16th May, 2002

Dear Michael,
A recent study by UK Greenpeace scientists gives serious cause for concern. It is entitled Incineration and Human Health and in it is found that:
"Residents living near a municipal solid waste incinerator in Italy had a 670% increased risk of death from lung cancer.
Children living near municipal solid waste and hospital waste incinerators in the United Kingdom had a 200% increased risk of dying from cancer.
In Belgium there was a 126% increase in birth defects in newborn babies living near two municipal waste incinerators. School children living near the incinerators had more allergies, colds and health complaints, and used more medication".
The fallout from these incinerators can cover a distance of 40 miles. A municipal solid waste incinerator is one of the two types of incinerators Fianna Fail wish to build in Ringaskiddy and approximately five more in the rest of Ireland. What an issue health will be then!!
Yours Ann Kirwan

Angry Resident
Dear Editor,
I have read your last couple of issues and noticed how the politicians seem to have surfaced with a vengeance! All these good folk are surpassing themselves with observations, promises and self-praise expressed through your good medium. This, I suppose, is par for the course coming up to an election. Douglas folk, according to some politicians, have never had it so good. How many of these politicians live in Douglas and will we hear from them again from July on?
There was an opportunity to develop Douglas, as an example of a "new" town, over the last ten years. The fact that City and County intersect through its environs made matters somewhat more difficult. Property seemed to be first concern of the planners and developers. Pedestrians, roads, footpaths and other infrastructure came a very poor second. I remember canvassing for zebra crossings at the Fingerpost - there are still only three for five roads - and between Douglas Court and McDonalds. Several months had gone by, after the creation of the roundabout outside Douglas Court, and no one had thought that people might want to cross to McDonalds!
Parents would love if their children could walk to school safely from (lets say) Broadale to St Columbas National Schools. Time and again the level crossings are not there or the footpath is none existent. This lack of attention to detail by the planners is unpardonable. And still the houses go up!
This then leads to the traffic nightmare. We are told in recent publication, by John Fitzgerald, Treasurer of the Cork Business Association, that 160,000 people a week are using the shopping facility in Douglas. As an aside he mentions that: "around 100,000 of these are local and 60,000 are from outside the immediate catchment area". Don't the Douglas residents know all about this! Traffic chaos is now the norm seven days a week.
Then there is Douglas village. One token seat (aside from the Bus shelter) stuck up against the ESB transformer, masquerades as a place to enjoy the "ambience" of modern town development. This resides alongside the one token tree for the village. Is this the best we can do, or should we just tarmacadam everything? Where can kids hang out in the fresh air? Yes, the Community Park, with its limited opening hours, is a welcome improvement on what it was some years ago. The children’s playground, trees and (six?) seats form the geneses of how things might look in the future. Older residents will remember, however, that there was a plan some years ago to build on this Council land.
It is time that someone took a firm grip on the development of Greater Douglas. It has all seemed a bit ad hoc so far. All further planned building and housing projects should be shelved until the infrastructure can catch up. Through traffic, must be diverted out of the village. More thought should be given to quality of life of the Douglas resident.
We should assume that he or she would want to walk and cycle safely in their home place. The car must not take precedence over the pedestrian.
Is there anything that pleases me? Well yes. On a positive note, the East Village is a sign of things to come. Perhaps, when seats and trees become more prominent, it might become a street that people meet, greet, trade and play?
Yours sincerely, (Name and address with editor)

Letter from Germany

Dear Michael,
My name is Jennifer Lyons and I am a student from Douglas living in Erlangen, Germany for a year. I look forward to every Saturday morning because I receive a copy of the Douglas Weekly in the post courtesy of my Mom Colleen. I love catching up on all the news from home and particularly enjoy your Seen, Read + Heard section.
You may be surprised to learn that all my flatmates enjoy reading each week’s edition, and that includes three Germans, Stephan, Franz, Regine and Patrick O'Callaghan from Kinsale. Keep up the good work and love to my family at home!
Thanking you,

Look us in the Eye, Mr. Ahern
Dear Sir,
Bertie Ahern's government was right to back the post card campaign to Tony Blair condemning the activities at Sellafield, and the pollution that they cause.
However, the Fianna Fail policy of introducing municipal and toxic waste incineration to Ireland to cope with our waste crisis smacks of double standards.
The pollutants from the nuclear industry are similar to the dioxins resulting from incineration. Both are toxic in the most tiny quantities. Both persist for a very long time in the environment. Both cause birth defects and cancers.
At the moment Ireland has one of the lowest levels of environmental dioxins in the developed world. A vote for Fianna Fail will be a vote for incineration and for the loss of our enviable position as the clean food breadbasket of Europe.
Look us in the eye, now, Bertie, and give the alternatives a chance.
Yours etc.,
Natasha Harty (Mrs)
Jamesbrook, Midleton.

Gregory Peck!

Dear Editor
I was just reading through your April 4th 2002 edition of “Douglas Weekly” and an article on page 19 caught my attention. This is an article on the actor Gregory Peck.
It amused me to read that Mr. Peck used the stage name Gregory because his mother came from Castlegregory, Co. Kerry. This indeed is a tall story! Mr Peck used the stage name Gregory because that is his actual name.
My husband and I have had the good fortune to have met Mr Peck during two of his visits to Dingle, Co Kerry, once in 1992 and also in 2000.
He is certainly a very pleasant and down to earth man and as you said yourself is very much alive and kicking.
Mr Peck’s grandmother, Catherine Prendeville was born in Castleisland and she and her parents moved to Aglish in Lispole Co.Kerry some time later. She then married a Mr Ashe and theeey lived in Minard ( near Lispole).
Their daughter Kate Ashe went to the USA and met and married Gregory Pecks father, Gregory Pearl Peck.
At some stage during his life Gregory Pecks father dropped “Pearl” from his surname therefore his son was Gregory Peck, the actor that we know.
I was delighted to see this article on Mr peck, because so many of the great actors of his generation seem to be forgotten about.
Keep up the good work!
Mary Egan

From Bonny Scotland
Dear Editor
In a little early morning Internet surfing, I decided to search for the name of "Douglas Lads". I happen to be the assistant manager of a local boys football club in Dundee called Douglas Lads - Under-13's, and was wondering how many teams from the Scottish Youth Football Association had found their way onto the Internet. [Douglas is one of the large housing estates in Dundee.]
My search found your website, and very good it is too.
Any recommendations as to how we could set up our own for the Douglas Lads in Dundee - of course, it has not to cost anything, but it has to look a million dollars !
Any advice would be most welcome - and more power to your elbow (or should it be elbows if you are better than me and can type with two hands). Your website is "spot-on" - just pitched at the right level to keep a feeling of a close knit community.
Kind regards,
Graham Borland
Douglas Lads Football Club (U-13's),
Dundee, Scotland.

Thank You from the Cork Male Voice Choir

Dear Michael,
l am writing on behalf of the choir to thank you most sincerely for the travel bags which you so kindly donated to us. These will be very useful to us on our trip to Prague next week. We will bring them back full of goodies!.
We very much appreciate your generosity and wish you and The Douglas Weekly every success in the future.
Thanking you again,
Yours sincerely,
Donie O'Leary
(Hon Sec.CCMVC)

Drinking Ourselves to Death

Dear Editor
“Fluoridation is an affront to human dignity, which is explicitly recognised as a major objective in the United Nations Declaration of Human rights. The foundation of the legal rights and liberties of the individual is the principle of that individual's responsibility for his conduct and his own interests, chief among which is his health.
If we wish to ensure the survival of democracy in Ireland and elsewhere, all of us, collectively and as individuals, have a responsibility to ensure that its principles are not undermined. We can enjoy the full benefits of democracy only if we play our individual parts in protecting those rights, both for ourselves and each other.
In the Anglo-American democratic system of government, members of parliament and local councillors act as our representatives. As such, they have responsibilities to those who elected them. Their primary duty is to protect the basic rights of the individual citizen from possible tyranny by a misled and thoughtless majority. Compulsory fluoridation automatically violates these rights. Thus, whatever individual N.Ps. (or in Ireland, T.Ds.) or local councillors believe about the benefits or otherwise of fluoridation, it is their manifest duty to reject proposals to fluoridate the water"
Obviously, where these rights have been violated it is the manifest duty of those in power to restore them. The right to freedom of choice in the matter of such a vital ingredient as water has changed this State from a democracy into a totalitarian State. When did this occur? Answer: In 1960 when Fianna Fail party was in government, and they passed the water (Fluoridation) Act by which all the public water supplies were fluoridated by law. All subsequent governments supported this Act, and continued to have a cumulative poison added to our water regardless of and without investigation into the effects on the health of our people. Small wonder politicians are looked upon with a somewhat cynical eye!
Yours sincerely
F.A. Merrick