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Santry Informer 15,000 copies delivered monthly

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

Santry • Kilmore • Beaumont • Whitehall • Griffith Avenue

Teen jailed for four years

An 18 year old northside youth has received a four year jail sentence for appearance for a wide range of car theft at the Dublin Circuit Court this month. offences including car theft, danLiam O’Neill (18) of Longdale gerous driving and burglary for By Ed Diggins Terrace, Ballymun had pleaded which a large part of the sentence guilty to unauthorised taking of a believed had a problem with drugs had been suspended. car and dangerous driving around When handing down the senand alcohol. the roads of north Dublin in tence however, Judge Patrick The chase only ended when the February 2011. youth hit a concrete bollard and had McCartan told the youth that he The court heard that O'Neill, who to flee the car on foot. He was had been given his chance, but was only 16 at the time of the inci- apprehended and arrested a short failed to take it. He issued O'Neill dent, was discovered by the Gardaí time later close to Santry Road. with a four year jail Term and also driving a stolen car at high speed in O' Neill had almost 50 other imposed a driving ban of ten the Finglas area. In the pursuit that convictions prior to his court years. followed, O 'Neill tried to ram the Garda squad car on two occasions and drove directly at Gardai who were on foot at the time. A garden memorial to coincide with the 21st birthday of missing northHe then committed a litany of side native Amy Fitzpatrick has been unveiled at her former national other serious traffic offences which school this month. Amy went missing in early January 2008 at the family home on the Gardaí stated posed a serious threat to the people of the locality includ- Costa del Sol, Spain and was aged 15 at the time of her disappearance. Speaking at the ceremony at St Catherine's National School in Artane, ing driving through a red light and Amy’s mother Audrey spoke of what this meant to the Fitzpatrick family driving on the wrong side of the and how this would help them in the future. road. "We have nowhere to go to talk to her or do anything, so it means an Garda Stephen Walsh also gave awful lot to us that they are after doing this," said Mrs. Fitzpatrick. evidence that O' Neill drove through "It means so much to us that it is actually my old school and my sisters a busy junction without stopping, and my nieces, we all came to this school. overtook another car at a dangerous “They are doing this for Amy, we never asked them to do it, they bend and crossed four lanes of traf- approached us and said could they do it, we were delighted," she said. Amy disappeared while walking from a friend’s house to her home on fic before ramming into a barrier. He also outlined that the accused the night of January 1st 2008 and the huge police investigation that folwas known to Gardaí and they lowed has as yet, failed to determine what happened to her.

School memorial for Amy

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Danuta Gray Interview

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The Informer

The Drift Comment Box

By Niall Gormley

Paul Begley didn't cost the state a cent

Dublin by Numbers


This is the percentage of parents who think their overweight children are the right weight. This is for primary school children. Secondary school parents fare even worse. Some 75% of those think their overweight kids are 'fine'. In fairness, this myopia applies to themselves. A Safefood survey shows one in three overweight adults don't realise that they are overweight.


The winners of the tickets for the Abba & Bee Gees competition: Christina C Anderson, Sandyford. Vincent Mockler, Leopardstown. Sheila Pollock, Lucan

The winners of the tickets for the High Society competition:

Wendy Hayden (Facebook winner)

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The lesson from the Paul Begley garlic importing case is that people should be very careful in cooperating with the Irish authorities. What has happened to Paul Begley is abuse. And I mean abuse as in 'child abuse', 'elder abuse', 'domestic abuse', and so on. The man has been mangled in a machine. Paul Begley is accused of defrauding the state of e1.8m in import duty. That's just crap. He failed to pay duty on garlic he had imported from China. That's true. But what is also true is that this duty was never meant to be paid. The normal duty on imported vegetables is 9 per cent. The EU has determined that garlic from China should attract duty at over 200 per cent. Now why would the EU impose such punitive duties? The reason is that the EU doesn't want anyone to import garlic from China. You are not supposed to pay this duty. The whole point of the duty is to erect a barrier to trade. It is effectively a ban on the import of garlic. So you can certainly say Paul Begley imported garlic illegally. But you can't say that he cost the state money because no sane garlic importer would import garlic at this level of duty. His original sentence of six years made a laughing stock of the Irish justice system. In fact, amongst the many citizens who consider the administration of the state in this country to be something of a joke, this one is a side splitter. While every chancer in the property and banking industry walks, and while people convicted of rape and sexual abuse walk, somehow a chap accused of importing garlic does hard time. The Appeal Court that reduced his sentence to two years still talked up the non-existant e1.8m as a reason why Paul Begley should stay in jail. This at a time the Irish state concluded a deal so that taxpayers should pay e30 billion of debt that taxpayers never borrowed. Paul Begley's activities, you see, had a negative effect on the state's revenue. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Here's the lesson. If you ever come into contact with anyone from the Irish state be it garda, revenue, environmental health officer or whatever, then never, ever co-operate. Keep your mouth shut and do not trust them. And that's a sorry situation.


The Informer

Santry In Brief... Santry man receives life sentence for murder

Following on from our lead story in last month's Santry Informer, Peter Donnelly has been found guilty of the murder of his colleague Edward Flanagan. After just over five hours of deliberation, the jury returned an 11 to 1 majority guilty verdict leaving Mr Justice Paul Carney no alternative but to impose a life sentence on the 52 year old father of four. The court heard that Donnelly deeply regretted his actions, for which he had no explanation or recollection and what happened on the night was out of character. Gardaí failed to conclusively attain a motive for a shooting that they believed had no real sense of justification and one that was surrounded in mystery. The deceased’s sister Marie Flanagan spoke on behalf of the family after the trial, saying that her brother was a very peaceful man who was always a source of calming influence to the family and will be sorely missed. "He was the most easy going, laid back person you will ever meet and you would never ever get an argument out of him," she said. Ms. Flanagan denied that her brother and Donnelly were best friends and said they were nothing more than drinking buddies.

Schools boost for North Dublin

Under the schools capital programme announced last year a total of 275 projects will take place throughout the country over the next 5 years. Welcoming the news that two new classrooms will be built at Gaelcholaiste Reachrann in Donaghmede, Deputy Sean Kenny spoke of the importance of the

with Ed Diggins extension to match expected rises in pupil numbers. “Gaelcholaiste Reachrann needs this funding for mainstream classrooms as they continue to provide an education to local children,” said Kenny. "I warmly welcome the funding, it is vitally important that the country maintains its educational facilities at primary level, in order to accommodate the increasing numbers of pupils over the next few years. Funding is also to be made available for mechanical work at Chanel College in Coolock and urgent structural work at St. Pauls Junior National School in Ayrfield. All three projects are due to be completed by 2014.

European Week Against Racism

To mark European Week against Racism the Social Inclusion Unit will host a competition which aims to combat racism and to celebrate cultural diversity of people living in Ireland today. Anybody can participate in European Week against Racism by conveying their personal message against racism. European Week against Racism takes place from 16th March to 24th March.

Greencore linked to food problems

Santry based food processing giant Greencore have become the latest company to come under the spotlight of the European wide horse meat saga that seems to be growing by the day. It was announced that Asda has taken a beef Bolognese sauce supplied by Greencore off their shelves after initial tests found that it contained traces of horse DNA. The company, one of the largest manufacturers of its kind in the world released a statement following the revelations.

n Lollipop Day: Padraig Harrington was on hand to help Noelle Ryan, Chairperson of the Oesophageal Cancer Fund (OCF) launch their Lollipop Day fundraiser. Awareness for the OCF and Lollipop Day has grown year on year with €500,000 raised in 2012. "Greencore can confirm that it supplied the “Chosen By You” 350g Beef Bolognese Sauce that Asda has withdrawn following the detection of traces of equine DNA in a screening test," they said. "The company is currently awaiting the results of further quantitative tests that will validate the presence and the extent of the equine DNA. “The sauce contained meat that was supplied to

Greencore under contract by the ABP Food Group's Nenagh plant in County Tipperary, Ireland - an approved and regularly audited supplier. "Greencore is committed to maintaining the highest standards of food safety and food traceability, and is therefore extremely concerned that the quality of one of its products may have been compromised in this way," the statement said.

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Green Scene

The Informer

By Kathy Marsh, Sonairte

King of the trees

Buy local, over imported organic...

No buts, get a water butt

As I write I’ve just been voting for the King Oak in Tullamore as European Tree of the Year – voting closes on February 28th so you can vote yourself if you read this in time. But voting makes me wonder when the ground is going to dry out enough to plant various bare rooted trees that I’ve got waiting to go in. I’ll probably finish up potting them so that they can start making new roots and planting them later in the year. And this will mean I’ll have to spend a lot more time looking after them and doing a lot more watering. One way or another a whole lot of environmental issues are starting to clamour.

Which brings me to a personal environmental decision. As I’m sure everyone who cares to listen knows by now I’m a life long proponent of organic food production and my first choice for food is always one of my local organic growers - I’m lucky, there are a few around here. But if something isn’t grown locally and organically I’m making the choice to buy local, over imported organic. Irish farmers are having a nightmare winter and they need every bit of support they can get from us to see them through. If you get the opportunity to buy direct from them so much the better – you know the money is going where it is most needed. One thing I love about Keogh’s Crisps is that you can check the packet and see which Irish field their spuds were grown in.

And the watering of those baby trees. In case you haven’t noticed yet you’ll be paying water charges very shortly. Which means you’ll be paying for the rain that falls on your house. Why not collect it and use it to water your garden? Water butts that fill from the downpipe from your gutters are cheap and easy to install – they divert into the water butt until it is full and then the rest just goes on down into the drains as it always did. And think about using grey water as well. Just tip your washing-up water into a bucket and carry it outside to water those newly planted trees. Though you might want to think about what chemicals are in the washing up water and either switch to a more environmentally friendly washing up liquid or even simply use really hot water. This is actually just as effective for most of your washing up and maybe you’d rather eat off a chemical free plate. Just a thought.

That draughty Climate Change Bill First of all, that wet ground. Once again all the weather records have gone out of the window this winter and we’ve spent weeks trying to remember what the sun looks like and wondering if we’ll see a day without rain – just one year on from a record drought and two years on from a record cold spell. And against this background the Minister for the Environment chose to submit to Cabinet a draft Climate Change Bill that had no emissions targets and no indendent monitoring. I congratulate his Labour colleagues on telling him to think again, but it would have been better if he’d thought it through better himself. After all, even the US President has now said that climate action needs teeth. Meanwhile my local farmers are having to borrow tractors to pull their own tractors out of the mud when they try to dig carrots and parsnips to put on our tables.

...and buy peat free compost So back to my baby trees and potting them up. It is still hard to find peat free compost at many Irish garden centres. Ask them for it. Clamour for it. Tell them you will shop elsewhere until they get it in stock. There is no valid excuse for supporting the destruction of our boglands. And while you are about it make compost at home – brown bins are for people who don’t have gardens. Why are you giving away resources in a time of recession? (That goes for paper and cardboard too, by the way, in this house it lights the woodstove in winter and goes in the compost the rest of the year.) There is still a huge shortage of Irish made peat free potting compost. Demand it. Write to the manufacturers of the peat based kind and ask them what they are doing about it. As soon as they see there is money in it they’ll find a way to make it.

Tall beds and your brown bin To get back to that wet ground though, and the brown bin you’ve been putting compostables in. I persuaded my menfolk (I’m not good with a hammer and nails) to use scrap timber to build tall raised beds that are easy on an ageing back. In effect they are compost heaps about 1 metre wide, 2 metres long and hip high.

Carboard and paper, kitchen waste, weeds, hedge trimmings are all going into one of those and come St Patrick’s Day they’ll get planted with potatoes in little pockets of ready made compost to keep them fed while the rest of the box contents rot down into soil. Because they are high they won’t get wet, because of all the organic matter they won’t need much watering, and even if this weather continues all summer they won’t get blight because I’ll be growing some of the Sarpo varieties which are blight resistant – you can buy them in Mr Middletons.

No need for GMO spuds We’ve heard a lot from Teagasc and others about the need to construct genetically engineered potatoes if we are to have a secure food supply. The varieties mentioned above prove that we don’t. And many heritage varieties also have good blight resistance. To find out more about how to have great tasty home grown potatoes, even in the Irish climate, there are buying opportunities and talks by experts at this year’s two potato days. The first is on March 10th at the Organic Centre, in Rossinver, Co. Leitrim and the second at Sonairte, in Laytown Co. Meath on March 23rd. Both feature the amazing Dave Langford and Dermot Casey displaying their potato collection and talking about how to grow them, and both will feature buying opportunities for organically grown seed potatoes, blight resistance varieties and flavoursome heritage spuds. Kaethe Burt-O’Dea will also be talking at Sonairte about using community science to develop blight resistant potatoes and what you can do to join in.

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The Informer

Angler's Angles with Keith McDonnell

Wild salmon – a species at risk The Atlantic Salmon is widely recognised as being the king of all game angling species, and along with sea trout, has a very special place in the hearts of anglers from all over the world. Both are iconic in the world of game angling, and to have the privilege to catch one and see it go back in the water to breed, is something to be cherished. However, their very existence has become all the more uncertain with the recent proposals for aquaculture development around the coast of this island. The unpalatable prospect of losing our native wild stocks due to the negative impact of salmon farming has brought a very dedicated and formidable group of people together, under the name of No Salmon Farms At Sea (NSFAS). NSFAS is comprised of dedicated individuals from all walks of life and all with a common purpose. We are anglers, conservationists and concerned individuals who originate from the four provinces of this island. We are committed to conservation with the stated mission “To strive to safeguard our wild salmon and sea trout, their marine habitat and inland waterways, in order to ensure their continued existence" Our aquatic environment is a fragile ecosystem which, unless you don a diving suit, is invisible to us above the waves. The latest proposed salmon farm for Galway Bay, it is estimated, will produce waste equivalent to a city twice the size of Galway if fully operational. Nutrients in the waste such as nitrogen and phosphorus can cause harmful algal blooms or red tides. It has been stated that the development in Galway will create 500 jobs both directly and indi-

rectly. Inland Fisheries Ireland(IFI) has stated that in their opinion, the number of jobs which could be realistically created is in the region of 200. IFI has also stated that if Bord Iaiscagh Mhara(BIM) follows already established aquaculture models then the development would create just 30 jobs. The highly inflated number of jobs, which BIM claim will be created, will be far outweighed by the number of jobs lost in areas where no other industry exists apart from that in tourism and angling. Inland Fisheries Ireland has stated that angling is worth e143 million to our economy from Irish anglers alone and a further e89 million from visiting anglers. In a recent radio broadcast IFI stated that over 5,000 people are directly employed in the angling sector. Job losses could be a very real prospect in areas such as inshore fishing, the hospitality sector, recreational angling sector and all associated businesses dependent on visiting anglers. If there are no salmon or sea trout left in our rivers then the consequences could be far reaching in our rural communities. Anglers and Conservationists will do everything in their power to prevent any further destruction to our environment and already declining wild salmon and sea trout stocks. NSFAS have formed alliances with various organisations and has the support of both national and international bodies in its efforts to safeguard the future of our Wild Salmon and Sea Trout for future generations. If you wish to find out more then please visit our website and sign the petition. Keith McDonnell is a fly fishing guide and instructor and big trout nut based in Dublin.


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The sky over Dublin with Conor Farrell, Astronomy Ireland

The Spring Equinox is approaching

The coming month or so gives us a couple of forming a huge tail often millions of kilomeinteresting astronomical events. The first is tres long. the Spring Equinox, occurring on March 20th. Comet PANSTARRS will be an early morning The word ‘equinox’ is derived from ‘aequss’ object in late February, but will get brighter and ‘nox’, the Latin words for ‘equal’ and and brighter as swings past the Sun, becom‘night’. As you might guess from this, the ing an evening object, visible just after sunequinox is when day and night last an equal set. The best time to see the comet will be on amount of time (i.e. between the sunrises the evenings of March 9th and 10th, although and sunsets). it will be visible for a couple of weeks around The equinoxes are also placed between the these dates. The comet will appear as a streak two extremes of night/day length, the sol- in the sky in western sky, but be sure to wait stices, where day is at its shortest and night at until after sunset, as viewing this region its longest in the case of the Winter Solstice, while the Sun is still up can damage your and vice-versa for the Summer Solstice. The eyes. two equinoxes occur when the Earth is at a As always, you can let Astronomy Ireland point in its orbit around the Sun, such that know what you’ve seen in the sky be emailthe Sun is directly over the equator. ing While the equinox is a sure sign that we’re in spring and that summer is on the way, the big highlight will probably be Comet PANSTARRS. This object was discovered in 2011 and can be liked to a “dirty snowball” a few kilometres wide. As a comet approaches the Sun in its very elongatLooking West ed orbit, some of the ice will evaporate, n The comet Panstarrs is coming in March (Pic NASA)

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This year extra spaces have been added to cater for the huge numbers applying. However, spaces are very limited and with all courses being oversubscribed last year, all indications are that this trend will continue for 2013. You can now enjoy 14 days of the same Gaeltacht experience with all its spraoi, spóirt, craic and ceol while learning Irish, which has made Coláiste Cholumba a huge success for over 40 years.

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Garden Growing Time to get the show on the road I have up to now always regarded the first day of February ‘Saint Bridget’s Day’ as the first day of spring. As a result of the awful weather so far this year and the weather in general in February, I’m about to jump ship and resign myself to the fact that the 1st of March is the end of winter and spring will have finally sprung. Either way I love this time of year when we set out our plans for this year's growing whether it’s in the veg plot, or summer bulbs, or the perennials and shrubs. With the days getting longer it’s time to get the show on the road. Let’s start in the veg plot. Although my plot is small, i.e. 60 square feet, I manage to grow a marvellous variety of things, starting with early potatoes and finishing with beetroot with several months of varied lettuces in between. Seed potatoes are now available in garden centres and DIY outlets. Regular readers will know that my absolute favourite early new potato is a variety called ‘Orla’. They are very easy to grow with little or no work other

than earthing up as the plants develop. The seed pototoes should be chitted to give them a better start until it’s time for them to go into the ground. Chitting means that you put the seed potatoes in something like empty egg boxes with the eyes upwards and let the small shoots or eyes develop. By about the middle of March, traditionally Saint Patrick’s day, the well chitted seed potatoes are ready for planting. However before you do any planting it’s vital to energize your plot with a good tonic, such as leaf mould, nitrogen rich chicken manure pellets, well rotted horse manure, or think about seaweed in liquid or powder form if you don’t have the time to gather the real thing at the seashore. Elsewhere in the garden if trees or tall shrubs need to be pruned this has to happen very soon before this year's growth takes off. It’s much easier to look at a tree or tall shrub and decide where to prune when it’s bare of leaves. In addition birds will soon start to choose their nest sites and pruning really shouldn’t be

The Informer

With Gerry Norton Gerry Norton, Living Landescapes, 97 Church Avenue, Drumcondra, Dublin 9 Tel: 087-2462724 or email done after early March.. I’m determined this year to grow more varieties of summer bulbs in containers other than the usual few tiger lilies. Kinsealy Garden Centre have a great selection of ‘Kapiteyn’ Dutch bulbs. I’m going to try ‘Galtonia Viridiflora, or Summer Hyacinth and ‘Bessera Elegans’ otherwise know as Coral Drops which is a very elegant flower not unlike a heavily made up Fuchsia. I would also like to try ‘Gladiolus Callianthus’ or ‘Acidanthera Muriale’. This bulb needs excellent drainage and warmth, so choose a place in your garden wisely and you will be rewarded with a truly perfect flower and marvellous fragrance in the autumn. Lawns will need their first cut in the next few weeks. Get your mower serviced now and make sure all your other garden tools are sharpened and ready for action as well. When it’s time for your lawn’s first cut don’t go too hard. Always remember with lawns the 1/3rd rule. Never cut more than 1/3rd of the new growth. Stick to this as a rule and with the usual feeding and top dressing you will have a lawn to be proud of. 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.

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For once he knew exactly what to get her for Valentine’s Day. He wouldn’t have to agonise or wander aimlessly in rows looking for the perfect gift for hours on end. He would do his shopping in no time and hopefully she’ll be happier with him. He hadn’t been the best of husbands lately. Taking on the new Cloud Computing project at work had meant he kept coming home late and was always too tired to listen to his wife. But these gifts he decided would set him right again. He went to the Home Department of Dunnes Stores and bought a set of pillowcases. Then he went to the Bathroom Department and bought some bath products and then went to the stationary department and bought a Valentine’s card. He arrived home a little ahead of schedule and wrapped his gifts as best as he could. Then he wrote a brief note in the card and sat on the chair. A satisfied smile started to appear on his lips as he contemplated his presents on the kitchen table. He made himself a cup of tea and waited for her to come home. She arrived twenty minutes later. She seemed tired and grumpy but on seeing the presents on the table, her face softened. “Is that for me?” she said with disbelief. “Yes, darling!” He went to kiss her and handed over all his presents. At first, her smile widened, but it narrowed and froze when she saw first the pillow cases, then the CIF product to clean the bath tub and a scrub. “What are these?!” she said her voice turning as cold as the look on her face. “Well, your gifts, darling…but...” “Are you pulling my leg?” she said cutting him off. He turned a little white and rolled his eyes in panic searching for the card. “But you haven’t read the card!” he said. “I don’t need to read your damned card!” she screamed all selfrestraint lost. “I can’t believe you! After three months of not seeing each other, that’s all you can come up with?” She said. “The card!” he said to her imploringly. “Read the card”. He handed over the card and waited. He knew the words by heart. The card said: “To my lovely wife Deirdre, now that the project is over, I hope I can catch up on our pillow talk. The cleaning product is for me. I will clean the bath tub as many times as you want. The scrub is to rub your back. As for the twelve pearl on the necklace in the bottom of this card; one pearl for every week you have been putting up with me! Love, Bernie.” He looked at his wife. One single tear ran down her cheek. She opened her arms to him and he walked in to her embrace. Back To Love, a very short collection of four romantic short stories based in Ireland for e1. 1 teenage love story (Unloving You), 1 dark romance (See Through Love), 1 first date romantic story, (Cup of Love), 1 sexy romance (Like a Tide) and an E-book to bind them all.

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The Informer

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The Informer

In this month’s interview, Kevin O’Brien chats to one of the most experienced and proven business women of the past decade. Danuta Gray led mobile phone giant O2 for nearly 10 years and is now embarking in her new role as a non-executive director with gambling giant Paddy Power and investment group Old Mutual.

A safe bet for Paddy Power Where did you grow up? Sheffield, Yorkshire in England. How does doing business in Ireland compare to that of the UK, explain? It’s much easier to access, meet and get to know people in Ireland and business is much more relationship based here. What or who has been your greatest influence in business so far and why? A number of great people I worked for over the years. They had low egos, encouraged me and gave me chances to grow, were fun to work with and they all balanced success in business with a focus on their family as well. What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date? Professionally - O2 won awards as the best company to work for, best customer service centre, and best marketing team - that was fantastic recognition and summed up how we believed in trying to do the best for customers, for our people and by doing so success followed. What’s the best advice you have received in business? Put your customers first, pick the best people you can find, set clear, ambitious targets. What one thing have you learned that has

served you well over the years? I've always tried to treat others as I would want to be treated, with respect. Are you into your fashion, explain? Yes I do enjoy fashion and especially shoes - I'm afraid I have a serious weakness when it comes to buying them. In your opinion, do you think business women dress well overall in Ireland? I think business people in the UK and Ireland dress similarly. Some are very chic and some not! To be honest the French and Italians still outshine us both Lots of companies like Google and Facebook have a casual approach to dress in the work place, do you think we are too casual in our business dress sense or is formal business dress best? Style of dress should suit the person and the culture they work in. Casual is fine but it's not an excuse for looking scruffy. To me 'smart casual' are the two words I fear most on an invite! I still haven't worked out what it means for me. Where do you normally shop for clothes, do you have any favourite particular label or brand? For everyday wear I shop in Hobbs, Jaegar and good old M&S. I love Louise Kennedy and Caroline Charles when I want to spoil myself a bit more.

And for shoes - anything from LK Bennett to Manolo Blahnik. Do you to accessorise with jewellery? I wouldn't wear a lot of jewellery for business and tend to keep it to a minimum. I only really wear jewellery for more formal occasions. For day to day I tend to use shoes, bags and silk scarves to accessorize. Who would you admire in the fashion world, explain? In the fashion world. I think Victoria Beckham surprised a lot of people and I think her designs are fantastic. In terms of someone who's style I admire - it has to be Helen Mirren for me. I'm even envious of her pink hair. She always looks fab. How do you chill out? I chill out by walking in the countryside, spending time with my family and friends, and reading. What would be your perfect job? Well other than the one I had in O2 - would be owning a shoe shop that had a book store and coffee shop attached. What is number one business goal you hope to accomplish over the next year? To make a positive difference on the boards I serve on - particularly the two I've just joined (Paddy Power and Old Mutual).

The Informer Interview

Danuta Gray CONTRIBUTOR WRITERS REQUIRED Ireland’s largest Fashion website are now looking for part-time fashion writers to contribute regular fashion related articles for our new website coming February 2013

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Graham Connor's Movie Advice This is 40 HHHHH

Director Judd Apatow. Starring Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, John Lithgow & Megan Fox. Pete and Debbie are married and have two children. As both of them approach their 40th birthday’s they begin to reassess their lives together. Okay, two questions before I go any further; did you like Knocked Up? Do you like comedies that are based on character as opposed to gags? If the answer is yes to either of those questions then you are going to love This is 40. Apatow has a knack of writing comedies that are deeply personal and very real. He casts his films very well and this is no exception, every actor shines in this film, Albert Brooks especially. I thought This is 40 was a mature, clever film. It isn’t a fake rom-com, the likes of which have been clogging our cinema screens in recent years; it creates humour out of very real situations. This is 40 will not be for everyone. If you like Jennifer Anniston and Ryan Reynolds comedies then steer clear of this film as you will only be disappointed. Fabulous film. Advice: Top notch.




Beautiful Creatures HHHHH

Director Richard LaGravenese. Starring Alice Englert, Alden Ehrenreich, Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons. Ethan dreams about leaving his small town but when Lina arrives he finds a reason to stay – but Lina and her family, led by strange Uncle Macon, are hiding something… Good God but I hate nonsense and unfortunately that is exactly what we get in Beautiful Creatures. Young Adult literature has been big business for the last few years, Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games to name but a few, some have made great films and some not so great. Beautiful Creatures falls into the not so great category. It looks fabulous, very well shot but no amount of great sets and camera work can mask a boring film. There is not enough action and too much teenage moodiness and angst. The plot is very complicated and Jeremy Irons, while being a wonderful actor, is completely out of place here. The pacing is flat and there’s no great charm to compensate and keep you interested. If you liked Twilight then this is for you. If not then stay well clear. Advice: Not one for cinema

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The Informer

All about Dublin 1

A Place in the City

St. Mary's, Haddington Road Catholic Emancipation (1829) led to an explosion of church building and re-organisation of parishes around the country. Work on St. Mary's, Haddington Road, began in 1835 and it opened, though little more than a shell, with out a ceiling or internal plastering and an earthen floor, in November 1839. When work began the area was beginning to develop its current look but at the time the only other major building locally was Baggot Street Hospital. Haddington Road (after the Earl of Haddington who was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland 1834-5) appears on maps from 1838 onwards, before then it was known as Cottage Terrace and Circular Road. Other streets being laid out at the same time included Northumberland and Shelbourne Roads. The modern parish of St. Mary's was created in 1876 when the parish of Irishtown and Donnybrook was divided into three. The old parish of St. Mary's had been established in 1787 and comprised Haddington Road, Ringsend, Irishtown, Sandymount and Donnybrook. The boundaries of the

parish coincide with the Grand Canal to the north, Herbert Park to the south, the railway line to the east and Upper Leeson Street to the west. Nearby Baggot Street hospital records of 1916 state:During the fighting the staff became aware of two wounded soldiers signalling for help. The soldiers were trapped on top of the church tower in nearby Haddington Road. Two resident stu-

dents managed to reach the soldiers at great personal risk but it was several hours before they were able to carry them back to the hospital as the belfry of the church came under heavy fire. On May 3rd 1916 - the date of execution of Pearse, McDonagh and Clarke - the Rev. Fr. F. Watters of C.U.S. Leeson Street, was shot while leaving St. Mary's presbytery; he died five days later.

Lesser Known Dubliners

Edited by Zoz Hugh O'Connor

Hugh O'Connor was born in 1734 in Dublin, Ireland, and emigrated to Spain as a young man, where he joined the military and became an officer in the Regiment of Arag贸n. He saw military service in Cuba, a Spanish colony, and was later transferred to New Spain. He was appointed military governor of Northern Mexico by the Spanish Viceroy and was assigned the task of reorganising and improving Spain's military outposts (presidios) for protection against the Apache and Comanche people from the north. O'Connor earned a reputation for skill and bravery as a military commander, and the local criollos - the Mexican-born children of Spanish parents - referred to him as El Capit谩n Colorado (the ruddy-complexioned captain). He established new and more efficient presidios all the way from Texas to California, which guaranteed a period of relative peace and prosperity throughout the region for the settlers. O'Connor is still remembered in Arizona as the founder in 1775 of the original pueblo which today is known as the City of Tucson. In 1777, O'Conor requested, due to failing health, to be transferred to the Yucatan

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The Informer

All about Dublin 2

Edited by Zoz

Firsthand History

A view back from 1847

The state of the best Dublin streets, about a century ago (c.1747), was much worse than the Pill-lane or Goat-alley of 1847. There were no areas in front of houses, as there are now in all streets consisting of private residences; and the spouts, instead of being carried down to the ground by trunks, so as to suffer the water to run off in a confined stream, projected out either from the roof, or half-way down the wall, so as to pour in torrents over a large space below, after every shower. Sewers there were few or none, and many houses having no rere or place of deposit behind, the inhabitants threw all species of filth into the middle of the street, so that Dublin was as little purified as Edinburgh or Lisbon. As late as the year 1811, there was not one covered sewer in the most populous district of the city - the Liberty, south of the Coombe; and it is a very singular circumstance, that when the great sewer through Capel-street was commenced under the powers vested in the pavingboard, after 1806, that street being then one of the most populous in Dublin, and in which the most thriving shopkeepers of the day lived, the sewer was covered in at the desire of the inhabitants, and left unfinished. [The sewer was so wide and deep

in proportion to the breadth of the street, that the inhabitants were afraid the foundation part of their houses woul way and fall into it.] For want of sewers, the filth and water were received in pits, called cess-pools, dug before the doors, and covered in; and those continued in Sackville-street, and other places, long after the year 1810; and many now remember the horrid sight and smell which periodically offended the inhabitants in the most fashionable streets, when those stygian pools were opened and emptied. Among the mementos of the former state of the streets of our metropolis, some, not the least curious, are the various Acts passed for their improvement, which draw most piteous pictures of their condition. From one passed in 1717, it appears to have been a lucrative business to lay dirt in the streets for the purpose of making manure. In such a state of the city, shoeblacks must have had a thriving trade. The face of things is now changed. Dublin is one of the cleanest cities in Europe, and a pedestrian may walk from east to west and north to south of it without soiling his foot. An extract from 'Ireland 60 Years Ago' by John Edward Walsh, published in 1847.

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The Informer

Ask the The new baby's medicine cabinet Pharmacist

Q: My partner is pregnant with our first child and is due to give birth in a few weeks’ time. Is there anything for the baby that you would recommend getting in advance to have in the house when they come home? I want to be prepared, rather than going down to the pharmacy every few days to get something we had never thought of.

A: Bringing home your first baby is daunting, as most people have little experience of caring for a baby until they bring home their own. Parents can be overwhelmed with the information that they get in ante-natal classes and are often unclear about how to treat or prevent the minor ailments that affect many babies. It can help to be prepared in advance so that you can respond to the needs of your baby straight away. Vitamin D

One thing that you should get in advance is vitamin D drops. It is now recommended that all babies are given a daily vitamin D supplement for the first year of life. Vitamin D should be given whether your baby is breast fed or formula fed. Vitamin D is essential for the body to absorb calcium and take it up into the bones to make them strong. There are a number of vitamin D products for babies available from pharmacies. All of them give the same dose of vitamin D, but vary in price and the number of drops that need to be given each day. It is not recommended to give babies multivitamins or any other supplement except on the advice of the doctor. A problem that affects many babies in the first weeks of life, and periodically in the following months if for example they catch a cold, is excess mucus in the nose. This may be more of a problem if your baby is born by

Baby Oil to apply to the whole body while the skin is still wet after their bath. Elave Baby Intensive Cream can be used to treat any patches of dry skin or all over if the skin is very dry. There is no need to get Calpol or Nurofen or any other similar medicines as these are not recommended during the first few months of life.

Nappy matters

caesarean section. When babies are born naturally, the journey through the birth canal helps to squeeze mucus from their lungs and nasal cavity, but babies born by C-section may have more mucus present. This mucus can be heard clearly in a snuffly sound when they breathe. It is generally harmless, but can cause some distress especially when they are feeding and may have difficulty breathing through the nose. Saline nasal drops can help to liquefy this mucus, make it easier for the baby to clear and help wash out the nose. They are safe to use from birth and are very useful to have when your baby comes home. Good skin care

Babies’ frequently get quite dry and a good skin care routine is essential in preventing this. There are numerous skin and bath products available for babies. As a general rule, you should avoid those that are heavily coloured or scented. I find the Elave range to be the best for general use, although Sebamed, Oilatum and E45 are also fine products. I would recommend getting the Elave Moisturising Baby Bath to add to their bath and Elave

For nappy changes, Bepanthen Cream is probably the best skin preparation to use to prevent nappy rash and can be applied at every nappy change. It helps to nourish and moisturise the skin and forms a breathable barrier on the skin to protect the delicate skin from irritants present in urine and faeces. Baby powder (medicated or nonmedicated) can be used in addition if you wish. If your baby does develop nappy rash, Caldease Ointment and Caldesene Powder are ideal treatments. For more severe, inflamed nappy rash Canesten Cream may be suitable treatment but you should check with your doctor or pharmacist before using this cream. If your baby is to be breast fed, sore and cracked nipples are commonly experienced by the mother and it is a good idea to have something available to help to treat and prevent this. Lansinoh Ointment is a great product to use and can be safely applied before and after feeding without any concern that it could negatively impact your baby. If your partner does choose to breastfeed, Vitabiotics Pregnacare Breasfeeding Tablets are an ideal nutritional support for her to take, containing plenty of calcium, iron and vitamin D3 as well as omega-3 fish oils rich in the essential fatty acid DHA which is essential for your baby’s eye and brain development.

With Eoin Meany

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

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


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The Informer

Dublin Tips to Help Improve Your Relationship Advice The post-Christmas period can be a time when couples feel most dissatisfied with their relationship. Whether the holiday was stressful or enjoyable, the January slump can highlight tensions that are bubbling under the surface. Many couples unnecessarily decide to separate, not realising that practical skills and techniques can be learned to help improve communication and resolve conflicts.

different needs and a healthy relationship will accommodate these for both people, allowing for quality time to be enjoyed together. Letting the other person be themselves means disagreements do not have to descend into intractable conflicts of personality. Learning to breathe, stay calm and not react emotionally when an argument appears to be brewing is a powerful skill. Remaining rational, caring and solution-focussed contributes greatly to diminishing the hurt that can otherwise be caused.

Enhancing Communication

The single most useful skill to bring to a relationship is that of active listening. This means listening with full attention without having any agenda of our own, listening purely to hear, understand and empathise. Questions are used only to gain a deeper sense of the other person's experience, not to fix, criticise or score points. In conversation, we usually have our own ideas and opinions and may be just waiting for the other person to finish before we come in with our response. Or we may be half-listening, distracted by worrying about other tasks and demands. Active listening is described as a skill because it takes practice to learn to put our own concerns and wishes to one side, even for 10 minutes, and give the other person undivided attention and interest. For couples, making time to be together, taking turns to share, confide in each other and listen, can enhance the bonding and caring in their relationship.

By Maeve Halpin, Registered Counselling Psychologist

Destructive Behaviours

When arguments occur, certain behaviours have been shown to be destructive to the relationship. Stonewalling means shutting down, withdrawing and refusing to engage. While it can be useful to take time

out if a discussion is getting too heated, stonewalling leaves the other person feeling rejected and unheard. Criticism refers to commenting negatively on the other's behaviour, over and above the current problem, e.g. “you are so selfish”, “you never listen”. This makes the person feel personally attacked and threatened. Contempt is using sneering or sarcastic language e.g. “Of course, your family are perfect”, which humiliates and belittles. Defensiveness occurs when we feel we have to justify our actions, e.g. “You haven't got a clue just how much I have to remember every day.” The other person feels alienated and becomes defensive in response.

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Defusing Arguments

Couples that argue a lot tend to fall into repetitive, circular and aimless patterns of fighting. Becoming aware of how this happens allows a more constructive approach to be adopted. Start discussions amicably, with the goal of achieving a 'win-win' situation. Listen carefully and compassionately and be prepared to compromise. We all have

Concentrate on the Positive.

We are hardwired to be more aware of the negative - it is a survival mechanism. Every expression of negative emotion requires five expressions of positive emotion to bring us back to a position of neutral feeling. We can build up our 'positivity bank account' every day, by giving compliments to our partner, being affectionate with hugs, kisses and small gifts, and saying thanks. Everyday things cab be taken for granted, like cooking, paying bills and companionship. Appreciating the benefits and comfort of a relationship and the uniqueness of our partner can help see our problems in perspective. Short-term counselling can be a first step in understanding recurring difficulties and developing useful tools to resolve issues into the future.

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Animal Tracks with Fionnuala Rogers, DSPCA

Would a rabbit be the pet for me? 4 Rabbits need lots of attention and companionship, and need to be held at least once a day to stop them becoming aggressive when handled by both adults and children. 4 A garden surrounded by a brick wall with no means of escape for exercise and daily feeding.

cabbage, carrots and broccoli. Also their own droppings 4 And food from the pet shop will do If you have any queries regarding rabbits/ guinea pigs contact the DSPCA on 01-4935502

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Ballyfermot Football Book - Sponsorship & Support Request To whom it may concern,

My name is Paul O'Brien and I am at present in the process of putting together a book regarding my time and experiences in football in the Ballyfermot area over the last thirty years. To enable me to achieve this, I am seeking sponsorship from local businesses. I would be very grateful for any donations received in relation to my project. Businesses who do contribute will be invited to the launch of the book. The proposed book will incorporate my involvement in local ďŹ ve a sides, seven a sides and league teams. It will feature well-known players, personalities, photos, along with testimonials and interviews with people who participated and who worked with me. It has been my intention for a long time to have a book published that would highlight and acknowledge the efforts, achievements and talent of local people that I have been fortunate to work with and befriend over the years. I would therefore appreciate any contribution towards this project and will ensure that those who contribute will be acknowledged on the night the book is launched. Thanking you, Paul O'Brien Mobile Number: 085 2856402

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Santry Informer February 2013  
Santry Informer February 2013