|NEWSLETTER NO. 361 Volume 13||
for “Februa” a ceremonial feast of purification held by the
Romans centuries ago
A WET FEBRUARY, A WET SPRING
Flower:Primrose & Violet
Published by Dalkey Community Council Ltd. (A Company Limited by Guarantee)
DCC monthly meeting for December was held on Monday 4th Dec in OLH.
New Year Blues
Christmas is an emotional time of year. It is a time for family, friends and faith; for celebration and joy. But, it can also be a very stressful time. Sometimes, we feel sad when we remember those who are no longer with us. Or we can find it hard to cope with the pressure and strain that the festivities themselves can bring. Christmas is different for everyone.
Short-lived feelings of sadness can be expected this time of year for numerous reasons. They may be just New Year blues! However, one in every five individuals will suffer from depression sometime in their lives. Depression is the most common mental illness and is affecting more that 300,000 Irish people at this moment. Depression can be described as an overwhelming feeling which dulls thinking, impairs concentration, saps energy and interest in everyday activities. It can disrupt sleep. Depression rather than blues would usually last longer than two weeks. With proper care, either a talk therapy or medication can help depression.
If you have queries contact your GP or Aware. Aware is a group dedicated to helping people defeat depression. The helpline number is 1890 303 302. www.aware.ie
DALKEY TIDY TOWNS COMMITTEE NEEDS YOUR HELP
c/o 3 Railway Road, Dalkey.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.dalkeytidytowns.com
The aim of Tidy Towns is to
improve the environment for all of us and to make our towns and villages
Dalkey Business Association
originally founded Dalkey Tidy Towns.
BEEN A NUMBER OF ACHIEVEMENTS IN RECENT YEARS:
|National Tidy Towns Awards||Best Presented Shop front to Sorrento Lounge|
|An Taisce Clean Coasts||Clean Beach Award for White Rock|
|National Tidy Towns Awards
DLRCC Tidy Districts Awards
National Tidy Towns Awards
|1st Place in County Award for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Section
1. Overall Winners and 2. Best Presented Large Town Award
Best Presented Shop front to McDonagh’s Public House
|National Tidy Towns Awards
An Taisce Clean Coasts
|1st Place in County Award for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Section
Certificate of Merit for outstanding contribution
DLRCC Tidy Districts Awards 1. Overall Winners and 2. Best Presented Large Town AwardAnd also Best Presented Restaurant to The Guinea Pig
IN LAST THREE YEARS
Planting 800 daffodil bulbs around the trees in the Eurospar / DLRCC car park
4 new granite Heritage Signs erected at entrances to Dalkey
Each year organising Christmas tree lighting, live crib and arrival of Santa in conjunction with Dalkey Community Council.
Restoration of Ramparts Picnic Area – grass cutting, cleaning of steps & repair of seating.
Presentation on Kitchen & Garden Composting to both Gardening Clubs affiliated to DARA (Dalkey Active Retirement Assoc.).
Entering Dalkey for the All Ireland ‘Pride of Place’ Competition
Refurbishment of St. Begnet’s Graveyard in conjunction with Dalkey Heritage Centre, An Taisce and Dalkey Community Council Limited.
Litter Patrols twice weekly in summer and monthly in winter
We have also cooperated with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council on various projects
1) St Patrick’s Square - repairs and improvements in support of the excellent residents’ efforts.
2) Rear of Our Lady’s Hall - Landscaping and hard surfacing.
3) Eurospar / Council Car Park Entrance - Upgrading of the area.
4) Site opposite AIB - Upgrading of the area.
5) Coliemore Harbour – Promote a memorial to Dr. John de Courcey Ireland to be included as part of Drainage Project Completion.
6) Condition Survey - of Street Furniture.
7) Street Furniture – To be cleaned, repaired and painted.
8) Information Signage - Two sites initially, e.g. Wild Life and History.
9) Green Schools - Develop the concept within Dalkey.
|Dalkey Tidy Towns is very dependent on volunteers
to help keep the town looking well and to tackle special projects. If you
would be prepared to help in any way please indicate with an X below what
would suit you. Remember no contribution is too small.
1) Help whenever possible in weekly litter patrol (about 1 hour) ‚
2) Participate in “special cleanups” such as Ramparts (no minimum time) ‚
3) Help to organise local litter control (e.g. your own block or Street) ‚
4) Help with projects (painting of litter bins, repairing of seats, etc.) ‚
5) Provide specialist assistance in Public Relations, Graphic Artistry,‚
We would propose to keep all volunteers informed of plans on an ongoing
basis and everyone can
If any of the above appeals to you please indicate and provide your details without commitment:
To facilitate contact please provide:
Please drop the above into Dalkey Pharmacy at 3, Railway Road, and somebody
will then contact you.
is here again and the cowslip Primula veris is a sight for eyes dulled
by winter. The name Primula comes from Primus, meaning first in Latin,
as it is one of the first flowers to appear in spring. It remains in full
flower during March, April and May.
As we venture
further into winter there are less medicinal plants that may be harvested
apart from roots, which are always a bit trickier to deal with. I therefore
decided to talk about ginger Zingiber officionale as it is a root (rhizome
to be exact) and a familiar kitchen spice widely available either as dried
root, powder or as the whole fresh root.
Ditch the salt- be generous with garlic in 2007!
Garlic was traditionally advocated by the Native North Americans, the Romans and the ancient Egyptians as remedies for various ills, ranging from colds, bronchitis and throat problems to arthritis and gout. Garlic is particularly high in Potassium. It also contains calcium and relatively high concentrations of the amino acid Tryptophan- which aids concentration. As the weather changes many of you may experience sinus problems or throat challenges. As a home remedy crush a garlic clove, mix with a dessertspoonful of honey and a squeeze of lemon juice dissolved in a cup of hot water. Take three times a day. Garlic yields a vital compound – allicin which is best released by crushing but may be destroyed by cooking at high temperatures. For best results eat raw.
1 Pre-heat oven to 200degrees
C. Cut carrots and parsnips into 10cm lengths. Place into a greased roasting
dish with the fennel.
Next Taste Programme February
mid term. Book now
MY GARDEN – Philippa Thomas
If you ever happened to walk through The Village Gate grounds you may have noticed a smartly dressed, quietish man simply doing his own thing; which was sometimes edging a grass patch or digging out and preparing a newly-requested bed. He knew the simple rules: - plan, dig, turn over, in order to aerate the soil and then, within a few weeks, it would be planted up with the greatest of care and attention. His absolute passion was the green area, i.e. our grass – and yes, he was a golfer! He liked to see it weedless and somewhat similar to a green, velvet carpet. So occasionally, over the past years my telephone would ring and he would say: “Today we have the perfect conditions for spraying the grass.” I would help him mount the cylindrical container on his back, the straps of which he secured around his chest. Every square inch of grass was accordingly sprayed with his special choice of weedkiller. I used to stand there beside him in awe at his zeal and zest. Finally, mission accomplished and job done, he gave a big smile of delight and satisfaction. Dick (Richard) Connor was one of the Foundation Stones of the Village Gate. Sadly, we lost him recently. His presence will be truly missed but not forgotten.
On a lighter note, didn’t Dalkey look absolutely fantastic this past Christmas? I just love our tiny cream Christmassy lights that seem to almost ‘float’ effortlessly like icicles over the eaves of our rooftops and the buildings along our streets. I think that they are so much more attractive than those coloured lights that we so often see stretching across the streets of our other towns. That Blue Cedar tree, too in the Church Car Park on Castle Street looked superb with its little coloured twinkling lights giving a wonderful Christmas effect.
On walking up the Flags today, I couldn’t help but notice how the tree trunks of our Scots Pines, Birch, Hazel and Blackthorns are all beginning to swell and grow. The planting at the rear of EuroSpar too seems to be over-wintering remarkably well and so, by late spring, should look ever so pleasing. Likewise, there are some promising treasures peeping though at the entrance to Old Quarry Road.
Our snowdrops, crocuses, miniature daffodils, etc., that have struggled through out winter can be rewarded now with a little sprinkle of some decent, dry fertilizer. So too with lilies, tulips, etc. leave a collar of horticultural grit or sharp sand in order to keep their necks dry. This is the perfect time to wipe dusty house plant leaves with a warm moist cloth so as to let the light get at them and thus stimulate their growth.
My shrub for this month has to be Mahonia Japonica. It seems to be able to take an insurmountable battering of gusts of wind and preforms extremely well here in Dalkey. My favourite species is Sweet Charity, height 8-10’, spread 6-8’. Its tiny bright yellow flowers are scented like Lily of the Valley and form long ascending racimes amongst the most attractive evergreen foliage.
Until next time......happy gardening!
Living History Programme for National Schools.
Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre and The Heritage Office of Dún
Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council are presenting a programme of Living
History for national schools in Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre from
January 22nd –March 29th 2007.
The Living History presentation involves professional actors, from Deilg
Inis Theatre Company, in full period costume bringing the history of the
late 14th/early 15th century fortified town house (Goat Castle in Dalkey)
and the wider area to colourful life. The company portrays characters
from Viking, early Christian, through Medieval to Victorian times.
School Years revisitied - Seán Ó Gormáin
Many visitors came to the school in the more than thirty years I was there. All of them were welcomed but some remain in my mind as memorable and special. The following is a selection – in no particular order – and each visitor was a treat for the pupils of the time.
In the mid-70s Dublin won the Sam Maguire. I don’t know how many primary schools there are in Dublin but a school year wouldn’t be long enough for the cup to be taken to each school. But, surprise, surprise, Sam arrived in our school one Spring morning. Two famous Dubs came with it: Paddy Cullen and Pat O’Neill. Lessons were abandoned as pupils touched the trophy and begged for autographs as they held out their pieces of paper and biros to the two Dub heroes. A photograph taken at the time shows me, a Westmeath mans, holding the Sam Maguire in the schoolyard. A dream?! Sam revisited in the 1980s and this time a local Dubs hero, Mick Holden, was greeted with roars of “Cuala”.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has an artist-in-residence scheme for schools. On the second occasion that I applied for it for the school we were delighted to hear we were successful. As the new school year started in 2000 we met a gentleman called Joonas Servio, and artist from Finland, who was going to be with us for the first term. First we discussed with him what the project would be. We mentioned that the school would be celebrating its centenary in January 2001.He then mentioned how impressed he was by the redbrick exterior as he approached the school that morning. “What do you need?” we asked. Each class then became involved in bringing in ring-pulls from soft drink cans, tea bags, nuts and bolts, cigarette paper from boxes and even shells from the seashore! The Parents Association supplied paint, glue and long wooden planks! The boys supplied vast quantities of materials and the room began to take on the appearance of a recycling plant. As teachers passed in and out, heads were shaken in disbelief that all this could end up as something artistic! Each day different classes got their turn working with Joonas. Slowly but surely a beautiful work of art took shape on the bare wooden frame. When Centenary Day came it was ready and hanging on the wall for all to admire. It was worth going to see in the Assembly Room in the school. Thank you Joonas.
History is part of the school
curriculum. I was teaching 6th Class and it was probably in the early
1980s. During that school year I met a gentleman on Convent Road and we
talked. His name was Mr. Armstrong and he lived on Convent Road also.
He was an elderly man and during our chat I told him I was teaching in
the local school. He said he would love to show the boys a wonderful historical
object that he owned. We arranged a day and date. The day came and Mr.
Armstrong came into the room carrying a long pole with the top covered.
He removed the cover and there before our eyes was a pike. The class had
come across pikes in their history books. Mr. Armstrong told us that is
grandfather had been a bodyguard of Daniel O’Connell, the Liberator,
and that this was the weapon he carried to do his job. Incredible, but
true and all part of Dalkey. We were privileged to meet this resident
of Dalkey and it just seemed to the boys he had stepped right out of their
history books to talk to them.
NATURE CORNER – Michael Ryan
I met a resident of a house in Coliemore Road whose wife had had the pleasure of having a owl perched on their balcony railing early one November evening. They weren’t sure what species it might have been but the laws of probability would make a Long-eared Owl the most likely suspect. Our most common breeding owl and a very handsome bird Long-eared Owls are seen regularly if not commonly in the Dalkey/Killiney vicinity. Another possibility would have been a Short Eared Owl usually seen as winter visitors. A Barn Owl could be possible but increasingly rare and easily identified that wasn’t too likely.
But as I found out soon after it wasn’t any of the above .I got a call late one Sunday from another resident in Dalkey to say she had a owl in her garden which seemed distressed. She said it could fly ok but was calling all the time. I rang Niall who works in Birdwatch wondering would he have a number for anyone who might take in the bird. He told me they’d had lots of calls in about the same owl in peoples gardens. He told me it was an escapee and it was in fact an American bird, a Great Horned Owl. I went to see if the bird was still there and when I found the house since it was late I rang the occupant to say we were outside. She said she’d come out and I thought at least the owl must still be there anyway. And it certainly was, perched on their side door calling continuously and not the least bothered by people a few feet away. We took photos of it and all it did was blink.
Eventually the resident had to close the door and the bird flew on their neighbour’s bedroom window where it began to call again. I wouldn’t like to wake and find it looking in the window at me but felt sorry for the poor creature. Unfortunately neither of us would be qualified to handle such a bird and didn’t have anywhere to take it. Owls can be dangerous and the long talons it gripped the door with were very formidable.We found out later the owl belonged to a chap in Ballybrack who had tried unsuccessfully to catch it a few times since it escaped. Apparently the owl was a pet, hopped around his kitchen floor and watched television!
Great Horned Owls occur all over the United States and most of Canada, and southward to Central and South America to the Straits of Magellan.Great horned owls are big and bulky (3-4 pounds), standing 18-25" tall with a wingspan of 36-60" long. Males and females are similar in appearance, except the female is the larger of the two. Great horned owls eat a wide variety of prey, both small and large. Cottontail rabbits seem to be a prominent food, but the owls will take squirrels, mice, weasels, snakes, bats, beetles, scorpions, frogs, grasshoppers, and a wide variety of birds, from small passerines like sparrows to wild ducks, grouse, pheasants, and even other owls.It was subsequently reported from a number of gardens in Dalkey and a couple of times perched in the trees around Castle Park School playground but I don’t know whether it was ever reunited with it’s owner.
On Christmas Eve I was speaking on the phone to a friend and knowing
he is very interested in Cetaceans (dolphins and whales) I mentioned I’d
twice seen something in Killiney Bay which I was sure wasn’t a porpoise.
Porpoises aren’t uncommon and all you usually see of them is a brief
glimpse of a fin as they break the surface. What I’d seen just off
White Rock beach looked bigger and was spending more time on the water
surface. My friend said by coincidence he’d just been down at Scotsman’s
Bay where he’d been watching two bottle nosed dolphins that had
been spotted earlier that day. Later I saw a letter in the Irish Times
from a chap who’d seen, from his boat, five adult and one baby dolphin
behind Dalkey Island.
Getting up in the dark to take the dog for a walk can be an effort sometimes
especially on cold dark winter mornings but I’m rarely sorry I’ve
made the effort and sometimes it can be very rewarding.
The day after the next full moon in early January it was a much cloudier sky with a cool wind blowing but the moon again very bright in the west and light fleeting showers. The dog took off into the bushes on the left, possibly after a fox and as I looked left I saw in the sky the unusual phenomena of a lunar rainbow. Not the corona which often forms in the clouds around the moon but a full size replica of a daytime rainbow stretched over Killiney Bay pale and colourless but well-defined.I found out from the internet lunar rainbows (or ‘Moonbows’) only occur within one or two nights of a full moon and to be seen the moon has to be lower then 42 degrees with light rain falling between you and the rainbow and the moon behind you. They have the same colours as ordinary rainbows but the colours are not as visible at night though some observers have seen them as washy pastel colours. I’d been lucky enough to have seen them before, twice from the kitchen window at home and once while driving in county Galway when we stopped the car and all got out to gaze in wonder. Apparently they’re regular features in some of the earth’s largest waterfalls including the Victoria and Niagara falls when they can regularly be seen on full moon nights forming ‘moonbows’ in the spray.
I’ve written many times about the Red Squirrels of Dalkey and Killiney
hill and my fears of the imminent arrival of Grey Squirrels which ultimately
nearly always result in the extinction of ‘reds whenever they move
into their territory. Sadly Greys have started to appear in the woodlands
of Killiney Hill as a couple of people had reported to me in November
and then I saw at least two there over the Christmas break.
|LINK TO : DIARY OF EVENTS|
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