15th August, 2002

Maryborough Hill Footpath
Dear Sir,
As a regular reader of the Douglas Weekly I feel I must write to compliment you on the campaigning nature of the magazine. I think that the issue that you have focused on in recent weeks, such as environmental damage and congestion, are important and fully deserve the space that you have allocated to them. I have recently joined a campaigning group (Maryborough Hill Action Group – MHAG), to put pressure on Cork County Council to build a footpath up Maryborough Hill. The present state of affairs is most unsatisfactory. The road is particularly dangerous around the entrance to Douglas Golf Course. Indeed it would appears to be only a matter of time before a pedestrian is injured or killed on this road. Nevertheless I am hopeful that progress will be made on this matter over the next few months.
Keep up the good work.
Yours truly
Mark White

It’s That Time Again
Well it will soon be upon us, the dreaded drive to Douglas every morning, through the gridlock from Donnybrook and Grange, Rochestown Road and Maryborough Hill, the powers that be had the whole summer to come up with a solution, no way, couldn’t be bothered, its the ‘Joe Soaps’ who have to get up every morning get the kids ready and out the door and down the road that have to pay the price, surely sitting in a in a traffic jam for 25 minutes cannot be good for your car or your sanity!! Well I most go now, my road tax is up for renewal!!!! Its well worth it for the lovely free flowing roads we have!
Tony O’Sullivan

Tears don't count Only Action

Nice Treaty / Waste Management I don’t understand why our Government are so surprised that we voted against the Nice Treaty. They don't show much of an example by their blind indifference to a statement made at the European Conference on Waste Management Planning, on June 7th 1999, by Ludwig Kramer, Head of the Waste Management Department at the European Union who said: “I would like to set the record straight. The Commission does not promote Incineration. We do not consider that this technique is favourable to the Enviornment, or that it is necessary to ensure a stable supply of waste for combustion over the long term. Such a strategy would only slow innovation. We should be promoting prevention and recycling above all. Those countries which are in the process of drafting their planning should not base it upon incineration. A quality incinerator is a costly investment that needs to be fed over 25 or 30 years.”
In the European Dioxin Inventory, a project sponsored by The European Commission to identify industrial sources of dioxins, it was estimated that the annual production of dioxins in: Belgium is 400 grams; Germany is 800 grams; Ireland is 25 grams - are we really going to go down the road of those countries heavily invested in incineration?
Yours sincerely
G. I. Perrott

Aer Lingus an Embarrassment?

Dear Douglas Weekly,
I am an 18-year-old student from Bantry attending College in London. Six weeks ago I booked a seat on a flight to Cork for 9.30 am on the 3rd August. The ticket cost 165. (Stg.) so I wasn’t expecting to have any problems.
On the day in question I took a taxi from my apartment in Richmond on Thames, at 6.30am. I arrived in Heathrow at 8.25am and joined one of the two queues at the Aer Lingus check in. When I got to third place in the queue, they closed the desk and said the flight was full. I was put on standby for the next flight at 1.30.
My people had arranged a car to pick me up at 11. 30 in Cork Airport. The Aer Lingus desk seemed unconcerned at my predicament, they told me it was Aer Lingus policy to over book all flights by 10%. Can they be serious/ I booked a ticket six weeks in advance, paid top price and they couldn’t guarantee me a seat – no wonder Aer lingus is losing money! They were 27 other people put waiting ‘on Standby’. I didn’t get on the next flight, or the next flight or the next flight. They were still waiting for me at Cork Airport and still no flight. Eventually I was told to come back the next day.
On Saturday I was still waiting and all day. I was finally put on a flight to Dublin and arrived there at 6.15 PM only to be told I was too late for the Cork flight. They put me on a flight to Farranfore in Co.Kerry and then put me in a taxi to Bantry. 39 hours from Heathrow to Cork! Thanks for nothing Aer Lingus! National airline? What an embarrassment to our country!
Rachel Griffiths
Richmond –On Thames

Cub Hunting in Ireland
Dear Editor
Many people have two misconceptions regarding foxhunting. The first is that foxhunting is a winter activity, starting in November where there are no young fox cubs about. Second, that foxhounds naturally chase and kill foxes - in other words the hound is the natural predator of the fox. In fact, neither is the case. Cub hunting is the process by which young and inexperienced hounds are brought into the pack and taught to chase and kill foxes. Although not widely publicised cub-hunting forms the essential basis of the season’s foxhunting and is seen by the hunting community as the training ground for both fox and hound.
Starting in most areas as soon as the summer crops have been harvested, cub hunting is a secretive activity taking place early in the morning or sometimes shortly before dusk. Only invited hunt supporters are present and their task is to ensure the smallest number of cubs escape the jaws of the dogs. Families of foxes will still be living together, usually above ground in the late summer months and early autumn months. The young cubs would be around five to eight months old. Some may appear to be almost adult size but lack the knowledge and experience of adult animals and are reasonably new to the ways of the world.
A typical cub-hunting session would see foxhunters arrive at a wood when they know fox families live. The pack of hounds made up of older and experienced hounds together with new members of the pack are put into the wood, which is encircled by riders, foot followers and supporters in four-wheel drive vehicles. In their attempts to escape the frenzied hounds, the cubs flee the wood only to be frightened back by loud noises of sticks and whips being struck on fences, saddles etc. and the screaming and shouting of supporters. Many cubs are caught and torn apart above ground but should cubs seek the safety underground hunters will dig them out and throw them to the hounds. It does not take much imagination to think about the high level of cruelty shown to fox cubs in this activity.
Dug out of their earth to be savaged by fox hounds most of whom do not know how to kill this bundle of moving fur with sharp teeth. A bloody scene that is watched over by people who feel at home in the presence of a set up situation of animal cruelty.
The new hounds are thereby taught to run, hunt and kill as pack animals. The vixen, frantic with a mixture of fear for herself and care for her offspring, will run back and forth. However, the sheer numbers of hounds will defeat her and she too may lose her life. Should any fox or cub break through the hunt's death cordon hunt supporters will not be too disappointed as they hope these animal will provide a long chase in the main foxhunting season.
Fox hunting in any form is not necessary. It has no role to play in conservation. Its only function is to provide entertainment for people who are morally bankrupt, pathologically vicious and emotionally stunted. Cub hunting heads the list of atrocities carried out under the foxhunting banner. It can rightly be described as murder of the innocent.
Yours sincerely.
John Tierney
Campaigns Director-Association of Hunt Saboteurs Ireland,
PO Box 4734, Dublin 1.
T: 051-352467 M:087-9413190
E: huntsabs1dublin@hotmail.com