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clonDalkin news ©

Been inJureD a victory for Haveinyou an acciDent? common sense

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18TH junE 2012 P.O. BOx 3430, TALLAGHT, DuBLIn 24 TEL: 451 3822 email: info@newsgroup.ie web: www.newsgroup.ie

The decision by the HSE to keep open St Brigid’s care home for the next three years has been broadly welcomed by Dublin South West Sinn Féin Councillors Máire Devine and Cathal King. Cllr Devine recently led a delegation from St Brigid’s Action Group to the Dublin Mid Leinster Health Forum to seek clarification from the HSE on the future of the nursing home. The delegation had expressed their frustration at the Health Forum for failing to progress the matter

and they presented the HSE with a cost analysis that clearly showed the ludicrous and wasteful practise of retaining patients in acute care at Tallaght hospital at a cost to the taxpayer of approximately €1,000 per day as opposed to €280 per day at St Brigid’s. Cllr Devine continued: “Seven months ago the Fine Gael/Labour Government issued a closing order on this unique facility which caters exclusively for elderly, frail and high dependency female

patients.

“Following months of pressure and the passing of Sinn Féin motions to the Health Forum on behalf of myself and party colleague Cllr Cathal King a three year reprieve was granted.

“66 beds will remain in the newly upgraded lower units of St Brigid’s and it will be possible to use these units in the short term while complying with the current HIQA standards. This is a victory for everyone

who campaigned so determinedly for this important healthcare amenity to remain open and it is a victory for common sense.”

Both Councillors pledged to work with their party colleague Seán Crowe TD and the formidable Action Group to secure the long-term future for this much needed public health faclity.

Have you been injured in an accident on the road, in the workplace, as a result of medical misadventure or in a public area? If so, you will be interested to note that ROMAINE SCALLY & COMPANY SOLICITORS OF MAIN STREET, TALLAGHT, DUBLIN 24 TEL: 01 4599506, E-MAIL: LEGAL@SCALLY.IE, have now launched their new ACCIDENT HOTLINE (lo-call 1890 947076). For urgent advice and early appointments to discuss your accident please call this number where you will be assured professional advice to deal with your accident. With over 30 years experience dealing with accident cases, we offer you the benefit of our advice to deal with all the legal aspects of your accident and will on request process your claim efficiently and speedily.

CALL US NOw ON 1890 947076

Romaine Scally & Company Solicitors are situated at Main Street, Tallaght, Dublin 24 and have a dedicated team of people specially trained in all aspects of the law surrounding accidents. DON’T DELAY – CONTACT US TODAY.

Cllr King said: “Work is in progress to upgrade the facility and it should return to full

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2

an estimateD 29,400 of Drivers in DuBlin are GoinG witHout insurance

It was reported last year (by the Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland) that 5/6% of the Irish population go motor without insurance and the Irish Brokers Association has called on the State to confiscate the cars of those who drive without insurance as they believe that the current mechanism penalty isn’t working. According to Brian Mcnelis, Director of General Services at the Irish Brokers Association, “There are 490,534 licensed private cars in Dublin and it’s estimated that 29,400 of these could be uninsured. What the general public in Dublin

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may not know is that these uninsured drivers could be indirectly costing them an additional €30 on their annual car insurance premiums”. Figures show that 2286 claims payments were made by the Motor Insurer’s Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) in 2010 totalling €58.9m in claims compensation, legal and medical costs caused by uninsured and untraced drivers. The figures for 2011 have not been released as yet however, the Irish Brokers Association don’t expect to see any improvement in the overall volume or cost. They say that claims are paid by the MIBI,

which is 100% funded by the motor insurers and that the funds to pay for such claims are made up of consumer’s money as they are funded out of the insurance premiums paid by other drivers – approximately €30 per driver. The experts say that motor insurance offences are punishable by a fine of up to €2,500, disqualification of one year or more for a first offence and two years or more for a second offence, and, at the discretion of the court, a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months, though these maximum penalties are rarely

imposed. Where the court decides not to impose a disqualification, drivers convicted of a first of driving offence without insurance will incur 5 penalty points on their licence record in addition to any other penalty imposed by the court.

concluded, Brian “However, if claims grow so too will the amount insurers need to contribute to the MIBI... which means that these increased costs will be borne by consumers in general. This is unfair on those who are compliant and pay annually for their motor insurance”.

a victory for common sense...from PaGe 1

capacity in the near future. “I am delighted that the HSE has seen sense on this matter. It is the right decision

economically and it is the right decision for the women of St Brigíd’s. “This

is

only

the

beginning though, and Sinn Féin will continue to do everything within its power to ensure the long term future of the home.

Cllr Máire Devine is pictured with a delegation from the St Brigid's Action Group who on International Women's Day challegned the Dublin Mid Leinster Health Forum to ensure the HSE kept the nursing home open.

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ann Clayton the Kind’s Hospital, palmerstown, dublin 20 tel: (01) 643 6537 Fax: (01) 643 6536


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olDer PeoPle ‘sHoulD not Hesitate in rePortinG susPicious activity to GarDaí’ – active retirement irelanD

Older people should not hesitate to contact An Garda Síochána to report any suspicious activity in the vicinity of their homes. That’s according to Maureen Chief Kavanagh,

Executive Officer of Active Retirement Ireland (ARI), the national representative body for 544 Active Retirement Associations throughout Ireland, a total with

membership of 22,500 people.

over

Speaking in the wake of a number of attacks on isolated older people in their homes, most recently in Williamstown, Co. Galway, Ms. Kavanagh said: “I am urging older people throughout the country to make themselves aware of the telephone number for their local garda station – memorise it, or keep it written down beside your phone. And, then, if you notice anything suspicious in the vicinity of your home, use that number immediately to contact your local gardaí.

“We know from previous consultations with our membership that older people are sometimes reluctant to call the guards for fear they might be seen to be wasting police time, but An Garda Síochána has assured us that the

best possible course of action for older people who notice anything suspicious is to report it to their local garda station immediately.

“Reporting suspicious activities will, hopefully, help to prevent further heinous crimes of the type perpetrated against older people in counties Limerick and Galway in recent weeks. Active Retirement Ireland is appalled by these recent attacks on older people in their homes. We are encouraging all of our members to be vigilant in checking on their neighbours, family members and friends, and to ensure they keep their local gardaí informed of any suspicious activity.”

Contact details for garda stations throughout the country are available at: www.garda.ie/stations/ default.aspx.

calling all Dog owners – Join our tymon Bark in the Park™ on sunday 24th June!

The fifth annual Irish Blue Cross “Bark In The Park™” sponsored dog walk barks off on Sunday 24th june, at 3PM, in Tymon Park, Tallaght to raise funds for needy pets.

Participants are welcomed in good time – from 2PM onwards - to register and soak up the atmosphere of one of the summer’s most fun and feel-good events of the calendar! The walk itself commences at The 3PM sharp. objective is to help us reach out target of €90,000 to pay for a new roof on the charity’s premises in Inchicore.

The Sunday event takes place in a lovely picturesque 4km route, suitable for all dog and pets, owners starting and finishing up beside the children’s playground at the Entrance on Wellington Lane, beside St. jude’s GAA Club. not only will participants raise vital

funds on the day, but they will also be in with a chance after the event, to win terrific prizes for the dog with the Best Bark, Happiest Smile, Shiniest Coat and Waggiest Tail!

There will be a raffle with great prizes, lots of goody bags given out and there will be music, making it a great day out for all the family. Maxi Zoo pet store are kindly sponsoring the event with doggie treats for all the canine

participants.

How You Can Take Part: Register now for a sponsorship card on www.barkinthepark.ie, or alternatively you can make a donation and take part on the day. For more information, please contact Fionn on (01) 4163032 or at fionn@bluecross.ie

The final Bark in the Park of the Summer will take place in Marlay Park, Rathfarnham on Sunday 26th August.

Two lovely participants of a previous Bark in the Park™ event!


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6

2000 fewer DeatHs from toBacco relateD Disease since 1998

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A research paper published in ‘Tobacco Control’ by the British Medical journal (BMj) shows that tobacco control policies implemented in Ireland between 1998 and 2010 have contributed to a reduction in smoking prevalence, and also shows close to 2000 fewer ‘Smoking Attributable Deaths’ (SAD’s) over the same period. The researches makes an estimate, based on current policies, of over 50,000 less smoking attributable deaths by 2040. Professor Luke Clancy, Director of the TobaccoFree Research Institute and one of the authors of the research said, “In the last decade or so, Ireland has made immense strides in the area of tobacco control. We have introduced Smokefree Workplaces to the world; we have extended marketing restrictions; improved

health warnings; raised taxes and increased the availability of cessation services. It will be important for Government and others to have it established that there are positive outcomes to these measures; despite the ongoing efforts of profit seeking vested interests to continually block health measures, when tobacco sales might be affected” The research was based on the SimSmoke model, which selects one baseline year – before major policy interventions commence. (1998 in this case) In 1998 we had the first national Survey and Attitudes t nutrition (SLAn) survey, and this provided us with accurate baseline date, on which to base the research. Professor Clancy went on to say, “our research shows a relative decrease in male (18 years and over) smoking

prevalence from 33.4% to 26.1% of the population over the period under review; a relative decline over the 12 year period on 21.8%. The decrease for relative females was from 31% to 25.1%; a relative decline of 19%. These are positive statistics; however we must not become complacent, as we are dealing with an addictive product from a highly profitable industry that will use every possible means, through marketing and promotion in new and established media, to market a this product which kills and injures thousands of our citizens annually” The research suggests that increased mass media campaigns and increased cessation services are likely to make the greatest contribution to reduced prevalence in the coming years.

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sHarP rise in DuBlin miD-west live reGister fiGures

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Sinn Féin Dublin Mid-West representative Eoin Ó Broin has said that CSO figures “show a sharp rise in the number of people on the live register in Clondalkin and Lucan.” The figures for May show that 9,261 people signing on, an increase of 255 on the previous month. Ó Broin said: “The CSO figures latest released last week show a sharp rise in the

number of people on the live register in Clondalkin and Lucan. At the end of May there were 9,261 people signing on, an increase of 255 on the previous month. “Once again Dublin Mid-West is experiencing a higher level of unemployment than elsewhere. At a time when the overall live register figure static remains Clondalkin and Lucan are experiencing a rise

of 3%. “There is an urgent need for the Government to look at constituencies such as Dublin Mid-West to identify the causes of the higher than average unemployment . There is also a need for increased levels of to get investment people back to work. “In the weeks leading up to the referendum Government vote Ministers waxed lyrical about the need for a

‘growth agenda’. “Talking about jobs doesn’t get people off the dole. Only investment, by the Government, in real job creation will address the unemployment crisis.

“The Government needs to spell out what it intends to do to get people off the dole and back to work. Words are not enough; the people of Dublin Mid-West need action”.

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Forty-three Dublin students have been presented with top awards in this year’s 58th Texaco Children’s Art Competition. Pictured (above) is Agne Stonkute (17), a pupil at St. Aidan’s Community School, Tallaght, who won a Special Merit Award in the competition. Presenting her with the award is Enda Riney, Chairman of Valero

Energy (Ireland) Limited. Another major prizewinner was Hope Harris (6), from St. Mark’s junior national School, Tallaght, who also won a Special Merit Award. Pictured (right) Other winners from the Tallaght area who received Special Merit Awards at a ceremony held in Dublin recently were Emma Cooney (17) and

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kitcHen aPPliances at excePtional value for money 8

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Murphy’s Discount Appliances’ philosophy is simple: a quality service offering new, ex-display and liquidation kitchen appliances at exceptional value for money nicky Murphy: “We stock all the well known brands including Bosch, Zanussi, Hotpoint and our prices start from as little as €149 for a washing machine. He goes onto point out that “all our appliances are fully test by qualified engineers and come with a five years’ major parts warranty and one

year warranty on labour, so you get not only value for money but peace of mind as well”.

Murphy’s Discount Appliances was set up in Tinahely, Co Wicklow by brothers Ray, nicky and Anthony Murphy to sell kitchen appliances at recession beating prices and after just 18 months is now Ireland’s largest supplier of graded appliances. The flagship store is in Dublin (just off the Long Mile Road) only two minutes off the M50, and two other shops in both Gorey, Co. Wexford and

“we can suPPly tHe cHeaPest GraDeD aPPliances in irelanD

Because of our low overHeaDs anD Because we sell in larGe quantities. tHe knock-on

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Murphy's Discount Appliances Dublin showroom is located just off the Long Mile Road at 1C Robinhood Road Tinahely, Wicklow.

Co.

Says Co-owner nicky Murphy “and while it’s not easy for a new business out there today, it has gone well for us so far and we can’t complain.”

Murphy’s Discount Appliances is now the largest seller of graded appliances in Ireland, meaning that their customers have hundreds of big brand machines to choose from. A solid background in industry has helped the company to maintain their steady rise, according to Anthony Murphy. “We can supply the

Murphy’s Discount Appliances is now the largest seller of graded appliances in Ireland

Murphy's Discount Appliances stock all the well known brands including Bosch, Zanussi, Hotpoint and our prices start from as little as €149 for a washing machine

cheapest graded appliances in Ireland because of our low overheads and because we sell in large quantities. The knock-on effect is that we can sell new appliances at discounted prices” he said. Murphy's Discount Appliances is the first company in Ireland to offer a Drive-Thru Repair Centre where customers can drop in their appliance to the store to have it assessed and get a

quote for the parts and labour for free. They offer a callout service for only €40 anywhere in the Dublin area, also delivery nationwide from €35 and to Dublin for €25. Affordable kitchen appliances aren’t the only things that Murphy's Discount Appliances has to offer. Their Robinhood store also has a large selection of beautiful new beds mattresses and

headboards (orders placed can be with you within 3-7 working days). These beds are sourced from Irish Companies who offer quality craftsmanship and real value for money. Murphy's Discount Beds also provides a delivery, assembly and old bed removal service. The full range of furniture is available on www.discountapplian ces.ie “We deal with a lot of landlords and

letting agents because we’re reliable and affordable,” says nicky Murphy. “Where else can you get a mattress and divan base for €149?” Murphy's Discount Appliances Dublin showroom is located just off the Long Mile Road at 1C Robinhood Road and is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm. Tel: 01 405 0025 or visit www.discountapplian ces.ie


9

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Murphy’s Discount Appliances Ireland’s Largest & Cheapest Store for NEW, GRADED & LIQUIDATED KITCHEN APPLIANCES!

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cavan DeveloPments offers unBeataBle value, tHis weekenD

10

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at newtown manor, kill, co. kilDare

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Own your own 2 bedroom home for €380 per month. These two bedroom homes are very spacious at 820 square feet. They come with all kitchen appliances, solid oak timber floors, tiled walls and floors in bathroom, en-suite and kitchen. They also come with curtains, blinds and alarm. There are only two left for sale. Own your own three bedroom home for €560 per month. Three bedroom homes are 1,050 square feet and come with solid oak timber floors. Bathroom, en-suite and kitchen floors are tiled. All the houses have their own front and rear garden, private driveway and front garden walls. Rear gardens are over 55 feet long, south facing and not overlooked. There are only three left for sale.

Affordable loans can be arranged. These new homes qualify for special tax breaks available during 2012. “Leading economists agree, now is the time to buy with house prices at the bottom.” Prospective purchasers should note all development works at Newtown Manor are now complete. The estate is mature and finished to a high standard and is ready for taking in charge by Kildare Co. Council. This is very important in the times we live in with unfinished housing estates all over the country. All the homes at newtown Manor are concrete built. These concrete built homes provide excellent sound insulation and fire resistance. Both internal and external specification is a very high standard. All internal walls are

plastered and skimmed and painted. Expensive fireplace, wardrobes, kitchen units and ceramic tiling are all standard. The exterior has nordic Pine double glazed windows and PVC fascia and soffit. They are dry-dashed. This gives a 95% maintenance free exterior.

Kill is a friendly, modern country village resting comfortably on the outskirts of the Greater Dublin Area and beside the n7 motorway. Residents take great pride in the up-keep of the village and it has won and been runner up in the tidy towns competition in recent years.

The new park and ride on Luas at Saggart is only 5 minutes away, and only 10 minutes drive to the Red Cow Roundabout. The Village has its own large brand new primary school which caters for boys and girls. It opened in September 2011. Kill also has a super-market, shops, bars and restaurants and other amenities. Kill boasts one of the largest equestrian centres in Ireland and has its own G.A.A. club and Soccer Club. numerous golf courses and Punchestown and naas Race Course are close by.

Cavan Developments have a tradition for quality and expertise and are building new homes for over a quarter of a century. It is a family owned building business and pays particular attention to the design and quality of their homes.

Showhomes are on view this Saturday and Sunday 2pm to 5pm or by appointment. Cavan Developments can be contacted on 045 878108 or view their web-site www.cavandevelopments.com


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citywest eDucate toGetHer national scHool now enrolinG

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Educate Together’s new multi-denominational school on Fortunestown Lane, Citywest, is now enroling junior infants for this September and beyond and parents are being urged to enrol now to guarantee a place for their child.

Local parent Stephen Young, who campaigned for the school, says ‘judging by the success of other Educate Together schools in Dublin and the speed in which they fill up I would encourage local parents to register their children without delay. To pre-enrol all they have to do is register online at www.dublin24etns.ie or call 01 429 2500’. There has been a campaign to open an Educate Together schools in Tallaght and Citywest for a number of years. Educate Together has opened a large number of schools in north and West

Dublin in recent years, and are delighted to finally have sanction from the Department of Education and Skills for two schools in Dublin 24, as well as a further two in Stepaside and Ballinteer.

Educate Together works hard to ensure that the very best facilities are provided for its schools. Speaking about the Citywest school, Amy Mulvihill, school manager said: 'We are delighted that the accommodation bring provided by the of Department Education and Skills for Citywest ETnS is of a high standard and will for bright, allow welcoming classrooms and the use of the latest educational technology'. The new school in Citywest will be one of five schools Educate Together opens this year. Educate Together schools have been a popular choice for

parents since the first school opened in 1978. Since then Educate Together schools have brought innovation to Irish primary education, promoting the active involvement of parents and pupils in the educational process. Educate Together's ethical curriculum Learn Together, which complements the national primary curriculum, is praised by educationalists at home and abroad.

Hayes calls for filter liGHt at BusHy Park House

Local Fine Gael TD, Brian Hayes has rejected a response he received from Dublin City Council concerning the provision of a filter traffic light at the Templeogue Road/Fortfield Road junction.

Minister Hayes stated, “I was recently approached by residents of Bushy Park House who are continually faced with obstacles when accessing their estate. The current layout of the junction does not provide a filter light for residents travelling from Templeogue village to turn right into their estate.”

continued, “I believe that the decision of Dublin City Council, who is responsible for the junction, not to provide a filter light is wrong. They (DCC) have stated that they have made alternations to the light sequence and are satisfied that this will alleviate the problems.” Hayes Minister concluded, “I do not accept this response. There is a large volume houses and of apartments in the estate and the entrance is also used to access Our Ladys Secondary School. I have asked the Roads Department in South Dublin County Council to liaise with Dublin City Council on this matter.”

29 The Educate Together school network now stands at 60 schools across the country – and will be 65 by September. The aim of long-term Educate Together is to give every parent in Ireland a choice of school type for their children’s education. The new Educate Together school in Citywest ETnS now makes this choice a reality for parents in Dublin 24.

13

Brian Hayes at the entrance to Bushy Park House

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14

Your FREE Local Newspaper

former olymPic atHlete, eamon coGHlan anD frances fitzGeralD launcH ratHcoole olymPics

The London Olympics are facing a serious challenge this year, as preparations begin for the Rathcoole Former Olympics. Olympic Athlete Eamonn Coughlan, and Minister for Children Youth Affairs, and Frances Fitzgerald, this week launched the concept which aims to transform the village of Rathcoole into an Olympic haven for the weekend of 24th and 25th of june. “I was delighted to launch this fantastic

initiative and who better to join me in the Park to kick things off than former Olympic athlete Senator Eamonn Coghaln,” said Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

The two high profile Fine Gaelers were joined by Cllr. Emer Higgins, children from Donore Harries and a from the team Rathcoole Boys Football Club, local families. “When Frances asked me to come along and hear about the plans for

Rathcoole’s Olympics I was delighted to take her up on the offer. It’s great to see such enthusiasm about getting people out, about and active; and your local park here is certainly the perfect place to do just that. I’m a long-time campaigner for fitness and fitness facilities and it’s been great to hear about plans to create a running track here in Rathcoole. As a life long member of Donore Harriers, I’m particularly pleased to

Senator Eamonn Coghlan and Minister, Francis Fitzgerald, T.D., Minister for Children and Youth Affairs with children from Rathcoole Athletics Club and Rathcoole Boys Soccer Club at the launch of Rathcoole 2012 - The Charity Walk Olympics

see them represented here today. The of the concept Rathcoole Olympics is a very clever one and I wish you every success with the event.,” said former athletic champion Eamonn Coghlan, who himself is a three time Olympian.

“Michael Ryan has been organising this now annual walk in the Park for the past four years. In fact, there’s a plaque on the wall in the Rose Garden commemorating the event which wrote our names into the Guinness Book of World Records. Each year has been bigger and better than the last and this year’s event has a fitting twist,” explained Frances Fitzgerald.

“To mark the 2012 Olympics, children from Rathcoole, newcastle, Saggart and Brittas will be carrying their very own Olympic Torch to the Park. The weekend of festivities kicks off

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on Friday 24th at 6.30 when mixed teams of four will be invited to take part in a series of relay athletics. On Saturday, as the Olympic Rathcooole Torch makes its way to the park, a family fun day will offer from everything paddling pools to Zorbs, archery to bouncy castles, farmers markets and stalls and the now famous 1 mile Rathcoole Park Track. The event is a Guinness World Record attempt and is being run to benefit The Irish Cancer Society and will also raise funds to create a running track in Rathcoole,” continued Fitzgerald.

Robert Dowds has welcomed the introduction of the new central online system for student grant applications which went live last week. “In the past, students and parents had to apply to their local authority or VEC for a grant. The process was not centralised and each authority or VEC had their own criteria and application process. This new system, SuSI (Student universal Support Ireland) will process all applications and distribute payments to students for the coming academic year. “The application process is quick and easy to use and should see an end to the long delays encountered by students in the past where approval and payment often took a long time. In future payments will be made electronically on a monthly basis throughout the academic year. SuSI is run by City of Dublin VEC where 65 staff will operate the new system. not only will the whole process be more beneficial to students, it will actually save the taxpayer approximately €5 million in efficiencies once the transition is complete. “I would like to reiterate the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn's advice to students and their parents to apply on-line as soon as they can through the website at www.studentfinance.ie. “

“This is an event I always support and I am looking to this years festivities which mightn’t quite outshine the London ones but does promise to be one of the most memorable events ever in Rathcoole,” concluded Fitzgerald.

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15

Your FREE Local Newspaper

While there are many factors that contribute to our skin looking old before its time, sun exposure and its associated damage is undoubtedly the number one cause of premature skin ageing, not to mention skin cancer. No one is saying you should hide indoors for the summer, just be smart and have fun in the sun. Red or sunburned skin is not a good look! Prepare your skin for holidays or tanning with this SunFx exfoliating and moisturising head to toe body treatment. Book this refreshing 30 minute treatment. ONLY €49

To enhance the growth of your natural nail Bio Sculpture, the original coloured Gel is a nail hardening treatment without harmful primers or bonders. As Midas Touch is now the national training centre for Bio Sculpture in the republic of Ireland you couldn’t be in better hands! Jessica Permanent Polish is another great option for holidays. It contains a small percentage of acrylic making it last 2-3 weeks and will get even the heaviest handed client through the holidays. It’s smudge proof, chip proof and available in French or colour to match your Jessica toe polish. Book well in advance for these popular holiday treats.

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16

minister for cHilDren asks cHilDren, younG PeoPle, Parents anD youtH workers to sHare tHeir views witH Her Your FREE Local Newspaper

Local T.D. and Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, has asked parents, youth workers and young people of Lucan, Clondalkin, Palmerstown, newcastle and Rathcoole to let her know their views on how Government can help improve the lives of young people.

“I want to hear the ideas and opinions of people interested in improving young people’s lives and I’ll be using those suggestions to

help shape Government policy. The consultation I launched will be open until 6th july and will help inform the Children & Young People’s Policy Framework which I’m currently drafting. This Framework will set out the Government’s high level policies and priorities in relation to children and young people for the next five years,” explained Frances Fitzgerald. “I’m asking all children and young people in our area to take the time to let me know their views. From

young people and adult leaders in youth cafes in Rathcoole right through to Palmerstown, people in centres in community Clondalkin and Lucan, trainers in GAA clubs and sporting organsiations right across the area, teachers in drama and dance; please take the time to log on and let me know your views to help shape national policy,” continued Fitzgerald. “This online consultation is open to all young people, children, parents and people who work or volunteer with

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children and young people and I’m particularly hopeful that our local children, clubs and organisations will engage in this process. I’m giving young people and anyone interested in improving young people’s lives, the opportunity to help inform Government Policy by engaging in this Consultation,” said Minister Fitzgerald.

People wishing to get involved in this process are being asked to log on to www.francesfitzgerald.ie.

Minister Fitzgerald with children from Deansrath at a recent public consultation launch in Clondalkin

Ó Broin calls on local tDs to suPPort same sex marriaGes

Sinn Fein representative in Dublin Mid Mid-West Eoin Ó Broin had called on the Government to honour its commitment to include the issue of same-sex marriages as part of their review of the Constitution.

Ó Broin said that "under the Civil Partnership Act 2010 same sex couples cannot marry, although they can enter a 'Civil partnership'. While this is a step in the right direction it's not far enough. Civil Partnerships do not offer the same benefits and protection as Marriage in legal terms. "A civil partnership does not permit children to have a legally recognised relationship with their parents - only the biological one. This leads to massive problems in terms of

custody, benefits, guardianship etc. "The Fine Gael-Labour Programme for Government contains a clear commitment to include the issue of gay marriage in the forthcoming Creview of the Constitution. However it appears that due to pressure from back bech Fine Gael TDs the Government may not honor this commitment. If this is the case it will be yet another broken promise by the Government. "I would urge the two Labour and two Fine Gael TDs in this constituency to support Gay Marraige in Ireland and make a push in the Dail for Gay Marriage rights to be recognised. It would be a great signal to the rest of the world, showing how far we have come as a society."

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Your FREE Local Newspaper

17


18

The Legal Column Your FREE Local Newspaper

In this month’s edition of the paper, Romaine Scally Solicitor, of Romaine Scally & Company, Solicitors, Main Street, Tallaght, Dublin 24, Telephone 01-4599506 email legal@scally.ie discusses travellers’ rights, which may be of interest to readers facing into the holiday season. It has been a difficult few years for travellers. Terrorist attacks, volcanic eruptions and harsh Winter conditions have caused chaos for many travellers. Meanwhile, the prevailing harsh economic conditions mean that none of us can be certain the package holiday or even airline will still exist when we need them! One thing consumers can be certain of however is that they have rights and entitlements if something goes wrong on their travels. However, it is important for consumers to know exactly what these rights are so that they can make sure they get the benefit of them. FLIGHT DELAYS AND CANCELLATIONS

When flying in the E.u., consumers have rights if they encounter problems such as delays and cancellations. Depending on the flight distance and the length of delay, consumers may be entitled to refreshments, meals, phone calls and an overnight stay.

If the delay is more than two hours, the airline should inform you of the problem. Disrupted passengers must receive adequate care and part of this is receiving information. If the delay is more than 5 hours, passengers are entitled to look for a refund for the part, or parts, of the journey not completed. If your journey has already started and your original travel plans are no longer feasible because of the delay, you can request to return to the first point of departure at no extra cost and receive a refund for the part of the journey already made. The airline does not have to offer an alternative flight. If your flight is cancelled without notice or overbooked, you have the right to choose between being re-routed to your destination or having the price of your ticket refunded. If you request a refund, you no longer have a right to further assistance or re-routing.

If your flight is cancelled without notice or arrives more than three hours late, you may be entitled to compensation of

between €250.00 and €600.00. The amount of compensation depends on the length of the flight. If the airline offered you an alternative flight with a similar schedule, the compensation you are entitled to may be reduced by 50%. Consumers are not entitled to compensation if the flight cancellation was because of extraordinary circumstances. That said, the airline must offer you the choice between a refund and being re-routed.

When airlines give at least two weeks notice of changes, most of these rights no longer apply. However, passengers should still be given a choice between re-routing to their final destination or a refund. If an airline cancels a flight and informs you two weeks before the scheduled flight date and offers you an alternative flight for the same route with a similar schedule to the original one, you cannot claim compensation.

Beyond these rights, if you have travel insurance, it may also cover flight delays and cancellations, or even airline insolvency, so check the terms and conditions of your policy. MAKING A COMPLAINT

To apply for reimbursement or compensation, you can complete the E.u. air passenger rights complaint form and send it to the airline (www.ec.europa.eu/tr ansport/passengers/air /doc/complain_form/e u_complaint_form_en. pdf). If you are applying for a refund for any assistance such as meals or accommodation, keep all receipts so that you can include them when you submit your claim. Also keep a copy of the documents yourself. If

you do not receive a satisfactory response, you can complain to the COMMISSION FOR AVIATION REGULATION through their website, flightrights.ie

Consumers can claim compensation if their check-in luggage is lost, damaged or delayed. If travelling with expensive items, it is advisable to take out private travel insurance. When travelling by ferry, claims can also be made for lost or damaged luggage and a lost and/or damaged vehicle including any luggage in or on your vehicle.

when affected by insolvency. According to the E.C. report published following the impact assessment, some protection is available through SCHEDULED AIRLINE FAILURE INSURANCE (SAFI) however, its’ scope and availability is limited. Other options are: - if purchases are made by credit card, consumers can claim a refund from the bank that issued the card. Also, payments for tickets purchased through INTERNATIONAL AIR TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION (IATA) travel agents are held by a central payment mechanism before being passed on to the airline. If the airline becomes insolvent, passengers whose payments have not yet been passed on should be able to recover their payment. If consumers buy a package holiday, under the PACKAGE TRAVEL DIRECTIVE organisers or retailers must be able to refund money paid and/or cover costs of getting the consumer home in the event of airline insolvency. The E.C. is currently looking into the possibility of extending the existing rules on consumer protection in this area so consumers can get refunds if an airline becomes insolvent.

Because flights are often booked well in advance of travel, this leaves consumers vulnerable if the airline becomes insolvent. Currently there is little protection for consumers if this happens. Last year, the EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER conducted an impact assessment of passenger protection in the event of airline insolvency. In the report, it estimated that from 2000 – 2010 76% of passengers who purchased stand-alone air tickets did not have any form of protection

When you buy a package holiday, you are entering a Contract and should be provided with a written copy which should outline, for example, the cost of the holiday, taxes and charges, and the organiser’s complaint procedure. Also, when consumers book a package holiday, it should be as described. Consumers who feel that they have been mislead can go to their travel operator to complain. For example, if you travel to a resort and were promised access to a pool and, when you

LUGGAGE PROBLEMS

If your luggage fails to show up at baggage reclaim, report the problem to the airline in the baggage hall and complete a PROPERTY IRREGULARITY REPORT or PIR. Keep your boarding card and the sticker given to you at check-in. This will have your bag’s reference number. You will also then need to claim to the airline. under the MONTREAL CONVENTION claims must be made within a certain time period. Submit your claim in one week for damaged luggage, or three weeks if your luggage was delayed.

AIRLINE INSOLVENCY

PACKAGE TRAVEL

by Romaine Scally arrive there is none then, you have been mislead.

Consumers should report their problem immediately to a local or representative organiser, giving them a chance to remedy the situation. If the is not problem resolved, consumers should gather as much evidence as possible to support their case such as by taking photographs. Submit your complaint in to the writing organiser wITHIN 28 DAYS OF RETURNING HOME. If consumers do not have success, they can refer the matter for investigation to the NATIONAL CONSUMER AGENCY (NCA Tel: 1890 432 432 www.nca.ie) who is responsible for consumer law enforcement in Ireland. Q. My flight was cancelled and the alternative flight arrived into a different airport in the same city than I was originally supposed to arrive in. what are my rights?

A. The Airline should get you to the original airport and cover the costs of same. You can also agree to arrive to an arrival at a destination close to the airport. They must pay for the transport to the original intended airport. Q. Due to a change in my plans, I had to cancel my flight. Can I claim a refund?

A. This depends on the type of fare booked. Cancellations are dependant on the terms and conditions accepted when you booked. You can claim taxes and charges back from the airline. However, they can be subject to an administrative fee which is worth

considering before applying for a refund.

I booked two Q. flights separately to get to my desinitation. The first flight was delayed so I missed the second. Can I get a refund for the second flight?

A. It is unlikely you will get a refund. Because the bookings were made separately, they can be regarded as separate contracts. A refund would be due for the delayed flight. If the bookings were all made with the same airline, they may give you a refund for the second flight but, they do not have to. The situation would be quite different had you booked your holiday under a package deal.

Q. when traveling from Dublin to Cork, the train arrived over an hour late. what are my rights?

A. When you travel by train, if travel is cancelled or there is more than one hours’ departure or at arrival, you are entitled to reimbursement or re-routing, assistance and compensation. When delays are between one and two hours you are entitled to compensation of 25% of your fare. If delays are more than two hours, you are entitled to compensation of 50% of your fare. nest year, increased rights are due to be introduced for long distance (over 250 kilometres coach travel), which include compensation or half the ticket price when delayed by more than two hours. we hope that the above has been of assistance to readers and we wish you all an enjoyable holiday either here or abroad without delays or lost luggage!

Romaine Scally is the principal in the firm of ROMAINE SCALLY AND COMPANY SOLICITORS Main Street Tallaght, Dublin 24 TEL 4599506 FAX 4599510 email: legal@scally.ie


19

77,000 carers to Get €1,700 resPite care Grant

Your FREE Local Newspaper

clonDalkin - a Poster free area!

The Clondalkin TidyTowns group proposed to all of the elected representatives and political groups in Clondalkin that a poster ban within the historic boundaries of Clondalkin Village be introduced in advance of the European Fiscal referendum. Treaty This idea was initially put forward by Cllr. Tony Delaney at an Area Meeting of SDCC, where it was passed. The ban is a voluntary request that all posters be kept out of the historic centre of the village. A

similar initiative has been in operation in Lucan for a few years.

Clondalkin TidyTowns has received a very positive response from all quarters, especially from local residents and businesses. “We would like to thank all of the elected representatives and political groups for their cooperation in agreeing to a poster ban in Clondalkin.” said Ronan Connolly, Chairperson of The Clondalkin TidyTowns It was noted that a small number of posters

Clondalkin has a poster ban within the historic boundaries the village

from two political groups were erected outside the Garda station on Orchard Road. Clondalkin TidyTowns asked the owners of these posters to remove them, but they remained up until after the referendum. They have since been removed. The judging of the national Supervalu TidyTowns competition takes place between june and August and is done in complete secret. Results are then sent to all entrants in September. Clondalkin TidyTowns are seeking new volunteers all the Everyone is time. welcome to join us. We meet in Tuthills carpark in the village every Tuesday at 6.30pm and Saturday at 10am. Gloves & hi-vis vests are supplied. For more info rmation, please visit w ww. clondalkintidy towns.com or Facebook & Twitter.

The annual Respite Care Grant of €1,700 is paid to carers providing full-time care and attention to an older person or a person with a disability, regardless of their means or social insurance contributions. Approximately 77,000 carers will benefit from the grant in 2012. Minister for Social Protection, joan Burton TD, said: “I have provided over €132 million for the Respite Care Grant which is paid to full-time carers in june each year. It helps carers to get

some respite for themselves or for the person for whom they are caring. This year the amount of the grant is unchanged at €1,700 in respect of each care recipient.” The Grant is paid automatically to carers in receipt of schemes, such as Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit and Domiciliary Care Allowance. Other full time carers who are not eligible for these schemes may apply separately for the grant which is not means tested. Minister Burton

continued: “Carers who are providing full-time care for more than one person may be entitled to €1,700 in respect of each person that they are caring for. For example, a person giving full-time care to two people with disabilities may be entitled to €3,400.” “This year my Department is providing more than €780 million in payments to support carers through the Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance and Respite Care Grant schemes.”

The rate of Carer’s Allowance for carers over 66 years of age is €239.00 per week while the weekly rate of Carer’s Allowance for someone under 66 is €204.00. Recipients of Carer’s Allowance who live with the person they are caring for may also receive the Household Benefits package of schemes which includes the Electricity/Gas Allowance, Telephone Allowance and free TV Licence and all Carer’s Allowance recipients also get a Free Travel pass.

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20

Your FREE Local Newspaper

local comPany offer suBscriPtion free alternative to uPc anD sky

With the recession biting hard into people’s pockets its hardly surprising that in recent times between 40 - 50,000 families have moved from subscription TV

companies like uPC and SKY to fast growing companies and installers like Billfreetv.ie in order to rid themselves of that monthly drain on their accounts.

‘It has always amazed me as to the reasons why people would pay a monthly fee for something that is freely accessible to anybody' says Turlough O’Connor, CEO and co director of

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Billfreetv.ie. “A lot of people are under the impression that the likes of uPC and SKY actually 'provide' channels like the RTE's,BBC's, ITV's, CH4's etc, when in fact they don’t. They merely provide a facility to view them. Anybody who has the right digital box can view them for nothing” he says. Turlough O’Connor along with Larry Mackey, two local lads (their company is based

in Ballymount) saw a niche in the market and with unemployment growing and the introduction of things like household and water charges down the line, one can certainly see their reasoning. People pay an average of between €400 - €500 yearly on basic TV subscriptions and certainly with a one off price of €289 including full installation for complete ownership with no more TV bills, it’s a very enticing

product. “We also understand that people may not be able to access €289 at once so a six month payment plan is available” And what of guarantees? “All our digital combo boxes carry a 12 month guarantee and our customers don’t pay a penny till its installed and they are happy with it”...”and you get HD (high definition) for free'.. chips in Larry '”True enough” adds

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Turlough “These companies charge a monthly fee for HD when it’s absolutely free also”. And what of people who have broadband, phone and TV packages? '”no problem...people can drop the TV part of their package and just retain the broadband and phone part...in fact I have uPC broadband myself” Turlough laughs “ but I haven't paid a TV bill in 2 years”. “Of course there are people who love SKY sports 24/7 and we don’t expect them to change but with over 160 channels including all the main uK, Irish, movie and childrens channels, we can offer a very substantial that our package customers are very happy with” And with the phone ringing constantly while we were talking, theres no doubt that the message is spreading fast.

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maJor Differences in tHe cost of a cHilD across aGes Your FREE Local Newspaper

The cost of a child are high in infancy, before falling at pre-school age, and then gradually rising as children grow older, according to a new study carried out by the Vincentian Partnership for Social justice (VPSj) According to the study “The Cost of a Child”, expenditure fluctuates because of the needs of children at particular ages, location, parental employment status and the subsequent need for childcare.

A child at second level has the highest weekly costs (€144.92 in an urban household and €140.20 in a rural household) and a pre-school child has the lowest. (€48.29 urban and €50.03 rural). When a child enters adolescence costs increase for a number of categories including food, education, social inclusion and participation and communications. With childcare included an infant has the highest cost per week (€296.13 urban and €260.31 rural) and a child at primary age the

Child Benefit contributes between 11% and 67% of a child costs

lowest (€130.30 urban and €134.72 rural).

While Child Benefit accounts for 11% of the cost of an infant in an urban household where there is childcare costs, this rises to 67% for a Primary school child in an urban household where there are no childcare costs. The respective percentages for a rural household are 12% and 65% The study examined the direct cost of a child at four stages of childhood - Infant, Pre-school, Primary School and Second level, across urban and rural households. It shows the fluctuation in costs across 13 areas of expenditure directly related to a child, e.g. food, clothing, childcare. It excludes costs shared in common with parents, such as heating or the use of a family car.

It also considers the contribution that child income support payments make at Infant, Pre-school, Primary and Secondary school levels. “This will be particularly relevant to

policy makers, and to all individuals and organisations concerned with the well-being of children. At a time of economic recession it is important to support those on low incomes and ensure child income supports make a realistic contribution to the cost of raising a child.” said Dr Mac Mahon. Summary of weekly cost of a child

uRBAn With Full-time Childcare: Infant €296.13, Pre-School €223.87, Primary €130.30, Secondary €144.92 no Childcare: Infant €91.13, Pre-School €48.29, Primary €78.66, Secondary €144.92 Add food costs for lone parent families: Infant nil, Pre-School €3.68, Primary €5.59, Secondary €6.97

Child benefit contribution no childcare: Infant 35%, Pre-School 67%, Primary 41%, Secondary 22% With childcare: Infant 11%, Pre-School 14%, Primary 25%, Secondary 22%


22

tHresHolD calls for action on crisis on mortGaGe arrears Your FREE Local Newspaper

The latest figures on private mortgage arrears, published by the Central Bank, indicate a grave crisis in the housing market. That’s according to Threshold, the national housing charity.

The figures indicate that 10.2 per cent of residential mortgages are now over 90 days in arrears – up from 9.2 per cent in the last quarter of 2011. The number of mortgages in arrears for over 180 days has also increased: from 6.9 per cent in the last quarter of 2011 to 7.8 per cent currently.

Commenting, Bob jordan, Director of Threshold, said: “Mortgage arrears have been increasing now for The almost four years. crisis in our housing market is worsening and, yet, the Government continues to delay over implementing effective policies to help the situation. “Taking into account the Keane Report and the Personal Insolvency Bill, a strategy is being developed to deal with arrears in residential mortgages. But progress has been slow, and

the Personal Insolvency Bill needs to be published and enacted as soon as possible.

“Furthermore, as previously by various highlighted organisations, there is an urgent need for independent advice to be available for made distressed homeowners engaging with financial institutions. Advisors should have strong legal and financial backgrounds, so that they are engaging with financial institutions on a level playing field. There also needs to be sufficient numbers of advisors available to ensure that everyone who needs independent advice and representation can avail of it. “The Government must act immediately to implement measures such as these. Otherwise, the crisis with residential mortgage arrears will just continue to get worse.”

In addition to highlighting the crisis in relation to residential mortgage arrears, Threshold warned that the situation in the buy-to-let market is also

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extremely grave.

“We know the arrears rate for buy-to-let mortgages is even worse than that for residential mortgages,” said Aideen Hayden, Chairperson of Threshold. “But no strategy is being developed to deal with arrears in buy-to-let mortgages. And unless we act to tackle this issue now, there is a serious risk that the private rented sector will fall apart.

“The majority of those who own buy-to-let properties are not developers and do not own vast amounts of property; they are just ordinary people. Many of them were encouraged to buy property during the boom years and are now in negative equity. And many of their properties are secured against family homes so, ultimately, an increase in arrears in buy-to-let mortgages puts family homes at risk.

“Furthermore, the latest Census figures show the private rented sector has grown from 11 per cent of housing stock in 2006 to 19 per cent currently. In other words, dependency on

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private rented accommodation has almost doubled over the past six More and more years. people are choosing to rent – or are faced with no other option – because of a lack of housing and social stagnation in the property market.

“Private rented accommodation is a default safety net for people who

cannot access housing in any other way. If that safety net is taken away small-time because landlords can no longer afford buy-to-let mortgages, then what options are left for those who currently depend on the private rented market? “The Central Bank has indicated it will publish the arrears rate for buy-to-let

mortgages later this year, but this information should be made available now, so we can assess the scale of the problem and develop measures in response. The private rented sector is the housing sector only experiencing growth in demand at the moment; we cannot allow it to falter because of delays in addressing buy-to-let mortgage arrears.”

Basic DiGital skills traininG extenDeD

The Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte T.D., has announced that he is extending the availability of basic digital skills training under the BenefIT 3 scheme. This means that the training that was due to come to an end at the end of june can now continue into the second half of the year. “This training is proving very popular. This is clear from the very positive feedback we are getting from the people who have availed of the training all over the country. I am very heartened to see the beneficial impact it is having on so many people. This is clear from the feedback we are getting. It’s reflected too in that almost everyone (99%) who has completed the training says they would recommend it to others. “In response to requests from several of our training partners I am arranging to extend the scheme so that training can continue to be provided through the autumn and into

the latter part of the year. “I am very eager that we get the message out that this is a wonderful opportunity for people who have not yet engaged with the internet. You don’t have to take my word for it – just look at the feedback we are getting. I am keen that we bring this to the attention of anyone else who could benefit from engaging with the internet – and really that’s everyone who has not engaged yet. Here is the chance to learn the basic skills that will open all kinds of doors for you whatever your background or interests. Extending the scheme means that training will continue to be available at locations all around the country for anyone who wants to learn how to use the internet, eMail or learn the basic digital skills that opens so many doors today. For information on where training is available see www.eInclusion.ie

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Don’t Dream it...Do it! 24

Garrett nolan, owner of Trendset Decor has 20 years over experience in the painting and decorating profession. Garrett his craft learned working in the family business, P&j nolan Ltd. Having decided to make his own way he has taken all that

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experience and decided to do things in a new way.

Trendset Decor is a new type of painting company which offers an extremely high level of professionalism, efficiency, skill and attention to detail that is rare these days.

In these tough times Trendset Decor raises above the itself competition by offering an unrivalled professionalism and service to their clients. Their staff are fully uniformed at all times and trained to the highest standards on what they and most of

all what you expect of a high level decorating service. They bring you, the customer, a level of trust and dependability that should be part and of any parcel professional company. Trendset Decor offer an exclusive interior design service where

one of their consultants will come and speak to the client and come up with a high spec colour scheme which will make your home or business stand out from the norm. They will turn a humdrum paint job into something you and they can be proud of!

Garrett Nolan, owner of Trendset Decor The best thing about all this is that it comes at no extra cost to you. Their service is free and inclusive in the cost of the job.

at trendsetdecor.ie or their facebook page at Trendset design and decor where you will find testimonials and examples of their work.

Their van can be seen working at houses all over the local area, so check out their website

So give thems a call on 086 0233 647 and ask them to quote you to bring something special to your home or business.

Trendset Decor believe that they are the best new company in their sector and they bring something fresh and to their exciting profession.

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eurolink... wHat’s HaPPeninG in tHe euroPean Parliament Your FREE Local Newspaper

Better safety measures could save Irish children’s lives

A new Eu-wide report claims 55 per cent of accidental childhood death in Ireland could be prevented if the government stepped up its child safety measures. Ireland received a good overall performance grade in its national Child Safety Report Card published this week by the Eu Health Commissioner john Dalli, grading standards across a range of child safety areas including transport accidents, water accidents, falls, burns, poisoning and choking or strangulation. The figures used date from 2009, when 125 children and adolescents aged between 0-19 died in Ireland as a result of injury. The report claims that 69 of those lives could have been saved, if Ireland’s rate of injury death could be reduced to that of the netherlands, one of the safest countries in Europe. Ireland scored poorly in the areas of preventing falls and strangulation, but performed very well in passenger, pedestrian and

driver safety. Reacting to the report, Dublin Fine Gael MEP Gay Mitchell pointed out that Ireland has managed to save huge amounts of lives on the roads by simply enforcing better safety standards. “We used to accept poor road standards, until the Road Safety Authority and the gardaí got tough in courts. If the government pulls out the stops and enforcing better safety standards, we could prevent so many tragic childhood deaths by accidents. It’s a case of, for example, educating parents and children to be more careful on farms, making sure they’re properly harnessed in their car seats, keeping poisons away,” said Mr Mitchell. Call for Europe-wide ‘skills passport’ to boost volunteering

A proposal for a European “skills passport” providing official cross-border recognition of the professional skills gained through volunteering moved a step closer this week, when it got the stamp of

approval at the European Parliament. MEPs in Strasbourg voted in favour of creating the ‘skills passport’ to enable people to use their volunteering experience to help them find jobs or further volunteering work across the Eu. The move was part of an initiative to boost support and recognition for the work volunteers are doing at community level. MEPs also proposed setting up a European Voluntary Aid Corps, to send volunteers to areas of natural disasters. Other measures put forward included making small voluntary organisations exempt from paying VAT this was the brain child of Independent MEP Marian Harkin. Ms Harkin, a well-known volunteering champion, also suggested that voluntary organisations involved in European projects should be given funding matching the hours of work they put in. Speaking in Strasbourg, Ms Harkin said it’s vital that volunteers are supported, particularly at a time when they are taking up the slack for cutbacks in some essential State services. “Volunteers are unpaid, but

that doesn’t mean their work is free. They are prepared to work with minimal resources, but their comes a point when they can no longer provide a service if those resources are not there,” she warned. The proposal was also backed by Labour MEP Emer Costello, who welcomed the promotion of skills gained through volunteering. “At a time when finding employment is more difficult than ever, the recognition of voluntary work as experience is an important step for those seeking employment,” said the Dublin MEP. Push to increase flying hours could threaten safety

An Irish MEP has spoken out against a draft plan by Eu policy makers to increase the number of hours pilots can fly in one shift. Fine Gael MEP jim Higgins claims the proposals put forward by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) could cause pilot fatigue and endanger passengers’ lives. EASA wants to bring in new rules from early next year

allowing pilots operating in Europe to fly up to 16 hours per day, or 11 hours at night-time. But Mr Higgins, a member of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, says these parameters contradict scientific research and the professional opinion of pilots themselves. Speaking in Strasbourg after a meeting with the Irish Airline Pilots Association, Mr Higgins said safety must be prioritised ahead of profit in this “age-old industry issue”. “Pilots associations say flying in excess of 13 hours leads to a risk of fatigue in pilots. They also suggest

that 10 hours should be the maximum length of time pilots should be expected to operate a plane for at night.” Meanwhile, Captain Paul Cullen, Director of Safety at IALPA, echoed concerns that the new rules could jeopardise aircraft safety. “All of the existing scientific research and data has highlighted the dangers associated with pilot fatigue. We are concerned that, in formulating guidelines which focus more on productivity gains, EASA has dismissed or ignored some of the key available research data,” added Captain Cullen.

Fine Gael MEP Jim Higgins concerns over pilot fatique

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niall quinn HelPs DuBlin Bus launcH its community sPrit awarDs witH sPecial Donation to tHe caPucHin Day centre Your FREE Local Newspaper

Former Irish International footballer, niall Quinn travelled to the Capuchin Day Centre on Dublin Bus to launch the 9th year of the company’s programme which awards grants to voluntary groups across Dublin. niall Quinn, who has been patron of the programme since 2003, also unveiled the new identity for the programme; the Dublin Bus Community Spirit Awards. This year, niall Quinn has generously donated €5,000 to the Community Spirit Awards fund. To celebrate this generosity and launch this year’s awards, Dublin

Bus has chosen one charity to receive this donation – The Capuchin Day Centre.

Dublin Bus has awarded this donation to the Capuchin Day Centre in recognition of the invaluable service they provide for homeless and marginalised people in Dublin. Each day food, shelter and support is provided by Brother Kevin Crowley and the dedicated staff and volunteers at the centre. In these times of economic uncertainty, the services provided by the Capuchin Day Centre and the tireless work that Brother Kevin undertakes on a daily basis are more

Pictured from left to right are Paddy Doherty, Chief Executive of Dublin Bus, Brother Kevin Crowley of the Capuchin Day Centre and Niall Quinn on Dublin Bus at the launch.

we must Do more to Protect cHilDren

Following the shocking revelation that Women’s Aid has reported a 25% increase in the number of people reporting child abuse, Campaign for Children is calling on society to do more to protect children. Of the 13,000 calls to its helpline more than 2,000 related to child abuse, an increase of some 25%. This report show now more than ever that child protection must become a priority, our children deserve nothing less. Bart Storan, Executive Director, said: “Children continue to be at risk, and we as a society need to do all we can to protect them from harm. Child abuse is not an issue confined to our recent past, with more than 30,000 complaints to the HSE every year, it is very

much a real issue, and requires a proactive response. Turning a blind eye to the suffering of vulnerable children is no longer acceptable. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure we create a society where children are protected and valued, and have the right to a safe and happy childhood. Our recent history reminds us of the consequences of inaction, of our failure to put in place adequate child protection policies and safeguards. now is the time for us to name children’s rights as a priority. We need to move quicker with promised child protection legislation and name a date for the long overdue referendum on children’s rights”.

important than ever.

Since 2003, Dublin Bus’ awards have helped over 1,300 community and voluntary groups located across its network. Successful applicants over the years include Draíocht, Ringsend’s Collide Dance Academy, Fettercairn Youth Horse Project, the Sunshine House in Balbriggan and Santry Active Retirement Association.

Commenting on the award Draíocht received last year, Sarah Beirne, Children and Youth Arts Co-ordinator at Draíocht, said; “We applied for funding for CREATEAbility. These are a series of bi-monthly arts workshops aimed at families with a child with an intellectual disability between the ages of 8-13 years. The Dublin Bus Award enabled us to develop CREATEability into a

longer-term project, giving the participants the time they needed to get to know us and our building and feel that they belong there.”

Commenting on his role as patron of the programme, niall Quinn, said, “This is my ninth year as patron and I have seen first hand the difference these grants can make to local community groups and I want to encourage every voluntary

group in the Greater Dublin Area to fill out an application form and get their entry into Dublin Bus.”

under the terms of the programme entrants submit a proposal with details about their organisation and the project they wish to have funded. Each application is then judged independently and grants ranging from €5,000, €2,000 and €1,000 are awarded.


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tHe averaGe family sPent €744 on tHeir cHilD’s first Holy communion

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A survey from ulster Bank has revealed that, parents spent significantly less on their child’s First Holy Communion this year at an average of €744, down 25.6% from €1,000 last year.

The average breakdown of spending was; €179 on the Communion outfit and accessories €176 on clothing for the rest of the family €303 for food and drink €86 for entertainment The money collected by approximately 60,000 Communicants this year has also decreased from €468 to €432 and of this, the majority €325 has been saved. Of the average €107 they spent, the most popular items bought are; Video games (57%) Clothes (43%) Toys (36%) Sports equipment (22%) Books and music (12%) The parents of this year’s Communicants have set a good example on saving. The research shows that 8

out of 10 were in a position to rely on their savings to pay for the Communion and only 1 in 10 needed help from friends or family. However 9% still borrowed money, with an average loan for €343. Speaking about these results, joe Heneghan, Head of Retail Products, ulster Bank, says: “This is an exciting time for Communicants and their families and in many cases it is the first time children will experience the decision of spending or saving. So it is encouraging that the findings suggest young people are saving a higher proportion of the money they have received compared to what they spend. It is more important than ever that young people learn to save and it will help equip them to deal with financial decisions in a responsible way throughout their lives. It is also very positive to see that their parents are also saving, and spent more responsibly for their child’s Communion

this year.” ulster Bank offers a range of savings accounts that may be suitable for parents to save for their children’s futures. From instant access accounts such as the Loyalty Saver account, to regular savings plans such as the Special Interest Deposit Account, through to medium and long terms savings plan which can be discussed at any ulster Bank branch. Parents interested in opening a savings account for their children can call into any one of ulster Bank’s branches and open an urfirst account with as little as €5. Children will also receive the iconic Henri Hippo moneybox to help them continue to save small amounts. Further information about ulster Bank savings accounts for young people is available at: www.ulsterbank.com/roi/p ersonal/saving/youth/ur-fir st.ashx

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minister frances fitzGeralD oPens st JosePH’s PHysics mural

Minister for Children & Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, this week officially opened a ceramic mural in St. joseph’s College in Lucan. The ceramic stone wall mural depicts the journey of physics through the ages and is a creation of girls from the school’s art class who worked under the guidance of their Art Teacher niamh Garvey and artist niamh Sinnott.

“I’m delighted to officially open this fantastic mural which has been an education to all of us and will continue to educate students here in St. joseph’s for decades to come. An awful lot of work was needed to get this project from the brainstorming sheets on the wall here to the colourful, ceramic journey through history on this wall,” said Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

The mural “The Future of Physics” depicts major achievements down the years in the field of Physics and now decorates the route to the Physics Room in St. joseph’s College. “This mural is a particularly

tribute to lovely Belfast-born scientists joycelin Bell, who I hear is coming to St. joseph’s to see the mural. I’m sure Mr. Doherty is very impressed by that,” continued Minister Fitzgerald, referring to Physics Teacher Declan Doherty.

“I’ve opened murals before but never one as permanent as this. The ceramic stone wear means that this creation will remain here as a tribute to the girls who worked so hard on it. The mural which takes us through the ages begins with Galileo looking through a telescope towards St. joseph’s Physics Room.

Famous physics discoveries and scientists including newton and Marie Curi are all featured on the wall,” said Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

“Well done to all involved in this fantastic project; to niamh Garvey and niamh Sinnott who encouraged the girls to take on this project and guided them along the way; to Principal Siobhan Corey and Physics Teacher Declan Doherty and art teacher Felicity Lynch who supported this initiative and to all of the girls involved, congratulations on your wonderfully creative achievement,” concluded Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

Minister Frances Fitzgerald at the mural

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