Thursday, April 30, 2009


And the teen driving the car that knocked down and killed the Gardai in Letterkenny has been remanded on bail. What's interesting, is that he was on temporary release from jail, where he was serving time for motoring offenses!
Mr McGrenaghan is charged with dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm to Gda McCallion at Tara Court, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, on March 26, and of stealing a car at the same place ...

Mr McGrenaghan was on temporary release from Castlerea Prison at the time of the alleged offence. He had 11 weeks left to serve of a nine-month sentence for a series of motor offences.

Something doesn't compute there, if he was in jail for "motoring offences" and then knocks down and kills someone while on release from jail, should he be back in jail and not going to school?

And loads of illegal fuel is flowing across the border (or at least people are trying to smuggle it):
Twenty-two thousand euro, four mobile laundering plants, and 12 vehicles were also seized in 19 raids in counties Armagh, Monaghan and Donegal.

Martin McGuinness and Billy Hutchinson were both in Donegal recently, where they met Arabs and Israelis and talked to them about their views on peace and dialogue.
Both Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, a former IRA second-in-command in Londonderry, and Progressive Unionist Billy Hutchinson, a convicted former member of the UVF and former MLA, attended the Combatants for Peace seminar in Donegal.

They spoke with 15 former Palestinian militants and 15 Israeli war veterans, whose contact at the meeting which finished at the weekend would be regarded as treachery on their home soil.

Mr McGuinness, whose party leader Gerry Adams is preparing a report on the Middle East situation for new US envoy George Mitchell, said the militant Hamas, Palestinians and Israel government would have to talk eventually.

“You have a duty to negotiate. Whether you leave it for another 10 or 20 or 50 years, you will end up having to, so do it now and save lives,” he said ...

Mr Hutchinson said: “The thing that cemented the process for me was that republicans were on a parallel road.”

Two Donegal Women are promoting green lifestyles. They started a blog (or Web site) to help people pick green companies:
... our lifestyles to be just a little bit greener, but it’s probably fair to say that many of us fear the pain this might involve. Would we have to eschew all the little luxuries that life offers, forgo foreign holidays or tirelessly research the origin and provenance of every morsel? ... The problem is where to start and how to find the time and energy to go about it. Anyway, isn’t it going to cost us to listen to our conscience?

That’s how Jo Gallagher and Gina Geagan felt when they first met as young mums in Bundoran, Co Donegal. Gallagher happily admits she wasn’t always as green as she could be. “I enjoyed the high life, complete with long-haul flights and lots of retail therapy,” she laughs. It was when baby Mia arrived almost two years ago that she decided she would like to try a bit harder. Geagan had similar feelings when she had baby Alannah a year previously ... The early involvement of ecological design and energy specialist, Duncan Stewart, enhanced the credibility of their fledgling company ... Verification of credentials is key, as some companies are guilty of what Duncan describes as “green washing”, talking up their green qualifications and attempting to mislead the public. He helped develop a “green barometer” based on a series of questions to determine exactly how environmentally sound each applicant really is, taking into account accreditation, qualifications, materials used, etc. Visitors to the site are encouraged to get involved by leaving feedback and a panel of experts is on hand to provide tips, post blogs and answer questions. “We plan to make it the Trip Advisor of greenness,” says Gallagher, referring to the popular travel rating site.

An interesting idea, and interesting that some people don't care about the consequences of their actions until they have kids. Anyways, see for more details, and let me know what you think of the site?

And remember there was news that the Scottish National Heritage agency were thinking of not providing with any more Golden Eagles? Where, appears this is only partially true. But if feckers keep killing the birds, they may nor provide any more.
Today's confirmation that the SNH is not currently considering suspending the license comes following a meeting between the group and the Irish Golden Eagle Project and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

However a full review of the Irish operation has been launched which led to the temporary suspension of the licence.

This follows the poisoning of a Golden Eagle found dead in Donegal in early March - an investigation found it was illegally poisoned ... a review group will report in the Summer giving its view on the progress of the project and that in due course a decision will be made on the future licensed collection of birds to Ireland.

So far the 8 year project to release the Golden Eagles into Donegal has made a promising start with 53 birds released in Glenveagh National Park with up to six ranges in the county currently occupied.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Susan Boyle, Donegal?

I'm sure ye've all heard of Susan Boyle, the singing sensation on the TV show "Britian's Got Talent". Here's a round up of all the news and stuff about her.

The first time I seen the video, and hear her name I'd guessed her ancestors where from Donegal! And of course a pic of her in Donegal has turned up! :)

If you haven't seen the video here it is!

(The walley's at ITV have asked YouTube not to let us show it directly so head over to YouTube to see it).

And ITV have an interview with her:


Many reports on a single car accident on the Muff road, 2 of the car's occupants were throw from the car and one was killed.

OceanFM reports:
Gardai say the car left the road and hit a fence. Both occupants were thrown from the car. One of the men - in his early 30’s - was fatally injured. The other - a man in his late 20’s - was seriously injured and was rushed to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry. The scene is currently closed pending an examination by Garda forensic collision investigators and diversions are in place.

With more coverage from the Times:

And more detail coverage from the Derry Journal, which implies that driving too fast may have been the cause (and sounds to me like they weren't seat-belts). Either way it's a tragedy.

Up to 50 festivals take place in the county each year. Two of them, The Mary from Dungloe Festival, in Dungloe, and The Rory Gallagher Festival in Ballyshannon, have had funding from Bord Failte cut by 60%. And that funding for all festivals will not exist next year. It's unclear, if this means to all festivals in Ireland, or just Donegal.
... is reducing the funding for the Mary from Dungloe and Rory Gallagher festivals by 60% in 2009.

The move has been condemned by Donegal County Councillor and organiser of the Rory Gallagher Festival, Barry O'Neill. He says it is a major blow and is calling on those behind the estimated 50 festivals across Donegal to a meeting on the issue in Glenties next Tuesday night.

I wonder if these 2 have been pinpointed as they're fairly successful, and may be able to survive without funding? What do you think?

And finally, a nice story! One of the Rose's (from Frosses?), Michael Rose a fishmonger, is mentioned in an Athlone newspaper.
A native of Donegal - “between Donegal town and Killybegs” - selling fish was something which ran in Michael’s family. His father worked as a fishmonger carrying out door-to-door sales.

Michael explained that, in coming to Athlone every week, he is carrying on a family tradition started by his father-in-law, Robert Hutchinson, 26 years ago ...

“Given that Athlone’s in the heart of the country and away from the sea, it was a bit of a novelty at that time for a bit of fresh fish from the sea to be sold in the town,” he said.

Michael worked with his father-in-law in Athlone for a number of years. Then, in 1999, Robert decided he “wanted to take a back seat,” so Michael purchased the van and became its sole operator.

Each week he travels from Donegal to Mountbellew, where he operates the fish van on Wednesdays. Then it’s on to Athlone, where Michael stays at a house in the centre of town on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

And Donegal Wildlife reports on seeing many butterflies out, the good weather can't be far behind!

And all ye friggin' heathens are heading back to Mass now so I see. Being faithful now won't make up for the excesses of the past, but did many of us in Donegal really see any excesses during the Celtic Tiger?
In County Donegal, in Ireland, Father William Peoples said there were "much bigger crowds than recent years. On Easter Sunday, we had a 30 percent increase, but it's been noticeable over the last few months.

"The recession certainly has something to do with it," he said. "I suppose we have walked down the road of the Celtic Tiger for many years; we get fed up of a materialistic world and desire more."

Chaos and Conspiracy

Fellow Donegal Blogger, Gerard Cunningham, has recently released a book about the behaviour of members the Gardaí in the McBrearty case in Raphoe:
... 'Chaos and Conspiracy' by Gerard Cunningham examines the framing of the McBrearty family in the wake of the death of Raphoe man Ritchie Barron and the tribunal which followed.

Mr Cunningham says that while some gardai won't like the book's contents others have already praised his efforts.

The Indo has a review and seems to like the book:
The review ends with the following:
Chaos and Conspiracy is a gripping account which will be read most avidly in Raphoe. But it should also be obligatory reading for the 14,000 members of the gardai and for those of us tempted to argue that the end justifies the means when it comes to combating crime.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Donegal B&B bookings are up compared to 2008. But, this doesn't mean more tourists, just that people are opting to stay in B&B's instead of swish hotels:
Bed-and-Breakfasts have experienced a turnaround in the recession according to the Donegal based Town and Country Homes Association.

According the assocations latest report B&B bookings are up more than 20 per cent so far this year.

This is despite an overall drop in the number of tourists visiting Ireland.

Funding for Donegal road maintenance is cut by 10 million, which is approximately a 25% cut:
Funding for local,county and regional roads in Donegal has been cut by 10 million.

Due to Budget cutbacks, local authorities throughout the country will have to slash their road allocations.

Donegal County Council originally had 38 million to develop roads in the county but this has now been reduced to 28 million.

This has lead to a lot of criticism, and concern about jobs. Also, we can probably say goodbye to any major road improvements for the forseeable future, so no dual-carriageway to Dublin.
In February the Transport minister announced funding of 38.3 million euro to Donegal County Council for Regional & Local Roads however that has now been cut to 28.6 million as part of cut backs.

Fianna Fail Councillor Joe Kelly says the move is a major disappointment and has expressed concern that jobs within Donegal County Council will be lost as a result as no termporary contracts will be issued.

And McDonald's Little Athletics Jamboree was recently held in Donegal Town. Is this the same McDonald's that makes us big&fat?
The Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town was the venue on Thursday last for the McDonald’s Little Athletics Jamboree. Over 60 young athletes from Rosses, North Leitrim and Tir Chonaill Athletic Clubs, participated in what was a fun-filled and action packed team event.

And teachers are mad, mad, mad, especially ones due to retire soon as the goverment may be going to fu ... tax them an additional 20%, same goes for other civil servants (expect for our great politicans whom I'm sure will still get decent pensions):
Angry primary school teachers rounded on the Government claiming they were being hit with pay cuts and tax hikes to bail out bankers and developers.

INTO chief John Carr warned the minister should not underestimate the depth of their anger. He claimed children were being forced to pay for the recklessness and greed of Ireland's "casino capitalists", but Mr O'Keeffe (Education Minister) said more than 610 million euro would be spent on school buildings this year.

And from the Irish Times:
“An old man in Donegal once told me that the art of taxation lies in so plucking the goose as to get the largest amount of feathers with the least amount of hissing. Delegates, I don’t have to tell you we are being well and truly plucked, and if we don’t start hissing soon, the few feathers we have left will soon be gone.” – Manus Brennan, executive committee TUI Donegal

And the Hearld reports that teachers are going to "revolt", or at least implement industrial action:
Schools face widespread disruption in September as teacher unions backed a campaign of industrial action against Government cutbacks.

Angry primary and second-level teachers hardened their position on industrial action after another stormy day at teachers' conferences ...

The 800 primary teachers at the INTO conference said it was not their intention to impact directly on teaching and learning, but there will be inevitable side effects to their actions.

They plan to refuse to co-operate with a range of administrative tasks and not to fill in for certain posts left empty by a recruitment embargo.

The INTO unanimously condemned the cap on teacher numbers and the embargo on filling posts, including assistant principal jobs, leaving about 700 promotional posts in primary schools vacant.

My view is that many of the civil servants are getting a raw deal from this, and are worried that the pensions many have worked for over the years will not be there, and that their seeing many new taxes. However, I think they should be very careful how they broach their concerns as many taxpayers may not have much sympathy for them if they (the tax payers) see tax increases as the fault of our teachers, Gardaí, and other civil servants. So they should tread very carefully, and remember whom has to foot the bill, and remember that the Government (probably) has better PR (using your tax euros).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Petition for Irish Golden Eagles

The Golden Eagle Trust has organised an online petition to show the support for the ongoing reintroduction of Golden Eagles, White-tailed Eagles and Red Kites in Ireland, and for efforts to put a stop to illegal poisoning.


This is why:
Scottish Natural Heritage is believed to be reviewing whether to continue granting permission for golden eagle chicks to be donated to Ireland. About ten of Scotland's golden eagles are given to Ireland each year under a reintroduction programme after the species was wiped out there.

The agreement has previously come under fire as golden eagles are rare in Scotland and there have been reports that several birds have been poisoned in Ireland ... Allan Mee, project manager of the Golden Eagle Trust in Ireland, said: "The sad thing is that none of this needs to happen. Something has to be done about the poisoning situation or more eagles will die.

"It's a national disgrace that we continue to mindlessly wipe out wildlife by using poisons in this day and age."

Other birds introduced to Ireland have also suffered persecution.

A white-tailed sea eagle project started in Kerry in 2007 but five out of the 15 birds released in Killarney National Park have been found poisoned.

And a red kite was shot dead in the Wicklow Mountains just weeks after it was released in July 2007.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Flood at Milltown

2 great pics of a flood at Milltown, about 30 or so years ago, that Christina dug up.

See Christina's blog her own photography:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Bench!

The old bench at the end of the Bank walk was vandalised, destroyed, and its remains chucked into the water. It's just been replaced this Friday. Go see before the new bench is destroyed this weekend by the local drunken gurriers!

Sorry I don't have a pic of the bench, so this one will have to do! :)


Time for a cute news story! The Gweedore Court Hotel is doing great, with business up 20%! So how'd they do it? They have a wee buffalo herd!
... Hotel owner Patrick Doherty won his first two animals at a charity auction in 2006. Since then, nature has taken its course and the herd now extends to nine, with the latest addition to the family making its appearance last summer.

“They have settled in really well and proven enormously popular with visitors,” said Doherty, who built a look-out tower on to the hotel so guests can enjoy watching them in all weather.

“I never had any plans to get into rearing buffalo but I have to say they make a lovely hobby,” said Doherty. “They are magnificent-looking creatures that are a joy to watch and people come from far and wide to see them, not just residents in the hotel.”

But don’t be deceived by their docile appearance. “It’s a mistake to think they are like cows. In fact they can be quite temperamental and if they decide to go for you, watch out, because they can get up to speeds of 40mph,” he says.“We’ve got great publicity as a result of them, to the point that this year is looking good for us too.”

Donegal fishermen heading to Pacific, they claim it's because they can't fish locally because of EU rules. I say it's partly because our waters are probably overfished. I hope Irish fishermen aren't going to do to others what the Spanish did to us years ago and going to go overfish other people's waters:
Howley and three others have applied for fishing licences from the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPFO). Since 2006 it has regulated fishing in the international waters south of the Equator and west of South America. If successful, it will be the first time Irish fishing trawlers without factory equipment have made the month-long trip. The Irish-registered Atlantic Dawn, which fished in the area in 2006, is a so-called supertrawler with its own freezing equipment and storage. Howley plans to cast nets around 200 miles west of the Chilean and Peruvian border but said they could go as far west as New Zealand ...

Howley said a trip to the South Pacific is worthwhile because he estimates that reductions in quotas have cut the days his vessel works from 300 days a year in the mid-1990s to 80 this year.

“Some of the men here have had to work on oil projects doing security, or on supply ships, but others are on social welfare,” he said. “It’s a long journey through the Panama Canal and down the coast of Chile. We would probably sail with half a crew and change crews when we get there. If we are to survive we have to go out and fight for it.”

Coming Home Western Viking
Thanks to dingbat on Flickr for this pic of Killybegs.

After the death of Garda McCallion who was based in Letterkenny, the Irish Times has an interesting editorial about the increase of violence in our society, the increasing use of guns, knifes, and the unruliness of increasingly drunk or drugged people:
When the teenagers inside saw Garda McCallion approach, they tried to reverse at speed in an effort to escape. They pinned the 29-year-old from Swinford, Co Mayo, against a brick wall. He sustained head injuries and was rushed to hospital. He never regained consciousness.

His life-support machine was switched off on Monday. The following day he died at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, surrounded by members of his family.

Gardaí are being called upon to police an increasingly violent society. But what has shocked his colleagues across the force is the manner in which the seemingly minor Garda operation in Letterkenny escalated in seconds into a serious incident.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Highland radio reports that the Labour party is saying that brand new X-ray unit at Donegal Town hospital is unused, this is after the Tánaiste did an official opening there 6 months ago:
... Local election candidate for the (Labour) party Seamus Carbin says people in the area that need an X-ray often have to travel to Letterkenny General Hospital.

A local committee in Donegal Town raised €100,000 to provide what was deemed to be a very important piece of Medical equipment for Donegal Town.

Mr Carbin says he has been contacted by both staff and local residents who are asking when will the X-ray unit be opened and operational.

He believes it is now time for the HSE to respect the people of Donegal and the staff and open this X-ray unit immediately.

And Sligo seen several thousand marching demonstrating about the moving of cancer treatment out of the NW:
... protesters took to the streets of Sligo yesterday to vent their anger at the impending transfer of breast cancer services to University Hospital Galway.

And due to the economic downturn, crime us up! And people are urged to report it:
... Research shows that rising unemployment levels inevitably leads to more crime and in Donegal there has been a recorded increase in so called creeper burglaries and armed robberies.

Maeve Ryan from the Crime Victims Helpline says Donegal victims should know help is available on 1850 211 407

Huge shooting star seen over Donegal and other parts of Ireland:
Security cameras in Northern Ireland may shed some light on the cause of a massive fireball in the sky on Sunday. The shooting star was reported at about 0030 BST by people living as far apart as Donegal and Cork.

David Moore chairman of Astronomy Ireland said they were fairly certain it was a rock from space which could have landed somewhere in Ireland.

He said they were very keen to hear from anyone who has footage of what is suspected to be a meteor falling.

"We're fairly certain that it was a rock from space, a meteor which may have dropped a meteorite," he said. "We are asking people to send in their reports, so we can triangulate on the path and figure out did it land on Ireland?"

The last time a meteor was seen over Ireland was in 1999 over Carlow and there was a similar event over the skies of Northern Ireland 30 years earlier.

8,000 year old axe found on Inch Island:
According to a report in the Derry Journal, the discovery was made in the Baylet area of Inch Island and is believed to date from the Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age, which in Ireland commenced about 7000 BC and continued until 4000 BC.

Eddie Harkin from the society said that the highly polished axe head measuring approximately five inches by two inches and fashioned from a type of stone known as gabbro, was found in a ploughed field close to the southern shore of Lough Swilly.

And a pic to cheer ye up! I took this up the Bluestacks a few years ago, just remember there's sunshine on it's way eventually. Even with this recession or economic downturn or whatever it's called, things will get better eventually. Hopefully before we're all wile auld. ;)
Bluestack Sun

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

News: Garda Dies of Injuries

And remember that Garda in Letterkenny who was knocked down and sent to hospital? Well he died, about the only condolence to his family and collegues is they have the feckers, and they better put them away for a long time. Non-violent property crime is one thing, but violent crime, and especially violent crime that results in someone dying is something else.

The Derry Journal reported on the passing of Garda McCallion:
A Garda who was struck by a car while investigating suspicious activity in Letterkenny last month has died. Robert McCallion, 29, from Swinford in Co Mayo, died shortly after 4pm at beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

A book of condolence for Garda McCallion has been opened at Letterkenny Garda Station. Garda McCallion was struck by a car shortly before 5am on March 26 as he got out of his patrol car in the Tara Court area of the town.
And so did Highland Radio:
It has been confirmed that Garda Robert McCallion, injured in the line of duty in Letterkenny last month, has died ... 18 year-old Jamie McGrenaghan, of Gortnacraw, Kerrykeel is one of two men charged in connection with the incident.

OceanFM reported when the funeral would be:
The body of Garda Robert McCallion will be returned to his native Co.Mayo this evening (April 9th).

The 29-year-old from Swinford died at Beaumount Hospital on Tuesday from injuries sustained after he was knocked down after responding to reports of a stolen car at Letterkenny’s Tara Court on 26th March.

Gardai from the Mayo division will escort Garda McCallion’s remains from Dublin to his home in Swinford later today. Gardai from the Donegal division will attend Monday’s State funeral.

Hundreds of people queued outside Letterkenny Garda Station yesterday to sign a book of condolence.

Meanwhile, a special tribute page to Garda McCallion has been set up on Killybegs-based website ...

And the Associated Press provided a little coverage on the funeral:
A rural town was plunged into mourning as a garda who died in the line of duty was buried.

Thousands turned out to celebrate the life of Garda Robert McCallion, who was crushed against a wall by a stolen car last month. Two teenagers have been charged in relation to the incident.

Whilst the BBC provided better coverage:
The president of the Garda Representatives Association, Michael O'Boyce, who was at the funeral, said the public's support had been a comfort to Garda McCallion's family.

"They're a very close-knit family and they're obviously devastated.

"Robert was the youngest and they're bearing up remarkably well, but it is after today's funeral when people aren't calling to the house anymore that the true extent of their loss will become apparent to them.

"It is a fact that when a member of An Garda Síochána dies tragically, the public do come out in huge numbers to show support for us, and it's something that we value very much," said Mr O'Boyce.

Two days before the Garda's death he young driver of the car was admitted to hospital:

The two men appeared at Glenties District Court last Friday where they were remanded in custody to Thursday’s sitting of Letterkenny District Court.
McGrenaghan turned 18 on Wednesday and Judge Conal Gibbons said he was no longer a young person. Inspector David Murphy said McGrenaghan had been admitted to hospital with a chest infection and would not be appearing in court. Judge Gibbons said he could be remanded in his absence. Inspector Murphy told Judge Conal Gibbons that a substantial file was being prepared on the case. McGrenaghan was remanded in custody at St. Patrick’s Institution to appear at Harristown District Court on April 17.

Judge Gibbons refused an application from Dunleavy’s solicitor Frank Dorrian to remand him in Castlrea prison instead of St. Patrick’s Institution. The judge ruled that the matter was one for the prison service. Mr Dorrian had explained that his client had been serving a sentence at Castlerea and it was a matter of great urgency that he return there. Inspector Murphy said Dunleavy had been remanded to St. Patrick’s by virtue of his age. He also pointed out that Castlrea was the remand prison for Donegal.

And the 18 year old driver of the car was let out on bail, put up by his mother. The total bail was 4100. What's interesting in this case, is that the accused was 17 when this happened, and just turned 18. Will he be charged as an adult?
The High Court had set bail at €100 personal surety and €4,000 independent surety on condition the guarantor was acceptable to the local District Court.
The conditions of the bail are:
Mr McGrenaghan, a Leaving Cert student of Gortnacraw, Kerrykeel, was to attend school daily, observe a 10pm to 8am curfew, live at home, be sober, refrain from contacting his co-accused Cathal Dunleavy (19), and not to apply for a passport. He is also to sign on daily with gardaí.
Consider me a skeptical fecker, but I'd suspect that this lad is a bit like that loon we all new at secondary school. Do you really think he's going to abide by these conditions for more than a few days or weeks? He probably needed some serious mental health care before he stole the car, and now deserves a lot of time in jail.
Jamie McGrenaghan, the teenager accused of dangerous driving of an 11-year-old car and causing serious harm to a young garda who died on Tuesday was due to be freed from custody yesterday when his mother was approved as a suitable independent guarantor for bail.The 18-year-old was granted bail in the High Court on Monday but remained in St Patrick’s Institution while Buncrana District Court in Donegal assessed the suitability of his mother, Margaret Rita McGrenaghan, to stand €4,000 bail.

Mr McGrenaghan is due in court again on April 17th at Harristown District Court in Castlerea, Co Roscommon. His co-accused, Mr Dunleavy, who remains in custody, is also due in the same court.

My condolences to the family of Garda McCallion, I think Gerald sums this up better than I can.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Old Shop near clar.

Great pic of the old shop on the Barnes road from StrabanePhotos. When I was a wee'un I used to cycle out to my cousins out at Goladoo (the McGees) and stop at the shop for a mint choc-ice.


Lovely video from ShaneyMc, taken while scuba diving off the Donegal Coast, of a huge sunfish:


I've been running behind a bit on the news. I started a new job 2 weeks ago and been a wee bit busy. Looking at all the news articles over the past 2 weeks, I think I'll make this posting about the various job losses and the economy in Donegal.

Redundancies are on the up and up, this was before the latest Budget:
Figures released by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment show there were 173 redundancies in Donegal in march, 132 of them men.

Meanwhile, employers body IBEC says the Government should reduce social welfare payments by three per cent in next week's emergency budget ... It (the IBEC) wants a short-term emergency support package for enterprise to be prioritised to kick start the economy.

Director General Turlough O'Sullivan is also warning against any further increases in VAT rates or excise duties which he says would be counter-productive in light of the amount of people crossing the border to shop.

And it looks like many of these redundancies, 123 in fact, were at the Largo Foods plant in Gweedore. Amongst their product line is Tayto. Reasons given are that the Donegal Plant isn't automated enough, Irish costs are too high, and sterling is too weak (the UK is one of our biggest trading partners). But, they're going to (at least for now) keep making high-end products in Gweedore:
... Largo Foods has announced that 123 employees at its plant on the Gweedore Industrial Estate in Co Donegal will lose their jobs in the coming months. Largo is the main employer in west Donegal, employing 250 staff. Largo employs a total of 601 people at its plants in Gweedore, and Ashbourne, Co Meath. The 123 jobs will go between now and the end of August.

... Company owner Raymond Coyle said it was facing severe competition from multinationals that do not have Ireland’s high cost base. He also said the weakness of sterling had significantly compounded the difficulties facing domestic exporters.

“It is difficult to export high-volume, low-margin product to the UK from our plant in Gweedore. However, we will continue to manufacture a range of high-value products which we have developed internally and are selling successfully in Ireland and the UK and we intend to build on this in Gweedore,” he said.

And the rate of Donegal companies claming insolvency has increased. 7 companies doesn't sounds bad, unless it your company, plus they don't tell how many people these companies employ (or employed):
In Donegal, the growth rate is 250%, with 7 companies declaring insolvency in the first three months of this year compared to two in the same period last year.

And Highland Radio also noted that the number registering for the dole had increased, and did a comparison versus the same time last year. And mentioning that huge increases in Ballybofey may be due to cross-border dole fraud. But look at the increase in Donegal Town, up 87% since last March!
There were 17,994 signing on at the end of March, 74% up on the March 2008 figure ... the rate of increase has slowed, with the March figure for the county just 2.5% up on the previous month ... the largest increase was in Buncrana, with 4,279 on the register, up 2,056 on the March 2008 figure. This is an increase of 92%.

... the percentage increase in the Ballybofey office was 118%, a trend which has remained since the beginning of the year ... these high increases may be linked to cross border dole fraud ...

All other Donegal offices recorded increases, with 87% more signing on in Donegal Town, 75% in Ballyshannon, 66% in Letterkenny, 64% in Donegal Town, 46% in Killybegs and 38% in Dungloe.

I gotta say, Highland Radio's doing a decent job of reporting Donegal news.

I think after all that lovely news (or those of you without a sense of humour, I'm being sarcastic), I think we need to end on a high note! Here's a pic I took at Mountcharles pier of some couple kissing in the water. It looked like they were doing a photoshoot, she was posing provactivaly in the water and he was laughing and taking loads of pics, and then they had a wee kiss:

Kissing at the beach

Anyways, it was a nice day, I know it doesn't look it, but it warm and dry and with that sky, the light was quiet amazing.

News: Donegal Helicopter Pilot Dies in Crash

More bad news, 1st is the Donegal helicopter pilot who died, then the Letterkenny based Garda who was knocked down by car thieves, and whom died from his injuries (I'll cover that in a posting tomorrow).

The BBC reported that 2 people were killed in a helicopter crash on the Kildare/Meath border the pilot was from Donegal:
A helicopter instructor and student pilot missing overnight died when their training flight crashed in Ireland ...

The wreckage of their aircraft was found near the Kildare-Meath border. The pilot was from County Donegal and his student was from County Clare. The helicopter hit power lines on Kilmurray Bog, County Kildare, before it crashed in the Bog of Allen.

Later in the week the pilot's name was released, the Donegal Democrat reports that the pilot was from up by Derrbeg:
The flight instructor killed in last week's helicopter crash in Kildare was laid to rest in his native Derrybeg yesterday. Colm Clancy (34) died along with 24-year-old trainee pilot Dermot Sheridan when the helicopter crashed in the Bog of Allen in Co. Kildare last Thursday.

Mr. Clancy's was laid to rest in Maghergallen cemetery after hundreds of people attended the Requiem Mass at St. Mary's Church, Derrybeg. The son of Matt and Betty Clancy of Derrybeg he is also survived by three brothers and a sister. A engineering graduate from Queen's University in Belfast, Colm qualified as a pilot at one of the leading flight academies in the United States.

Donegal On Sunday, also reported on accident
Colm Clancy, the son of Matt and Betty Clancy of Derrybeg, was 34 years old and had been working as a flight instructor for several years. The helicopter collision also claimed the life of trainee pilot Dermot Sheridan, 24, who was living in Clare.
More coverage from the Irish Times.

In a recent Donegal Times, Liam Hyland comments on the good writing skils and news coverage of the Donegal On Sunday Newspaper. I don't always agree with Liam, but the paper might be worth reading.


Gerard Cunningham has some great pics of Rossnowlagh over Easter:

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Sounds Familiar?

A FG TD John Deasy from Waterford talks about his expierence with corruption:
He said that if a person questioned that, they were branded as being against jobs and development and as being consumed with negativity.

Now, he said, families were going to have to pay for decades for the stupidity and excess of this potentially criminal behaviour.

Of course he targets FF, but doesn't this sound a bit like what was happening around Donegal? Anyone who didn't agree with a particular development was branded as anti-jobs and anti-development, and not thinking of the Town. Well maybe they were thinking of the Town and it's long term future. Too bad Kelly didn't his get development started (and finished) a few years ago, instead of all this puttering about with other developments that have come to naught.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Old Piano

Pavesi at Dom's Pier One:

Sunday, April 05, 2009


The HSE says there's no need to fear a meningitis outbreak in Donegal Town. One person has it, but it's bacterial meningitis, which is not very contagious. You might get it if you live with someone who has it, but you won't get it from living next door to someone who has it. If your really concerned, talk to your doctor:
Today's Donegal People's Press says there is concern on the Drumroosk Estate in Donegal Town where three people living close to each other have been taken ill.

However Public Health Specialist Dr Anthony Breslin said while one person has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, there are no other cases, and no-one in the area should be concerned.

If your concerned, read this first:
How do people get bacterial meningitis?
The bacteria are spread by direct close contact with the discharges from the nose or throat of an infected person. Fortunately, none of the bacteria that cause meningitis are very contagious, and they are not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been.

What are the signs and symptoms of bacterial meningitis?
In persons over age 2, common symptoms are high fever, headache, and stiff neck. These symptoms can develop over several hours, or they may take 1 to 2 days. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, confusion, and sleepiness. In advanced disease, bruises develop under the skin and spread quickly.

Where is bacterial meningitis found?
Bacterial meningitis is found worldwide. The bacteria often live harmlessly in a person's mouth and throat. In rare instances, however, they can break through the body's immune defenses and travel to the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. There they begin to multiply quickly. Soon, the thin membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord (meninges) becomes swollen and inflamed, leading to the classic symptoms of meningitis.

In newborns and infants, the typical symptoms of fever, headache, and neck stiffness may be hard to detect. Other signs in babies might be inactivity, irritability, vomiting, and poor feeding.

As the disease progresses, patients of any age can have seizures.

Saturday, April 04, 2009


Clr Pringle warns about price discrepencies in obtaining sick certs from Doctors:
Clr Pringle says if a patient does not have a medical card they are basically being left open to being charged for the certs. He says patients should keep their receipts to claim back the costs.

We are in a free market and doctors are free to charge what they want, but next time you need one find out the price in advance so you don't get ripped off.

Are private forestries an un-tapped job sector?
It is being claimed that Donegal's private forestry sector is being overlooked as a valuable opportunity to stimulate job creation in the county ... The Donegal Woodland Owners Society says Donegal currently leads the way in wood energy and the private forestry sector could provide a means of adding value to our forests.

Donegal organisations receives funding from the IFI:
The workhouse in Dunfanaghy is to receive 350,000 euro in funding as part of the latest allocation from the Board of the International Fund for Ireland ... Balor Theatre in Ballybofey for which funding of 215,000 euro has been awarded for a project in conjunction with the alley Theatre in Strabane.

And some County Donegal residents have been a wee bit lax in paying their taxes:
And a lot of Donegal Taxi drivers don't earn a wile load:
Hugh McFadden is the spokesperson for Letterkenny Taxi Drivers Association - he says as it stands many drivers in Donegal are earning less than the minimum wage.

And if you own a really nice high-end car, well watch out for the latest scam to steal your car:
The scam involves car-owners receiving a phone call, possibly from a mobile, purporting to be the Dublin-based car distributor informing them that the car is due for a recall or modification which will be carried out free of charge.

Arrangements are then put in place to leave the keys at an agreed location and for a third-party to collect the car.

Gardai are advising car-owners that manufactors follow strict protocol in relation to recalls, which will see the registered owner being contacted by letter, quoting the car’s chassis number.

If you receive such a phone call, it would be a good idea to call the Gardaí about it.

Sports Woes.

Here's an article that should interest and be of concern Donegal sports fans. Most if not all of the players need to have a seperat4e job besides playing for their team. If they can't find work in Donegal, we may loose some of our best players. (I don't follow sports too closely, correct me if I'm wrong about anything):
Experienced footballers Barry Dunnion, Christy Toye, Ciaran Bonnar and Kevin McMenamin are all seeking work at the moment, while fellow Donegal star, midfielder Brendan Boyle, will not have his contract as an engineer with the local county council renewed next month. Team manager John Joe Doherty is also worried that students on his panel may now seek summer employment abroad.

"I know the country is going through difficult times and we are in the middle of a recession," he said. "Jobs are scarce and things are not easy at the moment, but I think as a county we should look after our players and that is why I am calling on everyone to rally around ...

Farrell says job losses have now become a nationwide epidemic for Gaelic players. "On our website we're trying to get companies to advertise positions so we can match our players with them, nothing earth shattering but it's a start," he says ...

Two high-profile players who had to leave these shores recently to seek jobs are Fermanagh footballer Mark Murphy and Wicklow ace James Stafford.

If they can't get jobs at home, they'll be looking further afield and don't be surprised if the North American GAA clubs come recruiting.

Friday, April 03, 2009


Nice to see someone enjoying Donegal! :)

And the Donegal Water Bus get's a wee mention here:

Even Gerry Adams popped over for a wee trip:
Sinn Fein Leader Gerry Adams is in Donegal this afternoon to launch the parties proposals for job creation. Mr Adams is also canvassing with the parties candidate for European elections in the NW constituency Padraig Mc Laughlin.

He said that it is important for the party to have a voice in Europe especially in these turbulent economic times and described Mr Mc Laughlin as an outstanding candidate ...

He also said that the electorate can not be taken for granted when it comes to EU elections.

And that BIPA meeting at Solis was on Monday (Mar 30th):
This afternoon, the assembly will be addressed by the co-chairs of the consultative group on the past, Robin Eames and Denis Bradley at the Solis Lough Eske Castle Hotel in Donegal Town

Some quotes from Mary at the meeting:
Enterprise Minister Mary Coughlan confirmed she held talks in recent days with commercial lending bosses in both Bank of Ireland and AIB on the issue. Small and medium-sized firms have been complaining that lack of access to credit has been hampering their day to day viability.

The Tanaiste told politicians at the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) meeting in Co Donegal that banks must free up more credit to help support enterprise projects.

And are fishermen (or former fishermen) getting too much money for not fishing to protect wild salmon?
Brian O Domhnaill, a Fianna Fail senator from Donegal, said payments of more than 100,000e seemed high, but were given to men who had depended on commercial salmon fishing for their livelihoods and this was no longer open to them. He said the livelihoods of crewmen and fish-processing workers had been imperilled by the shutdown of the wild-salmon trade ...

It reported that “marine survival is the lowest it has been since the present national assessment programme commenced in 1980”.

The report recommended that commercial salmon fishing be ended in most of the river catchments and severely restricted in the remaining areas.

Last year the government set up a further €5m fund which was aimed at the now redundant crews and processing workers employed in the drift-netting and draft-netting trade.

The community support scheme was designed to retrain workers to help them diversify into “non-salmon fishing activity”.

Hmmm, seems weird to me that the fishermen make the profit from the fish, but then when they over-fish and threaten the species the taxpayer has to compensate them not to fish? Maybe they shouldn't have been so profitable and the fishermen and the government should have been more concered about preserving the fish stocks for future fishermen and generations?

Fishing Trawler, Killybegs, Ireland
And hustle is a Donegal word:
HUSTLE is a Donegal noun, found only in that fair county, according to Michael Traynor’s The English Dialect of Donegal, published in 1953 by the Royal Irish Academy. I was reminded of it by Ann Gillespie from Fanad, now living in Santry. A hustle is what people in the Gaeltacht areas call a meitheal, a gathering of people to do a certain job. Traynor gives the gloss: “We had a hustle and rid the avenue of weeds.”

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Donegal Golf Course

And someone liked, and I mean really likded golfing at the Donegal Golf Course out at Murvagh! A really nice article from "The Star" newspaper in Toronto:
The wind is slicing hard off the bay and then curling over the dunes, so Michael Treacy tugs down on his cap and shortens his backswing. His drive never rises more than 10 metres off the turf and burrows through the breeze, bounding far down the fairway of Donegal Golf Club's opening hole. "That's a worker, and there's not many of those about," says Treacy with a wink. A recently retired teacher and captain of the golf club for the year, Treacy is finally getting to spend some quality time at his favourite place. "Oh, it's grand," he says in an accent that lifts lightly and then disappears into the wind ...

Celebrating its 50th birthday this year, the Donegal Golf Club is a relative baby among the county's courses. The club has hosted the Irish Amateur. Touring pro Darren Clarke rates the course as one of the best links layouts in the country ...

We spend the rest of the afternoon wandering past Donegal Town's castle and cobblestone lanes, poking through its market stalls and famous tweed store. As the sun begins to drop below the Bluestack Mountains, we press on, along the edge of the lough where two fly-fishermen are battling the steely brown trout, and then drive through a pine grove to the Solis Lough Eske, a 400-year-old castle that has recently been turned into Donegal's finest hotel.

It would be great to see this used to promote Donegal Tourism.

April 1st?

Anyone get caught on Fools Day? :)

A few years ago did an April 1st posting, I wonder if anyone fell for it? :)