Saturday, August 30, 2008

Where is Donegal?

First Inishowen isn't in the Republic, next the whole of Donegal is in the UK!
Phone company BT has apologised after wrongly including Donegal in an advertisement celebrating the London Olympics.

Newspaper adverts in British newspapers over the weekend claimed towns from Donegal to Dundee would be celebrating in the countdown to the 2012 games.

DUP Assembly member Simon Hamilton spotted the mistake, saying he was sure the people of Durham are pleased to see the UK play host to the Olympic Games in 2012 but he wasn't so sure about the people of Donegal.

Probably someone didn't study their geography in school and is now earning 6 or 7 figures in advertising in London.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lough Eske Pic

Great pic of Lough Eske from Mark:

Lough Eske

I'll be home this Friday, the 29th of August, for 7 days. Looking forward to seeing you Donegal! ;)

If you see me on the street say hello, I'll be wearing Green Trousers, an Aran Sweater, and a wee green hat that says Ireland on it. Oh, and I'll be wearing white golf shoes with tartan sock. ;)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

News: Old Folks Homes.

An elderly woman passed away at Falcarragh Community Hospital a day after being checked in. A few years they got into trouble because an elderly man was restrained (tied) to his bed. So the media are trying to imply that there's problems at the Hospital because of these 2 incidents (no-one know why the woman died and if it's related to the hospital at all):

From RTE:
Gardaí and the HSE are investigating the death of an elderly resident at Falcarragh Community Hospital in Co Donegal. The woman was admitted to the hospital for respite care but was found dead in her room the following morning.
Falcarragh Community Hospital was the subject of an RTÉ News report last night after it was revealed that two nurses had admitted tying up a male resident in August 2006.

It followed a complaint by the man's family, who said he had told them that he had been 'tied up by his arms and hands. Socks were put on his hands and arms and tied together and that he was put facing the wall'.
Following an investigation by the HSE, the complaint was upheld after two nurses admitted tying up the man.

The nurses claimed their actions 'were to impede him from removing his incontinence wear'.

In their report, the HSE apologised unreservedly to the family, and admitted that their father's dignity and welfare was compromised.

The HSE said it had 'initiated a formal disciplinary procedure in relation to the staff members concerned and sanctions were put in place'.

It added that system changes had been introduced at the hospital.

More indepth coverage into this and similar issues at these sites:

All I can say, is this getting old thing can't be any fun.

Anybody know what this musical instrument is called?

Anyone know what this instrument is? If you click on the photo to enlarge you will see indentations in the top half which produce pitched sounds similar to steel drums but higher. If the instrument is turned over, the other half produces more percussive sounds. I took the photo in Frankfurt and would really like to find out more about the instrument as the sound from it was amazing..

Update from Mick: I hope Ciaran doesn't mind me editing his post! This looks like the instrument, it does sound really neat:

Monday, August 25, 2008


Looks like some Donegal TD's employ a lot of family members? Nepotism or trust?
One in five TD's appoint family members and relatives in jobs earning up to 45 thousand euro.

A report in today's Irish Independent shows that 31 TD's and 11 Senators have installed family members in
secretarial or parliamentary assistant posts which are not publicly advertised and are funded by the taxpayer.

In Donegal North East, Deputy Dr James Mc Daid employs his son as a parliamentary assistant, while his Fianna Fail colleague Niall Blaney employs his sister in a similar capacity. Fine Gael's Joe Mc Hugh previously employed his cousin as an assistant, but he has since left the position.

Sinn Fein, the PD's and the Green Party do not have any TD's employing relatives

Based on the numbers in Donegal, it's hardly nepotism, but this something the ruling bodies need to watch out for.

The Jeannie Johnson, the replica famine ship, couldn't make it into Rathmullan and had to dock at Derry instead:
The wooden sailing ship made an unexpected stop-off in Londonderry on Monday after it was unable to get into port at Rathmullan in County Donegal.

Captain Dermot Kavanagh explained that the original ship ferried emigrants across the Atlantic between 1848 and 1855.

"The original was built in 1847 in Quebec, but this one was built about five years ago in Kerry," he said.

Donegal TD will meet Barack:
Fine Gael TD for Donegal North East, Joe McHugh, will travel to the United States to meet with Barack Obama and his representatives this weekened in a bid to highlight the undocumented Irish in America.

Deputy Mc Hugh will travel to Denver to attend next week's Democratic party convention in the US as part of a Fine Gael deputation.

Registered english pedophile in trouble for damaging Matt Britton's camera at Mullinasole.

This is tricky, if he's served his time he deserves not to be harassed? Or should everyone know who he is so they can mind the kids?
The same lad was hiding out in Donegal a few years back.

The Donegal Post has more details:
Where they offer up 2 differ takes on his visit:
One pal said: “The lad has done his time and served his debt to society. He should be allowed get on with his life.”
One angry local said: “He may argue that he has served his debt to society, but returning to Donegal was a most naïve act on his part.”

And even the Indo get's in on this one:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pavesi won!

Guess who won the Sounds Like Summer Music Festival!

There was a lot of talented bands in this very competitive contest, but our lads from Donegal Town won! Well done Ronan, Duck, Johnny, and Michael, of Pavesi! :) And the grand prize includes recording a single, and making a video. That's just great, and I'm very happy for you, good work lads, next stop the World! ;)

Here's the announcement from the Festival's website:

Donegal triumph at Sounds Like Summer!
Pavesi, the Donegal band who won heat 1, beat all the odds to win the final of the Sounds Like Summer Music Festival, beating tough competition from Strabane locals, the McBeth Sisters and Rois Kelly from Castlederg.

Boy # 7 from Donegal and Sunday Wreakage from Strabane also gave great performances, however the Donegal band impressed the judges panel with not only their song writing skills but their overall performance in front of the packed Alley Theatre.

Well done to all the bands who competed in the festival and lets see if Donegal can retain the festival prize in 2009!

Here's some pics of the McBeth sisters, and at the bottom of this page there's some links to some videos.


Some pics of the bay in 1987:

New Irish dance show, called the Rising Step is on in Letterkenny:
Its curtain-up for Donegal native and former principal dancer with Riverdance Michael Patrick Gallagher tonight as his new show opens in Letterkenny.

'The Rising Step' is a new Irish dance show produced and directed by Michael himself.

All dancers in the show Donegal or Derry based with one of featured dancers being Donegal Town girl, Deirdre O'Reilly.

The show will run at An Grianán Theatre throughout the month of August.

Feckin' Rain causing floods!

The fastest man in the world has a Donegal Coach:
He is the fastest man in the world at both 100 and 200 metres and a double Olympic gold medallist.

But the Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has relied on Irish support on his way to the top of the world.

His agent is Donegal man Ricky Simms, who hails from Milford and is a graduate of the University of Ulster at Jordanstown.

More here:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Update: Performer killed

This is very tagic, a performer who was practicing her aerial display (or gymnastic set) for the Bluestack Festival was reportedly killed when she fell 10 meters and a large metal globe fell on her:
The woman, who was in her 30s, was a performer who had been practising an aerial display.

She was suspended from the large metal globe, which in turn was hanging from the crane.


It is understood the woman fell around 10m before the large metal globe fell on top of her.

It's not clear where this happened, I presume it happened in Ballyshannon.

Update: A bit more into from the Mayo Advertiser:
A English woman who was killed when she fell from a crane in Co Donegal on Wednesday during rehearsals for the Ballyshannon festival was working for a theatre company who have an office in Belderrig Resource Centre, Co Mayo.

The theatre company, Fidget Feet, have said they are devastated by the sudden tragic loss of one of their company members. “It's a great loss both to the company and to the performing arts community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.”

And both the Gardai and the Health & Saftey Authority will be investigating:

And another update, from the Irish Times:
Fidget Feet, which specialises in aerial theatre, said it was “devastated” at the death of Welsh native Emma Insley (30), who was crushed to death when a visual arts display collapsed on her during a rehearsal in Letterkenny.

Fidget Feet are quite amazing, and it very sad to here about this.
Pitmatic has some pics of them rehearsing for a show at the Balor in Ballybofey:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pavesi in the Finals!

Ronan e-mailed me to let me know that Pavesi got into the finals of the Sounds Like Summer Music Festival in Strabane:

The final is on the 22nd of August!

Row, row your boat

Two Mountcharles lads, Martin and Mike O'Boyle, rowed 371 km from Ballyshannon to Limerick via the Erne Eastuary and the river Shannon, and it they did it a week ahead of schedule!
Their retired boatbuilder father Michael, who worked on construction of the Jeanie Johnston, built the river row-boat to pass the time.
The brothers, who are more used to boating at sea, decided to take the new vessel on its maiden voyage and are claiming to be the first rowers to have made their way down the Erne and Shannon in one go.
Their voyage through rivers, canals and lakes in 13 counties has raised more than €20,000 for Irish hospices.

Their adventures have been recorded by Aidan Haughey at:

Welcome Lilly Kate Gallagher!

Congratulations to Zack and Nuala on the birth of their baby girl Lilly Kate who weight an enormous 10lbs 3oz!

If anyone has pictures of the bonnie baby girl please send them on.

Updated: Sean just sent me on a lovely pic of Nuala and Lilly:

Lilly Kate Gallagher

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Iniskerragh Island

A lovely pic of Iniskerragh Island up near Aranmore taken by me sister Jeannie.

Iniskerragh Island
Originally uploaded by my_angel_toes

The sound of surf

Mellow surf at Port Arthur


The good weather will be back, so says the Postman:

Chloe Magee from Raphoe is representing Ireland at the Olympics in Badminton:
Her father Sammy Magee is a badminton man to his core. His love for the sport came down the family line, inherited as surely as eye or hair colour by his eight children.

"I started playing from when I was four or five. My dad kind of built up our local club in Raphoe. He got lots of people in to play. I just always went along with him. He's mad about badminton, absolutely loves it.

"I was brought up with it. My whole family's always played. My brothers were very good and my sister was good, so I wanted to be good as well."

... She competes in China as an outsider, with a world singles ranking of 69. Nonetheless, her achievement in qualifying betokens her potential. As does her recent performance in the US Open, where she was a narrowly beaten in the first major final of her singles career.

Best of luck to her! And I hope she does well. :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fir a Bhata

A great version of an old song sung by Laura Thomas from Drumcliff, and music by Damien Quinn. The song if from their album "The Lark":

Thanks to declandebarra for the animation.

I think the name of their band is Ris. Anyone got an more information on the band, or know if they have a website or myspace or youtube page? I've tried searching but ain't finding much about them.

Rain is a pain!

Looks like there was a wee bit if flooding on Main street:

And the Fire brigade had to show up:
save the offie!

Thanks to Christina for the pics.


NI murder suspect arrested in Donegal Town:
A 36-year-old man - believed to be Stephen Cahoon - has been arrested in Donegal in connection with the murder of Derry woman ...
And minor coverage from RTE:

Mary Coughlan formally opens hotel in Leitrim and reminisces about her Dad's Hotel:
The Donegal minister was at Lough Rynn to formally open the walled gardens of the €70m hotel which was once the ancestral home of the notorious third Earl of Leitrim, assassinated in 1878.

"It is like coming home. Everything is so familiar, especially the hedging and the aroma," the pink-clad minister said.

Finner closes off access to Tullan Strand in Bundoran during live ammunitions exercises upsets locals.
They said that a soldier stepped from a car to tell them the path was closed during the exercise on land to the rear of the Finner Army camp, north of Bundoran town.

But angry locals insisted beach access had never been blocked during shooting exercises before, although it was accepted the dunes above the strand were out of bounds for safety and security reasons.

And here's a pic I took of the strand a few years ago:
Tullan Strand

Friday, August 15, 2008

Leaving Certs!

Ahhhh, nooooo it's time for Leaving Cert results! Here, hold on a minute that was 20 years ago, I don't have to to worry about it! I was so bad at school I'm sure most of me teachers would be surprised that I got promoted to Chief Poop Shoveler after 15 years! ;) Seriouly, I was so unmotivated at school, I'm sure the teachers be surprised that I'm a feckin' programmer .. er sorry Software Engineer (they give us fancy titles instead of more money).
It's D-Day for students across Donegal, Sligo and and Leitrim tomorrow, as the Leaving Cert results are finally released.

I think they were released on Wednesday, anyways, hope all you Leaving Certs did well and enjoyed the pints that night. And if you didn't do well, screw it, you don't need school smarts to be successful. What you need to do to be successful is have drive and ambition and be prepared to fail many times.

Older News.

Some older news headlines I think I forgot to publish:

Golden Eagles:

102 woman in flood:

Holy Well runs dry:


There's 2 Donegal people in the Olympics!
Letterkenny cyclist, 24-year-old Philip Deignan is making his Olympic debut as is Raphoe badminton player, Chloe Magee.

More details at Donegal News:

Unforthunately, Chloe didn't make it past the second round. Anyway, well done Chloe, I hope you had a blast and it's always good to see someone representing Donegal and Ireland. :)
Donegal's Chloe Magee lost out to Korea's Jaeyoun Jun on Sunday in the second round of the women's badminton competition.

Friday, August 08, 2008


Anyone see the partial Solar eclipse?

Unemployment rate up 40%, and the building trade especially affected.
“There isn’t a block to be laid around here in Donegal,” said McLaughlin. “I’ve been building since I was 14 years old and this is worse than it’s ever been.”

... Whereas builders are entitled to get dole payments if made redundant, McLaughlin and other self-employed workers are not eligible for jobseeker’s benefit.The Donegal builder was not counted among the 238,240 people revealed to be on the live register last week. But like many others, McLaughlin found it impossible to get other work.

Water-plans will affect everyone!
The water framework directive, adopted back in 2000, requires government chiefs to take a new approach in relation to water and managing their waters. And county Donegal is the first county in the country which will have changes made to management of its water.

Cllr Crossan told the Journal: "Donegal is being a pilot for the whole of Ireland - so it is very important.

"It is going to affect farmers, fishermen, environment groups and anyone using water treatment plants.

"I am trying to get the message out there to the public of its importance.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Sounds Like Summer Music Festival

Just a reminder, this start next weekend!

The Sounds Like Summer Music Festival is starting the weekend of August 8th at the Alley Theatre on Railway Road in Strabane! This is a battle of the bands event, with a total of 16 bands playing over 3 weekends starting Friday August 8th, with the finale on Friday August 22nd. The qualifiers nights are free; Friday Aug 8th, Saturday, Aug 9th, Friday Aug 15th, & Saturday Aug 16th. The finale on Friday August 22nd will be £5.

One of our favourite bands will be playing:

Pavesi are Duck Gallagher, Ronan Hanna, Michael Gillespie and Johnny McCabe and have been together since 2006. Named after the ballroom in Donegal were the band use to rehearse during their school days, the band have travel the world, but have now settled in Donegal town. This tight group of friends is producing some outstanding self-penned music – watch out for this band in the coming years!

Click on the picture above to get a copy of the full-sized poster.

See the theater's website for a full listing of bands and schedule:
More details and background from the Strabane Chronicle:
Sixteen places are available, with bands from across the Donegal, Derry, Omagh and Strabane areas hoping to be selected to participate in the festival, which will run from 7pm to 10pm on festival nights with free entry to the public.

"The acts performing will have the wonderful chance to win a superb prize, including the opportunity to have a professional CD cut, music video produced and the chance to gain excellent media coverage - an ideal start for any musician or group," he concluded.

This could be a fun concert. If anyone goes and get pics pop me over a few and I can post them on the blog.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Gardai warn boy racers they face jail
Speaking to the Donegal News Inspector Pat O'Donnell warned that a crackdown on the dangerous antics of boy racers would be stepped up in the coming weeks.

10 Great Reasons to visit Donegal!
And # 3 is:

Donegal Castle in Donegal Town
Built by the O'Donnell chieftain in the 15th century, beside the River Eske, the castle has extensive 17th century additions by Sir Basil Brooke. The castle is furnished throughout and includes Persian rugs and French tapestries. Information panels chronicle the history of the castle owners from the O'Donnell chieftains to the Brooke family.

Adsa the English supermarket chain may open in Co. Donegal?

Unwanted Greyhounds deposed of in river near St. Johnston:
Experts reckoned they were about three years old when dumped with weights in the water. They had probably ended their racing lives either through injury or for some other reason and their owner was no longer prepared to give them a home. The ears, where racing greyhounds carry identification marks, were cut off one of the dogs, a male.
"It is mind-blowing that such wanton cruelty exists. It just reminds us of the need for people to have a change of attitude towards animal welfare."

This touches me quite a bit as meself and the misses have greyhounds as pets. They're direct from the track, and to be honest I thought at first that they'd be high-strung and vicious and they're completely the opposite. They make great pets and love people and kids, and are surprisingly calm. I know that greyhound is racing is popular, but it's unfair the way some of the owners treat their dogs as nothing more than chattel. I think they're faithful wee hearts are worthy of much better treatment. Here's Fred to say hello:

Fred and his cap!

Interested in a Manchester City supporters club for Donegal?

And "A Lament from the Trenches" by Patrick McGill:
I wish that I were back again in the glens of Donegal,
They’d call me a coward if I return but a hero if I fall!

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Sorry for the lack of posts, but here's various news headlines from the past week:

Sea Sessions bring music fest to Bundoran, Co Donegal in September:
We promise to ‘wet’ your appetite with an eclectic line-up to include Asian Dub Foundation, Kila, Republic of Loose, David Kitt, DJ Donal Dineen, Juno Falls, Stewart Agnew, Belle and Sebastian DJ set and many more ...

Calls for halt to Lough Swilly mussel dredging:
Coastwatch co-ordinator and marine biologist, said the organisation is seeking a review of the decision to authorise the work by a 150-foot mussel dredger, believed to be transferring mussel seed from Lough Swilly to Lough Foyle.

Jobs in the construction trade are at risk:
There has been a 78% drop in the number of new homes being built in County Donegal compared to a year ago.

Finn Harps director Patsy McGowan steps down:
FORMER Finn Harps manager and club director Patsy McGowan has once again severed his links with the Ballybofey club - this time for good.

A Donegal Town man get's in trouble with the Gardi in Galway!

Highland radio has been purchased:
A company owned by the Rabbitt family has completed the purchase of Highland Radio in Donegal from Denis O'Brien's Communicorp Group

Sorry I'm so busy but more news snippets to follow! :)