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2 June 2011 Issue 13 - Volume 12 CEMETERY SERVICES & MAINTENANCE

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This Bank holiday weekend and the following weekend promises to be a real treat for any music lover out there. Whether it’s Damien Demsey you want to hear or Declan O Rourke the choice is yours. From Ballymotes Temple House to the Westfest in Ballyhaunis there are over 200 different performers lined up for an incredible feast of music. See page 22 for Temple house line up and page 4 for details on the WestFest.

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THE northwest is set to endure a number of years of worry over gas exploration. In the midst of towns and villages in Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan, Roscommon and Donegal exploration companies will be searching for gas and the worry is they may use a harmful technique known as ‘hydraulic fracturing’, commonly known as ‘fracking. It has been in use for over a hundred years but was only made commercially viable and useful in the 1940s. It is credited with expanding oil and gas reserves, by increasing productivity and reviving old wells. However in recent years the rising price of oil and gas and dwindling supplies has pushed companies to explore in previously unprofitable areas and advances in the fracking process has enabled the productive and profitable extraction of gas from shale deposits. Shale gas has always been known about but is notoriously difficult to extract in large and dependable amounts. Advances in fracking technology has actully lead to a ‘shale gas boom’. Fracking is highly controversial and is thought to possibly contaminate drinking water, rivers, lakes etc., harm local animal and plant life and pose an immediate threat to people due to gas explosions and gas leaks. It consists of injecting a combination of sand-water and a cocktail of dangerous chemicals into the ground to expand existing geological fractures, or create man-made ones, to facilitate easier access to gas and increase production. Fracking has been widely used for decades, but its use has expanded hugely since shale gas began to be exploited and therefore the increased fears for environmental damage. See Centre Pages for full story

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Mental Health Trialogue meetings in Mayo THE third series of mental health Trialogue meetings, which are open conversations about mental health, has started in Mayo. The meetings, which are free of charge, are being held in the TF Royal Hotel & Theatre, Old Westport Road, Castlebar, on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on 14th June, 12th July, and 13th September. The Trialogues are aimed at people working in mental health, people who have mental health difficulties, and everyone who cares about positive mental health. Trialogue groups can help communities to change the perception that only those who work in the field of mental health are the experts in mental health. Mental health is everyone’s business, regardless of their background and experience. Mental Health Trialogue Network Ireland is a new community development initiative in Irish mental health which aims to empower communities in Ireland to become proactive in communicating about mental health through a powerful open dialogue and participatory process called Trialogue. The Trialogue is a facilitated circle of con-

versations that offers people unique opportunities to freely and safely share their own experiences, stories or questions about mental health. The open dialogue approach also offers people the opportunity to listen and to gain insight into the lived, personal experience of others. Clem McLoughlin, Occupational Health Manager, Mayo Mental Health Services, says; “If you are interested in understanding more about other people’s experiences and perceptions about mental health, and in possibly sharing your own experience, then please come along to the Trialogue meetings where there is much honesty, laughter and potential for change.” The Mental Health Irish Trialogue Network has been funded by Genio and is being led by Paddy McGowan and Dr Líam MacGabhann from DCU. The initiative has a multi-agency Steering group which includes the Irish Advocacy Network and the National Service User Network and the HSE National Mental Health Office. HSE community services are supporting the roll out of the meetings in Mayo.

Saturday Banking comes to Ballina

Richard Donnan, Ulster Bank CEO Retail Markets, centre, pictured at the launch of Ballina's Ulster Bank Saturday Opening Service with local staff including from left to right, Commercial Manager John Kenny, Fidelma Starrs, Anne McKnight, Angela Donnelly, Branch Manager Ann Mullins, Patricia Gallagher, Bernie Dunford, Fiona Kelly, Vanessa Munnelly and Ulster Bank Area Manager West Roger Cawley. Picture Henry Wills

BALLINA Ulster Bank Branch manager Ann Mullins and her team welcomed many existing customers along with new faces into their branch on Saturday, the 21st May on its first day of Saturday opening. Henri Hippo was also on hand to provide entertainment. The bank will be open for customers from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday. Ann Mullins said, "Both my team and myself were delighted to welcome customers into the branch on Saturday. The opening was a great success, We have

had a really positive response from the local community who are delighted that we at Ulster Bank are now doing something different for our customers on Saturdays. We’ve been working to improve the level of service our customers receive and the new opening hours are part of that commitment. We know that customers value being able to meet us face-to-face in branch and we hope that this will give our customers in the Ballina area greater convenience and flexibility for their banking needs.”

Ballina Mayor Frances McAndrew said: "Ulster Bank has provided a long-standing service to Ballina and its surrounding community for the past 137 years, I would like to wish Ann Mullins and her team of helpful and friendly staff at Ulster Bank continued success for the future." Richard Donnan added "We’ve had a really positive response from customers at the 26 branches where we first introduced Saturday opening. We’re listening to our customers all the time and they tell us they like the

convenience of Saturday branch opening, so we’re now extending the initiative to a further 8 branches. It’s just one of a number of Ulster Bank’s Customer Commitments to help make banking easier and fairer for all our customers. Our efforts to improve banking and customer service standards for customers are ongoing and as determined as ever. We’ll continue to listen, keeping the customer at the heart of everything we do as we work to deliver on the Commitments we made last September."

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‘YES WE CAN TOO!’ West Fest's Headline Acts Warm-up at Obama Concert!

IMELDA May, The Coronas, Sharon Shannon and Ryan Sheridan all performed last Monday in College Green at the special Concert in honour of the visit of President Barack Obama – they are all part of the fantastic lineup at the West Fest two-day event which is to take place over the June Bank Holiday weekend. West Fest will be located just off the main N17 in Aghamore,

which is only two miles from both Knock and Ballyhaunis in County Mayo. It promises to be a bank holiday weekend to remember! Camping will be available for those wishing to attend both nights. The event is strictly over-18’s and alcohol will be sold at the same price as in local pubs, not at the inflated prices you often find at other festivals. The first act will be on stage at

12 noon on Saturday, June 4, and it will be music all the way until 2am that night. Saturday's lineup includes: Imelda May, Republic of Loose, Brush Shiels, Big Generator, Microlip,The Kapitals, The R&Bs, The Stunts, Town Criers, and KeyWest. The DJ Set will be provided by the Hi-Jackers. The village will be rocking again on Sunday, June 5, when the main acts will be: The Coronas, Sharon Shannon and Big Band with special guest Damien Dempsey, Ryan Sheridan, The Kilkennys, Bagatelle and John & Emma. Support acts include The Craic, Capture, N'deed, Leaving Las Vegas and TKO. Fergal D’Arcy from i102-104 will provide the DJ set. Facilities at the festival area will include a campsite, a first-aid centre, an ATM, phone charging facilities, an off-licence (festival goers can bring their own drink, but it must remain at the campsite), secure storage lockers, shower facilities, a special area for camper vans and facilities for disabled parking (regular car and bus parking will be a short walk

from the festival grounds). There will also be a food court on site, with a huge range of offerings to suit everyone from the most daring to the pickiest of festival foodies – fare will include Japanese food, pancakes and crepes, paellas, kebabs, breakfast rolls, smoothies and juices, a hog roast and even ostrich, crocodile and buffalo burgers. There’ll also be Scandinavian hot tubs, head massages and a hair & beauty salon! And there’s no need to worry about the weather – all the music is under a Big Top tent which can hold up to 5,000 people – though most will undoubtedly find the urge to wear their festival wellies irresistible... Tickets to West Fest cost 60 each for a one-day pass; 100 for a two-day pass; or 120 for a two-day pass, plus camping. Limited amount of tickets still available, but are selling out fast! Tickets from: www.ticketmaster.ie. WestFest will be ran in association with Mayo/Roscommon Hospice, Irish Daily Star and i102-104fm. Check out the website for updates on: www.westfest.ie

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Quinn action is one of the 'largest ever'

Mayo video to help prevent collisions between motorists and cyclists MAYO County Council Road Safety Office has launched a new video campaign on social media, including YouTube, that aims to prevent collisions between motorists and cyclists by educating the public about bicycle safety and encouraging cars and bikes to share the road. This awareness campaign is been promoted to coincide with a national campaign to promote cycling with national bike week been held on 18th June – 26th June. Have you ever cycled on a busy road and felt intimidated by passing cars? The Mayo County Council video clip is to raise awareness among motorists on how to over take a cyclist safely, one of the greatest concerns parents and cyclists have is how motorists come too close to cyclists when overtaking them. A recent report by the Road safety Authority revealed over 600 cyclists were killed or seriously injured on Irish roads

between 1997 and 2010.This video clip reminds motorists to allow plenty of space when overtaking a cyclist and always anticipate a cyclist having to make a sudden move to avoid a pothole or obstruction. We are also reminding cyclists that it's everyone's responsibility to pay attention and take care on the roads. Simple actions such as wearing a helmet and high visibility jacket, obeying the rules of the road, anticipating what drivers may do, and most importantly never use an iPod when cycling. “As more people are starting to cycle on our roads it’s vital that drivers know how to overtake cyclists in a safe manner. Cyclists must also practice the rules of the road. Mutual respect between the driver and cyclist will result in happy and safe roads.” Miss Eva Gannon Green Schools,An Taisce ‘’The idea behind this campaign is simple - we're asking everyone to accept respon-

sibility to look out for each other on the roads so more people can experience the health benefits of cycling said Miss Thelma Birraine health promotion HSE West. Improving bike safety is a two-way street, "Drivers need to know that cyclists have a right to the road and cyclists need to know that drivers are looking out for their safety. That's why we all need to work together to take simple steps to share the road and keep our roads safe." said Noel Gibbons Road safety Officer. Thérèse Ruane, Chairperson of Smart Travel Castlebar, said: "Cycling is becoming more and more popular. Using your bike is the fastest, cleanest and most efficient way of getting around town. But it's really important that motorists and cyclists act responsibly on the road to ensure safety for everyone.This video clip will go a long way to ensure that we can all share the road in a safe and responsible way."

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A legal action being taken by the wife and five children of Sean Quinn against Anglo Irish Bank and the receiver appointed over the family's shares in some of the Quinn Group companies, is being described as one of the largest cases to ever come before the Irish courts, in terms of its value. Lawyers for the Quinns told the court that the lending by Anglo of more than 2.3bn to the Quinn Companies and to a number of Cypriot companies owned by the Quinn children was done in support of an illegal objective of market manipulation - to maintain Anglo's share price. Senior Counsel Brian O'Moore, said the sum of 2.3bn was an enormous amount of money, 'even these days' and was advanced for the unlawful support of the share price of Anglo. The Quinns are also seeking damages for the effect the appointment of a receiver has had on the businesses in the group.The claim for damages is expected to be at least several hundred million euro. The action was transferred to the Commercial section of the High Court. Mr Justice Peter Kelly said it would be his intention to hear a full trial of the action early next year. Sean Quinn's five children, Ciara, Colette, Brenda,Aoife and Sean Junior and their mother, Patricia, said they were taking this action in their capacity as owners of shares in Quinn companies, including the Slieve Russell Hotel in Cavan, Quinn Quarries Limited, Quinn Group (ROI) limited, Quinn Group Hotels Limited, Quinn Finance Holding and Quinn Group Properties limited. All of the children, except Ciara, work in businesses in the Quinn Group. The Quinns claim charges made in favour of Anglo from 2003 to 2009 over shares held in those companies are invalid, unenforceable and have no legal effect. A receiver was appointed to the companies' shares in April.The Quinns want the receiver's appointment to be overturned. They also want declarations that undated personal guarantees entered into by them guaranteeing the liabilities of certain Cypriot companies owned by them, are invalid, unenforceable and of no legal effect.


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European measles warning

THE HSE's Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) is urging parents to make sure that their children are fully vaccinated against measles following a major outbreak of the disease in continental Europe. Since the start of 2011 there have been more than 10,000 cases of measles and four related deaths in 18 European countries, says HPSC specialist in public health medicine, Dr Suzanne Cotter. "Many cases are due to travel of infected people between countries. As there is more travel between Europe and Ireland over the summer, there is an increased risk to

Irish children and teenagers who are not fully vaccinated against measles. "There have been significant outbreaks in France, Spain and Belgium, which are popular holiday destinations for Irish families and with college students on holiday, working, visiting relatives and friends or attending summer camps or other summer activities. The HPSC has stressed that vaccination with MMR vaccine which is free-of-charge, is the only way to protect against measles. In Ireland, the first MMR dose is given at 12 months of age, and the second dose at 4-5 years of age. "Parents must make sure that

their children and teenagers are protected against measles by ensuring they have been immunised with MMR before they visit Europe. Measles is a highly infectious and dangerous illness which spreads very easily, particularly in homes, crèches, playgroups, camps, schools and universities," Dr Cotter said. "Parents should speak with their GP and get the vaccine for their child if needed.The vaccine is free. At the moment, only 90% of children in Ireland have received one dose of MMR by 24 months of age, which is below the target of 95% to prevent cases of measles and measles outbreaks. "So far, 42 cases of measles have been reported in Ireland since January 2011. Eight of these cases were in children under 12 months of age who were too young to have been vaccinated but almost half of the rest had not received any doses of MMR vaccine. "One in five cases in Ireland were either related to recent European travel or to contact with infected individuals from European countries where measles outbreaks occurred," added Dr Cotter

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ROAD traffic accidents can have devastating psychological effects on the families of victims, a major conference in Dublin has heard. The Road Safety Authority's (RSA) annual international road safety conference, which was held in Dublin Castle on May 26, focused on the ‘human impact of road collisions'. It was attended by almost 200 people, including international experts, victims of road accidents and family members who have lost a loved one in a collision. Speaking at the conference, Brigitte Chaudhry, coordinator of the European Federation of Road Traffic Victims (FEVR), presented findings from a FEVR study on the impact of road deaths and injuries. It found that depression, anger, suicidal feelings, anxiety attacks and loss of drive are more common in the relatives of victims left with disabilities than the victims themselves. "The FEVR study shows that it's not just the victim who suffers as a result of a serious injury or death on our roads. Whilst negative emotions obviously affect the person involved in the collision, our study shows that the families of these victims often present more pronounced psychological suffering than the victims themselves," she explained. Also speaking at the conference, Dr Edward Hickling, an author and clinical psychologist from New York, pre-

sented his research on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in people who are seriously injured in road collisions. "In 2003, we published research from our study of 158 people who had been injured in road collisions. The aim of the research was to get a better understanding of the psychological impact of such injuries and specifically, the presence of PTSD as a result of the collision. "After working with these people for two years after their collision, our study found that 40% had PTSD and 90% developed driving difficulties. In fact, some studies show that up to six years after their collision, as many as 40% of victims don't improve, even with treatment," Dr Hickling said. Also speaking at the conference, RSA chairman, Gay Byrne, described today's conference as ‘new and different' because it is not focusing on the causes of road collisions, ‘but on the people who are affected by them'. "It's not a nice or easy thing to say, but all too often we talk about the people who have died on our roads. We don't always think of the people who are seriously injured or the impact this has on families, relationships, communities and futures. Today gives us an opportunity to better understand the real human impact of road collisions and how we can work together to prevent further needless tragedy on our roads," he commented.


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Claremorris College to replace school books with iPad

Pollen Alert 2011 now available

families would save having to pay 400 up front for school books and instead pay a more manageable 23 per month. Mr Finn said the decision whether or not to go with the iPad was up to each individual student.

St Colman's College in Claremorris is to make history by becoming the first school in Ireland to introduce the truly digital classroom following its decision to replace textbooks and school bags with Apple’s iPad tablet device. From September, St Colman's will give their 90 first-year students the option to replace schoolbooks with an iPad at a cost of around 700 for the full package which will include a suite of learning apps and ebooks. The idea has received huge support from parents and teachers, according to St Colman's principal, Jimmy Finn. The price will be spread over a three-year period and parents have the choice of whether to equip their child with the latest high-tech gadget or the old bag and books. St Colman's has struck a finance deal with the local credit union to make low rate loans of about 23 per month available to any family purchasing an iPad for their child. Mr Finn said the advantage of opting for the iPad was that

Irishhealth.com's exclusive national Pollen Alert 2011 service is now ‘live’ on the website and on smartphones, and will be updated daily until November. The service provides up- tothe-minute information on pollen and airborne allergen levels throughout Ireland, including Northern Ireland, with detailed province-by-province analysis as well as next-day forecasts to assist allergy sufferers to plan ahead. The forecasting service provides an index of the risk of being affected by airborne allergic pollens. A special feature of the service for smartphone users is that in the event of ‘very high’ pollen levels being forecast, you can opt to receive a free ‘alert’ to your phone advising of the high pollen level. Data for the service is compiled and licensed on behalf of irishhealth.com by the UK’s National Pollen and Aerobiol-

ogy Research Unit. The ‘Pollen Alert’ is also available for iPhone users as a free download from the Apple Store for users who wish to monitor daily pollen levels and breaking news on asthma and other allergic conditions from their mobile phone. The service is also available for smartphones using Google’s Android operating system from the Android Store. The Pollen Alert initiative has been developed by Irishhealth.com in association with the Asthma Society of Ireland and is supported as a free patient service by a grant from A. Menarini.

Ballina Lions Car Boot Sale BALLINA Lions Club continue their fund-raising efforts for local charities with a special Car Boot Sale this weekend. The Car Boot/Brick-a-brac Sale takes place this Sunday, June 5th, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at O’Brien’s Garage, opposite

the Cathedral (i.e. Connolly’s). All donations will be gratefully accepted and should be dropped at the garage on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons. For full details contact Rory Quinn at 0866774736.

Irish-led study into new Alzheimer treatment A TCD-led international research team aiming to develop a new Alzheimer's drug treatment has been given a 6 million grant from the European Commission for the research. The NILVAD consortium, comprising 18 European universities, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, will conduct European clinical trials of a drug, nilvadipine, in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The drug is already used to treat blood pressure. The researchers will determine whether nilvadipine can improve memory and also slow the rate of progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Nilvadipine is an approved medication used for the treatment of high blood pressure and has been already shown to decrease the risk of developing dementia, according to the researchers. Professor Brian Lawlor of TCD said considering the devastating health and social cure impact that Alzheimer's disease has on Europeans, there is relatively little research funding made available to tackle this major killer. "This research consortium represents a change in this trend in Europe and a step in

the right direction. It not only offers hope for a new treatment but also strengthens research networks and collaborations in Europe and means that research developments in Alzheimer's disease can be accelerated for the benefit of all Europeans,” he added. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, affecting more than 15 million people worldwide and around five million Europeans. The direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer's and other dementias amount to more than 440,000 million each year . It is estimated that by 2050, one in 85 of the population worldwide will have AD. The researchers say there are few effective symptomatic treatments and no treatment that can delay or prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Treating high blood pressure with medications like nilvadipine have been shown to decrease the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, they point out. The multi-centre international study will be conducted over a period of 18 months involving 500 people.

82,000 have given up health insurance The number of people with private health insurance had dropped by 82,000 over the past two-and-a-half years, according to latest statistics from the Health Insurance Authority (HIA). A total of 2.297 million people were covered by health insurance in December 2008 but this had dropped to 2.215 million in March of this year. The percentage of the population covered has dropped from 51.7% to 49.6% during that period. The HIA says 14,000 people dropped their health insurance in the first quarter of this

year alone. So far this year, a number of significant increases in health insurance premium costs have kicked in. The numbers insured had actually increased by 2,000 in the final quarter of last year, although the total number who gave up their insurance in 2010 was 31,000. Meanwhile, a HIA analysis shows that the average health insurance claim cost for people 80 years and over was 3,045 compared to around 400 for those aged 30 to 40.

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Support your local Hospice on Sunflower Days Irish Pride Sunflower Heroes Announced

Pictured: Bakery Manager James Keady's daughters, Lauren and her twin sisters Sophie and Emma bedecked in the campaign's sunflower yellow . Also included are their father , James Keady, Claire Jackson, Marketing Manager, Tom O'Dea, Irish Hospice Foundation's National Fundraiser, and Pat Doory and Jimmy Moran.

THE Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has announced that the national Sunflower Days collection sponsored by Irish Pride, Ballinrobe, for local hospice services will take place

next month on Friday, June 10th and Saturday, June 11th urged the public to continue to give generously to support hospice care in their areas. With no statutory funding avail-

able for capital projects, hospice volunteers are pulling out all the stops to fundraise to ensure that progress is made in implementing government policy on palliative care. In 2009, Palliative Care Services – Five Year Development Framework 2009-2013 was published by the Health Service Executive and outlined key developments to take place to fill deficits in the palliative care service in Ireland. The Framework outlined 41 national priority actions to deliver over 272 posts and 203 specialist in-patient (hospice) beds over a five year period. Kevin O’Dwyer, CEO of Marymount Hospice in Cork and Chairman of the Hospice CEO group, commented: “Valiant efforts are being made by the voluntary sector to fundraise and ensure that some progress is made. It’s about staying positive and ambitious in this time of crisis. Despite the difficult economic times, hospice services must continue to expand. The dying cannot wait. Ensuring a good death should not depend on the state of our economy.” For the second year, the IHF an-

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nounces “Irish Pride Sunflower Heroes” an initiative which honours the work of people throughout the country, who work tirelessly on behalf of their local hospice, either caring for patients, as volunteers or selflessly raising money. Therese Lynch, Managing Director of Irish Pride, said, “Irish Pride is proud to be associated with Sunflower Days, one of the most popular national fundraising events in Ireland each year and a major source of income for hospices and voluntary hospice groups.We particularly salute the “Irish Pride Hospice Heroes” and are delighted to give recognition to people who over the years go the extra mile for their local hospice, through volunteering, supporting or fundraising work.” People will be able to support their local hospice service by buying a sunflower pin or sunflower seeds for 2 each from collectors on the streets of cities, towns and villages around the country. Sunflower Days, which is proudly sponsored by Irish Pride is a major source of income for hospices and voluntary hospice groups countrywide. The IHF coor-

dinates the event on behalf of the hospice movement but all of the funds raised locally stay locally. There is an urgent need for volunteers to sell sunflower pins and anyone who has a few hours to spare on June the 10th or 11th is asked to please contact their local hospice. Hospice or palliative care involves the total care of patients and their families at the stage in a serious illness, where the focus has switched from treatment aimed at cure to ensuring quality of life. Almost 30,000 people die annually in Ireland and over 6,000 people use hospice services every year. It is estimated that up to 13,000 patients will require access to hospice and specialist palliative care in 2016. International studies have shown that patients using hospice services consume at least 25% fewer medical resources than those who access “usual care.” This saving is linked to the fact that many palliative care patients are cared for and die at home and they use much less acute hospital services. Hospice patients also live longer and in greater comfort and dignity.

Less sleep for kids linked to weight gain YOUNG children who do not get enough sleep are at an increased risk of becoming overweight, the results of a new study indicate. According to researchers from New Zealand, several studies have shown a relatively consistent association between shorter sleep duration and increased body weight in children. However, doctors are still not sure what causes this. The study involved 244 children. Each child's weight, height, body mass index (BMI) and body composition were measured every six months from three to seven years of age. Sleep habits, physical activity levels and dietary intake were also assessed at three, four and five years of age. Other factors which can affect BMI were also recorded.These included birth weight, mothers' education, family income, smoking during pregnancy and ethnicity. The average sleep duration was about 11 hours per day at all three ages. The study found that young children who slept less were at a significantly increased risk of having a higher BMI by the age of seven, even after controlling for other risk factors that have been implicated in body weight regulation. Each additional hour of sleep per night be-

tween the ages of three and five was associated with a reduction in BMI of 0.49 and a 61% reduction in the risk of being overweight or obese at the age of seven. In a child of average height, this corresponds to a difference of 0.7kg body weight.While this might seem minor at an individual level, the benefits for public health, if applied at the population level, are considerable, the researchers insisted. The team from New Zealand's Department of Human Nutrition noted that the reductions in BMI were due to differences in fat mass, rather than any effect on fat-free mass, showing that poor sleep has negative effects on body composition. It suggested that reduced sleep may increase dietary intake and may also influence energy expenditure, leading to reduced exercise. The researchers concluded that sleep is an important determinant of future body composition in young children. They recommend that appropriate sleep habits should be encouraged in all children as a public health measure and called for more studies to determine whether more sleep or better sleeping patterns impact favourably on body weight and other health outcomes.

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Ballina and Craigavon to benefit from twinning initiative

The Mayor of Ballina Town Council, Frances McAndrew and the Mayor of Craigavon Burough Council, Alderman Stephen Moutray pictured at the twinning ceremony. Also included is CEO Dr. Theresa Donaldson and Carmel Murphy, Ballina Town Clerk. Photo Henry Wills

FRIDAY week last was an historic day for Ballina and Craigavon, following the formalization of twinning links between the towns. Following the ceremony at Ballina’s civic offices community leaders from both towns were optimistic that major rewards, in tourism, culture and business,

could be achieved as a consequence of the linkage. Craigavon’s Mayor Alderman Stephen Moutray felt the potential for both towns was significant while Councillor Frances McAndrew, Mayor of Ballina, said it was a unique and exciting event, particularly dur-

ing a week when Her Majesty, the Queen of England, had visited Ireland. It also served to solidify friendships between north and south even further. Work on the linking process had been developing since the 1990s as a consequence of contacts between Ballina Salmon festival committee and the Master McGrath Festival in Lurgan, with some background work by Ballina’s Terry Gallagher and others. Councillor McAndrew emphasized the similarities between both Craigavon and Ballina, in arts, culture, farming and education, and saidthe friendship should now go from strength to strength. Ballina Town Clerk, Carmel Murphy, said the Town Council would encourage the people of Ballina and surrounding areas to visit Craigavon whenever they are in the North of Ireland. "We would encourage people to take a stop in Craigavon. A visit to the Craigavon website will reveal that there are lots of things to do there with different amenities, in addition to many attractive shopping

facilities. "Likewise, anybody coming down to visit Ballina and the surrounding

area will always have a special welcome here as a result of today's initiative," Ms Murphy added.

Pictured at the formalisation of links between the two towns at a special ceremony in the local civic offices. Among the attendance were local town and county councillors Johnny O'Malley, Barry McLoughlin, Josie Egan, Mary Kelly, Mark Winters, John O'Hara, Seamus Weir, Dara Calleary TD., Ballina Town Council's Carmel Murphy and Paddy Mahon, Craigavon Borough Council delegation Chief Executive Officer Dr.Theresa Donaldson, Alderman Arnold Hatch, Jim Dickson, Lewis Portman, Dick Mullan, Ballina Salmon Festival's Benny Walkin and Liz Culkin, Sandra Cribben, Ballina Chamber of Commerce, Terry Gallagher, Liam McHale and Edward Gaughan.

Recycled Spectacles for Kenya and India

Lions Club Presidents pictured at the launch of the Unwanted Spectacles Collection Drive. Left to right: Enda McDonagh (Castlebar), Oliver Murphy (Ballina), Bernardine McGlade (Westport), Chris Tallott (Belmullet), Denis O’Boyle (Claremorris) and John Gallagher (Sligo). Photo by Jay Meenan.

Lions Clubs in Mayo and Sligo are planning a major drive throughout both counties to collect unwanted spectacles for the Missionary Optical Society for use in their clinics in Kenya and India. Collection boxes will be placed in all churches in every diocese from Saturday, 18th June until Monday, 27th June, when the Lions Clubs will arrange for their collection and dispatch to the Missionary Optical Society. Boxes will also be placed in pharmacies. Full community support is requested for this worthy cause. The initiative was started first by the Chichester Lions Club back in 1980. Over the following four years over 50,000 spectacles were collected, sorted and sent to the Missionary Society. In 1985 they linked up with Le Havre and Medico France and over the following five years some 100,000 spectacles, 43,000 lenses and 10,000 frames were sent to Medico

France while still delivering the Missionary Optical society as many pairs of spectacles as they needed. Today, Chichester Lions are receiving used spectacles from Lions Clubs throughout the British Isles and Ireland, as well as from opticians and supermarkets. They are sorted, cleaned and graded and are made ready for use in eye camps in Africa, India and Eastern Europe. Indeed, the Chichester Club, with help from the Inside Outside Trust, have developed facilities for grading spectacles in the UK, for shipping to Ghana, Papua New Guinea, Nepal and Nigeria. The glasses are sent via known Lions Club contacts. Last year, the Lions sent over 300,000 pairs of spectacles to Medico France, more than 50% of the total processed there. By parting with your unwanted spectacles this June you can help improve the lives of people in the developing world.


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l l e w e r a F d F on

lly e K l e a h c a by R

streets of Cork to wave Queen Elizhe thousands of people that lined the nd last week was symbolic of just Irela abeth off from her historic visit to ed. When the government and Irish how far we, as a country, have progress had been invited to Irish soil a arch Mon the that aled ambassadors initially reve ut the country. Were we as ugho thro ted frenzy of panic, fear and anger erup future, willing to welcome such a controIrish residents ready to move into the versial figure to our island? move on so many fronts.

T

a brave a Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Ireland was er, although thankfully only from sucht dang the sed reali elf hers en Que iden The Pres the ng, -bei well own to her and small minority of the Irish population, the regal may affect her popularity stataccepted that her association withinvit deva had have d coul beth Eliza e to ple the Irish ambassadors decision ly, is the bravery portrayed by the peo ing implications. But most admirabforg and ster disa ad spre et the wide of Ireland. Ireland will never, ever in previous generations but it is time that we replaced tragedy that engulfed our country d with our closest neighbour. uded to the such devastating memories associate arations and weeks of rehearsals prel rity that sursecu Years of negotiations, months of prep eme extr the ile Wh off her royal plane. only a was it ess, moment Queen Elizabeth stepped no-o proc the ne could interfere with rounded her landing ensured that public’s opinion on her presence became obvious. matter of hours before the wider positive. As an eighteen year old I have been fortunate se that the Thankfully, it was overwhelmingly hood oblivious to the strife and unea es and older memenough to have enjoyed a peaceful child class ory Hist ugh thro Yet re. endu to generations before me were forcedrealise the hardships, brutality and cruelty inflicted on ber’s recollections I have come to in previous decades. So for me although I may not have certain groups in the Irish society that shaped our society I realise, as teenagers and chilexperienced first-hand the events just how important the last four days were in not only dren throughout the country did, rald green who Irish, but also British history. ed women dressed thoughtfully in eme could repair and Here was an 85-year old grey hairwas Engl and nd Irela that ed rmin dete realising her predecessors mistakes ed our countries. As Queen Elizabeth touchingly the bridges that have for so long divid

bowed her head at the Garden of dreds of people throughout IrelandRemembrance, hunindividual Grandmother was not soleaccepted that this ly responsible for the Troubles. Certainly although in much smaller num were members of the society who stro bers there ngly opposed the Queens visit and such people have the righ t to express their opinions. It is not hard to unde who have lost a loved family memberrstand why people British Army are reluctant to extend at the hands of the our renowned “Cead Mile Failte” to the head of United Kingdom but the reality is that much of thisthe clination is not from such individuals. The few protdisin ests that occurred throughout the four day visit disp ing Premiership soccer jerseys. layed protestors wearIt is difficult to justify the fact that not only follow but also spend moneya person is willing to British team and seeking employment supporting a in England but oppose a visit from a monarch? British Many waited with baited breath for tremely important to remember that the speech the Queen had promised. It is exmember of the British Royal Family in such circumstances the Queen or indeed any and endless invites to the events of is not a politician. Despite her sky-high social status Queen addresses a crowd in public. the year it is a rare occasion that the reigning The fact that she decided to do so in tle, in an appearance that will forever Dublin Casdominate Irish history shows just how Britain are to repair the wounds inflic eager ted As Elizabeth admitted “it is impossibl on our idyllic island. tory” but in order to remain “so muc e to ignore the weight of histhat make us firm friends and equal h more than just neighbours, sire we must continue our hard worpartners” as both countries dek to achieve “the widespread spirit of goodwill and deep mutual unde rstanding that has served to make the relationship more harmonio us”. The few words of simple Gaeilge spok e cautiously and caringly by the queen, her beaming smile as she Prince Philips puns as he enjoyed themeet the people of Cork, beauty and culture our country has to offer, and Queen Elizabeth’s genu ine delight as she stepped off the plane have healed so, so many wou nds around our country. People longed to hear this pres us, elite royal apologise for the actions of her country in the pasttigio yet realistically this was never going to happen. By apologising dire ally accepting responsibility for man ctly the Queen would be persondoors that through years of testing y innocent deaths and re-opening been firmly closed. However Queenconsultations and discussions had heartache, turbulence and loss” and Elizabeth recognised “the suffered as a consequence of our concluded “to all those who have thoughts and deep sympathy”. troubled past I extend my sincere Queen Elizabeth may have arrived in Dublin a stranger, an unwelcome visitor but four days later Que en Elizabeth left as a friend.

THIS WEEKEND Fleadh Cheoil Chontae Shligigh

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s always the June bank holiday weekend means the Sligo County Fleadh! This year it will be held in Strandhill.Two previous Fleadhanna in Strandhill in 2005 and 2006 were enormously successful with an estimated attendance on the final Sunday in 2006 of 3 000 visitors on a glorious day. This year’s Fleadh will start with a singing session in Brees pub on Wednesday 1st at 7pm. The Fleadh official opening and concert is on Friday night in the Golf Club. The opening will be performed by Senator Leabhras Ó Murchú, director general of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. The event starts at 8pm Saturday and Sunday will see Strandhill inundated with ceoltóirí.There are pub sessions organised throughout the weekend and street entertainment on both Saturday and Sunday. As always there will be many impromptu sessions indoors and outdoors before the Fleadh closes on Sunday evening. Competitions will be held in the Primary School and in the Golf Club on Saturday and Sunday and the Innisfree Ceilí

band (all Ireland winners in 2008) will play for a monster ceilí in the Rugby Club on Saturday evening commencing at 9.30.

So with the weather up, head for the sun and the sand and the ceol and the Gaeilge and the craic this weekend to Lár Eassa!


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Paralyzed Woman Used Her Power of Mind to Conduct an Orchestra

science news & technology

My new internet friend is a car CAR giant Toyota is setting up an internet social networking service so drivers can interact with their vehicles in a way similar to posting on Facebook or Twitter. Toyota Friend is a private social network for Toyota owners.

An anonymous British woman, who became paralyzed after suffering a stroke and was diagnosed with locked-in syndrome, managed to conduct an orchestra only with her mind. The woman, who is aware of the surroundings, but cannot communicate due to paralyzed muscles, decided to take scientists' proposal to take part in the experiment. The woman wore a special cap equipped with electrodes. The latter were used to capture different patterns in the woman's brainwaves. Using the system the woman was able to play different instruments on a computer with her power of mind. According to Dr Palani Ramaswamy, of the University of Essex's School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, the woman really enjoyed the experiment that made her "feel back in control again for the first time since her stroke." To be able to develop the special computer system for the experiment, scientists in Essex decided to team up with a group of researchers from the University of Plymouth. Their system is meant to help disabled people communicate more easily. During the experiment the woman looked at images shown on a computer screen. The images flashed at different frequencies, thus generating different brain patterns. By looking at the screen she was able to select the instrument she wanted to play and the frequency images helped her play different notes. "What made this trial so innovative was that the intensity of how she was looking at the screen in terms of concentration, offered even more control and, in this case, more notes for each instrument," mentioned Ramaswamy. The researcher added that after using the system for a couple of hours, the woman was able to conduct a small orchestra. It is worth mentioning that the experiment was performed in London and the system was for the first time tested on a disabled person, reports Times Of India.

In a demonstration at a Tokyo showroom, an owner of a plug-in Prius hybrid found out through a mobile phone message from his Prius called "Pre-boy" that he should remember to recharge his car overnight.

When the owner plugged in his car to recharge it, the car replied, "The charge will be completed by 2:15 a.m. Is that OK? See you tomorrow." Since many next-generation cars need to be recharged, drivers may need real-time information, such as the battery level of their cars and locations of charging stations, more than normal petrol engined cars. The exchanges can be kept private or be shared with other "Toyota Friend" users, as well as made public on Facebook, Twitter and other services, the company said. If your car is up for an inspection, for example, the owner will be notified through "Toyota Friend," which will in turn automatically link to a dealer to set up an appointment. The plan is a joint effort

between Toyota, Microsoft and Salesforce.com. Toyota's service, built on opensource cloud platforms that are the speciality of Salesforce.com, as well as on Microsoft's platform, will start in Japan in 2012, and will be offered later worldwide, initially with electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, according to Toyota. Toyota President Akio Toyoda, a racing fan, said he always "talks" with his car when he is zipping around on the circuit. He explained that amid the popularity of social networking, cars and their makers can become part of that social interaction: "I hope cars can become friends with their users, and customers will see Toyota as a friend," he said.

Lasers will stop traffic jams Motorway tailbacks could be dramatically cut by laser technology, says the Government. Ministers are set to announce a trial of cutting edge lasers that are able to scan a motorway accident scene instantly, dramatically reducing the time the road is closed as a result. Last year alone there were 18,000 motorway closures as a result of accidents, lasting over 20,000 hours and causing thousands of miles of tailbacks. The Government estimates that this cost the economy over £1bn. Therefore, the £3m cost of this laser trial is justified because it could save hundreds of millions in lost hours, while drivers are stuck in motorway tailbacks. Currently, accident investigators have to manually take key measurements at a scene. The laser devices, however, can scan 360 degrees from a static point on top of a tripod, doing the same job in seconds. The devices, which cost £250,000 each, are only one part of a plan set to be outlined by the Government that aims to reduce the time it takes to clear accidents. Two police forces - the Metropolitan and

Humberside - have already trialled the lasers, and demonstrated that they work. Roads minister Mike Penning called the £1bn cost of road closures “an unacceptable brake on

the country's economic recovery and must be reduced.” He will set out the ten-point plan at a summit of Ministers and emergency services bosses today

Factory Where Robots Build Artificial Skin There is a factory in Germany that has several robots creating artificial skin. The latter is then used in transplants. At the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology, scientists are using animal proteins to make the skin. Currently the tests are carried out on animals, so in the near future the same process could be applied to humans. Every month the factory is able to produce 5,000 penny-sized discs of transparent tissue. The latter is whitish but according to researchers it can also be made in shades of brown. One disc costs about $72. The skin-making process is entirely controlled by robots and computers. Of course the process occurs in the sterile and climate-controlled environment. Computer-controlled lasers and blades accurately cut samples of skin. The final goal of the project is to make way for factory-produced human skin with blood vessels. If researchers reach their goal, they will be able to make a huge step toward a faster and more effective treatment of injuries, reports Der Spiegel.

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Nazis 'trained dogs to talk'

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Denmark bans Marmite! THE Nazis tried to train dogs to talk, read and spell during the Second World War, it has been revealed. The Germans attempted to build a fearsome army of 'speaking' dogs, according to new research. Hitler apparently hoped dogs would learn to communicate with their SS masters and even had a special dog school set up to teach them to talk. Nazi officials are said to have recruited socalled educated dogs from all over Germany and trained them to speak and tap out signals using their paws. One mutt was even claimed to have uttered the words 'Mein Fuhrer' when asked who Adolf Hitler was. Another 'spoke' by tapping letters of the alphabet with his paws and was said to have speculated about religion and learnt poetry. The Germans hoped to use the animals for the war effort, such as getting them to work alongside the SS and guard concentration camps to free up officers. The bizarre experiment came to light after years of painstaking research by academic Dr Jan Bondeson into unique and amazing dogs in history. Dr Bonderson, from Cardiff University, visited Berlin to scour obscure periodicals to build up a bizarre account of Nazi ideas for his book, Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities. He said: "It is absolutely extraordinary stuff. In the 1920s, Germany had numerous 'new animal psychologists' who believed dogs were nearly as intelligent as humans, and capable of abstract thinking and communication."

Parents told off for wearing PJs Parents in Middlesbrough have been asked to stop wearing pyjamas for the school run. Headteachers across 11 schools have requested that mums and dads get dressed before going onto school premises. Parents have been dropping off and picking up pupils - and even attending meetings with teachers - in their PJs, reports the local Evening Gazette. Chris Kemp-Hall, headteacher at North Ormesby school, said: "We all have the opinion that appearing at school dressed in pyjamas isn't the right way to go about things. "It's about setting an example and having self esteem." The move has also been welcomed by many parents. Terri Llewellyn-Quinn, 28, said parents heading out of their houses in their pyjamas should be "ashamed of themselves". "It's absolutely ridiculous," she said. "How long does it take to throw a pair of jeans on? I think you are asking for ridicule for your children if you can't be bothered getting dressed." Mother-of-four Claire Lynas, 32, added: "It's part of the routine of getting your children ready - dressed, breakfast, teeth brushed. A parent should do it at the same time to set an example." A Middlesbrough Council spokesman said: "This is a matter for headteachers to address with parents but the council supports schools in seeking to maintain appropriate dress and behaviour on school premises."

HEALTH and safety officials in Denmark have banned Marmite - prompting a campaign to save the savoury spread. The yeast spread, known for its 'love or hate' marketing slogan, has fallen foul of a ban on foods with added vitamins. Many well known breakfast cereal and drink brands have already been banned or taken off supermarket shelves after Danish legislation in

2004 restricted foods fortified with extra vitamins or minerals. But Marmite had escaped notice as an exotic import for a small number of ex-pats until the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration telephoned Abigail's, a Copenhagen shop selling British food, to ban it. "I don't eat it myself, I don't like it but Marmite was one of our best selling products. Not

a day goes by without someone coming in and asking for it," said Marianne Ørum, the shop owner. "All the English people here are shaking their heads in disbelief and say that it is insane. I agree but it is the law." The shop has now started a "Bring back Marmite" campaign to overturn a ban that is seen as discriminating against Britons living and working Denmark. Lyndsay Jensen, a Yorkshire-born graphic designer working in Copenhagen, said Brits would carry on spreading Marmite on their toast, even if it meant smuggling it in to Denmark. "They don't like it because it's foreign," she said. "But if they want to take my Marmite off me they'll have to wrench it from my cold dead hands." The sale of food with the "addition of vitamins, minerals and other substances" was restricted after a health scare over their effect on children or pregnant women.

Trucker attacked for diesel Truck drivers are being advised to be extra vigilant at motorway service stations after a potentially violent diesel theft. The unnamed driver had stopped at Donnington Services on the M1 when he was approached by a gang of men earlier this month (May 2011). They threatened him with violence and proceeded to siphon 40 litres of diesel - around £56 value at the pumps - from his tank. Fortunately the man was left unharmed, but the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has warned that this sort of crime is on the rise. RHA Head of Security Chrys Rampley said: "There are thieves out there who are prepared to sit and wait for hours until the right moment to siphon the fuel. However it is a rare occurrence for a driver to be approached and threatened in this manner.” The Forecourt Manager at Donnington said that this was the first time a theft of this nature had happened at the service station, with most fuel theft coming by way of forecourt 'drive-offs'. Unfortunately, added Mr Rampley, police are often powerless to stop this sort of crime. He said: “many don't record the offence due to the simple fact that once siphoned off, stolen fuel cannot be positively identified as there are no tell-tale marks or fingerprints.”

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naturalhealth

The information provided to you on this page is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice and it is important that you do not make medical decisions without first consulting your doctor

Subtle Signs of Bipolar Disorder pretty common,” says Carrie Bearden, PhD, an associate professor in residence of psychiatry and behavioural sciences and psychology at the David Geffen School of Medical at UCLA. “The disorder varies in severity.” Here are 6 signs that mood problems may be due to more than a quirky or difficult personality.

Bipolar symptoms When it comes to mental illness, there are plenty of stereotypes. But in reality, mood disorders can be hard to pinpoint—particularly in people with bipolar disorder symptoms. “Chalking it up to moodiness or trouble at work or tiredness is SUICIDE TEACH

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Inability to complete tasks Having a house full of half-completed projects is a hallmark of bipolar disorder. People who can harness their energy when they are in a hypomanic

phase can be really productive. Those who can’t often go from task to task, planning grand, unrealistic projects that are never finished before moving on to something else. “They can be quite distractible and may start a million things and never finish them,” says Don Malone, MD, the director of the Center for Behavioral Health and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio. Depression A person who is in a bipolar depressive state is going to look just like someone who has regular depression. “They have the same problems with energy, appetite, sleep, and focus as others who have ‘plain old depression,’” Dr. Malone says. Unfortunately, typical antidepressants alone don’t work well in patients who are bipolar. They can even make people cycle more frequently, worsening their condition, or send someone into a breakwith-reality episode. “Antidepressants can be downright dangerous in people with bipolar because they can send them into mania,” he says. Irritability Some people with this condition suffer from “mixed mania,” where they experience symptoms of mania and depression at the same time. During this state, they are often extremely irritable. Everyone has bad days, which is one reason this kind of bipolarity is much harder to recognize. “We are all irritable or moody sometimes,” Dr. Bearden says. “But in people with bipolar disorder it often becomes so severe

that it interferes with their relationships—especially if the person is saying, ‘I don’t know why I’m so irritable…I can’t control it.’” Rapid speech Some people are naturally talkative; we all know a motormouth or Chatty Cathy. But “pressured speech” is one of the most common symptoms of bipolar disorder. This kind of speech occurs when someone is really not in a two-way conversation, Dr. Bearden says. The person will talk rapidly and if you try to speak, they will likely just talk over you. They will also sometimes jump around to different topics. “What’s kind of a red flag is when it is atypical for the person to talk like this,” doing it only when they are in a manic cycle but not at other times, she says.

By Megan Fennell

causes excessive sleeping and additional mood problems. A lot of the workplace problems can be interpersonal ones, Dr. Malone says. Find support Let your family and friends know what you are going through. They might be able to understand your triggers and help you avoid them, or may be able to realize before you do that you’re entering a manic or depressive episode. On the other hand, family stress is also one of the biggest factors for relapse, Bearden says. If you need more support, look to organizations like the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Trouble at work People with this disorder often have difficulty in the workplace because so many of their symptoms can interfere with their ability to show up for work, do their job, and interact productively with others. In addition to having problems completing tasks, they may have difficulty sleeping, irritability, and an inflated ego during a manic phase, and depression at other times, which

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The rogue gene that could make you prone to depression By Megan Fennell DEPRESSION could be caused by a single rogue gene, scientists believe. They have discovered flaws in people’s DNA which may make them more likely to get the condition. It is hoped that their findings eventually lead to the development of better treatments for

the disorder which is notoriously difficult to manage. Researchers from Kings College London working with a team from the US have pinpointed a section of DNA which they believe is responsible for depression. This particular

region – known as chromosome 3p25-26 – contains up to 40 genes, and one or more probably causes the condition. Over the next year the scientists hope to carry out more detailed work to try and pinpoint exactly which gene is responsible. Up to one in five Irish people will suffer from depression at some point during their lives. Although it is often triggered by traumatic events - such as grief, redundancy or divorce - scientists have long known that certain people are more susceptible. Researchers studied the DNA of more than 800 British families with two or more siblings with depression. At the same time another team of scientists from the Washington University Medical School in St Louis, the US, looked at 91 families in Australia and 25 families in Finland. Genetic breakthrough: New DNA findings may suggest that depression runs in families, with people inheriting the genes from their parents. The findings, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, show that the depressed siblings had the same genetic variations in the same section of their DNA. This would suggest that depression runs in families, with people inheriting the genes from their parents. Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity Sane, said: 'It is very exciting that there seems to be progress finding the gene involved in some people developing depression. 'However, we are still some distance from identifying the "culprit" gene.'

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Ambitious project

blast past by Megan Fennell

n io is v o r u E f o y r o The Hist

from the

How it all started half a century ago A

lready for 54 years, the Eurovision Song Contest is Europe's favourite TV show. After more than five decades featuring some 1,100 songs, the contest has become a modern classic, strongly embedded into Europe's collective mind. Did you know that not only stars like ABBA, Celine Dion, Cliff Richard and Julio Iglesias took part, but also dance act Riverdance thanks its fame to the Eurovision Song Contest?

In 1955, the EBU came up with the idea of an international song contest whereby countries, represented by their respective public broadcasters, would participate in one television show, to be transmitted simultaneously in all represented nations. This was conceived during a meeting in Monaco in 1955 by Marcel Bezençon, a Frenchman working for the EBU. The competition was based upon the Italian Festival di Sanremo, held for the first time in 1951, and was also seen as a technological experiment in live television: In those days, it was a very ambitious project to join many countries together in a wide-area international network. Satellite television did not exist yet at that time, and the Eurovision Network comprised a terrestrial microwave network. Le Grand-Prix Eurovision de la Chanson EuropÊenne was born!

A

fter 54 years, the database with Eurovision Song Contest facts and figures, stories and anecdotes is huge! A true, diehard fan knows how many points Luxembourg got in 1980 (56), who came last in 1972 (Malta, with 48 points) and how many times the Netherlands got 12 points in 1996 (once, from Austria). Because no one can expect you to become a living Eurovision Song Contest encyclopaedia, Eurovision.tv takes you through the contest's history in fast forward. It's all you need to know before you dive into the rich history of the Eurovision Song Contest...

The successes

How it all began... Without interruption, the Eurovision Song Contest has been broadcast every year since 1956, which makes it one of the longest-running television programmes in the world. In 2003, the first ever Junior Eurovision Song Contest took place, while the Eurovision Song Contest celebrated her 50th anniversary 2005. Viewers picked ABBA's Waterloo as best ever Eurovision Song Contest song. In 2007, Europe could see the first ever Eurovision Dance Contest. The 2008 running saw a record of 43 represented countries, as Azerbaijan and San Marino joined the family. The competition has been broadcast throughout Europe, but also in Australia, Canada, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand and the United States, even though these countries do not participate. In 2010, the format was be launched outside of Europe so that various other parts of the world will be introduced to the concept behind the show.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) was formed on 12th February 1950 by 23 broadcasting organisations from Europe and the Mediterranean at a conference in Devon, United Kingdom. It was on the 6th of June, 1954, that Montreux became the venue for the first transmission by the EBU's Eurovision Network of the Narcissus Festival and its flower-bedecked procession floats. The first Eurovision viewers eagerly watched on four million television sets in homes, bars, and shop windows in Germany, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland.


Here is a game that you can play to test your skill. This game will present you with a matrix filled with letters. The objective is to form words by concatenating adjacent letters. Letters that are to the left, right, on top, bottom, or on a diagonal to each other are all acceptable.

SAMPLE PUZZLE Here are some words that can be found in this sample matrix: any chant panel path trench Here are some words that are not valid in this puzzle: chance - uses the 'c' twice chaps - 's' is not adjacent

PUZZLE TIME ACROSS

by Megan Fennell

WIN! 25

1. Arch cur is undone by tarred hide stretched on a frame for sea travel in the Aran Islands. (7) 4. Burn up, ebb away, so go to Tyrone battle site where Owen Roe O'Neill defeated General Munro in 1646. (7) 9. Egyptian queen shortly gets a star sign after a century. (4) 10.Three ill, and without apparent ease, resulting in a wave of emotion. (6) 11. "She's as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the ----." Sheridan. (4) 12. Happy face seen for miles around. (5) 13. Athletic bean? (6) 14. More than a strong desire expressed in Enniscrone editorial. (4) 16. Managed what 13 across did. (3) 18. "The snotgreen ---.The scrotumtightening ---." Joyce. (3) 21. ".... you --- shatter the vase if you will but the scent of the roses will hang around it still." Moore (3) 23. Ben Casey tally. (anag.) Monaghan town on the shore of Lough Muckno with good coarse fishing. (13) 24. Given something to satisfy hunger in a Drumcliffe dining room. (3) 25. "Then said I, --- is me! for I am undone." Isaiah Chap. 6 verse 11. (3) 26. Portglenone terms include figure free of deductions. (3) 29. "The ---- lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity." Yeats. (4) 30. Dote at version up until now. (2,4) 32. "When the going gets -----, the ----- get going." Joseph P. Kennedy (father of John F. Kennedy). (5) 33. Get a short haircut in Meath town on the Boyne with the biggest Norman castle in Ireland. (4) 34. E.g. Dane will put up the business order. (6) 35. "Did not the poet say it with such ----, that one believed he had a sword upstairs." Yeats. (4) 36. Leg Andy broke healed in pretty Wicklow village near the Glen of the Downs. (7) 37. Men rake over in scenic Kerry town noted for lace-making. (7)

Mercedes cars are named after an Austrian girl In 1897, Austrian businessman Emil Jellinek, travelled from his home in Nice, France to purchase a car from the Daimler factory in Cannstatt, Germany. On his return to the French Riviera, his sporting Daimler Phoenix caused such a sensation that he decided to enter it into a local touring competition, under the name of “Mercedes”. The Mercedes trade name was registered after Daimler’s death in 1900 and the 3-pointed star became the trade mark. Daimler had once drawn the emblem on a postcard to his wife, the star symbolizing the growth of the business into transport on land, sea and air. First travel book Tourism is a $4 trillion-a-year industry, affecting more than 200 million jobs, or 1 in 10 workers. But tourism actually is an old industry, dating back to the first Olympics in 776BC. Even in ancient Rome it was popular to travel up the Nile to Thebes to view the statues. The first book on travel, aptly called “Travel” was published by Jehan de Mandeville (anglicised to Sir John Mandeville) in 1357. It became a best seller and was translated into 9 language. World’s first successful freelance musician Ludwig von Beethoven is known as the man who freed music and is the first composer who never had an official court position. Thus he is known as the world’s first successful freelance musician.

DOWN 1. Club Ron bent in Galway village situated between Loughs Corrib and Mask near Benlevy mountain. (7) 2. "Laws grind the poor, and rich men ---- the law." Goldsmith. (4) 3. Not open although nigh on five hundred end up there. (6) 5. Competes in Inishkeen tersely. (6) 6. Noun I disposed of when describing marriage in this Hall in West Cork? 7. Make changes by altar in quiet Louth village with a fine golf course, at the mouth of the Boyne . (7) 8. Rough O.B.E. alibi. (anag.) Cavan town whose Catholic Church has remarkable Stations of the Cross. (13) 9. Dan returned after family group to see popular Irish musical group of the eighties and nineties. (7) 15.Takes food out east. (4)

17. It's on the cards that there is one winner in Ballina certainly. (3) 18.Take the needle returning through Portlaw Estate. (3) 19. Beer seen in several Enniskillen establishments. (3) 20. Greek harp apparently has little credibility amongst Emly residents. (4) 21. Experienced advisers sort men out. (7) 22. Ever positive with this vote! (3) 24. Herd fat enough for dispersal in Wexford village on the Hook where Strongbow landed in 1170. (7) 27. More art to dispose of in popular Waterford resort with a 3 mile strand and a famous Metal Man. (7) 28. Keep there if date in doubt. (6) 29. Exist, and own together, but conduct oneself. (6) 31. Live in old Wellingtons. (5) 33. Old transport both ways in Beltra mart. (4)

LAST ISSUE’S

ANSWERS

The World’s Number 1 Killer Heart disease is the number 1 killer for both males and females. It kills a lot more people than ALL forms of cancer tumours put together. In fact, it kills more people than war or accidents. Cardiovascular diseases and ischemic heart disease cause more than 40% of all deaths, according to the World Health Organization. And it is an equal opportunity destroyer. Everyone, everywhere, every time can have a cardiac arrest. Human eye detects sound The human eye can detect millions of colors and is sensitive to light and sounds. Yes, sound. University research studies show that mild and incidental noises cause the pupils of the eyes to dilate. According to David Louis’s book of Fascinating Facts, it is believed that this is why surgeons, watchmakers, and others who perform delicate manual operations are so bothered by uninvited noise: the sounds cause their pupils to change focus and blur their vision.

To be in with a chance of winning, fill out the crossword and your your name, telephone number and address and post to Puzzle Time Competition, Northwest Express, Unit 3, Riverview House, Barret Street, Ballina, Co. Mayo. - Good Luck!!       Name:      Address:          number:  Telephone                                          25. hoer (2) 26. hora (2) 27. ogre (2) 28. rage (2) 29. rear (2) 30. ruga (2)

31. urea (2) 32. urge (2) 33. age (1) 34. ago (1) 35. ear (1) 36. ego (1)

37. ere (1) 38. erg (1) 39. gae (1) 40. gar (1) 41. get (1) 42. ghi (1)

  

19. goer (2) 20. grue (2) 21. heir (2) 22. here (2) 23. hire (2) 24. hoar (2)

43. goa (1) 44. goo (1) 45. gor (1) 46. her (1) 47. het (1) 48. hie (1)

49. hoe (1) 50. hog (1) 51. ire (1) 52. jet (1) 53. oar (1) 54. oho (1)

55. ooh (1) 56. ora (1) 57. rag (1) 58. reg (1) 59. rei (1) 60. ret (1)

61. rho (1) 62. roe (1) 63. rue (1) 64. rug (1) 65. teg (1) 66. ugh (1)

              

13. urger (3) 14. ager (2) 15. ague (2) 16. eger (2) 17. ergo (2) 18. gear (2)

                     

          

7. hirer (3) 8. roger (3) 9. rogue (3) 10. rugae (3) 11. terga (3) 12. trier (3)

  

1. aerugo (4) 2. regear (4) 3. eager (3) 4. eagre (3) 5. egret (3) 6. erugo (3)

Did you know?

Word Puzzle!

                  


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Temple House Music & Arts Festival All You Need to Know

- www.templehousefestival.com

• Temple House Festival is a 3 day multi-stage boutique arts & music festival with a difference which takes place in the stunning magical grounds of the Temple House estate near Ballymote in Sligo from 10-12 June 2011. • Recently voted “Best New Festival” at the 2010 European Festival Awards, Temple House Festival is shaping up to be the “Best Fest in the West” this summer with over 120 bands performing on 4 stages in the stunning grounds of the Temple House estate. • The Temple House Festival, which has a capacity of 5000 festival goers, promises to be a little bit different and provide a relaxed chilled out atmosphere in idyllic surroundings, which will captivate and enthral anyone who attends. • Temple House will once again rock with a musical line-up as deep and eclectic as the rest of the entertainment on offer, with a mixture of alternative & indie rock, reggae, funk, blues, soul, dance, roots, folk, trad, electro and rock & roll. • Described by one of last year’s attendees as “A wonderful festival… like a smaller, friendlier Glastonbury” Temple House Tickets 3 day weekend tickets including optional camping cost 120 and day tickets cost 50 (including booking fee however they maybe subject to a service charge depending on ticket agent). Tickets are available online from www.ticketmaster.ie and from ticketmaster outlets nationwide or by phone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Republic of Ireland 0818 719 300 3 Day Ticket 1 Adult (O/18) + upto 2 Children (U12) – optional free camping 120 3 Day Ticket 1 Adult + campervan 140 Adult Day Ticket (Over 18) 50

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          

Sunday, 12th June

  

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Acoustic Stage: – Walled Garden: Rory and The Island, Rory Faithfield, Aisling O’Reilly, The Ball & Chain, Bailer, David Burke, Wyvern Lingo, Finnian Kelleher, Deirdre Keelan, Peter Baldwin Bandwagon TV Stage: – Rose Garden : Henrietta Game, Neptune City, Eugene Donegan, Clive Barnes, Sanszkrit

Bavaria Main Stage : Aslan, Something Happens, Lisa Hannigan, Jamie Lawson, CW Stoneking, The Raglans, Storyfold, Tupelo, Sweet Jane, 2Minutes2Midnight, The Music Maker Stage: Bipolar Empire, Riptide Movement, Oddsocks Revival, Roisin O, Heathers,GMiley & The Soul Street Orchestra, The Barley Mob, Colin Scallan, Electric Penguins, The Hoop, Slap! Acoustic Stage – Walled Garden: Mark Black, Hamlet Sweeney, My Bad Self, John Smith, Rhob Cunningham, Jason Clarke, Stephanie Rainey, Eoin Glackin, Glenn Cal, Damian Nash Bandwagon TV Stage -Rose Garden: Paul Crean and the changing band, Willie Kelly, Red Queen Contest, A Smile Just Came, Saramai & The Swords,  Gog and The Grinders

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TRADITIONAL FOLK MUSIC AT THE LINENHALL

Seán Tyrrell, Kevin Glackin & Ronan Browne, three of the most highly respected musicians on the Irish traditional/folk scene, come together for a night of great music and song at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar on Thursday 9th June at 8.00pm. Seán Tyrrell, renowned for his unique singer/songwriter talents, joins forces with legendary fiddle player Kevin Glackin and creative uilleann piper Ronan Browne as part of the Tyrrell Glackin Browne CD Tour. Seán, Kevin and Ronan have been playing and performing together since the 1980s but have only now (after major hounding by their fans) recorded a CD of songs and tunes, entitled “and so the story goes…”. The CD is “nicely balanced between gentle and wild, without suffering from that modern ailment, over-production - just warm, friendly music and singing.” Can’t say fairer than that. “and so the story goes…” is released by Cló Iar Chonnachta in May.

Nationwide Service

TEL: 085-8438516

Seán Tyrrell, Kevin Glackin & Ronan Browne perform at the Linenhall Arts Centre on Thursday 9th June at 8.00pm. Booking advised. Tel: 094 9023733 The Linenhall Arts Centre acknowledges

the financial support of the Arts Council in making this performance possible. “A power trio… Browne, Glackin, and Tyrrell make music that describes what they used say about Guinness - It’s good for you.” - John O’Regan

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KATHERINE LYNCH LIVE

Truman Town Theatre presents the poignant, dark new comedy “Sunday Morning Coming Down” at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar on Wednesday 15th June at 8.00pm. Written by Mick Donnellan, “Sunday Morning Coming Down” is a rural play set in the playwright’s home town of Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. It centres around the McGuire family and their often comic attempts to perform as a functional family in a house dominated by alcohol, religion and social pressures: the two brothers, teacher John and slaughterhouse worker Chris; father and gravedigger Joe, in a rocky marriage with Theresa. And then ex-girlfriend Sharon arrives on the scene to throw John’s future plans into turmoil. Presenting us with razor sharp wit and a tight character-driven story, Mick describes the play as “a rollercoaster of comedy, tragedy, and the hilarity often associated with the darker side of a small Irish town”. “Sunday Morning Coming Down” was staged as a sell-out public reading by Druid Theatre company in 2009. Here’s the chance to see the play in its full glory. Truman Town Theatre presents “Sunday Morning Coming Down” at the Linenhall Arts Centre on Wednesday 15th June at 8.00pm. Booking advised. Tel: 094 9023733.

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After 2009’s nationwide sell out tour and an incredible 12 nights in Vicar Street, Leitrim funny lady KATHERINE LYNCH is back and bolder than ever with a BRAND SPANKING NEW, no holes barred, pull no punches, “If ya don’t like it there’s the bleedin’ door”, LIVE comedy show, “THE HACK OF YA TOUR” Hot on the heels of her smash hit Christmas number one DVD and ratings topping RTE series “ SINGLE LADIES”, the one and only Miss Lynch brings her clutch of

kooky comedy head-cases to life this AUGUST at Dublin’s VICAR STREET for an evening of high octane performances, cheeky comedy, slapstick song and dance and great laughs. ickets are available on www.ticketmaster.ie as well as from the Royal Theatre Box Office on 0818 300 000. Tickets are 28.00 incl. booking fee, other service charges may apply. For further information please check the Royal Theatre website on: www.royaltheatre.ie or www.ticketmaster.ie

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Ballina Arts Centre, Barrett Street, Ballina, Co. Mayo. Tel: 096 – 73593. E-mail: ballinaartscentre@eircom.net • Ballina • Ballaghaderreen • Ballinrobe • Belmullet • Claremorris • Castlebar • Swinford • Tubbercurry • Westport C&C Cellular is the longest established mobile phone retailer in Ireland with over 20 years experience. We are the Vodafone accredited agent for Mayo supplying all the latest handsets and special offers. Our staff offers the best service to all our personal, business and corporate customers.

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm (Closed 1-2pm Lunch), Saturday 10am – 3pm

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Market Square, Ballina, Co Mayo PHONE /FAX: 09673222 - ballina@candc.ie

something for every occasion Best wishes to the Ballina Arts Centre from all at Just-In Boutique

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For a detailed list of events check out the ‘calendar of events’ within this feature or log onto www.ballinaartscentre.com


“State of the ART but one room was left out” By Susan Miller

I

t is very ‘fitting’ to say that Ballina Arts Centre is a centre which can only be described as “State of the Art”. The impressive 4.5m Arts Centre is located on Barrett Street, Ballina and is set on the banks of the River Moy. The architecturally designed building captures the most amazing views of Ballina’s famous River and stepping up from the coffee shop area one can really feel like they are “Walking on Water” with the floor to ceiling and wall to wall window that the River Moy circulates around – “Amazing”. The re-developed Arts Centre was officially opened on Thursday 5th May 2011 and Mr. Sean Walsh (Arts Centre Director) already has a calendar full of events that is truly bringing this state of the art building to life. All the requirements of the proposed development were challenging but successfully met by Kevin Keegan - Ballina’s Town Architect. As a result the Arts Centre boasts facilities such as an auditorium with a seated capacity of 240 ideal for music, theatre, dance and film events; a purpose built dance studio; a rehearsal space; workshop areas; and visual arts gallery space – with a printmaking studio; a coffee shop; and visual art resource library in the pipeline for the near future. Thanks to Sean Walsh (Arts Centre Director) and Martin Smith (Arts Centre PRO), I managed to get a behind the scenes tour of what the entertainers / actors can expect. “The changing facilities are what I would expect to find in Hollywood! Mirror lit vanity units line the walls inside the changing rooms and shower facilities are also available”.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, as I toured this building, I was overwhelmed with different feelings. As I overlooked the River Moy from the breathtaking window wall, I wanted this building to be my home! As I stepped into the dance studio, I got carried away and danced a little step or two before the mirrored wall, walking across the floor of the auditorium – I felt like I had an audience behind me so I quickly ran off stage! Finally, as I stepped into the changing rooms, I looked into the mirror on the wall and said ‘WOW’, I felt like a VIP!” “What a feeling…..” The building speaks for itself. The programme of events is extensive. They did however run out of space and they did

not have any “Room for Disappointment”! Ballina Arts Centre - a pleasing experience. Why not experience it yourself?

Ideal venue for Pre-Theatre drinks 3 Mins walk from the Arts Centre 4 Course Meal only 25 Trad & Ballad session every Fri, Sat & Sun

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Best Wishes to the Ballina Arts Centre from everyone at

THE BROKEN JUG

“Currently on display in the Arts Centre is an exhibition of work titled North Mayo Retrospect – Selected Works from Irish Public & Private Collections 1990-2010 by one of Ireland’s leading painters”

arts centre

Hughie O’Donoghue

M

BALLINA TEL: 096-72379 Situated in the heart of Ballina this extensive pub is really warm, welcoming and cosy. Providing the very best in food and drink, their carvery lunches are superb.

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Best wishes and continued success to Ballina Arts Centre from Leo Doherty Menswear

H

ughie O’Donoghue was born in Manchester in 1953 and spent many childhood summers in Bangor-Erris, Co. Mayo – where his mother had come

from. This exhibition runs until 25th June and a full colour, illustrated catalogue accompanies this exhibition. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.

usically, you can expect a wide variety of artists and styles: Camille O’Sullivan, Dublin City Jazz Orchestra, The Chamber Philharmonic Europe Orchestra, Finbar Furey,Andy Irvine, Young Choon Park, O Emperor. Something for everyone. Film fans can look forward to a Stanley Kubrick retrospective as well as Sound and Vision - an annual film festival which celebrates music in film. The new auditorium will also host some great theatre throughout the next three months. Dance Enthusiasts will be delighted to hear that the Dance Theatre of Ireland are bringing their spectacular ‘Block Party’ show in July, while in May Áine Egan’s DanceWorld will wow Ballina with their annual extravaganza.The opening season will be highlighting some of the many talented local groups and performers with the aforementioned DanceWorld as well as Mayo Youth Theatre,The Moy Singers, Stephen Doyle and Lavinia Gilmartin’s All-Star Academy.

• Main St, Castlebar, Co. Mayo Tel: 094-9022875 • Pearse St, Ballina, Co. Mayo Tel: 096-60888

Market sq, Ballina Co. Mayo Tel: (096)72525

Best Wishes to The Roscommon GAA team on the upcoming season


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY FULL METAL JACKET (FILM) TUESDAY 7TH JUNE, 8pm

EYES WIDE SHUT (FILM) – TUESDAY 14TH JUNE, 8pm

SOUND + VISION

2011: 4TH – 9TH JULY Once again, Sound + Vision, Ballina’s Film Festival, aims to celebrate music in film with a programme of film screenings and dance. This year the programme will focus on the golden era of hip-hop on film, with a selection of classic titles from the 1980’s. The programme includes Dance Theatre of Ireland’s ‘Block Party’, a spectacular production rooted in the Hip-Hop tradition.

BOMBSHELLS, 10TH JUNE, 8pm (Dir: Stanley Kubrick USA 1999) (Dir: Stanley Kubrick UK/USA 1987) A two-segment look at the effect of the military mindset and war itself on Vietnam era Marines. The first half follows a group of recruits in basic training under the command of the punishing Drill Sgt. Hartman (R. Lee Ermey). The second half shows one of those recruits, Joker (Matthew Modine) covering the war as a correspondent for Stars and Stripes Magazine, where he is caught up in the real violence of the Tet offensive. Adm: 5

Doctor William Harford (Tom Cruise) becomes obsessed with having a sexual encounter after his wife (Nicole Kidman) admits to having sexual fantasies about a man she met and chastising him for dishonesty in not admitting to his own fantasies. This sets him off into unfulfilled encounters with a dead patient’s daughter and a call girl. But when he visits a nightclub, where a pianist friend is playing, he learns about a secret sexual group and decides to attend one of their congregations. However, he quickly learns he is in well over his head and finds he and his family are threatened. Adm: 5

Written by Joanna Murray-Smith, featuring Angela Ryan and Jasmin Finn and directed by George B. Miller, Bombshells is a rip-roaring, explosive and hilarious evening spent with several generations of women on the edge. Following a successful run at Galway’s Bank of Ireland Theatre Bombshells went on to be one of the highlights of the Theatre Stage Mindfield Programme at Electric Picnic 2009. In keeping with Jasango's commitment to collaboration, this production showcases smart, haunting music by the Go Away Birds and the evocative artwork of Cork Artist Katie Egerton. Adm: 12 / 10. Booking Advised.

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DANCE THEATRE OF IRELAND, BLOCK PARTY, FRIDAY 8TH JULY, 8pm plosive percussion and music played live. Dance Theatre of Ireland perform within a design more clever than a Rubik’s cube, with the dancers constructing and restructuring the giant-sized gigantic blocks before your very eyes. Block Party is full of zest, colour, mystery, imagination and fun. Don’t miss it. Adm. 12/10. Booking advised

Roving dancers and musicians, flying blocks, human architecture, vanishing structures – it’s a BLOCK PARTY! As part of Sound + Vision 2010: Wild Style, Ballina Arts Centre will present Dance Theatre of Ireland’s Block Party. This colourful, vibrant dance production is ac-

companied by live musicians and is suitable for all ages. With choreography by Robert Connor & Loretta Yurick, music by Robbie Harris and design b Andrew Clancy, Block Party merges the worlds of dance, music and architecture, to immerse you in a vibrant world of colour and play, set to ex-

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BY John McTigue THE northwest is set to endure a number of years of worry over gas exploration. In the midst of towns and villages in Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan, Roscommon and Donegal exploration companies will be searching for gas and the worry is they may use a harmful technique known as ‘hydraulic fracturing’, commonly known as ‘fracking. It has been in use for over a hundred years but was only made commercially viable and useful in the 1940s. It is credited with expanding oil and gas reserves, by increasing productivity and reviving old wells. However in recent years the rising price of oil and gas and dwindling supplies has pushed companies to explore in previously unprofitable areas and advances in the fracking process has enabled the productive and profitable extraction of gas from shale deposits. Shale gas has always been known about but is notoriously difficult to extract in large and dependable amounts. Advances in fracking technology has actully lead to a ‘shale gas boom’. Fracking is highly controversial and is thought to possibly contaminate drinking water, rivers, lakes etc., harm local animal and plant life and pose an immediate threat to people due to gas explosions and gas leaks. It consists of injecting a combination of sand-water and a cocktail of dangerous chemicals into the ground to expand existing geological fractures, or create man-made ones, to facilitate easier access to gas and increase production. Fracking has been widely used for decades, but its use has expanded hugely since shale gas began to be exploited and therefore the increased fears for environmental damage. Licenses granted to two companies to explore for gas in the northwest in February this year has stoked fears that fracking was imminent, however the licenses granted are strictly for gathering data and only allow ‘geological sam-

pling’ up to a depth of 200m. No substantial drilling is allowed, yet. The epi-centre of global shale gas production is the mid-Atlantic states of America and particularly Pennsylvania. Here thousands of shale gas wells are being drilled annually using fracking and it is expected that there will be 100,000 such wells by the end of the decade. Charges of water pollution abound, gas leaks have forced local evacuations and even houses have exploded due to gas leaks from shale gas wells. In America the regulation system is struggling to keep apace with this new advance in gas extraction to the detriment of local populations. China is now beginning to adopt American fracking techniques for its shale gas reserves. Opposition to companies looking to extract shale gas using fracking has erupted in France, England, Australia and of course the USA. Shale gas production has increased by 71 per cent over the last decade.Tens of billions are being invested in the industry in America every year. Market pressures of rising prices and dwindling supplies will push the extraction of shale gas no matter the environmental concerns or regulatory frameworks. The cocktail of chemicals used in fracking consists of anumber of carcinogens and even radioactive material. An EPA report in 2010 found that drinking water near a ‘fracked’ gas well in America had indeed been contaminated by chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, however they did not conclusively say that it was caused by the well. It is thought about a third of the chemicals remain in the ground and there are serious difficulties with disposing of the waste water. Not to mention the dangers of subsidence, seismic activity and damge to the local eco-system in general. In 2006 it was estimated by Finavera, an Irish oil exploration company with licenses for exploration of the coast of Donegal, that there was 9.4 trillion cubic feet of gas under the northwest valued at 94

REPORTS IN THE U.S. HAVE BEEN MADE BY LOCAL RESIDENTS ABOUT TAP WATER CATCHING FIRE WHEN A MATCH IS LIT against the border. LANGCO have been granted a license to explore an area of 467 km squared. The area covers central Leitrim and bits of Roscommon, Sligo and Cavan (essentially north of Lough Allen). According to the same maps referenced above the area of immediate interest will be around Drumkeeran, Co. Leitrim, just north of Lough Allen. The licenses awarded in February are for a duration of two years. The licenses oblige the companies to gather data on potential gas resources in their area. The licence does not allow drilling however it does allow “shallow geological sampling where subsurface penetrations would typically not exceed 100200m.” They require permission from landowners to enter land. The companies are then obliged to submit reports on the potential resources in the area and detailed

BUT DANGER

LIES AHEAD

billion euro. This is the figure most in the NCB. The NCB, consists of often quoted in articles on the sub- the lower half of a geological area ject. (What they don’t say is that the which extends into Northern Iresame report says only 40 per cent land where curiously it is called the of that 9.4 trillion is recoverable and Southeast Carboniferous Basin. that due to gas price fluctuations its It covers a large area of the northworth is actually between 20 and 30 west stretching from south Donegal, billion euro.) to north Leitrim and from east In March 2010 Mayo to west Conor Lenihan then Cavan. It includes Junior Minister at the Unless the parts of Donegal, Department of Com- government and Sligo, Leitrim, munications Energy local communities Cavan, Roscomand Natural Remon and Mayo. sources (DCENR), in- are prepared we’ll vited applications for have a dispute Tamboran have licenses to explore which could out been granted a lifor gas in the Northcense to explore west Carboniferous Corrib gas into the an area of 986 km (NCB) and Clare ha’penny place. squared. The area basins. straddles the borSubsequently on der and consists of February 14, 2011 it was announced much of north Leitrim, northwest that two companies, Tamboran Re- Cavan and a bit of north Sligo. Acsources PTY Ltd (Australian) and cording to maps from the DCENR the Lough Allen Natural Gas Com- the most promising location in the pany (LANGCO) Ltd. (Irish), were area granted to Tamboran is around granted licencses to explore for gas Upper Lough Macnean, in Cavan

Protesting against Fracking in Ireland

plans on what they plan to do with the information they have gathered. This must be done within three months of the license expiring. The licenses granted to Tamboran Resources and LANGCO are basically for information gathering. Preparation work for any potential drilling, or attempts at actual gas exploration. However this does not mean there’s no immediate risk to public safety. The Corrib gas project shows that oil or gas exploration is a long-running game and inadequate concern for public safety can result in disaster. These companies will be ready with detailed plans for any drilling they might wish to perform by late 2012, which will be around in a twinkling of an eye. Unless the government and local communities are prepared we’ll have a dispute that could put Corrib gas into the ha’penny place.


2 June 2011 Issue 13 - Volume 12 CEMETERY SERVICES & MAINTENANCE

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PAGE 10 10 PAGE

PAGES 24-27 24-27 PAGES

CRAIGAVON AND BALLINA TWINNING INITIATIVE

PAGE 12 12 PAGE

No Fracking yet Photo by Lenny (www.zxcode.com)

But Danger Lies Ahead BY John McTigue

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This Bank holiday weekend and the following weekend promises to be a real treat for any music lover out there. Whether it’s Damien Demsey you want to hear or Declan O Rourke the choice is yours. From Ballymotes Temple House to the Westfest in Ballyhaunis there are over 200 different performers lined up for an incredible feast of music. See page 22 for Temple house line up and page 4 for details on the WestFest.

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THE northwest is set to endure a number of years of worry over gas exploration. In the midst of towns and villages in Leitrim, Sligo, Cavan, Roscommon and Donegal exploration companies will be searching for gas and the worry is they may use a harmful technique known as ‘hydraulic fracturing’, commonly known as ‘fracking. It has been in use for over a hundred years but was only made commercially viable and useful in the 1940s. It is credited with expanding oil and gas reserves, by increasing productivity and reviving old wells. However in recent years the rising price of oil and gas and dwindling supplies has pushed companies to explore in previously unprofitable areas and advances in the fracking process has enabled the productive and profitable extraction of gas from shale deposits. Shale gas has always been known about but is notoriously difficult to extract in large and dependable amounts. Advances in fracking technology has actully lead to a ‘shale gas boom’. Fracking is highly controversial and is thought to possibly contaminate drinking water, rivers, lakes etc., harm local animal and plant life and pose an immediate threat to people due to gas explosions and gas leaks. It consists of injecting a combination of sand-water and a cocktail of dangerous chemicals into the ground to expand existing geological fractures, or create man-made ones, to facilitate easier access to gas and increase production. Fracking has been widely used for decades, but its use has expanded hugely since shale gas began to be exploited and therefore the increased fears for environmental damage. See Centre Pages for full story

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• Cavity Wall Insulaon • Ac Insulaon • External Insulaon • Grant Work Approved Contact Keith - Energy Consultant: 085-1053588 info@cozygreenhomes.ie / www.cozygreenhomes.ie

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Northwest Express - June 2nd 2011