There are few things as haunting as the abduction of a child … believe me, I know!

Another day, another city, another hysterical parent, another innocent child abducted…gone…in the blink of an eye. Child abduction or attempted child abduction, although rare, can happen to anyone; even the most conscientious parent/grandparent/minder. You’re in the shops, juggling with several bags and an energetic toddler, your attention is diverted for a single second and bam…your child has vanished.

  Like every parent/grandparent listening to the news last week, my heart lurched in my chest when word broke that a toddler, someone’s baby, had gone missing from a Primark store in the UK, allegedly abducted by two girls, themselves, at age 13 and 14 years, mere kids. Surely to God this was a mistake?   

  Thankfully the alleged little victim was found safe and well. Later, when it emerged that, according to disturbing reports carried in the Irish Independent and other media, the alleged kidnappers, both formally charged with the crime of ‘kidnap with the intention of committing a relevant sexual offence’ had, before snatching the child, shoplifted such items as dummies (soothers), baby milk and a bottle, I just couldn’t hold back the tears…and the rage; because for me, this procedure appeared to be premeditated!

  You see, there are very few things as haunting or as horrifying as child abduction, or even a possible attempted one, and last week’s incident brought back horrific memories of two years’ ago when my beautiful angel of a granddaughter, then 7, and her best pal were approached by two teenage girls whilst playing on the secure landing, literally outside of her mother’s door, in their apartment building which is located in a quiet, but densely populated, north Dublin suburb.

  The teens, according to CCTV footage, and neighbours, were not resident in the apartments and therefore should not have been able to gain entry due to not having the main door security code. Yet they managed to get inside unhindered, travel in the lift to the third floor, and, when the doors opened, grab my granddaughter and her friend and drag them both inside the lift. However, mercifully, my granddaughter’s quick-thinking averted a tragedy. She kicked, punched and screamed at her attacker, managing to release herself; those screams alerted her mother who immediately contacted the rest of the family and the Gardaí.

  I have to tell you readers that when my former husband called me, starting the conversation with, “relax now Mill, everything’s okay but…” I knew something was wrong. Panic and terror were just two of the emotions I experienced as I was, in that instant, propelled into the kind of hell I could never have imagined.

            It was the kind of hell where you know the child you adore beyond all comprehension had been in mortal danger and there was absolutely nothing I, her mother or anyone else could have done to prevent it; other than of course, teaching her age and ability appropriate safety skills; which we had, and which, I believe, saved both hers and her pal’s lives that day.

  However folks, as I calmed down, sheer relief, consolation and reassurance began to soothe and quieten me; then, as the lingering effect of this cruel and unusual incident began to blight my soul, my composure was quickly overshadowed by  incandescent rage and murderous intentions and I prayed I’d get my hands on the pair of sociopaths before the Gardaí. Yep, I’m not ashamed to say retribution entered my head and took root; especially when, following a fruitless Garda search, one member of the force, whom I’m not expecting to make detective anytime soon, concluded, “ah sure it was probably just two young wans messin’,  ya know teenagers.”

  Sherlock probably had a point, then again, maybe he hadn’t and maybe these evil, degenerate brats will strike again; we’ll never know. We never caught them. What we do know is, we dodged a bullet that day, we were lucky, and so was that little British toddler.

Bono…a man with a plan!

Ah sure don’t ya just love retired nun and all round good egg St. Bono; the man who has managed to be photographed whilst being flanked by such prolific figures as the Pope, supermodels and Hollywood royalty and lauded for, what – well, being a cliché I suppose.

  Yep, you just have to hand it to someone who, along with banging out a few albums with his band, has successfully turned his hand to trying to cure the entire world of all its ills, keeping him and his pointless opinions barely relevant and yet, still in the spotlight.

  I mean you can’t open a newspaper, click on an internet site or turn on a radio without hearing his witless waffle and last week’s ludicrous suggestion whilst speaking to a US Senate subcommittee on Capitol Hill was no exception. Yes folks, our resident goon-in-waiting mortifyingly proposed that the way to combat terrorism is not through strategic planning; nay, it’s satire and laughter. A good aul belly laugh!  And he was serious! I know that ‘cos, amidst the politicians’ piddling sniggers God, sorry Bono said…”No, I’m serious.” Let me know how that works out for ya pal!

It’s Wine O’Clock – but addiction is not just for the rich and privileged!

An implant, traditionally prescribed for use by heroin addicts, which contains a drug called Naltrexone, is being used by professional women in their 30s, 40s and 50s who apparently cannot cope with the trials of everyday life without their nightly bottle of wine! Wow, now this is worrying. What’s also worrying is that, at a cost of €1,150, this drug is presumably being administered to wealthy, spoiled princesses who can afford it; or as I like to call them, the Ladies who Liquidly Lunch!

  But what about those women who, following a particularly bad day, are feeling lost, lonely, isolated, beaten down, desolate and depressed by life, and who, due to lack of support, get the urge to crack open a bottle of cheap wine? They do so in the hope that they’ll somehow manage to find a bit of solace – and a smidgen of comfort – in that delicious nectar but don’t realise that they’re possibly, dangerously, drinking themselves into an early grave? How will they afford the €1,150 for this rich, privileged woman’s treatment? How will they manage to ‘buy’ themselves a cure and rid themselves of this vicious cycle? That’s what I’d like to know.