Slow Readers Get Free Pass
January 9, 2019
More Computers, Less Commuters
January 14, 2019


When we sent our this year’s call to a cross-section of Greystonians, to tell us all about the good things 2018 had brought them, we should have guessed that the celebrations would bleed into 2019.

And so it was that an article planned for the end of December is finally seeing the light of day in early January.

In truth, every year brings joy and pain, sometimes in equal measure, sometimes far more one than the other, but we wanted to show that, even when darkness is steadily stepping in, there’s always a light, always hope.

Just look at the incredible Jade McCann, refusing to lie down and weep over her incurable cancer diagnosis in 2018. Or Edgar Swann, banished from the very church that he had dedicated his heart and soul to for daring to question his superiors.

Both found a way through the darkness, each finding that inner strength, that undying light, which burns in all of us.

So, before we go Full Oprah here, here’s a round-up of joy that blossomed in 2018. Stories that will move you, stories that will inspire you, and stories that might just make you throw up a little in your mouth…

Edgar Swann Greystones Person of The Year 2018
Christmas and New Year can be a great time for festivities. The theme of Christmas is all about light, light which shines in the darkness of winter.

Nearly all great religions have their festivals of light, such as Dwali, and Hanukkah.
The problem is that Christmas and New Year can be a difficult time for some people, people who have been bereaved during the year, or who are facing illness, or those who are lonely, or people struggling with poverty.
The world can be a tough place at times, and at difficult periods of our lives, when things look particularly dark, we need our family and our friends around us to encourage us.

Gladys and I went through such a period before Christmas. It was the first Christmas in fifty years of ordained ministry that I was cruelly robbed of the right to celebrate the Eucharist on Christmas Day. It especially caused Gladys great distress, as she does not enjoy the best of health.

For a while it all looked very black, and then we began to see the real light. The love and encouragement of family and friends quickly took over and made us feel really encouraged again. We have never before experienced such a wave of love and support, as your messages piled in by letter, by email, and by Facebook.
You will never fully know what it all meant to us, the phone calls, the hugs, the handshakes from the parish I had served until retirement, from people of all denominations and none, and from clergy and lay people from
all over Ireland. There were also many who called with words of encouragement and gifts.
Then came the award presented to me by Paul, the icing on the cake.

I always saw my ministry to the whole community, but anything I did, over the years, to serve the people of
Greystones, has been repaid to me a thousand times over in the last few weeks. We are fortunate to live in a wonderful community. You have been our light in the darkness, and we will never be able to thank you enough.

May all enjoy peace and good health in 2019.

Jade McCann Survivor
I always thought that being cheerful and happy was measured by how much I had, what job I had, where I had travelled or how many people were by my side. However, I did notice that no matter how high I crawled up these ladders, I always wanted more. It’s a difficult thing to do- sort out your head once you’ve realised that your reasons to be happy are not good reasons at all. I’ve really learned in 2018 how to strip it right back and be grateful for the things that seem small to the every day person, but are not small at all to those that do not have or cannot access these things.

1. If you can move your body, you should be grateful.
So many people cannot walk, run, eat alone, use the bathroom alone or even think for themselves. This is something that until I got sick, my privilege simply would not allow me to look at. I was too busy looking at external things. If you have the ability to support yourself mentally and physically, you should not only be grateful and do so but also, help someone who may not be as lucky. That’s a damn good reason to be cheerful.

2. If you have a roof over your head, you should be grateful.
And I know some people’s immediate thought reaction to that was: addiction, alcoholism and crime has led homeless people to their fate. And in some cases, that may be. But in the majority of cases, it is not like that. Instead of moaning about whether or not you’d like to clean up the house, how annoying it is to pay bills or anything even along those lines, remember that some people have nowhere to settle of an evening, no hot dinner on their table, no table at all.
And I’m not trying to discredit the problems that people do have, I’m simple offering some perspective that, when practiced, can seriously lift your mood.
Again, if you have a roof over your head, not only should you be glad you can feel safe and warm, but help others by paying it forward. That’s what makes it so much more great, when you realise you have it and then you realise you can share it.

3. If you have a job, you should be grateful.
One thing that really defined me and who I was was my job. I let it define me but I now realise that I’m so much more than just my job. One of the most common complaints that I hear is how horrible someone’s job is, how they don’t want to go in or how horrible their boss is. If you are in a job that you are unhappy in, leave. Allow someone else the opportunity and find something that truly makes you happy. If you’re in a position that you can create employment, create it and make someone’s life better. If you can bring home money for food, shelter and extra nice bits, be grateful that you can do that because NOT EVERYONE CAN. And if you have income, what will make it feel so much more rewarding is if you share that with someone that doesn’t. I’m a firm believer in paying it forward. If you give something away, you will receive it ten-fold. The universe will repay you in more ways than you could imagine.

4. If you have people around you, you should be grateful.
I recently watched an add on television about the loneliness rates in Ireland for the elderly and my heart broke. I felt so guilty! I, on so many nights, have sat alone at home bored and not even given neighbours or relatives a single thought. I say this because I have people at my disposal. I have a gorgeous family and beautiful boyfriend, amazing friends. Again, there are so many people around us that have absolutely nobody to call. So now, instead of calling friends to end up doing nothing but sitting around, I call into a neighbour or call up to my relatives. Loneliness is alive and well and can lead to huge issues with mental and physical health. If you have someone beside you a lot of the time, think about maybe being that person for someone else- even once a week! Not only are you helping someone else by giving them company and hope, you’ll feel better for doing it yourself.

5. If you can eat and drink, you should be grateful.
I find diet culture such a crippling part of our society. So many people are utterly defined by what’s on the scales or how well they’ve done in the gym. We select our foods and add extra supplements, we waste food we don’t eat without a second thought and we measure our worth based on how we feel about our image. What we forget is that some people in the world do not get a choice in their food- if they have any at all. Every 1/9 people in the world are starving. That means that if we were more mindful and made an effort to reuse or food, check our resources, share our wealth and knowledge around eating, we could eliminate starvation by 2030.
As for water, if we turn a tap on… water comes out. In some countries, that would be a celebrated miracle.
I understand that it would be highly unlikely for us to share our resources BUT with an attitude of mindfulness and gratitude, we could improve our moods and help other people (which would only improve our mood more, again!)

If you were looking for a serious list of things to purchase to make you happy in 2019, or a list of actives, I’m sorry that’s just not where I’m at at the moment. But these are some very simple tasks and ideas that can be done FOR FREE, from your home, that I honestly believe will not only make you more cheerful but will help other people achieve the same happiness.

In 2019, practice gratitude and generosity. I promise you, you’ll feel the benefits. The things that we have that we do not appreciate enough are damn good reasons to be seriously cheerful.

Follow my journey with stage 4 sarcoma over on my Instagram here.

Anne King Fundraising & Volunteer Manager at Lakers
On behalf of Lakers members, families, volunteers, staff and board of directors we would like to sincerely thank everyone for the continued support since our Bray clubhouse and bus fleet was destroyed by the fire in October 2018. We sincerely appreciate the loyalty and dedication from our small staff team, volunteers, families, community and company representatives, without whom the club would not have survived.

We are delighted to confirm that we have emerged from the crisis at our temporary home offered to us by the Bray Presbyterian Church, and with the support of our patrons, are adapting it to accommodate as many of our special needs activities as possible. Our awesome building contractors worked around the clock to complete the main hall to enable us to host our annual member Christmas parties on 15th December, and the art room and training kitchen are also near completion.

Lakers was established in 1989 and provides social, cultural and recreational activities for almost 400 members with an intellectual disability ranging from 5 to 75 years old. At Lakers we believe that each member is entitled to choose from a wide range of sport, social and recreational activities, according to their unique interests and aptitudes. We rely heavily on community support, as we receive very little state funding.

The proceeds of fund-raising activities since the fire and those we anticipate during our 30th year in 2019 will enable us to adapt the temporary clubhouse to meet as many needs of our members as possible, and also to accumulate sufficient funds to purchase our own premises in the near future.

We welcome any offers of assistance in the form of voluntary staffing or financial assistance, and can be contacted on info@lakers.ie or 012022694.

Niamh Delmar Psychologist
The good things about 2018? Starting off the year with a baby niece born was uplifting and seeing her blossom radiated joy throughout the year.

Working as a counselling psychologist gave me many opportunities to explore issues with people and guide them to a better way of feeling and being. I feel grateful to have had this experience and have learned from others. Writing articles on mental health has been a new avenue for me, which I really appreciate .

And I am grateful for Greystones. It is a wonderful place, with it’s changing seascapes, strong sense of community, and vibrancy. From the stillness the snow brought to the sun drenched beach, it’s fresh air was refreshing over the year.

Getting through the gorse fires showed what matters and witnessing the work of the fire services and Air Corps was admiral. Rounding off 2018, feeling the magic of Christmas, I wanted to freeze those Santa moments in time. Waking up in the early hours, seeing a child’s face lit up with wondrous awe, will be with me forever. Health, love, family and friends. Thank you.

Benny Taglienti Everyone’s Favourite Joker
[Written by his daughter, Sabrina] Reasons why Benny was cheerful in 2018? He was cheerful seeing all the fundraising and help from locals to achieve my lovely new adapted room! He couldn’t believe all the prizes local shops gave & how amazing people were coming to his events! The coffee morning & benefit bash.

He is delighted to have a new grandson born in August, Julian who now takes trips in his electric wheelchair with him & lives in the house as his mum Sabrina is Benny’s Carer who serves him wine & salami sandwhices at 1pm + a 5th grandchild born in Canada in November. The Irish Motor Nueron Society also hooked him up with a new electric wheelchair worth €10,000 so he is fully sorted for trips to get wine in Tesco express. This machine goes 18km per hour if you see Benny speeding down charlesland be sure to beep! His youngest daughter Nadia also got her English degree graduating this year.

Benny is also grateful to have enjoyed a year of cheese, proscuito, Amber leaf rolled for him as he is king & olives stuffed with garlic. Motor nueron disease can be daunting to think of long terms but Benny decides to live each day at a time and enjoy the little things.

Oh Golly Miss Dolly Miss Pinup Ireland 2018 & Miss Pinup International 2018
2018 was a whirlwind of a year for me. It started off at quite a low point, suffering from post natal depression and trying my hardest to regain a feeling of normality, I decided to throw myself back into performing and got back up on the cabaret stage at The Wild Fox Cabaret in East Wall, Dublin. That was the birth of Oh Golly! Miss Dolly!, my pinup performing alter-ego.

I picked up the ukulele and started to write and perform my own comedic songs, as well as throwing in a few vintage renditions of pop songs. I spent the next few months mainly doing fundraising shows for the Together For Yes campaign, and trying to raise awareness of the negative effects the eighth had on people wishing to continue their pregnancies. After we won the referendum, I put my efforts towards preparing for ‘All About Pinups’ Miss Pinup Ireland Contest, and to my complete surprise, and despite fierce competition, I ended up winning the title! This then led me on to travelling to the UK to compete for the title of Miss Pinup International. Competitors from all over the world gathered to be in with a chance of winning this prestigious title. I went in with the attitude of just having a bit of craic and meeting some new people, and somehow came out with the crown and winning title. I never imagined this would ever happen to a stay at home mum like myself, and I still have to pinch myself!

After winning both titles, I came back home and decided to work on producing my own cabaret shows. My first show was a Christmas show in Dublin, showcasing some of my favourite performers, including last years winner of Miss Pinup Ireland, Ruby Noir. I finished off the Christmas season by performing in my hometown, in the Hotspot, at Kitty LeRoux’s Christmas Cabaret, and getting to celebrate the past year with all of my closest friends.

Looking back on 2018, I’ve done so many things I never would have dreamed of. I’ve met and worked with people that I consider close friends now. I realise that all the hard work I put in to achieving what I did has made me a better and happier person, and in turn, has made me a happier partner and mother , and has given me a chance to enjoy watching my son grow and have fun. I still live with anxiety and depression, but through Oh Golly! Miss Dolly!, support from my partner, family and friends, and from getting the help I needed I now have coping mechanisms and a reason to look forward to the coming year.”

Oh Golly! Miss Dolly! Make sure to say hi right about here.

Gary Paine Historian & Pictorial History Of Greystones author
I have been pleased by the feedback, quite impressed by how many people have the full set (or near enough) of the previous books in the series and were delighted to see and get hold of Book No.8 – have posted books around the world, USA, Canada, Australia, etc.

In addition, I have noted quite a number of new people to Greystones, particularly from Eastern Europe have been buying the book, keen to read about the history of our town, particularly the era when sailing schooners imported coal to Greystones harbour, which is a signature piece within Book 8. Also the evolution of Church Road, Trafalgar Road, hotels and businesses etc down the years as well as events including WW1, WW2, the Easter Rising, Suffragette movement etc. People have also complemented the old maps and town plan featured in the book, with the colour reproduction throughout enhancing its quality.

Ciaran Hayden Station Officer, Greystones Fire Brigade
In 2018, the local fire brigade in Greystones attended over 350 fire calls, road traffic collisions and
rescues. This is approximately one hundred calls more than the average year; the majority of these
extra calls being in the months of June and July. The station in Greystones has a compliment of 10
men, on call 24/7.

Putting the number crunching aside, a Greystones Fire Fighter is an integral part of this community.
Your local fire fighter is also your physio; he is your personal trainer, your Christmas tree supplier,
your carpenter, your green keeper, your tree surgeon, your electrician, your school chaplain, your
financial adviser, your next door neighbour and your mate. The commitment from these guys and their families is massive.

The heatwave during the summer of 2018 placed a particularly heavy burden on the resources of Greystones Fire Brigade. Serious wildfires unknown in this area before broke out in the Sally Gap,
Lough Bray, Carrigoona Commons, Rocky Valley and Windgates, the most severe occurring on Bray
Head on the 13 th of July which burned for 4 days and 4 nights. The community were right behind the
firefighters in their efforts to save property, infrastructure, and indeed lives. Support came in many
ways, a sandwich, a cool drink and words of encouragement all of which were gratefully received.

These lads were out for up to 16 hours at a time and always gave their 100 %. It was in the aftermath
of Bray Head that the local community decided to honour the lads with a gift; this gift was then used
to purchase a defibrillator which is now mounted on the wall of the fire station to be used by anyone
in the town to a save a life. The fire brigade provided training in the use of this defibrillator and mounted a plaque on the wall of the fire station to recognise the collaborative effort between the community of Greystones and Greystones Fire Brigade during the fire on Bray Head and Windgates, 2018.

Greystones Fire Brigade would like to thank the community of Greystones for their support and wish everyone a safe and healthy 2019.

The Flynn Twins Happy Pear Inc
We’re grateful for so much over the past 12 months, as we continue this wonderful adventure that we’re on. Each year is always exciting, always new, always a challenge, and always a joy, and 2018 was no exception.

We launched six products in 300 Waitrose stores in the UK, there was that international best-selling cookbook too, got our Happy Gut course out there – which we’re chuffed about – with a gastroenterologist and a dietitian – and we swam the sea lots too!

Oh, and we met Russell Brand, and did his podcast! That was definitely one of the highlights. That and having breakfast with The Guide, of course!

You can check out some Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 2017 here, Part 2016 here, and Part 2015 here.

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