29th July 1999

A reader telephoned us at the “Weekly” just before we went to print to let us know that she has found a child’s gold bracelet in Douglas shopping centre. If you, or anybody you know, has lost one give us a call at 896496 and we’ll put you in contact with the finder of the bracelet.

I was thrilled last week when I saw Douglas had been swept on the Sunday before, but like so many thrills it was a fleeting thing. Last Sunday there wasn’t sight of a brush to be seen in Douglas. I have learned that Douglas is to be swept every second Sunday. Last week I mentioned that the open-top litter bins have to go, and hey presto, they’re gone!! They are to be replaced by three new black topped bins. Well done to the council, and to people who put household refuse in these bins - it is an offence and you are libel for prosecution. Don’t do it!
I met Ross Anderson the other day and we talked about the closing and possible demolition of Rochelle school on Old Blackrock Road. We talked about how the Celtic Tiger was devouring everything in its path, and Ross made a comment, which I liked. He said, “Ah yes, the Celtic Tiger, all teeth and no taste”. I think it just about sums it up. A good man to have on your quiz team is Ross, not to forget our own Tom Deasy. Ann Towler in Ballincollig and Helen Sparrow. Not forgetting Dominic McGrath from Shamrock Lawn. Roll on October when the quiz season starts again.
I’m sure I speak for all of Douglas and beyond when I wish Father Vincent Hodnett the best of luck in his new parish out in Blackpool. Vincent has been with us for only three years and I know from speaking to many people that he will be missed. I’ll always remember him for his “West Cork Wave”. Incidently, his replacement is Father Christopher Fitzgerald and we welcome him to Douglas. I wonder if he is a Man. Utd fan also? The new P.P. from Frankfield is Father Dan Crowley.
My daughter went on holidays to America with her child. My wife and I insisted that she get a harness to attach herself to the child. My old friend Dominic Walsh of Grange came to the rescue with his own invention - a wrist to wrist harness. He also makes pouches for money for when you go on holidays. Dominic can be contacted at 021-363161 for all your holiday security needs - Support local !
Next tuesday morning the changes in the Douglas village shopping centre car park come into operation. Drivers will no longer be able to drive straight through the centre. It will probably take some time for us drivers to adjust to the new system, but bear with it and give it a chance and see how it works out. If you wish to write and let us know what you think of it, your comments are always welcome.
By now most of you will know that Joe Piper of Piper amusements passed away last week. Joe was the last remaining granson of George Piper, who came from England 121 years ago. We all took a ride in the “bumpers” down through the years and it was Joe who ran them from the hut in the corner. I only got to know Joe when I spoke to him and his wife Georgina last year about the history of the Pipers. He had a great love of music of the 50’s and 60’s and local bands and singers like the Dixies, Art Supple, Pat Lynch, Declan Ryan, etc... We heard their records played in public for the first time in the “merries”, because at that time there was only one radio station, Radio Eireann, and if they didn’t like your record only one other option was open, take it to Joe Piper and most of Cork would hear it.
Last year I played the music at Joe’s 70th birthday party and when I played the late 50’s Rock’n’Roll Joe took to the floor with Georgina - and could that man jive !! I’ve mentioned that since to people I’ve met and they say, “you should have seen him dance in his youth, a joy to behold!!”
As I stood in the summer sun last Saturday evening in Crosshaven waiting for the funeral enterauge to come from Cork my mind started to drift back to the late fifties, walking up to Goats Cross, eating Miss Murphys steaming hot chips and Slim Whitmans, “Indian Love Call” in the background, booming out all over Crosshaven. One of the last things he and the Piper family did before he passed away was to organise a free night for the Kosovan visitors in Crosshaven. I was there, and although Joe was very ill he still ran the “bumpers” for the night and had a smile for everybody. What more can I say except thanks for the merries, the memories and the good music Joe. My deepest sympathy to Georgina, David, Mark, Jim and Shane.
Finally, this being the bank holiday weekend, take care on the roads, belt-up, take your time and see you all next week.

Bye for now.
Michael O’Hanlon

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