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Winter’s done, and April’s in the skies,
Earth, look up with laughter in your eyes!

Charles G.D. Roberts - ‘An April Adoration’1896



NEWSLETTER NO. 352 Volume 12
Aibreán
(April) 2006

April: Possibly named for Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love or from the Latin verb meaning ‘to open’or the Greek word meaning ‘the opening’. Greeks called the season of Spring ‘the opening’.

Flower: Sweetpea & Daisy


TOM KEATING R.I.P.
It is with deep regret that we record the passing of one of our esteemed colleagues, Mr. Tom Keating, who died on 15th February last. Tom was a long-serving member of Dalkey Community Council and served as Chairman in the past. Indeed, at the time of his death he was a most active member of the Executive Committee. His patience and experience, not to mention his high standards, will be greatly missed. Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a Anam.


The 1st Annual General Meeting of Dalkey Community Council Ltd. was held on Monday, 6th March in Our Lady’s Hall.
A minute’s silence was held as a mark of respect for the late Tom Keating. The Chairperson’s, the Secretary’s, the Accounts for the year ended 31st December 2005 and the Director’s report thereon were adopted by the meeting. Chairperson’s Report, published inside - Ed. The nine members who had agreed to remain on the Executive were re-elected and three new members Bill Conway, Richard Mooney and Mary Rigney were elected for the next four years. The meeting unanimously elected D r. Susan McDonnell to serve another term as Chairperson. The reports from the subcommittees Heritage, Newsletter, Sports, Functions, Tidy Towns, Planning and Neighbourhood Watch were delivered and then the floor was open to Any Other Business.
Environment: The four white bottle banks are still quite prominent on the Burmah Road and DCC will approach DLRCC to see what plans are intended for them. Unfortunately dumping is taking place throughout Dalkey and especially over the wall all along the Vico Road. The problem of dog fouling is very bad in the Dalkey area. Pooper-scoopers are available from County Hall and many other outlets.
Planning : The Planning Committee was commended for it’s hard work and attention that it gives to the many applications. In relation to a question regarding the granting of permission for the apartments at the corner of Dalkey Avenue that cause a hazard to cars turning and restrict the footpath for pedestrians, DLRCC cited that the narrow roads were part of Dalkey’s charm.
AOB: The Parking Scheme was heavily criticised for being too stringent. A suggested proposal to change the charging period from 10am to 5pm would afford the opportunity for locals to get shopping done earlier or later and would stop DART parking. A review is due fairly soon and DCC will liase with DLRCC. Car parking in Kilbegnet Close is becoming a big problem for the residents particularly on Saturday nights and Sundays during mass times when the public park on the narrow roadway and this could restrict the entry of emergency vehicles. There is a problem with a group of men and women who are using White Rock beach for nude bathing and acted in an intimidating manner when approached by locals. DCC will make enquiries as to the legal status of the local beach. The March meeting of DCC was held after the Annual AGM. As most topics were reported on at the AGM the meeting adjourned until April.


Drainage

In the recent Dalkey Community Newsletter (Feb 2006), it was mentioned that drains in Dalkey are a problem! I was recently in the National Archives and read a file concerning Harold Boys’ and drains 100 years ago! A senior inspector from the Office of National Education visited the school in 1907. In his report he said the playground was very unsatisfactory, that water lies in pools in it and mud clings to children’s boots and is then brought into the schoolroom and floors can’t be kept clean! “The playground would have to be drained”, he stated. Another item mentioned was that the path to the out-offices (toilets) should be concreted and a few lavatory basins added to the one already there. A further item was that the partition should be moved 10 feet further down the schoolroom. The school in 1907 as we know was a large room divided in two by a partition. Canon Joseph Murray whose address was St. Joseph’s, Glasthule, Kingstown was the school manager. Dalkey and Glasthule was a single parish then. He was asked by the Board of Public Works to get an estimate. The Engineer of the Township was consulted. The estimate states that it would cost £15 to do the gullies (drains) and supply 30 loads of gravel to cover the playground and no need to do concreting. It would cost £12 to move the partition. Canon Murray sent this estimate to the Board of Works. They said they would give 2/3 of a grant to cover the cost (£18) and one third was to be given by the parish (£9). Canon Murray wrote back in June 1908 stating that he couldn’t ask his parishioners for money as the school was new (opened 1901) and this work should have been done when the school was built. He wanted a grant to cover the total cost! In a further letter in September 1908 the cost had risen to £33.10 shillings to include basins. Canon Murray wrote again on 30th September 1908 agreeing to one third cost to be given by the parish! A final letter from the Office of Public Works in January 1909 stated that a one third of cost grant was ordered for payment! As we can see looking back to one hundred years ago, improvements always came about slowly. In the case of the playground drainage it took from December 1907 to January 1909 for officialdom to say “yes”. Bad drainage, it seems, will always be with us! Seán Ó’Gormáin
Map-lovers, amateur and local historians

Map-lovers, amateur and local historians and everyone in between can now access 6 inch and 25 inch historic mapping of the entire county on PC terminals at local libraries. The maps are from the 1834-1842 Ordnance Survey of Ireland and provide an excellent resource for anyone wishing to see the lie of the land over 160 years ago. This project has been created by An Comhairle Leabhlarana and by Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI) as part of the Changing Libraries Projects.
For information on how to access the maps, contact your local branch library.


Tree Week Walks on Killiney Hill MR

As part of National Tree Week DLRCC had organised three walks on Killiney Hill for two classes from The Dalkey Schools Project and one from Johnstown School. It was a cool morning though pleasantly bright and dry. The three classes were very attentive, well behaved, seemed to enjoy themselves and some produced some very good drawings in the notebooks the parks department had given them. They had all walked up the hill from their various schools as well but had no problem scrabbling up the steeper slopes. We told the first class the importance of the woods as a habitat for the Red Squirrel but told them the chances of seeing any were virtually nil. They’re usually most active early in the morning and being small and usually confined to high up in the trees they can be difficult to see by individuals let alone a big group of people. So when the first walk moved off the main path into the trees it was great to see one Red Squirrel chasing another, the two of them tearing up tree trunks and throwing themselves from branch to branch. Everybody seemed to get a good look at them before they disappeared into the treetops. The two other groups weren’t so lucky but further along the path we were able to pick up cones of Scots Pine and Douglas Fir trees that had been chewed down to the stalk by the squirrels before they dropped them to the ground. Another group got good views of a pair of Treecreepers a very elegant little bird which spends nearly all it’s time circling the trunk of trees feeding on insects in the bark with it’s thin curved bill. National Tree Week is timed to coincide with almost the latest date for planting bare rooted trees. The only disadvantage with this time is when groups are going around looking at trees, apart from the conifers (and not even all of them), all the trees are bare of leaves which are generally the easiest way to identify them. Nevertheless trees have different trunks which can help identification in winter, with some deeply lined like Oaks and Sweet Chestnut others smooth like Beech and Sycamore. We explained the value of native trees as opposed to introduced trees. Scots Pine support 91 species of insects. Our two native species of oak Sessile and Pendunculate support up to 284 different species of insects! These insects in turn may be fed on by birds and some birds, such as the Great Tit time their chicks hatching at the same time there is a profusion of caterpillars on trees. These relationships develop over thousands of years whereas trees that have been introduced in the last hundred years haven’t evolved together with our native wildlife and are not as useful to it.
Spring Alive
‘Spring Alive ’ is the name of an exciting new Europe-wide migration monitoring scheme that BirdWatch Ireland will participate in this year. The idea behind Spring Alive is to ask people all over Europe to help keep track of the arrival of migrants, allowing us to observe the progress of spring across the continent. It does this in a very simple way: people are asked simply to go online and enter the dates they see or hear their first Swallow, Swift or Cuckoo. This is extremely easy to do - just a couple of mouse clicks and typing your name and e-mail address is all it takes. You will then be able to go back to the website and watch spring arrive across Europe on the interactive map. It also makes a fantastic and simple project for children of all ages, so please pass on the details to any kids, parents or teachers that you know.
To take part or to find out more details, including lots of pictures, sound recordings and video clips of the birds, simply visit www.springalive.net. There will also be a link from the main BirdWatch Ireland homepage (www.birdwatchireland.ie), so even if you forget the main internet address you can still know where to find the site.
Birds prosper from garden feeding
Goldfinches in the UK have reversed a serious population decline with their numbers improving by one third in 20 years and it’s reckoned it’s because of improved feed that is given to them in garden feeders. Traditionally, goldfinches lived on thistle, groundsel, teasel and dandelion, but supplies of the plants dwindled, especially in winter, following the increased use of herbicides on farmland. High - energy sunflower heart seeds are now widely available as are Nyjer seeds from the ramtil bush of Ethiopia and small black sunflower seeds which are also sold as high-energ y bird feed. The seeds more closely resemble goldfinches’ natural diet than bird-feeders’ traditional offerings of peanuts and kitchen scraps. Peanuts are still a very substantial food source for many other bird species and help many survive winter and even very cold springs such as the one we’ve had this year. Berries and seed are not as prevalent in the spring and if the weather is too cold for insects it can leave a gap in the birds normal diet, so keep feeding your garden visitors.



Letter To The Editor

APRIL2006
Sir,
During AOB at the 2006 AGM, I raised a number of issues regarding the stringent on street parking restrictions:
1) The objective of stopping DART commuters from parking in Dalkey, would be equally well accomplished if Pay’n’Display operated Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm.
2) Our local Dalkey traders would benefit between 9 and 10am and after 5pm when local Dalkey people would feel they could park and shop without harassment.
3) Parking restrictions on a Saturday provide absolutely no benefit to the Town of Dalkey. There are no commuters to be deterred, and any restrictions cause Trade to go elsewhere, e.g. Monkstown or Bloomfields.
I want the Chairman to take up these three points with DLRCC. The cost of changing the signs would be minimal, because the Day and the Times could be covered over with plastic stick-on all-weather labels.
Yours, etc.
Alan Repko (Dr),
2 Vico Terrace, Dalkey, Co Dublin


“MY GARDEN” . . . . by Philippa Thomas

Our garden is truly, waking up. It is a symphony of greens. I have spent the last hour, giving a little warm water, to most of our pot plants, as this past week, has been, bitterly cold. Lately, I have been experimenting with, the odd, herbal tea, bag contents and ‘using up’, those sachets that came ‘attached’, to ‘bought’bunches of flowers, that we all buy, in supermarkets. - Feel, it’s worth, the risk and it’s also good, re-cycling.I have valued, big time, over these past few, winter months, Aquilegias Vulgaris, (granny’s bonnets.) They seem, evergreen here. They have provided patches of jade green ruffles, throughout, this past winter. Prefer, ‘this time’, than the actual flowers, which are presently growing,with vigour and vitality (incidentally, super plants, for a cottage garden effect.) A mature shrub, growing on its own, can be a most imposing sight. One of these has to be ACACIA (MIMOSA) PRAVISSIMA, (Australia. Height 10 feet, spread 6 feet). We grow it, as a semi-standard tree/shrub. It is, highly scented. It flowers, in early March ‘till the end of M a y. (golden yellow flowers.) It is simply stunning. Lately I have seen, the odd ‘passer - by’-come over to feel, touch and smell its scent.
The Pasque flower, (anemone pulsatilla,) is growing well in the rockery. What delicate, silky things, they are. I only grow the mauve variety. It is called the Pasque flower, because, it generally grows, at Easter time. It leaves stem and reverse of petals, are all silky furry with fine, silvery hairs. Later, the seed heads are even more whiskery and last for many weeks. Sometimes difficult to establish but worth the effort. An absolute treasure too, is Choisya, Aztec Pearl a super coastal - e.g. Dalkey - plant. A good friend of mine has just surprised me, with my ‘second’, as a birthday gift. I adore it because I really appreciate its performance. It has fine, slender leaflets, is almond-scented, its flowers are pink-flushed, opening to crisp, clean, white (award winning 1993) height 2m.
Finally, try to get your hands on an echium, cost, approx, €9.00 - €12.00. It has to be, the most amazing, ‘miracle,’specimen. Its lifecycle is 2-3 yrs and once you have it, it self seeds. It looks somewhat like a rocket when fully grown. I have seen it growing even in quite substantial containers. In its first year, it produces a stem, with deep green, rough, hairy leaves. In its 2nd or 3rd year, it, rapidly, reaches its full height, up to 12 feet. It, becomes absolutely, laden with a spine of bluish, mauvish flowers. A super specimen, for all the family to watch.
“The kiss of a song for pardon, the song of a bird for mirth, God’s nearer ones heart in the garden, than anywhere else on earth.”


STEPS . . . . . FOR PLANNING APPLICATION

in a planning application.
1) Site notice erected
2) Plans lodged with planning department within 14 days of erection of site notice.
3) Plans available in planning department. The public has 35 days from date of lodgement to submit any objections/observations to the planning department accompanied by fee of 20 euros.
4) Planning department makes decision. The public has 28 days from date of decision to lodge an appeal with An Bord Pleanala with fee of 210 euros.
5) Appeal lodged and accepted by Bord Pleanala. The public has 28 days from date of acceptance to lodge a submission about the appeal with fee of 50 euros.


Dash-board dining

For many young children and teenagers, convenience and junk foods are a regular food group in their diets. Processed, packaged foods are available everywhere from the local petrol station to the larger supermarkets. Many meals emanate from the freezer and are cooked or heated in the microwave. The kitchen is fast becoming the coldest room in the house. In the US new homes and apartments no longer have kitchen facilities in their floor plans and you are more likely to find a small area designed to carry a microwave and mini fridge. Dash- board dining is a term well used by those whom commute long distances to school and work a lifestyle pattern that has developed in Ireland. New cars all have drink holders that cater for those drivers whom spend time in the car on route with kids to school and after school activities. A feature that reflects the habits that people now not only use the car as a vehicle to transport themselves from venue to venue, but indeed use as perhaps a comfortable extension to their living space. People ‘snack’as they commute, eat breakfast nibble lunch. You will be amazed at the numbers munching away as they are on the move. There are vibrant signs that the importance of good food and smart lifestyle practices are being recognised. The media has daily reports, statistics and information on offer. Supermarkets have been involved in healthy eating initiatives, and labeling of fresh fruit and vegetables now include cooking and serving suggestions. Fast food outlets have even smartened their marketing campaigns and now offer nutritional advice on the foods they have on offer and they also offer salad and fruit options. Healthy food for children and teenagers is crucial, as it sets the pattern for life. Eating well at a young age sets the foundation for health and well-being for life. In addition eating healthily from a young age will help to significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer. Also the vital importance of eating well and developing positive lifestyle practices ensure that young people maintain the correct body weight. Research shows that a child who at the age of five is over-weight are five times more likely to be at risk of being overweight in adulthood. Experts agree that children need to be taught from an early age to enjoy good food and enjoy buying and cooking dishes that they love. ‘ Parents have a responsibility to educate children about healthy eating, as many bad habits are learnt at an early age. To change the whole culture of eating within the family’. (Spokesperson for the Institute of Child Health, London). Encourage your child to cook and eat with you. Bans rarely work and only make your child feel resentful. When your child wants to eat sweets and chocolates make sure they are good quality. At home make sure that confectionery is part of a meal rather than a between meal snack. Never offer sweets as a reward. All children seem to like a sweet taste, so remember that fresh and dried fruits are high in natural sugar and make a good alternative with added nutritive value. Add fresh fruit and salads to ready meals, such as chicken nuggets, fish fingers, burgers, and pizza. Buy frozen or chilled counter items rather than those in cans or packets, which will usually contain more additives. Chilled counter items are also likely to have better nutritional profile. All children embark in learning from the moment they reach earth. Brainpower is necessary for learning. Concentration is required and a healthy eating plan will help fuel concentration, energy levels and build the body.
Foods to Boost Brain Power Always ensure that your child has breakfast this will supply the brain with a steady supply of energy a key element to boost and sustain concentration. A fibre cereal such as porridge makes an ideal choice and a whole grain slice of toast with honey or peanut butter. Avoid the sugary type cereals and white bread. If your child or teenager is not a ‘muncher’ in the morning make up a fruit smoothie by simply blending a cup of live pro- biotic yogurt with a ripe pear or mixture of berries. Eating a breakfast high in sugar such as white bread and jam or sugary cereals, chocolate spreads or pastries release sugar into the blood rapidly. This quick burst of energy will be followed by an energy slump, as a drop in sugar levels will leave your child feeling hungry, tired and unable to concentrate. Oily fish, rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids is important for brain functioning. Therefore tuna fish, salmon or sardines make for the perfect lunch time snack. Research suggests that taking a 1g supplement of omega oils can improve concentration in children who have attention deficit disorder and can help with dyspraxia. Always ensure that your child drinks plenty of fluids, as the brain is the first organ to become dehydrated and will not function at it best. Snack foods like oat bars, flapjacks, nuts and seed mix, fruit muffins, carrot cake and fresh fruit make for the perfect snack ditching the salty snacks like crisps and cheap sugar bars. If you would like your child / teenager to explore the flavours of their favourite foods, to taste new foods, learn to cook and bake snacks, lunches and party foods. Find out - Foods to eat so as to have glowing skin- improved concentration and have a healthy body. Contact me about the spectacular programme of fun, food and adventure that shall take place this Easter break- 18th- 21st April- 10am-2pm each day – specially designed for boys and girls aged 8-14 years — Established in the field since 1990. Info@tinadunne.com for details www.tinadunne.com Until next time- live a lot and have a laugh!



Herbal Cures from the Garden - Dandelion
Jennifer Derham BSc (Hons) Health Studies: Herbal Medicine
Tel 0404 - 43787
Mobile:085 141 6941
www.medicalherbalist.info
email:
j_derham@medicalherbalist.info     

The Art and Science of Herbal medicine changes ones perspective of plants especially those otherwise known as weeds! One of the most popular and effectively used ‘weeds’ is the well known Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) which has long found esteem as a medicinal plant and is also a great spring tonic.
The great jagged teeth found on the margin of each leaf somewhat resembles the canine teeth of a lion and it is generally assumed that this gives the plant its most familiar name Dandelion, a corruption of the French Dent-de-lion. An equivalent is found in its former Latin name Dens leonis and nearly all European languages. The name of the genus Taraxacum is reportedly derived from the Greek taraxos (disorder) and akos (remedy) due to the curative properties of the plant. It is a most valuable general tonic with a long list of conditions for which it may be used. Both the root and leaves are used medicinally. It has long been considered as a valuable spring salad with high vitamin content and is one of the best natural sources of potassium. Pick the young leaves in spring and early summer; add to any salad or even a sandwich. Don’t forget they may be juiced also. Dandelion leaf has considerable diuretic properties and is useful in water retention, cellulite and urinary infections. Dandelion, as a result, is also known in French as pis en lit meaning to wet the bed. It may be best therefore, not to have a cup of dandelion tea before retiring! The root is useful for the digestive organs in general especially the liver, and is known as a liver tonic. Both the root and leaves contain plant chemicals known as bitters. These stimulate the whole of the digestive tract, increasing the flow of digestive juices, enhancing the appetite and improving digestion. Dandelion may also be very effective as part of a wider treatment for many conditions including rheumatism, arthritic conditions and skin conditions and many digestive complaints. The root may be collected fresh in the autumn (the root is best if a couple of years old) and when dried, roasted and ground makes a delicious starchy drink which may be used as a coffee substitute otherwise known as Dandelion coffee! The sticky latex obtained from the centre of the stem is used externally for the removal of warts; this treatment needs to be kept up for a couple of weeks. Care should be taken not to swallow this or to get it in your eyes! Even the florets may be used to make an excellent delicate wine. I hope this brief introduction to the delightful dandelion has earned it a place of precedence in the garden!
If a serious condition is suspected consult your doctor or a qualified medical herbalist.- Jennifer Derham


Dalkey Sea Scouts 50th Anniversary Events
415t DUBLIN (St. Patrick'5, Dalkey) GROUP
3RD PORT OF DUBLIN BEAVER SCOUTS, CUB SCOUTS, SEASCOUTS &
VENTURE SCOUTS

Thank you to those who contacted us following last month's feature. We are still anxious to hear from more past members. Here is some more news of upcoming events: Friday 5th May Informal Past Members Re-union - drinks and snacks upstairs at IN, Castle Street from 8pm. €5 per head cover payable on the evening.
Saturday 6th May, our annual fundraising CLAMBAKE takes place in the unique garden setting of St. Patrick'sRectory, Church Road at 8 pm on Saturday 6th May. Seafood chowder from the Guinea Pig restaurant, barbecued salmon and wine will be served, with music and dancing in the marquees. Patio heaters will ensure a cosy atmosphere.
Don't miss this highlight of the Dalkey social calendar. To enable our chefs to plan ahead, tickets must be bought in advance from the undersigned.
Brian Meyer, Esker, 42B Barnhill Road, Dalkey. Mobile: (086) 669 6812. E-mail: brianmeyer@eircom.net


LINK TO : April Diary Events

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