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BlanchInformer 20,000 copies delivered monthly

August 2010 • Unit 38, Northwood Court, Santry, Dublin 9 • Tel: 01 813 8786 • Email: info@informer.ie • Web: www.informer.ie

Blanchardstown • Castleknock • Carpenterstown • Ongar • Littlepace • Huntstown

Jobs crisis in A peek at the Reek! Blanchardstown

After a few all too brief months of stabilisation, the national live register surpassed its previous all-time high early last month, with a figure of over 450,000. According to the latest pubBy Cathy Geagan lished report from the Central Statistics Office, there are now hitting home at the local level. 8,565 people signing on the live Unfortunately, there is no action from the government to tackle the register at the Blanchardstown unemployment crisis”. Social Welfare Office (an increase The publication of this report of 460 people signing on in June from the CSO coincided with the 2010 alone). quarterly annual accounts, which Comparing this figure with stashowed GDP growing in the first tistics for June 2007, the impact three months of the year, a figure of the current economic climate hailed by the Minister for Finance on the Blanchardstown area could as evidence that Ireland is out of not be starker – the numbers sign- the recession. ing on have increased by 4,938 Dr. Varadkar is not convinced, from 3, 627, an increase of saying that while: “the govern136%. ment can talk their way around all Local Dublin 15 TD and the the statistics in the world and preFine Gael spokesperson on tend things are on the mend...until Communications, Energy and the dole queues stop increasing, Natural Resources Leo Varadkar and begin to fall dramatically, this said: “These figures demonstrate recovery talk from them is just how this national catastrophe is nonsense. Each and every one of

Government sport spending all wrong Labour's Mary Upton - Page 3

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the 8,565 signing on in Dublin 15 would be able to tell you this”. For Dublin West Labour TD Joan Burton, “long-term unemployment is the single greatest social and economic challenge facing the country”, and these figures are evidence of a “selfdefeating” approach to the economy by the government, which has caused “an unemployment epidemic” that shows no signs of abating in the near future. Ms Burton acknowledged that the monthly spike of an additional 460 people signing on in early summer can be partially explained by seasonal factors such as the end of term for students. However, she pointed out that an increase “which equates to 22 people every working day for the month of June” is evidence that the government “have so far refused to tackle a jobs crisis that continues to spiral out of control”.

Mega-hikes for Mega-bites!: In July 14 staff and volunteers of Mega-bites Youth Café in Lucan climbed Croagh Patrick for the event “Mega-Mountain Climb - Conquering Croagh Patrick” to raise much needed funds. Donations can be made to the café online at www.mycharity.ie/charity/megabitesyouthcafe.

Dublin's Shannon Water? Radical proposal to pipe water to Dublin with an eco-park en-route

News Feature Page 10

Win tickets to see

Spring Awakening at the Helix

The National Youth Musical Theatre presents this Tony Award winning musical - See Page 22

Irish Aid making a huge impact in haiti Minister Peter Power - Page 3

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2

The Informer

The Drift The Informer Poll Yes

no

Have you bought on-line in the past month?

Do you trust the internet as a safe place to shop? Dublin Total

Dublin Total

10%

90%

Santry

Santry

15%

85%

Lucan

5%

95% Blanchardstown

Raheny

10%

Swords

15%

85%

10%

90%

Rathmines

Rathmines

20%

15%

85%

Rathfarnham

Rathfarnham

5%

95% Dún Laoghaire

10%

80%

Dún Laoghaire

5%

25%

75%

Dundrum

Dundrum

10%

10%

90%

Sandyford

95%

20%

80%

Swords

90%

25%

75%

Raheny

95%

10%

90%

Blanchardstown

5%

95%

80%

5%

95%

Lucan

90%

25%

75%

Sandyford

5%

95%

5%

Survey carried out on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th August 2010. This is a “door step” survey. Total number of people interviewed is 200 with 20 residents being interviewed in their homes in each of the areas shown by The NRBI on behalf of Informer Newspapers. Results published do not reflect the views or the opinions of the Informer Newspapers or any of its employees

Dublin by Numbers

134 DublinInformer

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This is the number of times Women's Aid provided support workers to accompany women to court in 2009. According to Women's Aid: "Women making applications for orders under the domestic violence legislation experience great stress. The violence being inflicted can be demoralising and humiliating. Confronting a technical legal court system, which has a language and procedure they may be unfamiliar with, is intimidating."

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The Informer

Comment & Debate Irish aid is making a huge impact in Haiti

Last night hundreds of thousands of Haitian families sheltered from torrential rain in shacks made from waste wood and sheets of plastic. This morning, the adults face a long day searching for food for their children amongst the ruins of their country. I have visited some of the world’s poorest countries in my role as Minister for Overseas Development, but the situation in Haiti is the most desperate I have witnessed. It is an almost unique combination of grinding poverty and complete physical devastation. Aside from the appalling loss of life, some

190,000 houses were destroyed in the earthquake, leaving 1.5m people in need of shelter. The United Nations and Irish humanitarian agencies such as Concern, Trocaire-Caritas and GOAL are using Irish Government funding to bring dignity to the lives of the homeless, installing basic amenities such as latrines and water stands. I visited the inhuman conditions in the Place de la Paix camp, which is home to 20,000 people in the ruins of the national football stadium. Concern has put in place a rudimentary drainage system to carry away storm water. This, along with canvaswalled toilet blocks have helped to prevent the

Government all wrong on sport spending The recently announced revised National Development Plan has once again shown that when it comes to striking a balance between current and capital spending in sports, the government has got it all wrong. Earlier this summer the Government published their 'Infrastructure Investment Priorities 2010 - 2016: A Financial Framework', an update of the National Development Plan. Within this plan the Government has promised e370 million for sports capital investment to the year 2016. That's all well and good, but all relevant research in this area indicates that if we really want to increase participation rates in sports, building brand spanking new sports facilities for individual clubs in every city, town and village, will have little or no impact. There must be a serious question mark over precisely what return we will get on this investment, but I would be very surprised if it made any impression at all at grass roots level. Research has shown that providing facilities does not increase participation. Research commissioned by the Irish Sports Council over a number of years has even gone so far as to call sports funding "regressive" in that it is a transfer of resources to the more well off and more likely to be involved in sport, from the less well off. The research has shown that the lack of sporting facilities is cited as a reason for non participation in sport by less than 1 per cent of people. More important were costs of participation and issues such as transport, and these are the areas that could well be tackled using state funds. The Irish Sports Council already has the perfect vehicle in

By Mary Upton TD Labour Party spokesperson on Arts, Sport and Tourism

place for increasing participation in certain socio-economic groups; the Local Sports Partnerships, and these bodies are crying out for a decent level of funding. There are over 30 of LSPs now in situ around the country carrying out very valuable work. Labour has already made a commitment that in Government we would seek to at least double funding to LSPs, financed by an extension of the betting levy to remote gambling operators. While certain capital development, based on a coherent national policy is to be welcomed, the spending of finite resources on improving facilities that may not result in increased participation must raise serious questions. One can only surmise that the Government does not even bother to study the research that they have commissioned in developing a modern coherent sports policy. The only other explanation is that they intend to continue with the practice of, in the words of Dr. Jane Suiter, 'Chieftains delivering'. By this she means a boat house here, a club house there, when their success in increasing participation, amongst the non actives groups has been shown to be negligible.

spread of disease. I also visited the Petionville area of Port au Prince, where Irish Aid is funding World Vision to run child-friendly spaces which are a cross between a play group and a health clinic. These tented areas allow children to play together and to receive basic healthcare and counselling. Having spent a morning in some of Port au Prince’s most desperate camps I was amazed and moved to see how Irish funding has helped to restore some normality to these children’s lives. The centres are clean and bright, the children were painting, drawing, singing and dancing, like children anywhere in the world.

I was struck in the days immediately following the earthquake by the enormous generosity of the Irish people at a time of economic hardship in contributing millions of euro to charities and NGOs working in Haiti. The government has also pledged e13 million which, combined with public contributions, makes Ireland one of the largest per capita contributors to the relief effort. Having seen at first hand the sheer scale of the devastation, I know just how much this contribution is both necessary and appreciated. Peter Power TD is Minister for Overseas Development


4

Green Scene

Solar revolution from Dublin

In one hour the earth receives more energy from the sun than the human race uses in a year so it isn’t surprising that solar energy installation is doubling year on year. These days we are all familiar not only with the collector systems that provide many of us with hot water but with silicon-based photovoltaic cells which turn the sun’s light into energy – if you think you haven’t seen any check out the parking meters in Merrion Square. Bringing down the cost

Unfortunately these systems, which are very efficient, only work well in direct sunlight and we don’t always get as much of that as we would like in Ireland. And they are expensive.

Time to check out your local heritage

Bringing down the cost are the second generation cells. These aren’t as efficient as the first generation but are much cheaper. They are thinner and can be rolled out in sheets or made into roof tiles. They look more attractive too. Imitating plants

But so far the most efficient solar converters of all are plants. Dublin based Solar Print’s third generation photovoltaic technology uses dye-sensitized solar cells to imitate the way plants produce energy in their leaves in order to make electricity. The resultant product isn’t as efficient as a silicon cell but it is much, much cheaper to make and it will work even at low light levels and at any angle and it is highly flexible – imagine using your

Heritage week is 21st to 29th August this year so there is no excuse if you can’t find things to do in the last week of the school holidays with a whole week of mostly free events. On the 21st you can see the life of an 18th Century Dublin child, on the 22nd visit the Heritage Fair at Sonairte in Laytown, with walks, stories, food and farm animals.

phone cover to charge your phone for instance, or the paint on your electric car charging the battery. And unlike many new developments in solar and other technologies which rely on rare materials, Solar Print’s technology uses cheap and eco-friendly nano materials. Real green jobs

Although Solar Print is based in Ireland it is dedicated to producing low cost, high tech solutions that will bring cheap and independent power to those who cannot afford conventional power. So its great news that the company is recruiting 80 new members of staff in Dublin who will work both in R&D and production to get this cutting edge power source on to the market. On the 25th you can taste Famine Soup in Strokestown while the next day there’s a film about Dublin’s women street traders at Bewley’s Cafe. The whole thing finishes with a host of events on August 29th from the Ugly Bug Ball at Corlea Trackway to Knit Along Sunday in Leenane. For full details check out heritageweek. ie or pick up a leaflet from your library.

The Informer By Kathy Marsh, Sonairte

Green shoots... When is a plan not a plan? When it’s the National Renewable Energy Action Plan is the answer to that one. It is a well constructed description of how energy is produced in Ireland today, but only four pages of the one hundred and sixty five actually deal with the future and even then they describe a possible scenario. When readers of the Informer make plans I’m sure they first analyse their needs and then work out how they will meet them. But this doesn’t seem to be how our government works so once again we blunder blindly into the future without knowing where we are trying to go, let alone where we are actually going. And unlike the readers of this page those who put the plan together don’t know that viable solar energy systems which will work in Irish conditions are just around the corner. Despite the work of Irish companies such as Solar Print they forecast that exactly zero solar

energy will be helping to meet Irish needs by 2020.

Environmentalists deny “sterilising the countryside” When IFA President John Bryan accused environmentalists of sterilising the countryside he was surprised to find the environmental lobby supporting the extension of the Agri-Environment Scheme to more of Ireland’s farmers and agreeing that farmers are the best protectors of the environment. On RTE’s World at One Irish Environmental Network coordinator Michael Ewing spoke of the importance of farmers and environmentalists working together to protect the countryside and provide Irish consumers with clean air and water. At the end of the interview John Bryan acknowledged that the criticisms of farmers had come from European city based lobbyists and asked for the support of Irish environmental groups in farmers’ negotiations with the Dept of Agriculture.


Comfort in Hearing When dispensing digital hearing aids I am often asked to advise on the most suitable style as well as recommending a make or model to suit the hearing loss and the lifestyle of the patient. The choice can be overwhelming especially to a new user as most instruments come in many shapes and sizes. After we have established that the ear structure itself is normal and that there is a choice then it really comes down to these three choices. 1. Instruments that fit all in the ear. These may be very small and discreet and fit way down in the ear canal or little bigger occupying more of the outer ear. We take impressions to custom make these and they are very comfortable and easy to use. Spectacle wearers often prefer them as there is nothing on or behind the ear.

usually necessary. They can be a little fiddly to put in and care should be taken when putting on or taking off spectacles. There is a wide choice of models and they can be fitted on the same day as the hearing test. 3. Behind the ear hearing aids most people are aware of. They gave comfort to the hard of hearing long before digital technology was thought of and still have a roll to play today. Sound is sent through a tube to a custom made mould fitted in the ear. This is sometimes necessary for high power. Can have a longer battery life and some users prefer the larger size and security of the ear fitting. Whatever the choice care must be taken by your hearing care professional to ensure that their patient fully understands how to use and care for the instruments. Aftercare is essential to be sure of this. Happy hearing.

2. Tiny hearing aids that sit on top of the ear. A very thin tube or wire is used to connect the instrument to the ear canal through which the sound is transferred. This style can be very discreet. It is held in the ear with a soft dome and is very comfortable. Impressions are not

Alan Mantell, FISHAA, FSHAA, Reg with Health Professional Council. Alan is managing director of Digital Hearing Direct and is available for free consultations. Tel. 01 235 1636

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6

The Informer

Garden Growing

You're going to reap just what you've sown Every summer, usually at the start of August, I get a mixture of feelings where the garden is concerned. Sadness, because midsummers day has passed and with it the evenings are starting to get a wee bit shorter though we don’t notice yet. I also love this time of year because the veg garden gives forth its bounty and you realise that all your hard work, going back over the last 8-10 months is so worthwhile. You get what you sow

A great example of ‘work and reward’ (when it comes to growing your own vegetables) was my family’s Sunday dinner last weekend. Sunday dinner is one of those rare moment where ‘we’ all sit down together rather than the usual running buffet which tends to be the case for most families these days. We, to explain further are yours truly, my wife, my son and my wife’s sister. My wife had bought a succulent half leg of New Zealand

l Shake out those seeds lamb for e6.95. With it we had our potatoes, second earlies called ‘Orla’, our ‘Kelvedon Wonder’ peas, and some ‘Boltardy’ beetroot. Instead of the usual mint sauce, which tends to make the lamb taste too vinegary, we had a gorgeous and easy to make sauce of redcurrent jelly with fresh mint sauce. Put equal parts redcurrent jelly and red wine vinegar on a warm heat to dissolve the jelly, some salt and pepper and chopped fresh mint right at the end. The fresh mint was also from the garden.

I reckon the total cost for this meal for four people (excluding some store cupboard items) was e8.50 which included the initial cost to buy the seeds months ago. So folks, if ever anyone needed a reason to ‘grow your own’ this is surely it. And do remember, if you plan on having a go at growing your own next year, it isn’t rocket science! The best vegetable book

There are loads of books available which will give you all the information that you will need to get you going. Without any doubt

the best is the new book from Ireland’s foremost organic grower Klaus Laitenberger. Klaus, formerly head gardener at the Organic Centre in Rossinver, who was also responsible for the restoration of the Victorian vegetable and herb garden in Lissadell House, Co. Sligo, has put together the definitive guide called ‘Vegetables for the Irish Garden’. Cost is e14.95 and the book is published by The Western Organic Network. Start planning

Elsewhere in the garden, now is a great time to gather seeds. What you think are dead flowers are usually loaded with seeds for

Tip of the month

Towards the end of the month, divide your perennial plants by simply putting a spade or a fork through the root ball, this doubles your plants for next year or as a present for your friends and neighbours.

next years growth. The Foxglove ‘Digitalis’ is a great example. One to look for is a variety called ‘White Dalmation’. The flowers are long gone. However, if you get your secateurs and cut the plant at about eight inches from the ground then give it a good shake on to some brown paper, you will get hundreds if not thousands of seeds for next year. The same applies to loads of other perennials. Don't forget the birds!

Even though we have traditionally thought that our garden birds don’t need looking after in summer, they do welcome a helping hand because our weather is so mixed up these days. Put out what you would normally provide in the winter plus additional fresh water. It has been proven by the RSPB and Birdwatch Ireland that birds, especially this years' fledglings thrive and usually get thought the coming winter as a result of being fattened up.

With

Gerry Norton Finally folks, if you need any information on gardening or if you have any tips or suggestions which I can pass on, please send them to me at livinglandescapes@eircom.net. I would be delighted to quote for any/all of your garden requirements from set-up organic vegetable plots to restoration of neglected gardens, design, planting and maintenance. No charge for initial visit and I will travel within reason.

Gerry Norton, Living Landescapes, 97 Church Avenue, Drumcondra, Dublin 9 Tel: 087-2462724 or email

livinglandescapes@eircom.net


Ask for Jane!


8

The Informer

Personal Finance Getting some help with your financial planning When it comes to managing your finances the question that you have to ask yourself is should you adopt a DIY approach to planning or are you better off seeking professional help? In practical terms financial planning is not a difficult process despite what some advisers and brokers will tell you! Some people relish the challenge of managing and growing their own wealth. However, in practice, for a variety of reasons many people pass on the responsibility of growing their wealth to a trusted professional. If you adopt the DIY approach, in order to make the most of your money you will need to keep the cost of your borrowings down to a bare minimum, and earn the highest possible return on your savings and investments. You will need to start the best possible pension plan, take out the most appropriate insurance at the lowest possible cost, and not pay over the odds for any financial product or service that you purchase. Finally, you should ensure that you are not paying any more tax than you have to, and that plans are in place so that the wealth that you

have accumulated can be passed on within your family in the most efficient way possible. The time and effort involved in searching for and executing the best possible deals is enough to put people off the DIY method. But if you require help then who can you trust to get the best advice? If you want to discuss your finances with someone face to face you need to ensure that that person is experienced in all financial areas and has the relevant professional qualification (QFA) to offer advice. Ideally that person should be in a position to deal with most or all of the financial product providers. They should be able to analyse your existing position and financial products that you may have, help you identify and establish your financial goals, and advise you on how to reach those goals. This may involve implementing new policies or adjusting existing policies that you may have. If new products are needed your adviser should search the market for the best possible deal, and if possible negotiate a discount with the provider. They should provide you with full details of the product and

organise the paperwork on your behalf. A top class adviser will only give you advice after taking into account your tax position. They will monitor your needs regularly and organise reviews to ensure that your products are performing or remain adequate for your needs. I would be delighted to visit you at home on a complimentary basis to review your existing financial and tax arrangements to ensure that you are getting good value for money or to help you start the planning process. To arrange a consultation please contact me on 087 287 5256 or email andrew@squaremile.ie. Andrew Russell is a Qualified Financial Adviser and Managing Director of Squaremile Financial Consultants Ltd. He provides financial advice to private sector employees and the self employed. In addition to this he specialises in assisting public sector employees improve their retirement benefits. Contact: Andrew Russell, Managing Director, Squaremile Financial Consultants. T: 087 287 5256 • E: andrew@squaremile.ie • W: www.squaremile.ie

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10

News Feature

The Informer

Dublin's Shannon Water A new water Eco-Park in the midlands drawn from the Shannon could store water for Dublin. The project promises 1,000 construction jobs for three years as well as a new tourism amenity for the midlands.

An innovative water based eco-park with fishing, boating, cycling, water and leisure sports on 500 acres, with a major water storage reservoir, located on a former cut away bog, Garryhinch Bog, Co Offaly is the recommended solution to finding a new water source for the Greater Dublin area. The project would cost an estimated e540 million and generate an estimated 1000 construction jobs for three years, in addition to generating ongoing sustainable long term jobs in the midlands managing the eco-park activities and a water plant. Consultants for Dublin City Council, RPS and Veolia Water, have recommended that a total of nine counties, including the four Dublin local authority areas could benefit from the eco-park, with the reservoir water being taken from the River Shannon at Lough Derg during periods of flood and high flows only, when there is more than enough water in the lake for all users. New water eco-park

It would be stored at the new water eco-park, from where it could be used during periods of low flows in the Shannon. The average amount of water from Lough Derg under this proposal is 2% and at present this 2% flows into the Atlantic Ocean every day and is replenished with rain falling on the catchment. Bord na Móna, owners of Garryhinch Bog, have expressed their commitment to support the project as it is in line with their green energy vision, their Lough Boora Park developments and their plans to create new sustainable jobs in the Midlands. Bord Na Mona has recently received approval for new wind generated energy to supply up to 45,000 homes and this could see this renewable energy source being used to power the midlands eco park. The Consultants suggest that a 500 acre eco-park would be constructed at Garryhinch Bog that would be along the lines of the well known UK Rutland Water and Eco-park in east Anglia. It already

attracts over a million visitors annually and includes water sports, boating, fishing and an internationally renowned bird sanctuary. “This innovative recommendation is the result of a huge amount of research and consultation with all stakeholders over the last six years and could benefit everyone”, says Tom Leahy, Executive Manager, Dublin City Council. “The project is needed to provide security of water supplies and to sustain and grow jobs and the economy; particularly to afford growth opportunities to the nationally important strategic industries relying on water to generate exported products.” “The midlands would gain a permanent innovative water based tourism amenity that would also rehabilitate the existing cutaway bog. It will also provide a large number of jobs, both during construction and on-going local jobs in the water treatment plant, managing the eco-park and promoting it as a top leisure and tourist amenity. "The recommendations are innovative and deserve to be fully considered by everyone. For that reason Dublin City Council will meet and talk with all stakeholders and fully brief them on all aspects of the project and potential synergies relating to the project. In particular all those who contributed comments and input over the six years of the study will be briefed on the recommendations of the studies and the deatils." An Environmental Impact Statement process will be undertaken next, before a planning application is made to An Bord Pleanála and further and full statutory public consultation takes place. An Bord Pleanála will make the decision on the project, which will require funding from Government. A new water source to augment all the existing water sources, will be needed in the Dublin region from 2016. An estimated 1.5 million people living in the midlands and the east of the country, as well as existing and new industries will use the new water supply.

What is proposed Treatment Plant

Mld = Million Litres per Day

l As part of the proposed water scheme a major new water park and storage facility will be built in County Offaly which, it is hoped, can make the scheme more attractive out side the Dublin region.

l The situation with Dublin's water supply and projections show that water demand will outstrip supply. The figures are in millions of litres per day

The state of Dublin's water

The first significant public water supply to Dublin and Wicklow was the Vartry scheme, constructed in the 1860’s by Dublin Corporation and still in use today. During the 1940’s the ESB in conjunction with Dublin Corporation, developed a joint venture scheme to provide dams at Poulaphuca and Leixlip on the River Liffey to impound water or power generation and for public water supplies. The Dublin Region includes Co Dublin, along with significant parts of Counties Wicklow, Meath and Kildare. - approx 1.5 million people in all and 35% of Republic of Ireland’s overall population. The Dublin Region is supplied with drinking water from one common water supply network. Four main water treatment plants provide the vast bulk of drinking water. The combined maximum output of these treatment plants is between 540 and 550 million litres a day.

Under normal circumstances the present day average demand in the Dublin region is between 530 and 540 million litres a day. On an average day, there is little or no spare capacity in the system. The fragility of the situation was starkly illustrated in January 2010 when substantial increased leakage caused by heavy frost meant that demands in the region could not be satisfied without severe supply restrictions. Water leakages in the Dublin region have been reduced from 43% to 29% over the last decade, saving 39 million litres of water a day, due to rehabilitation of old water mains. This will be followed by a sustained rehabilitation programme which has been provided in the new Water Services Investment Programme 2010-2012 funded by Department of Environment Heritage and Local Government. Dublin has 2700km of water mains, of which 700km are over 75 years old and 1300km are over 50 years old.


built in egion.


12

All About Dublin (1)

First hand History

The DMP - rising to the occasion

Sir Francis Bond Head (1793-1875), nick-named 'Galloping Head' after riding twice across South America, was a veteran of the Battle of Waterloo, one-time Lt. Governor of Upper Canada, and had received his knighthood after demonstrating the military usefulness of the lasso. He visited Ireland in August 1852 and recorded his travels in the rather innocuously titled 'A Fortnight in Ireland.' He used his connections to gain official access to the Dublin Metropolitan Police:A candidate for admission must be under 26 years of age, must be able to read and write, and, moreover, must be in height 5 feet 9 inches, without his shoes. The whole force average in height 5 feet 11 inches - the B division, composed of 190 men, are all 6 feet and upwards. Among the constables there is only one old soldier and one lawyer. There is scarcely a Dublin man among them, the Commissioners preferring to enlist country people from all parts of Ireland, without making any inquiry as to their religion. The conditions upon which they are enlisted are, that they shall not belong to any secret or political society, and that they shall abstain from the expres-

sion of any political or religious opinion in any manner calculated to give offence. The Dublin Metropolitan Police, composed of Catholics and Protestants, picked up from all parts of Ireland, not only among themselves live in perfect amity, but at a moment's notice, at the sound of a rattle or of a whistle, fraternally join together to collar, handcuff, and, if absolutely necessary, to fell senseless to the ground, any person or persons who, from religious, political, or any other alleged motives, shall presume to disturb the public peace. There are 16 station-houses in Dublin, with a clock in each, by the assistance of which, at the same instant, sixteen reliefs are thrown out over a surface of forty-four square miles. In the police store, within its precincts, I found a number of trophies that had been obtained by the force. Among them was the tricolour flag given by certain Paris ladies of easy political virtue to Mr. Meagher, and captured in the summer of 1848; a black flag, with the harp of Ireland in white; another black flag, tastefully ornamented with the words "Famine and Pestilence;:' pikes of various sorts, for cutting bridles, maiming horses, spitting Protestants, &c, &c.; lastly, a human skull, which, during the State trials in 1848, had been hung on the knocker of Mr. Kemis, the Crown Solicitor, as a reminder. I also observed a lot of very efficient extra weapons, in case the police truncheons should prove insufficient, consisting of swords, ship cutlasses with iron handles, and lastly, as the strongest dose

in the Dublin police pharmacopoeia, short detonating muskets with brown barrels. From the Castle, the residence of Vice-Royalty, Colonel Brown was good enough to accompany me to the "Old Bishop's Palace," (Kevin St. Garda Station). On entering the largest of the buildings I found a school for recruits, in which they improve their writing, and also learn by heart a "Catechism," in which is very clearly expounded to them that the duty they owe to their neighbour is to conduct him quietly to the nearest station whenever he is disorderly - carry him there when he happens to be unable to stand - force him there whenever he resists - and handcuff him whenever he is what is professionally termed "violent." From the school I proceeded to a room where I found twenty fine, good-looking, powerful country lads, with large, white teeth and clean, ruddy faces, seated with a dinner before them, and with heaps of potatoes which certainly appeared to me altogether enough to choke them. But they were not only learning to eat a good meal, but how to eat it in

The Informer Edited by Zoz clean clothes, with a clean knife and fork, off a clean tablecloth; in short, with a probationary pay of a shilling a day, they were undergoing the agreeable process of being introduced to a new system of life, in which they were not only to display good behaviour, but, to be the cause of good behaviour in others. Here, again, the members of the two religions were intermingled in most happy communion, and, as one large, mealy potato after another disappeared, it was utterly impossible for the keenest observer even to guess whether they had been devoured before his eyes by a Protestant or by a Catholic; indeed, so easily are these recruits made to harmonise together on this point, that on Friday they, as well as the whole of the Police force, often comfortably dine together on fish; in short, the prejudices which great statesmen fancy to be insuperable, they readily annihilate by mastication. The bedrooms were lofty, airy, with floors as clean as women's hands could make them: in fact, it is by the hands of old women, hired by the force, that they are cleaned. After going through several, we came to those in which a hundred men who had been on night-duty were lying, with nearly closed shutters, fast asleep. On opening these doors and standing for a few seconds at the threshold, I beheld before me, in Continued on Page 14 >>

This page was researched with the help of


The Informer

A place in the city From the seventeenth century there was a small quay in Howth sufficient to facilitate local fishermen and the off loading of coals and other cargoes. Up to the early 1800s, Ringsend was the main Irish embarkation centre for Britain. At this time Howth was a sparsely populated fishing village but due to the silting of the River Liffey, many cross channel boats were forced to dock at Howth. In 1807 to facilitate the increased shipping, work started on the construction of Howth harbour - two stone piers enclosing an area of fifty-two acres.

All About Dublin (2) Howth Harbour The piers consisted of large masses of rock quarried from the hill above. The East Pier commenced in 1807 and the West Pier three years later. In 1818 the lighthouse at the end of the East Pier was added. Seven hundred men were employed on the major engineering project that took about four years to complete. John Rennie was the engineer in charge of the operation. There was controversy over the location of the harbour with some engineers stating that it would silt up and develop sandbanks. In time, the critics were proved correct.

Take some time out to review your finances It is important that we are regularly reviewing our personal finances and insurances to ensure they remain fit for purpose and value for money. There are three main areas where we believe individuals should consider reviewing cover to ensure they are comprehensively insured against the unexpected and are planning for life after working. Life Assurance/ Mortgage Protection Life Assurance has come down significantly in recent years due to competition in the market. In addition to this individuals who took out life cover through their banks when taking out their mortgage may not have received the most competitive product on the market. It is important to ensure then when reviewing your cover that you use an advisor who can research all providers on the market to ensure you are getting best value for money. Income Protection/ Critical Illness It is important that you protect your income in the event you lose your capacity to earn due to illness or injury. A recent survey from the Irish Cancer Society has highlighted the financial strain put on families when an income earner is affected by cancer. For approx e44 per month (after tax relief) an individual can protect e35,000 of income to age 65. Or for as little as e46 per month can insure themselves for a lump sum of up to e100,000 for 25 years.

Pensions Many individuals have not made sufficient provision for their retirement. Also those who have existing pension arrangements may not be aware of the charges they are paying. Charges of in excess of 5% of contributions made are not uncommon. For individuals who have recently left employment it is important to be aware of your pension entitlements when leaving. Pension benefits can be transferred into pension vehicles in your own name where you can track and review performance without having to contact your old employer. In these recessionary times it can be possible to save significant amounts on the costs of the above products without compromising on the level of cover. SmartQuotes.ie research all market providers and will offer up to a 70% discount on the monthly cost for the first twelve months for protection products and offer low cost pension solutions. Why not call us today on 016853813 or go online to www. smartquotes.ie for further details

* All above based on individual aged 35 with cover to retirement at aged 65. Income Protection is for Class 1 employee and a deferred period of 26 weeks. In all case tax relief assumed at 49%. Serious Illness cover is based on a 35 years old male non smoker.

In 1816 the first steam paddle ships or the 'Mail Packets', commenced carrying mail and passengers between Howth, Holyhead and Liverpool. With the introduction of steam, the journey from Howth to Holyhead was slashed to seven hours. Two years later the famous bridge builder, Thomas Telford, chose Howth as the berth for the mailboat service between Dublin and London. Consequently the Mail Packet service was transferred there from Ringsend. The ongoing problem of silting in Howth Harbour returned and the service proved unsuccessful.

Immediately construction work commenced on Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) harbour. On the completion of the work the Mail Packet service and other maritime activity was transferred from Howth to the south side port. Howth was to lose prestige, business and revenue. In the past three decades Howth Harbour has evolved into a lively port, offering a combination of fishing and leisure craft. The prestigious Howth Yacht Club is based at the harbour. An excerpt from "Dublin's North Coast - Drumcondra, Clontarf, Howth, Malahide", with text by Arthur Flynn, and paintings by Margaret Flynn. By Cottage Publications, â‚Ź24.95.

13


14

All About Dublin (3)

The DMP - rising to the occasion >> Continued from page 12

twilight, under bedclothes, a series of large lumps of men, all apparently more or less exhausted by fatigue. Here and there a very great eye would open - stare a little - gradually become fishy - and then close. Occasionally a pair would unequally open, until the owner of one set, as if half aghast, actually raised his huge head from his pillow. Not wishing to disturb the poor fellow, I instantly slowly retired backwards, leaving him to recite to his comrades, that he had dreamt he had distinctly seen "the Colonel" gazing at him, accompanied by an inquisitive stranger, who appeared to be taking his picture. In a very neat small room I visited a first class sergeant, who, besides possessing a wife and daughter of very pleasing appearance, has a couple of hundred pounds in the savings bank. On his table I observed a large bible, and as the good book, I felt sure, had had somewhat to do with the sum that had been saved. No married man is admitted into the corps; nor is any member of it afterwards allowed to marry unless he is the possessor of 40/; the first thing, therefore, that Cupid has to teach a Dublin policeman is to put by a sixpence - to repeat the operation sixteen hundred times, and then apply for his license. At one of the police-stations, in Chancery-lane, a narrow, crooked, old-fashioned street, in olden times the official residence of the Attorney and Solicitor Generals, and other crown lawyers, I visited the lock-up houses, in which I found only one tenant, a respectably dressed man, well known to Col. Brown, who had unfortunately happened to become so intoxicated that he could with difficulty articulate an explanation. I learned, on inquiry, that drunken men assist not a little in removing from the police any hostile feelings among each other on the score of religion; for as in their madness these delinquents attack Catholics and Protestants with equal violence, the parties assailed are absolutely forced to join together for mutual self-defence, and thus vicious habits and brutality are productive, under Providence, of beneficial results.

News from the past... Dublin in the early 18th century was a small city and the inhabitants knew what was happening around them through obsrevation and word of mouth. Newspapers were small, four pages or so A4 sized, weekly, and expensive. Some topics were strictly off limits (i.e. criticism of the authorities) and a breach of the rules closed the paper down. As a result they relied heavily on articles concerning the joys of morality, ancient history, poetry, and humour. The following snippets come from The Dublin Weekly Journal, printed by James Carson, in Coghill's Court, Dame Street. On Tuesday at the Bull and Bare Bating on the Strand, they both got loose and hurt several Persons, the Bare seized one Man by the Leg and tore it to pieces. (Jan 1., 1725) On Friday and Saturday last there fell so prodigious a quantity of Rain in this City, and the parts adjacent, that the Loss cannot be computed. The Streets that received most Damage, were all the Keys, Patricks-Street, (where the Water rose several Yards in most of the Houses) the Castle Yard, Ship-Street, etc. Several Horses that grazed near the River, were carried from the Fields and drown'd, as were others in Stables in the City. By the Hurricane at Sea, we hear many Ships were lost, and the dead Bodies

of several were taken at Ringsend. (Jan. 8) They still continue to Press Men in this City for the Sea Service. (Feb. 12) On Thursday last, between 11 and 12 a Clock at Night, a Sailor from Whitehaven, drinking in a Celler on the Back of the Blind Key, near Essex Bridge, Quarreling about the Reckoning, flung himself into the Liffy, and drowned.(Mar. 16) We hear, that there were great Diversions at the Antient Borough of Swords on Easter Monday. And the Populace had several Barrels of Ale, and an Ox Roasted whole, given them by Edward Bolten of Brazile, Esq. (Apr. 5) On Munday last at three of the Clock in the Morning, a Fire broke out at the Blew Bell in Smithfield, said to be by the carelessness of the Maid, who left a Candle burning against a Partition, behind which were several Casks of Brandy, and taking Fire, reduced the whole House, and all the Goods to Ashes. The adjoyning Houses suffered much, but were preserved from the Fire. (May 21, 1726) This Morning a Duel was fought on Ormond Key, by Lieutenant Smith of the Granadears of the Lord John Kerrs Regiment and one Kelley, Son to the Brewer of that Name in proper Lane, the Lieutenant Dyed on the spot, and the other is said to be mortally Wounded. (May 26)

The Informer Edited by Zoz

Advice is hereby given, that there is lately arrived in this City, the Famous Mrs. Cherry, the only Gentlewoman truly Learned in that Occult Science of Tossing of Coffee Grounds; who has with uninterrupted Success for some time past, practised, to the General Satisfaction of her Female Visitants. She is to be heard of at Mrs. C---k's or at Mrs. Q---t's in Aungier street, Dublin. Her Hours are after prayers are done at St. Peter's Church till Dinner. N.B. She never requires more than one Ounce of Coffee from a single Gentlewoman, and so proportionate for a Second or Third Person, but not to exceed that Number. (June 11) On Wednesday last one Piggott an Attorney of the King's Bench, stood in the Pillory for Forgery; before he received Sentence, he was Ordered to stand upon the Table, before the Court. The Common Hangman was ordered first to put on his Gown, and lead him 3 times round the Table, then tear it off and throw it over the bar. (July 2) Last Saturday one Nowland was try'd for Enlisting Men for the Service of the Pretender (James III), the Evidence was very clear against him, that he had shipped off 200 Men for that Service, and had 100 more ready the Night he was taken. He was found Guilty, and is to be hang'd, drawn and Quarter'd. (July 2)


Learning a language at a young age with La Jolie Ronde Founded in 1983, La Jolie Ronde offers a unique, carefully structured and proven language course for children of 3-12 years, helping them excel in French and Spanish. It has a solid underlying structure that enables children to progress year after year. La Jolie Ronde method is becoming very popular in Ireland with new centres now running throughout Dublin and the country as a whole. The course provides learning in a fun way with children in mind, when they are most receptive and uninhibited. The books and CDs that accompany the course can be used for practicing at home between lessons and end of term reports are provided so parents are kept informed of progress. The course given is primarily for children with little or no previous knowledge of Spanish

Read your local Informer edition online at our revamped website The paper opens online the same way it does in your hand

www.informer.ie

or French. Children with a native speaker parent living in Ireland are also attending the classes to reinforce the bilingual environment present at home. Classes provide an excellent preparation for secondary schools as languages are sadly not yet covered in the primary school curriculum. With the current economic climate, having a language is a distinct advantage and will make a great difference in your child’s professional life later on. Please see our advert in this issue and contact your nearest licensee to see what teaching centres are available in your area. Classes are run from open centres, primary schools as well as crèches/playschools. Visit our main website at www.lajolieronde.co.uk We look forward to hearing from you.

La Jolie Ronde offers a unique, carefully structured and proven language course for children of 3-12 years old. Enrolling now for September! Classes take place in primary schools, nurseries & open centres. We can start new classes if enough interest.

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Contact one of our licensees below for dates & times and read our editorial article in this issue. Visit www.lajolieronde.co.uk Locations Language Licensee Telephone Number Email Website

Castleknock, Dublin 15 Spanish Mary Galvin 087 267 4809 marygalvin@upcmail.ie www.spanishclasses4children.com

Castleknock, Dublin 15 French Sabine Maher 087 227 9027 info@frenchforchildren.ie www.frenchforchildren.ie

Locations Language Licensee Telephone Number Email Website

Dublin 6 French Clare Siegel 087 272 4793 claresiegel@gmail.com

Dublin 14 & Dublin 16 Spanish & French Anne Curran 01 493 9543 mollateden@yahoo.co.uk

Swords, Co. Dublin French Gillian Martin 086 871 9184

Locations Language Licensee Telephone Number Email Website

Celbridge, Co. Kildare Spanish Laura Tejero 01 504 0410 lauri_90@hotmail.com www.spanishforkidz.com

Lucan, Co. Dublin Spanish Maria Jacobs 085 706 0074

Blackrock/Mount Merrion Spanish & French Christine Mullock 086 811 1787

flowasserman@hotmail.com

christinemullock@gmail.com

gillianmarymartin@hotmail.com


16

The Informer

Health & Beauty

A new way to get an Irish suntan There is a new spray tan on the market that is 100% organic and the good news is its Irish! Many of you would have seen the product on Dragons Den where one of the dragons invested in the company, which lets face is rare for

the dragons to part with their cash! Tan Organic is formulated with the inclusion of Aloe Vera (certified Organic), it fills a niche in the market for an anti-ageing professional tanning system,

Beauty this summer

which hydrates the skin as well as developing a natural looking sun kissed glow. Consumers are turning to natural organic products as they become more aware of the possible dangers of synthetic chemicals in cosmetics. A study by The Herb Research Foundation (USA) found that up to 60 per cent of substance applied to skin is absorbed into the bloodstream. The largest organ of the body

Beauty offers available until 15th September Try the New Tan Organic for e28 (normally e35)

Microdermabrasion e50 (normally e70)

Shellac 2 week Manicure & Pedicure e55

01 4976434 www.rathgarlaserandbeauty.ie

Skin is the largest organ of the body and if we care about what we eat, we really should care about what we apply onto our skin. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the combined and cumulative effect of these chemicals and more and more are people are turning to natural or organic alternatives. It also seems to be opening up and expanding the self tan market too as several new tanning clientele groups are emerging to sample this new concept. The ‘Golden Girls’ (The 60 plus that are

tempted by the natural / organic formulation and natural sunkissed effect) and ‘Virgin Tanners’ (a group that have avoided self tan due to their highly sensitive or chemical free ethics) are beginning to emerge seeking this natural and organic alternative to mass market chemical rich selftans

So what makes Tan Organic different from the other Spray tans on the Market? Every ingredient is 100% Natural, contains certified organic ingredients, there’s no parabans, chemical dyes, artificial colours or perfumes. The AntiAging/Hydrating properties of Hyluronic acid (moisture lock-

Beauty Therapist (Contract) Required for salon in Rathgar. 20 hours per week. Must have 2 years experience minimum, speciality waxing and gel nails experience an advantage.

CV's to diamond12k@gmail.com

ing) as well as collagen and elastin promote a youthful appearance. With its premium high grade Organic DHA for lasting colour that does not irritate or dry skin, allowing for an even fade. The sunkissed tan reacts according to the natural skin tone for realistic colour without any orange effect. It is non-comedogenic, paraban and animal testing free. Linda, Senior Therapist Rathgar Laser & Beauty Clinic 014976434 www.rathgarlaserandbeauty.ie


The Informer

Health & Beauty

Beauty Ideas Age spots, liver spots, senile lentigines, or solar lentigines: call them what you will, but age spots are a common problem, and often times people are genetically predisposed to getting age spots. The most obvious causes are skin damage from either age or exposure to the sun. Age spots most often appear on the hands, face, back, and feet. Who gets age spots?

People from the ages of 40 and beyond are more susceptible to age spots, and are generally the people looking to get rid of age spots, because around the ages of 40-50 the skin tends to regenerate itself more slowly. Slower regeneration, with a slowing metabolism, causes age spots, wrinkles, scars, fat and other blemishes more often and more noticeably. Getting rid of age spots

Want to get rid of age spots? Then you’ll stay out of the sun. That’s right, all the evidence is in and a majority of sun spots are caused by over exposure to the

With Linda Mullen

of Oceana Health & Beauty Phone: 01-8283901

sun, which damages the skin, leaving it more susceptible to erratic pigmentation. Liver spots caused by over exposure to the sun are a lot like your typical scar, where pigmentation, like scar tissue, builds up to help protect and absorb the sun light. Of course, staying out of the sun completely isn’t possible, so if you want to prevent sun spots, wear protective clothing or sunscreen. Long sleeve shirts, turtle necks, and long pants or skirts are your best bet for avoiding sun exposure, but sometimes it’s simply too warm outside to wear these things. If that’s the case, then it’s time you found yourself a sunscreen with a high SPF rating that you could imagine yourself wearing every day—you know, something that smells nice or doesn’t smell at all. Cosmetic skin treatments

IPL or Laser will permanently rid your hands and body of sur-

face pigmentation. There is a downtime where spots turn browner – but will slough off within a week or two. It's more expensive but has rapid results – so well worth the investment. Typically one to four treatments are needed – but be sure to get all suspected age spots looked at by doctor before any treatment to rule out anything else!!!! Microdermabrasion, is a process I’ve mentioned in a number of our skin treatment articles. A highly effective – deep exfliotation facial is applied to those areas that have been distorted by scars or age spots, pulling the dead skin cells away, allowing new skin cells to take their place. If you are going to get a facial in your life – and want to see results – this is the facial to get.

Call Oceana today for our special for Informer readers on Microdermabrasion and Pigmentation removal. 01 828 3901.


The Informer

Family Focus The benefits of preschools

If you have a child who will be starting school in September 2011 you might be thinking about sending him to a preschool before the big move up to primary school, but what will he gain from the experience? At school he is likely to encounter classmates who have attended a preschool, especially since the government ECCE scheme now offers a universal free preschool place for children for one year prior to attending national school. Attending a preschool means that he will have to get up and go to ‘school’ which involves getting dressed, having breakfast, brushing teeth and washing hands, putting on shoes and coat, and getting a bag ready so that you head out the door at the same time every morning. This habitforming routine is a great help once school starts and you have to do it for real and be on time. A preschool environment is a child-centred space set up with all the materials children need to learn through play and be crea-

By Lucy Taylor tive. In some cases preschools look like little classrooms with tables and chairs, there are areas where art materials, books, games and puzzles, and toys are kept for children to choose themselves, and also space for children to be physically active. In some preschools there may be some written work which helps with learning how to hold a pencil and other fine motor skills. Rita Melia National Childcare Policy Advisor for the National Children’s Nurseries Association (NCNA) (www.ncna.ie) says “Quality early childhood care and education experiences lays important foundations for later learning. "Children learn to explore, play, communicate, interact and socialise with others. Children’s learning is experiential, through their daily experiences in the childcare setting they also learn to recognise their own learning, through their art work, photographs and learning stories.”

You might argue that playing, painting, singing and dancing can all take place in the home environment, and undoubtedly they can. However, attending a preschool also offers an invaluable social experience to a child which will be of enormous benefit once they start school. In the preschool environment all children are supported to learn good manners such as saying please and thank you, saying

sorry if they have hurt another child, taking turns and taking part in group activities, tidying up after themselves and listening to instructions from the teacher. As parents you can also aid this process by helping your child to hang up their coat on their peg when you arrive and greeting staff and children in a friendly manner. These skills will help children make a seemless change to the school environment.

17

Jack and Sophie top the name charts The most popular Irish baby names for 2009 have been named as Jack, Sean, Daniel, Conor and James for boys and Sophie, Ava, Emma, Sarah and Grace for girls. Four of the five boys’ names have been in the most popular list since 1998, but there has been more variation in girls’ names. First time entries to the top 100 most popular names include Bobby, Shay and Szymon for boys and Layla, Olivia, Hollie, Madison, Daisy and Emilia for girls

What's your poison?

All parents love to encourage their children to enjoy nature, play in the park and get busy in the garden, but we worry about the dangers they may face from plants that could be poisonous or hurt them. That’s why the Informer loves Poisonous Plants by Elizabeth A Dauncey published by Kew, those plant experts in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London and the Medical Toxicology Information

Service at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, also in London. In it there’s detailed information about the 130 most poisonous plants in the home, garden and countryside and how to ensure your child remains safe while enjoying the wonders of nature. Poisonous Plants, A guide for parents and childcare providers by Elizabeth A Dauncey costs £15stg from www.kewbooks. com

If you’re on a tighter budget than before, and have a baby or small child, you might want to read Home Made Kids by Nicola Baird, published by Vermilion at £10.99stg. Packed with tons of easy and cheap ideas for how to clothe, transport and entertain your little ones, this is a mine of useful information.


What are the 10 most important questions when you extend or renovate your home? You can view the questions on www.mbarch.ie and you can request by email your

FREE GUIDE TO DOMESTIC EXTENSIONS

This guide provides professional advice on: 3 What to ask 3 Who to ask 3 When to ask

Matt Barnes

Dip. Arch. B.sc. Arch. MRIAI. Registered Architect.

01 4933244 • 087 2544443 Email: mbarnes@mbarch.ie


22

The Informer

Health Issues

Using depression tablets during pregnancy Q: I was diagnosed with depression in 2005 and my doctor prescribed me Lexapro. I took them for about six months and they were an effective treatment. However, in late 2006 I became depressed again and this time the doctor prescribed Lexapro once again and recommended that I stay on them indefinitely. I have been taking them since then, as they have worked well for me and cause me practically no side effects. However, my husband and I want to have a baby but I am concerned about the effect the Lexapro may have on the baby. But I'm reluctant to stop taking them as I'm worried about the depression coming back. My doctor tells me that it's ok to take Lexapro right through pregnancy, but I'm still concerned. A: Lexapro (escitalopram) is a type of drug called an SSRI and is an effective treatment for relieving depression and preventing it's recurrence. People who have had more than one episode of depression have a high chance of developing the illness again and so it is often recommended that they stay on these medicines indefinately. Other antidepressants from the same class of drug include Prozac (fluoxetine), Seroxat (paroxetine), Cipramil (citalopram) and Lustral (sertraline). There is no right or wrong

course of action when it comes to taking SSRIs during pregnancy. It is a decision that each woman needs to make in close conjunction with her doctor in order to best balance the risks and benefits, both to herself and her baby. Discuss with the doctor

It is generally accepted that there is little to no risk to the baby from taking SSRIs in early pregnancy, with the exception of Seroxat which appears to make it more likely that the baby will be born with an abnormal heart. If a woman is taking Seroxat (parox-

etine) and is considering having a baby, it may be prudent to discuss with her doctor the possibility of switching to another antidepressant. However, with Lexapro there does not appear to be a significant problem. However, if Lexapro is taken in the last trimester of pregnancy, a baby may have some problems soon after birth such as difficulty feeding, jitteriness, rapid breathing or a weak cry. These problems, if they occur, will generally only last a short time (i.e. less than 24 hours) and will resolve with no lasting problems. A balance of risks

These risks must then be balanced with the risks of depression recurring if you stop taking the Lexapro. Depression may lead to poor nutrition, self-harm, alcohol or drug abuse and high levels of stress which can be damaging to both your own health and that of a foetus. Perhaps you may consider a psychological treatment such as

cognitive behavioural therapy which can itself be an effective treatment for depression. Whatever option you do decide on should be discussed in depth

with your doctor, ideally before you become pregnant. It is important that you do not stop taking your medication suddenly. Good luck!

Q: My son is 3 years old and has been prescribed Betnovate cream for eczema. He has had eczema since he was a baby, but it has flared up quite badly lately. I hear that there is a steroid in Betnovate and my friend told me that steroids shouldn't be used in children. What do you think? A: You are right that Betnovate cream contains a steroid. Children are more sensitive to the side effects of steroids and so we would be much more cautious about using steroid creams in children than in adults. But having said that, it is not necessary to avoid using steroid creams in children altogether. Eczema is an allergic, inflammatory disease of the skin that causes dryness, redness, swelling and itching of the skin and can cause blistering and oozing of the skin as well. Steroid creams reduce the inflammatory response of the skin and can cause a dramatic reduction in symptoms of eczema. However, they should only be used for the shortest period possible in children and generally for no more than three weeks at a time. Longer term use can cause growth suppression and irreversible skin thinning. Apply the cream sparingly and exactly in accordance with your doctor's instructions. It should never be used for longer than absolutely necessary. The most important part of the treatment of eczema is regular moisturising of the skin. Unlike steroid creams, you needn't be afraid of using moisturisers too often or using too much.

Ask the Pharmacist With Eoin Meany

Eoin Meany works as a pharmacist in McCabe's Pharmacy, Ridgewood Avenue, Swords. If you have a question you would like answered for next issue, please send it by email to eoin@mccabespharmacy.com or by post to McCabe's Pharmacy, Ridgewood, Swords, Co. Dublin.

Disclaimer: The advice you have been given by the pharmacist should not be regarded as a clinically accurate diagnosis of any disease or a guarantee that a particular medicine is safe for you to take. The advice given is based solely on the limited amount of information provided and so should not be regarded as a substitute for a face to face consultation with a pharmacist, doctor or other health professional who is personally familiar with your medical history.


WIN Two Tickets to see Spring Awakening at the Helix! National Youth Musical Theatre is proud to present the Irish premiere of "Spring Awakening." John Donnelly, who directed the Broadway smash RENT at The Helix and The Olympia in 2009, returns with this groundbreaking new musical. Winner of 8 Tony Awards on Broadway, including Best Musical, Spring Awakening launched the careers of "Glee" stars Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff. The London production won the 2010 West End Musical of the Year - Spring Awakening has thrilled audiences and critics alike all over the world. Set in 1890's Germany, but with a modern feel and a rock soundtrack, Spring Awakening is like nothing you've ever seen before. Featuring a cast of some of the most talented young performers in Ireland, you can't afford to miss this spectacular show! Spring Awakening runs from the 16th to the 25th September 2010 at The Helix, DCU. Tickets on sale now priced at €20 from The Helix box office at (01) 700 7000 or visitwww.thehelix.ie. There are a limited number of on-stage seats available for every performance for just €15.

To win two tickets to Spring Awakening at the Helix in September just answer the following question: How man Tony Awards did Spring Awakening win? Answers by e-mail only to competition@informer.ie Closing date for entries 10th September 2010.

"This gutsy new musical has a shivery sensual allure unmatched by anything in the theatre right now." New York Times "Beautiful, exhilarating and vital, 'Spring Awakening' is a transcendent new musical!" USA Today "Freshness, attack and sheer lyrical beauty... it's a postmodern collision of styles that works brilliantly." The Independent!

Official launch of singer Liam Butler’s debut CD album, 'If I Told You...Stories' Born, raised and still living in Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary. Liam’s heritage is deeply entwined in music and performing. Indeed, coming from the famous Clancy family, his entire life has revolved around music and theatre. The youngest son of Joan Clancy-Butler, from an early age he was constantly surrounded by the presence of showbiz as his famous uncles toured the world, bringing back tales of their life on the road. Named for his mother’s youngest brother, the world celebrated troubadour Liam Clancy, the younger Liam was inspired to follow down the path of a stage career. His passion for music is twined with a love of theatre. Beginning in his hometown with the Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society, playing lead roles in numerous shows many of which

garnered him prestigious Association of Irish Musicals awards and nominations, indeed Liam has been nominated 12 times and gone on to win 6 times. He also has received 5 awards in both best singer and best actor capacity in the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera. As well as starring in musical theatre, his diversity as an actor has seen him take on many dramatic roles in theatre, and again has received awards in theatre including 4 Best Actor awards on the Irish Drama Circuit. The album If I told you...Stories has been a labour of love for Liam. An eclectic mix of Story Songs, Musical Theatre and Irish Folk songs, produced and arranged by David Hayes (“Riverdance“, “Fame, The Musical“, plus many more), and performed with wonderful panache by Actor/Singer Liam Butler.

The CD is available to download Worldwide at www.cdbaby.com/cd/LiamButler or itunes. And a Physical copy postal service by contacting Liam at cervantes@eircom.net


The Informer

Dublin Distractions

Are Ya Havin' A Laff? Beer Glasses A businessman enters a tavern, sits down at the bar, and orders a double martini on the rocks. After he finishes the drink, he peeks inside his shirt pocket, then orders the bartender to prepare another double martini. After he finishes that it, he again peeks inside his shirt pocket and orders the bartender to bring another double martini. The bartender says, "Look, buddy, I'll bring ya' martinis all night long - but you gotta tell me why you look inside your shirt pocket before you order a refill." The customer replies, "I'm peeking at a photo of my wife. When she starts to look good, I know it's time to go home."

Designated driver One night, a garda was stalking out a particularly rowdy bar for drink drivers. At closing time, he saw a fellow stumble out of the bar, trip on the curb, and try his keys on five different cars before he found his. Then, sat in the front seat fumbling around with his keys for several minutes. Everyone left the bar and drove off. Finally, he started his engine and began to pull away. The police officer was waiting for him. He stopped the driver, read him his rights and

administered the Breathalyzer test. The results showed a reading of 0.0. The puzzled officer demanded to know how that could be. The driver replied, "Tonight, I'm the Designated Decoy." Not long now A man hasn't been feeling well, so he goes to his doctor for a complete check-up. Afterward, the doctor comes out with the results. "I'm afraid I have some very bad news," the doctor says. "You're dying, and you don't have much time left." "Oh, that's terrible!" says the man. "How long have I got?" "Ten," the doctor says sadly. "Ten?" the man asks. "Ten what? Months? Weeks? What?!" The doctor interrupts, "Nine...".' Oops! The new employee stood before the paper shredder looking confused. "Need some help?" a secretary asked. "Yes," he replied, "how does this thing work?" "Simple," she said, taking the fat report from his hand and feeding it into the shredder. "Thanks, but where do the copies come out?"

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Blanch News Blanch In Brief... Draíocht's Autumn programme Draíocht is a centre for the arts in the heart of Blanchardstown, a multi-purpose venue used for a broad range of activities, including professional and community drama, dance, contemporary visual arts and crafts, classical and traditional music, a programme of activities for families, children and older people, comedy, artists in residence schemes, community outreach and education projects, and much more. Since the centre opened in 2001 it has been host to local arts groups, drama clubs, schools, community groups, theatre goers and those interested in the arts, the general public and, of course, local, national and international artists and performers. Tickets are now on sale for late summer and autumn events at Draíocht, and once again the pro-

gramme features content from, for, and about the community in which it is situated. Highlights of the programme include “It is what it is”, a play funded by the Blanchardstown Local Drugs Task Force and Fingal County Council. Devised and written for Drug Awareness Week by the drama students of Tolka River Project and Sinéad O'Loughlin, “It is what it is” looks at the struggles and the strengths of the people who face their demons and the hidden damage of drug use in all its disguises. Once again, transition year students of Hartstown Community School will be involved in 'From Page to Stage', while places on October mid-term break workshops can now be booked. For further information on all events on offer please visit www.draiocht.ie.

The Informer By Cathy Geagan

Castleknock Art Group

The Castleknock Art Group held an Art and Craft Exhibition in Castleknock Parish Centre on July 2nd-4th 2010. The exhibition not only provided a showcase for local talent, but also raised over e4,000 for The Will Doggart Trust. Many thanks to everyone who supported the exhibition and helped raise the money for a worthy cause.

August events at Blanchardstown library

A wide range of activities for adults and young people with be available at Blanchardstown library this month – all are welcome, and all these events are FREE, but you must book a place at the desk for each event that you wish to attend. Puppet show with Julie-Rose McCormick (Ages 3-10 Yrs.) Friday 13th August at 3pm Party-time with Mr. Podzo (arts & crafts, magic dress-up box, storytelling, party games & much more (Ages 4-13 Yrs) Monday 16th August and Friday 27th August. Animal Magic Road Show (All ages) Wednesday 25th August at 7.00pm. Heritage Week: 'Your Story, Your Place’ : Story - telling with Brendan Nolan Monday 23rd August at 11.30am. Old Photographs of the Dublin 15 area: a talk by Jim Lacey, Wednesday 25th August at 7pm. Grow it Yourself: The Co-operative Group to support growing your own food meets Tuesday 31st August at 7pm. “Europe Direct presents Travelling in Europe” This helpful exhibition about travelling in Europe will be on display in the Reference Section during August.

Tune in to 92.5 Phoenix FM:

Get y

92.5 Phoenix FM is the officially licensed Community Radio for Dublin 15. The station currently broadcasts 26 hours per week, during evenings and weekends. The output of the station is mainly talk based with an emphasis on local news and community affairs – tune in to support your local radio station.

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Blanch Informer August 2010  

spring awakening government sport spending all wrong irish aid making a huge impact in haiti Blanchardstown • castleknock • carpenterstown •...