27th July, 2000
Can you cut the
cost of your phone bill? There are now seven operators competing
for the home phone market. Over the next week or two we will
compare their prices and differences.
Despite the competition from mobile phones the number of fixed phone lines continues to grow. Probably due to the increase in the number of new houses and apartments. According to the Office of the Director of Telecommunications there was a 10% increase in the number of fixed lines in the year up to April 2000.
The seven residential market providers in Ireland at present are: Eircom. Esat Clear, Irish Multichannel (IM), Ocean, Spirit Telecom (Spirit), Swiftcall, and Switchcom Connect (Switchcom).
Carrier pre-selection (CPS) was introduced at the beginning of January. By having your phones pre-programmed, you can choose different operators for some or all of your calls without installing extra equipment to your existing phone and you can still keep you present number.
Before CPS, to connect to a different operator you needed to install a router box to your existing line, or dial a prefix number. The inconvenience and expense of router box installation prevented many consumers from switching.
There are no extra charges for switching by CPS. You can still get your Eircom bill as usual and a separate bill from the other operator. Even if you switch to another operator, you must still pay Eircom's line rental charge, which is £26,42 per line for each month's rental.
Three pre-selections are available: International calls, national calls and all calls.
At present, five operators - Eircom, Esat Clear, Ocean, Spirit and Switchcom - provide CPS. You can also connect to Switchcom by dialling an access code and then entering your PIN.
To connect to Esat Clear, you must have one Eircom bill from the last six months showing at least £30 per month of call charges. Esat Clear is obviously targeting consumers with a relatively high call spend, so it's service is not open to everyone.
To switch by CPS you contact the new operator, and sign a contract. The contract is then sent to Eircom's central administration department, and your request is processed.
Under the CPS Code of Practice, the losing operator can make one unsolicited contact with the consumer within 5 days, to try to win them back.
If you want to switch to IM, you need to install a router box. IM says there is no charge for this. To connect to Swiftcall you must set up a prepaid account for a minimum £25. You then make calls by dialling an access code. Swiftcall says that CPS will be available soon and there will be no extra charge.
Next week - The difference in Minimum Charges
BACK TO SCHOOL - GOOD NEWS
Deputy Batt. O'Keeffe said the parents who are conscious of
children who will he returning to school in September will be
glad that the Department of Social, Community
and Family Affairs have decided to increase the Back to School Clothing and Footwear allowance. "The increase of £20 is quite dramatic. The new rates will be £63 where the child is 2-11 years and £78 where the child is 12 years or older on the 1st October 2000. I have been in touch with the Southern Health Board and I have been informed that currently they are working to try and ensure that all of the back to School Allowances are paid towards the end of July".
Deputy O'Keeffe said that the return to school period is on of the most expensive times for parents and the increase in the allowance this year is a recognition of the additional pressures with which parents have to cope when their children are returning to school.
Who can qualify? You may qualify if you: are getting a social welfare payment or a health board payment, or are taking part in approved employment scheme, or a recognised education and training course, an Area Partnership scheme or a non-craft full-time FAS training scheme, and your total income (excluding some social welfare and health board allowances. which are disregarded) is at or below the following amounts
Couple with: Income Lone Parent with Income
1 child £176.40 1 child £111.10
2 children £l91.60 2 children £128.I0
3 children £206.80 3 children £145.10
4 children £222.00 4 children £l62.10**
* Limit is increased by £15.20 for each additional child
** Limit is increased by £17 for each additional child
How is allowance paid? Allowance is normally paid by cheque.
How do I apply? You should apply to the Community Welfare Officer (CWO) at your local health centre where you can also get more information in relation to the scheme.
Despite disruptions, caused by the continuing unofficial and
unjustified action of a small number of train drivers associated
with the breakaway ILDA Group, passenger train services are
operating on all routes.
There is a full service on some InterCity routes, with a reduced service on the Cork-Dublin, Cork-Cobh and Tralee-Dublin routes. Iarnrod Eireann asks intending passengers to contact the Special Helpline at 1-850-366222 for up to date Information or the Iarnrod Eireann Website - www.irishrail.ie
Iarnrod Eireann apologises to customers for the doubt and uncertainty this unofficial disruption is causing, and urges members of the breakaway drivers group (ILDA) to resume duties, and use the recognised and agreed grievance procedures which have been agreed by everyone in the company. We regret we cannot guarantee any of our services, because of this unofficial and unjustified action.
Iarnrod Eireann, Kent Station, Cork.
Phone Number (021) 455-7204 direct.
ST. PATRICK'S MILLS
From the History of Douglas by Con Foley
Founded on St. Patrick's Day 1882 by the O'Brien Brothers, who quickly built up a large trade at home and abroad. They had an extensive trade with the U.S.A. in a special type of cloth known as "Golden Heece," and exported through the Cunard Liner Service from Cobh. The original factory was later extended on the northern side of the building. The factory siren marked the passing of the hours for the local inhabitants,particularly in the mornings when it substituted for the domestic alarm clock! The mill is now operated with diversified interests, by the Murphy family, but they retain the old interest in the American market (and elsewhere) with their Carberry knitwork. The latest addition to the textile industry in Douglas is the firm of "Munster Carpets," established by Mr. Aidan O'Brien, a member of the original O'Brien family.
By I845 there was a corn and hemp mill under the control of Richard Lane.This mill was situated in the fenced off area between Church Street and Church Road, between the wall of St. Luke's Cemetery and the houses of St. Anthony's Villas in the west village. The stream which worked the mill, and incidentally which worked the old scutching mill in Ravensdale is known locally as "the pond bank." The Ordnance Survey Map of 1841-5 shows the mill pond with the mill race on the right running into the main stream under the little hump back on the road near the licensed premises of Mr. O'Sullivan. The mill buildings were close to the road near Mr.O'Sullivan's premises. Older residents of the village still remember the ruins of the mill as a "mound" with the mill stones still lying about. The lease of 1st August in the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fortyfive between Henry Osborne Seward of Lee Cottage in the County of Cork, Hemp and Flax Manufacturer of the other part." Up to some years ago, well within living memory, millstones were to be seen lying by the roadway near Mr. O'Sullivan's premises. They have since
been broken up and buried in gardens nearby.
To be continued next week
MORTGAGE CHOICE COMES TO DOUGLAS
Mortgage Choice & Property Choice, mortgage and property
advisors est.1988 and trading from Property House, 29 Grand
Parade has opened new offices at the former Garda Barracks in
The decision was driven by strong customer demand for the company's new seamless house buying service. Tony Sexton M.D. says " Nowadays whether people buy or sell property, they look for the convenience of being able to complete the transaction at one centre". This is the key benefit of their service. They take the time and hassle out of buying a property and organising the mortgage on it. They provide a professional service advising customers on finding a new property, accompanying them on viewing, matchmaking, where they bring the right vendor, house and purchaser together. Being independent of all Banks and Building Societies allows them to shop around and find the best loan package to go with your new home.
"They've hundreds of mortgages from all the Banks and Building Societies that are totally unsuitable for you, but one that is just right. This is not just marketing blurb" continues Mr. Sexton he cites the example whereby the difference between the most competitive loan now results in a difference of £14,000 cost or a saving on a £100,000 loan. Their mortgage service is comprehensive and it compliments their property service as they co-ordinate all aspects of both transactions including negotiating and remaining in continuos contact with vendors, purchasers, banks and building societies, builders, engineers, valuers, solicitors and insurance companies.
Nowadays finding the right house and the best mortgage to go with is complicated, troublesome and time consuming. With Mortgage Choice and Property Choice it's as simple as give the job to them, wait for your phone call, drop in, collect your keys and cheque and go home.
Mortgage Choice & Property Choice are open for business 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 2pm on Saturdays and after hours by appointment.
COPING WITH ANXIETY
by Declan Cronin of the Apex Clinic, Douglas.
I have suffered from anxiety attacks for about three years. It
first started when I was out for a drive one evening and suddenly
I couldn't catch my breath. At the time I was suffering from
bronchitis and so I just simply pulled the car over, relaxed
myself by taking some deep breaths until I felt I was able to
drive safely again and then carried on about my business. Some
time after that I gave up smoking and my bronchitis attacks
ceased. However even though I haven't suffered from bronchitis
for years, sometimes I still go into a panic when I'm out for a
drive in the country. I might have a shortness of breath or have
a feeling that I'm going to faint or I might start to shake all
over. In the last few months I've started to get these same
feelings when I go shopping on my own. There seems to be an
imaginary line in the shop or supermarket that I can't cross over
and if I have to cross this imaginary line then I will go into a
total state of panic. Sometimes I feel that I am cracking up. I
would like to know if there is anything that I could do that
would help me get control of these dreadful feelings. Keep up the
good work Thomas.
Comment: The first thing you should do is consult with your doctor, explain your symptoms and get a proper diagnosis. He/she will then advise you on the best course of action for you. It seems to me that there is an obvious association to the bronchitis attacks and the onset of the anxiety attacks and even though the bronchitis has cleared up the anxiety attacks have continued and now there is an association with going to the supermarket. You also state that you think that you're "cracking up". The majority of people who suffer from anxiety attacks tend to think that they are going insane simply
because of the lack of understanding and information on the subject. Seventy percent of the population will suffer from anxiety attacks at some stage in their lives and the symptoms can include palpitations, shortness of breath, faintness, numbness, tingling sensations etc. Psychotherapy can certainly help with the above symptoms and my advice to you would be to go to a therapist who has been recommended by someone you know and trust.
WORLD WAR TWO ACCIDENTS IN CORK & KERRY
continued from last week ...
July 23rd 1943, a Luftwaffe JU88 out of Bordeaux and in dense
fog, impacted into Crow Head near Dursey Island. The crew of four
died instantly. The youngest being "Gerhard Dúmmler"
aged 19. The crew was buried at Cahermore.
August 22nd 1943, a RAF Sunderland Flying Boat of 201 Squadron, Castle Arcgdale. Lr. Loch Erne crashed in the same spot as the BOAC aircraft in Inner Brandon Valley. 8 of the 11 crew were killed.
Around the same time, a RAF Wellington Bomber made wheels up landing near Charleville.
August 27th 1943 an RAF Liberator of 86 Squadron Coastal Command out of Aldergrove, Belfast and on a U-boat hunt in the Bay of Biscay crashed into the mountains near Eyries, killing all seven crew
Dec 17th 1943, a United States Army Air Corps C.47 crashed into the McGillycuddy Reeks, killing all 5 crew on board. The aircraft wasn't found until Dec. 26th and not reported to the Gardaí in Beaufort until February 3rd 1944.
Dec.20th 1943, an R.A.F Wellington of 304 Squadron (Polish) crashed in dense fog in Inner Brandon Valley. All crew of 6 died. Last reported position " Over Lismore heading East!"
Feb. 27th 1944, at 01.07am. A United States Liberator collided with Skellig Michael off Bolus Head. This aircraft and crew had taken off from their base in Devon to hunt U-boats in the Bay of Biscay. They were tracking a U-boat when their aircraft glanced off Skellig. All crew of 11 died instantly. The crew or aircraft were never found.
March 16th 1944, a United States Army Air Corps B.26 Marauder made a wheels down landing at the Marsh in Skibbereen. 5 weeks later on April 21st, a Royal Air Force Halifax made a forced landing in the same field.
May 16th 1944, a U.S.A.A.C. B.17 disappeared at sea approximately 80 miles west of Dingle. The crew of eight was lost.
May 29th 1944, a U.S.A.A.C. B.17 "Badger Beauty" ditched in the sea off Cúas, Ballydavid. The crew of 8 was rescued by local people in Currach's.
The last air accident in either Cork or Kerry took place on Dec 20th 1944 with tragic results. A Catalina Flying Boat of 202 Squadron out of Castle Archdale on Lower Lough Erne collided with Benoskee Mountain near Castlegregory in dense fog. All crew of 9 died instantly.
For the interest of historians reading this article, two situations are unique. First only one American was interned in the Curragh. Flying Officer Bud Wolfe of the RAF was arrested after his Spitfire crashed in Donegal. He was duly interned but escaped at the first opportunity. The main condition of parole at the Curragh was that having signed out, one was bound by honour as a gentleman to return. Wolf having signed out and returned to his unit, "Eagle Squadron" in N.Ireland and having explained the 'Code of Honour' to his superiors. His commanding Officer had him re-arrested and returned to the Curragh.
And finally: In the early stages of 1942, De Valera gave a unique concession to the British Government, Allied Planes taking off from Castle Archdale were allowed overfly Neutral Ireland, from Beleek to Ballyshannon. It became known as "The Donegal Corridor". Indeed, Allied Aircraft returning from missions, battle damaged and forced to ditch in Donegal Bay, were rescued by a British trawler "Robert Hasty" which was crewed by Southern Irish personal.
In the words of an Irish World War Two veteran "Whoever came first, would be the enemy". And in my own words "Who were we neutral against".
P.S. In 1946/27, all German personal buried throughout Southern Ireland were exhumed and reburied at Glencree, Co. Wicklow.
AMAZING GRACE - THE STORY OF JOHN NEWTON
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound..." So begins one of the most beloved hymns of all times, a staple in the hymnals of many denominations, New Britain or "45 on the top" in Sacred Harp. The author of the words was John Newton, the self-proclaimed wretch who once was lost but then was found, saved by amazing grace.
Newton was born in London July 24, 1725, the son of a commander of a merchant ship which sailed the Mediterranean. When John was eleven, he went to sea with his father and made six voyages with him before the elder Newton retired. In 1744 John was impressed into service on a man-of-war, the H. M. S. Harwich. Finding conditions on board intolerable, he deserted but was soon recaptured and publicly flogged and demoted from midshipman to common seaman.
Finally at his own request he was exchanged into service on a slave ship, which took him to the coast of Sierra Leone. He then became the servant of a slave trader and was brutally abused. Early in 1748 he was rescued by a sea captain who had known John's father. John Newton ultimately became captain of his own ship, one which plied the slave trade.
Although he had had some early religious instruction from his mother, who had died when he was a child, he had long since given up any religious convictions. However, on a homeward voyage, while he was attempting to steer the ship through a violent storm, he experienced what he was to refer to later as his "great deliverance." He recorded in his journal that when all seemed lost and the ship would surely sink, he exclaimed, "Lord, have mercy upon us." Later in his cabin he reflected on what he had said and began to believe that God had addressed him through the storm and that grace had begun to work for him.
For the rest of his life he observed the anniversary of May 10, 1748 as the day of his conversion, a day of humiliation in which he subjected his will to a higher power. "Thro' many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; 'tis grace has bro't me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home." He continued in the slave trade for a time after his conversion; however, he saw to it that the slaves under his care were treated humanely.
In 1750 he married Mary Catlett, with whom he had been in love for many years. By 1755, after a serious illness, he had given up seafaring forever. During his days as a sailor he had begun to educate himself, teaching himself Latin, among other subjects. From 1755 to 1760 Newton was surveyor of tides at Liverpool, where he came to know George Whitefield, deacon in the Church of England, evangelistic preacher, and leader of the Calvinistic Methodist Church. Newton became Whitefield's enthusiastic disciple. During this period Newton also met and came to admire John Wesley, founder of Methodism. Newton's self-education continued, and he learned Greek and Hebrew.
continued next week ...
ALDERMAN TERRY SHANNON, PC.
I have been contacted by quiet a number of resident's along
the South Douglas Road, regarding the large number of dying or
dead birds, being found in the area. I have had discussions with
officials in City Hall, and have expressed my concern about this
situation, and the potential danger it poses to residents, in
particular children who might come across these dead birds. The
officials have informed me that the bird population has increased
dramatically over the last 2 months from a norm of 200, to a high
point of about 1,500 birds. As part of their obligations under
the EPA licence, the corporation have employed a falconer who
operates on the site of the landfill on a daily basis, with 1
hawk and 1 falcon. According to officials the birds have
succeeded in scaring off most, if not all of the gulls and are
having the same effect on the crow population. In conjunction
with this, the falconer is spreading a substance in the landfill,
which when ingested by the crows; brings on hypothermia, which
kills them during the night.
I am informed by officials that this substance is of no danger to other animals or humans. While most of the dead birds have been found on the landfill site itself, quiet a number have been found in parks and estates surrounding the site.
The falconer has instructions to patrol those areas and collect the birds found. The officials believe this is the most natural and humane way of controlling the bird population.
A number of aspects concern me, in particular the ingredients of the substance being spread by the falconer, and I am meeting with officials of the Environment department in City Hall to further inquire into this matter.
I have long been of the opinion that the Dump should be closed as soon as possible and it is my intention that this should happen within the lifetime of this council. The corporation have given commitments over the years that when it does close, it will be transformed into a recreational park for the residents of Cork City. We now discover that the Corporation have proposals to site a materials recovery facility and other waste related activities on 40 acres of the site. This is totally unacceptable to me,
and to end this I have sponsored a motion going before city council next Monday night, calling on the Corporation, to site this MRF elsewhere, more appropriately in an industrial context, and that the entire 160 acres be given over to a park as promised. This motion has already been passed by the Environment Committee of Cork Corporation at its meeting last Monday night.
I will continue in my efforts to ensure that the Corporation abide by its promise to close the dump and to create a park that we can all be proud of.
ON THE ROUNDABOUT
"Smackee" the award winning West End musical production company present "ABBA the Show" at The Rochestown Park Hotel on Sat 5th August .This year sees the First ever children's summer theatre Festival to be staged in Cork,. Titled the 'New Children's Theatre festival' it will be the first time that such an event has occurred in this part of Ireland exclusively For young people. The idea and rationale For this new event is based on 4 years experience in developing summer children's theatre in Ireland. In that time there has been recognition that there is a lack of children's theatre in the southern region of Ireland especially during the long summer holidays. Shows nearly everyday during the month of August commencing with "Three Little Pigs" at the Triskel(1st - 12th), followed by "Pinnocchio and the clowns from Outer Space" ..Deputy Deirdre Clune has been questioning the Minister for the Environment on the number of abandoned vehicles that are littered throughout the state since the introduction of the National Car Testing (NCT), so far 27,000 cars have failed the test and 4.504 have failed the retest . Deputy Clune has also welcomed a report from the Rehab Recycling Partnership(RRP) which showed Cork to be top of the league of recyclers. Ireland has the lowest recycling rate in Europe Batt O'Keeffe TD has urged the Tobacco industry to provide information about the safety of their products to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on health and children.
ON THE ROCKS
Another dawn, the years roll bye,
I watch the morning tide,
The sun has brought a pleasant day,
It's glow runs deep inside,
The ocean soothes the rocky edge,
And calms the angry wall.
As I look out across the bay,
And hear the seagulls call.
There stands a Cormorant dark and proud,
On a promenade of stone,
The grey gulls crowd, and gaze at him,
As if he had a throne.
He spreads his wings and stands aloof,
God's of the sea be praised.
The gentle breeze has preened him cool,
The Gulls look on amazed.
The day moves on in flickering hours,
As white sails, drift about,
Glory to God and all his powers,
The tide goes in and out.
There will be days like this again,
But days have endings too,
And as I move on towards the night,
These days I leave to you.
DOUGLAS WEST FOOTPATHS
Cllr. Deirdre Forde has been in touch with the Area Engineers
regarding the repairing and resurfacing of the footpaths of
They have agreed to take the matter up with the Divisional Engineer. "I have urged them to press the view that Douglas West needs a proper streetscape plan of action, which would suitably reflect the charming character, and history of this area of Douglas. Appropriate street furniture; lighting; suitable lamps/lighting; hanging baskets or small trees should all come under consideration. A plan which would incorporate all these elements would greatly enhance the environment and aesthetic value for the residents of the street and would reflect the care and regard the people have for Douglas Village. These plans will have to be implemented in conjunction with the recommendations of the Douglas Traffic plan. Traffic lights at junctions, parking bays, widening or narrowing of footpaths where necessary, improved kerbing, flow of traffic and proper road lining will have to be addressed over the coming months." concludes Deirdre.
DRUGS PAYMENT SCHEME
With effect since 1st July 1999 the Drug Refund Scheme and
Drug Cost Subsidisation Scheme have been replaced with the more
streamlined and user friendly Drugs Payment Scheme. This is an
important scheme that covers families and individuals for the
cost of their prescribed medication. Under this Drugs Payment
Scheme, no individual or family has to pay more than £42 in any
calendar month for approved prescribed drugs, medicines and
appliances for use by that person or his/her family in that month.
The scheme is available to all Irish residents who do not hold a
current medical card; Application forms can be obtained from your
local Pharmacy or from the Southern Health Board, PO Box 224.
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