21st September, 2000

It has been a funny old week. At the Eircom Shareholders Meeting the one time leader of the Labour Party Dick Spring sat with the bosses of Eircom whilst a man one would associate with the face of capitalism, Shane Ross sat with the common folk. It brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye as Dick Spring told the audience he had no cash to buy shares in Eircom. He told us that people could check his bank account, it was a fact he had no cash. Dick, I know people who were on the dole who borrowed a few hundred pounds from the Credit Union to buy shares. If you were a member of the Credit Union I'm sure your application would have received a favourable review, but then the bold Shane writes a piece in a Sunday newspaper and tells us that your income last year was over 200,000. That's 4,000 a week, it's hard to live on 600 a day isn't it.

I'm told politicians were handing out leaflets last Sunday outside the local churches. Do they know something the rest of us don't know?

Did any of you see the large adverts in the Sunday papers asking us “Are you awake or asleep” A tour been organised by Human Life International (Ireland) is taking place this week. This organisation tells us that the U.N and the E.U is actually involved in the promotion of Abortion, Contraception, Graphic Sex Education, Divorce, Homosexual practice and Radical Feminism. I have no problem with people organising meetings, but what I do find offensive is linking abortion with divorce and contraception, homosexuality, radical feminism (whatever that is). I have always maintained what two adults do in their bedroom is their own business and nobody else's. As for divorce that is a civil right, which should be available to anybody whose marriage is over. How many people do we know who ‘stayed together for the sake of the kids’, when the kids knew that their parents couldn't stand each other. John Denver wrote a song called “falling out of love” the words say it all. These organisations always turn up when an election is looming. Does Nora Bennis know something we don't?

I met a reader who spoke to me about a piece I wrote on the situation in the City Centre during the weekend. She asked me what my solution would be towards solving this huge and increasing social problem. Last year I walked through the streets of the City Centre on a Sunday morning. It made me sick! Litter, urine in doorways, vomit on windows, and worse again side streets, and the streets not cleaned until Monday. Is it right that a tax paying & rate paying shop owner has to clean the contents of someone's stomach off his window every Monday morning? (and not just in the city centre) Do any of you remember a case in Dublin last year when a youth kicked and broke a bottle, which was on the footpath. The judge sentenced him to clean a road (both footpaths) or face trial. The youth's Mother was on the radio telling us that her son was been humiliated, and experts told us that it could have a lasting physiological effect on the youth. What a load of rubbish! The present situation is that somebody found drunk & disorderly is fined about 30, which is chicken feed to somebody earning 300 to 400 a week. Make them clean up theirs and other people's mess, and they won't commit that offence again.

Speaking of cleaning up, you all know how I feel about litter, and the condition of Douglas (I've been writing about it now for three years) Well at last things are beginning to happen. A Douglas Tidy Towns Committee has been formed and they are to hold a public meeting this Thursday at the Community Hall at 8.00. I will be there, hope to see you there. Perhaps now we can get something done about our area. Incidentally I hope to also see all our politicians at the meeting. I'll let you know who turned up.

Finally congratulations to my son Michael and his wife Aisling (daughter of Tony & Helen Healy, Grange) on the birth of their first child, a daughter on Monday night (well officially Tuesday 12.05 am)

Bye for Now,
Michael O’Hanlon.


PS Congratulations to the people of Frankfield on your new school, and well done to everybody connected with its construction in a record 5 weeks!






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