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Celebrating ten years of St Patrick’s Day Parades in Cabo Roig In

Cabo Roig, the first sign of summer arriving is not the swallows returning from their winter migration but the annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Of course, on that day everybody is Irish, no matter where they are from. Following the 2019 parade the decision was taken to organise all future parades on the Sunday closest to St Patrick’s Day so this year, as many of you already know, it will be held on the Sunday prior to St Patricks Day, 15th March. The decision was taken so as to ensure that as many people as possible could attend on a non-working and a non-school day, at least for most of us, but especially for the children, who are one of the most important reasons that the day is organised, and who now play such an important part in the celebration and in the parade itself here on the Orihuela Costa. And being the 10th anniversary of the parade in Cabo Roig, if we want to ensure that it the biggest and the best celebration yet it is so important that we make it easy for those wishing to go along and thereby maximise the number of people who can attend. Who would have thought that from that quiet winters night those many years ago, when the idea was first muted by Brendan Gormonly, that we would now be organising this centenary event, and anticipating an attendance approaching 20,000 people. The first fundraising events were held by Jim (Bog Road), Ger (Smiling Jacks), Leo (Bar Liquid), Chris (Poco Loco), Little Joe (Bar Med) in an attempt to generate the necessary funds to get the parade off the ground and together with local residents at the time, Dermot and Breda OToole, Ena and Harry, Greg Daly, Treasa and Donal Raftery the parade became a reality. Dermot was the first St. Patrick to walk in the parade and although the organisers weren’t as prepared as they would have liked they were still able to attract around 4,000 people of all different nationalities to Cabo Roig for the first ever St. Patrick’s parade in the Valenciana region. Sligo Co. Councillor Jerry Lundy was the first Parade Grand Marshall and he did his bit in convincing the local government that the parade was here to stay. And so it is, ten years on, now under the Presidency of Raymond Kearney and with the support of Ireland’s Ambassador to Spain, Síle Maguire. It has certainly moved on a step or two since those early beginnings. Now the biggest parade in mainland Europe and is listed by National Geographic as 9th in the top ten best parades in the world, only two behind Dublin itself, little did those organisers and fundraisers know back in 2010 that it would blossom into the major event that it most certainly is today.

This publication was designed and produced on behalf of Asociación ‘CABO ROIG STRIP’ and Ayuntamiento Orihuela by The Leader Newspaper - Tel 637 227 385


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YOUR GRAND MARSHALL This year’s Grand Marshall is the living GAA legend Séamus Darby, who is probably the most famous Gaelic Footballer of all time. Born 1950 in Rhode, County Offaly, Darby is best remembered for scoring an unexpected late goal that deprived Kerry of a 5-in-a-row in the 1982 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final. During his footballing career, Darby won Leinster Senior Football Championship titles with Offaly in 1972, 1973 and 1982, playing in various forward positions. He won his second All-Ireland medal in 1972 when Offaly beat Kerry in the final. He had been an unused substitute in the 1971 final v Galway, during Offaly's first-ever win. He was dropped from the county panel after the 1976 season. Darby was recalled to the Offaly team for the 1982 Leinster final, playing full-forward against Dublin. He pulled a hamstring in that match and missed the All-Ireland semi-final against Galway. His replacement, Johnny Mooney, played well in that match so Darby was left on the bench for the final. The 1982 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was a repeat of the previous year's encounter and was also significant in that a win for Kerry would give them an unprecedented fifth All-Ireland Final victory in a row. Kerry were winning by two points with two minutes to go when Darby, who had arrived on the field of play as a substitute, with instruc-

tions to stay forward and try for a goal, got behind his marker Tommy Doyle, caught a "high, lobbing, dropping ball", and scored one of the most famous goals of all time. It was his only kick of the match. Kerry fumbled the counterattack which allowed Offaly to win by one single point with a score of 1–15 to 0–17. On recalling the goal some years later Darby told The Irish Examiner, “I was lucky on the day. Over the years thousands of people have asked me if the goal changed my circumstances. I don’t know for sure what path my life

would have gone down if September 19, 1982 hadn’t happened the way it did, but I’d like to think that I haven’t changed as a person because of it. And that’s the most important thing.” In 2005, Darby's goal against Kerry was voted third in a poll to find the Top 20 GAA Moments. Darby's last match for Offaly was the Leinster semi-final against Dublin in 1984. He played club football for Rhode till 1986, later playing

Darby is best remembered for scoring that late goal in the 1982 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final.

for Edenderry in 1989, and for Borrisokane in County Tipperary in 1991. In September of last year Darby released his autobiography, ‘About That Goal’ which tells the story of a man thrust into national headlines, who then had to deal with the fallout of losing his business and his marriage, before returning to Ireland to run his own business and catch up on lost time. In the book he talks frankly about his big day in the 1982 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final, including the ‘alleged’ push in the lead-up to the winning goal. He also describes the act of kindness which saved him from sleeping rough in London as well as the day a gangster came looking to shoot him in his pub in London, his fight against cancer and his gratitude after surviving a car crash last summer. The autobiography was written in conjunction with Clara man, P.J. Cunningham, a well known journalist and author and is available on Amazon. But for the moment Séamus is looking forward to leading the Cabo Roig Parade. “When I assume my duties as Parade Grand Marshall it will be a very proud moment for me. I hope that I will be able to fulfil the trust that the community has placed in me and I very much look forward to spending time with you all in Cabo Roig.”

PAGE 5 Síle Maguire has been Ireland’s Ambassador to Spain, Andorra and Tunisia since 2017.

St Patrick’s Day 2020 Message from Ambassador Síle Maguire I am delighted to send warm St Patrick’s Day greetings to the Irish Community in Cabo Roig and to all friends of Ireland in the region. St Patrick’s Day, Ireland’s National Day, is a very special day for Irish people but on 17th March you can enjoy a connection to Ireland whether or not you are Irish. I know that this open spirit is very much at the heart of the celebrations in Cabo Roig where all are welcome to join in the celebrations. That St Patrick’s Day is marked with such enthusiasm and impact in Cabo Roig is thanks to the tireless work of the organisers, as well as the support of the sponsors and the local authorities. I would like to commend all of those involved. May I wish you a happy and enjoyable St Patrick’s Day 2020

Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh! !Feliz Dia se San Patricio!

This is Ambassador Maguire’s second posting in Spain as she served here before as Consul on her first assignment abroad (1994-1997). Since her first posting in Madrid, she enjoyed assignments in the Americas, with her posting as Deputy Head of Mission in Ireland’s Embassy in Mexico City (20002004) and in Africa with her posting as Ambassador to Ethiopia, South Sudan and Permanent Observer of Ireland to the African Union (2008-2012). Ambassador Maguire’s most recent assignments at Headquarters were as Latin America and Caribbean Director and later as Chief of Protocol.


Can’t dance … can’t sing; but does anybody want me this St Patrick’s Day? B y Bernie Comaskey I’m at a loose end for St Patrick’s Day 2020 – and I just don’t know what to do with myself. (Now … now Lads, that’s not nice!) This year is different in Ireland. For many years, up until this year, the All-Ireland GAA Club Finals were played on this day and attending Croke Park - after watching the first hour of the Dublin parade, made for a most enjoyable outing. With Croke Park now out of the equation, I have not as yet come up with an alternative thrill to tickle my fancy. Well, actually, I do have one St Patrick’s Day experience on my ‘bucket list’, but due to a clash of dates, this year doesn’t suit me to travel abroad. I have enjoyed many and varied celebrations for our patron saint over half a century. Apart from the above mentioned hurling and football finals, all of my abiding happy St Patrick’s Day memories are from other countries. Funnily enough, St Patrick’s Day does not command any great sense of emotion for Irish people living in Ireland. The razzmatazz in honour of the great man himself belongs to the Irish living abroad and the ‘abroads’ visiting Ireland. The number of foreign visitors who come here for the Dublin parade is quite staggering: But wouldn’t anyone travel any journey just to watch those long-legged, high stomping American majorettes! In my twenties I celebrated a couple of St Patrick Days in England. I’m afraid those liquid lunches tended to ‘spill over’ into evening. As I recall, our English friends did politely partake – with a bemused look on their faces. Canada was bigger and better with everybody entering into the spirit (!) of the occasion. In the mining town where I toiled, no Irishman worth his salt went to work on 17th March. It shows how highly the Irish were thought of there, that not a word of rebuke would be imparted when they returned to the job a day … or two … or three later! My shift boss was an old Ukrainian guy called John Zbitnew. For the duration of St Patrick’s week,

the name on his hat read, ‘John O’Zbitnew’! The Irish Canadian Club hosted a gala dance on St Patrick’s night … and here lay a problem. In keeping with the status of the occasion and in order to create a favourable impression with the invited dignitaries, the powers that be (how is it goin’ Larry?!!) made sure that there would be no gathering of thirsty, boisterous, testosterone -laden miners congregating around the bar. The dance would be ‘strictly couples only.’ Now, that rule might seem reasonable and fair; but in a mining town, with a ratio of twelve men to every one lady … well, do your own maths! You can see the problem. Anyway – and you know I am not one to boast, but in the interest of factual reporting, I am bound to tell you that I never once missed the St Patrick’s night dinner-dance in Thompson, Manitoba! A few years back, I decided to treat my dear wife to the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York. We stood for five hours on a 5th Avenue sidewalk on one of the coldest days of that year. It took me several hours afterwards to thaw out the ‘treatee’. My most enjoyable and rewarding St Patrick’s Days were spent in Spain on the Costa Blanca. I founded and opened Paddy’s Point in 1999, so our first celebration of the patron saint was in centenary year. The atmosphere was so brilliant and exceeded all our expectations. Guinness’ gave us some paraphernalia, but not nearly enough.

Pamela came to the rescue by arriving from Ireland with a large checked-in bag full of every sort of green bunting, bugles, hats, masks – and every sort of emerald gimmick. There followed a few magical years of St Patrick’s Days. So … what is the missing one on my ‘bucket list’, I hear you ask? Unfortunately I cannot do it this year due to a clash of dates; but I am just longing to attend the Cabo Roig parade in Spain. I was greatly moved last year when I watched the highlights from this event on national television. No words of praise can do justice to the incredibly committed committee and their helpers and supporters. These ex-pat men and women started from nowhere and have turned this event into such a marvellous success. This is a perfect example of what can be accomplished when people pull together. Heartiest congratulations to all concerned.

Bualadh Bos!! See you next year, please God!




FEBRUARY 16th 21st

Trinity sponsored Golf - Paddy’s Day All Ireland Challenge at The Mar Menor Golf Course Cabo Roig Inn - Mr & Mrs 12 couples required. How well do you know your partner?

MARCH 12th


O’Riordan’s RACENIGHT St Patrick’s Race Night Fundraiser. Lots of fun and great prizes. O’Riordan’s - Paul Cullen Milo’s Bar - Ladies Night Smiling Jack’s - All above The Love Boat with Tony de Love

ST PATRICK S WEEKEND SUNDAY 15TH MARCH ST PATRICKS PARADE Entertainment from 1pm Parade starts at 3pm

If you enjoy the Saint Patrick’s Parade each year please support...... The businesses advertised in this newspaper, St Patrick’s Day fundraising events and the businesses listed on the map featured across the page.

MARCH 14th





lways a very popular addition to the St Patrick’s Day activities, facepainters. who will be busying themselves around the Cabo Roig strip on 15th March prior to the St Patrick’s Parade. You will be able to find Elsa and Anna, probably somewhere in the vicinity of the stage, but just ask around and I’m sure you will find out where they are. And what’s even better is that the service is provided absolutely free so there is sure to be a lot of interest.

Smiling Jack’s - Carlitos Solo Saturday night with the big man Cabo Roig Inn - 1st Anniversary O’Riordan’s - Damian Kenny Cabo Roig Inn - Ricky Young O’Riordan’s - Rosie and Noel followed by Paul Cullen Cabo Roig Inn - Music from 3pm Chris, Jaimie O’Keefe, Roberto, Ricky Young O’Riordan’s - Paul Cullen Smiling Jack’s - Carlitos Solo, The big man with the big voice O’Riordan’s - Damian Kenny follo wed by Rosie and Noel Smiling Jack’s - Ms Ashleigh Jay with hits from the 60’s Elsa and Anna also specialise in Prince and Princess parlour parties in children’s entertainment for all occasions incl weddings, birthdays, christenings/ communions etc. They offer discos, bear making workshops (Be my bear), Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Spider-Man, Hulk, facepainting, balloon decorations. All of their our parties are customised to suit all. For more information email them on:

PAGE 10 te, marks his grave. For those who celebrate its intended meaning, St Patrick’s Day is a day for spiritual renewal.

WHEN WAS THE FIRST PARADE? The first St Patrick’s Day parade was not held in Ireland at all, but in Boston in the United States in 1737. This was followed by an “official” parade in New York in 1766. Ireland was a little further behind with the first parade held in Waterford in 1903, while Dublin joined the club back in 1931. Today, the parade in Dublin is a huge, colourful, theatrical event that snakes through the historic city centre, with vivid displays and international bands.


WHY 17 MARCH? Simple – the date marks the saint’s death. Patrick died in 461 in Saul, County Down. It was here that he had established his first church in a small and simple barn, after arriving nearby at the mouth of the Slaney River. He is buried in the grounds of Down Cathedral in Downpatrick and a memorial stone, made from local Mourne Mountain grani-

Raise your glasses to Luke Wadding, an Irish Franciscan friar from Waterford whose persistent efforts turned March 17 into a feast day. Born in 1558, Wadding died in Rome on 1657 and his remains are interred there in the college of St Isidore’s, which he founded. If you visit the National Gallery, you can see a painting of the friar by Carlo Maratta, while in Waterford city he is commemorated with a statue outside the French Church (Greyfriars).

WOMEN’S CHARITY - The Inner Wheel

The Inner Wheel is a Women's Charity Organisation with over 3,895 clubs and 108,000 members across the globe, with the aims of supporting mothers and children, increasing educational opportunities and preventing poverty and disease. Projects are in focus to ensure that help reaches local as well as international women and children.

the official installation of the Inner Wheel Club of Campoamor in Orihuela Costa, in December 14, 2019. Mary Anne Gronningen, founder and club President, together with local members and a number of guests from UK, Belgium, Greece, Galicia, Netherlands and Germany were present for the occasion.

International Inner Wheel President, Phyllis Charter attended at

Please visit the website snd our Facebook page Does it sounds interesting? Do you want to help others and make a difference? Please feel free to contact Mary Anne Gronningen +47 90 57 45 90, 964 335 299 or Christina Berardi 693 523 905 who will be delighted to proide you with more information.





Outstanding golf as well as white sandy beaches There can be few better golf destinations than the Costa Blanca with over 30 championship courses to choose from but with 5 quality courses on your doorstep, there is absolutely no need whatsoever to stray from the Orihuela Costa where, regardless of your location, you are never more than a 10 minute drive away from 18 holes of fabulous sunshine golf.

VILLAMARTIN GOLF COURSE Established in 1972 Villamartin is one of the oldest golf courses in the region. Almost 50 years of history, beautiful views of the Mediterranean and generous greens that hosted in a European Tour event in 1994. Severiano Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal, Ian Woosnan, Sam Torrance and many other international figures have played golf and graced this great golf course. The greens at Villamartin have international fame with holes like the 17th, a par three that requires crossing a leafy, treelined boulevard to reach a huge and generous Green on two levels Villamartin The club has a large community of players from all over Europe who live in close proximity to this beautiful course.



Las Ramblas golf course was the second course owned by Quara Group. Designed by Pepe Gancedo, the prestigious and visionary designer it was opened in 1991. Las Ramblas is an area of incomparable beau-

ty, as the name suggests it is designed on steep terrain surrounded by streams and lush vegetation. The course offers many attractions including magnificent views Over the Mediterranean Sea and with plenty of shade it is a nice place to play golf even in the hottest months of the year.

LAS COLINAS GOLF COURSE A world apart, why not experience the Cabell

B. Robinson designed Championship Golf Course, managed by Troon Golf, and stay at Las Colinas Golf and Country Club. In a 330-hectare valley between hills, near the sea, in an area of great natural beauty, Las Colinas is setting new standards for golf and leisure in Spain. In addition to its par 71 18hole championship course, there is a full range of amenities around the Club House, with a golf academy, a driving range of natural grass, a putting green and an approach area. The Orihuela Costa can boast some of the very best golf courses in Spain




The Real Club de Golf Campoamor was first opened by HRH Juan de Borbón, Count of Barcelona, in 1988, in whose honour a tournament is now played each August. Nestling in the natural beauty of the Dehesa de Campoamor landscape, between two interlocking valleys protected by small hills, this course enjoys its own special microclimate that makes it possible to play golf here at any time of the year. At 6,277 metres long with a par of 72, it is a well tended course whose strict standards of maintenance serve to further highlight the wonderful flora and fauna to be found along its length.

VISTABELLA GOLF COURSE Opened in 2009, Vistabella Golf was originally developed with just 11 holes but in 2018 the course was finally extended to its full 18 holes. Course designer Manuel Piñero partnered Seve Ballesteros in the 1985 Ryder Cup, and he has combined over 30 years’ experience in the world of golf with knowledge of the world’s greatest courses, and applied this know-how to Vistabella Golf. Special mention must also be made of the large and undulating greens, regarded as the most competitive in the area and the best tended. As well as the golf course, this sports complex also features a golf academy, paddle tennis courts, a lawn bowling green and restaurant.





Quick and easy Irish recipes!


Prep time: 5 minutes /Cook time: 45 minutes

Preheat the oven to 180c. Grease a loaf tin.

Prep time: 6 minutes

Here we have a fool proof recipe for the most delicious soda bread you have ever tasted!

Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together in a bowl.

This is the ultimate cream liqueur. It has a hint of coffee and chocolate and a creamy sweetness, enhanced by the warming addition of whiskey. Served with ice.

No sieving, kneading or proofing required. Easy peasy! Just In time to impress all your friends over the St Patrick’s Day weekend.

Add the milk, yoghurt and sunflower oil and mix quickly with a knife.

Soda bread is traditionally made with buttermilk but it can be hard to get your hands on, so instead, this recipe uses yoghurt. If you don't have a loaf tin you can simply mould the dough into an oval shape and bake on a greased baking tray.

The bottom of the loaf should sound hollow when tapped.


Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 40 - 45 minutes.

Once baked, turn the bread out onto a wire rack and wrap in a clean tea towel until it has cooled. The bread is absolutely delicious warm from the oven smothered with butter and also perfect for dipping into chunky soups or stews. Enjoy!

This is a treat which really is too good to be reserved for after dinner, so pour yourself a glass and raise a toast to St. Patrick! (Makes approx 750ml)

INGREDIENTS: 250ml double cream 1 teaspoon coffee or espresso powder

Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder 150ml Irish whiskey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

397g tin condensed milk

280ml milk 125g hazelnut yoghurt 1 tbsp sunflower oil

Mix this with the tin of condensed milk and pour into your serving bottle or jar and give it all a good shake. Chill in the fridge for an hour (or as long as you can wait!) before serving in a large tumbler with ice.

A clean glass bottle or jar

350g wholemeal flour

Pinch of salt

Pour In the whiskey and stir again.

METHOD: Spoon the coffee powder and cocoa into a large measuring Jug. Add a tablespoon of the double cream to blend the two powders into a paste. Gradually whisk in the rest of the cream ensuring everything is well blended.

Enjoy this Irish classic, before dinner, with dinner, instead of dinner or after dinner. Just make sure you enjoy it! Slainte!


A stroll along Cabo Roig seafront The promenade allows you to enjoy a leisurely stroll along the rugged coastline as you take in the Mediterranean air. With the summer almost upon us and the thermometers already reaching 30, the coast begins to call us; with the uplift from the sea breeze and the stimulating coastline promising to give us that boost to our energy as we face our daily lives. Enjoy a part of the coastline in relative calm, albeit in a coastal area that ravenous urbanism has covered in concrete in recent decades, but one that still houses corners where you can relax and find peace. I refer, of course, to Cabo Roig, an area oft referred to as “the jewel in the crown of the Alicante coast.” An enclave with history, this peninsula of the Vega Baja has a watchtower that was built in the 16th century as part of the defensive system devised by Carlos I and built by his son Felipe II 'El Prudente'. Probably sitting on the remains of an old Arabian tower, it remains a firm reminder of secular skirmishes between the berbers, the dominant ethnic group from the Saharan region, and local residents of the area, where the rugged coast, with it’s abundance of small coves and bays allowed the pirates to land, prior to starting their vicious attacks. Walking along this steep coastal promenade from the tip of the Glea (in the Aquamarina urbanisation, between Campoamor and Cabo Roig), where a few decades ago there was a small cove known as del Pino, and saunter out to La Zenia, Playa Flamenca or even, albeit along a rough and stoney path, to the beach at

Punta Prima. The complete route is rather less than 10 kilometres. My walks tend to be along the Cabo Roig promenade at the entrance to the beach, the point at which the seafront itself begins, which, until a campaign orchestrated by The Leader Newspaper, was blocked off between the Bella Vista and Aguamarina urbanisations.

Walking back toward Cabo Roig

After many decades of arguing the ‘closed’ section of the walkway was finally opened to public traffic about 5 years ago and what an absolute boon it has proved to be. If you decide to walk toward the south (dir Campoamor), you will travel along a narrow footpath above a coastline that is full of small coves, first passing La Caleta beach and then onto the old stoney seafront which bears the footprint of ancient and fossilised marine animals; perfectly accessible to most, although only via steep steps. Thereafter you are at the mercy of a pathway carved out of the side of the Aguamarina coastline. Should you choose to walk north, the first section of this pleasant promenade runs through an area recently equipped with ramps and stairs that allow access to the beach at Cabo Roig, located next to the Marina Deportiva, although the recent storms have caused some damage to parts of the walkway. It is the least 'wild' section, allowing you to go down to the beach to enjoy nautical activities. You can even hire a jet ski. There is also an excellent Chiringuito beach bar. However, I recommend that you not succumb to the temptation of lying on the burning sand just

yet and move on. The huge, vertical cliffs of reddish and clayey sandstone are camouflaged along this first section by the stone walls built by the owners of the seafront properties, many of which have private staircases to access the promenade. The winding and pleasant walk continues, passing by the Detachment of Lieutenant Morejón, where the Special Operations Unit, akin I suppose to the “Special Boat Service” (diving, canoeing and sea-related activities) is based. Here the promenade is rather beaten up, practically the same at it was when it was built in the 70s, when this stretch of the coast first began to welcome tourists. In this area, where the beaches are replaced by rock platforms, you need to wear something on your feet if you choose to venture into the sea for a solo bath. There is also a multitude of invasive species planted by holidaymakers in the area, such as acacias and carpobrotus or cat's claw, lettuce and marine fennel. To access these rock platforms, where it is not Members of Totally Dance recently competed in the ‘Vive Tu Sueno’ competition in Aguilas

uncommon to find a fisherman trying his luck, along with some clueless swimmer or even a passing canoeist, there are many sets of stairs that lead from the pathway to the sea. Some of them, beaten about by the tides, have not yet been replaced, while others, rather more solid in manufacture, have resisted the constant hammering of the waves. If the sea is rough, it is not advisable to bathe in this area, since the waves break onto the rocky frontage and can make it difficult to get to back to the mainland. During the heat of the summer months, however, bathing in this location is more than recommended. If you continue in the direction of La Zenia, you will reach a wooden walkway, followed by the fine sand of the beaches and the adjacent urbanisation. This, I find, is a good point to turn around and make my way back to the Cabo Roig Tower, or even to the Irish run and most welcoming El Faro bar where you can take one of the delicious dishes served in the restaurant.


Birdwatching on the Costa Blanca Birdwatching on the Costa Blanca has never been more popular and with recent initiatives launched in the last year or two by a number of local councils, aimed specifically at ornithology tourism, the number of visitors to the area who are here specifically to pursue their interest in birds will continue to grow. The landscape in the province of Alicante is a diverse mix of natural areas, making it the ideal place to observe a wide range of bird species. The region's huge variety of environments, consisting of fertile meadows and wetlands in the south, continental steppes to the west and an extensive coastline, all surrounded by the mountains in the north, shapes a complete map of natural spaces. Bird watching combined with a mild climate and an excellent network of services makes for some very successful days out in the field with the Costa Blanca undoubtedly the perfect location to enjoy such activity. The Costa Blanca coastline stretches over 244 kilometres and is home to one of the most satisfying places to observe nature. Two marine reserves, the island of Tabarca to the south and the Cabo de San Antonio headland to the north are places where it's easy to deep sea species such as the Balearic shearwater, Puffinus mauretanicus and the European storm petrel, Hydrobates pelagicus. The Ibiza Channel is a Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance and a stopover location for marine mammal species like dolphins and fin Whales, Balaenoptera physalus. Either on our beaches or aboard the comfortable "llauds" (traditional boats), you’ll be able to get a unique view of what nature has to offer.

Perhaps the most famous natural environments along the Costa Blanca are the wetland reserves. Their iconic species and the farming landscape, along with its strategic location, make them fantastic places to enjoy birdwatching. There are several excellent wetland reserves from Pego Marsh in the north to La Mata in the south. In between, there are the Santa Pola Salinas, Clot de Galvany and Salinas de Calpe, all well worth a visit. Slightly inland, there is Elche’s flagship reserve El Hondo with breeding species such as the globally endangered White-headed, Marbled Ducks while the mountain region holds its own special set of species including Bonelli’s, Golden Eagle, Rock & Cirl Buntings, Black Wheatear, not forgetting the many other aquatic species that live here and that give the area its internationally protected status. Morito, Glossy Ibis


Surviving St. Patrick’s Day

By Patrick Sullivan St. Patrick’s Day is one of the greatest creations that mankind has come up with in the 200,000 years we’ve been on this rock. It’s an excuse to let loose and get blackout drunk on a Sunday, which many people do but are never judged for it. However, people go a little crazy when it comes to the Irish Holiday. Here are some tips if you want to make it out of the wekend alive and with only a handful of regretful, life-altering mistakes. Wear Green Obviously there’s a tradition of wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day in order to pretend that you’re Irish or a leprechaun or something similar. However, there is a hidden reason why wearing green is a ‘go-to’ for St. Paddy’s celebrations. Similar to a cross for a vampire or silver bullets for a werewolf, wearing green is a form of protection against drunk people during the feast of St. Patrick. While drunks and people that don’t respect personal space have free reign against everyone else, they would shrivel up instantly if you were wearing any hue of the Irish color. Think of the scene from Indiana Jones where all of the Nazis are melting in front of the Ark. Replace the Ark with someone wearing green socks and it’s basically what happens. Just out drink everyone else In the years that St. Patrick’s Day behaviors have been studied, it appears there is always one person who consumes so much alcohol they essentially turn into a Super Saiyan God. This being is impervious to both physical damage and social norms during the time they are intoxicated. This phenomenon is the Alpha Alcoholic, and an easy way to get through St. Paddy’s is to just inhale as much liquor as possible to have this title be thrust onto you. An easy way to tell if you’ve reached this level or not is to either smash your head into a wall, or make a move on your best friend. If you don’t feel anything from either of those, congratulations, you made it! Change your name to Patrick There’s not a lot to protect you from the drunken masses when the Irish holiday is in full swing. If we have ben taught anything though, it’s that being named Patrick is both a blessing and a curse. The advantage of the name is that whenever it is proffered at any point in the month of March, people say, “Oh, you must be so excited! That’s like your day, that’s crazy.” After that they just blab about how much they love St. Patrick’s Day and how they’re 6 percent Irish on their mom’s side. While this could be exciting for the minority it makes many people want to Shamrock Shake the crap out of some people. And that’s the best way to survive the St Patrick’s Day weekend her in Cabo Roig. Or you could just stay in and like, read a book I guess. Might I suggest “The complete idiots guide to being a nerd!”


Spanish Solutions offer Equity release for Seniors in Spain.


any expats are struggling in Spain with the rising costs of living here, currency fluctuations, less spendability of their pensions or investments and in some cases family or medical issues too. Bare Ownership or Home reversion plans are now much more common in spain with 2,000 deals completed in 2019. With a plan such as this, an owner can sell their home in exchange for a tax efficient cash lump sum or a regular income. They reserve the right to stay there- in their own home – rent free for life – for as long as they choose. When the client passes away or they enter long-term care in Spain, the house will be sold, and the investor will take their share of the proceeds. The plan puts cash in our clients pockets right now.

The client can remain in the property, rent free, for the rest of their lives

Cons of a Spanish Equity Release plan. • • • • •

It is not for everyone. These plans offer bad value if the client suddenly dies, shortly after taking one out. The value of the inheritance clients leave behind is reduced. It is a delicate legal matter than must be handled by a professional law office. Spanish home owners will receive significantly less than the market value for their property.

Pros of a Spanish Equity release plan. • • • • •

A property owner can take the money as a lump sum, regular payments, or a mixture of both. The client can remain there, rent free for the rest of their lives. Nobody ever needs to know the client has sold their home; there will be no “for sale” sign, no agents, no viewings etc. The cash is paid quickly, generally within four weeks. All valuations are carried out by Tinsa, the Spanish national, independent valuation company.

• • • •

Money is in some cases, tax free. There are no upfront costs for the property seller. Spanish solutions are there to protect our sellers right through the process. No credit check or remortgage required. You cannot end up with negative equity and your heirs will never receive a bill, as can happen with Lifetime mortgage.

If you think Equity release on your Spanish home is something that may interest you, please email Nicola in Spanish Solutions: or check out our dedicated website, www.SpanishEquityRelease.Solutions


THE distinguished heritage OF ORIHUELA ing marble staircase and its elegant coloured rooms - the red room, the pink room and the yellow room. The palace is mainly used now for wedding ceremonies and is an elegant and memorable location for this purpose. Orihuela Cathedral of Salvador and Santa Maria is a cultural heritage site dating from the 13th century. It is built in Gothic style on the site of a mosque and, although one of the smallest cathedrals in Spain, it has a grand bell tower, impressive Renaissance and Valencian art works, plus a grand 18th century Baroque organ.

ORIHUELA, THE CAPITAL OF THE VEGA BAJA REGION OF THE SOUTHERN COSTA BLANCA, is perhaps best known for its magnificent churches and monasteries, of which there are many. It is also renowned for being the birthplace and home of the famous Spanish poet Miguel Hernandez (1910 - 1942). The city has a distinguished historical and cultural heritage. Impressive works of art, historic palaces and stunning Holy Week fiestas are just some of the reasons why a visit to Orihuela should be on the wish list for everyone visiting the Alicante area. The city itself has a population of approximately 34,000 inhabitants whilst there are about 75,000 living in the municipality which covers an area of 365 km2. Although lying some 20 km inland it has its own stretch of coastline (Orihuela Costa) with many fine blue flag beaches and some exclusive resorts. Orihuela has a history stretching back to the middle of the 3rd millennium BC when there were human settlements in the area. The “El Argar” culture was known to exist there during the years 1700 to 1500 BC. The Romans were evident in the region from about this time and the name Orihuela almost certainly derives from the Roman name for the town - Aurariola. Orihuela was also important during the Visigothic period when it was the capital of a large surrounding area. During the Arab conquest in the 8th Century the city, and some of its surrounding villages, were controlled by the Christian nobleman Teodomiro who halted the Muslim advance and maintained the autonomy of the territory in exchange for a tribute. In the 9th Century Orihuela was finally conquered by the Arabs who then held control until 1242 when the Christian king “Alfonso the Wise” (Alfonso X) re-conquered the city. In 1296 Orihuela became part of the Kingdom of Valencia as a provincial seat with voting rights in parliament. The Santiago church in Orihuela was the scene of a general parliament in 1488 when Catholic kings met to raise funds for the conquest of Granada - the last Muslim stronghold in Spain. In 1564 Orihuela was granted a bishopric. During the War of Spanish Succession (1703 - 1713) Orihuela was sacked and all its privileges removed as a punishment for supporting the pretender to the throne (Carlos III). Today it is a mixture of the old and the new - the more interesting for visitors definitely being the old. Despite the 1829 earthquake many of the old buildings still remain, among them, the graceful cathedral - the Colegio de Santo Domingo, built between the 16th and 18th Centuries, the charming Iglesia de Santas Just y Rufina, the Santiago church (where the famous parliament took place) and the palace of Rubalcava with its sweep-

The cathedral is open from 10.30am to 2pm and 4pm to 6.30pm on Tuesdays to Fridays and from 10.30am to 2pm on Saturdays. Admission €2. In the Sacred Art museum opposite, visitors can see impressive paintings by Velazquez, including The Temptation Of Thomas Aquinas, Nicolas de Bussy and sculptures by Francisco Salzillo from Murcia. This was once the Episcopal Palace, a Baroque building dating from the 18th century, where the Bishop of Orihuela lived. Orihuela is also the birthplace of the Spanish poet Miguel Hernandez who died in 1942. A museum dedicated to his life and work has been set up in his honour in the centre of medieval Orihuela. Hernandez was arrested several times during the Civil War for his anti-fascist views and was sentenced to 30 years in jail. His best-known poem is Onion Lullaby, written as reply to a letter from his wife in which she told him the family were living on bread and onions. Miguel Hernandez museum is on Calle Miguel Hernandez, 73, Orihuela, and is open from 10am to 2pm and 4pm to 7pm on Tuesdays to Saturdays and from 10am to 2pm on Sundays and bank holidays. Free admission. Many museums, palaces and the cathedral are within a few minutes’ walk from one another. The best place to start is at the cathedral on Calle Mayor de Ramon y Cajal The River Segura runs through the middle of Orihuela, the older part of the city being mostly north of the river. Orihuela, of course, has its share of fiestas and celebrations, one, unique to Orihuela being the Burial Procession at Easter time,

“The city is the birthplace and home of the famous Spanish poet and playright Miguel Hernandez (1910 - 1942). ”

when the “Diablesa” (the female incarnation of the devil) is paraded through the streets of the city. Agriculture has thrived, and continues to flourish, owing much to a remarkable system of irrigation channels left by the Moors (though some early ones are attributed to the Romans). Popular crops in the region are oranges, lemons, dates, almonds, hemp and corn. It is also well known for its silk and also carnations. Orihuela’s coastline, some 20 km away boasts fine sandy beaches and popular resorts such as Cabo Roig, La Zenia and Playa Flamenca. Orihuela can be easily reached via the A-7 junctions 80 and 81 or via the CV-95 from Torrevieja.


Profile for The Leader

St Patricks Day Cabo Roig 2020  

News and information of the 10th anniversary St Patricks Day Parade being held by the businesses and traders of Cabo Roig, Orihuela Costa, S...

St Patricks Day Cabo Roig 2020  

News and information of the 10th anniversary St Patricks Day Parade being held by the businesses and traders of Cabo Roig, Orihuela Costa, S...


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