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

NEWSLETTER NO. 357 Volume 12
Mean Fomhair
(September) 2006

September: Latin for seven, was the seventh month of the Roman Calendar

By all these lovely tokens September days are here
With summer's best of weather and autumn's best of cheer.



Monday 4th September, 2006

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

The Community Council would like to thank all residents who have contributed to the Council's annual collection through the brown envelope. Without your help the Community Council could not bring the Newsletter, Christmas tree and many other activities to the town. To those who may still wish to contribute please contact your Road Representative or drop the envelope into the DCC post box in Our Lady's Hall.

It is with sadness that we note the passing of Ms. Mai Kelly. Mai was a founding member of Dalkey Community Council and, indeed, was the first Secretary to the Council. She was a valuable contributor to all meetings over the years and will be missed by her many friends on the Council and in Dalkey generally.
May she rest in Peace

The DCC monthly meeting for August was held on Monday 31st July in OLH.
As our Chairperson had sent her apologies Pat Egan the vice-chairperson chaired the meeting. He proposed a vote of sympathy for Yvonne Fogarty on the recent bereavement of her husband. This was seconded and adopted by the meeting.

Tidy Towns:

TT reported that the Litter Patrols are continuing with a varying number of volunteers. The Castle Street area on Tuesday mornings yields about 6 bags of litter with the Station recycling bins, Library Lane and the Squareabout being the main problem areas. Dillon's Park on Coliemore Road every Thursday is another reliable source of litter with fishermen's debris high on the list.
TT would like to encourage more environmentally conscious residents to patrol their own areas. Equipment could be provided and collection arranged so that any such volunteer would not incur any personal expense. Several areas in Dalkey are already involved and more would be welcome.

A letter from Fiona O'Malley, TD has been circulated to many local residents stating that no further work will commence on the mast in Dalkey until an expert group has reported to the Dail on the effects of radiation emissions. An email was received from a resident on Ulverton Road complaining about the loud music from Ivory on Friday 28th July. This was part of the Dalkey Arts Festival and Garda Arthur assured us that Ivory had been granted a licence by the District Court and at the time it was granted there were no objections. Despite indications DCC had nothing to do with the Dalkey Arts Festival. In response to a request sent in by Canon Ben Neill the secretary has sent a letter to DLRCC Roads Dept. looking for signs to be erected, one in Castle Street and another at the junction of Ulverton Road and Harbour Road for St. Patrick's Church.
A request for a nameplate for St. Begnet's Villas has also been submitted to DLRCC.

It was pointed out that several disposable barbeques had been left on Dalkey Island. These are particularly dangerous as they can ignite and set off fires. Many areas look very unsightly with weeds growing along the pavements and out of the drains. Other areas such as Shankill, Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire look so much better and it was agreed that DCC should write a letter of complaint to DLRCC. As there was no further business the meeting ended.


We had a truly beautiful day for the Annual Garden Outing on 26th July. Thirty nine residents were driven by Paddy from Dundrum Coaches. First stop was at June Blake's Garden & Nursery in Tinode, Blessington. A lovely tranquil garden in an Old World setting. We had tea and biscuits, and a walk around the paths. June gave lots of advice on planting; lots of plants were purchased for Dalkey gardens. We visited the Tramway Antique & Gift Shop. We may be a new entry in the Guinness Book of Records for getting 39 people into such a small space. Everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch in the Blue Gardenia (keeping up the garden theme). Chef Dominic & staff were very friendly and helpful. Out main garden of the day was Jimi Blakes Hunting Brooke Garden. Some of you may have seen this garden on Nationwide last year. The Coach stops at the bottom of a very steep hill. Jimi had three cars available to drive us to the garden, though many walked. Jimi was a very gracious host; watermelon slices tasted marvellous on the very hot day. The Garden was amazing, set atop the hill, looking down on fields and woods. The plants were the tallest I have ever seen. Dahlias, grasses, numerous plants - many exotic - collected on travels and from a trip Jimi escorted to Japan. The origin and care of the plants was explained. I found a lovely cool woodland walk and some chickens to admire. I am sure that everyone enjoyed the day. I hope my committee have put the 'fun' in Functions!

Colette Doody

ADDRESS Jimi Blake, Hunting Brook, Lamb Hill, Tinode, Blessington.
DETAILS OF Telephone.: 01-4883972 Mob: 087-2856601
THE GARDENS June Blake, Garden & Nursery, Tinode, Blessington.Tel.: 01-2770399


There has been much concern in Dalkey at the recent proposal to replace the existing mast atop the Garda Station with one which it is proposed will be three times higher than the present one to accommodate more transmission equipment for mobile telephone companies. This will, allegedly, emit six times more radiation than the existing mast. Protest meetings have taken place and, following reassurances from Ms. Fiona O'Malley, T.D. and Mr. Tom Parlon, Minister of State, it had been decided that the work will not proceed for the present. It must be noted that this issue may very well emerge again in the future.


There were 183 planning applications during 2005 for the Dalkey area compared to 167 applications in the previous year. 21 of these were declared invalid for a variety of reasons, often problems associated with the site notice and 5 were withdrawn. A subsequent application was usually submitted within a month. There were 20 applications for retention mainly for extra roof lights or alteration of the internal layout.
Additional information was requested in 34 cases and subsequently supplied for 31 applications; further clarification was requested in 3 cases. 131 decisions were made, of these 103 were granted permission and 28 were refused. 30 decisions were appealed to An Bord Pleanála; of these 12 were 1st party appeals against either refusal for permission or the conditions imposed by the planning department of the County Council. There were 18- 3rd party appeals against the grant of permission by the County Council. We lodged appeals in 3 cases and sent in submissions relating to a further 6 cases. I shall elaborate on some of these appeals later.
An Bord Pleanála handed down 17 decisions, of these 9 had previously been granted permission by the Council and were upheld by the Bord. 8 were refused permission by the Bord; of these 4 had previously been granted permission and 4 had been refused permission by the Council. We are waiting for decisions on the 13 remaining cases.
On average it takes between 6 to 7 months before the Bord is able to make a decision. In regard to planning applications, I should like to stress to everyone, the importance of vigilance in respect of site notices. If one appears in your neighbourhood, it is important that you find the time to inspect the relevant plans for the particular application in the Planning Office in County Hall, Dun Laoghaire to find out if the proposal will affect your property. The applicant must lodge the plans within the following 14 days of erection of the site notice. Following the lodgment of plans in the planning office, the public has 35 days to submit their observations and objections, accompanied with a €20 fee. If you believe you will be affected, it is vital that you write into the planning department to voice your concerns. The planning authority will then make their decision. Following the decision, the public has 28 days to appeal to Bord Pleanála if they had previously submitted the relevant objection to the planning department. The fee for this is €210 euros. Following the lodgment of an appeal with An Bord Pleanála, the public has 28 days to submit their observations, the fee being €50 in this case.
There are several applications that are of general interest to which I shall now refer.
9 Dalkey Ave - I had reported at last years AGM that we were waiting for Bord Pleanála's decision about this application for three two-bedroom apartments in a 2 and 3-storey block with associated site works. We had concerns about overshadowing of the single storey houses in Kilbegnet Close and the proximity to the railway line. In August 2005 the Bord refused permission on the grounds of overshadowing and the negative impact a three-storey development would have on the single storey houses in Kilbegnet Close. Subsequently, the owner has been granted permission for two 2-storey town houses.
The Tramyard - This site had seen two previous applications for a large apartment complex with underground car parking, one in June 99 and another in April 2001. Both of these applications were substantially the same, and both were eventually appealed to An Bord Pleanála. Both times the Bord refused permission on the grounds of inappropriate design and excessive bulk in relation to the special nature of Castle St and the failure of the design to integrate with the town centre In June 2004, a proposal was lodged for 28 apartments and 6 commercial units, a children's play area, a facsimile tram, and an underground car park. We were concerned again by the design and the bulk of the proposal amongst other problems. The application was refused as it was considered that it would constitute a form of development out of character and unsympathetic to its location in a Conservation area in the centre of a Heritage Town and in close proximity to protected structures. However, another application for a similar development was made in November 2004 and we felt that the scale, design and bulk of the proposal were still unacceptable. We therefore lodged our objections but the planning department subsequently granted permission for the development. We lodged an appeal with Bord Pleanála who refused permission in October 2005 despite their Inspector recommending permission albeit with additional conditions Having regard to the limited extent of the site, to its location in relation to adjacent residential property and to the quantum, scale and layout of development proposed, which included residential accommodation in basement format with poor quality provision of private amenity space and inadequate natural light, it was considered that the proposed development would constitute over-development of the site, which would seriously injure the amenities of property in the vicinity and be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area. In deciding not to accept the Inspector's recommendation to grant permission, the Board noted that the quantum of development proposed is similar to that previously refused by the Board. Notwithstanding that the Inspector thought it appropriate to reduce the extent of development by attachment of conditions, the Board considered that the recommended modifications would not be sufficient and that significantly more wide ranging changes to both the scale and layout would be required and they consequently refused permission.
In October another application was lodged for 23 apartments and one retail space over a basement car park in 3 three-storey blocks. Again we felt that the scale and height were excessive in addition to overlooking and overshadowing of properties on St Patrick's Rd and White's Villas in addition to other concerns and we lodged our observations to the Planning Department. We are presently waiting for their decision.
Tramyard Gallery - In January we were concerned about a proposal to change the Tramyard Gallery on Castle St into a pizza take-away, as we felt that Dalkey was already well served with fast food outlets and restaurants amongst other reasons. We expressed our concerns to the planning department along with many other groups and it was refused permission. The owners appealed to An Bord Pleanála, who subsequently refused permission on the grounds of contravention of the present Development Plan and the potential damage to the interior of the building during any building conversion.
Nirvana, The Flags - This development had aroused serious disquiet over the destruction of part of our local heritage as during the construction phase of this large house, the Flags were damaged and the hedgerows removed. . There were also concerns about the many unauthorised alterations to the granted planning permission, the question of inappropriate design and scale, and overlooking of neighbouring properties. The developer applied for retention for these changes and was granted permission by the Planning Department. The residents appealed this decision to An Bord Pleanála, and we sent in a submission. However, The Bord decided to grant permission and the development remains. Sports Ground,
Hyde Rd - An application by Dalkey United Football Club to upgrade their facilities including the provision of an all-weather surface playing pitch was lodged in February. There was considerable opposition by the residents who were concerned about the increase in traffic these facilities would generate, the increase in light spillage from the floodlighting, the visual intrusion from the high netting surrounding the pitch, the noise from late-night use and the loss of part of the park to the public etc. The application was refused permission In August another modified application was lodged, but the residents were still unhappy with the proposal; the planning department have again refused permission early this year.
Inniscorrig, Coliemore Rd. - In December 2004, an application was lodged for the retention of opaque sheeting to the main gates of Inniscorrig. Inniscorrig is a protected structure as are the views from Coliemore Rd. We have been concerned for some time about the increasing number of entrances around Dalkey replacing fine old cast iron gates with solid timber or metal gates, particularly along Coliemore Rd. We have expressed these concerns to the planning department for some time but felt that the removal of this protected view was unacceptable. The planning department upheld our view, but the applicant appealed to An Bord Pleanála. They also upheld our concerns in August and refused permission on the grounds that the proposal conflicts with a stated objective of the County Development Plan, does not adhere to Ministerial Guidelines on Architectural Heritage Protection and injures the visual amenities of the area. However, despite the ruling by An Bord Pleanála, we are concerned that the metal sheeting remains in place and the views continue to be obscured.
Ardbrugh Rd Apartments - An application for 18 apartments in a six-storey block with private and communal roof gardens and balconies was lodged in August on this prominent site on Ardbrugh Rd. We were concerned about the scale, density and overlooking of neighbouring properties; there were also traffic issues, problems with the proposed drainage scheme and the interference with the views of the adjacent protected structure, Ardbrugh House amongst other issues. Permission was refused, but the developer appealed to An Bord Pleanála in November; we submitted our observations about the proposal and are waiting for their decision.
Castlepark School - Widespread concerns were raised when Castlepark School submitted plans for a major upgrading of the school buildings as well as a proposal for 81 residential units in 8 blocks, several being 4 and 5 stories high and one of 7 stories, all over basement car parks. The proposal also included the use of the cul-de-sacs, Castle Close and Castlelands for the access and exit from the development. We consider that by reason of its scale (81 units), mass, bulk, height and inappropriate design that this proposal compromises the surrounding architecture and would be contrary to the proper planning and development of the area. There are no developments of this scale and height in Dalkey, the only designated Heritage Town in County Dublin and it is obvious that this proposed development does not respect the existing built form, character and heritage of Dalkey. The surrounding buildings consist of detached and semi-detached two-storey houses and a Victorian terrace- the construction of several multi storey apartment blocks adjacent to them obviously does not respect the existing built form. Castlepark School and the nearby Bulloch Castle are protected structures and it is felt that the construction of several high-rise apartment blocks will seriously compromise these important buildings on one of the main access routes into Dalkey. The expansion of Our Lady's Manor Nursing Home has already compromised Bulloch Castle and any further high-rise development in the vicinity will totally detract from this important structure. The scale of the proposal (81 units) is totally out of character with the surrounding scale of previous developments and will pose major problems with the immediate infrastructure in terms of traffic management, water supply and sewage disposal facilities. The residential amenity of the surrounding houses will be compromised in terms of increased traffic volumes and over-looking of the rear of houses and gardens in Hyde Rd, Castlelands, Castleland Grove and Castle Close. Residents in these areas have believed that the zoning of the area by the past and present County Development Plans was to protect and improve residential amenities; this proposal will obviously reduce their standard of living and quality of life. To allow the construction of this development will irreversibly change the characteristic architecture surrounding this unique town and is out of keeping with the existing pattern of development in the area. We maintain that if permission is granted for this development an unacceptable precedent will be set for any future development in the area. We are aware of several potential development sites in the Dalkey area, which if allowed to be developed on a similar scale to this proposal, will irreversibly alter and change the character of this Heritage Town. We believe that by granting permission for this proposal, the Planning Authority is in breach of its own Development Plan as it is legally responsible to protect the heritage of Dalkey and the County.
We have therefore appealed the planning department's decision to grant permission for this scheme.
Santa Maria - An application was lodged in December for a development of 24 units consisting of 5 terraced mews dwellings and 10 2-storey over basement houses and 9 apartments on a site at the rear of Santa Maria, a protected structure. We are concerned that the quantity of traffic that would be generated by the development would not be safely assimilated into the present infrastructure. The sight lines into Cunningham Rd from Cunningham Dr. are compromised already by shrubbery and the grass banks of adjacent properties in addition to all day on-street parking along Cunningham Rd. Parking will continue to be problematical in this area as it is one of very few free parking facilities available to commuters using the DART and thus will continue to be used. We are also concerned about overlooking of adjacent properties and the on-going flooding of the area after heavy rain. We have voiced our concerns to the planning department. We are aware of the value of land and property in the area that has made Dalkey particularly attractive to developers; however, we are very apprehensive that the wide-scale development of every remaining patch of green space will put at risk the very reason for Dalkey's charm and appeal, losing the very essence of our Heritage Town. We will continue to work to preserve and protect our town, for all of its residents and visitors alike. In that regard, I should like to thank all the members of the Planning Committee for all their hard work throughout the year.

Dr. Susan McDonnell (Chairman, Dalkey Community Council Limited) March 2006


This year was the most successful yet in terms of the numbers who participated in the Dalkey Dashers each Wednesday since late March. Taking part in the Community Games is the key measure of success and we are delighted that the Dalkey Dashers goes from strength to strength. At the end of June over 60 children and teenagers travelled to Santry to represent Dalkey in the Dublin Finals of the Community Games. The big event, which took place on Friday 30th June, Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd July, kicked off with the opening parade led by the Garda Band followed by the lighting of the Flame. I would like to congratulate all those who took part for their fantastic performances throughout the weekend. The competition was very stiff with close to 50 areas taking part from all over Dublin. Many of the Dalkey competitors progressed through the different stages with over 30 of the Dalkey people getting through to the final of their respective events. Well done to everyone.

Those who made it to the winners'podium included:

Aisling King - 1st Place - Dublin Champion U8 60metres

Sarah Patton - 1st Place - Dublin Champion U10 200metres

Mary Niamh Healy - 2nd Place - U10 60metres Hurdles

Alva Crowley - 2nd Place - U12 100metres

Eoin Comerford - 4th Place - U12 100metres

U12 Boys Relay Team - 3rd Place - Niall James, Thomas O'Donoghue, Jack Conroy Smith & Eoin Comerford

U14 Boys Relay Team - 3rd Place - Brian Lavelle, Tom O'Reilly, Evan Williams & Jack Thorne

Andrew Patton - 4th Place - U16 Discus

Eric Comerford - 1st Place - Special Event U14 60metres Dash
Earlier in the year Orla Patton won the U13 Dublin Cross Country.
Both Aisling King and Sarah Patton will now go on to represent Dublin at the National Community Games in Mosney at the end of August. We wish both of them every success

I would like to thank the Dalkey Community Council for their continued support and I would also like to thank all the team members, Barbara Barron, Bridget Roe, Sean Roe, Jack Cullinane, Marguerite O'Leary, Sandra Brady, Rachel O'Regan, Colm Comerford, Michael Forde, Suzanne Macken, John Kerr, Joan Patton, Andrew Patton, Conor Crowley, Conor O'Reilly who give their time freely each week to run the Dalkey Dashers. The growing success is due to the continued support of these people each week and we were delighted to get new volunteers this year.
Conor Patton

Athletics Manager - Dalkey Community Games - Dalkey Dashers

MY GARDEN GARDEN – Philippa Thomas

What a simply brilliant summer we have had this year. One of my brothers visited us last week. He had with him the most amazing gadget which he recently invested in. It was somewhat like an industrial loppers. He offered, most graciously, to prune our very high back wall. I can only imagine but our back wall must be like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon! It is no exaggeration to say most of our garden grows on this wall. We have various types of large leaved variegated ivies, a Muelenbeckia, (tiny, circular, glossy evergreen leaves). An Azara, two jasmine Kolomikta (heart shaped green leaves splashed pint and white at the tips. Three types of Honeysuckle; two of which are evergreen; the climbing rose, 'New Dawn' and the off clematis. As I have been threatening to persuade my husband to tackle it for some time, I simply jumped at the offer! Alas, I am still in shock as he, literally, had a field day 'shearing'! Since that very day I seem to spend a good chunk of my day bagging bits of everything in the belief that, come the end of September/beginning of October, we will reap big rewards. Prior to my brother's whistle-stop visit, a gentleman who lives nearby made the remark: "All you need here now is a Dinosaur"! Actually, I consider his remark a big, big compliment. As I write this article, I am aware that it is a Friday evening. Everyone else is out and about or huddled up watching a T.V. chat show - basically, having a good time. I have to admit that I feel equally as happy here at home pottering about and tomorrow I will feel even better when I again witness that large plastic simply bursting and splitting its seams with our delightful contents! So, our gardens here in Dalkey are certainly looking somewhat tired. All our bright greens are beginning to fade into oblivion; it's like some of our shrubs an herbaceous clumps are now 'holding hands' and trying to give us their very last 'Sunday Best' performance. Others appear to be at loggerheads with each other. The latter simply begging me to get going with that secateurs. I have already done quite a bit of pruning and, in some cases, I can see years of growth peeping through already. This is one of the most heartening aspects of the garden. There is always a surprise out there; - some little miracle waiting to happen. By pruning now most plants should look nicely furnished with fresh growth by October so will make neat and tidy forms and shapes for the upcoming winter months. My Plant of the Month has to be the Agapanthus (Lily of the Nile or African Blue Lily). They love to grow in a pot and even thrive more on being root-bound. There is almost every possible shade of blue to be admired. They have strap-shaped, evergreen leaves and literally stunning large umbels of flower. This is a perfect time to divide overgrown clumps into two or three snouts. Finally, my favourite pot plant at present has to be the Eucomis (Pineapple Lily: - 'bulb'). I have approximately seven varieties; all in pots. I just adore them, I really do. I grow them, more for their magnificent shiny, very long leaves than their starry spikes of flowers. We have green burgundy and the black variety. I leave all our pots out over the winter here in Dalkey; then, in early spring, I douse them with a good feed and, in return, they respond each and every summer 110%. I guess, as yet, we have lost no more than one. Such unbelievable value for money €4 - € 9, depending on the variety . Again, an under-rated plant with a top performance.

"He who plants a garden, plants happiness" Chinese proverb


Heritage Week Sat 26th August - Sun Sept 3rd 2006
There will be free admission to Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre on Sat 26th August to mark the opening of Heritage Week.(11.00am 16.30pm) Deilg Inis Living History Theatre Company will be in action bringing Dalkey's past to vivid and colourful life! A medieval merchant may greet you; an archer may accost you; a medieval maid may enlighten you and a medicine woman may heal you! The Living History will continue until Thursday 31st August, sponsored by the Heritage Office of Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Co Co.(Weekdays 10.00-16.00; Sat & Sun 12.00-16.00))
On Thursday 31st August The Heritage Officer of DLRCoCo will host a talk by Jason Bolton, who completed a consultative report on Dalkey Island last year, entitled 'The unique heritage of Dalkey Islands' in the Heritage Centre at 7.30pm. Admission is free Tel. 285 8366 for details
DALKEY PLAYERS will resume on Tues. 5th Sept. at 8pm.
Their next production will be "TIME WAS" by Hugh Leonard and auditions will take place in the Town Hall on Tuesdays 5th and 12th Sept. at 8pm. For details contact 285 8262 or Email: carolinedwyer@dalkeyplayers.ie

A GLANCE BACK - Seán Ó Gormáin

I was always interested in finding out who were the teachers in the school before my time. I thought it was just a matter of contacting the Department of Education and immediately I would be provided with a list! Sorry to say this just isn't the case. The Department has no list and advised me to contact the National Archives. Teachers and schools have numbers: in the case of each school a roll number and teachers have a teacher number. It seems we're just numbers! Nothing like a list of peoples' names was available in the Archives. The people there were very helpful and it was suggested that if I got records of salary books, the names would be recorded, - but only for certain years! I would be allowed to view these salary books up to 1920! In June 2006, I'm sitting in the Reading Room of the Archives when I get these huge ledgers - something like what Mr. Cratchit had in "A Christmas Carol"! This was just for Dublin. Each book had thick, dark covers and, when opened, released a stale, dusty smell. The pages were creased and yellowish but legible. I was now looking at hand-writing from 1905-06 showing payments made to teachers in Harold. There were two teachers, Mr. James Waldron and Mr. Alfred O'Hagan. The manager was Rev. James Canon Murray, who had had the school built and named in 1901. He lived in Glasthule. Mr. Waldron, the Principal, lived in Tigh Mhichil on Carysfort Road and was paid £107 per year and Mr. O'Hagan was Assistant and paid £79 per year. Out of these two salaries there were deductions for pension. The salary was paid quarterly. There were 89 pupils on the roll and the average attendance was 78 for that year. In 2001, at our Centenary celebrations, I had the good fortune to meet a grandson of Mr. Waldron. He had never met his grandfather, who had dies while still Principal in 1914. I then looked at the salary book for 1907-09. Nothing had changed, including the salary! Interesting to note that there was an observation column in these books and it observed in December 1908 that they would accept the signature of Rev. W. Lockhart C.C. Maybe Canon Murray was sick?
The next salary book was for 1917-18. As we knew Mr. Waldron was deceased (1914) and the new Principal was Mr. Bernard Hughes. There were now two Assistants, Mr. O'Hagan and Mr. John Barrett. Canon Murray was still Manager. Teachers were graded and paid accordingly. Mr. Hughes was Grade 1, getting £15, Grade 2 paid £9 and Grade 3 paid £3.50. The salary book shows that Mr. O'Hagan was teaching a special programme in Manual Training which was sanctioned for 3rd to 7th classes. The Inspector was to refer specially in his reports to the degree of success attained in this course and the Chief Inspector was to see such reports. Mr. Barrett resigned on 21st January 1918 and it was noted he had been ill during 1917. It might be of interest to mention now that in about 1980 I met a nun walking around Harold one evening. I asked if I could help. She told me her name was Hughes and her father had been Principal at the time of the Great War and into the 1920s. She wad now living in Australia but she had been born in Tigh Mhichil where I was now living. I brought her to the house and she cried as she recalled all her happy memories. In the observation column for 1918 the school was closed in October and November due to an epidemic. This, as we now know, was the flu epidemic that killed many millions of people at the time. I hope that readers found this item of history of Harold interesting but, more importantly, that it named people who worked here and made a contribution to our town all those years ago.

Seán Ó Gormáin

NATURE CORNER – Michael Ryan
One of the best way of seeing birds, and helping them survive, is to have them coming to visit your garden or, more specifically, coming to your garden to feed. This can be achieved by either leaving out specific food for them on a bird table or in feeders or growing plants, flowers or trees that will provide natural food for them through the insects that live on the plants or from the berries or seed that grow on them. Water either in bird baths or ponds (or even in upturned dustbin lids) is essential for the birds all the year round for drinking or for washing. Birds wash to keep their plumage clean, unmatted and functioning properly in flight. Many of us leave out apples in the autumn and winter when they're much appreciated by Blackbirds, Blue and Great Tits and Blackcaps. Blackcaps were once only summer migrants from southern Europe or Africa but they have modified their migration habits and many birds now overwinter in Ireland and Britain where milder winters and abundant food provided in gardens saves them the long hazardous trip south. They love apples but also take peanuts and a friend who feeds birds in his garden told me they are very partial to mashed potato! Apples are generally considered a winter food for birds so when I left some out on the feeders in the middle of our heatwave in July I wasn't expecting much uptake. I loop old wire clotheshangers over branches with the hook end at the bottom on which I place the sliced apples. Within hours there were Blue tits clinging on to them and pecking away and soon after I saw a Blackbird perched awkwardly on one, feasting away. There's every chance it was due to the heat and the birds were getting moisture from the fruit and soon after I saw a female blackcap and three blackbirds taking berries from a Leycestaria bush. This bush is more commonly known as the Pheasant Berry bush and it was imported and grown specially to feed pheasants. It's an attractive bush with cascades of deep maroon and white flowers which contain purple berries. I can't remember when this bush first appeared in my garden, I have heard that someone used breed Pheasants and release them in Dalkey Quarry and sowed these plants to feed them, but now it's growing everywhere in my garden in borders, through the leylandii hedge and in every available flowerpot, in fact anywhere a bird might perch and relieve itself. A very good demonstration of the effectiveness of birds in dispensing seed. Sometimes I think of cutting the Leycestaria bushes back since they grow a bit too vigorously but then they redeem themselves when I see male and female blackcaps, bullfinces and blackbirds feeding on them in winter.
Dalkey's 'Sea Swallows' - This was the eleventh year in the Dalkey Tern Project in which the South Dublin Branch of BirdWatch Ireland take a boat over to Maiden's Rock, the most northerly rock off Dalkey Island, to leave out specially designed birdboxes and spread gravel to act as nests for our summer migrants Common, Arctic and Roseate Terns, elegant little seabirds, white with gray wings and a black cap and long tail who feed by diving into the sea for food, mostly sand eels and sprat, Artic Tern on Post giving them their old name of 'Sea Swallows'. Mixed fortunes for the birds this year when unlike previous years when fierce North Easterly storms in June and July washed over the rock destroying nests and washing away helpless chicks this year's damage was caused by heavy prolonged rain which saturated and washed away eggs. A few days later and newly hatched chicks could have sheltered in the nestboxes but such is nature.
Once again many thanks to DLRR Heritage Officer Tim Carey for funding our tern warden who monitored the birds through the breeding season.. Always nice to see the fastest moving creature in the world but warden Stephen would probably like to have seen it somewhere else when he witnessed a Peregrine Falcon grabbing one of the juveniles out of the air and feeding it to a juvenile Peregrine. The Arctic Tern is famous for having one of the longest migrations of any bird with some individuals wintering in the seas of Antarctica then returning to the other end of the earth to breed in the Arctic Circle. A few years ago one of these birds turned up in Western Australia and a ring placed on its leg when it was a chick showed that it had been born in Finland! With a round trip of 35,400km (22,000 miles) it was thought this species had indeed the longest migration of any bird but recently another bird the Sooty Shearwater has been recorded as clocking up 74,000km flying in a figure of eight pattern around the Pacific. 'To follow the sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) on its migration, scientists fitted 33 birds with electronic tags to record data including position, air temperature and the depth to which they dived in feeding. A year after the initial capture of the birds in breeding burrows, 20 tags were recovered, with 19 providing full records of the distances travelled. The information shows the birds flew further on their migration route than any species of animal previously recorded, travelling up to 1,094km a day. From their breeding burrows in New Zealand, they headed for northern hemisphere feeding grounds off Japan, Alaska or California, some of them stopping off on the western coast of South America.' A close relative of the Sooty Shearwater is the Manx Shearwater and this bird can be seen off our coasts usually when the weather is unsettled and the seas are rough. They can easily be seen on the sea beyond Dalkey Sound often flying between Dalkey Island and the Muglins very low over the waves often disappearing from view and flipping from side to side displaying alternately it's pale underside and dark upper parts. It is reckoned that these are birds that nest in Wales and they 'hop' across the Irish Sea to feed. They nest in burrows and return at night, when they're safer from predatory gulls and skuas. making a weird haunting call before entering their nest burrow to feed their chicks. September Talk
The South Dublin Branch of BirdWatch Ireland begin their winter season of talks and outing with a talk and slide show at our usual venue, the Kingston Hotel on Tuesday 5th September. The talk is titled 'What's in a Mile?' and is about all the different bird species that can be found within a mile of our venue. And a surprising number and variation of birds it is, from Great Crested Grebes to Ravens with many types of seabirds, songbirds and even owls included. All our talks are free to everybody, you don't have to be a member of Birdwatch Ireland, though we'll probably encourage you to think about joining, and all talks are held in a very pleasant room where we have a shop selling bird related items and food.
Camouflaged Creatures
Checking notes, I found I'd first seen a Grayling Butterfly on Dalkey hill in 1983 on the granite rocks above the 'Eagle' rock and was happy to see one there again in mid August this year. I dare say they are there all the time though since they lay their eggs on grass they are possibly vulnerable to the gorse fires that frequently sweep over the hill. Nothing spectacular to look at, brown with small black 'eyes' on its forewings it is when it lands and conceals itself that it gets really interesting. Its underwings perfectly match the surface pattern of granite on which it often perches. Once it has landed it folds its forewing behind the backwing to conceal the 'eye'. Then, what I found fascinating the first time I saw it, it leans over until it is horizontal against the rock so no shadow is cast. You can see these butterflies land a few inches away and then virtually disappear before your eyes as they blend into the rock.

The Brimstone Butterfly (like the Brimstone moth) is a lovely yellow colour on it's upperwing. It only breeds in the midlands and west of Ireland, generally around Lough Ree, Lough Derg and some of the lakes in Co. Clare where its larvae feed on the Buckthorn plant. The word butterfly is generally accepted to originate from this creature which was originally called the 'Butter Coloured Fly'. If you've ever wondered why another of our more colourful butterflies the Red Admiral got its nautical name it's nothing to do with being in charge of a fleet of warships but a derivation of the Victorian term 'Red Admirable'.

Dalkey Community Council 26th Annual Garden Competition
Judged on Wednesday, 28th June, 2006
Presentation 15th September 06 Our Lady's Hall 8pm to 10pm

This competition is open to everyone in the Community Council area. There are several prizes including four Perpetual Cups. In addition to nomination for the "Surprise" Garden section there are the following categories.

Best Overall Garden -
Best Display - window boxes, hanging baskets, flower troughs and pots
Best Communal - Garden/Open Space
Best Front Garden - visible from the road

Judging this year will take place on Wednesday, 28th June and entries should be submitted not later than (presentation of prizes will take place on Friday 15th September)

1. Ard na Cree, Knocknacree Road
2. Hlobane, 16 Village Gate
3. 12 Hyde Road
Highly Commended: 2 Barnhill Park
1. Old Quarry Road (planting on corner of Old Quarry and Dalkey Avenue - right side going up the Avenue)
1. St. Begnet’s Villas
2. Hlobane, 16 Village Gate
3. 7 Hyde Road
1. Killiney Towers
2. The Burgage
3. Village Gate
(presented by Tidy Towns
1. Killiney Towers
2. The Burgage
3. Breenagh, Barnhill Road.
1. Rock Edge, Knocknacree Road
2. 13 White’s Villas
3. 57 Hillside

Letters to the Editor
Where are all the children gone?
Over the past decade or so, subtle and slightly sinister changes have taken place, including the fact that people don't have children anymore. A shocking fact indeed! Even more shocking is that they now, almost invariably, have "Kids", - a word which, in the subconscious, immediately devalues these once delightful creatures to the status of troublesome miscreants, more to be wearily tolerated than loved for their unique qualities. One wonders even, if, on hearing themselves called "Kids", they are, in fact, encouraged to behave more like kids than children. We can thank the U.S.A. and the popular press for this degeneration, which now appears to be universal in the English-speaking world. But people too, cannot escape. No longer "Ladies and Gentlemen" are we. We have become "Guys". Personally speaking, I don't like being a "guy". Being English, this entails my effigy being placed on a bonfire every November 5th. These words and many others are not just the domain of the young and less socially privileged. The only ones immune from this appear to be the over 70's. At one time, had you uttered the phrase "Oh my God!" it would be because you had witnessed some horrifying catastrophe involving many deaths. Today it is on the lips of every young female as a response to the least triviality, such as, for example, the sight of someone with unfashionable clothing or hairstyle. Consider this. (Listen up!) You may be watching TV news - a riot has broken out. People are throwing stones; at least that's what they used to do. The newsreader has seen some American TV, so now he has them throwing "rocks". Most people would be hard put to lift a rock, let alone throw it. A building has been set on fire, sorry, "torched". It is in very poor condition, or should one say "shape". It requires demolition, but no, it must be "torn down". What is it that makes people, particularly BBC newsreaders that should know better, feel so inadequate that they replace perfectly sound English with second-hand Americana? America will eventually go the same way as the Roman Empire. So let us now try to retain what we can of our language. It's up to you, or would that be - "It's down to you".
NATURES CURES- - from the garden! Jennifer Derham

The Elder Sambucas nigra is a familiar tree with its flat topped masses of creamy-white fragrant blossoms which are followed in autumn by drooping bunches of purplish-black berries. It has been said that the summer never really starts until the Elder is in full flower and that it ends when the berries are ripe! Not quite a tree, not quite a shrub, the plant has always lived close to people and their imagination. There is a wealth of folklore, romance and superstition surrounding the Elder. It has always been a magical tree, with its own individual spirit and to this day there are those who would be wary of cutting it down! Elder comes from the Anglo-Saxon word aeld. Aeld meant fire as the hollow stems of young branches were used to blow up a fire. The generic name Sambucas is thought to be adapted from the Greek word Sambuca, the Sackbut, an ancient musical instrument used by the Romans which was constructed from Elder wood. Elder has long been termed 'the medicine chest of the country people' and is an invaluable remedy for colds, flu and chesty conditions. The flowers are used for chronic catarrh, sinusitis, rhinitis, ear infections, and allergies and in the treatment of asthma. They basically tone the mucous membranes of the nose and throat increasing their resistance to infection. An infusion of the flowers helps greatly reduce the severity of hay-fever attacks especially if taken for some months before the hay-fever season. The flowers, best gathered early in flowering, may be used fresh or dried to make a tea and may also be eaten fresh. Elderflower tea once cooled and strained makes an excellent eye wash for eyestrain and sore and runny eyes. The berries, once ripened, may be gathered from August to September. They contain vitamin A and C and are rich in antioxidants, also found in bilberries. A cordial made of the berries known as 'Elderberry Rob' may be used as a cough cordial and may be taken to build up the immune system in preparation for the winter. They are very useful for rheumatism, are mildly laxative and can help sort out a number of gut problems. The berries may be made into jams, jellies (especially good for children) and wines. So there are plenty of delicious ways of taking the berries! Apparently the leaves bruised and worn in a hat, or rubbed on the skin, prevent flies settling on the person. This may be a handy tip for those of you wishing to spend any amount of time down at White Rock beach!

Jennifer .Derham BSc (Hons) Health Studies: Herbal Medicine MNIMH MI MHO
Tel.: 0404-43787 Mobile: 085-141-6941 E-Mail: j_derham@medicalherbalist.info
If a serious condition is suspected consult your doctor or a qualified medical herbalist.


Letters to the Editor
Where are all the children gone?
Over the past decade or so, subtle and slightly sinister changes have taken place, including the fact that people don't have children anymore. A shocking fact indeed! Even more shocking is that they now, almost invariably, have "Kids", - a word which, in the subconscious, immediately devalues these once delightful creatures to the status of troublesome miscreants, more to be wearily tolerated than loved for their unique qualities. One wonders even, if, on hearing themselves called "Kids", they are, in fact, encouraged to behave more like kids than children. We can thank the U.S.A. and the popular press for this degeneration, which now appears to be universal in the English-speaking world. But people too, cannot escape. No longer "Ladies and Gentlemen" are we. We have become "Guys". Personally speaking, I don't like being a "guy". Being English, this entails my effigy being placed on a bonfire every November 5th. These words and many others are not just the domain of the young and less socially privileged. The only ones immune from this appear to be the over 70's. At one time, had you uttered the phrase "Oh my God!" it would be because you had witnessed some horrifying catastrophe involving many deaths. Today it is on the lips of every young female as a response to the least triviality, such as, for example, the sight of someone with unfashionable clothing or hairstyle. Consider this. (Listen up!) You may be watching TV news - a riot has broken out. People are throwing stones; at least that's what they used to do. The newsreader has seen some American TV, so now he has them throwing "rocks". Most people would be hard put to lift a rock, let alone throw it. A building has been set on fire, sorry, "torched". It is in very poor condition, or should one say "shape". It requires demolition, but no, it must be "torn down". What is it that makes people, particularly BBC newsreaders that should know better, feel so inadequate that they replace perfectly sound English with second-hand Americana? America will eventually go the same way as the Roman Empire. So let us now try to retain what we can of our language. It's up to you, or would that be - "It's down to you".

1. Always look for a safe place to cross
2. Don't hurry! Always STOP and WAIT.
3. LOOK all around before you cross the road.
4. LISTEN for any traffic.
5. If traffic is coming, let it pass. Then look around again.
6. When there is no traffic, walk straight across the road.
7. Look and listen for traffic while you cross.
N.B. Ask if your teacher uses the teaching resource "Be Safe" to teach your child road safety
Unless otherwise stated, all material in this issue is copyright of Dalkey Community Council Limited.


"What do you do?" they ask us, at the Club every Thursday night?
"Is it just women sitting and chatting?" No! Let's put the record right.
We have talks on lots of topics; new crafts they demonstrate;
We have learned to make a cushion and the house to decorate.
We have slide shows of the Burren; and the 'Treasure from the Past'.
Fire hazards in our homes - the list is indeed vast!
We have talks on self-defence; on beauty, health and flowers;
The ones they make from bread you know - I tried - it took me hours!
At Hallow'een it's party time - in fancy clothes we dressed,
With prizes for the funny ones - original - and best,
We've cooked 'Chinese'; Italian too - we've sampled home made wine,
We've had some Fashion Shows, with model so divine!
Our singers (and some dancers too) each year we do a show
The Drama group is thriving - on Broadway it should go
And when we have a Beetle Drive the noise should not be heeded.
Shrieks of laughter, cheers and sighs "one leg was all I needed"
We go on outings and the Theatre - and we have an Annual Dinner
We even went Horse Racing once, and someone backed a winner!
With 'Bring & Buys' and Cake Sales, and Raffle tickets too,
We raise money each year for Charity - that's something else we do.
But better than the demos. Or the trips to see new sights,
Is meeting old and new friends, at out Club on Thursday nights!

Ethna Ward R.I.P.








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