Issue 81 May - June 2016
The magazine for people who donâ€™t act their age
Faster, Stronger, Higher! Senior Timesâ€™ new Outdoor activities supplement
The rise and rise of the Mens Shed Movement
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Issue 81 May/June 2016
DCU, the age friendly university:
Men finding shed loads to do all over the country:
Lorna Hogg examines the growing popularity of the mens
Covering garden trails, a cemetery museum, heritage
enactments and a stately home
Eight days in the West Bank:
Just a short sail to a different world:
Whatever sort of holiday you’re looking for the Isle of Man
Mary Haugh reports on a recent group visit My left hip:
Kate Garahy recalls her hip surgery and experience in hospital
truly has something for everyone..
Oxendales Spring fashions:
What’s on in the arts:
Lorna Hogg explores one of the most attractive counties in
Memories of the ‘Bear Apparent’
England, and finds time to visit Cheddar Gorge in
Breaks with a difference:
Be ‘tax sensible’ with your estate:
Eamon Lynskey on the travails of Dublin’s Imperial monuments
Cosmetics and beauty:
Celebrating Charlotte Bronte’s bicentenary Statues that moved:
The new Senior Times activity supplement covers walking, hill climbing and cycling.
Publishing Directors: Brian McCabe, Des Duggan Editorial Director: John Low Editor At Large: Shay Healy Consultant Editor: Jim Collier Advertising: Willie Fallon - firstname.lastname@example.org Design & Production: www.cornerhouse.ie Contributors: Lorna Hogg, Dermot Gilleece, Maretta Dillon, Jim Collier, Peter Power, Matthew Hughes, Mairead Robinson, Eileen Casey, Debbie Orme, Connie McEvoy Published by S& L Promotions Ltd.,
Front cover: time for a rest on Sheep’s Head, Co Cork
Unit 1, 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6 Tel: +353 (01) 4969028. Fax: +353 (01) 4068229 Editorial: John@slp.ie Advertising: email@example.com Sign up to our newsletter and be in with a chance to win some great prizes at www.seniortimes.ie Follow us on Facebook and Twitter
News Now How the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 affects you Throughout our lives we seek advice from others about various matters before we make a decision for ourselves. But sometimes, perhaps due to illness, injury or a disability we may need a little more than just advice; we may also need support. There is international law, and now Irish law, which provides for the support we should be given. The Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015, which was signed by President Higgins on 30th December 2015, respects the right of all human beings to make choices for themselves and at all times to be treated with dignity and respect.
Howth and Sutton Horticultural Society talk on special plants Derry Watkins of Special Plants Nursery, Bath will talk on ‘Unusual and Long Blooming Garden Plants’ on 25th May at Deer Park, Howth, Co Dublin. At her nursery they grow and sell unusual plants from all over the world including an amazing range of hardy herbaceous and rockery plants as well as many tender perennials for terrace and conservatory. Derry Watkins, author of two books on greenhouse gardening has introduced many new plants from her plant collecting trips to South Africa and elsewhere.
Are you Compassionate, competent, committed, creative, courageous. Sage needs volunteers to provide support and advo cacy services with and for peop le in all care settings. Training, support and supervision will be provi ded to all successful applicants .
The ‘status’ approach to an individual’s capacity to make decisions has been replaced by a new ‘functional’ approach which has at its’ heart a simple question: “In relation to this specific issue, at this time, does this person have capacity?” It follows that question with another: “what level and type of support might be needed in order to assist this person make a decision?” The focus is now on the positive, on enhancing whatever level of capacity exists, even where it is considerably diminished, and there is a statutory presumption of capacity unless there is clear evidence to the contrary.
It will have particular relevance for people with intellectual disabilities, older people with diminished capacity or dementia, and people whose capacity has been affected by traumatic injury.
The ADM (Capacity) Act 2015 will strengthen the rights of all individuals, it ensures we can register in advance our wish not to receive treatment which we perceive as futile in the event that we lose capacity to make decisions.
Sage Briefing Seminars Sage is organising a series of briefing seminars throughout the country on the legislation, for further information see our website www.sage.thirdageireland.ie
Gorta, Ireland’s longest established overseas development charity
marginalised people with the opportunity to make something more of their lives, so that they can afford to improve their homes, send children to school, and escape the shadow of hunger and poverty - permanently.
Gorta-Self Help Africa is Ireland’s longest established overseas development charity. Established to find long term solutions to the problems of hunger and poverty in the poorer regions of the world, the organisation works through agriculture to support rural poor communities to grow more and earn more from their land.
Gorta-Self Help Africa focuses on farming because the vast majority rely on small-farms for their survival, and because most of these farms have the potential, with the right support, to produce much more than they do at present. The organisation currently works in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and will support up to 1.8 million people, this year.
It is a ‘self help’ model that provides poor and
To find out more visit: www.selfhelpafrica.org
2 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Advocacy is a process of empowerment to ensure the wishes and preferences of the person are heard.
For more information and an application form log on to www.sage.thirdageireland.ie/re cruitmen
Or contact: Michelle Rooney Education, Training and Support Coordinator E: michelle.rooney@sage. thirdageireland.ie T: 086 183 1428
Howth and Sutton Horticultural Society is a voluntary society and one of the longest established horticultural societies on Dublin’s northside, founded in 1943. Its aims and objectives are to encourage horticulture in all its branches, to hold shows, lectures and outings and to promote home industry. The Society follows these objectives through an annual programme of events comprising two major shows (Spring and Autumn), a series of lectures during winter months and summer outings. The Society had its origins in the Second World War when the government of the day launched a ‘Grow more food’ campaign, the objective being to encourage householders to grow their own fruit and vegetables. While we encourage younger members the majority if our members would be over 50. For further information see www.hshs.ie
Finglas West ARA past and present members celebrating 30 years together.
Customer Day Thursday, 2nd June 2016
Our Customer Day is a small way of saying thanks to you. We look forward to seeing you.
Please join us in your nearest Bank of Ireland branch Bank of Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
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11 interesting facts about The Camino de Santiago Thousands from all over the world, head to the Camino de Santiago each year; setting off on their own personal journey to the city of Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia. More than just a pilgrimage, the Camino is today a unique cultural experience, a walking trip like no other. The Camino in 11 interesting facts: 1 – The Camino is in reality, the ‘Caminos’, as there are many different Camino de Santiago routes, all heading to Santiago and starting in different parts of Europe. They are the ‘Ways of St James’. 2 -Santiago de Compostela means Saint James Santiago of the field of stars. 3 – The most famous Camino route is the Camino Frances (French Way), starting in the French town of St Jean Pied de Port in the Pyrenees. The route is 800kms long and takes just over a month to complete but walkers can also walk different stages. This is the route featuring in movies such as Martin Sheen’s The Way.
6- In 2015, over 260,000 Compostela certificates were issued by the Pilgrims Office in Santiago. Over 5,000 of them to walkers from Ireland. Many thousands more walk or cycle other Camino sections across France, Spain and Portugal each year. 7 – To get your certificate, you will need to stamp your pilgrim passport known as ‘Crecencial’ along the way, to proof that you have walked or cycled the required distance.
4 – Sarria, a market town in Galicia, is the most popular Camino starting point. It is here where the last stage of the French Way starts, just over 100kms away from Santiago.
8- Traditionally pilgrims used to start the Camino from their own homes. Irish medieval pilgrims would have taken a boat from one of Ireland’s ports to the Northern ports of Galicia, such as Ferrol.
5- Pilgrims need to walk at least the last 100kms of any Camino route to Santiago in order to receive their ‘Compostela’ pilgrim certificate. You will need to cycle the last 200kms.
9 - The yellow scallop shell and yellow arrows mark the way to Santiago. But careful: the scallop might be facing different ways depending on the regions.
Féile na Tuaithe festival of the countryside
John Neilly (Nephin Whiskey) who is the only remaining master cooper in Ireland will demonstrate his traditional barrel making skills at the festival
Féile na Tuaithe – the festival of the countryside is to be held in National Museum of Ireland, Country Life on Saturday 21st and Sunda y 22nd May. It has plenty on offer for seniors and is totally free. That means entry, parking, all attractions, demonstrations, workshops and entertainments. It has to be the most genuine festival in the country, with every single element connecting in some way to the Museum’s collection. This festival is really worth a second glance. The site is totally accessible and because of the rural nature of the Museum’s focus, the festival is of exceptional interest to older people. Many of them remember much of what is on display and get great pleasure from talking to demonstrators and engaging with the stallholders. 4 Senior Times l May - Junel 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
10 -Buen Camino! (safe journey) is the greeting shared by pilgrims and locals along the way. 11 -Santiago de Compostela old town is a UNESCO-listed heritage site since 1985 and its University dates back to 1495. The Council of Europe named the Camino de Santiago as the first European Cultural itinerary in 1987 for its important role encouraging cultural exchanges across Europe since the Middle Ages. CaminoWays.com is a walking and cycling specialist on the Camino de Santiago, organising guided and self-guided tours; as well as group tours on the many different Camino routes in Spain, Portugal and France. For more information or a free quote visit caminoways.com or contact the Camino de Santiago travel specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 01 525 2886. Make sure you quote SENIOR TIMES.
Dublin to Cornwall Air link now yearround Stobart Air has announced that the Aer Lingus Regional route they operate between Dublin and Newquay in Cornwall will operate yearround, with a minimum of 3 flights per week and up to 7 flights per week in the peak summer season. The route which commenced in 2015 as a summer only route, recommenced on 14 March this year with both an increased season and frequency. With demand high, Stobart Air have now made the decision to extend the route to a year round service. Flights between Dublin and Newquay start from as little as €29.99 one way including taxes and charges. To book, visit www.aerlingus.com. For more information about Cornwall Airport Newquay visit www.newquaycornwallairport.com. To plan your visit to Cornwall, go to www.visitcornwall.com
Reason #19 to travel by ferry to the Isle of Man
There’s so much to explore!
You’ll love having the freedom of your car.
ADMIRE The Isle of Man has so much to discover, from its ancient monuments, fascinating heritage and unique culture to its breath-taking natural beauty.
EXPLORE Taking the car is the perfect way to explore the island’s past at your own pace on its quiet and scenic roads. Aside from magical glens and magnificent coastline, there’s a host of ancient Viking monuments, Celtic crosses dating back to the 5th century, medieval castles such as Castle Rushen and Victorian engineering to discover – including the Great Laxey Wheel, the world’s largest working waterwheel!
EXPERIENCE The island’s unrivalled transport heritage ranges from historic motorsport to fascinating steam and electric railways… you’ll find plenty to enjoy on a relaxing break to the Isle of Man!
Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. A combination of Dublin and Belfast ports should be considered. *Valid for travel from 01.03.16 – 24.05.16. Journeys must be completed within five days - day of outward sailing counts as day one. Return sailing must commence on or before day five. For payment by credit card, a fee of €4 applies per transaction, not per person.
Men finding shed loads to do all over the country
Lorna Hogg examines the growing popularity of the Mens Shed Movement Men’s Sheds. Once somewhere to store the garden tools, or simply retreat to do some woodwork. A decade ago, who would have thought that the humble shed would be at the centre of a nationwide community movement? Yet the Irish Men’s Sheds movement has grown from zero to over three hundred Sheds in the past five years. With projects ranging from providing practical solutions to community needs to classes and sports, social contact and networks have developed alongside. Barry Sheridan is the driving force behind Irish Men’s Sheds. The movement, which originated in Australia, initially focused on men’s health and well being. Sheds were no longer simply garden based, but could be community related, and the idea strongly appealed in Ireland. As Barry observes, ‘We say that we’re open for all men to take part in the community. Around 60per cent are drawn from the over 50s and also from those made redundant. To them 6 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Woodworking is a popular skill in the movement
we say, `You don’t need any skills to go to one. Remember, the most important part of any project is the kettle!....’ Barry has been CEO for twelve months, and combines the essential blend of strategic thinking and experience in local development with a friendly, informal and accessible manner. Travel throughout Ireland and abroad is now part of his work. The UK, Denmark, Canada, New Zealand and Sweden are all developing Sheds, and welcome his views. So what can we expect from a Men’s Shed these days? ‘Many people say to me, `Oh it’s not for me. I’m not good with my hands.’ In fact, there are so many other skills that people have. You could be on a committee, make the tea, do the bookwork – it’s about sharing your skills. It was never dressed up as a workshop – what is inside a shed is up to those involved. How often do members come? Some come one day a week, some come six days a week, others one day per month...’
Sheds can also provide strong mutual social supports. Barry agrees that the traditional image of men is one of not talking about their worries. ‘We don’t talk, we keep things to ourselves - about health, money, feelings and well being.’ Now, the wide range of members, from professionals to retired, short or long term unemployed, work on projects, and also create friendships and connections. So what is the movement’s shared goal? ‘Our Big Vision is - `let’s give every man the opportunity to be part of Men’s Sheds. It starts with a workshop – and then often develops! Yes, we have wood turners – and also people interested in community radio, computers, building boats, arts and crafts, English, history, gardening, the internet, bee-keeping, local partnerships – the list just goes on..’ Clearly, local Men’s Sheds have potential for considerable community impact. ‘The impact at home is huge. Sometimes, men have nowhere to go but the telly or the pub. For some
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Christmas dinner in the shed!
The Mens’s Shed website
older men, after retirement a personal question can be – ‘What am I now? I’ve worked all my life and now, after it, just what am I? Some might have worked for twenty years – and lost their jobs. Others might never have worked – and still ask themselves, `What am I?’’ He feels strongly that ‘we’ve lost a sense of community. It’s at the heart of society. It may not be as important when you’re a child or younger person – you have other stuff, but when you’re older, it matters.’ This is an area in which Men’s Sheds can really play a part. ‘They can support projects such as Tidy Towns, and they can also make direct contributions. One project, Buddy Benches Ireland, has done that. The Kilkenny group developed the idea and built benches for primary schools. They deal with the school, and every kid there is aware of it. If you sit on the bench, you want someone to talk to. It performs an important role, and is a great idea. Projects like these connect the guys who produced them. Some might never have had a role in the community before . We find that when Sheds do something in the community and it’s needed, it comes back tenfold. Overall, it’s a win-win situation...’
clubs etc. Start thinking about how to publicise your Shed – contact local councillors, partnerships, and local newspapers. Consider a local meeting – ask at the local libraries and also Men’s Sheds Ireland, who can speak at local meetings.
How to ‘build’ a shed 1. Contact Irish Mens Sheds, for their five step guide to establishing your own project. Start off with a couple of friends, local men or your own family. Get all the information you can on what’s going on in the community – voluntary groups, churches, libraries, social and sports
5. Equipment. This will, of course, depend on what your aims are. If they include crafts, gardening or computer equipment, boat building/repair, wood-turning, or carpentry, then it’s posssible that tools or hardware (usually new, for safety reasons) might be donated. You can also look for any available
2. Form a steering committee. Before start up, you need to see what goes on in Men’s Sheds – so plan some visits. Try at least three or four. Men’s Sheds tend to really welcome visitors. Remember, they were in the same position as you – they have ideas on what needs to happen. 3. Premises. Your Shed needs to be selffinancing. Can you get a lease? How about a short term agreement, perhaps with a school or business? If you can find a rent free premises, your only expense will be your ESB bill, so knock on doors! Remember that whilst you will find your premises, it can take time, and that this is one of the most challenging stages. 4. Insurance.You can’t register with Irish Men’s Sheds without insurance, so get advice, and look for a good Group Scheme.
grants, or the support of local businesses and large stores. 6. Brainstorming. This really goes to the heart about what your Shed will focus upon. Do you want inclusive activities, e.g. making a bench together? Do you want to start or develop a project – e.g. Tidy Towns? Think outside the box – projects range from running a golf classic to building boats! If ou want to offer classes, then look at local educational suppliers. Recruiting members How will you recruit new members and raise money to meet any heating costs or rental? Talk to local authorities or partnerships who help with grants. How much could you raise, with a flag day, or jumble sale? Ingenuity can help. One group put on a very successful traditional music night to raise new membership. Membership charges pose the question - how much is too much? So what is Barry’s aim now? ‘My hope? To leave a lasting impact, maybe 400 Sheds at the local, individual level, and then at the National level, aim for a situation where as many men who want can to can take part.. Right now, 10,000 men every every week attend a Shed. So, 10,000 families and 305 communities benefit. Put it altogether, and you’re generating a lot of social capital.’ www.menssheds.ie Tel. 01 891 6150
ESB awarded funding to community and voluntary organisations as part of the autumn 2015 round of the ‘Energy for Generations’ community fund. The Irish Men’s Shed Association was one of the organisations who received funding for its series of local network well-being events.
The latest award brings the total amount of funding issued by ESB in the autumn round up to over €270,000 for not-for-profit organisations, charities and community and voluntary organisations whose work falls under the areas of educational access and support, suicide prevention, and care of the homeless.
Adelaide Nic Chartaigh from Suas, Barry Sheridan from Irish Men’s Sheds Association, Marguerite Sayers, Managing Director of ESB Networks and Orlagh Reilly from The Soar Foundation at the award presentation.
8 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
MADRID, MENORCA & 20 MORE SUN DESTINATIONS
JUNE TO SEPTEMBER
JUNE TO SEPTEMBER
JUNE TO AUGUST
Madrid’s charms are sometimes obscured by the sheer number of incredible destinations in Spain, but the Spanish capital is truly one of Europe’s great cities.
Nantes was the historical capital of Brittany, but for almost 200 years it has been the regional centre for the Pays de la Loire region. It’s a city with an obviously rich past but it’s also the gateway to a region that is French to its core.
Menorca is the second largest of the Balearic Islands. It is best known for a gentler pace of life compared to near neighbours Majorca and Ibiza and for the great sandy beaches that dot its coastline.
Iberia Express will be operating direct flights from Cork Airport to Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport in 2016. www.iberiaexpress.com
CityJet will be commencing weekly direct flights from Cork Airport to Nantes Atlantique Airport in 2016.
From June 2016, Lee Travel and Stein Travel - together with CityJet - will be operating weekly flights direct from Cork Airport to Menorca.
Prof MacCraith: ‘We bring older adults onto campus on a regular basis, to engage with school leaving students. Fundamentally, there is an exchange of wisdom and a massive enthusiasm. This is all voluntary work from students, they love it, absolutely love it’.
Man with a plan Maretta Dillon talks to Professor Brian MacCraith, President of Dublin City University who has been a prime mover in the University’s ‘age friendly’ policies Prof. Brian MacCraith is a man with a plan! The President of Dublin City University (DCU) heads up Ireland’s first age-friendly university. Prof. MacCraith comments, ‘when people think of universities and ageing, they think, oh it’s lifelong learning. Of course that’s part of it but it’s much, much more than that’. So, what is the plan and where did it come from? Prof. MacCraith took up the post of president in 2010 and one of his first tasks was to deliver a keynote speech about what he wanted to do. His interest in ageing grew in part due to his involvement with Ageing Well Network, a think tank set up to discuss the multi-faceted issues of ageing, the challenges and the opportunities. He then did what every self-respecting manager should do – he set up a working group to examine the issue!
sports and fitness facilities every week going through this programme. There is one for post-cancer, post-cardiac, diabetes, COPD, all kind of chronic diseases, many of them associated with ageing’, adds Prof. MacCraith. He goes on to state, ‘The impact has been incredible. I can give you data but the best data is talking to individuals. They will talk about their lives being transformed after entering the programme. They come in feeling at their lowest, maybe after chemotherapy or radiotherapy, but they start feeling more confident and the social network becomes hugely important. They are referred from hospitals which is important to us here in DCU - this is essentially run on a non-profit basis’.
‘We set up a working group to look at how the university could best address ageing. It was, he added, ‘a very enthusiastic work group’. They came up with ten basic principles that would support an age-friendly university. Some of these are around encouraging older people to participate more in the various activities offered on campus including education and research programmes.
DCU is also playing its part in collaborating with other organisations interested in ageing. He mentions Dublin Age Friendly Alliance and Age Friendly Ireland. Prof. MacCraith is also enthusiastic about collaborating with Dublin City Council to develop an age friendly park at the university, ‘One of the major advantages is the proximity of the park to the university and having an open connection between the campus and it’. Back to the idea of intergenerational mixing then.
Other ideas include promoting intergenerational learning so that younger and older people learn together. The professor explains, ‘We bring older adults onto campus on a regular basis, to engage with school leaving students. Fundamentally, there is an exchange of wisdom and a massive enthusiasm. This is all voluntary work from students, they love it, absolutely love it’.
Finally, Prof. MacCraith mentions DCU’s senior entrepreneurship programme, ‘the data worldwide shows that people are at their most entrepreneurial between 50 and 64’. Another interesting dimension, ‘is that people at a certain stage in life tend to get more focused on what they can give back, so social entrepreneurship is perhaps even more attractive’.
One of Prof. MacCraith’s more practical ideas was to appoint someone to lead the initiative,‘ we found we needed somebody who would wake up each day and just worry about the age friendly initiative so Christine O’Kelly is that person, that’s why there is a lot more things happening, a lot more co-ordination, a lot more publicity’.
DCU are planning to develop what they are calling an advanced transition programme that will allow people pre and post retirement to think about it as, ‘structured planning of what you do with this next phase of life, in an active and healthy ageing way’.
Prof. MacCraith speaks about the first conference of age-friendly universities last year as, ‘a milestone target for us. We have universities in the US, UK, and we are talking to some in Australia now as well as a number of the Irish universities’. So what else is happening? DCU are justifiably proud of staff member, Dr. Noel McCaffrey and his initiative, MedEx, a programme of exercise rehabilitation for people after a range of medical illnesses and medical interventions. ‘Typically six to seven hundred older adults come into our 10 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
The university has recently announced the addition of the former All Hallows complex in Drumcondra to the campus. They are already planning some new developments for older adults but more of that later. Prof. MacCraith is very clear that a rapidly ageing population worldwide has implications for everyone, ‘our ultimate responsibility is towards students coming through and that’s why in the same way as climate change and sustainability, they need to know the ramifications of this, how society’s going to change very quickly’. If you would like to know more about DCU’s age friendly policies, have a look at http://dcu.ie/agefriendly/index.shtml
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Eight days in the West Bank ‘It was a tense time in Jerusalem. Not a happy place, not a happy country, anger and intolerance and hatred everywhere’. Mary Haugh reports on a recent group visit. We arrived at Ben- Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, in the middle of the night. There were 32 of us, on an eight day visit to the West Bank. This visit was organised by Elaine Daly who has been taking groups to the West Bank for the past nine years. We were based in Bethlehem. We visited the cities of Hebron, Ramallah and Jerusalem, spent time in a refugee camp and a Jewish settlement. We met with Palestinian political activists, had lunch in a Bedouin camp, took part in a demonstration against Israeli occupation in a West Bank village. More than one and a half million Palestinian refugees live in camps in Palestine and the neighbouring countries. The majority of the refugees are the people and their descendants who were driven out of their homeland in 1948 during the setting up of the state of Israel. More than half of Palestine’s native population, almost a million people, were forcibly displaced, and hundreds of villages destroyed, in what has become known as the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine. The propaganda slogan, “a land without people for a people without land”, expressing the Zionist notion that Palestine was virtually uninhabited, is not the reality. In a café in Bethlehem I met a young Palestinian who told me his story. His family lived in Sirin, a village in Galilee. His grandfather was the village mukhtar or chief. In May 1948 the Israeli army entered the village and drove out 12 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
all the Moslems and Christians .They were ordered to cross the nearby Jordan river and go to what was then Transjordan. The Israelis then seized their land, demolished their houses, the mosque and the church. Most of his family escaped to Lebanon and from there to Canada. They never saw their village again. They had lost everything. Over the entrance arch to the Aida refugee camp on the outskirts of Bethlehem, there is a large sculpture of The Key of Return. This symbolises the right, in principle, of refugees to return to the homes and lands from which they were evicted. They took with them their deeds of possession and the keys to their homes. They cherish the memory of their lost homeland. These keys are mementos, if nothing else, handed down from one generation to the next.
Orthodox jew with his two sons near the Wailing Wall
We visited an Israeli settlement in the outskirts of Bethlehem. The building of these settlements began after the ’67 6 Day War, on land illegally occupied by Israel. Almost a million Israelis now live in them. The settlements are a
major source of conflict and a stumbling block to any peace process. They sprawl across the landscape, are all built on hilltops and dominate the valleys in which the Palestinians live. Attacks by extremist settlers on Palestinians are common. There is violence against Palestinians and their property. The settlers attack mosques and churches, burn down the olive trees. The week we were there, a Palestinian woman died as a result of an earlier arson attack on her home in Nablus. One morning a small group of us left our hotel at 5 a.m., in the dark, and walked to Checkpoint 300 between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Since the 1990s, Israel has set up hundreds of these checkpoints, for security purposes, they say. The checkpoints cause humiliation and harassment to Palestinians on a daily basis. In the half- light, when we arrived, we could see hundreds of Palestinians, mostly men, being funnelled through enclosed concrete passageways, like cattle crushes, waiting to be allowed through metal detectors manned by Israeli soldiers. The men, mostly construction workers, have to arrive before dawn due to the long delays that keep them waiting for hours to get to their work in Israel. And these are the lucky ones. They have work permits to enter Israel and so have a job, even if it is low paid. The permits are issued for three months and can be withdrawn at any time. They are day permits, the holders must be back in the West Bank before dark. Bil’in is a typical West Bank village, surrounded by olive groves. Since 2005, every Friday a demonstration is held there against what the Israelis call the Security Wall and the
Bride at the Waling Wall
The Apartheid Wall
Palestinians call the Apartheid Wall, a wall that Israel is building on village land and is cutting the farmers off from their fields on the other side of the wall. We drove there from Bethlehem, a two hour journey through spectacular desert landscape. Locals, Israelis and international activists take part in this weekly demonstration. We all gathered in the small village hall where we were told what to expect and how to react. The Israeli army would use tear gas and possibly rubber bullets to disperse the marchers. We set out in the midday heat on a narrow dusty road. A little band of young women, Palestinian and Israeli, beat their drums, Palestinian and Irish flags fluttered in the breeze. Some marchers wore gas masks, one man was in a wheelchair. When we had walked a short distance out of the village we saw the Israeli soldiers and their armoured jeeps lined up a few hundred yards away. Immediately we came into view they started On the Pink Lady walk, one of firing tear gas canisters, the gas came swirling the walks in the Festival across the valley towards us. We soon began 14 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Stand off between Israeli soldiers at Al Aksol Mosque, Jersualem
to feel the effects of the tear gas, eyes stinging and tearing (hence the name). I was walking with a woman from Northern Ireland. She said she had seen too much of this during the Troubles. We decided to turn back. As we were walking back towards the village we met an elderly Palestinian woman who invited us into her home. Also in the house was an Israeli journalist from Tel Aviv. She was of the view that the State of Israel should never have been
set up, that it was doomed from the beginning. Soon the marchers returned, most suffering from the effects of gas inhalation. People have been killed or seriously injured on this march. There is, of course, another side to the Arab Israeli conflict. What I have written is simply an account of some of the things I saw and heard during an eight day political visit to the West Bank in September 2015.
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Palestinian café owner with his two sons
Soldiers on the Via Dolorosa
After the West Bank visit I went to Jerusalem and spent four days there with two friends who had come out from Ireland. We stayed in the Austrian Hospice on the Via Dolorosa. We often sat in a little café opposite the Guesthouse enjoying great hummus and falafel, and watching the world go by on the street outside. There were Hasidic Jews in their long black coats and black hats, Arab women in their embroidered dresses and headscarves,
groups of Christian pilgrims doing the Stations of the Cross, some carrying heavy wooden crosses, Orthodox Jewish families returning from the synagogue being escorted through this Arab area by soldiers. A small group of very young Israeli soldiers, cradling their M16 rifles, was always on duty on the street corner opposite.
intolerance and hatred everywhere.
It was a tense time in Jerusalem. Not a happy place, not a happy country, anger and
The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Senior Times
The Big Question: What is the solution? Is there a solution? The stakes are high, as of now the prospects seem grim, but all sides have no option except to keep talking. The way of diplomacy must be the only way. There can be no other.
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Have a break with a difference Lorna Hogg looks at some options beyond the ordinary..
This year sees the first ever women only Camino walk
The gardens at Highgrove There is also a rare chance to enjoy Aida in Verona Arena on a seven night tour.
Sometimes, you’re looking for a break with a difference, perhaps as a special anniversary gift, or striking out on your own. Alternately, you might want a group break with a shared or niche interest, to develop a new hobby, or even change your life. So, take your pick from one day to full holiday breaks with yoga, cookery, garden visits, walking, music, sports, eco living and even self development, at home or further afield...
wine, the trip cover the last 100kms of the Camino’s Portuguese Coastal Way. Overlooking Atlantic views, visiting Baiona and Pontevedra en route.
Women lead the way.. The great pilgrim trails attract a variety of walkers, and ‘Follow the Camino’ Tours’ have something for all of them, offering introductory meetings, advice and even some preparation here in Ireland.
Singing under the stars For opera lovers nothing matches the atmosphere and experience of a performance in an ancient amphitheatre under the stars. Travel Department has something for all tastes – including performances in some of Europe’s great opera houses. There are several Opera Holidays in association Lyric fm’s Marty Whelan, including the 7 night Classic Tuscany and Puccini Opera Festival with a lakeside performance, with prices from €1059 departing 26th July.
This year, their first Women Only guided walk, celebrating International Women’s Day filled so quickly that they are offering another one in June. Based in Galicia’s Rias Baixas region, famed for its fresh seafood and Albarino white 18 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Women on The Camino - June 25th 6 nights, 7 walking days €740 pps. including English speaking guide, half board accomodation and luggage transfers. Flights, insurance and lunch not included. email@example.com
You can also choose from a variety of short trips, e.g. 3 nights Budapest, to hear Verdi’s Rigoletto, departing 17th June, from €549pp. This year, there is also a rare chance to enjoy Aida in Verona Arena, on a seven night tour. Topflight offers excellent ‘optional extra’ opera excursions in their resort holidays to Venice and Lake Garda, starting from €609. www.traveldepartment.ie Tel. 01 637 1650 www.topflight.ie Gardens by Royal Appointment Over the past three decades, Prince Charles has created a unique organic and sustainable garden over 15 acres at Highgrove, his private country home .There is plenty to inspire keen gardeners, from the old fashioned wildflower meadow, to urn- lined walks and even an old-fashioned ‘Stumpery’. Travel Department is again offering tours, with gardening expert Frances Macdonald. The 3 night August tour offers a two hour tour of the garden, plus flights, accomodation and city tour in Bath Spa, trips to a plant nursery and the nearby Harald Peto
Memmo Baleeira, Sagres
Italian garden at Iford Manor. Prices from €729pp, 3 nights, flight and accomodation. 7th August departure. www.traveldepartment.ie Find it, pick it, eat it There is a new way of now, not just fresh, but local, and free food. Many of us grew up with mushroom gathering, and blackberry picking, but foraging goes much further. Many local plants, flowers and even some that we regard as weeds, are edible. There are many courses and workshops available in Ireland, to search for, find and cook what you have gathered. Ballymaloe Autumn Foraging course - 30th September and 1st October €195.
goes on. Nancy will be around as well, to inspire and encourage! There are also seminars, an exhibition and nightly entertainment, dinners and a banquet, so boredom is not on the schedule. Attend as a day visitor (€25 per day) or buy an inclusive package at the Gleneagle and Brehon hotels, currently starting from €424 for a single room. Many experiences are free, but some carry a small fee. www.gleneaglehotel.com Tel. 064 66 71550
occasional nine course dinners, based on the liner’s last First Class menu. www.hastingshotels.com www.themerchanthotel.com www.lougherneresort.com, www.rayannehouse.com Bring your own yoga mat What better way to enhance yoga than beautiful surroundings? Travel Department is offering a 5 night trip to Torbole, Lake Garda, with Yoga Dublin Studios. Led by Emma Burke Kennedy and suited to all levels, departure is on 14th September, flights, 5 nights B&B, 8 yoga sessions and a boat tour of Lake Garda are included. From €729 pps
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Four star room, four star food Wouldn’t it be great if your luxury hotel had restaurants of similar standard? Many hotels are now famed for their top rated food, and in theNorthern Ireland Year of Food and Drink, there is a good choice.The four star Belfast Hastings Hotel Europa is especially noted for its breakfasts, using top local produce and suppliers. The luxurious Merchant Hotel in Belfast has an award winning Great Room restaurant and the less formal Bert’s Jazz Bar, ideal for superb pre- theatre meals.
50 way to inspire your mammy Fans of 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy’ admired Nancy Ashmawy for her bravery and adventurousness when faced with some of the TV challenges from her son Baz. Want to develop some of that spirit in yourself, and have plenty of fun? At the Give It A Go week in Killarney you can sample motor bike riding, abseiling, Pilates, yoga, hill-walking, abseiling, creative writing, photography, kayaking – and the list
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You would expect G8 world leaders to enoy top local food with their deliberations, and they did in 2013 at Fermanagh’s Lough Erne Resort. We can all enjoy the superb Catalina restaurant and less formal Bar and Grills.
Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 19
Setting New Standards in Clinical Care. Having a co-located public and private hospital all on the one campus is part of what makes St. Vincentâ€™s Private Hospital truly unique and unrivalled in Ireland. Our private patients have instant access to a wider range of consultants and treatments. And as we are part of St. Vincentâ€™s Healthcare Group, the academic teaching hospital of University College Dublin, we attract and retain the highest calibre of consultants. We also provide the most modern cardiology facilities and we are the largest private provider of cancer care specialities. Best of all, we are accessible to more insured people than any other private hospital.
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Setting New Standards in Clinical Care. Having a co-located public and private hospital all on the one campus is part of what makes St. Vincentâ€™s Private Hospital truly unique and unrivalled in Ireland. Our private patients have instant access to a wider range of consultants and treatments. And as we are part of St. Vincentâ€™s Healthcare Group, the academic teaching hospital of University College Dublin, we attract and retain the highest calibre of consultants. We also provide the most modern cardiology facilities and we are the largest private provider of cancer care specialities. Best of all, we are accessible to more insured people than any other private hospital.
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My left hip
Kate Garahy recalls her hip surgery and experience in hospital. This story is about my left hip. Why one might think would a story of details about this not very attractive part of anybody’s anatomy hold any readers attention ? I agree but as my story unfolds it will become clear how this ball and socket joint took over my life for the past couple of years . My left hip has given me discomfort and decreased mobility for some time now. I say left one since at birth my bone structure was complete , leaving no reason to question either left or right . So I started life with perfect mobility where the right hip went the other followed. Going through life sport was never a choice for recreation , the only exercise I ever did was walking which I did on a regular basis with the mini marathon completed every couple of years . My pastimes were more of an artistic nature . I did art classes, spent days sometimes at auctions , which today accounts for my collection of china and my passion for vintage clothes . Added to this list is a brief amateur drama career . I’m involved these 22 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
days working as a volunteer in a theatre and other bits and pieces connected to the arts . So why am I subjected to intense pain and discomfort in my left hip seeing that my life style did not lend itself to abuse of any of my joints ? Simple wear and tear my doctor says ,added to the fact I’m past my prime . My consultant advised a complete hip replacement , so my name went into the system and I waited and waited. My date for the operation arrives in the post , I’m relieved and terrified all at once . The day dawns and I must face what is ahead .All preparations are made the night before .We arrive at the hospital in darkness as its November and six thirty am . I am accompanied by my daughter whom I thank God for and her generous giving nature . The lady in admissions takes my details .The usual round of questions, name , date of birth,consultants name, next of kin and so on .Time is ticking and I’m getting anxious and I am escorted to the pre-operation room, only to be asked the same questions. Added to the list are queries about past and present health issues, so as I can thankfully answer no to all questions it all gets a bit repetitive. Cartoons by Paule Steele
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So now my nurse attaches a wristband with my ID on to both my wrists ( no danger of a mix up here ). Nurses come and go check my wrist bands and ask the same questions .My anaesthetist arrives to discuss my sedation . I was happy to see a familiar face as I had met her on my pre-operation assessment and found her very understanding .
the honeymoon is over and the big bad word called pain comes calling . Once again for about the fifth time in the past few hours my blood pressure is taken .The nurse seems surprised that it’s still perfect but continues to take it anyway . Pain becomes bad, really bad , so I’m given morphine and the pain reduces somewhat .
Next to my bedside comes two young doctors ( I’m not actually in bed, just sitting beside it ) who inform me they are on my consultants team. Both very young and one with curly hair and a smile to die for. They both shake hands with me, well one at a time of course . Another round of questions . I’m beginning to wonder am I the person I say I am.
Afternoon comes and catering staff arrive . I ask for coffee and toast . I enjoy the toast, the coffee, well that’s another matter. If you boiled an old sock in coffee granules and allowed it to stew the result would be similar. It was hot and wet, nothing else to recommend it .
Now the serious conversation begins .The information imparted to me made me very anxious . This is obligatory, I understand, but frightening to the patient. For instance the curly haired doctor says ‘all operations have risk factor’ ; if during surgery the replacement goes wrong ,well the procedure starts all over again . This news raises my anxiety and I say ‘don’t tell me any more , I trust you and my surgeon’ .They smile and leave and nurse returns , this time with some tablets to keep me calm . In hindsight this medication had no effect at all, so perhaps it was a placebo and I was fooled. I walk down to the theatre with my nurse, an epidural injection administered and I’m gone , no awareness of what’s going on, until I’m awakened and told the operation is all over . I’m in a state of euphoria , wrapped in warm blankets , and thinking let this feeling last for ever.A clock in my line of vision says 10am, that will always be with me .Then I realise I’m lying on my back with some contraption keeping my feet apart . But why worry I’m in a very happy state . Time passes and nurses come and go attaching me to drips and oxygen , and still no feeling from my waist down so all is well. Sometime later I come to the realisation that I have two legs with feet attached . So now 24 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
It’s now late afternoon and I’m being assisted all the way and have not left my bed for any reason , so reader you understand what I mean . My care is excellent from both female and male nurses. I ask for more pain relief only to be told I must wait for thirty more minutes as I have been given my limit.With my head phones on I try listening to the radio to distract from pain . Nurse comes and helps me change my clothes which is very welcome. I feel almost normal , but not for long .Pain increases to a high level so now I’m fed stronger pain relief through a drip . Doctor comes and says all went well with the operation , routine no issues .Two more tablets , nurse says they are morphine to help me sleep . It’s now almost eight at night and no sleep for me .Doctor comes and says he was part of the team doing the surgery on my hip and all went well. I thank him and he leaves . Night nurse is next , lots of questions like can I move my toes ? She takes my blood pressure and leaves . Next a male nurse comes , he’s not very chatty just administered an injection and he moves on . It’s now eleven o ‘clock at night and I’m very much awake .My night nurse returns and I’m given the final medication of the day . This dose consisted of : two plain white tablets, two brown and white capsules, one small blue tablet, one small white tablet, two speckled capsules .
With this dose inside me I become very relaxed and sleep comes . This state of tranquility is interrupted at one am by my nurse , blood pressure check again , and my drip is replenished . I drift into a gentle sleep and when I wake its six am.
Perhaps at this stage my readers will become very bored with my complaints , which in fact is a true account of my experience with my first ever operation. Things improve and the sickness abates , medication is sorted and I can finally enjoy some food .
One day and one night down ! What will today be like ? More medication at seven am and repeat after breakfast .
I’m walking with crutches and help from the wonderful staff to have a shower , feeling much better today . Today is Sunday, I will be discharged tomorrow being a day extra to my stay owing to the reaction to the medication .
Physiotherapy lady came and her assistant . Soon I’m standing on the floor with the help of two crutches , under the watchful eye of my physiotherapist . I walk or at least one foot passes the other for a very short time . My bed was very welcome as the exercise proved exhausting . After some help with my ablutions , a change of clothes , I’m feeling quite normal. I have not applied any make up yet , I’m getting careless . Lunch comes consisting of turkey , mashed potatoes and vegetables, together with a nice dessert, all very palatable . On the second of my stay in hospital I had visit from a social worker . Just routine, she says . Do I live alone ? What support will I have on returning there . If I have concerns about my post operation health a nurse will be able to call to me . I’m happy she has given me that information . Third day post operation dawns . Medication taken have made me very sick, so that’s a set back I did not need . Occupational therapist comes and I’m on my feet again . Now I have to have an x ray and a short round of physiotherapy. This proved all too much so I’m back in bed and I fall asleep . Evening meal came, I’m too sick to eat . Last medication of the day is seven tablets . I swallow, hoping the offending one that caused my upset is not among them . I have a really bad night with severe spasm in my leg . More medication more sickness.
Lunch is very nice , chicken and vegetables which I enjoy. Dessert is good old-fashioned jelly and a tub of ice cream which comes from the U.K. This is a surprise as I thought this green and fertile land of ours was among the best for dairy products in the world . I have not mentioned visitors so far, but my daughter, grandchildren, sonin- law, several cousins were not found wanting , and I appreciated their visits. Sometimes at night I become anxious but I reminded myself that my medication was sorted and I was guaranteed a pain free night . During this story of ‘my left hip’ I omitted to relate that question asked of me every morning noon and night , ‘Did your bowels move today ‘? I know this is a very personal question asked usually in sterile surroundings and by a medical person . So when asked I bare my soul and reply in the negative will there be unpleasant consequences I wonder ? I banish the thought of any mechanical instrument being used . Things resolve themselves when my nurse administers two teaspoons of a yellow sickly liquid to me three times a day. So solves that important post operation question .. To conclude I left hospital on Monday morning at nine am, five days after surgery. I’m thankful for the care and attention I received , and will always be grateful to all the staff . My story ends here, only to begin in my next place for convalescence . That’s a story for another day ..
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The magnificent steep- sided Cheddar Gorge
Lorna Hogg explores one of the most attractive counties in England, and finds time to visit Cheddar Gorge in neighbouring Somerset
Think of the English countryside, and rolling acres, medieval cathedrals, pretty stone villages and ancient sites spring to mind. Look no further than Wiltshire, home to Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral. Its big skies, ancient inns and pubs, rolling chalk hills, bustling market towns, and world famous gardens and houses offer multiple choices. It also has a few surprises - where else can you shop in the middle of a prehistoric stone circle , watch cheese mature in a cave, go lion spotting at a stately home, or test out a Tudor bed? Easily accessed from both Bristol and Heathrow airports, you can choose from luxury hotels, top rated B&Bs, or even go glamping . Alternately, with Wiltshire’s range of ancient inns and comfortable Georgian stage post hotels, you can travel the old coaching routes in style. Car hire is ideal to maximise sightseeing, but many market towns have rail connections and good deals. The calcite underground From Bristol airport, it’s an easy trip to neighbouring Somerset and Cheddar. Deep in the magnificent steep sided Gorge, overlooked by agile mountain goats, lies Gough’s Cave, dating from the Ice Age. Its dripping stalactites form fantastical calcite shapes, many beautifully spotlit. Look out for Cheddar Man, at 9,000 years old, Britain’s oldest skeleton. The cave still matures some of the local cheddar 28 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
cheese, as it has done for centuries. Nearby, recently re-designed Cox’s Cave also uses spotlights to enhance the range of mineral rock colouration. Stroll down the village to The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company and its working dairy. Learn about ‘cheddaring,’ watch, from the viewing gallery, how one of the world’s most famous cheeses is made – and of course, sample some before buying!
locally sourced food – dinner there is popular. The magnificent Stourhead, Wiltshire’s most famous garden, lies a short drive away. Once described as a living work of art, it is instantly recognisable from films/TV series ranging from The Pallisers to Pride and Prejudice. Try to arrive early for their uncrowded best. Allow several hours, for a house and cafe visit, before leaving for another top Wiltshire site nine miles away – Stonehenge.
Another highlight is the nearby Bishop’s Palace, famous for its moat and mute swans. The magnificent rooms are open to the public, but you can simply enjoy the peaceful early morning or late evening views by walking around the moat, admiring the lawns, buildings and mediaeval drawbridge.
Stonehenge Stonehenge, the most famous prehistoric stone circle in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dates back some 5000 years. To ease inevitable crowds, visitors now go by shuttle bus to view the monument. You can disembark early to walk the final steps. Try to book your pre-timed ticket as near to sunrise and sunset as possible, the most atmposheric times. Don’t miss the excellent audiovisual about how the landscape and monument have changed, or the Exhibition. Stonehenge also has an excellent cafe. The car-free can take the Stonehenge Tour, picking up from Salisbury rail station and city centre, to the stones.
Wells has several comfortable coaching inns and Georgian hotels, and the fifteenth century Swan Hotel knows how to welcome travellers. Some rooms have cathedral views. Recently sympathetically restored, it also has excellent
Nine miles will take you to Salisbury, imortalised in the paintings of Constable and Turner. Quintessentially English, the spire of this thirteenth century cathedral, the tallest in England, rises 404 feet above the Plain.
Cathedral, circles and coaching inns A short drive takes you the beautiful Somerset city of Wells, with its spectacular twelfth century cathedral, noted for medieval sculptures on its West Front. Stroll outside to see its working clock, installed in 1390, and also Vicars’ Close, the oldest surviving residential street, with original buildings, in Europe.
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CO symptoms are often described as “flu like”. If you breathe in a large amount of Carbon Monoxide, you could fall unconscious and potentiality it could kill you. Preventing Carbon Monoxide poisoning is very important as it causes around 40 deaths in Ireland every year..
The girls from Ty1 in Our Lady of Lourdes Secondary School in New Ross, County Wexford are doing their YSI (Young Social Innovators) on Carbon Monoxide. The title is unCOnscious. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colourless gas that can kill you. It is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars, trucks, stoves, grills, fire-places or furnaces. Everyone is at risk from C0 poisoning. However infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease, or breathing problems are more likely to get CO poisoning.
Installing a carbon monoxide alarm in your home is the simplest way to avoid Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year, as well as your chimney swept regularly. Make sure that all rooms are well ventilated. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning you can call the following numbers; Gas Networks Ireland 24 hour emergency line: ROI: 1850 20 50 50 NI: 0800 002 001
Salisbury grew rich from the medieval wool trade and has retained its town centre, with bustling shops. It also has a Cathedral Close filled with elegant houses. Mompesson House, and Arundells, (once home to former UK Prime Minister Edward Heath), plus their gardens are well worth visits. Theatre lovers should check out the excellent Salisbury Playhouse. The cathedral has the added attraction of its own original and well preserved copy of the 1215 Magna Carta, now on public view. No interest in ancient documents? Well, this one has inspired several international constitutions, guaranteed equal rights under the law and set the weights and measures we know – just for starters. Early sunny mornings and evenings display the cathedral’s stained glass windows at their peaceful best, and if you’re lucky, you might also hear the Choir. Nearby is the excellent Salisbury Museum, reflecting the town and region’s landscape and achievement from earliest occuptation. The welcoming White Hart Hotel, an ancient coaching inn re-designed in the 18th century, is five minutes walk from the cathedral. Salisbury’s restaurants include the popular and informal Italian style Leonardo’s, a perfect end to a full day.
The spire of the thirteenth century Salisbury Cathedral is the tallest in England, rising 404 feet above the Plain.
30 Senior Times l My - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Avebury: Less crowded and more peaceful than Stonehenge, a massive ditch surrounds the world’s largest enclosed stone circle.
Laycock village in period drama
La Flambe, Sutton Benger
It’s less than 30 miles on to the atmospheric Avebury. Less crowded and more peaceful than Stonehenge, a massive ditch surrounds the world’s largest enclosed stone circle. No surprise that it is most atmospheric at dawn and sunset. After your stroll, enjoy a snack at the National Trust Cafe, and ponder the purpose of its Neolithic and Bronze Age stones. Lights, camera.. Avebury Village has achieved more modern fame, thanks to television. Its Manor House, dating from Tudor times, has been decorated in styles of various periods, reflecting its occupants – and you’re encouraged to try them out. So, lie on the Tudor bed, listen to the gramophone or read the Library newspapers. Don’t miss the beautiful garden and dovecote. The medieval village of Laycock may look familiar. Not surprising, as it has been the backdrop to film and TV productions such as Pride and Prejudice,Èmma, Cranford, `The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D’Urbervilles and even Downton Abbey.’ Invest in a guidebook at the National Trust shop, (the Trust now owns the village), and wander around, identifying your favorites scenes!
Stable Yard and The Cloisters, familiar to Harry Potter film fans! Laycock isn’t the only local film set. Down the A4 to Chippenham lies Corsham, where the Remains of the Day, and Poldark cameras rolled. Nearby also is Castle Combe, dubbed the prettiest village in England, and also home to market scenes in War Horse. Chippenham is an old market town, and staging post, and The Angel Inn, now the Mercure Angel Hotel, dates from 1613. A comfortable hotel, it has a modern extension and pool to the rear. However, some of the most sought after rooms, unsurpisingly reached by winding creaky corridors, are in the original inn, ovelooking the town square. Chippenham is also near to one of the most popular restaurants in the area, La Flambe in Sutton Benger. Offering a superb French twist to local produce, it’s the (affordable) perfect end to your Wiltshire journey.... More Wiltshire wonders.. If you’re looking for a added extra, why not try:
The beautiful Laycock Abbey, once a Nunnery, was later adapted into a family home, and is filled with centuries of history and achievements. William Henry Fox Talbot is best known as the creator of the first photographic negative – you can look out from the window space where it was created, and visit the Museum. It’s a also worthwhile exploring the
Shopping: the McArthur Glen Designer Outlet in Swindon offers good bargains. Dents is famous for gloves, so pick up some excellent value at their factory shop in Warminster. Trains: Train buffs will enjoy the steam exhibition at the old railway works in Swindon
Houses and garden: You’re spoiled for choice here – Bowood, Longleat and Wilton House have gardens designed by Capability Brown. Great Chalfield Manor, near Melksham, is an enchanting old Manor House with an Arts and Crafts garden. Longleat has it all - magnificent high Elizabethan house, plus a world famous drive-through Safari Park, and is worth a full day trip. The gardens at Iford Manor were created by Harald Peto who created Romantic Italianate style gardens, terraced and set against valley views. Horses: explore the white chalk variety, famous to Wiltshire, and carved into its chalk hills. Nearby Westbury and also Pewsey have good examples, and can be reached by train. www.visitwiltshire.co.uk www.nationaltrust.org.uk www.english-heritage.org.uk www.bishopspalace.org.uk www.chedddargorgecheeseco.co.uk www.swanhotelwells.co.uk www.angelhotelchippenham.co.uk www.salisburycathedral.org.uk www.longleat.co.uk www.steam-museum.org.uk www.steam-museum.org.uk www.mcarthurglen.co.uk www.mercure.com Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 31
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Home Instead Senior Care and Active Retirement Ireland are once again celebrating the Marigold Festival series throughout the country this summer. The country-wide event will share the latest insights on how to live a healthy and active life no matter what age you are. This is the third annual Marigold Festival series. Last year, retired RTÉ broadcaster Anne Doyle was the guest of honour and was on hand to speak about what active retirement means to her. The renowned journalist, presenter and newsreader retired in 2011 and her support of the Marigold Festival served as a reminder that even though our lifestyle may change in our older years, there is still plenty of opportunity to live a fun, full and active life. A programme of events has been put in place that promotes healthy living with talks, workshops and stands on topics such as nutrition, exercise and memory maintenance. 2016 Marigold Festival Series Region
Galway 19th May Cork 27th, 28th & 29th May Limerick 31st May Westmeath 9th June Tipperary 15th June Kildare 16th June Donegal 23rd June Cavan 26th June Dublin 1st July
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Visit us at www.myhomecare.ie The Irish Manuscipts Commission – promoting awareness of history among the public The Irish Manuscripts Commission (IMC) is a public body founded in 1928. Its remit is based on the principles of dissemination, preservation and promotion of original source materials in public and private ownership for the history and cultural heritage of Ireland. Hidden Hearing is offering free professional ear wax removal to persons over 55 years of age. Hidden Hearing is the only hearing healthcare company in Ireland to offer this service free of charge. Ear wax is a naturally occurring substance in the ear canal and helps to keep ears healthy and prevent infection. In most cases, ear wax works its way out of the ear on its own however, if it is blocking the ear canal and causing hearing loss it may need removing. Hidden Hearing is proud to offer a free service to check the health of ears and identify excessive ear wax. Patients will also receive a free hearing screening to further diagnose or rule out any hearing issues. Speaking about the service, Hidden Hearing Audiologist and Marketing Director Dolores Madden said: ‘We are delighted to offer this service to the people of Ireland as we see a lot of patients in our clinics with ear wax build-up. In many cases, an aural issue will not be hearing loss related, but simply a build-up of too much ear wax. However, if left untreated excessive ear wax can cause hearing loss and interfere with a hearing test or the use of a hearing aid’. To book an appointment simply call 1800 882 884 or visit www.hiddenhearing.ie 34 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Since 1930 the Commission has established a proud record of publication and it is recognised nationally and internationally as a publisher of primary sources for the histories and cultures of Ireland. It has overseen the publication of over 190 titles, mainly editions of original manuscripts. Its serial publication, Analecta Hibernica, of which the first volume appeared in 1930 and the 46th volume was published in 2015, is devoted to the publication of shorter manuscripts, lists and reports. It also carries reports of the Commission’s activities. IMC continues to promote awareness of primary sources for history among the general public and to advise the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, when requested, on matters relating to manuscripts. Today the demand for the Commission’s publications comes from a broad catchment area of scholarship. A wide range of disciplines need primary resource materials and rely on having available guides to, and calendars of, primary sources. These include historians (social, political and economic), anthropologists, linguists, political and social scientists, historical geographers, genealogists, demographers and those engaged in gender and cultural studies. IMC publications are an essential resource for Irish Studies courses in academic institutions throughout the world. Copies of IMC publications are routinely lodged in thirteen copyright libraries throughout Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Creative Writing Eileen Casey
The Bronte Museum. Copyright The Bronte Society
Celebrating Charlotte Bronte’s bicentenary On June 29th 1854, Charlotte Bronté and Reverend Arthur Bell Nicholls, her father’s curate, were married at Haworth Church in West Yorkshire. The newly-weds left by train for North Wales, crossing from Holyhead to Dublin, and from there to Banagher, Co. Offaly, to honeymoon at Cuba Court. At that time, the town’s Shannon fortifications had been updated and strengthened because of the French invasion scare. Banagher was still a garrison town when Bronté arrived and remained so until 1863. Also in existence then was The Royal School, established in 1628 under the provisions of a Charter obtained by Sir John Mac Coghlan from Charles 1. It moved to Cuba Court in 1818 but would close in 1890. While staying at Cuba Court, Charlotte made many visits to the rectory at Hill House, perched regally on a hill overlooking the town and the residence for the incumbent minister to the nearby Church of Ireland chapel of St. Paul’s. Already, one of the most famous authors in English Literature had written classics, works such as The Professor, Shirley, Villette and perhaps her most famous of all, Jane Eyre. The story of a small in stature but large in spirit waif, Jane, has been played by women such as Mia Wasikowska, Joan Fontaine, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Ruth Wilson and countless others. All of these actresses convey the vulnerability combined with steely resolve which the character demands (after all, Jane is forced by conscience to leave Mr Rochester, the love of her life). My own favourite Jane is Samantha Morton. Rochester, is the opposite
Portrait of Charlotte Bronte in the 1850’s by J H Thompson. Copyright The Bronte Society
of Jane. He is portrayed as being giant in stature (as opposed to Jane’s ‘smallness’) and rather arrogant. Through his observations of Jane’s stalwart approach to life and his increasing admiration for her stoic and reliable nature, Rochester’s finer feelings come to the fore. Down Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 35
Joanne Fontaine, one of the many actresses who have played Charlotte Bronte’s most celebrated heroine Jane Eyre
through the years, actors such as Laurence Olivier, Toby Stephens, Timothy Dalton, Michael Fassbender, William Hurt and Ciarán Hinds have captured Rochester’s innate qualities. Nearly two hundred years since Charlotte Bronté’s visit to Banagher, I’m in the town (my two sisters live there). I’m attending a talk on endangered species, in particular the corncrake, by Bird Watch Ireland in Crank House, Main Street. Crank House is a beautiful 17th Century Georgian Building, now used as a Bord Failte approved hostel and as a base for organisations such as Bird Watch Ireland. I walked the few hundred yards, from the outskirts of the town to the venue, down Banagher’s steep hill. It’s a small distance when the 6,000 odd miles or so the corncrake flies to get here is taken into account. Twelve thousand miles in total for the round trip to Africa. I think about Charlotte Bronte and her new husband walking the very same streets. How her skirts might have swept along the well trodden path, her small feet hurrying to match the long stride of her husband . I wonder if they visited the nearby Callows, home not only to the corncrake but also to lapwing(plover), snipe and redshank. Charlotte’s romantic nature would undoubtedly have been drawn to the beauty of the natural world here in Banagher, a town that sits on the banks of the River Shannon. The Callows surrounding the Shannon are hay meadows thick with iris, cow parsley, a glorious habitat for birds. The corncrake, which is roughly the same size as the mistle thrush, likes to hide in long grasses and is seldom seen in daylight hours. Instead, the crex crex call can be heard most plainly at night. I imagine Charlotte, dressed perhaps in a simple white muslin gown, wearing a sensible shawl around her shoulders and wearing sturdy shoes, inclining her head on her husband’s shoulder and listening out for the distinctive sound. At the top of Keeraun Hill, just in the centre of Banagher, she may have looked down towards Galway. Hill House in Banagher is now a well known guest-house called ‘Charlotte’s Way’, in recognition of the famous author who came there on her honeymoon. It is the only Irish house to have associations with the Brontés. Over the years it has been visited by members of the world renowned Bronté Society. The imposing steeple of St. Paul’s church nearby strikes a Gothic note against the skyline. The steeple of St. Rynagh’s Catholic Church wasn’t added until 1872. Hill House still retains the original lay-out and some original features, including a pen drawing of the house as it was in Charlotte’s time, complete with stables and tennis court. The house very much retains the atmosphere of a rectory, calm, dignified, elegant in a gracious way. It has a lovely ‘library’ air about it. I could well imagine Charlotte in the study, relaxing quietly with Arthur, laying aside her book before idly glancing out the window. Her gaze would travel past the vast expanse of parkland which is now replaced by a roadway, her colourful imagination stoking up new characters in exciting scenarios. Perhaps, struck by the architectural drama of the Napoleonic Martello tower beside the Shannon, her thoughts again 36 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Michael Fassbender played Rochester in a recent film
strayed to her most famous creation, Jane Eyre and to Bertha Mason, Rochester’s violently mad wife who haunted the upper floors of Thornfield Hall. Then, with the lamp burning bright on the lace covered table beside the bookcase, conversation may have turned to the possibility of a trip to the nearby Slieve Bloom mountains. After all, Charlotte spent most of her life walking on the Yorkshire Moors, a wild setting which filters through her passionate evocation of both character and place in Jane Eyre. Alas, Charlotte Bronté passed away in childbirth at Haworth in 1855. The parsonage where she grew up and died in is now a museum. Visitors flock there each year to commemorate and celebrate a wonderful mind. Had she lived, who knows what might have transferred into her work from Charlotte’s visit to Banagher? Her lyrical imagination must surely have been fired by the Gothic atmosphere of a Midlands town at dusk, the spire of St. Paul’s rising majestically. Her husband of scarcely a year, returned to Banagher in 1861 and lived there until he died, aged 88 in 1906. He married a cousin Mary Bell who, after his death, sold many of her husband’s souvenirs. Today, Banagher is proud of its Bronté association. To celebrate the bicentenary of Charlotte’s birth, a festival was held in the town on April 21st (her birth date) during which a literary evening took place of which I was very pleased to be part of.
80-year-old Aine publishes her first collection of poetry A lady I feel sure Charlotte Bronté would admire is Tallaght woman Aine Lyons. At the ripe ‘young’ age of 80, Aine is a true ambassador for Bealtaine (the season of creativity in older age). She has recently published her debut poetry collection ‘In Praise of Small Things,’of which internationally renowned poet Paula Meehan said: ‘Aine Lyons is a poet. Her writings take the daily struggles, the dreams, the hopes, the memories of an ordinary woman and with sharp observation and a compassionate heart she lets us share in her complex and extraordinary world. These are poems of lived experience to be cherished.’ A native Dubliner, born in 1936 in a small village (Milltown) on the banks of the Dodder, Aine is and always has been a voracious reader. ‘Rivers are important to me, probably because I grew up so close to the Dodder,’ she says. When Aine smiles, it travels to her eyes which shine bright with
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Senior Times l May-June 2015 l www.seniortimes.ie 37
a zest for life. ‘We fished for pinkeens with jam jars. It wouldn’t be allowed nowadays with so many safety regulations.’ There are a number of poems in her collection about rivers but one poem in particular stands out, Mapping the River, purely because a former United Kingdom Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, highly commended it in a literary competition. No mean feat! Aine left school at the age of fourteen but was always passionate about history and culture. She is especially interested in the 1916 centenary events. ‘As a girl, I remember looking at photographs of my relatives in the company of Countess Markievicz. These feisty ladies were part of Cumann na mBan and took part in the 1916 Rising alongside the Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army.’ I have no doubt that were she old enough at the time, Aine too would have relished being part of the nationalist cause. Wherever she hung her hat, one of the first things Aine did was to join the local library or book club. Aine spent her early married life in England and indeed, some of her poems reflect this part of her life. Summer in Shepherd’s Bush perfectly captures those days in words such as: Sunshine Saturdays/we sat on the stone steps of the flat/a sky blanket sealing us, balm in the air./Hot days filled with promise/ cold milk and cornflakes;/All you need is love/ belting from our silver radio./King and queen of our home-made balcony/oblivious of smiles or glares./Shocking the old piano teacher/as she sailed by, snapping the air with,/We might as well be living in the Bronx. ‘Yet, although I made many friends in England, I was glad to come home to Ireland and the green fields that that was mostly Tallaght then. We had no infrastructure in the 1970s though. No shopping centres or cinemas. Nothing but a mobile library and a caravan shop. But it was lovely for the children to have a house with a garden and of course, the Dodder was close by.’ Most of the poems in the anthology are memory poems, exquisitely drawn portraits of places and times. Dancing with Alfie Byrne is set in the 1940s and tells of Aine’s mother dancing the tango with the former Lord Mayor of Dublin. There’s a poignancy here that women from every walk of life can identify with, a sense of life passing by and looking back to the highlights, the ‘proudest moment.’ Aine describes her mother as being ‘supple, slim, caught in a knife-edged twirl,/body poised to plunge onwards.’ Nowadays, in company with her husband Fintan, Aine loves her garden. Some of the poems extol the virtues of new growth and the title of her collection comes from the poem In The Slow Time: 38 Senior Times lMay - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Aine Lyons and the cover of her book Aine Lyons andThings the cover of her book In Praise of Small In Praise of Small Things
‘I’m happy to watch a bee as he labours from flower to flower, towards sweet centres. Yellow roses and peach hollyhocks entwine like lovers across the ancient back wall. Is this what happiness is? My early morning garden is a glorious mosaic, a stained glass window, in praise of small things.’ I ask Aine what her recipe for a healthy old age is, a question which elicits a blank look and she shrugs her shoulders. ’80 is just another number. I don’t think about ageing much,’ she replies. Despite her looking nothing like her years, Aine has come through her share of hospital visits and treatments, having had a brush with skin cancer some years ago now. Indeed, one of her poems is titled Midnight in Tallaght A. & E. ‘Trips to the hospital are part of the territory of ageing. If it’s not me or Fintan, then it’s a friend or family member. It’s not just me that’s ageing you know!’ she says and laughs, a rich infectious sound that lights up her face. Three of the poems in the collection are written by her daughter Jean, a generous sharing of the creative space that really tells
how important family is to Aine. Poems titled Grandfather, Grand-Child, King for a Night (about her father), I Speak of a Sister, Nancy, leave the reader in no doubt about Aine’s loyalties. One of my own personal favourites is Let no teardrop fall: ‘Now the hour has come let no teardrop fall. If my parting leaves a void fill it with remembered joy. Think of me always in a garden, wrestling weeds, planting flowers to perfume spring. Pink apple blossom drifts with a light breeze. Washing sways on the line as cheeky sparrows pull at the untidy weeds I’ve left around knowing at last there’s no time to finish.’
Statues that moved..
The statue of King William outside Trinity College, Dublin. It was removed in 1929
Eamonn Lynskey on the travails of Dublin’s Imperial monuments A recent controversy at Oxford University concerning a commemorative statue of Cecil Rhodes stirred up some old memories for me. The college authorities say they will not remove the statue of the 19th-century proponent of British imperial expansion who served as prime minister of the early Cape Colony in southern Africa. Their refusal has sparked protests from a students’ group (‘Rhodes Must Fall’) who perceive the sculpture as an emblem of imperialism and racism. This Oxford trouble follows a successful campaign to have a statue of Rhodes removed from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. The ‘old memories’ I refer to are mixed in with the mental bric-a-brac of the time when I was very young and only vaguely aware of the cat-and-mouse game regularly played out between the authorities of the emerging Irish Republic (which had only been declared officially in 1949, a year after my birth) and a group of die-hard revolutionaries who would today be labelled ‘republican dissidents’. Severely quashed by the authorities in the years after the end of the civil war, this group was reduced to ‘symbolic’ actions designed to keep alive a sense of Ireland’s ‘unfinished business: the partition of the country imposed by the British in deference to the Unionist majority in Ulster. Hence the attempts to inflict as much damage as possible on ‘soft targets’ like the statue commemorating Field-Marshall Gough which had been erected in 1880 and which dominated the entrance to Dublin’s Phoenix Park in Parkgate Street. This was an equestrian statue, designed by John Henry Foley, a noted Irish sculptor whose works include the O’Connell Monument in O’Connell Street (1882) and Henry Grattan on College Green (1875). His Prince Albert statue used to grace Leinster House until its removal in 1923 to a
Students protest for the removal of the Cecil Rhodes statue (background) in Oxford University.
The removal of the Cecil Rhodes statue on the campus of the University of Capetown
more discrete location nearby close to the walls of the Natural History Museum. Looked upon with an aesthetic eye, Foley’s Gough statue was an appealing and well-designed artwork and, like all equestrian-style art-works, owed much of its effect, not to the figure of Gough, but to the attractive figure of the horse. Horses generally look well anywhere. Unfortunately, when politics and aesthetics collide it is aesthetics that generally loses out. Statues like Gough’s are a constant reminder of who Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 39
The statue of Field Marshall Gough as originally sited at the entrance to Phoenix Park, Dublin, and in its new ‘home’ in Chillingham Castle, Northumberland.
is boss, as were the proliferation of statues of Stalin and other communist worthies in the former Soviet Union. A monument like Gough’s also constantly brought to mind the irascible Brendan Behan’s definition an Anglo Irishman as ‘a Protestant on a horse’. The much-decorated Gough was an ascendancy Irishman and was, like Cecil Rhodes, one of the Empire’s favourite sons, having upheld the rigours of its rule from the glens of Ireland to the waters of the Ganges. This of course was not a lineage to excite the loyalties of the people who regularly planted bombs on or under him during my very early and formative years, and which resulted in recurring damage to the monument, destruction of his head and sword in 1954 and a rear leg in 1956, before being finally being blown completely off his pedestal in 1957. After each attempt there would follow several days of State manpower and revenue being dedicated to the hunt for the dastardly perpetrators. Then things would peter out again until the next ‘atrocity’ and I am not aware that anyone was ever apprehended and brought to court. Nor am I aware that Dubliners were particularly bothered about these ‘outrages’ except the many, like my grandmother, who always expressed the hope ‘that them bombs wouldn’t kill any unfortunate divil who just happened to be passing by at the time’. Attempts then, and since, to characterise the destruction of monuments like Gough’s as ‘atrocities’ and ‘vandalisms’ are misplaced. As we know from the recent history of the northern part of Ireland, the symbolism inherent in monuments, flags and emblems is extremely powerful. Their very raison d’etre is, after all, more political than aesthetic. They are a constant reminder of ownership – a ‘Lest We Forget’ about who is boss. Gough’s, and all the other ‘imperial monuments’, and despite whatever might be their artistic merit, served as reminders of the hegemony of the ruling class. None more so than that of William of Orange which used to ‘grace’ Dame Street in Dublin, in front of Trinity College, the bastion of Anglo-Irishism since its foundation in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth 1. This statue of ‘King Billy’ (on a horse of course), was a focal point for annual Orange celebrations every July 1 (the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne), and also on November 4, (the king’s birthday), when ‘the statue 40 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
William of Orange, Dame Street
was painted white, the figure adorned with a yellow cloak, the horse garlanded with orange lilies and ribbons, and the surrounding railings painted orange and blue. Placing shamrock and green and white ribbons (the
‘The definition of an Anglo Irishman is a Protestant on a horse’. Brendan Behan
national colours) under the horse’s uplifted foot was even more provocative to the nationalists, who retaliated with stone-throwing and rioting’ (*). In fairness to Trinity College it must be mentioned that in 1710 the statue was smeared with mud and its sceptre stolen by several students from the college, some of whom were subsequently expelled. It was also smeared with tar several times, and a watchman had to be posted at the statue to protect it. It was finally taken down after it was badly damaged in an explosion in 1928. The Gough statue, after the attacks of the 1940s and 1950s, was finally moved to Chillingham Castle in Northumberland in 1990, sharing the fate of Queen Victoria’s rather overbearing representation which used to dominate the front of Leinster house and which finally ended up ‘transported’ to Sydney in 1986. The irony of the ‘Empress of India’ being ‘transported’ will not be lost on students of Irish history. It is very understandable that works like Foley’s, no matter how well executed, should fall victim to the toxic mix of history and politics, though
includes e ntry to GAA Muse um
Visit crokepark.ie/gaa-museum *Senior citizen offer for month of May 2016. Offer does not apply to group bookings.
it is rather hard lines on the artist. Foley was an acknowledged and consummate artist and it is therefore heartening to see his imposing monument to ‘The Liberator’ on O’Connell Street still proudly in place, complete with those famous bullet holes dating from 1916. I’m sure he would not have liked to hear about the bullet holes but I’m also sure that he would be pleased to hear that at least this one of his imposing monuments is still part of Dublin’s civic landscape and beloved of its citizenry. I’m told there is still a Gough Street and a Gough Hill Road in Hong Kong. No doubt, in these days of standing up to the encroachments from Mainland China it is useful to have reminders of the old War Lord to stiffen up morale. (*) I am indebted to Wikipedia for this, and other recondite pieces of knowledge, in this essay.
€7 Stadium tours every day for the month of May!* We’re extending our €7 Senior Citizen’s Monday offer to every day for the month of May in celebration of Bealtaine 2016! Walk in the footsteps of legends on the Croke Park Stadium tour as you take a behind-thescenes journey through this 82,300 capacity stadium. Relax in the newly renovated Blackthorn Café before exploring the rich heritage of Ireland’s unique national games in the GAA Museum, where featured exhibitions include the original Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy Cups, the GAA Museum Hall of Fame, Players of the Year and many other exhibits. Entry to the GAA Museum is included with the Stadium tour. Visit crokepark.ie/gaa-museum. *Senior citizen offer for month of May 2016 only. Offer does not apply to group bookings.
Beauty on a budget
Mairead Robinson suggests some great beauty products that are effective on the skin and gentle on the purse.
There is a constant stream of new beauty products coming into the market all the time as our search for pain-free solutions to beauty and prolonged youth continues to grow. But while many of the products are indeed non-invasive and topical as opposed to surgical – many are not so gentle on the wallet. Some exclusive beauty creams and rituals cost as much as a foreign holiday, and some people believe that if the product is not expensive, then it is not effective. Well, the good news is that this is not necessarily the case, if you know where to look. A lovely new range of anti-aging products from ZIAJA is both age-specific and exceptionally good value. Geared to the 50+ demographic, their day and night creams have been proven to deliver results with skin firmness improved and wrinkles reduced substantially in independent clinical tests. The Jasmine Anti-Wrinkle Day cream and Jasmine Anti-Wrinkle Night creams are priced at just €7.99 for 50ml, 42 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
they certainly do not break the bank. The fragrance-free tinted anti-wrinkle eye cream improves skin density and firms the skin preventing loss of elasticity is a great buy at just €6.99 for 15ml. This ‘hero product’ contains advanced active ingredients that evens out the skin tone and provides a healthy look to the eyes. The serum, which I always recommend to use under day and night creams, spreads evenly and absorbs nicely without leaving behind any tacky residue. You can check out this great value range of ZIAJA products for 50+ at your local pharmacy or online at www.originalbeauty.ie The NO 7 range of products available from BOOTS Chemists has been popular for years for affordable quality across a full range of beauty products. Recently launched ‘Beautifully Matte Light Foundation’ is particularly effective for oily skin in keeping you shine-free for up to 14 hours. Also available in a fuller coverage format, it skims over pores and fine lines without blocking them. For best results, use the No 7 Airbrush Away Pore
Minimising Primer prior to the foundation. And for those of us who like to wear an illuminating glow to balance dull skin tones, the NO 7 cult skin illuminator has been reformulated and is now available in Nude. I find this works best mixed with your usual foundation or applied lightly as a highlighter to cheek and brow bones for added definition. Illuminator costs €14.50, and foundations cost €20. NIVEA is another well-loved and trusted brand here in Ireland, and their products have always been in the very affordable bracket. They have just introduced the new Nivea Crème Care Facial Cleansing Range to help women cleanse their skin thoroughly while gently caring and protecting its delicate moisture balance. The range includes the Nivea Crème Care Facial Cleansing Lotion which is applied to the face using a cotton pad. Nivea Crème Care Facial Cleansing Cream Wash can be used in combination with water, and the Nivea Crème Care Facial Cleansing Wipes are ready to use to cleanse the face right away. All of these new products are retailing at just €4.99
Castle Durrow is an enchanting 300 year old Country Mansion with spectacular manicured gardens and views of the rolling countryside. Nestled in the heart of Ireland and only a short drive from Dublin and Cork, Castle Durrow is paradise for those who want to relax and be treated like a lord and lady.
A trip to Castle Durrow will be one you will never forget..
Enjoy a candledlit dinner in our breathtaking dining room, get pampered in our beauty salon The Powder Box, join our head gardener on a tour of our grounds or head out on a beautiful walk along the leafy loop trail that will guarantee you a good night sleep in one of our luxurious Four-Poster Beds. A trip to Castle Durrow will be one you will never forget. “The most super castle hotel I have had the pleasure of visiting” - Alice (TripAdvisor) “The location, views, walks and restored elegance makes it special.” ZM (TripAdvisor)
Castle Durrow, Durrow, County Laois Tel: 057 873 6555 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.castledurrow.com
Beauty on a budget is attracting a lot of people at LIDL with their CIEN range of products, from moisturiser, cleansers and lipstick to deodorant and hair care. I have tried some these items, and they are hard to beat with prices starting at just €1.99 for most products. Now as the weather is improving, we are all heading out into our gardens, greenhouses and even polytunnels. One of the greatest pleasures of the arrival of Spring and early Summer is the gardening season. Whether you just cut the grass and plant a few rosebushes, hanging baskets, containers and borders, or if you are a keen grower of your own vegetables and flowers, you will need to mind your hands. Few of us wear gardening gloves all the time with the result that the skin on our hands can become dry and parched. Chipped and broken nails are one thing, but dry hard skin on the hands need not be a necessary result of tending your garden! I have just discovered CRABTREE & EVELYN Gardner’s 60 Second Fix for Hands. This hand kit has two simple steps for visible results after just one treatment. Step one is the applica44 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
tion of the Hand Recovery treatment that cleanses, exfoliates and moisturises. It deeply conditions even the driest hands, leaving them soft and supple. Follow with the intensive Hand Therapy, laden with nutrient-rich Shea butter and nourishing macadamia nut oil for beautifully soft and freshly scented hands all day. The hand cream wears like a glove, protecting your hands from the elements and trapping in moisture and nutrients. It is a beautiful treatment, and your hands feel wonderful afterwards – even if you don’t do a lot of gardening! Check out this wonder duo at selected pharmacies nationwide, €34.00 RRP. So with the better weather, and spending time in the garden, you also need to think about sun protection products. It is important that your face creams and foundations contain an SPF of at least 15 for even dull days, and when the sun does come out you really need to increase your skin protection against burning. And don’t forget protecting your hair – NUXE have two new sun products which will help to keep your hair looking fabulous in and after exposure to the summer sun. After-Sun Hair and Body
Shampoo removes salt, chlorine and sand to gently cleanse the body and hair – perfect after a day by the pool or on the beach. To protect your hair from the ‘summer aggressors’ (sun, chlorine, salt) whilst repairing and beautifying it also, Moisturising Protective Milky Oil for Hair is a fabulous product with a recommended price of €17 that will protect your hair all summer long. And finally looking great for summer 2016 is within reach with a fabulous new make-up collection from CLARINS including Fix MakeUp and Lip Comfort Oil. These two exciting products guarantee to lock moisture and keep a radiant summer glow despite the heat. The collection also includes a flattering Bronzing & Blush Compact and some waterproof Eyeshadow and Mascara. Check out the stunning new range at your local pharmacy, and get ready for summer 2016 - its going to be hot! As always, if you have any queries or comments regarding beauty and skin care you can contact me at mairead.seniorbeauty@ gmail.com
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Fit The indoor & outdoor activities supplement
Edited by Conor O’Hagan
Faster, Higher, Stronger Perhaps the most confusing thing about ageing in the 21st century is knowing what to expect - of ourselves. If the baby boom generation has done anything for humanity beyond giving us Beyoncé, the Internet and Climate Change, it has disrupted our notions of age-appropriate behaviour to the point where we no longer know how long, how well or how actively we could or should expect to live. There are still many variables, even though science is working diligently on reducing them; but the old Olympic motto - Citius, Altius, Fortius or Faster, Higher, Stronger seems a pretty good guide, not only to what we should aspire to, but also how to get it. Health may not be everything, but it’s close. The evidence is clear, and for once it aligns perfectly with common sense and experience; regular exercise can boost energy, maintain independence, and manage symptoms of illness or pain - all the good stuff. Exercise can even reverse some of the symptoms of ageing. And not only is it good for your body, it’s also good for your mind, mood, and memory. Starting or maintaining a regular exercise routine can be a challenge as you get older. You may feel discouraged by illness, ongoing health problems, or concerns about injuries or falls. Or, if you’ve never exercised before, you may not know where to begin. Or perhaps you think you’re too old or frail, or that exercise is boring or simply not for you. These may seem like good reasons to slow down and take it easy as you age, but they’re actually yet more reasons to get moving. Whatever your age or your current physical condition, you can benefit from exercise. It doesn’t have to involve strenuous workouts or sessions in the gym. It’s about adding movement and activity to your life, in small ways, big ways or heroic ways - whatever you choose and are capable of. Four myths about exercise and ageing There’s no point Exercise and strength training helps you look and feel younger and stay active longer. Regular physical activity lowers your risk for 46 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, and obesity. Not only can exercise help stem the decline in strength and vitality that comes with age, it can even improve it. And the mood benefits of exercise can be just as great at 70 or 80 as they were at 30. Older people shouldn’t exercise Research shows that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy for adults over 50. Inactivity often causes older adults to lose the ability to do things on their own and can lead to more health problems and medical interventions. I’ll fall and injure myself Regular exercise, by building strength and stamina, prevents loss of bone mass and improves balance - actually reducing the risk of falling and other accidents. It’s too late You’re never too old to start exercising and improve your health. Adults who take up exercise later in life often show greater physical and mental improvements than their younger counterparts. If you’ve never exercised before, or it’s been a while, you won’t be encumbered by the same sports injuries that many regular exercisers experience in later life. Begin with gentle activities, build up from there and you’ll be amazed and inspired by what you’re capable of.
The Payoff As you age, regular exercise is more important than ever to your overall health. Studies in Europe and the US have shown that it is the number one contributor to longevity, adding extra years to your life, even if you don’t start exercising until your senior years. But it’s not just about longevity, it’s about adding life to your years. You’ll not only look better when you exercise, you’ll feel sharper, more energetic, and experience a greater sense of well-being. Over the next few pages I’m going to cover just two of the forms of exercise (OK, sports) that are gaining popularity amongst older Irish men and women; hillwalking and cycling. Both are close to my heart and, in my experience, amongst the most rewarding uses of time and energy at any age, but never more so than in what is sometimes called the Third Age. In future issues I’ll highlight more sports and activities, plus profiles of some of the countless inspirational Irish Seniors blazing a trail in Masters, Veteran and Age Group sport. Make this a conversation by sharing your experiences, comments and questions with us. And keep an eye on the Senior Times website, where I’ll be adding more thoughts and information on anything and everything to do with health and fitness.
Take to the hills.. Looking towards Blackrock, Co Carlow
There are countless good reasons to walk Ireland’s hills and mountains. Here are some of the best. With Ireland’s mountains amongst the most accessible and inspiring in the world, there is no better place to walk. Of the thousands of Irish mena and women enjoying the sport, many regard it as the best investment in time and energy they have ever made. If you’ve never taken to the hills and need convincing, or you already do it just because you love it and want to know what it’s doing for you, here’s why your body and mind will thank you for joining one of Ireland’s fastest-growing leisure movements. Hill walking is good for your heart It reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke – especially if it’s aerobic. Fit and active people have around half the risk of cardiovascular disease compared to unfit inactive people. Thirty minutes of walking per day is enough to produce significant heart health benefits, according to US studies. In a large-scale study, women who walked briskly (defined as three to four mph pace) for at least three hours per week, had the same amount of protection against heart disease as women who exercise vigorously for an hour and a half a week – both groups were 30-40% less likely to develop heart disease than their sedentary counterparts. Lowers blood pressure It gets the heart pumping regularly and rhythmically so lowers blood pressure. Regular physical activity can help reduce
Lowers cholesterol Walking can decrease cholesterol levels, a common cause of heart disease. More specifically, it increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL), considered to be the ‘good’ cholesterol, which helps move bad cholesterol from the artery walls. Builds muscle In addition to burning fat and calories, walking builds muscles. Walking also boosts the strength and endurance of those muscles, which means you’ll be able to do more with less fatigue. The muscle groups affected by walking include calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, buttocks (gluteals), abdominals and ankle extensors. Slows ageing According to The US Dept of Health, regular participation in physical activity such as walking is associated with reduced mortality rates for both older and younger adults. Leading an inactive and unhealthy lifestyle accelerates the aging process. Research shows that what was once accepted as a natural part of growing older - a decline in physical activity and strength - does not have to accompany ageing. In 2001 an article in the American Journal of Public Health identified a relationship between reduced mortality risk and moderate recreational activity. A study of two groups of middle-aged men over 23 years found that non-exercisers lost 41 percent of their aerobic power, while the exercisers only lost 13 percent. Frees the mind You’re outside, in the fresh air, away from the TV, the phone, the computer...Walking’s
greatest health benefits may be beyond the merely physical; many walkers seek ‘spiritual’ well-being as much as physical health and fitness. Walking causes the release of brain chemicals called endorphins, which are natural tranquilisers. Increases flexibiity and co-ordination It helps with flexibility and co-ordination and so reduces the risk of falls in older people. Because walking depends on the interaction of head, arms, body and legs, it promotes flexibility, which demands a full range of movement in your joints and muscles. Flexibility is increased by taking the joints through their full range of motion. Walking automatically works the muscles and your legs and feet, and if you use your arms as you walk, you’ll improve the flexibility of your upper body. Strengthens bones Regular walking can help prevent osteoporosis, a bone disease which affects mostly, but not exclusively older women who lack sufficient amounts of calcium. This deficiency reduces bone density, increases the bone’s porosity and brittleness, leading to a susceptibility to broken bones. Walking helps reverse the negative effects of osteoporosis by increasing the bone density and slowing the rate of calcium loss, thus strengthening the bones and decreasing their susceptibility to break. Can reduce the risk of cancer There is growing evidence that walking can lower the risk of certain cancers. A study published in the Epidemiology journal found that those who took up exercise after the menopause had a 30% lower risk of developing breast cancer, while those who had been Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 47
active throughout their lives had a 42% lower risk than sedentary women. Meanwhile, a large study carried out in Scandinavia found that recreational activity. A study conducted by Washington University School of Medicine also confirmed that physical activity reduces colon cancer risk. While just an hour of walking a week seemed to protect against the disease, the more strenuously women exercised, the lower their risk, the study found. Women who walked for 1 to 1.9 hours each week were 31 percent less likely to develop colon cancer than those who didn’t walk at all, the researchers found. And women who exercised at moderate or vigorous intensity for more than 4 hours weekly were at 44 percent lower risk of colon cancer than those who exercised for less than an hour a week. Fights diabetes Regular exercise helps regulate blood glucose so reduces the risk of non-insulin dependant diabetes. It can help to control body weight as it burns calories - The intensity of walking for fitness and weight-loss varies according to the age and fitness of the individual, but generally, ‘brisk is best’. Relieves arthritis Although arthritis pain understandably leads many sufferers to reduce their levels of activity, reduced movement can actually exacerbate the problem. Most people with arthritis can benefit from regular exercise, and research indicates that walking may be the best exercise, as it helps strengthen muscles, especially in the legs. People with arthritis in their knees or 48 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
ankles benefit from strengthened leg muscles, because they can relieve the pain caused when bones rub against each other. In addition, the natural tranquilising effect of walking can reduce arthritic pain. Helps weight control It’s a complex subject, and exercise alone is rarely the whole answer, but like all regular vigorous activity, hillwalking burns carbohydrate and fat. It can also raise your metabolic rate, so that even when you’re not walking, you’re still burning more fuel. Eases depression A study on the effects of exercise on mental health concluded that long-term exercise reduces depression in people who are moderately depressed. In those who are severely depressed, exercise appears to be a useful addition to professional treatment. Walking can promote feelings of pleasure and well-being and can help relieve depression by encouraging the production of endorphins. And unlike some more strenuous exercises, walking feels good while you’re doing it, not just when you stop. Builds relationships The social opportunities offered by hillwalking make it healthy for relationships, offering relaxation, social contact and conversation, if you want it! Helps You Sleep Better Walking can combat insomnia and other sleep disorders by relaxing muscles, lessening symptoms of depression and anxiety, and reducing stress. Boosts immunity There’s plenty of evidence that moderate
exercise boosts the body’s ability to fight bacterial and virus infections by increasing the body’s natural defences. One study divided 50 people into two groups – one which walked briskly for 45 minutes a day, five days a week, and the other that did not exercise. The walkers experienced only half as many colds as the control group. Reduces back pain Lower back pain is one of the most common health complaints, and can seriously compromise quality of life. Regular walking combats the most common forms of muscular back pain, and even some disc-related forms - especially those which are worsened by long periods of inactivity such as sitting at desks. Talk to your doctor about it! Broadens the mind Because it’s the only way to experience much of Ireland’s most beautiful scenery, hillwalking literally opens up new vistas. And by challenging yourself physically in a way you may never have done before, you may just discover a new you at the same time.
Its Cycle Logical.. Whether it’s to boost your fitness, health or bank balance, or as an environmental choice, taking up cycling could be one of the best decisions you ever make. Not convinced? Here are major benefits of taking to two wheels. You’ll get there faster Make short trips by bike and you’ll get there in half the time of cars, research shows. Sleep more deeply An early morning ride tire you out in the short term, but it’ll help you catch some quality shut-eye when you get back to your pillow. Stanford University School of Medicine researchers asked sedentary insomnia sufferers to cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day. The result? The time required for the insomniacs to fall asleep was reduced by half, and sleep time increased by almost an hour. Look younger Cycling regularly can protect your skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation and reduce the signs of ageing. Increased circulation through exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to skin cells more effectively, while pushing harmful toxins out. Exercise also creates an ideal environment within the body to optimise collagen production, helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles and speed up the healing process. Bowel benefits The benefits of cycling extend deep into your core. Physical activity helps decrease the time it takes food to move through the large intestine. In addition, aerobic exercise accelerates your breathing and heart rate, which helps to stimulate the contraction of intestinal muscles. Increase your brain power Researchers from Illinois University found that a five percent improvement in cardio-respiratoryfitness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15 percent in mental tests. That’s because cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus – the region responsible for memory, which deteriorates from the age of 30. Beat illness Moderate exercise makes immune cells more active and ready to fight off infection. People who cycle for 30 minutes, five days a week take about half as many sick days as couch potatoes. Live longer British researchers compared thousands of
identical twins and found those who did the equivalent of just three 45-minute rides a week were significantly ‘biologically younger’ even after discounting other influences, such as body mass index (BMI) and smoking. Those who exercise regularly are at signifcantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, all types of cancer, high blood pressure and obesity. Heal your heart Regular cycling can cut your risk of heart disease by 50 percent. And according to the British Heart Foundation, around 10,000 fatal heart attacks could be avoided each year if people kept themselvesfitter. Cycling just 20 miles a week reduces your risk of heart disease to less than half that of those who take no exercise, it says. Cycle away from the big C There’s plenty of evidence that any exercise is useful in warding off cancer, but some studies have shown that cycling is specifically good for keeping your cells in working order. One longterm study carried out by Finnish researchers found that men who exercised at a moderate level for at least 30 minutes a day were half as likely to develop cancer as those who didn’t. Lose weight in the saddle Loads of people who want to shift some heft think that heading out for a jog is the best way to start slimming down. But while running does burn a ton of fat, it’s not kind to you if you’re a little larger than you’d like to be. Think about it – two to three times your body weight goes crashing through your body when your foot strikes the ground. If you weigh 16 stone, that’s a lot of force! Instead, start out on a bike – most of your weight is taken by the saddle, so your skeleton doesn’t take a battering. Running can wait… Get fit without trying (too hard) Regular, everyday cycling has huge beneifts that can justify you binning your wallet-crippling gym membership. Regular cyclists enjoy a ﬁtness level equal to that of a person 10 years younger. Boost your bellows Your lungs work considerably harder than usual when you ride. An adult cycling generally
uses 10 times the oxygen they’d need to sit in front of the TV for the same period. Even better, regular cycling will help strengthen your cardiovascular system over time, enabling your heart and lungs to work more eficiently and getting more oxygen where it’s needed, quicker. Burn fat Sports physiologists have found that the body’s metabolic rate – the efﬁciency with which it burns calories and fat – is not only raised during a ride, but for several hours afterwards. “Even One recent study showed that cyclists who incorporated fast intervals into their ride burned three-and-a-half times more body fat than those who cycled constantly but at a slower pace. Get in with the in crowd The social side of riding with friends, family or a club could do you as much good as the actual exercise. Researchers have found that socialising releases the hormone oxytocin, which buffers the ‘fight or flight’ response. Those with the most friends cut the risk of an early death by more than 60 percent, reducing blood pressure and strengthening their immune system. 5 Tips for Better Cycling Try these simple ways to become a faster, more efficient cyclist and make the most of your ride Adjust An incorrect set-up will affect efficiency and lead to injury. Many bike shops offer set-up checks, but here are some basics. For correct saddle height, take your shoes off, sit on your bike (lean against a wall), push the pedal to 6 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 49
o’clock and place your heel on it. Adjust the saddle until your leg is straight. This will translate into a very slight bend of the knee when you’re cycling. Handlebar height is down to personal preference, but if you are able to bend over and touch your toes when standing, it’s OK to have the handlebar lower than your saddle. If you can’t, make your handlebars level with or higher than your saddle. Choose a handlebar that’s about the same width as your shoulders. Do intervals Intervals are bursts of extra effort that will do wonders for your fitness and speed. “If you cycle steadily to work for 40 minutes, then you get good at riding steadily for 40 minutes,” says James Fairbank, a bike racer and head of marketing at the bikewear company Rapha. “But intervals allow you to get better at changes in pace, such as needing to put in a burst of speed.” Try cycling for one minute as fast as you possibly can (while staying safe), then take four to six minutes to recover at normal pace. Repeat this five or six times. After several days of this, you’ll find you can cycle faster without it feeling harder. Tackle hills correctly Whether it’s an alpine ascent or the interminable hill in the middle of your commute, good technique will make the world of difference. First, get your gearing right. “Don’t fly into a hill in a massive gear,” says James. “Change on the approach. Otherwise, you’ll end grinding up the hill in a gear that’s too hard. Keep your grip on the handlebars light and relaxed and don’t let your cadence fall below 80rpm – 80 turns of the pedal a minute. If it goes below this, you’re in too difficult a gear.”
knee doesn’t go beyond your toe. You’ll Need These... Helmet Cycling isn’t a dangerous activity - the benefits far outweigh the risks - but only a fool rides without head protection, even if it’s not a legal requirement. Make sure your helmet fits your head in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. Lights Even fairweather cyclists will eventualy find themselves in the dark eventually. It’s common sense, but also a legal requirement to carry approved lights on bikes during the hours of darkness. Forget the useless, unreliable and battery-hungry yokes you used and lost as a child; modern LED lights are superb and easily removable. Reflectors Reflectors, including reflective ankle bands, wheel reflectors and pedal reflectors are brilliantly effective, cheap to buy and free to run, while the ubiquitous hi-vis jacket or tabard is a no-brainer in almost any conditions, day or night. Clothing Depending on how much effort, money and style-consciousness you intend to put into your cycling, there’s no limit to the options, but the basics for year-round cycling are a windproof and waterproof, preferably breathable jacket with sleeves and back long enough to accommodate your riding position, additional breathable layers to go under it and waterproof cycling gloves with the freedom of movement needed to operate brakes and gears safely. Eight great rides around Ireland
You’ll feel a jarring sensation if you don’t smoothly power through the whole revolution. As your foot comes over the top of the circle, tilt your heel down slightly to push the pedal down. At the bottom of the circle, tip your toe forwards and move your foot as if scraping mud off your shoe, then relax your muscles.
There’s no harm in a challenge, and if it’s incentive you need, cycling in Ireland offers some of the best two-wheeled experiences you’ll find anywhere in the world. Get on your bike now, build up your fitness and before summer 2016 is out (assuming it ever starts), you could be taking on one of these.
Get flexible The best way to get better at cycling is simply to cycle more, but stretching has a two-fold benefit. “First, it combats the muscle-tightening that comes with regular cycling,” says James, “and it enables you to ride in a more aerodynamic position.”
Gap of Dunloe Loop, Kerry Distance: 55km Climbing: 580m Details: http://cycleireland.ie/cycle-gap-ofdunloe-loop/ A loop through a beautiful part of the country from Killarney. Half is on roads that can be almost empty. Not for the unfit; it includes two difficult climbs, but the last 23km is mostly flat or downhill. A cycling classic; the magnificent Gap of Dunloe offers a world-class view.
Stand with feet hip-width apart and, with one hand on the handlebars and one on the saddle, bend 90˚ at the hips. To stretch your glutes (buttock muscles), place the outside of your ankle above the opposite knee, then squat down - you can use your bike to help you balance. To stretch your hip flexors, step forward into a lunge, ensuring that your 50 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Mallow to Ballyvourney, Cork Distance: 70km Climbing: 1145m Details: http://cycleireland.ie/mallow-ballyvourney-cycle/ This is a challenging but rewarding ride starting in Mallow and winding around the relatively
uncelebrated Boggeragh Mountains of North Cork to the Cork – Kerry border. Superb, varied cycling on quiet roads, finishing with an option to take on one of Ireland’s highest roads to Mullaghanish. Bantry to Cork City Distance: 105km Climbing: 761m Details: http://cycleireland.ie/bantry-corkcycle/ West Cork’s roads offer superb cycling in some of Europe’s most celebrated scenery. The route takes you north from Bantry through hilly country. After Kealkill you climb the Pass of Keimaneigh and pass Gougane Barra. Phoenix Park Loop, Dublin Distance: 9km Climbing: 87m Difficulty: easy Details: http://cycleireland.ie/phoenixpark-dublin-cycle-loop/ Phoenix Park is a revelation, with miles of scenic, well-surfaced roads just outside the heart of the city; an easy but worthwhile loop and much used by the city’s sport cyclists. Glen of Aherlow Loop, Limerick The Glen of Aherlow is one of Ireland’s most spectacular inland landscapes, and this route takes in the famous viewpoint at the Christ The King statue and Athassel Abbey, starting and finishing at Limerick Junction Distance: 51km Climbing: 395m Difficulty: easy Details: http://cycleireland.ie/glen-of-aherlow-cycle-loop Cooley Peninsula Loop Distance: 68km Climbing: 583m Difficulty: average Details: http:// cycleireland.ie/cooley-peninsula-cycle-loop/ A loop around the charming and surprisingly accessible peninsula, with one big climb and fantastic views across the border, taking in the Mourne Mountains and Carlingford Lough. Wicklow Gap, Wicklow Distance: 75km Climbing: 1130m Difficulty: very hard Details: http://cycleireland.ie/rathdrum-wicklow-gap-dublin-cycle One for hill enthusiasts; this route packs a lot into its modest length, but en route you’ll take in much of Wicklow’s best scenery and some exquisite climbs worthy of any level of ability Slieve Blooms Short Loop, Laois-Offaly Distance: 59km Climbing: 548m Difficulty: average Details: http://cycleireland.ie/slieveblooms-short-cycle-loop Generations of midlands cyclists have cut their teeth on the steep drags of the Slieve Blooms. This route has one long but manageable climb and – by midlands standards at least – some impressive views over the heart of Ireland.
One of Ireland’s most celebrated mountain areas, Glendalough Valley in Wicklow offers a convenient introduction to hillwalking with a range of options from easy strolls to full-blooded treks through some of Ireland’s most stunning scenery.
Spink Loop, Glendalough Co Wicklow
Glendalough National Park is part of the Wicklow Mountains National Park and was established in 1991. It now extends to more than 170sq km. An hour’s drive from Dublin, it boasts an array of routes at all levels of difficulty. It’s best explored, though, by the Spink and Glenealo Valley route – a scenic loop walk with excellent waymarking and a well-maintained trail. At 9km it’s no pushover, but allow 3-4 hours and the mix of well-maintained paths and boardwalks will reward you with a very fine day’s walking and an appetite for both dinner and further adventure. Begin at the Glendalough Visitor Centre, just down the valley from the Lower Lake. The route takes you through the monastic settlement, past the round tower, before climbing steeply to Poulanass Waterfall. From here, a boardwalk made from old railway sleepers takes you across open bog onto the Spink, a high, exciting ridge with magnifi cent views across the Upper Lake, to old mine workings beneath Glendalough’s northern cliffs. These cliffs are now among the finest rock climbing venues in Ireland - but leave that for another day! The mines underneath the Spink were used during the 19th century for lead ore, principally to supply the plumbing demands of the rapidly expanding city of Dublin. More railway sleepers ease your passage down into Glenealo Valley, which is really the head of the Glendalough Valley. It is a compelling sight to look down the tumbling Glenealo River to the Upper Lake as the entire scene is framed by formidable cliffs. An old mining track takes you back down the valley through beautiful mixed woodland and onto the lakeshore. The giant Scots Pines were planted along the mining track by the mining company to provide pit supports, although the mine closed before they could be put to practical use. Their loss, our gain. Once you’ve made your way back to the Visitor Centre, head to the nearby village of Laragh, which is a great base for further exploration of the surrounding mountains. After this introduction, you may want to tackle Lugnaquilla, the highest mountain in Wicklow, while those in pursuit of a more leisurely challenge could check out Glenmalure or Lough Dan. Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 51
Walking is the best way to appreciate Ireland’s beautiful scenery - its coastline, countryside, forests and remote mountain valleys - by following Ireland’s network of marked trails. Choose from looped walks that last from one hour up to a day, and multi-day trails. Walkers with map-reading and compass skills can venture off-trail to explore Ireland’s rugged mountain areas.
Afore Ye Go..
Weather Be prepared for Ireland’s changeable weather. It’s possible to experience sunshine, strong winds and heavy rain all in one afternoon. If you plan to walk in the hills remember that the temperature will be lower there, the winds stronger and you are more likely to get rain. Mist is a serious problem; you can quickly lose all visibility, especially on coastal hills.
skills and ability of your group. • Check the weather forecast and think about how the weather will affect your walk. • Ensure you have enough time to complete the walk before darkness (allow 1hr per 3km, add 30 minutes for every 300m of ascent). • Leave details of your plans with somebody and don’t forget to contact that person later to say you have returned safely.
protect your feet and support your ankles – over 30% of injuries attended to by Mountain Rescue relate to the lower leg. • If going off-trail in the hills you’ll need map-reading skills, along with a map and compass (a GPS can be useful, but it is not a substitute for map and compass; its usefulness relies on your map-reading ability and good judgment).
Choosing a trail walk • Decide what type of walk you want and how long you want to walk for. • Check www.discoverireland.ie/walking, www.irishtrails.ie or www.walkni.com. • Choose a walk that suits everybody in your group. • Print the downloadable map and put it inside plastic to keep it dry.
Clothing and equipment • Always bring a waterproof jacket. • Wear sturdy shoes or boots suitable for use on wet and rough ground. • Bring water and food. • Carry a fully charged mobile phone, but remember that mobile phones do not work everywhere.
During the walk • To avoid getting lost, check where you are on the map at regular intervals. • If you are part of a group, keep together. • Drink often and eat regularly. • Watch for changes in the weather; if it deteriorates be prepared to alter the route or turn back.
Extra items for longer walks • Additional high energy food and liquids, including a hot drink in winter. • Spare warm clothing, plus a hat and gloves are essential all year round. • Waterproof overtrousers, torch, whistle, first aid kit and a survival bag or emergency shelter. • Proper walking boots that provide grip,
What to do if you get lost • Keep calm – think about where you have walked and the last place you saw a marker post or a definite feature. • Study the map – where do you think you are, can you see any obvious features that are marked on the map? • You may have to re-trace your steps to get back on your route.
Planning a hill walk • As there aren’t marked footpaths high in the Irish hills you will need map-reading and compass skills to walk in these areas. • Ask locally for advice on where to walk and what kind of terrain to expect. • Be realistic; choose a route that matches the 52 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Lowe Alpine pack
published by Mountaineering Ireland in association with:
Join A Club! Ireland’s hundreds of hillwalking clubs are the most welcoming, informative and sociable way of enjoying our hills and mountains. They’re also the safest. For more on walking clubs, training courses and the mountain environment visit www.mountaineering.ie.
www.irishtrails.ie www.discoverireland.ie/walking www.walkni.com
Walk Safely leaflets are available from all Fáilte Ireland Tourist Offices and have been
Mountain Rescue Ireland, www.mountainrescue.ie
• If the mist is down consider descending to get below the cloud level. • If you are still lost – look for large features to head for – such as roads and tracks that will lead you to a definite location.
Fáilte Ireland, www.discoverireland.ie www.IrishTrails.ie www.walkNI.com
TDactive offers a collection of activity holidays especially crafted for the adventurous at heart. Each holiday has been designed by experts and all benefit from the care and attention to detail you would expect from Travel Department.
AUSTRIAN LAKE DISTRICT WALKING HOLIDAY
LAKE GARDA YOGA HOLIDAY
16 May & 19 Sep (€999) 2016
14 Sep (€729) 2016
Flights | 7 nights | 4* hotel | Half board
Flights | 5 nights | 3* hotel | Bed & Breakfast
• Direct flights from Dublin to Munich with Aer Lingus and transfers with local guide. • 7 nights at the 4 star Hotel Goldenes Schiff with breakfast and evening meal each day. • A full day guided scenic walking tour of the Bad Ischl area. • A full day guided scenic walking tour of Lake Wolfgangsee. • A full day guided scenic walking tour of Lake Fuschlsee. • A full day guided excursion of Lake Hallstaettersee. • A full day guided excursion of Lake Traunsee. • A guided city tour of Munich.
For more information on these holidays and to book:
• Direct flights from Dublin to Milan with Aer Lingus and transfers with local guide. • 5 nights at the 3 star Hotel Villa Stella with breakfast each day. • 8 Yoga Sessions, 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening with Emma Burke Kennedy who is a qualified instructor from Yoga Dublin Studios. • A half day guided excursion on Lake Garda by boat viewing some of the beautiful sites and places of interest on the lake, including visits to Limone and Malcesine.
Visit tdactive.ie Call 01 637 1633 The World is Waiting ...
An Age-Friendly University In 2012 DCU established the concept and principles of an Age-Friendly University; the world’s first officially designated Age-Friendly University and is leading a global network of Age Friendly Universities - Arizona State University USA, Strathclyde University (UK), Lassel College MA, and the University of Manitoba, Canada. DCU’s Age Friendly Co-ordinator, Christine O’Kelly said “DCU is committed to working to promote an inclusive approach to healthy and active ageing, to informing our students and challenging ageism, to focus on innovation to address specific issues affecting older adults, and offer learning opportunities for people across the generations . Our vision is to be recognised internationally as leaders of age-friendly initiatives in education, research and innovation that, in turn, will promote a greater, more connected and productive quality of life for older adults.” This is demonstrated by the range of opportunities and activities in DCU. Last November the first Age Friendly University Conference “ Engaging Ageing” attracted more than 150 older people and 24 higher education institutions from 4 continents to present their work on ageing. Members of the U3A who attended the event and said: “The DCU AFU re-vitalised us; engerised us: contributing to confirming that we should keep going: confirming we are up there with the best; stepping outside the sterotypical boxes; not to accept the narrative of others”. Other opportunities to engage with DCU include the DCU Connected Programme which offers a range of online courses. We also offer the opportunity to undertake individual credit 54 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
bearing modules which allows the flexibility to build towards an undergraduate award. This is ideally suited to those who do not wish to commit to a full time programme but can still benefit from the campus experience as a part time student. Our Intergenerational Learning Programme offers a free computer training programme in addition to a wide range of other dedicated courses designed with the older learner in mind from Genealogy to Everyday Science, Psychology of Ageing to Identity and Sexuality. As part of the Bealtine Festival a free series of lunchtime seminars will take place during May to which all are welcome. DCU is developing a Transitions Hub for those who wish to embark on a new phase of life. This will provide participants with a structured platform for self-development and planning, mentoring opportunities, customized courses, supporting “silver” and social entrepreneurs and identifying opportunities for brokering expertise to match societal challenges. Our Dementia Elevator Project which focuses on supporting those and their carers with Dementia, offers training programmes and information. The Elevator Project will be hosting
a Roadshow event in September next which will visit towns and villages nationwide – so look out for it in your area. The MedEX Programme continues to grow with over 600 older people per week attending a customized, medically supervised exercise programme addressing a range of issues from Diabetes, Cancer, Cardiac care, mobility and COPD. DCU are also proud to host a number of events in collaboration with local and national older people’s groups - Operation Conversation with Third Age which supports intergenerational conversation takes place on October 1st next. The Silver Surfer Awards hosted on behalf of Age Action will be opening in September next for nominations and free workshops on a range of issues for example elder abuse, ageism, financial abuse and health issues. For more information in the AFU Project in DCU and opportunities to engage please contact Christine O’Kelly AFU Coordinator DCU 01 700 8933 Christine.email@example.com www.dcu.ie/agefriendly
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The choice is yours.. Visiting gardens, a stately home, a cemetery museum, a Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre and an activity-based hostel in the Mourne Mountains are featured in this latest Senior Times ‘days out’ feature Boyne Valley Garden Trail
lovingly restored are waiting to be explored. These classic & contemporary gardens appeal to both garden enthusiasts and nature lovers and their beautiful tranquil settings often play host to cultural & educational events such as opera performances at Loughcrew; Art Exhibitions at Listoke; Outdoor Theatre evenings at Oldbridge; Music at Beaulieu; Organic Gardening Courses at Sonairte and much more. Gardens on the Boyne Valley Garden Trail are :
One of the striking borders at Beaulieu House and Gardens, a key attraction on the Boyne Valley Garden Trail
The Boyne Valley Garden Trail, developed by public and private garden owners, links a stunning selection of garden attractions across counties Meath and Louth. Situated within one of the most historic and heritage rich regions of Ireland, spectacular old gardens dating back to as early as the late 17th century have been 56 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Beaulieu House , Killineer House, Listoke Gardens, Oldbridge House - Drogheda ; Collon House - Collon; College Hill House, Francis Ledwidge Museum, Tankardstown House, Boyne Garden Centre – Slane; Barmeath Castle, Rokeby Hall – Dunleer; Ratoath Garden & Garden Centre – Ashbourne; Balrath House - Balrath; Bramley Cottage – Killsallaghan; Sonairte Eco Centre - Laytown; Loughcrew House - Oldcastle; St Mary’s Abbey, Riverlane Nurseries – Trim To plan your visit to enjoy the Boyne Valley gardens and some of their scheduled events, see www.boynevalleygardentrail.com for details including a downloadable 2016 brochure with a Fáilte Ireland Driving Route map that will also help you discover other treasures of the Boyne Valley as you go. You can also keep up to date on what is happening at Facebook. com/BoyneValleyGarden Trail
Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland volunteers working on the borders at Russborough House. The RHSI is two hundred years old in 2016. Based in Laurelmere Cottage, Marley Park, Rathfarnham - the ‘Gingerbread Cottage’ some readers may recognise from their walks in Marley Park the RHSI welcomes gardeners of every kind, from the professional to the ‘just starting out’. To mark their big birthday, the RHSI have arranged a Gardening Gala for the RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin on 30 September. Chelsea gold winning florist Jenny Murphy will start the proceedings with a flower arranging demonstration. Gardeners and international plant-hunters Monty Don, Dan Hinkley and Roy Lancaster are speakers. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster with discounted rates for early bird bookings. The RHSI hope that gardeners both active and armchair will join them in the RDS to celebrate their bicentenary.
Always a good time to visit Russborough House
For the last decade Russborough has always featured amongst our top places to visit, but now more than ever, it is a centre that has become an even more attractive location to spend your time.
Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre Visitor Centre, Tea Pavilion, Parkland Walks and the beautifully restored Walled Garden, open all year round
Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, Oldbridge, Drogheda, Co. Meath, Ireland 00 353 (0)41 9809950
Battle of Boyne Visitor Centre open all year
The Visitor Centre is located in the 18th Century Oldbridge House
Opened in May 2008 by the then Taoiseach Bertie, Ahern and the then First Minister of Northern Ireland, Dr. Ian Paisley, the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre, located nearby Drogheda on the banks of the River Boyne is open all year round for visitors. The battle was fought on 1st July ( old calendar) 1690 and was the largest attended battle in the history of Ireland with approximately 60,000 European troops on the field. On the Jacobite side were about 24,000 soldiers from Ireland, England and France and on the Williamite side
were 36,000 men from Ireland, England, France and other European countries that were part of a â€˜ grand allianceâ€™ against Louis XIV of France. Two kings met in person at the Boyne, King James II and his son in law King William III. At stake was: power in Ireland, the crown of England and French dominance of Europe. Today the battle site is managed by the Office of Public Works and features a visitor centre located in the 18th century Oldbridge House, with original and replica weaponry of the period, a laser model of the battle site and a
With award winning Guided House Tours, an engaging 3D interactive basement exhibition, gorgeous award winning Tea Rooms, historic Horse and Carriage rides, and a maze it is a must see attraction that appeals to families and art and culture lovers alike. 58 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Musket firing demonstrations take place on Sundays in June and July
15 minute film in multiple languages. There are also walks through the battle site over several hundred acres, a recently restored Victorian Walled Garden, a shop and Tea Room serving light fare and refreshments. Throughout the year there are many free events for everyone to enjoy, from theatre nights in the Walled Garden to Treasure Hunts for families. For more information visit www.battleofthe boyne.ie or Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre on Face Book.
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Glasnevin Cemetery Museum and Guided Tours
Situated just a stones throw from the city centre, our sheepdog demonstrations at Russborough tell the unique story of rural life in Ireland. Come and learn about the intelligence of the border collies as they follow the command of a whistle in varied pitches to lead the sheep around the fields of Russborough. Over looking the stunning views of the Wicklow mountains, the demonstrations will teach you about the culture and life in Ireland in fun, lighthearted ways. Learn about the various sheep, some that date back to pre-christian times, in Ireland.
Public and private tours daily Re-enactment at 1430 Pedestrian link to National Botanic Gardens
The Tea Rooms at Russborough have a wonderful selection of salads, warm food, quiches and soups to award winning coffees or herbal teas. Enjoy a slice of chocolate gateau as your children wind their way through the maze at Russborough. Or if the sun is shining why not treat yourself to one of the many flavours of ice-cream we have on offer! Come and enjoy the tasty flavours of the Tea Rooms at Russborough.
Car and coach parking available onsite Bus services from O’Connell St: Dublin Bus no’s 140 and 40 Citysightseeing Blue Route every 30 minutes
Glasnevin Cemetery Museum and Guided Tours
Mourne Lodge: a great base for activities in the Mourne Mountains
Located just 2.5km from Dublin’s city centre, Glasnevin Cemetery covers 124 acres of glorious parkland with plenty to appreciate – perfect for those interested in exploring the legacies of Ireland’s heroes.
The Mourne Lodge is situated between the Spelga Reservoir and the Silent Valley, where the Mourne Mountains sweep down to the sea. It boasts free WiFi and free private parking, along with a restaurant and a self-catering kitchen.
A hauntingly gorgeous Victorian garden cemetery each guide is passionate about sharing their love of heritage and history, telling the stories of Ireland’s complex and fascinating history through daily walking tours turning a learning experience into a period of magic with a careful balance of passion, sensitivity and even fun. Awarded Best Cultural Experience in Ireland at the Irish Tourism Industry Awards, Glasnevin is now one of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions and is firmly established on the list of best things to do in Dublin. Tripadvisor frequently lists it at number 1 highlighting Glasnevin as a cemetery of historic importance. The story of modern Ireland is told through interactive exhibitions, dramatic re-enactments and daily walking tours. Visitors learn about the harsh realities of life in Dublin, hear about gravediggers and grave robbers, cholera epidemics, and world wars. Since 1832, 1.5 million people have been interred in Glasnevin. This is a history lesson made fun and memorable by guides who know their stuff, with plenty of wit to spare. Be prepared to enjoy yourself. Opening hours: 1000hrs – 1700 Daily, Mon to Sun/Bank Holiday, all year round 60 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Adults €12.00/Seniors, students, Children (Under 5’s free): €8.00/ Family ticket: €25.00 Entry fee includes full guided tour, entrance to museum and exhibitions area, re-enactment, genealogy voucher worth€5.00 and 10% discount in the Tower Café
Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Finglas Road, Dublin 11. Tel: 01 882 6550 firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of the private en-suite rooms offer a flat-screen TV with a DVD player and comfortable reading chairs. Two rooms are situated on the ground floor and offer wheelchair access. All rooms come with a set of detailed maps for walking in the Mournes, and wet gear can be hired from the property. A pass to to the Silent Valley is also available for a reduced rate. Bikes are available for guests’ use. Fully equipped self-catering kitchen for all guests and breakfast is available each morning in the restaurant. Other meals can be booked in advance. Other shared areas include the lounge with wood burning stove, flat-screen TV and outside patio and barbeque area. There is a supermarket next door and Kilkeel offers a range of award-winning fish and chip shops and restaurants. During the summer time, there is a bus service to The Mourne Lodge. Home to Lough Shannagh, the area surrounding the lodge is ideal for hill walking and scenic walks. Cranfield Beach is 10 minutes’ away by car. This property has been on Booking.com since 18 Mar 2013. Hotel Rooms: 8 Bog Road, Alticall, Kilkee, BT34 4HT. Tel: 0044 928) 41765859
Marvellous Muckross House
Muckross House is a nineteenth century Victorian mansion set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. The house stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney’s three lakes, famed world wide for their splendour and beauty. As a focal point within Killarney National Park, Muckross House is the ideal base from which to explore this landscape. Muckross House was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the water-colourist Mary Balfour Herbert. This was actually the fourth house that successive generations of the Herbert family had occupied at Muckross over a period of almost two hundred years. William Burn, the well-known Scottish architect, was responsible for its design. Building commenced in 1839 and was completed in 1843. Originally it was intended that Muckross House should be a larger, more ornate, structure. The plans for a bigger servants’ wing, stable block, orangery and summer-house, are believed to have been altered at Mary’s request. Today the principal rooms are furnished in period style and portray the elegant lifestyle of the nineteenth century landowning class. In the basement, one can imagine the busy bustle of the servants as they went about their daily chores. During the 1850s, the Herberts undertook extensive garden works in preparation for Queen Victoria’s visit in 1861. Later, the Bourn Vincent family continued this gardening tradition. They purchased the estate from Lord and Lady Ardilaun early in the twentieth century. It was at this time that the Sunken Garden, Rock Garden and the Stream Garden were developed. Relax in the The Garden Restaurant at Muckross which is an ideal venue for those who wish to enjoy a relaxing meal in the scenic surroundings of Killarney National Park. Set against the spectacular backdrop of Torc and Mangerton Mountains, the Garden Restaurant enjoys magnificent views across the old Victorian Walled Garden area. This modern, 170-seat, self-service, restaurant is the ideal location for those who wish to enjoy a relaxing meal in picturesque surroundings. Visitors can enjoy this magnificent scenery all year round, from our conservatory area, which complements the adjoining, newly restored, Victorian glasshouses. The Garden Restaurant is open seven days a week throughout the year. In the peak summer season, we are open from 9am until 7pm. During the off-peak months, we are open from 9am until 5pm. MUCKROSS TRADITIONAL FARMS Step back into the past on Muckross Traditional Farms and visit a very different Ireland – the Ireland of the 1930s and 1940s. Then, a trip to the well was still a daily chore for the housewife and electricity had yet to be introduced to the countryside. For further information Muckross House, Gardens and Traditional Farms, The National Park, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland. Guiding Service, Muckross House Tel. No. 00 353 (0) 64 6670144
In with the New..
Established in 1844, Penfolds is described by renowned wine writer Hugh Johnson as ‘the one true First Growth of the southern hemisphere’.
Mairead Robinson looks at two outstanding producers of New World wines. Chile is now number one on the Irish wine scene with almost 24% of market share and is followed by Australia with 18.6% Coming in third place is France at 14.5% followed by Spain and Italy at 11.8% and 10.2% respectively These figures should not come as too much of a surprise to us as since 1990 the Irish wine market grew exponentially and it was to the New World that we looked. In 2000 Chile sold 669,000 cases of wine in Ireland and by 2014 62 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Adolfo Hurtado recently showcased his wines in Cork
that had risen to almost two million. Australia rose from 750,000 cases to around 1.58 million in the same timeframe. Having visited Chile a few times over the past decade, I have been ever more impressed with the quality of wine being produced and the substantial investment that has been put into the wine industry in that country. Well established and hugely respected wineries such as Torres and Lurton have both led the way in investing in the wine industry in Chile, and the fruits of research into new regions the length and breath of this viticulture paradise have indeed been seen in recent years. However, it is taking a long time for the impression of “cheap and cheerful” to be replaced by “quality and structure” when it comes to what the average wine consumer in this country thinks when considering wines from Chile. At this stage it would be unfair and quite wrong to not give great credit to some of the outstand
ing wines that are coming from this South American jewel these days. Starting with Cono Sur - - whose name means “Southern Cone” in Spanish - famed and loved
for their consistency across all their ranges, each of which over-delivers in terms of quality and value. At the entry level there is Bicicleta, so named for the bicycles the vineyard workers use to get around the vineyards to keep their carbon footprint low. Indeed I have cycled around their vineyard on them myself! Cono Sur was the first vineyard in the world to be accredited fully carbon neutral. The next tier above Bicicleta is Reserva Especial, a range that offers true expressions of varietal wines that can age and/or be used for more special occasions. Then their Single Vineyard range of wines was born from the idea of embodying the ideal Block for each grape variety by optimizing the altitude, soil and climate conditions of the vineyard where it is grown, making each wine completely unique. Their famed and much-awarded 20 Barrels range was started in 1996 when Cono Sur decided to tackle the challenge of making their first ultra-premium wine; the chosen variety was Pinot Noir and for its inaugural production they set apart 20 barrels of the best fruit the ‘96 vintage had provided. The rest is history, and the range has since grown to include other varieties produced to the same high quality as the first vintage. At the top is is Ocio, Cono Sur’s icon wine and Chile’s first ultra premium Pinot Noir. The Wine Advocate recently awarded 95 Points to Ocio, with Luis Gutierrez holding a blind tasting of it against a Grand Cru Burgundy, and Ocio won out. Penfolds Andrew Baldwin
Shoulder-to-shoulder with Ocio is the result of Cono Sur’s latest project - Silencio - their latest ultra-premium wine, this time a Cabernet from Maipo valley. Recently awarded 95 Points and named Best Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon by Wine & Spirits Magazine, Silencio is so-named as it leaves everyone who tastes it speechless! I was delighted get up to date with what was happening at Cono Sur at a tasting a few months ago in Cork where winemaker Adolfo Hurtado showcased his wines alongside Andrew Baldwin from Australia’s top winery – Penfolds. This certainly showed how far wine from Chile, in particular Cono Sur, had come when it was pitched alongside some of the world’s most esteemed and indeed most expensive, wines. Established in 1844, Penfolds is described by renowned wine writer Hugh Johnson as “the one true First Growth of the southern hemisphere”. Indeed recent accolades attest to this:
Penfolds was named Australian Wine Producer of the Year by the IWSC in November 2014, while the IWC named them International White Winemaker of the Year in 2015, amongst many others. Though perhaps most famous for their legendary Grange - which can without overstatement be called a modern icon and is by far Australia’s most prestigious wine - Penfolds extends the knowledge and experience of making Grange across the entire portfolio to give one of the strongest ranges of wines available from Australia. Rawson’s Retreat is Penfolds’ most contemporary and approachable range made with the same eye for quality as their top-tier wines. The perfect entry into the world of Penfolds’ fine wines, Rawson’s Retreat provides consumers the opportunity to sample this legendary brand at an attractive price point.
Tastes in wine change all the time, and it is really a case of what is in fashion at any particular time. For instance, Chardonnay was loved, then it was ABC (anything but chardonnay), and now it is BBC (bring back chardonnay). We had, and it does linger in dark places, a taste for Pinot Grigio, which has to be the most insipid grape around. Like wise, we change our allegiance from one wine producing country to another, and it does seem that France is making something of a comeback, and we may find those figures quoted above will change in the next couple of years. But whatever our attitude, whether it comes from taste, trend or tradition, there is no doubting the fact that our two favourite New World wine producing countries are producing some outstanding wines. Take a closer look at Australia and Chile when next choosing a special bottle of wine, and aim for the higher end of the market – you will get much better value for your euro. The proof is in the bottle. Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 63
The K Club Cookbook on a par with the best
K Club pear and fennel tart
Reviewed by Mairead Robinson The K Club in Kildare has been around longer than I had realised – in fact they are celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2016. While it is renowned for traditional luxury and as one of Europe’s top golf destinations, this resort on Dublin’s doorstep in also known for its excellent dining and impressive wine cellar. Not surprising then that to celebrate their quarter century, executive Chef Finbarr Higgins has produced an impressive tome titled The K Club Cookbook – Producer to Plate. This is very much a coffee table book, and would certainly make a cherished gift for lovers of fine food and wine in a traditional historic setting. The photographs by Hugh McElveen are stunning, and some of the best food photography I have ever seen. The acknowledgement of local artisan food suppliers whose produce is evident in the recipes is also included in the photographs. The wine story is particularly fascinating as it contains information on the connection between Straffan House and the Bordeaux-based wine producer, Hugh Barton who built the original house in 1830. The wine connection goes back even further than that however, as Sommelier Lisa O’Doherty will share with guests who take one of her fascinating wine cellar tours.
We met Lisa at The K Club recently when we went to sample some of the creative dishes included in the cookbook. She offers expert advice on pairing food and wine and demonstrated the Coravin system which allows her to pour wine by the glass without pulling the cork. Diners can now enjoy a glass of a very special wine without buying the whole bottle.
their beautiful cocktail recipes. It might not be the same as experiencing the luxury of The River Room Restaurant, but the cookbook will certainly bring you a lot of pleasure.
The cookbook contains some really tempting dishes for vegetarians which interested us as Chef Higgins says “I think vegetarian dishes are all too often an afterthought on a menu. I wanted to create a really exciting vegetarian dish to offer complex layers of flavour.” We tried the Fennel and Pear tart with Piccalilli, Fennel Foam and Pear Tuile. The pairing of the fruit and vegetable together gave some really exciting flavours. Seasonal choices on the menus are replicated in the Cookbook with Game, Fish, Poultry and Meat all paired with seasonally sourced vegetables, and the basic recipe section includes chutneys, flavoured oils, stocks, syrups, breads and ice cream!
The K Club Cookbook-Producer to Plate Published by Atrium, an imprint of Cork University Press.
The book allows you to up your cooking skills with expert tips and tricks, the photographs will certainly inspire you and they even share
Edited by Lizzie Gore-Grimes. Images by Hugh McElveen Price: €39
64 Senior Times l May March - June - April2016 2016l www.seniortimes.ie l www.seniortimes.ie
Vitality, longevity & a healthy heart
With the discovery of coenzyme Q10, science has found a natural way to help the heart contract with greater force. Two recent studies clearly show how this natural compound makes a difference. One of the most fascinating scientific breakthroughs in recent times is the uncovering of coenzyme Q10 and this vitamin-like compound’s pivotal role in human heart health. Science has unveiled one of the secrets to why we lose our vigor as we grow older, and the good news is that with help from coenzyme Q10 we can actually restore some of that strength and stamina - simply by refueling an ageing heart. Making weak hearts strong again Q10’s impact on the heart was clearly demonstrated by Danish scientists who decided to test the substance on patients with chronic heart failure. Normally, a large number of patients die within a five-year period after being diagnosed with heart failure but things worked out differently in the Q-Symbio study, which was in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Heart Failure. 420 patients with chronic heart failure were randomly assigned to either 3 x 100 mg of high-quality coenzyme Q10 or identical “dummy capsules” as add-on therapy to their conventional heart medication. The outcome made jaws drop! 43% fewer deaths In the Q10 group, there were 43% fewer heart-related deaths. In addition, the weakened hearts had more power and strength to pump compared with the hearts of patients in the placebo group. The improvements were attributable to the Q10 capsules alone, and cardiologists across the globe were shocked when the study was published. The heart loses Q10 with age Heart disease is one of many diseases associated with reduced Q10 levels in cells. However, as a natural part of the ageing process our Q10 levels drop so everyone experiences a reduction in heart strength. With Q10 supplements, we have a natural way of dealing with that problem
and, as the Q-Symbio study showed, we can even apply this strategy to people with pre-existing heart conditions. All body functions depend on Q10 The entire body needs the presence of coenzyme Q10. Besides energy production and heart muscle function, Q10 is useful for things like: Male fertility Sperm cells need massive amounts of energy to fuel their tail-wagging action that propels them forward in their race to fertilise the egg. Studies have shown that men who produce sluggish sperm cells that are unable to swim are often helped with supplements of Q10 Blood pressure Several studies have pointed to coenzyme Q10 as a worthy substitute for anti-hypertensive drugs. Coenzyme Q10 holds the potential to reduce levels of upper and lower blood pressure. One should always consult a physician before replacing prescription drugs with Q10. Cholesterol management Cholesterol-lowering drugs disrupt the body’s own production of Q10, sometimes leading to mitochondrial dysfunction of the muscle cells. Supplements of Q10 given together with the cholesterol-lowering drugs can compensate for this and prevent side effects like muscle aches and muscle fatigue. Always check for documentation The Q10 supplement that was used in Q-Symbio is manufactured using a unique technique that ensures complete absorption of the active ingredient in the body. With more than 100 published studies to document its bio-availability, quality, and safety, this supplement is the best documented brand on the market and the preferred choice among researchers who conduct studies with Q10. In fact, this specific Q10 supplement has been selected as the official science reference (gold standard) of the International Coenzyme Q10 Association (ICQA), which is the organization that coordinates all Q10 research internationally.
Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 65
Collection of activity holidays from Travel Department
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Portwest, Charles Hughes Ltd and Senior Times are teaming up to offer four lucky readers the chance to win €100 worth of Portwest’s beautifully crafted range of Irish outdoor leisure wear.
TDactive’s activity holidays are a great way to do something different with your time away, combining it with your hobbies and interests. It’s a wonderful way to meet like-minded people who share your passions, all while benefiting from the knowledge and experience of a dedicated local guide. TDactive walking and yoga holidays are a particularly good option for those who want to keep fit and active in later life. If walking is your thing, you can choose from a range of European destinations, including Tuscany, Croatia, Austria, Hungary and, of course, the famous Camino de Santiago. Walking holidays are classified as leisurely, moderate or challenging so you can make sure to choose a trip that suits your own fitness level. For those that prefer a more restorative form of exercise, TDactive has a choice of yoga holidays to The Algarve or the beautiful Lake Garda in Northern Italy. Two yoga sessions are provided each day with Emma Burke Kennedy, a teacher with Yoga Dublin. So, if you’re looking to do a bit more active on your well-earned break this year, TDactive has a holiday for you. “We had a superb guide in Daniel Lindh. At the start of the tour he said “that we would never walk alone” and he really meant it. He was there 24/7 for us and could not do enough to help people. Nothing ever appeared to be a problem for him. I can honestly say that I have never met anybody so dedicated and totally passionate about his job.” - Sylvia, Kildare, Footsteps of the Camino, September 2015 66 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
The nation’s favourite name in out-door clothing, Portwest has designed clothing for over 100 years to handle the changeable nature of Irish weather. Their collections are synonymous with style, durability and comfort with high performance functionality along with classic and contemporary styling being at the heart of the brand’s ethos. Offering a full range of leisure wear for men, women and children along with hats, gloves and hiking accessories the brand is the ideal choice for those seeking wearable everyday clothing or high performance outdoor wear. A family run business based in Westport, County Mayo, Portwest are Ireland’s leading designers and manufacturers of not only out-door leisure wear but Health & Safety/Personal Protective Equipment and Work Wear. With two retail stores in Westport and High Street, Galway, the brand is also available nationwide in selected retailers. For your chance to win, simply answer: Where is Portwest based – Westport, Tralee, or Dublin? Send your entries to: Portwest Competition, Senior Times, Unit 1, 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Or email: email@example.com The first four correct entries drawn are the winners. Deadline for receipt of entries is June 22nd 2016. To receive a special Senior Times reader 10 per cent discount on Portwest items, simply present this page at either one of their Westport or Galway stores. www.charleshughesltd.ie / @ PortwestIreland
Energy is made inside our cells in minute “powerhouses” called mitochondria. Inside these small energy factories you find coenzyme Q10, which we get from food and which we humans can also produce in our liver. With increasing age the ability to produce our own Q10 declines. Experts believe that the body’s Q10 content peaks when we are 20-25 years of age. From this point onward, the endogenous production begins on a downward slope. Liver
100.0% 95.3% 83.0%
65.3% 51.7% 42.9%
Heart 0 years
Ref.: Kalén et al (1989): Lipids vol. 24, no. 7
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Motherhood drained my energy:
“This is how I got my strength back!” Patricia had always been an active person with a passion for life. After her second child however, she began to feel like a different person, her energy levels plummeted and she lost interest in the hobbies she once treasured. She had no energy to exercise or plan family holidays. Things eventually got so bad that she had to quit her job. “Everyday I’d wake up feeling completely exhausted regardless of how much sleep I’d had, it got so bad that I had to give up my job” says Patricia who explains that it was a really tough time in her life.
Luckily, Patricia read about a Q10 supplement with vitamin C, which contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism and to reduction of tiredness and fatigue. “Good thing I did! I take a capsule everyday and I really don’t know where I’d be without it. One thing Patricia wasn’t expecting was her weight to drop. “I’m a lot more energetic now so I guess I’m burning a lot more calories than I used to. I’ve gotten compliments from friends and family about my slimmer figure and I feel great”
I was constantly tired and I “eventually gave up my job because of it ”
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Q10 Pharma Nord is prepared through a special heat process that transforms the molecular structure of the Q10 from rough crystals to light molecules. At body temperature, the light Q10 molecules dissolve, thereby creating a homogeneous solution that is easily absorbed by the body and is preferred worldwide among consumers as well as scientists.
A steam train in the Isle of Man Photo: Manx National Heritage
Isle of Man Promotion
Laxey Wheel Photo: Manx National Heritage
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company vessels Manannan and Ben-my-Chree
Just a short sail to a different world The Isle of Man’s stunning landscape Photo: Manx National Heritage
Whatever sort of holiday you’re looking for the Isle of Man truly has something for everyone. Despite measuring just 33 miles by 13 miles, the Island packs in so much, from its stunning landscape to its unique culture and heritage. You can discover something new and wonderful every time you visit, and with the Isle of Man just a short ferry journey from Dublin or Belfast getting there couldn’t be simpler. Plus, with no luggage fees when you travel with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, you’ll be able to pack plenty in too – everything you’ll need to explore this enchanting Island. The Isle of Man has earned a well-deserved international reputation for its landscape and wildlife. In fact, in March it was awarded status as a UNESCO Biosphere - the only entire jurisdiction in the world to be awarded this prestigious title – in recognition of the way in which the Island’s population exists alongside a plethora of diverse natural habitats. From the sandy beaches to the rolling hills, the scenery is spectacular throughout the length and breadth of the Island. Bring your car and you are free to explore, and if you’re feeling adventurous pull on your hiking boots and take a walk through the glorious glens or along sections of the spectacular 100-mile coastal pathway Raad Ny Foillan. As you travel about keep an eye open for the wildlife; the Isle of Man is home to many breeds of seabird, and seals, whales and dolphins can 68 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
sometimes be spotted off the coast. Basking sharks are often visitors to Manx waters from May to August, and there really are wild wallabies living in the north of the Island – just keep your eyes peeled. The Island has also gained global fame for its night skies, with Dark Sky sites to be found throughout the landscape offering simply staggering views of the stars – well worth staying up for. The Isle of Man has a rich and diverse heritage, spanning the Celts, the Vikings, the Normans and various periods of rule by the English and the Scots. All left their mark, and the Island’s history can be discovered at award-winning sites and museums, including two superb castles and the world-famous Laxey Wheel. The Island is famous as the home of the TT races, two weeks of fast-paced motorcycle action around the legendary TT Mountain course, and any visit should include a stop at one or two of the famous landmarks – including the statue of Joey Dunlop at the Bungalow. However, if you prefer your transport a little more sedate jump on board one of the Island’s historic railways. Dating back to the Victorians, steam trains run between the capital, Douglas, and Port Erin in the south while electric trams take passengers north to Ramsey on the Manx Electric Railway service. At Laxey, on the east coast, you can change to the Snaefell Mountain Railway and enjoy a trip to the Isle of Man’s highest point, the summit of its only mountain. You can even travel the length of
the promenade in Douglas in one of the historic horse-drawn trams as the service celebrates its 140th anniversary. Oh, and don’t forget to pack your golf clubs; there are nine excellent courses you won’t want to miss. After exploring all the activities the Isle of Man has to offer, you’ll have worked up quite an appetite – and you’ll be well looked after! The Island is rightly proud of its produce, especially the locally-reared meat and locally-landed seafood, and you’ll find restaurants and café proudly serving up the best local produce in wonderful surroundings. Ask the residents and most will recommend a taste of Loaghtan lamb, the famous queenies (succulent Manx queen scallops) and, of course, a pack of traditionally smoked Manx kippers to take home. Travel with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and you’ll discover the comfort and convenience of taking the ferry, which means you can bring your car and, with no luggage fees, pack everything you need. A Summer 5 Day Short Break for a car + 2 adults costs from €131 each way*. Visit www.steam-packet.com Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. A combination of Dublin and Belfast ports should be considered. *Valid for travel between 14.06.16 – 05.09.16. Journeys must be completed within 5 days - Day of outward sailing counts as day 1. Return sailing must commence on or before day 5.
Are you Compassionate, competent, committed, creative, courageous. Sage needs volunteers to provide support and advocacy services with and for people in all care settings. Training, support and supervision will be provided to all successful applicants. Advocacy is a process of empowerment to ensure the wishes and preferences of the person are heard.
For more information and an application form log on to www.sage.thirdageireland.ie/recruitment Or contact: Michelle Rooney Education, Training and Support Coordinator E: email@example.com T: 086 183 1428
Culture Nationwide birthday treat French-Canadian folk group, Le vent du nord, set the pace this month with a guarantee of head bobbing and feet tapping from the off.
Maretta Dillon reports on happenings around the country over the next few months French-Canadian folk group, Le vent du nord, set the pace this month with a guarantee of head bobbing and feet tapping from the off. Their music is a gritty, modern twist on French-Canadian roots music that has been widely acclaimed. From May 8 to May 15 - you have been warned - more from musicnetwork.ie 70 Senior Times l May - June 2015 l www.seniortimes.ie
May is now the month of Dublin Dance Festival and they have not let us down with a diverse programme exploring themes of identity, migration, mobility and territory. Among the gems are: visionary US ballet master Alonzo KingÂ at the Bord GĂĄis Energy Theatre; a major new dance-theatre work by Olivier Award-winning choreographer Crystal Pite and innovative
playwright/performer Jonathon Young; worldclass step dancers from the US, Canada and Ireland in a new piece co-commissioned by Dublin Dance Festival and The National Folk Theatre of Ireland. The festival will open with Planites from Greek choreographer, Patricia Apergi. This intensely physical, urban fusion piece for five male performers focuses on
Love and Friendship is the new film from Whit Stillman, still best loved for Metropolitan after all these years.
Events around the Country / May-June 2016 the foreigner, the immigrant - the person who travels, whether by choice or by force. This is merely a taster for the event from May 17 to 28 – more from dublindancefestival.ie Opera Theatre Company begins a nationwide tour of the perennially popular La bohème –this time directed by Ben Barnes. Famous for its soaring melodies and poignant arias, Puccini’s bittersweet tale explores the loves and lives of a group of bohemian artists in 1930’s Paris. A chance encounter between poet Rodolfo and fragile seamstress Mimi results in a passionate but tragic romance. La bohème opens in Dublin in the O’Reilly Theatre Belvedere College on Friday, 13 May, with a second performance on Sunday, 15 May, before touring nationwide until 3 June. More information from opera.ie Love and Friendship is the new film from Whit Stillman, still best loved for Metropolitan after all these years. Stillman is back in elegant form directing Kate Beckinsale as Lady Susan in one of Jane Austen’s novels. Written early in her career and by all accounts, somewhat hastily, Stillman has stepped in to add a final finish. It may upset the purists but the rest of us can appreciate a new period piece on screen. This has the added attraction of being filmed
in Ireland so plenty of opportunity for some scene spotting. From May 25 nationwide. English playwright Harold Pinter’s first major work, The Birthday Party, hits the Gaiety Theatre stage in a new production by London Classic Theatre. Directed by Michael Cabot, the production embarks on an extensive nationwide tour post the Dublin outing. By turns, cryptic thriller and macabre comedy, this new staging is betting that Irish audiences will enjoy the complexity of Pinter’s language and the darkness of his humour. From May 30 to June 4 at the Gaiety Theatre/ londonclassictheatre.co.uk for listings.
Events around the Country May-June 2016 THE SOUVENIR SHOP Visual Arts Artist Rita Duffy’s amusing and acerbic take on gestures and symbols associated with the revolution. April 25 – June 11 / 13 North Great George’s Street, Dublin 1. Information: facebook.com/SouvenirShopDublin1
IRISH CERAMICS AT THE GARDEN Craft An exhibition of the best of Irish Ceramic Sculpture. From April 29 / The National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin Information: botanicgardens.ie I SAW THE LIGHT Film Actor of the moment Tom Hiddleston stars as the iconic US singer Hank Williams. May 6 nationwide CARE Theatre A show about the people who add life to days, if not days to life. From May 6 - May 21 / various venues Booking: willfredd.com LE VENT DU NORD Music Explore some of French Canadian music with this lively foursome. May 8 - 15 Information: musicnetwork.ie LA BOHÈME Opera Máire Flavin stars as Mimi with Argentinian tenor Pablo Bemsch as Rodolfo. May 13 – June 3 /Dublin and nationwide Information: opera.ie Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 71
English playwright Harold Pinter’s first major work, The Birthday Party, hits the Gaiety Theatre stage in a new production by London Classic Theatre.
A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING Film Tom Hanks back on screen again in the adaptation of Dave Eggers novel about a US businessperson in Saudi Arabia. May 20 nationwide FUTURE HISTORIES Visual Arts Niamh Murphy + Áine Phillips curate a 12-hour live art + video event with 16 Irish artists at Kilmainham Gaol. May 21 / Kilmainham Gaol Information: heritageireland.ie LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP Film A new period drama from the pen of Jane Austen with the beautiful Lady Susan as the heroine. May 25 nationwide
May is now the month of Dublin Dance Festival and they have not let us down with a diverse programme exploring themes of identity, migration, mobility and territory. Among the gems are: visionary US ballet master Alonzo King at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre;
Rising + the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. June 12 to Oct 28 / various venues nationwide Information: chamberchoirireland.com
the Lee. June 17-19, June 24-26 Information: corkmidsummer.com
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY Theatre Harold Pinter’s classic play set in a shabby boarding house in an English seaside town. May 30 – June 4 / Gaiety Theatre and nationwide Information: londonclassictheatre.co.uk
THE CONSTANT WIFE Theatre Somerset Maugham’s modern and amusing take on marriage, infidelity and extra marital affairs. From June 16 / Gate Theatre Information: gatetheatre.ie / 353 1 874 4045 / 874 6042
CONFLICTING VISIONS IN A TURBULENT AGE 1900 -1916 Visual Arts The exhibition will focus on several themes, both social and political, that affected Ireland between 1900 and 1916. From June 30 – Aug 20/ Crawford Art Gallery, Cork. Information: crawfordartgallery.ie
REMEMBERING IN 2016 Music Chamber Choir Ireland will remember the 1916
CORK MIDSUMMER FESTIVAL Arts Festivals An explosion of arts events on the banks of
Finally, if you’d like your event to feature in our list of What’s On please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
72 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Dermot Gilleece recalls the fondness with which Ben Crenshaw is remembered for his appearances in the Irish Open
Memories of the ‘Bear Apparent’ Though the blond hair has gone grey and the passing years have cut deep lines into once fresh, rounded features, Ben Crenshaw retains the enthusiasm of youth when he talks about tournament golf. In which context, it hardly seems credible that it is 40 years since he became the first of only two American winner of the Irish Open Golf Championship, scheduled for The K Club on May 19th to 22nd. Memories remain vivid of a Bord Failte gathering in a large marquee at Portmarnock back in late August 1976, when the focus of attention was a handsome American who had turned 24 the previous January. He had already made a name for himself on the US circuit, as winner of the 1973 San Antonio Texas Open at the tender age of 21. And he arrived in Dublin, fresh from victories in the Bing Crosby Pro-Am and the Hawaiian Open
during the early months of 1976, having also finished runner-up to Raymond Floyd in the US Masters. In fact, so impressive was Crenshaw that those with an eye on a likely successor to the great Jack Nicklaus, had thought of him as a logical ‘Bear Apparent.’ The Irish Open became a very significant tournament, internationally, when it was revived under the Carrolls banner at Woodbrook in 1975. That was when Tom Watson appeared as the reigning British Open champion, having secured that title at after a play-off with Jack Newton at Carnoustie only the previous month. In the event, he justified much of the pre-championship hoo-ha by sharing 13th place behind the winner, Christy O’Connor Jnr. Another American, Bob Gilder, was tied 18th. This was a key element of tournament
‘It’s always a good sign when a golf course stays in the memory and I have no difficulty in bringing Portmarnock to mind.’ director, Pat Heneghan’s strategy towards broadening the appeal of what had previously been no more than one of the regular stops on a British and Irish circuit. Heneghan decided to pay appearance fees to two, three or four topname international players who would receive between £10,000 and £20,000 each – very Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 73
considerable money in those days. And apart from cash, the deal involved free accommodation for a player and his wife and free flights with the help of Aer Lingus. ‘We took the view that unless you had two or three players from the top-10 in the world, you were dead,’ he said bluntly. ‘And while splashing out the equivalent of more than half the prize fund in appearance fees, we also spent heavily on promoting the tournament in an extended build-up from the start of every year.’ So it was that when Darren Clarke played at Killarney in 2011, two weeks after capturing the British Open at Royal St George’s, Sandwich, he was, in fact, the 38th Major champion to have competed in the Irish Open since that revival in 1975. These included such giants of the game as Lee Trevino, Seve Ballesteros, Gary Player, Billy Casper, Nick Faldo and Floyd. Carrolls even persuaded the Irish trail-blazer, Fred Daly, to tee it up on three occasions in 1975, 1977 and 1978, three decades after his British Open triumph at Hoylake in 1947. Another special milestone occurred in 1977, when Hubert Green succeeded Crenshaw as Irish Open champion at Portmarnock, two months after a dramatic triumph in the US Open at Southern Hills, where he completed the final holes aware of the threat from an assassin’s bullet. Other reigning US Open champions and their Irish Open performances were: David Graham (1981, T11th), Curtis Strange (1988, T17th), 1991 Payne Stewart (1991, T16th), Ernie Els (1994, T8th), Michael Campbell (2006, T12th), Graeme McDowell (2010, T31st) and Rory McIlroy (2011,T34th). So, the importance of Crenshaw’s contribution in 1976, cannot be over-stated. Apart from splendid golf for a winning aggregate of 284 – four under par – the warmth of his person74 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
ality won many admirers. This was especially noted on a cold, wet and windy final day when conditions must have seemed like a world away from the warmth of his native Texas. His closing 73 was sufficient for a two-stroke victory over compatriot Casper, who shared second place with Britons Brian Barnes and PK Goldthorpe. In the course of Sunday’s play, Crenshaw carded a double-bogey five at the short 15, which he later described as the ‘best par-three I have ever played.’ And small wonder, given that every time he played the hole during that week, he failed to make a par there, even in practice. From a £35,000 prize-fund, he collected a winning cheque for £7,000 which was more than enough to ensure a return appearance the following year. It is perhaps a measure of how well Carrolls took care of him during those visits, that he retains such fond memories, 40 years on. ‘Portmarnock was a magnificent links,’ he recalled recently. ‘I had read about it before I travelled and everybody I spoke to said the same thing – ‘wait ‘till you get on that golf course.’ And they were right. It’s always a good sign when a golf course stays in the memory and I have no difficulty in bringing Portmarnock to mind.’ It was Casper, an eighth-place finisher in that year’s Masters, who brought Crenshaw to Heneghan’s attention, saying “I think you want to get this young kid ..” And on arriving in Dublin, they were accommodated separately in private houses, close by. Crenshaw also recalls a visit to ‘Suncroft’, Joe Carr’s famous house overlooking the second green at Sutton Golf Club. ‘I had just met Joe’s son, Roddy, and it was remarkable to listen to Joe tell stories about his golfing experiences,” he said. “What a fabulous man!”
Then there was the reaction of the Irish crowds. “The galleries were tremendous,” he went on. ‘And it was a real treat for me to have got the opportunity of playing links golf. I had played in the 1974 Open Championship at Royal Lytham, but I missed out on the next two at Carnoustie and Birkdale.’ Given Crenshaw’s impact overall, both as an appreciative guest and a formidable golfer, it was hardly surprising that he found himself at the top of Heneghan’s invitation list the following year. And you would have thought it sufficient by the sponsors to have only himself and Hubert Green on that list, but Carrolls were aiming high, which meant that another American, Danny Edwards, was also in the field. And flying the flag for the embryonic European Tour, there were talented youngsters such as Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman and Nick Faldo. After a quiet start with a 72, Crenshaw jumped up the leaderboard with a second-round 69 to be only two strokes behind Green at the halfway stage. And he remained in contention with a third-round 72 before finally edging into second place on his own, with a closing 71 to Green’s 70. One of the most notable aspects of the leaderboard from an Irish perspective, however, was the performance of Jimmy Kinsella, who thrilled the home crowds by claiming a share of third place with Norman and the English left-hander, Peter Dawson, for £2,066.67 in prize money. There were to be no further Irish visits for ‘Gentle Ben.’ In two appearances, he had finished first and second for total prize money of £12,000, his eight competitive rounds containing three 69s and none higher than 73. To those of us who still remember him fondly, he left lasting images of a hugely talented man, who did his utmost to please appreciative hosts.
“I’m Calling You about a Virus on Your Computer” Have you received a call out of the blue from a person warning you about an issue with your computer that you were unaware existed until you received the call? The caller then urges you to act now to fix the issue; otherwise you’re at major risk. This is a scam, don’t be deceived!
How does the computer virus scam typically work? •
You receive an unexpected call from an unknown person. The caller warns you that your computer has a virus.
The caller then claims that they are from a technical support area that identified the issue with your computer.
The caller then offers to fix the problem now for you.
The caller gives you directions on where to look on your computer, and in some instances asks you to download a piece of software.
The software downloaded could be a spyware that gives the caller remote access to your computer, including records and passwords.
Never act on an unexpected call from an unknown person who claims you have computer virus issues.
The caller helpfully shows you where the alleged virus is on your computer.
Never give your banking or credit card information to unknown individuals or businesses.
The caller then offers to sell you a six or twelve month computer service contract that he claims is meant to help protect you and your computer.
Never download software suggested by unknown callers.
If you agree, the caller requests your credit card details or asks you to pay by electronic money transfer.
Do your research. Check out the company that contacted you with trusted Government sources, such as Law Enforcement or Consumer Affairs – visit http://www.consumerhelp.ie/
Never send money to someone you have never met in person.
What you don’t realise is that there was no virus in the first place. However, the scammers may have uploaded spyware onto your computer and may now be processing transactions on your credit card. You work hard for your money; never let a few minutes with a scammer take from you what has taken years or a lifetime to earn. Learn more on how to help protect yourself from fraud by visiting: https://www.westernunion.com/ie/en/fraudawareness.html
Tips to avoid falling victim to the computer virus scam:
Gavin Peniston-Bird, Regional Fraud Risk Manager at Western Union advises: “Awareness is the best defence against scams. These scams can be convincing, but it’s important to check with your local law enforcement or government department like the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in Ireland”. To learn more about common scams, watch our helpful videos and gain some useful tips, visit our website at: https://www.westernunion.com/ie/en/fraudawareness.html.
© 2016 Western Union Holdings, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Rev. 02/10/2016
By Debbie Orme
Food is fun but..
Sonya ‘before’, pictured with her late father
Sonya as she is today
As Northern Ireland pays homage to its fantastic food and drink industry through the Year of Food and Drink 2016 initiative, Northern Notes speaks to a former County Antrim nurse, who is helping those who have enjoyed our fayre a little too much... The statistics on female obesity don’t make for comfortable reading, do they? By 2025, latest figures indicate that women from the UK will have the highest levels of obesity at 38 per cent, with Irish women sitting on an equally alarming 37 per cent! When she reached her heaviest weight - 21 stone and a size 26 in clothing - Sonya McAllister knew that she had to do something about her shape - and her health! ‘I was never going to be a ‘small’ woman,’ says the tall County Antrim woman, ‘but I had never anticipated reaching that sort of weight - or having to buy clothing in that size. A few years ago, I was really struggling with both my weight and my health in general and I knew that something had to change.’ Unlike many women in a similar position, however, Sonya didn’t turn to one of the well-known slimming franchises, but instead decided to do it her own way. ‘As a mental health nurse, I knew that a lot of the process revolved around the psychology of losing weight,’ she says. ‘I understood that dramatic weight loss or restrictive eating plans were not what I personally needed - nor are they usually successful, with the weight tending to come back once ‘normal’ eating returns. I knew that I had to cook fresh food - with nothing processed - and basically just get off 76 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Jennifer receives her award from TV presenter Barra Best and Sonya
the sofa! I started to educate myself about balancing protein and other nutrients, so that I remained satisfied and didn’t experience the cravings which had always been my downfall. ‘My self education meant that, through time, I was able to produce combinations of plates of food that were all nutritionally balanced and I began to lose weight at a steady rate. People began asking me on social media such as Facebook how I was managing to lose the weight, so I started posting recipes of the meals. Very soon, I had to set up a separate Facebook page just for my eating plan, which I named ‘We Slim Together’. It was all very simple and straightforward. Each day I would post ‘here’s what I’m eating...’ or ‘I’m having a treat day and here’s what I’m having....’ Over the next year and a half, Sonya’s Facebook diary had a devoted following, but she was beginning to feel the strain of working full time and trying to maintain the information and support for her new-found group. ‘Despite the fact that I loved my job,’ she continues, ‘I realised that I wanted to help people to lose weight just as much. I was initially devoting about an hour and a half each week to the Facebook page but, three years ago, I decided to go out on a limb and I launched a Facebook event at a local restaurant. Over 3500 people liked the page very quickly and 65 people turned up on the night. I handed out a booklet of tips on what to eat and gave a talk on healthy eating etc. In the first week, the group lost 17 and a half stone between them. The following week 95 people turned up....and it just grew from there!’ In September 2013, Sonya took the plunge and
gave up her job completely - a major step, but one which she has never regretted... ‘I can honestly say that branching out in this new direction made me feel alive again,’ she says. ‘On top of the fact that I’d also lost a lot of weight myself, I felt a real buzz from the people around me who were joining me on their own journey.’ Less than three years later, Sonya’s We Slim Together group now boasts 1400 members, with an online membership stretching as far as Dubai and Australia. ‘When you see the obesity statistics and consider the fallout from obesity, such as diabetes and sleep apnoea, it’s obvious that obesity must be tackled now,’ Sonya says. ‘Our aim isn’t simply to slim together, but to eat healthily together to maintain optimum health. We actually have some clients who come along to put weight on because they don’t have a healthy diet. It’s all about education and support. A few weeks ago, the We Slim Together Gala Ball awards were held in the Hilton Hotel in Templepatrick, and grandmother Jennifer Flynn from Ballyclare took home the Ballymena Star Slimmer award. ‘My life has changed in so many ways,’ says Jennifer, who travelled every Wednesday to the Michelin Athletic Group in the town. ‘I’ve struggled with my weight since I was in my late teens and have tried every diet and fad under the sun. I decided to join We Slim Together for a few reasons: I was going to become a granny, my other daughter was getting married and I have a big birthday next year! As a result, I’m now fitter, nothing is a struggle anymore and I can walk into any shop and get clothes, which are so much cheaper and more fashionable.’
NI year of food and drink 2016 At the launch of the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink, First Minister, Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness are pictured with Nigel Barden, BBC Broadcaster; Terence Brannigan,Chairman Tourism NI; Laura Briggs, BBC Good Food and Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell.
Sonya McAllister’s ‘home-grown’ eating plan is true testament to the fabulous food - meat and vegetables in particular that the Province provides, and this year sees that food come under the spotlight thanks to the Year of Food and Drink 2016 initiative. Recently, Northern Ireland’s First Minister, Arlene Foster MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA attended an event in the Ulster Hall in Belfast, which showcased a range of local produce as the opener for this year’s event. The ministers said they are more determined than ever to support and grow the food and drink industry in 2016. ‘The quality of our food is a major reason why people come to Northern Ireland,’ said First Minister, Arlene Foster. ‘Food tourism already generates over £350million per year to the local economy, but I believe there is significant room for further growth. ‘This event gives us the opportunity to unashamedly restate that Northern Ireland’s food and drink heritage is not just unique, but among the finest tastes and flavours to be found anywhere in the world. ‘As the next twelve months of food and drink
experiences unfold, there will be no better time for locals, visitors and global markets alike to enjoy a true taste of Northern Ireland. ‘The Year of Food and Drink 2016 is a very exciting initiative and hugely important for Northern Ireland. As we showcase, advertise and enjoy our finest and tastiest produce all through the year, I believe Northern Ireland will perform very well as the destination of choice for food and drink.’ The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, agreed. ‘Food and drink is an important element of our tourism proposition and global pitch,’ he said. ‘This £2.75million initiative will assist everyone involved in the food and drink industry to take our influence to another level. It is an important element of our ambition to build and develop a £1billion tourism industry by the end of the decade. ‘We have a wealth of high quality, safe and wholesome foods available to the processing, food service and retail sectors. Our produce has world leading traceability and safety controls and is produced on farms with a strong track record in quality assurance systems and high animal health and welfare standards.
This makes our produce very attractive to the global market. ‘We must drive quality, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship which will increase employment capacity in the food and hospitality sectors. I urge everyone with a role to play to do everything they possibly can to support this initiative to develop, enhance and promote the food and drink product at home and abroad.’ Guests on the evening also heard from TV presenter and food critic Nigel Barden and BBC Good Food Show representative Laura Biggs. In October of this year, the BBC Good Food Show will actually begin a three-year run in Northern Ireland at Belfast Waterfront (14-16 October), and will run alongside the already-established event that take place in Scotland, London, Harrogate and Birmingham. The Year of Food and Drink initiative, which is aimed at putting food and drink at the heart of the visitor experience, is being led by Tourism Northern Ireland and involves a wide range of partners and key organisations in the food and drink industry. For further information check go to www.discovernorthernireland.com/food Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 77
Hotel Westport promotion
The attractive river walk from Hotel Westport to the town
Hotel Westport: pioneer of breaks for the Over 50s Numerous hotels around the country are offering options for the active retired but the undoubted pioneer is Hotel Westport, located just a few minutes’ walk from the hugely popular Co Mayo heritage town. Hotel Westport have been providing breaks designed for older people for almost 20 years, whether it be for individuals, small informal groups or organised Active Retired groups. One thing you are always guaranteed at Hotel Westport – and we at Senior Times can confirm this – is excellent value, marvellous food from locally sourced suppliers, friendly but efficient staff and plenty of things to do. It’s no surprise that Hotel Westport continues to win awards by the hatful and accolades include Georgina Campbell Family Friendly Hotel of the Years, Hotel bar of the year, and Winner Westport Food Festival Dessert Competition. As anyone who has had the pleasure of visiting Hotel Westport knows, activities are always high on the social agenda – but if you just want to relax and take in the comfortable surroundings you will be left to your own devices! Included in the activities programme for this year are bowling weeks for beginners and improvers (no single supplement), wellness and fitness leisure breaks (no single supplement), bridge breaks (no single supplement) midweek and weekend specials and golf specials. One of highlights of the events programme this year is the Spirit & Soul of Mayo (heritage, faith, culture and relaxation) hosted by holiday leader James Kilbane. This includes 3, 4, and 5 78 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
nights accommodation with full Irish breakfast each morning and 4 course sinner on 4 evenings as well as a farewell banquet with live entertainment. Plus a full programme of events from historical talks and exhibits, meditation, mindfulness and spiritual tour and walking tour of Westport Christian churches. There is also a gathering with James for fellowship and songs nightly (no single supplement). This event is taking place from 19-24 June and from 23-28 October. Pre-Christmas Extravaganza Weeks 2016 These popular weeks comprise five nights accommodation with full Irish breakfast each morning, 4 course AA Rosette dinner, plus a farewell banquet, mulled wine reception, complimentary tea/coffee served in the Maple Bar, and free transfer from the train or bus station. Activities include music and dancing, carol singing, reflexology talk and demonstration, poetry recitals, spot prizes monster bingo table quiz, indoor bowls tuition, Christmas decoration competition etc.
Keane is regarded as one of Ireland’s finest traditional performers. Sean was a founding member of the traditional group Arcady and he has performed alongside his sister Dolores, Francis Black, Sharon Shannon and many other well-known Irish musicians. Westport Westport, overlooking Clew Bay, is one of the prettiest towns in the West and has won numerous awards. It was recently voted Best Place to Live in Ireland by Irish Times readers. A tourist haven and ideal spot for short breaks, this is also an area for outdoor adventure. It’s beside Croagh Patrick, there are biking and water based activities, and is ideal for multi-generational holidays.
These weeks take place from 20-25 November, 27 November – 2nd December and 4-9 December. Prices range from €179 for three nights to €239 for five nights. And once again, no single supplement! Special Christmas concert Legendary Galway singer Sean Keane will perform at The Legend of Grainne Mhaol special concert at HW on December 29th. Steeped in Irish folklore and raised in a family famous for wonderful singing and music,
For complete details on Hotel Westport and all its upcoming activities, contact: Hotel Westport, Newport Road, Westport, Co Mayo. Tel: 098 25122. Email: email@example.com www.hotelwestport.ie
Being a victim of any type of crime is upsetting. Most of us do not often directly experience the effects of crime in our lives. When we do, it can be a shocking experience. Many people feel a sense of disbelief that such an incident could happen to them. There is often a feeling of unreality, as if you might wake up and find it has all been a bad dream. When other feelings arise they can be experienced as overwhelming – feelings of sadness, grief, anger, fear, anxiety, confusion, and many others. Whether you were directly involved in the event or not, your reaction will be personal and individual to you. You may immediately feel strongly affected by what has happened. Or you may feel initially that you are coping fine, and it may be some time before you notice any of these effects. Everyone is different and there are no rules about what you ‘should’ feel and how you ‘should’ cope. WHAT CAN YOU DO? Remember you have experienced a stressful, or traumatic, event. It is important to recognise that painful feelings and emotions are a normal consequence of being a victim of crime. Be patient with yourself, and allow yourself to feel upset. Usually these feelings do not last. People are very resilient, and can cope with and recover from the effects of even the most serious crimes. • Give yourself time to recover and be good to yourself. • Spend time with friends/family, and to do things that you enjoy. • Take time out to relax, to slow down, to bring a sense of calm to your life.
Coping With The Effects Of Crime..
• Talk about your feelings with someone you can trust. • Sometimes it may be helpful to talk to someone who is completely outside the situation. • Find out what supports and services are there for you. • Avoid doing anything that places more stress on you at this time. • Avoid making any major life decisions immediately after the crime. • If you are feeling very upset and unable to concentrate or sleep, it may be helpful to talk to a GP. • Take some exercise. It can help to bring down stress levels. • Consider safety measures that you can take to minimise the risk of something like this happening again. If you, or a friend or family member, have been a victim of crime, you can ring the Crime Victims Helpline for support and information. The Crime Victims Helpline 116 006 is a free and confidential service that provides emotional support and information to victims of crime. Our hours are:
Monday Tuesday through Friday Saturday Sunday
10.00 am to 19.30 10.00 to 17.00 14.00 to 16.00 Closed
Further information can also be found on our website at www.crimevictimshelpline.ie Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 79
Coping with constipation Constipation used to be butt of music hall jokes, but it’s no joke if you are living with the condition. The advice below may help. Constipation is a common condition that affects people of all ages. It can mean that you are not passing stools (poo) regularly, or you are unable to completely empty your bowels. Constipation can also cause your stools to be hard, lumpy, large or small. The severity of constipation varies from person to person. Many people only experience constipation for a short time, but for others, constipation can be a chronic (long-term) condition that causes significant pain and discomfort and affects quality of life. How is constipation defined? Doctors define constipation in a number of ways: • opening the bowels less than three times a week • needing to strain to open your bowels on more than a quarter of occasions • passing a hard or pellet-like stool on more than a quarter of occasions When you are constipated, passing stools becomes more difficult than it used to be. 80 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
Passing stools may feel more difficult for several reasons. For example, you may be going significantly less frequently or much less effectively (you feel you are unable to completely empty your bowel). Passing stools may also seem more difficult because your stools are: • dry, hard and lumpy • abnormally large • abnormally small As well as causing a change in your normal bowel habits, constipation can also cause the following symptoms: • stomach ache and cramps • feeling bloated • feeling nauseous • loss of appetite Chronic constipation If you continue to experience constipation for long periods of time you may be suffering from chronic constipation. To understand chronic constipation further it is useful to learn more about how the digestive system works and how the bowel functions.
The digestive system works by pushing food through the intestines which usually takes between 24 to 72 hours. Muscular contractions squeeze (peristalsis) the food through the different sections of the intestine. These different sections are separated by bands of muscles, or sphincters, which act as valves. The passage of food from one area of the intestines to another is coordinated so that food stays in a specific area for long enough for the gut to do a particular job – absorb fluids and nutrients, or process and expel waste. Chronic constipation can increase the risk of faecal impaction (where dried, hard stools collect in your rectum and anus). Once you have faecal impaction, it is very unlikely that you will be able to get rid of the stools naturally. Faecal impaction worsens constipation because it makes it harder for stools and waste products to pass out of your anus as the path is obstructed. If you experience faecal impaction, it can lead to a number of other complications. These include: • swelling of the rectum • losing sensation in and around your anus
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• faecal incontinence, when you uncontrollably leak soft or liquid stools • bleeding from your anus • rectal prolapse, when part of your lower intestine falls out of place and protrudes from your anus Who does it affect? Chronic constipation can affect anybody, though studies have shown that women are more likely to suffer from it, particularly as they get older. Sufferers can be can be divided into two medical groups: Functional and Neurogenic. It should be easy to tell which group you fit into. Functional Functional constipation is diagnosed when a person is experiencing constipation symptoms, but no specific cause for the problem can be identified. All of the organs in your body are working, but there are still signs that something is wrong. Many people who suffer from functional constipation are embarrassed to visit their GP, or worried that there might be a more serious, life-threatening condition underlying it. This is very rarely the case. However, it’s always best to speak to your GP or healthcare provider who may want to make sure that there isn’t another problem causing your symptoms. Neurogenic Neurogenic constipation is common in people who already have an underlying condition, such as spina bifda, multiple sclerosis (MS) or spinal cord injury. Neurogenic bowel is a condition that affects the body’s process for storing and eliminating solid wastes from food. Because nerve endings in the rectum help to alert people of the need to pass a stool when it enters the rectum, a lack of nervous control prevents the bowel from functioning properly. In people with spina bifda, MS or spinal cord injury, this message from the nerve to the brain may become lost or incomplete. Control of the external anal sphincter may also be disrupted, increasing the risk of incontinence. Lifestyle advice Your GP will first advise you about how you can change your diet and lifestyle, which may mean that your constipation passes without the use of medication. Some ways you can help treat your constipation include: 82 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
• Increase your daily intake of fibre. You should eat at least 18-30g of fibre a day. High-fibre foods include fruit, vegetables and cereals.
bulk-forming laxatives, make sure you drink enough fluids. It will usually be two to three days before you feel the effect of the laxative.
• Add some bulking agents, such as wheat bran, to your diet. These will help make your stools softer and easier to pass.
Stimulant laxatives If your stools are soft but you still have difficulty passing them, you may be advised to use a stimulant laxative. This laxative stimulates the muscles that line your digestive tract, helping them to move stools and waste products along your large intestine to your anus.
• Increase your fluid intake. Drink at least 1.2 litres (six to eight glasses) of fluid a day • Get more exercise by going for a daily walk or run. • If your constipation is causing pain or discomfort, you may want to take a painkiller such as paracetamol. Make sure you always follow the dosage instructions carefully. Children under 16 years of age should not take aspirin. Avoid codeine based medicines as they cause constipation. • Identify a routine of a place and time of day when you are comfortably able to spend time in the toilet. Respond to your bowel’s natural pattern: when you feel the urge, do not delay. If these diet and lifestyle changes do not help, your GP or pharmacist may advise on an oral laxative. Laxatives Laxatives are a type of medicine that help you pass stools. There are several different types and each one has a different effect on your digestive system. Bulk-forming laxatives These laxatives work by helping your stools to retain fluid. This means they are less likely to dry out, which can lead to faecal impaction. Bulk-forming laxatives also make your stools denser and softer, which means they should be easier to pass. Commonly used bulk-forming laxatives include ispaghula husk, methylcellulose and sterculia. When taking this type of laxative, you must drink plenty of fluids. Also, do not take them before going to bed. It will usually be two to three days before you feel the effects of a bulk-forming laxative. Osmotic laxatives If your stools remain hard after you have taken a bulk-forming laxative, you may be advised to use an osmotic laxative instead. Osmotic laxatives increase the amount of fluid in your bowels. This helps to stimulate your body to pass stools and also softens stools. Commonly prescribed osmotic laxatives include lactulose and macrogols. As with
The most commonly used stimulant laxatives are senna, bisacodyl and sodium picosulphate. These laxatives are usually only used on a short-term basis, and they will usually start to work within 6 to 12 hours. According to your individual preference and the speed with which you require relief, you may be advised to combine different laxatives. Treating faecal impaction Faecal impaction occurs when stools become hard and dry and collect in your rectum. This obstructs the rectum, making it more difficult for stools to pass along. If you have faecal impaction, you will initially be treated with a high dose of the osmotic laxative macrogol. After a few days of using this laxative, you may also have to start taking a stimulant laxative. If you do not respond to these laxatives, you may need one of the medications described below. • Suppository: this type of medicine is inserted into your anus. The suppository gradually dissolves at body temperature and is then absorbed into your bloodstream. Bisacodyl and glycerol are two medicines that can be given in suppository form. • Mini enema: this is when a medicine in fluid form is injected through your anus and into your large bowel. Docusate and sodium citrate can be given in this way. How long will I take laxatives for? If you have only experienced constipation for a short time, your GP will normally advise you to stop taking the laxative once your stools are soft and easily passed. However, if you have constipation due to a medicine or an underlying medical condition, you may have to take laxatives for much longer, possibly many months or even years. If you have been taking laxatives for some time, you may have to gradually reduce your dose rather than coming off them straight
Health away. If you have been prescribed a combination of laxatives, you will normally have to reduce the dosage of each laxative, one at a time, before you can stop taking them. This can take several months. Your GP will advise you when it is best to stop taking them. Complications with constipation Constipation rarely causes any complications or long-term health problems. Treatment is usually effective, particularly if it is started promptly. However, if you have chronic (longterm) constipation, you may be more at risk of experiencing complications. Haemorrhoids If you continually strain to pass stools, it can cause pain, discomfort and bleeding. Excessive straining can also lead to haemorrhoids. More commonly known as piles, haemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels that form in the lower rectum and anus. Haemorrhoids can cause • itching around the anus • swelling of the anus • pain • bleeding from the anus
Preventing constipation Although constipation is common, you can take several steps to prevent it.
increase may make you feel bloated. You may also produce more wind (flatulence) and have stomach cramps.
Fibre Make sure you have enough fibre in your diet. Most adults do not eat enough fibre. You should have approximately 18g of fibre a day. You can increase your fibre intake by eating more:
Fluids Make sure that you drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. You should drink at least 1.2 litres (six to eight glasses) of fluids a day and more when you are exercising or when it is hot. Try to cut back on the amount of caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks that you have.
• • • • • • • •
fruit vegetables wholegrain rice wholewheat pasta wholemeal bread seeds nuts oats
Toilet habits Never ignore the urge to go to the toilet. Ignoring the urge can significantly increase your chances of having constipation. The best time for you to pass stools is first thing in the morning, or about 30 minutes after a meal.
Eating more fibre will keep your bowel movements regular because it helps food pass through your digestive system more easily. Foods high in fibre also make you feel fuller for longer. If you are increasing your fibre intake, it is important to increase it gradually. A sudden
Exercise Keeping mobile and active will greatly reduce your risk of getting constipation. Ideally, do at least 30 minutes of physical exercise every day.
Content provided by NHS Choices www.nhs.uk
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We are seeking to expand our team of Community Fundraisers in 2016. Would you like to join us?
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Gus Gannon, Boyle, Co Roscommon Michael Nicholson, Arklow, Co Wicklow Sheila Carr, Thurles, Co Tipperary Denis Sheehan, Sligo Mid-week break for two at Millrace Hotel, Bunclody Ellen Markie, Cork
We have an opportunity for someone in your area to help us raise funds by canvassing for donors (who are willing to support us through regular monthly donations) and also to get involved in a number of other community based fundraising activities. We are looking for a committed, energetic and enthusiastic person to support our essential work. If you feel this would interest you and you have about 20 hours or more per week to spare, then this could be an ideal opportunity. We offer commission and training and we are looking for the right person to join our team, in your area, for the long-term.
For further information, please contact Paul McCarthy on 086 036 7553, firstname.lastname@example.org
Be ‘tax sensible’ with your Estate.
Cathal Lawlor advises Regular readers of Senior Times will be familiar with previous articles highlighting the very significant tax problem that has arisen in circumstances where people leave money or assets to their children when they die. The problem has arisen for two reasons. Firstly, the amount a child can take tax free from a parent has been reduced by the Government from €540,000 to €280,000 since 2009. Secondly, the rate of tax has increased from 20% to 33% over the same timeframe, which represents a very significant 65% increase in the tax charge. Therefore where a child could inherit €540,000 without any tax liability in 2009, the same inheritance today would trigger a tax liability of €85,000. The effect is that an Estate with a reasonably modest Dublin property can trigger heavy tax liabilities. 84 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
So, what is Capital Acquisitions tax, and can it be managed.
Relationship between parties
Group Threshold (March 2016)
Capital Acquisitions Tax Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT, gift tax) is a tax on gifts or inheritances. In broad terms, a CAT liability will arise where either the person leaving the asset, or the person receiving the asset are living in Ireland. If neither live in Ireland a liability will still arise if the gift or inheritance comprises of Irish assets. Where a liability arises, the person who receives the gift or inheritance is liable to pay the tax.
B Parent/Brother/ Sister/Niece/ Nephew/Grandchild
C Relationship other than Group A or B
Lifetime Thresholds The present tax rate for CAT is 33% in respect of gifts or inheritance (March 2016). There is a lifetime threshold amount that an individual can be gifted or can inherit tax free. The level of the threshold is determined by the relationship between the person making the gift or inheritance and the person receiving the gift or inheritance. The tax free threshold amounts are presently as follows
For example, you and your spouse can gift €280,000 to a child free of gift tax. When determining if the life time tax free amount has been reached it is only gifts or inheritances that are taken from 5 December 1991 which are relevant. Therefore, if your adult child is likely to inherit assets worth more than €280,000, a tax liability is to be expected. A question arises around whether it may be
possible to reduce that liability. When politicians defend this onerous tax charge they do so by pointing out that there is a relief from CAT on the inheritance of a house, which reduces the possibility of someone being charged CAT. Therefore it is worth looking at this relief to see what it entails. Private residence exemption Tax legislation provides a relief from CAT for the transfer of a private residence, where the recipient has resided in that property for the previous three years, and the recipient did not have a beneficial entitlement to a property prior to the transfer. The value of the property is not taken into account when calculating the tax free threshold for future gifts or inheritances. Therefore a parent could gift a house to a child, without reducing the tax free amount that the child can be gifted or inherit in the future, provided the conditions of the relief are met. As with most tax exemption, there are rather precise conditions attaching to the reliefs that must be met, otherwise the relief will not be available. For example, this relief provides that in the child meeting the three year residence requirement, any period where both parent and child occupy the house at the same time as their main residence, cannot be taken into account by the child. To confuse it further, this restriction can be overcome if the parent is dependent on the child due to old age or infirmity. Also if the child is not living with the parent, but is living in their own property, they will not be entitled to the relief. But even if they moved in to care for their parent, and did so for three years, they still would not get the relief because they own a property already. While the obvious solution maybe to sell the property, this may not be feasible if in negative equity. So while Politicians may highlight that there are relief’s available, readers need to be very careful to make sure they get good advice to ensure that the relief applies in their case. Tax mitigation If a child is going to suffer a tax liability on assets they inherit, thought should be given to reducing the amount the child inherits, by leaving some of the assets to the child’s child, (grandchild) instead.
For example if an adult child was to inherit €370,000, CAT would arise on €90,000, giving rise to a liability of €30,000. However, if that child had three children, it would be sensible to leave each of those children €30,000 and reduce the adult child’s inheritance by the same amount. Those children are grandchildren of the person providing the inheritance, and they can take an inheritance under the Class B threshold. This means that they can take the full amount of €30,000 each tax free. The adult child’s inheritance will reduce by €90,000 saving €30,000 in CAT. Professional Will drafting can achieve that. Indeed a further €15,075 could be transferred to your child’s husband or wife, if appropriate. Small Gifts Exemption An individual can receive gifts of €3,000 per calendar year free of gift tax from any person. The gift is ignored for tax purposes and is not taken into account in reducing the threshold amount received. On the face of it, €3,000 does not sound like a lot, but when considered it more detail it can be useful. In the example above there are four individuals. They could each take €3,000 from a Grandparent, and if both Grandparents are alive, they could each receive €6,000 without any tax being charged. This means that grandparents could transfer €24,000 to a family of four without there being any tax liabilities. Moreover if they do it each year after only four years they will have transferred almost €100,000 without incurring tax. Self-Assessment The tax system operates on a self-assessed basis. This means that if you receive a gift or inheritance you are obliged to tell the Revenue about it. A person who receives a gift or inheritance is required to submit an inheritance tax return to Revenue when the value of the gift or the inheritance is 80% or more of the tax-free threshold. The return must be filed and the tax liability paid by the 31st October where the valuation date lies in the twelve months prior to the 31st August before the deadline. The Revenue Commissioners can apply surcharges and penalties where you don’t file a tax return or file it late.
Tax efficient wills It is good practice to review or re-draft your Will every few years, as your circumstances change. Also as tax law changes over time and asset values increase or decrease, then your current Will may not be as tax efficient as when initially drafted. You should consider subjecting your will to a tax test to establish the likely liabilities that will arise on foot of its provisions. This will put you in a position to consider whether there is any scope to reduce those exposures. All commercial decisions have a legal and tax consequence, and professional advice should be sought to ensure that you meet your legal obligations while simultaneously minimising your tax exposure. As Solicitors, Chartered Tax Advisers and Trust and Estate Practitioners, we have all the skills you need at Probate Professionals to provide specific tailored advice on all aspects of asset transfers to enable an individual structure such transfers in a tax efficient manner. Feel free to contact us for a confidential consultation. Disclaimer Please also be aware that all views expressed in this correspondence are based on interpretation of the current relevant tax law and practice (March 2016). This will change as the law is updated and prior advice should be obtained to ensure the reliefs mentioned are still available. This article is not intended, and should not be relied upon for specific tax advice, as the reliefs mentioned may not be applicable in a given circumstance. To that extent the Partners, Directors and employees of Probate Professionals will not be held liable for any loss occasioned by action taken, or not taken, on foot of the contents of this document.
Cathal Lawlor. B.Comm is a Chartered Tax Adviser AITI, TEP and can be contacted at 01 872 52 55 www.probateprofessionals.ie Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 85
Do you find it hard to smile when visiting the dentist? There are many dental clinics out there promising the perfect smile for less and indeed you could pay less and get that dazzling new look today, but how do you know if that smile will last you a lifetime or just a few months or years? This coupled with the fact that inexperienced dentists with little customer care and below par dental skills can create dental phobia, it’s not surprising many people find it hard chosing a dentist or investing in their dental health at all! A visit to the dentist needn’t be painful or cause feelings of fear or anxiety but unfortunately this is the case for many and has been caused, in part, by bad dentistry and the in out, give me your money, cattle like approach many dentists have adopted in order to increase their profits. Low quality materials and unethical dentists can put your health, and investment, at risk and it is now more important than ever to research the right dentist for you! Health Implications for Bad Dentistry You may think that the main problem for patients who have suffered at the hands of an unethical dentist is unsightly teeth but unfortunately there are much wider implications than feeling socially unacceptable due to bad dentistry. Poor dental health is linked to disease and premature death. A recent study of 100,000 people found that those who’d had their teeth cleaned by a dentist or hygienist twice or more over two years had a 24 per cent lower risk of heart disease and 13 per cent lower risk of a stroke. 86 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
The possible link is gum disease — the same bacteria found in the mouth have also been found in the hearts of people with coronary disease and these bacteria can also travel to the lungs. A study by the Yale School of Medicine found an increased rate of pneumonia among those with poor dental health. It has also even been linked to cancer — a study published by the journal BMJ discovered that people with a lot of dental plaque are more likely to die of cancer although the reason for this isn’t yet understood. Reasons to Smile with Bucharest British Dental Place Here at Bucharest British Dental Place we don’t just treat teeth, we treat people. We believe that when it comes to investing in dental health, every patient deserves their doctor’s undivided time and attention and that is why we only see 4 or 5 patients per day. By offering such a boutique service we are able to spend as much time as needed with each patient to really listen to their story, explain all the options available and tailor a treatment plan together
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“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional” Chili Davis
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The Laryngitis Game
By Noel King
Daddy was a bank manager, a small local branch, just Daddy and four uniformed girls in our little town, the kind that raiders in the mid-seventies hit for an easy rob. Whenever another bank robbery came on the news it terrified us, I‘d have nightmares and my young sister would wet the bed. The fear would pass after Daddy told us ‘they’ had been caught. We had a nice house, our own rooms, a big garden. Daddy was great for building landscapey things, ponds and rockerys and the like. Then Mammy would get bored with whatever the thing was, so Daddy would demolish it and build another, better one. Neutral tones and soft greys for After wecushions used to go to the thisschool sofa and from DFSbank car park to wait for Daddy. My older brother kept a key to the passenger door in his pencil case. We kept our boredom at bay imagining innocent passers-by as potential robbers and ‘shooting’ them from the slightly open – and of course ‘bullet proof’ – smoke windows of our parents Hunter car. Mammy worked in textiles, a local factory in Gorgonstown, with 659 employees. She travelled all over the world buying the raw materials, doing deals and trades in countries you’d normally only read about or see on TV. We were proud but hated her being away so often. We went wild when she was away, but as she neared home there was a routine in us: a production line of cleaning, polishing and tidying. She never arrived without bringing odd little presents from whatever country she’d been to. We often played ‘laryngitis game’ on Fridays, my brother, my little sister and me, but only if Mammy was away. We would take it in turns to get a ‘doss day’ off school. Daddy was soft; we could twist him. We loved Gorgonstown, had great fun making up stories of where it got its name for visiting cousins from England. Daddy chastised us for ‘ter88 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
rifying the shit out of them’. Daddy was a terror for cursing. Daddy even used his bad language in the bank. I went in one time with my savings book after school – just like any regular customer – and I heard the ‘f’ word from him to a customer at the counter. You didn’t normally see Daddy at the counter, he was much too important for that. The man was a rough, farmer type who must have had loads of money in the bank for Daddy to be out talking to him. Daddy saw me and winked. I put in 75p I’d earned from a ‘bob-a-job’ and the girl who served me recognized me, I heard her say to another girl: ‘Image of him, isn’t he!’ Mammy used to give Daddy a hard time about his double chin, telling him that there were exercises he could do to get rid of it. Sometimes his picture was in the paper after he – well, the bank in fact – had sponsored a sports day or some such, and he was taken presenting the prizes. Mammy kept a scrapbook of Daddy in the newspapers. Anyway, as I’ve said we always managed to fool him with our laryngitis game. ‘Christ, ye would get it now just when ye’re mother is gone away,’ he would say. Like any child we each loved having the house to ourselves. One of us could get away with it of course, but all three of us! There was one such day. ‘Ah come on now, come on,’ Daddy’d said, ‘Jesus, how could ye all get it so fast.’ We laughed at that years later but on the day itself there was anger among us over the breakfast table, the stupidity of it, I mean we could’ve decided beforehand, flipped a coin even. Daddy’s warnings about being at home alone were always in our heads: to be careful cooking, to answer the phone but not the door unless we knew who was there. There were several phone calls from him during the day and always just after three o’clock when the bank closed. Once Mammy had to go on business to America and she took in her
holidays first and we all went. She was with us for the first week, and the second week Daddy took us to Disneyland. That was great fun but it wasn’t like we were a family there without Mammy. We enjoyed it though, knowing the money they’d spent, still have the photos shared out among the three of us. We had Disneyland without Mammy and the next year we had life without Daddy for good. He left us for a girl in the bank. He told us with Mammy , silent and trembling, by his side one Sunday after lunch. He was gone before nightfall. My image is him and Mammy holding hands while telling us. I never saw the unlocking. My father got a transfer to the city. He’d been a devious bastard, worked out his own and the girl’s transfers before even telling Mammy. I couldn’t hold money any more; went into the bank one last time and drew out my all: £86.40 including interest. I kept my head down, mumbled what I wanted, never said ‘thank you’. I didn’t want to know which one of the girls he had gone with – they were nameless things in uniforms anyway. I bought my first packet of cigarettes from the money. Up to then I was an O.P. smoker – other peoples, other pupils in fact, at my school, you know what I mean. That day I could offer around. The packet was gone before I knew it. I bought another. Daddy stopped being Daddy, we referred to him by his Christian name, Spenser. Mammy stayed home, sought less responsibility in the textile company, got a behind-a-desk job with no travelling connected to it. She changed; became a dull Mammy, no more nice presents from far off places, no reunions. It was different, difficult even – although I hate to admit that – having her home all the time. We stayed on in our little town although attitudes to us changed. I wished for Mammy to move us on, go to another town, we could tell kids in
schools there that our father was dead or something. But Mammy’s company was in Gorgonstown and in Gorgonstown we stayed. We never got another Friday off for our laryngitis game either. Mammy wasn’t foolable. The new bank manager was a surly, hot-shit kind of fellow, and it was him that came to our school to present our sports prizes. Even though I’d won a third place in Track & Field, I mitched from school the day of the prize-giving. I went to the river where Daddy used to take us fishing, but I didn’t fish, just hung around for a few hours and smoked; even amused my mind considering a hoax bomb scare call to the local bank. My father had left in January and it was the Easter holidays before we saw him next. Mammy sent us to his new nest. He’d done as Mammy had pestered and had worked off the double chin. He was wearing a hair wig too, which looked ridiculous. My brother passed a direct remark on the wig to him. It might have hurt him, I don’t know. But he had hurt us, hadn’t he? So I started too, being sullen and difficult. She was away. Our father spoke about her a lot, had a ‘don’t you see how good this is for me’ attitude about him; blaze; fickle. The smell of her was in the place. I sneaked into their bedroom and slit their duvet down the middle. My brother spilled yoghurt all over her couch, and put whiskey in her budgie’s water tank. My sister started to cry on the bus home, said that it was bad – the things we’d done, that it was our father’s house too. I lent my sister my Walkman but she didn’t like Wings or Led Zeppelin, wanted to listen to Abba, but I had no Abba, they weren’t cool any more. She cried more. I whispered to my brother my fear of our father, Spenser, making the girl pregnant, the stigma of a step-bastard? He shut me up, for our sister’s sake. It was tough on Mammy when we got home that day. She collected us
Technology (whether some of us like it or not!) is all around us. The field of orthopaedics is no exception. Over the last number of years, methods of fixing fractures and dealing with joint problems have changed dramatically. Specifically, with regard to knee replacements, recent advances include the use of computer navigation to increase the accuracy that surgeons can perform the procedure. The technology doesn’t actually perform the procedure and the same knee replacement is inserted, it just provides the operator with a lot more information so that they can adjust accordingly. Computer navigation uses special markers placed in the bone for example to tell the surgeon that a particular cut is 2 degrees off – almost akin to a spirit level! A knee replacement essentially involves a number of cuts to the end of the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia) onto which the new knee will be inserted. The precise angle of these cuts then determines how the leg will look and feel.
Technology in orthopaedics The surgeon’s task is to achieve a straight leg that is well balanced. Balance refers to the stability of the knee and is determined by the ligaments surrounding the joint. Many people have a belief that knee replacements do not function or last as well as hip replacements. These is little doubt that recovery after a knee replacement involves more rehabilitation than after a hip replacement. However, when we look at joint registries that assess the outcome of all replacements performed over the years, knee replacements last just as well as hip replacements. The UK registry for example (unfortunately the Irish National Joint registry is currently just being set up), tells us that 96% of knee replacements are still lasting after 10 years – exactly the same as the figure for hip replacements. Hopefully we can expect them to continue to last a lot longer
– 15 even 20 years. We are also performing more partial knee replacements that replace only the worn section of the joint. Whilst the main aim of any joint replacement is to treat pain, the function of the joint afterwards and ability of patients to get back doing the activities that they want to participate in is also of paramount importance. For the moment, hip and knee replacements can’t be performed by your mobile phone but no doubt with a few more updates... Mr Gavin McHugh is an orthopaedic surgeon based in the Sports Surgery Clinic in Northwood Avenue, Santry Demesne, Dublin 9. He has a specialist interest in hip and knee problems. , Tel: (01) 5262367. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 89
from the station in the Hunter car that we’d thought was so cool when Daddy bought it, but it had dated quickly. We were all silent. Eventually she asked if ‘Daddy was well’? About a weekend or two later a handyman went into our attic to fix a leak. While he was down having tea with Mammy, my brother went up. Although I was terrified of heights, he dared me to follow. There was lots of junk up there, or so it seemed. In a chest-like box were old photographs, ticket stubs for classical music recitals, weird looking clothes, a receipt for accommodation in a seaside B&B, a racecard from Punchestown twenty years earlier. Mammy raged at us. Her voice broke up and she started to cry. We had exposed her relics of her time with Spenser before us.
Win an overnight stay for two at Ghan House in Carlingford.
There was one other holiday: in a caravan in Kerry that same summer. Spenser came for a weekend, slept alone in a tent outside. I refused to talk directly to him. He played with my sister a lot, and the brother warmed a bit too I think. Mammy went for long – very long – walks on the beach, and spent time painting – a hobby she had just taken up – on the sand hills. We never saw the work. It went straight into the attic when we got home. I played a game of tennis with Spenser, but it was silent tennis, I stayed stone-faced, concentrated, wanting to win; but he did. There were subtle moves by all us children to patch things, get Daddy back, but by Sunday evening he was gone. Spenser sent pocket money ’til each of us turned seventeen. I spent all mine on cassettes and cigarettes. Mammy got money from him for us too. I took less and less interest in school, and left early to get a trade in the buildings, specialising in carpentery. She wanted me to visit him again then. I refused. I still knew nothing of Spenser’s woman, except her Christian name as mentioned by my sister who had become close to them. My brother went the odd time too, but I hated hearing any details. My brother went to college, financed by Spenser, and when my sister finished school she studied languages and worked for a while as an au-pair. Now she is in a bank, but not the same one as Spenser retired from. He had two other daughters. My sister sees them as sisters, even baby-sat when they were younger. Me, I’m doing well with my carpentery, though things are tougher than they were a few years ago. I live with my girlfriend and we have a baby too. I’m doing well. I haven’t seen Spenser since I was eighteen, at my grandmother’s – his mother’s – funeral. Mammy started playing Bridge and met a nice man there. She lives with him now in the same house in Gorgonstown. We are all happy for her, he’s a man with heart, goes fishing and has taught her to fish too. They’ve made their bed in my old room. We sleep in my sister’s old room now when we visit. What was Mammy’s and Daddy’s room is a nothing room now, full of junk. Spenser got cancer of the throat a few years ago. He had this attachment thing fitted to enable him to speak. Now he’s dead. The funeral is today. I seek my first sight of his partner. She doesn’t resemble any of the girls in the old bank. I suppose I expected a blue uniformed ageless witch. Her smile at me sickens me. I think I’m making her nervous, am trying hard not to laugh. I hand my daughter to my girlfriend, pray the baby won’t throw a tantrum. I look at my father in the box and feel a slight guilt for playing the laryngitis game on him, on Fridays, all those years ago. Noel King was born and lives in Tralee, Co Kerry. In this his 50th year, he has reached his 1000th publication of a poem, haiku or short story in magazines and journals in thirty-eight countries. His poetry collections are published by Salmon: Prophesying the Past, (2010), The Stern Wave (2013) and Sons (2015). He has edited more than fifty books of work by others and was poetry editor of Revival Literary Journal (Limerick Writers’ Centre) in 2012/13. A short story collection, The Key Signature & Other Stories will be published in 2016. 90 Senior Times l May - June 2016 2016l lwww.seniortimes.ie www.seniortimes.ie
Tel:- 042-9373682 www.ghanhouse.com Ghan House is a gourmet paradise located halfway between Belfast and Dublin in the historic town of Carlingford, Co. Louth. Built in 1727, the house is steeped in character and history, and full of luxury and comfort. It is one of my favourite hotels in all of Ireland and this family run house is unique among Irish hospitality gems. Open log fires, the aroma of home cooking, antiques and family portraits, four poster beds and gourmet candle-lit dinner with fine wines - this intimate country house hotel is so charming and loved by its regular visitors that it does not need to advertise! The prize consists of an overnight midweek stay including breakfast for two people with a €10 voucher towards dinner. To win this break just answer the following question:-
In what year was Ghan House built? Email answers to email@example.com Or by post to: Hotel Reviews Ireland Competition The Old Schoolhouse, Blackwater Killarney, Co. Kerry. Deadline for receipt of entries is 22nd June 2016 First correct entry drawn is the winner
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SeniorTimes magazine is packed full of informative articles covering health, finance, retirement advice, hobbies and pastimes, interviews with senior personalities, competitions and much, much more! For just €36 you can have 8 issues of SeniorTimes delivered to your door. Last months 96 page issue can be viewed by going to www.seniortimes.ie You can subscribe by: • Phoning us on 01 496 9028 during office hours • Paying via PayPal on the Subscribe Page of the SeniorTimes website • Or by filing out the form below and posting to the address at the bottom I would like to subscribe to SeniorTimes magazine for €36 for eight issues including postage Name ___________________________________ Address _____________________________________ ______________________________________________________ Tel: __________________________ Please debit my Credit/Debit Card: Card Number _____________________________________________ Expiry ___________________________________ Signature ____________________________________ SeniorTimes magazine is published by S&L Promotions Ltd Unit 1 , 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6 • Tel: 01 496 9028 • Email firstname.lastname@example.org Senior Times lMay - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
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SINGLE TIPPERARY LADY, never married, no ties, well-travelled, own home, GSOH, loves theatre, music, sports, walking, WLTM refined, caring gent 65-75, single or widower. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER F10
SINGLE SOUTH DUB GENT, MID 60s, interested in travel, reading, eating out, outdoor life. NS, SD, WLTM friendly lady, mid-50s to mid-60s for companionship and perhaps more. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T1
CORK LADY MID-60s, sincere and good sense of humour. Enjoys dancing, animals and good conversation and people with a good sense of humour. WLTM sincere single or widower teetotaller gent with a good sense of humour. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER G1
DUBLIN LADY, MID-60s, WLTM Dublin-based professional gentleman, 60s to 70s. Love Island hopping in the summer and have lots of interests such as travel, reading and dining out. ALA. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T2
EDUCATED, ATTRACTIVE SOUTH EAST MAN, 66, divorced, no family and no ties WLTM sincere lady 50-75 for mature relationship. Very honest, genuine, respectable, kind and caring. Enjoy walking, reading, current affairs, travel, good conversation, theatre, sport, keeping fit and active. 6ft in height, NS, SD with GSOH. All genuine replies welcome. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER A8
RESPECTFUL DUBLIN MAN, 60s, never married. Interests include walking, travel, art, etc. Good humoured. WLTM single lady who has never been married for friendship and possible relationship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T3
SOUTH EAST FEMALE (60) with an outgoing, positive personality, WLTM genuine gent for friendship and possible relationship. NS, SD with many interests, including walking, travel, dining out and bridge. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER A9
ATTRACTIVE LIMERICK LADY, unattached, semi-retired business woman, interests include cooking, travel, dining out, walking and dancing. Seeks gentleman with similar interests and outlook. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T4
KERRY/LIMERICK BASED LADY, 60s, returned emigrant would like to hear from similar males and females for friendship, travel, socialising. NS. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER A10
KERRY LADY EARLY 60s, NS, occasional drinker, would like to correspond with honest, caring and respectable person for friendship and companionship. Many interests, including reading, walking, gardening, wildlife, cinema, current affairs etc. Told I am a good humoured and caring person. All genuine replies welcome. Discretion assured and expected. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER G2 DONEGAL WIDOWER, LATE 50s, WLTM woman, 50-65, from North West for friendship and perhaps more. Wide range of interests. SD. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER P1 KERRY LADY EARLY 60s, fit, sincere, outgoing, loves nature, travelling, dancing and fishing. WLTM sincere man for friendship and companionship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER P2 ROMANTIC DUBLIN GENTLEMAN, 60s, civilised, open, tall, no children, GSOH, positive, loyal, dependable. WLTM cheerful widow to share this wonderful world, in friendship, perhaps romance, perhaps committed relationship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER P3 DUBLIN BASED LADY, 50s, originally from country, interested in weekends away, cinema, reading, dining out, gardening, outdoor life, music. WLTM man for friendship and possible relationship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER P4 REFINED, EDUCATED DUBLIN MAN, EARLY 60s, WLTM sincere female from anywhere in Ireland for friendship and maybe more. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER P5 GALWAY LAD, EARLY 50s, NS, SD, enjoys nights out, keep fit, healthy eating and much more. WLTM male 50-60 for a relationship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER P6
MIDLANDS MAN, LATE 50s, retired civil servant, well-travelled. Interests include gardening, fishing, walking, cycling, amateur drama and independent travelling. WLTM a genuine, interesting lady, who enjoys life, for friendship and travelling REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T5 SOUTH CO DUBLIN LADY, MID 60s, seeks friends who enjoy travel, opera, classical and popular music, literature and theatre. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T6 LOVE OF LIFE SOUTH DUBLIN GENT, seeks lady mid-50s who loves life but missing a friend or companion/soulmate to share those special moments. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T7 DUBLIN GENT, 67, NEVER MARRIED, cheerful, cultured, unpretentious, presentable, respectful. Too many interests to mention. Seeks positive lady to share the joy of life, the joy of living and the joy of laughter. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T8 NORTH CORK MAN, LATE 50s, single, shy lonely. Interests in many things. WLTM down to earth non-professional lady with no family or ties for shared mutual pleasure. Age or size unimportant. Ideally living in North Cork area. Discretion assured. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER T9
CORK LADY 50ish looking for a male pen friend. Love baking, cycling, swimming, beaches, fresh air, comedy, nature and day trips, travelling. WLTM man of around 50, single, NS. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER P7
DUBLIN WIDOW NS, 70s, kind, educated (‘I’m told I’m attractive), seeks honest, caring widower for friendship, companionship for the Golden Days! Varied interests: outdoors, current affairs, reading, cinema/theatre, quizzes, travel, and game for a laugh. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER A1
LIMERICK LADY MID 60s, unattached, runs own business, young in outlook, caring, sincere, and
DIVORCED CORK LADY WLTM gent 65-75 for companionship. Interests include archaeology,
TIPP LADY WLTM LADIES aged 60-75 from Limerick, Clare Tipperary area for outings and days out and for a having a chat. Interested in crafts, reading, and arts. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER A7
TO PLACE AN ADVERTISEMENT If you are interested in meeting someone of the opposite or same sex, send your advertisement, with four stamps (which is the average reply rate) enclosed in the envelope, to: Meeting Place, Senior Times, Unit 1, 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Or email: email@example.com IMPORTANT Ensure you give your approximate age and the area you live, noting your interests. The advertisement should not be more than 60 words. If you are replying to the advertisement via Senior Time’s email, ensure you include your postal address for those not on the Net. (Only Senior Times will have these details). Deadline for receipt of advertisements for the next issue is June 25th 2016 TO REPLY TO AN ADVERTISEMENT Each reply to an advertisement should be enclosed in a plain, stamped envelope, with the box number marked in pencil so that it can be erased before being forwarded to the advertiser. Send these envelopes in a covering envelope to the address above so that we can forward them to the advertiser. There is no limit to the amount of advertisements to which you can reply, provided each one is contained in a plain, stamped envelope. Ensure you give your approximate age and the area you live. For those submitting their advertisements by email ensure that you also supply Senior Times with your postal address so that we can post replies from those who have replied by post. (Only Senior Times will have your postal address).
Crossword Crossword Number 76 by Zoë Devlin
ACROSS 1 5 8 12 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 27 29 30 36 38 40 43 45 46 47 48 50 51 52 54 56 60 61 63 65 67 69 72 74 75 76 77 79 80 83 85 87 93 95 96 97 99 101 102 103 104 106 107 108 109
& 92 Down. Renowned gardens in Bantry Bay (7,6) This is the banner county (5) & 27 Across. Early Christian church on Dingle peninsula (8,7) Fortified defensive structure (4) Hungarian composer, Franz ___ (5) Any warm-blooded vertebrate (6) White undyed knitting wool (6) Balkan republic, gained independence in 1991 (7) One of the lower digits (3) Cain had this very able brother! (4) Continuing forever (7) Yann Martel’s hero in ‘Life of ___‘ (2) Salman ___, write who sure hid after a fatwa! (7) See 8 Across Layered pastry, usually filled with apple (7) Degeneracy, moral decline, self-indulgence (9) Detestable, like the ___ snowman? (10) Seat of kings until 6th century, Hill of ___ (4) Puppeteer, ___ Lambert or playwright ___ O’Neill (6) Film about a piglet (4) Islands, triangle or type of shorts? (7) Historic period or era (3) Daughter of Agamemnon in Greek mythology (7) Light reflector in centre of the road (4-3) In Roman numerals, this is seven (3) Melody or strain (4) Writer such as John Banville or Jennifer Johnston (8) Female goat (5) Relating to or formed from words (6) Marquis __ ___, French soldier & writer (2,4) Piquant, zesty, agreeably pungent (5) Humorous verse from Munster in 5 lines (8) Black substance found in chimneys (4) Social insect (3) Lying or situated away from the west (7) Refrain from eating or voting (7) Female sheep (3) Relating to Semitic people in Middle East (7) River & two loughs, mainly in Ulster (4) Hostile meeting of opposing forces (6) Hard edible fat around the kidneys (4) Collection of songs or plays performed regularly (10) Contest where baton is passed to next runner (5-4) Inundated, afloat, awash (7) Port city in S Wales (7) Type of lettuce - from a polar glacier? (7) Wexford is on this compass point (1.1) Row of houses with common dividing walls (7) Champions, hotshots, superstars (4) Range or cooker found in Niagara & Madagascar? (3) Retrain on this specific piece of ground (7) Renowned sailor of Arabian Nights (6) Legal, rightful or legitimate (6) Large artery that carries blood (5) And 14 Down. Kerry’s annual festival, the ___ of ___(4,6) Eamon __ ___, U.S. born Irish statesman (2,6) Excessively fat (5) SE Leinster town founded by Vikings (7)
94 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
DOWN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 14 15 25 26 28 31 32 33 34 35 37 39 41 42 44 48 49 53 55 57 58 59 61 62 63 64 66 68 70 71 73 75 78 81 82 84 86 88 89 90 91 92 94 98 100 105
City of the Tribes (6) Laurie Lee wrote of ‘Cider with ___‘ (5) Smidgeon, scintilla or shred (4) Small rodent, often kept as a pet (7) Equipment for taking photographs (6) Menu with separate prices for each item (1,2,5) For example ... (1.1.) Hard igneous rock for an ingrate? (7) Pierced or cut open (6) There’s many a trainee on this UK racecourse (7) Could a nicer aunt make one unsure? (9) Revealed something about a person (5) See 106 Across. P.G.Wodehouse wrote so about Bertie ___ (7) Partly ruined 12 Across in Co Kerry (7) We’d our debut spa in this Hungarian capital (8) River, boundary between US and Mexico (3,6) Hunger, thirst or lust for (5) The Scottish play by Shakespeare (7) Used when asking for something politely (6) Vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment (4) O’Toole, Lorre, Sellers or Mandelson (5) Movie star found in Cavan, Java or Havana? (3) Taoiseach from ‘97-2008, Bertie ___ (5) Sauce to accompany roasts (5) ___ Peron, second wife of Argentine president (3) Zodiac sign from 21 May to 20 June (6) Befitting citizens as individuals (5) It’s off Donegal - not for Whigs! (4) Large body of water (5) Quantity, figure or musical routine (6) Original inhabitant of Australia (9) Ivy League university or type of lock (4) Kubrick, Holloway or explorer of Africa (7) Begin or commence (5) William Butler ___, poet & dramatist (5) A clean lot at King Arthur’s Round Table (8) Joint of marijuana or short coat (6) Insurgent or freedom fighter (5) Cocktail made with gin & dry vermouth (7) Irish poet & playwright, John Millington ___ (5) Steal or rip off (3) City in NE Egypt at end of Canal (4) Beer made with yeast (3) Overbearing pride or condescension (9) Do this while the sun shines! (4,3) Song played outside a woman’s house (8) Card game using 2 decks & 4 jokers (7) Milanese opera house (2,5) Leinster county, town and range of hills (7) English playwright, Harold ___ (6) Famine ship replica ___ Johnston (6) Cold dessert with cake, jelly, custard & cream (6) See 1 Across Took place in 1607, the flight of the ___ (5) Goods carried by a large vehicle (5) Ancient Gaelic formerly spoken on Isle of Man (4) OK, it’s a knockout (1.1)
THREE COPIES OF THE BEST SELLER CHILDREN OF THE RISING TO BE WON! Senior Times, in association with publishers, Hachette Books Ireland, are offering three copies of Joe Duffy’s best-selling book Children of the Rising as the prizes in this issue’s crossword competition. The first three correct entries drawn are the winners. Name: ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Address: ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Phone: ................................................................................................................................................................................................ Email:......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Send your entries to: Crossword Competition, Senior Times, Unit 1, 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. The first three correct entries drawn are the winners. Deadline for receipt of entries is June 20th 2016. Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie 95
Connie McEvoy on when a stone is more than a stone
Front view- and reverse view- both views are pretty.
Nature as the artist According to my diary Sunday February 16th was a cold dry day, after dinner my son Jerome offered to take me on a drive to the strand in order to inspect the damage that was caused by weeks of gales, rain and high tides during the month of January. During those weeks I was petrified on a daily basis when it was necessary to work at my kitchen sink unable to avoid the sight of the Irish Sea forcing angry gigantic waves towards the land, after dark it was worse as the relentless roar of the waves meant that it was impossible to get to sleep. While attending a family gathering two weeks earlier it was mentioned in passing by regular strand walkers that there was neither sand, stones or shells on the strand as it had been washed bare by the high tides. Approaching the strand utter bareness was quite obvious, in fact it appeared to resemble a rather wide mud path stretching as far as the eye could see to the right in the direction of Drogheda and to the left to Clogherhead. Apprehension was taking a fair grip as we drove passed the first two burrows where slight erosion was evident in spite of the fact that both owners had made attempts to secure them in the past, before reaching the Mc Evoy family burrows. 96 Senior Times l May - June 2016 l www.seniortimes.ie
During my 54 year domicile here I have witnessed the paling/fence being taken back into the burrows by two feet on two occasions and my late husband remembered it being done on four occasions during his lifetime due to costal erosion which resulted each time in diminishing land acreage. Contractors were engaged to do the needful during the early eighties, but there were indications in the early nineties that protection of our burrows would be necessary in order to avoid further loss of land in the near future. As it happened Scarlet Street in Drogheda needed to be resurfaced then by replacing concrete slabs with tarmac, so my husband Mickey Mc Evoy decided and hoped that one community’s unwanted rubble could be another community’s environmental solution! All arrangements were agreed by Louth Co Council and the slabs were deposited and positioned along the front of our burrows (at a cost of £300) where in time high tides and wind deposited sand which in turn produced a prolific growth of bennet. Although some unprotected burrows suffered severe erosion last January I am delighted to report that Scarlet Street bravely defended our land and dispelled all apprehension. Slowly sand, stones, bennet, shells and driftwood arrived back on the strand, in fact
by Easter apart from the eroded areas it was back to normal. Having noticed some pretty stones during a walk I took them home to use as interesting paper-weights or ornaments in their natural state. Of all the stones that I have accidently found my favourite is oval shaped and was spotted in my son Patrick’s garden next door as he was showing me his newest flower-bed during the Autumn of 2010. One side is flat with a perfect initial C which prompted me to write the letters “onnie” (in the obvious space that was provided naturally) using Adel drawing pencil 2200 2H. The reverse is slightly raised with lots of oval outlines in various shades of greys and ivory. This stone would be beautiful as a pendant or a brooch but I have decided that it may be more appropriately displayed set in one of the pieces of driftwood found on the strand complete with matching oval shaped lines running through it, it can now be used either as a paperweight or as an ornament since my son Jerome obliged by fitting it securely into the natural space afforded in the driftwood. Lapidary was a childhood fascination long forgotten but since so many interesting stones have been discovered in recent years a renewed interest beckons not to mention the interesting pieces of driftwood that were plucked from the sand since Easter, all having great potential for crafters.
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