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First published 1974
DALKEY -Deilginis 'Thorn Island'
(Irish Heritage Town)

NEWSLETTER NO. 360 Volume 12

Mí na Nollaig agus Eanair (December/January) 2006

December: From ‘decem’ which meant ten - the tenth month of the old Roman year.
January: From the Roman god Janus who had two faces - to look both backwards into the old year and forwards into the new one at the same time.

Flower Dec:Holly & Narcissus
Flower Jan:Carnation & Snowdrop

Monday 8th January & Monday February 5th 2007

Email: gerard@dalkeycommunitycouncil.ie
Published by Dalkey Community Council Ltd. (A Company Limited by Guarantee)


Christmas Tree Lighting
Crib with real animals
Carol Singing
Dalkey Community Council
wishes everyone
“A Happy Christmas and New Year”


The DCC monthly meeting for November was held on Monday 6th Nov in OLH.
The Chairperson opened the meeting and welcomed two new members
Jackie Burns who will replace Grace Geraghty as Road Rep for Knocknacree Park and Ray Gannon who replaces D’Arcey Jackson as Road Rep for Ardbrugh Road.

Matters Arising:
It was agreed to prioritise issues that were discussed with An Cathaoirleach at last months meeting and request him to highlight them with DLRCC.

Tidy Towns:

In the DLRCC Tidy Districts Competition - Dalkey received the Overall Winner’s and Best Large Town Award and the Guinea Pig Restaurant won the Best Hospitality Outlet Award. The monthly Litter Patrols during the winter - last Tuesday in every month meeting 10.30am at Select Stores. The October patrol yielded 16 bags that were collected by 6 volunteer workers.
The Road Rep for Dalkey Avenue Lower Leanne Murphy expressed her disappointment with the responses from An Cathaoirleach over the traffic issue on the avenue. The Chairperson told us that this problem is currently on a list to be addressed for road calming by DLRCC.
There is a serious problem with rats around the town. A follow up with the Litter Warden will be done. The MOW’s are experiencing severe parking problems in Kilbegnet and DCC will meet with MOW with a view to approach DLRCC in an effort to resolve this problem. As there was no further business the meeting ended.


Carol singing is without doubt a double part of the Christmas season.
Back in the 1970s, November came and in the school the annual carol singing practices took place daily. Boys from 4th class to 6th class were always part of this exercise as Proinsias believed “if you can talk you can sing!”
But there was a special project within this group and it only concerned 6th class. Each year just before Christmas they would carol sing on Castle Street as a fundraising effort for the school. They practiced the standard carols, viz. Adeste Fidelis, Silent Night, Hark the Herald and Away in a Manger. The teacher covered every eventuality and Silent Night became Oíche Ciúin and Stille Nacht in case of encores!
The twenty-third of December came and a group of fifteen boys and two teachers stood beside the Ulster Bank at the entrance to the car park. The Angelus bell rang out as everyone gathered and an east wind blew around the corner of the Town Hall and breaths were visible in the cold evening air. People hurried up and down the street rushing home or on their to some meeting perhaps. A gallon bucket was put in a visible way on the footpath with ‘SCOIL HARÓID’ printed large on it.
Throats were cleared and a few scales sung to ready the voices.
With that an elderly man came up and stopped. He looked carefully at the buckets and then at the choir. “Excuse me,” he said. “is that the little school down St. Patrick’s Road?” He was assured that it was. “I won’t delay you”, he said, “but I was a pupil in that school in the 1920s. Mr. Hughes was Principal then. You see I’m a Dalkey man but have lived in England for the past thirty-five years. I just came home to bury my eldest brother, Tony”.
“Where did you live?” asked a young lad. “My name’s Tom Redmond and we lived down Harbour Road near the Frenchman’s Tower. Do you know it?” All heads nodded. “Would you do something special for me?” he asked as we saw tears come into his eyes. “My father was in the British Army during the First World War. By the way, I was born in February 1915 so I never really knew my father because he was killed at that time. But when I was six a man came to our house and told us that he was with my father when all the soldiers, British and German, came out of the trenches on Christmas Day 1914 and sang Silent Night/Stille Nacht. “We know it” chorused all the boys. “I would love to hear it in memory
of my father who was killed the next day” said Tom.
As Silent Night was heard on the Dalkey street, everyone seemed to stop and with one
verse, Stille Nacht followed in the silence of that winter evening. An old man cried and waved as he turned the corner to get the bus, Christmas has memories for everyone.

Lest we Forget — FR. WILLIE DOYLE S.J.

Dalkey resident Anthony P. Quinn has written a most interesting book on the part played by members of the Irish Bar in the First World War. One fact he came across relates to Father Willie Doyle S.J. who was the son of Hugh Doyle, a High Court official, and a Dalkey resident. He was killed in 1917 while serving the men of the 16th (Irish) Division including his beloved Dublin Fusiliers. His tragic death occurred during the 3rd Battle of Ypres. The book is titled Wigs and Guns, Irish Barristers and the Great War (www.four-courts-press.ie)


Chuaigh me agus seacht cáide ó Cumann Ban Deilginis go dtí Áras an Uachtaráin trí mhí ó shin. Bhí an lá an-ghaobhar agus fluich. Nuair a scriochaimar an tÁras tógadh sinn go dtí an Seomra Rince chun fanacht ann agus dúirt bean den slua: “An bhfuil cead againn a lán grianghraf a glacadh den Uachtaráin dá fear chéile?” Chuirithe gach bean in aithne don Uachtarán agus dá fear chéile agus ansin bhí griangraif a glacadh. Nuair a bhíomar criochnaithe chuamar go dtí Seomra Douglas Hyde chun té a thógaint. Nuair a bhíomar criochnaithe thánig an t-Uachtarán and a fear céile isteach sa seomra and bhí siad ag caint le gach duinne ann. Bhí fear ag seinn an piano chun sult a dhéanamh dos na daoine. Donal an t-ainm a bhí air. Ainsin d’iarr sé orm amhrán a chanadh. Chan mé dhá amhráin dó agus chanamar go léir “The Banks” agus “Dublin’s Fair City”. Ansin nuair a bhíomar criochnaithe ghabh an t- Uachtarán agus a fear céile buíchas dúinn and d’fhágadar slán linn. D’fhilleadar ar an Áras. Bhí trathnóna an-mhaith againn.

Ber Montgomery Caint Gaeilge – D.A.R.A


There are two types of Parking Machine operating in Dalkey,
(1) The old style short wide type where the money is put into it near the top of the machine
(2) The new slim narrow one where the money is put into it about the mid way down.
How to Use Both Machines?
Put money into machine at corner place. When you are happy that you have purchased the correct amount of parking time push the GREEN button and your ticket should print in about ten seconds.
A point to remember is that, even though you may pay for parking and display a ticket, if you then park on a Single/Double Yellow Lines you are NOT exempt from getting a parking fine for illegal parking.
It is also illegal to park within 9.23 metres (i.e. 30 feet) of a corner, a junction, a set of traffic lights, and a bus stop. It is also illegal to park on, or on a portion of a footpath or to block a driveway/laneway which could prevent someone getting into or out of their property, and of course preventing the emergency services attending to an emergency at the property.

MY GARDEN GARDEN – Philippa Thomas

Yesterday, while I was putting out our green Oxigen bin, I spotted a fine fat green slimy frog just sitting there. I tore back into the house and picked up the coal shovel, returned to that very spot and recklessly shovelled him up.....rampaged back through the house - our ruby King Charles wholly mystified by my ‘odd’ behaviour! - and finally managed to plonk him/her amongst our plants in the cool, shady part of our back garden. (Our back garden is surrounded by an unusually high wall) Now, I wonder, was I right to so callously remove him/her from his ‘froggy brood’? My intention at the time was that, one day, I might have the pleasure of seeing him/her leap lovingly around in our midst!
Certainly, we have been witnessing beautiful crisp bright mornings lately. It has been heaven to get out there and take a sprightly walk. In fact, it’s been warmer outside than inside the house these last few days. Such weather too is great to muck about for an hour or so in the garden. Isn’t it a great feeling to get out there, tidy up a little, do whatever you fancy especially now that the summer pressure has ceased.
Gardening, to me, is just as much about the doing as the finished result. Gardening, I feel, is also about making mistakes - lots of them - as well as succeeding. Now is the time to remove your bases/saucers from under your pot plants. A lot of our imported terracotta pots/containers are not frost-proof. Therefore, it is a very good idea to place little legs (or whatever you can find) under your pots as the moisture in the soil can freeze and expand and this can crack or break your precious darling pot.
Our Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) is just beginning to flower. On a dark winter’s day, it is like a firework display of starry bright yellow flowers on its naked, brushy branches. It is not fussy about its soil and flowers from October till April. What more can we ask for? I often cut its leafless branches while in bud and love to watch them open slowly into flower in various little bottles of water. They last for ages. Consequently, Jasminum nudiflorum is a Must Plant for every winter garden.
Ivies really do come into their own at this time of the year. Honestly, I would find it hard to live without them. There are some fabulous varieties out there and so many of them are non-invasive, slow growing and can be kept under strict control. Amongst them are some of the variegated forms whose colours of greens, greys and creams are often flushed with pink during the winter months. Some have tiny arrow-shaped leaves; some are heart-shaped while some are spear- shaped, etc. At present, we have a dark, glossy green curly variety trailing in our hanging baskets. We also have the variety ‘clotted cream’ growing up our cream boundary wall - which, I think, speaks for itself.
Last night I attended a most brilliant lecture in Glasnevin’s Botanical Gardens. The subject was: “Jewels of the Andes: - Masdervallias/Orchids”. As I arrived there early, the security man and I had a little chat. He told me that he hadn’t been feeling the best of late with a sore throat, stuffy nose, etc. He had just returned from the herb garden there where he had spent the previous twenty minutes. He said that he felt like “a different man” after walking amongst the herbs, inhaling their beneficial scents, etc. I must get myself going and introduce more medicinal herbs into our little garden.
December is a great month here in Dalkey to enjoy all our majestic trees, their intrinsic forms and shapes. I believe some trees can actually look better without their leaves. Among these are the Maple family (Japanese). One of the most spectacular of all these maples has to be the Acer palmatum, ‘Ozakazuki’. The colour of its foliage is unbelievable just before it falls: vibrant red with orange tones and then its wispy network of very fine semi-pendulous twiggy branches all make it look simply amazing.
“A weed is no more than a flower in disguise, which is seen through at once, if love give a man eyes”. James Russell Lowell


Dalkey Grove,
Dalkey November 2006

The part of Dalkey Avenue between Cunningham Road and Castle Street is becoming increasingly dangerous. I have witnessed cars travelling at up to 70 miles an hour, particularly around 7.00 a.m. The lower part of Dalkey Avenue is in effect becoming a partial single traffic road due to cars parked legally between the Burgage and the Railway Bridge and also outside houses further down the Avenue. Speed traps may not be feasible as I am sure our Garda resources are over-stretched. Might I suggest making the part of the Avenue in question a one-way route, together with the provision of ramps to slow traffic before someone is injured or killed.
Yours sincerely,
Barry Holohan

“Shanter”, “Shanter”,
23, Bóthar Páirc Sabhail, 23, Saval Park Road,
Deilginis,Co. Átha Cliath. Dalkey, Co. Dublin.

Dear Secretary,
As Road Rep for Saval Park Road and on behalf of the residents we are most grateful to the Community Council for the fine new public seat at the end of the road. Norah Kershaw Road Rep for Saval Crescent and Fairlawns and Des Murray Road Rep for Saval Park Gardens and Barnhill Park also wish to express the appreciation of their respective areas.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Julian Hart


Julian’s jacket went to Crisps
As it got a terrible wetting
When delivering the Community Newsletter
So he then started wearing his only other jacket
And never considered claiming
As the weeks passed on
He said he might go into Clery’s
He needed a second Winter Jacket.
On the very same day came a phone call
From a most friendly young girl
Who said his jacket was pressed and perfect
And they would deliver it on that very day.
So now he has two Winter Jackets
And is thrilled to have them again.
Ms. Nora Hart

NATURE CORNER – Michael Ryan
Booterstown Marsh seems to be constantly improving as a roosting and feeding area for ducks, waders and gulls. The birdlife in the marsh is counted continuously through the winter from September to March as part of a nationwide count of waders, gulls and wildfowl. Members of Birdwatch count along the coast on selected days each month from September to March and counters on Dublin Bay include the Marsh on the selected day.. Since we began counting in 1999 the number of birds frequenting the Marsh has improved dramatically. There are probably a combination of reasons for this. For a long time there was a heavy sediment of oil beneath the surface of the marsh which would have made it useless for supporting the worms that waders would be probing the mud for. There was no sea water coming into the marsh till the channel in from further south was reopened and the subsequent tidal flow of salt water probably cleaned out the polluted soil. In recent counts we’ve had hundreds of waders roosting in the safety of the marsh including Redshank, dozens of Black Tailed Godwit and Dunlin and flocks of Brent Geese.
One very welcome sighting we see there regularly now is that very elegant wader the Greenshank. A very slim and graceful bird usually seen solitarily feeding we were delighted when we started seeing one or two of these birds overwintering in the marsh a few years ago. At our October count this year we had fifteen of them in the marsh! Another comparatively recent addition and a very visible one is the Little Egret. Ten years ago these birds would have been a cause of excitement among birdwatchers as they were very rare visitors. Now they are breeding in a couple of spots in Ireland and can often be seen in Booterstown. Like a smaller Heron but snow white with black legs and yellow feet up to six of them have been seen round the marsh. Less easily seen is the Kingfisher often just glimpsed as a flash of blue streaking up the channel. We used often have DART drivers in the station, having seen us with telescopes, open their window to tell us they’d seen the kingfisher flashing by as the train passed. Other less visible inhabitants of the marsh are Snipe and the very elusive Water Rail. Recently An Taisce and some other concerned groups oversaw the placing of two large mounds of earth in the marsh which are hoped will become new roosting sites for birds at high tide. There was also constructed a new viewing area for the marsh at the north end by the road where you can sit down and have a leisurely look.The hours before high tide is best time for seeing birds there.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council are (at the time of writing) in the process of hiring a Biodiversity Officer. Hopefully we are promised one of his responsibilities will be the Red Squirrels of Dalkey and Killiney whose future is at risk from the imminent arrival of Grey Squirrels which are becoming increasingly common in the area. The Grey is an introduced species and wherever they move into the native Red Squirrel’s territory it almost always results in a loss of the Red. Many Greys carry a disease Squirrel Parapox which they are immune to but is fatal to Reds. Also the Greys are nearly double the size of Reds and outcompete them for food having a much wider range of food (Greys eat acorns which Reds don’t) as well as the nuts and seeds the Reds specialise in. UCD are currently carrying out a study of squirrels in the Phoenix Park which may result in a complete cull of Greys and reintroduction of Reds. Lets hope our Dalkey squirrels can retain their foothold, they’re lovely little animals and it’s a real privilege to share the neighbourhood with them. The turn of the year often brings a cold spell and this sometimes brings new species of birds in on to garden feeders. Natural food such as berries (or even insects in the prolonged mild spells we often get now in Autumn) may have run out or some of these birds may have been gradually making their way south from breeding grounds in northern Europe to find a regular daily supply of high protein food in suburban gardens. Family groups of Long tailed Tits, small flocks of Redpoll, Siskins, Greenfinch, Chaffinch or Goldfinch may start to appear on a regular basis. Birds can’t store much fat or they’d become too heavy to fly so they must eat every day to keep up their energy levels and keep themselves warm at night. Birds also need water in winter, not just to drink but to preen their feathers. If their feathers get matted it can impeded their power of flight so on days when you wouldn’t even contemplate the thought of an outdoor swim, you’ll often see a bird in your birdbath giving itself a very thorough wash and shake.


Today, Zena, warrior princess,
is added to the solar system
and beyond to trillions
of un-named worlds.
My small home is infatuated with me
and there is nowhere I would rather be.
A window paints the Isle of Thorns,
Saint Begnet’s church, sea expanse,
a permanence of Wicklow Hills.
These four rooms have walls enough
to hold my portraits of an absent
family. In their beauty
they keep eyes on me.
Each time I leave I long to return
down twenty steps
let myself in
look out.
All there
the sea
cat sleeping
petunia drooping
my universe
rooted in this circle of earth.

From ‘Isle of Thorns’
by Dalkey poet Bernie Kenny

This year the DCC ANNUAL ART EXHIBITION was opened by Maeve McCarthy. Maeve has exhibited her paintings in the R.H.A. and the Royal Academy in London. She was commissioned to paint a study of Maeve Binchy which is now hanging in The National Gallery. Artists and guests gathered for the reception including Eamonn Gilmore T.D.and Cllr. Jane Dillon-Byrne on the Friday evening. The Exhibition was open to the public on 18th and 19th November and it was well received. The quality was extremely high with subjects ranging from vibrant still lifes, benign cows, local scenes, lovely ladies and rowing boats, all masterfully executed. John Holland’s woodcarvings, each a piece of our natural history, were very much admired and sold well. Many paintings left with admiring owners to grace new homes. As always, our sincere thanks to those who helped set up the Exhibition and manned the hall, the ladies in Our Lady’s Hall and my team on the Functions Committee.

Colette Doody – Functions Manager



The third weekend of September was a busy one for the Group. On Friday 15th the Dalkey Community Council presented the McCabe Sports Cup to the Sea Scouts at a ceremony in Our Lady’s Hall. We were honoured to receive this in recognition of our contribution over many years in the provision of outdoor activities for young people.

At the Scout Liffey Descent canoe race on Sunday 17th, our Group had a large number of medal winners, including Adam Brady, Gavin Donovan, Ross Donovan, Patrick O’Malley, Robert O’Brien, and Oisin Porter. The Troop took the Trophy for best overall result. The course from Lucan to Islandbridge included five weirs.
The biggest event was our 50th Anniversary Reunion Dinner on Saturday 16th at the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Our sailing boats were brought from Bulloch, moored alongside the club pontoon and dressed overall for the occasion. We have owned ‘Sea Wolf’ for 45 years, and ‘Shearwater’ for 26, so they were very much part of our celebrations. 115 sat down for dinner, and we were pleased to welcome past members who had travelled from the USA, Canada, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, France and the UK. We were delighted to have with us all six founder members who met on 4th May 1956 under the leadership of our first Scoutmaster, the late Rev Desmond Murray - Patrick O’Farrell, David Thomas, John Keery, George Ball, Rodney O’Hara and Brian Meyer.
To mark the occasion a souvenir booklet was printed with a short history of the Group, and a DVD launched containing 13 volumes of our logbooks, some 450 photographs, and two digitalised 8mm movies from the 1960’s. Everyone had a super time renewing friendships and sharing memories, some not having met for over 45 years! (Copies of the DVD each are available for €12 from the undersigned). We have spaces for more Venture Scouts (age 16-19), but sadly all other sections have waiting lists at present, and cannot take any more members this year. We are also looking for more leaders for our Beavers (age 6-8) to assist Tiggy Hudson on Monday afternoons, and for our Ventures. The Beavers and Cubs now have girls in their ranks. Contact Brian Meyer, Group Leader, Mobile: 086 6696812 E-mail: brianmeyer@eircom.net.


Burdock Arctium lappa belongs to the Thistle group of the Compositae family and is native to Europe and Asia. It is easily recognised as a stout plant with large wavy leaves and round heads of purple flowers. The large, heart-shaped lower leaves are covered with a mass of grey down on the underside which gives them a grey colour. The flowers are seen in late summer and well into the autumn. Burdock can be found all over Killiney hill and if you haven’t recognised the plant as yet you may be familiar with the ‘burs’ which get caught in clothing or dog fur.
The name of the genus Arctium is derived from the Greek arktos meaning bear in reference to the roughness of the burs and lappa which means to seize or hold fast. The old English name is Herrif or Aireve and is derived from the Anglo-Saxon hoeg ‘hedge’ and reaf meaning robber, resulting in the name Hedge Ruffian! The leaves, roots, seeds and burs may all be used medicinally. Burdock acts so widely on the system it is difficult to pin down its exact affinities.
It has a particular action on the liver, kidneys and lymphatics and traditionally has been described as a ‘blood tonic’ or ‘blood purifier’ as it helps rid the system of toxins. In contemporary literature it is described as an ‘alterative’. Part of burdock’s action (primarily the root) is related to its ability to stimulate the digestive juices having a particularly strong effect on bile secretion, this helps with digestion and appetite. It has diuretic, antibiotic, hypoglycaemic and antiseptic actions. It is especially good for treating chronic conditions which are otherwise difficult to treat or shift as it helps the body remember what it was like to be healthy! On a psychological level it helps us deal with worries of the unknown and restores vigor and momentum.
The leaves are largely used topically as a poultice or salve to treat skin conditions including boils, dry, scaly rashes, eczema and psoriasis. In the past the leaves were used to treat lung and kidney conditions. The seeds stimulate the metabolism and digestion and help move toxins out of the system through the skin and other channels! They may be used to treat both profuse sweating and lack of perspiration. The root has a slight bitter and sweet flavour. It is traditionally served in French and Japanese cuisine with rich, oily food to assist digestion of fats and oils. The root acts more slowly than the seeds and is therefore used to treat chronic conditions where a slow persistent action is needed including rheumatism, arthritis and skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and acne.
The burs are apparently the inspiration for Velcro! They were used by the Native American Indians as a remedy for improving memory and stimulating the mind. If a serious condition is suspected consult your doctor or a qualified medical herbalist.

Jennifer Derham BSc (Hons) MNIMH MIMHO Dip. Coun.



Mental illness frequently makes the newspaper headlines, as the statistics grow increasingly alarming year after year. Suicide rates, depression, anxiety, alcoholism, addiction, eating disorders are now all aspects of modern society. Other mental health difficulties such as managing stress, coping with relationships or going through any major adjustment can also make it hard for us to live our lives and be the best we can be. So, what does mental health or mental well being mean to each and everyone of us? How well are we equipped to cope with many of the stressful events that are part of everyday life? It is possible that, at some point in our lives, each one of us will encounter a personal problem that we may need help and support dealing with. Where can we turn? What about counselling and/or psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy translates directly as the healing of the mind. And while counselling deals with every day problems and issues, psychotherapy generally offers deeper mental and emotional insight. The success of either is dependent on the strength of the therapeutic relationship between the Client and the Therapist.
If I can provide a certain type of relationship, the other person will discover within himself or herself the capacity to use that relationship for growth and change, and personal development will occur’. ( Rogers 1961)

CATRIONAKELLY - Psychotherapist


33 Patrick Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.
Phone: 2802041

To: Mr Rory O’Sullivan, May 2006
Parks Division,
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council,
Cabinteely House,
Cabinteely, Dublin 18.

AIMS : Our aim is to work with the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to achieve the following:
a) To monitor and safeguard one of the last Feral Goat Herds on the east coast of Ireland.
b) To maintain the feral status of the herd while responding to any animal welfare issues when they arise.
c) To protect an amenity for both the local community and visitors to the Island.
REVIEW: April 2005 - April 2006
In April 2005, the herd consisted of: 6 Males 6 Females 2 Kids (2 more born in May 2005)
In April 2006, the herd is : 6 Males 5 Females 3 (Unknown Sex) 4 Kids
Two goats died during the 12 months. We had to respond to a pregnant goat in distress in June 2005; which was put to sleep. Four kids were born, two in February this year and two in March of this year also. There was good grass growth throughout the year, and there was no need to supplement feeding during the winter months.
Overall, 2005/2006 was a quiet year. We had two complaints: one concerning a sailing school party in July, and another about all night parties on the Island. The Gardaí” in Dalkey are aware of both.The rabbit population is again beginning to increase, and measures will have to be “taken in the Winter 2006/2007, when the grass is at its lowest. There is also some evidence that the rat population is increasing, especially around the landing area, most likely due to food being left by visitors.
We very much welcome your commissioning of the “Heritage Management Plan”, and will send you our views on it in the near future

Kevin Glynn


Due to increasing costs, we have unfortunately to increase our advertising charges with effect from 1st January, 2007. We have chosen to do this reluctantly but having exhausted all available avenues to reduce costs, we are left with no other option. We hope that you will appreciate our predicament as we truly value your continued support without which the publication of the Newsletter would not be possible. The new rates are as follows:
Half-Page:€60 Outside Back Cover:€85 Quarter Page:€40
Lineage:€0.50 per word (Max. 14 words)

Gerard Coakley – Editor


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