My wife and I were travelling on business and had been staying at the Radisson Blu in Letterkenny Ireland for just under two weeks when I caught the flu and became very congested. I'm asthmatic and congestion is a problem. My wife ran the shower for me to get up a steam, hoping a hot shower and steam would offer some relief.
The hotel wasn't built with showers, instead a shower head is attached to a metal hose that is attached to the water main. After my wife turned the water on to run; a small rip in the metal shower hose was broke up and unknown to us, water shot out across the floor and into the hall.
We shut the water off and mopped up the spilled water with towels and called the front desk, told them the problem, asked to have the shower fixed and to have new towels brought up to the room. The clerk said he would and that was the last we heard from him.
Three hours later, I phoned the reception again and asked for a repairman and clean towels. The repairman arrived, fixed the shower head and left. Several minutes later a furious hotel manager called. She made three points in rapid succession. She was charging us $200 for the damage done by the faulty hose, there were two persons in a room booked for one and she was charging for the second person with penalties and that her workman had informed her that I was ill with the flu and did I want to see a doctor?
I was taken aback by the verbal assault and the invasion of privacy and general obnoxiousness of it all. I told her, no, I didn't want to see a doctor. She said that it was not in the best interest of the other hotel guests to allow a sick person to "Carry on" in the hotel. I told her we were leaving the hotel that day so it wasn't an issue.
I phoned my wife who was at her consulting site and told her about the manager's abrasive call. She called the manager and tried to explain that the shower hose was broken.
The manager replied that "You and your husband are telling two different stories so we'll get you both in the same room and get the story straight"
They agreed to meet at 5:00 that afternoon. I phoned the manager and told her I wanted the broken hose present as well as the workman who fixed the hose.
That blew her fuse. She went off on me. She snapped that the workman had taken the hose with him and had left the property for the day and, she informed me, I was not to tell her what to do in her hotel. I asked her to calm down. She replied in a manner that made me think she was speaking for the benefit of someone else she said "You are raising your voice at me"
"No one has raised their voice at you" I replied "I have Streep throat, I can barely talk,"
"In that case" she snapped "You are being aggressive towards me and I feel threatened by your mannerism"
I told her she was being aggressive I was simply defending myself. She hissed something and hung up. Several seconds later she called back and told me that check it was past noon and I was to leave the hotel "immediately"
I explained that we had arranged for a late checkout and we were leaving the hotel in four hours away, that I had a temperature, the chills and a breathing problem and I needed to rest before a four hour ride to Dublin. Her reply was that I was to vacate the room or that she would arrange with the local authorities to take me out of the room.
So I left.
Widow of John Furlong remarried Brendan Behan’s father in 1922
A pension application for a man whose death changed the course of Irish literature is contained in the Military Pensions Archive files released today.
The mother of the Behans was turned down for a pension despite having been married to an Easter Rising veteran.
Kathleen Behan, the mother of Brendan, Dominic and Brian, claimed a pension for her first husband John Furlong who died in 1918 from influenza.
King Edward VIII, formerly Edward, Prince of Wales, making his first radio broadcast to the world on the 1st March 1936. Newly released files show that IRA volunteers tried to kidnap the Prince of Wales in 1922 in an attempt to have a death sentence commuted. Photograph: PA IRA tried to kidnap Prince of Wales in 1922
In a 1945 reference for his former secretary Eamon DeValera wrote : ’Miss O’Connell has read for me her evidence. I agree with it in general.’ Eamon de Valera pictured in uniform circa 1914. I
It is not clear from the military pensions file if he died from the Spanish flu which broke out at that time.
She remarried the house painter and Republican Stephen Behan in 1922. Her new husband was the man who would be the father of the famous literary dynasty.
In her pension application, she stated that John Furlong had died from “influenza or pneumonia contracted from chest rendered delicate from using flour bags for fortifications in Jacobs Biscuit Factory.”
Her pension application included a letter from a doctor, whose signature is illegible, and who stated that he had attended to Furlong in 1917 who had bronchitis “said to be contracted during rebellion of 1916”.
She listed her brother Peadar Kearney, who wrote the national anthem, as a reference.
She was deemed ineligible for the pension as she had remarried before the Army Pensions Act 1923 came into being.
Under the terms of the act, the dependents of Easter Rising veterans could claim an allowance, but Mrs Behan was deemed not be a dependent of her late husband as she had remarried in 1922.
The files also show that her son Roger Casement (Rory) Furlong, who was the Behan’s half-brother, successfully claimed for a funeral grant of £300 for Kathleen Behan when she died in 1984.
Rory Furlong also successfully claimed a 1916 medal of service awarded posthumously to his father.