26th April, 2001

As I’m writing this piece on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning at 12.40am the TV is on and I glance towards the screen. Something’s wrong, nobody’s moving. I flick through the other channels, but like figures from the ice-age, they’re frozen in time. About half an hour later CBS anchorman Dan Rather still hasn’t moved, so I switch off. We were promised a better service from Irish Multi-Channell, if this is it what more can I say?

Speaking of television, have you noticed that sometimes at prime time, 8pm to 12 midnight, there’s absolutely nothing on, then just as the viewer decides to go to bed the powers that be put on a good movie. It happened this week with the classic western, “Will Penney”, starring Charleton Heston. I think it began around midnight. Just glance at the TV guide and check the times of the movies shown, 12.30am, 1.20am, 3.45am. Do people actually get paid for deciding on those hours?

Continuing on the subject of television, on Monday night I was flicking through the channels and I came upon something called ‘Podge and Rodge’, or is it ‘Rodge and Podge’? I don’t know and I don’t care. What caught my eye was a cartoon scene of a Garda squad car after being involved in a crash, with Garda strewn all over the place. I looked over at my daughter, we were both speechless. I said, “This is not real, we must be dreaming it. Nobody would show something like this.” But we were not dreaming, this so called comedy sketch was being shown two days after that terrible accident which cost the lives of the two Gardai. A terrible, stupid and insensitive piece of rubbish. There is not, and never will be, anything funny about a crash, and to think that RTE is looking for an extra 50 on top of the present 70 to make our TV licence costs us 120, they must be mad, or joking, or both!!

On Monday morning I called down to the South County lounge for the press launch of local man Billy O’Callaghan’s book, “Tales of Douglas”. I read it that night and I must say I enjoyed it. I wonder how many of the characters were real or fictional? Reading through the book one gets a feeling of what Douglas was like during the 50’s and 60’s. The illustrations in the book were done by Billy’s brother Martin, another very talented man. The Douglas Weekly has used his drawings a couple of times, so well done Billy, we wish you every success and the good news is that copies of “Tales of Old Douglas” will be available in Douglas Book in Douglas Village Shopping Centre. Does anybody know if we have a writers club in Douglas?

The collectors were around during the week collecting the grass cutting money in the Shamrock Lawn area. The sum was 15 per year (or 28p a week). Some people paid, some said that 15 was too much, some did not pay, and some never pay. Some are angry because they feel they are paying for their neighbour. If everybody paid it would cost each household only 7 a year (or 13p a week). I’ll say no more, only well done to the collectors and the residents who contribute to our estate.

This Friday night is the night when a Cork Rose is selected to represent the final us in the final in Tralee. Douglas Rose Carol McSweeney is our representative on the night in Jurys. Carol was the St. Columba’s Hall Rose on the local selection night at Rochestown Park Hotel and she came through on the night.

Well done to everybody in the ‘Hall who put so much effort into the event. They’ve had nights to sponsor the event and I know a lot of local business people sponsored the events. What more can I say except well done to you all, especially Brendan and Rose Heffernan, whose boundless energy and enthusiasm knows no limits. Keep the faith Brendan.

Finally, good luck to Carol on the night, I know she’s do us all proud!

Bye for now,
Michael O’Hanlon

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