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Blanch Informer 25,000 copies delivered monthly

February/March 2014 • Unit 55, Western Parkway Business Park, Ballymount, Dublin 12 • Tel: 01 813 8786 • Email: • Web:

Blanchardstown • Castleknock • Carpenterstown • Ongar • Littlepace • Huntstown

Win a Children's care centre pair of for Connolly Hospital Tickets As well as urgent care, each centre will also provide secondary acute outpatient services

The Minister for Health Dr. James Reilly, has recently announced that construction of one of the satellite centres for sick children will go ahead on the campus of Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown. A second centre will be located on the grounds of Tallaght Hospital on the South side of the city. Both centres will be established in By Paul O'Connell advance of the main children's hospital opening, with an estimated completion satellite centres and the new hospidate of mid-2016, subject to detailed tal.” It is understood that the decision to site studies and planning consent. The satellite centres are being devel- develop the hub-and-spoke model of oped in order to enhance access to the main hospital with satellite centres emergency and urgent care facilities is based on the need to provide high for children in the Greater Dublin quality, safe, accessible and secondary Area. As well as urgent care, each general care to the children of the centre will also provide secondary Greater Dublin Area. acute outpatient services, including The decision on satellite centres was rapid access general paediatric clinics. informed by consultation with, and Dr. Jim Browne, Chair of the input from, the National Paediatric Children’s Hospital Group Board, Hospital Development Board, said: “The Minister’s decision on the Children’s Hospital Group and the satellite centres is another important HSE, including the National Clinical step forward for the project and I am Programme for Paediatrics. confident it will support the best outServices to be provided comes for children both in Dublin and throughout Ireland. We can look forward now to planning in an integrated manner for the transition to both the

It is hoped the two satellite centres will each provide urgent care, to be established well in advance of the

Flash Fiction The Wizard Page 20

main hospital opening, with each centre providing secondary outpatient services including rapid access general paediatric clinics. Each centre will provide consultant-delivered urgent care, with observation beds (4-6 hour) and appropriate diagnostics. It is anticipated that the centres will open from 07.30 to 22.00. The majority of patients attending the centre will be treated and discharged. Critically ill and injured children will be stabilised by appropriately trained staff and transferred to the main site. Tom Costello, Chair of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Group Board, said: “I very much welcome the Minister’s decision on the satellite centres. This is another key milestone in the development of the new children's hospital. I am confident that the locations selected will enable us to get these centres built in line with our target date of mid 2016 - well in advance of the opening of the main hospital.”

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How do we fix Cross Dublin without meeting a pub the floods? Green Scene - Page 4

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The Informer

Blanch In Brief...

with Paul O'Connell

IBM announce Mulhuddart jobs

IBM is establishing a new centre at its Technology Campus in Mulhuddart. The new facility will be a multilingual operations centre for IBM’s global software services and will create up to 40 new roles, enabling IBM to use cloud infrastructure and smarter analytics to deliver industry-leading operational services to its clients around the world. Speaking on the announcment, Minister Joan Burton, said: “The Government has placed a major emphasis on securing new jobs in the ICT sector, and that work is clearly paying off in Dublin West, with the IBM announcement a further welcome sign of that. “This follows the recent announcement by Liberty Mutual of 150 new technology jobs in its Blanchardstown office.

Armed robbery in Castleknock

Local students urge Varadkar to clean-up their playground A group of students and teachers from Castaheany Educate Together School, in Ongar, recently marched to the office of Local TD and Minister for Sports and Tourisim, Leo Varadkar. The group made the journey in order to present the Minister with a petition to have Ongar playground fixed up and kept fit for purpose. The playground is part of the school's patch in the Fingal Adopt a Patch

Scheme. The students make regular visits to tidy the area, but according to march organiser, and teacher, Erica Hogan, the playground is an “eyesore.” Speaking to the Informer, Ms Hogan said: “The playground is the only one in Ongar and is in a bad way due to vandalism. Each class does a two week cleanup, from 2nd to 6th and we hope that the 6th class will paint over the grafitti in the summer term. We are appealing to the Minister to take the required action to ensure the children of the area have a playground that is fit for purpose.”

Gardaí in Blanchardstown are appealing for information following a recent cash-in-transit robbery that occured at Castleknock Shopping Centre. At approximately 11:30 am, one male armed with a what is believed to be a firearm, threatened and held up a security guard outside the shopping centre. He took the cash box and escaped in a black Ford Mondeo. The two males then abandoned the car and escaped on foot, with the firearm and the cash box, scaling a wall at the back of the shopping centre. Investigating Gardaí are appealing for information, and in particular any sightings of a black Ford Mondeo, with two males on board in the vicinity of Castleknock Shopping Centre shortly before 11:30am on the 14th January. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Blanchardstown Garda Station on 01-6667000

Gardaí issue counterfeit ticket warning

Gardaí are once again advising the public to purchase concert and event tickets from authorised sources only. The advice follows the recent arrest of a male in the east of the country as part of an investigation into the sale of counterfeit concert tickets via the internet. A male aged in his 20's was arrested when Gardaí stopped aand searched a car. A number of counterfeit tickets were recovered and mobile phones seized. The male was later charged and is currently before the courts. With tickets for major summer events either currently on sale, or due to go on sale, Gardaí are reminding members of the public that there is no guarantee that tickets bought from unauthorised sources will be valid, and may see them turned away from an event on the day. Mr Keith English, Managing Director, Ticketmaster Ireland, said: "We always strongly advise against buying tickets from unauthorised sources. There are numerous security features contained within the tickets but the most important is the bar code. " He went on to say: "All tickets entering live events are scanned at the entry point and if your ticket is not valid you won’t gain admittance, you won’t get to enjoy the show and you won’t get your money back.” A Garda spokeperson stated said the fight against the sale of counterfeit tickets continues to be a challenge for Gardaí in the policing of concerts and events. “Members of the public often only realise the have purchased counterfeit tickets when they arrive at the point of entry. Great distress is caused to members of the public who find themselves not only turned away at the venue but left out of pocket.”

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The Informer

Comment Box Niall Gormley, Dublin Informer Editor

Our January cartoon was not aimed at Muslims Last month the Informer carried a cartoon based on Taoiseach Enda Kenny's trip to Saudi Arabia. In the cartoon the Taoiseach and a man in traditional Arab dress are shown looking out on oil fields while standing on the backs of two women wearing niqab dress. The Enda Kenny figure says: "Eh, yes, it's a mighty view alright! No finer spot to talk business..." We received a letter from the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland complaining about the content of the cartoon. The letter said that people were offended by the cartoon and that the cartoon itself was demeaning to women. We are happy to apologize to anyone who was offended by the cartoon and to make it absolutely clear that the cartoon was not aimed at Muslims at all. The cartoon seeks to condemn the human rights situation for women in Saudi Arabia. Firstly, Saudi Arabia is a dictatorship with a very poor record of human rights in general. Secondly, the disastrous position of women in Saudi law and practice is drawn mainly from tribal norms and not from Islamic teachings. In no other Muslim majority country in the world have women fewer political and legal rights. The Global Gender Gap Report 2013 ranked Saudi Arabia 127th out of 137 countries for gender parity. (Ireland ranked 6th). The main target of the cartoon was Enda Kenny and the Irish state. Mr Kenny did not raise the issue of human rights on the visit and was specifically reported in the Irish Times as saying the visit was only about trade. In my view the cartoonist, Barry Gormley (who is my nephew), is entirely justified in depicting the economic interest of Ireland being pursued on the backs of Arabian women. Bizarrely, Enda Kenny found time to congratulate Saudi Arabia on being elected to the UN Human Rights Council, which proves that comedy is not only to be found in the cartoons of the Informer.

Dublin Informer

Editor: Niall Gormley • Address: Unit 55, Western Parkway Business Park, Ballymount, Dublin 12 01 813 8786 • • Sales Director: Declan Keane • Mobile: 087 9145073 For Advertising - Email: • Telephone: 01 813 8786

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The Informer

Green Scene

How do we fix the floods? As I write the centre of Cork is under water - again and homes and livelihoods are suffering all over the country. The government is admitting, for the first time, that we may not be able to fix all the flooding problems. I live close to a flood plain myself – we had to sandbag our front door only a week or so after we moved into this house. I hope that particular problem won’t happen again – we haven’t left it to government to fix, instead we’ve spent a fair bit of money on making it possible for water to flow naturally the way nature designed it before human beings rearranged of our local landscape. And that’s the problem with so many local flooding problems. We straightened the rivers and drained the water meadows, built farms and houses where no one had previously been stupid enough to live, and then wondered why the water came back. We’ve also removed our natural coastal defences to build golf courses, esplanades and beach cafés, and put houses on top of cliffs, and we are shocked when the sea snatches them away. On my local beaches north of Dublin acres of dune have been lost to the sea since the start of the year and the last remnants of a passage grave have fallen into the sea So now we have an expensive problem. Do we say to all the people who live and work in an environment at threat: “Hard luck, you pay for your predecessors' mistakes,” or do we spend an awful lot of public money rearranging the sea and rivers again. The people in the houses and businesses that flood regularly pay taxes – we all pay taxes, even those of us on social welfare who still have a pretty hefty VAT bill when they go shopping. So how should we spend those taxes. Should we build new housing estates on higher ground and abandon those lower down. Should we stop encouraging tourists and holiday makers to drive along our coastal

roads, stay at our coastal hotels, eat in seaside restaurants? In 2007 an expert report said that the sort of weather we’ve experienced recently, and particularly storm surges, were likely to get a lot more frequent and suggested that we not only need to stop building in vulnerable places but should work on restablishing estuaries, dunes and marshland in vulnerable areas. Some structural work has been done but since the beginning of the year we've learned that a lot of the advice has already been outpaced by changes in our weather and more frequent storm surges. We need to starte rebuilding our natural defences now, but we also need to decide just how much we are willing to spend to protect those who live around our coasts and along our river banks. We can't protect everyone without an enormous increase in taxation. It is time to make, and act on, the hard decisions

n Kerbstone from the Gormanston passage grave fallen from the cliff top after the recent storm sturges

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By Kathy Marsh, Sonairte Green snippets… Green snippets… SEAI back new EU carbon targets

The announcement by the EU Commission of new climate and energy goals for 2030 reinforces the case for continuing investment in Ireland renewable energy capacity, according to Dr Brian Motherway, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). He said: “We welcome the strong signal from the EU that its collective drive towards decarbonisation and renewable energy will continue. A 40% CO2 reduction is very challenging and it will only be met with a continued shift to renewable energy. This is strengthened by the inclusion of a binding 27% renewable target for the EU as a whole.

Guarded welcome for Deenihan peat plans The environmental group Friends of the Irish Environment who petitioned the European Commission to ensure peatland preservation gave a guarded welcome to the publication of three documents by Minister Jimmy Deenihan – the draft National Peatlands Strategy, draft National Raised Bog Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) Management Plan, and a Review of Raised Bog Natural Heritage Areas (NHAs). "If this work had been done in 1997 when the legislation came into place, the violent confrontations that we have witnessed on the bogs over the last two years could have been avoided. The Plan shows that of the SAC network’s 1990 ha in 1994, more than 730 ha had been destroyed by 2012," Director Tony Lowes said. "The only imperative public interest is to stop turf cutting. ‘both on these bogs, on Bord na Mona bogs, and on the undesignated raised bogs of the midlands. Turf cutting is wrong not only because we have an international responsibly to preserve increasingly rare raised bogs, but because cutting turf destroys our best carbon store and releases greenhouse gases. Turf is a fossil fuel, even dirtier than coal."


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The Informer

Ask the Fungal toenail Pharmacist Q: I think I might have a fungal infection on one of my big toenails. How can I tell if this is what I have and is there anything I can get to treat it? Where would I have picked it up from?

A: Fungal infection of the nails (known medically as onychomycosis) is quite common, usually affecting the toenails but occasionally affecting the fingernails. The most common symptom is that the affected nail becomes thickened and discoloured and develops a roughened surface. If left untreated, the nail becomes brittle and pieces can break off, or the whole nail can even separate from the nail bed. The condition is usually painless although the nail bed can become painful and inflamed in advanced cases. The infection is caused by a fungus which can be picked up from direct contact with someone who is already infected, or from floors, bedding, towels or upholstery that contain skin cells that were shed by someone with the infection. The fungus can live up to 15 months outside the body. Nail infections are more common in older people, those who use gyms or swimming pools, or if poor circulation, nail trauma or heavily perspiring feet are an issue. Fungal nail infections can be successfully treated, but treatment may take some time and patience is required. The damaged nail itself won’t repair, but rather healthy nail will grow to replace it. Depending on the degree of damage to the nail and rate of nail growth, treatment may be required for 6 to 12 months. A range of products are marketed to treat nail infections. Many of these are based on antiseptics or essential oils and will not be effective for an established infection. A new product called Curanail Nail Lacquer contains an anti-fungal agent that recently became available without prescription. This can be used to treat up to two infected nails and is applied once a week Curanail is probably the most effective treatment without prescription. Canespro is a new product that works to soften and remove the affected part of the nail, followed by treatment with an anti-fungal cream. A shorter treatment period is required, but it may be less successful with more advanced infections. If the infection is severe, more than two nails are affected, you have diabetes, or treatment with an OTC product has been unsuccessful you should visit your doctor. You may require a course of prescription antifungal tablets which would need to be taken for between six weeks and six months.

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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 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.


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The sky over Dublin with Conor Farrell, Astronomy Ireland

Mars is at its closest to Earth Around this time, the planet Mars is at its closest to Earth this year. Historically, these close passes have given astronomers an opportunity to study the planet’s surface through telescopes in more detail than usual, and in the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries, people discovered the ice caps at Mars’s poles and saw what they thought were oceans and canals. Modern amateur telescopes can easily reveal these details on the surface of the Red Planet, but our best views have been taken from its surface. There are currently two active robots on Mars now: Opportunity and Curiosity. Both rovers slowly drive across the Martian surface, examining samples for evidence of life and past water activity. Opportunity’s twin rover, Spirit, became stuck in soft soil in late 2009 and unfortunately could not be recovered. Communications with Spirit ended in March 2010. Mars is named after the Roman god of war. The Norse god of war Tiw is equated with Mars, and this is where we get the name Tuesday. The planet is home to the biggest volcano and tallest mountain in the Solar System: Olympus Mons is about three times the height of Everest, measuring somewhere between 21km and 27km tall, depending on the source of the

measurement. Occasionally, the surface of Mars is obstructed from view by vast planetwide sandstorms. These storms can last weeks or months, and spacecraft landing on Mars are designed with this in mind. Mars rises in the eastern horizon just before midnight, and can be recognised as a rather bright ‘star’ with an orange or red tinge. While binoculars won’t give good views of the surface, a mid-sized telescope may reveal the polar icecaps and some of the surface detail that people once thought was evidence of Martian beings. You can get your equipment to scan the Dublin sky at



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The Informer

Garden Growing With Gerry Norton Garden things to think about A wee lift in the wind and rain Here are some others things to think about in the garden just now despite the weather. • Birds are already starting to build their nests for this year so if your ivy or shrubs needs a trim do it now otherwise leave it be until September.

• Prune off old stems off herbaceous perennials. • Prune fruit trees. • Prune wisteria and late flowering clematis. • Last chance to get your lawn mower and other equipment serviced. • Visit the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin for ideas and inspiration. • Pop into your local garden centre to see what’s available and to cheer yourself up. • Always have some horticultural fleece in case the weather turns cold to protect delicates. • Plan to have more water butts in your garden as you will be paying for H2O next year. • Prune deciduous trees now as it’s easy to see the form of the tree without leaves.

After a reasonably mild early winter the weather for the last 7-8 weeks or so has been absolutely awful. We’re all starting to get fed up with ‘stair rods rain’ and gale force winds. So what can we do to give ourselves a wee lift and get the year started? First thing to do, when you get a nice day is have a close look at what’s going on in your ground. At this time of year no matter how diligent you were last autumn, there will always be some debris like old dead leaves lying around so a small clean up is no harm. What lies beneath

You will be amazed at what you will see under these decaying leaves, as they act as protection for this years new shoots. I did a small clear up recently, a rare window between wind and rain, of old decaying Montbretia in a corner of the garden. I was amazed to see in various phases, snow drops, narcissus, fritillaries, lily of the valley, cro-

n A strange spring with early daffodils and lots of wind and very wet weather cus and hidden, face down as usual, helleborus. Until the weather settles down, I wouldn’t be in any hurry to do any serious work in the garden for now, other than make plans for the coming year. You say potato...

For readers who enjoy growing their own potatoes, the garden centres and DIY shops are now

stocking early seed potatoe varieties and depending on your selection you should start the ‘Chitting’ process now using, for example, empty cardboard egg boxes to encourage the shoots to develop before planting. Germinator

This month is also the time to start germinating seeds indoors using a propagator. Heated prop-

agators are marvelous and don’t cost too much, expect to pay around €40. They really do speed up the germinating process. Reap what you sow

Don’t place too many seeds in each compartment as it’s a waste and is something we all do. I estimate that over 50% of seeds are discarded following the thinning out process.

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 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



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Dublin Advice

The Informer

The Therapeutic Relationship from the perspective of Person Centred Counselling Relationship, with our self and with others, is at the heart of who we are and what we do. Relationship is also something that many people struggle with e.g. relationship conflicts, inadequate relationships and the absence of relationship. The therapeutic relationship (the interaction between client and therapist) provides an opportunity for the client to experience and explore relationship, to learn to engage with someone in a more real and intimate way and subsequently learn how better to relate with others and deal with relationship conflicts.

demnation. It is a space in which our longing to rediscover ourselves and our needs, and to regain a trust and confidence in our own thoughts and feelings is acknowledged and valued. Daunting

Core Conditions

The development of the therapist/client relationship in personal centred counselling is contributed to by three factors (the core conditions) i.e.: • Congruence: the ability of the therapist to be real in the therapeutic relationship, which includes being willing to make her thoughts and feelings available in an appropriate and sensitive manner. Congruence is essential in order to provide the foundation upon which trust can develop. • Empathy: in empathising with the client the therapist attempts to look at things from the client’s perspective leading the therapist to appreciate how the client is experiencing a particular event. • Unconditional Positive Regard: an attitude of acceptance towards the client by the therapist no matter who the client is or what s/he brings into the room. Trust and Safety

Sonia Gyles, Counsellor/Psychotherapist

With each of these core conditions present, there is the potential for a real and honest relationship to develop. As it develops, trust beings to grow between

client and therapist, which subsequently leads to the client feeling safe in the relationship. Feeling safe in the relationship is important for the client for the following reason - exploring ourselves at depth, reaching into those areas of ourselves where we have never before dared reach, exposing our vulnerabilities and uncertainties and experiencing raw emotion can be frightening, not least as we fear losing control or being overwhelmed; therefore it is essential that the client feels safe as s/he embarks on this journey of exploration. Acceptance

The concept of being accepted for who we are is an important factor in the client/therapist relationship. In a society in which we find ourselves playing roles and wearing masks - in our homes, our families and our workplaces, the therapeutic relationship provides a space in which we can begin to remove our masks, break down our façades and discover who we really are without fear of judgement or con-

In considering the work between therapist and client it is important to recognise that the emphasis on the relationship can initially be daunting for a client. For example, if in relationship with others the client has only ever experienced people hiding behind pretences, the ability and willingness of the therapist to be real and honest in her reactions and expressions can be unnerving. However, as the therapist continues to be real in the relationship and as trust develops, the client will begin to feel more comfortable with this way of relating and engage with it. Healing

This encounter between client and therapist provides a foundation from which healing can take place e.g. the healing of damaged relationships, of broken trust, of wounded self-worth and of shattered confidence, by offering the client the opportunity to experience relationship in a new way, to learn from it and to bring that learning to bear on his/her own relationships. Sonia Gyles, BSc. (Hons.) Counselling & Psychotherapy. Counsellor/Psychotherapist Appletree Health and Wellness 126 Ranelagh, Dublin 6 Tel. No. 086 449 1761

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WITH THE RTÉ CONCERT ORCHESTRA Barry Manilow fans are in for a treat this May with COPACABANA! The Music of Barry Manilow. The RTÉ Concert Orchestra and renowned vocalist Keith McDonald perform all Manilow’s greatest hits like Could It Be Magic, Mandy, Copacabana, Bermuda Triangle and so many more. This fun-filled flashback to the '70s and '80s is coming to the National Concert Hall, Dublin on Thursday May 22nd. "Don't stop what you're doing, man. We're all inspired by you" so said Bob Dylan to Barry Manilow in 1988. It’s little wonder too, when you consider the accomplishments and addictively catchy melodies of this legendary master-songsmith. Expect hit after hit with arrangements by Andy O'Callaghan the same conductor/arranger behind the tremendously popular previous Super Troupers and Disco Inferno! concerts.

The lack of sun in the last few months may be starting to take its toll on your body. The sun is our main source of vitamin D so is it any wonder that up to 80% of Irish people are considered to be deficient? Vitamin D has numerous health benefits. Some of which include, boosting the immune system and maintaining healthy skin, bones, teeth and muscles. D-Pearls Pharma Nord is the highest strength vitamin D supplement on the market.

We have 3 pairs of tickets to give away to COPACABANA! To be in with a chance of winning, simply fill in the blank in the song title of Manilow’s 1975 hit song: Could it be......... : a) Happening? b) Love? c) Magic? if you’re not lucky enough to win you can buy tickets from the National Concert Hall Box Office 01 417 0000 or Answers by e-mail only to Please include your contact number. Closing date for entries 15th March 2013.

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The Informer

Game Reaction with Denis Murphy

Virtual Reality is finally here... For far too long has the gaming community pined for virtual reality, and now, after many failed efforts, it has become a reality. As a gamer nothing ruins a gaming experience more than being pulled out of it. That could happen for many different reasons, but the biggest is the fact that, at the end of the day, the game is confined to the screen in front of you. Outside of that box the game ends. But what if you could be inside the game? What if you could be completely and utterly pulled into the experience? Virtual reality has always been a staple of science fiction. Whether it was the holo-deck in Star Trek: The Next Generation, or the virtual prison in The Matrix, we have always been fascinated at stepping into a world that isn't our own. And why not, as the idea of virtual reality would let us experience the impossible. Invented by Palmer Luckey, a 20 year old gaming enthusiast, the Oculus Rift is being developed as the world's first affordable 3D capable virtual reality headset. While other virtual reality headsets - created mainly for the military - could set you a back few thousand Euro, the Oculus Rift is aimed to ship at around $300. Along with his team at Oculus, Palmer is aiming to change the face of gaming forever, and usher in a new age

Animal Tracks

with Dublin Small Animal Rescue

Understanding your Guinea Pig Guinea pigs are active, inquisitive animals that make great companions. They are naturally social and exhibit a wide range of behaviours. Understanding these behaviours, can help you build a close relationship with your furry friend. Guinea pigs are very unique animals and have big personalities! The more time you spend with your furry friend, the more you will start to understand them. The following is a short guide to help you on your way to speaking your guinea pigs language.

of virtual reality. Palmer has been fascinated with virtual reality all his life, and is certain that with the advancements in technology in recent years, this is all possible and more. A quick YouTube search shows us the potential of the Oculus Rift. Whether it's sitting back and enjoying a 3D roller coaster, exploring a dark and terrifying cave, skydiving, experiencing a techno light show or simply watching your favourite film in a virtual cinema, the Oculus Rift is truly a leap in immersive entertainment. Expected to be available to the public late this year, the Oculus Rift will change it all. Not convinced? Trying searching “Oculus Rift Cinema”, “Oculus Rift Roller Coaster reaction” or “Oculus Rift Flying” on Youtube and prepare to be amazed. The future in gaming is here.

Vocalisation: Guinea pigs may seem like quiet critters, but once they get used to you, they have no problem in letting you know how they feel and what they want (most often its food!) Some common vocalisations include: • Wheeking: A high pitched squeal. Usually means your furry friend is excited. Just start chopping some veggies nearby and you will soon hear the sound! • Purring: There is a wide range of purrs which all have different meanings. A deep, relaxed purr usually means your piggy is content. A high pitched purr is often a sound of annoyance. A shorter sounding, apprehensive purr may mean fear. • Hissing: This can sound like chattering teeth and is a sign that your pet guinea pig is angry! If you are handling your pig while he makes this noise, put him back in his house as he is telling you he has had enough for now. The hiss may be accompanied by bared teeth. • Chirping: A ‘chirp’ sound that is often made when your guinea pig is in a trance-like state. It is not fully understood but may be a sign of grief as it is often seen in pigs that have recently lost a partner. It may also be a warning signal to other pigs that danger is nearby.

Physical communication: Non verbal communication is also important in the guinea pig world. • Happiness: A common sign of happiness is called popcorning. This is when a pig hops up and down, similar to popcorn popping. Another sign is rubbing noses, which guinea pigs will often do with each other. Guinea pigs may suddenly run around really quickly. This is known as ‘zooming’ and is common way for piggies to let you know they are happy. • Anxiety/aggression: Freezing, fidgeting, or throwing their head up in the air are clear signs that a guinea pig is scared or uncomfortable. Teeth baring and hissing, hair fluffing, and strutting are signs of aggression. • Signs of Stress and Depression: Stressed guinea pigs may show signs of irritability and more aggressive displays of behaviour, such as head tossing, fidgeting, or teeth-baring. A depressed guinea pig, on the other hand, will become very listless and not display much energy. If your guinea pig is showing signs of stress or depression you should consult your veterinarian as soon as possible. • Socializing: Guinea pigs are incredibly social animals and thrive better when they have other guinea pig friends to pal around with. They enjoy playing and interacting with each other. If you have a single guinea pig, it’s very important spend time with them. Videos of the various vocalisations and behaviours can be found on our Youtube Channel. www. Dublin Small Animal Rescue

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The Informer

All about Dublin 1

A Place in the City One of the most imposing buildings in Fingal is St. Ita’s Hospital at Portrane, its familiar red brick exterior a landmark for generations of local families. Through the decades the hospital and its extensive lands provided the main source of employment in the locality, comprising three farms, including one at Turvey, where cattle and pigs were kept. In the hospital an area was set up where cloth was woven and suits made for the residents. There was also a carpentry section and a butchers shop, making it totally self-sufficient. A lot of those who found themselves in St. Ita’s were skilled workers, weavers, painters and artists mentally scarred from the effects of shell shock during WWI. One of those who supplied the relatively new concept of occupational therapy for patients was Jack Buckley, who spent 40 years working there, one of the longest-serving male nurses in Britain and Ireland. A feature of the hospital grounds are the houses on the avenue leading up to the main building. These were for farm labourers with oth-

St. Ita's Hospital and Tower

ers, further up the road, for medical staff, many of whom came from all over Ireland to work there and on retirement remained in the locality. Within the grounds is a round tower; no ordinary tower. It is a very successful 19th century imitation and was built as a memorial to George Evans, the local MP who was the last family member to live in Portrane House. The estate stretched to over 400 acres and was stocked with deer. The tower was erected in 1844 by Sophie Evans, a relation of

Charles Stewart Parnell, in memory of her husband and it once included a bust of George, but that was later taken to Oxford University. The first schools in Portrane were built by the Evans family with one for boys and a second for girls. An excerpt from 'From the Danes to the Delvin - Fingal," with paintings by Hugh F. Ryan and text by Hubert Murphy. It is published by Cottage Publications and is priced around e22.


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Lesser Known Dubliners

Edited by Zoz James Field

JAMES Field, aged 37, was born in Dublin, and his "Several Warrants were Abroad for apprehending younger days were passed away without much school- Field a long while before he was taken, but the ing. He was an adventurous youth and little persua- Officers were afraid of him, and it they met him in the sion was needed to get him involved in mischief, a lot Street, they pass'd by him without Notice." of which involved fighting. And then one day he was found alone and arrested, He left Ireland and became a well-known, if not a though not without putting up a fight. At his trial he first rate, boxer in London. An official account noted: refused to admit his guilt to any crime and named "Field sought many Battles, and was frequently beat, others as the perpetrators (mostly people who were if not generally, tho' a stout and resolute Fellow." dead or already found guilty of similar crimes). And, When some of his activities to be fair, the court wasn't too brought the law too close to interested in proving his guilt his heels he became a sailor, as his sentence was a foregone serving on board navy warconclusion. The evidence, such ships and the more profitable as it was, came from other privateers (basically pirates criminals hoping to extricate with a licence.) themselves from the noose, and He returned to London with possession of a gold watch his prize money but had to which he would not explain. disappear back to Ireland after He was found guilty, with being involved in the jailthree others, of assaulting break of Jones (alias Harpur) David Woodman, putting him from the 'Gate-House'. In in "in corporal Fear, and Danger time, not learning from his n James Field lives on in William Hogarth‘s of his Life, [and stealing] 1 pair anti-animal cruelty engravings Four Stages of previous experience, Dublin Cruelty, published later in 1751. He’s the model of Spectacles, Value 2d., and became 'too hot to hold him.' for the hanged corpse being carved apart in 13s. in Money " Back in London he spent the dissection theater in the last plate He was executed, along with his days chiefly amongst "Thieves, Gamblers, and nine others, at Tyburn, London, on Monday, February lewd Women", supporting himself by the occasional 11th, 1751. The official account noted "The Whole robbery with violence. Although he was implicated was carried on with what Decency the Nature of such his many crimes his reputation as a hard man, who Affairs will admit, without much Hurry; and there was rarely seen without several similarly inclined was no Disturbance, or Tumult among the individuals, seems to have kept him safe for a while; Populace."

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All about Dublin 2 Making History

The Informer

Edited by Zoz

Making the Dry Walk

James Joyce wondered in 'Ulysses' if it was possible to walk across Dublin without passing a pub. He didn't come up with an answer, nor did he define the area he meant. There were, of course, many more pubs in the city in the past, so Joyce may have had his work cut out for him. And, as he was in Paris at the time, a hands-on approach was impossible. And there is the added problem that Joyce didn't need to work it out if he chose to enter every pub along his chosen route, thus not passing any of them. But, taking it as a practical problem, there is a solution(s). Enter 'cross dublin without passing a pub' into Google and take your pick - a good start is at: http:// The route is from Mespil Road to the North Circular, and there is much commentary, including whether hotels count, what exactly is a bar, does Club an Chonradh, Harcourt Street, count, and is it fair to sidetrack through public places that are only open at certain time? The site, designed by Rory McCann, is designed so that no pub is within 35 metres at any point along the route, to prevent walking on the other side of a street to avoid them.

n This photograph of the Findlaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location on South Great Georgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Street must have been taken somewhere around Christmas and around the turn of the last century. Findlater's was known for its massive turkey sales around the holidays. There are turkeys, and stockings in the windows and garlands hung above the three men. And, while the men had sense enough to remain absolutely still while the long- exposure photograph was being taken the boy on the right is blurred because of movement. The picture comes from the very interesting Adam Findlater Image Gallery on Dublin City Library's website.

This feature was researched with the help of For your Motor, Home, Travel, Personal Accident Insurance, and Identity Theft Protection. Log on to the Affinity Programme today The J.F.Dunne Insurances Affinity Programme is underwritten on a tied agency basis with AIG Europe Ltd J.F.Dunne Insurances Ltd is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and is part of the J.F.Dunne Group.

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All about Dublin 3 First hand History

About the year 1804-5, a young man, named M----, entered into the employment of the Bank of Ireland as a junior clerk. For some time after his entry into the service of the Bank, the conduct of M was exemplary. His bearing denoted modesty, mildness, and meekness; perhaps, however, it was a little too austere. He continued to be a constant attendant at chapel, was very devout, and maintained the costume which had contributed to captivate the deputy cashier - that is, he wore no collar to his coat; his hair, too, was of the least possible fashionable cut. Within two years his appearance had changed and he had, for instance, been known to enter the shop of Harry Riblan, the woollen draper, on the sunny side of Dame Street, and to select stuff for coats, waistcoats, and trousers, to the amount of £100. He was still mild, civil, and attentive while on duty, but, business over and his fustian sleeves withdrawn, he changed to the fashionable lounger after his exit from the Bank; or, followed by his groom, who attended with his horses at Essex Bridge (the Bank of Ireland was then in Mary's Abbey), he took a constitutional ride into the country, and returned to town to dine at one or other of the fashionable taverns of the day, or at the

house of a pleasure seeking associate, and finished by a visit to the theatre or some other place of amusement or dissipation. Senior bankers were curious as to the source of his wealth but accepted his explanation that he was the nephew and heir of an Earl and was getting £2,000 a year from him. At length came the breaking of the ice. A bank-note for £500 was changed one day in the cash office for smaller notes in the usual way of business. It formed, of course, part of the balance of the teller, when, at three o'clock, he surrendered up his trust for the day. On reference to the stock of M in the course of the afternoon (he also had left the Bank as usual at three o'clock), it was discovered that he had not debited himself with this note for £500, nor with some 30 or 40 more of a similar amount, the chequefoils only of which were found. [Bank notes were then more like cheques, if you had the money the bank would write you a 'cheque' - it held onto the counterfoil] On presenting himself at the Bank next morning, he was taken into custody, and after examination, the case being clear, he was committed to Newgate. One or two other clerks, suspected of being his accomplices, were suspended, and subse-


The Informer

Edited by Zoz

The Dishonest Banker

quently dismissed without arrest or prosecution. In due course M was brought to trial, charged with stealing money the property of the Bank of Ireland, to the extent of

fourteen or fifteen thousand pounds. M was acquitted of the felony, but held responsible for the sum deficient in his accounts. He was accordingly immediately on leaving the court arrested, and

n 'Bank of Ireland and Trinity College, Dublin. R.556.' A Real Photograph postcard by Valentine's posted in Dublin in 1949. The bus in the foreground is the No. 54 to Kimmage. The No. 21 behind it (Westland Row to Inchicore) ceased to operate in February 1940, proof that you can't rely on postmarks to date postcard images.

committed to the sheriff's prison, or Marshalsea, and ultimately died there. An excerpt from Reminiscences of an Emigrant Milesian (Vol. 3), by Ansdrew O'Reilly, published in 1853.

Advertisements include Clerys, Cairnes Stouts, Shaws Sausages and Bacon, and Jeyes Fluid. On an enlargement a horse and cart, possibly delivering coal, can be seen inside the railings of the Bank of Ireland. The rather odd looking lorry on the left with the man enjoying a free ride is identified as W & R Jacob & Co. Ltd. E: | T: 086 836 2248

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y Zoz

The Informer

With JJ Fleetwood

Flash Fiction


The Wizard

Memo No. 356, 21st Century English Language Version Subject: Nikola Tesla (The Wizard) Written by: Ko Meton Zli, Archivist, Planetary Intervention Agency (PIA) Not For circulation on Earth (Sol 3) before admission to the Inter-galactic Federation. Sometimes I despair for the human race. It is hard to believe that humans are currently unaware of any kind of life, not to mention advanced intelligent life, outside of their tiny home planet. Many humans actually believe that they are alone in the universe. The PIA’s goal is to help inhabited planets achieve a sufficient level of technological and social devlopment to be admitted to the intergalactic federation. Until that is achieved, intergalactic law forbids any overt communication with these planets. However, it is permitted to subtly plant ideas, great scientific and technological ideas, directly into the minds of selected humans to speed up progress. We had success with this approach in the 17th and 18th centuries – Newton, for example. By the late 19th century we knew that harnessing the

power of electricity was essential for further human progress. The best that unaided humanity could achieve in the first of these was the work of Thomas Edison. But his DC electricity generating plants were feeble. They could only send power over a distance of about one mile, and even then the power available was too weak for anything other than electric lighting. Then came Tesla. We had recruited him as a child growing up in Smiljan, Croatia. He was a remarkably sensitive boy. He often experienced hallucinations so vivid that he was unable to distinguish them from the real world. We were able to mould and direct his impressionable mind, inspiring him with dreams of advanced technology that were, quite literally, out of this world. As an adult he moved to America. With our guidance he developed a complete system for AC power generation and distribution. Within a decade the mighty Niagara Falls was tamed, sending vast amounts of electrical power through wires more than fifty miles to the city of Buffalo. Tesla became renowned throughout the world as an incomparable electrical genius. But that great achievement was to be only a first step. The next step was a system that would provide wireless

transmission of power and wireless communication throughout the globe. With our help, Tesla became the only man on earth who could achieve this. As Tesla wrote to his financial backer J.P. Morgan in 1905: ‘I have perfected the greatest invention of all time...the transmission of electrical energy without wires to any distance...I need but to complete the plant and in one bound humanity will advance centuries’ A great tower, topped by a huge dome, was built to house the new system at Wardenclyffe, near New York. When completed it would cause the very planet to vibrate, providing instant power and communication throughout the globe, dwarfing the puny efforts of Edison and Marconi. Tesla would become a living God. But mankind’s great failing, the pursuit of short-term financial gain, destroyed this great project. Money ran out and Morgan refused to advance any more funds. The great tower was never finished. Despite our best efforts, the dream died. The once famous Tesla died in poverty and obscurity. Tesla was exaggerating. The failure of this project probably only set back human progress by fifty years or so. But the work of the PIA continued, soon we turned our attention to another of our recruits, a young boy called Alan Turing.

Graham Connor's Movie Advice The Dallas Buyers Club HHHHH

Directed by Jean Marc Vallee. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner.







In 1986 Ron Woodruff is told that he is HIV Positive and has 30 days to live. Encountering a lack of HIV knowledge among his doctors, Woodruff takes his medication into his own hands and begins to treat himself. This is a true story. It is not a melodrama; it is not a blatant puller of heartstrings either. It is a very honest film, McConaughey portraying Woodruff as he was, a drug addicted womaniser. Ordinarily he isn’t a character you can easily like but you certainly do feel sorry for him and that is the true testament of McConaughey as you grow to like him because you understand him. But this isn’t just about McConaughey, he is surrounded by equally talented actors, chief amongst them is Jared Leto, a man who returned from a six year acting hiatus to play a HIV Positive transgender street hustler. He has garnered a lot of awards talk from this role and it is all warranted. The film does lose its way a little towards the end as it confuses what is important; the politics of the story or the human element but it is a small quibble. Dallas Buyers Club deservers to be seen, it is a welltold story that is genuinely affecting. Advice: Must see

Robocop HHHHH Directed by Jose Padulha. Starring Joel Kinnaman, Michael Keaton and Abbie Cornish

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It is 2028 and Det. Alex Murphy is mortally wounded in the line of duty. Waking up, he is informed that he has become Robocop, a fusion of man and machine. The original Robocop was an ultra violent sci-fi film. This remake attempts to be just that, just without the violence. Surprisingly that doesn’t mean it’s a bad film, it certainly is action-packed but it’s nowhere near as violent as it’s 1987 predecessor. It also attempts to satirise modern society, the power of social media, fear in the home and the struggle between man and machine. One main problem is that Kinnaman’s Robocop isn’t a patch on Peter Weller’s original, he hasn’t got the physical presence but then again, this Robocop is a much trimmer creation and looks like a black coloured ipod. But Kinnaman is a great Robocop, he offers a lot more humanity than Weller could as this version of Robocop knows exactly from the start what has become of him. The cast in this film is universally excellent, Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson expecially. Abbie Cornish adds a lot of depth to the family side of Det. Murphy/Robocop, she illustrates the conflict between man and machine. If I am honest I believe that this is a film that did not need to be made. At the same time I found if quite enjoyable, there are several nods to it’s 1987 predecessor. If you have never seen the original then you’ll probably love it. Advice: May be better on DVD


The Informer

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Law matters with Noreen Maguire


eauty Notes

Working for a competitor Winter aware

We recently received a query from a client regarding their Contract of Employment and a clause in the Contract which sought to prevent them from working for a competitor of their current employer. These type of clauses are known as 'restrictive covenants' or 'restraint of trade' clauses, and will usually include clauses which attempt to prevent you from competing with your old employer by setting up your own business (non-compete), taking their clients or customers (non-solicitation) and from entering into employment with a rival company. Essentially, the employer is using these clauses to try to protect its trade secrets or confidential information, and its connections with its customers and/ or suppliers. The most important consideration when looking at any such restrictive clause is whether or not the clause is reasonable. For a restriction to be deemed 'reasonable', it should not be too far-reaching or unfairly restrictive. Generally speaking, restrictive clauses would be examined with regards to the following criteria: 1. Geographical area: is the geographical area too wide? So for example if a clause includes an area where the employer company does not do business, or if the clause was attempting to prevent an employee taking up employment for a competitor throughout the whole of Europe, it is likely that it would be considered unreasonable.

2. Length of time: the length of time for the restriction must be justifiable. In practice, six months to twelve months would be the norm. 3. Type of trade or commercial information the employer is trying to protect. 4. Level of employee's position within the employer company: if an employee is a lowlevel worker on an average salary, it would be ludicrous to try to restrict their moving to a new employer. We outlined to the client that one of the more common reactions by an employer following a perceived breach of such restrictive termination clauses would be to look for an injunction against the former employee. In summary, an employer needs to carefully consider whether inserting these types of clauses into an Employment Contract is necessary, and whether they would withstand a legal challenge in Court. The employee should also try to observe all terms and conditions in their Contract of Employment, but should consider getting legal advice in circumstances where they are prevented from moving on with their career. Noreen Maguire is a solicitor with Maguire Muldoon Solicitors, 34 Gledswood Park, Clonskeagh, D14. Tel (01) 296 4266 E-mail: Web:

Darker evenings, sniffly noses and fogged up bus windows are all part and parcel of the winter months and these elements can have us hiding under the duvet hoping for spring to come. However there are some ways to beat the winter blues by taking care of yourself, wrapping up and making your home a sanctuary from the bitter elements. Skin can suffer greatly during the winter where central heating and harsh wind and rain can cause dryness and breakouts leaving skin dull and lacklustre. MorEPA Smart Fats capsules (€29.95 for 30 day supply) provide the correct balance of Essential fatty acids. Omega-3 fish oil is vital for skin health as it provides a rich source of moisture, giving it that all important glow. Fish oil is a preventative measure against skin aging too. This is because UV rays from the sun cause structural damage to skin cells, ultimately causing wrinkles. Research from Journal of Lipid Research confirms that high concentrated omega 3 fish oil supplements actually reduce the level of cellular damage to UV-exposed skin, therefore combating the signs of ageing. MorEPA products can be found in pharmacies nationwide. After battling for a seat on the bus home there is nothing better then turning

The Informer

with Kathleen Rowley

Skin can suffer greatly during the winter where central heating and harsh wind and rain can cause dryness and breakouts

walking into a warm and cosy home that smells divine. Max Benjamin has introduced a new fragrance to add warmth to the home in winter. The new Winter Tree & Moss fragrance is available in three products – a candle, diffuser and three wick candle. Fir trees and emerald moss surrounded by abundant winter fruits are the basis of this fresh new fragrance from Max Benjamin. The warm fragrance provides a cosy atmosphere as the dark evenings draw in. Packaged in a bright green box, Winter Tree & Moss is the perfect home accessory for the new season ahead. The scent was inspired by the wooded countryside that surrounds the company’s premises. In addition the company is launching a wide range of both bodycare and home fragrance items that will be perfect for a stylish Christmas gift. Prices vary from €18.95 - €30.



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CAMDEN GAS Authorised


DELIVERING TO ALL DUBLIN SOUTH Camden Gas have been in business for over 20 years, we deliver calor gas direct to your door. Call us today to arrange a delivery 0876868734

Phoenix Landscape Designs ‘Rejuvenate Your Garden’ Commercial & Residential Fully Registered & Insured


Phone: 086 234 4215

Design, Planting and Maintenance Stone, Wood and Water features Paving, Brick Work, Patios and Decking "ÕÌ`œœÀÊÕ`ˆœÊ>˜`ʈ}…̈˜}ÊUÊÕÀ>Ê*>ˆ˜Ìˆ˜} Full Tree Service and Hedge Trimming

i>˜‡1«ÃÊ>˜`Ê*œÜiÀÊ7>ň˜}ÊUÊi˜iÀ>Ê>ˆ˜Ìi˜>˜Vi PROPERTIES WANTED URGENTLY We Repair For Sale or to Let UÊ / , UÊ ," Ê, UÊ-1  Ê- /UÊ,  ,UÊ1*"-/ ,9Ê- ,6

Please call for Appointment 087 8547566

We have clients ready and waiting for your property to be their home.

Auctioneers & Property Management

TEL: 01-4659777


1890 837271 ✔ Straight Stairs ✔ Curved Stairs ✔ New & Reconditioned Stairlifts ✔ Free Survey & Quotation ✔ 24hr 7 day call out ✔ Extra Features

E175 We provide complete installation services to help you introduce a stairlift to your home as easily as possible

The LARGEST storage area in your home

We can supply and fit a 3 section aluminium loft ladder

Call 087 3880966

Spring is here! Need a Builder?

All house and garden maintenance undertaken ✔ Electrical ✔ Plumbing ✔ Carpentry ✔ Plastering ✔ Bricklaying • MINI DIGGER AVAILABLE •


Contact Brian 087-9882273 Email:

Storage Tanks Is your Oil Tank Leaking? Dublin, Kildare or Meath? Need an emergency response?

■ Specialists in supply & fit of new tanks ■ Old/leaking oil tanks replaced ■ All Tanks Heavy Duty Plastic ■ Steel Industrial Tanks ■ Domestic, Commercial, Industrial ■ 10 Year Guarantee ■ Oil Transferred and Removed Tel: 01 624 7046 ■ Old Oil Tanks and Boilers Removed Mob: 087 256 5466 ■ Tank Cleaning Available E:

Advertise Your Trade or Service here


plus vat

Or e300 for 3 months + vat

Call 01 813 8786


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Wood Venetians Romans 25mm/35mm/50mm/63/mm Uʏ>“iÊ,iÌ>À`>˜Ì UÊœˆÃÌÕÀiÊÀiÈÃÌ>˜Ìʓ>Žˆ˜}Ê̅i“Ê ÊÊÊÃՈÌ>LiÊvœÀÊL>̅Àœœ“ÃÊ>˜`ʎˆÌV…i˜Ã UÊÛ>ˆ>LiÊÕ«Ê̜ÊÓx™V“Ê܈`i

✔ Telephone for a quote ✔ œ˜¿ÌʓˆÃÃʜÕÌʜ˜ÊL>À}>ˆ˜ÃÊÌœÊ Liʅ>` ✔ œÊ}ˆ““ˆVŽÃʇÊVœ“iÊ>œ˜}Ê‡Ê ÛˆÃˆÌʜÕÀÊŜÜÀœœ“

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Unit 9, Porters Avenue, Coolmine Ind Est, Dublin 15 Telephone: 01 822 8088

10% EXTRA discount off your order with this coupon

Blanch informer february 2014  
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