7th October, 1999
The Noticeboard


While it is an advantage to know the best way to take cuttings from each individual shrub, these general guidelines should produce successful cuttings: a) Take cuttings in the morning or in the evening, not in strong sunlight. b) Choose vigorous healthy plants. c) Water them at least an hour before taking cuttings. d) Avoid flowering shoots. e) Don’t let cuttings dry out - spray them with water as soon as you take them, store them in a plastic bag and keep them out of the sun. Nodal, basal and heel cuttings are the most common for shrubs. Take these from healthy side shoots produced this year. To take a nodal cutting, remove any soft growth from the tip and make the lower cut immediately below a leaf joint. Remove all but the top two or three leaves, dip the base of the cutting in rooting hormone and shake of the excess, then insert it into the compost so that nearly all the bare stem is covered. To take a basal cutting, make the lower cut through the slight swelling where the side shoots join the main shoot. To take heel cuttings, gently pull the shoot downwards from the main stem so that a sliver of the older wood comes away with it. Trim the sliver so that it is no longer than 1cm. To take cuttings from shrubs with small leaves, cut the stem to an appropriate length and remove the lower leaves or take a heel cutting. Take stem cuttings from large leaved shrubs by removing the tip of the shoot just above a leaf then make a lower cut just above the next leaf down so you are left with a cutting with one leaf. Take internodal cuttings from climbers - make the top cut directly above a pair of leaves and the lower cut halfway between two leaf joints. It is a good idea to water in cuttings with a fungicide to prevent rotting.
Our next article will cover the best times for taking cuttings.


The Douglas senior Citizens Committee would like to invite all you over 6O’s who have time on your hands to come along to St. Columba’s Hall on Wednesday the 13th of October 1999 at 8pm to the beginning night of our Monthly Socials of music, dance, fun with nice refreshments. The Committee would like to point out that because of their Committee name, “Senior Citizens”, they have decided to state that all over 50’s are more than welcome. The members of the Committee are well aware of the large numbers of over 50’s in the Parish and are anxious to encourage as many as possible to make a point of socialising with us. The committee also wishes to announce that the socials are but a beginning to better events planned for the future. This years Christmas Party is taking place in The Rochestown Park Hotel on the l2th December.


A reader in Blackrock was inquiring about Dundanion Castle so we decided to follow it up. Peggy Barrett of the Douglas Library was of considerable help, as was Sheila O’Mahony of the Local Studies Department who forewarded us the Dundanion Castle story from the book Castles of County Cork by the late James N. Healy.
At the end of Mr. Healy’s account we learn that the Castle was taken over by the Board of Works in 1987. So far so good, but what’s happening to it now? We phoned the City Hall who gave us the number of the local office of Public Works, but the local office couldn’t help us, we’d have to contact the Dublin office. Actually this didn’t surprise us because the new Eircom Phone Book gives the address of the local office as being 14 Old Blackrock Road, so obviously they don’t know where they are themselves.
Anyway we got on to Dublin, “Sorry we can’t help you, get on to ‘Duchas’”. Amazingly it’s exactly the same number and there was no reply. We tried again the following morning and sure enough we got lots of information, ‘Duchas’ is the Heritage Service and it has lots of services, we know that because we kept getting transferred from one to the other, eventually we got the right one; the National Monuments & Historic Properties Division.
Finally we were put on to a gentleman who looked after the properties in Cork. So we asked about Dundanion Castle. “Where is it”, came the reply. “In Cork”, we answered, “near Blackrock”, we told him. Silence! “We don’t know it... how do you spell it? We’ll have a look for it . . .and if we find it, we’ll give you a call.”

Two things spring to mind, what are we paying these people for and secondly don’t ever play chess with them!


Located at 19 Oliver Plunkett Street and open from 10am to 5pm, Mon to Fri, the Gorta Shop welcomes all books, magazines, bric-a-brac, unwanted gifts, etc... Unfortunately, due to the lack of space, clothing cannot be accepted. The Cork shop, staffed by volunteers who have been endeavouring to raise funds to help Third World communities grow their own food, would like to thank the people of Cork who so regularly support them in their work.



Adult medical card holders and their dependants aged 16 or over are entitled under the Dental Treatment Services Scheme (DTSS) to emergency treatment from private dentists who are contracted to the health boards. Your local health board can provide a list of these dentists in your area. Routine care is currently available under the DTSS on application to the health board. Treatments covered include; examination, X-rays, fillings, extractions, oral surgery, partial and full dentures, gum treatments, and root fillings.
The DTSS is being extended to cover routine treatment for all adults (16 years and over) with medical cards on a phased basis - the full scheme will be available before the end of this year.
For those with private health insurance, VHI and BUPA do not cover routine dental work, but some procedures are covered under their inpatient plans - these are subject to examinations by a dental consultant. Emergency dental treatment following accidents is also covered under the insurer’s outpatient expenses cover.
In the United States there are companies that specialize in Dental Insurance. These are comparitively low cost schemes that are far more beneficial to the patient and the practitioner then any service that is so far available in this country.
For those who have to pay cash, it is interesting to note that prices for dental treatment in Northern Ireland is roughly half of what they are here.


We are all familiar with “Kearys” on Grange Road, the “Grange” bar and restaurant, “Munster Carpets”, etc... But few of us realise that the area was once part of the Mount Conway estate. Way back in 1932 the late Hatton Conron carried out a rather peculiar agricultural experiment. Using imported seed from Virginia he planted and grew four acres of tobacco plants. A drying house was built near the main dwelling house (now Amberly). The tobacco leaves were harvested and hung in the drying house, where smouldering beach leaves provided the heat to dry them. When dry, the tobacco leaves were rolled into cigars. Whether they were ever sold or not nobody is able to tell us, but we do know the venture was a financial disaster and was abandoned after two years.


This week we’re going to deal with the ridiculous excuse “it’s a luxury. I enjoy smoking.” Imaging the smoker lying on a cool soft lawn. It’s a sunny day and he’s lying under a clear blue sky the bluest sky that he ever saw. He can feel the warmth of the sun on his skin. There’s a gentle breeze in the air cooling him and he’s so calm and so relaxed. He can hear the distant waves
gently lapping against the sandy beech. All those cares all those worries have just disappeared. Nobody wants anything from him nobody expects anything from him it’s good to be alive. He loves the world and the world loves him, he feels at one with the universe. To enhance the moment still further he decides to have a cigarette and he reaches into his jacket. “Oh my god I’ve left them at home!” He hastily tries the other pocket. “Phew they’re here.” He takes out a cigarette lights it, takes a big drag and inhales all that disgusting smoke. Now he thinks, “I wish I didn’t have to smoke this. These
things are killing me. I wish I didn’t get all those bills this morning. I should get back training and then I’ll give them up. I shouldn’t go training at the moment I’d get a heart attack. I’ll give them up first and then I’ll go training. I wish United would lose every game this season.” Finishing the cigarette and grinding the but into the ashtray he thinks, “these things are definitely killing me I’ll have to give them up. However it’s a nice day and nothing is going to stop me from enjoying it. I’m at one with the universe and the universe is at one with me. “I have a terrible taste in my mouth. I’ll give them up tomorrow.” Every smoker both young and old knows exactly what I’m talking about here. Because of the addiction to nicotine, the smoker will come up with any excuse as to why he/she should stay on them. They’re a luxury, I enjoy them. It’s only an idiot and the poor addicted smoker (whom I have great empathy for) would say that smoking is a luxury. If we truly, yes truly believed that smoking was a luxury then we would be only too happy to give them to our children as a little treat! Would you offer one to your eight year old child for being so good for granny?