30th September 1999
The Noticeboard


GARDENING

LAYERING AND BURYING

Used for shrubs and climbers, these methods are also useful for perennials and herbaceous plants which sprawl out or root as they spread. To layer roots, bend a shoot down into the soil, peg it in position and wait for it to root. Plants take a few weeks while shrubs and climbers take 6 to 9 months. Don’t let layers dry out - cover the buried portion with soil or a large stone to retain moisture.
You can also encourage new roots by burying or moulding. Bury small semi-tender plants ( so that only the tips of the stems stick out ) in a large pot of multipurpose compost and keep it in a greenhouse to root. Under the surface, each shoot should start to grow new roots.
In waterlogged ground, build a mound up around the base of the plant. In late summer, use multipurpose compost mixed with grit to bury the side shoots of tender perennials.

DIVIDING
Herbaceous perennial plants can be divided after flowering or if clumps start to die out in the middle. Spring and autumn are usually the best times. Lift and divide overcrowded clumps - shake off loose soil and pull or cut into sections. Make sure there is at least one bud or shoot on each. Discard old or woody central sections and replant young, vigorous sections from the edges.

CUTTINGS
Take basal cuttings in spring; Choose new shoots when they are 5 to 8cm long. Insert them in pots or trays with a moss peat and sand mix (1:1). Take soft cuttings in summer; remove the tips of side shoots with about three pairs of leaves attached. Remove any flower buds. Trim the cutting to 5cm cut below a leaf joint and remove any lower leaves. Cover pots or trays with polythene and keep
shaded until the cuttings have rooted. Move cuttings into pots of potting compost as soon as they root, leave cuttings taken in September until the following spring.


PEDESTRIAN CROSSING - GRANGE ROAD

The first of a number of crossings on the Grange road have been installed and should be operational shortly. This pelican crossing with traffic lights should be more effective than the zebra crossing at the Pinecroft. I have asked the engineers to report on the replacing of the zebra crossing with traffic lights at the pinecroft.
New pedestrian crossings will be installed shortly from Bellevue to Park Gate and from Frankfield to Dun Vale. I also have asked the engineer to examine the possibility of providing a crossing at Clifton Grange to the Marian Terrace to facilitate people crossing the road to get on the No. 6 bus.


BUS TURNING CIRCLE - BRACKEN COURT

The area committee approved acquisition of the land at Scart Cross for the provision of a turning circle for Buss Eireann, to allow them to extend the No. 7 bus to Bracken Court. The area’s councillors have made a special request for a meeting with the County Manager to secure funds to build the turning circle as soon as possible, as the local engineer does not have the money in his 1999 allocation.


BUS SERVICE - FRANKFIELD

Labour Court proposals have been put to the drivers for voting this week, if they approve the package, Joe Fitzgerald has said that the nipper bus service from Frankfield will be operational within weeks. I have called on people in the area to ask anyone they know in CIE to vote for the Labour Court Proposals. Peter Kelly.


WOODEN FLOORS

Polished floorboards can look as good, if not better than a fitted carpet and may actually work out cheaper than buying a good quality carpet. Renovating existing floorboards can cost no more than the hire of a sander, some abrasive paper and a floor sealer. You can hire a sander for 30 or 40 a day. The abrasive papers cost around 1 or 2 each you would need four or five for your average room. The most popular finish is woodstain and varnish. A tin of varnish can cost about 25 and woodstain around 5. All depending on floor size. The first thing you do is make sure everything is out of the room. Then check the floorboards to see if any repairs are needed. Use wood filler for any gaps, hammer down any exposed nail heads, make sure there are no loose boards. Before you commence sanding close the room door(s) and have a vacuum cleaner handy to periodically suck up the dust. Wear a face mask and goggles, ear plugs are also a good idea. Make sure to inform your neighbours before hand. Use the sander diagonally to the boards and always keep the machine moving. Make your second pass at right angles to the first and use a finer grade of paper. When finished vacuum up the dust and wipe the floor with a cloth wetted with white spirit and let it dry. Seal the wood as soon as possible after sanding, before dirt becomes ingrained. Remember to start at a point furthest from the door, and never wear shoes when sealing or varnishing. If desired use a woodstain with the colour of your choice, use it evenly and generously allow to dry and varnish. Allow that to dry and give a light sanding. Then a final coat of varnish. You can also use wax as an alternative to varnish but it is not as durable and it needs a lot of elbow grease. Another way to have a wood floor is to use wood strips. These can be purchased at your local DIY or carpet shop. There are three types, solid wood, hardwood veneer or laminated wood. These come in ready-sealed packs and are provided with full fitting instructions. Unless you are very good at DIY it may be better to get a professional to lay the floor because there may be some difficult sawing involved, like around radiator pipes for example. But the final choice is always yours.


FOREIGN ADOPTION

Good news for couples awaiting to adopt foreign children. The Southern Health Board has received an additional 108,000 this year and have appointed three more staff to their Adoption Services. It is anticipated that as a result of these measures considerable reductions in the waiting time for assessment should be achieved.


ANGEL DUST

The Department of Agriculture has found evidence of the contaminating use of the illegal growth hormone “Angel Dust” in meat destined for human consumption. “Angel Dust” can be harmful to human health. The Minister of Agriculture has said that he intends to increase the level of sampling which will further highlight the problem. Local TD Deirde Clune says farmers who use “Angel Dust” should have their livestock licences removed.


DEFEAT SMOKING

It’s that time of the year again when people decide to give up smoking and start on a fitness programme for those long winter nights. Over the next few weeks I’ll be writing about the different pit falls to becoming a non-smoker. Now each puff of your favourite cigarette contains two death gases if taken in large doses. They’re called carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. Carbon monoxide is that dirty black rubbery smoke that comes out of the exhaust of busses, lorries, cars and motorbikes and that’s what you are inhaling in through your month down your through and into your lungs. The children of smokers have no other choice but to breathe in second-hand smoke when a parent decides to light up at home or in the car. Almost 7000 people die each year from smoking related illnesses. What I find surprising about this terrible tragedy is that if a person is killed on our roads it makes headline news. The politicians are then motivated into demanding tougher legislation and whilst I agree with making our roads safer for pedestrians and vehicle users alike, I can’t help but question the fact that even though almost 20 people die each day from cigarette smoke, that we are not all marching on government buildings and demanding that something be done about this terrible waste of human life. Not to mention the dreadful quality
of life that smokers endure. As it is well known that smoking saps your fitness and vitality and subjects people to the most dreadful of illnesses. On the financial side of things the average smoker, one pack of 20 per day and allowing for few extra packets during the weekend, over a twenty-year period will spend approximately 32,968. Now that’s just one good reason
to give them up. I’d also like to add that quitting is not as difficult as one imagines and that thousands of people succeed in quitting every year. With the right frame of mind you can find it quite easy and actually enjoy quitting cigarettes.
Continued next week...


CALYPSO PRODUCTIONS presents "CELL"

On Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd October, Calypso Productions will present Dublin writer Paula Meehan’s highly acclaimed new play “Cell” at Cork’s Granary Theatre.
Set in prison, Cell traces the day to day lives of four women, three of whom are incarcerated for involvement in drugs and street crimes. Delo Roche is boss, dealing drugs and running the cell, she has the two younger women, Martha Casey and Lila Byrne, totally in her power. Into this nest arrives Alice Kane from Leitrim, a widow who carries a grandmotherly charge, but it soon becomes clear she is not all she seems.
‘Cell’ is directed by Garret Keogh with set design by Robert Ballagh. Booking is available at the Granary Theatre, Mardyke, Cork. Tel: (021) 904275.


DOUGLAS LIBRARY

Douglas Library presents “The Hidden Ireland 1999”. An exhibition of watercolours by Daniel Corkery. The exhibition is from October 1st to October 29th. Admission is Free and everybody is welcome.


KELLY LAMBASTES ESAT

I have publically lambasted ESAT Telecom for its scant regard for the local community in digging the road at Ballybrack Heights within days of a new asphalt surface being laid. The Council had written to ESAT asking them to carry out any works in advance of the surfacing and it appears ESAT just ignored these notices. Utility companies are not under the control of the Council, but we are to examine the introduction of bye-laws and penalties to prevent this happening in the future.
I have also complained to ESAT regarding the digging up of the asphalt on the main Grange road and re-filling it with tar - this is not restoring the road to the way it was before hand and I have highlighted this point to the enforcement people at County Hall.
Peter Kelly.


DENTAL BENEFITS?

The Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs has a Dental Benefit scheme. Dental Benefit entitles you to; a) free dental examination b) free diagnosis c) free scaling and polishing (including mild gum treatment). Other treatments (such as dentures, extractions, fillings, root canal, and severe gum problems ) must be paid for, details of the amounts you must pay are available from your dentist or from the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs, Treatment Benefit section. Claim forms are available from your dentist’s surgery. To qualify for Dental Benefit you must meet certain PRSI conditions related to your age. If you are aged; a) Under 21 you must have paid 36 weeks PRSI since starting work. b) 21 to 24 you must have paid 39 weeks PRSI since starting work and 39 weeks paid or credited in the tax year on which your claim is based. c) 25 to 65 you must have paid 260 weeks PRSI since first starting work and 39 weeks paid or credited in the tax year on which your claim is based. d) 66 or over you must have paid 260 weeks since starting work and 39 weeks paid or credited in the last two complete tax years before reaching the age 66.
A minimum of 13 out of the 39 weeks PRSI must be paid rather
than credited in the relevant tax year, either of the two previous tax years, or any tax year since the relevant tax year. This rule does not apply if you are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, Invalidity Pension, Retirement Pension, Disability Benefit (for twelve months or more), Long-term Unemployment Assistance or Pre-retirement Allowance.
If you satisfy the PRSI conditions for Treatment Benefit when you reach the age of 60 you will remain qualified for life.
Next week we hope to look at Dental Benefit for Medical Cardholders. It’s all good news from the end of this year.


DREAM COMES TRUE FOR TWO LOCAL GIRLS

Two local girls, Amy and Sonya Coakley-Hanan and their mother Mary Coakley have finally seen their life-long dream become a reality, as the Chimea’ra Gymnastics Centre, Unit D6, Grange Industrial Estate, South Link Park, Ballycurreen, opens for business. The girls, originally from Blackrock, left Cork in 1990 in order to further their gymnastics training at the renowned “Hillingdon School of Gymnastics” in London. “When we left to go to England it was hard to leave our friends and family,” said Sonya, “but Gymnastics was all I ever wanted to do and I knew that I would have much better training and facilities in England.” During their eight years in London the girls trained up to 40 hours a week and competed to a high level in various countries such as, USA, Russia, Holland, Switzerland and Bulgaria. After they finished their competitive careers, both girls became involved in coaching and were lucky enough to work with some of the best gymnasts and coaches in England. The family always said that it would be their ultimate dream to return to Cork and set up their own full-time Gymnastics Centre. In 1998 they made the decision to move back home, “ I’m glad to be home, but I don’t regret going to England, it gave me experiences and opportunities that I would never have had here. Now I am looking forward to using what I learned and giving it back to the sport in this country,” said Amy.
Chimea’ra Gymnastics Centre is one of only two full-time gyms in Ireland and the girls believe it is badly needed, it caters for all abilities and ages from 6 months to 60 years. “A lot of valuable training time is wasted in gyms around this country setting up and putting away equipment at the beginning and the end of each session. The fact that the kids just don’t get enough time in the gym as well as the lack of full-time gymnastics coaches in Ireland is partly why we are so far behind other countries in our standard, it’s certainly not tack of talent, we have plenty of that!”, said Mary, the girls mother and Vice President of Irish Trampolining.
The opening of Chimea’ra Gymnastics Centre is set to change all that. “It feels great to achieve what you’ve always dreamed of”, said Sonya, “the next goal is to produce the best gymnasts this country has ever seen!” ... WATCH THIS SPACE.