25th April, 2002

From Eoghan Harris
Dear Michael,
Congratulations on your wonderful column in Douglas Weekly. What a range-politics, history, topography and of course the pure pleasure of your comments and meditations on Cork and Cork people. They say Dublin could be reconstructed from Joyce's writings, but if you keep going future generations will be able to construct the Cork of my childhood. Above all we get a glimpse of an Ireland that historians and sociologists seldom reach- the inner live of the Irish people as it impacted on an acute observer over the past 30 years and more. Thank you for a riveting read. I know how hard a column of comment can sometimes be, but I hope that you will continue to give us your thoughts, memories and reflections.
Best wishes, Eoghan Harris

More on Bessboro

Dear Michael,
I read your article a fortnight ago regarding Bessboro and its "high walls". Yours comments got me thinking, but it was not until I saw an anonymous letter in this weeks edition that I decided to write to you.
It astounds me how quickly we all jump on any bandwagon. Our selective memories allow us to forget that for every lone parent that availed of services in Bessboro, there was a family, siblings, friends, neighbours, society and a government who stayed silent.
June Goulding, and her book "Light in the Window" is now seen as the authority on Bessboro. In my mind, her book is both factually and historically incorrect. This in part may be because Ms. Goulding only worked in Bessboro for a number of months, over fifty years ago.
It is now easier than ever to throw our accusations and stones over the "high walls" from our vantage point on the high moral ground. It is now so comfortable to be able to apply current day values to historical issues. Its easier to do it from outside the walls. As long as we remain outside, we have no need to acknowledge the continued lone parent support services, the eighty place crèche, the heritage park, the employment schemes, the education services to disadvantaged youths, the support for minor industries, the religious support services to schools, the Irish Wheelchair Association, the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland, The Southern Health Board, the National Council For The Blind etc., etc. that reside within.
Yours faithfully, Michael O'Sullivan.

Thank You From Bungalow 8

Dear Michael
Re; our fundraiser event last Friday morning in St. Columba’s Hall in aid of Bungalow 8 Bus for the Brothers of Charity.
I wish to thank the following for the great support on the day: The Douglas Weekly team. All the sponsors, too numerous to mention. In particular the Girls in the Hall, without whose help and enthusiasm the event would not have been a success. The fantastic singers and finally the people of Douglas and ‘Beyond’ who came out on the day to support this worthy cause. And a special big “Thank You” from all the girls in Bungalow 8.
Once again, thank you and God bless you all.
Steve and Phil Goodman
P.S. We collected a staggering € 2000 towards the mini-bus. We have opened an account in Douglas Credit Union under the account name “Bungalow 8”. Anyone wishing to make a contribution towards the cost of the mini-bus can do so through the Douglas Credit Union A/c no. 17509L. Thank You!


Dear Sir/Madam,
I would like to bring your readers' attention to the following points regarding incineration:
The Department of the Environment in England, in a detailed report in 2000, said people's lives would be shortened by cancer-causing dioxins from incinerators.
The US Environmental Protection Agency in a recent report said that dioxins lingering in the bodies of people all over the planet have been identified as being the cause of many cancers.
In the Irish Independent on 7 February of this year there was an article on a study carried out by NUI, Maynooth and Queen's University, Belfast. In it linked cancer and birth defects to emissions from landfills and incinerators. It also quoted a report stating that ash from incinerators that was landfilled, was more prone to leaking than the original material being burned.
Denmark have acknowledged that the incinerator remains their major source of dioxin and acknowledge the fact that not only are monitoring practices inadequate but they are unable to detect all kinds of dioxins.
The government have a plan to build seven incinerators in Ireland. It has been reported in Indaver's Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed incinerator in Dundalk, that all the ash from these incinerators all over Ireland, will be transported to Ringaskiddy.
Yours sincerely, Ann Kirwan

Docks for Monkstown

Dear Sir / Madam,
I wish to draw attention to the radical plans proposed for the Harbour area, in particular for Monkstown Bay. It is hard to believe that plans are afoot to effectively move the Cork City / Tivoli Dockland facilities for large industrial shipping from their present location, and transfer this into Monkstown Bay!
Not only is it proposed to develop a new container terminal in Ringaskiddy to accept larger vessels than at present in Tivoli, but an additional facility is proposed for Monkstown Bay at the ADM / Monkstown Creek site. This will involve reclaiming from the water a huge area of approximately 25 acres to form a peninsula jutting out from ADM into the bay. This will be a massive intrusion, in terms of a huge increase in shipping, loading and unloading by crane, bulk storage facilities etc.
I would urge anyone interested in preserving the natural beauty of Cork Harbour for future generations to make their objections known during the public consultation period which ends on 30th April, 2002. Submissions should be made in writing to The Senior Planner, Planning Policy Unit, Bishopstown House, Model Farm Road, Cork.
Yours sincerely
Margaret Conway, Monkstown

John O’Sullivan’s
Dear Michael.
Recently I returned to John O’Sullivans Bar, West Douglas.. for personal reasons I stopped drinking locally.
I returned as a stranger and an OAP. I have met nothing but kindness from John, Staff and customers, that and a perfect pint. What more could I ask for ?
Yours faithfully
(Name and address with editor)

Letter from the Big Apple

Hi There Michael.
Just thought that I would send you another letter and let the guys back home know how I’m getting on. Just a few days ago we had a heat wave over here and it was hot man. The hottest day in the month of April, ever. It was 95 degrees F which is about 30 degrees C (open to corrections). You just couldn’t stay cool. You would really want proper air conditioning in your house. I’ve been to a few other hot countries and they were no where near this type of heat. It was mainly the humidity. Doesn’t seem to be much air. I went and did some of the tourist things in the city. It takes around 30-45 minutes to get into the city from where I live in the Bronx. The public transport in New York is ten times better than that of Chicago. The buses in Chicago run every 20-30 minutes but here in NY, they come every 10 minutes. Its great. You don’t get the bus all the way into the city. Five minutes on the bus to the Metra (subway) and then your on your way. The trains run every 10 minutes aswell. Great service to have and they are always on time. For the bus and train it cost only $1.50 in total. The train journey is about 30 minutes but it is like traveling to Mallow or somewhere like that but for less that a Euro. First stop was the Empire State building. Your not allowed in there until after 9.30 if you are just going to the top. Queued up only for about 10 minutes even though there was a big crowd there. Very efficient staff there and the trip to the top only cost $8. Walked one flight of stairs to the lift and then it was up, up and away; 80 floors in just 60 seconds. One thing I noticed was that everyone’s ears were popping, just like on a plane. Out of that lift and then into another one around the corner for the last few floors. Got to the top and weather was perfect for sight seeing. You could see for 20 miles around. The lads will know what I mean when I say it was “UNBELIEVABLE”. I took a few photos so I will try to send one of them on aswell. One thing I have to mention is that I said that I would ring home from one of the highest places in the world, and guess what. There was nobody home. Nice thought though.
Purchased some T-shirts and some post cards which I sent to the Douglas G.A.A Club. Moved on from there and went to Times Square. It was amazing. TV screens on the sides of builds. I’d say the cost of advertising on one of them is sky high. The amount exposure that you get is incredible. There must
be 50,000 people a day looking at those screens. Went past David Lettermans studio and the WWF Wrestling stadium. That was my sight seeing done for the day. Oh. I got Yankee stadium in on the way back home on the subway. I haven’t been to a game yet but shortly now. I’ll try to get down to where the twin towers used to be or ground zero as they call it here. The next big thing that will hit NY is all the J1 students who get out here for the summer months through companies like SAYIT, and for a great price too. They
get a working visa, return flight, welcome meetings, guide books, lists of prospective employers and lodgings, and as much help as possible. Only costs around 800 Euro and it’s a great chance for a young person to experience the US first hand.
Food is very different here compared to home. Everything seems to be very sweet, even the bread. I found it very hard to get Irish food in Chicago but here in the Bronx, I’m living in an Irish community with loads of shops with Irish food products. You can get anything you want from the soups, sweets and up to date newspapers. They are a bit more expensive than home but they are worth it. The Gaa season out here has started and every Sunday is a great day out. Three matches played in Gaelic Park and only $10 to get in which is not bad for three games. Dermot Keane and Aidan Delea would probably get in as old timers. (Had to throw that one in Counselor). The whole of the Irish in NY converge to this one point, young and old and
whatever is in between. You can get your burgers, hot dogs or put down a few brews while watching the match. Whatever you fancy. After the games are over, there is a trad band playing. Great day out. My first match is with West Meath against Killkenny on Sunday next. Killkenny are apparently bringing out the famous Charlie Carter. Johnny “Joe” Grimes should know him. (certainly old enough to anyway) It’s a bit tougher and a bit more dangerous out here but the hurling is only 13 aside so there is a lot more space to
move around into. One bad thing with this playing pitch is that there is a soft ball pitch in the corner which roughly takes up 30 yards of the field. Its just sand. Hard to get the slitor up when it goes in there. We are the opener for the All-Ireland Senior football championship game between Sligo and NY. Most of Sligo I heard are coming out for the game so it will be a busy weekend in the bars.
’ll let you know how the matches go and I’ll write you another letter in the near future. My parents are off on holidays to Portugal in the first week of May, so Mum, Dad have a good one. Don’t forget your vest Dad. My
brother Tony (who’s young, free and single) will be home alone, so don’t be playing to much went the cats are away kid. The Douglas senior hurlers are playing championship this week against Midleton, so best of luck to ye lads and congrats to the senior footballers. Hope your fingers are on the mend Rossco and Happy birthday to my other good friend Matthew and love to my Babog.
Time to go Michael. Great to here that your newsletter is getting bigger and better every week.
Your friend Russel Crowe, alias Patrick Barry