4th November, 1999

Wasn’t that rugby match on Sunday just fantastic. No folks, I’m not talking about Douglas beating Crosshaven by a point, I’m talking about the All Blacks and France. At the end of the first half it looked all over, but the second half was a joy to behold. The French came out with a passion and hunger. I know they were hungry because almost at the end of the first half I saw a French player nibbling on an All Black ear, and to be truthful I don’t think he was romantically inclined. Mike Tyson, you have a lot to answer for! To tell the truth, I’m not surprised. Any people who eat snails, frogs legs, cows fed on human you know what, I suppose an odd ear here and there is only a starter. Seriously, it was a great game and should do a great deal to promote the game of rugby.
Last weeks story “High Noon at Frankfield” was written by Douglas man Ronnie McGinn. At the end of the story, which was set in 1958, Ronnie mentioned times were changing in Douglas. The bus service was to be extended to Frankfield. Ronnie, 41 years later the people of Frankfield are still waiting. Two weeks ago a reader asked me if I would print the Unions side of the story in this ongoing dispute. I said I would. I’m still waiting for the telephone call. He did tell me that the company wanted the drivers to drive smaller buses to Frankfield for less money. On the day I met this man it was about 4.30 in the afternoon and the rain was pouring down. I saw youngsters getting off the bus in Grange and then having to walk in the pouring rain to the end of Frankfield. It would not be tolerated anywhere else.
Several months ago, Carrigaline based councillor Paula Desmond, stated that Carrigaline had a huge young population and unless something was done to provide facilities for the youth of the area there would be big social problems. I totally agree with her. Did I read somewhere that 50% of the population of Douglas is under 21 years of age. Several readers have been in contact with us concerning the gangs of youths who seem to be congregating lately in Douglas East at night. There have been some fights, and people are being intimidated by these gangs, some of them are not from the Douglas area. The situation is going to get worse. Douglas Garda Station has to provide service to 42,000 people and the dogs on the street know that there are not enough Gardai in Douglas. Don’t blame the Gardai, let your public representatives know how you feel. We do need Gardai on the beat (foot patrol) in Douglas Village every night. If need be, enforce the law against loitering. And finally to our politicians - provide some decent facilities for our youth or we will have big social problems in Douglas.
I called down tonight to collect some photographs at St. Columba’s Hall. Douglas Rugby club are based at the hall and this year they celebrate their 21st birthday thanks to the late Joe O’Reilly who founded the club 21 years ago. I love the hall, it’s the heart and soul of Douglas. It’s got a great feeling of history. Tonight a big order of fish & chips was delivered and when Frank Murphy offered me a pint and the girls offered me some fish and chips I was almost tempted, and like Oscar Wilde, I can resist anything except temptation, but I had to leave to get the Weekly ready for the printer in the morning. I will be back in a few weeks for the big night. More about this next week.
The best of luck to Nemo Rangers on Sunday when they take on UCC, and congratulations to the Rockies on their great win last week.
To all our exiles in foreign lands, we are approaching Christmas and if you would like to wish your family and friends festive and New Years greetings you can do so by emailing your message to douglasweekly@tinet.ie.
Well done to the stores manager Derry Healy at Dennehy’s Cross motors who was very considerate and helpful to one of our readers. Take a bow Dennehys!
I was watching a documentary on Meningitis recently. It seems that the deadliest strain of that terrible illness in Meningitis G. It killed 300 children in the UK last year. The good news is that Cuban scientists have discovered a vaccine and they have wiped out the disease. The bad news is that because the USA have a trade embargo on Cuba, they will not let the Cubans market it. It seems wrong to me that children will have to die because of U.S. foreign policy that goes back to 1960. The Americans are doing business with Vietnam, where 54,000 American soldiers died for nothing, yet a tiny neighbour like Cuba is being starved of essentials while Bill Clinton smokes Cuban cigars. At least sometimes he smokes them.

Bye for now,
Michael O’Hanlon.

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