2nd August, 2001

On the news tonight RTE showed Charlie McCreevey flashing a CD Rom for all to see; and in the background there was a Christmas tree covered with lights!! Is it the festive season already? How time flies, yesterday it was only July and now the season of goodwill is upon us already. Some people would say everyday is Christmas when you're a politician, a big raise in salary just before three months holidays, what more can I say except, ‘Ho, Ho, Ho!!!!’
Liam Lawlor is going back for a weeks stay in the Joy. He must sign in on the 8th of August and if things go well he'll be out on the 15th, the eve of Elvis Presley's anniversary. 'Is your heart filled with pain when you go back again, tell me Liam, are you lonesome tonight?' Can anybody tell me whether Liam can visit the U.S.A. now that he has a prison record, or does that only apply to certain types?
How serious are our Courts about speeding? A little piece on a Sunday newspaper told us that a motorist was caught doing 149 miles an hour. That's not a misprint, 149 miles an hour. He was driving so fast the squad car couldn't catch him. They had to radio ahead to another squad car to organize a roadblock. What happened to the speedster? Banned from driving for a couple of years and fined 800. Picture the damage a car doing 149 miles an hour could do. And what does the system do, collects 800 in revenue gives the culprit a slap on the wrist, and that's it!!
I think we'd all agree that Douglas has been transformed over the past couple of months, flowers everywhere, hanging baskets adorn most businesses, although there are still a few lacking in their efforts to improve their area. I spoke with Douglas Tidy Town’s chairman, Sean O' Riordan today and complimented him, and every body else, who has put so much effort into this transformation However, Douglas West on Sunday was pretty grotty with litter, chip wrapping, papers etc, we're 90% there with the clean up, but Saturday night in Douglas is very busy and we see the effects of it on Sunday morning. It's not a huge area that needs to be cleaned on Sunday morning and it wouldn't cost a lot, but if it was cleaned on Sunday morning and it would be the icing on the cake!!!!
Congratulations to Jon Cronin and Derry O’Regan on the opening of the superb Hotel, Bar & Restaurant in the East Village. I called down on Saturday night and the place was buzzing. The restaurant was full, the bar was filled with people who were really having a good time. I met Niall O'Sullivan who was full of praise for the choice of music playing in the background, Van Morrision, Bob Dylan. The staff are a credit to the business and of course Bar manager Aidan Dalton is known to everybody in Douglas and beyond. I know that big things are planned for the future in this new and exciting business in Douglas, what more can I say except watch this space. I almost forgot, well done to Sean & Derry for employing a lot of local contractors and suppliers in their business venture.
Cars still continue to speed down Donnybrook hill, not realising that there is a very busy shop, industrial & commercial centre surrounding the area. Equally so, when drivers come down the Grange intersection please make allowances for children, the elderly trying to cross and motorists trying to exit from the commercial centre and Breen’s. 'Caution' is the operative word. Drive slowly.
Earlier in the article I mentioned the 16th of August, the 24th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. We have a lot of fine pubs and lounges in the Douglas area, why not have an Elvis night? Many years ago in a different life I ran a chip shop. One year on Elvis's anniversary I bought t-shirts with Elvis’s head on the front, black wigs, American flags and played Elvis music all day. The staff loved it, and the customer loved it even more. It was some thing different on the day. So publicans, 'It's now or never.'
Another long weekend on the way, if you're going away, drive carefully, belt up, if you're having a few jars, walk or take a taxi. If you go for a swim, don't go alone. Don't take your eyes off your children if they're in the water. Have a good weekend. Well done to Marian Collins, her friends and all the gang in St. Columba's hall (the heart and soul of Douglas) who helped raise so much money for the priest from India. I must say, the choir in St. Agustine's church was fantastic. Well done to all, that's what life is all about, helping each other.

Bye for now,
Michael O’Hanlon.

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