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Spending time with the simply superb Skoda MOTORING: P24 RECYCLE THIS COPY. KEEP DUBLIN TIDY.


January nu ua y 12, 2012

INSIDE: Festive fun at the creative days HEALTH & WELL-BEING: How to pre-school P2 feel your best in 2012 Pages 19-21

Rugby: Swords get 2012 off to flying start in Wexford Page 30

Basketball: U-18 side set for National Cup semi-final Page 32

ALSOINSIDE: GALLERIES ......................8 BUSINESS .................... 18 TRAVEL......................... 22 ENTERTAINMENT ........ 23 MOTORS ....................... 24 CLASSIFIEDS ............... 26

Swords tops tidiest towns in Dublin Q MIMI MURRAY

SWORDS was just pipped for the accolade of Ireland’s cleanest town in the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) awards this week. Trim was announced as the overall winner, but Swords swept aside the rest of the competition to come a very honourable second in the 2011 survey of litter levels in 53 towns and cities by IBAL.

Both were among 38 towns to be classed as “Clean to European Norms”. Labour’s Brendan Ryan TD welcomed the news saying: “It is a reflection of all the hard work put in by various community groups, not least the Swords Tidy Towns committee. Swords certainly seems to be on an upward trend across the various competitions for a clean and tidy town.” Full Story on Page 2

Show of talent: The story of the nativity at Nzone Creche EMMA McEvoy and Mai Lynch looked very happy to be wearing their fantastic costumes and taking part in the Nzone Sports Creche’s first Christmas play, The Nativity, which took place just before Christmas. Family and friends

came to watch their loved ones put on a fine performance which brought plenty of festive cheer as well as plenty of applause at the end. Picture: Una Williams

Full Gallery on Page 10

2 SWORDS GAZETTE 12 January 2012


AWARDS Top litter grade for local areas in IBAL survey

Swords named as cleanest town in Dublin area

SWORDS was just pipped to the post for the accolade of Ireland’s cleanest town in the Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) awards this week. Trim was announced as the overall winner, but Swords swept aside the rest of the competition to come second

in the 2011 survey of litter levels in 53 towns and cities by IBAL. Both were among 38 towns to be classed as “Clean to European Norms”. In 2010, Swords was placed at number 28 on the list and was classed as “clean to European Norms”. But in August

last year it became evident that Swords was in the running to win the overall award in 2012 when it was placed fourth on the list. At the time, IBAL said: “This is an excellent result for Swords with all of the sites surveyed getting the top litter grade. Clearly

enormous efforts have been made in Swords over the last number of years and it is great to see this reflected in the results in IBAL AntiLitter Sur vey. Pavilions Shopping Centre car park was in pristine condition and Abrakebabra scored particu-

larly well, considering it was surveyed at 1.45 on a Friday afternoon.” Brendan Ryan, Labour Party TD for Dublin North, was amongst those who welcomed the news saying: “It is very heartening to see Swords place so highly on the IBAL

league of clean towns. It is a reflection of all the hard work put in by various community groups, not least the Swords Tidy Tow ns committee. Swords certainly seems to be on an upward trend across the various competitions for a clean and tidy town.”


Over €1.3m is earned in recycling Q MIMI MURRAY

N E W f i g u r e s h ave revealed that the total estimated revenue earned from recycling centres in Fingal came to a massive €1,328,000 in 2011. The figures have been released by Fingal County Council. According to the council, there are four main streams of revenue linked with the running of the recycling centres and bring banks. A gate fee charge paid by customers bringing in items of waste that are accepted with a charge brought in €322,000. A R e p a k s u b s i d y, which is paid by Repak for the recycling of packaging collected from the recycling centres and the bring banks, brought in a total of €131,000. The subsidy is paid for each tonne of packaging recycled and the level of subsidy may vary from

time to time and is set by Repak; €92,000 was brought in from bring banks and €39,000 for recycling centres. Material value is a revenue for collecting certain waste streams that have a value on the market such as metal, clothes, paper and cardboard; €112,000 was brought in from recycling centres in 2011. A €628,000 subsidy from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government for the operational cost of recycling facilities is a subsidy paid by the DECLG for all local authorities to cover operational costs of providing recycling facilities. In addition to this a payment is made by the Department for the acceptance of WEEE at the recycling centres. The last payment received was for the period July 2010 to June 2011 and totalled €135,000.

The children had been very busy recently making some fantastic festive outfilts


Enjoying a visit from North Pole T HERE was huge excitement at Creative Days PreSchool recently when they had a special visit from Santa Claus who had come all the way from the North Pole to pay them a visit. The children had recently been very busy making some very creative and colourful Christmas costumes to wear for the visit of the man in

red. When he finally arrived the kids were delighted to see him. Santa took time to speak to each boy and girl and to listen to their wishes for Christmas presents he asked them if they had been naughty or nice, and with all replying they had been good all year, he assured then them they would be very happy on Christmas morning.

The children were very excited to speak to Santa Claus and tell hime what they wanted for Christmas

12 January 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 3

CRAFT Fingal’s finest to attend show in the States

On a mission to trade in April craft exhibition LOCAL craftworkers will have the opportunity to take part in an export trade mission being organised by the Fingal County Enterprise Board this April. Flying under the Fingal’s Finest banner, the aim of the trade mission will be to create new export sales opportunities, which, in turn, will help the participating businesses to create new jobs. The Ireland Show is one of the biggest “Irish” trade shows in the United States and takes place in Secaucus New Jersey from April 21 to 24. Hundreds of buyers from Irish and Celtic stores from across the

Writers’ group seek members IF you have flair for, or are interested in, writing prose, poetry or a memoir then why not join the Swords Writers Group. The group of like-minded people meet on alternate Wednesdays in Swords at Fingallians GAA club. New members always welcome. Contact Fiona at swordswriters@gmail. com for more details.


‘The world is getting smaller and with domestic sales declining, we have to look to market opportunities that have not yet been fully exploited’

New leaflet for water consumers


USA and Canada will visit the trade show, where Fingal craft-workers will showcase their products, opening doors to the massive US “ethnic Irish” giftware market. In 2011, the Enterprise Board helped dozens of local small businesses to grow their export sales by organising trade missions and grant-aiding businesses with export potential. In 2012, it intends to

expand the export capabilities of many more small businesses. Applications are currently being invited from Fingal-based craftworkers to participate in the forthcoming trade mission, which is the first in a series of export initiatives planned for 2012. The six small businesses selected will have to demonstrate that they have potential to export to the


Oisin Geoghegan with Philip Gaffney, who featured in last year’s US trade mission

US gift market. Speaking at the announcement of the initiative, Oisin Geoghegan, CEO of the Fingal Enterprise Board, said: “The world is getting smaller and, with domestic sales declining, we have to look to market opportunities that have not yet been fully exploited.

“The costs of engaging in an export trade mission to the US for a small business as a solo run are extremely high. “By collaborating together, and with the support of the Enterprise Board, our craft-workers are now able to benefit from economies of scale so that they can exploit

foreign opportunities and punch well above their weight, reaching global markets.” Fingal’s Finest is an initiative of the Fingal County Enterprise Board and applicants can request further details by telephoning (01) 8900800 or by visiting

FINGAL County Council has produced a new leaflet with advice and information for water consumers across Fingal. Entitled, A Guide to Water Services and Water Conservation - How you can make a difference, is available in council libraries and in offices in Swords and Blanchardstown and is also available to download as a pdf.

4 SWORDS GAZETTE 12 January 2012


Cut in rates of 2% is not enough, says local trader Q MIMI MURRAY

AN angry Swords trader has said a cut in the commercial rates in Fingal by 2% simply does not go far enough. The local businessman said that, in spite of recent cuts by the council, his rates had soared in the last two years by 50% from €3,000 to €5,000. “We are a very small shop on the main street in Swords and our rates have gone up by 50% in the last two years from €3,000 to €5,000. You only have to walk down Main St to see the effect of mismanagement on the town. “€217 million was wasted by Fingal council on the dump and prison,” he said. But when contacted by the Gazette, a council spokesperson said that the local authority said that “every effort” had been made over the past three years to reduce the rates burden on the business sector in Fingal. “All commercial proper ties were revalued for rating purposes by the independent State Valuations Office with effect from January 1, 2010, and, while some ratepayers experienced an increase in valuation, and thus in their

rates assessment, as a result of this process, the majority had their valuations reduced,” said the spokesperson. “Valuations could have increased for a variety of reasons, i n c l u d i n g i n m a ny cases, where properties had been substantially redeveloped and increased in size since last valued. “Following revaluation, and recognising the difficulties some ratepayers would experience as a result, the council took the decision to reduce its overall rates income by over 10% with a view to keeping the rate multiplier at the lowest possible level. “In the following two years (2011 and 2012), the council have continued with the process of reducing the rates burden with a 2% decrease in each of the years. “This council continues to provide a comprehensive range of services to the citizens of Fingal and, in the context of a much r e d u c e d wo r k f o r c e and a reducing income base, considerable cost saving measures and efficiencies have been achieved over the past three years in particular in order to continue to provide these services,” the spokesperson said.


PLANNING Residents disenfranchised – Alan Farrell

Calls continue to reunite Swords district Q MIMI MURRAY

CALLS to reunite parts of Swords, currently in the constituency of Dublin West, into that of Dublin North, continued to gather momentum this week with Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell urging the chairperson of the Boundary Commission to reverse a

decision to split the town, following the 2007 General Election. Calling on Mr Justice Cooke to reunite the town, Deputy Farrell said the division of the town “into two constituencies did not sit well with Swords residents, and for good reason. “It resulted in a detachment from the constitu-

ency that housed their schools, parishes, community projects and local businesses. “It is my opinion that all of Swords, and its associated rural areas, should be represented with the Dublin North Constituency. “The current arrangement is far from ideal, leaving many residents

with a feeling of disenfranchisement on the basis that their Dail representatives are mainly focused within the tight area of Castleknock, Blanchardstown and the greater Dublin 15 area. “Swords is a rapidly expanding town which has continued to grow despite the recession. “I believe it to be in the

interest of all Swords residents that this community should be consolidated, both in terms of social infrastructure and public representation. “I am urging the commission to review the division of Swords and to reunite the town with the constituency of Dublin North,” said Deputy Farrell.

The three-day Fingal Film Festival can be expected to yield a wide range of new films, documentaries, shorts and animations


Entrants are sought for the upcoming Fingal Film Festival Q MIMI MURRAY

FINGAL Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday, March 21, in UCI Blanchardstown, with a list of big industry names set to lend a hand. As 2012 begins, independent film-makers from all over the world will be submitting their new films, documentaries, shorts and animations in the hope of securing a screening in the first ever Fingal Film Festival (FFF). Although this festival has an international appeal, the founders of FFF want to emphasise

that it will create a platform for Fingal film-makers, with the top award going to best Fingal newcomer director. Over the festival’s three days, there will be a schedule of screenings taking place both in UCI Blanchardstown and at Draiocht theatre. There will also be workshops in acting, directing, music composing and film producing by some of the worldleading names in the industry. The names of the industry professionals delivering these master classes will be announced at www.fingalfilmfest.

com in late January. Creative director, Dave Byrne, told The Gazette this week that he passionately believes Fingal needs to harness the emerging talent in the area and give young filmmakers, actors, musicians and writers a voice. Not elitist

He said: “It is important that this festival is not elitist, and the opportunity to showcase his or her work is afforded to everyone. “Although the festival will have strict criteria in place for the standard of work that will be screened, people who

do not succeed in having their work screened will be able to learn and enhance their skills through a series of workshops that will be taking place over the three-day event.” Film-makers who wish to submit material to the festival can do so now. The closing date for submissions will be Friday, February 10, at 5pm. Details of where to submit can be found at An announcement of the successful submissions will be published on the website, and through social networking sites on Friday, February 17.

The selected filmmakers will be contacted directly prior to the announcements being made public. For further information, see www. The festival’s main sponsor is UCI Blanc h a r d s t ow n . O t h e r confirmed sponsors are Snap Blanchardstown, Fingal County Council and Lispopple Studios, with more sponsorships coming onstream in the coming weeks. “It has been their generosity that has brought this festival to fruition,” said Liz Kenny, managing director of the festival.

12 January 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 5

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CULTURE Dirty Dancing set for a record-breaking run here

Emily Holt, as Baby, and Paul-Michael Jones, as Johnny, are all set to deliver Dublin audiences all of the key iconic moments from the muchloved film when their production takes to the Dublin stage

Dublin’s getting Dirty Q LAURA WEBB

IT LOOKS like Dubliners will be having the “time of their lives” at the Grand Canal Theatre this month, when the hit West End show, Dirty Dancing, makes its Irish debut for a staggering six-week run. T h e p o p u l a r 8 0 ’s film about Frances’ (or “Baby”, as she is better known in the film) rollercoaster summer at a holiday camp with her family, and her love for dance teacher, Johnny, continues to capture the hearts of generations, young and old. Now that the film has been transformed into a record-breaking smashhit musical, fans are standing on their seats, dancing to the unforgettable soundtrack that includes tracks such as Do You Love Me?, Hun-

gry Eyes, and the Academy Award-winning (I’ve had) The Time Of My Life, to name but a few. So far, more than five million people worldwide have seen the sensational production. For its opening, Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage, written by Eleanor Bergstein, the script writer and creator of the film, sold out six months in advance, breaking West End records. Here in Dublin, it is breaking records by being the longest-running booking at the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin. Speaking to The Gazette this week, the show’s producer, Karl Sydow, said the stage production has everything the audience can expect from the muchloved film. “We have tried to keep it close to the film, you

just don’t mess with that kind of success. “If we did, I think the audience would tear us apart if we didn’t deliver the entire film on stage,” he joked. “We have everything – we have them balancing on a log, we have a lake with them practising on the lake, we have the great dance numbers which people will be expecting. “I think the touring production is the best we have done yet for Dirty Dancing. “ I ’m p a r t i c u l a r l y pleased with it; Dublin has a great show,” said Karl. The show is currently touring Britain before coming to Ireland and, so far, according to Karl, it’s breaking records everywhere it goes. “It broke the house record in Glasgow, and we just learned that we


‘We have tried to keep it close to the film, you just don’t mess with that kind of success’


have the fastest-selling show ever in Aberdeen. The tour, overall, has been the fastest-selling everywhere we go. “It seems as though Dirty Dancing has maintained its magic for Dublin, too, because lots of people want to see it, which we are extremely pleased about,” he said. When asked what it is about the film and show that makes it so successful, he said it’s the story. “I think the story of Dirty Dancing makes it so strong. The movie

came out in 1987, 25 years ago. “When it came out, it was made for $5 million, and it took $187 million in the first year, making it the most successful independent film of all time. “It was the first VHS cassette to sell a million units – the same for DVD – and every year it seems to find a brand-new audience – it’s got a great story. “I compare it to Cinderella. She goes to the ball and gets the prince, but not with glass slippers but with her dancing ability. It is a really strong fairytale,” he said. Dirty Dancing takes place at the Grand Canal Theatre, Docklands, Dublin 2 from Tuesday, January 17 until Saturday, February 25. For further details, see www.grandcanaltheatre. ie. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster.

12 January 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 7

OPINION Tackling the question of who pays sick workers?

In the wake of a Government proposal to force companies to fund a portion of employees’ sick leave, we look at two very different opinions on the move

Managing the cost of illness benefit Q JOAN BURTON TD Minister for Social Protection

TOO many workers leave the labour market due to health problems and too few people with reduced work capacity are working. This is a social and economic tragedy. It is a social tragedy, because it leaves people stranded on benefit payments when they might otherwise be working; and it is an economic tragedy because it is costing a fortune to deliver poor outcomes. Illness Benefit is a payment for insured people who cannot work due to illness. The cost of Illness Benefit alone has risen from €330 million

to €900 million over the last 10 years. This is one of reasons that the Social Insurance Fund had a hole of €1.9 billion at the end of last year. There are three main ways to fill that hole. First, we can raise the amount that employers and employees pay in to the fund through their PRSI contributions. Second, we can reduce the benefits we pay out to people who make claims. Third, we can reform the system. One way to reform the system is to introduce a statutory sick pay scheme under which the employer funds sick pay for a period of time before the

Social Insurance Fund steps in. In Ireland, Illness Benefit is usually payable by the Social Insurance Fund after the third day of illness. Instead, I would like to see employers in the public and the private sectors step in after the third day and pay for sick pay for an initial period of a few weeks. This would help plug the hole in the Social Insurance Fund and reduce levels of absenteeism in both the public and private sectors with consequent savings for all. Most other European countries oblige employers to pay some sick pay costs. In the Netherlands, employers pay for the

first two years, in the UK they pay for 28 weeks and in Germany they pay for six weeks. The example of the Netherlands is an inspiring one. Sickness related absentee rates in the Netherlands fell from 10% to 4% following the introduction of statutory sick pay there. Employers in Ireland are in the enviable position of making both very low PRSI contributions and no contribution to sick pay absence costs. The OECD, in its annual review of taxation (Taxing Wages 2010), calculated that the average employer insurance contribution in Ireland was 9.7%. There are only six countries out of 34

Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD

countries surveyed that have a lower social insurance contribution from employers. The OECD also recommended introducing a mandatory period of employer-provided sick pay in Ireland. I h ave m e t w i t h employer representative

groups, both large and small. I am acutely aware of the particular difficulties being faced by many companies, especially smaller ones, during these tough economic times. That is why I will be holding a consultation with employers, OECD representatives, public

health professionals, trade unions and other experts next month to see if we can establish common ground on ways to manage sick absences and plug the hole in the Social Insurance Fund. I will be listening very carefully to all their views.

‘This demonstrates a profound ignorance of human nature and a lack of understanding’ Q MARK FIELDING CEO, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association

THE “sick” pay proposal by Minister Joan Burton, to transfer responsibility for paying the first month of illness from the State to individual employers, demonstrates a book-keeping rather than economic approach, a profound ignorance of human nature and a lack of understanding of the SME sector, being illconceived, irrational and will add to company costs and to the numbers joining the dole queues. The Minister has stated that forcing companies to pay for sick pay (which is not mandatory in most instances), will somehow reduce absenteeism in the workplace, indicates that she is either extremely naïve, which I don’t believe, or is

attempting to get businesses to pick up the tab for the excesses of the public sector. The reality is that, once you make it easier to claim “sick pay”, the frequency of “feigned illness” will increase and absenteeism will rise. According to the most recent ISME survey (Dec 2011), the typical number of days lost per annum due to absenteeism in SMEs is 3 days and well policed, contrary to the Minister’s assertion. This compares to a massive inefficient 12 days in the public sector, where the employer (the State) pays sick pay. We know that civil and public servants are not more susceptible to illness than private sector employees, therefore logic dictates that the massive differential is a result of the “sick pay scheme”. The easier the system the “sicker” you get!

Mark Fielding, CEO ISME

In the main the SME private sector already has the additional cost of employing a replacement when someone is out sick, whereas the public sector

just defers the work. In addition employers and employees already make substantial contributions through PRSI to support the provision of sick

pay by Social Protection. If the Minister imposes her proposals, without a reduction in PRSI, it will result in an additional tax cost to employers, which will act as a disincentive to businesses to create and maintain employment. It will, unfortunately, lead to many companies reassessing their requirement for labour and the individuals that they may employ. Put simply, Minister Burton’s “sick” pay proposal will cause job losses. It becomes obvious therefore that introducing mandatory sick pay on top of the additional state-controlled cost increases in transport, energy and local charges, is going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in many instances. If these proposals are introduced it will cause untold damage to smaller businesses, resulting in closures and significant job

losses. The Minister would be better off tackling the absenteeism, wastage and inefficiencies in the public sector, instead of attempting to stymie and undermine the business sector, the main vehicle for economic and employment growth. The schizophrenic tendency of the Government is extremely worrying with job creation being drum-rolled as a priority on the one hand and this outlandish “sick” job-killing proposal on the other. In summary – we already pay PRS Insurance to cover sick pay, we pay for a replacement and now we will have to pay sick pay, which logic dictates will increase absenteeism, thereby increasing the cost further. Common sense, or any sense at all, needs to be applied and this ludicrous proposal needs to be dumped once and for all.

8 SWORDS GAZETTE 12 January 2012

ENTERTAINMENT The pupils from Rising Stars impressed the

The kids take to the stage IM Walters, who runs the Rising Stars Musical Theatre & Dance Academy in Malahide, certainly had her hands full recently, when she expertly organised and choreographed her pupils in their Christmas performance at the Portmarnock Sports and Leisure Club. Every one of her little performers showed true star quality on the day, while their parents looked on, beaming with pride. Gazette photographer, Una Williams, was lucky enough to catch all the enthusiasm and excitement of the event on the big day.


There’s nothing like some “jazz hands” to get warmed up, as Rising Stars demonstrate. Pictures: Una Williams

Kalia, Tara and Isaac Behan


Rosheen, Fatima and Ciara Loughran

Eve and Ciara Barber

Tara Lambert

The little ones prepare for their big moment

12 January 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 9

audience with their boundless enthusiasm and talent

The crew are bursting with excitement just ahead of their curtain call

Kris and Alexander Fitzgerald

Carragh and Siobhan Fitzgerald and Grainne Madden

Ger Keogh, Sarah Kennedy and Kim Waters of Rising Stars

Eoghan and Joan Madden

10 SWORDS GAZETTE 12 January 2012

EVENT The story of the nativity at Nzone Creche

Joshua Karabegovic as the Donkey

Talented kids put on show HERE was plenty of excitement at Nzone Sports Creche recently when parents and friends came to enjoy the children’s first Christmas play. The talented children brought to life the story of the Nativity, which tells the story of the birth of Jesus. The roles of Mary, Joseph, the shepards, the Three Wise Men and the angels were all acted out with great enthusiasm by all in what was a very proud event for all who participated.

Heidi Donoghue, Emma McEvoy and Mai Lynch. Pictures: Una Williams


Hannah Lumpton and James and Anna Grogan

Catherine Hand, Joseph Hickey and Ellen Morgan

Ciara McGee and Vinayak O’Moore

Ruby Bradford, Ava Quinn and Ciara Langton

12 January 2012 GAZETTE 11

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Brought to you by Derry Temple personal trainer and pilates instructor


Shifting that stubborn fat around the belly HY is it that when we put on fat it always goes straight to our stomach? You can blame genetics, which have programmed us to store fat around our belly, but the truth is the hormonal system plays a huge part and preventing this from happening is well within your control. The two hormones, cortisol and insulin, are the primary culprits in causing you to lay down fat on your midsection. In one respect cortisol is a vital hormone because it helps regulate the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates. Cortisol, how-


ever, is also responsible for telling your body to store fat, for increasing your appetite and for locking fat around your middle. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can be traced back to our evolutionary response to danger. When your brain thinks that your life is under threat it stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline helps you become alert and focused and the cortisol increases levels of fats and sugar in the bloodstream to fuel your physical response. Our busy, modern-


day lifestyle has caused a lot of us to be stressed and this often results in a constant low-grade release of cortisol; stress comes in many different forms. Cortisol can be produced by emotional and dietary stress resulting from poor eating habits, lack of sleep, excessive intake of alcohol and stimulants such as caffeine, sugar and tobacco. W hen we produce excess cortisol we end up with a surplus of fat and sugar in the bloodstream; we then produce insulin in response. Insulin is responsible for sending sugar to fuel the brain, stowing sugar into cells and helping

Call our NEWS TEAM on 60 10 240 or email

decrease blood sugar levels. Fat cannot be stored in cells without the presence of insulin. The reason why fat targets your middle is because it is close to your liver where it can be quickly converted to energy if needed. Abdominal fat cells also have four times more receptor cells for cortisol then anywhere else in the body so you are naturally programmed to lay down any excess fat here. Stress leads to high levels of cortisol; high levels of cortisol lead to insulin resistance and insulin resistance can lead to diabetes and heart disease. If you hold fat around the middle, you have a good chance of becoming insulin resistant and should take the necessary dietary and lifestyle measures to lose that fat. Avoid excess carbohydrate consumption, ensure a balanced diet with the appropriate mix of healthy fats, lean proteins and plenty of vegetables. Avoid stimulants and excess alcohol consumption, ensure you get 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and try to avoid stressful situations. Learn to deal with stress through stress-reducing techniques such as meditation or therapy. Physical activity helps to burn up energy stores leading to less fat storage, it is also a great emotional stress buster and causes the release of the brains neurotransmitter serotonin

Physical activity helps to burn up energy stores, leading to less fat storage


‘The reason why fat targets your middle is because it is close to your liver where it can be quickly converted to energy if needed’


– the “happy” hormone and an ideal adversary for cortisol and insulin. DT Fitness specialises in helping people lose weight and achieve their

optimum performance levels of fitness. For the months of January and February DT is offering the readers of The Gazette a free Boot-

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12 January 2012 GAZETTE 13

GazetteNUTRITION NUTRITION Spice up your life for the new year

Spices are recognised as having disease-preventing and health-promoting qualities


MANY centuries ago European explorers brought herbs and spices to our shores from far distant lands. These herbs and spices not only tasted amazing, but were found to have more disease-fighting antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables. Reasons to spice up your life

In ancient times, herbs and spices were recognised as having diseasepreventing and healthpromoting qualities. They contain plant-derived chemical compounds that have carminative, anti-inflammatory and anti-flatulent properties. Spices have been found to make digestion more powerful by increasing gastro-intestinal secretions and the motility of the intestinal tract. The components in spices have been found to have anti-clotting action, preventing clogging of platelets in the blood vessels, thus helping ease blood flow, preventing stroke and coronary heart disease. They are composed of an impressive list of phyto-nutrients, essential oils, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals such as potassium, manganese, iron and magnesium. Potassium is a vital

component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Spices are often used to treat colds, influenza, mild fevers, indigestion, stomach upsets and painful menstruation. In addition to this, the essential oils found in herbs and spices are used in aromatherapy helping us to relax.


10 herbs and spices to include in your diet

Garlic: Destroys cancer cells and disrupts the metabolism of tumour cells. Garlic is a popular herb that is used in most cooking. It can also be eaten raw but keep in mind the effect it has on your breath… don’t go eating it before a hot date. Paprika: Contains capasaicin which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It is also found in cayenne and red chilli peppers. Set your taste buds alight with a chilli chicken salad. Just coat one chicken fillet with olive oil, cayenne and paprika, bake in the oven for approximately half an hour and serve with a fresh green salad. Ginger: Can decrease motion sickness and nausea. It may relieve pain and swelling associated with arthritis. Ginger can

Cinnamon: Can lower blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL, and total cholesterol. Try adding cinnamon to a cup of hot milk for a bedtime treat. Turmeric: Contains curcumin which can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Turmeric is used when cooking rice in India – simply add to water when cooking. It also gives the rice a distinctive yellow colour which looks very impressive and sets the taste buds tingling. Rosemary: Is said to enhance memory and help mild depression, headaches and migraine. It helps prevent damage to blood vessels that may raise the risk of heart attack. Rosemary gives a tasty twist to herbal bread.

‘Spices are often used to treat colds, influenza, mild fevers, indigestion, stomach upsets and painful menstruation’


be used in savoury dishes and teas. If you fancy something a little sweet it is delicious used in baking such as ginger-nut biscuits and sticky ginger pudding. Oregano: Oregano has the highest anti-oxidant activity of 27 fresh culinary herbs so, next time your request extra toppings on your pizza, be sure to include oregano on your list. Parsley: This little herb was popular with Romans and is still as popular today. It is rich in iron, carotenoids and vitamin C. It is a diuretic and helps stimulate the liver. Parsley is known to be a breath freshener so if you have eaten garlic, perhaps it would be a good idea to have some parsley after. Thyme: Is a powerful antiseptic and helps conditions such as thrush and asthma. Thyme is used widely in meat cooking, stuffing and soups. Mint: Mint contains methanol, used widely as an indigestion remedy and for clearing congestion in colds and chest infections. It also helps purify the breath, an infusion applied to the skin can help relieve pain and, an oil infusion can be used as a massage balm. No need to feel guilty about having that after dinner mint.

14 GAZETTE 12 January 2012


M&S bring designer flourish to new range MARKS & Spencer are launching their new interiors collection for 2012 next week; with an array of stylish items, from clean and crisp bedding to fun pops of colour in the kitchen and classic funiture pieces, there is something to suit every taste and budget. The new ranges include exclusive items from Conran, bringing their contemporary design and impeccable attention to detail into the bedroom and dining room. Meanwhile, the trend for mid-century design influences and nostalgic design pieces continues to gather pace in 2012, with new furniture styles appearing as functional talking points.


Fine find at Fosterfields CARTY Property Advisors are bringing Fosterfields, Athboy, Co Meath, a detached dormer-style bungalow standing on a large site, to the market, for the asking price of â‚Ź359,950. This luxurious designer home extends to c260 sq m of well-proportioned living space, an abundance of natural light with superb attention to quality and detail. The accommodation comprises entrance hall with a tiled floor, a spacious lounge which sports a feature fireplace and pine coving, and which is carpeted. The kitchen/dining room has a range of pinefitted wall and floor press units, together with parttiled walls and tiled floor, and has double doors to

Fosterfields in Athboy, Co Meath is on the market for â‚Ź395,950

the conservatory. There is also an utility room, as well as a guest WC downstairs. This is in addition to a bedroom currently used as a family room, and an en suite bedroom, which has a solid wood floor, built-in wardrobes and window overlooking rear garden. Upstairs there are three

additional bedrooms, one of which is en suite, as well as the family bathroom, which includes a corner bath, separate shower unit, WC and WHB, with fully tiled walls and floor. The property stands on a large site with gated access, and has a tarmac driveway to the front and rear, with decking to the

rear, and a free-standing garage with roller door. There is also a football pitch to the rear. Fosterfields is in walkin condition throughout and viewing is recommended. Appointments can be arranged by contacting Marie Carty at Carty Property Advisors on 046 94 86860.

WE HAVE 146,000* READERS EACH WEEK *based on standard industry measurements


12 January 2012 GAZETTE 15

16 GAZETTE 12 January 2012

GazetteMUSIC MUSIC FastTunes with Radio Nova’s Dee Woods


Fresh feel for the new year with new talent Q ROB HEIGH

IF MUSIC be the food of love, it wasn’t enough for some rockers-turned-restaurateurs in 2011. We saw Jon Bon Jovi keep the faith in New Jersey with Soul Kitchen, a restaurant where diners pay what they can. AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd literally put his name to a New Zealand restaurant: Phil’s Place promises a “whole dining experience”, where it looks like prices are nonnegotiable. And now Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan’s going about as rock and roll as it gets...with high tea. The singer wants to open a 1930s-style Chinese tea-house in the Highland Park area of Chicago. Can’t imagine there’ll be the smashing of anything there, though there might be if he brings in some of the fighters from his WWF franchise! Listen to Dee Woods from Radio Nova every weeknight from 7pm to 12am on 100.3FM

ANOTHER year, and the hopes are high for an incredibly special 2012. It’s tough to make your way through the up-andcoming tips for the top lists, but it’s my humble duty to pick three of the many that will undoubtedly still be around at the end of the year and be on constant rotation on your iPod playlists. The first is perhaps the most obvious, but it’s hard to argue with such unique talent. Michael K iwanuka’s star has been on the rise since he appeared on Later With

Jools Holland last year, and with a growing list of plaudits and acclaim, I initially wondered if there was a just a bit too much hype and not a whole lot of substance. How wrong I was. K iwanuka’s songs are full of soul and feeling, threading back their influences to soul legends like Sam Cooke and Bill Withers, imbibed with an easy, langorous cool underpinned by some fine melodies. With his debut album, Home Again, set to appear in March, Kiwunaka will be one of the top-selling artists of the year, easily. He also plays at The Sugar Club on February 11 and joining him there will be my second pick, the equally understated but equally gobsmackingly good three-piece, The Staves. Nor th Londoners Emily, Jessica and Camilla have a strong pedigree as far as their influences are concerned - among them Fleet Foxes, Simon and Garfunkel and Buffalo Springfield - but their unique harmonies and melding of bright English folk and sublime

Bright hopes: Michael Kinuwaka, The Staves and Morning Parade

West Coast pop is something to mark them out as ones to watch. Their Mexico EP contains some of the most haunting and memorable music you’ll hear this side of Laura Marling, and the fact their debut

album features the production work of Glyn and Ethan Johns (whose credits include The Rolling Stones, Ryan Adams and the aforementioned Marling) means you ought to be seeking them out immediately. Find out more on their Facebook page or at Last of my early season picks are Morning Parade, picking up the pace and making a case for the indie anthem crown. With hints of Radiohead and the criminally under-appreciated Puressence, and the ability to switch the tempo and attack up and down at will, Morning Parade’s debut EPs have showcased their skills in the studio, but it is live where they are set apart, with energetic performances that have seen them build up a fanatical live following.

Those are three, but honourable mentions must go to Lana Del Rey, Azealia Banks, Flux Pavillion, To Kill A King, Spector, Howler and Lianne La Havas as those most likely to provide some thrilling pop moments throughout the year as well. In the absence of a mega-festival to cater for all tastes, the calendar is already full of live experiences that should not be missed. Already lined up are shows from the legendary Stone Roses and Bruce Springsteen, as well as certain-to-be-epic visits from Florence And The Machine, Deadmau5 and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, and some smaller-scale lessons in magnificence from Lambchop, Lisa Hannigan and The Magnetic Fields. A very happy new year in store, indeed.

12 January 2012 GAZETTE 17


Brought to you by Miriam Kerins of the DSPCA


Resolve for better pet care in 2012 ONE of the best traditions of ringing in the New Year is “the resolution”. So, readers, have you managed to keep yours, or have you broken them yet? I’ll bet you have. I know, I know – like me, two seconds into 2012 you resolved to eat less and move more and yet, here we are, two weeks into the New Year, and the old backside is still sitting on the sofa. So, I’d ask all you pet parents to forget about your own resolutions, and to ask yourselves: “What were the top five things I wanted to do for my dog in 2011 and, have I managed to do them?” If you have, then well done, you, and give yourself a big pat on the back.

If you haven’t, don’t beat yourself up about it; sure, I make lots of plans for my pets, and hardly ever see them through. For example, I said no more dogs in 2012 … err, weeks into the New Year, and I’m fostering another one. Okay, it’s only a foster, but it’s going to be long-term, (so don’t tell hubby)! However, I’m lucky – I can provide for my animals, and they are all microchipped, vaccinated and spayed/neutered. So, if like me, you’ve failed to get rolling with those New Year pet plans, then take a look at my top suggestions for 2012, and see if you can at least stick to three of them. I know I’m going to try

Everyone wants their pet to look and feel this healthy so, for 2012, keep resolutions to care for your pet

very hard this year. Possible resolutions

• Check it out: Regular check-ups give your vet the chance of picking up on any developing illnesses, and the opportunity to

take care of them immediately. For example, a New Year’s examination of the heart, lungs and teeth, etc will prove less costly in the long run, rather than waiting for that problem

to develop. • Get the look: It’s 2012, and those long nails and a matted coat are soooo last year, so take Fido to the poodle parlour for a bit of pampering. After all, who wants to cuddle a sticky pooch? If your groomer can’t resolve coat problems, then it’s back to the vet for advice in order to rule out any suspected underlying medical problems. • Watch the weight: Read the feeding guidelines on your pet’s food and follow them carefully. Overweight animals face a number of health risks. Lay off the scraps and too many treats and, if your pet is not already on a well-balanced, topquality dried pet food diet, now is the time to

consider one. However, never change your dog’s diet overnight, especially if he’s a puppy. Do it gradually, in order to avoid tummy upsets. Ask your vet for advice if unsure. • Poison-proof your home: Are there dangerous toxins lurking in your cupboards? The home can be a minefield for dogs and cats. Lock those poisons away today, get rid of any toxic plants and create a safe environment for your animals. • ID: Microchip your pets and get them a new collar and ID tag. Make sure your information is accurate and, if it changes – such as you get a new mobile phone number or move house –

update it now. • Basic training: Teach your dog basic commands and good manners, such as Sit, Stay and Heel, and always reward him for good behaviour. • Pet phobias: Have you noticed your dog/cat sometimes gets scared? If so, investigate. Find out what causes their fears and help them cope. A good dog trainer can be very helpful here. • Pet boarding: Booked the family holiday yet? Then check out boarding facilities or pet sitters now before the best ones are booked. Happy 2012! For more information, log on to or email me at

18 GAZETTE 12 January 2012


Supported by AIB

Interview: Donna Mitchell Murphy, owner Zumba Fitness Blanchardstown

Bitten by the dancing bug DONNA Mitchell Murphy teaches at Zumba Fitness Blanchardstown. She grew up in north Dublin and danced in various shows and competitions around Ireland. She always wanted to become a professional dancer and always loved music. While at school, Donna worked part-time in a pharmacy. She studied at evening college, receiving her diplomas. She heard about Zumba Fitness, and knew instantly she would love being back at what she always wanted to do. She set herself a challenge to train with a ZES (Zumba Education Specialist) Hermann Melo. Hermann trained Donna in a programme that was going to take her into a whirlwind of changes. The Zumba® workout provides

long-term fitness benefits through exhilarating, high calorie-burning fitness classes. “I get to share this enjoyment with everyone that walks through the door and I absolutely love it,” she says. “I also run Zumba events. The next one open to the public is for www. on January 27, 2012 at Wanderers’ Rugby new clubhouse; €10 minimum donation to enter with 100% of donations going to the charity. ZES Hermann Melo will be our guest. “I really hope to see you at one of my classes; I promise you will feel the benefits of the workout.” For more information, call Donna on 0873221120 or email her ar

Zumba instructor, Donna Mitchell Murphy


Bliss: Brides bagging bargains at Wedding Journal Show 2012 IRISH Brides could save €€€€s at this

year’s Wedding Journal Show, which takes place in the Citywest Complex from the January 13-15. Everyone who buys a ticket online or at the show will be automatically entered into a prize draw to win a dream wedding package worth a staggering €25k. The prize includes a wedding reception from Ballymagarvey Village, a luxury honeymoon with Sunway Holidays and Cyprus Tourism Organisation, wedding dress and Two Birds bridesmaid dresses from Frilly Frocks, room dressing from Frog Prince, photography by Laura Faherty and wedding rings from The Wedding Ring Shop. Brides attending the show will be spoilt for choice, with the Irish Independent Style Stage hosted by Sinead Desmond, an internationally renowned bridal catwalk show, dedicated Irish Designer Zone, a Champagne Bar and much, much more. Visit for details.

Q: What’s currently on your desk that shouldn’t be? A: I’d like to say a glass of

ways wanted to listen to Top of the Pops but my family wanted to watch football. I always won because I was a whinger.

champagne, but it’s an ice-cold bottle of Perroni and a slice of Dominos

Q: What was your first job? A: I’ve always worked in pharmacy for the same owner, Fergus Hoban. I actually only left Touchstone Pharmacy, Mulhuddart Village, recently. I still gate-crash their Christmas parties though!

*based on standard industry measurements


Q: Is there anything about yourself that you would like to set the record straight on? A: I’m actually a shy person. But, when I teach, I am not shy. There is something in the music that makes me go crazy

Q: What sport do you follow? A: Like many women, I have no

Q: Have you ever done a job you loathed? A: Yes, I tried Beauty and I

choice but to follow football. At home they are fanatics, so I just go with the flow

HATED waxing

Q: What sport can you play? A: I cycle, run and swim quite

Q: What is the best thing about your job? A: I build new friendships with everyone that comes through my door. They laugh their heads off as they leave my class all covered in sweat. This makes my job very enjoyable

Q: Have you achieved anything that you once thought you could not pull of? A: Yes, I planned a wedding in Italy for a great couple. I thought I was going to die (I’m super dramatic)

Q: What part of your working day do you ‘delegate’? A: I’m independent, so I have



Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be? A: I wanted to be a dancer. I al-

no one to delegate too. I ask my students to open the door if the mirrors are steaming up, that would be it

often. I’d love to surf but, knowing me, I’d drown first time

Q: What habits would you like to lose? A: I get really nervous over silly things. I also pick at things when I’m uncomfortable. I’ve just been told by my orthodontist that I have a dislocated jaw, might be from talking too much

Q: At the moment, what are you looking forward to? A: I am going to the very first Zumba Fitness Convention in London in February, where I will be one of the first instructors in the world to be trained in the new Zumba SENTAO programme

Q: What is your guilty music/ TV or movie pleasure?

A: Zumba Zumba Zumba! I love Erasure, love the 80’s music and classical music. I try stay “with it” so I enjoy Rihanna, Danza Kuduro and David Guetta. For movies, for How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days I roll around laughing, my eyes water everytime. On TV, Desperate Housewives and Boardwalk Empire

Q: Who best represents modern Ireland –David Norris or Jedward? A: Jedward all the way. They’re so happy, we should try to be more happy like those pair

Q: What music/pictures/movies do you have on your iPod/ iPad? A: Pictures of my family at Christmas; I’ve not uploaded them yet. Music, about 3,000 Zumba Classics.

Q: What was your last Tweet/ status update? A: And it’s done. First Zumba Fitness class of 2012 happened at Dance Addiction Dublin and it was FANTASTIC. Thank you to all, old and new students, it was really great to see you all there. Roll on MONDAY!

Q: Describe your dream meal? A: Chinese food from Wongs,

would be afraid to speak to Enda Kenny as it would end up in a massive argument

Q: How many pairs of shoes do you own? A: Ha! Did my mam tell you to ask me this? I own about 60 pairs of shoes, BUT only 20 are really good ones that live in their actual boxes and have their own shelf

Q: What was your worst holiday experience? A: Oh, has to be losing my luggage when I was six months pregnant. We were in a very “skimpy” part of the world and their bikini’s left very little to the imagination.

Q: Describe your dream holiday? A: My dream holiday is Florida. I’ve been before many times and I absolutely love it. I get to go on the HULK and Dueling Dragons with the kids. I’d go back year after year with the boys. You’re never too young or old for Florida

Q: What would be your dream job? A: I’m doing it. My dream was to be a dancer and it’s here with me now

or a huge Steak from The Chop House. I love good food

Q: What do you plan to do when you retire? A: Travel the world. I want to

Q: Who would you rather have dinner with – Enda Kenny or Dame Edna? A: Oh God, Dame Edna. I

visit North Africa first and help some areas there. Then, I’m on planes, trains and automobiles… best get saving so!

12 January 2012 GAZETTE 19








Listen to your heart: Not your head

Go ahead and get slimmer this year

WESTLIFE’S Nicky Byrne is set to return this January as the encouraging voice on the Irish Heart Foundation heart attack awareness campaign, which urges Irish men to call 999 if they think they are having a heart attack. The Listen to your heart, not your head TV and radio campaign sponsored by AstraZeneca was inspired by the singer’s personal loss of his loving father, Nikki Byrne Senior, in November 2009. Together he and his family – mother Yvonne, sister Gillian and brother Adam – raised vital funding for the national charity fighting heart disease and stroke, to dispel the myth of the Hollywood heart attack and help save more lives by urging men to call 999 before it’s too late. This January, the third and final instalment will appear on Irish TV screens from January 16, featuring the antics of unforgettable animated characters “heart” and “head” created by Rothco. The Irish Heart Foundation’s free booklet, A man’s guide to heart health supported by the HSE, is also available, call 01-6685001or at Pictured here are Michael O’Shea, chief executive, Irish Heart Foundation, Nicky Byrne, Westlife and Johnny O’Toole, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in Ireland.

Educogym can help with the ‘battle of the bulge’ WITH more sedentary lifestyles here to stay, two-thirds of Irish people currently overweight and the excesses of Christmas sitting firmly on waists, innovative ways to tackle fitness and nutrition are needed in our ongoing “battle of the bulge”. On average, people gain 5 lbs (2 kg) in the fourweek Christmas period. The average turkey dinner contains more calories than the average adult needs in an entire day (for many, it’s almost double the daily amount). It can also contain the amount of fat grammes required for an entire week. The Christmas meal is not the biggest problem. To put on 1lb of body fat, you need to eat an extra 3,500 calories – not that hard to achieve on Christmas Day. Remember, it takes the stomach about 15-20




‘Industry figures show that 90% of members in a typical ‘warehouse’ gym stop going after three months’


Komal after only eight Komal before training

months training with

with educogym


minutes to signal the brain that it is full. By then, we’ve usually overeaten, especially during the holidays. But, this one day of excess is not the real issue, it’s the weeks before and after lead-

ing into New Year that pushes up that dress size and makes those trouser waists strain over that bulging tum! “We’re getting fatter and fatter, although more of us are joining gyms and trying new diets,

than ever before,” says Jamie Myerscough, of health and fitness group, educogym. So, should the answer be, after Christmas, to go on a low-calorie diet and take up aerobic exercise? Not necessarily. “Traditional low-calorie diets and aerobic exercise cause you to lose muscle, and the loss of muscle slows down your metabolic rate, which is the rate at which you burn food and body fat for energy. Once you stop the low-calorie diet and exercising, you quickly gain the fat you lost, plus more,” he says.

“The problem gets worse as we age”, says Jamie. “As we start to lose muscle from our 30s onwards, leading to a slower metabolism, lower energy levels and increasing weight. However, with the right approach, people of all ages can recover lost muscle, stay in shape and improve their organ function.

De-motivated “Industry figures show that 90% of members in a typical ‘warehouse’ gym stop going after three months. They become de-motivated, and waste a lot of time using equip-

ment incorrectly.” As it turns out, a careful combination of 20-minute exercise sessions that will burn fat and build muscle, complemented with a balanced nutritional eating plan is an effective weapon against the expanding waistline. educogym is offering free consultations for the month of January. People concerned about their ever-increasing waistline can get advice on their weight, lifestyle, body fat, muscle, diet and achievable goals. Contact educogym on 1850 737 737, email or log onto www.facebook. com/myeducogym Free waist measurements consultations are available at educogym Dundrum Town Centre, Blackrock, Dublin Docklands and Naas.

HEALTHIER biscuit brand, go ahead!, are now teaming up with Unislim, the Irish-owned health and slimming company, to offer customers a great saving of €20 on a six-week Unislim membership. Kicking off the New Year with a good start couldn’t be easier with these three simple steps: 1. Purchase any go ahead! pack 2. Take your till receipt to any of the 180 Unislim classes nationwide 3. Then save €20 on six weeks membership! (Joining fee and six classes RRP €70, for the price of €50) We all know how difficult it can be to find great tasting snacks that can be enjoyed as part of a healthier lifestyle. go ahead! have carefully selected the perfect balance of ingredients to create their delicious on-the-go range for the perfect healthy alternative for snacking. Along with reduced saturated fat, the go ahead! range also contains a selection of vitamins including: calcium, iron, niacin, riboflavin (B2), vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin B6 and thiamin (B1)). Go ahead Fruit Bakes are now equivalent to one portion of your daily fruit and vegetable requirements. The range also encompasses a variety of snacks and flavours from Ireland’s favourite Forest Fruit Yogurt Breaks, Orange & Sultanta Crispy Fruit Slices and also delicious Apple Bakes.


20 GAZETTE 12 January 2012






Kelly Home Fitness range from Tesco AS the New Year begins and resolutions are made, many will be aiming to lose a couple of pounds following the festive season, and Tesco is on hand to help with some fantastic savings now available on the exclusive Kelly Holmes Fitness range. Kettle Bell

Loose fit vest, €16.50


Dame Kelly Holmes, the double Olympic Gold winner, has collaborated with Tesco to design a range of quality sports clothing and equipment, which includes exercise essentials that are perfect for those keen to work out at home. The equipment range includes the popular Kelly Holmes Weighted Gym Ball now just €13.33 (normally €20)

and the Kelly Holmes Exercise Mat, €14.67 (normally €22). The versatile Kelly Holmes Adjustable Kettle Bell now just €23.33 (normally €35) will provide you with a total body workout and, for those hoping to achieve a washboard stomach, the Kelly Holmes Balance Board at just €18.33 (normally €27.50) is another workout essential.

The fitness range also includes some stylish workout wardrobe stables, including a loose-fit vest top or a black tank top just €16.50 each and comfortable yoga pants at just €18.50. The Kelly Holmes Fitness range is available in selected Tesco stores nationwide. For details on your nearest Tesco store, and to check availability, log onto

Sibutramine was withdrawn from use as a medicine in Ireland and across the entire EU U in early 2010

Hidden dangers of taking Sibutramine THE Irish Medicines Board has issued a strong precautionary message for consumers on the health dangers of taking any slimming products containing Sibutramine. The IMB stated that Sibutramine was withdrawn from use as a medicine in Ireland and across the entire EU in early 2010, due to the increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Warning Specifically, the IMB is warning consumers not to purchase particular slimming products which may be available illegally online, as packs of those products have been found to contain Sibutramine (often fraudulently not declared in the ingredients listed on the pack). It is advising consumers to dispose of any of the products that they have listed on their web-

site ( that they may have, and, if they are feeling any illeffects after taking any of these products, to contact their doctor immediately. The IMB has seen an incremental and progressive rise in its detentions of illegal Sibutramine containing products in recent times, in cooperation with Revenue Customs. Between 2009 and 2011 there has been a 600% increase in the number of these types of products detained. According to John Lynch, director of compliance at the IMB, people should avoid buying these products as they have been found to contain Sibutramine and are illegal medicines. “We are identifying Sibutramine-containing products that, in some cases, are labelled as containing only natural ingredients. In addition,

the packaging is often quite sophisticated and is intended to convince purchasers they are buying legal and safe products. The products are often presented as natural slimming aids but many do not refer to Sibutramine in their packaging and are deliberately misleading consumers. “Some of these medicines have been shown to contain too little or too much of the active ingredient while others contain the wrong active ingredient altogether or contain an additional active ingredient not listed on the packaging,” he said. Safe disposal

Anyone who wishes to safely dispose of any of these products can contact the IMB in confidence on 01-6343436. In the meantime, the products should be stored

safely out of the sight and reach of others. For further information consumers are urged to access the IMB leaflet, Dangers of Buying Medicines Online, which is available on the IMB’s website at http://www. The IMB has consistently stressed the dangers of buying medicines online and urges consumers not to risk their health by using illegal medicines. There can be no guarantees as to the safety, quality or effectiveness of these products. The supply of prescription only medicines via the internet is illegal and no online pharmacy is authorised to operate in Ireland. Consumers are additionally advised that they risk losing their money and credit card details when they buy from rogue websites.

12 January 2012 GAZETTE 21

Hands-only CPR to save lives THE Irish Heart Foundation has backed the latest UK TV campaign featuring Hollywood actor, Vinnie Jones, promoting hands-only CPR to help save lives from sudden cardiac arrest. In the new TV advert, which airs on Irish screens this month, tough man Jones urges untrained bystanders to “give the kiss a miss” during CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and concentrate on giving just chest compressions to the beat of the Bee Gee’s pop classic,

Stayin’ Alive. Ireland’s national charity fighting heart disease and stroke has welcomed the campaign created by their counter par ts in the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to tackle the barriers to the public performing CPR in an emergency. A poll by the BHF showed nearly half of people were put off helping because of a lack of knowledge about CPR and a fifth of respondents worried specifically about the

thought of the kiss of life or catching an infectious disease. According to Irish Heart Foundation resuscitation expert Brigid Sinnott, the same barriers exist here. She said: “Here in Ireland we know that as little as a third of cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR. Many people are afraid to give CPR in an emergency because of their lack of knowledge and many more are put off by the thought of having to give the kiss of life. The new British Heart

Foundation advert has hit the nail on the head – regardless if you have been trained or not, if someone collapses unconscious in front of you, call 999 and start giving strong chest compressions to the beat of Stayin’ Alive to keep a good tempo. The reality is that about 60% of collapses occur in front of family or friends, which is why we need to encourage everyone to give hands CPR a try. It really can mean the difference between life and death.”

The new TV advert, showing throughout January, will reveal a compassionate side to Vinnie Jones as he performs hands-only CPR to Stayin’ Alive in a deserted warehouse, flanked by two dancing henchmen. To watch the BHF TV ad, see Chest compressions with rescue breaths will continue to be part of gold standard CPR and taught during formal training, including on the Irish Heart Foundation courses.


A healthbased approach to local home care In 2010, Dublin nurses Alice Lucey and Caitriona O’Donovan decided to open Be Independent Home Care in response to reports regarding substandard home care providers. Alice and Catriona are both registered general nurses and are passionate believers that every person has the right to remain in their own home by accessing quality care and support. To do this, they have carefully recruited and trained a dedicated team of qualified home care assistants who provide one-on-one, assistance, support and care to clients in their own home, helping them retain their

independence. All care assistants are fully trained and undergo a thorough security vetting process. Once assigned to a client case the care team are closely supervised by nurse managers. This premium home care and home help ser vice is provided throughout Dublin and surrounds, it is a flexible service and is available from a few hours a day up to 24 hours. As health care professionals, Caitriona and Alice are keen to assist in keeping people healthy, fit and safe, and have been busy throughout the winter months hosting free seminars to advise



Caitriona O’Donovan of Be Independent Home Care

older people how to stay healthy. Caitriona says: “Our objective at Be Independent Home Care is to help assist individuals to remain healthy and independent and so presenting on subjects such as exercise, diet and stress management within the communities that we operate in is an impor-

tant part of what we aim to achieve.” In addition to hosting free Wellness seminars throughout Dublin, Be Independent Home Care believe in building relationships with their multidisciplinary colleagues in the communities that they operate in as this ensures the best possible service to clients. To this

end Be Independent Home Care has recently teamed up with McCabes Pharmacy to help their clients access top quality pharmacy advice and services. For further information, please contact Be Independent Home Care on (01) 8283030 or www.

22 GAZETTE 12 January 2012


Edited by Mimi Murray

FastTravel Treat yourselves, and your pooch, to Tankardstown House ESCAPE to Tankardstown House, just outside Slane, for a winter break with your partner and pooch. Amble through the estate woodlands and fields and return to a pamper facial for the humans in the therapy room, whilst, outside, the hotel’s professional groomer gives your pooch the full shampoo and set, pedicure and blow dry. Accommodation is in one of their beautifully appointed courtyard cottages, and dinner is in their a la carte Restaurant, Brabazon, and breakfast the following morning is included, all for two guests. Doggy Breakfast can be arranged at no extra cost. The rate is €350 subject to availability. Visit for details.

A view across the Bosphorous river of Istanbul’s stunning Blue Mosque


Take a spiritual journey in 2012 to the popular Medjugorje IF YOUR New Year resolution is to take a spiritual journey unlike any other, then the popular pilgrimage site of Medjugorje could be just what you are looking for. Located in the heart of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Medjugorje is one of the most popular pilgrimage sights in the world, and is visited by thousands of pilgrims each year. Joe Walsh Tours Pilgrimage Tours to Medjugorje include a full religious programme, which comprises a tour of the Shrine, daily Masses, a guided visit of the Apparition Hill (Podbrdo) and the Cross Mountain (Krizevac), organised talks with the local Franciscan priests, a guided visit of the Blue Cross and a guided visit to the Cennacolo Community, Candle Light procession and Mysteries of Light every Tuesday evening, evening programme of prayer every evening and a meeting with one of the Visionaries wherever possible. Book your pilgrimage tour to Medjugorje with Joe Walsh Tours now, and you could save up to €100 off your trip. Pay for your trip in full before the February 1, and you will make a saving of €100* per person, or just pay a deposit before February 1 and you will save €50* per person. *Valid on seven-night departures only from Dublin, Cork, Knock and Shannon from June 1 to October 24, 2012, excluding August 1 or any Youth Festival departure and June 20 or any anniversary departure. Child discounts or any other discounts do not apply with this offer. For further information, or to book your Medjugorje trip, visit

Istanbul’s unique split personality --------------------------


STANBUL is a beautiful city with lots to offer. Situated on either side of the Bosporus Strait that separates Europe from Asia, the city straddles two continents making it truly unique, where east really does meet west. Take a guided half-day city tour, which includes the Saint Sophia Museum, Ancient Hippodrome, Egyptian Obelisks and the Blue Mosque. Puff contentedly on a nargile (water pipe) in the shadow of an Ottoman mosque, hop on a ferry across to Asia to take in an opera, admire the latest in contemporary art at the Istanbul Modern or wonder at the stunning Byzantine mosaics in the Church of St Saviour in Chora. Dance the night away

Puff contentedly on a nargile (water pipe) in the shadow of an Ottoman mosque



The hustle and bustle at the centuries-old Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

at a Bosphorus-front club, chill over a cocktail and admire the panoramic views from a chic rooftop bar, haggle for a sumptuous Turkish carpet in a centuries-old bazaar or gaze at the exquisitely tiled interior of the Blue Mosque. Food is exotic and you can enjoy an outdoor meal at a Bosphorus-front fish restaurant, or Turkish coffee at a pavement cafe.

There are a number of hotels to choose from in the Old Town or Taksim Square. Stay at the 4-star Time Hotel, that offers free WI-FI and affordable accommodation in the heart of Istanbul, close to the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, and Topkapi P alace. It costs €175. The 4-star Amethyst Hotel is located at the heart of historical penin-

sula and the shopping centre of Istanbul and lies within walking distance to the Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Basilica Cistern. This hotel costs €195. The 4-star Konak Hotel is located at the centre of the Taksim area, which offers shopping, nightlife, restaurants, bars, clubs, convention centres, museums and historical

places, all within walking distance. Konak costs €210 for the duration of your stay. The 4-star Larespark Hotel is set at the heart of the lively and famous Taksim Square, close to the Akmerkez Shopping Centre, Saint-Sophia, Maiden’s Tower, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar and many more. This hotel costs €210 for the stay. Flights to Istanbul non-stop cost from €351. For more details on this deal, go to www.gohop. ie.

12 January 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 23


WITH 2012 moving along, The Pavilion is already treating music fans to an eclectic range of shows. One such show to look out for is Singing Nina, which sees Chicago jazz queen Karen Underwood and her band bring the music of Nina Simone to life on Friday, January 20. Mixing Nina’s music with her life story, music and jazz fans will be delighted with the show, which celebrates Nina’s music in wonderful style. See Singing Nina at 8pm, with tickets priced €16/€18.

MILL THEATRE 01 296 9340

Mary Coghlan - The House of ill repute THE Mill Theatre is another Dublin landmark with a great performance lined up for the start of 2012, courtesy of Irish singer/songwriter, Mary Coghlan. With such a diverse body of work to choose from, as well as her new album, The House of Ill Repute, as well as her engaging and honest engagement with fans, they will be in for a treat when she takes to the stage on Saturday, January 14. Her concert will start at 8pm, with tickets priced €18.

DRAIOCHT 01 885 2622 Coolmine Panto Group

“All right, all right, we admit it – it’s a bad film ...” Some of the cast from The Darkest Hour, which sees a group of plucky youngsters in Moscow banding together to survive a full-scale alien invasion. Unfortunately, the film they star in is simply dim, dim, dim ...

A one-star blunder

You won’t be Russian out to see this Moscow-set mix of sci-fi, horror, action, suspense – and lashings of silliness Q KATE CROWLEY

WHO, when facing into the year that the Mayans thought spelt the end of the world, wouldn’t want to see a film about the end of the world? Actually, scratch that – only lazy scaremongers bother bleating about 2012 being the ancient Mayan’s year of death (unfortunately, I can’t write that with the requisite number of words in capital letters and superfluous exclamation marks, owing to something the backroom boys at Gazette Towers call “house style”), seeing as it doesn’t actually, technically mean the end of the world. Why, if I dug up Ye Olde Mayane right now, blew the dust off his head, and had a rather unpleasant chat about human sacrifices and the trouble of feeding a growing population with ever-failing crops, he’d almost certainly eventually say that

FILM OF THE WEEK: The Darkest Hour + (15A) 88 mins Director: Chris Gorak Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor, glowy killer invisible blobby things

OUR VERDICT: NATURALLY wary of films that can’t even crawl to the meagre 90-minute mark, it’s hard not to feel that The Darkest Hour is a little – wait for it – light in the bright idea department, coming on like a fusion of, well, take your pick. Still, top marks for being another one of those films that help train the mind on reading, going for a walk, calling home, doing laundry – anything other than sitting through this.

the end of the world is nothing to do with Mayans, beautiful Miss Crowley, but can probably be pinned on aliens instead. Thanks for that top tip, Mr Mayan. And, now that you mention it, in a notso-shocking twist, here’s a film about that very topic! The Darkest Hour sees a couple of Bright Young Americans (or BoYAs, as I’ll call ’em) – don’t bother wondering who, folks, as they’re unlikely to be clutching an Oscar any time soon – naturally hitting it off in Moscow with pretty girls.

Hurrah! Because what audience doesn’t automatically root for pampered young Americans living it up abroad? [Note to The Gazette subs: Do try to inject extra wryness there, do, with the suggestion of a raised eyebrow, a la Roger Moore. Thanks, boys.] Unfor tunately, the BoYAs have chosen just the wrong moment to hit Moscow for a holiday, owing to the sudden and complete loss of all electrical power, followed by the unexpected arrival of glowing-but-mostly-invisible balls of pure energy.

Hungry energy. All lifeform-consuming energy. Planet conquering-energy. Yup, they’re aliens. Yikes. If there’s one thing that’s even less welcome on your holiday abroad than the minibar bill, it’s the sight – or unsight? – of invading aliens. Of course, I know that, in real life, a bare-chested Vladimir Putin would (probably) be riding a bear around Red Square, shaking a tree at the sky and growling. Here, however, the only shaking to be done is that of knees, as the BoYAs, and friends and frienemies, collectively run, hide, die horribly ... you know, the usual. Luckily, and without straining credibility any more than the rest of the film – brain, get back here, now, now I said, now – it’s not so long before the BoYAs have wound up with some heavily-armed survivors.

In the now deserted city, and armed to the teeth with the obligatory just-happened-to-belying-around heavy weaponry that they soon end up with – and I so expect to wield Molotovs in Moscow, too – the BoYAs have to somehow fight to survive, while the eerily empty city is destroyed all around them. It’s time to take it to the streets. To the max! It’s onnnnnn! I have absolutely no real idea what these things mean, but they’re the kind of things my dear Crowleyetta would say at this film’s climax. The Darkest Hour. Humph. The lights may have been on, but noone was home when they were bashing this nonsense out. I love dumb invasion flicks as much as anyone – remember my stupidly kind score for Skyline, folks? – but this one is definitely a mission to miss-cow...

STILL delighting audiences at Draiocht, Coolmine Panto Group’s Christmas pantomime has been a real hit, and, this year, sees the talented group tackling Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Famillies will love the talented group’s work, as they bring the classic tale to viviid life. The show runs until Sunday, January 15, with tickets priced €20. Fur full details of the upcoming shows, see Draiocht’s website at

24 SWORDS GAZETTE 12 January 2012

GazetteMOTORS MOTORS RoadSigns Road Signs Ford claims the top spot for 2011 ACCORDING to figures released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), the Ford Focus retained its title as Ireland’s top-selling car in 2011. The Focus joined Ford’s Fiesta, C-MAX, Galaxy and Transit as top sellers in their respective segments. Focus sold a total of 4,209 units during the year to top the sales chart, placing the nameplate 242 units ahead of its nearest competitor, the VW Golf. The Fiesta also retained its place as one of Ireland’s favourites by selling 2,938 units, a level of sales that guaranteed it a top 10 spot at sixth place and ensured it was the top seller in the small car segment. Eddie Murphy, chairman and managing director of Ford Ireland, said: “We are thrilled that new Focus is, again, Ireland’s favourite car. With the new model arriving late in the first quarter, outside of the normally brisk sales period at the start of the year, there was a danger that the model would be playing catch-up, but, thanks to the outstanding market reaction to the new model, that has not been the case,” he said.

The Skoda Superb Combi 4x4 inspires comfort for both driver and passengers, with unparalleled legroom in the back seats

The Skoda Superb is simply exceptional CORMAC CURTIS Motoring correspondent

OK, so we didn’t get the deluge of snow that we

were all living in fear of this winter, and, no doubt, that is going to put a dent in the sales of 4x4 SUVs, for now. But, it is still worth taking a look at a few of the all-wheel drive cars that are available – if you feel you might need a little more grunt in your regular motor. I must admit, one of the very few 4x4s I have driven recently was the Skoda Superb Combi, so I can’t make too many direct comparisons. I’m not afraid to say that I am a shameless fan of Skoda, and have yet to meet a model I don’t enjoy driving – but what they have done with the estate version of the popular, if not oddly-named, Superb, is nothing short of extraordinary. Without fear of contradiction, I can say that there has never been an example of an estate car that I prefer above its saloon equivalent, until now. It’s practically a motor industry commandment – thou shalt not outshine your executive four-door stable-mate! But the Superb Combi is a stag-

SPECS: SKODA SUPERB COMBI 2.0TDI 4X4 Top speed: 219km/h 0 – 100km/hr: 9.0 sec Economy: 6.2 l/100km combined Emissions: 163 g/km Test car Price: €38,295

geringly attractive car. The longer, stretched back door that opens up into the cavernous rear seats and boot simply fits the overall proportion of the estate far better than the saloon model – where it just looks a bit too long and makes the boot appear a little stubby. The front end has been beautifully designed, and features Bi-Xenon headlamps with AFS (Adaptive Frontlight System) that are not only visually attractive, they also provide exceptional visibility when negotiating difficult corners. For my money, though, it’s the side profile of the Suberp Combi that leaves its competitors in the shade. The simple contours, highlighted with chrome accents, follow a grad-

ual dip towards the rear of the car that simply draws your eyes across an incredibly appealing body shape. This is a handsome car that easily stands sideby-side with any other premium German saloon – and, yes, that includes the BMW 5 Series. In fact, if I was spending my own money on a premium estate car – it would be the Superb over the 5 Series any day of the week. Putting the car’s looks to one side for a moment, the interior too deserves to have credit heaped upon it. The model I drove made me feel positively cocooned, with its leather upholstery, understated dashboard, dual-zone climate control, heated seats and elegant walnut trim. Everything about the inside of the car inspired comfort – and the legroom in the rear would make some businessclass airlines blush with embarrassment. The amount of luggage space, as well as the various combinations of folding seats, would make

transporting even the most unusually shaped luggage a simple affair Another feature that elevates this car into the premium range of estates, is the parallel parking assistant. This was the first time I got to try this feature in any car, and it really didn’t disappoint. The system operates by using its parking sensors to measure the distance between it and the cars next to and behind it. It is a most unusual sensation to let go of the steering wheel and control the speed as the car takes care of manoeuvring itself precisely into the space. It almost feels redundant mentioning the exceptional sound system, Columbus SatNav equipment and Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, but the Superb Combi does boast an embarrassment of these features. Simply put – a car like this priced at €38,295 represents exceptional value, and, for someone with an eye for quality over branding, the Skoda Superb Combi is unbeatable.

12 January 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 25


26 SWORDS GAZETTE 12 January 2012






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28 SWORDS GAZETTE 12 January 2012

GazetteSPORT FastSport


Dublin start with a staccato win over Carlow in cup opener: Page 31

Four wheels good, two wheels better

JAMIE MASTERSON came late to the motor racing game when he was 17, but has progressed to the top Meteors continue good run levels of the sport in Ireland, thanks to dedication of form in SuperLeague METEORS secured their fourth consecutive women’s SuperLeague win after they inflicted further woes on the Oblate Dynamos with a 55-49 success to continue their good form despite the Christmas break. Ahead of the game, the Dublin side had a fifty percent record in the league, and their win has allowed them to tip their win-loss record in the right direction. “It was a very scrappy game, very defensive”, said Meteors’ head coach, Hugh Kilbride. “We are delighted to get our fourth consecutive win, and are confident as we look forward to the next three games.” Rebecca Nagle top-scored with 11 points, while Sarah Doyle and Fiona Meaney added nine each. DCU Mercy, meanwhile, eased past Liffey Celtics, who remain firmly rooted to the bottom of the Nivea Women’s SuperLeague table following six straight defeats in the league. DCU Mercy continued their excellent league record while maintaining third place in the league standings, winning out 77-34. “We are happy with the win,” said DCU head coach, Mark Ingle. “Everyone played well, and we had a good spread of scoring with five of our players in double figures.”

Get walking into the new year with FCC FINGAL County Council are holding a three-kilometre walk at Newbridge Demense, Donabate, on Saturday, January 14, to help kickstart a healthy 2012. Fingal residents are encouraged to come along to the walk, which will begin from the front of Newbridge House at

JAMIE Masterson, from Laurel Lodge, Dublin 15, runs a small racing team, Jamie Masterson Racing (JMR), who have been competing at the top level in Irish motorsports for the past ten years, and is an prime example of what you can achieve when your dedication to your sport takes you in new and unexpected directions. Jamie, who is now 27 years old, was a relatively late starter in the world of motorsport when, at the ripe old age 17, he started racing karts in the Rotax Max national championships in 2002. In a very competitive class, it wasn’t long before Jamie got his first race win under his belt with a win at the home of Irish motor racing,

Mondello Park in that same season. Building on that success allowed Jamie to move up to the saloon car class, in which he made his debut in the Fiat Uno Championship

and wins in Britain and Ireland, which helped him to eventually win the 2005 Irish Championship. Then, 2006 saw another big step. “I jumped into the


‘I’m in full race mode now, to help take me to my goal for 2012 - to be Irish clubman superbike champion. We’re hoping that it’ll bring us victory’ --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

in the 2003/4 season, with several podium finishes that year. An obvious natural and developing confidence behind the wheel, Jamie and his team dominated the class with consistant podium finishes

Fiat Punto Championship, taking another step up, and come the end of that year, I was crowned champion in my first year in the series. “Most memorably, I took the JMR-prepared Punto to double victories

11am on the day. For more information, see Fingal County Council’s Sports Office’s Facebook page. An added incentive to take part is that the Council Sports Office are giving away a Nintendo Wii to a lucky Facebook follower who likes their Facebook page., www.facebook. com/FingalSports, with the winner to be announced on Saturday. Jamie Masterson in action on his Suzuki superbike last year

in the prestigious Phoenix Park motor races which, being a local lad, is my home race.” After a two-year break, Jamie came back to motor sport with a new focus in mind - motorcycle racing. “I first started just doing track days on an old GSXR600 racebike to see if I had what it took to be a motorcycle racer. The opportunity was there and I just thought I would try it out. “It didn’t take long for my motorcycle abilities to come through as I quickly got to terms with such a different style of racing.” For 2010, Jamie purchased an ex-world Supersport Yamaha R6 on which he would contest the 2011 Supersport 600 championship. He undertook an intensive round of pre-season testing to try get to terms with the competition who were more used to the full-blown race bikes before the season got into full swing. “One of the most imprtant things in motor sport is getting noticed, and, I was lucky enough to start getting some attention after I claimed some podium finishes, and after a while, I was standing on the top step with a handful of wins under my belt.” On top of this growing success over the years, Jamie has taken the deci-

sion, along with his team, to purchase a new bike for the 2012 season, the top spec 2008 Suzuki GSXR1000 super bike. “Very little on this bike is standard, and we are hoping it will bring us to victory in 2012,” said Jamie. “I got one race on the new bike in October when we entered in the final televised round of the Mondello Masters championship, when the team made our first TV appearance on a motorcycle. “I found myself really gelling with the bike from the word go, and managed to get JMR on the front row of the grid in fourth position - Not bad considering that I had never sat on the seat of the bike before, let alone ridden in the wet conditions.” Now, 2012 looks likely to be even more promising. “I’m in full race mode now, with off-season training in the gym and plenty of motocross riding to get my fitness up to help me not only win a superbike race next year but take me to my goal for 2012, to be Irish clubman superbike champion, and the testing for that starts in January for the championship kickoff in March.” We will be keeping an eye on his progress throughout what promises to be an exciting year for JMR.

12 January 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 29

30 SWORDS GAZETTE 12 January 2012

GazetteSport Sport FastSport

Fingal finish fifth in national indoor contest FINGAL closed their indoor hockey campaign with a 3-1 loss to reigning national champions Three Rock Rovers at Loughlinstown last Sunday to see them end the group stages in fifth place. David Bane’s side matched the south Dublin outfit in a scoreless first half but were stung by a couple of goals early in the second by Garry Ringwood and Ross Canning. Luke Hayden brought his side back into contention but Jody Hosking completed the win for Rovers, who topped the group with five successive wins and went on to the national finals in Gormanstown. Fingal, meanwhile, have a fortnight off before resuming their outdoor campaign with a league date against Pembroke on January 28.

50 not out for Swords Celtic in 2012 SWORDS Celtic FC make their return to competitive action this weekend as the club start the 2012 campaign in what is their silver jubilee year. The club, which formed in 1962, will be holding a range of celebratory events through the course of the year and will hope to add league and cup successes to their silverware this year. The Under-17 Premier side, who are four points clear

at the top of their league, are away to Woodlawn, while the Under-17 B team, currently in second place, six points behind the leaders with three games less played, face the same opponents at home. The Under-15s are in joint second place in the Under-15B league, three points behind leaders, Lusk United, and they face Clontarf at home. Elsewhere, the Under-12 Premier side face Maynooth away from home, while the Under-14A and the Under-16 Premier sides both have a week off from league action.


Swords RFC’s firsts claimed the scalp of Wexford away from home last weekend with a good win on the road

Swords start with away win

SWORDS Rugby Club kicked off the New Year in style with a 12-3 victory away to Wexford last Sunday as the Leinster League resumed for its second phase. Tr i e s f r o m P a d d y Jones and Aiden Forkan saw the ALSAAbased side make the long trip back to Fingal with a well-deserved win under their belts, despite playing with 14 men throughout the second half. And the Black and Greens will be looking to continue their bright start to 2012 at

home against Athy next Sunday, as the business end of the season draws near. Swords took the lead at Park Lane within 15 minutes. The opening score came after wing Dave Gallagher broke out wide, before feeding Forkan, who found Jones, and the hooker touched dow n, with out-half Moriarty tagging on the extras. Forkan himself got in on the act on 30 minutes, taking a flat pass from scrum-half James Kubran and crossing, following good work at the maul by the visitor’s pack, to leave it 12-0 at

Cluskey gets set: Local star training ahead of Davis Cup SWORDS man James Cluskey has delayed his return to the ITF tour in favour of warmweather training on the Costa del Sol when he spent the week tuning up at the SotoTennis academy. With the season kicking into gear around the world, no local options presented themselves to the Irish doubles specialist, with the ITF and Challenger circuit limited to the far-flung locations of New Caledonia, Brazil and China. Cluskey has been on a competitive break from the tour since early October but is currently building up for February’s Davis Cup tie with Hungary.

the break. Wexford managed to pull back a penalty in the second half, but they couldn’t breach the Swords’ defence, nor could the hosts take advantage to come back into the match after full-back Juris Beikmanis was sin-binned midway through the half. Captain Dave Reilly led by example, picking up the man-ofthe-match award, and the Greens will hope for a similar performance this weekend to start 2012 on a double bounce . Swords RFC: J. Beikmanis; J. Gaule, B. Bulfin, A. Forkan,

D. Gallagher; B. Moriarty, J. Kubran; D. Reilly (c), P. Jones, E. O’Hobain; F. Coll, A. McLoughlin; M. Bradley, T. Coffee, S. Mulligan. Subs: C. Linnane, J. Condron, B. Dolan.

Other news Club stalwart Dave Cahill is taking part in an upcoming whitecollar boxing event for charity in the Wright Venue, Swords on Friday February 10. The night will host 15 bouts, with Dave taking on Shane Byrne. The night is in aid of St John’s cancer ward in Crumlin Hospital, which is a very worthy

cause. Tickets for the event are €20. We would encourage ever yone to get out and support Dave on the night. Following that, on Saturday, February 25, there will be a club race night with plenty of prizes and maybe even some surprise jockeys in attendance to help raise funds for Swords Rugby Club. The club also wishes to thank all those who attended Darren Mulvany’s memorial match on December 16, and mourn the passing of Darren’s father, Dermot.

12 January 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 31

in association with


CLUB NOTICEBOARD FINGALLIANS THE club car draw is in full swing with

Holywell pitches will reopen for

seven weeks remaining. Members

training from next Friday, January

are asked to sell a ticket and make


the draw a big success.

Our Grupa Comhra is arais aris,

Membership forms for 2012 have

meeting every Wednesday at 9pm in

now being sent to all members. Extra

the clubhouse. All levels are catered

forms are available in the bar or on

for. Great opportunity to improve

the club website, www.fingallians.

your Gaeilge in a relaxed environ-

ie. Please return all forms to the bar,

ment. Níos mo eolais o Liam 086 381

office or any club mentor.


Next Saturday, January 14, our Academy will resume af ter the Christmas break at 10am. New members are most welcome. The club shop reopens on Saturday from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Please note that Balheary and

This week’s Lotto jackpot will be €3,167.00. Fingallians Ladies competed in the Cross Country League over the weekend. Well done to Brona Snow who produced a great run after a long injury lay off.

FINGAL RAVENS HAPPY New Year to all our mem-

Dublin had too much in the tank at the end of the match for a determined Carlow side

O’BYRNE CUP Carlow Dublin

0-10 0-17


FINGAL Ravens’ Darren Daly star ted for Dublin last Sunday in Dr Cullen Park when the All-Ireland champions got their competitive start to 2012 up and running with a fitful performance to overcome a feisty and determined Carlow. Starting in the fullback line, he helped the Dubs belatedly show a clean pair of heels to Carlow, with a run of eight points to transform a cagey, 0-9 stalemate with a quarter of an hour to go into a more comfor table final result after Mossie Quinn was introduced to blistering effect. It sets up a quart e r- f i n a l d a t e w i t h UCD next Saturday evening in Parnell Park (7.45pm), as Pat Gilroy was able to shuffle his

deck with just 13 players from the 32 who earned Celtic Crosses last September available to him lining out for the Sky Blues away from home in their official opening competitive tie of the season. Micheal McCar t hy w a s a m o n g a series of new faces who impressed when h e d ove t a i l e d w i t h Diarmuid Connolly in the forward line to kick four points. D ave y By r n e w a s looking strong at wingback, while his Ballymun clubmate, Karl Connolly, showed similar battling qualities to those he exhibited to good effect in last week’s Dubs’ Stars tie. Castleknock man Ror y Corcoran was also introduced for a debut from the bench nine minutes from time and kicked a point, too, in the late run as the Dubs transformed their fortunes.

Earlier, with Diarmuid Connolly and Michael Darragh Macauley joining McCarthy as the star attractions in front of a healthy crowd on a good pitch given the time of year, the Sky-Blues moved three points clear after 14 minutes. The regular gremlins for this time of year were in the legs, though, and eight first-half wides did have an impact, with Carlow showing a serious hunger and workrate, with Brendan Murphy powering them forward to challenge their All-Ireland winning opponents. The lead was 0-6 to 0-4 at the break. While Carlow outscored Dublin in the opening phases of the second half to tie the game up at 0-9 each, at times the home side looked like they had the momentum to record a famous scalp. But the depth of Dublin’s panel — despite

We are looking for help in organ-

members, sponsors and all their

ising the event on the night, if you


can help out please text or call Dec-

Well done to Darren Daly and the

Daly start for Dubs in O’Bryne victory absentees due to injury, college-ties and holidays — saw Quinn run riot late on, kicking five points in 23 minutes, while Eamon Fennell was another to make an impact from the bench in a 15-minute cameo appearance. And it was that depth which Pat Gilroy pointed to in his postmatch summation of a shaky victory, that he appeared to think tested the mettle of some of the new recruits. “We introduced some fresh legs for the last 20 minutes and they made a difference,” he said. “We had traded point for point for the first 15 minutes of the second half but after that we seemed to pull away. “Carlow had put in a great effort and they showed what they can do with some great points. So that was a good run-out for us, for the first real game of the new year,” said Gilroy.

intensive training this week.

bers, players, mentors, committee

lan Hannigan on 086-8587231.

Dublin team on a good win away to

Tickets are only €20 each, avail-

Carlow in the cup last Sunday, best

able from Declan 086-2673830 or

of luck to them against UCD in Par-

Alan 087-2364559.

nell Park next Saturday night.

Lotto numbers drawn were 11,

We are holding a white-collar

19, 22 and 26. There was no jack-

boxing event on February 17 in the

pot winner. One winner of €250 for

Wright Venue. Best of luck to all the

matching three numbers was Desy

boxers who start their six-week


ST COLMCILLE’S Adult football training resumes

The club are seeking support to

outdoor on Thursda y at 7.30pm

help kick-start the juvenile sec-

sharp, and will continue each Tues-

tion - any help welcome. Please

day and Thursday at 7.30pm.

let Adam in the bar know if you are

New trainer and management


team will be announced, and a full

Fundraising meeting will take

turnout is requested for the ses-

place on Wednesday, January 18, at


8pm sharp in the clubhouse.

Member ship det ails and subs

Club lotto is held every Monday

contributions will also be updated

night at 10pm, envelopes cost €2

for the year.

per line or €5 for three lines.

ST FINIAN’S MENTORS are reminded that pitches

Membership for 2012 is now due

in Rivervalley are closed for train-

and early return of the completed

ing or matches until January 14.

forms (available from the down-

Gaelic 4Mother s resumes this

loads section of www.stfinians.

Thursday night at 9pm in the Com-

com) along with the appropriate

munity Centre. All are welcome. No

fee would be much appreciated.

previous experience needed. Come

Remember, players are not insured

along, get fit, meet new friends and

unless they are registered with the

above all have a good laugh.

County Board.

We would like add some more play-

The Fashion Show DVD is still avail-

er profiles to the club website and

able for €10, please send an email to

therefore we need our adult (and if you would like

over-16) players, male and female,

a copy. Limited number of copies

to complete the player profile form

available from the Club Shop.

on our website (www.stf inians.

Lotto: Jackpot was €3,100; num-

com) and return it with a profile

bers drawn were 6, 13, 16 and 18.

picture to

There was no winner.


LEAGUE ON: Swords return to rugby action with away win over Wexford P30

O’BYRNE-ING IT UP Dublin get off to winning start to cup campaign P31


Swords Basketball Club’s Under-18 side are looking forward to their semi-final appointment with Templeogue

JANUARY 12, 2012

Swords set for Temple challenge Basketball Under-18s will line out against southside opponents in their first National Cup semi-final

SWORDS Under-18 boys are taking a huge step forward this week when they take on Templeogue in the National Cup semi-finals at the Parochial Hall in Cork (Sunday, 12pm). After more than ten years together, it is the furthest Frank Tracey’s side have made it in the national competitions, but they are confident they can make an impression and make it to the ultimate decider. Irish underage internationals Ger Reid and Niall Hegarty have been powering the side this term and they will hope to continue their excellent form. In doing so, they are aiming to go a step further than the club’s Under-20 side who reached the final four 12 months ago of their cup before coming unstuck against the Blue Demons. But team manager Martin Cusack is in upbeat form ahead of the trip south, telling GazetteSport: “I think we’d be very confident

that this could be our year. “This team has been playing together since age seven or eight, and it’s been the first time we’ve made a semi-final in a national cup, which is great for us. “The lads have been with each other a long time, and have been getting better every year. They have improved massively in the time that they have been playing together.”

Rapid fire Swords emerged from the rapid-fire group stage, winning all four of their group games earlier this season, and reached the semi-finals with a comprehensive and impressive 97-55 win over UCD. As for Templeogue, while they play in the same division in Dublin as Swords Basketball Club, the teams have yet to meet in competitive action after an initial date between the sides was postponed. In that league, Swords are currently lying

third in the division, with Templeogue a couple of places below them, but with games in hand. Previous ties, though, have shown the southsiders to be formidable opposition, a fact that Cusack is more than aware of in preparation for their national cup encounter. “We were due to play them in November, so this will be our first game against them this year, but they would usually be one of the best teams in our league so we always have a good battle with them. It’s always a hard match so, hopefully, we can get them on Sunday.” The fixture is part of a bumper weekend of basketball action with 16 national semi-finals across the grades taking place in the Parochial Hall and in Neptune Stadium across three days of competition, all teams vying for a final date. Lying in wait for Swords should they advance is a possible final with either the Dublin Raiders or Maree.


MOTORING: P24 INSIDE: Festive fun at the creative days pre-school P2 January 12, 2012 Rugby: Basketball: U-18 side set for National Cup semi...


MOTORING: P24 INSIDE: Festive fun at the creative days pre-school P2 January 12, 2012 Rugby: Basketball: U-18 side set for National Cup semi...