19th August, 1999

A few readers have asked me why we are doing an article every week on child care facilities in European countries? The answer is because we think it is one of the most important issues in the country at the moment. So far we have covered the child-care services in Sweden, Denmark and Germany. As you all know these countries, together with Ireland, are members of the E.U. and the countries we have covered so far all seem to be providing very good facilities for child-care. Now we come to the land of the Celtic Tiger, which is, we are told, “awash with money”. Thanks to the thousands of young married and single couples who every week pay huge taxes to swell the state coffers. It is these people who have made this country the 13th wealthiest in the world. Yet, what child-care facilities does the state give them in return? Answer - none! Everyday John and Mary go to work. Mary drops the children to Mrs. Bloggs and pays her 80 per week every Friday evening, and yet she gets no tax relief on any of this. So readers, that is why we will continue to highlight the facilities in other member states. After all, we too are members of the club, isn’t it about time we played by the rules?

The best of luck to my good friend Brendan Heffernan who is starting his own plastering and building business. A good man to loft a bowl, I’m told he lofted one over the Brandenburg gate in Germany. I need proof Brendan, where’s the photo? Anyway, Brendan can be contacted @ 893034 or 087-2335208. Tell him Michael sent you and do support local.

The most disturbing news of the week was the claim that slurry was being used in France as an animal food. It was alleged that waste water used from washing animals and waste from septic tanks was passed through a filter. The solid matter trapped was then used in pig-feed. The report also referred to other factories where waste water from toilets and septic tanks was recycled. Think about it? Feeding ‘you know what’ to animals for humans to eat. What are we becoming?

To the person who emailed us and claimed that he was assaulted walking through the community park last week. We cannot print any letters unless we have a name and address and/or telephone number. We are always there to highlight issues, but we need to verify the facts before we print them. As my granny used to say, “There are always two sides to every story”, and granny was a wise woman. So please, all calls, letters, e-mails, please give name, address and telephone number (not for publication if desired).

As I write this the leaving cert results are coming out and we in Douglas Weekly would like to wish all students the best of luck in their future plans. We hope you did well. Don’t forget, you can only do your best. We are not all Einsteins. As a student Winston Churchill finished bottom of his class, and he didn’t do too bad, did he?

I’ve just realised that if you are 100 years old and live until after christmas, it means you were born in 1899, lived through 1999 and into 2000. Think about it, you will have lived through 3 centuries - 19th, 20th and 21st centuries - Awesome!!

Traffic problems are beginning to happen in Church Street (St. Columba’s Terrace). Church Street is the street from Douglas East to West (O’Driscoll’s corner to John O’Sullivan’s corner). Drivers still assume that they can enter Douglas Village Shopping Centre from the street. They can’t enter or exit from this entrance. In a few weeks when the schools open and the traffic increases it will get worse, so perhaps the powers that be should look at the situation now? Traffic lights might be an option, or a traffic Garda to keep the traffic flowing at peak times.

The letters, cards and e-mails are still coming in regarding shop fronts in Douglas. We are building a dossier and in a few weeks we will ask a designer to look around Douglas at the fronts which you, the readers, have suggested. I think the ‘Owenbue’ in Carrigaline is beautiful, take a look at it if you’re down that way. There are some lovely shop fronts in Douglas, but we are waiting for the experts decision on the Top Ten. Watch this space …

To the reader who rang us last week and left a message on our answering service regarding lack of local sports results. When Douglas Weekly was created almost two years ago we made contact with all the local sports clubs and associations offering them space for their activities. Usually one person within the club is delegated the position of P.R.O. However, when all the P.R.O.’s decide to go on holidays in early August, theres not a lot we can do about it, but wait until they return. So to all clubs, associations, etc... fax, write or hand in your results, or e-mail. Latest date for results is Tues. Incidently, good luck to the Cork footballers on Sunday. Is the double on the way again?

Bye for now.
Michael O’Hanlon

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