Monday, January 28, 2008

Abbey Vocational School is celebrating 25 years

Abbey Vocational School 25th Anniversary (Courtesy of Donegal Democrat)

The Abbey Vocational School is celebrating 25 years at the Glebe in Donegal Town. A "Night Of Music & Memories" is being organised for Friday, 2nd May with a Supper and Cabaret in the Abbey Hotel. The Parents Association, in conjunction with the AVS, are organising this event. Any old photographs or memorabilia would be very much appreciated and will add to the event. Photographs can be emailed to the following address: abbeyvs@gmail.com or can be left into the school off to Carolin. Please supply names, dates and any other information where possible. Photos should have name and return address attached. Any queries to Angela at 087 2789435
or any committee member.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Hairy Tale...

Raz, "The G" & Tiny.......
hit town, beers to hand and the craic was good... when the "G" hears whispers that the establishment we are frequenting has a miricle cure for hair loss...
this is true... not a word of a lie!
Our "G" consumed large quantities of this queer suff and low and behold .........!!
"He has a full head of shining locks"
Strange but true...


HMMMMMMmmmmmm

I do believe a wee word of thanks is due to Miss Sarah O' Connor she is the devilish young lady who made it all possible...







Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 18, 2008

News!

Last post for a few weeks as I'll be over home next week. I'll be in Donegal from Sat till Thursday, then in Dublin until Sunday when I have to head back to Boston (to go to friggin work on Monday! grrrr ).

So here's a bunch of news tidbits that I meant to post ages ago:

Drug rehab numbers are up in Donegal, either means more people addicted to drugs, or more people are seeking treatment:
http://www.oceanfm.ie/onair/donegalnews.php?articleid=000002234
The report in this morning's Irish Independent shows that while alcohol continues to be the dominant drug in the region, accounting for 855 treatment referrals in counties Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim in 2004, other drugs accounted for 135 referrals during the same period.

Of the drug referrals, opiates accounted for 19 referrals or 14%.

Number of passenger as Carrickfin airport are up:
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000001452
http://www.nwipp-newspapers.com/dn/free/333317047212930.php
A RECORD 61,410 passengers used Donegal Airport in 2007 according to figures released yesterday (Thursday) afternoon. The Operations Manager at Carrickfinn, Eilis Barrett, said this represented an 8.3 per cent increase on 2006.

Either 30 or 39 done for DUI over the holidays, however there were less accidents:
http://www.derryjournal.com/inishowen/39-Donegal-motorists-arrested-for.3639924.jp
http://www.donegalpost.com/2008/01/04/accidents-down-but-30-arrests/

No unwanted pets given for Xmas (or at least none turned into the shelter, I'm sure some fecker somewhere dumped a puppy on a main road grrrr):
http://www.oceanfm.ie/onair/donegalnews.php?articleid=000002293

So what is the quickest route from Donegal Town to Dublin?
http://www.boards.ie
Meself, I"ll head down the M4 to the N4, and might stop near Lough Arrow, there's some Megalithic tombs near there at Carrowkeel that I'd like to take a look at if the weather isn't too bad.

More about Ted's Milk Float!

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0114/breaking55.html?via=me
A festival celebrating the Father Ted TV series has been expanded to a week-long event this year.

The 2008 event, which begins on February 25th and runs until March 2nd, is planning an anniversary ball in memory of Father Ted actor Dermot Morgan, who died 10 years ago after finishing the last episode of the Channel 4 comedy.

...

Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews will be guests of honour in the local community hall which featured in the hit show. Father Ted was set on the fictitious Craggy Island but was shot at various locations in Co Clare.

Inis Mor hosted last year's inaugural Ted Fest, and organiser Peter Phillips said the Lovely Girls competition and Toilet Duck Comedy Award will feature again this year.

He said the Song For Europe contest will be running again.

"Other highlights of the festival include the World's Biggest Cup of Tea, the First All-Ireland Blondes-Only Snakes and Ladders Tournament, The Craggy World Cup and Buckaroo Speed Dating."

Tickets for this year's Ted Fest were sold out within 30 minutes.

Morgan died aged 45 after he suffered a heart attack at his home just 24 hours after finishing recording the last episode of Father Ted

© 2008 ireland.com


Right so which wan of youse is going to take some snaps of it for the blog? :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

News.

Air Corp to provide air service to bring rape victims to Dublin for care and treatment:
http://www.oceanfm.ie/onair/donegalnews.php?articleid=000002301
The Air Corps helicopter will be made available to transport rape victims from Donegal to Dublin for treatment, a Donegal senator has said ... Senator Keavney also emphasised that work will continue to develop the services offered by Sexual Assault Trauma Units around the country. Stating that she had received confirmation that a forensic nurse training programme has started in Letterkenny.

Most recently, the victim of an alleged sexual assault in Glenties had to endure a ten-hour round-trip to Dublin as there was no staff available at Letterkenny General to administer the appropriate treatment. In summer 2007, a woman who was allegedly raped in Ballyshannon had to travel to Castlebar in Co.Mayo for treatment.

Donegal coroner criticised for saying blood-alcohol levels do not need to be reduced:
http://www.oceanfm.ie/onair/donegalnews.php?articleid=000002299
Susan Gray of People Against Road Carnage has said that comments by Donegal North-East coroner John Madden inferring 'drivers who have had one or two pints are not the problem' runs contrary to drink-driving research.

In an interview with a weekend newspaper on the possibility of reducing the drink-driving limit, Dr John Madden said that most people would agree that having one pint does not impair driving whatsoever, and that is his view as a doctor and a coroner ...

Dr Madden said he thinks it would be better that people who are driving with blood alcohol level of twice, three and four the current limit were apprehended, rather than criminalise law-abiding citizens who have one pint.

Susan Gray of People Against Road Carnage told today's Irish Times that Dr Madden's views are, what she termed as 'most unhelpful'.

She said it was a 'mistake' for drivers to believe they are safe to drive if they are below the legal limit and that the risk of being involved in a crash increases in direct proportion to the amount of alcohol consumed.

People Against Road Carnage are currently calling for an effective zero limit and is conducting a survey on its website to find out what level the public considered the most appropriate for the Republic.

I myself say that 2 pints in short period of time is bad, but if your out for the night and have 2 pints over an evening what's the problem? I think with drunk-driving laws you reach a point of diminishing returns, and it's time to start getting onto the establishments that serve people till they're falling down drunk to take some responsibility.

Father Ted Milk float for charity will be in town, and I'll miss it!
http://www.oceanfm.ie/onair/donegalnews.php?articleid=000002297
As part of the run-up to the inaugural Ted Fest in Galway, which celebrates the classic Irish comedy series, the festival promoters have set the challenge to 40 teams to push the milk-float, featured in one of the Father Ted episodes, from Galway right up to Belfast.

The float will be rolling into Sligo, Bundoran, Donegal Town, Ballybofey and Letterkenny between the 26th and 30th January.

Denise Diver of the Donegal branch of Down Syndrome Ireland said that while the fun event is seeking to raise funds, emphasis is also being placed on public awareness surrounding Down Syndrome.

Here's a wee bit of Ted to keep ye going:


So, I'll be home on Saturday for 4 days. I'll be out for a drink with the cousins so if you see me say hello!

News: Development.

Donegal development delayed! However, this is due to the fact that An Bord Pleanala has too many cases to deal with at the moment. Decision should be made real soon now.

http://www.oceanfm.ie/onair/donegalnews.php?articleid=000002300
An Bord Pleanala have said they do not envisage any decision being made on a Donegal Town development by the end of this week.

The decision had been due on large retail and residential development at the Glebe in Donegal Town yesterday however an An Bord Pleanala spokesperson told Ocean FM News that it could be possibly be end of next week before the decision is known.

The spokesperson did emphasise however that a new target date for a decision has not been set as of yet.

The delay has again been attributed to the An Bord Pleanala case-load at this time.

The decision date on the development has previously been postponed four times.

The original target date had been in early November.

There are two objections lodged against the mixed use development which will include retail and office units, 52 apartments and car-parking facilites if it is given permission to go ahead.


It would be interesting to know if any of these objections are sound, or are a way to prevent the development so others can build something, somewhere ...

Thanks to OceanFM for the article.

So who want to take a pic of the Glebe for me to include here? :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Theme Changes, Updated!

I hope you like the changes I've made to the theme.

Firstly there's the embedded picture at the top where it say's Donegal Friends ... "A Window To Home" .... The original pic is one I took out past Clar at an unmarked layby where is there is this big plaque and map of Donegal celebrating the new road:
Map of Donegal
I had to crop the original a bit to get it fit cleanly into the layout. If you don't know where the layby is, seek it out. It's got a wee car park, and then there is a scenic 5 minute walk on a boardwalk that brings you over the falls on the Lowerymore river and down to a small hydro-electic scheme. I've created a map here if your interesting in discovering this spot! Looking at some of the interesting rubbish, it's lover's parking spot at the weekend!

Next, on the right had side we have widget that shows pics from Flickr.com tagged or lablled with "Donegal Town". This is sorta automatic so if anything weird displays there it because it's labelled "Donegal Town".

Next we see the links that was there before, followed by a feed of the THEPavesi's video's from YouTube. So if the lads update their YouTube page with new videos they should show up there.

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Pavesi!

The Pavesi (the band) have a MySpace page where you can here their music and see their videos:
http://www.myspace.com/pavesigroup

And videos on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=THEPAVESI

Sunday, January 13, 2008

News!

Don't go to the hospital!
http://www.oceanfm.ie/onair/donegalnews.php?articleid=000002282
Visiting restrictions have been imposed in Donegal hospitals due to outbreaks of the winter vomiting virus.

It has been revealed that Donegal is the worst hit area in the country.

Incidents of the highly contagious condition have been reported in Killybegs Community Hospital, Letterkenny General Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital in Stranorlar.

The fishing industry needs more help, so says Pringle:
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000001494
From December 2006 to December 2007 there was a 9% increase in those signing on in Letterkenny and an 11% increase in Killybegs.

Independent Councillor Thomas Pringle says the figures for Killybegs don't tell the full story as they don't account for the large number of young people who have left the area.

Nor does it account for unemployment in other towns of people who used to work in Killybegs. The government helped promote the overfishing that has lead to the current state in Killybegs and other Irish fishing ports, they should be doing more to promote alternatives and retraining.

Friday, January 11, 2008

News: Updated

Co. Donegal has the highest increase in property prices in the country:
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000001481
According to the latest figures released by Daft.ie asking prices in Donegal rose by 12.3% in 2007 alone, that's compared to a national average of a rise of 0.4%.

The report shows that at present a four bedroom house in this County costs 269,000 euro on average.

Economist with Daft, Ronan Lyons says despite the massive increase in asking prices, it's still a buyers market in Donegal.
Only 269,000e! Still strikes me as expensive.

Killybegs man missing from Letterkenny Hospital:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0110/brucem.html
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/breaking-news/ireland/article3326213.ece
http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0110/breaking42.htm
http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/mheymhqlojsn/rss2/
Michael Bruce (38), originally from Killybegs, was last seen at Letterkenny General Hospital on Monday night.

He is described as five foot seven inches tall, of medium build with short dark hair. He was wearing black hooded top with orange lining, black t-shirt, blue jeans and white runners when last seen. Any person with information is asked to contact Letterkenny Garda station on 074-9167175.

Teen from Letterkenny whose been in NYC for operations to build him a chin returns to Donegal. He was born without a chin and has to go through many painful operations:
http://www.oceanfm.ie/onair/donegalnews.php?articleid=000002270
Brave teen Alan Doherty was welcomed back to Donegal this morning after he arrived home from the States where he successfully underwent surgery giving him a new chin.

The 18-year-old is back at his home in Letterkenny today after undergoing six months of surgery at the world-renowned Mount Sinai hospital in New York.
Update:
http://www.irishabroad.com/news/irish-voice/news/Articles/Progress-in-New-Face120108.aspx

And a great pic of Lough Eske Castle Hotel:

Lough Eske Castle - Donegal Town
Originally uploaded by V Breslin

More here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fatmans/sets/72157603672495416/

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

News

Some updates on the death of a young man from Donegal Town:
http://www.independent.ie
Thomas Sheridan collapsed in a van as he was driven to his home in O'Maolchonaire Avenue in Donegal town on Sunday afternoon.

His parents made desperate attempts to revive him but he was rushed to Letterkenny General Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

And from the RTE:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0108/sheridant.html?rss

Previous news posting about this here:
http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/2008/01/news_08.html
If you compare the different articles you can see the media had some very vague reports initially, and looking at these articles I'd say their going to blow this out of proportion and cause the family some grief.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

News.

20 year old man found dead in his van near Mountcharles:
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/breaking-news/ireland/article3315902.ece
Gardai are investigating the death of a 20-year-old man who collapsed following a weekend of socialising in Co Donegal yesterday.

The victim became seriously ill after attending a number of parties in Donegal town over the weekend.

http://www.oceanfm.ie/onair/donegalnews.php?articleid=000002253
It is understood Mr Sheridan had been socialising in the Mountcharles area on Saturday night in the hours before his death.

He was discovered in a collapsed state in a van at around 1.30pm yesterday afternoon.

My condolences to his family.

Vomiting bug at 3 Donegal area hospitals:
http://www.oceanfm.ie/onair/donegalnews.php?articleid=000002252
A number of suspected cases of the winter vomiting bug have been reported in a number of hospitals across Donegal with the public being asked only to visit the facilities only under what the HSE as termed as 'exceptional circumstances'

The HSE has confirmed that Letterkenny General Hospital, St Joseph’s Stranorlar and Killybegs Community Hospital have been affected by the bug, which has also affected a number of hospitals nationwide.

HSE Management and Staff have put in place measures to reduce in so far as possible risk of the virus spreading to other patients and to other areas and departments in the hospital.

The HSE is also advising who must visit any of the hospitals, must wash hands thoroughly leaving the inpatient area or after a visit to the toilet.

Members of the public with symptoms of viral gastroenteritis are being told not present themselves in the A&E Dept but instead to contact their GP.

Bad stuff indeed, if you have this stay at home on the potty, if you don't make sure you wash yer hands often!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Planning!


Letterkenny & Environs Development Plan, Variation 2
Originally uploaded by DamienBlake

Interesting article about county planners and national planners. It's a long read, but there's some interesting facts in there (The pic has nothing to do with the blog entry I just thought it looked neat and suited the theme!) :)

http://buckplanning.blogspot.com/2008/01/planners-look-to-better-future.html

Did you know that Co. Donegal has one of the highest rates of refusal of planning permissions in Ireland? (That surprised me!):

REFUSALS

WHILE the rise in application numbers over the past decade is striking, even more so is the trend in refusal rates which almost doubled over the same period. One in 10 applications was refused in 1996 but that had risen steadily to almost one in five in 2006.

In Wexford, almost one in three applications were refused (31.5%) but in Sligo only one in 12 (8.5%) met the same fate. The lowest refusal rates were in Sligo, Tipperary North, Limerick and Mayo.

The highest were in Wexford, Galway, Meath, Donegal and Westmeath.

And that planning permissions requests in the country have increased from approx 56,000 in 1997 to almost 93,000, with up to 80,000 homes (this included houses, holiday homes, estates, flats ...) build annually in recent years:

APPLICATIONS

IN THE early 1990s before the construction boom, the number of planning applications hovered above the 40,000 mark but in the 10 years from 1997 to 2006 inclusive, the numbers increased rapidly.

There were 55,929 applications in 1997, a record in itself, but the records continued to be broken so that in 2006 — the last full year for which data is available, applicants made an all-time high of 92,651 applications. That’s a 10 year rise of 66%.

The most numerous class of application is categorised simply as “dwellings”. There were almost 47,000 such applications in 2006, covering single houses, estates, apartments and holiday homes. The number of dwellings built in recent years has been around 80,000 annually.

The next most common application was for extensions and alterations at 21,204.

For a country of between 3.9 million and 4.3 million (depending on whose figures you use) that a phenomenal amount of growth in construction. And an interesting article at the New York times about Ireland's population growth:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/world/europe/19ireland.html

On another note, a go-kart track with tank driving and car crushing in Fintown has had it's retention for approval for these refused:
http://buckplanning.blogspot.com/2008/01/retention-permission-for-tank-driving.html
... was refused permission for the retention of a drifting area, an off-road vehicle circuit incorporating army tank driving and extended opening hours at Sessiagh Long, Castlefin.

Drifting is when a car begins sliding and that slide is maintained using the throttle. It is also known as power-sliding. The aim is for the driver to get the car sideways, keep it there and use their skills to complete a circuit as quickly as possible.

That actually sounds like fun! :) But I'm sure there's a bit of noise involved.

2007!

Some of the more popular postings from 2007 (in no particular order):

AVS, Class reunion (1981/1986):
http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/2007/01/class-reunuon-avs-class-of-1981-86.html

Old pics of the Diamond:
http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/2007/08/pics.html

The Band (Zack, Laura, & Shane):
http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/2007/02/band.html

Amazing Surfing video:
http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/2007/02/sit-back-n-chill-this-is-wicked.html

The new Waterbus:
http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/2007/10/new-waterbus.html

Fintan's Stag party:
http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/2007/10/more-from-fintans-stag.html
http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/2007/10/fintans-stag-frankfurt-26th-29th-30th.html

Help us, help you, send us any pics, news articles, stories, ... that you'd like to share.


Donegal Bay from near Abbots
Originally uploaded by fitzinthehome

Friday, January 04, 2008

SFRS: Part Four!

As your New Year's present here's the last of the pics! :)

Super PJ welcome's Ever Ready Eddie!


Ever Ready Eddie belts out a song!


Some Mother's Do 'Ave 'Em, James Lawne as Frank Spenser and Mary Byrne as the baby!

James as Frank Spencer told a story about the 3 little bears with background noises done, done by me and someone else maybe Shane or Eamon or Peader (anyone remember?).
Update: PJ tells me that the sounds were done my Peader and myself.

"small bear was sick...EEEEEUGGGGHHHHH (from backstage). Sean Brennan also played the baby in one or two performances.


Cannon & Ball (Mick Timony & James Lawne). Cannon & Ball were a comedy duo with a show on British TV.


The Finale!
Andrew Gallagher (altar boy), Eamon Murphy who helped out back stage, Marina Dunleavy, James Lawne, Peader Brogan, Peter Cannon, Pauline Brogan, Shane Gallager, Fidelma Carr, Anita Twoomey (and outline of my head behind Fidelma). And if you look really closely, you can just see Ciaran McNamara's eye and the top of Mary Byrne's head between James & Peader.



James receiving the prize from Pat Britton.

Maureen Cannon made the hair for the Rastas and helped out with the Choreography.

Thanks to Barry Cannon for the great pics, and to Barry & James for jogging my memory with names, places, and roles of everyone! :)

If I've gotten anyone's name wrong or forgotten anyone, my apologies, please let me know!

See all the postings in this series here:
http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/search/label/sfrc

News!

Recycling rates are up over the Christmas peroid:
http://www.oceanfm.ie/onair/donegalnews.php?articleid=000002232
Recycling rates were up across Donegal this Christmas, with a strong improvement recorded at bring-banks across the county. That's according to Donegal County Council's Environmental Awareness Officer Suzanne Tinney.

Good!

Workers in Donegal who feel they are unfairly treated by their employers (or former employers) have to wait up to 70 weeks (almost a year and a half) to have their cases heard by the Employment Appeals Tribunal:
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000001456
People in the county are enduring the second longest wait in the country, with 53 people currently waiting 68 weeks.

That's over a year, what's the point in that then?

Nice article from an Californian paper, about surfing in Bundoran & Rossnowlagh
http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2008/jan/06/shore-enough/
Surfers who come to Donegal Bay can choose from different waves. The toughest is generally considered to be the Peak, a reef break off Bundoran, several dozen yards out from where the newbies were splashing in the surf with Andrew and Pete. When the weather is clear and the waves are working, the Peak can be a place of elbows and angry talk, though it never gets to the level of an ankle-slapping weekend at the Huntington Beach Pier.

A more forgiving wave and friendlier environment are just up the road in Rossnowlagh. Here, battleship-gray waves roll evenly toward the shore, almost as regular and long as the summer swells at Waikiki. It's a great beach for longboarders, with extended straight rides. And though more than a dozen surfers were in the water during my visit, there were acres between rivals for waves.

Maybe they'll be more surf tourists in Donegal this year as this is the 3rd or 4th article I've come across about surfing in Donegal.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Lough Eske Castle Hotel

Great pic, taken by Pitmatic on Flickr:

Castle entrance and fountain
I'll be home on the 19th of January for a few days, I must pop out there for a cup of tae.

News.

Some interesting statistics about drunken driving. Out of 150 people done for drunken driving in an area that extends from Killybegs to Bundoran, 70 to 80 of these were between Ballyshannon & Bundoran:
http://www.oceanfm.ie/onair/donegalnews.php?articleid=000002230
Approximately 150 people were arrested on suspicion of drink-driving in 2007, in an area spanning from Killybegs to Bundoran.

However, it is estimated that 70-80 of these arrests were made between Bundoran and Ballyshannon.

The majority of the arrests are understood to be as a result of Garda check-points.

This does seems surprising and would suggest that there are lots of drunken drivers on that stretch of road. But, it may just mean that more check-points are on that stretch of road, or it's harder for boozed up drivers to avoid the checkpoints there, or that because Bundoran is a seaside holiday town, that a lot of tourists drink too much and drive back to their chalet?

Non-local girl arrested in Cavan for shoplifting in Donegal Town:
http://www.oceanfm.ie/onair/donegalnews.php?articleid=000002230
A woman in her 20s has been arrested, after stealing small items in two local businesses in Donegal Town.

The woman, who's not believed to be local, was arrested by Ballyconnell gardai in Co. Cavan yesterday evening in connection with other crimes which she's alleged to have committed in the Cavan area.

Man found guilty of rape:
http://www.oceanfm.ie/onair/donegalnews.php?articleid=000002215
A Donegal man who told gardai that a woman forced him to have sex with her in his car after they left a pub in the early hours of the morning has been cleared of raping her by a jury at the Central Criminal Court.
And from a previous posting:
http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/2007/12/news_16.html

For anyone interested, I'll post the last of the pics from the No Name Club and SFRS later this week. :)