10th January, 2002

The staff members of the Dublin based Irish Chapter of Credit Unions certainly made the news this week. A syndicate of them won £500,000 in the Lotto. So what did they do when they discovered they had won? They lodged the winning ticket in a Bank of Ireland branch!! Then when the Lottery office reopened after the holidays they all went along there to be greeted by Lottery officials, two of the winners left to collect the winning ticket from the bank. But there the problems began, The bank had misplaced the ticket (not lost, misplaced). Lost is when you can’t find it, misplaced is when it’s not really lost, it’s just that it can’t be found (is there a difference?). The bank, being an honourable institution (Michael, you must be looking for a loan!!) agreed to honour the ticket. Not that the bank would actually give each winner a bag of money, but if the winners provided the bank with a bank account number the winnings would be transferred, or they could open an account with the Bank of Ireland. One thing puzzles me, why did the winners not put the winning ticket in their own safety vault? Anyway, the good news for all concerned is the misplaced (not lost) ticket has been found. It’s like a fairytale ending.
Speaking of fairytales what would you give Liam ‘Fairytale of New York’ Lawlor for Christmas? I have been trying to figure it out. What do you give a man who has 106 bank accounts? A portable colour TV? An Eir(cell) phone? A shirt with a neck size to fit his neck (size 32!!). If Jeffrey Archer had been a T.D. instead of an M.P. he’d be writing a new novel now somewhere in the bowels of his mansion. But poor Jeffrey was born in the wrong country.
The publicans are under siege again. This time it seems the laws has decided that children’s rights are being infringed upon, due to the fact that they are not welcome in bars after a certain hour. Is this a E.U. directive? Are they really serious when they maintain that a customer can walk into a bar at 11.15pm with his/her three year old and stay until closing, or bring your 6 year old daughter into a bar to watch the male strippers. Have they gone mad!! Publicans are going through a tough time with threat of legal action if they refuse to serve people who they deem to be potentially troublesome. I’ve always maintained that if somebody causes a disturbance in a licenced premises the gardaí and the publican should ensure that the culprits are brought to court and hopefully bound to the peace and barred from that pub. We hear of publicans having to pay £3,000 on the steps of the courthouse. This sum is paid to people who were refused service in the pub. Publicans also have a duty to all their customers to ensure their comfort and safety and personally I have no problem sitting next to any member of an ethnic group, any colour, race, creed, as long as they obey the same rules of decency as the rest of us. Come in, have a few drinks and then like the rest of us go home. That’s not a lot to ask for, is it?
A reader telephoned us and left a message on our answering service. The caller, a lady informed me that celebrating Women’s Little Christmas is not exclusive to Cork and then last night up in the snooker club in Donnybrook (George, this mention must be worth a free cup of coffee!!) my friend Paddy McClelland told me that Women’s Little Christmas is celebrated worldwide. When I wrote the piece I meant that only in Cork do women go out for a few drinks and dance the night away to people such as Dickie Rock and Joe Dolan. I must compliment the women who do celebrate the night. They really enjoy themselves and their behaviour is a credit to them. I’ve been saying if for years. Women should run the world. Who knows, it might be a happier place.
Another reader suggested that Douglas Gardaí might send in a monthly piece to the Weekly. A very good suggestion. There’s always room for a piece from our friends at Douglas Gardaí Station.
Finally check out Douglas Village Shopping Centre for their great £15,000 giveaway to the community, it’s nice to give something back.

Bye for now,
Michael O'Hanlon

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