NEWSLETTER NO. 338 Volume 11
Mí na Nollag agus Eanair (December 04 & January 05)

December: From 'decem' which meant ten - the tenth month of the old Roman year


Flower: Holly & Narcissus

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: Carnation & Snowdrop

How often I've looked at Christmas
And wondered at it all.
How times have changed
You'll hear them say,
The meaning and magic have long since gone.
But gazing at my son 's eyes in wonder of it all
Seems the meaning and magic, though somehow different
Will never be gone.
For through our children s eyes
The treasures and meanings ofChristmas are unlockedfor us all.
Merry Christmas

The November Monthly Meeting of DCC took place on Monday 1st at 8pm in OLH. . The Chairperson opened the proceedings and the minutes of last months meeting were read, agreed and signed.
Tidy Towns:
The attendance for the TT's public meeting held in the Heritage Centre and the Waste Management evening in OLH was poor with approximately 25 people at each. More green bins have been distributed in the area and every third Saturday in the month the mobile recycling facility operates from Our Lady of Good Counsel School from 10am-12pm. The dates for the next three months will be posted on the notice board and the December and January ones will be published in the Newsletter.
Neighbourhood Watch:
A resident on Barnhill Road had the unpleasant experience of a young lad who broke into her house on the pretence of a problem with the water, as there was a flood at the bottom of Dalkey Avenue on that particular day. Luckily he left when he discovered there was company in the house and nothing was taken. Bogus "officials" have been entering houses under the pretence of checking for burst pipes and identification should be requested for any callers who come to the door. If in doubt call the appropriate authority for verification of identity for personnel that are trying to gain access. Care should be taken opening the door, especially as the evenings are darker now.
The Lighting of the Christmas tree will take place on Sunday 12th December, starting around 5pm but details will be confirmed later. For safety reasons the Church car park will accommodate those taking part in the festivities and the tree planted by DCC will be used again this year.

Our local councillors will be contacted in relation to a request to try and get a bus to serve Dalkey every 30 minutes instead of every hour as there is an need for an improved service.

As there was no further business the meeting ended.

Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre

As we go to print preparations are underway for the major Christmas Craft Fair from the Artisans of Carmona Services of Dunmore House, which will run in the Art Gallery, and the Heritage Centre from Thurs Dec 3rd -Sun 6th December. In addition to over a hundred works of art, the Fair will have a wide variety of handmade crafts from the local workshops of the Artisans, which are eminently suitable as Christmas gifts. Do come to support this local worthy endeavour. Admission is free.

Feast Day of St Begnet
The ecumenical service between St Patrick's Church and Church of the Assumption to celebrate the feast day of St Begnet attracted a large crowd to the old St Begnet's Church & Graveyard beside the Heritage Centre. An enlightening talk by Ms Bhreathnach firmly allayed any doubts about St Begnet's existence. The Graveyard project is progressing under the guidance of the Parks Dept of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Co Co. A local expert volunteer is currently mapping the entire area in the next phase of the work. The promise of help from generous volunteers will be called into action when this is completed.

Tours to Anglesey
Dates are now programmed for the Historical Tours to Anglesey in 2005 and are available from the Heritage Centre. Due to popular demand one Historical Gardens Tour has been included. As the numbers going on this trip are limited to 25, early booking is advisable. To satisfy demand from Walking Groups there is a longer three-day trip planned with a three hour challenging walk between two historical sights. The tours are part funded from the ERDF Interreg Community Initiative 111A and as a result are at a very reasonable price.

Dalkey Tourism The Heritage Centre is currently part of a marketing initiative to promote

Dalkey as a destination. To this end the group involved, Dalkey Tourism is compiling a brochure with a street map and a complete listing of the scenic amenities, walks, activities, events, facilities and businesses involved in tourism in Dalkey. The brochure/map will also have its own website

The Heritage Centre Craft Shop has a selection of cosy, woolen, Ireland Eye Knitwear for men and women; Heritage Maps of Dalkey; Butler's Chocolates and many other items including a stock of a Special Edition of the Number 8 Bus, for those looking for stocking fillers!
The Fresh Food Markets continue to gain popularity on Friday mornings from I O.OOam - 4pm in the Town Hall. The market stocks the best of Irish produce and is on an upward spiral.
Yoga Pilates continues on Mondays at 7.3Opm Contact Cathy Soraghan 0868758744
Karate sessions take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Town Hall under the guidance of the enthusiastic and dedicated Wayne Deegan and his assistants For info Contact Wayne at 235 3951
For more details on any of the above Contact the Heritage Centre at 285 8366

Michael and Pauline Crowe apologise to their neighbours on Vico Road for any inconvenience caused by the ongoing work at Baymount

Saoire Painting Competition
Exhibition of winning and short-listed entries in DLR Libraries' art competition to design the cover of the summer 2004 leaflet, Saoire. Dalkey Library until the end of January.
Book clubs provide an opportunity for book lovers to meet and discuss a chosen novel in a friendly and informal setting. New members are always welcome.
The book to read for the meeting on Saturday 4th December @ 10.30am is: "The Accidental Tourist" by Ann Tyler. We supply the coffee -you do the talking! January book to be confmned.
Can you spare approx. I hour a week? Would you enjoy reading stories for toddlers up to age 5? We are always looking for people to volunteer to read stories at local Community Creches in the DLR area. If you are interested, contact either of the following people leaving your name and contact number; Angela Stenson, Southside Partnership, 2301011 or Marian Keyes, Senior Librarian (Culture) 2781788 or
Storytelling every Thursday from 3.30pm-4.00pm in Dalkey Library for children aged 3-6. Dalkey Writers meet every second Thursday in Dalkey Library from 6pm -7.45pm
Did you know that there are two music practice rooms available to members of the public in Dalkey Library? There is a piano and an Irish harp, or you can bring your own musical instrument to practise your skills. Sessions can be booked free of charge during library opening hours, and all ages are welcome.
Free Internet training will be available in Dalkey Library every Friday from Ilam -I pm from 8th October to lOth December 2004.
Phone Dalkey Library for further information 2855277.

John Lowe's "The Money Doctor", published by Gill and Macmillan is an extremely useful book that answers the many money questions people have and provides helpful and practical solutions to many of these.
Tony Humphrey's "All About Children, Questions Parents Ask", published by Gill and Macmillan provides the reader with the key to successful parenting in a very clear accessible way, explaining the basic parenting skills and outlining the best way to deal with challenging behaviour and how to prepare children for today's world and to lead happy successful lives.
James Scannell

Yule, is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and brought to life seeds protected through the autumn and winter. Bonfires were lit in the fielps and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced cider.


" Distant Shores" by Henry Barnwell. This is an incredible story of a Glenageary family who managed to keep a very low profile whilst at the same time coping with amazing ventures in far-flung corners of the world.

" Four Quarters of Light-an Alaskan Journey" by Brian Keenan takes us on a magical journey through Alaska and his exploration of a vast land as fantastical as a fairytale.

" Progeny" by Bernie Kenny. This is her second collection of new and selected poems following "Poulnabrone" published in 2002.

" Nights of Rain and Stars " by Maeve Binchy is the story of one summer and four people, each with a life in turmoil. They gradually find solutions in a small Greek village, but in a most unexpected way.

" It Had to be You" by Sarah Webb. All 's fair in love, politics and business as three friends find out in Burnaby Village, where finding yourself is only the beginning of the adventure.

"Time in a Bottle " by Denise Deegan. A story about love, tough choices, and the triumph of the human heart.

" Sunday Miscellany -A Selectionfrom 2003-2004" pieces from the popular RTE Radio 1 programme includes a contribution from a Dalkey writer, Tony Quinn.

Not forgetting "Fillums" by Hugh Leonard,
" Ireland in the Twentieth Century" by Tim Pat Coogan,
"Shade" by Neil Jordan,
"Last to Know" by Liz Allen
and a first publication for Blathnaid MacGinty "The Game -The Game is Over". This memoir will be out in December.

For the children there is a wonderful choice from the collection of ghost stories by Gordon Snell who has a great understanding of children along with a sense of humour that permeates through to the end of each one.

Don Conroy is one of Ireland's popular writers of children's books that include wildlife stories and wonderful "draw and learn" book series.

A lovely series of books on children's names by Eithne Diamond and John Gallagheris a definite buy for all children called Adam, Aoife, Chloe, Conor, Jack, James, Katie and Sarah. Each book is an original, colourful, child-friendly story inspired by the history of each name.
The authors are working on more names !

'And I do come homefor Christmas.
We all do, or we all should. We all come home, or ought to come home,
F or a short holiday the longer, the better -from the great boarding school,
Where we are for ever working at our arithmetical slates, to take and give a rest'
Charles Dickens .Dr Marigold's Prescription
A very warm welcome home to everyone who is returning to spend Christmas with us in Dalkey and a very hearty Cead Mile Failte to any
visitors. And tor those who could not be here, you are truly never far away.

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in.
A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.


4 tbsp. Finely chopped onion, 3 tbsp chopped celery, 75ml melted butter, 250g breadcrumbs.
2tsp mixed herbs
Method: ( 1) Combine all the ingredients and moisten with a beaten egg.

CRANBERRY, ORANGE & ALMOND STUFFING : I large orange, 225g fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed if frozen), 50g butter melted, I large onion, finely chopped, 500g fresh breadcrumbs, 75g toasted almonds, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, I egg, beaten, salt and pepper.
( 1) Grate the zest from the orange. If , you're using fresh cranberries, halve the juice from the orange and put the zest and juice into a heavy-based pan with the cranberries.
(2) Bring to a simmering point, then covel; lower the heat and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes or until they begin to pop. They should be soft but still retain some shape. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
(3) Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the onion for 3-4 minutes until soft. Transfer to a large bowl and add the breadcrumbs, almonds and nutmeg. Mix well.

175g couscous, 450ml chicken stock, 30g butter, handful dried apricots -chopped, 1 apple -peeled and diced, 1/4 tsp cinnamon
( 1) Bring the stock to boiling point in a saucepan. Add the butter and take off the heat. Trickle the couscous into the pan, stirring all the time. Return to the boil, cover and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.
(2) Fry the apricots, in a pan for 5 minutes over a low heat. Stir in the diced apple and cook for I minute more.
(3) Add to the prepared couscous, cool completely and use to stuff a turkey.

2tbsp olive oil, 125g mushrooms, 50g diced bacon, 1 clove garlic -chopped, 2tbsp chopped parsley, diced, 1/2 yellow pepper, diced, 250g long grain rice
( 1) Cook the rice in boiling salted water for about 12 minutes.
(2) While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in afrying pan. Add the diced mushrooms, garlic and bacon. Cookfor a few minutes.
( 3) Mix the vegetables with the rice and season with pepper.

Tina Dunne, Food and Nutrition Consultant If you have any questions or need tips on how to make your Christmas meal truly delicious Call Tina 086-857 1074
or email:

  • Close the curtains as soon as dusk falls and keep all doors shut in the house to keep heat in.
  • If there are gaps around doors and windows use something like newspaper to seal.
  • Heat the part of the house in use, there is no need to heat rooms not in regular use.
  • Eat at least one hot meal during the day and take plenty of hot drinks.
  • Wear thermal clothing and always wear a hat, most body heat escapes through the top of your head!
  • If your bedroom is upstairs and it is warmer downstairs consider switching to sleeping downstairs.
  • If someone is suffering from hypothermia he/she may not even know, it is difficult to spot and is often referred to as a silent killer. Sufferers may be drowsy, slur their speech and have pale puffy skin. If you believe someone is suffering from hypothermia (the elderly are particularly at risk) contact the GP, wrap the person up well but not to heavily and give some hot drinks (non-alcoholic).

I understand that there have been some improvements to maternity protection legislation. Can you please give the details ?
The Maternity Protection (Amendment) Act 2004 which came into effect from 18 October 2004 allows, among other things, for women to end their maternity leave if they become ill, to postpone it if the child is in hospital and it provides for time off for both parents to attend ante-natal classes. The improvements are as follows:
The period of maternity leave that must be taken before the expected date of birth is reduced from 4 weeks to 2 weeks. The basic period of maternity leave remains at 18 weeks with an additional 8 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.
Expectant mothers can attend one set of antenatal classes without loss of pay ( apart from the last 3 classes which are normally attended while on maternity leave). If an expectant mother is unable to attend one full set of antenatal classes during a pregnancy due to circumstances beyond her control, she is entitled to time off work without loss of pay during one or more subsequent pregnancies to attend the classes she missed (apart from the last 3 classes)
There is a once off right for fathers to paid time off to attend the two antenatal classes immediately prior to the birth
Maternity leave/additional maternity leave may be postponed (subject to the agreement of the employer) in the event of the hospitalisation of the child. The rest of the leave can be taken after the child comes out of hospital. Leave may only be postponed after 14 weeks maternity leave has been taken
In the event of the mother becoming ill while on the additional unpaid maternity leave she may ask her employer to end the maternity leave. Her absence from work will then be treated the same as any employee's absence from work due to illness
An employee's absence from work on the additional unpaid maternity leave will count for all employment rights associated with the employment just as if the employee had not been absent (except for pay and superannuation benefits)
Breastfeeding mothers who have given birth within the previous 6 months have an entitlement, without loss of pay, to either a reduction of one hour a day in working hours or where breastfeeding facilities are provided by the employer, breastfeeding breaks totalling one hour. Time off from work is calculated on a pro-rata basis for part -time workers.
Further details available from the
Citizens Information Centre,
85-86 Patrick Street, Dun Laoghaire.
Telephone 284 4544.


  • 1741 The centigrade temperature scale was devised by Anders Celsius and incorporated into a Delisle thermometer at Uppsala in Sweden.
  • The first Christmas tree in Britain was erected at Queen's Lodge, Windsor by the German born Queen Charlotte, wife of George III who brought the idea over from Germany where the first reports of Christmas trees go back to 1521. Christmas trees were then introduced to Ireland in the 1800s
  • 1866 The US yacht Hellrietta sailed into Cowes harbour, Isle of Wight, the winner of the first transatlantic yacht race.
  • 1876 Mohammed Ali Jinnah was born. He was an Indian politician who as a Muslim opposed Gandhi's policies for a united India, demanding a separate Muslim state. He was made the first Governor-General of Pakistan in 1947.
  • 1887 Conrad (Nicholson) Hilton was born. A US hotelier who founded one of
    the largest groups in the world. He began by helping his father turn their large New Mexican house into an inn for travelling salesmen
  • 1914 The famous Christmas truce between British and German troops bogged down in the trenches on the western front during the First Work War led to fraternizing and swapping presents in no man's land. At midnight, they began to shoot each other again.
  • 1918 Anwar Sadat was born. He was the President of Egypt from 1970 who initiated peace talks with Israel's hard-Iine Prime Minister Begin. They both shared the Nobel Peace prize for accomplishing a reconciliation.

    In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153BC, declared 1 January to be the beginning of the new year. During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New Year. January 1 has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years.

33 Patrick Street, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.
Phone: 2802041
18th October 2004

We have managed the goat herd on Dalkey Island since 1987. Our aim is to protect the last feral goat herd in Dublin, and one of the last in Ireland. They are monitored throughout the year, and their numbers kept to a level that the Island can sustain by way of food and shelter. Supplementary feeding is provided during the Winter, if needed.
The most serious problems we have involve the large number of visitors that come to the Island during the Summer. While the majority of visitors respect the herd and keep their distance, there will always be some that cause damage. Where this has occurred, full reports have been sent to the Department of The Environment Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, who have the responsibility for the Island and are very supportive.
There are ongoing plans with the Department of The Environment to help keep any incidents to a minimum, while trying to maintain a balance between the welfare of the herd and the public's desire to visit the Island.
Yours sincerely,
Kevin Glynn MVB MRCVS


I am old,
I live alone:
Please don't leave me
On my own.
I sit on a chair,
I lie in bed,
Voluntary services keep me fed.
This is where I would be:
Please, please, call on me.
The clock goes tick,
The clock goes tock,
Please turn the key
That's in the lock.
The time is long,
The time goes slow;
Long hours alone
I'm feeling low.
Please come
And chat awhile,
The human touch
Will make me smile. .
Courtesy of The only Book of Party Pieces
by Nuala Harnett
Let's never forget our neighbours and friends, especially at this time of year.

Which ones do you keep?

Candle in the Window:
Many homes in Ireland stIll today will show a lighted candle, or perhaps today's equivalent, and much safer, electric lights, in the window of their home on Christmas Eve. This stems from the custom that to show a light in the window lighted the way of a stranger out after dark. It goes back to most ancient times, when the laws of hospitality were stronger and not abused. To have a light in your window on Christmas Eve to welcome the stranger meant that you were welcoming the Holy Family too. To have no light meant that you shared the guilt of the Innkeeper at Bethlehem who said, "No Room"!

Cleaning/Whitewashing the House:

The cleaning of the house from top to bottom -a very important task. In many rural areas of Ireland the custom of whitewashing the outhouses and stores prevails. At one time, it was the whole farm, inside and out. Everything was scrubbed and polished until it shone; every window and glass sparkling, and all the silver polished till it shone. Hams were cooked, cakes baked, yards swept clean, and especially the animals quarters were completely cleaned out. The bucket of whitewash, or lime wash was taken to help purify everything in honour of the coming of the Christchild. This custom goes back long before Christianity or even Celtic civilisation. It was a purifying ceremony from the most ancient of times, the ancient Mesopotamians, 4000BC would cleanse their homes, sweep the streets even, in an attempt to assist their god in his battle against the powers of chaos. And in Central European lore, it was believed that the deity, Frigg, would check all the thresholds of each house to make sure they were swept clean. From this ancient custom come the modern traditions of putting up fresh curtains, a special Christmas bedcover, cushions and table linens etc.

Christmas Tree:
The tree is nearly always a fir and that is because of Saint Boniface. He said, "The fir tree, with its evergreen leaves, is a sign of eternal life -its arrow pointed ends look to the heavens". He called it the "Tree of the Christ-Child"

You went out into the countryside and picked holly to put behind every picture on the wall, along the mantelpiece over the fireplace, behind the plates on the dresser and there was also a bunch of Mistletoe hanging by the door!

Wren Boys on St. Stephen's Day:
The day after Christmas sees a tradition which is almost extinct now. Tradition tells that the sleeping Danes were awakened before a battle by the singing of a wren and deprived the Irish of an easy victory. On St. Stephen's morning, before the Christmas Candle was extinguished, the Wren Boys would go from door to door with the wren in a holly bush, singing their rhyme "The wren, the wren the king of all birds, on St. Stephen's Day, was caught in the furze".

Little Christmas -6th January:

This is sometimes known as Women's Christmas. This was the night Our Lord turned water into wine, so a bucket of fresh water is left in the kitchen for Him and no one would venture out into the darkness on his/her own.

  • Rake up and burn all rose leaves to prevent the spread of diseases on to next year's leaves. In mild winters, leaves may remain on the plants until January or even February, so if necessary clear up again.
  • Now is an excellent time for the preparation of new borders. Double-dig and leave the surface rough to be weathered. If the area was previously turfed, remove turf first and bury it under the bottom spit as you dig. Add manure if available. Coarse compost is excellent for lightening heavy soils and so is grit
  • Undertake any pruning, shaping or thinning of old wood on shrub roses. Shorten tall floribunda roses a little, to prevent wind-rock in winter gales, their main pruning comes later, after the worst winter weather
  • Try not to have houseplants warmer at night than during the day, but avoid cold, draughty windowsills behind closed curtains at night.
  • Keep poinsettias in a cool room, not a hot living room. They need plenty of light but not a lot of water. Keep azaleas cool too, but well watered.
  • Float a ball on the pond in icy weather to stop it freezing entirely, for the sake of the pond life below and for the birds to have a drink.
  • On a sunny, breezy day, disinfect and scrub out the greenhouse to eradicate over wintering pests and diseases. Sterilise or replace tomato soil.
  • Make sure you keep putting out some birdseed and fat-balls for the birds in cold weather over the next few months
  • Even in January a light mowing is sometimes needed. Choose a dry, windy day when frost is not expected and make sure the lawn is not too wet.
  • On a still day, spray all fruit trees with tar-oil wash, to kill the over wintering eggs of insect pests.
  • To prevent paths becoming slippery with algae, give them a good scrub down with a stiff brush and a weak solution of bleach or path cleaner. Make sure the run-off does not wash on to lawns or plants. Rinse with a pressure hose.
  • Buy in stocks of the seed/potting composts, seed trays, grit, peat that you will require when sowing starts.
  • When the grass is white with frost in the morning, do not walk on it or you will leave blackened footsteps, which may take several weeks to grow out.
  • Begin to prune hybrid tea and floribunda roses to a lower, if not final, level. Cut out. weak and crossing growths to maintain a strong open-centred bush.
  • This is a good time to erect training wires on walls, and to cut back ivy and creepers from the windows and roofline

A green Christmas, a white Easter
If there's thunder during Christmas week,
The Winter will be anything but meek.
If Christmas day be bright and clear
There' II be two winters in the year
The nearer the New Moon to Christmas Day, the harder the Winter.
Like in December like an the year long.


Deilg Inis the theatrical animation company based in Dalkey, who perform Living History Interpretations in Goat Castle on a regular basis, will stage A Christmas Show for families at 3.00pm on Sunday Dec 12th before the lighting of the Christmas tree. The Living Crib will be open in Archbold's Castle from around 4.3Opm with actors as Mary, Joseph, and Shepherds. The Living Crib has been a magical experience for children and adults alike for the past number of years, with its live animals. Santa will again pay a visit to Dalkey and turn on the tree lights, as in previous years and will talk to the children in his Grotto. Carol singing from the local choirs will add the festive touch. This is always an enjoyable and busy community event in Dalkey.


To leave the old with a burst of song,
To recall the right and forgive the wrong;
To forget the thing that blinds you fast
To the vain regrets of the year that' s past. .

Robert B Beattie


This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest ...
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!
I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs !

December Community Council Meeting Mon 29th Nov
Thomas Edison made first known sound recording 6 Dec 1891
Christmas Craft Fair - Heritage Centre Thurs - Sun 3 - 6 Dec
Lighting of the Christmas Tree Sun 12th Dec

Mobile Recycling - Our Lady of Good Counsel School

Sat 18th Dec
Winter Solstice - shortest day of the year Tues 21st Dec
Ellis Island New York opened as an immigration depot 31st Dec 1890
Decimalisation ceased, the Euro arrived Tues 1st Jan
January Community Council Meeting Mon 4th Jan 2005
Opportunities 2005 - Exhibition Centre, Croke Park Fri - Sun 14_16 Jan 05
Mobile Recycling - Our Lady of Good Counsel School Sat 15th Jan 2005
An earthquake in Shensi Province, China killed some 830,000 23rd Jan 1556
Collating of February Newsletter Fri 28th Jan 2005

Storytelling for children aged 3-6 years old takes place each Thursday between 3.30pm and 4pm in Dalkey Library.
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