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wicklowvoice inside: FREE

May 28, 2015, 01 901 5556/7, September 28,t:2021 e: t: 01 901 5565 e:


20,000 copies


Killarney Road, Bray, Co Wicklow


September 28, 2021

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August 3, 2021

wicklowvoice inside: FREE

May 28, 2015, 01 901 5556/7, September 28t:2021 e: t: 01 901 5565 e:


20,000 copies

Squirrel Scramble closure ‘is just nuts’


Killarney Road, Bray, Co Wicklow

... but it could reopen if insurance reduced, say owners

THE owners of Squirrel Scramble say they could reopen immediately if their insurance costs were reduced. “Yes that’s possible, but not likely,” Chris Lang told the Wicklow Voice. “Maybe the beginning of the season in 2022 is more realistic.” Customers reacted with dismay when it was announced that the popular tree top

adventure was forced to close due to rising insurance costs, with one local describing the situation “as nuts”. September 18 was the company’s last day in business, cutting short the usual season of April to the end of November by more than two months. “We will meet Minister Sean Fleming on September 29 to discuss the changes to the

public liability act and what he’s planning to get more competition into the insurance market,” Mr Lang said. Squirrel’s Scramble is a tree adventure park with high ropes and ziplines and has been in business in Killruddery since 2014. Anthea Lang, marketing director for the company, said the insurance for Squirrel’s

Scramble last year was €26,000, but the only quote they have been able to get this year is for €88,000. “We’re devastated,” she said when it was announced that the park was closing. We are letting down our wonderful staff. We are so sad we can’t keep their jobs for them. Continued on next page

Bus driver Dessie O’Toole driving the Number 84 bus for the last time before his retirement after 47 years with Dublin Bus. Dessie is a well-known local volunteer and he was cheered off by hundreds of people lining the roads from Kilcoole

04| news in brief Bray cobbler hangs up his boots A Bray cobbler has expressed his thanks to the local community and customers after he retired last week. Gerry O’Reilly, of Castle Street Shoe Repairs closed his shop for the last time recently after three decades of service. Originally from Arbor Hill, Gerry moved to Bray 34 years ago in 1987 right after the devastating Hurricane Charley, when there were five other cobblers in the town. “I’d like to express my sincere thanks to all people who’ve been great customers of mine over those 34 years. It’s been a pleasure solving their shoe problems and their bag problems,” he said.

Coastwatch volunteers wanted

The Coastwatch project is looking for volunteers to carry out an eco-audit of County Wicklow’s coastline. This annual autumn Coastwatch citizen science shore survey runs from midSeptember to mid-October with the aim being to carry out a once off snapshot survey of the shoreline taken at low tide. Anyone intrested drop an email to

September 28, 2021

Local students win top prizes in art competition

Ella Kelly

Fearne McMahon

Valencia Mascarenhas

Holly Byrne

Jessica Ruiying Chen

Eva Ruixin Chen

Six Wicklow students have won top prizes in this year’s 67th Texaco Children’s Art Competition, the results of which were delayed until now due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the 7-8 years age category, Ella Kelly (8), a pupil at Saints Michael and Peter Junior School, Arklow won first prize for an artwork

entitled ‘Red Apple’. No stranger to the Competition, Ella won a Special Merit Award in 2020. In addition, five Wicklow winners each won Special Merit Awards for artworks that Professor McGonagle said, “demonstrated high levels of skill and imagination.” They were Fearne

McMahon (17) from Glenart College, Arklow; Valencia Mascarenhas (13) from Coláiste Chraobh Abhann, Kilcoole; Holly Byrne (12) from Holy Rosary National School, Wicklow Town; Jessica Ruiying Chen (13) from Loreto Secondary School, Bray and Eva Ruixin Chen (11) from Ravenswell Primary School, Bray.

Tree top park could reopen

Continued from previous page We are extremely worried for our own future, we have potentially lost our livelihoods,” she said Squirrel’s Scramble hopes that there will be reforms to the insurance market and more competition in order for them to be in a position to reopen next April. The Director for the Alliance for Insurance Reform described this situation as “desperately sad”, but said it is “far from unique”. Peter Boland said that his group has identified 37 different sectors, mainly in the leisure, adventure and community sectors, that cannot get insurance cover or are down to dealing with their last underwriter. He said there is “no logic” to the increasing insurance premiums, which are still happening despite substantial reforms to the sector. One major reform is new judicial guidelines that slashed awards for personal injuries cases. It came into effect earlier this year and had been expected to in turn reduce the cost of insurance.

House prices rise 4.7% in three months

The price of the average second-hand three-bed semi in County Wicklow has risen by 4.7% to €331,000 in the last three months, according to a national survey by Real Estate Alliance. Homes in the county are reaching sale agreed in four weeks, the Q3 REA Average House Price Index shows. Average prices in Bray rose 4.1% this period to €385,000, with time to sell remaining at three weeks. North East Wicklow prices rose 6.1% to €350,000. During this period, prices in Wicklow town also saw a 6.1% increase to €350,000, with the average time to reach sale agreed currently at four weeks. “Vendors are slow to place their houses on the market as they cannot find a suitable house to move to,” said Karl Tracey of REA Forkin, Bray. “A high number of landlords are selling their Buy To Let residential properties as they now are seeing values back at the same levels they purchased at 2005-2007. “High tax on rental income is also driving these investment property sales.” Average prices in Blessington rose 4.6% to €340,000, with time to sell remaining at four weeks. Baltinglass prices rose

2.2% to €230,000, and time to sell in the area remained unchanged at six weeks. “Mid-west Wicklow continues to generate strong interest as a secondary location for the former commuter, who is now based at home for part of the working week, while demand is remaining strong for any type of property within north-west Wicklow area,” said Simon Murphy of REA Murphy Baltinglass and Blessington. “Shortage of house supply is forcing single buyers to consider and purchase apartments as an alternative choice, and recent sales of rented houses by owner-occupiers, willing to deal with tenants after purchase, is a new departure and is indicative of the shortage of supply. “We are seeing marginal increase in the third quarter on the back of strong increases earlier in the year, and demand is expected to remain strong while an under-supply will be a feature of the market for the remainder of 2021 at least.” Average house prices nationally have risen by €3,500 per month since the end of June, with selling prices in commuter areas and small towns increasing by over double the growth experienced in the major cities.

The Department of Environment has announced that it is providing a funding extension to the environmental project, Pure (Protecting Uplands and Rural Environments), until the end of 2023. “On behalf of the stakeholders of Pure I would like to thank the Minister and the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, for their continued support,” Ian

Davis, Manager of Pure, said. Pure was established to combat illegal dumping in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands and was officially launched in September 2006. “The success of Pure is based on multi-stakeholder collaboration and cooperation between all of the organisations involved in the project. This funding will enable the project to continue with our initiatives,” Mr Davis added.

Pure secures funding to combat dumping

September 28, 2021

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Extra ‘bank holiday’ on the cards

The Government is examining introducing a bank holiday between now and the end of the year as part of a pandemic bonus. Plans are at an advanced stage to have a day to recognise the contribution of frontline workers and to remember those who died from Covid. A date has not yet been decided, but it could be in November or between Christmas and year end. The bank holiday would be a means of recognising everyone’s contribution during the pandemic. This includes all categories of frontline workers, with ministers stressing in recent days that any bonus would have to be non-divisive. Other measures for frontline workers are still being considered, including extra leave or payments. It is understood that any measures would come out of this year’s spending rather than Budget 2022. The chief executive of small firms group ISME said that granting an additional bank holiday must be done for “intelligent, justifiable reasons” and not because we have just come through a pandemic.

September 28, 2021

Employers: axe the PUP to solve staff shortages

Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) recipients should be asked to present at social welfare offices to prove they are living in the country, according to the head of the Restaurants’ Association of Ireland. Adrian Cummins told RTÉthat he believes the social welfare payment is being defrauded and that it is leading to staff shortages in his industry and in others. He argued the sectors such as construction, retail and hospitality are desperate for staff and are doing their utmost to attract employees. “We have 110,000 people on the PUP payment at the moment. “That’s nearly 20pc of where we were in May of 2020. We’ve a number of fully open sectors now… and these are sectors who are trying to attract staff back into the industry. “As an association we’d like to ask the Department of Social Protection to ask these recipients to come into the social welfare offices to make sure that they are actually in the State at the moment. And that these people are not and have

James Kavanagh and his mum, Margaret, together knitting tiny woollen hats for this year’s Big Knit, which is run by Innocent Drinks to raise funds for Age Action. Pic: Mark Stedman not left the Irish State and are receiving payments outside of the State,” he said. Mr Cummins said he has “anecdotal” evidence that these practices are taking place. Meanwhile, Retail Excellence said the process of winding down the PUP needs to be accelerated, in order to help address acute shortages in staff being felt in the retail. Chief executive Duncan Graham said the situation has become very serious since the

start of the easing of restrictions. “If you talk to recruiters around town, they’ll tell you there is an enormous shortage, they have a huge number of vacancies, across all levels in fact - in retail particularly - and it has been very, very difficult to fill those,” he said. Mr Graham said a lot of people left the industry during the height of the Covid crisis, as non-essential retail was closed during nine of the last 18 months.

He added that many migrant workers chose to return home during the pandemic and have not returned. With over 17,000 retail workers still claiming the PUP, Mr Graham said the feeling among retailers is that the wind down, not due to be completed until February, should happen faster. “We really need these people back into work prior to the Christmas peak,” he claimed. “I think what we are now

Each of us put Looking for a tutor? €365 in the bin School Is Easy is over pandemic 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.

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IF you splurged in the food department over the many recent Lockdowns, you might be at least glad to hear that you are not alone. And while many of us piled on the pounds, the bigger issue has actually been food waste. A new study, conducted by Coyne Research on behalf of Aldi, has found that shoppers in the county threw away almost €365 worth of food each during the Covid-19 lockdowns. A third of Irish adults (36%) bought more food during the lockdowns, with one in three stating they wasted or threw out more food during lockdown restrictions compared to ‘normal’ pre-pandemic times. Despite food wastage increasing nationwide, three out of 10 adults reported knowing someone who struggled to buy food, had to make sacrifices to pay for food, or had to avail of a food bank during the lockdowns. The study reflects FoodCloud’s experience,

witnessing a huge surge in demand for its surplus food redistribution services since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. FoodCloud saw demand almost doubling whilst some charities had to reduce or limit services. Between March 2020 and August 2021, charities sought 53% more food donations compared with the previous 18 months. To help combat the pressure on FoodCloud’s services, Aldi is launching its 2021 Food for Good campaign, whereby Dublin shoppers can buy and leave food donations in their local Aldi store, which will be collected and distributed to local charities by FoodCloud. Starting on Monday, 4th October, running until Sunday, 10th October, Aldi shoppers can donate an extra nonperishable food item to one of the specially designed ‘Food for Good’ drop-off points that Aldi’s 148 stores nationwide.

seeing is stores looking and seeing are they going to be able to trade some of the hours that they would normally do over the Christmas period, because simply they don’t have the people,” he said. The Government has no plans to change its schedule for unwinding the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said. Mr Varadkar said while he understands that some employers are finding it hard to find staff and want to see the payment wound down quicker, other sectors including aviation, the arts and entertainment industries are still relying on it. Recipients of the PUP have become more active in their job search, according to a survey from jobs website Indeed. It said 36% of respondents who are receiving the payment said they are urgently looking for work, up from just 13% in July. That increase comes as phased reductions in PUP payments kicked in during September, with the Government flagging their plans in advance of the changes.

Third dose on way for vulnerable

The campaign to deliver a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to medically vulnerable groups will commence in the coming days, the HSE’s chief executive Paul Reid has said. Appointments are likely to be made from September 29, with the third dose administered to those who are immunocompromised and over the age of 12 from October 1. Mr Reid said contact would be made with those who are deemed at highest risk, adding that risk would be determined by clinical teams, focusing on the most vulnerable groups. The HSE RTÉ that “it will be a period of five to six weeks to complete this programme”. However, Mr Reid said identifying who exactly would need a third dose was a “complex process” and not a “simple list to take off the shelf”. Those likely to be included are people who are highly immunocompromised, organ recipients, renal patients, certain cancer patients, and people on particular medications. People will be contacted by the HSE and clinical teams about their appointments, Mr Reid said. “If people are not contacted, it’s most likely an indication that they’re not in that higher risk category,” he added.

September 28, 2021

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Tiglin wins two top awards

The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly congratulated Tiglin on winning two national housing awards for their work at Carraig Eden. Tiglin and Wicklow County Council won the two ICSH Allianz awards for their new facility at Carraig Eden for “Collaboration “ and the “Public Choice” award. The awards recognise ‘innovative and sustainable’ housing projects being delivered by housing bodies and local authorities for the community. Minister Donnelly said: “Carraig Eden is a shining example of how the State can work with housing groups to change lives. “I’ve worked closely with the superb team at Tiglin to safeguard the future for Carraig Eden because the work being done there is absolutely vital. “I’m delighted the staff and the team behind making it such a success are getting the recognition they deserve. “Everyone involved should be extremely proud of the work they have done in building what is a first-class facility.”

September 28, 2021

Happy birthday Pres Bray!

School’s centenary celebrations off to a flyer Presentation College Bray kicked off its centen ary celebrations on earlier this month when the school hosted a special rugby match against its sister colllege, Pres Cork Before kick-off, the Pres Bray Senior Cup Team (SCT) were presented with their commemorative jerseys by past pupil Peter Doyle (pictured with the team), whose father Jack was amongst the first students in the school 100 years ago and who captained the school to its only Leinster School’s Senior Cup win in 1932. The jerseys were a replica of the original Pres gear from 1921 and the match was played out on a glorious sunny morning in perfect conditions with Pres running out winners 29-14. Afterwards the parents committee offered refreshments for the teams and the spectators. Past pupils, past teachers and sport enthusiasts mingled and shared stories of times past. On the Centenary Day, Septembern 6, Principal Martin Locke and Vice Principal Ger Fleming presented the various year groups in the school with their own special Centenary Tie while Head Prefect, Stéphane de Bairéid spoke of the Pres Bray Culture and of how the

school began in a very different Ireland “This is the start of our Centenary year of celebrations and we are so very proud to be part of the Bray Community and look forward to continuing to be at the heart of this very vibrant place for another hundred years and beyond,” a spokesman for the school said. Meanwhile, the Past Pupils

Union has announced details of its centenary dinner on November 5 in the Glenview Hotel. “We are thrilled to announce that our very special Guest of Honour for The Centenary President’s Dinner is Professor Luke O’Neill,” a spokesman said. “Pending a further easing of restrictions later in October, we

are just releasing 100 tickets at this juncture. “Tickets will go on sale from October 5 at at €70 each and can be purchased from www.”. Other projects planned to mark the 100 years, include the student-centred Spirit of Pres Week in November 2021, where a centenary-themed programme of events will take place.

Declan Meehan makes hall of fame

Council goes green with new solar car port

East Coast FM’s Declan Meehan been inducted into the IMRO Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame celebrates those well-known names on air and those behind the microphone that make Irish radio a part of daily life. Declan joins names such as Gay Byrne, Pat Kenny, Marion Finucane, Larry Gogan, Ian Dempsey, Áine Lawlor, Candy Devine, Dave Fanning and Tony Fenton, amongst others. Declan career in Irish broadcasting spans over five decades, beginning on pirate radio station Radio Vanessa before spending time with RTÉ 2FM. Declan was the first breakfast presenter on 2FM when it launched in 1979 but was soon lured back to the ‘Super Pirates’ where he worked on Sunshine and Radio Nova. After a stint on FM104 Declan was headhunted to East Coast FM to present their flagship current affairs programme, The Morning Show. And 27 years later Declan is still at the helm and is a vital part of the team at East Coast FM.

A solar car port project installed at Wicklow County Council’s headquarters in Wicklow Town will generate renewable energy and assist in achieving climate change targets. In August Enerpower, a Waterford-based company, commenced the installation of 300kWp of solar panel capacity for Wicklow County Council. This innovative project is the largest solar car port project in Ireland covering 107 car park spaces and circa 1600m2 at County Buildings. Wicklow County Council has identified energy efficiency as a key goal in meeting the national

A special open Gala Day will take place in Springtime 2022, where guests and members of the local community will be invited to the school to join with them in celebrating this milestone event. A rugby weekend will also be staged in Greystones Ruby Club early next year. Read Brian Quigley on page 11

targets and in reducing longterm costs. Commenting on the project, Wicklow County Council Chief Executive Officer, Frank Curran, stated: “The installation of the solar panel car ports at County Buildings in Wicklow is a great example of using existing sites, such as car parks, to generate renewable energy and assist in achieving Climate Change targets.” Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Shay Cullen, added “I’m delighted to see large innovative projects like the solar carport taking shape, it is one of our key energy efficiency projects.”

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September 28, 2021


Going strong at 100!


Brian Quigley

t’s not often you get to experience the centenary of something significant in your life, but within the space of a week in September I got to mark two. September 11 saw Rochdale, the English soccer club I have supported since 1974, celebrate 100 years in the English professional leagues. This came six days after my old school, Presentation College Bray, marked 100 years since the opening of their doors for the first time on September 5, 1921. Centenaries aren’t a one-day thing. Having beaten Tranmere Rovers 1-0 in the game on the date of their Football League centenary, Rochdale will further mark the milestone with season-long features in their matchday programme. Likewise, Presentation College have scheduled a host of events over the coming academic year to allow past and

current pupils, staff and friends and neighbours in Bray and around the world to celebrate a century of achievement. When I think about the opening of Presentation College and imagine the ideas the Presentation Brothers had for education, I have to say that they were way ahead of their time. Bray Head House on the Putland Road and the surrounding land was as close to an idyllic setting for a school as you could want, with its views of Bray Head and The Sugarloaf and the scent of the nearby sea in the air. It’s sad to see the condition Bray Head House is in now, boarded up and dilapidated. On the other hand the modern school is a state-of-the art building; over the years there have been several schools on the site, including the converted outhouses of Bray Head House and subsequent builds from the 1950’s and 1970’s (both no longer used and the latter was demolished to make way for the current building).

President Brendan Toolan, Tony Quinn of Bray Golf Club, Ger Fleming, Deputy Principal Presentation College Bray, and Gavin Rochford student representative of Pres Bray and winner of the Visitors Prize and Nearest the Pin, at the Pres Bray Past Pupils Union golf outing in Bray Golf Club recently

Sport and education going hand in hand is obviously something the Presentation Brothers envisioned a century ago, and there has always been a strong emphasis on sport in the school, primarily rugby (Pres won the

Leinster Schools Senior Cup in 1932, and have lifted the Junior Cup on five occasions – 1930, 1975, 1985, 1988 and 1990). Rugby aside, we had a swimming pool in the 1971 building and future Olympian Gary

O’Toole practiced there when he was a student in the college. Soccer star Darren Randolph is also a past pupil, as are former Ireland rugby international Reggie Corrigan and cricketer Ed Joyce. My own favourite

sport has always been running and again this was encouraged in Pres. I have nothing but happy memories of the school and consider some of the teachers I had there to have really helped shape my life. Here’s to the next 100 years! Other well-known alumni of the school include rugby internationals Maurice Mortell Snr and Tony Doyle, Trinity Professor Luke O’Neill, RTÉ’s Robert Shortt, poet David Wheatley, businessman Pat Byrne and former Barnado’s chief executive Fergus Finlay.




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September 14, 2021

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September 14, 2021


Researchers are smiling all the way to the bank


n Irish university has conducted research into smiling. I’m not joking. It found there are three main categories of smile. A reward smile signals that a person is happy, a dominance smile reinforces superiority and an affiliation smile builds and maintains social bonds. Taxpayers funded this study and you may think that is no laughing matter. But the good news is that the Irish university was Queen’s, in Belfast, so it was British taxpayers who footed the bill. Ha! I thought that would put the smile back on your face. Dr Magdalena Rychlowska, from Queen’s, shared the work - and, presumably, the cost with four other universities, two in the United States, one in the Netherlands and Cardiff

Michael Wolsey University in Wales. They concluded: “We react differently to different types of smiles”. Ah yes, university researchers. Where would we be without them? They have discovered that blonde waitresses get more tips than brunettes (Holy Family University, Philadelphia) and that men pay more attention to women in high heels than those in flat shoes (Université de Bretagne-Sud).

That men judge women with blonde hair to be younger and healthier-looking than brunettes (Augsburg University, Minnesota). That drinking a lot of alcohol is bad for you (Harvard) but people who drink red wine at night sleep better than those who drink water (Ben-Gurion University, Tel Aviv). Scholarly research has found that wet underwear caused a “significant cooling effect” on the skin (joint study by universities in Norway and Denmark) and that a full bottle of beer would do more damage to the human skull than an empty one (University of Bern). I have yet to see a university study on the defecatory habits of bears in woods or the ability of birds to fly on one wing, but no doubt they are out there somewhere. They would not be much odder than the recent research by the veterinary department at

New York’s Cornell University into the effect on rhinoceroses of hanging them upside down. They wanted to know if the health of the animals would be damaged by transporting them this way, hung from a helicopter. You’ll be pleased to know that the 12 rhinos tested had no complaints at all. For her research on smiling, Dr Rychlowsk carried out five studies, with more than 900 participants. That sounds pretty extensive, but is only in the ha’penny place compared to the 1924 study by Carney Landis , a student at the University of Minnesota who wanted to know if certain experiences, such as pain or shock, always elicited the same facial expressions. Landi persuaded an assortment of fellow students, teachers and psychology patients to take part in an experiment where they were electrocuted,

had fireworks placed under their seats and their hands dipped in a bucket of frogs. The climax came when he produced a live white rat on a tray and asked them to cut off its head with a butcher’s knife. He concluded that even during the most violent tasks, the most common reaction was to smile. A similar conclusion was reached by the 19th century French neurologist Duchenne de Boulogne. Duchenne was interested in the mechanics of facial expressions, including how the muscles of the face contract to produce a smile. The best way to study this, he decided, was to attach electrodes to a person’s face and jolt their muscles into action. The procedure was so painful that Duchenne could not find anyone to assist his research and was only able to experiment

on the freshly severed heads of people executed by guillotine. Then one day, by chance, he met a middle-aged man with facial insensitivity and used him as his human guinea pig. Duchenne went on to discover 60 facial expressions which he depicted in a series of scarylooking photographs. In the most famous of these, the unlucky man has his face contorted into a broad, toothless grin, known to medical history as the Duchenne Smile. And what does all this prove? Absolutely nothing, except that there is no theory so daft or irrelevant that research can’t be found to substantiate it. And no research so crazy that somebody can’t be found to pay for it. Unfortunately that somebody is usually us, the taxpayers. And if that doesn’t make you smile, you’ll just have to grin and bear it.

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September 28, 2021



The Bee Sanctuary of Ireland

book of the week

with Justin Ivory

A sea of sunflowers at The Bee Sanctuary of Ireland (Photo Justin Ivory) Nestled deep in the southwest corner of Wicklow on the border with Wexford there is a field. Nothing unusual there, this is farming country after all. Ah yes but this field is a bit different. It is full of Sunflowers. A field full of magnificent 8ft tall Sunflowers in Ireland in September! Are you mad? A field full of Sunflowers! Is this for the cutflower industry? Nope. These flowers will not be cut and sold. They are being grown for food. Food? Are sunflowers edible? No… well not by humans anyway. They are being grown to provide food for bees and other pollinators. Ah ok… so it’s somebody with an apiary and trying to produce loads of honey. No… there are no artificial beehives or honey production here. So, what is going on? This is the Bee Sanctuary of Ireland. This is 55 acres of the Wicklow countryside being planted with field after field of wildflowers to feed all our wonderful wild pollinators – bumblebees, solitary bees, wasps, hoverflies, and butterflies. It is ponds and wetlands, unkempt and uncut hedgerows, copses, brambles, nettles, thistles – a wild and re-wilded haven for all our biodiversity. A refuge not just for bees but all manner of biodiversity – birds of prey hunt overhead, squadrons of dragonflies and damselflies patrol their territories, hedgehogs, stoats, squirrels, deer and all manner of birds and invertebrates.

doc of the week


stream of the week

the new girl Sinead Moriarty

The Team That Turned Up RTE Player

ben is back Netflix

AT school, Ruby is the odd one out. Although Denise and Clara are her friends, they are each other’s best friend and she is the ‘other’ friend. So when new girl Safa, a refugee who has just arrived in Ireland from Syria, joins the class, she is put sitting beside Ruby. Safa and Ruby realise that their lives are very different. But as they get to know each other they soon discover that they have more in common than they might think. This is a timely and heart-warming story of friendship from one of Ireland’s best-loved storytellers and the first children’s book from the author.

THIS is another opportunity to watch this fascinating documentary which focuses on one of the most famous rugby encounters between Ireland and England. In 1972 both Scotland and Wales had refused to travel to Dublin to fulfil their Five Nations fixtures, citing security concerns following the burning of the British Embassy in Dublin and bombings on the streets of the capital. England did come over, and the stunning ovation they received from the Irish crowd made the fixture at Lansdowne one of the most memorable occasions in rugby history.

BEN is Back is a 2018 American drama starring Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges and Courtney B Vance and follows the charming yet troubled Ben Burns (Hedges), who returns home to his unsuspecting family one fateful Christmas Eve. Ben’s wary mother Holly Burns (Roberts) welcomes her beloved son’s return, but soon learns he is still very much in harm’s way. During the 24 hours that may change their lives forever, Holly must do everything in her power to avoid the family’s downfall. Definitely one for the family, with plenty of lessons to be learned for all.

charity of the week

movie of the week

tv show of the week

TaurusReplenish your reserves. Compute expenses to find painless twigs to prune. Align on solutions for longterm growth. GeminiFocus energy for a personal project for long-lasting gain. Research and consider expert financial opinions. Explore and innovate. CancerReview options for the way of least friction. Gentle, steady pressure works better than force. Determine the best direction. LeoA community effort gains momentum. Long-term goals seem within reach. Work together to exceed expectations. Recruit friends to help.

the rotunda RTE 2, 9.30pm, Wed, Sept 29

give up clothes for good

12 mighty orphans Cinemas nationwide now

TK Maxx has launched its annual Give Up Clothes for Good campaign with the support of model and TV star Millie Mackintosh. Millie is supporting one of Ireland’s longest running clothes collections, to raise money for Enable Ireland who provide vital services for children and young people with disabilities. The all-year-round collection motivates people to generously donate pre-loved clothing, accessories, and homeware items by dropping them off at their local TK Maxx store. Donated items will go to Enable Ireland shops to be sold and given a new lease of life.

DURING the Great Depression, Rusty Russell (Luke Wilson) gives up a privileged position to coach football at an orphanage in Fort Worth, Texas. Bringing his players into shape, they soon become an inspiration to their city, state and an entire nation... yes, we have been here before. And if it’s inspiration and dreams you are looking for, you can find it at your nearest cinema. But as with bank heist movies, the playbook for these staple sports movies has now been utilised over and over again so don’t expect anything too demanding.

RTÉ had to respond to criticism of its The Rotunda series, which was filmed in the maternity hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic, stating that crew numbers. The documentary series, now in its third season, follows the stories of women and couples who attend the hospital for the birth of their babies. The latest season was filmed from November 2020 to September 2021 and this episode follows Bulgarian couple Rose and Slavi from Kildare, who arrive in time for the their baby girl, while Joyce discovers she is about to have triplets!

album of the week

art of the week

walk of the week

Paul Handrick of the Bee Sanctuary of Ireland (Photo Justin Ivory) The brainchild of Paul Handrick and Clare-Louise Donelan, this not-for profit venture is their brave response to the Biodiversity Crisis and the Climate Emergency. This is leading the way. Imagine a network of sanctuaries like this across the county and across the country. Imagine if these sanctuaries were interconnected by wildlife corridors. There is hope and a beacon has just been lit deep in the heart of Wicklow.

AriesMake a bargain, or promise. Push for a long-term dream and vision. Use your charm and creativity. Make a move leading to lasting benefit.

Lindsey Buckingham Lindsey Buckingham

Ireland’s Walled Gardens

st declan’s way fundraiser for full details

HAVING been exiled from the neverending saga that is Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham decided to just go and make an album and call it after himself for the Hell of it. This is his seventh solo work and was originally slated for a 2018 release, but what with falling out with ex-partner Stevie Nicks, being sacked from Fleetwood Mac, undergoing open-heart surgery and the collapse of his marriage, he was otherwise fairly busy. Surprisingly, despite the turmoil, his knack for catchy pop hasn’t waned.

2021 is the Irish Georgian Society Year of the Country House Garden and Waterford artist Andrea Jameson features in an exhibition celebrating four hundred years of Irish gardens and designed landscapes. Stepping Through the Gate: Inside Ireland’s Walled Gardens, takes place from 23rd September - 26th November 2021 at City Assembly House, 58 South William Street, Dublin 2, where fifty specially commissioned paintings of Irish Walled Gardens will be on display, including the above by Jameson of Tourin.

SUNDAY (September 26th) is National Walking Day and the St Declan’s Way Committee are marking the day with a 10km walk around the seaside village of Ardmore. The walk promises bracing sea air, plenty of stories and tales, and magnificent scenery. Starting on Halla Deagláin on Main Street, the walk proceeds north along the beach, loops around by Ballynamertinagh and Bóthar Ard, back into the village and then around the spectacular Cliff Walk. Refreshments will be provided in the hall afterwards courtesy of The Pantry.

VirgoPlay the game you’ve been practicing to win. Forge ahead, and anticipate changes. Stay light on your feet, and have fun.. LibraSet into place structures to support your next adventure. Balance and weigh your options. Make long-term decisions and preparations. ScorpioGo for big financial goals with a partner’s support. Teamwork goes the distance. Clarify your vision to inspire greater gain. Sagittarius-

Collaborate to determine next steps with your partner. Discuss possibilities, and align upon which to greenlight. Compromise and negotiate terms. CapricornPick up the pace as demand for your work rises. The moves you make now can have lasting personal benefits. You have an extra advantage. AquariusCollaboration flowers. Pull together for common gain. Have fun with family, friends and someone you love. Share your heart. PiscesWork together for home and family. Work out who will do what, and get going. Handle household routines, and make a long-desired improvement.

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September 28, 2021

Searching for the answers after 35 long years of pain

What really happened to Philip Cairns? A new book investigates his tragic disappearance in 1986 NEXT month, on October 23, it will be 35 years since Dublin schoolboy Philip Cairns just disappeared without a trace. The sudden, mysterious disappearance of the quiet 13-year-old has baffled detectives and his family and remains a cold case, despite a long-running garda investigation, extensive searches and multiple media appeals. Philip was snatched in broad daylight while returning to school in Rathfarnham on an autumn day, never to be seen again. “We feel his loss every day and he is always in our hearts and thoughts,” his sister, Sandra said, as a new book, The Boy

Who Never Came Home reveals the inside story on the investigation from the detectives who worked on the case as well as their theories on what they believe may have happened to the missing teenager. Written by Irish Sunday Mirror journalist Emma McMenamy the book also scrutinises indepth the only named suspect, prolific paedophile Eamon Cooke — dubbed Ireland’s Jimmy Savile — and unearths new revelations about the serial child abuser which potentially link him further to the young boy’s disappearance. Cooke, who in 2007 was convicted of crimes dating back to the 1970s and sentenced to 10 years in prison, was quizzed

by officers over the case but died without making any admissions. It is an investigation that sheds new light on a mystery that has long haunted the country, with one of the teenagers who found Philip’s school bag, Catherine Hassett, talking openly for the first time in 35 years about the discovery. Former Detective Sergeant Tom Doyle, who headed the case from 1998-2016, also talks about Cooke’s deathbed interviews and shares his fascinating insights on the case. And top American DNA expert, Dr Mark Perlin, discusses the DNA on Philip’s bag and how he has

the technology to test mixed DNA samples which could help to finally crack the cold case. The book also features top forensic physiologist Dr Julian Boon, who helped British officers at the Harold Shipman trial. Dr Boon takes a look at the case as well as Irish criminologist John O’Keeffe, to determine what may have happened on the day Philip disappeared and where detectives need to focus their continuing investigation. Philip’s school friend, who sat beside him in class, looks back at the investigation from the very start hoping to bring an end to this bitter tale.

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September 28, 2021

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September 28, 2021

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

Freemans Jrn 05/09/1827

Irish Ind 01/09/1933 Irish Press 2/09/1982

Irish Ind 14/09/1935

Irish Press 08/09/1981

Irish Press 12/09/1981

16 | September 28, 2021

Profile for Voice Media

Wicklow Voice 28-09-2021  

Wicklow Voice 28-09-2021  


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