DESIGNED TO INSPIRE
Unit 1A Block C, Kilcoole Industrial Estate, Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow Ph: (01) 281 7000 Email: [email protected] Web: www.roundwooddesign.ie
What’s on in Wicklow 4 Bray Jazz turns 20 11
PeTe The VeT
Fear of vets 7
Open Door to a better life 8 Mary is born to run 12 The day my phone died 15 Premature babies 16
Hair extensions 21 The eyes have it 25
Give your home some showhouse style 18
Mellow yellow 22
Time for you and time for me 26
Where there’s a will... 28
OPEN DOOR in Bray is a A2017 SURVEY by pensions
fantastic example of a
community initiative that reaches out to all residents,
particularly those who could so easily otherwise be left on the margins.
This facility provides activities including physiotherapy, art, woodwork, music and ceramics to adults with physical and sensory sensory disabilities. It also gives a much-needed break to carers.
Life coach and author Marianne Heron spent a day there meeting the people who use the facility and getting a sense of the camaraderie among them. Read her uplifting report on page 8.
If there’s a theme running through this edition of Wicklow Woman, it is surely ‘No Limits.’ Arklow business woman and local hero Mary Nolan Hickey proved that age is no barrier when, at the age of 65, she ran a lap of Ireland’s coastline last year, raising €73,000 for the RNLI in the process.
Now the 66-year-old is gearing up for a sequel to that great achievement. In April she plans to begin a new adventure, heading off in the opposite direction around Ireland’s coast, this time on two wheels. She calls it ‘Lap of the Map Round Two - On a Bike.’
As if all that weren’t accomplishment enough, Mary also set up her first business at the age of 60.
“It’s good to show that there’s no limit to what women can do because of our age or gender,” she says. Mary, we salute you.
company Royal London
reported that seven out of 10 Irish adults had not made a will, and only half of them intended to do so.
Some people find the subject too morbid to address, it seems. However, this bury-your-head-in-the sand approach is of little benefit to loved ones when it comes to burying their dead and having to deal with one unholy mess because the deceased didn’t put their affairs in order before departing. Wills are the actions of responsible human beings who don’t think they’re immortal and would like to spare their loved ones unnecessary heartache on their inevitable demise. Read Catriona Murray’s practical advice on page 28.
At the other end of the spectrum, we think of births as joyous times, but for mums who go into very premature labour, it’s also a rollercoaster of stress and anxiety.
Having delivered her daughter Amelia at 25 weeks, Mandy Daly knows the impact that premature births have on parents and families. She co-founded a support group, the Irish Neonatal Health Alliance, to help other parents going through the experience. Read her story on page 16 and be inspired.
Carol Redmond urges us to put away our phones and smell the coffee (see page 15) while yours truly would encourage anyone who enjoys writing to enter the RTÉ Radio 1 Francis MacManus short story competition, closing date May 10th. My entry (see page 26) made it to the 2017 shortlist, so go on, have ago.IfIcandoit,youcantoo.
Find out more on page 12.
Cover: ‘Hair Like You’ campaign celebrates Great Lengths Hair Extensions (see page 21)
Wicklow Woman is published by Sherwood Media, Blainroe, Co. Wicklow TeL: 0404 66855 PUBLishinG & saLes DireCTor: Lesley Magill eMaiL: [email protected]
eDiTor: Celine Naughton
eMaiL: [email protected]
What’s on IN WICKLOW
eleanor Mcevoy plays at the Courthouse Tinahely
ThroUGhoUT WiCKLoW saTUrDaY MarCh 23 Mega hen/stag Party at Kippure estate
The fun begins with afternoon activities of your group’s choice, including a high ropes challenge, climbing, abseiling, clay shooting, Wild Wicklow Woman games (welly wanging, anyone?) and more. Price (€145 pps) includes a bonfire with Glögg, a Scandi mix of wine, port and vodka with fruit and spices, at 7pm, dinner at 8pm, dancing at 10pm with a late bar till 2am, overnight accommodation and breakfast.
saTUrDaY aPriL 6 Bray 10K Cliff run Set against the backdrop of a setting sun, this ever popular evening run goes from Greystones Beach to Bray Promenade via the coastal path around Bray Head. Enjoy endless views of Dublin Bay with no traffic, and at the end, reward yourself with well- deserved refreshments, music and the all-important post- mortem at the Martello Hotel.
CoUrThoUse arTs CenTre TinaheLY friDaY MarCh 29 John spillane
saTUrDaY aPriL 6 The four of Us Tickets €22/€20
saTUrDaY aPriL 13 Danny o'Brien, comedian Tickets €15/€12
saTUrDaY MaY 4 Johnny Duhan Tickets €20/€18
saTUrDaY MaY 18 eleanor Mcevoy Tickets €22/€20
Check out the great activities available through the Courthouse Outreach programme, e.g. Tinahely Ladies Choir meets on Wednesdays 10-11am; there are adult art classes on Fridays 10am-1pm; a writers’ group meeting on the first Thursday of the month, 7.30-9.30pm, a meditation meeting on the first Wednesday of the month, 7.30- 9.30pm; Toastmasters on the second Tuesday of the month, 7.30-9.30pm. The Courthouse Arts Centre also runs two children’s art workshops on Saturdays, at 10-11.30am and 12-1.30pm; and a teen art studio with free mentorship from a professional art tutor on Wednesday evenings, 7-9pm, at the Market Square Studio.
MerMaiD arTs CenTre BraY saTUrDaY MarCh 23 Joxer Daly esq
Sean O’Casey’s playful scrounger from the classic, Juno and The Paycock, takes centre stage in this new play by Eddie Naughton. Brilliantly performed by Phelim Drew, Joxer’s love of language, humour, literature and song is wryly delivered with a drinker’s purple recollection. Joxer Daly Esq’ is a fun, thought-provoking gander at one of Irish literature’s most loveable chancers. Tickets €20/€18
WeD-saT april 10-13 sister act - The Musical A feelgood, jump-to-your-feet comedy from the Bray Musical Society. Tickets €20/€18
Mon-TUes aPriL 15-16 Brick flicks These stop-motion animation workshops from Createschool are designed for children from nine years of age. Students work in small groups to create a set, storyboard and plan for their movie, which they film, edit and record. Equipment is provided: students need only bring their favourite Lego character to cast as the star of their film. Tickets €35.
saTUrDaY aPriL 27 David Mcsavage national Treasure Enjoy an evening of razor-sharp wit from the self-proclaimed National Treasure, David McSavage. Tickets €22/€20
ThUrsDaY MaY 9 Liv o’Donoghue - after In association with the Dublin Dance Festival, this performance uses live-stream film, physicality and dance to explore what may come after the end of days. Tickets €16/€14
WhaLe TheaTre GreYsTones TUes - ThUrs aPriL 16 - 18 Devoted to Cakes Kids easter Camp, 10am - 1.30pm
This three-day baking extravaganza teaches kids aged 8-12 years the art of decorating Easter cookies, modelling Easter chicks and bunnies and piping cupcakes. Each day the children take home their creations to share with their families. Tickets €100
MonDaY aPriL 22 Joe Daly’s Children’s Magic and illustion show The star of RTE Junior’s ‘abraKIDabra’ brings children aged 4-12 on a rollercoaster
Phelim Drew as Joxer Daly esq at the Mermaid arts Centre March 23. he and his band also play at the WhaleTheatre on april 27, with ‘remembering ronnie’
ride of magic, illusion, comedy and fun. Tickets €10
saTUrDaY aPriL 27 Phelim Drew Band: remembering ronnie Local actor and voice-over artist Phelim Drew and his band celebrates the music he grew up with and reinterprets the songs of his late father Ronnie, and the Dubliners, in music, songs and stories. Tickets €24/€22
saTUrDaY MaY 18 an evening with anne randolph Bray singer Anne Randolph and her band perform a blend of Celtic and international folk classics from the likes of Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Leonard Cohen and many other great artists. The evening also features some exquisite new world music, and introduces brand new folk and soft jazz pieces from Mick Hanly and Keith Donald.
Brian Irvine and Friends entertain kids of all ages on March 29
ConCerTs aT MerMaiD
Check out the final three in a series of six superb concerts curated by Eamon Sweeney, current Music Network Artist in Residence at the Mermaid Arts Centre.
friDaY March 29 Brian irvine and friends: This is a musical adventure for children of all ages with award-winning composer/conductor Brian Irvine (pictured, left), Malachy Robinson (bass), Francesco Turrisi (multi-instrumentalist) and Eamon Sweeney (guitar). Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children): €45
friDaY april 26 irish & spanish Baroque Guitar Music: From Carnegie Hall and Covent Garden to the Mermaid Arts Centre, Xavier Díaz-Latorre, one of the world’s leading baroque guitarists, brings his incredible virtuosity to Ireland for the first time. Tickets: €16/€14
saTUrDaY MaY 25 Concertos para Bebés (Concerts for Babies): Portuguese musicians introduce babies and toddlers to music in a relaxed setting that all the family can enjoy. Expect fun and laughter as tiny tots listen in wonder to a range of genres played on a variety of instruments from baroque guitar to saxophone.
Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children): €30
NATIONAL THEATRE WALES: COTTON FINGERS SATURDAY 1 JUNE 2019
€18 | €16 | Age Suitability 14+
Written by award-winning playwright Rachel Trezise at the time of the historic referendum of the 8th amendment in Ireland, Cotton Fingers takes us on a journey from Belfast to Wales.
WICKLOW WOMAN 5
Why some pets have a
FEAR OF VETS
Animals don’t always appreciate that vets want to help, not hurt.
Pete Wedderburn remembers an encounter with a friendly dog who turned fierce when they ran into each other outside the clinic
Pete the vet
“IT’S just a little injection,” I said lightly. The tiny
poodle puppy looked at me trembling, his eyes bulging in fearful anticipation.
From his perspective, the syringe was an obscure instrument of torture. He could not understand why he was being grasped by a complete stranger and why his owner was not protecting him from this clear and present - in the poodle’s mind - danger.
One of the frustrating aspects of life as a vet is that we cannot explain to our patients that we are actually here to make them better. We like animals - we have a strong desire to make them healthy and happy. Yet from the animal's perspective, vets are the only class of human being from which their owners are unable to protect them.
If anybody else behaved like a vet, the caring owner would keep them well away from their much-loved pets. Vets forcibly manhandle animals, lift them unceremoniously on to tables, poke and prod them all over, push thermometers up their rear ends and finally spear them with sharp needles.
It’s no wonder that we are often not the favourite person
in the average pet's address book.
the connection between our ministrations and their subsequent good health. We all have our favourite patients who seem to enjoy visiting the vet, and make us feel that we’re friends.
We do try to make every pet's visit to the veterinary clinic as pleasant as possible, so that hopefully there is less justification for future resentment. We spend time
greeting them and trying to win their trust
before attempting anything which
might be a little distressing. We give injections
using ” techniques
which are as pain-free as
possible, and make use of sedatives and anaesthetics to avoid our
patients experiencing any unnecessary discomfort while fully conscious. And if an animal has been well behaved, a small treat (full of vitamins, of course) is sometimes popped into their mouths as they leave to end their experience on a positive note.
One of the latest concepts in veterinary clinic design is to take positive steps to create
“cat friendly” and “dog friendly” environments, with separate waiting rooms for each species, as well as specific tweaks to make the experience more enjoyable and less stressful for all pets. Visit our clinic in Bray to see some of these tweaks in action.
There are few sights more rewarding to us vets than to see a previously seriously ill animal returning to our clinic when cured, and it’s always pleasant to meet a smiling, grateful owner at this time.
But the best sight of all is when an animal happily returns to the clinic, tail wagging and muscles straining at the lead, eager to rush in and greet the person who has made them better.
Most vets have stories of being recognised off-duty by nervous patients. I remember soon after qualifying going to a pub with two friends. As they walked ahead of me, they encountered a large dog who gently wagged his tail as they moved past him. But once the amiable creature set his eyes on me, he transformed into a wild animal, growling and snarling, hackles up and teeth bared. He wouldn’t back down, and I had to leave the pub with my tail between my legs.
I had treated the dog after a road accident the previous month, and all he could remember was the unpleasant aspects of the experience. He could not make the connection between his encounter with myself and the fact that he had recovered well from his injuries.
However, we all like to think that some animals do make
“ the amiable creature
transformed into a wild animal, growling and snarling... I had to leave the pub with my tail between my legs
by Charles Sharkey, LIPPA,
Bray, Co Wicklow Tel 087 2217947 or 01 2868707 Email [email protected]
communIty In actIon
Open Door to
A BETTER LIFE
Life coach and author Marianne heron spends a day in Bray’s Open Door centre, a social hub for adults with disabilities. Photographs by David Morgan
“IIT’S a completely different life to what I had before, I thought I was going to be
left with nothing,” says Sharon Grant sitting at the work table in the colourful arts and crafts room at Open Door Day Centre in Bray.
“I was in bed for three years after I had two strokes,” she tells me as she makes a cover for a miniature bed to go in the doll’s house being made in the woodwork room next door. “Now I have a new life and new friends.”
Friendship is part of what makes the special magic at Open Door, mixed with dedication, teamwork and a big dollop of love. At 10.30 on a Monday morning the
centre’s general activities room hums with chat and laughter as around 30 of its members with cups of tea and crosswords sit around a big oval table with Valentine’s Ballybrack ” woodwork room,
their efforts and a great deal of fundraising, Open Door lived up to its name and opened its doors in 1984 to the first nine members, as participants are called. Now two moves later in its current purpose-built premises on the Vevay Road, the Centre is about to celebrate its 35th birthday and on any one day caters for 33 members from North Wicklow and South Dublin with physical or sensory disabilities caused by conditions like Parkinson’s, MS, Motor Neurone, stroke or through accidents.
What I really notice, though, is not the occasional wheelchair or walking aid but the special warm atmosphere at Open Door
- that, and the sheer enjoyment and pride
the centre has three buses which collect people in the catchment area from Wicklow to
people take in what they are
the unofficial assistant in the
Day mobiles fluttering above it. There’s anticipation Laurel and Hardy figures he
shows me the
in the air as they wait to join the various activities on offer - ceramics, arts and crafts, or woodwork.
This cheerful scene, though, was born of a crying necessity. Helen, a young Greystones woman in her early 20s was left disabled following a brain haemorrhage and her parents found that there were no facilities to offer her occupation and friendship. There was, they said, a yawning gap in provisions for adults with physical disabilities.
Enter three inspired Bray women, Mary Hackett, the late Olive Quinn and Padraegín Hughes who carried out a survey which found at least 17 house-bound adults with physical or sensory disabilities in the surrounding community.
painted.” He has a hand in everything,” says tutor Tony Clarke. “Coming here is a real life-changer.”
In the ceramics room, Tim O’Maille is adding a ribbon to hang up the ceramic plaque he has made while Mabel O’Keefe shows me a mirror framed in mosaic which she is making in the bright colours she loves. “Before I came here, I couldn’t do anything - now I’ve made a load of stuff,” she says.
In the general activities room, member and board member Ronald Carroll tells me about a table which he made for his son in woodwork class. “Then I had to make a second one for my
Top: Mabel o’Keefe shows a mosaic framed mirror she made. Centre: sharon Grant works on a bed for a doll’s house. Right: John Gilbert shows off Laurel and hardy figures he painted.
making. John Gilbert who has been nominated as
Two years later, thanks to
wife, she liked his so much.” “We usually start with an
elephant,” says ceramics teacher Mark Meakin explaining that, being familiar, elephants are easy to make. “People come in here and do things that they have never done before. It’s about life skills and problem solving.”
There is plenty of interplay between the different activity areas. Artists make frames for their pictures in the woodwork section and arts and crafts teacher Jenny Dann and her pupils made the Valentine’s Day decorations for the general activity room. Members, tutors and volunteers get on so well together, the building seems like it contains one big happy family.
In fact, there is a real family connection: things have come full circle for one of the founders, Mary Hackett, who now comes to the Open Door as a member due to a disability. Her daughter Suzanne Cox is the centre’s Development Officer and her sister Dei Mooney is one of the indispensable volunteers.
The centre has three buses which collect people in the catchment area from Wicklow to Ballybrack and delivers them there by 9.45am.
“Members socialise and a fantastic friendship group builds up,” says Suzanne. “We’re all here to make their days better.”
A typical day at the centre begins with group exercises, physiotherapy, core activities like art, woodwork and ceramics plus guitar, group music and computers, then lunch followed more activities. It’s a place to make Bray proud.
Open Door is a one-off, the
kind of operation you might feel should be copied in every county. The centre is a registered charity overseen by a 16-member board and partially funded by the HSE which covers running costs and salaries for core staff.
“Fundraising is a huge challenge,” says Suzanne. “An additional €120,000 has to be raised each year to cover the cost of incidentals, specialist teachers and maintenance physiotherapy given by Lukasz Oleksiewicz.
“Lukasz is very encouraging. He gets people to do more than they think they can do. The staff take on things like driving the buses and helping with catering as well as giving classes. Volunteers who help out with the various activities are indispensable and very much appreciated by all at Open Door.
“Extras like physio equipment and the bank of computers in the activity room are funded by grants or lottery funds. I spend a lot of time applying for grants.”
Fundraising plays an essential part in finances too. Currently, Suzanne is looking for sponsored runners to take part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon - with 40,000 participants, the largest of its kind anywhere.
For further information contact suzanne on (087) 625 0823 or email [email protected]m.net. visit www.opendoor.ie
above: Mary hackett, co-founder and member at open Door Centre, Martin ryan, Chairman of the Board and suzanne Cox, Development officer
Below: Ceramics tutor Mark Meakin with parrot pictures made by his students
Marianne Heron is a life coach specialising in retirement. She is also co-author of Irish Life’s Rewire don’t Retire: Your passport to a fulfilling retirement. Email Marianne at [email protected]
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Bray jazz Fest
BRAY JAZZ TURNS 20
The annual jazz festival marks its 20th anniversary with a fantastic line-up of international greats
restaurants, all hopping with the cool sounds of live jazz on the May bank holiday weekend.
“Music lovers have been unwavering in their support of the festival since we started out on this epic adventure,” says Dorothy. “Since then we have staged more than 500 concerts, recitals and jazz trail gigs, and have had more memorable moments than we could hope to remember.” To find out more visit brayjazz.com
THE 20TH International Bray Jazz Festival is coming your way this May bank holiday and its organisers have gone all out to make this landmark anniversary event the best yet. With artists from Senegal, Lithuania, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, the UK, USA, Ireland and elsewhere, fans are in for a treat as some of the coolest cats of the jazz world take to the stage at various venues throughout the north Wicklow town from May 3rd - 5th.
Every year growing crowds flock to Bray to hear some of the finest singers and musicians showcase their talents in various venues around the town.
The success of Bray Jazz is a huge accomplishment for festival founders, George and Dorothy Jacob, who turned a personal dream from a simple idea to a renowned event now billed as “one of the very best
small jazz festivals in Europe.” Not only does it boost the town’s business, tourism and cultural arenas, it gives locals and visitors alike a rare opportunity to experience live performances by some of the very finest jazz musicians in the world today.
“It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the event first took flight as a millennium year project that staged its main gigs at Bray’s Ardmore Film Studios – when Mermaid Arts Centre was just a twinkle in the eye of Wicklow’s arts community,” says Dorothy.
Bray Jazz has been a mainstay of the Mermaid programme since the theatre opened a few years later, and it has brought a dizzying array of international stars to the town’s Arts Centre through the years.
This year will be no exception, with multi-Grammy award-winning US guitar god John Scofield just one of the jazz heavyweights booked in to play Mermaid on Saturday night, 4th May next.
Others in the impressive festival line-up include award- winning Euro jazz singer Lucia Cadotsch, UK jazz diva Norma Winstone, Solo Cissokho & Indré Jurgelevičiūtė (Senegal and Lithuania) as well as artists from France, Sweden, Switzerland and West Africa.
Bray Jazz is set to spread its own wings this year too, with
Tel landline 01 284 3065 Email:[email protected]
shows at Wicklow-wide venues including Russborough House, Calary Church in Roundwood, the Courthouse Arts Centre in Tinahely and Arklow Methodist Church.
Alongside the festival’s core Bray programme – at Mermaid Arts Centre, The Well (St Paul’s Church), Bray Methodist Church and Bray Town Hall - this year’s special anniversary will again feature popular venues including the Harbour Bar and many other bars, hotels and
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Why Mary is
BORN TO RUN
Arklow hero Mary nolan hickey is unstoppable. At 65 she ran the coast of Ireland raising €73,000 for the RNLI - and now she’s gearing up for Lap of the Map Round Two - On a Bike
WHO could forget the scene in Forrest Gump where the character played by Tom Hanks, sitting on a bench tells a random stranger, “Now you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows. From that day on, if I was going somewhere, I was running.”
The same could be said for Arklow dynamo Mary Nolan Hickey, a runner who breaks the mould on and off the road. Last year she set herself a challenge to run the entire coast of Ireland, an exercise she called ‘The Lap of the Map.’ Age was no barrier for the then 65-year-old to achieve her goal – and she raised a massive €73,000 for the RNLI in the process.
She set out on January 1st, and after 109 days and 1,500 miles, returned to a hero’s welcome in her home town on April 14th.
“I’m now 66-and-a-half and celebrating my 50th year in athletics,” says Mary, the only woman to have completed every Dublin City Marathon since it began in 1980. But what possessed her to run the coastline of the country?
“I was doing a marathon in the Wicklow Gap, called ‘Lap of the Gap,’” she recalls. “In the middle of it I had this spur-
Mary gets a royal welcome to the rebel County by sonia o’sullivan and rnLi supporters
of-the-moment idea: why not run along the whole coast of Ireland? It would be a ‘Lap of
A long-time admirer of the life-saving work of Irish
Lifeboat volunteers, Mary decided to use the
“I call them my keyboard warriors,” she says. “These people planned my accommodation, arranged for my bags to be transferred from place to place as I ran, and managed my entire trip on social media. I didn’t have to worry about a thing. All I had to do was run. I stayed in every type of accommodation - family homes, B&B’s, big hotels, small hotels, even a few five-star hotels. I felt the whole country was looking after me.”
Which was just as well, given Mary’s self-professed poor sense of direction.
“To be honest, I’d get lost in a supermarket, but I thought since I was heading north, if I just kept the sea on my right, I’d end up back in Arklow,” she says. “I started off drawing routes on a map, but by Malin Head I got fed up drawing and just ran.
“Everywhere I went, people left food out for me and came out to meet me or run with me. There were only about 15
the Map.’ I mulled it around in my head for a while before telling my best friend Anne-Marie O’Sullivan and she said, ‘I know you – you’ll do it.’”
opportunity to raise funds for the RNLI.
Very quickly people offered to come on board so that by the
time she put her best foot forward,
even on a quiet country road in the middle of nowhere kids ran out to cheer me on
” she had an impressive support
team behind her.
“everywhere i went, people came out to run with me. i never felt lonely,” says Mary.
WICKLOW 12 WOMAN
days when I was on my own, but I never felt lonely. .
“To be out amid nature with only the sound of seagulls squawking is an awesome experience. It’s a break from mundane life and certainly beats working. Even on a quiet country road in the middle of nowhere, I’d suddenly hear my name being called and see kids running out to cheer me on.
“The downside was blisters and exhaustion sometimes, but the uplifting moments outweighed any hardship.”
She was forced to take a short break in March when snow and icy conditions raised a red weather warning, but after three nights in Listowel – “a lovely place to be stuck in,” she says – she was back on the
she says. “There was a space in the Arklow Leisure Centre that was used as a store room and I thought, that would make a great coffee shop. I got a small loan from the bank, painted the room myself and fitted it out very quickly before opening it as The Lake Coffee Shop.”
She works long hours yet still finds time to run, cycle, row, and with her expertise, she also trains a group of runners. During one of these training sessions, she had an unfortunate mishap last May.
“A month after I got back from the Lap, I tripped and broke my shoulder in three places,” she says. “That’s what can happen when you take your eye off the ball for a second. I was mortified.”
road. “In every
county, the local radio station interviewed me, which
really helped to boost the fundraising,” she says.
there’s no limit to what women can do because of our age or gender
But nothing can keep this one-woman
powerhouse down. She was
back into gear in zip time and has big plans to make her
Well, holy god, Mary is cheered on in Glenroe
The homecoming queen, above, being carried by the arklow rnLi crew and, below, embraced by her proud sons, Calvin and Tony.
mark again this year - on two
She returned to a hero’s welcome in her home town, where proud sons Tony and Calvin were waiting to greet her, along with family, friends and thousands of well- wishers who lined the streets, cheering her on.
“The welcome home was unreal,” says Mary. “I never saw a Paddy’s Day parade that could beat it. I found it humbling that so many people put on such a show for one little woman when it was such an honour for me to run for the RNLI.”
This “one little woman” has been breaking the mould in other aspects of her life too. Having worked as a general operative with pharmaceutical giant Allergan, Mary found herself out of a job when the company moved its operations out of Ireland during the recession. Unemployment didn’t suit her and a few years later, at the age of 60, she decided to start her own business.
“I saw it as an opportunity to try something different,”
” wheels. “Some people
might think I’m obsessed, but I’m not, I just have a passion for life,” says Mary. “I also think it’s good to show there’s no limit to what women can do because of our age or gender. There’s a tendency in some quarters to patronise people once we reach a certain age. It’s a kind of, ‘Ah there now dear, put this blanket over your knees and take it easy’ attitude. No way.
“My next challenge is to cycle around the country in the opposite direction, heading south rather than north. This is my RNLI Lap of the Map Round Two – On a Bike. Because of work commitments I’ll have to do it in blocks, cycling for two weeks at a time, followed by two weeks at home, then I’ll go back and pick up the bike where I left it and do another two weeks. It seems fitting to start on the day I finished the run, April 14th.”
Keep an eye out for Mary’s upcoming facebook page for further information or to find out how to donate.
WICKLOW WOMAN 13
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THE DAY MY PHONE DIED
Life coach Carol redmond thought she knew what Nomophobia (fear of losing your mobile phone) meant until she found herself without hers - and ended up with a bad dose of FOMO
I had an appointment with a friend at 11.30 in a lovely Italian café in Bray, on the now- fashionable-again Albert Walk, arranged last week.
I charged the phone to see if I could get any vital signs out of it. But no, that phone was so black and blank, it was depressing looking at the poor, lifeless thing.
Then I started to feel... I didn’t know what at first... a sense of unease, disquiet. But soon the thoughts started to make themselves heard.
I hadn't texted my friend over the weekend as I’d been away. I didn't text her on Monday evening as I'd planned, to say, 'Are we still on for tomorrow?’ And I couldn't text her now.
My son said, “You can use my phone.”
“Great, thanks!” I replied, but then realised I didn't know my friend’s number. It's on my contacts, on my inert phone.
“I'll take the battery out and reinsert it,” my daughter offered. Nothing happened.
“I'll put your SIM in my phone to get her number,” she said. Didn't work.
“Oh, I know,” I said. “I'll email her.”
So I cranked up the laptop and searched for her address. Not there. We don't
communicate at all on email, I realised.
Facebook? She's not on it, rare breed that she is.
There was nothing for it but to proceed to the appointed venue, so off I went, discombobulated, and I realised, this is it - this is the separation anxiety the twenty- somethings speak of, FOMO at its height. It is a psychological syndrome of Nomophobia.
How ridiculous, I thought. I am actually fretting over a digital device that has just let me down after three years of unwavering service. I am too old to indulge such feelings.
I went to the café, sat down and waited. If my pal didn’t show, I decided I’d have a lovely Italian coffee solo and read one of the amazing old books provided in the café, while admiring the orange and cream- coloured Decca LP album covers adorning the walls.
I had just started to sip my skinny latte when my friend walked in.
We debriefed. She had sent several texts to my obsolete phone and wondered why I hadn't replied, but decided to pitch up anyway.
We chatted for god knows how long, and my disquiet at not having my digital friend comfortably weighing down my pocket was quickly forgotten.
reply instantaneously or the world is doomed.
How many times have you seen a woman frantically root in her voluminous tote bag to find the offending handset, only to grab it as the ringtone rings out. Oh, the stress!
I for one will be behaving more like my Albert Walk morning from
now on. My daughter is the
same age as the Internet. Go figure. It
seemed an alien concept to her that there was once a time
when people were not in constant
IGREW up in the era of the cord-tethered telephone, at one time considered such a wonder of communication it commanded a table of its own as its docking station in family homes, sometimes with a seat attached, and usually in a draughty hall.
Despite having come late to mobile phones - I was in my thirties before owning my first one - I thought I understood the concept of 'Mobile Phone Separation Anxiety,' otherwise known as Nomophobia, and its near relative, FOMO – Fear of Missing Out. However, I didn't think I was susceptible.
It started on Monday night. On scrolling through my Facebook news feed, my phone's screen froze. Despite trying to switch it on and off, nothing would thaw the thing out, so I fell asleep to a bright, always-on image, knowing by the morning it would be as dead as a dodo, and it was.
I use my mobile as an alarm so Tuesday dawned dully, and not having been able to set it the previous night, I woke up late.
We reminisced back to the times before mobiles when you made arrangements and stuck to them. There were no texts to cancel - just because you could - at the last minute.
“ there were no texts
Now, having the facility to bail out at short notice with hastily sent messages like, ‘Sorry, can’t make it - the cat’s
sick/I missed the bus/I forgot’ is in danger of turning us into a society of social gazumpers.
Is technology making us less considerate
towards each other, my friend and I pondered. We also reflected on the 21st Century anxiety that dependency on mobile devices has created.
Just because you have a phone strapped to your person does not mean you have to constantly use it. Messages and emails that ping into your inbox can wait. You don't have to check your Facebook notifications on the trot - they are really not that important.
You still retain the right to choose if and when you respond, yet we all act as if we have to
experience, and here’s what I know for sure:
There is much to be gained by giving yourself a well-earned break from constant communications and social media.
Pretend most days that you have actually lost your phone. Try leaving it behind when you go to meet a friend, or simply switch it off for an afternoon. Be okay with that. You’ll find that the world doesn't end.
We owe it to ourselves to stop awhile every now and then and smell that Italian coffee.
to cancel - just because you could - at the last
minute ” I’ve learned from the
Carol Redmond is a life coach based in Greystones. Tel: 086 813 1931 E: [email protected] Web: wicklowlifecoach.com
FamIly & lIvInG
My beautiful baby was
BORN AT 25 WEEKS
Bray mum Mandy Daly recalls the trauma of going into premature labour and explains why she co-founded the Irish Neonatal Health Alliance to support other parents of premature babies
amelia stands next to the incubator where she spent the first four weeks of her life, as seen in the photo she holds that mum Mandy took twelve years ago
NO FIRST-TIME mother- to-be expects to find herself in the delivery suite at the end of Week 25 of her pregnancy, but in October 2006, that was where I found myself.
I’d suffered a placental abruption, a rare but serious complication of pregnancy in which the placenta separates from the uterine wall. It can cause heavy bleeding in the mother and deprive the baby of oxygen. I was rushed to the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin where our daughter, Amelia Faith, was delivered by emergency caesarean section weighing just 780g, lighter than an average sliced pan.
The delivery room was deathly quiet as one half of an
army of medics fought for nine minutes to breathe life into Amelia’s tiny body and the other half fought to save my life. I didn’t get to see or hold my precious daughter after her birth and the physical
realise that I didn’t recognise my own flesh and blood.
Nothing could have prepared me for the journey that lay ahead. Being discharged home
from hospital three days after giving birth without my
My husband John McDermott and I watched Amelia endure a host of painful medical procedures to fight one life- threatening infection after another. The heartache of leaving her each night as we travelled home to our empty house is indescribable.
I wanted to do everything in my power to protect my child, but I felt powerless. One of the few things I could do was to set an alarm to wake me every three hours so that I could express breast milk which the nurses fed to her, hoping it would help her survive.
Four weeks later, I finally got to hold Amelia for the first time. It was a moment that should have been filled with joy and gratitude. Instead it ripped me
and emotional emptiness that followed was compounded by the stark reality that she might not survive.
“ the emptiness of
not being able to hold my baby was compounded by the stark reality that she might not survive
child was harrowing. Then
followed a daily two-hour commute each way to spend
fourteen hours a day sitting
A day later I was brought to the neonatal intensive care unit to meet Amelia. However, as I stood outside the ward and peered in at the ten incubators in the room, each housing a baby smaller than the next, I was heartbroken to
” beside her incubator,
desperately wanting to reach in to touch her. I lived in constant fear of not knowing what crisis we’d have to face each day, or even if each day might be our last together.
Mandy and amelia at home in Bray
to the core. At 900g, she was so light that even as she lay skin- to-skin against my chest, I couldn’t feel her. I was overwhelmed by the feeling that I should have been able to bring my daughter safely into the world, but I had failed her, and that the pain and suffering she had endured was my fault. Even now, twelve years later, I still sometimes carry that irrational guilt, but I’ve learned to embrace it as part of our journey and it no longer owns me.
Fast forward three months and on Christmas Eve 2006, we got the best Christmas present ever – we got to take our little girl home. But settling into a new routine was far from easy. Amelia was diagnosed with chronic lung disease and had to be attached to a breathing monitor at night for the first year. We became adept at jumping out of bed when the alarm went off and one of us would get her breathing again.
part of her foot and it would be unlikely that she would walk normally. Thankfully, Amelia defied the odds again. Despite losing part of her baby toe, she learned to walk at age two and
now takes part in lots of sporting activities.
Having a premature baby at
home in winter is as terrifying as it is isolating. September to
April each year is the peak season for
” Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), a common cause of
colds and ’flu, but it can be life- threatening for a premature baby. Prevention is the only guaranteed cure, but keeping a baby in quarantine for seven months is an impossible task. I
As with many pre-term infants, feeding has always and continues to be an issue for Amelia. Her growth rate was delayed as a result of this and at the age of three, we discovered she suffered from oral aversion, most likely related to her prolonged time on a ventilator during her first four weeks of life.
A major concern was a benign lesion known as haemangioma, which was growing aggressively on her left foot. The medical team speculated that she might lose
witnessed several babies succumb to this virus during my time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unite (NICU) and for the first three years of Amelia’s life I lived in fear of her getting it.
Her immature immune system resulted in many bouts of illness and hospitalisations, but this too has resolved over the years.
Amelia is twelve now and has
done remarkably well for a baby of her gestation. She has a sensory processing disorder, a developmental co-ordination disorder called dyspraxia and
a few other issues, but overall she’s a beautiful, happy, wonderful girl with loyal and understanding friends, and parents who love her more than anything in the world.
“ I spent fourteen hours
a day sitting beside her incubator, desperately wanting to reach in and touch her
one premature baby born every two hours
of the 70,000 babies delivered in Ireland every year, 4,500 – that’s one every two hours – are born pre-term. While pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks, a baby is considered premature when delivered before the 37th week.
“our experience of having pre-term children inspired me and five other parents to set up the charity, Irish neonatal health alliance (Inha) in 2013,” says mandy Daly. “We work collaboratively with national and international stakeholders to reduce the incidence of pre-term birth, increase survival rates of premature babies, support and empower parents, and improve the long-term health of children born prematurely.” For further information see www.inha.ie
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Give your home some
Beautify your living space with stylish ideas from some of our county’s leading designers, manufacturers and retailers
“i TrY To Use as ManY LoCaL sUPPLiers as PossiBLe in MY WorK” - Ciara Jordan
CIARA JORDAN of Amour Design recently completed the full fit-out of a showhouse in Edmonstown, a new development in Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin.
As ever, Ciara is delighted to tell us how she interpreted the brief given to her so that our readers may be inspired to get creative in your own home.
Beautiful, timeless, functional interiors which reflect your individuality and lifestyle.
“The brief for the showhouse was to accommodate a young family maybe on their second home,” she says. “I went with green and neutral tones in the lounge to give it a fresh look with designer wallpaper from York supplied by Cremins Moiselle in Bray.
“Also, all of my fabrics for curtains and blinds are by
Fabricut from Cremins Moiselle. “The herringbone floor in the
lounge is on trend and gives a lovely warm feeling to the room, while the feature light supplied by House of Lights also in Bray makes a real statement. I try to use as many local suppliers as possible in my work.
“The tiles in the kitchen are
large format to create space and less grout joints means less cleaning. The kitchen units are simple with clean lines and a quartz worktop to give the kitchen a high end finish.
The tones are light and muted and I used modern artworks by Nicky Krusman in Greystones to bring in dashes of bold colour.”
CALL 087 696 9285 or EMAIL [email protected]
reLaX in sTYLe
Sometimes there’s nothing better than curling up in a really comfy chair to read, watch TV or just relax and take in the views. The new spring season collection of chairs at Flanagan Kerins (www.flanagankerins.ie) has a huge choice of designs and fabrics, with something to reflect every personality and taste. One of our favourites is the new Gaffer Chair (was €1195, now €985). With its curved back and arm rests combined with angled hardwood legs, this is shaped to give support and softness in all the right places. You won’t want to get up.
WICKLOW WOMAN 19
Furniture for Life
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6 top tips about
Our cover model’s best-tressed locks show how vibrant modern hair extensions have become. Edwina Hayes, Great Lengths Educator, shares her top tips and discusses the brand’s Hair Like You campaign
Who is likely to use 1 hair extensions?
Gone are the days when extensions were used purely to
add length to hair. More and more clients are turning to Great Lengths to help combat issues such as thinning hair, filling sparse areas, and adding volume, colour and depth without causing damage to the hair with chemicals and dyes. As we know, over time hair weakens as a result of many factors including styling, weather, colouring and the natural ageing process. Great Lengths aims to help restore the look of what has been lost, naturally, with 100% human hair extensions which are ethically sourced. With our Hair Like You campaign, we’re on a mission to educate people about how extensions can help provide a natural enhancement and address common hair problems, creating results that can no longer be achieved with natural hair.
how are they applied?
2 There are two methods of application available with Great Lengths. No One is our
pre-bonded extension, a tiny keratin bond created to attach to your hair in cylindrical or flat form. This bond is gentle on the hair and reacts in the same way to water and heat as your own hair. The second method uses GL Tapes, launched a year ago. In this process, a small section of hair is sandwiched between two tapes made from medical grade, hypo- allergenic adhesive.
are highly trained in colour matching, and with up to 80 shades available, there is always a correct match for you. It’s also possible to blend the hair by adding extra pieces in a lighter shade, which creates a beautiful lift to your colour without chemical processing.
are extensions tricky to keep in good condition?
how long do they last?
The pre-bonded method can last up to five
Most of my clients find their hair easier to manage with
Great Lengths extensions than without. Our aftercare shampoos, conditioners, masks and styling products keep the hair in tip-top shape. Regular brushing is paramount in any hair extension maintenance routine, and we have a selection of brushes for all hair types and styling, including a large paddle brush that glides through your hair, keeping it tangle-free and soft and smooth as possible.
Tell us about the Celtic 6 auburn waves on our
This image from our latest Hair Like You campaign shows just how natural Great Lengths extensions can look. The natural copper texture is a breath of fresh air, stepping away from the long glossy mane often associated with extensions. They have a light, lively texture and the new vibrant copper shades launched this spring supplement the great variety of colours in the range.
Great Lengths have a natural wavy texture when dried naturally. This image shows how just a couple of rows of extensions are needed to complete the look. With mid-length 'lob' looks very in vogue at the moment, extensions are ideal to fill out some width, especially around the face and over the ears where hair tends to be finer. They can be tailored for even the finest hair to safely enhance the look.
For further information or to find a salon near you visit www.greatlengthshair.ie
WICKLOW WOMAN 21
months, depending on your aftercare and maintenance. Our GL tapes last up to 6-8 weeks and can be re-taped up to three times.
how do i choose the 4 right colour for me?
You will find the best colour for you in consultation with
one of our expert Great Lengths extensionists. These professionals
hoW to Wear...
This spring, fashion is going sunny side up with a colour that comes in such a great variety of shades from deepest mustard to pale lemon, there’s one to suit every skin tone.
Cut a dash with this super smart suit with high-waisted pants and matching blazer in yellow ochre, teamed perfectly with a simple white embroidered top Jacket €48, trousers €26 and white embroidered top €32, all from Dorothy Perkins
Go with the flow with a long yellow-and-white striped dress worn over simple white jeans and flats. M&s Collection dress, €47.50 M&s Collection jeans, €27 earrings, €10, and shoes, €60. all from Marks and spencer
if smart casual is your style, team a spot print yellow shirt with jeans or jeggings and heels. Yellow print shirt, €36, jeans €30 and bag €22, all from Dorothy Perkins
Worn over jeans or a skirt, this soft and cosy yellow cable knit bobble jumper is just the ticket when there’s a chill in the air. it’s €30 from next.
NATIONAL SPRING CLEAN 2019
Get involved. Show you care
National Spring Clean is Ireland’s most popular and successful anti-litter initiative. Anyone or any group can get involved. Last year close to 150 events were held in County Wicklow. This year again Wicklow County Council is working with An Taisce to support the campaign, and help to get all our communities litter free.
How to get involved? Organise a date for a clean up event in your community and register it with National Spring Clean. Contact Wicklow County Council if you need materials including bags, litter pickers and gloves and also to arrange a collection of the bags afterwards.
If you prefer your local Tidy Towns group may have clean ups planned or other activities which you can help out with in your local town and you could join with them instead of organising your own event.
Love where you live in County Wicklow this Spring
Wicklow County Council Environmental Awareness Office
Tel: 0404 20100 Email: [email protected] www.wicklow.ie
National Spring Clean An Taisce
Tel: 01 4002219 Email: [email protected] www.nationalspringclean.org
For high brow beauty
THE EYES HAVE IT
Beauty therapist Julie Davis draws out the benefits of semi-permanent eyebrows
FROM over-plucking to lack of hair growth, thinning or unevenness, almost every woman knows the pain of bad eyebrows! Hormonal changes as we age don’t help. As if hot flushes and mood swings are not enough, Mother Nature thins out our eyebrows too,
Good eyebrows frame the face, highlighting your best features, brightening your appearance and making you look more youthful. They give you a
system called microblading is one of the most popular services in the beauty industry. We use modern inks which are specifically suited to match an individual’s natural skin tones. Because of the shallower depth, microblading will fade out over a couple of years, so in general, an annual colour boost will keep them looking fresh.
So what exactly is microblading? It’s a shallow tattoo of tiny hair strokes, mimicking your natural hair. It’s so natural looking that it’s even effective on clients with minimal or no hair at all. A hand tool is used to implant the pigment into the skin. As it’s quite shallow, it’s not painful. My clients liken the discomfort level to that of plucking their eyebrows.
appearance of volume
After microblading, I often add shading, using a cosmetic tattoo machine, to create the
appearance of volume. The procedure
undergoing chemotherapy. I’ve been in the beauty
industry for over 20 years, and have spent almost 15 of those teaching beauty therapy. I’ve been asked by colleges to come and teach microblading and have just begun teaching with Ecuri Cosmetics in Churchtown. I love to share my skills and knowledge with others.
When not teaching, I work with my business partner Serka Kinsella at our beauty salon, Studio LR in Kilcoole. We are a team of nine, and microblading is almost all I do in the salon now. I’ve found my passion, and there’s a big demand for the service. I’m normally booked up a couple of months in advance.
If you are considering having the treatment, do a little homework on the practitioner first. It’s important to see pictures of their work and take a look at their client reviews. I do a lot of correctional work for women who have come to me with pink, red, grey, blue and even green brows after things had gone horribly wrong.
Prices vary from place to place. I charge €400 to include consultation, the procedure itself and a one-month check- up. After that, an annual top-up costs €125.
fresh look on no- makeup days.
Good eyebrows frame the face, highlighting your best features
takes about two hours in total,
including time spent drawing on the shape
” before we begin to
There have been lots of services and treatments to improve brows over the years, tinting, shaping, waxing, threading, henna and even eyebrow extensions where little synthetic hairs were attached on to your natural hairs! While many of these methods are effective, unfortunately they only last around three to four weeks.
Julie Davis Permanent Eyebrows Wicklow, Studio LR, Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow. Tel: 01 2011545
Cosmetic tattooing began in the 1930’s, but with technicians using traditional tattoo methods, results were often poor. To make tattoos long lasting, ink was deposited into the deeper layer of the skin. They lasted forever, but blurred out and changed colour over time.
Fast forward to today, and a
make sure it’s exactly what each individual client wants.
I take many factors into account when choosing the right style and colour of brows. Face shape, eye shape, direction of hair growth, skin texture, oiliness of skin and whether a client has had any previous semi-permanent makeup done are all important considerations in achieving beautiful, natural-looking brows.
Regardless of skin tone, or any of the other factors, microblading cosmetic tattoo suits almost everyone. However, it would be contra- indicated for any woman who is pregnant, breastfeeding, or
an example of how brows are given shape and definition
TIME FOR ME
A short story by Celine naughton
TIME FOR YOU
YOU come to me in waves and dreams, moments here and there, soft and tender, shadows of a not-so-distant past. Out of the blue I think of you. Birds flutter past and you’re next to me, pointing. Look...
Tall cypress trees lined the edge of a school. At first that’s all I could see. A wall of trees. You urged me to look again, and I saw them, masses of pigeons, magpies, finches, woodpeckers, tits... trees teeming with life. Now I’m on the same road, passing the same school. I look up and see the trees swaying in the breeze, with birds on almost every branch, then almost as one, they fly away in a spectacular display. I turn my head and see the ghost of a smile before you disappear.
Time moves on. Time for you and time for me.
A woman on the radio is talking about how she communicates with her stroppy teenage daughter. The best conversations they have are in the car, she says. The daughter is more receptive when they’re shoulder to shoulder, facing the same direction. American.
You and I had conversations 26
in the car. But that day you were quiet. I chattered on about this and that for a few miles, but your heart wasn’t in it, so I stopped. A while later you said, I’m getting used to it now.
Used to what? The tiredness. Are you tired now? I’m tired all the time. Half a mile from home, you
said, You can drop me here, I’m going for a pint.
But I thought you were tired. Don’t you want to sleep?
There’ll be time enough for sleeping.
Yes, there will be time.
I heard a rumour, you said, and I know who started it. Says I died last week, probably believes it too. I know where he sits.
I am. Wait till he turns and sees me sitting next to him. I’ll say nothing, just raise my glass and watch him run out the door.
You’re wicked. Will I collect you later?
No, I’ll walk. I’m not dead yet.
You are now, and I still have conversations with you in the car, in the air, anywhere... I talk
to you while waiting for a flight to London, a routine two-day turnaround - informal meeting this evening, official meeting in the morning, back tomorrow night. I do it several times a year. You were never on a plane. How could you have lived an entire life without flying?
Don’t trust planes, you say. Remember Rain Man? Qantas was the only airline that never crashed.
Nonsense, I reply. Come with me.
While other passengers plug themselves into their devices and order coffee, I peer out the window and smile at your wonderment. I feel your butterflies as we rush the runway, hear you laugh as we soar above the clouds. We land ten minutes early and I tell you, see? The odds of dying in a plane crash are one in eleven million. You’re more likely to be hit by a bus.
My colleagues gather in the arrivals hall and you disappear again. Days go by, weeks sometimes. Months even. You float in and out of time. There are times when you’re with me, now, and times when I’m with you, then.
What are memories, you said, if not travelling through time?
I sit on a bench at the harbour, watching swans fight over crumbs thrown by nervous children. Within moments there’s a flock of seagulls sharing the feast. They make a racket, those squawking gulls. I leave them to it and stroll along the seashore up to the cliff where I used to walk with you.
I wanted to ask how you felt. Were you frightened? Angry? Where did you suppose your spirit, the essence of you, would go when it no longer connected with your physical body? Is the end just that, or did you hope it might be the beginning of something else? I asked none of these things.
A cormorant stretches its wings on a rock, drying himself in the breeze. A pair of seals peek their heads above the water and disappear again. They remind me of you. A train thunders through a small tunnel below. It was once a cave, you told me, with secret passages where people smuggled brandy, gin, tea... all kinds of stuff. A mist begins to fall as I see the faint image of a
rowing boat coming into view, making barely a ripple in the sea around it.
We’ll go now, you said, towards the end. I’m tired.
It was the day before your hospital appointment.
“Are you allergic to anything?” a nurse asked.
Every time, they asked about your allergies, address, date of birth...
Why do they repeat the same questions when the information is all in the chart? you asked.
It’s a way of making sure that you are who you say you are, I explained. They don’t want to make mistakes.
The doctor smiled. I remember it like yesterday. You sat in the Chair, the one against the wall that struck us both as very strange the first time we came through this door. Chairs are designed to be comfortable. This thing was hard and straight, with a solid back way too high in proportion to the rest of it. I wanted you to sit anywhere else, but the consultant said casually, “Take a seat here,” and we discovered why it was made this way.
He sprayed something into your throat and chatted for a couple of minutes. He wore a bespoke charcoal pinstriped suit and soft leather shoes, the kind of garb that makes consultants stand out like gods from the common or garden variety of doctors. But this god was human too, there was a warmth to him. He shook your hand and called you Mister.
“I’ll just take a look,” he said.
He fed a tube through your nose to your throat. You gagged and pulled your head back, but the hard, high- backed chair kept it still while your body resisted the invasion.
It became a monthly routine – you in the Chair, me in a regular chair, the consultant feeling your neck, spraying the stuff, asking how you’d been, whether you were enjoying the football, getting out and about... All the banter before the camera tube was inserted and you waited patiently for the procedure to end.
That day, though, instead of the tube, he pulled out a hypodermic needle. I thought it
was to take a blood sample from your arm. Instead, without warning, he stuck it in your neck. You looked at me wide- eyed in shock. I held your gaze.
“I’m sorry,” the consultant said, “there’s no easy way of doing this. There’s a growth. I need a sample.”
Minutes later he shook whatever fluid he’d extracted in a test tube. I looked at you and you knew. It was back.
WHEN you reached death’s door, you were the colour of oyster mushrooms. It was the first of several appearances you made there. That grim reaper must have knocked six times before you finally answered. Amazing what a blood transfusion can do. Back off dark angel, he’s not yours yet.
When I saw the life flow back to your cheeks, I swore I’d never miss another chance to donate.
“Any allergies?” asked the woman in the blood clinic.
I was tempted to say, “Cabbage.”
That was the first time you were admitted.
“You’re not allergic to cabbage,” I said. “You just don’t like it.”
I’ll do the talking here, you replied, turning back to the admitting nurse.
Put it in the chart please, I’m allergic to cabbage.
“No,” I said. “I have no allergies.”
And finally, I took you home. “I don’t recommend it,” said
the senior registrar. “Do you realise what you’re doing?”
“Why do you want to go home, Sir?”
I have films to watch.
Films to watch, stories to tell, songs to sing. So very tired.
I tried to commit you to memory, the particular blue of your eyes, your long fingers holding my hand, the slow and easy way you swung into the passenger seat, the smile on your face knowing you were
coming home for good, the things you’d say...
Like the time my old banger gave up the ghost. I managed to steer it into a bus lane before it sputtered to a standstill and while we waited for help, a man pulled up and got out of his shiny golden Mercedes.
“Can I be of assistance?” he asked.
Yeah, you said, swap cars. ******
I stopped wearing a watch in the last days. The time we had together was unbearable. You woke and looked at me from another world, half man, half ghost, slipping in and out of time. I wasn’t sure what troubled me most, your leaving, or knowing there would come a time when I’d no longer remember the precise curve of your smile, the blue of your eyes or the touch of your hand. I cannot stop the hands of time. I will not wear a watch.
You opened your eyes and reached for my hand.
Make me look smart, you said. Yes. I want to be well turned out. Yes.
You know my blue jacket...
And a white shirt.
Yes. And a tie. Yes. I want to wear a tie. Yes. I love you. Yes.
AND now I’m in the very room where we laid you out, keeping an eye out the window. I’m transported back to the long day, watching your brother and friends guard you like the hounds of Hades while mourners knocked politely on the open door to pay their respects in hushed tones amid endless rounds of tea and sandwiches.
“He looks so peaceful,” they
said. “You’d think he was sleeping.”
“Remember that time when...”
“You’re so good to come.” “I’m sorry for your troubles.” “Come in. Lovely to see you.
Have a sandwich, go on, you’ll have a beer.”
“He was a good man.” “Yes, he was.” “You’ve done him proud,”
said one. “He looks so smart lying there. So smart and well turned out.”
My lift is here. I close the door behind me and climb into the passenger seat. They said I shouldn’t drive myself, not for a few hours at least, but I know the routine. I’ve been there with you, and now it’s my turn to have conversations in the car, shoulder to shoulder, and sit in the Chair. I’d have taken the bus, but Jackie next door insisted. She’s lovely, Jackie. She chats all the way there and on the way home, she says, “You’re quiet today.”
And I say I’m getting used to it now, the tiredness.
Let us go then, you and I, and spread our wings like swallows in the sky. The days are growing cold. They’re gone so long and I miss the sound of birdsong in the air. How do they know when it’s time to come and time to go?
Never fear, I hear you say. They’ll be back in spring.
© Celine Naughton
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It’s never to early to
MAKE A WILL
Making a will may be the last thing you want to do, but solicitor Catriona Murray says that dying without one can create a lot of unnecessary worry and expense for loved ones
WHERE there’s a will, there’s a relative, the old saying goes. But where there is no will, loved ones can be left with a bewildering mess to contend with - one that has the potential to tear families apart.
People are often unprepared for the issues they have to deal with after a loved one dies. As well as going through the emotional impact of bereavement, they realise they also have to get death certificates, find out if their loved one has left a will, manage the costs surrounding the death and funeral, and identify and manage the deceased person’s assets to be distributed. It can be a daunting and stressful process, particularly when you’re trying to come to terms with personal loss and grief.
Making a will can help to ease these difficulties, yet it’s often a topic that people choose to ignore or postpone. Some put it off because they don’t want to think about dying, others mistakenly believe they have nothing to leave, and yet more just never get around to doing it. But wills are not only for the wealthy, they’re not morbid, and they’re not expensive or difficult to do. As an adult, it’s never too early to put your affairs in order, and it will give you the satisfaction of knowing that your loved ones will be looked after in accordance with your wishes.
your death. Your solicitor is trained and experienced in the legal processes and can offer you professional advice and guidance in matters such as
tax, statutory entitlements of next of kin and
reached, specify it in your will. The following are some
frequently asked questions.
Why should i make a will?
It is important to make a will because if you do not, the law of intestacy decides what happens to your assets. A will can ensure proper arrangements are made for your family, and you are giving simple, clear guidance regarding how your estate is to be dealt with after you die, subject to certain legal rights of spouses and children. If you are married, have assets and/or children, a will gives guidance for your family to deal with your assets after your death. For example, if you are married and have children and you die leaving no will, your spouse will not automatically be entitled to your entire estate. This could lead to all sorts of difficulties.
is a homemade will valid?
A homemade will is valid if it satisfies the requirements of
the Succession Act 1965. If the will is not executed properly in accordance with the requirements of the Succession Act, it is void and will not be effective. Examples of where a homemade will is not effective are where the will is not signed or witnessed properly. A witness to a will cannot be a beneficiary in the will or it will invalidate the bequest. It is important to take advice to ensure that the will is valid.
i made a will years ago. Why should i review it now? It is normal that through the course of our lives circumstances change, as may the value of your assets. A number of examples that should prompt you to review your will include:
Making a will is generally a straightforward process, but it is important to take good, clear advice from your solicitor to ensure you avoid common pitfalls that can ultimately be very costly to resolve after
trusts. Be aware that
wills can be changed at any time and it is advisable to
review your will to take into
” account changed
circumstances. For example, a will made prior to
marriage is revoked on marriage unless made in contemplation of that marriage.
If you have young children, who would you like to be their legal guardians in the event of the death of both their parents? That’s something you and your partner might want to discuss with friends and family sooner rather than later, and when an agreement is
a witness to a will cannot be a beneficiary... an executor can be a beneficiary
• • •
If your marital status changes; If you dispose of an asset that is a specific gift in your will; If you wish to change the persons appointed as
guardians under your will; • If you wish to change how
your assets are to be distributed to take into account monies that may have been given to individuals during your lifetime.
What is an executor?
An executor of a will is the person nominated in your will to ensure your wishes are carried out. Your executor can be a beneficiary under the will.
What is intestacy?
If you die without making a will you are described as “intestate.” There are statutory rules as to how your estate is then distributed between your closest living relatives.
What is Probate?
The original will after your death has to be proved in the High Court. The State verification of your will is called a Grant of Probate and allows your executor to legally step into your shoes, and collect and distribute your assets in accordance with your will.
Can i challenge a will?
There are certain cases where a spouse or a child can claim part of the estate under the Succession Act. For example, a spouse is entitled to claim the family home notwithstanding the provisions of the will.
Wills may also be challenged on the basis of undue influence on the person making the will or if the testator was of unsound mind at the time of making a will.
What can i expect my solicitor to do in helping administer my estate after my death?
This is a very difficult time for grieving families and friends. Your solicitor will liaise with financial institutions, auctioneers, debtors, government departments, the revenue commissioners and the probate office to ensure that every estate is administered as quickly as possible.
Where the property of a minor or a person with reduced capacity needs to be protected, it may be advisable
Key reasons for making a will
1 You decide what happens to your property and assets on your death;
2 if you have children under 18 you can appoint guardians and trustees for your minor children;
3 You can change your will if circumstances change; 4 It gives peace of mind; 5 When making a will you can avail of the opportunity to
seek tax advice or estate planning. Through your solicitor you can, if necessary, liaise with your accountant, financial and tax advisors to ensure the best outcome for transferring your assets to future generations.
to make that person a Ward of Court. They can advise and make a wardship application where necessary.
It may also be necessary to make such an application where a person becomes of unsound mind without having created an Enduring Power of Attorney.
What is an enduring Power of attorney? At the time of drafting your will, it is important to consider drawing up an Enduring Power of Attorney. It is common that loved ones encounter problems in situations where a person
loses the capacity to manage and control their own affairs.
An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document allowing you to appoint those whom you wish and trust to manage your care, property, finances and affairs if you were to ever become incapable of making these vital decisions for yourself. These decisions include decisions about your personal care.
Having an Enduring Power of Attorney will avoid the necessity for an application to the Wards of Court should you lose capacity at any stage in the future.
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What Have You Heard?
Maybe not as much as you could?
␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣
␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣
␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣
␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
You should suspect a hearing loss if you:
␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣
␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ as they used to
␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣
␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣ ␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣␣
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