Dublin Gazette: Fingal Edition

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DublinGazette COVID-19: Stay calm, and focus on

getting through this – that’s the key message in our special spread SEE P6-7


MARCH 19, 2020

Fingal Edition FREE


JANUARY 4-10, 2018

COVID-19 IMPACT DUBLIN GAZETTE – Dublin’s number-one local newspaper – takes the health and safety of its staff, readers and advertisers very seriously – and that’s why we’re temporarily closing for just a few weeks as the COVID-19 crisis escalates across the country. Following our temporary closure for health and safety reasons, we anticipate returning with the next edition of Dublin’s best community newspaper in early to mid April. Until then, we wish our readers and advertisers the best of health.

MICHAEL MCGOVERN Managing Director Dublin Gazette Newspapers

A shot that sums up the city and national mood – the virtually deserted centre of town, as the city and Dubliners play it safe, stay home, and wait to see what happens next ... Picture: Alison O’Hanlon


The Coronavirus has hit almost every last person and business – but we will all prevail by pulling together

SHANE DILLON Acting Group Editor

NEVER before has our nation faced an economic, social and cultural threat like COVID-19/the Coronavirus – but with courage and resilience, we shall overcome. That was very much the message from An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in his

address to the nation on Tuesday night – and it’s a message that we’ve already seen the good and ordinary people of Ireland take to their hearts. In these suddenly dark days, and despite knowing that worse is likely to come, Dubliners are showing their best sides, with courage in the face of hardship and fear coming to the fore. Yes, COVID-19 is a sudden and

unnerving threat to take very seriously, as the city all but empties, voices are stilled, and the hustle and bustle of normal life retreats into memory. But in the face of these difficulties, we will rise again. Laughter and noise will return to our streets; businesses will reopen; hope will return – and has not been extinguished. Far from it. Be safe, stay well, and we will prevail.

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2 DUBLIN GAZETTE  FINGAL 19 March 2020



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Growing opposition in bid to save ‘Lord Mayor’s’  SYLVIA POWNALL


OPPOSITION is mounting against controversial plans to demolish the former Lord Mayor’s pub in Swords and build 172 apartments on the site. Two online petitions have garnered thousands of supporters and local public representatives have also voiced their concerns about the proposal. The application, by Jacko Investments Ltd, involves bulldozing the landmark building and replacing it with apartments in blocks up to seven storeys in height.

The size and density of the scheme see it qualify as a Strategic Housing Development (SHD) – meaning it bypasses the council and goes directly before An Bord Pleanala. Cllr Ian Carey (GP) said: “I have had many people come to me unhappy with the demolition of the Lord Mayor’s. “It is a landmark building for the town, and it has a long, long history. I want the building to be saved. We can develop the town without losing a bit of ourselves.” The 350-year-old Main Street structure is one of the most iconic buildings in Swords and was the location of the turnpike, where people in the 1700s and 1800s paid tolls. Locals want the apartment scheme pared back

The former Lord Mayor’s pub. Picture: Google Maps

so the building can be preserved. There are also concerns over traffic and the height of the scheme. Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) is encouraging people to make their voices heard by lodging a submission with An Bord Pleanala. He said: “Personally, I do not like the SHD process, as I strongly believe

there has to be a better balance between getting units built to help solve the housing crisis, versus doing things properly. “The use of the SHD legislation should not allow developers go above and beyond what would usually be permitted by the [council] planning department. “We need additional

housing and we need additional apartments for Swords, but we need this to be done correctly and not in a way that will cause further problems down the line through a lack of amenities and over-development.” The plans are now on public display and the deadline for submissions is April 1.

Call for more coastal protections SYLVIA POWNALL

COASTAL protection measures in Fingal must be extended to Balbriggan, according to Cllr Karen Power (GP).

While she welcomed the Government strategy to manage coastal erosion, she urged the inclusion of Balbriggan after recent storms caused extensive damage.

Cllr Power said: “With two storms hitting Fingal in backto-back succession, the cliffs along the beach at the back of Bremore Castle in Balbriggan have been particularly affected.

“Standing on Balbriggan beach last week (inset),

it was hard not to notice the very serious impact of coastal erosion, particularly along the cliffs behind the Castle. “We have seen the devastating effect in Portrane of ignoring the problem and hoping it will go away, with family homes now uninhabitable and homes being isolated as access roads are falling into the sea.” The Fingal Coastal Liaison group has worked closely with the Office of Public Works and a strategy to protect the Portrane coastline will be produced within six months. Cllr Power said: “I am asking that the coastline is Balbriggan is examined as an area which could need potential extra protections. “Action is needed now to safeguard our coastline in Balbriggan before the problem develops past the point of intervention.”

FASTNews Councillors back route for greenway

A SOUTH bank route for the Royal Canal Greenway between Castleknock and Coolmine has been backed by local councillors. Public representatives want planners to revert to the original 2012 proposal in order to protect the environment and meet the concerns of residents. Councillors for Dublin 15 backed a motion by Cllr John Walsh (Lab) at an area meeting calling for the south bank route to be reinstated. This follows a consultation in 2019 in which more than 75% of respondents came out in favour of that route. Cllr Walsh said: “We want to see the greenway built as quickly as possible and to meet the legitimate concerns of local residents regarding the proposed route. “This route would protect the local environment, trees and habitats on the north bank; meet legitimate concerns of residents regarding vulnerability to crime in the area; avoid unnecessary opening of the Delwood cul de sacs and the Brompton green, and offers the best prospect of completing the greenway in a timely fashion.”

Free phone support for mental health A PORTMARNOCK-based psychologist is offering free support to people feeling anxiety or stress over the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Breda Dooley is offering her services in a bid to help alleviate anxiety and concerns, and to promote mental well-being, particularly for those who have to self-isolate, whether alone or with their families. Dooley will be available daily noon and 2pm, from Monday to Friday, where she will offer guided breathing exercises to deal with anxiety and general advice on mental health; telephone Dooley at 086 859 8792.

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Parents’ plea for wheelchair help for brave little Sonny, 4 SYLVIA POWNALL

A BALDOYLE couple are desperately trying to raise funds to make their house wheelchair-friendly so their young son can get around it. Little Sonny Murphy was born with spina bifida and global development delay, and is paralysed from the belly button down. The four-year-old, who also has learning difficulties, uses a wheelchair but the family home is not adapted for his needs, so he often gets stuck and becomes isolated. His mum, Karen (39), says they are entitled to a €28,500 grant from the Government – but the work will cost an estimat-

Despite all of this he is such a resilient, strong boy who is always smiling ed €80,000. They are now trying to raise funds using the crowdfunding site GoFundMe, with 166 kind supporters donating more than €7,500 over the past month. Mum-of-three Karen revealed: “We have to adapt our home as soon as possible. Sonny is getting bigger and heavier. The house is not wheelchair accessible at all. “Sonny cannot get from room to room with the current layout. Our hope is to

have his bedroom downstairs with a wet room, and to make the whole ground floor accessible for Sonny.” Contracting meningitis as a baby left Sonny, who is non-verbal, with a lot of complications. But even though he spent his first months in and out of hospital, Karen says he is a joy to be around. She said: “He cannot sit unaided and will never walk. But despite all of this he is such a resilient, strong boy who is always

smiling. We are very lucky to have him.” She added: “Sonny is a whizz in his manual wheelchair, but it takes a lot of his energy. He is training in a power chair, but it will not be given to him until the house is adapted. “We want to stay in our home for lots of reasons, but most of all because Baldoyle is the perfect place to raise a child like Sonny. “Baldoyle loves Sonny, and Sonny loves Baldoyle. The whole area is wheelchair-friendly ... we need to fix our home so it offers him the same independence.” To donate, see https:// ie.gofundme.com/f/ super-sonny.

Texaco art contest judging under way JUDGING of the 25,800 entries received in this year’s Texaco Children’s Art Competition is now under way. Pictured is adjudicator Aoife Ruane admiring two of the entries received from students in north County Dublin. From left, they are a work entitled Morning View, and another,

entitled The little things in life, both entered by pupils from Malahide Community School. In all, more than 3,500 young Dublin artists submitted entries this year. Currently in its 66th year, the Texaco Children’s Art Competition is the longest-running art sponsorship in Ireland.

Rathbeale Road works proceeding

As Sonny Murphy is getting older, his family need to reach an €80,000 mark to help adapt their home to make it wheelchair-friendly for Sonny, and thus able to meet his needs

UPGRADE works on the Rathbeale Road in Swords are proceeding on schedule and are due to be completed before the end of June, according to Fingal County Council. The local authority said the busy road, which has been partially closed to accommodate the works, will reopen to traffic before the end of March. In response to a request for an update on the project from Cllr Darragh Butler (FF), officials stated: “The Rathbeale Road upgrade contract has been progressing well, and is scheduled to be completed in June. “The road is scheduled to re-open to traffic on March 20. A significant amount of the contract works will be completed in advance of the road reopening.”

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Protest which halted housing scheme ends SYLVIA POWNALL

A PROTEST which had halted work on a social housing scheme in Mulhuddart has ended, the High Court was told last week. Work at the site ceased in midJanuary after a picket was mounted at the entrance – but the High Court heard on Thursday that the protesters had left. K&J Townmore Construction Ltd had brought proceedings against protesters it claimed had been unlawfully blockading the site for eight weeks. Its legal team said the firm had become “caught in the middle” of a dispute over the allocation of social housing, and the protest had resulted in costs over €1.5m. The company was contracted by Cluid Housing Association to build 65 social houses and apartments on council-owned land at Ladyswell Road in

Blanchardstown. Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds was told that the proceedings had been resolved following discussions with representatives of a group calling itself House the

trying to enter or leave the site. The judge said that the court would take “a very serious view” if the orders not to block the site were breached and the matter had to return before the court.

Irish First. The court heard the action was taken when protestors, who had claimed they want some of the units allocated to local people, began to stand in front of vehicles

She also conveyed her serious concerns over the participation of schoolchildren, during school hours, in the protests. In February, housing charity Cluid, which is working in part-

We are deeply concerned that these homes may now never be delivered and the delay will have knock-on effects on other social housing building programmes around the country

nership with Fingal County Council to deliver the project, warned that the ongoing protest could jeopardise it. A Cluid spokesman told Dublin Gazette: “We are deeply concerned that these homes may now never be delivered, and the delay will have knock-on effects on other social housing building programmes around the country. “The protest is causing costs to skyrocket and this cannot continue indefinitely.” Fingal County Council robustly defended its system of allocation for social housing and rejected any insinuation that applicants were being allowed to unfairly skip the queue. When completed, the units are set to be allocated by the council, which has almost 14,000 people on its housing waiting list, with 6,959 people indicating a preference for the D15 area.


Call to extend discretionary powers to social welfare officers LABOUR TD Duncan Smith (inset) has called for discretionary powers to be returned to social welfare officers in light of the COVID-19 crisis. Deputy Smith said: “It is essential now that discretionary powers are returned to social welfare officers similar to that of Community Welfare Officers to assist people over the next few weeks. “The Government must now transfer discretionary powers to assist people where needs be. We need to ensure that people in need have goods and medical products that they need and to cover unknown unknowns that may arise over the next few weeks. “We feel there is a role for Social Protection Officers in their communities to provide State services to help tackle COVID-19. “Community safety should be the imperative now of all arms of the State, and extending discretionary powers to extend social welfare payments to those in need must be done.”

They’re lovin’ it in Blanchardstown MCDONALD’S franchisee Bernard Byrne has been presented with a plaque to recognise his charitable efforts for the Ronald McDonald House Charity Ireland. Bernard operates two McDonald’s restaurants in Blanchardstown, along with one in Carlow and one in Wexford.

The Ronald McDonald House charity provides support to families whose children are seriously ill and are hospitalised or undergoing medical treatment at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin. Pictured are Chrissy Whelan, Rebecca Hoolahan, Stacey Costigan, Gavin Ward, Sara Duffy and Bernard Byrne. Picture: Alison O’Hanlon

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Life-saving €3k grant will help fund charity’s new ambulance SYLVIA POWNALL

THE Red Cross in B l a n c h a rd s tow n h a s been thrown a lifeline after the charity secured a grant towards buying a new emergency ambulance. Volunteers can continue their vital work in Dublin 15 after their application for €3,000 from the Hospital Saturday Fund (HSF) was approved. Dublin 15 unit officer Barry County said: “We are working to replace our ambulance, which has come to the end of its working life. “This gives our fundraising a big boost and will be a great help. It is a great reflection on the charitable work done by HSF in donating towards our cause.” Red Cross D15 has

been providing first aid cover at local events as well as first aid training and community support services in the area since 1987. T h ey c a n a l s o b e called upon during times of severe weather, and were active during Storm Emma and heavy snow in 2018 in transporting patients from hospital to hospital, and responding to other callouts. Fundraising Volunteers rely completely on donations and grants to keep their work going. Fundraising is an important part of their activities throughout the year. While the unit is staffed entirely by local volunteers, funds donated by local people and businesses go straight to new emergency equip-

Some of the Red Cross crew in Blanchardstown who have given so tirelessly to the community and beyond over the years

ment and training materials. The group meets weekly on Thursday evenings at Mulhuddart Community Centre. For more information,

Man pleads guilty to violent disorder A MAN who threw ing at him “You are a a punch outside a dead man”. courthouse, leadA number of other ing to a “volatile gardai had to assist situation” requirto continue to physiing 20 gardai to cally restrain Hennessey, while other control it, has associates of his tried pleaded guilty to to get involved in the violent disorder. situation. D a d - o f- t h r e e Blanchardstown Courthouse Gda Finan said Devon Hennessey (24), of Sheephill Avenue, “15 to 20 members of gardai were needed Blanchardstown, will be sentenced later to calm down the situation that became for the offence at the main entrance increasingly volatile”. to Blanchardstown District Court on The defendant claimed, through his November 9, 2017. legal counsel, that the man made a “vile Garda Richard Finan said Hennessey comment” about his disabled son, which approached another man and punched “sparked this off”. him in the face “without prior warning or “The other side of the factions have provocation”. moved away from the area. I don’t believe He said there were “background issues” there has been any more incidents,” said between the two men, and he immedi- Gda Finan. ately intervened and tried to restrain Judge Greally adjourned sentencing to Hennessey. May 5 and ordered a report from the ProHe said Hennessey resisted him and bation Service to establish if Hennessey tried to go back to the other man, shout- would be suitable for community service.

see their social media profiles at Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, @ D15RedCross. Meanwhile, volunteers with St John’s Ambulance in Ongar are hop-

ing to raise €25,000 for a replacement ambulance as the ir vehicle has clocked up 300,000km. The Ongar group is one of two divisions in t h e B l a n c h a rd s tow n

area and last year alone it covered duties which amounted to around 2,500 volunteer hours, from GAA matches at Croke Park to community events across Dub-

lin 15. A GoFundMe appeal has also been launched. To donate, see https:// www.gofundme. com/f/an-ambulancefor-the-community.

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Dublin Chambers groups working to address crisis PADRAIG CONLON

“AT 1.26PM last Thursday [March 12], I sent an email to our people: ‘We are now working solely online’,” said Liam Horan, career coach, Sli Nua Careers. Horan is among the countless businesses now thrown into a new reality by the COVID-19 crisis, with companies and Chambers bodies nationwide, not just here in Dublin, suddenly implementing new e-working practices, or devising plans for members to help address the economic emergency. He said: “We are among the lucky ones – our status as a training business enables an easy transition to operating wholly online. “Over the last five years, our share of online work has grown steadily, so we had contingency plans in place for what is now a necessity. “Online work will help fight the spread of the Coronavirus. Working online was set to be a key feature of our future working lives, but now, the Coronavirus will accelerate the trend. “Forces propelling us towards online working include enhanced technology, a desire to reduce our carbon footprints, a distaste for the inefficiency of travelling multiple hours to engage in short meetings, the rising cost of childcare, and the opportunity [work-

ing from home] offers to talented people for whom location might otherwise be a barrier to progress in the workplace. “With decent broadband, a good headset, reasonable IT skills, an open mind and a willingness to learn, you’d be surprised how easy it can be. “Working online can free up lots of time – as long as you’re disciplined – that you can use for social or leisure purposes that you genuinely enjoy.” Horan’s positive attitude towards working from home, and using technology to continue functioning, is echoed by Dublin’s various Chambers bodies. For example, Fingal Dublin Chamber is similarly working hard to meet members’ needs as the pandemic continues. Updates In a statement, the Chamber said: “Through our affiliation with Chambers Ireland, the national representative body for Chamber members, we have been in regular contact with the various government departments and we will continue to relay important notices and updates to [our members]. “Chambers Ireland has compiled a list of key resources for business from government departments and public bodies. “We are encouraging business leaders to read through

Many Chambers members across the capital have now instructed their staff to work remotely from home, with tech-driven contingency plans being widely implemented across the city and country

the important and supportive COVID-19 information for business [that is available]. “As a result of recent government directives, Fingal Dublin Chamber will be operating with a virtual service until at least March 29, pending further updates. “With significant numbers of people working remotely, along with other challenges, we are postponing upcoming planned networking and events. “Confirmed events will be published on fingaldub-

linchamber.ie/events, and updates broadcast via email and social media in due course. “Related queries should be directed to events@fingaldublinchamber.ie; and note that www.hse.ie is the authoritative source of information and advice regarding COVID-19 in Ireland.” Across town, DLR County Chamber is offering similar advice for its members across Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown. In a statement, the Chamber said: “DLR County Chamber has cancelled all our planned events

for March and April and will review as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds. “We wish everyone on our beautiful Island and across the world to remain safe and well. Take advice from the Government, and the HSE. “Congratulations to our frontline workers, and the wonderful communities who support the elderly and our shops. “We look forward as a Chamber to helping businesses connect and to grow again. Stay safe.”

Stay calm, and take each day at a time

IT’S EVERYWHERE – the Coronavirus/COVID-19 bringing us uncertainty, fear and feeling a lack of control of the situation. All of these feelings can cause real anxiety. Worry and concern are normal reactions in this situation, but anxiety is often a reaction not based on logic. It shows in our bodies as a tightness in our chest, sweaty hands, shallow breathing, headaches, restlessness, a sick


Psychologist, HDip Applied Psychology, MA Applied Psychology, MA Counselling & Psychotherapy

tummy, an ongoing sense of undefined dread, and even sleep problems. To manage anxiety during this period, start with your breathing. The 4-7-8 Breathing

Exercise (see https:// youtu.be/737vAokV5E), if practiced two to three times a day, can calm the body and mind. The bottom line is that controlling your breath is a first line to cope with anxiety – put simply, your ‘out’ breath must be twice as long as your inhalation. If you’re feeling very anxious, you could try P r o g r e s s ive M u s c l e Relaxation (see https:// yo u t u . b e /py x v-

L1O2duk) for 15 minutes. Anxiety is a primal reaction to what we see as life-threatening danger: fight or flight. The reaction kept us alive a few thousand years ago, but we are no longer fighting bears alone – we have support. The Coronavirus threat is abstract and ‘out there’, so we lack direct control, and we react in this fight or flight feeling with a fear that is sometimes out of sync with reality.

So, calm the body and breath daily during this period to manage this reaction. Our thoughts also cause anxiety – when you are isolated or working from home, you may notice your thoughts are based on what might, could, probably and possibly will happen – all of which are future predictions. Create a healthier present-tense thought. Change “I can’t leave

the house as I will probably get the virus” to a less anxious “If I follow the advice given, and am careful, I can go out for short periods”. It is important to remember how we think directly effects our bodily reactions. All of us should look after our breathing, body and thoughts to help protect against anxiety during this period and, most importantly, take each day at a time.

Tourism body chief thanks the struggling sector for its response in face of threat THE chief executive of Failte Ireland, Paul Kelly, has expressed his gratitude to the tourism and hospitality sector for their reaction to the spread of the Coronavirus. Kelly said: “Tourism businesses are already doing what they can to support public health, with many restaurants offering free meals to healthcare workers and free delivery to the elderly. “The sector has shown that it is there for the community even when it is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis.” Kelly says that due to the ongoing crisis, tourism businesses are being hit hard financially. “These are truly unprecedented times for the tourism sector across the board and already we are seeing job losses as cash-flow and liquidity challenges mount for businesses. “As an industry, urgent action is required to help businesses survive during these incredibly challenging times.” Supports The National Tourism Development Authority has made a number of recommendations to the Government in relation to the urgent supports most needed by the industry. In addition, Failte Ireland has established a special business supports taskforce focusing solely on supporting the tourism industry during the crisis. These recommendations include measures to support business sustainability, employment as well as initiatives designed to kick-start demand. Failte Ireland says it is working closely with tourism businesses to provide advice on drawing down Government support packages, cashflow management and liquidity, managing cancellations and supplier relationships.

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Retail body pushes for clarity from Government GARY IBBOTSON

#feedtheheroes call attracts huge support A GOFUNDME campaign setup to help feed front-line and emergency workers during the COVID-19 crisis had raised more than €175,000 by the time of going to press. The campaign, called Feed The Heroes, was founded by Cian O’Flaherty last Sunday afternoon, and has proven to be a huge hit with the public. The campaign reads: “We can get through #COVID-19 together, but while we are social distancing, our healthcare workers are flat-out. “If you can, donate. We’ll send food regularly to our hard-working healthcare staff using local

businesses. [Look out for social media tags] #feedtheheroes.” The campaign’s website says O’Flaherty was inspired to launch the initiative after seeing that an anonymous person dropped food off for healthcare staff working in the Mater Hospital. The site reads: “We wanted to do something to say thank you to the people working on the frontline. “And when we saw this tweet, we felt this was something we could help to happen across our health service. So that’s what we’re doing.” Last Sunday evening, the campaign delivered

food to staff at St Vincent’s University Hospital on behalf of Monsoon in Stillorgan. Organisers said: “Our final order of the night went to the night shift heroes at Vincent’s Hospital. This [food] from Monsoon in Stillorgan was given to the [hospital] staff and they [Monsoon] wouldn’t accept payment from us. “We’ll be back though later in the week. Thank you for making this possible. The reaction of staff around the country has been incredible. “This has made a difference beyond anything we expected and your generosity has blown us all away.”

RETAIL Excellence Ireland (REI) has said it needs an “early and full definition” from the Government as to what constitutes ‘essential retail’ if further businesses are asked to close. In a statement, REI said: “We have a duty of care to our industry colleagues and our customers. The health and safety of our retail colleagues and customers is our primary priority. “REI is being inundated with requests for clarity in relation to future government policy on the ability of retailers to continue trading. “In the event of a decree as to curtailed retail activity, we require early and full definition as to what will constitute essential retail.” The board of directors of the retail support group says it calls on the Government to implement a three-pillar plan. The three pillars are: immediate common-sense measures, a suspension of debt measures, and steps to recovery. The REI says the Government, “with immedi-

We are being inundated with requests for clarity in relation to future government policy

ate effect”, must define what retail categories they believe to be ‘essential’ and launch health and safety protocols for pharmacy and food retailers – such as the introduction of plexiglass place between staff and customers. The group is also calling on all business costs, such as commercial rents and rates, to be paused with immediate effect. It says that 200,000 retail workers will feel the financial strain during the crisis, and seeks that all mortgage and rent payments be paused. Finally, the REI is asking the Government to establish an economic recovery team to aid in Ireland’s fiscal recovery once the crisis has finished.

Twitter users rally to help the ‘self-isolated’ SYLVIA POWNALL

A GROUP of Twitter users led by a woman from Rush in north county Dublin have launched a campaign to help people in self-isolation. Helen O’Rahilly set up the initiative with the help of social media strategist Samantha Kelly, and it now has thousands of vol-

unteers nationwide. Anyone needing help simply has to tweet #selfisolationhelp and the group will link them up with someone in their local community. The scheme is designed to organise day-to-day tasks for those who need to restrict their movements due to Coronavirus – such as shopping, or going to the

chemist. Helen said: “It’s for those feeling out of it, lonely or scared. Particularly in rural areas; they don’t have to have the virus or even be self-isolating. “It’s about doing something, even one thing, for somebody out there in your village, your town or your suburb.” Helen says the idea

might even help frontline health care workers who are under pressure to get to daily tasks such as walking the dog or shopping. She explained: “A lot of these people who are maybe elderly or not on social media ... I’m asking the people around the country to text me their areas. “And also just to put a

sign up in a church, or a shop, or a post office just with this hashtag and with their number. “That will feed in to me, and I will be retweeting and, hopefully, a few people with good numbers of followers will help me do that. “And also not only people who are isolated, but also to people who

are working at the front line who are doing double shifts – the nurses, the doctors, the paramedics – who might need a dog walked.” Helen believes it’s a great way for the community to help one another and stay connected in a time of unprecedented crisis. She said: “It’s just a community feel to give us a

little sort of calmness and feel like we’re actually doing something. “Hygiene is first, keep your hands clean – you don’t have to interact with these people, leave it on their doorstep, leave it at a gate, let them know it’s there. “That’s a little gesture, we’ll keep ourselves going.”

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At the Holywell Junior parkrun event ‘as gaeilge’ A

ROUND 121 runners enjoyed the recent Holywell Junior parkrun as gaeilge for Seachtain na Gaeilge 2020. At the start line, ‘Tá gaeilge agam’ wristbands were handed out to all of the runners, with the armbands supplied by An t-Oireachtas as part of its support for parkrun events, with the children enthusiastically taking part in the fun, healthy exercise.

19 March 2020 FINGAL  DUBLIN GAZETTE 9


Anna and Ellie


Portmarnock Brownies celebrate St Patrick’s Day. Pictures: Alison O’Hanlon

Sorccha, Rachel and Sadhbh

India, Cara, Juliette and Sophia

Rachel, Sadhbh, Amy, Sophie and Roisin

Ellie, Anna, Ella and Sarah

Caoimhe and India

Grace and Beth

Sophia and Anna

Brownies enjoy some ‘early’ St Patrick’s Day fun


ROWNIES from the Portmarnock girl guides came together on Wednesday, March 11, to enjoy some special early St Patrick’s Day fun at the Portmarnock Scout and Guide Centre. Everyone came dressed in their finest green, white and gold for a day of kid-friendly games and activities in what was a memorable day for all.

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This week, advice for seniors, and those who interact with seniors, as the COVID-19 pandemic affects every aspect of life in Ireland

An Post reassures seniors, and the country, that post services are continuing

FOR many senior citizens, post offices are particularly vital resources, helping to take care of bills, postal needs, state payments and other issues, as well as providing an invaluable social link to other seniors and the wider community. Many older citizens may worry that the sudden rise of the COVID-19 pandemic threat, and the fast-developing reactions by councils, the Government and individuals and businesses to same, has the potential to particularly impact adversely on them, in particular. However, at the time of going to press, An Post has moved to reassure seniors and all customers about a continuation of services – subject to any future changes prompted by the COVID-19 threat, of course. For the moment at least, the message from An Post is clear: post offices will remain open, as postal services operate as normal. At the time of writing, a statement from An Post says: “We are carefully monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19. “Detailed business continuity plans are in place, and we are working closely with the HSE Expert team, the Health Threats Coordination Group, and international postal organisations. “In order to help keep Ireland’s supplychains running, An Post is working to ensure the continuity of mails, parcels and post office services over the coming weeks. “Mails and parcel collection and delivery services will operate as normal,

except to countries to which services are suspended. “Delivery times may vary as we strive to facilitate flexible working times for staff. “The HSE advises that there is no evidence of a risk of contracting the virus that causes COVID-19 by handling money, mails or parcels. “To mitigate against the risk of COVID-19, An Post postal delivery staff will not hand their scanner to the customer for signature. “The delivery post person can sign on behalf of the customer, in their presence, for all mails and parcel items that require signature.” With regard to services that seniors, in particular, rely on, the statement continued: “Special arrangements for post office customers unable to collect their regular DEASP payments, such as pensions, are now in place. “A nominated temporary agent may collect the payment on their behalf, on production of necessary ID and documentation – you can find details at the post office, or online at anpost.com.” Finally, An Post reassured that “State savings and An Post Money Current Account services are working normally. See anpost.com for updates.” David McRedmond, chief executive of An Post, added: “At this difficult time for everyone, our objective is to ensure the health and safety of staff, the continuity of business for An Post’s customers, and to assist the national effort wherever possible.”

It may be difficult to maintain physical contact with people – but it is essential to maintain contact with others, to both help maintain your physical and mental health in this challenging time

Extra care needed as pandemic grows OUR senior citizens have seen and been through a lot in their lives, having seen the country change into a radically different country than that of their youth. They’ve seen our proud Republic wobble along through cycles of boom and bust, shaped and nudged along by regional events in Europe, and sometimes by the rest of the world. However, our seniors – like the rest of the country – have never experienced anything quite like the COVID-19/Coronavirus threat, with the novel virus being particularly dangerous for them. As global statistics have shown, while COVID-19 can also target the young and healthy, the majority of its victims have been senior citizens, to date, with older people – and especially those with underlying health issues – being particularly vulnerable to the Coronavirus threat. In something that’s both a blessing and a curse, children appear to be largely spared the virus’s menace, to the relief of many.

However, children can also carry the virus, making them mobile, innocent disease vectors, meaning seniors should avoid contact with children just as much with anyone else – a particularly necessary but stinging precaution for grandparents and many other seniors to take. A common message has appeared from governments and health bodies around the world, regarding their senior citizens. While these following HSE instructions are for everyone, of all ages, to follow and adhere to, it is especially important that seniors – and those who interact with them, such as family members, carers and other professionals – strictly follow these rules. DO Tell visitors not to visit if they have any symptoms of the Coronavirus/ COVID-19. Meet people in a wellventilated room or outdoors. Ask visitors to wash their hands properly, and thoroughly – a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water at least. Ask visitors to keep

a space of at least two metres (6.5 feet) between you and them (known as ‘social distancing’). Keep physically active, if possible, while also maintaining ‘social distancing’. Refill your prescription medications, and have over-the-counter medicines and supplies – for example, tissues and a thermometer. Maintain proper hand hygiene yourself, and avoid touching surfaces (such as rails, doors, handles) while out and about, where possible. Make a joint plan with family, friends and neighbours on what to do if you become ill. (It is more important than ever to make and maintain contact with others.) Stay at home if you are sick, to help stop the spread of whatever infection you may have. DO NOT Do not have any more than two visitors at a time to your home, and maintain social distancing. Do NOT shake hands with visitors/others – physical contact is to be avoided, where possible.

Do NOT touch your face, if possible, without thorough hand hygiene – your mouth, nose and eyes are susceptible entry points for the virus.

If you are concerned about the Coronavirus and have any symptoms (primarily a cough of any kind, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, and a fever or chills), phone your doctor immediately. Do NOT go to your doctor in person, as you risk exposing yourself or others, but phone them for advice. For further information, see https://www2.hse. ie/coronavirus/. HELPLINE A number of bodies and groups are working to help support seniors at this difficult time. ALONE, the organisation that supports older people, has launched a national support line and additional supports for those who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19. Call 0818 222 024, Monday to Friday, from 8am to 8pm.

19 March 2020 CITY  DUBLIN GAZETTE 11





A DELISH DISH: Looking to avoid meat or dairy fare? Then tuck into our round-up of some of the best alternative eateries on this week’s Dublin Made Easy page ... SEE P16

UNITED Colors of Benetton are set to make some waves with their Spring/Summer 2020 collection, which draws on nautical themes. Influenced by designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s travels across the sea, the new collection is available now in the international chain’s outlets here.



Few, if anyone, would associate the legendary Leo Burdock with a complex period of Irish history – yet archive records detail his role in attacks on ‘Black and Tans’ (some shown above) in the city centre


Tuck into a slice of Leo Burdock history PADRAIG CONLON

DID YOU KNOW that before he found fame through his legendary chipper, Leo Burdock put his life on the line taking part in attacks on the hated Black and Tans in the south inner city? His fight for Irish freedom is detailed in his unsuccessful application for a military pension, which can be found online in the ever-fascinating Military Service Pensions Collection (MSPC) records.

Since the first online release of records in 2014, the MSPC project has provided unprecedented public access into Ireland’s fight for independence. The files, which relate to 1,576 veterans of the Irish Revolution and cover the period 1916-1923, have been in the public eye quite a lot during the ‘Decade of Centenaries’. As detailed on his application, Burdock was a member of C Company in the Dublin IRA’s Third Brigade, and his name appears on a list

of company members provided by ex-IRA officers in the 1930s to help verify military service claims. His parents, Bella Burdock and Patrick, had opened the first Leo Burdocks at No 2, Werburgh Street, Christchurch – the site where they’re still located – in 1913 and, during the War of Independence, Leo said he took part in a number of attacks on Crown Forces in the city centre. In an attack on a lorry of Black and Tans in the south inner city in April 1921, he said he was posted near

Jacob’s Biscuit Factory as the lorry came from Camden Street towards Aungier Street. “I was armed with a bomb and grenade. I fired shots only. I fired four or five shots,” he said in evidence to support his claim. “The lorry did not stop, it slowed down passing a tram as we fired.” He also told how he was part of a group that fired on “a Tan lorry” going from Stephen’s Green to College Green a few weeks earlier. The file is one of the first known

references to Leo Burdock in historic records of the War of Independence. The records also show that following the War of Independence, he was an active anti-Treaty IRA member in the Civil War. Leo Burdock’s story is just one of the many fascinating historical records in the MSPC archives. To check out the MSPC, see m i l i t a r y a r c h i v e s . i e /c o l l e c tions/online-collections/military-service-pensions-collection-1916-1923.

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DUBLIN GAZETTE NEWSPAPERS I N F O R M AT I O N Heritage House, Dundrum, Dublin 14 Tel: 01 - 6010240 Dublin Gazette Newspapers publishes four weekly quality free titles, covering the latest news, sport, entertainment and lifestyle from the four local authority areas of Dublin

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MALK, Josh, Ella, Ryan and Teigh – children from the Just Ask Homework Club in Greek Street Flats, D7 – were happy to help launch the Irish Youth Foundation’s Flagship Fund. The kids were helping the IYF to announce its €500,000 fund, that will focus on education,

health and wellbeing, and employability, with their homework clun one of the projects supported by the foundation. Applications for the fund – that is set to help 50,000 of Ireland’s children by 2025 – open this Friday, March 20. Picture: Sasko Lazarov

Home restored to original A oui bit of sense from the French standing after 100 years in warning about cocaine and virus ON HER 105th birthday in November, Lessie Benningfield Randle from Oklaholma asked for one thing – that her childhood home, which was badly damaged during the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, be restored to its original standing. Thanks to community organisations and local residents, Randle finally got her wish. Refurbished over multiple weeks, Randle was welcomed back into her new-old home at the beginning of March with a housewarming party. She said that seeing her home restored after nearly 100 years made her “feel like a queen”. “I’m just so pleased and so happy to be with you all and you all to be with me,” Randle said. “God has blessed me over 100 years, and I thank him, and I thank you all for being here for me.”

THE French government has released a statement warning its citizens that taking cocaine will not protect them from the Coronavirus. The myth, which began spreading on social media, was quashed by the Minister of Solidarity and Health, who said: “No, cocaine does not protect against COVID19. It’s an addictive drug that causes serious adverse and harmful effects.” The statement was posted on Twitter, with a link to an information page on the French government’s relevant official

for Cocaine – terrible eless for your health, and us


health website. The department also debunked the rumour that spraying alcohol or chlorine on your skin will kill viruses that have entered the body. Other posts seek to reassure citizens the Coronavirus cannot be transmitted via mosquito bites, and that disinfectant hand sanitisers do not cause cancer.

DOG OF THE WEEK DUBLIN GAZETTE has teamed up with Dogs Trust to help find homes for lost and abandoned dogs. This week’s dog of the week is Matthew, a sensitive one-year-old Saluki cross with lots of insecurities about the world around him. He is hoping to find understanding adopters who will support him, as he will need lots of help with confidence building, walking on a lead and handling in general. He has so much potential – he just needs that someone to give him time and space to flourish. As Matthew seems to really come out of his shell when in the company of other dogs, he really needs to go home with another easygoing dog. Mathew is looking for a quiet,

adult-only home with someone who has had experience dealing with nervous dogs. While it may take a while to build up a bond with Matthew, gaining his trust will be a truly rewarding experience. His future adopters will get all needed support from our Training and Behaviour team. If you have room in your heart and home for Matthew, then please contact Dogs Trust on 01 879 1000. They are based in Finglas, just off exit 5 on the M50. Map and directions can be found on their website www.dogstrust.ie. You can also find them on Facebook www. facebook.com/dogstrustirelandonline or Twitter @DogsTrust_IE. (Remember: Always have your dog on a lead when in public.)


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Missing woman found on eco-retreat in Fiji


Safe and well ... Lydia and friends on her ‘eco retreat’

A BRITISH woman who was reported missing in Fiji by her family after she didn’t get in touch was found safe and sound at an eco retreat. Lydia O’Sullivan had not contacted her family since she arrived in February, but she was found after images of her were spotted online. It transpired that Lydia had been at an ‘eco retreat’ in the mountains, with limited internet access, so was totally una-

ware of the ‘world search party’ looking for her, her mother said. In a Facebook post, a family friend said that the family was “absolutely elated” that Lydia was found safe after the Namosi Eco Retreat posted pictures of her on Facebook. “Sometimes social media is portrayed in a negative light, but today is a great day for the power of Facebook, positivity and community spirit it can bring,” she said.

New Mexico police At last – some great health news nab ‘Beyoncé’ after as ‘London Patient’ is cured of HIV her stolen car jaunt A WOMAN caught driving a stolen car in New Mexico last week allegedly told police she was singer Beyoncé when she was caught by police. Cops had to use a fingerprint scanner to properly identify ‘Beyoncé’ as Surena Henry after she refused to give her real name. Henry was charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, which is a felony in New Mexico, one count of concealing identity, and resisting an arrest. An officer spotted the vehicle on Saturday morning and attempted to make a traffic stop, but Henry ignored the police, eventually parking outside her home. Henry said she found the keys in the car and decided to take it for a ride. She also allegedly told police that she didn’t stop when she saw the emergency lights because she “didn’t feel like it”.

NOT Surena Henry

NOT Beyoncé

WHILE Ireland, and the world, is focused on the dreadful impact of the COVID-19 virus, the medical world is also celebrating some positive news, too. Medical experts have been celebrating the news that a London man is the second person in the world to be cured of HIV. Adam Castille jo (40), has been free of the virus for more than 30 months and his doctors have now declared him functionally cured. However, it wasn’t the anti-retroviral therapy drugs that cured Castillejo, but stem-cell treatment he received for a cancer

The man is just the second known person in the world to be cured of HIV

he also had, according to the Lancet HIV journal. The donors of those stem cells have an uncommon gene that gives them, and now Castillejo, protection against HIV. C a s t i l l e j o, w h o has decided go public with his identity after being originally

referred to as ‘The London Patient’, has no detectable active HIV infection in his blood, semen or tissues, his doctors say. In 2011, Timothy Brown, ‘the Berlin Patient’, became the first person reported as cured of HIV, three and a half years after having similar treatment.

Holy parking violations! The Batmobile gets towed away in Moscow THE Batmobile – or one of them – was recently impounded by eagle-eyed Moscow police (right). They discovered a replica of the car, which fea-

tured in the films Batman v Superman, and Suicide Squad, parked at one of the capital’s major streets, where officers noticed that it had no licence plates.

With Batman – or the car’s owner – both absent frmo the scene, and with the vehicle lacking proper registration, the Batmobile was impounded.

A special tow truck was needed to move the fourmetre-wide vehicle, with a fee of 50,700 rubles (€720) for its owner to get his car back.

Hello folks. Rita Wilson and I want to thank everyone here Down Under who are taking such good care of us. We have Covid-19 and are in isolation so we do not spread it to anyone else. There are those for whom it could lead to a very serious illness. We are taking it one day at a time. There are things we can all do to get through this by following the advice of experts and taking care of ourselves and each other, no? Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball. @tomhanks My co-worker is getting married. She said that she didn’t realize how expensive changing her last name is. Her and her husband decided if they are going to spend money to have last names changed, they will choose something they both want. Their new last name will be Nighthawk. @Vandalyzm

as he loves his secondary school. @kirstyyconnell

I feel sad for girls who marry lads who went to all-boy private schools. He will never love you as much

Going into quarantine. Not showing any symptoms, I really just need time to focus on myself. @dubstep4dads

In areas where there is no coronavirus there may be Solvirus available instead. @BigDirtyFry You can’t call it “pandemic” unless it’s from the Pandemic region of France – otherwise it’s just Sparkling Flu. @indyfromspace

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A bleakly impressive look at characters not often seen in Irish films

‘I never thought of anything we do as being overly weird’


NEW Irish film Calm With Horses (101 mins) marks an extraordinary debut for not only the actors involved, but for first-time director Nick Rowland too. Rowland adapted the film from Co Mayo writer Colin Barrett, based on the short story from his Young Skins collection. Executive produced by Michael Fassbender and his production company DMC Film, the movie showcases great Irish talent. With very strong acting from Cosmo Jarvis (Lady Macbeth, Peaky Blinders) as Douglas ‘Arm’ Armstrong, his Douglas was a former boxer turned gang member with the local drug mafia. There’s also Dymphna (Barry Keoghan, of Dunkirk, and American Animals fame), who acts as a polar opposite. Where Douglas is a rather shy character, Dymphna portrays a strong persona who tends to stir trouble around the community for no apparent reason. Douglas already has enough struggles in his own life, as he has an autistic five-year old son, Jack (Kiljan Moroney), with his partner, Ursula (Niamh Algar). He struggles to have any communication with his son, but through horse-hiding, his son’s meltdowns and tempers simmer down once he is in that calm environment. This also allows Douglas to bond with his son, and slow down the pace of his own life himself. However, Douglas’s tale takes some very dark twists and turns, as trouble is not far away from the circles in which he and Dymphna mix in, with his own efforts to be a family man under threat from local circumstances … Filmed in the West of Ireland, the film almost has a modern western vibe. The film is filled with rolling hills in many of its sequences, yet the quiet hills are filled with chaos. The mayhem is perfectly captured by director Rowland, who delivers gripping scenes throughout the film, with action, family struggles and lust being the main themes that really draw in the viewer’s attention and give the film a unique storyline. The film shows the harsh lives of gangsters, but also underlines their backgrounds, revealing connections and a sensitivity to each other and their families that makes it an emotive picture which overshadows all the bedlam. While we’ve seen some of these themes before, the film’s execution makes Calm With Horses well worth seeing.


FOX JAW – once known by the moniker Fox Jaw Bounty Club – have been a fixture on the rockier end of the Limerick music scene for a decade. They’ve learnt a lot. Through line-up changes and a slow evolution in the sound, bassist Kieran Sims – a newcomer to the band – tells us they’ve learnt to keep things sim-

ple. “The last album had a bit of a ‘kitchen sink’ approach when it came to recording, where it sometimes became a challenge to represent the song accurately in a live setting,” Sims explains of the progression. “We were mindful of that when approaching this record, and we tried not to overload each song with unnecessary layers that couldn’t be replicated live. “I think it’s a near accurate representation of

what it sounds like when all five of us get in a room and make some noise.” The new record is called ‘Breathe In The Strange’, and while it’s not likely to bother the upper echelons of the charts, Fox Jaw are proud of the way it has developed into a shining, vibrant representation of them. T h ey s e e t h e key measure of success as being around sales at live shows, which offer an indication that people value the band highly enough to want the physi-

cal versions of the record at home. “The key track for me would be the album’s closer, Shadowland,” Sims tells us. “It was a song Ronan had originally written and demoed a few years ago, but was never quite happy with. “I’d always loved the song and knew that if we put our heads down we could get something together we’d all be proud of. “We got a rough sketch together from one of our weekend writing ses-

sions, and we built it from there. “It took a lot of work and input from each of us, still making last-minute decisions while we were recording it, to get it to where it is, and I’m so proud of where it ended up.”


Covering up the truth, at any cost PADRAIG CONLON

HARVEY Weinstein, the once powerful Hollywood mogul, was sentenced to 23 years in prison last week. This sentencing followed last month’s decision by a New York jury to find him guilty of rape and sexual assault against two women. In his excellent book, Catch and Kill, Ronan Farrow (pictured) recounts his investigation into Weinstein as the reader is brought along on a story of cover-ups, corruption and, ultimately, courage.

It all began in 2016 with Farrow investigating Weinstein for NBC News in a freelance capacity. Farrow alleges that Harvey Weinstein used his knowledge of sexual misconduct allegations against NBC Today show host Matt Lauer to pressure the network into dropping the investigation. When NBC refuse to publish his report, Farrow takes his story to The New Yorker magazine, which publish his investigative article detailing the sexual allegations against the Hollywood producer.

Catch and Kill follows the publication of She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the New York Times journalists who shared a Pulitzer Prize with Farrow in 2018 for breaking the Weinstein story. The Weinstein allegations of abuse by numerous women, whose careers were in ways directed by him, help kickstart the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault. In the book, Farrow chronicles the extraordinary steps Weinstein and his legal team take to

try get him to give up the investigation. One disturbing incident documented is when Weinstein employs former Mossad private investigators to follow Farrow, which leaves the writer in genuine fear for his life. The behaviour described in Catch and Kill is deeply distressing, and it’s not just the horrific abuse that leaves the reader shocked. What is just as frightening is how so many people in the media, legal and PR industries knew what was

going on, and helped to cover it all up. This is the story of how wealthy, rich men can threaten people and silence victims of abuse. It’s also the story of several brave women who risked everything to expose the truth and launch an international movement. I really enjoyed this superbly written, wellresearched book, which is more like a thriller or a spy novel than investigative journalism.

The DIY aspect of the way Fox Jaw produce their music is critical to the band’s ethos, as is the conceptual side of things, which has been branded as ‘weird’ in the past.

“I’ve never thought of anything we do as being overly weird, because when it’s created it’s never done for the sake of being off kilter,” Sims says. “I think our tastes are

so varied from member to member that you’re bound to get some things that shouldn’t work on paper but do in practice.” A lot of that has come from extensive experi-

ence in both the live arena, and in learning what it is about making music that connects with the public as a whole. “I think the main thing that younger musicians

need to learn is that nobody is going to do it for you,” Sims tells us. “It has been invaluable for all of us coming up in a DIY music scene. “We learnt how to make

flyers, how to get our own press, how to design an album cover, how to book gigs outside of a city ... “[These are] all things that are still done within Fox Jaw today, just on a

slightly bigger scale. “We have always kept everything in-house and I don’t think there’s a better way to do it, when you’re as invested and as proud of this band as we are.”


Raise a smile for less-known comedians DUBLIN’S local comedy scene can be often overlooked these days. Yes, clubs such as The Laughter Lounge and The Comedy Crunch at The Stag’s Head often create a buzz, but rarely are the acts given such reverence among the casuals or mainstream audience. Comics, similar to their musician counterparts, can tirelessly gig for years without creating a loyal fanbase – despite how funny or talented they are – and more often than not, struggle to make a name for themselves. With this in mind, here is a small list of some local comics we feel deserve more attention. If you’re a fan of stand-up comedy and are looking for a fun night out, you could do a lot worse than checking these out at a local comedy club.

Emma Doran

Jack Wise

Danny O’Brien Not exactly new to the scene, O’Brien started stand-up comedy

over a decade ago, with his first gig coming at Doyle’s pub in Dublin. Proclaiming that he “hasn’t left the stage since,” O’Brien is a true lover of comedy and a natural performer – his observational brand of smart satire always lands with the crowd. Currently touring his Reformer live show around Ireland, O’Brien is also the resident MC at The Stag’s Head Comedy Crunch. For further information about O’Brien, see @dobcomedy on Twitter. Emma Doran First performing in 2013, Doran is a Dublin circuit regular and host of the Up To 90 podcast, where fellow comic Julie Jay and herself satirically rant about the world’s current affairs. Often deriving material from her personal life, Doran is sharp witted and sometimes desert-like dry in her delivery.

You can catch Doran at comedy clubs such as the International Comedy Club, the Cherry Comedy Club at Whelan’s and The Comedy Crunch at The Stag’s Head. Keep an eye on her social media account to see where she’s performing next. For further information about Doran, see @EmmaLouDoran on Twitter. Jack Wise “The perfect combination of clean comedy and interactive magic,” says Wise’s promotional website, and to be perfectly honest, it’s not wrong. A magician by trade, Wise’s incorporation of comedic material and audience interaction into his set works splendidly within any size venue. You can catch wise headlining The Laughter Lounge on March 19, 20 and 21. For further information, see www.jack.ie.

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PLANT-BASED eating has become more and more popular in Irish society in recent years, and with good reason. Multiple restaurants have been steadily adding plantbased options to their menus to make eating out more accessible for those of us who don’t eat meat or dairy. Today, there’s a selection of great, fully plant-based restaurants in the city which are sure to tantalise your taste buds.


IF YOU want to venture a little bit out of town for your vegan adventure, take a visit to The Carrot’s Tail in Rathmines. A fully vegan cafe and a zero-waste shop, their Instagram feed will leave you drooling, thanks to their sweet treats and delectable brunch offerings. One of the perks of The Carrot’s Tail is that they also have a dedicated kids menu, making it a fully family-friendly spot to take a spin to over the weekend for a great brunch. Their Duche De Leche pancakes are the perfect ‘cheat day’ treat to tantalise your taste buds, while also staying fully cruelty-free.


IS THERE anything to be said for some great food and drinks that can be had in the company of dogs? Another hidden gem, V Temple Bar is located at Crane Lane, making it the perfect spot for some pre-gig grub if you’re heading to The Olympia. Dealing in vegan cheeses, toasties and cocktails, they have some great ‘bar bites’ – think cauliflower wings and mozzerella sticks – that pack a punch in the taste department. The restaurant is also dog-friendly, meaning you may be lucky enough to spend your meal watching some gorgeous pooches taking it all in.


NESTLED away in a hidden corner of Moore Street Mall lies some of the best vegan food on offer in the capital. Take A Veg is a ‘street food stall’ offering plant-based burgers, subs and more. It’s great value for a healthy portion of some of the best seitan you’ll ever taste, created in-house with tantalising flavours. Its Buffalo Sandwich is one of the top picks of the menu for us, offering just the right amount of spice in the decadent sauce to ensure your tastebuds won’t miss meat in the slightest. If you’re still not full-up after, visit their sister store – It’s A Trap – at Denmark Street for some sweet plant-based treats.

19 March 2020 DUBLIN GAZETTE 17



MOTHER’S Day Top picks of some lovely motherly gifts

WITH Mother’s Day mere days away now, you may have your gift picked out for the special woman in your life already. It’s the perfect time of year to pamper your mum, to thank her for the hard work put in all year around. Whether your mum is a fan of a little self care or just a decent pair of slippers, here’s our round up of some of the best gifts on offer to spoil your mum or guardian on March 22.

Antipodes ‘Cult Favourites’ set, €42, Boots

Tiffany & Love perfume, €91, stockists nationwide

Suede Mule slippers, €27, M&S

Ted Baker Amoria gift set, €65, Littlewoods Ireland

Nicely nautical

Facial steamer, €19.99, Aldi

 Rachel D’Arcy, Style Editor

Olivia Burton white and pale rose watch, €125, Littlewoods Ireland

UNITED Colors of Benetton has raised the flag on its Spring/Summer 2020 collection . The SS20 collection was unveiled at a Milan swimming pool to showcase the splash of colour and signature style with a nautical theme.

The nautically-influenced style collection is ready to brighten the upcoming seasons with patterns and designs influenced by designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s travels across the sea. Shot by Oliviero Toscani, the photos capsulate the campaign by Toscani’s use of his usual

mix of optimism and formal perfection. The colourful flags against the traditional white background work like drop curtains, draping around and framing the models. The collection is available in all four of Benetton’s Dublin stores now, at Stephen’s Green, Liffey Valley, Grafton Street and Arnotts.


Try new ways to get fit and put a spring in your step GARY IBBOTSON

ALTERNATIVE forms of exercise are on the rise, with more and more people wanting to get their heartbeat racing without partaking in sports they have no interest in. If you’re the sort of person who doesn’t enjoy the gym or playing sports such as football or GAA, but would still like to improve your fitness, here are some activities that will certainly make you break a sweat ... Gardening: Not exactly the first activity you think of when wanting to get fit, but Kansas State University found that gardening

can improve selfesteem and upperb o d y s t re n g t h – depending, of course, on how strenuously you partake in the activity. Digging holes, bending over or reaching to prune or trim hedgerows and weeds can certainly get a sweat on, and all that fresh air and sunshine can improve your mental well-being, too.

Quidditch: Harry Potter fans will certainly be familiar with this once-fictional wizarding sport. First appearing in the books, quidditch (left) consists of flying broomsticks, lethal bludgers and a golden snitch that instantly gave the team that caught it an extra 50 points – essentially winning the game. In real life, quidditch is played by many

teams across Ireland, the UK and Europe, with a quidditch premier league now in the pipeline. Rock climbing: An ever growing pastime here in Dublin, rock climbing walls can be found in Sandyford, Ballymun, Tallaght, UCD, Trinity University and more. An endurance and upper-body testing activity, rock climbing is extremely fun but can get challenging once you advance to more difficult walls with spaced out footholds and odd angles. Most centres are open until 10pm during the week, and all will have supervisors on hand to help you get to grasps with the basics.

18 DUBLIN GAZETTE 19 March 2020



Crowdfunding set to boost meat substitute VEGAN chef Sam Pearson is hoping to get his plantbased meat substitutes into supermarkets after launching a crowdfunding campaign via Fundit.ie. Pearson (25), who started his business, Vegan Sandwich Co in June 2019 at the Honest2Goodness market in Glasnevin, began creating vegan chicken fillet rolls and other usually meat-based fan favourites for a vegan audience. With his success over the past nine months, Pearson is launching a range of plant-based retail products such as vegan ‘Bac*n’, vegan ‘Chick*en Pieces’, and vegan ‘Cheeze’. He hopes to raise €10,000 through the campaign, which launched on Wednesday, March 11. With the funds, Pearson hopes to purchase a new vehicle and equipment to package products, with the aim to launch the products this summer. He said: “If this crowdfunding campaign is successful, we will be able to distribute our products to any stores that wish to stock them. “We are launching in Dublin this Summer and hope to expand nationwide in 2021. “It has been so exciting to see this business grow from what was an idea at the start of last year to what it is today. “We are still small, but have big ambitions and with a little help from the public, we will see our products in stores right across the country.” The campaign can be found at https://fundit. ie/project/help-launch-vegan-sandwich-coproducts.

FSAI ordered Dublin restaurant to close IN ITS latest report, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) detailed how it ordered the closure of four food establishments in February for failing regulations inspections. One restaurant, Anu’s Kitchen in the Glen Abbey Complex off the Belgard Road in Tallaght, was forced to close due to a “grave and immediate danger” posed by rodent infestation. According to the FSAI’s inspector report, there was “evidence of fresh rodent (rat) droppings found in the food storage area directly off

the kitchen”. The inspection also found that there was a “lack of pest-proofing throughout the entire premises, posing a risk of food being contaminated”. “A grave and immediate danger exists due to the current rodent infestation in an area where food is handled.” The business was temporarily shut by the food authority board on February 1, re-opening on February 12. The other establishments issued with closure orders were in Mayo, Cork and Waterford.

The ideal dish if you fancy a no-fuss but delicious roast AS A perfect alternative to a Sunday roast during Spring time, this five-ingredient dish takes little time to prepare but will seriously deliver on flavour.

• 260g frozen peas • Couple tbsp salt and black cracked pepper

Serves: Two Preparation time: Five minutes Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

Method • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. • Place a medium pan of water onto boil while you chop your potatoes into 3-4cm chunks. Add the potatoes and a dash of salt to boiling water and cook for 10 minutes, then drain. • Place a large frying pan on the heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. • While the pan is heating up, season your

Lamb and asparagus tray bake

Ingredients • 250g waxy potatoes • 4 lamb chops • 2tbsp olive oil • A few sprigs of rosemary • 250g fresh asparagus


• 50g unsalted butter, room temp • Garlic clove • Couple leaves of flat-leaf parsley

chops on both sides with a liberal sprinkle of salt and pepper. • Once the oil is hot, add the lamb chops and sear on all sides until browned. • Place the potatoes into a medium-sized oven tray and nestle the lamb chops in amongst them. • Add the rosemary, asparagus spears and peas and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. • Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes depending on how crispy you like your asparagus and potatoes. • Optionally, cut garlic and parsley into small pieces and combine with the soft butter. Serve a dollop of the butter on each lamb chop. • Serve immediately.

19 March 2020 DUBLIN GAZETTE 19



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PLANNING PLANNING NOTICE . Fingal County Council I, Lynda Fortune, intend to apply for planning permission for development on this site: 9 Mount Garrett Avenue, Tyrrelstown, Dublin 15 The development will consist of the removal of existing single storey rear sunroom extension and construction of new single storey extension to rear of dwelling (27.7m.sq.) together with internal modifications, 1 no. new ground floor window on existing north eastern elevation, New first floor extension to rear of dwelling (5.4.m.sq.) and associated 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 its public opening hours and a submission or observation may be made to the authority in writing on payment of the prescribed fee (20 Euros) within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of this application. 36358

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DONNING THE SHIRT: SOCCER: FORMER St Patrick’s Athletic, Shelbourne and UCD footballer Conan Byrne admits it was tough donning a Shamrock Rovers jersey as he took on a marathon walk for charity on Wednesday. Byrne undertook the 42km walk in honour of the Irish Cancer Society following the cancellation of Daffodil Day this year.





Teresa shows nerves of steel  sport@dublingazette.com

TERESA O’Sullivan won an incredible free-throw competition to see the Dublin All-Stars land the third annual Kilkenny Masters crown at O’Loughlin’s Gaels and Lorreto Sports Hall last week. Eighteen teams took part across the men’s and ladies tournament from across the country including teams from Cork, Kerry, Mayo, Dublin, Laois, Offaly, Carlow, Wicklow, Waterford and, of course, Kilkenny with over 200 players and officials taking part. All Stars were beaten finalists last year, losing by four points to Midlands Portlaoise. Player/coach/captain Siobhain Monerawela – who plays with Tigers Basketball Club – said: “I entered a team which was made up of eight players. “They were from various basketball clubs throughout Dublin, Wicklow and Cork, and three of the players are not affiliated to any basketball club. Some of us would have played on the same team before at previ-

ous master’s tournaments or against each other in the Dublin League. “So the first time we played as a unit was on Saturday morning when our first game kicked off at 10am against Leinster Hot Shots!” While their first game is usually a slow-burner but the All-Stars were content to win out by five points. They followed up with an easy win against Marble City. This put them through to the semifinals on Sunday morning against another all Dublin team, Pegasus, who are also great supporters of all the master’s tournaments in Ireland and abroad. “It was our best game so far in the tournament. You could see we were really getting to know each other’s style as players and we capitalised on that, winning by 17 points.” That secured a final spot against a strong Midlands Portlaoise team who won the final last year. “We changed our defence to a match-up for the start of this game which seemed to work well for a while. But we then reverted to a 1-2-2 defence as our legs were tiring.

The Dublin All-Stars with their trophy

“It was a nail-biting, low-scoring game which was neck and neck throughout and finished with a 20-20 draw.” It led to a three-round free-throw contes. O’Sullivan stepped up to the plate for us and had to go first. With both free throw shooters making the first shot and missing the next two; they had to continue until a

player missed a shot. O’Sullivan – who plays for Raiders in the Dublin League – hit the fourth shot and the Midlands player missed her fourt shot, which meant a 21-20 win for the All-Stars. “It was a great end to a fantastic well organised tournament weekend. We left everything on the court, and we were all delighted to win it.”

SPORT CONTACT INFO SPORTS EDITOR: Stephen Findlater sfindlater@dublingazette.com

For more information or to send in news and photos: sport@dublingazette.com Phone: 01 601 0240

24 DUBLIN GAZETTE  FINGAL 19 March 2020


FAI interim deputy chief executive Niall Quinn

Dublin hosting put on hold by UEFA EURO 2020/2021  DAVE DONNELLY



Byrne’s marathon effort in aid of Cancer Society  DAVE DONNELLY


EURO 2020 will now take place in June and July of 2021 after UEFA took the extraordinary and unprecedented step of postponing the summer’s tournament due to Coronavirus fears. Dublin had been due to host four games, including three group games and a round of 16 tie, as UEFA celebrated the Euros’ 60th anniversary by taking it on tour around 12 cities in Europe. Cities from Dublin in the west to Baku, Azerbaijan, in the east had been lined up to host games, while London would host seven games, including two semi-finals and the final. But the 24-team tournament always looked likely to be moved from its June 12 starting date as the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of abating in Europe. Several European countries – including Italy and Spain – are in virtual lockdown while others, including Germany and Ireland, have placed tight restrictions on travel and business activity. It has yet to be confirmed whether UEFA will stick with the concept or move the finals to a single country, with Russia keen after hosting the World Cup in 2018. The move will spell uncertainty for the FAI’s ‘succession plan’ that had been due to see Stephen Kenny step up from the under-21s to replace Mick McCarthy after the Euros. However, the postponement now makes that problematic. Interim deputy chief executive Niall Quinn said the FAI will wait to see how the situation evolves before making a plan on how to act. “We’ll know on June 10 [whether the team has qualified] and I would have thought that June 10 would be a good time to start worrying or overly worrying about that. “We’ll do that at the right time and speak to the stakeholders first. We won’t be talking publicly until that time. “Will it happen, will the medical world allow it, will the HSE and Government allow fans and players to travel [to Slovakia]? We don’t want to put anyone in danger, that’s the first thing. But if there is a lift and a possibility of those games going ahead, it augurs well that we have definite dates and times and that we’ll know our fate by June 10. “I’m very pleased they took the decision to move the Euros on a year. It gives everyone breathing space at a really difficult time.”

FORMER St Patrick’s Athletic, Shelbourne and UCD footballer Conan Byrne admits it was tough donning a Shamrock Rovers jersey as he took on a marathon walk for charity on Wednesday. Byrne, who now plies his trade in the north with Glenavon, undertook the 42km walk in honour of the Irish Cancer Society following the cancellation of Daffodil Day this year. Daffodil Day is the biggest fundraising in the charity’s calendar but the society took the difficult decision to cancel the event due to the threat of Coronavirus transmission. While the general public are sure to dip into their pockets nonetheless for one of Ireland’s most respected frontline charities, Byrne had a brainwave about how he could help out on his own. The solo walk took in all six League of Ireland stadiums in Dublin – from Tolka Park to the UCD Bowl – and finished with a short trek from the Aviva Stadium to the Irish Cancer Society HQ on Northumberland Row. “I was sitting on the couch last Friday night with Amanda [my wife],” By r n e te l l s D u b l i n Gazette. “I can’t go to work, can’t go to football and just wanted to do something to help. Daffodil Day, in honour of the Irish Cancer

Society, is close to everyone’s heart, really. “I think everybody knows someone who has been affected by it. So, with them missing out on this huge fundraiser of theirs, I thought I’d do something very, very small. “[It’s] not anywhere near what they’d usually get for Daffodil Day, but I tried to contribute a small amount to it and it took off a bit. “Family members over the year have contracted the illness and have survived it, are cancer survivors, and are really advocated for the Irish Cancer Society. “It happened close to home and you just do your bit and help out. You can see all the work that’s done, be it hospitals or oncology nurses to the charity themselves trying to raise money for care. “My main motivation behind it was Daffodil Day being taken away from them and how are they going to make that up? “I know they will have the general public donating on the day to their website, but I just wanted to add something extra to it.” In order to ensure Byrne and others could safely keep their social distance, Byrne turned down hundreds of offers from people willing to join him on his trip and instead opted to go solo. While life as a footballer prepared him for the physical side of the undertaking, 42km is far beyond what

any player will run during the course of a game or training session. It was mentally gruelling for the Swords native, which is why he resolved to keep in touch with fans and well-wishers on Twitter throughout the estimated 12-hour walk. Glenavon graciously allowed him to do the walk while under contract in Lurgan. As such, the intent was to take it slowly in order to honour their commitment by avoiding injury. “It was a slog, it was always going to be tough. I drove it and it took me three hours. “I’m not going to put a time on it but I measured my time. I’m under contract at Glenavon, and I don’t want to mess with them. “They gave me the opportunity to do this, thankfully, and that’s the reason I didn’t run it, [in case] I picked up any niggly injuries.

“It is a good cause and people are realising that and donating to the cause.” It’s far from the first charity initiative Byrne, a primary school teacher by trade at Rush National School, has engaged in over the years. He has his own charity, the Conan Byrne Zambia Initiative, which has raised more than €100,000 for Cheshire House, which looks after children with special needs. “I did talk to the Presentation Sisters up there, but with the way things are going at home I thought it was important to do that, to look after the Irish Cancer Society. “I also did a headshave last year when a child in my class was diagnosed with cancer. “This isn’t the last. I regularly fundraise and I’ve plenty of ideas up my sleeve, but I’ll keep them there for now.” Last year, after a child

in his class was diagnosed with cancer, he raised more than €5,000 with a sponsored headshave. On the walk, he donned a shirt of each League of Ireland club in Dublin after visiting their stadium – meaning the largest portion of his trip, 18km, allowed him to get acquainted with the green and white hoops. Byrne is perhaps best known in Tallaght as a thorn in Shamrock Rovers’ side – he famously set a record by scoring all four goals in a 4-0 win for the Saints in 2013. “It was all for a bit of craic. The distance between Tallaght and Stradbrook is 18 kilometres so I had it on my back for that length of time. “But it’s all for a good cause, it’s all a bit of craic. “I made a few jokes about it and I got a bit of slagging. Hopefully, Pats fans won’t be too annoyed that I’ve donned the green and white hoops.”

19 March 2020 FINGAL  DUBLIN GAZETTE 25



Rink sport on the brink  STEPHEN FINDLATER



Jack Byrne gets gong for March run in LOI

The first SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Player of the Month award of the 2020 campaign went to Shamrock Rovers’ Jack Byrne of Shamrock Rovers. Last year’s PFAI Player of the Year has picked up where he left off - hitting a sublime winner to see off reigning champions Dundalk at Tallaght Stadium.The Ireland international also found the net against Cork City as the Hoops won all four games in February. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

BALLYFERMOT and Lucan’s roller hockey clubs are facing a huge battle for recognition as they feel the unlikely impact of Brexit which could leave the sport uninsured and unable to continue. For Trish Buckley, roller hockey is a lifelong passion, one which started at the Star roller rink in Crumlin. Her husband’s father first introduced her to the game, not knowing at the time her own father had lined out for Ireland back in the day. It brought her all the way to the European ladies championships in Hannover where, despite being major underdogs, Ireland finished third on the continent with Buckley landing the top scorer prize. While the sport has prospered in some areas, with professional leagues in a number of European countries, roller hockey fell out of fashion in Ireland in the 1990s. Under Buckley’s watch, it has enjoyed a revival of late with the sport setting up in Lucan Community Hall and Ballyfermot’s Mary Queen of Angels. She has also passed on the passion to her son and daughter who have lined out for England due to the lack of an Irish international team. Perhaps a unique situation in Irish sport, along with her husband, all four line out regularly in the same team on the same court concurrently. In the new clubs, over 40 children are now regular practitioners but they find the future under threat unless they can get Sport Ireland to bring roller hockey under its umbrella as a matter of urgency. “Unfortunately, it is not a recognised sport which is something I am trying to get at the moment,” Buckley told Dublin Gazette. “Companies don’t want to insure us because it is not a recognised sport in this country which is why I am chasing that to see if I can get it recognised under a government body. “They are saying roller hockey is ‘dangerous and children will get hurt’. These children have skates, knee-pads, shinguards, gumshields, hel-

mets – they are so well protected. “The ball doesn’t lift off the ground. It’s a noncontact sport and they are not bashing off each other like ice hockey. “Our insurance was through Britain because it is recognised over there for the past four years with no claims. With Brexit, we have been told our insurance is null and void and we are not insured for the children. “I have tried every broker and am talking to local politicians to try and help us. I am trying my hardest to get insurance for these children. “If not, I have no choice but to close these two clubs down with the result these kids have nothing else to do. “This is their sport. At Christmas, they got brand new skates and everything. We had no idea this was going to happen to us.” To this end, she has been canvassing politi-

cians in the local area to try and press her case. Unfortunately, the timing could not be worse with the formation of the new government and the spread of the coronavirus putting their issue very much on the backburner for public representatives. But she is keen to push their case and try and work through every loophole possible. “Going back through the generations, I think our country was already affiliated in the past. If it was, they might allow us. “They have allowed inline hockey in which is contact but ours is non-contact. I don’t understand it. We are trying to get this sport going, promote it and, hopefully, get people playing it like I did. “The kids were asking ‘are we going to train this week or not?’ All I can answer is ‘I don’t know’.”

Lightning’s Jones an Irish selector CRICKET  STEPHEN FINDLATER


N I G E L Jo n e s h a s b e e n appointed as a new selector for the Irish men’s cricket team. The 37-year-old former international – who played 34 times for Ireland between 2009 and 2012 – is the head coach of Leinster Lightning replacing outgoing selector Albert van der Merwe. “I am honoured to be asked to come onto the National Selection Panel and I’m looking forward to playing my part

in supporting, challenging and promoting our current and next crop of players in discussions round the selection table,” Jones said of the new role. “It’s an exciting period at the moment, and I believe that we are now starting to see the benefits of the transition period we have been going through, with the likes of Lorcan Tucker, Josh Little, Harry Tector, Mark Adair, Gareth Delany, James McCollum and David Delany all showcasing their promise over the past 12 months or so with either

match contributing and or winning performances for Ireland.” “However, these younger players wouldn’t have been able to flourish without the experienced backbone of the squad which is where a majority of our consistent performers are still positioned. “The overall mix of experience and youth, I believe, is starting to bear fruit in our performances and, hopefully, this will continue to develop over the next 12-18 months as we look to provide further opportunities for our players.”

Nigel Jones in action in 2010

26 DUBLIN GAZETTE  FINGAL 19 March 2020




CASTLEKNOCK THE suspension of all Club activities due to Covid-19 until March 29, while deeply disappointing, is clearly the correct action to take and we urge everyone to do their bit to slow the spread of this disease. The advice on hand washing and social distance is still the best defence. The Adult Awards (March 16) have been postponed but will hopefully be rescheduled. Many thanks to Louise Mahony, Laura Carolan, Tom Quinn, Philip Bohan and Ollie Coffey for all their hard work to date on the event. The Lotto Sales Team has been stood down for the next two draws, March 19th and 26th however the draws go ahead as normal. In regard to the ongoing Coronavirus threat the Club asks members who have recently returned from high-risk areas to follow government guidance. If a member is in any doubt or if a member has any concern or symptoms, we ask that they do not visit the Club for at least 14 days after the date of their return to Ireland. All members over 18 are asked to complete the Club Survey that was recently sent to them by email. If any member has not received a link to the survey can they contact Secretary@Castleknock.net and the link will be forwarded to them. All members who complete the survey will be entered into a draw for a €100 Voucher. Commiserations to everyone involved with Dublin Champions, Castleknock Community College as their great run of success comes to an end by losing the Leinster Senior Football ‘B’ Semi-Final 3-5 4-9 to Colaiste Choilm, Tullamore. Week 1 of the Club Cúl Camps is already SOLD OUT. Week 2 (July 13-17) can still be booked while places remain by contacting Maria Bergin 087-7563654. The Club expresses its sincere condolences to Senior Football team statistician Barry Egan on the death of his brother Aidan following a short illness. Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.

FINGALLIANS FOLLOWING a significant change in the outbreak, the GAA has announced that all sporting activities in GAA club’s must cease immediately. No planned training or other sporting activities can take place until further notice. Additionally, following our executive meeting tonight, all social activities have also ceased, including the planned awards night and all St Patrick’s day activities. Additionally, the Tuesday night bingo and other events in the hall are cancelled until further notice. We would ask all our

members to keep up to date with the latest advice from the HSE . This is a very challenging time for all of us and our wider community. Please take time to think of the vulnerable in our community. If you can in any way help, please feel it your civic duty to do so. It may be something as simple as getting the shopping, walking the dog or even making a quick phone call. A great trait of the Irish Nation is how we respond in a time of need. Keep yourselves safe and look out for each other.





FRIDAY’S announcement that all GAA activities would cease until March 29 at the earliest in an effort to limit the spread of the Coronavirus has created new challenges for clubs across the county. Pa u l S h a u g h n e s sy caught up with a number of clubs to give a snapshot of the mood and initiatives that are being put in motion to cope with the situation. ** S t Sy l ve s te r ’ s P RO Elaine Rooney said it has hit the club hard at the time of the season when optimism is usually at its highest. “The effect, like with all clubs, is devastating for the teams who have trained hard for the league which have just begun but this is an unprecedented threat to our communities. “The safety and health of our players and the public is paramount so the importance of match-

es pales in comparison at such a difficult time. “Without a doubt it was the right decision to cancel all games. The health and safety of players and members is paramount and the GAA, being a family-centric organisation, is leading the way in this regard. “This is an unprecedented situation. We have no idea how long it will take to rectify so we cannot predict how long matches will be off. “A threat such as this puts games in perspective. When the time is right the rescheduling of games will be done but, for now, being socially responsible at this difficult is the most important.” Specifically for her club, Syl’s are keen to help the elderly in the Malahide community who may be struggling at this time with day-to-day chores and issues arising from social isolation. “We have established a special volunteer group of members from a cross section of skills to offer assistance to anyone vulnerable in the community. “Anything from dog

walking and shopping to emergency medical health we can assist. “Anyone needing help can call or text 086 174 3088 and we will do our best to help.” **

Round Tower, Lusk chairperson Pat Codd’s tongue-in-cheek comments on the club’s Facebook page went viral. With a predicted baby boom in the pipeline, he suggested members “please exercise abstinence for just a couple of weeks. “A critical mass of January babies will massively improve our chances of success in the minor championship in 2038.” More seriously, he told Dublin Gazette: “First and foremost, as a sports club we just play games. This is a very serious matter and the playing of games comes way behind the health and welfare of our community. “Like a lot of GAA clubs in Dublin, we are employers and we are very concerned for our staff who have no work now. They

Round Tower, Lusk’s seniors face a quiet few weeks ahead after their meteoric rise

have shown us great loyalty and we want them to be supported. However, with our bar closed, lotto suspended, and fundraising stopped, there is no way that we can continue to pay wages.” Like St Sylvester’s, he was satisifed with the “timely reaction of Dublin County Board” in the circumstances and that the club will come together to try and support the community in the quickly growing Fingal town. “Our coaches give many hours to the club each week. As the situation develops, I am sure that we will be putting our network of volunteers at the disposal of those supporting the most vulnerable in our community.

“This is a very challenging time for us all, but I’m sure that the GAA will continue to be a great source of community solidarity and positive action. GAA people are doers who knit Irish communities together.” ** St Jude’s PRO Michael Moran has been heartened, too, to see the Tymon North club’s members rally together quickly to make the best of the situation. “Over the weekend, we set up a volunteer group and it already has over 60 people offering to help. Members came together and suggested we would offer services to anyone

19 March 2020 FINGAL  DUBLIN GAZETTE 27


the void Pitches, like St Sylvester’s Broomfield, will be empty for the forseeable future

around the community that needed it. “We’ve had a deluge of offers of help from members in a number of different ways. We fully supported the decisions made by the Government and the advice we received from the GAA and Dublin County Board. “Since then we are experiencing a very positive response from members who are very disappointed that matches are cancelled, but fully understand and agree with the decisions made. “We have lots of suggestions for how we can help people who need it and are working on them now. “St Jude’s is known for having a great fam-

ily atmosphere – visitors often comment on the sense of family and

The club is very deep in the community and has very close links to all of the local schools, who feed our junior and other teams. “We have memb e r s w h o h ave trades and have provided services and emergency help. “We have members currently working with the St Vincent de Paul and they are helping more vulnerable people. “We have members working with another charity, The Mustard Seed Outreach Project, and are working with them too. “Local parish priest of St Jude the Apostle, Fr

Members came together and suggested we would offer services to anyone around the community that needed it.

the warm welcome they receive around the club. “The club’s response to the Covid-19 emergency will be to give something back to the community.

Brendan Madden, has also been very supportive and the club work with him and his team on projects. “Our Men’s Shed has been very proactive and they have a huge amount of experience and connections in the community – some of them were involved in the setting up of the club 40 years ago. “Our coaching team are working on online options to help players and coaches to continue to develop skills, while not allowed to train and play.” ** As time goes by, more and more clubs of all kinds are arrangging similar community efforts. Check in with your local club to see how they are looking to help those around you!

Naomh Jude’s first ever senior camogie championship winning side

April champo games put on hold THE Dublin Adult Competitions Control Committee have postponed all grades of club hurling and football championship games fixed for April due to the uncertainty surrounding the resumption of activity. If the current pandemic continues beyond April, the committee has proposed to engage with the Leinster Council and the National Competitions Control Committee with a view to restructuring their games programme for 2020. This may include the redesign of the current formats over which they will engage with the clubs prior to any decision being made. In their announcement on Monday, the committee reminded clubs: “Adult leagues will resume when sanction is approved by the statutory bodies. Please ensure that your club teams are adhering to the directive that no training or games can take place at any level during this pandemic.” For the Dublin Ladies Gaelic Football Association, the proposed start to the season scheduled for April 1 has been deferred. The AIG Dublin LGFA Feile which was planned for April 4 and 5 has also been put on hold for the time being. Rescheduling of meetings and recommencements of our competitions will be made in due course in conjunction with ongoing HSE and LGFA advice.

Gazette SPORT MARCH 19, 2020


LOI clubs counting the costs of corona  DAVE DONNELLY


TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar spoke of the “calm before the storm, before the surge” as the slow uptick of COVID-19 cases is set to accelerate in the coming days and weeks. Sport may seem trivial by comparison, but League of Ireland clubs are preparing themselves for arguably the biggest collective challenge they’ve ever faced. Just as the shutting of pubs and restaurants threaten to permanently close some, so the suspension of football to at least March 29 threatens many of our nation’s oldest sport-

ing institutions. Bills have to be covered, grounds have to be maintained and wages have to be paid at clubs which are unique in Europe in that they are almost solely dependant on matchday receipts for income. A recent UEFA report revealed that just 1% of League of Ireland’s club revenue is derived from television and, at 28%, are the most dependant on TV revenue of all Europe’s 55 leagues. The healthy and safety of everybody from players and staff to fans is paramount, clubs across codes have had to look at creative ways to save jobs and, potentially, save them-

selves as viable concerns. “Our highest priority is keeping everyone healthy,” Gavin White, media officer at Shelbourne, told Dublin Gazette. “You see it in England; you see it in Italy; you saw five coaching staff of Valencia testing positive for the virus. “The only thing that matters is that the players, the coaching staff, the academy and coaches from the men’s and women’s side are all safe.” However, there is a very real chance that some clubs, not just in the League of Ireland but in other sports, may go bust like other business during

this indefinite period of uncertainty. The likes of Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk may be the wealthiest clubs in the league but both have commensurately high costs of running to maintain. However, it’s the likes of Shelbourne, who must have imagined their return to the Premier Division after seven years would pose many challenges but not these, who have the most difficult job. Group training for children, men and women has been suspended indefinitely as social distancing is enforced, and it may be months until things get back to normal.

White is working with the club on ways to bring in cash in the short-term, with merchandise, auctions and collaborations with Reds Creative, the club’s artistic community, possibilities. “In an ideal world, the fixtures come back when they’re meant to, but it’s hard to know whether that will be the case and it’s very likely that it won’t be the case. “It’s come at a really weird time for us because everything was so positive. We’d three sold-out games in a row. Bohs was our first live [TV] game, and this has kind of halted it again. “It’s the same thing

Shelbourne’s upbeat start to the season has been stopped in its tracks. Picture: Maurice Frazer

affecting all the clubs. We don’t know what’s really going to happen, and that’s the scary thing. Nobody really knows what the certainties are in this situation. “It’s not as if you’re going into a pre-season that’s five months and going ‘ok,

we budgeted for those five months’. “We’ve been away for seven years so we know what the bottom looks like in the footballing sphere, but I think there’s a great feeling in the club that we can come through it,” he said.

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