20th December, 2001

Well, it’s finally come around again, that magic time for young and old when we wish everybody we meet a ‘Merry Christmas’. For some it will be a Christmas tinged with sadness as they remember loved ones no longer around. But what is really impressive are the crowds who visit the cemeteries on Christmas Day to pay their respects and say a silent hello to their loved ones. I always look on Christmas as a time to reflect on the past year and thank God for the opportunity to see another one. My wife and I were walking down to the club last Friday night and it was bitterly cold but I glanced up and the stars were all over the sky and a sharp, cold frosty night with the stars twinkling makes a beautiful picture. I can’t help it , Christmas brings out the sentiment in me.
Congratulations to John Cuddihy and his staff at the Texaco Service Station who were recent winners in the top Texaco stop in Ireland. I bought a few cartons of chicken wings dipped inn honey and garlic from the deli back to the office and the staff wanted more (now look what you’ve started John!)
Every Sunday I buy the Independent. i must admit I preferred the old ‘Indo’ but then they introduced a new format, three parts. I suppose nothing stays the same. But the writers are good. Hugh Leonard, Gene Kerrigan, Eoghan Harris (a Douglas man), John Drennan, Declan Lynch etc., one might not always agree with their views, but that’s what makes it a good paper. It used to cost £1.20 until last Sunday!! There was a price increase of 10p.
Did I read recently in the Indo that almost 1,000,000 copies of that paper are sold every Sunday. Good luck to Dr. Tony or should that be Sir Anthony? I knew him as Tony O’Reilly when he lived in Ashton flats in Blackrock Road and worked in Suttons on the South Mall, but that’s another story. It’s last week’s story that amazes me. Former TD SeŠn Sherwin took the Indo to the High court and sued for libel. He won, but was awarded only £250, with each side being ordered by the court to pay its own costs which were £100,000. So the Indo was stuck with a legal bill of £100,000. What happens? The Indo goes up in price by 10p. Multiply 10p by 1,000,000 copies or so sold and what do we get? £100,000. On second thoughts I think I got it wrong, that should be a million readers. I don’t know how many copies of the Sunday Indo are sold but I do know and I feel as if I’m paying my contribution to the lawyer’s fees. What do you think?
on Tuesday night I called down to St. Patrick’s church in Rochestown for the St. Columba’s school Christmas pagent. It was fantastic. The church was beautiful and well done to the organisers and of course the children who made it all possible. What struck me on the night was the sense of community that was apparent on the night. Perhaps in the future a local Christmas panto might be an option worth looking at.
We finally got our Christmas tree lights switched on last Friday night. Many thanks to Jim Hanley, Aidan Crowne, SeŠn Fitzgerald, the lads from the County Council, SeŠn Treacy who played and sung Christmas songs, the E.S.B’s John Courtney and Deirdre Forde who made some very helpful telephone calls and finally to local man and founding member of Douglas Credit Union, Alfie Kavanagh who switched on the lights and thanks to the families who turned up for the switch on.
The year has been a big one for us here in The Douglas Weekly. We moved from Shamrock Lawn to St. Patrick’s Mills, the heart of Douglas. I want to thank all within the Mill who made us feel so welcome. The Mill really is a village within Douglas and one only has to walk through it to discover how many retail and services are on offer there.
Finally, thanks to all our advertisers, who continue to advertise with us. Your support and confidence in The Douglas Weekly has seen it grow from an acorn to an oak. Thank you to the readers who support our advertisers. Thanks to all our contributors for all their sports results every week. We hope to see some of you at the Douglas Weekly Christmas Party night (sold out) and if not, well there’s the Women’s Little Christmas party night on January 6th with Dickie Rock and Rockin’ Gerry at the Rochestown Park Hotel (tickets on sale only at the Douglas Weekly office.

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true.
May you always do for others.
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars.
And climb every rung.
And may you stay forever young.
May you grow up to be righteous.
May you grow up to be true.
May you always know the truth.
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous.
Stand upright and be strong.
And may you stay forever young. (Bob Dylan)

Happy Christmas, Michael O'Hanlon.

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