11th October, 2001

The good news of the week is that Douglas Swimming Pool has been throw a lifeline (dreadful pun Michael). I know from speaking to a lot of people that they would have been very disappointed if the pool had been closed. We hear so many stories about what happened and why the pool was allowed to fall into such a shabby condition. I was amazed to hear that the government department had not been approached by Cork Corporation for funding to improve the pool. Perhaps its more valuable for something else than its present use. I called up last Thursday, and it was pretty busy, it's not just a couple of local people who use it, but clubs from all over the southside, including Carrigaline, Passage West, Kinsale, etc... I met an old friend of mine, Michael O'Sullivan, who has been involved in the Cork branch of the Royal Lifesaving swimming club. How many years have Michael, and people like him, put into this great work? How many youngsters and adults are now qualified lifeguards, not forgetting that they are also trained in first aid. Common sense prevailed, the pool is staying open, now spend a couple of bob on it, because someday the life the save might be yours.
Coming out of Douglas Credit Union last week I met an elderly resident who lives in Douglas West. She asked me if I could do something about the condition of the footpath (I wouldn't use that word!) opposite the Credit Union, stretching from the doctors surgery to the paedestrain crossing. A few weeks ago I saw a woman fall as she tripped over this horror, I got my camera and took some pictures, which were shown in the 'Weekly. The following week local councillor Deirdre Forde replied stating that the county engineer would put it to the top of his list of urgent repair work. Since then we have seen new footpaths put down outside most of the pubs in Douglas, and a fine job was done on the old narrow footpaths, which were part of a different era. Now its time to finish the job, before somebody injures themselves on the above mentioned footpath.
The piece and photographs I did on the condition of Douglas Village on Sunday two weeks ago brought a response. A member of the Douglas Tidy Towns told me that a member of the County Council stated that if Michael O'Hanlon is so concerned about the condition of Douglas on Sunday, tell him to get a yellow jacket and a sweeping brush!!! I suppose if I was getting 3,000,000 a year from Douglas in rates and charges I 'd put on a yellow jacket and brush Douglas seven days a week!
This is the final issue of the Douglas Weekly to be produced from our office in Shamrock Lawn. By the time you read this article we will have moved to new offices in St. Patricks Woollen Mills, in the heart of Douglas. Now my landlord, Denis Murphy, will get the first copy of the Douglas Weekly every Thursday, and Frank Downey won't have to cross the road to Douglas Village Shopping Centre to get his copies. The offices of the Douglas Weekly are situated in the main office building (next to Betty's furniture) and will be open 9.30am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday (or later if you see the lights on!)
It seems like a hundred years ago since I started the Douglas Weekly, with four black and white pages). Now, thanks to the readers and my faithful advertisers, it has reached 32 pages, and I know from speaking to readers (as one lady reader said to me "Michael, my week is incomplete without the Douglas Weekly!") that having a paper in which to express your feelings about local issues is very important to all our readers.
Thanks to George and Ronnie, and the man from Liverpool, now living in Douglas, who walked into my office last year and said, "I'm a graphic designer, I can design the 'Weekly!" By God Stuart, you were right!! Finally to my wife for all the great sandwiches everyday.
The world is becoming a dangerous place to live in, especially when one hears the term, "Holy War" used. Surely that expression is a contradiction in terms. How can anybody support the massacre of almost 7,000 innocent people (including almost 2,000 Irish Americans) on September 11th. Now we see children being primed with hate to continue the "Holy War". How can millions of people support the Taliban? When they treat all females with such contempt, no education for female children, women are forbidden to work, and starve to death when they become widows. Ordinary people enjoy sport, TV, cinema, a couple of drinks, nice clothes, a holiday, the things we take for granted, but others see this as sinful and decedent, and they view our way of life as offensive to God. Sorry lads, I'll take my chances with multi-channel TV, a couple of pints, and treating everybody, including women, as equal. That's the way I want to live, and I don't believe God finds our way of life offensive.
Finally, get well soon to my friend Tony Healy from Grange Heights. Tony, I have a cold six pack of Bud in the fridge, it won't last there much longer. I also have a bottle of good Russian Vodka, as yet unopened, I'm saving it for your knock on No. 27.

Bye for now,
Michael O'Hanlon.

P.S. Douglas Camogie Club U12 County Final is on Saturday 13th October at Ballinhassig at 4pm. Good luck girls!

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