21st November, 2002

Re - Mick McCarthy
Dear Michael,
I refer to a few comments that you made in a recent edition of the Douglas weekly in relation to Mick McCarthy. You spoke about the influence of the media and I guess their ability to make or break a person in the public eye and even compared the situation to the fairytale "Hans Christian Anderson". I must admit I am not familiar with this fairytale but one I am very familiar with is that of "The Emperors Nightingale!"
I will briefly refresh your memory of such I tale, it is based around a Chinese Emperor who comes across a beautiful nightingale, the most wonderful nightingale that this world ever knew, who sung sweeter than anyone could imagine yet the emperor thought that he could do without this nightingale but he was sadly mistaken! Personally I think this is a far better comparison to the whole "Mick McCarthy saga"
Media, as you are fully familiar with, basically have their right to express their opinion as do you on a weekly basis with your publication and lets not forget here that Roy Keane was too subjected to a bashing by the media when this whole sordid affair became public but I guess it is only fair to say that Roy was, ultimately "the better man" and as all fairytales go "the truth will always out"
I am surprised, that you, who would seem to be somewhat of an educated man still seems to refuse, even though you have been presented with "hard evidence", to admit that Mick McCarthy is wrong here, regardless of his "dignified" manner on a TV show. I recently watched a program on the infamous Bin Laden and I too was surprised by his "dignified" and reserved manner, should that be enough to change my opinion towards this murderer? Granted this is an extreme comparison but I just wanted to highlight that regardless of someone's appearance one can not sum up their personality or allow any of their wrongs in life to be forgotten just because they "held their own" at a certain time.
Surely if you are a Cork man and even if your not, but as an Irish man you should be firstly proud that one of our own has reached the top. That someone of our own has spent years of "hard graft" getting to where he is. Please God, Roy will be able to play for his Country in the next European / World Cup and if he cannot then we will all know that one man Mick McCarthy has forever ruined the chances of a young man in playing and winning a major sports event for his country, that he has destroyed the childhood dream of a, talented and moral young man.
Why Michael with your power of media have you not commended Roy for his great sportsmanship? Commended him for believing in the "family unit" even though he could have whatever he wanted at the drop of a hat? Commended him for not forgetting his roots as many do when they hit the "big time" and also Michael why express discontent towards the media, they are simply doing their job and after all you make your living in somewhat the same circles except on a miniature level.
To end when you said, "there's more to life than winning!" I don't think so. This world has no room for losers; Mick McCarthy is exactly that. He was given the same, if not more power by the media; he just didn't have what it took to succeed. And you are right Michael, in saying that no one knows you when your down and out, its then that you release who your friends are, believe me I've been there, but as is evident in this saga, the truth does always out and we all know now that Roy is and always was right.
Emily O Sullivan, Cherry Gardens, Montenotte

Dear Editor,
A year has passed since Indaver applied for planning permission to build their incinerator in Ringaskiddy, County Cork. During that same year the bins continued to overflow and landfill space continued to shrink. In the meantime Cork County Council has done absolutely nothing to alleviate the growing problem of our waste. Valuable compostables continue to be thrown out adding to the greenhouse gasses. Recyclable paper and cardboard is also being disposed of with total disregard to the raw materials and energy that went into making these materials. We could have diverted at least 50% of our waste from landfill in that year if the County Council had done their job.
The Council might say that they have put an extra bottle bank into a certain area or a paper bank, etc. They have also said that they are going to bring in a charge for waste by weight. So far all talk! Why can't they introduce pilot schemes whereby they organise a kerbside collection as is happening successfully in other counties? People are willing to recycle if it is more convenient for them. In Cork people have to take time off work to use the recycling facilities at the Kinsale road landfill site, which close at 3.30 PM during the week, and operate for just a half day on Saturday. The recycling rate is abysmal in this country and isn't it any wonder with the authorities and government we have.

Yours, Ann Kirwan

Badger Population
Dear Editor,
Ireland is to eradicate 30% of it's indigenous badger population for it's unproven role in the spread of T.B. in cattle. Seventy five killers have been employed by the Irish Government to carry out this mindless slaughter.
The method of capture will be a barbaric wire snare which holds the helpless badger in excruciating pain until the animals is dispatched by gunshot, provided the animal has not agonisingly strangled its beforehand.
Serious welfare problems arise when nursing females are snared and shot leaving their cubs to die alone underground from starvation.
An on-line petition has been set up http://www.petitiononline.com/dgm001/petition.html to help the campaign to reverse a decision made without reasons or foundation.
I urge readers and their friends to log onto this petition and sign it to help protect this beautiful and much maligned Irish mammal. Each and every signature counts.
For further information on the campaign to save Irish badgers contact BadgerWatch @ Ireland/barrettb@gofree.indigo.ie
Yours sincerely.
Bernie Barrett
BadgerWatch Ireland - Co-ordinator
5 Tyrone Avenue, Lismore Lawn, Waterford :051-373876

Dear Editor,
It saddens me to see so many of our historic trees in the city being felled by the Department of Education and the Vocational Education Committee which has representatives from all the political parties at the Cork City Council.
The former Cork Female Refuge and Penitentiary of 1849-1916 known as Buckingham House and since 1963 used by the VEC as a Post Leaving Certificate College. It's very sad to see that line of 100 year trees were all destroyed despite these trees being confirmed to be perfectly healthy by Southern Tree Surgeons.
The row of trees on the west side added substantially to the landscape and provided a home for the local songbirds. Obviously the EU Habitat Directive is not taken very seriously in the European City of Culture. The beautiful high stone wall that match the limestone on the 9 Bay, 2 Storey Reformatory is to be no more.
It's a pity that the European City of Culture can't embrace its heritage. I understand many of those women were shipped off to colonies in Australia.
It's a shame that the Minister for the Environment can't see fit to protect our heritage.
Is mise,
Tomas O'Scannlan , Bothar Srutan na Coile