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Tallaght Informer 25,000 copies delivered monthly

September/October 2013 • Unit 26, Western Parkway Business Centre, Ballymount, Dublin 12 • Tel: 01 813 8786 • Email: info@informer.ie • Web: www.informer.ie

Kilnamanagh • TYMON • FIRHOUSE • OLDBAWN • JOBSTOWN • BELGARD

Huge increase in people jailed for TV licence fines

Mansion House Man

REMOVALS & TRANSPORT

49 jailed in 2008, 75 in 2009, 152 in 2010, 182 in 2011 and 272 in 2012

Tallaght TD Sean Crowe has described as "extremely worrying" the jailing of nineteen local people for the non-payment of TV licences. According to reports, nineteen By Rachel Murray individuals from the locality were recently summoned to Tallaght facing jail time," Deputy Crowe Garda Station over fines associated said. with the non-payment of TV He said he is aware of a number licences. of cases whereby people are turnDeputy Crowe said the locals ing to unlicensed money lenders in were loaded onto a minibus at the order to avoid going to prison. station and transported to Mountjoy “The idea of sending people to Prison to serve a sentence from jail is an uncomfortable reality but four hours to a week. I personally don’t believe that Unlicensed money lenders sending someone to prison for a “I believe that many of those victimless crime like the non-payheading to jail were not aware that ment of a licence does anything to they are entitled to apply for more enhance or protect our justice systime to pay their fine either through tem. It is clear that the legislation the court were they were convicted to allow for structured weekly or or through the appeals court. I am monthly payments of these fines getting reports of people being needs to be prioritised," Deputy summoned even though they do Crowe said. not live in the house where the telRisen steadily evision or radio is alleged to be and The number of people being in one case where the wife of a wheelchair bound man (who is jailed for non-payment of TV entitled to a free licence) is also licence fines has risen steadily

Astronomy just by using your eyes

since 2008. According to recent figures released by the Irish Prison Service, 49 people were jailed in 2008, 75 in 2009, 152 in 2010, 182 in 2011, and 272 in 2012. Meanwhile, the Government recently announced that the television licence fee will be replaced by a new Public Service Broadcasting Charge. Regardless Under the new plan, every household in the country will have to pay the charge, regardless of whether or not they have a TV. Commenting on the charge, Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte, said, "I don't believe that people live in huts and I don't believe people don't access public service broadcasting. It's not some of us that should pay for it. All of us should pay for it. We should not have freeloaders." It is understood that the new charge, when it comes in to effect, will not exceed the current €160-ayear licence fee.

Flash Fiction

The Sky over Dublin - Page 12

The Colour of Hope Page 17

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Oisin Quinn Interview

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The Informer

The Drift Comment Box

Dublin's Future

Labour's Six-Point-Plan for Dublin's future

MAKING DUBLIN FIT FOR CYCLING: The hugely successful Dublin Bikes scheme was a Labour initiative. Labour Mayors are committed to delivering a Dublin-wide cycle network that will further enhance Dublin as a bikefriendly city. This attractive cross-city route will reach along the coast from Balbriggan to Sandycove and then on to new cycle trails in the Dublin Mountains. It will enhance our city’s sustainable transport profile and tourism potential. Labour Mayors will also prioritise new routes along the canals to connect our city in a cycle-friendly way and enhance Dublin’s cycling tourism and recreational potential. ENSURING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: Dublin plays a key role as the engine of economic growth for Ireland and Labour is deeply committed to supporting jobs and growth across the Dublin Region. In driving our jobs and economic development approach, Labour Mayors will ensure that all development is sustainable, that the region’s green lungs are protected and that past planning mistakes are not repeated.

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Dublin by Numbers

DublinInformer

ENHANCING YOUTH, HERITAGE & CULTURAL SERVICES: Labour Mayors believe that Dublin’s incredible historical and cultural heritage must be protected and promoted. It is important that this is done in a way which engages with Dublin’s significant population of young people. Labour Mayors will prioritise the rollout of a number of successful reading and library initiatives with schools and libraries across the Dublin Region. In the centenary of the 1913 Lockout, Labour Mayors will also work with schools to promote awareness of this crucial event in the history of Dublin and Ireland.

Good news! This is the number of people who found new jobs every week for the past year in Ireland. The numbers employed in Ireland has reached 1,869,900 an increase of 32,000. The Irish economy has finally turned the bend and is producing new jobs. Allied to the rise in the property market, indications are that confidence is rising. Hopefully, this new confidence will encourage people to spend again adding new jobs to the statistics.

Editor: Niall Gormley Unit 38, Northwood Court, Santry, Dublin 9 01 813 8786 • news@informer.ie • www.informer.ie Sales Director: Declan Keane • Mobile: 087 9145073 For Advertising Enquiries, please contact: sales@informer.ie Telephone: 01 813 8786

WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS TO SOUTH PACIFIC WITH THE RTÉ CONCERT ORCHESTRA I’M GONNA WASH THAT MAN RIGHT OUTA MY HAIR’, ‘SOME ENCHANTING EVENING’ and ‘THERE IS NOTHING LIKE A DAME’ Just three of the timeless hits from Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic wartime romance musical, South Pacific. Here’s your chance to win an ‘Enchanting Evening’ with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, conducted by acclaimed Rodgers & Hammerstein expert John Wilson with a top international line-up of vocalists. An instant Broadway box office hit following its première in 1949, the musical ran for 1,925 performances, winning ten Tony Awards. In 1958, the soundtrack to the film version was No. 1 in the UK Albums Charts for the entire year of 1959 and remains the longest running No. 1 album in UK history. To win a pair of tickets to South Pacific on Thursday October 10th at the National Concert Hall answer the following question: In what year did South Pacific the musical première on Broadway? a)

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UNLOCKING DUBLIN'S TOURISM POTENTIAL: Labour Mayors are committed to unlocking the potential of Dublin’s natural features from its Bay to its Mountains. The development of sport and leisure activities are critical for ensuring healthier lifestyles for Dublin’s citizens. Triathlons and Iron Man events, for example, also present significant tourism and jobs potential. Labour Mayors will be working together to develop similar new sporting and recreational events and encourage visitors and Dubliners alike to get active. SUPPORTING OUR SENIOR CITIZENS: Making Dublin more senior citizen friendly is a key priority of the Labour Mayors. Labour has already successfully piloted a Senior Citizens Forum to give seniors across Dublin their say. Building on this initiative, the Labour Mayors will jointly host a number of events to address the needs of elderly people in a growing city. MAKING LOCAL GOVERNMENT BETTER FOR DUBLINERS: Labour Mayors are agreed that there should only be a directly-elected Dublin if it makes local government in Dublin more efficient. Any new office should have real powers to drive a coherent agenda for the sustainable development and growth of Dublin. Labour Mayors will work as part of the upcoming forum on the introduction of a directly elected Mayor to make this happen.


3

The Informer

Tallaght In Brief... Illegal cigarettes popular in Tallaght

Smokers in Tallaght are among the biggest users of illegal cigarettes, according to a recent report. The report, which gathered data by analysing 5000 used packs of cigarettes to determine if tax had been paid on them, found that the level of illegal cigarettes in Ireland remains high. According to the report, conducted by market survey firm MS Intelligence, the level of tax avoidance on tobacco for the second quarter of this year was 27.9%. The highest incidence of the use of illegal cigarettes  was measured in Tallaght and Drogheda, both of which had an average of 32.8% for the second quarter of this year. They were followed by Athlone at 32.4% and Ennis at 32.3%.   Cork was above the national average at 30.3% NIDP (Non Irish Duty Paid), while Dublin and Limerick were slightly below at 27.4% and 27.2% respectively.  A spokesperson for the Irish Tobacco Manufacturers Advisory Committee, said:  "These figures confirm what we had expected.   The attractiveness of the illegal tobacco market remains extremely high and will continue to attract members of the public who can purchase illegal tobacco at half the price of legitimate product.  The spokesperson added: "Despite the Government efforts and initiatives, we have not got to grips with the problem of illegal tobacco in this country.   We have the second highest cost for a pack of legal cigarettes in the EU but consumers can easily obtain a pack of illegal cigarettes in their local area for half the price.   The figures reflect this.   We also have tobacco criminals who view Ireland as a haven.  Low

with Martin Flanagan fines of a couple of thousand euro, fines that many of them will easily make in a day, coupled with a high demand for low cost cigarettes. "The Government seems to feel that increasing legislation around legitimate tobacco products will actually help decrease the number of smokers, but what they continue to ignore is that much of the illegal product does not adhere to any new Irish legislation and undermines all measures seeking to reduce consumption."

New app provides comprehensive directory of mental health services

South Dublin County Council, in partnership with Comhairle na nÓg, has launched an app known as MIndMindR that provides a comprehensive directory of Mental Health services and resources for South Dublin County. Using the latest smartphone technology, the MindMindR app will enable users to quickly gain access to information on a range of mental health services available in their local area, concentrating mainly on Tallaght, Clondalkin, Lucan and Rathfarnham areas. Emergency contact and service details for national services are also listed for information purposes, and services within the South Dublin County map boundary are mapped to enable the user to navigate to the address of the service they require.  The Android version is now available from Google Play.  The Apple iPhone version is also available from itunes.

Back to School Allowance

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear

n Will Cinderella get to the Ball? Will she meet her Prince Charming? Not if these wicked stepsisters have anything to do with it! Cinderella The Panto is on sale in Draiocht Blanchardstown and will run from 3-19 January 2014. See www. whatsoninblanch.ie for full details. (Photo: Tom Lawlor).

Allowance for the 2013/14 school year is still open for applications until the end of September. The allowance helps families meet the cost of uniforms and footwear for children going to school. The scheme operates from June to September each year.  The payment rates for the 2013 Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance scheme are €100 in respect of children aged 4 to 11 on 30th September 2013  and €200 for children aged 12 to 22 on 30th September 2013. If you think you might be eligible for the allowance, applications are available in all social welfare local offices and online at www.welfare.ie.

Seanad referendum

On Friday 4th of October the referendum on the abolition of the Senate and the Court of Appeal will be held. With the total electorate currently standing at 3.1 million, every Irish citizen who is 18 years of age and included in the register of electors can vote. If you are eligible but unregistered then you can apply up to Tuesday 17 September 2013 to your local authority for entry on the supplement to the register of electors to be published before polling day and so be able to vote on 4 October 2013. Application forms (RFA2) can be downloaded from www.checktheregister.ie or can be obtained from local councils.

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4

Green Scene

Waste not, want not

So that rare phenomenon, summer in Ireland, is over, schools are back, and it is time to reflect, regroup, and look at where we’ve been, where we are and where we are going. For sure, very few of us has more disposable income than we had this time last year, and I doubt if the rumoured rise in Dublin house prices is going to make any of us rich. Nonetheless, maybe because we all got a bit of sun on our faces this summer, there seems to be a general feeling that things are not quite as desperate as they were for most of us. Not for all of us – I’m well aware that many people can’t afford the roof over their heads, or for that matter the family food bills – but I seem to be overhearing more positive than negative conversations these days even from flat broke parents trying to cope with back to school costs. (And there is great information on how to cope with those and how to produce good lunch box food on a tiny budget from www.wholesome. ie).

Finding a VOICE

In this more positive world lots of people are looking for ways to save money that impact positively on our environment. One organisation that’s great for looking at simple ways communities can make things better from the ground up is VOICE – the Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment. Their campaigns are always about what people can do in their own lives that will improve things at home and in the wider community, and what they really know about is waste and how to prevent it. By developing pilot schemes with existing grass

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roots organisations they establish templates that any local body or household can implement. Much of their work has been around food waste, from growing and buying to dumping or composting. Last November they held a Feed the 5,000 day in Dublin, making vegetable curry from ingredients that would otherwise have gone to waste, such as misshapen vegetables and food with damaged packaging. Now they are working with the Tidy Towns organisations in Rush and Malahide to help individual households reduce their food waste by 1kg a week. It doesn’t sound like a lot but if every household in Ireland did it we would all be noticeably better off and a lot less would go to landfill. Households taking part keep a record of what food they buy, what meals they make, what happens to leftovers, and what gets dumped or composted without ever entering the food chain. They are equipped with suggestions for how to use leftovers, handy lunchbox meals and other tools.

Don't put food waste in the black bin

Of course, those of us in the Dublin area are now breaking the law if we send waste food to landfill. I hadn’t realised that until I spoke to Mindy of VOICE and I’m prepared to bet that most of the rest of you hadn’t either. From July 13th we have had to either recycle all food waste through our brown bins or compost it at home. And council workers have the right to come and check up on what we are doing – they can ask to see our compost heaps and other recycling methods If we are too lazy to do it properly and are putting food waste in the black bin there is a €75

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By Kathy Marsh, Sonairte on the spot fine. The regulations are being gradually rolled out, starting with communities of over 20,000 and gradually working down to the tiniest villages by 2016.

Better uses for waste food

Meanwhile, I have to ask why food waste is still not being used for power generation using anaerobic digestion. Nor is it being reprocessed for animal feeds. Surely we are a sufficiently mature society to avoid the scandals that arose in food re-processing in the past. I was shocked to find that under Department of Agriculture regulations the members of Balbriggan Community Allotments pig club were not allowed to feed leftovers from their own kitchen, perfectly suitable for human consumption, to the five Tamworth pigs they raised over the summer that are now residing safely in the club members' freezers. You can download information on composting from the VOICE website voiceireland.org, or from the EPAs Stop Food Waste website www.stopfoodwaste.ie where you can also learn about setting up a master composting scheme in your own community.

Money saving courses

If you are trying to save a few pennies by making home made cider or preserving all those delicious vegetables you grew in your garden or allotment there are two upcoming courses at Sonairte that might be right up your street. On Friday September 20th David Llewellyn, well known producer of excellent fruit, juices, vinegar, wine and cider will lead a one day cider making course. And you even get to take 9 pints of fresh

pressed cider home with you, while on Saturday 28th September Hans Wieland of the Organic Centre in Leitrim and Garrai Glas fame will demonstrate traditional and modern methods of food preservation including, for the health conscious, pickling and preserving without sugar. And you get to taste some of the finished products. It’s amazingly easy when you know how. Full details at www.sonairte.ie

Tough going on the bogs

Elsewhere, the news continues to be bad for Irish bogs. The government has made endless commitments to end turf cutting on the small area of raised bogs that remains, so that the increasingly endangered wildlife and plants can survive – a treasure that should surely belong to the people of Ireland and the world. But the handful of individuals and companies that own this land continue to defy national and EU law and we have once again been treated to the spectacle of the Gardai standing and watching as turf is stripped, occasionally by hand but more often by machine, despite the availability of compensation packages. Although we are all going to have to pay EU fines neither the Department of Justice nor the National Parks and Wildlife Service seems to be willing to take action. Can this be because so many members of Fine Gael hail from the rural West? I wouldn’t like to think so but I can’t help wondering. I certainly resent paying for their pusillanimity. At least 30 of the 53 protected bogs have been vandalised this summer. What puzzles me even more is why so many in the media appear to sympathise with the perpetrators – surely they aren’t falling for the little old lady with a slean mythology that the contractors association tries to feed us?


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The Informer

Angler's Angles with Keith McDonnell

Sometimes it’s not about catching fish

It’s been a generally poor season for trout and lake. I looked at the bus loads of tourists coming to salmon angling this year. While I have had occasional spend a day out in this magnificent country and success it has been mostly difficult to coax fish into realised that I was privileged to be able to go afloat taking a fly. This can be attributed mainly to an on this lake in surroundings that haven’t changed abnormally cold spring followed by very little rain much since the last ice age. I spent some time taking during the summer. photos but really I couldn’t do justice to the beauty of When my wife asked me what I’d like for my this place. birthday in August the answer was simple: “two Having packed up for the long drive back to Dublin days off to go fishing please”. I had my favourite I decided to have a quick look at the river which fishery in mind, Kylemore in Connemara. In particular, drains the entire Kylemore system into the sea. The drifting the north shore of the upper Kylemore lake river was very low and it was possible to sneak up to where the next pull on my flies could be just a small the pools and watch shoals of salmon sitting in crystal brown trout, a 3lbs seatrout or a large Salmon. In the clear water. I couldn’t resist casting to them and it was weeks prior to the trip I tied all manner of flies, big an amazing experience to watch the reaction of the and small in preparation and had plenty of daydreams fish snapping and turning at the fly but conditions about large silver fish taking my flies with abandon. Kylemore is a fishery that has been having exceptional prevented a solid hook up. For further information on Kylemore Fishery see fishing and a call to Nigel Rush the fishery manager the week before fishing told us that a number of www.kylemorefishery.ie . anglers were catching up to 6 fish in a day! Keith McDonnell is a fly fishing guide and One of the reasons I love fishing at Kylemore is instructor and big trout nut based in Dublin. that the seatrout are normally very free rising and will www.fluffchucker.com keep you amused while waiting for a salmon to take. The first day was fairly unfruitful with one salmon briefly hooked and a small sea trout. The only excitement was feeding a shoal of trout at the bridge in Kylemore Abbey, they have grown large by adapting to eating bread thrown off the bridge by tourists feeding the birds! On day 2 I hooked a second salmon and Iost him close to the boat. We stopped at midday for a coffee on the lake shore and it was only then that I realised where I was. I looked around me and saw sheer cliffs, mountains, and the small spawning streams flowing into the n Upper Kylemore Lough

The sky over Dublin with Conor Farrell, Astronomy Ireland

Astronomy just using your eyes The nights are now getting darker earlier as we make our way into autumn, and by 9:30pm it’s already quite dark outside. But as we wave goodbye to the summer we can say hello to stargazing season! With longer, darker nights over the winter, it’s much easier for us to see the wonders in the sky. If you’re starting out with stargazing, the best thing to use is your own eyes – there is no need for a telescope or anything yet. What you will need, however, is some warm clothes. The best thing is to wear multiple layers, especially during deep winter, as this traps more air close to your body and keeps you warmer. Don’t forget to wear a hat and gloves, too. When you go outside, give your eyes about 10 minutes to adjust to the darkness. This will allow you to see fainter objects in the sky. Don’t look at any bright lights – including your phone! – as this will ruin your night vision and you will have to wait several more minutes to readjust. If you need to, wrap a torch in red cellophane, as red light won’t affect your night vision. The first thing to look for is the Plough (also known as the Big Dipper). It’s easily recognisable as a large saucepan shape and forms part of the constellation Ursa Major, meaning ‘Great Bear’. The Plough is located in the north, and an imaginary line through the two outermost stars of the ‘pan’ part will point you to the North Star.

It’s a good idea to invest in a starmap or planisphere, which will show you all the constellations in the sky and help you to find your way round. If you want to take a close look at the clusters and nebulae in the night sky, a pair of binoculars is ideal for the beginner! Next month as the sky gets even darker we’ll take a look at a couple of the other constellations in the winter sky! You can get your equipment to scan the Dublin sky at nightskyoptics.com

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The Informer

Garden Growing With Gerry Norton A marvellous mix of plants and shrubs Now that summer starts to slide away and autumn takes over, I can, like all gardeners, finally start to appreciate and enjoy all the work and efforts that have been put into the garden this year. At last this year we were blessed with lovely weather particularly in July following a very slow start to late spring and early summer. This late start has resulted in a marvellous mix of late flowering plants from perennial shrubs to late early potato crops to an abundance of edibles in the veg garden such as lettuce and beetroot. My early potatoes are all but gone but I still have my container grown main crop ‘Cara’ to look forward to towards the end of September. Time to plant

The next few months is a good time to plant trees, shrubs and climbers as they will establish over the winter. I have never been a big fan of Hydrangeas as I somehow always regarded them

as old fashioned. However I’m really taken by a real beauty that I’ve seen in a neighbour’s garden called ‘Annebelle’. It has pure large white flowers and will grow to about 1.50 metres. The plant I’ve seen is well established and has dozens of flowers so one of these will be added to my shopping list. I’ve also mentioned several times that crab apple trees ‘Malus’ are really lovely and can be grown in containers if space is an issue. An autumn shortlist

As autumn draws in, here is a short list of things that should be done, starting now: • Start clearing away any dead leaves and debris • Spring bulbs will be available soon, plan where you would like them in advance • Move evergreen shrubs. • Take hardwood cuttings from Roses • Divide overgrown perennials if they have finished flowering • Scarify and aerate lawns

n ‘Annebelle’, a real beauty. It has pure large white flowers and will grow to about 1.50 metres. Roll out the lawn

September is a great time to establish a new lawn. I’m a big fan of roll out turf if you can afford it rather than using seed. I always source my turf from ‘Summerhill Lawns’ in Trim. The logo on their truck says it all ‘The best grass for your joint’! The stuff that’s available in the large DIY stores should be avoided as it always looks yellow and

sick as it’s been lying around for days usually in the sun. Laying turf is not rocket science if you have never done it before, Summerhill’s web site explains it in a very easy way. ...and some autumn colour

Looking around my own garden I can recommend the following plants for autumn colour. Some of these plants are now in full colour

while some will flower in a few weeks. Rudbeckia – Herbstsonne; Caryopteris - Kew Blue; Agapanthus - Blue Giant. Plus any of the Sedums which are widely available and are stunning at the moment. Ornamental grasses are also lovely at this time, try Stipa Gigantea or Carex Flagellifera.

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10

The Informer

Mansion House Man

Where did you grow up? Ballsbridge and then Donnybrook.

Who were your major influences growing up? Parents and family. Career wise, what’s the best piece of advice you have been given? Work hard and build good relationships with the people you work with. What advice would you give any budding politicians? Approach each challenge as a chance to make things better. Since Ireland became a republic what Taoiseach have you most admired? Sean Lemass and Garret Fitzgerald. What do you think Dublin has to offer over other European capital cities? A young, well-educated, diverse people. We are the only English speaking capital city in the eurozone. Dublin is popular with North Americans and continental Europeans, a beautiful city with a great coast and mountains not to mention our rich literary and cultural history. Dublin has many great historical sites what do you think is a must-see? Christchurch Cathedral, City Hall and the City Museum, and the Hugh Lane. During your term as Mayor of Dublin what do you hope will be your greatest achievement? Making the city centre a family friendly place and inspiring Dubliners to be proud and really positive about the future of the city.

Oisin Quinn Interview with Rachel Murray

Can you briefly explain the six-point-plan for Dublin? Cycling, sustainable development, youth and heritage, tourism, senior citizens and local government. Highlights include delivering a city-wide cycle network with routes along the coast and the canals; preventing the planning mistakes of the past; rolling out imaginative reading initiatives in schools and libraries; promoting sporting events such as Triathlons and Iron Man events; hosting events to promote awareness of elderly needs; ensuring that a directly-elected Mayor has real powers. How do you plan to actively engage with the citizens of Dublin during your time as Lord Mayor? Holding public meetings and forums on various initiatives; inviting many different groups in to the Mansion House; engaging with people at public events; and giving interviews to the media(!) You may be one of the last Mayors not to be have been directly elected with plans in place for a plebiscite of Dubliners next year to ask them if they want the Mayorship to be a more powerful office, what area do you think the Mayorship should have more power? Transport, tourism and policing. Finally, what is your stance on the abolition of the Seanad? I'm in favour of abolition. What do you think has been the greatest change in Dublin since you were growing up? The traffic has got a lot worse but the public transport hasn’t kept the pace with the changes needed.

The Informer Interview

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

I want to promote cycling and dedicated cycle ways and promote the expansion of the Dublin bike scheme. Currently there are 500 bikes available and we plan to triple this by the end of this year. I then hope to make further announcements about expanding the scheme into some of our suburban villages such as Ranelagh and Rathmines. We also recently changed the city by-laws to allow for on street car clubs. Research shows car clubs can reduce car traffic substantially. For every car available to rent it can reduce the number of cars owned by up to 15. It enables families to make a choice of switching from two cars to one knowing that there will be a car available to rent for as little as €5 an hour in town when they need it.

Dublin has had some amazing events on so far this summer, any favourites? Yes. The Opera in the Open Series is a fantastic event running at lunchtime every Thursday this month. The Operas are reduced down to just an hour with an narrator telling the story and then the favourite Arias being sung by some fantastic Opera singers. There is a great programme and the proceeds go to my three nominated charities of the three Children’s Hospitals in Crumlin, Temple St and Tallaght. Dublin will also be playing a key role in the football championship in Croke Park. Come on the Dubs!

What areas do you think Dublin needs to improve in order to attract more visitors to the city? There needs to be a specific way found to drive Dublin as a tourist product in its own right. Too much of the focus is on promoting Ireland whereas a lot of people like to visit cities. A better integrated transport system and making the city more family friendly would help promote Dublin.

20. Do you think social media now plays an imperative role in politics and it's relationship with the public? Yes. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Pix.ie and other sites are all fantastic ways for communicating with the public, and particularly the younger generation. Pictures, information and views on issues can be debated quickly and in a lively fashion and in a way that is very accessible.

How do you plan on improving transport in Dublin during your term as Mayor?

What social media sites are you a member of? Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn, Pix.ie.

23. You were involved in the setting up of the Dublin Bike Scheme. Would you like to see more people on bikes? There are many people who enjoy cycling and you can see every morning how many cyclists are on the road. The Dublin bike scheme makes it even more accessible. The more people who turn to cycling the safer it gets as well. It’s also a healthy fun way to get around the city and you can see shops and other cafes and places of interest that you don’t always notice when in a car.

What’s the best perk of living in the Mansion House? Being right in the centre of town and having Stephen’s Green on your doorstep. Also, browsing the shops and cafes in the Grafton Street area. What drew you to a career in politics? I wanted to get involved in my local community to make it better for me and my family. My uncle is a senior figure in the Labour Party and with his advice I was able to become involved in Labour Party politics.


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12

The Informer

All about Dublin 1

A Place in the City The middle of a housing estate is not where you would expect to find an ancient ruined abbey but such is the case with Kill-o’the-Grange or Kill Abbey. In the past 70 years the suburbs have swept through and the ruined church, now walled in to protect against vandalism, stands surrounded. In ancient times the area was called Cluinchenn (Clonkeen), later as Kill-o’the-Grange (the Abbey of St. Mary had a farm or grange here), and Dean's Grange after the Reformation. It was dedicated to St. Fintain and continued in use until the time of Cromwell. Older residents can still remember when the old church stood in semirural isolation, when cross-country runs could be taken for miles without manmade obstacle, when Sunday evening handball matches at the Garda station alley drew crowds, the surrounding area had nurseries and orchards and it was not considered unusual to visit seven churches on Holy Thursday. They recall a time when TB was a constant threat and the Lourdes Hospital catered for TB victims from all over; when Clonkeen Road, overhung by branches and only dimly lit by the moon, was a favoured location for courting; when Silkes (now much

Kill Abbey

enlarged as Bakers Corner) was the local pub, George Dowdall ran the local shop selling newspapers and sweets, and Lar Breen, with his two cows, had 300 customers (presumably people didn't drink much milk then). They remember when the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology was the Carriglea Industrial School, teaching shoemaking, carpentry and tailoring, and the young ‘inmates’ were only ever brought walking out under supervision. The threat of being sent to Carriglea was enough to soften the

cough of even the most unruly local child. One treasured memory concerns the time a fight was arranged outside the Garda Station and a car found it impossible to get through. The lady driver approached the Sergeant, leaning out the window and ensuring the Queensbury Rules weren't completely ignored, and asked him to put an end to it. ‘Madam, ” he replied, “You can blame de Valera, there are too many problems around and they just need to get it out of their systems!" What would the monks of Kill Abbey have made of it all?

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Lesser Known Dubliners

Edited by Zoz John Parr

John Parr was born in Dublin in December 1725. He joined the British Army aged 19 and served with the 20th Foot at the Battle of Fontenoy, Belgium, helped to suppress the Jacobite Rebellion and was wounded at Culloden. In 1756 he was promoted to captain and fought in several battles during the Seven Years War - he was severely wounded at the bloody battle of Minden in 1759. Bit by bit, through experience, friends and cash, he worked his way up to Lieutenant Colonel by 1770 - he retired from the regiment six years later. In 1778, aged 53, he wangled a cushy number as Major of the Tower of London - leav-

He was a stickler for formalities and had the tetchy stubbornness of an independent but narrow mind long accustomed to military discipline

ing after four years when he was appointed Governor of Nova Scotia A short man with sharp features and a brisk, strutting gait, he was a stickler for formalities and had the tetchy stubbornness of an independent but narrow mind long accustomed to military discipline. He lacked the accommodating manners and social graces which might have made him a more popular governor. Instead of a quiet job in a backwater colony John Parr found himself with immediate pressing problems the flood of British loyalists, many of them African-Americans, into Nova Scotia at the end of the American Revolution. More than 35,000 arrived, 10,000 of them in the winter of 1782/3. Parr's administration oversaw the settlement of the newcomers but he was accused of "discriminatory practices and long delays" in the matter many land grants, which should have been simple matters, dragged on for years. He died in Halifax in 1791 and, as luck would have it, his old regiment, the 20th Foot, were onhand to provide a fitting military salute. The town of Passboro, Nova Scotia, is named after him.

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going initiatives such as Bag2School.” – Amanda Kenny – Fundraising & Marketing Coordinator – LauraLynn House The Bag2School textile scheme has been described as the most inclusive form of fundraising available to PTA's in that it uses a resource that everyone has available in a continuous stream. The Bag2School scheme is an easy to use, free way of "unlocking the value" of those unwanted items to raise funds for your School, Charity or Club. Earn your school €600 per tonne with an additional 10% going to The LauraLynn House!


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14

The Informer

All about Dublin 2

Edited by Zoz

Firsthand History

19th Century Dublin Through Indian Eyes

In 1810, the scholar Charles Stewart translated and published a travel book written by a Persian-speaking Indian poet and scholar named Mirza Abu Talib Khan. Over the period 1799-1803, Abu Talib travelled from India to Africa, and on to Ireland, England, and France. He was most impressed by things which European and American writers thought mundane - door knockers, for example!. "I shall here endeavour to give my Readers some description of Dublin, the most magnificent city I had hitherto seen. Dublin - the most magnificent city I had seen up to then - is situated within a few miles of the sea, and is about 12 miles in circumference. Many of the houses are built of hewn stone, and do not appear as if any mortar was used in their construction; the stones fitting so exactly into each other. The generality of the houses are however built of brick and mortar, neatly laid together: the bricks are of a large size, and the mortar appears as a white border round their edges. All the houses in a street are of the same height, which gives an uniformity of appearance that is very pleasing; in the inside they are generally painted white, or of different colours, and have all glazed windows. Most of them consist of four stories, one of which is

under ground; in this they have apartments fitted up for cooking, washing, and keeping coals, wine, etc. The ground floor is appropriated to shops or offices, and eating rooms. The next story is the most elegantly ornamented, and is used for the reception of company: the one above that is divided into bed rooms, for the master and mistress, or their visitors: and the upper story of all, the windows of which rise above the roof of the house, and where the ceilings are low, is allotted as sleeping apartments for the servants. The roofs of the houses are covered with thin blue stones, which are closely fitted and nailed on narrow slips of board, and are much handsomer and more durable than tiles. The entrance to the house is by a door on which the number of the house and the name of the master are either painted, or engraved on a brass plate. On every door there is fixed a knocker, by striking of which you give notice to the servants, when you wish to enter; but in some houses they have bells fixed for this purpose. In the room below stairs, where the servants assemble, there are several bells fixed, which communicate by wires with the different apartments; and being all numbered, upon the ringing of any bell the servants immediately know where their presence is required. The streets of this city are in general wide, and are divided into three portions: the two sides, which are flagged, are appropriated to foot passenger's; and the middle part, which is paved with stones, is used for horses and carriages. In front of the houses of noblemen

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17

The Informer

The Last of Us

Journey - Collector's Edition Developer: Thatgamecompany • Platform: PS3 In recent years there has been an increasingly passionate movement of gamers that aim to prove videogames are art, or at least can be an art-form. While this debate may never be resolved, the three games within the Journey Collector's Edition are possibly the strongest case for videogames to be considered art. All three are abstract games, and are utterly joyous to get lost within. Firstly, Journey puts the player in the role of a robed figure as they traverse a desert towards a massive mountain. The game, like the rest of the games within this collection, focuses on movement and freely navigating your environment which can be brought to new heights by extending the players scarf length, leading to higher, longer and more epic jumps. In Journey the player can also interact with other players online, but only through a unique and beautiful language the player's character speaks- singing various notes. The other two titles within the collection are Flow and Flower, two titles arguably more abstract than Journey. Flow

Flash Fiction

Game Reaction

has the player control an aquatic micro-organism, as it moves around its 2D environment. The aim of the game is to consume other micro-organisms to gradually evolve up the food chain. Over the course of the game the creature begins to change and evolve before the players eyes. It's simple, addictive and wholly entertaining. Flower is beautifully addictive too, and lets the player control the wind itself as they guide flowers petals through the air. Expertly utilising the PS3's six axis controller for added moments of bliss, Flower is a simple yet breathtaking experience that is almost therapeutic in its approach to gameplay. The Journey Collector's Edition is a exhibition of pieces of art. While most games focus on the sword and the gun, this focuses on the beauty of movement and the discovery of random player created moments. While any gamer's instinct would to go for the more flashier games, Journey Collector's Edition blends stunning visuals, abstract game-play and exquisite music to create an experience like no other. It's not conventional by any stretch of the imagination, and that should be embraced. A must buy.

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The Colour of Hope The sky is blue and without a single cloud. The breeze is gentle. The sun is warm on my skin and the soil where my body lies is soft. I can feel the grass tickling my feet. Birds are chirping away somewhere behind me. All around me, the wind is playing in the trees. I sigh in pure contentment. An hour of this. A lifetime of this. I could get used to this. The air is so pure. A little too pure. But I shut my eyes and breathe in more deeply. “Time’s up Mr O’Flanagan-Yatamori. Same time, next month?” I just nod to Mr Trent-Bouleau as he waits for me at the door. The light turns grey. So do the walls and floor. I open up my eyes. The illusion is gone. I reluctantly get to my feet and shuffle to the electronic door. Half a month of salary for just an hour of this. It is worth every Titanbar I earn. Simple pleasures but pleasures that designers have worked years on reproducing. And all this when we had the real thing only three hundred years ago. It is a pale copy of the reality that we once had. For the umpteenth times in that day I curse my descendants and trudge back to my expensive office with its dramatic view of Ontario Lacus. Orange sunset on a smooth, wave-sculpted orange shoreline. People would kill for that view, I have been told. One of the best views on Titan. I hate orange. I dream in blue. I have been researching this. I have read it took 4.5 billion years to create Earth and it only took two thousand odd years to destroy it. It all went to hell in the year 2100. The scientists had all warned the people of Earth that they could not sustain their way of living but each generation thought they could push their luck a little further. The irony is that back then graphic designers and scientists drew and dreamt of better places so very close to Earth in concept and shape. And now all we have left of this here is their artwork. Some leftovers of dreams of what we used to have. Mountains and volcanoes of ice, slow rain that falls slowly with heavy drops of petrol, rivers and lakes of methane, ethane and propane. Any type of gas that exists, you can be sure, Titan has it. Maybe one day we can return to Earth. I will make sure a part of me does, even if it takes us thirty, fifty generations; even if there is only one strand of my DNA left in that distant child of mine. I will stand by the sea where the air is pure. They say the colour of hope is blue. I hope they’re right.

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The Informer


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The Informer

20

Animal Tracks

Graham Connor's Movie Advice Elysium HHHHH

Directed by Neill Blomkamp. Starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster & Sharlto Copley. 2154. Earth’s natural resources are exhausted and the wealthy have fled to live on Elysium, a satellite habitat. Max, an ex-crook, is injured in an industrial accident and has five days to live – only Elysium can save him. Neill Blomkamp gave us the amazing District 9, one of the best sci-fi films of the last decade. He sticks to the sci-fi here, bumping up his cast and special effects budget considerably. The plot of Elysium is nothing new; it’s a nice mix of Gattaca, Outland and a host of other sci-fi films. What is different though is that Elysium is actually well made. It has been the worst summer of blockbusters ever – Elysium just about saves the day. Matt Damon is strong but not spectacular as Max – the villains of the piece upstage him, both Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley absolutely shine, Copley in particular. Foster has taken to playing bad roles recently and it’s a trend that suits her. If you’ve been exposed to either Oblivion or After Earth (or heaven forbid, both) this year then I can understand some trepidation, but Elysium is a great sci-fi film.

Advice: Well worth a shot!

Kick Ass 2 HHHHH

Directed by Jeff Wadlow. Starring Aaron Taylor Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and Jim Carrey. Our fearless hero Kick Ass joins forces with super-team Justice Forever, lead by Colonel Stars and Stripes but Hit-Girl is trying to leave her old life behind. Everything changes though with the emergence of a new super villain. The first Kick Ass film was a great surprise, a funny, heartfelt and ultra violent graphic novel adaptation. Kick Ass 2 is pretty much the same thing, just lacking any surprise at all. Contrary to what Jim Carrey says, Kick Ass 2 is no more violent than its predecessor, but there is a feeling that Kick Ass 2 is just an unnecessary sequel. There is nothing new here, a film made purely for the money as Kick Ass was a box office hit. All the cast are strong but it is Jim Carrey’s film; you have never see him like this before and probably never will again, it is just a shame that he disowned the film. It is a great companion piece to the first film but again, it’s not the most essential film ever made.

Advice: Only if you want to.

with Dublin Small Animal Rescue

Your Rabbit and Flystrike

What is flystrike? Myasis, known as flystrike, is a serious condition which affects many animals during summer. We will focus on rabbits. Flystrike occurs when bottle flies lay eggs on the rabbit’s fur or skin. These eggs then hatch into maggots who feed on the rabbits flesh. It is an extremely painful and life threatening condition and a true emergency. Prevention is always better than cure!

Prevention: The main thing to do to prevent flystrike is to keep your rabbit and their environment clean and dry. Flies are attracted to moist, dirty areas. Faecal matter, open wounds, damp rear ends are prime real estate for these flies. It is imperative during the summer to check your rabbits for flystrike DAILY as flies can lay hundreds of eggs in a matter of hours. To prevent flystrike occurring, you should clean your rabbit’s toilet corner daily, check for wounds and if present treat immediately. Check for faecal matter on the coat and if present remove immediately. You can purchase Rearguard from your vets. Rearguard will not kill adult maggots but works by preventing any eggs laid by flies

developing as such, rearguard should be applied before you see any summer flies and should repeat the application every 8-10 weeks.

Signs of Flystrike: You can see eggs or maggots on the fur/skin or in open wounds. But if you even notice that your rabbit is under the weather, lethargic, not eating or drinking these could also be signs. Thick fur can help mask any wounds or sometimes even the maggots themselves. Treatment: Under no circumstances should you attempt to treat this condition at home. If you suspect your rabbit has fly strike do not delay! Get them to a vet immediately as this condition is often fatal and a rabbit can die within two days. To conclude, prevention is better than cure and be vigilant especially during the summer! Dublin Small Animal Rescue www.facebook.com/ dublinsmallanimalrescue www.dublinsmallanimalrescue.webs.com

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