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



he location of the Irish Glass Bottle Plant, now South Wharf and the neighbouring Fabrizia site were created by reclaiming land from Sandymount Strand between 1960 and 1979. This area totals around 55.46 hectares. In May 2000, Fabrizia applied to Dublin City Council for permission to build almost 2 million square feet of mixed development. The final decision from An Bord Pleanála is due on 14th December. In our next issue we will give you the history of this area which was reclaimed from the sea for the creation of a city dump and what can be expected in the future.

Biblical Tableaux at the Moving Crib


ur very hard-working photographer, John Cheevers recently paid a visit to photograph the Moving Crib at 42 Parnell Square. The Moving Crib is a longestablished Christmas event and consists of fourteen scenes featuring Adam and Eve, Noah building the ark, Daniel in the lionʼs den and the prophet Isiah. The scenes culminate in the events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ, such as the manger scene on left. The Moving Crib is open weekdays 2.00pm to 6.00pm and bank holidays, Saturdays and Sundays 11.30am to 6.00pm


NewsFour Managing Editor Ann Ingle Advertising Manager Grainne McGuinness Staff Brian Kelly Brian Rutherford Grace Charley John Cavendish Audrey Healy Fergal Murphy Contributors Derek Buckley Christy Hogan Shay Connolly Michael Hilliard Grainne McGuinness John Cheevers James O’Doherty Tom Sheridan Austin Cromie 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: 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.



The Editor’s Christmas Corner

andymount Community Services and ʻNewsFourʼ celebrated 21 years in operation this year and the gathering at Hobblers End was a nostalgic one (p12). We have gone from strength to strength and hope to continue to do so for many years to come. We seem to be awash with politicians this December. Ringsend and Sandymount have been honoured with visitors from most of the political parties. Eugene has complained about the gravity of some of the articles in this edition but unfortunately Christmas is not all joy and good tidings for everyone as Christy Hogan (p7) and Grace Charley (p11) have shown. On an uplifting note, Mr Tilley is still putting up the lights in Bath Avenue and Brian has fallen in love with Lucy and wonʼt stop talking about her (p22-23). I have devised a special

Return of the Wren Boys THE WREN BOYS events will take place on St Stephenʼs Day, 26th December, as usual on Sandymount Green There will be a Poetry Reading at 11am at Gus Ryanʼs Sandymount House Pub. The Gig Rig will swing into action at 12 midday with entertainment from the Swords Mummers, City Fair, Mick Lacey and the Ned OʼShea Set Dancers from the Merchant Pub in Dublin. There will also be various musicians from around the city and country. Thanks for all the hard work to the Wren Boys committee: Tom Ahern, Pat McEvoy, Anne Curran, Bob Ryan and Grand Marshal Mick OʼBrien.

Christmas Crossword for you and there are three good prizes for the winners, so please enter. 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. Thanks are due to Tesco in Sandymount and Merrion, as they kindly allow us to place our stands on their premises. 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 P.S. A lovely lady telephoned me in early November and asked me to send Christmas greetings. My computer crashed and I lost the information. Many apologies.

Jim McCarthy Jim McCarthy sadly died on 16th November 2006. He was a long time member of Ringsend Active Retirement Association and will be greatly missed by all the members.

Shopping made easy ITʼS THAT TIME of year again. We dread it, but we all have to do it. Christmas shopping. You can avoid the long queues in the cold and rain for the elusive number three bus by shopping locally. Right on our doorstep, Shelbourne Pharmacy have lots to offer at reasonable prices. They have top names in perfumes: Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and J.Lo for the ladies, and for the men David Beckham, Hugo Boss, La Coste, and Joup, to name but a few, and back by popular demand, Homer Simpson bottle openers! If you are planning a few days away over the festive season, they have a great selection of travel bags, and if you like a drink or two, they have hangover cures. So why not drop in and see their special offers? You wonʼt be disappointed. Grainne McGuinness

Christmas Greetings Wishing a very Happy Christmas to Willie Egan, Tom Egan, Julie and Terry McDonnell and Tom Flood and their families in Canada, also Michael and Pauline Flood in Manchester and family and John Joe and Colleen Tierney and family in Coventry. From Anthony Flood and family in Dublin

Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind

Tillie Donovan and Bobby in NSW Australia– have a wonderful Christmas. Love from Lily and Family.

Morning service at 11 am on Sunday 17th December 2006

Ann and Frank Nolan and family in Chicago. Hope you all have a very happy Christmas and prosperous New Year. Lots of love Pat, Grainne, Lisa, Yvonne, Ciara, John, Richard, Euan and Arron.

at St Stephen’s Church (Pepper Canister) Mount Street Crescent Guide dogs and puppy walkers especially welcome Christmas cards and calendars available

Kathy and Frank in Chicago. Merry Christmas. Congratulations on your engagement. Lots of love Uncle Pat, Grainne, Lisa, Yvonne, Ciara and the gang. I would like to wish all the staff at the best little paper in the world a happy and holy Christmas and New Year, also to Paul OʼReilly and his great staff , also Fred Butler, May Roddy and Peter Healy. Dick Pollard.





By John Cheevers


at specialist, Niamh Roche descended on Ringsend Library to introduce pupils of St Patrickʼs Girls School to the creatures of the night, the bats of Ireland. Niamh explained that bats are an ancient species of mammal going back millions of years. There are 1,000 species of bat on earth comprising of mega and micro. Only the micro is found in Ireland, the largest being the Leislers. The smallest is the Pipistrelle, which is so tiny it can fit into a matchbox. Two other interesting species of Irish bat are the Longeared and the Water Bats. The Longeared have ears the same length as its body, and its hearing is so keen that it can hear an insect walk on a leaf. The Water Bat skims to the surface of rivers to catch insects such as the Mayfly. Unlike birds, bats cannot migrate to warmer climates for the winter so they hibernate in places such as caves, tree trunks or build-

ings and then wake up slowly in spring. They are nocturnal creatures and use a form of echo, produced by a series of ultra-sonic sounds, inaudible to humans, to manoeuvre in the dark and accu-

rately detect insect prey. The survival of the species is threatened by the use of insecticides in farming and the removal of the hedgerows which contain their main food source, insects.

One way of helping to conserve bats who have lost their natural roosts is to erect timber bat boxes which are similar in appearance to bird boxes. Contrary to popular belief, bats

are not blind. They have sufficient sight to recognise landmarks in their surroundings and to distinguish changes in light. They are also clean creatures and not a health hazard like rodents, with whom they are sometimes compared, and they are unique in being the only mammal with the ability to fly, as in the popular operetta, ʻThe Batʼ– ʻDie Fledermausʼ. This event was presented by Dublin City Public Libraries as part of a programme for young people and Science Week Ireland 2006.

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Felim Egan painting by the Strand SANDYMOUNT ARTIST Felim Egan will be having an exhibition of his work in the Kerlin Gallery, South Anne Street, from the 12th January 2007 for a month. The work is all new, comprising of a suite of six large canvasses 175x175cm along with smaller works on canvas and a selection of works on paper. Felim was born in lreland in 1952 and studied in Belfast and Portsmouth before attending the Slade School of Art in London. He spent a year at the British School at Rome in 1980 before returning to Dublin where he has since lived and worked at Sandymount Strand on the edge of the bay. He has recently completed a large public art-work in steel at the new development on Cork Street, commissioned by Castlepark Construction. He is an artist of quite formal abstract images, and yet his work is tied to place, to the long horizons, big skies and empty sands of the Strand and sea beside his studio. By John Cavendish

New strip for Cambridge Boys’ team THE PEOPLE at Ringsend Credit Union, pictured above, recently presented a new set of jerseys to Cambridge Boysʼ football team.

The Yacht




aurel Hunter is well known to many local people in Ringsend. For the past 21 years she has worked as house warden in Cambridge Court, a senior citizen complex situated in the heart of the village. Having just recently celebrated her 66th birthday, Laurel is set to embrace the adventure of retirement. “Iʼve really loved working here, but Iʼm looking forward to the rest and the prospect of seeing more of my family,” says Laurel, who has a sister living in Dublin, two brothers living in Sligo and a brother-in-law in Cavan. In 1959, Laurel left her home town of Sligo and moved to Dublin. Up until then she had worked as an apprentice draper but a job vacancy ad in the local paper was to soon change all that. Initially, Laurel thought sheʼd never be considered for the position of House Warden, in Cambridge Court, so she didnʼt reply to the advertisement. It was only when she saw the same ad posted again six weeks later, did she pluck up the courage to apply for the job. Three interviews later and Laurel had the job as house warden of Cambridge Court. It wasnʼt long before Laurelʼs position as house warden became her life. Cambridge Court is a community where older people take the option of living in apartments. Often their existing home had become too big for them to live in due to a partner dying or family growing up and moving away. Under the watchful care of Laurel, the residents slept sound knowing that there would be someone calling in the morning to see that they were all right. Privacy is of utmost importance. Some of the residents liked their

lie- inʼs so they were never disturbed. But before the day was out Laurel would have touched base with them via herself or another resident to make sure they werenʼt ill or in need of anything. Life is far from retiring in Cambridge Court. The complex revels in weekly sessions of bingo not to mention hosting regular variety shows. The Writerʼs Guild group holds a particular interest for those who like to record their memoirs or maybe write poetry. Christmas time at the complex is always quiet as most people go and stay with their extended families. Having worked so closely with people, it is hardly surprising Laurel built up many friendships. But in closeness, comes death, and Laurel admits she has found this aspect of her job tough. But being naturally upbeat and positive, Laurel gives thanks that a resident can pass on in peace with a lot of love and support surrounding them. “There are many in this country that die in their beds with no-one around to care for them,” says Laurel sadly. But that will never happen in Cambridge Court.

And despite being offered a new home from Dublin City Council, Laurel has decided to remain with the residents. “This has been my home for the past 21 years, all my friends are here! Why would I want to move?” says Laurel, giggling warmly at the absurdity of the idea of moving elsewhere. When I mention the prospect of a retirement party, Laurel withdraws a little. Being a humble and simple living person, she had already shunned a lavish retirement party the DCC were organising in her honour at another venue. Instead, Laurel opted for a more casual affair on the grounds of Cambridge Court. With full appreciation to the Council, Laurel thought it made sense to celebrate with those who really knew her. So what next for Laurel? Looks like a few trips around Ireland to see the rest of her beloved family. Newsfour would like to take this opportunity to wish Laurel a very happy and peaceful retirement. Laurel, centre, is pictured with Madeline Ebbs, on left, and Grace Maguire of DCC.

Stand up, boys at the back!

Thorncastle Street, Ringsend, 6680977

Happy Christmas to all our customers from Bob, Monica Sean and Bridie

An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD is pictured with Chris Andrews and Jim OʼCallaghan during a recent visit to Star of the Sea School, Sandymount.




Poolbeg Chimney set to light up

By Brian Kelly


s we reported in the last issue of ʻNewsfourʼ, the famous twin chimneys in Poolbeg are set to be illuminated at night, thanks to the efforts of Irish artist, Patrick O Reilly. The project is now at the costing stage with a committee set up to provide a detailed appraisal of the sums involved. At the moment, private enterprise looks set to provide

at least some of the estimated 2 million euro outlay. Since the idea was first mooted during the summer, Patrick has received a lot of positive feedback from the public as well as Dublin City Council. The illumination will consist of permanent lighting on the 220metre-tall chimneys, which have been a distinctive landmark on the Dublin landscape since their construction in the 1960s. The lighting will be designed and installed by a French company Bideau, who have worldwide experience of lighting large public structures. It is likely the illumination will follow a similar style to the technology used to light the Eiffel Tower, pictured above, an installation Bideau was responsible for. You will get some idea of what

Poolbeg Chimneys could look like at night, if you visit the Eiffel Tower website at While the Kilkenny-born artist waits on a final decision from Government, a petition has been launched to help bring the proposed installation to Poolbeg. You can view it and add your name to the petition at www.petitiononline. com/poolbeg. Patrick anticipates the installation will have a positive impact on the area and will add a new dimension to the natural beauty of the peninsula. He says “the E.S.B are only caretakers for the chimneys and ultimately, the twin towers are like two old friends, who belong to the people.” The intention is to light the chimney for ten minutes every hour, with the lights and wiring invisible during the day. For special occasions and once-off events, the chimneys could be lit for longer periods. If by some chance, Irish athletes manage to strike gold at the next Olympics, Poolbeg could brighten their journey home with a spectacular lightshow.



LIAM TILLEY of Bath Avenue is clearly a man who loves Christmas! Every year at this time we can depend on him to put on a wonderful display of Christmas lights in the garden of his house. Not surprisingly, Liam worked for the ESB and setting up the lights takes about five days. Liam also has a wishing-well where passers-by can donate money, which is sent to a deserving cause each year. The house is easy to find!



The Letterbox Dear Madam Editor About 50 years ago St Patrickʼs CYMS Ringsend, as it was then, ʻadoptedʼ a Silesian Mission in Cherrapunjee, North East India and have been supporting it financially ever since. The needs of the mission are enormous. It is made up of over 100 villages spread over a very wide area of rough and hazardous terrain. The area has the unenviable distinction of having the highest rainfall in the world. The missionʼs needs and difficulties are unending because of the high rainfall, and very often some hard-won gain is washed away in a matter of hours by the torrential floods and they have to start all over again from scratch. They need all the help they can get. All down the years we have received tremendous support from our bingo patrons who faithfully, week in week out, contribute their small coins to our mission fund. We have a few supporters who place their small coins in a jar or other containers and give them to us every so often for the missions. It is surprising how these contributions add up over a period of a year. We are appealing to the charity of ʻNewsFourʼ readers to follow the example of our existing supporters and pass on their small coins to us to help the poorest of the poor, people in direst need of our help. Contributions can be handed in to our premises on Irishtown Road any time they are open. Just give them to anyone using the premises at the time and they will pass them on to the committee, or you can give them to any member of the branch or any member of the Active Retirement Association you know, we will get them one way or another. Please respond to our appeal with all the generosity you can muster. Your reward will be the constant prayers of the poor people you will be helping and of course Almighty God will bless and reward you for your charity. Many thanks in anticipation. On Behalf of the Branch Committee Tom Sheridan Dear Madam Editor Itʼs me again, just received my October copy of ʻNews-

Fourʼ. What a great lot of letters in answer to Mairead Lavigneʼs letter about shops in Ringsend. So many Raytowners all telling about our shops. The main two I forgot was Birkʼs Black shop on the corner of Thorncastle Street also Peter Grangerʼs. Peter went all round Ringsend selling turf, vegetables and fruit. I saw the letter from Sean Donnelly who was a great part of my life as his family also lived in the coast guard station as I did. The map from Hugh Egan was great. Great to see you found the owner of the lost picture. Also loved photo of May Purdy whom I went to school with. She knows me as Josie Campbell. When I see all their photos and letters of goings on in Ringsend I donʼt feel so far away anymore so thank you for your wonderful paper– a blessing to people like me so far from home I would really like to say a big hello to a dear friend of mine whom I heard is still living in Ringsend. We were great pals, her name is Margie Tyrell. Once again thanks for all the memories J Lynch, Melbourne, Australia Dear Madam Editor, I was thrilled to read about the Ringsend shops and delighted to note that so many people were actively interested enough to put pen to paper, and I just thought that I would make use of the opportunity and put forth my tuppence worth. I remember Haltonʼs well and the story doing the rounds at the time, which informed us that if you wanted to see Mr Halton you would find him in or between one of the ʻNorthʼsʼ. However I also remember when the shop belonged to a Warren Gillatt and later again when it became a branch of Liptonʼs. The name ʻPay and Takeʼ also springs to mind, but I cannot focus on it at the moment, perhaps someone else can help. I enjoyed the map and remembered most of the shops marked thereon but have no recollection of the Barberʼs shop in Bridge Street so Hughʼs memory appears to be a little older than mine. In my time Parkerʼs the butchers were in business in Fitzwilliam Street facing the back of

the library and next door to the Pawn Office and Byrneʼs Dairy and Piggery, they lived in South Lotts and their gorgeous daughter Collette was in our gang I also remember well Ducky Austinʼs where I swapped many a comic and in contrast to Ducky Austinʼs where the smell of paraffin oil and cats was sometimes unbearable I remember well the overpowering smell of perfume in Kitty Whelanʼs clothes shop. Smells in Thorncastle Street however were not in short supply in my day, there was also the strong smell of fish from the dealersʼ stalls on Wednesdays and Fridays which were usually to be seen sited outside St Patrickʼs. Then we had the lovely smell of fish and chips from Ferrariʼs and to cap it all the terrible smell from the Irish Products factory at the end of the Road. I went to school with the late Cecil and Jimmy Driver and in recent times my youngest son worked in both Castle Stores in Thorncastle Street and their other branch in Bath Street where once stood Coadyʼs and Brendan OʼReillyʼs. Simpsonʼs Lane in Irishtown which was situated to the left of OʼReillyʼs shop was never referred to as such, instead it was commonly known as Reillyʼs Lane because of Brendanʼs shop. I was reared in a tenement house which stood on the left hand corner of that lane at the Pembroke Street end. No 7 to be exact and the owner of same was I believe a Mrs Simpson. On a point of interest I would also mention another lane in Irishtown that was never ever named and it too was associated with a Reilly family and that was the lane where Ben Reilly had

his vegetable and fuel stores, but I always knew it as ʻme grannyʼs laneʼ because she lived in 151 Rosary Terrace, Stella Gardens and the lane was a short cut to her house. George P Kearns Dear Madam Editor, Iʼm a graphic designer working on some Lansdowne Road commemorative history designs for the IRFU. I have been researching images and stories relating to the stadium dating back all the way to the first ever international match in 1887. Landsowne Road and its surrounding area has a colourful history. As your publication is in the area I was enquiring if you might have some further information or if you might have any interesting photos, tales etc relating to Lansdowne Road stadium and its history in the area. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to contact me in relation to any interesting info. Kind regards, Paul OʼNeill dcoy design, 14 fitzwilliam quay, dublin 4 t: 353 1 6686335 f: 353 1 6687683 Dear Madam Editor Your latest Letterbox is absolutely brilliant and the icing on the cake was Hugh Eganʼs map, well done Hugh you have answered many questions but posed some others. Walkers ran the Post Office and I palled around for a while with their son, Richard, until I departed to join the Merchant Navy in 1951. My recollection of Bridge Street at that time is that there were two Nelsonʼs shopʼs, Joe Nelson was a grocer and he had a

small butchery department to the rear. The Head Assistant there in my day was Joe Whelan. Joe Nelsonʼs brother, Patrick I think, had a butchers shop further along. The shop between Walkerʼs Post Office and the pub was, I think, a sort of second hand shop. My memory tells me that there were two shops on the left coming down from the bridge and before you reach the Church grounds, one of which sold papers. When I was last home I walked down the bridge and sure enough, the window sills and the door steps of these two shops are preserved in the wall for all to see. Mea Culpa to my cousin Mairead Lavigne, nee Wall, in Canada. It was Handies not Healyʼs on the righthand corner of Fitzwilliam Street which, I am given to understand, later became Clynes. Can any of your readers recall Jimmy Waddockʼs greencrocery horse and cart delivering around the area. I s at on the cart outside our house in Derrynane Gardens I managed to fall down between the horse and the cart which action caused the horse to move forward a stride or two. The result of this was that a wheel went over my left wrist causing a small skin burst that is visible to this day. Thankfully the smack across the ear that I got from the Ma for being so stupid left no mark. Keep up the good work, us exiles depend on you to keep us young. Kindest regards to one and all. Donal McKenna Above: The remains of the two shops by Ringsend Bridge can still be clearly seen in the wall.





he released her grip on the walking frame and sat on the settee. Madge, now in her eighty-fifth year was ready to write her Christmas cards. She had Hospice cards, Mouth and Foot painterʼs cards and cards for all sorts of good causes. She took out her notebook of 50 years, the one with all the names and addresses. “Sheʼs dead, heʼs dead, sheʼs dead, heʼs dead, God is there anyone left?” Madge whispered. Eventually she found some relative in Artane and another on the Navan Road. Well thatʼs two cards sorted, she laughed to herself. Eighty-five years brings more than old age, it brings a notebook with a list that reads like the obituary column of the Evening Herald. Madge perused the notebook once more and found a few more relatives still in the land of the living. In 1955 Madge had a list of forty people who would receive Christmas cards. This Christmas, eight cards would suffice. Jordan and Chloe donʼt send Christmas cards. They donʼt have a notebook of names, names that diminish by the year. “Weʼre not


into Christmas cards, itʼs not cool,” says Chloe. “We text each other instead.” Jordan and Chloe know what they ʻwantʼ for Christmas. “Iʼm getting a new LCD television with DVD recorder,” said Jordan. “And

Iʼm getting a new laptop with DVD rewriter and burner and an optical mouse,” said Chloe. Ten year old Muktar on the streets of Calcutta knows what he ʻneedsʼ. A bowl of rice and a pitcher of water, and heʼll be lucky. He vaguely


Joann, Anthony and Ann Carroll of Ringsend. Mother and Daughter, Joann and Ann graduated with a Bachelor of Business in Human Resource Management, while son, Anthony received a Higher Certificate in Business from the National College of Ireland.

remembers Mother Theresa, the old lady with the white headdress and a kindness heʼd never known before. Thereʼs few in this world that would take a dirty, bedraggled child under their wing. She did. And now he hears stories but he doesnʼt understand. Some people are saying she was wrong to have views, convictions others call them, on certain matters. Anyway she told him about the infant in the stable at Christmas and how ʻHeʼ had come to save the world. Jason is a computer graphics manager and he and his girl friend Patty have pots of money. Jason has bought Patty a real big Christmas pressie with his SSIA. Itʼs a surprise, but heʼs burstinʼ to tell her about the new apartment in Croatia overlooking the coast. He hopes that sheʼll like it, but sheʼs a bit fussy. Anyway, he can always change it for Bulgaria, thatʼs what the agent said. Patty thought sheʼd push the boat out this Christmas, so she bought Jason a pressie with her SSIA. Itʼs a surprise– a new apartment in Croatia overlooking the coast. Well, Christmas morning should be a barrel of laughs. I hope they donʼt start whinging about ʻnegative equityʼ and all that stuff.

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Miss Bodkin– she never took to the ʻMsʼ bit– has her eye on a big bullock. Then again maybe a cow or a goat might do the trick. She read about the suggestion that people purchase a cow or a goat, or a few hens, no less, and then send them off to Africa or Asia or wherever a bullock might come in handy. And so she did, two bullocks for Mogadishu from ʻMissʼ Bodkin, and a happy Christmas to you all.




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NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2006 guaranteed that your present will be original and unmatched anywhere else. The centrally-located haven of gifts has been open at 3 Sandymount Green for three years now and is the brainchild of South African born proprietor Bronwyn Thomson, who has been resident in Ireland for ten years now. Animated and suitably proud of her store, Bronwyn says she has a regular and loyal local trade and sheʼs confident that shoppers of all ages and tastes will have their needs met in Mira Mira. A quick tour through the store finds everything from baskets to photo frames, stationery to baby clothes, mirrors to mobiles, scarves, hats and lampshades, each very different and colourful and the majority hand-crafted and imported from far-away exotic places. Many products make the long journey from India or China to Sandymount but they come with the assurance of high quality. For the environmentalist thereʼs also a full range of Fair Trade products, herbal teas, coffees and chocolates as well as make up, toiletries, Christmas cards, decorations and candles. Bronwyn told ʻNewsFourʼ that she makes a conscious decision to import goods she has been assured are made by hard-working, genuine people who are not being exploited and are working in humane conditions. Most of the stunning costume jewellery in the store is made in India. “I deal with a UK company who are a Christian group and most of the jewellery is made by disadvantaged people living in rural areas who are looking for work. The jewellery from Africa is mainly made out of wire and beads and the products are generally made by carers in the community who receive no income from the government. I also like to showcase Irish designers every so often,” she adds. From mobiles to jigsaws, dolls to train sets, the one thing youʼll notice about childrenʼs toys in Mira Mira is that they are strong and durable. “No toy here needs batteries,” says Bronwyn, a fact she is clearly proud of. “We have opted for more traditional toys that last longer, a world away from computers.” Adults are catered for too here with a vast array of specialised gifts to suit all tastes so why not call in to this haven and see what takes your fancy? Mira Mira is open Mondays to Saturdays from 10am to 6.30pm and on Sundays from 12.30 to 5.30pm.




By Tom Sheridan


he Catholic Young Menʼs Society of Ireland, as it has been known for many years, was founded in Limerick just after the Great Famine in 1849 by Richard Baptist Dean OʼBrien. The original title of the Society was ʻThe Young Menʼs Association of the Immaculate Heart of Maryʼ, CYMS came later. Whatever its title, the Society has been in existence for 157 years. For any organisation to last that length of time and be still going, it must have something good about it. The reason for its longevity is very simple; it was founded for the love of God and to help people. The grace of God has kept it going until now. For a number of reasons, after a long and exhaustive process of


C OSGRAVE BIOGRAPHY THE launch of the book ʻW.T. Cosgrave 1880–1965, Founder of modern Irelandʼ, written by Anthony J. Jordan, took place recently. After taking part in the 1916 Rising, Cosgrave was sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment, before becoming one of Irelandʼs most influential politicians. Pictured are, from right, Enda Kenny TD, leader of Fine Gael, Anthony J. Jordan, Councillor Lucinda Creighton and Paddy McCartan.

soul-searching and debate at all levels of the Society, the momentous decision to change its title to ʻThe Catholic Men and Womenʼs Society of Irelandʼ was made at a special national general meeting on 17 February 2005. So what was the CYMS is now the CMWS. One of the reasons the change was made was that in 1984 we amended our constitution to allow women to join the Society and to make sense of that, but more importantly it was to give our women members recognition of their full and proper status in the organisation. There had always been women involved in the CYMS as associates or semi-associates and, of course, they were very much in evidence in events of a social nature like dances, plays, concerts, etc. Most important of all, we feel that women can make a huge and


unique contribution towards the attainment of the aims and objectives of our Society as set out in our constitution. Let me emphasise as strongly as I can at this point, that we are not turning into a feminist group. We want a society of men and women working together primarily for the good of our people, boys and girls, but also, and very much so, to pursue their own particular interests for their own enjoyment and for their personal enrichment. Most branches of the CYMS have for many years organised junior sections for boys aged 12 to 17 years. In the new arrangement we would hope that a number of mature, caring women would organise similar sections for girls in the same age range. We would hope that our men members would help the boys in our care in ways and means ap-

propriate to boys. To teach them the true values of normal, decent living that apply to everyone irrespective of gender. One of the great features of our set-up as we envisage it and hope it would be, is that it would provide a safe, Christian environment for men and women, boys and girls to enjoy themselves and grow as persons. The possibilities are endless. One small, simple suggestion to help people to get used to the change; all down the years very few people would say “Iʼm going down to the CYMS” they would more than likely use the abbreviated term ʻCYʼ. To make the fact of the name change take root and come into common usage, could I suggest that you get in the habit of saying “Iʼll see you in the CM.” ʻCYʼ is gone and we donʼt want it referred to as the ʻCYʼ any more. We are appealing to all men and women of 18 years and over, who are practising Catholics, to join our ranks and help us to achieve our aims and objectives. Together we could make a lot of good things happen and very importantly help young people of both sexes to reach maturity unscathed by the many dangers that surround them. We earnestly hope that many of you will respond to our appeal and join us. Contacts are as follows: Brendan Moran 6689905, Joe Keegan 6604982, Pat Carroll 4960393, Sarah OʼReilly 6602470, Tom Sheridan 6684659, Miriam Murphy, 6680197, Geraldine Thorp 087 6901907, Benny Bridgeman 6685525 and Betty Barry 6602650. Members of Ringsend Active Retirement, pictured above, are just one of the groups who avail of the socieyʼs facilities.




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FULL MARKS must go to Eugene at Ringsend Barber Shop for the lively and imaginative exterior! It has become a seasonal canvas. At Halloween, the shopfront was vividly decorated with witches and ghoulies. Now, the corner premises is covered with snowmen and Santas. The window display at Brown Thomas pales by comparison!






By Grace Charley


hristmas is a magical time of year for most people. For others it is a time filled with dread and fear, notably due to alcohol and its toxic fallout. Whether you grew up in the city or the country, alcohol is hard to avoid as it is an integral part of daily living. Weddings, funerals and Christmas are saturated with our careless approach to boozing. But in the last few years, massive ad campaigns are denting our denial and we now have to swallow the reality that alcohol abuse poses many dangers. Traffic accidents, physical violence (including rapes and racial attacks), STDs and suicide have all been linked to alcohol abuse. The notion that alcohol was a pleasure to be enjoyed occasionally has completely evaporated, partly due to the fact that supposedly the Celtic Tiger has made us even thirstier. Maybe we should have learned more practical things at school like how to appreciate and enjoy a drink, like the French do when

theyʼre dining. Why is one drink enough for one person, yet for another itʼs impossible? There are many opinions on the subject of alcoholism. Is it a disease? Or a state of mind? Depends on how closely related to the subject you are, I suppose. A person can be forgiven for not recognising alcoholism as a disease. The word disease conjures up notions that the illness

is beyond oneʼs control, like cancer. If an alcoholic interprets alcoholism as a disease, is he or she surrendering to the idea that theyʼll never be cured? Why are recovering alcoholics never considered cured? Why do they never stop having the title alcoholic– shouldnʼt that be part of the past and more importantly the healing? There are many stories of alcoholics overcoming the disease


By Brian Kelly


ublin City Councilʼs decision to shut down the Bring Centre at Londonbridge Road and replace it with local authority housing has not gone down well with residents in the area who now have to travel to Pigeonhouse Road for their

nearest Bring Centre. Rosario Drennan from nearby Oliver Plunkett Avenue used the LondonBridge Road facility every day and already misses the Centre. Betty Dent from Aikenhead Terrace feels it is “a terrible loss.” She, as well as all her neighbours on the road used the Centre on a regular basis. Residents in

nearby Londonbridge Road were also disappointed with the Centre closing and felt local politicians should have raised the concerns of the local people with the Council. They are also concerned about the traffic problems that will occur when building work begins. A spokesman for Dublin City Council said the Bring Centre in Londonbridge Road was meant as “a temporary site only” and there are plenty of other recycling facilities in the area. Mr. Moore also says the new housing site was chosen, “bearing in mind the minimum of available land in the area.” The construction of 24 Council homes has begun with completion set for December 2007. One thing which might please people about the development is that the tall red brick chimney in the centre of the site– a local landmark for many years– will remain.

by simply deciding to never ʻput the bottle to their mouth againʼ. The gains far outweigh the sacrifice. Sure there are lifestyle changes and many end up with a new circle of friends. (Youʼll find that drinking buddies are just that, drinking buddies.) For the lucky ones, they get their family back. Rehab centres like the Rutland and John of Godʼs offer life-saving help for those with a drink problem. Itʼs no surprise then, that these centres are full postChristmas. Christmas is a parody to some people. For every feel-good family Christmas movie thereʼs a family at war. People find themselves packed around a family Christmas dinner, biting on turkey and tongues, just to see that one day through. Throw alcohol in and itʼs far from a wonderful life. Others who are averse to their own family choose to spend Christmas alone, with just the bottle for comfort. What about office Christmas parties? You canʼt ply staff with booze and mistletoe and expect professional conduct. Hormones and a yearʼs worth of pent up anger towards a pompous boss are bound to rage. At Christmas you may not care if you lose your job. After all, New Year brings the illusions of new beginnings. But children are the real victims in all the merriment. How the disillusioned face of a frightened child isnʼt enough to cure someone of alcoholism, Iʼll never know. Break the poisonous pattern. Children are the real magic of Christmas. We canʼt bottle that spirit but we can preserve it.

Andrews Appointed to Dublin City Council CHRIS ANDREWS, Fianna Fáil General Election candidate in Dublin South East has been co-opted to become a new member of Dublin City Council in the South East Inner City. Following his appointment he said that Dublin was a wonderful city but faced many serious challenges to becoming a truly great city. “Dublin has all the potential to become a strong community and business-friendly city. To achieve that Dublin City Council must take a lead in protecting parks and green spaces, providing more play facilities and ensuring easy access to allweather sports facilities.” He also called for acceleration by the City Council of measures “to halt the decline of Grafton Street.” Councillor Andrews concluded by saying: “It is an honour to represent the people of the South East Inner City and to have the opportunity to have a direct input into the further development of the city.” He also paid tribute to Councillor Garry Keegan for his work on the Council.

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By Audrey Healy


years and growing– the success story that is Sandymount Community Services celebrated its coming of age in style with a gathering in the Hobblerʼs End in Ringsend. A proud and delighted Ann Ingle, who has been involved with the project since its inception, was obviously very happy to welcome participants, contributors, advertisers and friends from down through the years to hon-

our the project and ʻNewsFourʼ which has gone from strength to strength since it was originally formed back in 1985. Fittingly, all four supervisors who have managed Sandymount Community Services were on hand to celebrate the event: Dermot Rafter, Denis McKenna, Martin Lacey and Ann herself. Also present on the night was Ruairí Quinn who is patron of the project and who was influential in its instigation back in the 1980s when so many people were unemployed and desperate for the second chance Sandy-

mount Community Services offered them. Mr Quinn said that the early 1980s represented a very difficult time economically for the people of this country. The origin of this project came about, he explained, during a difficult period. “Things were bad economically, people were paying too much tax and there was too little enterprise. Community Employment projects give people a second chance and give people back their self-confidence and their dignity. What you do defines who you are. We now live in a rich economy and we have to ensure that everyone in this society has the skills to do the best with what they have.” “ʻNewsFourʼ is the most successful community newspaper in County Dublin today and a measure of that success is the amount of politicians who advertise in it,” he joked. On a serious note Mr. Quinn pointed out that ʻNewsFourʼ “is a newspaper that is consistently read. The bound copies of ʻNewsFourʼ on display here tonight,” he continued, “are a collective memory of community achievement, and the participants are the ones who made it happen.” Mr Quinn concluded his speech

by appealing to those whose lives had benefited through their participation in ʻNewsFourʼ to contribute their experiences to a special booklet which he suggested should be published to commemorate this very special anniversary. Dermot Lacey, Chairperson of the Sponsoring Committee and along with Ann one of the founder members, said that Sandymount Community Services and ʻNewsFourʼ was “a proud part of community life in Ringsend and Irishtown for over two decades” and he was delighted to see such a great crowd come out in celebration of its commitment to the area. He paid a warm tribute to the four supervisors down through the years, whom he said had “helped and guided people to achieve success.” ʻNewsFourʼ, he said, “has chronicled our lives in history.” In her address, Ann said it was

great to see such a big crowd at the nightʼs festivities and she thanked FÁS for their involvement and those on the sponsoring committee for their ongoing hard work in making the project such a success. She thanked the advertisers for their commitment to the paper and for the crucial revenue they brought it. Ann said that thanks are due to those who facilitated the project by providing premises: Rehab, the CYMS and our present landlord. Ann paid a special tribute to the seventeen participants currently employed by Sandymount Community Services engaged in work in the créche, the community centre, Cambridge Court and ʻNewsFourʼ. Clockwise from left: Dermot Lacey and Ann Ingle; Patrick and Terry Dowling, Denis McKenna, Ger Siggins and John Gormley TD; Tara and Niall Feery; John Lee and George Humphries.



Sinn Féin select Doolan for Dublin South East

Ringsend and Irishtown Youth Project RINGSEND and Irishtown Youth Project, was established 4 months ago in August and is directly managed by the City Dublin Youth Service Board (CDYSB). Jacinta Conroy is the Manager and Yvonne OʼNeill and Gosia Jarosz the two full- time Youth Workers. Some of the programmes to date include:

* Graffiti Art (part of Everybody Can Be an Artist Programme), * Cooking around the World * Hip-Hop * Drop-In Soccer with FAI Saturday 11th November saw the grand

finale of the 7-week Graffiti Programme, in which 20 young people took part in painting two portacabins with graffiti and art under the expert guidance of artist, Tom McDonald. For further information please contact RIYP at Tel. 6608876 Ringsend and Irishtown Youth Project wish everyone in the community a very happy Christmas! Above: Graffiti Group Top from the left: Desmond Soon, Tom McDonald, Scott Johnston, Joe McDonagh, Second Row: Davide Iannelli, James Tobin, Rebecca Murphy, Kelly Fox, Ceilin Robinson, Daniel Byrne, Robyn Allen, Vlad Suhov, Helena Lawless, Danielle Allen and Ryan Moylan.

SINN FÉIN has selected Cllr. Daithí Doolan to contest the forthcoming General Election for the party in Dublin South East. Following a unanimous vote at the recent electoral convention, Doolan is set to make history by being the first republican to take a seat in Dublin South East since Countess Markievicz in 1918. Cllr. Doolan said: “I am looking forward to this election. I have no doubt that it will be challenging but I have every confidence that we will make history and win the seat. Our campaign will be positive and it will be about offering real and relevant solutions to the problems that face people here in Dublin South East.” Pictured above are Mary Lou McDonald MEP and Cllr. Daithí Doolan.

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‘THE OUTSTANDING YOUNG PERSON OF THE Y EAR A WARD ’ FOR M ARION NewsFour talked to Marion Byrne about her achievement and her work with the Girl Guides. Tell us about the award you recently received? I received ʻThe Outstanding Young Person of the Year Awardʼ from the Junior Chamber Ireland (JCI) and was honoured under the category of ;Contribution to Children;. I was nominated because most of my time Iʼm working with children, as a job and also on a voluntary basis. What organizations are you currently involved in and what role do you play in them? I am the leader of Baion Colmcille Guide and Ranger Group which is part of the Catholic Girl Guides of Ireland (CGI) and my full-time job is running a child care centre as part of the Bright Horizons Group. What advice would you give someone who wishes to get involved working with youth groups?

The reason I am involved is because I was a guide and want to give something back. I get a lot of enjoyment and fun as a member of CGI. It is important to have lots of patience with young people and to always have a backup plan as sometimes what you think will take all night may only take ten minutes. There is a lot of preparation beforehand with training courses, weekends away and hikes. You introduced new activities within the Catholic Girl Guides. What were they and how do you feel they benefited the members? The Rangers group for the over 14s was only formed in Ringsend three years ago. This gave the older teenagers a chance to plan and organise their own activities under supervision. It helped them gain independence and confidence. Taking part in camping trips and learning camping skills were all new experiences for the Ringsend Guides. The girls gained a love

for the outdoors and were encouraged to budget, prepare and cook the food themselves. This year we took part in an eleven day international trip to Holland which broadened our horizons. What future do you see for the Girl Guides? Guiding will have no future without people willing to volunteer. Iʼve been lucky to have been given the chance to mentor two of our 18 year old members who have just started their training to become leaders. With new leaders on board our membership can grow. Do you have any upcoming

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projects? The guides are currently practising a puppet show (above) to perform for the younger members at their Christmas Party. We plan to brighten up the CMWS Hall with a Christmas tree and decorations. What ambitions do you have? Over the past fourteen months



By Audrey Healy


I have lived out a number of my ambitions. I have trekked the Great Wall of China, completed a Diploma in Nursery Management at UCD and taken up a new management role in work. I hope to take on another trek in aid of charity to the Grand Canyon or Peru. ʻNewsFourʼ wishes Marion continued success in the future.

here are many definitions of dyslexia. A very simple one would be that dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which makes it hard for some people to learn to read, write and spell correctly. It affects to some degree up to about 10% of the population (severe cases estimated at about 4-7%), is associated with a genetic predisposition and is typically more prevalent in boys than girls. If diagnosed early enough, regular individual remedial tutoring can enable the child to attain a reading level appropriate to his or her age, although reading may always be a challenge. A brand new book aimed towards combating the obstacles faced by those living with dyslexia has been published. ʻDyslexia: An Irish Perspectiveʼ has been compiled by Mary Ball, Anne Hughes and Wyn McCormack from the Dyslexia Association of Ireland, and is published by Blackhall Publishing. It is a must-have accessory for all those who come into contact with dyslexia on a daily basis and is specifically written for parents, teachers and adults with the condition in an Irish environment. This is an excellent and highly recommended resource book and it is now available nationwide. It can also be purchased directly from the Dyslexia Association, Suffolk Street, Dublin 2, price €17.99 (plus post and packaging costs). The Dyslexia Association of Ireland (DAI) was founded in 1972. It aims to promote awareness of Specific Learning Disability (SLD/Dyslexia) and to serve

the needs of people with this difficulty. The association lobbies for the provision of appropriate services by the state to all people with dyslexia and provides a free information service to the public. Services offered include: psychoeducational assessment of children and adults, group and individual specialised tuition, teachersʼ courses, summer schools, speakers for schools and parents groups. ʻA Hero Who Could Flyʼ was also published this year by author Don Mullan, himself dyslexic. It tells the moving story of an Irish boy and his English sporting hero, Gordon Banks and the remarkable tale of how that young boy with learning disabilities learned to read and write through his idol. Details on purchasing can be found at http://www. or by emailing: Royalties from the book are donated to the Dyslexia Association of Ireland.



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Austin Cromie talks to the former Secretary of the Department of Finance


eán Cromien was former Secretary General of the Department of Finance from 1987 until his retirement in 1994. During his career he directly advised eleven Ministers of Finance of different parties and seven Taoisigh. He grew up in Stoneybatter. Mention Stoneybatter among friends and you quickly arouse attention. It has a ring about it like Knocknagoshell, Montenotte, Puncherstown and many other place names. In the fifties it was classified as an urban village. It had a typical village atmosphere with great rivalries. Off the playing fields, the quest to excel academically was between two great schools run by the Christian Brothers, North Brunswick CBS and nearby OʼConnell Schools. When I met Seán Cromien recently he was most willing to be interviewed by ʻNewsFourʼ, his favourite community newspaper. Where are your roots and where were you educated? I grew up in the Stoneybatter area of Dublin in the 1930s and 1940s. My father was a cooper in Jamesonʼs Distillery in Smithfield. I went to pri-

mary school in St Paulʼs Christian Brothersʼ School in North Brunswick Street, a great school in the inner city with very dedicated Christian Brothers and lay teachers. I was awarded a Corporation scholarship and went to UCD where I studied under the late Professor George OʼBrien, Pro-

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fessor of Political Economy, graduating with first-class honours in Economics in 1950. How did your career begin and progress? My first job was an executive officer in the Office of Public Works where I stayed for two years. Following the examination for administrative officer, I entered the Department of Finance in 1952. In 1977 I became Second Secretary General in charge of the Budget and Economic Division. I was appointed Secretary General in 1987. During the course of my career in the Department of Finance I was involved in 19 budgets. As Secretary General my signature appeared on the currency notes and became known to the general public. Are there any particular characteristics of the Irish political system that you consider particularly successful? Yes, the combination of ministers of different political parties, elected for a certain number of years, working with permanent civil servants, who serve successive governments, works ex-

tremely well. It allows the experience of permanent officials to be made available to ministers who come in with fresh ideas and policies. The emergence of the ʻCeltic Tigerʼ came about during your time in office. Yes, I was fortunate that I became Secretary General in May 1987 when Mr Ray McSharry, the Minister for Finance, strongly backed by Mr Charlie Haughey, the Taoiseach, began taking vigorous action to reduce the excessive State spending and borrowing which were seriously undermining the finances of the country. The Government was a minority one and their actions would have been ineffective without the support of the leader of Fine Gael, Mr Alan Dukes, who under the ʻTallaght Strategyʼ, gave cross-party support in the national interest. The actions taken as a result of this co-operation had a dramatic effect on the economy and contributed to the emergence of the ʻCeltic Tigerʼ, along with the actions taken by later governments. As a result, the new strength of the Irish economy has had remarkably favourable consequences for employment and living standards for Irish people. During my period as Secretary General, what worried me most was the continuing high rate of unemployment. I was listening recently to the song which was popular in the difficult days of the 70s and 80s called ʻThe Flight of the Earlsʼ. Its words are bitter and bring back those difficult days, with their high unemployment, especially youth unemployment, and high emigration. They now sound so strange and inappropriate: Weʼve nothing left to stay for, Weʼve no more left to say, And there isnʼt any work for us to do.

So farewell, you boys and girls, Another bloody Flight of Earls, Our best asset is our best export too. Are you enjoying your retirement? Since I retired I have been very fortunate in having been invited to become involved in a number of organisations and have produced many reports on specific matters of national interest. I am currently a member of the Executive Committee of Dublin Zoo, the governing body of St Patrickʼs College, Drumcondra and the Council of the Institute of European Affairs. Do you have time for hobbies? My main hobby nowadays is birdwatching, mostly in Wexford. In earlier years I was involved with the Half Moon Swimming and Water Polo Club. I was President for five years in the 1980s and was honoured by life membership in 1998. Although I am no longer active on the committee, I still go down on Sunday mornings to look at my energetic friends getting in for a swim, even in the depths of winter. I have had a close involvement with people and events in Ringsend as a result of my membership of the Half Moon Club. Although I donʼt live in the area I know so many people there and remember hearing so many stories about fishing for salmon in the Liffey in the old days and the skills of the hobblers, etc. I receive a copy of ʻNewsFourʼ through a club member, Christy Hogan, who is a regular contributor. I always find something to cut out from it for my files. NewsFour must rank among the best-produced and most informative local newspapers in Dublin. Below: Seánʼs Cromienʼs signature can be seen on the last £5 note.




By John Cavendish


ou may have been wondering whatʼs going on with the construction works on the bridge in Pearse Street. MacMahon Bridge, named after General Sean MacMahon, is being replaced with a modern bridge. The existing lifting bridge is in poor condition and has not been operated for many years. The new fixed bridge will have an increased headroom catering for the requirements of Waterways Ireland. The new bridge is a single span concrete bridge on piled foundations with outer stainless steel elliptical arches with glass infill panels. Special offset lighting will be provided to the glass cladding together with modern street lighting. The roadway along the causeway will be reconstructed

and new footpaths will be provided, paved in granite. A new steel parapet will be provided along the causeway adjacent to the Grand Canal Dock. Work commenced in August 2006 and it is expected to be completed in June 2007. The total project cost is estimated at €3.25 million. The planned Samuel Beckett Bridge, above, to be built near Macken Street in the Dublin Docklands, has been designed by the international Architect and Engineer, Dr Santiago Calatrava Valls. It is currently planned that work will begin in 2007 and will take 30 months to complete. The central axis of the bridge will be aligned with Guild Street on the Northern side of the River Liffey and it will cross the river at right angles to connect with Sir John Rogersonʼs Quay at a location approximately 70 meters west of

Cardiff Lane. The bridge will be a cablestayed, steel box girder structure, with a span of 120 metres between North and South quay walls of the river Liffey, and will provide for four traffic lanes, with cycle tracks and footpaths on either side of the bridge. The bridge will be capable of opening through an angle of 90 degrees, which will accommodate marine traffic to the section of the river upstream of the proposed bridge site. This will be achieved through a rotational mechanism to be housed within the base of the bridge. Environmental improvement works will be carried out in conjunction with the bridgeworks on Macken Street, Cardiff Lane, Guild Street and Seville Place. The total estimated cost of the project is €47 million, which will include provision for a major upgrade of approach roads. The project is being funded by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and Dublin City Council. New bridge to link Ringsend and South Quays A public transport only bridge is proposed to run between Seán Moore Road in Ringsend and the corner of Sir John Rogersonʼs Quay and Britain Quay. This will remove a maritime barrier formed by the Dodder and the Grand Canal. The

bridge will cater for two bus lanes, two cycle lanes and two footpaths with the possibility of a provision for a Luas extension.

We are obliged to Dave Reddy for sending us the picture below, which he swears is an accurate representation of this exciting new bridge!

Big Joe Egan’s Boxing Quiz Joe Egan has kindly given NewsFour two copies of his book for a competition. The question is: Who was the youngest world heavyweight boxing champion? Answers please to NewsFour, 15 Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 4 or email before 31 January 2007.


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FULL RANGE OF BOTH SOLID WOOD AND P.V.C. AVAILABLE WE ARE NOW AGENTS FOR ULTRAGLIDE THE TANAISTE, Michael McDowell, recently visited the Ringsend Community Centre. He is pictured above with Terry Wright, May Kane, Lorraine Brady and Peter Tobin. The Tanaiste said that the Centre was a ʻfantastic facilityʼ. He reminisced about the former Community Centre where he had his clinic: “It was a barn of a place and freezing cold,” he said. When asked about the incinerator, Mr McDowell reiterated his opposition to it and said “it makes no sense and is totally unacceptable.”






By John Cavendish

T Irishtown Health Centre PLANNING PERMISSION for the new Irishtown Health Centre was refused recently leaving a gap of three months before a new application can be submitted. However, some services have moved already. The Mental Health Unit under Dr. Freda OʼConnell that practised on Wednesday afternoon has moved to Baggot Street at the same time of the week. The Dental practice has moved back to Dún Laoghaire and Cornmarket. There are still two G.P. Doctors in practice every morning, Dr John Ryan is in between 9.30 and 11.30am, with Dr. Tony OʼSullivan is in from 10am until 11.30am and 2pm until 4pm. The Welfare Officer is open between 10am and 11.30am Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as usual.

Old Dublin Cinemas GEORGE KEARNS and Patrick Maguire have produced a book recording the history of old Dublin cinemas entitled ʻA to Z of All Old Dublin Cinemasʼ. The book is a definitive reference book and a mine of information. George Kearns is a distant relative through marriage to the Murphys of Ringsend and his distant cousins may well be surprised to know that William Murphy, a Stevedore of Cambridge House, Cambridge Road was to the fore in introducing the cinema to Ringsend in 1925. He and a number of other directors opened the Rinn Cinema in Fitzwilliam Street on November 14th 1925. People from Sandymount may also be surprised to know that there were two cinemas operating in Serpentine Avenue in the first quarter of the 20th century, namely the Assembly Picture Hall and of course the Shed which was most commonly known as the Shack.

he Brent Geese are the symbol of the return of emigrants to Ireland. These are the birds which gave rise to the Irish icon of the ʻFlight of the Wild Geeseʼ. It was always believed that the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell who set sail from Loch Swilly in 1607 would eventually return to Ireland. They never returned to their native land but the geese are still with us. Every year Light-bellied Brent Geese embark on an amazing journey, flying over 8,000 km in a round trip from Ireland to Canada and then back again. During this journey they stop over in Iceland, taking a short rest during Spring to prepare for the long haul to their Canadian breeding grounds in the High Arctic. They can fly at 60-70km/hr. The spring migration in April to May is usually staged with stopping points in Ireland, before flying on to Iceland. After a stopover which can be up to 8 weeks, they fly across southern Greenland and then northwest to the Queen Elizabeth Islands where they breed. The summer is short, only 2 to 3 months, but food is plentiful and there is 24 hours of light.

Ireland supports the main population of these ʻPale Bellied Brentʼ. The ʻDark Bellied Brentʼ, which breed in northern Siberia, winter in mainland Europe and the UK but individuals sometimes show up here. There is also an exclusively North American race the ʻBlack Brentʼ breeding in northwest Canada and wintering in the western US states and Japan. The geese lay 3 to 5 eggs. When the young hatch, the adult birds moult leaving them flightless for two weeks. The eggs are laid in the snow, which is just thawing when they arrive in May. When the goslings are reared they will be ready for the long haul back. They are great timekeepers, spending just eighty-two days in the high Tundra. There have been records of Brent during the summer here, though usually through injury. Numbers have been increasing in the last few years with around 800 being recorded in peak months in the South Bay. The highest count was in February 2006 with 1005 recorded in the area. You can see them any morning feeding on the zostera beds at Merrion Gates. Zostera is a sea grass, a highly specialised plant and of world importance, because like the geese it is also

under threat. It has an extraordinarily high sugar content, needed by the geese as a special energy buzz after their round-the-hemisphere trip. They can also be seen grazing beside Irishtown Nature Park and on Seán Moore Park, where they compete for space with the Clanna Gael Fontenoy GAA club. To keep up with the geese and obtain more information, visit and Also see iwebs.html. Brian Gormley of the South Dublin Branch of BirdWatch told ʻNewsFourʼ that “The Brent Geese are under considerable pressure in the South Bay through development of what used to be open grazing land. There is also continual disturbance on the beach from walkers and dog walkers in particular, albeit usually unintentional. “If people and their dogs kept a distance from the geese when they are on the ground and allowed them graze in peace, it would be a major step forward. “If things continue as they are going, there is every chance that the Brent will desert the South Bay totally in the next few years through disturbance and loss of habitat.”




CDVEC Cross Country The annual CDVEC inter schools cross country took place on 15th November in the Phoenix Park. There were ʻidealʼ cross country conditions– plenty of rain and mud! Nevertheless all participants enjoyed the occasion. There were several excellent individual performances by a number of Ringsend students including Ashlee Anne Dunne

(1st place Minor Girls), Jordan Mitchell (2nd place Minor Boys), Karl Montgomery (2nd place Inter Boys), Rachael Byrne (3rd place Inter Girls). The students also did exceptionally well in the team competitions where they achieved 1st place in Minor Girls and 3rd place in Minor Boys and Inter Girls. As a result of their excellent performances the following stu-

dents have qualified to join the Dublin Cross Country Team which will compete against the Galway Team in Mid December: Ashlee Anne Dunne, Nicole McKeown, Jordan Mitchell, Ross Kemple, Rachael Byrne, Anthony Flood, Karl Montgomery. Congratulations to all involved and good luck in December against Galway! Night School During this term the night school recommenced again with a range of interesting courses including many new ones. Among the new classes now offered are Chinese, Russian, Stained Glass, Bellydancing, African Drumming, Salsa, Swing Dance, Reiki along with the full range of our established popular courses. Enrolments for the next set of night classes take place on 15th January 2007 Outdoor Pursuits Trip Early in the term 5th Years went on an Outdoor Pursuits trip to Glendalough. Their walk took

them over the ʻSpinkʼ and then on down to the old mine workings at the head of Glendalough valley. Their experienced mountain leader Ronan gave them a great insight into the history and geology of the area. They returned to base via the old minersʼ track and the Upper Lake. All had a most enjoyable day Comhairle Na nÓg Four students represented the school at the Comhairle na nÓg seminar in Temple Bar in October. The schoolʼs representatives were Danielle Allen, Glen Kiernan, Glen Mc Garry, Donna Marie OʼNeill. Among the items discussed were Homelessness and Fairtrade. All four were delighted at the opportunity given to them to meet representatives from other schools and to discuss these important issues. DDDA Sound School Recently, the students involved in Sound School were involved in a live broadcast on Anna Livia Radio. They had a 15-minute slot in which they interviewed some local personalities. The students involved, Stephen Fagan, Gerald McGauley and Aisling McNamee, have gained great experience since they commenced the project. As

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. Nollaig shona daoibh! I look forward to working with you all in 2007 for more housing, a better environment and an incineration free future

a result both Stephen and Gerald are undertaking a broadcasting course in the Digital Hub leading to a FETAC qualification. Other Sports Results * The Inter Girls Team won the CDVEC inter schools soccer final, beating Larkin College * 1st year Boys were runners up in 5-a-side Soccer and Gaelic competitions Pictured left are Aisling McNamee and Stephen Fagan broadcasting for Sound School. Below are Jonathan OʼDwyer and Ryan Glennon doing Outdoor Pursuits at Glendalough.



F R . S HAY C ULLEN – ‘P ASSION AND P OWER ’ Fr. Shayʼs very first assignment was to change his life and that of many others

By Audrey Healy


or over thirty years one Irish man has challenged and confronted the evils of the lucrative child sex industry in the Phillipines. Itʼs a long way from his native Dublin home and this courageous and difficult crusade has seen Fr. Shay Cullen face accusations of libel, slander and even rape that could have led to the death penalty had it not been decisively proven to be false. “But,” says Fr. Shay Cullen, matter of factly, “this is an occupational hazard. Itʼs part of the job.” Born in Dublin on 27th March 1943, the youngest in a family of seven, Shay

Cullen was a pupil of the Haroldʼs Cross (Elementary) Glasthule, the Christian Brothers, Monkstown Park and the Presentation College, Sandycove. He entered St. Columbanʼs Seminary, Dalgan Park, Navan, Co. Meath in 1963 and was ordained to the priesthood six years later, as a member of the Missionary Society of Columban. Fr. Shayʼs very first assignment was to change his life– and that of many others– forever. On arrival in St. Josephʼs Church Olongapo City in 1969, he was immediately confronted with the colossal social and human problems caused by the sex industry which thrived beside a US Navy base. Sexual abuse of children was commonplace and the naval base was eventually

closed down as a direct result of his campaigning. His vision to convert the huge facilities into an industrial park succeeded and brought about the collapse of the sex industry and the provision of dignified jobs for thousands of Filipinos. Following brief periods back in Ireland and with the late Mother Teresa in Calcutta, Fr. Cullen returned to the Philippines in 1972, where he took up further language studies and trained in the operation and management of a Drug Rehabilitation Centre. He then returned to Olongapo City, north-west of Manila and founded PREDA (Peopleʼs Recovery, Empowerment and Development Assistance Foundation Inc.) in 1974, with the co operation of Merly Ramirez Hermoso and Alex

Corpus Hermoso. Through this organisation, committed to helping abused children and working for human rights and development, Shay comes face to face with the horrors and evils of child sexual abuse on a daily basis. Living with a professional team of dedicated Filipino colleagues, he has established a reputation which made his name a familiar one to groups, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and solidarity movements and authorities worldwide in the battle against paedophilia. “I do not assume a father role in the sense as I see the children as my own,” he says. “That doesnʼt mean that I donʼt feel concern, of course I do, but the appropriate response is not to ʻownʼ them in any way but to restore them to health and reintegrate them with their families and the love of their own home.” In attempting to explain what motivates him to help the oppressed, Shay goes back to his own childhood and what drew him to accept ʻthe callʼ. “It was the

challenge of a different and adventurous life in the great unknown that attracted me at first but the example of Jesus Christ was the overwhelming influence,” he says. “I realised how privileged I was just to be basically secure and to have an education. “When I read about the oppression and injustice, I felt I wanted to do something meaningful and worthwhile with my life and bring some small change to the lives of these people. It was no one thing, no ʻRoad to Damascusʼ experience, but a combination of these important realities. I thought it a good thing to do, a worthwhile way to live out life.” He recalls that the harsh realities of growing up in a rough Irish school system where corporal punishment was thought to be the way to install knowledge and wisdom in young pupils brought him close to understanding the experiences of physical abuse that many children still endure every day in their home and unforgiving societies. “My schooldays were




frequently filled with the dread and fear of mocking, sarcastic teachers and brothers whose inner frustrations were vented on unfortunate children,” he says. “The leather strap and swishing cane raised enough welts and scared memories that have given me a deep sense of compassion with all abused children and a healthy scepticism towards authority figures.” “Silence about abuse is consent,” he continues. “I felt that to be honest with oneself, action is called for, not just talk and hand wringing at how awful it is. I am a committed Christian and I see this as a challenge as Jesus did.” Shayʼs contribution has been recognised by many and he has been the recipient of numerous human rights awards. “A few times it has felt hopeless to go on.” So much evil, so much apathy here and abroad. But where else can I go? I know many people think that I am a dreamer, trying to change the world, but we have to try,” he says. Now Hollywood actor Martin Sheen, who currently lives in Galway, has said that he may make a film based on the Irish priestʼs life. “Fr. Shay Cullen truly is a hero. I would be honoured to portray him in a movie. Thank God for Fr. Shay, he is a very powerful inspiration and has saved the lives of thousands of these poor chil-

dren, and he has helped jail some of the worldʼs most evil paedophiles. What he has achieved is nothing less than a miracle,” Martin Sheen said recently. Fr. Shay recalls his first meeting with Martin Sheen, which took place in the notorious Payatas garbage dump, pictured above, home to thousands of locals. Father Shay says: “Martin showed only compassion and caring, not revulsion at the nauseating stench that clung to our hair and clothes. The people were covered with the filth and the smell, the dirt and dust of the garbage. To the world they were untouchables and lepers, but to Martin they were just people.” Oftentimes a controversial figure, Fr. Shayʼs stubborn streak and a definitive refusal to accept the injustices of life give him strength. “When I see the oppression and injustice in this world, the sea of poverty and the islands of glittering wealth and obscene extravagance floating among the bodies of the drowning, I feel something in me that says ʻDonʼt accept this, donʼt turn away, donʼt ignore it and seek the easy life.ʼ They want me to back down, he says defiantly, referring to his enemies, but I wonʼt.” Fr. Shay Cullenʼs new book is entitled ʻPassion and Power ʼ and is available in all good bookshops now.


By Brian Rutherford

t. Patrickʼs Rowing Club is this year celebrating its 70th anniversary. The club was founded in 1936 by the Hobblers and friends, and their descendants can still be found in the area. There is a memorial beside the St. Patʼs clubhouse celebrating their effort. There are about sixty members in the Club, both male and female and both crews have won titles in the past. The ages range from 13 to 50 in the club so no one should feel left out. The rowing season begins in April when the boats are brought back into the Liffey. They currently have two skiffs and one all-Ireland boat for competitions around the country.

St Patrickʼs compete abroad as well as around Ireland. They have taken part in the 22-mile Thames race, the Newquay championships in Cornwall and the Scilly Isles championships. One of the most demanding events is the Celtic Challenge row from Arklow to Aberystwyth which is 87 nautical miles long and takes 16-18 hours rowing. There is now a new gym and a lounge upstairs for members. The Clubhouse is at the junction of York Road and Thorncastle Street beside the East Link Bridge and any member will be glad to welcome you. Phillip Murphy is hoping to create a website for the Club and is looking for photographs, old or new with names and dates if possible and any other memorabilia. He can be reached at 0872789383 or contact him at

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S WIMMING By Brian Kelly


hen asked in a poll for BBC television recently, what is the one thing you would like to do before dying, the Number 1 choice of people was swimming with dolphins. When you consider what else was in the poll, i.e. visiting the Taj Mahal, snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef or even seeing the earth from space, you have to wonder what strange hold Flipper and his friends have over us. Will our lives remain incomplete and our destinies unfulfilled until we have all frolicked in the water with a large mammal? It is a serious question but it was one I was determined to get to the bottom off. So, in November just as winter began its icy grip on the land, I set myself the arduous task of flying to the Gulf of Mexico to bathe in the warm, clear waters of the Caribbean ocean. Only by doing this, I determined, could I discover the true depth of feeling of man for his fellow mammal. Mexico is one of the few coun-


tries in the world where you can actually swim with dolphins. Dotted along the popular Yucatan peninsula on the countryʼs eastern front, thereʼs no shortage of advertisements and promotions for dolphin encounters. After comparing prices, time in the water with dolphins and the amount of people with us in the pool, we decided to go with a company called Delphinus, who brought us to an enclosure a short drive away from where we were staying in Playa De Carmen. After changing into our swimwear and being issued with goggles and a lifejacket, we caught our first sight of the dolphins as an earlier group played in the pool with the creatures. It was my first time to see one up close and even from a distance, it was a real thrill to see a

dolphin in action. They look so attractive and move with such grace and speed through the water itʼs impossible to take your eyes off them. Apart from chimpanzees, is there any other animal on earth with such charisma? Before we took the plunge, we were shown a short video presentation welcoming us the centre. The mammals are brought in when they are young and trained for up to two


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years before they interact with the public. Up to 50 dolphins are kept in Delphinus at any one time with more than half born there. They are cared for by the staff with much of the entrance fee going towards their upkeep and welfare. Their life expectancy is about 45 years, the same as in the wild and


from what we could see, the dolphins did seem to be healthy and well looked after. The dolphins, we also learnt, loved to be touched but not on their faces and we were warned to stay well away from their blowholes! This is the orifice on top of their head where they take in fresh air.

around us allowing us to touch and stroke her, it was a special moment. Her skin felt like rubber, smooth and sleek and supremely aerodynamic. It was then time for a bit of individual attention from Lucy. We took it in turns to line up separately and as the instructor called out, Lucy came over and pecked me on the cheek. If you have never been kissed by a dolphin before, you are in for a treat. With a photographer preserving the moment close by, Lucy then returned and rested in my arms for a cuddle. This, I realized, is why we love dolphins so much. Okay, we are paying big money to be here, itʼs an artificial environment and the animals are trained to do it, but holding a half tonne dolphin in my arms is a moment Iʼll treasure for the rest of my life. The fun got even better when we were told to keep our feet together and our heads well above water. Again, on a whistle and a shout, she sprung into action. Lying in the water, I felt Lucyʼs nose pushing at my feet. Within a couple of seconds, she had gained enough speed to propel me across the top of the water at a rate of knots. I was water skiing with no rope and no skis. It was over too soon but I loved every

Dolphin school finished, it was time to play with Lucy, our 5 year old bottle-nosed friend for the day. The magic began as soon as we entered the water. Our female dolphin Instructor got the 6 of us to line up before she called Lucy over to join in. It was amazing to be this close to a dolphin and when she weaved in

second of it. Lucy is 5 years away from sexual maturity. When she does become pregnant, she will carry her young inside her for 12 months and the baby will be born with the umbilical cord attached, just like all mammals. Dolphins communicate with each other by means of high-pitched clicking sounds, which we could hear by placing our ears just below the water. Scientists have discovered that dolphin brains are comparable in size to humans. Studying their communication systems, their social interactions and complex behaviour patterns, itʼs clear these are highly intelligent beings. To test her smarts we all sang a song to Lucy. All we could think of was ʻHappy Birthdayʼ, but she responded by twisting herself round in a circle on top of the water and ʻclappingʼ her fins in appreciation. As a finale, Lucy then rose out of the water like a rocket reaching a good 10 feet in the air before splash landing and swimming off for a well-earned break.. It was a long way to come, we spent an awful lot of money but for an hour in the pool with dolphins it was worth it all. Lucy, darling, I will never forget you. XXX.




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or parents thinking of giving their children the gift of music, consider first which instrument might best suit them. Too many eager parents, with the best intentions, want to give their children something they wish they had been given, but go ahead without first thinking about suitability of instrument. In studies of people who began learning a musical instrument, but stopped, the most common factor for their stopping was choosing the wrong instrument, not any lack of musicality or musical potential. The piano is a popular choice as first instrument even though it is not easy to learn. It requires a certain type to progress on it. The piano is a ʻselfcontainedʼ instrument, in that there are little opportunities for social inter-

action while first learning it. It would not suit the social, out-going, gregarious type. It also requires the learning of two clefs, the bass and the treble, meaning two lines of music are read instead of one. Many other instruments, usually from the woodwind, brass, and string families, are single note instruments, in that they play one note at a time. These single note types may better suit beginners, giving them the chance of progressing musically before moving to more challenging instruments such as the piano. Not to say that brass, woodwind and string instruments are not challenging. Playing a single note instrument requires far less mental energy than playing a chordal instrument (where you play more than one note at a time) as with the guitar, piano or harp. Single note music is also not difficult to read. The complexity of chordal instruments and their notation can soon demoralize a child better suited to a single note instrument. Children suited to single note instruments would be those who do one thing at a time, while those who enjoy mental arithmetic or take pleasure in complexity may suit a chordal instrument. Brass or woodwind instruments suit

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gregarious children as they are played in bands and groups where there is a social output. Remember, learning an instrument should not involve any mental stress. The second most common factor in stopping was starting too young. Children should be at an age where they can progress without mental stress. There is no right age to start learning a musical instrument, but between the ages of 8 and 11 serves as a good guide. By that age they should have settled into their schooling and will have excess mental and physical energy to put into an instrument. They should be able to read and write fluently and with pleasure. They should be able to do simple maths: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The right instrument has to somehow match your childʼs body, brain and emotions. Piano, violin, and guitar are among the most popular first instruments, but are also the most difficult to learn and so have the highest failure rates. The violin is mentally and physically demanding, and requires from the learner a keen ear for it to be played in tune. Another consideration before choosing an instrument is the instrumentʼs feedback, which is the physical sensation created whilst playing it. For example, if your child dislikes objects against itʼs lips vibrating, such as the simple instrument of a comb and tissue paper, then wind and brass instruments might not be suitable. The above is advice, neither good nor bad nor ʻrightʼ in the truest sense. It is merely a well-intentioned guide as to possible suitability. The right instrument for your child may not be determined by any of the factors listed. It also deals solely with music instrument teaching in the formal or classical sense where weekly lessons are taken and progress is measured by regular examinations. It does not deal with traditional Irish instruments, fiddles, accordions, uillean pipes, or their teaching. Neither modern instruments, acoustic or electric guitars, basses, which are often self-taught.

Before starting your child on an instrument find out if your child is musical. A QUICK MUSICAL TEST. Can they sing or whistle a familiar song or TV theme tune? Can they clap back a simple rhythm? Can they distinguish between two notes, recognizing which is the higher of the two? Do they enjoy listening to music? Do they respond physically to music?

The Families of Instruments WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU JOIN? Woodwind Instruments (piccolo, flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, bassoon. recorder) play one note at a time so are therefore single note instruments. The music is not difficult to read and a good sense of pitch is not vital as the instrument does most of the work. Playing them does not require a lot of strength. Instruments can be expensive but hold their value well. Best suited for quietly social or pleasantly gregarious children who are quietly behaved. Brass Instruments (trumpet, trombone, tuba, French horn, tenor horn, cornet, euphonium) are also single note instruments. Their powerful sound may best be suited to boys although the mid-range brass can suit girls. Most instruments require only three fingers so little coordination is required. They require a lot of energy and playing a brass instrument builds a healthy body. Brass instruments cover a wide range of musical styles from classical to jazz to modern pop. May suit the out going, sociable type. Strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass) are for those with mental energy while brass and woodwind require physical energy. They require a disciplined approach as results come about after years of study, not months. String instruments are constructed simply but are difficult to play. Brass and woodwind are complicated instruments made in order for them to be easy to play. Responsive, conscientious children, not solitary, but not gregarious either suit the strings. A good sense of pitch is helpful. Percussion (drum kit, tambourine, timpani, xylophone) is for those with bundles of nervous energy to spare. The kind suited to the drums are usually bright, quick witted, and restless. The kind who start something but quickly move on to the next activity. THE SELF-CONTAINED INSTRUMENTS. Piano The piano does not demand physical energy, but rather the reverse. It requires the ability to sit comfortably and at ease for half an hour or more at a time. A physically energetic child may dislike this. The piano requires good coordination as all ten digits are used. Quiet and intelligent children, eight or older, with spare mental energy and good at mental arithmetic can make steady progress on the piano. Classical guitar Children who are good with their fingers, who are determined and independent and who donʼt mind application and hard work will enjoy the guitar. The instrument requires good coordination and steady applied work for progress. The Harp Usual to begin on the Celtic harp which has 29 strings before moving on to a full-size instrument with 46 strings and seven pedals. Usually played by girls, the music is written in both bass and treble clefs as with the piano. All ten digits are used.






CD-Marian, one of Irish Basketballʼs longest-serving franchises, breaks new ground this year with the announcement of a major new sponsorship with the Mount Herbert Hotel, Sandymount, Dublin 4. Mr John Loughran, Director of the Mount Herbert Hotel, looks forward to this new initiative: “Situated as we are in Sandymount, beside Marian College, the founding home of UCD-Marian Basketball, and not far from the campus at UCD, we are delighted to be involved in the Basketball SuperLeague which involves teams not just from Dublin but from all four corners of Ireland.” Mr Paul Meany, Chairman of the UCD-Marian SuperLeague programme also welcomed the new initiative

which will allow the club to consolidate its base in the Sandymount area while providing visiting teams with a friendly and comfortable place to stay when they visit Dublin. The involvement of the Mount Herbert has enabled UCD-Marian to fly in two outstanding professional players but also, for the first time, to employ a professional American coach who will not alone help the SuperLeague programme but will also help the development of young players in the club. The new Coach is Brian McCormick, from California USA, who has coached in Sweden, and who has provided coaching for many in-

dividual College and NBA players in the USA. He is a highly regarded coach who has written many books and articles on basketball, including his most recent publication of a new model for youth basketball development entitled ʻCross Overʼ. The two players, who are

causing quite a stir at the hotel, are 6foot-8inch Pape Ba, originally from Senegal, who played his College Basketball in the USA and who last year starred for the Clostrup club in Denmark while he has just been joined by 5foot-11inch speedy point guard, Tony Mitchell from Charleston,

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Grace is not impressed by some of the work on show at the Tate Gallery

Serious Fun EXPLORE LESOTHO, southern Africaʼs mountain kingdom with Barretstown in May 2007 Barretstownʼs ethos is all about Serious Fun and its therapeutic recreation programmes help thousands of children with cancer and other serious illnesses. Next May the childrenʼs charity is inviting you to have some Serious Fun by participating in its Lesotho Challenge, a journey of a lifetime through the magical kingdom of Lesotho, to raise money so that more children can visit Barretstown. The 2007 Challenge will see participants trek through unknown wilderness areas in Southern Africaʼs mountain kingdom introducing them to the astonishing culture and scenery of Lesotho and the Drakensberg Mountains. The ten-day trek covers approximately 100km and gives trekkers the chance to make lifelong friends and take part in a journey of personal discovery as they take on new challenges and experiences. For those wishing to take part in this unique challenge, there are two treks in May– from May 2nd to 12th and May 16th to 26th, 2007. A fund-raising target of €5,000 has to be achieved. This includes international flights and all meals and accommodation. Further details may be obtained on

By Grace Charley


n a recent trip to London, I visited the Tate Modern Art Gallery. Four words. The Emperorʼs New Clothes. Before Iʼm accused of art depreciation, I hereby let you know, I adore art, luvvy, but in the Tate Modern some of the artists seem to be having a laugh at our expense. Youʼre shuffling along, approaching lovely paintings with

their rich oil colours and life-like forms… then you sail through another movement, cubism this time, abstract, but the shapes and colours are nice and would suit anybodyʼs living-room wall… then… youʼre face to face with two stuffed ducks stuck to a blank blue canvas. Now, even I can find inspiration in farmyards, but my imagination would not embrace what I can only describe as ʻshock artʼ. Besides didnʼt Hilda Ogden from ʻCoronation Streetʼ have something similar hanging up in her living-room? I had a quick look around to see if anyone was gazing in appreciation, but they werenʼt. They looked confused and in turn they were observing other peopleʼs re-

action. Moving swiftly on, I encountered some sculptures. Slabs of white wood piled on top of each other. “I could have done that, Iʼve a load of that stuff in my garden shed,” I overheard someone next to me say. And donʼt give me, “yeah but they didnʼt do it, someone else did.” Of course, someone else did it. It would have to be someone pretty arrogant to produce something as gratuitous as that. And what about the heads that are commissioning works like this? It took a child to tell the emperor he wasnʼt wearing any clothes. Maybe they should get children to run art galleries. That way, weʼre guaranteed plenty of uncensored truth. Now that is a rare treasure.


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he Combined Residents Against Incineration (CRAI) held a public meeting on the 23rd November 2006, in Clann na Gael Fontenoy, to inform the residents about the incinerator situation after objections were lodged by over 3000 people with An Board Pleanala in early October. Frances Corr, Secretary of the Bath Avenue and District Residents Association and CRAI introduced the panel which included May Kane the secretary of the Ringsend and Irishtown Residents, Joan McArthur, the Chairperson of Sandymount and Merrion Residents, Maurice Bryan, Engineer and Environmental consultant to CRAI and Rory Herne. Frances thanked local representative Cllr Kevin Humphries for coming along. Frances said that somewhere in the region of 3,500 objections from the community had been sent to An Bord Pleanala and she wished to thank everyone for the efforts. The Incinerator required a Waste Management Licence from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). CRAI had met with an officer from the

EPA and discussed the licence objection process. CRAI had been able to put in an objection and she proposed a petition to be submitted in support. She said that there is an appeal stage to any outcome and that Dublin City Council who had applied for this licence with the EPA may well appeal. CRAI would do likewise and it could end up in Court and she reminded the group that money would be needed Maurice Bryan said he had examined the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted by the local authority and the Waste Licence application to the EPA. He said that the EIS was seriously flawed and misleading. He said there were problems with

the disposal of ʻBottom Ashʼ. There was no explanation in either the EIS or the waste licence application as to how this would be stored and disposed of. Rory Hearne said that the key thing at this time was to organise fundraising for CRAI and to mobilise the community with the election forthcoming to let the Government know how the people feel. Councillor Kevin Humphries said that he was impressed by the number of objections submitted to An Bord Pleanala but warned that they could be found wanting just as happened in Ringaskiddy. He said that the Labour party would keep up pressure against the scheme especially as elections were imminent.



S PEAKER ’ S C ORNER RE-DEVELOPMENT OF LIBERTY HALL SIPTU has announced their preferred option is the demolition of the Liberty Hall tower to make way for a redevelopment project. Cllr. Kevin Humphreys as a SIPTU member and Leader of the Labour Group on Dublin City Council is looking forward to seeing the full detail of this proposal. “It is important that SIPTU remain the main occupier of the Liberty Hall premises, it would be a betrayal of Connollyʼs and Larkinʼs legacy if SIPTU relinquished its premises in the heart of the city.” Plans for the redevelopment of Liberty Hall must take into consideration the historical significant of the site; HQ during the 1913 lockout, James Connolly led the Irish Citizen Army to the GPO and the 1916 Proclamation was printed. HEALTHCARE SURVEY Councillor Daithí Doolan said the results of a healthcare survey in Dublin South East, “have given the government a public health warning. The survey carried out by Sinn Féin in May and June across Dublin South East gave the clearest indication yet that the public are sick of Harneyʼs second-rate healthcare system. “Most of those questioned said they would support quality free healthcare for all. This totally undermines the PDs attempts to privatise our healthcare system.“ Cllr. Doolan explains, “With 89% of the 1000 households surveyed blaming the government for the current healthcare crisis, the results clearly indicate that the level of anger the public have for Harney and company. Public funding was also high on peopleʼs agenda with 91% of the public wanting to increase public funding for more hospital beds and staff.” ORAL HEARING FOR LANSDOWNE RE-DEVELOPMENT Cllr Kevin Humphreys welcomes the decision by An Board Pleanala to hold a public oral hearing on the proposed re-development of Lansdowne Road. “Iʼm heartened to hear that the people most affected by the 50,000 seating stadium will get the opportunity to address their concerns at a public hearing,”

said Cllr Kevin Humphreys. CREIGHTON REJECTS 32 STORIES FOR BALLSBRIDGE Councillor Lucinda Creighton, FG General Election candidate in Dublin South East, expressed outrage at renewed speculation that a planning application will be lodged to build a 32-storey development on the site of the Juryʼs Hotel in Ballsbridge. Creighton is responsible for the new Local Area Plan which is currently under way in the Ballsbridge area. She regards the proposal for a 32-storey development as being utterly anathema to the type of rejuvenation that is needed in this unique urban village. “Developments close to the city centre have consistently failed to cater for the needs of the community and the residents living in them. The development must include facilities which can be used by local residents, such as a community centre, swimming pool, tennis courts, gallery or other community resources.† Dublin City Council has the capacity to build in such conditions to the terms of the planning permission. I will seek to ensure that this occurs,” she added. CHAMBER SUPPORT FOR DIRECTLY ELECTED MAYOR WELCOME. Support for the direct election of the Lord Mayor of Dublin from the Dublin Chamber of

Commerce President has been welcomed by the former Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Dermot Lacey.

According to Councillor Lacey, “Dublin desperately needs an accountable and mandated Mayor who can ʻStand up for Dublinʼ and the needs of the people of this City and County. This was provided for in the 2001 Local Government Act introduced by Noel Dempsey, only to be subsequently removed by surprise, surprise, Martin Cullen aided and abetted by that other great ʻDubs fanʼ Bertie Ahern. “For far too long decisions have been taken by others about the future of this great Capital City without any reference to the people or their elected representatives. It is time to take Dublin back from the Quangos and Bureaucracies. The direct election of a Mayor who would have both the authority and time to lead the City is needed more than ever. It is long past time for action.” SINN FÉIN LODGE OBJECTION WITH AN BORD PLEANÁLA AGAINST PROPOSED INCINERATOR Sinn Féinʼs Dublin Environment Spokesperson Councillor Daithí Doolan lodged the partyʼs objection with An Bord Pleanála against the proposed incinerator on the Poolbeg Peninsula.

Cllr. Doolan said “It is crucial that An Bord Pleanála understand the full implications of the governmentʼs plan to build an incinerator here in Ringsend. The proposal totally contradicts Dublin City Councilʼs City Development Plan and undermines the democratic wishes of the majority of Councillors in the city, who continue to reject this proposal. “Our objection is based on the fact that the City Development Plan has rezoned the Poolbeg Peninsula to exclude incineration. The road network will be unable to accommodate the hundreds of trucks using the proposed incinerator on a daily basis. It is verging on the ridiculous to expect 100s of trucks to drive through Ringsend & Sandymount to deliver rubbish to the incinerator and 100s of trucks to remove the dangerous ash back through this residential area. “Our objection also raises questions about why the Poolbeg Peninsula was chosen in the first place over three other sites in Dublin. I believe there was no proper investigation done; the choice had more to do with political expediency rather than fulfilling any criteria.”

S HELBOURNE 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 €250 in Vouchers. Draw will take place on 18th December 2006

A Very Happy Christmas from Paddy and the Staff



Film Scene•••By Michael Hilliard ‘Casino Royale’’ THE James Bond franchise has experienced a rapid decline in quality over the past three films. Pierce Brosnanʼs tenure as 007 started off in remarkable fashion with ʻGoldeneyeʼ, but hurtled steadily downhill with each subsequent outing, bogged down with sub-par scriptwriting and ʻkitchen-sinkʼ action scenes, completely removing any element of danger from situations in which the (now) super agent may find himself. The forty year old megafranchise had become tired and veered dangerously toward self-parody, of almost Austin Powers-like proportions. Something had to be done. The producers, although retaining many of the same creative team, realised a fresh take was needed for

Bond, the need to take the character back to basics, to have Ian Flemingʼs James Bond up on the screen, and not some non-actor spewing one cringe-worthy punchline after the other. (Take a bow, Roger Moore). ʻGodeneyeʼ director, Martin Campbell, was hired to make ʻCasino Royaleʼ, the tale of James Bondʼs debut outing as a double 0 agent, now licensed to kill. While series regulars Neal Purvis and Robert Wade wrote the screenplay, Oscar winner Paul Haggis was brought in to polish it up. Daniel Craig simply is James Bond. The actor brings a dangerous edge to the character that only Connery really got close to before, complete with an ice cold, no-nonsense stare that would give Charles Bronson nightmares. The film itself delivers in


every respect. Itʼs a more realistic take on the Bond universe, not entirely dissimilar to the Jason Bourne films, yet still manages to throw in a couple of gadgets, the Bond girls, the Aston Martin, and of course the hilarious new take on the ʻshaken, not schtirredʼ catchphrase. The action scenes are never over-the-top, yet are infinitely more enjoyable than what weʼve seen with recent Bond films, simply because they are based in a world with almost the same rules of physics as our own! For the first time since ʻGoldeneyeʼ in 1995, the end credits promise that ʻJames Bond will returnʼ is exciting again. 4 out of 5

By Brian Rutherford The history of Manchester United– Part 1. he great and opulent Manchester United was born, believe it or not, out of suffering. The multimillion dollar worldwide enterprise arose out of the ashes like a magnificent phoenix from two wars and a plane crash that killed eight key players. The original United wasnʼt called Manchester at all, they were Newton Heath LYR. The year was 1878 and Newton Heath were carriage workers at Lancashire and Yorkshire railway sheds. They had a green


ʻThe Prestigeʼ Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Borden (Christian Bale) are two rival magicians in the London of about 1900. Lifelong rivals, the two men become obsessed with out-doing one another, no matter what the cost. Christopher Nolanʼs follow up to ʻBatman Beginsʼ is an absolute master class in direction and misdirection. He leaves clues everywhere, in

fact, showing the plot twist in the opening scenes if you look hard enough. And, what a twist it turns out to be. 4.5 out of 5 ʻBoratʼ The big-screen adaptation of Sascha Baron Cohenʼs Channel 4 comedy skit, ʻBoratʼ (below) is utterly compelling satire, unleashed on the hapless U.S. of A. It really has to be seen to be believed. The finest ʻmockumentaryʼ since ʻThis is Spinal Tapʼ. Yes, itʼs that good. 4.5 out of 5

and gold strip and changed at the Three Crowns inn at Oldham road. They would walk to the pitch at North road. It was from these humble beginnings that the first stars began to emerge, Sam Black being the first. They also attracted overseas opposition which was an early hint of what was to come. Newton Heath entered the extended first division of the football league and got a new ground at Bank Street. Unfortunately, they were soon relegated but managed to win the Lancashire cup in 1898. They faced bankruptcy in 1902 but the then club captain Harry Stafford found a brewer named

John H. Davis who rescued the team. The name of Newton Heath was not liked by all, and following the reorganisation of the Club many called for a name change. Manchester Central was suggested, but it was decided that it sounded too much like a railway station. Also suggested and rejected was Manchester Celtic, then a Mr Louis Rocca hit upon the name Manchester United. On 26th April 1902 Newton Heath became Manchester United. The then chairman Davis injected capital into the team and signed Billy Meredith ,the Welsh wizard from Manchester City. In 1906, two years later, United

Recommended Viewing:




Community Gain An audit of the social and community infrastructure in the Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount area

n remote desert Africa an English writer, Bruce Chatwin, meets an old woman. She takes out a tin containing family photographs and shows them to him. The woman treats the family photographs with such reverence as to make the writer think, “This is art”. The French painter, Jean Dubuffet believed that older women were the most creative exponents in life. He believed that they see and watch over everything. These reflections inspired artist teacher Imelda Healy to undertake an art project together with her three groups of amateur artists from Merchants Quay, Parnell Street and Ringsend. While rushing from one group to the other she had an idea for the groups to paint family portraits along with text of their personal stories. “I started planning the project two years ago and I called it “The River”, since it connects us all. The thought occured to me that particular Dubliners by the river donʼt get a chance to be seen very

much and so can feel excluded from the life of the city despite a noble history of belonging for many generations, those from the inner city and Ringsend especially”. Imeldaʼs three groups contain a diverse mix of people. From Merchants Quay, caterers in a Franciscan friary; Parnell Street, a group of young adults on probation; and from Ringsend a group of senior citizens. The exhibition took place in October at the Civic Offices, Wood Quay. Over 60 paintings were on display. Portraits of inner-city families by the Merchant Quay group; oil paintings of maritime scenes from the Ringsend senior citizens and collages and paintings from the Parnell Street group. A highlight of the show were the accompanying texts. “They were one of my favourite things,” says Imelda, “We had some printed in the writerʼs original handwriting, including spelling errors. These printed originals communicated all the stronger”. Among them was the story of a mother who used to

shoplift while dressed as a nun and was regarded proudly as the best shoplifter in Dublin. Most told of growing up in a different time, of raising and feeding large families, of trying to make ends meet. What was imparted in the texts were not memories sad and dispiriting, but memories fond and strong from a good natured and good humoured people. After positive public response Imelda is looking into other possibilities for the project. “At the moment I am looking for funding for a book and there is some interest. We may also put the exhibition on in Ringsend and the Docks. The public response from the business and local communities was enormous according to staff at the Civic Offices”. In the end, though, it is about art. “The value of art for improving the quality of life was evident in that none of the inner city people who painted images of their families wanted to sell their pictures. This was a show about looking and feeling, not buying”.

TRUTZ HAASE, Social and Economic Consultant, together with Brady Shipman Martin* were commissioned by Dublin City Council in 2005 to undertake an audit of the social and community infrastructure in the Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount area. If the incinerator is built, Dublin City Council will establish a Community Gain Fund and this report is designed to highlight where and how this fund might be used. Mr Haase spoke with many community groups in the area and his report is thorough and far-reaching. The survey points to the priorities in the area as being (i) more sports facilities for young people (ii) more playgrounds (iii) better community services for elderly people (iv) better community health services and (v) improving the environment. The report is critical of the consultation process as it states that ʻnegotiations between Dublin City Council, the private developers and the three communities should have taken place from the time the proposal for an incinerator on the Poolbeg Peninsula was first made.ʼ It is acknowledged that Dublin City Council has made ʻconsiderable effortsʼ to inform people about the Dublin Waste to Energy Project but ʻresidents do not perceive this to be objective and independent.ʼ Residents are only too well aware that the Poolbeg Peninsula has been used over the years for the benefit of the whole of Dublin. The report concurs with this sentiment when it states: ʻThere is a long history of the use of the Poolbeg Peninsula to provide for the wider needs of Dublin and the region as a whole, with little consideration given to the cumulative effects which this may have on residents of adjacent communities… While Dublin City Council has commenced this process with the publication of the draft Poolbeg/Southbank Framework Plan, there is a need for the communities to develop an integrated plan for their area which takes as its starting point the visions and aspirations of the existing communities. Dublin City Council should undertake every step necessary to facilitate the communities to develop appropriate structures of community representation and provide them with the resources necessary to develop such a Plan.ʼ This plan should cover land use, transport, economic and social issues and environmental impacts. Dublin City Council is to be commended for commissioning such an impartial report. The document is wide-ranging and well produced and no doubt will be of great use to community representatives. The concept of Community Gain is explained and a comprehensive overview of the area, its population, facilities and demographics is included. *Trutz Haase is one of the leading experts in Ireland in the measurement of quality of life concepts. Brady Shipman Martin has extensive experience in spatial and land use planning at all levels.

were first division champions. In 1909 they won the F.A. cup against Bristol when Turnball scored the winner. In 1909 Trafford Park was purchased with the help of a grant. United played their last game at Claytonʼs Bank street ground on Jan 10th 1910 defeating Spurs 5-0. Shortly after United officially left the old ground a gale swept across Manchester and blew down the Bank Street stand, causing damage to houses in the surrounding area. The new ground was opened on Feb 19th and named ʻOld Traffordʼ. In 1911 they won the championship again. JJ Bentley took over as secretary. In 1928

they made it to the F.A. cup sixth round against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park and this was when they changed their green and gold for the now famous red, white and black. Incidentally, Blackburn won 20. In 1931 they were relegated and a Mr. Gibson who owned a clothing firm saved them this time. They also got a new manager, Scott Duncan. In 1934 they fell to the third division and just at the same time a young Matt Busby was playing for Manchester City. He also played for Liverpool and captained Scotland during wartime. In 1938 United returned to the first division with a new wing-half,

Walter Winterbottom. The Second World War then broke out and in 1941 Old Trafford was hit by a German bomb. It also marked the signing of a new manager, Sir Matt Busby. Sir Matt was to spend 25 years as manager. United had to play in Manchester Cityʼs ground due to the bombing. They were runners-up in the first division three years running. Busby signed Stan Pearson and Stanley Matthews. In 1948 at a game with 100,000 people in attendance, United won the F.A. cup against Blackpool. Pictured on the opposite page is the Munich Disaster plaque. To be continued

Ross Kemple is pictured getting his shirt autographed by the one and only Pele.




Sports DeskRaytown Bar Sponsored by

By Derek Buckley Malahide United v Ringsend Rovers 5:0 A Malahiding! It doesn始t get any bigger

than this for Ringsend Rovers as they venture into the FAI Cup 4th round against a team a league higher. Rovers were on a massive high after their third round triumph over Dublin Bus where

they were tagged no-hopers but it was Rovers who stopped the wheels on the bus going round and round as Rovers took a major scalp out of the cup! From there the 4th round gave them Malahide United

away. A depleted Rovers side travelled to a ground where, under fire, Steve Staunton trains his troops. Conditions were perfect, pitch was outstanding, weather amazing, but one thing that an-

noyed me was the attitude of the referee before the game. He had a dictatorial attitude, everything had to be perfect, which is fair enough, but everything was, bar his contribution. He was shocking.

NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2006 As early as the first minute the visitors knew what they were up against as the twelfth man did not award the visitors a blatant penalty that set the pace from there on. Any half challenge from Rovers resulted in a free-kick for their belowpar opposition. I say below-par simply because they created five chances and scored five goals. Now donʼt get me wrong– itʼs all about goals scored and not missed opportunities but the twelfth man did his best to make sure no matter what, Rovers were doomed to failure. Even though Vincent McQuarrie and Barry Young were ready for battle, the twelth man refused to acknowledge the rules of football as their trademark runs were ignored by the ʻhappy blowing whistle manʼ. Ringsend Rovers were 1:0 down at the break. Noel McDonnelʼs lads fancied their chances. A long story short– Rovers huffed and puffed but just couldnʼt score. Malahide, bottom line, took their chances, final score 5:0 and to be honest Rovers will learn one thing from this and that is that itʼs not always the better team that wins!


Still pulling the strings


have to say what a pleasure it was to interview a highly respected individual, a chap who gave 28 years service to Ringsend Rovers and is still pulling the strings.

Credit to Eddie Weafer in defence, Carl Murphy and Niall Goade in the middle and Mr Quality, Vincent McQuarrie, up front.


And finally a tip to the Manager. Leave quick-feet Barry Young up front unless youʼre two or three up and then stick him in as centre half!!!



ANNIE FITZPATRICK [nee Hanlon] was born on December 15th 1906 in Pembroke Cottages Ringsend. She was one of eight girls and has one sister living in Luton. Annie has been a guest of the Royal Hospital Donnybrook for a number of years now. You may remember her as the lady who always wore a hat going to daily mass in Ringsend. She has witnessed two world wars, the 1916 rising, the advent of radio and TV, the four changes of currency to mention but a few.

His full name is James White known locally as Jasper. He is currently the director of football for Ringsend Rovers and what a servant through the 70s, 80s and 90s. Looking back as a highlight for James was a 3:2 win against Ashtown Villa in the 4th round of the FAI Junior Cup. Villa were big-time material and the result for Rovers was the start of things to come, and putting them on the map. Jasperʼs preferred football teams at Premiership, Scottish and European level are Manchester United, Celtic and Barcelona respectively. When he is not watching football his favourite TV programme is Only Fools and Horses and the soap he likes best is Coronation Street. Jasper enjoys a Chinese from the Canton House but his favourite food is steak, spuds and onions. When I asked who the best current player was for Rovers, he was reluctant to pick any one man but eventually said Vincent McQuarrie. The player he would

want to play for Rovers is Sean OʼSullivan. He selected Anto Nangle as the best player from Ringsend. The best goal by Rovers in Jasperʼs opinion was scored by Karl Murphy. The best manager Jasper ever played for was Ritchie Kiernan. Jasperʼs favourite team apart from Ringsend Rovers is St Patʼs CY. Friends of Jasper have commented as follows: Simply the heart of the Club, 100% dedicated. (Current Manager Ringsend Rovers, Noel McDonnell). A left foot better than Liam Brady. Quality vision– what a companion. (Eugene Leahy) Iʼll never forget our misunderstanding, both of us red-carded and still best mates. (Ritchie Kiernan). One of the best friends you could have but never gamble with him as youʼll end up naked! (Robert Cummins). If thereʼs a draw to be done, no better man– Jasper whoʼs number one! A heart of gold and a pillar of Ringsend society. No better man for a Gilbert and Sullivan Song. (Mick Barnes) He took the reins from Willie Morrissey and Mickey Duffy– without him the club wouldnít be where they are now. What an engine! (Andy Boland).

he SAMRA AGM took place in Lakelands Girlsʼ School on Gilford Road on Tuesday 14th November. The Meeting was opened by the Chairperson Joan MacArthur. She said that the Association had been under great pressure in recent years due to gigantic developments planned for the area: the Incinerator, the Fabrizia proposal along the causeway, the redevelopment of the Irish Glass Bottle site, the Poolbeg Peninsula development proposal and the problems caused by the Sutton to Sandycove cycle way. The Chairperson said that members had been going over the Environmental Impact Statements for both the Incinerator and Fabrizia with submissions of some 17 to 36

pages. Joan MacArthur said that the application for a development at Castle Park/ Gilford Road had been refused but will be back again with revised plans as soon as is allowed. A planning application was before the City Council for the complete Spar corner with a takeaway where the Little Feet shoe shop was and with the top floor as a restaurant, both possibly Chinese. With regard to the Incinerator, she said that the association needed help from specialists in traffic management, air pollution, water pollution, environmental science, etc., to deal with the issues raised by such enormous planning applications. She asked for any help that could be given by individuals with such expertise . Hon Sec. Catherine Cavendish read a five-page report of some of the yearʼs prob-

lems, including dog dirt on the streets, graffiti, parking and clamping. She thanked Cllr. Dermot Lacey, who in cooperation with Area Manager Eileen Brady made it possible for citizens to attend the meetings of the South East Area Committee in City Hall. Anyone interested should ask Dermot about this. Lorna Kelly, the Planning officer for SAMRA, mentioned the OPW/Council booklet about flooding available in the South East Area Office on Cambridge Road. She went on to cover in detail various planning matters outlined by the Chairperson and Secretary The following officers were returned, Joan McArthur, Ann Jordan, Des Flynn, Lorna Kelly Cathal Stanley, Catherine Cavendish, Kieran Best, Liam Handy, Cathal Mallon, Malachy Ryan, Tom Ponsonby.



M u s i c4 …


Albums Iain Archer Magnetic North Magnetic North is the fourth album from Northern Irish singer/ songwriter Iain Archer. Iain released two albums in the mid nineties before joining Snow Patrol and winning an Ivor Novello award for co-writing the smash hit Run with them. This is his second album since going solo again. If youʼre expecting this album to be full of crashing guitars and pounding drums like Snow Patrol, think again! Iain archerʼs solo style is just that, the bare minimum of instruments with his guitar and melodic, heartfelt voice carrying the songs. Although the songs are beautiful and well written, thereʼs only one that makes me want to listen to it repeatedly. The single ʻWhen it kicks inʼ, written about the troubles in the North is one catchy song with cracking little riffs and a soaring anthem-like chorus. This had me hoping the rest of the album would be the same. Alas, that was not to be. A poor manʼs cross between Damien Rice and Snow Patrol! Tremors Humanzi Humanzi are one of the best of the recent crop of up and coming Irish bands, in my humble opinion! A four piece from Dublin the name Humanzi means half human, half ape and anything with a simian reference is good in my book (think Ian Brown, Arctic Monkeys). Influenced by the likes of Primal Scream, Led Zeppelin, Sonic Youth and Depeche Mode you can hear their influences all over their debut record. Somehow theyʼve managed to combine rock, punk and dance into a strange and exciting new hybrid of musical genre. The driving bassline on third track ʻOut on a wireʼ is reminiscent of New Order but with killer guitars and screaming vocals. Iʼd say these are four angry young men as evidenced in their full speed ahead, wreck the place punk style. This works though as it is not just noise for the sake of noise, its melodic noise with a purpose. Surprisingly their music is not all about sex, drugs and rock and roll, it actually has a message. The lads tackle everything from unfulfilled potential (in song for the understanding) to how society has become more and more materialistic in the first track ʻDiet Pills and Magazinesʼ. At least I think they did if I understood frontman Shaun Mulrooneyʼs screams right! We Thrive on Big Cities Director 2006 was the year of Director. From a band that few would have heard of in January to a top 20 single and album and a headline show in the Ambassador in December, thatís quite a trajectory for an emerging band. They have already given us one of the single of the year in Re-connect, three minutes of pure joy detailing a manís frustration and desire for the opposite sex. That track is one of 10 on this album and while it remains the standout song, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Director are more than one hit wonders. Singer Michael Maloney has the gift of writing short, punchy, hook-laden tunes that bear repeated listening. His voice is also distinctive; classically trained vocal chords adding character and class to drum tight arrangements. At 36 minutes long, the album feels a little incomplete and on some of the songs, Director seem content with the first take. As an opening salvo however, We Thrive on Big Cities has plenty more peaks than valleys.

Fingerprints The 4 of Us Fingerprints is an apt title for a band that has always been more individual and idiosyncratic than most. Content it seems to do their own thing rather than do what is expected of them, this is only the Newry bandís sixth studio album in 17 years. Heaven & Earth, their previous record probably didnít get the attention it deserved and while Fingerprints doesnít break any new ground, it is a solid enough slice of mature, slightly melancholic rock. Opening track Wildflower is the obvious single of the album. It is a grand sweep of a song; heartfelt lyrics, pulsating bass and lush strings. 2nd track, Dive into the River, it is similarly upbeat and Sweet Love is another beauty, a joyful tune wrapped round a bright acoustic refrain. The mood after that seems to darken, and the rest of the album is quite sombre and reflective in tone. Overall, a few bright spots but Fingerprints is perhaps not the best 4 of Us album to date.

Phantoms of radio: Ger Roe, Jack Hyland, Sinead and Laura-Lee.


By Brian Kelly

hat a joy it is to be able to turn on the radio any time of the day or night and be guaranteed good music. Since Phantom 105.2 began broadcasting loud, clear and legally last Halloween, it has been, as the advertising poster says, safe to turn on your radio again. Phantomʼs remit of promoting quality Irish and international music around the clock to a discerning audience means we no longer have to wait till 7pm in the evening to hear the best rock has to offer. We have entered some kind of indie heaven when you can now switch your wireless on in the morning and hear Weezer rather than Westlife. Instead of Robbie Williams and The Corrs in the dreaded afternoon slot, you are more likely to hear Sly + Robbie and The Cardigans. Of course it is very early days yet and the JLMR radio figures are only issued every 3 months, so Phantom 105.2 will have to wait till the New Year to see how its indie-only music policy is going down with the public. Early indication, however, indicates they have already established a firm niche in a crowded marketplace. According to chief executive, Gerard Roe, the anecdotal evidence in terms of texts, phone calls to the station and hits on the website means Phantom has already found favour with listeners and critics alike. The all important revenue stream from advertising is coming through as well, with ad agencies realising the station is offering something different from the other run-of-the- mill radio stations. When the audience figures are revealed in January 2007, Gerard is confident they will reach their initial target: 2% of the radio audience, a figure Phantom hit when they were a pirate operation. Previous attempts at providing an all-rock diet of music on the radio were not very successful. FM 104 started out life as Rock 104 but literally changed its tune within months. Times and tastes have changed since the mid 90s of course, giving Phantom a much healthier environment to broadcast in. For a start, the population of Dublin has mushroomed in recent years. Immigrants and demographic changes mean a whole new audience for radio stations. There is now a much broader base for the type of music Phantom plays. The sheer volume of music available today also means punters are listening to different genres on their iPods and MP3 players. Boundaries have become blurred. Independent music is not seen as the reserve of specialist music programmes in the evening anymore. Another reason to believe Phantom will succeed is the strength of their management and consortium team. The same core group who ran the old Phantom so successfully manages the station today. Financially, Phantom 105.2 is backed by major players in the radio and music business; people in essence who want to see the station succeed on its own terms. Principal Management, who manage U2 are backers. So too is Gaiety Investments, who have an involvement with MCD promotions. Frank Gleeson, who runs Whelans and the Village venues, is also part of the consortium. It is in their interest to see Phantom succeed in terms of their investment and in promoting the Irish music industry in general. Phantom already knows who its core audience is but is keen to establish new borders. Ger Roe reckons the station in the longterm will do even better than expected. “ I think there are a lot of people out there listening to radio at the moment who are happy with what is there, because thatʼs all there is. As the station establishes itself, we might find more floating listeners coming across to us because Phantom is providing something different. People ask us, what do you play? Well itʼs easier to say what we donʼt play. We donʼt play Justin Timberlake, we donʼt play Girls Aloud.” Have you ever heard two better reasons to tune in to a radio station?



Music4 …

SOMETHING STILL HAPPENS Music and memories Something Happens.


By Brian Rutherford


omething Happens and the movement they became arrived on the Irish music stage in Ireland in the early eighties. Lead singer, Tom Dunne was a Bonoesque/Michael Stipe figure backed by one of the best guitar players around in Ray Harman, a teddy boy on bass and an R.E.M. type drummer. The mix was good and through a few record releases they made their mark on the music world, becoming one of the most popular bands in the country and earmarked as one more heir to the throne of U2. When I think back to the post punk days in Dublin, certain landmarks stand out, such as the Haʼpenny markets and Freebird Records on Grafton Street. It was 1983 and I was a 14 year old with a Clash badge. Together with a gang of friends, we were looking for something else in the music world. And something did happen. One day, while playing pool on Westmoreland Street, a friend of mine produced a flyer, ʻSomething Happens play the Haʼpenny Marketʼ it said. I decided to give it a look. Heading off along the Liffey I wondered what awaited me. There were about 15 people in a bare room with no stage. 20p was the price of admission. The band enjoyed playing, despite the minuscule numbers in attendance and it was this sheer love of performing, which was the hallmark of the Happens music. I tapped my Doc Martins along to a few numbers and loved it

when they played the great ʻSouth Central Rainʼ by Georgiaʼs own R.E.M., a band who were a real source of inspiration for SH. Not long after the gig, I was in Freebird Records when I spotted a single on the wall; it was the Something Happens early release, ʻBurn Clearʼ. I bought and played it till it nearly wore out. Then a friend of mine gave me a call one day and said that Something Happens were playing the Baggot Inn. So a few of us tagged along one dark night in December. The gig was to back up the release of their first L.P., as they were called then, entitled ʻBeen There, Seen That, Done Thatʼ. They got a record deal and we all celebrated through a powerful set. At the encore I shouted for ʻSouth Central Rainʼ by R.E.M to be played. The L.P had some great tunes including ʻKills the Rosesʼ. The Happens reached their height of popularity in the nineties with songs ʻParachuteʼ and ʻPetrolʼ from the album ʻStuck Together With Godʼs Glueʼ. With sell-out shows in large venues throughout the country, their star never shone brighter. I was a bass player myself and played a gig with a group called ʻThe Bogomilsʼ. Some of my friends followed the Happens lead and joined groups of their own. One friend released a tape with a band called ʻThe Idiotsʼ who he drummed for, another sang with a band called ʻThe Entire Buildingʼ. Something Happens inspired many new acts among us callow youth in the 80s when many things seemed possible. Tom Dunne has now gone on to thrive on a new


Forthcoming Attractions

stage as a national broadcaster and Something Happens still dust down the instruments and plug in the amps for annual shows in Whelanʼs of Wexford Street. As long as the boys from Greenhills in Dublin keep the spirit of Something Happens alive, I will be a happy listener.


January Christy Moore and Declan Sinnott 21st Vibe For Philo Ray Lamontagne Mean Fiddler Fleadh 2007 featuring Willie Nelson and Family Shayne Ward

Vicar Street January 2, 3. Vicar St 4 National Stadium 17

Point 19, 20 Point Theatre 21,22,23,24

February Bloc Party Dave Matthews Band The Killers

Ambassador Feb 16 National Stadium 26 RDS 27, 28

March Saxon Michael Bolton The Waterboys The Australian Pink Floyd Joan Armatrading Lionel Richie

The Village Mar 3 Vicar Street 14 Point 18 Point 24 Vicar Street 24 Point 28

The Killers





o matter where I am in my beloved Dublin, the past comes back not to haunt me but to inspire and enthral me. The evening shadows were falling on a cold, wet November evening as I stood waiting for a bus to take me home. Opposite me the bleak rear walls of Pearse Garda Station, to my rear

the Screen Cinema, overlooked by Hawkins House. Not a pleasant location and as the rain continued to fall my thoughts went back through the years. The Theatre Royal, that great house in Hawkins Street, what great memories in the history of the dramatic arts and of Dublin through the years is embroiled in its history. On February 9th 1880, in the middle of the day a fire broke out about an hour before the mati-

SANDYMOUNT HOME HELP SERVICE Do you have two to four hours free every week and would you like to earn some extra money? We pay you €13.53 per hour (gross) to visit and care for vulnerable elderly in the community For further information, phone Brenda Dempsey (before 6.00pm) at 087- 9292119

nee performance of the pantomime ʻAli Babaʼ and the famous old lady of Hawkins Street was burned to the ground. The manager Mr Francis Egerton lost his life. All the drapery, curtains and scenes, were destroyed in the blaze and at around 2pm the roof collapsed and despite all efforts of Fire Chief Captain Ingram, all was destroyed. But what of its beginnings? The Theatre Royal was opened on January 18th 1821, designed by English man Samuel Beazley and it seated over 2,000 people. In 1880, as described, it was destroyed by fire and in 1897 the new Theatre Royal, designed by architect Frank Matcham had its grand opening. On March 17th 1908 the world heavyweight boxing title between Jem Roche and Tommy Burns took place there and in 1821 The Royal introduced its first pantomime– ʻDick Whittington And His Catʼ. This building was demolished in 1934. A new theatre, this time incorporating the Regal Rooms, was opened by Seán Lemass on September 23rd 1935 and a large Compton organ was put in place in the auditorium and of course played by the great Tommy Dando. Remember the Royalettes, chorus girls, dancers under Babs

De Monte and Alice Dalgrano and the orchestra under the baton of dapper Jimmy Campbell complete with rose in lapel. A highlight in the theatreʼs history during this period came in June 1959 when the theatre held the World Premiere of ʻDarby OʼGill And The Little Peopleʼ and the event was attended by Walt Disney. Sadly and unnecessarily, this great theatre closed its doors on June 30th 1962 and was demolished by November and Hawkins House appeared on it site. After its closure all the contents were sold by auction on

July 11th the same year. At the Grand Finale Cecil Sherdan said “I hope I see the day when someone knocks down an office block and build a theatre.” So, yes, as I stood on a wet November night waiting on my bus I could see beyond Hawkins House and recapture in my mind the great tradition of theatre-going Dublin. Pictures of the Theatre Royal from the 1940s, from left, clockwise: Comedian Jimmy OʼDea with a chorus line; backstage at the theatre– the two girls are Royalette dancers; the facade pictured about 1944.




ST ANDREWʼS Church Choir, Westland Row has launched their CD ʻA Christmas to Rememberʼ. The album, displayed above by Jennifer Wetter, is a collection of the most popular and favourite festive songs and carols. The CDs are selling for €15 and may be obtained from Veritas, Abbey Street, The National Gallery of Ireland Book Shop, St Andrewʼs Resource Centre and St Andrewʼs Church Office, Westland Row. The charity ʻRelay for Lifeʼ (Irish Cancer Society) and St Andrewʼs Church and Organ refurbishment will benefit from CD Sales.

Hobbler’s End / Raytown Bar 12 to 14 Bridge Street, Ringsend To book call Cliff or Karl at 6674792

Under New Management Completely refurbished

Food served Monday to Friday 12 mid-day until 3 pm and 5 to 9.30 pm Saturday 12 mid-day to 5 pm • Sunday Carvery 12 mid-day to 5 pm Soup and sandwiches served all day every day

Regular Bingo, Quiz and Music events through the week





By John Cavendish

rishtown Nature Park is where I walk my dog, Apollo. There are seats around the hill there and I find the one looking east to Dublin bay from the South Wall red lighthouse over to Dun Laoghaire to be the best location. Before we go home, we sit and watch the ships come into the Liffey and the Stena HSS take off for Holyhead as the kestrels hover. It is such a good experience I take as much time at it as the morning allows even when itʼs raining. My favourite place is also the favourite place of hundreds of other walkers. It would amount to name-dropping if I mentioned some of the well-known people who walk, run, cycle and just sit there. A survey of the numbers of

walkers taken in 2002, found that around 800 people walk out there daily in reasonably mild weather, while up to 2000 walkers or more do the round trip on fine weekends and bank holidays. The height above the sea creates the advantage of looking down on the main channel coming in from the cockle lake, and all kinds of creatures can be seen in this channel, seals, great northern divers, little egrets, curlew, godwit and of course the Brent geese and the three local herons. Irishtown Nature Park is situated on the former city dump, now rather grandly called the Poolbeg Peninsula, with a backdrop to the north of the ESB Poolbeg power station and the new Waste Water Treatment plant. You can find one of the main paths to it from Pigeon House Road and the other from the stile entrance point at Beach Road, in

The Christmas Crossword

Sandymount. The park is about 20 acres (8 Hectares) and is a fine example of how a former landfill site could be transformed into an ecological park with a focus on habitat creation and nature conservation. The project received a Ford Conservation Award in 1987. The emphasis was on the development of wild flower meadows and naturalised copses and plantations, using mainly native species to complement the existing heath land-type vegetation that has developed naturally on parts of the site. Numerous graduate studies and postgraduate work in botany and mycology, the study of fungi, have had the fieldwork carried out on the Nature Park. On the open grassland areas of the park orchids and St. Johnʼs wort are to be found in July and August and the plants there attract a large range of uncommon

coastal butterflies. Nature conservation requires techniques quite different from that generally practised in urban parks. Topsoil is an essential ingredient for the growth of cultivated plants but weeds quickly establish and thrive. Currently Japanese knot weed, a garden and park menace is establishing vigorously on the North face of the park as well as at the Eastern end. The progress of ecological development which culminates in forests takes a considerable number of years. The intention at Irishtown was to provide these varying habitats within as short a period as possible and this involved the planting of trees and sowing wild flowers throughout the site, the basic ingredients being nutrition and a satisfactory structure for the development of plant roots, especially for trees. As reported in ʻNewsFourʼ recently, in the fever created after the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, some locals were moved to install a small memorial stone to Chico Mendes at the very top of the hill in Irishtown Nature Park. A circle of trees planted then remains somewhat

stunted. The management of Nature Parks might be seen as simply ʻdoing nothingʼ but the Parks Department have to mow meadows at particular times and remove the cuttings. In contrast to other grassed areas in landscaped parks which are mowed, the grass cuttings arenʼt removed. In carrying out these works at Irishtown Nature Park, the park keepers have been conscious of not disturbing the most important areas which are attractive both visually and ecologically, so the southern and eastern slopes are undisturbed with most of the planting in the centre of the site while it is on the northern and western boundaries that the greater part of tree planting was done. I go to Irishtown nature Park frequently as I live in Sandymount. However, some users of the park refuse to take their cans and rubbish home with them after drinking parties which can be very annoying. However, the park is recognised by most local residents as a unique amenity where a bracing coastal walk can be enlivened by songbirds in full voice. Opposite: John and Apollo.

Name…………………………… Address………………………………………………………………………

The October crossword winner was Fiona Fitzgerald, Dublin 4. There will be special prizes for the first three correct crossword entries for this Christmas edition. Entries to be sent in to ʻNewsFourʼ before 31 January 2007. ACROSS 1 Irish film star living locally (5,7) 7 Look before you _ _ _ _ (4) 8 Be sure to write in this, beginning 1st January (5) 10 Black and yellow striped stinging insect (4) 13 Our national broadcasting authority (3) 15 Someone who watches, the television maybe (6) 16 This Dublin theatre is showing 20 across this year (6) 17 A grass related to wheat and barley, used in bread making (3) 19 A sound of disgust (3) 20 The panto now showing at 16 across (6,5) 21 A joke or a device to silence (3) 23 American version of posted (6) 24 Very nearly (6) 27 Sour fruit sets my teeth on _ _ _ _ (4) 28 Heʼs coming to town very soon (you better be good) (5) 29 Vocal solo in an opera (4) 30 It is easy to be wise after the _ _ _ _ _ (5) 31 _ _ _ _ _ _ yourself, do as you like, or ask politely (6) DOWN He wrote the Plough and the Stars and had a bridge named after him 2 in the Docklands (6) 3 Allʼs _ _ _ _ in love and war (4) 4 Underdone meat, or not easily available (4) 5 ʻNewsFourʼ wishes this to all our readers (5,9) 6 This Englishman landed in Ringsend and went on to storm Drogheda in 1649 (6,8) 9 In any case, anyhow (2,3,4) 11 Sandymount _ _ _ _ _ _ runs from Gilford Road to Merrion Road (6) 12 The opposite of positive (8) 14 These yellow flowers are looked forward to in spring time (9) 17 Abbreviation of a manʼs name and the number on a vehicle (3) 18 Could 20 across lay one of these? (3) 20 Melt in the mouth confectionery made with egg whites (8) 22 David _ _ _ _ _ _ is Dublinʼs famous Joycean scholar (6) 25 Itʼs all over, gone (4) 26 Donʼt go any further, stay there (4)



The Vintage Inn The Vintage Inn, 74 Irishtown Road, Dublin 4. phone : 01 658 7303

‘Lunch’ at The Vintage with speciality coffees and desserts is served Monday to Friday from 12 noon.

Enjoy the weekday banter with a relaxing pint or a bottle of wine served chilled at your table.

Customers may also avail of our wi-fi service. Whether having a meeting or booking a holiday, bring your laptop and go online.

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



Christmas what’s going on A guide to the special events in the City this Christmas season!

Sandymount Green 11 December 5 pm The Christmas tree lights would be switched on in the Green on Monday 11th December at 5pm with Santa in attendance and also the Girls Choir under the direction of Patricia Brie and Louise Burke. Live Animal Crib 11-23 December For the 11th year running, The Mansion House on Dawson Street will host a traditional nativity scene set with live animals in a specially constructed life-size stable. This event has become a beloved Christmas tradition amongst families and has collected over €110,000 for the Lord Mayorʼs Charity Fund. Organized by the Irish Farmers Association and Dublin City Council, this wonderful event is free. Smithfield on Ice 10 November7 January Dublinʼs original open air IceRink and a Victorian carnival returns to Smithfield for the fifth year running. Santa will be up the 170ft Smithfield chimney and everyone

can get a chance to bump and slide on the ice! (Tel: 818946900/www. Santaʼs Workshop– (every weekend in December) This year for the first time Santa has moved his work from Lapland in the North Pole to Dublinʼs City Hall!!! Christmas Market (1-10 December) Christmas market in Wolfe Tone Park with Christmas fare available from over 20 stalls. 12 Days of Christmas– Traditional Festive Market at Georgeʼs Dock (12-23 December) Featuring over 40 traders selling Christmas decorations, seasonal food and craft gifts from decorated stalls, the market also offers the scent of mulled wine, a Germanthemed bar, carol-singing, and eating area and fairground attraction. Dublin Docklands Authority The National Museum of Ireland– Saturday 16 December Museum of Archaeology and History, Kildare Street, D2– chil-

Calafort Átha Cliath

dren will be encouraged to make their own Christmas decorations and decorate a tree at this childrenʼs art workshop (booking essential) (Tel: 0167774444 www. Irish Museum or Modern Arts (IMMA) Royal Hospital Kilmainham, D8 A number of exciting exhibitions will be running for all the family to enjoy including Michael Craig-Martin (until 14 January), Hearth Concepts of Home from the IMMA Collections in collaboration with Focus Ireland (Until 1 April), Iran do Espirito Santo (Until 21 January) and all Hawaii Entrees (Until 18 Feburary) www. Dublin City Gallery– The Hugh Lane, Parnell Square North, D1 Childrenʼs Art Workshops: 12 Days of Christmas (Saturday 16 December) And Little Christmas (Saturday 6 January) The Moving Crib, St Martinʼs Church, 42 Parnell Square (1 December to 15 January) Established in 1956 by Fr. Louis Coffey, the Moving Crib has now entertained generations of Dubliners. (Tel: 8745465) Christmas Magic at the James Joyce Centre, 35 North Great Georgeʼs Street The James Joyce Centre transforms into a Victorian wonderland. Two Christmas trees and sumptuous décor will blend with


the smells of mince pies, roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and apple cider. Every guest will receive a mince pie and a glass of warm, spiced apple juice or mulled wine. Temple Bar Christmas Market (14 to 17 December 10 am to 7 pm) Christmas market in the Old City Temple Bar, Essex Street West– over 50 stallholders will take to the streets. Christmas Movies on the Square Every Thursday and Saturday in December movies will take place in Meeting House Square, Tem-


ple Bar and are free, no tickets required: ʻItʼs a Wonderful Lifeʼ (9th December 8pm), ʻMiracle on 34th Streetʼ (14th 6 pm), ʻThe Santa Clausʼ (16th 8pm), ʻSanta Clause the Movieʼ (21st 6 pm) and ʻScroogedʼ (23rd 8 pm). National Crafts and Design Fair 6 December to 10th December Main Hall, RDS, Ballsbridge Opening times: Wed, Thurs and Fri 10 am to 10 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 7 pm. Entrance €10, OAPS €7.00 ( Pictured above is Herod from the Moving Crib, Parnell Square.


Dublin Port Company Port Centre, Alexandra Road, Dublin 1. Telephone: 887 6000, 855 0888 Fax: 855 7400 Web: Toddle Waddle is one of the Meningitis Trustʼs annual fundraising events, raising in excess of €125,000 each year for the charity. St. Matthewʼs Pre-School, above, raised over €400 for the trust.




By Fergal Murphy


he New Year is nearly upon us. This is the time of year that usually Iʼd give a quick thought to giving up smoking and just as quickly dismiss it as an idiotic idea. Why would I want to do that? Sure, I enjoy smoking, I can afford it and Iʼll worry about the health consequences further down the line. Well, it was suggested here in ʻNewsFourʼ that someone give the Alan Carrʼs ʻEasy Way To Stop Smokingʼ book a test run and me, being the die-hard smoker that I am, reluctantly volunteered.


Iʼd be a heavy smoker (about twenty a day) and having recently gone back training and remembering it is necessary to be able to breathe when youʼre jogging! My willingness to give up smoking has been increasing all year so, in the back of my mind I was hoping this book would give me the miracle solution to doing just that. I have found the book very helpful and it has put a lot of things in perspective. The main reasons I would have for staying on the smokes would be: I enjoy about three a day (first thing in the morning and after meals), for something to do or when Iʼm feeling insecure and fears Iʼd put on weight. This book dispelled all these notions and made me see how ridiculous my thinking is around smoking, so much so that for about three weeks when I was just starting the book I was on and off the smokes and then trying to cut down. Till I got to the chapter that told me not to attempt to cut down and to keep

smoking till I finished the book. So, I duly obliged and went back full blast. Still not having finished the book and still smoking, Iʼm not enjoying smoking as much as I once did, when I light one up now thereʼs a nagging voice in the back of my head telling me I shouldnʼt be doing it. I plan to finish the book by the New Year and give it another go then so, Iʼll let you know how it goes! HSE launches Stop Smoking Campaign Smokers planning to give up are urged to contact National Smokersʼ Quitline which has 22% quit rate success. The HSEʼs campaign encourages smokers to maximise their chances of successfully quitting smoking with the help of the National Smokersʼ Quitline which provides support and information. The Quitline is in operation from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week. Smokers can CallSave 1850 201 203 for further information and support.

CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING Dublin City Council are providing a Christmas Tree chipping service available from 27th December to 20th January inclusive between 9.00 am and 4.00 pm daily at Rathmines Waste Management Depot, Gullistan Terrace (rear Town Hall). This service will be provided free of charge

PLASTIC RECYCLING A facility for the reception of plastic bottles will be provided on a pilot basis at Sandymount Strand Car Park prior to Christmas.

ʻLIGHTHOUSE BLINKINGʼ is Brian Powerʼs fourth collection of poems and features over 70 poems. It follows his previous collections, ʻHard Berriesʼ (1996), ʻThe Past Must Riseʼ (1998), and ʻThrough Glass Darklyʼ (2005). Brian Powers is a retired priest who has had articles and stories published in newspapers and magazines throughout Ireland. ʻLighthouse Blinkingʼ is published by Bayleaf Publications.

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL Don’t waste this Christmas… Recycle! Ringsend recycling centre Pigeon House Road Opening Hours for Christmas period:

Sat 23rd Dec: 9.00am to 2.00pm Sun 24th Dec: Closed Mon 25th Dec (Christmas Day): Closed Tues 26th Dec (St. Stephen’s Day): Closed Wed 27th Dec: Closed for servicing Tues 28th to Sat 30th Dec: Open as usual Sun 31st Dec & Mon 1st Jan: Closed Tues 2nd Jan: Reopen as usual

For further details contact: Phone: (01) 6676880 Email: Website:



The Fontenoy Files By Shay Connolly


006 saw continued progress on the playing front. Starting with the Adult Footballers the first team has reached the play offs. Plagued by injuries throughout the year, we still kept the momentum going and despite some very close calls have still managed to lie second in the league with one match remaining. Tom Smyth was recruited this year as Manager and he comes with a fine pedigree. Tom played with Longford senior footballers for over a decade and as he says himself “at

The Aussies depart– petrified! a time when it was harder to get off the county squad than it was to get on it.” Tom has brought two other clubs, Trinity Gaels and St Oliver Plunketts from Intermediate ranks to Senior. And that is where he intends to bring us. Our second adult football team had a mixed season achieving some great scalps and some great reverses. Again, the club has recruited a new manager in Ray OʼBrien in the last number of weeks and their two league matches since his appoint-

ment have resulted in wins over second and third place teams, Na Fianna and St Vincents. With a steady flow of Minors coming through and with the expertise of Tralee man OʼBrien in the management seat the future looks as bright for this team as it has for a long time. Inter hurlers showed a huge improvement on last year and actually finished joint top in the Championship league campaign. This got them through to the quarter finals proper but alas they fell to a very slick

Aoife Connolly, Ami OʼBrien and Marie Boyne present a cheque for €1400 to Tom Hickey, National Childrenʼs Hospital, Crumlin, on behalf of Clanna Gael Fontenoy.

Round Towers side, who eventually went on to win it. Next year a whole new ball game is in store as one of the best underage teams to come through the club for years will be contesting for places and with proper structure in place we could reach the hallowed grounds of Senior Hurling in the next couple of years. Vying for team of the year are the Junior Hurlers. After winning the Championship last year and getting promoted they went through their

campaign impressively and qualified for the quarter finals stage. In that match they impressively accounted for St Pats of Palmerstown, scoring 3-21 in the process. In the semi-final they faced the much fancied St Olafs from Sandyford. Once again, an impressive performance and high scoring saw them reach the final for the second year in a row. They faced the might of Craobh Chiaran in the final and were overwhelming underdogs.

U11s take time off training for a chat with the Aussies.

NEWSFOUR CHRISTMAS 2006 Midway through the second half they led by 2 points but the guile of the Chiarans lads, many with Senior Championship medals in their back pockets, was too much on the day and the boys, who really never got going lost out by 4 points in the end. By reaching the final the lads got promoted for the second year running. With the amount of hurlers we now have on our books, the chances of having two very good adult teams are promising. Ladies adult football team, straight from their promotion and championship success last year held their own in their new league. This is a very young side with enormous talent and the only way is up for these lassies. But they did not let the season go by without bringing a trophy back to the club and at the third time of asking were victorious in the Tracy Staunton Memorial tournament. Ladies minors are fielding well and the under 16s are also a team vying for the club team of the year. Having already captured league honours, they have also reached the Championship Final and as we go to print they eagerly await Lucan Sarsfields in that encounter. So, too, the Under 10 team who also have won their league but unfortunately were beaten in their championship final. All other underage girlsʼ football teams are doing extremely well. U 13 hurlers were involved in epic league semi final tussle with Setanta. Finding themselves 9 points down at half time they fought back to go in front with 5 minutes to go. Setanta replied to go a point in front deep in injury time but the Ringsend lads got the equaliser with the last puck of the game in what was a brilliant match in Ringsend. Alas, they lost the replay by a couple of points but this team has some fine hurlers and are ones for the future. U14 footballers having captured the County Championship early in the year are also through to the league final. All other Juvenile teams are fielding strongly and this section is in good health. Crossing a few ʻTʼs and dotting a few ʻIʼs at

PAGE 41 structure level will see them even better in the years ahead. Club coach Darren McGee is setting out his stall in style and all local schools will have felt his presence in the last number of months. Great to see so many youngsters from Haddington Road back in training and if a team could be reassembled from this it would bring back memories of the heady days when this school contested so many Croke Park finals. Minor hurlers, after a defeat in their first game, went unbeaten for the rest of the season to capture the All-County Div 2 title. With so many teams promoted last year we have fared excellently in our new lofty positions. We contested three County Championship finals, and are about to contest a fourth before Christmas. Three league titles and also contesting another one before the New Year. Add in a Féile title at U14 level and it shows that the rungs of the ladder are being climbed gradually. We would like to thank our sponsors Dublin Port Co for their assistance throughout the year and their commitment has helped greatly in the recent successes of our teams. They have helped us to raise the bar of expectations around here at the club and we intend to keep raising them!

Back Chat

* The sniper who felled Paddy Joyce some years ago returned once again to claim another victim on a cold November night in Sean Moore Park. The hapless victim this time was James Boylan. James who had just gone on one of his customary mazy runs and lost the ball as he usually does, was trying to get back up the pitch when the sniper struck. Like Paddy Joyce, he hit the ground like a ton of bricks clutching his left thigh. After treatment brave James hobbled off the pitch holding his right thigh. Confused? Ask Ray OBrien! * The Australians came to Clanna Gael Fontenoy on the eve of their 2nd test against Ireland in Croke

Frank White and Paul Kennedy with Kevin Sheedy, Australian Manager.

More Clanna Gael Fontenoy members give some tips to the Aussies… Park. (See main picture) A measure of their apprehension of the hosts was the arrival of two special branch cars an hour before they landed. When the Aussies arrived The Legend greeted them in his usual fashion and led them into the dressing rooms where a bout of jostling began. Some of the Warriors arrived and the Aussies hastily departed to the pitch for a training session. It didnʼt last long as the Sean Moore breeze that has frozen many an opposition in the past had them shivering for their Bovril. They quickly got the hell out of there up to the comfort of their Berkley Court suites. Therefore, it came as quite a shock to hear Sean Boylan whinging the following day about the roughness of the Aussie lads. There is a definite need for a Raytowner on the Management team next year. * John Dodd who hones his skills at management level with the under 11s has just started up his own business from his home in Lansdowne Park. John, along with his darling belle Geraldine, who never saw a car until she came to Dublin from Westmeath, have named their new enterprise ʻThe Boxty Boxʼ. For all you illiterate Jackeens, boxty is made from spuds and milk. John has perfected his own style with some expert skills that he learned from his time making poteen in the hills of Sligo. The Legend recently made a visit and was treated to a plateful. Since then he has had severe draught problems. * The Cranky Yankee (remember him) a.k.a. Gareth Saunders is on a literature course at present. Gareth was found out recently when, despite a sign saying ʻNo Dogs Allowed in the Clubhouseʼ just kept bringing his in. He was quickly dispatched to a Night School Institution. * Stephenʼs Night and New Yearʼs disco in the hall. Tickets €20. Orders must be given before Xmas week. * €10,000 is on its way to the Na-

tional Childrenʼs Hospital from the club. This was raised lately in our Annual All-Ireland forecast Competition. Well done to all concerned. * Moan of the year award is with us again. Itʼs amazing but this award started out some years back with only a couple of entrants. Such has been the practising going on that there are now multitudes of possible winners. Methinks I know who is favourite but all will be revealed on the 9th December. (Hint hint– Intermediate footballer) * 9th December is of course, our Annual Bash. Moving upmarket to the Tara Towers hotel this year is living proof of how up our noses we have become lately. Some members are actually staying overnight in the salubrious surroundings. These members are so excited as it will be their first time in a hotel. Itʼs a long way from togging out in the Park and St Brendanʼs Cottages. * Jacqui McDonald, she of multi tasking expertise, is organising the above event again this year. For this yearʼs event, Jacqui has organised a Mr Clans Man competition. For the last 3 months she could be seen hovering around outside the dressing rooms on Tuesday and Thursday nights, measuring thighs, biceps etc and entering them onto her clip board. Niall Maher on hearing such exciting undertakings quickly returned to training and is short odds to capture the inaugural trophy. * A close eye will have to be kept on Stephen Cox this year. Stephen, who had never been through a revolving door before last yearʼs event, was so enthralled at the experience that he fainted on his 89th time around. Such is the esteem that we hold Stephen in that we searched high and low for a hotel with straight doors for this yearʼs event. * Veteran Damien ʻBiscuitsʼ Redmond, of Junior Hurling fame has embarked on a new career of profes-

sional singing. Known to his professional friends as the ʻMike Chewerʼ there wasnʼt a dry eye at the recent Junior hurling presentation in the Clubhouse. Damien gave a rendering of that wonderful reggae song Boolavogue and got so carried away with his deliverance that he had to be removed from the stage after the 51st verse with his eyes still closed. * Ronan ʻBulldogʼ Murphy, another of Junior Hurling fame, is laid low at the moment. So low in fact that he is crawling around the place on his shins. Bulldog was so incensed at a late challenge in a match recently that when he saw the opponentʼs legs he laid a severe blow at them. Forgetting that he had changed socks for the match Bulldog soon realised that it was in fact his own legs that suffered the vengeful stroke. He has since been diagnosed with Self Harm Syndrome! * Congrats to Kim Flood who has been drafted in to the Dublin Senior Football team. Seen as one of the great prospects of Dublin Ladies football, Kim at 17 years of age, we are sure will represent this club with distinction well into the future. * Also congrats to Paul and Elaine McDonald on the birth of their new arrival. * Please spare a moment over the Christmas period to reflect on all the dear friends the Club has lost over this past year and unfortunately there have been many. Ar dheis De go raibh a n-anameacha dilise. * Club lotto is heading for €5000. Tickets available from usual outlets. * Traditional music session every Thursday night in the Bar at 9.00. * Is that 21st, 40th, 90th occasion coming up in 2007? Ring Shay to book your special day at 0879011716. * All thatʼs left to say is that the club would like to wish all its members, supporters and friends a joyous Christmas and a wonderful New Year.



Donna the Florist 51a Donnybrook Road, Dublin 4

Donna Ryan, Interflora Award-Winning Florist has now opened her own flower shop

Order early for Christmas to avoid disappointment • House decorations • Gift ideas • Delivery service



By John Cavendish


ork is well under way at a site at Sandymount Road for a new building of a public house and two shops, replacing the older row of numbers 84-90. The site area consists of around 7,500 sq. ft. on the ground floor site area. Currently, ground works are taking place with a cellar being built. The first floor is to have two office suites totalling 4,000 sq ft and two apartments, whilst the second floor will have six apartments with a roof garden overhead. The overall building when finished will be about 20,000 sq. ft. and the site is to be completed by June 2007. The pub is to be a mixture of traditional & contemporay design, which will be medium-sized and catering for the mid-to upper-end

S ANDYMOUNT of the market but it will not be a ʻGastro Pubʼ says the owner Kieran Mulligan, pictured right, who takes a long term approach to this venture. As a Sandymount resident with his children in the local schools, he sees his development as being in keeping with the appearance and ambience of Sandymount Village. Whilst he will be retaining ownership of the pub on completion, he will not be taking a hands-on role in the day-to-day running of the new pub and he has just signed up a very experienced bar manager. Kieran sees his development as a gain for Sandymount and heʼll not be selling it on and will retain ownership of the entire development on completion. He is a keen rugby fan and hopes the new pub will be ideal around match time when the new Lansdowne Road

hosts games. As the owner of Café Java, Kieran is already involved in running the local café in Sandymount, from which he has gained experience of working with residents in the area. Over a cup of tea we discussed the possibility of a name and ʻMulliganʼs of Sandymountʼ seemed to slip off the tongue, but as of yet,no name has been confirmed. Letʼs hope all the plans and building work go well and that next June will see yet another excellent hostelry in Sandymount.

Opening Hours 9 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday 11 am to 4 pm Sunday Telephone: 2194555 * Fax: 2611799

A Happy Christmas and New Year to all

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

CHRISTMAS SPECIALS Sunday Dinner 12 mid-day to 5 pm Weekday lunch 12 mid-day to 3 pm Evening meals 5 pm to 8 pm Live music every weekend Function Room available for Christmas Parties Every Friday Night at 8.30 Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament A Happy Christmas and New Year from Eddie and Harry



The Christmas Poetry Place Winter

Finding God

The trees are like skeletons now The late winds created the row. Leaves skidded, along the ground And shivered in places, around corners They will have to be cleared. Soon buds will appear Announce the start of the year The miracle of nature, Defying, ʻGlobal Warmingʼ Pollution, Chemicals, Fear Dangers ever near. By Carmel McCarthy

An Artist’s Prayer Universe, and all that lies beyond, Great web of life, Support me with your threads of light, Red, orange, yellow, Green, blue, indigo, violet, Rainbow without end, Help me while I explore the gift of creativity. Encourage me with your messages, Found in every tree, stone, blade of grass, Flower, fellow human and animal, Nurturing earth, sun, moon, other planets and stars, Reach through to my inner being. I have opened the channels To the healing power of the artist within, She who was born along with me Who died a thousand deaths And still asked for a chance to be heard. Hold me in the wisdom of your heart And gather in every small treasure, Each a perfect creation in itself, Precious seeds to be protected By the nourishing darkness, In preparation for a new beginning Trusting, loving and being loved, In the great unfolding of life. By Ali Fisher

Christmas Starts Christmas starts with carols Ringing sweetly through the night. With happy family gatherings Each face a lovely sight. It starts with lists of dear ones We reach out to touch once more With the faithfulness of love renewed And stronger than before. It starts with warmth and kindness In our pleasant preparations With wreaths and candles beckoning Like silent invitations. Christmas is the cherished time Because its magic starts In all the warmth and tenderness Stored up in loving hearts.

A friend of mine Has recently Found God. Funny, I didnʼt even know He was lost! Was there a reward? If there was, My friend has kept it For himself. I bet there was Otherwise Why did he not Ask me for help? I would have been out Combing the hills too And for nothing! I mean, What sort of Christian Does he think I am!

Oh we still love you ʻBang Bangʼ We miss you so a stór Your likes oul Dublin City Will never see no more.

Either way Itʼs good to know, That Godʼs turned up Safe and sound.

True the West had the James boys And the old Dalton gang But theyʼd never compete With our darlinʼ ʻBang Bangʼ

With six gun disguised As a latch door key He kept law and order In Baile Ath Cliath. Aye, ʻtwas many a redskin He saw bit the dust And manyʼs the baddie Did flee in disgust. He cleaned up the Mill To head for the Bond The rustlers soon scurried In haste to abscond. Then he rode shotgun For the oul CIÉ The passengers safety Being his only fee.

By Seán MacGearailt

Ringsend Park They say theyʼre unhappy with Ringsend Park Green land on the edge of the sea, Where once had dabbled the wild mudlark While the gulls overheard soared free. Where once was a cess-pool of black mucky sand With ugly discards on its fringe, A dog-bank unsightly on Merrion Strand Whose odour would make a gull cringe. A place where the cockle lake turned on its heel And scurried straight back to the tide, Where seaweed exposed in the noon-day sun Polluted the air as it died. There man couldnʼt venture and keep a whole foot There gulls couldnʼt swim and stay white, ʻTwas a foul sort of quagmire, the colour of soot Avoided by day and by night. Then they took all the garbage of Dublinʼs big town And dumped it on top of the muck, And kept up the dumping while taping it down ʻTil dirt unto dirt it got stuck. Then over the top they spread fine Irish clay And seeded their efforts with grass, ʻTil the green breath of freshness you see there to-day Gave Ringsend a new touch of class. So if you feel unhappy with old Ringsend Park Green spot on the edge of the sea, Where in the clear air, above soars the lark, Think of what, on that spot, used to be. By Seán MacBrádaigh

By Ann-Marie

Ode to ‘Bang Bang’

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

By Noel Martin

Christmas – Lovingly A gift of love at Christmas What could be a better way To celebrate the season In the world we know today. For many hearts are lonely Many need a helping hand And many still are waiting For that one whoʼll understand. And each of us, no matter What our circumstances may be Has something deep within to give At Christmas lovingly. By Ann-Marie

A Seaman’s Prayer Our lives are passed away from every land In waters in the hollows of thy hand. Our ways are found by sun, moon and stars But ever in thy hands our fortunes are The dangers hem us in of every kind The seas that shatter and the fog that blind The wind that heaps the sea rock shore Collision and fire, the dangers of the sea O lord if that may not be Grant us the manhood fitting to the sea. School-master in City Quay, Mr Duffercy, remembered by John Byrne

A Timeless Christmas Message Christ came to us at Christmastime To show us perfect love, To ask us all to follow Him To His Fatherʼs home above. But we can have a foretaste Of what itʼs like in Heaven When selfless love is born Within our hearts. By Michael Thompson



News four december 2006  
News four december 2006