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Rural Hub News Vol.1. Issue 2, 2020

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The

Rural

Hub

COMMUNITY NEWS

of our voice

Rural

Hub

THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 1

TheRural

Hub

The

The

Rural

Hub

Vol.1, Issue 2, 2020

VIRGINIA l BALLYJAMESDUFF l OLDCASTLE

Published by The Rural Hub, Virginia

Taking back control

n VIRGINIA, BALLYJAMESDUFF AND OLDCASTLE are to be served by a new

media hub, according to a spokesperson for The Rural Hub. Digital Media Zone

(DMZ) will open in Virginia over the coming weeks and will be a resource for

video, audio and photography.

“Traditional media, like tv, radio and newspapers,

are fighting a losing battle as more

and more people get their news from social

media,” explained the spokesperson. “The

problem is that, while professional journalists

are guided by rules of ethics, laws of liabel

and the need to be balanced, it’s almost impossible

to regulate what’s appearing on social

media. What passes for news is often,

at the least, very opinionated and, at worst,

blatant lies. With our new DMZ we’ll be able

to help ensure that our community is represented

across both tradtional and new media.”

“We’re hoping that there will be opportunities,

for local people who are interested in media,

to get involved.

8-PAGE COMIC INSIDE

Cheque this out!

l BACK, L-R: Anne Traynor Flynn of Owen Traynor’s Bar, Oldcastle, Shane McHugh, principal of

St Fiach’s National School, Ballinacree and Noeleen Land of The Rural Hub with students from

St Fiach’s as the cheque for €2,770 was handed over.

Social Mornings

and Educational

Afternoons

at The Rural Hub in Virginia

Check out the full programme in our

4-page pull-out

INSIDE

n “WE’RE SIMPLY BLOWN

AWAY to receive such a

generous donation,” said

Shane McHugh, principal of

St Fiach’s National School,

Ballinacree, on being handed

a cheque for €2,770 from

Anne Traynor Flynn of Owen

Traynor’s Bar, Oldcastle and

The Rural Hub’s Noeleen

Land – the proceeds of a fundraising

drive during the recent

Owenie Traynor Fleadh

Cheoil Weekend. “This money

will go towards investment in

our ICT education.”

“Education is at the centre of what

we do in The Rural Hub,” explained

Noeleen, “so we were delighted to

be able to offer some support to the

school.”

“The Fleadh Cheoil saw people

coming from far and wide,” said

Anne, a past pupil of St Fiach’s,

“and they were all willing to put

their hands in their pockets when

they knew that it was for the local

school in Ballinacree which has

a special place in their hearts.”


2 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS

n THE POPULATION of Europe is transitioning in

both size and age, accumulating pressure on public

spending and posing significant risks to potential

economic growth. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the former

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation

and Science, stated that “by 2020 a quarter of the

population of Europe will be 60 years or older.”

Senior support for

migrant integration

The region’s old-age dependency

ratio, which is the number of people

65 and over relative to those between

15 and 64, is projected to double to

54 percent by 2050 meaning where

there was once four members of the

labour force to each one elderly citizen,

there will soon be just two.

It is a widely accepted fact that

many older people have valuable

skills and experience built up over

their lifetime and research into active

The

Rural

Hub

EDITORIAL COMMENT

news.ruralhub@gmail.com

n It’s a New Year that marks the beginning of a new decade.

As the 2020’s begin, there can be little doubt that the issue

dominating the media is Climate Change.

Future In

Perspective

TheRural

Hub

Hub

Young people have been at the forefront of recent activism seeking

a more sustainable planet and “Friday’s For Future” and “Extinction

Rebellion” have attracted huge publicity. While it is great

to see young people so actively engaged, we need to turn our

attention to finding solutions to the many pollutions that threaten

our very existence and that of our future generations. With this

in mind, Future In Perspective, The Rural Hub and Spectrum

Research Centre will be placing a significant emphasis on developing

new educational programmes that focus on Solution

Not Pollution. We all need to make small changes to protect

the environment and the planet so watch this space for new

developments and contact us to get involved.

Philip Land

Noeleen Land

The

Rural

Hub

This publication is printed on recycled paper

ageing clearly shows that keeping

these older members of our community

active brings significant benefits

to both the individuals concerned and

the wider society where they live.

The ethnic make-up the population

in all European countries is also changing

rapidly as migration from less welloff

countries to established economies

continues to grow. It is not uncommon

now to hear many different languages

in even the smallest rural towns as a

Mike Keegan

TheRural

Hub

The

Sarah Keegan

The

Rural

Hub

migrant workforce is now an important

and essential part of sustaining the European

economic model.

In Virginia, Ballyjamesduff and

Oldcastle many members of the newly

emerging migrant communities are

actively participating in economic life

and adding considerable cultural diversity

to our communities there are

some for whom the integration process

into life in Ireland has not been

so successful. There are significant

language, social and cultural barriers

that need to be overcome if our new

diverse communities are to successfully

integrate and the growing senior

citizen population can play a major

role in helping to overcome these ob-

The

The

stacles.

Launched in September 2019,

The Silver Service Project is an initiative

supported by the European Commission

as part of the ERASMUS+

programme. This innovative project

aims to simultaneously address the

issue of an ageing population and the

Rural

Hub

Project will inspire

young entrepreneurs

n ENTREPRENEURSHIP is on the rise according to latest data.

Today, there are more than 400 million entrepreneurs around the

world.

Promoting entrepreneurship in entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Europe has been a core objective of Future in Perspective Limited is

the European Union ever since 2009. one of the educational research Centre

in Ireland selected by the Europe-

Entrepreneurship and self-employment

are recognized to be one of the an programme Erasmus plus to run

key enablers of smart, sustainable

and inclusive growth.

The development of entrepreneurship

has important benefits, both

economically and socially. Entrepreneurship

is not only a driving force

for job creation, competitiveness and

growth; it also contributes to personal

fulfilment and the achievement of

social objectives. This initiative aims

to reignite Europe’s entrepreneurial

spirit by educating young people as

well as disadvantaged and unemployed

people to develop entrepreneurial

skills in order to help them

start their own business. To this end,

a series of programmes are now running

across Europe to support and

promote new entrepreneurial learning

experiences focusing on young

digital natives who largely use mobile

technology daily and who will be the

challenge of migrant integration.

The Rural Hub is representing

Ireland in this project and is working

with community and education partners

from Portugal, Italy, Austria, Cyprus

and the United Kingdom to tackle

the social exclusion of older people

by providing them with bespoke training

and supports to enable them to

share their skills and expertise with

members of the migrant community

to help support their civic and social

integration into their local community.

Research by the European Foundation

for the Improvement of Living

and Working Conditions states that

“the road to inactivity for senior citizens

is a road of no return and that

every effort should be made to keep

the older members of our community

actively engaged in meaningful roles

well into their retirement”.

If you would like to know more

about The Silver Service Project

please contact manuella.ruralhub@

gmail.com

this exciting project called “App Hop”.

This project will focus on creating

innovative entrepreneurial learning

resources for young digital natives.

These resources will be available

on smartphones as “digital breakout

challenges” and will focus on the

specific competencies to acquire and

develop to become a successful entrepreneur.

To ensure that each individual

who will complete the programme

will be able to deal with the random

nature of business and reflect real

world entrepreneurial experience,

these challenges will be accessible

in a” randomised” way, because an

entrepreneur rarely knows what challenges

lie ahead.

For more information about the

App Hop programme, contact Manuella:

manuella.fipl@gmail.com


THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 3

A GIANT STEP FORWARD

...with one foot in tradition

n WHILE MANY PARTS of rural Ireland have changed beyond all

recognition in the past number of years, the same can’t be said

for Ballinacree, near Oldcastle. The immigration that has seen

local towns transformed into multicultural communities has left

Ballinacree untouched.

“We’re in our own little bubble

here,” says St Fiach’s National

School principal, Shane McHugh.

“Because of the internet and social

media, the children here are very

aware of multiculturalism and the

community is very welcoming but we

simply haven’t had any new arrivals.

It means that the community is very

close-knit and everybody knows everybody.

The school has been at the heart

of the community since the ribbon

was cut in 1960. The annual ‘Grandparents

Day’ is a generational bonding

occasion with grandparents of the

70-plus students reminiscing about

their own days when they walked

down the selfsame narrow corridor

and learned in the selfsame tiny

classrooms.

Ballinacree is a farming community

and this might explain its stability

of tradition.

“I’d say up to 70% of the pupils

are from farming families,” explains

Shane. “If a tractor drives past the

school, more than a few heads look

out the window. The children love the

machinery.” We have close ties too

with other local industry. Our 5 th and

6 th classes have participated in the

Junior Entrepreneur Project in recent

Report by

DECLAN CASSIDY

years where they have had to plan,

design and create a business product

worthy of selling to the general

market. Briody Bedding have been

very generous with their support for

this project and organised many educational

visits to their facilities, further

enhancing the close links between

local business and the school.

While heritage and tradition are

important to the school, there are

some areas where change is long

overdue.

“The school was built to regulation

in 1960 but education has come

a long way since then,” explains

Shane. “The classrooms are too

small and children have to walk to

the far end of the corridor to use the

toilet. There is also a difficulty keeping

the building heated and that can

cause problems with mould. We’re

also using the community centre for

activities and walking the children to

and from there presents its own difficulties.”

It is not just the children that are

operating in less than ideal conditions.

l THE PLANS for the renovations and extensions at St Fiach’s

“Our staff room is a converted

cloakroom that sits five, although we

have eight staff,” reveals Shane, “and

our secretary’s office is a converted

toilet. The staff don’t have their own

toilet facilities. We have to use the

disability toilet.

“The parents committee is fantastic.

Anything we need, they fundraise

and provide for us and their support

is an integral part of our school, but

when it comes to the actual building,

a structural change is badly needed.”

Fortunately, all is about to change

for the better. The school has been

approved for grant aid to carry out a

complete rehaul and rebuild at the

school, and 2020 will see first sod

being turned.

“There were two separate grants,”

explains Shane, “one to tackle any

mould issues and the other for the

structural works. While it was great

to get the support, dealing with two

grants slowed the whole process

down. Thankfully, we were able to

get the grants amalgamated into one.

It means that we’re dealing with one

set of people and that will save money

and hopefully speed things up.”

The nature of the work that is to

be carried out at St Fiach’s will bring

the facility from the 1960s standards

to that of today – a leap forward of 60

years. The school will be extended

with four large classrooms catering for

the pupils, each one with en suite with

a wet area, a resource room, a new

secretary’s office, new staffroom and

staff toilets, and a general purpose

(G.P.) hall which will not only serve

the children but can be accessed for

community ocassions as well.

“The long delay since we first got

grant approval has been frustrating,”

admits Shane, “but it’s going to be

worth the wait.”

It is expected that work will commence

in February and progress at

a pace that should see it completed

within a year.

“The external building can start at

any time,” explains Shane, “but the

restructuring of the classrooms can

only be done when we’re not here.

That means that this work will happen

during the summer holidays.”

A quick perusal of the school’s

website, http://stfiachs.scoilnet.ie/

blog/, reveals the great success that

St Fiach’s has achieved with their

outdated facility. The future, then,

bodes well as the school structure

looks set to catch up with the dynamic

staff and students who work and

learn there.

“The long delay since we first got grant

approval has been frustrating,

but it’s going to be worth the wait.”


4 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS

Barking up the right tree!

n NO, IT’S NOTHING TO DO WITH DOGS, Crufts or anything canine!

Wwoof stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic

Farms. So, by virtue of taking up an opportunity on an organic

farm you become a Wwoofer! Wwoofing is brilliant in its simplicity

and a fine example of sustainable tourism in action. It harks

back to the barter economies of bygone times, where manual

work was rewarded by subsistence and shelter. Open to people

of all ages, people apply via the Wwoof network originally set up

in the UK in 1971.

It’s a great way to see, experience

and taste the world and could mean

working on an organic farm, collecting

fruit in a vineyard or a cooperative

orchard, or even cultivating veggies

for a restaurant from their own

kitchen garden. This is in exchange

for a day’s work of course and should

include accommodation and meals.

Wwoofing is also an informal way to

learn gardening methods, not to mention

meet people, make new friends,

and get a real living experience with

farmers, growers and producers.

Wwoofing varies from place to

place; naturally, working in Italy in

Autumn varies massively from Ireland

in spring. You could be planting

seeds in a polytunnel, tending to

strawberries or bedding plants, cultivating

olives or oranges or working

with young people on a living farm as

part of a conservation charity.

Wwoofing is not just for that student

gap year either. It can be a costeffective

way to travel at any age,

Report by

JOHNNY LATHAM

especially if you like the idea of travelling

independently for a while. Even

if it’s just for a few weeks, the work

you do will be much appreciated by

your hosts. It’s not even about the

length of time you can spare or the

work you do, it’s about embracing the

whole ethos of Wwoofing.

Recently at the Rural Hub we

caught up with some Wwoofers working

at a local country estate garden

with ninety acres of productive and

DIY Detective Stories

n WAS IT COLONEL MUSTARD with a candlestick in the study?

Can Poirot or Miss Marple find all the clues and solve the mystery?

Do we need the expert sleuthing skills of Sherlock Holmes

and his trusty sidekick Dr Watson?

Detective mysteries have been a

popular genre in storytelling for decades.

Writers like Agatha Christie

and Arthur Conan Doyle kept readers

and audiences gripped until the very

end, with regular twists and turns given

in the “who did it” story. Reading

detective themed mysteries not only

helps to improve literacy through the

introduction of new vocabulary, but it

also helps the reader to develop their

critical thinking skills while they often

unconsciously try to work out who the

main suspect is.

The focus of the eMysteries project

is to encourage young people

to read and improve their literacy.

Technology focused learning activities

tend to have higher engagement

and participation from students

compared to less technology centric

ones. So, in order to gain the interest

of young people, the eMysteries

project will create a mobile friendly

website, that will be fun and interactive

for its users. It will be through this

site that young adults will be able to

create their own detective mystery

stories, read and change the endings

of stories written by others. The Rural

Hub will be working with project partners

all over Europe on this project.

The project partners will also create

a Teacher’s Toolbox - a how-to guide

for teachers - to help their students

to write detective stories. For more

information, or if you would like to get

involved in the project, please contact

Claire at clairebeggs.ruralhub@

gmail.com.

l WOOFER AND WWOOFER! Zuzana and her four-legged friend

ornamental gardens and woodlands. about their lives and about the history

of Ireland. It also allowed us to

Morgane and Pierre from France

along with Simone from Italy arrived in discover the countryside around Virginia”

said Morgane, “the members

the middle of September. They were

joined a little later by Camille and Clément,

also from France and then by coming and kind and thanks to them

of the walking group are really wel-

Mara from Germany who came in November.

Their stays lasted between to Newgrange and a traditional music

we did lot of things. We even went

six and twelve weeks and when we session.”

spoke to them they all had different As well as Zumba and attending

reasons for Wwoofing ranging from; the crystal healing classes at the Rural

Hub, the group also joined some

having a new experiences, learning

about themselves, taking themselves of the park runs in the Deerpark forest

at weekends.

out of their comfort zones, meeting

new people and learning about organic

farming general.

munity in Virginia, with people who

“We have found a beautiful com-

When we asked them about why try to organise things and to launch

they chose Ireland for their experience

they responded with some re-

give their time for the local commu-

projects. We admire the people who

assuring and heart-warming motives. nity.”

Sure, because it’s a country where Wwoofing isn’t the only opportunity

to volunteer here in Ireland and

people speak English, it’s easy to

reach and we use the Euro, but there there are other programmes that

was something else Morgane expressed.

Zuzana Kusa from Slovakia who will-

might surprise you. We bumped into

“Personally, I’ve always been very ingly gave us her impression of life in

attracted by Ireland. I don’t really Ireland after taking part in the Workaway

scheme, whose website de-

know why but for me there is something

special...a spirit...”.

clares: “We’re on a mission and we

Travelling in Ireland a few years ago want to do things differently! Building

with her parents she really enjoyed the a sharing community of global travellers

who genuinely want to see the

experience, and this made her decision

to Wwoof here a simple one. world whilst contributing and giving

“Irish people are very welcoming back to the places they visit”.

and friendly,” Morgane added.

Zuzana had very fond memories

The wwoofers also very surprised of her time in Ireland. She explained

about the overall sense of community how she hadn’t known much about

here, and how places like the Virginia Ireland before she came, or even met

Show Centre and The Rural Hub on many Irish people. However, during

the Main Street held so many activities

for a small rural town. Morgane vinced her that they were “generous,

her three months here they con-

and some of the others even joined a friendly and welcoming people”.

local walking group.

Hard to argue with that!

“It was a really good way to meet www.workaway.info,

the local people, speak with them www.wwoof.net


THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 5

Local students make hats

for the homeless

n STUDENTS IN St Oliver Post Primary

School, Oldcastle recently got involved with

Crafts of Ireland to make woollen hats for

homeless people in Dublin. Over the course

of the day the students helped to create over

40 hats. Using antique sock knitting machines

that date back to the late 1800s the students

ably wound wool, cranked the machines and

stitched the hats. Organisers hope that the

project can become an annual event.

Students in the 5 th year LCVP class also ran another

successful food appeal on behalf of the Oldcastle

branch of St. Vincent de Paul. Each tutor group

were given specific items of food to bring in and overall

a huge quantity of food was collected.

“Here’s hoping that both events can make a big

impact and students were very happy to have given

their contribution,” said a spokesperson.

Raising responsible

digital citizens

n ALMOST 40% of all children aged between eight and ten speak

to strangers online, with 15% of all children in this age group talking

to strangers online every day.

This is according to a study that

was published by CyberSafe Ireland

in 2019. The report also found that

close to 80% of children in this age

category own a smart phone or mobile

device that is capable of connecting

to the Internet. Of these children,

48% of children aged between eight

and nine years frequently use social

media; this figure rises to 66% of children

aged ten. These statistics are a

worrying read for parents of young

children.

A study by WebWise in 2017

found that over 60% of the 1,200

parents who participated in the study

were concerned that they were unable

to protect their children in the

digital world from online threats like

grooming. But what can parents and

teachers do to help to protect children

from these threats, and to ensure

that they act responsibly in the

digital world? A spokesperson for Future

in Perspective Limited believes

that education is the key.

“Educating parents, care-givers

and primary school teachers about

how they can support young pupils

to be responsible and safe digital citizens

is the key to protecting vulnerable

young users online”, says Sarah

Land from Future in Perspective.

“It is inevitable in today’s digital

world that young children will continue

to access the Internet; the statistics

tell us this. It is now imperative

that we educate children and young

people so that they can access the

Internet safely, by understanding

how to stay safe online, not to talk

to strangers and how to protect their

identity online.”

Future in Perspective Limited is

currently working on a project with

schools across Europe, to develop

a range of educational materials

to support teachers and parents to

educate their children about how to

develop safe online habits. All materials

developed by the Digital Responsible

Citizenship (DRC) project

are available on the project website:

http://digital-citizenship.org/.

“Through The Rural Hub office in

Virginia, we are planning to deliver

online safety workshops for parents

during the summer months,” revealed

Sarah.

To find out more about these

workshops or to book your place,

email: info.ruralhub@gmail.com.

l The Church

of Ireland

grounds in

Virginia with

its towering

Yew trees.

What’s in a name?

n HAVE YOU EVER wondered where our towns got their

names? Place names, or logainmneacha as Gailge, can hide

secret tales and stories about the towns and villages we live in.

Take the town of Virginia. In

English, we track the foundation of

this town to the Plantation of Ulster,

when Virginia was established as a

plantation town in 1612 and named

after the “Virgin Queen” Elizabeth

I of England (Virginiatown.ie). In

Irish, Virginia is named Achadh an

Iúir, which translates to ‘the field of

the yew trees”.

Yew trees are evergreen and

native to Ireland. In Irish mythology,

they are revered as one of five

sacred trees, chosen by our ancestors

because of their durability

to stay green even throughout the

harsh winter months. So the next

time you are taking a walk around

the grounds of the Church of Ireland

in Virginia, look up at the towering

yew trees, which give their

name to our town.


6 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS

‘Thumbs up’ from employers

for Tech Apprenticeships

n AS IRELAND’S Tech Sector continues to boom, why not consider

the apprenticeship route to kick-start your career, suggests

Peter Davitt, CEO of Fast Track to IT (FIT)

“If you enjoy learning by doing,

gaining invaluable experience, and

getting paid at the same time, then

this is for you!” he says.

The ICT Associate Professional

Apprenticeship programme adopts a

learning-by-doing format of ICT skills

development, giving new meaning to

the concept of ‘hire education’. Over

a two year period the programme

combines off-the-job skills training

with on-the-job application, and culminates

in the attainment of the ICT

Associate Apprenticeship Award as

part of the national apprenticeship

programme.

“Participating companies are

keen to recruit smart people with

smart skills and this new programme

will enable people to ‘earn while they

learn’,” reveals Peter.

FIT are Ireland’s appointed coordinating

providers of the new National

Tech Apprenticeships at Level 6 on

the National Framework of Qualifications.

These Apprenticeships aim to

attract and grow the talent pipeline

by providing training in Software Development,

Network Engineering and

Cybersecurity.

To date, more than 90 companies

have employed Tech Apprentices in

a bid to build a diverse tech team.

“Tech talent is everywhere and the

apprenticeship route offers those

who enjoy applying their knowledge

to a real-life working environment the

perfect chance to kick-start their career

said Peter.

Just some of the companies looking

to the apprenticeship as an innovative

talent strategy include: Linked-

It offers those

who enjoy

applying their

knowledge to a

real-life working

environment the

perfect chance

to kick-start their

career...

IN, Central Bank, ESB, Vodafone,

HSC, Google, Opennet, Integrity

360, Microsoft, SAP and many more.

The key benefits of the programme

to new apprentices are that

they can:

gain direct experience in a realtime

technical environment ensuring

increased productivity

acquire an in-depth understanding

of the latest technologies supporting

innovation

develop business and interpersonal

skills such as teamwork, customer-facing

skills and project management

The ICT Associate Professional

Apprenticeship programme is open

to anyone aged 18+ at the time of

application. The programme is particularly

appropriate for motivated

tech enthusiasts with an aptitude and

attitude to work in the tech sector. For

more details on entry criteria contact

FIT at info@fit.ie

How does the programme work?

Employer is approved and apprentices registered.

Tech company recruits apprentices for a 2 year programme in

either Software Development or Network Engineering.

MONTHS

1-6

MONTHS

7-18

MONTHS

19-24

Apprentices attend full-time off-the-job

training

On-the-job and off-the-job training

3 days work / 2 days off-the-job training

On-the-job and off-the-job training

4 days work / 1 days off-the-job training

THE APPLICATION PROCESS

STEP 1

Apply

online

via our

website

www.fit.ie

STEP 1

Attend a

Scheduled

Information

and

Aptitude

Session

STEP 1

Attend an

interview

with FIT

STEP 1

Participate

in CV and

Interview

Preparation

Workshops

STEP 1

Attend an

Interview

with

Company

When entertainment

becomes education

n THE AVERAGE PERSON in Ireland spends more than four and a

half hours every day on their smartphone. That’s according to the

latest ComReg report. The findings of the report suggest a trend

towards an increasingly digital society, with over 84 per cent of

people in Ireland owning a smartphone nowadays.

Accessing social media is the

most popular thing to do on your

smartphone, according to the report.

After that, streaming videos and music,

browsing the internet and playing

games online are the most absorbing

activities for smartphone users. The

generational difference in use of the

technology is readily noticeable in

the pages of the report, with the vast

majority of youngsters owning smartphones

in comparison with only 47

per cent of people over the age of 65.

INTERNATIONAL

Researchers from Future in Perspective

in Virginia, observing this

systematically rising trend, have decided

to use the potential of mobile

devices to bring young people, left

outside of the work market and educational

system, back into the world

of employment and training. The new

project, launched recently in cooperation

with six international partners,

aims to develop a mobile game that

will provide users with ‘intelligent’ entertainment.

“Through the ‘Play Your Skills’

project we aim to develop a gaming

app with all features of a classic

mobile game that will, however, be

able to equip young people with key

competencies, such as literacy, numeracy,

critical thinking or problem

solving,” explains Justyna Krol of Future

in Perspective.

According to the official EU statistics,

14 per cent of all young people

aged 20-34 in Ireland, are involved

neither in neither education nor employment.

“Prolonged exclusion from training

or work not only leaves a negative

effect on young people’s professional

careers, but can also affect

their mental health,” says Justyna.

“It’s we aim to reach out to young

people through the media that interests

them.”

According to Justyna, ‘Play Your

Skills’ aims to also target vocational

education and training specialists.

Through engaging educators and

trainers in the development of guidelines

for use of the gaming app, the

project developers hope to provide

a channel for communication, to be

used to attract young people who are

interested in getting involved in training

or accessing work opportunities in

the local jobs market.

MARKETABLE

“Not only do we want to develop an

attractive tool for young people to develop

their marketable competencies,

we also want to create an effective

strategy to utilise the possibilities that

come with the tool,” says Justyna.

The ‘Play Your Skills’ project will

take place over two years. Researchers

are currently at the stage of designing

the structure of the gaming

app. They invite all young people

who are currently unemployed and

outside of formal training, as well

as trainers and educators, to offer

any input to the development of the

game.

You can contribute to the development

of the project by contacting the

project team by email: justyna.fipl@

gmail.com


THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 7

Come back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff Credit Union!

Credit where it’s due

n WHILE WE ALL have different memories of the financial crisis

that hit at the heart of society and economy in 2008 the legacy

of that period continues to influence consumers and communities

throughout Ireland. That crisis period also had considerable

impact on the financial services sector and all those operating

within it. Indeed, the financial landscape is altogether much different

and more closely regulated today than in pre-crisis times and

this is good for all throughout our communities.

While Credit Unions have been

around for a very long time and while

most rural towns have one, they

have also moved with the changing

times. Importantly, the key principles

on which the credit union movement

was built remain the same.

They are a local co-operative owned

by the members, who live or work

in the ‘Common Bond’ attaching to

the Credit Union. The Credit Union

ethos is ‘for the people, not for profit’.

Surplus income is reinvested or distributed

right back to the members.

MERGED

Credit Union Plus in Ballyjamesduff

is one of the local Credit Unions

serving the community. It has undergone

significant change since 2016

when it merged with Navan and a

number of other Credit Unions. The

merger was considered necessary

because of downward trends in the

economy and the need to ensure that

the Credit Union remained viable for

existing members.

But the merger has been a very

good news story for Ballyjamesduff

and for the local members. Since

then, the lending book in Ballyjamesduff

is wide open, the lending policy

has changed, and they are now in a

position to grant loans from €100 -

€100,000 for any legitimate purpose.

Reasons why a member might want

to borrow include: Home Improvement

loans, Car loans, Holiday loans,

Wedding loans, Education loans,

Farming loans, Clear-your-Credit

Card loan, Refinance your bank

loan etc. Each loan application is assessed

based on a member’s ability

to repay the loan.

ELIGIBLE

There is no longer a need to be

a regular saver with the Credit Union

before applying for a loan. Indeed,

you are now eligible to borrow above

your shares, on the day you open

your account! Credit Union Plus,

Ballyjamesduff only require a percentage

of a members shares to be

held against their loan – so they still

have access to their savings. Members

with previous loan history can

borrow up to 20 times their shares

l IT’S SERVICE WITH A SMILE from staff-member Josephine

Reilly at Ballyjamesduff Credit Union Plus.

l THE CREDIT UNION PLUS occupies a key position at the heart

of the Ballyjamesduff community.

and first-time borrowers can borrow

up to 10 times their shares.

Prior to the merger, and because

of the lending restrictions, some

members had to move from the

Credit Union to seek finances they

needed elsewhere. “We would like

all of those members who left us

during that time to come back to us”

says Helen Leddy, Regional Manager

of the Ballyjamesduff branch

of Credit Union Plus. “We can take

over loans that you have from other

financial institutions, adds Helen and

we can lend up to €100,000 without

requiring any security, apart from the

shares that you pledge”.

PROTECTED

A further benefit to members who

borrow from Credit Union Plus is that

a member’s loan and savings are insured

under our loan protection and

life savings insurance policy at no extra

cost to members.

“We can now offer additional services

to members which we didn’t

have before becoming part of a larger

Credit Union,” explains Helen. “Bill

payments, direct debits and electronic

funds transfers are all new services

which are so important to younger

members who are moving to college

and don’t have the time to call to their

local branch. In addition, wages and

college grants can be paid directly

into a member’s account.”

The Credit Union also accepts all

major debit cards. Technology has

become so much a part of how we

carry out all our everyday tasks especially

finances, so the online service

(again new since the merger) giving

members access to their finances

24/7 is probably one of the most important

new services the organisation

now has, according to Helen.

CUANYWHERE APP

“You can just download the CU-

Anywhere app, available from the

app Stores or visit the website of

creditunionplus.ie to register. Some

members like to use our new ‘Phone-

A-Loan Service’ rather than having to

call into a branch a number of times.

This gives the option of extended

hours 6 days a week.”

The public are still very wary of

the banks, so it is important that they

have another channel for conducting

their financial affairs and the Credit

Union is still the favoured option for

many. It is gratifying to see the Credit

Union sector winning the best service

award year on year for the last number

of years.

COMMITTED

“We are very committed to the local

community and continually support

and reinvest locally including

in local youth initiatives, charities,

sporting clubs and cultural events,”

says Helen.

“We would love to hear from you

to-day and can be contacted at 049

8544674 or by email info@creditunionplus.ie`’.


8 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS ENVIRONMENT

The Circulink project aims to support local businesses in thinking circular!

The circular economy

n NATURE WORKS in cycles - all natural elements of the world

are upcycled leaving no waste behind. In fact, waste as we know

it is generated by only one species - us. We tend to surround

ourselves with objects and goods that we use only for a limited

amount of time. To produce those goods, we use the resources

provided by our planet, and forgetting that those resources are

finite, we dump those goods as soon as we don’t need them!

“More of the same is not a business

model for success,” - says Walter

Stahel, a Swiss architect considered

to be one of the founding fathers

of the circular economy concept.

Walter claims that by “creating higher

standards of living from more intelligent

resource use, we’ll be able to

tackle the problem of waste production

in the modern world.”

It is enough to look at the numbers

provided by the European

Commission, to understand that the

problem indeed is serious. On an annual

basis each individual European

generates five tonnes of waste over

45% of which ends up in landfill either

at home or abroad. This results

in an enormous loss of resources in

both material and energy terms. Additionally,

landfill has a serious environmental

impact taking up valuable

land space and causing air, water

and soil pollution.

It is not that there aren’t solutions

it is more whether we can change the

mindsets of individuals to move away

from the dominant linear models of

consumption. The circular economy

is a term that describes a model of

production and consumption that is

based on extending the life-cycle of

l Transnational Circulink project partners meet in Lisbon.

products. We can achieve this circular

model through sharing, leasing,

reusing, repairing, refurbishing and

recycling existing materials and products

as long as possible.

On a global scale what is called

a ‘rethink and redesign’ approach is

necessary. Cilian Lohan, CEO of the

Green Economy Foundation in Ireland,

that promotes circular solutions

in policies on a national and European

level says that “a fundamental

change in how we think, how we design

and how we consume is needed.

First of all, we should stop extracting

raw materials from the ground and

producing waste on the other end of

our consumption process”. He further

states that this “is only possible if we

shift to what we call secondary materials

- goods and resources that are

already in use. Re-use and recycling

are easy examples of actions that

every individual can take, but on a

wider scale, products must in the first

place be designed to be repairable

and build to last.”

A circular economy approach requires

that each and every one of

us as consumers effect a shift in our

thinking and behaviour. “We need to

change our idea of ownership in particular,”

Lohan continues. “Owning a

particular item makes sense only if

that item increases in value. That’s

why instead of owning disposable

goods we should become consumers

of their services. Imagine you

rent a washing machine or a Smartphone

for the use of its service and

you give it back to its manufacturer

when it breaks or when you simply

want to change it.” Lohan points that

the benefits of this approach are selfexplanatory.

It may seem that such fundamental

and systemic changes to the global

economy are beyond the impact of

the individual consumer. However,

it is worth remembering that every

small step contributes to building

awareness and spreading knowledge

of circular economy practices.

Keeping in mind the three core principles

of the circular economy: reduce,

reuse and recycle, every individual

should be able to identify practices

that he or she can improve in their

every-day life.

Additionally, it is crucial to consider

the possibilities of small and medium

enterprises in adopting circular

economy solutions. According to EU

statistics, SMEs account for 99.8

% of European private companies,

creating more than two thirds of all

employment in the EU. This makes

SMEs vital to strengthening the circular

approach in different sectors of

the economy. Following the old saying

‘what gets measured, gets managed’,

by improving their processes

and design, and rethinking their supply

chains, small and medium enterprises

have unlimited possibilities to

shift into more sustainable operating

patterns.

The CIRCULINK project, run by

the Future in Perspective in Virginia,

in cooperation with four organisations

from Sweden, Portugal, Cyprus

and Spain aims to provide support for

local small and medium enterprises

to convert their businesses into more

circular initiatives. Based on the international

and intersectoral experience

of our partners around Europe,

the project developed a training

package consisting of online and offline

learning resources as well as an

e-learning platform.

“Our aim is to support the implementation

of circular economy practices

in our local community and to

link existing circular economy projects

and their stakeholders,” said

Justyna Krol a local representative

of the project. “All the partners of

the project met in November 2019 in

Lisbon, to test the training resources

developed in the framework of the

project,” she explained. “Our goal

was to make sure that the resources

will be of high practical and theoretical

value for entrepreneurs. Our next

step is to run a workshop for small

and medium entrepreneurs from our

own local community, to guide them

in integrating more circular practices

in their business models,” she added.

Every small and medium enterprise

from the local community is invited

to sign up for the free training

that will be held in Virginia in 2020.

To receive more information about

the project and the training, contact

Justyna Krol project at justyna.fipl@

gmail.com


EDUCATIONAL

Full steam ahead for

teacher aid toolkit

n IN AN ERA of advanced technologies, it is no longer deemed to

be enough for students to have creativity, the ability to think critically

and solve problems. Students need to develop skills in Science,

Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) in

order to be properly prepared for the future.

Students need to gain confidence

in STEAM activities like robotics,

coding and other digital tools. Education

that focuses and uses STEAM

activities offers students more opportunities

in the future, both in further

education and employment. Now is

the time to innovate – it’s time to embrace

the digital technologies around

us and ensure that school students

will thrive in this environment going

forward. The STEAMitUP project

aims to help teachers prepare students

for a more digitally focused

21 st century. Future in Perspective is

working with project partners all over

Europe on this project. Together the

project partners will work to create

what’s called a teacher’s “toolkit” –

Music, drama and

stories to promote

adult learning

n ONE IN FOUR adults aged 25 to 64 years old in the EU, approximately

70 million people, have not completed any formal education

beyond the level of lower secondary education according to

... it’s time to

embrace the digital

technologies

around us ...

essentially a collection of useful instructions

and teaching materials for

teachers to use and properly promote

the STEAM subjects in schools. This

toolkit will be made available online,

so that teachers and learners alike

will be able to easily access it.

For more information, or to get

involved in the project, please contact

Claire at clairebeggs.fipl@gmail.

com.

Eurostat.

“Research also highlights the

fact that adults with low level or no

qualifications; those in low skilled

occupations; the unemployed and

economically inactive; older people

and the least skilled are less likely to

participate in lifelong learning.” Says

Mike Keegan, spokesperson for The

Rural Hub.

The reasons for this are varied.

Barriers identified in the Adult Education

Survey included family responsibilities,

reconciling education

with work schedules, financial issues

and insufficient ‘prerequisites. “Perhaps

the most important finding is

that 80% of adults who do not participate

in education and training do

not express any interest in becoming

involved in organised learning activities.”

Continues Mike.

The European Education and

Training Framework (ET 2020),

adopted in May 2009, set a number

of benchmarks to be achieved by

2020. For adult participation in learning

the objective was that at least

15% of adults aged 25 to 64 years old

should participate in lifelong learning.

In Ireland the 2017 rate was 8.9%.

In conjunction with six other European

partner companies The

Rural Hub has decided to launch

‘ARTSKUL’ an innovative Erasmus+

project with music, drama and storytelling

resources for competence

building for marginalised adults.

“We are convinced that the traditional

‘sage-on-the-stage’ model of

education is of little initial value to our

target group. If educators are to attract

adults on the margins of provision

a new more holistic approach to

teaching is required.” Says Mike

Through music, drama and storytelling

the ARTSKUL project will

promote engagement in adult learning

and empower individuals to maximize

their life potential and overcome

social and cultural barriers.

For more information please contact

manuella.ruralhub@gmail.com

THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 9

Linking educators

and businesses

n “TALENT MANAGEMENT has a reputation of being only adaptable

by big organisations, that’s unfortunate” says Justyna Król,

a leader of the ‘Talent 4.0’ project in Future in Perspective. “Our

project is aimed at small and medium enterprises in Virginia and

neighbouring areas. Its core goal is to help entrepreneurs in understanding

why small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs) need

system for talent management, and further to offer them easy

tools that can facilitate this need.”

Inspirational female

leaders sought...

n LOCAL COMPANY, Future in Perspective, is piloting a new initiative

to inspire the next generation of female leaders in our community.

“We recognise the role of strong

female leaders in our local communities,

and we want to help to shine the

spotlight on their talents,” explained

a spokesperson. As part of a European

project – New Opportunities for

Women (NOW) – Future in Perspective

is seeking success stories of

female leaders from within the local

communities.

“As part of this project, we will

develop a series of short video case

studies of inspiring women, and

women from migrant communities

that may want to share their success

stories about their lives in Ireland,”

According to the official data of

European Commission, SMEs are

responsible for creating 2/3 of workplaces

in European Union. Hence, it

is easy to understand that they are an

important pillar in employment structure

and that they play a critical role in

European economies. Unfortunately,

in the context of talent management,

small and mid-sized businesses are

often on the underprivileged position.

“Most of talent management systems

available on the market are

directed towards larger companies.

They are usually not accessible for

smaller organisations due to various

logistic, strategic and financial

barriers,” says Król. “Talent 4.0 concentrates

especially on digital talent

management tools based on web 4.0

applications. This way, talent management

systems become accessible

to businesses and organisations

of all sizes.”

In contrast to common believe

that managing talents is an issue only

for organisations hiring hundreds or

thousands of employees, it is as important,

or sometimes even more important,

for smaller organisations. “If

one person in the company of 5 000

is underperforming, the impact will be

much smaller if they’re one person in

the company of 50,” brings an example

Jim Duff, a talent management

specialist and blogger.

STRATEGIES

“Talent 4.0 is aimed at two groups

in our local community – first are talent

leaders and owners in small and

mid-sized organisations who are

looking for knowledge and tools to

develop strategies of searching for,

developing and holding on the human

capital in their businesses. The

second are educators and education

providers working with businesses,”

specifies the local leader of the project.

“Through promoting partnerships

between education providers

and businesses ‘Talent 4.0’ aims to

foster work-based learning approach,

that can help to bridge the gap between

SME’s needs and policies or

instruments available.”

For further information about the

project and its resources contact

justyna.fipl@gmail.com

said the spokesperson.

If you are you a female leader

with an inspiring story to tell, you are

invited to get in touch to share your

story and to motivate other women to

take a leading role in their lives.

“To support women to inspire

each other, we will run a regular feature

in this paper to showcase some

of the female leaders in our community,”

said the spokesperson.

To find out more about the NOW

project or to share your success story

with other women, get in touch with

Sarah by emailing: news.ruralhub@

gmail.com.


10 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS

Lurgan Community Committee present a cheque of €600 to Margo

Keating for Virginia Cancer Care. Pic: Lolita Black

Art is in our nature for Sinéad

n VIRGINIA HAS LONG been

called home by a number of

artists and the latest to make

the move here is talented abstract

and textile artist Sinéad

Vaughan-Tompson. When

asked what it is that both drew

this well-travelled Meath native

to our corner of Co. Cavan and

in turn what keeps her here the

answer is as enthusiastic as it

is emphatic – nature.

As a full time professional artist

there is a constant need for inspiration

and stimuli and Virginia’s surrounds

provide that in abundance.

The lakes, the hills, the forests; it’s all

here. A carpet of bluebells in spring,

the murmuring of the starlings in winter.

The textures upon the barks of

the trees and the interplay of light and

shade upon the water’s surface. Everything

needed to inspire an artist is

here.

Sinéad creates hand painted silk

scarves, each a unique and striking

piece of wearable art. Each scarf

looking just as at home framed upon

a wall as it does adorning someone’s

neck. Her favourite to date; a striking

piece featuring the Irish woodland

jays and wild sorrel, she would see in

the woods whilst out walking in Deer

Park Forest. Using the serti technique

of silk painting, which requires a gutta

(resist) to be applied to stretched silk;

l ARTIST: Sinéad.

l WORK IN PROGRESS: One of Sinéad’s scarves being made

in order to provide a barrier to stop

the dyes from spreading across the

fabric.

The whole piece is then wrapped

and steamed to fix the dyes in place,

making them both colour fast and

light resistant.

Complementing and contrasting

with her precise and detailed silks,

are a number of beautiful and striking

abstract paintings, in the more

traditional mediums of oils, acrylics,

canvas and paper. Here her work has

more freedom to explore the relationships

between shape, colour and

texture. The shapes and textures

emerge gradually, layer by layer, until

the piece as a whole resolves itself

from a series of individual moments

and brush strokes into a singular

cohesive composition. Amidst the

abstract her works become far more

wide ranging; from bold and colourful

florals, to more challenging pieces

that invoke, imply and suggest.

Pieces which whisper meaning but

provide no definitive answers, works

that do not demand to be understood

but that are simply required to

resonate in some way with whoever

views them.

Training

supports now

available

for migrant

women

Yet at their heart is the simplest of

truths, the world is a place of wonder

and it is there just outside your door.

You can contact Sinead Vaughan

-Tompson at:siodaart@gmail.com.

You can follow her work on Instagram

at: www.instagram.com/sineadvaughantompson

n “STARTING A COMPANY is

more like immigrating to another

country. You can survive

only if you adapt,” says

a spokesperson of the new

CREATION project run by

Future in Perspective in

Virginia. The project is addressed

to migrant women

from the local community

who are interested in becoming

entrepreneurs or improving

their business skills.

“Being able to work is massively

important for personal dignity and

it is one of the most effective ways

to integrate,” said Sandra Ruiz, cofounder

of Ireland’s Migrant Women

United. “Migrant women face multiple

barriers amounting to structural

discrimination in accessing the labour

market. Our challenges include

getting our qualifications recognised

and accessing affordable childcare.

Many of us lack family and social networks,

and we can face unconscious

bias from employers when it comes

to unfamiliar names and international

accents,” she concluded.

“We believe that, given the opportunity,

the potential and possibilities

of women in business are unlimited.

Women from disadvantaged backgrounds,

given the proper training, are

fully capable of becoming business

leaders,” says Justyna Krol, manager

of the CREATION project in Ireland.

“Our project is based in the fields of

creative and cultural activities”, she

clarifies. “The new guidelines for development

of European cities and

communities recognise the need for

culture to become a driving force in

that development. It not only guarantees

greater social inclusion but also

underlines the importance of heritage”.

The CREATION project is going

to address the challenges faced by

migrant women by providing innovative

digital learning resources that

will support future or existing female

entrepreneurs in developing their

entrepreneurial skills and competences.

The training resources to be

developed will aim to tackle a series

of specific challenges that are relevant

in the art and creativity sectors.

“To make sure that we address the

right needs, we are going to conduct

a broad research,” says Justyna and

“the research will allow us to identify

the expectations of female entrepreneurs

in our local area. In addition,

we would like to find out what are

the needs of trainers and educators

working with migrant women.”

All interested migrant women and

migrant support workers who would

like to participate in the research

or learn more about the project are

invited to contact Justyna Krol at :

justyna.fipl@gmail.com


COMICS

THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 11


12 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS COMICS

“The European Commission’s support for the production of

this The publication European does Commission’s not constitute support an endorsement for the production of the of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors,

contents, and the Commission which reflect cannot the views be only held of responsible the authors, for and any the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which

may be made of the information contained therein.”

Ice-cap


COMICS

THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 13


14 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS COMICS

“The European Commission’s support for the production of

this The publication European does Commission’s not constitute support an endorsement for the production of the of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors,

contents, and the which Commission reflect cannot the views be only held of responsible the authors, for and any the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which

may be made of the information contained therein.”

Ice-cap


4-PAGE PULL-OUT

Activities and Classes at

The Rural Hub in Virginia

Social Mornings and

Educational Afternoons

n IT’S A NEW YEAR and traditionally the time for resolutions and

setting new goals. At The Rural Hub we are working to provide a

selection of classes, courses and activities to help local residents

get out and about and meet with friends and neighbours.

Please note that

all courses and

activities are

provided free-ofcharge...

The Rural Hub ran a number of

pilot sessions between October and

December featuring Mindfulness,

Aromatherapy, Working with Crystals,

Knit and Knatter and IT Training.

Despite the fact that we had some

disruptions to the planned schedule

the people who came along really enjoyed

themselves. We are really delighted

to present a much more comprehensive

set of activities for 2020.

We have tried to mix up the range

of activities to appeal to a wide cross

section of the community and as well

as the old favourites we will also be

looking at other activities like ‘Make

and Do for a Greener Home’; ‘Creative

Writing’; ‘Financial Literacy Training’;

‘Online Safety and Digital Footprint’;

‘Future Female Entrepreneurs

– Building An Online Business’; ‘Developing

a Family Aural Portrait’;

‘Cultural Exchange and Conversational

English’; ‘Crafty Crochet’. We

hope to provide something to interest

everyone.

For those of you who came along

to some of our sessions before

Christmas, we thank you for joining

us and hope you come back; for

those of you who have not joined us

before we extend an open invitation.

This centre four-page pull-out contains

the full timetable of activities.

Classes begin on January 13 and, as

places are limited, we would ask you

to contact Suzanne on 087 1035816

or Noeleen on 086 8122514. One

thing we can guarantee is a warm

welcome and a friendly atmosphere.

Please note that all courses and

activities are provided free of charge.

We do however, ask each person attending

to make a €2 contribution.

The funds collected at the end of the

eight week programme will be donated

to St Mary’s National School in

Virginia in March.

Contact:

NOELEEN - 086 8122514

THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 15

l SOMETHING SMELLS GOOD: Aromatherapy at The Rural Hub

LIMITED PLACES - SECURE YOURS

Contact:

SUZANNE - 087 1035816

l NEEDLING AWAY: The ‘Knit and Knatter’ group at the Rural Hub


16 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS

4-PAGE P

SOCIAL MORNINGS &

EDUCATIONAL AFTERNO

Week 1 – 13 th to 17 th January

Monday 13 th January 10.00 to 12.00 Aromatherapy

14.00 to 16.00 Crafty Crochet

Tuesday 14 th January 10.00 to 12.00 Working with Crystals

Wednesday 15 th

January

14.00 to 16.00 Make & Do for a greener

home

10.00 to 12.00 Knit & Knatter

14.00 to 16.00 Hand Reflexology

Thursday 16 th January 10.00 to 12.00 Mindfulness

14.00 to 16.00 Creative Writing

Friday 17 th January 14.00 to 16.00 Social Media Training for

smartphone, tablet and laptop

Week 2 – 20 th to 24 th January

Monday 20 th January 10.00 to 12.00 Aromatherapy

14.00 to 16.00 Crafty Crochet

Tuesday 21 st January 10.00 to 12.00 Working with Crystals

Wednesday 22 nd

January

14.00 to 16.00 Make & Do for a greener

home

10.00 to 12.00 Knit & Knatter

14.00 to 16.00 Hand Reflexology

Thursday 23 rd January 10.00 to 12.00 Mindfulness

14.00 to 16.00 Creative Writing

Friday 24 th January 14.00 to 16.00 Social Media Training for

smartphone, tablet and

laptop

Week 3 – 27 th to 31 st January

Monday 27 th January 10.00 to 12.00 Aromatherapy

14.00 to 16.00 Crafty Crochet

Tuesday 28 th January 10.00 to 12.00 Working with Crystals

Wednesday 29 th

January

14.00 to 16.00 Make & Do for a greener

home

10.00 to 12.00 Knit & Knatter

14.00 to 16.00 Hand Reflexology

Thursday 30 th January 10.00 to 12.00 Mindfulness

14.00 to 16.00 Creative Writing

Friday 31 st January 14.00 to 16.00 Social Media Training for

smartphone, tablet and laptop

Week 4 – 3 rd to 7 th February

Monday 3 rd February 10.00 to 12.00 Aromatherapy

14.00 to 16.00 Crafty Crochet

Tuesday 4 th February 10.00 to 12.00 Working with Crystals

14.00 to 16.00 Make & Do for a greener

home

Wednesday 5 th February 10.00 to 12.00 Knit & Knatter

14.00 to 16.00 Hand Reflexology

Thursday 6 th February 10.00 to 12.00 Mindfulness

14.00 to 16.00 Creative Writing

Friday 7 th February 14.00 to 16.00 Social Media Training for

smartphone, tablet and

laptop

Week 5 – 10 th to 14 th February

Monday 10 th February 10.00 to 12.00 Aromatherapy

14.00 to 16.00 Mindfulness

Tuesday 11 th February 10.00 to 12.00 Family Aural Portraits

Wednesday 12 th

February

14.00 to 16.00 Future Female

Entrepreneurs – Building An

Online Business

10.00 to 12.00 Knit & Knatter

14.00 to 16.00 Online Safety & Digital

Footprint

Thursday 13 th February 10.00 to 12.00 Mindfulness

14.00 to 16.00 Cultural Exchange &

Conversational English

Friday 14 th February 14.00 to 16.00 Social Media Training for

smartphone, tablet and

laptop

Week 6 – 17 th to 21 st February

Monday 17 th February 10.00 to 12.00 Aromatherapy

14.00 to 16.00 Mindfulness

Tuesday 18 th February 10.00 to 12.00 Family Aural Portraits

Wednesday 19 th

February

14.00 to 16.00 Future Female

Entrepreneurs – Building An

Online Business

10.00 to 12.00 Knit & Knatter

14.00 to 16.00 Online Safety & Digital

Footprint

Thursday 20 th February 10.00 to 12.00 Mindfulness

14.00 to 16.00 Cultural Exchange &

Conversational English

Friday 21 st February 14.00 to 16.00 Social Media Training for

smartphone, tablet and

laptop


ULL-OUT

THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 17

ONS

Week 7 – 24 th to 28 th February

Monday 24 th February 10.00 to 12.00 Aromatherapy

14.00 to 16.00 Mindfulness

Tuesday 25 th February 10.00 to 12.00 Family Aural Portraits

Wednesday 26 th

February

14.00 to 16.00 Financial Literacy Training

& Expert Advice

10.00 to 12.00 Knit & Knatter

14.00 to 16.00 Making Positive Health

Choices as You Get Older

Thursday 27 th February 10.00 to 12.00 Mindfulness

14.00 to 16.00 Storytelling

Friday 28 th February 14.00 to 16.00 Social Media Training for

smartphone, tablet and

laptop

Week 8 – 2 nd to 6 th March

Monday 2 nd March 10.00 to 12.00 Aromatherapy

14.00 to 16.00 Mindfulness

Tuesday 3 rd March 10.00 to 12.00 Family Aural Portraits

14.00 to 16.00 Financial Literacy Training

& Expert Advice

Wednesday 4 th March 10.00 to 12.00 Knit & Knatter

14.00 to 16.00 Making Positive Health

Choices as You Get Older

Thursday 5 th March 10.00 to 12.00 Mindfulness

14.00 to 16.00 Storytelling

Friday 6 th March 14.00 to 16.00 Social Media Training for

smartphone, tablet and

laptop

Places are limited

so book yours to

avoid disappointment


18 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 4-PAGE PULL-OUT

YOUR GUIDE TO OUR COURSES

Aromatherapy

– using the natural oils extracted

from flowers, bark, stems, leaves,

roots or other parts of a plant to

enhance psychological and physical

well-being.

Crafty Crochet

– get your hook out and have fun

with friends and neighbours

Working with Crystals

– to help balance your energetic

field

Find us on Facebook

@RuralHubVirginia

Make & Do for a Greener Home

– finding alternative sustainable

ways to reduce your carbon footprint

and have fun doing it

Knit & Knatter

– like Ronseal “it does exactly what

it says on the tin”. Come along to

knit and knatter with friends and

neighbours

Hand Reflexology

– a short introduction to an

alternative therapy for stress relief

and well-being

https://www.facebook.com/RuralHubVirginia/

If you’ve got news for the next issue...

news.ruralhub@gmail.com

Budding blogger?

Would–be writer?

Mindfulness

– learn how to be present in the

moment to relax the body and mind

Creative Writing

– everyone has a book in them, find

and develop your story

Social Media Training for

smartphone, tablet and laptop

– get to grips with new emerging

technologies for everyday life

Family Aural Portraits

– learn to record and present an

aural portrait of your family – capture

a moment in time for all posterity

Future Female Entrepreneurs –

Building An Online Business

– find out the key do’s and don’t’s

for starting a new digital media

business

Online Safety & Digital

Footprint

– be the voice of wisdom and

knowledge in your family to protect

them from online threats

Cultural Exchange &

Conversational English

– come along and learn about other

cultures and help newly arrived

residents develop their language skills

Financial Literacy Training &

Expert Advice

– be a smart money manager and

help your other family members to

plan effectively for the future

Making Positive Health

Choices as You Get Older

– your health is your wealth and

small changes to everyday habits

can offer real benefits as you get

older

Storytelling

– come along for a very special

storytelling session with a very

special guest

Thanks for the support

If you’re pursuing, or thinking of pursuing

a career or hobby in communications,

The Rural Hub Community News could be

a way for you to flex your media muscle

We’re looking for volunteers to get involved

in helping to make this a truly community effort

Get in touch to have a chat

about how you can help with

writing, researching or photography

news.ruralhub@gmail.com

n ST MARY’S National School in Virginia were really pleased to

receive €329.75 from The Rural Hub in December. This money

comprised the donations collected from those who attended

the social mornings in The Rural Hub in the five weeks before

Christmas. All funds collected during our new programme will

also go to this school as part of our commitment to education

in Virginia.


COMICS

THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 19


20 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS

“The European Commission’s support for the production of

this The publication European does Commission’s not constitute support an endorsement for the production of the of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors,

contents, and the Commission which reflect cannot the views be only held of responsible the authors, for and any the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which

may be made of the information contained therein.”


THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 21


22 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS COMICS

“The European Commission’s support for the production of

this The publication European does Commission’s not constitute support an endorsement for the production of the of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors,

contents, and the Commission which reflect cannot the views be only held of responsible the authors, for and any the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which

may be made of the information contained therein.”


FEATURE

THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 23

Summer fest plans after

Fleadh Cheoil success

n SUCH WAS THE ‘KNEES UP’ in Oldcastle, towards the end of

2019, that the dust is still settling on the Owenie Traynor Fleadh

Cheoil Weekend. The inaugural event, a collaboration between

Owen Traynor’s Pub and The Rural Hub, saw the cream of traditional

music and dance talent and an appreciative audience from

the locality and beyond, descend on the pub, which has a long

tradition of music in the area. I had a chat with the Rural Hub’s

Philip Land about the event and, after the success it enjoyed, future

plans for more of the same.

“The whole idea of the Owenie

Traynor Fleadh Cheoil Weekend

came out of a conversation we had

with Martin “Speedy” Smith, who has

been behind the bar all his working

life, about what we could do to keep

traditional music alive and promote

the arts on a local level,” explains

Philip. “The reason that it was particularly

pertinent in Traynor’s in Oldcastle

was that this pub was always

regarded as the home of traditional

music in the area. If you just take a

walk around the pub you can see

that it has tradition at its very heart.

It’s one of the very few unique traditional

pubs left that has the grocery

shop at the front and the pub at the

back. Very little has changed and, in

keeping with the tradition of Owenie,

who passed away two years ago,

very little will change.”

I asked Philip how he felt about

the event’s success.

l ABOVE and TOP RIGHT: The cream of traditional music and

dance was on show at the Trad Weekend Fleadh Cheoil.

“For me, the most important thing

about the Fleadh Cheoil Weekend

was that the musicians came out in

force. The amount of talent that was

on show was incredible and most of

the people who played came from a

very short radius around Oldcastle,”

he said. “We had people from abroad

who were in the area or came especially

for the occasion, but it was

really about local people of all ages.

We had some groups who came

having heard about it at the Fleadh

Cheoil in Drogheda, we had a lot of

people who brought their instruments

and just joined in, but one of the nicest

features of the weekend was on

the Sunday afternoon at 4 o’clock,

you could not get into the pub for all

the parents with their children who

were down for the open session and

to watch the Irish dancing performed

by children from the Smith Academy.

The kids were having a really good

traditional Irish time, in spite of the

fact that it was the worst of the weather.

It was a real occasion. Then, by 7

o’clock all the kids had gone home

and the adults had the pub to themselves

for the evening. Probably the

star attraction of the week was a local

guy, Nigel Davy and his group, Black

Shamrock. They brought the house

down with the final performance on

Sunday evening.”

So what about the future? What

plans, if any, are there to keep up the

momentum?

“What’s been interesting since

the Fleadh Cheoil, as Speedy will tell

you, is that he’s had more people in

the shop who weren’t at the Fleadh

Cheoil than were at it saying that

they’d heard about the weekend and

wouldn’t miss the next one,” explains

Philip. “So I think we’ve set a good

trend for traditional music in Oldcastle

moving forward. We’re looking forward

to the Summer Trad Fest which

will be held on May 22, 23 and 24.

Interview by

DECLAN CASSIDY

May 22 is the second anniversary of

Owenie’s passing so we think it’s really

fitting to have the event then in

his honour and we already have a full

line-up of acts, booked and eager to

take part. The Summer Trad Fest is a

new thing that we’ll try and see what

happens. Then we’ll be back with

the Owenie Traynor Fleadh Cheoil

Weekend in November.”

The event raised a very welcome

€2,270 for St Fiach’s National School

in Ballinacree. The school will continue

to benefit from the future events,

reveals Philip.


24 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS

n KASIĘ O’REILLY POZNAŁAM

podczas dorocznych targów

przedsiębiorczości organizowanych

minionego października

przez Show Centre w Virginii.

Podobnie jak prawie dwustu

innych przedsiębiorców, Kasia

zjawiła się tam, aby promować

swój biznes – naturalne

produkty do pielęgnacji skóry,

które Kasia własnoręcznie

produkuje w przydomowej pracowni

niedaleko Ballyjamesduff.

MULTICULTURAL

JUSTYNA KRÓL’S

Polish Corner

Autor

JUSTYNA KRÓL

Kasia pochodzi z Gdyni i mieszka

w Irlandii już od ponad piętnastu

lat. Twierdzi, że znalazła tutaj swoje

miejsce na ziemi i pomimo szczerej

miłości do Polski, jej domem jest

teraz wiejska okolica Ballyjamesduff.

Rozmawiałyśmy o wyzwaniach

stojących przed przedsiębiorcami w

Irlandii, znaczeniu pasji w biznesie

oraz stereotypach na temat Polaków

w Irlandii.

Założyłaś Sana Naturals w 2017

roku. Co zainspirowało Cię do

rozpoczęcia własnej działalności

i jakie były Twoje doświadczenia

jako Polki zakładającej firmę w

Irlandii?

Uwielbiam kiedy kobiety

zakochują się w swojej skórze

ponownie. Od zawsze tworzyłam

produkty pielęgnacyjne z myślą o

mojej niezwykle problematycznej

n I MET KASIA O’REILLY at the

Virginia Show Centre’s event

for entrepreneurs, organised

last October. Like almost 200

other local entrepreneurs, Kasia

was there to promote her

business called Sana Naturals

– natural sustainable artisanal

skincare products that

she hand makes in the studio

located at her home near Ballyjamesduff.

skórze. Wreszcie nadszedł czas,

aby przekształcić tę pasję w biznes.

Udało mi się to, gdy mój synek

skończył dwa lata i wreszcie pozwolił

mi się wyspać.

Moje doświadczenia związane z

zakładaniem działalności w Irlandii

były bardzo pozytywne. Nigdy nie

napotkałam żadnych problemów

wynikających z mojej narodowości.

Otrzymałam ogromne wsparcie z

Lokalnego Biura Przedsiębiorczości

w formie szkoleń, mentoringu oraz

dofinansowania. Pomogło mi to

rozwinąć mój biznes, niezbędne

umiejętności i przedsiębiorczy

sposób myślenia. Należę także

do Cavan Business Women Club,

którego spotkania zawsze były dla

mnie inspiracją, a możliwość uczenia

się od bardziej doświadczonych

business women okazała się bardzo

cenna.

Jednym z największych wyzwań

związanych z prowadzeniem własnej

firmy było wypracowanie zdrowej

równowagi pomiędzy życiem osobistym

i pracą, abym mogła

sprawnie rozwijać swój biznes oraz

spędzić czas z rodziną. Musiałam

wypracować harmonogram dnia,

który uwzględni nie tylko godziny

pracy, ale także obowiązki domowe

oraz czas dla rodziny.

Kasia comes from Gdynia and has

lived in Ireland for over fifteen years.

She claims she has ‘found her place

in Ireland’, and despite her continuous

love for Poland, her home is now

in the rural area of Ballyjamesduff.

We met to talk about the challenges

of being an entrepreneur in Ireland,

the importance of having passion in

business and the stereotypes of Polish

people on the “Green Island”.

You established Sana Naturals in

2017. What inspired you to start your

own business and what were your

experiences being a Polish person

setting up a company in Ireland?

I absolutely love seeing women

fall in love with their skin again. I

have always been making skincare

products for my extremely challenging

skin. Finally the time came to turn

this passion into a business. That

happened when my little boy aged 2

at the time allowed me to sleep again.

My experience starting a business

in Ireland was very positive. I never

faced any challenges related to my

nationality. I have received enormous

support from the Cavan Local Enterprise

Office in the form of training,

mentoring and financial grants. This

helped me to develop the business

and develop the necessary skills and

business mindset. I’m also a mem-


MULTICULTURAL

ber of Cavan Business Women Club.

Their meetings are always very inspirational

and learning from other more

experienced business women is very

valuable.

One of the biggest challenges

related to running my own business

Jakie wartości kierują Twoją

działalnością?

Bycie w bliskiej relacji z naturą

zawsze było dla mnie ważne.

Nauczyłam się tego od mojej babci,

która podobnie jak inne kobiety

żyjące w powojennej Polsce, musiała

nauczyć się zastępować niedostępne

nigdzie kosmetyki tym, co udało jej

się znaleźć wokół. Babcia nauczyła

mnie kochać i doceniać naturę,

ponieważ daje nam wszystko, czego

potrzebujemy.

Wierzę w prostotę i powrót do natury.

Staram się przeciwstawiać obecnym

trendom, promującym skomplikowane

zabiegi pielęgnacyjne i

produkty o niekończących się listach

syntetycznych składników. Tworzę

wysoce nasycone produkty, które są

całkowicie naturalne oraz ukierunkowane

na wiele problemów skórnych

jednocześnie. Zrównoważony rozwój

to jedna z podstawowych wartości

mojej marki. Zawsze pamiętam o

szacunku do naszej planety. Produkty

pakowane są w przeznaczone do

recyklingu opakowania, staram się

nie nadużywać papieru i tworzyw

sztucznych. Wierzę w holistyczne

podejście do piękna, nie tylko to, co

nakładamy na skórę ma znaczenie.

Dieta i zrównoważony styl życia to

podstawa.

Pozwól mi zapytać o Twoje

doświadczenia dotyczące życia

w Irlandii. Czy dostrzegasz

podobieństwa między Irlandią a

Polską?

Widzę wiele podobieństw. Kulturowo,

jesteśmy bardzo podobni.

Irlandczycy są bardzo gościnni i otwarci,

podobnie jak Polacy. Często

zdarza mi się zapomnieć, że mieszkam

w obcym kraju, czujé sié tutaj

jak w domu. W Irlandii uwielbiam

również różnorodność i dostępność

natury.

A znasz jakieś stereotypy Polakach

w Irlandii? Myślisz, że nasz

wizerunek jest tutaj pozytywny?

Tak, stereotyp o polakach jest

raczej pozytywny. Jesteśmy postrzegani

jako ciężko pracujący i godni

zaufania.

Aby dowiedzieć się więcej o Kasi

i jej działalności odwiedź jej stronę

internetową www.sananaturals.ie

Jeśli mieszkasz w Irlandii i

chciałbyś przyczynić się do rozwoju

tej kolumny lub podzielić się

informacjami związanymi z polską

społecznością w hrabstwie Cavan,

skontaktuj się z nami pod adresem

news.ruralhub@gmail.com

was to find a healthy life-work balance

that would allow me to grow

my business, being able at the same

time to spend quality time with my

family. Since my work is my passion,

I often spend long hours working. I

had to work out a schedule for the

day that would not only include working

but also household chores, time

for family and myself.

What values are driving you in

your work?

Having close contact with nature

was always important to me; I

learned that from my grandmother.

She was a Second World War survivor

who, as many women at that

time in Poland, had to find ways to

replace inaccessible beauty products

with whatever they could find around

them. She taught me to love and appreciate

nature because everything

we need is there.

I believe in simplicity and going

back to basics. I’m bucking the current

trend of complicated skincare

routines using endless lists of synthetic

laden products. I create highly

concentrated botanical potions that

are completely natural and are multifunctional,

targeting multiple skin

issues at once for a healthy glowing

skin with less effort and fewer

products. Sustainability is one of the

brand’s core values. Wellness of our

planet is always on my mind. The

products are housed in recyclable

glass packaging without cardboard

boxes and I am committed to using

as little plastic as possible. I also believe

in a holistic approach to beauty,

not only that what you put on your

skin matters. Your diet and balanced

lifestyle are also crucial.

Now let me ask you about your

experiences of living in Ireland.

Do you see any similarities between

Ireland and Poland?

I see a lot of similarities. Culturally,

we are very similar. Irish people

are very welcoming, accepting and

hospitable and so are Polish. I find

myself very often forgetting that I live

in a foreign country and think of myself

simply as part of the community.

I feel totally at home here. In Ireland I

also love the variety and accessibility

of nature.

Do you know any stereotypes of

Polish people in Ireland? Do you

think our national image is positive?

Yes, the stereotype of Polish people

is rather positive. We are seen as

hard working and reliable.

To learn more about Kasia and

about her business visit her website

at www.sananaturals.ie

If you are a Polish person living

in Ireland, and you are interested in

contributing to this column or sharing

any issues related to Polish community

in Co. Cavan, contact us at

news.ruralhub@gmail.com

THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 25

Souper recipe from abroad

The Melting Pot

n Christmas is a fading memory;

the family food mountain

is on the wane and even the

freezer is breathing a sigh of

relief. After eating your bodyweight

in chocolate and cakes

perhaps you need to focus on

eating healthily as more cold

weather sets in!

Nothing is more comforting and

wholesome on a chilly day than

homemade soup. Sure, we do ok for

soup here in Ireland… but with a bit

of careful shopping, thoughtful preparation

and culinary imagination you

can enjoy some exotic and wonderful

winter warmers in a flash.

Have a crack at this eastern European

and Russian inspired recipe,

impress your friends, be the envy of

work colleagues but remember - buy

locally and consume responsibly!

CHICKPEA SOUP

At all times signatures of Uzbek cousine

were considered to be plov, shashlik (barbeque)

and manti. It’s little known that

no traditional Uzbek family celebration

or even normal dinner is complete without

the soup containing eastern pulses

- chickpeas. In Uzbekistan, we call chickpeas

‘’nahot’’ or ‘’nuhut’’.

There are dozens of recipes of this rich

and nutritious soup. I will introduce you to

the one I cook for my family.

Ingredients:

• 4 portions

• Chickpea – 400g

• Lamb or beef bones – 1kg

• Onion – 3pcs (finely diced)

• Pepper – 3pcs of different colour (cut

into chunks)

• Potato – 300g (cut in big chunks)

• Tomatoes – 150-200g (cut in big

chunks)

• Carrot – 200 – 250g (cut in big chunks)

• Garlic – 3-4 cloves (chopped)

• Salt, pepper

• Any greens – parsley, dill etc.

• Chilli pepper optional.

Directions:

Soak chick peas for a few hours to soften.

Put meat bones into a large heavy-based

pan and cover with water. Put to boil.

Skim off foam every so often. Let broth

cook for 1-1.5hrs, until meat starts to fall

off the bones.

Add finely diced onion and let it cook for

another 20-30min. Add chick peas and

carrots and let it cook under the lid for anther

20min. When chick peas are almost

cooked add potato, pepper, tomatoes and

garlic. Season with salt, black pepper and

chilli pepper to your taste. Leave to cook

covered until all ingredients are cooked.

Before serving remove bones from the

pan and cut meat into big pieces. Add to

soup.

When serving, sprinkle moderate amount

of chopped parsley and dill.

Good for body and soul.

Bon appetite!

СУП НАХОТ ШУРПА

Во все времена визитной карточкой

узбекской кухни считались плов,

манты и шашлык. И лишь немногие

знают что ни одно семейное торжество

не пройдёт без первого традиционного

блюда, а именно без супа из восточного

гороха нут. В Узбекистане его

называют либо ‘’нахот‘’, либо ‘’нухут‘’.

Существует множество рецептов этого

насыщенного и питательного супа.

Сегодня я познакомлю Вас с тем,

который я готовлю сама.

Ингредиенты:

• На 4 персоны

• Горох нахот – 400гр

• Баранина на кости – 1кг

• Лук репчатый – 3шт

• Сладкий перец – 3шт.разных цветов

• Картофель – 300гр

• Помидоры – 150 - 200гр

• Морковь – 200 – 250гр

• Чеснок – 3 - 4 зубчика

• Соль, перец по вкусу.

• Любая зелень по Вашему вкусу.

• Можно для остроты добавить перец

чили.

Способ приготовления:

Нахот предварительно замочить в

тёплой воде несколько часов.

В глубокую кастрюлю с водой

помещаем мясные кости и ставим

вариться. В процессе варки снимаем

пенку пока бульон не станет

прозрачным.

Таким образом варим бульон 1-1.5

часов пока мясо не начнёт отделяться

от кости.

Затем добавляем мелко нарубленный

лук и варим ещё минут 30. Теперь пора

остальных ингредиентов. Добавляем

нахот и в это же время можно

добавить крупно нарезанную морковь.

Накрыть крышкой и оставить вариться

минут на 20. Когда горох почти готов,

добавляем крупно нарезанные

картофель, сладкий перец, помидор;

солим, перчим и добавляем по вкусу

перец чили и крупно нарезанный

чеснок. Оставляем вариться под

крышкой до полной готовности всех

ингредиентов.

В конце вытаскиваем кости и снимаем

с них мясо. Мясо крупно рубим и

добавляем в суп.

При подаче украсьте суп нарубленной

зеленью.

Приятного аппетита!


26 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Weight

with Jenny Kinsella

086 2418361

www.weightmatters.ie

Matters

n HAVING TAKEN the journey

myself, losing five stone 20

years ago and maintaining this

weight loss over that time, I

know and understand what is

needed for you to achieve your

own personal goals. I know

that dramatic weight loss is

rarely sustained, that significant

weight loss takes time to

achieve. That is why in Weight-

Matters I focus on medium to

long-term goal setting.

Regarding weight loss it is so

easy to get overwhelmed, there’s

so much information out there about

food, exercise, habits, and everything

else weight loss related, particularly

at this time of the year. One could

spend the rest of their lives researching

about the best way to lose weight

etc, my point is there’s no shortage of

information.

That’s why in WeightMatters I

have stripped weight loss back to

the core – Eat less (Calories), Move

more.

My advice to you, is to create a

plan and then take it one day at a

time. Don’t try to overhaul your life in

one day. Don’t think about 3 stones

from now. Think about the first pound

and go from there.

Don’t expect to break decades of

bad habits in one day, one week, or

even one month. Changing your lifestyle

takes time and to be honest it’s

a lifelong process.

BINGEING

There are weeks you feel on top

of the world and that you have this

whole weight loss thing sorted and

then the next week you’re bingeing

watching T.V. with a bowl of ice

cream and God knows what else.

That’s ok, we all have bad days. The

good thing is tomorrow is a new day.

That’s how I want you to think. Show

up every day ready to be the best

version of you.

Of course, you might slip up but

at least you showed up - sometimes

that’s half the battle.

Take it one day at a time. One

habit at a time. When you feel comfortable

then you can add more. Now

let me also say this……you need

to step out of your comfort zone so

don’t take my advice for a green light

to sit back and wait for it to happen. I

want you to step out of your comfort

zone. That’s when change happens.

Just don’t try to change it all at once.

One day at a time. Of course,

keep your eye on the prize but focus

on the daily habits that will ultimately

lead to your weight loss goals. Look

back on the action steps that you

know you need to take and commit

to putting those in place a little at a

time. Over time those little steps will

lead to big results.

One way to keep focused throughout

your weight loss journey is to regularly

set goals. Often, people set a

larger “bigger picture” goal of losing a

certain about of weight instead of focusing

on the smaller lifestyle habits

and routines (weekly menu planning,

drinking more water, etc.) that need

to happen in order to reach the bigger

goals.

Goals give direction throughout

your journey. More importantly is the

sense of accomplishment you experience

once you achieve those goals.

Believe me, there’s no greater motivation

than seeing the results of your

hard work. In those moments, you

realize that you can do this because

YOU DID do it!

Remember, I want you to think

differently about goals. Instead of focusing

on the weight, focus on habits.

In fact, don’t worry about weight

at all.

Also the best set goals are: Smart

Goals: Simple, Manageable, Actionable,

Realistic, Timely.

The goal is not to overhaul your

entire life in one month. It’s to begin

changing your lifestyle one habit at

a time. As you get comfortable with

one habit you can then add on another

one.

EXAMPLES

Here are a few examples. As you

can see, I give the goal along with

some action steps.

Drink more water - This month I’m

going to drink 2 to 3 glasses of water

every day, working up to 1.5 litres

per day. I’ll do this by purchasing a

water bottle, setting reminders on my

phone, and recording my intake in

my Food & Mood diary. Every night

I’ll make sure my water bottle is full

for the following day.

As you can see this goal is a

smart goal. It’s Simple, it’s Manageable,

Actionable, Realistic and Timely.

Exercise 3 - 4 days a week - This

month I want to build an exercise

habit. I will look at my calendar every

Sunday and schedule in exercise for

the week. I’ll make sure to have exercise

gear ready the night before.

Consume more fruit and vegetables.

This month I want to focus on

eating more fruit and vegetables. I’ll

do this by having fruit at breakfast,

salad at lunch and vegetables with

my dinner.

Goals don’t need to be complicated.

Keep them simple so you don’t

become overwhelmed.

Goals should be written down and

visible, preferably with a checkoff list.

Your Food & Mood diary is the perfect

place for this. Once we write it

down, we are 10 times more likely to

do it. Fact!

Try writing your goals out like this

– what is the goal and how will you

achieve it.

Again, the big picture (lose

weight) needs to be there but the focus

should be on the smaller habits

that will get you there.

As you go throughout the month

everything you do should move you

towards your goals. So, if you can’t

answer yes to the question “does this

help achieve my goals?” then you

need to decide whether it’s worth it.

The thing is, as we all know, “Nobody

gives 100% every single day!”

Even the healthiest of people have

struggles. Their struggles might not

look the same as yours, but I guarantee

they face challenges. We are all

human. Life happens. We slip up. We

get tired. That’s just the way it is, and

it shouldn’t keep you from committing

to a healthier lifestyle.

It’s not about creating a lifestyle

free of challenges or struggles it’s

about succeeding despite them. You

might not be able to show up every

day and give 100% but as long as

you show up and do something to

keep moving forward then you’re

winning the battle.

My advice is to commit every day

to do at least 1 thing that will move

you towards a healthier lifestyle.

Maybe it’s record food, go for a walk,

drink an extra glass of water, get exercise

clothes ready, throw out old

food, write a to do list, put together a

meal plan. Pick one thing.

Don’t try to give 100% to everything

at once. This will lead you to

feel overwhelmed and discouraged.

Pick a habit and do it. Focus on the

small wins because that’s what will

build your confidence to do more.


ENTERTAINMENT

Wordsearch – Wellbeing

Health and Wellbeing

HEALTH WELLBEING HAPPINESS

VITALITY ENERGY LIFESTYLE

RELAXED WELLNESS CARE

LIFE CONTENTMENT MEDITATION

STRESS EMOTIONAL SPIRITUAL

MINDFULNESS HOLISTIC Name: HEALING

2

BALANCE SELFLOVE

3

ENERGISED

Name: 4

Name:

Created with TheTeachersCorner.net Word Search Maker

Y Y V V V U M E D I T A T I O N P S T Y

Z E V O L F L E S E N E R G I S E D E I

V Y K S I C A Z W H O T W D K E I M B C

D B A T U X V Y K M I H S L X N O L Z G

G H Y R B G G M V L D E Q N R T G S T D

Y Y T E C P N L M L S S E N I P P A H R

I I I S B U I P L Z H T I O T N A P G G

B P L S T N E M T N E T N O C D K V P X

A P A O K Z B G T Q F A V V B E B W Q W

A M T P I S L J N L L N H C K X Q D P E

C C I P R K L G U I C O Y M Q A S S G L

R I V N R L E F D F L U L N P L P D W L

Y T M U D B W O W E V A W V N E I Q P N

F S H T I F J D C S W Q E B O R R Q L E

L I O C M N U N O T V E E H R L I F E S

Y L Y R F A A L B Y D E C T J L T Q I S

Y O H K V L R V N L G K V P D Z U J A G

D H H E A L T H T E T D W E X Y A D F Y

D W Q B E M O X M S S E S U R I L N G M

P E V Y G R E N E N W S E D A E R A C E

ellbeing Crossword

2

4

Wellbeing Crossword

Crossword – Wellbeing

1

3 4

2

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5 6

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OLDSCHOOL FUN

Puzzle 1 (Medium, difficulty rating 0.47)

THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 27

TURN OFF YOUR PHONE

PICK UP A PEN

Soduko – Puzzle 2

9 1

4 3 7 8

9 8 7 5

5 7 1

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8 3 9

8 5 1 9

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Generated by http://www.opensky.ca/sudoku on Mon Dec 2 15:34:44 2019 GMT. Enjoy!

MOVIE

REVIEW

8

7

5 6

6

10

8

7

10

9

8

7

STAR WARS

The Rise of 9Skywalker

n THE FINAL INSTALLMENT of the Star

Wars 11 series came to a dramatic conclusion

in The Rise of Skywalker.

Review by

OLIVIA CARLA SMITH

LIVV FOR FILM

11

The age-old conflict between good and evil is the main premise for the movie. As with

9

12

all of George Lucas’ films, the special effects were second to none and the acting was incredible

– particularly

12

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the main protagonist and antagoinst.

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11

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4. Keeping fit this way can be a stretch

such as Princess 1. Go there Leia to be (Carrie pampered Fisher), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Luke Skywalker

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that kept 9. Finnish me gripped. hot invention However, I found that the ending was ultimately anti-climactic

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to Rey discovering who her parents really were, but instead it was rather disappointingly

2. On yer bike for this activity

brushed over.

3. Food that's not processed

With that being said, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a must-watch for any diehard

Star Wars fan, but for me, it just didn’t quite live up to expectations.

6. Did someone leave the kettle on? I can't see a thing...

7. It's your wealth, they say

9. Finnish hot invention

LAST ISSUE SOLUTION: Down: 1. Paris, 2. Green, 3. Global Warming,

6. Upcycling, 7. Coral, 9. Nude, 12. Hybrid, 14. Amazon. Across: 4. Microplastics,

5. Pollution, 8. Climate Crisis, 10. Hurricane, 11. Bicycle, 13. Air

Travel, 15. Friday, 16. Beast, 17. Wind

More at Olivia’s website, including her

social media contact handles: livvforfilm.com


28 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS HEALTH AND WELLBEING

n DID YOU NOTICE that more

and more people are talking

about mindfulness or practicing

mindfulness? Is it because

more and more people find that

practising mindfulness helps

them live their life with greater

ease? But what is mindfulness

exactly? What benefits does it

procure to us and around us?

And how can we engage in

mindfulness practices?

When we think of mindfulness,

we often think of a strange word devoid

of meaning, a mind full of what?

Shouldn’t the mind be empty rather

than full when we want to unwind…

it can be confusing right? Well, it’s

not what you think at all…Mindfulness

is a type of meditation where

you focus your attention on being intensely

aware of what you’re sensing

and feeling in the moment, without

interpretation or judgment. Practicing

mindfulness can involve breathing

methods, guided imagery, and other

practices to relax the body and mind

and help reduce stress.

Spending too much time planning,

problem-solving, daydreaming, or

thinking negative or random thoughts

Wherever you are, be

there - totally there!

can be draining. It can also make

you experience stress, anxiety and

sometimes symptoms of depression.

Practicing mindfulness exercises can

help you direct your attention away

from this kind of thinking and engage

with the world around you.

Mindfulness has been studied in

many clinical trials. The overall evidence

supports the effectiveness of

meditation for various conditions

such as stress, anxiety, pain, depression,

insomnia, high blood pressure.

There are many simple ways to

practice mindfulness. Some examples

include:

Pay attention: Try to take the time

to experience your environment with

all your senses, touch, sound, sight,

smell and taste.

Live in the moment: Try to intentionally

bring an open, accepting and discerning

attention to everything you

do. Find joy in simple pleasures.

Accept yourself: Treat yourself the

way you would treat a good friend.

Body scan: Focus your attention

slowly and deliberately on each part

of your body, be aware of any sensations,

emotions or thoughts arising.

Watch them arise, don’t react.

Sitting meditation: Sitting and

breathing for even just a minute can

help.

Walking meditation: Focus on the

experience of walking, being aware

of the sensations of standing and

the subtle movements that keep your

balance.

These simple exercises can be

practiced anywhere, anytime and for

any duration. Mindfulness is not so

much about how long you stay in a

mindful state but rather how often

you practice. If the thought of sitting

under a tree for long hours is putting

you off, that’s because you don’t

need to go to that extend to reap the

initial benefits of mindfulness.

Think of it, next time you take a

breath, take a deep breath. It only

takes one conscious deep breath to

get started with mindfulness practice

and set the pathway to a happier experience

of Life!

SLAYIN’ WHILE SUSTAININ’

n 2019 WAS BIG for sustainability, particularly in fashion. All over

the globe; ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ was a concept that moved from

the corner to the catwalk.

Gucci had its first carbon neutral

fashion show which received a response

so good, that mere days later

Kering, Gucci’s parent group promised

full carbon neutrality across all

its brands, and to reduce its greenhouse

gas emissions by 50% by

2025. Alexander McQueen used old

laces and tulle from previous collections

in his new line and put upcycling

right to the top of the runway

agenda. Glamourous sets usually

destined for landfill were given a new

green consideration; Louis Vuitton

promised their plywood was bound

for recycling. While Dior went the extra

mile and composed a set of 100

trees, all of which were then planted

in community gardens.

Even high street brands like Nike

and Zara saw that doing good for the

planet has become good for business

and both launched sustainability

campaigns. Fast fashion retailer

and planet offender Forever 21 filed

for bankruptcy and closed 350 of it’s

815 global stores, with many citing a

lack of sustainability efforts as a contributing

factor to the cut. 2020 looks

promising for fashion, just so long as

Clare Willis on sustainable fashion...

we keep voting with our bank cards

and demand action alongside assurance.

In our growing awareness of sustainability,

it’s fair to say that most of

us have realised that you can’t throw

anything ‘away’ because quite simply,

‘away’ does not exist. However,

at this time of year some of us are a

little more likely to conveniently forget

that. According to The Irish Times,

last December Ireland went through

15 million Christmas crackers, most

of which will have come with a plastic

novelty toy inside which is now well

on its way to landfill.

And let’s be honest, you might

have considered sending the ‘gaudy’

jumper your nan bought you along

with it. But it is true what they say,

one person’s trash is another person’s

treasure, and this could not be

more relevant when considering unused,

mint condition items. I for one

LOVE a gaudy jumper!

Here are the most environmentally

friendly ways to get rid of those

unloved gifts,

Donate. We are very fortunate to

have such a great collection of charity

shops between Ballyjamesuff, Oldcastle

and Virginia. Pay them a visit

and drop off your unwanted items.

You might even find something for

yourself while you’re in there!

Regift. Once considered something

of a faux pas, maybe we can

start to think of regifting now as more

of a ‘pay it forward’ gesture. That toiletry

set might not be to your taste,

but surely you can think of someone

who would like it. You can wait until

it’s their birthday or even surprise

them with a random moment of generosity.

Throw a swap shop. Arrange

somewhere for your friends to meet

and exchange your gifts. You might

not feel you need 6 pairs of pyjamas

for the year ahead, but we all have

that one friend…

Resell. You can’t be blamed for

maybe wanting some reimbursement

on your flop of a gift. Thankfully

there is always the option of reselling.

Facebook Marketplace, Adverts,

Depop… the list goes on! But please

keep in mind that online buying and

selling can have significant repercussions

for our planet; from the plastic

packaging to the polluting daily deliveries,

so try and calculate the best

method for your needs and use ecofriendly

packaging!


ENVIRONMENT

THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 29

Good for the planet –

amazing for the home

SUSAN

SUSTAINABLE

n HAVE YOU DECIDED this January that this year you’ll “do up

your house”? Because in doing so you can also show a little love

and kindness to our planet.

Avoid a trip to the skip and breathe

new life into old items by upcycling

them into unique statement pieces.

Go to any charity shop or clearance

warehouse and you will find old dining

chairs, coffee tables or anything

else you might need. This is always

better than buying new.

IMAGINING

You don’t need to have a big

budget to create a home that

is colourful and stylish. I want you

to think outside of the box when

you look at an old piece of furniture

and enjoy imagining a new piece

to suite your home. My advice is

be confident in your style and and

make the project fun and stress

free.

For beginners I suggest you

start with a simple project like an

old chair, decide on a paint colour

and contrasting fabric. You will be

amazed how easy it is to transform

a tired old chair into a stunning

piece of furniture suitable for

any room. The chair shown here is

painted in linen with a floral print

on a beige background. The original

seat was a rush weave which

can be covered with a thin layer of

padding under the fabric.

SELECTION

The paint I use is General Finish

Milk Paint, a premium interior/

exterior mineral based paint named

for its low-lustre sheen, which mimics

the look of old-world furniture

paint. There’s a big selection of

colours that are a mix of classic

and fun depending upon the direction

you wish to take your furniture.

Plus, the colours are mixable – so

you can go that extra originality

mile and create your own custom

colours as well!

First step with all your projects

is to make sure the surface is

clean, I always prep by washing

my piece of furniture with sugar

soap, once the surface is clean

you can apply first coat of paint

no primer needed, you can apply

the second coat of paint within the

hour as it is a water base paint it

will dry quickly.

One of my favourite pieces that

we created at Old Glory is a bench

which is made from and oak bed.

We used the headboard as the

back of the bench and cut the footboard

in half to create the arm rests

and the seat was the top of an old

coffee table. I finished by applying

a stencil on the back to add a little

colour and charm. It was very satisfying

to recycle the old bed and

tabletop into something functional

and unique.

POSSIBILITIES

When you start to repurpose

furniture, you will discover how

easy it is to create exciting pieces

for your home. The possibilities

are endless. I am currently working

on a chest of drawers which will be

transformed into a functional storage

piece for any room. I will take

you through each step of the transformation

in my next column.

l OLD GLORY: The shop in

Ballyjamesduff.

Susan can be found at the Old Glory store in Ballyjamesduff


30 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS TRAVEL

n SCROLL DOWN through your Instagram feed and you will no

doubt see it, with its cute yellow painted buildings, shiny tiles

and red roofs. It is the San Francisco of Europe, with its hills and

trams and sea breeze. It has countless narrow cobbled streets

and hills to get lost in. It has outstanding cuisine, shopping and

nightlife. It has managed to remain a Portuguese city in a world

where many places feel the same. It sits proud, on the edge of the

LISBON

EU, with its head held high, looking out at the Atlantic Ocean. We

should allow Lisbon to have this moment, and be glad that we can

share the moment with it.

Many believe it to be the coolest

and trendiest city in the EU to visit

right now. This isn’t the first time Lisbon

has been seen this way. Vasco

De Gama, Ferdinand Magellan and

Christopher Columbus, the rock stars

of their day, amongst others, put this

city on the map that they would later

add to. And, when they returned

(sadly Magellan only returned once)

they did so with huge amounts of

riches in the form of gold and silver.

A lot of these riches were used to

rebuild the city after the 1755 earthquake

and tsunami destroyed 90%

of the city. Interestingly, the world’s

first earthquake proof buildings were

built following the disaster, which still

stand today. A testament to a city that

has had ups and downs.

Is it expensive?

Lisbon is the kind of city where it

is a struggle not to do a double take

when the bill arrives. Compared to

other EU capitals, it is very economical.

In terms of closer to home, prices

are about 30-40% lower than in Dublin.

It is cheap and easy to get to as

well. Aer Lingus, Ryanair and TAP Air

fly direct multiple times a day, with a

flight time of 2.5 hours. You can get

return flights from as little as €70 if

you book in advance. Hotels are super

reasonable as well with a room

in a 4 star hotel costing from €75 per

night.

Is it safe?

Portugal decriminalised drugs in

2001, so you would think it would be

a dangerous, almost South American-esque

place to be. This is not the

case and the truth is that it is a very

safe place to be. However, like any

Report by

MIKE KEEGAN

place where large number of tourists

flock, keep your wits about you. If you

do, you will be just fine.

Where should you stay?

You can stay pretty much anywhere

in Lisbon thanks to it being

not only a walkable city but a city that

also has great public transportation.

However, if you want to see all the

main attractions then the Chiado district

is a great shout. It’s a lively spot

to be and has cafes, restaurants,

bars, theatres and loads of stores.

Where should you eat?

You can’t go to Lisbon without

trying a Pastéis de Nata – A custard

tart that is delightfully flaky on

the outside whilst remaining soft,

sweet and creamy on the inside. So,

where is the best place to try one?

In Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém. This

place is where many believe the

original recipe came from. It is said

that in the 1800’s, during the liberal

revolution, the convents and monasteries

all shut down. In a bid to survive,

monks began to sell the tarts in

a nearby sugar refinery. Soon after,

City that launched

a thousand ships

the owner bought the recipe from the

monks and began selling the tarts.

Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém sells up

to 20,000 every day.

What should you drink?

Wine. Wine, wine, wine and

more wine. To not drink wine in Lisbon

is like not eating pasta in Italy.

There are countless wine bars dotted

across the city. The best place to

drink at night in Lisbon is Barrio Alto.

Perched high on top of a hill, it is easy

to access by hopping on the Gloria

Funiculare. There are countless bars

to choose from, but if you want some

wine you must stop at BA Wine Bar

do Barrio Alto. With over 200 wines in

the cellar and beautiful rooftop views

you really cannot go wrong.

When should you go?

Due to the fact that Lisbon is one

of the sunniest cities in Europe – it is

adorned with 2799 hours of sunshine

a year – you can pretty much go any

time of the year. It would make sense

to avoid the summer months of July

and August as it can get extremely

hot. April, May, September and October

are the sweet spots.

Top Tips

Take the 28 Yellow tram. This is

an incredible way to tick of some of

Lisbon’s sights as it lurches itself up

around some of Lisbon’s most beautiful

street.

Wear flat shoes. Seriously, this is

a hilly city with many cobbles. You

will thank me later.

Get out of the city and visit Sintra.

This is an extraordinary hill town that

hosts a multitude of fairy tale palaces.

It is one of the must-see sights

in Europe. It is easy to get to as well

– a train leaves Rossio station every

20 minutes, with a journey time of 40

minutes.


ENTERTAINMENT

DisAstral Charts &

Horror-scopes for 2020!

AQUARIUS

Jan 21 - Feb 19

Its finally over – Only the strawberry creams are left in the purple tin, and that belt is starting

to nip a bit more than a few weeks ago. As the water carrier sign you are a born fighter,

and you proved that many times last year during the water supply fiasco. Anyway, fire up

that iron and tackle the ‘2020 crinkly shirt mountain challenge’ before the in-laws bring the

sherry trifle round!

PISCES

Feb 20 - Mar 20

Like most fishy people you have a generous personality, but your kind nature can easily be

taken advantage of in 2020 by chancers and greedy acquaintances. If you get a knock at

Kthe door after Xmas, you can be sure it’s not some slacker carol singers - so hide behind

the kitchen door in case it’s a friend in need!

ARIES

Mar 21 - Apr 20

As typical with Aries types, when Venus and Saturn switch places, you will set out on a

quest for the truth. Even Netflix doesn’t satiate your desire to find out what’s really happening

in the world. But in these post-truth times you might have to accept the current state of

affairs, unless you invest in an Amazon Prime account for 2020 instead.

TAURUS

Apr 21 - May 21

It’s the beginning of the year and the ruling planet Venus is in the 9th house. This indicates

a bright and successful year ahead for you. The presence of the five planets will generally

bring benefits throughout the year. However, it’s the introduction of Mars that has the

potential to cause issues as the weekend arrives, so it might be wise to eat all the fun sized

ones before the family comes.

GEMINI

May 22 - Jun 22

Saturn will change the sign of the twins towards the end of January, and this has the power

to reduce the negativity around the house and your workplace alike. Relaxing more at work

will enhance your productivity but don’t take it too far. The last time you did that you were

sent home for wearing your slippers and a dressing gown!

CANCER

Jun23 - Jul 23

Celebs and people on TV or in Films often achieve their biggest successes by playing

different characters and stretching their repertoire. The planetary positioning in early 2020

is creating the best opportunities for you, but you also need to stretch yourself. But be

warned, if you overstretch reaching inside the family sized bag of Maltesers you might not

be able get up to turn the third repeat of Quantum of Solace off!

LEO

Jul 24 - Aug 23

Saturn goes into retrograde at the end of this month and this might cause troubled times,

but it will also provide you with the strength to fight all your battles and emerge victoriously

later in 2020. You are advised not to work yourself into a lather until at least Easter, but at

least then you can use all the toiletries your gran bought from the Euro shop in town!

VIRGO

Aug 24 - Sep 23

The conjugation of Mercury with the Sun over the Yuletide season has created some

positive results to rev you up in 2020. You are more at ease with the world around you and

Karma really seems to be on your side. You will see an improvement in your financial position,

and this should continue until Easter when your low interest credit card deal comes to

an end!

LIBRA

Sep 24 - Oct 23

The arrival of a new year, with Venus sitting in the 4th house can prove to be very good

news for Librans. Happiness and prosperity are all around you. Is it the right time to look

for a new house, a sports car, that dream tractor perhaps? One thing is for sure, it’s time

to dust off that wallet and let the moths out because they have raised small families over

Xmas!

SCORPIO

Oct 24 - Nov 22

The new year will play an important role for you as it will help you focus and achieve the

things you have been working extremely hard on. Saturn is going to change at the end of

January, which can increase the level of your happiness in the workplace. Focus on important

things for sure, but don’t do it at the detriment to your home life. The last time you did

the vet had to be called, the dog lost 14lbs and the cat went to live with the neighbour.

SAGITTARIUS

Nov 23 - Dec 21

2020 is expected to be very auspicious for the people of Sagittarius as Jupiter will remain

in its own zodiac sign. You will be refilled with a fresh, new energy and empowered to

overcome life’s challenges. Wealth is certainly a theme for the early part of the year and

destiny is also going feature, especially for anyone from the educational field. Take that

chance and do the training abroad, please let it be a cooking course after that tragic turkey

stuffing incident!

CAPRICORN

Dec 22 - Jan 20

The ruling planet of Capricorn, Saturn, will sit in the 12th position of your zodiac as we start

2020. Unfortunately, this shows that your financial problems from last year might continue

for some time despite you working really hard. It’s not all doom and gloom however, you

were really star of the show at the work Xmas party and have made a lot of new friends.

I guess that’s what happens when you start dancing on the tables in the pub at lunchtime

with your baubles on show!

THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS 31

Chalk Dust at the Ramor Theatre

Let’s chalk it up

to experience!

n FOR THOSE WHO grew up, or still are growing up with 3D cinemas,

surround sound LED televisions and the seemingly ubiquitous

internet; an emotional bond with a theatre may be difficult

to fathom.

However, for a community like

Virginia and the surrounding rural villages,

the Ramor Theatre represents

more than a mere place to see plays.

Rural theatres act as community

hubs, places where people express

or find their true voice, and they

should represent how a community

wants to be perceived by outsiders.

For any outsider looking in, or

local for that matter, it must be truly

l Chalk

Dust at the

Ramor

heart-warming to see such high-quality

productions being staged in the

town, and the recent production of

Chalk dust was no exception. Chalk

Dust is a dramatic, poetic study of a

year in the life of students in Kilnacrott

Boarding School located outside

Ballyjamesduff in the 1950s.

The original poem Chalk Dust by

Noel Monahan was adapted by The

Ramor Theatre manager and director,

Padraic McIntyre who used a

rich blend of music, dance, narration

and dialogue to bring the poem to

life as a play. The cast consisted of

professional actors together with an

ensemble of students from local secondary

schools who, it must be said,

were fabulously funny!

For those who don’t know what to

expect inside The Ramor, the atmosphere

is really special. The building

contributes somewhat to that, and re-

Report by

JOHNNY LATHAM

ally lent itself perfectly to this particular

production. (Originally St. Mary’s

Catholic Church the last mass was

celebrated here in 1989)

Rather than a straight review of

the play, great though it was, it’s important

to emphasise the true value

of a town asset like The Ramor, and

not just in artistic terms! The town

was really lively and the pubs were

full! Across Europe and in the UK,

funding has been slashed year on

year, council, library and youth service

funding has been decimated

over an austere decade!

We say - love your theatre, get involved

and go see some of the great

productions they are putting on - you

might be surprised and have a great

evening out!


32 THE RURAL HUB COMMUNITY NEWS

VIRGINA MOVES TO THE

RHYTHM OF ZUMBA!

BACK CHAT

n WHEN A COLUMBIAN AEROBICS INSTRUCTOR

showed up to class in Cali and realised that he’d forgotten

to bring his regular music with him, he had to

think on his feet. The year was 1998. Casette tapes had not yet

been replaced by mp3 players and instructor Pérez happened to have some

with him containing Latin dance music. That day, his class was surprised to hear, not

the normal adrynalin-charged beats, but salsa and merengue. Students were captivated by the

sounds and beats and, quite by accident, Zumba was born.

Zumba classes are typically

about an hour long and are taught

by instructors licensed by Zumba Fitness.

In one Zumba class, a person

can burn up to 600 kcal, depending

on the amount of energy they put

in. The music comes from dance

styles such as cumbia, salsa, merengue,

mambo, flamenco, chachacha,

reggaeton, soca, samba, hiphop

and tango.

Zumba is one of the most versatile

forms of fitness, as classes can

be geared for any fitness level.

BENEFITS OF ZUMBA

Zumba is a total-body cardio and

aerobic workout, which provides a

large calorie consumption. A study

shows that a person burns 300 to

900kcal with an hour-long Zumba exercise.

Because Zumba offers different

options, proponents of the Zumba

program claim that it is safe for

all ages, meaning that anyone

from age 0 to 100 can participate

in this form of aerobic exercise.

Some of the classes are

specifically aimed at elderly people,

to help them build strength,

improve motion and posture, and socialize.

Besides its high calorie burning benefit,

Zumba can help lower the risk of heart disease,

reduce the blood pressure and bad

cholesterol, and increase your good cholesterol.

If you to want to get your healthy shape back or just enjoy a some fun times, come and join

the Virginia Zumba classes with the amazing Nausheen, qualified ZUMBA trainer, every

Thursday night at 8. O’clock at the Show Centre in Virginia.

l Fully qualified Zumba

trainer, Nausheen, in

full flow. You can join in

at the Thursday night

classes in the Show

Centre, Virginia.

n IN THIS EDITION we are going

to review the new Peugeot

508, a sedan with premium

character.

Peugeot defines the 508 as a

radical sedan, sportier and more

emotional. Currently we can find it

on the official website with two available

engines: a 1.5-liter 130 hp and

a 2.0-liter 180 hp (both diesel), in

addition to the option of choosing an

8-speed automatic transmission or a

6-speed manual.

The unit we could test had the 130

hp engine, a 1.5 diesel with a maximum

speed of 208 km/h. An engine

with quite acceptable performance

and enough to move the entire mass

of the car weighing 1415 kg on average

depending on the engine and

transmission. With an approved average

consumption of 4.6 l /100 km

Peugeot has presented a balanced

car in terms of weight/power/consumption.

As for aesthetics we must highlight

several aspects. In this new version

of the 508 the height of the car

has decreased, and its width has increased,

giving it a sportier and much

more dynamic air. Another aesthetic

aspect that has changed has been

the return of the logo and name of the

model to the hood, and some LED

headlights that, seen from the rearview

mirror, look like two fangs of a

Review by

HAROLD GORDILLO

THE PEUGEOT 508

beast. We must also highlight the absence

of door frames, a characteristic

of coupe style sedans. In general,

the 508 is a car that attracts attention

and stands out among the traffic.

Inside the car we find that Peugeot

applied the theory of i-cockpit in

the 508. Interior highlights include the

use of premium quality leather upholstery

and the dashboard, although

plastic, has a high-quality finish.

Behind the small diameter steering

wheel, we can see the digital

instrument panel, configurable with

different presentations to choose

from. We can also find an 8- or 10-

inch touch screen, depending on the

version we choose. Under the touch

screen, we find a series of piano-like

buttons, giving it a retro aesthetic and

providing some more character to the

interior.

In the centre console there is a

wireless charger for smartphones,

and two USB connections. The 508

has enough spaces to leave objects,

which is appreciated. As for the

seats, we can say that they are quite

comfortable, and they grip well for

“sporty” driving. In the rear seats the

situation is somewhat different: due

to the fall of the roof there is not much

space for tall people like me, reducing

comfort, however there is enough

space for the legs and knees.

The boot offers 487 liters, giving a

very clear cargo space thanks to the

large gate that rises next to the window,

which is quite good when loading

the trunk.

In Ireland there are a number of

different versions of the 508: the Active

version from €31,570 (base version,

manual transmission); the Allure

version from €34,030 (manual

transmission); the GT Line (the one

we tested with a manual transmission)

from €37.190 and the GT version

from €47,070 (Engine 2.0 of 180

hp with an automatic transmission).

All in all the Peugeot 508 is a fantastic

car with eye-catching looks that

offers real value for money in a very

competitive segment of the market.

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