1st November, 2001

At the end of last weeks 'Seen, Read & Heard' I mentioned the passing of Sheila McDonald. Married to Tony for many years, they lived in Palace Ann Lawn, South Douglas Road. Sheila's funeral took place last Friday in St. Columba's Church. It was a beautiful service. For many years Tony had been a member of the Garda choir, and on Friday they came to sing, and it was a joy to listen to their harmony, which was beautiful. The girl from West Cork, I think her name was Mary Coughlan, played some traditional tunes, and again the sound was excellent. The cortege left Douglas after the mass, took the South Douglas Road route and stopped briefly at Palace Ann Lawn, before continuing out to Kilcully cemetry. I must mention the Garda motorcycle escorts. There were two of them, but somebody mentioned to me that it looked like there were ten on them!! A wet Friday afternoon through Cork, and the cortege was not stopped once, thanks to the motorcycle Garda escorts. Well done to everybody who made such a sad day, a beautiful day.

Again, in reference to my piece last week on Donnybrook Hill and the speeding traffic. I met a resident of Calderwood Estate during the weekend and his point was that motorists also speed up the hill, and this makes it very hard, and dangerous, on residents who are attempting to exit their estate. So drivers, when you're driving up the hill, just past Christy's Carpets, give the residents a chance to exit, and slow down!

Another reader was pretty upset about something she had seen in the Roman Catholic graveyard. She told me that she had seen some bones next to a grave. That afternoon I called to see caretaker Pat McSweeney. Most of you know local man Pat, who I believe is doing a very good job as caretaker. I told Pat what the woman had told me. He did tell me that sometimes a stone mason will disturb an old grave, and then forget to tell the caretaker, and it is left to Pat and his crew to keep a sharp eye out for any situation like that. Pat did tell me that they have put up new fencing, the major paths are being improved and that he and his staff do tidy graves that have become overgrown with weeds, etc... These would be graves of people who had no family, and so there is nobody left behind to tend them.

The long weekend took me down to Garrettstown on Sunday. It was like a summers day. Thousand of people around. It was sad to see Coakley's hotel closed. Many generations of Cork people always called into that great hotel, especially on a Sunday trip. A bottle of orange, a cup of tea and a sandwich, now no more. The two council toilets were locked, which was unbelievable. Thousands of people in Garrettstown on a warm bank holiday Sunday and both toilets closed. Surely one man could have driven down with a key, opened them up, and returned that night to lock them again.

We went to Youghal on Monday. Youghal really looks beautiful, the streets were spotless (which is more than can be said for Douglas on Monday). It's a beautiful town, and I love the walk along the beach facing those lovely old Victorian houses, beautiful memories of Youghal, but again, the two council toilets were locked. I saw people trying them and walking away looking for a big tree on a tall hedge!!

On that Sunday afternoon returning home we felt a bit peckish, so we called to McDonald's, Douglas. The time was 5.50pm, a big crowd was there. I ordered a McChicken for my wife, small fries, and I Big Mac for myself. The bill came to 5.09, no problem with that. We drove home with our food in the bag and put the kettle on. I took out the McChicken, put it on a plate with a few chips for my wife, took out my Big Mac from the carton, to be greeted by a Big Mac with two bites taken out of it!!
Back down to McDonald's, the place was packed. I asked for a supervisor and told hr I had bought the Big Mac ten minutes ago and I opened the carton. "What's wrong with it?" she asked. "Probably nothing", I replied, "Except that somebody has taken two bites out of it before you sold it to me!" She offered me another one, or a refund, I declined. I has lost my appetite. I gave her my card and asked her to phone me. This is Wednesday morning, and still no call. Apart from that, it was a good weekend. However, I would like to know was my burger returned by a customer, or was a member of staff feeling peckish?

Bye for now,
Michael O'Hanlon.

P.S. Best of luck to the team representing Douglas Weekly in the GAA singing competition this Friday night in the club.

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