The Rotary Club, Dublin

Founded 22nd February 1911

The Dubliner

All the news that's fit to print

President: Mariandy Lennon

Hon. Sec.: Tony Keegan

Telephone 087 244 2818 

Volume 26 Issue 35 

27 April 2020


Alan Harrison

Frank Bannister

David Booth

Delma Sweeney

Dermot Knight

Today ‘s speaker is Maxine Hyde, GM of Ballymaloe Foods


From the Editors

As noted in our last edition, the Dubliner is reaching beyond the traditional format to foster our continued connection as a club during this time of confinement. In this edition we include: Learning more about us – Paul Martin; Part two of the ice diving trilogy, Flash back to other times, as well as some more inspiring stories from our members. Please contact us if there is something you would like to contribute to a future edition.


Last week President Mariandy was in the chair of our virtual meeting and also gave the invocation, reading one of our own Ted Corcoran’s poems.


Forthcoming Speakers and Events

1st May             Public Holiday – no meeting

8th-10th May     Leonardo da Vinci weekend in Vienna. CANCELLED.

10th May          Rotary Club Dublin Book Club meeting online. Contact Rotarian Delma Sweeney.

23rd May          Please note that Masquerade Ball has also been deferred until later in year.

1st June           Public Holiday – no meeting


Rotary Rangers Walks

All walks are cancelled until further notice due to COVID 19 restrictions and guidelines.

If interested, members and friends should contact Past President Brian George or Honorary Secretary

Tony Keegan for further details when they resume.



Mariandy Lennon, Alan Harrison, Bernadette Mulvey, Brian George, Brian Taylor, David Booth, Delma Sweeney, Derek Byrne, Dermot Knight, Frank Bannister, Houghton Fry, John Costello, Jonathan Pimm, Kevin McAnallen, Paul Martin, Roger Owen, Stuart Dicker, Tom O’Neill, Ted Corcoran, Tony Keegan, Tony McCourt



Assistant District Governor Mike Connolly



Rana AlDamin, PP Tony Gannon, Tony Murray, Veronica Kunovska, PP Ken Hunt, VP Alexander Kopf, Patrick White, PE Alan Davidson


President’s Announcements

President Mariandy informed us she had attended a virtual meeting of the District, where there were about 100 other Rotarians present. She informed us of the Council & Community/ Vocation committee decision to support the Mater hospital by providing a €2,500 donation to supply a week’s worth of sandwiches to staff. She suggested we could contribute to this by donating half the cost of our lunches that we are not incurring during Covid 19. She further advised the Club has applied for a Foundation Grant. She also informed us of a Peace Fellowship application received during the week. She then led the club in a rousing Happy Birthday to fellow member Paul Martin


Hon Secretary Announcements

Hon. Secretary Tony sent around an email with full details of the Mater Hospital project including payment details


Members wishing to speak

Paul Martin suggested we should think of ways to actually generate money, as a way of supporting worthy objectives.


Delma Sweeney highlighted the graph in last week’s Dubliner (concerning WHO contributions) as showing the fruit of our foundation donations.


Stuart Dicker wondered whether Rotary, with all the expertise of delivering the polio vaccination, could some something valuable to share when it comes to delivering any Covid  19 vaccines.


Last week’s speaker

President Mariandy introduced our member John Costello who gave a detailed and moving account of the concept of forgiveness, and how it has the capacity to liberate us from professional and personal challenges and bring about better outcomes.


John is a solicitor, but a solicitor opposed to litigation. He explained the underlying  issues that often accompany a grievance. He feels many mediations are attempted too early, which is why they do not work as effectively.


John reflected that often the person causing the hurt, either doesn’t know or doesn’t care, meaning holding a grudge only harms the holder. A useful analogy is “drinking poison, wishing the other person will die.” He noted the importance of placing yourself in the other person’s shoes, and putting the past in place to live in the present and for the future.


John recounted common stages that people will go through: the reality of hurt; guilt (questioning one’s own role in it); victim; anger; inner freedom/new beginning and reconciliation. He noted that people must be ready for reconciliation. Forgiveness is a step toward reconciliation but reconciliation isn’t the goal of forgiveness. Reconciliation may not be possible where the hurt is on-going as opposed to “one time.” John also provided a number of examples from probate cases and probation cases, showing the good that can come from forgiveness, and the unnecessary suffering that can be avoided.


The role of personalities is important though, and John explained that some personalities are geared toward conflict. Delma Sweeney agreed that the range of personalities complicates things, as some types will always feel innocent and struggle to admit anything wrong.  She mentioned the best thing was to focus on how the blaming person feels and whether this is affecting their own state of mind. Talking through this can get them to a position of seeing the benefits of letting go.


A number of members provided personal reflections on the topic, Paul Martin and David Booth cited examples of where forgiveness led to a better outcome. Frank Bannister noted the impact of lawyer fees on conflicts. John agreed that an approach driven by anger, leads to aggression, leads to difficult legal issues.  Kevin McAnallen gave the example of how things go wrong when people regard conflicts as something to win. John agreed pointing to conflict between nations as an example of how we are worse off when we follow this path. Ted Corcoran wondered whether given the conflicts driven by leader personalities, is there an issue with what voters perceive to be as good qualities. John responded by saying the media spotlight is so intense that only a certain type of character may well be willing to put themselves through this.


Learning more about us: Paul Martin


Past president Paul has been a stalwart of the club for over 20 years and is well known for occasionally shaking some of the rest of us out of our comfort zones.


Like many a successful entrepreneur, Paul started his career in 1970 by first dropping out of college before turning his hand to selling postcards with shamrock seeds attached and, showing an early flair for salesmanship, landing his first large order from the Dublin Airport Authority.  Sticking with things Irish, he moved on to buying “Irish Tweed” for Clerys whilst persuading his sister to sew Tweed bags and ponchos that he then sold to craft shops.  


His eureka moment came when he read an article in Time magazine about a guy was tie-dying T-shirts (for an explanation of what this is, ask Paul!) and selling them to department stores in New York. After an experiment with an inexpensive tin of dye and an old T-shirt Paul was on his way, selling tie-dyed T-shirts to Even Steven in Capel Street and to Roches Stores as well as in the Dandelion market every Saturday. In 1992/93 he had a brief stint working in a unisex hairdressers before he discovered how to print T-shirts. This, combined with a big order from Dunnes Stores in 1973, was the launch pad for what was eventually to become his company, Tradcraft. As in many a start-up, Paul initially did all of the work himself including buying, printing, curing, folding delivering and invoicing.


He had met his future wife, Mary Staveley, while he was in college. They married in 1973 and (as one did in those very different days) they bought their own house that same year. By 1976, taking advantage of both a heat wave and a bank strike that year, he was selling up to 2,000 T-shirts a week working out of the garage of his mother’s house in Glasnevin and getting several months credit (until the banks reopened) on the cheques he wrote. He then joined up with an old school friend, Paul Clarke, and between them they developed a successful textile printing business, obtaining licenses to produce merchandise for organisations such as Guinness and Disney (and more recently Trinity College) and developing ranges for specialist outlets such as the Titanic museum in Belfast.


In 2000 the company appointed Lorraine Grant, who has first joined the firm as an intern in 1994, as Managing Director. The business has gone from strength to strength and now operates from a 1,000 square metre factory/warehouse in Newbridge and offices in Merrion Square. Like many other business, the company has been hit hard since March of this year, but they are currently keeping on 30 of their core staff and waiting for the resumption of the tourist trade.


Paul has four children. John, also a Rotarian, is a former president of Dublin Central where he met his wife Caroline. They have three children. Two of Paul’s other children, Danielle (who is expecting a baby in June) and Alex work in ICT in Vancouver and Ireland respectively. His other daughter, Christine is a lawyer working for Kone (the elevator company) in Sydney.


Ice Diving - (continued Mark Doyle)


When ice diving, there are two things that you need to be aware of before you enter the water. The first is the critical importance of buoyancy. The ability to hover in the water when you want (or need) to do so is an absolute necessity.  For example, hovering is necessary when you are changing your regulator (the device which controls the gas pressure in the breathing system) or when making the required five metre safety stop. The second is the impact of the temperature. One of the memories of your first ice dive that will long stay with you is the searing pain you get across your forehead when first getting into water that is at minus 2.5 centigrade.


My normal dry suit for warm water diving requires me to carry some 16kg in weight. But in sub-zero temperature, you have to wear several extra thermal layers. You also try to keep as much air in the dry suit as you can as air provides excellent insulation. Unfortunately, as you rise, the air inside the dry suit expands (as the pressure of the water decreases). As you can imagine, keeping these  various consequences of the laws of physics in balance is tricky. All this while trying to keep the tea pot in sight.


A common requirement of diving in freezing water is the need to swap your regulator for the spare you always carry because regulators tend to freeze up. Again, it helps to remember your Leaving Certificate physics. As air comes out under pressure into the regulator it cools down, so reducing the water temperature and causing it to freeze. When a regulator freezes, it can do so in the open or closed position. If you thought that the searing pain in your forehead was bad, this is like holding ice cream against your teeth - and not just your front teeth, but all of them and at same time - as your mouth gets cold very rapidly. When you have practiced swapping your own regulator you have to practice swapping your regulator with your buddy’s. Another reason why you need to be able to hover.


One important piece of equipment is the tether which links you back to the surface. The rule is if you give four pulls on this you will be immediately dragged out. Likewise, if you do not respond to signals from the surface. So, here you are, several metres down, trying to remain level and hover and swap your regulator with your buddy whilst responding to signals from the surface and keeping an eye on the tea pot. Ice diving is not a sport for those not adept at multitasking.


My first dive did not go without incident. I was happy and comfortable and enjoying myself. As you gain experience, one of the things that you learn to do is to walk upside down underwater on the underside of the ice.  As the hot air rose in my dry suit while I was looking at the tea pot , the next thing I knew I was walking on ice. Oleg my brilliant, but cautious, instructor did not realise I was enjoying the experience and swept me off my feet and back to the surface.


Dive two, I was still on the learning curve. My buoyancy was improving and regulator swapping was becoming nearly second nature. I was starting to realise that the pain from the cold does eventually diminish as your body adjusts. This time, we swam away from the tea pot to have a look around.  We saw crabs, soft corral and some small, remarkably colourful, fish. This time, I was the lead diver and my buddy had been tethered to me. Unfortunately, after about 30 minutes, the tether became entangled in my flippers and as I kicked I pulled at the tether in such a way that the team on the surface thought that we had made the four tug emergency signal.  I would like to say I was like a majestic ballistic missile exiting a torpedo tube as I cleared the surface, but in reality I emerged rather like an overweight seal beaching itself. However I was still enjoying myself and Oleg was beginning to realise that in fact, I was quite relaxed and not suffering from fear or panic. 


Flashback to 2006

Last week being Paul Martin’s birthday, the Dubliner sends a gift of a flashback to the time of his presidency. This an extract from the August 8th edition 2006:

President’s Announcements.

President Paul then took the podium and told us a rather dubious story about our guest speaker at past president Paul's President's night.  The guest speaker, Eddie Hobbs, he of rip-off republic fame, had had a problem with a bad toothache after the dinner.  Peter McGonigle had kindly volunteered to take him back to his surgery where he had removed the offending molar.  When Eddie complained that €70 was a lot of money for the three minutes work involved, Peter had told them that he could take a lot longer for the next one if that was what was required.


Inspiring stories

Alan Harrison’s daughter Ciara was featured in the Irish Times, using themes and humour to reflect aspects of her home and life during coronavirus 

© 2021 Rotary Club, Dublin

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon