Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I want to run for office!
Donegal's six Dail Deputies earn a combined salary of 784 thousand euro, asccording to figures published in today's Irish Independent.

Only one of them earns the basic TD salary of just over 95,000 euro.

So vote for me, I really need the money, once I get the pension, I'll vote for you. :)

And, U2 helps out the preview of a film about surfing in Donegal:
Just hours before the screening of the film which primarily focuses on Donegal a major technical hitch developed with the state of the art projector putting the whole event in jeopardy. However, as luck would have it U2 had screened their new U23D film the night before and Bono and the lads were more than happy to give the lads a helping hand.

Some of the most spectacular and dramatic footage of the Donegal coastline was unveiled not to one but such was the demand, to two packed houses in Dublin at the weekend at the World Premiere of Wave Riders

The film showcases the world class surfing destinations around Donegal's 300 miles of rugged coastline which are now attracting some of the best international surfers to the county. This year alone the legendary Kelly Slater, eight times world champion took a few days out after winning the championship to catch some of Donegal's acclaimed waves.

And time for some humour! How about bank robbers in Norther Iron? :)

Monday, February 25, 2008


Man found dead in Ballybofey:
Gardaí in Donegal are investigating a death in Ballybofey in the early hours of this morning.

Emergency services were called to the scene at a house in the town shortly before 12.30am.

A man, who was found with injuries, was later pronounced dead.

It is believed he may have been involved in an altercation.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Seems privately run driving test centers in the rest of the country may be less strict:
For example in Nenagh in County Tipperary the pass rate at the state centre is just 43% while in the privately operated centre the pass rate is 83%.

But there is much less of a variation in County Donegal.

In fact Letterkenny is one of only a small number of areas that more people passed there test in the state run centre.

Last year the pass rate was 60% with the state and 59% with SGS centre.

Donegal has 4th highest rate of road deaths in the country:

Now this is awful; a Donegal man dies in the US as he was there illegally and was scared to go to hospital:
That's according to SDLP MLA John Dallat who says Mr John Thompson had been ill for nearly a week in America but put off going to hospital until 22 December.

He died there as his parents were on their way to see him.

Mr Dallat says this is not the first case like this to have occurred and that a Donegal man died in similar circumstances in the US within the last few months.

This seems like an all to common occurrence, people scared to seek medial attention because of their immigration status:
As far as I know, most US hospital's don't care what your immigration status is, or you can alway pretend to be on holidays.

3 arrested over the murder of that poor lad from Strabane:
The men - aged 18, 33 and 42 - were arrested in the Strabane area of Co Tyrone earlier this morning. They are being questioned by PSNI officers in Antrim.

Mr Burns (27), a painter and decorator, was found on February 12th with two bullet wounds to his abdomen near St Columba's church in the village of Doneyloop, Co Donegal.

It is thought he was abducted in Strabane an hour earlier.

Update, Three released: http://www.rte.ie/news/2008/0223/burnsa.html

Earlier posting about this: http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/2008/02/news_16.html

Gardai using a drug sniffer dog in Co. Donegal:

Donegal Person of the year:

And finally something fun! :)

Anyone remember the show band Pluto?
(scroll down the end of the page for the pic).

Friday, February 22, 2008

Earthquake Aftershocks!

Aftershocks from earthquake in Norway felt in Donegal?

There's increasing speculation that tremors experienced in North Donegal this morning were the aftershock of a minor earthquake in Norway.

Hundreds of people around the county reported hearing a loud bang and feeling tremors at around 3.30am this morning.

There is a fault line linking Donegal and Norway, and speaking on the Shaun Doherty Show today, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Ulster John McCloskey said it's more than likely that what was felt in Donegal was linked to the Norway event.

He says there is no evidence to suggest it was anything else.

Update: More detail here: http://www.nwipp-newspapers.com/dn/free/295906847186687.php

Donegal Tourism Video

Monday, February 18, 2008

Underage drinking clampdown

Gardaí to crack down on underage drinking over the next few week:
Licensed premises in Donegal are to be targeted by the Gardaí over the next few weeks in a clampdown on serving minors there. Both uniformed and plain clothes Gardaí are being deployed to check age cards of people found on licensed premises around the county to encourage licensees seek age cards from young people as a matter of policy.

Furthermore, shots and shorts may be prohibited in the run-up to closing time at the instigation of gardaí.

The clampdown will focus on alcohol and drug abuse which Donegal’s Chief Superintendent Terry McGinn maintains is contributing to the high levels of violence and public disorder on Donegal’s streets.

“There are a small number of premises which turn a blind eye to binge drinking and directly contribute to a significant level of disorder on our streets, particularly at the weekend,” she stated, “It’s up to all of us, the Gardaí, the staff in pubs and clubs and the patrons to work together on this. Look at the number of fatal road accidents in this county, look at the times at which they occur and the age gorups involved. It’s not about blame, it’s about all of us taking a responsible approach”.

Over 2,600 public order incidentswere reported last year in the county with over 1,300 people arrested for Public Order and Assault offences.

“These offences have a significant impact on the community and on people who want to go out and enjoy an evening without fear or being caught up in disorder,” she stated.

The Liquor Licensing laws are to be rigorously enforced, with licensed premises inspections a particular focus to root out drunkenness and underage drinking.

Maybe they shouldn't provide a warning that they'll be cracking down for a few weeks. Might be better if they just did this randomly and announced afterwards what they did and whom they caught?

"There are a small number of premises which turn a blind eye to binge drinking .. "

Maybe that should be a small number of LARGE premises ... Wander around the Diamond late on Saturday night to see people sooooo pissed out of their heads and all the young lads who can't handle their drink looking for trouble. Of course not just one place is to blame, many people get loaded at other pubs before they head out to a disco. (Don't want to mention any names of places as could get done for slander).

Saturday, February 16, 2008


While I was home, actually on me way home from the airport, I stopped at Carrowkeel in Sligo. It's an megalithic site with tombs, cairns, passages-graves that are over 5,000 years old. Quiet an amazing place, and easily accessible.

View Larger Map


The road from Laghey to Pettigo is getting 300,000E for improvements, along with other roads in Donegal:

The R263 has been approved for funding of 650,000euro in the Killybegs area extending to Malinbeg while the R232 which runs from Laghey to Pettigo will receive 300,000 euro. The R262 from Frosses to Glenties has also been approved for expenditure of 300,000euro as has the R231 Rossnowlagh link Road.

Updated news on the lad from Stabane who was killed:
The murder has been condemned by all the political parties in the North. Martin McGuinness, the Sinn Fein deputy first minister in the North, described the murder as a ‘‘despicable’’ act and said the group behind the murder was ‘‘a criminal gang who have no regard for the government, for law and order’’.
McGuinness called on the republican splinter group that is believed to be responsible for the murder to disband. Burns, a painter and decorator, with links to dissident republicans, had recently aligned himself with a group calling itself Óglaigh na hÉireann.

Óglaigh na hÉireann is one of four dissident groups in the west Tyrone/south Derry area. Last month, one of the groups, the Republican Defence Army, shot a man in Co Donegal for alleged ‘‘anti-social activity’’, and later vowed to carry out further attacks.

The place where Burns’s body was dumped has been used by dissident republicans in the past, and victims of so-called ‘tiger’ robberies have been ordered to drop cash there.

The dissident republicans have had most success in recruiting new members in the border areas, and have taken part in robberies and kidnappings, rather than attacks on the security forces.

However, sources in Strabane said dissident republicans in the area were in disarray, with internal feuding and fears that their groups had been infiltrated by informers.

They suggested that Burns - who was described by people who knew him as ‘‘easily led’’ - had been the victim of a dispute among the dissidents.

Anyone got any good news they want to share?

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Oatfield job losses, Donegal Deputies argue over why:
Fianna Fail Deputy Niall Blaney says that Fine Gael Deputy Joe Mc Hugh is undermining Donegal by blaming the government for the job losses.

He says while regrettable, the job losses are due to global economic pressures and fluctuations in the currency market, and Deputy Mc Hugh's efforts to use them to score political points are distasteful.

However, Deputy Mc Hugh says despite the publication of a major interdepartmental report, the government is doing nothing to promote employment in Donegal.

To be honest I'd say they're both right!

Man from Stranorlar writes the the Health Dept about the plight of sufferers of cystic fibrosis after his sister dies at the age of 28:
Brendan McLaughlin ... has been campaigning for a state-of-the-art specialised unit for a number of years but was prompted to write to Mary Harney after thirty young adults who had cystic fibrosis lost their lives in Ireland last year.

Brendan's 28-year-old sister Martina was among that number.

Man from Strabane shot and killed, body found in churchyard near Castlefinn by youth club!
Local people attending an event in the youth club in Doneyloop found Mr Burns on the road near the local church at around 7.30pm last night.

Unsuccessful efforts were made to resuscitate him.

Some of the reports suggest the "Real IRA" might be responsible:

Donegal group campaigning about the exploratory oil drilling off the Donegal coast:
MAOR, which claims to be fighting for Donegal's Natural Resources, has learned that exploratory drilling by Oil Company Shell is to begin off the coast of Donegal next month.

While Statoil are to begin exploratory searches off Killybegs in April.

The group is concerned that if significant amounts of oil are found it will be brought ashore in Donegal creating a “Rossport type” situation. Spokesperson from the group Amanda Slevin says Donegal will miss out financially too.

They're proabably right about the financial bit, if they find Oil we'll get some needed jobs out of it, but most of the profits will end up in Dublin or out of the country.

And if your a good chef, I'm guessing the job Ad is for Lough Eske Hotel:

And a great pic of Red Hugh down by the quay from Pitmatic on Flickr:

O'Donnel Statue Donegal Town

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Eating in Donegal!

Article from the American Food&Wine magazine about a chef whose family is from North Donegal and where he likes to eat when in Donegal:

Cathal (Armstrong), an F&W Best New Chef 2006, is home in his native Ireland for a few days to visit with family and get a dose of Irish geniality and spirit. I have joined him in Donegal to learn more about this extraordinary young chef as we visit the local landmarks, pubs, restaurants and fresh-food markets before preparing a big dinner at his parents’ house.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Tesco don't know about Donegal?
The Letterkenny Chamber has hit out at TESCO Ireland for failing to promote Donegal in one of its latest promotions.

Customers of the company all over Ireland, who have received the latest TESCO club card deal booklet, are being offered days out in most counties - but not Donegal.

They blame a production error:
Tesco Ireland says a production error was made in relation to the omission of Ulster from a map in the most recent Clubcard Deals brochure, and the error will be amended and the brochure reissued as soon as possible.

Donegal has higher rates of sexual assault then Sligo or Leitrim:
Incidents of rape and sexual assaults across Donegal during 2007 were three times higher than the figures for Sligo and Leitrim combined during the same time frame.

Illegal diesel haul in Galway, happened in Co. Donegal last week:

There was similar incident in Co Donegal two weeks ago when a lorry with a false floor and 6,000 litres of fuel was detained.

A Revenue spokesman said: "Laundering or 'washing' of red or green diesel defrauds the state of excise duty and VAT.

People also need to be aware of the environmental and safety issues surrounding the laundering of diesel. They need to consider what happens to the waste by-product and the damage caused by contamination to arable land and our waters and rivers.

Chemicals used during the laundering process remain in the oil and can cause severe damage over a period to vehicle engines and fuel pumps."

Drilling 130km of the Donegal coast, I wonder what they're looking for, gas, oil?
The Department of Transport wishes to advise that the offshore semi-submersible drilling unit, “Leiv Eiriksson” (Callsign C6PZ7) is due to commence drilling operations approximately 130km off the Northwest coast of Donegal in early April 2008.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

New Development for Donegal Town.

At last!
The development will overlook Quay Street and will include a cinema, shopping complex with a gross floor area of over 15,000 square metres at ground and first floor levels, an office suite of around 340 square metres, 52 apartments and a new access road from Quay Street.

The development will also include a six-level multi-story car-park for 506 car-spaces.

An Bord Plenala have attached 26 conditions to its decision, which had previously been postponed on six occasions.

Donegal Town County Councillor Jonathan Kennedy said he believes that An Bord Plenala's decision to give the green-light to the Kelly development will put an end to the consistent objections to various projects in the town.

Clr Kennedy said Donegal Town will move forward from today and South Donegal as a whole, will benefit.

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Donegal Town, Ernan McGettigan, said he could not be happier at today's announcement, and declared the decision has lifted a 'weight' off the community.

Ernan McGettigan said he believes that the new development will not only create much-needed employment, but will also attract further industry to the town

Great news indeed, I just hope they build something asethicly pleasing that we can all live with for the next 50 years, instead of some modern lump that will look "Oh so 2000's" in about 10 years.

In the article it says: "The development will overlook Quay Street", and I can't figure out where they'd build this, I thought it was going to be on Miller's Hill, and when I was home these lads were doing some clear work for just such as thing:

Lads & digger behind the car park

Also, congratulations to Michael Kelly on getting this, good job to see a real local builder doing this. I hope we get something we can all be proud of that will reflect the heritage of the town, and help (and not hinder) tourism. If it looks too modern then it can put off tourists as they don't go to Donegal to see modern buildings!


I came across this page and thought it was interesting, it's from the Northern Regional Fisheries Board and is about the Eske Salmon fishery:


The Eske fishery consists of the 5km River Eske, the 900-acre Lough Eske and its tributaries. The Lough and its tributaries are amongst the most picturesque in Donegal set among the Blue Stack and Tawnawully Mountains. The fishery is noted for its spring salmon, sea trout and char and it is also a productive brown trout fishery. The fishery has a run of spring salmon, a good run of grilse and late salmon. Sea trout angling is at its best from late July onwards.

Lough Eske & The Bluestacks

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Donegal Rail

Sign the petition if you support extending the railroad to go through Donegal:

The picture below is of the last railbus to leave Ballyshannon heading to Donegal Town. It's from a newspaper cutting From the Donegal Democrat, 31st December 1959. Saved for all these years by me Aunty Isabel.

The last Railbus out of Ballyshannon

The text under the picture reads:
A SAD MOMENT. -- Guard Danny Bannigan and Driver Joe Thompson wait to board the last railbus out of Ballyshannon heading to Donegal Town.


Some news from the past week:

John McCain is from Finn Town!
Mixed reviews for towns in Donegal from the Lonely Planet Guide:
And not many people in the NW are shopping online (yet):
An Bord Pleanála gets tough on holiday home developments
Donegal County Council decides that business rates to increase by 3%, down from a proposed 5%:
Body found near Letterkenny, may be man missing from Letterkenny Hospital:
Lifford man shot in both legs during home invasion:
The Times claims Donegal is the place to buy property, as prices haven't fallen:
Reduction in funding for Donegal roads:
Calls for full-time drug squad for Co. Donegal:
Proposed tax on holiday homes?
South Donegal traffic corps welcome plan for cross-border recognition on banned drivers:
Donegal man living in Derry viciously attacked while delivering Chinese food:
Warning graphic picture:
Dialysis patients from north-west Donegal have to go to Omagh for treatment:

I was in Mulraney's for the first time for pint the other week!
Floor, Mulraneys Pub, Donegal Town

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Serial Twin

Just uploaded 4 of our songs onto our Bebo page: www.bebo.com/serialtwin


Hello! Yes I was home briefly, now I'm back (in Boston). Been wile busy, will do a real posting soon. Beside seeing Elvis in McCaffery's I saw this cowboy out on the town:

If he doesn't get a particular picture scanned I'll have to reveal his identity! ;)