Dr Dan McCartney from the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute confirms that people get fixated about losing weight. “Some diets such as the low GI have some merit but there are others that don’t. Atkins allows people to lose weight but it has other nasty side effects that people don’t know about,” he says. Dr McCartney’s advice is simple. Revisit the food pyramid, eat more fruit and vegetables, avoid high fat and salty foods, all the obvious stuff like sugary drinks and takeaways, drink less alcohol and do moderate exercise. “People are so used to being sedentary they think it’s our natural state and it’s not. It’s never been so easy to get so many calories with so little effort. Anyone can pick up the phone and order cheap, unhealthy takeaway food very easily. Fruit and vegetables are associated with a lower risk of disease,” he says. So come on, get up off the sofa and go for a walk. You know what happens in EastEnders anyway and it’s not as utterly hellish as the thought of a detox diet. You can find all the information you need at and it’s free.



uxury has landed in Dublin 4. Penrose Beauty has launched a new range of Payot facial treatments and homecare products. Invented by Dr. Nadia Payot in 1927, the Payot Laboratories in Paris now keep her avant-garde legacy alive by offering iconic products such as Pȃte Grise, Créme No. 2 and Spéciale 5. There is a Payot facial to suit every need, from the ‘Intense Hydrating Ritual’ to the ‘Absolute Lift Ritual’. To celebrate their arrival in Penrose Beauty, you will receive a free hand and arm massage with any Payot Facial Treatment. Penrose Beauty has some fantastic Christmas Special Offers; a Shellac Manicure and Pedicure for €55, Make Up application for €25 and a Christmas Party Special Package consisting of a Full Body Tan, Shellac Manicure and a file and polish on toes all for just €65. You can treat yourself while treating others by buying a gift voucher for €100 or more and you’ll receive a free treatment for yourself! There are also Payot Gift sets available which are an ideal Christmas present. Penrose Beauty would like to


Win yourself a ‘Payot Clear Skin Facial’ and skin analysis in Penrose Beauty Salon. This 45-minute facial suits all skin types. To enter, simply answer the following question:


Answers to NewsFour, RICC, Thorncastle Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4 or with FACIAL COMP in the subject line. Entries must be received before 15th January 2011. wish their clients a very Merry Christmas and thank them for their loyal custom since they opened in 2007. More info and a full list of treatments and prices are available on their website or Facebook page. Penrose Beauty, 1A Penrose

Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4 Tel: 01 667 3666 Email: Web: Facebook: pages/penrose-beauty-salon




By James O’Doherty ‘Behold a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a son And his name shall be called Emmanuel’ (Isaiah 7)



hristmas is so many things– carols, cards, opening of gifts. Some say Christmas is a season of love. It certainly feels good. To me, Christmas is the story of Bethlehem, the child born in a stable. It is a time for prayer, a time for loved ones to be remembered. So what is Christmas in the garden? If the weather is kind and the soil conditions are good, carry on planting barerooted shrubs and trees. If possible, wait a month or two before planting evergreens. Mow the grass lightly at this time of year. Bulbs can still be planted and pruned, and it’s still not too late to plant fruit trees and bushes.

Gardeners are keen students of nature in all her varying forms and at this time of the year your garden can still be a treasure chest of great works of nature. Think of the many birds which visit our gardens, the great melody of winter song that cheers us at this time of year and reminds us that spring is not long away. All birds serve a useful purpose and deserve the gardener’s gratitude. As we work through winter, a change takes place in our gardens. We say goodbye to the beauty of summer and the beautiful autumnal foliage. No longer are the trees splendid with leaves. Beds and borders which were clothed in colour are no more. However, nature does not desert us. A crisp winter morning can be magic. Nature covers the branches and the grass with a mantle of hoar frost, the robin visits us and after Christmas we get a gradual foretaste of spring– white snowdrops peep through the winter soil. Even if we have snow, storms, wind, rain and frost, it will not be long until sunshine once again covers our gardens. So until then enjoy Christmas. And let me say a word about your Christmas tree. Where did it all begin? The modern Christmas tree

appeared in the middle of the 1500s in the Strasburg area of Alsace (1531) then a part of Germany. The oldest record of a decorated Christmas tree came from a 1605 diary found in Strasburg. The tree is described as being decorated with paper apples and candles. Tinsel was created in Germany in 1610. In Victorian times, Christmas trees became a hotch potch of everything– anything you could find you hang on the tree! Certainly these were over-decorated! Later, themed trees became popular with ribbons and balls featuring. In 1846, Queen Victoria’s husband Albert was credited with bringing the first Christmas tree into Windsor castle. The first National American Christmas tree was lit on the White House lawn in 1923 by President Calvin Coolidge. For all this, it is said that the Christmas tree actually predates Christianity by centuries, with ancient Romans decorating trees with small pieces of metal during Saturnalia their winter festival. Back to today, and the choice is vast– many households prefer the convenience of an authentic-looking artificial tree, even going so far as using a pine-scented spray to give the ‘real’ smell! It’s up to you– artificial or real. For me, I like the feel and the smell of a real tree in the house.

A word of caution though– I do not recommend you buy a potted tree as these will almost certainly die as they have been dug up and planted in a pot. Select your tree from the following. All of them are highly recommended, with lovely shape, dense branches and a low needle drop. * Norway Spruce * Noble Fir * Nordmann Fir When erecting your tree, think safety first. Secure it properly; keep it away from open fires and heating appliances. In decorating it, put lights on first and always unplug these when retiring at night or leaving the house. In selecting your houseplants, keep them away from heat sources and water them carefully as the amount of humidity in the air influences health of our plants. Try the following for the Christmas period: * The beautiful Poinsettia * The Peace lily * Azalea * Cyclamen * The Christmas cherry solanum (remember its berries are toxic)

So enjoy selecting a tree and some seasonal plants this Christmas. And as we approach this great festival, let us think with gratitude of the One who has created that wonder which is nature– the source of all kinds of living things. It is said that the robin visited that stable all those years ago. Speaking of birds– don’t forget them this Christmas– a daily feed and fresh water would be most welcome. Wishing you and yours all that is best for the festi ve season and New Year– Happy Christmas!


‘The 12 Days of Christmas’


By Caomhan Keane here will be plenty of feck, arse and drink this Christmas time with news reaching us that the actor who played Father Jack on the hit series ‘Father Ted’, Frank Kelly, will be releasing a Christmas album. Comprised of songs, skits and prank phone calls culled mainly from his time on ‘The Glen Abbey Show’, a popular radio series which ran on RTE radio in the 70s and 80s, it is being put out on Shay Hennessey’s Crashed Music & Record label. “It’s a collection of all my old material,” says Kelly. “It’s not pretending to be new. It’s a collection of all my stuff for all the people, the older generation, who heard the programmes and bought all the records down through the years.” The ‘Glen Abbey Show’ was hugely popular with commercial travellers at the time it was broadcast. “It was on at 2.15,” says Kelly, “the worst slot you could get.” Yet it had a huge following. “Drivers would pull in off the roads to listen to it.” Perhaps the most famous skit from the Glen Abbey Show is Christmas Countdown, Kelly’s skit of ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’, where an unfortunate lothario is bombarded in the run-up to Noël with the presents listed in the song. “I was in desperation for an idea and I was at this party for company executives and somebody was doing a play on ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ and I thought, “Well, there is a better way of doing that. “So I wrote it out and did it for my wife and she said ‘you should record that separately, that will be a hit.’ And she was right. It shot up the British charts, culminating with a performance on ‘Top of The Pops’. “That was an interesting adventure,” Kelly remembers. “It happened at a time of my life where I was fairly mature. I wasn’t living the life of all the young people. I had my career already where most people who appeared on Top of the Pops were just making a start.”


CHRISTMAS DISASTERS NewsFour readers share, via Facebook, their funniest Christmas disasters Compiled by Caomhan Keane We went to the USA for Christmas, back in the late 80s when IRA terrorism was fashionable. As we were walking through the airport, my father holding my hand, both of us utterly blindsided by the lights, a SWAT team whooshed past us and grabbed my mother and a random man and rushed them off before we knew what was what. Turns out he was a terrorist and to make a clean sweep it was necessary to grab him AND the woman he was walking by. Steveon Murfikins I was going to school one morning and the Argos van was outside trying to deliver a trampoline and my Da was going mad at the fella saying “You have the wrong house.” Then my Da and his mate were putting it together, locked, and my Da fell off it and busted his head off the wall. He had a whopper bump over his eye for the whole Christmas. Chris Moro Christmas Eve we were driving home, the car laden with presents, when a man in an overcoat walked straight in front of us. The kids

Ringsend and District Credit Union Ltd.


started screaming and my husband got out to see if he was dead, when the police came and said “sure it’s just Bennie, he does this all the time.” They asked my husband to help get him into the car. As they started to lift him, my youngest son said “Mammy, the man’s leg’s fallen off.” I looked out to see my husband holding the aul one’s leg. Turns out he’d a wooden leg which became dislodged when he clipped the front of the car! Michele Young We came home from Midnight Mass and caught the dog with his leg up weeing all over the Christmas presents. Aine McDermott My mate was home for Crimbo and discovered she had some Poitin. She decided to have some fun! She danced around her room with her iPod, wandered around the garden looking at the stars and had a magical night waiting for Santy to arrive! Then she discovered the tree… and


the lights! So she lay UNDER the tree, staring up through the branches at all the twinkly lights… having a great auld time! Next thing she hears “love, what are you doing? Are you asleep?”. My mate says; “just plugging out the lights before bed.” At this stage her mother tells her it’s 7am! She later hears her mother telling her Da that she had been watching her for a while… just lying under the tree! All Xmas day she was zonked. When she left for Dublin her mother handed her leaflets on depression and the local priest’s phone number! Rebecca Hershey I remember being very excited about Santy coming one night. So I decided to lay awake and catch him in the act like the kids in the Cornflake ad. I woke up to find my father drinking the Guinness I left out. I was so angry I pulled down the Christmas tree and all the decorations. Philomena Malarkey We got Maggie, our new puppy from the pound last Christmas. She got into the kitchen while we were gathered round the tree opening our presents. We found her destroying the Christmas ham. Aside from ruining dinner she was so unused to such rich food in her diet that she got a dreadful dose of the plops that lasted till New Years, ruining the mother’s Carpet. She’s not invited this year. Claire Keane O’Brien



5 Irishtown Rd., Dublin 4 Phone: 6686676 • Fax: 6686288 Check out our Website:

AT RINGSEND CREDIT UNION WE NOW OFFER Free Loan Protection Insurance Travel Insurance House Insurance ALL BUSINESS TRANSACTED DURING OPENING HOURS Ringsend Credit Union Christmas Opening Hours Closing Friday 23th December at 4.30pm Re-opening Thursday 29th December at 9.30am Closed Monday 2nd January Re-opening on Tuesday 3rd January at 9.30am

Merry Christmas to all our members


By Therese O’Toole hristmas is a time for sharing with one’s family and loved ones. For some, it is a time of hectic activity in attending house parties and social gatherings. Here are some suggestions for the ideal

Christmas party wines, Christmas dinner wines and gifts. Party Wines: Prosecco Frizzante or Spumante is always a sure party favourite. These wines have small bubbles, are easy on the digestive system and make for

pleasurable drinking. They are more fruit-driven than Cava or Champagne and therefore have broad appeal. Add cassis and the dynamic changes altogether! These wines can also make for a great pre-dinner aperitif.





By Joe McKenna t was far from Paninis I was reared, I can tell you. There wasn’t a man alive who would have dared try to sell shrunken bread with half the fillings for eight times the price. No, like many, I grew up with a first-class respect for something fried, filling and financially sound. That’s why, when I stumbled across Deke’s Diner on the edge of Ringsend and Irishtown, I was certain I’d have to get my teeth into some of the grease and goodness. Tony ‘Deke’ McDonald, above, has been feeding hungry truck-

Some suggestions include: Maschio dei Cavalieri €10.50; Massotina Frizzante €13.50; Coldigiano Spumante €19.00. CHRISTMAS DINNER WINES: Pinot noir is hard to beat as a match with turkey. Many pinot noirs are light, delicate and full of red fruit character that will complement the cranberry sauce and counter-balance the dryness of the turkey meat. For those who prefer white wine, options include slightly oaked Chardonnay or Semillon. Typical suggestions include: Wingspan Pinot Noir €15.95, Domaine de Colombette Pinot Noir €12.75, Greenstone Point Chardonnay €11.50. After Dinner: Port can make for a wonderful after-dinner drink for those sitting by the fire for the evening. At less than half the price of vintage port, late bottled vintage (LBV) port can represent exceptional value and superb quality. Typical suggestions include: Quinta de la Rose LBV €13.95 (half btl) and Royal Oporto

ers for eleven years and has managed to create and maintain a reputation for quality road food that saw him included among the top 100 Dublin restaurants in 2009, a feat that attracted media attention and Joe Duffy himself gave it a glowing review. A trained chef, Deke spent time travelling the world aboard numerous ships, serving up food in many a port and across countless waves. So it was only fitting that he be granted a spot on Dublin Port property at the York Road roundabout, only a stone’s throw from where he grew up, to open a small food wagon before expanding to his present premises. A well-known name in the community, Deke has been a supporter of Bridge United and St Patrick’s Rowing Club as far back as he can remember and the photographs that adorn the wall of the converted cargo container (which also was once a secure British Army unit) are testament to Deke’s respect for all things seafaring that

LBV €18.95. Accessorise your wine: As port generally requires decanting, this brings me to discuss wine accessories to accompany that special bottle. Feature glass decanters are used for red wines and ports to collect sediment deposits and to accelerate the opening and breathing process. Decanters also add to the ceremony associated with opening that special wine, which has been stored away until the Christmas period. Other practical wine accessories include vacuum seals and pumps, bottle openers, wine bags and timber boxes. These wines, assorted hampers, including a range of artisan foods, and accessories are available at The Wine Boutique in Ringsend, Dublin 4 and other independent wine retailers. At the third anniversary celebration of The Wine Boutique, Ringsend were, left to right: Thérése O’Toole; Paul Savage, Classic Drinks; Margaret Elderfield and Ciara O’Shaughnessy.

come through the port. While not a place that boasts space or pizzazz, Deke’s food would have to be practically fought for when the ports were operating at their maximum during the days of financial prosperity. The transport traffic may be lean, but Deke’s still offers a good feed at affordable prices for those who may feel the need to ‘be bold’. There aren’t many places you can get a mouth-watering breakfast sandwich big enough to give you jaw cramps and any drink for €5 before heading back for a lunchtime quarter pounder and chips plus drink for €6.50. Yes, it’s fair to say Deke won’t take too much weight from your pockets, but he may add a few pounds to your waistline. But for those of you wanting the healthy option and looking to steer clear of such foods, Deke has that covered. He calls it the Door!

Eimear’s Hazelnut Humbug Cocktail Ingredients: Instant Hot Chocolate 1½ shots/45mls of Hazelnut Baileys Whipped Cream Chocolate Shavings Method: Make a good quality instant hot chocolate in a mug. Add 1½ shots of hazelnut Baileys. Give good stir. Float cream on top. If you are a chocoholic add some of your favourite chocolate grated on top and serve. Enjoy!!! Optional: For a warmer glow add ½ shot of Brandy!


By Gemma Byrne ne of my favourite Christmas memories is the year I gave homemade edible presents to my relations. I think I was about 8, and I can still remember the

pride and excitement of handing over gifts that I had made with my own little hands. With that in mind, this recipe is something that your young ‘uns might like to make this year. There is no ‘cooking’ involved as such but you may need to help them with the melting of the chocolate etc. It is a delicious recipe which can be adapted to suit your personal taste and although the method is child’s play the adults will be more than happy to eat the results. When making this as a gift, I cut the biscuit cake into bitesize pieces and wrap them up in pretty parcels with Christmas wrapping paper. Alternatively, you can pack the mix into a small loaf tin and serve in slices. This recipe is extremely naughty, rich and indulgent… but it is Christmas! CHOCOLATE BISCUIT CAKE BITES Ingredients: 225g Good Quality Chocolate (I used half dark and half milk) 225g Butter 100ml Golden Syrup 350g biscuits (I used about half digestives and half rich tea) 200g Confectionary of your choice (I used one each of the following: Mars bar, Maltesers, a Crunchie, a Snickers and a Twix… I warned you it was extremely naughty) Method: Line a small Swiss roll tin with cling film. Break the biscuits into pieces (do not crush into dust– they need to be kept chunky). Chop all the confectionary into pieces. Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup together. I like to use the microwave for this but be careful to do it in short bursts as you can burn the chocolate if you overdo it. You can do this over a pot of boiling water if you prefer. Mix the broken biscuits and chopped confectionary into the melted mixture. Combine thoroughly. Pack the mixture firmly into the Swiss roll tin/ baking tray and press down flat. Take your time with this part, making sure you don’t leave any gaps or air holes. At this point you can decorate it if you wish. Try melted white chocolate or colourful sprinkles, use your imagination. I used little chocolate stars on my last batch. Cover with cling film. Place in the fridge to set for several hours or overnight. Cut into bite-size pieces and pack in airtight containers (I save plastic take-away containers and these are perfect for the job). They will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge.





By Rupert Heather he issue of homelessness receives more attention at Christmas, according to those who work in the sector. The stark reality of homelessness set against the backdrop of festive family celebration could ‘attract’ journalists looking for a ‘good’ story. People tend to feel grateful for what they have over Christmas. Perhaps this motivates us to care for our fellow citizen more than


usual. Even if this were true, the issue of homelessness is currently under the spotlight for more obvious reasons. It began with the release of figures showing that the number of people sleeping rough in Dublin has increased from 60 to 87 in the last six months. The problem was demonstrated when Dublin City Council’s new policy of giving sleeping bags to those unable to be placed in temporary accommodation came under scrutiny. In the course of a Dublin City Council audit of grants and payments to voluntary bodies, it was found that the level of monitoring, checking and review of expenditure was inadequate and it was recommended that a full review be held. Add to this the level of fear created by the recession, unemployment, mortgage and utility arrears and the heightened threat of previously unaffected groups losing their homes. It is evident that this year “the issue of homelessness is not just for Christmas,” however harsh that statement seems. Conservatively estimated, some €60 million per year of public

purse money, excluding charitable donations, is channelled into the voluntary sector to deal with homelessness. It is logical to conclude, given the level of spending and seeming inability to deal with the problem, that hitherto as a society we have failed to make significant strides in the fight to eradicate homelessness. In 2008, 2,144 households and 2,366 adults reported as homeless in Dublin. Although we await updated figures, it would be no surprise if those numbers had increased. Independent councillor for Dublin South East Inner City Mannix Flynn says, “You have to ask yourself going back into the twenty years of advocacy, what solutions have they provided? There have been no solutions and we end up with different people and agencies providing a service, but not necessarily a solution. We need to create the model for the future and start building towards that situation, because at the moment all people are talking about is the cutbacks, all people are talking about is the

problems, no-one is talking about solutions.” The voluntary organisations that provide services for the homeless are made up of both paid and voluntary workers. They work alongside statutory bodies such as Government and the Health Service Executive. Over the course of the last 20 years, coming out of the spike in homelessness in the 90s and the drug explosion which so adversely affected at-risk groups, the focus of the homeless strategy was placing people in private temporary accommodation. Without the necessary long-term supports, the homeless were often placed in unsuitable and unfit accommodation such as B&Bs. As a result of this wholly inadequate response, through developments over the previous ten years the ‘Pathway to Home’ plan was formulated in 2008 between the voluntary and statutory organisations. It was devised to ensure that no homeless person would spend more than six months in temporary

private accommodation and envisaged a ‘housing first’ solution. The Dublin Regional Housing Executive (DRHE) which oversees a partnership approach between the statutory and voluntary bodies was given extra powers to bring them under the umbrella of the ‘Homeless Network’. A spokesperson for the DRHE said, “60 million euro is a lot of money but it is used in many different ways. We have had a total reconfiguration of services. The Pathway to Home is about closing down unfit temporary accommodation and moving into long-term supported accommodation. “Since 2000, things have definitely improved, not as quickly as we would like. It took time to cement the relationship between state and voluntary organisations. Our key objectives are to prevent homelessness, to make sure if someone is homeless that they get out of it and to provide housing and support.” Critics argue that voluntary advocacy groups have been costly and ineffective. In reality, few could imagine the scale and complexity of the work they do. Depaul Ireland, for example, provides accommodation and support for homeless people with acute needs. They work with people who many others struggle to work with including: street drinkers, women leaving prison, families and those with behavioural, self-harm and addiction problems. CEO Kerry Anthony says, “The biggest stumbling block is access to housing. What we risk is a changing face of homelessness. We know about new groups such as destitute migrants and people who are struggling financially to keep a roof over their head. The voluntary organisations have played a key role in formulating the Pathway to Home document and the voluntary sector providers have been working hard to reconfigure their services to take steps to realise this.” There is a cohort among the

homeless populations, around 1520 per cent who have ‘high level’ needs, the visible homeless. There are a high amount of non-nationals, there are drinking and drug related problems and people affected by mental health problems. The Housing First project, endorsed by Government this year, which deals with entrenched rough sleepers, has managed to house four rough sleepers since June. This group have the most apparent need but are the hardest to house. The fact remains however, as highlighted in the recent RTE ‘Prime Time’ investigation, for the majority of homeless the most pressing issue has become access to housing. Anthony says, “I would acknowledge that we have made little strides in lowering the actual number, but the homeless sector is far more professional and regularised in conjunction with doing this work over the last ten years. We have continued to emphasise that the major stumbling block is access to housing.” In theory, there are a huge amount of properties available as housing stock, but this does little to inspire confidence that a solution can be reached. Between a hesitant and constrained NAMA and cashstrapped local authorities, is a solution even imaginable? That is a question for Government, one that every homeless person, adult or child and every caring member of society hopes can be reached with a minimum of fuss. Needless to say, the solution must be appropriate for the homeless themselves. In the context of the economic downturn, the voluntary sector has seen a cut of 18 per cent of its budget over the last three years. There is agreement that we will not see the effect of the recession on the homeless figures for two or three years. This is partly because the overall homeless figures are currently only taken every three years and therefore inhibit the response of the agencies at policy level but also because we have not seen the worst yet in terms of the social cost of unemployment and poverty. That begs the question: is there a

NEWSFOUR DECEMBER 2011 / JANUARY 2012 time bomb ticking away that will inevitably lead to an increase in the homeless population? Statistics from Depaul Ireland indicate that there has been a 36 per cent increase in calls to St. Vincent de Paul’s Dublin regional office. 173 homes have been repossessed in the second quarter of this year, compared to 140 in quarter one. 16 per cent of Bord Gais customers are in average arrears of about €270. At the same time, unbelievably, they have increased prices by 22 per cent. Bord Gais have 60,000 payment plans in place and there are 150,000 ESB customers in arrears. Unconfirmed reports suggest that some utility companies are threatening people with having to pay a €300 deposit if they miss one direct debit and an unnamed source confirmed receiving a text message advising that they would be disconnected from supply if they missed bill payments. A spokesperson for the DRHE said, “I don’t think you will see people who get into arrears become homeless. The idea is to keep people in their homes. I think NAMA is going to be part of the solution. There are properties all over the country. It’s not as simple as that. We need to match the solution to

the need, which is difficult. Most of the homeless are in Dublin but most of the vacant properties are outside Dublin. Local authorities don’t have the money.” We should remain hopeful that between them, the Government, the banks and the utility companies can come together to propose a solution to this appalling situation and put forward a plan that allows families to manage debt and crucially remain in their homes. It is reassuring to know that organisations like Citizens Advice and the Money Advisory and Budgeting Service are there to provide help. The old adage that we are ‘all only three pay cheques away from being homeless’ has never been so chillingly accurate. Homelessness is everyone’s problem; it begins in the community and needs society-wide solutions. The homeless are among the most marginalised in society and surely it is the mark of a caring and democratic society that we deal with the issue. Forget the unhelpful stereotypes. Forget the ‘not in my back yard’ mentality. The generosity of the Irish people in providing charitable donations is key but so is a considered and holistic approach by Government, the agencies and

PAGE 17 society at large. Critics argue that the charitable status of the agencies masks adequate assessment of their effectiveness; that these organisations need to be more accountable and should be held to the highest standards of accountability as any other statefunded organisation would. As Mannix Flynn puts it, “The idea that they are cut off and they are doing charity work is an absolute joke and we should get rid of that so we are not handing any money over to a charitable organisation or voluntary organisation. We need to get real. These people have been handed tens of millions of euro to deal with an issue which they haven’t managed to deal with.” The agencies acknowledge that in the past the response to homelessness was inadequate but they are fully accountable to Government and the HSE and have taken measures to reconfigure themselves. The issue is complex as are the solutions. What works for one homeless person may not work for another. The role of government and legislation is crucial to their effectiveness. There is a strategy, Housing First, in place and Government needs to intervene and

Some facts of living in recession * There has been a 36% increase in calls to St. Vincent de Paul’s Dublin regional office.

* 173 homes have been repossessed in the second quarter of this year, compared to 140 in quarter one. * 16% of Bord Gais customers are in average arrears of about €270.

At the same time, Bord Gais has increased prices by 22%. Bord Gais have 60,000 payment plans in place. There are 150,000 ESB customers in arrears. provide housing stock as a matter of urgency. According to the DRHE, “There are service level agreements in place and we are in the middle of seeing the benefits of reconfigured services which will improve things.” At a societal level, we should accept that housing is a right for all. Flynn says, “People’s lives, people’s homes, people’s wellbeing and children are the concerns of all adults. We should be looking out for each other as a society. They (the agencies) haven’t been able

to get people out of the culture of homelessness. Sleeping bags add to the culture of homelessness and we need to start eradicating that culture.” Let’s make sure that by next Christmas, with the difficult and often thankless work of dedicated and principled staff in the homeless sector, with the assistance of Government and legislation, and society at large, we can manage to provide a housing solution that is right for our homeless. After all, ‘Homeless people are just people without homes.’



Ringsend National School Confirmation Class of 1937-38

Back Row, left to right: The two Deavey Brothers, Thomas Elliot, Martin Murphy, Willie Byrne, Joe Behan, George Knott. Second Row: John Deavey, Tommie Donoldson, Sean Fox, Michael Egan, T. Renick, Owen Cullen, Gerry Smith, Tommie Murphy. Third Row: Thomas Gaffney, Paddy Stafford, W. McGuinness, Willie Buckley, Christy Clarke, Tommie Mullen, Eugene O’Brien, Tom Dent, Gerard Duff. Front Row: Willie Greenhalyh, Tom Dubbe, John Dunne, Peter Murray, Gerard Mooney, Paddy Doyle, Paddy Caulfield, Tommy Kendle, Tommy Larkin.

Musical maestro Ray Ryan is pictured recently at the Anchorage, Ringsend, conducting the Riverside choir.





RTE Radio 1’s Derek Mooney challenged Jay Leno’s world record for ‘largest gathering of people in one place dressed as leprechauns’. Leno’s record of 224 leprechauns was surpassed by Mooney’s new world record of 262. At the Shelbourne v Sligo Football Final pre-match celebration in Thorncastle Street were, from left: Chloe Donovan, Nikita Slattery, Megan McEnroe and Marian Sullivan.

Danielle Serpico and Sammy Murphy of Cornucopia at World Vegetarian Day in St Andrew’s Resource Centre, Pearse Street.

Local author Con O’Rourke (Con O Ruairc) is pictured with two of his books ‘Dúlra Óileáin Árann’ and a ‘Nature Guide to the Aran Islands’.

Jasmine Huysmans (Jane), Ailbhe King (Abba singer) and Murali RR (Nick Diablo). who took part in Disco Inferno at Marian College recently.

David Uda from Ballsbridge took part in the the recent Art Fair in the RDS. Other locally-based artists participating included Henry Buckley, Elizabeth O’Kane, Rita Pettigrew, Alana Lavery and Elizabeth Prendergast.





By Glenda Cimino oday, Donnybrook is a relatively peaceful, leafy suburb of Dublin 4, an area which, while socio-economically mixed, is known as ‘posh’. During the Celtic Tiger era, Dublin 4 reputedly contained some of the most expensive land in the world. The most notorious aspect of Donnybrook history is without doubt Donnybrook Fair (12051866), perhaps unfairly infamous for drinking, carousing and fighting. Not much remains today of this fantastic annual event, except for a local supermarket of the same name on Morehampton Road, and some songs, stories, and eye-witness accounts. There are different views of the origin of the name ‘Donnybrook’, but most agree that it probably derives from the Irish name Domhnach-broc, which means the ‘Church of Broc’. Broc was one of the seven daughters of Dallbronach from Deece in County Meath. She is mentioned by Aengus the Culdee of the monastery of Tallaght in two manuscripts preserved in the Book of Leacan, which dates from the latter half of the eighth century. Here are just a few selected highlights of Donnybrook’s fascinating history: 700-750 AD: Broc is said to have founded a convent on the banks of the River Dodder, in the present Donnybrook Graveyard, beside the local Garda Station (there used to be a tributary of the Dodder alongside it). Local historian Danny Parkinson wrote that when the graveyard was cleaned up in modern times, a granite base for a wooden cross dating from the eighth or ninth century was indeed found. 795-1100: Viking Raids began, dominating the local population from 950 to 1100, probably eradicating Broc’s convent. 1181-1212: St. Mary’s Church was dedicated by Archbishop Comyn of Dublin. The Church, in the middle

of Donnybrook Graveyard, was in use until the 1820s. Today, all that remains is a small section of wall (Between the Reformation and 1787 there was no Roman Catholic church in Donnybrook). 1204: Donnybrook Fair was granted a royal charter by King John. Originally for cattle trading, it expanded into a vast cultural entertainment, which ran for two weeks each year from 26th August. 1787: A chapel for Roman Catholic use was built beside the Church of Ireland’s St. Mary’s Church; it too was called St. Mary’s, Donnybrook. Only one wall of this church still stands, and it is the wall which divides the graveyard from the garda station. St. Mary’s Roman Catholic church remained in use, despite dampness and overcrowding, until it was replaced by the Sacred Heart in 1866. 1792: The Royal Hospital Donnybrook, located at the end of Bloom-

Famous 20th century residents of Donnybrook Famous 20th century people who lived in Donnybrook include John Boyd Dunlop (1840-1921), inventor of the pneumatic tyre, who lived at 46 Ailesbury Road (now the Belgian ambassador’s residence); the explorer and writer Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874-1922), who lived at 35 Marlborough Road; Eamon de Valera who lived at 23 Morehampton Terrace at the time of his marriage in 1910; the poet Patrick Kavanagh (1905-1967) who lived at 122 Morehampton Road early in his career; Dr. Brian Nolan (1911-1966), better known as Flann O’Brien or Myles na gCopaleen, a journalist with The Irish Times and the author of At Swim-Two-Birds (1939) and other humorous books, who lived on Belmont Avenue; the playwright and social critic Brendan Behan (1923-1964) who lived at 5 Anglesea Road, and writer Benedict Kiely (1919-2007), who lived on Morehampton Road.

field Avenue off Morehampton Road, moved to its present location. Today, it primarily provides long-term care for elderly people who are chronically sick or disabled. The first surviving records of the hospital date from 1771, but its origins date back to 1743 when, at the initiative of The Charitable Musical Society of Crow Street, a Hospital for Incurables was established. 1837: The Donnybrook convent of the Irish Sisters of Charity was created when Mother Mary Aikenhead purchased Donnybrook Castle, a large house with extensive grounds, and moved her Magdalen Home from Townsend Street to these new quarters. 1840s: Prolific novelist Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) lived at 6 Seaview Terrace (adjacent to the above-mentioned Viking-era grave) for five years in the 1840s while working for the post office. 1858: Mother Mary Aikenhead died on 22 July. Her remains are interred in a small crypt on the grounds of the Donnybrook convent. 1866: A new Catholic church, dedicated to the Sacred Heart, was erected on the south bank of the River Dodder, built deliberately to overlook the former fair grounds. The granite church was designed by Pugin and Ashlin at a cost of £6,000. It was dedicated by Dr. Paul Cullen, the Cardinal Archbishop on 26 August 1866, by no accident the date on which the fair would have started. The forces of propriety, exerting pressure through the institutions of church and state finally managed to put an end to the ancient Donnybrook Fair, to the relief of the upper classes and the dismay of the poor, for whom it was their only entertainment and annual holiday. 1879: A burial mound from the Viking era was found in Donnybrook, containing the remains of 600 to 700 bodies. It was unearthed by workmen who were digging foundations on Seaview Terrace. Examination of the burial mound revealed that the bodies, except for one, were Celtic men, women and children, probably murdered in a savage Viking raid 1880: Donnybrook Graveyard was finally closed for burials in 1880 except for later burials confined to 45 families named in the closure order. About 7,000 people are buried in Donnybrook Graveyard, among them Protestants, Catholics, Jews and Huguenots. It is not known when the earli-

est burials took place, but the earliest record in the parish registers is 1712. Many famous people are buried there, such as Sir Edward Lovett Pearce (1699-1733), the architect who designed the Irish Parliament House, now the Bank of Ireland on College Green opposite Trinity College. The entrance gate to Donnybrook Graveyard is locked, but if you want to visit you can borrow the key from the Garda Station. 1881: The original fair grounds were converted to the playing grounds of the Bective Rangers Rugby Football Club. 1931: The site of the old Catholic St Mary’s church was sold to the Board of Works and the garda sta-

tion was built. 1936: The last burial allowed in the graveyard was that of Amy Ryder in this year. 1973: A local community group revived a version of the once-wild and colourful Fair as a relatively tame fun celebration for families. Thanks for some of this information to dbrkhist.html, which also gives some suggested books and links for those who want to learn more. Pious, poetic or pugnacious. From top left, clockwise: Mother Mary Aikenhead; writer and broadcaster Benedict Kiely and the writer and hellraiser Brendan Behan, who all lived in Donnybrook for a time.



By Jimmy Purdy aving read of St. Patrick’s Rowing Club’s 75-year celebrations in NewsFour, it reminded me of what I think was the first time there was a race for women. Although skiffs are the boats that are used at the east coast regattas, the boats for women’s races were punts with

only two women in each punt. They rowed them with one oar each. A great interest grew up around the race as word got out that Peter Murphy, boat builder of Thorncastle Street was building a punt for members of his family to take part in the race. Gold medals were being awarded to the winners. It was





By Sandy Hazel he Sandymount and Ringsend area has a brand, spanking new Fine Gael councillor. Co-opted onto the council when Cllr Catherine Noone was elevated to senatrix, barrister Kieran Binchy has hit the ground running. Born in Cork, educated at Clongowes and Trinity Dublin (Law and French), Binchy has made some interesting life choices. He worked in the tourist sector which involved living in Morocco, Cuba and Canada. He has a Master’s degree in International Politics from Dublin City University but Binchy’s real introduction to politics was as a parliamentary assistant to Lucinda Creighton in the Dáil. He then studied for the bar at King’s Inns part-time and is now qualified and self-employed. He got into local politics begenerally accepted that the Murphy women would win. Three punts took part in the race. In one of the other punts were Kathleen Donaldson and Miss J. Doyle (pictured below). I believe a Miss Pullen took part in the third punt, but perhaps some NewsFour readers might confirm this and may know the name of her team mate? The punts would be more representative of the Hobbler’s boats than the present-day skiffs. In the event, the winners of the race were Kathleen Donaldson and Miss J. Doyle. Congratulations to St. Patrick’s Rowing Club on 75 years of skiff racing. Thanks to Phyllis Donaldson for information on the race, and on behalf of Phyllis Donaldson’s husband Tommy I would like to thank them for providing the photographs for this article.


cause “you have to put your money where your mouth is,” and thinks the councillors can make a difference in “lots of small ways that affect daily lives.” Binchy got stuck-in during last month’s water damage in the area. “I stood watching the fire brigade, up to their knees in water, cut the locks on the floodgate at the Dodder walkway because the key couldn’t be located to close the gate,” says Binchy. “At one stage there was talk of maybe DCC having an emergency meeting, which was called three hours too late,” he says. “The gate was closed just before high tide,” he adds. Communication by DCC is a problem, according to Binchy. “Its website is not really userfriendly and it needs to up a gear with its Twitter and Facebook to maximise their use. It’s no good


having these facilities and not updating them,” he says. Binchy is keen for DCC to cancel the contracts with Covanta and revisit any plans for the proposed Poolbeg incinerator. “Councillors don’t have a lot of control over this, but we can put some pressure on.” Binchy believes that changing economics and the November renegotiations of the contracts will allow for both parties (DCC and Covanta) to pull out with-

out financial penalties. “The incinerator was planned ten years ago and things have moved on; economy, technology and transport factors.” He wants an extension of the cycle scheme to Ringsend and Sandymount to connect with the Grand Canal cycleway. He is worried about the effects of the next budget on arts and community groups. “I have a representational power to push for assets for the community,”

he says. The howls of protest from other councillors over plans to privatise Dublin’s waste collection service is “posturing” according to Binchy. “The service is already privatised to a certain extent and it’s up to the manager to decide anyway. It is galling that an emergency meeting is called to discuss DCC withdrawing from the market, but no emergency meeting is called about the water devastation that befell many homes. “Some people make a lot of noise about things they can’t control. No-one will be made redundant. Some will be moved into, say, the parks service which is understaffed. “As a result, people sometimes don’t understand what the council can and can’t do. It can result in some people having unrealistic expectations of their councillors. We need to be honest with residents.” Above: Councillor Binchy with Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD.


RICC News by Lorraine Barry ICC would like to take this opportunity to wish Jennifer Betts every success in her future endeavours. Jennifer was seconded on a Community Employment Scheme to the RICC from Sandymount Community Services for the last two years and has been a huge asset to the Centre and the Community in her role as PR/youth team support. We would also like to thank Mark Biggar for his contribution as Admin support to the RICC for the last year. We wish them all the best for the future. Homework club– based in St Patrick’s Boy’s & Girl’s national schools Monday– Thursdays 2.30pm5pm. Lunch provided, Supervised Homework, Sports, Music, Computers, only €10 per week– All Welcome To secure a place for your child in September 2011 contact Barbara or Lorraine @ 6604 789 RICC Youth Club The youth club has just completed its second successful year. It caters for children aged 7–9 and facilitates a wide variety of activities and pro-

grammes for the children, both educational and recreational. The programmes ranged from a visit from the local fire brigade, demonstrating the use of a hose and highlighting the dangers around fires, to sports days, knitting, intro to cooking, interactive media games and a trip on the local sea safari. The good news is when the children reach 10 years they have the option to transfer to our Youth Project (CDYSB) which is also based at the Centre and caters for children from 10–21 years old. The youth club is on Wednesdays at 4.30pm. For further information on both programmes contact Barbara/ Lorraine at the

Centre on 6604 789 NEW COURSE Preparing for Work in Ireland A 4-module integrated parttime programme for learners who need to progress their level of English and wish to access employment. The modules are: ESOL– English for speakers of other languages. FETAC Level 4 Participants will be assessed and the course will be designed to help them improve their language skills. Communications: This module will give participants experience in reading, comprehension and writing and will build on the language skills they are

gaining in ESOL. PIPS (Personal & Interpersonal Skills); this module will explore Personal Growth through Reflection, Contemporary Social Issues and Assertiveness. Internet Skills: This module will give participants the opportunity to learn how to use the Internet as a tool in their learning and how it is used in modern work settings. All modules are FETAC accredited and delivered by qualified tutors. The programme is delivered over 30 weeks from December 2011 to July 27th 2012. Participants will attend for 2 days each week. During the first 3 weeks, participants will have the opportunity to have their level of English assessed and to discuss the various modules and their content with the tutors. The programme content will be designed to meet the needs of the group. For further information on this FREE course contact Lorraine @ RICC 6604 789 Pictured at the Centre recently, from left: Barbara Doyle, Martin McGuinness; Lorraine Barry and Sinn Féin Councillor Rúadhán Mac Aodháin.





By Sandy Hazel arda Ken Harrington leaves the force after 30 years. “I joined An Garda Siochana on the 10th of December 1980 and have served as a Garda in Irishtown since then. I have always been in uniform, mostly on the beat and in the patrol car,” says Ken. He wishes to thank all those in Ringsend, Irishtown, Sandymount and beyond who have made his career so fulfilling. “I have loved every minute of my time in Irishtown Station, the people I have met in the force and in the community. It has been great fun, I have no regrets whatsoever.” He mentions too those who were arrested: “Compassion and fairness is a requirement for good policing, but at times you have no alternative other than to arrest people. Many of them thank you later in life.”

Ken plans to go back into education and has a business venture he is planning. All of this involves history, a passion of his. Housed within the state of the art ‘Hilton’ of garda stations– where locals say that nine out of ten bankers prefer to be detained– there is a small collection (see left) of historical items: handcuffs, helmets, flags, photographs, badges and other garda memorabilia from the past century; Ken’s labour of love. Ken feels that the area has been luckier than other places in Dublin. “It still retains the village atmosphere; this area was not hit as hard as others with regards to drugs and crime. The people here are community oriented; there is good interaction between people and their public reps.” He points to the Juvenile Liaison service and to the Spellman Centre as two success stories in the area, improving the community. “The big crimes tend to get sorted in the system but it’s the small stuff that can affect quality of life for ordinary people: anti-social behaviour, vandalism, petty crime. These are incidents where the Gardai need help from the public.” Ken retires at the end of December and we wish him well.



By Saoirse O’Hanlon rance is a country of 22 different regions and within those 22 regions are very different cultures and traditions. These differences are applicable on various occasions, Christmas being no different. Having moved to France almost 12 years ago, we have experienced some different ways to celebrate Christmas, because we lived in various regions in this period of time. Christmas in France revolves around family and friends, no matter where you are. Shopping centres, town centres, boutiques etc. are not swamped by the consumerism you may find in Ireland and the UK. While presents are exchanged, the most important side to this celebration is the togetherness of families and friends. The French are known for having a sweet tooth; proof of this can be found in any shop, as you cannot move for the amount and choice of chocolate on sale. Though the ‘féte’ is on the 25th, Christmas is celebrated on the 24th. Santa comes during the day, while families are out making the most of the Christmas spirit, and gifts are opened that evening

after the big Christmas meal. For a country that is not overly religious, Midnight Mass is a very big deal, especially in the south. The 25th is a day to relax and spend time with loved ones, as the 26th is just a normal day. Everyone goes back to work for a week until New Year’s Eve, which is quite a big deal in France, especially amongst young people. Good resolutions are taken very seriously, as it is the perfect way to end bad habits and start afresh. The Charente-Maritime region on the West Coast was our first port of call. We arrived in November 2000 and were just in time for Christmas, and what a place to spend Christmas! Decorations, lights, songs– the whole place was alive. We spent five years there, before moving down to the Basque Region of France, 20 minutes from the Spanish border. Christmas wasn’t as ‘big’ on the streets there; the Christmas spirit seemed to be within people’s homes, where they would spend De-

cember together getting ready for the big day. We moved to Brittany last summer so we have only spent one Christmas here and I haven’t noticed anything too exciting so far. Town on Christmas Eve was not up to expectations, and the Christmas spirit was definitely not there. I’m hoping we were just unlucky last year, and that we will witness more fantastic French traditions again this December! Joyeux Noél! Strasbourg is apparently the best place for Christmas in France. (, 298809) Above: Rue de Haguenau, France







B Y L OUISE F INNIE It’s been one long year today for you, could not be woken, that Friday last winter, you slipped away that’s the day our hearts were left broken. Your sisters and brothers were calling you, they said “it’s time to leave,” whispering “Matt’s come on through” it was our turn to grieve. We thank you God every day, for giving us our Dad, the happy memories will always stay even though we feel so sad. We miss you with all our hearts your love will never die, one wish we ask when the sadness starts, is to see you one more time. We stand at your grave feeling so sad, our broken hearts will never mend, we all know what you’re saying Dad, “that we’ll all be together in the end.”


group of ex-Dublin Dockworkers (both deep-sea and cross channel) have been joined by people interested in preserving the social and labour history of the Dublin Docklands. One of the team, Alan Martin, is a keen photographer and has collected over six hundred photographs, which can be found on Facebook under Dublin Dockers and on (forty two photos were donated by Dublin Stevedores and two by John ‘Miley’ Walsh). A delegation from the group met with Dublin

Port Company, who promised to assist the group in holding a photo exhibition and publishing a booklet in March 2012. If any NewsFour readers have high quality photographs of the Dublin Port workers over the years that could be used in the exhibition, they you can email them to Pictured, from left: Alan Martin, John (Miley) Walsh, Declan Byrne, Jimmy Carty, Mick Foran and John Hawkins. By Jason Mc Donnell






By Sandy Hazel ccording to the auctioneers, Irish silver is always good value. Well, three major pieces of silverware were the star attractions at a family fun day on Sandymount Green in October. Thanks to the 2wheels cycle shop on Sandymount Green, the Sam Maguire, the Heineken Cup and the Hurling League Trophy were all on display together, probably for the first time ever.

The event was held by the Sandymount Matero Friendship programme as a ‘thank you’ to Sandymount for all its help. The programme, a direct link between the Sandymount community and the town of Matero, near Lusaka in Zambia, helps with food and education and has built long-term friendships. Children from all over Sandymount displayed their own allegiances as they arrived in varying strips. Organiser Barry Fitzpatrick said it was good to

give sporting kids the chance to actually hold these trophies and “feel the weight.” The general response from those who posed was “awesome”. “It isn’t just about the cash that Sandymount raises, although we are always glad of support, it is also about the exchange of cultures,” said organiser Aoife McCarthy, a teacher from Star of the Sea school. This event was a way of Matero saying thank you to the Sandymount Community. The day started with a leisurely cycle to Sutton and Howth Head. A scavenger hunt and face-painting, along with plenty of pizza and goodies kept all happy. The Matero programme has undertaken to provide funds to employ three additional teachers and to expand the school meals to all pupils at the Matero Community School. If you would like to help the Sandymount– Matero Friendship Programme contact james@jnmresearch. com Above: These youngsters get to handle some famous pieces of silverware at the Family Fun Day.




By Sandy Hazel ouncillors calling for DCC to reverse its decision on privatising waste collection are just “posturing” according to Fine Gael Councillor Kieran Binchy. Labour Councillor Dermot Lacey says that the council “needs to look at the figures again” to see if the service could be delivered more efficiently. Lacey feels that the function should remain

within the council. “Municipal authorities were set up to run services like hygiene,” he said. Other councillors say that the costly waste management services would remain with DCC anyway; street cleaning and illegal dumping. But the City Manager John Tierney seems to have made up his mind and it is his decision to make. But there are considerations

NEWSFOUR DECEMBER 2011 / JANUARY 2012 Wa ste Wa Cllr te r a t t Pa d h d


me e p o y M C ap it a l al t e r e t i n g o r a t t cC a r t Pa r k, B u lo c ate d fo r H me e t re a t o n D C C e n d a n a n e x e s h y Pa r k a nd I r rbert s a i d t i n g me n t p l a n c e a t p re s s e St a d i u m s w s l is d h a M h f o to w n s t m his Th e or rk cC o u l a t t m a n a a r t a n d h a v e s i n R i f u r t h o n t h d i sm a C o u n c il lo r Pa dd y Mc b a t e n de d g e r r a t a c b e e n n g s e n e r wa s p u b l y in Car f o r m re a de e s e i d a o rs o f €18 t a n is de li g h t e d t o h a v . C l l r n d i t s p o n u n c i b e t t . “Th t e wa c li n C it y C o 2,000 f r o we e b e e K i e r a wa s de d t h l me e e r a t t e p u b u n c il C a p m t h e Du it a l Pr o g r bb e in g a ll o u s u l l a d v e n h i g h n B i n c a l i v e l a t a b t i n g re e n de d l i c a m c a m t e e d o w a y e t h r ,” h o c ic u t l r t h h y e He r be rt B u s h y Pa r is s ue l y v is e at s a a n d t 20 e n t k p a v il li o Pa r k a n d î C s a n d e r y w d wa s t e n d a ni d t h a i n f o r p e o p l y. n t s h p . e r U o g n e r s d amme 20 ll C o ll ap s e r l l r De r m a n y e l l i n f t h e e v c e a n t t h e r me d d l e 12- -2014 e r t h e D C C wo r k s a W e h e t g n t in a id e e r v g y t e B h e Ir is h t o t r a c k is a re v i c e s m o t d i d nít o r me n t. ì d a s k s h o u il li am Q u a wn ls o t o b e St a d iu m ll a t F it z w e n c o ll a p s e d f o r u a p w g re s i s i t h o i n D C L a c e y k n o w d a b o u R e s i de e d h o l d r a de d . Ir is r u n ly f h e a h e s T b a s p w a C 4 htown 00 me t re a d h t rack wh n u m o n de w t h a n d f e l t t i t wa t c o a n t s a B in c h y, a t t art an r in R in g s e n n e a ic r g r e h d ie id s r K h h b e s s i a b r t ll s un b e e n in p a n d e r t by s e e v t s p a t t h a p a l i Due t o at o r ig in a l e a r n o w. C la c e s in c e n in g h le t ic u s e s k e d if t h e a n e a r ly a y , D C C v a l u o a d v ay i n g e n t s a re s s o h e c o p e n i n sg 2004. . in d t o e il v e u q e b r t h e ye a u ire s re p a re il m rs it n o w p a p s a i d e f o r e r t i s e t h a t re a d ffic e r p o r a g . ir in g o r r ce n t counc h cos ts to e r it w lp n e t re o e n h i v m c p la c in g . l il l i n f o e rs a n t h a t o n e t h e s e t c o s e r t i s e e d t e t rac t or w t h e o r ig in a a rs n s o c “a t t a e h o t d a ad v y ne rm s e r s a id d re d ye e e ve n a s d . DC e in a PR Th e m a n a g e d t h e jo b o v e r a h u n d v a t e amr t s w d s t o t s e a i x fig u C y h e lp h is re e re ch be nce t o r f in ask for an c o a t r t t lt u y a ic l f . rge p l ac o o k e a r Dere lict sites : ld b e d if e ts l a g o, it wo u .” d n o c a e d i n d a t. il u io b t e c r e d ir to A more robu st approach towa rds l gr lo c a t he cos ts f rom t h at t a f h oup t o l d n e io g g er s to dere lict sites is calle d for by Cllr in t h e re It h a s e m in a ll w il l b e d e w ir d u e q s e p r a e ll r Padd y McC arta n the co e wo r k s a r ib u t in g t o 0. R i v e rs id t 0 n o ,0 c 0 0 n is 8 is o € ns and th . Sh e e t At a recen t counc il mee ting McCa rtan said ll a c in g p o n t o o s s t i e d t he d wo r k t o o lv e i o e v n l t il r n w e d o k op oa that at temp ts to f ind out who owns which c o s t. Th e r w il l b e le f t blin P Flynn as il mee te h e n u ig h la s e D n i o t t u site in Dublin is ver y f rust ratin g. He was ret No t i v i t ie s a Mannix nt counc t acce ss , is n e e de d , b f ic f lo w. g h f a in r il t p g r i o f e e y c c eem n ll o w ferri ng to a North umbe rland Road site of Fre “ It d o e s s om a n ts. Cllr at a re as in te r Compan y a n t ly t o a t s r id n a o s f c n a e t tar the old Israe li Emba ssy be side the pe t rol staNois r re side n update t no w h lin Port e ls e ve r a dd y McC wa ll in e x is P a r t ll a C h t o b v l i a f u a n le tion. DCC re sponded by sayin g: “Prio r to takld c a v e in c o in c ide n t ce r n age r for tor ing u by the D m noise ye a rs s h o u i.e . m o re t h a n d i e d u r t e d n e n h n e T u m t a o h ” i s a c il t. ing form al actio n, de tails of owne rship need x m m c e f o r o ve r d at a o ng o re b e in g b u n The ata colle and ma a e s . n y io g o t d g a l d n i a in re ie oun to be de term ined by DCC. If the site rema ins ise d rage a m a jo r d r h e n ne w f u n w s s io n s a o w t h e y is w e r e d h g t t to no ding ave n in a d il th in dereli ct condi tion by the end of the ye ar r uge a ay. Discu as to h ni tor ing t re c e n t b u n a g e r s a id a a h h t m d n a re co d. a d y e ll t pe c mo an ore rd a statu tor y le v y will be sough t. Conce rns h a t wa n s in wo r k is e x e h in g u n de r t T se co is re sul t dings pe rt Comp ve the ing a m ise . d e m b la had been e xpre ssed by DCC to the owne r no Th 0 re a blin Po impro e ve lop c anno t be f k r . o s o h w t n 0 u o d d D ,8 of m ew and the site may be added to the regist er.” e a c o u p le 172 i th the line an v ie w to ove r v i k a t d o t e l m Counc illors said that the proce ss take s too c o up ing w t s t re a wi th a f r ie ndly n t s le s w i l l h r e t g e i m s u e m ie d o long , that f indin g the owne rs shoul d happe n nd u a . rap ro v he du c ar r ingf ul a the are he se im ping sc f the ope refaste r and that site s are causi ng dama ge to n p me a rat ion in th at t to shi me n ts o t me asu gh t adjoin ing prope rtie s. “Even if taxe s and le vn n ge ne is hope d par iso isie s t e le e d. Re ce si te f re i ing ie s are applie d, what of that dama ge cause d It he com the no l Limi t he on- unload e t t s a i t m o of to the adjac ent ri ver? Penal tie s shoul d be wi th to confir e Te rmin uni t th a e rat ion to the n e d. t n applie d to the entire t y of the st re tch. Ever y he lp of Mar i te to the m the op r ibu t ion al Limi ata n i t t ion ts indic a inct f ro an t con e Te rm pany d single ha’pe nny that is due shoul d be taken,” t n me n c, as dis a signific m Mar i Port Com said Cllr Derm ot Lacey. DCC said that site s fi t raf me n t is t ing f ro e Dublin ge t value d and the dereli ct site le v y is three h equip s eman a ysis of t perce nt. Le v ie s on valua tion do not take le ve l e r an al h into accou nt adverse conse quenc e s outsi de Furt going. of site bound ar y. is o n


By S an dy H azel

around waste collection in terms of expensive promises to feed a proposed incinerator, loss of waivers and potentially higher costs to householders. The waste service in Dublin takes in about €20 million annually but costs €40 million. The manager said that additional EU levies on landfill will make the shortfall worse and that unions had been consulted on the figures “rigorously.” “It was made clear to unions that no-one would be made redundant. DCC staff and private contractors staff rates of pay are not significantly different so argument of cheap labour doesn’t stand up,” said Tierney at a recent council meeting. He said that “demands will be

made of private contractors around waivers.” However, the recently-privatised collection of waste in Fingal will honour waivers only up until 2012. After that, the private collectors are not legally obliged to facilitate waivers. Waivers to 37,000 households currently cost DCC €6 million a year. It is thought that waivers might operate through the Department of Social Protection, but it is already stretched and if it were to do so it would have to be nationalised, which would cost a lot more than €6 million. At the recent DCC meeting, the manager said that flat complexes are DCC clients and so DCC will liaise with operators

for best deals there. But if DCC cannot make a profit from waste, how can private operators? The private companies say they are more efficient and are dedicated to this service alone without other business distractions. There are some who feel that DCC cannot compete in the market anyway and that privatisation won’t necessarily mean reduced service and higher bills. “Estimates for next year are based on DCC not providing this service. Savings will be significant,” said Fine Gael Councillor Ruairi McGinley. However, with the collector of the waste deemed the owner of the waste, who would feed any proposed incinerator remains unclear.


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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year





By Dave Fleming or those of us with an interest in tracing our ancestry, the Back To Our Past Exhibition at the R.D.S. was a great opportunity to discover some new sources of research, as well as being able to get advice from the top experts. The exhibition is in its second year and has grown in scale and popularity since its inception. Over fifty exhibitors dealt with the swarm of genealogy enthusiasts, dealing with everything from Glasnevin burials, a newlyreleased batch of online church records, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) to printing out an eight-generation family chart on a single sheet of A0 paper. The Glasnevin Trust Genealogy Service ( opened its Glasnevin Museum in

April of this year to some fanfare, but the online search facility of its records from 1828 to present, detailing over 1.1 million people, may have gone unnoticed. These records include the other Dublin cemeteries under the Trust’s care, located at Newlands Cross, Dardistown, Palmerstown & Goldenbridge, along with all cremations. The National Archives (www. responsible for the hugely successful online census transcriptions ( are now celebrating the updating of their Church records search site, www. with more Roman Catholic records of Baptism, Marriage and Burial for County Cork and Dublin City, bringing the total number of searchable Church records up to nearly three million.

Records from Counties Carlow, Cork, Dublin City and Kerry can now all be searched. Catriona Crowe, Senior Archivist at the National Archives hopes eventually to have all the available Church records put online and remains optimistic, despite a severe lack of funding, to keep to target with their existing projects. Eneclann ( is Ireland’s leading provider of Irish family history services including Irish family history research, heritage services, digitisation and digital publication. They had their large range of CDs for sale, covering fully searchable 19-20th century ‘Thoms Directories’, electoral registers, estate records, tenancies and gravestone inscriptions among others. Fiona Fitzsimons, Director, General Manager & Research Director (left) admitted that the recent revelation of President Obama’s genealogical links with Ireland has increased the interest in the subject here. They are also behind the new Irish ‘Find My Past’ site (www., which shows land and estate records, Griffith’s Valuation of Ireland, New Irish Prison records and military and rebellion records. Overall, it was a small but wellorganised exhibition of essential genealogical resources, which satisfied most visitors’ requirements. Pictured above is Fiona Fitzsimons, General Manager & Research Director with Eneclann.



By Dave Fleming utting it on the Computer: You probably will now have many piles of paper containing certificates, wills, scraps of stories, maps and photos. And when the family come around, you can take out the boxes of papers and show them what you have learned. But think ahead to a time when your children find the box in the attic and you are long gone to meet the dead ancestors face-toface. It’s time to get organised. Thankfully, we now have several computer programs to enter your information so that you can produce various family tree charts and reports. They include: Legacy h t t p : / / w w w. Basic Free Deluxe $39.95 Roots Magic h t t p : / / w w w. Basic Free Deluxe $29.95 Go to the top ten genealogy program reviews: genealogysoftware-review.toptenreviews. com/ to compare the most popular programs. All these programs have wizards to get you started and you will find that after making a few entries, things get quite automatic. But all these programs have many hidden facilities and a good read through the manual will reveal many useful ideas. There are user groups online for most programs, which will be on hand to take you beyond the terse instructions in the manual. Getting organised But before you start entering data, you will want to organise your papers by sorting them into relevant groups and numbering them and captioning photos and documents. You can choose to break down the data into family groups: husband/wife; mother/father and


so on up the chain, depending how many generations you were able to collect. Some families spread themselves far and wide and you might subdivide a particular family into branches by country/county. Everyone has their own system and whatever works for you will do. You can always modify your system later. Sourcing One golden rule of genealogy is that a fact without a source is merely gossip. Sourcing information informs future users where they can go to verify your assumptions. You should Google ‘Citation’ to acquaint yourself with the arduous rules of sourcing. Serious researchers will want to see original documents (birth, marriage or death certificates, wills and deeds etc). Most useful websites will carry transcription of census data, for example, but until you read the original document, you will not be absolutely sure of a misspelling or misinterpretation of facts. Un-sourced family trees are generally worthless, as in one case where I found that a woman gave birth to a boy fifty years after she had died– some trick! Telling your story Once your data is properly collated, you can produce, among others, a narrative ancestor report, which will give you a list of facts about your ancestors, generation by generation. But that’s all you get from a computer program– facts. Now it’s time to flesh out the bare facts with stories. Giving some historical context to explain why the family suddenly moved to the USA or wherever will bring your readers into the picture and will help them to imagine their circumstances. Photos tell much more than words and are such a valuable tool in storytelling. On completion, you will not just have a better understanding of your own roots but you will also learn something about the history and geography of your ancestral homelands and will also learn more about what makes you tick. Happy hunting!





Community and Regeneration


Community and Education

t is acknowledged that regeneration is more than bricks and mortar. It involves community development, estate management, family support, social enterprise and sustainability. But there is regeneration and then there is successful regeneration, so how does the community sector deliver the success after the cranes are gone and the snag lists sorted? In a shrinking economy, the budgets for community work are being slashed, Dr. Rory Hearne told the seminar. Hearne, who works on regeneration and housing in Dolphin House in Dublin 8, said that “cutting of youth services and the voluntary sector will impact on society.” “Communities need to be able to provide evidence of results the sector can get,” said Hearne. “Traditionally, groups haven’t been strong in this. It is difficult to quantify and measure some outputs but it is important to record gains,” he said. “Neighbourhoods, green space, social facilities should be the driving force in successful regeneration,” said Hearne. While ring fencing of budgets should allow for current plans “they are only being prioritised within a shrinking budget,” he added. Above: Workshop on Unemployment/ Education/ Training/ Emerging Trends presented by Julie Bernard, Equality Access Officer D.I.T. Access Services Community Links.

Community and Self


By Sandy Hazel

e need to look more to ourselves in the search for resources, according to Roisín Shortall TD, Minister of State. Speaking to the Ringsend Community Services Forum last week, Shortall told community workers that “sometimes we point to the gardai or the council or the HSE to do more but there is no single group who can fix things, we all have a responsibility.” The seminar was looking at how the community sector can inform future policy. “The reality is that in communities, people need to be constantly engaged and involved. In areas that tend to have problems, anti social activity or poor serv-

ice from statutory agencies, those communities tend to be where people don’t get involved. Communities that work are where people come out and get involved, councillors, gardai and agencies take more notice; active communities keep us all on our toes,” she said. Shortall acknowledged that community involvement generally is always left to a small group but part of the job is to keep up pressure to get more people involved. “When there are financial pressures we have a choice; we can curse that darkness or we can light a candle. Sometimes in a recession people do pull together better and develop stronger links.” One of the ways of making a community better is to look after yourself first said Shortall. “Doctors and nurses have little to do with good health, they help when we are ill, yes, but 80 per cent of good health is down to your own lifestyle choices in terms of physical fitness. Being involved in the community also helps good mental health. People themselves have the most important role in maintaining their own good health.” Shortall pointed to the culture of drinking in Ireland. “We are the second biggest drinkers in the world. It costs the State €4 billion a year to deal with alcohol-related abuse. It is a massive burden on

the health service; it contributes to suicides and crime from antisocial behaviour through to homicide. Alcohol-related crime costs us more as do absenteeism and work related accidents.” Shortall says she is keen to address the cheap availability of alcohol and its advertising. It may be too late however. A quick survey by NewsFour on the way home from the seminar shows a strip in Dublin’s inner city which has been blessed with ten off-licences within half a mile. Most will deliver. NewsFour put it to the Minister that planning is an issue. Communities find their objections to off-licences dismissed by the planning authorities. “I am very concerned about the huge increase in the number of off-licences in recent years and how the growth in numbers was allowed to go unchecked. The new Government wants to change this. Work on dealing with this issue is at an advanced stage in the Department of Health. Early in the New Year, the Government will be publishing and implementing an action plan to deal with all aspects of alcohol-related issues,” Minister Shortall told NewsFour. Above, from left: Mary Doolin, Teresa Rooney, Roisin Shortall TD and Garda Derek McDonnell. Left: Emily Scanlan.

ulie Bernard, Access Officer at DIT told the seminar that there are certain barriers to third-level education in the SE area. The early experience in education can affect decisions by young people considering further education; primary and first year in secondary where streaming takes place are critical periods, she said. Resources in local schools, few role models, area norms and sense of identity, fear of a different culture of university are all challenges to working class young people taking up opportunities at third level. “For some families, doing the leaving cert is the big step up and is seen as doing enough,” said Bernard. “It can also be hard to navigate the course choices as the system is confusing,” she added. “It is up to us, the community and families to encourage these wishes, if required. We can help shape the student’s sense of who they are and help them make decisions. The community can become an enabler,” Bernard told the seminar. “The working class culture already fosters responsibility, hard work and maturity, which are huge advantages but are not always recognised as such. The strong community network that exists can instil a confidence in our young locals to further their studies after Leaving Cert. A youth club leader, a football coach, a guidance teacher and parents can all offer that spark of encouragement to a young person who might be wavering and need a little push,” said Bernard. Other access routes beyond CAO are FETAC, Access DIT, Trinity Access Programme and Youth Access Programme. Bernard will be happy to speak to anyone who contacts her to talk through financial supports and access to college. Above: Conference facilitators, left to right: Derek McDonnell, Cllr. Maria Parodi, Marie McMenamon and Alice Charles.




events. We took bronze in the IDBF Breast Cancer Survivors’ World Cup 100% Women and silver in the IDBF Cancer Survivors’ World Cup 70/30 Women; we missed gold by .47 of a second. “We had great help from Etihad who made the trip possible by helping us with flights and we were treated really well by so many people. Dato Herman Chin was the Malaysian organiser who really made a special welcome for us. “Brendan Lyons President of Penang Medical College, which is partnered with the RSCI and UCD, stepped in to provide local support and sponsorship for us. Shane Stephens, Deputy Head of Mis-

sion at the Irish Embassy in Kuala Lumpur attended the race event and hosted a reception at the Embassy for our team. “It was just fantastic for all 28 of us who went, and to meet the other cancer-related teams like the Pink Challengers, Malaysia, Abreast in a Boat, Canada (the very first breast cancer team), Paddlers in Pink, Singapore, Australian Water Dragons, Pink Spartans, (I think they were Hong Kong) Kinababalu Pink Ribbon. Just amazing.” A big NewsFour congratulations to all involved. Left: Breast cancer survivor teams together ready for the flower ceremony.



By Joe McKenna he inspirational women of the Plurabelle Paddlers reached a milestone in their history recently when they took part in the Malaysian International Dragon Boat Festival and the 1st Cancer Survivors World Cup held at Lake Putrajaya, Malaysia. Chairperson, Fiona Tiernan, spoke

with NewsFour about the landmark trip. “It was our aspiration for 2011 to make the trip to Malaysia. It still seems quite surreal to have been somewhere so exotic and taking part in an Asian sport on its home territory, having only had a few months’ experience under our belts in Dublin. But I think that added to the excite-

ment of it, as we were such novices. In Malaysia, our coach, Julie Doyle, had a programme planned for us to get acclimatized. “On the day after arrival we were out running and stretching at 8.30am. We had two practice sessions on the lake, one in the am and one in pm, to get used to the different conditions and we did well in the


By Glenda Cimino mart’ meters are coming to Ireland. Wireless, they pulse radio frequencies every 1-5 seconds, 24/7. They can’t be turned off. They record your consumption of electricity, water or gas in regular short intervals and communicate that information back to the utility for monitoring and billing purposes. They are being rolled out bigtime all over Europe and the world at the moment, without trials to see if customers find them helpful or damaging. ‘Smart’ meters, to the extent that the public in Ireland has been made aware of them, have been introduced as inevitable, and the next great thing. But if this is so, why have they been banned in Marin County, California? Why is opposition to this compulsory rollout of new meters increasing everywhere they have been installed? Energy companies state that smart metering offers a number of potential benefits to householders, such as an end to estimated bills, as your use will be known exactly, minute by minute. If the meter has a display, you can also see for yourself exactly how much gas, electricity or water you are using and what it is costing, and adjust your use accordingly to save money. Assistance could theoretically be targeted at vulnerable and low income consumers more effectively. Outages and leaks can be more easily located. But there are growing arguments against them all over the world. These include: Costs passed on to consumers: There is currently no transparent mechanism in place to limit the financial risk to consumers and to ensure that if costs of the meters are passed on to energy bills that they

are fair and proportionate. There is nothing to stop energy companies from imposing higher tariffs at peak times. You can also be disconnected remotely by the computer– or in a worst case scenario, by hackers into the system. The electronics in the smart meters use more electricity than current analogue meters. When no electricity is consumed in the house, analogue meters consume no power, but smart meters constantly draw current to keep themselves operating, adding to your bill. People report incorrect billing for periods when they were away, due to ‘programming errors’. Health issues: Symptoms reported after installation include ringing in the ears (tinnitus), sleep disruption, headaches, fatigue, nausea, heart palpitations and flulike symptoms. People who have never before experienced sensitivity to wireless radiation have been affected. There are numerous studies that link higher incidences of cancer and leukemia to exposure to radiation such as that from mobile phone masts. Political issues: In Ireland, it is unclear if you have the right to refuse the meters if you don’t want them. In the Netherlands, the Dutch government had to back down after consumer groups raised privacy concerns. Instead of a mandatory roll-out there, smart meters will be voluntary. Economic issues: Loss of meter readers’ jobs. For more information please see and www. Above: Example of a smart meter in use in Europe that has the ability to reduce load, disconnect-reconnect remotely, and interface to gas & water meters.




PAGE 29 I ring?” So what now? I believe that if both developer and City Council are too broke to pay for Priory Hall repair, then the Department of Environment (i.e. you and me) should pay to fix it and have the poor people go home to a safe building. The original plan to visit 10% of sites nationwide should be activated and the cost of this system might be ring- fenced and become part of the commencement notice fee payable to the local council. Proper engagement of Architects should be seriously looked at, as they typically are best positioned to deal with the myriad of complexities in construction as a team leader. Registration of Contractors is also a good idea but that won’t happen overnight. Questions for this column can be sent to Caption: Not all projects end in tears. The local Grand Canal Theatre by internationally acclaimed architect Daniel Liebeskind is something we can all be proud of.

Q. How did the debacle at Priory Hall happen? A. The builder took shortcuts and the authorities, when they acted under building control law, got no effective co-operation for the builders. Most people are pretty competent, reliable and responsible in their jobs, whether it be a baker, a dentist or a teacher. But there is always a small percentage of rogues, and it looks like the developers in this case have much to answer for. However, noone comes out of this mess well, including developers, builders, sub-contractors, engineers, architects, solicitors, estate agents and Dublin City Council. Even the ongoing legal process is a bit of a mess. Dublin City Council is having separate legal representatives for separate Departments, rather than a more co-ordinated response between Departments. The Judge is rightly concerned, but were the consequences of vacating the apartments fully thought through? When Building Regulations were introduced in June 1992, replacing Building Bye Laws, the then-government decided to allow the system self-regulate. God alone knows the reason for this. It might have been one of three things: 1) The influence of a UK legal case where a local authority was successfully sued by a homeowner for having passed something defective. 2) Perhaps they simply didn’t want to invest in an expensive building inspectorate nationwide. or 3) they might have thought of having less bureaucracy in the process. To tie up legal matters to allow properties to sell, the lawyers (Law Society) and architects (RIAI) developed a suite of documents called ‘Opinions on Compliance’. It must be said that on normal jobs where consultants (e.g. architects) are properly engaged, this system has served well to maintain standards, not perfect but not bad. The Northern Ireland and UK system is better in that all sites are inspected. Of course, the door was progressively prised open by less careful builder developers when they ignored sound advice and took short cuts, knowing that there were no enforcement police on the beat. They effectively dumped the architects during the building stage. Remember that the Opinions were designed to facilitate sales. If an Architect was to ‘Supervise’ construction then they would have to be paid to live on-site and nobody does that. During construction, operatives should have been accountable to sub-contractors, who should have been accountable to the main contractor, who should have been responsible to the Developers, who should have complied with Dublin City Council Planning Dept., Building Control Section including Fire Prevention Section. In modern Ireland, there is generally great activity in passing legislation, but little follow-through on compliance and enforcement, let alone imprisonment. The clear lesson in this case, along with the relatively recent banking section debacle, the very recent broken political promises’ mess and the RTE ‘Prime Time’ fiasco, is that Irish people avoid accountability, and are not forced to be accountable. Henry Kissinger famously said, “when I want to contact Europe, who do



Entertainment •Entertainment •Entertainment •Entertainment •Entertainment •Entertainment Theatre Review: Christmas Pantos By Caomhan Keane ‘Tis the season to be jolly yet for most theatre lovers it’s a time to hibernate as the stalls are filled with screaming children and the stage with preening celebrities. NewsFour gives you a quick rundown of the forthcoming shows to introduce your little one to a lifetime of theatre fun. ‘Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates’ Last year it was Mikey Graham. This year it’s Samantha Mumba, above. With Westlife having split, how long before we get to see a stool on the Gaiety Stage? Given that the original text contains cannibalism, slavery and conversions to Christianity, one wonders how much of this will feature in the final product. ‘Little Women’ The Gate have been running on autopilot for quite some

time now, but there are times when that can be a comfort rather than a deterrent. Their Christmas shows generally best capture the spirit of the season for those who want theatre without a neon glow stick waved in front of their snout. Little Women follows the lives of four sisters as they struggle, but manage, to get through the American Civil War. With a supporting cast that includes Deirdre Donnelly, Michael James Ford, Marty Rea, Brid Ní Neachtain and David O’Meara this is our must-see.

Pick of the pics: Christmas Flicks


By Caomhan Keane erhaps the biggest yuletide disappointment– aside from what DIDN’T end up underneath the tree– is the contents of the RTE Guide Christmas Annual. As the drink kicks in and the anger festers, the war over the remote can easily be the kickoff point for your own familial version of Eastenders. So to prevent the killings and to help fill in the time between the pubs closing and reopening, NewsFour has drawn up a list of DVDs essential to your Crimbo cheer. For those who want something a little spikier you can’t

go wrong with ‘Home Alone’ (1990) or its sequel, where Kevin McCalister is forgotten not once, but TWICE by his family as they go on vacation (someone call social services). It’s fantastical premise is enough to satisfy the little ones while there’s enough gratuitous violence for us all to live vicariously through. ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ (1992) reminds us about the meaning of Christmas in a way that is far more visually stimulating than the dry Dickens original, while ‘Scrooged’ (1988) is an adult and delightfully vulgar take on the same tale. Combining the cute and the crude ‘Gremlins’ (1984) and ‘Gremlins: The New Batch’ (1990) is one of those movies you watch years later and wonder how your parents ever

‘Sister Act’ OK. So it’s hardly as Christmassy as The Messiah or The Snowman, but I DON’T CARE. All my Christmasses will come at once when I get to see Deloris van Cartier and her army of singing nuns do their stuff in this jukebox musical based on the hit movie. Motown is out, disco is in but other than that the story– of a lounge singer turned ‘nun’ on the run– stays the same. ‘Jedward and the Beanstalk’ “Put your lipstick on” and see the one export Ireland has left to be proud of as Jedward take to the Olympia stage in their second panto. John and Edward will be up to their usual tag team antics in this night of hilarious song and dance. thought it appropriate to let you see (though thank God they did) and while ‘Santa Claus: The Movie’ (1985) seems to have slipped off the radar it’s well worth a revisit to remind us all of how hard Jolly Old Saint Nick has it. ‘Joyeaux Noel’ (2006) tells the true story of German, French and Scottish troops in World War I who called a ceasefire for Christmas Eve while John Houston’s ‘The Dead’ (1987) is a beautiful adaptation of James Joyce’s short story about loss and reflection set in Ireland at the turn of the last century. And Jodie Foster’s ‘Home for the Holidays’, about a bitter, recently dumped, recently fired woman who does the titular deed is a realistic tonic for our recessionary times.

Festive entertainment and activities The Snowman Christmas Special with Nicky Byrne, 11 Dec, White Christmas, 1–17 Dec, A Christmas Carol, 08–20 Dec, Saveus Maveus and the Santa Clause Rescue, 05–20 Dec, www. Gur Eile– A Panto As Gaeilge, 07–10 Dec, www.thenewtheatre. com Farmleigh House Christmas Programme (Free family fun) 3–18 Dec, 7UP Winter Wonderland 8 Dec–8 Jan, National Museum Christmas Open Day, (Free family event) 03 Dec, Medieval Christmas Fair, Kildare Street (Archaeology) 04 Dec, Christmas in WW1 Curators Tour, 09 Dec, Collins Barracks, Live Animal Crib, 08 Dec onwards, Mansion House, Dun Laoghaire Christmas Festival, 09 Dec–08 Jan, The Nutcracker Suite & the Snow Queen, 09 Dec, NYE Dublin Countdown Concert, 31 Dec, Dublin New Year Festival, Dec–Jan 2012 CHORAL SERVICES Nine lessons and carols, 18 Dec 3.15 pm, Christmas Day, Said Eucharist– 8.30am, Choral Eucharist– 11.15am, sung by the Cathedral Choir. www.saintpatrickscathedral. ie Choral Evensong Christmas Music, 01 Jan 3.15pm, OTHER A free talk/documentary, Historic Bergamo, Italian Institute, 12 Dec @ 7pm, *Keep an eye on Setanta Sports TV for a ‘local’ family on ‘Ireland’s Greatest Sporting Families’ around 11Dec.



Entertainment •Entertainment •Entertainment •Entertainment •Entertainment •Entertainment War games ‘Battlefield3’


By Jason McDonnell hen it comes to realistic battlefields, this game tops them all. It is amazingly addictive and exciting. The single-player campaign is not its best feature but the six cooperative missions make up for this. It is the competitive multplayer games that are the reason why people buy ‘Battlefield 3’. The maps are vast and the difference between this and ‘MW3’ is that you can fly choppers, drive tanks and snipe from miles away. However, the best thing about this game is working with a team. That is where you get the most out of it. I’d rate this game 9 out of 10. It loses 1 point due to the fact that you have to put an entire clip into an enemy to

Book review ‘The Psychopath Test, A Journey through the Madness Industry’ by Jon Ronson. Picador, 2011, UK£12.99.


Reviewed by Glenda Cimino first came across journalist and comedian Jon Ronson at a packed-out Liberty Hall in the Dublin Writers Festival last May. He was talking about his new book, ‘The Psychopath Test’. He came across as likeably neurotic, as he shared with us his habitual panic when speaking in public. He bought the DSM-IV-TR, an 886 page encyclopaedia which now lists 374 separate alleged ‘mental disorders’.

By Joe McKenna f the inevitable splitting of Oasis was a divorce, it’s safe to say that Noel got the kids and Liam got to walk away with nothing but a decent swagger. It’s never been any secret that, had it not been for Noel Gallagher, his little brother would most likely have ended up mugging pensioners in Burnage for a living. For those of you who disagree, I say play Noel Gallagher’s solo album back to back with Liam’s Beady Eye debacle and then eat my words. With ‘High Flying Birds’, Noel Gallagher has given fans what they screamed for as far back as the over-inflated ‘Be Here Now’ album in 1997: an album with just him singing. Yes Liam is one of the great frontmen in rock but Noel always had the soft soul that only ever got revealed on the band’s b-sides, ‘Talk Tonight’ being a perfect example. From the get go, ‘High Flying Birds’ pulls you straight in. As the intro to ‘Everybody’s On

The Run’ rumbles and swirls, you get the feeling something big is coming and it does as Noel belts out, ‘You can’t fight the feeling’. And with this album, you can’t. With former Oasis producer Dave Sardy twisting the knobs and Mike Rowe operating the keys, it’s clear that Gallagher didn’t want to veer too far from his signature sound. The infectious chorus is there on ‘Dream On’, the calm acoustic strum is there on ‘If I Had A Gun’ and the presence of Gary Alesbrook’s trumpet makes ‘The Death Of You And Me’ sound like something from New Orleans that would fit perfectly into the soundtrack of ‘The Aristocats’. After daydreaming your way through ‘Record Machine’ you hit upon two songs that see Noel go off the beaten track. With ‘What A Life’ you have what edges on being a dance track and for the first time in my memory Noel Gallagher gets a little political on ‘Soldier Boys’ and ‘Jesus Freaks’. Both the stand-out tracks for me. After that, ‘Broken Arrow’, ‘The Wrong Beach’ and ‘Stop The Clocks’ pale in comparison. But overall, this bird is too high to shoot down. Well worth getting.

lation, grandiose sense of selfworth, glibness and superficial charm, shallow affect, lack of remorse or guilt–.and so on– which we find in many of society’s leaders.” Ronson skilfully interweaves several stories from his research. He meets ‘Brian’, who works for Scientology’s anti-psychiatry CCHR (Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights). Brian introduces him to ‘Tony’, a Broadmoor inmate who faked mental illness to get out of a prison sentence, but 12 years later is still

unable to convince the doctors that he really is sane. He learns how to identify psychopaths from psychologist Bob Hare, who developed the industry standard Psychopath Test and who is convinced that many important CEOs and politicians are, in fact, psychopaths. Armed with a 20-point checklist (see chapter 4), Ronson sets out to find psychopaths in the corridors of power. For more information, go to

Music: Brotherly strife kill them. You need to reach level 16 before you get a decent weapon. but if the guns were more powerful it would get full marks.

‘Modern Warfare 3’ ‘Modern Warfare 3’ by Activision has a great story mode and is very entertaining, but as usual

“I found I was suffering from at least 12,” Ronson said. “General anxiety disorder, arithmetic learning disorder, caffeine induced disorder, and malingering among them.” But while he could find Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and Antisocial Personality Disorder, Psychopaths were strangely missing. He wanted to know more. Ronson’s fascinating story, alternately satirical and serious, begins when he is contacted by a leading neurologist. She and several colleagues have recently received a cryptically puzzling book in the mail, and Jon eventually discovers who sent it and solves the mystery behind it. As he searches for the answer, he is launched unexpectedly on a true though often unbelievable adventure into

it is the online feature that makes this game special. The story takes you all around the world to various flashpoints. Unfortunately, there’s nothing radically new this year, but familiar modes like Death Match, Capture-the-Flag and Headquarters Pro are back. Also returning is the Special Ops mode, a collection of brief solo or two-player missions that fill in some of the main campaign’s background. I would rate this game 9 out of 10. If you want a game that will keep you going till next Christmas this is the one. The multi-player games are smaller than ‘Battlefield 3’ but have more of a cage-fight feel to them and are enough to keep any player entertained. Parental locks for violence and language can also be put in place if you are buying this game for younger players.

the world of madness. He discovers a theory by a number of prominent psychologists, that many world leaders and CEOs of companies are, in fact, psychopaths. “That would help explain the amount of lying, manipu-

Noel Gallagher’s ‘High Flying Birds’







A great aul skin

en Fitzgerald is from the South Inner City just off Meath Street near the Liberty Market. He works for Dublin City Council in Ringsend and has been making Bodhráns for the past 10 years in his spare time. It is an unusual hobby for someone from the inner city as most Bodhrán-making is associated with the West of Ireland. It all started when he lived for a while in Roscommon and picked up the skill from an old friend of his who was making them there. It takes around a week to make a Bodhrán. First of all, it takes around 24 hours to make the rim, then it takes another 24 hours to 2 days to get the goat skin ready and applied. When the rim and skin are ready, he draws by hand the symbols or club emblems, crests or pub names that people want on the Bodhrán. He sells them for between €60 to €80. Fitzgerald gets the goat skins from Pakistan and the timber he uses is Russian birch ply. He has templates for the most popular clubs like the Dublin crest and Man United, Celtic and Liverpool crests, but if you bring your own idea or design he’ll be happy to accommodate you. Fitzgerald helped to raise money for his local GAA club by raffling 6 of his Bodháns featuring the Dublin crest. To view his work, visit his facebook page at or you can email him at for more information. By Jason McDonnell


By Jason Mc Donnell ara Dunne has been painting all of his life. His Dad was an artist and used to paint a lot when he was younger. Dunne watched him and took it up himself in school. Art was always his favourite class. There were two teachers who took notice of his work and guided him in the right direction. During his teenage years he continued to paint as a hobby and used to paint art for himself to put on his bedroom wall, as he could not find the art he wanted in shops. I like the realism in Dunne’s art, the way he catches the light at the corner of walls and at times it is like you are looking around objects. He also leaves everything in, like bins and dirt, keeping it very real. What you see is what you get. He is influenced by Degas, Andrew White, Edward Hopper, Norman Rockwell and Salvador Dali, as he likes fantasy work. It can take Dunne months to make a painting, as he usually works at night when his children are in bed. And he works into the night usually

taking at least 60 hours per painting. He normally goes out with his camera and takes a hundred photos, just to get one that he can use. Dunne tries to stay away from the traditional thatched cottage paintings and typical landscapes, as he is always looking for a dif-

ferent angle. Most of his work is acrylic on board of areas he is familiar with, for example South City centre, Blackrock, the canals and Seapoint. The lighting looks great in his night scenes and it is also his favourite time of day, what he calls the Jerry Bruckheimer time of day, the bad boy movies and ‘CSI Miami’ where the sun is sort of setting. It is tricky to catch this type of light. Even to photograph in twilight can be difficult. Dunne has upped his game after losing his job a year ago and recently held a solo exhibition in St. John’s GAA Club in Ballinteer. You can see some of his work hanging in the Cornucopia restaurant Wicklow Street Dublin 2. Prints cost between €250 to €350 with a frame and a painting costs around €800 to €1,000. He is trying to go to the next level and get people interested in his art, get people looking at his work to try to get a reaction. He is finding it difficult with the recession. It is hard to find galleries who are taking on new artists. If you are interested in seeing more of Dunne’s work, you can contact him at or view his work on facebook at DARA (ARTIST) or on his website at and all feedback would be appreciated.



By Joe McKenna hen bulldozers moved into Lansdowne Road Stadium, South Dublin lost a historical piece of its landscape. One could even say that the community had lost a family member in many respects. Thankfully, this was foremost in the minds of the people responsible for building the Aviva Stadium, which now sits on the old site. In 2007, as part of the Aviva Stadium proposal, it was agreed that a community funding initiative be set up to benefit community projects in the local vicinity. To date, the Aviva Stadium has invested over €500,000 in almost 150 separate projects in the area around the stadium. The Aviva provides €100,000 in grants each year and all local schools, clubs and other community organisations are encouraged to apply. To celebrate the success of the funding programme the Aviva Stadium held a function in mid-October to present commemorative plaques to a representative cross-section of the projects in receipt of funding

since its inception. Stadium Chairman and head of the FAI, Mr John Delaney, spoke of the importance of community funding within the area. “We felt that the setting-up of a fund to support local groups, clubs and schools would ultimately benefit the greatest number of people across the local community. We built the idea into our planning application and we were delighted to see that the planning authorities also felt it was a good idea. “Originally, the figure proposed was €75K per year for the life of the stadium, but the stadium board took the decision to increase the fund to €100K per year to signify our commitment. “Looking at the projects over the five years, I was struck both by the number of different organisations applying for funding and also by the diversity of the projects themselves. Over the period, we have had applications from schools (both primary and secondary), sports clubs, charitable organisations, local churches, senior citizens’ groups, youth organisations, residents’ associations, com-

munity groups and local historical societies. “And what a diversity of different projects. The projects have included: 2007 (9 projects funded) Marian College– towards necessary repair works for their pool, which is open to the local community. 4th Dodder Sea Scouts– for the provision of a new rescue boat on the Dodder River. 2008 (23 projects funded) St Brigid’s Primary School– for installation of rubberlock safety surface in school playground. 2009 (32 projects funded) Iris Charles Centre for Older People– funding towards creation of a new kitchen. The centre provides daily meals for senior citizens. BADRA / LADRA– towards sponsorship of places for local children attending summer camps for soccer, GAA, rugby and tennis. Supported every subsequent year. St Patrick’s CYFC– towards

new equipment. One of many sporting clubs supported in the area. 2010 (45 projects funded) Plurabelle Paddlers– towards cost of a dragon boat used by the group to help women recovering from cancer. Ringsend Strings– towards cost of new musical instruments and tuition. Enable Ireland Sandymount School– for the fitting-out of a room as a soft play area. 2011 (20 PROJECTS FUNDED

IN TRANCHE ONE) Lansdowne Lawn Tennis Club– tennis tuition programme for children from the local area. Herbert Park Centenary Committee– towards open family day celebration of centenary of Herbert Park.” Pictured above at the Aviva Stadium Community Fund plaque presentation were, left to right, John Delaney, chairman, Aviva Stadium, Cepta Hopkins BADRA, and Alfred Guinevan, LADRA




By Caomhan Keane he traditional image people have of the Burning Man Festival is one of middle class hippies wandering stark bollock naked through the Nevada Desert on an annual pilgrimage from hygiene. That’s not all together untrue. But while the primary aim is to get away from the responsibilities of the 9–5 world, to party up a sandstorm until the titular figure is burnt on the Saturday night, many people would be surprised to hear that it also has a spiritual side. The Temple is what sets Burning Man apart as a festival. A place where people remember friends and family that have passed away, it’s the largest art project commissioned by the festival, a structure people go to and write messages on, or bring photographs or pieces of art to, so that over the course of the week the temple becomes covered in all these mementos, like a memorial. On the Sunday, after people have started to wind down af-



ter a week’s insanity, the entire festival congregate and watch the temple burn to the ground, letting go of whatever painful memory they may have imprinted on its walls. In comparison to the burning of the man, where music, fireworks and a jovial mood prevail, the burning of the temple is silent, as 50,000 people look on in quiet reflection. This year, for the first time, the construction of the temple was awarded to a non-American collective of artists known as the International Arts Megacrew, co-headed by Irish artist Diarmuid Horkan, 32. This year was his tenth burn. As it is the largest single art installation commissioned by the man, the Burning Man have a rigorous application process. “We had to submit a 35-thousand word application, with drawings that gave an extremely clear idea as to what we wanted to do,” says Horkan. “We spent five months working on an application (October to January) before having to find the space to build it.”


From May to August, 150 volunteers from around the world packed up their life and moved to Reno to dedicate themselves to the building of the man, before trucking it down in pieces and constructing it in the desert. “The temple is a very emotional project for pretty much everybody on the crew,” says Horkan. “We had over 600 applications from people wanting to give up their whole summer just to work on the man. “It’s a really super-intense process. You become extremely connected to everyone else working around you, particularly because of the commonality of motivation. Everyone has their personal reasons for working on the temple but there is a common thread. We had a very tight crew and we spent a good bit of time trying to get people out of the warehouse, to stop working and make them go to the lake and take part in other forms of non temple based r’n’r. “We rely on donations for everything; materials, tools, food. The entire Burning Man

community supports the temple. Most of these volunteers were put up by other Burning Man people around Reno.” Those who have been to the festival argue that the temple is what best encapsulated the spirit

of Burning Man. “A lot of people say you could get rid of the man and just have the temple. That’s more important to them. It’s the spiritual heart of the festival.” Above: The ‘Man’ burns.




A story by Des McInernery Second Place Winner in our Short Story Competition


he’s making her face up in the bathroom. Before, I’d try to imagine what delicate things she was flitting about and doing– now I just look at my watch and wonder why it takes her so long. It hasn’t been good for weeks, for months. This trip to Paris is my idea; a way of taking stock, one of us has got to do something about this rotten situation. Funny, I always choose cities to end it all; with Laura it was Amsterdam central station, all that noise in the background as we said goodbye, now here… In no time, Patti and me are walking down a narrow street, our arms almost touching, but I feel uncomfortable. Then we join the tourist locusts visiting the graveyards; we feast on the headstones of the famous; the outrageousness of Oscar Wilde, the starkness of Samuel Beckett, then Chopin, Edith Piaf, there’s so many that we tramp over less worthy ones to get a view, desecrating them. An unkempt American with a backpack asks me; “Where’s Morrison’s grave, bro?” and I point it out, this is definitely the end. I even have a camera, I point it in Patti’s direction, but she puts her


THINGS hands in front of her face. When I look through the lens I think of the others, those photographic memories buried somewhere in computer files, like the promises we made. Now, we trudge along with the throngs towards Notre Dame Cathedral. There’s a man in medieval dress wearing a hunchback, he drags his leg, a girl dressed as Esmeralda appears behind him, her eyes are trance-like, we have to move away as if it’s a reminder that love is a bond between the ugly and the beautiful. Stone… stone everywhere. I’m remembering Karla, outside the church in Prague, a hot steamy July, but Karla too fell from grace. Patti lies down on the grass, her hair falls, covering her face. Years ago I would’ve leaned across, caressed it, instead, I take a map and spread it out, now I’d like to tell her everything, the whole rotten story, how this creeping cancer of doubt has eaten its way through my body and mind. Does she know– maybe like me she’s afraid; we’re the coward twins. On the claustrophobic Metro a gypsy plays a loud accordion which nobody wants to hear or pretends not to. He walks to where we sit and serenades us, thinking we’re lovers, it’s murder until our stop. Out in the air I see the Eiffel


By Concetto La Malfa t the beginning of the 19th century, the name of Bianconi stands out

Tower, you can’t seem to go anywhere in this city without seeing it, it hangs like a spiraling pall; I’m beginning to hate it. Patti’s read ‘Les Miserables’ and wants to see Victor Hugo’s house, but to me it’s just another house in the middle of a square. She treats it like a monastery, there’s a bedroom cordoned off, we stare at a dusty old four poster bed with small vignettes on the wall. Patti’s voice is hushed, reverent; “He slept in this bed… he looked up at those pictures… he covered himself in these bedclothes,” I see a pretty, but lifeless room. After an age, we reverently creak

back down the stairs to the real world outside. I’ve suggested an out of the way tourist route, the Paris very few tourists see. It brings us to the tougher quarter, an unkempt vagrant falls into a door way ahead of us and I try to steer Patti away but she insists on trying to help the man. She bends down beside him, she speaks in broken French, he is incoherent, again I try to pull her away and again, she resists, instead she is bending close to the man, she is pressing notes into his hand. Eventually she stands up and we walk along in silence. I consult the map; there is an inevitable tourist landmark around the corner. When we reach it we find it’s just a concrete column decorated with graffiti and lazing students with backpacks. Below, there’s an inlet of water which eventually flows into the Seine, we look down into the water, a dead fish floats in the murky slime. I consult the map, this is the end of the Metro line, nobody would want to come here, the landscape is uneven and hostile, no place for the


among the early immigrants to Ireland. Charles Bianconi was born in 1786 in Tregolo, near the town

of Lecco in northern Italy. At the age of 16 he was entrusted to one of his father’s friends, called Faroni, a travelling vendor of prints and holy images, who took him to Ireland where he would be trained in the art of selling. Having finished his training, rather than going back to Italy, he stayed in Ireland to become a solo operator and start his own business. But due to lack of transport, he was obliged to carry his lead-framed pictures on his back going around the country, while experiencing difficulty in getting shipments of cargo delivered. Why not invest in a horsedrawn carriage? With his first savings he did just that. In the space of a few years his horses and coaches multiplied. He was able to build an empire which consisted of 1,300 horses, 100 coaches with 100 conductors operating over a network of

gullible tourist. I turn to her; this is the time, the place. Before I can say a word, she’s staring down, blurting it out; “Tom, I’ve been trying to find a time… a place… to tell you this.” The map is crumbling in my hand; it’s falling to the ground. “I’ve been trying to tell you for a long time really,” she’s grinding her lovely white teeth, it was the Tuscan hills when she did that first, it attracted me to her right away. Curiously, I’m thinking about Nicole; it was at a water’s edge in Brindisi that I’d left her, a return ticket in her hand. “Truth is Tom, I’ve found somebody else… don’t ask me, it just happened!” Patti is saying, but I’m only half listening. I’m seeing a cold dark headstone in Montmartre, a grave I carelessly walked over. My eyes follow the dead fish, floating on the surface of the water, my guide book appears to have become misplaced, I’m reaching out to Patti, but she’s turning away, there’s only me and the fish left. My feet are rooted to the spot, I see her walk away, she knows her way around Paris, maybe he’s waiting somewhere for her, perhaps under the Eiffel Tower. A small wind blows up, not unusual for Paris, my tourist guides begin to flap around my feet, they slip off the path into the water, I watch them float away. The dead fish remains coldly silent and lifeless.


140 coach stations all over Ireland. His Headquarter was in what is today’s Hearne’s Hotel in Clonmel, with a main terminal in Waterford. The well-respected Bianconi, who married an Irish girl and had two children, became Mayor of Clonmel, a magistrate and grand juror and eventually dep-

uty of his county, Tipperary. Besides this, he helped his life-long friend Daniel O’Connell throughout his struggle for Catholic emancipation. Apparently, something extraordinary happened a few minutes before Bianconi died. His family members and close friends had gathered about his bed when he heard the unmistakable sounds of galloping horses on the gravel below. Everyone looked up, startled, and the grooms went running to the stables; but the gates of the yard were closed, and none of the horses had broken loose. Yet, they could hear the clatter, just as though all the horses in Bianconi’s long life had come to be with him on the last minute of his life. We don’t know whether this is true but, as they say, you wouldn’t spoil a good story for the sake of the truth.



Name:…………………………… Address:………………………… Telephone:………………… Post entries to NewsFour, RICC, Thorncastle Street, Ringsend, D.4 by 20th January 2012. Winner of our October/November crossword competition was Heather Joyce, 17 Cloister Grove, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.

PAGE 35 ACROSS 1 Lots of lights and baubles needed to decorate this (9,4) 10 A big fib (7) 11 Because of, on account of (5,2) 12 Winter festival, type of chocolate log (4) 13 To be seen in the Gaiety, Olympia and other theatres at Christmas (5) 15 Second letter of the Greek alphabet (4) 17 Used to express affirmation or consent (3) 19 For example 1, 2, 3 (6) 21 To impart knowledge, to make aware (6) 22 Missiles or space crafts (7) 23 The mental faculty of retaining and recalling past experience (6) 25 One who rides the waves or browses the internet (6) 27 A subscriber identity module essential in the mobile phone (3) 29 The number of lives a cat is said to have (4) 30 Low in cost (5) 31 Practitioner of yoga (4) 34 At a time before the present (7) 35 Consumed on 25th and flamed with hot whiskey (7) 36 We wish this to all the readers of NewsFour (1,5,3,4) DOWN 2 A petty thug or ruffian (7) 3 A game for children (1,3) 4 Natural harbour in the south-west of England, often referred to as The English Riviera (6) 5 Takes into one’s family (6) 6 Small branch, understand (4) 7 Painter, sculptor, and architect of the Spanish Renaissance (1541–1614) (2,5) 8. Well known Christmas Carol (4,2,1,6) 9 There was one this year involving William and Kate (5,8) 14 A long narrow piece of material worn under the collar (7) 16 It is red and attached to holly at this time of year (7) 18 Follow after as a consequence (5) 20 Keane or Cropper? (3) 21 Pronoun denoting possession, --- mine (3) 24 Ruler or king (7) 26 State in US, capital Tallahassee, noted for its sunshine (7) 27 A little drop of this at Christmas? (6) 28 A bird associated with gathering things and chattering (6) 32 To walk lamely or lacking strength (4) 33 In a lazy manner (4)

BE A WINNER! We have an excellent prize for our Christmas Crossword which has been generously sponsored by

THE SANDYMOUNT HOTEL The winner will receive a voucher for a fabulous 3 course meal for 2, plus a bottle of wine in their hotel.

Send your comple ted entr y to: Ne wsFour, RICC, Thorncastle Stree t, Ringsend, Dublin 4 by 16th January 2012.







By Glenda Cimino ave Lordan has been described by William Wall as “the poetic voice that Ireland needs.” He was born in Derby, England, in 1975, where his mother and father, from Kerry and Clonakilty respectively, met and married. In 1977 they returned to Clonakilty in West Cork, where Lordan grew up. “Clonakilty was always a cosmopolitan place, with immigrants from the continent and Britain, which added to the culture of the town. I grew up with street theatre and music.” On the negative side, in school he experienced bullying by teachers and other students, who were taught from a young age to solve problems

through violence. He observed the class society with its repression and oppression, a theme in his writing. Lordan discovered literature through post-punk music, Robert Smith and Morrissey. They quoted authors in their lyrics, like Camus, Kerouac, Henry Miller– so Dave read them. In secondary school, “I was no good at drinking, fighting, hurling, or football… so I didn’t have an identity except as a person who wasn’t good at things. Then one day we had a poetry competition and my work was praised.” He kept a poetic diary for years. He was fascinated by the play of words and meanings. “Things were more meaningful to me when I was young. We pass from innocence and

hope and expectation to numb acceptance of the evil of the world. My way out is poetry. Poetry is how I comprehend the world and give personal meaning to it, retaining hope and innocence. An overarching feeling of meaninglessness compels me to produce meaning.” Lordan went to the very literary UCC, and was thrilled by the early work of Paul Durcan. In 1994, the

English Literature Society published a pamphlet of his first poems, ‘18’. After college he moved to Dublin. He has also lived in Holland, Greece, and Italy, and his ‘Selected Poems’ will be coming out soon in Italian. He and his partner Catherine and daughter Rosa now live in Greystones. In 2004, Lordan won an Arts Council Bursary and rented a cottage in Clare. He wrote on the theme of suicide, individual and planetary. This became ‘The Boy in The Ring’ (Cliffs of Moher, Salmon Poetry, 2007), the first book to win both the Strong award for the best first collection by an Irish writer, and the Kavanagh award. Lordan’s second book, ‘Invitation to a Sacrifice’ (Salmon Poetry, 2010) is on the themes of sacrifice, so ingrained in our culture, and of holding on to a utopian vision in a dystopian period.

Lordan is a performance poet, “a form as much related to song and drama as to poetry on the page. It is as different from the one-to-one silent communication with one reader as sculpture is to painting. The poet has to take into account how he dresses and addresses the audience”. When asked how he would advise beginning writers, Lordan said he would tell them to “read Rilke’s ‘Letters to a young poet’ Stay close to inspiration, in all its forms; doubt everything; embrace futility, kiss infinity; make every book different and better than the last.” Lordan is also a creative writing teacher, looking for more work, and available for school and community groups as well as one-to-one tuition and mss. appraisal. You can contact him at 087 0921117 or dlordan@hotmail. com.


To make a beach where there is only worn out grass you need a lot of cider going around.

Years ago when we were young And I was in love with you You invited me to your home For a vegetarian Christmas. “What, Christmas without turkey? Unthinkable,” I retorted. At least, That is how I recall why I didn’t come. It seems strange to me now. Yet I kept telling myself How much I loved you– How deeply I felt I belonged With you, in your world

You need a cast of galloping three to nine year olds. You need the male chest and the Chinese alphabet. You need the sun. You need the drone of various miniature engines. You need two lads leaning on the railings who can no longer speak and have lost the fear of drowning. Passing by in the haze You need yourself Still wet with the belief that beyond the light splintering on broken glass and beneath the busted footpaths there are seabirds, ocean, dolphins, sand. By Dave Lordan

A world I only glimpsed Occasionally, or from afar. I loved the love I imagined, Never what we actually had: Me, lying in bed waiting for you Wanting only my arms around you Yearning for how it would be when You, simply, loved me back

The Season

Tis the season of cheer, mince pies, wine and beer, when rosy cheeked children break smiles ear to ear, and the bearded sleigh driver gases up his reindeer, while we rest our heads and into dreams disappear, we remember those living in seasonal fear, the homeless, the penniless, all around us each year, as Jack Frost moves among them, to freeze their first Christmas tear. By Joe McKenna

While you fussed interminably With the fire in the grate Or anything else you had to do Staying up for hours. Irony then, all these years later I live with our teenage daughter Death having put you out of reach Forever. She is not much younger Than we were then. She is So like you: abrasive, preoccupied. Like you, she loves me distantly In a strange, unloving way.

My Peace See a river that’s softly flowing and flower as it’s growing there is magic in the knowing It’s a simple kind of peace

Ignorant of our past She cooks me a vegetarian Christmas dinner, watching television Throughout the meal. I eat it humbly now. Glad to have it, to have her, At all. Broccoli, salad, potatoes, Seasoned by all the lost years.

Dominic Street, A Recipe

Azure blue seas often swelling as a jewel, all light excelling the simple calm, beyond our telling is a certain kind of peace. By Glenda Cimino

When I sit out, with glass a-clinking

Of disturbing peace, I am thinking and red wine that I’m just drinking a poet’s reverie, is peace. Then with morning sun ascending and with the scent of evening, blending as our friendship’s never ending It’s another kind of peace Now, the trees are softly swaying when the summer breeze is playing just when lips are silent, praying for a perfect kind of peace. By Geoffrey P. B. Lyon

Little Christmas I like getting presents, I love turkey dinner, Playing of board games is always a winner, Bright decorations, the pine smelling tree but Christmas has a new meaning for me The patter of feet as she pads towards my bed, An expectant face on her sleepy head “Is it time to get up yet? Can we go down? I’m so excitin!” she says as I yawn Dressing gown, slippers we’re ready to see If Santa has managed our narrow chimney Her small hand in mine, we take each stair Excitement is palpable, filling in the air Gifts are laid out, nothing lavish or huge, A rocket, some socks and a few extras too Her eyes are wide and squeals fill the room “He brought what I wanted!” her tiny voice booms The day carries on and the visitors come, She laps up the atmosphere brimming with fun Dinner is messy, some gravy is spilled She won’t eat the sprouts but the turkey gets milled It’s long past her bedtime, bags under her eyes We sit by the fire for calming down time She kisses her family and hugs us all tight Then I bring her upstairs and switch on her nightlight I’ve always liked Christmas, the smells and the sounds The feelings of closeness with family around But now that I have her, the joy multiplies And I see it again through a three year old’s eye By Gemma Byrne





By Caomhan Keane hristmas is cancelled! Or at least it will be as of March 18th 2012 when the final Alternative Miss Ireland will be crowned on the Olympia stage. The mad celebrations and sense of community fostered by the event has seen it monickered ‘Gay Christmas’ by those on the gay scene although the contest is open to everybody, male, female, straight and canine. Past contestants include a Rubber Bandit, Katherine Lynch, and one year a dog was entered by its owner. But it is primarily a celebration of all things homosexual and has proven a launching pad for many of its early winners including Miss Shirley Temple-Bar, Miss Veda Beaux Reves and the aforementioned Lynch. “It catapulted me into the gay scene, where I always

had a stage to perform on,” she says, reflecting on being the first woman to win the Medusa Crown of Shamrocks in 1998 as Miss Tampy Lilette. “It led to a residency in GUBU, bingo in the George with Shirley Temple Bar and an ability to make a living doing gigs. “It’s a really brilliant show that brings the gay community, from all over Ireland, together for one night,” says Declan Buckley AKA Shirley Temple Bar (pictured above). “To celebrate the fact that we are raising thousands of euros for HIV/ Aids charities that would not have been raised otherwise.” Every contestant is judged on three criteria: originality, poise and personality. “Getting to the core of their personality is key,” says Buckley. “That doesn’t mean having a smile, being friendly and nice. It means communicating whom your character is.



By Sandy Hazel ollowing the publication of a photo of the triumphant Dodderville FC football team in our last issue from Joe Lindsay in the UK, Mary Brophy O’Brien, who works at the créche in Ringsend Community Centre, was able to fill us in on the cup and its whereabouts. “Forty years ago, I was on honeymoon and spent some time at South Shields visiting an uncle, Phil (Leedy) Cleary. My husband Jimmy admired some silverware on his mantelpiece and asked him ‘Where did you get the cup?’” Mary and her new husband were told it was “out of John Dwyer’s pub.” It had been brought over to Newcastle by Mary’s uncle Phil who had managed the team. “He apparently couldn’t bear to leave it behind so he took the cup with him when he went to live in the UK,”

What your character is about. “Having poise means you don’t fall on your snot and originality means ‘please check that your whole act hasn’t been done before’. Because there is nothing more annoying than seeing a carbon copy or a clone.” “What’s interesting is that the whole concept is that it mirrors the growth of the gay community here,” says Rory O’Neill AKA Panti. “It started as a small event and got bigger and bigger as the gay community grew.” If you look back over the years and look at what the contestants did you can really see what was on the minds of the gay community and the Irish as a whole. “Last year there was an awful lot about the Catholic Church and child abuse scandals and this year there will be a lot of reference to the IMF and our economic situation.” Other years you have seen other things crop up, gay marriage, civil partnership, immigration and the Euro. The final date for submission is January 11th 2012, so get onto the official website linked below to find out how. But remember, while you don’t have to keep it simple, keep it reasonable. “There have been a million disasters where people’s ambition outweighs their ability,” says O’Neill. “When it started it was with one person. Now they have an entourage, with dancers. Sometime we have to say “we would love to accommodate your idea of bringing a JCB on stage but however…”


Mary told NewsFour. “We forgot all about it until I saw the article in NewsFour with five of my uncles in the photo.” The cup, the Transport Summer Cup, is of nickel-plated silver and stands 24cms high and about 12cms in diameter. It is inscribed ‘Proudly Presented by MJ Coyne 1949’, and has a medal inside it. The name on the winner’s medal is J Murray. “We would love to find out who J Murray is and get that medal back to him or his family,” Mary told us. Michael Cleary, a cousin of Mary’s, read his copy of the NewsFour article in South Shields, in the UK. Phil (Leedy) Cleary was Michael’s father. “My father died about 25 years ago and he left behind an old football trophy which had been part of the furniture since before I was born,” Michael told

NewsFour. “Up till now [the cup] had remained largely ignored on a dresser in my mother’s old sitting room. The family tale is that the cup used to be kept in ‘Dwyer’s Bar’ until one day my father, for whatever reason, felt he needed to take it into his possession.” Michael reckons the medal belonged to Jock Murray, pictured

Landmark: New Film about the Pigeon House Chimneys


By Glenda Cimino ow do you feel about the Pigeon House Chimneys? Would you miss them if they were demolished? At just over 207 metres, the two red and white chimneys of the decommissioned Pigeon House Generating Station in Ringsend are visible landmarks for much of Dublin. Filmmaker Jenny Keogh has made a new short film, ‘Landmark’ in which she questions whether or not these landmark chimneys should be demolished. She interviews people walking along the peninsula and a conservationist, and shows us the chimneys as seen from a number of locations. Jenny is from Dublin, but based mainly in Donegal. Her background is in photography but she has always had an interest in film, particularly documentary films. Jenny says, “as part of a documentary course in Filmbase, I chose to make a film about The Poolbeg Chimneys. There had been much talk about them being demolished and varying opinions on the topic from conservationists, politicians and locals. It seemed to be causing a bit of a stir, so I thought it was important to document them through a film, in case they were demolished in the quiet of the night! I also wanted to offer the viewer a general sense of their impact on the city’s skyline. “I wanted to explore the issue, because I wasn’t sure myself what way I felt about them, so the research alone was extremely informing. By the end of filming I had a new found love for them.” At the end of the film the chimneys slowly disappear from the views. Jenny noted, “they have been a staple of the Dublin skyline for the last 35–40 years, so many Dubliners my age don’t know any different. I thought it was important to offer a ‘chimneyless’ skyline at the end of the film. Everyone can make up their own minds then.” Naturally, Jenny has other films in the pipeline. You can see this film yourself at The chimneys also appear incidentally in other films, most recently the new feature film, ‘Parked’, by Colm Meany. kneeling next to Leedy Cleary in the photo. “How the medal came to be there is a mystery. None of the family recall seeing it before,” said Michael. Pictures of the medal, kindly sent to us by Michael and reproduced here, shows it is 3cm wide, made of solid silver with a rose gold coloured football relief about 1cm wide at its centre. Not only has Michael polished the cup (see page 1) and medal, photographed them and sent the pictures to us, he has also researched further. He found another article from NewsFour in 1997 by John Gregg telling the history of Irishtown United/Dodderville/Irishtown F.C. It relates how the club adopted its latest title after the name of Dodderville was blackened by another incident in the 1940s. Could it be that Leedy had some involvement? “Perhaps some of your readers could throw some light on it even though it was 63 years ago,” said Michael.

“Clearly there has been a rich tradition of football in Ringsend and Irishtown for many a year; the cup and medal are part of that heritage. Wouldn’t it be nice if the wheel could be turned full circle and the medal reunited with a relative and the cup with the club?” asked Michael. So readers and historians among you, get granddad talking over a pint at Christmas. A reunion and a shiny trophy might be on the cards.





By Glenda Cimino re anaerobic digestion plants the green power source for the future? It looks that way. Anaerobic digesters blend organic materials, like grass straw, fruit and vegetable waste, and manure, then ferment them to produce biogas– which is burned in an internal combustion engine to create electricity. They can provide consistent power, reduce methane release, improve water quality by remov-

ing phosphorous and metals that could otherwise end up contaminating water supplies, are renewable, reduce odours, and produce valuable by-products. The digestate (compost and fertilizer) can be used or sold for farm use, creating an additional revenue stream. On the down side, they can be expensive to install and operate, are most suitable for large farms, require daily operation and maintenance, and land for manure tanks. But compared to nuclear power,

coal plants, or incinerators, it looks like a no-brainer. On a lifecycle analysis, biogas is seen as the most environmentally conscious and economically viable renewable energy technology that we know today. In short, there is very little downside and a tremendous amount of upside. Ireland is considered to be among the countries of the EU with the greatest potential per capita for farm biogas. In 1999, the first anaerobic digestion plant was created in this country in the Ballytobin Camphill Community (a residential therapeutic centre for disabled children and adults on a 20 acre farm). One aim was to study the feasibility of using farm and industrial wastes as the basis of a profitable, renewable energy enterprise. The Community set up a company called BEOFS (Bio-energy and Organic Fertiliser Services) to research, design, build and operate

the plant. About 21 wet tonnes of agricultural slurries and organic residues are supplied to the plant per day, from farms and foodprocessing industries (a creamery and brewery) located close to the plant. A gate fee is obtained by the Community for organic residues received. The gas produced after the anaerobic digestion of the wastes is burned in a traditional CHP installation. The solid effluent resulting from the process is composted and sold as organic garden compost. The electricity produced from waste treatment is used to meet the energy requirements (both heat and power) of the 90 people living in Ballytobin Camphill Community, estimated to be 150,000 kWh of electricity and 500,000 kWh of primary energy for heating per year. The biogas is used in three boilers which heat the digesters and supply heat and power to houses, a school, workshops and a large hall, avoiding expenditure of up to €25,000 per year on heating fuel, and displacing at least 360 tonnes



By Caomhan Keane ocal girl Louise Bowden returns to Ringsend a West End Star this December with one of the lead roles in Irving Berlin’s classic yuletide musical ‘White Christmas’. Opening December 1st, closing December 17th the show, based on the 1954 movie of the same name, tells the story of a successful songand-dance team who become romantically involved with a sister act and hook up to save the failing Vermont Inn owned by their former commanding general. Originally starring Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, the stage version– which is brimming with classic Irving Berlin hits like Blue Skies, How Deep is the Ocean, Happy Holiday, and of course, the title song, has already been a hit on Broadway and is almost completely sold-out, breaking box office records for the (as it is soon to be remonickered) Bord Gais Energy Theatre. “It has such resonance with what the world, and Ireland in particular, is going through, with the recession and what not,” says Bowden. “In times of need you turn to family, you turn to friends. And that is the message here. But it is also a feelgood, MGM story. Old-fashioned courting and love.” Louise’s mum grew up in Sandymount, one of seven children, while

of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use per year. The separated digestate is delivered to the three farms that also supply slurry to the plant. Total cost of the project was €140,000. It was financed by the Irish Government and by the European Commission through the Horizon Programme, LEADER II Community Initiative and the ALTENER programme. The project provides full-time employment for five people, thus providing important social benefits: employment in a rural enterprise has been created for people with disabilities. The Camphill philosophy of care for people and the environment and the development of sustainable economics was a guiding force in the development of the biogas plant. The project has significantly increased the awareness of, and interest in, renewable energy locally and nationally. For more information, contact BEOFS (Bio-energy and Organic Fertiliser Services) at +353 56 55836 or beofs.


her father was from Ringsend, from the cottages facing the O2. “It’s a generational thing,” she says. “I lived there my entire life and my family has lived there their entire lives. They never moved away.” Louise did however, five years ago, go to London where she has starring in ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘Guys & Dolls’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Her big break came when Cameron Mackintosh, the big cheese when it comes to theatrical producers, cast her as Mrs. Banks in ‘Mary Poppins’, but she took her first steps to stage stardom closer to home when, aged nine, the renowned Cleveland/San Jose Ballet cast her in a small role opposite Rudolf Nureyev in Coppélia at the Point Depot. “It was coming towards the end of his career,” says Bowden. “He


was playing the toymaker and not the love interest. But it was such an amazing experience to be looked after and nurtured by such an amazing company of dancers.” She still has a signed pair of pumps and a cigarette box from the dancer. Because Christmas day falls on a Sunday this year, she’ll only get one day off. “I will be in Liverpool for Christmas Day.” But she is still delighted that the tour has taken her to Dublin, not just because she will be performing five minutes from her doorstep, but also because it means she gets to spend the preChristmas period with her family. “I haven’t been home, pre-Christmas like that, walking up the streets of Grafton Street with my family for about ten years,” she says. Tickets can be purchased at





By Joe McKenna global movement has taken the world by storm. It is a movement that demands fairness and accountability from those who have allowed a wayward and immoral banking system to feast upon the living standards and future prospects of millions of regular peo-

ple across the planet. A movement known simply as Occupy. Having started in Madrid as the 15-M protest against high unemployment, unaffordable housing and the politicians who had failed to represent the people, the Occupy movement became global news once protesters moved in on Wall Street, New


York. Using social networking to get the word out, they sparked to life the discontent among those who have had their hope nearly extinguished by a crumbling economy and shyster money men led by greed. It was only a matter of time before it caught on in Ireland. Occupy Dame Street demonstrators set up camp outside the Central Bank plaza and have remained there since October 8th. Their mission: to end corporate corruption and keep the International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank out of Irish affairs. It is a leaderless, non violent resistance movement with no political affiliations. One protestor, Lee Page (pictured on left by photographer Gus Meneghan) was kind enough to speak with NewsFour about the movement. “What we’re trying to do is highlight key areas that the people of Ireland need to know about. What is the IMF? What they do is come in and give a country an unsustainable loan and when they can’t pay it back the IMF begin to asset strip. It’s now clear people like Bertie Ahern and Ray Burke– a convicted politician– did not have the country’s interests at heart. We want to see people held accountable for the mess this country’s in.”

As gallant and socially-conscious as the movement may be, there are local businesses suffering from the occupation. Niall Coyne, owner of Bedford Stuy barbers on Fownes St, spoke with NewsFour about how the protest has affected his business. “Basically they have blocked off our footfall from Dame Street across the plaza, which we really depend on. The footfall has halved because a lot of people don’t want to walk past it. This is a tourist area and to have that there is a disgrace. During the week there aren’t many people here; there’s not many who stay in the camp. But come the weekend there’s loads of people and we get blasted with loudspeakers. It’s like a party. “I’ve spoken to some of them about it, but there are that many different little groups in there that you get nowhere; you get lip service and at one point I was told to ‘go f**k myself’. There is a drugs issue in this area, but this is attracting more of

that and they seem okay with it. All the businesses are suffering because of it, but they fail to see that. I’m all for the protest, but I’m against the manner of it. I sit in on their meetings and I think they’ve lost what they’re about.” NewsFour put Niall’s concerns to Lee Page who said, “we actually want to try and work with all these guys who have been so tolerant over the course of this. We have leaflets and we want to put the word out and encourage people to come and use these guys because we understand they’re at the end of their tether.” When NewsFour relayed this information to Niall Coyne he responded, “I’ve heard that before. They’re just telling you what you want to hear.” It would seem that the Dame Street occupation is at odds with those in Dame Street-based occupations. Main picture on left by Fergus Meneghan.

tion. We have been bringing issues to DCC which are ignored constantly. Drains and floodplains were election issues on the doorsteps. Why can’t our councillors do what Bertie did with the Tolka and Mattie McGrath did with the Suir? Our reps have let us down,” said Byrne. An Bord Pléanála’s decision to grant permission to the Jury’s site, despite its own inspector recommending not to, is considered “active promotion of over-development by a State agency,” said one resident. The feeling in the room was that the “fancy flood walls” were just pushing the problem upriver from Ringsend now to Ballsbridge. Kevin Duggan of Dodderview Cottages asked Minister Creighton if

she would lobby insurance companies. There were murmurs of a State insurance scheme wherever properties are denied cover by private companies. Councillor Dermot Lacey, who organised the meeting, said that Dublin City Council will meet with them to discuss all issues raised and he will address a further public meeting at a larger venue. In response to queries from NewsFour, DCC has said that the heavy 24-hour rainfall on Monday 24th October resulted in 71.6mm at Bohernabreena rain gauge and 71.8mm at the rain gauge near the Sally Gap. “This resulted in the Lower Reservoir overflowing down the spillway from approximately 3.00pm on the Monday and the Upper Reservoir overflowing from approximately 7.00pm on the Monday evening. No other additional volume of water, other than rainfall flowing over the spillways and the daily flow to maintain compensation flows, was released from the reservoir,” a spokesperson said. Picture: Iarnród Éireann bridge over the Dodder with building works, approximately eight hours after the water had receded. Photo by John McLoughlin




By Sandy Hazel inister Lucinda Creighton and local councillors faced angry residents at a meeting last month to debate flood damage in Dublin 4. During heated exchanges, councillors heard that much of the damage from the October floods might have been prevented. Redmond O’Hanlon, a water keeper on the Dodder and secretary of the Dodder Anglers’ Association, told a packed Crowe’s Public House that water levels prior to the heavy rain alert were not right. “This part of the Dodder is a spate river. Before heavy rain, water levels in Bohernabreena reservoirs should be reduced by about 8 feet so water down to the Dodder can be better controlled and space made for expected heavy rainfall. For three days before the rain we waited for the Dodder to rise, so we would know the reservoir was being emptied, but that didn’t appear to happen,” said O’Hanlon. According to O’Hanlon culvert-

ing is a contributing factor too. It is a means of channelling a small river or stream into a smaller space underground in order to make land viable for development. “For fifty years we have been trying to get Dublin City Council to stop culverting streams. The Dodder Anglers were the last objectors to the Dundrum Shopping Centre plans, as it meant culverting the River Slang. Well, they got their culvert. We also suggested that the Swan be opened up into a nice trout river, but they culverted that and built the Aviva Stadium,” O’Hanlon told the meeting. Culverting of the River Poddle was felt by some to be a factor in the death of Celia Ferrer de Jesus, the Filipina nurse who drowned in her home in Harold’s Cross. Some residents pointed to bridge work by Iarnród Éireann as a factor in the Dodder bursting its banks. Properties in Ballsbridge Avenue, the Sweepstakes, Dodderview Cottages and Herbert Cottages were flooded. Iarnród Éireann has denied the scaffolding acted as a dam.

“A beaver couldn’t dream up a better contraption to catch every bit of crap floating down that river,” said John McLoughlin whose photographs of the bridge, eight hours after water had subsided, have made the headlines. There were issues, too, around the closing of a floodgate near Lansdowne Bridge. The fire service needed to cut open the locks so a gate could be closed. DCC have said it was a “malfunction.” Residents said they didn’t want to apportion blame but to make sure this didn’t happen again. Paddy Byrne of Anglesea Road Residents’ Association referred to over-development of the area. “For every action there is a reac-






By Joe McKenna ere at NewsFour we are all too aware of the pressure and stress that comes with Christmas shopping. You have to travel into town, dodging other stressed pedestrians as you search for that one present you know will be the perfect gift for someone close to you. You have to put up with endless queues and shop assistants who have been run ragged by the sudden influx of shoppers and there’s always the possibility of seeing a stand-off between dedicated bargain hunters as they seek their prey at all costs, elbows at the ready and more than willing to swing a shopping bag in anger. So we decided to open up an alternative for those of you who would prefer to take care of your seasonal shopping in relative safety. There is a wide range of outlets well-equipped to cater for even the pickiest Christmas shopper in the Dublin 4 area. Last Christmas we showed you where to shop in Sandymount, Irishtown and Ring-

send and this year there’s nothing more welcoming than the serenity of both the Donnybrook and Ballsbridge areas. NewsFour went out hunting for the best of them. DONNYBROOK

A quick spin out to Donnybrook and you will be met with a number of shops eager to please in both price and selection. For the ladies interested in fine clothing, there is the impressive Havanna Boutique where proprietor Nikki Creedon stocks a fine selection of John Rocha, Rick Owens and many other top designs. A special treat for either yourself or a loved one comes in the form of Mink’s Hand & Foot Spa products, such as Essie and OPI and an attractive range of Max Benjamin

scented candles. Just around the corner is Dunnes Butchers and Roy Fox’s fruit and veg where your Christmas feast will begin to take shape. Further along Donnybrook Road, you can fulfill all your pharmaceutical needs at Unicare Pharmacy, where they will happily create a custom set that will have whoever you chose to gift it to simply glowing. With every brand from Clarins to Vera Wang on offer, and also regular discounts and vouchers, Dominika and staff will see you well-taken care of. At D4 Nails you can relax safe in the hands of Rosanna Crothers and avail of her Guinot gift boxes worth €80 but on offer for €15 this Christmas. BALLSBRIDGE A quick jaunt in the car or bus and on to Ballsbridge you go. First stop of course is the Merrion Centre where you may well walk away

with a haul of attractive goods. Thinking of splashing out on some jewellery? Why not visit Dermot Walsh at Merrion Jewellers, where you can pick up Calvin Klein, John Rocha and Paul Costello designs. Top that off with a gift set chosen from the wide range of products (Nuxe, Uriage, Gosh and Abahna) at Tony Walsh Pharmacy & Perfumery. With help from Laura & Mo ensuring your reputation as a gift giver will keep rising. For a spot of pampering, you will have the pleasure of Collette Cassidy at Glow Make Up & Beauty, where you will receive a 20% off gift voucher with a copy of this article or paper. Across the mall, you will find Compagnie L, one of Ireland’s busiest ladies’ fashion boutiques. With rack upon rack of fine designs and accessories you are sure to find something of interest. Another quick cruise in your motor, or perhaps a brisk stroll along Merrion Road and you can pick up even more fine fragrances and creams with Paddy Byrne at Hamilton Long Pharmacy, where you

will find friendly staff and excellent choice including Burberry, Lancóme and Mavalia. Just around the corner on Shelbourne Road you can choose from the fine, handmade jewellery selection offered by second-generation goldsmith and gemologist James Cullen at Bridge Jewellers. After all that travelling and shopping, the one thing you’ll be looking forward to is heading home to put your feet up for the night. But before you do, you may want to pop into the French Paradox, also on Shelbourne Road. Tanya & Pierre Chapeau offer a vast selection of fine wines and foods that will treat the palate and ease any retail stress within minutes, c’est magnifique. Overall, we at NewsFour are more than confident that shopping local will weigh down your bags without emptying your pockets. So give yourself a little stress relief and buy close to home. Happy hunting.





By Geoffrey Corcoran embroke Fencing Club offers hobbyists and competitive fencers the opportunity to learn, improve in and enjoy the historic sport of fencing. The Pembroke Juniors compete in Ireland and abroad, including the prestigious 2011 Marathon Foil Tournament in Paris. In 2007 the club engaged Olga Velma, right, an Estonian coach and fencing master with many years of experience and success. Velma, respected across Europe, specialises in developing the sport for school children and students. She has had remarkable results both nationally and internationally: repeated Estonian épée Champion and medal winner in both junior and senior categories, finalist in the Junior World Cup 1995, 5th place in the Cadet World Championships 1996, 2008 Irish Open winner and Irish open finalist in 2009. This year she gained her International FIE épée Coaching Diploma from Hungary, (where fencing is a national

sport) earning her the title of Maétre D’armes. Her tuition gives fencers instruction and knowledge to fence intelligently and safely on the piste. Pembroke feels fortunate to have such a coach to assist our beginners, as well as our younger members. There is a warm and friendly atmosphere in the club and plenty of advice amongst fellow fencers. Fencing is very much a sport for men and women of all ages and abilities, and you don’t have to be incredibly fit to be a competent fencer. It is more than just a purely physical activity; you need to think tactically and quickly and you must have a positive attitude to do well. The Pembroke Fencing Club organises an open competition for épée twice a year and the club also holds the annual Pembroke Summer League in foil and épée respectively. So if it’s youth or experience you have, don’t hesitate. Pembroke Fencing Club invites anyone interested to come and visit us at Saint Conleth’s College and see



By Kirstin Smith ith the first half of the 2011/2012 season coming to a close, local rugby football club, Railway Union has placed itself in a promising and well-deserved position near the top of both the Division 2 Leinster League and Metro J4 League tables. The 1st XV find themselves just three points off first place after playing their first seven league match fixtures since September. The return fixtures begin on December 4th at home against old enemy Swords. At the last encounter in September, Railway edged a win of 27-26 and new coach Keith Sothern is keen for a similar, if not better, result next time. This winning streak continued for the 1st XV for the next three matches, with wins over Edenderry (15-6), Gorey (16-12) and Wexford Wanderers (11-0). Athy brought the first bad news of the season, before Railway beat Balbriggan and then lost narrowly to Mullingar (though secured a los-

where it takes you. St.Conleth’s College, Clyde Rd, Ballsbridge. Tuesday from 6.00-7.00pm (6-12 Yrs) Tuesday from 7.00-8.00pm (13-16 Yrs) Tuesday from 8.00-10.00pm Club Fencing Time Thursday from 6.30 -7.30pm (6-12 Yrs) Thursday from 7.30 - 8.30pm Adult Beginners Thursday from 8.00-10.00pm Club Fencing Time Contact: olgavelma@gmail. com or Phone: 086 216 0646


ing bonus point which is always important). The 2nd XV are currently in top position in their league having yet to lose a match, with the closest so far being a 14-14 draw with Malahide. The team has a replay and one more first leg match to play before entering the second half of their season, where hopes will be for more performances like there have been to date. Off the pitch, the club has been very active with its inaugural La-

dies’ Day being held on October 8th and the more recent Table Quiz which aimed to prove that rugby players are smarter than the stereotype suggests. New members are always welcome at the club in both playing and organisational capacities. Work experience opportunities are available in areas such as marketing, fundraising and event planning. For further details, please see




By Rupert Heather onkstown F.C. the Sandymount-based Rugby Club, is strengthening its ties with the community through initiatives designed to increase participation and enjoyment. The club attracts players from the local area and beyond. It is a community-based club that has a lot of ‘respect’ for people from outside Dublin. Mike Davies, Director of Rugby, is keen to emphasize that the values of rugby, respect, passion and integrity are open to all. “It’s not just about players enjoying games but off the field they genuinely support each other, meeting people and making friends,” he adds. In his role, Davies promotes Rugby in the community. Among other things, he runs ‘mini’s’ coaching on Sunday mornings for kids age six to twelve. Parents are welcome to watch their little ones score tries and even to get involved. He says, “We are promoting an activity for their children to enjoy that is linked with us trying to encourage the mums to get involved. Rugby is for everyone.” When kids are training, mums “run around” for a bit of fitness and are shown how their kids are coached with the aim of demonstrating that it’s a safe environment, compliant with the ‘Play Rugby’ guidelines from the IRFU and ‘Rugby Ready’ from the IRB, which promotes safe and fun rugby for all and especially young children. A new partnership with Dublin Business School, who receive development, facilities and a ‘rugby pathway’, is an opportunity for students from different countries to play rugby together. That agreement should reap rewards for both parties. “With our facilities, our wonderful club house and a strengthening connection with Pembroke Cricket Club, we can focus on playing sport all year round at Sydney Parade.” The club’s strategy relies on engagement with the community and particularly with families in the local area. Davies explains, “The mini’s section is very important to the club, we are looking to go from under-12s to hopefully under-13s and 15s, that would be a great ambition.” Momentum is a great thing if you can capture it and in sport, as in life, it means everything. That momentum, Davies feels, and the atmosphere and camaraderie that the club promotes, is something that other clubs in Leinster should take note of. On the field, head coach Kevin West and his team won promotion last year and the newcomers should challenge for honours in Leinster Division 1A, having made an impressive start. Davies explains, “We are one league away from AIL senior club status in Ireland. For a club that is so steeped in history going back to 1883, that is where we really should be.” On Saturday December 10th, Monkstown F.C. hold an open day at Park Avenue, Sydney Parade from 3p.m. Watch Captain Cian Duggan and his team play Tullamore at home, followed by a photo opportunity with the Heineken Cup and a Christmas party. The following Sunday morning, the cup will be available for the mini’s and parents to enjoy. For information visit


The Fontenoy Files


By Shay Connolly

Popcorn and onions on Mars

y the time you read this, the world economy might be on the next shuttle to Mars, but in the case of all our world leaders not looking after their own bailiwicks and possibly saving the planet, please read on. We shared a conversation with a guy from another GAA club some years ago about the debt that some GAA clubs had put themselves in. Like ourselves, they had borrowed to match fund grants that were available to increase community facilities in our respective areas. “Jeez, it would have you killed,” says we, looking for some psychological burden sharing. His reply was that “sure, if it all came crashing down in the morning we would still be putting on jerseys the following Saturday and Sunday.” Wise words, a great leveller and we all took great inspiration Calafort Átha Cliath

Dublin Port Company Port Centre, Alexandra Road, Dublin 1. Telephone: 887 6000, 855 0888 Fax: 855 7400 Web:


and relief from it. But will we ever forget 2011. Crikey, what a year! If we hadn’t had the games, the training, the fun the competitiveness, the craic, the disputes etc, sure we would all be on that shuttle to Mars also. Looking back through the pages of this calendar year, some would bring a big smile to your face, others would bring a tear like a great romantic novel and others would bore the life out of you. So I’ll toggle between the good, the bad and the ugly, starting with some popcorn. The two Adult hurling teams had a fantastic year, finishing top of their leagues and gaining promotion with the first team returning to Senior Hurling. The second team played their League Final some weeks ago in Ringsend. Six points down with 10 minutes to play, the lads came back with a goal in injury time to draw the game. Up the mountains we go for the replay, have three men sent off and still manage to be level again at the final whistle. In extra time, we pull out all the stops and finish in style to win it by 4 points. Warrior Reynolds gets two more stripes of war paint on his cheeks. Inter footballers stayed in their competitions until November, reaching the quarter-final of the championship and reaching the league semi-final. Looking back at the semi final match and peeling an onion at the same time, it could be fair to say that we left our heads on the settee at home

watching Star Trek. However, it has to be said that at the beginning of the year many in the club would have settled with how far this team actually got to in the end. Some more popcorn was the Workshop held in the Hall on October 10th last. There was a fantastic turn-out and the format worked excellently. The result is that a number of sub-committees are up and running and all aspects of the club from culture and community to games, to name a few, are producing blueprints to carry us into the future. (Mars) Peeling onions again was the adult Camogie team. Now this was a big red onion. Some of these ladies, at the very twilight of their careers were just about to archive their efforts and tell their stories to their grandchildren in the years ahead when they led by 2 points as deep as you can get into injury time. Some Trinity Gael player decided to send her shot in the Mars direction. Mars refused it and sent it tumbling back towards earth, where the blasted thing chose the Clanna Gael net for a soft landing. The ref, presumably one of those Martians himself, blew the final whistle from the puck-out. We ran out of onions that day! However, some popcorn arrived a few weeks earlier when this same team won the league. Some of these ladies are doing really fantastic work in getting

the Juvenile Camogie up and moving once again. Another onion that comes to mind is the heartache of the club having four girls on two Dublin teams that reached All Ireland Finals. Yes you guessed it– they lost both. Just back with some more popcorn. Juveniles, under head chef Pat Duffy, had a great season with all teams fielding, having fun, winning leagues, losing others and producing many parents into our coaching and administrative section. They also had a hugely successful Gaelathon day in May. Onion time again. Minors needed to lose by no more than 7 points to qualify for the semifinal of the championship in their match against St Peregrines. I really don’t want to tell you this folks but alas we lost… by exactly 7 points. (If you are not bawling by this stage you really

should be on another planet.) They still have a chance to pop some corn when they play the League Final next week. Ladies football section that includes Senior Team, Junior Team and Gaelic for Mothers Team, all had an enjoyable year, where plenty of popcorn was munched on the Junior team’s trip to Spain in October. Continued thanks to our Sponsors, Dublin Port Company, for their help in getting us through all of this. Bingo night continues every Wednesday night at 7.45. So as we face into 2012 and that trip to Mars may get even closer, all that’s left to say is to wish all our members, friends, supporters, a very merry Xmas and happy New Year. Pictures: Action all round from the girls and boys, hurling and football.




Claire Daly from Sandymount

Fiona Roddy from Donnybrook

Gerry Adams from Ringsend

Jason McDonnell from Ringsend

I have 300 friends on Facebook and four really close friends in real life and around 10 other friends I get on great with. Real-life friends are most important to me but Facebook is a great way of getting in contact with old friends. And for shy people like me to get to know people.

I have a lot of friends who use Facebook but I think it is just a trend. There seems to always be a new networking site every year. In real life I have 5 close friends and around 15 friends in my outer circle. I prefer to email friends and I don’t like having to remember lots of passwords so I stay away from lots of accounts.

I’m having trouble trying to delete it.

I don’t use Facebook anymore. I used to have 80 friends on it, but it got out of control. I did not know half of them very well and it was way too public for me, so I closed my account. I could not completely delete it but could shut it down. I stay away from it now and prefer friends in real life.

I have loads of friends in real life and would rather talk to people face to face. I don’t want to know about my past. Most of it I can’t remember and the rest I don’t want to remember.

THE ‘BOYS IN GREEN’ – AMONGST THE GODS IN THE EUROPEAN OLYMPUS submitting the Italian coach to an x-ray and burning him in the process. This is nothing but cynical criticism tainted with begrudgery. In contrast with this extreme negative opinion in Ireland, it is interesting the way the Italian media in Italy view Trapattoni. In ‘La Republica’ newspaper recently we read high praise for Tra-


By Concetto La Malfa fter a gruelling qualifying campaign, the boys in green made it for Euro 2012. It all began on May 1st 2008 when a 69 year old Italian coach named Giovanni Trapattoni was presented to the media at the RDS, Dublin, as the new Republic of Ireland national coach. With him were veterans Marco Tardelli and Liam Brady, who would be his assistants. Trapattoni inherited a team in tatters and he knew the task that was awaiting him. In just over three years of patient work, with lots of matches won, just a few drawn and lost, his dedication has been rewarded. Irish Football is back to the bright

lights, joining the European elite. This has happened in spite of criticism that Trap has attracted along the way, accused of adopting conservative, defensive play. The most scathing of all criticism was published in black and white in the ‘Irish Independent’ on the eve of the second leg match against Estonia in Dublin, bearing the headline ‘Caveman Football: Will it work at Euro 2012?’ And in the body of the article we read: ‘Trapattoni’s philosophy is all about attitude– it is more concentrated on what the team do without the ball, rather than what they do with it.’ This, in my opinion, is quite preposterous. It is like

pattoni. ‘If we had to assign a flag– they wrote– to one of the three Italian coaches (Prandelli for Italy, Capello for England and Trapattoni for Ireland) we would place it in Trapattoni’s hands for, apart from his pigeon English, he has shown that his method works and yields results. After 10 years of absence in a major Champion-

ship, the Republic of Ireland has made it. On December 2nd, the draw took place for the Euro Championship in Poland and Ukraine, starting next June. The Republic of Ireland will cause serious difficulty to any of their opponents. Thanks mainly to Trapattoni, they have become a team that is very hard to beat.

Bridge United would like to thank all their sponsors and all the lads that stood by us down through the years for all their support. We’d also like to thank Fr. Tonge for his great work and support. Bridge United would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone in Ringsend a very happy Christmas and peaceful New Year.



Dec 11 jan 12 newsfour  
Dec 11 jan 12 newsfour