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

Lucan and Palmerstown

SDCC agree relocation of controversial depot

The 'Save our Lucan Park' campaign reported great success this month, as South Dublin County Council will no longer relocate their parks depot from Esker Lane onto the junior soccer pitch within Griffeen Valley Park. At the end of April, following a By Cathy Geagan private meeting between South Dublin County Council senior Council management will now management and the Lucan area be bringing forward plans for a county councillors, council man- revised location on a site south of agement will now bring forward the Dublin-Cork railway line on plans for a revised location of the Hayden's Lane, which will then be controversial parks depot. subject to part 8 public consultaMr. Jim Walsh (Director of Parks tion. and Development in SDCC) had The Save Our Lucan Park cambriefed the councillors on three paign are naturally “delighted that possibile sites for the new depot – a common sense solution has been two of which SDCC had referred to achieved. It has been clear... that as 'unfeasible' in their previous cor- there were alternative sites despite respondence. Unanimously rejected

The original proposed site in the middle of Griffeen Valley Park was unanimously rejected by the councillors, with the second proposed site close to Lucan Leisure Community Centre also being rejected.

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SDCC’s insistence that there wasn’t. It was also clear that the site originally proposed was unsuitable and ill conceived”. Fully committed

In a statement following the meeting, Independent Cllr. Gus O'Connell was clear that “all five Lucan councillors and council management remain fully committed to the school site at Esker and want to expedite the earliest possible hand over to the Department of Education and Skills”. Cllr William Lavelle had originally championed the site south of the railway line in advance of the council meeting last December, before the council claimed that that site was unfeasible and pushed for the Griffeen Park site. He was the first of the Lucan councillors to issue a public statement confirming that he would oppose a depot in the park, and has stated that “this common-sense decision represents a victory for the community”.

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At the Grand Canal Theatre

Page 25

Charity 25 have announced that BAFTA nominee Mrs Agnes Brown (Aka Brendan O’Carroll) as the main patron and face of their charity. At the official launch at the Olympia Theatre, Mrs Brown said "this is the most important thing I will do this year, I am very proud to be involved and being able to support Charity 25 raising money for 25 Irish national charities." Kevin O’Brien CEO of Charity 25 said: "we greatly appreciate Mrs Brown's commitment to our charity. With her support we will raise much needed funds for all 25 participating charities."

See Page 10 for full story

David begg slams ‘apocalypse economics’

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The Informer

The Drift

Q The month in Quotes

Fin

Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children. Barack Obama makes an announcement.

Congratulations to the Islamic nation on the martyrdom of its good son Osama after a life full of effort and work, determination and patience, incitement and holy struggle, generosity and giving, emigration and travel, advice and good preparation, wisdom and experience. That the Americans were able to kill Osama is not shameful to us. Where else do men and heroes die except on the battlefield? Al Qaeda confirm the death of Osama Bin Laden. I see many people here today with flags, many of them flags of a foreign nation Ulster Unionist leader Tom Elliot at the election count in Omagh. I would expect nothing better from the scum of Sinn Féin. Tom Elliot again after his remark drew heckles from Sinn Fein supporters I'm afraid the comments made Jim Allister sound like the Dalai Lama Unionist MLA David McClarty on Tom Elliot's comments National survival requires that Ireland walk away from the bailout. This in turn requires the Government to do two things: disengage from the banks, and bring its budget into balance immediately. Economist Morgan Kelly calls for the nuclear option Politics is about people and their lives and their careers and their opportunities. That’s what I deal in and I’ve no intention of delivering a lethal injection into the Irish economy by trying to bridge the extent of the deficit in one year. Enda Kenny says 'no'

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The Informer

3

Comment & Debate

Fine in theory, devastating in practice

In recent days ‘apocalypse economics’ have forced their way to the top of the political agenda. First Morgan Kelly made one of his characteristically brief forays into the public arena, with a call for an immediate balancing of the budget and the enormous cuts this would entail. Then the ESRI followed not too far behind, with a call for deeper and faster public spending cuts than those already planned. The latter’s contribution was strange, given that just seven months ago the same institution had issued dire warnings of the economic devastation that would follow if the Government cut too deep. In October 2010 the ESRI recommended that we extend to 2016 the deadline for getting spending back in line with income, in order to minimise the negative impact of cuts on peoples’ lives and jobs. Their damascene conversion is puzzling and prompts the question as to which of the polar opposites they actually believe – or which they will adopt in six months time? But this is not just an academic debate about obscure theories. Both prescrip-

By David Begg General Secretary, Irish Congress of Trade Unions

tions suffer a fault common in economics and academia – they are made without any reference to their consequences or their impact on peoples’ lives. Fine in theory, completely devastating in practice. Both would require spending cuts that would wreak havoc across the economy and on peoples’ lives – schools and hospitals would close overnight, businesses would collapse in line with a wholesale collapse in demand. Unemployment would skyrocket. The Great Depression would seem tame by comparison. To date, a series of austerity budgets have extracted some €20.6 billion from the economy. In short, we have already implemented one of the severest austerity programmes in recorded economic history and the results are visible for all to see: unemployment has touched 15 percent, we are losing our best and brightest to emigration and the deficit is substantially higher. Austerity has been a disaster for

"We have already implemented one of the severest austerity programmes in recorded economic history and the results are visible for all to see: unemployment has touched 15 percent, we are losing our best and brightest to emigration and the deficit is substantially higher" Ireland. Thus the belief that an accelerated austerity programme might drive a recovery is not at all credible. In fact it would drive us into deep depression and at a much faster pace. Sometimes you have to ignore what it says in the textbooks and look at the wealth of evidence around you. Austerity is entirely self-defeating. For example, the current austerity programme has seen one quarter of domestic demand erased from the economy. That may sound like an abstract figure, but it means 25% less spending on domestic goods and services: in local shops and on local trades people……It means thousands of jobs lost.

Similarly, there is the irrational ideology seeks to cut peoples’ wages in an alleged attempt to regain ‘competitiveness’. It is a bogus argument. National competitiveness is a very, very complex matter and is not driven primarily by wages – a fact supported by the National Competitiveness Council. Indeed, as the Financial Times recently reported, the cost of producing goods in Ireland (known as Unit Labour Costs) has now fallen below Germany, Portugal, Spain and even Greece. So cutting peoples’ income doesn’t mean Ireland’s goods automatically become cheaper overseas, it just means a family will cancel a visit to the local

restaurant, spend less in the shop and postpone the work on they house they had planned. That is now an economy shrinks and ultimately collapses. It is a case of ever decreasing circles. And can someone please explain how a continually shrinking economy – the Government’s own forecasts predict another 30,000 jobs lost this year – is also supposed to grow and generate the money required to pay our debts? Can’t happen, won’t happen. Europe needs to realise that the policies they insist upon – pay the private bank debt, cut spending further – are pulling Irish society ever further downwards. There is only so far we can go. None of this will work until we get our people back to work. Congress represents some 830,000 working people north and south of the border, making it the largest civil society body on the island of Ireland. There are some 50 unions affiliated to Congress, representing workers in the private and public sector. The majority of membership is in the private sector.

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4

Green Scene

Where does your food come from?

The first Saturday in May saw the launch of the County Dublin’s first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project. It all started in August 2010 when Skerries organic farmer Paddy Byrne was willing to take the risk when he was approached by Sustainable Skerries to be the main grower for the Skerries community supported agriculture scheme. It was an exciting prospect. For Paddy it involved extending the breadth and volume of vegetables he grew on his farm and trusting that Sustainable Skerries would find enough members who would be willing to commit to buying their vegetables and eggs off him for a whole season. Fortunately plenty of people realized what great value they would get and 30 families joined Skerries Community Harvest Group, committing themselves to paying a monthly fee for a weekly vegetable box that they pick up at the Saturday farmers market. Every week a different group of members help to harvest and pack the crops. CSAs are very popular in the USA and Japan, but this is only the second in Ireland. They give security to the farmer who knows he is going to have a stable income, and to their members who know they are going to get high quality local food at a very affordable price.

n Paddy Byrne (right) presents the first weekly vegetable box to a member of Skerries Community Harvest group at the Skerries farmers market

Electric cars are charging ahead

The biggest factor limiting the move to electric cars is their limited range which means that drivers are afraid that they will run out of power between charging points and find themselves stranded a long way from home. A new collaboration between the ESB and Topaz service stations across the country will change all that. By the end of 2011 there will be 30 fast charge points installed and another 1500 public charging points that will top up

batteries more slowly. In addition, so long as car sales go well, there will be 2,000 home charging points. The first fast charge points will be opened this month in Monahan and Cashel and will be able to take cars up to 80 per cent of a full charge in less than half an hour – so you can fit in a leisurely cup of coffee while your car is topped up. The project takes Ireland to the forefront of electric car facilities in Europe

The Informer By Kathy Marsh, Sonairte

Green shoots...

Renewables don’t penalise business Over the last few years there have been constant complaints from some within the Irish business and industry sectors that the shift to renewable energy which Ireland must make to meet its international commitments – not to mention to do its part to keep the planet habitable. A particular cause for complaint is the so-called public service obligation, which is a levy on all consumers by the ESB to support the use of renewables. Now a report jointly produced by Sustainable Energy Ireland and EirGrid shows that because the levy is used to make renewable energy production more efficient, wind energy has become a cost effective fuel – in fact so much is being produced that it is actually lowering the overall price of energy. So by paying the levy business and industry can buy the fuel they need at a cheaper price than they would pay if the levy wasn’t there. And the best of it is that in the years to come the price of wind energy production will gradually drop and get ever cheaper compared to the energy produced from fuels such as oil, gas and coal. And why is that? Well, in case you hadn’t noticed, the price of oil, gas and coal is rising steadily – but the wind is free.


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A Place in the City Skerries can quite rightly claim to have played a key role in many world events -from the arrival of St. Patrick to World War II! St. Patrick's links to the town are legendary. The local rugby club even goes under the nickname of the 'Goats' as a direct result of an incident many centuries ago. Just off the coast stand three islands and it was on one of them that the patron saint is said to have landed in the 5th century. One day he was on the mainland when a couple of local residents rowed over to the island and stole his goat, which they subsequently ate. On returning, St. Patrick was enraged and with one giant leap he landed in Skerries. His footprint, at Red Island, has been a tourist attraction for decades. The residents denied any knowledge of the incident, but until they owned up they could only bleat like goats. Thankfully, the population was subsequently cured when they revealed what had happened. Many centuries later -and not so far away from Red Island, a four-engined Short Sunderland flying boat landed at the South Strand due to bad weather. It was early September, 1939. The RAF crew climbed into a raft and came ashore. They were met by Sgt. Pat Glynn and under the terms of war, which had been declared by Britain that same morning, the crew, with Squadron Leader Michael Collins in command, could have been held for the period of the conflict. Instead,

The Informer

All About Dublin (1) Main Street Skerries

they were ushered back on board and told to leave. Local man Vincent Duff defied a news blackout and took pictures of the incident. Quite remarkably, Skerries was also the scene, a few years earlier of a very special set of visitors, again connected with the start of the war. In 1937, the German battleship, the SchleswigHolstein, arrived in Ireland and the crew came up to Skerries and stayed in the Grand Hotel in the centre of the town. They partied the night away, before heading for home. Two years later the ship fired the first volley of shots to start the Second World War when attacking Danzig. 'From the Danes to the Delvin - Fingal', with paintings by Hugh F. Ryan and text by Hubert Murphy, is published by Cottage Publications. It is available from bookshops, priced around e22.

Lesser known Dubs Alexander Mitchell, one of 13 children, was born in William Street, Dublin, on 13 April 1780. Around 1787 the family moved to Pine Hill, near Belfast - three years later the family was dispersed when Alexander's father died. Alexander stayed with his mother in a cottage outside Belfast and attended the Belfast Academy. His eyesight deteriorated, by age 16 he could not longer read, six years later he was blind. On reaching the age of 23 he received £500 from his father's will and used the money to set up a successful brick-making business. He also invented several machines for brick-making and building, musical instruments and windmills. But the invention which was to make his name was the ingenious 'Mitchell Screwpile and Mooring' (also known as the 'screw-pile lighthouse), a simple means of providing a secure base for lighthouses and other structures on shifting sands and mud banks. His system was used for the construction of lighthouses on Maplin Sands in the Thames Estuary (the first lighthouse application, in 1838), at Morecambe Bay (the first completed, in 1839), and at Belfast Lough where his lighthouse was

Edited by Zoz

Alexander Mitchell

finished in July 1844. An attempt to build a lighthouse on the Kish Bank failed - the piles were successfully placed but not properly braced and the structure collapsed during a storm in November 1842, In 1847 he constructed a 260ft. screw-pile jetty (extending from an existing solid jetty) at Courtown Harbour, Co. Wexford. The Earl of Courttown, who paid for it, noted: ‘At first sight it appears too flimsy to resist the sea, but a little reflection convinces one that its very slightness prevents its offering any resistance to the sea which washes through it.’ Not completely! It was destroyed during a storm in 1869. In 1848 he was elected a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and received the Telford Medal for a paper on his invention. In May 1851 he moved to Cobh to

lay the foundation for that lighthouse; the success of these undertakings led to the use of his invention on the breakwater at Portland, the viaduct and bridges on the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway and the whole system of Indian telegraphs. Alexander Mitchell died on June 25 1868 and was buried in Clifton Street graveyard, Belfast.

n A painting of Alexander Mitchell (c.1860) by Richard Hooke

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8

First hand History

All About Dublin (2)

The Mystery of the Ship Street Diamond

In days gone by Skinner Row (now Christ Church Place) was the place to go if you were looking for a jeweller or a goldsmith. Among the best known was Matthew West, who, as well as stocking an extensive selection of expensive items, also supplied a design and repair business. When gem-setting was required Mr. West would send the work to a Mr. Delandre, occupant of the upper part of a house in Great Ship Street. A narrow passage led from the street under the house to a building in the rere, and a high wall separated the passage from an old cemetery. The top of the wall was thickly studded with broken glass as was the custom of the time. In 1811 Mr. West received a diamond for setting and issued a receipt for ÂŁ950 (about e35,000). Delandre was given the stone and asked to be quick. It was a warm day and, when he got to work he opened the window overlooking the passage. Inevitably (in hindsight!), the jewel flew out of the open window. Delandre immediately leaned out of the window, the passage was empty - he called his family and kept watch while they searched. The passage was swept and the sweepings were sifted. The surface of the old cemetery was given a fingertip search, the top of the wall was brushed carefully but the diamond was not found. Mr. West had to pay the full value and, while promising to keep supplying Mr. Delandre with work, took out an insurance policy on his life (payable by Mr. Delandre through weekly deductions). Over time local gossip increased the value of the Ship Street Diamond greatly and those who found themselves in the passage kept a keen eye for any likely glint! In 1842 some much-needed repairs were in progress at the rere of Delandre's dwelling. Whitewashing and plastering were intended, and the top of the wall between the yard and passage was to be re-glassed. Old Delandre had gone out to buy some provisions, and on his return he was accosted by one of the workmen who had been removing the glass from the wall, and who showed him a curiosity which he had found. Delandre did not require a second look to satisfy himself that it was the long-lost gem. Amongst the glass which had been on the wall there was the neck of a

pint bottle, which had been placed in the plaster with the mouth downwards, and it had formed a trap in which the diamond had been caught on falling from the window. Delandre gave the finder a generous reward; but as Mr. West had died in the intervening years and the value of the diamond had been paid back - the diamond now belonged to Mr. Delandre. In order that there would be no suspicion that it had been a long-running con trick Mr. Delandre made a solemn declaration in the Head Police Court, Dublin, in front of magistrate Frank Thorpe Porter. Mr. Porter later told the story in "Twenty Years' Recollections of an Irish Police Magistrate" published in 1875.

n Grattan Statue, College Green, Dublin, at the start of the 20th century. This photograph is taken from the LIFE magazine archive about one fifth of the photographs, etchings and illustrations owned by LIFE, dating as far back as the 1750s have been digitised by Google and are now online. Many have no description and some are misfiled, but you will find lots of interesting Dublin views.

The Informer Edited by Zoz

From the archives...

The dead arose... "A story, sent us by Mr. De Lacy of Dublin, deals with an incident that occurred in the early part of the 19th century. An epidemic which was then rife in the city was each day taking its toll of the unhappy citizens. "The wife of a man living in Merrion Square was stricken down and hastily buried in a churchyard in Donnybrook which is now closed. On the night after the funeral one of the city police, or "Charlies" as they were then called, passed through the churchyard on his rounds. "When nearing the centre he was alarmed to hear a sound coming from a grave close at hand, and turning, saw a white apparition sit up and address him. This was all he waited for; with a shriek he dropped his lantern and staff and made off as fast as his legs would carry him. "The apparition thereupon took up the lamp and staff, and walked to Merrion Square to the house of mourning, was admitted by the servants, and to the joy of the whole household was found to be the object of their grief returned from the grave. "It seems that the epidemic was so bad that the bodies of the victims were interred hastily and without much care: the unfortunate lady had really been in a state of coma or trance, and as the grave was lightly covered, when she came to she was able to force her way up, and seeing the "Charlie" passing, she called for assistance." An excerpt from 'True Irish Ghost Stories', by St. John D Seymour, B.D., and Harry L. Neligan, D.I.R.I.C., first published in 1914.


10

Informer Feature

The Informer

Mrs Brown, Patron of Charity 25 Why she is probably the best mammy in Ireland

A

woman’s work is never done especially when she is an Irish mother. Earlier this month, Ireland’s most loved and recognised mother Mrs Brown extended her family by 25 to be the patron and face of Ireland’s only charity to raise money on a collective basis for 25 Irish National charities. Charity 25, a registered Irish charity, are very proud and honoured to have Mrs Brown on board as the patron of their charity. CEO of Charity 25 Kevin O’Brien adds: “we cannot thank Mrs Brown enough for agreeing, not only to be patron of Charity 25, but also in agreeing to roll her sleeves up and get stuck in when and where required with ideas to help raise vital funds for Charity 25 members". In addition to Charity 25’s ‘2WILLDO’ phone text campaign which launched last October, there will be four major events in 2011. These will include ‘Mrs Brown's Tea Party’ a gala ball in the Burlington Hotel on November 5th and four Mrs Brown's celebrity golf classics which will take place the week commencing the 12th of September, one in each province. Charity 25, which is part of the A & C Foundation, an Irish registered charity set up by Kevin O’Brien in October 2010. With the downturn in the economy and Irish charities desperately needing funds to carry on their good work, Kevin identified an opportunity to bring a group of Irish charities together to raise funds. Charity 25 launched its first campaign ‘2WILLDO’ in October 2010 where €1.91 from every €2 text donated goes to the charity. Kevin goes on to explain: "unlike any other organisation, Charity 25 is run by unpaid professional volunteers so we ensure that all our operating costs are kept to the bare minimum. So 95% of all money raised is equally distributed between our 25 charity partners. Being a fully audited charity we will ensure that we publish regular sets of accounts and updates on line

n Pictured Mrs Brown on set at the Olympia representatives of each 25 charities and Charity 25 and we will also be able to inform the public exactly how each charity is spending their donation." This is the first time that such a large group of Irish charities have come together for fundraising campaigns in Ireland and Charity 25 are urging people to simply donate €2.00 a month to Charity 25 via their €2WILLDO text campaign. Kevin goes on to say that all the money raised stays in Ireland to help our citizens during these hard economic times. "Two euro is less than a quarter than the price of a pack of cigarettes or half the price of a pint so we genuinely think people can and will participate, as none of us will ever know when we may one day rely on them for support. This is the ideal opportunity for people to spread a donation across 25 Irish National charities who will be held accountable to them for their donation," he said. The charities participating in Charity 25 are - The Samaritans, Down Syndrome Ireland, Headway, Myasthenia Gravis Association, The Cystic Fibrosis Association, The Variety Club of Ireland, GROW, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Aware, DeafHear.ie, Debra Ireland, Age Action Ireland, St Joseph’s Centre for the Visually Impaired, Irish Guide Dogs Association, The Meningitis Trust, The Asthma Society of Ireland, The Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association, Laura Lynne House - The Children’s Sunshine Home, Special Olympics Ireland, MS Ireland, Teen Line Ireland, Irish Autism Action, Muscular Dystrophy Ireland, The National Association of Housing for the Visually Impaired and Irish Heart Foundation.

HOW TO DONATE TO THE €2WILLDO CAMPAIGN It’s very simple all you have to do is text the words 2WILLDO and the name of your county so if texting from Dublin you will text 2WILLDO DUBLIN to 57802 and a minimum of €1.91 goes to Charity 25. The remaining €0.09 goes to the mobile phone operators as service charges. It’s important to note that all the mobile phone providers are wavering their normal fees Which ensures that maximum revenue goes to Charity 25. This is a monthly subscription service of €2.00 per month which is VAT inclusive. 18+ Service provider Phonovation Ltd and their helpline is 0818 217100. You can stop your monthly donation at any time by simply texting STOP to 57802. Check out our website for up to date news about Charity 25 that includes other ways to donate. www.charity25.ie Get involved and play your part in helping 25 Irish National Charities. You never know when you or a family member may rely on their help.


25

Get Smart with your Money In recent times we have heard the mantra from our government leaders that as a country we must do more with less. In the Celtic Tiger, the prudence of sensible money management went out the window. Due to recent budgets and the economic downturn we now need to evaluate what we spend our money on. You can save money and protect your future by reviewing three key areas of your finances: 1. Is your Mortgage Protection value for money? Mortgage Protection rates have come down significantly in the last number of years due to a more competitive marketplace. A recent issue of the Sunday Business Post highlighted that savings of up to 30% can be made by reviewing your Mortgage Protection policy so it may be worthwhile reviewing your cover to see if you can obtain a lower monthly premium. Visit SmartQuotes.ie or call 01 6853813 to get a quick quote to compare against. We offer 70% off the first twelve months’ premiums. For someone paying €50 a month this is a minimum saving of €420 which could go towards a holiday, savings or paying off your credit card for example. 2. Do you know your pension options? Due to varying ages and employments each individual’s pension options may be different. If you haven’t already reviewed your pension then here’s a checklist of points to review: • Do you know where your pensions from previous employments are? Many individuals leave an employment and the pension is left behind even though in a lot of cases the fund is theirs to keep. It is possible to transfer these funds into an individuals own name (the fund will be held with one of the major Life Assurance providers) so the control passes from the former employers to the individual. This is particularly relevant if the company is no longer in existence even though the pension fund will still be intact. This applies to both UK and Irish employments. • Do you know when you can retire ? It is possible in certain situations to retire from the age of 50 and access your tax free cash. Annuity rates on the market have improved in the recent past so before you purchase an annuity at retirement, shop around. • What are my charges? This is a fundamental factor in how a pension performs. It has become even more important since the recent announcement of a proposed levy of 0.6% on all private pension funds. It only takes a few minutes to review to see if you are getting the best deal possible. • Where are my funds invested? Everyone has a different attitude to risk and your pension investment strategy should reflect this. There are a range of options available in the market which will suit your needs. We can help you to review your pension now so you can enjoy retirement later. 3. Are your savings working for you? The banks are desperate for your money and as a result they are paying keen deposit rates. There are rates available in excess of 3.5% from many of the banks if you are willing to lock your money away for a year. There are also alternatives available from the various Life Assurance companies which provide you with a capital guarantee and a potential for a higher return. Again, charges are key here so shop around. Whatever your investment preference, don’t leave your money sitting in a no-interest current account. SmartQuotes.ie offer an Execution Only service* to clients who know what product they are looking for. An advisory service is also available for Pensions, Investments and Income Protection where customers can obtain a low cost option but without having to compromise on the level of service. Go online today to SmartQuotes.ie or call 01 6853813 for more information. PFP Financial Services (trading as SmartQuotes) is Regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. *(for Life Assurance, Mortgage Protection and Specified Illness Cover)


12

The Informer

Garden Growing

Amazing growth in the garden The wonderful weather we had in April has resulted in amazing growth in the garden. Rainfall was very low but May’s wet start has balanced this. This is the time of year when you could spend all day in the garden and still not get everything done so it’s important to prioritize your tasks. Get cutting!

Lawns need to be cut once a week and don’t forget to water the grass if needs be. Because of the lack of rain in April some lawns look very dry

n Watch out for the frogs!

and yellow. Don’t be too worried by this as the grass will green up when watered. Everything in the Veg plot is doing really well. The potatoe leaves are now about 12 inches and have already been ‘earthed up’. You do this by drawing soil up around the stems or the spuds will turn green and become poisonous. Earth up every few weeks leaving about 5 inches of leaves above the surface. An organic liquid feed at this time of year may increase the yield a small bit. We are eating the Lettuce

regularly and the smaller plants are coming on nicely to replace the larger plants. Apart from potatoes and lettuce and herbs I have only grown Beetroot this year mainly due to lack of space. The beetroot wouldn’t be ready until September but have established well. Pond life

The small pond is very much alive again and a week or so ago I noticed that we had a visitor, a frog ! I don’t think its there to lay frogspawn as it’s too late. He or she just seems to be happy there and the frog will eat loads of slugs in return, truly an organic dream! Containers must we watered regularly from now on, it’s surprising how quickly they dry out even at this time of year and don’t forget to keep an eye out for the dreaded Vine Weevil that I mentioned last month. The biological control for these ‘Nematodes’ are available now in Mr.Middleton’s Garden

With

Gerry Norton n Your veggies should be shaping up just nicely Shop, Mary Street. Tall perennials such as Delphiniums will need staking now or they will fall over. Bamboo canes are the best and cheapest thing to use for staking. Don’t forget to cover the top of the stakes with tape or corks to

Tip of the month

Use a product called D50 on your lawns for effective weed control. Our farming friends use this on grass lands to kill broadleaf weeds without harming the grass.

prevent injury. As a result of two severe winters my early Clematis, ‘Montana’ has sadly been killed off. However, an early Honeysuckle which was up to now dominated by the clematis has come into it’s own and will by next year have completely replaced the clematis. If your Montana appears to be dead, have a close look around the base of the trunk, up to about one metre. With a bit of luck there will be new growth. If so, cut the whole plant back in the autumn to give it a new start.

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

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

livinglandescapes@eircom.net


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Slim while you sleep. That sounds crazy but in reality successful slimming is an inside job. Only when you slim in your mind can you successful slim your body. Discover how and finally lose weight and keep it off for good. Despite the huge availability of diets more people are getting fatter than ever before. In Ireland we are not far behind the Americans where more than 65% of adults are overweight or clinically obese. Obesity has become one of the greatest health problems of all time. What and how are people becoming fatter than ever before? Why are peoples eating habits so wrong? The answer is all in the mind. Attempts to change ones eating patterns through behaviour modification are painfully slow and are rarely successful. You have as much chance of charging your battery by polishing your car as you have of bringing about subconscious change through conscious intervention. HYPNOSIS deals with the subconscious source of the problem directly, quickly and effectively. It has consistently proven to be the most successful method for permanent weight reduction. Changing of a person’s relationship to food is by far the best way to bring about a slim, trim healthy mind and body.

What does the medical establishment say about Hypnosis for weight loss? When practiced by a legitimate practitioner hypnosis is approved for clinical use by both the British and the American Medical Associations. The following clinical studies show how successful hypnosis is for weight loss. Those results are both impressive and irrefutable. “In a meta-analysis, comparing the results of adding hypnosis to weight loss treatment across multiple studies showed that adding hypnosis increased weight loss by an average of 97% during treatment, and even more importantly increased the effectiveness POST TREATMENT by over 146%. This shows that hypnosis works even better over time.” (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1996) The bottom line is when hypnosis is added to various weight loss programs, the results are always better in the long term, more than 146% better! So if you or anyone you know wants to lose weight quickly, safely and permanently Hypnosis comes out ahead of all other methods. All you have to do with hypnosis is sit back comfortably in a chair, and relax." It doesn't get much easier than that! For more information www.totalminddynamics.com Phone: 086/3366713

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14

The Informer

Personal Finance

We know what a tracker mortgage is A TV ad during the boom years used the famous phrase “I don’t know what a tracker mortgage is”. With the recent media attention on the cost of tracker mortgages to lenders and the incentives recently announced by PTSB, it is probably worth reviewing what a tracker mortgage is and why, if you have one, you should hang on to it. What is a tracker mortgage?

A tracker mortgage is a mortgage that is set at a fixed percentage or 'margin' above the ECB rate. For example, it could be set at the ECB rate plus one percentage point. So, if the ECB rate rises by a percent-

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age point, so does your rate. It will also 'track' the ECB rate when this rate goes down. The majority of tracker mortgages have a margin of between 0.9% and 1.25% above the ECB rate (currently 1.25%). Therefore most individuals on tracker mortgages will have all-in rates of between 2.15% and 2.4%. With banks currently offering deposit rates in excess of 3.5% to individuals who are willing to put money on deposit for six months or more, in the majority of cases banks will make a loss per annum on each tracker mortgage policyholder. How are banks coping with this loss?

Permanent TSB (PTSB) has recently offered its tracker mortgage customers an incentive to repay tracker mortgages early. Under the offer, you can make an overpayment of €5,000 or multiples of that sum, up to a maximum of 50% of your current mortgage balance and receive a further 10% bonus. So if you make a payment of €10,000 off your tracker mortgage, PTSB will cancel a further €1,000. This offer is not just a goodwill gesture on the part of PTSB. Most analysts reckon that PTSB is losing €400m a year on its tracker mortgage book so it makes commercial sense for them too. What is the payback to PTSB on a repayment of €10,000 by the customer? The cost to PTSB is €1,000 upfront and for this they will save €190 per year (based on a funding cost of 4.4% per annum less tracker rate of 2.25%) resulting in a 5 year payback period on their €1,000 investment. If you happen to have a PTSB tracker this may not be the best option open to you (see below). For those of us who do not have a tracker mortgage with PTSB, more offers like this are probably in the offing as all banks are in a similar position to PTSB.

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As a rule, debts should be overpaid in order of the highest interest rate first. This means that things like credit cards should be paid off first and mortgages paid off last. The next priority should be an emergency fund in the case of an unexpected expense. Alternatively if these options are already covered and if you have no plan to move house a better use of the money may be putting it on deposit for a fixed period at a higher interest rate than you are paying on your tracker mortgage. The decision of what to do in relation to your mortgage is unique in every situation and should be given adequate consideration. Minimising debt is good idea and the freedom of being without a mortgage should not be underestimated. Article supplied by smartquotes.ie

Irish company provides ultimate water monitoring solution - ‘WaterSpy’ A new solution provided by Irish company Express Valve Services is fast becoming a crucial management tool for Irish businesses seeking to reduce cost and water resource usage by being their ‘always on’ auditing and monitoring tool for water. This solution is scaleable to also work for electricity and gas. The ‘WaterSpy’ Water Monitoring and Alarm Solution is a hugely useful tool for anyone who is being charged for water or who really wants to account for their own water consumption. Using a simple setup, much like on-line banking access, without any need to install software, the user can see continuous usage patterns, volumes and graphs amongst other features which will help immediately, to alert of possible leaks, abnormal usage or inconsistent usage for example. By transmitting all collected data wirelessly from the meter to a dedicated server every 24 hours, the user can access their own portal with their own log in details and have immediate access to all their water usage details - be it a stand alone installation or a professional cluster. They can view their details in a variety of ways - by hour, day, week, month etc as selected through the ‘drop down’ menus along with a host of other information charts.

With commercial customers sometimes only receiving their Water Bills once yearly, we have often seen the unnecessary situation of customers receiving enormous bills for water - due to a leak they never knew they had ! This solution alerts them to this day one and avoids this immediately. Even through changes in work practice we have seen how clients can reduce their water usage considerably without having to spend a cent on water reduction products. This is by knowing when, where and how they are using their water.’ Other products within the EVS range include WrapSeal Instant Leak repair Kits, Hydra-Pipe Leak Sensors with automatic shut off valve, Leak Detection equipment and Services. For more information contact: Express Valve Services, (EVS Water Management and Leak Detection), Q16 Greenogue Business Park, Rathcoole, Dublin 24 Ph: 00 353 (1) 2573413 email: info@expressvalveservices.com web: www.expressvalveservices.com Facebook Page: EVS Water Management and Leak Detection Twitter: @EVSWater


Business

Standard

Target by: Demographic Type l Catchment Area

Lo Call: 1890 929 950 www.leafletcompany.ie

May 2011 • Published by Leaflet Company Ireland, Leaflet Company House, 55 Western Parkway Business Park, Ballymount, Dublin 12 • Tel: 01 460 1673 • Email: info@businessstandard.ie • Web: www.businessstandard.ie

Why your business needs an Acceptable Use Policy

Avoid personal liability for company debts on liquidation

A separate record for crimes against business required

The potential energy in renewable gas

Technical Business - Page 2

Legal Business - Page 3

Business View - Page 2

Green Business - Page 3

Call for support for Shoppers tempted by price marked products the tourist industry Tourist industry supports 180,000 jobs, generating €4.6bn in ‘export’ revenue ISME has called on the Government to make a concerted effort to ‘promote’ Irish Tourism and introduce initiatives to support one of the biggest sectors within the economy. The association outlined the Irish economy cannot that for too long the impor- and must not be overtance of the tourism sector looked. The tourism indushas been downplayed, with try is one of Ireland’s largthousands of businesses est and most important and jobs in the sector indigenous sectors, sup‘under threat’ unless initia- porting an estimated tives are introduced to 180,000 jobs, generating develop and expand our €4.6 billion in revenue, yet tourism industry. the tourism industry According to ISME receives no priority status Chief Executive, Mark from the Government and Fielding, “The essential relatively little financial role that tourism plays in support”.

The Association recommends the following; • Root and branch reform of the existing tourism agencies structure. • Grant aid and direct funding to develop the marketing capability of restaurants, hotels and guesthouses. • Introducing a range of marketing measures for ‘home holidays’ for individuals in the Irish market, together with a concerted marketing effort to attract visitors from the Far- East and South

America. Efforts should also be made to revitalise the UK market and the Irish Diaspora. • Promote Ireland as an ideal location for sporting holidays, including golf, fishing, shooting, while taking advantage of the upcoming London Olympics. • Reduce local charges including rates, water and waste charges, which significantly impact on domestic businesses involved in the tourism sector.

A recent survey carried out by Empathy Research on behalf of Retail Intelligence shows a growing trend towards price ‘flashing’ products is attracting savvy consumers who believe they are getting better value with price-marked items. It also reveals that over 50% of shoppers have noticed more sterlingmarked products in stores in the Republic, with a majority wanting retailers to charge the same quoted price in Euro. Responding to consumer demand, many manufacturers, including Coca Cola, are using price-marking strategies to encourage impulse purchasing. This marketing tactic appears to be working, with over 80% of the 502 consumers surveyed saying they have recently noticed more price-flashed lines in store.

Three in every four of these shoppers also admitted to being swayed by price flashing, as they believed they were getting a good deal. Irish consumers are also noticing the number of new lines sourced directly from the UK, many of which use flashed sterling pricing on their packaging. Despite being accustomed to dual pricing in many multinational retail outlets (particularly on clothing lines), over 50% of respondents to this survey said that, if a grocery price was marked in sterling, then that should also be the price in Euro. Furthermore, almost a quarter of respondents said that a sterling-marked product acts as a deterrent to purchase, as they prefer to support Irish producers. For up to date retail news go to www.checkout.ie

Illegal cigarettes are leading to job losses, says retailers’ group The sale of illegal cigarettes is costing jobs in the Irish retail sector and cigarette smugglers see Ireland as a ‘soft touch’, a leading member of Retailers Against Smuggling (RAS) told a meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone last week. In a presentation to a meeting of the Irish Cigarette Machine Operators’

Association, Martin Mulligan, an executive member of RAS, said that Irish retailers lost €575 million in 2010 due to the sale of illegal cigarettes. The cost to the Exchequer in lost revenues due to cigarette smuggling in 2010 was €460 million, and this shortfall means that the Government has

less money to spend on key services. Mr Mulligan also pointed out that 70% of Ireland’s retailers are adversely affected by the black market cigarette trade, but that people selling illegal cigarettes in pubs is also harming legitimate sales from vending machines. The black market is now the third

biggest supplier of tobacco in Ireland and criminal gangs are targeting Ireland to smuggle and sell cigarettes to fund their criminal operations, Mr Mulligan added. RAS feels that Ireland is seen as a ‘soft touch’ for international smugglers. Although the law allows for fines up to €126,000 for those caught

smuggling cigarettes or selling illegal products, in reality the fines rarely exceed €5,000 and are sometimes as low as €300. This, Mr Mulligan said, does not have the effect of deterring international criminal gangs from targeting Ireland. He called for more severe fines for smugglers and for the regulation of street markets.


Business

Standard

2 Business View... SEPARATE RECORDING OF CRIME AGAINST BUSINESS In response to the crime figures, released by stantly awarding the cosseted workers in the the CSO in April we in ISME are calling on the semi-states exorbitant salaries way out of line Department of Justice to record crime against with the rest of the economy. The lack of appropriate board expertise and business as a separate category. Criminal activity against business has increased and a far fear of taking on the public sector unions has bigger problem exists than is officially record- resulted in the taxpayer paying a premium for wages beyond what can be afforded. ed. With the country bankrupt, almost half a There is a perception among small business owners that crimes against their businesses are million people out of work and businesses closnot viewed as serious crime and are therefore ing left right and centre, it is both economically and morally wrong to allow these extravagant not given the attention required. This attitude, unfortunately, seems to be wage levels to persist. The review committee, proposed by Minister prevalent at official level, with no separate Howlin, needs to act quickly to recording of business crime. address the wage structures in the Consequently it is extremely difficult semi-states and start benchmarking to evaluate the extent and impact of and applying rates in line with interbusiness crime in the absence of the national comparators. relevant information. As part of this process, the According to ISME research, one Association called on the Government in three businesses was affected by to immediately introduce an crime last year and businesses are By Appointments’ Commission consisttwice as likely to be the victims of Mark Fielding ing of a panel of independent experts crime as individuals. ISME to ensure the appointment of the This confirms that the situation is appropriate people to the boards of far worse than that portrayed in the CSO statistics. The fact that these crimes are the Semi-State companies. viewed as ‘victimless’ means that they are not taken seriously. The recording of business crime to be made a priority by the new Government. Crime against business is neither acceptable nor victimless. What isn’t measured cannot be man- The announcement by the Government to introduce a state backed loan guarantee scheme aged. For SMEs struggling to survive, crime can tip for SME’s struggling to get credit, is to be welthe balance from success to failure. The meas- comed. This long overdue initiative, proposed iniurement of business crime is essential to estabtially by the Association, should assist SMEs’ lish the true extent of the problem and allocate in sourcing badly needed credit, which will in adequate resources to tackle this scourge. turn help to maintain and grow thousands of businesses. For too long during the current crisis smaller businesses have been denied access to funding There is a need for immediate action to from our ‘bailed out and risk averse’ banks, address the scandalous and crazy level of pay which has caused massive damage in terms of and benefits in the semi-state companies, out- company closures and job losses. lined in the recent McCarthy Report. It is vitally important that this initiative covIt is bordering on ‘criminal’ that average sala- ers all business and does not exclude viable ries with benefits in excess of €94,000 in the companies in what banks might regard as difESB, for example, were allowed when private ficult sectors. sector unemployment has reached over 450,000 This announcement should be implemented and businesses and their employees in the pri- immediately but must be monitored by the vate sector were struggling just to make ends Central Bank, to keep the banks ‘honest’ and meet. must be supported by other policy initiatives, It is absolutely disgraceful that the Boards of including the immediate introduction of the these semi-states, populated in the main by promised Strategic Investment Bank, to ensure political cronies, aided and abetted by worker that accessible, affordable credit is available to directors, have ‘screwed’ the taxpayer by con- all viable companies.

State loan guarantee scheme to be welcomed

Semi-state pay scandalous

news in brief... news in brief... news in brief... news in brief...

First Ireland to redevelop Leixlip Branch First Ireland’s Leixlip Branch is based on Main Street, Leixlip, Co. Kildare, and from there they have been serving clients from the Leixlip, greater west Dublin (including Lucan, Clondalkin, Tallaght etc) and the wider Kildare area for over 25 years. “We pride ourselves on offering a local, personal and friendly service”, says Stuart Miller who has recently moved to the Leixlip branch to re-launch and develop the office. “We welcome all customers to call in to see us in the office, and many prefer the personal face to face

aspect of our service, especially in these days of online quotes and call centres”. The staff are living in the Leixlip and Kildare area and dedicated to developing the business in the local community. The redevelopment has also giving them the opportunity to create an additional job for a local school or college leaver, as a Trainee Insurance Broker, for which applications are still being considered. “While it's a small local office, being part of the larger First Ireland Group enables us to use that size and market strength to deliver very competitive discounted rates to our local clients” Call in to see Stuart or Noreen anytime from Monday to Thursday 9am to 5.30pm and up to 5pm on Fridays, or Tel: 01 6244751.

Why your organisation needs an AUP

When companies provide us with a personal computer, management are fully aware that they are equipping us with a tool that can be used for both good and not so good. Yes we will use this PC for the odd personal email, online shopping or contacting an old classmate through Facebook during lunch break. However there are limits and the computer, a tool that is meant to deliver efficiency, can very quickly be turned into a device designed to kill working hours in online games, chat rooms and sometimes more sinister activities such as accessing pornographic websites. Various surveys have confirmed this to be the case. This is why companies should always write acceptable usage policies or AUPs defining exactly what will and will not be tolerated. The reality is that most policies are rarely read and can often end up in the litter bin. The stakes are high and the dangers can be costly. 52% of organisations report misuse of Internet resources with the two most common being access to inappropriate websites and excessive web surfing. Without proper controls organisations will be infected with undetected, financially motivated targeted malware that were able to evade traditional host defences. Yet these organisations will remain bliss-

fully ignorant taking false comfort in antivirus and network scans that continue to show zero infections. (Gartner 2007) If staff use the network to send offensive or libellous emails or download illegal images or pirated music, the company may become legally liable for allowing the offences to take place. As a result companies are responsible for ensuring policies are adhered to and to the letter and while written policies and indeed trust are key, the policy requires some technology to enforce it . Web content filtering controls are designed for this reason, to ensure the policy is enforced and to report any breaches. An effective content filtering system should be expected to block any attempt to access websites outside policy terms and prevent users from sending illicit emails. It should also log any breaches of policy to identify offenders and should not interfere with normal day to day business. Solutions, both onsite and hosted can be seamlessly put in place in all organisations large and small so as to enforce Acceptable User Policies. Management are responsible for protecting both their staff and customers, they should do so now to avoid any undesirable workplace incidents going forward.

Technical Business

By

Brian O'Brien Business Development DC Networks LTD

DC Networks LTD, Block 4, Unit 38, Northwood Court, Northwood Business Campus, Santry, Dublin 9. +353 (0)1 8869130 brian@dcnetworks.ie www.dcnetworks.ie


Business

dardStandard

3

Retail News... Musgrave anticipates market growth of 1-2% in 2011 According to Ireland’s leading on-line retail newsletter Retail Intelligence, Musgrave have said that it expects the Irish grocery market to grow by 1-2% this year as commodity increases push up the overall value of the sector, however the wholesaler warned that conditions will remain challenging for the rest of the year. Speaking after the group’s annual results announcement last week, Musgrave Group CEO Chris Martin said that positive sales growth had returned in Q4 2010, but that the impact of the universal social charge and other austerity measures had resulted in a difficult start to 2011. These cutbacks, he said, had squeezed consumer income to such a degree that shoppers were not just trading down, but were physically buying fewer groceries than before. “The average household is down €60 per week, which is huge. So we are doing well on footfall, but the consumer is putting less food into the trolley,” Martin said. Musgrave’s results, for the 2010 calendar year, show group sales of €4.4 billion, down 3% on 2009, with pre-tax profits up 3% to €72 million.

The group’s debt, which it took on through acquisitions such as Hasletts in NI and Budgens in Britain, was now wiped out, Musgrave said, with a positive cash flow position of €21 million at year end. This cash ‘cushion’, Martin said, would be used to help improve retailer margin through lower pricing, while also speeding up rebate payments to boost retailer cash flow. “Our primary concern is about supporting our retailers,” he said. Martin said that the group would continue to invest in efficiency programmes such as the Better Offer Better Buying (BOBB) initiative, with collaborative efforts with suppliers helping to offset some of the impact of commodity inflation. “Clearly the consumer is only going to spend so much, because that is all they have got. So it is about looking at efficiency opportunities, reviewing our ranges and really working on promotions. And from a supplier point of view, they are seeing the benefits of these retail disciplines coming through, which is providing some form of mitigation to the cost increases," he said.

Directors Beware! Avoid personal liability for company debts on liquidation Strapped for cash, drying up (or dried up) credit lines from crippled banks, slow (or no) paying clients all make for a daily endurance test pushing many businesses to the limits of their survivability. In times such as these it has never been more important for business managers to keep a close eye on the books. If you are a director of a company facing the perils of trading in the middle of a once-in-acentury economic crisis, then the duty to keep proper records is paramount. This is not just a question of ensuring that a business can keep its head above water, but it is also a matter of potentially avoiding personal liability for company debts when a company is unfortunate enough to go into liquidation. There have been a number of recent judgments in the High Court in relation to directors’ obligations to

Accounting

By Barbara O’Sullivan

keep proper books and records and where, on a finding that they were not so kept, the consequences for the directors involved were stark. Directors need to be aware of section 202 of the Companies Act 1990 which requires them to ensure that books of account are “correctly” recorded and also “explain” transactions. Further, records and explanations must “enable the financial position of the company to be determined with reasonable accuracy” AT ANY TIME. If a Court is satisfied that Section 202 has not been complied with then a Court may, on application to it under Section 204 of the 1990 Act, make an Order holding the directors personally liable for the debts of the Company and or disqualifying a director from acting as a company officer. Tough measures best avoided!

Legal business

By Colm Fahy

01 676 1100 www.crowleymillar.com

CIVIL PARTNERSHIP: WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR TAX? Earlier this year, the legislative changes in respect of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 were deferred in order to facilitate the timely passing of the 2011 Finance Bill. However, it is expected that the legislation will be put in place shortly, and this will give effect to the taxation changes arising from the Act. In the meantime, existing tax treatment continues to apply but once the legislation is enacted it will apply in the main for the entire 2011 year. In summary, it is the intention that, under the Act, civil partners will be treated in the same way as married couples for tax purposes. This means that they

may be jointly assessed for Income Tax and entitled to the married standard rate cut off and credits. In addition, they will be able to transfer assets to one another without any Stamp Duty or Capital Gains Tax and gifts/inheritances between them will be exempt from Capital Acquisitions Tax. It is important to note that Civil Partnership is only an option for same sex couples and opposite sex cohabiting couples must marry in order to be treated as married for tax purposes. (Barbara O’ Sullivan CPA, AITI is managing partner at Finn & O’Sullivan, Certified Public Accountants www.finnosullivan.ie Ph: 00353 1 426 5862)

Green Business...

Renewable Gas

I’ve often wondered where the term ‘you’re a gas man’ came from. But I’m still left nursing my suspicions. The Post man, Bin man, Tax man we all know but who is the ‘Gas man’? I suspect he’s someone we all will be getting more acquainted with over the next few years as gas prices and gas sources get pushed on to our household agendas. While today I want to tell you about renewable gas from Anaerobic Digestion (AD), by the time we’re through with Syn gas, Shale gas and By LNG gas, you may well be fit to John Mullaney explode. AD is a natural process and has been around in a micro format for millennia BC. To scale it up, you take lots of ‘wet waste’ feedstocks, like slurries from cattle, pigs, chickens, rendering from meat processing plants etc, add water, some suitable bacteria, heat to 35°C, and wait. Out of that smelly soup energy bearing gas arises. This process takes place in a large sealed tank called a digester. After a period from ten days to a few weeks, depending on the combination of inputs, a gas containing 50% to 75% methane is produced and gets trapped in the space at the top of the tank. The biogas can be piped from the tank and is normally used on site to generate heat and electricity. However, if it is scrubbed (this does not involve brushing), using filters, to remove the nasty carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide bits, you get a biogas similar in quality to natural gas which could be used as a vehicle fuel, or added to the national grid, making it accessible to the 640,000 connected homes and business. The ‘digestate’ stuff that’s left over can now be spread on farms and does not pose a poisonous threat to land, rivers and streams. The farmers love it because its excellent fertilizer, the environmentalists love it because virtually all the pollutant bits are gone and the farmers’ neighbours love it because all the pongy smells have magically disappeared. Unfortunately, there are very few examples of this technology actually working on an economic and industrial scale in Ireland even though the technology and operational aspects are widely developed elsewhere. The simple reason, like all other renewable technologies in their infancy, is that AD needs committed medium term financial support to get it moving. At a recent Teagasc conference on the issue woeful tales of no less than 26 major biogas projects, all ready to go, representing private investment of €200m and 250 jobs, is all on hold while the relevant REFIT tariff gets sorted between various government departments and EU Regulators, but not, apparently, for at least another year. Could the man whose job it is to make decisions like that be the proverbial ‘gas man’? If you know (or are?) the original gasman, please do give me a shout. No comedians please.


18

The Informer

Health & Beauty

Organic Spray Tan - An anti-ageing treatment while you tan There is a new spray tan on the market that is 100% organic and the good news is its Irish! Many of you would have seen the product on Dragons Den where one of the dragons invested in the company, which lets face is rare for the dragons to part with their cash! Tan Organic is formulated with the inclusion of Aloe Vera (certified Organic), it fills a niche in the market for an anti-ageing professional tanning system, which hydrates the skin as well as developing a natural looking sun kissed glow.

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Consumers are turning to natural organic products as they become more aware of the possible dangers of synthetic chemicals in cosmetics. A study by The Herb Research Foundation (USA) found that up to 60 percent of substance applied to skin is absorbed into the bloodstream. Skin is the largest organ of the body and if we care about what we eat, we really should care about what we apply onto our skin. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the combined and cumulative effect of these chemicals and more and more are people are turning to natural or organic alternatives. It also seems to be opening up and expanding the self tan market too as several new tanning clientele groups are emerging to sample this new concept. The ‘Golden Girls’ (The 60 plus that are tempted by the natural / organic formulation and natural sunkissed effect) and ‘Virgin Tanners’ (a group that have avoided self tan due to their highly sensitive or chemical free ethics) are beginning to emerge seeking this natural and

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able to control both the quality and the price of the furnitue. thus making a visit to the store a must. There are two floors full of everthing from Suites and lamps to tv stands etc so a virit isa must even for the most jaded shopper!

organic alternative to mass market chemical rich self-tans So what makes Tan Organic different from the other Spray tans on the Market? Every ingredient is 100% Natural, contains certified organic ingredients, there’s no parabans, chemical dyes, artificial colours or perfumes. The Anti-Aging/Hydrating properties of Hyluronic acid (moisture locking) as well as collagen and elastin promote a youthful appearance. With its premium high grade Organic DHA for lasting colour that does not irritate or dry skin, allowing for an even fade. The sunkissed tan reacts according to the natural skin tone for realistic colour without any orange effect. It is non-comedogenic, paraban and animal testing free. 18 Linda, Senior Therapist, Rathgar Laser & Beauty Clinic Tel: 014976434 www.rathgarlaserandbeauty.ie

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20

The Informer

Family Focus

Everything you need Your nappy questions answered to know about having a good birth Experienced doula and active birth associate Nicole Croft takes the fear out of labour and birth in this empowering and practical guide. Full of wise advice and simple skills to prepare you mentally and physically, Nicole tells you everything you need to know to ensure you have a very positive experience giving birth, whether you labour naturally or require medical intervention. Her tips will help you to: Be calm, relaxed and prepared for birth. Feel less pain during labour and help your birth progress naturally. Remain confident and in control throughout the birth. Feel very positive about your birth, with or without medical intervention. Flourish with your baby in the first weeks after birth. As the author says, “This book is intended to guide you through your birth preparation. It is, quite deliberately, not a trip through the nuts and bolts of a medicalised labour. I genuinely believe that birth, for the vast majority of women, is not a medical condition that needs to be fixed by a doctor. "And if it becomes such, then knowing what a pair of forceps looks like in advance is not going to help you… Whereas the previous generation of women suffered from not knowing enough about what was happening to their bodies during labour and birth, we now often suffer from knowing too much, and too much of the wrong things.” The Good Birth Companion by Nicole Croft is published by Vermilion on 5th May at €12.66 from Kennys online

Once thought to have gone out with the ark, reusable cloth nappies are making something of a comeback as planet-conscious parents feel uneasy about putting nearly 6000 nappies per child into landfill taking 300 years to decompose. But many parents need a little help with washing technique. Bambino Mio have created a new section on their website that aims to clear up the myths and answer all your questions about washing reusable nappies. Check out www.uk.bambinomio.com/nappysystem/caring-for-nappies where you will find that Bambino Mio have teamed up with an

No more tears in the bath... Johnson + Johnson Baby 2 in 1 Bubble Bath and Wash has been specially designed to make bath time more fun. The mild formula can be added to warn running bathwater or as a wash – added directly onto a sponge or flannel. Millions of bubbles and Johnsons patented No More Tears formula creates a more enjoyable bath time for both mother and baby, gently cleanses baby’s skin without drying, leaving skin baby soft. Johnson’s Baby 2in1 bubble bath and wash costs €3.99 from supermarkets and pharmacies.

industry expert and answered a variety of commonly asked questions about detergents, sanitisers, stains and other issues when washing nappies.

Design a book cover competition Vintage Classics are giving budding designers the opportunity to see their illustration on the cover of a published book. In a competition open to 7 to 12 year olds, the winning image will feature on The Wizard of Oz book jacket, available in bookshops from 3rd November. The winner will receive £100 worth of books of their choice from Random House Children’s Books, along with their cover featuring on the new Vintage Classics edition. The winner will be announced in October. Entrants must use the official competition entry form and are asked to send in a drawing or painting (without any writing) on a piece of paper no larger than A4 by 29th July. Visit http://www.vintage-classics.info for more information.

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22

The Informer

Health Issues Ask the What can you do about hay fever? Pharmacist Q: I am a 19 year old girl and I have developed a runny and congested nose during the spring and summer for the past few years. I put it down to hayfever and took antihistamines in previous years which worked reasonably well. But this year, the antihistamines have not really been working. Also my friend has said that you can't get hayfever as an adult, only as a child. Is there anything else I can do? A: The symptoms you describe could well be hayfever. Although hayfever most commonly develops in children, it can develop at any age. A number of conditions such as chronic sinusitis (long term inflammation of the sinuses) can mimic some of the symptoms of hayfever. The fact that it seems to only affect you in the spring and summer would tend to indicate that it probably is hay fever, but it is probably a good idea to visit your GP to have the diagnosis confirmed and rule out any other cause. Hayfever (more properly called seasonal allergic rhinitis) is caused by an allergy to pollen, usually grass pollen but sometimes weed or tree pollen. These plants generally only release pollen in the spring and summer which explains why hayfever sufferers are only affected at this time of year. The body mistakes the pollen grains entering the nose for “invaders” and mounts a response to try to rid them from the body. So the symptoms of hayfever (runny nose and eyes, nasal congestion, sneezing) are essentially the body trying to flush out the pollen as it thinks the pollen

is trying to attack it. Hayfever can also cause quite bit of irritation to the nose and eyes and really make the summer a misery if it is not treated. The first line treatment for hayfever is usually antihistamines. There are a number of antihistamine tablets available over the counter, but it is generally best to get one that doesn't cause drowsiness such as Clarityn. While antihistamines will generally provide some relief within a few hours, they need to be taken for up to ten days to reach their maximum effect. While antihistamines will usually relieve the runny nose and itching streaming eyes, they are less effective at relieving the congestion that can accompany hayfever. If antihistamines on their own are not effective, you could add a steroid nasal spray such as Beconase or Flixonase to your treatment. These sprays greatly diminish the allergic response and reduce inflammation in the nasal passages. Although they are administered to the nose, they are actually quite effective in relieving eye symptoms as well. They need to be used regularly to be effective. Antihistamines can be given to children over the age of two, but steroid nasal sprays should only be used in children on the advice of your doctor. Other treatments include sodium cromoglycate eye or nose drops. These also need to be used regularly (four times a day) and are less effective than the steroid sprays but are for all intents and purposes free of side effects. A new product on the market called Prevalin Spray contains

a solution of a special clay which can help to absorb pollen grains, preventing them from interacting with the body. It may be useful for someone who prefers to try a drug free option. There are also a number of other treatments including sprays, tablets and injections available on prescription. If you are using a nasal spray, it can help to use Neilmed Sinus Rinse beforehand. This is a high volume rinse that help to wash out the nose and the sinuses, flushing any pollen away and washing away any mucus so that the spray can is not obstructed in absorbing into the nasal lining.

With Eoin Meany

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

Q: I have a small wart like lump on my eyelid. Is there an over the counter treatment that I could use to Disclaimer: The advice you have been remove it? A: The lump you describe is probably what is called a filiform wart. It has the same cause as the more common warts on the hand (a virus called the HPV virus) but tends to be more elongated than warts on the hand which are flatter in shape. There is no over the counter treatment for this. Any over the counter wart treatment is definitely not suitable for use near the eye. It may be possible to remove it simply by cutting it near the base. I would strongly recommend however that you have this done by a doctor.

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 Informer

FESTINA LENTE

WALLED GARDENS

'A hidden Oasis'

23

Coolock students win social innovators award n Students of Mercy College, Coolock the national award for “Making our world greener”, one of eleven challenges at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Awards 2011 for ‘Let’s Get Greener’. They are pictured with Tommy Walshe, National Parents Council who presented them with their award at a special ceremony in the Citywest Convention Centre attended by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD as well as almost 3,000 young people. The ceremony marked the conclusion of the 10th Young Social Innovators Annual Showcase which featured an exhibition of civic action projects selected from 350 undertaken nationwide.

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This tranquil and peaceful Victorian Walled Garden is hidden away on Old Connaught Avenue, Bray, Co. Wicklow and was originally owned by the Plunket Family until 1946. Each generation extended and modified these Gardens adding such features as a Fernery and Summer House. The Gardens remained locked and unused between 1960 and 1996. At this stage, Festina Lente acquired the lease and commenced the garden restoration programme inline with a Historical Survey funded by the National Heritage Council. The Ornamental Gardens were officially opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Ann in 2004. The main house and head gardener’s house can still be seen and are now privately owned. There is a working garden producing vegetables, fruits, plants and cut flowers all for sale from our garden shop. Designated areas in the Garden have been set aside for community allotments, educational and teaching purposes. Over the past number of years, awareness of the Gardens has grown considerably and members of the local community now visit on a regular basis whether to sit and enjoy a “quiet coffee” around the fountain or to attend one of our many workshops or indeed to purchase that unusual plant that will give their garden that special look! The look of delight and surprise on their faces as they watch ponies walking through the gardens with some of our riders is a unique experience! Please visit www.festinalente.ie to see the full range of services on offer. On Friday June 17, 2011 an Open Air Event will be held in the Victorian Walled Garden with Bagatelle & Beating Time providing the entertainment. BBQ facilities will be available and all you have to do is organise your own picnic, crockery and beverages! So why not seize the moment, gather the friends and “Remember that Summer in Dublin “. Admission will be by prepaid ticket only at a cost of €35.00 per ticket. Tickets are available from Ann Condron on 01 – 2720704 or info@festinalente.ie . Festina Lente is a registered charity offering a range of integrated training, occupational, learning and employment opportunities to people whose needs have not been met by mainstream services. These services are provided through equestrianism, horticulture and community based activities with an emphasis on choice, personal development and progression. The Garden and Riding School Projects are supported by the Department of Social Protection.

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24

The Informer

Dublin Advice

Learning to use the healing power of meditation

The practice of meditation is enjoying a surge of popularity at present, with many people exploring new ways of coping with stress and tension, and aiming to improve their quality of life. Medical and scientific research has combined with the daily experience of many people who meditate to provide a fresh perspective on this simple healing practice that is available to all. Understanding Sitting Meditation

Misconceptions about meditation abound. It does not involve going into a trance, sitting uncomfortably for hours or changing your reli-

gion. It is simply a method for bringing stillness to the body and mind, and only requires a daily practice of about 20 minutes per day. Sitting meditation involves turning off phones, computers, televisions and any other external stimulus that might interrupt. Posture is important because the body needs to be able to remain upright and motionless without any muscular effort. This is why sitting crosslegged on a firm cushion is popular, as in this position the body is simultaneously relaxed and alert. The most important point in relation to posture is that the spine is straight, so sitting on a chair is also suitable. Usually the eyes are closed, and the focus of attention is on the breathing. Developing self-knowledge

LIVE IN

The normal activity of the mind is called 'monkey mind', because we jump from thought to thought like a monkey jumps from tree to tree. In meditation, we learn to let thoughts come and go, without getting involved in them. The goal is not to be without thoughts, but to continue to bring the attention back to breathing, which leads to a certain detachment from our habitual thinking. This allows us to become aware of our patterns of thinking – typically we discover that we have a limited number of automatic responses, such as anxiety, procrastination or anger. Becoming conscious of our standardised emotional reactions allows for greater self-awareness, and helps us live more in the present moment.

PART TIME

Benefits of meditation

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lower high blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart disease. People who meditate typically report experiencing a profound sense of calm and peace when meditating. This can be accessed even when external life situations are stressful – in fact, meditation can be deepest at these times. In the course of meditating, unexpected solutions to problems can suddenly appear, as the busy 'everyday mind' is bypassed and a deeper level of insight is reached. Benefits experienced 'off the cushion' include an enhanced ability to cope with daily stresses, and the capacity to keep things in perspective. Some people who meditate report becoming more aware of colours, sounds and smells, finding a greater richness in their day-to-day experience. With practice, many people who meditate regularly will develop a greater sense of connectedness with others, becoming less judgemental and more compassionate and empathetic. Learning to meditate

As with any new skill, instruction and practice is required when first learning to meditate. An experienced meditation teacher will act as a guide during the early stages of learning the techniques involved. Classes and workshops are available at various centres including the The Sanctuary, tel: 01 670 5419; Rigpa, tel: 01-6703358; mindfulness.ie; and the Dublin Buddhist Centre, tel: 01-817 8933.

Maeve Halpin is a Registered Counselling Psychologist.

It is difficult to believe that such a simple daily practice could have far-reaching effects, but medical science can now measure the changes in brain wave activity and physical functioning that result from regular meditation practice. The deep relaxation brought on by meditation has been shown to

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Crime reports demonstrate that a number of factors are contributing to the dramatic increase in the numbers of ‘burglaries’ and ‘aggravated burglaries’ recently recorded throughout many villages, towns and cities, in Ireland. Such has been the media response to this ‘upsurge’ that it is likely few of us have escaped news of local incidents, where occupants have suffered physical injury and/or major financial loss. The on-going recession is blamed as a contributing factor for these ‘robberies’, but it is now known that ‘thugs’ are targeting homes and specifically bedrooms for valuables and cash.

most personal ‘valuables’ are kept. In these situations occupants are therefore exposed to an increased level of risk. Bedroom doors are not designed to prevent them from being forced open or ‘kicked in.’ So in order to remain safe and gain time to make those critical emergency calls to the Garda and neighbours, these dangerous circumstances demand a higher level of security from your bedroom door. This higher security is not provided by locks alone, but requires that the door jamb and door itself to be reinforced, without affecting the appearance of the door.

Unscrupulous traders

Home security experts, Burglarybusters, a division of Security Certified Doors Ltd, based in Ballymount, has recently and for the first time ever in Ireland, introduced new technology called Burglarybuster Door Jamb Armour from the US, which enables them to transform existing timber doors into security doors at your home. Additionally, when the door treatment is completed and you are away from your home, you can relax knowing your bedroom is not at risk and valuables left in your bedroom or bedroom safe are now secured. Types of timber doors that are suited to this process include Bedroom, Entrance/Front, Back and Apartment doors. Contact: Burglarybusters, Unit 17 Western Parkway Business Centre, Lower Ballymount Rd, Dublin 12. Telephone 01-4600016 or at www. Burglarybusters.ie.

Currently the price of gold is at an all-time ‘high’ and heads the list of priorities for the burglar, particularly as it helps to satisfy a growing demand from those unscrupulous traders who remain unconcerned about the source of these items. In the US instances of ‘aggravated burglary’ in the home are referred to as ‘home invasions’ and perhaps this term best describes this type of attack that can often leave occupants devastated and on occasions even physically injured. home invasions Some of the more serious ‘home invasions’ occur at night - should the burglar decide to target the occupied main bedroom where

New Technology


25

The Informer

Law matters with Noreen Maguire

New management law for apartment owners Good news for apartment/property owners within managed estates, the long-awaited Multi-Unit Developments Act 2011 came fully into operation 1st April 2011. It has been a continuous complaint that developers are slow and in some instances refuse, to transfer the common areas. This renders the management company powerless and can be a huge source of frustration to the property owner. In the last 20 years there has been an explosion in these type of developments and clearly reform was required. In summary the main features of the Act deal with the following: 1. Ownership of the common areas will be transferred to the management company before any property is sold. This specifically tackles the problem of developers holding on to units in order to keep control of the management company. 2. The management company must now be called an owners' management company. 3. The owners' management company must maintain a sinking fund for

repairs and an annual minimum contribution of €200.00. 4. The emphasis will be on resolution of disputes by mediation. However, the Court will be empowered to make appropriate orders if mediation attempts fail. 5. One vote shall attach to each unit owner and more importantly, each vote shall be of equal value. 6. House rules should be provided for an effective running of the development. Where an apartment is let, for example, a copy of the rules must be included in the letting agreement. This Act will assist anyone living in residential complexes or intent on buying into one. It will impose legal obligations on developers and the new regulations will improve the governance of management companies. Noreen Maguire is a solicitor with Maguire Muldoon Solicitors, 34 Gledswood Park, Clonskeagh, D14. Tel (01) 296 4266 E-mail: law@maguiremuldoon.ie Web: www.maguiremuldoon.ie

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This year, KEITH JACK, the hugely popular runner up from the hit BBC series Any Dream Will Do finally gets the coloured coat as he takes over the title role in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT from Tues 31st May – Sat 11th June.

Retelling the Biblical story of Joseph, his eleven brothers and the coat of many colours, this magical musical is full of unforgettable songs including ‘Any Dream Will Do’, ‘Close Every Door’ and ‘One More Angel in Heaven’.

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26

The Informer

Graham Connor's Movie Advice Insidious HHHHH Directed by James Wan Starring: Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson, Leigh Whannell and Lin Shaye

Thor HHHHH Directed by Kenneth Branagh; Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard & Anthony Hopkins

Josh and Renai Lambert are a happily married couple. On moving into their dream house their eldest child falls mysteriously ill and strange things start happening. Soon they come to the realisation that it may not be the house that is haunted… Insidious will not be remembered as a landmark in horror but Insidious certainly is a very effective little horror film mainly because it feels so familiar. Insidious is a mix of The Amityville Horror, Poltergeist and a little bit of a Ridley Scott’s Legend. With these haunted house movies as a yardstick, Insidious stands up well, making the best out of creaking doors and whispered voices. Unfortunately it lacked a sense of dread and lost any punch it had toward the end but, in saying that, it was a nicely built film for the most part with a surprise in the tail in the final few minutes. Advice: Give it a shot.

Odin, the ruler of Asgard, banishes his eldest son, Thor, to Earth hoping he will discover the wisdom needed to be King. Once on Earth and powerless without his hammer, Thor learns of a plot to decimate the human race designed by someone close to home. I didn’t expect much from Thor and, when watching a film of Thor’s ilk, to expect very little is the key. Thor is a triumph from start to finish, especially considering it starred a virtually unknown actor and was directed by a man known for his Shakespeare adaptations. This makes Thor all the more impressive, a solidly told film and really great fun that zips along at a cracking pace, peppered with humour and little nods to the upcoming Avengers movie. It’s not going to change your life but it will prove a welcome distraction from recessions and bailouts. Advice: Go see it!

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The sky over Dublin with Conor Farrell, Astronomy Ireland

Space Station above As I write this the final flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to launch on May 16th. This will mark the second last mission of the Space Shuttle Programme that has been the workhorse of spaceflight both for the United States and for the international community. Upon launch it will carry a crew of six astronauts to the International Space Station, the largest and most expensive object ever put into orbit. As it was being built, it grew in size, and the ISS became brighter and brighter in our skies as the years went by. Aside from for the Sun and the Moon, the behemoth is the brightest thing in our sky, and can regularly be seen zooming across the sky for a week or so every couple of months. If you want to see this amazing spectacle for yourself keep an eye out on www.astronomy.ie/iss, where Astronomy Ireland will keep you informed of when it will be visible in the evenings. As you watch the glowing light traverse the southern sky, blazing from west to east, you will be humbled by the amount of hard work and technology that went into this feat of science. When we watched it once, a friend whispered to me, almost in disbelief, “there are people up there...” And – just maybe – those

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30

The Informer

Dublin 'D' Day for the hurlers after 72 years GAA

Outside of the boot with Mick Hanley

GAA Sportsdesk on

103.2

Dublin City fm Wednesdays @ 7pm

What a beautiful day. May Day, 2011 and the sun is beaming down on Croke Park. Where were you on that day? The day the Dublin hurlers bridged a 72 year gap by winning a senior hurling title. Yes, 1939 was the last occasion that senior hurling silverware landed in the capital. And what’s more they did it in style. To beat the might of Kilkenny by twelve points is no mean achievement regardless that the 'Cats' were missing Henry, Tommy Walsh or Michael Fennelly. It was a joy to be part of this historic occasion. To look across at Hill 16 and hear the roar of the crowd getting behind 'Dalo’s Army'. Let us remember that over the years there has been just a small group of the 'usual suspects' following Dublin hurling teams. For them this victory probably meant the most but now the giant has awoken, similar to the footballers in ’74. To hear the cheers ringing around the ground as Dublin reeled off point after point as the game closed in. For the players a new dawn has arrived. Walking down Clonliffe Road after the game witnessing the buzz in the air was a fantastic feeling. There have been bad days in the past but it was time to celebrate this one in style. However for Dublin hurlers the gauntlet is now laid down. This should be the beginning and the focus will be Offaly in the Leinster championship at the end of the month. Already the decision has been made to move the game from Parnell Park to Croker. Expectations are high but with that comes pressure. But while the victory took only 72 minutes to achieve, it has taken a lot more minutes to get Dublin hurling to this level. Great credit must go to the Dublin County Board and all the people who have been involved over many years in putting the proper structures in place to achieve this win. Some of these men have departed this life but the contributions of the likes of Lar Foley, Jimmy Boggan and MJ Ryan will not be forgotten. Nor will the contributions of the club mentors throughout the county that dedicate their time and energies in training teams from juvenile to senior.

Last year, following the defeat to Antrim in the championship it was a dark day for Dublin hurling. A lot of soul searching was involved afterwards by Anthony Daly, his management team and the players. Perhaps now in hindsight the loss was a good thing as it consolidated the group to a man never to be down that road again. From the beginning of the year Anthony Daly and his management team set down a new marker and the players have responded wonderfully. A Walsh Cup win over Kilkenny laid the foundations coming into the league campaign. From the away draw to Waterford in their first league encounter to their victory in the final Dublin have played with a new intensity. There was a blip along the way when they should have beaten Galway in Parnell Park but shot nineteen wides. Again their next outing against Kilkenny yielded a point but it possibly should have been two. The biggest difference has been their away form, winning in Offaly, Wexford and Cork where in previous years that just might not have happened. This has brought a new confidence to the team. The acquisition of Conal Keaney returning from the footballers and the transfer of Tipp’s Ryan O’Dwyer were a major boost. The emergence of Conor McCormack, Daire Plunkett and Paul Ryan to the starting 15. The maturity shown by young guns Liam Rushe and Peter Kelly. The steadiness of Na Fianna’s Tomas Brady and Joey Boland down the middle of the defence. The reading of the game so well of Niall Corcoran and Shane Durkin. The scoring eye of Dotsy. The probing runs of Alan McCrabbe. The coolness of Gary Maguire. The back up of Declan O’Dwyer, Shane Ryan, Maurice O’Brien, Peader Carton, David Treacy, Simon Lambert and many more. The leadership and tenacity of captains JohnMc Caffrey and Stephen Hiney. Yes, May Day was a new dawn and Dublin has new heroes but hopefully this is just the beginning. Offaly wait in the long grass on the 29th May but Dalo and his players are well aware of that. Croker will be the venue. Make sure you are part of it.

Golf tips with Aideen Rogers

GREENSIDE BUNKER SHOT ON AN UPSLOPE Technique (Based on a right handed golfer):- Always lean with the slope and swing with the slope! That means swing down on the backswing and up on the forward swing, keep looking to the white of the egg, again taking the same amount of sand with the shot. This is an enjoyable shot to play, don’t hold back on this one! This shot is going to come out quiet high so do allow for that, and in windy conditions the sand will more than likely fly back into your face.

GREENSIDE BUNKER SHOT ON A DOWNSLOPE Technique (Based on a right handed golfer):- Always lean with the slope and swing with the slope! That means swing up and down the slope (like the chopping action), keep looking to the white of the egg. This shot is going to come out quite low so do allow for that. Don’t try this if the lip of the bunker is very high, you might be better to cut your losses and hit out to the side! One important tip on this shot is to swing down low through the shot, this will give you every possible chance of creating loft on this awkward lie.

MY FAVORITE! 30 YARD BUNKER SHOT This bunker shot is deemed to be the most difficult bunker shot to judge, but I have a great way of playing this shot! Technique (Based on a right handed golfer):- Firstly set up as if you are playing a 30 yard pitch shot, i.e.: grip down the shaft slightly, hands forward and ball position back to centre of stance. Play this shot firm, with a good committed half swing back and forth. The idea of this shot is to take the ball off the top of the sand and avoid making contact with the sand, clipping the ball clean.

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The Informer

PERSONal ADS KT Gardening Services Hedging • Lawn Maintenance Re Planting • Leaf Gathering Pruning Fence and Shed Painting General Garden Work No Job Too Big • No Job Too Small Contact Ken Mobile: 087-9078081 Bungalow Converted into Two apartments One 3 bed apartment is available for rent in May, June, July, August, September, this summer 2011 Location Curracloe Co Wexford 7 miles from Wexford Town

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Alarm Services For all your alarm needs

If you are looking for advice on:

New installations Upgrade of old alarm Servicing of original system Battery replacement, etc. PSA Registered • Fully insured.

• Personal taxation returns • Negotiating with banks in relation to repayment difficulties • Are a small business needing: - Taxation returns - book keeping services - record management services - advice and strategy on your dealings with banks - help with business plans - preparation of accounts Contact darragh@marketlink for advice. First consultation is free, reasonable hourly rates thereafter.

JD Alarm Services. Joe @ 087-9046816 01-4420663 GET REWARDED FOR YOUR OPINIONS We're looking for people to participate in our discussion focus groups. You can expect average €40 for 1.5 hours participation.

Darragh’s mobile: 087 2209037

Visit www.focusgroupsireland.com for more information

Lucan In Brief...

with Cathy Geagan

'Back to the Youth' at Griffeen Youth Centre

Calling all parents – and all adults – to revisit your youth and get in touch with what your children are doing! Lucan Youth Service invite you to their Back to the Youth event in Griffeen Youth Centre on Wednesday May 25th (7:30-10pm) – drop-in for a fun and informative evening! With food and refreshments and live entertainment,this is your chance to see the centre and meet the people. Admission free.

Lucan Drama Soc's 'The Female of the Species'

Congratulations to Lucan Drama Soc, whose performance of Joanna Murray Smith's highly entertaining and energetic The Female of the Species in the Spa Hotel in early May was a great success. Proceeds from Tuesday night's performance were donated to the worthy cause of St Francis Hospice.

Lucan Parent and Toddler Group

The Parent and Toddler Group is restarting every Thursday from 10.30am to 12 noon in St. Mary’s Parish Centre. No fee, with toys and refreshments provided. For further details, contact the co-ordinator Yvonne on 087 6361473.

Creativity in older age with the Bealtaine festival

The Bealtaine festival is Ireland’s ground-breaking celebration of creativity in older age. An Age & Opportunity initiative, the Bealtaine festival is Ireland’s biggest collaborative arts festival, uniting communities and diverse organisations all over the country including libraries, museums, care settings, active retirement groups, national cultural organisations and local authority arts offices. Bealtaine means ‘May’ with all of its associations of fresh starts, emergence and renewal. From 1st to 31st May nationwide, there are opportunities for you to get involved, to try something different and to simply enjoy yourself. It is a chance to meet people, make something new, set your own challenge or share a tradition across the generations. In 2010, 513 partner organisations created 2,500 performances, exhibitions, dances, films, workshops, concerts and events but this year looks set to be even bigger! With new events being added all the time, keep up to date with local events by visiting www.bealtaine. com.

Irish Wheelchair Association

Lucan Resource and Outreach Centre runs a wide range of activities for people with physical and sensory disabilities including computers; arts & crafts; hobbies; outings and holidays (transport provided). If you are interested please contact the Service Co-ordinator at IWA Lucan on 6032414, or email drclucan@iwa.ie. You do not need to be a wheelchair user to avail of this service.

Lucan Active Retirement

The Lucan Active Retirement Club meet in St. Andrew’s Parish Centre, Lucan village, every Thursday from 11.30am to 2.30pm. New members always welcome (male and female).

news@informer.ie


Lucan Informer May 2011  

lucan and palmerstown win tickets to Joseph 185,000 copies 185,000 copies in lucan &amp; palmerstown for page 25 Up to 90% off Beauty, Resta...

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