22nd February, 2001
ITS THE DIGSBY COLUMN
TV Or Not TV
It's rainy, it's freezing, it's depressing...it's enough to drive a sane person to drink. Well, more drink. But all of this unpleasantness can be avoided with the aid of our lifelong friend: the TV. We select the best from the schedules:
Hilarious new sitcom following the madcap antics of an evil squinty-eyed redneck who's somehow found himself living in the White House and ruling the whole world, in a classic "fish out of water" scenario. Episode 1: disaster strikes when Dubya gets confused after too much sherry trifle and thinks he's still in the Governor's mansion in Texas, thus condemning the entire population of sub-Saharan Africa to execution, with comical results.
Taking The Rap
Adult hip-hop video show, presented by pasty-faced white boys who persist in describing their respectable middle-class hometown as "the projects", showcasing several misogynistic morons bragging about how much "ice" they've got, how many "fools" they've "smoked" and how badly they treat their "ho's", while in the background, disproportionately large-breasted women shake their bottoms at the camera and pretend to be attracted to an ignorant thug with awful taste in jewellery.
Yes Primate Minister
Uncompromising late-night political discussion, hosted by Mr. Frisky, a chimpanzee on loan from Dublin Zoo, featuring interviews with high-level politicians and top commentators about the burning issues of the day. In the first programme, Mr. Frisky screeches wildly and throws stones at Bertie Ahern's head, while Fergus Finlay engages in an analysis of Keynesian macroeconomics with Brutus, a potentially dangerous Kimodo Dragon.
Fairway To Heaven
Inexplicably in-depth coverage of some golf tournament or other, featuring non-stop round-the-clock footage which details every minor incident and development of this intrinsically unexciting sport in brain-numbing detail. Viewers eventually become so depressed and bored that suicide begins to appear a pleasant alternative, hence the title. Highlights include a close-up of the Nike swoosh on Tiger Woods' cap, some bland-faced non-entity staring intently at the hole for fifteen minutes, and a tedious debate between two commentators on the best club to use for a tricky short putt.
Can't Cook, Won't Cook ('Cause Dead)
Visceral gameshow, presented by Carrie Crowley, where members of the public who have realised the inherent emptiness and sheer pointlessness of the cult of celebrity chefs bludgeon their betes noires to death with a steak pounder while attempting to cook a three-course meal in just under thirty minutes for an audience judging panel.
Cynical Advertising Placement Zone!!!
Kids' programme which brazenly plugs various products with the vaguest of links to actual content, exploiting gullible young children through a subtle combination of flashy graphics and blandly chirpy presenters handpicked from the ashes of failed manufactured pop groups. Sponsored by Pepsi, Proctor & Gamble and Fisher-Price.
Born John Lewis Ernest Watts Mills on 22nd February 1908, this world-renowned English actor has always been recognised as a very versatile performer. He appeared in films such as In Which We Serve 1942, The Rocking Horse Winner 1949, The Wrong Box 1966, and Oh! What a Lovely War 1969. He received an Academy Award for Ryan's Daughter 1970. He is the father of the actresses Hayley Mills and Juliet Mills. John Mills was Knighted 1976.
THE BRAZIL CONNECTION
When the name Brazil is mentioned we are inclined to think of soccer and coffee and nuts and beautiful beaches, tall buildings and rain forests. It can be difficult for us to realise that Brazil is a huge country with vast areas still out of reach of the modern world, no roads, no water, no electricity, primitive lifestyles and an endless struggle to make ends meet. It is in such an area that we find Sister Bride Counihan from Ballinlough. Sister Bride is presently on a visit home raising funds for a water scheme. She called to the Douglas weekly and gave us this report:
The Municipal area of Umburanas is situated in the state of Bahia, in the northeast of Brazil.
The northeast is a semi-desert region where the people suffer from chronic drought due to lack of rain. This marks their life-style, economy etc. There are 415 Municipal areas in the state of Bahia, and Umburanas is listed in the official Index of Social Development as the 415'h i.e. least developed.
The town of Umburanas has a population of approx. 6,000 with a further 9,000 in the surrounding 33 rural villages which comprise the Municipal area of Umburanas. The region is very poor, with most people trying to survive on subsistence farming. A recent survey of 40 families living in the town revealed that 36 families had, as the head of the household, a casual labourer earning an income of 5 reais local currency per day, i.e. approx. 2 punts.
The town has not yet got a public water supply, so the provision of water cisterns for households is a big need. In a village just 20 minutes from the town, there are 63 families, none of whom have water or electricity. They depend on the 'carro pipo', a tanker of water sent out by the local authorities periodically. This has become a tool used to manipulate the people politically i.e. only those who vote for the ruling party get this water! Others are left with nothing.
There is no public transport throughout the Municipal area and the roads are unsurfaced, mostly just dirt tracks. The people feel their lack of organisation to confront the urgent social needs, especially for water, and they are asking for help in this regard. Recently the town was awarded one of the Government- sponsored Programmes for the Eradication of Child Labour because of the high % of school children involved in the cuffing of seizal instead of attending school.
Three years ago, a Health Centre was opened in the town. It is served by a rota of doctors who come for one week each, from the city of Salvador 7 hours away. There is no resident doctor or nurse in the town. Personnel at the health centre say that their work is greatly hampered by the lack of people working on a community basis to complement their services. There is a great need for preventative health services to complement the work of the health centre. In the past 5 years, the local authorities have set up through-but Brazil Municipal Councils for Health, for Education, and for Social Welfare. These Councils comprise 50% local people and 50% representatives of the statutory bodies. The Secretary of Health says that they have not been able to form these Councils successfully in Umburanas because the local people do not participate. They are not prepared for this and they do not understand the importance of these Councils, nor are they organised to select representatives. The rate of adult illiteracy is very high, approx. 70%.
"Over the past 2 years, local people in Umburanas have been asking for help to organise themselves. The Little Sister of the Assumption intend to respond to this need by living in the town and working on a community basis with the local people, from 1 May 2001. The local people have made a house available and Adveniat has provided a car.
As a community development worker, my hope is that, through engaging in a community development process with the local people in Umburanas, that 1 will transfer necessary skills in groupwork, community organisation and development to them. 1 hope that they will be enabled to set up the projects which they feel will meet their community's needs."
Sister Bride Counihan
The next meeting of the Ciorcal Cómhrá will be held in Douglas Library on Friday February 23rd at 11.00 am. If you would like to practice speaking gaeilge with Like-minded people, you are very welcome to come along.
CIT GRADUATES ASSOC. LAUNCHES NEW LOOK WEBSITE
The new CIT Graduates Association website http://www.cit.ie/Graduates
has just gone on-line and is packed with information about
graduates, events,world-wide branches and news from CIT.
New features include on-line forms, a noticeboard, an e-mail directory and an on-line version of the 'Learning City Magazine'.
If you are a graduate of Cork Institute of Technology and would like further information about the Association, please contact the Graduate Liaison Office at 021 4326279 or email:email@example.com
THE HISTORY OF DOUGLAS
by Con Foley - Part 29 - ST.
COLUMBA'S CHURCH - continued from issue 6
There is a tradition in Douglas which says that the 'Blue Nuns' were established at the rear of Shamrock Lawn, in direct contradiction of the church records. The real title of the 'Blue Nuns' is "The Little Company of Mary" and they have no knowledge of any house of their order ever being established in Douglas. They were founded in Nottingham in 1877 and, their only convent in Co. Cork is in Fermoy, twenty four miles away. There is another order of nuns which have a certain amount of blue in their habit; they are the 'Poor Servants of the Mother of God' and have a convent in Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork. But they too have no knowledge of ever being in Douglas.
Again, the older generation of Douglas speak of a massrock in Donnybrook, now overgrown and that mass was celebrated in 'the bad old days' in the 'Shelly House' in Crichton's Wood. This house derives its curious name from the fact that its interior was covered with seashells. They will speak of the stone seating around the walls and the niche where the sacred vessels were kept. But the Catholic church annals state categorically that there was no mass rock in Douglas and make no mention of the 'Shelly House.' The site of this house alone, situated between the estates of Donnybrook House and Westgrove House, makes it highly improbable that it was ever used as an isolated rnasshouse. It is small, beehive in shape, about six feet in diameter, with a stone bench seating around the wall, and only a short walk from Donnybrook House, whose owners could hardly be said to turn a blind eye to such proceedings. The late owner, Mr.Kenneth Crichton stated that an ancestor of his who was partially incapacitated by polio, and consequently spent much time on horseback used the "shelly house" as a place of retreat and also to meet his friends.
Near the southern end of the road known locally as Cooney's Lane (off the Grange Road), one comes to Willsfort House. There is a cottage at the corner of the road, just beyond. Round the bend of the road from this cottage and on the same side is a field, marked in the Map of 184l as the "Church Field," and also mentioned in the church annals of Douglas. The old lady in the cottage remembered that on one occasion when her father was ploughing that particular field, the plough-share struck something hard. On further investigation, he came upon a large slab, with some inscription on it which was largely obliterated. She herself found "bones and skulls" as she put it, in the same field. She spoke of the time when she was thinning turnips in the field, with the assistance of a boy from Donnybrook, and laughingly recalled how the sight of human bones so sickened her helper that he left there and then, never to return. She remembered also, a "find" of a type of headgear which she called "salute hats."
Next week, St Lukes
PUBLIC MEETING ON PROPOSED MULTI-STOREY CAR PARK IN DOUGLAS
Last Friday I attended a public meeting at John O'Sullivans Meeting Rooms in Douglas West. The matter for debate was the proposal to build a multi-story car park within the Douglas Village Shopping Centre. Public representatives who attended were Batt. O'Keeffee T.D. (FF), Michael Martin (FF), Micheál Martin TD (FF), Dan Boyle (Green), Peter Kelly (FG), Barry Cogan (FF), Deirdre Forde (FF), Simon Coveney TD (FG), John Dennehy TD (FF), Donal Counihan (FF), Terry Shannon (FF) and Paula Desmond (Lab). Deirdre Clune (FG) could not attend due to a prior engagement in Portlaoise. Residents of St. Columba's Terrace were also in attendance. In total about 60 people filled the room.
The chairman was Michael Martin who gave a lengthy talk on the proposed building of the Car Park. He spoke on how the residents were shocked when they first heard the news about the planned development. He asked why the model of the high rise car park was not on public display in the Shopping Centre? He told the meeting that the car park would affect natural light during the day. And at night the lights from the building would affect people's privacy. Also mentioned was noise level, and pollution. The proposed building was called a monster, catering for 1,200 cars, ready to spew them out at peak times leading to mayhem. He finally spoke on the proposed east-west road through Douglas, to be provided by the developers. Closing his address he told the audience there's no such thing as a free road.
Next to speak was John O'Keeffee of the South Western Fisheries Board. He told the meeting that his job was about environment and fish conservation and that he had no opinion to offer on the car park building. His concern was the fish and wildlife that use the river, which runs through the Shopping Centre. And on these grounds he would oppose covering over the river.
A member of the audience was next to speak. He felt that the Shopping Centre owners had cleaned up the river. He remembered when the river was filled with tyres and rubbish. He also told us that he thought the chairman was very emotive in his introduction. His contribution was not too popular with the residents at the meeting.
Minister Micheal Martin had a prior engagement but before he left the meeting he spoke on how impressed he was with the talk given by John O'Keeffee of the fisheries Board. He opposed the plan.
John Dennehy was also opposed to the High Rise Car Park.
Simon Coveney told the meeting he was opposed to the proposal in its present form. The scale is too high.
Peter Kelly also said the scale was too high.
Dan Boyle opposed.
Paula Desmond -supported the motion (which we assume means that she opposes the car park).
Barry Cogan - supports John O'Keeffee of the Fisheries Board.
Batt O'Keeffee - opposed. He does not think the County Council and the Corporation will support it.
Terry Shannon; opposed (Although some people in attendance asked if he had supported the plans on Local radio. He answered by telling them; he didn't realise the scale of the building).
Deirdre Forde; spoke on how she had grave reservations on the development site asked for further meetings between residents, Developers and Council Officials. But one member of the audience wasn't happy with her answer. He wanted to know if she was for or against the planned building. Deirdre answered "Of course I'm against it"
We were also told that the local Fianna Fáil Cumman was opposed to the planned developments.
The meeting lasted about two hours.
AN OIGE CORK-KERRY
An Oige Cork-Kerry Regional Group AGM. will be
held at the Cricket
Club The Mardyke Cork on Saturday 24 February at 8pm. All welcome.
THE MUSIC CHRONICLES - FEB 22
1956 TOP OF THE POPS! Elvis Presley gets his first national record exposure with the inclusion of "Heartbreak Hotel" in the US. charts, the first Presley single of many to hit # 1. 1965 Filming begins in the Bahamas on the second Beatles' movie 'Help'
1968 The debut single from Genesis, "The Silent Sun" is released on Decca Records.
1973 Roberta Flack is awarded a Gold Record for "Killing Me Softly," a song inspired by Don McLean.
1980 Rolling Stones guitarist, Ron Wood, and a girlfriend are arrested in St. Maarten when police find five grams of cocaine in the couple's rented apartment. No charges were filed
RECORD RELEASES include Leo Sayer "Long Tall Glasses" (1975).
"Too ugly, too noisy and too flimsy to
meet the technical requirements of a motor car" This is what
the Ford chairman said in 1946 when offered the VW and it's plant
for nothing. Was he ever wrong?
Dan Dempseys 24 hour Rescue & Recovery, Kinsale.
COUNCILLORS UNDER THREAT
Kinsale Rd. has been an unlicensed Dump for the last 30 years. There are now plans to establish new Waste Processing Facilities there, catering for the entire County. This would increase the intake of Waste by three. It would generate truck traffic into that site, then back out through the City Centre. This truck traffic is estimated at between 150 and 500 PER DAY.
Since 1990 Cork Corporation elected Councillors have voted SIX times to stop Landfilling and Waste Processing at Kinsale Rd. The last two motions were carried UNANIMOUSLY. Management have repeatedly insisted that there was no alternative site. There is no evidence of any attempt or search for a new site. Recently a section of the site called the Black Ash was cynically put forward as an "alternative." It was rejected by Council and immediately withdrawn by management; a unique reaction.
City Hall Management met with County officials, Dept. of the Environment, and EPA officials, privately in a Cork Hotel. Elected Councillors were not informed before or after this meeting. A plan was hatched for the County to take a new Superdump, the City taking a new Super Waste Sorting Facility (WRF). There was no consultation whatsoever with residents or business in the Kinsale Rd./Tramore Basin area. Tenderers for the new facility were given no option to the Kinsale Rd. site. There are roads currently being built on the Dump. These roads appear unnecessarily large for the future public park, more suited to heavy trucking. It appears that the plan is going ahead.
The City Manager has blankly refused to undertake action based on the six motions. Instead he is writing a report on the "implications" of such a move. These "implications" are basically threats, and are already well known.
1 That may be huge costs associated with changing the plan.
2 Tenderers may impose penalties on the Corporation, might even sue.
3 If a Section 4 is tabled to compel the Manager to obey the six previous motions, Councillors might be individually and privately liable for costs and litigation.
4 The adoption of the Waste Management plan will be held up, and the Corporation may be subject to EU fines, or have the plan forcibly adopted by Ministerial order.
1 The plan was never sanctioned. The Waste Management strategy has not been adopted as a plan, due to managements intransigence on the WRF siting. If contracts are already in place, if money has been spent, it will not stand up to scrutiny.
2 It is unimaginable that a company interested in securing a public contract would penalise or sue the Public body involved.
3 The suggestion of a tendering company suing Public representatives directly is even more ludicrous.
4 The current "emergency" was entirely caused by Management's refusal to enact motions passed since 1990. They have taken it to the wire in order to give the elected Councillors a very difficult choice. They can bow down and accept the WRF at the Kinsale Rd., breaking 30 years of promises, or, they can compel management to obey their six previous motions, risking misplaced blame for delaying the Waste Management Plan. It is essential that they act in a unified manner on this without local or party issues intruding. This is an old, recurring, problem. It needs to be dealt with cleanly for once and for all.
Dan FitzGerald, Kinsale Rd. Dump Action Group.
DON'T GIVE THE TAX MAN ANY MORE THAN YOU HAVE TO ...
... Advises Citizens Information Call Centre.
Anyone who thinks they have too pay too much
income tax should be sure to look out for a letter from the
Revenue Commissioners which should be landing on every PAYE
workers doormat during the next month. This document, which
goes by the somewhat unwieldy name of Certificate of tax
credits and standard rate cut-off point outlines the amount
and type of tax reliefs that you have been allowed. It is
important that you check to make sure that you claim all the
reliefs to which you are entitled otherwise you will end up
paying more tax than necessary says Niamh Murray of the
Citizens Information Call Centre. Whilst some of the
reliefs are given automatically others are not awarded unless we
claim them, and we are none of us perfect, we can all make
mistakes, even the tax man
Tax relief for most PAYE workers is more generous this year than of recent years .A single person will automatically have a personal allowance of £5,500 whilst a married couples allowance amounts to £11,000 and in addition to that anyone who is working and liable to be taxed under the PAYE system has a PAYE allowance of £2,000.
But there is a whole list of other allowances which need to be applied for such as those for medical expences, pension contributions, health insurance, mortgages, home loans and rental costs as well as special allowances for anyone with dependent relatives.
If you think you may be entitled to any of these allowances then make sure you send in your completed tax return. If you think that you may have failed to claim some allowance to which you were entitled in the past then the good news is that you may claim rebates for up to at least six years or even longer under certain circumstances.
If you want any further advice or information about tax or any other aspect of your rights and entitlements you may contact the Citizens Information Call Centre on lo-call 1890 777 121 at any time from 9.30am to 6.30pm Mon to Fri or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org The service is free and totally confidential.
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