Wednesday, February 25, 2009

News

Regional airports with less than 50,000 passengers per year will be exempt from travel tax, this includes Donegal Airport up in Carrickfinn, and Sligo Airport:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0225/breaking66.html
Making the announcement Mr Lenihan said concerns had been raised regarding the impact the air travel tax could have on small peripheral airports and their ability to develop new routes. “Having further considered the matter I have decided that flights departing from the smaller airports, which under the existing legislation would be subject to the air travel tax, should be excluded from the air travel tax,” he said.
Hopefully this is good news for our 2 regional airports. BTW, has anyone ever flown into Carrickfinn or Sligo?

And a nice article about rural GP's that includes Aranmore's doctor, Dr. Kevin Quinn:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/magazine/2009/0221/1224241513360.html
“I had always wanted to be a career GP but I never really envisaged the rural life. I always sort of assumed I would end up working as part of a team of doctors. I wonder sometimes, will I stay here forever? Is there another career in me?” The people of Árainn Mhór, he says, didn’t really care that he was so young when he arrived first.

And there's an assistance coach course being held in Stranorlar starting Wednesday March the 4th. See the link for full details & prices, and Donegal Town's Eamon Harvey is the contact person.
http://www.athleticsireland.ie/content/?p=5784
Athletics Ireland is pleased to announce that an Assistant Coaches course will be held in the Finn Valley Centre, Stranorlar, Co Donegal on Wednesday evenings the 4th and 11th March.

The aim of the assistant coach course is to give some basic skills to the beginner coach to help assist a more senior coach in the delivery of coaching sessions to young Athletes. It is an introduction to the coaching of three key events, running (Sprints and Endurance), Jumping (Long Jump) and Throwing (Shot Putt).

Donegal County Council will get to keep any holiday home tax it raises. This could over 3 million Euro, but that's also assuming that all those holiday home owners can afford to cough up the tax.
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003593
The County Manager expects that 3.6 million will be raised from the holiday home tax and if that is more than Donegal's share of the local government fund the county will keep the difference.

A 200 euro levy is to be imposed on holiday homes and non principle residencies however there was concern that money raised would be administered by central government with Donegal not getting its fair share.

And then the times has an article about the pros & cons of holidaying in Ireland or abroad:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/travel/2009/0221/1224241556536.html
IT WAS A €17.95 pizza in a restaurant in Sligo that made us revisit our summer-holiday plans. Sure, it was billed as a deluxe vegetarian pizza, but the best part of €20 for a fairly basic option in a very, very ordinary pizza parlour is steep. When it’s a family and you multiply that by four, then add a couple of glasses of wine and some soft drinks, you’re talking well over €100 for a bit of tea – and don’t even think about having that side salad, dessert or second Coke. On our weekend in the west it was painfully easy to spend more than €50 at lunchtime. Suddenly our plans to spend our summer holidays at home looked like a horribly expensive option.

We’ve had fantastic holidays in Ireland, and if we could be guaranteed sun we’d almost certainly prefer to splash around the magnificent beaches at Cruit Island, in Co Donegal, or Derrynane, in Co Kerry, rather than some of the overcrowded high-rise-surrounded stretches of sand we’ve fetched up on abroad.

But even when the sun is shining you can’t eat the scenery, and it’s everything that goes with an Irish holiday that can really add up. In Italy last year a pizza in what became our favourite holiday haunt, with views of the bay every balmy evening, was €7.95, or €4 if you wanted to take it away. And in Spain this month we could eat a three-course meal for €20 each – so no glowering at the children if they wanted dessert.

Ireland has gotten wile dear, the only good side of this recession is that it might bring prices down a bit, but sure no-one can afford anything anyway if they don't have a job.

Job

I came across this job posted on-line for a Programmer experienced in Micrsoft's .NET and SQL:
http://www.network-recruitment.net/2009/02/19/software-developer-net-sql/
With a huge emphasis on quality and value for money they foster a can do approach within their team of professionals at their facility in Co. Donegal. To allow them to further service growing demand for their products, they urgently require an experienced Software Developer with extensive experience in .NET and SQL.

I figured with the way the economy is if I come across any jobs in Donegal on the Internet, I'll post them here on the blog. If you have any jobs they'd like me to post, e-mail me and I'll post any jobs listings I receive once a week.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

News.

Four arrested in Donegal Town for bank robbery across the border in Kesh:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0223/1224241664744.html
The raid took place in the village of Kesh near Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, at a branch of the Northern Bank shortly before 2pm. The masked men entered the bank armed with knives and a hammer and demanded money from staff ... They rammed a PSNI car at a lay-by just outside Kesh. It is believed they then switched to another car before driving off towards Enniskillen ... The men then made their way across the Border and into Co Donegal. They were arrested by gardaí on Saturday morning at a hotel in Donegal town.
More coverage from OceanFM:
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/02/23/2-men-in-court-in-connection-with-kesh-bank-robbery/

Donegal Tweed is being used at some of the major fashion houses, first in London:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0223/1224241664830.html
John Rocha isn’t one for prints, however, and the word austere came to mind watching his black Puritan dresses with their padded hips and oversize hairbands, but it was a shapely, hourglass silhouette emphasised by standaway tunics and baggy crops. Giving a new glamour to a familiar fabric, he vamped up Donegal tweed jackets with black crystal, brought metallic glitter into black wools, decorated Linton check suits with shredded ruffles and added pale lambskin capes over hooped chiffon skirts.
And in New York City:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/21/fashion/21REVIEW.html?_r=1&ref=fashion
RALPH LAUREN A Donegal tweed jacket over a lamé vest and tulle skirt, left. Right, a patchwork tweed coat over a wool vest and jodhpurs.
http://www.fashionwiredaily.com/first_word/fashion/article.weml?id=2462
Underneath a series of glittering crystal chandeliers, Lauren sent out splendid patchwork jackets and vests in mixes of windowpane check and Donegal tweed. But he varied their partnership, showing them with anything from tan cavalry twill pants to honey charmeuse silk paisley gowns.
I wonder if Magee's will be able to capitalise in this, as the original Donegal Tweed?

A cruise ship, that will be stopping at Moville, get's some facts about Derry wrong!
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/foyle_and_west/7901219.stm
Ballyarnett beach and walls besieged by King George - just two of the highlights of a visit to Londonderry, according to P&O Cruises. The claims are part of promotional material for a cruise docking at Moville in County Donegal this summer.

That's despite the fact that Ballyarnett, on the outskirts of Derry, is approximately three miles from the sea, and King James II attacked the city 25 years before George I came to the English throne.

Dr Billy Kelly, a historian at the University of Ulster, said he was "astounded" by the company's mistakes.

Brother Paschal from Frosses, a 88 year old Franciscan Monk who was based in Rossnowlagh passed away (scroll to the bottom of the page):
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0220/1224241488611.html
One of the longest-serving Irish members of the Franciscan Order, Br Paschal Williamson, died last evening in a nursing home in Belleek, Co Fermanagh. Aged 88, he served all his 51 years with the order in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal.

A native of Frosses, near Donegal town, Br Paschal was an Irish dance teacher before he joined the Franciscans. He continued to enjoy Irish dancing with fundraising ceilidhe in the friary until a few years ago. He also pursued a hobby of breeding pedigree cattle.

Donegal Town Church of Ireland church, Donegal Town, Co Donegal

And another wintery snowy photograph of one of the church's in town from our friend in Strabane. This time of the Church of Ireland on Bridge Street.


Donegal Town Church of Ireland church, Donegal Town, Co Donegal
Originally uploaded by Strabanephotos

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ruins of Lough Eske Castle

A great pic from catherinemcglynn on Flickr of how Lough Eske Castle used to look.


Ruins of Lough Eske Castle
Originally uploaded by catherinemcglynn

The castle is now a 5 star hotel, and is called Solis Lough Eske Castle. See their photo page for how it looks today:
http://www.solislougheskecastle.ie/photo_gallery/

Thursday, February 19, 2009

News!

A pile of good news today!

Bundoran's Donegal Adventure Center has a blog!
http://donegaladventurecentre.wordpress.com/about/
And Biddy's O'Barnes has a web site:
http://www.biddysobarnes.com/

Letterkenny's Aura Center is to host the basketball National League Finals:
http://www.activedonegal.com/2009/02/16/letterkenny-to-host-basketball-national-league-final/
The National League Finals, which will take place on Saturday, March 28, will consist of the Nivea For Men’s Superleague, Basketball Ireland’s Women’s Superleague and Basketball Ireland’s men and women’s Division One finals.”This is a great achievement for Aura Letterkenny and for County Donegal. We are delighted that the Super League Finals are coming to Aura and especially happy that it will bring thousands of people to the town on the day,” said Patricia Coyle, Operations Manager at Aura Letterkenny Leisure Complex.

If your a sports fan you might want to go see Jimmy Magee of RTE speak and reminisce at Ballybofey's Balor Arts Center on Feb 26th:
http://www.nwipp-newspapers.com/DN/free/334224439587929.php
Lifford Athletics Club presents An Evening With Jimmy Magee takes place at the Balor Arts Centre on Thursday, 26 February, at 8.30pm. Admission to this special event is twenty Euro and for ticket enquiries call the box office on Tel 91 31840.

And more about Donegal County Council's hydro-powered street lighting test:
http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=16005&channel=0&title=Donegal+County+unveils+%27hydro-lighting%27+plans
In what will be the first project of its kind in Ireland, the local authority has drawn up plans to make use of the downstream flowing water of the River Finn to power a number of 30-watt LED lights.

Also, Donegal Town is looking at becoming a "Fair Trade" town:
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/02/11/donegal-town-launches-fair-trade-bid/
I'm hoping to have a guest writer write a wee bit about what Fair Trade is, and what it might mean for Donegal Town.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Donegal Town girl, Irish Army Lieutenant, and Miss Ireland Contestant

Donegal Town girl, Irish Army Lieutenant, and Miss Ireland contestant may have been sexually assaulted:
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/irish-army-glamour-girl-i-was-sexually-assaulted-at-barracks-14184896.html
The army had ordered Lt McBarron (23) back to Aiken Barracks, Dundalk, after a stint in Dublin.

But now it has been revealed that the beautiful young officer from Donegal had reported being sexually assaulted by a fellow soldier in the Dundalk installation.

The Irish Defence Forces confirmed that a full military investigation had been carried out into the former Miss Ireland contestant’s allegation.

The Irish army said it had not proceeded with the case for lack of evidence.

Friends insist Ms McBarron, originally from from Donegal Town, is committed to a career in the Republic’s defence forces, but is distraught at having to return to Aiken Barracks ...

Friends said the young lieutenant is apprehensive about returning to the scene of the alleged assault.

“Collette would love to give her side of the story about the transfer but as a serving officer it is prohibited to speak to the media.

“She's not allowed to say anything. She wants to tell everyone her side of the story but she can't,” Christina added.


We wish her well, and hope everything goes well for her.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Have you seen a White Opel Astra?

From Ocean FM:
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/02/14/have-you-seen-this-car/
Gardai in Donegal Town have contacted Ocean fm news for our assistance in tracing the whereabouts of a vehicle which has been stolen in Donegal Town. A White Opel Astra, Registration Number
07 DL 2404

Was stolen from Donegal Town late on Thursday night or early on Friday morning. If anyone has any

information regarding this vehicle could they please contact the Donegal Garda Station on 074-97-21021

Saturday, February 14, 2009

News

Looks like the Lough Folyle Ferry isn't going to getting funding from the Gov and may have to stop service:
http://www.4ni.co.uk/northern_ireland_news.asp?id=89051
The car ferry, which plies between Greencastle in Co Donegal and the Northern Ireland side of the Foyle, at Magilligan in Co Londonderry, looks to be facing closure this summer if €300,000 isn't found.
More news about people heading North, this time for petrol:
http://www.derryjournal.com/inishowen/Donegal-drivers-come-North-for.4955309.jp
Supermarket giant Tesco say they’ve never seen anything like the current demand with cars queueing up to get their petrol at the Lisnagelvin base. And surprisingly some of the vehicles are from Donegal.
And many County Councils are going to be letting staff go, Donegal will be losing 238:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0211/1233867932094.html
Those hit hardest include Donegal County Council, where 238 temporary contracts due to expire in December 2008, 2009 or early 2010 will not be renewed, and Kildare County Council, where 108 people on temporary contracts will become unemployed by the end of 2009.
And even Mary Couglan's personal trainer is facing problems, he's got so few clients that he's emigrating:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0211/1233867932086.html
... He added: “The Tánaiste is the one person who kept me going for quite a long time because of the wonderful exposure she gave me. I’m very grateful for that.”

Mr Coyle said he was having a week of talks with prospective employers in hotels with leisure facilities. He said he was aware there was also an economic downturn in Spain, but reckoned there were still opportunities for somebody with his expertise. If he clinches a job, he plans to move to Spain full-time in April.

He described the Tánaiste as one of his most dedicated clients.

“I could not have got a nicer or more committed person to train than Mary Coughlan. From day one, there were no airs or graces with her. We trained around the Minister’s busy schedule, on occasions from 7am until she departed for Dublin the same day.”

And Customs have seized over 90,000 liters of fuel that was being smuggled over the border (the article doesn't say if the fuels was going to the North or the Republic):
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7881396.stm

I guess we'll save the good news for last! Five Donegal boxers have made it to the National Finals (none from Donegal Town):
http://www.derryjournal.com/derry-sport/Five-Donegal-boxers-make-their.4964084.jp
Five Donegal boxers stormed through their quarter-finals at the National Stadium on Friday and Saturday with excellent performances to reach the seniors semi-finals next weekend.

Cathal McAuley (Dungloe), Michael McLoughlin (Carndonagh), Willie McLoughlin (Illies GG), Stephen O'Reilly (Twin Towns) and John Sweeney (Dungloe) all progressed in style to the last four in their weight divisions.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Snow on Barnes!

In contrast to Strabanephoto's great photo of the sun setting over Barnes, Mark hauled his ass all the way up Barnes to take this great shot of the blowing snow, clouds, and windmills:

Barnesmore Mountain 2
I think that would have been a great hike to do; at the top have a bit of Coco with a wee nip of Brandy to fortify ye for the walk down, then maybe stopping at Biddy's to warm up by the fire and have a wee glass of stout.

This is such a great pic that I decided to put in the banner at top of the blog (Feb 2009). For more of Mark's photpgraphy see his photo-blog at:
http://www.pitmatic.com
Or his Flickr photo-stream at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pitmatic/

This photo has so much blue, that it didn't go well with the green theme we'd been using, so I also changed the theme so it wouldn't clash with Mark's photograph. Let me know if you like the new theme and if we should keep it or revert to the previous green theme.

The previous photograph I used was one I took (with Jeannie's camera) when I was home in December:
http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/2009/01/lough-eske-pic.html

Pavesi Review

There's a nice review of Pavesi over at PlayListMix.ie:
http://playlistmix.com/featured-bands/pavesi/

If your in Ireland you can buy their latest (and first) single at:
http://www.downloadmusic.ie/pavesi

If your in the US you can purchase Pavesi's new single for .59c at
http://www.tryxo.com/product_info.php?info=p234116346_Turnaround

Buy a copy for your Valentine this year!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sunset over Barnes

Thanks to our friend from Strabane for this lovely pic of the sun setting over Barnes:

Sunset over Barnesmore Gap, Co Donegal

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Snow Slieve League

Thanks to Frank and his Wolfhounds on Flickr for the pic:
27n 002

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

WRC Rally: Ballintra

Val took some great pics of the rally as it's passed through Ballintra.


Originally uploaded by Val54


Sebestien Loeb
Originally uploaded by Val54

Snowdrops

Donegal Wildlife (up in Raphoe) reports that the snowdrops are late this year. But just in time for the snow. :)
http://donegal-wildlife.blogspot.com/2009/02/snowdrops.html

News!

And some good news! The Donegal Tenors from Donegal Town were on RTE's "All Ireland Talent Show" on Sunday the 8th! I wish I'd know in advance as I'd encouraged you all to go vote for them! Anyways, well done to Eamonn Gillespie, Paul Martin, Pat Doherty and Paddy Keaney:
http://www.rteguide.ie/2009/0204/thehotshow.html

Wans are even popping across the border for a haircut. The wan mentioned in the article has her own fashion shop in the county and she pops across to Belfast for the day and a haircut. This just shows how bad things are, and how the VAT differences between Eire and NI ain't helping anyone:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/08/ireland-northern-ireland-hairdressing
"It would cost me up to €150 (£131) to get my hair restyled and dyed in Donegal, while it will be under £100 in Belfast. Even with the petrol, it's still worthwhile coming over to Northern Ireland," said Rodden, as she waited at Andrew Mulvenna's salon in central Belfast."I enjoy coming up to Belfast and getting pampered for the day. I would say about half of my friends now choose to cross the border and get their hair done. Most of them drive to Derry for the day because it's closer ...

And even The Cope has to let people go:
http://www.rte.ie/business/2009/0209/jobs.html

The Cope' has confirmed 15 redundancies and temporary lay-offs among its staff of 155 in Dungloe, Co Donegal.

And Donegal roads are amongst the most dangerous in the country (or maybe it's some of the reckless drivers that are the problem):
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/02/09/donegal-roads-some-of-the-most-in-the-country
Rural counties fared the worst for accidents especisally border counties with the findings suggesting the reasons behind the high accident rate include drink driving, speeding and performing car tricks.

Water Powered Street Lights!

I tell ya Donegal County Council is sometimes on the cutting edge when it comes to conservation and saving enegry, first solar powered street lights, now water powered street lights:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0210/1233867929622.html
The council’s energy development officer Toni Needham said a private company had been contracted to install a “hydro light” on a footbridge over the River Finn in Ballybofey.

She said that once water levels drop a micro hydro-turbine will be installed under the bridge which links Jackson’s Hotel and the scenic Drumboe Woods.
Water flowing downstream will pass through the 110 watt turbine and generate enough power to charge batteries which will run the 30 watt LED light on the bridge above.

The council is currently piloting a number of technologies as part of their programme for renewable and low energy lighting.

“I think this will be the first in Ireland and it will be interesting to see how it works.

These programmes cost money, but in the long term can save the county money,promote sustainability and reduce Ireland's dependence on oil. I just hope some wee fecker vandals don't put the boot in and feck the thing up.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Pavesi

Pavesi are one of the featured artists for February at:
http://playlistmix.com/

Download the podcast at:
http://playlistmix.com/podpress_trac/web/105/0/podcast044.mp3

And you can hear Pavesi (and other bands) on Platlistmix's MySpace page at:
http://www.myspace.com/playlistpodcast

Sunday, February 08, 2009

News: Jobs

Job Losses:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0205/1233787117254.html
Boston Scientific, which employs approximately 4,500 people in Ireland, has announced that it is to close its Co Donegal facility next year.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/foyle_and_west/7870030.stm
Staff in Letterkenny will be offered redeployment to Galway. The company employs 4,500 people in Ireland.

But, some people want to help out and promote local industry and businesses:
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/opinion/northwest-business/businesses-ready-to-rise-to-the-challenge-but-they-do-need-help-14168445.html
We are encouraging retailers in particular to let customers and potential customers know they can match prices with their neighbours in the North but their cashflow is such that they find it difficult to justify an advertising spend ...

A business might need a new website, might need to develop their business online, might have devised a promotional campaign or might have a new service that they want to launch but don’t have the extra cash to pay for it.

In the short term we call for central government support for businesses in the North West for these types of interventions, to give our entrepreneurs even small levels of financial support to help them through this period.

The business people we meet everyday here in Donegal are far from defeated but directed support to inject some working capital into viable businesses would go a long way to ensure SMEs in the North West survive and come out stronger.

Classic Cars in Donegal Town during the Rally:



Thanks to irishvintagescene on Youtube for the video.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

News!

Sorry for the lapse in news! :) As I'm sure you know there's been snow! And Dublin airport is back to normal but many roads are still dangerous:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0207/weather.html

Car buyers are heading to Derry:
http://www.derryjournal.com/inishowen/Donegal-car-buyers-heading-to.4892900.jp
I was talking to someone, over Xmas, who works for a car dealer in the county and he was saying they had one sale for Decemeber, and none for the New Year.

The EU is investigating mainteance of roads by the various County Councils:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0120/breaking36.htm
Their investigation stems from a petition submitted by Sean Farren whose daughter Sinead died after her car went out of control on a section of road undergoing resurfacing work that was left unfinished near Culdaff in Co Donegal in June 2001.

The County Council has tried to bad travelers from parking in Stranorlar & Ballybofey, but found out they legally cannot:
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/donegals-move-to-ban-travellers-not-an-option-14152474.html

Former Donegal County Captain in trouble for threatening Sky News Journalist (Sky has journalists?):
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0124/1232474679588.html
The judge said he did not think the threats would have been carried out as Molloy was taking out his anger on Sky, not on Mr Moloney.

Single men on the Dole in the North get €68, and some of them are also claiming in Donegal and other parts of the Republic where they can get up to €205!
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/crossborder-dole-tourists-fleecing-welfare-system-1622965.html
TD Joe McHugh ... noted that "the exchange rate offers a real incentive'' to fraudsters. He said the "current lax regulation'' means "fellows who are living in Derry can get the address of a cousin in Donegal and a utility bill, claim away and go back home across the Border'.'

Rally Ireland, WRC 2009

Some pics of the rally in Donegal Town thanks to josephmccloskey75 on Flickr:

Rally Ireland, WRC 2009
Originally uploaded by josephmccloskey75

Rally Ireland WRC 2009
Originally uploaded by josephmccloskey75

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Misty Lough Eske

Mark's been taking some really class pics. Here's a really great one he took out by Lough Eske:

Lough Eske with Mist and Rowing boat

More on his Flickr Photostream and on his blog.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Shop on Bridge Street

Another Fine Mess
Thanks to RoystonVasey on Flickr for the pic.

Boy racers ...

I received this video of one of Donegal Town's best boy racers! :)
http://www.mywrcireland.com/id/366c97ca2f23

;)

Way to go Francy & Kathy! :)

Monday, February 02, 2009

A lovely day for a drive in Donegal!



Found by Jeannie on YouTube, thanks to MasterTomster for taking the video and the background tunes! :) We think this is down by the Holmnes Beach?