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Issue 65 September2013 €3.95 (£3.20)

or people who don’ ’t act their the eir age The magazine ffor don’t

Walk your way to health Five decades of indulgence 50 years of the Rolling Stones Brussells on a budget Jane Shackleton – exploring with a camera

News Review l Creative Writing l Travel l Health Wine and Food l Profiles l Competitions and much more!







Julianne Moore

September 2013

Contents 10




News review: 2 Walking your way to health: 10 There are countless good reasons to walk Ireland’s mountains. Here are some of the best. Conor O’Hagan explains Stone mad – five decades of indulgence: 14 The Rolling Stones celebrate 50 years together this year. Aubrey Malone traces their highs and lows La Rioja: a Spanish treasure: 22 Paul Gorry visits a region filled with diverse attractions E-health: how technology is transforming health care: 30 Commissioner Neelie Kroes on the European Commission’s e-health action plan In search of Narnia: 34 Lorna Hogg follows the trail of C S Lewis in Northern Ireland, including a visit to Carlingford which became the inspiration for the Narnia tales. Creative writing: 38 Jane Shackleton: exploring with a camera The attractions of Belfast: 46 Focus on Cork: 48 Brussells on a budget: 52 In the latest of her features on the Low Countries, Lorna Hogg visits Brussells From the kitchen at Ard Bia: 55 Recipes from Ard Bia Cookbook by Aoibheann MacNamara Wine world: 58 The resurgence of Romanian wines Cosmetics: 60 Supporting Irish products 63 Northern Notes: A round up of events in Northern Ireland What’s on in the arts: 69 Happenings in the arts around the country in September and October 72 Asthma need not take your breath away: Anne Kearney explains the symptoms of the condition and how it can be treated Hitting the right notes: 75 The Conrad hotel restaurant delivers Know your rights: 78 Advice from the Citizens Information Service 82 Poetry corner: Recent works by Noel Hill 83 Meeting place: 85 Crossword: 87 Crafts: Connie McEvoy makes a fascinator in a hurry

Publishing Directors: Brian McCabe, Des Duggan Editorial Director: John Low Consultant Editor: Jim Collier Design: Contributors: Lorna Hogg, Dermot Gilleece, Maretta Dillon, Jim Collier, Mairead Robinson, Eileen Casey, Debbie Orme, Connie McEvoy

Published by S& L Promotions Ltd., Unit 1, 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6 Tel: +353 (01) 4969028. Fax: +353 (01) 4068229 Editorial: Advertising: Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

News... Boots Ireland launches new over 60’s offer

‘Government must protect vulnerable customers against Bord Gais price hike’ Age Action has warned that if the Commission for Energy Regulation grants the 7.22% price hike being sought by Bord Gais for its domestic customers it will cause further hardship for many older people this winter.

Celia Holman Lee launches the new Boots over 60s offer

People in Munster over the age of 60 have the best attitude towards ageing according to new research announced today by Boots Ireland. 66% of those living in Munster felt positive about their physical and mental health, their fitness, their appearance and their outlook for the future. Within the Republic of Ireland, Ulster also felt very positive about how they were ageing (63%), followed by Leinster (61%) and Connacht (54%). The research, commissioned by Boots Ireland, comes as the retailer today launches its new enhanced offer for customers over the age of 60. Customers can now receive 10 Boots Advantage Card points for every €1 spent on Boots branded products, which can then be redeemed on Boots and non Boots branded products across the store. To sign up to More Treats for Over 60s, visit any Boots Ireland store or log on to Speaking at the launch of Boots More Treats for Over 60s, Celia Holman Lee said, “I have always encouraged people to embrace ageing. Getting older shouldn’t stop you from feeling good both mentally and physically. It is great to see from the research that over 60s already have a positive attitude towards ageing. This new loyalty offer from Boots Ireland means that we can spoil ourselves with cosmetics, skincare or pampering products from No7, and pick up the key health items we need from Boots Pharmaceuticals, earning even more points than before Page 2 Senior Times September 2013

on our Boots Advantage Card.” The Boots research also examined how older people in Ireland viewed themselves and others. 85% of people over 60 said that they still considered themselves to be young and over half did not consider another person to be ‘old’ until they were aged 80 years or older. Over a quarter of respondents said they ‘never’ considered other people to be ‘old.’ Debbie Smith, Managing Director, Boots Ireland, said “We are delighted to be able to reward our Irish Advantage Card customers who are aged over 60. We know that over 60s are active, savvy shoppers who are keen to seek out great value. Most of these customers are living life to the full and want to continue to feel and look their best – the scheme allows customers to accumulate Boots Advantage Card points across beauty and healthcare then come in and treat themselves on things like cosmetics, skincare or pampering products.” The research also revealed that over eight in ten people over 60 said that their generation was proactive in managing their health. Connacht and Ulster were most positive, with nine in ten people saying that they thought their generation was proactively managing their health, followed by Leinster and Munster, where eight in ten older people felt the same way. For more information and to join Boots More Treats for Over 60s, see or visit your local Boots store.

“Some older people are still paying off large fuel bills which were run up during the cold Spring,” Age Action spokesman Eamon Timmins said. “If gas prices rise by a further 7.22% it will leave an increased number of older people having to choose between food and fuel in the coming months.” The older people’s charity believes the Government must act if the price increase is granted.  “The Government must live up to its commitment to protect the most vulnerable by reversing the fuel support cuts introduced in recent Budgets and ensuring that every older person can afford to heat their home to a safe level,” he said. Ireland has an excess winter death rate of between 1,500 and 2,000 deaths. Many of these are older people who are dying from cold-related illnesses.  The high cost of energy is one of the factors contributing to these deaths. In its pre-Budget submission, the older people’s charity highlighted the impact which the cumulative effect of successive austerity budgets were having on older people.  “While the State Pension has not increased since 2008, in the intervening period the price of gas has risen by 25.9%,” Mr Timmins said. “Now Bord Gais are seeking further increases.” Age Action’s pre-Budget submission can be read at


Scandal of elder abuse highlighted in HSE report According to the Health Service Executive almost 2,500 complaints of elder abuse were made to the health services last year, writes Jim Collier. |This was an increase of 7% since 2011. Excluding referrals of self-neglect, there were 1,923 referrals to the HSE last year. Psychological abuse was the most common type of abuse reported at 36%, followed by financial abuse at 25%, neglect at 19% and physical abuse at 13%. Two thirds of the alleged victims were female and there was a higher referral rate among the over 80 years age group compared to those aged between 65 and 79 . Most alleged abuse was perpetrated by a family member. Commenting on the report, Minister of State with responsibility for Older People Kathleen Lynch said: "It's disturbing that a small number of older people should suffer abuse in this country, and urged anyone who is concerned about abuse to seek help and support from the HSE which has a dedicated service in place for older people experiencing abuse. “I would like to acknowledge our partners in the community, voluntary and business sectors

Nursing home care ‘crisis’ looming A ‘major crisis’ is looming in the provision of nursing home care for older persons, according to Nursing Homes Ireland. NHI reports that more than 2,000 persons will be waiting support for a nursing home place by year end. The waiting time for funding approval for a nursing home place under the Fair Deal scheme is set to rise to an enormous 17 weeks (over four months).

who are continuing to work closely with the HSE to respond to elder abuse and who are committed to meeting the challenges ahead."Specialist in Older Person Services at the HSE, Pascal Moynihan, has said that criminal charges do arise out of complaints of physical and sexual abuse of elderly people. This is a very interesting point that Mr Moynihan has made, and it is also one that I have made continually over the last 10 years at seminars, and workshops, regarding elder abuse when I have been advocating that an educational campaign be undertaken for the general public to make them aware of the elements that constitute ‘elder abuse’. To date almost all awareness programs have been geared to the nursing and caring institutions where there is a perception that most of the elder abuse occurs, not so! As reported, most elder abuse is caused by family members, and can be in the areas of intimidation, bullying, and deprivation . Those being abused are too embarrassed to tell anyone about it. There is a lot of money being spent on prevention of elder abuse that is not targeting  the family abusers. A public awareness is needed urgently.

Department of Health to face up to reality. Our long-standing and consistent call for the establishment of a Department of Health led Forum on long term residential care can no longer be disregarded. A crisis of significant magnitude is impending’.

‘Never too late’ to get travel jabs

Page 4 Senior Times September 2013

The Tropical Medical Bureau now have 22 clinics throughout Ireland and offer the full range of vaccinations needed for any destination. They also offer a consultation service where you will be advised of which vaccinations you will need for wherever you plan to travel and the risks you may face. The TMB also offer a post-holiday screening service if you are unwell upon your return home, as well as a 24-hour hotline for existing customers.

Despite serious concerns expressed by Minister for Older People Kathleen Lynch in respect of its propriety and legality, the Department of Health is still considering using Fair Deal to prioritise older persons within the acute hospital sector above those within community settings. Tadhg Daly, CEO of Nursing Homes Ireland stated: “We now have a very serious crisis because the State is neglecting its responsibility to ensure older persons are provided with the necessary and required support to allow them avail of the specialist care provided by nursing homes. We are faced with a bill of €1.7 billion to maintain the State’s current level of public sector nursing home provision at 20% while the private and voluntary nursing home sector continues to demand an appropriate framework that will allow it meet increasing demand for the specialist healthcare they provide. ‘We are effectively in limbo and older persons are consequently suffering. We again call upon Minister for Older Persons Kathleen Lynch and the

The advised time is a precaution to give your body time to adjust to the vaccinations and in case any side-effects occur.

Dr Graham Fry, Medical Director of the Tropical Medical Bureau, explains the importance of vaccinations, "Whether you are returning to your usual holiday destination or taking a new trip abroad, it is vital to know what vaccinations are needed for the country you are visiting. While we advise travellers to get their vaccinations 4-6 weeks prior to travelling, this is merely a guideline set in place to give the body time to react to the vaccines.

According to The Tropical Medical Bureau, it is a common misconception amongst travellers that if they leave it too close to departure date to get vaccinations then they won't work. The truth is, adds the TMB, while it is advised to get your vaccinations 4-6 weeks before you travel, in most cases it is never too late - it is much safer to get them just before you go than not at all.

Fortunately, the vaccines usually work faster than the disease itself and so will at least lessen the severity of the illness. Under these circumstances, even if you leave it until the last minute, it is much safer to get the required vaccinations than not at all." For travel safety tips or further information on your medical needs or to book an appointment, please contact the Tropical Medical Bureau on 1850 487674 or through


New Campaign promotes eye health have impaired vision and five thousand more people will lose their sight within the next five years. Blindness and vision loss has a major health, social and economic impact.  The risk of vision loss increases with age and in 10 years, one million Irish citizens will be aged 65 or older.

Leading genealogy company at Back To Our Past show

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma are the main causes of sight loss in Ireland.  Over 75% of sight loss is preventable with early diagnosis and treatment. Kerry captain, Eoin Brosnan is pictured with Dr Patricia Quinlan, Dr Alison Blake, and Dr Garry Treacy, at the recent Annual Conference of the Irish College of Ophthalmologists, supporting the launch of a new awareness campaign by the eye doctors to highlight the impact of lifestyle, in particular smoking, on our eye health.

Lending his support at the launch in Killarney, Kerry Football Captain, Eoin Brosnan said, “People don’t necessarily think about their eye health until they notice something is wrong. The message from the eye doctors is to have our eyes checked regularly, particularly if you are in a higher risk category or if you notice any change in your vision.�

A new campaign to promote eye health awareness and the significance lifestyle choices have on eye health was recently launched by the Irish College of Ophthalmologists (ICO).

Speaking about the need to drive awareness, eye doctor, Patricia Quinlan from the ICO, said, “People in the higher risk categories, such as diabetics, those with a family history of eye conditions and the over 50’s, need to have regular eye examinations in order to catch early symptoms" Dr Quinlan concluded.

The ‘Your Sight, Our Vision’ campaign includes an eye health information booklet to educate the public about the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions in order to prevent avoidable sight loss. There are 220,000 Irish people living with vision loss or blindness.  It is estimated that 50,000 more people will

You can pick up a copy of your free eye health information booklet at your GP, or by visiting where you can download a copy or by contacting the Irish College of Ophthalmologists on 01 402 2777 / Â

One of the world’s leading genealogy websites will be appearing at Back To Our Past, the Irish family/ social history event which runs with The Over 50s Show at the RDS from 18-20 October. The company has over 70 million Irish family records on file, as well as extensive records from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It also has many exclusive online record sets you will not find anywhere else. According to the company, new records are being added all the time and on on-line family tree builder helps you keep track of your relatives. They also add that easy-to-use powerful tools make your search easier than ever. The company will have a team of experts on hand at Back To Our Past to answer all your family history queries. To find out more visit:

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CSO report shows falling income and rising poverty among older people

Age Action is concerned but not surprised by the recent CSO report’ which shows marked rises in poverty among older people and a fall in their average income between 2009 and 2011. “The fact that the average income of people aged over 65 fell by 5%, combined with the rise in poverty levels over such a short period, only shows part of the difficulties which many older people are currently facing,” according to the spokesperson for the older people’s charity Eamon Timmins. “On the other side of the equation there are new charges and rising prices which have to be met from these declining incomes. These increase taxes, charges and costs have escalated since these statistics were gathered, leaving many older people seriously struggling to make ends meet.” The CSO’s Thematic Report on the Elderly uses findings from

the Survey on Income and Living Conditions from 2004, 2009, 2010 and 2011. It shows that the consistent poverty rate among older people has risen from 1.1% to 1.9% between 2009 and 2011. The deprivation rate has increased from 9.5% to 11.3% over the same period. The average gross weekly equalised income has fallen 5% to €407.28. The main factors driving down income include falling earnings and reduced occupational pensions. The report shows that among those hit hardest are those living alone, women and those living in rural areas. “Age Action is not surprised that the poverty indicators for older people are rising, with financial pressures increasing substantially on older people in the last 18 months,” Mr Timmins said. “Property tax, a trebling of the prescription charge and soaring energy prices are just some of the increased costs which have been introduced since 2011, with older people having to pay them from a declining income. The increased costs are on unavoidable elements of their cost of living – a roof over their head, essential medication and heat.”

President to open suicide prevention conference President Michael D Higgins, patron of the national suicide prevention and bereavement charity Console will formally open Console's World Suicide Prevention Day conference at the Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin, on September 9. Console offers free counselling services and 24hour helpline support to people in crisis and those bereaved by suicide. The conference is of benefit to anyone working in a care-giving role or with a more general interest in suicide prevention and ‘post-vention’.The conference will feature national and international experts in the field including clinical psychologist Dr Paul Quinnett, President of the QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Institute in Washington, which is dedicated to suicide prevention. The Scottish Government’s ‘Choose Life’ programme, which has helped reduce suicide rates there by 17% since 2002, will be discussed by the head of Scotland’s Mental Health Improvement Unit, Niall Kearney. The current revision of UK guidelines on media reporting of suicide will be presented by Dr Sallyanne Duncan from the University of Strathclyde. This timely research will highlight the sensitivities and considerations associated with media commentary on suicide and the social media discussion on and responses to suicide. The ways in which Irish communities can be mobilised to work together to reduce suicide will be examined by Gerry Raleigh, Director of the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention. A range of expert speakers will also discuss issues such as the sociological reasons behind the high rate of suicide among men, parents bereaved by suicide and the need to promote responsible media coverage of suicide. Console has full-time counselling centres in Limerick Cork, Dublin, Wexford, Galway, Kerry and Mayo. It also offers services in Kildare and Athlone and has recently opened a service in London.Counselling, advice and general support is available for any individual, couples, groups, families or children who have been affected by suicide.Details of the conference booking are available on or by calling 01 610 2638. Page 6 Senior Times September 2013

Eric Knowles at The Over 50’s Show again Eric Knowles, known to millions for his appearances on the hugely popular BBC TV Antiques Roadshow will once again be giving free valuations at The Over 50s Show at the RDS, Dublin on 19th and 20th October. He will also give advice on large items from photographs. Appointments are not necessary – just turn up at the show. For more information on The Over 50 Show visit

Over 50s Show for Kilkenny Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, The Over 50s Show returns to the Lyreth Estate Hotel, Kilkenny on Sunday 24th and Monday 25th November. The event will feature all the areas which have made The Over 50s Show so popular all over the country, including health, finance, homes and gardens, fashions, food, hobbies, antiques, genealogy, entitlements information, and activities. There will also be wine tasting, bridge and golf lessons as well as cookery demonstrations. And in keeping with the impending festive season, there will be free mulled wine for every visitor. For further information on visiting or exhibiting at the event, visit or contact the organisers at or telephone (01) 4969028.

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Survey shows 1 in 6 cars on Irish roads is on illegal tyres

A recent survey of the state of tyres on cars on our roads has revealed that one in six is running on tyres that are at or below the minimum legal tread depth. Carried out by Continental Tyres in conjunction with fuel retailer, Maxol, the survey covered tyre tread depth and whether the tyres were inflated to the correct air pressure. 16.7 percent or one in six cars were found to have a tyre at or below the legal tread depth limit of 1.6mm.  Independent tests have shown that cars driving on tyres at the 1.6mm legal tread limit demonstrate a dangerous lack of control in cornering and seriously increased stopping distances on both dry and wet roads. The Continental Tyres survey showed that nearly half of the cars tested (48 percent) had at least one tyre that was at or below 3mm of tread depth. In relation to tyre pressure, 53 percent of the cars tested were found to be on tyres with incorrect tyre pressure – in the vast majority of cases they were under-inflated; and 41 percent of cars were found to be dangerously inflated.

Benefits of fish oil to improve health There are many benefits to taking fish oil that can improve the health of just about everyone, but especially as we approach our more senior time of life. Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a disease in which the macula (a spot in the centre of the retina responsible for central vision) deteriorates. Central vision is necessary for activities like reading or driving. The omega-3 in fish oil can replace properties that prevent cell inflammation, which in turn helps to maintain cognitive ability and can actually increases the ability of a person to maintain memory as they age. Omega-3 has the ability to restore joints and reduce the effects of arthritis. In studies using fish oil supplements, patients have experienced a reduction in pain, tender joints, and morning stiffness. The fatty acids in fish oil can actually lower a person's bad cholesterol and blood pressure, and can increase the good cholesterol. Omega 3 may also benefit a person's heart, arteries and veins by reducing fatty deposits. Which fish oil product should I choose? Local company Paradox Omega Oils Ltd based in Belfast developed a high quality Omega 3 fish oil range for all the family. The difference with Paradox is the unique blend of Omegas with powerful antioxidants; these antioxidants hydroxytyrosol and oleuropin are 20 times more powerful than vitamin E and stabilize the Omega 3 fish oil naturally to keep it fresh and more effective in the body. A stabilised Omega fish oil means no fishy taste or repeats! It is available in liquid and capsules for €12.99 from pharmacies and health stores nationwide. Page 8 Senior Times September 2013

50th Celebration Package at Dromoland Castle Dromoland Castle is one of Ireland's finest castle hotels. This secluded retreat, located just 8 miles from Shannon Airport, is majestically set on the shores of Lough Dromoland and surrounded by over 450 acres of breathtaking scenery. Its proximity to the many attractions in the south and west of Ireland makes it an ideal location for touring. The gothic-styled grey stone walls of the Castle date from the early 1800s, while The Queen Anne Court, a charming quadrangle, was built in the early 1700s. Complementing these jewels in the crown are extensive recreational facilities, including falconry, Spa, Leisure Centre a championship golf course and country club. All are attended by management and staff dedicated to continuing the O’Brien tradition of gracious hospitality and exacting attention to detail in service. 2013 sees Dromoland Castle celebrating 50 years as one of Ireland finest hotels. Amongst the many birthday initiatives the Castle has introduced a “50Th Celebration Package”. The package is a special one night Celebration with Luxury Accommodation and Breakfast included, an eight course Tasting Menu with Wine and lots of VIP treats to make guests feel ever so special are included. Prices from €220.00 pps. For Further information contact … Dromoland Castle Hotel & The Inn at Dromoland | Newmarket on Fergus, Co.Clare, Ireland Tel: +353 (0)61 368144

The Kenmare Lace Festival 3rd to 6th October 2013 Kenmare Lace Festival will be celebrating the wonderful heritage of lacemaking and design established by the Poor Clare nuns in post famine Kenmare in the 1860s. There is a full festival programme with lacemaking workshops in nine different lace disciplines, millinery and up-styling workshops for the fashion conscious, children’s craft and fashion workshops, exhibitions, displays, a fashion show, entertainment, a genealogy event, talks and discussions – all aimed at encouraging people to uphold tradition, good design and culture. The area is rich in tradition and is home to craft workers, artists, weavers, potters and silversmiths. Kenmare has several art galleries showcasing local talent. Our local theatre, the Carnegie Arts Centre will be the venue for one of the exhibitions during the Lace Festival. Traditional music flourishes in the many pubs and bars around the town. For the energetic there are a range of sporting interests catered for – be it golf, horse riding, cycling, bird watching, sailing, swimming, walking or climbing – the choice of venues to discover is never ending in this area. A full programme of trips to places of interest will be available and can be booked online Please go to or call: 085 865 9898

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Walking your way to Health There are countless good reasons to walk Ireland’s mountains. Here are some of the best. Conor O’Hagan explains

Page 10 Senior Times September 2013

Hill walking, it seems, is the new black, and with Ireland’s mountains amongst the most accessible and inspiring in the world, there is no better place to walk. Of the thousands 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 do it just because you love it and want to know what it’s doing for you, here’s the lowdown on why your body and mind will thank you for joining Ireland’s fastest-growing leisure movement. Hillwalking... 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 the journal The Physician and Sportsmedicine. 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 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. Exercise also releases adrenaline, which is produced by the body to cope with danger. If the adrenaline isn’t released from the body, it accumulates, causing muscle tension and feelings of anxiety. A recent study tested 36 walkers for anxiety, tension and blood pressure levels before, during, and after 40 minutes of walking. The subjects showed immediate decreases in tension and anxiety, as well as in blood

Senior Times September 2013 Page 11

pressure, after walking, regardless of how fast or slow the participants walked. 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. hill walking is particularly beneficial because off-road surfaces are kinder to bones and joints than asphalt and concrete. 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 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 2008 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.

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 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.

Page 12 Senior Times September 2013

Builds relationships The social opportunities offered by hill walking 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!

Conor O’Hagan is publisher of Walking World Ireland, Ireland’s only walking magazine For details of walking and hill walking clubs in your area contact: Mountaineering Ireland, National Sports Campus, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.

wallk kin ing


Fights diabetes Regular exercise helps regulate blood glucose so reduces the risk of non-insulin dependent 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’.

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.


Feels good! Whether it’s the sense of freedom that comes from exploring the outdoors under your own steam, the sense of achievement that follows a challenging walk, the pleasure of a well-earned lunch on an open hillside or the sheer majesty of thelandscape below, there are few activities as rewarding as hill walking.

Helps weight control It’s a complex subject, and exercise alone is rarely the whole answer, but like all regular vigorous activity, hill walking 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. And by getting out of the house and away from shops, you’re taking yourself away from the scene of the crime if habitual unhealthy eating is part of your problem. Plus, the motivation of being able to walk further, faster can be a powerful ally to struggling willpower.

The Beauty of Ireland The Joy of Walking

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Stone mad: five decades of indulgence Fifty years on from their first gig, the Rolling Stones are still rolling. They're also still refusing to gather moss - at least unless it's Kate. Aubrey Malone traces their highs and lows Audiences may joke about them appearing on stage with zimmer frames, or being the only 'dead' people to have qualified for 'life' achievement awards, but they're still packing venues and laughing their way to the bank, even if they don't quite look sweet sixteen anymore. In fact they never did. Elton John once likened Keith Richards to 'a monkey with arthritis'. As for Mick Jagger, Truman Capote said he moved like a parody between a majorette and Fred Astaire. With those bee-stung lips, Joan Rivers said he could play the tuba from both ends - 'or French kiss a moose.' What a long strange trip it's been for a group of musicians who were regarded as agents of Lucifer when they first started out. The twee brigade preferred the Beatles. Jagger's bunch of circus animals were more 'street'  -  and you couldn't like both. 'Some people weren't meant to live till they're thirty,' Richards remarked of the 27-year-old's premature check-out. The following week at a concert Jagger released thousands of butterflies into the air as a tribute to him. It was the end of one era and the beginning of another. As the 1970s began, the band's contract with Decca Records ended and they formed their own company, Rolling Stones Records, going to number 1 in the charts soon afterwards with their first Page 14 Senior Times September 2013

album, Sticky Fingers. The signs looked good. Trailing clouds of glory from its success they moved to France for a time and started working on the double album that became Exile on Main Street which also topped the charts. Jagger married Bianca in 1971 despite having said to his fans, 'Domesticity is death. You get married only because you have nothing else to do.' Bianca would later divulge, 'My marriage ended on my wedding day.' Drug busts The following years were characterised by ecstatic concerts on all sides of the globe and teeming fans ripping the shirts off their heroes offstage and trying desperately to become Stones groupies. There were also innumerable drug busts by the police. 'They're coming in the windows!' Jagger exclaimed helplessly after one raid. But in those days it was cool to be 'on' something. A combination of the adoration of the public and some clever legal wheeler-dealing kept the stoned Stones from being detained too long at Her Majesty's pleasure. Ronnie Wood joined them in 1975 and found the experience somewhat daunting. 'For me the music was the easy part of becoming a Stone,' he revealed, 'The steep learning curve was living like a Stone.' By now their legend had overtaken them. It wasn't just about knowing your chords anymore, or even emitting primal screams, it was the mad excesses of what happened after the gigs - which seemed to make Brian

The early years, from left Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones (back), Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts

Jones' indulgences look more like one of Daniel O'Donnell's tea parties in Kincasslagh. In an American tour that year they took in 27 states and did 46 shows. It was a bruising schedule but one they repeated in the following years, their energy seemingly at odds with the substance abuse the tabloids hammered on about. 'Keith keeps telling the youth of the country not to take drugs,' Denis Leary joked, 'but he doesn't need to - he's had them all himself. There's none left!' The group got a record deal for $14 million in 1977, Jagger's LSE experience being present and correct when it came to signing along the dotted line for those sweet deals. A more worrying development that year was Richards' arrest for possession of drugs and the (perhaps inevitable dissolution) of Jagger's marriage to Bianca. Such events seemed to sharpen the pair up. 'After all those years of taking coke,' said Jagger in one of his rare puns, 'It's good to drink Pepsi.' Like Richards, he decided he wanted to hang around the planet for a while more, unlike Mr Jones. 'We've got some nasty habits,' the pair admitted, 'We take tea at 3.' In some ways they were like a bad marriage, the Gypsy Pirate versus the

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Day 1, Depart Dublin - Arrive in Malta for a welcome meeting at your hotel for the tour, the 4 Qawra Palace. Day 2, Mosta, St Paul’s Bay & Naxxar - Visit San Pawl Milqi Chapel followed by a stop in Naxaar. After lunch in Mosta, visit the impressive Mosta Church & Dome, then relax in San Anton. Day 3, Valletta & Harbour Cruise - Enjoy the island’s Capital City, the Upper Barracca Gardens, St Johns Cathedral & the Grandmasters Palace. After lunch visit the Church of St Paul’s shipwreck & conclude with a relaxing harbour cruise. Day 4, Rabat & Marsaxlokk - Drive to Rabat & visit the Parish Church & the Grotto of St Paul. After lunch, drive south and visit the delightful fishing village of Marsaxlokk. Day 5, Gozo - A full day visit to explore Malta’s sister island. Visit the Basilica of St Peter, St Paul in Nadur, as well as Munxar, Victoria, Xlendi Bay & a trip to the famous Azure window. Day 6, Mdina & Blue Grotto - Explore Mdina & visit the Cathedral of St Paul, drive down to Ta’ Qali and end the day with a visit to the famous Blue Grotto cave. Day 7, Qawra Palace - A day of leisure at the hotel, before returning home on day 8.



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Byronic Hero, or anti-hero. Every second newspaper you picked up said they were at each other's throats but then they kissed and made up and all was well again, at least until the next spat. When Jagger was asked if there was going to be an end to the bitchery between them he replied, 'You better ask the bitch.' Their career seemed to go into a lull in the eighties, and the death in 1985 of their co-founder Ian Stewart by heart attack seemed to deal them a much bigger blow than that of Brian Jones. The acrimony between Jagger and Richards also reached boiling point, Jagger describing it as being like World War Three. They were inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. 'For a while,' Keith confessed, 'We were in danger of becoming respectable.'Four years later Jagger complained, 'People expect you to be like you were in 1969 because otherwise their youth goes with you. It's selfish but it's understandable.'  He once said he'd prefer to be dead than still singing "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" when he was 45 but now he seemed  content to sing it as many times as people called for it, which seemed to be indefinite.  'The Rolling Stones stands for infinity,' he announced. First Internet gig Bill Wyman, the man who proposed marriage to the gorgeous Mandy Smith while sitting on a toilet,  left them in Page 16 Senior Times September 2013

1993. The following year they became the first major rock and roll band to broadcast a concert live on the internet. By the end of that year they'd sold more than four million copies of their Voodoo Lounge album, a not inconsiderable achievement even by their standards. By now they were outstripping their own records - vinyl and statistical - each passing year. 'The legend part is easy,' said Keith, 'it's the living that's hard.' The late nights and transatlantic gigging was catching up on him, not to mention the performance-enhancing amphetamines. 'I don't have a problem with drugs,' he bragged, 'I only have a problem with the police. I only get sick when I give up drugs.' But in a later interview he came clean about the extent of the problem: 'I had a recurring dream about the dope being hidden behind the wallpaper. In the morning you'd wake up and see fingernail marks where you actually tried to do something about it.' (He gave different 'lines' to the police). 'If you're going to get wasted,' he said elsewhere, 'get wasted elegantly. I never turned blue in somebody else's bathroom. I consider that the height of bad manners.' Whatever else about Keith, he was always a gentleman. Himself and Jagger seemed to be able to straddle the double life, alternating between coke and Pepsi, between tea

and freebasing, though as Wood explained about the latter activity, 'There's nothing free about it, it's very expensive actually.' He misbehaved with everyone from Tony Curtis to Jimmy White and also had a soft spot for Ireland where the craic was especially mighty. Pushed to it, he could give the other two boys a run for their money. By now the three of them looked like they were on their last legs. It was time for a reality check. 'I only gave up drugs,' said Richards, 'when the doctor told me I had six months to live.'  Jagger continued to skirt-chase, as did Wood, who spent his time between wine, women, song and painting - roughly in that order. In 1997 the group released a single called "Anybody Seen My Baby" which had Angelina Jolie as a guest vocalist. At last Jagger had found someone whose 'child-bearing' lips equalled his in size. Jolie's were alleged to be one of the few phenomena (like the Great Wall of China) visible from outer space.  But time was catching up on Jumping Jack Flash. Even though the drug intake was winding down, Father Time showed on his features. When  he told George Melly his crow's feet (which now looked more like elephant's feet) were just 'laughter lines', Melly came out with the inimitable, 'Nothing could be that funny!'   As we entered the new millennium the

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The Stones, from left, at a recent Glastonbury gig, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Woods, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts

Stones were still packing stadiums and still looking as if they were defying the laws of nature, if not gravity. Jagger continued to date women no older than his babysitters and because he was who he was he didn't seem to experience too much rejection in that department. 'Don't bring home anyone younger than me,' his daughter Jade chided, mostly to deaf ears. Bad jokes Some people started to regard the Stones as bad jokes but they still turned up to watch them, maybe out of a grim curiosity to see if they'd make it through the night without keeling over into the drumkit. Richards chirped at one gig, 'It's great to be here. In fact it's great to be anywhere!' Denis Leary added, 'Take a good look at Keith Richards' face. He's turned into leather. He's a giant suitcase. He has a handle on his head. That's how they move him around at concerts.' Said Jagger, 'We're tired of being Number 1 on the Naughty Boys poll. It's time they picked someone else.' But they still continued to behave like naughty boys. How did they survive? According to Wood it was down to 'a bit of know-how, some really good luck, a few miracles and some really understanding high court judges.'  In his autobiography, Ronnie, he chronicled endless anecdotes about how he partied like there was no tomorrow with the Terrible Two. Jagger tended to keep a low profile whereas Page 18 Senior Times September 2013

Richards became a kind of poster boy for living life on the edge and getting away with it. Asked if he exercised he still showed a gung-ho attitude: 'I keep fit passing the vodka bottle.' (Or was it the dope pipe?) By the end of 2007 their Big Bang tour had netted the group over $558 million. They were still on the road, still crazy after all those years and still able to grind out the old standards even if the enunciation wasn't quite what it once used to be. 'I remember when I was very young,' Jagger disclosed, 'I read an article by Fats Domino which really influenced me. He said, "You should never sing the lyrics out very clearly."' So now his secret was out. But by now it seemed to be a necessity of age rather than a mannerism. How long more could they go on? 'I've been asked if this was the last tour since I was 19 years old,' said Jagger, 'String us up and we still won't die. We're tough bastards.' He was in good company. Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Barry Manilow and Willie Nelson (none of them spring chickens) were also still going strong as well. And Bob Dylan on the cusp of 70 was in the throes of what he called The Never Ending Tour. Leonard Cohen was also approaching 80 and able to pack venues on both sides of the Atlantic. What was going on? Was there nobody young who could sing anymore? Simon

Cowell must have been talking through his hat. Justin Bieber? Go home, it's past your bedtime. The Rolling Stones more than any of the others are the musical Houdinis of our time. Maybe what's more surprising than their individual longevity is the fact that they've stayed together more or less as a band despite all the busts and bust-ups. (Solo performers have it easier that way. They can do their thing and get out of Dodge without having to deal too much with relationships, at least on stage). When they celebrated their 50th anniversary last year they released a new compilation album called GRRR just to let us know they hadn't lost their bite. (As if we ever doubted that). The people who wrote them off so many times that it wasn't even funny anymore now seemed tired of their doomsday prophecies. Like the poor, they concluded, it seemed that we would  always have them with us. As for the ongoing war between Jagger and Richards, for now at least they seem to have downed their weapons. Richards' long-term partner Anita Pallenberg (they finally separated in 1980) explained, 'From the first time I met Mick Jagger I saw he was in love with Keith. It's still that way.' Richards once said to Wood, 'Mick is my wife whether I like it or not. We can't get a divorce.'  It may be the one truly faithful relationship for either of them.

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‘Stop the austerity, Minister!’ A number of older peoples groups made submissions to the recent Pre-Budget Forum at Dublin Castle. Jim Collier reports. The objective of the Forum which had a new format this year, according to Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton T.D, was to enable those invited to share their views, proposals and aspirations with the Minister and other senior officials from the Department of Social protection. Minister Burton went on to say that this was arguably the most challenging economic period the country had ever faced, and said she operated on simple and enduring principles: welfare must be there and was essential for those who needed it, and everything should be done for those who needed it, and everything should be done to help people who to get back to work. In short Welfare must be both a safety net and a springboard through both income supports and employment supports. While the Minister stated that no decisions had been made in relation to the Budget, she reiterated the importance of protecting core social welfare weekly payments. “I have protected core rates in successive Budgets in order to protect the most vulnerable in society from the worst effects of the economic crisis. Protecting core weekly rates makes absolute sense not alone from a poverty prevention perspective but also for the economy generally at a time when we need to boost consumer confidence.” Minister Burton said her focus in Budget 2014 would be to continue the wide-ranging reforms that have ensured the services offered by her Department provide both a safety net but also a springboard back to work: “In the forthcoming Budget, the Department of Social Protection will be expected to play its part in keeping Government finances on the path to recovery. However, this year again, I will be making every effort to ensure that those dependent on social welfare payments are not marginalized while also ensuring that those who are in work and paying PRSI are better off working than claiming social welfare.” Over 20 Community and Voluntary groups attended the Forum who put forward their views and proposals while participating in a series of workshops and discussions. During a break I contacted Eamon Timmins from Age Action, Maureen Kavanage from Active Retirement Ireland and Mairead Hayes from the Irish Senior Citizens parliament, and I got copies of their submissions on the 2014 Budget. Age Action submission “The message of Age Action’s pre-Budget submission for the October 15 Budget is summed up by the document’s sub-title: “Struggling to Make Ends Meet – The Cumulative Effect of Austerity on Older People”. The pressure has been building on older people following a succession of austerity budgets. The cumulative and

Page 20 Senior Times September 2013

Minister Burton: that this was arguably the most challenging economic period the country had ever faced multiplier effect of cuts and rising costs is now taking an unbearable toll. Although the State Pension has been retained, people are experiencing multiple pressures as a result of creeping costs for necessary goods and services, reduced entitlements and benefits, and the introduction of new and increases in existing charges and taxes. The cumulative effect not only relates to financial pressures but also to the issue of access, in particular access to health services and other supports. Lack of access is exacerbated by changes to transport services, the closure of local post offices and a reduced bank infrastructure which are increasingly undermining older people’s resilience against austerity. We urge policy makers to read the submission and take its 32 recommendations on board. We encourage older people and their families to contact their local TD to raise issues contained in this submission.” The full 32 page submission can be viewed online in the Age Action Website at Age Action Active Retirement Ireland submission Cuts to State Supports Would “Undermine Strategy” – Active Retirement Ireland the country’s largest community-based older people’s organisation, Active Retirement Ireland (ARI), called on Minister Joan Burton to honour the Government’s commitments in the National Positive Ageing Strategy and Healthy Ireland framework and to rule out any cuts to the State Pension and Free Travel Scheme. CEO Maureen Kavanagh said that to make cuts to these valuable supports for older people would “fly in the face of the government’s good work to date”.“The National Positive Ageing Strategy and the Healthy Ireland framework both underline the importance older people have to play in Irish society as active citizens,” said Ms. Kavanagh, “Both documents also say how they should be supported to remain at home and active in the community for as long as possible.

In the Footsteps of St Paul.. The sunny island of Malta in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea has a rich history as one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. It all started with a shipwreck, while the apostle Paul was en route to Rome. Boarding a freighter on the isle of Crete, a fierce north easterly wind blew the ship off course. It looked like all was lost, the ship was wrecked and the 300 men on board swam for their lives. Miraculously everyone survived and once safely on shore, they found that they had landed on the island of Malta. So began a Christian influence in Malta that has continued down through the centuries, and today Malta is one of the strongest Catholic nations. Our tour “In the Footsteps of St Paul” takes you back to the beginning when St Paul was shipwrecked on the islands. It takes you on his journey around the Maltese islands visiting the churches, basilicas, and infamous places and religious sites associated with the apostle. During your visit you will see St Paul’s Bay, Naxxar, Mdina & Blue Grotto, Rabat & Marsaxlokk, Gozo and Valetta, Malta’s capital city where you will enjoy viewing St John’s Co-cathedral and the Grand Masters Palace Armoury, before embarking on a wonderful harbour cruise taking in more famous sites from the comfort of your boat. This tour operates directly from Dublin with departures on 8th November 2013, 7th February and 1st April 2014. Prices are from 549 Euros for 7 night’s half board in the 4 star Qawara Palace Hotel. The price includes five days of touring, transport and services of a guide. For further information contact: Clondalkin Travel, 4 Tower Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 12. Tel: (01) 4572311. Email:

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“Active Retirement Ireland is calling on the Minister to commit to protecting the supports older people rely on to remain healthy and active citizens and to contribute to their communities. ”The State Pension has remained unchanged at 2008 levels, while the Free Travel Scheme is already being eroded for many rural older people, with some operators refusing to accept. Travel Passes on many routes. The Free Travel Scheme, which costs over €77m per year, has been described as “a lifesaver” by ARI. “Income adequacy and the benefits older people rely on are vital to support the goals laid out in the National Positive Ageing Strategy. Our full contributory State Pension leaves an older person just €8 per week above the risk of poverty. To reduce that income, or to force older people to divert more of it towards other costs, would fly in the face of the good work the Government has done to date in delivering the NPAS.” Senior Citizen’s Parliament submission Budget 2014 must have a strong message of support for all, especially those dependent on Social Protection payments. ‘Start a process which gives people hope and confidence. Be fair to all and poverty and equality must be ‘ age proofed’. Maintain State pension rates. Older people no longer have any fallback, all nest eggs are gone. Those most in need are those who live alone and the ‘older old’ . We are asking that those who live alone get an increase of 8€ and an increase of 5€ in the Age allowance. Household benefits package should be restored to 2011 levels. The position of women has not improved, they still comprise 62.95% of those in receipt of the non-contributory State pension while for the contributory pension they comprise just 34.53%. ‘stop the austerity and start the process of hope for all’.


La Rioja – a Spanish treasure Paul Gorry visits a region filled with diverse attractions

Typical landscape of the region, dominated by vineyards

Suso and Yuso monasteries in St. Millán de la Cogolla became UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1997. Their names mean ‘Upper’ and ‘Lower’. The tiny Suso is perched on the side of a mountain, overlooking a beautiful wooded valley. Its Visigothic, Mozarabic and Romanesque arches tell the story of its gradual development from a hermit’s cave to a place of pilgrimage. Below is the huge and magnificent Yuso, its successor, built when pilgrims became too plentiful and prosperous for the little cave up the mountain. Today no more than twenty-five people at a time may visit Suso, and they are brought up by bus. Standing at Suso, enveloped by its history and its tranquil air, was one of many memorable moments on my visit to La Rioja, a place filled with diverse attractions. Vineyards, ornate churches, lovely old villages, a wine museum, gorgeous food and a city full of nightlife all await your pleasure in La Rioja. This province and autonomous community in northern Spain is only slightly larger in area than Donegal. It adjoins the Basque Country, and is about 60 miles south of Bilbao and 70 miles from the French border. The river Ebro forms much of its northern boundary with Navarra, and away in the distance you see the Cantabrian Mountains. To the south are the Sierra de la Demanda, in which Suso and Yuso nestle. Most of the uplands between these mountain ranges are relatively flat, with esker-like hills scattered about. If you’ve never heard of La Rioja, you aren’t in the minority. This is not a part of Spain most Irish tourists are familiar with, but something tells me that is going to change. La Rioja is not entirely unknown to us all the same. Those energetic and intrepid adventurers who have walked the Camino de Santiago will have been incidental visitors to the region. Those who have had a glass or two of Rioja will have tasted this region’s most famous export. Page 22 Senior Times September 2013

The only urban area in La Rioja that could be classed as a city is Logrono. Logrono is sited on the Ebro, one of the great rivers of the Iberian peninsula. The Camino passes over the bridge and right through the city’s old centre. Along its route are the peaceful sixteenth century Church of St. James and some of the old fortified walls of Logrono. Most of the relatively compact old centre of Logrono is pedestrianised. The Calle Portales has a spacious feel – a wide street with an arcaded walkway on one side. It bustles with activity as it’s full of shops and café bars. It passes through the southern side of the airy and relaxed Plaza del Mercado, in front of the Co-Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Redonda, which dominates the square. The western door of this sixteenth century church is framed by an enormous and elaborate archway, above which are twin spires reaching spectacularly into the heavens. Spectacular altar Inside, the co-cathedral (it shares precedence with its counterpart in Calahorra) is a spectacular three-tier reredos or altarpiece, similar in style to the decoration framing the exterior of the western door. However, the reredos is a towering spectacle in gold-leaf. Stunning as it is, it is not unique. There are similar, though maybe not as elaborate, ones to be seen in old churches throughout the province. When it comes to nightlife, Logrono has much to offer. A stone’s throw from the co-cathedral are the parallel narrow streets of Calle Laurel and Calle San Agustin. They are crammed with tapas bars and restaurants, from the trendy to the traditional. In the evening they come alive with an exciting atmosphere. Moving from one bar to another is a great way to enjoy a meal on the hoof. Some bars specialise in just one tapa. For instance, Blanco y Negro serves anchovies and green pepper in a roll. It may sound like nothing, but it tastes divine. Yes, you’ll get a glass of Rioja in any of these night spots but, if you’re all wined-out, a glass of beer or whatever you fancy will accompany your nibbles nicely.

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Incidentally, you don’t need to know the difference between a Crianza and a Reserva to appreciate La Rioja’s vineyards and bodegas. This is a place where you can learn about wine, or simply enjoy the atmosphere. And if you are an aficionado, well, … enough said. This would be an ideal destination for a wine club excursion. Wine making has been part of the fabric of the region for centuries, but until the 1850s what was produced was of an inferior quality. At that point French wine makers arrived, introducing new techniques and business practices that made Rioja a global name. Bodegas Bilbainas in Haro, established in 1859, is one of the oldest wineries (the American term seems widely used) in the region. Visitors may tour its cavernous cellars as well as getting an insight into the present day process. Along the way they get to sample some of its fine produce and learn something of its appreciation. This is one of several wineries you can visit. Bodegas Darien, just outside of Logrono, has an ultra-modern building, interesting visual depictions of the year in the vineyard and a tasting room that looks like a laboratory. Bodegas David Morena offers the chance to get close to the earth, picking some grapes to test their readiness for harvesting, and tasting wine in a hilltop workman’s hut, surrounded by the growing vines The ultimate experience is provided by Dinastia Vivanco just outside Briones, with its wine museum, one of the largest in the world. The museum was opened in 2004 and it covers everything and anything to do with wine, and not just the wine of Spain. It even has a display of cork screws of all shapes and designs. Again, if you don’t know much about

Panel from the reliquary of St Millan, Yuso

Entrance to Yuso monastery

wine, but have a curious mind, this is a place you could wander through for hours. Particularly impressive were the language-less videos on the related crafts of coopering, glass blowing and cork making.

Medieval Briones The medieval town of Briones, perched on one of those small esker-like hills, dominates the view from outside the museum. In the distance is a similar hill with a similar medieval town. This is San Vicente de la Sonsierra. Between these two towns flows the Ebro. In their early days Briones and San Vicente were not just separated by the river. They were in the separate kingdoms of Castille and Navarre. Briones is possibly the larger of the two. It has a very pleasant triangular plaza at its heart, with a fountain, trees and café bars. This is flanked by the church, the town hall and the oldest house in La Rioja – a stone and brick building with exposed timber beams. The church is a dark peaceful space with huge pillars and a high ceiling. It is dominated by another of those spectacular gold-leaf altarpieces. This one has four tiers, each with a number of saints sheltered in their own niches. The medieval bridge that crossed the Ebro, linking the ancient kingdoms of Castille and Navarre is still to be seen, right below the old fortifications of San Vicente. It is too narrow for today’s traffic, which streams smoothly across the river nearby, surrounded by expansive vineyards. The winding little streets of San Vicente are just about wide enough for one modern vehicle. They lead you upwards past ancient bodegas to the church and fortifications at the top Page 24 Senior Times September 2013

Put a Spring in your Step... 2013 Over 55’s Breaks at the Athlone Springs Hotel

Dinner Bed & Breakfast from €55 per person per night Offer available Sun-Thur

Group Bookings Include · Organiser goes FREE · Complimentary tea & scones on arrival · Pick up from the train station · Music in our Cedar Bar on Sunday Night · Aqua Aerobics · Wine or Irish Coffee Tasting in our Cedar Bar · Old Movie Experience · Complimentary Boat or Day Trip · Fitness Class · Beauty Demonstration · Table Quiz · Complimentary Single Room Supplement ( Max 5 rooms) Minimum numbers of 20 guests , 2 night stay apply , subject to availability.

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View from the fortifications of San Vincente

of the hill. On Holy Thursday, Good Friday and on two Sundays during the year this approach to the church is the scene of the gruesome ceremony of Los Picaos, dating back through many centuries. It’s a procession, organised by the Cofradia de la Santa Vera Cruz, during which hooded participants (called disciplinantes) perform penance by self-flagellation of their naked backs. No doubt it would be a memorable spectacle, but not one for the faint of heart.

exhilarating experience. While the cost of taking to the skies in a basket would appear to be similar in La Rioja to that in Ireland, by and large the weather conditions in La Rioja are more reliable for ballooning. Globos Arcoiris <> provided the magical experience for our group, and we helped inflating the balloon and packing up afterwards, before being treated to breakfast at the Hotel Ciudad de Haro.

Apart from the Camino, that traverses the province, there are other opportunities for energetic walkers in La Rioja. There is a Gran Recorrido route (GR-93) through the mountains and valleys of the south of the province, providing up to 200 kilometres of sign-posted tracks. Those preferring to have a guide may avail of the services of Riojatrek, offering walks ranging from 8 to 14 kilometres.

La Rioja has a whole range of dining experiences, from the traditional to the very sophisticated. I loved the hearty Riojan lunch served at Bodegas David Morena, while dinner at Venta Moncalvillo <> was a treat for all the senses. This small restaurant, hidden away in the village of Daroca de Rioja, is the proud possessor of a Michelin Star. The fresh produce of the adjoining garden finds its way to the table, and the whole enterprise is run by the Echapresto brothers. Ignacio is the chef and Carlos is the expert s ommelier. Another meal of fond memory was lunch at Meson Chuchi, a lovely restaurant inside a deceptively unimpressive façade in the town of Fuenmayor.

A more sedate way of experiencing the countryside is by taking a short escorted horse ride. At Centro Hipico Navarrete <> beginners may avail of a leisurely trek through the Altos de Corral vineyard, high on the hill overlooking the old town of Navarrete, one of the stops on the Camino. The centre caters for groups of two to ten persons.

Air balloon ride For me, the most momentous part of my visit to La Rioja was a hot air balloon ride over the province. Ballooning gives a distinctive perspective of any landscape and it’s such an Page 26 Senior Times September 2013

Getting to La Rioja is relatively easy. The small and hasslefree Bilbao Airport is the best way to get there, and Aer Lingus flies from Dublin a number of times a week during AprilOctober. To fully experience La Rioja you need to be mobile. If you have a designated driver who has no appreciation of el vino, by all means hire a car. Otherwise, if you go with a

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Horse riding through the Altos de Corral vineyards

group of friends or indeed a whole wine club, you have the option of hiring a driver or a driver and guide. Riojatrek provide guided tours around La Rioja and wine tasting tours that can be tailored to your needs. To return briefly to Suso, the sixth century hermit St. Millán was a contemporary of St. Kevin. Like Glendalough, his hermitage became a place of importance. The Benedictines took charge of the monastery, and members of the royal family of Navarre chose to be buried at this holy place. Despite its size, Suso was a centre of learning. In the margin of a tenth century Latin manuscript a monk wrote notes in Castilian and Basque. These are the earliest known words written in either language. Castilian is now better known as Spanish and it has more native speakers worldwide than English. Being the cradle of written Castilian and Basque was an added reason for the monasteries of St. Millán de la Cogolla being designated World Heritage sites. The contrast between Suso and Yuso could not be greater. Together they form a unique treasure in European heritage. That they are only part of what La Rioja has to offer speaks volumes for this wonderful province.

Page 28 Senior Times September 2013

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E-Health: How technology is transforming health care Commissioner Neelie Kroes on the European Commission e-Health action plan.

in Ireland and a great capacity for innovation. With the right political support we can use these assets to promote and support e-Health What does e-Health mean for you? Imagine being able to self-assess your Warfarin or angina medicine? No more lengthy weekly trips to the Warfarin clinic and exposure to hospital infections. Instead you can just make contact with the expert anticoagulant team online from the comfort of your own living room. Want to know more about your condition? There is loads of healthcare information available on the internet but it is important to know that this information is reliable. Check out Health on the Net

European Commissioner Neelie Kroes speaking at this year's e-Health week in Dublin

Imagine being able to self-assess your medicine? Or even having a check-up without leaving your home? As people live longer, more and more demands are bring put on our healthcare services. However, new technology is opening up fantastic new possibilities through e-health. Today life expectancy often exceeds 80 years of age which is a fantastic achievement but it also brings with it Page 30 Senior Times September 2013

the challenge of an aging population. E-Health offers huge potential to address this challenge: • It can help people stay active and independent for longer. • It can offer better public services at less cost. • It can stimulate a strong EU market that could serve our citizens and compete globally. We already have a good knowledge-base

Of course everybody wants to live in their own home for as long as possible and home care is increasingly becoming a viable option. Services such as vital signs monitoring services, often operated by call centres make living in your own home a reality, not a dream, by giving people, whether they are carers or older people, peace of mind and easy access to information. There will be times when you do need to visit a health centre and thanks to on-line diagnostic tools and up to date information, your local health care worker has access to the latest treatment and information tailor made for your condition. The Commission e-Health Action Plan, adopted in December 2012, is looking ahead to 2020, to making e-Health really happen, to addressing some remaining challenges for e-Health; like for example developing applications and technologies, funding research and development and improving digital skills and health literacy.

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Patrick Byrne, one of the residents at Great Northern Haven Co Louth.

So what is being done in Ireland to make e-Health a reality? COLLAGE, Collaboration on Ageing, is Ireland’s award winning organisation for the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP AHA). It is led by University College Cork and Louth Age Friendly County Initiative. Andrew Macfarlane is the Commercialisation & Centre Manager, with CASALA, one of the partners, based in the Dundalk Institute of Technology, which works with industry, care givers and older people to help deliver care and assistance through technology advances. “New technology developments can offer new and innovative ways to address the global aging population, along with rising health and social care costs.” COLLAGE aims to integrate technology and healthcare and one of the projects doing this is Great Northern Haven in Co. Louth. This is a purpose-built Page 32 Senior Times September 2013

development of 16 “smart” apartments occupied by older residents who are actively involved in research projects and using technologies daily. They are working on smart technologies to enable better communication between older people, their families, caregivers, and providers of services.

For more information on COLLAGE For more information on the Commission e-Health Action Plan

Other initiatives include the Let Me Decide, CART and TeleWarfarin programmes. So the e-Health Action plan has a number of issues to address, such as the development of applications and technologies, through funding for research and development. Digital skills and the health literacy of both patients and practitioners have to be improved so that these applications and technologies can be used properly. The aim is to make e-Health really happen, for it to be used widely, efficiently and effectively so that it will benefit everybody.


In search of Narnia.. Continuing her literary-themed journeys around Ireland and Britain, Lorna Hogg follows the trail of C.S. Lewis in Northern Ireland, including a visit to Carlingford which became the inspiration for the Narnia tales. C.S. – Clive Staples Lewis, the man who would bring us Aslan and Digory in The Chronicles of Narnia, was born in Belfast, on 29th November, 1898. He joined his elder brother Warren, in a comfortable middle class and highly intelligent family. Their father was a successful solicitor, and their mother a graduate of Queen’s University. The baby Clive was christened a couple of months later, at the parish church, St. Mark’s, on the Holywood Road, East Belfast, where his grandfather was minister, and lived in the adjoining rectory. The youthful, budding writer would grow up surrounded by what he would later call the `Belfast Symphony,’ the bustle and noise of clanging hammers at the nearby shipyard at Harland and Wolff, where the future liner Titanic would be built. Holidays, especially on the Causeway Coast, at Castlerock, near to the Giant’s Causeway, and Dunluce Castle, would increase his awareness of the beauty in his homeland. The growing boy was fascinated by anthromorphology, (the attributing of human form or personality to animals.) He loved reading, and especially enjoyed the works of Beatrix Potter. After their family dog died in an accident, he adopted the name Jack in his memory. When he was seven, the family moved to Little Lea, a pleasant detatched house with a substantial garden, on the city’s Circular Road. At that time, there were clear views not just over the shipyards, but beyond to the Antrim coast, and as far south as the Mourne Mountains. It was an ideal place for the childhood games with his brother which would develop the writer’s rich imagination. Life changed, however in the following year, 1908, when their mother died. The children’s father was a distant man, and tried for a solution through spells at boarding schools, including a half term at the nearby public school, Campbell College. A lampost in the grounds is thought to be one of inspirations for that in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ in the Wood between the Worlds. At this time, the young writer developed a strong interest in atheism, myth and the occult. Page 34 Senior Times September 2013

The bronze sculpture of C S Lewis which can be seen on the tour.

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Don’t miss the brass door knob, which was a possible inspiration for the lion Aslan, on St Mary’s Church Rectory door. Finally, after a spell with his father’s old tutor, he was offered a scholarship at Oxford University. It opened up his life, and a friendship with author Tolkein, who would encourage his Christian beliefs, and they were both members of the Inklings Society. Like so many of his contemporaries, Lewis signed up for the army, and was wounded in 1918. Whilst in the army, he developed a friendship with another soldier, `Paddy’ Moore. The two made a pact that in the case of the death of one of the pair, the other would care for the bereaved family. When Paddy was killed, Lewis encountered his mother, Jane Moore, whom he also called ‘mother.’ The two developed a strong and affectionate friendship, and Lewis and his brother joined together with Jane and Paddy’s sister in purchasing a house in Oxford. Lewis now had a base in England, with academic posts at both Oxford and Cambridge. He became an established writer, forty books to his credit, and was also an essayist, novelist, poet, academic, mediaevalist and theologian, writing widely on Christianity. He has justly been dubbed a `literary giant’ but would doubtless appreciate the irony that it was a series of children’s books which would bring him world wide fame. Between 1950 and 1954, he created the series of seven fantasy novels for children, The Chronicles of Narnia. They sold 100 million copies and were translated into 41 languages. Several would later be turned into films and TV series. Lewis’s love of Northern Ireland, its landscapes, its people, myths and culture, was broadened by a general appreciation of `Northernness’ which included Scandinavian mythology. All

informed his writing, along with Greek and Roman mythology, and British and Irish fairytales. The sites which he had loved as a child featured – Rostrevor, with the mountain vistas across to Carlingford, became the landspace of Narnia. It is also possible that Dunluce Castle influenced the descriptions of Cair Paravel. In 1956, Lewis married Joy Davidson, a long standing friend and several years his junior. They honeymooned at the Old Inn at Crawfordsburn, the village where another possible influence for the famous lamppost in The Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe. Sadly, Joy died four years later, and Lewis himself soon showed symptoms of the renal illness which would lead to his death, on November 22nd, 1963, the infamous date on the assassination of President Kennedy. A Northern Narnia.. There are several C.S. Lewis tours available in Belfast, but it is also possible to visit his Belfast for yourself, using Metro Translink buses. However, check for updated services, and to discover new or discontinued routes. Be sure to buy a day pass! Further south, Rostrevor, easily reached from Newry, offers views of the landscapes which so inspired the writer. Start your tour at the Linen Hall Library, the oldest library in Belfast, which now holds a collection of books by and about the author. Several bus services will take you out to the Newtownards Road, where you can see the C.S. Lewis wall murals, on Ballymacarrett Road and Dee Street. Alight at Connswater, and then turn up the Holywood Road for the Holywood Library,

The famous Cloughmore Boulder in Rostrevor Forest Park

Page 36 Senior Times September 2013


St. Mark’s Church, Dundela, where the C S Lewis was christened

and `The Searcher’ iconic bronze statues, including a chair and of course, a Wardrobe. Bus 20 will take you onto Campbell College, one of Lewis’s schools – check for stops nearby. Metro Bus 27 or 28 is best for St. Mark’s Church, Dundela, (get off at Park Avenue) where the author was christened. A stained glass window, given by the family after the death of their parents still remains. Don’t miss the brass door knob, which was a possible inspiration for the lion Aslan, on the Rectory door. Bus No. 27 will also pass Circular Road, alight at Garranard Park, for the leafy walk to No. 26, Little Lea, Lewis’ old home. It’s now a private house, but you can see the house from the front gate. The Kingdom of Narnia A car is ideal for any visit to Rostrevor, and you can drive up to the car-park in the surrounding forest park. However, you can also get there by Ulsterbus 39, from Newry, and take a taxi. Rostrevor’s parks have beautiful streams and woods which inspired the writer, and there is also an excellent restaurant – The Old School House. A couple of miles along the coast lies the Cloughmore Trail, in Rostrevor Forest Park. Drive up to the car park, for the short but steep climb to the summit and the famous Cloughmore Boulder. Legend claims that it was created during a battle between Finn MacCool and another giant, who tossed it across from Carlingford. It has of course also been immortalised, as Lewis told his brother, ‘that part of Rostrevor which overlooks Carlingford Lough is my idea of Narnia.’

Creative writing Jane Shackleton: exploring with a camera

by Eileen Casey

Jane Shackleton: although the origins of her initial interest remain shrouded in mystery, it is known that she first began taking photographs in the mid-1880’s.

Jane took numerous photographs at Dublin Zoo

Heritage Town, Mountmellick, Co. Laois is well worth a visit with many features of interest. Located at the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, it is only one hour’s drive from Dublin. Summer 2013 saw this Midlands gem celebrate its strong Quaker foundations, roots which in the past were responsible for the town’s many diverse industries including woollen mills, cotton, breweries, tanneries and glass. Such was the extent of this town’s thriving industrial nature that it was better known in the mid-nineteenth century as ‘The Manchester of Ireland’. Throughout July and August, Mountmellick’s Museum in Irishtown showed an exhibition of intriguing Quaker tapestry. It consisted of twenty captivating works, framed under glass, which are usually housed at the finest Georgian building in Cumbria, The Friends Meeting House at Kendal. The embroidered panels of the Quaker tapestry, crafted by 4,000 men, women and children, are a celebration of 350 years of Quaker life and experience. This was the first time the tapestries were shown in Ireland, proving itself a huge success with craft guilds in particular who travelled from far and wide to see and explore the work. On the day I visited, the place was a busy hive, with people coming and going and generally enjoying themselves. The art gallery in the public library at Mountmellick also achieved a coup this summer, putting together a body of work, hidden for over a century, from Jane Wigham Shackleton (1843 – 1909), Ireland’s most prominent Quaker photographer. Responsible for one of the largest collections by a female photographer in Ireland, Jane W. Shackleton is a direct descendent of William Edmundson who arrived in Mountmellick in 1659, settling in Rosenallis the following year. Page 38 Senior Times September 2013

Edmundson held the first Friends meeting in Ireland in Lurgan, Co. Armagh in 1654. Jane Wigham Shackleton was the daughter of Joshua and Mary Edmundson. Joshua (1805-48) had established a firm in the 1830’s at 35 Capel Street, Dublin, called Joshua Edmundson & Company, which was described as ‘house furnishers, iron mongers, cabinet makers, upholsterers, plumbers, gas fitters, brass and iron founders, gas, lighthouse and sanitary engineers, electricians.’ His wife Mary, was the daughter of John Wigham of Edinburgh and she married Joshua Edmundson in 1840. Within eight years, Joshua died of typhus, leaving Mary a young widow with five children. Mary was a determined, hard working woman and kept up the family business. Jane inherited her mother’s independent nature which was to serve her well. The Shackleton connection came about when Jane married Joseph Fisher Shackleton on 6th March, 1866. Joseph’s father and explorer Ernest’s grandfather were brothers. They established their home beside one of the three mills Joseph managed, near Anna Liffey on the River Liffey. Jane and Joseph had six children, three boys and three girls, who naturally feature in many of the family photographs taken by their mother. As the children grew older, excursions included trips to Lucan, picnics and camping at Glenasmole in the Dublin Mountains. Over the years, the family made several trips along the Shannon. In 1891, Jane visited the Aran Islands off the Galway coast. In total, she visited the islands nine times between 1891 and 1906, She also visited Inis Mór and Inis Meáin. Jane persuaded one lady on Inis Mór to pose with her spinning wheel and in thanks sent her a photograph. Bridget Mullins was so grateful that, in return, she sent Jane a pair of

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General Shop, Inis Mór, County Galway, April 1906

stockings that she had knit from wool of her own spinning. Those fortunate enough to have visited this exquisite photographic exhibition at The Public Library, Mountmellick, experienced photography which offers a unique overview of a bygone age. Jane’s favourite subjects included inland waterways (not surprising when so much of the family business depended on water transportation) and buildings, the Aran Islands, the west of Ireland and Irish antiquities. She also took photographs at Dublin Zoo. One of the charming features of these black and white photographs is the relaxation of concern regarding the posing of people, a facet which results in more natural looking portraits than was usual at this time. This significant exhibition charts the development of a woman whose ‘camera eye’ soon strayed beyond family and local interest to iconic images taken of people in all walks of life in all corners of Ireland. There’s an astonishing development in terms of documenting a changing landscape of stone cottages, inland waterways, railways and mechanised turf harvesting. She captured the first steps of a country’s slow transformation from a rural agricultural community to an industrial economy. Fortunately, a large number of the photographs, compiled by Chris Corlett, with a foreword by Jonathan Shackleton (great grandson of Jane) were published in 2012 by The Collins Press. Corlett also assisted in putting together the exhibition at Mountmellick Public Library. The publication, ‘Jane W. Shackleton’s Ireland,’ is a beautiful hardback edition. It has been put together with great care, thanks to the generous access of Jane W. Shackleton’s albums allowed by her surviving relatives, Mary, Jonathan and Daphne. Obviously, the task was a labour of love for Chris Corlett, an archaeologist with the National Page 40 Senior Times September 2013

Monuments Service of the Department of Arts, Heritage & Local Government. Corlett has an extensive knowledge of early photography in Ireland and a keen interest in Irish archaeology, history and folklore. The detailed introduction to the photographs proves to be of great assistance in fully appreciating them. Although the origins of Jane’s initial interest remain shrouded in mystery, it is known that she first began taking photographs in the mid1880’s. She processed her negatives at her husband’s flour mill at Anna Liffey in Dublin and often apologised for their floury state during the many lectures she gave to groups of camera enthusiasts. Jane also produced lantern slides from her photographs. As well as these slides, several volumes of her lecture notes survive. Some of the photographs in this publication are accompanied by snippets from the lecture notes, an addition which not only enhances them with colourful information but also allows the personality of Jane herself to emerge. For example, a photograph General Shop, Inis Mór, County Galway, April 1906, is mentioned in a letter home to Jane’s family dated 25th April in which she says: “There is a new shop here where we bought oranges. It seems well-stocked – the young man came out this evening and asked would we photograph it for him so we are going to do it tomorrow morning.” In 1892, Jane W. Shackleton was elected a member of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (RSAI) and her son George was elected a member in 1896. Irish archaeological monuments and the RSAI constitute another important theme of her photographs. In July 1895, she visited Inishkea in County Mayo, as a part of a cruise around the northern and western coast of Ireland organised by the Royal Society of

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Jane persuaded Bridget Mullins on Inis Mór to pose with her spinning wheel and in thanks sent her a photograph.

Antiquaries of Ireland. The society organised a number of similar cruises at the time, visiting places such as Inishmurray and Claire Island. The Society visited monuments throughout County Galway in July 1901 and several of Jane’s photographs were taken on this occasion. Some of her trips were farther afield however. In 1888, Jane and her husband spent three weeks in Norway, where they took an interest in an 18-foot boat built on the Hardanger Fjord. By the end of her life Jane W. Shackleton was one of the most prolific photographers of her time, documenting people and places that this handsome publication breathes new life into. ‘Jane W. Shackleton’s Ireland’ is an important addition to Ireland’s photographic canon. Across its 192 pages, it features aspects of Irish life often missed by other photographers. The cover image of the book ‘Our would-be Guides,’ Inis Mór, 1892, carries echoes of the voice who captured the image. Jane wrote in her notes; ‘There is no difficulty finding guides – even if you do not want them – they will keep by you for half a day for the pleasure of your society.’ Also included are a number of photographs taken during a trip to Kerry by her eldest son, William and some of his friends in 1890. Jane W. Shackleton’s Ireland, with a foreword by Jonathan Shackleton and compiled by Christiaan Corlett is published by The Collins Press and retails for €24.99/£17.99. It’s a must for photography enthusiasts as well as anyone who holds an interest in social history and culture.

Praise for The Doll’s House The chilling new novel, ‘The Doll’s House’, from South Dublin writer Louise Phillips has just been published to rave reviews. It’s a must for lovers of crime fiction and follows on the heels of her equally successful debut, ‘Red Ribbons’. “The past and present collide with deadly effect,” says Myles McWeeney (The Irish Independent) – “Phillips scored a solid hit with her first psychological thriller ‘Red Ribbons’. In ‘The Page 42 Senior Times September 2013

Doll’s House,’ Phillips has delivered a sequel that betters her debut – a gripping, suspenseful story, peopled with well drawn characters.” Likewise, “It’s always a pleasure to talk books and writing with Dublin crime fiction writer, Louise Phillips. And the great thing about Phillips is the passion and intensity with which she talks about writing – it transcends into her books, bringing her characters and stories to life,” – Susan Condon, South Dublin writer. Condon’s superb interview can be read on;

Meet me at The Over 50s Show! Finally, a reminder that I’ll be facilitating a creative writing ‘gathering’ at the upcoming Senior Times Show in the RDS (October). ‘Small Landscapes at the Bottom of the Teacup,’ is also available, together with a great relaxing weekend (w/e 15th/16th November) at The Aherlow House Hotel & Lodges. For more information contact Sales & Marketing Manager, Joanne 0’Dwyer-Hicks (+3536256153), email:

Win two copies of The Doll’s House To celebrate the launch of ‘The Doll’s House,’ Hachette Publishing House have a giveaway prize of the novel to the first two readers to contact Senior Times with their full name and address, together with the answer to this question: What is the name of Louise Phillip’s debut novel? Send your answers to: Dolls House Competition, Senior Times, Unit 1, 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. (Or you can email your answer to The first two correct entrants drawn are the winners. Deadline for receipt of entries is 26th September

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Nestl ed on the banks of the River Mo y in the bustling market town of Ballina is the four star Ballina Manor Hotel. Enjo y fine dining in the Ridgepool Restaurant, traditional music and live entertainment in the Bridge Tavern Bar and relax in hotel’s l eisure centre. Bingo, quizzes and other entertainment can be organised for groups. The hotel’s central location means Westport, the Céide Fields, Achill Island and Enniscrone are all within driving distance!

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This ma gnificent property in Celbridge is housed in an opul ent Georgian house, which was built in 1737 and served as an education centre until 1973. The hotel h as beautiful wall ed gardens, a bar, restaurant and gym. There are many local attractions which can be visited including Castl etown House, one of the finest exampl es of a Palladian Mansion in Ireland. Celbridge is onl y 20 minutes from Dublin city and with excell ent train and bus services, you can enjo y all th at Dublin h as to offer and return to the calm serenity of Celbridge Manor after a da y out! H OTEL OPEN ING OCTOBER OCTOBER 2013 2013 HOTEL OPENING

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Holidaying In Ireland? Here are just some ideas… Go West for a Truly Relaxing Over 50s Holiday Hotel Westport is secluded in 7 acres of beautiful woodland in the heart of Westport. You’ll discover a uniquely friendly, comfortable and stylish hotel, abounding in warmth and relaxation. Hotel Westport offers a variety of holidays and are renowned for their theme breaks – Over 50s (where you get an extra night’s Dinner, Bed and Breakfast for FREE!), Golf, Walking, Bridge, Indoor Bowling and Wellness. As part of their Over 50s Programme they take care of your every need! The holiday includes a full Irish Breakfast each morning (served until a leisurely 11am!), and a four course Table d’Hote dinner each evening in the AA Rosette Islands Restaurant. Groups and Individuals are welcome to join Hotel Westport’s Over 50s Programme. Group Discounts apply. Hotel Westport organise Day tours too - Knock Shrine, Kylemore &/or Ballintubber Abbey, Foxford Woollen Mills, Achill Island, The Céidé Fields (at your own expense) and more tours are being added all the time like the Titanic Village and Hennigans Heritage Farm. Alternatively, for those of you wanting something a little more relaxing, book a treatment in their luxurious Ocean Spirit Spa. Choose from an array of treatments – specialised massages, reflexology, soothing facials, exotic hand and foot spa treatments, luxurious body peels and wraps. Games and entertainment are organised for the evenings too. You won’t want to go home!

the Carrowbeg River, while the ‘Maple Bar’ provides the perfect ambience for music and chat over drinks amongst friends. Avail of the extensive leisure facilities on hand, relax with a good book in the patio gardens or take a stroll along the Carrowbeg River into the multi-award winning town where there is an excellent mix of shops. Hotel Westport is located in the perfect place to take in one or more of the many outdoor activities in the local area: Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s Holy Mountain, Clew Bay, with 365 islands, blue flag beaches, horse riding, golf, surfing, fishing, walking and shopping - just to mention a few and has direct pedestrian access through the grounds of Westport House and located on the Great Western Greenway - 42km of uninterrupted walking and cycling taking in breathtaking scenery on the way, from Westport through Newport and Mulranny and onto Achill Island!

The Hotel has 129 bedrooms with all the comforts of home. The award-winning AA Rosette ‘Islands Restaurant’ overlooks

A warm, friendly welcome awaits you at Hotel Westport, “One of Ireland’s best loved Hotels”. Call Hotel Westport NOW to book your Holiday 00 353 98 25122.

Exhibitions At Trinity College Library

Great Getaways at the Slieve Russell

Included in any visit to the Old Library and the Book of Kells exhibition is admittance to the exhibitions in the Long Room such as Preservation and Conservation: What’s That?- is on view to 6th October 2013.This exhibition invites you into the world of conservators in Trinity College Library and offers an introduction to the range of activities carried out by staff in the department. Our display explores the treatment and care of a range of different materials, from Greek and Roman papyri to parchment scrolls from Ethiopia; from manuscripts to printed books; and from glass-plate negatives to 20th century travel diaries.

It’s easy to see why the 4 star Slieve Russell Hotel Golf & Country Club is one of the most popular hotels in Ireland. With a choice of over 300 acres of impeccably groomed gardens, a luxurious hotel comprising of deluxe and superior rooms not to mention a world class spa where there is bound to be a treatment that is sure to have you unwind and get rid of your everyday stresses, each treatment room is designed to provide maximum comfort and relaxation.

In tune: a millennium of music in Trinity College Library – on view from 17th October 2013 to mid-April 2014 From plainchant to rock ‘n’ roll – the collections at Trinity College Library include a rich and diverse range of music materials, stretching back over 1000 years of Irish and European musical history. This display marks the 250th anniversary of the appointment of Dublin University’s first Professor of Music in 1764 and will include medieval liturgical manuscripts to works of the most eminent 20th century Irish composers. Admission Times: Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5pm Sundays (May to September) 9.30am to 4.30pm Sundays (October to April) 12 noon to 4.30pm Admission Rates: Adults €9.00 Senior Citizens €8.00 Group rate available for 10 or more Tel: 01 896 2320 Email: Web: Page 44 Senior Times September 2013

The Slieve Russell Hotel Golf and Country Club is synonymous with the highest quality of excellent cuisine, professional service and attention to detail. We will ensure you are guaranteed a joyous and memorable breakaway and should you feel like taking in some golf we offer reduced green fees for residential guests on the 18hole Championship Course, especially designed to incorporate the many lakes and drumlins in Co Cavan and is ranked in the top 15 inland courses in Ireland. Contact Slieve Russell 049 952 6444 or

Enjoy A City Break In Belfast BELFAST is the perfect place to enjoy a city break in September and October and with a host of cultural and food events taking place, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) believes that visitors will be spoilt for choice. Fiona Cunningham, Northern Ireland Tourist Board’s Market Manager (ROI) said: “Belfast is a fantastic place for visitors to enjoy a cosmopolitan city break. There is always so much to see and do and September and October is no exception as we look forward to the hugely popular Culture Night, Belfast Festival at Queen’s and Belfast Restaurant Week to name just a few of the events and festivals taking place. “As well as the great events, the city offers a wealth of must see tourist attractions including Titanic Belfast, Crumlin Road Gaol, The MAC and the Ulster Museum, a fantastic selection of hotels as well as a wonderful array of restaurants,” Fiona added. Page 46 Senior Times September 2013

To provide people with inspiration, NITB has put together some of the highlights to look forward to.

Within the stunning surrounds of St George’s Church, Kabosh Theatre Company chart the 400 year history of this ever changing city in the new play ‘Belfast by Moonlight’ written by Carlo Gébler with original music by Northern Irish composer Neil Martin. This ritualistic drama commences in 1613 when the town charter is granted and gives a voice to the forgotten celebrating personal endurance and presenting a refrain for Béal Feirste.

Culture Night Belfast returns on September 20 with an all encompassing whirlwind of events right across the city centre and beyond. With over 250 events in over 100 venues – Culture Night promises to have something for everyone.

The Spectrum Centre will host another journey through history, this time focusing on Shankill Road. Community actors work alongside professional actors to present Crimea Square, the amazing story of the Shankill Road from 1912 to the present day.

Ireland’s leading contemporary international arts festival, Belfast Festival at Queen’s takes place from October 17 – 27 boasts an action packed schedule of music, theatre, dance, visual arts and film. Highlights include the opening event at the Waterfront Hall with world renowned tenor José Carreras and special guest Celine Byrne. The spotlight will also be on local talent as stories from the Shankill, dance in public spaces, international collaborations and 400 years of Belfast’s history are told by those who know it best.

Enjoy a dance performance with Maiden Voyage at The MAC and the Ulster Museum. This newly commissioned premiere from Northern Irish dance company Dance Exposed will take dance into public spaces to ask questions about the relationship between bodies and buildings as a way of understanding the link between individuals and the structures that shape their experience. Belfast Restaurant Week from October 5 – 12 is a tasty celebration of signature menus and offers, culinary events and

local food in fabulous restaurants. Throughout the week Belfast’s diverse restaurants will be hosting exclusive events and showcasing special menus using the finest local produce. Why not try something new or book a table at a tried and tested favourite? Experience a mini food city with Taste & Dine at City Hall on October 5 & 6. Meet some of the heroes of Belfast Restaurant Week, local producers and enjoy chef talks, demonstrations, music and entertainment. Taste & Dine will be a showcase celebration of the amazing food on offer throughout the city.

can. There will also be a Titanic Taste Tour incorporating the Dock Café, SS Nomadic, Titanic Belfast, Belfast Met & T13.

As part of Belfast Restaurant Week, enjoy a Vintage Bus Tour Food Experience on October 6. Start your food Journey at Coppi for Prosecco & Chicceti, then all aboard the vintage bus to Il Pirata for a Sunday sharing roast with a final stop at The Barking Dog for a special dessert.

Belfast Restaurant Week will culminate with a spectacular Masquerade Ball Night on October 13 with Night of 400 Diners in the City Hall’s Great Hall. Don your mask and feast on a decadent array of culinary delights from leading Belfast chefs. With the best of local produce and fabulous ingredients, live music, dancing and entertainment.

Located in the heart of Belfast's bustling university quarter, Molly’s Yard will be hosting a 6 Course Tasting Menu with Hilden Beers. Each course and beer will tell its own story and promises to show off the best of local produce and the wonderful flavours of the award winning beers that can match and enhance the dining experience as much as any wine

The city offers a fabulous choice of hotels with something to suit all budgets including 5-star luxury in The Merchant which is situated in the heart of the historic Cathedral Quarter. This stunning original Grade A listed building is complemented by an elegant Art Deco inspired wing with a multitude of exciting amenities including luxurious

spa, a rooftop gymnasium with panoramic city views and a jazz bar. The world famous 4-star Europa Hotel boasts a choice of dining options for guests, including The Piano Bar for cocktails or afternoon tea, the contemporary Causerie bistro with an extensive menu focused on local produce, and the more informal Lobby Bar which offers great pub grub and light bites as well as live music at the weekend. To find out more about Belfast, what else there is to see and do in Northern Ireland or for information on places to stay contact the Northern Ireland Tourist Board on callsave 1850 230 230 or click on

Senior Times September 2013 Page 47

Things to do in Cork in September Watch out folks, Cork Ireland is festival central for the month of September (actually that’s the case all year round!). From telling tall tales, to traditional Irish music, history & culture to Star Wars, Cork is the place to be this month. Cork has firmly established itself in Ireland as the place to go for a long weekend but so far they have it a secret from outsiders!! But with so much to see and do its time we stopped being selfish and let everyone else see what Cork has to offer. • Live music in Cork City ongoing • Cape Clear Storytelling Festival 3 – 5 Sept • Courtmacsherry Storytelling Festival 10 – 12 Sept • La Traviata in Kilbrittain House 11 Sept • Midleton Food & Drink Festival 11 Sept • Star Wars Invasion, Cork 11 – 12 Sept • A Taste of West Cork Food festival 11 – 19 Sept • Frank O Connor Short Story Festival 15 – 19 Sept • Clonakilty International Guitar Festival 16 – 19 Sept • East Cork Early Music Festival 16 – 20 Sept • Clonakilty Motion Festival 22 – 26 Sept • Cork Culture Night 24 Sept • Cobh Blues Festival 24 – 26 Sept • Youghal Celebrates History 24 – 26 Sept • Beamish Cork Folk Festival 30 Sept – 3 Oct Cork is also a haven for good food, great pubs and exceptional outdoor activities such as whale watching, mountain biking, world class golf and more. is offering an array of exceptional value Cork hotel deals and superb Cork car hire rates. So come visit in September and experience why Cork is Ireland’s festival capital.

Experience the Titanic Cobh Opened in February 2012 Titanic Experience Cobh is a dedicated visitor centre to the story of Titanic and it’s connection to Cobh. Located in the original White Star Line Ticket Office in the centre of Cobh town (formally known as Queenstown) we invite you to join the journey of the final 123 passengers who boarded the Titanic. Page 48 Senior Times September 2013

At Titanic Experience Cobh you will enjoy a journey of two halves. The first is an exciting immersive audio visual tour retracing the steps of the 123 passengers who boarded Titanic from Queenstown on April 11th 1912. Experience their anticipation of the long journey ahead and their new life waiting in America. With Fourth Officer Boxall as your virtual guide, innovative audio visual technology and replica set designs, ‘passengers’ will experience what life would have been like on board for those 123 Queenstown Passengers. Visitors will share the excitement of boarding the most Luxurious liner of her time and feel the horror of the tragedy on that fateful night on the 15th April 1912. The second part of the Titanic Experience examines how it all went wrong; the unbelievable and “almost” impossible sequence of events that occurred to cause Titanic to sink. Interactive exhibits and computer generated graphics recreating the collision and subsequent sinking, film analysis of the Titanic on the Sea bed and expert interviews allow visitors to find out how and why the Titanic sank on that fateful night. Touchscreen Computers allow you to look at the personalities on board the ship and in particular to discover the fate of the 123 Queenstown passengers. This year sees a new addition to Titanic Experience Cobh, with the acquisition of a number of artefacts from the maiden voyage for exhibition at the centre.Based in Cork, Titanic Experience Cobh is a permanent visitor centre open all year round. Facilities include; Coach parking, Wheelchair accessibility, Restaurant and Titanic Merchandise Shopping. The tour is also available in French, German, Spanish and Italian. For those considering visiting the South of Ireland this year, Titanic Experience is a must! Contact or visit for more details.

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Brussels on a budget Continuing her travels in the Low Countries, Lorna Hogg explains how you can enjoy the Belgian capital without breaking the bank

The splendid art nouveau interior of the Metropole Hotel and on facades on Rue du Lombard as well in the Sablon area. The Museum Victor Horta (one of the chief art nouveau architects) is well worth a visit.

Grand Place during the Brussels in Bloom Festival A Euro capital within easy reach. A city ideal for walking, famed for its food and shopping, within day trips of some of Europe’s most romantic cities – if you’re looking for a good value short city break, Brussels is ideal. Plan wisely, bearing in mind that many museums are closed on Mondays. That way, you can take advantage of what’s free or modestly priced – which ranges from Comic Strip and Art Nouveau cultural walks, to exploring parks, palaces and political centres, to searching for fashion bargains and enhancing your chocolate experience!

Comic strip heroes If you grew up reading the adventures of Tin-Tin, Asterix, The Smurfs or Felix the Cat, you’ll find something to enjoy as you walk the Comic Strip Street Trail. Get a map from the tourist office, or download one in advance. It explores over 30 city wide sites mentioned in the famed cartoon character strips, which are commemorated in large murals. The Comic Strip Museum, sited in an art deco building on Rue des Sables, contains histories, relevant details and background and is an ideal starting place. Building history

Start your visit in the medieval and beautiful heart of the city, Grand Place, site of the tourist office. This much photographed square is as perfect for outdoor summer ice creams, as for winter hot chocolate by cosy café firesides. You can buy your Brussels Card here – (24 hours €24, 2 days €34) and start your own budget Brussels explorations. FREEDOM OF THE CITY Art nouveau At the beginning of the twentieth century, Brussels experienced considerable growth, and the young architects of the day used the new art nouveau style, using mosaic, glass and wrought iron to create an elegant style in public buildings, homes, shops and hotels. These include the restaurant of Hotel Metropole, and the Restaurant Cirio, Place de Bourse. More examples can be found around The Bourse

St Michels Cathedral The city’s architecture is well worth exploration. Pop into the ancient Cathedral of St. Michel and St. Gudule, stroll past the

Senior Times September 2013 Page 51

Fashionable Avenue Louise is one of the most popular shopping areas of the city.

Stunning cities such as Bruges, shown, Antwerp and Ghent are only an hour away...

Bourse (Stock Exchange,) or walk around the public areas of the massive Law Courts Palais de Justice, which is said by many to be larger than St. Peter’s in Rome. Shop, admire or sip coffee in the elegant arcades at nineteenth century Galeries Hubert. From late July until early September, you can enjoy free entry to visit the Royal Palace. Over three weeks, starting in late April, the Royal Greenhouses at nearby Laeken, famed for their superb planting, are open to the public for a small charge – take the Metro. On the first Wednesday of the month, from, many of the city’s museums offer free entry. Over the years, we’ve all watched broadcasts from the iconic EU buildings – now you can learn about how they affect you at the free exhibition at the Parlamentarium. Finally, if your kind of building is one that brews beer, you can take a tour around the Cantillon Brewery, in the city’s suburbs. Chocolate heaven Brussels may be famed for its waffles, fries and the biscuit called speculoos – but it is of course, synonymous with chocolate. There is a wide variety of commercial chocolate tours. However, thanks to the number of world famous brands within the city centre shops, as well as artisan specialists such as Pierre Marcolini and Jean Galler, you can taste, shop or sample or even create your own chocolate experience. The streets around Grand Place, Sablon and Avenue Louise contain many chocolatiers and shops. Famous names such as Leonidas, Godiva and Neuhaus have several outlets, and Planete Chocolat in Rue du Lombard, hold workshops. Individuals can also try their hands at Zaabar chocolate workshops, on Wednesdays and Saturdays – for the best experience, it’s wise to book well in advance. Fashion city Avenue Louise is the home of designer shops – couture is to be found here. If you’re interested in luxury, interiors and antiques, the chic Sablon area is your spot - keep an eye out for the top Belgian brand Delvaux, long been famed for handbags and luggage. Creative fashion types will find plenty to enjoy on Avenue Antoine Dansaert. Don’t forget - some stores are closed on Sundays. Like all major cities, Brussels also has its markets - the Flea Market, at Place Jeu de Balle, is the site for Sunday morning browsing. Lace and tapestry lovers will find plenty of choice in the narrow streets around Grand Place – Rubbrecht is the shop Page 52 Senior Times September 2013

for mantillas, christening gowns, trims and pieces. Away days Belgium’s excellent public transport allows you explore the beautiful countryside, and several medieval towns – e.g. Ghent, Antwerp and Bruges, are only an hour’s travel away. Ghent was once Western Europe’s largest city and has retained it waterfront and its thirteenth century skyline and beautiful squares and fortress. Its main square contains enough café choice for a relaxing treat – after viewing the international masterpiece, Van Eyck’s Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, in the Cathedral. Bruges is one of Europe’s gems, a perfectly preserved medieval city, with romantic canal views, best seen on boat trips! It is packed with history and quirky cobbled courtyards and canal banks. Climb the Belfry tower, or simply listen to its ancient chimes. See the old Law Courts, take a canal cruise, investigate more chocolate shops. or simply enjoy some peace in the grounds of the city’s Beguinage. An early example of sheltered housing, these ancient retreats for older pious women have plenty to teach us about just how well the concept can still work. Antwerp was once an immensely wealthy city, and Europe’s largest port north of the Alps. It and has retained much of its sixteenth century architecture and style, and is, of course still one of the great diamond centres, with its own diamond district. Whilst you can pick up plenty of tourist style bargains, if you decide to do some serious shopping, do some advance research. Antwerp is also the home of artist Rubens, and you can see his works at the superb Fine Art Museum. HOW TO GET THERE Aer Lingus flies from Dublin and Cork to Brussels. Ryanair flies from Dublin to nearby Charleroi, approximately one hour by coach to Brussels. If you plan to visit London, consider a short break package to Brussels with Eurostar.



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Recipes from the celebrated restaurant in Galway

From the kitchen at Ard Bia..

Recipes from Ard Bia Cookbook by Aoibheann MacNamara and Aoife Carrigy Published by Atrium at €39

Turkish borek of squash, sage and f The Turkish borek is like a little portable pie, akin to the Cornish pasty or the Indian samosa. Pastry pockets like these are the prototype take-away food, designed for workers and perfect for lunchboxes, but they also make a lovely evening meal if served up with roast vegetables and salad. You could prepare all of these elements a few days in advance, making it a good one for a mid-week supper with friends. For the pastry: 400g / 14oz self-raising flour ½ tsp salt 80g / 3oz cold butter, cubed 2 tbsp water 2 egg yolks (1 egg yolk for brushing) 80g / 3oz crème fraîche 1 tbsp seeds of choice (pumpkin, sunflower or white or black sesame) For the filling: 500g / 1lb squash, peeled and diced 1–2 tbsp olive oil 300g / 12oz feta (we use St Tola’s Greek-style cheese), diced 1 tbsp chopped sage 1 nutmeg kernel, for grating salt and pepper To serve: 4–6 tbsp coriander pesto (see Pantry 1) Serves 4–6 Page 54 Senior Times September 2013

Blend the flour, salt and butter until they resemble breadcrumbs. You can do this by hand or in a food processor. Add crème fraîche and one egg yolk and blend.Gradually add water until it comes together as a soft dough. Use your hands to work into a firm dough. Wrap with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to five days. Preheat oven to 180°C/350ºF/gas mark 5. Toss the diced squash in a roasting tin with a little oil and water, cover with foil and roast in a preheated oven until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool, leaving the oven on to bake the borek. Once the roast squash has cooled completely, mix with the feta and sage. Season with salt and pepper and some freshly grated nutmeg, to taste. When ready to serve, roll out the pastry fairly thinly, about 3–4mm, and cut into squares of about 15cm x 15cm. Brush the edges with the remaining egg yolk. Place a spoonful of filling in the centre and fold diagonally, corner to corner, pressing with a fork or thumb to seal. Brush the top with egg yolk and sprinkle with seeds before baking for 25 minutes in the preheated oven. Serve hot with coriander pesto and fresh leaves.

Patrick?s Burgers Patrick O’Reilly’s take on the classic burger. 2 tbsp oil 1 onion, finely diced 2 small fresh chorizo sausages, diced ½ tin quality anchovies, preferably in olive oil 500g / 1lb minced beef 2 free-range eggs, beaten 1 handful coriander stalks, finely chopped 2 handfuls coriander leaves, roughly chopped salt and pepper Tastes great with: toasted baguette Ard Bia tomato relish salad leaves and sliced tomatoes Serves 4–6 Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and gently sweat the onion until soft and sweet. Remove from the pan, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible, and set aside. Fry the diced chorizo for a few minutes or until it begins to release red oils, add to the onions and leave to cool completely. Finely chop the anchovies. In a large mixing bowl, combine the minced beef with the cooled onion and chorizo, add the anchovies, beaten eggs and coriander, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands and form into wet patties. Place the patties on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight if possible.

Warm salad of octopus, new potatoes and rocket Don’t be put off by cooking octopus. Sourcing it is often the hardest bit, but your fishmonger can seek it out. The cooking is relatively easy and the results impressive. What’s more, octopus is plentiful in Irishseas, so you’ll be cooking something that is local and sustainable. 200ml / 7fl oz rapeseed oil 1 medium-sized octopus, about 1kg / 2lb, whole but cleaned (your fishmonger will do this) 1 red onion, roughly chopped 3 garlic cloves, chopped 2 sprigs rosemary 1 tsp paprika 1 lemon, juice only 6 boiled new potatoes, halved or quartered 200g / 8oz rocket Serves 4–6 as a starter, or you could add more potatoes to serve as a main Heat the oil in a heavy-based pot over a medium heat. Add the octopus, onion, garlic and rosemary. Sauté for five minutes, then cover and reduce the heat. The octopus will begin to release water. Meanwhile Preheat oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas mark 7.Simmer the octopus for 20 minutes, by which stage it will have created its own braising stock. Add the paprika,re-cover and place in the oven for about 45–60 minutes. Undercooked octopus will be tough, overcooked will be dry, so test after 45 minutes: the octopus should be tender enough to slide a thin sharp knife through it without much resistance.

It’s up to you how you cook them – under a hot grill, on a frying pan, or outdoors on the barbecue – but start the cooking nice and hot to brown the burgers, then reduce the heat to cook thoroughly. To check, pierce with a knife: the juices should run clear.

Once cooked, allow to cool in its stock and add lemon juice to taste. You can trim the skin and suckers from the meat, depending on how refined you want it to look. To serve, slice the octopus and warm gently under a medium grill with the potatoes. Take care not to grill for too long or the octopus will toughen. Toss with the rocket leaves, using a little of the lemony braising liquor as a dressing.

Tip: At the restaurant we often serve pork burgers in place of beef. Standard advice is to cook through any meat that has been minced.

This recipe can be prepared in advance, as cooked octopus will keep in the fridge for three days, stored in braising liquid to keep it moist.

Senior Times September 2013 Page 55

Balkan beauties


Mairead Robinson checks out some new wines from Romania.

The public wine tasting area at Cramele Recas, an estate of almost 1,000 hectare

The Recas vineyard where wine has been produced continuously since 1477. Back in the late nineties I went on a wine trip to Romania. We were a small group, two of us from Ireland and the other three from the UK. From Bucharest airport, we went by road up through the country to Transylvania, we visited wineries in the Carpathian mountains and drove back along the Eastern side of the country to Bucharest again after several days. I saw so much of this country, ravaged by years of harsh dictatorship, as it tried to bring the wine industry out of the doldrums and make the transfer from bulk to quality. I left with hope that they would be successful, as this part of the world has such a long tradition of wine making dating back to well before the onset of communism. Due to the hot dry summers, the location has proved to be successful and the grape vineyards have thrived. Since the medieval times, wine has been the Page 56 Senior Times September 2013

traditional alcoholic beverage of the Romanians. In the 1880s, Phylloxera (a pale yellow sap-sucking insect that attacks the roots of vines) arrived in Romania from North America. The phylloxera wiped out the majority of Europe's vineyards, including those in Romania. Eventually, many of the Romanian vines were replaced by those imported from France and other foreign nations and included noble varieties such as Merlot, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. It is hard to believe now, but back as recently as 2008, Romania was the twelfth largest wine producing country in the world. But over the past few years substantial changes have taken place that has turned the spotlight back on to Romaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wine production, and it is down to quality over quantity.

Since my visit, wine makers from Europe and Australia have been working with local wineries to bring about a positive change in the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wine production. The process is slow as good stock has to be preserved, new vines introduced and new practises formulated. It all takes time, expertise, money and above all patience. In the 90s it seemed to me that it was going to take a long time for Romania to take its rightful place in the world of wine. The dark days of the communist era, when Romania was producing only quantity for mother Russia, without any concern for quality, was the general mindset of the producers. While that might still be the case with the big players in the industry, what is really interesting now is the small and medium sized enterprises that have developed amazingly in the last ten years. This is happening on two fronts, firstly there are the winemakers, consultants





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Picking the crop at the Cramele Recas estate

and experts who have come to Romania from Australia and Europe to help to improve and basically totally transform the wineries. Then there is a whole new generation of Romanian winemakers who choose to go back to the Romanian art of winemaking as it was before the Second World War, and to combine the good things of the past with the newest technology that there is. The result is that the new Romanian wine maker generation are using the very latest technology and are studying in France, Italy, Spain and New World countries such as Australia and Chile. I tasted a range of Romanian wines that have recently appeared in Ireland, and was delighted to discover the quality which was a reflection of both the tradition and the latest wine making techniques. Irish wine distributor, Febvre & Company have introduced a selection of wines to its portfolio from the premium estate Cramele Recas near Timisoara, Romaniaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s third largest city. The six wines, from the Paparuda range (see listing below), are selling through independent off- licences and selected restaurants. 1,000 hectare estate Cramele Recas is an estate of almost Page 58 Senior Times September 2013

1,000 hectare and is run by Elvira and Philip Cox, a Romanian-English partnership. Hartley Smithers and Nora Iriate, an Australian/Spanish winemaking couple have been their wine-making team over the last seven years. They have created a series of modern fruit-driven wines that express perfectly the traditions and terroir of the Recas vineyard where wine has been produced continuously since 1477. All of the fruit is selected from the Cramele Recas own estate which has been completely replanted in the last 10 years. The equipment is now extremely modern and suited to purpose. They also practice green principles such as waste water purification with huge investment in this area. This entire endeavour is advised full-time by a well-known wine consultant, Davis Cowderoy (Roscworthy Graduate) and a bevy of Master of Wines have advised over the past few years. Febvre has found really well-made, modern varietal wines, international as well as local, with an enviable purity of fruit and also good structure and excellent balance. Febvre are now introducing their Paparuda range which offers exceptional quality and value for money.

I have tasted some of these and been very impressed. I particularly loved their merlot (2012) which is rich with plumb fruit led flavours. It is quite young and jammy and an excellent food wine, particularly with stews and casseroles. The syrah is an intense wine with berry flavours and layers of fruit. This is a great wine with roast meat dishes. Of the white wines, I was very impressed with the pinot grigio â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a wine I rarely choose as I find it can be flat and flavourless, despite its popularity in recent years. The Paparuda pinot grigo however was deliciously fresh and dry and works very well as an aperitif or with summery light dishes. The other white wine that impressed me was the riesling, which once again is not traditionally one of my favourites, yet the Paparuda riesling was once again a light, juicy and vibrant wine that I particularly enjoyed with grilled fish dishes. There is no doubt that the character and quality of the Paparuda wines is very impressive and their retail price at just â&#x201A;Ź12.99 is also very acceptable. Indeed it has taken a long time for good quality wines from Romania to make an appearance on our shelves in Ireland, and I for one am certainly delighted to welcome them in.

Enchanting Kildare

Visit the Irish National Stud and Gardens Half price admission on production of this advertisement during 2013 / 2014 season • Guided tours of the Stud • Horse Museum • Newborn foals to see in spring • Meet our Living Legends; Beef or Salmon, Kicking King, Moscow Flyer & Vintage Crop • World Famous Japanese Gardens • Walk St. Fiachra’s Garden • Children’s Playground • Gift Shop and Restaurant • Picnic Area • Free Coach / Car Park • Open 7 Days a week 9.30am - 5pm from Friday 1st February to 17th November • Located 30 miles south of Dublin in Kildare. Off the M7, Exit 13 onto the R415


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• 6 minutes from the nearest beach • Reduced Golf rates • Love Fashion? Sleep, Shop Save 15% off Esmonde Street Boutiques (participating stores) • Special offers on Beauty Treatments in Dolce Beauty • Farm to plate produce from Redmond Farm • Live entertainment • Dancing every Wednesday in The Leinster Suite FREE Tranfers from Bus/Train Station Call Jean today to find out more

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Senior Beauty & Grooming

Support Irish quality brands Mairead Robinson checks out some Irish produced beauty products

Voya Maskerade anti-ageing face mask Fuschia make up mineral starter

Much of the make-up and beauty products that we use are from international brands, and so it is always interesting to discover an Irish quality brand that can stand up against the best on the market.

hand-harvested and is the main ingredient used throughout their range. It is well worth a visit, if you’re up in the Sligo area if you are a fan of their products, or if you want to find out more.

Voya natural seaweed products have been mentioned in this column quite a lot, they are used in top spas worldwide and I am a big fan of the range including their Love A Scrub, Maskerade, and the Restorative Night Cream. I recently started using their hand cream, and I keep a tube in the car so I remember to use it regularly. These products are all very nourishing and hydrating for mature skin.

From skin care to beauty products and another Irish product range that I came across recently that really impressed me was the Fuscia make-up brand. Gillian Moore-Brady is the entrepreneur behind this company which she began in 2004. She has a store in Scotch Hall, Drogheda since 2005 and recently opened one in Swords, which is where I met her. You will have seen her products at spas and salons throughout the country, and in addition to running a successful beauty business, Gillian oversees a team of make-up artists in the Fuschia Make -up School, and you may have seen some of them doing marvellous makeovers on television.

Recently I visited their premises in Strandhill in Sligo where they offer a range of spa treatments including the seaweed bath. It was a hot summer’s day, and you could see all the seaweed on the rocks with the ebbing tide. I enjoyed a seaweed bath while I was there which was totally relaxing, and they also offer a range of treatments using their products. The seaweed is Page 60 Senior Times September 2013

While my daughter was already a fan, the range was new to me but I was immediately impressed with the quality of the products and the reasonable

prices. The mineral make-up is a real winner, offering flawless skin-smoothing results in a range of colours. This is a totally natural alternative to traditional foundations and uses rice powder to create the perfect matte finish which will tone down shine from over-applied foundations. I like the way coverage is built up with thin layers as the product warms up to your skin and mixes with your natural facial oils. You can buy a Mineral Starter Kit containing two powders, rice setting powder, mineral eye shadow, mineral blush, brushes and lip gloss – all for €65 Lips and brows Defined lips and brows are important to all women, no matter what age, and Fuschia have an excellent Fuschia lip crayon in a range of colours. Defined eyebrows immediately shape a face, and I have spoken before about permanent eyebrow make up, which is a great solution for those whose eyebrows are not how they used to be. I really was impressed with their eyebrow stencils – a simple idea but so effective. I wonder why nobody thought of this before!

It’s A Fishy Business Nutritionist Dr. Neville Wilson maintains consumers can easily be misinformed about foods “enriched” with omega-3 The last decade has witnessed an unprecedented growth in the public consumption of natural nutritional foods and supplements, and chief amongst these is undoubtedly the remarkable fish oils, commonly labelled as omega-3. While the numerous health benefits of omega 3 marine oils have been well established for more than 3 decades, it is only recently that health providers have acknowledged the undisputable benefits for heart health, brain health, bone and joint health, skin health and immune support, unleashed by the adequate daily consumption of omega 3. As a consequence, food and supplement manufacturers have recognized the economic value of adding “omega-3” to their product labels, and the aggressive promotion of this product has exploded universally, to the degree that virtually every consumable product boasts an “omega-3” content, even though in most cases, with such minimal amounts, that health benefits are unlikely! Misinformed consumers may be led to believe that food, milk, yogurts and eggs “enriched” with omega-3, will deliver the desired health benefits, as suggested in the scientific literature. Don’t be fooled by the adverts !

Most omega-3 products on the market have insufficient levels of the key ingredient that actively delivers health benefits, and as such, they are inadequate for optimal health. The key ingredients are EPA & DHA, the fatty oils that protect the several vital organs upon which optimum health and longevity depend. While certain natural products, like hemp, walnuts, chia, pumpkin seed and flax, do contain omega-3 oils, their conversion to the active EPA/DHA is so inefficient (about 3% to 10%) that very large quantities have to be consumed daily for brain and body health requirements. Only EPA & DHA, in sufficient amounts, and of good quality, can provide the desired benefits, and this can only be achieved by eating oily fish, such as purified mackerel, herring, trout, salmon, and sardines, or alternatively, consuming on a daily basis quality EPA/DHA supplements, with a proven track record for purification and potency. Inferior products are plentiful on the shelves of supermarkets and pharmacies, and their EPA / DHA levels so low, that many capsules have to be consumed daily to achieve the desired levels of between 500 mg and 2000 mg of EPA , depending on individual requirements. Examples of high quality products with high concentrations of EPA and DHA are MorEPA Smart Fats and MorEPA Platinum

CHOOSE WITH CARE! For best health benefits choose carefully, and select your product which can demonstrate a track record of purity, potency, and profitability, and don’t waste money on inferior or low dose products of unproven quality! Products that contain omega-6 and omega9 are unlikely to confer additional benefits, considering that we consume more omega-6 in our diets than is required, and, by so doing, run the risk of ingesting excessive oils that promote inflammation, and worsen the conditions we may be trying to alleviate! An excess of omega-6 may promote inflammation in your heart, joints, brain and elsewhere, while your omega-3, in the form of EPA, as in MorEPA Smart Fats or MorEPA Platinum will reduce such inflammation, and restore healthy organ function. I have taken EPA/DHA as a health supplement for almost 20 years and can testify to its unique health giving, protective, and rejuvenating properties, and routinely prescribe this product for all my patients, young and old!

COMPETITION WINNERS FROM LAST ISSUE Break at Maryborough Hotel, Cork Margaret Finnegan, Wexford

Aperol Hampers Eileen O’Connor, Cork Harriet Warren, Borris, Co Carlow

Crossword Mary Warde, Tuam, Co Galway Hugh Finnigan, Limerick

Senior Beauty & Grooming

Gillian Moore-Brady

Image Skincare Ormedic range

Once you have the stencil, you can be assured that both eyes will look the same and be the perfect shape. You can then use the brow pencils or powder with complete confidence. You will find Fuschia products in many of the top spas and beauty salons around the country as well as in the Pavillions Shopping Centre in Swords and the Scotch Hall Shopping Centre in Drogheda. While purchasing the right products to suit your skin type (and your purse) is key to looking and feeling your best, it is always a real treat to have a facial where a professional therapist will nourish your skin while you lie back and possibly nod off! A good facial, like a good massage, will make you feel a million dollars and it is even better when friends and family admire you skin and tell you that you look ten years younger! For mature skin the most important thing is hydration. As we age skin looses moisture and elasticity, and good treatments and products will work to get that moisture back. Think the difference between a plum and a prune, and you get the idea! I recently Page 62 Senior Times September 2013

experienced a great new facial from Image Skincare. It is a revolutionary facial treatment performed in four steps which fast tracks glowing skin in just one forty-five minute treatment. So, how does it work? Firstly the skin is thoroughly cleansed, two different masks are applied, the skin is massaged for five minutes before application of anti-aging serum and SPF complete the treatment. After the treatment, you are given a take-home kit of five products which will help to prolong the benefits of the treatment. Vitamin C is the key ingredient in restoring that youthful glow. I really enjoyed this treatment, and certainly felt the benefits – and got the compliments! This super new facial is available at salons across the country, and I had mine at the Renaissance Laser & Skin Clinic in Howth, Co. Dublin. Finally when ensuring that you look your best it is vital to make sure your health and beauty shows through from the inside. Make sure you look after your heart – as heart disease is Ireland’s biggest lady-killer, causing three times

more deaths than breast cancer and responsible for 50% of all female deaths each year! Many of these deaths could be prevented by the right lifestyle, including diet. When it comes to a healthy heart, women benefit greatly from omega 3 fish oils. There are many brands available however MorEPA Smart Fats Optimal EPA + DHA Formula fish oil offer one of the highest concentrated Omega-3 fish oils on the market, with no saturated fat included as a filler, unlike some other brands. They are available from pharmacies nationwide. Also, don’t forget to include calcium and Vitamin D to ensure strong bones too, and this is important for men as well as women. Check out Adult D3 Vitamin D3 from Shield Health as more men are at risk of osteoporosis than they are from prostate cancer. Stay healthy and strong this autumn and enjoy beauty and wellbeing from head to toe! If you have any queries regarding these or any other products or treatments, you can contact me at

Northern Notes By Debbie Orme

Meet Northern Ireland’s first spaceman

Derek Heatly

He has already made it to the edge of Earth's atmosphere, but now County Down man, Derek Heatly is hoping to be the first Ulsterman in space! The 57 year-old retired bank official has signed up with tycoon, Richard Branson, on the first flights of the huge virgin Galactic plane: a lifelong ambition for the Groomsport man. To date, more than 400 people including Lewis Hamilton and scientific legend, Stephen Hawking, have signed up with the Virgin owner at a cost of $200,000 (£130,000), but, in Derek's opinion, it's money well spent, despite the fact that he will have to wait for another couple of years for his turn. 'I'm lucky that I bought my seat when the pound was strong a few years ago,' he told Senior Times, 'as it would have cost me a lot more now. Lewis Hamilton has booked six seats and I believe Russell Brand has also booked, although I heard that Willian Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek

series turned down a free flight! Stephen Hawking was given a free trip by Richard Branson, so if he can go, I can make it! This is a lifelong dream for me. I followed the Moon landings when I was a teenager and that sparked a fascination with space travel, which has lasted more than 40 years. This opportunity is a once-in-a-lifetime, outof-this-world opportunity and was one that I was not going to miss.' Over the years, Derek has seized every opportunity to meet the astronauts, whom he has idolised. These include Dutch astronaut André Kuipers, who until recently was living in the International Space Station. Derek has already had a taste of what it's like to float in space. In 2003, Derek made it to the edge of space in a weightlessness trip that took off from Russia. 'The Russian experience was amazing. The flight took off from Russia and took you 80,000 feet to the edge of space. I don't need to tell you how wildly

exciting it was to see the sun shining in a black sky during the day! I was about a third of the way into space, so the thought of going the whole way doesn't bear thinking about. I can't deny that the Russian flight was very scary at first. The jet was nearly 40 years old and the pilot was sitting behind us, which was weird. It was a 30-minute flight and certainly not the smoothest that I've ever had but, when all was said and done, it really was awesome. Realising that you're the only person up there apart from the guys in the space station who are 220 miles up is pretty extraordinary.' Although Derek is gradually moving up the waiting list 'queue' he is happy to do so, safe in the knowledge that he is coming closer to his dream. 'This is a golden opportunity that has come along,' he said. 'Obviously it has cost a lot of money and I was just lucky that I had the money - and the determination - to do this. ' Senior Times September 2013 Page 63

A trip back in time Templemore Silver Band brings sound of summer

Jimmy Smith, Patterson's Spade Mill

As a resident of Antrim, for years I have driven past the National Trust sign for Patterson's Spade Mill on the Antrim Road in Templepatrick. The thought of spades doesn't exactly get my heart racing but, as a great fan of National Trust properties, I finally decided to drop in the other day and see exactly what goes on at the end of that familiar lane! There's no doubt that a visit to the spade mill is a trip back in time. The sights and smells of the mill give you a real taste of what conditions must have been like for those - including children - who worked there at the beginning of the century. Patterson's Spade Mill was opened in 1919 by William George Patterson and it reached its peak of production in the 1930s and 1940s, when it employed more than a dozen men, who delivered spades, shovels and loys across Ireland and beyond. Crafting a spade at Patterson's was, and still is, a skilled business, and not just in terms of manufacturing techniques. Workers at the mill, current spade maker Jimmy Smith told me, needed to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of a huge range of spades and no instructions or guidelines were ever written down. Instead, the skills required were passed from father to son and learned on the job - no mean task given that Ireland Page 64 Senior Times September 2013

had more than 170 recognised spade designs! A tour of Patterson's Spade Mill is of interest to adults but I really think that children would get a lot of it too. As soon as you enter it you can heard the thunder of the tilt hammer, the smell of oil and wood shavings and you can see the mass of belts, governors and flywheels, which combine to give you a window in the last water-driven spade mill still working in the British Isles. You watch as the workers make a spade, so you get to see red hot billets of steel being fashioned into shape by the huge water-powered hammer, and see shafts of wood being skilfully lathed before being riveted to the blade, then see the handle added and the distinctive Patterson label applied. The fact that Patterson's Spade Mill remained in commercial production right up to 1990, when every other similar mill had long since closed, tells you a great deal about the quality of the spades that the mill produced. After it closed, Patterson's was acquired by the National Trust in 1992 and, following restoration, it opened to visitors in 1994, with all of its equipment still in working order. While the mill may not have the charm and beauty of many of the National Trust stately homes, it's certainly worth a visit for the whole family.

Templemore Silver Band

Templemore Silver Band provided the sound of summer last week as part of this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s series of Sunday afternoon band concerts. Formed in 1949 as a primary school band in East Belfast under the direction of Alfie Bell, the Templemore Silver Band soon began competing at the very top of the contest scene, and was the first band to perform at the inaugural European Brass Band Championships at the Albert Hall, London in 1979. At home Templemore dominated the local arena for many years, winning the NIBA competition an unequalled fifteen times, including an unprecedented double hat trick of first prizes in the NIBA and Brass Band League competitions. Still one of the most prestigious brass bands in the local arena and further afield, the Templemore Silver band still command attention with their professional recitals, which take place around Northern Ireland during the year.

Following the success of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 events, all of which attracted over 20,000 visitors, Ireland’s only national genealogy, family/social history show returns to Dublin for 2013.

Back To Our Past

Period photographs courtesy of The National Archives of Ireland

The Irish Genealogy, Family/Social History Experience

Presentations, demonstrations, workshops

In just two years Back To Our Past has established itself as one of the major events in the genealogy, family/social history calendar, attracting huge visitor numbers and many of the leading companies and bodies from Ireland, the UK and beyond. Back To Our Past offers a unique opportunity to engage with both those with ancestral links to Ireland as well as natives seeking information on forebearers who emigrated to the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, South America and countless other regions of the world. The event also features an extensive programme of presentations on a myriad of related areas. While it is a dedicated event in its own right, it has the major advantage of being part of one of Ireland’s most successful and established public events, The Over 50s Show, the lifestyle show for Ireland’s seniors, and can therefore ‘piggy back’ on the event’s promotion to maximise attendance.

Industries Hall, Royal Dublin Society, Dublin Friday 18th, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October 2013 Interested in visiting or exhibiting? Visit Tel: 003531 4969028. Email:

Welcome Bach! Flautist comes home for one-off performance My goodness, the Northern Ireland music scene has certainly been busy this year! This month saw the return home of flautist, Adrian Spence, for a one-off summer performance. Now based in America, Spence performed with the New York harpist, Bridget Kibbey, in a concert of music for flute and harp, anchored by the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The performance also had a French flavour, with music by FaurĂŠ and Bizet, while Piazzollaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Argentina and nuevo tango, a style blending elements of jazz

and classical, was also included in the programme. Spence is the founder and artistic director of Camerata Pacifica, recognised as one of the most noted chamber music ensembles in the United

States, while Bridget Kibbey is a graduate of the Juilliard School, and is on the harp faculties of Bard Conservatory, New York University, and the Juilliard Pre-College Program.

Safety first at event for over 50s An event in Newtownards next month (11 September) will focus on safety for the over 50s, offering everything from free testing of electric blankets to advice on crime prevention. Organised by the Ards Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), the event will bring the Police, Fire and Rescue Service and Home Accident Prevention under one roof, providing a one-stop shop for older people to receive useful information about staying safe in their homes, and when out and about. With electric blankets causing 5,000 fires a year in the UK and 81% of blankets failing safety tests last year in Ards, a key element of the day will be the opportunity to have electric blankets inspected free of charge by a qualified electrician.

Page 66 Senior Times September 2013

The free testing service has potentially life-saving impacts, according to Chairman of the PCSP, Alderman Ronnie Ferguson: 'Faulty electric blankets cause a real risk to their owners, and a lot of older people use them over the winter months. A few minutes will see a blanket inspected and I would encourage local people to take advantage of this service, as well as the opportunity to learn about other ways they can help ensure they and the their property are kept safe.' Anyone who is not able to attend on the day, can drop their blanket in advance or make arrangements to have their electric blanket collected for testing. Signs that an electric blanket needs to be checked or replaced include: * The fabric is worn or frayed

* There are scorch marks anywhere * The tie-tapes (where originally fitted are damaged or missing * The flex is worn or damaged * Any connections at the plug or controls are loose * The heating wires were damaged or displaced. To check, hold the blanket up to the blanket up to the light. The wires should be evenly spaced and should not touch each other anywhere. The Home Safety event takes place on Wednesday 11 September from 10am to 12pm in Ards Leisure Centre, Newtownards, with testing of electric blankets available between 9am and 4pm. If you would like to book an appointment for your electric blanket to be tested, contact the Environmental Health Service at Ards Borough Council, Tel: 028 9182 4072. To book a free place at the event phone Nicola Dorrian on 028 9182 4047.





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The Arts

What’s On in the arts in September and October

Rough Magic offer up an adaption of Richard Brindsley Sheridan’s The Critic

Maretta Dillon describes the highlights, including a book festival, Dublin Theatre Festival, a new Woody Allen film, and a retrospective of the hugely influential Irish architect/designer Eileen Gray

The Mountains to the Sea Book Festival kicks off the proceedings on September 3 when their special guest is multi awarding winning author Margaret Atwood. Writer of such modern classics as The Handmaid’s Tale and Cat’s Eye, Atwood will be reading from her new novel MaddAddam. Other expected participants are Seamus Heaney – returning to the Poetry Now strand of the event – and Colum McCann who is currently long listed for the Booker Prize with Transatlantic, delivering the keynote address along with his father, the former journalist Sean McCann. TV duo Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley will appear – albeit in separate events – to discuss their individual works of fiction. Other gems include: Ross Skelton talking about a Page 68 Senior Times September 2013

Northern childhood in Eden Halt, Roddy Doyle taking up the Rabbitte saga again in The Guts and what should be a memorable encounter -Michael Harding in conversation with Tommy Tiernan – unpredictable! Check out these and everything else on Later in September, the Dublin Theatre Festival swings into town with their usual packed programme. The always reliable Corn Exchange Theatre Company are presenting Eugene O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms, which draws on both Greek tragedy and O’Neill’s Irish roots to tell a story soaked with greed, repressed desire and the yearning for escape. Appropriately Peter Coonan of Love/Hate fame is to join the

Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin star in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine

Eileen Gray in Paris circa 1902 when she was a student

cast that includes Janet Moran, Lalor Roddy & Fionn Walton. Rough Magic offers up an adaptation of Richard Brindsley Sheridan’s The Critic - which lookslike great fun and seems to involve a lot of heavy wigs. Following last year’s hit show Talk of the Town by Emma Donohue on the life of writer Maeve Brennan, actor Eamon Morrissey’s new one man show Maeve’s House must be keenly anticipated. Morrissey grew up in the same house as Maeve Brennan in Ranelagh and was compelled to meet her while acting in New York. It’s time for more grown up cinema fare this month beginning with Paolo Sorrentino’s paean to Rome, The Great Beauty, on September 6. It is truly sublime. Catch it on its initial release

or at arts centres around the country. Later in the month Woody Allen’s latest Blue Jasmine - a fine character study of a woman in a mid-life crisis stars Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin. Finally, IMMA is holding a major retrospective about the work of Eileen Gray – Architect, Designer, Painter– from October 12. Born in Enniscorthy in 1879, Gray moved to Paris after World War I and is now celebrated as one of the leading members of the modern design movement. This exhibition designed and produced by the Centre Pompidou and IMMA will present a number of previously unseen works that offer new insights into Gray’s extraordinary career. See for more details. Senior Times September 2013 Page 69


Asthma need not take your breath away Ireland has the 4th highest prevalence of asthma in the world, affecting almost half a million people. Anne Kearney explains the symptoms of the condition and how it can be treated.

What is Asthma? Asthma is a common chronic disease which inflames the airways. The airways are the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. Asthma causes the airways to become over-sensitive and react to things that wouldn’t normally cause a problem such as cold air or dust – even family pets. These are called triggers. When asthma symptoms are triggered the muscles around the wall of the airways tighten, making them narrow. The situation is then worsened when the lining of the airways swells and sticky mucus is produced, clogging up the breathing passages. When the airways narrow like this, it becomes difficult to breathe. What are the symptoms of asthma? The symptoms of asthma are one or any combination of the following: • shortness of breath • regular wheezing • chest tightness • coughing Asthma symptoms can vary from person to person. You may only have one symptom or a combination of symptoms. What causes asthma? Asthma can start at any age. It is difficult to know what causes asthma, but so far we know that: Page 70 Senior Times September 2013

• if one or both of your parents had asthma you are more likely to have it • many aspects of modern lifestyles - such as changes in housing and diet and a more the rise in asthma • smoking during pregnancy increases the chance of a child developing asthma • being exposed to cigarette smoke increases the chance of developing asthma chemicals may lead to a person developing asthma • environmental pollution can make asthma symptoms worse Differences between Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma Both diseases cause narrowing of the airways and shortness of breath. Asthma can start from a very early age, sometimes disappearing as a child ‘grows out’ of it at, and can often re-emerge in later life. COPD is not seen in children, but usually in adults from about the age of 35 years of age and on into later life. It is usually associated with a history of smoking, although asthmatic patients with poor control of their asthma can slip into the ‘chronic’ status without a smoking history. Those who have a history of smoking may have damage to their lung tissue from their exposure to the noxious gases of cigarette smoke, and

this damage is not usually reversible, but progression can be stopped by stopping smoking at any age. Diagnosis To diagnose either condition a doctor will first take a clinical history – • your age, • history of smoking, current smoking status, • symptoms - including cough, phlegm, shortness of breath. You may also be asked to keep a diary of which symptoms you experience - and when you have them. • how long you have suffered from each one. • if you are working, they may ask where you work, as your work environment may play a role in what is triggering your asthma, or if you work with chemicals or gases, you may have lung problems associated with this. Your healthcare provider might also carry out a short breathing test called ‘spirometry’ to measure your breathing and lung function. This test involves taking in as big a breath as possible, putting a small mouthpiece between your lips, and then blowing into the machine with as much effort as possible, and for as long as possible. From this they will be able to assess the level of obstruction or narrowing of your airways and make a diagnosis .

fast-acting inhaler than patients with COPD, but your doctor will be able to tell you how much of a response you have had, and will then be able to advise you of the best course of medication to treat your condition appropriately. It is best to have this test without any medication beforehand, so if your have to have the test, check with your doctor first to see whether you are required to stop your own medication or not. Asthma and older people Asthma is often thought of as a condition you get when you're a child, and for many, asthma does start in childhood. However, people can be diagnosed with asthma for the first time when they're adults, causing additional impact to their lives. Some people who have had asthma all their life may find that it starts affecting them in different ways when they get older. Is my breathlessness just a sign that I'm getting older? Some people mistakenly think that getting breathless is an inevitable part of growing older or that declining health is something that has to be endured. But in many cases, these are symptoms that can be treated and it’s important that older patients communicate with their healthcare professional so that they receive the appropriate care and live as active a life as possible, rather than accepting symptoms as inevitable.

If you do have tight or narrowed airways, your doctor may give you 2-4 puffs of an inhaler, and allow you to rest for 15 minutes and then repeat your breathing test to see if the inhaler has been able to improve or reverse any obstruction present.

You needn't put up with breathlessness. There's always a reason for experiencing breathlessness or any other symptom of asthma. You should visit your doctor to find out what is causing your problem. If it's asthma, there are a lot of excellent treatments available that can help improve your symptoms and quality of life.

Patients with asthma will usually respond better to a

At other times, asthma symptoms may indicate other

Page 72 Senior Times September 2013

problems to do with your chest or heart. This is why it is extremely important that you see your doctor to tell him/her about your symptoms, no matter how trivial you may think they are. For older people, shortness of breath may be the only symptom of asthma. However, it can be difficult to tell the difference between asthma and other conditions that cause similar symptoms, such as bronchitis, emphysema, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), so it's sometimes difficult to diagnose asthma in older adults. As we get older our lungs deteriorate so asthma may not be recognised as quickly and can be difficult to diagnose due to associated conditions. That is why it is so important to talk to your GP about any symptoms you might be experiencing and to get the correct diagnosis. Common asthma triggers for older people Seasonal flu is a highly infectious viral condition of the respiratory tract and can result in periods of prolonged illness. The flu is responsible for an increased number of hospital admissions every winter and in some cases can be life threatening. Many older people with asthma find their symptoms are worse when they get a flu or cold. This is more common during the winter months. For this reason the Asthma Society strongly advises people with asthma to get the flu vaccine. Talk to your healthcare provider about the vaccine. People who are over 65 should also talk to their doctor or asthma nurse about whether they need a pneumococcal vaccination. Controlling your asthma The good news for asthma sufferers is that the condition can be controlled, with the vast majority of sufferers leading a full and active life. The sole aim of managing asthma is to put YOU in control of your asthma, rather than letting asthma control you. The best way of taking control is to work in close partnership with your doctor or asthma nurse. They are experts in monitoring and managing your condition, and can tell you whether you’re getting the best treatment for your asthma – or if your regime needs to change. The key to keeping your asthma under control is to continue to take your preventer medication regularly every day - even when you're feeling well. It’s a very natural thing to stop taking any medication when the symptoms seem to have disappeared, but this is a big mistake in the case of asthma. This is because your preventer medication works over a period of time to give your airways the protection they need. If you stop taking it and the symptoms return, it will take some time before you get the condition under control again. Personal asthma management plan Everyone should have a personal asthma management plan, and if you don’t already have one, you can get a copy from the Asthma Society of Ireland.

How asthma can progressively block the airways

getting worse and what you should do about it; • emergency information on what to do if you have an asthma attack. The plan allows you to vary and change your medicine within agreed limits to gain better control of your asthma. No matter what changes occur to your symptoms, it’s essential that you’re not tempted to self-diagnose and change your medication. This should only be done after talking to your healthcare professional, who can help you make any necessary changes in your personal treatment regime. Asthma review The symptoms and severity of your condition may change over time, so it's important that you have your asthma reviewed at least once a year. An asthma review should cover the following topics: • Asthma triggers; • Symptoms and how often they occur; • Inhaler technique; • Medication; • Allergies and how to avoid them; • The 5 Step Rule* - what to do in the event of an asthma attack; • Contact information; • Any queries you might have. If you feel your symptoms are getting noticeably worse, of course, then don’t wait for a year before seeing your doctor or asthma nurse. The Asthma Society is here to help. The Asthma Society of Ireland is the national charity representing more than 470,000 Irish children and adults who suffer from asthma. What we do:

Your doctor or nurse will help you complete your personalised plan, having fully discussed the severity and nature of your symptoms.Once the plan is complete, you will have all the information you need to keep control of your asthma, including:

• support asthma patients and their families by providing a wide range of high quality information and education services – all of them completely free of charge.

• details about your asthma medicine; • key things to tell you when your asthma symptoms are

• provide a strong, unified voice, and work to achieve the best possible asthma care for asthma patients of all ages.

Senior Times September 2013 Page 73

• keep asthma and good asthma management high on the national agenda, we actively work with healthcare professionals, government departments and other relevant organisations.

Top tips for managing your lung health • Make sure you get the correct diagnosis • Know your triggers and try to avoid them if possible

• support research and innovative projects which investigate the causes and treatment of asthma.

• Know how to recognise if your asthma is getting worse • Know what to do in case of an asthma attack (5 step rule)

Support in your area Each year the Asthma Society of Ireland runs a number of free regional clinics, as well as other smaller in-store pharmacy clinics throughout Ireland. For information on events in your area contact us on 01 817 8886 or visit for details. We also offer advice and support through our Asthma Adviceline. The Adviceline is open every weekday from 10am to 1pm, and you can talk to our team of asthma nurse specialists about any aspect of your condition. Lung Health Alliance – free public information events The Asthma Society of Ireland is proud to be a member of the Lung Health Alliance, along with groups such as the Irish Cancer Society, CF Ireland and many more. In 2013 the LHA are running a free talk on lung health which will be open to the public and free to attend. This will take place on 26th of September in Pearse St Library. A series of similar public lectures will be taking place throughout the country in September and October. For more information on events, visit

• Have an asthma management plan • Get your inhaler technique checked • Schedule an annual review of your asthma • Get the flu and pneumococcal vaccines Anne Kearney is Communications Coordinator with the Asthma Society of Ireland

For more information contact: Asthma Society of Ireland, 42/43 Amiens Street, Dublin 1. Tel: +353 (0)1 817 8886

For more information on asthma phone our Asthma Adviceline on 1850445464, Monday to Friday 10am – 1pm Page 74 Senior Times September 2013

Hitting the right notes

The superb scallop starter

The Alex Restaurant

Visiting The National Concert Hall? Why not make it an interesting city break? Mairead Robinson dines in style at the nearby Conrad Hotel. perfectly in keeping with the luxury modern Irish menu and excellent service. We liked it from the first smiling welcome through to the delicious food and wine recommendations.

We often hear talk of “a real gem” to describe somewhere that takes us by surprise and exceeds expectations. With all the top hotels in Dublin that I have had the pleasure of staying and eating in over the years, my recent visit to The Conrad on Earlsfort Terrace was truly memorable and left me wondering why I had not discovered it before. The hotel has in fact been here for over twenty years. Located directly opposite to the majestic National Concert Hall, a short stroll from St. Stephen’s Green and with the Harcourt Street Luas stop just around the corner, this was a perfect city centre address. It is located on the quieter side of Stephens Green, and while our spacious bedroom overlooked Earlsfort Terrace, we heard no noise from traffic or pedestrians and had a really sound sleep. We had come to sample the menu at Alex Steak and Seafood Restaurant which is on the ground floor towards the back of the spacious reception and lounge area. There is a little cocktail bar to the side, and the restaurant itself is really well appointed making good use of the glass panelled wall at the back. It has a light-filled and contemporary feel,

The menu reflects exactly what a contemporary steak and seafood restaurant is all about – a good choice of steaks from the grill and the best and freshest in-season seafood. My starter was the real star of the show for me, and brought back memories of wonderful sunshine filled meals in South America! It was a Crab and lobster ceviche served in a little Kilner jar with cucumber, tomato concasse and coriander – or ‘Cilantro’ as they like to call it on the other side of the Atlantic. This lovely dish does not appear often enough on menus here in Ireland, and it was a perfect treat. Our other starter was also a perfect treat, and that was the big juicy pan seared scallops. They were so fresh and cooked just to the perfect point – we were loving this chef already! On to mains and we chose an Angus beef fillet and some seared monkfish with shellfish bisque and haricot beans. Two more perfectly executed dishes. It can be difficult to choose side dishes to accompany mains, and sometimes you do not even get a choice at all and are presented with the ubiquitous batons of carrot and turnip! Not so at all at Alex, where they have a choice of eight different sides, and you can have a mini portion of three of them each. That suited us perfectly, and I went green with the asparagus and baby spinach and enjoyed the comfort-food champ mash also. Meanwhile Senior Times September 2013 Page 75

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home-cut chips and sautéed wild mushrooms were the perfect foil for that juicy steak. By the time we got to dessert stage, I was ready for a coffee, but Nessa bravely ordered the Irish Farmhouse cheese plate which came with grapes and crackers and perfectly ripened cheeses at room temperature. Our waitress gave us some great wine recommendations and we each had a glass of white with our starters, a Chardonnay for me and Chablis for Nessa, while I opted for a glass of Pinot Noir with the monkfish, and Nessa was recommended a Cote du Rhone, which was a lovely change from her usual Malbec. There is a very good choice of wines by the glass, and also of liquors and cocktails and speciality coffees. It was such a lovely meal, but it was the service made it that extra bit special. All of the staff, from head chef Dimitri Strykov to Arthur the restaurant manager, and everybody who looked after us were pleasant to all the guests. This exceptional service continued through to breakfast, which was another treat. There is a wonderful spread for breakfast, in fact looking at the menu I could not think of anything that was missing! From all the classics to the specials, including Belgian waffles, pancakes, cream cheese bagels, eggs every way, and a buffet laden with pastries, meats, cheeses and a large choices of fruits and yogurts. My only problem was that I was still full from the night before. I should have got out of bed earlier and gone for a jog around Stephen’s Green to work up the appetite! I am surprised it took me so long to discover all that this luxury Dublin hotel has to offer, but now that I have, I will certainly be back. It is perfect for attending concerts across the road, and all the other attractions of the capital are at your fingertips. There is a very good value pre-dinner menu available which is also on offer for Sunday lunch. There is also dining options in the lounge and in popular Alfie’s – a great spot for lunch. The food and service are wonderful at Alex Restaurant and it has now joined our list of favourite places for Dublin dining.


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Senior Times is packed with information on health, finance, travel, hobbies and pastimes, nostalgia, and much, much more! For just €40 (£35) you can have Senior Times delivered to your door. Senior Times is published every two months: a 10-issue subscription covers 18 months. COMPLETE THE FORM BELOW. YOU CAN PAY BY CHEQUE OR PO MADE PAYABLE TO SENIOR TIMES I would like to subscribe to Senior Times for 10 issues New subscriber RENEWAL NAME………………………………………………………………………………... ADDRESS……………………………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………………………………………….. I am paying by credit card. Debit my Card type Laser


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Know Your Rights I didn’t pay the Household Charge in 2012 and I know it is being replaced by the Local Property Tax. What happens to my unpaid Household Charge?

Advice from the Citizens Information Service Can I renew my Irish passport online? I live outside Dublin and can’t easily get to the Passport Office. How long does the process take?

If you owned a residential property in Ireland in 2012, even if you were living abroad, you were obliged to declare your liability for the Household Charge of €100 and pay it by the due date. (There were some waivers and exemptions.) If you did not pay the Household Charge, late payment penalties and interest will have accumulated on top of the unpaid €100 of the charge. For the period from 1 January 2013 until 30 April 2013, the total amount due was capped at €130.

When renewing your passport, you use the same application form (APS 1) as when you apply for a first passport. It is not currently possible to apply for a passport online or to download the application form. You can get the form at any Garda Station or at any Post Office that displays the "Service Plus" logo.

In May 2013, the amount due was €144. in June it was €145. From 1 July 2013, any outstanding Household Charge was increased to €200 and added to the Local Property Tax (LPT) due on the property. In effect, the arrears of the Household Charge will be converted into LPT. The Revenue Commissioners will follow up this additional €200 when the LPT system is fully operational. If it remains unpaid, it will attract interest and penalties under the LPT system. A detailed set of Frequently Asked Questions is published on the Household Charge website See for details about the Local Property Tax.

You should read the detailed notes provided with the application form to make sure you complete your application correctly. You are encouraged to use An Post's Passport Express service. In general, this guarantees that you will get your passport within 10 working days, but it may take longer at busy times of the year. Check the Passport Office website for current processing time information. The standard adult passport costs €80 through Passport Express, with a processing charge of €9 – a total charge of €89. Hand in your Passport Express application at any Service Plus Post Office. Senior Times September 2013 Page 77

Non-urgent applications made in person at a Passport Office cost €95 and will take an average of 15 working days to process. You can use the Passport Appointment Booking Service to make an appointment.

I frequently switch electricity providers to get the best deals. Who should I contact if there is a power cut?

You should only apply in person at a Passport Office if you have immediate travel plans or you need to travel because of family emergency. You will need proof of travel (such as airline tickets) and your passport will issue within 3 working days. The extra charge for this urgent service is €55 for an adult – making a total cost of €150. In cases of genuine emergency, the duty officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade can issue an emergency passport which will be valid for a short time. The charge for this emergency service is €110 for an adult. If you apply by ordinary post, you should allow at least 8 weeks for your passport to be processed. In general, you can check the status of your application through the Passport Tracking Service on My bank has refused me a loan, giving my poor credit rating as the reason. Where did it get information about my credit history and how can I check this information? The Irish Credit Bureau (ICB) compiles a private database of information supplied by its members, which include the main financial institutions. The database is available for lenders to consult to see if potential borrowers have ever defaulted on loans. The aim of the system is to help lenders to assess the ability of borrowers to repay any future debts. You can get a copy of your credit record by applying online to the Irish Credit Bureau and paying €6. You can also download an application form from or phone the ICB at (01) 260 0388 to request one. For security reasons, your credit report will be posted out to you, not emailed. The database includes information on a wide range of loans, including personal loans, mortgages and credit card loans. It will only hold information about you if you have had an active loan in the past 5 years and if your lender provided information to the ICB. Your individual credit record includes:

No matter which electricity provider you use, you should always contact ESB Networks to report a power cut. The emergency number is 1850 372 999. You should only use this emergency number, not the customer service number. When you ring this number, you will hear an automated message. If the automated message indicates that ESB Networks are aware of the power problem in your area, you do not need to wait for an operator unless you are reporting a fallen power line or another potentially dangerous situation. When you get through to an operator, you will need your Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN). The MPRN is displayed on your electricity bill, no matter who the provider is. It will help to identify the exact network serving your premises. You should make a note of your MPRN and the emergency number 1850 372 999 and and keep these details in a specific place so you know where to find them if there is a power cut. It’s useful to have a torch as well. ESB Networks provide regular updates to radio stations during power cuts, so you can get information using a batterypowered radio or car radio. The Powercheck application on the ESB Networks website provides real-time information about power outages caused by faults or planned maintenance. How much will it cost me to get a copy of my birth certificate?

Your name, date of birth, address(es) used by you in relation to financial transactions

The cost of a birth certificate has recently increased to €20. However, if you need it for social welfare purposes, for example, to claim a payment, the cost is only €1.

Names of lenders and account numbers of loans that you currently hold, or that were active within the last 5 years

The cost of other certificates has also increased, including:

Repayments made or missed for each month on each loan

Certified copy or certified extract of an entry in each of the following registers: births, stillbirths, marriages, civil partnerships or deaths €20

Failure to clear off any loan

Loans that were settled for less than you owed and

Legal actions that your lender took against you

If the record is inaccurate, you may ask the ICB to correct it. If you are not satisfied with how the ICB deals with you, you may appeal to the Data Protection Commissioner. Page 78 Senior Times September 2013

Authentication of a certified copy or certified extract of an entry in each of the following registers: births, marriages, civil partnerships or deaths €10 Registration, change, alteration or addition of a forename of a child in the Register of Births €5 Notification of intention to marry or to enter into a civil

partnership now costs €200. You can get copies of Irish birth, marriage and death certificates from any Registrar and from the General Register Office. As these are public records anybody can apply. You can also apply online for copies of certificates, including domestic adoptions and stillbirths that have been registered. I will be 65 in May 2014, and will be retiring from work. I know that my State Pension will not be paid until I am 66, so can I claim any other social welfare payment in the meantime? There is no statutory retirement age in Ireland. Age of retirement is determined by your contract of employment. In many cases this is age 65.The State Pension (Transition) will no longer be paid from 1 January 2014, so many people will have an income gap before they can claim the State Pension (Contributory) at age 66. You can claim Jobseeker’s Benefit (which is based on your PRSI contributions). If you are aged between 65 and 66 your Jobseeker’s Benefit will continue until you qualify for your State Pension at age 66 (even if it would normally end sooner). You must have at least 156 paid contributions since entering employment to get this special concession. You can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, if you do not qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit, and you can continue to claim if you are on it already.

Since 20 February 2013 Sunday is counted as a day of employment. Previously, to qualify for a jobseeker’s payment, you had to be unemployed for 3 days out of 6 consecutive days. Now you must be unemployed for 4 days out of 7 consecutive days. People who do not work on Sunday will see no change to their jobseeker’s payment. However, as you have a working pattern of 1 day a week on a Sunday, you will now have this day counted as a day of employment. If someone getting Jobseeker's Benefit is working for part of a week, their entitlement is based on a 5-day payment week – this is different from the 7-day social welfare employment week. This means that if you work for 1 day in a week onefifth of your weekly rate of Jobseeker’s Benefit will be deducted from your payment. People getting Jobseeker’s Allowance who work some days have their entitlement calculated differently. If a person who is getting Jobseeker’s Allowance works on a Sunday their earnings from Sunday work will now be assessed as means and deducted from their Jobseeker’s Allowance payment. I have been living with my partner for 10 years now. He was previously married and has two grown-up children. If he were to die, could I claim a widow’s pension, and what would happen to the house we live in, which he owns?

The means test for Jobseeker’s Allowance takes into account all sources of income; if you have a pension from your employer or other private pension you may not qualify. You must satisfy the normal conditions for getting a jobseeker’s payment, such as being available for, actively seeking and capable of work. I am currently unemployed and getting Jobseeker’s Benefit. I work in a bar on Sundays and I don’t work any other days. I hear that the rules about working on a Sunday are changing. What is the change?

There is no social welfare pension for people whose partner dies. The Department of Social Protection may pay a pension to widows, widowers or surviving civil partners. It is very important for yourself and your partner to make wills. If your partner dies without a will, you have no right to any share of his estate no matter how long you have been together.

Since 20 February 2013 Sunday working is taken into account when calculating the amount of Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance to be paid. Any work on Sunday was previously ignored when looking at your pattern of employment and people who worked only on Sundays were considered to be fully unemployed. That is no longer the case. To get either Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance you must be unemployed. However, you do not have to be fully unemployed. You can work for some days (although you may not work for a part of any day for which you are claiming a jobseeker’s payment).

Under a redress scheme for cohabiting couples you may apply for provision to be made from your partner’s estate. Where the partner dies in an existing relationship, you will not have to show that you are financially dependent on them. In the case of a cohabiting couple where the surviving partner does not own the house that they live in, but inherits it, they may be liable for inheritance tax, unless they qualify for dwelling house tax exemption. Your partner’s children can claim part of his estate if he does not make a will. If he does make a will they can only claim against the estate if the court considers that they have not been adequately provided for – this usually applies to younger children. His former spouse may be legally entitled to a share of his estate even though they are separated or divorced. Senior Times September 2013 Page 79

Following a recent death, I am inheriting some money. Will I have to pay tax?

paying PRSI contributions or signing for credits, you may be eligible to make voluntary contributions to help maintain your social insurance record. To be eligible to make voluntary contributions you must: • Have a certain number of PRSI contributions paid under compulsory insurance in either employment or self-employ ment • Apply to make your voluntary contributions within 12 months after the end of the last completed contribution year during which you last paid compulsory insurance or you were last awarded a credited contribution • Agree to pay voluntary contributions from the start of the contribution week that follows the week in which you leave compulsory insurance.

If you receive an inheritance following a death, it may be liable for inheritance tax. Inheritance tax is a type of Capital Acquisitions Tax (CAT) which also includes gift tax. You can receive an inheritance tax-free up to a certain amount. The tax-free amount or threshold depends on the relationship between you and the person from whom you are inheriting the money. • Group A applies where you are the child, stepchild or adopted child of the person giving the gift or inheritance. In certain circumstances it can apply to a parent getting an inheritance. • Group B applies where you are the parent, grandparent, grandchild, great-grandchild, brother, sister, nephew or niece of the giver. • Group C applies to any relationship not included in Group A or B. Since 5 December 2012, the CAT threshold for each group is as follows: • Group A – €225,000 • Group B – €30,150 • Group C – €15,075 Inheritance tax is payable when the value of your inheritance (together with any other gifts and inheritances you have already received from within the same group since 5 December 1991) exceeds the tax-free amount or CAT threshold. There are a number of tax exemptions and reliefs. For example, you do not have to pay tax on gifts or inheritances from a spouse or civil partner.

The number of paid PRSI contributions you must have to become a voluntary contributor is changing. Up to 6 April 2013 you had to have at least 260 PRSI contributions paid under compulsory insurance. From 6 April if you want to become a voluntary contributor you will need to have at least 364 PRSI contributions paid. The rate of voluntary contribution you will have to pay depends on the last Class of PRSI you pay. If you paid PRSI at Class A, E or H you pay a contribution rate of 6.6% of your reckonable income in the previous tax year, subject to a minimum payment of €500. If you paid PRSI at Class S you pay a special flat rate of €500. You must pay the full contribution for the year no later than 5 months after the end of the year in which the payment is due. To become a voluntary contributor, you must complete application form VC 1 and return it to Client Eligibility Services, Social Welfare Services, Cork Road,Waterford. I have taken a two-year contract overseas and have rented out my apartment while I am living abroad. My tenants are paying rent directly into my bank account in Ireland. Do I need to pay tax in Ireland on this rental income? Yes, you do have a tax liability on this rental income in Ireland. However, it is your tenants who are responsible for ensuring that this tax liability is met and paid directly to Revenue. They are required to deduct tax at the standard rate (20% in 2013) from the gross amount of the rent and pay this amount to Revenue.

If you do have to pay inheritance tax, it is charged at 33% since 5 December 2012. The tax only applies to the amount over the group threshold.

For example, if your tenants are paying you rent of €1,000 per month, they must deduct 20% of this amount or €200. The net rent to be paid to you as landlord is €800 per month. The amount due to Revenue is the €200 per month that is deducted from the gross rent of €1,000.

As CAT is a self-assessment tax, you are obliged to file a tax return. You must file a return when the total benefits you have received exceed 80% of the threshold. If the money you have just inherited exceeds 80% of the threshold by itself, Revenue will ask you to file a return. Form IT38 (Inheritance Tax/Gift Tax Return) must be filed online through ROS, Revenue's online service.

At the end of the year, the tenants must give you a completed Certificate of Income Tax Deducted - Form R185 (pdf) which shows that the tax has been accounted for to Revenue. You can then claim this amount as credit on your annual tax return.

I intend retiring at age 60 later this year. What should I do to make sure I qualify for the State Pension (Contributory)?

There are rules about the number of PRSI contributions you must have to qualify for the State Pension (Contributory). If you are aged under 66 and you are no longer working and Page80 80Senior SeniorTimes TimesJuly September Page 2013 2013

You can appoint an agent in the State who collects the rent. In this case, there are no obligations for your tenants to deduct any tax. The agent is then chargeable to tax on the rents as Collection Agent for you, the landlord, and is required to submit an annual tax return and account for the tax due under Self-Assessment. The agent need not be a professional person – they can be a family member or friend who is prepared to take on the responsibility.

My husband and I are going to France in our caravan this summer for three weeks and want to take our dog with us on holidays. Will I need any special documentation to get him into France and back into Ireland on our return? Since 1 January 2012, every pet (dog, cat or ferret) that travels between EU Member States must have an EU Pet Passport. The Passport system is designed to protect citizens from the threat of rabies and certain other diseases. The Pet Passport is issued by a private veterinarian directly to you. To travel throughout Europe, including France, your pet requires a Pet Passport detailing: • Its microchip number • Its rabies vaccination, which must be administered at least 21 days before travel (make sure your dog is microchipped first or the vaccination is invalid) Contact your vet some weeks before you travel, so that you can make the necessary appointments. Planning in advance will ensure you have enough time for your pet to get microchipped and vaccinated. When you get the Pet Passport from your vet, check that all entries are legible and correct, as any errors could lead to your pet being detained. Note that before re-entry into Ireland, dogs must be treated for tapeworm not more than 120 hours (5 days) and not less than 24 hours (1 day) before they arrive in Ireland. Treatment must be administered by a vet and the details entered into the Pet Passport. Treatment for ticks is not compulsory but it is advisable to get it at the same time as the tapeworm treatment. Know Your Rights has been compiled by Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.

I am an Irish citizen who worked in England for several years and paid social insurance contributions there. About 20 years ago I returned to Ireland to work and am now approaching pension age. What is my entitlement with regards to my pension contributions during my years of employment in England? When you are applying for your State Pension (Contributory) there is a section on the application form (SPC 1) that will ask you for details of employment in any other country covered by EC Regulations or a Bilateral Social Security agreement. This is because you may be entitled to more than one payment; you can get an Irish payment and a payment from another country where you worked. If you have enough Irish social insurance contributions to get an Irish payment, the Department of Social Protection will pay it. Because you worked in England, they will also contact the relevant authorities in the UK to start a claim for a UK pension. You may be due a partial UK pension in addition to your Irish pension, if you have enough UK contributions.If you do not have enough social insurance contributions in Ireland, the Department will request your social insurance record from the UK to help you qualify for an Irish social insurance payment and will also initiate, on your behalf, a claim in the UK. If you want a copy of your Irish insurance contributions you can contact PRSI Records, Department of Social Protection, McCarter's Road, Ardaravan, Buncrana, Co Donegal (Tel: (01) 471 5898 or Lo-call: 1890 690 690). This arrangement for contributory pensions and certain other payments applies to all EU countries. It also applies to EEA countries (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), Switzerland and certain other countries with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement, such as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Waterford - Ireland’s oldest city Bishop’s Palace

House of Water ford Crysta l

Med ieval Museu

m www.discoverwa aterfordcity


Poetry Corner Four poems by Kevin Griffin

Household Gods The bookshop moved and the Penates had no choice but follow leaving behind their favourite corners, and the shelves

Kevin Griffin is a retired teacher having taught for 40 years in Killorglin, Co Kerry. Since retiring he has been writing poetry on a regular basis, and has had a few published in magazines and journals such as Revival in Limerick, Crannog in Galway, The Shop in Cork and Riposte in Dublin. He does regular readings at The White House in Limerick, Obheal in Cork and Poets Corner in Tralee.

where they had sat, guiding subliminal choices while hardly disturbing the dust. In the quiet hours, they waited, as only spirits do, having no idea of what moving meant. When the last key clicked, they followed frightened and confused,

A Darkness Comes

Untrodden Ways

It came, or had been here always

Blue turf smoke rose high and true,

disembodied by cars and blank passersby

but chose now to show itself, to unblend the light, and you sigh for that insistent thought had been waiting. On your release, the light is broken, like that time the tide had brimmed and filled all the spaces

sunbeams and in spaces in time. up through trees and sunshine from a house that was adequate

The new home was square, in a sterile

in the townland of the strange


name that gave away its history.

They longed for their old haunts and hated with what passion they could

There might have been a cat on the

the meagre dust of the new.

window and parliament of hens at

All the time  they languished

the door.

until love allowed them ebb away.

How could I be sure? But I am certain she was there ,

your life could give it.

The knowing eye saw them in gaps in

unlonely, in the intensity of her


watering flower pots and pots that

The sea has ways, the beach too,

had been given flowers,

to unsettle and unnerve.

You sense that the time is full,

water, soft from the rain barrel.

There, the bones of the broken boat

and you know you can ruminate in peace,

She was there, I am sure,

history, and the stink is of a noble

the time was right, and the place.

mammal deprived forever of time and

It daunts and consoles, unequally.

its ribs just surviving in a shrinking

always however with the comfort of if. 

space. Over time, there were other scenes whose peculiarities blended,

Death, too, has ways.

and homecomings, that evening, Interested in getting your poetry published? Email your works – no more than five poems – with a short biography and a photo of yourself to:

other evenings,

You know there are souls of walkers,

I can no longer be sure

strolling in the silence behind you,

and few remember the house

but not a crunch on the crisp sand. There is a tree, too, grey with salt and

or the pure, blue smoke,

barnacles, noble and delicate, mocking

rising straight into an opening sky.

with the calm of its art. But still, the sand.

Page 82 Senior Times September 2013

Meeting Place CO CORK WIDOW 60s, NS, likes the occasional drink when out. WLTM kind, caring man of similar age for friendship/relationship. Interests include walking, gardening, eating out, dancing cinema, reading and listening to country music. Genuine replies only. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER A1 WIDOWER, EARLY 60s DUBLIN AREA, kind, gentle with good sense of humour. WLTM refined female to share interests in dancing, bridge, reading, cinema, music and theatre.REPLY TO BOX NUMBER A2 TALL ATTRACTIVE DUBLIN WIDOW, retired professional, romantic and caring with varied interests, including reading, theatre, films, music, outdoor life and travel. WLTM since gent 60s/70s to share happy times.REPLY TO BOX NUMBER A3 ROMANTIC, CARING, ACTIVE, separated gent, mid-60s. ND. Medium height and build. Likes reading, films, walking, music. WLTM female with similar interests in Dublin area.REPLY TO BOX NUMBER A4 VERY ATTRACTIVE, SINGLE CORK PROFESSIONAL LADY 50. Warm personality, slim and well dressed with many interests including walking, dancing, especially Irish dancing, music, travel, weekends away, eating out, cooking, gardening and good conversation. WLTM refined gentleman 50 to mid-60s from the Munster area who is kind, warmhearted, genuine and caring for friendship and possible relationship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER A5 GALWAY WOMAN, 60s. Interests include reading, walking, and going for drives in car. Would like to meet people interested in reading and good conversation. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER A6 SINGLE, RETIRED, MIDLANDS MALE, 55 WLTM meet retired males/females companions for travelling trips by train in Europe. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER A7 SOUTHSIDE DUBLIN WOMAN 60s WLTM females and males 60s-70s for friendship, outings etc. Interests include travel, gardening, music, particularly jazz, theatre, films, reading, cooking and enjoying a nice glass of wine. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER A8 CO CORK DIVORCED WOMAN, 52, WLTM and correspond with fun loving people who have a varied interest in life. Interested in travelling, walking, nature, dancing, music, cinema. Love talking to people – great listener! REPLY TO BOX NUMBER Y1 MIDLANDS MALE PUBLIC SERVANT, late 50s, single, NS, SD. Interests include canoeing/sailing, cycling, walking, climbing,

eating out, travelling and weekends away. WLTM woman of similar age and interests. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER Y2 KILKENNY WIDOWER, 72, GOOD HEALTH, NS, SD. Interests include gardening, DIY, walking, reading, golf and bridge. WLTM lady with similar interests. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER Y3 INDEPENDENT, ATTRACTIVE LIMERICK WOMAN, 60s, NS. Returned emigrant, enjoy ceilis, literature, walking, sun holidays, lively conversation. WLTM cheerful, decent male companion from Limerick/Kerry (or from further afield if have car!). REPLY TO BOX NUMBER Y4

the company of a gentleman 60 to 70, North Dublin and environs approx twice a month .Must be good conversationalist and have many interests Smile over wine ! REPLY TO BOX NUMBER X1

NORTH CO DUBLIN WIDOWER, 70s. Tall, active, retired, honest trustworthy. GSOH, NS, ND. Interests include current affairs, sports in general, travel, reading and gardening. WLTM sincere lady for friendship, companionship and socialising. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER Y5

KIND, SINCERE GALWAY GENT, 60+, retired, active, no ties, GSOH. NS, SD, wide interests including music, travel, nights in/out. WLTM unattached warm-hearted lady for friendship, companionship, possibly leading to long-term relationship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER X2

ATTRACTIVE FUN-LOVING DUBLIN LADY, 60, loves to set dance, golf, walk, holiday and other fun activities. WLTM young man of similar age and interests to share and enjoy together. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER Y6.

CORK-BASED SINGLE LADY, part-time nurse, 61. Warm personality, slim build, well-dressed, enjoy the arts and travel and walking. WLTM gentleman with similar interests for friendship. REPLY TO BO NUMBER X3

NORTH WICKLOW LADY, LATE 50s, interests include walking, gardening, cinema, travel and yoga. WLTM likeminded females for friendship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER Y7

DUBLIN WIDOW, MID SIXTIES, MANY INTERESTS including C/W music, dancing, walking. WLTM a gent, preferably Dublinbased who is smart in appearance and kind with a GSOH.REPLY TO BOX NUMBER X4

DUBLIN SINGLE GENT, 60, NS, SD. Interests include music (most varities0, reading, walking, keep fit, holidays, weekends away, swimming. WLTM honest, caring lady, 50-60, with similar interests, for friendship, possibly relationship. ALA. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER Y8

VERY ATTRACTIVE, CULTURED AMERICAN professional lady, living in Leinster. Would like to hear from 55-65 year old, unattached refined man. Interests are many and include theatre, standup comedy, bridge, book club and Toastmasters. Looking forward to meeting someone with similar or other attractive interests. Life is a tapestry, that in my opinion is, enriched by others. Can we enrich with sharing life experiences? REPLY TO BOX NUMBER X5

SEPARATED PROFESSIONAL CORK LADY, loves to dance, walk, enjoy nature, and have fun. WLTM gentleman, 65+, for outings and special occasions. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER Y9 SINGLE MONAGHAN MAN, MID 50s, with a heart of gold, WLTM single woman with a view to companionship and friendship and perhaps more.REPLY TO BOX NUMBER Y10 ELDERLY WOMAN, NS, SD, GSOH seeks someone with good storage space required to store bric-a-brac while on holiday. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER Y11 SOUTHERN WIDOW, MID-60s, slim, GSOH, SD, outgoing personality WLTM refined, gentle natured and honest man, 60s to 70, willing to share good company and enjoy the simple and easy pleasures of life. Lots of interests. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER Y12 DINE OUT. GO DUTCH. Lady would enjoy

SEMI-RETIRED SINGLE LADY, 52, living in Midland WLTM interesting good-humoured male for friendship. Hobbies include reading, cinema-going, swimming, eating out, good conversation. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER X6 SOUTH DUBLIN GENT; EARLY 60 S, NS, SD, no ties, long term divorced, GSOH, no ties. Golfer, good mixer, bridge player, hill walker, great cook, world traveler, solvent. Seeks lady who can laugh with me. Along the way you may be spoilt – just a little! REPLY TO BOX NUMBER X7 MUNSTER PROFESSIONAL LADY, SEMIRETIRED 60s and divorced. Having an outgoing personality, is sincere and caring. Interests include travel, theatre, current affairs, reading and socializing, wishing to Senior Times September 2013 Page 83

Bumper Crossword by Zoë Devlin



1 4 8 11 17 18 19 21 22 23 25 26 27 28 34 36 37 38 40 42 43 48 49 50 52 55 57 59 60 62 66 67 71 72 73 74 77 78 79 80 87 89 90 92 93 94 96 97 98 99

1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 13 14 15 16 20 24 29 30 31 32 33 35 39 41 44 45 46 47 49 51 53 54 55 56 58 59 61 63 64 65 68 69 70 75 76 81 82 83 84 85 86 88 91 95

Unlawful Irish whiskey (6) Fall asleep (3,3) Star of ‘Roman Holiday’, ___ Hepburn (6) ‘X Factor’ judge, ___ Cole (6) 5000m Olympic silver medallist, ___ O’Sullivan (5) Played Rambo & Rocky Balboa, Sylvester ___ (8) Leader of Antarctic expeditions (7,5) 1955 film, ___ ___ ___, starred James Dean (4,2,4) Last month of the year (8) Arouses, becomes conscious (7) Commonplace .. hackneyed (5) Container for serving wine or water (6) Author of ‘The Bell’, ___ Murdoch (4) One who makes bread or cakes (5) Stimulant which would animate hemp! (11) Coarse, shredded tobacco (4) Joke or muzzle (3) Carnivorous burrowing mammal (6) Spanish singer, Julio ___ (8) Old Testament shepherd who killed Goliath (5) Is there a Red Admiral in this Spanish football club? (4,6) Ekberg, Dobson or O’Day? (5) Pretence, fake or parody (7) Could be ___ Reagan or ___ Sinatra? (5) Former chess grand-master, Boris ___ (7) She partnered Rudolph Nereyev (7) Zodiac sign of the Ram (5) ‘The King’ of Jailhouse Rock (7) Savoury jelly (5) Oh! Use white to paint this presidential residence (5,5) Fundamental or elementary (5) Menace or utter intentions of injury (8) Paint which dries to glossy finish (6) Sound made by a crow (3) ___ Cantona, ___ Idle or ___ the Red? (4) Type of triangle for a Tequila Earl? (11) Capital of Senegal (5) ___ Pitney, ___ Kelly or ___ Wilder? (4) Type of cake or Dublin street (6) Person from the Lone Star state in the US (5) I rushed to hide this ‘Satanic Verses’ author (7) Could a camel pat this individual place setting? (5,3) Character who could talk to the animals (2,8) Usually called while tossing a coin (5,2,5) Danish location of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ (8) Defence mechanism or excuse of being elsewhere (5) Prince ___ III, ruled Monaco for 56 years (6) Lake & city in SW Switzerland (6) Ice usually made from fruit juice (6) Short jacket or Spanish dance (6)

Page 84 Senior Times September 2013



Bit of a fishy sign! (6) NW African republic, formerly French colony (7) Marked by complexity & richness of detail (9) Dublin-born playwright of ‘Juno & the paycock’ (1’5) Airport in SE Paris (4) Joyce’s work for weakening fans? (9,4) Association supporting recovering alcoholics (1.1.) Sweet Scotch whisky liqueur (8) Kill or destroy on a large scale (11) ‘See you tomorrow’ in the home of 43 Across (5,6) Major French river, flows into the Mediterranean (5) Most recent (6) Pale, bloodless, blanched (5) Last match of a contest (5) One who does not eat meat or fish (10) Captain Laurence ‘Titus’ ___ , Antarctic explorer (5) ___ Rice Burroughs or ___ Allan Poe? (5) President’s wife, ___ Coyne (6) Heroine of ‘Dr Zhivago’ (4) Military leader of 11th c. Spain known as El ___ (3) Crusoe’s companion in Defoe’s novel (6) Seat behind horse or motorbike rider (7) Shiny and lustrous (6) Remove 83 Down (5) Disk operating system in computers (3) Indonesian island and coffee (4) French capital & abductor of a lady from Troy (5) S American mountain range (5) One authorised to suppress unacceptable literature (6) Connecticut university (4) Conscious, alert, cognisant (5) Holder of key to the pearly gates (2,5) English conspirator remembered on 5th November (6) Tasteless .. cheap & vulgar (3) Naively optimistic or maybe in love (6-4) Is this new royal grandfather a lichen scraper? (6,7) Old form of lighting (6) Senator ___ Bacik or socialite ___ Trump (5) Our little gem of a country! (7,4) The Bard of Avon, born 1564 (11) Aura around head of saint (4) ___ Mirren or 46 Down’s abductee (5) Sports implement - used by Ken Doherty (3) Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic opera set in Japan (3,6) French statesman & airport (2,6) US dancer - partnered Adele & Ginger (7) Legendary Camelot king (6) Hair on lower part of man’s face (5) Long, narrow cut or furrow (6) Small extra-terrestrial body (5) Robert ___ ___, US film star of ‘Godfather’ fame (2,4) EU member state on the Iberian peninsula (5) 20th c. French couturier of ‘New Look’ (4) Arts degree for the unmarried male? (1.1.)

Two copies of Jane W Shackleton’s Ireland to be won! Senior Times, in association with the publishers, The Collins Press, are offering two copies of Jane W Shackleton’s Ireland as the crossword prize for this issue. Jane Wigham Shackleton (1843 – 1909), was Ireland’s most prominent Quaker photographer, responsible for one of the largest collections by a female photographer in Ireland, and this book features a large selection of her works.

Send the completed crossword to: Crossword Competition, Senior Times, Unit1, 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. The first two correct entries drawn are the winners. Deadline for receipt of entries is 18th September 2013.

Name:......................................................... Address:......................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................................... Senior Times August/September 2011 Page 71 Page 86 Senior Times September 2013 Senior Times July 2013 Page 85 Phone: ..........................................................Email: ..........................................................................

meet a similar 60s unattached, NS gentleman who is personable, genuine and caring. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER X8 FUN LOVING DUBLIN LADY, 58, interested in making new friends for socialising and travel. Enjoy travel music dancing and eating out. Enjoy meeting new people. Would like to hear from like minded people.REPLY TO BOX NUMBER X9 CORK WIDOWER, MID 60s, NS, ND interested in music, walks, reading and current affairs. WLTM a nice lady for companionship and friendship, etc. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER M2 SEMI-RETIRED 60s PROFESSIONAL WOMAN, divorced, outgoing, sincere, caring, GSOH, NS, ND. Love travel, current affairs, theatre, reading, and socialising. WLTM an interesting, genuine, caring and sincere professional or business gent of similar age.REPLY TO BOX NUMBER M3 NORTH EAST LADY, STILL ENJOYING LIFE at 62.Semi-retired and looking for lively, romantic, caring man for nights out and in. GSOH, NS, SD. Enjoy music, singing, travel, good conversation and meeting new meeting. ALA REPLY TO BOX NUMBER M4 TAKE THE WORRY OUT OF 1-2 HOLIDAY BREAKS. I am a single, male, retired public servant, and will mind your house while you are only holiday. I will feed and exercise pets, water plants, cut the lawn and generally take care of your property while you enjoy your holiday. I live in the Midlands and covering the Midlands and Dublin area. Have been doing this for others for years. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER M5 UNATTACHED LIMERICK PROFESSIONAL LADY, 60s, semi-retired. Outgoing personality, GSOH, sincere, NS, SD, varied Interests including travel, theatre, current affairs, new challenges. WLTM a likeminded 60s professional or business gentleman who is caring and genuine and has a positive outlook. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER M6

INTERESTED? If you are interested in meeting someone of the opposite or same sex send your advertisement to: Meeting Place, Senior Times, Unit 1, 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Or email: Please ensure you include your postal address for those not on the Net.We cannot accept email advertisements which do not also provide a postal address STAMPED ENVELOPES PLEASE! Despite numerous requests, many respondents are still not attaching stamped envelopes for each of their replies. We cannot pass on future replies without stamped envelopes! Please ensure each reply to a box number if accompanied by a plain, stamped envelope Page 86 Senior Times September 2013

DUBLIN WIDOW, NS, KIND, CARING, interesting, WLTM refined, humorous, gentle natured man to share good company, perhaps deep friendship. An interest in all the arts. Trained in ballet, taught art and now teaches dance class for adults. Enjoys quite time, reading, nature. REPLY TO BOX NUMER M8

ABSOLUTE GENTLEMAN, DUBLIN, SINGLE 65, seeks lady to adore for ever. Your journey has moulded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think that you have lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right. And is right for both of us. And I will woo you with romance and love you with intensity. I will honour you and surprise you and share with you and celebrate you.  You and I will share kindness, much love and helpless laughter.   REPLY TO BOX NUMBER D2

FUN LOVING MIDLANDS LADY, 62, slim build, no ties, seeks educated, active, kind man to share good times. My interests include reading, music and dancing, walking, travel and exploring, dining out and good conversation'. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER M9

VERY ACTIVE ELDERLY RETIRED GALWAY PROFESSIONAL GENTLEMAN likes touring in Ireland, the UK and the Continent. NS, GSOH. WLTM from west of Ireland or Clare to share driving but not essential. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER D3

FEMININE AND ATTRACTIVE DUBLIN FEMALE, 59, with outgoing personality, NS, SD with many and varied interests, including cinema, theatre, travel,etc, WLTM similar male for socialising and companionship and perhaps more. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER M10

DUBLIN WIDOW WITH LOTS OF INTERESTS WLTM a caring gent for friendship. GSOH. NS but like an occasional glass of wine. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER D4

MIDLANDS WIDOW LATE 60s, NS, SD, GSOH.Likes walking, dancing, music, reading, WLTM honest, caring gentleman for friendship/relationship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER M7

LADY, 55, DUBLIN-BASED country origins, no baggage. Interests include music, cinema, theatre, walking, travel, weekends away etc. WLTM a sincere, kind, gentleman, 55+ to mid 60s, for companionship. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER D1

RETIRED WEST MEATH GENT, varied interests, WLTM ladies for socialising and travelling.REPLY TO BOX NUMBER D5 65 DUBLIN WIDOW interested in meeting gent of similar age to share many interests, for example dancing, music.NS and good sense of humour. REPLY TO BOX NUMBER D6

Introducing the Senior Times Penfriend Club For those of you who, at least initially, prefer to correspond by post or email with members of the opposite and/or same sex, rather than meet face-to-face, we are introducing the Senior Times Penfriend Club. This new club will also be of interest to those who, for one reason or another, cannot easily get out to meet people How does it work? Simply send an email or letter outlining your interests, approximate age, your lifestyle and the type of people with whom you would like to correspond. We will then pass on your correspondence to like-minded people. Send your letters to: Senior Times Penfriend Club, Unit 1, 15 Oxford Lane, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Or email to: Since this service is ongoing, there is no deadline for receipt of your letters/emails. Deadline for advertisements for the next printed issue of Senior Times and website listings is September 24th 2013 Please ensure that you provide a stamp for each of your replies.


Emergency: fascinator required Connie Mc Evoy gets to work in a hurry to complete her wedding outfit While preparing for a garden party at An Grianan on July 19th and on realising that due to the fact that the temperature was perhaps at it’s highest in the area for years it was suddenly obvious that a change of outfit would be necessary. All very fine, found a really flimsy but elegant dress and jacket that had first been sported at a wedding in Dublin last summer. This wedding was on one of the rare really hot days that we were blessed with then, and involved strolling from the church, through St Stephen’s Green to the Shelbourne hotel, but a hat was worn in an effort to be safe from the effects of the sun. Having searched all wardrobes and other likely places for a fascinator that would match without success, low and behold an etui/ needle case that was in fact a mini felt hat appeared on a spare bed where crafts are kept. Fortunately it had all necessary colours needed to compliment the outfit, but needed to be fitted on a comb and base in order to attain due prominence as a “hairpiece of distinction” for the occasion. Since no spare bases were available it was necessary to dismantle a fascinator that was made for another special day and attach the etui in haste as time was running out at this stage. Assembling this new hairpiece caused a wee smile to cross my countenance in spite of some frustration when calling to mind advice that was always given long ago before setting out on a journey— make sure to carry a needle, a safety pin and some thread on your person in case of emergency. This “emergency fascinator “went one better as there was a thimble fitted into the crown

Connie sporting her ‘emergency’ fascinator

Requirements for the base: A clear plastic comb and 1 metre of narrow satin ribbon, (jade was used in this project) and a strip of jade Sinamay 60cms long x 8cms wide. Some small jet beads strung on fine plastic thread and a spool of Gutermann polyester thread Col no707. For the etui: 3 circles of dark green felt measuring 7cms in diameter, cut 1 circle of purple felt measuring 7.5cms in diameter using a pinking shears, 1 strip of dark green felt measuring 3cms x 3cms, plus some small off-cuts of felt in various colours for making flowers/ ribbons and bows. A pinking shears, a scissors and a fine needle.

Assemble the base by folding the satin ribbon in half, push the resulting loop between the side and 1st tooth of the comb to the back. Hold the loop at the back while taking the loose ends across the top of the comb in order to insert them into and pull through the loop, thus making a neat and secure stay while the loose ends are then slotted between the remaining teeth and the top of the comb is completely covered. It will be necessary to secure the loose ends then by inserting a few small back stitches. Cut the Sinamay/banana fibre into 5 lengths, each measuring 12cms (on the straight of fabric), it may be necessary Senior Times September 2013 Page 87

Detail of the fascinator to pull the edges in order to straighten the weave. While it is easy to use and shape it is important to note that this material is coated with a stiffener which melts when heated, so protect the ironing board when pressing into shape. Fold over 1cm edges on both long sides of each of the 12cms lengths, use a damp cloth when pressing the edges flat in order to fuse together. The round end of a nail file will assist in rolling a really neat edge while ironing is in progress. Fold each of the lengths in half to form 5 loops, thread the fine needle with the no 707 thread and work a row or two of running stitches about 2cms from the raw edges and pull the stitching in order to gather the edges enough to form a neat rosette as each finished loop is stitched in place on the ribbon covered comb top. Attach the strung beads in loops that come half way along each Sinamay loop using the same thread. Assemble the etui by taking 1 circle of green felt, cut a 2cms circle accurately and neatly from the centre using a sharp scissors. (This 2cms circle will be needed to top the crown), make a band from the 3cms x 3cms strip of green felt by stitching a seam using neat running stitches and the 707 thread, then stitch the 2cms circle into one end of this band using running stitches. Stitch the bottom end of the band into the round area that the 2cms circle was cut from, this is the crown and the resting place for a thimble. Attach the purple circle centrally underneath the green brim and crown by neat backstitches in the area that is to be the back of the etui/hat (about 3.5cms of stitching should suffice) and the seam of the crown should also correspond with the centre back of the brim. Stitch the remaining 2 circles of green felt together to form the base and an area for keeping pins, needles and small amounts of thread then attach to the etui by stitching underneath the purple felt in the same area. The etui may be decorated by attaching small felt flowers, bows, ribbons or as desired. This one was attached to the base with a few backstitches, served it’s purpose well and commanded a fair amount of interest as well as a few giggles on the day. Page 88 Senior Times September 2013

WIN A STAY AT THE MULRANNY PARK HOTEL Hotel Reviews Ireland in association with Senior Times is delighted to offer two lucky readers the opportunity to win a two night break at the Mulranny Park Hotel The Mulranny Park Hotel is an exquisite 4 star hotel nestled within a beautiful woodland estate in the village of Mulranny, Co Mayo. Perched above the glittering waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the hotel exudes not just old world charm and elegance but offers every visitor the warmest of welcomes. The hotel has been named in both the top 100 Places to Stay and the top 100 Restaurants in Ireland 2013 by the McKenna Guides. In addition it has made the prestigious shortlists as one of the ‘Top 10 Hotels by the Coast’, ‘Top 10 Best Places for Walkers’. We look forward to welcoming you… 098 36000 To win a two night break at the Mulranny Park Hotel just answer the following question: What is the name of the bay the hotel overlooks? Answers on a postcard to: Email answers to: Or post entries to: Suzanne O’Brien, Mulranny Park Hotel, Mulranny, Westport, Co Mayo First correct entry drawn is the winner. Deadline for receipt of entries is 25th September 2013. Find out more about the Mulranny Park Hotel on

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Senior Times Issue September 2013  

Senior Times magazine for people who don't act their age. September 2013 issue.