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Free Community Newspaper serving Sandymount, Irishtown, Ringsend, Docklands, Ballsbridge and Donnybrook Web: www.news4.ie • E-mail: newsfourscs@eircom.net • Local Newsdesk: Phone 6673317

ʻTis the Season!

F

ather Michael Coady (right) switched on the Christmas Tree lights at Ringsend Church with the enthusiastic support of these local girls! Meanwhile, Santa Claus himself was spotted at the lighting of the Christmas Tree on Sandymount Green, below right. Pacelli OʼRourke, pictured below, gives a spirited performance as Tevye in the colourful production of ʻFiddler on the Roofʼ at Marian College. As always, have a peacful and happy Christmas and New Year from all of us at ʻNewsFourʼ.

Walls for the wind, And a roof for the rain, And drinks beside the fire– Laughter to cheer you And those you love near you, And all that your heart may desire!

CHRISTMAS 2005

NewsFour


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NewsFour Managing Editor Ann Ingle Advertising Manager Grainne McGuinness Staff Frances Corr Maggie Neary Patrick Duffy Brian Kelly Brian Rutherford Grace McKenna David Hussey Contributors Aidan O’Donoghue Derek Buckley Christy Hogan Shay Connolly Michael Hilliard George Humphries Grainne McGuinness Jimmy Purdy John Cheevers Helen Walsh Derek Sandford J. Keaveney George Humphries Sr. Martin Moore Alex O’Hanlon Music Correspondent Brian Kelly Web Designer Andrew Thorn Photography John Cheevers Design, Typesetting, Layout Eugene Carolan Support Miriam Holmes Community Services, 15 Fitzwilliam Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4. Telephone: (01)6673317 E-mail: newsfourscs@eircom.net Affiliated to Comhairle, South-East Area Network, (SEAN) Local History Research, Community Resource Service, NewsFour Newspaper, FÁS Community Employment Programme. Opinions expressed in News Four do not necessarily represent the views of Community Services.

NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

The Editor’s Christmas Corner

ITʼS BEEN A great year for us here in ʻNewsFourʼ with some new advertisers, great pieces from our contributors and lots of letters and emails from our readers. We have tried our best over the year to amuse, inform and enlighten you with articles both current and historical. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have. Unfortunately on Community Employment projects participants come and go. I was very sorry to lose Denis, Patrick, Rose, Kate and Lisa from the team during the year. Congratulations to Lisa who has gone on to study full-time in Maynooth after her success in the Leaving Certificate and to Denis on the birth of his son. The current team are doing great work and making life that bit easier for me, especially my new Girl Friday Miriam. As always Eugene, our designer, has kept the whole production together and put up with many missed deadlines.

WRAN BOYS RETURN on St Stephen’s Day FOR THE 21st year in succession, The Wran Boys will be on Sandymount Green on St Stephenʼs Day for your entertainment. Proceedings will begin in Gus Ryanʼs with a poetry reading at 11 am. Proceedings will be officially opened by the Lord Mayor Catherine Byrne at 12 midday. The MC for the day, Mic OʼBrien, will introduce the City Fair Group, the Swords Mummers, Set dancers from the Merchantʼs Pub and the versatile singer Johnny Moynihan and many others. All the proceeds from the day will go to the Knights of Malta Hospital in Bethlehem. Come out and enjoy some fresh air after the over-indulgence of Christmas Day.

Our intrepid photographer, John, is now well-known in the area and his work also is much appreciated. Our website is well looked after by Andrew (www.news4.ie) and his creativity and technical knowledge is crucial to its success. Please take time to read the advertisement (page 3) for CRAI. They are a group of dedicated people working on your behalf to ensure that we do not have an incinerator in the area and they are looking for your support. Our thanks to everyone who have given us their help and support during the year, especially our landlord, FÁS personnel, distributors and all our advertisers. On behalf of the staff and sponsors of ʻNewsFourʼ and Sandymount Community Services I would like to wish you a safe and happy Christmas and good fortune in the New Year. Ann Ingle

HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A SUCCESSFUL NEW YEAR To Michael and Pauline Flood and family in Manchester To Johnjo and Coleen Tierney and family in Coventry To All the Egans and McDonalds in Canada FROM Anthony Flood and family and everyone back home To Eddie, Peter, Niel and Katy in

North Carolina FROM Ann and family To All the advertisers, our contributors and readers at home and overseas FROM The staff at NewsFour To George and Bill Rollo and families in Sydney, Australia, Margaret, Derrick and family in Bath, Englad and Deirdre Oliver in Bristol, England FROM Catherine Rollo in Arklow.

ʻSPOT THE RUGBY PLAYERʼ WINNER Margaret Dunne of Londonbridge Drive won the €50 prize from Michael McAuliffe with the following entry: The name of the player is Tony OʼReilly of the 1959 Lions. He played on wing and centre for Ireland and went to school in Belvedere College. He called off his retirement to play for Ireland against England in Twickenham in 1966. His opposite number for England was David Duckham.

SHELBOURNE PARK RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION LTD Swimming in Sportsco

We have a Swimming Session Every Sunday Morning from 11am to 1pm in Sportsco. Price: €25 per 3 Month Session or €5 for one Swim. Children under 3 years are FREE! This Swimming Session is open to any one who wants to join. It is not just confined to people living in the Sth.-Lotts-Rd. area. For further Info just call over any Sunday between 11am-&-1pm. Ask for Mary or Billy.

Our address: NewsFour, 15 Fitzwilliam Street, Ringsend Phone: 6673317 Email: newsfourscs@eircom.net Visit our website at: www.news4.ie


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

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CRAI

combined residents against incinerator

HELP US STOP THE INCINERATOR! Dublin City Council in conjunction with Elsam, a Danish Incinerator firm, intend applying for planning permission to An Bord Pleanala as early as next March to build a mass burn facility in our Area. If the Government’s decision to choose incineration goes ahead we can look forward to: * Hundreds of lorries in and out of the area every day bringing rubbish from Local Authorities in Dun Laoghaire/ Rathdown County Council, South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council, Dublin City Council and further afield * 2,300 tons of rubbish burnt each day close to homes and schools * More odours from the Poolbeg peninsula * If the plant has to be stopped due to technical or human error problems rubbish will accumulate on site with consequent public health problems * An incinerator being fed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week non-stop

Your health is your wealth and it cannot be bought or sold NO SELL OUT FOR COMMUNITY GAIN

WE CAN DO IT TOGETHER This is not a fait accompli. You fought and stopped the plan to build an Incinerator in the same place in 1995. Nothing has changed. You can stop it now by supporting us in our campaign. The Combined Residents Against the Incinerator (CRAI) have been opposing the Incinerator for the last 6 years and now desperately need funding to take this fight to the next level. Please donate what you can today. Our Account details are: Bank of Ireland, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 Account 2766-8908, sort code-900-973 Receipts are available on request CRAI was formed by the residents associations of Bath Avenue and Disrict, Ringsend and Irishtown, Oceanview, Sandymount and Merrion and Shelbourne Park to fight against the development of an incinerator in Dublin Bay. (Contact: 6674580)

Michael Byrne Your local family Butcher and provider of fine foods, fresh fruit and vegetables in Sandymount Village has sponsored this Advertisement. Phone. 6683277 / 6602827


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NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

Make sure you have your say Community Gain Fund Consultation process HAVE YOU EVER thought about the initiatives that could be undertaken to improve your community? In conjunction with the development of the Waste to Energy (incinerator) project, the City Council will establish a Community Gain Fund to enhance the Ringsend/ Irishtown/ Sandymount area. The Fund, which will consist of a one off capital sum and an ongoing annual budget, will be used to finance initiatives in the area beyond what would normally be available to the local community. Early in the New Year someone may call to you, as part of a market research survey, to ask your opinion on the type of initiatives you would like to see in the area. Your views would be invaluable in helping to identify existing gaps in the social and community infrastructure and would help to identify projects and facilities that could, with the support of the Community Gain Fund, bridge these gaps. In a separate survey, local interest groups, schools, businesses etc. will be consulted. These surveys, which will be carried out by the well known market research firm TNS MRBI, are designed to elicit the widest possible views among local people. In order to achieve this, face to face interviews will take place with 1,000 people in their homes and about 100 local interest groups etc. will be consulted through a postal survey. In addition to the market research surveys, Mr Trutz Haase, who is a highly experienced independent Social and Economic Consultant, will be carrying out an audit of existing facilities and will be undertaking an extensive consultation process with the local community in order to identify initiatives/facilities that will enhance the area. Make sure you have your say For Further details, please contact: Elizabeth Arnett Dublin City Council Ringsend Regional Office Cambridge House Campridge Road Dublin 4 Elizabeth.Arnett@dublincity.ie Phone: 01 2815918

C OUNTING ʻWinter Blessingsʼ by Patricia Scanlan hen a well-known author of fiction writes a book that gives insight into her life itʼs fascinating to see the elements that make up that person. Just published by Hodder Headline is ʻWinter Blessingsʼ by Patricia Scanlon, the writer of numerous bestsellers. This book offers a myriad of wellknown and loved poems, often learnt by rote in our schooldays, blessings, thoughts and experiences that have gone to shape her life and made her the person she is today. It was during her work as series editor for ʻThe Open Door Book of Poetryʼ with Niall MacMonagle, which is an anthology for people with literacy difficulties, that Patricia came across familiar old poems once memorised as a schoolgirl, whose imagery and inspiration have given her comfort and food for thought along her journey in life. In her selection of poems every aspect of Christmas and winter is explored through colourful, evocative scenes that appeal to both young and old. Patricia brings us back to a time of childhood Christmases when the magic of Christmas Eve and expectation of Santa Claus gave way to the excitement of waking children on Christmas morning squealing with delight at San-

W

HER BLESSINGS

taʼs presents. Christmas mass and that special dinner of turkey and ham, pudding and brandy butter with crackers and much laughter are all lovingly evoked. On St Stephenʼs Day the family would go on a long walk on Dollymount Strand, children muffled up in hats, scarves, and gloves walking along the beach in the cold, bracing wind with the sea on one side and playing games in the sand dunes on the other. It is evident that she was blessed with a loving family she holds dear and the happy memories of those times resonate in her book. Suffering from chronic back pain and trying to make sense of her life, Patricia embarked on a path of self-discovery and spiritual healing. Having read many books on various religions, Patricia has gleaned an understanding about life. She shares with us happy,

sad and enlightening moments, often reflecting on the change they brought about. Through all of this she realised that Winter represents the most meaningful season to her. But, like the seasons, nothing stays the same forever and Christmas will pass to make way for the New Year, leading to renewal and hope. With this thought in mind enjoy your Christmas snuggled up by the fireside with this wonderful book of ʻWinter Blessingsʼ.

L IBRARY L AUGHS

The Yacht

Thorncastle Street, Ringsend, 6680977

Best Christmas Wishes from Bob, Monica and all the Staff

Avail of our Off Sales

Ciara McParland, pictured above, recently did a Roald Dahl workshop in Ringsend Library for local schoolchildren. Clearly, everyone enjoyed themselves enormously!


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NEW SOCIAL HOUSING OPENS By Frances Corr

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n 17th of November the Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern T.D. officially opened a new housing development at Grand Canal Wharf by unveiling a plaque to mark the occasion and Fr Michael Cody performed a blessing of the new homes. The new development, which has 20 social apartments provided under Part V development in Dublin Docklandʼs. Grand Canal Wharf is on the former glass bottle site on Ringsend Road. The €20 million residential and commercial development consists of 96 housing units. 20 of these units are social units. The social units which cost €4.7 million were provided for local people through a successful partnership between the Dublin Dockland, (DDDA) Dublin City Council (DCC) and the Developer Hardwicke Ltd. Architects. Burke Kennedy Doyle designed the scheme. Cluid Housing Association was appointed as the social landlord, of the voluntary housing dwellings. Brian OʼGorman Chief Executive of Cluid Housing Association, stated at the opening that the new social housing is a tangible commitment from the DDDA that, as the city grows and prospers, it does not leave behind

those citizens who have helped to build Dublin and continued to sustain it during less thriving times. All the residents living in the scheme are from the immediate communities and were elated to be given the opportunity to be housed in their own area. Most of the new residents threw open their doors to visitors on the day, and allow the invited guests view their beautiful new homes. Speaking at the opening Noel Watson, the chairperson of the new residents association stated that Grand Canal Wharf is another example of the implication of social integration policy that shows the continuing success of the partnership between statutory agencies, the private sector and community organisations.

“This partnership gives the residents of Grand Canal Wharf the opportunity to continue to live in the area in which we grew up and have their history and social roots. It is in this area that we can continue the tradition of community spirit our parents and grandparents knew.” Over the coming years their will be numerous new developments in the Docklands area which afford the same opportunity for locals, who meet the criteria set out by DCC for social and affordable housing to be housed in the area. If you are eligible make sure you make your interest known. Pictured above with An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD at Grand Canak Wharf are Ann Mulligan and her daughter Marie.

Geraldine M. Lynch (formerly of Irishtown Road)

General Legal Practice Telephone: 087 9874577 for appointment Email: glynchburke@eircom.net


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NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

T HE

REAL MEANING OF

C HRISTMAS

By Brian Kelly

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oy, are we feeling good about ourselves this Yuletide. While the rest of Europe is watching its wallet closely, we in Ireland are getting ready to spend over €4 billion between now and the New Year. The Celtic Tiger hasnʼt gone away, economic growth remains high, interest rates and inflation are low and full employment is within our grasp. If you add in the feel-good factor of people reaping the benefits of their SSIAs next year, plus the impressive fact that Ireland is currently the fourth richest nation on earth (according to IMF figures), itʼs not surprising we will be redistributing our wealth to every department store and shopping centre in the country from now until the start of January. So, in the run-up to the biggest ever consumer frenzy Ireland has ever seen, it is pertinent to ask: are we more interested in shopping than our souls? When did Christ

disappear from Christmas? And does the most important date in the Christian calendar mean anything to anyone anymore? Christmas is for believers. When we were children, this time of the year was special for us because we were told if we were good boys and girls, a magical man with a long white beard and red

FIANNA FÁIL

Chris Andrews Working for our Community

If you have any concerns that you would like to raise with me, you can contact me on 087-2851515 Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year

coat would fly from Lapland with his sleigh and reindeers and drop presents down our chimneys. When we stopped believing in Santa Claus, Jesus Christ became a significant part of our lives. Here was another magical man with a beard who, we were told, would

save us all from burning forever in the fires of Hell, but only if we followed His way and went to mass every Sunday. If we did this, then we would all go to Heaven and every day would be like Christmas. And that seemed magical too– but only for a while. By our teenage years, scepticism had replaced innocence and we were suddenly asking questions our parents couldnʼt answer and some of us began to drift away from the Church never to return. It seems nowadays people need reminding that Christmas is a religious event and not a pagan festival of shopping, drinking and eating. Some of us donʼt really have the time to consider the significance of this time of the year and the true meaning of Christmas is beginning to get lost in an increasingly secular society. Christmas day represents the

birth of all the good in the world. The birth of the Son of God is an allegory, written down in the scriptures thousands of years ago as a guide for people to live a good, virtuous life. If you consider other major religions of the world like Buddhism or Islam, both had a Christ-like figure that taught the values of purity, tolerance and respect. If Jesus Christ didnʼt exist, it would be necessary to invent him, because he remains the perfect role model to guide us mortal beings through the travails and tragedies of life. Jesus represents for me the birth of good in the world. The word God, came from good, and God is the positive life force in all of mankind, which has sustained life and well-being on earth for the past 2,000 years or more. We are all part of God and thereʼs God in all of us, which is why it is important to remember this at Christmas and celebrate the good virtues in us all. So when you are spending all that money on loved ones this year, letʼs not forget the people less fortunate than ourselves at home and abroad. Itʼs good to give– thatʼs what Christmas is all about.

I RISH S HIPPING M EMORIES By George Humphries

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hile watching the TV series ʻThe Bayʼ last summer about Dublin Bay, it took me back a long time ago when I was working for Irish Shipping Ltd. In the first episode of ʻThe Bayʼ, Sandycove and the ʻ40footʼ featured. Martin Miller and his son Adrian are everyday swimmers and Martin himself is an old seadog. He served as chief steward in Irish Shipping years ago– a great man for the good oul yarns is Martin. ʻMV Irish Larchʼ, a 26,000ton geared bulk carrier, came flooding back into my memory. I served in this ship on three different occasions and several men featured in this series were on board: Captain Dave Dignam, the current harbour master at Dublin port, along with his assistant Fergus Britton; pilot Neil Myles, tug boat skipper and Donal Scanlon. While the vessel was trading down in Australia, another man, captain Tom McCarthy, who is the present master of the sailing ship ʻJeannie Johnsonʼ was on the ʻLarchʼ. One thing which always comes

to mind about that trip was that the bosun Paddy (the Bomber) Harris died of a heart attack while we were in Port Kembla. Another interesting character was Mr Austin Gill from Westport in Mayo– he was lamptrimmer and was promoted to bosun when Bomber died, a gas man if ever there was one. He was on board the ʻMV Kilkennyʼ when she was in collision in Dublin Bay back in 1991. My last trip with Irish Shipping was on board the ʻIrish Larchʼ in 1982. When we came into Dublin Bay the master was Captain Mick OʼDwyer, the

chief mate was Tom McCarthy, second mate was Dave Dignam. We arrived into Dublin from Vancouver, British Columbia and the place was covered in snow. I will never forget it, the whole country came to a standstill, you could not go anywhere! After 11 days of this, I was offered a job down in the Mediterrian on a small oil tanker and I was away to the sun again. Memories are great, especially good ones and to see some old shipmates makes them even better. Above: ʻThe Irish Larchʼ.


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Portmeirion – a hidden jewel

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ith Christmas celebrations almost upon us the dark nights and cold days will soon give way to thoughts of brighter days and holidays. If youʼre tired of the same old places and looking for a magical experience without the hassle of plane delays and Spanish tummy itʼs on our doorstep just across the Irish Sea in the Isle of Anglesey, North Wales. Hop on a ferry to Holyhead and youʼll find yourself transported to a land crammed with culture, haunted castles, historic sites and breathtaking scenery in a diverse and welcoming landscape. But if thereʼs one place you should not miss itʼs the magical Portmeirion on the coast of Snowdonia. And it all began when Welshman Clough Williams-Ellis first met Amabel Strachey. Little did they know it would lead to the creation of the famous fantasy village of Portmeirion.

It was at a meeting where he took up the challenge of her father St Loe Strachey, editor and proprietor of ʻThe Spectatorʼ, to design affordable housing. Not only did he succeed in doing this but he also won the hand of the fair Amabel whom he married in 1915. With his architectural practice already established one would think he was set for life. But Clough had a vision. His motto of ʻCherish the past, Adorn the Present and Construct for the Futureʼ was about to be put into

practice. Clough Williams-Ellis did just that with his ingenious creation of Portmeirion. Built on a peninsula off the coast of Snowdonia, Cloughʼs belief that “the development of a naturally beautiful site need not lead to its defilement” drove him to scour the countryside to find the perfect place to create his ideal village. He found it in 1925 just a few miles from his ancestral home Plas Brondanw. Known then as Aber Ia it was a neglected wilderness but all that was about to change. He immediately renamed it Portmeirion and drew up plans and models for the development that would result in a visually stunning masterpiece. Clough designed his fantasy village around a central Piazza surrounded by every conceivable style of architecture from a neoclassical colonnade to a Jacobean Hall. When you first enter Portmeirion you wonder whether you are in Italy or Wales. The yellow, turquoise, pink and ochre pastel painted terracotta-roofed houses, each with its own name, give a magical mix of Mediterranean and Eastern promise. Set among seventy acres of sub-tropical woodland and landscaped gardens bell towers, gazebos, domes, colonnades and porticos, all with a place here, blending together to create what must be one of the most unusual places in the British Isles. I was surprised to find at every turn new treasures such as Herculesʼs Statue beside the Bandstand or the gilted Buddha which Clough salvaged from the film ʻThe Inn of the Seventh Happinessʼ starring Ingrid Bergman, which was shot in Portmeirion in the late fifties. In 1926 after less than a yearʼs

preparation and with little altered about the old house Clough opened the Hotel to the public, which attracted a celebrated clientele such as H. G. Wells, Noel Coward, George Bernard Shaw and Sir Kenneth Clarke. Unfortunately the hotel was gutted by fire in 1981 but has now been restored to its former splendour. Its new-look bar and dining room was designed by Sir Terence Conran. With its beautiful setting overlooking the private peninsula, the enchanting atmosphere of the Hotel will make you want to go back again and again. It is no surprise that when Patrick McGoohan first clapped eyes on Portmeirion he knew it would make the perfect location for his 1960s British cult television series ʻThe Prisonerʼ. He persuaded Clough to allow him to use Portmeirion, with its mix of architectural diversity, knowing it would add to the lasting effect in the viewersʼ memory. Last August, celebrations of Patrick McGoohan, Danger Man and the Prisoner gave an opportunity for fans to hear the stories about the making of the series from the only surviving director Peter Graham Scott, along with other editors who worked on the filming at the time. Part of Portmeirion is the con-

temporary-styled Castell Deudraeth, which Clough bought from his uncle, Sir Osmond Williams in 1931. It was transformed from an eighteenth-century cottage to a Victorian castellated mansion. Its Gothic and Tudor architectural features give a sense of the historic that includes past occupants such as the first Liberal M.P. David Williams and the Oppenheimer family. Contemporary design and 21st century technology blend together with traditional materials of Welsh oak and slate that offer a unique, modern and classy look that are part of Castell Deudraeth. The old combined with the new blend together perfectly. Clough finished the village in

1976 when he was 93 years old. This magnificent venture has survived him and stands today as a testament to his dedication and foresight in his battle against the destruction of natural beauty being sacrificed for development. Portmeirion is a hidden jewel in the crown that is a secret waiting to be shared. For more information consult the Portmeirion website: www. portmeirion-village.com or Telephone: 0044 1766770000. Clockwise from top: Portmeirion from above; filming ʻThe Prisonerʼ in the mid-1960s; the Portmeirion Hotel with camera obscura at extreme end and Patrick McGoohan who played ʻNumber 6ʼ inʻThe Prisonerʼ.


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NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

The Letterbox Dear Madam I have read your articles with great interest over the years but this is my first letter to ʻNewsFourʼ. I have tried to voice my objections to DCC, DDDA, HAS, NDA and TDs regarding Ringsend Village and the ʻPedestrian Jungleʼ. Your contributor, Christy Hogan, captured in pictures and words what I try to express to the above bodies and authorities. The spirit of Ringsend is dying to development without heart. Keep up the good work. I love and value ʻNewsFourʼ. The best things in life are free. Thank You. Patsy Rich Dear Madam I enclose a short article and poem concerning Father Willie Doyle, who was always a hero of mine. Through his intercession I have received many answers to my pleas. I can understand if you decide they are both not worth the paper space. Thank you for the wonderful free paper which is always interesting and informative. Hopefully I may be privileged to read it for at

‘R ISING ’

least a few more years. Yours sincerely Martin Moore (See page 42 for Martinʼs contribution about Fr Willie Doyle) Dear Editor, I should like to make a few observations on the article ʻFrom Salt Marsh to Strand Roadʼ which appears on page 14 of your October edition. I think it is probably incorrect to say that the bricks manufactured in Brickfield were made of sand, rather they would have been composed of clay/mud, moulded and baked. There was only one house in Sandymount in the early 18th Century and that was on what is now Beach Road, it was the farmhouse of a farm indicated on one of the charts of the Pembroke Estate papers, number 97 and by that time Irishtown was well established. With regard to Jack Torpey, he was elected as an Independent deputy in 1969. His platform was against dumping mountains of unregulated municipal rubbish on the Strand: his campaign was

ʻSave our Strandʼ. He fought the election in 1969 before the construction of the Promenade, that was constructed in the seventies to cover the Dodder Valley Main Drain. The main drain coming from Glenageary does not come from Merrion Gates, it crosses the Strand Road from around where the Adelaide housing development is located, just north of the Nutley River The seawall in Sandymount is shown on the O.S. section of Map XVIII 1891, as ceasing at Beach Road just north of the Marine Drive Junction with that road. The curved stones, cap stones for the wall, were used so water from high tides did not achieve purchase but flowed downwards, unlike the

MEMORIES FROM

IN THE long-ago in Irishtown, up a lane beside Robinsonʼs shop, there was a village hall where concerts were held annually to commemerate the Easter Rising. The attached photo showing the ʻcastʼ was taken circa 1943. The man reading is Sam OʼByrne, who lived in The Square, first right is a cousin of mine, Derville Maguire who also lived in the Square. The wee lad, second right is yours truly.

1943

The names of some of the organisers were: Patrick and Seamus Maguire, Noel Byrne, Willie Timmins and Larry Fitzpatrick. Do any of your readers recall this annual event and can they put names to the others on the stage? Keep up the good work. Kindest regards to one and all Donal McKenna

flat cap stones which were used advisedly on the sea wall around the area near the tower, when the Promenade was built. A request to the Councilʼs Engineers to have these returned to curved cap stones, has been made by some of the residents An extension to the seawall, not the FitzWilliam wall, was built along Beach Road in the early 20th Century by Dublin Corporation or perhaps the Pembroke Urban District Council, the difference of construction methods is easily observed and masonry methods may be contrasted. An earlier sea wall lies beneath some of the gardens at the corner of Marine Drive, gardeners occasionally strike the top of it with spades and forks. That wall travelled along what is now Sandymount Road towards the Star of the Sea Church, it was following the line of the bay which went inland as a cove, parts of this wall may be seen at Cosy Lodge, it bounded Erith Lodge too and also was to be found in the Strasburg Terrace area. After the building of the ʻNew Housesʼ, salvaged granite pieces and cap stones were used to recreate a duplicate style of the older wall and we see this at the beginning of Sean Moore Road. In the early 17th Century the force of sea was broken by Rampiers on the sea front in Sandymount, these were massive walls built at right angles to what became Strand Road, they were quite effective as breakwaters, they are on a section of a Chart for the period. The construction of the Martello Tower at the turn of the 19th Century, c.1804 probably put Sandymount on the map. After the threat from Napoleon faded, a Constable (police) was appointed to the Tower. He was a Mr. Sproule and he was rewarded with this nice pensionable position for his detective work in hounding Lord Edward FitzGerald around the city for his master Major Sirr. He and

his underlings used to be referred to as ʻSirrʼs blood houndsʼ. I believe the appointment was around 1813– he would have been about fifty five years old then, that is if he is one and the same Sproule as the man from Dublin Castle who was active in 1798. Can anyone confirm with certainty? Both sides of the Dodder were not walled in, but there are very short stretches near the bridges where this is the case, to wall in both sides for any length would be to create a raging torrent at times of flash flooding. The gradient of the Dodder gives a very short flash flood period. Newgrove Avenue, again shown in the older charts, was so called because of the presence of a dense grove along a path near what became the Green, and I feel sure your correspondent is correct about there having been a machair behind a ridge of older sand dunes (from the Gaelic macaire, a plain, machair is a term in widespread use by ecologists) as well as numerous small salt marsh areas, with the largest, Lakelands just that, a salt marsh supplied by streams.. This commentary is something of a query and is wide open to correction, thank you for your patience. Best Wishes Sincerely Catherine Cavendish Dear Madam Editor It was great to visit the home of ʻNewsFourʼ during my visit to Ireland in September. I still canʼt believe that such a terrific paper can come from such a small home. I would like to wish all at ʻNewsFourʼ a happy Christmas and New Year, also Fred and Fay Butler, Peter Healy, May Roddy, the Nagle Family and the King of Sandymount Paul OʼReilly and Staff. All The best Dick Pollard Hastings New Zealand


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

PAGE 9 Instead, they sought and obtained the present grassed and planted promenade covering of the pipes in place of the concrete, preparatory road platform. The ʻmodelʼ for the lay out of the promenade was made out of a cardboard packing box for Mars bars obtained from the late Harry Mapother on a wet Sunday afternoon. The planting, which has since been altered, was agreed by the then Committee with the Parks Department and specifically did not include Cordyline which one member of the Committee referred to as “those awful, scraggy, palm things”. In response to a special request, tamarisk, which grew naturally near the South Wall, was included, being a low growing not very dense shrub. Contrary to a popular myth, there are many shrubs and trees that will grow near the sea, in-

cluding the holm oak which has existed in Sandymount for over 150 years. There was a deliberate decision not to have the promenade extended at either end for a number of reasons which remain valid up to the present day. Engineers who have looked at the suggestion recently have concluded that the exorbitant costs and the engineering and other problems that would be encountered, leaving aside the loss of privacy and security for some residents at Merrion, make the idea a non-starter. Sincerely, Lorna Kelly Dear Madam The great scholar, soldier, patriot Padraig Pearse faced the British firing squad at 3.20 am on May 3rd 1916. I wish to congratulate Councillor Kevin Humphreys on his initiative in

obtaining Councillor approval to erect a long deserved statue to this great Irish man in his native city. While some may say it should be erected in OʼConnell Street near the GPO, surely with the upgrading of Pearse Street and Pearse Square the park end facing St Andrewʼs would be an ideal spot for it. The Pearse family home was 27 Great Brunswick Street, now Pearse Street. Padraig was always concerned about the desperate plight of Dublinʼs poor and he would only be too glad to associate himself with this marvellous advancement for the ordinary people in the area he loved. James OʼDoherty Left: The Pearse family in 1888. The children, from left, are Patrick, Mary Bridget and Margaret, Willie behind.

P ATRICK ‘S ONNY ’ B YRNE Dear Madam The article entitled ʻFrom salt marsh to Strand Roadʼ in the last edition contains a number of misconceptions which should be corrected in the interests of historical accuracy. The original sea wall along what is now the strand road from Merrion gates turned inland at Marine Drive (Prospect Terrace) in a curve enclosing salt marsh and sea. Remnants of it can still be seen. The late Maureen Moloney had a framed photograph of the view from her house in Prospect Terrace to the Star of the Sea before the much later building of the wall fronting Beach Road to Irishtown. The first Sandymount Residents Association was formed, as far as I can remember, in 1957 in protest at the continuing dumping of refuse on Sandymount Strand and in an attempt to fix a limit to the encroachment on the beach. The association obtained an assurance in 1959 that the line would stop at a point a little seaward of the Star of the Sea, close to Beach Avenue. The first Residents Association was never disbanded. It became merged with residents of Merrion to form the Sandymount and Merrion Residents Association following the unauthorised breaching of the sea wall at Marine Drive and the commencement of what the Corporation described later “a line of advance filling” from there to the site of the Roadstone/Clondalkin con-

crete plant which was underwater at the time. The Roadstone saga is documented in the Corporation Council minutes of 1964 and 1965, in the records of Dail questions of the time, and in various newspapers. It had become obvious to residents of Sandymount and Merrion that the assurance or promise given was being ignored, in the same way that later promises of a public park on “that part of the reclaimed land not required for essential Port purposes” have also been ignored, the rape of Sandymount Strand continues to this day. A handful of residents who, at the request of the late Jack Torpay, assembled at the gap in the sea wall in early to mid 1965 with the intention of making a token breach in the ʻRoadstone causewayʼ were informed by Gardai that, that should we do so, Jack Torpay would be arrested. The decision to elect Jack to the City Council was taken before the Dodder Valley Drainage scheme pipe line, partly submerged in the beach under what is now the promenade, was begun. The Corporation of the time intended to cover it with a concrete platform as the forerunner of a road on the beach, part of the Eastern by-pass, to extend out on the strand to a clover leaf junction on the beach at Merrion Gates. The Sandymount and Merrion Residents Association did not object to the drainage scheme.

Ray Peacock from Ontario, Canada wrote a very long letter to us recently which due to limited space we cannot give you in its entirety in the pages of ʻNewsFourʼ. We have however printed his letter in full on our website (www.news4.ie) together with some more photographs. Below is an extract from Rayʼs letter to us. I THOUGHT you and your readers would be interested in the accompanying photographs of my model of ʻSS Glenagearyʼ, which might stimulate some memories of days gone by. Some years ago my wife Joan, neé Doyle, was given a photograph of her motherʼs father, Patrick ʻSonnyʼ Byrne at the Grand Canal Locks, of which he was the Lock Keeper from about 1915. In the background to the photograph is a ship the ʻGlenagearyʼ passing through the locks. This sparked my interest because

my hobby is model shipbuilding. I built the model of ʻGlenagearyʼ to a scale of 1/10 inch to 1 foot (1:120). Above: Patrick ʻSonnyʼ Byrne 1869 to 1953, Ringsend Lock-keeper. Photo taken circa 1935. Below: SS Gleneageary (1920 - 1962) in Ringsend Locks. Model by Ray Peacock June 2005.


PAGE 10

NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

M EET

THE GRADUATES

C HRISTMAS

THOUGHTS

By Aidan OʼDonoghue

Pictured above are graduates from the Active Citizenship Course who received their awards at the National College of Ireland in November.

WE ALL HARBOUR our own feelings on Christmas. Some like it, others donʼt. You might not be in the mood for it and you probably arenʼt ready for it, but unless you take off to some far-flung corner of the globe you certainly wonʼt be able to escape the seasonal festivities. Over the coming days, most of us will find ourselves jostling with other shoppers along Grafton Street, doing our best to fulfil a whole host of social commitments and resolving not to count the financial cost of this increasingly expensive holiday until the dust has settled sometime in early January. Weʼll never get the better of Christmas because it doesnʼt offer us a choice; the best one can do is get on with things and hope that it all runs (relatively) smoothly. The essence of Christmas is altogether different from the grand event that is the holiday season. Most of us look forward to spending time with family and catching up with old friends. Christmas provides that much-needed relief from the mundane aspects of our lives and although it brings much enjoyment, there is a lot of hard work required in order to make it happen. Christmas acts as the shining light in the midst of the darkest season on Earth, lifting our hearts with the promise of what is yet to come. Letʼs make it a time of hope and joy, of birth and renewal.

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Christmas and I hope 2006 brings joy and peace to all at home and abroad. Nollaig shona daoibh!


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

PAGE 11

CENTENARY OF SAINT PATRICK’S PARISH, RINGSEND

I

am grateful to your parish priest Father Michael Coady, and to all of you for inviting me to be part of the parish of Saint Patrick in Ringsend. One hundred years ago this parish was formally separated from the parish of Sandymount. But that was just, you might say, a legal act which recognised a community which draws its roots from way back in the history of Dublin, way beyond these one hundred years. I remember as a child coming back to Dublin after our family

holidays in England on the ʻMunsterʼ or ʻLeinisterʼ boats of the B and I. It was a long nightʼs sailing, hard for a boy of ten. My memory is being wakened up from half sleep and going up on deck with my father as we entered Dublin Port and being welcomed as it were by the spire of Saint Patrickʼs Church. Ringsend was a place of welcome. Any Dubliner, when they saw the Church in Ringsend, knew they were home once again. Years later, I often thought to myself if only stones could speak!

If only the walls of this beautiful Church could repeat what they had seen over the past almost one hundred years? I think of the many in harder times for whom the sight of this Church was the last sight of Dublin before they headed off on the hard path of emigration. I think of the life of this extraordinary Dublin community, in many ways a village. I say village in the best sense of the word: a village built up by the hard work of men and women; a village built up by the decency and the love of parents who worked hard so that their children could do well, grow up in a better world, where life would be a little easier and hope a little brighter. Out of that hard work and love a great community was built. If the stones could talk, they would talk of Ringsend which out of harsh poverty was built up to be a community where generations were and are proud to be from Ringsend, to belong to this genuine Dublin community. I think of the work done over the years by the teachers in the primary schools and the technical institute or community college. I think of the work done by the priests of the parish. I am happy to greet the current priests, Father Michael Coady, Father Tony Power and Father Fergal McDonagh, as well as some of the former priests who are here with us. The Parish has so many organizations and groups active in its renewal programme and I greet all those who have contributed over the years– and do so today– as

sacristans, as stewards and collectors, in the folk and parish choirs, in the renewal programme, in the parish pastoral council. I think also of the many prayers that have been raised up here in this Church in times of need; I think of the many weddings here from which great families arose. Ringsend is certainly one of the oldest communities in Dublin. It has been inhabited since the early middle ages, with a continuity of community which is really unique. It has seen so many changes and indeed is going though a period and a pace of change that it has never before witnessed. It is hard to imagine today what this Parish will look like in just ten years time as various development projects are completed and new parishioners arrive. I say to those who have lived here for generations, to be proud of what you have achieved for yourself and for your children in building up a parish so rich in

community. I say to those who have come here in recent years take the time to learn the rich traditions of this parish. I say to the young people of the parish: remember what you have received from generations past. Remember that success and happiness in life comes from those same values that you have received. My hope is that Ringsend in the years to come will remain a flourishing and happy community, where there will be work and opportunity for all, those who have the roots here for centuries, those who come from other parts of the world, and those who come here with new wealth. May this Church be a centre for spreading the light of Jesus and his message of love and respect for all. An extract from the Homily given by the Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin, Archbisop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland on the Feast of the Ascension 8th May 2005 On left, from left: Carmel Malone, Kay Flood, Father Coady, Mary Egan, Catherine Kelly and Marlene Byrne. Bottom: Father Coady with Ann Marie.

CAIRDE CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP meets

Every Sunday at 11 am

at Ringsend Community Centre Thorncastle Street for prayer, music and fellowship Everyone welcome On Monday 19th December at 8pm Cairde welcome you to an evening of carols, mulled wine and mince pies.

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PAGE 12

NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

Step up to Learning IF YOU ARE a early school leaver or know of someone who is, there is a course available which will give people a opportunity to improve their skills and increase their potential to gain greater job opportunities. The National College of Ireland (NCI) are offering a course to people who are aged between 17 and 25, who have a Junior Certificate, but have not completed their education to Leaving Certificate Standard. To avail of a free place on the Step Up to Learning programme, the person must be currently employed in the Dublin City area. The course is part time and will take place over 140 hours over six months the actual dates and times will be agreed with the student based on their profile and their availability. The course is divided into 4 modules and aims to cover Personal Development and Communication. The first module will deal with personal effectiveness in the work place and communication skills. Module 2 will concentrate on people skills and teambuilding and this will cover the areas of human resources, team building equality and diversity, management, and safety and health in the work place. Module 3 is based on business and computer skills, and will teach business calculations, the Internet and word processing, and the final module will concentrate on quality and service management, through customer services and quality awareness training. The course is fully funded and is free to the students, and the object of the course is to introduce or reintroduce students to learning in a positive and practical way, which will lead to a positive effect on employment opportunities and can lead to further learning opportunities. The course starts in January 2006 and on successful completion of the course all students will receive an NCI certificate of learning. On completion of the course in NCI students could if they wish, progress their studies in NCI or other colleges, university, or institute of their choice. If you are a young person and you meet the criteria and wish to take this course contact Deirdre Giblin in NCI (4498500) or email Deirdre at dgiblin@eircom.net. By Frances Corr

Councillor Garry Keegan Phone: 6643548 • Mobile: 086 235 8913 Web: www.keegan2007.ie

New Constituency Office: 60 Upper Grand Canal Street, Dublin 4. (Above Washboard Launderette, opposite Slattery’s) Advice Centres St. Andrew’s, Pearse Street, Dublin 2 Tuesdays 7pm–8pm Community Centre, Ringsend, Dublin 4 Thursdays 7pm–8pm

WISHING YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND PEACEFUL NEW YEAR

I

F ILL

YOUR STOCKINGS AT

tʼs Christmas time again and what better way to celebrate it than with a book. The winter, with a warm fire for a companion, is a great time to get into a good book. Thereʼs a large selection at ʻBooks on the Greenʼ in Sandymount and Brian OʼBrien will be more than happy to help you choose. Ones to watch out for this Christmas are ʻUp with the Timesʼ by Conor Brady, ʻThe Seaʼ by John Banville, this yearʼs Booker Man prize winner, ʻMemoirsʼ by John Mc Gahern and ʻAir Babylonʼ by Imogen Edwards-Jones. For the children ʻBodyʼ by Robert Winston and ʻThe Childrenʼs Encyclopediaʼ are both good buys. For younger children the fantastic ʻHorrid Henrysʼ by Francesca Simon are always very popular. There is a huge selection to choose from. The shop may be compact but it has its fair share of celebrities and nights of fun, with Ruairí Quinn

‘B OOKS

and his new book ʻStraight Leftʼ and our own Róisín Ingle with her new book ʻPieces of Meʼ due to pay visits to the shop. Keep an eye open and you might meet Seamus Heaney or Rose Doyle, who are both local residents. The shop specialises in Irish

ON THE

and childrenʼs books and also has a great range of gifts and cards. Donʼt forget the ʻIrish Times Book of the Yearʼ, it has been in stock for eleven years now and along with the ʻHospice Bookʼ has proved to be a bestseller. By Brian Rutherford

EUROPEAN STYLE CHRISTMAS MARKET AT

C

hristmas shopping is all wrapped up at Dublinʼs Docklands where Irelandʼs first European-style Christmas Festival takes place from Saturday 10th December to Wednesday, 21st December from 12 noon to 7 pm Sunday to Wednesday and 12 noon to 8 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays with entertainment scheduled daily from 4 pm to closing. Visitors will enter this winter wonderland of twinkling lights and Christmas trees through the arch at Custom House Quay. The ʻ12 Days of Christmasʼ at Georgeʼs Dock in the IFSC, inspired by the Christmas markets held across Germany, recreates the unique festive village atmosphere with over 40 market stalls selling all sorts of goodies. The Festival features an authentic ʻGalloping Horsesʼ Carousel, and loads

W

G REEN ’

THE IFSC

more entertainment for all the family including wandering angels, and maybe even Santa Claus himself! A great range of gifts for all the family, including handmade jewellery, glassware, ceramics, wooden toys and Christmas decorations will be on sale. Gourmet foods, mulled wine and a special German barbeque are available for hungry shoppers. The market extends into the new chq building where traders from the Antique Fairs Limited will have their wares on show.

GIFTS GALORE AT SHELBOURNE PHARMACY

hile I was walking through Irishtown, the very cheerful and decorative window display in the Shelbourne Pharmacy, caught my eye. I went inside to have a look around. I wasnʼt disappointed. Thereʼs something for everyone; great gift sets for men by top brand names, jewellery to make you sparkle, gents and ladies watches, a huge selection of candles, Babyliss hair straighteners, or if you want curls, theyʼve something for that too. If youʼre planning a couple of days away, they have great overnight cases or why not relax at home with some of the aromatherapy treatments available. If youʼre entertaining friends and family, have a look at the great table decorations. There are singing puppies, Santas, and my favourite, a talking

Homer Simpson bottle opener! Youʼll have great craic, especially with the huge selection of cameras, to snap those happy moments. For those who like a little tipple, donʼt forget the all-important hangover cures. Theyʼve thought of everything; all that and more, under one roof. Happy Shopping! By Grainne McGuinness


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

PAGE 13

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DON’T WASTE THIS CHRISTMAS‌ RECYCLE! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Make sure your cards and stationery are made from recycled paper Reuse wrapping paper or gift bags Take your reusable shopping bags with you to the shops Buy good quality decorations which will last years If possible buy a potted Christmas tree that can be reused every year Bring all your empty bottles to the local recycling centre or bring bank Place your cans in your green bin Leave your old Christmas tree to be shredded and composted Buy well-made durable toys and gifts Send any toys and clothes that are no longer needed to a local charity shop Avoid buying heavily packaged goods Purchase a compost bin for a loved one as a Christmas present Make a New Years resolution: Anything that is recyclable in my household WILL be recycled

Why not drop into the Ringsend Recycling Centre over Christmas! Ringsend Recycling Centre Opening Hours over the festive season Dec 24th Dec 25th, 26th, 27th Dec 28th, 29th, 30th December 31st Jan 1st, 2nd Jan 3rd

9.00am - 12.00pm Closed 9.00am - 5.00pm 9.00am - 2.00pm Closed Open as usual

Have a Merry GREEN Christmas!!!!!! ertisement feature - Advertisement feature - Advertisement feature - Advertisement feature - Advertisement feature - Advertisement featu


PAGE 14

NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

GREEN DAYS: ‘CRICKET IN IRELAND 1792-2005’ Review by Brian Kelly

C

Books for Christmas from Hamptons in Donnybrook THIS BOOKSHOP at 93a Morehampton Road in Donnybrook is small and intimate. The owner John Keane brought me on a journey of the books and pointed out those which he feels will make good gifts this Christmas. Local authors such as Ivy Bannister feature with ʻBlunt Traumaʼ, Ruari Quinn with ʻStraight Leftʼ, A journey in Politics, and Garrett Fitzgerald with ʻIreland in the Worldʼ. Popular choices are ʻTeacher Manʼ, Frank McCourtʼs follow up to Angelaʼs Ashes, and Ruth Rendellʼs new Inspector Wexford thriller or Michael Connellyʼs ʻThe Lincoln Lawyerʼ. Laughter is guaranteed with the new Lynn Truss book ʻTalk to the Handʼ. There is a large selection of new cook books or very attractive calendars, diaries and address books from the National Gallery collection. The Childrenʼs shelves offer, among other options, a tempting variety of classics including a collection of ʻIrish Myths and Legendsʼ, Oscar Wildeʼs ʻFaery Talesʼ and editions of ʻThe Lion The Witch and the Wardrobeʼ and other Narnia books by CS Lewis. Harry Potter is, as ever, in high demand By Maggie Neary

ricket in Ireland is a minority sport, but with the country having recently qualified for the 2007 World Cup for the first time, the profile and the popularity of the game is sure to rise. Gerard Siggins is assistant editor of the ʻSunday Tribuneʼ and lifelong cricket fanatic. There are few people more passionate or informed about the game than Ger (pictured right) and this affection translates itself into a lively, utterly engaging read. The book begins with an account of the first recorded cricket match played in Ireland. Phoenix Park was the venue. 1792, as you might guess was the year, and the contest was between an All-Ireland selection and the Army Garrison. Incredibly, the Irish team was thought to have included one Arthur Wellesley, later to become better known as the Duke of Wellington. The book is full of interesting

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WISHING ALL OUR CUSTOMERS AND FRIENDS A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS

anecdotes like this. Youʼll get a wry smile out of reading about the exploits on a cricket pitch of such famous Irish figures as John Redmond, Charles Stuart Parnell and believe it or not, Eamon De Valera. The Phoenix Park gains several mentions in ʻGreen Daysʼ. Just over a century ago, there were 20 cricket clubs in the park. In 2005, just two remain: Phoenix Cricket Club, the oldest cricket club in Ireland and Civil Service C.C, the second oldest. Phoenix was unlucky enough to be hit by a stray Luftwaffe bomb on 31 May 1941. Nobody was killed but considerable damage was done to the clubʼs pavilion. After the war, the German government made amends by sending a cheque of £219 to a grateful Phoenix! Irelandʼs most famous cricket success was, of course, against the mighty West Indies in 1969. Contrary to popular misconception, it was not the amount of black stuff consumed the night before which sunk the Caribbean side, but more the cold, damp conditions in Sion Mills and the outstanding performance of Irelandʼs bowling attack. Such has been the progress of Irish cricket since 1969, that we have beaten West Indies on two occasions since with little fanfare attached. Bringing the book right up to date, Green Days closes with an

exciting account of Irelandʼs World Cup qualifying campaign in the summer of this year. There is also a chapter devoted to the history of womenʼs cricket in Ireland– our international team coincidentally, has made the World Cup Finals four more times than their male counterparts! For anyone with even a passing interest in cricket in this country, ʻGreen Daysʼ is an excellent buy. Itʼs on sale now at ʻBooks on the Greenʼ in Sandymount village and other good bookshops in town.

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NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

PAGE 15

RE: FRESH SPA AT THE WEST WOOD CLUB

By Grace McKenna

W

hen our editor asked me to check out the Re: Fresh Spa in the West Wood Club– I groaned. I didnʼt want to be reminded of all the gyms I had loved and lost

within the first week of every sluggish January. Besides, the West Wood probably wasnʼt any different from all the other fitness clubs– apart from maybe having an extra treadmill or yet another promise of a groundbreaking therapy treatment.

S PECIAL O LYMPICS C OACHING S.E.A.S.O.N. (South East Area Special Olympics Network) Special Olympics club will be offering Badminton coaching in ESB Sportsco, South Lotts Road, Dublin 4 from Saturday the 3rd of December ʻ05. The training session will take place on Saturday mornings between 10am and 11am. We are currently looking to recruit interested athletes for our club. Children from the age of six may participate in Special Olympics training programmes and may compete from the age of eight. There is no upper age limit for participation in Special Olympics. If you know any potential Athletes who would be interested in joining our new sports club or if you would like to become a volunteer in our club please contact Alva OʼBriain on 086 6019359 or write to www.seasonclub@hotmail.com.

Experienced Internal Plasterers and Dry Liners required for major local project. Contact Martin on 086 1716011 for interview

But I was wrong. For a start, they had a friendly receptionist who invited me to sit on one of the soft leather chairs while she went off to get Claudette, the manager of the Re: Fresh Spa. Claudette was equally welcoming and the good rapport between her and the club staff was evident on our grand tour of the gym, spa and pool area. The gym is modern and although compact, Claudette assures me that no member has ever had to queue to use a treadmill. The Re: Fresh day spa is what I would describe as a magic corridor of beautifully lit rooms equipped to heal and invigorate the body with treatments like an Indian Head Massage or a course of Hot Stone Therapy. Most spas have those treatments nowadays you might say– but not all spas have a Thalassotherapy Pool. In fact, the Thalassotherapy Pool is the only one of its kind in Dublin. Because the pool is built on a well, sea water is filtered through and heated– aiding the bodyʼs natural healing process. After the guided tour, I chat with Claudette in the clubʼs café area– which is run by the ubiquitous OʼBrienʼs sandwich bar. She tells me it has been her mis-

sion to thwart the perception that health spas are for the carrotchomping killjoys. Her mission is obviously successful, judging by the amount of bookings they get for their ʻFloozy in the Jacuzziʼ Hen nights (and if like me, youʼre allergic to cabbage juice, you can opt for a beer or a glass of wine instead). They also have a ʻDonʼt tell the ladsʼ package for Stag nights. The price of this package includes a wide range of therapies, a dip in the pool and a good, decent sandwich from the café. But what perhaps is most refreshing about this fitness club is that it

does not claim to be exclusive. Non-members are more than welcome to come in and enjoy a cup of tea in a warm and friendly environment. The West Wood Fitness Club is currently running a special offer on its join-up fee for new members. Members receive a 10% discount on all therapy treatments. West Wood Club is situated at 1a St Johnʼs Road, Sandymount. Opening hours: Monday to Friday 6 am to 11 pm, Saturday 8 am to 9 pm, Sunday and Bank Holidays 9 am to 9 pm. For further details on the Gym telephone 2695764, for Re: Fresh telephone 2033713.


PAGE 16

NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

‘M IRA M IRA ’

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Ford Main Dealers Beach Road Sandymount Dublin 4 Phone: 6686011

Sales and accident repair centre Parts and service now located at Maxwell Road, Rathmines Phone: 4973338

ʻM

ira Miraʼ meaning ʻLook Lookʼ sprang to mind when Bronwyn Thomson was thinking about what to call her new shop on 3 Sandymount Green. A sentiment constantly expressed by the children she met on her travels in South America seemed apt because that is exactly what youʼll feel like saying as you discover something new and unexpected at every turn in this Aladdinʼs Cave. It is crammed with bags, Buddhas, jewellery, pottery, glassware, Christ-

ON THE

mas candles and gift ideas, making it the perfect stop for your Christmas shopping. Sipping our coffee in Brownʼs recently on a bitterly cold day, I

G REEN

wondered why she would leave her native South Africa to set up shop here. Having graduated with a Fine Arts degree, majoring in photography, Browyn worked in film but, like most of her contemporaries, decided to go to England on a Commonwealth visa with a view to making money and travelling around Europe. Swiftcall,

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NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005 the company she was working for in London, then asked her to come and help set up their business here in Dublin. The first time Bronwyn came here it was on a weekend trip and she felt at home straight away. Bronwynʼs life was about to change– unknown to her this was to become her home. Her friend Mandy introduced her to the concept of Fair Trade through her shop ʻDikiniʼ in Sandymount which sold hand-made paper and jewellery. Bronwyn became passionate about developing countries producing a quality product for the Western market and in return paying the people a fair wage for their craft. She witnessed first hand how buying Fair Trade changes peopleʼs lives, having travelled extensively and living for three months in Nepal, working with the people, where she was able to control the prototype in order that the product would appeal to the sophisticated taste and high expectations of a European market. All these people want is the ability to feed, clothe and educate their children, which is what buying Fair Trade enables them to do, a simple choice by us that doesnʼt necessarily mean more expense. ʻMira Miraʼsʼ assortment of goods from China, Nepal, India and Thailand offer a range of goods that not only is unu-

PAGE 17 sual but also empowers a people that otherwise live through exploitation. Happily residing close by in Ringsend, Browyn fills her shop in Sandymount with a variety of goods that caters for every taste, age and budget. The red and white beaded herd of cattle to the smiling Buddha have accommodated the beautiful beaded and paper mache Christmas decorations hanging on the Christmas tree along with the Christmas gifts and candles. If youʼre searching for that extra special present for Christmas in this age of consumerism and commercialism isnʼt it nice to think that with everything you buy you get a chance to give something back? The spirit of Christmas is certainly alive and well in ʻMira Miraʼ on Sandymount Green.

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By Brian Rutherford

I

t was a great day with the boys of the Star of the Sea School piling into the school hall to await not only a day off school, not only their mothers, but the chance of winning a new Raleigh bicycle as well. These bikes, five in all, were the prizes for poetry and poster competitions and debates and were given to the school by the Dublin City Council, represented by Ronan OʼDonnell, community welfare officer. The posters and poetry as well as the debating were based on a topic very relevant to Irish society, Sandymount and the world in general: Save Energy and keep the world for others. It was their day of action and live up to it they certainly did. The walls were heavily adorned with artwork, posters and messages on acid rain, fossil fuels, clean air, eco friendliness,

solar energy, the greenhouse effect, global warming, waste management, the industrial revolution and even the Luas. The highlight had to be the cardboard street scene, at least 10 foot in length with brightly-painted cardboard houses and plasticine people built by the third class. It was all very graphic and detailed, as were the speeches by the children who finished off each impassioned plea for conservation of energy with chants such as: “Donʼt be a walley, take your Raleigh”, “Perambulation for a better nation”, “Donʼt have a fit, cycle a bit” and “Hail, Rain or snow the bus will go”. The winners of the bicycles were Jordan Maher of third class for his magnificent poster, Jack Hevey of the fourth class for his poems, Patrick Meehan of the fifth class for his poem and illustration and debaters Alex OʼRegan of the fifth class and Fiachra Maher of the sixth class

Letʼs hope they enjoy the clean air they worked so hard to inform us about and remember– turn off taps and save heat by shutting doors. ʻWalk, get Bus or Cycleʼ By Patrick Meenan Age 11; Fifth Class; Teacher: Ms. Joan Finnerty I walk to school all the way Saving energy every day. When I am late I take a bike which I have really got to like. If it is raining take a lift but make sure few parents have a shift. When I go in the car to school we always do a car pool. If you live far away get on the bus with little pay. Walk and save energy start today Iʼll see you there on my way.


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NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

M EETING THE P RIVATE R YAN Grainne McGuinness met Ryan Tubridy recently to ask him a few searching questions… HOW DID you begin your broadcasting career? I began by listening to the radio every day. My mother had a radio in every room in the house and even in the garden. It was part of my existence. I started doing book reviews for a childrenʼs programme on Radio 2 on ʻPoporamaʼ. I went to college and studied arts in UCD and then I started doing little bits and pieces of reporting for different radio shows until the ʻPat Kenny Showʼ asked me to be a reporter for them and I went on from there.

Do you have a preference for radio or television? I love them both. I think if I had to call it, radio would be my natural home for a number of reasons, not least of which would be my physical appearance, making me more palatable on the radio and thatʼs a help. It doesnʼt matter how you look or what you wear– you can go on the radio and have a laugh and itʼs only a matter of what somebodyʼs saying and not what they look like. TV is like a bungee jump– itʼs a very swift one-hour adrenal hit. Itʼs a very different media but I prefer the radio, itʼs great fun. Are you the same person off the air as you are on it? Iʼd say Iʼm possibly more like myself on air than off air than many presenters. Thereʼs a bit

Merry Christmas from


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005 of exaggeration but thatʼs part of the job. By and large I am more or less the same on or off air. Maybe a bit darker off air. How do you relax outside of work? Have you any hobbies? I walk Dun Laoghaire pier all the time and I eat Teddyʼs ice cream. My cob-web clearing, head resting time is the pier and I love that. I also love disappearing into a cinema with popcorn and Coke on a quiet afternoon, turning off the phone and watching a good film. I love reading history books, visiting museums, watching history and all of that. I am fascinated by the past. I believe your wife Anne Marie works in RTE. Yes, we met here in RTE. She was a documentary maker at the time and I was a junior reporter looking for a job and she was going into the studio one day to do a piece and I was coming out and my head turned. I thought: ʻshe is very attractive. Iʼd like to see her againʼ. I had to do a lot of pursuing and it paid off. You come from a very famous Fianna Fail family. Do you have any political ambitions? None whatsoever. When you come to RTE you leave your politics at the gate and thatʼs very much what I do. While I am intrigued by politics and enjoy following current affairs Iʼm not a political person. Do you have a favourite restaurant in Dublin? I think my favourite restaurant is probably the Trocadero in Dublin. Itʼs a bit of a cliché for people in this business. I like the way itʼs run, I like the fact that it plays Tony Bennett music and that it has a full bar and a relaxed atmosphere. Itʼs right in the heart of town and itʼs got plush couches and seats and they do a nice steak and mushy peas and that suits my very very simple palate. Whatʼs the best thing about being well-known? I suppose that sometimes you are probably more inclined to get a table quicker. But then I donʼt go out as much as Iʼd like to. It has its benefits. Theyʼre small but theyʼre nice. My interest is not in being famous but in being good at what I do. And the worst? When youʼre hungover. People will come up and say hallo to you. Thereʼs a myth that Irish people donʼt come up and say hallo but they do. They are per-

PAGE 19 fectly entitled to and I welcome it because I think that if I didnʼt want that to happen I would go and work in the bank. I donʼt mind it at all except when I am hungover and I am occasionally and it is very hard to focus on the people in front of you let alone a complete stranger who wants to have a big chat with you! How do you cope with criticism? It makes my slightly annoyed because I think a lot of it is snipey and a lot of it is unconstructive. Sometimes it borders on the vindictive, but you have to take the side-swipes with the head-pats and I think itʼs a business that lends itself to resentment in some ways. You are in the business, your head is above the parapet, you take the shot but you wear a helmet so itʼs not fatal. Of all the people you have interviewed who has stood out the most? The chef, Richard Corrigan, always impresses me. Heʼs a Meath man who owns a posh restaurant in London and I love him because he doesnʼt talk rubbish and he gives really good factual interviews. I love talking to Eddie Hobbs. Burt Baccarach was a pleasure to interview and more recently Jamie Oliver was very nice. Itʼs fascinating to get to talk to all these people and itʼs a real pleasure for me to interview them. Itʼs probably why Iʼm in the business. But you could equally get a fascinating interview out of someone who nobody knows but theyʼre just interesting people. What ambitions do you have left in broadcasting?

Iʼve loads. I would love to do a history programme that is accessible to people broadly speaking and make history more interesting. Thatʼs going to be my pet project when everything else goes pear-shaped. Otherwise, I am very happy where I am on TV. I really enjoy the chat show, I thoroughly enjoy the radio show and they are both so young and fledgling that it would be crazy to want more than that. I have reached a very nice place to be at the age of 32. If you were Director General of RTE, what changes would you like to make? Less sport. I think there is plenty of sport and I think I would just go easy on it, certainly on the radio. I would have more history programmes and more music and I would increase Prime Timeʼs length to an hour. I would make the six oʼclock News one hour even during the summer when the world still rotates. Where do you see your career going in the future? I donʼt know. I would be very surprised if it wasnʼt on this island. I really achieved a lot of things I wanted to achieve. The nine oʼclock slot on a week-day on Radio 1 for a lot of people is the golden fleece of broadcasting and I am really happy there. The live chat show on a Saturday night is a real pleasure and we are doing really well on it. The figures are good. It was a gamble taken by senior management and Iʼm glad to say itʼs paying off. Itʼs too early to say whatʼs next. Iʼm at whatʼs next. My heart and soul is in the two projects I am doing at the moment.

Competition Ruairi Quinn has kindly donated two copies of his recently published book ʻStraight Left A Journey in Politicsʼ to ʻNewsFourʼ readers. All you have to do is answer the following question: “Three people have held the post of Taoiseach or Tánaiste while a TD for Dublin South East. Name the three and which position each held.” Send your entries to: Quinn Competition, NewsFour, 15 Fitzwilliam Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4 by 31 January 2006 when the winning entries will be drawn.

H ISTORY U NCOVERED

By Jimmy Purdy JOE PEPPER and his wife Margaret recently moved from Dundrum to Drogheda. Joe originally comes from the Westland Row area and Margaret (nee Gaffney) comes from Whelan House from a well known Ringsend family. Joe and Margaret saved the memorial stone for deceased workers of the Irish Glass Bottle Company from demolition and it is now in the mortuary chapel in St Patrickʼs Church, Ringsend. While out shopping in Drogheda they came across an antique shop and much to their surprise they were looking at a picture frame and jumping out from the certificate within the frame the words St Patrickʼs Ringsend. This beautiful certificate was presented to Charles Dunne by Fr Joseph Grant Mooney PP on 11 February 1906 to enrol him in the Association in Honour of the Sacred Heart. It was such a coincidence with the Parish celebrating one hundred years in existence that Joe and Margaret decided to buy it. Joe and Margaret would be interested to know how it arrived in Drogheda and to which family in Ringsend it is connected. They would be quite happy to pass it on to them or failing that if the Parish accept it they would be happy to donate it. It is possible that there is a connection to Charles Dunne as a Charles Dunne is mentioned in a previous story I wrote for NewsFour in Christmas 2002 about Seamus Kavanagh, my master at Ringsend School and the Isles of the Sea Gaelic Football team during 1890 to 1903. In the team of 1895 there is a Charles Dunne. During this period there was also a Tommy Dunne, a J. Dunne and a Dan Dunne. I mention all of these in the hope that someone might shed some light on the above Charles Dunne.


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NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

GAVIN GARDEN MOVES TO HANOVER QUAY

THE HANOVER QUAY garden won a Silver Gilt Medal at Chelsea Flower Show and has been transported to Dublin to become the permanent garden at the stunning new Hanover Quay apartment complex in Dublinʼs Docklands. Located in the centre of the development, the

garden is a communal space in a courtyard setting. The aim was to provide a garden which would encourage inhabitants to leave their apartments and enjoy a contemporary outdoor space. Pictured above with the garden at Hanover Quay is its designer Diarmuid Gavin.

Iannelli’s 6 Bath Street

Fresh Fish Daily • Home Made Pizza Kebabs • Southern Fried Chicken Delivery Service Available 6.00 to 11.30pm Phone: 6674020

Happy Christmas to all our Customers

F IVE WEEKS , SEVEN BAGS AND AN EMPTY WARDROBE

I

By Christy Hogan

ʼm down to my last pair of Wranglers, my last Peter England shirt, my last pair of socks and jocks and my last pair of shoes. Well, not really folks, but if I were to fill all the charity bags that have come through my letter box recently Iʼd be starkers. Seven charity bags in five weeks, I kid you not. These people must think we discard our kit every time we have a hot dinner. The bag comes with lots of information and instructions. We desperately need your unwanted clothing, curtains and shoes “in pairs,” the leaflet explains. Well, thereʼs not much you can do with one Hush Puppy, Iʼll give them that. Try and “fill the bag,” the leaflet says. Incidentally, these bags are, in fact, large refuse sacks and theyʼre not all the same colour, oh no. Variety being the spice of life and all that, we got four black, one yellow, one grey and would you believe it, one pink bag. There are so many charity bags doing the rounds these days youʼd need to emulate the ʻGood Lordʼ when he performed the miracle with the loaves and fishes. Bags of clothes instead of baskets of food. If you are short on unwanted clothing fear not, other items are also gratefully accepted. Jewellery? Yes, my friend, jewellery will suffice in place of

that Crombie overcoat or the Chavez shirt. An old superfluous Rolex watch or the 22-carat gold bracelet will do nicely thank you very much. But Iʼm not into jewellery, I hear you cry, donʼt panic, thereʼs a huge list of stuff these people need. Handbags, hats, belts, mirrors, clocks, toys, games, bric-a-brac and antiques are all acceptable in the charity bag. Your magnanimity will help both those at home or, as one leaflet says, people of Eastern Europe and part of Russia. I searched and searched until I found an old pinny with a large floral design on it. I use it when Iʼm doing my Jamie Oliver trick when the visitors come. Into the pink bag it went, along with a few other bits and pieces I managed to find. I did as the leaflet said and left the bag outside my front gate, visible and ready for collection at nine oʼclock the following day. Nine oʼclock, ten oʼclock, eleven oʼclock. Rock weʼre goinʼ to rock around the clock tonight. Well, I could rock all I like, but still no sign of the pink bag being collected. I left it out for one more day, alas no collection. I took it back in that evening emptied the contents out and used the pink bag to line the green wheelie bin. I picked up the pinny; maybe Iʼll do a repeat of the Jamie Oliver. As for the charities, dare I say they seem to be making a right ʻbagsʼ of it, donʼt they? Happy Christmas.


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

PAGE 21

Star of the Sea School Sandymount, 1940s

YES, HERE IS another in our collection of school photos, this time the lads from Star of the Sea School pictured during the 1940s. They may be small but they look like they could be quite a handful to teach!

D EGREE OF ACHIEVEMENT

WINTER SALE AT

FANTASTIC TANS Turbo Stand-up Sunbed €50 for 90 minutes St Tropez Spray Tan buy 4 and get one free Wash, cut and blow-dry from €30 Facials and waxing from €15 Manicure, pedicure and Gelnails from €25 Opening hours Monday to Friday 2 to 8 pm, Saturday 12 to 6 pm

Gift vouchers available for all treatments SENATOR JOHN HANAFIN pictured with his sister, Minister for Education, Mary Hanafin, TD, as he was conferred at a ceremony in Dublin Castle. All sides in the Seanad united to congratulate Senator John Hanafin after he was conferred with a Master of Arts and Public Management Degree. Senator Hanafin is currently seeking a nomination as a Fianna Fáil candidate in the Dublin South East Dáil Constituency.

Phone for an appointment: 087 2115396 2 Pembroke Street, Irishtown, Dublin 4


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NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

Good News for Banda Aceh Good Work by Dublin Port Company and local people

F

our young women from the East Wall area of Dublin were caught up in the Tsunami while on holiday on Phi Phi island, Thailand. One of these women was Edel Currie, an employee of Dublin Port Company. When Edel Arrived back to work the company approached Edel to see if she needed anything, as she had lost a lot of her

personal belongings in the disaster. Edel appreciated the companyʼs offer of help but asked if the company could do something to help the survivors of the Tsunami living out there, as they needed the help more than she. The Dublin Port company was advised that Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia was the worst hit, as it was at the epicentre of

the Earthquake and the Tsunami and suffered most casualties. The area was also a port district. Contact was made with the local NGO group to discuss the needs of the local community. The local group asked if it would be possible to build an Elementary School, as this would be a focal point for people to move back into the devastated area. A proposal was put to the Chairman and the Board of Dublin Port to allocate funding to the school project and this was unanimously agreed. Community groups in the Dublin Port area got to hear about the school project and donated monies they had raised for the Tsunami relief to the school project. All the secondary schools from the area took part in the sponsored Dragon Boat Racing on the river to raise funds for the appeal. As did 1,300 primary school children who fund-raised by paying one euro for boat trips on the river. Fundraisers were aided by vol-

MURRAYS OF BATH AVENUE Sandymount, Dublin 4 Telephone: 6684940

Merry Christmas from all at Murray’s! Office parties, corporate functions and social events catered for on request

Premiership plus on large TV screens for all major sporting events

Heated smoking area

Music every weekend

Texas hold ‘em Poker Classic every Thursday

UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

PAGE 23

IT’S

unteers from the port company. When the school project is complete it is planned to twin the

THE MAN IN THE RED SUIT !

port community of Dublin with the port community of Banda Aceh.

Santa Claus took time off from his busy schedule to put in a guest appearance at the lighting-up of the Christmas tree on Sandymount Green, much to the delight of these local children and their parents.

Sandymount Credit Union Limited NEED A SECURE HOME FOR YOUR SAVINGS? NEED AN INCENTIVE TO SAVE, BY CASH LODGEMENT, DIRECT DEBIT, SALARY DEDUCTION? NEED A LOAN FOR YOUR NEW CAR, HOUSE EXTENSION, HOLIDAY, WEDDING ETC?

THEN GIVE US A CALL. WE’RE THE BEST. STANDARD LOANS TO MEMBERS UP TO €15,000 9.4% AR MULTI-PURPOSE LOANS UP TO €30,000 7.5% AR PREMIUM LOANS OVER €30,000 5.9% AR SPECIAL LOANS TO STUDENTS/APPRENTICES 6.5% AR (INCLUDING MATURE STUDENTS) LOAN REPAYMENT CALCULATOR AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE USUAL CREDIT UNION TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY SANDYMOUNT CREDIT UNION IS REGULATED BY THE FINANCIAL REGULATOR

13 Bath Avenue, Sandymount, Dublin 4. Tel: 668 5079 / 073 Fax: 6681807 email: info@sandymountcu.ie Website: www.sandymountcu.ie

Normal Opening Hours Monday 10am–12.30pm Tusday 10am–12.30pm Wednesday 10am–12.30pm Thursday 10am–5pm Friday 2pm–8pm

CHRISTMAS HOURS OFFICE OPEN MONDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY OFFICE CLOSED MONDAY

CHRISTMAS OPENING HOURS OFFICE OPEN DECEMBER 19TH TO FRIDAY DECEMBER 23RD DECEMBER 29TH DECEMBER 30TH OFFICE CLOSED

2–5pm 2–5pm

(NORMAL HOURS) (NORMAL HOURS) (1.00PM–5.00PM)

DECEMBER 26TH TO WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 28TH (INCLUSIVE)

NORMAL OFFICE HOURS RESUME TUESDAY JANUARY 3RD 2006

WE

WISH EVERYBODY IN OUR COMMUNITY A HAPPY AND JOYFUL CHRISTMASTIDE AND WORLDWIDE LASTING PEACE AND FREEDOM FROM DISASTER AND HUNGER IN 2006


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NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

M ARTIAL A RTS – D UBLIN STYLE By Brian Rutherford

S

ome might say that Bruce Lee has a lot to answer for, but there is no denying the satisfaction that a Belt under a professional master can bring, not to mention the confidence it offers in these times of unpredictability, especially for women and children. Ringsend Community Centre has a very rich martial arts tradition and has been going for thirty years. At this Dojo (dojo is a martial arts word for a place of contest) Fran Nangle, teaches a form of self-defence known as WADO, translated WADO means the ʻWay of Peaceʼ on Monday at 6.30 to 7.30 for juniors and Wednesday from 8 to 9 for seniors (€3 an hour for children and €5 an hour for adults). Fran, the President of the Irish

Karate Advisory board, recognised by IMAC, with his team of six black belts will put you through your paces. The team are Sheryl Kelly, a black belt, James Duffy, a fourth dan, Brian Feeney, a third dan and Robbie Byrne, also a third dan. They teach at the Irishtown Stadium from 6 to 7 pm on Thursdays for children and 12 to 1 pm and 1 to 2 pm on Sundays for adults. As far as accolades go, the club has its fair share, with 6 medals for the juniors and 7 for the seniors in Germany two years ago. There was also another excursion to Hungary last October when four local children entered the world championships, and in November eight children from Ringsend went to the British championships. Not too far away at 1 Park Lane East at the rear of 206 Pearse Street is another Dojo. The GYO FU KAN to be precise otherwise

known as the Irish Aikido Federation. Here John Rogers, a 6th Dan Shidoi, founded the NaturalHealth Training Centre where the classes are taught Aidido. Aikido is basically coordination of mind and body for self defence, and it differs from WADO in that it uses weapons as well as hand-to-

hand combat. Introductory classes are on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7.45 pm. Basic classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.45pm, Wednesday and Friday at 6 pm and Intermediate classes are on Monday and Wednesday at 7.45pm. Advanced classes are on Tuesday

and Thursday at 6pm and Yoga on Mondays at 6pm. Not too far away, The Public Service Aikido Club, at St. Andrewʼs Resource Centre, 114 to 116 Pearse Street meets. This club was opened in 1976 and was originally Irish-speaking. Training is again in the Aikido tradition with regular visits from instructors from overseas and the members are encouraged to visit other dojos. New members pay €30 for eight classes and €25 for an annual membership fee after this. This covers insurance for the year and you may undergo grading if you wish to. The classes are held on Mondays at 7.30 to 9.30pm, Thursdays at 7.30 to 9.30pm, Saturdays 11 to 12am when weapon training is taught and Saturdays from 12 to 1.15pm for the more advanced members and there is a beginnersʼ course to be announced this Autumn. For more information contact: www.aikidoinireland.org, Ringsend Community Centre at 6604789, the Irish Aikido Federation at 6718454 or 0872629610 and St. Andrewʼs Resource Centre at 6771930.

Simply Cooking We thought you might like a couple of simple recipes to see you over the Christmas after all that turkey and plum pudding. Enjoy! Curried parsnip soup Ingredients: 1 onion, peeled and chopped 3 ozs butter or margarine 1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped 10 oz (250g) parsnips, peeled and chopped 1 rounded teaspoon of curry powder 1 tablespoon flour 2 pints of vegetable stock Cream or créme fraiche Method: Sweat the vegetables in the butter over a medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in the curry powder and flour and sweat a little longer. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and let the soup simmer for 20 minutes. Liquidise the soup and taste to see if it needs more seasoning. Serve and garnish with a generous swirl of cream or créme fraiche.

BEST WISHES AT CHRISTMAS FROM ADDISON ROOFING

Ice Cream Ingredients: 1 pint of cream whipped 4 egg whites whipped until peaked and stiff 4 oz of icing sugar For Lemon Ice Cream– grate rind and juice into mixture For Coffee Ice Cream– 2 tablespoons of Irel Coffee For Vanilla Ice Cream– 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence Method: Whip Cream Whip eggs Fold sugar into cream Add egg whites Add flavouring Pour into container and freeze.


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

PAGE 25

D ÜRER AT THE C HESTER B EATTY By John Cheevers

W

e look at the pictures of the great early artists with admiration. We repeat their names with reverence, but we forget that they were human beings, glad and sorry, human and despairing, friends and lovers, just as we are. One of the great German artists, Albrecht Dürer was born in Nuremberg in 1471. He was the son of a Hungarian Master Goldsmith and at a very early age he was already showing himself as a prodigy. The young Albrecht served his first apprenticeship with his father and became a master with the engraving tool, called the burin. He continued his apprenticeship with the painter Michael Wolgemut, in whose large workshop he learned the craft of woodcut book illustration. Dürer developed a great mastery

of line, whether he was drawing with pencil, silverpoint or brush. His style was based on a true observation of nature. Countless sketches of landscapes, animals and plants were incorporated in his designs. His famous drawing of a hare was an example of this. In 1494 Dürer travelled to Venice, primarily to investigate an artist who was copying his style on engravings and signing them as originals. His fame as an engraver had preceded him and he was welcomed and accepted by the leading artists of the city. After visiting their studios and observing their work he returned to his native land, enriched with the knowledge of the great advances made by the masters of the Italian Renaissance in treatment, colour and composition. Dürer was the first north European artist to understand the basic aims of the Renaissance. Like Leonardo Da

Vinci he wrote theoretical treatises on a variety of art and science subjects. He made it a life mission to bring the modern ideas of art to Germany and establish them there. In 1520 he presented to his native city, as a memorial of himself, his unique depiction of the ʻApostlesʼ. With this work of art he he successfully combined the Italian

THE ‘NEWSFOUR’ WEIGHT LOSS CLUB By Helen Walsh

I

want to say a huge ʻcongratulationsʼ to those who are taking part in the Weight loss programme. For the last few weeks they have been walking every day and making changes to their food. We had a weigh-in at the YMCA on November 17th (a big THANK YOU to the manager Lorcan who jumped in and helped us out with a premises). Next meeting is at 4.30pm, Saturday 18 December at the YMCA, Sandymount. We had the most fantastic results: two people had lost a stone and a half, two people lost just over a stone each and everyone who came along lost, on average, 6 to 7lbs so far and we are not finished yet. We

have another weigh and measure the week before Christmas. The thing to remember is there are no quick fixes and everyone has worked really hard for their results but it just shows what you can achieve in a short period of time and still manage to do it properly. Here is the Energy Management motivation plan to help you get started in 2006 with your good health resolutions. * 1. Set Goals: You need to be specific about what you want. What changes do I want to make? What is a realistic time to achieve this? (average 2lbs per week for safe weight loss that will stay off). What changes do I need to make that will give me the results I want on a permanent basis instead of a quick fix? * 2. Self motivation: List 10 reasons why you want to do this. We respond as humans towards pain or pleasure so you need to use that when writing your list. For example, if someone made a comment about your body that you did not like, you can change it right now from a negative to a positive by using it on your list to motivate yourself.The list needs to be read daily to be effective. * 3. Monitor every step: Write or record everything you do. It will help give you a sense of achievement so if itʼs a walk or run

have a little chart at home or a journal and tick off a little box every time you do it. * 4. Support system: Make sure you have a support system in place– this may be a trainer/ instructor/ coach or a good friend (not always a good idea to use your partner for this job). Donʼt tell everyone because when you look better the compliments that people will make on how well you look will be great to keep you motivated. * 5. Rewards in place: It is important that you set up a little reward system for yourself (NOT food!). For example I have a client who pays herself every time she loses a pound and this fund is then used at the end of each month to treat herself to a manicure or facial. Be nice to yourself– we were only given one body and the more we take care of it the more it will take care of you! For the people trying to book private appointments with me at the moment– sorry it is so busy, I will get to you soon, I promise. Thank you. For more health tips and a FREE quit smoking Club log onto www.helenwalsh.ie I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and a healthy, exciting new year! To Contact Helen mail: energymanagement@eircom.net or call Energy management 01 2605050 for an appointment.

Renaissance forms and ideas with the Gothic individualism prevalent in German art.. As a man, Albrecht Dürer was stately and sedate and he dressed immaculately. He was also intensely pious and devout. He regarded his talent as a gift from God. When he died in 1528, Martin Luther wrote of him: “Assuredly affection bids us

mourn for one who was the best of men.” His lifeʼs work is very well represented in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle with their collection of over 120 engravings from Museums in Berlin and Bremen and runs until February 2006. Above: Irish Soldiers and Peasants (1521) by Albrecht Dürer.

B IG

DAY FOR G ARRY AND F IONA

CONGRATULATIONS TO hard-working local Councillor Garry Keegan and Fiona Smith on their recent wedding, and thanks to Sarah, who sent us on the photo.


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NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

Jim Driver RIP

JIM DRIVER (RIP) worked in Cecilʼs Barbers shop in Thorncastle Street for 56 years. He told ʻNewsFourʼ in August 2004: “I did my first shave at eleven years of age, it was on my father and I had to stand on my schoolbag.” His recent death is a great loss to the community and many returning emigrants will be sad that Jim is no longer at the middle chair to give them a short back and sides and relate all the local news. Our condolences to his many friends and family.

J

By Brian Kelly

ohn Osman has been collecting photographs since the early 70s. His love of photography and the sheer joy of discovering something special have taken him from antique shops and flea markets to the great auction houses of Christieʼs and Sothebyʼs. In his time, John has picked up rare and unusual images from master photographers from as little as two or three pounds. What his vast catalogue of photographs is worth now is anybodyʼs guess, but as any serious collector will tell you, itʼs not about the money. Having worked in galleries in London in the 70s, John decided to come home and open the ʻGallery Of Photographyʼ in Temple Bar, the first commercial gallery of its kind in the

Snapshots of history The Osman Photographic Collection

city. As Director of the Gallery for over 15 years and hosting dozens of exhibitions by national and international photographers, John was able to draw on a wealth of sources to expand and enrich his photographic portfolio. The entire collection now runs into thousands and is stored at the Osman home in Co. Wicklow. In 2000, a book was published highlighting 100 images from the Osman Collection. Entitled ʻThe Lightning Strikeʼ, it contains a wonderfully diverse collection of prints– some humourous, some poignant, many just plain beautiful– covering

over 150 years of photography. Today you can view one of the best collections of its kind in Ireland online at www.osmanphotos.com. For anyone who has ever picked up a camera in their life or indeed anyone who is even vaguely interested in Irish history, the exhibition is a treasure trove just waiting to be explored. John has a number of old photographs of Sandymount and surrounding areas. Prices start at €25 for an A4 size print or €50 for a framed A2 size. Contact John at 40440401/0868328654 or email: johnosman@ireland.com.

ridden figure he would become in later life. Henry desperately longed for a son to continue the royal Tudor line. When Catherine became pregnant he was overjoyed, but doom was to beset Catherine of Aragon. Three times she was with child and unfortunately each time she miscarried. Henry grew tired of Catherineʼs failure to provide an heir and sought an annulment. This had to be brought before the Papal council. Henry had by this time become smitten with the fiery, tempestuous Anne Boleyn, who was, ironically, one of Catherineʼs ladies-in-waiting. A strictly devoted Roman Catholic, Catherine wouldnʼt ever contemplate annulment or divorce. Henry made a personal plea to the Pontiff to give him a divorce on the grounds that Catherine was barren. After a protracted amount of time, the Pope refused.

Henry set himself up as the head of the Church of England and got his Archbishop Crammer to grant him a divorce from Catherine. The Pontiff excommunicated Henry and from being one of the strongest supporters of the papacy in his youth, Henry turned England into a Protestant Nation. Catherine, a broken woman, returned the Spain where she outlived Henry by some twenty years.

Ringsend and District CATHERINE OF ARAGON: THE DISCARDED WIFE Credit Union Ltd. 5 Irishtown Rd., Dublin 4. Phone: 6686676 • Fax: 6686288 T o all our Members

M erry Christmas a n d a Happy New Year All Business Transacted During Opening Hours CHRISTMAS OPENING AND CLOSING TIMES: Friday 23 December– Close at 4.30pm. Re-open Thursday 29th December– Normal hours Open Friday 9.30am–12.15pm; 2.00pm–4.30pm; 6.00pm–8.00pm Will close Monday 2nd January 2006 Re-open Tuesday 3rd January 2006 at 9.30am

By Derek Sandford

B

orn to privilege and power, Catherine changed the course of English history. She was betrothed aged six to a prince of a royal household. When she came of age she was married to English Prince Arthur, the elder brother of the future king Henry VIII. The union was a happy one, but tragedy struck. In the first year, on a journey to a castle in the north of England, the couple were beset by atrocious weather Arthur contracted pneumonia and died. It was arranged that Catherine would wed the deceased Arthurʼs younger sibling Henry. Special dispensation had to be obtained from the Pope because they were brothers. At first Henry was enamoured of Catherine. He was young, lean and handsome, not the bloated, disease-


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

COMHAIRLE NA NÓG

W

By Maggie Neary

hen I walked into the Mansion House on Tuesday 29th November the hall was buzzing. 100 teenagers up to the age of 15 were grouped around tables where animated discussions were in full flow. Comhairle na nÓg tries to emulate for young people the election process through which Dail members are chosen and the process used in Government to address issues which arise. The schools in the Dublin areas are invited to send representatives to a meeting such as this in the Mansion House and here the young people begin to participate in the process. Three very enthusiastic young boys Daniel Stairs, Daniel Woods and Jamie Toner, whose comments on the day ranged from brilliant to fun, represented Star of the

PAGE 27

Sea. With the help of the facilitator they had discussed homelessness and issues around the multicultural society of todayʼs Ireland. Each table would vote to elect one member to be on the next yearʼs Comhairle na nÓg and members would also later in the afternoon make a five minute presentation of their tableʼs findings on the dayʼs discussion. Mark Roche and Corey Hughes from Ringsend Technical School were in full spate at another table whilst the John Scottus School in Donnybrook and the International Turkish Educational Society were also there. In a separate room I met with the more senior group of 10 representatives. With these, I found myself having no problem seeing them as ʻpoliticiansʼ of the future, exuding as they did a smooth confidence in manner and speech. The Council meets every two months in City Hall and can have opportunities to meet with members of Government and Dublin City Council. Above: Pupils from the John Scottus school pictured with Councillor Dermot Lacey.


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NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

Film Scene •••By Michael Hilliard

‘Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang’ SHANE BLACK, the screenwriter responsible for the some of the biggest blockbuster action films of the late eighties and early nineties, including ʻLethal Weaponʼ and ʻThe Last Boy Scoutʼ, makes his directorial debut with the magnificent ʻKiss Kiss, Bang Bangʼ.

At the height of his career, Black was the highest paid screenwriter in Hollywood. He received four million dollars for penning ʻThe Long Kiss Goodnightʼ, which subsequently received a critical thrashing, and failing to perform at the box office, contributed to Blackʼs ten year absence from the movie business.

Adapting, in part, the novel ʻBodies are where you find themʼ by Brett Halliday, Black has created one of the most refreshingly original pieces of cinema in years. From the moment the gorgeous opening credits are done, the film takes off at incredible pace, and just keeps going. Our narrator,

S ONAS H OUSING A SSOCIATION

F

By Grace McKenna

or many women in Ireland, the threat of having nowhere to live keeps them and their children trapped in a violent home. Many others who do manage to break out of that trap find themselves homeless. Although crisis refuge accommodation can provide a safe environment for women breaking out of violent relationships, it is not a long term solution. So where should they go? Sonas provides houses and apartments to women and their children for up to two years. This period of supported transitional housing is designed to enable women to regain control of

their lives and to plan for their and their childrenʼs futures. They also have a childrenʼs support service that helps children come to terms with the effects of witnessing domestic violence, plus related issues like the loss of their home and separation from friends and extended family. Experience has shown that the time women spend in transitional housing dramatically reduces their chances of recurring homelessness as well as increasing the stability of their future tenancies. Sonas Housing also offers practical help on education and money management. Their five complexes are located in Killester, Ballymun, Clondalkin, Fortunestown and Ringsend.

Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.), is a petty crook, who indirectly finds himself in the middle of a movie audition, in a hilarious early scene, which sets the tone for the entire piece. Once he finds himself in LA, Harry gets caught up in the middle of a murder investigation, along with his high school dream girl (Michelle Monaghan) and a detective-cum-movie-consultant Gay Perry (Val Kilmer), who has been training him for an upcoming role. As well as the detective filmnoir that Black has created here, ʻKiss Kiss, Bang Bangʼ is also a complete send-up of the entire buddy-cop genre. Harryʼs self-aware voiceover narration is a stroke of genius. It goes on to twist the timeline, forget things, criticize itself and other movies, and even interact with the film itself. Blackʼs strength remains his sarcasm, and his lines are delivered brilliantly by the perfectly cast Downey and Kilmer. Also worthy of mention are the action scenes. One in particular sees Harry, clinging desperately to a corpseʼs arm, hanging off an LA motorway bridge, and in a burst of gunfire, picking off bad guys. This is just one example of the marvellously choreographed comedy action scenes which are peppered throughout. The movie is certainly an unusual variety of tones: sporadically violent, regularly silly, often both. But, most importantly, itʼs never boring. ʻKiss Kiss, Bang Bangʼ is highly recommended viewing. 4.5 out of 5

Who is eligible for Sonas Housing? Sonas transitional housing is available to women who have been made homeless as a result of domestic violence. Domestic violence includes all forms of, physical abuse, mental/emotional abuse and sexual abuse. The majority of applicants must be eligible for local authority housing. Accepted applicants enter into a Support Contract with Sonas as part of their lease agreement which includes care work with the family and referral agency before they move into Sonas housing. Do Sonas accept applicants regardless of origin or circumstance? Sonas work with a wide variety of women, including those with alcohol or drug related problems and those with mental health issues, as long as they are capable of independent living and working with their support group. They also accept applications from women

‘Doom’ Based on the popular 1993 videogame of the same name, ʻDoomʼ is nothing you havenʼt seen before. It borrows liberally from superior action films, and fails to contribute anything new to the marines-in-space sub-genre, established in James Cameronʼs ʻAliensʼ. Starring ex-W.W.F. wrestling star Dwayne ʻThe Rockʼ Johnson, and ʻLord of the Ringsʼ bitpart actor Karl Urban, the casting leaves a lot to be desired. The plot is wafer thin. Something has gone wrong at a remote scientific research station on Mars. Quarantine is put into effect, so that the only personnel allowed entry to the space station are the RRTS (Rapid Response Tactical Squad), a troop of hardened space marines whose job it is to investigate and neutralise the threat using any force necessary. Sound familiar? ʻDoomʼ is a throwback to the glory days of the no-brainer action movie, the likes of which Schwarzenegger or Stallone would churn out in the midto-late eighties. ʻThe Rockʼ is no star though, struggling to shoulder the weight of ʻDoomʼ, looking uncomfortable doing anything more than throwing a punch, or firing a weapon. At least Arnie and Sly could pull it off with a cheesy one liner thrown in for good measure, but the fact is, ʻThe Rockʼ has about as much on-screen charisma as a wet sponge. In between the mildly diverting action sequences, we are informed by Rosamund Pike

of different ethnic origins depending on their housing eligibility. Life after transitional housing. Following a tenantʼs agreed period in transitional housing, Sonas work with local authorities and other housing associations to help families find a permanent home. Sonas can sometimes provide permanent housing to families when alternative permanent solutions cannot be found or are not appropriate. What to do if youʼve been made homeless by domestic violence? If youʼve had to leave your home because of domestic violence you could be eligible for Sonas transitional housing. All applications must come through a relevant referral agency i.e. GP, community welfare officer or the management team at your crisis refuge centre. Telephone: Sonas Housing Association at 8309088


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005 (former Bond girl), who is perhaps the least convincing genetic scientist ever put to film, that the creatures attacking her colleagues in the space station are none other than genetically enhanced versions of themselves. But by this time, youʼll be too bored to actually care, and will be begging for another mediocre action scene, to replace the direlogue spouting non-actors who insist on insulting your intelligence for the duration of their exposition drenched scenes. The one redeeming scene comes close to the end of the movie. A lengthy sequence, shot entirely from the fist person perspective, just like the videogame, that is executed with a large degree of technical skill and ability. Not enough to save ʻDoomʼ from its bargain bin destiny then, but an unexpected treat nonetheless. 1 out of 5

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: ʻIn Her Shoesʼ Starring Cameron Diaz and

PAGE 29

News * Sylvester Stallone is at it again, currently shooting the sixth ʻRockyʼ movie. In ʻRocky Balboaʼ, the title character will come out of retirement, to get back in the ring once again with old foe Clubber (Mr T) Lang. Expected in mid 2006.

Toni Collette, director Curtis Hanson (ʻLA Confidentialʼ) brings us a complex family story of two sisters finding their true identities, the hard way. At times, ʻIn Her Shoesʼ comes dangerously close to being your bog-standard ʻchick-flickʼ tale of duelling siblings, one an attention-craving loser, and the other a shy, yet successful lawyer. Hanson skilfully avoids the clichés though, coaxing undeniably fantastic

performances from his cast. 3 out of 5 ʻElizabethtownʼ (pictured) Director Cameron Crowe (ʻAlmost Famousʼ, ʻVanilla Skyʼ) returns with an unfocused, yet endearing tale of a young man named Drew (Orlando Bloom) who is about to commit suicide when he gets a phone call, and hears the news of his fatherʼs

death. Returning to his fatherʼs home of Elizabethtown, he meets Claire (Kirsten Dunst) and his life takes an unexpected turn. Outdone by its own soundtrack, ʻElizabethtownʼ is too unfocused to have the mass appeal of Croweʼs earlier work, yet he still manages to strike the right emotional chords. 3 out of 5

* ʻLord of the Ringsʼ and ʻKing Kongʼ director, Peter Jackson, has landed a role as producer on the movie version of the ʻHaloʼ videogame and is supposedly in talks with ʻHellboyʼ director, Guillermo Del Toro to take the helm. Expect ʻHaloʼ sometime in 2007. * The sequel to the hugely successful ʻPirates of the Carribeanʼ starring Johnny Depp, is well under way and scheduled for release this summer. The brand new trailer can be found at www.movies.yahoo. com.

The Vintage Inn The Vintage Inn, 74 Irishtown Road, Dublin 4. Phone: 6680039

Lunch Served from 12.00pm Monday to Friday Bookings accepted

Speciality Coffees Full Wine Menu Great Match Day atmosphere

We would like to wish all our Customers a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year


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B EEN I

NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

THERE ,

By Grace McKenna

asked one of Dublinʼs favourite scribblers how in Godʼs name he ended up writing two soft porn novels. Lee Dunne knows how to tell a good story and having lived the life akin to a hundred men, he has plenty to tell. It was the early 60s and Lee was making his living in London as a cab driver. One day he was sitting in his cab waiting on a fare when he came across an ad in the New Statesman. Maurice Girodias, a publisher with Olympia Press, was seeking submissions from risqué young writers and so that night when Lee went home, he sat down and began to write “for the crack”. ʻHell is Filling Upʼ was to be his first novel written under the pseudonym of Peter OʼNeill. Lee laughs at the notion that people thought he wrote under a pseudonym to protect his moral character. Firstly, Lee is one of the lucky few who never cared what other people think; secondly, using a pseudonym was a practical move. It allowed him to write for money

without having to worry about being ʻtypecastʼ as a particular type of writer. But most importantly, Lee was saving his name for his first Irish novel that had been cooking away in the back of his head. ʻHell is Filling Upʼ was written in ten short days and within six weeks the publisher of Olym-

S ANTA C LAUS By Aidan OʼDonoghue

I

D UNNE

f Christmas belongs to anybody it is to the children, for whom it is the ultimate celebration. All they have to hope for are the right presents at the foot of the tree come Christmas morning. Itʼs all about the easy life for children at this time of year– no school, an endless stream of seasonal cartoons on the television, plenty of junk food and a whole lotta toys. Ask, get, eat, play, sleep. A childʼs Christmas preparations consist mainly of writing and redrafting letters to Santa Claus outlining what they would like to see in their stockings on the 25th. A sense of anticipation builds up before giving way to a state of barely controllable excitement as the big day draws near. If and when Mr Claus comes up with the goods, the children are, on the whole, thoroughly satisfied. The only problem with all of this– according to some people– is that children today are asking for far too much from Santa, so much so that it is almost impossible for him to cope with their demands.

pia Press had sent Lee a contract guaranteeing an advance of $600 against the first five thousand copies of the novel. The novel was printed in Paris, in English, and proved very popular with the American servicemen that were stationed there at the time. On the back of the first bookʼs success, Lee was asked to

IS COMING TO

Young John Harrington is four years old and lives in Sandymount. Like most boys his age, John knows exactly what he wants from Santa– namely a trumpet and a Noddy book. His younger brother has asked for a Chitty Chitty Bang Band DVD and is very excited about it. Dad James thinks that children in general tend to ask for a lot. “I think some kids do ask for too many toys”, he says. “Ours donʼt but they are young and still learning. We try and keep expectations down because you donʼt want things to start getting silly.” Eight year old Paul Anderson is out with his mother in Sandymount. He is expecting a Playstation 2 along with the new Fifa ʻ06 game. He would also like a Scaletrix so that he and his friends can race each other. Paulʼs sister Niamh is six. She needs two boy Bratz Dolls to go along with the two girls she already has. Their mother Celine believes that todayʼs kids expect a lot more from Santa Claus. “Itʼs a different world to that of the previous generation who would have been happy with an annual and a little doll. Today itʼs a case of more, more, more, with no attention being paid to the cost of things.

write a second one, guaranteeing the same deal as before. Lee admits he would have written the books for nothing just so he could see his work in print. His second novel had all the makings of a good ʻCarry Onʼ film. It was called ʻThe Corpse Wore Greyʼ and was set in a baronial mansion in Paris. The story centres round a suit of armour which is stinking out the house with the smell of strong cheese. The residents open the suit but instead of finding a piece of stale camembert inside, they find a dead body. The novel was a success and once again Lee was asked to write a third book. This time, the publisher sent a chapter containing ʻnot so softʼ porn as an example of what was wanted in the next publication. On the day Lee started work on his third novel, he was minding his baby daughter, Sarah, while his wife was at work. Sarah started to cry and Lee left his typewriter to go and see to her. Whilst feeding his ʻbaby dollʼ, as he affectionately calls her, it dawned on him that he didnʼt want his daughter reading what he had just written. After Lee put

his baby daughter back down to sleep, he returned to his typewriter and tore up the ten pages he had just written. Although Leeʼs Parisian adventure ended that day, it cleared a path for him to write the book he had been saving his real name for. The book was called ʻGoodbye to the Hillʼ and was published in London by Hutchinson– the paperback rights going to Arrow Books. The US version was bought by Houghton Mifflin of New York and Boston– the paperback rights going to Ballantyne– and the book has scarcely been out of print down through the four decades of its life so far. Lee wrote the screenplay for the Hollywood version called ʻPaddyʼ which was banned in Ireland in 1970. In 1972 the Censorship Board banned the novel ʻPaddy Maguire is Deadʼ and within the next few years Lee became Irelandʼs most banned author. But thatʼs another story. ʻGoodbye to the Hillʼ has recently been republished to celebrate its 40th birthday and is currently on sale in all good book shops along with Lee Dunneʼs other great novels, ʻBarleycorn Bluesʼ and ʻDancers of Fortuneʼ. Lee Dunne is pictured in the Mansion House with Lord Mayor Catherine Byrne.

adds. “Some people like my brother want everything they see and thatʼs from all the ads on television.” Nicole Rush is 11 and lives in Irishtown. She wants some heely skates and a computer, Her friend Rebecca Byrne has also requested some skates, and a mobile phone too. “All my friends are getting the skates and we have to get them too so we can all play together,” says Nicole. “Iʼm not asking for too much because Iʼve been a good girl this year. Iʼm an angel!” Young Glenn Donnelly and Robert Steele of Ringsend are on their way home for dinner. They are both eight years old and go to St Patrickʼs Boysʼ school. Glenn wants a suspension bike, a phone and a Simpsons punching bag from Santa. Robert would also like a bike, along with a flip-up phone and a Simpsons inflatable bed. Glenn believes that no matter what they have asked for, there are plenty others who are demanding more. “My sister is asking for about fifty things. The girls

always get more than the boys because they complain and give out until they get what they want.” He dismisses the suggestion that he and Robert might be like that too. “We just take what Santa gives us,” he quietly responds. The majority of children seem to adopt a specific approach to Christmas, asking for as much as possible but not really expecting Santa to deliver everything on their wish lists. They might act like they want every toy they see but in truth they wonʼt be disappointed with what they eventually get. As the countdown to the big day begins, stress levels amongst adults are bound to increase. The children, on the other hand, can afford to slow things down a little. Having sent their letters to Santa, their work is pretty much done. Mr Claus, meanwhile, carries out a final check on his reindeer before setting out on his long and cold voyage from the North Pole to thousands of homes all over the land. He dares not disappoint.

THAT

D UBLIN 4

But Santa is magic and thatʼs the most important thing.” Eoin and Harry Brennan– also from Sandymount– have not asked for too many presents. Ten year old Harry would like a Lego police station and if Santa canʼt manage that an I-spy camera will suffice. Eoin, who is five, wants some Thunderbirds figures and a Scooby-Doo jelly maker. Their father Paul thinks they might yet change their minds. “Nothing lasts for too long and no doubt theyʼll come up with plenty more between now and Christmas. They get their ideas from all the ads on childrenʼs TV channels like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. It really is non-stop at this time of year.” Shauna Tighe (11) is in Irishtown with her friends Gemma Coughlan (9) and Kellie Fox (10). They all attend St Patrickʼs Girlsʼ school in Ringsend. Shauna has asked for an iPod, magna beads and a Bratz Doll safe for Christmas, Gemma wants a Bratz Doll, a necklace and a puppy phone while Kellieʼs list includes a Bratz doll, an MP3 player, a ring, a watch and a necklace. A long list of gifts, but Shauna insists that they are not being greedy. “We only expect what weʼre given,” she


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

PAGE 31

THE SPIRIT OF A IX

By Patrick Duffy

A

city of water and art, Aixen-Provence would be the dominant city of central Provence were it not for the great metropolis of Marsielle, just 25 kilometres away to the south. Historically, culturally and socially, the two cities are totally different and the tendency is to love one and hate the other. Sextius Calvinus, the Roman preconsul, founded Aix, Aquae Sextial, because of the abundance of water, both warm and cold, in 123 BC. From the twelfth century until the Revolution, Aix was the capital of Provence. In its day as an independent county, its most mythically beloved ruler ʻGoodʼ king Rene of Aujou (1400-80) held a brilliant court renowned for its popular festivities and patronage of the arts. At Aixʼs heart is the Cours Mirabeau. A café-stopping stroll beneath the gigantic plane trees that shade the cours is a must. Many claim that it is Franceʼs loveliest boulevard Aix is the birthplace of Paul Cezanne and the city has an avenue named after him on which at No.9, you can find his studio, the atelier. Cezanne died in 1906 and to mark the centenary there will be an exhibition ʻCezanne in Provenceʼ from 29 January to 7 May 2006. The Deux Garcons, 53 Cours Mirabeau is an Aix institution– a classic café with an old literary tradition and Empire décor. It still has its intellectual habitués but the younger set have deserted it for the flashier grillon, Café de Cour, Belle Epoque in the same street. The Cour is flanked on its south side by the once aristocratic Mazarin quarter largely seventeenth century. East down the Rue Cardinal lies the Fountain of Four Dolphins. Built in 1667, it was the first fountain in Aix to be placed in

the middle of a street rather than against a wall. On the north side of the Cour is Le Vieil Aix a maze of graceful streets, many of them medieval, leading towards the cathedral. La Rotonde, erected in 1890, is a large fountain with three statues representing justice turned towards the Cour Mirabeau, agriculture towards Marsielles and fine arts, towards Avignon. Cezanne used many studios in and around Aix but he finally had a house built for the purpose in 1902, at 9 Avenue Paul Cezanne. In the last years of his life Cezanne

painted and drew the Ste-Victoire more than fifty times and as part of his childhood landscape, it came to embody the incarnation of life within nature. The Mont St. Victoire lies 10 kilometres east of Aix, ringed at its base by the dark green and orange brown of fine woods and cultivated soil. The limestone rock reflects light, turning blue, grey, pink and orange. Further East is the village of Vauwerargues where Picasso lies buried in the garden of the Chateau he bought in 1958. Cezanne became friends with Emile Zola at the Bourbon College. They later met up in Paris in 1861 and together were part of the original group, who sat at Manetʼs feet in the Café Guerbois. Although for a time he became an impressionist, his work never took

on the ephemeral airiness of Monet or Renoir. He eventually split from the impressionists, believing their work to be too casual and lacking in an understanding of the depth of reality. A dam outside Aix bears the name of Zola. It was built by Emileʼs father, Francois, who died when Emile was seven. During the fifteen years he lived in Aix, except for the time he spent on escapades with Cezanne and Baille in the country, he had time to observe the town and its people which he wrote about later under the name Plassans. He modified the name of the town and renamed its streets, but it is recognisable as Aix, a sleepy bourgeois town of the 19th century. In 1866 he became an art critic for the daily, LʼEvenement. He took up the cause of the impressionists. At this point he was less and less inclined to appreciate the painting of Cezanne and with the publication of Rougon Macquart he became a famous novelist. Inspired by Cezanne he created the character Claude Lantier, a failed painter. Cezanne was hurt and they didnʼt meet again. In 1898 on 13th January ʻJʼaccuseʼ, his article in defence of

Dreyfus, was published in LʼAurore. He was found guilty of libelling the minister of war and given the maximum sentence of one yearʼs imprisonment and a fine of 3,000 francs. His appeal for retrial was granted on a technicality in March and the retrial was delayed till the 18th of July. He left for England instead of attending court. Zola later returned to France when it was obvious that Dreyfus was innocent. On 29th September 1902, he died of fumes from his bedroom fire, the chimney having been capped either by accident or anti-Dreyfus design. The artist is nothing without the gift, But the gift is nothing without the work Emile Zola

Councillors’ Comments IN A VERY welcome new development for the Sandymount and Ringsend areas, the City Council has published its draft strategy for HGVs following the opening of the Port Tunnel. The strategy will essentially ban all five-axle or more vehicles from entering the Sandymount, Irishtown and Ringsend area unless in possession of a special permit which must be applied for on each occasion that access is required. This will make it much easier for the Gardai to enforce. The draft Strategy is now open for public comment and is available on the Dublin City Council website (www.dublincity.ie). Sinn Féinʼs Dublin Spokesperson on the Environment, Councillor Daithí Doolan, has accused Council officials of being in breach of an agreement reached with City Councillors in regard to the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Works. “City Council officials recently confirmed with me that no further extension to the plant would take place until the outstanding odour problems were fully dealt with. Yet Dublin City Council took out an advertisement in ʻThe Irish Timesʼ calling for ʻexpressions of interest for the proposed extension to the Ringsend Wastewater Treatment Worksʼ, this stunt is nothing short of outrageous.” Cllr. Doolan called on Council officials to publicly withdraw the advertisement, shelve the plans for expansion and focus their energies on tackling the problems at hand. South East Area Councillors have been reviewing the submissions on the Poolbeg Framework Plan and are expected to conclude this early in the New Year. In the recently-adopted City Council Budget special provision for major improvement works along the River Dodder and the commissioning of a Plan for the Tolka were included on foot of a proposal from Local Labour Councillor Dermot Lacey. At the Area Committee meeting in November the Council agreed to install Cycle Parking racks in Sandymount Village. On Monday December 12th a delegation from Star of the Sea School made a presentation at the South East Area Committee. The delegation outlined what improvements they wanted to see in the area and followed on from their very successful involvement in the Green Schools event. The proposal to invite the students was put forward by Councillor Dermot Lacey in consultation with the Principal Ms Candon and the Green Schools Co-ordinator Joan Finnerty. Councillor Daithí Doolan has condemned the City Councilʼs inclusion of incineration in the new Waste Management Plan for the Dublin region. Speaking at a public meeting with residents in November, Cllr. Doolan said: “The only thing new about todayʼs plan is the date on the cover. Yet again we see officials making incineration its cornerstone. But it must be remembered that the City Development Plan, passed earlier this year, clearly excludes any incinerator for the Poolbeg Peninsula. Clearly the officials underestimate our resolve to see Dublin remaining incineration free. Residents here can be assured that they will have my ongoing active support in using every avenue open to us in opposing this incinerator.” Councillor Wendy Hederman has proposed motions at City Council to have a local area plan prepared for Ballsbridge, “…so that any development that takes place will enhance the area and contribute positively to this famous suburb, as opposed to overpowering the existing streetscapes.” Hederman says: “I have had discussions with the City planners and with residents associations about inputting into the plans for the area.” Cllr. Kevin Humphreys, Labour Party Group Leader Dublin City Council, says: “In proposing the Budget for 2006, Labour has continued to deliver on our promises under the Democratic Charter for change and building up on the successes of last year. We have secured a number of very important initiatives to deliver real and lasting benefits for Dubliners. Funding has been secured for out of office hours Planning Enforcement, additional funding for the building & upgrading of Playgrounds, 60% increase in the Budget for cleaning of graffiti, €100,000 anti-racist campaign, also €1.5m increase for maintenance and improvements to the flats .”


PAGE 32

NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

The Fontenoy Files Another Championship for the Club

By Shay Connolly

T

he youngest Junior Hurling team in Dublin captured the County Championship last month in OʼToole Park to bring home the second County Championship for the Club in two months. We were at it again. Traipsing up the canals to contest another replay in OʼToole Park. The drawn match against St Patrickʼs of Palmerstown ebbed and flowed till everyone was quite happy to do it all over again on the following Sunday. In that drawn match we produced a scintillating performance in the first half with glorious points from John Fitzgerald, Ray Rush and Ricky Joyce pushing us seven points in front. But, amazingly, with 5 minutes remaining we found ourselves two points down. However late points from Ray Rush and Cormac Connolly and a Ryanair catch from Johnny Sadlier saved the day for us. The replay wished that Dr Christian Bernard was still alive and beside us all. In the first half nothing could separate the sides and we went in level at half time. We pulled away by two points midway through the second half, only to be pegged back level again with time almost up. And with the referee looking at his watch John OʼLeary sent a ball down along the wing. Cormac Connolly gained possession, turned his man and sent a shot in from way out on the sideline. The ball seemed to stay in the air for eternity. The Gaels of Dublin 2 and 4 stood still as we all followed its flight. As the ball descended from the air, we wished, we hoped, we prayed that it might make its intended journey. When the ball landed on the back of the net and the umpire reached for the white flag to signal to the world that it had indeed reached its destination– the heavens opened. The referee blew his final whistle and amid unbridled joy this great and ancient Club of ours was proudly on the map once again. The Legend made a mockery of the high jump record. Fellow manager Jack Nichol-

On right are Dublin footballer Stephen OʼShaughnessy and Sinead Vivash, Ladiesʼ Footballer of the Year.

son smiled and inhaled the sweet aroma of success. Local teacher Robin Booth proudly congratulated many of his ex pupils and if they received seven ʻAsʼ in their Leaving Cert he would be no more proud. Many highlights need to be recorded: Gary O Connorʼs save midway through the second half. John Fitzgeraldʼs two sideline pucks that sailed majestically over the bar. Johnny Sadlierʼs catch under the cross bar in the dying seconds of the drawn match. David Blakes soaring fetch. Michael Madillʼs diving block down, John OʼLearyʼs “youíll have to kill me first” attitude. Anto Quinlanʼs stamina. Richie Hoganʼs brain. Philly OʼNeillʼs dying for the cause, Ronnie Colemanʼs burst-outs from the back. Carl Scottʼs maturity, Billy Byrneʼs tenacity, Ray Rusheʼs wizardry, Ronan Murphyʼs grit, Ricky Joyceʼs beauty, Cormac Connollyʼs accuracy, Jamesy Boylanʼs introductions, Shane Hilliardʼs patience, Liam Wickhamʼs understanding, Paul Madillʼs return, Micky Byrneʼs clearances, Damien Redmondʼs endurance and Craig Collinsʼs availability.

And now the cup proudly sits beside the girlsʼ trophy in our now proud Trophy Cabinet. It took us 17 matches to win this Championship and we wonʼt forget it for many a day to come. Captain David Blake was as proud as punch as he collected the Cup but not as proud as his father Paul whose face said “thatʼs my son.” This yearʼs All Ireland Final referee, Aodhain MacSuibhne presented David with the Cup and said how wonderful it was to see so many young people with hurleys in their hands as he takes his daily lunchtime jog around Ringsend. This same team now awaits the league final against Raheny early in the New Year. It was all back to the Club and ʻFollow the Cupʼ Andrews (Chris) was at it again filling the cup up with assorted minerals. Chris is now the Clubʼs No 1 fan and he intends starting up a supportersʼ group in the New Year. Anyone interested in joining should contact Chris c/o the Club. In the last edition we told of the Ladies footballers being in a league final. Well. they won it by beating the same opposition as the Championship final, Gar-

ristown under the floodlights in Sean Moore Park to record a fantastic double. In the last edition we told of the U.11s possibility of winning their league. Well they did it by winning all their remaining games. Well done to David Trolan and all the boys. In the last edition we told of the U.14 football girls possibility of winning their league. Well they did it also by winning their remaining games.

In the last edition we told of the U16 hurlers play-off for runners up. Well we won that also by beating Oliver Plunkettʼs/ Eoghan Ruadh in a fantastic game of hurling in Ringsend Park. In the last edition we mentioned the Junior Hurlers being in the semi-final of the championship and them having a great chance of winning it outright. Well we did that too. Also, in the last edition we told of the Inter footballers chance of winning their league and automatic promotion. Well they have tied with Inishfaels and a playoff is coming up soon. And will we win it? Of course we will! So, folks, it has been a truly wonderful year on the playing front with lots of success to tell of. We are making huge strides with all our teams. Our plan of matching our facilities with success on the playing pitch is beginning to take shape. There is an awful lot of hard work ahead of us but this year has certainly set us on the road. We are beginning to feel a certain pride about ourselves. We are now a serious operation and all teams playing against us now know that we are stiff opposition. This Club is the second oldest club in Dublin. Since 1892 we have been giving the youth of our Community the chance to play our games, the chance to excel, the chance to compete and above all the chance to participate.

On left is Matt Bolton of DDDA with Thomas Joyce, Junior Football Player of the Year.


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005 Since way back we had good times and bad times. During some of those times we have come close to extinction. But we are still here, surviving, growing and standing tall. We would like to thank our Sponsors Dublin Port Co for believing in us. Believing that we can deliver. To all other bodies, including Dublin Docklands Development Authority who have helped us thus far we say a big ʻthank youʼ. Backchat: * In the last edition this author unforgivably left out Ashling Ryan as part of the Squad that won the Ladies Football Championship. Ashling is one of the best young footballers ever to don a Clanna Gael Fontenoy jersey. Mon apologies! A brown envelope is on its way to TAR as compensation. * The Incredible Hulk has returned from Norway (via Coventry) with a beautiful blonde belle by his side. She is known as the ʻtamerʼ and if she succeeds in taming him she should enter the Guinness Book of Records. He now no longer wishes to be known as the In-

PAGE 33 credible Hulk but prefers Tarzan instead. Steady progress already! * Sincere condolences to the OʼReilly and McDonagh families on their recent bereavements. Joe McDonagh was a regular patron at the Club for many a year and will be sadly missed. * St Stephenʼs Night and New Yearʼs Disco in the Hall. Plenty of Craic and Frolics. Tickets €15.00 will be available from the club shortly. * We wish Club coach Stephen OʼShaughnessy a speedy recovery after his operation. * Santa came to the Club on December 3rd to tell all the CLANN“G participants just how great a legend he once was. When all his work was done Rusty Rudolph then regaled some of the elder lemons about the red card episodes in his career. Not the stuff of Holy Christmas time let me tell you! * The main topic of conversation in the Club at present is the proposed Incinerator. Can they really put it amongst so many youngsters. Some serious debate lies ahead! * Congratulations to Marie Maguire on the birth of her lovely child.

QUINN SELECTED TO CONTEST DUBLIN SOUTH EAST

FORMER Labour Party Leader Ruairi Quinn TD, pictured at his recent book launch with Dick Spring and Olivia OʼLeary, has been selected by the party to contest the next General Election in his Dublin South East constituency. Deputy Quinn has represented Dublin South East in the Oireachtas since 1976, and has held his Dáil seat at every election since 1982. Addressing the Selection Convention, where he was unopposed, Deputy Quinn said “I am proud to have served Dublin South East for so many years, and I intend to continue to do so. We have an extremely strong team in this constituency, with four leading Councillors representing us excellently and a committed on-the-ground team that excels.”

On left is Joe Burke, Chairman Dublin Port Co with Morgan OʼSullivan, Inter Footballer of the Year.

* Will those who scrawled the letters DK on the pathway to the Balcony please put up their hands. Everybody is saying that

it was Gerry Mulreaney but I canʼt prove it. * Ricky Joyce recently celebrated his 21st at the club.

Ricky didnʼt arrive until after midnight, as he could not get his hair right for hours. He follows in the footsteps of Stephen Mulreaney and Stephen Saunders who were also late for the same reason. * Congratulations to those two bold Connaught men, Kevin Munnelly and Brian McDermott on winning another title with Star of the Sea school. This pair are putting in trojan work with the kids and Iʼm sure the county of Mayo could do with some of their management skills. * There is a strong rumour that Martin Neville and Peter Burnett are seriously considering a double engagement in the New Year to be held at the Club. Would someone please tell the girlfriends. * As we go to print we are preparing for our Dinner Dance. I can guarantee you folks that I will have plenty to write about in Backchat in the next edition. This is where it all happens when members let their hair hang down and do some wonderful, weird things. Watch this space! * We wish all our members, friends and patrons a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Situations Vacant

International Football Manager SMALL COUNTRY on the outskirts of Western Europe currently has a vacancy for manager of national team. You will take charge of a semi-skilled, technically limited and poorly-motivated workforce and expect to lead them to the next European Championship in 2008. Other miracles will include qualification for 2010 World Cup. Applicants need to work well under pressure and be willing to have every decision analyzed and debated by almost the entire population. Youʼll also be expected to deal with a fickle media who will stay on your side as long as the team is winning matches. In return we offer an attractive salary, flexible hours, free blazer and tie, and the opportunity for foreign travel (up-todate passport required). Interested parties should submit their CVs with covering letter before May 2006 to the appropriate association at

Calafort Átha Cliath

Dublin Port Company Port Centre, Alexandra Road, Dublin 1.

Telephone: 887 6000, 855 0888 Fax: 855 7400 Web: www.dublinport.ie


PAGE 34

NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

A BEACON

OF FESTIVE FUN

Sandymount Strand The number three bus goes to Sandymount Tower The number three tram did the same, A habit of transport, outdated by time Since the Tower and the Strand lost their fame. For fame they enjoyed, there were favourite spots For bathing and paddling and sport, In the thirties and forties, this holiday place On the week-ends the Cityʼs resort. From Pillar to Tower ʻtwas a trupenny fare And just half for the kids over five, With bucket and spade and an old pair of knicks, And a sing-song until youʼd arrive. In the holiday season the Strand would be black With people all over the place, If you didnʼt come early it really was hard To find ʻmidst the throng, a free space. ʻNeath the wall was a beach of white silvery sand And for miles a clean strand you could roam, As the tide slowly ebbed, so the crowd would increase As it came to the wall, they went home. If you fished you could dig the ragworm in the sand And the lug-worm youʼd find now and then, There were cockle and mussels as big as your fist And razor-bait deep in its den. You could set a long line near the old cockle lake Bucket handles would hold it in place, And the tide of the night brought a harvest of fish That varied from conger to plaice. The crowds have stopped coming, the Strand it has changed Its varied attractions did wane, And the bus makes the journey, much lighter to-day To the tower and its now faded fame. By Seán MacBrádaigh

ONCE AGAIN Mr William Tilly of Bath Avenue wins top marks for his Christmas decorations and illuminations on his house and garden. This year Mr Tilly is collecting money for the Hospice. You canʼt miss the house, so be sure to contribute! Mr Tilly is pictured with his grandchildren (left to right) Sarah Tilly, Dean Tilly and friend Karl Doolin.

Royalettes Return

YOU MAY remember we published some photos of the Royalettes dancers in our last Christmas issue, taken by Harry Braine in the early 1940s. These two photos, also taken at the Theatre Royal, contrast the on-stage glamour and the backstage humdrum.


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

PAGE 35

H OW TO APPLY FOR SOCIAL OR A FFORDABLE H OUSING IN THE DOCKLANDS AREA By Frances Corr

A

ll new apartment blocks built under the Dublin Docklands Development Authority will provide a minimum of 20% social or affordable units. A number of these units have been completed or are near completion. The list includes Teeling Way in East Wall, where 72 units were completed and are occupied. 58 of these units were social and 14 were affordable. Clarion Quay in North Wall has 37 units completed and occupied. All of these units are social. In Ringsend there are 10 affordable units on Thorncastle Street all occupied, Poolbeg Quay has been completed and there are 62 affordable units, all occupied. Hanover Quay Development is near completion and is due to be ready for occupation in March 2006. This development will have 59 units, of which 56

will be social and there will be 3 affordable. Interviews have already taken place for the first 11 social units. Gallery Quay Development on Cardiff lane has another 60 units due to be completed in March 2006 and all are social. If you are interested in living in any of the new developments due to be completed under the Dublin Dockland 20% social and affordable housing scheme and you want to find out if you meet the requirements, the first step is to express a interest. Those wishing to get further information on social or affordable housing or who want to make an application for a housing unit in Docklands, should contact DCC, Housing Department Affordable Housing Section, Ground Floor, Block 2, The Civic Offices, Wood Quay. It is advisable to have your name included on the Docklands Authority Affordable Housing database so that you can receive an update of the

units coming on stream. You can do this by contacting the DDDA, Housing Unit, Custom House Quay Dublin 1. It is worth noting that there are further developments within the Docklands, which are available under Part V Planning, and these units are also provided by DCC. There are various methods of gaining a loan for the purchase of these units. DCC operate a shared ownership loan scheme and this information can be got through DCC, Loans and Grants Section. The Educational Building Society (EBS) also approve loans for these units through their Home Access Loans Scheme. For further information, contact your local Branch. Bank of Ireland also provide loans through their loan plan, called Breakthrough Loans and information on the criteria to gain a loan through this method can be obtained at your local branch. The DDDA and DCC plan to conduct an advertising campaign early in 2006 to provide the communities in Docklands with information on all aspects of Docklands housing. Pictured is the recently-completed Grand Canal Wharf which contains some Social Housing units.

at base while its height reaches above the seven-storey bedroom block nearby. While this specimen is not rare, many fine ones were lost with the break up of the land estates around Dublin. However, some trees escaped the clear-out notably the Holm

Oaks (quercus ilex) hybrids which have been growing beside the railings along Pembroke and Lansdowne Roads for the past 103 years. It remains to be seen how the face of Ballsbridge will change in the future. Above, centre. The Sequdia.

T RINITY C OLLEGE B OTANCIAL G ARDENS By J. Keaveney

A

distinguished Dublin gentleman named Ball lived in an elegant little house beside an old wooden bridge over the river Dodder. In 1791 a new, more substantial bridge was erected and named after Mr Ball as Ballʼs Bridge. This area, including the vast expanse as far as Ringsend, became known as Ballsbridge and had its own local authority, the Pembroke Council from 1863 to 1930, when it was subsumed into the Dublin City Council. At the heart of the district, the Royal Dublin Society was central and remains so to this day. The nuclei of many societies had their origins here, including the National Botanical Gardens at Glasnevin. In 1806 Trinity College leased land for 175 years at a rate of 15 guineas per acre per annum. For 160 years the Ballsbridge Trinity

College Botanical Gardens flourished. Budding botanists from far and wide researched and studied here. The plant collections were highly regarded by botanists from similar institutions around the world, while Trinityʼs own botanists travelled far to collect and add to these unique lists. Botanist, Thomas Coulter discovered the Romneya plant in Mexico and he managed to establish it in Ireland. He was honoured by the name Romneya Coulteri being given as the official international name of this rare plant. In 1892 Todea Barbara was found in a ravine near Port William in Australia. Transported in a bamboo cage, it survived and flourished in Ballsbridge until 1967, when the gardens finally ended. However, the demise of the Trinity Gardens did not end for the Todea transferred to the National Botanical Gardens in Glas-

nevin and a thriving re-propagated specimen of it is on display in the Fern House labelled the oldest plant in the gardens. Frederick F. Burbidge successfully bred a Calceolaria later called calceolaria burbighei in his honour. This hybrid is growing in the replaced Trinity College botanical gardens off the Dartry Road in Rathgar and one of the parents of the cross grows freely in the grounds of the RDS. The demise of the gardens at Ballsbridge started in 1942 when part was sold for an extension of the Veterinary College. This was followed some years later by the sale of a five acre plot where Jury Doyle Hotel now stands. If the proposed sale of this property goes ahead what will happen to the Californian Redwood originally called Sequdia Gigantea? This redwood is a mere infant in comparison with those in California. Nevertheless, its girth is now three metres


PAGE 36

NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

F OOTBALL

AND APPLE SKINS

By Lindsay Lloyd

T

RINGSEND LIBRARY Free Art Classes for children 7 - 12 years of age 10.30 - 11.30 Saturday mornings Booking essential, Telephone 6680063 Free Computer Tuition Computer basics, email, using the internet Booking essential, Telephone 6680063

he National Concert Hall Education and Community Outreach Department in Association with the Dublin Docklands Development Authority presented the annual ʻMusic in the Docklandsʼ concert at the National Concert Hall on Wednesday 9th of November 2005. Taking part were two local national girls schools, St.Patrickʼs of Ringsend and St.Vincentʼs of Dublin 1. Together with a group of professional musicians provided by the NCHʼs Education and Community Outreach Department, they performed a 30-minute musical piece based around songs, grooves and raps. The theme of the entire piece was ʻthings we used not like but now donʼt mind so muchʼ. These ʻthingsʼ were then incorporated into the lyrics of the piece. The girls of St Vincentʼs as they were now taller didnʼt mind football as much as they used to

Central Hair Studio

and the girls of St Patrickʼs, for whatever reason, didnʼt seem to mind apple skins anymore. So much so now they have apple skins for dinner, regularly! After the audience had finished practising applause (the director, Tim Steiner, leaving nothing to chance), the concert finally got under way.

T HREE

The girls played a variety of instruments: tambourines, guitars, shakers, violins, triangles and all sang together as a chorus with small groups breaking off into raps about football and apple skins before all joining back again into the chorus. The concert was brilliant fun for all involved– the performers

and the audience– and when it finished the entire ensemble received a well-deserved standing ovation. Matt Bolton of the DDDA spoke after the performance how the development of the docklands was not just about bricks and mortar but, more importantly, about the people.

YOUNG FUNDRAISERS

Wish all their Customers a Very Happy Christmas PHONE: 6683309

Rachel, Peter, and Sarah Maher (above) have contributed between them €800 for emergency programmes in Niger, Pakistan and Thailand. They did this by not asking for presents when their birthdays came around but instead for donations to people in need abroad. ʻNewsFourʼ congratulates them on this thoughtful and generous gesture.


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

PAGE 37

H OW

vidual. Ronan in Pearse Street Library, 6744888, is the organiser of their Reading Group while Phil in Ringsend Library, 6680063, invites queries from anyone who would like to join the Reading Group that is being planned to start there after Christmas. Two of the organisations that will send you free information packs regarding activities and

TO HAVE A VERY ACTIVE RETIREMENT !

groups in your area or neighbourhood that aim to improve the quality of life of all older people are: Age & Opportunity 8057709 website: www.olderinireland.ie and Age Action Ireland 4756989 website: www.ageaction.ie. A Senior Helpline, 1850440444 is available Mondays10am to 1pm and Fridays 7pm-10pm. Left: Active Retirement shows how itʼs done!

SANDYMOUNT HOME HELP SERVICE Do you have two to four hours free every week and would you like to earn some extra money?

By Maggie Neary

G

rowing older nowadays offers all sorts of opportunities that were not on offer to my motherʼs generation. If the television programmes are to be believed, extraordinary jobs on the wrinkles are taking place. Science is suggesting that with new treatments constantly coming on stream for the various age-related ailments, we might in the not-too-distant future see lifespan being dramatically prolonged. And the governments fuss eternally about how to support the increasing number of pensioners. Personally, I can now claim to have more ʻblond friendsʼ than when I was in my prime and occasionally see myself suspiciously eyeing the youthful look of acquaintances with whom I do not feel sufficiently at ease to ask “Come on, tell us, is that a botox job?” Apart from all these tactics to delay the physical aspects of ageing there is also a great variety of organisations out there to help people deal with loss and find new friends or activities. In Ringsend we have the Active Retirement Group that holds activities such as keep fit, indoor bowling, snooker and socials on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the CYMS. I spoke with a member who says that when she became widowed she would have found it impossible to continue doing many things without the support

offered by the Group. In addition to the CYMS activities the Group organises outings, and for this Christmas a visit to the Concert hall is planned. Their Variety Group visits nursing homes and hospitals entertaining the elderly and doing singalongs. The Donnybrook Active Retirement Group meet in the Church Hall behind Donnybrook Church. This Group will recommence their fortnightly meetings after Christmas. They often have visiting speakers or musical recitals for entertainment. The next monthly outing is to the Gaiety Theatre and at other times they go on trips countrywide. Mary, a member of the Group says it is all good fun and she is particularly looking forward to this yearís Christmas dinner, which will be held in the Montrose Hotel. For those who like to take walks, the Ringsend/Sandymount area has parks and seaside facilities as good as any in Dublin. If you would like to go further afield walking, information on marked walks and walking clubs can be accessed at www. mountaineering.ie. Swimmers can avail of the Marian Pool, Enable Ireland or Sportsco and the Westwood Club in St Johnʼs Road, Sandymount has a good membership deal for the over 55s. To enhance physical fitness phone Alison at 2888761 who runs League of Health classes in Donnybrook. The libraries stock magazines and notices about organisations

and activities for the elderly. Pembroke Library has a Reading Group that meets the second Tuesday of every month. Contact Liz on 6689575 to join or talk to her about their Internet Classes that are free and geared towards the computer-nervous older indi-

We pay you €13.01 per hour (gross) to visit and care for vulnerable elderly in the community For further information, phone Brenda Dempsey at 087- 9292119

SHELBOURNE P19HARMACY Irishtown Road Phone: 6684481

We have a wide range of gift sets, jewellery, perfumes, Christmas novelties, aromatherapy sets, candles, hair dryers, shaving sets and much more! Join our Christmas Club and enter our Free Draw for €200. Draw on 15th December

A Very Happy Christmas from Paddy and the Staff


PAGE 38

NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

GLO Hair and Beauty 11 Bridge Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4 Telephone: 634 9633 Email: glohairandbeauty@yahoo.ie

We offer human hair styling and colouring, hair extensions, nail bar, tanning system and the Glo Tooth Fairy to make your teeth shine with diamonds.

Opening Hours: Tuesday 9.30 am - 5.30 pm, Wednesday 9.30 am - 5.30 pm, Thursday 9.30 am - 7.00 pm, Friday 9.30 am - 5.30 pm, Saturday 8.30 am - 4.30 pm.

• Beauty salon now open • Massage and facials • Eye brow shaping and tinting • All types of waxing • Professional ear piercing • Sun beds: book 1 hour, 1 hour free

Gift Vouchers for Hair and Beauty available Lynsay, Bernadette and staff would like to wish all their customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

The Shelbourne House 2 Shelbourne Road, Dublin 4 Telephone: 6676380

Lunch served 12 mid-day to 3 pm Evening meals 5 pm to 8 pm Sunday lunch 12 mid-day to 5 pm

Live music Friday, Saturday and Sunday Function room available All major Sports events live Take away food available


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

PAGE 39

S ANDYMOUNT

VILLAGE IN DAYS GONE BY By George Humphries, Senior

W

hen Senator David Norris visited Our Ladyʼs Hospice recently, he and I had a brief conversation regarding the village of Sandymount. He reminisced about several of the lovely old shops. Our family moved to Sandymount in 1939. We came from the Liberties, where we lived in a small cottage in South Earl Street. We moved into Seafort Gardens– Sandymount was a real rural village back then. It has still retained some aspects of life back in those days. I am led to believe there was a huge butchers where Books on the Green now is, an old friend of mine, Jimmy Dunne who grew up in Seafort Villas, remembers this place well. It took up the entire block– they brought the cattle in through the gate still there beside the kitchen shop. The Paisleysʼ shop was further on up Seafort Avenue, now called ʻSecond Avenueʼ. They had a brother Ernie who made

deliveries on an old-fashioned delivery bike. Where the supermarket is was Dr Denholmʼs, another kind of farm yard where he grew lots of vegetables. Mr Jackson owned the garage and bicycle shop and facing this was the Monument Creamery, where they cut up pounds of butter on a marbled slab and sold beautiful buttered eggs. The bank was next door is now OʼBrienʼs off-licence. Miss Milliganʼs hardware shop, with its lovely curved window, was on the corner of the Green, where Sarah Smith worked. It smelt of paraffin oil and sold everything you might need to clean the house or do any DIY. A small bakery, ʻThe Gemʼ, was situated where a clothes shop is now. On the other side of the Green there was the old post office, now Bennettʼs auctioneers. Leverette & Frye was a big grocery store where Spar is now and where the bank now stands was Battʼs chemist shop. There were several butchers in the village Ryanʼs, Dowlingʼs and Haydenʼs. All these butchers killed their own animals. Haydenʼs kept their own live-

stock and it was renowned for its buttermilk parlour where one could go and enjoy a nice pint of buttermilk on Sunday mornings. Where these premises once stood now houses the tax office on Claremont Rd. There was several dairies in the area. ʻMerry Bushʼ on Tritonville Road once took in Farney Park and Tritonville Court as part of their lands. Leo OʼBrien also had a dairy farm on Tritonville Road, later to become a printing works. Miss Roddyʼs, now ʻMira Miraʼ, was a grocery shop and Miss Roddyʼs brother Benny used

to keep pigs. He would often go into Heelanʼs (now ʻSandymount Houseʼ) to call out the number of the car that was blocking the entrance to the piggery. Nearby was Findlaterʼs and Prescottʼs dry cleaners. Mr McDonald had a shop and dairy on Seafort Avenue. In the middle of the road on Seafort Avenue there once stood a monument of some description. On Gilford Road there was a tram station and there were lovely cottages for the workers which are still there today. I am almost 80 years old and came into Our Ladyʼs Hospice as

I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. This is a great place, we do lots of activities have all sorts of entertainment and the staff are fantastic, always eager to help, and I am very happy to be here. I was away in Lourdes in early September and it was a great experience. My family visit me nearly every day and I go out at least once a week– I enjoy a drive out to the country. The photograph of Sandymount above dates from about 1930 showing Leverette & Frye to the left and Battʼs Dispensary opposite. (Photo courtesy John Osman Collection)

Saturday night, and traditional music on Sunday night with The Flanagans, Joe and Eugene. Some of you may recognise Joe from ʻBallykissangelʼ fame.

There is also a large function room available for parties, and a smoking area with a canopy and heaters. Well done to Harry and Ed-

die for providing local employment, good food and good craic. Best of luck. If you would like to make a reservation, please call 01-6676380.

M EET H ARRY AND E DDIE AT S HELBOURNE H OUSE By Grainne McGuinness

T

he Shelbourne House at the top of Bath Avenue has re-opened under new management. I went along to meet the new owners, Harry and Eddie, both highly qualified in the hospitality trade. Harry worked as a chef in the Elephant and Castle, Temple Bar, Doheny and Nesbittʼs and the Cherry Tree in Walkinstown. Eddie managed two pubs in Germany for twelve years before returning to Ireland two years ago. Harry and Eddie have been friends for nearly twenty years, but it wasnʼt until earlier this year that they decided to com-

bine their vast experience and buy a pub together. They got to know this area having frequented one or two of the local bars for aprés match drinks, but never dreamt that one day they would own their own pub in Dublin 4. Harry and Eddie are looking forward to meeting the locals and getting to know the area, so why not drop in for a drink, or lunch, which is served Monday to Friday from 12 to 3pm. Evening meals are served from 5pm to 8pm. Sunday lunch is served from 12 to 5pm. There is a great variety of food on the menu, at very reasonable prices. If itʼs entertainment youʼre looking for, they provide live music on Friday nights, D.J. on


PAGE 40

NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

By Brian Kelly

BEST ALBUMS OF 2005

Music4

Michael Byrne Family Butcher First Quality Meats Phone: 6683277

Fine Foods

Fresh Fruit and Veg Daily Phone: 6602827

Finest Gourmet coffee Come in and find out about our range of hampers Why not try our spiced beef Range of Chocolates for Christmas

Don’t forget to order early for Christmas to avoid disappointment Opening Times

Thursday 22nd December 7.00 am to 7.00 pm Friday 23rd December 6.00 am to 9.00 pm Saturday 24th December 6.00 am to 3.00 pm Reopening Thursday 29th December

We would like to wish all our customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

PAGE 41

Music4

By Brian Kelly

BEST ALBUMS OF 2005 Halʼ. Hal If we are going to have a great summer in Dublin this year, let this self-titled album from Dalkey quartet, ʻHalʼ be the soundtrack. Gorgeous hooks and harmonies abound and you can almost hear the sunshine in singer Dave OʼBrienʼs voice. If you are looking for reference points, the West coast of America in the late sixties and the Beach Boys might help you, but really, thatʼs just a starting point. Thereʼs enough songwriting craft in evidence here, to suggest Hal can enter the big time. Definitely, one of the finest Irish debuts albums in recent times. ʻTakkʼ. Sigur Ros So far north and so isolated, there has to be some weird stuff going on in Iceland. And so it proves with Sigur Ros, whoʼs peculiar genius can be heard all over ʻTakkʼ. If you havenʼt heard this Nordic quartet before, well imagine Cocteau Twins meeting My Bloody Valentine around the time the latter made ʻLovelessʼ and get a rough idea where these boys are coming from. Considering their last album was sung in a makey up language called Hopelandic, had no song titles and no credits whatsoever, this is Sigur Rossʼs most accessible album to date. Over 65 minutes long, ʻTakkʼ is an epic in every in every sense of the word. Tracks often begin with a simple riff or refrain before slowly building into an extraordinary cacophony of choirboy vocals, stirring strings, intense percussion and distorted guitar. Thereʼs no doubt that the landscape of Iceland has helped shape the music of Sigur Ros because a strange beauty resides within the confines and contours of ʻTakkʼ. ʻGueroʼ. Beck Beck is back. After the introspection of 2002ʼs ʻSea Changeʼ, Mr. Hansen has put his dancing shoes on again with ʻGueroʼ, an hour long odyssey of fast, funky cuts from the man with no musical boundaries. Closer to the spirit of Midnight Vultures and Odelay, ʻGueroʼ finds Beck mix and matching music genres and rapping away like a spontaneous street preacher. Re-united with his old sparring partners, the Dust Brothers, who co-wrote all the music on ʻGueroʼ– Beck has produced his most satisfying and joyous album in years. The opening track and single E-Pro sets the pace. Thereʼs enough hooks, licks, samples and surprises thereafter to keep Beck devotes happy for many a day.

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ʻThe Secret Migrationʼ. Mercury Rev Taking inspiration from their surroundings in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, Mercury Rev has produced another superb collection of songs in ʻThe Secret Migrationʼ. Jonathan Donahue possesses a singular unique voice, high pitched, almost ethereal in tone. He uses it to great effect to articulate on the greatest love of his life: nature. Couched in the language of lovers, almost every song is an ode to the subtleties and serenity of the natural environment. Following on from 2001ʼs ʻAll is Dreamʼ, Mercury Rev are producing some of the best music to come out of America at the moment. TSM will hopefully win them an army of new admirers. ʻI am a bird nowʼ. Antony and the Johnsons Make room in your record collection for a torch-singing transvestite from NYC. Some records are so out there, so extraordinary, they defy classification. This is one of them. Over the sparest backing track, sometimes just a piano accompaniment, a large white man sings songs of love, loss, friendship and redemption. He draws you immediately with the eloquence of his delivery and power of his voice. Close your eyes and youʼll think youʼre hearing a black man singing baritone. Other times, the voice is soft, feminine, almost soprano. Stick this album on late at night, pour yourself a drink and listen to the drama unfold. Never has melancholia sounded so magnificent. ʻFuneralʼ. Arcade Fire Canada rocks! Itʼs official. From Montreal, comes one of the yearʼs most audacious and compelling recordings. Partly inspired– if thatʼs the right word– by the death of so many close family relatives, Arcade Fire christened their debut album ʻFuneralʼ. I donʼt know if genius and grief are intertwined, but this is one album that quickly burns right through to your brain. An ensemble effort by the six members of Arcade Fire plus nine other musicians, this is raw, heartfelt emotion backed by a taut, beautifully controlled sound. Never will the words ʻfuneralʼ and ʻdirgeʼ go together again.

New Morissey album Entitled ʻRingleader of the Tormentorsʼ, it can only be the new album from Morissey. Produced by Tony Visconti, the man who was so influential in the career of David Bowie, it was recorded in Rome earlier this year, features lots of Viscontiʼs trademark lush string arrangements and will be released to the adoring masses in March.

One way ticket to the Point You might have thought the novelty might have worn off by now but The Darkness continue to shine. They play the Point on February 6 to promote their new album ʻOne way ticket to Hell. And Backʼ. Rooooooooock on!

Christy for the Point Also getting to the Point is Christy Moore with Declan Sinnott playing support. They play together on December 29 and 30 and are already sold out. January dates for the dynamic duo have been confirmed for the 5th, 6th and 7th.

NME Tour starts in Dublin The NME annual musical tour will start in Dublin next year for the first time before travelling to the UK for a 16-date tour. The lineup is always a good indication of the latest bands about to make to break onto the scene. This yearʼs line-up includes recent chart toppers Artic Monkeys and the Geordie band already making a name for themselves Maximo Park. Judge for yourself the 2006 newcomers at the Ambassador on January 24. An extra date has just been added for January23.


PAGE 42

NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

R EMEMBERING F ATHER W ILLIE D OYLE

DIP LUNACY By Alex O’Hanlon

T

By Martin Moore PROBABLY UNKNOWN nowadays, in my youth, Father Willie Doyle, shown above in his Army Chaplain uniform, was a revered figure among the ordinary Dublin people. Born in Dalkey, he joined the Jesuit order and was an outstanding preacher on the missions both in Ireland and England. When the Great War (1914-1918) broke out he volunteered as an Army Chaplain with the Dublin Fusiliers. On 16 August 1917, together with thousands of his beloved ʻboysʼ, he was killed at Pashendaele– a name synonymous with slaughter. For years, not a week passed without his name appearing in the thanksgiving notices of the ʻEvening Mailʼ. Many favours were attributed to his intercession and I know he saved my life on at least two occasions. Hopefully, this may revive devotion to this martyred priest. He helped his ʻboysʼ– those boys he loved so well Amidst the whistling shots and bursting shell, Far more than chaplain was he– more a friend He shared their pain and dangers to the end. Beloved by all his ʻboysʼ, he loved them too Their troubles eased, their fears and hopes he knew When danger threatened, ever by their side To whisper words of comfort as they died. The prudent counselled him, they said ʻbe wiseʼ But he shrugged off advice, for where his ʻboysʼ Fell dead and dying, there his duty lay Until he too like them, met death one day. He loved his ʻboysʼ in life, and now he lies With them beneath the foreign Belgian skies Now gone forever, gone to rest a while Friend to the Fusiliers, Godʼs Chaplain Willie Doyle.

he great crowd milled round and excitement made the air tingle; money changed hands on every side. ʻMousyʼ Foster could feel his pulse quickening as he watched. He mingled with the crowd, stretching his thin five foot two inch body trying to see the track. He hung around and watched the punters place their bets. Most of them had been studying the horses and most of them would lose. Mousy had been studying the punters and he would win. A cheer from the crowd heralded the start of the first race. Mousy moved nearer to the gents placing their bets. They all seemed to have fat wallets, so he picked a meek-looking, grey haired little man to start with. As the gent hurried back towards the track Mousy crossed his path. “Opps!” They met with such force that Mousy was nearly knocked off his feet. “Iʼm terribly sorry…” began the gent. “Thatʼs all right,” gasped Mousy, and quickly went on his way, disappearing into the crowd. When he had covered a safe distance he took his hand from his pocket and examined the wallet. His father before him had been one of the best pickpockets in the business and Mousy liked to think that he had inherited the family talent. The wallet was big, just the kind Mousy liked. Inside were some official-looking papers of no consequence, but very little money. He was disgusted. As a

rule he dumped everything except the money, this time, however, he decided to keep the wallet. Should be safe enough, the gent was hardly likely to report such a small loss. Looking around, Mousy felt the enthusiasm build up inside him again. The day had only just begun, so he was not going to be upset by one mistake. He headed back into the crowd to select another victim. Suckers everywhere, all round him, just waiting to part with their money. Mousy almost had to elbow his way through. He studied his victims more carefully this time. No more mistakes. He would even miss an easy picking if necessary, rather than do such a silly thing again. A man could lose his reputation that way. On his next trip out of the crowd he had three wallets. Emptying them, and dumping everything but the cash, he estimated a prize equal to a weekʼs wages to a mug thick enough to hold a regular job. As he headed back into the crowd he noticed a familiar looking face peering at him. It was his first victim. “Chancer,” muttered Mousy under his bad breath, as he dodged away. He couldnʼt be sure if he had been recognised or even suspected, but in his line of work a man didnʼt take chances. Once he had been caught in the act, and now some of the security men knew him on sight– a terrible handicap. However, he felt professional

enough to overcome this, besides he had more experience these days and more confidence. Now he studied his victims, making his choice more carefully and his getaway more quickly. He had perfected his trade and considered himself an expert. He was in the thick of it again, swaying with the crowd, earning his living. Several times he had to miss promising opportunities because of security presence. On one occasion he had to disappear as his old friend the ʻChancerʼ came close. Strange that he should keep turning up, as a rule the victims vanished after they had made their contribution. Perhaps the old boy had picked a winner before Mousy had ʻpickedʼ him. With every success his new wallet grew fatter, but it was a big wallet, and he was greedy, so he worked hard in his determination to fill it. As the day wore on, the excitement began to die down and the crowd became thinner. Mousy was finding it more difficult to ʻpick winnersʼ, just one more lucky strike and he could go home satisfied. He scouted around until he found a happy-looking man, must have had a couple of winners to be cheerful this time of day. Mousy made his move, carrying out the job beautifully. Slipping away to the outskirts of the mob, he dumped the wallet and decided that he was satisfied with his dayʼs takings. He felt good as he headed for the exit. “Opps!! Sorry,” muttered Mousy as he accidentally collided with a man. He had seen that face before, why yes, it was the ʻChancerʼ. Mousy felt instinctively for his money– gone! He looked round frantically in the dwindling crowd. Hesitantly, then hurriedly he fought his way to the exit. He was just in time for a farewell wave from the ʻChancerʼ as his taxi drove away. ©Alex OʼHanlon 2005


NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

PAGE 43

The Christmas Poetry Place Having a word with a bare tree Blossomless tree, I beg you Grow flowers, foliage and fruit. Hurry to your spring wardrobe, We are tired of your sombre suit! Vanish quickly, winter greyness; Tree, let me see you budding soon. Come gentle spring, robe stark streets, Park and field; parade in style, Decorate the dullness of our isle! By Máirín Diamond

Disappointment I was expecting more than they could give Expecting a ʻthank youʼ for what I did Instead of that they took the merit Air brushed me out without a credit. My pain came from my expectations Did I really anticipate congratulations? I should have known better Than to expect a letter. By Carmel McCarthy

My topsy-turvy world Doing anything on time is anathema to me, I always have my breakfast when others have their tea, I wash and give myself a shave before I go to bed And help myself to drink when itʼs time that I be fed, Some friends of mine do sadly think Iʼm just a little odd, Whilst the others dance around and think me very Mod I write my letters backwards, so they never arrive on time, I go to prison first, before I do my crime. The judge is very fair; he arrives when all is over, He gives his judgements first and then goes in a coma. He wears his wig upon his sleeve; his gown is round his neck, He falls asleep when counsel speaking– my god he looks a wreck.

May peace and Plenty be the first To lift the latch to your door, And happiness be guided to your home By the candle of Christmas. Irish Blessing Snowball I made myself a snowball as perfect as could be. I thought Iʼd keep it as a pet and let it sleep with me. I made it some pajamas and a pillow for its head. Then, last night it ran away. But first– it wet the bed. By Shel Silverstein

Birds of Paradise From the cliffs overlooking the sea, majestic creatures encompass me. I watch them glide, I watch them soar, In my mind, its heaven once more.

Hurricane Katrina How could it happen? Quite easy it seems The mighty ocean Bursts cityʼs seams The hurricane roars. The ocean rides high The city lies low The poorest are trapped No ways to go Some will die. Communications fail Isolation prevails. Water is everywhere But thereʼs none to drink The beautiful river a cesspit that stinks Some escape to the domes. Now helicopters come; helicopters go Having lifted off roofs Those clinging below Still the question remains Were authorities slow?

The sky is the birdʼs canvas, its wings an artistʼs brush, gaze upon its beauty and feel your spirits rush. By Brian Kelly

Coffee in Heaven

The city is dead Who is to blame? Fingers are pointed this way and that The President pledges New Orleans will be back.

Youʼll be greeted By a nice cup of coffee When you get to heaven And strains of angelic harmony.

By Carmel McCarthy

But wouldnʼt you be devastated If they only serve decaffeinated While from the percolators of hell

We won’t have a Christmas this year

Your soul was assaulted By Satanʼs fresh espresso smell? By John Agard

The Pig

We wonʼt have a Christmas this year, you say For now the children have all gone away; And the house is so lonely, so quiet and so bare We couldnʼt have a Christmas that they didnʼt share.

I like to play a game when Iʼm all alone and sole, There is no one I can pass to, but still I never score a goal. I always dry myself before I have my shower, And when I see a lovely girl, for myself I buy the flower.

It was an evening in November, As I very well remember, I was strolling down the street in drunken pride, But my knees were all a-flutter, And I landed in the gutter And a pig came up and lay down by my side.

We wonʼt have a Christmas this year, you sigh, For Christmas means things that money must buy. Misfortunes and illness have robbed us we fear Of the things that weʼd need to make Christmas this year.

When I want to go next door, I walk the other way, I always say goodbye before I say good-day, And when I get to where I was, I know not where I am, I arrive before Iʼve left, but care I not a damn.

Yes, I lay there in the gutter Thinking thoughts I could not utter, When a colleen pasing by did softly say “You can tell a man who boozes by the company he chooses”– And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

We wonʼt have a Christmas this year you weep, For a loved one is gone, and our grief is too deep; It will be a long time before our hearts heal, And the Spirit of Christmas again we can feel.

My house is topsy-turvy, the books are on the floor, Where you think the windows are, thatʼs where youʼll find the door, The bed is in the kitchen, the larderʼs in the bath, So when they come to lock me up, just wave and have a laugh. By A. E. Mouse

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

But if you lose Christmas when troubles befall, You never have really had Christmas at all. For once you have had it, it cannot depart When you learn that true Christmas is Christ in your heart. By Verna S. Teeuwissen


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NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2005

Clyne’s Master Butchers

12 Fitzwilliam Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4 Phone: 6680456

AT CLYNES WE STOCK…

Free-Range Poultry Fresh White Turkeys Fresh Organic Turkeys Duck, Geese, Whole Ham Ham Joints

Sausages Special Roasts Roasts, Joints & Steaks Sausage Meat & Cocktail Sausages Our own Award-Winning Spiced Beef

! e l b a l i a v A s r e h c Gift Vou

HOW TO ORDER By Telephone: Ring our Customer Order Line on 01 6680456

By Hand: Come into our Shop and your order will be quickly processed and confirmation of order will be given to you. Every Customer will receive a copy of their order with a number which will be needed when collecting their purchase.

S EASON ’ S G REETINGS

HOURS OF BUSINESS December 22nd closed all day December 23rd 8.00 – 6 pm December 24th 8.00 – 1 pm Reopen Friday 30th

TO ALL OUR

C USTOMERS


News Four December 2005