Bones remain a mystery Douglas Hyde's mention
Published 26/06/2010 | 05:00
Sometimes, a news story pops up that is both strange and disturbing -- particularly in South Africa, where they are reported quite matter-of-factly.
This one relates to a skeleton that has been found under a bush next to Belfast Hospital -- one of many Irish place names that pop up here. Given the skeleton had hospital clothes on, you'd have thought it would have been easy to identify. Not so. A number of families have come forward in the belief that the skeleton is one of their own.
While the remains are believed to be those of a man who disappeared from the hospital late last year, a woman has come forward to say her son, who went missing four years ago wearing hospital clothes, could be the corpse.
Meanwhile, in 2004, a 19-year-old who vanished was spotted near Belfast before going off the radar. DNA samples are being taken, with a forensic laboratory in Pretoria on standby for a facial reconstruction.
douglas hyde's mention
Good to know that Irish landmarks don't go unnoticed out in these parts. In 'The Times' newspaper here yesterday, their 'On This Day' segment included Douglas Hyde's inauguration as the first president of the Irish Republic as one of the four highlights. Slightly more disappointing was that Douglas only made third on the list.
While the death of Michael Jackson in 2009 understandably took top spot, second place went to the 1630 introduction of the table fork to America from England.
It's not all bad though. Trailing in last place was Croatia and Slovenia's declaration of independence in 1991 amid the bloody Balkan war.
A belated doff of the cap to the English journalist who produced one of the quips of the tournament, about a possible dilemma. "How do you go to the laundrette in South Africa and explain -- without causing offence -- that you wish to separate your whites and colours?"