31st January, 2002

Congratulations to Ray Lally, Colin Doyle and Kevin Mulcahy who have been picked to play for Ireland in international soccer matches. Having three local Douglas lads to represent our country is a fantastic achievement. Well done to the local clubs who have nurtured these lads down through the years. Now all the timeless hard work and training has paid off. Last Saturday I called up to the Douglas Hall football grounds to take some photographs of the new members of the U12 girls team. We sometimes take for granted all their mentors and trainers who give up their weekends to train the young players, their only reward being when the players walk onto the ‘field of dreams’. and win, lose or draw. Finally thanks to Cummin Sports of Douglas court Shopping Centre who presented Ray Lally with a pair of football boots for next Monday’s international against the Czech Republic in Dublin. Anytime I’ve gone looking for support from the Douglas Business Community, they’ve always come up ‘trumps’. The words ‘community spirit’ spring to mind. Well done to all.
A reader asked me to mention the speed at which cars drive down the Donnybrook Hill. This reader’s elderly father lives in James Connolly Place and he has to cross the road to get the bus into town. Most of you will know that the bus stop is situated at the entrance to the Hillcourt Estate. There are also a lot of children who live in Mount Pellier Estate and they also have to cross the road to get the bus, so drivers please remember as you drive down Donnybrook Hill, there are no Linford Christies or Jesse Owens living in either of these estates mentioned. Please slow down.
Get well soon to mine, and I’m sure everybody else’s friend in Douglas, Aidan Dalton. Aidan is the jovial and ever smiling bar manager of the East Village Bar & Restaurant. Hope to see you back at work soon. Aidan, you’re missed by all the customers in the bar.
In about three months time there will be scenes of agony and ecstasy, weeping and washing of teeth. No, I’m not talking about ‘Telly Bingo’ being shown every night of the week, I’m referring to the general Election.
As the candidates travel through estates, the highways and byways of Ireland whispering to themselves the lines from a Robert Frost poem “Promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep”, I sometimes wonder what drives people to seek political office (excluding Liam Lawlor). Yet, every five years they tell us that they can do better than the others, that they really care, and perhaps they do, but they say that power corrupts in the land of the wink and the nod, it probably does. But then we turn a blind eye to it and I remember what a member of a political party said to me some time ago. “This is the real world, these things happen, don’t let it upset you, join the club.” No thanks, I’ve never been a member of any club, and never will. Anyway, I wish them all well as they seek to hold onto or secure for the first time these two letters after their name, TD.
Did any of you watch the UTV documentary on Sunday night? It was entitled “Miracles”. It followed the lives of two American christian fundamentalists, faith healers, what people do to other people in the name Jesus. One Hindu couple with a terminally ill ten year old son became christians so that Jesus would cure their son. Then the preacher told them that Jesus needed more money. They borrowed, went into debt, no food in the fridge, but sadly their child died six months later. The preacher lived in a mansion, had his own private jet. In one scene where he’s on stage before a huge audience of sick, infirm, crippled, blind, terminally ill people he organises his bucket collectors to collect cheques. Then he whispers to the audience “Don’t forget to include the expiry date of your credit card”. Obscene!! St. Nick, stoke up the fires, your friends are still around.
Finally, with an election on the way, do you believe as I do that the most serious issue in our country at the moment is not the Bertie Bowl, the Eircom share holders, the Nice Treaty, Louis Walsh’s pop bands, but the most serious issue if the terrifying rise in serious crime, muggings, assaults, etc... John O’Donoghue promised zero tolerance on crime. For God’s sake, take the streets back from the gurriers, because people are afraid to walk them at night. Ask yourself this question “Would I walk through Cork city alone at night?” I thought so, a sad reflection on our society and our law enforcers who only answer a call when the evil deed is done. Prevention is better than cure. Put Gardaí on the beat now, you’ll get my number one if you do.

Bye for now,
Michael O'Hanlon.

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