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February / March 2014

IN YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL PAPER…

Page 12: Tom Arnold, described by Bob Geldof as a hero, talks to NewsFour

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HOTRODS OF HOPE

By Eric Hillis at McCabe is proud to be a blood biker. No, he’s not a member of some sinister Hell’s Angels gang, though many might describe him as an angel. He’s the founder of Blood Bike East, part of a nationwide group of altruistic motorcyclists who provide an invaluable, and wholly voluntary, service to the country’s hospitals and medical facilities. Acting as a free medical courier service, the bikers are on call from 7pm to 7am weeknights and all day weekends and bank holidays, their cargo ranging from blood being transported to a facility for testing, to scans, x-rays and patient reports. They also transport breast milk for the Irvinestown Human Milk Bank (see last issue). “If it fits on a bike we’ll move it for nothing,” McCabe proudly boasts. Blood Bikes have been operating in the UK since the 1960s but are a recent phenomenon here. McCabe had been aware of the

concept and when he met a Galway biker who was setting up the country’s first Blood Bike outfit on the west coast, he decided to form Blood Bike East. He put out a call for volunteers on various internet biking forums and received an enthusiastic response. A committee was formed in October 2012 and Blood Bike East was officially launched in April 2013. Over 300 runs were made by the organisation between April and December, with close to 100 members registered. Volunteers must pass a strict set of criteria to become a blood biker and current members range in age from 26 to a retiree in his

late sixties, across both genders. At any time there are four bikers on call, operating two separate rosters; one for Dublin hospitals and one for those further afield. Often the bikers are required to journey halfway across the country, passing their cargo to a member from the likes of Galway and Donegal. McCabe tells NewsFour it is Dublin’s various A&E departments that form the bulk of their work. “A lot of it is urgent work; very sick patients in hospitals who can’t be moved themselves, so their blood is sent to a lab for testing,” he says. “Our riders have a huge responsibility to get the blood to its destination as quickly and safely as possible.” Blood bikes are saving lives, and also a considerable sum of money, providing an entirely free service that would otherwise prove costly. McCabe points out that, unlike many charities, his volunteers don’t receive any per-

sonal financial rewards. “All our donations come from shaking buckets in shopping centres and the odd contribution from a benefactor,” he says. McCabe, as with all the bikers, has endured some tough weather conditions, but believes it’s all worthwhile. “One time I had to collect breast milk from Cavan and bring it to Temple Street; it was driving rain and by the time I got to Temple Street I could wring out my socks,” he says. “But once I walked into the intensive care unit and saw babies the size of my fist with wires and tubes coming out of them I said to myself ‘I don’t really have a problem, I’ll be warm in half an hour.’ That’s why we do this.” Pictured at the launch of Blood Bike East is comedian and motorcycle enthusiast, PJ Gallagher with Thomas Fegan (8) from Killiney. Photo by Andres Poveda. Photo courtesy of Blood Bike East.

For more information, visit bloodbikeeast.ie

Page 22: Out for Coffee with Victoria Mary Clarke

Page 28: History through our old shop fronts

Page 30: Alternative fitness and meditation tips for spring


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NewsFour Managing Editor Karen Keegan Editor Emma Dwyer Staff Liam Cahill Eric Hillis Rúairí Conneely Leeza Kane Donna Dunne Contributors Jimmy Purdy Noel Twamley Nicky Flood Gemma Byrne Caomhan Keane Eamonn Thomas Austin Cromie Ken Casey Kirstin Smith Felix O’Regan David Nolan David Carroll Design and Layout Eugene Carolan Web Designer/Ad Design Karen Madsen Photographer Ross Waldron (All photos by Ross Waldron unless otherwise stated)

Sandymount Community Services, RICC, Thorncastle Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4. Telephone: (01)6673317 E-mail: newsfour@gmail.com Website: www.newsfour.ie

NewsFour Newspaper is part of a DSP Community Employment Programme. Opinions expressed in NewsFour do not necessarily represent the views of Sandymount Community Services. Printed by Datascope Ltd, Wexford

NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

The Letterbox

Dear Editor, Active Retirement in Ringsend are looking for new members to join. They meet at CMWS, St. Patrick’s Villas on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 2.30pm. New members are asked to come along or contact the Central Support Office at 01 8733836. Many thanks, Active Retirement Ireland Dear Editor, During the summer Bath Avenue and District Residents Association (BADRA) started a weekly community yoga class. The sessions led by an experienced teacher were enjoyed in wonderful fresh air and sunshine outside in Havelock Square. Due to popularity, the classes now continue in a lovely indoor space – the Scout Hall in Derrynane Gardens. The physical and mental benefits of a regular practice are many, including better flexibility and posture together with a greater sense of well-being. The class is for all age groups and all levels and is run on a drop-in basis. It is offered to residents of the area at just €5 a class. You are invited to come along with your mat on Mondays at 7pm. Parents taking part are welcome to bring their children to learn. There are a number of parents and children in the class at the moment which makes it a lovely family activity and adds fun and enjoyment to the practice for all. If you don’t have a mat – a towel or rug is ok. Many thanks Paul Nugent

Sean Moore Community Awards Do you know of any heroes in your community? The Sean Moore Community Awards – first established during the 1988 Dublin Millennium – are back and are looking for nominations. The awards are open to any Dublin 2, 4 or 6 people, or organisations, who have made an exceptional contribution to the community. We invite you or your organisation to consider putting forward a nomination, outlining the reasons why your nominee(s) should receive an award. A nominee could be a good neighbour, a long-serving youth, community, or residents’ association leader. The person can be young or old, man or woman. You the community determine that. A number of awards will be presented by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Oisin Quinn at a ceremony in Clanna Gael Fontenoy, Ringsend on the 20th February. The awards are generously sponsored by the Aviva Stadium Community Fund. Please post your nominees to the following no later than Friday, 7th February 2014: The Chairperson, Panel of Judges, Sean Moore Community Awards, c/o NewsFour, Ringsend & Irishtown Community Centre, Thorncastle Street, Dublin 4 Or email them: newsfour@gmail.com

The Editor’s Corner

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o it’s now 2014, we got through January despite some major storms (see pictures on pages 26 and 27) and it’s now technically spring. But if last year is anything to go by we’ll hold off on getting the summer clothes down from the attic. In this issue, the first of the year, we’re keeping ourselves positive by looking at alternative and more enjoyable ways to get fit, the benefits of meditation (both page 30) and how we can cope with stress (page 23). We’ve taken stock and considered the future: how to succeed in setting up a business by engaging in business networks (page 20), the rise of the Silicon Docks on our doorstep (page 7) and the future plans for the development of the docklands area (page 18). The CAO application deadline has just passed so we’ve considered Dublin 4’s high third level education progression rate (page 4); how vocational education can be used as a stepping stone to third level education and how some have to fight for education (both page 8). We’re looking forward to Valentine’s Day, single or not and have come up with some things to do alone on February the 14th (page 35). Happy New Year, happy Valentine’s Day, happy St. Patrick’s Day and we’ll be back come Easter time. Emma Dwyer

Access to childcare for CE participants By Liam Cahill Access to childcare will be available to CE participants following budget 2014. The Childcare Education and Training Support (CETS) scheme is being extended to include participants of Community Employment Schemes (CE). The decision was made after many CE schemes complained about a lack of access to affordable childcare for parents with young children, particularly single parents. In total, there will be 1,800 places for CE participants within the scheme, with places being allocated to children from the age of one to five. CE participants who are in receipt of One Parent Family Payment are particularly welcome to the scheme. Interested parties are being asked to get the necessary documentation in order, contact a local childcare provider in the area, and the childcare provider will offer a place if there is one available. However, there are certain exemptions from the scheme, for instance if a participant is availing of the free pre-school year program they will not be considered for the CETS programme. Furthermore, the CETS place will only be provided on a part-time basis, considering that a CE scheme is only a part-time position. For more information contact your local Intreo office or ask you DSP Supervisor for more details. If you have any queries email CETSsupport@welfare.ie

NEWSFOUR AROUND THE WORLD

Mr Tilly thanks all donators Mr Tilly raised €11,500 during Christmas 2013 and to date has raised €47,300 for Our Lady’s Hospice Blackrock and Harold’s Cross. He is delighted with what the community has achieved to date and wants to thank everyone who has helped along the way.

Scrabble group Scrabble group every Wednesday 11am – 1pm all welcome, beginners, players. Contact Aine at 085 860 7665 for further information.

Maggie Biggs of Ringsend enjoying NewsFour at Lake Como, Italy.


NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

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IRISHTOWN SPECIAL OLYMPICS CLUB TURNS 25

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By Donna Dunne rishtown Special Olympics Club was set up 25 years ago this March by Carmel Malone. Carmel has put in so much work and passion into the club over the years and became an ambassador for Special Olympics six years ago. Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organisation for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The Irishtown Special Olympics Club is one of 85 in the eastern region in Dublin. The club provides year-round sports training and competition. Carmel Malone set up the club in 1989 as part of a new journey for herself and her son Brian who has Down syndrome. She knocked on doors of people who were in the same boat as Brian and got a group of nine participants to train and be part of this

new journey as a team. At the time, there was nothing in the area for people with intellectual disabilities so Carmel took it upon herself to do something about it. “When I came up with the idea I asked Bernie Griffin to join me so we both went on coaching sessions to learn how to be a coach before we started,” she said. Clanna Gael had only opened that year so Carmel booked a session in the hall every Mon-

day night from six to seven to allow for training to commence and 25 years later a dedicated team still train at the same time every Monday. The club’s main sport is athletics and the group participate in the 50-metre run, the 100-metre run, the 400-metre run, the throw ball, the shot put and the relay. In 1992 Brian was asked to travel to Barcelona to compete in athletics for Ireland. Brian came back to Irishtown with

a gold and silver medal, placing Irishtown Special Olympics Club on the map. Gillian Davidson joined forces with Bernie and Carmel four years ago and today there are 16 members who train every Monday. Irishtown Special Olympics is the longest club of its kind running in Dublin. Exciting times are ahead for the club as in June five will be competing in Limerick for the Ireland Games and if

they get through, it’s off to Los Angeles in 2015 for the Special Olympics World Summer Games. Above, the Irishtown Special Olympics Club, from left, back: Carmel Malone, Mark Rooney, Timothy Morahan, Liz McNally, John Donohue, Ron Staunton. Front: Gillian Davidson, Vivian Clinton, Brian Malone, Brian Jackson, Dean Coleman, Bernie Griffin.


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LOCAL STUDENTS FAVOUR THIRD LEVEL

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By Liam Cahill he number of students from Dublin 4 schools attending university or college in 2013 was high, according to new numbers. The numbers, compiled as part of The Irish Times 2013 School League Tables – which charts progression rates to thirdlevel education and the amount of students who sat the Leaving Certificate – show South Dublin schools dominating the table. The numbers were calculated taking into account students who had previously sat the Leaving Certificate, repeat students, PLC students and mature students. Only 71% of the numbers below include students who sat last year’s Leaving Cer-

tificate. Combining all these factors means the numbers are 100% or more in some cases. In Dublin 4, St. Michael’s College on Ailesbury Road had 96 students who sat the Leaving Certificate in 2013 and a progression rate to third-level education of 122%. They were followed closely by Muckross Park College, in Donnybrook, where 105 students sat the Leaving Certificate with a progression rate of 102%. St. Conleth’s College in Ballsbridge had 51 students who sat the Leaving Certificate with a progression rate of 100%. At The Teresian School on Stillorgan Road 28 students sat the Leaving Certificate with a progression rate of 96%. Ring-

NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 send College had 45 students who sat the Leaving Certificate with a progression rate of 64% and at Marian College in Ballsbridge 84 students sat the Leaving Certificate with a progression rate of 57%. The lowest progression rate of 53% being held by John Scottus Secondary School in Donnybrook where 19 sat the Leaving Cert. It should be noted, although non-fee paying schools dominated the league, students from fee-paying schools claimed the most third-level places. The numbers indicate that students from well-off backgrounds tend to progress to third-level education while those from disadvantaged backgrounds do not. “We’ve had quite a good percentage this year of 6th years – people who have taken the Leaving Certificate for the first time in the local area – who have gone on to higher education courses,” said Donnchadh Clancy, the Principal of Ringsend College, talking about the numbers. “A lot of it is telling young people that there are so many high education colleges out there, because a lot of the time they don’t realise it.” The School League Tables also indicate specifically what Colleges or Universities students in the Dublin 4 area attended, Trinity and UCD dominate in this regard, with St. Michael’s College sending the most students to these two universities. Above: Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn TD with Ringsend College student Kristel Aguila and Principal Donnchadh Clancy on Leaving Cert Results Day 2013.

DOGGY DOS AND DON’TS

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By Eric Hillis t some point we’ve all found o u r s e l v e s cleaning doggy dirt off our shoes. While most dog owners are responsible and make the effort to clean up after man’s best friend, the minority who don’t can foul things up for the rest of us. A recent survey by Dublin City Council asked dog owners if they cleaned up after their pet in public and as many as 40% of those questioned admitted to ignoring the mess created by their animals. In an attempt to crack down on this messy menace, Dublin’s four councils have united to set up a new hotline number to register complaints of dog fouling. Actress, writer and dog owner Tara Flynn is acting as the campaign’s ambassador (“The public face of dog pooh,” she jokingly labels herself) and told NewsFour why it’s an issue she’s particularly passionate about. “I saw the survey and it outraged me as a dog owner. I pick up all the time and even pick up the odd mess that my own dog hasn’t done because I think it’s such a problem.” Flynn believes there’s no excuse for not cleaning up after your pet. “When you get a puppy you have to factor in the amount of time you’ll spend putting poop in a bag,” she says. “It’s a small trade-off for the lovely stuff about having a dog.” Dog fouling can lead to serious health issues, as spokesperson Therese Langan points out. “If not cleaned up and disposed of appropriately, dog faeces can cause serious medical problems such as toxocariasis, leading to sight loss in children.” Nobody enjoys picking up dog dirt (and if you do, keep your feedback to yourself) but Flynn gives the following advice: “do it quickly and don’t think about it. Put that bag over your hand, turn it inside out, put a knot in it and move on.” The new hotline number for dog fouling complaints is 1800 251 500. Pictured above: Tara Flynn with her dog Oscar.

PROPOSED DEMOLITION OF HADDINGTON ROAD SCHOOL

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By Leeza Kane ue to the demand for school places in the area the Department of Education has sought permission to demolish St. Mary’s Secondary School and replace it with a primary school on Haddington Road. The two storey convent school for girls was set up in 1901 by Canon William Dillon and originally run by four sisters. Due to declining numbers attending, it closed in 2007. A site notice was erected on the 22nd of November 2013. If planning permission is granted, Coady Partnership Architects will oversee the demolition and

construction of a new 3,850 square metre primary school building, varying in height

from three storeys, overall accommodating 24 classrooms. Photo by Leeza Kane.

For more information on the new planning sought see: www.dublincity.ie/planning/planningpermission


NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

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NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

THANK YOU FÉILEACÁIN

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By Eric Hillis éileacáin (the Irish word for butterfly) is a recently formed, not for profit organisation that describes its aim as “to provide support to anyone affected by the death of a baby during pregnancy or shortly after.” It was formed by a group of bereaved parents who came together with the aim of helping others in their situation. The name was chosen as in Irish mythology butterflies were believed to contain the spirits of departed children. Ringsend couple Anthony Owens and Claire McDonnell sadly came into contact with Féileacáin when their son, Arthur was born asleep on October 9th 2013. The couple were so grateful for the support provided by the organisation that they decided to give something back and, through a number of fundraising events, they raised the impressive sum of €13,779.

A cheque was presented to Féileacáin by Anthony and Claire in the Ringsend Community Centre on Friday December 20th. The fundraising began in November when, along with roughly 80 members of the local community, Anthony and Claire took part in the Remembrance Run, an annual 5k run staged by Féileacáin in the Phoenix Park. The organisation provided t-shirts so everyone taking part could wear Arthur’s name on their back. Some sprinted, some walked, some crawled; they all made a difference. A total of over €11,000 was raised through the event. Another €1,500 was raised through a bingo night and Santa’s day out held by the Ringsend Community Centre. Anthony and Claire are overwhelmed by the generosity shown and would like to thank everyone in the community who showed support, as well as the

staff of The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street. You can donate €1.65 to Féileacáin by texting BUTTERFLY to 57802 (texts cost €2).

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By Donna Dunne n the October/November issue of NewsFour we wrote about the Public Health (Availability of Defibrillators) Bill 2013 which deals directly with the installation of defibrillator machines. On the 11th December 2013, the first local public access defibrillator (AED) was installed in Eurospar on Bath Avenue. NewsFour spoke to Brian Downes the director at Pulse Medical and Emmet Switzer founder of the InterSevens soccer club to find out more about how this came about. The AED is a unit that increases the chance of survival of someone who is in cardiac arrest. According to Brian, you can’t shock somebody by mistake so the beauty about this device is that even if you haven’t been trained to use this, it has very simple instructions. Therefore anyone can figure it out, and potentially save someone’s life. Emmet tells NewsFour, “When you learn about how many people die unnecessarily every day in Ireland of cardiac arrest, it’s needless to say there should be one of these units on every street corner in Ireland.” The InterSevens are a charity soccer league in Ringsend with over 700 members. The relationship with Pulse Medical originally started when the In-

Pictured above, from left to right: Anthony Owens and Claire McDonnell present the cheque for €13,779 to Linda, Jean and Jacinta from Féileacáin. For more information on Féileacáin’s services, visit feileacain.ie

DEFIBRILLATOR FOR BATH AVENUE

terSevens won a training course for eight at an event in the Aviva Stadium. After this event, Emmet sought to raise money so that a local public access defibrillator could be installed. Alex Cordero, manager of Slatterys and the Slatterys soccer team

joined forces with Emmet to raise this money. They raised just under €3,500 to install the defibrillator on Bath Avenue. Pictured: Emmet Switzer presents Racquel Kirwan with the AED at Eurospar Bath Avenue.


NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

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THE RISE OF THE SILICON DOCKS

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By Liam Cahill ince becoming host to tech juggernauts Facebook and Google a couple of years ago, the Grand Canal Docks (pictured right) have been transformed from a desolate – and partially abandoned – part of the city into Ireland’s answer to Silicon Valley. Just what makes this area vital to the technology sector and how can we sustain and develop its reputation as the Silicon Docks? “It’s certainly going in the right direction, especially in the last number of years,” said Declan Fitzgerald, the Recruitment Manager for HubSpot Ireland, a marketing software company based in the Docklands. “Not only are we seeing the larger companies like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter come in and establish sizeable operations in Dublin, we’re also seeing a lot of fast-growing, smaller and exciting companies like HubSpot and LogMeIn building their

European HQs here.” You only have to take a brief walk around to see just what Declan is talking about; Facebook will soon dominate Grand Canal Basin with their sleek new headquarters next to the Grand Canal Theatre. Google own three buildings on Barrow Street and are in the process of buying a fourth. “In little more than a year we’ve gone from having zero employees to 70 and we plan on hiring another 40 to 50 this year,” said Declan. “We’re delighted with the calibre of the work force we’ve hired in Ireland. It’s exceeded our expectations and we’ve invested in a support team and engineering team, which weren’t in our original plans, but because there was so much great talent on offer in Ireland we’ve decided to invest.” According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) over 80,000 people now work within information and technology. That’s an increase from 70,000 in 2007.

Many of these positions became available because companies, and start-up projects like HubSpot, are lured to the Docklands thanks to our low corporate tax rate, which stands at 12.5%, making it one of the lowest in Europe. Dublin is also the home of a mixture of nationalities, making it quite popular with companies dealing with many languages, like Google for instance. Our population is also increasingly

younger and obtains above average third-level credentials. Those who study information technology are more employable, according to a report published in 2013 by Dr Vivienne Patterson called What Do Graduates Do. Recently, Fortune magazine listed Dublin as one of the best cities for startups, describing it as better than London and zeroing in on Grand Canal Dock in particular as “the home for tech giants”. The New York Times

also pointed out the success of this area, saying it has become the “home for big Silicon Valley companies”. “Ireland just had the right mix of things that we were looking for,” said Aidan McLaughlin the Head of International Communications for the employment website Indeed who are also based down in Grand Canal Dock, having established their European Headquarters there. “I think what we’re building here is an eco system of technology companies for Europe and even the places beyond Europe. This is becoming a launch-pad for companies. We appreciate the term the Silicon Docks, it’s a nice way to talk about what’s happening here.” In comparison to the United States, our tech sector here is relatively small – according to Enterprise Ireland €54 million was pumped into the emerging tech sector with €175 million promised as part of their Seed and Venture Capital Scheme, which was launched in 2013 and runs until 2018. “I don’t see this stopping any time soon and I see the future for Dublin being very bright for the ICT sector,” said Declan.


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NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

MALALA’S FIGHT FOR FEMALE EDUCATION

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By Eric Hillis n November 20th of last year, the European Parliament awarded Malala Yousafzai (pictured right) the Sakharov Peace Prize for Freedom of Thought, the latest accolade presented to a young girl who has come to represent the struggle for female education, something still denied in many parts of the world. The Pakistan teenager made headlines around the globe in October 2012 when she was shot by a would-be Taliban assassin on her way home from school. Malala had become an enemy of the Taliban thanks to her outspoken views on female education, writing a blog for the BBC and appearing in a New York Times documentary. After being transferred to a hospital in England, Malala pulled through, but both she and her father remain targets of the Taliban. In 2008, the Pakistan region of Swat fell under Taliban influence and in January 2009 it became forbidden for girls to attend school. During this time, Malala was detailing her experiences on a blog hosted on the

BBC website and featured in the documentary Class Dismissed. Over the next couple of years, Malala’s many media appearances raised her profile but also

the ire of the Taliban, who had published death threats in local newspapers in the months before their assassination attempt. The shooting sparked outrage

worldwide, including her native Pakistan. The Taliban used the Quran to justify their actions, citing the Islamic holy text’s instruction that “even a child can be killed if he is propagating against Islam,” however Islamic clerics in Pakistan issued their own fatwa against the men responsible for the shooting. None of the perpetrators have yet been brought to justice. Since her recovery, Malala has continued to campaign for female education. In Europe we may take it for granted but in many parts of the world, girls are denied what most would consider a basic human right. A study by UNICEF found that 115 million children aged between six and twelve receive no education, with girls accounting for 63% of that figure. In developing countries, only 43% of girls attend secondary school. Religious and cultural beliefs are a large factor, with women still considered second-class citizens in many societies. Economic hardship plays its part also. Forced to choose between paying for an education for their sons or daughters, par-

ents in the developing world are most likely to opt for the former and young girls can often be sold into marriage. Even those fortunate to attend school can find themselves ignored by teachers who view their attendance as a waste of time or disapprove of it for cultural or religious reasons. A study by the World Bank highlights the economic importance of an educated female population. Their findings show that a 1% increase of secondary educated females raises a nation’s annual per capita income by 0.3%. Girls with a secondary education are less likely to become pregnant as teenagers, a hugely important factor given the current crisis of over-population facing the developing world. No teenage girl should have to take a bullet to highlight an issue, but Malala’s courage provides hope for the millions of girls denied an education. Facing thousands of years of ingrained intolerance, her task rivals that of Emmeline Pankhurst but she’s shown the world she’s up for a fight.

just have to encourage people to aim high.” Ringsend College offers a wide array of courses including computer systems, PC maintenance and business administration and has special links to the National College of Ireland, providing options for further study. The City and Guilds report was the first of its kind in the country. It was split into two main categories based on gender: males (51%) and females (49%). The study also tried to

ensure all the major age groups were represented, with 15-yearolds making up 21% of the sample and other age groups making up the remainder. The study also spoke to parents’ councils, teachers and people involved directly with the children to get a better understanding of their general perceptions involving vocational education.

Image: Wikipedia.

WHAT IS VOCATIONAL EDUCATION?

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By Liam Cahill new report by the education awarding body City and Guilds highlights the perception of vocational education amongst young people and a lack of awareness about its remit. The report, titled Young People and Vocational Education Choices in Ireland, surveyed 508 young people nationwide through an online survey. The report contains some worrying developments pertaining to vocational education, which is made up of mostly Post Leaving Certificate, Diploma and Higher National Diploma courses in VEC (Vocational Educational Committee) and Further Education colleges across Dublin. According to the study, 60% of young people planned to attend university, therefore avoiding vocational education colleges, 21% didn’t know what vocational education meant, 31% did not consider vocational education because of their parents’ preference for university and young people generally saw vocational education as less

“challenging” than academic education. “There is a lack of understanding of what vocational education training is about,” said Philip Sheridan, the accreditations and recognitions manager for City and Guilds Europe. “The three big things are obviously attractiveness, awareness and accessibility, we’re very weak when it comes to vocational training.” Philip said that vocational education needed to be re-established within the Irish education system, which would save it from negative perceptions. Ultimately, he said, “it’s an attitude change that needs to take place.” “I think the City and Guilds report is a bit out of touch,” said Dan Bradley the Principal of Ballsbridge College. “The proof is there for all to see. 36,000 take PLC courses each year, that number of people won’t take something unless it’s worthwhile. Ask anybody who has taken a PLC course and they will say it’s the making of them.” Dan said that the courses on

offer by his college – ranging from courses in business, computers, community development and applied psychology – offer a practical approach to topics that can be used as a basis for further study. Vocational education training in South Dublin has an impressive legacy; overall there are five or more VEC or further educational institutions – not to mention one of the largest universities. In Dublin 4 specifically, the major players remain Ballsbridge College and Ringsend College. The latter has rebranded over the past year to appeal to a broader spectrum of students and enhance its creditability as a viable vocational education option. “There are hundreds of further education courses being offered across the city in the many colleges of further education,” said Donnchadh Clancy, the Principal of Ringsend College. “The system is designed to give more young people access to thirdlevel, and not necessarily people who come from an economically advantaged background. You

Mick Leonard head of metalwork and engineering shows the students of Ringsend College how to use the lathe.

For more information on further education and PLC courses go to www.cdetb.ie


NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

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PIRATE DAYS IN DUBLIN

NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 to hear a running commentary or announcements of what would be happening the following day. Others were just standing patiently outside waiting to hear their request being played – your name being mentioned on the radio was pretty exciting stuff back then.” The closure of pirate radio was so unpopular with the public that RTÉ recruited some pirate presenters including Dave Fanning, Ian Dempsey and Marty Whelan to bring an edge to the station. Dec-

lan Meehan describes, “the feeling of going from a crappy t-shirt and jeans to a suit, only Dave Fanning survived all that.” Presenters may have conformed in ways but undoubtedly some of the spirit of pirate radio crossed over to make Irish radio what it is today. From the days of Sandymount Community Radio: Garret O’Callaghan, left, and below Dave Reddy and Charlie Sheehan with Suzanne Duffy.

Dublin Pirate Days can be viewed on Vimeo: vimeo.com/71806334

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By Leeza Kane vernight, radio stations were raided, shut down, equipment confiscated and the transformation from unregulated pirate to mainstream radio began. A six part documentary by Eddie Bohan uses presenters from the last hours of transmission to explore “the nostalgia, feeling of sadness, joy and anticipation surrounding the shutdown.” Declan Meehan, Aidan Cooney, Walter Hegarty and Tracey Evans feature.

Aidan Cooney describes how anything could happen, as when his show was hijacked by an IRA man, a gun put to his head and he was forced to air a message to the general public. The intruder left and Aidan apologised to listeners but luckily Gardaí arrived promptly as they had been listening to the radio at the Garda station. December 2013 saw the 25-year anniversary of the introduction of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1988 that shut down stations. Pirate radio was influenced in 1964 by

Radio Caroline, broadcast from a ship off the Isle of Man that played pop music, a contrast to the sponsored programmes on RTÉ. Original pirate radio presenter Declan Meehan remembers, “a transmitter was the big thing at the time and having your own radio station in your wardrobe, with your friends, broadcasting to each other.” Dublin 4 had its very own pirate radio station during Community Week from 1982 to 1989. Paul Reddy describes how, “everyone was tuned into Sandymount Radio


NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

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By Liam Cahill new study has found noise levels in Dublin Port far exceed nighttime guidelines set by the World Health Organisation. The study, conducted by Enda Murphy of the School of Planning and Environmental policy at UCD and Eoin A. King of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Hartford in the United States and published in the academic journal Environment International, looks at the extent of noise exposure in and around Dublin Port and what effects these pose for local residents. The study looks specifically at the level of night-time noise being accumulated from the port, which according to the study includes noise from the movement of cranes, loaded containers, ground vehicles and siren noise. “Three nights a week or five nights a week they’ll work right through the night unloading. When you see

NOISE COMPLAINTS AT PORT

it, it’s quite unbelievable,” said Murphy, who researched the noise at Dublin Port and parts of Pigeon House Road in Ringsend. The study was conducted

over a 45-day period as part of general academic research, conducted through a combination of interviews with local residents and late-night recordings of the area to de-

tect noise levels. Previously, residents of Ringsend and Pigeon House Road hired noise consultants, Fehily Timoney, to come to the area and look at the noise levels.

PAGE 11 The study also found that there are a large number of intermittent noises, which aren’t generally heard by humans, but may disturb a person’s sleep pattern, as a result causing long-term health problems. “The big health risks associated with excessive exposure to noise are sleep disturbance and general annoyance but sleep disturbances have a lot of secondary effects,” said Murphy. The study also contained complaints from local people who said the excessive amount of noise has a detrimental effect on a person’s character and in some cases made them moody or generally irritable. “It makes me agitated,” said one local resident. “You know, sometimes you go to bed at half ten, eleven and you sleep for four hours then you get a bang.” The study suggested that the noise is also having an effect on the children of residents in the area.


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TOM ARNOLD: THE HUMANITARIAN

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By Liam Cahill hen Tom Arnold (pictured) the now retired CEO of Concern Worldwide, sits back and looks at his life even he must be impressed with the achievements he has accumulated over the past 40 years. He has helped starving children in Africa, acted as an advisor in the Irish Farming Advisory Service, became the Chief Economist at the Department of Agriculture and he eventually took the reins as Head of the Irish Constitutional Convention. It would be his work at Concern, however, that would give his career a new meaning; helping turn the organisation from scrappy street kid to a globally recognised brand. Tom’s work with Concern began in the mid-1980s, with him eventually chairing its board from 1995 to 1999. In 2001, when Tom took over as CEO, Concern needed to revitalise its brand – which up until that point had been a local company with a global emphasis. Tom’s mission

was two-fold, increase the international reputation of the company, increase its on the ground work and expand the company’s funding base to help move Concern into rural villages where help was clearly needed. “A lot of the work I was doing for the last number of years was out there talking on the international arena about that work and about trying to influence other organisations, or other governments, to adopt the policies of Concern which were very effective,” he told NewsFour. Within a few years, Concern had increased its reputation on a global scale and developed an intimate approach through its Community Therapeutic Care (CTC) programme, which dealt specifically with childhood malnutrition in individual homes. Tom also instigated Concern’s 1,000 Days campaign, which gave women and mothers in Ireland a chance to connect with other mothers within developing countries. During that campaign, Concern created local centres for

mothers to come and help gain an understanding of adequate childhood birth and proper nutrition. Tom has left behind an organisation that has increased its funding base from €63 million in 2001 to €160 million as of last year. To date, over 70 countries have signed up to tackle malnutrition in children and have begun to adopt a method whereby food packs can help treat and save over two million starving kids. “One of the innovations that Concern brought regarding malnutrition in children was actually adopted at international level as best practice in 2007,” said Tom. “That was a really substantial achievement by Concern.” Tom came from a humble farming background, eventually graduating from UCD with a degree in Agriculture Economics. In 1973, he began his professional career at the European Commission working at the organisation for ten years, three of which he spent in Africa. For Tom, a part of his heart will always be with those mil-

NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

lions of children he has managed to save from starvation or within the hearts and minds of poor people in Somalia or Sierra Leone. “I would certainly say that the

work in Concern is one that will last,” said Tom referring to his own legacy. Photo: Courtesy of Tom Arnold.

EXCHANGE STUDENTS IN BALLSBRIDGE

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By Leeza Kane orking in mainland Europe is becoming a reality for many Irish people today and Ballsbridge College of Further Education believe that European integration is vital. They offer the opportunity for students to go to Amsterdam for two weeks’ work experience in an exchange programme with ROC College and in return Dutch

students come to Ballsbridge for class-based theory lessons. Both colleges exchange each other’s main strengths to the benefit of students. Funding comes from Léargas (The Exchange Bureau), a not-forprofit organisation operating from the Department of Education, and run under the Leonardo da Vinci mobility programme. This is a European Commission funding programme focused on lifelong learning for those involved in vocational education and training. The funding covers all expenses including flights, food and accommodation and involves 16 Irish students going to Amsterdam in February and 16 Dutch students coming here in March.

Dan Bradley, the Principal explains, “Students from this college are placed in a work situation matched as closely as possible to their course of study and their students attend lessons and gain work experience with the St. Patrick’s Day Festival.” Now in its fourth year the programme is open to all students, but with limited places available, interest is huge. NewsFour talked to Maria who worked for a jeweller in Amsterdam. Maria, a media student describes her experience as beneficial, “We promoted the jeweller’s website and developed her Facebook page.” Students also get to explore the city and culture. Vivienne Bates Programme Coordinator says,

“We set up a treasure-hunt which takes students outside of the city centre to places such as Utrecht and The Hague. Students from the exchange programme are considering work in Europe and this gives them a chance to look at their options and experience the lifestyle, Dan Bradley explains, “The main objective is that students consider wider Europe as a place of employment and not just Ireland, we believe in that strongly.” Left: Patricia Helowicz on a rented bike in Amsterdam. Above: A group of Ballsbridge College students after their evaluation in ROC. Images: Ballsbridge College.


NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

WELFARE PERCEPTIONS VERSUS REALITY

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By Rúairí Conneely here are a few popular certainties taken for granted and rarely subjected to analysis. In Ireland today you’re likely to hear: “Lazy people collect the dole and avoid searching for work”, “There’s work out there if you really want to find it” and “Benefit fraud is a massive drain on the system.” How true are these claims? December 2013 saw the publication of The Irish Times public perceptions poll, conducted by Ipsos/MRBI. The specific purpose of the survey was to discover popular opinions on current affairs. Importantly, those who were polled were encouraged to guess their answers if they didn’t know for sure. In relation to welfare and state support, the vast majority (62%) of those polled felt that the unemployed were the chief recipients of welfare, ahead of those receiving child support and pensions. In fact, pensioners take the largest margin, followed by parents requiring state assistance. Participants were asked who receives the most from the

public purse in terms of direct payments to them and the majority said politicians when in fact the correct answer is welfare recipients. Again benefit fraud may be more of a threat in our imaginations than in reality. Figures published in November 2013 indicate that anonymous reports of welfare fraud have increased by an enormous 2,500% in five years. 16% of the 21,000 reports in 2013 resulted in the stopping of payments. Around 1.469 million people receive a weekly payment from the Department of Social Protection and as of November 2013, 3,360 pay-

ments were stopped for suspected fraud, which certainly seems to indicate a minority of offenders. The degree of error and misapprehension among the public has led commentators such as psychologist Dr Maureen Gaffney to describe the public’s view of the nation as a whole as dystopian and generally obsessed with the negative, to the point where she questions the style and manner of news reporting. This is not to say that things are rosy and people are purely deluded. The now-infamous HSE underspends of 2007 and 2010 have primed an austerity-

focussed government to proceed with the slashing of the health service budget. There are certain popular opinions which turn out to be true, for instance that there has been an overall increase in welfare spending. The level of child support required nationwide is rarely the subject of complaint. It was estimated in July 2013 that 115,000 families in the low income bracket would automatically receive back to school clothing and footwear allowances. There were, however, 58,000 additional manual applications, about 1,000 per day, by mid August. The €49,000,000 allocated to cover these costs was swiftly taxed to its limit. What is notable here is that the reason for the increase in people occupying the low income bracket (and therefore requiring child support) was something that people were correct about in their assumptions: the largest drop in overall income has been within the age group 18 to 64. Everyone knows there are more parents on the breadline. That much is far from guesswork.

PAGE 13

Thomas Patrick Cullen Died Saturday 28th December, peacefully in hospital, aged 74 years. Beloved husband of Sandra, much loved dad of Stephen, Shaun and the late John. Dearly loved by Sandra and Sarah and adored granddad to Niall, Robyn, Mia, Niamh and Patrick. Requiem mass was celebrated at St. Joseph’s Church, Pudsey on Friday 10th January followed by interment at Pudsey Cemetery. Donations in lieu of flowers were accepted for St. Joseph’s Church fund.


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HERBERT PARK: HOW IT BEGAN

NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

LIFE NEEDED IN GARDEN

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By Leeza Kane boggy, marshy piece of land once known as Forty Acres is where Dublin’s Herbert Park evolved from and for local residents it’s an amenity not taken for granted. Today people jog, walk their dogs, workers eat their lunch and kids feed the ducks in the pond. The park was acquired in the 1300s by the Fitzwilliam estate, then inherited by the 11th Earl of Pembroke in 1816 and in honour of his son Sidney Herbert, it was gifted to the local township in 1903. It was taken over by Dublin City Council in 1932 and has since seen major developments as a park for public use and enjoyment. The centenary celebrations in 2011 marked 100 years since the formal opening of the park in 1911. Prior to then, its timeline is rich in significant events including Donnybrook Fair that took place initially in 1204 and went on for another 600 years. The 1907 international exhibition showcasing the best in Irish trade and industry had an attendance of up to three million national and international visitors over a six-month period. Buildings and features were created for this event, including the bandstand and pond (pictured above) but to the dissatisfaction of locals many trees were felled. After the exhibition finished, the area needed to be maintained and throughout the years a focal point was replanting the trees and as a consequence natural native trees thrived in the park. Trees include holly, scotts pine, ash, hazel, elder, apple and mountain ash. Gone is the bog land which occasionally centuries ago was flooded by the river Dodder, in its place is a park with a rich history and facilities for locals and visitors. There are tennis courts, a native tree trail, sports dressing rooms, a playground, bandstand, croquet, bowling, bowls, jogging, the pond with ducks and allotments. Generally the park’s opening times coincide with daylight saving hours but officially it’s open from 10am to 5.30pm in winter and to 10pm in summertime.

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By Donna Dunne elen Dooley, director of The Life Centre tells NewsFour why she wants to bring life back into their isolated garden. The Life Centre on Pearse Square is an alternative education centre for 12-16 year olds who have been excluded from or dropped out of mainstream schools. The purpose of the centre is to provide secondary school education but in a home like atmosphere. When NewsFour visited, the fire was lit and the smell of coddle was running throughout the house as one of the students was preparing the meal with a teacher. Founded 17 years ago, The Life Centre, receives limited funding from the Department of Education and Skills and relies heavily on volunteer staff. It provides small group and individual tuition in secondary curriculum subjects as well as personal development, life skills and an outreach service for past-pupils. The overall ambiance of the centre allows these teens to feel the security that they might need to develop their knowledge. With this in mind, they are hoping to create a garden to allow the students to engage in the process, giving them an opportunity to learn a lifelong lesson.

Due to limited funding Helen and outreach officer, Paul Duffy will have to raise the money themselves for the garden. “Having a garden would really benefit the centre,” explains Helen. “It would be a whole new

learning process for the children, we’d be teaching them the basics of horticulture with an emphasis on the practical side of the work.” The centre want the children to be involved in the whole process of creating the garden allowing them to learn what seeds are, how do seeds turn into plants, how do they take care of them, the different seasonal plants, the different types of soils, how do vegetables grow and so on. Paul tells NewsFour, “the opportunity of cultivating and designing their own garden would show them that hard work does reap rewards and would provide them with a space of beauty and tranquillity that they could take pride in.” The Life Centre’s back garden space is about 30 by 20 foot and although it looks neglected now, it has the potential of becoming something special within the next few months. With the guidance of an architect or landscape designer plans and a cost analysis can be made to clearly set out what is needed to get this project underway. The Life Centre would like your help to get the dream garden they deserve. If you are an architect, have any expertise in gardening or would like to help in any way, please see contact details below.

Phone: 01 6718894 / Email: lifecentreps@gmail.com


NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

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DONNYBROOK’S HIDDEN BIRD SANCTUARY

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By Leeza Kane estled in the middle of Donnybrook, defying its busy urban surroundings is a wild bird sanctuary, home to Blackbirds, Finches, Robins, Thrushes, Blue Tits and bats. It was bequeathed to An Taisce by Miss Kathleen Goodfellow in 1971 and management is shared with the Upper Leeson Street Residents’ Association. Maintained as a natural habitat by two volunteers (Jimmy Kinahan and Andrew Clinch) trees and shrubs are allowed to grow in a controlled way. “Constant management of the site is required to provide an environment that can support a healthy bird population,” says Andrew. “Too much overgrowth deprives birds of appropriate feeding and nesting areas.” Within the surrounding walls, a set number of bird boxes have been placed strategically up high on trees and feeders and are filled on a weekly basis with peanuts, sunflowers and niger seed. Jimmy told NewsFour when we visited that, “the scrape marks are where the birds land on the box. The hole in the bird boxes

allows small birds like blue tits to go in, they won’t go in if the hole is any bigger as it will let other, bigger birds in. You can see when a bird box is popular as the hole is worn.” Boxes and feeders are always kept in open spaces so that birds can see any predators and because birds are territorial only a limited amount of boxes are there to avoid overcrowding which would deter birds from coming. The keepers have no way of telling how many birds come to the sanctuary but next year some fourth year students from St. Conleth’s College will be conducting a survey to monitor the birds and an information chart will be made for passers-by and visitors. To do your bit for birds during the colder months keep a bowl of water in the garden, make sure it doesn’t freeze over, leave out food consistently such as sunflower seeds, pinhead oatmeal, raisins, currants, grated cheese or cooked potato. Don’t leave out salted nuts. Place food in open spaces so that they won’t get trapped by cats and don’t place

food on the ground to avoid attracting vermin. The sanctuary is generally not open to the public, as the least intrusion as possible is better for the birds. But people can visit by asking Jimmy or Andrew to show them around and tours are held during Ranelagh Arts Festival to raise funds as they pay for the bird food themselves. They are currently looking for sponsorship and if people would like to volunteer to help out, ideally locals, they can contact Andrew on 01 2985967 or 087 7754501.

Pictured left is volunteer Jimmy Kinahan. Below is a bird nesting box. Photographs by Leeza Kane.


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NEW LIGHT ON NAYLOR TRAGEDY

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By Rúairí Conneely ewsFour put a call out last summer, on behalf of Councillor Paddy McCartan, for a source on the life circumstances and personal history of Margaret Naylor. She was the first female casualty of the battles that took place during the Easter Rising of 1916. Margaret was shot on the Ring-

send Drawbridge (as it was then) at Boland’s Mills. By a dark coincidence, Margaret died the very same day as her husband John Naylor, who was serving with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in Hulluch, France (1916 of course being halfway through World War I). Margaret died at approximately nine in the morning while out buying bread for her children,

shot by a dum dum hollow point rifle bullet. It is a matter of debate whether she was killed in crossfire between volunteers and British troops, or whether she was targeted by a volunteer acting on rumours that British troops were passing through barricades unmolested by disguising themselves as women. Either of the possibilities is tragic, although the latter seems especially macabre. There are also conflicting accounts as to whether she was alone, with her children or with her sister. Information forwarded to Councillor McCartan’s office indicates that Margaret was born Margaret Roe, to James and Honor Roe, of Navan, in 1878. Her husband-to-be John left no record of his birth but turns up in the 1901 Census, aged 22 and living with his parents in James’ Place, South Docks. Margaret was 23 when she married James. She had painful misfortune in her life before her killing: three children died in childbirth. However, she and John fathered three girls, who were taken in by her sister Mary Bridget Liscombe. Margaret was buried in the Grangegorman British Military Cemetery on Wednesday 3rd May 1916. Image from the Evening Herald: Margaret with her three children, taken in late 1915, left to right: Tessie age 10 months, Margaret age 6 and Kitty age 3. Also shown in photo are details of John Naylor, Private Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Killed in Action 29th April 1916 Hulluch, France. Remembered in Loos Cemetery, France.

NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

SECURITY FEARS AT CAMBRIDGE COURT

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By Liam Cahill he murder has left Cambridge Court (pictured) with an obvious sense of shock but has also increased concerns about the complex’s lack of security. “The security is nonexistent in here,” said Willie Murphy a spokesman for the residents at Cambridge Court. “We’ve complained on numerous occasions about people having open access to the whole premises, anybody can walk in here and walk around the whole place and knock on any door. It has happened that people have been attacked.” Before the killing of Thomas Horan, there had been a number of robberies and attempted muggings within the complex. In one incident Paddy Rogers, a former resident of the complex who has since passed away, was approached by two thugs only to stop the mugging by striking the assailants with a mug of tea. There have also been reports of non-residents regularly using the complex’s facilities, including the washing machines. These incidents, according to the residents, highlight the ongoing need for extra security in the complex in the form of security cameras, a 24-hour security guard, or a swipe system on the gate that will be easy for residents to use. “We need cameras in here, we need an electronic gate where you can buzz up to the flat. We’re too open here,” said another resident of the complex, Billy Burke. “We have no security at all, anybody can walk in here at night, which they have.” Dublin City Council built Cambridge Court in 1985 to house the local elderly population. An original document, announcing the opening of the complex, says how it was designed to create a pleasant living environment for its residents. Residents at Cambridge Court are heavily critical of Dublin City Council’s management of the complex with particular criticism of the senior community officer with Dublin City Council, who oversees elderly residential complexes in Dublin. “The City Council, who are they? Who are the City Council?” said Billy. “They do nothing, absolutely nothing, we’re the forgotten few, they put us in here and that’s it.” Other residents, such as one who simply goes by the name Louie, have turned to blogging to critcise the council on a number of issues including their reaction to the recent killing of Thomas. “Since the death of Thomas Horan, not one single council official has called out to check on the welfare of the tenants of Cambridge Court. If there is some tenant who is not coping, they will just have to cope alone,” he said. Willie Murphy said that the only communication any of the residents here have with council officials is through a representative of the council who comes and knocks on the doors to make sure everything is in working order. Each resident gets the chance to write down any problems they may have for the apparent attention of the council. “The City Council makes no contribution whatsoever, it would seem they deliberately ignore the people,” concluded Willie.


NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

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IS DORTSPEAK DISAPPEARING?

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By Rúairí Conneely ebating identity never goes out of style in Ireland, and it’s not difficult to set the cat among the pigeons. Last October, lexicographer Terence Dolan

sparked a brief debate within the media with his claim that the infamous dort accent would soon fall out of use. Professor Dolan, head of old and middle English at UCD and probably best-known for

his weekly appearance on Sean Moncrieff’s Newstalk radio show, is quoted in the Irish Independent as saying that dort speak is very closely connected to the Celtic Tiger years, and so there is little reason “financially or stylistically” for it to continue to exist. But do accents just die out like that? Is dort speak just a pretence? NewsFour spoke with Brian Trawick-Smith of dialectblog. com, which has extensive entries on Irish English. “There’s no clear line separating legitimate accents from illegitimate ones. It’s a fraught issue, actually, because illegitimacy is frequently used to dismiss dialects which are stigmatized.” Brian went on to explain that he finds attempts to distinguish between real and fake accents problematic because “all speech is a fascinating mixture of the conscious and the unconscious.”

JOIN THE CLEANUP CREW

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By Eric Hillis ollowing the storms of early January, many stretches of the coast were littered with rubbish washed in from the sea. Particularly badly hit was the stretch of beach around the Poolbeg towers. With Dublin City Council’s resources over-stretched by the impact of the storms, a group of local volunteers, led by Sandymount resident Catherine Devitt, rolled up their sleeves, donned rubber gloves and stepped in to clean up the beach. The raging storms of January 5th and 6th left the beach in a sorry state so, on Tuesday 7th Devitt resolved to improve the situation. “Originally there were just two of us but a third lady, who isn’t from the area but regularly walks along that stretch, joined in once she saw what we were doing,” Devitt tells NewsFour. The efforts of Devitt and her crew didn’t go unnoticed by passersby. “People stopped and commented on the rubbish and how much of an eyesore it was,” says Devitt. “A lot of people came up to us and said they were regular users of the area, lots of dog walkers, and told us they’d be willing to meet up once a month for a

Professor Raymond Hickey, author of Irish English: History and Present Day Forms explained that social groups rarely adopt pretend accents en masse but that “they are influenced by other accents.” Specifically concerning dort speak, he explained that “the new pronunciation which arose in the 1990s came from the wish of many people who were getting wealthy to have a pronunciation very different from other parts of Dublin.” Both of our experts were sceptical at the notion that

dort speak might be on the way out. “Accents tend to evolve more than die out,” Brian Tarwick-Smith explains. And for his part, Professor Hickey doubts the economic dimension: “austerity does not affect language use, not at all. The old D4 accent is gone; nobody says stort for start anymore. This went as a natural consequence of it seeming stuffy and snobbish.” Left: Ross O’Carroll Kelly’s play adaptation depicts the usual stereotype.

Pictured above is Cambridge Boys Football Club at the Irishtown Stadium.

Ringsend and District Credit Union Ltd.

cleanup session.” The council were also impressed by, and extremely grateful for, the work of Devitt and her colleagues, and disposed of the 30 refuse sacks the crew had filled. “The council said they had resource issues and were limited on what they could do in terms of keeping the area clean, especially after a storm when there’s a lot of rubbish regurgitated up from the sea,” she says. “While we were working on our area, they were busy cleaning up the rubble along the Sean Moore Park stretch.” Plastic bottles accounted for

most of the rubbish cleared from the area. “We’re all very reliant on plastic and so much of it does end up in the sea,” Devitt says. Some of the rubbish collected was less predictable (fire extinguishers, hair brushes, clothes) while some constituted a disturbing health risk (lots of syringes, even sanitary towels). Devitt has now established a group and plans to hold a cleanup session on the first Saturday of every month, between 11am and 1pm. Above: Debris along the coast. Photo courtesy Catherine Devitt.

If you’re interested in joining in, you can find the group on Facebook at facebook.com/sandymountbeach.cleanup

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By Liam Cahill new document concerning the planning and zoning of the Docklands and South Lotts was approved by Dublin City Council late last year. The plan, officially titled North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Planning Scheme, will now become the framework for new building projects across the Docklands area. The document, a sibling of the master plan produced by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA), sets out a vision for the area with the hope to lure in pivotal technological businesses and bring about the establishment of an area that comprises both residential and business complexes within currently vacant land. “The SDZ [Strategic Development Zone] Planning Scheme puts forward a set of high-level themes geared to highlight those areas that are seen to be part of the strategic answer,” says the document. “The SDZ of course is not a greenfield site; it is a work in progress that is now set to move forward in a somewhat different direction and under new stewardship.”

NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

COUNCIL ADOPTS DOCKLANDS PLAN

The plan comes after the planning and management authority for the Docklands was passed to Dublin City Council, who will now oversee individual planning applications without input from An Bord Pleanála, the independent body with oversight of planning developments across the country. “Because the Docklands area still needs some rejuvenation, a model, similar to the model that

existed under the DDDA, would be put in place in the next few years, so the redevelopment of the Docklands area could continue,” said Labour Cllr. Dermot Lacey. The plan divides the Docklands into specific areas, such as Spencer Dock, Point Village, Grand Canal Dock and Boland’s Mill and stipulates the type of zone, such as residential or business, applicable to each area. The plan

also outlines the height bands, which in a lot of cases are considerably higher than the existing bands within the city centre. The plan also calls for a “new public discourse” on the variety of social and employment challenges faced by the Docklands and surrounding communities. It asks for the involvement of Trinity College and Dublin Port in helping craft what it calls a smart city, which will involve all as-

pects of these communities and businesses. “I think it’s a pretty radical plan,” said Fine Gael Cllr. Kieran Binchy. “Basically, it will allow the second phase of the Docklands to begin. The aim of it is to allow development to start again as quickly as possible.” The plan is the result of the government’s decision in May 2012 to wind up the DDDA which played a pivotal role in the regeneration of the area during the boom years, but came under serious criticism after a Comptroller and Auditor General report called into question their involvement with the former Irish Glass Bottle factory site in Ringsend. If the plan is adhered to, it could mean we will see the establishment of new city communities – some 2,600 according to the plan – and the creation of new corporate entities, sparking a potential job creation drive in the area. “It’s to give certainty to developers so when they invest, they know what they’re investing in,” said Cllr. Lacey. Above: Charlotte Quay today. For more information see: www.dublincity.ie/planning


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DO YOU BELIEVE IN HEALERS?

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By Donna Dunne here’s a lot of superstition in the world about psychics and whether you believe in them or not. It is something most of us are still very curious about. Catherine Woods is a psychic and healer who featured in NewsFour back in 2004 about her association with The Animal Foundation in Kildare. Catherine is still involved and devotes her time raising funds for the foundation. This time round Catherine spoke about her healing powers. When reading tarot cards Catherine refuses to look at you, she looks beyond you. She admits this is so that she can’t pick up anything from you because she just wants to interpret the cards. This is how she channels her psychic abilities. Catherine was persistent in saying that everyone gets an accurate reading with the hand they pick. As well as being a psychic, Catherine claims to be a healer but admits, “everyone heals themselves, there’s no such thing as a healer.” The healing ses-

sions take place in her house. She recommends clients to come to her for six sessions. She has a small, cosy room surrounded by pictures and colour. The client lies down on the bed and relaxation music is played in the background. I was lucky enough to receive a healing session from Catherine. Catherine placed her hands over my forehead and within a few minutes told me she could feel a ball of stress and asked me who this man was who causes me all this stress. She said, “this guy, he loved you and you didn’t love him. You need to forgive him.” Catherine asked me to say out loud ‘I forgive him’. She told me to repeat this every night for a week but I didn’t. She said if I don’t forgive him I won’t move on with my life. There is actually someone who causes me these stresses and exactly how Catherine described. The funny thing was this person contacted me that night and I haven’t heard from this person in a long time. Was it a coincidence? “There are indeed healers who

no doubt bring some relief or insight into the lives of those people who believe. I think that a big part of this might be that these healers are often caring people

who express through their manner an understanding attitude,” explained psychologist Eoin O’Shea from South Dublin Psychologists in Dublin 2. “Some

research has been conducted by social psychologists suggesting that when we perceive the giver of advice to be an authority, we are more likely to treat that person seriously. People who believe in psychic powers may indeed be more likely to act on their advice.” Catherine says, “When the person becomes relaxed, I feel the energy moving and I say what I feel.” To receive healing you need neither belief nor faith, the main criterion is that you remain open-minded enough to give the healing a chance to work. Catherine was born with a caul on her face, which bestows the gift of helping people to see the light and to be healed. The caul, which is written about in the Bible, is a sign of a mystic or spiritual healer. Catherine understands that people are sceptical of her work and says, “I’m not here to impress anyone. Don’t judge me until you come to see me and when you come to see me to have a reading or a healing, then we can talk about whether you believe it or not.”


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SHOUT OUT AGAINST HOMOPHOBIC BULLYING

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By Liam Cahill or Eoin O’Liatháin (23) and Declan Meehan (24) changing a culture of homophobic bullying, which has been imbedded within Irish secondary schools’ culture for centuries, was a tough task. However, fuelled by their own experiences of bullying, the lads set up ShoutOut, an organsation with the sole task of promoting diversity and openness for LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer) people within second level education. “Homophobic bullying survives in small environments, which aren’t challenged,” said Eoin, the founder of ShoutOut. “That’s why ShoutOut are sending people in [to schools], to open up that conversation more.” ShoutOut workshops give secondary school children a general understanding of LGBTQ issues and aim to eradicate both homophobia and transphobia bullying. The workshops involve young volunteers (up to 100 nationwide) who are able to relate their own experiences to pupils. To date, over 60 schools have taken part in the workshops of-

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By Eric Hillis etting up a small business can be a daunting and intimidating process. Wouldn’t it be nice if others could lend you their knowledge and assistance so you don’t feel like you’re in this on your own? This is why the concept of business networking is becoming ever more popular. It allows business owners to meet with like-minded people and exchange ideas, lend support and provide referrals for others in their network. Several networks exist in the Dublin business community, including Dublin Business Network, a group that holds a breakfast meeting every Friday in Bewleys Hotel, Sandyford. “The essence of the group is that there is only one person per profession, which means one solicitor, one accountant, one commercial property person, and so on, allowed to join,” says DBN chairman Elio Lodola, “This ensures that you won’t have a competing business in the room and fosters a positive, supportive attitude

fered by ShoutOut. “The time is right for this now,” said Declan the communications manager at ShoutOut. “I think if a group were doing this ten years ago it wouldn’t get into a quarter of the schools we get into.” The idea for ShoutOut came from joint incidents of bullying when the lads were at secondary school. “It was an absolute silence, people didn’t talk about it, and nobody was out,” said Eoin. While at Trinity College in Dublin, Eoin came up with the initial idea of offering a service that aims to change attitudes and opinions of LGBTQ people. The main question was: “What would make a difference?” It was at this point Eoin met Declan at Trinity College Dublin, and they set about creating an organisation and website with the help of €10,000 donated from the US Embassy in Dublin. Recent numbers published by ShoutOut regarding homophobic-bullying show startling results. The survey shows 50% of LGBTQ people under the age of 25 have thought about ending their lives, 20% have at-

tempted suicide and 27% have self-harmed. Among secondary school students, 67% witnessed some form of homophobic bullying and 49% of LGBTQ students experienced the bullying. Finally, 83% of students think homophobic bullying is more tolerated than other forms of bullying. “It certainly had an impact on some of them and that’s definitely what you’re looking for out of these workshops is to get the kids thinking more than anything else,” said Gregg O’Neill, a teacher at CBC Secondary School in Monkstown about the effects of the workshop ShoutOut held at the school. “I think one of the interesting things about the ShoutOut programme is it addresses an issue that is real and relevant in a lot of their lives.” ShoutOut are not the only group to try and tackle bullying of LGBTQ people within secondary school. Last summer, the Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn, launched new procedures to tackle homophobic bullying, with a particular emphasis on cyber bullying. Thanks to these procedures, combating bully-

NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

ing must be an integral part of a school’s anti-bullying policy. “If we can even prevent one person going through homophobic bullying, or ten or a 100,

that’s where the drive comes from,” concluded Declan. Above: Eoin O’Liatháin and Declan Meehan.

A BIG NETWORK FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

among members.” Lodola hopes to increase membership to a total of 30 this year. “This is true low-cost networking at its best,” he says. “Apart from giving their time and energy to the group, there is only a small monthly charge of €55 to

cover the room hire and breakfast charges.” Businessman Brian Golden calls business networking, “the most tried and trusted method of obtaining new business opportunities.” With this in mind, he operates the Southside Dub-

lin Networking Group (SDNG). The network is free to join and Golden describes its approach as “professional, focused, and success-driven.” A committed, professional approach is a requirement and Golden stresses that time wasting will not be tolerated. “We operate strict rules and regulations for all network group members – we only want members with the right business frame of mind – people who are willing to share not just take,” he says. “We are selective on the membership, and we must stress that positive approach and attitude is essential in order to become a member.” Membership isn’t limited to established business owners; those considering setting up a business are welcome to apply. “If you are

unemployed, have you considered taking advantage of the recent budget incentives?” Golden asks, “These allow you to set up a new business from January 2014, and thereby enjoy tax-free status, up to an amount of €40,000 per annum, for the first two years in business.” Golden hopes to develop a core of 15 members and plans to hold fortnightly meetings at which members can discuss issues, trade contacts and share ideas. Golden advises that membership places are very limited, and are usually restricted to one person from each type of profession, trade, and skill set. “Places are filled on a first come basis, based on your fit to our requirements,” he says, “therefore do not hesitate and delay – contact us today.”

Elio Lodola can be contacted on 01 493 4032 for those interested in attending a Dublin Business Network group breakfast. For more information on Southside Dublin Networking Group, contact Brian Golden at Brian.Golden75@yahoo.com or 0863890804.


NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

YOUNG SCIENTISTS AT 50

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By Rúairí Conneely his year was the 50th anniversary of the Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, now also known as the BT Young Scientist Awards. 2014 was an unusual year, in that an exhibitor won on the strength of a wholly abstract innovation. 17 year old Paul Clarke of St. Paul’s College, Raheny went home with the top prize for his Contributions to Cyclic Graph Theory. Dry as it might sound, it’s no small matter. The winning exhibitor earns themselves the attention of BT’s Innovation Team, a trip to Silicon Valley in California and an opportunity to meet representatives from leading technology firms and research facilities. Scholarships often result. This year, 18 awards were granted to Dublin-based entrants, with a further 15 entrants being

highly commended. 2,000 exhibits were submitted for the 2014 show, involving 4,418 students from 379 schools from across Ireland. 45 schools were from Dublin. NewsFour spoke with Gill Madden, who has been press officer for the event for the last 14 years. We wanted to know if, this being the 50th anniversary, had there been any special chal-

lenges to organising the show. “Not especially because it was the 50th,” she explained, “it’s a very big event, which gets a lot of attention from all over the country and beyond, so if there’s pressure, it’s not any more for the 50th than it might have been for the 38th or the 47th.” There were a few things which marked the anniversary out as special, however. “Well, one

PAGE 21 of the founders of the first ever event was in attendance, Dr Tony Scott of UCD, and we also invited the first ever winner over, John Monaghan. He won the award in 1964 for work on biochemistry, and he now lives and works in California, running a biotech firm. So it was a special year in that sense.” Science education is a priority in Ireland, given the repeated proclamations by Education Minister Rúairí Quinn that science and technology will be key to rebuilding the economy. He made a point of asserting this on record at the 2012 BT awards and

emphasising that while Ireland has a famous literary tradition, our equally significant scientific tradition is under-recognised. Maybe the up-and-comers from the BT Young Scientist Awards will be the ones to change that perception for the better. Left: The main exhibition hall. Below: Back in 1989, young scientist Ruth Cannon of Sandymount High School is shown researching her Analytical Survey of the River Dodder, Ballsbridge to Lansdowne Road. Below left: Crowds queue to attend the exhibition.


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NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

OUT FOR COFFEE WITH VICTORIA MARY CLARKE

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By Liam Cahill elling Shane McGowan to f**k off in a London boozer at 16 years of age made Victoria Mary Clarke’s career. This chance meeting was the first of many serendipitous moments which have shaped Victoria’s career, among them an interview with Gerry Conlon after

he was released from prison and a Vogue cover story. Victoria Mary Clarke (born plain Victoria Clarke, the Mary added for effect), best known as the long-term partner of Shane McGowan, is an angel channeler, journalist, writer and broadcaster. Sipping on her herbal tea, she tells me what it’s like to mingle with

Kate Moss, Pete Doherty and Van Morrison – who hearts Shirley Bassey apparently. LC: What did you do before becoming a journalist? VMC: When I left school I bought a suitcase of the disco balls you put on your head and sold them on the street. I was really passionate about clothes so I

decided to open a clothes shop. I went to London and bought bags of second-hand clothes from Portobello Road and Butt Lane and brought them back on the bus and sold them in Cork in a shop called Mesopotamia, between two rivers it mens. I did get a place at Trinity but I didn’t take it because I didn’t like students. I was into meeting rock stars, even at that age. I figured that the clothes thing I loved doing, it gave me an opportunity to travel to London a lot and that’s how I met Shane, I was only 16. LC: Can you remember the first conversation you had with Shane? VMC: Yes, he came into the pub and said to me ‘it’s my friend’s birthday, buy him a drink?’ and I said f**k off. LC: What was the first piece of work you got published? VMC: It was an interview with Gerry Conlon [of the Guildford 4 who were jailed for a crime they didn’t commit]. That was because Shane’s sister had started dating him, well not really dating but corresponding when he was in prison. Shane had written a song to help him get out of prison, The Birmingham Six and the Guildford 4. So, they came to meet us and I was like ‘wow, this is great can I interview you?’ and he said ‘yeah ok’. I was really excited. LC: What has been the most exciting part of your career so far? VMC: It’s hard to say, they’re all exciting at the time they’re happening. Getting the Vogue cover story was really exciting. Kate Moss asked me if I would interview her for Vogue – they

had asked her to edit the magazine – and it didn’t work out because of her episode that we won’t go into. As a result of that, they said ‘we really like your stuff and we would like you to try other stuff’ so that’s how I got it. So quite a lot of the work I’ve got has been through nepotism. LC: Has there been a difficult moment in your career so far? VMC: I suppose some of the people I’ve interviewed haven’t been the most forthcoming; you know the ones who won’t say anything? Even though you know they would be really interesting but just don’t want to talk. Van Morrison was quite tricky. He didn’t want to comment on anything really, he didn’t even want to comment on the songs so it was really hard. I had to keep finding things that we were mutually interested in. I discovered how much he loves Shirley Bassey. LC: Who was your most exciting interview? VMC: To be honest, Shane was the best person to interview because he’s the most forthcoming, he doesn’t hide anything, and he tells stories – he doesn’t just give you answers – so that makes it very easy for the interviewer because you have to just sit there and turn the thing on. Pete Doherty was also good like that, because he was also very forthcoming and also very, very funny and again a natural storyteller and knew how to create something almost like a fairytale; create drama, create intrigue, create mystery. LC: You’ve recently published a new book, what’s it about? VMC: It’s called Angel Advice for Everyday Situations. I’ve picked 60 situations that have happened to me that could potentially happen to other people. Your dad gets really ill, or you get cancer, or somebody you know gets cancer, you worry about money or someone loses their job. I asked the angels to give advice about 60 such situations. LC: How did you get into angel channeling? VMC: One of the people, I met, instead of reading your fortune, channeled your guide for you. So she would just sit there and the voice would come through her and it would start talking to you and be like ‘hi’ – her guide was called Ortan – so hello I’m Ortan very pleased to meet you, what can I do for you? It was actually like he knew. What he said to me made me feel better about my situation.


NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

DUBLIN ART TOURS

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By Leeza Kane f cavemen could create some of the most sophisticated art work ever by candlelight some 40,000 years ago in pitch dark caves, why do evolved human beings today have trouble talking about or understanding art? Cathy Roche of Dublin Art Tours has a mission to bring knowledge of art to the layman on the street with her business in guided art tours to some of Dublin’s main art galleries. Until 18 months ago she lived in Sandymount and now lives in Donnybrook where she also runs the business. She wants to demystify art so that when people see a painting they have an

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Naturopathic Nutrition Recharge your batteries

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understanding of what era the painting comes from and why it is painted the way it is. With a background in charity art auctions, including Autism Ireland, she found that although people were buying the artworks they didn’t know about the art itself. “When I would ask ‘what do you think about the painting, do you like it?’ people were actually afraid they would say something silly.” When looking at paintings from Caravaggio to Picasso, her approach is different. It’s not just about explaining the individual paintings, she goes through the art chronologically and gives tips and guidance

that can be applied to any art anywhere. Cathy advocates an approach of less is more when it comes to viewing art, “I’m often asked what is the most important thing about art, I say a coffee break, as it gives the chance to absorb what they have just seen.” Other tips include focusing on a painting that catches your eye when you walk in the room, stand in front of it and slowly view it from top to bottom. Tours on offer include The National Art Gallery, The Hugh Lane Gallery and The Book of Kells at Trinity College. Like anything of high value, some of the paintings explained have been subject to theft but thankfully retrieved. Vermeer’s A Lady Writing a Letter which belongs to the Beit family, was stolen from their home, Russborough House in 1974 by the IRA. It was retrieved but dramatically stolen again in 1986 by the notorious and now-deceased Dublin criminal, Martin Cahill (nicknamed The General). It was again recovered undamaged but because of the risk in keeping it at home, the Beits permanently loaned it to the National Gallery of Ireland where it is on view in secure surroundings. For more information see dublinarttours.ie

Paul Howard aka Ross O’Carroll Kelly unveils a plaque erected in his honour in the gents toilet in Kiely’s of Donnybrook. Photo by Paddy Butler.

Pictured above: Cathy Roche in Front of the National Gallery. Photo by Leeza Kane.

By Nicky Flood ands up who feels stressed? Unless you are living on a desert island you most likely have some form of stress in your life, whether it presents itself in the form of a job, relationship, financial problems, kids, pollution or traffic. So what is it? Stress is a response to any taxing physical or emotional demand. Though the body is equipped to deal with brief episodes of stress, sustained high-level stress can eventually take a heavy toll on your physical and mental health. The body’s initial reaction to stress, called the fight or flight response, is a natural healthy reaction in which the adrenal glands prepare the body for impending danger. In caveman times this would be either running from a hungry lion or fighting it. When that fight or flight response is triggered, cortisol and noradrenaline (known as the stress hormones) are produced by the adrenal glands. These stress hormones shut down non-essential biological functions like digestion and increase blood flow to essential organs like the heart, brain, lungs and muscles to help us fight or run away. As digestion is put on the back burner at this time, people can often mistakenly self-diagnose food allergies and omit certain foods, causing further unnecessary stress to the body and mind. So the theory is our stress response helps us to run from or fight our stressor and then our nervous system returns to normal. However, this physiological reaction to stress is now somewhat outdated and unfortunately our bodies have not performed an evolutionary overhaul to adapt to this new mode of constant stress. On-going stress that does not have an off switch can be the underlying cause of many health conditions – high blood pressure, IBS, exhaustion, headaches, depression, ulcers, insomnia and even infertility. We spend so much time thinking about stuff that happened in the past and worrying about what may happen in the future that we often forget to actually appreciate or enjoy the moment we are in. We get so lost in being busy, meeting deadlines, working, family commitments, relationships, we forget about ourselves and our lives pass us by. Although the stresses of modern life are inescapable, it is important to remember that we can control our stress and our response to it. What can I do? Take some time out to do enjoyable, peaceful, relaxing things – spend time alone, with nature, laugh with friends, dance, exercise, music whatever makes you feel good, restores equanimity and reminds you that you are alive. A wise man once said: we can’t stop the waves but we can learn how to surf. Nicky is a Naturopathic Nutritionist practising in Dublin. She writes, speaks and advises nationwide on all aspects of health, nutrition and wellbeing. Check www.nickyflood.com for further info, upcoming courses and workshops.


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NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

DCC NOTES

DISABLED PARKING IN SANDYMOUNT Fine Gael Cllr. Paddy McCartan proposed the installation of a disabled parking bay in Sandymount. The councillor asked the recent South East Area (SEA) meeting of Dublin City Council (DCC) to consider the creation of the bay at the side entrance of St. John’s Church on Park Avenue. The request was referred to the Traffic Advisory Group for consideration and report. TREES IN BALLSBRIDGE The City Council’s Park Section has recommended that a number of trees be felled in and around Ballsbridge. The survey, proposes the destruction of tress on Merrion Road, Clyde Road, Raglan Road and Waterloo Road. Meanwhile the council has also undertaken a similar survey of trees in Herbert Park. The survey, conducted by the Parks and Landscape Division of the DCC, mapped the tress within the park and provided an assessment of their condition. In total there are 1,280 trees in the park, with 51 felled and 304 requiring some work. Meanwhile, refurbishments to Herbert Park are continuing with the football locker rooms and the tennis pavilion due to get a makeover in 2014. Last year saw pitch drainage and ground levelling taking place.

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BY LIAM CAHILL

DONNYBROOK HOSPITAL There were concerns raised at the SEA meeting of the DCC regarding a road through the Royal Hospital in Donnybrook. The issue was raised as the council discussed a planning report on the site. “The ethos of the hospital isn’t in question,” said Inde-

pendent Cllr. Mannix Flynn. “It is a matter for planning, we have sought additional information.” “I do understand the residents’ concern, nothing in my experience would indicate that they want a through road,” said Labour Cllr. Dermot Lacey. “I think they should answer in their own interest.”

CRITICISMS OF THE TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT There was a general feeling of exasperation with the council’s Traffic Department expressed at the recent SEA meeting of the DCC. During the traffic formalities, where each councillor gets a chance to discuss traffic matters, Labour Cllr. Mary Freehill

criticised the traffic department for not making informed decisions within the South East Area. “There’s no doubt about it, what’s coming from the traffic department is more efficient, but it isn’t more informed,” she said. Other councillors, including Dermot Lacey and Mannix Flynn raised similar concerns. POOLBEG Questions relating to the controversy over procurement contracts at Poolbeg were answered by the City Council. The questions, proposed by Fine Gael Cllr. Paddy McCartan, concerned the reasoning behind why the City Council allegedly paid two PR firms €200,000 a month in consultation fees for public relations work. Cllr. McCartan asked the Council why a budget was approved in the first place and requested information regarding complaints about Poolbeg by the European Commission (EC). The City Manager’s office said the total amount of money spent on the project should be available in due course. Furthermore, they said a “final assessment” report is being prepared and at this stage they are unsure of the amount of complaints the EC had about the project. Late last year, the EC asked the Council to kill a pricey contract concerning client services regarding Poolbeg.

YOUR GUIDE TO THE LOCAL ELECTIONS 2014

By Liam Cahill riday May 23rd has been confirmed as the day we are due to hit the polls and vote in the upcoming Local and European elections but that doesn’t mean the process of keeping yourself informed suddenly stops. Elections can be quite complicated, even for those of us who soak up political chatter like a nice summer brunch. For those of you who are a bit unclear about how the process works, here’s your guide to the Local Elections 2014. Firstly, Dublin is divided up into several electoral districts and each area is assigned a certain number of seats determined by the population levels within each constituency. In Dublin South East, for example, our two main electoral areas are Pembroke–Southdock and Rath-

gar–Rathmines. The Pembroke constituency includes many areas within Dublin 4 including Ringsend, Ballsbridge, Irishtown and Donnybrook. When you go to the polling station in late May, you are being asked to vote for a local councillor – who you think is fit to represent the local area – in Pembroke–Southdock you will be voting to elect eight councillors to appoint to Dublin City Council. You will also be asked to vote in the European Elections – this includes voting for a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) – Ireland has 12 MEPs with four constituencies in Dublin; East; South; and North–West.

Local residents may be wondering what local councillors do. Primarily a councillor’s

main job is to work for their constituents, listening to their individual concerns and bringing them to the City Council to be addressed. Councillors are also heavily involved in the drafting of local reports, amending and revoking laws and setting and approving borrowing rates. That may sound slightly confusing, but their main job is always to represent you and you should keep this in mind when heading into the polling booth. The job of an MEP is quite similar, but larger in terms of political scope. MEPs represent constituents from different parts of Ireland. Their main job is to debate and help with the legislative process in

Europe and to help bring the concerns of Irish people to Europe. Recent legislation changed the boundaries of Dublin South East creating two new constituencies – Pembroke–Southdock and Rathgar–Rathmines – both containing over 116,000 voters. This year’s Local Elections will include discussions around a collage of issues from water charges, local property taxes to local waste collection. Just before each election, polling stations – made up of schools and local gyms – will be designated. It’s important when you’re going to vote that you bring an item of identification (ideally your passport) and your polling card, which will be sent out a few weeks in advance. Most polling stations will be open from 7am-10pm.


NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

REGAL HOUSE TO RE-OPEN

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By Donna Dunne egal House was first opened as a cinema in the 1920s. As a oneroom cinema it wasn’t very big but the Regal was the place to be on a Saturday. There were queues of people outside the cinema, all waiting to catch some Tom and Jerry, Laurel and Hardy or Flash Gordon. Colm Dunne, a local Ringsend resident, tells NewsFour,

“The cinema was something for all of us to look forward to after school. We would save up our money during the week and four pence would buy us a seat to get in to see the shows.” Ann Brien, another local who lived in Ringsend from 1954 to 1969, also has some great memories about the Regal. She said, “These were some of the happiest years of my life. My pals and I would go to the

Regal Cinema in the early 60s when we were allowed to go without our parents. There was an usherette who was a girl that showed us to our seats. She had a flash lamp and during the film you could buy a tub of Dairy Maid ice-cream, popcorn and if you were old enough, cigarettes.” The last show in the Regal was The Bird Man of Alcatraz, which was released in 1962. The old cinema was last used as a FÁS training centre, which opened in 1986 and relocated in 2009 to Townsend Street. The building has been left derelict for many years, and is now set to re-open as a Pentecostal Church. Abundant Grace is a Pentecostal Church that has been in Ringsend and Irishtown since 2006. They held their services at 57 Irishtown Road but unfortunately their landlord went into liquidation. An opportunity arose for the church to hold their services in Regal House but a makeover was badly needed. The church moved into Regal House on the 1st December. Work is progressing on the renovations and they are hoping to have an opening service in March. “Once we get the building completed, our active services will all restart again,” said Pastor Sharon of Abundant Grace. The cost of renovations for Regal House meant that Abundant Grace had to get to a loan. As Pastor Sharon says “everything we do, we fund ourselves.” The church is very active within the community. They work with people with addiction issues, the homeless and try to help the community in general. Pastor Sharon feels that the community will be very pleased with what they have accomplished. “Regal House holds great memories, all from different generations. I am looking forward to getting people’s reactions when it re-opens in March. A date has yet to be decided.” Pastor Sharon would like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for standing with them in their time of transition. “All things have worked out in our favour and God has truly blessed us with being able to have Regal House so that we can get back to business as usual.”

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STELLA’S SANDBAGS

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By Eric Hillis f you’ve passed by Stella Gardens recently you’ll have noticed a significant crack in the Dodder flood wall. With the recent flooding, this has led to water seeping through. As a result, the council has installed sandbags to defend the area from further flooding. Last year Dublin City Council established the Flood Assessment Group (FLAG) as part of its Emergency Flood Plan. In preparation of the high astronomical tides predicted for early January, FLAG held a meeting on December 18th of last year at which measures were decided on to deal with the coming crisis. At 3.014 metres, the tide level of January 3rd was the highest ever recorded in the area and overtopped the quays. As a result, sandbags were required not just at Stella Gardens but also Sandymount’s Strand Road, Fitzwilliam Quay and Clontarf Road. Fortunately, several factors meant damage was considerably less than the council initially feared. Flooding would have been a far worse problem had the wind blown from an easterly direction. Thanks to the southern direction of the wind, damage was alleviated, as the wind acted as a natural barrier to the incoming high tide. The recent lack of rainfall was instrumental in preventing an overflowing of sewers. In February 2002, €60 million of damage was incurred when over 1,200 properties were flooded. This led to Dublin City Council (DCC) investing heavily in flood defences over the past decade, an investment now vindicated. The recent tides were considerably higher than those of 2002, yet damage was minimal in comparison, with DCC estimating a cost of €100,000. According to Michael Phillips, city engineer for DCC, there is still further work required to strengthen coastal areas of the city against the threat of flooding. “While the temporary flood defence measures proved effective on this occasion, it would be foolish to believe that this is a sustainable solution,” he says. “At some stage either our predictions regarding the tidal height will be proved wrong or the temporary measures will be overcome by a combination of high tide, low pressure, wind speed/direction and rainfall. A more sustainable solution is urgently required if the flooding risk is to be mitigated.” Above: Crack in the flood wall along the Dodder. Below: Sandbags at Stella Gardens.


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LOCAL PICTURE ROUNDUP

St. Brigid’s Haddington Road Confirmation class 1949 Back row: __?, Monica __?, Kitty Kavanagh, __?, Rita Lynch, __? Doyle. Second row: Monica Redmond, __?Mooney, __?, Ellen O’Brian, Carmel Brennan, Lily Denney. Third Row: Maureen O’Gorman, Patty O’Brian, __?, __?, Phyliss Muldowney, __?, __?, __? Front Row: __?, Anna Rossiter, __?, Rosie Monney, Maura Newman, Pauline Long, Dolores Graham, __?, Deirdre O’Loughlin Photo courtesy Anna Rossiter Hulgraine


NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

Top left on pages 26 and 27: Reader Richard Purdy took both these images at high tide on Sunday the 5th of January. At the Shelley Banks Beach, the middle area is the submerged car park and to the right is the shipping channel. Top right: Red Hurley at Clyde Court Hotel, a fundraiser for Sandymount and Merrion Residents Association (SAMRA). From left to right: Marie Dennan, Red Hurley, Betty Campbell, the winners of a ticket giveway. SAMRA want to say a huge thank you to everyone who got involved and supported the fundraising efforts.

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Above left, left to right: X Factor addicts Miriam Holmes, Alison Duffy, Elaine Cummins, Sharon Bolger, Cato Graham, Caroline Gannon, Sinead Kavanagh, Olive Holmes, Debroah Kavanagh, Louise Rooney, Anne Mc Cabe. (Missing from the photo are Barbara Lyons and Suzanne Curtis who have emigrated.) Above right: Bath Avenue and District Residents Association seniors Christmas party was held on Saturday the 25 January at the Grand Canal Hotel. Below: Fourth Port Dodder Sea Scouts launch their 80th year celebrations of sea scouting. Photo courtesy the scouts.


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A HISTORY OF OLD SHOP FRONTS

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By Leeza Kane he emergence of the consumer began during the 18th century, with the introduction of luxury goods such as tea, cotton and tobacco. People became customers and certain streets in a town or village became retail areas. Shops began to evolve from open-fronted counters between the shop and the street to those incorporated into buildings. The fitting of large glazed window displays was established in Dublin at the end of the 17th century and beginning of the 18th, with Maltons Prints of Dublin being

one of the first. During the 19th century the introduction of advertising and competition saw shop front displays explode onto the streets and shops became individual entities. One of Ireland’s oldest shops, Thomas Read’s on Parliament Street was a sword cutlers, trading for over 200 years. It was established in 1670, later becoming known as a place to buy a good scissors or a set of knives. It is now closed down and boarded up but on the front in fine calligraphy it states that it is the oldest shop in Ireland. Mr Michael Smith of An Taisce

GILMORE SOLICITORS 22 BRIDGE STREET, RINGSEND, DUBLIN 4 Tel: 6677170 * Fax:6673809 E-mail: info@gilmoresolicitors.com

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says, “Read’s was not only the oldest but also the most charming shop in Dublin, with much of its interior still intact, the owner promised to keep it and even to put in a museum on the first floor, but, needless to say, this hasn’t happened,” he added. Brookes Antiques on Baggot Street was originally a chemist from 1890 to 1966 and the original, highly decorative name and glass front of the shop remain intact, plus the original cast iron down pipes on either side of the pilasters. It was bought by owner Pat Ryan, who says, “the old character of the shop has been retained, it has never been altered and includes the old medicine

NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

cabinets with the labels naming the medicines and powders. Every day the shop is photographed by tourists and people during the summer months, it’s been in magazines and publications around the world.” Sandymount Pharmacy on the Green is 150 years old and is a preserved building. Owner of the pharmacy, Grainne Murphy explains, “Years ago the original glass broke but couldn’t be replaced here in Ireland because of the curve, so it was replaced with perspex about 20 years ago”. Originally belonging to the pub, it has been a grocery store, bookshop, hardware store and a restaurant.

On Pearse Street, number 201, the Nuzum Bros shop is a closed down old shop and dates back to the 1830s. The Nuzum family were originally French Huguenots and came to Ireland in the late 1600s. The owner of the shop is listed as a coal agent in the Dublin Street Directory in 1862. Most of the old shop fronts that survive in Dublin today date back to the 19th and early 20th centuries. According to Irish conservation guidelines, “The preservation of the remaining examples of this very Irish art and craft is vital for the retention of the identity and character of villages and towns.” Photos by Leeza Kane.


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DREAMING OF BILLY THE KID

By Noel Twamley illiam Bonney aka Billy the Kid was born in New York of Irish parents in 1860. Both parents died young and Billy was shipped to relatives in Arizona at 14 years of age. These relatives did not know, or want him and he was kicked out sans gun or horse into this almost lawless state, a child of 14 years. Arizona then was sparsely populated, a land of searing heat, cold nights, flash floods, ignorant drunken killer cowboys, hostile Indians, and most of the women were called soiled doves. It was truly a dreadful place. To survive, Billy had to grow up fast, so he robbed from the robber and got himself a Colt 45 revolver, a Winchester 73 rifle, and a horse. Now he had a chance of survival. Billy could ride into Mexico, rustle cattle and sell them to vacuous Arizona ranchers. Now 15 years of age, Billy was an affable youth and had sagacity in spades. He was bilingual and as George Coe said of him “He stood straight as an Indian, spoke Spanish, all Hispanic loved him, and he was a wonder.” The kid got involved in many gunfights, including the Lincoln county wars, when the US army were called in. His reputation grew big time – even east coast papers had headlines like Kill Billy the Kid.

PAGE 29 The kid was caught many times but always escaped from captivity. The governor of Arizona Lew Wallace – who later found fame as the author of Ben-Hur – offered Billy a pardon. The kid turned up and was chained and incarcerated, but he shot his way out of jail again. Billy kept moving. Everywhere he went most of the men wanted to kill him for the reward. The only safe friends he had were all female; not one girl ever said a bad word about Billy. Indeed, all of his many girls said he treated them with dignity and respect. Billy was always dancing. He would attend Mexican bailes (dances). The girls said he was always neat and tidy and clean and unarmed. Billy was also a non-smoker, drank very little, had a truly magnificent singing voice and was a superb dancer. Even today, I am sure Billy the Kid would be a big hit with the girls. Some months later, Governor Wallace called Sherriff Pat Garrett and a gang of thug deputies to hunt and kill Billy. Garrett was tipped off that Billy was calling to see his latest flame Paulita in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. As Billy arrived unarmed he saw moving figures and called out “¿Quién es, Quién es?” (Who is it, who is it?). A volley of shots rang out. On 14 July 1881 William Bonney aka Billy the Kid was dead. How he survived five years alone is astonishing. At the inquest, Pat Garrett lied and lied again. He said Billy drew his gun when he was told Billy was unarmed he said he must have went for

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For most of the singers Tipperary was foreign, a faraway place with a strange sounding name. Not so for the almost quarter million Irishmen who packed up their lives, said goodbye to their Dolly Grays and went off to fight for the Empire and the freedom of small nations — a confusing contradiction of concepts. Many of these men had answered John Redmond’s call for volunteers, believing they were fighting for Home Rule for their motherland. Close to 50,000 of them made the ultimate sacrifice.

Propaganda of the period was so effective that, in some cases, boys as young as fourteen lied about their age and were accepted as cannon fodder, no questions asked. Women — mothers, daughters and wives — were encouraged to shun men not in uniform. Occasionally these women publicly presented white feathers, the symbol of cowardice, to such men, some of whom were actually home on leave from the trenches. Meanwhile, the Irish War of Independence was initiated by Pearse and his patriots. More

Left: William Bonney photographed on a tintype (tin base photo) at Fort Sumner circa 1879–1880. Above: Billy the Kid’s tombstone at Fort Sumner. In Ireland some saw the Irish survivors of The Great War as traitors, others hailed them as heroes, but many of them were seen by all for what they really were, shattered shells of their former selves. They, and their families, carried the wounds of war — loss of limbs, blindness, shell-shock, nightmares and disease — for the rest of their lives. Redmond’s Volunteers — at least those who came home — were written off in history as “The men that don’t fit in”.

IT’S A LONG WAY TO TIPPERARY

By Ken Casey t’s a Long Way to Tipperary was one of the biggest hits of World War I. The tune was written in 1912 by disabled songwriter Harry J. Williams from Warwickshire and Jack Judge, a music hall performer from West Bromwich. It was their most successful song and in recognition of this the first line of the lyric is inscribed on the tombstone of Williams. Men by the million marched to the memorable melody. The song was sung by soldiers from almost every nation on earth.

his holster. The jury laughed at this, no cowboy would ride around with an empty holster. William Bonney was buried at Fort Sumner and from day one his grave was robbed by souvenir hunters – even many tombstones were stolen. In the 1930s the county placed a big, ugly steel cage over Billy’s grave. During my research on Billy I garnered a lot of sympathy for him as he was not a cold killer, he only shot at people who were shooting at him. It was all about survival. I cannot let this story end in a sad way as I believe Billy was more sinned against than a sinner. Let’s all close our eyes, go into dream time and think of Billy in a better life. In my dream time I see Billy at a camp fire in the great prairie in the sky. He is happy and he is singing. I can see a lovely Spanish angel holding his hand. She is astonished listening to his magnificent timbre voice echoing across the prairie in the sky. He is now dancing with the señorita with such style and grace this is a sight to behold. As I wake from my dreamtime I realise everything is fine in heaven and on earth.

Irishmen took up arms, but this time against the British. These men were the Irish Volunteers.

Left: A poster representing Home Ruler John Redmond calling for volunteers at the height of World War I.


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ALTERNATIVE FITNESS

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By Donna Dunne or some people, getting off the couch to do exercise can be one of the hardest things to do so NewsFour went out in search of something fun to get you back on track with your new year goals. Belly dancing, burlesque dancing, yoga, pole fitness, aerial hoop classes and acrobalance are all increasing in popularity. Belly dancing is suited to the female body as the emphasis is on abdominal muscles, hip moves, and chest moves. This type of dancing can improve your posture and can help prevent back pain. Weight-bearing exercises like belly dancing can prevent osteoporosis, strengthen bones and can burn up to 300 calories per hour. Burlesque dancing wouldn’t be aimed at making you lose weight like belly dancing but instead teaches you how to dance in heels to make you feel sexy. It is definitely something different and no experience whatsoever is needed at the Irish Burlesque School on Foley Street, Dublin 1. Yoga is an ever-popular activity which helps to balance the mind and body. NewsFour spoke to Jeanne Fregil, Director of Init Yoga Ireland in Ringsend, “It is vital for people to find out their main motivation and to set realistic goals. I highly recommend yoga as it is not a high-impact activity (gentle to the joints) and it also helps calm the mind and alleviate stress.” Sportsco Gym on South Lotts Road offers a wide range of alternative exercises like piloxing and shapeshifters. Piloxing is a new class that blends the power, speed and agility of boxing with the sculpting and flexibility of Pilates. Shapeshifters work in a group to achieve their weight loss goals. The focus is put on exercise and activity rather than endless yo-yo dieting. Participants are given routines to take home so they can continue the work during the week. Weight and body analysis are recorded each week, and lifestyle and nutrition tips are given in every class. A new fitness and dance studio called Tribe Fitness on Upper Dominick Street in Dublin 1 is offering classes in pole fitness, aerial hoop classes, acrobalance and deep stretching. Lisette Krol, founder and owner of Tribe says, “The difference between normal gym training and our training is that we use equipment like poles and aerial hoops and we help people to create training techniques making it fun and interesting.” Aerial arts and pole fitness might be tricky to start off but it’s all about the upper body strength and this is what beginners will learn here. Acrobalance is a combination of yoga, acrobatics and strength where one partner balances the other. The class helps build confidence, strength and trust allowing your body and mind to become more flexible.

NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

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THE DAILY QUIET

By Rúairí Conneely t being the time of year where people have sworn themselves to new habits, the word meditation gets bandied about quite a bit. Resolutions may come and go as January blends into later months but advocates for this ancient practice never seem to rest. It’s one of those things, like juice fasts and veganism that seem to make extreme converts. So what’s all the fuss about, and does meditation have concrete benefits? Meditation is traditionally associated with religious practice, particularly in the Far East. In the last decade or so, a boom in the development of brain sciences has led to a deeper understanding of the physical benefits of silent concentration practices. Better brain-scanning technologies have shown that even inexperienced or first time meditators experienced a measureable change in brain wave activity: ordinary waking awareness (Beta) begins to incorporate activity associated with deep states of relaxation (Alpha), openness and self awareness (Theta). In a modern environment of constant, now portable distraction and stimulation, one of the main benefits of meditation is to reacquaint people with the pleasures of silence. This is particularly true for children growing up in the era of the smartphone. NewsFour spoke with Dr Michael Telford, Principal of the John Scottus School, Donnybrook where meditation is a practice encouraged among students. “We have a programme, part of the overall ethos of the school, which emphasises the emotional and spiritual growth of our students. We have a pause before and after each class of the day, a silent period in the middle of the day for ten minutes and at the end of the day, a music period” Dr. Telford explains, “not necessarily music of the students own choice, quietening music.” The John Scottus School was founded in 1986 and meditation has been part of the programme since day one. Dr Telford recounts that “[in] 1986, it was almost a hush-hush matter. ‘Medi-what?’ people would have asked. Now, it’s very much the norm and I think in the future, it will become standard practise in education.” If it is now the norm, rather

than a far eastern religious concept, maybe one way of looking at meditation is it’s

part in the fine art of getting over yourself, and getting on with things.

Meditation: a brief how-to guide

By Rúairí Conneely Broadly speaking, there are two basic approaches to meditation for the beginner: the exclusive or the inclusive. You have to ask yourself: do I want to focus on something as best I can, at the exclusion of all other objects of awareness or do I prefer to defocus and learn to observe the contents of my mind impartially? Exclusive methods include focussing on the repetition of a word or phrase, or selecting a simple coloured shape to concentrate your attention on. Inclusive methods, which can be trickier for the beginner, involve watching the thoughts, the breath, and the body, as well as feeling your feelings but not trying to correct them, or interfere. The next step is making an appointment with yourself to practice. Regularity is key. Just five minutes of gentle effort practice every day for about two weeks will get you started. It’s not so much about the exact same time every day so much as it is about making and keeping the appointment with yourself. Once the habit is engrained, a place of habitual reflection becomes established in the mind (however slight and insubstantial it may seem to begin with) and the deeper benefits of meditation will begin to reveal themselves. The open secret of all meditation is the breath. A comfortable position, and smoothing, slowing and regularising the breathing are excellent controls for a beginner’s practice. If you’ve lost your focus, check your breathing. Emotional distractions always manifest in the behaviour of the breath and can be corrected by restoring smooth, relaxed inhalation and exhalation.


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BRUGH PÁDRAIG MANCHESTER 50TH YEAR RE-UNION

By Eamonn Thomas (former Brugh Pádraig member and Youth Leader)

mous football pitch which is covered 365 days of the year by electronic drying machines. We all went home that night on an evening flight after spending a wonderful trip down memory lane sharing great experiences and craic that will never be forgotten. For me it was a pleasure seeing and meeting the lads again that I knew as young boys under 15 years of age and now in their mid-sixties as fathers and grandfathers. What memories, what friendships.

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ast year in the February March issue of NewsFour I wrote about a planned 50th year club re-union between Brugh Pádraig Youth Club (under 16 Football Team) and St Clare’s Boys Football club in Manchester. This was to mark the occasion of our first encounter playing for the Liam Whelan Memorial Trophy over a two year period 1963 and 1964 on a home and away basis, Many of the Brugh lads that were part of the team back in 1963 who lived around the Pearse Street, Ringsend and Ballsbridge areas were contacted and indeed many of them were quite enthusiastic and excited about a re-union dinner in Manchester to mark the occasion. Our planned programme was a three day week-end trip to Manchester in early February 2013, including flights, hotel accommodation, tickets to watch Manchester United v Norwich City, a tour of Old Trafford stadium and the re-union dinner. When I first enquired about purchasing tickets I was assured that there would be no problem as the opposition were not all that attractive. I was simply looking to buy tickets at face value prices, but much to my surprise I was quoted ridiculous

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By Jimmy Purdy he annual mass for deceased members of Brugh Pádraig leaders and chaplins was held in St Andrew’s Community Centre on the 1st of November 2013. A large number of past members of the youth club turned up, it was the biggest number in recent years. Mass was celebrated by one of the ex-chaplins Bishop James Moriarty. This mass is one of the highlights of the year for us Brugh Pádraig boys as is the chat of old times after mass with a cuppa, biscuits and cake. Among some older members and leaders who attend were Jimmy Marsh, his sister May, and Noel Nutley, who helped as a minister of the Eucharist. The chat turned as always to the old days in Terenure Technical School grounds where the sports were held, camping in various places

prices. So, with 10 days to departure time we still had no tickets. In desperation I wrote directly to Sir Alex Ferguson explaining the background and the sense of occasion and calling on his good offices requesting to buy tickets at face value. With five days to go I had a call directly from his offices saying that the tickets would be available for collection at the stadium. Happily we saw the game which unfortunately was very poor, United winning 4 nil but nevertheless everyone

enjoyed the occasion and atmosphere. The celebratory dinner on the Sunday evening was the highlight of the trip. After the dinner we had a wonderful night’s entertainment listening and hearing of the many Brugh stories and yarns finishing with a singsong of the many hit numbers of the swinging sixties that lasted well into the early morning. Monday midday the group went on a tour of the Old Trafford football stadium. We saw all the wonderful facilities including the players changing rooms

and lounges, the fitness centre, media facilities and where all the world press conduct their interviews. We also saw the fa-

BRUGH PÁDRAIG MEMORIES

such as Wexford and Tipperary, drama competitions in Rathmines Town Hall where on oc-

casion the Brugh came first with the play The Monkey’s Paw. One particular activity always

spoken about is boot repairs, a class we did like wood work or arts and crafts.

Above: The Brugh team that played in Manchester in 1964. Back: Eamonn Thomas (youth leader), Michael McDonald, Paddy Knut, Brian Murtagh, Pat Smith, Noel Murray, Father Ignatius and Mick O’Keefe. Front row: Derek Lawless (RIP), Tony Doyle, George Molloy, captain Larry Murphy (RIP), Noel Donovan and Eddie Barter. Below: Reunion of some of the lads in Manchester.

One of our favourite memories is about sodality which we had to do one Sunday of every month in the little church on Merrion Square. It finished at half nine or half ten on Sunday morning and then there was a race to get out to Terenure for the match after mass. During December Pat Carroll’s get-together was held in O’Neill’s of Pearse Street, and on Saturday December the 9th annual Christmas dinner dance took place in Sportslink in Santry. These events have already taken place, but it’s good to know Brugh Pádraig is alive and well. Perhaps you will join us at these events next year. For more information on the events contact Jimmy on 086 3315201. If anyone knows the names of the Brugh boys in this picture please contact NewsFour.


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JACK L FOR VICAR STREET

By Donna Dunne ack L headed off to Amsterdam one summer at the age of 18, living in a tent on campsites for nearly six months whilst busking and working in fish factories. “At one stage I ended up losing the tent and sleeping in ditches,” he laughs. Jack, now 40, came back from Europe to busk on our Dublin streets. He became a familiar face and started to play in clubs, eventually landing a slot in the Olympia. The singer/songwriter has come a long way since then, winning the Spotlight Award for Best Musical Performance in Edinburgh two years ago. Jack knows the hard work that is involved as a musician to make it as a paid working original artist and laughs about the nights he slept in ditches but wouldn’t change it for the world. “Music was the only thing I was ever interested in and I was lucky enough to be born with the gift of a voice and the de-

NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 sire to write songs. When I think of myself working in a factory gutting fish, there’s no comparison.” Jack first came to prominence in 1995 with his interpretation of Jacques Brel. He introduced a whole generation of people to Brel’s music. In 2012 he did the same with the release of another album called The 27 Club. Jack performed the songs of legendary artists such as Brian Jones, Alan Wilson, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Amy Winehouse who all died at 27. Jack got his inspiration to do this album because of a radio show he presents called High Fidelity alongside Julie Feeney on RTÉ Radio 1. “I knew it was a precarious thing to do as it can be seen as disrespectful, but it’s a celebration of their music and their lives, rather than a celebration of their deaths.” Jack covered Love is a Losing Game by Amy Winehouse but was reluctant to do so because she only died in 2011. “It’s a perfectly, crafted, classic tune and is up there with the Sinatra classics so that’s what pushed me to do it.” Jack L’s reputation is growing throughout Britain, Europe and the US. He recently finished touring with renowned musician Jools Holland and released an EP called The Great Wall of China. If you want to see Jack L live, he will be performing Songs for Lovers in Vicar Street on Valentine’s night which is “also suitable for single people,” he laughs. For more information see his website: www.jacklukeman.com Photo by Marc O’Sullivan.

EVENT GUIDE

By Donna Dunne In this event guide there’s some originality, a bit of 1950s, something obscure and something freaky but to calm it all down some Irish roots on Paddy’s Day with lots of traditional Irish music. Guitarist and band member of Jupiter and The Infinite Robert Kelly from Ballsbridge, tells NewsFour about their up and coming EP Launch on Friday 7th February in the Mercantile on Dame Street. Their music is a mixture of blues and rock with claims to be the most exciting rock band on the Irish music scene today. Gig starts at 8pm till late with the Hoochi Kews as their supporting act. If you like jiving, 50s rock n roll or something a bit obscure then maybe you should check out what’s going on at Dublin’s rockabilly scene. UK band LP & His Dirty White Bucks will be playing at the Pint Pub on Eden Quay on Saturday February 8th. Rockabilly DJs Korky and Gerry Robinson will also be playing a mixture of rockabilly music too so it’s sure to be a late one. Gig starts at 8.30pm. If you can’t get to that, the Globe Bar on George’s Street also hold rockabilly nights every Sunday from 9pm to 11pm with The Pavement Kings being one of their regular bands. Lead singer and double bass player Simon Farrell has starred alongside some of the biggest names on the rockabilly scene, including Imelda May. The Pavement Kings play in the Globe on the 9th and 16th February. The Squidling Brothers Circus is one of

the world’s finest and freakiest carnival side shows. They come all the way from the US making a special stop to Dublin on their world tour. They will be performing at The Twisted Pepper on Middle Abbey Street on the 9th February at 8pm. To all you punk rockers, The Oppressed are playing at the Grand Social on the 15th February. The Rockin’ Riot, Section 4, Hardcase and The Jollars will also be playing on the night. €10 in so that works out to be two quid a band… Gig starts at 8.30pm On St Patrick’s Day, the Amigos will be playing in Paddy Cullen’s in Ballsbridge. If it’s Irish traditional music you’re in search of, O’Donoghues on Merrion Row will be the place to be. St Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin will be held from the 14th to the 17th of March. The celebration started out as one day and one night but us Irish couldn’t get enough so it’s now a four-day event. The festival will have marching bands coming from all over the world, fun fairs, street performances, Ceilís and more. For more info visit: jupiterandtheinfinite.com squidlingbros.com pavementkings.com stpatricksfestival.ie Above: The Pavement Kings.


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2014 OSCAR PREDICTIONS

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By Eric Hillis n Sunday March 2nd, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood will play host to this year’s Academy Awards, the annual gathering that sees Tinseltown’s finest indulge in an evening of backslapping. It seems year on year the cut-throat race for a coveted statuette (originally designed by Dubliner Cedric Gibbons in 1928) is becoming more cynical. To qualify for an award, a film must have received a US theatrical release no later than December 31st of the year in question. This has led to producers purposely holding back their most prestigious films until the final weeks of the year, keeping them fresh in the minds of Academy voters. On this side of the Atlantic, these films can hit our cinema

screens as late as March. An example of the desperate lengths film-makers will go to in order to ensure their film qualifies is director Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. The film was initially set for a February 2014 release stateside but was rushed into theatres in the final week of 2013. The result is a movie that, while critically acclaimed, runs for a somewhat bloated 179 minutes. Many experts surmise that had Scorsese been given more time to edit his film it would be considerably shorter. In my opinion, Scorsese should have waited as I only see two movies having a realistic chance of taking Best Picture this year: Gravity and 12 Years a Slave. It’s a tough one to call as the two films couldn’t be more dif-

Dallas Buyer’s Club

caust (Schindler’s List) doesn’t feature a Jewish lead character but a white Christian hero. Movies about the civil rights era focus on the contribution made by whites to the struggle. Last year’s flop The Lone Ranger featured Johnny Depp playing a Native American. It seems American cinema is as uncomfortable dealing with homosexuals as it is Jews, Blacks and Native Americans, and so we get Dallas Buyer’s Club, a “true” story about a

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Reviewed by Eric Hillis n 1985, Dallas rodeo rider Ron Woodruff (Matthew McConaughey) is told by doctors he has a month left to live as he has contracted the AIDS virus from engaging in unprotected sex with drug users. Ron applies to become a test case for AZT, a new drug that claims to prolong the life of AIDS patients, but is turned down. Instead, he heads to a Mexican clinic, run by an American doctor whose US licence was revoked. There he purchases illegal medicines that haven’t been approved north of the border, and with the help of Rayon (Jared Leto), a transgender AIDS patient he met in hospital, Ron begins to smuggle the drugs across the border and sell them. Dallas Buyer’s Club may technically be an independent production, but in every other aspect it’s as Hollywood as it could be. American cinema has always struggled with depicting minority groups while striving for as large an audience as possible. Hollywood’s way around this has been to put mainstream characters at the forefront. This is why the biggest movie about the holo-

ferent. One is a celebration of arguably America’s greatest achievement, the other a harsh look at its darkest hour. I think Gravity will ultimately come out on top, thanks to its advancement of the otherwise derided 3D format, something a lot of powerful people in Hollywood are desperate to see succeed. 12 Years director Steve Mc-

FILMS subject that overwhelmingly affected the gay community yet has a straight lead character, and a “comically” homophobic one at that. The approach taken by director Jean-Marc Vallée and his writers opts for dramatic shortcuts at every turn. The basic set-up – pairing an outspoken homophobe with a transgender woman/transvestite man (the distinction is never made entirely clear and the character is

Queen will likely receive a Best Director statuette as a consolation prize, while the film’s star, Chiwetel Ejiofor, should take home the Best Actor accolade. Cate Blanchett is, in my opinion, the one to scoop Best Actress for her role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, a film I see as the strongest contender for Best Original Screenplay. Best Adapted Screenplay could controver-

sially go to Before Midnight, a film that really shouldn’t be in that category as it’s a sequel rather than an adaptation of any pre-existing work. You can find out if my predictions are correct on March 2nd.

purely a creation of the filmmakers) – sounds like the most dated seventies sitcom imaginable. 20 years ago we saw a similar dynamic in Philadelphia, which paired an outspoken homophobic lawyer with a gay client. Your ability to appreciate Dallas Buyer’s Club will rest largely on how much of a conspiracy theorist you are. If you’re the kind of person who wears a tinfoil hat to stop the government stealing your

thoughts, you’ll likely see Woodruff as some sort of Messianic figure. The film-makers certainly do. In one particularly cringe-worthy scene McConaughey adopts a crucifixion pose. Most of us, however, will see Woodruff as someone who exploited vulnerable people to make a quick buck. Throughout the film we’re constantly told of the ill-effects of the FDA-approved AZT, simply because it’s a cheap way to create false drama. I’m always dubious of anyone who paints the medical profession as the villain and throughout the movie I just couldn’t buy the conspiracy theory I was being asked to swallow. My suspicions were confirmed when, at the film’s conclusion, a title card informs us that AZT did, in fact, have positive results, confirming I had indeed just watched a movie about someone who jeopardized lives by selling dodgy black market drugs. I’m not saying avoid Dallas Buyer’s Club, but be aware you’re being spun a false yarn, and leave the tinfoil hat at home.

Pictured above: Sandra Bullock in Gravity, NewsFour’s tip for this year’s Best Picture award.

Pictured left: Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyer’s Club.


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NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

Educate Together Update

By Eric Hillis ducate Together’s Amy Swearingen contacted NewsFour with some updates on how things are progressing for the area’s new school, which now has an official name – Shellybanks. “Shellybanks is the name locals from Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount call the beach area in Sandymount at Strand Road by Sean Moore Park,” Swearingen tells NewsFour. “There is significant history and heritage around the location which was a scene in James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses, and was a cherished site of James Joyce and his wife, Nora. Our committee members felt it was both inclusive and unique which we felt most accurately represented the diversity of the broader community the school will serve.” The school’s logo (pictured below) was designed by graphic designer Lorenzo Tonti. “The logo was selected by a majority vote among school committee members,” says Swearingen. “It was chosen because it is colourful and has an organic feel to it, reflecting the natural beauty of the school’s namesake, Shellybanks beach.” Shellybanks will open this September with two Junior Infants classes (not a Junior and Senior as we previously reported), comprising 58 pupils. All 58 places have now been filled. We hope to have an announcement on a temporary location for the school in our next issue.

Home from school

When I come home every day I want to watch TV or play. But No. But No. They ask what you did every day. But it just makes you sigh with dismay. Maybe ‘nothing’ means fun, or you played with everyone. Maybe it means you used the computer or got taught by a private tutor. Maybe you did ‘God’s Eyes’ or learnt about flies. But when you’re in primary school and learning is fun nothing can stop you, no one. Thanks to Aoife Cosgrave (aged 8) from Irishtown for sending us in her poem.

FATEFUL DECISIONS Reviewed by Liam Cahill ateful Decisions by Enid O’Dowd reaches deep into parental psyche to detail what happens to a parent when their children or loved ones go missing. At the beginning of Fateful Decisions we are introduced to Molly, our protagonist, who details the mental anguish of loss. Molly and Jeff, a presumably happy couple expecting their first child, thought they had it all until one day Jeff collapsed during training for a charity run. Jeff was “seriously sporty and completed two marathons” but even that wasn’t enough to stop sudden cardiac arrest. Molly later miscarries, obviously distraught, turns her attention to cases of missing children, acting as a self-declared Miss Marple charting the web for stories. From here, the author details a string of incidents regarding missing children and what effect individual cases have on parents and families. We hear of a mother called Carli, who is described within the book as having an apparent fixation on her own vanity. Carli, the mother of a young boy named Tommy, is on her way to get her hair done when she decides to leave her child with horrific consequences. As she heads back to the car young Tommy has disappeared. Then there’s the young girl named Rose who goes missing from her own bedroom and the story of a fictional Junior Minister for Transport who dies in his sleep. Not all of the stories are fiction; in two narratives – the cases of Hailey Dunn and Madeline McCann – the author mixes non-fiction and fiction in a slightly confusing move. This approach means that the author has to balance many contentious narra-

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MAEVE’S TIMES Reviewed by Caomhan Keane t struck me the other day, as Maeve Binchy whisked me off the Luas and into an abortion clinic in London – via Maeve’s Times, a collection of her articles during an almost 50 year tenure at the paper of record, just how much her influence has waned amongst her present day contemporaries. Not the chic-lit writers who, for the most part, have curdled the genre she conquered with her absorbing and heartening stories. Rather, it’s the columnists that have licked out the flame of her penny candle and blown smoke into the face of their readers. Maeve, we know, was a warm and funny writer, but above all else, she was a human being, with a keen interest in all she espied. She’d have hated that. “Write as you speak,” she would have told me had I ever had the pleasure of meeting her. But flicking through the 90 plus articles assembled by her colleague Róisín Ingle, you can almost taste the tang of Tanqueray as she spilled the bars on everything from her latest scrape with a scalpel (Maeve’s

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tives, all vying for some attention and clarity. With that said, the storyline is quite interesting throughout, leaving any reader with a breath of knowledge about each story. The book deals with bereavement, individual struggles and an ongoing quest by the author to uncover something that perhaps has been missed. Available locally from Books on the Green, Sandymount for €17.99. Also available as an ebook.

BOOKS

Operation: The Whole Story) to her hunt for the perfect bra (enlisting the Queen’s corsetieres in Fit for a Queen) to her battle with invading Ants (Bleach Sniffers at my Desk). She found the comic gas in the most mundane situation and excavated it for our merriment. But while the snits and giggles warm you up, she unearths the whole kit and caboodle of human emotions, from consternation, to anxiety, self-doubt and self-regard, to really make you glow. You’ll titter away as you dip

in and out of this far reaching collection. Binchy does a bang up job lacerating herself and her foibles, so we warm to her so that, when she ushers us in to situations we shouldn’t be, to observe for ourselves the real life that’s never spoken about, we trust that she isn’t suddenly going to belt us in the face with a purse bejeweled in her righteous indignation. She elucidates but never pontificates as best illustrated in some of the collections finest moments. Anna’s Abortion from 1977, neither demonises nor cannonises the characters in this self-explanatory tale, taking a considered tack sadly lacking from many of the chroniclers in the present day debate. While 1983’s Contraceptive Conversation ridicules the fundamentalism of the right without mocking the core of their beliefs. You’re free to be yourself in Maeve’s company, allowing her to help you experience the world at large on your own terms, though through the eyes of another. In an age when the snarkiest spice flavours the agenda it’s remarkable how long lasting the effects of a truthful tongue are.


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THE CULINARY CORNER

Quick meat and potato soup Can be made with a real cooked ham but a can of corned beef diced is just as tasty. This soup serves about four people. Ingredients 750g potatoes (diced and peeled) 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 large onion finely chopped 600ml / 1 pint chicken stock Salt and freshly ground black pepper 200g/7oz can corned beef (diced) 215g/7 1⁄2 oz. can sweetcorn (drained) 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

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By Donna Dunne oups are quick and easy to make because basically everything goes into one pot. For those of you who don’t have time but understand the importance of nutritious foods, then soup is one of the cheapest ways to get good, nourishing foods into the diet. There are pre-packed and

tinned soups that are even more convenient but there really isn’t anything better than making a soup yourself. There is nothing nicer than a hot bowl of homemade soup on a cold day. Ever hear the saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’? It should be changed to ‘a bowl a soup a day keeps the doctor away’.

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for 2–3 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for a further 1–2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. 2. Stir the stock into the pan, season lightly with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minues. 3. Add the corned beef and sweetcorn bring back to the boil, then lower the heat again and simmer for a further 10 minutes. 4. Stir in parsley, taste and adjust seasoning, then pour into warmed soup bowls.

THE LESSER SPOTTED VALENTINE’S DAY OSTRICH

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By Rúairí Conneely f the title has you confused, don’t be. Chances are you have been, or have known a lesserspotted Valentine’s Day ostrich. When that day rolls around as it does once a year, they bury their head in the sand, either because they hate it or because they’re between partners and are “totally ok with it, ok!” Here are a few ideas about what to do if you’re dateless when the day comes. Nothing beats the lonely-heart blues like a change of scene and new people. If you’re the out-going, physical type then Surf Ireland are running a Valentine’s singles weekend. €99 a head and maybe a tenner for petrol money will get you two nights away in Donegal. No experience is required, first-time surfers are welcome, and there’s ample time for recreation if the water isn’t your thing. You never know who you might

meet. For more information, contact the organisers via meetup.com/SurfIreland. Or arguably the crown jewel of how to be single in Dublin on Valentine’s night is the Rocky Horror Picture Show Anti-Valentine’s Delight. Event organiser Sarah Clancy told us that the unofficial tagline is “No pants or partners necessary”. This may seem a bit risque but it’s all in good fun. “On paper, the Rocky Horror Picture Show may seem a bit depraved but when you see it, it has so many layers. It’s transgressive without being explicit. We’ve had kids come along on the night with their parents and win the best-dressed competition.” The anti-Valentine’s aspect is front and centre too. “All the attention is on the performances and the film and we expect full audience participation,” says Sarah, with mock seriousness. “There’s zero expectation to mingle.”

THE NEWSFOUR CROSSWORD COMPILED BY GEMMA BYRNE

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Name:…………………………… Telephone:………………… Address:………………………………………………………… Prize of a €25 book token. Post entries to NewsFour, RICC, Thorncastle Street, Ringsend, D.4 by 21th March 2014. Winner of our December/January crossword competition was Maire Mac Sweeney, Drogheda, Co. Louth. ACROSS 1) Shortened versions (13) 9) Male cat (3) 10) Successfully brought about (8) 12) Rowing pole (3) 13) Those who take the jobs of strikers (5) 14) Norwegian playwrite (5) 15) This variety of goat gets all the blame (5) 18) A ruling on a point of Islamic law (5) 21) Starkers (4) 23) Fleshy underpart of an animals paw (3) 24) Seventh letter of the Greek alphabet (3) 25) Additional (5) 26) Turf (4) 28) Rotate (5) 29) Empty space/hollow within an object (6) 31) By way of (3) 32) Young fox or bear (3) 33) Edible starchy tuber (3) 34) Signal assent with the head (3) 35) Leave (4) 36) One piece of 26 across (3) 37) Cleared up (6) 38) Bashful (3) DOWN 2) Rude or cheeky remarks (8) 3) Colourful arch in the sky (7) 4) Relating to Spain or Portugal (7) 5) The 1 across version of thank you (2) 6) Pungent edible members of the allium family (6) 7) Incandescent dot in the night sky (4) 8) Gathered (7) 11) An actor’s whisper to the audience (5) 16) Flats (10) 17) Father (2) 18) Organised weekends of music/films/art etc (9) 19) He drives a cab (7) 20) Don’t upset this fruit transporter? (9) 22) Unearthed/dug up (9) 27) Inflatable swimming aid (7) 30) Pal (5


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NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

THE SELZNICK OF SANDYMOUNT

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By Eric Hillis he prospect of making a film has always been a daunting task for those starting out in the industry. How will you raise the money? How will you promote it? Will anyone actually get to see it? Thanks to the internet, budding film-makers have a host of new options. Sites like Kickstarter allow first-time producers to raise funds while social networks like Twitter and Facebook provide an invaluable means of promoting your work. While in the past, film-makers often used the medium of short films to show their potential, a new generation is embracing the format of the web series, usually a set of short episodes (or webisodes) that form a complete story upon completion. The advantage of this is that it allows film-makers to get part of their project made (eg the first episode of a six-part series) without having to wait for a full budget to be raised. One film-maker who has seen success with this method is Sandymount native Marie Caffrey, producer of the award winning web series Cuckoo. After quitting the restaurant business, Caffrey decided to follow her dream of producing films and has spent the past four years working as a production manager on movies like Char-

lie Casanova and Portrait of a Zombie, before producing several shorts.

an Fortune (Game of Thrones) and is directed by former MTV presenter Danann Breathnach, from a script by writer Nikki Racklin. Caffrey is delighted at the reaction the series has received, even taking fourth place in the Webby Awards, the internet equivalent of the Oscars. To put this in context, the third-placed series, Electric City, has no less than Tom Hanks as its leading man. A four-part series, the first two episodes were funded by RTÉ’s Storyland project, while Caffrey raised the remaining funds herself. “In total, the budget is around €17,000,” she tells NewsFour, “When I bring it to festivals, people are really astounded at the quality for such a low budget.” Caffrey was contacted by Aer Lingus and Cuckoo is currently screening on all of the airline’s trans-Atlantic flights. The producer now hopes to turn it into a full-length feature film and has applied to the Irish Film Board’s Catalyst scheme, which awards its winner a €350,000 budget. Cuckoo can be viewed online at www.webserieschannel. com/cuckoo

Cuckoo tells the story of a teenage girl who grows to believe she’s the victim of a child

kidnapping. It stars such notable Irish acting talent as Denise McCormack (Love/Hate) and Bri-

Pictured: The Selznick of Sandymount, Marie Caffrey (left), with Cuckoo director Danann Breathnach and writer Nikki Racklin. Image courtesy The Lovie Awards.

has exhibited widely since graduating including solo shows at Monster Truck Gallery and The Lab, both in Dublin and The Irish Arts Center in New York. She showed NewsFour the snow globes she exhibited at her

most recent solo show at Monster Truck Gallery in Temple Bar, which along with small trees have models of animals in them, animals who exist in the urban world; foxes, pigeons, stray cats, hedgehogs, and squirrels.

As well as being a practicing artist, for the past year Beth has been writing a book. She has also been producing a range of handmade soft toys, teaching, and working as a mediator at IMMA.

ARTIST IN PROFILE: BETH O’HALLORAN

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By Emma Dwyer alking down Marlborough Road, Dublin 4, local artist Beth O’Halloran (pictured) noticed a box of wind-fallen apples left by the roadside for people to help themselves. A day or so later there was a note asking the person who had baked and left the apple pie in place of the wind fallen apples to please call to get their plate back. Having grown up between Maine, America and Raglan Road, Dublin, Beth now 44, lives and works on a “bohemian cul de sac” just off Morehampton Road. She has noticed a really supportive community in the area, where acts of kindness and sharing of homemade jams are the norm.

As an artist Beth describes herself as a painter, using photography as reference, as well as making objects. “All three are connected with an interest in the fragility of nature and in the potential of nature to make us feel better,” says Beth. The objects she makes include sculptural installations, these have taken the form of recreations of trees in gallery spaces, or series of snow globes and paper lanterns in the shape of small animals. Her paintings, often of wintery landscapes or animals, are often informed by photography. She studied for a degree in Fine Art and History of Art at the National College of Art and Design and later for a Masters in Visual Arts Practices at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art and Design. She


NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

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SPORTS WOMAN OF THE YEAR FIONA COGHLAN

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By Leeza Kane ow have the Irish women’s rugby team risen up as a minority in this established sport to become international players? It has been through sheer hard work, dedication and success that they have won the respect of the Irish Nation. The honour of Sportswoman of the Year was awarded to Fiona Coughlan, captain of the Irish women’s rugby team, who led the team to victory in Milan with their first ever grand slam in the Six Nations Championship 2013. That followed their triple crown win by beating Scotland, England and Wales and securing their place in the Rugby World Cup 2015. A major victory for the sport, Fiona states, “When we beat England, who have been

the standard bearers for so long, people started to sit up and take notice”. Fiona’s position on the team is loose head prop, making her front line on the outside during the scrum and supporting the jumper to compete for the ball. She practices up to six times per week and takes one day off for recovery. Originally from Clontarf, she started rugby as a student at University of Limerick and is still a member of UL Bohemians. Her very first impression of rugby was underwhelming, she says. “I kind of just went out rugby training, at first it was technical and I got a little bit bored until I played my first game.” The IRFU announced that the team will play against Italy on the 8th March 2014 in The Aviva Stadium after the Irish men’s

1966 WORLD CUP STAMP

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By Austin Cromie ational jubilation greeted the English team’s victory in the 1966 Football World Cup, and The British Post Office announced a four penny commemorative stamp to mark the event (pictured). Unfortunately, it also announced in advance that no more than 12 million copies would be printed. At that time the normal daily usage of four penny stamps was 40 million, and panic ensued. People queued for the midnight launch at the Trafalgar Square post office, police were called out, windows were broken, there were unseemly scuffles, and throughout the country stocks were sold out on the day of issue. Avid buyers toured sub-post offices cash in hand, and immediately – and for the first and only time – stamps were actually quoted on the stock exchange, rising from

the face value of £2 a sheet to £30 on the same day. Meanwhile, dealers who were caught short had to offer ever higher prices for stocks to fulfil their normal standing orders. A wonderful tale? No – within a short period the price had dropped again from two shillings and six pence to one shilling and six pence, and within the stamp trade to as low as ten pence once things had settled down. Obviously buying at four pence and selling at five shillings was good news – but buying a sheet for £30 and discovering its value had dropped to £10 was not so funny, and many an unwary speculator had some harsh things to say about the stamp world. Above: World Cup 1966 stamps with and without ‘England Winners’ text.

game, and also against Italy, as part of the RBS Six Nations Super Saturday. This will be an exceptional day for Irish rugby as it is the first time the women’s team will play in a national stadium. They have approximately 5,000 supporters but the fear is that in a 50,000 seater stadium that that support will seem small, unless the men’s supporters stick around. Fiona states, “We hope after the men’s game that people will stay on. It’s about catching their attention in the first five or 10 minutes to keep the fans there for the remainder of the match”. Her advice to women who want to get in to rugby is to go to a local club and most importantly play your first game. “Give it a go and you will love it.” Photo of Fiona Coughlan courtesy Corporate Reputations.

THE DEATH OF SNOOKER

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By Donna Dunne rish snooker player David Morris (pictured) recently got to the last 16 of the UK Championship in York but reckons there won’t be a revival in the game any time soon in Ireland as the expenses are too high and people just don’t have that kind of money. Morris has been on the professional snooker circuit since the age of 16, winning the overall National championship every year from 2004 to 2006 (becoming the youngest ever winner in 2004). Since Morris has been on the scene, Dublin snooker clubs are few and far between these days, with over 20 clubs closing in Dublin within three years. Morris tells NewsFour, “A lot of clubs have shut down across the country and these have all contributed to the decline in numbers playing in Ireland. When I grew up playing the amateur game there were massive entry numbers in competitions which made for a great atmosphere at events. I won an under 16 event in Ranelagh in 2001 and there was 120 entries but in recent times, under 16 events have maybe 15 to 25 entries which is a massive drop.” According to Jim Lacey President of the International Billiards and Snooker Federation, there were no snooker clubs ever within the Dublin 4 areas. Although before the 60s, some local people in Ringsend said the Irish Glass Bottle Company built their own hall and had up to six full size snooker tables which was only opened on special occasions. NewsFour spoke to Michelle Sherwin, all Ireland ladies champion about the

death of Irish snooker and snooker clubs “Kids are staying in to play their playstations and they don’t need to leave their house to be entertained. I don’t think cost is the issue here, a lot of snooker clubs are offering discounted rates and the ones that are open are struggling to keep it alive.” Morris agrees with Sherwin, “I don’t think as many kids are playing nowadays due to the internet and computers. When I was growing up, it was where my friends and I went; the snooker club became our second home.” Irish snooker in general has unfortunately lost its buzz but around the world it seems as though snooker is more popular than ever which is hard to believe. Morris tells us, “We have 28 competitions stretching from Australia all the way back to the UK. I believe 450 million people play across the world which is an incredible amount.” With these kinds of statistics surely Irish Snooker will have a revival at some point? Image courtesy David Morris.


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ST PATRICK’S CYFC

CLANNA GAEL FONTENOY

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CELEBRATING SUCCESS

By Felix O’Regan here’s considerable confidence around Clanna Gael Fontenoy these days as a new season of competitive fixtures gets into full swing. This comes on the back of significant achievements by many of the club’s teams over past months: the U-12 footballers winning division 1 south Dublin league, the U-18 ladies crowned championship winners, the U-13 girls capturing the division 2 shield, the U-21 footballers reaching a championship final, as well as others of our teams gaining promotion to higher divisions. Not to forget, our adult teams who continue to fly the flag with pride and dignity. Many of the outstanding achievements of 2013 were duly recognised at the club’s Christmas dinner where the list of honours included: Colly Reynolds (club person of the year), Anne Marie Roche (camogie player), Stacey Flood (senior ladies footballer), Kevin Munnelly (senior footballer), Thomas Joyce (senior hurler), Sharlene Forkan (junior ladies footballer), while the team of the year award went to the U-12 footballers for their tremendous success in winning the division 1 south league. Matters on and off the field of play will continue to be overseen by the everpersonable John Dodd who has been reelected chairman for another year. Welcome newcomers to the executive include Una McCullagh as treasurer, Ann Farrell McLoughlin as assistant treasurer and

Anna Moynagh as children’s officer, together with Brian Delany (also chairman of the juvenile committee) and Noel McDonagh. The full list of club officers can be found on the club website at clannagaelfontenoy.ie, along with a host of other information including match reports. The club is well known for its innovative approach, most recently reflected in the introduction of a sale and exchange system for unwanted gear and the establishment of the club’s very own youth club. Juvenile players and members have been afforded the opportunity to buy, sell, swap or donate any second-hand football and hurling gear on Saturday mornings up to the end of January. Meanwhile, on Friday evenings those members in first, second and third year in school have been able to avail of table tennis, table football, pool and other fun activities in the club hall. The wide level of support provided for the club Christmas draw was greatly appreciated, especially as half of the proceeds were earmarked for the local community bereavement fund. In the process, fourteen lucky winners shared a range of attractive cash and other seasonal prizes. Clanna Gael Fontenoy is generously sponsored by Dublin Port Company. Pictured: A number of the Clanna Gael Fontenoy girls’ teams have enjoyed great success in recent times – thus ensuring that the boys don’t take all the glory.

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By David Nolan t Patrick’s CY go into 2014 facing arguably the club’s most challenging period for many a year. Both our teams head into the spring with league survival in mind hoping to preserve topflight status and the club’s crown as the biggest and best in Dublin 4. As we go to print our senior squad are preparing for a daunting last sixteen intermediate cup tie down in Cork where they will face Carrigaline United from the Munster senior leagues first division. For the club it’s another shot at that elusive quarter-final berth having been knocked out at this stage in each of the past two seasons, however cup competitions are well down the priority list as senior division survival takes centre stage. Going into the Christmas break CY were just about hovering above the relegation zone and signed off with a two a piece score draw at home to Malahide United in mid-December, an important morale boosting point after the unexpected mauling just days earlier away to Firhouse Clover. Our first fixture of the new year was to play host to league champions elect Tolka Rovers. The Finglas side came to Ringsend in fine form having won ten league games on the bounce to reach the summit and were unbeaten in 15 games across all competitions, but on the second Friday of the new year faced a CY side ready for a fight. Despite be-

ing a man down for most of the second half, the home side battled to a 2-1 victory. This was followed up the following Thursday night with a 1-2 away win against Glebe North, six unexpected but valuable points to take Derek Bowden’s side up to eight in the table on 17 points, plenty of work still to be done but a good start nonetheless. On to our Saturday side, now managed by the experienced duo of Wayne Byrne and Ray Doyle. CY currently enjoy a mid-table position, but they know that they are only a couple of bad results away from being dragged into a relegation dog fight, in cup action. While certainly not a priority, they have managed to find a path through to the last 16 stage of the LFA Junior cup, a great achievement for a rebuilding squad. The players can look forward to a home tie against St Kevin’s Boys who incidentally beat CY a couple of seasons ago in the semi-final of this great competition. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors and supporters for their continued support, in particular Fanagans our main sponsor, Sally’s Bar, P-Mac and many, many more contributors, hopefully we all have a prosperous 2014. Remember St Patrick’s CYFC offer the highest level of football outside league of Ireland and will continue to grow and set new and improved levels of achievement.

RAILWAY UNION GIRLS RUGBY

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By Kirstin Smith irls Rugby is going strong at Railway Union, with girls between 13 and 18 playing at both U18 and U15 in the Leinster League. “We are the only club in Dublin with girls age-grade teams,” said Head of Girls Rugby Alison Nolan, “and almost all of our girls are taking up rugby for the first time. Our coaches are highly qualified and the coaching is led by Mere Baker, the most highly qualified female coach in Ireland and one of the most decorated female players in the game. She is assisted by IRFU-qualified coaches Blaise Kenny and Barry Kiely.”

Baker is a world cup winner, having played 15s, 7s and rugby league for her native New Zealand, as well as winning six Hong Kong 7s titles in a row. “Our away games are outside Dublin, which means we travel on the team bus and the girls absolutely love it. The bus trips themselves have become legendary, with one trip to Kilkenny involving a celebratory stop-off at the chocolate factory in Tullow on the way back.” “The opportunities for girls in rugby are huge, with a number of our girls representing Leinster and Ireland already, and in places such as the UK, Portugal, America and Brazil, and these are girls who’ve

just taken up the game. Of course, the big opportunity is to represent Ireland at the Olympics in Rio 2016. And there are girls who are reading this now, or whose parents or relations are reading this, who will do just that,” said Nolan. Railway U18 Girls Captain Kate Hegarty said rugby was a hugely enjoyable sport for girls. “I’ve played lot of sports previously and this is my first year playing rugby, as it is with almost all of the girls. It’s so much fun to play and there is a huge focus on skill, speed, agility and decision-making. There’s a great camaraderie amongst the girls and we’ve done lots of stuff outside of the rugby, like the chocolate

factory, participating in the Great Railway Bake-off, and handing out flyers for Leinster camps and going to Leinster games afterwards, and our Charity Carol Singing at the Aviva Stadium in aid of St Michael’s House,” said Hegarty.

Training takes place every Tuesday at 6pm to 7pm and new players are especially welcome. Above: Railway Union RFC Under 18s Girls team celebrate after a win in the Leinster League.

For further information, please visit www.railwayunionrfc.com or email girlsrugby@railwayunionrfc.com


NEWSFOUR FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014

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RAILWAY UNION HOCKEY CLUB

By David Carroll n the weekend before Christmas, Railway Union men’s team travelled north up the M1 to the Physical Education Centre at Queens University Belfast to compete in the National Indoor Hockey finals. Railway were representing Leinster and they overcame the Ulster challengers of NICS (Northern Ireland Civil Service) and Queens University. Railway went unbeaten over the two days of intense competition, scoring a total of 26 goals for and only five against during their four matches. This means Railway have now won the National Indoor Trophy for the second season in succession. Next up for the Railway Indoor squad is the European Club Champions Challenge, which takes place in Prague, Czech Republic from the 14th to the 16th of February. Here

the Polish team who were runners up to Germany at the Indoor Hockey World Cup 2011. It will be a tough ask for Railway to come away with silverware but that is what European competitions are all about and the lads are well up for the challenge and have been training hard over the Christmas and new year period. If you would like to join Railway Union HC (everyone welcome, men, women, boys, girls) please tweet us or send us a Facebook message for details of appropriate training times.

Railway will take on some of the best indoor hockey teams from all over Europe, east and west, at the cauldron that is the Slavia Indoor Stadium. The men’s team will try to

follow in the footsteps of Railway’s women’s side who won the equivalent women’s trophy in Bratislava, Slovakia in 2011. Railway will face top clubs such as the hosts and widely known

Slavia Prague and also Grunwald Poznan from Poland who are the Polish Army side. In their ranks they will have some Polish olympians from 2004 and also many players who were on

Please follow Railway Union Hockey Club on twitter @RailwayUnionHC and on Facebook at Railway Union Hockey Club

Pictured left, back row, left to right: Hilary O’Reilly (Manager), Simon Thornton, Richard Forrest, Jack Kavanagh, Mark English, Fiachra Maher, Stephen O’Keeffe, and Gillian Johnston (Asst. Manager). Front row: Kenny Carroll, Paul O’Brien, Rob Abbott, Jake Morton and David McCarthy.

RAILWAY UNION CRICKET CLUB The T20 World Cup takes place in Bangladesh in March and the Irish team will be there after they won the qualifying tournament in the UAE in December. Railway Union would like to wish club members Kevin and Niall O’Brien all the best in this World Cup and are sure the two men will do the country proud. If any boys or girls would like to join Railway Union CC please contact Elaine Coburn on 087 2352426 for details of training times as the youth teams are all back training now.

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By David Carroll ailway Union won the recently held AP Sports Indoor Cricket Shield, which ran over autumn and concluded just before Christmas at Cabra Sports Hall. In a repeat of the spring final, Railway beat the Northside based Leprechauns. The final went to the last over and the Railway team held their nerve.

Railway’s second team the Raiders (which was made up of youth team players ) also acquitted themselves well over the course of the league, which is good for the future. Railway would like to announce that our player/coach Pat Collins will be returning to the club in April for another season. The popular Queenslander had

a very successful 2013 where he was one of the standout players in Irish club cricket. All at Railway hope an Irish call-up isn’t too far away for the 24 year old. Pat will continue his work of developing and coaching young talent at local schools such as Star of the Sea BNS and Scoil Mhuire GNS and also with the youth teams at Railway.

Pictured left: The victorious Railway team with the AP Sports Shield. Back row, left to right: Grant White (Umpire), Dhram Singh, Kaizer Khan, Derek Carroll, Sean Tomlinson, Nicky Jagoe, Matt Lunson (Umpire). Front row: Andrew Poynter (Sponsor), Hashir Sultan, Sarfraz Ramay and Jay Singh. Below: Pat Collins and Kevin O’Brien in 2013. Photo by Barry Chambers


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