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Laoghaire Informer Dún

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

Dún Laoghaire • Dalkey • Killiney • Monkstown • Blackrock

Gardai on text

A public text service pilot scheme is being launched by the Sandyford/ Stepaside Local Policing Forum (LPF) later this month. An Garda Síochána will provide By Rachel Murray information by text to the public relaying crime prevention advice, Chairman of the LPF Inspector measures and important public information. The service will first John O'Driscoll said, "This collaborun in conjunction with rative approach aims to find soluLeopardstown Heights Residents tions to issues raised, report on Association, it will then be rolled progress and develop guidelines to out to the Dún-Laoghaire Rathdown manage difficulties that arise". The Sandyford/Stepaside Forum area and, it is hoped, nationwide. Representative from consists of a representative interLeopardstown Heights, Noel spersed from the local Residents Donovan said, "The scheme will Associations, Luas Representative, Resource heighten awareness to issues such Ballyogan/Kilcross as break-ins, damage to cars and Centre, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown graffiti, enabling residents to be Co Council, Councillor Lettie McCarthy and chairman Inspector more vigilant in their area". The Sandyford/Stepaside Local John O'Driscoll from Dundrum Policing Forum (LPF) was formed Garda Station. The LPF meets twice in August 2012. It is a mechanism monthly communicating on any through which the Gardai, the com- issues that have arisen and developmunity and local authority together ing procedures to deal with these with other stakeholders share issues. Since the closure of the Stepaside appropriate information, improve communication and identify issues Garda station a total of five comof concern in relation to policing, munity gardaí have been assigned anti-social behaviour, public safety to the Sandyford/Stepaside area and it is felt by residents there is more and estate management.

New Year's Resolutions Green Scene - Page 4

presence of Gardai on the streets. Noel Donovan commented, "The Local Policing Forum is an excellent initiative, a pro-active approach to policing. There is much more involvement from local residents, information is shared quickly and on a regular basis among all parties which has made a real difference in the community. The LPF has turned what was viewed as a negative into a real positive." The Local Policing Forum for the Stepaside/Sandyford area was initiated by Cllr. Lettie McCarthy through the Joint Policing Committee. Lettie told the Sandyford Informer "The LPF was intended to enhance the existing Garda service - not replace it. I never expected Stepaside Garda Station would be closed and still cannot see the logic of this decision but in hind-sight, it was great that all the ground work was done on setting up the LPF." Gardaí clinics are held in Sandyford community centre every Wednesday between 7pm and 9pm.

Flash Fiction The Act Page 16

Byrne Out Low on Ink?

Jason Byrne Interview Page 10

Win a pair of Tickets Super Troupers See page 3

Deciding how to treat your Cold Ask The Pharmacist - Page 6


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Conor Cos College, Ran medical miss the Middle Ea The week l the boys and t lip and palate Conor from involved in e water, oral re observe the w where approp before and af Despite this are no strang Student Prog part of the Ir over 450 stud Smile’s Intern the 24th confe information c J.J. had thi forward to tra people and I’m hopefully it’s Operation S “We are very pool of applic Smile Studen needed link b tor, and the m


The Informer

Dún Laoghaire In Brief... Dublin dog fouling campaign launch

Dublin’s four local authorities have joined together to launch a new initiative to tackle dog fouling in streets and parks across Dublin. Currently there are in excess of 30,000 dogs living in Dublin, with 30,745 dog licences issued by the four Dublin local authorities in 2012 and 28,122 issued to date in 2013. The initiative will include a series of marketing and promotional initiatives to raise awareness of the environmental and health issues around dog fouling, as well as events for dog owners taking place in parks around Dublin city and county. Campaign spokesperson, Therese Langan, from Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown said, “Dog fouling remains a very serious issue and one of the top gripes for Dubliners. As a result, Dublin’s four local authorities are coming together with a new initiative to encourage all dog owners to clean up after their dog. "Dog owners who do not clean up after their dogs are creating a serious environmental and public health issue for everyone else. If not cleaned up and disposed of appropriately, dog faeces can cause serious medical problems such as Toxocara, leading to sight loss in children. So when dog owners are walking their dog in the city, in the suburbs or in one of the city’s many parks, there really is no excuse, always scoop the poop. Members of the public can call 1800 251 500 and report the location, time and date and the relevant Dublin local authority can take action on offending dog owners.

DLR’s busiest library re-launched

Deansgrange Library is officially re-opened,

with Graham Connors led by Mairead Owens, County Librarian and Andrew Devonport, one of dlr’s Senior Executive Architects, the refurbishment is just the latest instalment in the County’s library building programme. The programme also includes the re-opening of Dalkey Library with its popular Maeve Binchy Memorial Garden in 2012; the on-going refurbishment and rebuild of the Blackrock Library and VEC complex scheduled for completion in the spring of 2014 and the much anticipated opening of the new Central Library and Cultural Centre in Dún Laoghaire in autumn 2014. Deansgrange Library, which is currently the busiest library in the dlr area, was originally opened in 1982. Over 110,000 people visited Deansgrange Library during the last full year it was open and over 250,000 items were borrowed that year. The doors to the library closed last year to allow for a complete redesign and refurbishment of the building, which now offers its users an extensive menu of services and improved facilities. The people of dlr Library community can now avail of a bright, spacious interior, enhanced public internet and self-service facilities and most importantly an extended selection of books, CDs and DVDs.

Bright Sparks Computer Club

Bright sparks computer club gives children a chance to learn or enhance computer skills. Junior and senior infants are thought simple basic mouse and keyboard skills. Problem solving, creativity and lateral thinking encouraged through the completion of tasks, creation of documents and use of age-appropriate games. Older students are taught document creation and

n Dublin Zoo welcomed over 1 million visitors for a third consecutive year. The Zoo is celebrating one of the most exciting arrivals of 2013, a male southern white rhinoceros calf. The newborn is mother Ashanti’s third calf and is another significant success for Dublin Zoo as part of the European Endangered Species Programme.

managing touch typing, internet safety and email usage. They’re shown how to create, use and manage an email account digital images by creating, accessing, editing and much more. The club aims to promote a social environment where children with similar interests can share, explore and play. Encouraging children who are interested in technology to express and challenge themselves. Classes are on Thursdays 1.30-2.25 for Jnr & Snr Infant and 2.30-3.25 1st to 6th class in Sandyford community centre. Contact Angela @ 086 8534719 or log onto

€211k allocated to DLR under the built heritage jobs leverage scheme

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Mr

Dublin student volunteers in Jordan with Operation Smile

Conor Cosgrove and J.J O’Shea, two 5th year students from Gonzaga College, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, are readying themselves for a voluntary medical mission with the children’s charity Operation Smile Ireland to the Middle East country of Jordan this January. The week long mission is guaranteed to be a life-changing trip for both the boys and the lucky patients who will be getting the much needed cleft lip and palate surgery. Conor from Mount Merrion and J.J. from Rathgar, both 17, will be involved in educating the patients on nutrition, dental hygiene, clean water, oral rehydration therapy, and fire safety. They will also be able to observe the work of the Operation Smile medical volunteers, helping out where appropriate, and making the young patients feel more relaxed before and after their surgeries. Despite this being the first overseas mission with Operation Smile, they are no strangers to the charity having been part of Operation Smile Student Programmes over the last few years. Both Conor and J.J. were part of the Irish representation last summer in Norfolk, Virginia, where over 450 students from over 20 countries came together for Operation Smile’s International Student Leadership Conference (ISLC). This July, the 24th conference will be taking place in the University of Limerick, all information can be found on J.J. had this to say about the upcoming mission: “I’m really looking forward to travelling to Jordan, I’ve read it’s a beautiful place with great people and I’m excited to be taking part in my first Op Smile mission and hopefully it’s the first of many!” Operation Smile Ireland’s In-Country had this to add about the boys: “We are very proud that Conor and JJ have been selected from a large pool of applicants to attend our medical mission in Jordan as Operation Smile Student Volunteers. Conor and JJ will be able to provide a much needed link between our young patients, who may never have seen a doctor, and the medical staff treating them.

"They have been trained to provide information on a range of topics such as nutrition, and dental hygiene and will be a real asset to the team in Jordan. We wish them the very best of luck, and we know that they will do us proud.” Operation Smile changes lives one smile at a time.  Operation Smile Ireland is part of a global alliance of Operation Smile organisations working to serve children with facial deformity such as cleft lip and palate worldwide. It can take as little as 45 minutes and €240 to change a child’s life forever. Since 1982, Operation Smile has provided free surgery to more than 160,000 children around the world with the help of dedicated medical volunteers. With a presence in over 60 developing world countries, Operation Smile is able to change lives, one smile at a time. With the help of the people of Ireland, many more lives can be changed.

Jimmy Deenihan TD, launched a new fund of €5 million for the repair and conservation of protected structures. The Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme aims to encourage the investment of private capital through the provision of matching public funds in a large number of small-scale, labour-intensive projects across Ireland. Funding between €2,500 and €15,000 will be made available to applicants, who can match the grants in full, for projects that aim to repair and conserve historic structures while supporting the employment of skilled and experienced conservation professionals, craftworkers and tradespeople. The total allocation for DLR is €211,000. Details of the operation of the scheme are available at http://

n Conor Cosgrove (left) and JJ O’Shea (right) are all set for their first Operation Smile Ireland mission on January 16th to Jordan.

PRTB/ESRI Rent Index shows Rent in Dublin grew by 6.4% in the past year Rents for private accommodation in the Dublin region continued to increase strongly in the third quarter (July-September) of this year, but outside the capital there was more modest growth. Looking at rents on an annual basis, Dublin rents grew by 6.4%, year on year (Q3 this year versus Q3 last year), but elsewhere rents actually showed a slight decline (0.2%) over the same period. These findings come from the latest Quarterly Rent Index of the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB), which is compiled for it

by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). This Rent Index is the most accurate and authoritative rent report of its kind on the private accommodation sector in Ireland. All landlords are legally obliged to register tenancies with the Board and the number of new transactions in Q3 alone (July – September 2013) was well over 46,000. Another key feature is that it reflects the actual rents being paid for rented properties, according to the PRTB's records, as distinct from

the asking or advertised rent, which is the basis of other rent reports. The PRTB website (click "rent index") also contains an Average Rent Dataset which enables people to check the average rent being paid for five different categories of dwelling types throughout the country in both urban and rural areas. This enables people to check what is the actual rent being paid for, say, a semi-detached house or a two-bed apartment in their neighbourhood, and in other parts of the country.


The Informer



WITH THE RTÉ CONCERT ORCHESTRA Attention ABBA fans, this is one concert you do not want to miss! The RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Andy O'Callaghan and Celebration Singers have been responsible for some of the rowdiest nights in the National Concert Hall. On Wednesday March 5th, due to phenomenal demand, they are bringing the hugely popular SUPER TROUPERS concert back to the National Concert Hall. The insanely catchy music of ABBA, in great arrangements by Andy, performed in style by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and a team of superb male and female vocalists, will once again have the audience singing along and dancing in the aisles. Feel free to dress up for a night of ABBA hits like Waterloo, Dancing Queen, Chiquitita, Mamma Mia!, Gimme Gimme Gimme, Voulez Vous and more. To be in with a chance to win one of three pairs of tickets to this concert, simply answer the question below: The famous duo responsible for writing many of ABBA’s hit songs was: a) Lerner & Loewe b) Rodgers & Hammerstein c) Benny & Björn If you’re not lucky enough to win tickets you can buy them from `11 - `38 from 01 417 0000 or Answers by e-mail only to Please include your contact number. Closing date for entries 15th February 2013.

Winners of the Hollywood Rhapsody competition: Joe McKeown; Breda Scanlan; Vanessa Burke

Dublin Informer

Editor: Niall Gormley • Address: Unit 38, Northwood Court, Santry, Dublin 9 01 813 8786 • • Sales Director: Declan Keane • Mobile: 087 9145073 For Advertising Enquiries, please contact: Email: • Telephone: 01 813 8786

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Green Scene

New Year's Resolutions

I wasn’t going to make any New Year’s resolutions this year – my decision to be slim and fit never makes it to the second of January – but the Editor wanted some, and what the Editor wants, the Editor gets. (Damn right. Editor.) So here are my green resolutions for 2014. Maybe we can check back in December and see how I did. I’ve reached a point in my life when I don’t have the time and energy to save the whole planet all by myself – that particular torch will have to be picked up by others with more youth and energy. Instead, this year, I’m going to get to know my locality better So I’m going to walk more – in my garden, down the road, on the local beach, through the local fields and woods – and I’m going to notice and learn about what I see. I’ll take my camera and bird and flower books with me. I’m also going to try and find out more about what my local community has to offer – as a runner in, even of many years standing, I know that I’m still missing out on a wealth of local knowledge, skill and services. So that will mean local shopping in smaller local shops, and taking the time to chat as I shop to find out what is locally made or locally grown. Of course I like to produce a lot of my own vegetables and flowers, but I want to make sure I fill in the gaps with what it locally produced and seasonal. Yes, the range is contracted at Christmas, but if we encourage local growers they will grow a wider range for a longer season – pop down to

Temple Bar on a Saturday and see the huge range of home grown veg from MacNally’s Family Farm. I’m going to spend more time in my local library – not only are my bookshelves full to overflowing but they have a great community notice board. There are a lot of community groups I haven’t explored and probably many more I’ve never heard of. Including local thrift shops – not only do they do a brilliant job of recycling but they are often another good place to find out what is going on in the community. And if you are helping the environment and your pocket by turning down your thermostat maybe you can find a couple of new sweaters there. Or old ones that can be radically redesigned into something a bit different to really show off to your friends. There are some great ideas on YouTube. And of course YouTube will also teach you how to maintain and repair home appliances. Part of reducing is deciding whether you really need to buy something new. An old fashioned local hardware shop will give great advice on how easy it is likely to be to repair something and how to keep tools in good conditions. And if something is too complicated to repair at home they are usually the people who know where you can get it mended. When I moved to Dublin, back at the dawn of time, it was a city of villages, full of local shops, craftspeople and expertise. Let’s value those that survive and the young people that are giving them new life.

The Informer

By Kathy Marsh, Sonairte Green snippets… Green snippets… Green snippets… Energy use fell by 4.6% in 2012 while the economy grew While the economy showed modest growth in 2012, Ireland’s energy use fell 4.6% according to the annual Energy in Ireland (2013) report published by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). Almost one fifth of Irish electricity now comes from renewable sources, cutting around €300 million from Ireland’s fossil fuel imports last year. Electricity generated from renewables has increased eightfold since 1990. Chief Executive of SEAI Brian Motherway said: “The energy productivity of Ireland’s economy has been improving steadily over recent years, with progress in all sectors.. We still import 85% of our energy and this bill grew to €6.5 billion in 2012. This underlines the need to move from imported fossil fuels to indigenous renewables, and to achieve further efficiency gains.” “The typical Irish home now emits 40% less CO2 than was the case 20 years ago. But we need to achieve even greater savings with further investment in energy upgrades, not only in our homes but in all buildings." The report also states that: • Energy use fell in all sectors since 2007, with transport down 27%, industry 13% and buildings 16%. • Since 2007, Ireland’s economy contracted by 7.3%, while energy demand fell by 19% and related CO2 emissions fell by 21%. • Average CO2 emissions for new cars fell by 24% since 2007 and are now lower than the

required EU target. • Provisional figures show that Ireland will meet its greenhouse gas emissions target for the Kyoto period 2008 – 2012.

Single charger for notebook computers will reduce e-waste Each year billions of external chargers are shipped globally. Power supplies for notebooks weigh typically around 300 but sometimes up to 600 grams. They are generally not usable from one computer to the next. Sometimes they get lost or break, leading to the discarding of computers that may still work perfectly well. It is estimated that the total e-waste related to all kinds of chargers exceeds half a million tons each year; basically the equivalent of 500 000 cars. This new International Electrotechnical Commission Technical Specification covers critical aspects of external chargers for notebook computers, their connector and plug, as well as safety, interoperability, performance and environmental considerations. The new IEC Technical Specification opens the way to a significant and very real reduction of e-waste related to power supplies and will allow consumers to use a single external charger with a wide range of notebook computers. This will also make it much easier for external chargers to be reused or replaced when needed. IEC work ensures that the charger is reliable and safe to use, and that it provides the required level of performance..

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The Informer

Ask the Treating colds Pharmacist There is a bewildering array of products to treat colds and flu. Most of them are heavily marketed and ads promising that this or that medicine is the best thing to knock colds and flu on the head are ubiquitous at this time of year. With dozens of products to choose from, how to decide what to buy? Despite the large number of products, most are based on some combination of just a few drugs to treat various symptoms of colds and flu. These include pain relievers (e.g. paracetamol), decongestants, cough suppressants and antihistamines to help relieve runny noses. Most flu treatments on the market contain paracetamol so it is important if taking more than one product to ensure that you are not overdosing on paracetamol, which can cause fatal liver damage. Uniflu, Benylin Day & Night, Benylin-4-Flu, Night Nurse and all the Lemsip range contain paracetamol. Decongestants help relieve stuffy noses and congested sinuses. The most common of these is a drug called pseudoephedrine, although phenylephrine is also sometimes used. Lemsip Sinus & Flu, and the products named above all contain a decongestant. Sudafed contains only a decongestant, while Sinutab, Solpa-Sinus and Suda-Plus also contain paracetamol. Nurofen Cold & Flu contains ibuprofen with a decongestant. Decongestants should generally be avoided by those with diabetes or heart disease (among other conditions) so always check with your pharmacist if you are on any other medication before taking these. Decongestants are effective at relieving congestion but less so for drying up a runny nose. Decongestants are also available as nasal sprays which work much quicker than tablets but are not suitable for use for more than a week. Antihistamines are contained in some cold and flu remedies to help dry up a runny nose, and they may also help with an irritating cough. However, they cause drowsiness and so may not be suitable if you are going to work. Non-sedating antihistamines are not very effective at drying up the nose when you have a cold. Products containing antihistamines include Benylin4-Flu, Actifed, Uniflu and Night Nurse. Benylin Day & Night contains nondrowsy tablets to take during the day with paracetamol and a decongestant, and then paracetamol/antihistamine combination to take at night. Some cough medicines also contain antihistamines. If you are coughing, you may need to take a separate cough medicine although some combination products will also help with a cough. Day Nurse contains a strong cough suppressant with a decongestant/paracetamol combination which is excellent for a dry cough. Benylin Cough & Cold Multirelief Tablets contain an expectorant to help loosen the phlegm of a chesty cough in addition to nasal relief.

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

Gemini and the neutron stars We previously looked at Orion in the south east, and these evenings it’s very prominent in the southern sky: simply look for the three bright stars in a row and you are looking at Orion. To the upper-left of Orion, high up in the sky, you’ll be able to spot two bright stars called Castor and Pollux, near the bright planet Jupiter. These stars are in the constellation of Gemini (the Twins) and should be easily spotted from Dublin. In Greek mythology, Pollux was the son of Zeus, and Castor was the son of a Spartan king called Tyndareus. In ancient Babylonian astronomy, the two stars were known as the Great Twins: one being the king of the underworld and the other known as ‘The Mighty King’. The constellation of Gemini is located away from the galactic disc, so if you’re in a particularly dark location the constellation can be easy enough to see as there isn’t lots of stars in that region of the sky. A very faint star in Gemini, called Geminga, and too faint to be seen without giant professional telescopes, is a very unusual type of star called a ‘neutron star’. A neutron star is the leftover remnant of a cataclysmic

supernova explosion that tears a dying star apart. This type of star is so dense that a teaspoon of it would weigh as much as a mountain, and its mass is so great that it bends space and time around itself: if you were to look at it straight on, you would also be able to see part of the back of the star. The supernova that created Geminga is thought to have occurred about 300,000 years ago, and was relatively close to our own Solar System. In fact, tiny meteorites that may have come from the explosion itself have been found passing through the Solar System! You can get your equipment to scan the Dublin sky at

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The Informer

Garden Growing With Gerry Norton Setting the scene for the new year

A very happy and healthy new year to all Informer readers. As I finalize this month’s piece in early January, the winds are starting to get angry and it’s time to batten down the hatches once again. Big winds and high seas have started to become a feature of our winter weather in particular and many put this down to global warming. So, what can we as ordinary citizens do to help? Very little I suspect as most of this global change is in the hands of big industry and is therefore beyond our control. Small steps

We can however try to help in some small way by recycling and by gardening sensibly. If your black bin is full ask a neighbour if they have some space in theirs, don’t just chuck it in the green bin. Otherwise store it in your garage-shed until the next time. Stop using harmful insecticides-herbicides to deal with a problem in your garden.

n Now is the time to get your lawn mower and other equipment serviced Rose Clear for example was rubber gloves and squish them! I reformulated to become Rose do it every few weeks and it works, Clear Ultra because it was no and it isn’t as horrible as it longer allowed by the powers- sounds. that-be to be used by gardeners Take it easy because of its chemical formulaThere isn’t a lot we can do at tion. Instead why not do your bit for this time of the year in the garden the planet and follow the advice except plan for the coming year. from one of our gardening national As the ground is sodden it’s best treasures, Helen Dillon. If you not to walk on your veg plot as have a problem with aphids, ie. you will compact the soil. green or black fly, put on some Have a think about what worked


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or didn’t work last year in the garden not only in the veg plot but also in the borders and why not try something new this year? Seed catalogues are abundant at the moment. My usual favourites would be Seed Savers in Clare and the Organic Centre in Leitrim. A new addition this year is a range of seeds including some very unusual ones from Green Vegetable Seeds which operates out of Milkwood Farm, also in Leitrim. This is the enterprise and home of well known author and vegetable guru, Klaus Laitenberger and family. Klaus has a black tomato in his catalogue called ‘Indigo Rose’ which was originally bred in Oregon State University. It contains ‘Anthocyanins’ which is an antioxidant known to have health benefits as do all tomato varieties. A jet black tomato, I kid you not!. What’s next, blue bananas? Equipment overhaul

Now is the time to get your lawn mower and other equipment serviced as none of it is in use pres-

February Tips

A few quick tips for early February if the weather improves a small bit. • Avoid walking on your lawn as it’s very easy to do damage • Cover your veg plot with plastic which will warm up the soil • Prune trees now that they have lost their leaves and the desired shape is easy to see • Hard prune wisteria • Prune grape vines • Keep the birds well fed with sunflower seeds and peanuts. Never buy multipack seeds as the birds will not eat them and they will become a pest in your garden when they germinate on your lawn!

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Byrne Out

After being cooped up in the BBC, writing and recording his sitcom, Father Figure, for the past few months Jason Byrne is bursting for a chat. He comes to Galway this October to do what he does best. No words can do justice to this manic ball of comedic energy. The biggest selling comedian at every year’s Edinburgh Fringe has a way of bouncing onto the stage, picking some random object like a fire extinguisher, obsessing about it, pouring forth the torrent of pure comedy that has built up inside his head, making you laugh until you fart and then…. it’s over. An hour in his company feels like 10 minutes and you won’t be able to remember one joke, not even a funny line but you may well have split your sides. Arm whirls, facial scrunches and lots of props, plus skilful use of the front row as a collective feed, a technique he discovered by accident early on when he forgot to take on a couple of props. His brand of humour is hyper, light-footed but also uncontroversial, which gives it broad appeal. His air of stability would seem to have much to do with not straying far from his roots. “I just thought, right I should really move over soon enough [he is still ensconced in the Dublin area, now with his wife of a decade, Brenda McCreith]. I’m such a home boy and have so many mates and family in Ireland that I couldn’t make a decision until eventually I started to get used to the swing of it. And my dad always said, ‘Always stay where you’re from if you can, because that’ll be the best thing for your head’.”

Where did you grow up? I grew up in the foot hills of the Dublin mountains in a beautiful place called Ballinteer, it's gone now, and all that’s left is fields. What's your fondest memory of growing up in Ballinteer? We used to have street parties where half the locals dressed

as deers and the other as headlights, the headlights would chase the deers, it was all done so we’d have a good harvest that year. What was tradition in the Byrne household when you were a kid? To hand over the remote control to my Dad when he came home from work, then we’d get a basin of hot water, put dettol in it so he could soak his feet. He was like an Irish Jesus. How much time do you get to spend in Dublin? I'm there six months of the year, the other six I go around the world collecting money for the Irish government. When you get the time to relax in Dublin what's your favourite thing to do? I like to go to Dublin Zoo and lick the glass of the snake cages. I find it almost Zen-like, seen a monk doing it in Tibet. What do you think is the worst thing to come out of Ireland since you were born? Money. What is your favourite Irish saying? We’ll leave it there then. What's the most embarrassing thing you've put a member of your audience through? A cement mixer. You're very dramatised on stage, do you think this gives a better comedic show? Yes, I do think drama lends well to a comedic show. That’s the first time I have ever answered a question from the 1840’s.

The Informer

Jason Byrne Interview with Rachel Murray

What is the best thing about playing to an Irish audience compared with other places? The fact that they all think their funnier then you before you start. Congratulations on the success of your sitcom, 'Father Figure', is it something you'd like to do again? Boom, lets do it again !! What's your favourite television sitcom of all time? Fair city. Career wise, what are you least proud of? When I squashed a guy's pet mouse, it was in his pocket when he got up on stage. On a personal level what are you most proud of? Giving mouth-to mouth-to a guy's mouse that I squashed. It survived. Do you think social media is now an instrumental part of raising and maintaining an entertainer's profile? Yes, unfortunately. Three twitter follow recommendations? @thechickenshat… @carpetrubber… @parisflaptrop… I made these up, but I guarantee their used accounts. What does 2014 have in store for Jason Byrne the comedian? Riches beyond your widest dreams. Oh and a new haircut Who should buy your new dvd, 'Jason Byrne's Special Eye'? People with money only please.

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The Act

The Informer

With JJ Fleetwood

forums. This new self was not helpless and despairing like the offline me. He was filled with a I remember lying on my back like this, hands steely resolve to do something, to strike back. He behind my head, was when I was twelve, the started his own blog in which he vented his anger rough stumps left after newly-cut hay pressing and frustration at “The System”. He attracted into my back, the sun warm on my skin, dazzled many like-minded followers. by beads of blue and white shining through the Offline, life continued as normal. I looked after holes in the straw weaving of the hat perched my elderly parents and was a good, caring uncle just above my nose, deliciously tired after a hard to my nieces and nephews. I continued to look for day working on the farm. Twenty years later I work but grew less hopeful by the day. Meanwhile am lying on a hard bed under garish prison my cyber-self grew in confidence and he lights staring at the dull, off-white ceiling. The eventually learned that angry words were not tiredness I feel now is joyless, empty. enough. I get on OK with my fellow inmates but have “You can’t make an omelette without breaking no real friends here. My background is not eggs” he wrote in his blog. An idea took hold of typical for a prisoner. For many years I worked him and wouldn’t let go. He would act. It took for a large bank. I was competent enough, I him over two years of planning and preparation once glimpsed a work report that described me before he was ready to strike a blow against the as “shy, soft-spoken, hardworking, reliable, enemy. disciplined”, but I was never a high-flier. Then The police never understood that it wasn’t the came the economic crash and I lost my job, while real me that did it, it was my cyber-self. His targets others – less hardworking but more selfpromoting - were kept on. I was tossed onto the were the enemy, the establishment. He had to strike a blow. He believed that the revolution must trash heap. I worked hard to find another happen and he had to play his part. The people in position, but only found sporadic temporary work. I grew frustrated as I was turned down for that bank boardroom weren’t innocent civilians for him, they were the ones that keep us all in job after job. But, for the sake of my parents, I chains. continued to maintain my usual quiet, reliable Except the little girl. How could he have known facade. that a bank director would pick that day, of all My alter-ego was born in cyberspace. He days, to bring his six-year old daughter into work. began to read about how governments, the She was sitting just a few feet away from the banks and the giant corporations control the suitcase bomb when it exploded. I just wish that world and make slaves of us, the ordinary they had never shown me her photograph. Every people. He vented his anger, along with many time I close my eyes I see her face. other like-minded people, in various blogs and

Graham Connor's Movie Advice All is Lost HHHHH

Directed by J.C. Chandor. Starring Robert Redford. A sailor on a solo voyage finds that a stray cargo container has pierced the hull of his boat. He must now struggle against the elements to survive. January is a blessed month for film fans as all the Oscar hopefuls try hitting the big screens across the world. All is Lost certainly is an Oscar contender but even if it wins nothing, All is Lost is a fabulous film. Robert Redford, who has been relatively quiet of late, is the only actor in this film, he is in nearly every frame and so he literally is this film. Of course, with no supporting cast, he has no one to talk to and so about eight lines of dialogue are spoken throughout the film. But it is full of sound and action, the waves and the storm and the howling wind are his supporting cast and it pulls the greatest performance of his career from Redford. All is Lost is truly a fabulous and haunting film, a triumph of storytelling.

Advice: Essential viewing

12 Years a Slave HHHHH

Directed by Steve McQueen. Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt. It is 1841 and Solomon Northup, a gifted musician, is lured to Washington under the promise of work. Instead he is sold into slavery. This is his story. Anyone familiar with the work of director Steve McQueen will know two things, 1) his films are powerful and often shocking and 2) he casts Michael Fassbender, a lot. So far the pair have worked on Hunger and Shame but this, their latest film, is by far the best, especially for Fassbender who plays an evil and complicated man. He does not stray into cartoon villain territory, he is just a bad man, wicked to the core. While Fassbender proves the shade to this film, Ejiofor (of Love Actually fame) is the light. He is fantastic as Northup and provides the true heart of 12 Years a Slave, never bowing under pressure of carrying a film of this weight. It is often bruising and brutal film as it does not shy away from reality of a slave’s plight. 12 Years a Slave may only highlight the plight of one individual during a time when millions died but it is a sobering tale that never once sets foot in the arena of sentimentality. It is not a date night film but a film that should be seen by everyone.

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The Informer

NLP: A new tool for success in business

NLP in the Workplace

Colm Murphy, Executive Coach and Master NLP Practitioner

Communication: One of the crucial aspects in any organisation is communication and NLP uniquely, places the emphasis on the receiver. You can learn to deliver the message the way the listener would prefer the communication be delivered. Staff are enabled to calibrate the unconscious non-verbal signals of the other person, allowing them to tune in to their inner dialogue.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a behavioural approach which allows us to harness the power of the unconscious mind. It allows us to understand what is going on inside us and what happens when we deal with others. NLP operates on the basic assumption that reality is subjective. That is, instead of assuming that there is an objective, single reality out there that we all participate in, it focuses on how each individual experiences and perceives reality on the inside. Therefore, instead of 'facts', NLP deals with personal beliefs and perceptions and is more concerned with what works than with what is 'true'. Successful companies realise that true competitive advantage lies in their people. Effective communication is vital to the success of an individual, whether it be communication with the team, clients and customers, senior managers, regulatory bodies or the media. Poor communication within the workplace creates tensions and destroys personal and business relationships. Competence in NLP communication techniques gives the staff a quantum leap in their ability to work with, understand and motivate other people, both individually and in groups. Since the cornerstone of NLP is respecting the other person’s map of the world, this mutual respect improves wellbeing and team spirit. Conflicts can be quickly resolved, by means of user-friendly and mutually respecting solutions. Staff can begin to look at things more holistically – that is, they can view themselves as part of the larger system that

Negotiations: Develop outcome-based thinking. Sharing and introducing the preferred outcome in a way that can be easily understood by others, greatly enhances to the effectiveness of a meeting. they participate in. An effective NLP-enabled manager leads by making others want to follow, by encouraging a culture of self-motivation in the workforce. How it Works

NLP helps us develop a spectrum of skills that are invaluable in dealing with ourselves and others.

Feedback: Learn to use your senses to get feedback for how you are doing. Stay in the present moment and look at what is actually going on around you, not what you’d like to be happening, or whatever is happening in your daydream. Flexibility: Stay flexible – the more options you have for action, the more chances you have to succeed. Remember, you can’t keep doing what you’ve always done and expect different results. Keep yourself flexible, reflective and always ready to change, until you find what works.



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Rabbits are very inquisitive and intelligent. They need to keep their mind active otherwise they can become bored and depressed very quickly. This can then lead to behavioural problems. By providing a selection of different toys on a regular basis you will have one happy bunny! Keeping your rabbit entertained with toys will also help in stopping destructive behaviours in the house or garden. Simple ideas for hours of fun! Cardboard boxes can be a great source of free entertainment. A box approximately 18in by 18in by 12in is an ideal size for most rabbits. Cut out 2 doorways in the box, this adds a fun element to it and also stops the bunny from overheating if he is inside for a long time. Smaller cardboard boxes can be connected to larger ones to make it more interesting. Supermarkets will be happy to provide you with cardboard boxes. Make sure there are no staples in the box to avoid injuries. Also remove any plastic or tape from the boxes as this is a tempting chew toy for bunnies but a potential choking hazard! Toilet roll and kitchen roll tubes and tissue boxes are great fun for bunnies to gnaw and throw around! With any items, make sure the rabbits head cannot get stuck! Cut the tissues boxes and cardboard tubes down the side.

Can you dig it? Rabbits love to dig! When given the opportunity, many rabbits will perform this behaviour. You can provide your rabbits with a ‘digging box’. Dig boxes can be made using a large plant pot, cat litter trays, plastic washing-up basins, cardboard boxes. Safe dig material can include soil, shredded newspapers, child-friendly sand, dust free cat litter, rabbit safe woodchips etc. Tunnels: Rabbits love tunnels, as they simulate their natural habitat in the wild. Plastic and fabric tunnels can be purchased commercially or they can be made from cardboard boxes or tubes. Food games: Hide tiny bits of carrot & other foods like dried herbs or healthy treats in amongst their hay on a daily basis, so they have to work for their treats. Dublin Small Animal Rescue dublinsmallanimalrescue

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Game Reaction with Denis Murphy

Gran Turismo in years, and the perfect swansong for the PS3. Game Reaction: 9/10

Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus Developer: Insomniac Games • Platform: PS3

Gran Turismo 6 Developer: Polyphony Digital • Platform: PS3 After a number of sequels and spin-offs, Sony is openly trying to recapture the glory days of the original Gran Turismo, and with a massive host of tracks, cars, challenges and trophies, Grand Turismo 6 does exactly what it intended to do. Gran Turismo 6 goes all out in the features and presentation department. The first noticeable selling point is the fact that there's an overall of 1200 cars to drive here. From older sports cars like the Alpine A110 1600, to the more modern rides like the Pagani Zonda R '09 and everything in between, the amount of usable cars here is staggering. The handling of the cars themselves in here is expertly done too. This general improvement on Gran Turismo 5 can especially be felt on tight turns, in which you can really feel your cars suspension take a beating. From slight bumps in the road to hard direct hits from other competitors, the car controls in Gran Turismo 6 are next to none. Fact. Polyphony Digital have created the best



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Back a New Year winner at Shelbourne Park

Are you experiencing those New Year Blues and need a great value, thrilling night out at one of Dublin’s leading entertainment and fundraising venue’s to set the pulses racing? Then why not head to Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium where incredible value night time entertainment awaits that will exceed your expectations with superb dining options, buzzing vibrant bars and one great party atmosphere every Thursday and Saturday night. (Wednesday night racing resumes in March) Leading the field in value is the Thursday night New Year Bistro option priced at a fantastic €19.50 providing admission & race card, reserved seating in the Dobbins grandstand restaurant with tote service at your table and a choice of main course restaurant option with a minimum 11 thrilling races to enjoy. The bistro option is also available on a weekend night at €25pp and includes a bottle of house beer, glass of wine or soft drink making it a must for those seeking to combine great food with a panoramic view of all the racing action from their table. The His N Her Deal Of The Month remains a regu-

Your questions on depression answered! What is Depression? Generally speaking, it is an uncomfortable gloomy feeling. It is a human emotion, just like joy, sadness or anger. Is Depression the same for everyone? No. It can vary from person to person. Some people can feel a little down about something specific, others can feel down for no obvious reason. Some people experience a mild version of it, others feel it more acutely.

lar winner and is ideal for that informal group night out priced at only €10 pp and offers admission, race card, prime Irish Beef burger or chicken burger and either a bottle of house beer or glass of wine. With grandstand restaurant seating for 450 diners and a choice of seven corporate suites the Dublin 4 venue really is the ideal location for that special night out whether it be a corporate or work outing, special family occasion or just a night out with friends. Booking is easy for reservation enquiries call our sales office on 1890 269 969, book online at or drop into stadium reception (Tel: 061 448046). Alternatively call Patrick Flynn (Sales, Operations & Commercial Manager on 061 448046 or email or david.

What is the cause of Depression? It varies from person to person. Generally speaking, it is a combination of past memories or experiences and beliefs. Was I born with Depression? No. Depression is acquired and therefore can also be discarded. How can I get rid of my Depression? A therapist will essentially find out 'what you hold inside of your mind' with good detective work. They will then alter this to give you a better outcome in your day to day living. But I don't have any bad memories or experiences? Sometimes our mind has a way of hiding stuff from our consciousness. It does this to protect us. Many bad memories or experiences are buried deep in the sub conscious and need to be rooted out.

But you cannot change the past? True, but you can change your Perception of the past. Two people can experience the same event, one person can be traumatised by it, the second person can treat it as no big deal. By altering the first person's perception of the past, great changes to their health can occur I'm still confused? OK. Essentially, your mind is always trying to protect you as you go through life. Examples could be: If your teacher shouted to you at school, your mind recognises this as danger and can store a program in your brain that says "beware of authority". As an Adult, you can then develop a fear of Authority. Your father may have told you as a child that you'll never amount

to anything. This can instill a belief in your mind that "I'm no good" or "there's no point in trying as I'll fail" Your teacher may have embarrassed you in front of your class you may have a fear of Public Speaking. Too much "stuff" in your head and it is hardly surprising that you start to feel down So the mind essential develops strategies that need updating to allow you to deal with the world as an Adult, not as a Child. A FasterEFT therapist can you help you with this. Linda Walker, FasterEFT Practitioner Mind & Body Clinic, Rathgar, Dublin 6 • 01-4976434

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