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TallaghtInformer 25,000 copies delivered monthly

April 2011 • Unit 38, Northwood Court, Santry, Dublin 9 • Tel: 01 813 8786 • Email: • Web:


Volunteer of the Year Award for Tallaght

A volunteer at the Barnardos Millbrook project in Tallaght has won the Barnardos Volunteer of the Year Award. Linda Foy shared the prize with By Kim O'Donnell 6th year student John D’Arcy. She accepted the award from Irish actor Liam Cunningham. Foy says she is important to work within the abili“still in shock” after winning the ties of the children, who are aged title for her work teaching art to between three and five. “We make pre-schoolers: “I’ve been so lucky bows and stick stuff on plates, to be part of it, it’s kind of strange nothing that’s beyond their abilities to get an award because it really but things that can get them thinkwasn’t necessary,” she says hum- ing as well.” At the awards ceremony, sponbly. Foy became involved with sored by Beauchamps solicitors Barnardos after walking into their head office on Christchurch and asking if they needed any volunteers: “I didn’t necessarily know if it would be possible but I went in one day and thought, what the hell, is there any chance I could volunteer?” She first worked at various Barnardos centres in Dublin, including a stint at a centre on Buckingham Street, before arriving in Tallaght. Art graduate Foy says that it’s n Award winning: Linda Foy

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and IT company Softech, Barnardos CEO Fergus Finlay praised “Linda’s energy and unique spirit” and said that the children “have learnt they can trust her and rely on her.” When she’s not volunteering with Barnardos, Linda works in youth projects and at a children’s hospital. She doesn’t get as much time as she’d like to practise her art she says, but when she can, she oil paints. Children’s charity Barnardos has 247 volunteers nationwide who the charity rely upon to raise funds, staff shops, run the board and work alongside staff with children and families. Barnardos ambassador Liam Cunningham said of the volunteers: “I have seen first-hand the impact that [they] have on the children they work with. Their commitment is outstanding. They are without doubt an inspiration. What I saw gave me hope and belief in communities in Ireland and what can be achieved together.”

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Mayhem in Camelot! Hitting the ton

Kevin O'Brien Interview

Win Tickets to see

Spamalot at the Grand Canal Theatre

Monty Python’s Spamalot gives you the real story of King Arthur (Phill Jupitus above) and the Knights of the Round Table with songs even catchier than the plague See Page 28

Time we said 'whoa' to horse cruelty Opinion Page 3

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The Informer

The Drift

Q The month in Quotes


From a personal point of view, and I think I speak for a lot of Irish sports teams, not just cricket, beating England in any form of the game in any sport not only at a World Cup is always a fantastic occasion. Ireland cricketer Kevin O'Brien hits the spot.

The context of these words has been causing deep trauma in a community for years and continues today. This is just a glimpse of the reality of the intimidation and the violence the community has been facing for years. Jerrie Ann Sullivan, Corrib gas protester on the controversial garda recording in Mayo. The person who placed that bomb in the footwell of young Ronan Kerr's vehicle, may from their own warped version be deemed to be somebody of stature, is so false, and so wrong, and so utterly removed from the future of the peoples of this island, that we, by our attendance there, will condemn this unilaterally and without question or hesitation Enda Kenny announcing his intention to go to the funeral of Ronan Kerr in Tyrone I have already directed that funds not used by the NRA on new projects this year should be identified and diverted to repairing badly damaged secondary national, regional and local roads Transport Minister Leo Varadkar changes priorities I tried everything but we came to a moment that not taking this decision would bring risks we cannot afford. Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, giving into the inevitable They all love me, all my people are with me. They will die to protect me. Muammar Gaddafi may well be under a misapprehension They accepted they will all probably die from radiation sickness in the short term or cancer in the long term. The mother of a worker at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan

Dublin by Numbers

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This is the amount of CO2 in megatonnes emitted by Irish companies participating in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in 2009. Greenhouse Gas emissions from ETS companies had declined from 22.43 Mtonnes CO2 in 2005 to 17.22 Mtonnes CO2 in 2009. The decline was largely down to the crash in the ecomomy. The data for 2010 shows emissions have risen slightly to 17.36 Mtonnes CO2, so perhaps that's a mixed blessing.

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Comment & Debate

Time we said 'whoa' to horse cruelty

This month I’d like to make you aware of The Dublin SPCA National Horse Amnesty Programme, launched Friday 25th March by Dublin’s Lord Mayor Gerry Breen. This amnesty aims to reduce the numbers of horses ending up in unregulated, unlicensed horse markets, such as the one in Smithfield and, we hope, prevent the unnecessary suffering that many of these animals are forced to endure. Why are we offering this Amnesty?

Simple! We asked ourselves – where will it all end? Why are some people so evil when it comes to the treatment of animals? We care about animals; all animals and we estimate that the amount of horses enduring inadequate shelter, veterinary and farrier care could run into thousands. For example, did you know that in 2010, the Dublin SPCA rescued 120 horses? 50 per cent of which had to be humanely euthanised. Why? They were so far beyond veterinary treatment due to sickness and/or injury because these majestic creatures had been forced to endure enormous suffering before somebody took the responsibility to pick up the ‘phone and call us. So, with your permission, I’d like to touch upon some of the most appalling incidences of unnecessary and barbaric cruelty to horses witnessed by us at the shelter. Incidences so horrific, no amount of cleansing would remove them from

By Miriam Kerins Education Office, Dublin SPCA

Meet Blossom - a simple case of before and after

my mind’s eye. I’d hope that in making my readers aware of what is going on in our fair city; the lives of cruelly treated horses will improve. What you’re about to read happens on a daily basis; I know because I witness it and it’s clear evidence of the extraordinary neglect, abuse and couldn’t care less attitude meted out by so called human beings. For example: l A pregnant mare, jockeyed non stop over a number of hours, by a group of teens who then, not satisfied that she was suffering severe pain and exhaustion, decided to force her to jump a fence. Unable to complete the jump due to her condition and exhaustion, the mare had her stomach ripped open by the spikes on the fence, causing her such severe injuries, that despite our valiant attempts to save her life, we lost both mare and foal. The teens? Oh they left her embedded on the spikes and ran away, probably home to mammy and daddy! A two year old red and white pony whose throat was slashed by a thug using a Stanley knife. This criminal then stood over the pony’s body and observed while his life’s blood drained from the animal and calmly, chillingly, walked away. Now I


Meet Blossom. This is Blossom before - she is tied to a fridge and we estimate she was left that way without food, water, shelter or veterinary care for up to 10 days before we were informed and rescued her. She was suffering appalling maldon’t know about you but I find this type of crime very destabilizing for any community. l A three year old male brown and white

pony suffering from fly strike, displaying chronic leg injuries due to an embedded rope which wore his leg down to the bone. Our veterinary surgeon had no choice but to euthanize this stricken animal. I believe there’s a silent place where the sad and broken heart visits; mine and my colleagues visit that place every time the ‘phone rings with another call to attend a cruelty case. Therefore in our search for answers

nourishment and rain scald amongst other injuries. And this is Blossom now as she is today, recovering at our animal rescue shelter following the care and veterinary attention and love she so desperately deserves.

and in order to alleviate this unnecessary suffering of horses, the Dublin SPCA has set up a dedicated ‘phone number – (01-4994747) where owners can ring in confidence and discuss their situation. An Amnesty Liaison Officer will assist them to take the next steps. This will include providing support to the owner to hold on to the animal while endeavoring to find an appropriate homing opportunity, taking in the horse or finding a suitable foster home for the animal if the owner is under temporary pressure but feels he/she will, in the future, be able to take back ownership of the horse. The Dublin SPCA will coordinate this activity, identify and vet potential adop-

ters as well as liaise with other welfare groups who have capacity to take in some horses. For more information, or if you can help us help these animals ‘phone our Amnesty Hotline on 01-4994747 or email The Dublin SPCA is a charity dependent upon donations from members of the public.

The Sound of Music Competition Winner Keri Brady from Castleknock


The Informer

Green Scene

GMOs cause a new danger to health and world food supplies A few weeks ago Professor Don M. Huber, who coordinates the Emergent Diseases and Pathogens committee of the American Phytopathological Society, noticed a trend in the scientific papers he was reading about genetically modified crops and glyphosate – the weedkiller you can buy in your local garden centre under the name of RoundUp. What he was seeing was something so worrying that he didn’t even wait to finish his research but wrote immediately to the United States Secretary for Agriculture, Tom Vilsack. The letter was leaked and a campaign began to discredit the contents. Now he’s published a more detailed paper will a full content of citations to peer reviewed articles in quality journals – the gold standard for scientific research. Basically, Dr Huber has found that the regular use of RoundUp, both directly and in the so called RoundUp Ready genetically modified crops that we import to feed animals in

Ireland, actually makes at least 25 crop diseases more virulent while weakening the plant’s resistance to them. It also makes it more likely that trees and shrubs will die when they are stressed. At the same time nutrient levels in food crops are actually lowered. Glyphosate also kills earthworms, frogs and fish. Professor Huber has now sent a more detailed warning letter to both Secretary Vilsack and the European Commissioner for Agriculture. While our own new government has not stated its position on genetically modified organisms since coming to power Fine Gael has in the past been very pro-GMO, and non-organic


livestock in Ireland is routinely fed genetically modified feeds. RoundUp is available in every hardware shop and garden centre in Ireland. So what can we do? Well to start off with we can stop using glyphosate in our own gardens. Thanks to this work we know it will take 20 years for soil organisms to fully recover even under optimum conditions but we can stop things getting worse. We can also demand that meat produced with genetically modified feed is labeled so we can avoid it. And we can demand that the use and import of all genetically modified organisms is banned throughout the European Union.

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Green shoots...

Corrib and contempt for the protestors

The extraction of natural gas from the Corrib gas field now has a long history of raising new issues. The original exploration license was granted in 1993 when Ireland was a different country in a different world. Few people took seriously the claims of environmentalists that the world was running out of oil so prices were fixed at a level which would be regarded as very low nowadays, the planning process was extremely slow, and difficult for ordinary people to access, and environmental issues were almost entirely ignored during that process. It is hardly surprising therefore that local people worried about the impact of a high pressure pipeline and processing facilities on their homes, fishermen about the impact on their livelihoods and environmental issues were seen as an irrelevant nuisance. This led to a dismissive attitude on the part of industry and government towards those who objected, without much investigation of the real issues that underlay the concerns. Those who continue to campaign against the way in which the project

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is being managed are inheriting the legacy of fifteen or more years of this dismissive attitude. More than a hundred complaints against the gardai have been dismissed, An Taisce are currently seeking a judicial review of the way in which An Bord Pleanala granted planning permission for Shell’s latest application, and members of the body charged with our protection don’t see any harm in making jokes about sexual violence when they are discussing those who raise environmental issues – “crusties” are fair game. We know that a lot of work has been done throughout the public service to prevent bullying and sexual harassment, but as long as a culture continues where it is acceptable to make jokes that derogate women, the old, people with disabilities – or those who are willing to spend their lives in tents in muddy fields to protect the waters around the coasts of Ireland - even when the victims aren’t present, we are not going to get the clean and open society we all thought we had just voted for.

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The Informer

Garden Growing Gardening in the long evenings

At last the long evenings have arrived and with it an opportunity for us all to do some work in our gardens when we get home from work, if we’re not too exhausted that is! The daytime temperatures will get progressively warmer from now on but beware night time frosts. Fruit tree blossoms for example can be damaged. I would also suggest to people not to buy any summer bedding plants yet, wait until the end of April. I’ve just planted my early potatoes called ‘Orla’. The ground

temperature has increased so they will be fine. I’ve also put some spuds into containers, they will grown very well and are great if you live in an apartment or if space is restricted. Don’t forget lots of drainage at the bottom of the container. All the seeds that I started to germinate in my small greenhouse are doing fine and should be ready to plant out at the end of the month. Work on your pond

If you are lucky enough to have a pond, April is the best time to clean it out and divide

your plants, for example water lilies. Once you remove all your plants, use a pump if you have one or bail out the old water or use a bit of hose and siphon the old water out. Do be careful, a mouth full of old pond water isn’t very pleasant! Cleaning out old mud isn’t much fun, but it only has to be done once a year. Using a sharp knife, divide the lily root or rhizome into sections and you will increase your plants for free. When filling up the pond it should be done using rain water. However, as I discovered last weekend my water barrel was only half full as we’ve had little or no rain for weeks. I therefore had to top the pond up with some tap water. Save the rain

n Start the pond's year by cleaning it out

Speaking of rain water, we will all soon have to pay for whatever water we use so it really makes sense to collect rain water for ponds and for watering plants. Water barrel or butts are cheap


Gerry Norton

n Don't let the rain water in your garden go to waste and very easy to install. My barrel catches rain from a small shed, the roof area is 10 feet x 4 feet. If you intend connecting a water collector to the main roof of your house, make sure to get a very large butt as the quantity of water will be vast. Keep treating your lawn with moss killer and rake out the dead moss called ‘thatch’. A great way to treat the moss is with a top dressing of sand rather

(Depending on application)

than the usual feed which contains the moss killer. This sand is available from all garden shops. Vine weevil have become a serious pest in our gardens and they will start to appear over the next few weeks. They live in the compost and eat the roots of plants. There is a biological way to control these critters called nematodes which will be available in a few weeks in garden shops.

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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A Place in the City In Leixlip the Liffey is joined by a major tributary, the Rye Water, which flows in from Maynooth. The Royal Canal crosses the Rye near the confluence on another rather fine aqueduct. On the embankments are a curious series of stone bordered ponds and the remains of an ancient swimming pool - the stones are coated with brown ochre. The water entering the highest pool comes from a thermal spring and is not only warm but also mineral rich. This is the remains of one of the spas that made Leixlip and Lucan fashionable and prosperous villages in the eighteenth century. The only other memorial to this era is the name of the Spa Hotel, which still operates. The area around this spa is botanically rich with fen plants and plants of lime-rich grassland, many of which have become quite rare. There's a variety of wild orchid species, dyer's madder, wild marjoram and vetch species. The plants support an insect population that includes the common blue butterfly, which is nothing like as common as it used to be. The name Leixlip is Old Norse for Salmon Leap. The Vikings established a base in Dublin, and at the mouth of many of the country's other large rivers. They first arrived at the mouth of the Liffey on a raid in 837AD but established a settlement in 841. They then pushed inland to trade and raid. They used small, light boats and had techniques involving rollers to get them up rapids and shallow places. It must have been quite slow going but if they got into trouble they could shoot back downstream to their base relatively quickly. They arrived in Leixlip

The Informer

All About Dublin (1) The Liffey in Leixlip

over a thousand years before the dam was built and discovered that near the junction of the Liffey and the Rye Water there was a cascade with a narrow neck that obstructed the migration of salmon. This was very significant. The amount of salmon spawning in the Liffey catchment over a thousand years ago was quite unimaginable. So when Viking explorers reached Leixlip and found the obstruction in the river where fish were concentrated while they waited for the right water conditions to jump up the cascade and continue their migration to the spawning grounds upstream it was like finding a gold mine. Fish penned up here waiting for a flood were relatively easy to net, trap or spear. 'The Liffey - Portrait of a River', with paintings by Rosemary Quinn and text by Dick Warner, is published by Cottage Publications. It is available from bookshops, priced around â‚Ź22.

Edited by Zoz

Lesser known Dubs Next time you are facing into an injection spare a thought for Dubliner Dr. Francis Rynd, the inventor of the hypodermic syringe. Born in 1801 Dr. Rynd worked at the Meath Hospital. At that time it was thought that drugs could only be administered orally or as lotions, pastes, or enemas. There was no way to 'inject', so early attempts used a cut-and-drip method. In 1844 Dr. Ryan developed a method for putting drugs into a vein, the following year he came up with a syringe and published an article on how he had successfully used a hypodermic syringe to inject fluids into a patient. "The subcutaneous introduction of fluids, for the relief of neuralgia, was first practised in this country by me, in the Meath Hospital, in the month of May, 1844. The cases were published in the 'Dublin Medical Press' of March 12, 1845. Since then, I have treated very many cases, and used many kinds of fluids

Dr. Francis Rynd

and solutions, with variable success. The fluid I have found most beneficial is a solution of morphia in creosote, ten grains of the former to one drachm of the latter." His invention was relatively

crude, relying on gravity to deliver the drug, and it was several decades before others refined the hypodermic syringe into something we would recognise today - but Dr. Rynd takes the credit for its invention.

n Rynd-type Syringe. Science Museum, London

This page was researched with the help of

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All About Dublin (2)

First hand History

The Battle of Fontenoy, Austria, on May 11, 1745 was not a successful one for the British and their Allies. Among those left for dead on the battlefield as the French advanced was Irishman Captain James Vesey. He had been shot twice and knocked unconscious - his future was hanging very much in the balance. But luck was on his side as Louis XV ordered that all captured troops should receive the same treatment as his own soldiers. Thus it was that Captain Vesey found himself getting better in Lille. He found out that he had been rescued from almost certain death by a Private in the Irish Brigade who had personally made sure that he was given immediate treatment. But his rescuer made no attempt to get in touch, either to enquire after his health or to seek a reward. When Captain Vesey was back on his feet he set out to find the soldier - identified as Private Martin Vaughan. When they finally met Capt. Vesey was surprised and horrified to see that his rescuer was a man who he had last seen being condemned to death in Dublin two years earlier - on Captain Vesey's evidence. Two years earlier, in February 15, 1743 Vesey was returning to Dublin with a large sum of money - £1,800 in gold and silver coins. At Castleknock he was stopped and robbed by two men, later identified as

Dead man walking!

Martin and Sylvester Keogh from the Rathcoole area. Martin was tried, Vesey positively identified him, and sentenced to be hung in Kilmainham Jail - Vesey went back to Britain and rejoined his regiment - the missing money was never recovered. Martin Vaughan was Martin Keogh Vesey's robber and his saviour. On the grounds that one good turn deserves another Vesey said nothing, and Vaughan continued on his military career his reputation unblemished and rising to the rank of Sergeant. Captain Vesey was freed in a prisoner exchange and went on to fight in India, America and Minorca where he again became a French prisoner in 1756. Brought to France and having given his parole he was free to move about and set himself the task of finding Martin Vaughan again. He discovered that Vaughan had been severely wounded, and his brother Sylvester killed, at the Battle of Raucoux (1746). Since then Martin Vaughan had been an inmate of the Hotel des Invalides -a home and hospital for aged and unwell soldiers - in Paris. When they met Vaughan told the story of his escape. He had hidden the stolen gold in a weighted sack in the Liffey and had arranged his escape with one of the prison guards. But the escape - initially

planned as involving a simple rope thrown across the prison wall - would cost him most of his money and leave him a hunted man. The condemned man came up with a much better idea. For several days he feigned severe illness and then ... he died! But even then you needed a verified corpse before a removal from jail, and there would be an inquest the following morning. But as he had died of a "putrid, spotted fever of the most infectious description", Vaughan was sure that any inspection would be carried out at a safe distance. That night a freshly-buried corpse was dug up from nearby Bully's Acre and brought to the prison where it was identified and released for burial. In the meantime the dead Martin Keogh walked out through a side entrance of the prison - a free man! His escape had cost him £1,500 but he had enough to travel to France where he joined the Irish Brigade, serving in Berwick's regiment. Captain Vesey's military career was cut short in 1761 when he was wounded at the battle for Quebec - he died in Bath in 1776. As for Martin Keogh/Vaughan, he married a 'comfortable' Parisian businesswomen in 1758, and is last recorded in 1769.

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The Informer Edited by Zoz

From the archives...

Doctor Who? Extraordinary Charge Of Conspiracy. - College Street Police-office, Dublin, Saturday January 15th 1859. - Pursuant to information sworn by William Edward Steele, M.D., Registrar of the King and Queen's College of Physicians, two medical men, named John Edward Protheroe and Charles Evans Reeves, were brought up on a warrant in charge of Sergeant Keegan, of the G Division, to answer a charge of conspiracy, under very peculiar and extraordinary circumstances. The information of Dr. Steele went to show that in the month of March, 1857, a person, who gave his name as John Edward Protheroe, and represented himself as residing temporarily at Store-street, Bedford-square, London, applied to the King and Queen's College of Physicians of Ireland for permission to be examined for a licence from the College to practise medicine. The person of John Edward Protheroe was not known to Dr. Steele, or, so far as he believed, to any other of the examiners or censors of the College, or to any person connected with the College. On the days of the 6th and 9th of April, 1857, the person representing himself to be John Edward Protheroe was examined before the examiners of the College, and finally received his diploma in the usual course. In consequence of information received by the College, to the effect that the person who appeared before the examiners, was not, in fact and truth, John Edward Protheroe at all, but an entirely different person, his name being Charles Evans Reeves, or Charles Reeves Evans. Dr. Steele proceeded to London in the month of December last, in order to test the truth of the information and he there saw John Edward Protheroe, who was not the person who appeared before the College under the circumstances above stated, and obtained his diploma. The case was resumed on Tuesday last, when a long argument on the question of bail ensued between Mr. J. E. Walsh and Mr. J. A. Outran, at the conclusion of which the magistrates decided on refusing the application of Mr. Curran to admit them to bail on their own recognisances. The parties were then removed in custody, the bail not having been entered into at the time our reporter left the office. (The Lancet, January 22, 1859).

Green Building Forum, 6th & 7th May, free for jobseekers

Can Ireland achieve net zero environmental impact from the built environment by 2030? Green Works, the free education progamme for jobseekers, will play host to a special Green Building Forum on 6th & 7th May. The forum will address many of the challenges facing the construction industry in Ireland as it moves away from the rampant expansion of the boom years into a greener future of retrofitting and energy efficiency. Tickets for the event can be obtained at Places are free for those in receipt of unemployment payments. Green Building Forum Day 1: Leading national and international experts discuss the feasibility of achieving a net zero environmental impact from the built environment in Ireland by 2030. Key questions under consideration are: How can Ireland leverage its agricultural landmass to deliver low embodied materials to the industry? How will legislation both national and at EU level set the pace? How ready is the industry and market to transform itself to deliver this transformative change? The afternoon session will address the following questions: How do we define zero carbon buildings? How do we measure and rate all of the environmental impacts of buildings?

BREEAM and LEED are already widely used internationally and sporadically in Ireland. Are these the right tools for Ireland, are they strategic enough to incentivize the right moves in the Irish market towards achieving an end goal of net zero impact in the shortest timeframe? Should we adapt these for Ireland or develop an entirely different model? Day 2 will focus on implementing the strategies discussed on Day 1. This will be done in two ways, the first “Redesigning Our Existing Built Environment” will look at the housing unit itself, while the second “A Practical Approach to Low Energy Building” will look at the wider issues of the urban built environment. Green Works courses If you are interested in the Green Building Forum you may also be interested in the many building courses available at Green Works such as: Green Building, BER, Renewable Energy Systems, Thermal Bridging, Solar Heating Systems, Small Scale Renewables, Domestic Energy Management and many more. For full details and dates visit or call 01 674 5773.


The Informer

Informer Interview

Hitting the ton Where did you grow up? I grew up in Sandymount, a stones throw from Railway Union Sports Club. Where did you go to school / college? I followed all my brothers to Star of the Sea primary school, and then Marian College secondary school. I attended Institute of Technology Tallaght, and also DBS. First paid job? I worked in Paddy Cullens pub as a lounge boy in Ballsbridge when I was still in school, but didn’t like the job very much. Married/family? Neither What got you interested in cricket? Being the youngest, I suppose I was brought into a sporting family. Dad played cricket for Ireland 52 times, and also played semi professional football for Shelbourne. He also played provincial hockey for Leinster for many years. So I guess we were always destined to play a lot of sports. Where did you start your career? I spent two years over in England playing for an academy side coached by the great Clive Radley who played for England and Middlesex. I was there from 2004-2005. Your brother Niall is also on the Irish cricket team, how do you get on with him on and off the pitch? It's great to have Nialler there on tours. It's another person to talk to when things aren’t going very well. Any one else in your family playcricket? As I said before, with Dad having played for Ireland, he follows every cricket match that is on television. Paul and Conor don’t play cricket anymore, but they come down to the club in the summer to watch, and whenever possible they come and watch Ireland play. Gerard still plays cricket for the second eleven in Railway Union, and is the President of the club for the coming year. Ciara lives in London, so obviously can’t get over to watch every Irish game, but she follows on the internet whenever she can. Do you have any cricket heros? Andrew Flintoff would be my biggest idol.

Our Kevin O'Brien talks to the now world famous cricketer Kevin O'Brien, who hit the fastest ever century in World Cup cricket in Ireland's stunning victory over England n Kevin O'Brien with his brother Niall after beating England in the World Cup Hardest match? When we played in 2007 World Cup against Australia in Barbados. They were the best team in the world then and wiped the floor with us. Worst match? Last year's Irish Cup Final for Railway. Rain affected, and the rules were a joke! Do you think enough is being done to promote irish cricket at grass route levels in Ireland? I can only speak form a Leinster point of view, but I think it is. We have cricket being played in a lot of schools around Dublin, and into the outskirts. Cricket is on the increase and hopefully it can keep going that way.

How do you get on with your irish team mates, who’s the joker in the pack? Its agreat squad to play in, we are all very comfortable sitting around with each other. The real joker is Andrew White. He loves a practical joke. You smashed the fastest century in World Cup history against England in March, under huge pressure, what was going through your mind at that time? Not a lot, to be honest. I suppose I was just 'in the zone' as they call it. I didn’t know what I was on until I had scored 80 runs. Beating England was seen as the shock of the World Cup. How did this feel and how did you celebrate this victory, honestly now? This really didn’t feel like a shock. We knew we could beat teams like England, but I suppose the way we won, makes it all the sweeter. Yes we did party until all hours, I'm not going to lie, but I think we all deserved to do that! Do you think the coverage of the British media were kind to Ireland after beating England? I think they were once the shock had warn off. The media did say some very complementary things about Irish cricket in the end.

If you were not involved in cricket, what other career would you be working in? I would hope to be in either advertising and/or marketing as I studied them at college. Or even a sports agent would be nice.

Is beating Engalnd the most memorable game you have ever played in? Yes. Because it was against England, in a World Cup, and the way we won. Also having a huge contribution to it, was an amazing personal feeling.

First competitive match in an Ireland shirt? I made my debut in 2006 against a English team called Sussex, four days before we played England in Belfast.

Did anyone famous phone you after victory over england to congratulate you and team? Mary McAleese phoned and said congrats to the team for the win.

The International Cricket Council confirmed the next two World Cups will be contested by 10 teams which will exlude Ireland. What type of effect will this have on irish cricket? It could have a huge effect on Irish cricket. Some of our better younger players could be tempted away to play for England, and our standard could very well drop as we won’t have major tournaments to look towards. Will the icc will reverse this decision? I don’t think they will, no. How do you relax? I try and get away from cricket. I will do anything to get away from it. I enjoy reading, listening to music, and spending time with my girlfriend RuthAnne. Type of music? Favorite band/artist? I like all sorts really, Alicia Keys would be up there, also really loving that new song from Adele. What other sport do you follow or like to play? I play hockey whenever I can for Railway Union, and love golf, and follow American Football, Rugby, Soccer, and a bit of Gaelic. Favorite food/ restaurant? All sorts, but TriBeCa in Ranalagh for their chicken wings, or Diep. If you could have dinner with three celebrities past or present, who would you choose? Andrew Flintoff, Denzel Washington, and John McEnroe. What advice would you give any youngster looking to take up cricket as a sport? Find a club, and just enjoy the game.


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The Informer

Getting Fit with Derry Temple , DT Fitness

Reversing the effects of muscle and bone loss As we grow old the loss of muscle, bone and physical strength is inevitable. This is the single most obvious marker of ageing. Scientists however have recently discovered a cure which means this is not only preventable but also reversible. This isn’t a miracle cure in the form of a pill you can take; the solution is simple, but does mean hard work and consistent effort. The solution is resistance training. Sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) and Osteopenia (loss of bone mass) are two inevitable results of old age. However these two unfortunate consequences of ageing happen earlier than you may think. After the age of 30 it is normal to lose some bone mass each year. For women after the menopause this increases when the protective effect of oestrogen is lost. Postmenopausal women will normally loose 1 per cent bone mass yearly; this translates to about a 1 to 2 per cent strength loss each year. Weight bearing exercise has been found to be most effective in building bone density. Louise Burton and Deepa Sumukadas of the Division of Medical Sciences in the University of Dundee, found in their research into the optimal management of Sarcopenia that resistance training was “the most effective intervention”. As people age, especially after the age of

40, most lose somewhere between one and two pounds of muscle each year and gain its equivalent in body fat. This also leads to a lowering of metabolism meaning fewer calories burnt daily. Often the true extent of muscle loss can’t be seen because it is replaced and covered up by fat. With a loss of muscle strength, we tend to spontaneously become less active because daily activities become more difficult and tiring to perform. And so a vicious cycle is formed, you lose muscle mass, you gain bodyfat and become less physically fit causing you to be less active therefore losing more muscle tissue and in turn gaining more bodyfat. Exercise, especially resistance training is the primary answer for preventing and reversing this process of ageing. While aerobic exercise has been shown to improve cardiovascular fitness and burn calories, it does not influence muscle mass or strength. In contrast if you weight train regularly you can actually increase muscles mass and not only prevent this ageing process but often reverse it. Derry Temple is a qualified Strength & Conditioning Coach, Pilates Instructor, Nutritionist and the founder of DT Fitness. He provides Personal Training, Bootcamp and Pilates fitness classes. T: 085-7131417; derry@;

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March 2011 • Published by Leaflet Company Ireland, Leaflet Company House, 55 Western Parkway Business Park, Ballymount, Dublin 12 • Tel: 01 460 1673 • Email: • Web:

Why does your business need a firewall?

Late payments are crippling small business?

Electric cars beginning to move

Technical Business - Page 3

Business View - Page 2

Green Business - Page 3

Alarming reduction in sme bank credit Refusals hit 48% in last three months say ISME

The latest ISME Quarterly Bank Watch Survey issued by the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, confirms that there has been a significant deterioration in the number of businesses who successfully accessed credit from their banks in the last quarter. The figures indicate that banks will not entertain the issue of bank credit their credit requests. According to ISME remains a serious problem for the economy, with little Chief Executive, Mark or no improvement in the Fielding, “the results clearly indicate that despite last two years. The results also confirm assertions to the contrary that the number of appli- from the banks, access to cations for credit remains bank credit has deterioratmuted, mainly due to gen- ed. eral economic uncertainty "It is quite clear that the and a perception that the previous administration’s

instructions to open up lines of credit to business have patently been ignored by the banks. ‘Nothing new there’. The new government must take a much stronger position with ‘bailed out’ bank management and insist on their compliance with instructions.” ISME complained that the reduction in competition in the banking sector is having a negative impact on the SME business sec-

tor. Those who were successful in getting facilities are being penalised, with 58% of companies outlining that they had to pay increased bank charges and interest rates to secure funding, with 53% having to increase security against facilities. Other findings included 79% of firms outline banks still making it more difficult to access finance, and 48% of companies refused changes in their facilities.

Broadcasters want boost from new charges have reported that the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) has called on the Minister for Communications to seize the opportunity to use the new public broadcasting charge on Irish households to boost broadcasting in Ireland. Scott Williams, Chairman of IBI said very household has at least one radio and nearly every person has the ability to listen to radio on their mobile phone, laptop, computer, ipad, and so on. "Given the number of radio devices in each home, we believe that the Public Broadcasting Charge (PBC) set out in the Programme for Government and which will be levied on all households, must be used to strengthen and develop all forms of broadcasting in Ireland". "The TV licence fee has provided an

unfair competitive advantage to RTE. With more than 1500 people employed in the sector independent broadcasters make a significant economic, social and cultural contribution to the Irish Economy. The replacement of the licence fee with a new PBC provides a unique opportunity to the Minister for Communications to create a more competitive broadcasting landscape", he said. According to Mr. Williams, a portion of the proposed PBC should be used to help fund the operations of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. "IBI recognises the importance of a properly funded regulator, but given the financial pressures on so many broadcasters, the PBC must be used to help fund the regulation of the entire sector", he said. For more business information stories log on to

Meet Ireland’s next generation of internet and games companies The news Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, has announced the ten successful companies that have been awarded funding under Enterprise Ireland’s new Internet and Games Competitive Start Fund. Speaking after meeting each of the companies to discuss their plans

Minister Bruton commented: "the ingenuity and creativity of young Irish entrepreneurs will drive our recovery. The buzz created by these ten companies expresses great confidence for the future. As a government we are determined to help committed young companies with good ideas to succeed." Drawn from over 120 applicants,

these ten companies have shown a strong potential to trade their business internationally. With products and services ranging from games and game engines to consumer services and telecommunications, they are all rising stars in the sector and are now set to develop their businesses and grow their international presence.

Enterprise Ireland set up the new fund as a mechanism to get financial support into very early stage companies at the critical product market fit stage of their projects. Each of the ten companies receives an equity investment of €50,000 for a 10% ordinary equity stake, along with the support of an experienced business mentor to

guide them as they develop their business. Following on the huge interest in this first fund, Enterprise Ireland has recently expanded its offer with a second fund (Competitive Start Fund) that is also open to software companies in the games, telecoms, software as a service (SaaS), cloud computing and enterprise software sectors.



2 Business View... LATE PAYMENTS CRIPPLING SMALL BUSINESS The new Government must put late pay- tion in late payments across the board, cash ments in commercial transactions at the top flow in the entire SME sector is drying up and of its priorities in its first 100 day commit- this, coupled with the lack of available, affordments. The ISME Credit Watch Survey for able credit from the banks, is putting many spring 2011, shows clearly that smaller enter- small businesses at risk, with the resulting prises are being placed under severe pressure threat of closures and job losses. by deliberately delayed payments. Despite The ridiculous Prompt Payment Act has persistent warnings from the Association, the had the exact opposite effect on payments to previous government refused to tackle this what was intended, in allowing powerful issue, due to pressure from big business and large customers to abuse their dominant posistate agencies, the main culprits in delayed tion by opting out of the law and dictate payments. unreasonable credit terms to their smaller Late payments have always been suppliers. a problem for small businesses and ISME recommends the following this has intensified as state bodies steps: and accountancy led big business • Amend the current legislation, take longer and longer to pay. When which allows business to opt out of smaller businesses are not being the law. paid on time, they cannot in turn • Introduce a mandatory payments pay their suppliers and the vicious period on all national transactions, By domino effect ends with the smallMark Fielding initially 60 days and est and most vulnerable being • over a period of 2 years reduce ISME forced to close down, with the that to 30 days across the board. resultant job losses. • Include all State agencies and local The main findings from 770 respondents in authorities in the 15 day rule for payment. the ISME Credit Watch Survey are: • Publish payment metrics for all state • Actual average payment period in Ireland departments, agencies and local authorifor SMEs is 73 days, a slight deterioration ties annually. from 72 days in the winter 2010 survey. • 44% are experiencing delays of 3 months For far too long this issue has been ignored or more. by previous administrations and prompt • Both big business and state agencies conaction would now clearly demonstrate the tinue to take longer credit. new Government’s willingness to tackle the • Construction firms are waiting 87 days, problem and assist small business, a sector while Wholesale is shortest at 61 days. that has contributed so much to the develop• Credit taken in Ulster counties is shortest ment of the economy. while Munster & Connacht businesses wait 76 days on average. While the main government departments have improved their payments, the real offenders are the state agencies and big business, where delays have increased dramatically in the last year with smaller business left with “take it or leave it” option. With the deteriora-

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

Ryanair Flying High on passenger numbers Passenger numbers at no-frills airline, Ryanair, rose by 8pc in March compared to the same month a year earlier, it said today. The company carried 5.7 million people on its aircraft during the month compared to 5.3 million in March 2010. In the year to the end of March of this year Ryanair carried 73.5 million passengers. The airline's load factor, an industry wide measure of how well an airline manages to fill its aircraft, stood at 79pc, unchanged from a year earlier. The load factor for the 12 months to the end of March stood at 82pc.

Cheaper utility bills are on the way It’s excellent news for the Irish consumer, that the ESB from next month can lower what it charges for electricity.

Up until now , the ESB (Electricity Supply Board) were excluded from lowering its prices to compete against other companies until its market share dropped to less than 60% of the market. From this May, ESB under its new name, Electric Ireland, will offer cheaper prices and as they are competing with the likes of Bord Gais and Airtricity, The public might expect a good price war which can only be good for our pockets. More good news is that the ESB will enter the gas market at the same time to offer lower Gas prices than the biggest supplier Bord Gais, who cannot lower their prices under the same rules that the ESB were tied into by the energy regulator up to now as Bord Gais have too big a market share for gas. ESB will compete mainly with Airtricity and Flogas in the discounted gas market, with Flogas being the ones to beat as they currently seem to have the best offer in the market. All this spells good news for the consumer, so if you are looking at changing your electricity or gas supplier, wait until April to see what ESB are going to offer.

Technical Business... Why does your business need a firewall? Mention the word Firewall and many of us will picture a brick and mortar structure designed to contain a fire in a specific part of a building and prevent it from spreading to another part of the building. Well, you wouldn’t be far off the true meaning of the word but in computer terms the Firewall performs a role quite similar to that of a Firewall in a building by ensuring that if something bad happens on one side of the Firewall, computers on the other side are not affected. However, the types of threats I am referring to are numerous and you can read about these threats everyday in the newspapers: worms and viruses, denial of service attacks (remember the Mastercard website was brought down?) and hackers. Believe me, these threats are out there and are out to get us big time. Hackers are roaming the internet waves like ravenous wolves in a field full of frisky lambs just waiting for

an opportunity! By default a good Firewall will prevent network traffic from passing between the Internet and your internal network. But “hold on” you may say, "I just spent a lot of money to get my internal network to speak to the internet so I can send emails to my suppliers and check the latest sports results. And now I learn that a firewall blocks network traffic. Are you serious?” The answer is simple. The default settings can be adjusted to allow selected traffic through the firewall. The door is opened but safety is still guaranteed. When configured properly, you create some openings that don’t compromise network security but enable selected network traffic to pass through unhindered. This is why every business who opt to protect their internal network should strongly consider a Firewall for their business security.


Brian O'Brien Business Development DC Networks LTD

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



3 Retail News...

Massive gardening opportunity for retailers! Also reported in this month’s Retail Intelligence general retailers and supermarkets could tap into a huge opportunity in the gardening and home improvement categories, with new data showing that Irish shoppers are increasingly willing to buy these items in non-specialist stores or supermarkets. The latest Consumer Intelligence survey, compiled by Empathy Research, shows that nearly 60% of consumers are planning to spend the same amount of money on their garden this summer as last year. In relation to total spend, a majority of the 1,005 people surveyed said they spend, on average, less than €50 on garden items, with a quarter spending between €50 and €100. Due to the economic climate and a trend towards self-sufficiency, more people are investing in home grown vegetables and related products such as containers and fertilisers.

Furthermore, with the decline in house prices resulting in a more subdued property market, consumers are now more likely to invest in improving their own homes and gardens. Almost half of all the survey respondents said they travel specifically to specialist garden centres to buy these type of goods, however 60% said that general retailers and discounters now had a good offering of products of this type.

Irish Food Boost for Spain Bord Bia has launched a new programme in Spain to boost the image of Irish food? The campaign, which was officially launched by President McAleese in late March, aims to highlight the quality and reputation of Irish food to Spanish chefs. Spain is Ireland’s second largest export market for seafood and the third largest for beef and livestock. Retail Intelligence is the weekly news service for Check Out Publications that is free and can be subscribed to at

Irish insurance broker First Ireland announces 15 new Dublin jobs First Ireland, one of the country’s leading independent insurance brokers, has announced 15 new sales jobs to be filled in the next 12 months. The company celebrates 30 years in business in 2011 and it is on an aggressive growth drive through acquisitions and new hires, according to company chairman John Roe (pictured right). Co-founder Roe predicts the company’s Gross Written Premium, GWP, currently standing at circa €50m, will double over the next five years, hitting €100m. “We are very optimistic about 2011 and beyond” “We are actively looking for opportunities to increase our business through acquisition and hires and our immediate goal is to be Ireland’s

biggest independent insurance broker by the end of 2015,” he explains. “In 30 years, we have seen staffing levels grow to 100 and our client base to more than 40,000. Our policy has been to target energetic insurance brokers, or books of business, and absorb management and business into our growing entity. Key to this success has been the dedication of its Board of eight Directors, all of whom work full time in the business. First Ireland began as a motor and house insurance broker as well as a standalone mortgage business. Over time, more schemes have been added and the Business Insurance Division, which also caters for not for profit organisations, is ranked today in the top 10 Irish Commercial Brokers


By Barbara O’Sullivan

Revenue have recently indicated that they intend to carry out checks on the application of the Universal Social Charge (USC) on a number of randomly chosen employers. However, they have stressed that these checks are not Revenue Audits and anticipate they will be completed within 2-3 hours. All employers would be well advised to carry out a review of how they are applying the USC to ensure they are in compliance. Although most payroll software packages will calculate the charge correctly, it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure correct employee information is input to enable accurate calculation of the charge. For example, a holder of a full medical card will only suffer a top rate of 4% but the employer is responsible for ensuring that the employee actually holds the card

and that it is a “full medical card”. In this regard, it is suggested that copies are taken of the card in each case and retained by the employer. It is also important to note that the charge is calculated on gross income before pension deductions and including all BIK/notional pay. These are only two issues that may arise but there are many more. Revenue have recently updated their leaflet of FAQs on this subject and this document can be downloaded from the Revenue web site. The leaflet contains extensive guidance and practical examples and all employers should be familiar with its contents, as an inspection could be imminent. (Barbara O’ Sullivan CPA, AITI is managing partner at Finn & O’Sullivan, Certified Public Accountants Ph: 00353 1 426 5862)

Green Business...

Electric cars moving I made my annual pilgrimage to the ‘Energy Show’ at the RDS at the end of March with a particular interest in viewing the latest electric cars. While there were a few impressive demo models on display my initial enthusiasm was soon deflated as I was not even allowed to spin the motor! I consoled myself by putting it down to the remit of the overly protective Ladies present as if they were protecting their very own mobile makeup kits. Despite that little hiccup however, the undoubted message was clear, once these By things start up they will be flying out the John Mullaney door. When I first got involved in the energy industry in 2007 I was flabbergasted at what was being considered in relation to ‘ecars’. I remember the terrible slagging I got when I had the temerity to suggest to a ‘Beamer Dreamer’ work colleague that he’d better get a move on before his ownership options expired. Ecars, I said, will soon be the cool dudes fancy. Ecars he said, ‘where would you get an extension lead that long’! That was only the other day in 2009. Now, if you really wanted, you could buy an electric car, van or scooter. How good and cool I feel now! It may seem surprising that one of the main shakers and movers in promoting ecars in Ireland is the ESB. They have happily taken on the responsibility for installing the charging infrastructure nationwide for both public and home charging points. An obvious necessity you might say. As well as that they have signed Memoranda of Understanding with most of the major ecar suppliers to encourage them to get the show on the road. Strategically, however, for the ESB there is a much larger prize in view than the mere electrification of transport. And that is the ‘smoothing’ capability that ecars could add to the national electric grid once the volumes hit critical mass. If properly incentivised and smartly managed, millions of cars taking power from the electric grid during the night, and potentially adding a portion back during the day, would create a levelling in demand on the national grid on any given day; a major generators prize not to be ignored. That’s why your ecar charging plug may come with a smiley face that says ‘tuck me in tonight’ or even a slot for your makeup! John Mullaney, who lives in Lucan, is an Energy Consultant currently establishing an energy business called, ‘The Energy Workbench’. Contact John at: linkedin or


The Informer

Health & Beauty

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onto the surface of your skin, providing gentle abrasion, or "polishing," to remove the outer layer of old skin cells. Each treatment takes about an hour and on average six to eight treatments at two to three week intervals are recommended for optimal results.

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The Informer

Family Focus

Does family place Spring maternity fashion look help shape our children's character? Many parents who have two or three children can be amazed at how different they are in terms of personality and demeanour, but is there any truth in the belief that the order in which we are born in a family can determine how the rest of our lives turn out? It seems that experts disagree, but many parents find it interesting anyway. So what does the theory say about your children? First children tend to be conscientious, serious and mature. They are high achievers and perfectionists and are comfortable in adult company. Because first-borns can fear losing the undivided attention of their parents when a sibling comes along they can be unwilling to take risks. Only children are said to be like firstborns but without younger siblings to boss around. Like first-borns, only children also have to live with high parental expectations and tend to be high achievers. They have a good relationship with their parents and other adults but need the company of other

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children to develop their social skills. Middle children are often considered to be ‘left out’ between the eldest and youngest grabbing all the attention and privileges. Some middle-borns can be rebellious and will spend a lot of time with their many friends. They tend to be good team players and excellent at negotiating and compromise. Many youngest children get lots of attention from both siblings and parents as they are growing up. Some youngest children rely so much on their siblings to look after them that they find it hard to accept responsibility in adulthood. Youngest children are charming, creative and uninhibited. In the end, whether you can find some truth in the birth order theory or not, children have widely varying personalities, even within the same family. Most experts agree that what’s most important to all children is that they know they are loved equally by their parents and appreciated for their own personal qualities.

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On the bookshelf... We absolutely love this new book from older mum Cari Rosen. The Secret Diary of a New Mum (Aged 43 ¼) is a hilarious account of becoming a mum in midlife as the author tries to make the transition from experienced TV producer to utterly inexperienced parent. Whatever your age, becoming a mum for

the first time brings with it excitement, anxiety and numerous challenges. But how do you cope when, to top it all, you discover you are old enough to be the mother of everyone else in your antenatal group? This is the story of one woman, one new baby, a slipped disc and rather too many wrinkles and what happens as you face up to menopause and new motherhood at the same time.


The Informer

Health Issues Ask the The lowdown on the 'Morning After Pill' Pharmacist

Q: I've seen in the news that the Morning After Pill has recently become available from pharmacies. Is it safe to take? Does it always work? Does it have any side effects?

A: The morning after pill, also known as Emergency Hormonal Contraception or the Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP), is a contraceptive method which is used to prevent pregnancy after sex. (I prefer the term ECP as “morning after pill� implies that it can only be taken the day after sex whereas it can be taken up to 72 hours after sex). As you may have seen, it has recently been in the news as it is now available without a prescription. To get the ECP you will need to have a short consultation with the pharmacist who will usually ask you a few questions to ensure the ECP is safe and appropriate for you to take. Some of these questions will be of a personal nature, but you can be sure that your privacy will be respected at all times. All pharmacies must now by law have a consultation area where you will be able to speak to the pharmacist in private. All information you give will be absolutely confidential. Should be taken early

ECP comes in the form of a single tablet which should be taken as early as possible after sex and no later than 72 hours after the event. If taken within 24 hours of sexual intercourse, it will prevent about 95% of unwanted pregnancies although this drops to about 58% if taken between 48 and 72 hours after sex. Therefore it is highly

Side effects

recommended to take the pill as early as possible. ECP can be taken if a woman is not using contraception, if a contraceptive method has failed (e.g. a split condom) or if a woman is on the contraceptive pill but there is a concern that it might not be effective e.g. due to a missed pill or severe diarrhoea. If you are taking the contraceptive pill you can still take the ECP. You should continue the contraceptive pill as usual although it is recommended to also use a barrier method of contraception such as condom until your next period. How it works

ECP contains a hormone which works in two ways. Firstly, it will prevent a woman from ovulating, meaning there will be no egg present for a sperm to fertilise. If ovulation has already occurred, it may prevent a fertilised egg from implanting in the uterus, thus preventing pregnancy from occurring. It cannot interrupt an ongoing pregnancy. In the event that the ECP fails and you still become pregnant, there is no evidence that it has any adverse effect on the baby.

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Most women take the ECP without any side effects, although sometimes it can cause nausea which occasionally can lead to vomiting, headache, breast tenderness or disruption to your usual cycle. I often recommend taking Motilium along with the ECP to prevent nausea. It is important to remember that if you vomit within 3 hours of taking the ECP it is regarded as ineffective and you would need to repeat the dose. I also usually recommend that you take a pregnancy test to rule out the possibility of pregnancy about three to four weeks after taking the ECP. This is especially important if your next period is delayed by more than five days or if it is very light or much shorter than usual. It is also important to rule out pregnancy if your period is accompanied by pain greater in intensity than what you would usually expect. If you are not using a regular method of contraception, you may also wish to visit your GP or a family planning clinic, or ask the pharmacist to discuss contraceptive options. It is important to remember that the ECP will not provide any protection against sexually transmitted infections. Not a suitable regular contraceptive

The ECP should not be taken more than once in a cycle (except for a repeat dose in the event of vomiting), although apart from that there are no restrictions on the number of times it can be taken. However, as it is not as effective as other methods of contraception it is not suitable as a regular contraceptive method.

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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A few changes for big savings The reality of wages cuts, Budget 2011 and rising fuel costs has resulted in a major dent being put in average household earnings. For a couple, both earning €40,000 the net effect of Budget 2011 is being down €226 per month from their household take home pay. With this in mind we tasked ourselves with finding five money saving opportunities to offset this recent tax hike. While each of the items below is general in nature it will give an overall idea of where savings can be made without to much hassle: Switch to a cheaper gas/ electricity provider Savings of 10% minimum can be made on gas and electricity. With the average combined cost at circa €150 per home per month. Switching to Bord Gais/ Flogas or Airtricty could save you €15 per month. ESB will also be entering the gas market in the coming months which should put further downward pressure on prices. Total savings of €15 per month Cheaper Mortgage Protection provider If you have a Mortgage it is likely you will have Mortgage Protection. Life Assurance rates have come down significantly in the last number of years due to a more competitive marketplace. A recent issue of the Sunday Business Post highlighted that savings of up to 30% can be made by reviewing your Life Assurance. It may therefore be worthwhile reviewing your cover to see if you can obtain a lower monthly premium. The cover you took out with the bank at the time of taking out your Mortgage may not be the most competitive available. It is important that borrowers realise that they have a choice, and that they were not under any legal obligation to purchase these types of products from their lender only. The average monthly premium for Mortgage Protection is €60 per month. A saving of 30% would equate to €18 per month. In addition also offers 70% off the first twelve months premiums. For someone paying €60 a month this is a minimum saving of €504 in the first twelve months.This saving in the first twelve months could go towards a holiday, savings or paying off your credit card for example. Contact on 01

6853813 to get a quick quote. Total saving of €18 per month (additional saving of €504 in the first twelve months with SmartQuotes. ie) Switch to the corporate health insurance plan This is quite straightforward and only takes one phone call. This is particularly relevant following the recent VHI and Aviva price increases. Go to (the Health Insurance Authority website). Compare what you currently have versus other providers on the market and the corporate plans available. Total saving of €30 per month (based on a €400 for a family) Switch to e-mobile With e-mobile customers can enjoy unlimited talk and text for €10 per week. This compares with the Meteor Unlimited Offer of €85 per month. There are even greater savings if you are an eircom customer. Total saving of €80 per month (€40 per month per adult) Review your tax credits and claim a refund While you can only do this once a year you can also go back four years to claim a refund of monies due (medical expenses, bin charges, certain dental costs, tax relief on pension contributions/ income protection). Every situation is different but on average a refund of circa €600 is achieved. Contact David Twomey at for further details (Phone 01 2101967) . Obtain a special lower rate by quoting Total saving of €50 per month (€600 spread over 12 months) The above gives a total saving of €193 per month covering 86% of the difference in income as a result of the budget. Further changes such as reviewing your home insurance or shopping habits (Lidl versus Tesco) should get the total up very close to the €226 per month that Budget 2011 has cost you. The above should not be construed as advice and is only the opinion of the author.

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The Informer

Dublin Advice

Coping with the emotional impact of redundancy

For many people, being made redundant will constitute one of the most stressful events of their lives. The proportion of people on antidepressants or painkillers increases by about 60% among those affected by redundancy, when compared to the general population. Understanding the emotional impact of redundancy can allow workers to protect themselves when they are faced with the reality of losing their jobs. Emotional Stages in Redundancy

The experience of redundancy can be compared to that of bereave-

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ment, in that it involves significant loss. As with bereaved people, a series of recognisable stages are undergone. First there can be shock, when it is impossible to take in the reality of the situation. Next comes denial - “this isn't happening to me”. This is because when something happens that threatens our sense of ourselves and our world, we tend to minimise it and deny it, in order to retain our sense of what is familiar. Anger may follow, often directed at management. There is a feeling of 'Why me?'. When the inevitability of being unemployed begins to dawn, depression can set in. There can be feelings of having failed, and fear of never working again, especially among older workers. Self-esteem may plummet, with feelings of worthlessness and insecurity. The next stage is the realisation of loss, and this has many dimensions – the loss of direction, of colleagues, of security, of daily routine, all of the comforts that come from regular work. There can be an experience of stigma – how will I be seen by others? What will my children tell their friends? and of lack of control - will I lose my house? Will my marriage survive? Recognising negative emotions

It is important to maintain a sense of perspective in relation to the negative feelings triggered by redundancy. On-going stress causes the release of a hormone called cortisol, which can re-stimulate unpleasant memories, and also alter our perception of the present. Redundancy can therefore result in a seemingly irrational regression to childhood feelings of emotional neediness and insecurity, of being rejected and unwanted, and of dependence on others. Addictive behaviours such as over-eating, smoking or drinking too much can appear. The aimlessness of days without work can be disorientating, making it difficult to plan anything. The sense of being “outside society” can cause feelings of loneliness, alienation and low self-esteem. Memories of past achievements

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and awareness of one's skills and knowledge can fade, to be replaced by a lack of confidence and fear of the future. Finding the Positive

Recognising the common emotional symptoms of redundancy can allow a certain detachment from them. Job loss is not to be taken personally. What first appears devastating can open the door to new possibilities. “Positive re-framing” means changing one's attitude to order to see the potential in any situation. Many people use the experience of redundancy to try out other career options, or to develop new interests. Having free time can allow for more quality time with family and friends, for travel, and for re-training. We all have more gifts and talents than we have ever explored – in music, drama, sport, writing, spirituality, art, cooking, gardening – the list is endless. Volunteering is a way of gaining new experience while also making a positive contribution. Our identity does not have to be limited to our job. Developing neglected parts of ourselves may also lead to new career directions. Attending counselling can help discharge the anxiety, anger and loss associated with job loss, leading to the emergence of new and productive strategies for moving forward.

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



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NovaUCD's 2011 Entrepreneurship Programme Launches with 13 New Ventures

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Thirteen new high-tech and knowledge-intensive business ventures have joined NovaUCD's 2011 entrepreneurship programme.

The NovaUCD 2011 Campus Company Development Programme (CCDP), which has just commenced, assists academic and research entrepreneurs at University College Dublin in bringing their innovative ideas from intellectual concepts to fully developed and sound commercial businesses. NovaUCD, the Innovation and Technology Transfer Centre, is responsible for the commercialisation of intellectual property arising from UCD research programmes. Now in its 16th year 170 new ventures and 260 individuals have to date completed this programme which is supported by Enterprise Ireland. Former participants include companies such as BiancaMed, Celtic Catalysts, Equinome, JLizard and RendezVu. The new ventures and individuals participating on this year's programme are commercialising research undertaken throughout the University, including research in the UCD Schools of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, Architecture, Landscape and Civil Engineering, Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, Business, Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, Computer Science and Informatics, Electrical, Electronic and Mechanical Engineering

along with Medicine and Medical Science. The CCDP is a nine-month, part-time programme designed to suit the busy timetable of researchers and academics. It offers a mix of monthly workshops, mentoring and one-to-one consultancy. It is delivered by NovaUCD staff, with support from NovaUCD's sponsors, Enterprise Ireland, as well as other outside experts. This year a prize fund of €30,000 will be available to the 2011 CCDP award winners. In addition to cash prizes and 6-months free NovaUCD desk space, Arthur Cox and Deloitte will be providing professional services and AccountsIQ will be providing a free subscription to its accountancy software. JLizard a new software development company was the overall winner of the NovaUCD 2010 CCDP. JLizard has developed a cloud-based product ( to enable organisations to reduce the time required to analyse the log data of their IT systems from days to minutes. JLizard was established by Dr Trevor Parsons and Dr Viliam Holub as a spin-out company from the Performance Engineering Laboratory in UCD's School of Computer Science and Informatics.

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The Informer

The sky over Dublin Win tickets to see Spamalot at the Grand Canal Theatre Spring star spotting with Conor Farrell, Astronomy Ireland

As the summer months come in the nights will get less dark. For professional astronomers it means that less can be seen in the sky, but for the rest of us it means that the brighter stars will stay visible, while only dimmer stars will escape our view. As constellations are generally made up of brighter stars, this actually means summer can be a good opportunity for us to learn our way around the sky! Ursa Major (The Big Bear) is one such constellation visible high in the northern sky. Within it is a well-known asterism called the Plough. This seven-star shape resembles a plough or a pot with a handle, and can be used to find the North Star, or Polaris. To find Polaris, take the two stars furthest away from the 'handle' of the Plough, and draw an imaginary line through them and off to the left of the constellation. The first bright star you come to is Polaris, and is located in Ursa Minor, or the Little Bear. Throughout the night and year, all the other stars in the sky will change location, but Polaris stays in the same position, making it an easy way to find North. After sunset in the south-west

you may spot a line of three stars. This is Orion's Belt in the constellation Orion. Again, draw a line through these stars to the left, and you will arrive at Sirius, the Dog Star. Sirius is the brightest star in the sky and a member of Canis Major, a dog that accompanied Orion in ancient mythology. Above Orion's Belt you'll see a star with a slight reddish tinge. This is Betelgeuse and marks the hunter's shoulder. It's a huge red giant star, over 1,000 times wider than our own Sun. This star is approaching the end of its life, and will die in a violent explosion call a supernova. When this happens, it will be so bright that it will be visible even in daytime!

Audiences all around the world have been roaring with laughter since Monty Python’s Spamalot won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2005. Spamalot tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and features a bevy (or possibly a brace) of beautiful show girls, witch burnings (cancelled - health and safety) not to mention cows, killer rabbits and French people. The show features fantastic tunes which are catchier than the plague 'He Is Not Dead Yet', 'Knights of the Round Table', 'Find Your Grail' and of course the Favourite Comedy Song (Reader’s Digest Poll 2009) 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life'. To win two tickets to Spamalot at the Grand Canal Theatre on May 9th just answer the following question: Which king is the subject of Spamalot? Answers by e-mail only to Please include your contact number Closing date for entries 2nd May 2011.

The secret of eliminating bad habits By Tom Ryan Many ‘Informer’ readers successfully became non smokers with my programme last month. Most were amazed at how easily they stopped smoking with Dynamic Hypnosis. The most frequent question was “How is it possible to overcome a life time addiction in just one hour?” The answer is incredibly simple. Smoking is not an addiction. What is it then? Smoking is a habit. Like all habits it is a programme running subconsciously and hypnosis is the most effective way of influencing that part of your mind. Hypnosis is a method of relaxation that bypasses the conscious mind, which is dominant when we are not relaxed. It is really that simple. If you think that smoking is an addiction, when was the last time you saw a smoker waking in the middle of the night because of their craving for a cigarettes? Have you ever seen a smoker hallucinating, getting sick and vomiting while trying to quit. Those symptoms are common when addiction is being overcome. Would nicotine patches be available as a stop smoking method if nicotine was addictive when they pump tens and hundreds of times more nicotine into you than a cigarette? Would you pump more of an addictive substance into a person to cure them of that addiction? Would

you give more heroin to heroin addicts to cure their addiction? Here is a question for smokers. How many cigarettes do you really enjoy? The answer is usually 4 to 6. Why do you then continue smoking? This would be the million euro question if the answer wasn’t so simple. Again, smoking is a habit. When you do something like driving or swimming for the first time you do it consciously. Constant repeating makes the action habitual. Your subconscious thinks that everything you do repeatedly should be done automatically to protect you. Some habits are useful, and some like smoking, overeating, nail biting and procrastination are not. The good news is that ‘Dynamic Hypnosis’ is highly efficient in dealing with all of them. The hypnotist is a facilitator between the client's genuine desire to achieve change and their subconscious mind where change can be facilitated. Unlike stage hypnosis, which is there to entertain you, clinical hypnosis can help you to achieve what you really desire to achieve. For further information and a free Selfhypnosis Motivation CD Web:, phone 086/3366713

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The Informer

Dublin GAA

Dublin footballers and hurlers end Series with spring in their step Outside of the boot with Mick Hanley GAA Sportsdesk on


Dublin City fm Wednesdays @ 7pm

And so the Dublin 'Spring Series' concluded with Pat Gilroy’s footballers ensuring a league final placement after victory over Down and Anthony Daly’s hurlers keeping themselves in the frame for a final tilt with a well deserved draw with Kilkenny. For the final night the skies lit up and it wasn’t just the floodlights - more like the floods. Darkness descended over Croke Park during the hurling match and it was no surprise to see the skies open up but the ferocity of the rain and hailstones couldn’t have been imagined. Made a run for it

The few hardy souls on the Hill took for cover. In the stands supporters legged it from front to back so quickly that Usain Bolt’s world record was nearly

in danger. And the poor creators who were making their way to the ground must have wondered should they have stayed at home and watched it on the telly. On the field of play the Dublin hurlers were dominating the 'Cats' early on but as against Galway they were having trouble converting chances into scores. Eventually they hit the target and had drifted into a three point lead. Heartening

Kilkenny were living off scraps but Matthew Ruth found a bone when his rebounded shot hit the Dublin net. It was heartening to see the Dubs respond so well with Paul Ryan scoring a crucial goal after excellent approach play. Half time nearly up and Dublin leading by five but Eddie

Brennan dampened things as he rose high and finished to the Dublin net with aplomb. The hailstones were thundering down now, pelting off the roof of the stands. Kilkenny were a more focused team in the second period. Ruth again showed his predatory skills by being on hand to convert another rebounded shot after a great save by Gary Maguire. Three down and the game closing in. New spirit

Again this new spirit pushed the Dubs on and when Paul Ryan drove over the equalising point Croker erupted and so did the skies,again. Dublin still have a chance to reach a league final but they must beat Cork away on the 17th April. Down were entering the Croke

Park turf for the first time since their defeat to Cork in last year’s All-Ireland final. Dublin knew that victory would put them in the league final. The match at times resembled a game of chess with Down playing possession hand passes and Dublin retreating with a defensive wall 30 metres from their goal. Final qualification

It wasn’t the prettiest game to watch but the result was good with Dublin scoring 1-1 in added time to take the points and qualify for the league final. By the time you read this they will have played Galway in their final round robin league game but preparations will be geared for the first league final since 1999 on Easter Sunday. Despite the heavens opening up

and many supporters drenched, a good evening’s entertainment was had by most. Once again Jedward provided their own brand of entertainment in between the main acts with energy and mud sliding. Huge success

Overall the ‘Spring Series’ has been a huge success and great credit must go to the Dublin County Board for their vision. It not only gave the Dublin public an opportunity to see the senior hurlers and footballers but also the Dublin minor footballers and senior camogie team. It was a pity that fixtures didn’t allow our All-Ireland winning senior ladies footballers the chance to play again in headquarters but who knows, there is always next year.

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Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups presents Dublin’s Good Friday Concert Johannes Brahms Requiem Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Friday April 22nd 2011 at 8pm Soprano: Virginia Kerr Bass: Philip O’Reilly The Goethe-Institut Choir and Orchestra Conductor: John Dexter

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Appeal for information on missing teenager

Gardai are seeking the public's assistance in tracing the whereabouts of 15-year-old Shannon Jackson who is missing from New Street, Dublin 8 since March 31. Shannon is described as being 5'4'', of slim build with brown shoulder length hair. It is believed that she may be wearing a red tracksuit and may frequent the Tallaght, Finglas and north inner city areas of Dublin. Anyone who may have seen Shannon or have information that may assist in locating her is asked to contact Kevin Street Garda Station on 01-6669400, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

Protests over bus route changes

Residents of west Dublin took to the streets outside Dublin Bus headquarters on O’Connell Street on April 1 to protest changes in bus routes. In a bid to save €12 million, Dublin Bus has streamlined its services. Routes have been ‘straightened out’ to operate on the most direct paths from the suburbs to the city centre. Although this has led to shorter journey times, residents who have found themselves cut out of the loop were among those who attended the protest. The most recent changes to be announced are to the Tallaght, Walkinstown, Crumlin, Drimnagh and South Circular Road bus routes. These changes include: The discontinuation of the 210, 49a, 56a and 77 buses. The number 75 route will be redesigned and replaced in part by the number 175 route. The 76/76a/76b buses will no longer go via Ballyfermot. For more information, visit and click on Network Direct.

Call for arts volunteers at Rua Red arts centre

Rua Red centre for the arts in Tallaght is looking for volunteers for its upcoming exhibition Ornament which will run from May 14 until June 18. 'Ornament' is an exhibition of 100 brooches, designed and made by 30 jewellers in Ireland and the UK. The exhibition is supported by the Crafts Council of Ireland as part of the Year of Craft. Rua Red is seeking two teams of volunteers to assist with the installation and running of this exhibition. Installation volunteers will help set up the exhibition and invigilation volunteers will help curate it. Download an application form at the website Closing date for applications is 5pm, Thursday 14 April.

Pfizer seeks redundancies in Clondalkin

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has told staff at their plant in Clondalkin that they are seeking voluntary redundancies. The company employs over 1,200 people at their plant in Grange Castle. Between 60 to 80 people will be laid off. However, Pfizer have stated that they will soon be hiring people to work in different sectors within the plant.

Owners angry as horses are put down

Nineteen horses and ponies owned by Clondalkin youths were seized and put down by South Dublin County Council. The horses were taken from the Clonburris area of Clondalkin on March 12 and kept in a pound in the Curragh for five days before being put down. The council’s actions have angered the horses’ owners who say that they had not been informed of their horses location. A spokeswoman from the council says that the council acted on public complaints.

Tallaght Informer April 2011  

185,000 copies time we said 'whoa' to horse cruelty page 12 25,000 copies delivered monthly local Business personal ads are on the Back page...

Tallaght Informer April 2011  

185,000 copies time we said 'whoa' to horse cruelty page 12 25,000 copies delivered monthly local Business personal ads are on the Back page...