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Lucan Informer 15,000 copies delivered monthly

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

Lucan and Palmerstown

Local pet owner speaks of vicious park attack that left terrier dead Calls for tougher laws and penalties

A Lucan resident has spoken of her recent terrifying ordeal which resulted in the death of her beloved pet dog. The woman who wishes to remain anonymous was out walking in the Hermitage Park area of Lucan when the vicious attack took place. Speaking to the Informer, the By Paul O'Connell woman recounted how just as herself and her little dog Oscar were prize the jaws of this determined nearing the end of their routine pitbull,” she said. Oscar's brave owner received stroll, they were attacked by what she described as an American bites and bruises herself when she tried in vain to bring the attack to a Pitbull terrier. “We were on our last lap of halt, and she insists if it weren't for Hermitage Park and heading back a bracelet she was wearing her home when we came across the injuries would have been much American Pitbull Terrier dog which more severe. “I was covered in deep bites and I thought was a stray, as it had no owner present at first, no collar, bruises trying to save Oscar, punchlead or muzzle, within moments it ing and kicking the other dog which would not let go. I was attacked my dog unprovoked. "I just felt so helpless and just wearing a scalar energy bracelet wanted it to stop but nothing would which was snapped off my arm, I

What to do about our water

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believe this bracelet prevented my arm from being severely bitten. She added that even the intervention of a number of locals in the area could not prevent the attack from continuing. “Several people arrived at the scene to help but nothing would make this dog stop, not even hitting it with golf sticks. The pitbull only stopped when he thought my dog was dead as he was lifeless.” The local vet informed Oscar's owner that he had never seen injuries from a dog attack as severe in his whole career, and at first Oscars chances of survival were extremely slim. “Liam Moriarty from Hermitage Vet followed procedures they needed to follow in order to

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Sleight of Mind

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The Drift The Infographic

Democracy Matters is a group of politicians campaigning to save the Seanad. Here are some of their proposals for reform.


Dublin by Numbers


This is the fall in value in Dublin houses from 2007 to 2012. We can now say that this was the total fall because prices have started to rise again. The CSO publishes an index based on house prices at January 2005. So house prices went from 100 in January 2005 to 137.8 in April 2007 to 60.8 in August 2012. Since then the index hasn't fallen. It hasn't risen much either, currently standing at 63.5. The fall gives an indicator of the loss in value for those who bought at the toip of the market.

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WIN TICKETS TO UNFORGETTABLE – ALLAN HARRIS SINGS NAT ‘KING’ COLE WITH THE RTÉ CONCERT ORCHESTRA Following four previous sell-out shows, the velvet-toned and worldrenowned New Yorker, Allan Harris reunites with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra & Big Band in a celebration of the jazz music of Nat 'King' Cole! Following four previous sell-out shows, the velvet-toned and world-renowned New Yorker, Allan Harris reunites with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra & Big Band in a celebration of the jazz music of Nat 'King' Cole. Together they go back to the 30s, 40s and 50s through timeless hits including When I Fall In Love, Route 66, Stardust, Let There Be Love, The Very Thought of You, Straighten Up and Fly Right, A Blossom Fell, Walkin' My Baby Back Home, Mona Lisa and of course Unforgettable. You and your guest could be enjoying an unforgettable night of smooth jazz classics with this sensational singer and full orchestra on Friday August 23rd at the National Concert Hall. (For tickets from `11 call 01 417 0000 or see To be in with a chance to win this prize tell us: Which of these was a Nat ‘King’ Cole hit? a)

Mona Maria


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˜ÃÜiÀÃÊLÞÊi‡“>ˆÊœ˜ÞÊ̜ÊVœ“«ï̈œ˜Jˆ˜vœÀ“iÀ°ˆiÊÊUÊ*i>Ãiʈ˜VÕ`iÊޜÕÀÊVœ˜Ì>VÌʘՓLiÀÊ Closing date for entries Monday 19th August 2013.


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Lucan In Brief... Cont from Front Page>>

save him, he had 5% chance on the Friday, within a few days that jumped up to 50%. We thought our dog was going to cheat death, but unfortunately not this time, he managed to hang on for his dear life for 10 days until he finally passed away“ Recounting how Oscar had entered and enriched her family and friends life, she recalls: “We rescued Oscar from Ashtown pound back in 2005, at the time Ireland was putting down on average 60,000 dogs per year. If we didn't choose Oscar that day, he would've certainly been put to sleep the following day, and what a gem Oscar turned out to be. "He was a Cairn Terrier cross, and was surrendered by his previous owner. He was so adored by everyone who met him & only recently he was the star of my Godchild's 7th birthday party. Oscar was the reason so many of our friends would admit they have dogs

with Paul O'Connell today, he touched so many people's lives.” “Hard pill for us to swallow...”

The devastated dog lover went on to agonisingly explain how much pain and suffering the whole traumatic incident has had on her life, saying: “This is not the what we had envisioned how our little fella would end his days, he did not deserve this ending. We cherished Oscar so much & it's a hard pill for us to swallow knowing he will never come home. Everything is a reminder even going out for a night and dreading not being greeted at the front door on our return home, our house is so much quieter without him.” The American Pitbull Terrier involved in the attack has since been destroyed and Oscar's distraught owner finished by calling for stronger laws and punishments when it comes to dog ownership.” n The main picture here shows Oscar a day after the attack, and below before the incident. The inset picture shows injuries to Oscar's owner's hand in the attack. We couldn't use most of the pictures taken after the attack.

Family Fitness at Farmleigh September 1st

Family Fitness Weekend runs from 11am until 5pm. An action-packed weekend at Farmleigh is promised with Archery, Wall-Climbing, Mountain Biking, Zorbing and much more for all the family to enjoy. Food Markets will also be present in the Farmyard from 10am-5pm, and a selection of superb food produce by artisans from around Ireland will be available. Music will be provided in the Bandstand with Cold Comfort in the Pleasure Grounds from 2pm – 4pm. Cold Comfort's music has been described as 'a cocktail of blues, rock & roll and country' and the band has cultivated a dedicated cult following. Their influences range from Neil Young and The Velvet Underground to Rory Gallagher, but they go beyond these influences to create a unique and eclectic sound scape. All are welcome. For more information log onto

Lucan Festival 2013 23rd ~ 29th September

(near the Credit Union) on our Village Day 29th September. From Tues 24th there will be an exhibition about Lucan House and Demesne in the back Lounge of Kenny's. This will run until lunchtime Friday 27th. Each day the exhibition will be open from 11.30 am until late evening. There will also be 3 historical walks around the Village. These will take place on Tues, Thurs and Saturday mornings at 11 am. Details of starting locations will be announced at a later date.

Drugs worth €500,000 seized and man held at Lucan Garda Station

Gardai have seized cocaine with an estimated street value of €500,000 (pending analysis) following a search operation in Ronanstown. The discovery was made when Gardai attached to Ronanstown Drugs Unit and Detective Unit recently searched a house in the Ronanstown. A male aged in his late 30s was arrested at the scene and was detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996, at Lucan Garda Station.

If you have talent either as an individual or a group we would like to hear from you . This years covered outdoor stage will be available on Sunday 29th September to showcase your talents. Please contact Remember the Lucan Tram will be coming back to pay us a visit. You will be able to board it and go up the stairs to the open top deck. There will be panels about the 1913 Lockout and also the history of the Lucan Tram Company. We also hope to have a 1940s double decker bus (remember being able to run after it and jump onto the open platform). Both of these will be on display in Main Street

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The Informer

Green Scene

We have to pay for our water...

In a country where most of us have seen our incomes drastically cut over the last few years, while taxation and prices steadily rise, yet another new tax seems like a stop too far for many of us. But next year we will all have to pay directly for the water we use. As I write a couple of weeks of fine weather has come to a dramatic end and the news is showing water flowing through the front gate of Trinity College. So why should we be paying for stuff that we tend to feel we have far too much of here in Ireland. Shouldn’t it be free like the air we breath? A simple answer is that the air we breath doesn’t have to be cleaned to make it safe, piped to our homes, or piped away again after we’ve finished with it. Yes, we need it as much as we need air, but it needs treatment and delivery systems to make it useable – ask those in third world countries who don’t have access to clean water about this if you don’t believe me. And think about whether you want to die young of water born disease. So it has to be paid for one way or another – either through new household taxation or existing taxes. At the moment it comes out of general taxation – that is from income tax and from indirect taxes such as VAT.

...but is it our water?

The question is, is this a sensible way to pay for it? Not in my book it isn’t and to explain why I want to talk more about our water supplies and how we use them. Here in Ireland we each use a little over 1300 cubic metres a year, of which 30% is Irish water and 70% is used by us in other countries – mostly countries that are short of water. By comparison people in the UK use 1285 cubic metres, but three quarters of that comes

from elsewhere, while Americans use nearly 3000 cubic metres, with only 20% originating elsewhere. Kenyans, use 1100 cubic metres, Peruvians 1000 cu metres, Egyptians 1300 and Palestinians 1000 cu metres. Why did I pick those countries as examples? If you go down to your local supermarket you will see that many of our vegetables come from those poor countries. They are irrigating their land with fossil water that has collected over millenia in order to get income by selling the vegetables to us – in other words they are selling us their future water supplies. You didn’t see Palestine on the labels? Israel diverts the water from Palestine to irrigate it’s own fruit and vegetable production.

Where will we get the water?

But back to basics. Our population is growing, which means we are using more water. Where is it going to come from? There are lots of options. First and foremost we have enormous wastage of water in this country. Depending on where you live in Ireland somewhere between 40% and 60% of the water that leaves the reservoir won’t reach the taps, being lost through leaks. And before you scream about the public water supply, check that it isn’t being lost in your own system – many of us have leaks between the mains and the house, or actually in or under the house. A water meter would spot that so that repairs could be made. It also costs money to trace and repair all the leaks in the public part of the system. The alternative is to build more reservoirs, losing agricultural land and scenic valleys to increase water storage, and paying out for land and construction. Or to build the suggested massive water diversion scheme to pipe the contents of the Shannon to Dublin.

By Kathy Marsh, Sonairte Paying for the wasteful

A 'right' to free water?

And all this because we, in the Dublin area, feel that we have a 'right' to use as much water as we want without paying for it. Lets look at this in more detail. How much water does it take to clean you teeth? Think back to the last time you were at the dentist’s. They did all that work in your mouth and you had your teeth professionally cleaned and just how much water did you need to rinse with afterwards? Half a glassful? A glassful? Did you need to have the tap running all the time the cleaning was going on? Of course not – and at home it only takes a glassful too. Likewise think about what you do in the shower. How many of my readers turn on the power shower full blast and then apply shower gel or shampoo with the water running? It is quicker and easier to get clean if you turn the water off. Most cars can actually be washed using two buckets of water – I have a car van and even that can be cleaned with two buckets full. And the dirty water can be used to water the garden. I’ve got water butts on all the down pipes of my house too, and those can be used for cleaning the car as well as watering the garden. The thunder storm that got me thinking about this was enough to refill them all after the July heatwave.

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Even without those water butts a mixture of home saving and thinking about what is in the products we buy has me and my family well under the average figure for Ireland. So why should we pay for other people to be irresponsible with the water supply? Of course there is a basic minimum we all need. I’m not suggesting anyone in Ireland should stop drinking the stuff or washing themselves, the dishes, or their clothes. Or that we should stop eating because of the water that is used, both here in Ireland and in other countries to produce our food. But it is certainly a fact that when metering and separate bills have been introduced in other countries consumption has immediately fallen, and it is also a fact that Ireland is the only country in the OECD where we don’t pay separately for water. Surely it isn’t beyond the wit of the Department of Environment to devise a scheme whereby we all get a basic allowance to cover what we actually need, as against what we would like to have, and pay for the rest? There are lots of on line water footprint calculators out there if you want to work out what you are actually using and how easy it would be to cut it back. My favourite is this one http://www.waterfootprintkemira. com/meter - though it takes a while to load. So maybe those taxes would actually pay for us to fix the leaks in the system and save us all the cost of building new collection, storage and delivery systems.

Enjoy the weather

And whether the rain is pouring or the sun is splitting the stones as you read this – and I really wouldn’t be wanting to work for Met Éireann at the moment – enjoy the summer. I’m off outside to pick the raspberries which have grown without any watering at all.

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The Informer

Angler's Angles with Keith McDonnell

The sky over Dublin with Conor Farrell, Astronomy Ireland

Lough fishing for salmon Satellite spotting from your garden I’m back from a super two days fishing lough fish head and tail on my boat partners top fishing for salmon in Mayo with friends. There dropper and absolutely empty his reel of line in is nothing like a fishing trip with the lads as it is 10 seconds flat. Unfortunately this ended in a an opportunity for endless entertainment when slack line before we even had the engine started belittling a friend’s angling prowess and the size to chase the fish. A well rested 'Springer' is an of his fish! incredible fish and in such a shallow lake it Such jesting is essential when salmon angling requires a bit of luck and coordination between as if weather conditions are not on your side it the people on board to land one of these fish on can be long days of no fish. This time however the fishing gods smile on us! Between our two a single handed trout rod! All fish were released boats we had ten salmon over two days and we without harm. hooked and lost a few more. I managed to boat Keith McDonnell is a fly fishing guide and four fish and had one amazing drift where I rose instructor and big trout nut based in Dublin. four fish, hooked three of them and landed two. Sounds like a numbers game? In reality, on the second day we left the taking salmon to try for some sea trout as it was starting to get too easy with the salmon and we aren’t a greedy bunch. We were fishing flies close to the surface, so we could see the salmon coming up to take the fly with an explosion! A few of the fish we got were coloured Spring Salmon that looked to have been in the lake for a couple of months. One of the highlights for me was seeing a very large n Alan Cahill hooks a big Salmon

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Our recent great weather has meant that we often enjoyed many clear nights to view the sky. I spent a few evenings outside stargazing and was taken aback by how many things we could see from Dublin! First of all, I noticed several satellites passing through the sky. These can be recognised as objects moving through the sky at a steady speed with no flashing lights (satellites don’t use lights, so if you do see any flashing or coloured light on the object, you can immediately discount it as being something other than a satellite). Some satellites rotate in the space, meaning that the satellite can fade in and out as light is reflected from their solar panels and antennae. One particularly well-known type of satellite that lights up is called an Iridium Flare. There are 66 active Iridium satellites in orbit (with some spares), and are owned by Iridium Communications Inc. When they flare up, their highly reflective, door-sized antennae catch the Sun’s light and ‘beam’ it down onto a relatively small area approximately 10km across. If an observer is in this region, the satellite can be seen to flare up magnificently, and can often be the brightest thing in the sky. This time of year is great for satellitespotting, as the sun doesn’t go too far below the horizon, meaning that some of the lower altitude satellites will be lit up from our viewpoint. A great website to help you with

your satellite spotting is Simply select your location from the map (the option is near the top of the homepage), and then you can get predictions for a host of satellites in the menus further down. Many of the satellites you will see are, in fact, space junk: namely leftover rocket farings from launches in the 70s and 80s. However, spotting the satellites and learning a bit about their history is truly fascinating and rewarding! You can get your equipment to scan the Dublin sky at

n The image above gives an idea of just how many satellites are in orbit around Earth

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The Informer

Garden Growing With Gerry Norton The sun finally comes out to play In last month's edition I wondered if the nice weather that we enjoyed in early June would continue. Following a spell of awful weather in late June the sun has 'come out to play' and if any of the long range forecasters are to be believed we may have sun and warmth up to September. What an amazing effect a real summer has on us all, physically and mentally. It helps us to forget about stuff like the Troika and all the other pressures that we have to deal with on a daily basis. Insect attack

The hot weather has resulted in vast amounts of Aphids amongst other winged creatures and cleaning up Black fly, Green fly or White fly has become a daily chore. As I’ve mentioned before the best way to eradicate these pests is to squish them using rubber gloves. Sprays only work up to a

point and are not at all good for the environment. Water!

When we experience unusual hot weather it’s vital to water container grown plants every day. Containers dry out quickly unlike plants that are in the ground which can manage to find moisture via their large root system, plants in containers need a good drenching everyday in this hot weather. If you are planning a holiday why not ask a neighbour to do some watering for you. Otherwise an irrigation system should be considered. They cost about €80 and are simple to set up and operate. They come complete with a timer which can be set for whatever time and frequency that you want. Move your butt

With water charges going to hit us next year it’s time we started to get serious about collecting rain water. I already have one water butt which holds 100 ltrs.

n An irrigation system should be considered. They cost about €80 and are simple to set up and operate.

This is long since empty due to the drought and I plan on getting 2 or 3 more butts in a few months. Like the timer mentioned about water butts are not expensive, you can expect to pay less than €100 for a good size. On the veg front

The veg plot has started to produce gorgeous lettuce and will

continue to do so as I reseeded rocket and lettuce a few weeks ago to ensure a good supply over the next few months. It’s not too late to reseed if you haven’t done so. The first early potatoes 'Orla' are now being harvested and are fantastic as usual. As I mentioned last month dig them up as you want them, they will not deterio-

rate if left in the ground. My main crop 'Cara' which I have in containers are in flower now and we can look forward to these later in the year. Keep dead heading flowers in hanging baskets and window boxes. You can pinch off the dead flower or better still if you have time use a scissors and remove the stem as well.

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

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


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The Informer

Sleight of mind Where did you grow up? Williamstown, Waterford. What is your fondest childhood memory? Getting my first Paul Daniel's magic set at Christmas, aged 5. Without that set I wouldn't be where I am today. Were you hooked from then on or did you ever try your hand at something else? I was completely hooked from day one. I can't sing or dance so magic was always what I wanted to do. The passion you have for magic is evident do you think you need to be passionate about what you do to be successful? I think everyone should find their passion and follow it with determination and resolve. Too many people are in jobs and situations they don't like - it's quite simple to solve. Quit what you don't like doing, avoid people who don't add to your life, find your passion and follow it!! You make a living out the mind and other people’s minds - do you think it’s as important to look after your mind as it is your body? For sure. I read at least four books a week, if not more. I love watching TED talks and learning about the mind and how it works. It's important for me to continuously improve my mind by studying everything I can about it. You seem to work non-stop what do you to unwind? I love fishing - sea, lake,river - whatever. I also love movies and box sets - right now I'm watching Dexter and Breaking Bad - both are fantastic.

The Informer Interview

Do you have a fashion dilemma? Our Award Winning resident stylist Justine King is on hand

Keith Barry Interview with Rachel Murray

I think I learned to fake confidence until it became real. When I was in my early teens I would get very nervous before going on stage I would fake being confident during my performances What do you think has been the greatest success in your career? Being awarded 'magician of the year' in Las Vegas and receiving the Merlin Award for Mentalist of the year would be my fondest memories. What are you most proud of in your career or personal life? I'm very proud of my wife and kids - they are amazing and very supportive of everything I do. Career wise I'm still really proud that I headlined in Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas - a childhood dream come true. You come across as a very confident person, has that always been the case? No. I think I learned to fake confidence until it became real. When I was in my early teens I would get very nervous before going on stage - I would fake being confident during my performances. Now I'm pretty confident, but that comes with years of experience I guess. What can people expect from your new show, ‘The Dark Side’? I explore the World of the Occult and the Dark Side of our psyche. Expect to laugh one moment and be scared the next. Expect ouija boards, voodoo, witchcraft, and of course, demonic possessions. What makes ‘The Dark Side’, different from, ‘8 Deadly Sins’ & ‘The Asylum’? The whole show is completely different from start to finish and overall would be darker and more sinister than previous shows. What’s the funniest thing that’s happened during a live show? Someone in the audience fell into hypnosis and started doing a striptease - I stopped her just before she took her bra off! What’s been the toughest act to master? It took me 4 years of practise to eventually be able to memorise a shuffled deck of cards in order, in less than 20 seconds

How much time do you spend preparing for a new show? I should take three months but generally I get about six weeks. Two weeks research, two weeks scripting, two weeks scrambling!!!!! What was it like to work with Woody Harrelson on the movie ‘Now you See Me’? Is he as charismatic in person as he is on screen? He's an amazing person and actor. He really dedicated himself to the role and really learned how to hypnotise people. In person he is a great laugh - we

had a blast working together What act do you think has left your audience most confused? Doing what psychics do, telling the audience it's fake, but then doing it anyway!!! Finally, after your run in the Olympia can expect to see you again over the coming year? I start production on my new TV3 show Sept 1st in their new Sony HD studio which is really exciting. It will air on TV3 early next year.


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The Informer

All about Dublin 1

A Place in the City Of the history of Booterstown (Baile an Bhothar - the town of the road) we know little before the coming of the Normans - though the Slighe Cualan, one of the five great roads of ancient Ireland, ran through the area. The first Norman owner was Walter de Ridelsford (1173). His granddaughter, Christiana, eventually exchanged her estate at Booterstown for land in England. A later owner was William Fitzwilliam who, in 1348, was given a pardon for any crime he may have committed while fighting the Irish. Thomas Fitzwilliam was knighted (1566) for his exploits against Shane O’Neill and some say he was bribed to help Hugh O’Donnell and his companions escape from Dublin Castle. The Fitzwilliams eventually moved to England and Merrion Castle was taken down in the mid19th century. In 1826 the Rev. George Wogan, for 26 years a curate at St. Mary’s, Donnybrook, was murdered during a robbery at his home at Spafield Place. A servant, Kelly who was beaten, was initially suspected but Michael Hynes and George Stanley of Grotto Place, arrested for a highway robbery the same night on Blackrock Road, confessed during their trial

Booterstown - the town of the road

The events of July 10, 1927, rocked Ireland. Kevin O’Higgins, Vice-President of the Government, became the first, and so far, only Minister to be assassinated. No one was ever tried but decades later the killers were identified as IRA members, however their motives remain unclear. Most likely it was the bitter residue of the Civil War in which O’Higgins had played a leading part, defending the executions of 77 Republicans - including that of Rory O’Connor who, a year before, had been best man at his wedding. That Sunday morning O’Higgins left his home, Dunamase, in Cross Avenue, and walked alone towards

Booterstown Church. On Booterstown Avenue three gunmen (now known to have been Archie Doyle, Tim Murphy and Bill Gannon) opened fire and O’Higgins, after staggering a few steps, fell to the ground. The gunmen continued firing, and then escaped in a car. O’Higgins, though mortally wounded, lasted another five hours, during which he repeatedly forgave his killers. He was just 35. An excerpt from Blackrock, Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey - along the coast from Booterstown to Killiney,' with Paintings by Tom Roche and Text by Ken Finlay. It is published by Cottage Publications and costs around e22.

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Lesser Known Dubliners

John Meares John Meares, born in 1756 in Dublin, joined the Royal Navy as a captain's servant at the age of 16. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant within seven years. In 1783 he became a merchant sailor and, two years later, formed the Northwest American Company, based in Undia, which intended to trade sea otter furs from the Pacific NW to China. British trade in the Pacific was controlled by the East India Company, but Meares decided to opt out by registering his ship, the 200-ton Nootka, in Macau, a Portuguese enclave. That way, he reckoned, he wouldn't have to pay licence fees and duties. His first trip was a disaster. He spent the winter of 1786/7 in Prince Albert Suond, Alaska. Poorly supplied, ten of his men died from scurvy, the remaining ten were saved only by the arrival of a British ship. Meares promised to give up trading in the Pacific NW again and, on his return to India, promptly sued his saviour for allegedly overcharging him for the supplies that had saved him and his crew. For his next expedition Meares took two ships, again Portuguese registered, and headed to Vancouver Sound, arriving in May 1788. His claim that a local chieftain had sold him some land, and that he had erected some buildings there, later almost led to war between Britain and Spain. Before winter drew in Meares left for China. Meantime the Russians announced that they were

to build fortifications in Vancouver Sound and the Spanish, who had property-grabbing intentions of their own, sent a fleet to make the area theirs. Meares' property was seized, as were two ships he had left there to continue trading. By April 1790 Meares was back in Britain and kicking up a fuss over the seizure of British property by the Spaniards - conveniently forgetting that he had been trading under the Portuguese flag all the time. As Britain also had trading and strategic interests in Alaska the Royal Navy was ordered to prepare for hostilities. The crisis was solved through a series of agreements which basically allowed both countries to build 'temporary' structures for fishing and trade, with neither claiming sovereignty. In 1790, Meares published Voyages Made in the Years 1788 and 1789, from China to the North West Coast of America. It was popular for as long as the controversy between Spain and Britain lasted. After that little is known for certain about John Meares. He was promoted to the rank of Commander in the Royal Navy in 1795 and married Mary Anne Guilleband in July the following year. He died in Bath on January 29 1809, leaving an estate valued at £7,500. Cape Meares in Oregan is named after him as are Meares Point and Bluff, in British Columbia, Glacier, Passage, Island, Point and Port Meares, in Alaska.



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The Informer

All about Dublin 2

Edited by Zoz

Firsthand History

A Different Dublin

LETTER FROM IRELAND. Extract of a letter from an American gentleman now travelling in Europe, dated Dublin, June 12, 1824. This city presents the most extraordinary contrast of poverty and magnificence to be met with in Europe. As you approach it you find the suburbs composed of hovels, the sides of which are partly stone and partly earth, the roofs of turf, the entrances about four and a half feet high, the whole dimensions of each not exceeding 12 to 14 feet square. These miserable caves, may or may not have a hole for a window, and an aperture on the top to let out the smoke, if the luxury of fire can be afforded. Around the door the dirty children are huddled - not one half are decently clad. I am here giving you no high-coloured picture, nor am I selecting a few rare instances. I restrain myself within the bounds of veritable accuracy - I am talking of what composes the whole environs of Dublin, and embraces a very large portion of its 200,000 inhabitants. There is nothing in France, Germany, or Holland, and I think nothing in Italy, that approaches the spectacles of raggedness, poverty and wretchedness which swarm in Dublin. Having passed the suburbs, the dwellings improve, and on reaching Sackville-street, you

imagine yourself in one of the most elegant cities of Europe. But in turning the eye from the architectural splendour which surrounds him, upon the crowds which flow along the streets, the stranger will be struck with the motley nature of the throng. Here is a lass almost buoyant with satin and feathers; there is a trembling girl of 18, purple from cold, and drawing around her the poor rags, which, with all her care, scarce cover her body; here is an exquisite, perfuming the air as he passes, with rings on his fingers, diamonds in his broach, and a gemmed quizzing glass at his side; there is an honest fellow who cannot afford a hat, whose feet, summer or winter, know not the luxury of shoe or stocking, and whose whole wardrobe consists of but two articles, viz. a tattered jacket and about half a pair of small-clothes; and not to multiply pictures, while the Lord Lieutenant dashes by in a coach and four, the stranger gazes at the gallant and costly pageant, while he empties his pockets to satisfy the throng of beggars who pray him in the name of God to give them a penny. From my own observation, and the uniform testimony of intelligent people here, I think I may safely affirm that there is not so wretched a community on the globe as that of a great portion of Ireland. How indeed can it be otherwise? All the lands in this Island belong to rich proprietors, who live out of the kingdom, and spend abroad all that they can scrape out of the soil. What else than

n The Archiepiscopal Palace: One the residence of the Archbishop of Dublin it is now Kevin Street Garda Station (some parts of the original structure still remain. The drawing is by Gabriel Beranger, an artist descended of Huguenot parents, who was born in Rotterdam. In 1750, when about 21, he came to Ireland where he kept an artist's warehouse at 5, South Great George's-street, Dublin, from 1766 to 1779. His business did not succeed, and General Vallancey procured him a situation in the Exchequer Office. In his old age a fortune was bequeathed him by a relative. He died 18th February 1817.

poverty can be the lot of a country thus situated! And when you examine the subject more in detail, you find things still worse than, from a general statement, could have been imagined. (Extracted from The Telescope, New York, Saturday, June 25, 1825 - which seems to show a remarkably fast delivery of the letter!)

This feature was researched with the help of


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The Informer

The Last of Us Developer: Naughty Dog Platform: PS3

Brought to you by the creators of the Uncharted trilogy, Naughty Dog, comes The Last of Us, a game that proves the PS3 shouldn't be counted out just yet, despite the imminent arrival of the PS4. The Last of Us follows Joel an Ellie, two survivors in a world that has been ravaged by an outbreak of a fungal infection. The infection that would normally only affect ants, has mutated and is now turning humans into rabid, zombie-like creatures. The United States has been brought to its knees by the infection, society as we know it has collapsed, and all that is left of some kind of community lies in various encampments across the country. The story, which could be seen as a mix of The Road and Children of Men is incredibly visceral, hardhitting and at times and wonderfully moving. You'll feel for these characters, and will do you best to see they stay alive. To call The Last of Us a third-person shooter would be partly correct, but a little misleading. Yes, there are many shooting

Flash Fiction

Game Reaction

set pieces here, but much of the game-play plays on stealth, laying low and, if possible, completely bypassing any confrontations - these moments can be utterly intense! That said, the gun-play is superb, and the handling and impact of every weapon is fierce and flawless. Despite the wonderful, diverse action that can often spring up, some of The Last of Us' finest moments come from simply exploring the game world. There's an incredible sense of atmosphere here, which is perfected by the stunning visuals and breathtaking music. Naughty Dog always deliver graphically, but here they have outdone themselves, and in many ways better what the next-gen systems are already showing off.

with Denis Murphy

If the Uncharted series was about high adventure and fun, The Last of Us is undoubtedly about pure survival and the lengths mankind will go to achieve to that. It's gritty, brutal, moving, thrilling and one of the finest gaming experiences in recent years. It's the kind of game that will stay with you, and that, sadly, is something that few games ever even hope to achieve. Indeed, the Last of Us is a rarity. Enjoy it. Game Reaction: 10/10

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"October 16th, 2062. 9.08 p.m. Current external temperature: 10 degrees. Internal temperature: 22 degrees," a dull voice says. Alma takes off her helmet and calls: "door closed" then adds: "coat rack". Behind her a door closes and a section of the domeshaped interior wall opens. She throws her belongings in. The wall closes back automatically. “The Balistic sent me off route again. I’m exhausted. Darling, will you cook?” Dimitri turns off the circular electronic media library and walks to greet her. He kisses her and presses the buttons on the electronic kitchen computer. He orders the meal and a moment later two plates are being filled. He goes to the in-built refrigerator screen and gets two Dushes, the official Moscovite drink. "You know I hate cooking!" he says serving the plates on the table. "Back in my father's time, women were staying at home and..." "Please don't start that again. You complained about not going to Mars for our annual Holiday trip and now that I’m paying for it, you feel rotten...” "Yeah remind me who the breadwinner here is." "Is it my fault that Moslegion noticed twenty years ago that female "brains" thought more outside the box than men? How was I going to know they would put us all in command?" Alma adds annoyed. "You know I don't mind that too much!" "What's wrong then? You look upset." He calls out: "screen" and a screen shows an email with the official electronic logo of Moslegion. She reads it and pales. "We’ve been refused again." "Yes." "But I thought with you knowing the right crowd..." she ventures. "Just because I’m Russian doesn't make the Authorities decide for us." "And your country winning Third World War made no difference?" "Next you will say we could be drinking Coke instead." "Yeah, for instance." He groans. "October 16, 1962 was outside anybody's control. Only two men created this nuclear monstrosity: JFK and Khrushchev. Russia won, what can I say? Why are we having this discussion anyway?" "Maybe because the 100th anniversary of Russia bringing freedom to our world is coming soon!" she says smug. "This is all beside the point and you know it. We are just too many nowadays.” As she slumps in exasperation, the little beep-beep reminds her that her body is ready to conceive but they ignore it as a louder beep-beep signals a message from the Union Switch. The 'decision maker' to regulate train speed is not obeying orders, creating chaos in the shuttle movements for hundreds of miles in and around Dublin. She rises to her feet, smirks at her husband and calls out to the coat rack. "Duty calls," she growls.

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The Informer

Dublin Dealing with suicidal thoughts – there is another way Advice I can’t do this anymore…I just want it all to stop… It’s the only way out…They would be better off without me…Will anyone care if I do?

Fidelma Curley M.A. in Psychotherapy, H.Dip in Counselling and Psychotherapy, B.A. International in Arts Counsellor & Psychotherapist

It is regrettable that these dark thoughts are familiar to many, and several of those feel isolated with their thoughts and feelings around suicide. This isolation needs to stop. As a nation we are beginning to think and talk about suicide. This is happening across the spectrum, from celebrities publicly sharing their personal stories of dealing with depression and contemplating suicide, to friends talking with friends exploring their struggles in life and expressing their inner thoughts and experiences. We turn on our televisions, switch on our radios, read our newspapers, all attempting to raise awareness of mental health issues, encouraging people to stop the silence, share your inner experience and seek out support. Although this is only the tip of the iceberg, at least we are now acknowledging that the iceberg exists, accepting that suicidal thoughts are common amongst people of all ages, of both sexes, whether financially rich, stable or poor, and at all stages of life. How Talking Can Help

and professionally I have talked with many people who have attempted suicide, who contemplate the act of suicide frequently over periods of months or indeed years, and with people whom, having faced a particular experience in life, finds themselves looking at suicide as an option. Talking can lead to seeing other options. Instead of keeping these thoughts to yourself, or trying to ignore them, it is crucial to say them aloud, see what lies behind them.

Suicide risk is real and can be detrimental to one’s life, family, community and society. Both personally

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Underlying Issues

Having thoughts about suicide doesn’t always mean you do want to die. It is very common amongst people at one stage or another in their lives that they feel such utter frustration or desperation that the thought of suicide crosses their mind, as a way out. This could be signifying many things. For example, it may be indicating that an aspect in your life is not working and needs to be addressed, as it just cannot go on as it is. It may also act as a signal to say that you can’t go on without exploring past experiences which may need to be talked about, to facilitate healing and moving on. Support is crucial at this time in order to explore these thoughts and concerns around life, and to support you in the changes you decide to implement in your life.

sive alcohol use contribute in varying degrees to suicidal thoughts and suicide. These substances are known to act as depressants, generally lowering mood. Alcohol reduces the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals that are essential in making the hormone serotonin, associated with generating feelings of well being and happiness. It is crucial to consider what is it that leads people to abuse drink and drugs in the first place. Quite often you’ll find it is to get a break from reality… to blow off steam…to just forget for a while…These are all common statements that are loaded with only some of life’s challenges. Talking helps to lift the sense of burden and it creates a solid starting point to begin to look at some of life’s difficulties. It is possible to feel the fear of talking about suicidal thoughts and to talk about them anyway, with a friend, or a professional. There are always options and we may need support in seeing that they exist and understanding how to implement them.

The Danger of Drink and Drugs

Studies commonly show that drug use and exces-

Fidelma Curley Appletree Health and Wellness, By Maeve Halpin, No 126 Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Registered 086 Counselling 3774536 Psychologist

On the edge for just €50 per month

A DROP in household after tax monthly income of just €50 is enough to push one in four people into arrears on household bills according to research published recently. The nationally representative sample of over 1,000 adults also lifts the lid on the prevalence of switching financial products in Ireland as earners seek ways to cut costs at every turn.

With property tax bills expected to run at between €202 and €600 per year for almost four in ten respondents, the survey results published by highlight the knife edge financial balancing act for households in Ireland. The research shows that while savings are being made by householders on certain products like car and home insurance, certain financial products are being ignored. 43% of people switched car insurance provider to perhaps save €50 while only 12% of those surveyed reviewed there Life Assurance and Mortgage protection. Of those who did review their life assurance 76% of them saved money by doing so. With savings of up to €200 per year on your life insurance according to the National Consumer Agency this low figure for shopping around is surprising. In fact the National Consumer Agency has stated that savings of over €6,000 can be made over the lifetime of

Of those who did review their life assurance 76% of them saved money by doing so

the policy. With Life Assurance and Mortgage Protection rates falling significantly in the last number of years now is the time to review. Here are some helpful tips for doing so: • Make sure that you are only insuring your outstanding mortgage amount – not the original mortgage amount • That the policy is for the remaining term of your mortgage and not the original term • If you have given up smoking more than 12 months – review your cover as rates will be considerably lower Rates have reduced significantly so it’s worth shopping around. Provided you’re in good health there is no reason why you can’t potentially switch and save. Andrew Nevin is a Director of PFP Financial Services (trading as SmartQuotes) PFP Financial Services (trading as SmartQuotes) is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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The Informer


Stop taking Omega-3? Q: I have read in the newspapers recently that people who take omega-3 oils are more likely to develop cancer. I was advised to take an omega-3 supplement by my doctor to help with arthritis and high cholesterol. Should I be worried and do I need to stop taking them?

A: The study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute examined data on people diagnosed with prostate cancer by comparing a sample of men with prostate cancer with a similar sample of men without prostate cancer. When analysing this data, they discovered that men with high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids were 43% more likely to develop prostate cancer and 71% more likely to be diagnosed with high-grade cancer, a more aggressive form of the disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish, and are frequently taken as supplements due to their proven benefits for improving cholesterol levels and arthritis as well as their role in brain and eye health. While the research may appear alarming at first, it is important to note that at the moment, we are only aware of this applying to prostate cancer and not to other forms of cancer. Also, it is not clear whether there are other factors at play or whether the high levels of omega-3 caused extra cancers or was merely associated with them. While it should give people, especially men with a family history of prostate cancer, pause before taking very high doses of omega-3 supplements, there is no firm answer on what the best course of action is. A doctor or pharmacist would be happy to discuss any concerns that you might have in relation to this. It is important to note however, that there are some people who should always get their doctors advice before taking omega-3 supplements. Among these are people on blood thinners, those with diabetes, or those with a seafood allergy.

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

Disclaimer: The advice you have been given by the pharmacist should not be regarded as a clinically accurate diagnosis of any disease or a guarantee that a particular medicine is safe for you to take. The advice given is based solely on the limited amount of information provided and so should not be regarded as a substitute for a face to face consultation with a pharmacist, doctor or other health professional who is personally familiar with your medical history.

Law matters with Noreen Maguire

Divorce and your will

We are often asked to review wills, especially after a divorce or separation. Recently a client attended our offices following a divorce and wanted to know whether his will should be updated? I explained that although a Will is revoked by marriage, a divorce or judicial separation does not have the same effect. Another client was recently widowed. We explained to him that if he was contemplating re-marrying or entering into a Civil Partnership – his current will would be revoked unless it was made in contemplation of any new marriage or partnership. So, to clarify the position: Under Irish Succession Rights, when a testator/trix dies leaving a spouse, the spouse is legally entitled to one half of the deceased's estate. This is called a legal right share. If the couple have children, then the surviving spouse is legally entitled to one third of the deceased's estate. The bottom line is, therefore, even if you have left your husband or wife out of your will, they will be entitled to claim their legal right share. After a divorce has been granted by the court, the parties cease to be spouses of each other. Accordingly, each of you would lose any automatic right to a legal right share in the other person's estate where there is a will (or any intestacy share where

there is no will). However, under The Family Law Act Divorce Act 1996, when a divorced person dies, it is possible for their “ex-spouse” to make an application to court for a provision for themselves from the estate of the deceased person. In other words, a surviving “Ex” can apply for a share from your estate even though you are legally divorced. For this reason, it is common practice for solicitors, when seeking a divorce on behalf of a client, to apply for a “Blocking Order” which effectively prevents either spouse from making an application under the Family Law Act and therefore from benefiting from the estate of the other. in the event of their death. The courts will allow this where they believe the “Ex” has already been properly provided for. In summary, if you are divorced or separated, it is essential that you review your will to ensure it accurately reflects your wishes and current circumstances. Noreen Maguire is a solicitor with Maguire Muldoon Solicitors, 34 Gledswood Park, Clonskeagh, D14. Tel (01) 296 4266 E-mail: Web:

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PICTURED ARE: Irish HomeCare carer Therese Armstrong and Head of HR Ashley Meegan. Irish HomeCare is currently recruiting for care assistants across Dublin.

Irish HomeCare recruiting care assistants across Dublin IRISH HomeCare, the independent, Irish, familyrun home care providers are currently recruiting care assistants across the Dublin region in the Blanchardstown, Dundrum, Dun Laoghaire, Lucan, Raheny, Rathfarnham, Sandyford, Santry, Swords and Tallaght areas. Ashley Meegan, Head of HR, Irish HomeCare, said, “A career in care is enriching, rewarding and challenging; enabling people to live independent, full and dignified lives. Either experienced carers, or people interested in starting a career in caring, are very welcome to apply. We offer training and up-skilling opportunities, competitive rates and flexible hours and we have immediate work available.” Interested candidates should contact the company for an overview of what a career in caring entails and to set up introductory interviews. Irish HomeCare will provide all necessary training and work is available immediately. The company was recently shortlisted for a National Q Mark award by the Excellence Ireland Quality Association.

Sally Murtagh, Professional Carer and Managing Director, Irish HomeCare said, “It is a great achievement to be one of the shortlisted companies for this award which recognises excellence in organisations. It is thanks to the high quality of support that our carers give to our service users, as well as the professionalism of our head office team, that we have been nominated. I think it is particularly good news for our team of carers – they do fantastic work in communities all around the country each and every day which often goes unnoticed. It is great to get this recognition.” The award winners will be announced at an event in the Burlington hotel, Dublin on 27th September. Irish HomeCare was established in 2005 by professional carer Sally Murtagh. Through its network of over 450 professional, highly trained carers, Irish HomeCare provides care and support to enable people to live independently at home in their own communities. For further info visit or call 01 847 1690 / 0818 220 262.


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eauty Notes

with Kathleen Rowley

Home, sweet smelling, home... A family home contains a strange medley of scents pets, smelly socks and schoolbag a la mushed banana all which can have us rushing for the can of air freshener! However candles, diffusers and fragrance oils can all provide longer lasting pleasant scents that contain fewer chemicals. Soya wax candles have come to the fore in recent years and many Irish candle makers specialise in them. The debate between paraffin V soya candles has brought no definitive conclusion. Paraffin is petroleum based and was deemed as ‘sooty’ with possible health implications as a result however there has been no concrete evidence to back this up. Soya wax is extracted from the oil of soyabeans, technically it is a renewable source and another advantage is that soya burns for up to twice as long as paraffin. Established in 2010 by founder Alison Banton, Brooke & Shoals is an Irish-owned company creating a luxurious range of premium scented candles and organic body products. These natural soy wax candles contain high quality fragrance oils and essential oils to create wonderfully complex aromas with a burning time of up to 40 hours. In addition they have launched a new summer collection which encapsulates the uplifting scent of a warm July evening. The new collection

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includes: Gorgeous Gift Boxes that combine a selection of the new Grapefruit & Geranium body products with the classic favourites in the scented candles such as Neroli & Lavender and Grapefruit & Lemongrass. The Jasmine, Iris and Rose candle I had the pleasure of sampling is an uplifting treat for the home and the packaging alone means the products would be ideal as gifts for birthdays, house warming’s and even bridesmaids. Everything is manufactured with great care and attention here in Ireland, as Alison is passionate about the role that local employment will play in getting this economy back on the road to sustainable recovery. Having achieved strong domestic growth, despite the recession, the company is now looking to export markets to expand the brand. Visit for a list of stockists, or for the latest news follow www.

The Informer

The teenage depression epidemic EpidemicGlobally, the organisation says that 20pc of children and teenagers will experience a disabling mental health problem. And doctors agree that the most common age of onset of major depression is around 13 or 14. How would we know if a teenager was feeling overwhelmed by academic expectation, online bullying, family breakdown, pressures at home, or simply the everyday drama of growing up? "Adolescence is a very vulnerable time," says Dr Tony Bates, a clinical psychologist. "They want to be independent, but they are not quite ready for it yet. They are not yet men and women, so they really need the adults in their lives. "On top of all that, they've got pressure at school, someone they know is self-harming, they don't know if they are going to get jobs, and they have to deal with all of that as well as all the normal developmental stuff that is going on in their lives." And given that the teenage years are naturally filled with ups and downs, is there any reliable way for parents to spot the warning signs of depression? "Whatever is going on, they

do need us to be there for them. It's really important that we don't interpret their behaviour, when they're pushing us away, as actually wanting us to go away. "They need us to be a steady presence in their lives, not to go away, not to stop believing in them, and not to abandon them." With FasterEFT Therapy the teenager does not have to disclose what their problems are (as many teenagers don’t want to ‘talk’ about their problems) they just have to notice that they have a problem that is bothering them.


Most teenagers who feel depressed feel it about something which is not working in their lives. What they need is someone to listen to them and to work through those difficulties with them. Meanwhile, high-profile multimedia and poster campaigns have helped remove the stigma from mental illness for all ages. And that might just be the first step towards recovery. Linda Walker, FasterEFT Practitioner Mind & Body Clinic, Rathgar, Dublin 6 • 01-4976434

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The Informer

Dublin Dealing with stress using acupuncture Advice We can’t live without stress in our lives, but when stress continues over a prolonged period of time it can become problematic. It is now widely accepted that on-going stress leads to ill-health. Significant events in our lives such as bereavement, relationship breakup, health issues, redundancy, exams, job pressures, holidays and even weddings can lead to stress. For the most part we handle it and get on with our lives. But what happens when it gets out of hand? Types of Stress

By Mary Fletcher Burke, Acupuncturist and Reiki Master

Stress changes your chemical makeup and has a physical effect on your body. The overproduction of adrenalin leads to adrenal fatigue. There are four types: Sudden breakdown after a long phase of handling stress: you are strong, holding things together, being perceived as the iron man or woman. You recover well from stressful situations. Then suddenly, with the last straw, you finally collapse. Single Stressor - no long term resistance: You don’t handle stress well. You never really recover after a stressful event. You worry and feel anxious all the time; you just can’t recover from a sudden death, an accident, an illness. Repeated Stressors – more common: Every time you feel things are getting better something else crops up. Life keeps throwing you curve balls, and before you have time to recover, you are into the next crisis. Gradual Decline – 'dutiful people': Doing things because you think you should even though you don’t

sure, and susceptibility to infections have all been shown to be related to chronic stress. Finding a way to lower the production of stress chemicals in the body is essential to begin healing and recovery. How Acupuncture Can Help.

want to, until you just can’t do it anymore. You may be in a job that doesn’t satisfy you or makes too many demands, or looking after small children or a sick relative. Putting everyone else first leads to a build-up of resentment. What do they all have in common?

You no longer feel in control over your life and your situation and you can’t see a way out. This is because your body is so exhausted that you can no longer think straight. In the past you would have found a solution and now you can’t understand why your head is so muzzy. You can’t sleep because you keep replaying scenarios in your head. You are not functioning very well, like not being able to find your keys, getting irritable and snappy with people around you and generally feeling like you are not managing well. You have lost your sense of clarity and control. If stress is not treated and taken seriously it can result in long term health problems, such as skin problems, hair loss, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and lower back pain. Heart problems, high blood pres-

Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. It involves inserting very fine needles at precise points along the energy channels, which run in regular patterns through the body. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. Acupuncture is a wonderful system of medicine because each treatment is designed specifically to suit the indivudual. You will get a deep level of relaxation and mind-body rest, allowing your body to totally relax and switch off all those anxieties and feelings of being overwhelmed. It will clear the fog and gives you back your sense of clarity. Acupuncture is recognised by major health providers. For a free copy of 'Simple Steps to Heal Stress' visit © Mary Fletcher Burke Mary Fletcher Burke Dip Acu MAFPA Acupuncturist and Reiki Master Clinics in: Appletree Health and Wellness, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. The Littlejohn Centre, Walkinstown Dublin 12, Kingswood, Dublin 24. Contact: 086 838 1017 or 4527003 Email:

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The Informer



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n The Ark in Temple Bar. Roll Up! Roll Up! Five-year-old Callum and seven-year-old sister Emily McDonagh from Dunsany, Co. Meath helped to officially launch the Celebration of Circus summer programme for families at The Ark in Temple Bar. They were joined by some of the circus characters who will guide visitors through the fun interactive exhibition after which visitors can chose to join in a circus skills workshop or create a piece of circus art to take home. Opens to the public until August 31st. Full details at Photo: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

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The Informer

Graham Connor's Movie Advice Lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Breeze HHHHH

Directed by Lance Daly. Starring Fionnuala Flanagan, Pat Shortt and Kelly Thornton Colm and his family decide to do-up their old Georgian house. After throwing out his motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mattress he learns that it contained all her life savings, close to â&#x201A;Ź1,000,000. Lance Daly has made some brilliant Irish films in his career â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Kisses and The Halo Effect to name a few. Lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Breeze is a great little film but it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hit the heights of his previous work. Emotional power was sacrificed for comedy and while it isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t an entirely unfair trade off, some of Lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Breeze just doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t click. Fionnuala Flanagan is super as the dry grandmother and Pat Shortt is great as the well meaning but inept uncle Colm but the treasure of this film is the newcomer Kelly Thornton. Individually they are all great but for some reason it just doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work together as well as it should. That being said, Lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Breeze is a truly enjoyable film, a great entry into the canon of Irish cinema. Lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Breeze tries very hard to channel a Roddy Doyle-esque type of humour. It doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t entirely work but it makes up for it with plenty of heart.

Advice: Better than all the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;blockbustersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; this season.

Pacific Rim HHHHH

Directed by Guillermo Del Toro. Starring Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam & Robert Kazinsky. In the not too-distant future, Kajiu, monstrous sea-creatures, terrorise the Earth. Jaegers, giant robots, piloted by two human fighters are charged with tackling the growing Kajiu threat. When pitched, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure the producers said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Pacific Rim will be Godzilla versus Transformers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; pure box office gold.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; I really wish it had turned out that way. Pacific Rim is a great popcorn film but only 12 years olds will be talking about it. The acting â&#x20AC;&#x201C; bar the always reliable Idris Elba â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is pathetic, most of the casting being atrocious. The plotting is loose and the attempts at comedy fall very flat. One thing that Pacific Rim needed was heart and on paper it has it by the bucket load, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just a shame that none of the cast are believeable â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Charlie Hunnam please stand up â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as human beings!! The robots have more emotion. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a shame that Pacific Rim is such a let down, from interviews it seems that Del Toro and the cast had great plans for sequels, sequels that this film does not warrant.

Advice: DVD only.


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