25th November, 1999

Last Saturday afternoon I attended the official opening of the eight new units at Douglas Lions House. One of the residents Michael Barry showed me around his beautiful self contained apartment. The most compact and comfortable home one could wish for. The members of Douglas Lions, who to me are unsung heroes, go about their caring work in a discreet way, raising thousands of pounds towards giving the elderly a sense of dignity and most important a home within the community. People like Sean Fitzgerald, Liam Moloney, and Paddy Barry are only three of the many who to me are the essence of community. I’m told a couple who reside there are to become engaged shortly. I took some photos, so check out the Weekly next week. Ladies and Gentlemen of Douglas Lions, take a bow, you deserve it.
On Sunday night I went to see the Peter Prendergast Awards Night at the Rochestown Park Hotel, the recipient was Ireland’s most famous Drummer, our own Joe Mac of the Dixies. A huge crowd turned up on the night to pay tribute to Joe, once again I spotted a lot of locals at the function, and everybody seemed to enjoy their night out to honour Joe. As usual the impeccable Noel Welch was M.C. for the night and I’m told the ageless ‘Rocker’ Declan Ryan stole the show.
On Monday Night I went to a book launch performed by Michael Martin T.D. Minister of Education and Science. The venue was Regina Mundi School for girls. Thirty eight years ago Miss Daisy Corrigan fulfilled a life’s dream when she opened the school for the first time. Now teacher Anne Marie Desmond has written a book on the life and times of Daisy Corrigan. The huge crowd that turned up for the Book Launch was testimony to the esteem and love this great woman was held in. My three daughters were students of Regina Mundi School and they have nothing but kind words and memories of their days at Regina Mundi. A fitting tribute to a woman described by the Minister as “Before Her Time”. One story told about Daisy was when she called to see Patrick Hillary, Minister of Education (many years ago) Daisy was informed by his secretary that the Minister was very busy “I’ll wait,” replied Daisy, after about two hours waiting Daisy approached the secretary and asked “may I use your telephone”. “Yes,” replied the secretary. Daisy continued “I’m going to telephone the Irish Times and tell them how long I’ve been waiting here”. Paddy Hilary was out to see Daisy in two minutes. My kind of woman. Well done to all for a lovely night and to Miss Motherway, thanks for the glass of wine.
I’m sitting here watching the R.T.E News and it makes depressing viewing. A Christian Brother is sentenced to thirty six years in prison for sexual assaults on children during the 50’s & 60’s. What I can never understand is did any other Brothers or staff hear the childrens cries when this man committed his perverted acts over many years? I’m sick and tired of listening to the excuse “he was a victim himself when he was a child”, is that all the more reason NOT to inflict pain similar on an innocent child that you allege was inflicted on you. I’m sure that a lot of readers were, like me, school children of the 50’s. I was beaten by ‘bald sicko’ in the Model School, his weapon was a half sweeping brush handle which he used with glee on nine and ten year old children. But at least I went home to my mother and father after school. Those poor children in Lota were orphans and their home was a living hell. They had nobody to turn to for help and if they had they would probably have got a beating. Lives ruined forever, and I don’t believe that people didn’t know. The Head Master in the Model School heard the beatings and cries, but did nothing. They’re all as guilty because they knew and did nothing.
Like last week I’m once again watching Oireachtas Report. I missed the Dail report because I was watching Snooker Player Jimmy White lose once again. Senator Joe Costello called rogue builders “Cowboys”, he was followed by Senator David Norris who also called the people who build or retain and then seek planning “Cowboys”. Gentlemen, your chances of regulating planning laws were summed up years ago by the greatest cowboy of them all (not C.J.) John Wayne when he said “That’ll be the day pilgrim”.
Next Monday night there will be a meeting open to everyone, to discuss the setting up of a Tidy Towns Committee in Douglas. I think it’s a great idea and one long overdue. The venue is the Rochestown Park Hotel, the time is 8.00pm. Be there if you care.
Finally I think its sad that David Irvine, the confused historian was not allowed to speak at U.C.C . Its sad that a country such as ours renowned for its speakers and historians could not produce someone to show this looney up for what he is, a fruitcake!! Hitler burnt books written by Jews, while a debate was gagged by defenders of Democracy in Cork.

Bye for now,
Michael O’Hanlon.

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