16th March, 2000


Next to a church in the afternoon, is there any place more peaceful than a graveyard?
I frequently pay a call to my parents' final resting-place. As I pause to pray I realise I stand on the very spot that will be my location for a much longer period of time than I will spend alive in this world.
I vary my stroll through rows, reading the headstones, amazed at the high number of souls who passed on at an early age. It enables me to appreciate my gift of life. How precious time is, and renewing my zest for life I resolve to build a tower of love for those nearest and dearest to me now, rather than towers of stone when they have passed on. Not so easy in today's steeplechase called life. But let's try!
Neil O'Donoghue


Dear Editor
The first mass of lent, the first Ash Wednesday of the millennium, St. Columba's Church @ 7.20am, and almost full: such a spectacle would never make the front pages of our newspapers. "Churches empty on Ash Wednesday " might be a better seller.
It is not the size of the attendance which prompts me to write, simply the fact that so many young people made the effort to offer sacrifice to God at this early hour on a day when one is not obliged to attend mass. It says a little more about our young people and churches going than we usually hear or read about.
A missionary visiting Douglas years ago told us school children that one mass was greater than all the prayers one could offer, good and all as they are.
Were the church to go on a marketing spree at this Lenten season its slogan might well be " Plenty of masses still left"
Name and address with Editor


Dear Douglas weekly,
Here I am on one of my precious days off putting pen to paper, seeking either consolation or sympathy. I'm not sure which and to be honest I'm not bothered which at this stage. I'm the mother of one child - a 3 year old, going to playschool. The staff are genuinely committed to the children, whom I'm sure have a great time there. The only problem is the "Uninvited non paying guests" at the play school who my darling child insists on hanging out with. I should probably state at this stage that the guests are headlice. Ironically I constantly feared about my child's social abilities, as the only child, but it seems she's most popular and insists on bringing these friends home every week. I have tried natural remedies, herbal sprays and finally radical chemical treatments all with various results. My home is spotless, as is my child. This inevitable prompts the usual "they love to nest on clean heads", which I've heard at least 48 million times since the initial landing. What do I do? Let her get absolutely grotty so that these relentless feckers decide there's probably a cleaner head around and vacate mammy's angel's I think not. I have read various articles and tried all sorts of schemes, but so far I've failed miserably.
If you've been here you've probably also heard "Every child gets them" or "They can't live on anything but heads2. I obviously can't speak for you, but I can say that I for one would rather sleep rough in a coal bunker than shack up for the night with these things in my clean comfy bed. And as for "Every child gets them", sure; but every week?
Before you reply with "Have you tried? ". The answer is yes I have. My husband maintains a shaved head is the only answer. I'm not that deranged yet! But I'm getting closer every week. Naturally after every treatment, there's an industrial style scrub down of the house, including changing the linen etc. And as for they die after leaving heads? Ya! Great but I'm not chancing it.
I've decided I'm not allowing this to become a part of my life's recreational activities. Weeknights - nit picking. Weekends - de-lousing, or follow up treatment. Having said all that it's getting to the stage where I won't be able to afford to do anything else @ £100 between crèche and treatment every week.
As regards to the play-school which is the only possible place of origin. The kids take naps on mattresses, which sends me into shock every time I hear it. It looks clean and the sheets are changed regularly according to themselves. But the same children are re-infecting each other every time they get together. Don't get me wrong I would never blame the child. I don't know who's bought it with them to be honest that's irreverent now. I feel sorry for the child if it's the same individual. I have heard there's an epidemic at the moment, and that's where it gets you -working mothers. Out all day and too tired to care about housework when they get home. No doubt most of you working mothers will agree that the working does not end when, you get home, it's just that you're not paid for it and anyway its not as if I have 12 children and I don't get around to him until Thursdays.
I have become completely obsessed with these things. Each morning I gamble on who's coat looks safer to put mine next too. And the evenings are spent cleaning up, preparing for catching up on all the other things.
If this letter gives you nothing more than a laugh then I'm glad but if you're just realising you're not alone them I've done something right. You see I figure if we were able to talk about this openly they might not be thriving in the underworld.
"Educate so that you may be free" - so what's that he's talking about. I'll sign off for now and live in hope that any child becomes an introverted recluse that is as far as attracting uninvited visitors is involved
Over Worked Tormented Mother
(Name and address with the editor)


Dear Michael,
As manager of Douglas Court Shopping Centre I would sincerely like to thank everybody associated with the Fashion show that proved to be such a roaring success in the Rochestown Park hotel last Tuesday,7th March, 2000.

I would particularly like to thank the following people:
· Rotary Clubs of Douglas, Bishopstown,Glanmire and Cork.
· Douglas Village Shopping Centre and all their fashion Stores.
· Douglas Court Fashion Stores.
· Ashton School
· Douglas Community School.
· Liam Lally and all the staff at The Rochestown Park Hotel.
· Claire Cullinane and Illusive Model Agency.

Most importantly I would like to thank the people who voted with their feet by coming on the night and contributing so generously to this admirable cause ie St Gabriel's School, Curraheen Road.
The night was a major success for all involved and hopefully I have not overlooked anybody who so richly deserves our gratitude.
Once again, many thanks to all.
Regards, Derek Rusk


Dear Michael
Due to re-development of my present address, I am looking for a room /flat in the Douglas area for the next eighteen months. I have excellent references and can afford to pay £50 / £75 per week provided the landlord will accept the area rent allowance. I am self employed and the rent can be paid directly into the landlord's bank account. If you have a room / flat available please contact me.
Name and address with the Douglas Weekly.