2nd December, 1999
The Noticeboard


Most of us drink tea or coffee regularly with little or no side effects. We are all aware the they both contain caffeine which stimulates the brain and the nervous system, again with little or no ill effects unless of course you happen to sensitive to caffeine. Sensitivity to caffeine can vary from person to person, but too much can bring on what are called 'coffee nerves'. Excessive intake can make you anxious, restless, irritable, jittery, and sleepless. It can also give you headaches, stomach pain, nausea, muscle twitching and palpitations. In some cases it can also cause diarrhoea.
If you regularly take large quantities of caffeine - such as five or more cups of coffee a day - you may find your tolerance has increased and you need to drink even more to get the same stimulant effect.
Some of us are more susceptible than others to the negative effects of caffeine intake. Intake in children should be kept to a minimum but, remember, coffee and tea are not the only culprits. Soft drinks and some medicines contain caffeine too. So to stay calm and cool drink carefully.


Cork Harbour provides a natural platform for many water users. During the summer months up to 1,500 people can be on the water on any given day. A combination of shipping, commercial fishing, angling, sailing, rowing windsurfing and swimming, ensures that Cork Harbour remains the busiest maritime centre on the South Coast of Ireland
The RNLI has agreed to place an Inshore Lifeboat for a 12month trial period, in Crosshaven to provide a safety rescue service for the Cork harbour area.
Deputy Simon Coveney says " This is a very welcome and much needed development for the Harbour. The RNLI with the help of the Irish Marine Emergency services in the harbour area will now be able to provide a well resourced and efficient Search and Rescue emergency service for thousands of people that use Cork Harbour and its facilities. The fact that the RNLI lifeboat will now be placed in Crosshaven means that a highly trained and skilled water rescue service, with the necessary resources, will be in place to work with the IMES, to ensure that Cork Harbour is a safer place for everyone on the water. But if the RNLI are to stay in Crosshaven on a permanent basis a location needs to be fond for the lifeboat Station. It is up to Public Representatives, in consultation with the people of Crosshaven, to ensure that this development is possible and acceptable to everyone living in the area"
Deputy Coveney concluded by taking the opportunity to thank the RNLI for their contribution to Marine Rescue on the Irish Coastline and looked forward to welcoming them to Cork Harbour.


The Pet Passport scheme comes into effect from April 2001. The scheme applies to pets owned by EU residents and countries that are designated as rabies-free, such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan. On face value it seems like a good idea, but the implications are appalling if not hilarious. In order to get a passport you'll need a birthcert, that means mothers name, fathers name, place of birth, date of birth, sex, identification marks, etc. You will also need a recent photograph. Now take my goldfish….


These winter days we are sometimes inclined to look forward to the summer holidays, but not all our holidays have happy memories. Now the good news is the EU Commission is setting up a round table of experts to take a close look at the small print in those summer holiday package contracts that can sometimes cause holiday nightmares. The examining group will be made up of experts from various consumer organisations, travel agents and tour operators. They will attempt to identify any unfair terms that may exist in the many package tours presently on offer and as a result draw up a code of conduct for package holiday organisers.


Since the beginning of the year Time magazine have taking nominations for their 'Person of the Century'. In various issues they have asked popular world personalities to name their favourites. As would be expected names like Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Franklin D. Roosevelt etc turn up regularly. But king of them all and currently leading the poll, and raising a few eyebrows in the process, is non other than 'Elvis'. It would be interesting to learn what the readers of Douglas Weekly think. So why not let us know whom you feel should be 'Person of the Century' and also give your reasons for nominating them.


The annual cost of fuel adds to a significant percentage of any household budget. Yet the average person is never quite sure which fuel is the most economical to use. Some grades of coal, and certainly machine turf, may give even lower running costs than oil but the inconvenience of solid fuel must be considered a cost. Electricity is a highly refined fuel with costs to match, although off peak electricity used in a small well-insulated dwelling, such as a flat, has been found to be a reasonably worthwhile option, even though some additional heating is required at times when off-peak tariff does not apply.

Several different units of measure have to be used for various fuels that you may buy. Litres, gallons, tons, therms, and kilowatts are all used. A common denominator is needed in order to compare prices fairly, and the standard unit for this purpose is the kilowatt-hour. Standard cost comparison figures; published by recognised agencies use this unit. Oil and solid fuel prices vary between different areas and different suppliers, since these fuels may be bought from a number of competitive sources. Over time oil has proved to be the most efficient. Competition between the many oil suppliers ensures lowest prices for the consumer.
Bord Gais being in a monopoly situation does not have this competitive element and consequently can impose significant standing charges. Therefore, of all the fuels that may be automatically controlled, oil is the best buy.

Frank O'Sullivan


A novel idea for a hallway or conservatory is scented-leafed pelargoniums. These are available in citrus (lemon), mint, apple, or pine scents although the lemon is most common. These are best placed in an area where they will be brushed past or in a seating area in your conservatory, where they can make the most of their scent. They can become straggly but if you pinch out the growing tips and flower spikes occasionally and take care not to over water them, they will remain active all the year round.
Hanging baskets, most of us confine our ideas of hanging baskets to summer; they do make a pleasant diversion and can be planted up permanently or with a colourful temporary display. If you vary the planting during the year, you can take advanta


Figures issued by the Department of Agriculture so far this year reveal an increase in the average number of BSE cases per month in Ireland. So what measures have been taken to make our beef safe? The Irish beef sector has implemented a comprehensive series of controls to try and restore consumer confidence. Many questions remain unanswered. For example, the number of cases continued to rise even after the ban on feeding bonemeal to cattle was imposed in 1990. This suggests that the ban was not adhered to and there was a lack of official vigilance. If the control measures put in place are to achieve their aim they must be strictly enforced for the consumer to be assured of safe beef and beef products and for the restoration of much needed consumer confidence. BSE was declared a class A disease under the Diseases of Animals Act 1996. There is a statutory obligation on any person in charge of bovine animals to notify the Department of Agriculture and Food if any animal is suspected of being infected by BSE. The feeding of meat and bonemeal has been banned since 1990. In abattoirs animals are examined for signs of diseases, BSE can be identified by a post-mortem test, developed in Ireland, which was recently verified by the EU commission.


Following our recent article on having a conservatory a reader has asked about what are the most suitable plants to use, so this week we will concentrate on plants that do not need very humid conditions or too much heating in winter to thrive. Tropical species tend to grow all the year round and require heating in winter. They are also generally, more expensive (unless of course they are very common houseplants), so we suggest a selection of relatively inexpensive, low-maintenance plants to help you make the most of your conservatory. Where there is low humidity in summer and low tempera tures and drier conditions in winter (preferably not lower than 8*C) there are quite a few species that work well. Most typical houseplants are not suitable in a conservatory because they come from the jungle-like areas and you may not be able to provide them with the necessary humidity and shade. Lets look at some climbers; Bougainvillea climbs to cover the roof. This species can provide shade but may become scorched in strong sunlight. To keep it under control, grow it in a pot or prune it in spring. It needs fairly humid conditions. And there's Passiflora or passionflower, which is a climber that grows rapidly and will cover the wall and roof. Once it reaches the desired size cut it back in late winter. Its upper leaves may scorch but it does provide welcome shade for other plants. Another is Plumbago this can be treated the same way as Passiflora and performs a similar shading function in a conservatory. Then there is the Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera deliciosa), although usually considered a houseplant; it provides a lush and tropical atmosphere in a conservatory. It grows best in slight shade and it also grows much bigger in a conservatory than in the house. Grow it up a moss pole or train it up a wall. Finally there's Jasmin (jasminum species) which has beautiful scented flowers and is ideal for a conservatory situation.
More next week


Is it safe to fly on New Years Eve or will the 'Millennium Bug' get you? Well rest assured, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), and as you know we have one of the best airline safety records in the world, started testing aviation systems for the Year 2000 compliance way back in 1997. As a result they are ahead of schedule. The IAA's Year 2000 programme is designed to ensure that business continues normally in safe and efficient way during all the risk dates. Most of the systems, used by aircraft, are 'real time' dependant, which means they are not date-sensitive.
In December 1998 active trials were carried out in Shannon Airport where clocks were rolled forward to December 1999. The trials were repeated in January 1999 in Dublin. The Authority concluded that the IAA could deal completely without automated systems if they should fail.
Unfortunately, not all airspaces have been checked for Year 2000 compliance. The controllers covering the Atlantic region have been updating their systems but the same cannot be said of other regions, predominantly to the East and South of Europe. People who are travelling around crucial dates should check their flight and travel insurance. For instance some policies may not cover accommodation required due to flight delay as a result of the Year 2000.


When former British Prime Minister was in Ireland recently, he was invited to address the Dublin Chamber of Commerce annual dinner. Speaking about his background, Major said he could trace his ancestry as far back as his father. "Which ", he added " is more than can be said for some members of the House of Commons".


New proposals being drawn up by the Telecommunications regulator will see the amount of money Eircom can charge its customers capped by January 1, 2000.Customers are set to see price reductions for certain services drop by 7% and 9% minus inflation.


Everyone should have their eyes tested regularly - if you already have an eye condition or wear glasses or contact lenses your optermetrist can advise you how often you need tests. An eye test involves an assessment of vision in each eye and a check for defects such as colour blindness or double vision. The Association of Optometrists Ireland recommends eye tests every 2 years for those between the ages of 25 and 60. If you are aged over 60 you may need to be tested more regularly.


In Ireland, 33% of all fatally injured pedestrians have high blood alcohol concentrations. Drivers who are over the legal alcohol limit cause around 50% of night-time accidents.


So now we've a throwaway culture
Gone is our permanence
Where are the old ideals?
And the morals
That made so much sense
Intellectual revolution
Sadly the calm way slips
Old Gods
Have fleeting connections
With human relationships
Constantly changing
Happening now
The past
Is gone and forgotten
The future
Will manage somehow
Novel ways
Are now taxing
The essence from out
Of our soul
And every minute
They're clashing
With transience
Out of control
Falling behind is fatal
For the past is never alive
We must stay with the present
If ever we wish to survive
Lost gods of our new tomorrows
Great gods of our present ways
Forgive us a moment of sorrow
For the loss of our yesterdays.

Ronnie McGinn


The Annual Sale has traditionally been held on the first Thursday in December, however we have this year broken with tradition and the Sale will be held on the first Saturday, ie. December 4th. Time: 11.00am - 4pm and will be officially opened by Rt. Rev. Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross.
The proceeds from the Sale will assist in funding the new facilities at Mahon which provides the highest quality accommodation and care for 90 elderly residents. The Home incorporates a specialised dementia unit, the fisrt of its kind in the Republic of Ireland, catering for up to 30 sufferers of Alzheimers Disease.


The Parents Association of Carrigaline Community School are holding their Annual General Meeting on Monday 6th December, 1999 at 8.00pm in Carrigaline Community School.
Mr. Michael Martin, TD., Minister for Education and Science will open the AGM.


In Ireland, 33% of all fatally injured pedestrians have high blood alcohol concentrations. Drivers who are over the legal alcohol limit cause around 50% of night-time accidents.