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Laoghaire Informer Dún

20,000 copies delivered monthly

May/June 2013 • Unit 26, Western Parkway Business Centre, Ballymount, Dublin 12 • Tel: 01 813 8786 • Email: • Web:

Dún Laoghaire • Dalkey • Killiney • Monkstown • Blackrock

Glencullen/Sandyford crying Phil's Ma out for a secondary school "There is no obvious feeder school for this area and this is a very big concern to parents of young families" Parents from the seven primary schools in the Sandyford and Glencullen electoral area have voiced their frustration at the lack of post-primary schools in Dublin 18. Every year parents of sixth class By Rachel Murray children are left wondering where they will send their children to secondary school according to Cllr Lettie lack of non-fee paying secondary co-ed schools here, if parents can’t afford to McCarthy Cllr McCarthy pointed out that she pay, it’s a problem.” The Department of Education & represented an area that has experiSkills (DoES) commented, “It is anticienced the greatest population growth of pated that further additional post-priany neighbouring areas and the nearest mary provision will be required in this school that can cater for all children, area to meet demographic demands regardless of their religion, gender or through the medium of English. The ability to pay fees is St. Tiernan’s in location of these new schools (which Dublin 16. will be in the free scheme) is adjacent "There will be thousands of housing to Glencullen and Sandyford”. units built here over the coming years, Back in 2000, during the consultaespecially around the Kilternan area. tion phase of the Stepaside Action Area There is no obvious feeder school for Plan, an umbrella group, consisting of this area and this is a very big concern 14 residents associations made repreto parents of young families,” she said. sentation requesting the reservation of a Speaking to the Sandyford Informer, site for a post primary school. Catriona Cahill a member of Our The Lansdowne Old Wesley (LOW) Lady’s of Wayside Kilternan, Parent’s site Kilgobbin, was identified as a posAssociation and local resident said, sible site but it is now apparent that this “There is a serious need for a local co- site of only 2.52 hectares (6.3 acres) education post primary school where and does not satisfy current Department they could all attend. There is a distinct of Education and Skills site criteria in

respect of a 1000 student post-primary school. The current size parameter is now 5 hectares (12.4 acres). Cllr McCarthy added, “I am working closely with Minister Ruairi Quinn and I am delighted with the progress to date since he took office. The Planning and Building Unit of The Department of Education and Skills (DoES) are in regular dialogue with the Planning Authority in relation to the identification of a suitable site for a post-primary school since June 2011”. In May 2012, the DoES requested the Council to arrange valuations to be carried out on a number of short-listed sites and on completion of these valuations, the DoES further instructed Dublin City Valuers Office - acting on behalf of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council to commence negotiations with the owners of a number of identified sites regarding their possible purchase for school purposes. Two of the identified sites are currently the subject of negotiations and Minister Quinn envisages a new postprimary facility in the Stepaside area being operational by 2017.

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The Informer

The Drift Comment Box

By Niall Gormley

United Ireland Yes, Referendum No

Dublin by Numbers



This is the amount of money lost to Dublin each time a capacity match is held in Lansdowne Road instead of Croke Park. The figures are based on research carried out in Cardiff over the Heinekin Cup weekend in 2011 where some 83,000 visitors spent e30m or e361 per visitor. Therefore for a sell-out game like Ireland v England, there are 32,000 less fans attending a match at Lansdowne so the loss to the city is e11.5m. This is, as they say, a scandal.

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Tickets are for the Thursday concert

Sinn Fein have thrown caution to the wind and, in anticipation of 1916, they have gone all out for a border poll in the North. Then, in a opinion poll carried out by the BBC, the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland said they would prefer to stay in the UK, including around half of people who vote for Sinn Fein and the SDLP. Why do people vote for parties whose core policy is a United Ireland and then say they don't want a United Ireland? What's going on and is the idea dead? Not at all. What a large section of the catholic, nationalist, republican side of the house are reflecting is that they are happy with the current settlement, the Good Friday Agreement (GFA). And nationalists have good reason to be happy. Let's make a list. 1. There is a parliament in Belfast with very extensive powers. Most of the administration of Ireland is now in Ireland. 2. Nationalists have 40-50% of seats in the executive guaranteed forever. 3. The GFA guarantees the right of everyone to be British or Irish, or both, neither, or whatever you're having yourself. 4. There is a wide range of All-Ireland institutions like Waterways Ireland. 5. There is a North-South Ministerial Council. 6. There is a British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference where the Irish Government has a say in Northern Affairs. 7. We have an open border where people can cross for all sorts of cultural, organisational and sporting reasons. 8. And finally, crucially, we have unionist agreement for all this. What's not to like? Why would people want to give up a functioning peace agreement for a vague idea of a United Ireland with all the potential for conflict that might bring? We need to define collectively what we mean by a United Ireland. I reckon it wouldn't be a whole lot different from what we have now. Northern Ireland and all the institutions of the GFA would continue in a federal Ireland. Nothing else would be workable. In that case, we would be better building trust and consent, working the institutions, building all-Ireland civil institutions and winding down sectarianism rather than having a referendum, which would turn into a sectarian headcount with all the divisiveness that would follow. There wouldn't be much unity in that.


The Informer

Dún Laoghaire In Brief... New car park for Foxrock

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has announced plans to construct a car park at Foxrock Village. The proposed development will fall within Leopardstown Racecourse and allow for a total 51 car parking spaces, comprising 2 disabled car parking spaces, 2 electric recharging bays and 47 standard bays, a covered cycle stand for 14 cycles. An Arborist has surveyed the existing trees and vegetation and any identified as being of value will be retained and protected during construction. Old railway rock/stone walls are to be repaired/restored with extensive natural and planted landscaping and ancillary works also. Plans are available for inspection from Friday 10th May, 2013 to Friday 21st June, 2013 at the County Hall in Dún Laoghaire and at the Council Offices in Dundrum or online at Submissions or observations with regards the proposed development may be made in writing on or before –Friday 5th July, 2013.

Don't forget the Household Charge

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown have recently released figures indicating that over 88% of its householders liable for the Household Charge have paid, representing the highest compliance rate in the country. The fee for late payment, including interest and liabilities, will be €144 until the 31st May and soon it will be replaced with the new Local Property Tax, which will be administered by Revenue. A half-year charge will apply in 2013 and all outstanding household charge arrears must also be paid. Where the Household Charge arrears have not been paid by 1st July, 2013, the Local Property Tax will be increased by €200 and will be pursued and

with Graham Connors collected by Revenue. If you have a query regarding liability, you may contact Household Charge, Finance Department, at 2054700 ext. 4319/4328 or visit the Council’s Website where you can get details on the Charge and from where there is a direct link to the Household Charge Bureau Website

St. Matthias’ Church fête

Saturday 8th June, 10 – 2, St. Matthias’ Church Fête. Great stalls, Fun and Food – all for your delectation! Do Come and Enjoy yourselves at Church Road, Killiney!!

Fun Family 6km cycle

For National Bike Week 2013, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and the Dun Laoghaire Sports Partnership have a fun-filled free family cycling event planned. The Fun Family 6km Cycle takes place in Deansgrange Linear Park (Kill Lane, Dun Laoghaire) starting at 3.00 pm on Sunday 16th June, with fun for all the family including music by DJ Electric Eddie. All are welcome at this free public event but places are limited so pre-registration is highly recommended on, and

Would you like to know how to use a firearm safely?

St. Catherine’s Parents Association, a nonprofit organisation that supports children with intellectual disabilities through residential and respite care, with the support of the Hilltop Shooting Sports, will be holding a unique charity event on June 6th in North Co. Wicklow. St. Catherine’s is holding a

n Pictured are, from left, Joseph Barford (11) from Kilpedder, Wicklow, Reuben O'Neill (8) from Newcastle, Wicklow, Kashmira Larkin (11) from Cellbridge, Kildare and Ishthara Larkin (11) from Cellbridge, Kildare, are members of the new Young Gaiety Agency at Essex Street West, Temple Bar, and helping to launch the Summer 2013 brochure for the Gaiety School of Acting (GSA). More info on Photo: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland shooting day where people can learn how to shoot a rifle/pistol in a fully supervised environment. The event is open to all people aged 14 and over and costs €50 for the day. It features various events, including archery and target pistol events as well as a BBQ. Demand is sure to be high so email if you would like to book your place.

Water plant strike averted

The Shanganagh Waste Water Treatment Plant recently escaped strike action after the planned strike was deferred until later in the month. The employees of the recently opened €98.5 million facility unanimously voted for strike action in the case of a staff

member who had allegedly been dismissed for union activity. SIPTU sector organiser Martin Meere said, “the worker who was dismissed and reinstated was a union shop steward and, although Shanganagh is claiming union membership was not the reason for his dismissal, no other was given. We’ve told them that if we don’t make significant progress on a number of normal terms and conditions, such as working hours, pickets will be placed at the Shanganagh plant and the strike will commence.” A representative of SDD said that operations at the plant will continue as normal, whether or not strike action is implemented.

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Green Scene

The Informer

By Kathy Marsh, Sonairte

The benefits of making mistakes

Ending fish discards

A lot of alotments for hire

Last month I found sustainable food growing in the unlikely setting of a former jam factory just off Parnell Street and told the world that what I thought was Ireland’s first aquaponics farm – the sustainable combination of fish farming and vegetable growing – was being installed there. Of course, no sooner had I announced this than I discovered I was wrong – the aquaponics system at Dublin Urban Farm isn’t Ireland’s first. In fact, as I was delighted to discover, over 20 schools and other educational institutions in Ireland have set up small scale aquaponics systems with the help of Greenfish, an Irish company run by Kyle Petrie and two other Irish researchers. They carried out research and honed their skills in Israel before returning to Ireland three years ago. So far the largest aquaponics system is the one that is managed by Solas Project, with the help of Greenfish, in the unlikely setting of St Patrick’s Institution. I’m hoping to get to visit that one soon but in the meantime here is Kyle with a fish that was nine months in the growing in an entirely sustainable system.

As I write there is good news from the fisheries talks that the EU will be improving the management of its fish stocks over the next few years and that the discarding of edible fish is to be ended. Or almost ended. Or maybe almost ended. Listening to the Minister and fisheries spokesmen talking there seems to be a get out clause whereby if a fisherman can prove that he is not able to catch a target species without also catching a species for which he is over quota he will no longer have to discard those over quota fish. Unfortunately he won’t make as much money on them because they will be sold to the animal feed and fertilizer industries rather than for human food. And of course, if they are over quota, that means that the limits of sustainability have already been reached and these will take the numbers caught to a level where fish stocks will be damaged. So the measures still don’t go far enough. While I’m about it I’d like to question the sustainability of some of the mussel fishing that is about to acquire MSC certification in Ireland. My friends in Coastwatch tell me that there are some questions that need to be asked about the impact that the harvesting of these certified sustainable mussels is having on the environment.

And talking about growing I’m amazed to find that there are still quite a few allotments available on the new Fingal County Council site in Balbriggan. Despite having a big garden at home I’ve been tempted to put my name down for one myself because there is such a friendly and supportive community of allotmenteers there. They also have a pig club and are currently rearing a very happy looking group of Tamworth bonhams which will become pork and bacon later in the year. Vegetable trimmings and weeds will be an important part of their healthy diet and they will, of course, produce lots of manure to grow next year’s crops. Because these allotments are on the Dublin/ Meath border you don’t have to live in County Dublin to rent one and membership is open to those living in East Meath as well. Full details from I’m told by those who have allotments at Mount Anvil in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown that despite the fact that the County Council there will tell you, if you inquire, that there is a four year waiting list there are actually quite a few vacant allotments on the site, so maybe if you are one of the people on that four year list you need to push hard for one of those spaces. There’s still plenty of time to get really worthwhile crops in this year. And can I appeal to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Councillors to take a walk down and look at the empty plots. If someone doesn’t cultivate them the weeds will grow and

start to seed on to neighbouring plots. Perhaps one of the plot holders would like to send me some pictures of the empty plots for a wall of shame next month?

2020 targets - you can help One of the things I notice as I go around other people’s gardens – and I have to admit around my own at times – is that they aren’t always as energy efficient as they might be, and despite growing all those plants they aren’t always very effective in terms of carbon emissions. By the time we’ve gone shopping for our seeds and plants, bought fertilizers, destroyed a few peat bogs in the name of growing medium and operated our power tools we can easily be doing more damage to the planet than we would if we just made a well organized weekly trip to our local supermarket. If you multiply this up to the scale of national agriculture you can understand why the EPA says that we are unlikely to control our emissions sufficiently to meet our 2020 targets. Our crashed economy has helped a bit – I’m sure we’ve all noticed the absence of construction traffic on our roads – but long cold miserable winters have pushed in the opposite direction. So all of us need to do some thinking about making our lives more planet friendly. Maybe we could use the bike, rather than the car, to get to the allotment, and hand cultivation rather than the rotavator?

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The Informer

Angler's Angles with Keith McDonnell

The sky over Dublin with Conor Farrell, Astronomy Ireland

Catfish on Fly tackle 'Ground to Major Chris'

And now for something completely different! I’ve just returned from an exploratory trip to the Upper Ebro river in north eastern Spain. The purpose of this trip was to fly fish for Wels Catfish. ‘Crazy it can’t be done!,’ I hear you say. Thats what I thought! The Wels Catfish is is a large Catfish found in wide areas of central, southern, and eastern Europe. It was introduced to the Ebro system in the mid 70s by Roland Lorkowski, a forward thinking German biologist who singled out the Ebro as the perfect habitat for Catfish. He introduced 32 small juveniles into the river system where they soon became established in it’s rich environment, together with that and  millions of carp available to feed on, they grew very quickly. The Ebro is now home to world record sized catfish of over 200lb in weight and fish of over 100lbs are commonplace. The normal methods for catching these fish is to use baits such as fish and large pellets but quite a number have been caught by spinning methods. My good friend Marcin Sulkowski (pictured) who runs Salmo Adventures, a destination fishing company called me to say that he had heard a small band of anglers had caught Ebro Catfish to over 100lbs on Fly tackle. Eager to catch a large fish on fly tackle, I agreed to join him but really wasn't expecting much to happen. Fly fishing is a loose term these days. We are not talking about imitating insects when targeting

these fish but using large streamers to illicit an aggressive response. Fast forward to the river Ebro, we arrived on the first morning to meet our guides and we were immediately taken aback by the small inflatable boats we were expected to stand up in while floating down a swollen river! The approach to this fishing is very similar to streamer fishing for trout from a boat. It is not for everyone as long casts to constantly land the fly at the bank under overhanging trees and then strip the streamer to impart life to it. About 30 minutes into our first day, Marcin’s 12 weight rod hooped over and he roared “I’ve done it!”. We almost fell into the river laughing at the surreal situation, that we had actually achieved our goal. A fish with tiny eyes that hunts its prey by detecting vibrations actually ate our home tied concoctions of fur and feathers. The Wels catfish is one of the strongest freshwater fish that we have in Europe and our first one was maybe 30lbs. But even though we used Fly tackle designed for large saltwater fish it still took ten minutes to land. We went on to catch a number of similar sized fish over the next couple of days, but the 100lbs+ fish eluded us. Based on the smaller fish we caught though, I’m not sure that I’d want to be attached to a really big one! Keith McDonnell is a fly fishing guide and instructor and big trout nut based in Dublin.

On May 13th the crew of Expedition 35 returned home to Earth from the International Space Station. Among the crew was Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield who became something of a sensation when he utilised Internet technology to demonstrate what life in space was like. He became a huge hit at here in Ireland when he photographed the country and Dublin a few times, as well as wearing green and singing 'Danny Boy' on St Patrick's Day! The day before he departed the ISS NASA released a video of him performing a rendition of 'Space Oddity' by David Bowie. While astronauts often use the Internet to communicate what's happening to us on the ground, Commander Hadfield brought it to a new level: he invited questions from the public and gave answers via Reddit. He often responded to people who contacted him on Twitter and he used YouTube to show how microgravity on the ISS changes things we take for granted (do tears fall? How do candles burn?). Hadfield has done tremendous work to excite people about spaceflight, and I think – and hope! – that from now on we can expect to see more regular contact and interaction between astronauts and the public using the Internet. For those of us who are radio hobbyists, it is even possible to listen to (and sometimes

talk to) astronauts on the Space Station using amateur radio equipment or airband receivers. All going to plan, we should be able to see the International Space Station in our skies again from the beginning of June. Keep an eye on the Astronomy Ireland website www. for announcements about this. In the meantime, Jupiter and Venus (the 'Evening Star') will be placed right next to each other on May 28th just after sunset in the West. Venus will become a bright and unmissable object in our evening skies in the coming weeks. You can get your equipment to scan the Dublin sky at

n Commander Chris Hadfield donning green for St Patrick's Day (Credit: NASA)

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The Informer

Garden Growing With Gerry Norton November in May - damage and delay As I write this month’s article I have to remind myself that it’s actually May. The weather is supposed to be nice now is it not? Apart from climate change and global warming, I’m now starting to think that the government has somehow agreed a secret deal with the Troika who have arranged this awful weather to make us feel even more miserable. Then again, I wonder why we think we are entitled to a nice summer/warm weather? We are positioned on the very north west edge of Europe. Ireland will be the first to get whatever weather the North Atlantic decides to conjure up. S o onward and upward, invest in some new wet gear if necessary and get on with it. Potatoes growing

My usual second early potato variety ‘Orla’ which finally went into the ground at the end of March are now well advanced

and will need earthing up in a week or so. You do this to prevent the stems from going green, as green potatoes are poisonous! Use a hoe or spade to pile loose soil against the emerging stems. My main crop variety ‘Cara’ have yet to emerge but will be treated in exactly the same way once the new shoots are about eight inches high. As usual because I have a very small veg plot I stick with spuds, lettuce and beetroot. It’s vital to stick to a 3 year rotation plan especially with potatoes. Damage done

Elsewhere in the garden while finally there is lots of evidence of emerging growth there are also a lot of shrubs and trees with damaged early growth. Photinia and bamboo have suffered a lot of wind damage, while early Clematis is only now starting to flower which is about four weeks later than we are accustomed to. The clematis that I planted last year ‘Early Sensation’ is also now finally in flower.

n Similar to last year that we have a plague of Dandelions on the lawns Even the fish in the pond aren’t fully awake and seem reluctant to feed as the water temperature is so low. Lawns are also very slow this year. There really hasn’t been much growth until a few weeks ago. Give the lawn a good feed this month to encourage growth. Dandelion plague

I’ve noticed this year similar to last year that we have a plague of Dandelions on the lawns. There are selective herbicides



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available to kill weeds on lawns but these like all chemicals should be handled with care. The best way to get rid of them is to dig them out and fill in any holes with compost and grass seed. Keep an eye out for green fly on Roses and always make sure to stake tall roses as they dislike root disturbance caused by high winds. One bonus due to the cold weather is that the herbaceous border will continue to look well

as the summer progresses. Keep protecting plants like Hostas that the snails and slugs like to devour. Regular readers will know that I favour using pellets but use whatever you are comfortable with. Even though the birds are now feeding on insects etc it’s wise to continue to supplement their food supply with your usual food. Nesting is well under way so leave any hedges etc alone for the next few months.

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

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

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The Informer

Philomena Lynott The Rocker's Ma

An emotional Enda Kenny recently made an official State apology to the women who were forced into working in the Magdalene Laundries: so far more than 420 women have applied to be included in a State compensation fund. The women were used as unpaid manual labour, much like slave labour, and they were working and living under horrific conditions. Philomena Lynott, mother of legendary rock star Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, had a much similar experience in Birmingham when she had Phil out of wedlock in 1949. She was forced into working in the laundry in a workhouse and they made it particularly hard for her because she had a black baby. Eventually she had to let Phil live with her parents in Dublin. In the bestselling book, My Boy, she tells Phil's, and her own story, with warmth, wit and wisdom. The book had been published twice, first in 1995, and then again in 2011, with new revelations. Philomena's story is a remarkable human interest story. Philomena knows well about the Magdalene Laundries` dark part in history. "I hope the apology has given the women some satisfaction. What they did was awful; women went to their graves never seeing their babies again. I hope they will get something in compensation, so that towards the latter part of their lives they will be able to have a bit of comfort and peace of mind." She left Ireland in the 1940's to go to England to

The Informer Interview

Philomena Lynott

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By Linn Therese Heldal find work as a nurse. She went out in the dancehalls in the evenings, where she met Phil's father, a tall black G.I. by the name of Cecil Parris. The two started courting, and not long after she was pregnant. Cecil was unaware of the birth of his son. Philomena ended up as an unmarried Irish mother of black baby, in the early 1950's in England: "there were signs up in every bourding house and bed and breakfast place saying 'No dogs. No blacks. No Irish'. Unmarried mothers were battered, beaten, put in mental homes and the Magdalene convents." The family of two ended up living in a workhouse called Selly Oak Home for Unmarried Mothers. "I got treated like shit because I had a black baby. The nuns gave me the worst job in the place, in the laundry. It was winter, and I was working for hours in this old, unfriendly building with cold stone floors." The girls were paid no money for the hard work they were doing: "they let me out once a week to go down to village to collect my dole money, which they took off me when I got back. I wanted to run away, but I had absolutely no money." Every weekend the girls were told to make their babies look pretty, and they were put out on the lawn in their cots. "Philip was in blue clothes I had knitted, and he had big, big eyes. There were these posh looking people there, looking at the babies. One of the girls told me; 'the day someone adopts your baby, that's the day you get out of this prison'. I'll never forget those words." One day the nuns told Philomena that they had found someone to adopt her baby. "Around the table was a Parish Priest, and the nuns in their habits; they all looked like penguins! I was 17-yearsold, and terrified of authorities. I ran up to the nursery, grabbed Philip and ran up to the top of the building. They thought I was going to commit suicide." The only way she can explain what happened next is by a miracle. "I was turning 18 the next day, so they couldn't force me to give him up for adoption. I think they were selling the babies in those days, to Australia and America." The nuns later tried to blackmail Philomena into giving Phil up for adoption, by threatening to tell her family about him; she decided to write a letter to her mother. "There was a photo of me and Philip inside, and my mummy said 'awh look at our Phyllis with a little black African baby on her lap!' When she read the actual letter, my mother collapsed. When Philip was living with them, my mother kept secret to my father that he was my son, but my father would tell me that young Philip has all your antics, so my mother wasn't kidding my father after all! Philip loved his grandparents." Philomena went to Dublin to

visit her son as often as she could, and the two developed a fantastic mother-son realtionship, which continued after Phil became world famous with Thin Lizzy. She went on tour with Thin Lizzy numerous of times. "I remember seeing him at Wembley. He came out on stage in black leather and silver belts, silver strap and a black and silver mirrored bass guitar. He looked like a big black tarantula! All the women started screaming and standing up. I thought, look at them all screaming, and I'm his mother. I swelled up like a peacock! He was a wonderful son with a wicked sense of humour, he would wind you up!" she laughed. In the second edition of the book she tells the story of the two children she had after Phil, who were both given up for adoption in England. "Giving my children up for adoption broke my heart. It was the hardest decisions of my life, but I had to do it. For me to get in trouble twice more - I was the Wild One and I couldn't tell my parents. When my mother died I didn't give a damn who knew." Today Philomena is reunited with both of her children and they are seeing each other on a regular basis. "When my son first figured out who I was, he used to sit on that beach wall out there, looking in and thinking 'my mother is in there', but he was too shy to knock on the door. Eventually we met at a hotel up the road. When my daughter phoned me, we both started to cry, and arranged to meet. Now she and her husband, and he and his wife lives in each other's houses every weekend, and they are all coming over to visit in two weeks' time." Philomena holds a touching speech on every years tribute festival Vibe for Philo, and she has visited Phil's grave every day possible for the past 27 years. Not a day goes by when she doesn't listen to one of Phil's songs. "I love Dancing in the Moonlight, Black Rose, Sarah, Cathleen, all the softy ones. He came to me with some m o r e

heavy rock songs, and I couldn't grasp it all! Now I know every song on every album, and I love them. When my Philip rocked up with Whiskey in the Jar I couldn't believe it!" she laughed. Phil and his music are still alive in hearts all over the globe. Thousands of people are visiting his resting place and the Vibe for Philo every year. "I have boxes and boxes of letters people have sent me. Had he known how much he was loved, maybe he would have been able to give it up, like the song Got to Give it Up. But it wasn't to be, I can't cry anymore, I've cried rivers, that's why I go around kicking him for breaking my heart. I'll miss him forever."

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The Informer

All about Dublin 1

A Place in the City

Killiney Killiney has for long been one of the most popular, and expensive, parts of Dublin in which to live. The name comes from the Irish Cill Ă?nĂ­on LĂŠine, the church of the daughter(s) of LĂŠine. It once belonged to the Priory of the Holy Trinity in Dublin and in the 14th century, it was inhabited by John Mills, and many cottagers, who were bound to carry out ‘divers works’ on the farm of the Priory and who had to supply 15 reapers at harvest-time. When Henry VIII took the old monasteries apart, Killiney passed through a number of hands including the owners of Loughlinstown, the Goodmans. Their property was seized after the Rebellion of 1641 and was, at the restoration of the monarchy, given to the Church of Ireland. The area has evidence (both real and possibly manufactured) of early habitation. Towards the close of the 18th century Mr. Peter Wilson, a Dalkey business-

man, retired to Killiney and built himself ‘a neat lodge’ close to the ruined church (Marino Avenue). It was on his land that the monuments (which may later have become the ‘Druid’s Chair’) were found. There is dispute as to whether the ‘Druid’s Chair’ is historic or a Victorian folly, perhaps created from the stones of an ancient monument. The debate has never been resolved but for many years it was included on maps as a ‘Pagan Temple’

In the year 1831 a stone coffin, containing a perfect skeleton and numerous ancient coins (Saxon and Danish), was found by a ploughman in a field near Killiney called Quatre Bras which then belonged to a Captain Richardson. An excerpt from 'Blackrock, Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey along the coast from Booterstown to Killiney,' with text by Ken Finlay and paintings by Tom Roche. Published by Cottage Publications it costs around e22.

Edited by Zoz

Lesser Known Dubliners

Sir George Downing Downing Street in London is widely known, but not that it takes its name from a Dubliner. Sir George Downing was born in Dublin in 1623, moved to Salem, Massachusetts, at the age of 15 (his mother, Lucy Winthrop, was from the area), and four years later was among the very first students for graduate from Harvard University. After a spell as a tutor in Harvard he became a preacher in the West Indies before dropping religion for the military. By 1650 he was scout-master-general for Cromwell in Scotland, as well as a tax collector. In later years he proved an able diplomat and travelled across Europe serving Cromwell's interests. His diplomatic abilities served him well because on the restoration of the English monarchy in 1660 he managed to get himself knighted, confirmed in this various official position and, crucial to our tale, given the land now known as Downing Street.

Proving his allegiance to Charles II he arranged the arrest of several of those who had signed the death warrant of Charles I. Diarist Samuel Pepys noted that Downing was a 'perfidious rogue' and that 'all the world took notice of him for a most ungrateful villain.' But his plans to build townhouses for "persons of good quality to inhabit in" took a long time to come to fruition and it

was not until 1682 that work began. Despite employing Sir Christopher Wren as architect, Downing was not one to lavish money on his schemes and the were built quickly on shallow foundations. Winston Churchill noted that Number 10 was "shaky and lightly built by the profiteering contractor whose name they bear." Sir George Downing died a very wealthy man in July 1684.

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The Informer

All about Dublin 2

Edited by Zoz

Firsthand History

A full breakfast and a hanging!

W. H. Maxwell (1792-1850) was a colourful character, the vicar of a parish that existed only on paper (which allowed him plenty of time for hunting, fishing and writing). In his book 'Erin go Bragh' he wrote of how, as a student in Trinity College, he witnessed a double hanging in Kilmainham jail. "I was aged 16, when I met a cousin in the street who invited me to breakfast with him next morning at Kilmainham, adding, as inducements, that there were a couple of men to be hanged. Country air, and new-laid eggs, and these united, being too seductive offers to be refused - of course I willingly consented. In Ireland, hanging was no novelty then, and few would take the trouble to travel to one. I, however, accepted my kinsman's invitation. We were admitted by a prison warder on giving my card and were shown directly to the execution room. "Gentlemen, breakfast is ready," said a gaol attendant, and we proceeded forthwith to the room appropriated to the office of the guard. "Don't hurry, we are not limited, as they are at Newgate; any time before twelve does here. My curse upon that cook!" and he turned a steak over, - " Hard as a deal board! don't touch it, gentlemen, we'll have another in half a shake. We lay our own eggs here, ain't they beauties," and, pointing to some half dozen, the scoundrel hurried out. Presently we were informed that the last sad scene of criminal life was about to be enacted, and as we entered a large and spacious room on the first floor of the building, the criminals appeared at the opposite door, each attended by a priest. Never were two malefactors in everything so dissimilar. The first who stepped across the threshold of the

execution room was a remarkably fine young man, over six feet in height, and in bodily proportion, a study for a sculptor. His dress was neat - shirt, knee-breeches, and silk stockings, white - and at the elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles, relieved by crimson rosettes; these, from their colour, we were told, being intended to intimate that he was innocent of the crime for which he was about to suffer. After he had paid us a polite acknowledgment, he seemed totally absorbed in religious duties, and listening, with breathless attention, to every syllable that issued from the lips of his spiritual director. His companion in crime was a mean, low-sized, pallid wretch, dressed in a frieze great coat - and, to all appearance, so completely unnerved that he had to be supported by a warder. The general economy of Irish gaols are - dare we to use the phrase - far more civilized than the metropolitan one of Newgate, so far as hanging goes. The offensive preparations, like murders in Greek tragedy, are completed out of sight. The ropes lead in, within they are adjusted, and the exhibition of the criminal on the drop, and the fall of the machinery, by which, as Thistlewood remarked, the great secret of hereafter should be revealed, are things nearly instantaneous. On this occasion, all had been mercifully pre-arranged to abridge a painful interval. The tall and handsome malefactor, a burglar, shook us individually by the hand, and bade us an eternal farewell, and then stepped upon the iron grating of the scaffold, placing his feet correctly on the drop as the executioner directed. Stupified, and like a dreaming man, his companion was mechanically led out by a couple of the gaol functionaries. In less than half a minute, a spring within the walls was touched, the iron gratings parted, and before a

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n The view from the top of Nelson's Pillar, circa 1921. The photograph is part of the National Library of Ireland's collection which can be viewed online in The Commons section of Flickr.

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minute had elapsed, suffering was over, and another, and we charitably trust, a better state of existence succeeded to that, in which vice cannot expect happiness, or virtue command it.

We are delighted to announce Chris Kavanagh & The Patriots have confirmed a Tramore exclusive performance in The Grand Hotel on Saturday 13th July. On 30th January 1984 it is said that the whole of Dublin grieved the early death of Luke Kelly. He has left an indelible mark as being the greatest folk artist of the 20th Century. In October 2001 “A Tribute to Luke Kelly ” was launched in Dublin's Hotpress HQ before an audience which included Luke's siblings and relations. As a result of the show's success, MCD concert promoters booked the band for a three month residency at the Olympia theatre which led to a memorable appearance on RTE's Open House. They were also the only band to receive an invitation to perform on Eamon Dunphy's radio show 'The Last Word'. Over the past ten years they have amazed audiences following powerful sell-out performances in prominent Irish venues

with the regular attendance of the Kelly family. Popularity has seen the band touring abroad in England, Switzerland and even as far away as Australia. Chris Kavanagh has been invited to perform a special song on St Patrick’s Day this year for our Irish President Michael D Higgins at his residence in the Phoenix Park. Tickets will be on sale from The Grand Hotel & Ticketmaster on Friday 15th March We also offer great overnight packages including Music Ticket & Reserved Seating Meal and Show €35.00 per person Overnight and show €40.00 per person Meal, Overnight & Show €60.00 per person For booking enquiries please Contact The Grand Hotel, Tramore, Co. Waterford on 051-381414 or email us

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The Informer

Game Reaction with Denis Murphy

Bioshock: Infinite Developer: Irrational Games

Set on the floating city of Columbia in 1912, you play the role of Booker DeWitt, a private investigator who is given the job of going to Columbia to retrieve a young girl who is imprisoned there. The girl, named Elizabeth, is Bookers partner throughout the game, and is far more interesting than she first appears to be. Elizabeth can manipulate "tears", rifts in time and space that can be opened revealing alternative dimensions and possible realities. The player finds Elizabeth early in the game, but leaving Columbia is easier said than done. Bioshock: Infinite is a first-person-shooter with role-playing elements. While the player does have a typical array of guns at their disposal, ranging from a standard pistol, shotgun and machine gun, the true heart of Bioshock: Infinite's combat comes in the form of "vigors"; special powers that Booker can utilize throughout the game. These powers are quite different from one

with Fionnuala Rogers, DSPCA

DSPCA's Microchip 2016 campaign Major initiative to encourage microchipping of dogs

Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC While Bioshock 2 is a direct sequel to the original Bioshock, it could be said that Bioshock: Infinite, the latest title in the series, is the original game's true successor. Where Bioshock 2 gave us more of the same, Bioshock: Infinite provides us a fresh perspective on the series, both visually and in its approach to game-play.

Animal Tracks

another, but include such powers as the ability to attack enemies with a flock of murderous crows, wield electricity from your hands, and use jets of water to send foes flying. These vigors, though pretty much what plasmids were in Bioshock 1 & 2, give the game a fresh feel, and prevent it from being just another first-person-shooter. Combat is fun, frantic, action packed and addictive. Beyond the excellent game-play, Bioshock: Infinite is a gorgeous game, full of stunning sights and jaw dropping set pieces. It's refreshing to play a game that hasn't fallen into the brown and grey colour scheme that so many titles seem to go with now. Instead, Bioshock: Infinite is colourful bright and a joy to behold at times. While some of the heavier subject matter may be lost on younger gamers, Bioshock: Infinite is a must buy, and without a doubt one of the beast releases of 2013... so far. Game Reaction: 9/10

On Friday 10th May 2013 Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD launched the DSPCA's Microchip 2016 campaign. The campaign will see 2,016 puppies and dogs microchipped free of charge by the DSPCA at locations across Dublin in the coming weeks. These events will begin on Saturday 18th May in The Red Stables, St. Anne's Park, Raheny, Dublin 5 and details of other locations and dates can be found on The DSPCA is undertaking the campaign to highlight the introduction of compulsory microchipping for all dogs under the Animal Welfare Bill which comes into effect in 2016. Under the legislation all dogs in the state must be microchipped and considered essential to traceability. This campaign, run with the support of Allianz Pet Insurance, Purina, Petstop and Linders of Chapelizod, is part of the DSPCA's extensive education and community engagement programme on animal welfare and care. Brian Gillen CEO, the DSPCA said, "At the DSPCA we operate Ireland's largest not for profit database with approximately 30,000 animals registered and are part of the European wide database which has in excess of 50 million animals registered. The introduction of compulsory microchipping is, therefore, very significant as it will provide traceability which is essential to our work both in terms of reuniting

dogs with owners and the joint efforts undertaken with the Gardai in the prevention of trafficking. "This now means that in cases where trafficking is suspected we will now be able to trace the source of those engaged in this cruel trade". Established in 1840 to prevent cruelty to animals, the DSPCA is Ireland's largest and longest established animal welfare organisation. Its primary role is the prevention of cruelty and neglect through the provision of homing, rescue and care services for injured and sick animals. The DPSCA is a leading advocate for animal welfare and works closely with the Gardai and the Rescue services. If you have concerns about the welfare of a young animal or bird, give the DSPCA a call on 01 4994700 and we will advise you on the best course of action.





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WIN A MONTH'S SUPPLY OF VITAMINS TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY HEALTHY! The Informer Group and The Families First Awards have teamed up with title sponsor of the awards, Pregnacare to offer 10 lucky families a months supply of vitamins for all the family! Mum, will be looked after with Pregnacare® Plus which will keep her healthy before, during and after pregnancy, Dad's health and vitality will be taken care of with Wellman® Tablets and the kids will just love the great tasting Wellkid® Multvitamin's! To win this prize simply answer the question below. The Families First Awards, in association with Pregnacare® recognise the companies, products and people who put Irish families first and make every day life that little bit easier. Perhaps there is a super Mum, Dad or Grandparent in your family, or your little one is a true superhero, maybe you have the best childminder a family could ask for or you feel that you couldn't have got through those early days without a certain product or service that has made a huge difference, well now is your chance to grab this opportunity and say a big THANKYOU to all those who have helped. The Awards ceremony will take place at a gala dinner event in the Mansion House, Dublin on the 28th June.

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The Informer

eauty Notes

with Kathleen Rowley

Summer makeover...

The weather may not be up to much so far this summer but there are plenty of beauty and skincare products to enjoy a and take your mind of the drizzle! Cork based producer Tracey Ryan used her passion for plants to create Bia Beauty a range of natural skin care products made from simple, effective edible ingredients. The Orange and Grapefruit Exfoliant & Cleanser is a fantastic multitasker, it contains castor and thistle oil which are excellent at cleansing and extracting impurities with natural jojoba grains. It also combines these with orange blossom water and orange and grapefruit essential oils to create an invigorating and delicious smelling

17 exfoliant and cleanser. My skin felt refreshed and revived without the tight feeling that some more industrial exfoliators can leave. The Mellow Mandarin moisturiser also includes that yummy vitamin packed citrus smell. Prices start from €4.95 and a range of stockists can be found at I recently tried Aveeno’s Dermexa range and was very impressed as the products were developed specifically for eczema sufferers. As a lifetime sufferer of the skin condition I can finally breathe a sigh of relief that an affordable and easy to find body wash (€8.99) and moisturiser (€11.95) is available. Goodbye silcocks base! The moisturiser absorbs in quickly without any stickiness and is enriched with Vitamin B. The amazing Aero Minerale Makeup Mist range (€14.99) will finally hit our shores in May and Irish beauty addicts will be able to sample the cult products already favoured by Helen Mirren, Kylie Minogue and Jamie Foxx (yes you read that right!). The range includes a primer that, once you get used to using the spray, will easily compete with the likes of smashbox and benefit prep

products for half the price. Aero Minerale Makeup Mist Hydrating Mineral Foundation provides perfect cover for a flawless, natural look, in just a shake and a spray! Infused with all natural ingredients that make sure your skin stays moisturised and fresh, Aero Minerale is water based; it contains no harmful chemicals for you or the environment and is never tested on animals.

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Graham Connor's Movie Advice Star Trek Into Darkness HHHHH Directed by J.J. Abrams. Starring Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Benedict Cumberbatch. In saving an alien race, Captain Kirk breaches Star Fleet protocol and has his captaincy of The Enterprise removed. When a rogue Star Fleet agent, John Harrison, bombs London, Kirk takes The Enterprise to hunt him down. This is what ‘the big screen’ is all about. S.T.I.D. uses every inch of its IMAX 3D design to give the viewer an action packed and fun filled film. It starts at a breakneck pace and very rarely lets up, the rather complicated plot pushed along before you can start wondering about the holes. Chris Pine neatly channels a William Shatner-esque performance while Quinto makes you wonder who Leonard Nimoy was, so good is his Spock. Unfortunately Karl Urban and Simon Pegg only play parodies of their original characters. The show stealer though is Benedict Cumberbatch. Trek fans will love him, he is the perfect villain and his character twist is just genius. Abrams has recently jumped from Star Trek to Star Wars. He has created two sci-fi masterpieces with his Star Trek films so I am genuinely excited to see what he can do with Star Wars.




Advice: Essential summer viewing

Iron Man Three HHHHH

Directed by Shane Black. Starring Robert Downey Jnr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley and Guy Pearce. Tony Stark is struggling to deal with the events of The Avengers battle in New York. As he tries to put his life back together a new villain, The Mandarin, appears and makes it clear that he wants Iron Man dead. I’d love to be able to wax lyrical about the majesty of IM3, like most other critics are at the moment, but unfortunately I can’t. Iron Man Three just does not work. Shane Black, the new director, is a fantastic writer (Lethal Weapon) but he has added too much of his trademark humour to Iron Man. He has turned Tony Stark into Roger Moore’s version of James Bond, a virtual parody. If you like Roger Moore then you may well love IM3 but for me there was just too much nonsense. Ben Kingsley is the best part of IM3, but for all the wrong reasons. If you are a fan of the Mandarin from the comic books then you will understand what I mean when you see it. Iron Man Three is such a shame, such a waste of great talent. I wanted this to be RDJ’s final bow as Iron Man, but not anymore. Tony Stark/Iron Man deserves a better final film.

Advice: Only if you must.

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How to cure phobias fast and easy What to do about about A phobia is an irrational fear, in which the sufferer has a relentless dread of a situation, living creature, place or thing. People with a phobia go to great lengths to avoid a perceived danger which is much greater in their minds than in real life. If confronted with the source of their phobia, the person will suffer enormous distress, which can interfere with their normal function; it can sometimes lead to total panic. For some people, even thinking about their phobia is immensely distressing. A phobia starts when a person begins organizing their lives around avoiding the object of their fear. A phobia is much more serious than a simple fear. Sufferers have an overpowering need to steer clear of anything which triggers their anxiety. How common are phobias? Phobias are the most common kind of anxiety disorder. Around 10 million in the UK and Ireland are thought to live with a phobia. They can affect people of any age, sex, and socioeconomic status. A much higher percentage of women suffer from phobias than men. What are the signs and symptoms of phobias? The following symptoms are common across the majority of phobias: • When exposed to the source of the fear there is a sensation of uncontrollable anxiety • A feeling that at all costs, the source of that fear must be avoided • The anxiety is so overwhelming when confronted with the source of the fear, that the person is unable to function properly • It is common for sufferers to

acknowledge that their fears are irrational, unreasonable and exaggerated; however, in spite of this, they are unable to control their feelings • Panic and intense anxiety, which may include: - sweating - abnormal breathing (panting, trying to catch your breath) - accelerated heartbeat - trembling - hot flushes or chills - a sensation of choking - chest pains, chest tightness - butterflies in the stomach - pins and needles - dry mouth - confusion and disorientation - nausea - dizziness - headache

• A feeling of anxiety when the source of the fear is not there but is simply thought about What are the causes of phobias? It is unusual for a phobia to start after the age of 30; most of them begin during early childhood, teenage years or early adulthood. They can be caused by a stressful situation or experience, a frightening event, or a parent or household member who has a phobia which the child becomes progressively aware of. Phobias can be cleared quickly and easily with FasterEFT. See videos on www.fastereftdublin. com. Contact FasterEFT Practitioner Linda Walker at Mind & Body Clinic Rathgar 014976434

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Q: My two year old son has developed an unpleasant looking rash on his face. He isn’t scratching and doesn’t seem to be making him uncomfortable. The crèche won’t take him, saying that he could have impetigo. What is impetigo and will it clear up by itself? A: Impetigo is a contagious infection of the skin caused by bacteria. Although it can affect anyone, it is most common in children, especially between the ages of 2 and 5. Impetigo causes red sores or blisters that may or not be raised. These sores frequently burst and ooze, and develop a yellow-brown crust. They are not usually painful but may be itchy. Often there may be no symptoms at all apart from the unsightly nature of the lesions. Sores can occur anywhere on the body but usually appear on the face or sometimes on the limbs. It is more likely to occur following disruption of the skin barrier, for example due to scratching, insect bites, cuts and grazes or another skin infection such as chickenpox. Scratching can also spread the lesions to other parts of the body. Impetigo is highly contagious and can be spread to others through close contact or by sharing items like towels and toys. It cannot be spread through the air or by coughing or sneezing. Treatment for impetigo will usually consist of an antibiotic cream, sometimes with an oral antibiotic as well. These treatments are only available with a prescription from a doctor. An antiseptic cream such as Germolene may be useful as a temporary measure until you have a chance to get to the doctor, but this should not be regarded as an effective treatment.

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 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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Dun Laoghaire Informer May 13  
Dun Laoghaire Informer May 13