Fragments 2006-09-14

A new online exhibition shows previously unpublished images of Dublin city centre, destroyed after the Easter Rising

In May 1916, an archaeologist, Thomas Johnson Westropp toured Dublin photographing the scenes of the action in the Easter Rising. The following month, he presented his photos in an album entitled Ruined buildings in Dublin after the Sinn Féin Rebellion, April-May 1916 to the Royal Irish Academy on Dawson St, Dublin. Ninety years later, these photos are being exhibited for the first time, though not as TJ Westropp might have imagined: the Academy has just "opened" an online exhibition of the photos, with TJ Westropp's original captions, on their website,

Colin Murphy


Brannick: 'Give me €47,000'

Dermot Brannick wants €47,600 by October. Dermot, 28, has a severe arthritic condition that inflames and fuses the hip joints and spreads to other areas, reducing his mobility and causing him constant pain. For almost a decade, he has not walked without the aid of crutches. However, he believes a better quality of life is possible.

Dermot has decided he will walk again, unaided, by 2008. The money raised will fund both his rehabilitation from the debilitating condition and a documentary, entitled Walking, that will chart his progress.

Dermot's disillusionment with the limitations of conventional medical approaches, along with a healthy scepticism about "alternative" treatments, led him to devise his own course of rehabilitation.

He plans to spend seven months in Tucson, Arizona undergoing an intense regimen of massage, hydro-therapy, rest and diet at a specialist centre to loosen up his joints, reduce pain and restore mobility.

Dermot has already raised €13,000 for the next stage of his therapy.





McDowell loses PD election – online

The PDs may have voted Michael McDowell in as the new leader of the party, but he was not the people's choice on the website A poll conducted by the website after the announcement of Mary Harney's departure showed that 48 per cent of those who voted favoured Liz O'Donnell as the new PD leader. It was close win, with Michael McDowell receiving 45 per cent of the vote. Tom Parlon got just 7 per cent. One hundred and eighteen people voted in total.

Emma Browne


Bad Press Abroad For Bertie

Newfoundland's premier, Danny Williams, is fond of the dynamic image of the Celtic Tiger. He even hosted Bertie last September. But Ivan Morgan, of Newfoundland newspaper The Independent, says that Canadians know little about "the downside of recent political and business culture of Ireland."

Morgan tells how Ireland's corruption tribunals came into being and says "it's fair to say our own government scandal looks petty in comparison."

Morgan expresses amazement that Bertie Ahern can stand for re-election while under investigation by two tribunals.

"Corruption on an astonishing level seems to have been the norm among many of the most powerful politicians and business people in the country," Morgan writes, "and the story is far from over."



Political blogging comes to Dublin

The first conference on blogging and politics is to be held in Dublin on 7 October. The conference will concentrate on "blogging and the election" in advance of the 2007 general election. The conference is being hosted by the political website

The organisers are hoping that political blogging will take off in Ireland as it has elsewhere. Cian O'Flaherty from said, "Irish politics has yet to embrace and tap into the ability of the internet to energise interest in politics and political campaigning. In the US, bloggers have shaped some of the biggest news stories and continue to provide a decisive influence, even inside political parties. In Britain, a new breed of aggressive anti-government bloggers has been generating stories that have brought them into the centre of the mainstream establishment."

They also hope the event will attract politicians and journalists. Political commentator Mick Fealty from website SluggerO' will be there, as will Suzy Byrne from



Trinity Alzheimer's study 'offers hope'

A study examining a treatment for Alzheimer's disease is to begin in Trinity College. The Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience will look at the effects of the drug Nilvadipine in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer's.

The clinical study is the first of a new partnership between Trinity and the Roskamp Institute in Florida. The scientists at the Roskamp Institute have been pioneering in the study of Alzheimer's – they were the first to determine that there were genetic factors which could predispose a person to Alzheimer's. They also discovered that a certain protein in the blood may contribute to the disease; the Trinity study is examining whether Nilvadipine can affect the levels of this protein.

The study is funded by the Roskamp Institute and will involve 150 mild to moderate Alzheimer's patients referred by their hospital physician or GP. There is no start date at present.

Maurice O'Connell, Chief Executive of The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, welcomed the announcement of the clinical study, saying: "Today's announcement heralds a new era in medical research here in Ireland and will be welcomed by the 38,000 people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias and their carers and families. This kind of clinical study can offer hope to people living with Alzheimer's disease and their families."

There are over 5 million people with dementia in Europe.

?More Carers and families should contact their physician or GP for information. GPs should contact Dr Sean Kennelly, c/o Hospital 4, St James Hospital, Dublin 8 or email

Emma Browne