Tuesday, March 31, 2009

‘Bog Hotel’ owner due in court

Jeannie sent me on this:

http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/03/23/bog-hotel-owner-due-in-court/

The owner of the so-called 'Bog Hotel' in Frosses is due to appear before Donegal District Court later this morning.

Patsy Brogan has been summonsed to appear as he is alleged to have failed to abide by a county council instruction to shut the doors of a bar which is housed in a shed by his residence at Binbane.

The council requested that the 'unauthorised development' is restored to its former use ... Mr Brogan maintains he does not charge patrons for alcohol and it is a private facility. It is understood he will be contesting the charges today.

News

Circuit Court judge and state prosecutor for County Donegal in 1990 passes away:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5g87n5fKkrQlADTgKExcjYhVj73jQ
Circuit Court judge Miriam Reynolds has died, aged 52, following an illness, it has been announced.

The former barrister and mother-of-two had practiced for years in the Central Criminal Court, concentrating mainly on murder and rape trials.

Donegal VEC members cut their expenses costs to save money:
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/03/24/vec-take-25-expenses-cut/
Members of the Donegal Vocational Education Committee have taken a 25 per cent cut in their expenses ...
The committee’s 23 members claimed 65,433euro in expenses during 2008.

VEC Chairperson from July to December of last year, Clr David Alcorn claimed the highest level of expenses at just over 10,000euro. The lowest claim was from Clr Padraig McLochlainn who claimed 73euro ...

In a letter to the Committee, Minister O’Keefe said difficult decisions had to be taken in order to achieve savings in 2009, given the current economic circumstances.

Interesting (possible) facts about the lack of dentists in NI, and that many NI trained dentists move to places like Donegal:
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/letters/shortage-of-dentists-must-be-tackled-14240177.html
None of the local dentists could take us on, either as Health Service or private patients. I had two choices, either make a 170-mile round trip to our original dentist in Bangor or sign up with a dentist in Donegal.

It was while I was exploring the later option that I made a startling discovery — a significant number of dentists in Co Donegal were trained in Queen’s University, Belfast.

Apparently, this is also the situation in other border counties. Some of these dentists live in the Republic, but some travel on a daily basis. If these dentists had ‘stayed at home’, we would not be experiencing a shortage of dentists.

Two Letterkenny Gardai hurt by car thiefs (or joy-riders), one of them was very seriously hurt:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/7965358.stm
A 28-year-old Irish police officer is in a stable condition in a Dublin hospital after he was hit by a car in Letterkenny, County Donegal ...

Three officers were trying to stop a stolen car in the Tara Court housing estate when a car was driven at them.

A second officer sustained injuries to his arm and the third was uninjured. Two people have been arrested.

A 17-year-old male was arrested for dangerous driving and a man in his early 20s was arrested for endangerment ...

"They saw three of their colleagues head out to a crime and now one of them is in hospital with serious head injuries, it's just left them numb," he said.

The two people in the car were arrested and arraigned in Glenties Court:
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/03/27/2-teenagers-remanded-over-serious-injury-to-garda/
http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0327/letterkenny.html
A 17-year-old youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm to Garda Robert McCalliom at Tara Court in Letterkenny.

He was also charged with stealing a car at Tara Court on the same date. Judge Conal Gibbons refused to grant bail because he said he believed he would leave the jurisdiction.

The second man, 19-year-old Cathal Dunleavy of Meentagh , Glenvar, Kerrykeel, Co Donegal was also charged with stealing the same car from Tara Court on the same date.

The Sligo based Coast Guard Helicopter had a busy time. These lads take some major risks saving people:
http://www.donegalpost.com/2009/03/25/coastguard-chopper%E2%80%99s-dramatic-rescue/
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0325/1224243368247.html
The rescue of the six fishermen was one of three operations in a 24-hour period for the Sligo-based air/sea rescue base, run by CHC Helicopters for the Irish Coast Guard. The Sligo-based Sikorsky S-61 rescued nine people in all in two separate call-outs, and was also deployed to check on pollution as a result of the Lough Swilly grounding.

But the boat grounded in Lough Swilly is Donegal owned, but registered in the UK, so the UK authorities have to investigate why the boat grounded:
Although the vessel is Donegal-owned, it is registered in Britain and as such comes under the remit of British marine investigators. The MAIB would make no further comment on the nature of the inquiry yesterday, but it is understood the appointment of a team indicates the priority attached to the investigation.

The crab-fishing vessel has shifted since the grounding, and is posing a minor pollution risk. The vessel, which was returning from a trip in the early hours of Sunday morning, had an estimated three tonnes of diesel on board.

The Irish Coast Guard is working with the owner, Patrick Friel, on a salvage plan.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Murvagh Sunset

Awaiting the sunset & the rain.

I took this photograph back in September. Jeannie & I went took a spin down to the Backstrands (known as Murvagh to most of ye) and enjoyed a lovely warm day, with a big raincloud bearing down. I took this photograph as I heading back to the car, mere moments before the feckin' rain started. :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Thieves!

Houses robbed at Mullinasole and at Creeby, and a Chemist broken into in Beleek. All of these may be related:
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/03/25/man-flees-across-border-following-bellek-robbery/
At around 6.30am yesterday, a man was challenged after smashing a window to gain access to the Main Street premises.

He stole a sum of money, but ran off when told police were on their way.

He is thought to have made his getaway in a car that was heard travelling towards Ballyshannon.

The man was described as being in his mid 20s and was wearing a hooded top and tracksuit bottoms ...

Gardai in Donegal Town are continuing their investigations into two burglaries at neighbouring houses in Mullinasole last week.

The culprits got away with 11,000euro worth of goods, including a laptop and camera.

On Friday, two houses in the Creevy area were targeted.

Thieves made off with a computer from one residence and a mobile phone from a car parked at the house.

A short time later, they attempted to gain entry to another house in Creevy but fled the scene after being disturbed.

Let the Gardaí know if you've seen anything.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Simple Living Fair

This sounds interesting, the first Simple Living Fair will be held in Colgan Hall, Carndonagh, on Saturday March 28th from 2pm - 5pm:
http://simplelivingfair.wordpress.com

The Simple Living Syndicate aims to offer a sales platform to local small businesses in the North West of Ireland in the form of regular sales fairs. We are keen to encourage local and ethical shopping, showcase the work of the North Wests contemporary creative community, and discover exciting new emerging talents.

What do we believe in?

  • We can contribute to making the world a better place
  • We can choose products which neither harm the environment nor the people that make them
  • We can reduce our carbon footprint and help our economy by buying local
  • We can redistribute wealth in favour of individual makers and small businesses rather than global giants
  • We can encourage creativity, talent and individuality
  • We can promote quality versus quantity
  • We can buy less and appreciate what we buy
  • We can keep traditional skills and crafts alive for future generations
  • We can buy from artisans who adhere to ethical and eco-friendly practices

See http://simplelivingfair.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/20/ for more details. If your up there pop in and support local traders and business-people.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Loads of Gardaí around Lough Eske!

They'll be loads of Gardaí out by the Solis Hotel as there is going to be a meeting between politicians from both sides of the border, and from the Isle of Man, Scotland, Wales, & England. If you live out there be prepared for delays on the roads:

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/politics/britishirish-meeting-gets-high-security-14238955.html
The British-Parliamentary Assembly (Bipa) is convening as police investigations continue into the murder by dissident terrorists of two soldiers and a policeman in Northern Ireland earlier this month.

Politicians gathering at Solis Lough Eske Castle Hotel near Donegal will be discussing issues around the 1998 Omagh bombing and efforts to address the legacy of the Troubles.

Co-chairman Niall Blaney said there were immediate concerns relating to security matters following the recent gun attacks.

The Garda will have overall |responsibility for security and policing of the Bipa event, but is expected to receive close co-operation from the PSNI ....

Guest speakers will include Irish deputy Taoiseach Mary Coughlan and secretary of state for Wales Paul Murphy.

Co-chairmen of the Consultative Group on the Past, Lord Eames and Denis Bradley, who recently made a direct plea for co-operation from the IRA, will discuss their work with politicians.

Bipa members will also discuss calls for the British government to release all intelligence files in relation to the Omagh bombing, which killed 29 people.

Other issues tabled for discussion include renewable energy, national ID cards and the integration of migrant workers.

Stormont’s minister for finance and personnel and DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds will also |address the Bipa, as well as Ulster Unionist Party deputy leader Danny Kennedy.

Unionists boycotted the Bipa for almost 20 years until a number of politicians including Lord Maginnis, a former Ulster Unionist MP, attended the 37th plenary session in Newcastle in November.

Bipa, formerly the British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body, was established in 1990 as a link between Westminster and Dublin.


Spring is in the air ...

Donegal Wildlife says Spring is on it way!
http://donegal-wildlife.blogspot.com/2009/03/i-was-out-looking-for-hoverflies.html

We need workfare, not welfare

Sometimes David McWilliams speaks some sense:

"... we should not squeeze the blood out of the economy by raising taxes or cutting sensible spending too much."

via David McWilliams by David McWilliams on 3/22/09
.... In the meantime, we should not squeeze the blood out of the economy by raising taxes or cutting sensible spending too much. We need to engage with ideas like work fare, as opposed to welfare. The state should take stakes in businesses like SRTechnics, and these places should be reopened as public private partnerships.

The world has changed dramatically, and we have to change with it. This means abandoning ideas which we regarded as sacred, borrowing in the downturn to pay back in the upswing.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

2009 Paddy's Day Parade

Christina took some great pics of the Parade:





And if you don't like the pics or the parade, then take this fella's advise. ;)



See more on Christina's Flickr page:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/summerdreamn/sets/72157615514931096/
And see more of her work on her blog:
http://christinajirwin.wordpress.com/

Saturday, March 21, 2009

AP exaggerates ...

This has nothing what-so-ever to do with Donegal. But, I thought you'd find it interesting. The Associated Press ran an article going on about all the violence and mayhem at the Dublin St Patrick's Day Parade. This story was then picked up by media outlets around the world. However, it appears it's not true!
http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Dublin-riots-claim-at-St-Pats-disputed.html
A report from Dublin-based Associated Press journalist Shawn Pogatchnik that went out on March 18, the day after St. Patrick’s Day, certainly confirms the old stereotype of the Irish being drunken animals.

Pogatchnik wrote that police “in the Republic of Ireland said they were still adding up the number of public-order arrests from Tuesday's festivities but said the total would easily exceed 200, typical for recent years.”

The Gardaí were contacted by Irish Central they basically said WTF!
However, when a Dublin Garda (Irish police) spokesman was contacted by IrishCentral, he said: “I don’t know where they got that figure from, but they didn’t get it from us.”

The spokesman added that St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin was “relatively quiet” this year.

But he did point out that there had been an increase in road traffic fatalities over the St. Patrick’s Day period. The Irish police commissioner Fachtna Murphy, “expressed his concern and disappointment at the level of fatalities” over that weekend.

There were also reports in a number of low-income suburds of Dublin of fire brigade crews being attacked with bottles. And there were riots in Belfast on St. Patrick’s Day, where 19 men were arrested in the Holylands area of south Belfast.

But according to witnesses, there was anything but “mayhem” at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin’s city center.

Is this a mistake, or someone painting a stereotypical image of the Irish?

News.

2 die in house fire in Killygordon:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0320/donegal.html
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/breaking-news/ireland/two-people-die-in-co-donegal-house-fire-14236526.html
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0321/1224243200832.html
Bob McMenamin, chief fire officer in Donegal, said the fire was well established and that part of the roof of the house had collapsed when the fire brigade arrived.

“The firemen broke down the front door to gain entry and they found one male occupant of the house inside the door,” he said.

“That occupant was removed and they continued to deal with the fire. . . At a later time they found a female occupant in the kitchen area.”

Donegal Town's Saint Patrick's Day Parade is mentioned in the Indo:
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/dragons-pipers-and-boppers-lead-country-on-the-march-1676049.html
The Moyne Pipe Band -- based near the village of Lagney, Co. Donegal-- was boosted by the presence of Orange Order pipers from Co. Tyrone on their way home from taking part in the Sligo parade.

Do you think they mean Laghey? :)

More details about the Bundoran bank robber who banishing a hair brush:
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/03/20/attempted-robbery-suspect-remanded-in-custody/
A Scottish man charged in connection with an alleged attempted robbery of a bank in Bundoran has been remanded in custody.

The Donegal VEC is encouraging people with bad reading, writing, and sums skills to avail of classes they offer. They have locations around the county, including Donegal Town.
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003726
Donegal VEC is urging people who have difficulty with reading, writing or basic maths to avail of the "Learning for Living" programme, which includes basic skills in english, maths and computers ... Martina Needham is Basic Education Co-ordinator at Donegal VEC. She says almost 3,000 people took part in the course last year, and in the the current economic climate, basic skills are highly important.

I'm not sure but I think that some or all of the courses are free? Contact the VEC for more details (see the links at the bottom of the following page):
http://donegalvec.ie/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=24&Itemid=88

Donegal youth will meet in Dungloe to discuss what they feel are society's and the world's problems:
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003732
A special meeting takes place Dungloe on Monday were hundreds of young people will gather to discuss the key social issue effecting them and how they think they should be tackled ...

The this is the final event of eight held across the country as part of Young Social Innovators 2009, Ireland’s largest citizenship programme for 15-18 year olds.

And voting was held for Donegal Town's new Mayor on Friday:
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/03/20/donegal-town-to-select-new-mayor/
In a unique initiative, the community will have the chance to choose their Mayor.

The candidates in the running to take over the title are Patricia Callaghan, Paul Keeney and Bernard McGlinchey.

Voting will take place at St John’s Bosco Centre between 11am and 7pm today and is open to anyone living in the Donegal Town Electoral Area and aged over 16. It’s also open to all paid up members of the Donegal Town Community Chamber as of 31st December 2008.

Congratulations to the winner, and I wish you success in representing the town, and dealing with the many issues the town has.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Pavesi: New Track

The lads have a new track up on YouTube:

Some more great aerial shots from Gordon Dunn.

First of Tullan Strand, up near Bundoran:
2009_03180082

And of Rossnowlagh Beach:
2009_03180055

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pavesi Live in Dublin

Pavesi are playing a gig in Dublin, They'll be at M.B. Slattery's on Friday March 27th, on stage at 10pm and only 7 Euro admission. M.B Slattery's is out in Rathmines and is not to be confused with Slattery's on Capel Street.

Ronan & Duck

M. B. Slattery
217-219 Lower Rathmines Road
Rathmines, Dublin 6


And there's a brief interview with the lads on tryox.com:

http://www.tryxo.com/shop_content.php?coID=10&id=1235321130

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Finn Harps Fundraiser.

These were taken at a fundraising match in Ballybofey this evening (16th March), Finn Harps v Man United Legends (former players).

Finn Harps won 3-1, being a bit younger and fitter. The match was followed by a buffet in Jackson's Hotel, where the players gave talks and various items were auctioned for Special Olympics.

Aisling and Eamon Murphy with Bryan Robson

... with Lee Martin.

. . . with Frank Stapleton

Saint Patrick's Day!

Wishing you all a Happy Saint Patrick's Day.

If you've any pics from the day sent them on to me and I'll post them on the blog.

See our postings from previous Paddy's Days here:
http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/search/label/saint%20patricks%20day

And the best version of Danny Boy ever! ;)
http://www.timony.com/jokes/2009/03/17/happy-saint-patricks-day/

Man robs Bundoran bank with a ...

Hairbrush! Now that's ballsy:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/0317/1224242946672.html
CUSTOMERS AND bank staff were stunned yesterday when a man who had terrified them revealed his weapon as he fled the scene of the attempted robbery – a hairbrush. The hooded raider at the Bank of Ireland in Bundoran, Co Donegal, also wore white Umbro socks as gloves to avoid leaving fingerprint

The witness added: “The staff didn’t know what to do, but then the manager came out and quite firmly asked the robber to leave and told him the guards were coming.”

Gardaí later confirmed they arrested a man in his mid-40s not far from the bank. He was being questioned last night at nearby Ballyshannon Garda station.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Winter at Mullinasole

Great pic by Val of Mullinasole after the snow.


Winter at Mullinasole
Originally uploaded by Val54

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spotted in Cork City

Spotted in Cork City by the sister Jeannie:

Ballyshannon Pedestrian Bridge

A great pic, taken by Mark Fearon of the pedestrian walkway under the bridge at Ballyshannon
Ballyshannon Bridge
I think this might look good as the new pic for the top of the blog. What do ya think?

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Old Abbey & The Bay

Nice HDR of the Old Abbey by John Heaney on Flickr.

The Old Abbey
ruins
Originally uploaded by heaneyjohn

Thursday, March 12, 2009

News!

3 bucks arrested, probably responsible for the crime wave terrorising residents in the west of the county:
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003653
Paul McEleney, aged 19, of Middle Dore, Bunbeg, and Tadhg McKelvey, aged 18, of Loughanure, Annagry, were each charged with robbing Mary McDevitt of €334 at Mcdevitt's Service Station, Mill Rd., Dungloe, on February 13th, robbing Kathleen Brennan of €5,197.50 at Templecrone Cope, Annagry on February 26th, and attempting to rob Eugene Gallagher at Gallagher's Topaz Service Station, Derrybeg, on Febrtuary 7th.

The dole queues are getting longer, somehow I think people have already noticed. And someone at Highland Radio has a weird way of writing 17660!
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003668
Todays figure which includes part-time, seasonal and casual workers shows that in Donegal there are now 17 thousand 6 hundred and 60 people signing on. Month on month every office in the county registered an increase - Ranging from 7% in Inishowen to 2% in Killybegs.

As has been the trend of late there was a steep increase in the Finn Valley area - 7% month on month. There was a 2.5% increase in Letterkenny- January to February - and similarly increases in Ballyshannon, Dunfanaghy and Dungloe.

Dinny says that many people have to immigrate:
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003644
The Dail has been told that Gweedore is now possibly the worst unemployment blackspot in the country.

When I first came to Boston you'd be tripping over Paddies everywhere, then everyone either fecked off home as time was good, or moved out to the 'burbs. Now youse will all be back, and there'll be so many Paddy's here that me lovely fine wee Donegal accent won't be unique anymore! ;)

And the Donegal housing market is stagnate:
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003648
The Director General of the Construction Industry Federation says that the number of new houses built in Donegal has dropped drastically since 2007, and clearing the backlog of unoccupied houses in the county is a priority.

Maybe that's because too too many feckin' houses were build in the first place! A lot of this was due to property speculation; people thought the prices would keep going up and they did, until the market reached saturation point and there was more houses for sale that there were buyers. And with was stats flying around saying there was 1 in 6 houses lying vacant in Ireland (either due to being a holiday home or a speculative purchase), that implies a lot of excess inventory on the market.

You can't build the local economy on construction alone, you need money coming in from somewhere to drive the economy (such as manufacturing or agriculture). Fair play to anyone who made money out of buying and selling property, you can make good money at it if your in and out before it all crahes! Also, when everyone's doing it, sometimes that's a good sign to get out of the market.

And farm land sales are down, and have been down since 2008. Part of this is because the banks aren't giving out credit. Can someone remind me what the 7 billion Euro the banks were given was for? Oh, I forgot, it was so the banks could do whatever they wanted with it, and feck the economy, feck the civil servants, feck the taxpayers, feck the politicians (who are in deep do-do because of this), and in general just feck the country as the senior management at the banks are taking care of themselves (and I forgot the regular lowly bank employee whose probably taken pay cuts, and getting stick from everyone for working at a bank):
http://www.nwipp-newspapers.com/dn/free/342708955521251.php
Activity in the land market in Donegal was "minimal" in 2008, with just seven transactions taking place throughout the year, a national land survey has found. The Farmer's Journal report found that many potential buyers in Donegal were unable to bid at auctions having been rejected access to credit at their financial institution. This was particularly the case for some larger holdings, it said.

Because supply is limited in Donegal, any land that goes to the market generates good interest ...
The 26-county survey added that it was clear the market in Donegal held up well in 2008, even though most of the activity took place before September. Overall, the price of farmland in Ireland fell by 21 per cent in 2008.

Some Donegal Farmers might be in trouble because payments for the "Farm Waste Management Scheme" may take place over 2 years:
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003666
They've been promised 70% grant aid for construction work to adhere to the scheme, however the government has since said that money would be paid in stages over the next two years.

Many farmers borrowed money for the work with the payment delay leaving many in debt and paying high interest charges.


And this farmer has it tough, I'd imagine that the surgery that he has to have performed to become a she must be quiet trying.
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/donegal-farmers-20year-battle-to-be-accepted-as-a-woman-14217322.html
A 20-year battle by a farmer to become recognised and treated as a woman has highlighted the huge difficulties facing people who suffer from Gender Identity Disorder (GID).

Sarah Louise Stafford (40) was born male, near the village of Churchill in rural Donegal, but has been diagnosed as suffering from GID, a recognised medical condition in which a person feels they are trapped within a body of the wrong sex.

It has also taken her family a long time to understand her compulsion to live as female, while neighbours in the rural community where she has always lived and worked as a farmer, struggled, but eventually managed, to acknowledge as Sarah Louise the person they once knew as Sidney.

Donegal cancer patients may still be able to have treatment in Belfast, instead of having to go all the way to Dublin. For many people in Northern Donegal, Belfast is much shorter drive than Dublin, and for someone extremely sick, a long drive is hardly going to help them:
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003660
Donegal Senator Pearse Doherty is seeking assurances that an agreement which allows cancer patients from Donegal to avail of radiotherapy services in Belfast will be renewed when it expires.

Although an exact expiry date for the contract is not clear, it is the Senator's understanding that the contract which was drawn up in 2006, was to last for a duration of three years.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Crap?

I heard there were problems last year with the sewerage system(s) around Drumrooske, is the problem back? And what does it mean for residents?
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/03/05/sewage-prompts-health-fears-in-donegal-town/
A meeting of over 100 residents from the Drumrooske and New Row area of the town was held this week.

Residents claim that foul sewage smells and overspills are causing health problems and discomfort in their homes.

The problem, which dates back over two years, has been linked to a nearby hotel however council officials maintain they have been unable to locate a definitive source for the problem.

I'd heard via the grapevine, that this might be related to a new establishment being connected to a sewerage system that wasn't initially designed for such capacity.

Jobs ...

I'd posted a job that I found online, and a few others at:
http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/2009/02/job.html

If you think this is useful, leave a comment and I'll post any jobs I find on a weekly basis.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

News!

Packie Bonner might run for MEP for Fianna Fail, and some people don't think it's a great idea.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article5822652.ece
A sitting Fianna Fail MEP in the North West, Sean O Neachtain, has likened Packie Bonner, a potential party colleague in June's European elections, to Dana, and described him as a “parachute candidate”.

Bonner, the former Ireland goalkeeper and current Football Association of Ireland technical director, is being courted by Fianna Fail members to join the party’s North West ticket. Bonner initially said he was not interested but party sources say he is now considering running.

“I have great regard for Packie Bonner saving goals but I don’t know how that would transfer to being a politician in the European parliament,” said O Neachtain.

From FF's point of view picking a candidate with a well known name will get the votes, but then when the candidate wins what does he do? Does he know the issues, the problems ... Does Packie have the skills to be an MEP? ;) On the other hand, sometimes the best politicans are people who aren't politicans.

Sinn Fein had their selection convention in Dom's Pier 1 last weekend weekend:
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/02/28/mclaughlin-tipped-as-sf-election-candidate/
Jim McLaughlin is expected to be selected as the party’s candidate to contest this June’s local elections.

Tomorrow’s event will also be tinged with sadness. The late Mayor of Ballyshannon, Clr PJ Branley had been confirmed as the Sinn Féin candidate in the Donegal Electoral Area last October.

Just a month later, Clr Branley and Sinn Féin party member, Dessie Larkin were tragically killed in a road accident on N15 Ballyshannon to Donegal Town Road.

I'm not sure what day it was on. Be nice if OceanFM dated their articles.

The Times has an unflattering article on Mary Coughlan, unlike the interview with her in The Irish Times in January.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article5822138.ece
Despite her gaffes, Coughlan is retaining the support of Donegal people who chaired her across the county boundary after her elevation as tanaiste. Michael Daly, editor of the Donegal Democrat, believes about 50%-60% of the criticism is justified but the rest is the prejudice of Dublin media. “A lot of journalists in Dublin believe she’s fair game. She did get her facts wrong and she was rapped over that. But it’s almost as if people have been trying her out and waiting for her to respond,” he said. He concedes that locals expect her to deliver a major job-creating project to Donegal. Unemployment in the county is running at 20%.

They also make some smart-alex remarks about being from a rural background, as if that would make a difference. Mary deserves some of the criticism they lay are her feet, because as Tanaiste she doesn't just represent Donegal, but the country. However, from a Donegal perspective, Donegal has needed jobs for a long time, even during the Celtic Tiger Donegal had one of the highest unemployment rates in the nations. And now it's getting worse. The Tanaiste is from Donegal and Donegal has feck all jobs.

Donegal Hot Tub company in hot water!
http://www.sbpost.ie/post/pages/p/story.aspx-qqqt=IRELAND-qqqm=news-qqqid=39908-qqqx=1.asp
A Donegal swimming pool and hot tub company has said it will strongly defend attempts by an Australian spa company to wind it up for allegedly failing to pay a debt ...

Ballyshannon townspeople annoyed that can't vote in town elections as they're technically outside of the voting district:
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/03/04/anger-at-ballyshannon-voting-debacle/
Due to electoral boundaries, Lawne Park and Highfield residents will not have a say in who will be taking a town council seat although those who live up to six miles outside Ballyshannon are eligible to vote.

And they're worried about kids jumping off the new bridge into the water, now that's a 40ft drop. Methinks someone in Ballyshannon will be getting a Darwin Award?
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/03/04/fears-over-ballyshannon-bridge-jumpers/
Fears have been voiced that a landmark Ballyshannon bridge has become an attraction for thrill-seeking daredevils.

Footage of teens jumping off the Aodh Rua bridge forty feet into the river Erne below has surfaced on internet site YouTube ...

Its prompted calls from Ballyshannon Town Council to up security along the bridge’s pedestarian walkway ...

This week’s meeting of Ballyshannon Town Council was told there are currently 23 lights out of action on the Aodh Rua bridge.

I'll let ye guess why the lights are broken. OK, here's a a clue: kids.

And there's a lot of good secondary schools in the county:
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/03/01/donegal-features-in-top-schools-list/
In the list of the country’s top 400 secondary schools, 10 are in Donegal, 8 are in Sligo, with 5 in Leitrim.

The AVS wasn't on the list. :( I was looking for a pic of the AVS to put at the end of this posting, but I didn't have one handy. Instead, here's "Boys 1st year 1979" at the Old tech! :)

Boys 1st year 19791st Year 1979 at the AVS

I posted the pics a few years ago too:
http://donegalfriends.blogspot.com/2006/09/1st-years-boys-1980.html

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Sustainable Kinsale!

My sister Jeannie was recently in the Kinsale press (Kinsale's in Co. Cork). Jeannie is active in the sustainability community in Kinsale and is an active member of "Transition Town Kinsale. And as a member of "Transition Town Kinsale" was involved in getting Kinsale's Land Train support from a rural transport grant to get it servicing the town and the kids school run is one of the most popular runs.

Jeannie's 6th from the left (she's wearing the scarf).
See the links above to read more about what Transition Towns are, and about sustainability. Also, see Jeannie's Permies Portal:
http://permies.wetpaint.com

And a wee pic Jeannie took of the Land Train driving through Kinsale:

Updated: Golden Eagles

More details from the Irish Times (see below).

Some fecker or feckers poisoned at least one Golden Eagle:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5hxgnK5yHwilQ0CuWlM2nEAairrOw
The 10-month-old bird was found on the remote fringes of Glenveagh National Park on February 19. Toxicology tests carried out since then revealed the young female, which was brought to the county last August, had been poisoned ... It is understood two suspects have been identified over the death. The bird, which came from the island of Mull in Scotland, was found on mountains between the townlands of Tore, Crolly and Dunlewey village using satellite tracking systems.

Probably some farmer is responsible, who thinks that the eagles are going to go after his herd of sheep. The group releasing the birds in Donegal have repeatedly said that the Eagles rarely go for sheep or lambs. However, the birds are opportunists and if they find a dead sheep or lamb will happily dig in. But if people see them chowing down then they blame the eagles for the kill. (I might have been wrong about this, see the Irish Times article linked below, poison may have been left out to target other animals, and not specifically eagles. But, poisoning has to be done within the law, and this may not have been).

For more info see the Golden Eagle Trust at:
http://www.goldeneagle.ie

Update, more from the RTE:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0302/eagle.html
... believes more birds may have been 'lost to persecution in this area' since 2005 and he referred to a young pair which have not been seen since spring 2006. 'Eagles very rarely die from natural causes at that age,' he said, 'and we now believe that they were also poisoned.

Update 2: even more details from the Irish Times, the IFA condemns this suspected type of poisoning, and most of the farmers support the reintroduction of the eagles:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0304/breaking22.htm
There is a strong possibility the bird may have been killed from consuming poison which had been laid in a carcass to target hooded crows or foxes in advance of the lambing season.

It is illegal to apply poison to fallen livestock and not to remove fallen livestock from farmlands.

Mr O'Toole said: "The person that put out poison on this meat bait would have been aware of the presence of golden eagles in this area, as it is within or adjacent to the release area in Glenveagh National Park."

He said the Trust had spoken to all key stakeholders in this particular area regularly about its work.

"The person in question would have been aware of the risk to scavenging eagles from all poisoned meat baits and obviously has little respect for the native wildlife or heritage they are surrounded by," he said.

Minister for the Environment John Gormley said: "The poisoning of such magnificent birds serves to damage our reputation as a country that promotes a high-quality natural environment and respects and protects our wildlife ... I have been concerned since then that our laws regarding the use of poisoned bait are not strong enough, and that a very small number of people have been acting irresponsibly and possibly illegally in this regard," he said.

The Irish Farmers Association's representative for the area Davie Keith said this sort of poisoning was "absolutely unacceptable".

Mr Keith said farmers have supported the reintroduction of the golden eagles in Co Donegal and "any form of diversification in a rural county such as this must be applauded".

And if you never been I highly recommend going to the Bird Sanctuary, Eagles Flying, near Ballymote, Co. Sligo:
http://www.eaglesflying.com
It really is worth it, and they talk about the birds and what they can and can't do. By law they can't have any native Irish birds of prey. But, I think they do have one Golden Eagle that someone imported and had as a pet or for falconry.

They might not be doing any demonstrations until Spring time, so phone ahead!

And here's a pic I took there last year:
More pics on Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/search/?ss=2&w=all&q=eagle+sligo&m=text

Zack's Irish Food Guide

Zack has a new website, The Irish Food Guide:

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Mooathon!

Are ye ready for the Donegal Mooathon? It's a marathon and a marthon relay that will start in Kilmacrenan and end in Downings. It's happening in September, so start mooing ... er I mean start training! ;)

http://www.mooathon.com/rules.htm

News!

Donegal Adventure Center has a wee concert scheduled soon:
http://donegaladventurecentre.wordpress.com/2009/02/26/60/
... next weekend, we have what I think is the best weekend we’ve ever put together. IGLU AND HARTLY are playing a once-off Surf Rock in the Chasin’ Bull, - the band are keen surfers, and added on a Chasin’ Bull gig cos I asked them to.. If you are into your music, please snap up a ticket for this - the tickets are only 20 euro, there won’t be more than 250 people at the gig, I know it’s gonna be one of those gigs that will be legend. The IGLU & HARTLY boys are staying in town to go surfing, and on Saturday night, the Bull is home to local surf rockers INUENDO and also the surfchixxx (that’s me and Onya) are celebrating their birthday! It’s gonna be a great atmosphere & a great weekend.

Donegal Civil Servants are annoyed:
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/02/26/donegal-civil-servants-in-strike-action/
Members of the Civil and Public Service Union are picketing government buildings.

Lower paid government workers claim they stand to lose between 40 to 60 euros per week that they cannot afford.

http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003615

Frieda Neilis is Chairperson of the Letterkenny CPSU branch - She says while members are aware of the economic situation, they will not tolerate a combination of pension levy and witheld pay increases which will cost many of them over 40 euro a week.

I heard through the grapevine that for some lower paid civil servants it might make sense to go on the dole as they'll get paid more if this levy goes through.

Udaras na Gaeltachta will be holding meetings around the county, I presume this only applies if your in a Gaeltachta area? And no word about where and when these meetings will be?
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003612
Members of the public are being urged to attend to make their views known on how state organisations like Udaras can support the Donegal public as the unemployment figures for the county continue to rise.

And 62 jobs lost at a bus company that Udaras attracted to the Donegal Gaeltachta:
http://www.rte.ie/news/2009/0302/euroiompu.html
Earlier today the Údarás announced a a support package consisting of capital and training grants for a Kilcar-based company, Cuan Tamhnaigh Teo, which produces carpets for aeroplanes and a fabric and upholstery finishing service for the aviation industry.


Geill Sli
Originally uploaded by MichaelWants2Go
Thanks to MichaelWants2Go on Flickr for the pic.

Monday, March 02, 2009

News, Updated

People in Co. Donegal have a much lower disposable income rate compared to the rest of the country. Which is an interesting way of saying, people in Donegal get paid crap or are on the dole:
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/02/24/donegal-lags-in-disposable-income-stakes
http://www.independent.ie/national-news/donegal-in-last-place-as-dublin-tops-league-of-wealth-1651928.html
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003598
Figures published today by the Central Statistics Office show that disposable income per head in Donegal was 17,252 euro in 2006, just over 83% of the state average of almost 21,000 euro ... Total income per person in Donegal was 20,399 euro just over 79% of the state average of 25,728. Indeed, Donegal was the only county to have a total per person income of less than 21,000 euro.

Activist suggests Derry & Donegal Councils coordinate recycling efforts:
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003605
Plans to close two recycling centres at Brandywell and Eglinton as part of a plan to minimise rates increases have angered community groups in the city ... but Sean McMonagle of the Triax Neighbourhood Management Team says given that many Donegal people use the Brandywell site, it's time for officials to enter into discussions with colleagues across the border.

Restrictions on jetski's in Donegal waters. I think this is to minimize the wake created by jetskis which contribute to serious erosion, and to stop the feckin' noise of these yokes bothering the hole of people who live close to the shoreline. Also, a lot of stupid plonkers go way too fast in shallow waters and get into accidents (this earning themselves a Darwin Award).
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003603
Jet skis are to be banned from coming within 300 metres of Donegal's Coast, and must keep their speed inside that to less than five knots. That's just one of a number of new bye laws which are to introduced by Donegal County Council over the coming months in an attempt to make our beaches safer.

Buglaries on the rise in the Northern part of the county?
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003602
A shop and a pub were broken into in the Castlefinn area, with further garda investigations to take place this morning ... tackle what has been described as spate of crime in the county in recent weeks.

The issue was raised in the Seanad by Senator Pearse Doherty who was told that garda numbers have been boosted in the county in recent times to 485 ... that in areas recently witness to an increase in crime, additonal gardai have been redployed and that extra marked and unmarked patrols are taking place.

However, the Gardai just arrested 3 men in Bunbeg for
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/foyle_and_west/7918176.stm
The men, aged between 18 and 22 years, were arrested at three separate locations in the greater Bunbeg area on Sunday afternoon. A shotgun and a pistol were also recovered. Irish police said the arrests were part of an investigation into crime in west Donegal.
More at OceanFM:
http://oceanfm.ie/news/2009/03/02/three-men-arrested-in-west-donegal/

Minister for the Gaeltachta claims that objectors are hindering development. How about this, why don't you promote development that abides by local & national standards, doesn't spoilt the existing appearance of our towns and countryside, and waste tax-payers money for short-term gain? And have the developers work with the council planners, instead of the haphazard development we have today? People often object for very good reasons!
http://www.highlandradio.com/news.php?articleid=000003600
The Minister for Rural and Gaeltachta affairs has said infrastructural development in Donegal is being hindered because of objections and disputes.

Colm Kelly, a former publican in Frosses, was interviewed for a radio documentary recently:
http://www.donegalpost.com/2009/02/25/why-frosses-colm-closed-his-pub/
Former Licensed Vintners’ Association chairman in Donegal, Colm Kelly, features this weekend in a radio documentary on why pubs have been closing down across Ireland. Colm ran his family’s pub in Frosses for 26 years before shutting it down. He took it over from his father who opened it in 1928. Colm tells Newstalk 106-108FM: “It took me three years to realise I should no longer be a publican.”
... He will tell listeners in the recorded interview: “Frosses is known as a town where people on one side of the road don’t speak to those on the other side. That’s because one side of the road is a graveyard.”

If anyone get's a legit copy of this, let me know so I can post it, or link to it on the blog.
UPDATE: Thanks to taung who found the podcast (see the comments below).

http://83.138.170.50/podcasts/audio/DV4_Have_you_no_homes_to_go_to_P2.mp3
Grap a copy soon as they probably don't keep available for more than a few months.

Donegal IT Firm

Donegal Tech Firm based in Letterkeny is in the news:
http://www.siliconrepublic.com/news/article/12346/cio/donegal-tech-firm-aims-to-makes-life-peachy-for-smes
Over 500 users have signed up for a new SME productivity technology developed by a Donegal software company that enables companies to reduce their communications costs and boost collaboration.

Nvolve Limited, which was recently shortlisted as a finalist for the Small Firms Association’s Innovation Award, will be going live with its PeachyPeople.com product in March.

PeachyPeople.com consists of three tools that will help companies remove costs from and grow any business by improving the performance and knowledge-sharing capabilities of staff.

The three tools consist of Peachy Connect, Peachy Performer and Peachy Learner.

Peachy Connect allows companies to communicate for free via telephone calls, videoconferencing, screen-sharing and collaboration to all related parties, internal and external, of the business.

Lads, I hope it goes well and ye are able to stay in Donegal and keep expanding.