Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Last Wednesday morning, the dole queue on High Road in Letterkenny extended for about half a mile, out past the social welfare office, up past the Mace supermarket and on up towards the roundabout and De Valera Road. Up to the right is the ghost estate of empty houses which will never sell and will be used to house welfare recipients - locals and immigrants.
This is Letterkenny, or ‘‘Letterkenya’’ as one person described it tome, formerly the commercial hub of north Donegal; now, judging from the traffic, the gateway to Strabane ...
Confused? I’m not surprised. But when you see Sinn Féin voters in Celtic shirts with ‘Saor Eire’ tattoos, feeding the British exchequer by popping over the border to evade Irish taxes by shopping in Asda, Strabane, you know we live in a confusing world.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Hi all, The Bluestacks Jam Club will be launched in the Abbey hotel Donegal town on Monday June 1st at 9.30pm and every Monday nite after that. Special guest Johnny Gallagher from the Boxtie Band will be making an appearance. All Musicians and Singers are welcome as it will be an Open Jam. A pre-launch meeting will be held on Monday 25th May in the Abbey hotel.
Update: See Greg's comment below for the club's e-mail address. And if your on Facebook you can join the group:
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Brendan Henderson, 50 of Sevenoaks, Waterside, pleaded guilty to causing the deaths through dangerous driving.
A car driven by Henderson crashed head-on into a car in which the young people were travelling at Quigley's Point.
Gavin Duffy, David Steel, Darren Quinn, Charlene O'Connor and Rochelle Peoples all died instantly.
In a tearful address to the victims' families at Letterkenny Circuit Court on Thursday, Henderson, who had been drinking on the night of the crash, offered his apologises and said he regretted every moment of his life since the accident.More at the Belfast Telegraph, and The Irish Times reports on the feelings of the families of those who died:
Irish Central has a story about a Killybegs man, Dermot Boyle, his wife who moved home to Ireland, and moved to Killybegs, after living in Amerika for a wile long time. Thankfully they moved home before the current economic woes and are doing well:
“Dermot got reacquainted with an old friend from New York and together they started an electrical company, and I got a part time job doing night audit in a five star hotel,” says Elaine.
It wasn’t difficult to get a job when they first arrived home. Elaine saw an ad in the local newspaper. She applied for the job and was hired immediately.
Dermot’s business took off as soon as it started. They were on a roll.
Now two years on, the pair, who come back to visit family in New York once or twice a year, are as happy as the day they touched down in Ireland.
The average rent for a home in Donegal has been dropping:
The average monthly rental price in Donegal has dropped by almost 40 euros over the past 12 months. According to housing website Daft.ie, renting a property in the county now costs on average 560 euros per month.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Farmers have laced the bodies of carcasses in the past to kill foxes and crows and other scavengers. However, Dr Mee says that the possibility that the eagles are being targeted deliberately cannot be ruled out.
He also said that poisoning was a very poor method of fox control as it was indiscriminate and killed all kinds of wildlife including badgers and pine martens, as well as the eagles. Most of the poisons that have been identified are either heavily restricted or banned in other countries.
The Indo has an interesting article about Mary Couglan where they say that a lot of criticism if Mary may be sexism, and also a case of jealousy:
I suspect, therefore, that deep in psyche of all of this, the demonisation of Mary, it is not that she has become a bad Minister overnight, which she hasn't, but that it is felt she may have gotten too big for her Wellington boots; that she may have moved on -- without permission -- from being the lovely girl from Donegal to somebody who is now telling them what to do in Fianna Fail.
And another article from the Indo about a woman in Donegal who had to close her animal sanctuary and sell her Donegal cottage due to illness:
"Could not work? Never mind work -- I couldn't even walk," she says. "The life that I had always dreamed of -- living in Donegal and having my own animal sanctuary -- was now about to be threatened by a silent, invisible, destructive force called neuropathic pain." Annette says it feels as though she is being stabbed in the groin with a sharp, jagged knife which never ceases its relentless stabbing.
Consequentially, she cannot do any of the things she so enjoyed in the past, activities such as running, cycling, surfing or riding horses. Now, she can only move slowly, and with the help of a walking stick.
"I often joke about the pain when I am with other people, but when I am alone, I cry.
"My beautiful cottage and farm are now up for sale, as I have to repay my mortgage and I have no choice but to relocate," she says.
Monday, May 11, 2009
There's anger in Donegal after it emerged this morning that the roll out of Breast Check in the county will be delayed again as a result of the public sector recruitment freeze.
At a meeting in Dublin, the CEO of Breast Check told a Donegal Action for Cancer Care deputation that the Government decision has left them with no option but to defer the rollout of Breast Check in the county, despite pledges that it would be in place by the end of this year.
The Beeb has more coverage:
There were fears that Bundoran & Rossnowlagh would be without lifeguards this summer due to government hiring freezes:
However, due to the Government’s public sector recruitment ban, county councils around the country could be forced to withdraw beach lifeguards.
The move could have a devastating effect on safety and tourism for popular coastal areas in South Donegal such as Bundoran and Rossnowlagh.
Donegal County Council will get 30 million for social housing this year:
Donegal is to benefit from an investment of over €30 million under the Social Housing Investment Programme for 2009.
However, Minister Gormley said that lifeguards were exempt from the hiring freeze:
Environment Minister John Gormley has confirmed that temporary lifeguards will not be included in the public service recruitment ban.
There was an outcry from Irish Water Safety and other organisations when it emerged yesterday that 400 lifeguards would not be hired nationally to work on the country's beaches.
Martin McGuinness, Northern Ireland's First Minister, will not be putting his annual holiday plans on hold due to death threats, and will be in Donegal this year fishing:
McGuinness was warned of the threats following remarks he made about the Real IRA killers of two soldiers last month. However, his spokesperson said that it was untrue that he had cancelled his holiday in response to them. “He usually goes to Mayo, but this summer he’s going to be spending a lot more time in Donegal supporting election candidates. He usually holidays in Ireland but he doesn’t have one particular place he goes,” the spokesperson added.
"Ulster" rugby players were in Donegal promoting rugby and working with young rugby players:
... the Ulster squad took part this week in their own training session with Matt Williams at Letterkenny RFC. Then they joined in various activities and training sessions throughout the afternoon with children from the local rugby clubs led by Ulster Branch development staff.
In what was a milestone event for Donegal, this was the first time that the full Ulster squad had taken part in such an event outside of Belfast. Children from Letterkenny, Donegal Town, Ballyshannon and Inishowen Rugby Club took part in the activities at Letterkenny RFC, and the afternoon ended with Ulster players signing autographs for the excited children and interacting with club coaches and parents.
Some Yorkshire divers went diving off Horn Head, and they took some great pics:
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
The man's body was found by a fishermen in the sea off Dunfanaghy on June 27, 1983 but after a huge search of guesthouses, hotels and caravan parks the body was never identified. He was subsequently buried in an unmarked grave in Dunfanaghy. There were unconfirmed reports that he may have been Canadian.
The Donegal News has now learned that fresh evidence has been furnished to Gardai in recent months and the file into the man's death has been re-opened.
Superintendent Kevin English confirmed they were re-investigating the case but declined to elaborate.
"We are reviewing the case in light of new evidence," he said.
Inishowen Councillor concerned that rural areas may become depopulated. I'm more worried that we're heading towards urban sprawl, with the depopulation of our town centers, and everyone living in an urban inderland without the benefits of living in a town or in the country.
An Inishowen Councillor is expressing concern that the new Letterkenny Development plan could pave the way for the depopulation of rural Donegal.
The plan, which sets out the towns development over the next six years, will be discussed in full at a meeting of Letterkenny Town Council tonight.
Culdaff Councillor Bernard Mc Guinness says with the population of Letterkenny predicted to double in the next 11 years he is concerned for rural Donegal.
And the recent Rally, that included Donegal, had a record attendance!
The event saw approximately 285,000 people attend over the weekend of the 30th of January, which was the setting for the first round of the World Rally Championship in 2009.
The figures, which were confirmed by the Gardai and the PSNI, exceeded the attendance figures of 2007, which were 250,000.
Rally Ireland 2009 travelled through seven counties in the north and south of Ireland, including Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim.
The final stage of the rally was held in Donegal Town ... Event Director for Rally Ireland, John Naylor says the figures bode very well for attracting the event back to the North West in the future.
And Harvey's has a pretty slick ad:
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
First up, is the North West Alcohol Forum, whom are looking for a director (and after looking at their web site and the various typos, mis-spellings, and links that don't work, should be looking for a web master, I'd suggest hiring a student part-time from LYIT ).
The role involves taking responsibility for planning, structuring, leading and delivering a large community mobilisation project on reducing alcohol related harms in the North West of Ireland. The Director will be responsible and accountable for managing the team involved in project management, business and alcohol policy analysis and communitywide partnership development.
PostBank are looking for an area manager for, Galway, Mayo, & Donegal.
... Area Branch Manager will drive product sales through the Branch offices and ensure effective staff management in these offices. He/She will ensure that the Branch offices are equipped to represent and sell the Postbank product suite through the Branch branches and will be responsible for ensuring that all Sales Executives within these offices are fully equipped to drive product sales for Postbank through their branches.
And someone is looking for a live-in horse groomer:
And Solis is looking for some seasonal help, such as cleaners and porters:
Also look at the following sites for more Donegal jobs:
If you know of any other jobs sites that might be useful for Donegal folk leave us a comment and let us know.
Profits are down at Donegal Creameries, however, they do seem to be doing well and are profitable and must be well managed:
Profits at Donegal Creameries fell sharply in 2008 due to a decline in the global dairy market, the group said today.
Turnover increased by 3.4 per cent in 2008 from €125.6 million to €129.9 million but operating profits from fell €9.3 million to €5.8 million. Underlying profits were €4.7 million down from €6.1 million in 2007 mainly due to dairy commodity prices and less activity in the property market.
The revaluation of development lands in North Western Livestock Holdings resulted in a loss to the group of €4.7 million.
Turnover in the group's dairy business dropped by 5 per cent to €56.3 million. However, its agri-business division performed well with its seed potato business continuing to flourish and its recently established garden centres also making a useful contribution to full-year results.
County Councillor worried about vigilantism in Donegal:
... the media was contacted by a group styling itself as republican, threatening five people in the Letterkenny and Donegal Town areas.
The group claimed the individuals were involved in selling drugs and were warned that action would be taken if they didn't stop ...
Donegal County Councillor and European election candidate Padrag MacLochlainn says these groups should leave policing to the gardai.
There's been an outbreak of mumps in the county and students at Letterkenny Institute of Technology have been offered free vaccinations:
... There have been 54 cases in the county so far this year, compared to 33 in 2008.
Consultant in Public Health Medicine Dr Anthony Breslin said the 1980s scare over the MMR vaccine was to blame.
"People who missed the vaccine are now getting together in third level institutions," he said.
"This is the age group that missed out on getting the MMR vaccine when it was introduced back in 1988.
"What's happening is that they're getting together in universities and colleges and they're meeting people who have the infection and they're not protected.
And there was 3 e-coli contaminations of water supplies in the county in 2007.
There were three incidents of E.Coli contamination of public water supplies in Donegal during 2007 at Ballintra, Cullionboy and Lettermacaward ... The overall rate of compliance in Donegal, 95.3% was below the national average during 2007 but improved slightly from 2006.
Inspector with the EPA Dara Page says Donegal County Council needs to ensure that the required upgrading of water supplies around the county is being carried out
They don't say how these occurred, but often times this is because of waste from farms seeping into the water supply.
And here's a pic of Lough Moran, the reservoir, on the other side of Barnes. Pic taken by Mark Fearon: