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INSIDE: Sheepmoor Estate marks its 35th anniversary P2

March 15, 2012

EDUCATION: Discussing recent

decisions on DEIS Schools Page 6

A hairy situation: Students enjoy fundraising day Kickboxing: McMenemy claims ninth Irish Open title Page 32

THESE students clearly look like they were having fun when they took part in a special fundraising day at Riverdale Community College. Students at the school organised the event, which saw them shave and dye hair, take part in food challenges, play egg roulette as well as many more fun activities to raise money for the Marie Keating Foundation. Picture: Ania Sherlock

Full Gallery on Page 8

Gridiron: West Dublin Rhinos register fine victory Page 28

ALSOINSIDE: GALLERY ........................ 2 BUSINESS .................... 19 MOTORS ....................... 20 TRAVEL......................... 22 ENTERTAINMENT ........ 24 CLASSIFIEDS ............... 26

Concern over rise in number of guns fired Vital that gardai are resourced properly – Nulty


REPORTS on the number of firearms being discharged in the Blanchardstown Garda district trebled in 2011, a “serious concern” for local politicians. Recently released crime figures reveal the biggest rise in

crime for the district last year was Discharge of Firearms, with 12 reports during the period of January to December 2011, compared to just four in 2010 – a 200% increase. Labour’s Dublin West TD Patrick Nulty said the rise in firearm offences is of “serious concern”, adding, “any inci-

dent of this nature is one too many and it is vital that the gardai are resourced properly to investigate and prevent such serious offences”. Figures also show incidents of assault causing harm were up 15% with 60 cases, compared to 52 the previous year. Full Story on Page 7

2 BLANCH GAZETTE 15 March 2012


MILESTONE Tree-planting to celebrate 35th anniversary

Local school hosts Debs’ Fair COOLMINE Community School is giving gorgeous dresses a new lease of life by hosting a Debs’ Fair, where second-hand ball dresses will be on sale. In a recession-beating move, the local school is giving soon-to-be debutantes a chance to get the dress of their dreams at a low cost. The fair will also have a number of booths, with companies who offer flowers, nails and tan services on display, bringing everything needed to get set up for the big day. For the men, CT2, located at Blanchardstown Village, will also be at the fair to show what suits they have on offer. Member of the Parents Association at CCS, Ger-

aldine Rooney said: “It’s giving people a chance to sell their debs’ dress. Admittance is just €5, and, if you sell your dress, you just give a handling fee of €5. We have everything needed to get ready for the big day – it’s a fullblown fair. “Some girls go to more than one debs, so they might consider this,” Geraldine said. “It’s a different kind of fundraiser for the school. If it goes well we are hoping to make it an annual event.” The Coolmine Community School Debs Fair takes place on March 24 between 1-5pm in the school. For further information or enquires call 086 2216290.


Charles Echipue (FCC), Susan Fox ( Blakestown Resource Centre), Community Garda Peter Foley, Therese Casey (FCC), Aaron Murphy (FCC), Joe Daly (FCC) and Tony Masterson (FCC) . Pictures: Rafe Costigan

Joining forces to plant trees ESIDENTS of Sheepmoor Estate rolled up their sleeves and got their hands dirty in order to bring new life to the estate during a tree-planting ceremony to mark its 35-year anniversary. This year marks a very special milestone at the estate, and, to commemorate this, a series of events will take place throughout the year to improve the quality of life in the area and to celebrate the achievements, and people, of Sheepmoor.


The first event was a tree planting ceremony on February 29. Members of the community joined forces with Fingal County Council to plant seven new trees in Sheepmoor. The planting ceremony was chosen by the community to be symbolic of new life, with family trees showing hope for the future, with roots in the past. Residents young and old came out to help and do their bit for their close-knit community.

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Tony Farrell and Maureen Penrose

Hannah Junken, an original resident, hangs a 35th birthday card on the newly planted tree

Residents of all ages came out to lend a helping hand

Digging in

Almost done!

15 March 2012 BLANCH GAZETTE 3

ABUSE ‘All living creatures experience pain’

Adorable pups were dumped in business park I LAURA WEBB

THE Dublin SPCA is urging members of the public to come forward with information that will help identify the heartless people who dumped two adorable puppies in a Dublin 15 business park. Meet Daffodil and Primrose, the two fourweek-old female terriers that were dumped from the back of a car at Millennium Business Park in Dublin 15. The DSPCA was alerted to the incident by a kind-hearted member of the public who made the shocking discovery on March 2. The rescued puppies are now in the care of loving staff at the

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shelter’s Mount Venus campus, where they are receiving life-saving, urgent veterinary treatment. The little pups are so distraught by the horrific experience that they are extremely nervous, underweight and heavily worm-burdened. Now in care of the DSPCA team, it is hoped the pups will be able to leave the shelter and go to a foster home very soon. In a separate, shocking incident, a 10-week-old, ginger and white male kitten was rescued by the society after it received a call from a member of the public who witnessed a gang of children kick the little kitten around.

The cute kitten, christened George by care staff, is lucky to have survived such a beating and is also receiving emergency medical care. Callous

Spokesperson for the DSPCA, Miriam Kerins says: “These animals have been treated in the most callous manner possible. In the case of the puppies, they are too young to have been separated from their mother and there is obviously a confused, unspayed Mom who has just had her babies cruelly snatched from her. “In the case of the kitten, I find it most unsettling and destabilising that a group of children

Four-week-old Daffodil and Primrose were dumped in a D15 business park

could behave in such a manner. The intensity and motivation for this abuse must be explored. Educating children that all living creatures expe-

rience pain and suffering, including animals, and discussing the similarities between us and animals should develop empathy and go a long

way towards preventing future cruelty. We must remember animal abuse can be an indicator of future acts of violence,” Miriam said.


Checking electoral register A DATE announced for the upcoming referendum on the Fiscal Compact Treaty has prompted local politicians to urge voters to check the electoral register. Dublin West Sinn Fein representative, Paul Donnelly, is calling on every voter in D15 to check if they are on the electoral register in advance of the treaty referendum. Mr Donnelly said: “This is one of the most important treaties to be put before the Irish people. I am asking every adult over the age of 18 to log onto and check if their details are correct or, indeed, if they are even registered. “Every election, I meet people who turn up to the polling station only to discover they are not on the register. At that stage it’s too late and nothing can be done to get registered,” Donnelly said.

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Listen to your library I LAURA WEBB

GET listening to your local library, as the Blanchardstow n Librar y Show is now broadcasting across the local airwaves every week. On Friday evenings at 7.30pm, the library’s very own programme is broadcast from Phoenix 92.5fm with a new edition on the last Friday of every month. This is just one of the many things the Blanchardstow n Library has on. Book clubs take place each week. The next meeting is on Thursday, March 22 at 11am. They will meet to discuss Other People’s Money. On Thursday, March 29, members will be discussing The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency at 7pm. Becoming a member of the library has never been easier and what’s great is that it is free of charge!

LAUNCH Putting ‘One Foot in Front of the Other’

Teena turns amazing life experiences into a book I LAURA WEBB

SURROUNDED by family and friends, both new and old, Teena Gates is humbled by the support she has received over the last two-and-a-half years. And it is this support that inspired her to put pen to paper, and write One Foot in Front of Another, her first book. If the Blanchardstown resident and Head of 98fm News was told two years ago that she would lose 12 stone, climb

Mount Everest, abseil down the side of the Wheel of Dublin and sail across the Irish sea in a small boat, she probably would have thought that person was looking into someone else’s future – but, unbelievably, they would have been right. Her journey started in 2009. At 23 stone, Teena was at her heaviest, and even walking to the shops had been a struggle. Vital surgery meant she had to lose four stone in just a matter of months. Her mind was set, and

she began the hardest, most challenging experience of her life, which, ironically, turned out to be the start of her life. “I am so surprised I got this far. So much has happened in such a short space of time. All the adventures along the way – sailing the Irish Sea in a very small boat, going to Everest Base camp, Island Peak, all the icy climbing on glaciers, following a team and being led by the incredible Pat Falvey – what an incredible experience,” Teena told the Gazette. Touched

An experience her friends knew would make for a good read, and, thankfully, she shares it in her new book. “I wrote it first as log, or memoir, for me. I am absolutely touched that so many people are telling me that they are seeing it as a bit of hope, to help them through difficult times – that humbles me; it has been a very emotional, rollercoaster ride. I have learned so much along the way. “I have grown as a person and I have got more in touch with everything about me, in terms of what I think about myself. I probably spent most of my life liking parts of myself and not liking other parts, now I feel more comfortable. If I don’t like something about myself I will just go out and change it, instead of beating myself up about it – that is a lesson that has taken me 40

Teena Gates celebrates the launch of her first book, One Foot in Front of the Other

years to learn. “I set out to do something and I had a target. First of all, it was to lose four stone for an operation, and then it was to get healthy to go to Everest to give something back by raising money for the Hope Foundation, who care for street children in Calcutta. Instead of helping them, they helped me. “It is ironic that the name of the organisation that I first set out to help was Hope. I tried to help them but they gave

me hope. I didn’t realise what an enormous gift I was about to get back – the more you give to people, the more you get back in this world – that’s an extraordinary gift,” she said. Teena launched her book earlier this month, in a room full of wonderful people “who I have shared experiences with, they are all part of the big adventure; I feel very blessed”. For Teena, this is just the beginning of her new life and all the expe-

riences over the past number of years are just a drop in the ocean for what she can do. “I’m excited about what’s to come. People are asking me to come to their town to talk about Everest, weight loss, and having a dream and decided to do something about it. Can you believe that – people approaching me; I find that extraordinary,” Teena said. Teena shares her amazing journey in her new book, One Foot in Front of Another - out now.



15 March 2012 BLANCH GAZETTE 5



Family fun for weekend

Closures needed to stay on budget I LAURA WEBB

THE HSE has confirmed that “phased” bed closures are part of measures needed for Connolly Hospital to stay within its allocated yearly budget. Last week, the Gazette reported concerns about the loss of 20 surgical beds at the Dublin 15 hospital in order to balance the books. A saving of €8 million, on top of a budget deficit of €4 million, is needed this year, according to Edward Matthews, industrial relations officer of the Irish Nurse and Midwives Organisation. As part of cost savings 20 surgical acute beds will be closed on a phased basis. In a statement to the Gazette this week, a spokesperson for HSE said management in Connolly Hospital have been meeting with senior staff

to discuss ongoing plans to ensure the hospital complies with its statutory obligations and remains within its allocated yearly budget. “Some of the key measures/actions that are required over the coming months include seasonal closures in the surgical day ward and outpatient services, phased closure of 20 surgical acute beds, rostering reviews as per the PSA, reduction in phlebotomy services to GPs, measures to rationalise stock levels, savings on contracts, energy savings and savings to be made when new MRI is installed. “Management wish to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of all staff during these challenging times,” the spokesperson added. Commenting on the bed closures last week,

Dublin West TD Patrick Nulty said: “This is disappointing news; the inevitable outcome is increased waiting times and, in my view, it will cost the exchequer more in the long term. The level of cuts being asked by the HSE is unrealistic.” Mr Matthews voiced his concerns about the development: “I am very worried, because the hospital is extremely overcrowded at present, and, already, for seven days in the last month, the hospital operated at what we call – full capacity – which means that they had to put extra beds in rooms and behind doors in the hospital to accommodate the demand from the emergency department and to conceive closing and additional 20 beds is just unbelievable. Our members are shocked and dismayed.”

Cheque it out: Mar Shampla Leadership Group raises €1,000 PICTURED at a cheque presentation to the Cystic Fibrosis Associa-

tion of Ireland are Martin Cahill, fundraising manager of CFAI, and fundraiser Darragh Elliot. The cheque was on behalf of the Huntstown Community Youth Project. The Mar Shampla Leadership Group raised €1,000 for the very worthwhile charity. Photo: Ania Sherlock

LOCAL residents can celebrate all things green on our national day, with free family entertainment at the Blanchardstown Centre. Throughout St Patrick’s Day, this Saturday, crowds will be entertained by traditional bands Aris Arun and Celtic Rhythm. A Make and Do colouring corner is suitable for all those creative children looking to make something for the big day, including flags and masks. This takes place between 12-3pm on level 2. Members of the Kathryn Manicle School of Dance will be showing off their dancing skills between 11am and 1pm. Meanwhile, the centre will also celebrate Mother’s Day with a bestdressed mum competition. On March 18, from 1-4pm, the style scout will be searching the Centre looking for the bestdressed mum.

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OPINION No Deis schools to lose a teacher in September

Welcome for breakthrough on disadvantaged school posts THE recent announcement by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn that no Deis 1 or Deis 2 school will lose a teacher next September is very good news indeed. As a teacher, I have first-hand experience

of the great work taking place every day in schools in disadvantaged areas. The latest Government announcement means that these schools will retain 235 posts which were under threat because of the

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country’s deep financial crisis. Even at a time when cutbacks are inevitable, it is vital that we continue to invest in education. In the last week, we have had news from the IDA of huge new investments by multinational companies in new facilities in Ireland. A low corporation tax rate, and a well-educated work force, are key elements of the decisions by the multinationals companies that invest in Ireland. Pay Pal, for example, which is adding 1,000 jobs to its Irish operation, needs people with a high level of language and IT skills. For individuals, education provides a passage out of poverty and we can take pride in the

fact that, over the last eight years, our retention rate to Leaving Certificate has risen from 82% to 88%, now one of the highest rates in the world. This is a small, but important, victory for schools in our most disadvantaged areas and I congratulate the Labour backbenchers who went to Minister Ruairi Quinn and spelt out to him, in the clearest terms, the potential d a m a g e t h a t wo u l d result from these particular cuts. In welcoming this particular victory, however, I don’t pretend that the education sector is escaping completely from the cuts. The Capitation Grant for primar y schools is being cut by 3.5%.

This is the grant that pays for heating, lighting and photocopying, so schools will again be put to the pin of their collars. But I am most concerned about the upcoming cuts to the guidance service at second-level. If these cuts kick in from September 2012 onwards, it may mean that guidance councillors will have to spend a good deal of their time teaching exam subjects. From my own experience in schools the work that the guidance people do in preparing teenagers for their college and career choices is really important. Moreover, they are trained to provide a listening ear for students going through a difficult

Cllr Michael O’Donovan

patch. This is a cut I intend to work to reverse.

Michael O’Donovan Labour Party councillor

Education - the greatest MY good friend Joe Duffy - yes Live line Joe! reminds me regularly that the greatest gift, after life itself, that my late mother Rebecca gave me was “Education”. But being married to a teacher for over 30 years, I have learned from Anne, my wife, how our education system has let some people down. Overcrowding, difficult family circumstances, poverty issues and children slipping through the system because of class sizes are all too familiar. A recent national study of children, entitled Growing Up In Ireland, is the most significant of its kind ever to take place in this country, and it gave us insight into understanding all aspects of children and their development, including education. The study was commissioned by the previous Government and is being carried out by a consortium of researchers led by the Economic and Social Research Institute and Trinity College, Dublin. One of the findings of the report outlines that our children are our most important asset, and they must be valued and cherished appropriately. This Government has placed children’s issues at the heart of policy-making by establishing a dedicated Minister for Children, my colleague Frances Fitzgerald TD. Another aspect of the Growing Up In Ireland study highlighted the impact of parenting on children’s outcomes in educa-

Fine Gael Dublin Mid West Deputy, Derek Keating

tion and it is here that the DEIS Schools play their part. But the problem with the former Government’s answer was they threw money at everything without assessment or planning. DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) supports various reports for both primary and post-primary schools, which include reduced pupil/teacher ratio in areas of disadvantage, the allocation of Administrative Principals, access to School Meals Programme, access to numerical and literacy programmes, a Home School Liaison service, enhanced library support reading programmes and Language

Support Service. In DEIS, the reading recovery, which is a school-based intervention programme designed to reduce literacy problems within our education system and is an early intervention programme giving children, who have particular difficulties in reading and writing over one year in primary school, a period of intensive and individual teaching. I have been very concerned recently following the news that Archbishop Ryan’s National Schools, both senior and junior, may suffer a loss of up to 16 teachers. I met with the teachers in the schools and the Principals and I have spoken directly to the Minister and his Department because of the lack of a DEIS status for Lucan schools. This Government is committed to education and to children and this is clearly demonstrated by the fact that the Minister this week has announced new schools for Lucan, new extensions to schools in Lucan and I am confident that he will reverse the decision to reduce the teaching staff at the Archbishop Ryan’s Junior and Senior Schools. I support the DEIS School Policy providing it is focused and flexible.

Derek Keating Fine Gael Dublin Mid West Deputy

15 March 2012 BLANCH GAZETTE 7

CRIME Increase in the number of firearms being fired

Rise in discharged guns I LAURA WEBB

CRIME figures for the Blanchardstown Garda district shows a 200% increase in the number of firearms being discharged in 2011. In a report to members of the Fingal Joint Policing Forum, it was revealed that the biggest rise in crime for the area last year was Discharge of Firearm, with 12 reports during the period of January to December, 2011, compared to four in 2010 – a 200% increase. Commenting on the figures, Dublin West TD Patrick Nulty (Lab) said: “The rise in firearm offences from four in 2010 to 12 in 2011 is of serious concern. Any incident of this nature is one too many and it is vital that the gardai are resourced properly to investigate and prevent such serious offences. “Communities have

a right to feel safe and a strong Garda presence on the ground, coupled with investment in strong community-based services, can tackle serious crime”. “The work of projects like Safer Blanchardstown and local youth initiatives, shows that when the gardai work with the community, we can tackle crime but it requires a holistic approach,” Deputy Nulty said. The report revealed assault causing harm increased by 15%, with 60 reports in 2011 compared to 52 the previous year. There were 78 drug seizures in 2011, an increase of 10% with 71 seizures in 2010. Theft from a shop reduced last year, with 663 reports compared to 865 reports in 2010, while robberies to establishments have also reduced from 36 in 2010 to 23 in

2011. There was a slight decrease in the number of people in possession of an offensive weapon with 80 reported last year, compared to 84 in 2010. Burglary for 2011 was down 9% at 604, while criminal damage decreased from 1,144 to 950. C r i m e p r e ve n t i o n operations are continuing with checkpoints, surveillance and searches carried out, emphasising on high volume crime and specific criminal targets. There is also a 20% increase in the number of searches being carried out under the Misuse of Drugs act. According to the report, there are currently 55 Active Neighbourhood Watch Schemes in the sub-district. “There is ongoing work being done to reactivate dormant schemes in the area,” the report said.

Dublin West TD Patrick Nulty


Planning move is welcomed A DUBLIN 15 politician has welcomed recent planning decisions by Fingal County Council not to extend planning permission for developers. Mulhuddart councillor David McGuinness (FF), said this is good news for the community and bad news for developers. According to Cllr McGuinness, up until now it has been possible to extend planning permission for up to five years if applicants could cite “financial difficulties as a reason for the extension”. However, on a number of occasions FCC has refused to facilitate developers in Dublin 15. The latest refusal applied to Menolly Homes, who are not allowed to extend the duration on their permis-

sion for 215 homes and a creche. “This balances the right of individuals to use the law to protect their business interests and the community’s right to bring conclusion to unfinished building sites and derelict parts of their horizon. This represents a good move by Fingal who are being realistic with regard to the prospects of this project being completed. This news will be welcome in Dublin 15.” FCC refused to extend planning permission for Menolly Homes for 215 homes and creche located south of Ongar Road in Townlands of Hansfield, Phibblestown and Barberstown, Blanchardstown. The decision was made on March 1, 2012.

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EVENT Riverdale Community College fundraising day

Second-year pupils, Shelby and Lauren. Pictures: Ania Sherlock

Ganiyat, Seyi and Christiana

Pupils raised money by doing other activities and games

Barry Caesar Hunt volunteered to shave and dye the Emilija Vitenaite goes green


Students play part in cancer battle TUDENTS at Riverdale Community College showed plenty of initiative recently when they decided to organise a fundraiser in aid of the Marie Keating Foundation. Students shaved and dyed their hair as part of the Today FM Shave or Dye appeal. Students tried to swallow a spoon of dry cinnamon and eat as many cracker in one minute as part of a food challenge.


As part of a Dodge the Sponge challenge, teachers had to try and avoid wet sponges thrown by students. They also played Egg Roulette, which saw them smash a mixture of hard boiled and raw eggs off their heads with the unlucky ones getting the raw ones. There were also cake stands, tarot card reading and a couple more carnival events that made for a very memorable event for a very worthy cause.

Teachers, deputy principal Sean Deery, and principal Noel Gildea (3rd left) who is retiring after 21 years

15 March 2012 BLANCH GAZETTE 9

EDUCATION Gaelscoil an Chuilinn to be open by September

Gaelscoil given the go-ahead PARENTS campaigning for a new Gaelscoil in Dublin 15, are seeing their hard work pay off following the announcement that an Irish speaking school was given the go-ahead this week. As part of the Government’s new schoolbuildings programme, announced by Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, this week in St Benedict’s National School in Ongar, a new Gaelscoil - under the patronage of Gaelscoileanna Teo - will be open this September. Initially it will open on the Powerstown Road, with a view to have its permanent school building up and running in Mulhuddart by 2015. The school name, Gaelscoil an Chuilinn, chosen by the parents to reflect local place names in the area as “cuileann”

means “holly”. According to parent, and chair of Gaelscoil an Chuilinn founding committee, Alison Barber, this reflects the growing demand for Irish-speaking schools in the area. “As a group of parents who have been campaigning since 2008 for this school, we are thrilled that the Department of Education has finally given it the go-ahead,” Alison said. “We’ve known for a long time that there was a big demand for a new gaelscoil in the area because the closest ones Scoil Oilibhear in Clonsilla and Gaelscoil Thulach na nOg in Dunboyne have had to turn children away, they just don’t have the space to accommodate them all. The parents who were disappointed not to have been offered places in those schools for

New schools to be built

Fianna Fail’s David McGuinness expressed disappointment in the Minister

their children this year will be delighted to hear that there’s another option for them in the area. “Our committee is working hard at the moment on registering students and fundraising for the school – although the Department will provide the school with all of the necessities, we want it to have the very best resources for our children from the first day it opens,” she added. Parents can register their children for September 2012 in Gaelscoil an Chuilinn in Mulhuddart by calling 086 3236187 or emailing Meanwhile, local Fian-

na Fail councillor David McGuinness said he is disappointed that the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn overlooked calls by Carpenterstown residents to have a new gaelscoil come under the patronage of An Foras Patrunachta in their area. Instead, a new school building in Carpenterstown has been given to Educate Together. “I find the Minister’s decision disappointing and surprising as the desire for a Gaelscoil in Carpenterstown has not been addressed; naturally, this investment in education is a welcome break from this Government’s agenda of slashing educa-


Forum outlines its programme for 2012 I LAURA WEBB

THE Fingal Joint Policing forum has outlined its programme for 2012, and is hoping to improve quality of life for its citizens, reduce levels of antisocial behaviour in public places and create awareness of crime prevention and community safety initiatives. These are just three of the 11 objectives outlined in its annual programme for the year, which was discussed at the first meeting of the Fingal Joint Policing forum in February. According to the annual work programme, the first objective is to

improve quality of life for citizens of Fingal through a process of engagement and positive action between local community representatives, local public representatives, An Garda Siochana and Fingal County Council, on matters concerning safety. It is also looking at ways of reducing levels of antisocial behaviour in public parks, open spaces and on beaches by improving co-ordination between gardai, FCC and community representatives. Traffic and safety concerns will be addressed using a partnership approach with gardai and FCC. Another objective for the forum is to provide


opportunities for young people living in Fingal to have an input into the policing of their local communities. This ongoing objective is hoped to be achieved through “continued engagement with young people on issues relating to crimes and safety”, the report said. Reviewing levels of crime and patterns of crime, disorder and antisocial behaviour is another ongoing objective for the forum. The forum also wants older residents to be able to “feel safe in their own neighbourhood” so they can “participate fully in their community as a result of that

sense of well-being and security”. Another objective for the year is building on existing partnerships with gardai, the council, the community and other stakeholders involved in events that attract large crowds such as concerts. This is to ensure that this type of event is a “safe and enjoyable experience for all those who, live work and visit Fingal County”. The purpose of the Joint Policing Forum is to serve as a forum for consultation, discussion and recommendation on matters affecting the policing of a local authority. Members include local gardai, councillors,TDs and community organisations.

tion and opportunity for young people. Equally, I wish the new management of the school the very best and I will do everything to support their new school and community. “Car penterstow n residents will see this announcement as a missed opportunity to fulfill their desire to educate their children through Irish. However, I have no doubt that all will wish Educate Together well in their future in Carpenterstown,” he added.

THIS week’s school buildings announcement revealed nine new primary schools and three new post-primary schools to be built between now and 2016. Local politicians have welcomed the €2 billion capital investment programme for education, announced by Minister for Education and Science, Ruairi Quinn this week. As part of the five-year national plan, 12 new school buildings will be built, while three existing schools will see large scale extensions. Dublin West TD Minister Joan Burton, said this will provide much-needed educational facilities. But it will also give an employment boost for the area. “This announcement is a vote of confidence in Dublin 15. Despite the harsh economic climate,

this is recognition of the need for long-term infrastructure solutions for the education of our young people, in what is the fastest-growing area in Ireland.” Local TD and Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar said: “This is very welcome news for Dublin 15, which has a rapidly rising school population. The building programme will help to ensure that schools throughout the area have sufficient capacity to cater for the large number of growing families,” the Minister said. New primary school buildings in the list for Dublin 15 include: Mulhuddart National School, Scoil Bhride Girls, Blanchardstown; Scoil Bhride Boys, Blanchardstown; Blanchardstown West E T N S ; P owe r s t ow n ETNS, Powerstown Road and Tyrellstown.

10 BLANCH GAZETTE 15 March 2012

EVENT Romantic Singles Night fun enjoyed at Tesco Cabra

Graham Mulcahey asking a contestant what she chose from the store to represent her

Martin Saunders with Avril Mulcahey and some admirers. Pictures: Andrew Foley

Martin with his peppers

Paulina with her lightbulb choice

Martin with his peppers

Jessica with her bubble bath

Love is in the Aisles ESCO held its most romantic event to date, Love is in the Aisles, an exclusive Singles Night at Tesco Cabra recently. Love is in the Aisles was a speed dating event with a twist, with 20 men and women attending looking for love. Participants were sent on missions around the store to find products which best represent their personalities, along with a variety of other


match-making games, with the most compatible couple at the end of the night winning a romantic dinner for two to the value of €200 in top Dublin restaurant, Pichet, on Valentine’s Night. The winners, Dave Fogarty from Firhouse and Pauline Sheerin from Raheny were announced live on the Love Zone Show on Dublin’s Q102 by host Debbie Allen.

Avril Mulcahey with some of her admirers. Pictures: Andrew Foley

Enjoying a glass of champagne

Date Night Winners David Fogarty and Paulina Sheeran

15 March 2012 GAZETTE 11

12 GAZETTE 15 March 2012


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Showing a Lidl love: Pamper mum with wine and chocs this Mother’s Day MOTHER’S DAY is a time for pampering, so whilst you are in the

kitchen whipping up her favourite pancake brunch, let her sit back with her favourite tipple. Lidl has lots of great wines, bubble and liqueurs at incredible value. Opt for the smooth and luxurious Deluxe Irish Cream Liqueur as an extra special treat or, as Mother’s Day is a celebration, pop some pink bubbles such as the popular Freixenet Cava Brut Rosé. For something sweet, you can’t go far wrong than Lidl’s JD Gross Pralines Selection box. For further information about Lidl and its products, or to locate your nearest store, please log on to or visit www.face


Taking part in the Cycle4life THE inaugural D.I.D Electrical Cycle4Life will take place on Saturday May 19, in Dunboyne, Co Meath. Cycle4Life is a charity that has been set up by D.I.D Electrical to help raise vital funds for Temple Street Children’s Hospital. The event will take place over three routes to suit all fitness levels and for all grades of cyclists, from the complete novice all the way up. Those interested in participating, donating or volunteering to help in the D.I.D Electrical Cycle4Life can log

onto There are training tips and advice available to improve your technique and assist you in reaching your overall goal, whether it’s to cycle 15km or 147km. Temple Street Children’s hospital continues to rely on external support to assist it in the purchase of vital equipment. With the money raised by the D.I.D Electrical Cycle4life, Temple Street aims to secure essential equipment that will provide the best possible environment for its young patients and purchase new specialist equipment

and technologies to assist in ongoing vital research. By participating in the D.I.D Electrical Cycle4Life, those taking part are not only joining a fantastic event, but are also helping to make a real difference to the lives of the most precious patients at their time in need. Register online now at or follow on Facebook for updates on upcoming events, useful tips and organised training sessions. There will also have an evening event in the Crowne Plaza that night and tickets are €100.

15 March 2012 GAZETTE 13

14 GAZETTE 15 March 2012


Brought to you by Miriam Kerins of the DSPCA


Pampering good for pet health HERE are so many wonderful reasons to get a dog. Regular readers of this column will know I’m a gal who’s nuts about her mutts. Those readers will understand my annoyance when, through my job, I often have to deal with pet parents who have gone out and bought a dog in order to “enhance” their own lives. However, they’ve never taken the time or had the desire to enhance their pet’s lives by giving them a regular bath or treating them to a trip to the groomers. When speaking to these self professed “dog lovers,” I have to ask: Do you enjoy the invigorating feeling of being clean and fresh?


Do you visit the hair/ beauty salon? You do? Great. Well your pets are no different. Ok, every pet has his/ her own personality; some love to be brushed and fluffed, some don’t and I will hold my hand up and say one of my dogs, (great aunt Sophie, the 17-year-old, does not like being brushed anymore but she’s an old lady and this is her right; she doesn’t have the patience for it). Let’s just say our Diva Dog is a bit of a challenge these days; however, as her mom I know that regular grooming encompasses many aspects of companion pet care and even though Sophie is no longer as energetic as

When grooming your pet check for areas of bumps, tenderness, scabs or hair loss

she used to be, she is still in need of having a nice warm, gentle bath, getting her nails clipped, her ears cleaned, her anal glands squeezed, etc., And I do believe this regular ritual brings me and my dear old friend closer together…and can reduce costly veterinary visits. Also, when I’m groom-

ing/petting my dogs, especially Sophie, I check for areas of bumps, tenderness, scabs, hair loss etc., because I do not wish them to run the risk of the following problems: Ear Mites: A parasite that lives out its life cycle inside your pet’s ear canal; causing severe irritation and itchiness. I use a

soft facial tissue around my finger or a cotton bud dipped in cool olive oil and very gently wipe around the inside of my dogs’ ears making sure not to insert too deeply. If the dog has an open wound or the ear is inflamed, it’s straight off to the vet. Fly strike: Also known as Myasis – a maggot infestation. This is more common in warmer months where flies lay eggs that go on to develop into larvae that eat dead and rotting tissue on your pet. For example, vomit, skin infection, mated hair, diarrhoea, etc., This condition can be fatal if left untreated. Bathe and groom your pet regularly, treat your pet for diarrhoea immediately, and if

your pet becomes ill, keep them indoors away from flies. Always seek veterinary attention. Anal Sac Impaction: Dogs and cats have anal sacs that can become impacted if not emptied properly. Ideally, anal sacs should empty with your dog’s normal bowel movements. You won’t even notice this, however, if your pet begins to drag his/her behind along the ground, take him/her to your vet. There could be other reasons for this dragging, such as a bothersome growth, matted hair, an irritation or diarrhoea. Only your vet can diagnose. Minty Fresh Breath: When I’m rubbing my dogs’ faces I always take a

look inside their mouths to check for plaque build-up. If you do this and notice plaque, or bad breath, take your pet to see the vet for a dental check up. When there, ask your vet if he/she can demonstrate the correct technique best suited to your pet and follow the guidelines. Please do seek your vet’s advice regarding any concerns about your pet and, if you don’t feel like grooming your new best friend yourself, there are plenty of professionals who’d be delighted to provide that service for him/her.  For more information log onto or email me at miriam.

15 March 2012 GAZETTE 15

16 GAZETTE 15 March 2012

GazetteBEAUTY BEAUTY Spoil your mammy at LA Academy LA CREATIVE Academy is offering complimentary eyebrow treatment with every makeover at the academy for all of March. When you book a make-up application for you and your mother on a Saturday, you receive a complimentary LA Thread Bar treatment for that perfect brow. Make-up is then applied, as well as a threading treatment and a complimentary hair “touch-up” by one of their top artists LA Creative Academy is located at Chatham Street, just off Grafton St. For further information, call 01 675 1999.

Make your mum into an even bigger star with an A-list beauty treatment I LAURA WEBB


OTHER’S day is approaching, and all we want to do for our mums is to make them feel like the only woman in the world – so why not think about giving mum a makeover, and then treat her to a luscious meal to show off the finished results? To help out with this, Gazette Beauty takes a look at Hollywood’s newest mum, Natalie Portman, to show readers just how easy it is to achieve this glam, yet subtle look. At this year’s Oscars, Natalie dazzled the red carpet with her polished


‘At this year’s Oscars, Natalie dazzled the red carpet with her polished and subtle make-up. ‘Most mums out there – if mine is anything to go by – prefer less is more, and Natalie has this look down to a tee.’


and subtle make-up. Most mums out there – if mine is anything to go by – prefer “less is more”, and Natalie has this look down to a tee. Soft, tumbling curls help to finish this look, and are a great way of making mums feel like a star. To help achieve this

look, Maybelline New York cosmetics has everything a daughter (or son) needs to help make mum feel a million dollars. First, use Maybelline’s Dream Satin Liquid foundation (€11.99), which gives skins a dewy glow. This can be applied using either a brush,

sponge or finger tips. To ensure that skin stays looking fresh and radiant, initially apply only a small amount as an all-over base, and then tap on excess product where more coverage is needed. Natalie’s brown eyes are brought to life with a mix of soft, glimmering metallic hues; start by blending the two deepest shades of Maybelline’s Eye Studio Coral Drama Quad (€9.99) along your top lid and up into the socket line for definition. Add a little under your bottom lashes to make them look thicker and fuller, giving a classic smokey-eye effect.

Using a smaller brush, apply the lightest shade of shimmering gold to the inner corners of eyes to reflect light and then softly blend it out, creating a seamless finish where the light gold meets the darker shades. To add depth and make lashes appear instantly thicker, apply a small amount of Maybelline’s Gel eyeliner in Black (€11.99) along the top lash line. Once you have the basic line in place, clean off the brush with a tissue and blend the line so it appears smoother. Finish off with the Colossal Cat Eyes mascara (€11.99) on both top and bottom lashes

for fuller, thicker, fannedout lashes. Keep mum’s lips natural, like Natalie, so not to divert from her eye make-up. Try Colour Sensational Lip Gloss in Exquisite Pink (€9.29) to give your lips a similarly beautiful and healthylooking sheen. O n c e m a ke - u p i s complete, get the curling tongs out, or hair straightening ones, to make loose curls. Dress mum in her favourite cocktail dress and she will be ready to turn heads at your restaurant of choice. Remember, Mother’s Day is this Sunday, March 18. Happy Mother’s Day!

15 March 2012 GAZETTE 17

Edited by Laura Webb

FastBeauty Cholesterol: Did you check your level recently?

Looking Beeautiful: Gifts from Burt’s

APPROXIMATELY 10,000 Irish people die each year from cardiovascular disease (CVD). High cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for CVD, including heart attack and stroke. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is vital for the body to function as normal. The problem arises when cholesterol sticks to the blood vessels and blocks blood supply to the major organs. Improving your diet, reducing alcohol consumption, quitting smoking and increasing physical exercise can help reduce cholesterol. Contact your GP or local pharmacy to get your cholesterol checked, and help to have a healthy Mother’s Day this year

BURT’S Bees has put together two great gifts to keep mums refreshed from head-to-toe this Mother’s Day. Say a big thank-you to mums this year with products that will keep mum feeling revitalised and refreshed at home. The specially-packaged products come in two gift sets. Burt Bee’s Tips to Toes Kits (top, right) is perfect for hardworking hands and feet, with a collection of rich creams and softening butters to keep hands and feet naturally soft and beautiful, with a RRP of €15.95. Alternatively, Burt’s Bees Head to Toe (above, right) naturally cleanses and nourishes every part of the body. Inside, mothers will find a generous assortment of Burt’s most popular natural

With thanks to the staff at Lucan Village Natalie Portman wowed at this year’s Oscars with her subtle “less-is-more” make-up – a natural look that would be perfect for your mum this Mother’s Day


skin care products, from their beeswax lip balm to coconut foot cream and everything in between, with a RRP of €16.95. Burt’s Bees Mother’s Day kits are available from Nourish and selected independent health stores and pharmacies nationwide.

18 GAZETTE 15 March 2012

GazetteMUSIC MUSIC FastTunes with Radio Nova’s Dee Woods IF YOU look up the phrase, “Still Got It”, no doubt you will find a picture of The Rolling Stones nearby. The band’s music and its members have not only stood the test of time, but they still rock out better than thousands of acts a quarter of their age. Next month, The Stones celebrate half a century together and, if they needed any proof of their everlasting popularity, then Facebook is it. Last week a picture of a chuffed Keith Richards holding a piece of paper saying “9,000,000 Stones’ fans” was posted on www.facebook. com/therollingstones (actually it was missing the apostrophe but I guess you don’t have to worry about that when nine million people love you.) The timeless calibre of songs, like Gimme Shelter and Waiting on a Friend, is some comfort to the unsettling thought that a bunch of lads my dad’s age have more facebook followers than Radio Nova has listeners. If a post goes up on The Rolling Stones’ Facebook page it can get over 50,000 ‘likes’. See what I mean? Still got it! And that’s only the fans that are on Facebook! And now this flurry of online adorers begs the question, when will The Stones announce a 50th anniversary tour? And, more importantly how much the tickets will be? (They’d probably have to tour for another 50 years just to satisfy their nine million fans on Facebook). Hey, lads: If the music dates back half a century then the ticket prices should too! A couple of quid should do it. But a warning to Jagger, Richards and co: psychologists have found the more friends you have on Facebook, the more likely you are to suffer from stress and anxiety. And you guys don’t need any more wrinkles...

Keith Richards and the big news...

Coming home: Kiwanuka’s debut hitting home now SOUL sensation, Michael Kiwanuka, has released his much-anticipated debut album, Home Again. The North London singer-songwriter, whose magnificent show at the Sugar Club last month sent our reviewer in paroxyms of delight, seals the deal with the ten tracks on offer, a collection of songs that propel you back to the golden age of soul, thanks to brilliant playing and a stellar retro production job by Paul Butler from The Bees.


Springsteen breaks it down to build again I ROB HEIGH

VERY few acts get as far as ten albums, let alone 17. And you would have to imagine that, over the course of 17 records, there would an early learning phase where they learned their craft, followed by a mature middle phase where they played at the top of their game, and it would be topped off by an end-game that saw them going through the motions while the records spun in decreasingly satisfying circles. You would think that, but then, you wouldn’t be thinking of Bruce Springsteen. The patron saint of New Jersey has returned this year with his 17th album, and it proves to be, possibly, the most complete summation of everything that makes Bruce Bruce in a single record this century. I’ve always thought that Springsteen’s albums since Tunnel Of Love in 1987 were almost there, but not quite — there was a feeling that they missed an unidentifiable something that entirely unified all of the songs under one flag, in

Bruce Springsteen has delivered what might be his first completely realised record this century

spite of there being some undeniably great songwriting and playing on those records. Wrecking Ball, however, feels like the first time in a very long time that the muse and the cause have come together to create something special. Opening with the apparently patriotic We Take Care Of Our Own, Wrecking Ball keeps its intentions just under the surface, until it’s time to let them spill over. Our Own is an angry volley that hides it’s ire and bile just as Born In The

USA did — the message is that wherever the flag is flown, the care and support for every class is most certainly lacking, despite what politicians and business might have to say. That frustration directs the characters in many of the songs collected on Wrecking Ball — the petty criminal on Easy Money is all romance until he pulls his gun as he rails against “the fat cats who think it’s funny” who brought him low. The anger turns to spiritual uplift, and the

theme turns at the midpoint on the title track, austensibly about the end of an era as the Giants stadium in New Jersey is demolished, but, equally, a metaphor for hope and resistance in a time of depression and financial hardship — “Come on and take your best shot, let me see what you got.” T he music brings together the best bombast of previous E Street Band outings while taking in inf luences from the country-folk inflected Seeger Sessions

album, as well as bringing in Irish trad stylings, New Orleans brass, civil war style marches, and even drum-loops and a rap on Rocky Ground. I would suggest you seek out the E Street Band performances on Jimmy Fallon’s show in the US last week. There’s something elemental and uplifting seeing the band perform together, even without the talismanic presence of Clarence Clemons, the saxophone legend who passed away last year. The last gang in town are back to rock.

15 March 2011 GAZETTE 19


Supported by AIB

Interview: Catriona Byrne, The Foot Clinic at Doc Morris, Superquinn SC, Blanch

Happy feet lead to happy customers CATRIONA Byrne has been working in the health service for the past 12 years and she has noticed an increased number of patients, of all ages, presenting with medical complaints which impacts on the condition of their feet. “These medical conditions vary from diabetes, obesity, joint replacement and back problems. In most cases, these patients have been encouraged to exercise more regularly in order to reduce weight and, in turn, help with their medical condition. However, if a patient is also having discomfort in their feet, the exercise plan soon goes out the window!” said Catriona. In 2010, she completed training in Foot Health Management and Biomechanics, as she felt there was a gap in the health service providing both a chiropody and biomechanical service to patients. The biomechanics of the service includes assessing the patient’s gait / walk and includes recommending an exercise programme and / or orthotics as necessary. “The patients may present with complaints such as fallen arches, knee or back pain, hammer toes, bunion problems or indeed heel spurs, tendonitis or generalised foot pain. So, while I provide a full chiropody service to patients, my service focuses not only on treatment, but also on preventative measures also. “I find the business extremely rewarding as clients always comment on how good they are feeling after their appointment!” she said.

Q: What is the best thing about your job? A: As I am a Foot Care Practitioner, I deal with all aspects of foot pain, generally all patients present with varying foot pain, they all leave feeling much better – there is immense satisfaction in that.

Q: : Have you achieved anything that you once thought

coupled with the State pension, I am scared that

chardstown A – While I am a great advocate of starting a pension as early as you can, I am also an advocate for getting to grips with how the pension system works as early as one can, too. Like a bricklayer laying brick upon brick, but without having to see the bigger picture, most pension investors are happy to make minimum contributions not knowing what the consequences will be. The end game is just so important, as you are now unfortunately experiencing. With only a fund of € 23,000, you can take € 5,750 as a tax free lump sum, and invest € 17,250 into an annuity – essentially a fixed interest rate deposit account guaranteed for life. You take this interest then as your income for life but when you die, the insurance company keeps the fund. You are therefore buying a guaranteed income for life – the ideal, of course, is to live as long as possible and outlive the annuity ! Taking a rate of c. 4.5%, this equates to €64.68 per month and, even with the annual State pension, a total of c.€13,000 per annum, you can afford to earn at least another € 5,000 per annum free from income tax. The lesson is a hard one. There are thresholds on Catriona Byrne, of The Foot Clinic at Doc Morris, Superquinn SC, Blanchardstown

the amount of contributions that can be made to a pension fund based on age, e.g. aged between 40 and 50, you can contribute up to 25% of your net relevant

Q: What was your first job? A: McDonald’s

Q: When did you start your present job? A: 2010.

very little by way of a monthly pension and,

How can I maximise my PRSA fund? Joan – Blan-

you could not pull off? A: I like to set myself achiev-

variety of jobs but my pet hate is filing.

to retire next May. I have been told I will receive

Finding a job at 66 is not easy, but I may have to.

Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be? A: It varied every year.

Q: Have you ever done a job you loathed? A: Not really – have done a

Q – My PRSA has only € 23,000 in it and I am due

I just simply won’t be able to afford to retire.


Q: And your first pay cheque? A: I can’t remember.


able goals.

Q: At the moment, what are you looking forward to? A: My summer holidays.

Q: How many pairs of shoes do you own? A: Maybe eight or 10

Q: What part of your working day do you ‘delegate’? A: Again, filing!

Q: What is your guilty music/ TV or movie pleasure? A: Enjoy a good film.

Q: Where do you enjoy spending money frivolously? A: Holidays, if possible.

Q: What’s currently on your desk that shouldn’t be? A: It’s still the filing, unfortu-

Q: What music/pictures/movies do you have on your iPod/ iPad? A: I don’t have iPod or iPad

Q: Describe your dream holiday? A: A nice beach, good book,


Q: Is there anything about yourself that you would like to set the record straight on? A: Not really – I like to think

Q: Who do you follow on Twitter/Facebook? A: Not a follower of Twitter or

of myself as pretty straight forward.

Q: What was your last tweet/ status update? A: I don’t Tweet or Facebook.

Q: What sport do you follow? A: Not a follower of any spe-


cific sport.

I like to chat with friends faceto-face.

Q: What sport can you play? A: Badminton – not a great

Q: Describe your dream meal? A: Any meal that I don’t cook.

player but really enjoy playing.

Q: What habits would you like to lose? A: I can’t think of any offhand.

Q: Who would you like to have dinner with – Enda Kenny or Dame Edna? A: Preferably Dame Edna – I like a laugh!

good food and excellent company - works perfectly!

Q: What would be your dream job? A: I like a challenge. Maybe run the county for a while, as I’d like to make some major changes, like restore a bit of equity and accountability to the system and give the county a major kick-start regarding job creation.

earnings in an occupational pension scheme apart from the employer’s contribution. Investing 5% while the employer invests 5% into the fund is substantially short of the recommended and allowable amount that can be invested into such a fund. Remember the three reasons for having a pension 1. Monthly contributions attract tax relief up to certain limits at your marginal rate. The top rate is earmarked to decrease to the 20% rate over the next three years, so make hay while the sun shines. 2. All growth in the fund is tax free. Remember even if you are on the lower rate of tax, it means because you receive 20% tax back, the fund has to drop by over 20% in one year for you to lose money in your investment. 3. On retirement, 25% of the fund up to a maximum of €200,000 can be taken as a tax-free lump sum. Very best of luck Joan in your retirement.  Contact John with your money questions at

Q: What do you plan to do when you retire? A: No plans to retire yet. How- or visit his website at

ever, if I won the lotto, maybe I could be persuaded.

director of Money Doctor


ADVERTISE WITH THE GAZET TE CALL 60 10 240 John Lowe, Fellow of the Institute of Bankers, is founder and managing



20 GAZETTE 15 March 2012

GazetteMOTORS MOTORS Ford gives the new Kuga a right kicking The new Opel Ampera

Ampera and Volt Share the Honours in Geneva THE Opel Ampera and the Chevrolet Volt were unveiled as the “shock” winners of the 2012 Car of the Year award at the Geneva Motor Show last week. The news comes as Opel Ireland prepares for delivery of the highly anticipated vehicles, where orders across Europe are currently exceeding expectations, with 7,000 orders placed. The Opel Ampera / Chevrolet Volt came in as convincing winners with 330 points against the VW Up (281) and Ford Focus (256). The Opel/Vauxhall CEO, Karl-Friedrich Stracke, and Chevrolet’s president and managing director for Europe, Susan Docherty, were both handed the Car of the Year 2012 award by the President of the COTY judging panel, Hakan Matson. The Ampera and the Volt emerged as the joint overall winner in a field of seven COTY finalists. The selection criteria applied by the judges were based on attributes such as design, comfort, performance and especially innovative technologies as well as efficiency.

Honour “It is a proud moment for us and an honour to receive this award from Europe’s leading jury of automotive journalists,” said Susan Docherty, president and managing director, Chevrolet Europe. “Our car demonstrates that electric driving can be fun and reliable without ever compromising the owner’s lifestyle. “We are extremely pleased that our revolutionary electric vehicle has emerged as the winner in such a tough field of competitors. “And we are very proud of this accolade,” says Karl-Friedrich Stracke. “This encourages us further to continue our leadership role in the area of e-mobility.” The Ampera and the Volt are the first electric vehicles in the market that can go anywhere anytime. A 16 kWh lithium ion battery powers the 111kW/150 hp electric motor. Depending on the style of driving and road conditions, distance of between 40 and 80 kilometres can be covered in the purely batteryoperated mode, completely free of emissions.

LAST week, the Ford motor company managed to give one of its own models a right kicking! As part of the company’s 2012 Geneva Motor Show presentation, they revealed the first ever kick-activated automatic boot on their all-new Kuga. Owners of the car will now be able to open and close the tailgate simply by waving a foot beneath the rear bumper, an especially useful feature for those carrying the weekly shop or other gear to load into the car. Ford perfected the system with the help of volunteer “kickers”, and, after six months of testing produced the optimum settings. “This is a perfect example of how we’re evolving existing technology to further improve our customers’ experience with Ford vehicles,” said Dominik Nical, security electronics expert, Ford

of Europe. “The result is a practical and unique solution to a common problem – opening the tailgate when your arms are full. It’s a solution that will really work for customers in their everyday lives.” The development team spent six months working with Ford’s Human Machine Interface laboratory, using volunteers to test prototype systems fitted to a previous generation Kuga. Rigorous real-life testing perfected the required kick and ensured there was no interference with other systems. The hands-free tailgate builds on Ford’s Intelligent Access push-button start. It allows customers, who have their key on their person, to unlock and start their vehicles without having to take it out of their pocket or purse. Two sensors in the rear bumper detect a

Owners can open the boot by waving a foot

person’s shin and kicking motion. The system safeguards against accidental opening by being programmed to open with leg motions – not when an animal runs under the car or when the vehicle hits a bump on the road. The system made its debut on Kuga’s sister model, the Ford Escape, in North America, late last year. Ford engi-

neers re-calibrated the system for Europe to ensure it would still work if a tow bar had been fitted - as this is an option frequentlyy chosen by European n Kuga customers. The automatic hands-free tailgate iss launched as an option n with Keyless Entry on n the all-new Kuga later er this year.

New Fiesta ST gets show debut FORD also used last week’s Geneva Motor Show to unveil the new, production-ready Fiesta ST in advance of the performance hatchback’s launch in Europe in 2013. Customers have clamoured for a new Fiesta ST since the last model disappeared from European showrooms in 2008. The all-new model is set to take the car’s performance to a new level, and the numbers tell the story: 180PS 1.6-litre EcoBoost, 240Nm of torque, 0-100km/h in under seven seconds, and top speed of more than 220km/h. At the same time, the EcoBoost technology delivers a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with the previous

Customers have clamoured for a new Fiesta ST

Fiesta ST. Developed by Ford’s Team RS, the new model delivers significant rideand-handling improvements through the introduction of a specially tuned chassis that sits 15mm lower than the standard Fiesta; Ford’s

enhanced Torque Vectoring Control system, and three Electronic Stability Control modes. The technologies were put to the test over 5,000 kilometres of driving on Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife. “We believe Ford cus-

tomers will be blown away by the new Fiesta ST, and not only by the exhilarating performance but by the styling and specification, too. This dynamic new hot-hatch is undoubtedly our best Fiesta ST to date,” said Jost Capito, Ford’s director of Global

Performance Vehicles. T he high-contrast interior features unprecedented levels of equipment and specification to suit the sporting driver, with standard Recaro sports seats appearing in a Fiesta ST for the first time. It also will be equipped with MyKey, which allows owners to limit performance and ensure activation of safety features for when less-experienced drivers use the vehicle; and SYNC, Ford’s voiceactivated in-car connectivity system. A new bold and dynamic exterior design drives home the high performance message and features the latest Ford design signatures.

15 March 2012 GAZETTE 21

Edited by Cormac Curtis


The new Skoda Citigo is set to compete with both VW and SEAT, as they take their first steps in to the small car market in 2012


Go, Citigo, go! HE motoring world is about to launch into a phase of sibling rivalry, as Skoda, VW and SEAT each release their first small cars. Named the Citigo, the up! and the Mii respectively, these little motors have been affectionately christened “the triplets” by many in the motoring fraternity. T he international launch of the Skoda Citigo took place in Lisbon this month, and the Gazette was lucky enough to be invited along. I have to be honest, I am not a petrol-headed, rev-counting purist type of motoring correspondent. There’s no doubt I like a little fire in a car’s belly, but it is the practi-


SPECS: SKODA CITIGO (75bhp)  Top speed: 171 kph  0 – 100km/hr: 13.2 sec  Economy: 4.7 l/100km  CO2 emissions: 108g/km  Road Tax Band: A (€160)  Entry Price: €10,000 est

cal nature of most motors that sticks with me, long after the novelty of a finely tuned sports coupe has worn off. It’s for this reason that car launches make me nervous. These events always seem to involve twisty, narrow, mountainous roadways, in countries that are not exactly renowned for their mannerly drivers. And so it came to

pass, that the launch of the Skoda Citigo, a car that is aimed directly at urban and suburban drivers, involved the type of driving I like to avoid through a narrow, bendy, mountainous route, that eventually brought my driving companion and I to a very picturesque coastal area close to Lisbon, much to our relief. The danger here was that my first experience in the Citigo was going to be a nervous one and leave me with a bad impression. Thankfully, this was not to be. For starters, this small car has more interior room than you would ever expect, certainly more than enough for two substantial men to

travel side-by-side in the front seats more than comfortably. Next is the finish. The tactile points of this car feel very solid, almost as though they have have been swiped from their saloon stablemates. Nothing gives you the impression that you are in a small car where economy was the driving force behind the design.

Enthusiasm And, speaking of design, the overall look and available options in the Citigo scream fun and enthusiasm. My particular favourite was a glossy, white finish with black racing stripes down the middle, finished off with black alloys – a very tasty look

indeed. In practical terms, the five-door option makes all the sense in the world, it’s a €500 option, but makes the car far more usable without sacrificing any of its visual appeal. The drive itself was another surprise. Admittedly, carrying three adults, you need to get the revs up a bit more than usual to get it going up near-vertical mountainous roads, but the point is that this car does get going. Keeping in mind that it has a modest one-litre engine producing 60 or 75bhp, depending what model you go for, it moves surprisingly well. There was certainly no problem keeping up on the motorways, and

it was as nimble as anything as we took a few wrong turns navigating the small, cobbled city streets around Lisbon. It’s refreshing to see car manufacturers putting such serious thought and consideration into their entry-level models. From the incredibly attractive fuel economy and running costs, to the interior finish and design, cars of this size really are competing for our attention. Skoda’s fan base in Ireland is certainly increasing, and it will no doubt find the VW Up! very tough competition, but the Citigo put a smile on my face, and having to pick between these two would certainly have me scratching my head.

AMONG the many new cars debuting at the Geneva Motor Show last week, was the new MercedesBenz A-Class. The German marquee believes that the new model boasts the kind of appeal that will bring them into a new, more youthful market segment when it arrives here next year. The taller, more upright, design of the present model has been replaced by a lower-slung body that sits 18cm closer to the ground. Built on the B-Class platform, the new A-Class will come in a range of petrol and turbo-diesel engines, and the one likely to grab the limelight in Ireland is a 1.8-litre diesel, seen as the greenest of them all with CO2 emissions of just 99g/km. All engines offer an idle-stop system as standard and can be mated to a six-speed manual, or sevenspeed dual-clutch automatic, transmission. One feature certain to appeal is a facility that allows what might be termed “the i-class generation”, to connect up and use the full functionality of their iPhone Siri voiceactivated units or play their iPad music and apps through the car’s infotainment system. Electronic elements extend to safety with a collision warning system and adaptive brake assist amongst its standard features.

The new MercedesBenz A-Class

22 GAZETTE 15 March 2012

GazetteTTRAVEL Fast Travel

Croatia’s many charms to woo you this Easter IF YOU are thinking of taking a trip this Easter, Croatia could be just the place, with its glistening coastline and a preserved, historic beauty. Concorde Travel has just launched new special offers to Croatia during the Easter holiday period, with many offers to suit all budgets. For example, departing on April 1, spend seven nights at the three-star Antuninska Apartments in Dubrovnik Old Town, on a self-catering basis, from €549pp. Alternatively, depart on April 6 and stay at the two-starplus Hotel Adriatic in Dubrovnik, on a B&B basis, from €530pp; the four-star Grand Park & Villas Hotel in Dubrovnik, on a B&B basis, from €610pp or the beautiful fivestar Rixos Libertas Hotel in Dubrovnik, on a B&B basis, from €800pp. To book your Croatia break, or for further information, see or phone 01 775 9300.

Whether taking a trip to luxurious Druids Glen Resort (main), or making Mumm the word for champagne in the Westin (above), spoil your mum this Mother’s Day

Make the most of a special day for mum IF YOU have found yourself caught short for a special Mother’s Day gift this year, there’s always the option to whisk her away for a break – without the kids. To give you a little inspiration, and to keep you out of the dog-house this weekend, here is a selection of destinations around the country that would be perfect for a break for mum this March 18 ... The five-star g Hotel, Galway The five-star g Hotel, Galway is offering the perfect indulgence for you and your mum to relax and reconnect. Discover ESPA at the g’s Pamper Perfection for Two experience and combine your spa experience with luxurious overnight accommodation and full

Irish breakfast. Your spa journey will start in ESPA at the g’s glorious thermal suite, offering a range of heat and cooling experiences which cleanse the body and soothe aching muscles. Enjoy a 55-minute spa treatment, selecting from an ESPA-intensive facial, full body massage or body wrap, and experience rituals that will take your mind to a calmer place and nurture your body. Conclude your spa journey in the rooftop relaxation area overlooking the zen garden with a handmade chocolate and a refreshing smoothie. It costs from €155 per person sharing, bookable from Sunday to Thursday. For further details, see or call 091 865 200

Druids Glen Resort, County Wicklow The Mother’s Day package includes gorgeous five-star overnight accommodation in the resort that is nestled between the Irish Sea and Wicklow mountains. During the day, enjoy a blissful facial in the resort’s popular spa, where you will also receive a special Payot spa gift. Later on, you can toast your girlie evening with a glass of Prosecco, before a delicious dinner in the Druids Brasserie. Then, retire for the night and watch a “movie for mum” together in the comfort of your cosy room. Waking up to a satisfying full Irish breakfast, your mum will feel well and truly spoiled. The Druids Glen

Mother’s Day package is available Mother’s Day weekend from €170 per person, subject to availability. For further information, call 01 287 0848, or see The Westin Hotel, Dublin This Mother’s Day, show your mum just how much you love her and appreciate all that she does by marking the date with a special Mumm Champagne Afternoon Tea at the luxurious Atrium Lounge in The Westin Dublin hotel. The Atrium Lounge is offering a special treat for mums on Mother’s Day. Take time out to catch up together with an afternoon tea, including home-made scones with jam and clotted cream, and a selection of pastries

and other sweet treats, and receive a complimentary glass of chilled Mumm champagne for mum – all for just €24. For further information and bookings, contact The Atrium Lounge directly on 01 645 1324 and quote “Special Mother’s Day package”. The Imperial Hotel, Cork Enjoying some self indulgence is a luxury most busy mums rarely get the chance to experience. Rectify that this Mother’s Day by treating her to an extra-special Indulge Me spa package at the blissful Escape Salon and Spa in the Imperial Hotel, Cork city. The sensuous package does exactly what it says on the tin and includes an Aveda comforting tea on

arrival, time in the Vitality Suite’s hydrotherapy pool, Brine Grotto and Aroma Grotto, a pure focus facial tailored to suit her skin type, an anti-ageing eye treatment, nurturing hand and arm massage, and soothing scalp massage As an extra-special gift, your mum will also receive an Aveda gift of two travel-sized products so that she can feel fabulous wherever she is. The Indulge Me spa package costs €149, and you can indulge her even further by turning her visit into an overnight stay with room rates in the charming, four-star city centre hotel from just €89, so she can also pay Patrick Street a visit and shop until she drops. For further information, see www.flynnho or call 021 427 4040.

15 March 2012 BLANCH GAZETTE 23

Edited by Mimi Murray


Head East or West for some terrific holidays LOOKING for something a little different to the usual sun, sea and sand? Joe Walsh Tours specialist tours are designed to cater for clients who want something unique that they will remember for a lifetime, such as to Taiwan and South Korea. Spend 15 unforgettable days travelling through areas such as Taipei, Sun Moon Lake, Taichung, Seoul, Daegu, Gyeongju and Busan, visiting such sights as the Paoan Temple, the Shilin Night Market, Taroko National Park, and The

Tunnel of the Nine Turns, all located in Taiwan. In South Korea, you will visit several memorable sights, including Chogyesa Temple, Cheomseongdae Observatory, Beomosa Temple and Yongdusan Park. Price includes return flights from Dublin with China Airlines, 14 nights’ B&B, accommodation, 12 evening meals, eight lunches, a luxury airconditioned coach for the duration of the tour, the services of Joe Walsh Tours’ local guides for the duration of the tour, entrances as stated on

the itinerary and an internal flight from Hualien to Taipei. Depart on July 16 and spend seven nights in Taiwan and seven nights in South Korea, at a cost of €2,929 per person, excluding tax of €295pp. Alternatively, head Stateside in September to join an American Civil War Battlefield programme. Highlights include the Capitol Building, Ford’s Theatre, the Lincoln, Jefferson, Vietnam and WWII memorials, US Nav y Museum, New Market Battlefield and

Cruise control to France with Irish Ferries

For those looking for a break from the norm, why not take in the modern sights of Taipei (main), or the Antietam National Battlefield in America (inset)?

Museum, National US Museum Corps Museum, and Antietam National Battlefield, to name just a few. The price includes direct return flights from Dublin to Washington, 10 nights’ hotel accommodation on a B&B basis in the Hotel Monaco, Alexandria and the Best

Western Historic, Frederick, one welcome dinner, a luxury air-conditioned coach throughout the duration of the trip, entry fees to all historic sites and museums as per itinerary, and the assistance of Captain Donal Buckley, on behalf of Joe Walsh Tours. This package costs

€1,749pp, plus tax of €265pp. Tours are subject to minimum of 20 passengers to operate for the Taiwan and South Korea tour, and 40 passengers to operate for the USA tour. For further information on these tours, or to book, see www.joewalshtours. ie or call 01 241 0800.




TAKING a trip to France by boat need not be a dull experience, thanks to Irish Ferries. The Oscar Wilde offers a wide range of onboard facilities, including three restaurants, two lounge bars, two cinemas, mall-style shopping, a cafe, gaming area, hair and beauty salon, Wi-Fi internet access, and much more, operating between Rosslare to Cherbourg and Roscoff. For further information and reservations, see www., or call 0818 300 400.

24 BLANCH GAZETTE 15 March 2012


GoingOUT THE PAVILION THEATRE 01 231 2929 Showstopper!

THEY’RE making it up as they go along! Luckily, that’s entirely the point, as Showstopper! The Improvised Musical sees an entirely new musical created from scractch in every performance, with the audience helping to create a show on the spot with their suggestions and direction, leading to a unique show to remember. This award-winning production, which has played sell-out shows in London’s West End, is set to delight and entertain at The Pavilion on St Patrick’s Day, at 8pm, with tickets costing €18/16.

MILL THEATRE 01 296 9340 Jack Wise Magic & Comedy

MEANWHILE, also being held on St Patrick’s Day, famillies looking for fun in Dundrum will find plenty at the Jack Wise Magic & Comedy show, presented as part of the Paddy Laughs Festival. As the title suggests, Jack will blend magic and laughter to great effect, in a show described as David Blaine mixed with Tommy Cooper, creating great tricks and lots of fun for all the family in the Irish magician’s memorable festival show. Catch the magical performance, at 3pm, with tickets priced at €8/€5.

CIVIC THEATRE 01 885 2622 Carthaginans

CONTINUING with The Civic Theatre’s run of strong, memorable drama, Frank McGuinness’ striking play, Carthaginans, runs until St Patrick’s Day, March 17. Influenced by Bloody Sunday, and delving into certain facets of The Troubles, this production, set in a graveyard, both helps to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Bloody Sunday and provides some thought-provoking entertainment for theatre fans. Catch the show nightly at 8pm, with tickets costing €20/16.

DRAIOCHT 01 885 2622 Coolmine Goes to the Movies

DRAIOCHT is getting ready for the upcoming Coolmine Goes to the Movies show, which is set to feature a wonderful night’s entertainment, influenced by all manner of movie magic. The accomplished Coolmine players will take the audience through a delightful tour of Hollywood hits, with everything from Disney to Bond to much, much more to savour in their presentation. Coolmine Goes to the Movies – and so will you – on Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31 at 8pm, with tickets priced €16/€14.

With two giant, multi-limbed, bloodthirsty and blind white apes charging in on him, John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) should make like a banana, and split – however, it’s all just one more dramatic event for the Earthman to get through on his bizarre adventures on Mars

Monkeying around This popcorn sci-fi epic feels like too many films you’ve already seen, with nice design but overly familiar setting I KATE CROWLEY

WHILE the entire world and his wife waits for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter to chop and stake its way to our screens – I know, I know, I was born to review something so gloriously titled – there’s an awful lot of underwhelming films to get through first, which even an undead-slaying, stovepipe-hat wearing president couldn’t make any better. (Sorry, Abe.) Speaking of underwhelming, here’s John Carter! He’s a bit of a Tarzan character, one might say, seen as something of a wild character amongst the locals – appropriately enough, as he’s a much-lesser-known work by Tarzan’s creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs. Through some not particularly well-executed scene setting, it’s not long before we’re in the late 1800s or so, saddled up with Civil War veteran

FILM OF THE WEEK: John Carter ## (12A) 130 mins Director: Andrew Stanton Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong, Bryan Cranston, lots and lots of CG sights

OUR VERDICT: THERE’S too much here that you’ve already seen in a variety of other films. Deadwood, Gladiator, Avatar, Dune – take your pick, and you’ll see all these, and more, in this mash-up of movies. It’s not truly terrible, and would while away a couple of hours ... just don’t expect anything particularly special, or even memorable, and it could be just the ticket for a while...

Carter (Kitsch), who, it turns out, isn’t quite the grizzled, unfeeling and authority-hating maverick that he appears to be. Anyway, after some slightly dull scene-setting (oh, if only he’d rucked up in Deadwood), it’s not long before Carter finds himself accidentally transported to another planet – as you do – and discovers that it – Mars – is full of life. (I guess good ol’ Edgar didn’t sit too near the front during his 19th-century schoolin’.) Carter’s just a puny earthling – a grizzled, unfeeling and authority-

hating maverick at odds with the towering, multiarmed locals, who may all appear to be bloodthirsty savages at first sight, but, in fact, have a complex society that a puny but plucky Earthling could help sort out and ... Hmmm. This doesn’t feel a million miles away from a certain other sci-fi film from a few years ago, but let’s jump back the 36 million or so miles to Mars to continue. Blessed with superior strength and abilities, due to the planet’s different gravity, it’s not long before Carter’s leppin’ about the

place, helping the locals with their somewhat pressing issue of civil war. Oh, and their imminent destruction by a superior race. Who will then tackle primitive Earth. You may think that all of this would be a lot for a grizzled maverick-soldierturned-gold-prospectorturned-intergalactic-leader to sort out, but Carter’s a have-a-go kind of guy, and isn’t about to let mistrustful aliens, bloodthirsty politicians, dragonflyish warships and bloody big beasties get in his way of saving the day, the girl, the planet, our planet, and everything – and then go back to a mundane life on Earth – oh no! And that’s yer lot.

Of course, there’s a wee bit more to it than just that, with lots and lots of CG-enhanced scenes and characters. Unfortunately, it’s hard to say that there’s anything new in this film, over which the ghost of Avatar hovers. Oh, and the ghost of Star Wars. And Dune. And several other films. Kitsch (left) does his best, but the role doesn’t exactly demand much, bar standing around looking buff, angry, alarmed, or – nope, that’s pretty much it, and the other humans don’t exactly have a lot to work with, either. To b e f a i r, they’re working with material that’s already weak – there’s a reason why so much Tarzan exists, but Carter’s a virtual unknown, making this a poor, Kitsch film.

15 March 2012 BLANCH GAZETTE 25

GazetteGAMING GAMING Bytesandpieces Scaling creative download heights

In Mass Effect 3, Shepard must lead his team to fight back against the Reaper menace to the Galaxy – but Earth comes under attack ...

Making a stand against the Reapers’ menace  SHANE DILLON

THE wait is over – the Reapers have finally arrived at Earth, where it seems that it’s very much a case of Game Over for our species. Or, rather, game on, as Mass Effect 3’s longawaited arrival has been keenly met by gamers, keen to continue the notable franchise with the

final part in the trilogy. I reported last week on the title’s problems with being stocked at Game, but, this week, we’ll leave any such negativity behind to focus on the game itself. And what a game. Although it’s (just about) accessible to complete newcomers to the series, this is a title that very much builds up on all of

the expansive back story already established in the prequels, as well as the established characters, to deliver a title that’s very much more of the same, but ramped up to a much higher standard, and, of course, with an explosive finale. To recap, the Mass Effect series, and universe, follows humanity’s role in the future as its expansion

Anotherweebyte... An extra effect from Kinect’s hardware XBOX 360 gamers can avail of their Kinect hardware to get an extra boost to their gameplay, in another sign of how determined Microsoft is to make the most of their hardware to enhance a number of key titles. So, this means that Kinect users can make the most of a number of Kinect features – principally by making use of audio commands to manage their squad on a number of fronts as they battle the Reapers and their minions. Seeing as squads play a significant

role in a number of titles, and given the natural immersion that such a feature could add to a game, it seems like a natural addition to the title – one that may not be for every gamer (given the paper-thin walls in my new-build apartment, my flatmate and neighbours would be unlikely to appreciate my intergalactic battling by blathering to myself), but one that will feel like a natural fit for many gamers, keen to get any help they can to help tackle the Reapers’ plans.

into the galaxy puts it in conflict with older, more established civilisations, none of whom are too impressed by our upstart race. Luckily enough, some plucky humans are just what the galaxy needs, given that an ancient race of sentient machines have reawoken, and are hell-bent on eliminating – or reaping – all sentient life across the galaxy, whose lifeforms would do very nicely to power their alarm clocks, showers and spaceships, thank you. In Mass Effect 3, the game can either start with a new character, as defined by the player, or, by examining the gamer’s previous saves, can load up their character from the previous game and, based on their playing and choices so far, shape the story from that point on, creating what feels like a unique experience. Here, the action continues with Shepard and

co trying to unite all the species for a desperate stand against the Reapers (Earth doesn’t fare too well, early on), with a pretty explosive mix of intense action, giving the gamers an awful lot of bang for their buck. Again, there’ll be lots of player choice along the way, with actions and conversations taken along the journey determining how things play out – and who lives, and who dies. Of course, there’s an awful lot more than this simple summary to the game – despite the streamlined experience, there’s substantial depth to the title – but, for those looking for an all-out action title, with quieter moments of debate and real choice to make, it’s hard not to be impressed by this stand-out title. So, for a sweeping scifi opera, with some great action, Mass Effect 3 is a superb conclusion to a strong series.

CONTINUING the XBox 360’s coverage this week – and why not, given such strong content – another “House Party” downloadable title has popped into view, priced 1,200 Microsoft Points. Running with what I’m terming the popular Apres-Armageddon genre (as seen in several instances, such as cinema’s The Road, television’s The Walking Dead, and any number of recent gaming titles, such as Enslaved), I Am Alive is a notably polished download-only title, featuring a desperate character’s attempts to survive in a post-apocalyptic urban setting. Despite its lengthy-development period, which led many to doubt it would ever actually emerge from Development Hell, it’s finally been released, and has turned out to be a decent survival-horror title, where, perhaps a little controversially, the player is battling fellow survivors’ lawlessness as much as the ruined city’s dangerous environment. It’s a good way to round off the 360’s House Party season, which featured some great titles and, as another enjoyable downloadable title, I Am Alive shows that there’s certainly plenty of life in this interesting gaming avenue for the 360.


26 BLANCH GAZETTE 15 March 2012



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Ms Katarzyna Wlodarska intends to apply for planning permission at No. 1, 2 and 2A Kilmore Terrace, Waterville, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 for a Continuance of Use of the childcare facility at No. 1 (ground floor of 135sq.m.) and No. 2 (first floor of 98sq.m.) as permitted under Reg. Ref. F99A/0379 (amended under Reg. Ref. FW09A/0183 and Reg. Ref. FW11A/0061) and for a Change of Use at No. 2A (second floor of 92sq.m.) from Residential Use as permitted under Reg. Ref. F99A/0379 to use as a childcare facility to expand Waterville s Little Stars Creche and Montessori Services. The planning application may be inspected or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy at the offices of the planning authority Fingal County Council, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Fingal, Dublin 15 during its public opening hours and a submission or observation may be made to the authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (20Euros) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of this application

We intend to apply for Planning Permission for development at this site address : 10A, Cherry Avenue, Carpenterstown, Dublin 15, on behalf of David & Colette Reilly. The development will consist of a two storey dormer type extension to rear of existing two storey dormer type detached house, being kitchen/dining room extension and new bedroom to first floor, with a new window to existing ground floor bedroom to west side of house, 2 no. new first floor roof windows to west side of house, & 2 no. first floor roof windows to east side of house & all ancillary site works. The planning application may be inspected or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy at the offices of the Planning Authority during the public opening hours 9.30 15.30 Monday - Friday at : Fingal County Council, Grove Road, Blanchardstown, Fingal, Dublin 15. A submission or observation in relation to the application may be made in writing to the planning authority on payment of a fee of â‚Ź20, within the period of 5 weeks, beginning on the date of receipt by Fingal County Council of the application, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the Planning Authority in making a decision on the application. The Planning authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission. Signed : David Duignan, Architect MRIAI, 31,Academy St., Navan, Co. Meath. 15080





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15 March 2012 BLANCH GAZETTE 27


DRIVING HOME Touring car starAaron Smith on coming back to Ireland: Page 29


St Michael’s to row their boat all way to Wales

Over the coming May bank holiday weekend, 12 men and women from St Michael’s Rowing Club in Dun Laoghaire will take part in a biennial rowing race across the Irish Sea known as the Celtic Challenge. The race sets off from Arklow, Co Wicklow, with the finishing line in Aberystwyth, Wales. At 150km, this relay race is billed as the long-

est rowing race in the world, and draws together 27 teams from Wales, Ireland and beyond. The team is taking on this challenge to raise funds for a clubhouse in Dun Laoghaire, for the first time in the club’s 90 year history. Not many races start and finish in different countries, a source of pride to the Welsh and Irish oarsmen and women involved. So, too, is the sport of coastal rowing

itself, which differs from the Olympic or Oxford v Cambridge code of rowing in a number of key ways. Seats are fixed, not sliding, and boats are of a more substantial construction to tackle the swell on open seas, which can reach several metres. St Michael’s take things a step further by using quar ter-ton wooden clinker-built east coast skiffs rather than the modern fibreglass models, used by all other competi-

The east-coast skiff that St Michael’s will be piloting in the Celtic Challenge race in May

tors in 2010. Their solid wood oars are three times heavier than carbon fibre equivalents, requiring strength and a particular technique. In common with other clubs of Dublin and Wicklow, these boats originate from the Hobblers of old; crews of local men who would engage in unlicensed pilotage of

merchant shipping. Each competing team in the Celtic Challenge consists of three rotating crews of four rowers and is accompanied by a support boat for navigation and for accommodating the resting crews. Changeover strategy is down to each team, but most opt for a one-hour-

on, two-hours-off format. Depending on weather conditions, the race may start in Arklow on the afternoon of the Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Crews row through the night, arriving in Aberystwyth the following morning or afternoon. The squad is actively seeking sponsorship for

the challenge, in a drive to raise funds for a new clubhouse in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Currently, the club lacks space to store their three wooden boats, space for indoor training and changing facilities. It is hoped that the money raised can be put towards achieving this long-standing goal.

28 BLANCH GAZETTE 15 March 2012

GazetteSport Sport FastSport


Corduff leave it late to snatch derby draw IT WAS an all-Blanchardstown affair last Saturday morning when Santos 15 and Corduff played out an exciting 2-2 draw in Latchford Park, in the Under-9s NDSL F League. With the first half was a very fast-paced affair, both sides playing great attacking football, it would only be a matter of time before the first goal was scored. Corduff struck first with one of their young midfielders jumping on an opportunity after some scrappy play in the Ongar team’s box. Darragh McFeeley made a great effort to save the shot, but the pace was too much for the talented stalwart. Chasing the game at the midway point of the first half, the young Santos side rallied and played some lovely ball to get them back in the mix. Blaze Odia, a real jewel in the crown of the Santos contingent, set up his midfield companion, Traian Rebegea, who tucked the ball passed the Corduff keeper after a lovely motion of onetouch passing from the Latchford Park locals. The second half started as the first finished, with Santos going straight at their local rivals. Five minutes in, the ball came to the feet of Blaze Odia who jinked past his marker before rifling a shot into the top corner of the opposition net. Santos went out again and looked to finish their opponents off with good pressure and movement off the ball. With the Ongar side looking likely to take the win, Corduff sat like a coiled spring in their half until the time was right. Corduff broke up a passage of play and advanced up the pitch in the dying minutes of the game. A few failed attempts on the Santos goal led to another scramble in the box, which the Corduff men lapped up, putting the ball passed Blair Odia, to level the game and break Santos hearts.

Tullamore Phoenix were no match for West Dublin Rhinos at Castleknock College last weekend

Teach ’em how, Dougy IAFL WEEK 3 Tullamore Phoenix West Dublin Rhinos

0 38


PROGRESS can be a slow process, or it can just burst into life. For the West Dublin Rhinos, the 2012 Irish American Football League season was definitely a case of the latter. On the first play of the season, rookie Shaun Douglas took the Tullamore kick-off 90 yards, following his blocking all the way to the end-zone to put the Rhinos up by six. A missed point after meant the Rhinos led by six when their defence, the second best in last year’s league, came to the field. Impressive pressure up front on the defensive line, anchored by veterans Stephen Mooney and Nick Newby, meant

that Phoenix QB Erin Kelly could never settle and a big stop on fourth down meant the Rhinos’ offence, which had struggled in 2011, would come onto the field in good position. Early runs from Robert Pops set the tone, with Douglas picking up yards on a short screen, but the Rhinos were faced with third and seven on the Phoenix 22. Stephen Macken’s long pass, intended for Alex McGuirk, was well defended, but the tipped ball would fall into Paul Hosford’s grateful, and wide open, arms. Hosford himself hit the point after for a 13-0 lead. From the ensuing kickoff, a fumble by Tullamore was recovered by Rhinos’ linebacker Brent Trull, once again establishing the Rhinos in impressive

field position. A scramble by Macken, who showed quick feet all day, would set up a first down on the Phoenix 15 and, just a play later, Douglas would have his second touchdown. An arcing pass from Macken looped over the Tullamore defender, with Douglas diving backwards to haul in his second TD on his Rhinos’ debut, putting the Rhinos 19-0 ahead in the first quarter. The Rhinos D was not to be outshone, however, with rookies Robbie Elliot and Gavin Barr maintaining constant interior pressure and captain Fintan Corr and Eoin Fox marshalling the unit. That pressure would tell in the second, when Kelly’s errant pass was picked off by another debutant, Wellington

“Wello” Omorodion, who broke upfield. Seemingly tracked down by a Phoenix back, Wello showed impressive strength to put a ferocious stiff arm out and waltz into the endzone. A point after gave the Rhinos a 26-0 lead at the break. On the restart, Tullamore would come alive, but their initial pressure was short-lived. Adam Skelly made an agile play to break up a Tullamore pass before John Keegan showed soft hands to bring in his first interception of the season. His return would put the Rhinos in a position from where Macken could follow the blocking of David Murray into the endzone for a 32-0 lead. In the fourth, Rhinos’ veteran Sean Power thought he had added a TD to the two he scored

in last year’s season closer in Craigavon, but a holding flag chalked that off. Tullamore couldn’t take advantage of the field position, however, with Sam Monson picking off Kelly and racing up to the Phoenix 25. On the ensuing drive, Douglas found himself wide open in the endzone to bring in the hat-trick and finish the scoring. But the impressive Rhinos D would not break on the game’s final drive. A penalty flag gave Tullamore a chance to break their duck, but an acrobatic pass block by Kevin Mulligan-Carroll ensured the clean sheet. The Rhinos are back in action next week against Northern Division opponents, the Belfast Trojans. The game will be held in Castleknock College at 1pm on March 25.

15 March 2012 BLANCH GAZETTE 29

in association with

Smith happy to be driving home


Motor racing ace, Aaron Smith, is a rising star of the touring car scene, and is relishing the prospect Roche returns to help to of racing in the Bavaria City event this June RATHFARNHAM man, Aaron Smith, has come a long way since his days of karting when he was 14. The driver was last year crowned Motorsport Ireland’s Young Racing Driver of the Year in 2011. His journey to the upper eschelons of the sport have taken him to Britain and Italy to compete in drivers’ championships in those countries, to great success. Last year, Aaron competed in the UK’s AirAsia Renault Clio Cup and he also made his debut in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, and, in 2012, Smith is all set to make his mark in the British Touring Car Championship with the Motorbase Performance team. Aaron will join some of the biggest names in world motorsport at the Bavaria City Racing Dub-

lin when it arrives in the city centre in June this year, and he was looking forward to the experience when he spoke to GazetteSport last week. “I don’t know the last

tigious and well-known tracks in Europe, and, when driving in the Italian Clio Cup, was able to drive on the hallowed concrete of Monza and Immola, where he regis-


‘It’s nice to be able to come home and drive in front of an Irish crowd. I think it will open people’s eyes as to how motor sport is thought of here’


time a touring car driver got the chance to drive in Ireland. I’ve always raced across the sea, and it’s really nice to be able to come home and drive in front of a home crowd. The event will be a huge success, but I’m delighted more to be coming home to drive before Irish fans of the sport.” Aaron has cut his teeth at some of the most pres-

tered a number of stage wins. Returning to Britain for the Clio Cup, he spent 2011 racking up some impressive drives, leading to him claiming the Graduate Cup, for young drivers under the age of 25, and finishing second overall in the championship. All of that success was part of the masterplan,

Aaron SMith is relishing prospect of returning to Ireland this summer

explained Smith. “My aim from when I started driving was to take part in the British touring car championship. That was the pinnacle of motor sport to me in Europe. Coming back from Italy, I knew I would be able to do well in the Clio Cup, and I knew that would open the doors to the touring car teams. Everything has come together for this year.” With his Motor Race Performance team behind him, Smith is looking to shape up for 2012 and the test of the touring cars. “There are ten races, and it is one of the biggest championships in Europe. It’s really massive - there are about 12 million TV viewers across the continent. “The MRP team just missed out on winning the overall championship last year, so they have great experience that I can draw on. As well as that, Matt Jackson is my teammate this year, and driving alongside him has been hugely instructional and informative for me. I’m learning so much watching him on the track, and it brings you on in leaps and bounds without realising it. “It’s just the imparting of experience, really. I’m on the way over to Britain, to Snetterton in Norfolk, to do some testing there with the team.

We will both be driving our cars, and overlaying the data [from Matt and Aaron’s cars] to see where we can both improve our driving. “The back-up team is very important - driving is only 10% of the job, and the rest is down to the backroom team.” The season begins on April 1 at Brand’s Hatch, and Smith is hoping to capitalise on all he has learned in the preceding years. “It’s a big learning curve, and I’m hoping to hit the ground running, and maybe get a top ten finish this year. I never like setting goals, but I’d like to think I can get some good results.” As much as he appreciated the challenge of touring cars, however, coming home is something that Smith is more than happy to do. “I’ve never driven competitively in Ireland. It’s a shame as I would love to race at home, but the opportunity has never arisen. It’s always been the only choice to fly away from home. “I’d love to think the Bavaria event can open people’s eyes as to how motor sport is thought of in Ireland. I think you’ll see a massive increase in the number of people who will want to go to the driving school in Mondello after the day, and that is what the scene needs over here.”

launch Irish Cycling Show

DUNDRUM cycling legend, Stephen Roche, will return to his old racing grounds when he will be the guest of honour at the Irish Cycling Show at the RDS on May 19 and 20. The legendary Dublin cyclist is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his extraordinary 1987 racing season when he won the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and the World Road Race Championships. Roche will open the show on Saturday and will be in attendance during the weekend on the dedicated stand, which will feature various memorabilia from his fabled career. Among the exhibits on the Stephen Roche stand will be the Battaglin bike with which he won the 1987 World Road Race championships in Villach, Austria, as well as various items of clothing and trophies from a career that spanned 13 years at the very top level of cycling. Roche, whose 1987 “triple crown” of major wins places him in an exclusive company of two with Belgian Eddy Merckx, is looking forward to an opportunity to remember his famous year with fans in Ireland. “I’m really excited to be appearing at the Irish Cycling Show,” says Roche, who now lives in Anitbes, France. “It’s high time there was an exhibition of this kind in Ireland and it’ll be great to be able to remember 1987 in the company of friends.” Roche is still connected to the cycling world through Stephen Roche Cycling Holidays and Training Camps in Mallorca, his cycling vacations firm, which will be featured on his stand. The Irish Cycling Show will feature exhibitors from every facet of cycling and related industry, including cycle retailers and distributors and there will also be emphasis on general feature attractions to entertain the whole family. Plans in the pipeline include a test track around the venue, demonstrations, shows and seminars throughout the weekend. Further details on the show’s attractions will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information, log on to www.

30 BLANCH GAZETTE 15 March 2012

GazetteSport Sport FastSport

Amputee footballers set for Four Nations DONAL Bligh, from Clonsilla, and the Irish Amputee Football Association (IAFA) are set to embark on a historic journey in Irish soccer when they travel to Leigh Sports Village in Greater Manchester to take part in their first competitive international tournament at the end of this month. The four nations event will see teams from Poland, Germany, Britain and Ireland compete at the impressive stadium. The IAFA was set up in April 2011, with the help and support of Oisin Jordan, the Football For All National Coordinator from the Football Association of Ireland, with the aim of developing a national Irish league for amputees, and promote and develop the sport of Amputee Football and the development of persons interested in the sport across Ireland. For further information, see


Morgan Smyth scores a vital try for Coolmine when they came from 12 points down to claim their O’Connell Cup tie against Monkstown

Coolmine’s epic comeback O’CONNELL CUP Coolmine Monkstown

22 20


With the league all wrapped up the previous weekend, Thursday night saw Coolmine focusing on victory in the O’Connell Cup when they played host to Monkstown at Ashbrook. T he game opened with Jason Winfield striking a fantastic drop goal between the posts for the first score of the game from just inside the Monkstown 10-metre line. However, it wasn’t long before the tide turned,

and Monkstown were beginning to make the hard yards after breaking through the Coolmine line. Indiscipline in the ruck led to the penalty that gave Monkstown the opportunity to level the score. Further dominance from Monkstown was bringing quick ruck ball and fast hands in the backline brought a further penalty against Coolmine that allowed Monkstown to take the lead. This seemed to spur Monkstow n on and Coolmine’s defence was in disarray when a fastflowing move on the right

Defibrillator day: St Brigid’s receive new AED device AFTER six months of digging in attics,

wardrobes and under beds, St Brigid’s finally reached their target of gathering 360 old mobile phone for the club’s new AED and outdoor heater. Seaghan Kearney, of St Oliver Plunkett’s, whose life was saved by an AED and whose story inspired the campaign, was on hand to present the new AED and outdoor heater to senior footballer Stephen Moore, secretary Mary O’Connor and president Herbie Hughes.

wing from Monkstown broke the gain line and left their winger space to touch down for the first try of the match. The resulting conversion was successful leaving the score at 3-13 to Monkstown. Finding themsleves ten points behind made Coolmine more urgent in their approach and a quick tap penalty from Brian Smyth gave fast ball to John McCole, who scored in the corner to leave the scores 8-13 at half-time. Coolmine’s defence gave a sterling performance in repelling Monkstown attacks after the break, but, after a mul-

titude of phases, Coolmine cracked to allow the Monkstown’s forwards score a try under the posts to put the visitors 12 points clear. With progression in the cup the priority, Coolmine redoubled their efforts and Morgan Smyth took a quick pick-and-go from the back of the ruck to score. Winfield then decided to take the game by the scruff of the neck with a clever kick-and-chase ball that almost gave him the opportunity to score a try unopposed but the ball bounced awkwardly and the resulting ruck gave Coolmine a penalty

as Monkstown were handling the ball. Paul Feeney stepped up and slotted the ball home to claim the points on offer, bringing the score to 19-20 to Monkstown. With only seven minutes left, both teams battled hard, but Monkstown were visibly beginning to tire, and a high tackle just outside the Monkstown 22-metre line gave Feeney the opportunity to put Coolmine in the lead for the first time since the opening exchanges. He stepped up and coolly slotted the ball between the posts to give Coolmine the victory, 22-20.

15 March 2012 BLANCH GAZETTE 31

in association with



CLUB NOTICEBOARD ST BRIGID’S CLUB membership deadline is fast approaching on March 31. Live Traditional music by Shidgig this Friday night in the club.

A mixed weekend for our adult footballers, with our senior, junior Bs and junior Cs all recording league wins.

Bar also open from noon on St

Good wins also for our U-14A and B

Patrick’s Day with live music from 7.

footballers and U-13A and B hurlers.

Kids’ disco (for seven to 12-year-

Tradesmen and volunteers are still

olds) also on Paddy’s Day from 5 to

needed for work on our new gym. If

7pm. Lots of spot prizes to be won.

you can spare a few hours, email

Contact Feargal on 0862436779 for

more info. Well done to Philip Ryan who scored 1-2 for the Dublin U-21s with their win over Laois. Semi-final V Westmeath takes place on March 21.

New club expenses system now in place, see the website for details. Club lotto is still €15,000 and takes place in Russell Park this Thursday. New players are always welcome,

Well done to all our Dublin stars,

please contact our club coach, Paul

male and female, who played over

on 087 915 4748 or email info@stbrig-

the weekend.

ST PEREGRINE’S WELL done to our junior A and C footballers on good league wins. The official opening of our new juveSt Brigid’s senior footballers kept their nerve in a tense closing phase against St Jude’s

nile pitch will be this Saturday from

Brigid’s hold on to take league points I

DUBLIN Senior Football champions, St Brigid’s, survived a late revival from the 2011 League champions, St Jude’s, last Saturday evening to claim maximum points in their AFL 1 battle in Tymon Park. Playing with the wind to their advantage in the opening half, the Russell Park side dominated for large periods and, were it not for some wayward passing and shooting, Brigid’s might have been out of sight by half time. Wing-forward Eoin Maguire was perhaps guilty of missing the best opportunity of the half, as his one-on-one goal chance was brilliantly saved by a desperate late block by the St Jude’s corner back. But, as it stood, only a solitary point separated the sides, 0-07 to 0-06 with champion-

ship final hero, Lorcan McCarthy, once again amongst the scorers. The introduction of former Dublin star Ken Darcy proved decisive at the beginning of the second half when he reeled off a monstrous p o i n t f r o m p l ay a s well as two well-taken frees, before McCarthy opted for another point despite having the goal at his mercy. T h i s l e f t B r i g i d ’s leading 0-14 to 0-11 as the game entered its final quarter but, with time running out, Jude’s sprang back into life. Two points, one from Dublin senior panellist Brendan McMenamon, brought the margin back to one and, in injury time, the Templogue men were awarded a late free just outside the 21-metre line. Un f o r t u n a t e l y f o r them, the usually reliable McMenamon hooked the free to the right and wide leaving

Brigid’s to return down the M50 with two hardwon AFL1 points in the bag. In AFL 3, league favourites, Clontar f, produced an impressive display to defeat Brigid’s intermediates by 2-15 to 0-13 in Russell Park, while Round Towers, Clondalkin, emerged victorious in their battle with St Brigid’s junior A team by three points in AFL 5. In AFL 7, Eamonn Dunning’s Junior B footballers produced another commanding display against Fingallians, recording a com-

fortable 0-13 to 0-04 win over Fingallians, while in AFL 10N, Lar Wade’s junior C footballers received a walkover from O’Dw yers who were unable to field a team. Meanwhile, in Minor hurling league Division 1, St Brigid’s were narrowly edged out by Kilmacud Crokes on a score line of 0-12 to 1-12 in Russell Park. St Patrick’s Day is a free weekend of adult hurling and football, with the next round of adult league hurling and adult cup football fixed for March 24 and 25.

1pm. Thanks to Kilmovee Shamrocks, from Mayo, who hosted our senior ladies’

Club fundraising draw is now up and running and all members should now have their tickets, which should be returned to club by March 21. Lotto: Jackpot was not won; numbers drawn were 9, 17, 25 and 26. Next weeks jackpot is €2,400.

footballers last weekend in the Marian

Membership for the year is now due.

Costello shield; also thanks to Seamus

Please make sure membership is paid,

Dolan for his kind sponsorship.

as you cannot take the field without it

Sincere condolences to the Mulholland family on their recent bereavement.

being paid. Entertainment in the club this Saturday from Gypsy Lacy. Watch the

Senior footballers/hurlers fundrais-

Ireland v England rugby game at 5pm

ing race night this Friday in the Club

on the big screen with entertainment

from 8.30pm.

from DJ Vinny .

ERIN GO BRAGH OUR ladies section are holding a junior

€4,400. Draw to be held in The Pad-

disco in the Castaheany Community

docks. We would encourage all mem-

Centre this Friday, March 16. From

bers to support our weekly lotto. Tick-

5.30 to 7pm is for four- to seven-year-

ets are €2 per ticket or three for €5.

olds and from 7.15 to 9.15pm is for eight

This is a key fundraiser for this club.

to 12-year-olds. Admission is €2.

There are tickets behind the bar in the

Erin go Bragh Easter camp will run from April 3 to 5 from 9.45am to 2pm.

Paddocks, or contact John Kinsella on 086 818 4054.

The camp is football for the three days

Annual membership is now over-

for ages five to 12 years. Cost is €30

due. Please note all members fees go

and €25 for siblings. Please contact

directly to insurance, the day-to-

John on 087 754 1948 or Dave on 086 310

day running of the club and to the


long-term development of the club.

Our junior footballers are holding

Subscriptions are paid annually in

a fundraising table quiz in the Straw

advance in December for the calendar

Hall this Sunday, March 18, from 8pm.

year. Members subscriptions cover

A team of four is €40.

insurance costs. Children and adults

Also on the night, the 2011 medals will

are not insured to participate unless

be presented to the junior team by

their subscriptions are fully paid. The

Jason Sherlock.

club is managed and operated on a vol-

There was no winner of last week’s

untary basis by the members. Please

lotto draw. Numbers drawn were 8,

contact Sinead at

9, 10 and 23. Next week’s jackpot is

for more information.

Follow GazetteSport on Facebook and Twitter, and at


COMEBACK KINGS: Coolmine rally to

claim victory over Monkstown in cup tie P30

MARCH 15, 2012

DRIVING FOR IRELAND: Touring Car star on his return to Dublin P29


Gold for McMenemy at Irish Open I

The golden boy of Irish kickboxing, Rob McMenemy, went about business in his usual fashion last weekend, taking home the gold medal at the Irish Open, a tournament close to the young World Champion’s heart, for a record ninth time. To McMenemy, the Irish Open presents a challenge that has rarely been matched throughout his years of globetrotting for kickboxing. “I think it’s the biggest tournament in the world. When you get to the big international stages, you might only have to fight twice in the day to take a World Championship, like I did in Beijing last year. “At the Irish Open, you not only have to worry about the world leaders in the sport - anybody can walk in there and take the prize - and with 84 fighters in my category this year, it can be very hard to get through the whole weekend without suffering a loss,” said the Tallaght-born scrapper. With a victory over old adversary Harold Schmidt in the semi-final, McMenemy went on to beat Samuel Gag-

non of Canada in the final and thus confirmed his name in the history books of the sport with a record ninth gold medal in the Open. Changing between his fighting and coaching hats throughout the weekend, as head coach of Coolmine gym, Spartan Martial Arts, the respected striker saw his team rise to the occasion. “I had a few people taking their first steps in the senior cycle of things this year, and I couldn’t be prouder of the results that came in. “James O’Connor, from Hunststown, won the Super Heavyweight section and Ashley St Mart , who’s only a young 16-year-old brown belt, took home the gold in men’s under-63kg black belt section, where he beat a world-class opponent, Ricky Veres. “Cian Corrigan put on awesome display in men’s 84kg section, and Joanne Deegan, Bo Mangen and Amber Amalakauskita did very well, finishing as quarter-finalists on the day. “Our junior fighters, Michael Avetisian, Rostick and Andrew Ivanchuk, Kevin and Alex Plamadella and Sergei Baskin did

Robbie McMenemy in action in the Irish Open. Picture: Eana Rasmussen

their club very proud. “Amy McKenna deserves big congratulations; at 13 she competed against one of the best female fighters in the world, Charlie Maddox, in the adult section and managed to hang in there, taking the silver medal,” he said. The future is bright for McMenemy and

Spartan Martial Arts, with a host of tournaments and seminars, not to mention a World Championship, on the horizon. Spartan Martial Arts is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Coolmine Industrial Estate. For more information contact Rob on 0872599418


INSIDE: Sheepmoor Estate marks its 35th anniversary P2 Kickboxing: March 15, 2012 Gridiron: West Dublin Rhinos register fine victory McMenem...

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