8th November, 2001

Regarding my piece about the public toilets in Garretstown being closed on a beautiful warm October bank holiday Sunday, I met a reader who told me her story. She too went to Garretstown some time ago, also on a Sunday, and found the toilets closed. She rang the council office in Kinsale and was told that the public toilets have to remain closed, due to vandalism. Picture the scene, it's Cork City, on a Sunday morning. A group of vandals hold a meeting to decide on their plan for the day. Eventually, after debating for over an hour, a decision is reached, and it's unanimous. The plan of action is an attack on the toilets in Garretstown!! But when they get there, their plan is thwarted, the toilets are padlocked. Good has triumphed over evil. Seriously, why couldn't a council officer drive from Kinsale, open them at noon, and return that night at 7pm and lock them. The same situation happened in Fountainstown last Sunday. Both toilets locked. I saw a man walking towards them on the day, and finding them locked he ran back to his car, with his bladder probably singing the old Queen song, "I Want to Break Free"! The portaloo is gone, Donald Rumsfeld borrowed it to drop on a cave in Kabul.
How many of you knew that Monday, November 5th, was "National Legalise Cannabis Day"? I didn't, until we in the 'Weekly office got a letter from a Luke "Ming" Flanagan. We were shocked, saddened, and very angry when we read the letter. Ming told us that he had sent a joint to every member of the Oireachtas. Some of you would say that most of them went to pot years ago. When I read the letter I ran to the waste basket for the envelope, but there was nothing in it, and that's why we were angry. We rang the Dail, to be greeted by a tape of Peter, Paul and Mary, singing "Puff the Magic Dragin". Further down in Mings letters he tells us he is going to give Minister Eoin Ryan a whole cannabis plant!! So typical, a minster gets a plant, a TD gets a joint, and the poor county councillors don't even get a whiff!! Ain't life a drag. All this talk of drugs would give one a headache. Questiontime: Who is the patron saint of headaches? Answer: Mother Mary Aikenhead!!

The time is 1.45am on Wednesday morning, and RTE has been showing Oireachtas report, followed by Oireachtas Committee now for the past two hours!! Can anybody tell me why this public waste of time and money is inflicted upon us? It's almost as bad as the Beckett season of plays, and to think, RTE wanted an extra 50 on to their licence fee!!

The good news for air passengers is that Concorde is back, and can cross the Atlantic in just over three hours, about the same time it takes a motorist to get from Donnybrook Hill to the Douglas Road at 8.45 in the morning!! Speaking of the morning, it's 2.30am now and the Oireachtas Committee are still on. Austin Currie looks as if he's gone to sleep, Sean Doherty's face looks very red, high blood pressure, too much sun, or a bad make-up girl in RTE, or all three!!There are about 50 screens turned on in the tribunal room, but only about 10 people there. One woman told the chairman she couldn't read her notes because she broke her glasses!! What are the odds that Denis O'Brien is sitting in his Villa in the sun, and is glued to this show via satellite link? About the same odds as hearing Westlife sing live.

By now most of you are familiar with the Homes Design exhibition held annually in Rochestown Park Hotel. One of the biggest exhibitions in Ireland is set to come to Douglas again in February 2002. Organiser Peter Crowley tells me that all the stands are fully booked, which makes me think that this one is going to be even bigger and better than the previous one. Off course, the Douglas Weekly will have its usual stand, roll on Feb, 2002.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that the zebra crossing at the community park is so badly lit that the pedestrians cannot be seen crossing at night. Now both the flashing beacons are not working, which makes it even more dangerous. A lot of elderly people and children use this crossing, and surely their safety is a priority. Local representatives take note.

To the reader who keeps on asking me, "Any news from McDonalds?" The answer is no. No telephone call, no letter, nothing. Perhaps I'm only a customer who got a Big Mac with two bites out of it, or perhaps I'm dreaming, and someday I'll wake up and discover it really didn't happen, and Ronald and I will be buddies again, who knows!!

Bye for now,
Michael O'Hanlon.

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