Home  |   Dalkey Tidy Towns  |  Dalkey Home Page  |  Dalkey Info  |  Dalkey Heritage Centre 

First published 1974

NEWSLETTER NO. 356 Volume 12
(August) 2006

August: The Roman Emperor, Augustus named the eight month August in honour of himself. He died 19 August 14AD. The Anglo-Saxons called August “Weod-Monath” or “Weed Month”.

August brings the sheaves of corn . – Then the harvest home is borne.

Flower: Poppy and Gladioli

LAST DAY FOR ARTICLES: Monday 8th August, 2006

Temporary Closure of Coliemore Road
MJS, Civil Engineering Ltd are employed by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to implement the Coliemore Drainage Scheme.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council has received an application from MJS Civil Engineering Ltd, to temporarily close Coliemore Road, Dalkey in order to carry out pipelaying works in connection with the scheme.
The dates of the intended closures are for a period of nine months commencing on 10th July, 2006 and finishing on 14th April, 2007. Local access will be maintained at all times. The alternative route will be via Sorrento Terrace and Sorrento Road and vice versa. A Traffic Management Plan will be in operation and diversions will be signposted.

The DCC monthly meeting for July was held on Monday 3rd July in OLH.
The Vice-chairperson Pat
Egan expressed his sympathy and that of all the members to our Chairperson Susan McDonnell on the recent death of her mother.
The Chairperson welcomed Ros Barwise as the new Road Rep for Ardeevin Road. The secretary read the minutes from last month’s meeting and these were agreed and signed.

Tidy Towns: The clean-ups are going quite well. The numbers vary between 2 and 7 people that are really
not enough to have the impact on Dalkey. The Harry Latham Memorial Seat was placed in position last month and the reaction to it is very positive. Through An Taisce a group of volunteers from the Oracle Software Company at East Point made quite an impact when they gave a day of their time and energy to help DLRCC Parks Dept. improve the pathways for accessibility in St. Begnet’s graveyard.

Correspondance: DCC received a copy of a letter sent by the Board of Management of the Harold Boys National School regarding the serious traffic situation that is occurring at 2.30pm when the pupils are due to be picked up by the school bus. DCC has sent a letter to DLRCC supporting this complaint and requesting action to alleviate the problem.

AOB: The Chairperson brought our attention to an article from one of the Sunday papers where it reported that under a current review being undertaken, some Garda stations might be earmarked for closure and among these is Dalkey station. It was agreed that this would be unacceptable and DCC would be totally against it. Oliver McCabe informed the meeting of the proposal for the relocation of a mast to be sited at Dalkey Garda station. It will be twice as big and in the proximity of 4 local and 2 Montessori schools. As there is so much uncertainty about the electro magnetic emissions it is vital that we try and contain it. The bushes and growth on Railway Road leading to the bridge at the DART station are causing an obstruction to pedestrians who have to step out onto the road to avoid them. This could lead to a dangerous situation and DCC will contact C.I.E. As there was no further business the meeting ended.

41st DUBLIN (St. Patrick’s, Dalkey) GROUP
3rd. Port of Dublin ~ Beavers, Cubs, Sea Scouts and Ventures

The Sea Scout Colour Party led by a piper paraded King Larry from Our Lady’s Manor to Bulloch Harbour for the annual Blessing of the Boats Ceremony on 2nd July. Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat also came alongside the pier. The Chaplain of the Lifeboat and Canon Ben Neill led the blessing and prayers. There was a visit by the Irish Coastguard helicopter for an air-sea rescue display. All funds raised by the raffle, BBQ and refreshments were for the Dun Laoghaire Branch RNLI.
During the event we marked the 50th Anniversary of the Sea Scout Troop’s boating activity at Bulloch. Since 1956 we have continued the long tradition of the 3rd Port of Dublin (Dalkey) Sea Scouts that first began in 1920, with a few breaks between then and 1949, when the Troop closed. Following our previous article in this newsletter, we have received some memorabilia and photos of those earlier days from past members, and would be very pleased to hear from anyone who can help us with more of the history.
Over the last 50 years, the Troop has always enjoyed great support from the Smyth family at the harbour, and we had great pleasure in presenting Mrs. Monica Smyth with a special Scouting Ireland Community Award to mark her contribution to the Dalkey Sea Scouts and the Bulloch boating community in general.
The Sea Scouts and Ventures are attending NAWAKA06 - the Dutch National Sea Scout Jamboree - taking place near Arnhem at the end of July. August will bring the Sea Scout Regatta season for canoeing, rowing and sailing events. All past members will be welcome to our 50th Anniversary Reunion Dinner at the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Saturday 16th September. Places must be booked in advance with the undersigned.
Brian Meyer, Group Leader E-mail: brianmeyer@eircom.net Mobile: 086 6696812


Peata is a voluntary organisation established in 1996 to provide a pet therapy service to caring institutions.
Pet Therapy is a term used to describe the use of companion animals in various clinical, therapeutic and remedial situations. Its main activity is the Pet Visiting Scheme in which approved volunteers and their dogs pay regular visits to various caring institutions. Typically, visits are weekly and last about an hour.
Pets have long been shown to benefit our health and well-being and Pet Therapy is being used worldwide to great effect in nursing homes, long stay hospitals, institutions for mentally and physically impaired, day care centres, etc. Experience has shown that pets are a boon to patients, residents and staff and help to create a more homely atmosphere in institutions.
Visiting Teams are fully insured by Peata in the course of their visiting work.
A visiting dog

  1. Helps combat isolation, withdrawal, loneliness, boredom and depression
  2. Brings companionship and aids social interaction
  3. Gives non-judgemental affection
  4. Helps reduce stress and lower blood pressure
    Further information from:
    Peata, 5, Kenilworth Square, Dublin 6. Tel.: 01-296 4474 www.peata.org


Monday August 14th, Ms Alice Cullen will lead a guided walking tour of St. Patrick’s Road, Castle Street and Tubbermore Road, Dalkey. Meet at 7.15p.m. at Dalkey Heritage Centre, Castle Street , Dalkey.
The Maritime Museum of Ireland, Haig Terrace, Dun Laoghaire, will be open 1p.m. to 5p.m. on the
Saturdays and Sundays of August including the Bank Holiday Monday.
The Rathmichael Historical Society 32nd Summer Series of Evening Lectures, which will be held in
Rathmichael School, Stonebridge Road, Shankill, Co. Dublin, from the 21st - 25th August 2006 are:
Mon. 21st August: Excavations at Ardee Street, Dublin Late Medieval brewery, tannery, watercourse
by Franc Myles (M. Gowan & Co. Ltd) ;
Tues. 22nd August: Ringfort at Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin & Settlement at Raystown, Co. Meath by
Matthew Seaver, (CRDS Ltd) ;
Wed. 23rd August: - Leo Swan Memorial Lecture A Peacock’s Tale: Research Excavation at
Caherlehillan, Co. Kerry – by John Sheehan, MA. UCC ;
Thurs.24th August: Archaeological discoveries on New Motorways - Sylvia Desmond, MA, Project
Archaeologist, Kildare Co Council ;
Fri. 25th August: St Luke’s in the Coombe: ‘An approach to conserving Dublin’s forgotten heritage.’
- Dr. Ruth Johnson: Dublin City Archaeologist.


We have come to the end of another very successful year of Table Tennis only finishing on the 28th June last. On the last day we had competition for the Shield presented to us by The Queens Bar, Dalkey. This was won by Niall Cullen of Sorrento Drive with Finola Fidler being the runner-up. That day we had a very enjoyable lunch in The Queens Bar. Earlier in the year we played for the Betty Wilmot Memorial Trophy, which was won by Aileen Quinn. Susan Flood was runner-up in this competition. One Wednesday night
during the year we went to Greystones for a friendly match with their club; but it’s not all competition: we play Social Table Tennis every Wednesday morning at 10.30 to 12.30 with a break for tea/coffee at approximately 11.15 am
Marie Byrne

MY GARDEN GARDEN – Philippa Thomas

If, so far this summer, you haven’t had a chance to sit outside and enjoy being in your garden, GRAB IT NOW ....A.S.A.P! Your garden is for sitting in, eating in, dreaming in, marvelling in. Gardens really do heal tired minds and worn out spirits. Make a cool drink, read a magazine, or simply just Be and do nothing! It’s funny, I’m almost sure if you do you’ll end up doing the exact opposite to your plans. Your hand will steal away quietly and slyly pull up the odd weed or two. Before you know it, you’ll have to stop yourself from re-organising, ‘dead-heading’, thinning out, etc. I think these are the Best Times because they are spontaneous. It’s natural, thinking and planning.
This morning I cut back our parsley, mint and rocket. All looked a little tired, stretched and were just beginning to flower. So now, hopefully, we’ll get a great new patch of fresh life and flavour for our summer salads, soups, etc. Next week I hope to collect some seeds and do a few soft wood cuttings.
How can one not be affected by these warm sunny days of fresh leafy green growth? The scents of the various blossoms, our birds and bees? Don’t the hanging baskets around our beautiful town of Dalkey look so impressive. This year, as last year, the cascading begonias are truly abundant.

“To own a bit of ground, to scratch it with a hoe, to plant seeds and watch the renewal of life - this is the commonest delight of the race, the most satisfactory thing a man can do”


Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Competition for all during Heritage Week 28th - 3rd September, 2006. Capture the faces, places and spaces in the county during that week. 1st prize - €300; 2nd prize - €200; 3rd Prize - €100. Details from DLRCC.or www. dlrcoco.ie/library.

Letters to the Editor

9th May 2006
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council,
Traffic Department, Town Hall, Dun Laoghaire.

Dear Sir,
We wish to bring to your attention to a traffic situation outside our School on St. Patrick’s Road, Dalkey
that constitutes a potential danger to our Pupils:
The normal closing time for the school is 2.30pm when the School Bus should be waiting in the
designated parking bay located outside the school gate to collect pupils. The bus is then scheduled to
proceed westward on St. Patrick’s Road to the Loreto National School to collect passengers at the
appointed time of 2.40pm.
St.Patrick’s Road has Pay-and-Display parking on both sides and, although it carries two-way traffic,
for practical reasons there is room for only one-way traffic. The congestion is aggravated by parents
with cars collecting their children. The School Bus finds it impossible to proceed down the road to the
Loreto School. Consequently the bus driver refuses to collect our pupils at the appointed time and place
and the School Bus now bypasses our school and proceeds straight to the Loreto School.
Our pupils are obliged to run down the road to the Loreto, crossing two dangerous intersections and
having to use a narrow pathway (on Convent Road), to catch the bus. This is particularly dangerous as
there is a high volume of traffic in the vicinity at that time. In the recent past, a child with Down syndrome ran out under a passing vehicle whilst en route, which brought this matter to our attention. This is obviously a matter for Traffic Management and we appeal to your good offices to give urgent
consideration to this problem in the interests of public safety. By copy of this letter we will notify The School Transport Section in the Department of Education and Science of the situation. We look forward to a response at your earliest convenience.

Chairperson, Board of Management


Dear Secretary,
I would be very grateful if Dalkey Community Council could help us to obtain road signs for St
Patrick’s Church. I wrote to the Acting County Manager in November and again early this year, but to
no avail. They merely said that they would refer the issue to the roads overseer and get back to me, but
this hasn’t happened. It might be helpful if you were to make representations on our behalf. I am also concerned about the way cars are being parked on Church Road. There are no yellow lines and frequently cars are parked on both sides of the road leaving no room for bin lorries and other large vehicles. There is also the obvious danger that emergency vehicles will be unable to gain access to houses in Church Road or Barnacoille Park. This is a very serious situation with the possibility of disastrous consequences. Your help in these matters would be greatly appreciated.

Yours sincerely,
Canon Ben Neill

Copy of Letter sent to Mr. Eamon O’Hare, Acting County Manager 8th November 2005
Dear Mr O’Hare,
At a recent meeting of the Select Vestry of St Patrick’s Church, Dalkey, I was asked to write to you regarding road signs to our Church. I gather that years ago there was a sign post at Bullock Harbour and at least one in Dalkey village which pointed towards St Patrick’s Church. Perhaps you would let us know why these were removed and what steps we need to take to have new signs erected. Dalkey attracts quite a number of visitors and most would have no idea how to find St Patrick’s Church on Harbour Road. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Yours sincerely, Ben Neill (Canon) Rector

NATURE CORNER – Michael Ryan
On an early morning in June I was bringing the dog into the woodland of Killiney Hill at a spot where
a tall Larch tree lies fallen across the path. There was something perched on top of this fallen tree and
as I approached it I still couldn’t make out what it was. It was an odd mix of black and bright shiny
colours which suggested a discarded item of clothes seemed to be the most likely explanation
although it still seemed to have a strangely animal-like shape. The dog couldn’t figure out what it was
either and approached it very cautiously. Then I saw it was a cat. It was sitting motionless on the log
with a popcorn bag wedged over its head down to its shoulders. For a moment I thought it might be
dead, a brutal act of senseless violence against a small creature, then I saw it was tensing up at the
dog’s - by now - frantic barking. Much more likely was the cat had put its head into the bag perhaps
squeezing down into it after the salt at the bottom of the bag and had got stuck!
Anyhow, although I am not a big cat fan due to their senseless predation on birds and small animals, I
couldn’t leave it there defenceless and reached down to take the bag off its head. I needn’t have
worried about its defencelessness though. As soon as I touched the bag the cat jumped about a foot off
the log lashing out a paw and ripping about ten long scratches into my hand before - now the bag was
well gone - racing up the nearest tree. I continued my walk with blood flowing freely from my hand
and only too glad to recount my experience to anyone who might ask.
The cat seemed no worse for its experience but it just shows what a threat discarded litter can be to
wildlife. Some of the worst damage is caused in the sea where, apart from miles of discarded fishing
nets, thousands of tons of plastic in various forms can float around for years before being swallowed
by fish or turtles. Plastic bags, having the same shape in the water as jellyfish, which form a major
part of the turtles’ diet, cause the turtles to often swallow them with the result frequently being a
lingering death because the plastic bag doesn’t degrade in their stomachs. Discarded fishing lines and
hooks cause death to fish and birds long after they’ve been discarded by their human users. Earlier
this year there was a Red Throated Diver in Dun Laoghaire Harbour wrapped in fishing line which
would ultimately restrict the bird’s ability to fish but left it mobile enough to escape anybody trying to
help it.
The plastic rings that hold six pack cans of beer together are a perfect size for getting stuck around the
necks of animals, birds and fish. I always try to follow the example of a friend who always tore these
plastic rings apart so wherever they end up they can’t do any further damage.
Fulmars and Albatrosses are very prone to accidentally ingesting plastic, being surface feeders who
only have a fleeting moment to see and scoop up food from the waters surface. A small bit of red
plastic could easily be mistaken for a piece of gutted fish. AFulmar found dead in the US was found
to contain 59 pieces of plastic! The variously shaped indigestible pieces of plastic would have
eventually blocked the bird’s gut possibly causing it to weaken and die.
A retired oceanographer in the States, Curt Ebbesmeyer, has become an expert on the rubbish that
pollutes the world’s oceans. He was able to deduce that a piece of plastic marked “VP-101” found in
the stomach of a dead albatross chick along with cigarette lighters, bottle caps and hundreds of other
pieces of plastic, was likely to be a Bakelite tag for a U.S. Navy patrol squadron during World War II,
and could, indeed, have floated in the ocean for 60 years before the albatross swallowed it.
It’s estimated thousands of containers get lost overboard from ships every year and their contents can
be floating around the oceans for years. With computer programmes Ebbesmeyer and his colleagues
can accurately predict where currents can carry man-made debris from such spills including hockey
gloves from a container that spilled 34,000 of them; Nike tennis shoes and trainers from container
spills between 1990 and 2003 (currents carried the lefts to certain beaches, the rights to other shores!)
and 29,000 First Years’ bathtub toys consisting of yellow ducks, blue turtles, green frogs and red
As individuals there isn’t much we can do about it apart from picking up any rubbish we find on the
beach and it’s a depressing thought how much harm we’ve already done to the planet.
In early August, if the weather has been good, the skies can often resound to the high pitched
screeching calls of tightly bunched groups of Swifts hurtling over the rooftops hunting insects in the
warm air. These are family groups of these lovely little birds and sadly most of them will be gone by
mid-August already migrating south. Their total reliance on high flying insects which only rise in the warm air means they need warm weather so our latest arriving migrant is our first to depart.
There are a few different species of Elm tree but the Elm’s main claim to fame is sadly because of their
susceptibility to Dutch Elm disease which devastated elms in the UK and Ireland during the 1970’s.
Elms were more a feature of the English countryside then here where their tall native English Elms
were a prominent feature of hedgerows on farmland. Dutch Elm disease, whose name originates from
Holland where it was first identified, is caused by a beetle whose presence in the tree ultimately
creates a fungus which prevents the sap rising up the bark and the tree effectively starves leaving the
trees with peeling bark on dead trunks and a few suckers growing out of the base. The only way to
combat the disease was to cut down the remaining trunk and burn the infected timber. Thousands of
elms disappeared from the English countryside and the situation was mirrored here to a lesser extent.
Many trees here were left alone after they caught the disease and after initial damage many of the
trees held on to a glimmer of life and after a while shoots regrew from the base. The Dutch Elm disease beetle can recur after nine years but many trees here have made a substantial recovery. Ireland’s native elm is the Wych Elm and thankfully this tree isn’t as susceptible to the disease. I’m not 100% certain which species - the English or Wych - is growing in the grounds of the Church of the Assumption in Dalkey opposite St. Begnet’s Graveyard, but it’s a splendid healthy looking specimen. Many English elm have regenerated themselves on Dalkey and Killiney hills in the park and I’ve even had one appear in my garden almost certainly planted by a bird passing the seed through its digestive system.
Flowers appear on the trees in early spring soon turning into seeds which fall before the leaves appear. These seeds are evidently a very nutritious food source very popular with Bullfinches and for the last two years I’ve seen Red Squirrels feeding on them on Killiney Hill. A lady in the Britain actually has a theory that the Red Squirrels disappearance before the ever expanding population of Grey Squirrels is partly due to the loss of the elm seeds as a food source. Elms, although sometimes in the past very frail and unhealthy looking, are living proof of that old adage that where there’s life there’s hope.



LINK TO : August Diary Events

Return to top