5th August, 1999

I thought the letter we printed last week concerning Business premises was one of the best we received in a long time. I agree with what the writer had to say about the lack of imagination and interest in some of the commercial premises in the area. After reading the letter I took a walk through Douglas Village and sure enough some of the premises need a major make-over. As we now distribute Douglas Weekly in Carrigaline, I took a closer look at that town last Thursday. It was bright, attractive and bustling with shoppers. I am aware that the two shopping centres in Douglas would attract more shoppers, but the two parts of Douglas East and West should not become a grey soul-less place. A little colour would go a long way.

On a related matter a reader telephoned us this afternoon with an interesting suggestion, that we contact somebody at St. Luke’s Church and ask them would they consider flood lighting the beautiful old Church at night? I think it is a lovely idea and we will make contact and let you know the outcome.

I called down to Douglas Shopping Centre (it’s now called Douglas Village Shopping Centre) on Tuesday morning to check out the new car park system. As most of you will know it is no longer possible to drive through the car park from East to West Douglas or vice versa. There is now a barrier just beyond Whizz Wash. However, because driver’s didn’t know about the changes (or had forgotten about them) when the entered the car park from Douglas West (opposite Dino’s) they discovered that they could not drive through. Soon a traffic build-up took place on the road, and the barrier had to be raised, thus relieving the congestion. Other motorists discovered that they could not enter the shopping centre past Morris House. This was only for traffic leaving the centre. A reader told me that he was stuck in a traffic jam for 20 minutes as he was going to collect his wife. With another 1500 houses planned for the Douglas area over the next year and most of these being occupied by two car families - that’s a lot of cars ! What does the future hold for motorists in Douglas? Perhaps multi-story car parks in Douglas are on the way. Watch this space!!
Driving to Crosshaven last Saturday (via Donnybrook) I realised that for an area with such a huge population, it does not have a shop with a National Lottery machine. A few weeks ago I read that the Minister stated that there will be no further Lottery outlets provided this year. I asked if a shop owner could make political representation to the Minister seeking a Lottery franchise. A shop owner rang me and told that he was a member of a prominent political party and that he had secured a Lottery licence, but that he had not made any political phonecalls. I only wondered if it happened now I know in his land of Saints and scholars, these things never happen. I also know that radio licences are granted by the Independent Radio and Television Commission and that Ministers are not paid huge sums of money in brown envelopes by people who seek these licences. Those things do not happen!

A reader told me that he attended the Dental Hospital last January to get some treatment, now eight months later he’s still waiting to hear from them. He mentioned that all the health cuts of the eighties have never been repaired, and now that the country is awash with money perhaps a few bob could be spent on Dental services. Do any readers have a similar story?

We in the weekly have just decided to introduce something new to our readers and you could win a prize. We want you to nominate the most attractive retail / business premises in Douglas. In other words the nicest shop-front. Whether it be a shop, pub, bank, etc... Write, call, e-mail and leave the rest to us. More next week.

Bye for now.
Michael O’Hanlon

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