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

Raheny • Clontarf • Dollymount • Artane • Killester • Kilbarrack • Edenmore

Ex railway worker's Running for Autism Raheny safety fears

A former Iarnród Éireann Safety Inspector has warned that a 'serious pile up' could occur at Raheny train station if officials don't act soon. The ex-senior rail official conBy Edward Diggins tacted The Raheny Informer is concerned about what he says are the some are in a serious state and may dangerous condition of the out- not safe for public use. bound tracks at Raheny train sta‘The really worrying thing is that tion. four of them are within a couple of ‘I feel a serious pile up will hap- yards of each other,’ he added. pen. I have never seen so many ‘The necessary parts to hold the damaged parts so close to each rails to the sleepers are a concern other,’ said the source. also as three of them are bent and three are missing completely.' Serious state The ex-official said he noticed ‘I discovered five broken con- the damage as he walks by the crete sleepers just under the bridge, route three times a week. some split right down the middle, ‘In my time, inspectors were

supposed to walk three miles of rail and back every second day and defects found would be sprayed to show exactly where they were.

Free Business Standard supplement

Investigate

When contacted by The Informer, Iarnród Éireann said that they would investigate the matter immediately and take the necessary action with the assistance of their regional manager. A full check of the section of track just under the bridge at the station was due to take place at the first available moment and any issues would be clarified immediately.

Centre Pages Lisa Duffy and Karen Koster are looking forward to taking part in  the annual Flora Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin on Monday 6th June 2011 and are inviting other women to come out and join them to raise funds for Irish Autism Action. Registrations for sponsorship cards can be taken through autismireland.ie

See Karen Koster Interview in the Business Standard supplement - centre pages

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Time to turn off the red light? Opinion Page 3


2

The Informer

The Drift The Informer Poll Who would you like to see as head of the next government?

Enda Michael Eamonn Don’t Kenny Martin Gilmore Know

Santry Lucan Blanchardstown Raheny Swords Tallaght Rathfarnham Dun Laoghaire Dundrum Sandyford

60% 50% 55% 35% 45% 20% 55% 40% 60% 55%

5% 10% 0% 10% 0% 0% 5% 0% 5% 0%

20% 35% 30% 25% 30% 40% 25% 40% 20% 30%

15% 25% 20% 30% 25% 40% 15% 20% 15% 15%

What Political party will you vote for in the coming election?

FG

FF Lab Green SF Other Ind DK

Santry

60%

5% 20%

0% 0% 0% 10% 5%

Lucan

50% 10% 35%

0% 0% 0% 5% 0%

Blanchardstown 55%

0% 30%

0% 0% 0% 10% 10%

Raheny

35% 10% 25%

5% 0% 0% 20% 5%

Swords

45%

0% 30%

5% 0% 0% 10% 10%

Tallaght

20%

0% 40%

0% 15% 0% 10% 15%

Rathfarnham

55%

5% 25%

0% 0% 0% 10% 5%

Dun Laoghaire

40%

0% 40%

0% 0% 0% 10% 10%

Dundrum

60%

5% 20%

0% 0% 0% 5% 10%

Sandyford

55%

0% 30%

5% 0% 0% 5% 5%

Survey carried out on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th February 2011. This is a “door step” survey. Total number of people interviewed is 200 with 20 residents being interviewed in their homes in each of the areas shown by The NRBI on behalf of Informer Newspapers. Results published do not reflect the views or the opinions of the Informer Newspapers or any of its employees

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This the decline NOx emissions in Ireland's power stations since 1990. What is most significan about this figure is that electricity output has increased by 110% over the same period. The decrease was achieved by the implementation of low-NOx technology in the power stations. What this proves is that when we make the effort to reduce pollution, it can be done without making us any poorer.

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To end pros ficking in Ir criminalise th al services m This is the supporters launched ‘T Light’ campa Members o lobbying for legislation o main goal of introduce leg Swedish mod people who b The ‘Turn campaign ha alliance of non-governm A number o men have len cause, inclu Corrbui (Cha Finley (CEO Begg (Gener Peter Suther and Peter Sh Ruhama, w based NGO, alliance and experience front line w by prostitutio Increase

Over the l seen a massiv tution and Ireland. We b legislative w buyers, it wi eration of Ireland. When leg buyers, like i has a clear the demand f demand is f are willing to this demand, fickers will n their lucrativ Since the law in Swe approach of been a succe decade afte reform, two f trate the triu approach. Fi


The Informer

3

Comment & Debate

Time to turn off the red light?

A new campaign is underway to criminalise the men who buy sex and to decriminalise prostitution for the women trapped in the sex trade. Sara Rydland Nærum, Ruhama explains the campaign To end prostitution and sex trafficking in Ireland, legislation to criminalise the purchase of sexual services must be introduced. This is the view expressed by supporters of the recently launched ‘Turn Off The Red Light’ campaign in Ireland. Members of the campaign are lobbying for a reform of Irish legislation on prostitution. The main goal of the campaign is to introduce legislation based on the Swedish model, which targets the people who buy sexual services. The ‘Turn Off The Red Light’ campaign has been set up by an alliance of more than 30 Irish non-governmental organisations. A number of high-profile Irish men have lent their support to the cause, including Diarmaid O Corrbui (Chair, Ruhama), Fergus Finley (CEO, Barnardos), David Begg (General Secretary, ICTU), Peter Sutherland, Christy Moore and Peter Sheridan. Ruhama, which is a Dublinbased NGO, is a member of the alliance and has over 21 years experience of working at the front line with women affected by prostitution in Ireland. Increase in sex traffiking

Over the last decade, we have seen a massive increase in prostitution and sex trafficking in Ireland. We believe that adopting legislative which focuses on the buyers, it will curtail the proliferation of the sex trade in Ireland. When legislation targets the buyers, like it does in Sweden, it has a clear objective: to reduce the demand for prostitution. This demand is fuelled by men who are willing to pay for sex, without this demand, the pimps and traffickers will not find a market for their lucrative, illegal business. Since the introduction of the law in Sweden in 1999, the approach of targeting buyers has been a success story. Just over a decade after the legislative reform, two findings clearly illustrate the triumph of the Swedish approach. Firstly, the number of

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women in street prostitution has been halved. Secondly, the extent of human trafficking in Sweden is dramatically lower than in neighbouring states. Interestingly, the dramatic decrease in the number of people exploited in prostitution is not the only change that has taken place in Sweden but the legislation has also led to a significant change in Swedish people’s attitudes to prostitution. More than 70 per cent of the Swedish population now consider the purchase of sexual services socially unacceptable. Decriminalization

Furthermore, the Swedish legislation has decriminalized the selling of sex by those prostituted. Ruhama believes this is another important aspect of this legislation. From our experience of working with women involved in prostitution we have seen the negative impact of criminalization on their lives, often leaving them more vulnerable and stigmatized. The existence of a criminal record can act as a barrier when women are trying to exit prostitution and find meaningful employment. Women often turn down employment opportunities when discovering a Garda clearance is needed due to their feelings of shame and the stigma attached to prostitution.   The ‘Turn Off The Red Light’ campaign is already making waves. It has gained massive support from organisations, politicians and members of the public. The objective of the campaign has also reached buyers of

Calendar Girls Competition Winners Tickets: Mrs Maureen Maguire from Malahide Winners of Calendar Girls calendars: Tom Bean, Dun Laoghaire. Sylvia O' Reilly. Frances Doheny, Goatstown.

sex. A national paper recently printed posts from online discussion groups used by Irish men who buy sex. These men expressed fear of being named and shamed, and suggested that criminalisation could make it impossible for them to continue buying sexual services. Such opinions are consistent with survey results showing that the greatest deterrents to buying sex are criminal sanctions and risk of public exposure. By criminalising the purchase of sex by the buyers and decriminalizing the selling of sex by those prostituted, Ireland could make a solid contribution in the battle against prostitution and sex trafficking, and be a progressive role model while we’re at it. turnofftheredlight.ie www.ruhama.ie

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4

The Informer

Green Scene

Spuds for St Patrick’s Day We all know that if you aren’t on O’Connell Street for the St Patrick’s Day Parade we should be home in our gardens or down at the allotment planting our potatoes. Although we now eat an awful lot of pasta and rice the humble spud is still dear to our hearts. But did you know that some 200 varieties are grown in Ireland? Well one man not only knows most of them, he grows most of them. Dave Langford from County Mayo has collected together 180 different kinds of potatoes, including several whose history goes back before the famine, and every year he grows them all. On Sunday March 6th he and Dermot Carey, head gardener at Lissadell in County Sligo until the owners decided to close the garden last month, will be bringing the whole collection to the Potato Day

Daisy goes home In late October of 2010, Daisy, a grey seal pup, was found injured on a beach near Howth Harbour. The Irish Seal Sanctuary got a lot of calls about her and volunteers went down to check her condition. Poor little Daisy was about four weeks old, she was

at Sonairte, the ecology centre in Laytown. They will explain the different cooking and eating qualities of all of them and there will be some forty varieties of potato for sale. Potatoes are easy to grow even if you only have a patio or balcony – and they are decorative plants with beautiful flowers. On the day there will be talks on the history of the potato, demonstrations of how to grow them, and lots of unusual recipes. The Mustard Seed café will be cooking boxty and potato apple cakes as well as better-known dishes. And you can buy the potatoes ready to plant the following weekend. The Potato Day will run from 12 noon to 5pm and there are regular buses from Parnell Street to Sonairte, which is signed from the M1. More details from info@sonairte.ie

very cold and dehydrated, with bite wounds on her front flippers and the decision was made to lift her and take her in for a little bit of loving care! Ready to go Since then she’s been down at the Seal Sanctuary’s new home in Courtown Harbour slowly recovering her strength but at the beginning of February she was

declared ready to go back to the wild. Her release date was set for Saturday February 12th back in Howth where she was found. Daisy is part of the Irish Seal Sanctuary tagging programme and will have an orange tag on her right flipper with the number A-21. If anyone spots after her release, please let the ISS know.

Read your local Informer edition online at our revamped website The paper opens online the same way it does in your hand 2A LAMBS CROSS, SANDYFORD, DUBLIN 18 • Accidents/ Personal Injury/ Medical Negligence* • House Purchases and Sales/ Re-mortgages • Divorce and Family Law • Wills and Probate Contact Mary Flanagan of Flanagan & Co.

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By Kathy Marsh, Sonairte

Green shoots... How important is the environment?

I was going to write this month about how the different political parties which may, or may not, be in government for the next few years would deal with environmental issues. You know the ones – how are we going to do our bit to mitigate the awful weather events that have hit the world of late; how are we going to produce enough cheap energy on this island to keep our society going as oil prices rise; and have you seen the price at the pumps lately? And there’s what are we going to do to keep our wetlands and forests because not only do they keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere but they help with handy thing like flood control. I’d have like to use the party manifestos but they mostly haven’t published them yet so I trawled through their websites and rang up their press officers.

And guess what I found? With the exception of the Greens – and after all that’s what they are about – they don’t have environment policies worth the name. Curious cross party obsession There’s a curious cross party obsession with electric cars – only Sinn Féin don’t have an electric car policy – and they all say that there are lots of jobs in the Green economy and somewhere down the line everyone will have to generate their own power at home and connect to the grid with smart meters, but that’s it. So the message hasn’t got home yet – the environment, which is the ground we walk on, the air we breathe and the water we drink, really doesn’t matter. So if you do think it is important you need to ask the questions on the doorstep. And by the way, none of the 114 independents standing, or the members of the small parties, other than Fis Nua, which is a new left wing environmentalist party, seems to be interested in the planet we live in.

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PLATO is recruiting now! A new 12 month Plato Small Business Programme is commencing in March 2011. PLATO is a non-profit initiative supported by the four Dublin Enterprise Boards and dedicated to the successful development of the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in the Dublin region. PLATO offers owner managers a business support forum where they can tackle the challenges and issues of today’s business world. Through a unique partnership with large “parent” companies, PLATO creates a confidential and safe environment where SMEs can benefit from facilitated group learning, business counseling and support so that you acquire the skills necessary to help your business grow and prosper. It provides an environment for owner managers to learn from one another and share their experiences at a monthly meeting for 12 months. PLATO encourages participants to share experiences and resources, to stimulate new ideas, and to support each other as they make strategic decisions that determine how their businesses will grow. It also provides access to training activities, business linkages, trade fairs and networking events. Membership of the PLATO programme is open to companies in all areas of commercial activity. Some companies are celebrating their seventeenth year of productive and active participation in the network! Membership of the local PLATO group gives access to the wider PLATO Ireland Network and the dynamic 9,000 member European PLATO Network.

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6

The Informer

Garden Growing

The gardening year is warming up As I write this months “further adventures in the urban garden” series, it’s been a lovely warm day with temperatures reaching 10 degrees centigrade, according to my outside thermometer. It’s the 1st of February which to me is the first day of spring. A debate about this takes place every year with most saying 1st March is the date but I believe that Saint Brigid’s day is the start of our Celtic spring so I’m sticking with that! Let’s hope that the rest of spring isn’t too bad. Cover up

Following on from last month’s article your vegetable plot should at this stage be covered to heat up the soil. It’s not too late to get the digging done before covering. One great thing about this time of the year, irrespective of your view on whether spring has come is that now is the time to buy the early varieties of seed potatoes, whatever one you like. This to

me and many other gardeners is the beginning of this years growing season. My all time favourite is ‘Orla’, very easy to grow and they really are gorgeous. This variety and all the others are now available.

With

Gerry Norton

Get chitting

A very good tip to encourage early growth is to ‘chit’ the potatoes. Just put the spuds into cardboard egg boxes with the eyes facing upwards. These eyes develop into healthy roots which are well advanced when it’s time to plant them outside. Place the boxes beside a window in full sun, south facing if possible and you will be amazed at how quickly the shoots appear. Spring clean

Elsewhere in the garden if you haven’t already done a serious clean up now is the time. You will be amazed at the amount of new growth which lies hidden under the last of the winter’s debris. All the usual

spring bulbs are bursting through the soil. If the snow drops are starting to fade, now is the time to divide them and therefore increase the number for next year. Just wait until the flowers are gone. Tree planting This time of year is a very good time to plant trees and shrubs

assuming the ground isn’t frozen and to finish pruning your existing trees and climbers. It’s not too late to prune Wisteria for example but you need to hurry. Plant and vegetable seeds can be propagated now indoors either on window sills in small containers or using a propagator. Exactly like ‘chitting’ potatoes, this will

(Depending on application)

give plants an early start. If you are using last years old containers and propagators, make sure they are cleaned out as they can carry pests and diseases.

Remember the birds Also, don’t forget to keep feeding the birds. Even though it’s very mild at the moment February can be a very cold month.

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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8

The Informer

Health Feature

Less body fat and more self-confidence This year, you will be able to keep your resolution to shape up and lose weight – thanks to a new, fat-burning supplement. OK, so you have promised yourself to lose those visible signs of excess weight. This year, however, you have been given some help from the sideline: CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and green tea extract, two natural substances that helps you burn extra fat. Don’t think that this means that you can skip the exercise and continue eating unhealthy foods. But these active substances will support the body’s burning of fat in a natural way. A supplement that combines two active ingredients is already one of the most popular slimming products among European consumers, and when you see how it works it is not difficult to understand why.

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

Firm and lean Unlike most diet supplements and other preparations that merely work as fillers to help you eat less, this supplement actively enhances the body’s conversion of fat into energy. CLA has been shown to reduce body fat by 8-9% on that account, while green tea extract

The scientific proof

• You look slimmer • You feel firmer (stomach, thighs, abdomen) • You can wear your favorite clothes again • Your self-confidence will increase massively • You will feel like keeping up the good work in the future

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

Key factors for shaping up

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

How to lose belly fat Fat can be really stubborn, especially fat in places like around the stomach (belly fat), the thighs, and the bottom. Some people find that no matter how hard they try, they never succeed in getting rid of the fat in those places. Now, they can. With a supplement that features two active ingredients in one capsule, burning fat has never been easier.

CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a natural component of meat and dairy products that can also be taken as a supplement. In studies, it has been shown to be particularly effec-

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

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


The Informer

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10

A Place in the City The small school at Corduff near Lusk has played a unique role in Irish history - it was the location that sparked a young teacher from Co. Kerry to ultimately give his life in the cause of Irish freedom. Thomas Ashe from Kinard, Lispole, took up the role of principal of Corduff in February 1908 and just nine short years later, on September 25th, 1917, he would die as a result of force-feeding following a hunger strike at Mountjoy prison. The inquest into his death lasted seven days and found that Ashe was forced to lie on a cold floor for 50 hours before refusing food for up to six days. His bed, bedding and boots had all been removed and he was subjected to 'inhumane punishment.' The verdict of the coroner's jury was that he died from a heart attack and congestion of the lungs. During his time in Lusk, Ashe played a complete role in the community, helping to form the renowned Black Raven Pipe Band, inspire the GAA success of Round Towers and encourage the Irish language. His finest hour was when he led a group of volunteers to victory in the famed Battle of Ashbourne in 1916. After a five and a half hour gunfight, up to 15 people were killed, including two volunteers, Jack Crenigan and Thomas Rafferty. He had numerous visitors to his home in Corduff, right across from the school, including Roger Casement who was later executed. After the 1916 rising, Ashe was jailed in Dartmoor but released in the general amnesty only to be re-

The Informer

All About Dublin (1) National School, Corduff

arrested and ultimately die in prison. The Black Raven pipers led his funeral cortege to Glasnevin cemetery. A memorial plaque of Connemara marble was erected in Corduff NS in 1966. Nora, Thomas Ashe's sister, did the unveiling, watched by President Eamon de Valera. The 100th anniversary of education at the esteemed school was recognised by a visit from President Mary McAleese in 2006. An excerpt from "Fingal: From the Danes to the Delvin", with text by Hubert Murphy, and paintings by Hugh F. Ryan. Published by Cottage Publications.

Lesser known Dubs Isaac Barré was born in Dublin in 1725 - the son of a French Huguenot refugee who later became High Sheriff of Dublin (1756). He was sent to Trinity College with the hope that he would become a lawyer but he decided to join the army instead. Aged 25 he was wounded in the right cheek during the Battle of Quebec, leaving him blind in one eye and permanently scarred. Horace Walpole later described him as "a black, robust man, of a military figure, rather hard-favoured than not, young, with a peculiar distortion on one side of his face, which it seems was a bullet lodged loosely in his cheek, and which gave a savage glare to one eye." His involvement at Quebec proved a blessing in disguise Barré was on hand when the British commander, General James Wolfe, was killed, and very much profited from his association with the dead leader (Barré is in the famous 1771 painting 'The Death of General West' by Benjamin West - though only four of the 14 in the picture were actually there!) Denied promotion, his friend and former military colleague Lord Shelbourne offered him work, the

Edited by Zoz

Colonel Isaac Barré, 1785

position of lieutenant-colonel in Shelbourne's 106th Foot, and a safe seat in Parliament (1761). As one of the few self-made men in Parliament he gained a reputation as a vehement speaker - and, if only he had been listened to, America may well have stayed a colony (he was particularly opposed to taxation without representation and coined the phrase 'Sons of Liberty' which was taken up by Americans opponents of English taxation). A typical extract from one of his speeches reads: "Your oppressions planted them in America. They fled from your tyranny to a then uncultivated, inhospitable country, where they exposed themselves to almost all the hardships to which human nature is liable, and among others to the cruelties of a savage foe ... Actuated by principles of true English liberties, they met all hardships with pleasure compared with

those they suffered in their own country from the hands of those who should be their friends." There was a minor blip in his career in 1782 when he was appointed to the Treasurership of the Navy - at £3,200 a year - after public outcry he had to give it up helped on his way by an appointment to the sinecure of Clerkship of the Pells, which made up for any loss of income. His were commemorated in America with the founding in 1769 of the Pennsylvania town of WilkesBarré, named for John Wilkes and Isaac Barré. The towns of Barre, Massachusetts and Barre, Vermont were also named in his honor. He retired from office in 1790 having become blind. He died in London on the 20th of July 1802. By Gilbert Stuart. From Wikimedia Commons

This page was researched with the help of


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All About Dublin (2)

First hand History

Death of Dalkey's King Once upon a time Dalkey had a king and His Majesty had many names:- "King of Dalkey, Emperor of the Muglins, Prince of the Holy Island of Magee, Baron of Bulloch, Seigneur of Sandycove, Defender of the Faith and Respector of All Others, Elector of Lambay and Ireland's Eye, and Sovereign of the Most Illustrious Order of the Lobster and Periwinkle ..." It was, of course, nothing more than a joke, but one that was taken seriously for a time in the late 18th century, from 1787 to 1797 - if nothing else it provided a day out and a bit of fun for the citizens of Dublin. But Dalkey did actually have a king, at least in his own mind:"Nov. 13, 1788. Died at Dublin, his Majesty John the First, King of Dalkey, and the adjacent Isles. His remains were borne, in royal pomp, through the city, and interred with the usual splendour and solemnity. "In the case of the above personage we have a strong instance of the height to which the human imagination may be raised. A man of middle years and middle income - [his real name is never given] he had been appointed by a society, called The Kingdom of Dalkey, as their sovereign, and annually attended him to visit his territories. "Complimented frequently with the title of Majesty, the idea got possession of all his senses, and abso-

lutely turned his brain; so that, for a year and a half past, his residence was Swift's Hospital. "He would speak on no subject save the kingdom of Dalkey and its government, and he loved to dwell on the various projects he had planned for the benefit of his people. "Before his death, his time was occupied in arranging the affairs of his kingdom. He desired that all his great officers of state should remain in office after his demise. "My Chancellor," said he, "never degraded his dignity by bargaining for places and pensions; my Attorney-General never pleaded in foul dishonour's cause, nor burned his fingers with attachments; my Primates and Archbishops have more grace than what they derive from titles; my Council was honest; and if there is truth in wine, they possess more truth than any council in Europe: let them all continue," said he, with an air of fortitude and composure. "But, my crown!" - he seemed unwilling to die, not from the fear of death, but from the thought of leaving his crown behind him. As a tear trickled from his eye, he exclaimed, " Let my crown be left to the election of my subjects." The Scots magazine, Volume 50, edited by James Boswell. Harper's new monthly magazine, Volume 4, 1852.

The Informer Edited by Zoz

From the archives...

Irish Agricultural Society's Show 1871

l 'The Royal Visit to the Irish Agricultural Society's (IAS) Show at Dublin,' Illustrated London News, August 12, 1871. The 'Royal' in this case applies Prince Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, Princess Louise, Lord Lorne, her new husband, and a couple of princelings. The Prince of Wales was the President of the IAS and had two entries in the event - "a couple of rams and a pen of five ewes," according to the Freeman's Journal. The four-day show was held in Ballsbridge on a 20 acre site belonging to Lord Pembroke (presumably much the same ground as was used in 1907 for the International Exhibition). During their stay the party were based in the Vice-Regal Lodge in the Phoenix Park. On the last day of the visit, and entirely unrelated, there was a major riot in the Phoenix Park ... (see next issue for the details).

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Watermains in Dún Laoghaire to be replaced

Time to go mobile with your website?

DLR Chamber of Commerce - Page 2

Business Tech - Page 4

Consumers reject base alcohol price Shoppers feel that on-trade is ripping them off One in five Irish consumers think that supermarkets are intentionally undercutting pubs to drive them out of business, however, more than 50% continue to consume alcohol at home before going out. This latest Consumer groups, and according to Intelligence survey, carried this survey, over 80% of out for RI by Empathy Irish shoppers believe that Research, comes in the pubs have been overchargwake of calls by on-trade ing consumers for years, representatives to set a with supermarkets offering minimum price for alcohol greater choice and value. in supermarkets. It is perhaps for this reason that over three quarOvercharging consumers ters of the 1,082 people This proposal has been surveyed said that the clorejected by consumer sure of their ‘local’ pub

would make no difference to their social life. Drinking at home It is primarily Dublinbased consumers (57% in total) who drink in the home and have little affiliation with their local, presumably due to the traditional high cost associated with socialising in the citycentre and surrounding areas. In comparison, the local pub is still viewed as an

important part of the local community in rural areas such as Connacht/Ulster, hence the lower rate of consumption at home in this district. The presence of children in the home is also playing a role in the nature of alcohol purchases and consumption, with over 40% of adults with children drinking at home before the pub compared to 61% of those without children. (Source: Retail Intelligence; checkout.ie)

Karen Koster xposed Interview - Page 4 Sponsored by

Don’t Do as I Do, Do as I Tell You Or 'a bureaucrat's guide to putting up posters' Why is it that sane politicians can use common sense before an election and loose it afterwards. The level of bureaucracy coming through from Government departments is killing business. Whilst this is well documented what is often missed is the Ministers and TDs who oversee the working of State are not encumbered by this when seeking election. A typical person seeking election ensures their posters are put up securely on lampposts and hoardings through their constituency. Once secured they move on to the next lamppost. So why then when they go into Government do they insist that a business wanting to put up a poster must adhere to the following; 1. Only people properly trained in a course specifically designed for such work can put up the poster. 2. Each site (lamppost) has to be surveyed and a written report produced which would clearly identify all hazards in the vicinity. A suitably quali-

By Peter Byrne, CEO South Dublin Chamber

fied person would have to do this work, probably an engineer. 3.After surveying the site and deciding the materials a method statement would have to be written up. This would have to include a traffic management plan and would have to address the safety of passing pedestrians. Method statements are site specific and would have to be modified to each and every location where it was intended to put up a poster. It would not be acceptable to use ladders leaning against round poles so in almost all cases a mobile hoist would have to be used. 4. The hoist could not be driven on the public road and would have to be Continued Next Page >>

Isme: Jobs must be at the top of election agenda ISME has called on the political parties to put job creation and retention at the top of their election agenda. The Association outlined that the introduction of a National Employment Plan, with small businesses at the centre of the policy,

would lead to the creation of future sustainable employment. According to ISME Chief Executive, Mark Fielding, “The latest figures confirm that in the last three years an additional 300,000 people have had to sign on. Taken together with the 245 people a day

being made redundant, it is an awful indictment on the outgoing administration”. “Unlike their predecessors, a new administration will need to realise that the labour market is in crisis and that the problem will not be solved by forced emigration, which

distorts the figures and undermines the true extent of the problem”. “We require an overall pro-enterprise policy, specifically aimed at the labour creating SME sector. If the proper platform is in place, including availability of credit and a competitive environment free of

excessive bureaucracy, SMEs will create and sustain jobs, which will get us out of this unemployment hole. "This message needs to be taken on board by the political parties, in their attempts to gain office,” concluded Fielding.


Business

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2 Business View... Croke Park Agreement - show us the money When I advocate reform of the Public Sector, ing the global recession, exacerbated by our I am often painted as an enemy of the service home grown property fiasco, which means on the grounds that my proposals are driven by profits are almost wiped out and tax revenues an ideological desire to reduce the public sec- depleted, which also means that Public services tor. I believe that a strong public sector is an will have to be cut because we just don’t have important and essential component of any the money to pay for everything we want. 6 modern economy, but it has to be efficient, cost Euros out of every 10 Euros of our tax goes to effective and focused on delivering value for pay public sector workers. money. Our National Income is €32B and The reward that comes from our Expenditure is €52B, of which increased efficiency can then be used our public sector wages & pensions to either reduce the overall cost of are costing €18.6B, which is a masgovernment (taxes) or improve the sive 58% of our total income. The quality and scope of public services idea that all our public services can While the defenders of the public be paid from borrowing is nonsense. sector will, I’m sure, quote favouraMany public-sector workers and By ble comparisons to other OECD their trade union reps hate this sort of Mark Fielding analysis. They prefer the line that countries and our ratio of spend to ISME GNP and GDP, the fact of the matpublic sector workers should not have ter is that the public sector has not to pay for the reckless business delivered in terms of efficiencies, quality, per- engaged in by banks and property speculators formance and value for money, relative to its that has brought the economy to its knees. increased size. They somehow, then in a leap of ill-informed From education to local government, years logic, manage to include all business people of ignoring accountability, efficiency and value and entrepreneurs in their blame for the current for money in the public sector have led to a economic crisis. culture of waste and crisis management, which The irony, of course, is that the massive has led to a "statutory entitlement" attitude to growth in public-sector workers, over the past taxpayers' money among civil servants and decade was generated by the taxes paid by public sector workers. those same compliant entrepreneurs, business The private sector cannot be expected to pay people and the public servants themselves. for public-sector pay growth through increased Advocating public sector reform and pay taxation, the loss of private sector jobs and reductions is not about scapegoating public businesses. As the public sector employee pros- servants for all our problems. An efficient well pers through higher earnings, with little respon- motivated public sector, producing world class sibility or accountability, other parts of the services in areas of health, education and policeconomy have to bear the brunt in the form of ing must be at the core of the Ireland that higher costs and reduced competitiveness. emerges from this current crisis. This situation is completely unsatisfactory, To get there, to become efficient, to become with many small business owners now looking world-class the public service needs the support incredulously at the pay and conditions of and respect of the broader community, which those in the sheltered sector of the economy. will NOT be there, as long as public servants I challenge the 'status quo' attitude and the are seen to have ignored, blocked and insulated complacency endemic in the public service themselves from the effects of this recession. system and, crucially, I believe that the scale The support and respect Will NOT be there, and pace of “ongoing improvement” in the as long as public servants over-promise and Croke Park agreement is not sufficient to under-deliver. ensure that Ireland achieves and retains the The support and respect Will NOT be there, most effective and efficient public service in the as long as public servants continue with petty world. If Ireland is to repeat its international demarcations, excessive absenteeism and resistsuccess it requires a public sector that exceeds ance to change. rather than matches international best pracSo, in relation to the Croke Park Agreement, tice. show the real measurable savings achieved to This recession is going to continue for some date. No more wishy-washy weasely words time, and we have entered an era of perma- about meetings and procedures. No more nently lower tax revenues, businesses are suffer- promises and platitudes. Show us the money.

Old and leaking watermains in Dún Laoghaire to be replaced Works started at the end of the autumn to replace over 9km of water mains across the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown area with modern new heavy duty polyethylene pipes. Work has already started in the Broadford (Ballinteer) and South Avenue (Mount Merrion) areas and in January 2011, work will start in the Blackrock, Deansgrange and Gort Muire areas. It’s all part of the Dublin Region Watermains Rehabilitation Project, managed by Dublin City Council and funded by the Department of Environment, Heritage & Local Government, to reduce leakage and upgrade the water infrastructure in the Capital and surrounding areas. Many of the existing water mains consist of ancient cast iron Victorian pipes laid over 100 years ago. “Water is a precious resource and an expensive commodity

so it is only right that we all do our bit to reduce wastage. The Council is playing our part replacing old severely leaking pipes and I urge householders to do their bit by not letting the tap run unnecessarily and thinking more before they waste water,” said Cllr. Lettie M c C a r t h y , Cathaoirleach. During the works, there will be some unavoidable interruptions to customer’s water supplies, however, every effort will be made to minimise this and limit water shut offs to approximately 10 hours at a time. The project team provides plenty of advance notice to customers and endeavours to keep all nondomestic customers supplied with water during the works. The Project Team can be contacted on lo-call 1890 88 24 10 (Monday - Friday 9am-5pm), or at www.watermainsrehab.ie.

Dublin’s Water – the Facts ➢ Dubliners use 510 million litres of clean drinking water – that’s equivalent to 204 Olympic Swimming pools ➢ Water is collected in 4 reservoirs from where it is piped to modern Treatment Works at Ballymore Eustace, Vartry, Bohernabreena and Leixlip to be filtered and treated before being piped to homes and businesses via a network of 9,300 km, underground water mains ➢ Every year Council staff in Dublin ➢ carry out an average of 1,000 repairs to broken water mains ➢ repair 3,000 faulty water service pipes and fittings ➢ lay or re-lay 10km of water main

Don’t Do as I Do...

Retail snippets...

Continued from last Page >>

Did you know that… Diageo Ireland’s marketing director, Oliver Loomes, has been appointed to the role of global brand director for Guinness? Loomes, who played a lead role in the Arthurs Day campaign, will take over from Brian Duffy, who is now overseeing all Diageo’s beer portfolio.

moved on a load loader from location to location and it could only be driven by a qualified and certified person. 5. The hoist would have to be surrounded by traffic cones and in heavily trafficked areas a one way system would have to be in operation for the duration of the work. 6. A safety officer would have to be present at all times. Workers in both the private and public sector suffer equally from this nonsense that keeps coming down from the top. It will not have escaped the notice of anyone who travels abroad for work or has been abroad on holidays that our European competitors worry far less about this level of bureaucracy than we do. Yes we must ensure health and safety is paramount but can we not look at other EU countries and see how they do it with out so much red tape.

Did you know that… former PJ Carroll boss Toby Granwal has been appointed head of marketing at BAT UK? Granwal recently left the Irish company, where he has been replaced by Robert Derkacz. Did you know that… Unilever’s Lipton brand is to sponsor the FM104 Strawberry Alarm Clock show? Did you know that… head of Tesco.com Laura WadeGery has jumped ship to Marks & Spencer? London analysts have said that the move is a major statement of intent for M&S and its plans to bolster its e-commerce unit. Did you know that… Carbery Group has been names as the Cork Company of the Year? Drinks distributor Barry & Fitzwilliam, meanwhile, was named SME of the year (less than 100 employees)


Business

dardStandard

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Caught in between selling and buying a home? Selling a home and buying a new one can be a difficult balancing act. A homebuyer can take a liking to a home that is for sale, wants to make an offer to buy it, but is hesitant because they have yet to sell their existing home. In an ideal world, both transactions would occur simultaneously. However, homebuyers and sellers can get “caught in between” property transactions. In this article we below provide several tips about increasing the chances of coming close to selling and buying at the same time and what to do if a “caught in between” situation arises: Consider bridge loans: Getting a bridge loan may be an option to move ahead with the purchase of a new home, while still waiting to sell the current home. A bridge loan means borrowing from the current home’s equity until the proceeds from its sale is obtained. With some bridge loans, the requirement is to pay just the interest. Other bridge loans require a single payment of interest and principal when the loan needs to be paid back. There are times that bridge loans can be extended but as they can be expensive if protracted, it’s best to use them

www.coldwellbanker.ie for overlaps of a few days between closings, or at the most, a few months. Buy on contingency: An ideal way to insure against getting “caught in between” transactions is to have a prior-sale contingency included in the purchase contract on the new home. It provides the opportunity to withdraw from an offer if the current home does not sell by a certain date. Consider whether to buy or sell first: There is still a possibility of getting “caught in between” even with a prior-sale contingency in the purchase contract. Homeowners should consider whether it is better to buy or sell first. It is important to note that most people need to sell their current home in order to qualify for a loan to buy their next home, which is usually more expensive. Coordinate a lease from the buyer: Many people find themselves in a situation when the sale of the current home has been final-

ised but the purchase transaction is still not completed for the new home. One way to bridge the gap is to lease the current home from the new buyer until it is time to move into the new property. A solicitor should draw up a contract or lease agreement. Coordinating a lease is effective because it alleviates financial concerns and removes the hassle of having to go to a temporary residence before finally moving into the new home. Look into renting: The buyer may not always be able or willing to lease back the home, so another option to consider is to rent another property. Although relocating twice in quick succession is not ideal, renting serves a quick fix and can be a necessary option. Review home equity options: If it is necessary to borrow for a longer period than a few months, the best option is to use home equity, particularly if a sizeable equity has been built up. Options include a fixed-rate home equity loan and a home equity line of credit. Contact: info@courtownpropertyshop.ie Tel: 053-9485333

Effective business cash flow management Management

Effective Cash flow management boils down to the three areas: ➢ Cash flow measurement, preparing cash flow projections ➢ Managing your receivables with the objective of encouraging customers who owe money to pay it as it becomes due, earlier if possible ➢ Prudence over the timing and payment of purchases. Make sure you monitor your actual performance against the

Accounting

By Barbara O’Sullivan

forecast cashflow on a regular basis and identify any shortfalls that need attention. Never forget, even profitable new business can cause cash flow problems; profitable companies can and do become insolvent when they have to pay the costs incurred during fulfilment of an order before they receive payment. Good credit management practices will speed up your cash collection, control how much credit

you provide and to which customers you grant credit. The golden rule of credit management is never to give any single customer more credit than you could afford to lose if the customer went bust and never paid.

Written by Greg Connell - non executive director of BusinessPro, one of Ireland’s leading credit information companies and debt collection agencies. For more information on our services, contact Stubbs Gazette on 01 775 2703

By Greg Connell

EMPLOYED OR SELF EMPLOYED? - NO EASY ANSWER The employment status of individuals continues to be debated by Revenue and they continue to pursue “employers” for non compliance. This is evident from the recent appeal success by Revenue regarding the employment status of Locums, who are now to be regarded as employees. Revenue have conceded, that there is no “one cap fits all” solution. However, they have issued a number of information leaflets on the matter which give guidance on how to determine the nature of the relationship between the potential “employee” and “employer.

Ultimately, the onus lies on the employer to ensure any payments have been correctly treated and it is the employer who faces a potential tax bill in the event of disagreement by Revenue. Consequently, when using the services of any individual, a business must never assume a self employed status without taking further consideration of all of the factors involved. (Barbara O’ Sullivan CPA, AITI is managing partner at Finn & O’Sullivan, Certified Public Accountants www.finnosullivan.ie Ph: 00353 1 426 5862)

Tech View... By Tom Doyle (01) 2190223

Time to go mobile with your website? I guess it’s not really surprising that mobile web browsing is continuing to grow at a lightening fast pace. The number of people carrying a web enabled portable device has grown significantly in the past couple of years. A lot this growth is due to the success of the iPhone and smartphones in general. Browsing the web through a mobile device is by no means a new phenomenon. In reality though, most people didn’t bother using the web on their phone to access the internet and with good reason. One obvious reason, was that it could be quite expensive to access the web on your mobile phone. And secondly, viewing websites on a mobile could be at best, extremely annoying. Websites simply weren’t built to cater for mobile devices. Even today, most businesses don’t bother providing a mobile alternative of their website. Most of the larger and more popular websites such as Facebook, Twitter, CNN and Google automatically offer you a slimmed down, mobile version of their website when you visit from a mobile device. Navigating around a purpose built website is always a lot more fun. Mobile device web browsing has grown massively over the past year. One leading mobile phone browser indicated a growth of over 84% in usage. Interestingly, they also noted that 7.4% of people using their browser to browse the web on their mobile device accessed Amazon.com, a clear indication that people are even using their mobile phones to shop online. It’s clear that the growth is there in terms of mobile web browsing, but a lot of people still question the need to optimise your website for a mobile device. I personally think it’s a no brainer – if you can give your website visitor the best user experience possible, they will enjoy using your website and have no problem coming back for more. One great example of how a retail outlet has maximised their users' experience using their mobile website is Marks & Spencer. Take a look at m.marksandspencer.com on your mobile device. The site is well laid out, easy to navigate and the whole experience is just... well easy. It comes as no surprise that in Marks and Spencer’s mobile site took 13,000 orders in four months and had 1 million unique visitors in December. Mobile optimised websites may not be the be all and end all of eCommerce in 2011, but it’s certainly a growth area that will continue to grow as more and more people upgrade their phones. Don’t miss the opportunity.


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viewed and why? Predictably it was Sarah Jessica Parker. She was wearing a green dress and I remember being distracted by how good she looked…how put together she appeared.

Where did you grow up? Killiney, Co Dublin Single/married/dating? Going out with John for two years. Did you like school? I didn’t hate it. I was a bit of a goody goody, so I did what I was told, which made life easier.

What got you interested in celeb/fashion? My mum remembers how as a child, I would prefer to go to a shoe shop, rather than a sweet shop. I don’t know where that

StandardStan

Interview

Karen Koster xposed

Most memorable childhood memory? Tasting a club milk for the first time. It was the start of a beautiful friendship.

Business

came from. My most treasured shoes were a pair of red slip-ons I vividly remember begging my mum to buy for me in Dunnes. I proudly showed them off in the sandpit the following day. Who is the best dressed female celebrity you have ever inter-

What’s your favourite going out outfit and why? My new nude heels with stacked platform soles that are strictly sitting down shoes, my Salsa Jeans from bt2’s, a white vest top, and my leather fur trimmed gillet. It’s comfy and cool and makes me feel tall! I wear so many dresses for work that I’m always in my jeans come the weekend. In your opinion, who is the most stylish Irish male celebrity you have interviewed and why?

I think Nicky Byrne dresses well. And himself and the rest of Westlife always have good hair days. I love it when a guy has a good haircut. Makes such a difference. What is your favourite piece of clothing you have? At the moment it’s my embellished Uggs from Lara, on Dublin’s Dame Lane. What are your favourite pieces of clothing you wear round the house when chilling out? Uggs, jeans, and a new look college type sweater. Who is your favourite fashion designer or label? Karen Millen. Great fit – every dress feels like a diet. Where would you shop for your clothes? I love Karen Millen, Oasis and Warehouse mainly. And bt2’s for shoes and jeans. Are you conscious of what you eat,? Yes, but I’d never deprive myself of anything. I would just eat a bit less of it. What are your favourite foods? Carbs! I love bread, pasta, rice and could gorge on them all day long. What is your most embarrassing fashion moment? Probably wearing a white puffa jacket when I presented the weather on Ireland am. I was like Mr Staypuft in Ghostbusters.

Karen Koster, presenter of TV3's Xposé, talks to fashion.ie's Kevin O'Brien

senter and researcher on Ireland am for three years, when I was asked to film a demo reel for a new show that was potentially going to be produced by tv3. I was then on high alert that something exciting was in the pipeline and I made sure the bosses knew that I was interested in being involved. Luckily I got the job on the basis of that original screentest. But then again I guess I’d been auditioning for three years when I was doing the breakfast show! Do you think Irish women are as well dressed as their European counterparts? Yes, I think we are! I actually hate when our European counterparts look like they’ve tried too hard. I think we look like we’re effortlessly stylish…even though we’ve killed ourselves to look like that! Briefly explain a working day in the life of Karen Koster? Always eat breakfast first thing, always running ten minutes late, always forgetting something. Arrive in work, head to production meeting, check mails and set up stories. Then into hair and makeup, change into my studio outfit, read through scripts, record the show, grab a bite, head into town to film an interview/fashion feature/ beauty piece. And finish up for the evening, exhale, and decide what to do that night. What annoys Karen Koster? Clampers, unprofessionalism, putting petrol in the car, too many questions in the morning,

putting on fake tan…I’m gonna be great at being a grumpy old woman. Gone the grumpy down path already. Funniest chat up line someone has said to you? 'Are you yer wan off da telly?' You are running the women's mini marathon for Irish autism action, are you training hard? Although I work out, I’m no runner. So I’ll be introducing some gentle jogging into my work out routine so that my body doesn’t go into shock after the mini marathon. Why Irish Autism Action? Because of the work they do with young children and the fact that they can deliver concrete results and really change the lives for whole families. The people behind the organisation are inspiring. Your most embarrassing moment while presenting Xpose? Probably getting a heat rash while interviewing Zac Effron and turning into a cougar in the matter of minutes. If you could have lunch with three people (dead or alive) who would you chose? Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah, and Vince Vaughan.

No 66%

What does the future hold for Karen Koster? More of the same please!

Check out the extended interview with Karen Koster at www.fashion.ie

What type of music do you like? I’m a complete poptart and wish I had cooler taste in music. But at the moment I’m loving Adele’s new album 21. That’s as cool as I get. Who is the rudest celebrity you have ever interviewed and why? Bruce Willis. He didn’t get me at all and it made the whole interview really uncomfortable. How did you get your job as presenter of tv3 Xpose? I had been working as a pre-

n Lisa Duffy and Karen Koster helping Irish Autism Action


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The Informer

Help My House has 19 registered architects nationwide Help My House has cemented its position as Ireland's largest impartial building troubleshooter with 19 architects located throughout Ireland who can offer smart advice for a fixed price on house defect and construction matters. Each of these 19 are registered architects members of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and bring with them several years of experience in residential buildings. Help My House was established during the autumn of 2009 to satisfy the needs of worried home owners who needed to understand the best solutions for their unique problems. Anthony Brabazon (pictured), who established Help My House, said: “We are so excited with how our new nationwide service has been received by all of our customers. We expect Help My House to grow from strength to strength as more home owners become aware of the simplicity, effectiveness, and the great cost saving features of this new nationwide service.” "Help My House has given me invaluable advice on a number of issues.” said a Dublin client “ A few months later, my house is insulated and warm! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them." Frank McDonald, Environment Editor of the Irish TImes said it was “a great idea and cheap at the price” All the homeowner has to do is visit the website (HelpMyHouse.ie) or ring Anthony at Help My House on 01-6683519 and give details of name, address, contact number and defects and within two days the area architect, (if it is not Anthony, who covers much of Dublin), will contact them within two days and arrange a visit within two weeks.

The fixed VAT inclusive charge of e150 in the city (e200 elsewhere) is paid directly to the area architect, typically at the visit. At the end of the site visit the HelpMyHouse.ie architect will provide a written report with recommended solutions to the client. It could not be easier! Anthony continues: "The customers love the fixed charge for our service and the truly impartial expert advise as well as the recommendations for specific builders or tradesmen". A Chapilizod homeowner rang the Help My House office stating she had work done by a builder but it was “not right”. She had concerns about a porch, shutters and a kitchen. Our area architect contacted her within two days and visited her within two weeks. At the visit, advice was given and she asked the architect to comment on the roof. Following an attic and external inspection, he advised that some local repairs were required but that the roof was “good”. The homeowner was visibly relieved as a builder had said it was “shot” and needed replacement costing several thousand euros. Our architect left her with a “bullet point” list of the next steps…and a smile on her face. A Dundrum homeowner received specific advise and details about how to insulate the walls and attic of his 1970’s semi-detached house. During the visit the cause of some damp penetration was identified and its remedy specified. In addition to this a contractor was recommended by the architect. More information: www.HelpMyHouse.ie with news updates video and testimonials on the blog section.

ee €20e0s andary r f t a orth on gadt Febru e G w rder an me an oanuary o c erou placuring J t n I ny nd

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The Second Hand Buggy Shop Mill Centre Celbridge

We buy and sell Buggies and Prams We have a huge stock of second hand Buggies and Prams Bring your items to us and we will sell them

Phone Bernice @ 085 823 2032/627 5115 See us on facebook


20

The Informer

Dublin Advice

How to cope with the issue of bullying in the workplace Bullying at work can have serious negative effects not only on those experiencing it directly, but on work colleagues, family members and on the organisation itself. Stress-related symptoms, including panic attacks, weight loss or gain, ulcers, high blood pressure, sleeplessness and palpitations can result from being bullied. Workplace morale is undermined if bullying goes unchecked, resulting in low motivation, poor productivity, absenteeism and high staff turnover. Bullying does not have to include overtly aggressive behaviour – it can also involve persistent low-level criticism, being sidelined, being

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overloaded with work, or being denied the resources needed to do the job. In any workplace, there will be regular, once-off differences of opinion between people, which can usually be resolved. Bullying differs from these episodes in that it is targeted, ongoing and seeks to undermine others and cause distress. Causes of bullying

At the level of the individual, bullying is recognised as evidence of a dysfunctional personality. Bullies have a strong need to dominate and control others, sometimes in response to having little personal power outside their job. They can have an underlying feeling of insecurity and inadequacy, resulting in envy and resentment of others. Bullies don't bully everyone - they bully those they think they can bully. They can be easily intimidated by people they perceive as more powerful than themselves. They often are people who as children have been bullied by authority figures, such as parents, older siblings, teachers or older children. At the level of the organisation, weak leadership will facilitate a bully, as will an authoritarian and rigid leader. Negative and stressful working conditions, where staff feel undervalued and under-resourced, can lead to friction and scapegoating. Bullying will only take place if the offender feels he or she has the blessing, support, or at least the unspoken permission of superiors to behave in this manner. Lax implementation of company polices and procedures can leave bullies knowing they will be “accountable to no-one”. How bullying develops

Bullying tends to begin with relatively subtle aggressive behaviours, which if unaddressed escalate to more open, direct and frequent attacks. This usually will result in serious negative outcomes for the person being bullied, including anxiety, suspiciousness, compulsive worrying and impaired work performance. The person being bullied

can become stigmatised as being the problem, and viewed as complaining, paranoid and irrational. The bully themselves can then claim to be the victim of unreasonable and unjustified complaints. If you are being bullied

Firstly, recognise that the behaviour is not acceptable, and that you are not the problem. Do not allow your embarrassment, guilt or fear to silence you – these are misplaced emotions, and are well-known tactics of control. Bullies often choose targets who are popular, successful and competent, because these are they qualities they themselves lack, and therefore envy. They isolate the person in order to undermine their self-confidence. If you find this happening, make sure that your colleagues know about it. Try to have all your interactions with the bully in public, where other people are watching the exchange. Keep written notes of all episodes of bullying, including copies of e-mails and memos, in order to build your case. Do not feel ashamed about looking for outside help - bullies are devious, deceptive, evasive and manipulative, and should not be confronted alone. Every company should have an Anti-bullying Policy, which details the steps to be taken when bullying occurs. Ideally, an internal solution is found as early as possible, as pursuing a lengthy legal case can result in further trauma. Counselling can help deal with the painful emotional consequences of bullying, and develop the confidence and skills to effectively address bullying behaviour.

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

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

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21

The Informer

Change 5 things and save e193 per month The reality of the December Budget hit home last month with the arrival of the much anticipated January 2011 pay packet. For a couple, both earning e40,000 the net effect is being down e226 per month from your household take home pay. With this in mind we tasked ourselves with finding five money saving opportunities to offset this recent tax hike. While each of the items below is general in nature it will give an overall idea of where savings can be made: 1. Switch to a cheaper gas/ electricity provider Savings of 10% minimum can be made on gas and electricity. With the average combined cost at circa e150 per home per month. Switching to Bord Gais/ Flogas or Airtricty could save you e15 per month Total saving e15 per month 2. Switch to a cheaper Mortgage Protection provider Life Assurance 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 Life Assurance. It may therefore be worthwhile reviewing your cover to see if you can obtain a lower monthly premium. This also applies if you have Life Assurance relating to your Mortgage (i.e. Mortgage Protection). The cover you took out with the bank at the time of taking out your Mortgage may not be the most competitive available. The average monthly premium for Mortgage Protection is e60 per month. A saving of 30% would equate to e18 per month. In addition SmartQuotes.ie also offer 70% off the first twelve months premiums. For someone paying e60 a month this is a minimum saving of e504 in the first twelve months.This saving in the first twelve months could go towards a holiday, savings or paying off your credit card for example. Go online for a quick quote

Total saving of e18 per month (potential additional saving of e504 in the first twelve months) 3. Switch to the corporate health insurance plan This is quite straightforward and only takes one phone call. Go to www.hia.ie (the Health Insurance Authority website). Compare what you currently have versus other providers on the market and the corporate plans available. Savings of circa e400 per family are not uncommon. Total saving of e30 per month (based on e400 above) 4. Switch to e-mobile With e-mobile customers can enjoy unlimited talk and text for e10 per week. This compares with the Meteor Unlimited Offer of e85 per month. Total saving of e80 per month (e40 per month per adult) 5. Review your tax credits and claim a refund While you can only do this once a year you can also go back four years to claim a refund of monies due (medical expenses, bin charges, certain dental costs, tax relief on pension contributions/ income protection). Every situation is different but on average a refund of circa e600 is achieved. Contact David at www.Payroll.ie for further details (Phone 01 2101967). Obtain a special lower rate by quoting SmartQuotes.ie Total saving of e50 per month (e600 spread over 12 months) The above gives a total saving of e193 per month covering 86% of the difference in income as a result of the budget. Further changes such as reviewing your home insurance or shopping habits (Lidl versus Tesco) should get the total up very close to the e226 per month that Budget 2011 has cost you.

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22

The Informer

Health Issues Ask the You want to quit smoking cigarettes? Pharmacist Q: I have tried to quit smoking a few times but I have not been successful. I would prefer just to rely on my own willpower but I'm wondering now if I should use the patches or if there are any other new products available. I've been smoking for about 15 years and smoke about 15 a day.

A: Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things you can do, but the benefits are so great that it is well worth it. Practically everyone knows that smoking increases your chances of developing lung cancer, but it can also lead to cancer of the mouth, throat, bladder, stomach, cervix, kidney and pancreas, as well as leukemia. Not only that, but smoking will more than double your risk of developing coronary heart disease, double your risk of a stroke and increase your risk of dying from a heart attack by 70%. It can also cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis). No matter how young or old you are, or how long you've been smoking, it is never too late to quit and never too late to benefit from quitting. Not only will you reduce your risk of serious disease but your skin will look better, your clothes

will smell better and you'll have more money in your pocket. After quitting smoking, your body begins to repair itself almost immediately and your risk of illness begins to fall. Nicotine, which is found in cigarettes, is a drug which is physically and psychologically addictive. This explains why people find it so difficult to give up smoking. However, it is not the nicotine that causes the smoking related diseases mentioned above, but rather the 4,000 other chemicals found in cigarettes which are the real danger. So what is the best way to quit smoking? There is always the option of going “cold-turkey” which has the advantage that it is free and immediately removes the addictive nicotine from your body. However, 60 to 90% of people who quit in this manner will resume smoking within a year, so you are not alone in having difficulty staying off the cigarettes. Abrupt quitting also causes withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, nervousness, headache and severe craving for cigarettes. The patches that you mention are a form of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) which delivers nicotine to the body in a controlled manner, and so helps to prevent the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms,

allowing you to concentrate on important things like work, friends and family without getting distracted by ever-present cravings for cigarettes. It won't eliminate cravings altogether and willpower is still required, but NRT can double your chances of quitting smoking successfully. As well as the patches, NRT comes in a number of forms including chewing gum, inhalers and lozenges. Which form you use depends largely on your own preference. For example, as the patches release nicotine into the body evenly throughout the day, they are more suitable for someone who smokes throughout the day, rather than, say someone who only smokes in the evening. The inhaler can be useful for someone who misses having something to do with their hands. The gum may be useful as they can be taken as required in response to cravings and the chewing action helps some people to relax. There are also a number of prescription medications which can increase your chances of quitting smoking. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information on these. When you have made the decision to quit, no matter what method you use, it is important to think positively about your decision.

• Think of yourself as a non-smoker, and not a deprived ex-smoker • Make a list of the reasons why you want to quit smoking and leave it somewhere you can see it • If you are struggling, speak to your pharmacist. Not only will they be able to offer you advice, but talking about your decision to quit can help to strengthen your resolve • Remove any sources of temptation. This includes ashtrays, lighters and anything else that will remind you of your time as a smoker • Find new ways to relax and deal with stress. This can include deep breathing or light exercise. A few drops of lavender or chamomile in an oil burner can help to calm the mind • Reward yourself. Remind yourself of the money you are saving and use it to buy yourself a treat • Don't fall for the temptation of having “just this one”. Even a single cigarette will reignite your cravings for more • If you relapse and begin smoking again, think of it as a setback and not a failure. Setbacks can happen and it's best to think about it as a learning experience so that next time you won't be tempted again.

Dublin Dublin GAA spings back into life GAA

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The Dublin County Board have decided to be innovative with their home games for this year’s Allianz National League. They have moved the venue for the games from Parnell Park to Croke Park in what will be known as ‘’Dublin Spring Series’’. The series will consist of eight games to be held on four nights and will also feature musical acts to entertain the crowd. It all kicks off with a mouth watering double bill as the Dublin footballers and hurlers take on the All-Ireland champions Cork and Tipperary respectively on Saturday 19th February. Last year in the league the Dublin hurlers had a great victory over Tipperary in Parnell Park but as we know it was Tipp who went on to claim the championship title. No doubt revenge will be on the minds of the Tipperary players who are now managed by former hurler Declan Ryan. This is a great opportunity for the Dubs to take a big scalp as they look to consolidate their Division 1 status. If the hurling game had plenty of spice then what about the rematch of Pat Gilroy’s footballers with Conor Counihan’s Cork. Memories will return to that All-Ireland semi-final epic last year when the Rebels just shaded it and went on to claim Sam. Both teams have had good opening starts to the Allianz league with Cork overturning neighbours Kerry and Dublin gaining well deserved maximum points away to Armagh. Topping the entertainment bill on the night will be Jedward. Whether they are your cup of tea or not they are sure to be welcomed by the many young boys and girls at the games. The twins will also be providing the entertainment on the last night of the series on Saturday 2nd April when the Dublin footballers and hurlers host last year’s beaten finalists Down and Kilkenny respectively.

Sandwiched in between these dates Dublin footballers will play Kerry and the Dublin senior camogie team will take on Kilkenny on Saturday 26th February. Entertainment on the night will be provided by Damien Dempsey. Saturday the 20th March will be the date for the 3rd in the series. The Dublin footballers welcome Mayo while Dessie Farrell’s minor footballers will take on Laois in the Leinster league. Legendry Irish band Horslips will provide the entertainment. All in all it should be a fascinating series of games. The Dublin Spring Series Saturday, 19th February: Dublin v Tipperary (Hurling) Throw in: 5.15pm Jedward 6.50pm. Dublin v Cork (Football) Throw in: 7.30pm, Saturday, 26th February: Dublin v Kilkenny (Camogie) Throw in: 5.15pm, Damien Dempsey 6.50pm; Dublin v Kerry (Football) Throw in: 7.30pm, Sunday 20th March: Curtain Raiser TBC; Horslips. Dublin v Mayo (Football) Throw in: TBC Saturday, 2nd April: Dublin v Kilkenny (Hurling) Throw in: 5.15pm. Jedward 6.50pm. Dublin v Down (Football) Throw in: 7.30pm TICKET PRICING INFORMATION 4 Match Deal: Adult e45 (stand) Child e20 4 Match Deal: Adult Terrace e35 Family Packages – 4 matches: 2 Adults and 2 Children e110 Family Packages – 4 Matches: 1 Adult and 1 Child – e55 Single game: Adult e13 Child e5 Single game: 1 Adult and 1 Child e15 Single game: 2 Adults and 2 Kids e30

With Eoin Meany

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

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

Green Learning Days as Green Works registers 1,000th student Green Works, the free education programme for jobseekers, recently registered its 1,000th student, only 3 months after the project was launched. The popularity of the courses reflects the growing interest in the Green Economy, which is a hot topic at the moment as Ireland searches for alternative approaches to job creation. The role of Green Works in promoting the Green Economy, and providing jobs-focussed training, is also gaining a lot of attention. “Courses are filling up very quickly now and we have had to schedule extra courses to meet the demand,” says Outreach Coordinator Alice Ryan. “We have received some good coverage on the radio, in print and online. Combined with our outreach work and positive feedback from students, this has resulted in a real surge in enquiries.” To cater for the demand a Green Learning Day will take place at the Green Works Dublin Hub (17 St Andrew St, Dublin 2) on Tuesday, 22nd February. Part of the Aontas Adult Learner's Festival, this open day will include films and presentations exploring Ireland's green future as well as information on all upcoming courses. In particular presentations on building, business and permaculture will give participants an introduction to the wide range of learning available at Green Works. Also on the horizon is The Green Building Forum which takes place on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th March. This two day event will feature leading experts presenting and debating the frameworks, concepts and tools needed to achieve sustainability in the built environment. Day one will look at the issues involved, while day two will focus on the implementation of the strategies discussed on day one. Details on all Green Works courses can be found at www. green-works.ie or by 01 674 5773.


24

The Informer

Getting Fit

The sky over Dublin

with Derry Temple , DT Fitness

with Conor Farrell, Astronomy Ireland

Keeping the motivation going As we entered 2011 powerful New Years resolutions were made. For a lot of people their resolution may have involved a promise to improve their health, to get fit, to lose weight and to get in shape. In January people flock to the gym in their droves. They sign up for six months or the year and resign themselves to get fit, healthy and to lose weight this coming year. Unfortunately, in March the gym numbers always drop off. Why is it that all of these determined individuals quickly lose their enthusiasm and their resolutions cease to be? How do you ensure you are one of the few successful people that actually does lose the weight, get fit and manages to sustain their motivation. Firstly, you need to set reasonable goals. Expecting to lose 10 pounds of fat or gain 10 pounds of muscle in two weeks is unrealistic. When you are waiting for change to happen progress can seem slow but over the long haul your achievement when looked back on, will be dramatic and huge. Secondly, you must progress to see results. The first rule in the gym is the overload principle. You must challenge the body with physical exertion it is not

accustomed to, the body then gets stronger and fitter in response. It is important for both the body and the mind to be constantly stimulated so if you have been in the gym since January and are finding your resolve starting to fade then now is the time to step it up a notch. You need to mix it up to prevent boredom and to ensure your progress. Get your gym program changed, try joining a fitness class or a Bootcamp where group training gives you motivation and encouragement, hire a personal trainer or nutritionist to work with you. Do whatever it takes to ensure your resolutions are not lost in the winter blues. If it’s tougher then you had initially expected, don’t give up. Just realise that it makes success taste that much sweeter when you get there! Health and Fitness is a choice, your choice. Derry Temple is a qualified Strength & Conditioning Coach, Pilates Instructor, Nutritionist and the founder of DT Fitness. He provides Personal Training, Bootcamp & Pilates fitness classes derry@dtfitness.ie www.dtfitness.ie

Jupiter overhead You've probably stepped outside over the last number of weeks around sunset to see a very bright object glowing in the south. This isn't a star: it is, in fact, the planet Jupiter! If you've been watching it over the last number of months, you may have noticed that it appears to be getting closer to the Sun. This is due to the orbit of Earth around the Sun, and soon enough, Jupiter will be too close to the Sun to see, so make sure you get outside and take a look if you haven't already! You might notice a slight yellow tinge to it. This is because the planet is covered in a thick yellow atmosphere made of hydrogen and helium. Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System, and over 1,300 Earths could fit inside! With a pair of binoculars or small telescope you'll be able to see some tiny dots near the planet. These are its four largest moons, discovered by Galileo over 400 years ago: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. With a larger telescope you may be able to make out the Great Red Spot, a vast storm that has been raging on the planet for hundreds of years. On February 11th our own Moon will be located to a cluster of young stars called The Pleiades, or Seven Sisters. This open

n Jupiter and its four largest moons cluster is located to the upper-right of Orion, in the constellation Taurus. Its stars are only some tens of millions of years old – babies in astronomical terms. The Pleiades are a spectacular sight through binoculars, where you will quickly see many more than the six or seven stars those of us with good eyesight can see! If you can take photographs using a telescope – or if you have a good camera with a zoom lens – it should be possible to get good shots. If you do succeed in seeing or photographing the Moon and the Pleiades, please email Astronomy Ireland at observe@astronomy.ie.

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26

Family Focus

The Informer

Is it safe to fly during pregnancy? All the way from No more knots in baby to toddler your children's hair

In general, airlines are not keen on carrying pregnant women in their third trimester. If you are taking a short-haul flight and are 28–32 weeks’ pregnant, you should inform the airline, who may ask for a letter from your GP stating your due date and that you are having a healthy/normal pregnancy. You may not be allowed to travel long haul after week 28 in your pregnancy and after 32 weeks or so airlines may not be keen to take you on any flights. It’s wise to avoid flying in the last trimester, unless you have to, of course, simply because as you grow, sitting in a confined space becomes more difficult. Don’t forget that flying can be stressful; you may end up carrying luggage, and making connections can lead to dashing about and putting added strain on your body. If you have to fly, the second trimester is best. If, for whatever reason, you need to take a long-haul flight and your airline gives you permission, try to take a direct flight, drink lots of water, wear flight socks or support tights and walk around often to avoid the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which is more common in pregnant women. It’s also a good idea to carry your medical notes with you, just in case, and to have medical insurance. Try not to eat the food on these flights but bring your own with you — reheated food can carry risks. Finally, avoid going anywhere that requires you to have vaccinations. A brief chat with your GP, midwife or obstetrician should help you to assess your level of risk — for the vast majority of women flying short-haul presents few problems.

Children’s hair is just as prone to tangles and knots as adults’, and yet you may feel that a grown-up conditioner is too heavy for very fine hair. Johnson’s® Baby have brought out a range of shampoo and leave-in conditioner spray called No More Tangles designed for the special needs of young hair. No More Tangles is available from pharmacies and supermarkets nationwide.

Dates for your diary...

Shrove Tuesday is on March 8th, and Easter is later in 2011 than the last few years. Kids just love munching on pancakes, so why not let them help you and try out a number of toppings including lemon and sugar, fruity jam, maple syrup, fruit, chocolate, peanut butter, honey, philadephia, whatever you have in. Get set for the national fun that comes with St Patrick’s Day on March 17th – there will be parades and tons of family activities this year so keep an eye on http://www.st-patricks-day.com for updates. The clocks change on Sunday March 27th, and we’ll all be getting up an hour earlier – boo! The advantage is that the days seem miraculously longer after the change, and it’s Spring! Here’s plenty of notice of Mother’s Day on April 3rd, so all dads can get organised and kids can get going on arts and crafts projects and baking for older children.

Babies make a miraculous journey from total dependence on their parents for everything when they are born, to running about, talking and developing their own attitudes by the time they are just two. It’s such a rapid development that parents often feel they are running to keep up. A new book called Baby to Toddler Month by Month by Simone Cave and Dr Caroline Fertleman looks at your baby’s journey from six to 23 months and explains how he will be developing and what you can realistically expect to see each month. It covers the main concerns parents have during this time over sleep, feeding and development issues as well as how to encourage a toddler to walk and talk, how to spot an emergency and when to take your child to a doctor. There’s also advice on coping with issues such as tantrums, hitting and biting. Making toddler behavior seem fascinating rather than alarming and overwhelming, this book demistifies what can sometimes be a difficult time for parents before their toddler truly begins to develop their communication skills. Baby to Toddler Month by Month costs e14.40 and is published by Hay House.


28

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By Edward Diggins

Clontarf GAA 50th anniversary dinner dance.

Preparations are under way in the Clontarf GAA club as they begin to celebrate their 50th anniversary over the coming weeks. The club as it is known today was founded at a meeting in Belgrove Boys School on 11th April 1961. It has gone from strength to strength since that day with the opening of the clubhouse in 1998 one of the many highlights to date. Boasting senior and junior football teams plus junior hurling and ladies teams along with over 40 under 18 and juveniles’ squads, the club certainly plays an active role in the local community. Tickets are now on sale for the 50th anniversary club dinner dance in Clontarf Castle on March 26th. Tickets for the dinner dance are priced at €65 each and available from Patricia Reynolds on 087 2337534. The prestige event will be a black tie affair and a discounted black tie hire is available from Black Tie in Fairview. With demand expected to be huge, people are advised to book early.

St Francis Hospice Raheny Variety Gala Concert.

Following on from their successful Raheny Five-Mile last month, St. Francis Hospice Raheny are certainly keeping the show on the road with another huge event taking place in the next two weeks. Located in the heart of Raheny for more than 20 years, they are currently in the process of building a new hospice in Blanchardstown. To help with fundraising, award winning actor Brendan Gleeson will lead a cast of some of Ireland’s top talent to raise vital funds for St Francis Hospice Raheny and the building of the new hospice. MC for the night is RTE’s Marty Whelan with Virginia Kerr, Rebecca Storm, Noirinn Ní Riain, Riverdance and many others completing the star-studded line up. On Saturday, February 26th, 2011 in the Helix at 8 p.m., the show titled ‘Celebration of Life’ promises to be one to remember for entertainment and one never to forget for a worthwhile cause. “Last year’s show was a massive success and gave us a chance to celebrate the vital positive force that the hospice is in our community. It also raised much-needed funds to support both the running of the hospice in Raheny, and the opening of the new hospice in Blanchardstown,” said Ethel McKenna, CEO of St Francis Hospice. Tickets are priced at €50 and are available online from www.thehelix.ie or by calling the box office on 01-7007000.

15 year old missing from Swords

A 15-year-old girl is missing from Swords since last Wednesday 2nd February, Gardai have said. Gardai in north Dublin are looking for Chelsey Fonge, she was last seen on Wednesday February 2 in the Swords area. ‘Gardaí are seeking the public’s assistance in tracing the whereabouts of 15 year old from Swords in Dublin,” said Sergeant Seán Mac Seoin. “She is described as 5’ 6” of slim build, with long dark hair and brown eyes.’ Anyone with information is asked to contact the Swords Garda Station at 01 6664700, the Garda Confidential Line 1-800-666-111 or any Garda Station.

Oxfam Ireland Malahide shop needs donations

The Oxfam Malahide shop urgently needs donations of saleable items, because its stock levels are critically low. Local Oxfam shops fund much of Oxfam Ireland’s work. Oxfam’s ability to respond to disasters such as the Haiti earthquake and Pakistan floods of 2010, the ongoing programme work in countries in southern and eastern Africa, it is all directly related to support for local shops. The volume of donations of stock to Oxfam shops has fallen dramatically in the past couple of years and it has left stock in Oxfam shops at acutely low levels. Oxfam shops need anything you can spare: books, CDs, DVDs, shoes, belts, handbags, dresses, shirts, trousers, suits, wedding dresses, homewares, any item of good quality that you no longer need.

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Raheny Informer Feb 2011