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

NEWSLETTER NO. 358 Volume 12
Deireadh Fómhair
(October) 2006

October: Roman word ‘Octo’ which means eight, the eighth month of the old Roman Calendar. The Anglo-Saxons called it ‘Win monath’ the month for making wine. They also called it ‘Winter-fylleth’ (winter falls) because it was thought winter began with the new moon in October.                                                        Flower: Calendula/Dahlia

Guímid togha spoírt d’ár bpáistí Óga oiche shamhna
We wish our young children lots of fun at Halloween

Monday 2nd October, 2006

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

The monthly meeting of DCC was held on 4th September.
The meeting stood for a minute’s silence as a mark of respect for Mai Kelly, a founder member who died last month. The Chairperson then welcomed Maureen Keating who has agreed to be the Road Rep for Wolverton Glen.

Heritage: The visitor numbers to the HC for the month of July and August are up significantly and the increase is attributable to the DART running this summer. Heritage week was very successful for the HC. The graveyard project is making steady progress. The €5k donation from DCC has helped with the renovation work and the staff from the “Oracle” IT company who volunteered a day did tremendous work clearing the paths.

Tidy Towns:
TT has painted two litterbins on Castle Street thanks to Paddy Rigney. TT hopes to meet with DLRCC officials this month. An Post has responded to TT’s request and the post box should be painted this week. The Litter Patrols will continue once a month until next summer. Dates will be listed on the notice board in the Credit Union. Volunteers for all activities and on the committee would be welcome. Since TT suggested last month that residents could usefully keep their own localities tidy some already do so such as Kilbegnet Close, The Village Gate, Bulloch Harbour, Southwinds and the Paddocks.
TT need this to catch on and could help regarding equipment and collection of bags.

Neighbourhood Watch:
Arthur reminded us that as the winter approaches and the days become shorter it is advisable to be visible. Reflective vests should be worn and bikes should have lights.


The secretary has written to DLRCC requesting information on the revenue generated by the pay & display scheme and where that revenue is spent. Maxwells chemist is now open on Sunday from 11am-3pm. There is ongoing work on Killiney Hill and excess soil coming from the perimeter path in Hyde Road is being used to relay and improve the paths on the hill. As there was no further business the meeting ended.

On July 26th the committee of Dalkey Community Against Radiation met with Minister Tom Parlon who has responsibility for the Office of Public Works buildings. He informed us that no decision will be taken on the erection of a new mast in Dalkey Garda Station until the Oireachtas report on radiation comes out before the end of the year. We were also given an
assurance that we will be informed of any decision. But we feel that politicians using this report as their guideline is no safeguard for us, as it will probably be inconclusive and they may feel it is safe to erect a new mast which will be three times larger. Our focus is on the fact that planning regulations state that these masts should not be more than ten metres high or ten metres from a boundary wall. One house is a mere 39 inches from this mast. Our third letter to Dun Laoghaire County Council on Saturday 2nd September furnished them with all the measurements including the fact that it is approximately 30 metres high. We await their reply.
Our question is: why pass these Regulations to protect the citizens and then make an exemption for Office of Public Works buildings?
Oliver McCabe, Chairman

MY GARDEN              By   Philippa Thomas?

Our days are still rather warmish but obviously growth is, undoubtedly, ceasing. Most of our trees and plants in Dalkey, are coming to the end of their cycle. How simply amazing it is to presently see those silky, silvery, lacy, spider’s webs. They seem to almost float themselves effortlessly and endlessly, under ladders broken terracotta flowerpots and our various, drainpipes. It’s like as if they ‘enthrone’ themselves, overnight, - don’t you agree? Sometimes necessity dictates the moment. So, in order to avoid looking at the odd, sad, soggy mush of a mess, over these oncoming winter months, I intend to ‘get going’ today with my secateurs. Hopefully, I will cut back - hard- the necessary plants - basically, whatever is looking really sad. I am happy with the feeling of ‘greens,’ combined together, for a dramatic and rather dynamic effect. Last spring, we were given a present of a really special terracotta pedestal /stand. We have sitting on it a rather fat, gorgeous, smiling Buddha. I felt, over these past summer months, that it simply looked too new and too stark, - i.e. too “in your face,” - so to speak. So again today, if I can snatch the time, I will paint ‘both’ with bio-yoghurt or manure and water, so as to attract mosses and algae and, hopefully, give it that “always been there” look. We have on our kitchen windowsill some Abutilon cuttings, (a pale pink and a white variety.) They have been sitting in water for approx. 3 weeks and now have spindly, threadlike, whispery roots. So with a little John Innes, No.2, some perlite for drainage and, of course, - most important of all, some patience, these planted lovingly in their pots, should grow producing sturdy growth and flower early, next summer.
A Day later: I am at this very moment sitting as I write in the car park behind Euro Spar here in Dalkey. Have you noticed the planting, at the rear? What a huge effort. Very, very, well done, Dalkey. Please try and make it you business the next time you’re shopping to simply snatch a quick peep. You will see a very long rectangular bed surrounded by railway sleepers. This bed is mulched well with medium sized bark chips and planted up attractively with various foliage plants. I particularly like the bronze/maroon coloured foliage plants. Many of these will mature nicely over the oncoming winter months and by next spring will be well and truly established.( A Dalkey Tidy Towns Project )
Lastly, I just must share with you and tell you about our two newly-acquired, standard Portuguese Laurels. We were offered these two very sad (dying looking) 4-foot standards, supposedly evergreen trees, by a friend who I think, had given up on them. We firstly accepted one and, only last week, took the other - it’s comrade. On arrival the first was ‘lollipop,’ in shape and had yellowish, dried-up crunchy looking leaves. We put it directly outside our kitchen window, so we couldn’t but observe its progress, closely. Well, well, well. What do I say? If “everyday miracles happen,” then this is one! I religiously watered the first once every 3 days or so only, feeding it once every 10 days with Miracle Grow, as I was afraid I might - as previously - kill it with kindness. To be honest with you, I too didn’t have much hope and my husband, seemed to have even less. (though, trees are his No.1.)
Now I feel these words, simply cannot justify our delight, surprise and utter belief, yet again, in the ‘Divine Plan of Nature.’ My goodness, what a little bit of T.L.C. and consistency can do; it goes such a very, very long way. Our first tree, now has, over a period of 6/7 weeks, dark, olive, glossy green leaves and there is bags of fresh, leafy growth, battling its way through, the old dead twigs and branches. As I write, I see tiny, real flower buds appearing. Isn’t this simply incredible? Now, we have its ‘twin.’ Golly, it looks so very sad at present. We have this second one almost a week now. Last Saturday, the day of its arrival, my husband upturned both large black, plastic containers. He then carved/sliced, (with a sharp kitchen knife) 3 inches off the base of each tree. On doing so, he came straight into our house proclaiming, “The first tree, our older one, has a much juicier root system than its lost but reunited companion/twin.” Imagine, these roots swelled
up, in just over one month! Subsequently, he lined each container with broken bits of old terracotta pots and then, a generous layer of well rotted, horse manure. Again, he topdressed each tree with the same manure .... I will let you know, in due course, how the latter fares.


3rd. Port of Dublin – Beavers, Cubs, Sea Scouts and Ventures
Our special Golden Jubilee year is rolling on. By the time you read this we will have held our Re-union Dinner in the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Saturday 16th September. We will carry a report next month! The Sea Scouts and Ventures enjoyed NaWaKa 06 - the Dutch National Water Camp. This is the fourth time we have attended this major Sea Scout Jamboree, which takes place in the Netherlands every four years. The site was in the east of the country, close to Arnhem, on the River Ijssel, a tributary of the Rhine. Some 6000 Sea Scouts enjoyed the activities ashore and afloat. In the first week we basked in the end of the European heatwave, with temperatures climbing to 35’C. However the last couple of days were marked by torrential cloudbursts and thunderstorms, which left a lot of water lying on the site, and flowing though some of our tents! Most of our equipment came home very wet indeed.
Since NaWaKa we have participated in the Sea Scout Regattas in Dun Laoghaire, canoeing, rowing and sailing, and the Scout Liffey Descent - a scaled down version of the International Canoe Race. Beaver and Cub meetings started again in September, while the Sea Scouts take a wellearned breather until after Halloween, following a very busy summer afloat. If any potential members wish to join any section of our Scout Group, please contact the undersigned to add your name to the waiting list. We would be particularly keen to hear from 16 year olds who would interested in our Venture Unit activities, as we have some places available now.
Brian Meyer, Group Leader. E-mail: brianmeyer@eircom.net Mobile: 086 6696812

October’s Party
George Cooper

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came-
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.

The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

The Annual Art Exhibition will take place in Our Lady’s Hall, Castle Street, Dalkey on Saturday and Sunday, November 18th & 19th 2006.

Artists from the area are invited to submit paintings for this popular event.
  Entry Forms, together with full payment, must be submitted by post only (no entries will be taken at the door), to Colette Doody, Grange Court, Rockfort Avenue, Dalkey, Co. Dublin, telephone 285 0280 or mobile 087 297 1831
  There will be a charge of €3.50 per picture.
  Entry Forms will not be accepted after October 26th.
  Confirmation of entry will be sent to all applicants and will include Exhibition number(s), together with disclaimer form.
  Paintings, framed, clearly labelled and ready for hanging must be brought to Our Lady’s Hall on Friday, November 17th at 12.30pm. Paintings must be accompanied by signed disclaimer and exhibition number of painting(s).
  All exhibits must be completely dry
  Only two paintings per artist will be accepted.
  “Not for Sale” exhibits will not be accepted.
  Exhibition is limited to 110 paintings from local artists only.
  As insurance cover ends at 6pm on Sunday, November 19th, entrants must arrange for collection between 5pm and 6pm on that date.
  All exhibitors are invited to the official opening of the Exhibition on Friday, November 17th at 8pm.

Name: ....................................................................................................................................................
Address: ................................................................................................................................................
.....................................................................................................................Tel No: ..............................
Entry 1:.............................................................................................................................Price: ............
Entry 2:.............................................................................................................................Price: ............
Signature: ..............................................................................................................................................
Post completed form to: Colette Doody, Grange Court, Rockfort Avenue, Dalkey, Co. Dublin
to arrive no later than Thursday, October 26th 2006.

NATURE’S CURES . . . from the Garden

Lemon Balm
‘Balm is a sovereign for the brain, strengthening the memory and powerfully chasing away melancholy’ (John Evelyn 1620-1706). Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis is a native of Southern Europe but was introduced into the gardens of Northern Europe at a very early period. For those of you that may not know this popular garden plant it is the bushy shrub that emits a fragrant lemon odour when bruised. You will in fact find it growing in many Dalkey gardens! Balm grows freely in any soil, is very resilient and one you may notice has a tendency to take over. The leaves are ovate, having a distinct lemon flavour. The heart shaped flowers are white or yellowish-green and bloom from June to October. The genus Melissa is widely diffused having many variations across the globe. Melissa is from the Greek word signifying ‘honey bee’ and you may well notice how bees love this plant. In fact an old tradition was to rub bee hives with the crushed leaves; this would not only keep the bees together it would encourage more and would also allow them to find their way home should they lose their way! The word Balm is from Hebrew meaning soothing oil. It has a long history of medicinal use and was highly esteemed by the ancient physician Paracelsus who believed it would ‘completely revivify a man’. Taken regularly it was believed to encourage longevity. It is a gentle aromatic bitter and is excellent for treating digestive problems. It helps relieve spasm in the digestive tract and is very useful for flatulence. Due to its mild antidepressant properties it is particularly useful for digestive problems associated with anxiety or depression as the gentle sedative oils relieve tension and stress reactions. In fact it has been esteemed of great use in all complaints preceded by a disordered state of the nervous system. Lemon balm lifts the spirits and comforts the heart! It may be used for insomnia, neuralgia, palpitations, migraine and for feverish conditions including influenza. It has been shown to have a marked anti-viral activity and may be used for treating and preventing cold sores and shingles. Lemon balm also has hormonal regulating effects and is used by practitioners to help treat hyperthyroidism. With a long tradition of enhancing the brain and memory it is increasingly used for treating Alzheimer’s disease. The leaves of this plant that make a wonderfully refreshing and tasty tea and can definitely enhance the flavour of other herb teas! The leaves can also be juiced. To make a refreshing summer drink pour a pint of boiling water over one ounce of the leaves or flowering tops and infuse for fifteen minutes. Allow it to cool, strain and add a little lemon juice or peel.
If a serious condition is suspected consult your doctor or a qualified medical herbalist.
Jennifer Derham Medical Herbalist BSc MNIMH MIMHO

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 handwriting
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 was 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.

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, bullfinches 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.

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