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Sea lions put on a late, late show at Dublin Zoo SEE PAGE 12 SEPTEMBER 27, 2012 Find us on


INSIDE: Balbriggan turns out to get safety message P8

Hurling: Finian’s continue fine run of form on two fronts Page 31

Hockey: Fingal leave it late to record first league win

GALLERIES ......................8 BUSINESS .....................18 MOTORS ...................... 20 TRAVEL......................... 22 ENTERTAINMENT ......... 24 CLASSIFIEDS ............... 26

Cleaner Communities Awards Page 4

Reilly’s stance on care centres steady I NATALIE BURKE

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PRIZE PLACE: Cleaning up at Fingal

LOCAL Minister for Health Dr James Reilly said he stands over his decision to add 15 sites to the HSE list of priority primary care locations, including two in his own constituency of Swords and Balbriggan. Reilly was criticised after controversially placing the two towns from his Dublin North constituency into the top 35 list of locations chosen

for primary care centres, with one location reportedly jumping over 100 places on the priority list. Defending his decision on RTE News at One last week, Reilly said he had the authority to make the decision and did so with “good reason”. “I have made the decision and if I had to make the decision again I would make the very same decision,” he said. Full Story on Page 3

Simply the best: Edel competes to become the face of summer EDEL TOAL, 24, from Swords was one of eight Dublin ladies competing in the Simply Be Curvy 2013 competition at an exclusive Xpose bootcamp. She is competing to become the face of the company’s Spring Sum-

mer 2013 catalogue. Selected from over 5,000 entries, the girls were up against 19 other curvy ladies from across the country at the Simply Be Curvy bootcamp in Dublin last weekend.

2 SWORDS GAZETTE 27 September 2012


PARALYMPICS Catherine Walsh’s London Games triumph

Children at risk over play area vandalism I NATALIE BURKE

THE health and safety of local children at play could be at risk, according to local Fine Fail councillor Darragh Butler, who says Fingal County Council do not have the funds to continually replace damaged items at local playgrounds. The comments come following the recent removal of a multi-use play item at Rathingle playground as a result of vandalism. The play area has been a target for vandals for the past two years, with the council being forced to remove items in the interest of safety. “It really is a problem, both in this playground and others. It’s disappointing because this was an excellent playground. It was put in there by the developers as part of their planning requirements but unfortunately, it has been plagued by vandalism,” Cllr Butler explained. While replacement swings are set to be erected in the playground over the coming weeks, Cllr Butler says it is “disappointing” that there is not enough money to replace all of the play items. “Unfortunately, the council cannot con-

tinually keep replacing things that are being vandalised. The money isn’t there for it any more. It’s a sad thing in society that people have nothing better to do than vandalise playgrounds, and it is incredibly dangerous,” he said. Accident

“The kids or their neighbours and friends could end up having an accident because someone has damaged a piece of equipment in the playground. They are putting the health and safety of children at risk by vandalising these things. In an ideal world, we would get everything replaced but it takes time and it takes money and money isn’t always available,” he said. A spokesperson for the council said the multi-use item, which was removed in recent weeks, was repeatedly vandalised over the last two years. More and more of the play items had to be removed to make it safe and the point was reached where it was no longer viable to retain this item. While funding is not available in this year’s budget to replace the piece of equipment, the council says provision will be made in next year’s budget to install a more robust version.

Catherine Walsh, left, from Swords, and pilot Francine Meehan, from Co Offaly, with their silver medals after finishing in second place in the women’s individual B pursuit final. Pictures: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

Swords cyclist is a true champion T HESE are the joyous scenes at the London 2012 Paralympic Games when Catherine Walsh, from Swords, and her cycling partner Fran Meehan, from Co Offaly, won silver medals in the para-cycling individual B pursuit final. They also collected a bronze medal in

the Women’s Individual Time B Time Trial. Catherine, who is visually impaired, has also experienced much success as a track and field athlete in five previous Paralympic Games. And she does all this while working as a healthcare professional and bringing up a young family!

STET gallery from Dundrum

Catherine Walsh celebrates with her son Conor Roode after Francine Meehan and Catherine Walsh with their proud mums

finishing third in the women’s individual B time trial

Catherine Walsh, Francine Meehan, Mark Rohan, James Brown, from England and

Catherine Walsh and Francine Meehan in action in

pilot Damien Shaw, from Co Westmeath with their medals

the women’s individual B time trial

27 September 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 3

HEALTH Minister says care facility badly needed

Litter advert for cinemas

Reilly stands firm on centre for Swords I NATALIE BURKE

MINISTER for Health Dr James Reilly said that he stands over his decision to add 15 sites to the HSE list of priority primary care locations, including two in his own constituency of Swords and Balbriggan. Dr Reilly was criticised after controversially placing two towns in his own Dublin North constituency into the top 35 list of locations chosen for primary care centres, with one of the locations repor tedly jumping over 100 places on the priority list. Defending his decision on RTE News at

One last week, Reilly said he would be “negligent in his duty” to e xcl u s i ve l y u s e t h e Ur b a n D e p r i v a t i o n Index and ignore other factors. When adding centres to the list, Dr Reilly said he took into consideration general practitioner (GP) competition, the existence of health facilities in the area and accessibility to health facilities. “If you wish to address the specifics around the two of my own constituencies, the original criteria used for these was based purely on an urban deprivation index,” he told

Sean O’Rourke on RTE Radio 1. “I, as a GP of 25 years standing, have worked in the community and understand it’s a lot broader than that. You must take in to consideration other criteria such as existence of health facilities in the area already and also accessibility. “Balbriggan is a town that has the second highest density of unemploy ment in Dublin and therefore is hugely urbanly deprived in that regard. “Swords, on the other hand, has a population of 48,000, has no primary care centre and has

Swords town centre and, inset, Health Minister Dr James Reilly

no direct link by public transport to the hospital at Beaumount. “I made this decision and I know [Minister of State, Roisin Shortall] disagrees with it, but I’ve made the decision, I have the authority to so do, I did it with good reason, I took advice

DublinGazetteNewspapers Advertising Sales Professionals Dublin Gazette Newspapers is Dublin’s fastest growing community weekly regional publisher, with 8 titles covering the M50 from Swords to Dun Laoghaire. We are currently looking to recruit: We are now seeking experienced media sales executives to work in our advertising dept in our Lucan head office on a number of Dublin Gazette titles. Experience in newspaper advertising sales is preferable. Full clean driving licence and own car required; fluent written and oral English essential. Excellent package on offer to suitable candidates. If you can work on your own initiative within a team environment, are motivated, enthusiastic with an excellent work ethic, please send your cv to:


here in the depar tment and I took further advice from the HSE and I also consulted several ministerial colleagues. I have made the decision and if I had to make the decision again I would make the very same decision.” Dr Reilly went on to

say that there was good news for the people of Balbriggan this week: “The HSE have signed a lease to provide the primary care centre in Balbriggan and it will be lodging application for planning permission next month and the GP’s are on board.”

CINEMA-GOERS will see a new Fingal County Council advert which aims to raise awareness about illegal waste collections. Broadcast this week in all cinemas across Fingal, funding for the advert came from the Anti-Litter and Anti-Graffiti Awareness Grant Scheme 2012. The aim is to make people aware that if you give your waste to “a man with a van” who subsequently dumps it, you could be prosecuted. Under the Litter Pollution Acts, the on-the-spot fine for littering is €150. If you are brought to the District Court and found guilty, the maximum fine can be up to €3,000 and you could be given a criminal conviction. If residents are aware of anyone collecting waste illegally, they are asked to contact 1800 20 10 93 or email

4 SWORDS GAZETTE 27 September 2012

CIGARETTES Activity in 22 Irish towns and cities analysed Swords ranks ninth in illegal tobacco trade survey I NATALIE BURKE

NEW research shows there is a growing problem of illegal cigarettes in Dublin, with Swords ranking ninth on the list of 22 areas across the country with the highest levels of illegal activity. This is according to figures recently released by Market Survey (MS) Intelligence,

which showed that a total of 28.6% of the cigarettes found in the Swords area were nonIrish duty paid (NIDP). MS Intelligence surveyed 22 towns and cities across the country during the second quarter of 2012. While Waterford ranked the highest with 44.5% NIDP cigarettes, Dublin city centre ranked sixth with 33.1%. The national average emerged as 29.8%.

According to a spokesperson for the Irish Tobacco Manufacturers Advisor y Committee (ITMAC), the figures are worrying. “The NIDP reached one of its lowest rates in the same period last year and this was following the Government’s freeze on excise duty on cigarettes and the increased focus put on the area by the Revenue and Garda.

“However, following the Government increase in VAT and excise duties in the last Budget pushing the price of a packet of 20 cigarettes to over €9, there has been a surge in the amount of NIDP cigarettes on the streets,” said the spokesman. “The Government clearly do not see the illegal tobacco trade as serious an issue as they made it out to be in their

Programme for Government where fine increases and jail sentences were promised to help fight the flow of illegal cigarettes into the country.” Local Cllr Eugene Coppinger (SP) said he was shocked to learn of the high figures of illegal cigarettes available in Swords. “It is a really high percentage. Obviously there is criminal activity involved here. For

that number of cigarettes, they can’t all be underground sales, they must be freely available. “Being a non-smoker, I don’t buy cigarettes but my concern wouldn’t be for the tobacco industry itself, it would be to ask ‘how are these cigarettes being sold’? And I’d be concerned about the loss of revenue to the State at a time when we need all the revenue we can get.”

Search is on for top bookshop in Ireland THE search for Ireland’s favourite bookshop is on and Bord Gais Energy is calling on all Dublin North booklovers to cast their votes before Sunday, October 14. The search for the Bord Gais Energy Bookshop of the Year highlights the importance of local bookshops in Ireland and, this year, over 70 bookshops from Dublin are competing for the title. Local bookstores in the running include Eason and Hughes & Hughes at the Pavilions Shopping Centre, The Wise Owl, Swords, Fax & Fiction at the Supervalu Shopping Centre and Eason and The Wise Owl in Balbriggan. Speaking about the award, Emma Walsh, sponsorship coordinator for books and reading with Bord Gais Energy said: “This competition is about recognising and highlighting the importance of bookshops in our local communities. “Bord Gais Energy is delighted to support this exciting initiative which gives book lovers the chance to vote for their favourite book stores throughout the country and we wish the very best of luck to all bookshops involved.” The Bookshop of the Year award was introduced last year to recognise bookshops who contribute to local communities and the Irish book industry. To cast your vote, visit

Winner of the Best Presented Large Non Management Company Estate in Balbriggan/Swords wa s Rathbeale Estate, Swords. Pictured are Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Cian O’Callaghan (Lab), James Carthy, Joan Cheevers, Anna O’Grady and PJ Howell, Director of Services, Environment, Business & Enterprise


Clean-up efforts are applauded at Fingal Cleaner Communities Awards SWORDS, Balbriggan and Lusk are celebrating their achievements this week after a number of estates, communities and individual residents picked up prizes at the recent Fingal Cleaner Communities Awards. T h e 37 t h a n n u a l awards ceremony was held in County Hall last week to applaud the efforts of those taking part in the community based anti-litter competition. The Cleaner Communities Awards event is primarily aimed at enhancing the appearance of residential and business areas around the county and is open to residents,

businesses and community groups. In attendance on the night was Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Cian O’Callaghan, director of services, PJ Howell, and John Daly, senior engineer for Fingal County Council. Mayor O’Callaghan commented that the Cleaner Communities awards foster great local spirit. “Householders who may not know each other have turned out to take part in clean-ups in their local areas having been encouraged or coerced by their local tidy towns communities. We owe a great deal of gratitude to those peo-

ple who encourage the rest of us to take pride in our surroundings,” he said. “This is a continuing testament to the concern and pride Fingal residents and businesses have for the environment in which we work and live.” Praised

A number of local residents and companies were praised for their work, with Sarah and Michael Sweetman of the Country Gardens, Lusk, picking up the award for the Best Presented Front Garden in the Balbriggan/Swords area. The Pound, Swords

was named as the Best Presented Business Premises, the Pavilions Shopping Centre was given the Green Business Award, while the Best Presented Industrial Area was given to Swords Business Campus. The Martello Towers, Balbriggan, Woodlands Park, Rush and Rathbeale Estate, Swords, were rewarded as the Best Presented Estates and, according to Joan Cheevers, a member of the Rathbeale Estate Residents Association, the local residents were delighted to secure their prize. “We were delighted to win the prize, and we

take pride in our estate. We feel very, very lucky,” said Joan. “We have been very successful in the awards and have won a few times – the last time was about three years ago. [Winning] keeps up the momentum in the association and keeps us going.” “A lot of people think we get paid for looking after the estate, but it’s completely voluntary. We try and keep the litter down, especially after the weekends, and like to keep the estate clean. We don’t raise money, we use money that we win from prizes – like the €200 voucher we won in the Cleaner Communi-

ties Award – and plough it back into plants for the estate. The subscription from our residents’ association also goes towards that as well,” she explained. With over 100 entrants across all categories, ranging from Best Front Garden to the Green Business Award, many community groups from throughout Fingal participated in this year’s event. T h i r t y - f i ve p r i z e s were awarded on the night, which the organisers announced was an increase of six on last year due to the extremely high standard of entries.

27 September 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 5

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GOVERNMENT Decision is welcomed by local families who are looking to adopt

Adoption agreement with Vietnam ‘great news’ I NATALIE BURKE

LOCAL Fianna Fail Councillor Darragh Butler has welcomed the Government’s announcement that Ireland has signed an administrative agreement with Vietnam on inter-country adoption, describing it as

“great news for a number of Fingal families”. According to Cllr Butler, the announcement will be welcome news for couples seeking to adopt children who have been unable to look to Vietnam in the adoption process before, and the news is an important

development for intercountry adoption which will be broadly welcomed by those seeking to adopt children from Vietnam in both Fingal and across the country. “This issue came up quite a lot when I was out canvassing with Michael Kennedy [former TD for

Dublin North] before the last general election, and we are delighted that this issue is now resolved and that Ireland has now signed an administrative agreement on intercountry adoption with Vietnam,” he said. Adoptions from Vietnam were previously

suspended under the last Government in the interests of the welfare of children, pending the ratification of the Hague Convention on inter-country adoption by Vietnam. According to Cllr Butler, then-Minister Barry Andrews undertook a significant amount of

work with officials in Vietnam and Minister Fitzgerald has continued that engagement, bringing the matter to a successful outcome. “The adoptions were suspended for good reason and, hopefully, it is all in order now,” Cllr Butler continued. “It was

an issue that came up continually at the doors across Fingal and it is a matter that will definitely be welcomed by local families. There are hundreds of families who want to adopt and, hopefully, now that the framework is in there, it will help them,” he said.

€5 offer on septic tank fee nears end I NATALIE BURKE

FINGAL County Council (FCC) is urging local septic tank owners to avail of the reduced €5 registration fee before the September 28 deadline. Owners of domestic waste water treatment systems – including septic tanks – must register with their local council on or before the February deadline, in order to avoid a fine of up to €5,000. A €50 charge will apply to those registering after the September 28 date, and all registrations must be completed by February 1, 2013. The registration and inspection of

domestic wastewater systems was introduced following a European Court of Justice ruling against Ireland in 2009, and aims to protect ground and surfacewater quality, particularly drinking water, from malfunctioning systems. According to PJ Howell, director of Environmental and Economic Development with FCC: “[Septic tank] systems that don’t work properly pose a contamination threat to ground or surface water sources, and the Environmental Protection Agency is developing a national riskbased inspection system for all domestic treatment systems, to begin in 2013.” Residents can register online with FCC at Michael Comyn from the Fearless Organisation will be advising on how to take the ‘fear factor’ out of starting a new business


Business bootcamp for entrepreneurs I NATALIE BURKE

POTENTIAL business owners across Fingal are being invited to take part in a special bootcamp next week as part of Fingal Enterprise Week. The local enterprise board will be hosting a full day event on Wednesday, October 3, taking potential business owners through the major steps involved in starting a business in Ireland. The Business Start-Up Bootcamp is a one-day mentoring course for aspiring Fingal entrepreneurs who are looking for advice and guidance on how to set up their own business. Throughout the day, expert trainers and advisors will be on hand to talk through issues and challenges around sourc-

ing finance, social media, marketing, selling and market research. Innovative business concepts from around the world will also be discussed to help generate business ideas. For anyone starting a new business for the first time, the steps involved can sometimes seem a little daunting, according to Oisin Geoghegan, Chief Executive of the Fingal County Enterprise Board. “The one-day bootcamp and mentoring clinics are designed to guide and advise aspiring entrepreneurs through those important steps, helping them to plan and develop their idea into a new business,” said Geoghegan. A specialist on how to cope with stressful situ-

ations, Michael Comyn from the Fearless Organisation, will also be advising participants on how to take the fear factor out of starting a new business. Supported by Bank of Ireland, the Business Bootcamp is being held at the Hilton Hotel Dublin Airport at Northern Cross, and runs from 9am to 5pm. Free

The Fingal County Enterprise Board is also hosting a free Business Start Up Evening Clinic on October 3, providing a one-to-one business mentoring service for new businesses. On the same evening, the Fingal Women in Business Network is opening up its event to women who have recently set up

a business, or who might be considering the move. The network’s Speed Networking Event, organised by Eve Bulman, is being held at the Roganstown Hotel and Country Club in Swords, from 6pm to 9pm. The subsidised fees for the Business Start-Up Bootcamp at the Hilton Hotel are €25, which includes all conference materials and lunch. The mentoring clinics and the Speed Networking Event with the Fingal Women in Business event on October 3 are both completely free of charge. Fingal Enterprise Week, which runs from October 1 to 5, is organised by the Fingal County Enterprise Board and supported by Fingal County Council, Bank of Ireland and Newstalk.

27 September 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 7



Discount offer on energy

‘Don’t close the AIB Rush outlet’ I NATALIE BURKE

LOCAL TD Clare Daly (United Left Alliance) has called on Allied Irish Banks to withdraw its recent decision to close its branch at Rush, describing the potential closure as “simply unacceptable”. The decision to close the doors of the bank would “take the heart out of the community”, according to the TD. Speaking about the announcement of the plans, Deputy Daly said: “Having considered the research undertaken by the Chamber of Commerce in Rush, it is clear beyond any doubt that

this community is being unduly affected. “Senior [AIB] management claim that 67 of the 267 AIB branches will close between this year and next year, affecting a population of 70,000 people, yet 8,000 people in Rush will be affected if this decision goes ahead. This is unacceptable.” According to Deputy Daly, if the bank closure went ahead, citizens of Rush – including elderly residents who can’t drive – would be forced to make the journey to Balbriggan in order to carry out their banking transactions. Deputy Daly said: “The AIB branch in Balbriggan is not even on a bus route, and is hidden away in the

Stephenstown Industrial Estate. “I fully support the call of the Rush Chamber of Commerce to the senior executors in AIB to reverse this decision and to meet with the community and elected representatives in advance of the October 26 deadline [for the branch’s closure] so that we can ensure that it is reversed. “No other community is affected in this way. We have to make a stand. I have written to both the Minister for Finance as the main guardian of the taxpayers’ interest in AIB, and senior executives of the bank, demanding that this decision be reversed,” said Deputy Daly.


Got a winning business idea? Bobby and Sophie launch start-up contest BUSINESS MAN Bobby Kerr and promising young tycoon Sophie Osbourne (4) launched the 2012 Jumpstart Competition for startup businesses with a prize fund worth €25,000. Now in its third year, this competition is offering €25,000 for one special start up that presents an idea that will grab the judging panel’s imagination, helping to jumpstart their new enterprise. Application forms can be downloaded from The closing date for applications is 4pm on Friday, October 19, with the shortlist being announced on November 2. The winner will be announced on November 15.

Why advertise with the Gazette? Let our advertisers tell you why:

As a community bank, we have a strong focus on local profiling and brand visibility. Our partnership with the Dublin Gazette Newspapers delivers on this requirement. Our sponsorship of the Business Page, as well as the editorial content that the paper provides for our local events, results in the Gazette being an essential channel in our local communications strategy.


MEMBERS of the Fingal Dublin Chamber will soon be able to avail of a special discount offer on their electricity bills, thanks to a recent agreement between the Chamber and Electric Ireland. The exclusive offer allows current and new members of Fingal Dublin Chamber to avail of 17% discount off Electric Ireland’s standard unit rates until November, 2014, provided they sign up before November 30. The special discount offer is also open to new members of the Chamber. For further information, call 1850 30 50 70 or email

8 SWORDS GAZETTE 27 September 2012

COMMUNITY Balbriggan turns out to get the message

Councillor Grainne Kilmurry (Lab); Senator Brendan Ryan (Lab); Inspector Kieran Holohan; Minister Roisin Shortall; Cllr Monica Harford (Lab) and Cllr Ciaran Byrne (Lab). Pictures: Una Williams

Uniting to help focus on safety ALBRIGGAN citizens gathered at George’s Square recently for a great launch of the town’s Community Safety Week. Officially launched by Roisin Shortall, Minister of State, Department of Health with responsibility for Primary Care, the Garda Band played several lively tunes on the square, adding to the fun of the day. Balbriggan’s Farmers’ Market incorporated stalls for many organisations to showcase their


community interactions, while school children also sang wonderfully for everyone. Balbriggan Town Council distributed many shock/ vibration alarms to senior citizens, reinforcing different safety messages. Minister Shortall joined councillors and community representatives to praise the event, commending the people, traders and representatives of Balbriggan for coming together for such an important initiative.

Balbriggan Garda Band strike up another popular song

Samira Jailin, Margaret Maxwell and David Taffe and Dennis Prior

Garda dog Lulu with Liam Williams and Lisa Farrell

AJ Hughes with David and Francis Shields

Naomi Mehari

Garda Charles Cavanagh

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10 SWORDS GAZETTE 27 September 2012

NIGHTLIFE Toasting Oktoberfest 2012 at the Mansion House

Blaithnaid McKenna and James English

Bob Caldwell and Steve McCormack at the Paulaner Oktoberfest. Pictures: Anthony Woods

An early Oktober gets a big welcome TEINS were charged and glasses raised recently when the Paulaner Oktoberfest was launched at the Mansion House in the city centre. Fans were invited to sample real Oktoberfest culture with Paulaner, one of only six beers permitted to


exhibit at Munich’s legendary Oktoberfest, before the festival’s celebration of all things German over four days last week. Oktoberfest fans were able to soak up the traditional Bavarian banter with pretzels and bratwurst aplenty, served by barmaids dressed in tradi-

Robert Aiken and Paula Marron

Fabiana Olivier and Colin O’Brien

tional Bavarian dirndls, with music provided by the Bavarian Strollers, a premier German oompah band, entertaining festival-goers. Attendees thrilled to the fun-filled evenings of traditional Bavarian culture with German food and stalls adding to the atmosphere.

Simon Barrow and Yann Dupeux and Jean Cedric

Audrey Mills

Mike Sheridan and Alan Metcalfe

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ANIMAL MAGIC Sea lions and big cats put on a late, late show

Seeing the sea lions is always a delight, as the zoo’s beautiful animals are a joy to watch

A roaring time at Dublin Zoo I HIROMI MOONEY

DUBLIN Zoo is a hugely popular destination for people of all ages, but have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes once the doors close for the night? The Gazette was recently given the chance to go on a private afterhours tour of Dublin Zoo, and we were privileged to see how the animals are looked after when the zoo is empty of its many visitors. On arrival, we met one of the three team leaders of Dublin Zoo, Ciaran McMahon. Ciaran has worked in Dublin Zoo since 1994, and has worked in various departments within the zoo. “My job is so diverse, every day is different,” said Ciaran. In answer to our most obvious question, he said that out of all of the animals he looks after, his favourite are the elephants and the big cats. So, naturally, our first stop was to visit the Asian lions. There are only 400 of these creatures left in the wild, in Gir National Park in North West India. They are sadly an endangered species, as they face competition for space with humans, which is also resulting in scarcity of their prey. These lions are familyoriented animals, and we met two sister lionesses, Sita and Suri. Named after Hindi goddesses, the pair were born in Mulhouse Zoo in eastern France. There will be a six-yearold male lion, Kumar, joining them soon from Rotterdam Zoo, and the zoo hopes to hear the pad

These meerkat pups are cuddly new stars at the zoo

of tiny cub paws by next year. The keepers demonstrated how they feed the lions, dangling some horse meat from a tree, explaining that they often change where they leave the lions’ food so that they can continue to use their natural predatory senses. The keepers said that they sometimes hide the food so that the lions can put their sense of smell to the test, and put a lot of effort into recreating the lions’ natural habitat.

Weight Next, we were taken to see the Californian sea lions. We were greeted with a big “hello” wave from Flo, the three-yearold female. The keepers explained that mature females weigh around 85kg, while the males can weigh as much as 300kg so as to impress potential mates. They also explained that the five animals are trained for safety reasons instead of stage performance – although they can do both. They demonstrated with Flo how they can safely check the sea lions for any obvious

injuries or unusual lumps or bumps with some of their commands, and even check their teeth with their “open mouth” command. They will roll over, lie on their side and can even close the door of their cage behind them, and are rewarded with mackerel as a reward for each thing they were commanded to do. The Gazette was still buzzing in “zoo mode” when we received news of the two new meerkat pups. The pups were born in July, but visitors are now only getting their first glimpse of the young additions to the family of four adult meerkats in the zoo. Commenting on the births, team leader Eddie O’Brien said that they are “delighted with the arrival of the pups.” “It has been some time since meerkats were born at the zoo so these are a welcome additions,” he said. “Both pups are doing very well. They are still feeding from their mother and recently they have also started eating solids.”

27 September 2012 GAZETTE 13



Wool you give your time up? I LAURA WEBB

CALLING all knitters: Innocent Smoothies need your creative talent to help knit little woolly hats for their smoothies, with money from every bottle going towards supporting older people during the cold winter months. The Innocent Big Knit 2012 will see 25c from every be-hatted bottle sold going straight to Age Action, to help older people stay well and warm this winter. Knitters, or those who crochet, across the nation are asked to send their little knitted hats between now and the deadline. They will then be put onto innocent Smoothie bottles by hand, and sent off to stores. These special bottles are available to buy in shops across Ireland from next January and, for every such bottle sold, 25c will be donated to Age Action. Since the initiative started in 2008, knitting groups, schools and lots

of knitting enthuasists from all over Ireland have generously knitted for the Big Knit, raising more than €60,000. For the initiative, people of all ages are asked to get involved, from novice knitters to champion clickers, and are being asked to spread the word within the local community. Anyone who doesn’t fancy knitting can donate wool and needles to Age Action to help them reach their target. The money raised will help fund Age Action’s work, such as their winter warmth public information campaign to enable older people remain well and warm in their own homes. It will also go towards their home visitation and DIY teams, who assist thousands of older people each year. You can send your little hats to: The Innocent Big Knit 2012, Fruit Towers, 120/121 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2, or drop them into your local Age Action shop by Friday, November 30.

Inspired talks at the Sugar Club

Hat’s a stunning look: TG4 programme to examine haberdashery in modern Ireland REBECCA Frayne was resplendent in this

strikingly designed hat as she helped to promote an upcoming TG4 programme, Hatai, on – what else – hats, and Irish women’s enduring love for haberdashery in the 21st century. Created in association with Red Shoe Productions and RTE, the programme

will see internationally acclaimed Irish hatmaker Philip Treacy examine the role of hats in our changing society, whether adding a dash of mystery to the wearer, or helping to celebrate their beauty. See Hatai on TG4 at 9.30pm on Sunday, September 30, or repeated on Monday, October 1 at 8pm.

DUBLINTALKS.IE has organised a series of free talks aimed at inspiring local people. Presentations will be made by and about Irish people with big and interesting ideas they want to share. Each of the speakers will have just six minutes to tell the audience what their big idea is without the use of PowerPoint, notes or podiums – challenging even for the most experienced public speakers. The six speakers on the night will be Prof of computer science at UCD, Barry Smyth; award winning immunologist at TCD, Prof Luke O’Neill; Senator John Crown (Ind); Equinome’s Emmeline Hill; Prof of Dept of Medicine at UCC, Fergus Shanahan and Clare Wardle, of Storyful. The event, which takes place on October 15 in The Sugar Club at 6pm, is part of Innovation Dublin 2012 and is supported by Dublin City of Science. Admission is free but booking is essential. For more information, see

14 GAZETTE 27 September 2012

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Philip Stewart, Patrick Burke, CEO of YWI, John Gilmore, president of YWI, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald and Mary Ann Connors pictured at the Youth Work Ireland Consensus Conference at Farmleigh House last week. Picture: Marc O’Sullivan

Youth on the march HUNDREDS of youngsters, volunteers and youth workers attended the Youth Work Ireland Consensus Conference last Saturday. Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, was in attendance to meet guests at the event at Farmleigh Estate in the

Phoenix Park. The Youth Work Ireland Consensus Conference was established to hear from a number of different players in the lives of young Irish people today. The Minister met with a range of youth and children’s projects, as well as Irish Paralympic

DIARY gold medallist Daragh McDonald and “The Voice of Ireland” Pat Byrne. The conference heralds a major milestone in the development of a new Youth Policy Frame-

work by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. Youth Work Ireland works with over 80,000 young people, nearly 1,000 staff and over 7,000 volunteers annually through 450 clubs and projects in all parts of the country with spin off benefits for local communities and economies.

Get on your bike for Console CYCLISTS from all across Dublin are being asked to get on their bike along with a host of celebrities in aid of suicide prevention charity, Console. The second Console Grand Canal Cycle takes place on Sunday,

October 7, from 10am. Pat Kenny, Eamonn Coghlan and Derr y C l a r ke a r e a m o n g those taking part in the 20-mile round trip from the Bord Gais Energy Theatre to the 12th Lock at Lucan, and back again. Console founder and chief executive, Paul Kelly, said: “Console’s central themes are community and communication, and the Console Cycle is the perfect example of this.” Sponsorship cards are available, and a registration fee of €20 will apply on the day to anyone who chose not to avail of a sponsorship card. Anyone intending to take part is asked to register at, with more information available by calling 01 610 2638.

27 September 2012 GAZETTE 15

ARTS Play will support Down Syndrome Ireland

Kidnapped trio’s tale set to help charity I NATALIE BURKE


WHEN Dublin actors Carl Finnegan and Noel Mur phy decided to embark on a new adventure, they set out to combine their love for acting, playwrights and comedy to produce Dublin’s newest theatre company, Pack a Punch Theatre. Founded just four months ago, Pack a Punch Theatre is set to launch its inaugural production this October, when it takes to the stage at the Sean O’Casey Theatre in East Wall, from October 16 to October 20. The theatre company has chosen, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me,

a play by Frank McGuinness, as its first production. The play will be performed in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland, a cause close to the heart of Carl Finnegan, who hails from Dalkey. He said: “My aunt has Down Syndrome, and we felt we wanted to make our work as personal as possible. We have had a lot of support from family and friends, and the community as well, to help us get going so we wanted to give back to them as well. “Setting up our own theatre company was something we wanted to do for ourselves; we really wanted to do challenging

theatre. “Our structure is slightly comedic; we do have a sense of humour, but we also wanted to do drama,” said Carl, who previously ran the Theatre Society at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire. The play will feature some of Dublin’s brightest new talent and the production promises challenging drama with comedic moments. It focuses on the trials and tribulations of an Irishman, an Englishman and an American who are kidnapped and held hostage by unseen Arabs in the Lebanon. As the three men strive

Carl Finnegan, co-founder of the Pack A Punch theatre company

for survival, they also aim to overcome their personal and cultural differences, whilst at the same time maintaining their sanity. Carl, who set up the company in May with Swords native, Noel Murphy, added: “I was interested in the idea of extreme cabin fever and how I would feel if I was locked away for a month. “Aside from that, I love

Frank McGuinness’work. I like his language and dialogue and I thought it was in keeping with the idea of doing something challenging and interesting.” Carl hopes the company will continue to grow over the coming months. “We see the company growing, building a base of people, extending our commitment to our chosen charity and also

working on our next show as well,” he said. To find out more information about Pack a Punch Theatre and its inaugural production, see their Facebook page at PackAPunchTheatre, or contact the Sean O’Casey Theatre by visiting www. or by calling 01 850 9000. Tickets are priced at €12.


Inspiring Dublin Talks has organised a series of free talks aimed at inspiring local people. Presentations will be made by and about Irish people with big and interesting ideas they want to share, with subjects ranging from genetics and cancer research to marine biology and economics. Each of the speakers will have just six minutes to tell the audience what their big idea is without the use of PowerPoint, notes or podiums. The six speakers on the night will be Barry Smyth, Luke O’Neill, John Crown, Emmeline Hill, Fergus Shanahan and Clare Wardle. The event, which takes place on October 15 in The Sugar Club at 6pm, is part of Innovation Dublin 2012. Admission is free but booking is essential. For more information, see

gazette .com


All of your latest local news, sport, features and pictures are now just a click away





16 GAZETTE 27 September 2012

GazetteMUSIC MUSIC FastTunes with Radio Nova’s Dee WORKING in a station that plays rock music 24/7 has its benefits. Most of all, the fact that I live in an alternate rock universe where the bands play their own instruments and lyrics actually means something. One of the cons is when my ears are assaulted by a Justin Bieber “song” playing in a shop and I hear my mother’s words coming out of my own mouth: “Do people actually call that music?” Which leads me to wonder if lyrics are going downhill, or am I just spoiled after being immersed in music by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers for too long? Allow me to carry out the following, extremely non-scientific experiment: Exhibit A: One of the biggest chart hits so far this year is from LMFAO, Sexy and I Know It: “When I’m at the mall, security just can’t fight ‘em off, When I’m at the beach, I’m in a speedo trying to tan my cheeks, This is how I roll, come on ladies it’s time to go.” Exhibit B: one of Radio Nova’s artists Bob Dylan is the bookies’ second favourite to win this year’s Nobel Prize for literature. However, it’s believed the singer is unlikely to pick up the accolade with the shortening odds being attributed to fans’ support. If you listen to some of his lyrics, though, it’s not hard to see why Dylan could be called a poet. His song, Blowin’ in the Wind, includes the words: “Yes, how many years can a mountain exist Before it’s washed to the sea? Yes, how many years can some people exist Before they’re allowed to be free? Yes, how many times can a man turn his head, Pretending he just doesn’t see?” I rest my case. I know there are different horses for different courses, but this filly is sticking with the rock.

Bob Dylan: Possibly better than LMFAO

Troubadors: Last gathering of 2012 Songwriter Club THE FINAL session of The Songwriter Club for 2012 will take place on Saturday, October 6 from 2pm to 5pm at the Teachers Club, located at 36 Parnell Square West. For the final session, guest speakers including Noel Taylor of Rockit Music Management and Claire Egan from IMRO will talk to the group. Pictured is singer and songwriter Laura Conway performing at the last session. For more information, see The Songwriter Club on Facebook.


Saints and Heads in perfect synchronicity I ROB HEIGH

SUPERGROUPS and collaborations between your favourite artists seldom end well, unless there is a certain shared wavelength or equal sense of where the project should potentially go... For every Queen and David Bowie, there’s a Lou Reed and Metallica (shudders)... So, when it was announced that Talking Heads frontman David Byrne was set to release an album with St Vincent’s frontwoman Annie Clark, there was a certain shiver borne of equal parts trepidation and thrill... Fortunately, this is a collaboration that is more Under Pressure than Dancing In The Street, and a metric tonne more fun than it has really any right to be. Bringing the unique perspectives and musical styles that created More Songs About Buildings And Food and Strange Mercy, and adding a 26-piece brass band, Byrne and Clark are clearly bouncing beachball-sized ideas around and making something uniquely fresh and different.

David Byrne and Annie Clark make up the supergroup responsible for Love This Giant

From a series of meetings in New York, the duo collaborated at distance, sending the drum loops and melodies back and forth and moulding at first a set of four tracks, which evolved into eight before emerging as the fully-fledged record that was released last week. Love The Giant is the fruit of their collaboration, and features 12 songs that feature the quirks and familiar hooks that mark out St Vincent — Clark’s sweet and sharp croon — and David Byrne — his deadpan drawl and shim-

mering acoustic guitar. Layered and blended with these ingredients are an array of brass instrumentation and drum patterns, creating something simultaneously familiar and unique for this project. Songs like Who and Optimist are perfect encapsulations of the bounce and fun at play — Byrne and Clark are like two sides of the same coin that spins inside the songs, sometimes in unison, sometimes apart, but always in pursuit of an oddly funky and complementary whole.

There’s an organic feel to the music and lyrics that brings to mind what Talking Heads were driving for on their last record, Naked, where jungles and shopping malls came together in the lyrics and funk roamed the earth. Some examples of the kinds of bliss that Byrne and Clark are bringing to the travelling version of Love This Giant can be seen on YouTube, especially the footage captured in Minneapolis recently that shows brassy versions of Heads classic Burning Down The House as well

as St Vincent’s Cruel, the great lead track from their 2011 release, Strange Mercy. I also need to point anyone with any kind of interest in music to David Byrne’s new book, How Music Works - it’s a fascinating look into the mechanics of how music is shaped by its time and place, and he explains accessibly and clearly how the advent of recording technology in the 20th century forever changed our relationship to playing, performing, and listening to music.

27 September 2012 GAZETTE 17

GazetteBEAUTY BEAUTY Brush up on your nails to see problems varnish Edited by Laura Webb

T TENDING a wedding, college ball or debs? Then don’t forget to beautify your nails and get manicured with colours of the season that will complete that evening look. Gazette Beauty is all about hands this week, and the one thing that really accentuates them is nails. A nailcare regime is a must, and Swiss nailcare specialists Mavala say they have the right product for nails, whether it’s a colour or a treatment. Have nails that just won’t grow? Then try nail product Mavaderma. This is a nutritive protein-enriched massage oil which, when used daily on the nail, activates blood flow to the roots to help stimulate and speed up the growth of nails. Fragile tips are something we have all experienced, and loathe when we have just painted them. To avoid this, try Mavala Scientifique – a weekly treatment that hardens nails immediately and bonds the


three layers together. It helps prevent soft, flaking or split nails. There is nothing worse than having rough and r a g g e d c u t i cl e s , s o Mavala offer a perfect partnership to stop this problem. Mavala Cuticle Remover is a weekly treatment applied directly onto the cuticles and, in seconds, dead skin is softened and easily removed. This is a daily treatment which softens the skin around the nail, so it can be easily rolled back. Nibbling nails can be a problem for children and adults alike. Treat this problem with Mavala Stop – a safe product with the appearance of clear enamel, but a strong, bitter taste that acts as a strong deterrent to nail biting. To treat cuticles damaged by biting, use Mavala Cuticle Oil which, when used daily, softens the skin around the nail, enabling it to be rolled back gently. Once nails are treated, they are ready for finishing touches. In keeping

Swiss nailcare specialists have a wide range of nail care products to restore nails to their best

with Mavala products, nails can be painted with a great range of Mavala mini nail enamels. When painting nails,

we want beautiful results that last, as well as providing protection from yellowing, Mavala 002 is a clear base coat that

Perfect pins: Carla walks off with a well-deserved top title A DUBLIN beauty has been crowned Miss Karora Perfect Pins 2012, giving her the welldeserved title of Ireland’s best legs. Carla Jackson was chosen from hundreds of leggy beauties to win the Karora Miss Perfect Pins 2012 at the competition. The finals, held in Bucks Townhouse, in Dublin 2, saw 14 ladies strut

their stuff with their lovely legs, facing a panel of VIP judges that included international model and leggy beauty, Alison Canavan; celebrity agent, Tara Sinnott, and Courtney O’Hara, of Assets Model Agency.

Campaign Carla, who trained as a ballet dancer, will front the next campaign for Irish tanning

brand Karora, which offer women a stylish, skincaring choice in self-tanning with a range of botanical bronzing products that deliver custom colour with intense skin treatments. The Skerries native was deemed by the judges to have the perfect poise, legs and personality to walk away with the Miss Perfect Pins title.

Perfect pins:

Carla Jackson

forms a flexible barrier between nails and nail polish, as well as improving the adherence of polish, so every manicure lasts longer. To top off a pretty nail shade, use Mavala Colourfix, clear top coat reinforced with acryl which dries to a hard flexible glaze, and provides nail colour with extra protective armour against chipping and peeling. Mavala is nail care with a heritage spanning more than 50 years. It was created in 1958 by Madelaine Van Landeghem and, with the introduction of Scientifique Nail Hardener, remains a best-selling product for the company. Mavala products are available from pharma-

Of course, Mavala have lovely varnish shades

cies nationwide. The RRP for products range from €8.04 for Mavaderma (10ml) to €14.35 for a Mavala duo – Hard Ragged Cuticles.

Protect hands from sun’s rays ACCORDING to a new, national Vaseline survey, only 28% of us worry about skin damage to our hands. The survey was carried out earlier this year using an online survey tool, and sampled 200 women aged between 21 and 49. Vaseline discovered that only 28% of women worry about sun damage to their hands, with 72% of those surveyed admitting they never consider their hands to be at risk from the sun. Lauren Brooking, brand manager for Vaseline Ireland, said: “We often forget that it is, in fact, our hands that are the most exposed to the sun’s harmful rays.

Moisturise “Our customers need a hand cream that will moisturise as well as protect and so, our new Vaseline Healthy Hands and UV Protection, with SPF 15, does just that,” she said. Vaseline Healthy Hands and UV Protection hand cream, with SPF 15 and pure Aloe Vera extract, leaves your hands feeling soft while also providing daily protection from harmful UV rays. When Irish women were asked which men they most want to get their hands on, it was not surprising that singer/songwriter Bressie (aka Niall Breslin) came out on top, followed by Shame star Michael Fassbender. Vaseline Healthy Hands and UV Protection cream is available at supermarkets nationwide, with a RRP for 75ml set at €4.39. For all things Vaseline-related, go to Vaseline.

18 GAZETTE 27 September 2012


Supported by AIB

Interview: Nicola Crilly, Jamie At Home

DO I USE OR SAVE A LUMP SUM? Q – MY MORTGAGE has a balance of €62,000, and we are on a tracker rate of 0.8% over the ECB (total: 1.55%). I will soon have a lump sum of €20,000, which I want to pay off the mortgage. Is it better to make one lump sum, or increase the monthly payment to the equivalent of €20,000 over the next two years? AnneMarie – Baldoyle A - YOU have everything going for you – a small mortgage, coupled with a tracker interest rate AND a lump sum, too! To answer the specific question, you WOULD be better off paying the lump sum now rather than spreading it over the next two years as, by doing it now, the capital – or what you owe – is immediately reduced and, therefore, attracts less interest, because there is less to repay! But it does not make sense to pay off now unless you are strapped, income-wise, as you can first of all earn more on deposit interest than you will pay on your mortgage interest. Your Rainy Day Fund (RDF) also needs to be reviewed – you should have between three and six months’ NET annual income in an RDF for those emergencies, sudden loss of income or that investment opportunity that may come along. Even if you were to hold off the repayment of the capital until at least interest rates start to rise, as inevitably they must (but maybe not for the next two years), cash is king, and income is your number one asset.

IS INCOME PROTECTION USEFUL? Q – WITH no sick pay entitlements in my employment, I was recommended to take out income protection. Is this a good idea, or are they just trying to sell me a product? Patrick – Greystones A - WHEN you are not paying a fee for financial advice, there certainly has to be an element of vested interest at play – how else can a meeting be meaningful if income is dependent on the outcome? Notwithstanding this, prudence may dictate that income protection in your case is a necessary route. Should you not be able to work, employers may pay your full salary for the first six months, and then half of it for the next six. But, after one year, most employers stop the payments. What then? If you have a family to feed, a mortgage or other financial commitments to repay, and day-to-day living costs, you will still need an income. Income protection, or permanent health insurance, covers 75% of your annual salary, less your social welfare entitlement, on a monthly basis until you can resume work. This cover extends to any type of incapacitation, once you CANNOT work. The good news is that you receive tax relief at your marginal rate on the premiums paid. This is the only type of insurance outside of unassignable life cover within pensions that does allow the relief. Certainly, compared to Serious or Critical Illness Cover, where 95% of all claims centre on about five main illnesses – plus there is NO tax relief on the premiums – income protection can make sense in the right circumstances.  Contact John with your money questions at

Feeling right at home with Jamie’s business BUSINESS opportunities come in all shapes and sizes and from all different directions, but few put you in the network of international celebrities. Nicola Crilly, who was a stay-at-home mother of three, became involved last September in Jamie At Home, a party planning business from Jamie Oliver that sells his dining and homeware range. She said: “After going to a few of these parties as a customer and absolutely loving the products, I decided I would give it a go at becoming a consultant. “This new business venture has given me a new-found confidence that I never had before. “I am now looking forward to the months ahead. With the festive season not far away, with this comes plenty of parties, and the chance to meet lots of new people along the way.” Nicola has found that her role comes with a few perks as well. “In July this year, I was invited across to Jamie Oliver’s home for Pimms and pizza, along with 45 other consultants from Britain and Ireland. “It was an unbelievable experience, as I have been such a huge fan for so long. He was so down to earth, and very welcoming to all of us. “I am also able to combine my work with fundraising for chosen charities, which is an added bonus,” she said. If you would be interested in finding out more about Jamie At Home, or in becoming a sales consultant, email Nicola at Nicolajah@gmail. com, or phone 086 827 2654.

Q&A Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be? A: A pilot Q: What was your first job? A: Weekend work in Roches Stores, Blackrock

Q: And your first pay cheque? A: £40 for weekend work Q: Have you ever done a job you loathed? A: I worked as a secretary in an

Q: What part of your working day do you delegate? A: None Q: What’s currently on your desk that shouldn’t be? A: Paperwork and crumbs Q: Is there anything about yourself that you would like to set the record straight on? A: No

TV or movie pleasure? A: Coldplay, Grey’s Anatomy, and home improvement programmes

Q: Who best represents modern Ireland – David Norris or Jedward? A: Neither Q: What music/pictures/movies do you have on your iPod/ iPad? A: Photos of family, which are

Q: What sport do you follow? A: I really enjoyed the Olympics – I have always loved gymnastics and track events

Q: Who do you follow on Twitter/Facebook? A: Jamie At Home, and Jamie

Q: When did you start your present job? A: September 2011

Q: What sport can you play? A: Badminton

Oliver, of course

Q: What is the best thing about your job? A: The total flexibility around my family, and the bit of “me” time I get

Institute of Bankers, is founder and managing director of Money Doctor

Jamie Oliver’s home for Pimms John Lowe, Fellow of the

and pizza

architect’s office – I was on my own a lot and hated it; I’m very much a “people-person”, and I like to interact

Q: Have you achieved anything that you once thought you could not pull off? A: Being invited over to visit or visit his website at

Nicola Crilly with celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver

Q: What habits would you like to lose? A: Worrying about the mess of my house – the boys are growing up so fast

Q: At the moment, what are you looking forward to? A: My brother’s wedding next month

Q: What is your guilty music/

very important to me

Q: What was your last Tweet/ status update? A: Promoting our summer

dinner with – Enda Kenny or Dame Edna? A: Enda Kenny Q: Where do you enjoy spending money frivolously? A: I love New York, so it has to be there

Q: How many pairs of shoes do you own? A: Not that many – well, about 15

Q: What was your worst holiday experience? A: Thankfully – I have nothing bad to recall

Q: Describe your dream holiday? A: Australia – it’s the one place I would love to see

sale – nicolacrilly

Q: What would be your dream job? A: Something that requires a

Q: Describe your dream meal? A: All different types of shell-

bit of travelling

fish, new baby potatoes and fresh salad, all washed down with a glass of Pinot Griogio

Q: Who would you rather have

Q: What do you plan to do when you retire? A: I’d love to visit Australia with my husband – hopefully,

27 September 2012 GAZETTE 19


There’s plenty to do this winter AS THE days begin to shorten and a bit of a nip creeps into the air, there’s no escaping the fact that the summer’s over and the garden is starting its long slow slide into autumn and winter. There’s always a bit of a sad feeling about this time of year for any keen gardener – but children can feel it worse than most; after all, when you’re not so very old yourself, the six-month wait for spring seems like an eternity. The good news is, the coming of colder weather doesn’t have to spell the end of fun times in the garden – there’s more than enough to do to make time fly by, and B&Q Ireland have some great tips to have an autumn ball among the leaves …

Preparing for winter Towards the middle of autumn, there are plenty of jobs to do to prepare the garden for winter and, again, it’s something that children can help with. Now’s the time to prune, as necessary; clean the tools and store them until spring and generally have a good tidy up – which means lots of leaves to rake up, prunings to collect and spent plants to add to the compost heap for willing little hands! Bird tables and hibernation houses Autumn is also a good time to think about wildlife. If you’re planning on feeding the birds through the winter, or giving hedgehogs or toads

a place to hibernate, it’s important to get organised before the worst of the weather, so they can find the facilities you’ve arranged for them and get used to the idea.

Planting bulbs Planting bulbs is one of the traditional autumn jobs and it’s something that the whole family can have lots of fun doing together. Planning for next year Autumn/winter is a great opportunity to think back over the past year and remember what worked and what didn’t, and then decide what you’d like to do in the months to come. Are you planning a new

Bird box €8.62

Watering can €7.70

Rake €6.15

Bird table €30.80

garden feature? Will you pick some different varieties of plants, or go with something that’s proven itself successful? These are the sorts of questions that any avid

young gardener will want to talk about – and, of course, nothing will make a child feel more part of the whole thing than being able to say: “I did that.”

Spring’s daffodils are a long way off, but these simple yet attractive blooms are something that children can help to prepare for now

20 GAZETTE 27 September 2012

GazetteMOTORS MOTORS New Fluence RoadSigns Road Signs – An electric car that has the right look Audi Ireland family day at Imaginosity

PICTURED at the recent Audi Ireland family day at Imaginosity, Dublin Children’s Museum. is celebrity chef and Audi brand ambassador Rachel Allen. On the day, the mum and TV chef was joined by little helpers Georgia Doyle, eight, and Sophie Doyle, six, as well as Audi’s Andrew Doyle at the Audi Family Day in Imaginosity.


NEW FORD ECOSPORT TO GO ON SALE SOON: FORD have announced that the much-anticipated, all-new EcoSport, a compact, rugged and fuel efficient sports utility will go on sale in Europe within the next 18 months as Ford expands its line-up in the growing European SUV market. EcoSport is based on Ford’s global B-segment platform and combines small car practicality with the flexibility, spaciousness, agility and style of a SUV. “Ford EcoSport will deliver great value, quality and fuel economy,” said Nick Collins, B-car vehicle line director, Ford of Europe. “It will also present customers with a fantastic small car choice that will also include the B-MAX compact multi-activity vehicle as well as the new Fiesta.” EcoSport is the first Ford global

model to be developed entirely in South America. Introduced in 2003, Ford created the segment in Brazil and has since sold more than 700,000 units in the region. New EcoSport will meet the increasing demand for small SUVs in Europe, which Ford expects to double over the next five years. “The new EcoSport has undergone millions of miles of testing, on the most rigorous terrains, in the most demanding climates across the globe,” Collins said. EcoSport will offer a comprehensive package of driver assistance technologies including antilock brake system, Electronic Stability Program, and Hill Launch Assist. The all-new Ford EcoSport will go on sale across Europe within the next 18 months, while Ford’s SUV range is soon to be supplemented by an all-new Kuga.

EVER since I had a power point installed at the front of my house to charge electric vehicles, doorstep conversations inevitably end up being about plug-in cars. This is not surprising, as the whole world of electric vehicles (EVs) is one that is largely unexplored by the vast majority of the general public. One universally appealing aspect of batterypowered cars is the cost of fuelling. Even with the increase in domestic electricity charges that is set to descend upon us later this year, a full top-up will still only cost €3 to €4. Putting the low-cost appeal to one side, and even the sticker price and the monthly lease of the battery (I’ll get to that later), the big question that people have is, are electric vehicles desirable as cars? And the answer is a definite, yes. Kind of. I say “kind of” because there are a few ways of looking at this. Firstly, there are a number of different types of electric vehicles available to the public, so, like any petrol or diesel car, you must consider which will suit your needs best. A few months back I reviewed the Renault

SPECS: RENAULT FLUENCE ZE  0 – 100km/hr: 13.4 sec  Engine: Elec 2.4  Maximum Power 70hp DIN (kw ISO)  Maximum Torque – 226 Nm ISO (mkg DIN)  Price: €26,610 (model driven)

Kangoo ZE – and I loved it. It costs peanuts to run, it has bags of space for people and stuff, the driving cockpit is roomy in the extreme and you have an amazing view of the road. But it’s a van… and not everyone likes driving vans as much as I do. So, as an alternative, Renault also offers the rather pleasant Fluence ZE with an electric motor. And what an attractive alternative this is. Modern

The Fluence ZE boasts a modern exterior with a comfortable and stylish interior; the only giveaway that it’s electric is the ZE logo on the back – unless of course you’re driving a press car, in which case it has all sorts of graphics emblazoned along the side to let everyone know you’re sitting on a bank of batteries! To be honest, I liked the fact that people knew I was driving an elec-

tric car – it meant they approached me to discuss it, and it gave me an opportunity to find out what people thought. And I was surprised with the reaction. Now, either the recession is receding (?) or I only met fairly well-todo folks while testing the Fluence. You would think that the over-riding attraction of an electric car is the low cost of fuel – but it would appear that the look of the motor is even more critical. I realise this is just anecdotal evidence, but every person I spoke with was amazed that a regular, full-sized saloon could be powered by an electric motor and offer all the looks and luxury of its petrol or diesel stable-mates. Without exception – those I spoke to were more likely to buy an electric car if it looked the part, a concern that trumped even the car’s driving range on a fully charged battery. Apparently, the perception of EVs is that they are all either small commercial vehicles or golf buggies. So, it turns out in this particular straw poll, image came in ahead of low running costs. When I raised the issue of carry space, which is a

little limited In the Fluence ZE because of the room in the boot taken up by the batteries, those I spoke to would be happy enough with the trade off, as they saw it as a city-driving, family car, not something to go holidaying in. Fair enough, says I, because with a range of roughly 120kms on a full charge, a driving holiday in the Fluence ZE would need to be very carefully planned. Funnily enough, the subject of performance hardly even came up. As it happens, this was one of the big surprises with the Fluence. Power

Once you get used to the silent running of the engine, it becomes very clear that this car has plenty under the hood, or wherever the power plant is kept! I would liken the driving performance to a modern saloon with a 1.6-litre diesel engine. It has plenty of torque at the ready, and it cruises at a very comfortable 120km/h on the motorway. It is hard to say, however, if the cabin noise is any louder than a petrol or diesel model. Because there is no sound from the engine whatsoever, you can find yourself

The Renault Fluence ZE

noticing the cabin noise that little bit more. Speaking of noise, I would say that it is important for electric cars to come with a second, quieter horn. I was genuinely surprised how often I found myself slowly driving behind people walking on the road or in car parks, etc, because they couldn’t hear me coming. Something to gently alert them to my presence would have been nice. So, in short, the idea of a handsome, modern saloon charging up each night in the driveway seemed a very attractive proposition to a great deal of people. Compromised boot space and limited range are traded off with good looks and comfort. The last hurdle for people to get their heads around is the lease on the car’s battery – this really

27 September 2012 GAZETTE 21

Edited by Cormac Curtis

RoadSigns Road Signs Cathal Ryan, fleet sales manager, Toyota Ireland and Jonathan Moore, marketing manager, Motability Ireland. Picture: Tommy McDermott

Toyota Ireland supplies Motability Ireland with new Verso-S vehicle TOYOTA Ireland has supplied Motability Ireland with a new Verso-S demonstration vehicle as part of its ongoing commitment to the mobility market. The vehicle will be equipped with swivel seat, wheelchair boot hoist, state-of-the-art hand controls, steering aids and left foot accelerator. It will be available for demonstration through Motability Ireland and the Toyota dealer network. Commenting on the collaboration, Cathal Ryan, fleet sales manager, Toyota Ireland, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Motability Ireland. Like Toyota, Motability Ireland manufacture vehicles with a renowned reputation for quality and reliability backed up by industry leading customer service. They are at the forefront of the mobility industry. At Toyota, we realise the importance of the mobility market to our brand’s success in Ireland, and we intend to build upon this relationship in the future” Jonathan Moore, marketing manager, Motability Ireland said: “We look forward to working with Toyota. Their products represent the very best in design and reliability and this reflects Motability Ireland`s core values. The Verso-S is a fantastic new vehicle, with a higher seating position, good accessibility and fully automatic transmission. I’m confident it will be successful in the mobility market.”

boasts a modern exterior, plenty of torque and has a range of approximately 120kms on a full charge

is where people will suck air between their teeth in the showroom. In order to keep these cars future-proof, Renault, along with most other car companies, have opted for a lease arrangement with the battery so the owner can

get a more improved unit as they become available, hopefully providing the cars with better range as the battery technology develops. The idea is a good one, but at roughly €80 per month, it will be a bitter enough pill for many to

swallow. Personally, I’m a huge fan of electric motoring. For the very same reasons, I heard back from members of the general public, and I overlook the downsides in just the same way. If I’m completely

honest, the fact that the Government gets only a fraction of the money they would if I were driving a regular car, makes the Fluence even more attractive. I also get a kick out of the idea that the car’s range may improve with

age as the batteries get better. The Fluence ZE is available from €26,610, considering how little the running costs are, I reckon this is a good deal. This car impressed me, and if the range was better, I’d be all over it.



22 GAZETTE 27 September 2012

GazetteTTRAVEL FastTravel Old-world charms in the city of the Tribes Set sail for a great car-cation with Stena Line and the National Trust PEOPLE looking for an action-packed autumn car-cation should look no further than Stena Line, as Ireland’s leading ferry company has teamed up with Britain’s National Trust to offer families and groups 20% off accommodation and activities at the Stackpole Outdoor Learning Centre, Pembrokeshire, during September and October. Travel from Rosslare to Fishguard and enjoy the action at the centre, which is based at the heart of the 2000-acre National Trust Stackpole Estate. Visitors have the opportunity to kayak, explore more than 30km of woodland paths and lakes, or to take part in Atlantic surf scrambling and coasteering. Travel from €89 single for a car and driver, with additional adults from €30 (single) and children from €17 (single), as well as 20% off accommodation and activities at the Stackpole Outdoor Centre. For further information or to make a booking, see or call 01 204 7777.

Brush up on your art skills with a three-day painting retreat by the lovely waters of Lough Corrib FOR any budding artist looking for an opportunity to relax at an exclusive and luxurious painting retreat, Lisloughrey Lodge is offering a three-day retreat filled with art, exploration, dining and meeting new people. Overlooking beautiful Lough Corrib, Lisloughrey Lodge is a four-star boutique hotel located on the Mayo/Galway border, and is the perfect suggestion for artists looking to develop their practice. On Tuesday, October 9, guests will check in for a three-night stay at one of the lodge’s deluxe courtyard rooms, before enjoying a welcome lunch in the Quay Bar and an introduction to locally-based artist, teacher and gallery owner, John Dinan, who will offer tuition each day. The first ever luxury artists’ retreat takes place from October 9 to October 12. Costing €495, the package includes three nights B&B, a welcome lunch, a final group dinner and three days’ tuition. Early booking is advisable. For further information, contact Lisloughrey Lodge at 094 954 5400.


IT CAN be hard to tick all the boxes when it comes to taking a weekend away in Ireland. One thing is for sure; the weather can be unpredictable, wherever you go. But, when it comes to the other boxes – fourstar accommodation full of old-fashioned Irish charm, a city full of culture on the doorstep, being just minutes away from beaches, shops and lively bars, and facing just a short drive to some of the scenery this country is most famously praised for, it seems that Galway City exceeds expectations. Having only had the pleasure of being to Galway City once before – on an occasion not done in too much style – it came as no surprise that, when the opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance to stay at the renowned Hotel Meyrick. The oldest hotel in Galway city, it lived up the expectation I had set for its combination of oldworld glamour, sophistication and contemporary style. Once known as “the Railway Hotel”, the Hotel Meyrick is one hotel that has its history intertwined with that of the city it resides in. Located quite literally in the very heart of Galway City, the

hotel stands elegantly overlooking Eyre Square, just a stone’s throw away from the city’s highlights and public transport systems – Galway Railway Station is located right on Eyre Square. First opened in 1852, the Hotel Meyrick earned its current name only a few years ago, when it was named after Eyre Square’s former title, Meyrick Place. Arriving by car at Hotel Meyrick, its central location makes it a busy des-

the scene. We checked into a junior suite; a fifth-floor room overlooking the 400-year-old square, its windows offering possibly the best view of Galway city. The king-size bed, spacious bathroom and modern flatscreen TV take nothing away from the old-world charm of the luxurious suite. In the warmer months, you might miss the full blast of air-conditioning (the fact that the building


‘The hotel’s exterior is impressive in itself, the building taking precedence on its corner of Eyre Square but, if that doesn’t take you aback, the Meyrick’s impressive lobby will’


tination, traffic-wise but, if you’re lucky enough to find a spot to pull in first time round, the hotel’s friendly valets quickly take it off your hands. The hotel’s exterior is impressive in itself, the five-floored building taking precedence on its corner of Eyre Square but, if that doesn’t take you aback, the Meyrick’s impressive lobby will. Grand, spacious and inviting, the lobby boasts high ceilings, a number of old fashioned couches and warm lighting to set

is listed means there are restrictions – an element that is intriguing in itself) but, even after throwing the wide windows open to let fresh air through, the sounds of the Galway streets remind you of the bustling liveliness of a modern city that rarely sleeps. The menus at the Oyster Grill Restaurant reflect its fortunate proximity to the west coast, the variety complemented by Beara Island mussels, Atlantic crab claws and seasonal oysters.

The popular restaurant offers an a-la-carte option, a table d’hote menu, as well as Sunday lunch, with its doors open to both guests and locals seven days a week. After choosing the chicken liver and herb pate, followed by a sirloin steak with Guinness and mushroom jus – which comes highly recommended – we chose to finish our evening with a nightcap at the laidback Oyster Bar. Breakfast is served in the same restaurant and is a generous spread of fresh fruit, cereals and mini-pastries, as well as a buffet-style option for a full Irish breakfast. Following breakfast, I couldn’t help but be tempted by the rumours I heard about the Square Spa and Health Club, located on the fifth floor of the Meyrick. Good rumours, of course, that encouraged me to bypass the state-ofthe-art gym and indulge instead in a morning of relaxation. What the spa lacks in size, it makes up for in privacy and quality. The spa overlooks the cityscape of Galway and, while I had to avoid climbing into the romantic Canadian hot tub overlooking the city (which was already occupied by two people enjoying a

As you would expect from

glass of bubbly), I opted instead for a signature Dermalogica facial. Outside the little world created by the Meyrick lies cobbled streets, colourful shops and a busy café bar culture spreading right across the city. Already located at the heart of where it all happens, why not take a stroll on the beach at Salthill, stop off for a well-earned pint of Guinness at one of the city’s many old Irish pubs, or take a drive to see the unspoilt beauty of the famous Connemara coast? The Relax & Unwind package offers two nights’ bed and full Irish breakfast, with one evening dinner at the Oyster Grill Restaurant, and a choice of a relaxing Indian Head Massage or a Mini Facial from €184 per room. For further packages and information, see

27 September 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 23

Edited by Natalie Burke

TravelBriefs Let Wings Abroad fly you away to the sun at a Turkish holiday resort IF THE lack of sun this summer has left you feeling down, perhaps an autumn sunshine break could be just what you need? Get away from the Irish weather this October with Wings Abroad, the Turkish holiday specialists, from just €369 per person. The four-star Golden Day Wings Hotel in Kusadasi, a firm favourite with Irish holiday makers, are offering a seven-night stay from just €369, and a 14-night stay from just €429. Enjoy friendly service, reliable weather and the exhilarating views of the Kusadasi coastline from your balcony at the four-star hotel, set in a unique location within easy walking distance of the marina and Kusadasi town centre. Prices are based on two persons sharing a twin room on a B&B basis, and are for selected dates in October. For further information or to make a booking, see, or call 01 871 9444. Prices are subject to availability, and terms and conditions apply.

such an impressive exterior, the Meyrick also has impressive bedrooms and facilities, making it a perfect, welcoming base for visitors

First opened in 1852, the Hotel Meyrick has a perfect location on Eyre Square, with a range of suites offering the best of old-world charms, while its spa and health club offers contemporary pampering for guests to really spoil themselves

24 SWORDS GAZETTE 27 September 2012


GoingOUT THE PAVILION THEATRE 01 231 2929 The 39 Steps

THE dangerous world of spying in the 1930s is brought to life in a great performance of the classic comic play, still best-known to many audiences for the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name. In 1935, Richard Hannay is thrown into the mysterious world of spying, in a bid to keep his country safe – but nothing is what it seems, as his life is turned upside down by danger – and comedy! With many lighthearted touches, this is a show that’s sure to entertain. Step lively to catch the show at 8pm on Friday, September 28 or Saturday, September 29, with tickets priced at €15.

MILL THEATRE 01 296 9340 Karl Spain and Bernard O’Shea ALTERNATIVELY this weekend, in a break from espionage antics, why not spy on two of Ireland’s funniest men? TV funnyman Karl Spain has abandoned his well-known search for a woman to return to his stand-up roots. Bernard O’Shea is a freewheeling comic, familiar to many as the roving reporter on The Republic of Telly, not to mention his prestigious representation of Ireland in the Montreal Just For Laughs festival. Already individually impressive, the two comics have an evening not to be missed this weekend. Catch the show at 8.15pm on Friday, September 28 or Saturday, September 29, with tickets priced at €12/€14. As an autonomous and totalitarian lawmaker, Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) doesn’t need to do much more than grunt “I am derrr lawww!” at

CIVIC THEATRE 01 462 7477

bad guys – and then shoot them – in the latest film that attempts to bring the iconic comic character to life

Misery THE popular tale of a fan’s obsessive love, Misery is set to chill with an upcoming production at the Civic Theatre. Joe Meagher and Denise Camp will thrill audiences with their roles, ready to show how novelist Paul Sheldon’s rescuer from a car crash, Annie Wilkes is anything but his saviour. Recuperating in her house, cut off from the world, and facing her increasingly erratic attention, Sheldon faces devising the greatest plot of his life – how to escape ... Misery will be staged nightly at 8pm from Tuesday, October 9 to Saturday, October 13, with tickets priced at €16/€20.

DRAIOCHT 01 885 2622 The Music Makers THIS fascinating celebration of the interaction between instruments and musicians will delight any music fan. Live music by outstanding traditional musicians will be accompanied by film showing the workings of instrument makers’ workshops, presenting an insightful evening of delightful music. Catch the performance at 8.15pm on Friday, September 28, with tickets priced at €14/€16.





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Not totally Dredd-ful It’s hard to do very much with a character that just likes being sour and shooting things, but this film’s on target ... I KATE CROWLEY

DARLINGS! I’m back! Well, “back”, as in “back doing a couple of fill-in reviews for a temporary week or two, as I slunk off Gazette Group from The Gazett ago”-back. some time ago”-b So, it’s my great gre pleasall of my ure to say hi to a old fans – yes, yes, I missed you both, too – and an to say rest of you hi to all the res to and, more importantly, impor give you a review of a film for your consideration. consider While in the Whil we’re ’ mood of being all happy and welcoming, and news editors not paying very careful attention to temporary film reviewers’ expenses claims, may I say that it’s been simply dreadful for me, wondering how on earth readers would cope without my on-the-nose reviews? But nothing, perhaps, as Dredd-ful as this week’s review, Dredd 3D. (See what I did there?) Taking the long-run-

FILM OF THE WEEK: Dredd 3D #### (18) 96 mins Director: Pete Travis Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Jason Cope, Domhnall Gleeson, thousands of thugs, Mega City One


WITH some decent names behind the camera, from scripting to cinematography, the director hasn’t made a Travis-ty of bringing Dredd back to the big screen. True, the ultimate law enforcer still doesn’t need to do much more than scowl underneath a big helmet – and then shoot stuff – but, as far as big, dumb action B-movies go, this decent enough film lays down the law in some style.

ning comic book character (Judge Dredd) and his setting, we’ve got a noisy action film that tries to do him justice. (All right, all right – whoever started shouting from the back about Sly Stallone’s misguided version ages ago can sit down again.) As a set-up, in the near future, most of the world is a nuclear wasteland, with the remains of humanity packed into vast, teeming and totalitarian megacities – with none more sardine-packed than Mega City One (formerly known as separate places called New York, Chica-

go, Washington, etc). Unfortunately, even by chaotic Mega City One standards, life’s more hellish than usual, thanks to the effects of a drug, Slo-Mo, on the people and gangs. Oh, you know, crime and drugs aren’t ever going to lead to a happy story, right? With Slow-Mo causing warfare across the city, it’s time to send in The Law – with none more lawful than Judge Dredd, not just one of the city’s tough-nut cops but, also, a one-man judge, jury and executioner. Literally. Given Dredd’s habit of dispensing instant capital

punishment for virtually every misdemeanour (TV licence inspectors may take note), he’s the right man to send into one part of the city to tackle the Slo-Mo problem there. Dredd (a grunt-tastic Karl Urban playing Dredd appropriately, as half-scowl, half-helmet) and his rookie sidekick, slightly-psychic Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) find themselves in a typical, 1km-tall tower block, home to thousands of residents ... Except that, wouldn’t you know it, it’s not just a base for Slo-Mo, it’s THE base for Slo-Mo. Of all the tower blocks in all Mega City One, Dredd walks into that one. (I’d ask that man to start buying your Lotto tickets, if I were you.) Crimelord Ma-Ma (Lena Headey) immediately orders a block lockdown, with a bounty on Dredd and Andersons’ heads, leaving two judges

to face off against lots and lots of trigger-happy minions … To say any more would put me back in “…and then the Titanic hit an iceberg” territory. Suffice it to say that, yes, it’s got all of the gunfire and gunplay that you’d expect from such a film, but it’s elevated – slightly – from the usual standards of such films by the interesting crew behind the camera, leading to some arresting sights, and some admittedly stylish cinematography. Given the subject matter, it’s certainly a Dreddful film, but, thankfully, not quite a dreadful one. There are certainly worse films to spend your money one. Hmmm. That indirectly reminds me of a joke about an old cinema nemesis of mine. “What’s the only thing worse than a new Clive Owen film? Two new Clive Owen films!” That’s all, folks!

27 September 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 25

GazetteGAMING GAMING Bytesandpieces Second Life dev looks at Patterns REMEMBER Second Life? Anyone? Surely you all remember the seemingly endless hype from about seven years ago about Linden Labs’ vast, online world where anyone could be anything, and where banks and high-street retailers would build “clicksand-morter” virtual outlets for people to do all their online shopping at? (I remember Second Life very well – as being the world’s biggest ghost town; a virtual, sprawling version of I Am Legend, but with extra Nike stores and a few brave, if dejected, souls wandering around.) Now, Linden Labs have released information and a trailer for Patterns; its next world title, which follows the current vogue for user-created worldbuilding and reshaping titles. (Think: “Minecraft with triangles”, and you’re pretty much there.) Let’s hope that Linden Labs gets a second wind for its next potentially major venture ...

Saying Halo to a special preview Taking place in a cel-shaded version of some of Tokyo’s most iconic districts, Jet Set Radio doesn’t have quite the visual “wow” factor today that it did upon its release on the Dreamcast in 2000, but, thankfully, its fun gameplay is just as capable of drawing you in

Can easily draw you in I SHANE DILLON

I’M SO old, I can remember when Sega was primarily known for its consoles, rather than being “just” a developer. This being so, many an aging gamer will join me in wiping away tears of nostalgia over Sega’s missed Dreamcast console – the cube-shaped bundle of joy that passed away before its time, given its underwhelming support by developers and publishers. One of the DC’s most notable and lauded titles was Jet Set Radio; a fun and funky cel-shaded title that (local councillors and Tidy Towns groups

may wish to look away now) saw players racing around a busy cityscape, tagging areas with their graffiti to mark their turf over rival gangs’, while avoiding the police who’d eventually show up. Having travelled the world and seen such things everywhere, I’ve seen how there’s an enormous difference between graffiti (the blight of a thousand estates around Dublin, and the world) and street art (mocking society, making political jokes, and so on) – but, here, it’s pretty much just graffiti played for laughs, as an attempt to inject some fun and colour back into an increasingly dull

cityscape. As another in the cool trend of digital remakes, Jet Set Radio HD sees the old title picked up, dusted off, and available for digital download for both XBox 360 and PlayStation 3 (prices var y) , giving modern gamers the chance to play a stylish gaming classic. Players choose from a number of characters, with many more available throughout the game, to skate around a number of colourful

Tokyo districts, with each character having their own strengths and weaknesses. In each open area, the player has to tag their mark over rival gangs’, collecting spray cans and avoiding the interests of the police, while trying to add to their score by grinding and performing tricks on the many conveniently-placed railings, steps, bars and other such grind-friendly surfaces. A n d t h a t ’s pretty much it – there’s noth-

ing about avenging family wrongs, saving the world or murky cover-ups, here – just fun gameplay, racing around, spraying tags, completing challenges and collecting characters. Of course, I hate seeing graffiti in real life – meaningless scrawls are ugly to see, in any city of the world – but, here, there’s a lot of fun in adding some slapdash colour to Tokyo, with the slightly anarchic gameplay just as engaging as ever. Here’s hoping that the remake of Dreamcast classics continues (Skies of Arcadia next, please).

Beat, Jet Set Radio’s iconic lead character

Minister Shatter wings it with a tongue-in-cheek response to Apple’s map mistake THE Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, revealed an amusing way with words last week as he, too, joined in the fuss over Apple’s new Maps app, bundled as part of the latest update to its gadgets’ operating system, IOS 6. This saw Apple ditch its previous use of Google Maps for its own version instead, which is a

fair enough move ... Unfortunately, however, the internet immediately saw a flood of complaints from irate people, from individuals to companies, all complaining about Apple’s version of Maps, versus Google’s. Missing cities, incomplete entries, incorrectly branded places – the list of user complaints

goes on. Having looked through this new Maps a bit, myself, I can see why. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see “Here Be Dragons” and pictures of mermaids on some of the particularly blank areas that I looked at, such is its relative paucity of content compared to the more detailed Google version. As for Minister Shatter,

while he’s unlikely to be starring at the Laughter Lounge any time soon, he had a tongue-in-cheek response to the revalation that Airfield House, in Dundrum, has now been branded as, well, an air field (complete with airport symbol), courtesy of Apple. He said: “In the context of Airfield there are a variety of possible alter-

native images that could be utilised, such as a cow, a goat, a sheep, a flower or indeed any other type of plant, as Airfield operates a nursery. “An aircraft is an entirely inappropriate flight of imagination.” While he was probably winging it a bit with his comments, there’s no doubt that it’s an interesting stumble by Apple.

LASTLY, look out for a special report on Halo 4 in the near future, as I’m off to Madrid (yes, that Madrid) to take a closer, hands-on preview look at what’s sure to be a smash-hit crowdpleaser later this year. So, stay tuned for that upcoming Halo 4 report – and, possibly, a special giveaway, too ...


26 SWORDS GAZETTE 27 September 2012



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27 September 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 27


LIFFEY DESCENT: Czech team in town for annual canoe marathon: Page 28


McManus hails role of Community Games volunteers

ALL good things must come to an end, and that is what will happen to Dublin Community Games in 2013 as a number of long-standing members retire at this year’s annual general meeting. Some of the existing committee are stepping down after many years of dedicated involvement with the role of secretary and games director opening up.

As such, Dublin Community Games are seeking new volunteers to join the county committee to help run the extensive programme of competitions. Speaking about the 2012 Games programme, Brian MacManus, chairperson, said: “2012 has been a successful, yet challenging year for us, as we struggled to stage our full programme of events. “It is always sad to see volunteers, colleagues

and, more importantly friends retire, but none of us is around forever, and we need new volunteers now more than ever before. “With the retirement of many of our longstanding volunteers, we will not be able to stage the full, new 2013 programme without the help of new volunteers.” Catering for young people aged six to 16 years-old in a pro gramme with a strong emphasis firmly placed

Marley Grange participants enjoy the 2012 Community Games relays at Santry Stadium

on fun, participation and creating community spirit, Dublin Community Games provides over 55 sporting and cultural activities. T hese range from athletics to art, choir to chess, soccer to swimming, judo to gymnastics, and volleyball to variety,

with debating, duathlon, hybrid rugby and spike ball all being added to the programme next year. All these activities are run in local communities around Dublin, and provide opportunities for young people to develop in a healthy and safe environment while expe-

riencing a wide range of activities. There is also a youth programme on offer where you can help at local and county events, mentor teams, develop new skills while encouraging youth participation in the community. The annual meeting

takes place on Tuesday, October 2 at 7.30pm in Carmichael House, Dublin 7. All are welcome. For more information on how to get involved, contact Dublin Secretary, Maureen Quinlan on 01 872 8203 or check out

28 SWORDS GAZETTE 27 September 2012

GazetteSport Sport FastSport

Ireland Warriors win Euro Cup in fine style THE IRELAND Warriors Aussie Rules team won their second Euro Cup in Edinburgh last weekend with a stunning come-frombehind one-point win over Denmark Vikings in Edinburgh last Saturday. It was described as the “best game of Aussie Rules I’ve seen played in Europe” by tournament organiser AFL Europe general manager Ben MacCormack as the Irish side, featuring a number of players from the South Dublin Swans, came from 11 points behind in the final minute. They blast home two quick goals just seconds from the final siren and win 5.0 (30) to 4.5 (29) with Ireland’s Muiris Bartley kicking the vital goal. The competition saw 16 teams compete at Peffermill over a series of 24-minute games played in a nine-a-side format. Speaking about the ever-growing size of the competition, McCormack added: “It just shows just how much the game is developing in Europe across both genders.” A bagpipe player, dressed in a kilt, provided background noise during the exhibition women’s match, in which the Irish Banshees – which features players from Lucan and Malahide – crushed the European Crusaders 13.14 (92) to 8.8 (56). Aimee-Louise Hazley took a break from her club Gaelic football season with St Sylvester’s – who are into the Leinster intermediate championship quarter-final – to take part in the contest. Not much separated the teams at the last change before the Irish experience got them across the line in the last term.


World bronze medallist Antonin Hales has been added to the field for the annual Liffey Descent as the event gains world recognition

Descent hits heights  PETER CARROLL

IN ITS first year since its inclusion in the World River Marathon Series, the Liffey Descent is back on Sunday September 29, with over 800 canoeists ready to attack the white water rapids of the renowned river Liffey route. The usual crew making up the Irish contingent will be ready to fly the flag – Thomastown Paddlers of Kilkenny, Wild Water Kayak Club of Chapelizod, Salmon Leap Canoe Club of Leixlip and Celbridge Paddlers – but this year they will be joined by the Czech National team who have been attracted to the event after it received its world marathon recognition The Czechs, who are due to compete in the

C1 class, will be afforded the opportunity of gaining ranking points if they are successful around the course, as will those taking part in the K1 class, something that Irish competitor Keith McGuirk believes can only bring more international interest to the tournament. “It’s huge to have the Czech team coming over,” said the C1 athlete. “I think a lot of other teams might take an interest in the marathon because of its new classification. “If the Czech team have a good experience, they’ll be spreading the word about the event and hopefully that will lead to more and more international teams coming over in the future. “The fact that Antonin Hales is competing is very big as far as the marathon is concerned. He’s a huge name in world

white water rafting and he was part of the team that won bronze at the world championships,” said McGuirk. The Liffey Descent is one of the biggest events of its kind in the world and is not for the faint-hearted. The 28km course combines long flat water sections, swift currents, 10 weirs and numerous rapids, a heavily wooded section and a long portage around Leixlip dam. Competitors need to be of level three kayak standard and the reasons for such a big turnout, from the casual athletes to the championship level, is the fact that the ESB guarantee the white water element of the event. The ESB will release 30 tonnes of water from the Poulaphouca Reservoir to coincide with the race.

This brings the river up to flood level and transforms small rapids and gentle weirs into foaming white water, which gives the marathon its unique drawing point, making it one of the most unique and challenging courses of its kind, according to McGuirk. “The fact that the race is guaranteed white water because of the role of the ESB it makes it a very interesting course for a lot of reasons. “It’s a long course at 18 miles, and the fact that the competitors are working

against white water while still trying to conserve energy to endure the full length of the marathon makes it a fantastic challenge and a great test for all levels of competitor,” said McGuirk The event began back in 1959 as an inter club event for the national scene, but has gone on to grow every year. McGuirk believes that Olympic competitors like Eoin Rheinisch and Hannah Craig have injected a lot of interest in the event on the back of their showings at the Olympic Games.

27 September 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 29



# STARof the MONTH




AT THE fourth attempt, the St Peregrine’s man finally tastes All-Ireland minor final success and could help Dublin to a famous double

SWORDS woman Catherine Walsh claimed medals on both the track and the road to mark an epic Paralmypic Games

NAOMH Olaf’s full-back was the beating heart of the Dublin minor All-Ireland success, leading the side with some superb showings

# TEAMof the MONTH




JUST two years since attaining inter status for the first time, Syl’s hurlers powered their way to the senior ranks in jig-time

CASTLE GC ended a long 99-year wait but finally won back amateur golf’s biggest team prize, the Irish Senior Cup

FIELDING 17 players who discovered ladies football through the Gaelic for Mothers programme, they rose to win a JFC title

Camogie make-a-wish: National association links up with charity MAKE-A-WISH Ireland are set to partner with the Camogie Association for the next three years. The Camogie Association will help promote, support and fundraise for the charity which is celebrating 20 years in Ireland this year. The partnership was announced at the AllIreland camogie championship final last week in Croke Park. Susan O’Dwyer, Make-A-Wish Ireland said: “We look forward to working with the association and developing exciting fundraising events and activities which will help us to continue to grant wishes for children living with life-threatening medical conditions.” For more information log onto www. and

South Dublin clubs in running for awards LOCAL hockey clubs came away with a series of nominations on the shortlist for the Irish Hockey Association annual awards last Thursday following an extensive public vote that saw over 5,000 people offer their views. Beaufort club Loreto are up for two major gongs as they were included in the lists for Club of the Year and Youth Club of the Year following a sterling 2011/12 season. In the former category, Loreto earned their stripes by reaching the final of the Irish Hockey League while also making it through to the finals weekend of the Irish Senior Cup, the two top competitions for women’s hockey in Ireland. On top of that, they picked up a number of Leinster league titles with their junior teams while they started to build their first clubhouse, too. They are up against south Dublin rivals Railway Union and Blackrock side Avoca. The latter club is another to have set in motion plans to improve their facilities in Newpark with a new Portakabin built and in operation for the new season. Their men’s first team returned to division one for the first time in seven seasons as their development plan came into full effect. Elsewhere, Monkstown’s David Cole is up for the U-18 player of the year having made his debut for the Irish senior national team during his Leaving Certificate year, lining out in green against world number five side Spain earlier in 2012. He also captained his school side St Andrew’s to the Leinster senior cup. There were plenty of nominations for Alexandra College following their run to the AllIreland girl’s Kate Russell Cup glory. They are up for the hockey school of the year while their coach Miles Warren is in the final four for the U-18 coach of the year having also been at the helm for the Irish U-16 boys as they finished fifth in the European championships in the summer. Loreto and Rathdown head coach Graham Shaw is one of four in the running for the coach of the year title while Olympic umpire Carol Metchette is one of the favourites for the top whistle-blower gong.

30 SWORDS GAZETTE 27 September 2012

GazetteSport Sport FastSport

Bane caps stunning Fingal comeback FINGAL hockey club produced an incredible comeback as they struck three time in the closing eight minutes to break Avoca hearts at ALSAA last Sunday, ending their first weekend of the Leinster men’s division one hockey campaign on a high. The Blackrock club looked well set for their first three points in division one in over seven years as they led 2-0 going into the final phases of the tie. Their robust defence and sharp, incisive counters served them well as they took advantage of one of the few chances of the first half to frustrate Fingal as Oisin O’Halloran beat a man before firing in a reverse-stick effort for a 1-0 interval lead. Fingal did have the ball in the net in the first half when they drilled in a long corner which Paddy Gahan deflected in but it was deemed not to have travelled five metres before the ball in took place. Avoca built on their lead 10 minutes into the second period when an overhead down the line made its way to Alasdair Addison who found Martin Naughton and he finished off with a shortened-grip shot for 2-0. From there, Fingal threw everything forward but looked to be going down blind alleys until very late on as Stefan Gallagher made a wealth of saves, most eye-catchingly with his faceguard from a David Bane rocket. Another Bane smash found its way to Chris Neville to touch in his first goal since returning to the club, ricocheting in off a defender. Three minutes from time, a series of corners was blocked but one was deemed to have hit Rob Pearson on the body – despite strong Avoca protests that it hit a stick – and from the follow-up corner David Bane’s reverse ballooned up and Eamon Bane batted in a very high volley just below his shoulder height. And in the denouement, Andrew Shekleton nicked the ball and won a corner from which David Bane struck home what had looked a fanciful winner just five minutes before. It followed up a tight 2-0 loss a day earlier against title contenders Pembroke to get the campaign off to a mixed start.


Swords Celtic’s Jasopn Scully endeavours to keep a Northway attack at bay in the NDSL U-17A encounter last weekend

Celts send Northway south I

SWORDS Celtic’s S U-17 As got back to winning ways this weekend when they saw off Northway Mellows in a convincing 4-0 victory in Finglas, taking their first victory of the season on the back of which the Celtic men will hope to propel them to further results in their NDSL campaign. Milosz Majewski made a nuisance of himself from the start and the Finglas defence couldn’t deal with his attacking runs from the get go, bringing down the attacker on the 10-minute mark inside

the box after an explosive run that saw him beat two defenders. Ian Scanlon was on target from the penalty spot to bring the Celtic men ahead and the Northway heads seemed to drop with Celtic finding their pace and flow. After some spells of pressure that saw Celtic dominating the play, it was 15 minutes later when the Swords men rattled the goal again w h e n Ia n S c a n l o n showed great vision in finding Sean Gonzales. Goalscorer turned provider, Scanlon had the ball at his feet with some defenders blocking

Fingallians rewarded: Swords athletic club praised for 10k role FINGAL County Council presented Fingallians AC with a cheques for €6,150 at a special ceremony in County Hall Swords last week. The donations, made by the Dublin Race Series, were to recognise the stewarding assistance provided by their members at the inaugural Fingal 10k road race hosted in Swords this summer. Over 4,000 athletes participated in the Fingal 10k run, making it the second best attended event of its kind in Ireland this year.

off any chances of one of his own runs before he looped a long rangy pass to Gonzales who drifted in from the wing to drive the ball home for the Swords side. Early in the second half, Majewski put the Northway defence under more pressure when he got into his stride in another of his signature runs. Finding himself one-on-one with the opposition goalkeeper, the attacker dropped the shoulder and tried to round the stopper before he was taken down. With the Northway Mellows’ keeper then given his marching

orders and the referee pointing to the spot, it was Majewski who was awarded the opportunity of putting his side three ahead, which he did in great fashion. Celtic dominated the play in the second half and sat back on their three-goal lead. The Swords defence were not in the business of leaking goals and managed to get one more before the final whistle blew. It was Scanlon again who popped up with the finish, taking the score to 4-0 while also taking any hopes of Northway M e l l ow s ’ c o m e b a c k away.

Elsewhere, a number of the club’s goalkeepers are currently undertaking a 10-week goalies’ coaching course with Matt Gregg from Just4Keepers. The course is teaching them the basics of the goalkeeper role including ball catching and saving, diving, kick outs and ball distribution. This is the second season which Swords Celtic have brought in Gregg to provide this specialist training to the keeper. The sessions continue each Friday evening from 6-7pm for the juniors with a 7-8pm session for the older keepers

27 September 2012 SWORDS GAZETTE 31



final (details to follow on both semi

is over. Well done to the young Dubs


in claiming the Tom Markham Cup as

The All Ireland 7s competition for

All-Ireland minor football champions

senior ladies will now take place in

in Croke Park on Sunday for the first

Portmarnock on October 7. In prepa-

time since 1984 and also to the Donegal

ration, the ladies will play a friendly

footballers on their senior success.

this Tuesday against St Sylvester’s.

There will be a celebration party to

Congratulations to the U-12 girls who

honour Catherine Walsh’s two-medal

represented the Dubs on Saturday in a

haul at the Paralympic Games last

Leinster Blitz in Carlow: Laura Demp-

month. The club will open its doors to

sey, Hannah Cronin, Labhaoise Brady

everyone in Fingal next Saturday night

and Niamh McKittrick. They were man-

from 8pm (September 29). The club will

aged by the club’s Fintan Keeling.

mark the occasion with a presentation

Poker is back next Friday (the last

at 8.30pm sharp. Catherine will have

Friday of every month) in the club bar

the medals for all to see with plenty

from 8.30pm. Texas hold’em at a cost

of photo opportunities. On Saturday

of €10 per player.

morning, she will make an appearance at the nursery at 11.30am.

St Finian’s face a key battle against Ballyboden St Enda’s this weekend in their bid for honours this year

Finian’s fighting for double shot I PETER CARROLL

ST FINIAN’S pulled off a big win last Saturday against local rivals Fingallians when they met them in an AHL 4 clash that would go on to bolster their league aspirations, ending up 1-17 to 2-10 winners at Rivervalley. Fingallians took the half-time lead after they scored two early goals in the first 10 minutes but Finian’s went about their business in efficient fashion, tagging on points throughout. The away team, meanwhile, only managed a single point in the second half of the game - the first one - and Finian’s set about scoring from distance to forge ahead in what was ultimately a dramatic turnaround. With an all-important clash coming up with Ballyboden St Enda’s this weekend, depending on results elsewhere, the side could see themselves

promoted to the AHL 3, matching the recent feats of the club’s footballers. However, it isn’t the only silverware the Mick Lawton side have to look forward to as they eye a championship showdown with Lucan Sarsfields that is due to take place on the weekend of October 13. However, while Lawton expressed his happiness with seeing off the local rivals this week, he underlined that it was not the opposition that was important about the result, but rather the coming back from behind. “Fingallians have edged us out for a number of years, so it was nice to get the win over them. They’re a great side and it was a fantastic game of hurling, played with a sporting attitude. “The turnaround was the most important thing though. We went in at half time four points behind and we ended coming out winners by the same mar-

gin – the lads did some fantastic shooting from far out,” said Lawton. The run of form for the Swords’ side has been fantastic this year, and with championship and league titles still possible, Lawton praised the young minors who have come into the fold and given the team a new lease of life. “We got half a dozen lads up from the minor side this year and they’ve brought pace and energy to the team as well as options and competition for places amongst the starting 15. “It’s allowed us to

field fresh teams and it’s improved the drive of the squad with a lot of people putting in extra work to get into the team or to keep their places.” With a lot of managers favouring the championship over the league, Lawton would be happy with either honours as his side draw closer to the season’s finale. “I think every manager wants to win the championship, and I’m not different. But, I’d really be happy with either because I think the lads deserve something out of the year,” he finished.

White Collar Boxing FundraiserFingallians v Naomh Barrog - Wright

The quarter-final of the intermedi-

Venue, Saturday, November 3. The

ate football championship will be held

Battle of Fingal sees Fingallians’ box-

on Wednesday, October 3 in Newcastle

ers against Naomh Barrog over three

at 7.30pm - Fingallians v Good Council.

rounds in what promises to be an

After a big win against Naomh Bar-

amazing night’s entertainment. Tick-

rog, our U-15A footballers are now

ets priced at €20 and €30 (premium)

safely into the championship semi-

are available from all the boxers, the

final. Our U-12 girls likewise are also

club bar and through any Fingalllians

through to their championship semi-

club members.

FINGAL RAVENS WELL done to our minor team who won

juvenile girls, seniors, etc). For more

their league final against Craobh Chi-

information, contact your team man-

arain on Sunday morning. Vinny’s win-

ager/mentor or Nick Halligan at 087

ning matches, Vinny’s winning games!


They play the first round of their

The senior team play St Mark’s in

championship next Sunday at 10.30am

Blakestown on Saturday, October 6 at

against St Finian’s in Rivervalley, we

5pm in the SFC relegation match.

wish them the best of luck.

Family tickets for the hurling replay:

Hard luck to our U-15s who were

regrettably there will be no fam-

beaten by Ballyboden on Sunday by

ily tickets available for sale through

one point.

the club as the Dublin county board

We are running a table quiz on Fri-

has received a very small number of

day, October 5 at 8pm in Kettles, each

these tickets. Committee meeting this

team in the club is requested to enter

Thursday at 8pm in Kettle Hotel.

at least two tables, €7.50 per person

Lotto numbers were, 9, 11, 19, and

(€30 per table). As well as overall win-

40; there was no jackpot winner, €20

ning tables, we will award additional

to Carl O’Flaherty, Luke Griffin and

fun prizes to the leading table/team

Orla Kettle; next week’s jackpot is now

in the different groups (juvenile boys,

worth €4,366.

ST FINIAN’S OUR adult hurling team had a great

Friday night. Many thanks to all the

win on Saturday night over Fingal-

team mentors and players. Congrat-

lians, putting in a really strong sec-

ulations go to the Dublin minors and

ond half performance to win the local

Donegal seniors after winning their

derby by four points.

All-Ireland championships.

The result keeps the lads in the hunt for top spot in the league.

The club extends deepest sympathies to Niamh and Aoife Higgins and all

The last league match takes place

their family on the loss of their mother

next Saturday at 5.15pm in Ridgewood,

Sindy. May she rest in peace. We also

please come out to support the team.

extend sympathies to the O’Neill fam-

Our Under-15 footballers had a great

ily for their recent loss.

championship quarter-final win, by

Particular credit must be given

the narrowest of margins, on Sunday

to Brian O’Neill who played an out-


standing match for the adult hurl-

We had a great turnout for the mini

ers on Saturday evening, having had

All-Ireland league during the week

his grandfather’s funeral earlier the

with Tipperary taking the title on

same day.


DOUBLE DREAMS: St Finian’s still in league and championship glory hunt P30

SEPTEMBER 27, 2012

LIFFEY DESCENT: Famous race earns world recognition P28


The new season brings new challenges for Swords as a large turnover of players has affected their pre-season preparations

Swords rugby aim to silence doubters With a new-look team, Richard Cowman believes his side can cause plenty of upsets in this new Leinster league season

SWORDS rugby club’s Richard Cowman is hoping to prove the doubters wrong this season after a regional rugby podcast made his team favourites to make the drop from Leinster League Division 2B. With many players emigrating, Cowman believes a few of those drafted in to take their place have a point to prove and, although he has admitted that the season may focus more on the “personal enjoyment” of his side, he still believes they can shock a few people along the way. “It’s obviously not great to hear your time being slated on a podcast,” Cowman told GazetteSport. “But it was fairly unavoidable because it was all over Facebook and Twitter. “There’s no doubt that the team have lost a lot of key players - it’s currently seven - but it will be eight soon. But the players we have brought in from the second team and the younger squads want to stand up and be counted.

“To be honest, I think they’ve taken the podcast as a bit of a billy up, and when you look at it, it’s relieved a lot of pressure off the men. They can go out and try new things on the field, it’s really a case of nothing ventured, nothing gained,” said Cowman. Despite being touted as favourites for relegation, Swords have impressed in pre-season competition and found themselves in the final of the Jenkinson Cup final where they await the winner of North Meath and Dundalk. “We’ve been quite good in pre-season. We lost out on one occasion but we’ve done well to get wins from our other three games against Ratoath, Navan and Athboy, which have helped us to the final of a cup. “There has also been a big focus on strength and conditioning. We’ve brought in lads from Kiwi Fit who’ve been great and the strongman sessions they’ve been doing have really made a difference so far,” said Cowman. With the beginning of their league season beginning on Sunday, Swords are gearing up

for a complete change in their style of play, with the losses to their side forcing them to come up with a plan of action that could cause their opposition a few problems. North Kildare are up first and although Cowman knows the side have shown great versatility over the years, he is still looking forward to testing his side’s mettle. “It’s really a mixed bag as far as North Kildare are concerned. They’ve had great forward lines in the past but they’ve also had really fast backs so it’s very hard to prepare for them as far as isolating a singular threat is concerned. “We’ve had to make a lot of changes to our way of playing the game too. If we go out and play a very structured game I think we have more of a chance of being figured out and we could allow teams to capitalise in that way. “Swords will be playing a fast tempo game next year. Hopefully we’ll be able to use the young legs in the team and if we string a few results together, anything is possible,” he finished.