2nd December, 1999

I met a reader last week in Douglas Village Shopping Centre. He asked me if I could mention the lack of a graveyard in Douglas. We reported on this matter last year and received a huge response from readers. This man I spoke to is from Douglas and his wish is to stay in Douglas when his life is over. I understand and respect his feelings completely. Firstly, let me clarify something for our readers. The churches are not responsible for providing graveyards, it is the responsibility of the County Council to provide land and the maintenance of the graveyard. I agree completely with the reader, Douglas should have another graveyard (the one next to the church being full) and it is something the Council should put at the top of their list.
A Carrigaline reader approached me and asked had I a contact number for the proposed infants school in Frankfield. My initial response was to ask her why she did not send her child to school in Carrigaline. Her reply was, “it’s full!” “What about Douglas?” I asked. “Same story,” she answered, “also full”. Am I the only one who thinks this is a sad reflection on society today? Thousands of houses being built, and nothing else. 1,000,000 spent on candles to be sent to every house in the land. It would be better spent on a few port-a-cabins for school children. But then school children don’t have a vote !!
On Monday night I attended a meeting in Rochestown Park Hotel. The purpose of the meeting was to try and organise a tidy towns committee for Douglas. The turn out was pretty good, about 50 people turned up. We had a very interesting slide show and talk by Billy Houlihan, senior executive architect, Cork County Council. We saw how towns like Clonkakilty and Kinsale were transformed from being grotty and shabby to prize winning town over a number of years, and credit to everyone concerned, they are beautiful towns. Then the talk and slide show was over and the chairman took questions from the floor. However, they were not questions, but statements, and the people who spoke were passionate and forthright in their views. The views expressed were, “a lot of the character of Douglas is gone”. Another person said, “it’s too late”. It continued. “Developers rule”, “Douglas is destroyed”, “wildlife is under threat from high rise development at the Douglas estuary”. Another person made a good and valid point. Both Kinsale and Clonakilty have a UDC (Urban District Council), while for years Douglas didn’t even have a Councillor. It seemed to me that the vast majority of people who attended were there to express their concern at the huge developments taking place in Douglas, without proper infrastructure and social amenities to cater for our ever growing population increase. Billy Houlihan had to tell people that he was only at the meeting to give a talk of ‘Tidy Towns’, and not as a Council representative to defend building developments, which was a fair point. Not one of our five T.D’s were present at the meeting. Although I did see one of them later in the hotel. Were they contacted?
Billy made some very valid points, one being that ‘Tidy Towns’ should not be confined to a few flower baskets and a lick of paint. At the meeting people seemed to be mostly concerned about environmental issues, lack of parking in Douglas and the threat to remaining green areas. Another speaker from the floor told us that Douglas now has a bigger population than most Irish cities, and I wonder if Douglas is a town or a village anymore? Perhaps because the County Council take 1.3 million annually from Douglas in service charges and commercial rates, it might be time for Douglas to have its own UDC. Then the people of Douglas would have a democratic say in the future of our area. Its not only about a few flower boxes, but its about parking, another school, bus service to Frankfield, weekend street cleaning, a litter warden, and environmental officer to keep his/her eye on the developers who have their sights on the beautiful woods and walks in Douglas.
Congratulations to John and Grainne Cuddihy of the Paddocks, Maryborough Hill, on the birth of a baby boy, to be named Luke, a brother for Grace, Emma and Jack. The perfect christmas present for the Cuddihy household. John, I’ve got the champagne on ice, I know you’ve got the glasses on offer at your Texaco Service Station, Sth. Douglas Rd. Keep two !!
A Shamrock Lawn resident has asked me to plead with drivers who collect their children via the Inchvale Road entrance not to park their cars outside peoples driveways. The resident told me that last week a woman parked her car and locked it, completely blocking the driveway, and was gone for twenty minutes. I don’t think anybody objects to dropping off and collecting their children, but please don’t obstruct the driveways.
Next week we hope to have some good news for readers of Douglas Weekly, watch this space.

Bye for now,
Michael O’Hanlon.

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