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January 2011 • Unit 38, Northwood Court, Santry, Dublin 9 • Tel: 01 813 8786 • Email: info@informer.ie • Web: www.informer.ie

Dún Laoghaire • Dalkey • Killiney • Monkstown • Blackrock

Local council refuses to implement FAS Courses

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) has come under fire recently for its lack of action regarding a new FAS scheme designed to allow redundant apprentices to complete a phase of their training with the assistance of the council. This scheme is one of several initiatives announced by the Government in December's Budget, to be administered by FAS, to try help up to 1,000 unemployed apprentices off the dole queues and into meaningful employment. This scheme will see those candidates finish their training with a placement company while receiving a government subsidy to their social welfare benefit.

Other councils

But Dun Laoghaire Rathdown have not implemented the scheme, the same scheme that has been rolled out in other councils around the county, including the South Dublin County Council and the Dublin City Council, and is proving popular for those young apprentices that have been unable to complete their training. Fine Gael Councillor Neale Richmond has questioned the wis-

By Graham Connors dom of not implementing this scheme and criticised DLRCC stating: “It is lamentable that the Council will not take this positive step to help local apprentices to finish their training, it would be an easy way to sidestep the recruitment embargo while improving Council services”.

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Today's Man Guitar Lessons

Lack of capacity

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, in response to Councillor Richmond’s criticisms, claims to have examined the scheme being promoted by FAS across several different levels, such as the resources required in terms of mentoring, training and supervision of the scheme, and come to the conclusion that the council does not have the capacity to meet the requirements of the scheme to operate it to its full potential. With nearly 40% of all apprentice-

Local Business Personal Ads are on the Back Page

ships currently unfinished and with over 7,000 young apprentices on the dole, the wisdom of this decision has been called into question, especially in this period of harsh winter weather that has seen the country’s ability to supply water severely affected. With over one third of men under the age of 25 currently unemployed, local councillors have asked Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to be proactive in dealing with the unemployment crisis in this country.

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Willie O'Reilly Interview n Neale Richmond

Page 10

Why Prisons are The sky failing everybody

New! - Page 26

over dublin

Opinion Page 3

Beginners Welcome (all age-groups) Learn to play your favourite songs!!

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2

The Informer

The Drift The Informer Poll Yes

no

Do you think Enda Kenny would make a good Taoiseach?

Do you believe Anglo Irish bank as not discussed at the July dinner between Sean Fitzpatrick & Brian Cowen?

Dublin Total

Dublin Total

15%

85%

9%

91% Santry

Santry

5%

95% Lucan

Lucan

10%

90%

Blanchardstown

5%

95% Blanchardstown

25%

75%

5%

95%

Raheny

Raheny

20%

80%

15%

85%

Swords

Swords

10%

90%

15%

85%

Tallaght

Tallaght

15%

85%

Rathfarnham

20%

Dún Laoghaire

Dundrum

20%

20%

80%

Sandyford

95%

5%

95%

Dundrum

80%

5%

95% Dún Laoghaire

25%

75%

20%

80%

Rathfarnham

80%

Over the p reports from raise issues o lation. Our v the dignity of those deprive urges us to social justice Restorative J tives to impr As stated i justice system continue to b limited visio the inapprop mental illnes chronically il This the decline in house prices in Dublin since the peak in offenders, th ing of non-Ir 2006. House prices are now back at 2002 levels. The question is: is this good or bad news. In general, it's the dismantle

15%

85%

Sandyford

5%

95%

5%

Survey carried out on Monday 10th, Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th January 2011. 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

41% DublinInformer

185,000 copies Citywide in 10 local editions

4 We have the highest circulation of any paper in Dublin! 4 We distribute ALL our papers through the letterbox! 4 You can place an 84mm x 84mm full colour display ad in all our 10 papers for just e250+vat! 4 Our featured articles on health, beauty, family and personal finance are highly valued by our readers! IN THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CLIMATE, CIRCULATION IS EVERYTHING! YOU WILL REACH 175,000 DUBLIN HOMES WITH THE INFORMER

lack of balan evident not o Editor: Niall Gormley nities throug Unit 38, Northwood Court, Santry, Dublin 9 • info@informer.ie At this tim 01 813 8786 • sales@informer.ie • www.informer.ie there is a p country. Ther Sales Director: Declan Keane • Mobile: 087 9145073 ship. This sa For Advertising Enquiries, please contact: our prisons w Gerard: Mobile: 086 021 9625 • Email: gerard@informer.ie the dignity o Michael: Mobile: 086 044 4037 • Email: michael@informer.ie erosion of co ship has res enshrined in Prison Servi human digni ficed to adva of the Depar of the Irish P

DublinInformer 185,000 copies Citywide

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FACTS ABOUT THE INFORMER

good news. It makes houses more affordable for young people. It makes the Irish economy more competitive. It The over-in should make people invest in different industries. the lack of in But it's bad news for those who bought in and around ple rebuild th 2006. And bad for those in the construction industry.

Lucan Informer Blanch Informer

15,000 Lucan, Palmerstown 25,000 Blanchardstown, Castleknock, Carpenterstown, Ongar, Littlepace, Huntstown, Mulhuddart Santry Informer 15,000 Santry, Kilmore, Beaumont, Whitehall Raheny Informer 15,000 Raheny, Kilbarrack, Edenmore, ClontarfDollymount, Killester Swords Informer 20,000 Swords, Malahide Tallaght Informer 25,000 Kilnamanagh, Tymon, Firhouse, Oldbawn, Jobstown, Belgard Rathfarnham Informer 15,000 Rathfarnham, Nutgrove, Churchtown, Ballyboden, Knocklyon, Edmonstown Sandyford Informer 20,000 Balally, Sandyford, Leopardstown, Foxrock, Stepaside, Stillorgan, Dundrum Informer 15,000 Dundrum, Clonskeagh, Windy Arbour, Goatstown, Cabinteely Dún Laoghaire Informer 20,000 Dún Laoghaire, Dalkey, Killiney, Monkstown, Blackrock TOTAL 185,000

For Advertising Enquiries, please contact

Gerard: Mobile: 086 021 9625 • Email: gerard@informer.ie Michael: Mobile: 086 044 4037 • Email: michael@informer.ie

in 10 local editions SwordsInformer

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BlanchInformer

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SantryInformer

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RahenyInformer

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LucanInformer

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TallaghtInformer

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DundrumInformer 15,000 Dún LaoghaireInformer

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RathfarnhamInformer 15,000 SandyfordInformer

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The Informer

Comment & Debate

3

Why prisons are failing everybody Ireland's prison chaplains have unique access to Irish prisons and prisoners. The Irish Prison Chaplains 2010 Annual Report is a severe critique of how the system is failing both prisoners and wider society. Here is an edited extract from the report. Over the past number of years successive annual reports from the prison chaplains have sought to raise issues of concern that affect our prison population. Our vision of chaplaincy is one that affirms the dignity of the person, and seeks to be a voice for those deprived of their freedom. It is a vision that urges us to take a prophetic stance on issues of social justice and to continue the exploration of Restorative Justice as one of the many valid alternatives to imprisonment. As stated in previous reports the current criminal justice system and the regimes within our prisons continue to be driven to a large extent by a very limited vision. The results of this are to be seen in the inappropriate imprisonment of people with mental illness, the inhumane imprisonment of the chronically ill, the unacceptable regime for juvenile offenders, the lack of sentence planning, the holding of non-Irish nationals awaiting deportation, and the dismantlement of family life. A recipe for disaster

The over-investment in building programmes and the lack of investment of resources in helping people rebuild their lives is a recipe for disaster. This lack of balance is at the heart of the chaos that is evident not only in our prisons, but in our communities throughout the country. At this time of unprecedented economic crisis there is a palpable sense of hopelessness in our country. There is a real thirst for courageous leadership. This same hopelessness is experienced within our prisons where there is a growing disregard for the dignity of the human person and a worrying erosion of compassion. The absence of real leadership has resulted in a departure from the values enshrined in the mission statement of the Irish Prison Service. It is tragic that the core values of human dignity and compassion have been sacrificed to advance political agendas that are unworthy of the Department of Justice and Law Reform and of the Irish Prison Service.

The chaplains condemn media coverage of prisons and prisoners: ➤ We have seen media waiting at a hospital for a prisoner to arrive for an appointment. We have seen the most appalling sabotage of another man’s post release placement. ➤ There is a growing tendency to fabricate stories. Vulnerable prisoners are targeted for stories with no foundation in reality. ➤ The appalling and irresponsible mismanagement of Larry Murphy’s release in August this year created a media circus that was both shameful and dangerous. ➤ How can internal matters relating to individual prisoners serving their time be made available with no recognition of the rights of the individual and their family? The question as to who is making the information available needs to be addressed and appropriate action taken.

"It is tragic that the core values of human dignity and compassion have been sacrificed to advance political agendas that are unworthy of the Department of Justice and Law Reform and of the Irish Prison Service" This chaplain's report articulates the reality of a criminal justice system that has become more and more politicised. It will highlight the manner in which policies are driven by political and media agendas. The dysfunction that is at the very heart of the prison system must be acknowledged if the rapid regression is to be halted. The system cannot

continue to minimize the grave concerns that have been consistently highlighted in numerous reports from the Council of Europe CPT, the Prison Inspectorate, and indeed our own reports down through the years. We cannot ignore the reality we witness every day of a system that is in crisis. The situation presents a real challenge to those who hold

positions of leadership and to society as a whole. There is a way forward that can offer hope to those in prison and those affected by crime. The beginning point involves a recommitment to the dignity of the human person. Extensive research and experience from other jurisdictions offers significant insights that could contribute to an honest appraisal of the current system. It also suggests that we urgently need to begin the process of putting alternatives to imprisonment in place. The full report is available at http://www.tinyurl.ie/2vo


4

Green Scene

EU fishing policy - who cares? Following last year’s campaign against intensive poultry production which had a big short term impact on shopping habits here and in the UK, food campaigner Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall (pic) has turned his attention to the enormous amount of fish thrown overboard from the trawlers around our coasts. The first shocking programme of the series saw ten times as much fish being thrown overboard as was taken back to port because the boat he was on had already reached its quota on those species. One fish that didn’t go to waste, but only because the crew ate it, was the biggest cod I’ve seen since the 1960s. So it is not surprising that fishermen are claiming that cod stocks are recovering and the rules need changing. Because the current regulations are based around different quotas for different species of fish, rather than around how long a boat is allowed to fish for, it is hardly surprising that Hugh found that half of the fish caught by fishermen in the North Sea are unnecessarily thrown back into the ocean dead. When I talk to Irish fishermen they tell me that exactly the same thing happens here. The problem is that in a mixed fishery where many different fish live together, fishermen cannot control the species that they catch. Fishing for one species often means catching another, and if people don’t want them or fishermen are not allowed to land them,

the only option is to throw them overboard. The vast majority of these discarded fish will die. Because discards are not monitored, it is difficult to know exactly how many fish are being thrown away. The EU estimates that in the North Sea, discards are between 40% and 60% of the total catch. Many of these fish are unfashionable species but others are prime cod, haddock, plaice and other popular food species that are “over-quota”. The quota system is intended to protect fish stocks by setting limits on how many fish of a certain species should be caught. Fishermen are not allowed to land any over-quota fish; if they accidentally catch them – which they can’t help but do – they have to throw them overboard before they reach the docks. That is why seals and seagulls follow fishing boats – they are looking for all that free food. The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), is currently being reformed for 2012. Scientists and environmental groups have suggested a number of ways that that the policy can be changed to protect fish stocks, fishermen and consumers. You can start to make a difference by asking for locally caught fish when you go to the fish shop and you will make even more of a difference if you try some of the much cheaper unfashionable fish. Personally I’d rather have grilled mackerel than battered cod any day.

Ten times as much fish thrown overboard as was taken back to port

The Informer By Kathy Marsh, Sonairte

Green shoots...

Short term thinking on selling Coillte

One of the snips that last year’s McCarthy report recommended was that the government looked around to see what could be sold off to raise some quick cash. County Meath for sale anyone? Actually the report didn’t recommend selling Meath – not to the British, the Swiss, the Chinese, or alien invaders. It recommended selling twice the area of Meath to whoever is willing to pay most for it. Only what it recommends selling is a bit less visible because it is split up into small parcels scattered around the country. And its name is Coillte. Owning Ireland’s forests So what is Coillte? It is the private company set up to manage Ireland’s forests. It only has two shareholders – the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Finance – and it is valued at €1.2bn (at €1,000 an acre). It paid its CEO David Gunning €417,000 last year although it made a trading loss of €14.3 million. When it came into existence it commissioned a geological survey to see what mineral resources it owns. The

results have never been published. Nor has its value in terms of emissions trading been estimated. And it owns 7% yes, really 7% - of Ireland. So now you can see where those two County Meaths came from. Over the years it has received millions of euro from the government in grants and loans, but it is now massively in debt and the McCarthy report thinks we should sell it. Forests for sale So who should we sell it to? One name seems to be surfacing all the time and that is the name of the man who knows more than anyone else about where the money went – after all he ran the government. That’s right, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who, as Minister for Finance set up Coillte, is now chair of the International Forestry Fund, a company based in the British Virgin Islands that is being widely quoted as wanting to buy Coillte in collaboration with Swiss investors. However, Bertie isn’t only interested in selling 7% of Ireland to the Swiss. More recently the Chinese government have paid for a trip to China so he can discuss selling it to their own international investment arm.


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6

The Informer

Garden Growing

Getting the year up and running Firstly, A very Happy New Year to all Informer readers. Humans in general and gardeners in particular make all kinds of resolutions and promises at the start of every New Year. 2011 will be no exception and it’s also the start of a new decade! So if you are already serious about your garden or would like to get serious, then why not put a five or a ten year plan into operation. The start date for this master plan is now as the awful arctic weather has finally gone, hopefully not to return at least for this winter. Some TLC needed

If you already grow vegetables you will be acutely aware of the condition of your vegetable plot right now. It looks extremely sad and in need of some serious TLC. The same applies to your herbaceous borders and the garden in general looks battered and bruised by the winter. So, here we go….

Tools and Books

If you are a newcomer you will need to get the basic tools, i.e. a fork, spade, hand trowel, rake and a good book to explain how to set up your garden, irrespective of your needs. Without a doubt the best book to get on vegetable growing whether you are a new or an experienced grower, is “Vegetables For the Irish Garden” written by Ireland’s foremost organic grower Klaus Laitenberger which is available online. It’s a brilliant book even if you aren’t in a position to grow 100% organically. For all other books on any gardening subject, the inexpensive series called “The Garden Expert” by Dr. D.G. Hessayon are superb. These books are available in most garden centres, bookshops and some DIY outlets. Soil – Dig and Cover

If the frost doesn’t return now is the time do some digging and

With

Gerry Norton

then even more. Do a small bit at a time, no need to end up in A&E! If your soil hasn’t been dug and is not loose and aerated, it is extremely difficult for roots to establish. This applies to all plants. If there is any re-occurrence of the frost, cover the already prepared ground with a sheet of heavy duty plastic which you can buy in your local builders providers. It is sold by the square metre and isn’t expensive but it is great for warming the soil, which in a

month or so will help germination and growth... Vegetable Seeds

If you want to grow your own vegetables this year, it’s important to think about what you and your family like to eat. There is no point in growing something like Broccoli if you are the only one in the house that likes it! If space is limited, forget about Courgettes as they take up too much space, minimum 2 square metres per plant. If you are new to growing keep

everything simple. Assuming you have done the ground work it will soon be time to start planting. There are loads of seed catalogues available now from good gardens shops, the best of which are available from Mister Middleton in Mary Street, the Organic Centre in Leitrim, and Irish Seed Savers in Scariff, Co. Clare. We will continue the steps in next months issue, in the meantime get what you need for your garden, start digging and choose your seeds.

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


8

The Informer

Health Feature Help for your New Year’s resolution:

Less body fat and more self-confidence This year, you will be able to keep your resolution to shape up and lose weight – thanks to a new, fat-burning supplement. OK, it is 2011 and you have promised yourself to lose those visible signs of excess weight. This year, however, you have been given some help from the sideline: CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and green tea extract, two natural substances that helps you burn extra fat. Don’t think that this means that you can skip the exercise and continue eating unhealthy foods. But these active substances will support the body’s burning of fat in a natural way. A supplement that combines two active ingredients is already one of the most popular slimming products among European consumers, and when you see how it works it is not difficult to understand why. Firm and lean Unlike most diet supplements and other preparations that merely work as fillers to help you eat less, this supplement actively enhances the body’s conversion of fat into energy. CLA has been shown to reduce body fat by 8-9% on that account, while green tea extract can speed up the conversion of fat by up to

17%. These are impressive figures, but you still need to contribute with healthy eating and exercise, so don’t think that things will happen automatically. What these capsules do is to help you lose body fat without losing muscle mass. The result is a firmer and leaner body that looks much better than what you see in the mirror now. In a matter of months, you will find that

The scientific proof

• You look slimmer

• You feel firmer (stomach, thighs, abdomen)

• You can wear your favorite clothes again • Your self-confidence will increase massively

• You will feel like keeping up the good work in the future

What better way to start off a new year?

In a study which Norwegian scientists conducted on healthy but overweight individuals in 2004, it was seen that those who took CLA supplements daily for 12 months reduced their body fat by 8-9%. In addition, there was a slight (1-2%) increase in lean muscle tissue in the CLA-group. Source: Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun;79(6):1118-25.

Key factors for shaping up

Make a note of the following when you try to shape up. It will increase your chances of obtaining the results you hope for: ➣ Make realistic goals. Don’t expose yourself to drastic changes that are only temporary. Instead, introduce changes you can maintain permanently. Remember – what really makes a difference is how you live between New Year and Christmas, not the short period between Christmas and New Year. ➣ Don’t focus so much on weight. What counts is how the weight is distributed and how it looks on you. After all, muscle weighs more than fat but looks a whole lot better.

How to lose belly fat Fat can be really stubborn, especially fat in places like around the stomach (belly fat), the thighs, and the bottom. Some people find that no matter how hard they try, they never succeed in getting rid of the fat in those places. Now, they can. With a supplement that features two active ingredients in one capsule, burning fat has never been easier. CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a natural component of meat and dairy products that can also be taken as a supplement. In studies, it has been shown to be particularly effec-

tive for reducing fat around the stomach. It works by blocking an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase, which is responsible for storing fat in fat cells. At the same time, CLA stimulates another enzyme called palmitoyl transferase that is involved in the burning of fat in muscle cells. Green tea extract (GTE) contains a compound called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). According to research, EGCG can increase fat oxidation (the burning of fat) by up to 17%.

➣ Make sure to exercise regularly. By stimulating your muscle cells, you increase their turnover of fat. The more muscle mass you have, the easier it is for you to stay slim. ➣ Use the stairs, not the elevator. Walk or bicycle whenever you really don’t need your car. Take any chance to get that little bit of exercise. Every bit counts. ➣ Cut out the unnecessary fat. You don’t need it, it is just a bad habit. The same goes for sugar. ➣ Don’t eat out of boredom. Before you make a snack, make sure you really need it because you are hungry. Habitual eating is dangerous.


The Informer

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10

Informer Interview

The Informer

Today's man Where did you grow up? Bettystown Co Meath - process not yet completed! Are you married, children? To Christine Metzger from Saarbrucken Germany. Fondest childhood memory? Endless sunny summers What was your first paid-for job? Working as a waiter in my Father's Carlton Restaurant Drogheda. What got you interested working in radio? I was at UCD when RTE advertised a producer position with what was then RTE Radio 2. I was bored with college and put a fair bit of though into the application. Lo and behold, I got the job! What motivates you? Fear of failure. First show you ever produced? Pat Kenny's 'Outside Track'. Do you think that Today FM should get a share of the TV licence fund for it's public service content? Independent radio and TV can apply to use a portion of the licence fee through the 'Sound and Vision' fund. This is something I championed back in 2001. I have no problem with RTE getting the majority of the licence fee - it’s the fact they take such a high percentage of the commercial advertising money that galls. How do you think Today FM differs to that of 2FM? We have all the fun. Describe a typical working day for Willie O’Reilly? It starts early morning listening across the wave band to all the national breakfast shows. Daytime is taken up with meetings/strategy and review and unfortunately less time to listen. I head home listening to Matt Cooper, feeling informed about events in this little island of ours. What upsets you? People who see the glass half empty (even if it is) Do you think radio presenters in RTE are overpaid? No not really. They generate huge income for the stations and must provide for their own pensions. I do believe that RTE is TOO dependant on personalities. It used to be about the show and the content, now it’s more likely about the personality. RTE radio has become ever more commercialised. You worked closely with the late radio legend Gerry Ryan in the past. Had he lived on could

Kevin O'Brien talks to Chief Executive of Today FM Willie O'Reilly you ever envisaged a time that he would have worked at Today FM? Gerry was wedded to RTE. He flirted with Today FM occasionally but it was always to make RTE jealous and enhance his standing in Donnybrook…. He was very good at it too! What is the most difficult business decision you have ever had to make? The downturn in the economy forced us to make a couple of redundancies and to ask staff and stars to take a pay-cut. It was very unpleasant but all were very mature about it and we all quickly moved on. Which of your current radio presenter team makes you laugh the most? Difficult choice. Mario Rosenstocks and Gift Grub always gives me a belly laugh. Ray Darcy and Mairead Farrell are a guilty pleasure, while Ray Foley is a witty double entendre. Which of your current radio presenter team takes life more serious than others? Ray Darcy is hugely concerned about the poor political leadership we’ve had and the effect this has had on ordinary people. While he has a fun outgoing, he also has great humanity. Do you think the record companies are doing enough to encourage new 'non-manufactured' music talent in Ireland? They could be doing more. Today FM is the media partner for the Choice music awards, our aim is to support and promote excellence in Irish music. If you did not work in radio, what other career would you like to have pursued? A billionaire… What is the funniest thing ever to happen to you? Mario Rosenstock, Tony Fenton and myself were leaving Montenotti in Cork for an early morning game of golf. We turned a corner to be met head on by a very shapely woman walking with supreme confidence stark naked along the footpath. We were speechless (a rare occurrence) and to this day wonder what she was doing. What type of music do you enjoy listening to yourself? My tastes are eclectic. I can enjoy Frank Zappa, Arcade Fire, Beethoven and even ELO…. Not forgetting Hank Williams of course.

What type of food do you like? I like fresh ingredients, good value, comfort food. Blazing Salads in Drury Street for lunch and Bijou in Rathgar for evenings.

Best advice you have ever given anyone? I told Mario Rosenstock he should put Gift Grub on stage - he went out and conquered Ireland with his Gift live production.

Do you follow sport or have a favourite football team? I have a framed Man Utd signed jersey in my office (Alex Ferguson, Gary Nevillle, Roy Keane). I am fascinated by the great story they tell.

How do you handle stress and pressure? A good walk spoiled (Mark Twain) does the trick..

What’s the strangest thing a member of staff did? One rather difficult employee texted me ‘Le Jeu est Fini’. It took me a while to realise this was his resignation letter!

If you could pick a world wide star to presenter on for Today FM, who would you choose? We’re not hiring at present, but if George Clooney was looking for some extra work…

What qualities do you look for when hiring a new presenter? Stickability

If you could have dinner with three people (past or present) who would they be? Oh I think Sophie Loren ("Everything you see I owe to spaghetti"), Mae West ("When women go wrong, men go right after them") and Katherine Hepburn ("If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun") seem like a perfect trio.

Best advice you have ever received? Keep it Simple.

What does the future hold for Willie O’Reilly? I never think of the future, it comes soon enough.


11


12

A Place in the City Leprosy was quite a common disease in Medieval Dublin where three leper hospitals were established. The setting up of a Leper Colony at Ballygregan soon resulted with its placename being changed by local residents to Leoperstown (Baile na Lobher), town of the Lepers. The name Leoperstown seems to have stuck, and its usage in the parish records continued until the middle of the 19th century. Through mispronunciation that it eventually became known as Leopardstown. Leopardstown Park House was built in 1796 by Colonel Charles Henry Coote, M.P. for Maryborough (Portlaoise). The house, two-storeys-over-basement and five windows wide, was constructed in Portland stone. During his lifetime at this residence Colonel Coote, later created Lord on the death of a relative, turned the house and grounds into one of the most beautiful and desirable residences in south County Dublin. The following description from Bonnie Flanagan's book (entitled Stately Homes around Stillorgan) will illustrate the point... 'Leopardstown was considered one of the most beautiful estates in County Dublin, and there was a farm which produced sheep of the "real Wicklow breed" and a garden whose fruit and vegetables were noted for their excellence. It is said that they were used for George IV while he lay in his yacht in Kingstown Harbour (now Dun Laoghaire)". As a result of the death of Lord Coote, his nephew Eyre Coote resided at the house for some time until he sold it in the 1830s for ÂŁ7,200 to Fenton

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The Informer

All About Dublin (1) Leopardstown Park Hospital

Hort. Other families to occupy this residence included Mrs Malcolmson followed by her daughter Mrs Usher. The next person to make an impression on Leopardstown Park House was James Talbot Power of the whiskey distilling family. Shortly after his purchase of the residence (in 1877), James T. Power married Gertrude Frances Hayes. They soon set about the restoration of the house and demesne to its original place of beauty and liveliness. While Gertrude was on holiday in England, James died at Leopardstown in July 1916, and subsequently, Gertrude set up a trust with herself and three trustees for the establishment of a hospital, known initallyas 'Hayes's Home for Wounded Soldiers' and later as Leopardstown Park Hospital which now cares for the elderly. An excerpt from "Dundrum, Stillorgan and Rathfarnham: Gateway to the Mountains", with text by Christopher Ryan, and paintings by Olivia Hayes. Published by Cottage Publications.

Lesser known Dubs Lady Eleanor Charlotte Butler (1739-1829) and the Hon. Sarah Ponsonby (1755-1832) were two aristocratic women who scandalised contemporary society by leaving Ireland against the wishes of their families and setting up home together in Plas Newydd in Llangollen, Wales. According to the Freemans Journal in 1830, the women by 'singular coincidence' were both born in Dublin, on the same day, in the same year, and lost their parents at the same time, so it seemed 'they were intended by the hands of Providence for mutual sympathy'. And, as is often the case, the newspaper got it completely wrong - they were not born on the same day, were not orphans, and did not meet until met when Eleanor was 29 and Sarah was 13. There were attempts to marry them off, and to separate them, but the ladies proved equal to all attempts to split up their 'romantic friendship'. After ten years, and on their second attempt, they managed to escape from Ireland and settled

Edited by Zoz

The Ladies of Llangollen

in a 'mean hovel' in Llangollen, then a very remote part of Wales. As well as working on their house and garden, the ladies spent their time in reading, studying foreign languages and corresponding with a wide variety

of people. Many of these were well-known figures of the day and they often came to visit the ladies, among them Wordsworth, who wrote a poem in their honour, and the Duke of Wellington. Some of their guests brought the ladies gifts in the form of oak carvings which were added to the house. Their minor celebrity paid off when Queen Caroline took an interest in them and persuaded the King to grant t hem a pension. Lady Eleanor Butler died in 1829 and Sarah Ponsonby died two years later. They were buried in the church of St. Collen in Llangollen. They left behind volumes of letters and journals which give an insight into their life together.

This page was researched with the help of


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14

The Informer

All About Dublin (2)

First hand History

Swift justice for Dublin killer Thomas Barry was enjoying his evening at his home in North Frederick Street - he had a decanter of wine, a newspaper and spectacles to read it with. His servant had just removed the remains of a pleasant dinner and Thomas, a prosperous Dublin wine-merchant, was in a jovial mood. It was November 13, 1801, and life was good. Just a few minutes later Thomas was dead - it was reported at the time that a "villain stole in upon him, and, with a large pistol, or, more likely, a blunderbuss, loaded with slugs, shot away part of his skull, and dashed away more of it with the muzzle. It was so very heavily loaded, that the shot which killed him, besides tearing away part of the back of a chair Mr. B. sat on, made a great indention in the wall; his brains were scattered about, and some of them were blown up to the ceiling of the room." Someone had laid the body on the floor and placed one of Mr. Barry's own pistols by his side - presumably the idea was to suggest that he had committed suicide but, as the gun had not been fired, the idea was not a runner. His wallet was empty but a subsequent search of the house turned up large amounts of money in various places (Mr. Barry was known to be eccentric and maybe did not entirely trust the

banking system). A cupboard in the murder room, which was known to have had cash storied in it, had been forced and the money was gone. The servant, Catherine Delany, did not hear the shot but did find the body and called in the Watch (as the police were then called). Within a few hours they had taken a former servant in the house, Frances Revell, into custody. Revell was drunk, had a lot of bank notes in his possession, the outside of one of which had a little blood on it, and a silk handkerchief, supposed to belong to Mr. Barry. When questioned about the notes, he said he had been given them by a tailor called Vaughan. Vaughan told the constables that Revell had asked him to invent a story about the money. The following day Revell was brought in front of a judge and questioned but was found to be too drunk to make an sense and sent to Newgate Prison to sober up. He did, however, strongly deny any involvement in his late employer's death. He had sobered up 24 hours later and was interrogated by Major Swan (who had arrested Robert Emmet three years before). He confessed to the murder, in those times good enough for a guilty sentence, but further inves-

tigation nailed the lid on his coffin when it was found that the bank notes he had when arrested had been given to Mr. Barry several months earlier by the National Bank. The coroner's inquest brought in a verdict of "Wilful Murder, by a blunderbuss or other firearms, by a person unknown; and that Catharine Delany and Francis Revell were accessories." Both were tried two days after the murder. Catherine Delany waked free while Revell was found guilty and brought to the gallows 48 hours later. Revell, as was the custom of the time, was allowed to speak to the crowd who had gathered for the public hanging. "The only reparation I can make to the unfortunate woman who has suffered so much by my crimes (Catherine Delany) is to declare that she is entirely innocent of Mr. Barry's murder; these hands spilled his blood; the guilt is entirely my own. I shall make one farther observation, and I beseech you, for God's sake, to attend to it: let old and young refrain from drinking to excess, particularly in the forenoon, or else the terrible curse of Almighty God will undoubtedly be the consequence; it is to this practice I owe my destruction." The Gentlemen's Magazine, Vol. 91, 1801.

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Edited by Zoz

From the archives...

Harcourt Street Post Office

l A Magic Lantern slide showing Harcourt Street Post Office in the early days of the Irish Free State. An accompanying lecture booklet notes: "One of the first moves of the new government has been the recognition of the Gaelic language. This has been used by a minority of the people but it is the language of those, who, centuries ago possessed the land and who, like the Welsh and the Scotch Highlanders have been driven back into the rough unproductive hill sections. It is officially on a par with the English and all government signs and literature, like this sign over a Dublin post office are printed in both languages." Downloaded from Flickr (The Commons, Oregon State University Archives.)

New year, new job prospects with Tefl Many of us will have kick started 2011 with a New Year’s resolution to join the gym, to learn how to drive or try a new diet but a more interesting ambition is to travel and work abroad. Australia and America are very popular destinations for Irish people to work abroad. This popularity is set to continue throughout 2011 especially through the working holiday visa programme. However, many people are now looking at a different work abroad option – that of teaching English. Teaching English as a Foreign Language or ‘TEFL’ is also a popular choice for graduates as well as non degree holders, and no previous experience is required. Companies such as Waterford based i-to-i provide TEFL training courses as well as offering a job placement service to help their qualified TEFLers find reputable jobs in countries such as South Korea, Japan and China as well as European and South American destinations. Whilst the salary of some Asian and European destinations seem lower than an Irish graduate job at first glance, it is important to look at the relative cost of living. Ireland remains one of the most expensive European countries to live in. In comparison, a TEFL job in South Korea

would pay around €1250p/m plus free accommodation. The cost of living in Korea is about €600p/m which allows a large portion of the salary to be saved to either bring home or travel afterwards. ‘Working abroad offers a paid adventure across the globe that’s unbeatable’ says Work & Travel Manager, Rosie Plummer. ‘January is our busiest month of the year for bookings and this year is set to be no different.’ To meet the demand for TEFL information i-to-i is hosting a free TEFL drop-in info session in the Clifton Court Hotel, Eden Quay, Dublin on 20th Jan between 5.30pm – 7.30pm. To speak to an i-to-i TEFL Advisor about teaching English abroad call 058 40050 or visit www.teflcourses.com.


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16

The Informer

Personal Finance

Money saving What can I do about VHI’s price increases? tips for 2011 As if December’s budget wasn’t brutal enough, January brings more bad news for consumers with VHI’s announcement of significant price increase across all of its health insurance plans. The scale of increases is enormous and will have a massive impact on the industry. Premiums for each plan will increase as follows: Plan B/Plan B Excess +35%; Plan B Options +45%, Plan C +25%, Plan D/E +21%. The remaining plans will increase by 15%. Premium increases will come into effect from the February 1, 2011. Irresponsible and misinformed

There has been huge media reaction to the increases, some of which has been irresponsible and misinformed. Claims that consumers will have to cancel health insurance are misleading. For a number of years there have been alternative options to VHI that provide an equivalent level of cover. More often than not better cover is available at a lower cost. Another piece of advice pushed by many so-called experts is to encourage people to move en masse to Corporate Plans, which any individual is perfectly entitled to do. Now don’t get me wrong, Corporate plans are very good (I have one myself) but there are quirky issues with excesses on these plans that could cause you severe difficulties if you have certain illnesses. If you do switch to a Corporate Plan without taking advice be sure that you understand how the excesses in your new plan work. Straightforward to switch

The market will now be flooded with confused consumers that want to switch providers, but are unsure how to do so and what the consequences of doing so are. The good news is that it is straightforward to switch, you can switch at any time and you do not have to serve any new waiting periods if you switch to the same level of cover.

Your age or state of health will have no bearing on your new premium. You are entitled to switch to any plan available in the market including corporate plans, though details of these plans are usually difficult to find on the insurance companies websites! Health insurance expert

The easiest way to ensure that you switch to a suitable plan is to review your needs with a health insurance expert. During the review they should explain the details of your existing plan to you, and by asking appropriate questions they can help you establish which benefits are most important to you. Based on your answers the expert should outline the options that are available to you and recommend a plan to you. There is not a single perfect plan available so the pros and cons of the recommended plan should be discussed. In response to the VHI price increases, and the likelihood that the other insurers will increase their premiums shortly, we are offering Informer readers a free review of your health insurance plan to help you make the right decision about your cover. This can be arranged by contacting me on 087 287 5256 or by email at andrew@squaremile. 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

With all recent media coverage relating to the Budget we thought it would be useful to prepare a few tips on how to save money in 2011 and limit the effect of the tax increases on your lifestyle. ➤ Switch your gas and electricity to Airtricty or Bord Gais Energy and save on average between 10% - 14% on your energy costs ➤ Review your Mortgage Protection with www.SmartQuotes.ie. Big savings on your monthly premium as well as 70% off for the first twelve months. The average saving in the first twelve months is €420 ➤ Switch from NTL/ Sky to Freesat and have no monthly TV bill ➤ Switch to a monitored alarm from Knight Security and save up to 20% every year on your Home Insurance as well as having the peace of mind that comes with a monitored alarm. ➤ Review the re-build cost of your Home for Home Insurance. You may be over-insured. Go to www.SCS.ie for further details ➤ Ring your Health Insurance provider and ask to switch to the equivalent Corporate Plan. This works for VHI, Quinn and Aviva and can save up to 20% for one phone call ! ➤ Claim all your tax credits and get a refund of any overpaid tax. Go to www.payroll.ie for further details. Mention SmartQuotes. ie and get a discount off their regular fee. ➤ Switch to e-mobile pay as you go and get unlimited calls from €10 per week. This may help you to also get rid of your home phone ➤ No more late fees on DVD's/ Games. Join www.onlinedvdrentals.ie and get 12 months for the price of 10 by entering the code SMART ➤ Buy a GoSave.ie card and help your chosen charity and save money on a range of local and national services

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The Lost World: Irish Household Finances Routine! The great and silent killer of Ireland’s household financial woes. “Ah sure I got a great quote off them five years ago so I never bother looking at it”... “Well it goes out by direct debit every month so I don’t need to worry about it”... “Well they usually give the best prices don’t they?”… Like the film itself many Irish people are just as comfortable managing their bills as they would be in a cage with a T-Rex. Only difference being that a T-Rex would probably take the mind off pay cuts and levies and grab the attention more than any financial adviser. 99% of Irish households have the same filing system – an armoured box full of re-

ceipts, statements and bills and only for use in the event of emergencies! It never fails to amaze me that nearly every household we deal with produces one these famous boxes and admits sheepishly that whilst they don’t look at their finances very often “everything you need is in here. If you are one of these people, then breathe a sigh of relief because there is contagion (new buzz word) to this madness. Thankfully help is at hand because at www.home-saver.ie we pride ourselves on being able to digest all of your finances and give you a straightforward path to financial freedom and regain control of your New World.

Check out the new Informer Personal ads on the back page To advertise your business directly to thousands of homes locally email personal@informer.ie or call 813 8786


18

The Informer

Health & Beauty

Green Works announces 30 free for Dublin jobseekers Massage can help you unwind courses Courses in Building, Business, Land Use, Tourism and

If you've never tried massage, learn about the possible health benefits of massage and what to expect during a massage therapy session.

What is massage? Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage therapists typically use their hands and fingers for massage but may also use their forearms, elbows and even feet. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure techniques. There are many different types of massage, including these common types: • Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you. • Deep-tissue massage. This massage technique uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.

• Stiffness • Blood pressure control • Sports-related injuries • Boosting immunity

Benefits of massage: Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It's increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations. The benefits of massage are:• Stress relief • Managing anxiety and depression • Pain

Add to massage the healing powers of InfraRed lamp therapy which warms, soothes and relaxes aching muscles and you have the perfect holistic massage treatment. The healing power of infrared waves was discovered about two decades ago in China by a team of researches and doctors. Since the discovery, infrared waves have been happily and healthily used by tens of millions of people. The waves work by vibrating at the same rate of the body. Just as a body needs a healthy intake of food and water, it needs a healthy intake of infrared waves. This can be done very inefficiently through sunlight or very efficiently and beneficially through the use of an infrared lamp. Linda, Senior Therapist Rathgar Laser & Beauty Clinic 01-4976434 www.rathgarlaserandbeauty.ie

Practical Skills focused on Green Economy jobs. Green Works, the free education programme Renewable Energy Systems, Domestic for jobseekers, has announced dates for more Energy Management, Environmental Design than 30 new courses to take place in Dublin in of Buildings, and Green Building. 2011. The courses, which focus on opportuniBudding green entrepreneurs are well ties within the emergent Green Economy, will catered for with the Start Your Own Green take place in the Green Works Dublin Hub on Business module, while many jobseekers will St. Andrew’s St in the city centre be interested in Green Business between January and June of Marketing, Technology in a this year. Green Business and Corporate Students can enrol in a wide Governance. variety of modules selected from Land Use courses have also the broad themes of Green proved popular, even in the city. Building, Sustainable Tourism, Particularly Permaculture Design Green Business, Land Use and which teaches students to apply Practical Skills. The modules the principles of natural systems can be taken individually or com- Green Building students on a site and ecologies when designing bined to achieve a FETAC Major visit to the Eco Village in everything from technology and Award. The courses are free for Cloughjordan, Co.Tipperary buildings, to food production and anyone receiving unemployment payments. even communities. Courses in Sustainable “Our courses are all delivered from a ‘green’ Tourism and Tourism Enterprise will examine perspective and are clearly focussed on help- the benefits of low impact tourism whilst utilising participants to find sustainable employ- ing Ireland’s readymade ‘green’ brand. ment,” says Green Works Outreach The Green Works programme also includes Co-Ordinator, Alice Ryan. “For example, ret- Practical Skills courses such as Sustainable rofitting houses for energy efficiency is not Fashion Creation as well as workshops in only good for the environment, it is currently Community Resilience and Green Interior one of the only growth areas in the construc- Design. tion sector.” Popular building courses on offer Interested parties should visit www.greeninclude BER (Building Energy Rating works.ie or call 01 674 5773 for full course Assessment), Thermal Insulation Installation, details.

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Are you a Female Taxi Driver in Dublin? Xpert Angels is a new taxi service which will start operating in Dublin from February 2011. As it’s name suggests, it is a joint venture between Xpert Taxis and Angel Cabs. Xpert Taxis is one of the biggest and most successful taxi companies in Ireland. It’s business has been growing steadily since it’s creation in 2005. Through it’s inhouse sales team, it has been particularly successful in winning many of Dublin’s key Corporate clients and city hotels, a factor which in very important in the current climate where private work is harder to come by.

Angel Cabs is the new kid on the block and has been concentrating on providing a women only taxi driver service in Dublin. Xpert Angels is currently seeking more women taxi drivers. Whether you are working for another Taxi Company, or simply plying your trade without a radio, Xpert Angels is keen to talk to you. You will benefit from the busy Xpert Taxis Dispatch System, and the additional work coming in from customers seeking women only taxi drivers. If you are unhappy with your earnings at present, then please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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20

The Informer

Dublin Advice Recovering the long lost art of listening

We all want to be heard. To have another person give us their full attention, without interrupting, judging or advising, just because they care enough to listen, is a healing and restorative experience. It appears that people now have less and less time to listen, and the subtle skills of true listening are being lost. This may have long-term repercussions, not least because the foundation of all important relationships is the ability of both parties to sensitively listen, coupled with the openness and trust to share their thoughts and feelings.

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What happened to the “good listener”?

Life has speeded up to a rate that was unthinkable not very long ago. We are bombarded by stimuli and information, via texts, phone calls, e-mails, Facebook, television, the Internet, and all our daily face-toface interactions as well. This produces a tremendous amount of information to process, and most of us process our experiences and emotions by talking. So if everybody needs to talk, who is left to listen? Our attention span has decreased, and many people don't have the patience to concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes at a time. We are used to multi-tasking, simultaneously answering the phone, checking our mails and watching Sky news. Relationships, however, require time and attention, and cannot be reduced to a series of quick texts and instant messages. Active Listening

One of the most profound and effective things you can do to improve all your relationships is to practice active listening skills. Active listening can be defined as the act of attending to another person with the intention to FULLY understand what they are communicating. It can be difficult, because it means leaving yourself out of the picture, and this includes your need to help, to have an answer, to rescue someone from their painful feelings, or to interrupt with your own story. It means not having to “make it better” for the other person, but allowing them to experience and express their feelings in whatever way they wish. Active listening is based on the premise that we all have the answers we need within, and with some gentle help and another person's belief in us, we can generate those solutions for ourselves.

Practical listening skills

If you sense that someone wants your attention, turn off your phone and minimise other interruptions. Turn towards the person and maintain eye contact, but without staring. Keep a relaxed and open posture – folded arms can indicate defensiveness. The verbal skills of active listening include reflecting back what you have heard (e.g. “It sounds like that was an exciting time”), clarifying (checking that you have understood), repeating key words (e.g. “confused”, “worried”), and focussing on feelings (e.g. “how did you feel about that?”). The most important point is to keep the focus on the other person – if you find yourself hearing to your own voice a lot, then you are not listening! In my work as a counsellor, I sometimes find that people reveal things that they have never told anyone, simply because no-one took the time to listen. All they need is the opportunity to tell their story, in an accepting, receptive and non-judgemental setting. This is enough to ease the burden of anxiety, guilt or confusion they may be carrying. Developing active listening will deepen and enhance your relationships, and is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your family, friends and colleagues.

Maeve Halpin is a Registered Counselling Psychologist. Appletree Health and Wellness, No 126 Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Contact: 087-2877837

Email: maeve@maevehalpincounselling.com www.maevehalpincounselling.com


! n i a g A 1 r e Numb €1,335 €3,195 €2,426 €1,395 €2,748 €1,546

€834 €3,168 €2,099 €894 €2,474 €1,250

€2,052 No Quote €3,269 €2,112 €3,572 €2,291

€1,530 No Quote €2,751 €1,590 €3,216 €1,857

Based on 2004 Ford Focus 1.4 €6,000 Driver Age 20 Full Lic 1 Yr NCB Rathfarnham Dublin 14

€1,314 €1,972 €2,127 €1,374 €,480 €1,448

€834 €1,948 €1,817 €894 €2,156 €1,170

€2,031 No Quote €2,894 €2,091 €2,480 €2,149

€1,530 No Quote €2,397 €1,590 €2,156 €1,741

Based on 2004 Ford Focus 1.4 Value €6,000 Driver age 22 Full lic 1yr NCB Blanchardstown, Dublin 15

€516

€434

No Quote

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€973

€906

€1,049

€970

€1,512

€1,138

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22

Health Issues Dealing with the problem of rosacea Q: I have developed a redness on my face around my nose, cheeks and forehead. There are also pimples around the edges of the redness although these do not develop into whiteheads like they can in acne. Someone has suggested that I may have acne rosacea. Can I use over the counter acne treatments to treat it? I am a 45 year old woman. A: Alhtough rosacea is often called “acne rosacea�, it is quite a different condition from the type of acne that often affects teenagers and is treated quite differently as well. What you describe does indeed sound like rosacea although you should visit your GP to have the diagnosis confirmed. If you are suffering from rosacea, treatment with prescription medication would be more appropriate than any over the counter treatment. Rosacea usually affects people between the ages of 30 and 50 and affects women more often than men, although the disease is often more severe in men. The classic symptoms of rosacea are flushing in the cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. This may be accompanied by a burning or stinging sensation and small, solid pimples may also appear. In severe, untreated cases, cysts may form, particu-

larly on the nose giving it a swollen, bulbous form. Nobody knows what causes rosacea and there is no cure, although it can be effectively treated. The first line treatment is often a gel containing the antibiotic metronidazole such as Rozex Gel. This is applied to the skin in a thin film twice daily and treatment would normally last 3 or 4 months, repeated periodically if necessary. Oral antibiotics are also used to treat rosacea, again treatment lasting 3 to 4 months. Although the cause of rosacea is unknown, it is known that a number of factors can trigger or aggravate the condition. Common triggers are sun, exercise, hot weather, emotional stress, spicy foods, and hot baths. Swings in temperature from hot to cold or cold to hot can also trigger a flare-up of rosacea. While alcohol does not cause rosacea it can worsen the facial flushing. Avoiding excessive sun exposure is especially important if topical metronidazole is being used. Whatever treatment your doctor prescribes for rosacea, it will take some time to work so patience with the treatment is important. A very useful product to use alongside your prescribed treatment is La Roche Posay Rosaliac which is a moisturiser specially formulated to combat the redness that you may experience.

Q: Are any laxatives suitable during pregnancy? Constipation is a very common problem during pregnancy due to hormonal changes in the body and also the fact that the growing baby puts pressure on the bowel, slowing down its usual rhythm. Iron supplements, commonly taken during pregancy also cause constipation, and the additional weight and general tiredness can also lead to a lack of exercise. Is important to eat plenty of fibre rich foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains, and to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. It is also important to get regular exercise, even if this is just a short walk or gentle stretches. Essentially any of the laxatives available over the counter are safe to take during pregnancy. The most suitable is probably Fybogel or a similar bulk-forming product such as Normacol. Duphalac liquid is a suitable alternative. Both of these are quite safe to take over the longer-term, even during pregnancy. Other options include Dulcolax or Senokot tablets, which work much quicker than the other medicines above and provide a stimulant effect to the large bowel and rectum. However these are not suitable for continuous use. There are also a number of suppositories (e.g. glycerine suppositories) that you could use which provide even quicker relief than the tablets, but again are not really suitable for longer term use. All medications mentioned above work locally at the bowel and rectum and are not absorbed into the blood stream, and so will have no effect on your baby although you should consult a doctor before taking any medication during pregnancy.

The Informer

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.


The Informer

23

Family Focus

What medicines can I Valentine’s Day without take during pregnancy? breaking the bank

What you eat and drink passes to your baby through the placenta, so it’s important when pregnant to think twice before taking medications, supplements or herbal remedies. Talk to your GP about what is safe, and if you take regular medications ask whether you can continue to do so. Pregnant women are not advised to take Vitamin A in either a supplement or multivitamin form. Over-the-counter drugs can often be more powerful than we think and have some worrying sideeffects for pregnant women and developing babies. Depending on which trimester you are in when you take them, they can cause breathing problems in the baby, an increased risk of miscarriage and placental abruption (where the placenta separates from the uterus before the baby is born). Codeine, aspirin and ibuprofen as well as cold and flu remedies that contain a potent combination of painkiller, antihistamines and pseudo-ephedrine must be avoided or only be taken under the strict advice of a qualified pharmacist. Certain prescription medications should be avoided during pregnancy and your doctor will advise you on this. In addition, some herbal remedies are not recommended for pregnant women because they may cause birth defects or induce

Most couples feel they should mark the international day of love on February 14th, but these days 40 roses might be a tall order for most budgets, so the Informer has come up with some inexpensive ways to treat your partner on this special day.

uterine contractions. These include: St Johns Wort, ginseng, aloe vera, and some oils. Always ask a qualified herbalist or pharmacist and read labels before buying and using herbal remedies. This is an edited extract from The Mum’s Guide to Having Your Baby in Ireland by Lucy Taylor (Gill and Macmillan).

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❤ Make his favourite breakfast, even if it’s a rasher sandwich and ketchup. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

❤ Send him sexy text messages throughout the day.

❤ Burn any of the following aphrodisiac essential oils to stimulate his senses: lemon, sage, ginger, fennel, clove, mint, neroli, ylang ylang and rosemary (although it’s best to avoid these if you are in the early months of pregnancy). ❤ Turn off his mobile and unplug the phone so that you are not disturbed by his football mates or your mother-in-law on this special evening. ❤ Rent a DVD with his favourite actor or comedian and settle down to an evening of laughter.

CÓR us is a new type of choir and is open to everyone who loves to sing. Come and sing your heart out to the music that’s been the soundtrack of our lives: Pop, Rock, Country, Irish & Gospel. No auditions, no need to read music.

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Join with friends or join and make friends. Great music, great harmonies, great moves and great fun. Become a member of CÓ R us and treat yourself to a new and uplifting experience. It’s easy to join, come to the open night, listen to the music for a while and if you like what you hear, join in. Monday Nights (New)

Tuesday Nights (2nd term)

Thursday Mornings (New)

Rathfarnham Educate Together N.S., Loretto Ave, Rathfarnham.

St. Tiernan ’s Community School Parkvale, Dundrum.

CYM Hall Terenure Road Nth, Terenure

Open Night: 17 th January 2011

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Open Day: 20 t h January 2011

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Time: 7.30pm – 9pm

Time: 7.30pm - 9pm

Time: 10.30am – 12.00pm

CÓ R us invites new members to come along for the ‘Open Night/Day’ without any obligation to join, if you enjoy yourself, take an application form and sign up to become a member of CÓ R us the following week. Membership for CÓ R us is €80 for an eight week term and is open to men and women over 18yrs.

CONTACT: CÓRus on 086 8115854 (Yvonne) or 087 9439380 (Mary).

Website: www.corus.ie

When our membership reaches optimum numbers we hope to perform occasional concerts for local and charitable events.

CÓ R us Choir St. Tiernan’s Community School, Parkvale, Dundrum. October – December 2010


Hearing or hearing well?

Pictured at the launch of MediaStreet.ie were Cormac Mc Alinden, Managing Director, MediaStreet.ie and Ed Mc Donald Chief Executive at Association of Advertisers in Ireland. Pic:Maxwells

MediaStreet.ie Goes Live More than 10,000 media professionals expected to avail of MAPS’ New Website

MAPS, the leading directory for the media industry over the last 23 years, today launched their virtual directory MediaStreet.ie which expects to see more than 10,000 media professionals logging on. MediaStreet.ie features the most up-to-date media information including market rates, industry news and market data making it the most comprehensive directory of its kind for media analysts, strategists and organisations. "We designed MediaStreet.ie based on the success of MAPS, to serve as the leading resource for the media industry in a more immediate and relevant format which is vital in these challenging times. MediaStreet.ie will be updated regularly with information relevant to both buyers and suppliers of media in Ireland. Similar to Maps we expect MediaStreet to be

accessed on average twice per week and we anticipate 50,000 targeted page views per month” commented Cormac McAlinden, Managing Director, MediaStreet.ie MediaStreet.ie provides a wide range of information including 105 media categories, nearly 3,000 individual supplier entries and advertising ratecards from over 750 media suppliers. The website also allows suppliers to list their business for free including a detailed profile of the company, services and rates and includes tools such as integration of maps, social media access and graphs. Each media category is also available for sponsorship on a 6-month basis. For more information about MediaStreet log onto www.mediastreet.ie

The most common statements made to me are: "I am not deaf; I just miss some of the words," and "I am not deaf. I can understand the newscaster who speaks dearly, but 1 get muddled when I go to see plays or when I'm in a group of people." These complaints demonstrate one of the most common yet misunderstood of hearing conditions. Loud sounds may be heard all too well whilst other, unwanted sounds, such as background noise, drown out some of the important elements of speech which we need to hear if we are to understand the words. Conversation across a room containing three or four people may become very difficult to hear, and hearing in large groups or meetings may be impossible. People suffering from this problem will be under constant strain, often without realising it, and may come to feel that taking part in some social situations is simply too much trouble. They are afraid of not hearing a question properly and guessing the answer incorrectly. Because the ear favours some voices over others it is possible to be accused of "choice deafness", or hearing only when you want to. An obvious solution like turning up the television or radio isn't the answer because it won't increase the clarity of sound, which is what you really need, and neither will it do much for your popularity with others in the room, who may find the volume intolerable. All in all, this sort of hearing problem can, and does, affect the quality of life of not only the

person affected, but also family and friends. It is important to understand what causes this "mishearing". When conducting a hearing test on people with this complaint, it is usual to find some loss of hearing in what we call our "speech frequencies". Words are made up of a combination of sounds which range from low frequency to high frequency. Vowels and background noise are made up of low frequency sounds, whilst consonants such as p, t, th, s and f are high frequency sounds. If the ear is failing to pick up consonants, words may be difficult to understand and may become confused with other likesounding words, especially when there is background noise. This condition is usually the result of a very gradual hearing loss which is often noticed by family and friends before the sufferer himself. It is impossible for someone to appreciate the difference between good hearing and clear hearing without undergoing a hearing test and experiencing the difference when using clarifiers with background noise suppressors. Hearing tests are usually offered free of charge by qualified hearing aid dispensers and I cannot overstate the importance of everyone over 55 being tested every year. Most hearing loss is gradual and ears, like eyes and teeth, should be checked regularly. Ask yourself - are you just hearing, or are you hearing well? Alan Mantell is the Managing Director of Digital Hearing Direct. Tel 1800 254 254 and is available for free consulatations.

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New Rock School opens in Dun Laoghaire and Lucan Hot on the heels of TV’s Must Be The Music and X Factor comes the launch of Dun Laoghaire and Lucans first ever part-time pop & rock school which opened on the 2nd October 2010 Owned and operated as a franchise by Simon Jordan from Ballybrack, Co. Dublin, Clive’s Easylearn Pop Music SchoolsTM offers a unique brand of simplified pop and rock music training in guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums. The weekly sessions also enable customers to experience the fun of “jamming and singing together in pop and rock bands right from the very start of their courses. Network Director Clive Brooks said “We’ve done away with boring theory and made musicmaking simple, fun and direct. Our Easylearn

Courses are unique. Tutors love them because they’re easy to teach, and customers love them because they’re easy to understand – and over the last two and a half decades they’ve proved themselves with over 8000 people!” After a few years of working in the sales department of a multi-national company, franchisee Simon Jordan (28) wanted a career

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change and decided to open up a local branch of the pop school network with his wife Jeanne. Simon is also creating considerable excitement within the area’s community of musicians, with the unique offer of unusual and rewarding part-time jobs for locally talented people who want to train to become tutors at the new pop music school. “Interested people should apply

online now at clivesmusic.com,” said Simon “I’m looking forward to giving our local musicians the unique chance to supplement their incomes doing something that they will really enjoy!” he said. The Dun Laoghaire Clive’s Easylearn Pop Music SchoolTM opened on the 2nd October running classes from 10.00am – 12.00pm at Urban Junction youth centre in Blackrock and Lucan opened the following week in the Methodist church, Lucan village with classes from 2pm – 4pm. Each school offers FREE ‘have a go’ sessions to anyone who would like to come along and give it a try. For further information please contact: Simon Jordan: Lucan@clivesmusic.com - 0863495073


Win tickets to see

Calendar Girls

at the Grand Canal Theatre CALENDAR GIRLS has become the most successful play ever to tour the UK and has taken more at the box office than the original film with ticket sales in excess of £21 million. As part of the final tour, CALENDAR GIRLS is coming to Grand Canal Theatre. Tickets are on sale now Starring Lynda Bellingham, Jennifer Ellison, Trudie Goodwin, Ruth Madoc, Bernie Nolan, Lisa Riley, Gwen Taylor, Diana Moran, Bruno Langley, Joe McGann with Danielle Lineker making her stage debut, CALENDAR GIRLS is at Grand Canal Theatre from 7th – 19th February 2011. A group of ordinary women, members of a very ordinary Yorkshire WI, spark a global phenomenon by persuading one another to pose for a charity calendar with a difference! As interest snowballs, the CALENDAR GIRLS find themselves revealing more than they’d ever planned…

Win 2 Tickets to the opening night’s performance on the 8th February. PLUS 3 Exclusive Calendar Girls calendars as Runner Up prizes. To win two tickets to Calendar Girls at the Grand Canal Theatre on February 8th just answer the following question: The Calendar Girls were members of the WI. What does WI stand for? Answers by e-mail only to competition@informer.ie Closing date for entries 4th February 2010.

The sky over Dublin with Conor Farrell, Astronomy Ireland Amidst all the cloud, rain, and snow over the Christmas and New Year period, many of you will have been up early enough on those lazy mornings to witness one of Nature's most spectacular sights: the eclipse. As we all know, objects cast shadows, and the same applies in space: When the Sun, Moon, and Earth are in a line, sunlight can cause Earth to cast a shadow on the Moon (a lunar eclipse), or cause the Moon to cast a shadow on the Earth (a solar eclipse). On the morning of the Winter Solstice, 21 December 2010, a Full Moon was setting on the western horizon just before sunrise, and as it happened, Earth's shadow was falling on our nearest celestial companion. It took some time for Earth's shadow to engulf it, but at 'totality' the Moon appeared to glow an eerie red-orange colour. Why does it appear red? It's the same reason we see red sunsets and sunrises: the Sun's light bends around the Earth and only red light passes through the atmosphere. During a lunar eclipse, this red light continues through space and falls on the Moon. The result is a spectacular – and yet often overlooked – sight in our night skies. What happens when the Moon moves in front of the Sun? This is a solar eclipse, and is probably one of the best-known astronomical events. The Moon doesn't

n Solar eclipse: David Moore, Dublin have an atmosphere so there are no strange colours in this type of eclipse. Instead, we get to experience an amazing phenomenon. Both the Moon and the Sun appear to be the same size in the sky, so the Moon can perfectly cover our nearest star during a solar eclipse. When this happens the sky turns dark and the stars come out. During totality, observers are able to see explosions on the Sun pop out from behind the Moon, as well as the vast cloud of energised gas that surrounds the Sun, called the corona. The morning of 4 January 2011 gave us a partial solar eclipse, where the Sun was only partially obscured by the Moon. While much of the country was cloudcovered, many observers succeeded in capturing photographs. Visit Astronomy Ireland's website at www.astronomy.ie/ reports to check out more photos and details of the eclipses.


28

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Stepaside to benefit from new community centre

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council recently opened the newest of their community centres in South County Dublin. The Belarmine Community Centre, located in the Belarmine Plaza, opened its doors in late December for the first time, encouraging all members of the Belarmine area to avail of its facilities. The management committee have seen a strong interest from the local community with residents associations, childcare, youth groups and fitness and dance troupes all taking full advantage of the new services. Councillor Lettie McCarthy claimed that the new centre is: “just one of a number of new facilities being developed by DLRCC in partnership with local communities, and represents the Council’s commitment to delivering services which will help improve the quality of life for residents across the entire county".

New sports facilities for Sandyford

Dun Laoghaire County Council has announced its intentions to begin developing the existing sports facilities in Moreen Estate, Sandyford, before the end of January. This project, agreed upon after lengthy discussions with local residents, shall see both the existing tennis courts upgraded as well as the construction of a new kickabout synthetic pitch (35m x 20m). The project will also see provisions made for basketball to be played at the sports grounds also. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council plans to have the upgrade work completed and the sports facilities fully operational before the summer months.

Free Pre-School Year Protected

Senator Marie Corrigan has welcomed the Government's decision to protect the free pre-school year, describing the commitment of e326 million euro in funding for 2011 as “extremely important for families.” This free pre-school year will see 65,000 children avail of it this coming year while supporting 20,000 jobs in the childcare sector across the country, 7,000 of these created in the last year alone. Senator Corrigan believes that there are many pre-school centres across South County Dublin engaging in the new initiative while also creating local employment. “While the employment element of this pre-school year is important I feel it is much more important that the scheme remain intact for the educational and developmental benefits of young children, ensuring their early educational needs are met,” Senator Corrigan concluded.

Have you got news for us? Have you got a local news story you would like covered? Email the newsdesk:

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Dun Laoghaire Informer Jan 2011