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

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

NEWSLETTER NO. 359 Volume 12

Samhain(November) 2006

November: Believed to derive from ‘novem’ which is the Latin for the number ‘nine’. In the
ancient Roman calendar November was the ninth month after March. As part of the seasonal
calendar November is the time of the ‘Snow Moon’ according to Pagan beliefs and the period
described as the ‘Moon of the Falling Leaves’ by Black Elk. The Anglo-Saxons called November
‘Windmonath’ or ‘Wind-month’..

If there’s ice in November to bear a duck
There’ll be nothing after but sludge and muck


Monday 6th November 2006

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

Overall Winner’s Cup and Best Large Town both awarded to Dalkey

St. Begnet - Patron Saint of Dalkey Ecumenical Service will be held to commemorate the patron saint of Dalkey, St. Begnet in the Old graveyard @1.15pm on Sunday 12 November. All are welcome.

The DCC monthly meeting for October was held on Monday 2nd October in OLH. at 7.30 p.m. The
Chairperson opened the meeting and the business of the evening was dealt with speedily as
the Cathaoirleach was expected at 8.30 p.m.

Heritage: The Chairperson reported that the Latham family were very pleased and delighted with the seat dedicated to Harry Latham.

Tidy Towns: The new Heritage Town signs had been placed at the end of the Burmah Road and the
Vico Road. The new seat at the bottom of Saval Park Road was a joint venture with th Dun Laoghaire & Killiney Lions Club, DLRCoCo and DCC. The clean-ups for the winter will be taking place on the last Tuesday of every month.

AOB: he Cathaoirleach, Mr. Eugene Regan, joined us and questions were taken from the floor on the environment, roads, traffic and planning and enforcements decisions. He promised to follow up and return on certain issues.

on Friday 10th November 2006 from 10.30am-12.30pm in aid of the
Everyday Running Costs of Our Lady’s Hall
Cakes/Plants/ Nearly new items/Raffle
Auction at 11am Please support generously

Dalkey Group Stages ‘A LIFE’ to mark playwright’s 80th Birthday HUGH LEONARD’s play, A LIFE will be staged by St. Patrick’s Dramatic Society in Dalkey, Co. Dublin this November as part of a special tribute to mark the playwright’s 80th birthday. The society has a long association with the Dalkey-based playwright, having staged many of his plays in the past, including the world amateur premier of his award-winning DA, as well as The Patrick Pearse Motel, Mick and Mick and an earlier production of A LIFE. A LIFE is a play about Drumm, a married civil servant with intellectual and artistic leanings that he has never been able to develop. Moving back and forth over 40 years, it tells the story of the intermingled relationship of two couples, the whims of chance and the clashes of personality that affect their destinies, culminating in one climatic evening when they are in their sixties. Set in Dalkey in the 1970s and 1930s, A LIFE is full of humour and pathos, and illustrates that however much we try to escape it the past is always with us. Directed by Joan E. Gregg, the cast includes Seymour Cresswell as Drumm, with Carmel McCrea as his wife, Dolly. Mike and Phil Stokes will play their friends Kearns and Mary, having appeared in the roles of their young counterparts, Lar and Mibs in the group’s previous production in 1982. Killian McCrea and Samantha Smith will play the young Lar and Mibs in this production, with Keith Thompson and Tara Murphy playing Desmond and Dorothy. St. Patrick’s Dramatic Society will stage A LIFE in Dalkey Town Hall nightly at 8pm from November 15 to 18 inclusive. Tickets (€12/€10) will be available from November 1 at the Dalkey Heritage Centre; from tel. 01-2807185; and at the door during the run.
For further information, please contact: Tony Perrem, tel. 01-2831056 / 087-9175625

Tony Award-Winning Playwright, Hugh Leonard will be 80 in November this year. We all wish this great literary figure of our time a very happy birthday and many happy returns. Hugh Leonard is the pen name of Jack Keyes-Byrne. He was born in 1926 and grew up in Dalkey. He lived at Kalafat Lane and Begnet’s Villas. Early schooling was at Loreto and Harold Boys. He worked in the Land Commission for 14 years after leaving Presentation College, Glasthule. He had begun to write plays for the Abbey and other theatres when Granada Television beckoned in 1959. While working for Granada his literary career blossomed both here and as a writer for Television in England. He returned to live in Dalkey in 1970. He was Literary Editor at the Abbey Theatre from 1976-1977 and Festival Director of the Dublin Theatre Festival for over ten years. He has had a prolific writing career: writing thirty-two plays, seven adaptations of others’ work for stage; something like thirty individual plays for television; work for over forty TV series totalling well in excess of one hundred and twenty original episodes; and in excess of one hundred episodes for serials based on others’ works (Bronte, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Flaubert and Somerville & Ross) as well as over a dozen film scripts, the most recent being Widows’Peak. The pen name Hugh Leonard was taken from a character in the play The Italian Road which Jack gave as the author’s name when he submitted The Big Birthday to the Abbey in 1955. Following the play’s acceptance by Ernest Blythe at the Abbey he held onto the pen name. His awards include four Tony Awards for Da, including Best Play in 1979; his play, A Life was nominated for a Tony in 1980; his novelisation of his four-part BBC drama Parnell and the Englishwoman won the 1992 Sagittarius Award. He has published two volumes of autobiography, Home Before Night and Out after Dark and two highly praised novels, A Wild People and Fillums. He has written a satirical column for the Sunday Independent for many years and is currently working on the third volume of his autobiography. His plays mostly feature ‘a South Dublin location’ easily recognisable as Dalkey. Two of the local drama groups St Patrick’s Dramatic Society and Dalkey Players are each staging productions of his work to mark ‘The Big Birthday’. St Patrick’s will stage A Life in Dalkey Town Hall from Nov 15th -18th. Dalkey Players will present his comedy Time Was in the Pavilion Theatre from 21st -25th November. Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre are holding A Guided Literary Walk in Dalkey on Sunday 19th November beginning at the Heritage Centre at 2.00pm and going to settings which feature in Hugh Leonard’s work. The cast from A Life will perform the extracts set on the Bandstand in Sorrento Park in the actual location. The Walk is free but booking is essential as numbers are limited. Contact the Heritage Centre on 285 8366 to book. Tickets for A Life will be available from the Exchange Bookshop and The Heritage Centre. Booking for Time Was at the Pavilion can be made at Pavilion Box Office 231 2929

Congratulations and many happy returns, Jack!

Margaret Dunne, Manager, Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre


In 1899 Michael Davitt lived in Comber House, Mount Salus, Dalkey. IN 1903 he moved to St. Justin’s, Victoria Road, Dalkey. The original house no longer exists but the name was transferred to the present building. He died in hospital in May 1906 from septicaemia (blood poisoning) caused by a tooth infection. While sick he was prayed for in Dalkey Church.
Seán Ó Gormáin


On mild misty nights if you’re outside you might hear a high pitched ‘tseep’ sound overhead. Keep listening and you’ll almost definitely hear more of this sound up in the sky. It’s the call of the Redwing flying overhead and this is a contact call the birds make to keep track of each other in bad visibility, when the birds, in flocks of hundreds or even thousands, fly lower then usual using artificial light as a guide when it’s too misty to navigate by the stars. Redwings are members of the Thrush family, smaller then our Song Thrush with red flanks and underwing very visible when they’re in flight. They breed in Iceland, Scandinavia and Northern Europe then in autumn migrate south, flying in large flocks at night to Ireland, the UK and southern Europe where they will spend the winter. BirdWatch Ireland monitor the time and numbers of Redwings arriving in Ireland and in the UK the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) record their arrivals. Approximately 50,000 were counted one day passing over a site in Aberdeenshire! Initially when the birds arrive they will feed on berries and they can occasionally be seen in gardens though more commonly on hedges. When this food source is exhausted they will feed on worms and then can often seen in big flocks on fields and football pitches and some people are lucky to have them feeding on berries in their gardens.


Welcome to this first of an occasional series on traffic matters. As there is a high disregard for both traffic matters and parking regulations in Dalkey, it is hoped that this column will advise and inform residents of their entitlements and obligations under the Road Traffic Acts. Here are some by way of background:

Pay & Display was introduced in Dalkey on 9th August, 2004 and regulations here are now the same as those in other parts of the County. In Dun Laoghaire Rathdown business hours are considered to be from 8.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

In some peripheral areas, i.e. those areas which do NOT suffer from traffic congestion, the scheme will operate from Monday to Friday only. Rates in these areas, and in the County Council car parks, are less than those in the Town Centres. As Dalkey is considered a Town Centre, the rate is €1.50 per hour with the following rates for shorter periods: 32 minutes costs €0.80. 20 minutes costs €0.50. 8 minutes costs €0.20 (minimum rate) The maximum period for parking on any street in Dalkey Town Centre is 3 hours, after which the vehicle must be moved to a new street (see reverse of parking ticket) . Double Yellow Lines operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Single Yellow Lines operate during business hours, as above. It is an offence to park on these lines, as indicated above, and the fines for doing so now cost €40 (up from €19), as from 2nd April, 2006 when the extra penalty points were introduced and all fines were reviewed. Richard Mooney

MY GARDEN GARDEN – Philippa Thomas

I am delighted to write that our Portuguese Laurels are still making amazing progress. It simply goes to prove never give up with Nature. Our first Portuguese Laurel is in flower at present and, as I write, I notice it has some circular, burgundy berries on it. Our latter more recently acquired - ‘newcomer’ is slowly changing colour: most of its dried-up, crackedly, yellowish leaves are now a mid-green: some leaves still have a blotch of yellow in their middle. Sometimes, I wonder, if one tree is helping the other? Almost similar to the relationship between a fern and an orchid (symbiotic: a relationship between two organisms, where both derive benefit). Perhaps one is a male and the other a female? I must check it out. Notice, too, that our firstly acquired Portuguese Laurel now has a much thicker trunk. Occasionally, the odd friend says to me: “I have the most amazing pot plant in flower, you should just see it! Now, I am worried about it, how can I keep it like this?” “Will it die on me? What will I do with it to keep it in flower, etc.?” Well, my answer is: “Why worry? Are you not thrilled with its performance - the fact that it is doing so very well? My advice is leave well alone. Whatever you are doing with it is working. Your plant loves you for what you are doing. Basically, it likes whatever it is getting and it is rewarding you so. Be it sun, dappled shade, light, be it poor soil, moisture retentive, rich soil, well-drained soil, whatever. So, leave your little darling alone and enjoy it! When you feel it is pot-bound or root-bound, just pot it on and give it more of what it’s been used to. (Remember, some plants thrive on being pot-bound - true!) If, on the other hand, your plant looks sick or sad, then that is a different story. Take the time to examine it. Inspect it for aphids, black spot, and virus, whatever it might be suffering from and treat appropriately. Our Indoor Plants of this month of November have to be:
Plumbago Various Gloriosas Some Hisbiscus Three different species of Dipladenias The Gloriosas, Plumbago and Dipladenias are scrambling gloriously over a wall in our glass room which is made up of three mirrors. The Gloriosas come into flower quite late around July (They have a rhinzome base) Around early December I will de-leaf them and simply put them to bed, by covering their surfaces with a layer of good gritty potting compost. This keeps them snug and seems to stop any fungi attacking the rhizomes. Then, next July, I can expect more sturdy mature climbers in return, for over wintering them. Again this month, I will take in and over winter some little rarities that we have such as our allocias, clivas and some soft wood cuttings, especially the Plectranthus Argentatus family. This plant is so worthwhile believe me. (An Australian native, it is drought-resistant and can be used under trees or in containers, i.e. an ideal plant for the glasshouse or conservatory) Next Spring then, I can hopefully give some established cuttings to the various gardening clubs and the odd interested friend. “Gardening has compensations out of all proportion to its goals. It is creation in the pure sense.” Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978) From: The Province of the Heart

Function's Commity Update

The Annual Reception took place in Our Lady’s Hall, on 15th September, 2006. It was introduced by our Chairman, Dr. Susan McDonnell.

We had a large attendance which was a fitting tribute to Mai Kelly. The Dalkey Community Council Cup was being awarded posthumously to Mai who died recently. Mai was a founder member serving as Secretary and she continued on the Council until her death. A well known and popular lady, her great love was her home town. With a good knowledge of its history and strong views on the future, she was always alert for any changes that might change the character of the area. Mai left Dalkey only to further her education in Letterkenny. Peggy Brown, Mai’s sister, received the Cup with many relatives attending including Maureen Kelly. Mrs. McCabe presented the McCabe Cup for Sports to Dalkey Sea Scouts. It was accepted by Brian Meyer on behalf of all the Team. The Sea Scouts have 15 team leaders, and are celebrating 50 years of boating activity at Bulloch Harbour in Dalkey. The Garden Competition was judged by Patti Maher and Ann O’Dwyer. Patti spoke about each winning garden; this was much appreciated and we thank her for the thought and effort she put into her speech. The Awards were presented in all categories. Veronica Rogan received the Prize for the Burgage Communal area. She thanked the Council for running the Competition every year. This year the Tidy Towns presented a new award for the best environmentally friendly gardens; first prize went to Killiney Towers and was presented by Paddy Rigney. The Reception was enjoyed by all and wine and canapés were served during the evening. Thank you to all who helped and many congratulations to the winners. Colette Doody – Functions Manager

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”.
Michael Salter

Mast Update
MAST UPDATE as from October 2nd, 2006 Statement by An Cathaoirleach, Cllr Eugene Regan on Dalkey Mast: ‘Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council is taking very seriously the concern of residents about the further development of the telecommunications mast in Dalkey. The County Council has already made a section 5 application to An Bord Pleanala in relation to the mast at Shankill Garda Station and is awaiting further information on what is proposed for Dalkey before referring the matter to An Bord Pleanala. What distinguishes the Dalkey case is that apart from the fact that Dalkey is a Heritage Town, the Dalkey Garda Station is a protected structure. If the planning laws are found to apply to this development, the planners will be taking a very critical view of any further development on this site. In this regard, a Section 57 reference to An Bord Pleanala has been made as to whether the development of a mast can constitute an exempted development when it falls within the curtilage of a protected structure. The County Council will also be following very closely the recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee on the health effects of electromagnetic fields, which is expected to report before the end of 2006

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

The third weekend of September was a busy one for the Group. On Friday 15th the Dalkey Community Council presented the McCabe Sports Cup to the Sea Scouts at a ceremony in Our Lady’s Hall. We were honoured to receive this in recognition of our contribution over many years in the provision of outdoor activities for young people. At the Scout Liffey Descent canoe race on Sunday 17th, our Group had a large number of medal winners, including Adam Brady, Gavin Donovan, Ross Donovan, Patrick O’Malley, Robert O’Brien, and Oisin Porter. The Troop took the Trophy for best overall result. The course from Lucan to Islandbridge included five weirs. The biggest event was our 50th Anniversary Reunion Dinner on Saturday 16th at the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Our sailing boats were brought from Bulloch, moored alongside the club pontoon and dressed overall for the occasion. We have owned ‘Sea Wolf’for 45 years, and ‘Shearwater’ for 26, so they were very much part of our celebrations. 115 sat down for dinner, and we were pleased to welcome past members who had travelled from the USA, Canada, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, France and the UK. We were delighted to have with us all six founder members who met on 4th May 1956 under the leadership of our first Scoutmaster, the late Rev Desmond Murray - Patrick O’Farrell, David Thomas, John Keery, George Ball, Rodney O’Hara and Brian Meyer. To mark the occasion a souvenir booklet was printed with a short history of the Group, and a DVD launched containing 13 volumes of our logbooks, some 450 photographs, and two digitalised 8mm movies from the 1960’s. Everyone had a super time renewing friendships and sharing memories, some not having met for over 45 years! (Copies of the DVD each are available for 12 from the undersigned). We have spaces for more Venture Scouts (age 16-19), but sadly all other sections have waiting lists at present, and cannot take any more members this year. We are also looking for more leaders for our Beavers (age 6-8) to assist Tiggy Hudson on Monday afternoons, and for our Ventures. The Beavers and Cubs now have girls in their ranks. Contact Brian Meyer, Group Leader, Mobile: 086 6696812 E-mail: brianmeyer@eircom.net.

A Dalkey Limerick
Now you have all heard of Limericks Here is another one for the books.
This is about two good natured ladies,
Who are far from today’s standard crooks.
Money is their game, yours and mine.

They are forever helpful and always have ample time.
It is almost as good as a confessional,
For all the life stories they could tell.
But have no fear their lips are sealed,
It is all “Client Confidential” .

Daily they take your cash and do their tasks
At the end of which “is that all I can help you with today” they ask.
Two friendlier women you could not meet,
Courteous, respectful and always impeccably neat.
Kept behind bars, released for feeds
Lets hope they are not one of those dying breeds.

Who are this pair, you have to know,
Who could they be, that thankfully Jim won’t let go.
Patricia and Annette, they are a great team,
Long may they live and be held in Dalkey’s high esteem.

By Deirdre McDonagh




Return to top