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Northside man convicted of murder of Polish worker

A 21 year old Raheny man is facing life in prison after he was convicted of the Mr Rzeszutko had been left in an murder of Polish man Lukasz Rzeszutko on October 2nd, 2010. unrecognisable state and even though Martin Morgan, of Tonlegee Road, he was found by two colleagues from By Ed Diggins Raheny, Dublin was found guilty of the Kish Fish factory where he worked, murder by a jury at the Central both failed to identify him. He died in Criminal Court in mid-March, for a in the attack but traces of the victim’s hospital two days later of severe brain crime that has shocked and stunned the blood were found on his runners which damage with injuries which Deputy forensic experts described as being in state pathologist Dr Khalid Jabbar locality. Morgan along with Edward Byrne a pattern that was consistent with kick- described as un-survivable. (21) of Cabra Park, Cabra and Stephen ing and stamping on the victims head. Rzeszutko suffered blunt force trauByrne (18) of St Donagh’s Road, CCTV footage in the immediate ma as well as neurological injury to his Donaghmede had all pleaded guilty to vicinity of the incident shortly after the cerebellum and spinal cord along with the manslaughter of Mr Rzeszutko in attack linked all three men to the crime other head and facial injuries. the Newtown Industrial Estate in and two teenage girls who were with Edward and Stephen Byrne will be Coolock, but denied murder. the men that night both gave evidence sentenced at a later date for Mr However sickening details have of Morgan standing and jumping on Rzeszutko’s manslaughter after the been released about the gruesome and the victims head. DPP accepted their guilty plea. vicious assault and how the life of the 27 year old Polish native was blatantly disregarded. During the sentencing hearing, Stephen Byrne described the night in question and how the attack took place without motive. "We just done it for a buzz, but it just got out of hand," he said. “Eddie and Martin went to town on him; he was okay until Martin stood on his head. “Martin started to dance on his head,” he added. Morgan had denied all involvement n Lukasz Rzeszutko suffered 'un-survivable' injuries during the attack

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The Informer

The Drift

Q The month in Quotes Corruption in Irish political life was both endemic and systemic. It affected every level of government, from some holders of top ministerial offices to some local councillors, and its existence was widely known and widely tolerated. The Mahon Report. I hid nothing. I gave the Tribunal unfettered access to all my financial records, and after years of investigation, this Tribunal has not made any finding of corruption against me. I have told the truth to this Tribunal, and I reject strongly any suggestion that I sought to mislead it. Bertie sets out his stall. It took 15 years and some €300 million to find out what the gardaí and Standards in Public Office Commission should have exposed. The problem was law enforcement agencies were never allowed to do their job. Transparency International spreads the blame If you bought a house on a five-year term and you pay big annual instalments over five years, you pay less over all than you would over 25 years. But the annual payments would be so large and burdensome that they would weigh you down. Michael Noonan explains why we can't pay the promissory notes up front If I were the father of such a monster, I would shut my mouth in shame. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe is not impressed that Toulouse killer Mohammed Merah's father hired an Algerian lawyer to sue French special police over his son's death I felt like I literally, in the space of one day, had gone to another planet and come back Movie make James Cameron after coming back from the Mariana Trench the deepest point in the Earth's surface

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He leaves a 6ft 7 gap in our lives that will always be empty Brian Stynes at the funeral of his brother Jim, who was given a state funeral in Melbourne

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Comment & Debate

Household Charge will pave the way for a fairer tax Support for the Household Charge is vital if we are to have strong local government and good local services across all our communities. Important services that can be sometimes taken for granted like our fire stations, libraries, street lighting, parks and playgrounds to name but a few, will now be reliant on funding from this Household Charge. Although payments of the charge will be centrally collected, funds will be swiftly re-distributed back to the local areas across Ireland. Due to the gross economic mismanagement by Fianna Fail, our country is short in excess of €15 billion per annum just to run the country on a day to day basis. Under the conditions of the EU/IMF bailout terms, it was agreed that a Household Charge would be introduced. The €100 flat rate charge has been brought in as an interim measure.

If supported by a reliable valuation system, and with exemptions for those on the lowest incomes, a property tax is actually one of the fairest forms of funding social services

By Cllr Richard Humphreys, Lab As a party driven on the principle of fairness, we believe that those with the largest and more valuable houses must pay more. If supported by a reliable valuation system, and with exemptions for those on the lowest incomes, a property tax is actually one of the fairest forms of funding social services. The Labour Party will be working hard to ensure that a more equitable valuation-based property tax will be introduced as soon as possible. Would have slowed down the speculation

Ireland is one of the only countries in Europe which does not have a property tax or an equivalent. Through the Household Charge we will crucially be broadening our tax base. Had a property tax been introduced by the last Government, it would have slowed down the speculation of the property bubble and helped develop a more sustainable form of economic growth. Homeowners, not occupiers, are liable for the charge but a number of homeowners are exempt from paying. These include those in receipt of mortgage interest supplements, properties owned by a charity, social housing, housing owned by Councils and properties unoccupied due to a long-term physical or mental illness. A total of 1,300 unfinished housing estates are

The group of so-called 'socialists' who are opposing a property tax are actually the only socialists in the world who are opposed to a property tax also exempt. These are estates where for example there are public safety concerns, but where there is no on-site activity addressing these safety issues. Although employment levels are at last increasing, the people of Ireland are still clearly struggling in the aftermath of our economic collapse. Mindful of this, the Government has not increased income tax or cut core rates of social welfare, instead we have restored the minimum wage and taken over 350,000 low paid workers out of the universal social charge (USC). As a result of this, we must therefore broaden the tax base to pay for vital services. At present the only sector paying such rates are the business community, who cannot continue to bare the entire burden for financing local services. The group of so-called 'socialists' who are oppos-

ing a property tax are actually the only socialists in the world who are opposed to a property tax. It is thoroughly irresponsible for any group to offer false and misleading information, which could lead to ordinary members of the public incurring fines. Hugely damaging on local services

History has shows us that when domestic rates were abolished by Fianna Fail, it was hugely damaging on local services and led to severe cutbacks such as the privatisation of services like refuse collection, council staff lay-offs, and even the turning off of every second street light. The Household Charge offers Ireland a viable and fairer way to fund our local services, which will essentially see us in a better position to provide the type of services 21st century Ireland needs.

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The Informer

Green Scene Trevor’s Kitchen Garden

If you ever wondered what the Green Party TDs have been doing with themselves since they all lost their seats in 2011 former Minister for Horticulture Trevor Sargent just provided one of the answers. When he was a government minister he focused on making Irish agriculture sustainable and on giving Ireland long term food security and that’s what he’s still doing – but he’s using a different approach. I’ve mentioned his blog, Trevor’s Kitchen Garden, in the past. In it he talks about how he grows a great deal of his own food in his own tiny garden in Balbriggan. Now he’s brought out the book of the blog and there’s a

By Kathy Marsh, Sonairte lot more in it than just gardening. First of all it is indeed a really good gardening book. Indeed it’s the book I’d recommend to a newcomer who wants to grow their own fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers in whatever space they happen to have. Trevor’s own garden is a beautiful, peaceful refuge from the world outside, full of butterflies and birds that produces masses of delicious food and if you follow him through the gardening year yours will be too. The book begins on St Brigid’s Day, the beginning of spring in Ireland, and lays out the gardening tasks week by week through the year until it finishes 52 weeks later back where it started and your new garden is producing decorative and delicious purple sprouting broccoli for your table. You’ve never heard of PSB? Don’t know how to cook it? Don’t worry – the recipes are in there too.

But there’s more because Sargent also deals with the bigger picture. Every month discusses a different topic from farmer's markets to why we plant our potatoes on St Patrick’s Day or why we should try and think about bigger issues on Earth Day. The knowledge in this book doesn’t come at second hand – it is the result of learning from family and friends and making experiments that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. This gives it a real freshness and practicality. And there’s a wonderful quirkiness in the line drawings throughout the book which cover subjects as diverse as how to make compost and how to find your way to somewhere you can see demonstration gardens. Royalties go to SEED, the national education network that helps school children learn to garden.

Solar Power moves north

By now we have all seen solar collectors, whether for hot water or power, lying flat against roofs or in flat sheets supported by frames at an angle to the sun. And we’ve got used to the idea that while solar hot water makes a lot of sense here in Ireland solar power may not be as practical. Now researchers at MIT are suggesting that solar power is not only possible but realistic a lot further north than previously thought possible. Instead of flat panels they are building cubes or towers that extend the solar cells. Amazingly, the results from the structures they’ve tested show power outputs ranging from double to more than 20 times those of fixed flat panels with the same base area. And best of all the biggest boosts in power were seen in the situations where improvements are most needed: in locations far from the equator, in winter months and on cloudy days. In fact it was when researchers noticed that they were getting big power gains when the sky was overcast that they first realized that their computer predictions had been confirmed in real life by the three strange looking structures on MIT’s roof. The varying shapes mean that wherever light comes from the sky the collectors are facing it. This also means that power output is more regular and uniform so generating companies won’t have the same problems of how to store surpluses to releasse at times of high demand and integrate them into the grid. The new units will be more expensive, but because they can work in all weathers, and because of the rise in the price of oil, they should soon be viable.

Happy Meal

If you didn’t get a submission in to the Environmental Protection Agency about proposals by Teagasc, the agriculture and food development authority in Ireland, to trial genetically modified (GM) blight resistant potatoes in Ireland it is too late – submissions are closed. Teagasc believe these GM potatoes could significantly reduce the use of fungicides, which are currently sprayed up to 20 times a season to prevent the spread of blight. Although naturally blight resistant potatoes already exist, Teagasc argues that none of them are commercially viable. How does a potato become commercially viable? What makes a potato attractive to the public? If you knew that the pretty potato you regularly buy needs to be sprayed 20 times a season, threatening the health of our environment and the farmer who cultivates it, would you choose to buy a potato with more character – maybe a russeted skin or deeper eyes – that required no spraying? Desireland is asking 100 independent gardeners to grow the naturally blight resistant Sapro Mira this summer in a community research project. Participants will be given free seed potatoes and asked to document their experience, from field to fork. Their stories will be celebrated at the Festival of (natural) Resistance this autumn where they will gather with some of the best chefs in Ireland to put the public’s potato expertise to the test. If you want to take part in the experiment, you can get more information from Desireland’s Kaethe Burt-O’Dea - 087 2444185.

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Garden Growing With Gerry Norton Well and truly into the spring season Now that the clocks have moved forward we are well and truly into spring. For me and many other gardeners, April is the most vibrant time of the year as everything suddenly starts to wake up and show itself for another year. The growth this month is really amazing as everything suddenly bursts into life and this year is special as growth is about four weeks ahead of normal due to the very mild winter. Beware Jack Frost

A word of warning though as there can still be hard frosts in April so do resist planting out any tender plants until the end of the month when frost is very rare except in the north or midlands. The garden centres which look a bit bare at present will soon start to fill up with the usual variety of plants and the growing season for most people starts this month. Now that the early spring

plants like daffodils and snowdrops are starting to fade, the real trick in gardening is to always have something of interest on display. Lily of the valley ‘Convallaria majalis’ is a lovely plant with a gorgeous scent and is easy to grow. It does prefer a shady spot though. Late tulips will flower over the next few weeks and the difference in colour and flower shape is amazing. ‘Snakeshead fritillary’ is also worth a place in very late spring garden as is ‘Dicentra spectabilis’ otherwise known as bleeding heart. A lovely tree suitable for a small garden is ‘Magnolia stellata’, or star magnolia.

Tip of the Month Check Roses and the new tender leaves of Acers for Aphids as I’ve already spotted them in two containers growing Acers. The best way to get rid of them is squish them with your fingers.

have gone into the ground as usual on Saint Patrick’s day! If your veg plot like mine is on the small side you can put in small veg like Beetroot in between the potato drills. I grow a variety called Boltardy as they are trouble free. The lettuces are still under cover and will be until the end of the month. Keep digging a small bit and incorporating whatever fertilizer you prefer from the vast range that’s now available. A weekly mow

n Lily of the valley is a lovely plant with a gorgeous scent and is easy to grow Other small trees that are lovely now are ‘Prunus’, which are cherries and ‘Malus’, which is crab apple. There is an amazing variety to choose from. Elsewhere is the garden now is the time to divide Nerines, these are the lovely autumn

flowering bulbs that are often seen in older gardens. Just lift the clumps and shake off as much earth as possible. You will then see the small bulbs. Clean these before replanting. The vegetable garden is still quite bare, however the potatoes

Your lawn will require a weekly mow from now on and if you haven’t already had your mower serviced do it now before the grass really takes off later in the month. April is the start of the lawn feeding season, so use whichever lawn feed that you like. I prefer a liquid feed as it’s easier to apply with less risk of over feeding.

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

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

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The Informer

Animal Tracks with Miriam Kerins, DSPCA

Don't give pets as presents This month I’m going to appeal to parents not to get live chicks or rabbits for the kiddies as Easter gifts. Yes, yes, I know they get too much chocolate and you want to buy them something innovative and different; but come on guys, you’re more inventive than that! Get them a cuddly toy rabbit or chick! Better still, Sponsor a Rabbit or Chick in their name from The Dublin SPCA. Young and adorable though chicks and bunnies may be, they rapidly mature into adult pets and sometimes parents don’t realise the commitment required to take care of them. I mean, we’re talking lifelong care and attention. These animals have very specific needs and cannot be relegated to a little cardboard box or hutch at the bottom of the garden. Did you know that last Easter the Dublin SPCA received a large number of calls concerning unwanted so called ‘novelty pets,’ because irresponsible parents/aunts/grandparents had given them to children who quickly lost interest or were incapable of caring for their needs. I wonder if some people wrongly and inhumanely regard these creatures as

‘throwaway pets.’ Appallingly, some of these animals have even been released into the wild resulting in their deaths from starvation, exposure or predation by other animals. If you are thinking of bringing a pet into your home this Easter, then please do an assessment; make sure your family has the means and the ability to take care of this animal. Consider your lifestyle; ask yourself if you’re fully committed to take on an animal that will live for up to 15 years, possibly more. Talk to us, The Dublin SPCA and let us equip you with specific information regarding such a pet, or speak to your local veterinarian. I mean, do you want to be the one who breaks the news to your small child that her pet rabbit/chick is being given away because you, her parent made a bad decision? For more information log onto or email me at © Miriam Kerins, Head of Communications and Public Relations, Dublin SPCA.


The sky over Dublin with Conor Farrell, Astronomy Ireland

Dublin Mean Time We've just changed our clocks forward an hour to Irish Summer Time (or IST). This means that we'll have more daylight in the evenings so we can enjoy what we hope will be a lovely summer! But we didn't always have IST in Ireland. In August 1880, the official time in Ireland was legally defined in the Statutes (Definition of Time) Act to be Universal Time minus 25 minutes (UTC–00:25), known as Dublin Mean Time (DMT). What seems initially like a strange and arbitrary timezone for Ireland actually made good scientific sense. As it happens, Dunsink Observatory is offset from Greenwich Observatory in England by 25 minutes. For example, if sunrise was observed at a certain time at Greenwich, then sunrise would be observed at Dunsink 25 minutes later. But astronomers at Dunsink and Greenwich didn't use sunrise or guesswork to determine the time: a more precise method was to monitor stars and how they moved. A star seen in the centre of the view through a telescope at Greenwich at, say 22:00 GMT, then it would be seen at Dunsink through a tel-

escope positioned at the same angles 25 minutes later, at 22:25 GMT, or 22:00 DMT. Astronomers would monitor the motions of stars through telescopes set up in the Meridian Room at Dunsink Observatory. Although this room was destroyed in a fire in the past, it has been rebuilt and visitors can see where sections in the roof opened up to allow astronomers to see through. The telescopes used are known as transit telescopes – or meridian circles – which were built in a manner that gave extremely precise readings of the positions of stars, allowing the observer to work out local time and longitude. For information on Dunsink Observatory and on visiting it during its public open nights, click on

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The Informer

Costelleo recollections Where were you born? Dublin Where did you grow up? I grew up in Booterstown House with my four sisters and two brothers. I’m the youngest of seven children. How old were you when you first decided that you wanted to be a fashion designer? I only ever wanted to be a cowboy. If you were not a fashion designer, what other career patch do you think you would have chosen and why? I’d own a large ranch in Montana with a large swimming pool and keep cattle and horses. Where did you train to be a fashion designer and how did your career progress after qualifying? I realized at school (I’m a Blackrock boy) that art was the only thing I was good at. I travelled to Paris in when I just turned 20 and trained at the Saint Honore Hautes Coutures boutiques and went on to become the design assistant to Jacques Esterel. After that, I spent years travelling to Milan and New York where I gained the essential skills for the industry, as well as absorbing the unique style of how women dressed in these great cities. I launched Paul Costelloe Collections in 1979. How did you get your first break? Working with Jacques Esterel. What’s your own personal favourite item you have designed and why is so special? I loved the soft handle tweed coats from my A/W 2011 collection. When I get the opportunity to use fabrics from Ireland I try to create a great statement. That was a very successful collection because of it. As a designer, what advice would you give someone when purchasing an item of clothing? You must be in the right frame of mind when you shop. Shop early in the morning after a good breakfast so you’re refreshed and open minded. The Costelloe brand has grown extensively since its earliest beginnings and now is a worldwide brand, why do you think this is? I think branching out to menswear, home wear, jewellry, etc is the answer. I’m still not known worldwide. Who is it easier to designer for, men or women and why? Men. Any small extra detail on a garment, which is out of the norm, they really appreciate.

What is your favorite season for fashion and why? Autumn/Winter. The fabrics tend to be far more exciting. What is the simplest design you think could be in for all seasons? It might be overrated, but a black dress is an essential for both seasons. Where do you get the inspiration from when designing? I cycle everywhere. Every morning from my house in Putney to Central London, I look at everything. Something as small as seeing a detail on someone’s jacket as they cross the road inspires me. I travel every week to Milan, Paris or New York. Travel is essential if a designer wants to be successful. What are your favorite fabrics and materials you like to work with and why? I love natural fabrics. Wool, silk, linen. They are so easy to manipulate into playful shapes for a collection. How do you feel about celebrities getting all the latest fashion clothing and accessories, when these are the people who can clearly afford to buy them? Designers have to promote their creations. Sadly, this is the easiest route to go down.

Our own international fashion legend Paul Costelloe took time out of his busy schedule this week to chat with the Dublin Informer’s Kevin O’Brien about his life and love for fashion. The Informer Interview

What type of music/sports do you like? I love all sports and all music…I like to think I have a very open mind. One has to be open to new genres if you want to keep up with the times and continue to create a growing brand. It’s all related. What piece of clothing from your current collection is a must for a wife or girlfriend thinking of buying something for the man in their life and why? Linen is BIG this season in menswear. A classic, relaxed linen shirt will last for years. A classic PC suit is a great investment…your man will never leave you after that purchase. Your ambitions for the next decade seem for you to continue to expand into a new range of different products, including children’s wear, footwear, swimwear and fragrances, is this what motivates you? Just designing clothes is not enough to survive in this career these days. People want more. Huge brand names make more money on their perfumes and accessories collections, rather than their actual clothing. It’s a survival technique. See the full extended interview with Paul Costelloe interview at Interviews on Ireland’s leading Fashion website www.

"I cycle every morning from my house in Putney to Central London. I look at everything. Something as small as seeing a detail on someone’s jacket as they cross the road inspires me"

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SPECIAL OFFERS: 4 VENEERS FOR THE PRICE OF 3 ORTHODONTICS: BRACES FROM €1500, CLEAR REMOVABLE €1200. FREE check up for kids and FREE scale for parents of children receiving orthodontics 4 FISSURE SEALANTS FOR THE PRICE OF 3 Offers available until the end of March 2012

Cosmetic Dentistry e.g. Zoom and at home bleaching - discounts offered for family and friends (from E150 per arch. Terms and conditions apply.

Special Orthodontic Rates for families Discount for the second child.


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Golf tips with Aideen Rogers

Which Club and Why? From your first tee shot to your last putt, what club do you select for each shot? If you are a beginner, five considerations are all you need to think about in making this selection: dis-

tance, trajectory, obstacles, elevation and wind. Step 1: Determine the actual distance (in yards) from your lie to the hole. Distance markers and the flag color are there to assist you with this. Be aware that distance markers are to the center of the green, not to the hole. If the flagstick appears to be at the front of the green, subtract 10 yards from the distance-marker yardage. If the flag is behind the center of the green, add 10 yards. Step 2: Visualize the trajectory needed for the ball to take a clear path to the hole. The clubs are designed with loft (angle that the clubface is at when it strikes the ball). More loft (steeper angle) makes the ball trajectory higher. As club numbers descend, loft decreases and the ball flies lower. As club numbers ascend, loft increases and the ball flies higher. A ball struck with a low trajectory runs farther after landing.

for lost trajectory and run. If downhill, subtract 10 yards for added trajectory and run. Step 5: Determine how the wind is behaving (direction and strength). If it is blowing into your face as you face the hole, add 10 yards to the yardage-marker distance to compensate for the wind resistance. If it is at your back, subtract 10 yards to allow for the wind's help. For strong winds, add or subtract more yards accordingly. Step 6: From driving-range practice and previous play, you should know your approximate ball distance with each club. If not, and you are an adult Female beginner, assume you will hit the ball about 100 yards with a 5-iron. Add 10 yards each as the club numbers descend (130 yards with a 3-iron) and deduct 10 yards each as the club numbers ascend (80 yards with a 7-iron). Male Beginner 5 iron = 150 yards, 7iron = 130 yards, 3 iron = 170 yards. Step 7: Determine the correct club for the actual distance based on your game. Adjust the yardage (club selection) for trajectory, obstacles, elevation and wind.

Step 3: Determine any obstacles that are in the direction and trajectory of your desired ball flight. If there are obstacles low, or on the ground (bunkers, water, sprinkler heads, bushes, etc.), you will need to loft the ball over them with a higher-lofted club. If there are obstacles high (tree branches, electricity wires, etc.) you will need to slip the ball under them with a lowerlofted club. You may need to compromise distance to avoid an obstacle, but this is better than going for the distance and colliding with the obstacle.

Tips & Warnings: Whenever you have the choice, lower trajectory is usually safer because you have more control. The "Texas Wedge" (using your putter to putt onto the green from off the green, when the turf you will putt across is free of obstacles and closely mown) is a good example. In similar conditions, "bump and run" with a 7-iron from 75 yards out rather than trying a high-trajectory shot with a wedge. As a beginner, leave your driver at home. Use your 3-wood for your longest tee shots. You will have much more control.

Step 4: Determine the elevation change between your lie and the hole. If you are hitting uphill, add 10 yards to the yardage-marker distance to compensate

Visit Aideen Rogers in Portmarnock Driving Range at 'The Strivers Golf Academy' call to book on 0879906738 or email • Mobile 087-9906738

Arts Angle

The Informer

With LA Speedwing

The Royal Hibernian Academy There’s no such thing as the Royal Horse Artillery in Dublin. However there is another RHA. It stands for Royal Hibernian Academy and although there’s no artillery, there were horses only just last month. Exhibited in many shapes. The Horse Show presented horses in paintings, sculptures, video and last but not least seethrough inflatable nylon. The latest, Max Streicher’s installation was quite wonderful and intriguing. Alas no more. This show ended to let other specimens in such as birds from Stephen McKenna. His paintings demonstrate a classical approach to still life and might stir some life into you. If it doesn’t, paintings from Sam Douglas might just do the trick. His travel experience to various mountain ranges have filtered into a recent series of paintings called 'Remnants 15', you will escape reality or at least find a new way to enjoy erosion and sedimentation. The RHA is welcoming another eminent artist

such as Corban Walker who represented Ireland at the 54th Venice Biennale last year. His large-scale sculpture composed of 160 inter-connected open-framed stainlesssteel cubes called 'Please Adjust' found me still adjusting to its statement but if you haven’t adjusted to this, you might adjust to Brendan Earley’s constructions. Through one of his large sized paper artworks the artist wanted to explore “those large swathes of land we pass through without much regard. These areas are not meant to be seen (never mind mapped), except perhaps as a blur from a car window.” These “Places Between”, composed of both handmade and consumer goods will hopefully shake you from the state of inbetweenness that one might be in when looking at modern Art sometimes.

Where: 15 Ely Place, Dublin 2. When: Exhibitions available until the 29th April. 11am – 5pm- Except Wednesday – Saturday until 7pm. Sunday 2 – 5pm

Women’s fiction and children’ s stories available for 0.99 cts on Smashwords from L.A. Speedwing

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The Informer

All about Dublin 1

A Place in the City

The Ha'penny Bridge has had a lot of names since it was built in 1816 - Dubliners have always had a habit of ignoring the official names of landmarks and coming up with their own. It's been called the Liffey Bridge, Wellington Bridge, The Iron Bridge and the Metal Bridge. Its current name comes from the toll of half a penny that was charged to cover the cost of building it and of buying a concession from the ferrymen who were once a distinctive part of Dublin life. Despite various attempts to abolish it, the toll was in operation until 1916. 'The Liffey - Portrait of a River', with text by Dick Warner and paintings by Rosemary Burns, published by Cottage Publications. It is available from bookshops, priced e29.95.

Edited by Zoz The Ha-penny Bridge

Firsthand History Moira Regan, a member of Cumann na mBan, played a part in the events of the 1916 Rising and, after emigrating to America, told her story in the New York Times of August 20th of that year. After mobilising at Broadstone Station on the first day of the Rising, her group was told in the afternoon to disperse as their services would not be needed that day. Moira, however, decided to make her way to the G.P.O. "On my way to the Post office I met a friend of mine who was carrying a message. He asked me had I been inside, and when I told him I had not, he got James Connolly to let me in. "When I got to the Post Office that evening I found that the windows were barricaded with bags of sand, and at each of them were two men with rifles. The front office had been made the headquarters of the staff, and there I saw James Connolly, who was in charge of the Dublin division; Padraic Pearse, Willie Pearse, O'Rahilly, Plunkett, Shane McDiarmid, Tom Clarke, and other sitting at tables writing out orders and receiving messengers. Ten English soldiers at work "On Tuesday I went again to the Post Office to find out where certain people, including my brother, should go in order to join up with the republican forces. I found things quiet at headquarters, little going on except the regular executive work. Tuesday afternoon my brother and my sisters and I went there, too, and were set at work in the kitchen. There we found about ten English soldiers at work - that is, they wore the English uniform, but they were Irishmen. They did not seem at all sorry that they had been captured, and peeled potatoes and washed dishes uncomplainingly. The officers were imprisoned in another room. "The rebels had captured many important buildings. They had possession of several big buildings on O'Connell Street near the Post Office. They had taken the Imperial Hotel, which belongs to Murphy, Dublin's great capitalist. We found the kitchen well supplied with food. We made big sandwiches of beef and cheese, and portioned out milk and beef tea. There were enough provisions to last for three weeks. "About 15 girls were at work in the kitchen. Some of them were members of the Cumann na mBan, and others were relatives or friends of the republican army which James Connolly had founded. Some l Kelly's corner in 1916 of the girls were not more than 16 years old. The soldiers were shooting at us "We worked nearly all Tuesday night, getting perhaps an hour's sleep on mattresses on the floor. The men were shooting from the windows of the Post Office, and the soldiers were shooting at us, but not one of our men was injured. We expected that the Inniskillings would move on Dublin from the north, but no attack was made that night." On the Wednesday Moira was sent by the O'Rahilly, who was in charge of the prisoners, to deliver a letter from an English officer to his wife who lived beyond Drumcondra. On her way she saw troops in large numbers closing in from the northside. "But nobody interfered with us - all those days the people walked freely around the streets of Dublin without being interfered with. "As we walked back, we saw that the British troops were setting up machine guns near the Post Office. We heard the cracking of rifles and other sounds which indicated that a real siege was beginning. At Henry Street, we were warned not to cross over, because a gunboat on the river was shelling Kelly's House - a big place on the corner of the quay. So we turned back and stayed with friends on the north side of town. Hopelessly outnumbered

"There was heavy firing all night. The firing was especially severe at the Four Courts and down near Ring's End and Fairview. The streets were crowded with British soldiers; a whole division landed from Kingstown. "On Thursday we thought we'd have another try at the Post Office. By devious ways we succeeded, after a long time, in reaching it and getting in. We found the men in splendid form, and everything seemed to be going well. But the rebels were already hopelessly outnumbered. "On Thursday messengers came to Pearse and Connolly, reporting that machine guns and other equipment were being trained on the GPO. But the men were quite ready for this and were exceedingly cheerful. Indeed, the Post Office was the one place in Dublin that week where no one could help feeling cheerful. I didn't stay there long on Thursday morning, as I was sent out to take some messages to the southside. I had my own trouble getting through the ranks of soldiers surrounding the Post Office, and when I eventually delivered my messages I could not get back. The Post Office was now completely cut off.

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The Informer

All about Dublin 2


A moment in time....

Death in Portobello

There was heavy rain in Dublin on the night of Saturday, April 6th, 1861. There was nothing unusual in that and the life of the city continued as normal. In Rathgar the horse-drawn 'Favourite No. 7' omnibus was starting its scheduled 9pm journey to the G.P.O. The journey went without incident until Portobello Bridge was reached around 9.30pm. Two pas-

sengers - Mr. John Keeley and his young son who lived at No. 4 Camden Villas - got off, leaving six passengers and the two-man crew aboard. The omnibus had stopped in the middle of the bridge (which was then much steeper than today) and, reported The Freeman's Journal two days later:- "When the Conductor [Patrick Costello] gave

the signal the Driver [Patrick Hardy] proceeded to make the horses to go on. They both got restive and began to back in the direction of Rathmines. He turned their heads towards the east with the intention of making them go up the incline of the hill at an angle, this involved the partial locking of the four wheels.

The Informer

Edited by Zoz The horses continued to back despite the Driver's efforts to make them go forward. The back part of the Bus came in contact with the wooden fence between the Lock and the road, the back wheels went over the granite kerb, the horses pulled, but in vain. The Omnibus, horses and all went into the Lock Chamber. The Driver was hauled safely from the roof of the Bus. The Conductor continued on the Bus until it knocked down the fence when he ran to the horses' heads." Plunged into the lock

The vehicle continued moving

and plunged into the lock, taking the two horses with it. The lock depth was 25 feet, including ten feet of water. A passing policeman, Police Constable Gaffney 143E, saved the driver by getting a passer-by to hold his legs while he leaned over the edge of the lock. Private Smith of the 4th Light Dragoons managed to hack a hole through the roof of the omnibus. He hauled the six passengers out but it was too late. The dead were Christopher Cunningham, a watchman; a Mr. Gunn, of Gunn & Son, 13 Westland Row, Organ Builders and Piano

Importers; Mrs. Mary Anne Byrne of 29 South King Street, also her daughter Catherine, aged two; Mrs. Charles O'Connell and her 18-year-old daughter, Matilda. There were many theories about the accident, among them the notion that the lock-keeper had, in the confusion, accidentally flooded the lock rather than empty it. What was proved was that the fence was completely rotten below ground. At the inquest the coroner absolved the driver of the horsebus and the lock-keeper from any blame and noted that those present had done all in their power to save the occupants.

Lesser known Dubliners....

James Clarence Mangan The Dublin-born poet, James Clarence Mangan, best remembered today for 'Dark Rosaleen ('O my Dark Rosaleen, Do not sigh, do not weep! The priests are on the ocean green, They march along the deep.' etc.), died at the age of 46 in the Meath Hospital on June 20th, 1849 - a victim of the cholera epidemic then raging through Dublin after a life of 'unrelieved poverty and unhappiness'. He worked for a time in a legal firm as a scrivener [a person who drafts document], and did not enjoy the experience. "Those who knew him in after years can remember with what a shuddering and loathing horror he spoke, when at rare intervals he could be induced to speak at all, of his labours with the scrivener and the attorney," An unearthly and ghostly figure

Found a job by his friends in the cataloguing department of Trinity, he appears to have made a eerie impression there. A contemporary records:- "It was an unearthly and ghostly figure in a brown garment; the same garment (to all appearance) which lasted till the day of his death. The blanched hair was totally unkempt; the corpse-like features still as marble; a large book was in his arms, and all his soul was in the book... Here Mangan laboured mechanically, and dreamed, roosting on a ladder, for certain months, perhaps years; carrying the proceeds in money to his mother's poor home ... All this time he was the bond-slave of opium," wrote a contemporary, John Mitchell. A visitor to the hospital, artist Sir F. W. Burton, drew a picture of the poet as he lay dead on the mortuary slab.

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Rodgers & Hammerstein’s

Music by Richard

Rodgers Hammerstein II

Book and Lyrics by Oscar


The King and I is loved as one of the greatest musicals of all time. This brand new musical is coming to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from May 22nd – 26th. Seen by millions of people across the world since it was first performed in 1951, when it was showered with awards and became the blockbuster Hollywood movie, its glorious soundtrack is still a best seller today. Tickets from `20 on sale now. To be in with a chance to win a pair of tickets for the show on Tuesday 22nd May answer the following question. ‘The King & I’ is set in Siam. Siam was the previous name of which Asian country? a) Cambodia; b) China: c) Thailand

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The Informer

Treatment options for chronic heartburn?

Q: What treatment options are available for chronic heartburn? I find that Gaviscon gives me some relief, but sometimes I need to use more than is recommended on the label. Is this dangerous and are there any better products? I also have asthma and use a Ventolin inhaler for this, although I don’t think that is what is causing the heartburn.

A: Firstly, I would strongly suggest that you pay a visit to your GP as the cause of chronic heartburn needs to be investigated to ensure that there is no more serious condition present. Chronic heartburn, or reflux (stomach contents coming back up into the throat through the oesophagus or food pipe) can be a sign of oesophageal cancer. Other symptoms that could indicate oesophageal cancer include difficulty swallowing, vomiting (possibly vomiting blood) and weight loss. Ask your doctor

Chronic heartburn can also be due to oesophagitis (inflammation of the oesophagus) or a stomach ulcer. Any of these conditions can be serious and so your doctor will need to check you for any of these conditions. This may include sending you for a gastroscopy, which involves sending a camera down the oesophagus to view the oesophagus and stomach for signs of damage or abnormality. Heartburn can be caused by excess acid in the stomach, combined with a weak sphincter (a sphincter is a ring of muscle) where the oesophagus meets the stomach. This allows stomach acid to remain in contact with the lower

should only be taken on the advice of your doctor. Although Ventolin and other “reliever” inhalers used for asthma do not directly affect stomach acid, it can worsen heartburn by causing relaxation of the oesophageal sphincter, the ring of muscle that normally prevents acidic stomach contents rising back into the oesophagus. If you find you need to use your Ventolin inhaler most days, you should discuss this with your GP also. (See my column from the March 2011 edition of The Informer). While Gaviscon neutralises stomach acid and provides a “rafting” effect, there are a number of medicines available over the counter that stop the production of acid in the stomach. part of the oesophagus for much longer than usual, causing irritation and a burning sensation. Over time, this can cause the oesophagus to become inflamed. If the heartburn is uncomplicated, Gaviscon can be a useful treatment as it neutralises stomach acid and forms a “raft” of gel-like substance at the top of the stomach, where the stomach meets the oesophagus. Gaviscon is best taken after meals, but even still, its effect is rather short lived at around four to six hours. High levels of salt

Many people are unaware that Gaviscon contains quite a high level of sodium (salt). This generally isn’t so important at lower doses, but at higher doses Gaviscon can provide a large proportion of your daily salt intake, especially if you have been advised to follow a low salt diet. Doses higher than those recommended on the label


These include Zantac 75 or Pepcid AC, either of which will work relatively quickly and reduce stomach acid production for about twelve hours. Another medicine that has come off prescription recently is pantoprazole. This is sold under a variety of trade names including Somac, Gastrolief and Pantup. While slower to take effect than other medications, these shut down acid production more completely to help break the cycle of heartburn. These medicines can only be sold over the counter for a maximum of two weeks treatment. Other non-drug options that can be useful to help relieve or prevent heartburn include losing weight if overweight, quitting smoking, avoiding large heavy meals and cutting down on alcohol. If heartburn is troublesome at night, it can also help to prop yourself up on a few pillows to use gravity to prevent stomach contents rising into the oesophagus.

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

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

READER COMPETITION The silent killer Passive smoking 2 LUCKY READERS CAN WIN

WATER FILTRATION TREATMENT SYSTEM FOR YOUR HOME WORTH €750 each Dublin Informer has teamed up with Ireland’s leading supplier of home water filtration systems to give 2 lucky readers a chance of having a Grant Water Filtration System installed in their home valued at e750 each. No need to buy expensive bottled water or filtration systems for jugs anymore as this services the whole of your house. Imagine it’s clean, and great for you heath and skin along with giving you the safe drinking water for you and your family. While Grant Water systems are not the cheapest method of Water Filtration System in Ireland, they don’t use cheap imported products and are renounced plus recommended for their first class, guaranteed water systems and advice and support offering a nationwide service.

HOW TO ENTER Simply tell us how much this prize is worth and e-mail your answers to stating your answer, name and contact telephone number to : Closing date for entries is Friday 4th May 2012.All installations are subject to survey and no cash alternative is available. Normal competition rules apply.

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By Tom Ryan

PASSIVE smoking kills children and adults. No exposure levels are safe. Harmful effects on the heart, blood vessels, and circulation are immediate. Even brief exposure can damage cells and set the cancer process in motion. Over time heart disease, heart attack and stroke risks are greatly increased. Passive smoking causes lung cancer in people who never smoked. It’s classified as “A known carcinogen” by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US National Toxicology Programme, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization. Cigarette smoke contains more than 7,000 chemical compounds. 250 are known to be harmful of which 69 cause cancer. Children suffer more from exposure than non-smoking adults. Tobacco chemicals are found in breast tissue and breast milk. Evidence suggests links to childhood leukaemia and cancers of the larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), brain, bladder, rectum, stomach, and breast. Children’s growing bodies are especially sensitive to tobacco poisons. Asthma, lung infections, and ear infections are more common in children of smokers. Some are serious and even life-threatening. Even minor ones add up. Think of the costs, doctors, medicine, lost school time and parents work time. Each year in the United States passive smoking exposure is responsible for: • An estimated 46,000 heart disease deaths • About 3,400 non-smoking adult deaths from lung cancer

• Increased asthma and related problems in up to 1 million children • Between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections and lung infections with 7,500 to 15,000 hospitalizations each year in children under 18 months. Since 1964 numerous US Surgeon General’s reports have highlighted the dangers of passive smoking, such as: • Increased disease and deaths among exposed children and non-smoking adults. • Increased risk of miscarriage, still-birth, low birth- weight baby, and other pregnancy and delivery problems from exposure during pregnancy. • Tobacco chemicals damage sperm reduce fertility and harm foetal development. • Smoking parents increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear infections, and increased severity and frequency of asthma attacks among children. • Smoking parents can cause wheezing, coughing, bronchitis, pneumonia, and slow lung growth in children. Millions of children and adults remain exposed to passive smoking despite controls. A smokefree home and car are vitally important for family health. Smoking in cars is particularly harmful. Stop killing yourself and others. Stop smoking now. It’s the intelligent option. © Tom Ryan 2012 Discover how at



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Graham Connor's Movie Advice The Hunger Games HHHHH Directed by Gary Ross Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson In the distant future teenage boys and girls are forced to partake in The Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death in which only one person can survive. Katniss finds herself involved and fighting her feelings as much as her opponents. I groaned when someone told me that this was a sister film to the likes of Twilight, as Twilight are easily the worst series of films I have ever seen and so did not hold out much hope for The Hunger Games. I do love being surprised. The Hunger Games, while being far from perfect, is a really exciting – albeit slow starting – film that, while inspired by a series of young adult books, does not seem like it. It is very adult in its themes and tones and not afraid of displaying violence, yet none of it is gratuitous or graphic. A great little adventure film, if a little bit too long. Advice: Well worth seeing.




21 Jump Street HHHHH Directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller Starring Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Dave Franco and Brie Larson

Jenko and Schmidt are a pair of underachieving cops who are demoted to 21 Jump Street, a programme for rooting out high school criminals, where they find school completely different than how they remembered. Some TV remakes really work (Starsky and Hutch) and some don’t (Miami Vice). 21 Jump Street falls into the former category; it really is an excellent little comedy with far more hits than misses. What works in its favour is that no one really remembers it and those who do know that the TV show was not a comedy. Turning it into a buddy/buddy cop comedy was genius as Jonah Hill seems really comfortable in this kind of role but the astonishing performance is from Channing Tatum, the pretty boy jock from the GI Joe movies and how he fits seamlessly into the comedy groove. Full of great laughs and clever in places, this is the first essential comedy of 2012. Advice: Do not miss this.

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Santry In Brief...

By Ed Diggins

Local schools initiative to set example

A programme aimed at reducing school absenteeism in the Ballymun Whitehall area has been hailed as a tremendous success this week leading to calls for it to be rolled out nationally. Under the project, attendance promoters were employed at a part time basis in schools across the locality and teachers were given access to trial software which allowed them to track the attendance records of each pupil in their class. Colma Nic Lughadha, local education programme officer said they were very proud of their efforts over the past two years and now wished to share them throughout the country. "Certainly we feel out here we have a lot to offer nationally, we have been talking to the National Education Welfare Board," she said. "So we are hopeful that we can help, if you like, influence policy at a national level and share our successes with everybody." Running for the past two years, it has been revealed that children have attended a combined total of 14,000 more school days when compared to the previous two years.

Beaumont opens new cancer treatment facilities.

There was good news this month with the official opening of new and improved cancer treatment facilities in Beaumont hospital. The investment which cost in the region of €750,000 was needed to meet the growing demand for chemotherapy treatments of patients of the locality and beyond as well as treatment of those suffering from haematological cancers. Under the refurbishment, the Day Oncology Ward has been transformed into a new larger and upgraded facility while at the same time allowing for more space and upgraded facilities for the Colman K. Byrnes Unit for haematological cancers. Patients who are attending these two units are now able to use these facilities for support when needed, thus avoiding situations where they need to attend the Emergency Department and being admitted as inpatients. Local politician Aodhán Ó Ríordáin welcomed the opening. "Cancer treatment and care is such an important element of our health care system and I am happy that Beaumont Hospital is continuing to build on their facilities in this regard,” said Deputy Ó Ríordáin. "This investment will do a lot to enhance the environment in which patients are treated providing them with more space and privacy. "I believe this only reaffirms Beaumont Hospital's commitment to the area of cancer treatment and I would sincerely like to thank the many organisations and support groups who generously contributed to this cause," he said. Last year the facility catered for just fewer than 14,000 patients where The Day Oncology Ward had 8,000 patient treatments and the CKB provided for almost 6,000 people.

Concern on Beaumont vacancies and transplant delays

Vocal Dublin North East TD Tommy Broughan has raised concerns over two ongoing issues at Beaumont Hospital. It has been reported that over 360 WTE (whole time equivalent) vacancies are currently unfilled in the hospital. Under current recruiting restrictions, the hospital uses agency staff to cover nursing and medical vacancies. 130 vacancies exist in support and administration, with 50 in clinical and 180 in Nursing/Health care assistants. "A number of constituents had been in touch in relation to certain ongoing vacancies at Beaumont. These constituents have expressed their concerns to me about the impact of the public sector moratorium on recruitment on the running of the hospital and the services it can provide if it is understaffed,” he said. Responding to the fact that some of these vacancies will never get assigned, Broughan expressed his dissatisfaction and has vowed to continue to pressurise Minister James Reilly to act on the matter. “Staff and patients in Beaumont are under enough pressure without the added difficulty of being understaffed. It is disappointing that the Minister has stated that some of the vacant Beaumont posts won’t be filled,” he said. Meanwhile Deputy Broughan has this week been advised by the HSE and Minister Reilly that over 500 patients are active on the transplant waiting list at the hospital.

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Santry Informer April 2012  

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