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May 04, 2021


wicklowvoice inside: FREE

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County to bounce back as jab rollout accelerates WICKLOW is set for a bumper summer season as the county emerges from its four-month Covid-19 lockdown. As the national vaccination programme rolls out and restrictions are eased, many businesses are expecting pent up demand will help the economy to recover quickly. From May 10, people will be allowed to travel across the country while hairdressers, barbers and beauticians will reopen, along with libraries, museums, galleries and other cultural attractions, while click-

and-collect for non-essential retail will also resume. Up to 50 people will be allowed to attend religious services, including weddings and funerals. Three households, or a group of six people, can meet outdoors, including in private gardens, and a vaccinated household can meet an unvaccinated one indoors. This is to allow grandparents in particular meet their extended families. On May 10, all shops will be able to reopen, and on June 02 hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses and

self-catering accommodation can open again. Outdoor hospitality, including restaurants and all pubs, will resume on June 07. Gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres can reopen on the same date for individual training. Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has praised the progress being made at the Wicklow mass vaccination centre which is set to administer over 3,000 vaccines by the end of this week. In its first week the centre, operating out of Shoreline in

FOR WORLD LEADING EXCELLENCE AND LOCAL INVESTMENT WE’RE READY We’re ready to deliver the next phase of Arklow Bank Wind Park. This will help hit Ireland’s annual carbon reduction commitments while creating local jobs. sserenewables.com

Greystones, administered over 1,250 vaccines but by the end of this week they expect to administer over 1,750 vaccines. And in the coming days a second vaccination centre in the Arklow Bay Hotel is set to become operational. Nationally the vaccine programme saw one of their biggest weeks yet with over 200,000 vaccines administered last week and between 220,000 and 240,000 expected to be done this week. Continued on Page 8

Bray’s Emer O’Neill is set to co-present the Today show later this month - see story on page 8


04|

May 04, 2021

COVID-19 OUTBREAK Don’#t forget to wash your hands

Broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan joins Pieta and Electric Ireland in launching Darkness Into Light 2021which takes place on May 8 for a special Darkness Into Light Sunrise, sign up now at darknessintolight.ie. Pic: Andres Poveda

Young least likely to get jab

COVID-19 OUTBREAK Don’#t forget to wash your hands

Women and younger people are less likely to accept a Covid-19 vaccine, according to a new study from NUI Galway. It found that women under 30 are significantly less likely to accept a Covid-19 vaccine. The study of 1,000 people online was conducted in Ireland and in the the UK. It found that 75% of people would take a vaccine against the disease, 11% would not, while 14% were unsure. Women aged under 30 were significantly less likely to say they would accept a Covid-19 vaccine, with fewer than 70%

indicating a positive response and 20% indicating high levels of uncertainty. Dr Jane Walsh, senior lecturer in psychology and director of the mobile technology and health research group at NUI Galway, said it was possible that one of the reasons behind young women’s reluctance to signal an intention to get a Covid-19 vaccine was related to issues around fertility, and said this needed further investigation. The survey found that young women’s intentions on vaccination are strongly

associated with peer influences. Dr Walsh said: “This influence was particularly strong in the ‘no’ and ‘unsure’ group. “These findings suggest that messages that are channelled through relevant social influencers may have a significant impact on vaccine uptake. It is also concerning that those who vote ‘no’ to the vaccine have a lower sense of civic responsibility. But what is clear, in general, is that there is still a high level of uncertainty around Covid-19 vaccination.”

€15m fund to revitalise our towns

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys has announced €15 million in funding to help revitalise rural towns and villages post Covid-19. The Town and Village Renewal Scheme is designed to breathe new life into rural communities - making them more attractive places to live, work, socialise and raise a family. The initiative is a key part of Our Rural Future – the Government’s five year strategy to revitalise rural Ireland. The measures that will be supported include: •Tackling dereliction •Turning vacant properties into remote working and community spaces •Supporting Local Authorities to run innovative marketing campaigns targeted at attracting remote workers to their county. •Investing in green spaces, parks and recreational amenities •Upgrading and improving shop fronts & streetscapes on Main Streets •Projects that support and enhance the night time economy and add vibrancy. The scheme will be administered by the local authority.

Lockdowns spark surge in home construction

LOCKDOWNS have brought a surge of interest in home improvement for families in the county. Almost half (48%) of households are considering having work done, according to a survey conducted for the League of Credit Unions. The research shows that comfort and warmth (60%) and saving money on energy (56%) are the two main drivers of home improvements here. The kitchen (61%) is the room most households would like to improve, with the bathroom (47%) and living room (38%) also popular. The research was commissioned by the Irish League of Credit Unions, Energia and House2Home to mark the nationwide launch of the CU Greener Homes scheme. It sampled opinion in each of the provinces. When it comes to preferred home improvements, improvements to heating controls are the first choice for many in Munster (33%), while 29% would like a new boiler and 29% would opt for attic insulation. The research found that 65% would spend up to €5,000 on home improvements with 19% planning to spend more than €10,000. This indicates a wide range of improvements are be-

ing considered and a significant proportion of local households are prepared to make a large investment in long-term upgrades. Credit Unions are the source most local families turn to when they want to borrow for home improvement: 72% of those who borrowed to finance their home improvements in Munster did so from a credit union, above the national average of 68%. Of those planning to borrow to fund their future home improvement plans, 34% of respondents said they will borrow from a credit union, compared to 13% who plan to take a bank loan. The research highlights a lack of knowledge about the financing of suitable green home work. More then half (53%) of local respondents were unsure of what supports and grants are available, compared to 60% nationally, Paul Bailey, Head of Communications of the Irish League of Credit Unions said ts Greener Homes scheme aimed to make the process of retrofitting easy and cost effective. “In Energia and House2Home, we have found partners who share our passion for excellent customer experience and commitment to the environment,” he said.

Citizens called on to help save the curlew Citizen scientists can help bring one of Ireland’s most iconic birds back from the brink by reporting sightings to the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). The Curlew Conservation Programme is encouraging members of the public to record locations of Curlew sightings between April and June and report the information to the NPWS’s team. Breeding Curlew are currently nesting in bogs, pastures, meadows and other open and wet habitats in Curlew hotspots around the country. By submitting records of sightings, the public can help build up a national picture of the number of breeding birds.

“This is a fantastic way for people across the country to get to know the wild places in their county and, at the same time, to contribute to the conservation of one of our most iconic and best-loved birds,” Minister for Heritage Malcolm Noonan said. “I’d like to encourage all budding citizen scientists young and old to get involved and help our Curlew Conservation Programme team to gather this important data, which will support the ongoing protection of the Curlew.” How to submit records: • By email: nationalcurlewsurvey@gmail.com • By phone to the survey coordinator on 083 104 8000 • Online


|05

May 04, 2021

opinion&comment

Don’t bank on the banks - we need an alternative

K

BC bank is pushing ahead with its plan to leave the Irish market and the few remaining banks continue to cut back on branch offices and cash points. The wheel is turning. Over the past 50 years, banks achieved such a firm grip on society that many people thought it would be impossible to live without them. But recently, because it suits their business model, banks have loosened their grip. We seem to be heading back to the position where a few institutions will provide the limited services most of us need to manage our money, and others will handle mortgages, insurance and loans for business. And that will be no bad thing. We used to function without main street banks - or, at least, with only basic services from

Michael Wolsey them - and we got along just fine. I first opened a bank account shortly after my marriage almost 50 years ago. I had been working on a newspaper for five years at that point, and my wife, having gone through university, was starting a career as a secondary school teacher. So, while our chances of making the rich list were not great, we were far from being a penniless couple. Yet neither of us had seen any need for a bank account.

Like almost everyone with a job back then, we were paid weekly in cash. My wife had a Post Office savings account that somebody had opened for her when she was a schoolgirl. On the rare weeks when we managed to save some money, we put it there. Dympna and I opened a bank account because our employers stopped paying wages in cash. Credit transfer through a bank was simpler and safer, they assured us; it made sound sense. And indeed it did make sense for employers, and for banks, who gained a huge number of customers. And it made sense for both of them when weekly payments were moved to a monthly basis. That move made moneymanagement a bit harder for Dympna and me. But it wasn’t a big deal. The bank provided us with a cheque book and the service was free. Well, free until we actually used any of the

cheques. We had to pay for that. Then they started charging for transactions made over the counter - for withdrawing our own money that we had never asked them to mind in the first place. But don’t worry, said the everhelpful banks, there will be no charge if you do the work yourself and draw the money from an ATM. Some banks now charge for ATM services. If you can find an ATM - banks are cutting back on them, forcing us to use online credit transfers and debit cards. And they charge for those too. They have even started to charge just for holding our money. Banks can afford to act this way because they don’t really care about ordinary customers any more. They make their profit from mortgages, insurance and loans to business. Shortly after we opened our first joint bank account, my

wife and I went looking for a mortgage. We didn’t go to a bank; they didn’t do home loans. We went to a building society . There were half a dozen of them in Ireland. offering slightly different terms, conditions and interest rates. One of the conditions was that we had to have insurance. And, again, we didn’t go to a bank. We went to a broker who could show us the policies on offer from a wide range of companies. This shopping around was quite time consuming and the services were certainly not free, since the various agents charged commission on top of whatever interest rates or insurance costs applied. But at least we had a choice and we weren’t in hock to a bank. Nowadays banks have monopolised these services, which are the only ones they have any interest in providing to ordinary

customers . They don’t want to manage our money so we need to find someone who does. In Ireland we have the bones of an alternative system for money management through the credit unions and our excellent network of post offices. They could operate as standalone banks or in conjunction with online bankers such as Avant Money or Revolut, offering both virtual banking and real premises. I don’t want to see the Government involved in banking, but it would be a good idea if the Department of Finance were to set up a coordinating body to explore how these institutions could best provide the services that no longer interest banks. These services would not and should not be free. But we would be willing customers and, as such, could demand to be treated with a little respect. It’s a long time since we have had that from the banks.


06 |

May 04, 2021

education2021

Taking the right step

‘Learning for work and learning for life’ is the guiding principle at Wicklow Further Education and Training Centre, where courses which have the potential to radically alter the direction of people’s lives are offered free of charge for eligible students. One such student was Susanne O’Leary, who made the decision to return to education having been self-employed for 10 years, taking, in her own words, “a massive step” but “the best decision I made”. Susanne enroled in the Level 6 in Business and Administration course, which is a full-time course operating under the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS), and despite her initial fears of having taken on too much with a young family to care for, graduated with distinction and subsequently found her dream job. “My advice to anyone thinking of returning to education is to stay focused and designate this time for yourself,” says Susanne, “as it is far too easy to

put things off. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge this centre and its teachers have to offer as it has had such a positive impact on me personally.” Aside from the VTOS courses (which provide free, full-time courses for those over 21 and in receipt of a social welfare payment, signing for credits or dependent upon someone who is,

for at least six months), Wicklow FETC also provides parttime courses under the Back to Education Initiative (BTEI, which again is free for early school leavers who are over 18, in receipt of social welfare payments, a dependant of a social welfare recipient, or holders of a full medical card); Youthreach (free, full-time education,

Looking for a tutor? School Is Easy is here to help you Advertorial As we battle to cope with the restrictions imposed by Covid-19 regulations, home-based learning has taken on a new importance. Many parents who want their children to enjoy the benefits of one-to-one tuition are, nevertheless, nervous about having a stranger in their home or sending young students to a tuition centre. School is Easy (SIE) can solve that problem. We can offer one-to-one or group grinds for Primary, Junior Certificate or Leaving Certificate school students at a time that works for you and your family. We offer the following subjects, from Primary to Secondary to Specialist Third Level courses: Irish/Gaelige, English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, French, German, Spanish, History, Geography, Business Studies, Economics, Design and Technology, Music, and Physical Education . Going to university and dreading the college exams? No problem, we have skilled and experienced tutors to help every student.

We provide safe, online tutorials that are recorded so that your child can future reference any topic covered. When you work with SIE, you will get nothing but the best. All of our tutors have formal education, classroom experience and a passion for teaching. For senior subjects we use college and university instructors with a Masters degree. The choice is yours when it comes to the style of tutoring and our range of subjects is broad. We don’t use generic tutoring lessons. We customise each programme based on the student’s needs, goals and capacity and we take care to match students with the right tutors. We are easy to work with. We screen tutors for you. We identify learning deficiencies and we get results . Our certified tutors will provide an initial assessment, if you need it, to ascertain your child’s requirements. Call us today on 01 556 3553 to book a consulation. We will be delighted to match you with a tutor.

See our ad on page 7

training, and work programme for early school leavers, aged 15-20); Adult Basic Education (part-time courses to adults who want to upskill, reskill or just return to education and gain confidence performing everyday tasks or work towards achieving a QQI certificate). The centre also offers a friendly guidance service to

early school leavers and adults, which is confidential and free of charge and can make all the difference in addressing those questions that plague anyone considering taking the step into what can often be perceived as a bewildering pool, swirling in a jumble of letters, names and numbers. But it is a step — not a plunge — into something bet-

ter. Eamonn Murphy was forced to confront that demon of uncertainty when he approached Wicklow FETC to consider Adult Basic Education. “For years I had been thinking about going back to education. Only fear stopped me from doing so, and work. Leaving school at an early age left me wondering ‘what if’ and ‘but’. I often wondered if I had stayed, what life would have been like. I did not enjoy my time at school. But now at school, life is a whole new world: different time and different place. The teachers in Wicklow Further Education and Training Centre are more understanding in their way of teaching . . . I’m so glad that I’ve taken this step.” Wicklow FETC is holding a Virtual Open Day on Wednesday, May 12th, from 10.00am-12.00pm and 2.00pm4.00pm. To book a slot for a virtual meeting with one of the staff members and discuss your course options, please visit the website: www.wicklowfetc.ie


May 04, 2021

| 07


08 |

May 04, 2021

Calling all princesses

End of lockdown in sight Extras needed to star in Disney movie filming in Enniskerry

Continued from front page

“It has been an incredibly tough year for the country,” Minister Donnelly told the Wicklow Voice . “I know many people have struggled with their mental health and have been coping with loneliness and isolation. “But we should be extremely proud of the way the country has come together to take on this terrible disease. “It is really thanks to that collective effort that not only have we controlled the spread of COVID but actually managed to drive it down.” However, Minister Donnelly warned the public health guidelines will need to be followed over the coming weeks to prevent a spike in cases. “My job as Minister for Health is to be nervous, I’m going to be getting up every day in May looking at the number of cases and looking at the infection rates. It is worth remembering nearly all of our cases now are the B117 variant with is much more contagious. “We are striking a balance between hope and caution.”

The production company behind a new Disney movie being filmed in Enniskerry is looking for Irish extras to take part. A huge film set is being built in the village for the movie ‘Disenchanted’ - the sequel to its hit film, Enchanted, starring Amy Adams. Filming is expected to start for the production next month. A casting call has been announced by Clocktower Productions. People can apply to be extras for the production through Movieextras.ie. It says filming is due to take place between May and August of this year. The production company says it is committed to diverse, inclusive casting and submissions will be accepted for all performers. A team of carpenters, painters and builders are currently transforming some of the village of Enniskerry into a magical Disney wonderland. The Enniskerry Schoolhouse for Art is in the process of being converted into a Disney palace. Neil Condron, Director of the Shoolhouse for Art, says it is “emerging every minute of the day and it’s transforming this beautiful village into something

spectacular”. The chairman of the Enniskerry Business Association says that after a year of Covid-19 restrictions, having Disneyland on their doorsteps has been great for all concerned. Neil Condron said that he thinks that for a movie of this

size it will have a legacy. “We’re all just waiting and wondering what is going to happen next.” Local café owner Peter Norton says that it is a godsend to have Disney, with the extra business that it is bringing to the village because of all the builders,

Bench mark: Garda chat seat roll out Cathaoirleach of the Bray Municipal District

Let’s move forward with cautious optimism

New “chatting benches” where the public can have a chat with a member of the Gardai have been introduced in Wicklow and Arklow towns. County Wicklow Gardaí, in conjunction with the Wicklow and Arklow Municipal Districts, are delighted to announce the expansion of the “Chatting Bench” initiative already in operation on Bray promenade. The bench in Wicklow is located at the Black Castle while Arklow’s is in St Mary’s Park near the bandstand. For at least one hour every week, with the time being announced on the Garda Síochána Wicklow Facebook page, a member of the Gardaí will be present at the benches, available to have a (socially distanced) chat with anyone interested. The topics of conversation do not have to be Garda related but if someone is uncomfortable, for whatever reason, going to a station, this might be an opportunity to speak with a Garda in confidence. Cathaoirleach of Wicklow Municipal District, Cllr John Snell, and Cathaoirleach of Arklow Municipal District, Cllr Sylvester Burke, both welcomed the initiative.

carpenters, electricians and workers. He says that once the set is built, he also expects it to be a tourist attraction during the summertime. Mr Norton says that while they have had other productions filming in Enniskerry, this is the biggest

they have ever had. It is hoped that there will also be a long-term boost from the production. Councillor Melanie Corrigan, who is also a member of Wicklow Tourism, says that it is really exciting. “We have Patrick Dempsey and Amy Adams coming out to Enniskerry.” She said that the movie is really going to help to promote Co Wicklow. Meanwhile, international investment in the Irish film, television and animation industry is being hindered by a cap on the tax credit that can be claimed by productions made in the Republic, a new report commissioned from PwC by Ardmore Studios and Troy Studios says. The upper limit of €70 million in eligible expenditure per project on which the section 481 screen tax credit can be claimed is hurting the attractiveness of the State for large-scale international productions, it finds, arguing that the ceiling should either be increased or abolished completely. Ardmore Studios and Ashford Studios employ hundreds of people in the county with a new studio set to open in Greysones in the coming years.

Bray’s Emer O’Neill is co-present the Today show on RTÉ One this month. The ninth season of the show enters its final month next week and once again, the team will be joined by new faces on set while Sinéad Kennedy continues her maternity leave. In May, Dáithí Ó’Sé will be joined by Emer, Eunice Power, Nuala Carey, Stefanie Preissner and Trishauna Archer. They will co-host alongside him on Monday and Tuesday afternoons while Maura Derrane and Dáithí will be together for the remaining three shows each week. On May 10 and 11th May, Emer will join Today for the very first time. She will be most familiar to television viewers as the PE teacher on RTÉ2’s Home School Hub. Multi-talented Emer was born and raised in Ireland,

is Irish/Nigerian and a Bray native. She has represented Ireland in basketball and is an antiracism activist also. Expressing her delight Emer said: “I am so excited to be on Today. This will be such an amazing experience and I am so thankful for it.” Following the bank holiday weekend, on May 4, chef and business owner Eunice Power will be back in the RTÉ Cork studios. Maura Derrane and Dáithí Ó’Sé will be gearing up for summer on the show next month. They will have summer themed items across each week including the hottest tips for Summer beauty, BBQ tips and how best to prepare you gardens with colourful blooms. RTÉ Cork produces 11 hours of live television on Today each week. This season will finish on Friday 28th May.

Emer to step into Today TV show role


| 09

May 04, 2021

Chip-chip-hooray: Romayo’s double-decker diner opens

Roberto Macari at the ‘Romayo’s Roadster’ in Kilmacanogue. Pic: Conor McCabe

A double-decker bus has been transformed into a state-of-the-art restaurant on wheels after Covid put the brakes on a new diner. The Volvo coach has been reborn as the Romayo’s Roadster – a fully-fitted foodie venue which took the family-run chain 12 weeks to convert at a cost of €200,000. “When the pandemic hit, opening up new outlets became very difficult because construction activity was halted,” said Romayo’s operations director, Dario Macari. “So we thought we would

create an American-style drive-in and treat it as a destination so people could escape their homes. It is still a public service vehicle - but in a very different way!” The roadster, believed to be the largest mobile food operation in Ireland, is parked off Junction 8 of the N11 near Pluck’s in Kilmacanogue. Expected to create 12 full and part-time jobs, hungry punters will be able to order burgers, pizza and fresh fish and chips from 90% of the regular Romayo’s menu. And if it takes off, the firm is considering open-

ing a sit-down restaurant in Kilmacanogue – and using the bus to feed crowds at festivals, concerts and major sporting events. “We were at loggerheads over whether we’d do dining on the bus, or have a bus with a full kitchen with dining outside,” says Dario. “The idea is pretty simple: if people want to get out of their house and go for a walk in the mountains, they can have lunch or dinner on the way back. The good thing for us is that it’s one of the last food outlets as you come into Dublin from the south.”

Windsor car showroom in Bray faces axe

We recycle 216,000 batteries

The Windsor Motors showroom in Bray faces being sold off to build homes, a newspaper report claims. Nissan dealer Windsor Motor Group has made a a submission to the draft Dun Laoghaire Rathdown development plan for 2022-28, asking the local authority to rezone its Bray site from commercial to residential purposes. In a letter to the council Peter Nicholson, the group’s managing director, said that the global consolidation of the motor industry would result in a “gradual move away from smaller sites like the Windsor Bray site and sites formerly shared with petrol filling stations”. The company has 11 showrooms, covering Dublin, Galway, Meath, Louth and Wicklow.

“The motor industry is currently undergoing a global consolidation which is seeing the demise of the ‘single brand’ car retailers and a move to multi-brand retailing through merged wholesale and retail operators in large purposebuilt facilities,” Mr Nicholson wrote. “This is driving demand among the major multi-brand retailers in Ireland for large new single sites close to major road infrastructure (M50 in the case of Dublin).” The company hired Hughes Planning and Development Consultants to make its submission to the development plan with respect to its 1.2-acre site at Dublin Road in Bray. The planners wrote: “It is considered that the current use of the site is inefficient given the site’s location in an established residential area.”

Householders in Wicklow recycled 30,000 more batteries through retailers last year than in 2019, new figures show. Data from WEEE Ireland reveals that environmentallyconscious consumers in the county brought 215,720 used batteries – 5.4 tonnes - back to supermarkets, hardware and electronic stores in 2020. That was a rise of 30,480 on the 185,240 prevented from ending up in general waste bins the year before. Nationally, a massive 7.8 million batteries were recycled through all retailers last year – up 134,120 on 2019 as more people used their grocery shop to do their bit for the planet. Six million of those ended up in supermarkets, over half of which WEEE Ireland collected from Aldi stores, which led the charge on 3.2 million, double that of German counterpart Lidl (1.6 million). The e-waste recycling scheme also picked up 850,000 used batteries from Tesco, 224,000 from SuperValu and over 97,000 from while Dunnes Stores outlets.

‘Give everyone €1,500 to spend after pandemic’ Independent Councillor Joe Behan has called for a Universal Covid Payment for every citizen and resident in the country. The plan would see €10bn divided up among the population with everyone getting between €1000-€1500 per person. “The people of Ireland have suffered death, serious illness, depression, financial loss, educational devastation and painful separation from family and friends all because of Covid 19,” Cllr Behan told the Wicklow Voice.. “I firmly believe that as we emerge from this once in a life time pandemic, every person, from the youngest to the oldest, should receive a cash payment

to compensate them for all they have gone through. “I am proposing that the Government raise a sum of €10 billion on the bond markets, with a long repayment term to distribute to the people of Ireland. “In the USA, President Biden is paying every US citizen a covid stimulus cheque. We should do the same. “The exact amount would have to be agreed but it should be between €1,000 and €1,500 for every single person who lived in this country at any time between January 1, 2020 and December 31 , 2021. This would include the very youngest to the very oldest. “I would also propose that

a larger sum than this should be paid to the estate of every person who died with or from Covid. “This should be done in order to compensate the families of the deceased for the agony of not being able to be present with their loved one as they passed away or being denied the right to attend their funeral. “There should also be a special fund for businesses who suffered financially from the Covid lockdown, which was one of the harshest in the world. “Many of these businesses may never re-open and their owners should be helped to recover some of what they lost. “I urge the Government to do the right thing, for once, and agree to this proposal to pay a Universal Covid Payment to everyone in Ireland.” See advertisement page 16

Virtual Townhall for Fishers and Coastal Communities in Wicklow, Wexford and Waterford with Minister McConalogue The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., invites fishers and those connected to fishing in coastal communities in Wicklow, Wexford and Waterford to join him for a virtual Townhall on Tuesday 11th May 2021 from 5.30pm – 7pm. The Minister wants to hear directly from those in the community impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit and to hear their ideas about the future of their communities. Please email coastaltownhall@agriculture.gov.ie to register your place and to receive login details. Please include your name, location, and your connection to fishing in the local community in your email, in the subject line note your county too. gov.ie/agriculture


10 | WILDLIFE

with Justin Ivory

Godzilla Groove

Smooth Newt (Photo Justin Ivory) Fascinated by newts since a child, I was delighted to find plenty of Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) activity in my 5km over the last few weeks. Whenever I see them swimming, I can’t help thinking of them as miniGodzillas……and that is meant as a compliment! I guess to the many invertebrates on their menu, which includes the tadpoles of frogs, they are. We only have 3 amphibian species in Ireland, and we get 2 of them in here in Wicklow, the Common Frog (Rana temporaria) and the Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris). The Smooth Newt is the only member of the Urodela (the tailed amphibians) found in Ireland. During the breeding season, which typically lasts from late February to June, the males have a wavy crest along their backs. And just like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever (blank, puzzled looks at this juncture from those under 45), they try to impress females with their best dance moves. After mating the female lays the eggs (up to 300 of them) individually, wrapping each of them in the leaves of an aquatic plant, as opposed to the big clumps of spawn of the Common Frog. About 3 to 4 weeks later the newt tadpoles emerge. Unlike frog and toad tadpoles, newt larvae develop their front legs first, then their back legs. Once they have absorbed their gills and left the water, they are known as ‘efts’. It takes 2 to 3 years for these efts to reach maturity. Adult Smooth Newts are typically about 10cm long. In late summer both juveniles and adults leave the water and spend the rest of the year in terrestrial habitats such as long grass, woodland, marshes, and hedgerows. In winter they will hibernate among tree roots, in holes in walls and in log piles.

May 04, 2021

ninenottomiss book of the week

movie of the week

HOROSCOPES

tv of the week

life sentences Billy O’Callaghan

Things Heard and Seen Netflix

THis Time with alan partridge BBC1, 9.30pm

THIS Cork writer’s new novel, Life Sentences is the story of one ordinary family and their journey over three generations in a century of famine, war, violence and love. At aged just 16, Nancy leaves her small island for the mainland, the only member of her family to survive the Great Famine. She finds work in a grand house in Cork City, where she feels drawn to the gardener, Michael Egan. O’Callaghan is an acclaimed short story writer and the success of his debut, My Coney Island Baby opened a career path which is sure to lead to greater things.

NOTHING like a good scare to settle into the weekend and ‘Things Heard and Seen’ will just aboout do the job. The story follows a Manhattan couple, Catherine and George, as they move into a historical hamlet in the Hudson Valley all full of hope for the future. However, Catherine soon comes to sense a sinister darkness lurking both in the walls of the ramshackle property-and in her marriage to George. Based on the acclaimed novel by Elizabeth Brundage, and starring Amanda Seyfried and Natalia Dyer, the scary clues are in the words ‘historical’ ‘heard’ and ‘seen’..

THIS Time with Alan Partridge made its debut on BBC One back in February 2019 and has returned for a second series. In a recent poll by RadioTimes.com, second place went to a standout scene from 2019’s This Time with Alan Partridge, in which he has a surreal encounter with his lookalike: an Irish farmer named Martin Brennan, who insists on singing ‘Come Out, Ye Black and Tans’. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out on YouTube and take a seat. Susannah Fielding plays Partridge’s unfortunate co-host Jennie, and Tim Key and Felicity Montagu also star..

wine of the week

family film of the week event of the week

Aries- This week is a 7 Do the groundwork to realize a vision. Strategize and review priorities. Postpone travels, and take care of business behind the scenes. Taurus- This week is an 8 Friends help out. Collaborate on the structural and logistical details. Make sure you’ve handled the basics before elaborating. Gemini- This week is an 8 Navigate a professional challenge by focusing on organization, discipline and coordinated action. Work completed now can have long-term benefit. Cancer- This week is an 8 You can get what you need to take a trip. An older person makes an interesting proposition. Don’t overlook what loved ones need. Leo- This week is an 8 Investments made now can have long-term benefit. Strengthen by reinforcing foundations and supports.

Children’s Art in Libraries www.dublincityartsoffice.submittable.com

Rizzardi Bardolino Classico O’Brien’s

The Mitchells vs. The Machines Netflix

NOW the warm evenings are coming in, Valpolicella is a real gem as a quaffing spring and summer wine. Made from the same grape varieties as Ripasso and Amarone, it is lighter in body and several degrees less in alcohol. While some may remember cheap nasty Valpolicella from times past, most of the supermarkets now have a decent inexpensive version. In addition, O’Briens has one of the favourite wines, the Rizzardi Bardolino Classico (neighbouring Valpolicella) for €14.95 and the very tasty organic Musella Valpolicella Superiore for €19.95. Don’t be afraid to chill red wine — especially the Italians!

FROM the crew who brought you the Academy Award-winning ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ and ‘The LEGO Movie’ comes an animated action-comedy about an ordinary family who find themselves in the middle of their biggest family challenge yet — saving the world from the robot apocalypse. Yes, sounds like familiar territory for most of us. Featuring the voices of Abbi Jacobson, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Beck Bennett, Fred Armisen, Eric Andre, and Oscar winner Olivia Colman

Dublin City Council is inviting outline proposals from artists and arts organisations, working across all artistic disciplines, to be part of Children’s Art in Libraries Creative Hubs Programme July 2021 – April 2022. The current City Arts Plan; our Arts, Education and Learning Policy; and Dublin City’s Culture and Creativity Strategy include increasing access and provision for children and young people to quality arts experiences in local neighbourhoods. Activities are inclusive of all art forms including but not limited to visual art, music, dance, drama, storytelling or literature, performance, film and digital arts.

albumS of the week

activity of the week

podcast of the week

Virgo- This week is an 8 Collaborate with your partner to realize a shared dream. Strengthen infrastructure. Find an inspiration that sings for both of you. Libra- This week is an 8 Keep your fitness goals. Disciplined action builds long-term strength and health. Demands for your attention abound. Scorpio- This week is an 8 Keep practicing to improve your game. Focus on technique, and learn through repetition. Get coaching from a trusted expert. Sagittarius- This week is an 8

Make repairs and renovations. Coordinate with your family for shared priorities. Get creative.

Capricorn- This week is an 8 Capture brilliant ideas as they inspire you. Intellectual discovery provides a thrill. What you uncover now has long-term implications. latest record project Van Morrison

bealtaine festival www.bealtaine.ie

mothers of invention podcast www.mothersofinvention.onlin

A round-up of new releases in May for those of a certain vintage: Van Morrison is set to release his 42nd studio album — the lazily titled — Latest Record Project: Volume 1, a massive 28-track two-disc set, while Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s 50th-anniversary edition of Deja Vu, which has been expanded to include four additional discs of demos, is also released in May. Meanwhile, a new two-disc set called The Width of a Circle collects previously unheard David Bowie tracks from 1970. Does anyone else feel old? Look right . . .

THE Bealtaine Festival, which is all about age and opportunity, is taking place again throughout May 2021, celebrating the arts and creativity as we age. For the second year in a row, the various performances, creative workshops, discussions, music and more will take place online due to Covid-19 restrictions. Everyone is encouraged to sign up and take part in these events. The festival will kick off with Bealtaine’s annual Dawn Chorus which has become a highlight each year For full details, visit the website. .

Comedian and writer Maeve Higgins nailed it with her Maeve in America podcast, which examined stories of fellow immigrants in the USA. In Mothers Of Invention, she teams up with former Irish President Mary Robinson across six episodes to meet the women who “change the way we do things” with regards to climate change. It sounds like an odd coupling in theory, but Higgins and Robinson are a wonderful team who tackle an interesting — and very timely — topic in a very clever way.

Aquarius-This week is a 9 Abundance is available. Gather up more than you spend for a positive balance. Make agreements, and sign contracts. Pisces- This week is a 9 Take ground with a personal project. What you do now can have long-term benefit. Provide the leadership to take it to a new level.


May 04, 2021

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May 04, 2021

opinion&comment

It’s cash of the day

T

here was a time – before the Football League was established in 1888 – when soccer at the top level in England was exclusively the preserve of the elite. With no professionalism (ie paying wages to players) allowed, soccer clubs were the preserve of public school old boys and the aristocracy, competing annually for the glory of winning the FA Cup, the only national competition. If the proposed European Super League (ESL) ever goes ahead (I’m sure the re cent false start won’t be the last we hear of it) soccer will have come full circle. It will once more be a closed shop at the top level, the preserve of millionaire players and billionaire owners. It will no longer be a living, breathing game of the people, but an entity so out of touch with the common person that the ESL may as well play its

games on Mars. Back in 1888 the Football Association (FA) acceded to the pressures being exerted on it by the likes of William Sudell, the manager of Preston North End. Sudell wanted his team to have a greater chance of success by being able to recruit skilful working-class players, and the only way to do that was to pay players for their services. Once the Football League started – and for many years into the future – players were paid a working wage. Supporters could identify with players, and vice versa. Even when the ‘minimum wage’ was abolished in the early 1960’s, players at the top were still only paid a modest multiple of the average industrial wage. All this changed in the era of the Premier League and Champions League, when the game started paying out to players like a fruit machine. Clubs had to find billionaire owners in order to keep feeding the machine, culminating in the

protest we saw at the weekend when Manchester United fans protested (pictured) against the Glazer family before the club’s tie against Liverpool. It is many years since I switched off from really caring

about the Premier League in England. I’ll occasionally watch Match Of The Day with my son, but I’m under no illusion that what I’m watching is a world away from my real footballing pas-

sions, which are the League of Ireland, Leinster Senior League and English lower-division and non-league soccer. What turned me off top-level soccer was the disconnect between the super-rich clubs and

the grassroots of football. The game at the top had become cash rich but morally bankrupt; the proposed ESL is the latest example of this trend wanting to move to the next level. If it ever comes to pass I won’t be watching the exhibition, champagne soccer of the ESL, with its prima-donna players and celebrity managers. What I would want at that juncture is for the rest of soccer to reorganise itself along sensible economic lines, with the age-old principle of progression based on merit safeguarded. Ironically, the formation of a breakaway league could work to the advantage of the grassroots. Leagues like our own SSE Airtricity League would see an upturn in interest from supporters of England’s Premier League Big Six disillusioned by the ESL. Every cloud has a silver lining. - Brian Quigley


May 04, 2021

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May 04, 2021

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Quote Ref: AZ8T-1


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May 04, 2021

We take a look back at extracts from old newspapers to see what was in the news this month in years gone by

Evening Her 01/04/1939

Irish Press 21/04/1965

Freemans Journal 09/04/1856

Freemans Jrn ..06/04/1864

Sunday Ind, 28/04/1929


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wicklowvoice.ie May 04, 2021

Profile for Voice Media

Wicklow Voice 04-05-2021  

Wicklow Voice 04-05-2021  

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