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Issue 10, October 2012. Copyright: Skills & Enterprise Development Academy TEACHER JENNIFER Teacher Jennifer, who was supposed to finish her maternity leave this month, is not coming back until next year - her baby Caitríona needs her.

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WIN FREE TICKETS! SEDA News readers can win two pairs of tickets for Dublin’s scariest tour - The Gravedigger Bus Tour. All you have to do is write a scary story...

SEDA students Marcela Lacerda, Tarcila Lopes and Cynara Castro enjoying a party with friends. Check out more pictures on pages 10 & 11.

Brave Aline Barros thanks SEDA for help Every little helps as donations from SEDA support paraplegic student Aline in Ireland. Brazilian student Aline Barros (29), who became paralyzed from the waist down after a hit and run in Dublin, has thanked SEDA students for their donations to her. “I’m very grateful for every donation – even 10 cents, people don’t know how much it’s worth to me”, Aline Barros told SEDA News. “Every coin has a huge value because it keeps me and my mother going”. Aline, who came to Ireland from Brazil to learn English, became paraplegic after an

accident on the corner of Patrick Street and Kevin Street four years ago. A truck knocked her down and ran over her as Aline was cycling to work – distributing Herald AM newspapers. The driver did not stop, but was later caught and found guilty of dangerous driving. The Brazilian student is still waiting for compensation from the insurance company. Currently her case is in the courts and a decision is expected in the beginning of next

year. In the meantime Aline is not entitled to any social benefits in Ireland and she cannot work, so the girl is relying on the kindness of strangers to survive. She lives with her mother Sylvia, who came to look after her following the accident, in an apartment in Dublin 4.

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A word from SEDA welcomes more European students the editor Thank you for reading the October issue of SEDA News! This month’s edition features the important story of Aline Barros, the Brazilian student who became paraplegic after a hit and run in Dublin. The accident happened a week before Aline was due to go back to Brazil. Four years have passed since then, but the girl is still waiting for compensation from the insurance company. At the moment Aline and her mother Sylvia, who came to Dublin to look after her, survive on donations. Life is not easy for the two women and you can get a glimpse of it from the article on the front page. If you have sympathy for Aline there are a number of ways in which you can help. You could donate some money by putting it into donations boxes at SEDA’s reception or by lodging it on her account. You can also make Aline happy by visiting her home or inviting her out as she gets quite lonely sometimes. You’ll find her bank account details and contacts on page 4. Another major topic in this month’s issue is the approaching Halloween season. By now this “spooky” festival, celebrated on and around October 31, is popular all over the world, but few people know that it originated in Ireland! It started as the old Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced “SA-van”) when, as the ancient Celts believed, the border between the worlds of the living and the dead was at its thinnest, so the spirits of the dead could walk among the living people. In order to ward off evil ghosts people would wear scary masks and decorate their houses with carved turnips and other vegetables. This is how the modern fancy dress parties began. There was also a major fire ritual connected with the celebrations. On the night of Samhain the druids would light a sacred fire on the Hill of Tlaghta (pronounced “TrOkhta”) in county Meath, which would then be brought to the ordinary folk in surrounding towns and villages... But of course you don’t have to know all this to enjoy Halloween and on pages 8 and 9 of this newspaper you’ll find a summary of the modern Irish traditions connected to the festival as well as a list of the 5 most haunted places in Ireland which you can visit if you want to meet the dead... But best of all, if you send us a scary story you will get a chance to win 2 tickets to Ireland’s most frightening tour – the Gravediggers Bus Tour! The tickets are normally worth 25 euro each, so get writing! Also this month we interview the Canadian teacher Ashleigh and the Venezuelan student Javier who is making his mark on the Dublin amateur football scene. Have a pleasant read and do send us your photos, ideas, stories, suggestions etc on:

SEDA News editor Viktor Posudnevsky

The large influx of European students that SEDA saw in the summer months has not stopped: up to 100 students from countries like Spain, France and Italy started their studies in SEDA last month,

and dozens more will arrive in the coming months. Most of the European students come for short intensive courses of 2 to 4 weeks’ duration. The European visitors bring welcome diversity to SEDA classes as they mix with

the school’s long-term students, most of whom are from South America, Africa and the Middle East. According to SEDA’s director of studies Carol Cregg, currently some 40% of the students who are enrolled in SEDA are

Ireland’s IT industry is desperate for workers Some 1500 jobs are available in Ireland’s information technology (IT) industry right now with no one to fill them, the Irish media report. The Irish IT firms are so desperate to find workers that last month they launched a public campaign called IT’s Happening Here. The aim of the campaign is to attract “the best talent from graduate to director level” to Ireland’s IT sector in order to keep the industry at the top of its game. All the vacancies are advertised on the website: www.

Europeans who have come for short-term courses, while the other 60% is made up of longterm students. “It’s a nearly perfect mix”, she said.

Donegal and Kilkenny win All Ireland titles However, despite the 14% unemployment rate and hundreds of thousands of people looking for work in Ireland, the IT companies cannot find people of the right calibre here and have to look for candidates abroad. On September 27 a number of Irish IT firms supported by the government agency Enterprise Ireland organized an employment fair in Madrid to try and attract Spanish IT talent to Ireland.

Canadian Romeo looking for love of his life in Ireland

Canadian dentist Sandy Crocker has travelled all the way to Ireland to find a local girl whom he met for just two minutes last year, the Irish Sun reports. The 28-year-old British Columbia native met the woman of his dreams in An Teach Bia cafe in Ennistymon, Co Clare, in July last year, and spoke to her for a couple of minutes before realising — too late — that she was the one. Sandy describes the girl as being in her mid to late 20s with freckles and reddishbrown hair. He said: “We were on our way to the Cliffs of Moher and we stopped in Ennistymon to grab a bite to eat. She was eating and I didn’t want to interrupt her meal so I waited until I noticed that she was leaving and I spoke to her then. I asked her for directions to the cliffs”. But the man was too shy to get her telephone number. Back home in Canada, he was unable to get the Irish beauty out of his mind. He said: “She never left my mind, so I decided why not go back and try to find her. Maybe it’s a shot in the dark but if it is meant to be, if it’s fate, then I might bump

into her walking down the street or in a shop somewhere. Who knows what might happen?” If you are this mystery woman and want to get in contact with Sandy, visit and search for ‘Travel-bug-4u’.

Donegal has become the All Ireland Gaelic football champions, while Kilkenny won the All Ireland hurling final last month. The hurling final took place in Dublin’s Croke Park stadium on September 30. It was a rematch: the original final took place on September 9, but the result was a draw and the referee decided that the match should be replayed. Kilkenny beat Galway to win their 34th All Ireland title. The county team is the most successful hurling team in the history of the game and the Liam McCarthy Cup – hurling’s biggest trophy – rarely leaves Kilkenny. The Gaelic football final took place in Croke Park on September 23. Donegal defeated neighbours Mayo to win their only second All Ireland title. The last time Donegal laid their hands on the Sam Maguire Cup was 20 years ago.

Analogue TV to be switched off this month The traditional analogue TV signal will be switched off from October 24 2012, and Irish TV channels (RTÉ1, RTÉ 2, TG4 and TV3) will be transmitted exclusively by digital signal from that date. If you currently get your TV signal by aerial (“rabbit’s ears” behind your TV or an antenna on the roof of your house) you will need a Saorview-approved set top box for your old TV or a Saorview-

approved digital television to continue receiving the free-toair Irish TV channels (including RTÉ1, RTÉ 2, TG4 and TV3). But if you have cable or satellite TV (such as UPC or Sky) then you will not be affected and will be able to watch all the channels as usual. If you need to make the switchover you should see the words ‘October 24’ on the bottom right hand corner of your

television screen – this is a reminder that you need to install either a Saorview approved set top box or television, or alternatively decide to become a subscriber to a cable or satellite TV service. Saorview is a technology that is capable of receiving digital TV signal. Saorview-approved set top boxes and televisions are available from electrical stores nationwide. You will still need a television licence

for your analogue television set (whether it has a set-top box or not). The reason for the change is that the EU has decided that all member states must stop broadcasting analogue television by the end of 2012 and so the analogue television service in Ireland will be switched off this month. You can find more information about Saorview at and at goingdigital. ie.

SEDA News, copyright: Skills & Enterprise Development Academy (SEDA). EDITOR AND LAYOUT: Viktor Posudnevsky. FINAL REVIEW: Carol Cregg. CIRCULATION: 1000 copies. ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL:

Jennifer is not coming back till next year



More than 500,000 people in Ireland are non-Irish

More than half a million people living in Ireland (some 12% of the population) are non-Irish nationals, according to latest figures from the Central Statistics Office. The number of non-Irish nationals has increased by 143% in the past nine years as immigration into Ireland soared. The 544 357 nonnationals living here come from 199 different countries. The largest group is the Polish community which numbers 122 585 people, according to CSO. The second largest group is UK nationals: there are 112,259 of them in Ireland. The majority of the non-Irish nationals live in Dublin city, with Fingal and Cork County following close. Meanwhile Galway City was the most multi-cultural, with 19.4% of its residents recorded as non-Irish. After English the most widely spoken languages in Ireland are Polish, French, Lithuanian, German and Russian.

SEDA teacher JENNIFER PHILLIPS was supposed to finish her maternity leave this month, but the young mum is now hoping to stay home with her baby Caitríona until February or March next year. Jennifer’s lovely daughter Caitríona will turn five months in October. It is a very important time for the SEDA teacher and it is not surprising that she wants to spend it close to her child. “I want to give her the best start for a healthy life”, Jennifer told SEDA News. “This is why I need the extra time with her to ensure she gets the best nutrition possible while she’s growing so much”. Caitríona is a fantastic baby who loves laughing and smiling. She can already sit up and has become quite strong because she always wants to be moving around, Jennifer says. The girl has also become quieter than she was in the first months of her life and sleeps soundly on most nights, without bothering her parents. But this will not last long, Jennifer believes. “I don’t think we will have it easy like this for much longer as I expect her to start getting teeth soon. Then I’m sure she will scream all night again”, the SEDA teacher explains. “During the day she doesn’t sleep much as she always wants to be active. Of course she is too young to speak yet but she does not stop making sounds all day long. When she grows up she will probably never shut up!” Jennifer says Caitríona will probably love sports when she grows up because she has so much energy. Her father, Jennifer’s husband Yianni who is from Greece, does a lot of water sports and it looks like Caitríona will do too when she’s older: she already loves to splash in the bath and spend time under water. “As a present we were given a bouncing harness that we can hang in the doorway”, Jennifer says. “We strap her into it and she can stand there bouncing up and down, while laughing, forever. The couple who gave it to us said after 20 minutes in it your baby will fall sleep. But Caitríona

will bounce in it for 30 minutes without a problem and when she gets bored she wants to get out and play another game. I couldn’t jump up and down for 30 minutes, could you?!” Caitríona has already met teacher Margaret, and Jennifer says it was lovely to hear from students and to get so many kind wishes from them. She adds that she really misses SEDA and everyone she knew there. “As much as I love looking after my baby I do miss SEDA. I miss my students and I miss teaching every day. I will be very happy to be back and see everyone again!” she told SEDA News. But at the moment Jennifer has many other things on her mind – like teaching Caitríona to speak. Jennifer has started taking the girl to baby sign language classes in order to help her better understand the many different languages spoken in her family. “I speak to her in English, my husband speaks to her in Greek, my mother in law speaks to her in Danish and in the future I want to send her to an Irish speaking creche and school”, said Jennifer. “It can take children longer to start talking when they have more than one language to learn so hopefully if we all sign when we talk she will understand that the different words all mean the same thing... When she starts to sign that she wants milk, is tired or needs her nappy changed I will be very happy that she is signing and not crying!”

I hope all my students are enjoying their time in Ireland. I hope to see a writing piece or a picture of theirs in the newspaper soon. Sometime in the next month I will bring Caitríona into the college to say hello!

Jennifer’s mother Louise Phillips is a writer and her latest book, a crime thriller called Red Ribbons, was published recently. In the book girls’ bodies are found in the Dublin mountains and the identity of the serial killer needs to be discovered before more girls are murdered. The first week the book went on sale it went straight to number 7 in the crime best sellers list. “Red Ribbons has been a huge success and people are already excited about her next book The Dolls House. I would definitely recommend it”, Jennifer Phillips told SEDA News. You can find out more about the author on

Referendum on rights of child set for November 10

The Irish government set Saturday, November 10, as the date for the children’s rights referendum. The people of Ireland will vote on the proposed new article of the Irish Constitution, which would be its 31st amendment. The article recognizes “the natural and imprescriptible rights of all children” and grants the State extra powers to protect children whose safety and well being is under threat. Specifically, the State would be able to “supply the place of the parents” of children in exceptional cases when parents fail in their duties towards them. The proposed amendment also grants the State powers to give children up for adoption if their parents have failed in their duties. Opponents to the proposed changes say the amendment will give the State powers to break up families. But Ireland’s Minister for Children Frances FitzGerald insisted that the new rules would apply only in exceptional circumstances when children suffer in their families. Only Irish citizens can vote in the referendum. You can find out more on www.

“Harry Potter” partied with Dublin footballers Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who plays Harry Potter in the famous films, became the unexpected guest at a party thrown by Dublin footballers... after they met the actor on Grafton Street at 3 am. The Dublin minor Gaelic football team was celebrating their win in the All Ireland final last month when they bumped into the star. “There were three of us on Grafton Street at about three o’clock and we were on about going back to our captain’s house, and some man came up to us,” one of the footballers told Dublin radio station FM104. “He was small enough, wearing a hat and

we didn’t take too much notice of him at the time. It was just general conversation. Then it suddenly hit us who it was, it was Daniel Radcliffe standing beside us”. It turned out the actor was in Dublin to film a new movie. Radcliffe was very impressed when the lads told him they played Gaelic football and congratulated them on their big victory. He wanted to celebrate with the team, so they all took a taxi to the team captain’s house in Dundrum where the party continued. Radcliffe stayed in the house for an hour and

a half and, as the players admitted, had a few drinks with them before posing for pictures with the footballers and the Tommy Markham Cup. But the Harry Potter actor had to leave early as he was supposed to be on set at 8 am. When he was about to get a taxi to Shelbourne hotel where he was staying Radcliffe realised that he had no money on him, so the Dublin footballers had to pay for the star. “He was a very nice fella and we had some craic”, said one of the lads who was interviewed on radio.



IELTS and PET “very New English File is important” for getting packed with amazing a good job features Many of SEDA’s students will sit international exams, such as IELTS and PET, at the end of their course early next year. The Preliminary English Test (PET) is intended for preintermediate students, while higher levels will sit the IELTS. The tests are obligatory because SEDA’s ACELS accreditation – top quality mark for English language schools in Ireland – requires it to finish every long-term course with an international exam. IELTS and PET certificates, which all students will get following the exams, are valuable assets in any career. “The certificates are very important for students who want to get a good job after

their course”, said SEDA’s director of studies Carol Cregg. “I think if they came here all the way to learn English they should also get an internationally recognized certificate. These documents are very serious for anyone wishing to work in an international company. In fact, it’s the first thing many employers ask when interviewing people for SEDA gaines ACELS acjobs – they want to see the creditation earlier this year official certificate showing their level of English. They PET exam along with IELTS are don’t care if the student lived currently world leaders and are in an English-speaking country internationally recognized”. for a year, they want to see the exam results. And Cambridge

Last month SEDA teachers started using the new 3rd edition of English File – the general English course book. The new edition is a great improvement and a joy to use, teachers say. “The new book is totally modern and up to date with the times we live in, and it has a better structure too,” said SEDA’s director of studies Carol Cregg. “It is also packed with useful features that will make it a lot easier for students to learn English on their own”.

The new version of the course book is more focussed on speaking and has a structure that fits SEDA’s syllabus perfectly. Every English File book now comes with a DVD that has all the listening material on it. Previously the listening materials only came with the Teacher’s books. The new English File also has a number of digital add-ons that can help students to learn on their own. One such novelty is the iTutor – a free digital companion to the book and an app that you can download on your smartphone. The new English File books can be bought or rented in SEDA’s reception. The book costs 30 euro to buy and 5 euro to rent. However students wishing to rent also have to pay a deposit of 25 euro which they will get back after returning the books (provided that the books are in good condition).

Brave Aline thanks SEDA for help From page 1

Aline Barros and her mother Sylvia

“It’s very difficult to pay the bills and make ends meet”, said the disabled student. “I have donations boxes in many places around Dublin, but they don’t fill up every month”. There are two donations boxes for Aline in SEDA’s reception. It costs 10 cents to make a photocopy using the Xerox machine located there, and all the money collected from students for making copies goes to Aline. The students are also free to make whatever contribution they wish in addition to the photocopying charges. Aline Barros and her mother Sylvia are from Var-

ginha in the state of Minas Gerais. After the accident doctors told Aline that she would never be able to walk again, but the brave girl is determined to get back on her feet. She now goes through a gruelling physiotherapy regime in order to overcome her injury. And Aline has made some considerable progress, like being able to flex her leg muscles and raise her legs. She can already walk using parallel bars for support. “I have my goal – to walk again – and with God’s help I will reach it”, she says. Normally Aline is a very happy, bubbly and outgoing person, but because if her rigorous treatment regime she does not have the time to go out and meet people. She also has to

take medication which makes her feel drowsy during the day. As a result, she spends most of her days inside the home with her mother. “It can get very lonely here”, said Aline. “Most of my friends have left Dublin and at the moment I don’t really know anyone here. I’m really crazy for this phase of my life to pass and am really looking forward to doing something exciting again, being active and having more friends around me”. Aline adds that she would be very happy to have more visitors in her home or to have someone to go out with. She also sent her best regards to SEDA students. “I would like to wish the students to enjoy their time in Ireland as much as possible and to live

their life to the maximum while they are here”, the disabled girl said. “Being an exchange student is a really unique experience – so be active and don’t let this time pass you by!”

You can donate by putting money in a donations box at SEDA’s reception. You can also transfer money to Aline’s bank account: Aline Nogueira de Barros AIB Acc. number: 07636182 Sorting Code: 93-32-95 You can contact Aline on:


Ireland’s a long way from home, but Canadian teacher Ashleigh is happy in SEDA Every month SEDA News interviews a teacher so you could get to know them better. This time we spoke to ASHLEIGH LANGILLE, who is from Canada. Ashleigh told us that she is getting on quite well in Ireland except for one thing – there is no Canadian peanut butter here! Where are you from and how did you start working in SEDA? I’m from Toronto, Canada, and I moved to Dublin this time last year. I’m a qualified primary school teacher in Canada, but for the last two years I worked in London, teaching English to children. So when I came to Dublin I hoped to expand my experience and apply my skills to teaching English to adults. I applied to SEDA and got the job! I’ve been here for three months and I have to say it’s been a great experience teaching adults of different ages and levels! What brought you to Dublin? As I said I was in London for the last two years and I loved living abroad, but unfortunately I couldn’t extend my visa in the UK and so I looked into where the next best option would be. That’s how I came across the one-year holiday visa that I could get here in Ireland. So I applied for that and was able to come over here with no problem. I wanted to travel around Europe for a bit more and I wasn’t ready to fly home to Canada just yet. How do you find working in SEDA? It’s great! It’s been wonderful meeting people from all over the world. In every class I think I’ve found something new about a culture or a language. I’ve started learning

Toronto, Canada has very cold winters, but also very hot summers - it is something that Ashleigh misses in Ireland... as well as peanut butter!

a little bit of Spanish and Portuguese here as well which has been very interesting!

Dublin has a great buzz to it. I live near Phoenix Park and I love to take walks in the park too. I also love hiking in Wicklow and the Dublin mountains. I like watching films and reading too...

What are your plans? At the moment I’m looking to extend my Irish visa and I’m hoping to stay here for another year. There are still a lot of European countries that I haven’t seen! I’ll go back to Canada for Christmas to visit my family, but I’ll be back here in the New year. Hopefully I’ll be able to stay for another year, we’ll see what happens! Does your family in Canada have any Irish connections? None, unfortunately. If I had any UK or European roots – that would have come in very handy when I was trying to get a UK visa, but my family are as Canadian as they come and I wasn’t able to get any sort of ancestry visa. Hopefully my family are going to come over and visit me. They haven’t seen much of Europe and I miss them. Is there anything else that you miss here in Ireland? I miss tobogganing in the winter time. In Canada we get lots of snow and it’s good to go for a toboggan in the hills. I also miss craft peanut butter which you cannot get in Ireland. The peanut butter here is very dif-


What can you recommend students to do in Dublin? Ashleigh’s family is “as Canadian as they come” and she has no known Irish connections, yet she really likes it here! ferent so when I go home I always come back with a big kilo jar of peanut butter. I’ve just run out, so I’m looking forward to going home to get another jar! Canada also has very warm summers and I miss the hot summer weather which we didn’t get here. Do you meet many Canadians in Dublin? I’ve met a few, though not as many as I met in the UK. I just bump into them randomly. Many of them don’t live here and are just visiting Dublin. What do you like to do when you’re not teaching? I like to just explore the city. I think

Get out and do as much as you can! I know the weather doesn’t make it easy to travel around, but get yourself a good umbrella and a pair of wellies and get out of the house! Dublin has so much to offer – walking tours, shows, concerts, comedy nights. Get chatting to the locals in the pub, that’s a good way to improve your English! I can recommend O’Reilly’s pub, which is just under Tara Street Dart station along the quays. What’s nice to see in Canada? If you like big cities Toronto is a great place to visit. There are lots of things to do and see, like the CN tower which is amazing. There are also a lot of really fun sporting events like ice hockey, American football or baseball games. Niagara Falls would be a great tourist attraction. Just walking along the Falls is breathtaking!



“Superb” Javier is like Xavi to his Dublin team SEDA student Javier Barrios Gonzalez from Venezuela is playing football for a Dublin team and has helped his club score several victories this season. His exploits have been all over the local press who have called him “superb”. When Javier first arrived in Dublin from Venezuela he only had a few words of English. But now, after six months in Ireland, the South American can communicate with ease. Javier is thankful to his teachers in SEDA, but the Venezuelan also gets plenty of speaking and listening practice outside of school – on the football pitch where he plays for a local club called Hermitage Clinic FC. Javier says most of his teammates are Irish and playing with them is a great way to improve his English. He trains with the club

every Wednesday and has already helped the Dublin side score two important victories this season*. “I play as a striker, but sometimes I also play in midfield,” says the SEDA student. “We have had four games in this tournament and won two of them. I was responsible for three out of five goals that we scored, so I think the team are happy with my work!” Irish local newspapers covering the games have regularly mentioned Javier’s exploits on the pitch, calling him “classy” and “superb”.

Hermitage Athletic FC play in a Dublin amateur league

In Venezuela Javier played for a well-known club called Casa Portuguesa de Aragua. He was on the club’s professional team which competed in the second division of the Venezuelan championship. His current side is in the Dublin amateur league, but Javier says the players are on the same level as him: “The guys I play with are very quick and very strong. At every match they give their best to win”.

SEDA student Javier Gonzalez is a top scorer for his Dublin side

The Venezuelan says he is already getting used to the Irish way of life and the weather, though, admittedly, this has been hard. After six months here he is convinced that Irish people have an “easier” life than people in his home country do. This month Javier is finishing his course in SEDA and is planning to work during the sixmonth holiday that will follow the course. In Venezuela he earned his living as a builder and interior decorator, and the SEDA student is really looking forward to finding a job in this field. If he is successful Javier is planning to stay in SEDA for another year

of studies. “SEDA has excellent teachers and I’m very grateful to them,” he said. “It’s a great school where I met many friends from many countries. At the moment I think I would like to stay here to study more and improve my English. I really miss my family, but I also really like Dublin and SEDA!” *SEDA News interviewed Javier in the middle of September. Since then his club Hermitage FC gained several more victories, with Javier scoring a hat-trick in one of the games.

Final entries of writing competition published! SEDA News publishes some of the entries we got for our student writing competition. The competition is now in its final round! To enter just write about your first impressions of Ireland and send you text to



Scams and how to avoid them: Part II

There are many scams that target foreign students in Ireland and SEDA News exposes some of the most common ones. This month we look at suspicious job ads on internet sites like and a well-known Dublin scam that involves an “offer that you can’t refuse” – expensive electronics (or designer clothes) at a fraction of their normal price.

Cut-price electronics and super cheap designer clothes

A laptop, a DVD player and a videogame – would you buy the lot for €500? Would you like to have a new laptop? What about a DVD player and a cool new video game? What would you do if someone offered you to buy all of these things for just 500 euro? Would you say yes? Beware: this is the start of a classic Dublin scam that has left dozens of people out of pocket. Unfortunately, some SEDA students have also become victims of this fraud. This is how the scam works. The scammer usually targets foreigners and approaches them while they’re walking in the street in a car which is driven by another man. The victim is asked if they want do a quick deal and buy several expensive electronic items at a fraction of their normal price. If the victim seems interested the scammer shows them the goods, which are in perfect condition. An ex- student, who was duped in such a scam, told SEDA News that he was offered a new laptop, a DVD player and a brand new Nintendo DS video game – all for just €600. The scammers made the impression that they were in a hurry and wanted to cut the deal as quickly as possible. The student, who did not want to be named, got into the car and examined the goods which were in good condition. Seeing that the seller was desperate for money, the student started to haggle with him, bringing the price down to €500. The scammer then placed all the goods in a black satchel bag and drove to the nearest ATM. The student got out of the car and used the bank machine to get cash. The seller demanded the cash while the student was still outside the car. As soon as he got the €500 the man handed his victim a black satchel bag and drove off. There was no laptop, no DVD player and no Nintendo DS in the bag, just a couple of old telephone books

of roughly the same weight as the electronic equipment. The seller swapped the bags while his victim was using the ATM. A well-known variation of this scam involves an Italian man selling Armani suits. A few students have reported being stopped by a man with an Italian accent who offered them to buy several Armani suits for as little as €300. Of course, the catch is that the suits are fake and not worth the money. Remember: if the offer seems too good to be true it probably isn’t!

HOW TO AVOID BEING SCAMMED 1) Protect your identity and details as these can be used by fraudsters. 2) Always verify the identity of the person or company you’re dealing with: ring their landline number to see if it matches their address, ask the company if the person you’re dealing with really works for them etc. 3) If you’re buying something insist on buying it from the person’s home. 4) If the offer seems too good to be true it probably isn’t (true). 5) If you’re in doubt ask SEDA staff for help!

Hiring an experienced masseuse with “hand relief” skills Last month SEDA News exposed Nigerian scammers who send fake job offers to foreign students in Ireland with the intention of obtaining money from them. But every now and then it gets worse: the offer may be genuine, but then it turns out that the job is of a sexual nature. This is a real story that happened to SEDA student Tatiana Silva a few months ago. The 22-year-old girl from South America had just arrived in Ireland and was looking for a part-time job on a well-known website called She spotted an ad for a masseuse. Tatiana had done massage in her country and decided to apply for the position. The girl soon got an e-mail reply from a man who introduced himself as Alan Grimes. The e-mail said that the job was based in a hotel and Tatiana could start by providing massage to two customers. The pay was very good: €70 per session, and the student could earn over €1500 per week, the e-mail said. “In my country I could earn maybe about 10 euro for a massage, so it seemed like a very attractive offer”, Tatiana Silva told SEDA News. “I said I would do it and then the man asked me to send him my photo and phone number”. After that “Alan Grimes” called Tatiana to set up a job interview. Bizarrely, the man said he wanted to interview the SEDA student in her own home. When the

A typical ad on for a masseuse with some “extra skills” girl asked him if she could come to his office instead the caller said he worked in a very “busy” location and insisted that the interview would have to take place in her home or she wouldn’t get the job. He also started explaining her work duties in more detail, but the man was using language that the beginner English student did not quite understand. “He spoke the words “hand relief ” a couple of times, but I didn’t know what that expression meant,” said Tatiana. “His voice had a strange tone. I got the idea that he was talking about something sexual”. After the telephone conversation Tatiana started to have major doubts about the job and went to SEDA for advice. She spoke to the school’s student support workers who were able to explain what hand relief means – stimulation of a man’s penis with the hand. Tatiana didn’t want the job anymore. She stopped correspondence with the advertiser and deleted all of his e-mails. She never heard from him again.

The €5 recipe Every month SEDA News brings you recipes of tasty dishes which you can cook for as little as 5 euro (or even less!)

Colcannon - traditional

Irish Halloween dish

Ingredients: 1kg potatoes, peeled 250g curly kale, well washed and finely sliced (you can also use finely chopped scallions which you add into the potatoes with the milk. Savoy cabbage also works well) 100mls milk 100g butter Salt and freshly ground black pepper Instructions: Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water. Heat a knob of butter and two tablespoons of water in a

heavy-based pan with a lid. When the butter has melted add the kale with a pinch of salt. Cover, shake well and cook over a high heat for 1 minute. Shake the pan again and cook for another minute. Drain off any liquid and then season the kale with pepper. Drain the potatoes, add in the milk and mash until smooth, then beat in the kale and the remaining butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. That’s it! Colcannon can be enjoyed with any meal, but is traditionally eaten with boiled ham or bacon. Enjoy!

Share your recipes! E-mail:

8 SHOWS & GIGS JENNIFER LOPEZ The O2 Arena, Dublin Friday, 19 October Superstar Jennifer Lopez will play her first ever show in Ireland as part of her ‘Dance Again’ world tour. Tickets from 54.65 euro. Get Back: The Story of The Beatles Olympia Theatre October 26 & 27 A musical about the greatest band in the world – The Beatles. Tickets from €25. JACK WHITE The O2 October 31 Key member of the White Stripes and The Raconteurs will play his first Irish solo show on October 31. Tickets from €39.05. ANDREA BOCELLI The O2 Tuesday, 06 November The world’s most popular tenor will perform with orchestra and choir at the O2 in Dublin. Tickets from €55 to €155. WWE RAW WORLD TOUR The O2, Dublin Thursday, November 8th. Some of the wrestling superstars coming to Dublin: John Cena, CM Punk, Chris Jericho, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, R-Truth, Zack Ryder, Kofi Kingston, Kelly Kelly, Beth Phoenix and many more! Tickets from €33.50 to €76.00. FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE The O2, Dublin 12 December Hugely successful band will play an end of year date in Dublin. The show is called Farewell to 2012 Fancy Dress Party and fans are invited to come in their best costumes. Tickets from €39.05. GLEN HANSARD Vicar Street Venue, Thomas Street, Dublin 8 December 18 Irish musician and star of the movie Once will play an intimate gig in Dublin’s Vicar Street. Tickets from €30. ASLAN Vicar Street (Dublin 8) December 27th The Irish band Aslan are celebrating 30 years together this year and they will play material from their new album as well as old hits such as Crazy World. Tickets from 25 euro. Tickets to all these shows are available from Ticketmaster outlets. To book by phone call: 0818 719 300 Online booking:



Halloween is coming

31 of October is Halloween – a festival which is all about the dead, evil spirits, mythical monsters, horror films and the occult. Halloween is celebrated all over the world, but its origins are believed to be in an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain, so you could say that Ireland is the birth place of Halloween!

Irish Halloween Traditions Trick or treating

treat. So think twice before refusing these little monsters!

On Halloween children in Ireland dress up as witches, goblins and other scary characters and walk from house to house, knocking on doors and shouting: “Trick or Treat!” The children are asking for a “treat” – usually sweets or cakes – and threatening the homeowner with a “trick” (a prank of some kind) if they don’t give them the

Colcannon barmbrack

Traditional Irish Halloween dinner consists of colcannon – a mix of mashed potatoes and cabbage – and boiled ham or bacon. When it comes to dessert many Irish people have barmbrack at Halloween. A barmbrack (or brack) is yeasted bread with sultanas or raisins. Quite often people put rings and various other “secret” items (a thimble, a coin, a piece of cloth etc) inside a colcannon or barmbrack at Hal-

In Ireland fire is a major part of Halloween celebrations. It is common for people to light huge bonfires and use fireworks even though all fireworks are illegal (apart from the ones used by entertainment professionals). You can be arrested if you light a firework or even keep one in your home, but every Halloween, despite the many Garda warnings, thousands of them go off all over the country. People usually buy fireworks in Northern Ireland where they are legal and smuggle them into the Republic in their cars.

The week around Halloween is mad in Ireland, especially in big cities like Dublin. Most people dress up (scary costumes are traditional, but nowadays people wear anything – costumes of Batman, Superman, Jesus, you name it) and go out to party. Pubs and nightclubs get Halloween decorations and serve “creepy” drinks (usually cocktails with names like Frankenstein’s Bride, Beetlejuice etc). Michael

loween. Each item has a symbolic significance for the family member who gets it in their meal. For example, getting a ring may mean that the person will marry soon. Nowadays if you buy a readymade barmbrack in an Irish shop or supermarket it will often contain a small toy ring.


Bonfires and fireworks

Fancy dress parties and Thriller


Jackson’s Thriller is the unofficial theme song for this time of year, with thousands of party goers imitating the zombie dance from the video.

Ja c k - o’ lantern is a carved pumpkin, which kids usually make for Halloween. The name comes from an old story about a nasty farmer called Stingy Jack. According to the story the farmer was so mean that the Devil came after him to take his soul. But Jack played a trick on the Devil and captured him using his crucifix. The farmer then made the Devil promise him to never ever take his soul. But after a while Jack died (of natural reasons). He wasn’t accepted into Heaven as he was a very nasty person, but he was also refused entrance to Hell because the Devil had promised not to take his soul. Thus Jack was condemned to wander the Earth forever. The legend goes that the Devil, mocking him, threw Jack a burning ember to help light his way. Jack placed the ember in a lantern carved out of a turnip and from that day he forever haunts the Earth, lighting his way with his “Jack-o’lantern”.



Ireland’s Top 5 creepiest places 5

Kilmainham Gaol

Located just a 15-minute walk from SEDA Kilmainham Gaol is said to be haunted by both former prisoners and evil wardens. The scariest place in the prison is said to be its chapel where some people have seen lights mysteriously going on and off. Others have reported hearing footsteps and strange sounds emanating from cells and corridors. During the Great Famine it was common for small children to be sent into Kilmainham for stealing food, and some of them died in the cells which were packed with inmates at the time. Therefore it is not surprising that a girl wearing 19-century clothes is one of the ghosts reported to haunt the prison... The jail is open every day of the week. The tour guides mostly talk about the prison’s history and famous inmates like the leaders of the Easter Rising, but ask them about ghosts haunting the jail and they’ll tell you many stories...


St. Michan’s church in Dublin’s Church Street is famous for its crypt containing three well-preserved mummies. One of the mummies has its hands and feet chopped off, and another one is said to be the corpse of a medieval crusader. Some say the church is haunted by the spirits of the dead and some people have reported feeling icy cold fingers running down their necks as they were examining the corpses. The crypts can be visited every day of the week except Sunday. St Michan’s church is also remarkable because it contains the death mask of the Irish patriot Wolfe Tone and the organ on which the composer George Frederic Handel practiced his masterpiece “Messiah”.

Belfast Grand Opera House

The magnificent Grand Opera House was opened in Belfast in 1895. It is said that several ghosts haunt the theatre. Cast members have seen a face looking at them from a window on the top floor. Opera House staff members have also reported a feeling that someone was behind them when nobody was there, especially while standing on stage. Actors say they often feel like they’re being followed in the stage area, and the most often seen ghost at the theatre is a mysterious figure in a long, black hooded cloak that always appears on stage. Some think the ghost to be a former actor, still waiting for the curtain to go down on his final role. The Northern Ireland Paranormal Research Association investigated the Grand Opera House, and claims to have come in contact with several spirits.

Ireland vs Germany

October 12 @ the Aviva Stadium Ireland will play against Germany in a World Cup 2014 qualifying match on October 12. Tickets are available from www. Prices start from 35 euro.

International Rugby

Novermber 10&24 @ the Aviva Stadium Ireland’s rugby team will play against

South Africa on November 10th and Argentina on November 24th. Tickets for the game against South Africa: €15-€65; Argentina game: €10-€55. Book on and

Dublin Marathon

October 29 on the streets of Dublin The 33rd Dublin Marathon will take place on October 29 on Bank Holiday Monday. Up to 14 000 people will run the course which passes historic Georgian streets of Dublin.

WIN FREE TICKETS To Gravedigger Bus Tour!

The Gravedigger Bus tour – the scariest tour in Dublin this Halloween – has kindly offered TWO PAIRS OF TICKETS to SEDA News readers for FREE! To enter the competition and be in with a chance to win the tickets write a (short) scary story and send it to NEWS@SEDA.IE. The authors of the best stories will get the tickets!

Malahide Castle

Malahide Castle is one of North Dublin’s best-known tourist attractions and it is haunted by an impressive five ghosts! The most famous of these is called Puck. For 800 years the castle was home to the Talbot family, and at one stage the dwarf Puck was the family’s resident jester (there is even a small entrance called “Puck’s door” in the dining room). The poor man fell in love with a noble woman staying in the house and, after being rejected by her, committed suicide by stabbing himself through the heart. His ghost made a famous appearance in 1976 when the castle’s furniture was being sold off and a dwarf-like figure still emerges on some tourist photographs of the castle.



St. Michan’s Church

Other Events


Leap Castle

Leap Castle in county Offaly is said to be the most haunted castle in Ireland. In the 16th century it was owned by the O’Carroll family which fought a bloody war against other Irish clans. The O’Carrolls would often invite guests to dinner at the castle and then massacre them before they could finish the meal. Below the dining room there was a secret dungeon (oubliette), into which many unwary guests were dropped through a trap door and left to die (if they hadn’t already after falling on spikes protruding from the floor). It is said that in the 1920s when the castle was damaged by fire several cartloads of bones were removed from the oubliette by workers who were restoring the building. The castle also has a “Bloody Chapel”, where, it is said, one of the O’Carrolls murdered his own brother, who was a priest. Because of all the atrocities committed in Leap Castle it is haunted by many ghosts. The most terrifying of all is a violent hunched beast called the Elemental which reeks of rotting corpses and sulphur... It is also said that on some nights a mysterious light goes on in the Bloody Chapel. The castle is now a private residence of Seán Ryan, who is undertaking restoration work. The owners sometimes allow visits to the castle.



SEDA students throw another house party

Margaret’s class is treating themselves to some dessert

Been to an interesting place or a new country? Send your photos to: Roanderson Branco travelliing Andressa Karen, teacher Margaret, Netania Gomes, Karina Borges and Mauricio Ribeiro

Javier Gonzalez in Barcelona

It’s Culture Night and Raul Correa is in the Dublin Wax Museum with Gollum: yesss Precioussss!

Marcelo Adriano and Joao Gabriel Reis meet ex-students of SEDA Pauline Boivin and Emilie Pigeard in Paris

Andres Ricardo Tello at Abbey Road in London: Oh no! The Beatles have already left!



May the Force be with you: Raul Correa in the Dublin Wax Museum Andres Ricardo Tello and Maria Antonietta Stehlik in Porto, Portugal

Franciele Danubia Schibelbain and her friends at the Cliffs of Moher Javier Gonzalez’s team in Venezuela: Casa Portuguesa de Aragua FC

Fernando Pascussi and Raisa Polatti at the Dublin Oktoberfest. Prost!

Roanderson Branco and his gorgeous red Ferrari



The SEDA Spooky quiz Our next quiz is about Halloween in Ireland – see if you can find the right answers! As ever, send in your answers to and you could win a prize! 1. Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, is from Dublin. But in which part of the city was he born? A. Merrion Square B. Clontarf C. Tallaght D. Dolphin’s Barn

Here are the answers to last month’s quiz: 1. Perogi is not a traditional Irish food 2. A boxty, which is a delicious specialty in the northwest of Ireland, is essentially a potato pancake 3. Peaches is not a traditional filling for cakes in Ireland 4. Kilkenny is not a stout 5. Bacon is not a traditional food for Halloween 6. All of the above (a ring, a coin, a small cloth) can be found in a barm brack 7. Cream – you don’t put it in a hot whisky 8. You can say any of these things (Cheers! Good Luck! Or Slainte!) when you have a drink in a pub in Ireland.

2. In Irish mythology there is a creature that wails (cries) loudly outside a person’s house if someone in that house is about to die. What is the name of that creature? A. Leprechaun B. Fairy C. Púca D. Banshee 3. There is an old building in Dublin mountains where, it is said, black masses and all sorts of weird rituals were held, and the devil himself made an appearance. What is the name of that place? A. Johnny Fox’s pub B. Glendalough C. Hellfire Club D. The Deadman’s Inn

4. There is an old church in Dublin where you can see three mummies. What is the name of that church? A. Christ Church B. St Patrick’s Cathedral C. The Pro Cathedral D. St Michan’s Church 5. What is a traditional Irish dinner at Halloween? A. Boxty B. Colcannon C. Irish stew D. Coddle 6. What is NOT normally found inside a barmbrack? A. B. C. D.

A nail A coin A piece of cloth A ring

8. This castle is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in Ireland and is supposed to have several ghosts including “The Elemental” – a fearful hunched creature that smells of rotten corpses and sulphur. What is the name of the castle? A. B. C. D.

7. Gravedigger’s is a famous Dublin pub which is said to be haunted. It is located beside a large cemetery. What is the name of that cemetery? A. B. C. D.

Mount Jerome cemetery Glasnevin cemetery The Huguenot cemetery Arbour Hill

Malahide Castle Trim Castle Blarney Castle Leap Castle

Send your answers to and you can win a prize!

The Craic-tionary SEDA News guide to Irish slang words and expressions In this section we will attempt to make your life in Ireland easier by explaining some of the most common Irish slang words and expressions. Dodgy – suspect, mechanically impaired

I don’t trust this man – he’s acting dodgy. This offer is dodgy – the company doesn’t even have an address or telephone number!

Eat the head off – attack verbally

Oh no! Please don’t tell mum this happened – she’ll eat my head off!

Give out – scold, reproach, complain about something

Stop giving out to me – it wasn’t my fault! I forgot to turn off the lights when I left the house and she gave out to me for days about it!

Gobsmacked – very surprised

I was gobsmacked when I saw Bono in Temple Bar in Dublin. He couldn’t believe his eyes – he looked totally gobsmacked!

Pissed off – annoyed, angry

Stop talking about last night, it pisses me off. He was really pissed off that he missed the last bus home.

Sound – nice, OK, good

How are you? I’m sound, man! This guy’s sound, let him in. That’s a really sound offer, but I can’t do it.

SEDA News, October 2012  
SEDA News, October 2012  

October edition