Heritage Week 2017

Thanks to the assistance of SECAD’s wildwork team and the Waters and Communities office we are running two events as part of Heritage Week this year:


Wednesday, August 23, 7pm: Meet the Aliens!
Discover the alien species of trees and plants that live in Ballybrack Woods (the Mangala). Where they came from, what’s interesting about them and how we can help prevent unwelcome spreading…This event will also provide a great opportunity to learn about the history of the woodland and how to help nature in your community.Meet at Douglas Community Centre, Church Road at 7pm

Sunday, August 27, 10am-1pm: Ask the insects
Community Water Officer for Cork, Kieran Murphy, will be on hand to demonstrate how to survey for and identify aquatic invertebrates, which can indicate if a river or stream is healthy.

Four sessions:
10am – 10:30am
10:45am – 11:15am
11:45am – 12:15am
12:30pm – 1pm

Meet outside Douglas Community Centre, Church Road
For more information regarding these events get in touch with us here.

Cork County Council launch of Streetscape, Painting, Signage and Improvement Scheme 2017

The good tidings were the announcement of the Streetscape, Painting, Signage & Improvement Scheme 2017 for towns and villages which will be concentrating on the Douglas village and the town of Passage West.

Local councillors and Douglas Tidy Towns at the launch of the new grant scheme

Through this scheme, tenants or owners of buildings in those areas can avail of a grant of up to 50% of the cost of painting the facades along the street. Applications on a full-street basis (10 or more adjacent buildings on one street) will get a grant of 60% and will get priority. Tenants or owners of buildings in the Town Centre can avail of a grant of up to 50% of the costs of replacing existing plastic, neon and printed signs etc. with ‘Heritage Type Signs’. A contribution to a max. of 50% will be given towards the cost of materials where it is proposed the tenant/owner will undertake the work themselves. For further information on submission of applications, contact Margaret Kennedy at 021-4285058 or e-mail her at margaret.kennedy@corkcoco.ie. Applications will need to be in by 26th May 2017. Margaret will give you information on the steps to be taken to complete your application. It’s a great opportunity to be involved in upgrading your town/village centre, so don’t miss it if you are in one of the eligible areas. The information brochure including application form can also be found here: 170305 Paint Scheme

The clock in St Luke’s church

Many people in Douglas will be familiar with the clock in the spire of St Luke’s church. When walking through Douglas Community park, or supervising children in the playground, many of us will have heard the clock strike the hour. Installed in 1889, the clock has struck every hour since, keeping good time for the people of Douglas.

The clock was the gift of Miss Mary Reeves, the eldest of 3 unmarried daughters who inherited the estate of their father, the merchant, Thomas Sommerville Reeves. Living in Tramore House, which now nestles behind the houses in Reeveswood, Mary and her sisters Henrietta and Susannah spent their time and money on good works. Chief among their interests was their own parish church in Douglas. The energetic Mary was a driving force behind the present church building, even though as a woman, she was barred from holding any administrative office in the parish. But as a wealthy donor, Mary was hard to ignore.

When the church opened in 1875, the spire existed only in the architect’s plans. The Reeves sisters fundraised indefatigably for this building project, organising flower shows and fairs to collect money. When construction stalled in 1888, Mary and Henrietta offered 100 each to the building fund, if the spire was finished by May 1889. With guaranteed funds and a tight deadline, the parish was sufficiently motivated to finish the job on time. In a final gesture of generosity, Mary Reeves donated the clock and bell so that the spire could be functional as well as beautiful. It is said that the canny Mary insisted the clock be placed on the northern side of the spire, facing towards her own house on the Douglas Road. Thus she would always be able to read the time on the clock she purchased. We do not know why Mary chose to purchase the clock from a Leeds firm, William Potts and Sons, rather than a Cork maker like Mangan’s. Along with the organ, which was also made in Leeds, the clock hints at personal connections between Douglas and northern England.

Both organ and clock now need restoration, and the parish has decided that, after 128 years, the clock requires expert care. Unlike many nineteenth-century public clocks, it was never mechanised, being wound every week by a parishioner. But the bell is now silent, following the clock’s removal by Stokes Clocks of MacCurtain Street (as shown in the photographs). The clock face also requires attention, and the parish plans to repaint the hands and numbers, if funds are available. Sadly, there is a shortage of spinster heiresses in Douglas today, but the Rector is always happy to hear from potential donors who would like to help the parish maintain this public clock. When Stokes have finished their work, the bell will strike the hour across Douglas once more, hopefully for another 128 years.

The Rector, Ven. Adrian Wilkinson, can be contacted at 021 4891539.

Want to find out a bit more about the history of Douglas? Why not start here: http://douglastidytowns.ie/heritage-trail/.

Douglas Flood Relief Scheme Public Information Day, April 4

A Public Information Day on the Douglas Flood Relief Scheme (including Togher Culvert) will be held in Douglas Community Centre on Tuesday 4th April 2017 from 3pm to 9pm.

The preferred design option for the Flood Relief Scheme has been progressed further and Cork County Council is currently preparing an application to An Bord Pleanála under Section 175 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 for development works requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Members of the public are invited to attend the information day to submit comments and make their views known to the Project Design Team between 3pm and 9pm on Tuesday 4th April.

Donal Dempsey R.I.P.

It is with great sadness that we learned of the death today of Donal Dempsey R.I.P. one of the most dearest and dedicated members of Douglas Tidy Towns.

Donal was a well known and liked person in our community but it was as a hard working member of Douglas Tidy Towns that we got to know him well over many years. He was a familiar figure in Grange as he took on the job of keeping that area clean and litter free. Whilst we meet regularly every Saturday, Donal could be seen at work any day of the week. He also single-handedly painted the black and white markings on the roundabouts of Douglas and despite knowing he was very ill, he came out this Spring and assisted with the flower planting of containers and was down on his hands and knees weeding the village of Douglas. Donal died peacefully in Marymount Hospice.

We will all miss him and extend our sympathy to his relatives and friends. It can be truly said of him “Ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann”.