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By Jason McDonnell he Abundant Grace Christian Assembly centre on 57 Irishtown Road, Dublin 4 is a non denominational, independent Pentecostal Church where people come from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. They don’t see themselves as Catholic or Protestant, they just see themselves as children of God. Everyone who comes to the centre says they find great peace there. Pastor Sharon Perry says, “We are a very small church with a very big vision. We have a small congregation of around 60 people with a big heart”. Pastor Sharon has been living in Dublin for seven years with her husband Pastor Paul

Perry. She feels privileged and blessed that God gave her a chance to work here. She has developed a great relationship with the area and has built up a lot of trust. As part of their vision, the pastors from the centre visit sick people in hospitals or in their own homes, to sit with them and pray if they need prayer. They believe in healing for today, so they try to just be there for people as some can become isolated at times of illness. Their ‘City Lights Project’ sees them helping the wider community, assisting in hospital runs for people in difficulty, and members of the congregation, headed by Pastor John Gorman go out into the

city with sleeping bags, soup, tea, coffee and biscuits for the homeless. Plans are in place to take this a step further by opening two residential facilities in North County Dublin. In August, the Abundant Grace centre ran ‘Deepfish’ (pictured left). You may have seen people in the area with blue T shirts washing windows, cleaning the streets, gardening and doing general DIY. This busy week ended with a huge party with over 200 people coming to the centre for a BBQ, face painting and inflatable balloons. This is always a wonderful week with lots of activities for young people including parties in the park and on the beach.

Abundant Grace offers mass on Sunday mornings at 11am and provides a wide range of weekly services from prayer meetings and Bible classes to

Christmas has come to O’Connell Street and Fergus Meneghan took this photo

Xtreme Youth Club and Parent and Toddler groups. Once a month there is the much loved ‘Yummy Mummys’ beauty service, where the ladies can relax and enjoy some welldeserved pampering in the form of manicures, pedicures, facials, make-up, threading, hand and feet massages etc. All free of charge. Christmas hampers are now being prepared for people who are isolated or in need. If you or anyone you know might be in need of a hamper, Pastor Sharon would be glad to hear from you. The hampers provide toys for families with children and they also have hampers for senior citizens and food hampers for anyone in need. This Christmas they are offering a new ‘Home Alone’ service. The intention of Abundant Grace is not to see anyone home alone this Christmas. They will provide a delicious Christmas lunch (free of charge) in the church and it is open to all. If you would like to join them they would appreciate, where possible, some notice so they have an idea of how many people to cater for. You can contact them on 087 958 8513 or As we go to print, Abundant Grace has been served notice to quit the church property (which is now owned by NAMA) by May 2013. In May of last year Abundant Grace made NAMA a substantial offer to purchase the property, but it was declined. They are now taking legal advice on the matter. Pastor Sharon and all at Abundant Grace would value the support and prayers of the local community at this time. It is not their intention to leave the area and they would like to see the matter resolved for the sake of the whole community.



Power production on the Poolbeg Peninsula for over a century. See page 20

‘The Taking of Christ’ by Caravaggio at the National Gallery. See page 22

The renewal of Dublin Docklands is discussed on pages 30 and 31

The play of James Joyce’s classic ‘The Dead’ is reviewed on page 34


NewsFour Editor Karen Keegan Proof Reading: Gemma Byrne Staff Eimear Murphy Jason McDonnell Joan Mitchell Liam Cahill Joe McKenna Caomhan Keane Rupert Heather Eric Hillis Contributors James O’Doherty Noel Twamley Nicky Flood Anthony Brabazon Jimmy Purdy Kirstin Smith Niamh Murphy Pat Kane David Thomas Nolan Web Designer Andrew Thorn Photography John Cheevers Design and Layout Eugene Carolan Ad Design Karen Madsen Community Services, Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre, Thorncastle Street, Ringsend, Dublin 4. Telephone: (01)6673317 E-mail: Website: NewsFour Newspaper is part of a FÁS Community Employment Programme.



�e Editor’s Corner

t’s starting to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go… and we’re all getting very excited in NewsFour. Mr. Tilly has his lights on for Our Lady’s Hospice, Christmas trees are popping up in front windows and town is already buzzing with Christmas shoppers. Congratulations to last issue’s Go Car competition winners Joseph Borza and Cormac Mullarkey who both received a year’s membership for Go Car. We have a fantastic Christmas competition for you, thanks to Michael Byrne Butchers, Roast Restaurant, the Fair Play Café, Shelbourne Pharmacy and Books on the Green for their very generous prizes. There’s only one week to get your entry form in so hurry to page 5, cut yours out and take a ramble to spread some Christmas cheer! We are now updating our subscription list for 2013. If you know someone who would like to receive NewsFour at home or abroad then contact us in the office on 667 3317. This would make a great stocking filler and it won’t break the bank. There has been an increase in robberies in the area recently. Please be vigilant over the festive season and don’t leave expensive gifts in view near windows. As usual our bumper Christmas issue is full to the gills, even Ebenezer Scrooge makes an appearance on page 34. We welcome Eric Hillis to our NewsFour team and sadly bid adieu to Caomhan Keane who has been with us for 2 years. On behalf of Sandymount Community Services I’d like to thank the Aviva Stadium Community Fund for helping us to reprint ‘A Social and Natural History of Sandymount, Irishtown and Ringsend’. This book is available to buy in our office or from Books on the Green at €13.99. Finally, all that is left to be said is Happy Christmas from all of us here at NewsFour and a peaceful, safe and prosperous New Year to you all. Karen

The Letterbox Dear Editor, I would like to get back in touch with old friends and I’m hoping you and your readers might be able to assist me. I am trying to contact brothers Willie and Tom Egan who grew up in Thorncastle Street, Ringsend. In 1951 myself, my brother John, Willie, Tom and Jimmy (maw maw) Mooney left Ringsend and went to England looking for work. We got good jobs over there but eventually came back to Dublin. Then the Egan brothers emigrated to Canada. In the late 50s myself and my brother John returned to England where I lived for 45 years. I am now living back in Dublin. John spent the rest of his life there until he passed away in 1993. Jimmy Mooney passed away two years ago. I haven’t seen Willie for over 60 years so it would be great to contact him if he is on the web. Yours sincerely, James (Shay) Byrne Dear Editor, The former St. Patrick’s CYMS which has now become St. Patrick’s Catholic Men and Women’s Society (CMWS) are now in the process of welcoming new members to our branch here in 2A Irishtown Road, Ringsend. The former CYMS was once a men only domain but not any longer thanks to a decision by the National Executive Council to amend our constitution and thus to invite and welcome women to become members and to play an integral role in what we see as a bright future for our society especially here in Ringsend. We are always happy to see people enjoying themselves and interacting in a warm, friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The branch is open Tuesday to Friday from 7pm – 10pm. The committee meet every second Tuesday evening so if you would like to call into the branch any Tuesday evening from 8th January 2013 after 7.30pm to talk to the committee you are more than welcome. Yours Faithfully, The Executive Committee St. Patrick’s CMWS

The Dublin Dockworkers Preservation Society The Dublin Dockworkers Preservation Society is collecting photos and memorabilia with a view to setting up a museum which will preserve the history of the Dublin Docks. If you have relevant photos or items you wish to donate, then please contact Alan Martin on 087 2095974. You can take a look at what they’ve collected so far at or on their Facebook page.

Congratulations to Sportsco Congratulations to Sportsco who received the 2012 White Flag Excellence Award in October at Gold standard. They also received prestigious awards in the ‘Disability Provision’ and ‘Training Ethos’ categories.


Dear Karen and Gemma, Congratulations and many thanks for very successfully locating Mr. Kenny Brophy as requested in the October / November edition of your paper. Contact has been made, long conversations engaged in, and old and valued friendships renewed, and it would not have been possible without the help of both of you and your excellent paper. I am sure that a reunion will take place in the near future, and who knows, maybe a special photo for the paper. Another success for NewsFour.


Opinions expressed in NewsFour do not necessarily represent the views of Community Services. Printed by Datascope Ltd, Wexford

Many thanks. Brian Cullen

The Brugh Padraig Christmas Dinner Dance is on December 8th 2012

Even line dancers like NewsFour! “These women would sell their souls to get into NewsFour. I told them that I had great influence. If you don’t oblige me I may have to take a vow of CELIBACY, I’m only 75,” Brendan Gregg tells us with tongue placed firmly in cheek!

Information from Jimmy Purdy Ph: 01 8670358 (evenings) or Michael Synnott Ph: 01 8343332.





By Joe McKenna t’s Christmas, you’ve been running around like a nut job getting presents, decorations, crackers, socks, mistletoe and eggnog. Your Christmas is looking good, you’re looking forward to it already, but there’s still one thing you haven’t dealt with… the turkey. “The first question people ask about is weight,” Danny O’Toole of Clynes butchers in Ringsend told NewsFour. “But to be honest, since the recession hit there’s a lot of people just opting to buy the breast, both to save waste and money. But whether you go for a full turkey or just the crown, it’s really all about how you store and cook it.” Danny knows a thing or two about turkeys. He was, after all, the man who re-introduced bronze turkeys to Ireland in 1974. Before that no one could get their hands on the most sought-after turkey in the world. “Don’t go for a frozen turkey, although they are the cheapest you lose a lot of juice in the defrosting. Most people will buy white turkey, but the bronze turkey is the original of the species and the white turkeys are actually hybrids. In my opinion, the bronze turkey is more flavoursome but it’s also the most expen-


L ET ’ S

sive.” Your fridge is packed full of goodies and you have, as usual, no room for the turkey. If you leave it out, the cat will eat it or the baby will stuff it full of Lego. Where do you keep this thing? “What you do is you get yourself a box, seal it up at the bottom


with plastic bags and dump ice in it. Wrap the turkey, still in the bag, with tinfoil and place it in the box. Put some more ice on top of that and pack the empty space with newspaper and seal the box. Essentially, you’re creating a mini cold room and your turkey will be good for three days in there. Take it out

three hours before you cook it, then place it in the hot oven.” So, Christmas Day arrives, you turn the oven on and realise that you have no idea how to cook the turkey. The last thing you cooked in there was oven chips, what are you going to do? “The rule of thumb was always

20 minutes to the pound and 20 over in a hot conventional oven running 200 degrees, that’s including the weight of the stuffing. But with so many different types of ovens now, I would advise people to check what’s best for theirs. Better still, I would advise everyone to get an oven thermometer. They’re quite cheap but they’re a better indication of the heat than dials are. Most ovens will run 10–20 degrees under. Remember to always stick a knife between the thigh and the breast and if the juices run clear it’s done. If the juice is pink, it needs more time. When it’s done, leave it to sit for an hour to secure the juices inside so they don’t spill out when you carve.” So now you’re half asleep on the sofa and you can just about make out Indiana Jones on the TV. You’re busted and there’s a mess to clean up and loads of turkey leftovers. What’s your move? “After you’ve had enough sandwiches, I would recommend a turkey hot pot or curry but I would also advise people to boil the carcass for stock. You can make great gravy with it. Just boil it down and drain it off.” Expert advice from a man who knows. Now all we have to do is gobble gobble gobble.




Cambridge re-united remember double


By Rupert Heather ingsend-based Cambridge Boys Football Club held a 30-year reunion for members of the 198182 cup double winning side. Coming together as eight year olds, the group played together for almost a decade. They won three schoolboy leagues and topped that achievement with the historic double of the SFAI Barry Cup and the under-16 Dick Neville Cup, a feat unrivalled by any Cambridge Boys team to this day. Over a five-year period, the team won the 12C and 13B divisions and then went unbeaten in the 15A league. The best was to come in two cup finals against illustrious opponents Belvedere Boys and Home Farm. On the run-in to the All-Ireland SFAI Barry Cup Final, Cambridge Boys overcame five teams, scoring 16 goals and conceding two. In the final they edged a narrow affair against Belvedere. A report from the Evening Herald in 1982 states that, ‘with just two minutes remaining, Pat Kelch took a hand in proceedings… sending the neatest of passes to the ever-alert David Kealy who slotted the ball past the Belvedere keeper.’ The Dick Neville Cup final played at the CIE grounds at Inchicore saw Cambridge Boys beat Home Farm who ‘looked to be coasting to a deserved win.’ Only for Declan Gannon to take the contest into extra time before Paul Hughes struck the ‘decisive blow’ for the Ringsend outfit. Pat Kelch was signed by Manchester United. He stayed for four years. Injury brought him back to Ireland where he won the league with St Pats. David ‘Dak’ Kealy went on to enjoy success with Bray Wanderers. In the years after, then aged 18, some players signed for League of Ireland clubs, others went on to Junior Football and some emigrated, thus ended a quite remarkable chapter in the history of Cambridge Boys Football Club. The reunion took place at the Landsdowne Bar on November 2nd. Left to right, back: Ger O’Reilly, Jockser O’Brien, Michael Kilroy, Dexter Gannon, Ken Brown, Paul Hughes, Paul O’Hare, Pat Kelch (Captain), Ger Gregg. Left to right, front: Greg Coleman, Dak Kealy, Buzz Dunne, some messer and Robbie Keegan!




ing its support for Dublin City Council’s plan for improved flood defences along the Dodder. “We are worried people may put in objections,” artist Martina O’Brien told NewsFour. “I don’t think they understand what it’s like to have your home flooded.” Home owners face the anguish of knowing they can’t get house insurance because they are in a high-risk flood area while living in fear of further flooding. With 1,100 signatures to date on their petition, the campaign is relying on the support of the public to counteract possible objections to the planning submission. “Some people have said they wouldn’t be able to see the Dodder (when the flood wall is extended) but I’ve seen it in my living room and I don’t want to see it again,” campaigner Deirdre Bollane explained. In attendance were Lord Mayor Naoise O’Muiri, Fine Gael TDs Lucinda Creighton and Eoghan Murphy, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and Labour TD Kevin Humphries. Chairman Kevin Duggan reminded those assembled that before the flood inadequate risk assessment was carried out. This situation contributed to 100 tons of blocked debris creating a dam at Lansdowne Bridge, which forced water back up the Dodder and into their houses. For more information contact


By Rupert Heather esidents of Dodder View Cottages, Ballsbridge gathered to mark the completion of a 40 ft knitted ‘flood wall’ art installation aimed at highlighting their ongoing vulnerability to flooding and their inability to get flood insurance. A ceremony held on Saturday 20th October marked the end of a traumatic 12 months for the community who had scores of families washed out of their homes by flooding this time last year. Over the last six months about 20 locals got together to knit the symbolic flood wall. The brightly coloured design reflects the dangerous aspect of the river’s velocity flood map. Ballsbridge Dodder Residents’ Committee (pictured above with Councillor Paddy McCartan) came up with the idea as a way of show-





By Rupert Heather he life of John Hearn, a merchant seaman from Ringsend, tragically lost at sea in 1940 was commemorated with the presentation of a plaque to his family at Dublin’s Mansion House. A deck boy aboard the merchant ship ‘The Privet’, John Hearn, then aged 20, perished when his vessel inexplicably disappeared at sea. The crew of two Newry–registered ships, ‘The Privet’ and ‘The Walnut’, with crews totalling 18 men lost their lives in 1940 and 1941. No trace of those men was ever found. ‘The Privet’ was trading between Northern Ireland and England. The idea that the ships were involved in a warrelated incident remains pure speculation because the facts have never emerged. A commemoration held in Newry back on the 25th of August included only 17 of the families of the men who died. Members of the Newry Maritime Association asked local Cllr Paddy McCartan who attended, if he could trace John Hearn’s relatives. Thus began a chain of events which culminated in families from both Newry and Dublin



coming together to bring closure to an extremely sad episode for all those involved. Cllr McCartan said, “I gave them a pledge that I would endeavour to find the relatives of John Hearn. It was as a result of a letter published in NewsFour that three people contacted me; Therese Finnegan, Christy Pullen and May Kane.” Therese Finnegan commented: “It would have been very special for my mother who has passed away. She was John’s sister. It’s giving closure because it affected the family very deeply at the time.” Paul Poucher Chairman of the


By Rupert Heather larming new figures from the National Consumer Agency (NCA) show that there’s been a large increase in the number of calls to scam-related helplines, particularly involving PC phishing. There have been 835 such calls in the last 12 months to a national helpline, a total that will increase as ruthless scammers target consumers over the Christmas period. Targeting the public through phone calls, emails and house calls, these criminals prey on the most vulnerable and often return to con those who they have duped before. The majority (44%) of scams related to PC phishing scams, where a consumer is contacted by a scammer. The scammer claims to be from a well-known technology company, advising the consumer that they have identified a problem with their computer. The scammer then tries to gain access to the consumer’s

computer to install malicious software that would capture sensitive data, such as online banking details or they may request the consumer’s credit card details in order to fix the non-existent problem. Other types of scams that have been reported to the NCA’s helpline include unsolicited home repair and fake lottery scams. Karen O’Leary, Director, Public Awareness and Financial Education Division of the NCA remarked, “Scammers can come across as authoritative, trustworthy people who

Newry Maritime Association said, “It’s a connection between Newry and Dublin for those who lost their lives. There are no barriers between seafaring families.” The theme of commemoration continued as those present paused for a minute’s silence to honour prison officer David Black who was cruelly murdered recently in Northern Ireland. The John Hearn plaque presentation in the Mansion House with Cllr Paddy McCartan, rear centre and Paul Poucher Chairman of the Newry Maritime Association, front centre. want to help or reward you. It is sometimes harder to recognise a scammer if you are dealing with them over the phone or if they use an e-mail to contact you.” Consumers are urged to be vigilant and never give any personal details, such as their PIN number to a caller, even if they claim to be calling from your bank and appear helpful. Reputable organisations will never contact you and ask you to verify personal details such as your PIN over the phone. “If you or someone you know is aware of a scam, you can contact the NCA to tell us about it and we can warn other consumers. If you have been the victim of a scam, contact the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations or your local Garda station immediately,” O’Leary adds. The NCA has information for consumers on in relation to scams, including how scammers scam you and what to avoid. Consumers can also contact the NCA on the consumer helpline on 1890 432 432. Graphics by Ron Byrne


Arctic Terns in Dublin Bay

By Jason McDonnell ature creates the forces that make Dublin Bay a really suitable habitat for birds. The Arctic Tern is an extremely fragile and important bird and considered a species of concern. You may be lucky enough to see one because they moor here at Dublin Bay in early springtime. Arctic Terns have mainly grey and white plumage, a red beak and normally breed in Arctic or sub-Arctic regions. These phenomenal birds do not nest for the first three years of their lives, they circumnavigate the globe and are known to travel around 44,000 miles each year. The Arctic Terns were found to be making their homes in dolphins (cold water intake points for a power station) in Dublin Bay. The ESB funded the restoration of two of these dolphins so these birds could make their homes. Ecologists from Trinity College were involved in the design of the new gravel beds and shelters in the dolphins. Bird numbers are monitored annually and so far there has been a huge increase in the numbers to the area. Unfortunately, they did not fare too well this year due to heavy rain washing some further down the coast. Badger defences were put up to stop Badgers from eating the birds in some areas and in others some of the young were attacked by rats.





By Joan Mitchell ric Russell grew up in Sandymount with his brothers, parents and Granny. He led a regular life, was interested in rugby, table tennis and snooker and indeed showed great promise in sports. Sadly, his Granny passed away when he was in his late teens and he felt her loss particularly badly as he was extremely close to her. He started falling into bad habits like over-sleeping, staying up late, making bad food choices and drinking too

much alcohol, too often. Things just seemed to settle into a negative pattern for Eric as his bad habits slowly made him feel depressed. He ate more takeaways, drank more beer, lost interest in sports and began to isolate himself from people and family. Eric told NewsFour that he just got into a negative frame of mind, started attracting negative people and got further sucked into his depressive ways. All the while, the negative thoughts and over-eating gained momentum. Things got so bad that Eric decided to weigh himself on his birthday in July 2011 and found he had reached 36 stone 2 lbs. Prior to his weigh-in Eric says he may have been heavier as he was much bigger before and felt he lost roughly 2 stone before he officially weighed himself that day. When he realised how bad things had become, his world fell into chaos. He knew he had to try to lose weight and by Christmas he lost 3½ stone, but he was still battling with his depression and

it was during this time that he attempted suicide but thankfully failed in his attempt. “As I stood on the chair with the noose around my neck I told myself there were two options – death or do something about my weight permanently,” he said. Indeed, this typifies Eric who had the candour and the honesty to tell the whole nation his personal story a few weeks ago on the radio. It is a touchingly profound story and one that most people would keep secret, but there’s the thing – most people are not Eric. He feels that by sharing his own story he can help other people who are trapped in the same vicious circle of eating and self-loathing. In March 2012 Eric found he was falling back into bad habits again and had still only managed to lose 3½ stone, so he decided to cut out alcohol after St. Patrick’s Day and start an exercise regime. His brother and self-confessed right-hand man, Raymond suggested that he join his gym RAW in Portobello. Eric knew the gym so commenced his training there on April 1st weighing 32 stone. Fast-forward to the Octo-

ber Bank Holiday 2012 when Eric completed the Dublin City Marathon in 5hrs 34mins. He was 20 stone. His story doesn’t end there. Since then he has lost even more weight and is well on track for his target weight of 16 stone. At 6 foot 5 inches, that is a respectable goal. Eric got calls from people who were like him, who had no self-confidence, who never went out, who felt like a failure and who could see no future. One of these was a young schoolboy who felt overwhelmed by his excessive weight. Through talking to Eric and listening to his positive messages, which all come from personal experience, he has motivated the young boy to join a gym. He had a few similar stories of others he has inadvertently helped. Eric is honest, inspirational and motivational, he is evangelical about transforming your life. By getting off the sofa and applying yourself to life, you can achieve great things. Spending time talking to Eric is like an energy boost for your brain. You get the sense that anything is possible if you just apply yourself. We are definitely going to hear a lot more from

Eric and see a lot less of him. Follow his continuing story on!/ EricRussellWeightLossJourney Left: Eric before his weight loss and, above, after slimming down by almost half his previous weight, being held aloft by Troy McPartling of Raw Gym.




By Rupert Heather iobhan Kenny’s work in ‘socialising’ the puppies she takes in is essential to their eventual service as guide dogs for the blind and visually impaired. Living in Sandymount and now in her sixth year as a volunteer with Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, Siobhan receives the puppies at eight weeks old and keeps them for a year. During that time, the puppies are exposed to situations and environments that they will later encounter, like public transport, road works and crowds. “Anything can happen to them, it’s a


bit of a lottery. The challenging aspect is keeping the puppy safe. If a puppy is attacked by a loose dog they must be taken out of the programme,” she says. Known as ‘walkers’ but responsible for all aspects of their welfare, volunteers teach the commands the puppies take with them throughout life. Dogs have different temperaments and personalities. The job of people like Siobhan is to nurture their capabilities in a caring environment, while at the same time exposing them to real-life situations. After 12 months the dog returns to the charity’s headquarters in Cork to be assessed by

PAGE 9 a professional trainer. Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind has existed here for 35 years and the charity receives high profile support from Roy Keane, Sonia O’Sullivan and Annalise Murphy. Siobhan’s involvement started when her husband met someone who was a puppy walker and thought she’d like to do it. “A few days after the initial interview there was a puppy at our front door… it changed our lives,” she explains. Benji is a pure-bred poodle from a litter of seven dogs who are all in the programme. He is the seventh dog she has had in six years. Three have become guide dogs, two companion dogs and one is still in assessment. Help is always at hand through monthly puppy class and the advice and support of a supervisor. It costs around €38,000 to take a guide dog from breeding to retirement. The charity depends upon the work of volunteers like Siobhan. The end user can be blind, visually impaired or an autistic child. A guide dog can also help an autistic child and their family adapt to the environment around them. As Siobhan says, “There isn’t a word to describe it, meeting someone who has benefited through the work we do.” For more information see


By Jason McDonnell few years ago a Biodiversity Action Plan was implemented for Irishtown Nature Park which was a landfill at one point and

has since become its own significant place locally. People are very conscious and very vigilant of what’s happening there, which is brilliant. The Park is constantly evolv-

ing and at the moment everything is quite young . The Japanese Knotweed, classified as an invasive species, is the only real threat there. It is very difficult to deal with and currently a problem around the whole country. With careful management the nature park should survive into the future. Irishtown Nature Park is an asset to the area, and with the Shelly Banks and Dublin Bay in close proximity it makes the entire area extremely important ecologically. It’s future is important and should be protected and nurtured. Some extra bins in the seating areas would help maintain its pristine condition.

Tidy Towns make great local impact


By Joan Mitchell ou may have noticed over the last year or so that Sandymount has been looking brighter and cleaner and you will be pleased to learn this is the work of the recently-formed Sandymount Tidy Towns group. The roots for the Tidy Towns began with a ‘Village Design Statement’ written in 2011. It outlines clearly the vision for the village and highlights what is unique in its people, its land and its architecture. There have been a number of fundraising events which have included an Old Folks’ Tea Party on the Green; there was also a plant sale and a Bloomsday event. The Tidy Towns are keen to emphasise they have received great help from Dublin City Council who aided in the organisation of a ‘Yeats’ event on June 13th. They also helped with the Greenway Walk from Newbridge along the Dodder, and ‘Secret Gardens’ which entailed fourteen people visiting six selected gardens. DCC also helped with the Garden Party and the Book Swap. For Heritage Week there was a ‘Walk and Talk’ with Rodney Devitt and on September 5th a talk was given at Railway Union as well. As we approach Christmas, there is a planned fundraising event taking place in the Sandymount Hotel on December 6th. James Bailey will show some lovely flower arrangements for Christmas, tickets are €10 and they are hoping to sell one hundred tickets, which will hugely help with fundraising for next year. What Sandymount Tidy Towns are looking to focus on for 2013 is ‘Village Branding’ which would entail a logo for Sandymount which could be used from letters to posters, to signage and high-visibility jackets. They are also looking at a map of the local area showing historical and important locations. For 2013 they are focusing on litter bins and how best to improve the Green (seats and tarmac) and looking into the possibility of introducing a pedestrian crossing, some street planters or baskets and a rota for maintaining these. The Tidy Towns has made a great positive impact on Sandymount, from making the village look cleaner, to creating a strong sense of local identity. Ringsend and Irishtown are following suit with plans to improve their area too. Volunteer Ireland and Google have already committed to help, as did Mayor of Ringsend Brian Betts and local Cllr Paddy McCartan. Both are pictured painting the church railings on Thorncastle Street. If you would like to get involved, please contact Paddy McCartan on 6609202. Above: Sandymount Green. Below, left to right: Daniel Neville, Paddy Sutherland, Mayor of Ringsend and Irishtown Brian Betts, Iain Nolan and Cllr. Paddy McCartan. (Photo by Feidhlim Creed)





By Liam Cahill t was during the summer when David Hill came to terms with the power of social media. The 20-year-old media and film student studying at DBS, felt it was almost compulsory for a young adult to be engrossed in all aspects of social media. Although the medium has its advantages, it may also be blurring or totally destroying personal communication. “My personal use of Twitter was intentionally for giving my opinions on issues or controversial topics on television,” he says. “Social media is perfect for communicating with friends or family from abroad when we can’t physically meet in person,” he says. Although David prefers to meet person-to-person, he has fallen into the trap of using social media as a mode of personal communication via Facebook, Twitter or texting. “I think social media is an eas-

ier way to meet new people, given its accessibility. For example, on Twitter if you hash tag on a certain issue, you automatically interact with people who share the same interest,” says David. Although social media may make it easier to communicate with people, it does limit interpersonal communication skills, according to Professor Frank Bannister, a Senior Lecturer at the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin. “My sense is that it is damaging interpersonal communication skills in a number of ways. Communication via social media (and e-mail) tends to be briefer, less verbally rich and, of course, does not include all the body language and signals that we use when talking face to face,” says Bannister. As a result, teenagers and young adults may be losing some key social skills that could hamper their efforts to communicate in a group or team.

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Other academics tend to agree with this theory. Shirley Turkle, a psychologist and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, and author of the book ‘Alone Together’ points out that some ‘twenty somethings’ would rather text than hold a verbal conversation. In a 2009 interview with American documentary programme ‘Frontline’ Turkle said twenty-somethings have the “illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship” when immersed in the social world. They may use social media to “skip and cut corners” when it comes to forming a real person-to-person relationship, she added. This method is done in a variety of ways. On Twitter, sentence structures are eradicated to fit words into a 140-character limit. On Facebook, communication can occur through page conversations or IM (instant messages). On YouTube, video channels are created without the need for any personal communication with the people who own those videos. On other social media forums such as Instagram and Tumblr, users can share photos and videos and add comments, further breaking any need for a phone call or a face-to-face meeting. “I worry about the impact that this form of communication has on people’s ability to develop the kind of deep thinking and reasoning needed for dealing with the problems we face today. Language is closely connected to thought. I am also concerned about its impact on young people’s ability to concentrate for long periods,” says Bannister. David doesn’t see it as being quite as bad. He asserts on a number of occasions that he is not “addicted” to the new social media world. Instead he has immersed himself in it, which can have its advantages, such as helping with college work or getting the latest concert tickets. Graphic by Ron Byrne

Where’s your teenager? By Rupert Heather Residents of the Cambridge Park area in Ringsend have been subjected to eggs, stones and bottles being thrown at their properties by a gang of local youths. One property situated near the entrance to Ringsend Park had its windows cracked while a young family sat inside. On a



By Rupert Heather ublin South East Community Training Centre, which provides vocational training and support, celebrated 25 years of outstanding service to the local community recently. In the challenging times in which we find ourselves the work of Community Training Centres (CTC) is ever more vital in providing a pathway to employment for young people. As well as training in technical skills there is also a focus on life skills which are essential in helping learners build confidence and adopt the right ‘attitude’ for the work place. Speaking to NewsFour, General Manager Denis Murphy said, “This year 80% of our learners gained a FETAC Major qualification and 52% are in jobs or further education. It’s about team work, it’s about keeping the positivity and enthusiasm going. We give our learners the second chance they deserve,” he added. Speakers at the event, on November 16th included Tim Darmody Director of CTC, Mary Lawless long-standing board member, Jim Wadden FÁS Director and Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn. Also in attendance were local TDs Eoghan Murphy and Kevin Humphreys as well as centre staff, representatives from community organisations, scheme partners and a full class of learners. The centre delivers four courses; Sport and Health Related Fitness, Retail Sales, Office Procedures and ECDL and Digital Media. All courses culminate with the awarding of full FETAC Major awards to successful participants. A linked work experience programme gives learners the unique opportunity to secure a job with partners such as Ben Dunne Gyms, Coast retail outlet and Gloucester Street Sports and Recreational Centre. Funded by the European Social Fund, the CTC will move under the auspices of the City of Dublin Vocational Education Committee in January 2013. This will mean that service providers are more ‘in tune’ with each other. Minister Quinn said, “Training centres like this are an additional way of young people – who have had a difficult time in formal schooling – being able to acquire skills which are job market focused, that they wouldn’t otherwise have gained.” Jamie Brady, 19 years old from Pearse Street agreed, “I got my Junior Cert and then left school, it just wasn’t for me, I didn’t like it. Being here you have one-to-one tuition and you are learning what you want to learn,” he said. Among last year’s graduates is Anthony O’Callaghan who, following his Dublin South CTC stint and a three-month Linked Work Experience Programme, is now a Duty Manager at Ben Dunne Gyms. CTC is grateful for the funding and support received from FÁS for the last 25 years. NewsFour would like to pass on our hearty congratulations to Denis Murphy and his team for their invaluable service to the community over the years. Visit for more information Above, left to right: Jim Wadden Director of FÁS, Tim Darmody Director of D.S.E.C.T.C, Karen Mahon FÁS Community Development Officer, Carol Gibney Assistant Manager FÁS Community Services and Denis Murphy General Manager D.S.E.C.T.C.

separate occasion a rope was tied between the front door and railings preventing escape. Senseless vandalism of this nature has been going on for three months in the area. Local Property Consultant Patsy O’Keefe said, “Ringsend is a great place to live, the last thing we need is trouble from a small minority.” There are railings missing at

the park entrance which allows ‘hooded youths’ to access a gated area. These youths are causing considerable problems as they have easy access and escape routes through the park. Despite all this, the residents still enjoy living in the area but the situation is clearly upsetting for the families living there, especially the ones with young children. .






By Jason McDonnell llr. Kieran Binchy was proud to be acting Lord Mayor at the official launch of the Ringsend Park Slí na Sláinte walk in October. He said, “An active park is a well kept park,” and he hopes the new walk will attract more people to the area. The new route encompasses a 1.1 km circuit around the 10.5

hectares park which consists of a large number of mixed mature and semi-mature trees. Cllr. Maria Parodi who played a big part in setting up the Slí na Sláinte walks in the area said, “it is about getting people out walking and active in the area and now that we have this facility it can only improve Ringsend Park as a whole and that can only be a positive.” Hopefully, more peo-

ple will get out and use it, it’s a great walk and a beautiful area. Adele Byrne from the Irish Heart Foundation designed the new Slí na Sláinte signs and said, “Slí na Sláinte is an initiative developed by the Irish Heart Foundation. It is designed to encourage people of all ages to walk for health using signposted walking routes to help people reach their 30 minutes a day walking or 60 minutes for younger people.” Michael Noonan the Dublin City Council Parks Superintendent told me, “The idea started back at the beginning of the year. A committee of local residents, the Gardaí and the Dublin City Council Parks Division all got involved.” The new walk was networked to other walks for people to use, for example, the Sean Moore Park Slí na Sláinte walk is a 1.2 km route conveniently joining up with the Poolbeg Lighthouse Slí na Sláinte walk which is a 10.2km round route beginning on the Beach Road. This also links in with the East Coast Slí na Sláinte route from Dun Laoghaire to Malahide. And in the near future he also plans to tie in the three new walks to the Dodder Slí na Sláinte walks. Pictured: Some of the people involved in the setting up of the new Slí na Sláinte walks.




he clever chefs at The Sandymount Hotel have created a Gingerbread Village! Everyone is welcome to come take a look and enter their Suite Dreams Competition. If you can guess the amount of sugar that was used to make this festive feast you could win a weekend stay in a Junior Suite for two adults or a weekend stay in a family room for two adults and

two children. The closing dates for entries will be the 16th of December, with the winner being announced on December 17th. There will be a collection box for St Vincent de Paul beside the display for anyone who wishes to make a donation.

Naturopathic Nutrition By Nicky Flood The FATS of Life


any of us have been brought up with the notion that eating fatty food leads to more curvaceous hips, a larger waistline and an early heart attack… well I’m here to set the record straight. NOT ALL FATS ARE BAD. Some of them are very good for us and in fact, essential to health, giving us glowing skin, a healthy metabolism and protecting us from heart disease. Like their name suggests, Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) are essential because the body cannot synthesise them from any other substance, which means that they can only be obtained from what we eat. The key EFA’s are Omega 3 and Omega 6 and we need these in a certain proportion to one another to stay healthy. We generally get more than enough Omega 6 from food so it is more about balancing it with a higher Omega 3 intake. Omega 3’s help generate and maintain the fatty membranes which coat every cell in the body so are important for every aspect of health – good eyesight, strong immunity, healthy hormone balance, weight loss and protection against heart disease – not too shabby eh! One of their main benefits is that they can be converted into tiny hormone-like substances called prostaglandins which act as cellular messengers communicating information necessary for immune cell activity and inflammatory reactions, protecting against hay fever, psoriasis, eczema, asthma and food allergies. Grandma was right – fish really is brain food. 60% of our brain is comprised of fat and over half of that is Omega 3 which builds and maintains healthy brain tissue. Anxiety, mood swings, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, Alzheimer’s and ADD/ADHD have all been attributed to an Omega 3 deficiency and evidence is also greatly building for Depression and Dementia. It is important to know what the good fats are… think avocado, fish (anchovies, mackerel, sardines, trout), nuts, seeds, flax, olive and rapeseed oils. If you feel you cannot include these foods in your diet or in sufficient amounts, I recommend that you supplement using a clean, high quality, low-contaminant product. Research continues to determine what other amazing benefits Omega 3’s have on our health… but I’m already sold! Nicky is a Naturopathic Nutritionist practising in Dublin. She writes, speaks and advises nationwide on all aspects of health, nutrition and wellbeing. See for further info, upcoming courses and workshops.





By Joan Mitchell or most women, hospital is an integral part of pregnancy but not for Katie Ingle, the former Sandymount resident. When Katie first became pregnant she knew straight away that a hospital birth was not for her. She spoke to her GP about the possibilities of a home birth. Katie knew that there is a shortage of midwives for home births so she put her name down in the first month of her pregnancy. A ‘Self Employed Community Midwife’ (SECM) who is paid by the HSE purely for home deliveries was allocated to Katie. There are 20 in total in Ireland. Check-ups were had with her GP, scans and tests at the hospital and meetings and tests with her SECM, so Katie felt triply protected. The Rotunda and Holles Street were close enough in case of complications but by her own admission she was


healthy and remained so throughout her pregnancy. Home births need to be in the range of 37 to 42 weeks. Anything outside these parameters requires hospitalisation. On the night before the birth she had been out for dinner and thought she had eaten something that didn’t agree with her but later on that evening she had a ‘show’. At 6am she rang the midwife who arrived

within a few minutes and got the birthing pool set-up while Katie used a TENS machine for pain relief. A TENS machine passes mild electrical impulses under the skin which helps your body to produce its own pain-killing substances called endorphins. At 7am her waters broke and a few minutes later she noticed a trace of meconium in the waters. Meconium is a dark green

substance, normally stored in the infant’s bowel until after the birth. If it is spotted in the waters during labour it can indicate fetal distress. This can be very serious, but the midwife examined her and said it was in such a small quantity that they could continue at home. At 8.15am her gorgeous daughter Síofra was born in the birthing pool in the kitchen in the family home. Throughout the short labour she had used a technique called ‘hypno-birth’ which is a self-hypnosis technique which significantly reduces stress in labour. Katie had been practising these techniques for months and had downloaded the MP3’s from www. which gives a real insight into how relaxation techniques in labour can have a huge positive effect. A few short minutes after Síofra was born she was in the centre of the family bed with her proud parents on either side glowing from the emotion of the event.

Katie feels so passionately about the whole experience and encourages others to consider home birth. She is acutely aware that she had no medical complications and lives on the doorstep of two maternity hospitals. She believes women should make careful individual decisions. There were only 200 home births in Ireland last year, yet Katie’s grandmother had 15 children, all born at home in Sandymount. There are huge benefits to home births; being in familiar, comfortable and private surroundings, under no time pressure to get to hospital, you have one-to-one care, your family and friends are with you the whole time, and you have increased bonding with them. Katie knows first-hand that home births are an amazing experience and an option that any expectant mother should give huge consideration to. Pictured: Katie and partner Cillian with baby Síofra.

ICA Charity Auction The Ballsbridge ICA will be holding an auction of unwanted Christmas Gifts in the Iris Charles Centre, Newbridge Avenue, Sandymount

at 7.30pm on 28th January 2013.

All funds raised will go to Cancer Research.

So if you just can’t see yourself using some of your Christmas

gifts, why not donate them to this good cause or go along on the night and get bidding!

For more information and to donate your gifts phone: 086

1099280 or 086 3380890

Enable Ireland charity event in Angel Inspirations A charity day in aid of Enable Ireland will be taking place in Angel

Inspirations Holistic Centre in Sandymount Village on Saturday 15th December from 10am to 6pm.

Treat yourself to a free Reiki Session, Homeopathy advice, Me-

dium Reading, Tarot Reading or Angel Reading. There will be mince

pies, mulled wine, carol singing and a raffle, and we have it on good authority that even Santa himself has promised to be there!

All treatments and festivities are free but the organisers ask that

you make a donation which will go to Enable Ireland. More information: Phil King, 086 8621038

Mr. Tilly does it again with his amazing Christmas light spectacular. Every year Mr. Tilly puts on this display to raise money for Our Lady’s Hospice. He lights up his house so that you can light up a life in the hospice. Last year Mr. Tilly raised over €8,000. Come along and view his Christmas wonderland on Bath Avenue. Photo by Father Ivan Tonge.




By Joan Mitchell few weeks ago Jim Cooke from Rathfarnham posted in a newspaper clipping of some local girls training to be Sea Scouts. After some investigation in the local libraries we discovered a life behind the picture and an interesting local story. In the late 60’s a young East Wall girl Mary O’Brien met a boy called Ronnie Byrne. Ronnie was a Sea Scout Leader and told Mary many wonderful stories about his time training



with them, so inspired by these stories Mary decided to start a local branch of the Sea Rangers (the female equivalent of Sea Scouts) at Dodder to cater for 11-17 year olds. Mary developed a love of sailing and went on to become the first female to train on the famous ‘Asgard’. There were six girls and a skipper – Captain Healy. They sailed from Dun Laoghaire and went first to Wicklow town and the next day over to Cardigan Bay in Wales, from there they sailed through


the night along the South East Coast of Ireland back to Cobh. While they were sailing through the night they did four hours on/ four hours off and by the end of the trip they had completed their Watch Officer Training. Mary is not in the newspaper clipping but knows every girl very well; May Kennedy (who now lives in Sydney) and Margie McGuinness were also on ‘The Asgard’ with her. Mary O’Brien became Mary Byrne in due course and the couple had four children, but

their love of the water remained. They bought a boat and took the kids on the inland waterways of Ireland every Summer when they were small, and when Ronnie and Mary retired they bought a barge and still to this day sail all through Ireland. The girls in the photograph on left are, from left: Carol Boland from Ringsend, Barbara Ormsby from Drumcondra, Maura Allan from Ringsend, Phil Coates from Ringsend, Josie Greely (Second Mate) from Ringsend, May Kennedy from Ringsend, May Donnelly from Ringsend, Anna O’Brien from East Wall (Mary Byrne’s sister) and Margie McGuinness from Ringsend. Right: Mary O’Brien in 1969.





Porsche Mixte Hybrid

By Jason McDonnell ith the price of oil going up every day and the worsening shortage crisis worldwide, wouldn’t it have been great if the powers that be had continued their research into the LohnerPorsche Mixte Hybrid? It was the first hybrid vehicle ever developed, way back in 1901 by a young man called Ferdinand Porsche, who built it using wheel hub motors mounted in each wheel and powered by electricity. The power was delivered from two batteries and a small generator. He was only 18 when he got a job with Jacob Lohner. He had no formal engineering education when he discovered how to harness the electric power. The car was first shown at a Paris Expo and created a press whirlwind at the time but, unfortunately, it never really took off and the idea was quashed by oil barons. Later, he built one capable of running on petrol, as well as electricity and it could carry four passengers instead of the original design, which was just a two-seater. It was a bit of a monster as it required 1.8 tonnes of batteries and cost a massive amount of money. It probably would have saved the world billions in the long run and, who knows, maybe if research into this type of vehicle had taken off then we may have avoided a lot of wars and environmental disasters worldwide.

By Joan Mitchell rilling for oil or gas is often a contentious issue and we only need to look west to see the controversy between Shell and the local residents of Rossport. However, in the last few months this controversy has come closer to home with the possibility of drilling in Dalkey becoming a reality. We know that oil and gas reserves are running out globally, and the chance of having our own natural resources would be of huge benefit to our country – or would it? Providence Resources is an Irish Company, headed up by Tony O’Reilly and they have obtained licences to explore a number of sites around the coast of Ireland where there may be gas or oil. In February 2011 Providence were given a licence to explore the possibility of oil on Dalkey Island. To explain clearly the process as we understand it here at NewsFour, let us first look at another island where Providence are 12-18 months further down the line. Rathlin Island is off the north

coast of County Antrim. Providence was granted a planning application to examine if oil existed in enough quantity and quality to justify commercial drilling. In the first two years of this licence the research was desk-based, now it has moved onto the next phase which is test drilling. Rathlin Island, a popular tourist destination and bird sanctuary, is now getting an oil rig. John O’Sullivan (Technical Director of Providence) told William Hederman (journalist and campaigner – www.shelltosea. com) that oil will most likely be transported from Dalkey Island by tanker. He went on to say that in the event of an oil spill, oil can

travel at a rate of at least 6km per hour. So, within one to two hours of an oil spill, Dublin Bay could be seriously affected. If there was a way in which we as a community were to benefit, we could perhaps shoulder the environmental concerns, but there are no jobs, no oil processing in Ireland and Bord Gáis will have to compete with international bidders to buy back our own natural resources. It seems all the potential positives are gone and we are left with only potential risks. We, as residents of the area, need to get informed and get involved. As long as our voices are heard we may be able to influence campaigners or politicians. It seems strange that for both Rathlin Island and Dalkey Island there is a lack of information in the media and a lack of a challenge to Providence. Do we need a public hearing? Do we need to have more transparent information on what will affect our area? If we have natural resources which can be easily extracted for economic gain, then we need to make sure our country benefits and our environment is protected.



By Liam Cahill he relationship of senior politicians to oil and gas executives has come under increased scrutiny as drilling preparation takes place on Dalkey Island. NewsFour looked at several leading politicians from the late 1980’s until the early 1990’s who played a pivotal role in the drafting of offshore drilling licensing terms. It found drafting terms were usually passed from successive governments over a number of years. In some cases, terms were altered, eroding the rules

were drawn up by Ray Burke in 1987 and further changed by Bertie Ahern in 1992,” says William Hederman, Editor of the online advocacy site Irish oil and gas. Mr. Ahern’s involvement in the successive deals included changes to the Irish tax regime in 1992 when he was the Minister for Finance, and the reduction in corporation tax for oil and gas companies from 50 to 25 percent. in place for offshore drilling. Many of the politicians including Ray Burke, were at the centre of a 2005 report into the Corrib Gas controversary by the Centre for Public Inquiry (CPI). The report cites that Mr. Burke altered terms to include an exemption for oil and gas companies from royalty payments and abolished all state involvement. According to the CPI report, in one case during the negotiations for new terms for Marathon Oil, Mr. Burke met with oil executives without the attendance of department officials. “Ireland’s licensing terms

Ceding power What both Mr. Ahern and Mr. Burke’s decisions led to was a situation where the Irish economy did not reap any significant economic rewards as a result of the changes. “The oil companies are simply taking advantage of what is an excessively generous deal for them, a bad deal for Ireland. It is the fault of successive Irish governments,” says Mr. Hederman. The history of Ireland’s relationship with offshore drilling goes back to a deal struck in the 1960’s and has resulted in a number of public outrages.


One Punch Awareness Campaign By Jason McDonnell West Yorkshire Police in England started a campaign which has been rolled out all over the UK and Northern Ireland. It is aimed predominantly at young males aged 18-25 and highlights the risks of getting involved in an argument or fight which could ultimately lead to a serious injury or even death. One punch can leave lives destroyed and leave families devastated. Since 2004, 20 people have died from one punch in the UK and Ireland, many more have been seriously injured. One mistake could lead to a murder or manslaughter charge and a criminal record. In the majority of cases alcohol was the fuel so this Christmas enjoy your drop of drink but drink sensibly and stay safe.


PARTY POPPERS By Gemma Byrne It’s always nice to have a plate of pretty morsels to pass around during the party season. Here are two canapé recipes that are impressive to look at but easy to make. Garlic and Herb Tomatoes Ingredients: 24 cherry tomatoes 200g cream cheese 2 cloves garlic (Crushed) Handful of fresh basil (Chopped) Salt and Pepper Mix the garlic and basil through the cream cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Prepare the tomatoes by cutting a tiny sliver from the bottom of each one – just enough so the tomato will stand up on its own. Cut the top off each tomato at the stalk end and keep the tops to use as a lid. Scoop out and discard the seeds from each tomato. The handle end of a teaspoon works well for this. Fill each tomato with the cream cheese mixture (use a piping bag if you have one or a teaspoon if not). Replace the lids and arrange in neat rows before serving.

PAGE 15 Onion Bhaji Bites Ingredients: 200g onions (finely sliced) 200g canned chickpeas (drained and mashed) 2 eggs (beaten) 2 heaped teaspoons curry powder Oil for frying Salt and Pepper

Bubbles and Canapés for Christmas! Bubbles make the most fan-

tastic accompaniment

Topping: Half a cucumber 8 – 10 Fresh mint leaves (chopped) 100g Natural Yoghurt (unsweetened) Salt and Pepper Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Combine the eggs with the mashed chickpeas in a mixing bowl to form a thick batter. Add the curry powder, onions and plenty of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Heat a frying pan with a little oil. Place teaspoonfuls of the onion mixture in the pan to form little patties. When they have set on one side turn carefully. When set and lightly browned on both sides transfer to an oven-proof dish and finish cooking in the preheated oven for 15 mins. For the topping cut cucumber in half lengthways and scoop out and discard the seeds. Grate the cucumber on a coarse grater. Place in a sieve or colander and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can. Discard the liquid. Mix the grated cucumber with the yoghurt and chopped mint. Season well with salt and pepper. Serve the bhajis at room temperature (not hot) with a small dollop of the yoghurt mixture on top of each one.


canapés. Pros-

ecco, hailing from northern

Italy, such as the




Dei Cavalieri, Frizzante, is a pale golden colour with a steady stream of small

bubbles. It has delicate aromas of pear and peach with a strik-

ing and crisp freshness – a superb party wine. Add cassis and

change the dynamic altogether! Kir Royal!

Maschio Dei Cavalieri, re-

tailing at €10.50, is available from The Wine Boutique in

Ringsend and other independent wine retailers.





By Jason McDonnell n Friday, 19 October, Ecocem hosted a coffee morning with five other Ringsendbased companies: Gaeletric, Cybercom, FC Stone, USI & Amp and ECDL for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Portview House. For the fundraiser event, staff members were encouraged to wear pink on the day and bake some cakes, cupcakes and muffins for a bake sale where donations could be made. The coffee morning was held from 11am to 12pm and saw 70 staff members attending. This event helped raise €1,000 for a great cause while raising awareness for breast cancer. It was

the first event held in Portview House in Ringsend that brought each company together for one hour to meet new faces outside of their own business. Susan McGarry and Ciara Dunne (right) from Ecocem commented, “It was really inspiring to see six busy companies coming together for such an important cause, it is definitely something that we will try to continue into the future. We could not believe the huge enthusiasm and generosity showed by everyone on the day, from the huge selection of cakes to the amount of money that was donated, it completely exceeded our expectations.” Ciara would also like to thank The Gibson Hotel who supplied the tea and coffee for the event.

Dublin 4 Educate Together Start Up Group Dublin 4 Educate Together Start Up Group met with Ruairi Quinn and Kevin Humphreys to discuss the prospects for an Educate Together School in the Sandymount/Ringsend area. Left to right: Rosemarie Tobin, Doug Aird, Labour TD Kevin Humphreys, Jessica Ryan, Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn and Daniel McCrea.





By Liam Cahill he Bottlemakers Hall in Ringsend has come under some scrutiny for its current state. The building, located at 1A Irishtown Road, has been left vacant for a number of years and has been the focus of dispute by local resident George Kearns. “The outside appearance of the Bottle Hands Hall is in a sorry looking state,” he said. “I can

only wonder at what the inside of this quite serious piece of heritage looks like,” he said. The building is listed as a protected structure in a planning, heritage and conservation document compiled by the City Council in 2010, which outlines a number of protected buildings and structures including the Irishtown Gospel Hall (Formerly known as St. Matthew’s School,) a former Garda station, Clarke’s



By Joe McKenna enior citizens living in the upstairs units at Cambridge Court are in desperate need of updated facilities if they are to maintain any standard of life and prolong their existence. Calls for Dublin City Council to install an external lift to assist those in need have fallen on deaf ears. “We’ve asked and asked for this and at first we were told they couldn’t install external lifts, only internal ones. Now

licenses premises, St. Matthew’s Church, and a number of properties in Ballsbridge and other parts of the Dublin 4 area. The future of the building is a bit unclear, as it remains vacant and without any sense of future. “This building may well be about to suffer the same fate as our beloved Hailing Station on Britain Quay, which quite simply disappeared off the face of the earth early one Sunday morning in June of 2007,” said Mr. Kearns. According to Mr. Kearns nobody will speak about the “disappearance” of that building and after many attempts to gain information from the Docklands Development Authority his appeals have fallen on deaf ears. Bottle Hands Hall, meanwhile, continues to be a point of frustration for the community. Approached for comment, Labour Cllr. Gerry Ashe said that she will question the City Manager at the next meeting of the Dublin City Council in relation to the matter. For Mr. Kearns, the future of the site is very unclear at this stage and protected sites should indeed be valued and protected.


we’re being told there is no money for it,” said Chairman of the Cambridge Court Committee, Willie Murphy. “We’ve had several people deteriorate physically because they’ve had to use the stairs. What happens then is they go into hospital and can’t return to their home because they can’t handle the stairs. We had a man recently who didn’t come down the stairs for two years. Sadly, he passed away not too long ago.”

There is a prevailing worry among the residents of Cambridge Court that the complex and the people within it are being neglected and their concerns are being swept under a blanket of bureaucracy. “We’re being fobbed off, that’s what it feels like. Apart from the desperate need for a lift, we also have serious damp issues in several upstairs units which are still unresolved. We put our own money into the complex to keep it nice but we can’t carry each other up the stairs. There are people in their 90’s living upstairs who have no quality of life because they can’t come down. That goes against everything this complex is about.” Without the proper facilities and constructive engagement with Dublin City Council the residents of Cambridge Court face having to look on as elderly neighbours in upstairs units struggle with and ultimately succumb to the toll that the steep, two-level stairways take on them.




By Liam Cahill s the budget axe falls, one group hopes to keep their position as the leader of responsive health and social services in the state. RehabCare, which operates as the go-to group for people with disabilities, out of work, or struggling in the downturn has been on a roll of late, expanding their workforce, defying funding approaches, and developing new and meaningful relationships with local communities. “Our services are based on the specific needs of the people attending, who are consulted on a regular basis about the services they receive. We also foster a sense of belonging for all those who are involved – clients, staff colleagues, families and local communities alike,” says Nessa Canavan, the Services Manager for RehabCare. One of those services, Rehab’s HOPS service, located just off Westland Square, offers on-hand support for adults with mental health difficulties. “The HOPS programme is focused on recovery and wellness, offering choices of recovery within a person-centered framework. On average, 16 people attend the centre every weekday,” says Canavan. The centre has a staff of six, which to date has withstood both the downturn and a renewed focus on the funding mechanisms for not-forprofit organisations by the government. “All our activities are managed and delivered by committed professionals who recognise people as individuals with a right to dignity and respect as well as top quality service,” says Canavan. Due to the downturn, Rehab has had to build a new way of gaining additional revenue by going back to basics. Over the course of two years they ran a calendar fundraiser, a kettle-bell challenge, and a table quiz to raise funds for HOPS. The renewed fundraising push has set Rehab on a mission to survive and thrive. To date, they’ve done a good job.


Thank Murtaghs it’s Friday By Rupert Heather Murtaghs Hardware, 27 years in Sandymount, run their ‘Fiver Friday’ offer on the first Friday of every month. Five per cent of the day’s takings are donated to charities and local causes, based on the idea championed by ‘The Joe Duffy Show’. There is also a range of promotional items reduced to five euros. “If people feel they are getting value and contributing to a charity, then everyone wins,” Manager Declan McDonnell told NewsFour. “It works both ways. At the end of the day people want to get good value.” In the last six months beneficiaries have included Star Of The Sea Primary School, the ISPCC, Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and this month, St. Mathew’s School. You can enter a free monthly raffle in conjunction with the offer by agreeing to give your mobile number and email in store. With prizes like a free Christmas tree delivered to your home, it’s well worth getting involved. For information see Sandymount Hardware on Facebook or visit the shop.



all free. If you want to discover how polar animals survive the extreme cold, or how animals actually hibernate, or maybe you just want to take part in their Winter activity trail – there is lots to do and all free. or call 016777444.


By Joan Mitchell here are lots of free and low-cost activities to keep your little ones amused over the festive season. Here’s a snippet of what’s going on around the city. COLLINS BARRACKS MUSEUM has a great programme of free events for kids and families again this year. For the whole month of December you can take the 12 days of Christmas Trail. On Thursday 20th

December from 11.30–12.30 ‘Babies on Board’ will help you discover how Christmas is celebrated all over the world, plus you can make a decoration for your tree to take home. or call 016777444. At the NATIONAL MUSEUM in Kildare Street you can also enjoy lots of free Christmas events. Why not drop in on Sunday 16th December to create some decorations and help decorate the Museum Christmas tree. There are a number of events on, which cover Vikings, medieval banquets and Viking warfare. Check out their website www. or call 01-6777444.

The NATIONAL ART GALLERY are hosting ‘Sleigh Bells Ring’ art workshop on Sunday 8th December at 3pm. It is free but limited to forty children on a first-come-first-served basis so arrive in good time. or call 01-6615133. FARMLEIGH has an amazing programme of Christmas events. It all starts on Saturday 1st December and runs every weekend until Sunday 23rd. There are puppet shows and

storytelling on three times each day, rides on Santa’s horse and carriage, carol singing from a number of organisations from Alliance Francaise to Ballinteer Male Voice choir. There is also a Christmas food market from 10am to 5pm. or 018155900. THE DUBLIN DOCKLANDS CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL in the IFSC (pictured below) starts on 7th December and runs until 23rd. It is free to attend but you need to pay for rides. Come along for some Christmas cheer, carol singing and live bands each day. Santa arrives on Saturday at 12pm and asks that all the boys and girls bring a gift for the giving tree. Of course, a trip into Henry Street or Grafton Street to see the lights and grab a hot chocolate are just as exciting for young kids.

The DEAD ZOO or the Natural History Museum to give its full title has a huge amount of events on this December and



void the stress of city shopping for all those last-minute cakes, little gifts and stocking fillers. Why not pop in to the St. Louis High School’s Christmas Fair, Charleville Road, Rathmines between 12 and 3pm on Sunday 9th December and do it all under one roof? Peruse the goodies while the little ones visit (a very good) Santa, then grab something nice to eat, a cuppa and enjoy the carol singers. Fabulous wreaths will be available and a festive experience is guaranteed. Irish Times and Wall Street artist/illustrator, Mr. Kevin McSherry, will be demonstrating his skills. Some parking available.





By Joan Mitchell few years ago the recession was something each family knew about from neighbours of their extended family. Sadly, now every family in Ireland has first-hand experience of it. If we can’t change the economy, then we can change how we react to it. Ebay: If you have any branded clothing (Next, Debenhams etc.) that are in good condition you can take photos of them and sell them online using eBay. I did this myself last year and used the money to buy a few Christmas presents. Charity Shops: You would be surprised by the quality of clothes in charity shops, but you do need to be persistent and get yourself a routine. So call in once a week, get chatting to the people working in the shop and tell them what you are looking for. Whether it is a winter coat or a school jumper or a wet suit for the kids – you will find whatever you are looking for, as long as you are prepared to look every week. Clothes recycling: These

costs €2 and will make at least four big loaves, which will keep you going all week – and you can make other varieties too. Making scones is easy and the more you make, the better you will become at them. Persevere and you will be surprised at how many you can make for a few cents. Soup: We have survived many a lean week with the help of soup. Again, buy whatever vege-

tables are on offer and make sure you have some soup mix in your store cupboard. Look up something different like roasted parsnip soup (surprisingly easy and tasty) or why not try pumpkin or butternut squash, which are really heartening in the winter. Start to think creatively and you will be pleasantly surprised at how you can save money and start to appreciate the simple things in life.


shops are springing up everywhere now, so clear out your worn-out or faded clothes, shoes and handbags. They only pay 50 cent per kilo but you can get €10 to €15 from a good spring clean – remember only the old, faded items, sell any good quality items online. Cheap or free websites like or www. are invaluable right now. On Done Deal everything is second hand and you can buy a suite of furniture or a bike for the kids. If ‘free’ is the key

word for you, then look at Dublin waste if you need a piece of furniture or an electrical item Special Offers: Read every leaflet from every retailer and you can build your meals for the week around what is on offer, but remember to take a shopping list and only buy what is on the list. Bake your own bread: I know it may sound old-fashioned, but there are bags of flour now with all the ingredients added, so all you have to do is add milk. On average, a bag of brown soda

The hub of Dublin nightlife, is a place called Temple Bar There’s nowhere else quite like it, if you fancy an ould jar The music and the laughter, the friendship and the craic And Anna Livia smiles to see the people coming back The Norman, Dane, and Saxon, the Welshman and the Scot Americans and Frenchmen, all nations melting pot I had a drink the other night, with a man from Kandahar The real United Nations is this place called Temple Bar That’s where I met my darling, while listening to a band We danced that night together, and our love went hand in hand No better love could I have found she banished all my fears Her caring ways and beauty sustains me through the years The well known Dublin characters that roamed around the town The bagmen and the balladeers the heroes of renown They all have gathered in this street to stop and have a jar The ghosts of Dublin City still haunt ould Temple Bar By Robert Toner





By Jason McDonnell n Saturday October 6th I went on a tour of the Pigeon House precinct as part of Open House Dublin 2012. The tour was guided by Charles Duggan and Grainne Shaffrey (pictured top right) and was held to raise awareness of the old power station complex. The complex was under the management of the ESB for most of the 20th century but for the last six years it has been under the ownership of the Dublin City Council. Dublin Bay has a long history of use as a berthing place, going

back as far as 1707. It was very treacherous, full of sand banks, mud flats, silt and channels but there were a number of deep pools where boats could berth temporarily and offload passengers. They would come across to what was known as the Ringsend Spit, which was at the mouth of the Dodder, then by road across to the city centre by horse and carriage. This was effectively the start of the Dublin Port and Docks. One of the major projects it initiated in the early part of the 18th century was the Great South Wall. They used a series

of timber piles which formed the eastern end of the Great South Wall out to approximately where the lighthouse is now. Later, the timber piles were replaced by concrete which are there today. This is beautifully made and if you look carefully you can see that there is a lot of bends in the wall to follow where they could get firm spots. In 1888 we had the first development of electricity and the first electric lights in the streets shortly after that. At the end of the 19th century electricity became more readily available. This led to a multitude of ‘micro companies’ setting up their own energy companies, a bit like now with renewable energy where everybody is trying to get on the band wagon. Unfortunately, this led to a very irregular service and Dublin Corporation set up its own energy-making company out of Fleet Street. They realized they needed to take this onto a bigger scale so after a lot of debate, the decision was made to set up Dublin’s first sizeable power station at Poolbeg. At the same time

Do you think the Poolbeg Chimneys should be re-painted?

Frank Chirop – Sandymount “Very often in pictures of Dublin you see the chimneys, they are a landmark. Yes I’d like them to be maintained.” the city was developing a municipal sewage treatment works and wanted to develop them both out there. At the time the lands were in the control of the military. In February 1902 the first phase of the power station took place when the first foundation stone was laid. Then in 1911 power was in such great demand that the power station was extended quite significantly and one of the interesting aspects of what was known as the Dublin Electricity Generating Station was that it was so far out from customers it was required to use three-phase electricity. This was quite controversial at the time and a bit of a risk and certaintly it was the first use of three-phase electicity in the British Isles and maybe the first use in an urban context worldwide as well. In 1927 the ESB was established and with the beginning of the Irish State a lot of positive independent Irish companies looked forward to the future. In 1928, Ardnacrusha Power Plant was developed on the Shannon and the thinking was that hydroelectric power was the way forward. Poolbeg was downscaled and power production was halved temporarily. In the 1930’s we had two years of drought on the Shannon which caused another phase of investment in the development of the Poolbeg Power Station. This is more or less what we see today. The iconic red and white chimneys, one of the most recognized landmarks in modern Ireland puffed their last plume of smoke in 2010 and due to lack of use will disintegrate naturally. The power station, Pigeon House Hotel, harbour and fort are currently being explored for military, industrial and maritime heritage in a conservation plan orchestrated by Dublin City Council.

Padraig Thomspon – Ringsend “Yes, they are a landmark and should be used for the community.” Tara Wilson – Ringsend “No. If you live around here you get used to them and don’t take that much notice. I’d spend the money on something else.”

Alecia Fleming – Irishtown “Yes. They are a landmark that everyone knows. No matter how much it costs I would re-paint them. Sure, the Government knows how to spend it on themselves.”

John Craddock – Ballsbridge “If they need it, I’d say yes.”

Tracy Lynch – Donnybrook “They do need to be tidied up and brightened, they bring people to the area.”




By Noel Twamley n 1912 Edgar Burroughs wrote the first Tarzan story, which makes Tarzan 100 years old. Little did Edgar realise his story would spawn hundreds of novels, comics, cartoons and 89 films. Many fine actors played Tarzan including Buster Crabbe, Glen Morris, Lex Barker, Gordon Scott etc. The best and most famous was ‘The Bronzed God’ Johnnie Weissmuller, who was thought of as extraordinary looking by most women in the 1930s. Johnnie was chosen to play Tarzan after winning five Olympic swimming medals in the 1920s. In the early 1960s, coffin polisher, yes coffin polisher, Sean Connery was tested to play Tarzan. That same week he also tested for a new series called 007 James Bond, so the ‘bauld’ Sean swapped his loin cloth for a tuxedo. The female lead in the 193040 films was our very own Maureen O’Sullivan. Maureen was born in Boyle, Co Ros-




common, and an MGM scout spotted her at the Horse Show in Ballsbridge and invited her to Hollywood. Maureen was at school with Vivian Leigh, who of course won an Oscar for her portrayal of Scarlet O’Hara in ‘Gone with the Wind’. Most of the Tarzan films were shot on the back lot at MGM and the L. A. Arboretum. In my humble opinion the best actor in the series was Cheeta the Chimp. I was astonished to see Cheeta only died last year so he not only outacted the human characters, he outlived them! To bring fresh life to the films, Hollywood gave Jane a son called ‘Boy’. On hearing this, the Catholic Church went bananas and tried to ban this through the Hays Office as ‘Boy’ was born out of wedlock. No problem, said MGM, and the Hollywood hacks and hacketts said Jane found ‘Boy’ in the Jungle. In all the Tarzan films, that old chestnut “Me Tarzan, You Jane” was never said, just like Cagney never said “you dirty

rat” and Bogart never said “Play it again Sam”. Maureen O’Sullivan married John Farrow and had four children, including Mia Farrow, who at 18 married Frank Sinatra. At their wedding a drunken Dean Martin shouted

at Ol’ Blue Eyes, “Hey Frank, I have whiskey at home older than your new wife”. That was the end of his friendship with Sinatra. There was no forgiveness for this crass remark. Most of the Tarzan films were

the same format as the last. Johnnie fighting the same dummy crocodile in the same pool, ferocious savages, and rapacious white men, but of course Tarzan always won. As I write this, there are two new Tarzan films being shot. I am not looking forward to them, as I fear they will be dystopian films. One of the Metteur-En-Scene has said, “My Tarzan will not be clean cut like Roy Rogers or Hopalong Cassidy, no sir. He will be bad, mean, unshaven and a real bad ass. And my Jane will kick ass.” Mein Gott, the mind boggles; this is what has he in mind! Will Tarzan be fighting the Taliban, or perhaps even aliens? God only knows – we will all have to wait with bated breath. John Weissmuller died in 1984. As the coffin was lowered, at his request, his famous Tarzan yell was played three times - a truly magnificent moment. Sleep easy Johnnie, we will never forget you. Finally, to all at NewsFour and to all our readers I wish you a Merry Christmas and a super New Year. Above: Boy, Jane and Tarzan having a yodelling session.





By Niamh Murphy oney’s too tight to mention and with another tough budget looming, it’s safe to say, it’s probably not going to get any better for our already over-stretched pockets. But here in the heart of Dublin we have a neglected resource, right under our noses. It’s somewhere we often forget when it comes to planning a fun, and as importantly, budget-friendly day out. It’s easy

to get to from every part of the city and promises a few hours of discovery and enjoyment for all the family. The National Gallery of Ireland is a hidden gem in our city, housing some of the world’s most beautiful paintings by various masters of their art and we are very lucky as Dubliners, that this world-class collection is available for us to experience, completely free of charge.

Ireland is one of the few countries in the world that does not charge into our national exhibition spaces and galleries, and now is the perfect time to take advantage of this unique status and explore the amazing art freely available to us. Maybe you feel that the National Art Gallery would be the last place you would choose to spend a rainy day, afraid of a stuffy atmosphere filled with paintings hundreds of years old, being looked at by equally stuffy people. You may think that this beautiful building and these wonderful art objects within it, must be understood to be enjoyed, or that one must have a certain level of education or be of a certain background to fully appreciate them. Art is for everyone.

That’s the joy of good art, anyone can appreciate and take pleasure from it, regardless of their comprehension or knowledge. We are all entitled to have an opinion on art, to decide whether we like something or not and to express our thoughts and feelings about what we see. At the moment and scheduled until 2015, there are huge renovations happening within the National Gallery to expand the space and improve the older part of the building. This means that there are a limited number of gallery spaces open to the public, all are accessed from the Clare Street entrance, and only a section of the permanent collection is being displayed. It also means that instead of visitors to the gallery being overwhelmed by the huge number of art works on display, the paintings have been organised into a simple, smaller scale display that is easy to follow and gives the viewer space to enjoy them. Coming in from the Clare Street entrance you emerge from the hustle and bustle of a busy junction into a bright and airy space. Its tall ceilings form part of a spacious, peaceful oasis, nestled in the heart of our city. Take a few minutes to shake off the urban greyness, maybe have a coffee in the café to de-compress from city life or have a walk around the gallery shop. The Millennium Wing was built around ten years ago and its sweeping angles and dramatic natural light are the perfect antidote to the hectic city outside. Another wonderful thing about

the National Gallery is that audio tours are free of charge and are a great source of basic background information about the artworks. Just ask the helpful gallery staff and you can happily wander around the gallery listening and learning while viewing the work. At the moment on display there is a selection of key Irish paintings charting the development of Irish art from the eighteenth century onwards. These are arranged specifically to allow the viewer to look at them in historical order, helping to see the changes in styles and subjects through the centuries. Highlights of the Irish collection include J.B. Yeats paintings, showing how his style developed through his life, while documenting ordinary Irish people. ‘The Liffey Swim’ shows how little our city has changed in almost a hundred years while ‘Above the Fair’ needs a little longer to really see it all – try counting the horses as they emerge from the bright slashes of colour and textured paint. Another highlight is ‘The Opening of the Sixth Seal’ by Francis Danby, a huge and dramatic painting showing the end of the world, complete with a flash of lightning that cuts through the landscape, as engaging as any modern day movie thriller. There are many other works to enjoy from Irish as well as European and International artists, giving everyone the perfect chance to pick their own favourites; Caravaggio or Rembrant, De Goya or Da Vinci you decide. As an inhabitant of our wonderful city, every Dubliner should explore and take pleasure from this astonishing building and the wonderful artworks it houses.

Top left: ‘The Liffey Swim’, 1923 by Jack B. Yeats (18711957). Top right: National Gallery Millennium Wing Exterior. Left: ‘Portrait of Doña Antonia Zárate, Actress’, 1805-06 by Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828). All images © National Gallery of Ireland For more information see






By Eric Hillis e may dream of a white Christmas but, come January, many of us will find our bank accounts in the red. When it comes to sensible spending over the holiday season, we rarely behave like wise men (or women). A recent survey published by the Irish League of Credit Unions makes for a sobering read, with as much as 80% of those questioned feeling less financially secure than last year. Although spending is expected to be down, the average Irish adult will spend over €500 this Christmas, with €170 of that amount going towards children’s gifts. A quarter of those surveyed fully expected to go into debt to finance their yuletide sprees. Lorraine Waters is all too aware of the strain many find themselves under at this time of year. As a co-ordinator at MABS (Money Advice and Budgeting Service), she has spent the last eighteen

years counselling and advising those unfortunate enough to find themselves in financial trouble. Her organisation is funded by the Citizens Information Board and was set up to combat the moneylenders who prey on the financially vulnerable. According to Lorraine, her office in Lombard Street has become increasingly busy over the past years, thanks in no small part to the economic downturn. She describes a relatively new but growing phenomenon, the “new poor”. MABS may have been originally founded to help those from more deprived areas, but more and more of its clients are people who, only a few years ago, led comfortable middle class lives, never

FG Senator proposes ‘Welfare Ceiling’ By Liam Cahill The amount of welfare benefits a family is entitled to should be limited, according to a Fine Gael Senator. The measure, proposed by a Fine Gael Senator for Dublin South East Catherine Noone (right) proposes the introduction of a ‘welfare ceiling’ to cap current welfare expenditure. The plan would cap payments a family receives at a certain point. Similar measures have been introduced in the UK. “The introduction of a welfare ceiling would incentivise the pursuit of employment and, in doing so, would help to break the cycle of poverty. Too often, on all sides of this debate, we have people making generalisations. I want to try to get beyond that and talk about real, practical solutions which provide incentives rather than punishments,” said Noone. The ceiling, if introduced, could seriously hurt families who are already struggling to make ends meet. In July, The Irish League of Credit Unions published it’s second ‘what’s left tracker’ which examined the financial strains on households. The survey found that families have less than €100 to spend per month after all household outgoings are paid. In some cases, families are forced to borrow in order to pay bills. “The welfare ceiling is about making sure that the welfare pot is available for those who truly need it, ensuring that cuts are targeted in the right direction,” said Noone, adding “I am aware of a number of instances where families have been in receipt of welfare payments which ultimately total more than €70,000. It’s clear that this needs to be stopped.” The measure is one of many proposals the Coalition have pursued in a bid to rein in spending. In September, the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, oversaw the examination of the Social Insurance Fund (SIF), where she said it was her duty to “balance the books.”

imagining they would require help with their finances. For many in Ireland today, a full-time job is no guarantee of financial stability. The increasing cost of travel and childcare take a huge toll on the take-home pay of many workers. Because of this, Lorraine stresses “we’re all in the same boat.” It’s easy for the unemployed to feel pressure to keep up with their working neighbours but the reality is they too will likely experience a leaner holiday season this year. In trying to keep up with the Joneses, you may actually outspend them. Lorraine wants to get out the message that “there’s no shame in admitting you’re on a tight budget as you’re not alone”.

Communication, she informs me, can cut down costs. Speaking to family members and agreeing on a spending cap for each other’s gifts can make a big difference. Likewise, a bit of thought into your own spending can help. Do you really need so much food? Remember how much of it you ended up throwing out last year? Why buy a tin of biscuits when you know your sister buys you one each year? How you answer questions like these can determine how much you save. “Get your priorities right,” Lorraine emphasises, “don’t borrow now if you can’t pay it back in the new year.” The February credit card bill is an all too real nightmare for many. With the use of online retail stores and catalogues becoming increasingly popular, it’s easy to spend money you don’t actually have. “If you can’t afford it, don’t

buy it,” is Lorraine’s blunt but sensible message. “If it’s a choice between buying a gift and keeping the lights on, the electricity bill has to take priority.” There may be pressure to outdo the neighbours and overindulge the kids but, as Lorraine says, we need to swallow our pride. The kids may be delighted with expensive gifts on Christmas morning but they won’t be so happy if you’re struggling to feed them come February. Everyone should enjoy a merry Christmas, but not at the expense of a financially grim new year. For more information, visit or give them a call on 0761 072000









By Liam Cahill s children we all become accustomed to receiving toys that transport us into an alternative universe where rules, and parents, don’t reside. Within this world the social barriers of everyday society also break away, leaving children who were once on differing sides of class and economic structure on a more equal playing field. Toys offer our children escapism, there’s no doubt, but are they also able to predict where a child lies within society? Society takes on an interesting form when Christmas time presents itself. We get closer to those we love, and we have a new sense of forgiveness for those who annoyed us throughout the year. We do everything in our power to ensure Santa will give our kids the best and most expensive toys on the market. If affording that toy wasn’t feasible, does that suggest that you come from a deprived society? “It’s not the toy itself; it’s the social life that goes on around

that toy,” says Associate Professor Dr. Barbara Bradby at the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy (Sociology) in Trinity College. Dr. Bradby pointed out that during a conversation in one of her classes, students discussed how parents may be becoming increasingly worried about their children being left out of important conversations concerning the most popular toy. As a child, this exclusion could lead one to ponder his/her importance and possibly question their socioeconomic upbringing at a later point. In increasingly financially volatile times, the attainability of expensive toys may be hard to achieve or indeed become a struggle. According to Associate Professor Jane Kuenz of the Uni-

versity of Southern Maine in her extensive report on children and society ‘Playtime: Toys and the Labor of Childhood’, the author suggests when toy stores present children with expensive toy options they “…obscure the unequal social relations required to produce and consume them.” Other authors, including Els Rommes at Radboud Univer-

sity in the Netherlands, points to societal and gender reasoning behind children and toys. The examination asserts that toys can be “structurally gendered” when they “refer to professions or locations within society where more men, or women, are found.” In most cases, societal factors don’t appear to be the determining factor in the production and selling of games. Other factors, such as the gender of the child, tend to play a more pivotal role. In fact, according to the research by Rommes, toy manufacturers didn’t believe toys made much of a difference in the upbringing of children. Regardless of where you are from, middle, lower, or upper class the detriment against big spending is pretty much universal – the CSO Consumer Price Index was up 1.2 percent in October 2012 compared to the same time the previous year. Yes, we are strapped for cash, but can this be a deciding factor if our children receive expensive toys at Christmas? As a child growing up in Ballyfermot, we were aware we had no money. Remarkably, this didn’t seem to halt the range

of expensive toys we got at Christmas. The most prominent memory was of what toys we got, compared to what we could have. There was always, however, one child who had more than you, but certainly you didn’t think it was a societal factor. Professor Kuenz’s study suggests parents shift from caring about solely the wellbeing of their children to focusing on the “psychological and moral development” of them. In this regard, regardless of a socioeconomic background, parents will deliver on the promises of big toys due to “guilt and nostalgia.” In this instance, social and financial barriers seem to break away and we enter a more psychological reasoning behind why children receive certain toys. Could it be the case, that some parents buy toys merely because they didn’t get them? It’s hard to tell; certainly from discussions I’ve had with some parents this seems to be one factor. For now, there doesn’t seem to be a societal factor in determining what toys your child will receive. Pictured: Speak and Spell was an expensive 80s toy.





By James O’Doherty he most human and lovable of the church’s feasts, Christmas, seems to come earlier and earlier each year. For more years than I care to remember I was responsible for the selection and erection of the huge Christmas trees for Dublin city. So each October I spent the month walking the forests of Laragh, Glendalough, Aughrim and Wexford. As the trees are so densely planted it was hard to find isolated trees that met the requirements of the capital city. A walk on a clear October day along the roads leading to the forest with dark green leaves of holly among the dead russet leaves of the oak, with a glimpse of silver birch gleaming in the winter sun was delightful. Into the forest surrounded by native trees – oak, ash, birch, sycamore – it is hard to believe that Ireland has fewer trees than any other country in Europe and yet the mild and moist climate of Ireland favours the rapid growth of trees. All lovers of nature share a common belief that there is no greater mystery than the mystery of life. We know that no matter how many clouds there are, the sun still shines. So, back to Christmas, for me it is a gift from God, a simple story of a child born in a stable, a time for quiet contemplation and to remember loved ones no longer with us. I have a particular interest in the tradition of the Christmas tree but before we look at how to go about selecting that tree let’s

think of some of the other traditions that have grown up around this season. Christmas was first celebrated on December 25th in the year 353AD following a decree of Pope Julius. On Christmas morning every priest was permitted to say three masses; midnight, dawn and in full daylight. Midnight mass is that distinctive Christmas service which makes the feast so special. The Song of the Angels – The Gloria in Excelsis was first sung at Christmas. It was introduced into Rome in the first half of the fifth century and it was celebrated by the Pope in the Church of Santa Maria Massiore. The Christmas crib was built in 1223 in Greccio, Italy by St. Francis of Assisi, and a Dublin man, Nahum Tate, wrote the beautiful, ‘While shepherds watched…’ in 1703. ‘Silent Night’ was written by a young priest, Father Joseph Mohr, and was performed on Christmas Eve 1818 in the little church of St. Nicola in the

town of Oberndore in Austria. In 1843 the first Christmas card was printed in England. In 1862 it became fashionable to send cards to friends and family. Yule log customs can be traced to many parts of Germany. In Hesser and Westphalia, for example, it was the custom on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to lay a large block of wood on the fire and when it was charred to take it off and preserve it. When a storm threatened, it was lit again as a protection against lightening. It was called Christbrand. Lots of Christmas tradition there. The Christmas tree itself is of German origin. Once again, it is time to select your Christmas tree and the choice is vast. Do try to avoid the authentic-looking artificial trees and select a real one. I do not recommend you buy a potted tree as these will almost certainly die because they have been cut up and replanted into a pot. I recommend you select from the following – Norway Spruce,

Noble Fir, Nordmann Fir, Blue Spruce – all have a lovely shape with dense branches. As always when erecting your tree, secure it properly and keep it away from fire and heating appliances. Put the lights on first when decorating it and remember to unplug these at night and when leaving the house. I tend not to put my tree up too early. Christmas week is ideal and it will look its best over the festive period. There are some lovely house plants for your indoor Christmas display. Remember to keep them away from heat sources and water them carefully as the amount of humidity in the air influences the health of your plants. The beautiful Ponsettia known as the flower of Holy Night is the centre of the Christmas decoration. This was introduced by Joel Roberts Poinsett from Mexico. Keep this plant in a warm position in good light with no draughts and mist the leaves regularly. Let it dry out and then thoroughly water it, giving it fortnightly tomato feeds. Other plants to consider at this time of year are the Peace Lily, Azalea, Cyclamen, Christmas Cherry Solarum – this has a lovely festive air but do remember its berries are toxic. Try the lovely Hyacinths and for foliage try some branches of the beautiful Rosemary (scented). Despite the long dark nights and short days, you can get beautiful frosty, crisp sunny days through December. On days like these keep an eye for the illuminating branches of trees and shrubs. The Winter Solstice approaches when the sun reaches the tropic of Capricorn. This is the time of year when

there are some beautiful shrubs performing in your garden. A lovely one, Hamamelis Mollis, with beautiful fragrant flowers, is the best of the witch hazels. No garden should be without one. Jasminum Nudiflorum, Viburnum Tinus, Climonanthus Fragrans, Pernettya, Helleborus and Winter Heathers are also worth mentioning. The tree of the month is the festive holly. A good holly to grow in your garden is J.C. Van Tol, one of the best for the home grower. Look out for the beautiful Prunus Subhirtella Autumnalis during these months of limited sunlight and colder temperatures. There are other tasks to do through the festive season. In your garden, prune deciduous trees and shrubs. Prune apple trees and bushes, sow hardy peas and broad beans, cover rhubarb crowns, prune roses, cut the grass at a high level, tidy paths and sheds and do not forget to feed the birds. If conditions are mild, look out for the early flowering of Primroses – Polyanthus. At the turn of the year look out for the popular Pussy Willow with its lovely grey furry catkins, and the Snowdrops. It will not be long before the garden loses the bleak winter appearance. Christmas beckons, enjoy the many traditions and may the child of Bethlehem bless you and yours this Christmas. Nollaig faoi shean agus faoi mhaise duit. The picture above, taken six years ago, is of the Moving Crib at 42 Parnell Square. This year the Crib is on view till 6 January 2013 and admission is free.


House Sales/Purchases Re-mortgages & Commercial Property Family Law Wills/Probate/Estate-Planning Employment Law District Court & Road Traffic Offences

A Friendly & Professional Service Pictured at the Ringsend Girl Guides Book Sale are, left to right, back: Helen Smith, Mya, Shauna, Hanna, Eimer (Brigíns), Ellen Smith. Front: Aoife, Niamh, Layla (Cygnets).

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year






Brugh Padraig Mass

By Jimmy Purdy here was a great turnout for the special commemorative Mass for deceased Chaplins, leaders and members of Brugh Padraig Boys’ Club on Thursday November 1st. The annual Mass is held at St. Andrew’s Resource Centre on Pearse Street. In attendance were some notable leaders from past years, including Noel Nutley and Brother Jimmy Marsh who was accompanied by his sister May. The committee wish to thank St. Andrew’s Resource Centre for the use of the facilities for our Mass over the years, in particular Betty Ashe. Thanks to Liam Brennan and Michael Synnott for their commitment and Fr. Jeremiah who celebrated the mass.

These lucky lads from Bridgetown Vocational College in Wexford were delighted to be brought by their teachers to the Aviva Stadium for the Leinster V Munster match in October. As you can see from their faces, Leinster’s 30-21 win made the trip even sweeter!

Pictured are the Brugh Boys on the steps of Harcourt St. Railway Station in 1949 before their week in Carne, Co. Wexford.

Pictured in John Dwyer’s Public House, Irishtown, in 1953 were John Behan, Frank Sherry, Sheller Henderson, Mick Barry and Bow Redmond.

Derek Boland and David Byrne both of Ringsend completed their first Dublin City Marathon. Well done lads, what an achievement.

Left to right: : Margaret Elderfield, Therese O’Toole, Ciara O’Shaughnessy and Dominic O’Shaughnessy celebrating the fourth birthday of The Wine Boutique, Ringsend.






By Liam Cahill n the new offices of the Union of Students in Ireland in Portview House, Ringsend I was greeted by President John Logue as we embarked on a delightful conversation about education, sports, geeky literary material, and ambitions. “It’s my life’s ambition to be the Governor of Mountjoy Prison,” says John as he leans forward. “John Lonergan (former Governor of Mountjoy Prison) has a perception of human beings who are fundamentally good,” he says. In person Logue strikes me as humble, intelligent and bashfully shy. He wears a dark suit with a strong red tie; his hair has a strong quiff to the left, and his office looks and sounds like a college campus full of attractive staff. As we chat I can hear the mumbles of his minions from outside the door, busy at work dealing with student unions from diverse backgrounds, much like Logue. “I come from a very fortunate background,” says Logue “I think people like me who always got an opportunity, sometimes even a second opportunity, have a serious responsibility to bring people up the ladder

with them.” I pressed him on helping people less well off. “In essence, if

I hadn’t been given the extent of opportunities I wouldn’t have gone to college, I wouldn’t have

Ten years ago in November 2002 Dublin City Council erected a sculpture by the Mexican artist Sebastian on Sandymount Strand. It is known as ‘An Cailín Bán’ but was later renamed “Awaiting the Mariner”. The sculpture was donated to the city by the Mexican Government and stands as a significant focal point on Sandymount Strand.

been remotely capable of sitting a Leaving Certificate. If I can help people gain the same opportunities as I had, well that’s a life well led essentially.” Logue’s mind is heavily influenced by biographical material on diverse figures such as Fidel Castro (whose work ethic he describes as “stupid”), books on Lonergan, and material on JFK. At the outset of our meeting, he produced a copy of Robert Dallek’s ‘John F. Kennedy: an Unfinished Life’, which stands out as a nice addition to the pile of Kennedy literary material already floating about his office. His secondary school years played a large role in shaping the man we see today. He went to a secondary school in Letterkenny, which he credits with developing his open attitude. “There was such a healthy mix of people in my school, we could hang out with anyone,” he says. From there, Logue went on to study law at UCD, which he admits was a daunting undertaking. It wasn’t so much the course, although he had his doubts, it was the University. “You feel out of touch with some of the people in UCD,” he says as he sits back in his chair. UCD helped shape him, but it also delivered a lasting question, ‘what am I supposed to be?’ “There are very few people

out there where it just hits them, some people have to get over the obstacles and stuff and then they realise this is it,” he says refering to his USI climb. In his first run, for Education Officer for UCD, he got trounced, “we ended up getting 41% of the vote,” he said. After that, he was approached to run as the Regional Officer for Leinster. He won, gaining the experience needed for the job he’s in now. Under Logue’s leadership, the USI reaffirmed its commitment to helping unemployed graduates and to pit themselves against the cuts by the Minister of Education Ruari Quinn. “The thing that scares me about Ruari Quinn, is that he has now convinced himself it’s his legacy in politics to get rid of the EU/IMF,” says Logue. Just a few weeks ago in protest against cuts and higher education fees, Logue was arrested for turning his back on the Government in the Dáil’s public gallery, and refusing to sit down (he was released a few hours later). As we are about to wrap up, we get talking about sports. “I’m a rugby lad myself,” I say. “Are you somebody who likes to watch the sport or play it?” Logue says. Just like halftime in rugby, Logue has won the first half with the final score yet to be decided.



DDC COMPILED BY NEW WEBSITE PUTS DUBLIN’S YOUNG CREATIVE COMMUNITY ON THE MAP DCC launched a new website mapping out arts and cultural events across the city including Dublin 4. The website called (Your Arts Map), shows Dubliners how to get to cultural events using interactive services. The Lord Mayor, Naoise Ó Muirí launched the website on October 3rd, with Mayor Cathal King of South Dublin County Council. “This exciting new website will provide cultural organisations and individuals with the opportunity to promote their events, projects and activities,” said the Lord Mayor. is completely free to use and provides an interactive Google maps-based online arts and cultural information service for young people all over Dublin. DONNYBROOK DEVELOPMENT DCC answered a number of questions in relation to the development of lands on Donnybrook Road. The plans were discussed at the annual meeting of Dublin City Council’s South East Area meeting. The site which is currently used by the Leinster Rugby, Bective Rangers Football and Lawn Tennis club, and Old Wesley Rugby Club is due to undergo some work. Councillor Dermot Lacey (Labour) asked the council if the city manager is “satisfied with


the development, particularly the roughly triangular site to the rear of the ESB Sub Station running towards the River Dodder.” An Bord Pleanála granted permission for the development with some omissions. NATIONAL TREE DAY DCC marked National Tree Day 11/10/12 by adding a new Native Tree Trail. The launch of the new trail took place in Raheny and was launched by the Lord Mayor Naoise Ó Muirí. The new trail adds to eight in place so far, including one in Herbert Park in Ballsbridge. “Native Tree Trails are a great way for families and schools to learn about native Irish trees. The St. Anne’s trail, like the other seven trails, can be downloaded from the council’s website www. You can use it to find your way around the park and discover and learn about 15 native Irish trees. These include Scot’s Pine, Willow, Holly, Oak and Birch,” said Lord Mayor Ó Muirí who planted a Scot’s Pine in the park on the day. The trail is part of the council’s Biodiversity Action Plan, which raises awareness about biodiversity and protects and promotes habitats for wildlife throughout the city. DCC has had a Biodiversity Action Plan in place since 2008. ELECTRIC CAR POOLING SCHEME After months of debates and consultations DCC have launched

a new e-car pooling scheme. The Lord Mayor Ó Muirí launched the scheme at the Mansion House in late September. The pooling scheme gives employees in the council’s head office access to two Renault Fluence Z.E. electric cars and one Renault Kangoo Maxi Z.E. 5-seater electric van. “The cost of powering an electric vehicle is approximately one tenth of the cost of an equivalent petrol car, with carbon emissions being reduced by over 50%” said the Lord Mayor. RINGSEND PARK OPENING AND CLOSING TIMES OFF THE TABLE The opening and closing times of Ringsend Park came under scrutiny at the recent meeting of the Dublin City Council South East Area. Councillor Gerry Ashe (Labour) posed a question to the Council in relation to reinstating closing times at the park in a bid to mute anti-social behaviour. “The current arrangements have led to a significant increase in anti-social behaviour in the area,” she said. The council decided to reinstate opening and closing times for the park and will conduct a full review in the coming months. MINISTER CREIGHTON ADDRESSES DCC The Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton addressed a special meeting of Dublin City Council concerning Ireland’s role as it takes the EU Presidency in January. The Minster stressed that Ireland must show “leadership at the European level” and will be approaching the Presidency with a “growth agenda”. The Minister’s remarks

were delivered to a room packed with councillors, each eager to reply to her emphasis on growth as an agenda. Cllr. Pat Dunne of People Before Profit baulked at the emphasis on growth saying, “I don’t believe this Presidency will be good for Dublin.” Mr. Dunne also pointed out his party’s opposition to the government’s “enforced austerity” measures. Meanwhile Cllr. Manix Flynn took a more positive tone, saying “the world will be looking at Ireland during this Presidency” and said the government’s focus should be on “jobs”. The Minister gave a sobering reply to the councillors, sticking to her party’s line concerning the government’s austerity program. 2013 will mark the seventh time the country has taken the Presidency, a role more important due to the European financial crisis. THE GATHERING’S PITCH FALLS ON DEAF EARS Imelda Ray, Business and Tourism Unit Manager at Fáilte Ireland said, “The Gathering creates opportunities to connect to 71 million people across the world.” After she made her remarks some members looked on in confusion. Cllr. Mannix Flynn said people would be “laughed out of it” and that the

Gathering has no “narrative to attract people here.” Cllr. Brid Smith, of People Before Profit, joined Cllr. Flynn suggesting there was a sense of irony in the event considering the government is “exporting young people, instead of investing money in structures we badly need.” The Gathering proposes to invite thousands of Irish people, or those with Irish ancestry back home to celebrate the best of Ireland. Individuals can either create their own gathering or join others around the country. Local gatherings include one by KPMG in April of next year just outside Ballsbridge, a tag rugby blitz in Sandymount in August (invite only), and a gathering in Newbridge College on Landstowne Road in May. COUNCIL KILLS HOUSEHOLD CHARGE MOTION Cllr. Brid Smith’s motion, not to take legal proceedings against householders who have not registered for the Household Charge, was ruled out by the City Council. The motion was part of an emergency segment taken just after 9pm by the Council. In response to its decision not to hear the motion, the Lord Mayor Naoise Ó Muirí simply said it just wasn’t going be discussed. After the Mayor had his say, Cllr. Smith exploded into a rage shouting, “Why did they not get back to me?” referring to the Mayor’s office. The City Manager then took to the floor to calm Cllr. Smith, who at this point looked like she would pull the mic from its stand and charge! Cllr. Pat Dunne took to his feet, and while putting his jacket on, backed up Cllr. Smith’s reason for proposing the motion and exited the room in dramatic fashion. “Make sure this video goes viral,” she said while locking eye contact with the press area. Above: Gathering clouds? Below: Protesting in Irishtown about the Household Charges.




By Joan Mitchell n October 18th hundreds of people from Older and Bolder gathered outside Leinster House with placards and posters to protest at the cuts in Home Helps and Home Care Packages.




For some of the people involved it was the first time they had ever been part of such a protest. They felt it was unacceptable for the most vulnerable in society to be targeted in this way by the government. Older and Bolder is an ac-

tive and vocal organisation, an alliance between the following: Active Retirement Ireland, Age and Opportunity, Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Carers Association, The Irish Hospice Foundation, Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, The Older

H A P P Y H E A R T H E A LT H Maureen Mulville, Health Promotion Manager at the Irish Heart Foundation, in the ARUP building on Ringsend Road advises, “Firstly, you should get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked so you know where you are starting from.” She also recommends that you talk to your family and see if there is a history of heart disease.


By Joan Mitchell eart health is achieved by making positive changes in your life. It is a ‘win-win situation’ as you will feel healthier and lose weight while looking after your heart. Traditionally in the New Year we make resolutions about health and weight but often our will power runs out and within weeks we slowly slip back to our old ways again.

STOP SMOKING I know this is very difficult but it really is critical as smokers are much more likely to have a heart attack or associated heart problems. GET ACTIVE A good way to start is by walking. Some people prefer to walk alone, some with friends or some in a walking club. Think about what is most suitable for you and start slowly with a gentle routine, building on this gradually to increase your level of fitness. Look for Sli na Sláinte routes in your area. WHAT ARE YOU EATING? How much do you eat? Make sure you are not being over-

generous with your portion sizes. Choose fresh fruit, vegetables and meat and cook your dinners from scratch. Try to eliminate processed and fatty foods where possible and aim to eat fish twice a week. Oily fish is particularly good for heart health. Watch your portion sizes and try not to over-indulge during Christmas. Alcohol is fine in moderation, but keep an eye on what you are drinking and try and reduce your intake overall. MANAGE STRESS Stress is a huge contributing factor in most illnesses. Ensure you get a good night’s sleep and discover new ways to eliminate stress in your life. Maureen Mulville makes the encouraging point, “Remember, it probably took you ten years to gain four stone, so don’t expect to lose it all in a few months. Make positive changes and you will see slow, steady progress.”

Women’s Network and The Senior Helpline. Older and Bolder campaign and lobby for the rights of older people in society. They want every person to be treated equally, regardless of their age. They gather information from their member organisations and lobby on their behalf on key issues affecting our older citizens. They have highlighted a number of key concerns which they believe can be grouped together under the umbrella of ‘Positive ageing’ – these would in-

clude: equality for older people, respect and dignity for people of all ages, fairer health care, effective home and community care, being clear about rights and entitlements, a secure pension, effective transport and more joined-up planning for the delivery of services and supports. If you need any help, advice or want to get involved and be an active citizen get in touch. They are based in Jervis House, Jervis Street .018783623





By Joe McKenna t’s easy to pour scorn and shake a fist at the ruins of the Celtic Tiger. There’s plenty to be upset about and it just keeps on coming. But while Bertie Ahern’s magical euro factory was throwing money at the country and those of a lesser moral fibre seized the opportunity for an elaborate con, there are still stories of people and areas where the plan was not to go after money, but to bring change and regeneration to the area through the explosion of wealth.


The Dublin Docklands has been through a litany of changes driven by what Betty Ashe of St Andrew’s Resource Centre called “the catalyst for change in this area.” In June 1963 two sub-standard tenement houses on Fenian Street collapsed due to a heavy storm, killing two girls. Dublin Corporation reacted by sending demolition men to tear the area apart. This move decimated what was an impoverished but tightly-knit community. Over a period of 10 years the docklands population fell from over 112,500 to a mere

6,000, even with the combining of both Westland Row and City Quay parishes. The community was scattered to all four corners of Dublin and placed in housing schemes far from their home. This, in history, was a hammer blow to an area already dealing with the extinction of industrial employers that they had come to rely on for even the most meagre living. The emergence of technology and the collapse of industry could not have come at a worse time. The trauma felt among the community would surely wipe out the local

populace and the area would return in new clothing, its voice of old but a whisper across the Liffey. Without people and without jobs, it seemed that the area would need a miracle to recover. It just so happened that the people of the area were that miracle. “Apart from the depopulation we were also left with dereliction. All the buildings that were knocked down were just left. Speculators bought them up and advertised them as suitable for flats. Some of us had a choice to stay in the area and around 1973 some of us got to-

gether and looked at how we were going to address the issues,” Betty Ashe told NewsFour. “Westland Row/City Quay Social Service Council was set up in Westland Row with premises from Trinity and they weren’t ideal but with the falling numbers in the area St. Andrew’s was no longer in use as a school. So a group of us applied to the diocese to turn it into a community resource centre and we’re now celebrating forty years. We wanted to create a one-stop shop for people in the area who might be in need of services such as day care, seniors club, welfare information or adult education. We didn’t want to farm people out; we wanted to take care of them here.” Without a blueprint or master plan in place to rejuvenate the area, Betty Ashe and those at St. Andrew’s set about making inroads with whatever local employers were left in the area and began to pull local people into employment under an honour system which gave the community a boost and started them on the road to recovery. But in 1997 Betty says, “The whole thing went up in the air again when the Dublin Docklands Development Association (DDDA) was set up.” “Ruairi Quinn was given the go ahead to compile a report and consult with communities on both sides of the river over what was needed and what we wanted to see. After an in-depth consultation, an act was initiated to set up the DDDA, which would have a council of 25, with seven of the council being community representatives. It was the first time in the history of the state that local people were at the table where decisions were made. We were very vocal and we had a strong lobby. “The Dublin Docklands Master Plan was put in place and we had


twenty percent social housing written into it. Of course we were told it couldn’t be done, it was against this and against that but we stood firm and demanded it for the area as we were unique. Once that was implemented it then became a national policy, every developer had to give twenty percent social housing. So we changed things by coming up with fresh ideas and looking at things from a community perspective.” As the area around them began to morph into a new and futuristic environment with an avalanche of new companies, hotels and apartments setting up nearby, the locals saw a new type of industry enter the area, one which at first seemed out of reach. “Historically, there would have been a low level of education in this area going back. The area was brimming with industrial employment so the need for education was never really an issue and to secure someone a job we could call the head boss and speak with them about taking someone on. But with these multi-nationals you’d just get fobbed off to some HR person

and it was important for us to get to know these people because it was important for integration. We didn’t want a business sector here that the local community had no access to. “We wanted to create a sustainable neighbourhood for everybody sharing the space. We felt it was our responsibility to do our utmost to help locals in the area feel like they were part of the new set-up and that new dwellers could feel welcome in an area where they could settle, because it’s something in the air around here and it’s always been here. We did everything we could to get what we needed. We secured Hanover Quay as social housing after we took a trip to Glasgow and discovered that we could set up a housing trust. A lot of areas didn’t get that, but we were in there early and got what we wanted. We wouldn’t let up. They could have rolled over us if we hadn’t been so active in the interests of the community. That was our motivation overall.” It’s hard to imagine what the Docklands would look and feel like today had it not been for the


ingenuity and initiative of people like Betty Ashe. While many other new areas around Dublin now look and feel like a set from a TV show, flimsy and badly put together, the Docklands in its current form is a smart and attractive place that boasts a cohesive community with solid ethics and morals that truly come from another age. Page 30, top: The Conference Centre at night. Page 30, bottom: The Famine Memorial on Custom House Quay; Niall Quinn launched Dockland’s Schools ‘Caught on Camera’ exhibition in 2008; Bertie Ahern. This page, top and right pictures: Memories of non-stop building, demolition and, for some, conflict. Below: During Docklands Festival 2001/2002 the Lord Mayor is invested as Port Admiral of the 10th Port. Left to right: Tommy Crilly, Gary Keegan, Chris Andrews, Frances Fitzgerald, Michael Mulcahy, Betty Ashe, Kevin Humphreys, Peter Coyne CEO DDDA and Enda Connellan CEO Dublin Port.






By Jason McDonnell n Saturday October 20th I spoke with Gabriel Murphy at St. Patrick’s Rowing Club end of season BBQ. Gabriel, who has been a member of the East Coast Council for a long time and was also PRO of the East Coast Rowing Council this year, said the club has had an outstanding year. The crews involved were: two U12 crews, an U14 crew, a junior ladies’ crew who won bronze, an U16 crew who also won bronze, a mixed crew who won silver, the intermediates who picked up bronze too and the juniors and

seniors who both won gold. The seniors have been unbeaten for the whole year on the East Coast and went on to win the All Ireland in Cork. While at the All Ireland, they took part in the Heritage Boat Race for original boats and came both first and second. They also won the Hobblers Challenge, a race around the Kish Lighthouse in September. The East Coast Regatta season starts around the Bank Holiday weekend in June, normally with the Stella Maris Regatta and then it goes on during the summer and finishes up in Wicklow

on the August Bank Holiday weekend. The indoor training starts for most rowers in January/February, and around March they try to get the boats back in the water. This year the crews saw a lot of wind and rain nearly every night of the week but all credit to them for persevering no matter the weather. In 2007 new rules were introduced where all skiffs must be built the same and this has made a huge difference to regattas. St. Patrick’s recently got a new uniformed boat which is the one shape to fit this criteria. And



By Jimmy Purdy he recent death of Christy Murphy brought back memories of one of

St. Patrick’s Rowing Club’s best skiff rowing crew circa 1949. This crew had many successes along the East Coast stretch-

ing from Ringsend to Arklow and was made up of two sets of brothers; Thomas and Seamus Murphy and Christy and Paddy

this year, bar one race out of the whole year, the uniformed boat has been a winner. The new boats they row now are also compatible with the boats in Cornwall, West France, Scotland, Norway and the Basque area of Spain. The club also came second in a big contest in Italy. Gabriel would like to thank Irene Montgomery, who does a lot of the work for the kids and also makes the cakes (which get great reviews from all the clubs after every race). He would also like to thank Phillip Murphy, who is working very hard as the child welfare officer of the East Coast Rowing Council, not forgetting Ken Cunningham who was the rep for St. Patrick’s Rowing Club at most of the regattas during the year. A big thanks from the entire club to John Hawkins, who does a lot of work behind the scenes.

Murphy. During this time each regatta would draw big crowds with the big one in Wicklow on the August Bank Holiday Monday. Christy came from Whelan House and his family were very respected in the area. He married Laura McDonnell and eventually moved to Tonlegee Road in Coolock. At his funeral a Guard of Honour with oars raised took place in the Church yard by St. Patrick’s Rowing Club. Betty, his sister

Left: Members at St Patrick’s Rowing Club’s end of season BBQ. Above: John Doyle with the Wicklow Senior Cup for rowing 2012. Below: Senior crew, left to right Gay Murphy, David Doyle, Pierce Murphy, Dave Cunningham, John Doyle, Stephen McDonnell and Autumn Rose McDonnell.

and his brothers Paddy and Liam were present. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis. May his faithful soul be at the right hand of God. Main picture, left to right: Thomas Murphy, Paddy Murphy, Thumbs Murphy, Seamus Murphy, Christy Murphy. Pictured in the boat, left to right: Paddy Murphy, Seamus Murphy, Christy Murphy, Thomas Murphy, Thumbs Murphy.




A home defects and improvement column by Anthony Brabazon B.Arch. MRIAI Q. My cottage is very draughty. Are there any cheap ways of fixing this?

A. Draughts can account for a significant heat loss element in any house, even a well insulated house. This explains why on a frosty, still day a house may seem warmer than on a milder, windy day. Plenty of insulation can be rendered near useless by draughts. Here are some simple solutions: • At the front door either replace any perished rubber seals or screw on new external draught strips on the sides and top of the door frame. Also internally screw on a brush draught excluder.

• At the edges where windows meet brick or plasterwork renew seals on all sides.


By Joe McKenna y father had the button,” says John Hawkins while he sits in the confines of St Patrick’s Rowing Club and thinks about how he came to spend his working life as a docker. “If your father was a docker then it was a given that when you hit sixteen you’d go to work on the docks, too. I grew up in that environment among boats and I remember at the weekends when the Yankee ships would come from America there would be no ferry across on a Saturday or Sunday, so me and my brother would row groups of dockers back and forth. But we never got the money,” says John laughing, “our father got the money. But we had first-hand experience of working men from the docks.” To an outsider, the term ‘The Button’ might seem like a colloquialism with little weight behind it, but around the docks the man with the button was the man with the golden key to a living, the man given the job of picking a workforce from men who stood eagerly in front of him on many mornings. “When I turned 16, my father marched me straight to the Marine Port for my union card and the next day I started on the docks; the 10th of December 1962. You would be brought over and your father would stand behind you because he’d be known and the Stevedore would shout down your name just like you’d see in the films. In my case it was ‘Hawky’ and my father would

• Replace or apply draught proofing seals to openable windows. say ‘hand in your card.’ That was it from that day on, but it was up to you to get established. You had to be a worker, you wouldn’t get another job if you weren’t a worker, but my father would come down and help me, show me how to do things properly. He was nicky nacky like that and he’d keep an eye on me at work and then give out to me at home for doing things wrong, but he wouldn’t make a show of me on the job.” Thanks to his father, John Hawkins would spend the next 48 years on the docks and would see how the industrial landscape changed and how those changes affected the area he grew up in. “When container traffic came along it was a good thing in one way but a very bad thing in another because it wiped out employment. Our numbers fell from 1,600 to 1,200 in one year and the year after it was 600. If you meet an old docker today they can tell you about the tea boats and how dockers would be great at ‘extracting’ things from the docks, so to speak. I remember my father telling me that ladies’ tights were a godsend because you could tie them around your neck and fill the legs with tea to bring home, but that era is gone. The days of slinging cargo and hands-on docking will never return and it’s sad because it brought real character to this area. For the majority, the men in this area were bound together by the docks and it slowly slipped away.” While it’s speculated that the

growth in modern technology left most dockers behind as mechanics began to supersede the work rate of the docker, John Hawkins was among many who were more than willing to change and adapt. Speaking to former dockers can give you a sense that you’re living in some sort of time paradox. The stories of manual labour and work crews breaking their backs in the heart of a ferocious industry almost seems like it could have been one hundred years ago instead of the mere fifty or sixty it actually was. When speaking with someone like John Hawkins, you get the overwhelming sense that he is part of a wilting brotherhood whose stories will never fade from the memory and whose pictures hang proudly on the walls of St. Patrick’s Rowing Club in Ringsend. “We looked out for one another, we were almost clannish in that way. Being a docker was more than job, it was your life, your circle of friends and it consumed you, but you were happy to let it because it was what you grew up around. I’m lucky I got the chance and I’ll always be thankful.” Above, back row left to right: Archie Grey, Jimmy Gregg, Mixer Brennan, Gerard McDonnell, Jerome Dunlavey, Sambo Caulfield, Dennis Murphy, Willie McDonnell, Tony McGauley, Christie Pullen, Paddy Finn. Front row left to right: Tom Fulham, John Hawkins.

• Avoid large temperature differences between rooms. For example, a cold hall can create an internal draught in a heated sitting room.

• Replace internal covers of wall vents with humidity-controlled vents (

• Provide draught stripping to the attic trapdoor. • Fireplaces sometimes are problematic but if you use a chimney

balloon ensure that there is a wall vent or else condensation might

be your new problem. Some companies (eg. or provide neater solutions for closing off flues

which can otherwise account for significant heat losses, as well as draughts.

• Finally, some older houses with suspended timber floors downstairs have draughts between the square-edged boards so, if the floor boards are up for rewiring or re plumbing, I would strongly recommend that

rigid insulation be inserted and secured between the timber joists underneath before the floor boards are re-laid.

Contact Help My House to arrange a visit to your home for €150.

Ring Anthony Brabazon on 01-6683519 or visit Questions for this column can be sent to

Graphic by Ron Byrne






By Ebenezer Scrooge here are many things that we only do at Christmas in this country. It’s the only time outside of a funeral that some of us will darken a church door without the promise of a free meal and a loose bridesmaid after it. It’s the one time we slide things as disgusting as eggnog and mince pies into our gob and it’s the one time we actually spend time socialising with our work mates/family/foreign dwelling friends, although lubricated with lashings of alcohol. It’s also the only time a lot of us go to the theatre, opening our mind to some festive culture, though often we’re sipping from the swill, more interested in the flashing gizmos, pink cowboy hats, bells, whistles and salt and sugary treats than the corpse of creativity staggering to pyrotechnic life before us on stage. As I mount my high horse and shoot my schnoz skyward, grab your wallet as I take you on the NewsFour Guide to the 12 shows of Christmas. I could actually only find six, but after the sixth pub you’ve usually just thrown your Christmas bonus up on yourself, your boss and your novelty jumper and have been bundled into a cab home anyway so the analogy still stands.

THE GAIETY THEATRE ‘Cinderella’ You got Maureen Potter and June Rogers. Your child gets Samantha Mumba and Mikey Graham. I blame the IMF. They’re to blame for everything else that’s gone down the swanny, why not throw the decreasing standards of



By Rupert Heather escribing herself as an artist print maker, MarieLouise Martin’s works include original colour handprinted creations and black and white drawings and landscapes. A visit to her Dublin home with adjoining studio confirms a total immersion in her art and a style that is unique.


panto in for good measure? Although, the mass marketing of entertainment was a problem long before Merkel darkened one’s door. I can’t tell you that much about the show, other than its name and its sponsor, Tayto. So Mr Tayto will most likely figure in some way. Just like


The Ballsbridge-based artist took drawing classes as a child where she got the ‘bug’ and went on to the National College of Art and Design to study fine art and specialise in print making. “I really like drawing, and printing is an extension of that,” she says. Working as an artist since the 1980’s, her early works combine the influence of her punk

in previous years we had the Nesquick Bunny dancing about the stage and Jack caught the Nightlink down the Beanstalk.

you want to asphixeate your child with hairspray, rot their soul and warp their idea of manhood, then this is the show for you.

THE GATE THEATRE ‘My Cousin Rachel’ ‘My Cousin Rachel’, which ran earlier in the year is back in time for Christmas, depriving us of a decent staging of ‘A Christmas Carol’, although it also saves us from Andrea Corr reviving ‘Jane Eyre’. Stephen Brennan is in it of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas or the Gate without him mugging about the place. But it received solid reviews on its first run so, for the adults this adaptation of Du Maurier ’s Gothic Masterpiece might be the Gin and Tonic to the Gatorade elsewhere.

THE TIVOLI ‘Snow White and the adventures of Sammy Sausages’ Goldenbridge Industrial School don’t make pantos, but…

THE OLYMPIA ‘Jedward and the Magic Lamp’ When I was a kid the highlight of my little life was getting to stay up late for the Eurovision and going to the Panto in the Olympia. Jedward have officially ruined both. All they need do next is be entered for The Rose of Tralee and pull on the green geansai for Trappatoni and they’ll have scalped what fond memories I have of staying up late as a young’un. If

BORD GÁIS ENERGY THEATRE ‘Oliver’ Neil Morrissey plays Fagin. Enough said! THE ABBEY ‘The Dead’ For the most perfect Irish movie ever made you should check out John Houston’s ‘The Dead’. The casting is perfect. It’s a bit all over the shop for this production of James Joyce’s short story; Stanley Townsend, who plays Gabriel is older than the actresses playing his aunts, and Derbhle Crotty is around 15 years too old for Gretta. They’re both magnificent performers though and they are joined by a topnotch cast. Lorcan Cranitch, Fiona Bell, Rosaleen Linehan and Alison McKenna all have supporting roles so it is safe to say this is not one to miss.


contemporaries and classical Florentine art. Her ‘punky heads’ are perhaps the artist’s most recognisable pieces. “I was just really out of art school and got two prints into the Royal Academy in London. At the time I didn’t realise how important it was,” she admits. Awards for print making from both the Royal Hibernia Academy and the Royal Ulster Academy followed. A solid metallic printing press forms the centre piece of what can only be described as an artist’s dream studio. Not massive but designed to maximise space, light and atmosphere. On two floors a glass ceiling allows the light to reach all parts. Upstairs hang large-scale drawings of both Irish and Italian countryside: Wicklow, West Cork and Tuscany. She says, “For the last ten to fifteen years I’ve concentrated on landscapes.” Before adding, “Oh my God, that makes

me sound about 150.” Marie and her husband bought a flat in Tuscany where they spend about two months of the year between Florence and Sienna in a 13th Century listed building. It offers a base for a growing collection of Italian landscapes. Two recent shows in Italy received a good reaction, perhaps because her works are “not typical” there. “Italians are very like the Irish really, in temperament. They can see the funny side of things,” she observes. The artist prefers the subjects that offer texture and pattern and her landscapes both individual and in collections of ‘visual diaries’ have a remarkable and accurate quality of light. “There has been an upturn in printing and figurative art generally because people go back to basics in recessions. You can’t hide behind a drawing,” she concludes. Marie exhibits from her own

studio at 110 Merrion Road, Ballsbridge. Open days which include an exhibition and printmaking demonstration with complimentary glass of mulled wine and mince pies are on the 1st, 2nd, 8th, and 9th December, 11-5 daily. Email: Tel: 087 2859796.


C HRISTMAS Reviewed by Liam Cahill ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS’ In Clement C. Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ (Houghton Mifflin Company €9) the magic of St. Nicholas is described in great detail as children wait for his Christmas Eve visit. It begins with a simple yet imaginative set of descriptions; stockings being hung by the chimney with care, children snuggled asleep in their beds and even mice awaiting the impending arrival. Each line in this now infamous book narrates a Christmas story most of us can only dream of experiencing. Set in the 1800’s in an old yet glamorous mansion, the poem tells the story of Christmas Eve from the perspective of the author as he prepares for the clatter of reindeer



in his mansion’s grounds. The author’s description of the Christmas Eve night has become something of a legend in literary circles. The original poem was published in the Troy New York ‘Sentinel’ by Moore, although at the time he chose not to disclose who he was. It was later turned into a small book, and by Hollywood into a variety of films. Moore uses a variety of formal language generally associated with the mid 1800’s and gives us a taste of St. Nicholas who up until then was a mere myth. Perhaps Moore’s greatest gift was giving his narrative a magical feeling, echoing themes from J.M. Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan’ and laying down ground work for children’s themed poems and novels to come.

What’s consistent throughout Moore’s work is a fairytale Christmas story conjured up to bring children into a realm other than our own. His description of St. Nick gives us a Santa who was in his commercial infancy. The narrative gives us a classic example of children’s writing at its finest. Modern literature has taken on a more, shall we say, futuristic tone. ‘THE HUNGER GAMES’ In Suzanne Collin’s ‘The Hunger Games’ (the first book in a trilogy) (Scholastic, €8) the future is a grainy, dark world where twelve boys and girls are forced to partake in a live TV show for survival. Katniss Everdeen is thrust into the futuristic world where children must compete for survival. Everdeen makes a serious decision,

to stand in the place of her sister Prim at the selection process of the games. What unfolds is a battle of will and might. Everdeen must endure the gruelling task of seeing off her opponents and staying alive in the process. Within the games each contestant is from a different part of the fictional world. Everdeen, for instance, is from District 12, a run down part of the city. “Starvation’s not an uncommon fate in District 12. Who hasn’t seen the victims?” says Everdeen. Collins, who got the idea for the book while looking at war coverage on TV, details a narrative which seems almost too unrealistic to be believed. Although the reader may sympathise with the povertystricken communities of this new world, they will love the end goal. Collin’s narrative twists the teenage novel on its head and offers audiences of all ages a peek into a

world where simple rules no longer apply.

‘A SOCIAL AND NATURAL HISTORY OF SANDYMOUNT, IRISHTOWN AND RINGSEND’ This book which was first published in 1993 is available to buy from eBay, the NewsFour office and Books on the Green, Sandymount. Price €13.99. Phone 6673317 for details. ‘SANDYMOUNT’ by Barry Saunders and David Bradshaw The title says it all. This book is available from Books on the Green, Sandymount. Price €4.99.



By Caomhan Keane illie Holiday once said; “Never get involved with a black man in music. He will never succeed like he deserves to and he will take it out on his woman.” A point Ike Turner would go on to horribly illustrate in his treatment of Anna Mae Bullock aka Tina Turner, his wife, muse and punching bag. After the bastardised version of their life story that was ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’, came this

jukebox musical in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, an almost Disneyfied version of their tale of hunger and hardship. What it did possess, though, was a leading lady, Emi Wokoma, who was as close as we are ever going to get to experiencing what Tina Turner was like in her prime. And while, as a piece of theatre, it skirted dangerously close to slapstick in its handling of drug and domestic abuse, as a musical tribute it was an unbeatable expe-


rience. Opening on ‘Private Dancer’ at Tina’s infamous comeback concert at The Ritz, it’s all there from the out. The wig. The legs. The stance. The smile. And as the show progressed Wokoma did more than imitate Tina. She developed her. From the pitchy, if impressive, backing singer who struggled with Ike Turner’s style on ‘You Know I Love You’ to the spine-tingling growl of ‘A Fool in Love’, she captured the growing professionalism, confidence and sexuality of an artist, before solidifying it into the calculated, awkward middle-aged sexuality for which Tina made her millions. She embodied the physicality of an artist who knew how to work it, demanding R-E-SP-E-C-T as she shook her tail feather, whipping everyone from the stalls to the gods into


a full-blown frenzy, hocking up the honk in a four-track encore of Tina’s earliest solo hits. Not even the queen herself managed such vocal dexterity in the course of one evening. Whenever she revisited her earlier Revue hits in concert, she lathered them in that horrible, driving Rock and Roll that lined her coffers. But, backed by a terrific live band and the exuberant ‘Ikettes’ here, the varying styles, both musical and aesthetic, that marked ‘The Revue’ out was captured in ways that satisfied the pallets of both solo and hardcore fans. Ike Turner was less well served. It took an admirable stab at taking back his character from the coked up boogieman portrayed by Laurence Fishbourne. But too much of this was done through Tina’s light-voiced reflections, leav-

ing Chris Tumming to mouth deluded, paranoid and poorly penned spiels on feminism. His violence is sanitized to such an extent that the straw that broke her back, the infamous fight in Dallas, actually raised the roof, with shouts of “Go on, Tina” from the mostly middle-aged mammies in the crowd, acting more like overenthused GAA fans than horrified audience members. Her suicide attempt was also played for laughs, while his own redemption after his prison spell was ignored completely. Tina, more than most, made her name on her electrifying live performance and in this area ‘Soul Sister’ excelled. Emi Wokoma’s explosive presence made this a must-see for soul fans, while the sheer power of every part of the delivery more than made up for the shakier dramatic elements.






ast month some of Ireland’s biggest Eurovision stars performed a collection of the most memorable songs from the contest’s back catalogue at The Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. Amongst them was Niamh Kavanagh, singer of the most beloved winning entry, ‘In Your Eyes’, but also remembered by NewsFour readers as the cashier in Sandymount AIB. She chats here to Caomhan Keane.


By Joe McKenna

hen Damien Dempsey first came to prominence there were plenty of highbrow music critics eager to write him off. He didn’t look like a rock star and his songs were

rooted firmly in the realism of suburban Dublin. He didn’t exactly fit

in with the fever of the Celtic Tiger. But like the boxer he is at heart, he’s still standing, singing and the Celtic Tiger is nowhere to be seen. And with his new album ‘Almighty Love’ he delivers more reality through his unique, gritty musical style.

With the title track, Damien opens the album with full-on euphoria,

declaring to the world in what almost sounds like a melodic snarl that he feels ‘Almighty Love’. While his past albums have always had a sensitive side, nothing explodes on you quite like this tune. But in

true Damo style the following track brings you down from the clouds

and plummets you back into Donaghmede as the great man recalls lost friends on ‘Chris and Stevie’, a heartbreaking tribute with truly incredible arrangement and ends with the words, “Lean on me, I’m here, my love is real.” Powerful.

With all his albums tinged with a little hip hop, Damo brings 20

year old London poet/rapper Kate Tempest onto the track ‘Born

Tell me about your earliest Eurovision memory? My earliest memory, the most vivid one, was the Abba win. It was one of those nights you were allowed to stay up late, like when the football was on or Miss World. What did you make of ‘In Your Eyes’ when you first heard it? Did you have any idea how deep it was about to stick its claws into the public consciousness? Well I really liked it very much. I didn’t think we would win the Eurovision. I didn’t even think we would win the Euro song! We couldn’t get anyone to sign us before the Eurovision. Myself, publisher Bill Graham and writer Jimmy Walsh put the money in and recorded the final copy. We pressed 250 CDs and cassettes so we would have something on the week of Eurovision. We weren’t


expecting the thousands and thousands of sales we got afterwards. It was number one for a long time. It pleased me, of course, but also surprised me. Did you always want to perform at the song contest? I had been offered different songs over the years. I was doing really well as a session singer, working with some of the best producers. I had no great interest in getting involved in the Eurovision. But I really liked the song, I had a chat with the writer and he said “your experience in Eurovision can be what you want.” And I still stand by the fact that I sang a really good song, really well in front of 200 million people. What goes on in the build-up to the event? There is so much to consider. The design, the stage, the lighting, the backing singer, what you are going to wear. All this needs to be planned well in advance. The TV



Without Hate’. A reggae/funk number that deals with the harshness of the modern world and how it affects the youth whilst trying to get across the message that Damo yearns for a better world we can all achieve. Kate Tempest lays down a phenomenal rap to close the song and her future is surely bright with this skill.

Things dip a little with ‘Bustin’ Outta Here’ before Damo goes old-

fashioned folk singer with the Scottish folk song ‘Fire in the Glen’ which is pure story telling, before we get to what must be one of Damo’s best songs to date.

‘Canadian Geese’ is probably the best song on the album and is

full of local references and will transport many of you back to childhood days when urban Dublin was a curious child’s playground and

moves onto the urge to break out of the city walls. The arrangement is superb again, Damo’s voice is on fire and the use of orchestral strings heightens its impact.

After that, the rest of the tracks somehow seem to fly by until the

closer ‘You’re the Cure’, but like anyone who’s ever listened to a Damien Dempsey album, it all becomes more clear the more you listen to it. Definitely worth getting.


By Joe McKenna he cold is here, Santa’s polishing Rudolph’s nose while all the other reindeer stare on with envy and the elves are flat out trying to make Christmas the most wonderful time of the year for young children. But that’s just one day out of the season. What about the rest of it? The panto is expensive and

let’s face it, there’s only so much Jedward one person can take. Well good news, The Ark centre of Temple Bar has just the thing. As a cultural centre for children The Ark provides a space where youngsters can engage in creative activities and explore their own creativity in a nurturing and unique environment set amongst the hustle and bustle of

station have more of a say, after all they are paying for you to do what you do, although I had more of a say in 2010 than in 1993. There are a lot of events around it as well. You travel to promote the song, doing up to 14 interviews a day, which is pretty full-on considering I was working in a bank as well. And of course there is the recording of the ‘postcard’, the little film that plays before each entry takes the stage. You mentioned the bank there. How much time did you need to take off before and after the event? Well I never went back, although I was initially on a career break. I took the two weeks prior to the contest off and the week itself. It was funny actually as on the day of the contest they had a big sign up saying ‘Take Monday off Niamh’. And after I won they changed the sign to say ‘Take Tuesday off as well’. But there was just so much on afterwards. I had to sign to Simon Cowell’s record label, Arista Records and do an awful lot of TV programmes in a lot of different countries, promoting the song as a single. Why did you go back in 2010? I was obviously offered an awful lot of songs for Eurovision over the years. I had to feel the song was strong enough for me. The reason for my going back was the song. Then you can accept if you don’t do well. I don’t think the votes reflected how well we did. I still feel the performance was good, it was a great song. Temple Bar. With a specifically designed building which houses a rooftop art studio, a small theatre (designed as a miniature version of Shakespeare’s Globe in London) and an exhibition space, The Ark is a one-off in the arts for children. This Christmas they will introduce kids to the brilliance of Charles Dickens, with a special performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’ to celebrate 200 years of the great author. “Aaron Monaghan (‘The Tudors’) and Bryan Burroughs (‘The Blanch’) will perform the entire story in 45 minutes using their bodies, their voices, many hats, some scarves, fairy lights and an Ikea coat rack. It’s set to be really great fun,” Muireann Sheahan of The Ark told NewsFour. Showing on the 8th, 15th and 22nd of December and with a fairly priced ticket at €10/€8 concession it’s one to look out for.


FILMS ‘SKYFALL’ Reviewed by Caomhan Keane t the end of their first meeting in this new incarnation of Bond, Ben Winshaw’s Q turns to Daniel Craig’s 007 and asks, “Were you expecting an exploding pen? We don’t go in for that anymore.” It tells you quite a lot about this leg of the spy series. James Bond celebrates half a century with the new film ‘Skyfall’. The gadgets are subtler, the story draws on real-life concerns, while the ladies are more than playthings – clothed (for the most part). In fact, the only boobs I saw were in the audience, chortling with discomfort at the homoerotic subtext of Javier Bardem’s terrific villain


Silva. That being said, Sam Mendes’ intriguing debut as an action helmer gets rather entangled in its desire to sate so many tastes. It is not only not a traditional Bond flick, it is not a wholly new creation either, making fudged reference to the series’ lineage and half-hearted stabs at the coy interplay between Bond, the babes and the bad asses. It’s an intelligent and enjoyable addition to the cannon that proves that its producers are at least trying to keep it relevant to these grim times without throwing out what made it so special in the first place. But those telling you it’s the best Bond yet, or worse, Oscar worthy, most likely have little experience of the series pre-Brosnan or movies made prior to the turn of this century. A passable pre-credits action sequence sets up the spine of the flick, which asks us to consider the cost of a human life. Something M (a stunningly good Judi Dench) must weigh up as Bond does his usual pre-credits shtick. A car chase becomes a fist fight on top of a speeding train as bullets fly, bodies roll and a field agent (an overly ironic Naomi Harris) tries to get a clean shot which will take out an enemy who has, in his possession, the name and location of all of NATO’s undercover operatives. Needless to say it doesn’t go well and as Bond is sent to find out the



By Joe McKenna n 2007 Forest Fringe decided to open a space for artistic experimentation that would run concurrently, but as a separate entity, with the mammoth Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Quite a tall order when you realise that the great and the good within the arts fill Edinburgh every August to marvel at the enormity of the world’s largest arts festival. But since that decision Forest Fringe has built a strong reputation as a not-for-profit, artist-led organisation whose Edinburgh venue is now world renowned.

PAGE 37 identity of the maniac who is slowly unearthing the moles and who has blown up the head office of MI5, the conflict between the old and new way of doing things in the intelligence community is paralleled by the challenges facing this movie, which itself is trying to adapt to changes in how Bond should be presented. For all intents and purposes fantasy is dead. While once it was the cartoon aesthetic that wowed the audiences of the Batman flicks, or the suave sophistication of yesteryear’s Bonds dispensing with caricatured Russians in their volcanic hideaways, a side of reality is now ordered with our action pie. We’ll accept our heroes to have super strength and be seemingly impervious to bullets to a point, so long as it doesn’t feel like too much of a stretch. As long as we can relate it to what’s going on in the world today and as long as we get to see the ginsoaked psychological scars. And so it is here, with a mentally and physically spent Bond, whose past is brought centre stage for the spectacular showdown at the movie’s end. We are given an interesting riff on the relationship between M and her double-0s, shown how the threat of bureaucracy is almost as dangerous as the one posed by the enemies “we must fight in the shadows”, and through Roger Deakins stunning cinematography, it is implied that the East is rising while the West crumbles. But it doesn’t dwell on these points; rather circles back upon itself, rehashing tired Bond formulas. Rather than tackling the question as to whether there is a need for characters like Bond and M in the 21st century, it takes dead-end detours to exotic locations despite the fact that the more claustrophobic action sequences in London are some of the best the series has ever had. Rather than fleshing out the antagonism and betrayal that underscores Silva and M’s relationship,

and which tie him to Bond, the movie plums for improbable escapes or diversions from death so well mocked in ‘Austin Powers’. While – more worryingly for a filmmaker of Sam Mendes’ stature – its turns were met with audible moans from the audience since they hung on improbable mistakes made by characters; something as simple as using a torch when you shouldn’t or forgetting to close a door might be excusable in mere mortals but in super spies purportedly on top of their game, they jar. In Silva, ‘Skyfall’ does possess the best villain the series has had in years, with Bardem mincing outrageously in front of the uber-straight Bond and revealing the cost of serving ones country when it does not serve you. He is an affront to everything Bond believes in and his opening monologue is gorgeously shot, enveloping us with camera trickery and gory verbal imagery. Arriving one hour into the action, he brings the picture to life. The rest of the new cast (Harris, Ralph Fiennes) however, are depressingly one-note, all there to provide fodder for a reveal that people with guide dogs could see coming, while the scars left by Vesper Lynd are still raw as the Bond Girls have been sidelined yet again. There’s a blink-andyou’ll-miss-her turn from Berenice Marlohe, who brings nervous, manic energy in an under utilised role, which I hope, the film makers wanted to use to contrast Bond’s detachment with M’s own cavalier disregard for her agents so that she can go on making the decisions that keeps the world, or at least the Empire, safe.

When left to be himself Craig is an excellent Bond, able to credibly pass as a riled-up action hero, a weary agent or a bemused man-child, his biting tongue spilling acid over the more louche delivery of previous incarnates. His interplay with M is genuinely engaging; there is a sense of something being at stake. But he struggles when he is called upon to deliver the punchier dialogue – the sherry and slippers slapstick of Roger Moore, the affable asides of Pierce Brosnan – so that you have to wonder why they try to soften his edges. If they are ever to make the Bond that is truly relevant to the now, they are going to have to shake of the ghosts and whispers of those gone by who flicker throughout this movie like the figures in its opening credits and really get under the skin of this damaged character to make his treatment of women and his dedication to the job ring true. The dire Adele theme tune sums up what’s wrong with an otherwise worthy picture. It pays too much lip service to themes gone by, and in trying to fit into a familiar formula it can never truly be itself. It has the horn but lacks the honk. One needs to make its peace with the other for the series to progress.

personal account through identity, childhood and relationships. Artist / performer / writer Tim Etchells will be creating a new installation in response to the space at The Lir. Amy Conroy, winner of the 2011 Dublin Fringe Festival award for best female performer will be using Forest Fringe as an opportunity to share early elements of her new performance ‘Break’, which looks at the complexities and challenges of the education system. Kieran Hurley will pre-

miere ‘Hitch’, one man’s depiction of his journey from Glasgow to the G8 Summit in Italy in 2009. Deborah Pearson, live artist and co-founder of Forest Fringe will be in residency at The Lir for the week and also Travelling Sounds Library, a regular feature of the Forest Fringe will bring their travelling audio collection (with librarian)! There’s a lot to be seen, so dust off your fedora and get into the arts some more, darling.


In 2010 Forest Fringe began organising Microfestivals, taking their work to other places in order to build relationships and broaden the engagement with artistic communities and audiences and from December 13th to 15th The Lir Academy will welcome Forest Fringe to Dublin as part of ‘The Lir Presents…’ programme. “We’re really happy that Dublin was chosen this year to host the Forest Fringe Microfestival,” Jessica Hilliard of the Dublin Fringe Festival told NewsFour. “It’s around this time of year that all the festivals have come to an end and

we are working hard towards next year, but it’s fantastic to have Forest Fringe here to fill the hole we all seem to feel when all our other festivals have finished.” This fresh initiative will see an incredible array of artists come to the Lir. Acts such as Action Hero, the high octane daredevil Bristolian performance artists with the Irish premiere of ‘Watch Me Fall’, Dan Camhan, the winner of best male performer for ‘30 Cecil Street’ at Dublin Fringe Festival 2012, Veronica Dyas, a leading emerging Irish talent will be reviving her solo performance ‘In My Bed’, a





By Rupert Heather ICC Radio, the new online community radio station was officially launched on Thursday November 22nd. Presentations were followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of a purpose-built studio. The event was a culmination of months of hard work by all those involved and was an opportunity to thank partners and supporters. Speaking at the event, Ring-

send and Irishtown Community Centre Manager Lorraine Barry said, “RICC Radio is a forum for people to share information, it’s a community forum and also a great resource to train local people in media techniques.” Supported by Dublin City Council, The Aviva Stadium and The East Link Toll Bridge, the project is run by staff from TÚS and Community Employment schemes and volunteers.

Resources and skills are supplied by main Corporate Social Responsibility partner BT Ireland. The radio project came about through funding from the Tall Ships Festival. In fact, one of the first radio segments is an interview with the Tall Ships captains. At the launch, actor Joe Taylor spoke to those assembled about the nation’s love of radio. Those in attendance included a host of public representatives, Labour TD

Kevin Humphries and Cllrs Maria Parodi and Dermot Lacey, Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy and Cllrs Paddy McCartan and Kieran Binchy. Young local musicians from Dylan Clayton’s ‘School of Rock’ entertained the audience. The theme of youth was ever-present as members of the Youth Project lent their support. Producer Johnny Furlong took to the stage to demonstrate just how easy the online station is to access. Those present were treated to a ‘highlights’ package, including Mary Caulfield’s brilliant ‘Cup of Tea’ sessions which features senior members of the community discussing all things Ringsend and Irishtown. “A local radio station will be hugely beneficial to the people of

Ringsend and Irishtown. It will reduce isolation, facilitate integration, support local businesses and value diversity in culture. All of which are vital to such a bustling and expanding community,” Lorraine Barry added. Accessible through the Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre (RICC) website, the station would like to hear from local people and groups about the kind of content they would like to hear. Phone: 6604789. RICC Website: On left, at the opening of RICC Radio: Joe Taylor, Mayor of Ringsend Brian Betts, Peggy Kearns, Una Henry and Cllr Maria Parodi. Below: Joe Taylor with Lorraine Barry and May Kane.



By Jason McDonnell n early school leaver from China has won the Nobel Prize in literature this year. He is the first Chinese citizen to win this prize since its creation 111 years ago. Author Mo Yan, whose real name is Guan Moye, was born in 1955 in Gaomi in east China’s Shandong Province. He was forced to leave school at the age of 12 due to the cultural revolution and ended up working in the fields with his parents who were farmers at the time. He then went to work in a cotton factory at the age of 14 and did not complete his education until he joined the People’s Liberation Army in 1976 at the age of 20. He began to study literature and writing. His first short story was pub-

lished in 1981 in a literary journal, but it was not until 1987 that he became a well-known and respected writer. A lot of people compare him to Dickens, as they both have a strong moral core to

their work. The Swedish Academy, which selects the winners of the prestigious award, praised Mo’s ‘realism’ saying ‘it merges folk tales, history and the contemporary.’ He now shares the prestigious award with other writers like Samuel Beckett, Doris Lessing and last year’s winner, the Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer. You can find his books online and in all good book shops. He is currently the most translated living Chinese writer and his works include ‘Big Breasts and Wide Hips’, ‘Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out’ and his most recent novel ‘Wa’, a story about the consequences of China’s one-child policy. This is quite topical as this law will be up for review in 2015.





By Jason Mc Donnell n Friday 2nd of November I went to see a great band in the Button Factory called Toquiwa who were supporting the Wedding Present. The band was formed in 1998 under the name The Pinky Piglets and they came third in the 2008 global battle of the bands. The Tokyo all girl three-piece really rocked the venue that night with their hi-energy J-punk. They brought a smile to everyone’s face with their crazy antics and contagious smiles. Their Trojan horse assault of cute moves and explosive punk rock riffs leaves an imprint on all their audiences around the world. The band have already achieved great accolades to date, they’ve hosted their own radio show on one of Tokyo’s largest stations, penned a song for a TV theme tune and have shared stages with punk rock legends Bad Religion, Guttermouth, Regurgitator and,

of course, The Wedding Present. I spoke with David Gedge the lead singer of the Wedding Present at the gig and he said “Of all the support bands we’ve ever had, I’ve never seen an audience blown away by the support band quite like TOQUIWA”. From the opening dynamite of single ‘Tokyo Merry Go Round’ it’s clear that the band pair up the riffs of Dinosaur Jr with the melodies of The B52s and they add their own candy-covered sound. When Gedge first saw the band in 2011 it was clear to him that The Wedding Present

needed to adopt the band and embark on a cultural exchange between Scopitones and J-punk. A series of shows together followed, including a North American tour, SXSW and The Wedding Present’s own ‘At the Edge of the Sea Festival’. The bands have now just finished touring Europe and the UK together. Toquiwa are the first band outside of The Wedding Present (and side project Cinerama) to release a debut on Scopitones, a self-titled debut that is on digital release and limited edition tour CDs available since October 2012.



By Joan Mitchell itizens Information Centres were established with the three main aims of information, advice and advocacy, so when you need help budgeting they can provide information or refer you on to MABs, if you are worried about your application for citizenship they can give you a contact in The Integration Centre, or if you are worried about your current housing situation they can direct you to Threshold or Focus Ireland. They have a wide range of areas they can help you with. In the coming months CIC are starting to build on existing and new partnerships with national, statutory and voluntary agencies. They want to make it easier for people to get the correct information so they are holding networking meetings with these agencies in the coming weeks.

The first meeting is to be one of assessment – what information do people need in times of recession and what can CIC do for them? NewsFour spoke with Liz Carroll from Rathmines CIC who comments, “Now more than ever we need communities to work together. When someone needs a medical card or gets made redundant, for example, they need to have quick access to information to help them feel they are not alone, and that they can get through their personal crisis.” So the aim of the partnership initiative is to work together and discuss how to support each other and to get clear, concise information to people as quickly as possible. Liz Carroll used the example of the local libraries. CIC plan to ensure all libraries are made aware of the services

available in their local community. If you have any concerns, don’t worry alone. Speak to the professionals in CIC who will be able to either help you themselves or direct you to someone who can. Citizens Information Phone Service: 0761 07 4000 Citizens Information holds clinics in Ringsend and Irishtown Community Centre; Citizens Information: Thursdays 9.30am – 1pm and Free Legal Advice: Mondays 7pm – 8.30pm CIC Dublin City Centre, 13a Upper O’Connell Street, City Centre, Dublin 1 Tel: 0761 07 7230 CIC Rathmines Centre, 7 Wynnefield Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6. Tel: 0761 07 7110


Name:…………………………… Address:………………………… Telephone:………………… Prize of a €25 book token. Post entries to NewsFour, RICC, Thorncastle Street, Ringsend, D.4 by 18th January 2013. Winner of our October/November crossword competition was Padraic O’Brien of Laytown, Co. Meath. ACROSS: 1) Man’s name or a French Christmas (4) 3) Stand under this for a kiss (9) 8) Grand ------ a deep gorge in the USA (6) 9) Chestnuts might be roasting on an open one of these (4) 10) Spiky Christmas shrub (5) 13) Female pronoun (3) 14) Twelve geese a– ------ (6) 15) ------ night, popular Christmas carol (6) 17) Dried fruit ingredient in Christmas pudding (7) 19) Dutch impressionist painter (3, 4) 23) Late church service on Christmas eve (8, 4) 27) Like/for instance (2) 29) However (3) 30) White inner skin of citrus fruit (4) 32) Conceal your Christmas presents in this (8, 5) 34) Iron on the periodic table (2) 35) Let’s talk about this popular Christmas bird (6) 36) Don’t forget to remove these from 35 across (7) DOWN: 1) This saint is also know as Father Christmas (8) 2) Use (6) 3) Tailless cat (4) 4) Christmas tree decoration (6) 5) Quench this with a drink (6) 6) Pipers piping were sent on this day of Christmas (8) 7) Frosty (3) 11) Yellow Christmas beverage, served warm (6) 12) Snake (3) 16) This old horse is constantly complaining (3) 18) A woman associated with the tramp (4) 20) Our televisions said goodbye to this in October (6) 21) Bearded ruminant (4) 22) Sloping typeface (6) 23) A gathering of stalls selling goods (6) 24) Closeby (4) 25) Umbrella term for computers, telecommunications, multimedia etc. (1.1.) 26) Lay down in an ungainly or urban way (6) 28) Apportions/divides up (6) 31) Sprightly, nimble (4) 32) Conflict (3) 33) Newt (3)




New marble benches at the Poolbeg


By Jason McDonnell took a walk out to the Poolbeg lighthouse on a fine sunny day during the month of November and for the first time noticed two new marble benches which have been erected by the loving families of two men who used to go there. I availed of the seats and admired the view. The first bench was dedicated to Michael McGrath (1947 to 2009) and the engraving read: Many a day walking the Wall Watching ships passing Some fast and some tall. Whatever the weather Crossword in hand The only flaw in his day Was no choice but to stand. Now that he has left us We have gotten this seat So when we meet on the Wall We can all rest our feet. The second bench at the lighthouse had the following engraving: In loving memory of Thomas (Tommy) Bolger who died here at the lighthouse on the 7th of October 2010. We hold you close within our hearts and there you shall remain. Your ever loving family.

By Caomhan Keane ast November was Transgender Awareness Month. It’s also been 15 years since Lydia Foy won a High Court ruling obliging the State to put a process in place to legally recognise the acquired gender of transgender people. (They haven’t). And at the opening ceremony of the Fouth European Transgender Council in DCU in early September Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton again passed the buck, committing only to “further dialogue” on Ireland’s upcoming gender recognition legislation. “Gender recognition for transgender people is a basic human right, and Ireland – one of the last EU States to legislate – has an opportunity to lead Europe in drafting inclusive, marriage-friendly legislation,” said Transgender Equality Network Ireland Director Broden Giambrone, looking at the bright side of an increasingly shameful situation. The Minster says she intends to request that the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Social Protection and Education examine gender recognition in the coming weeks which Broden says gives us an opportunity to change the suggested proposals so that they are more inclusive and based on self-determination. “What we would like is legislation that is in the same vein as in Argentina. They have the best practice legislation at the moment in terms of assigning trans rights and the self-determination of trans people. There are no restrictive criteria that people are forced to go through before they are able to have their gender recognized. They don’t need a medical diagnosis or medical interventions. There is no requirement for divorce or dissolution of civil partnership. In terms of process itself, it would be quick and effective, something that this government has proven incapable of being when it comes to people’s basic civil rights. As it stands, people must be formally diagnosed with gender-identity disorder or prove they’ve had gender-reassignment surgery to a panel of predetermined ‘experts’ in order to be officially diagnosed as transgendered. “More controversially, the legislation proposed insists people divorce before their


true gender can be recognized, proving this far-from-rainbow government’s belief in the sanctity of marriage is second to their belief in the sanctity of bigotry. “The reason they are suggesting this is because Ireland does not have marriage equality. They are worried that legislation that allows you to stay in your relationship will then create a backdoor to gay marriage. They talk about how it is prohibited constitutionally but from a legal point of view you run into similar constitutional problems by forcing people to get divorced.” It’s ironic, given how many Fine Gaelers rock back and forth on their porch, shotgun at the ready to shoot down any infringement on the special place the ‘family’ has in the constitution; they are now willing to force happily married couples into the divorce courts. The problem is, happily married couples CAN’T get a divorce in Ireland. “The requirements for divorce are quite stringent. You have to be living apart for 4–5 years. Not just living apart physically, but mentally as well. If you are happily married you can’t fulfil the living mentally apart requirement.” While it is fair to say that the government faces its fair share of legal conundrums on the issue, Broden thinks they should look at it creatively. “If you are forced to choose between two difficult situations why don’t you choose the one that enshrines people’s

human rights, that doesn’t pull families apart? Because it is such a small group of people it shouldn’t be an issue. There are other instances in Irish law where you can make an exception to the rule so people can access their rights.” An even easier way of getting around it is to accept that the marriage was valid at the time that it was contracted. “The trans person identified with and was acknowledged as a member of the opposite sex and that should not be affected by something that happens after gender recognition.” Zealotry aside, trans people in Ireland have other things to contend with this month. By the time you read this TENI, the country’s leading transgender advocacy group, will have lost their core funder Atlantic Philanthropies, who are pulling out of the LGBT sector. Said support allowed TENI to professionalize their approach, forcing government departments and representatives to take them more seriously and developing a strong voice. Now relying on public funding to keep going, transissues run the very real risk of being ignored once again, just when they were making great strides. “We do a lot of different work across a lot of different areas; training, workshops, advocacy in gender recognition, there is a huge scope to the work. If we don’t have funding for staff we will have to cut that down.” A recent study by TENI and

partners in the UK showed that 78% percent of transgender people in Ireland have considered suicide, while 40% had attempted suicide at least once. “It is a sad reality given how few supports there are and how low a visibility they have, that trans people face a lot of mental health challenges in this country. But when they turn to services to help with their mental health they spend so much time explaining their identities or not being referred to by the right pronouns that they end up feeling worse,” Broden concludes. TENI have their own information line but a significant amount of calls involve suicide prevention. And while they have worked with the Samaritans, a survey of 800 health professionals in the HSE found that 90% of them had not had any trans-specific training. While most wanted it, a troubling 26% said they did not. Above, left to right: Michael Farrell Senoir solicitior with FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres) Professor Brian MacCraith President of DCU, Dr Lydia Foy, Orlaith O’Sullivan TENI Communications officer, Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton TD, Senator Katherine Zappone, Broden Giambrone Director of TENI, Mell Duffy Lecturer in Sociology and Sexuality Studies at Dublin City University Educational Trust. Photo: Louise Hannon Photography.



GAME REVIEWS By Jason McDonnell

ic views during the game. In my opinion it is the best coop game on the market where you can drop in and out of online play with your friends at any time.

CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS 2 Black Ops 2 can be divided into three parts; Campaign, Multi Player and Zombie mode. The campaign was very good, it lets you make some big decisions on the outcome of the game and it makes it playable with different storylines several times. The game is based in 2025 with characters having flashbacks of events that took place in the 80s all over the world from Panama to India.

The multi-player is great and introduces a new league feature and a whole new class system, making it easy to equip yourself with attachments that suit your game play. I found the multi player to be very fast and furious and a bit of an adrenaline rush, it’s pretty crazy! Zombie mode is a nice change from the usual war stuff, more a survival adventure game with the new maps a lot bigger than before. It is also great for co-op or small team play.

RESIDENT EVIL 6 This is the latest of a long line of Resident Evil games and this time it is the biggest and best. It spans the globe with four campaigns and seven lead characters, all interlinked and takes around 25 hours to complete. It contains some of the best environments and settings in the Resident Evil history coupled with the best lighting and sound effects so far. The enemies are terrifying and very realistic. They have been mutated after contracting the new C Virus and how this new virus came about is explained during the unbelievable cinemat-

FIFA 2013 Well, EA Sports have released their latest soccer game just in time for Christmas and this time the main change has been to the dribbling system, introducing more flicks and dummies. One of the new features allows your player to not have to face the way you want them to dribble to, making it more realistic. The game now takes into account the height of the ball, the speed and the statistics of the players themselves when they receive the ball, making it much harder than before to judge passing, it is much more unpredictable. It also takes into account the player’s size so you can use your height and strength more to muscle other players off the ball. The new skill games are also

very addictive and there are a lot of new ideas there too. But Match Day may be the best feature. The statistics of your team will go up or down depending on how they are doing in the real world and the commentary will relate to how players are doing in real life, like being top scorer or if they have recently been benched. Well worth getting, much more fluent than last year’s version.


The Fontenoy Files Success Comes Aplenty to Clanna Gael Fontenoy


By Pat Kane ecent weeks have brought plenty of excitement for the Clanna Gael Fontenoy Club, both on and off the playing field, bringing to an end another successful year. But it’s probably the achievements of many of our male and female teams, young and not so young, many of our individual players, as well as our local schools that really stand out. And to top it all, by the time this goes to print we’ll know if the Club’s senior hurlers have been crowned Leinster Champions! But whatever the outcome of that Leinster final against Knockbridge from Louth on November 25th, the club has had the well-earned honour of representing Dublin in the Leinster Championship for the first time in its history of football and hurling after qualifying through the Dublin Junior Championship. In the first round against Killavilla from Offaly, a point from Niall O’Regan with the last puck of the game forced extra time. In that extra time period Clanns drove on and won the game by three points. In that game Oran Burke, Anto Quinlan and Ronnie Colman

were outstanding. And so it was that we ended up in O’Toole Park for the semi-final against Sallins from Kildare. Having started badly in our previous three games, and despite winning all three, the team were seriously intent on getting off to a good start. This intent was evident from the very first minute when we goaled superbly from Gary O’Connor and three added points from Cormac Connolly left us 1-3 to 0-1 after 10 minutes. O’Connor goaled again and further points from Collie Reynolds, Anto Quinlan, Niall O’Regan, and Connolly left us comfortably in front at half time by 2-9 to 0-1. In the second half there was no let-up and the guys finished up where they left off. Further goals from Martin Neville and Ciaran Murphy put paid to any chance of a Sallins recovery. In the last 15 minutes a mountain of points from Collie Reynolds and additional scores from Murphy, Conor Thorpe and Barry McElligott left the final score Clanna Gael Fontenoy 4-18, Sallins 0-6. From Jonney Sadlier in goal, Declan Campbell, Mark Campbell, Jason Redmond and Jordan

Barnes in the back line, the Clanns closed up shop at the back and never allowed Sallins a scent of their goal. Niall O’Regan was superb in midfield and all the forwards, substitutes played their part in an emphatic victory. The biggest cheer of the day was when veteran, Ciaran Murphy, made way for a colleague with 10 minutes to go having bagged 1-1 in that second half. The full team is: Jonney Sadlier, Oran Burke, Jordan Barnes, Declan Campbell, Ronnie Coleman, Marc Campbell, Jason Redmond, Niall O’Regan, Anto Quinlan, Cormac Connolly, Martin Neville, Collie Reynolds, Brian Bannon, Gary O’Connor, Ciaran Murphy, Barry McElligott, Conor Thorpe, Ger Brannock, Dermot Nicholson, Bernard Groves, Simon Dolphin, Tom Russell. But success on the playing field has by no means been restricted to the senior hurlers. There are plenty of other examples and here are just a few to mention. Our Senior Camogie team had a marvelous league final win over St Peregrines, despite being behind for much of the game. Their neversay-die attitude and some superb

NEWSFOUR DECEMBER 2012 / JANUARY 2013 performances throughout the field saw them win out in the end. U12 Camogie team where not to be outshone by their adult colleagues and they too won their league in fine style. The U-16 ladies football team won their Championship in style, getting the better of Naomh Barrog in the final with a winning score of 2-9 to 3-1. The U-12 girls matched that achievement by winning their Championship Final against O’Tooles with a comfortable margin of 1-7 to 0-3. Not to be outdone, the under-age boys’ teams also recorded some success with the U-12 hurlers in particular winning their league and in the process losing just one of all the games they played. At the same time, the Intermediate Footballers retained their league status after a long, hardfought campaign which culminated in victory against St. Margarets in a nail-biting final fixture. But the season will also be remembered for the teams which lost narrowly and in style: such as the U-16 footballers who played some tremendous football throughout their campaign losing out narrowly to Thomas Ashe in the Shield Final; or the U-11 footballers who played Ballyboden St Endas in a cracker of a league final, the quality of which will stay in the memory for some time. Another reflection of the growing strength of the club was the fact that four of our adult teams also reached county semi-finals only to lose narrowly on each occasion, “the rising tide is definitely beginning to lift all the boats”. Recognition of the club and its achievements has also been clearly reflected in the increased number of our under-age and adult players, male and female, who have been selected as members of Dublin football and hurling squads as well as County Development Squads; not to mention the appointment of club mentor Declan Darcy as selector for the Dublin senior football team. Last, but by no means least, our local schools from which the club draws extensively have recorded tremendous success on the playing field. At the time of going to press, both Star of the Sea and Haddington Road Boys’ Schools are gearing up to play in the finals of their respective competitions, while Lakelands are preparing to contest

a semi-final replay in their competition. Ringsend Boys and Girls Schools both competed admirably this year too and whatever the final outcome, there’s no doubt but that all the school teams have done themselves, their teachers and their parents proud. So as club members, friends and guests partake in our Christmas Dinner and Party on the 8th December in the Gibson Hotel, it won’t just be the festive season that will be cause for celebration but the considerable success that various teams, players and schools have brought to the club in recent times. Top, U-12 girls Team: Batsheba Tobin, Kate Benson, Mary Vaughan (captain), Leah McDonough, Anne Marie Crowe, Clodagh Ferry, Poppy O’Connell, Maria O’Dea, Niamh Vaughan, Ella Walsh, Sally Vaughan, Orla Flanagan, Ellen O’Byrne, Hannah Lohan, Alice Roden, Aoibhe Walsh, Aoife McLoughlin, Emma Lohan, Sofia Mantero and Anjya Drayton. Emma O’Leary missed the game. Below left: Delighted U-16s captain, Stacy Flood (with trophy), celebrates with team mates. Below right: U-12 hurlers: controlling possession around the middle of the pitch.





By Rupert Heather ith a history dating back over 100 years, Railway Union Bowling Club, traditionally one of the foremost clubs in Dublin, is on the rise again, but this time with local youth leading the way. Having won Division 3 of the Bowling League of Ireland (BLI) last season, the club will once again be restored to senior status. Indeed, that achievement is even more momentous if you consider that it’s only the third time the men’s club has won a league, with previous honours coming in 1945 and 1969. 1st team skipper and Club Captain Derek Kells (pictured right) says, “The secret has been in creating the camaraderie. People have the idea it’s easy, but there is a huge degree of skill involved and we’re still learning.” Forget the notion that lawn green bowling is solely for the senior citizen or those seeking an easier alternative to more skilled sports. Adam Kells, Ciaran Carrick and Zack Martin, of the current first team crop are under 25 Internationals. Rising star Andrew Jackson is only 14 years old. The Railway Union Club is a founder member of the Irish Free State Bowling League, subsequently the BLI, instituted in 1927 to promote the game. With six rinks, playable in both directions, and the purchase of a pavilion in the seventies, the club’s facilities are second to none. 2nd Team Captain Brendan


By Kirstin Smith he second annual Railway Union RFC Ladies’ Day was held on Saturday 17th November and once again was a resounding success with over 100 in attendance. Friends, family and other halves joined the Railway players in the clubhouse where they received champagne upon arrival. Outside on the pitch, the men’s 3rd XV were putting in a fantastic display of rugby, beating Clontarf 34-12 and delighting the crowds on the sidelines. Meanwhile back inside the Park Avenue clubhouse, top Irish fashion stylist Courtney Smith was casting an eye over the fashion and deciding upon who should win the Best Dressed Awards. After much

Bolland, who is also a member of the senior team, is keen to emphasise that the club is always on the lookout for new players. He says, “The junior league competitions take place on Monday nights. It’s great fun, especially for those who might be learning the game.” With both league competitions

and numerous cups, there is plenty of scope to get involved. Whether it’s to practice, learn the basics or to play competitive matches, both young and old, experienced players and newcomers are all welcome. Email Derek Kells at


deliberation, Best Dressed Mother went to Melissa Slevin, winning €200 sponsored by



St Patrick’s CYFC

By David Thomas Nolan e begin this issue with the news that after five fantastic years at the helm, first team manager John Young has decided to step down. The announcement in early October was unexpected but work commitments must come first. The club reluctantly accepted John’s resignation and set about the task of finding a successor, placing Tony Roe temporarily in charge. St Patrick’s CY would like to put on record our deep appreciation and respect for the amazing job done since taking charge in November 2007. At the time, the club had just been promoted to the intermediate grade having had a successful period in junior football. CY needed new and disciplined direction which was exactly what John brought to the club, not just to our first team but throughout our three senior sides. We reaped the rewards with many, many league and cup titles but most notable was our first team’s meteoritic rise through the Intermediate Divisions, gaining three straight promotions to find ourselves competing at the top level of the amateur game. During John’s tenure a League and Gilligan Cup double were secured along with appearances in the Noel Ryan Cup final and most recently the biggest game in the club’s history when facing Shamrock Rovers in the Leinster Senior Cup final which was to be one of his final games in charge. A huge thank you from all at the club and we wish Wembo all the best in his future career and life. Hard to believe we are almost at the mid-way point already this season. Unfortunately for our Senior Sunday side, it could be argued that the distraction of the Leinster Senior Cup final against Shamrock Rovers at the start of September has impacted on performances in the league. Currently, we lie third from bottom with some very mixed performances and results. All said, we do have a huge Intermediate Cup game coming up at the beginning of December. A home tie with Cork giants Rockmount will determine who goes into the third round and qualifies for the FAI Senior Cup. More on that game in the next update. Thankfully, the slump in first team fortunes has not cascaded down to our Major 1 Saturday and Division 2 Sunday sides who are both having a fantastic league season to date. Our Saturday side, despite starting off with two defeats has won their last six league games to put themselves within touching distance of the top spot. That, added to strong runs in the FAI and Leinster Junior Cups, means they will make the turn of the year once again chasing silverware. The same can be said of our development side who have taken Division 2 Sunday by storm, dropping just two points from 27 on offer thus far. They have also reached the third round of the Leinster Junior Cup Sunday section. To finish up, we would like to wish Mark Benson all the best as he manages our first team going forward. We would also like to wish all our supporters, committee and players a very happy festive season and a prosperous new year. Our annual Christmas bumper draw will take place as always and tickets can be obtained from the usual suspects priced at €20.


Cleaning Contractors; Best Dressed Male was awarded to Graham Hawkins and he won

a set of cufflinks sponsored by Citroen Ireland. The highly coveted Best

Dressed Lady was won by Karen Doolin and she won a hamper of beauty products sponsored by The Loop at Dublin Airport and a test drive for a week in a Citroen DS4, sponsored by Citroen Ireland. A raffle followed with a lengthy list of prizes donated by local businesses in Sandymount – a full list is available on the Railway website ( The rest of the night kicked off with ‘Railway Does Blind Date’ hosted by Jack Hanratty, and was followed by live music and singing by renowned Dublin musician and Railway Legends member, Fergie Nolan. Once again, another successful day out in Railway and thanks to the Social Committee for its sublime organisation.




IIt’s starting to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go… and we’re all getting very excited in NewsFour. Mr. Tilly has his lights on...


IIt’s starting to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go… and we’re all getting very excited in NewsFour. Mr. Tilly has his lights on...