11th April, 2002
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I would like to ask is anything ever going to be done about traffic gridlock in the Douglas area. Myself and a lot of people coming down from donnybrook have to face a traffic jam every morning and evening. In fact there seems to always be a line of traffic from Grange Cross to Douglas and I know the people in Grange / Rochestown Road area also face gridlock every morning, also roads around Donnybrook / Scart Cross area area a joke along be Bracken Court the road seems to be sinking because when it rains the water runs straight across the road mainly because the drains are blocked with rubbish! Where is our road tax money going ? What are we paying tax for / I rarely see anybody up in the Donnybrook area clearing the drains or improving the road conditions.
I was driving through Douglas West near the Credit Union Saturday lunch time, Easter Weekend. I saw a dead cat at the side of the road near the Bus Stop fairly squashed, the car was still there on Monday evening! (3 days).
I wonder was it seen by anybody who was there for the weekend from another country. I don't think they would have got a good impression of our hygiene standards, not to mention the health hazard it was causing
Last Friday night; I attended the Rochestown Park Hotel for the selection of the Douglas Rose. Never in my life did I encounter such ignorance and bad manners as I did on this occasion. The contest was badly organised and most of the people supporting it had no respect for the contestants.
For those of you who were fortunate not to have attended let me give you a run down on the order of the night. The Roses, all fifteen who were representing various businesses around the Douglas area, were asked to report to the Hotel for 7.30pm. they were interviewed privately by the three judges and the M.C. before they took their interview on stage. The entry ticket to the Rose Night (a bit steep @ 15 Euro) gave an 8PM start. Of course the ballroom didn't begin to fill until after 8.30 and by the time the first contestant took her turn on stage for the interviews at 10pm the crowd was restless and there had been a lot of alcohol consumed. There were over three hundred people supporting the Roses and I can honestly say that the majority of them only kept quite long enough to hear their own contestant being interviewed. They resumed their drinking and their conversations when her turn was finished.
I found the whole experience disgraceful and very, very sad. Here were fifteen girls who had spent weeks agonising over how best to present themselves on the night. Each and every one of the girls was beautiful and a credit the Business they represented. It took great nerve on their part to get up in front of so many people and talk about themselves. Seemingly the last contestant in last year's contest was heard to remark that she didn't know why she was giving the interview as nobody was listening to her. What a sad reflection of all present. There was talk around the room before the stage interviews started that the winner had already been chosen based on the private interviews and the stage interviews were just a formality. Could this be the reason why most people didn't bother to listen to the girls being interviewed on stage?
If this contest is to continue it needs to be taken seriously. The stage interviews to begin promptly at 9PM. Total silence from the supporters throughout all the interviews. Serious drinking, music and dancing to be curtailed until after the last girl has been interviewed.
Perhaps by adhering to these simple guidelines each and every contestant would feel valued and respected and know that the energy, time and money spent in preparation for the occasion was worthwhile. I was saddened and angry last Friday night to be part of a group of people who preferred to drink and converse with each other than respect and appreciate the efforts made by these very brave and beautiful girls.
For goodness sake people of Douglas wake up, remember your manners. Why should the Douglas Rose contest be treated any less seriously than the Cork Rose contest are our girls any less deserving of the same respect? I certainly don't think so and I'm sure many more of you would agree with me.
Yours truly, Kay Murray, Douglas
One Complaint ...
In reply to your letter, I did not find the people who turned up on the night to support the girls to be ignorant and bad mannered. Young people nowadays get a lot of bad press, but I can honestly say that I would be proud to have them all back next year. The duty manager at Rochestown Park Hotel can confirm this.
The next point that you made was that the contest was badly organised. This is our fourth year, and I believe that we have perfected it down through the years, with each girl interviewed by three judges, then in a formal chat for each of them with the M.C. makes it easier for the girls and for him to know a little bit about the contestants before they go on stage.
On satge, when the girls were being interviewed the three judges were seated directly in front of them, so they could hear every word, and see how the girls reacted to a stage interview - on this they made their final assessment.
The next point was the ticket prize - 15. I believe the Carrigaline rose night entry ticket fee was 15, and the Glanmire rose night entry fee is to be 15, so our price was average.
The next point you made was that the ticket gave an 8.00pm start time. That is incorrect, the ticket stated that the doors will open at 8.00pm. You state that by the time the stage interviews had begun that the crowd was restless and a lot of alcohol had been consumed. You make it sound as if the riot squad was waiting outside to charge. You may contact the hotel on the behaviour of the people at the Douglas Rose night over the past four years. Not so much as a cross word spoken in it's four year history.
We agree on one point, each and every girl was beautiful and a credit to the businesses they represented, and being the father of three girls I respect all these girls who presented themselves on the night as much as I do my own girls. Laurie O'Sullivan, who represented the Grange Bar, came over to me after the stage interviews were over and said, "Michael, win , lose or draw, I just want to say thank you for a fantastic night". Thank you Laurie.
I could go on but in closing I want to say that this is a Friday night, when young people have worked all week, get dressed up and go out to enjoy themselves, at what we like to think is a Douglas Rose party night. It is not an inquisition!! Pretty girls, a few drinks, meeting some friends, enjoying a dance, waiting to see who wins, and then leaving in a orderly manner, surely does not constitute ignorance and bad manners. In closing, I'm sorry you did not enjoy the night, but I'd be proud to have all the people who attended back next year, because it is you who make it the success it is.
Good luck to Lisa Kenny in Cork finals.
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