Monday, June 29, 2009


Everytime I'm home I've listened to Jordan practicing his boarding across the street from the Mother's, now he's on YouTube showing off his skills, with a soundtrack from the Chemicals, and video by Rory Sweeney:

Happy boarding.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bluestacks Jam Club

Greg provided an update on the Bluestacks Jam Club, looks like it's wile craic, and it'll be something I'll show up for next time I'm home.

Its now official; Monday is the new Saturday night in Donegal Town.with The Bluestacks Jam Club just a month old and drawing crowds form all over the North West and beyond who get tuned into a night of Blues, Rock, Funk. and Reggie and original material...all live and FREE in the Abbey Hotel Monday nights @10pm. Musicians of all ages are jockeying for the mic, as the popularity of the club grows and grows.The night started with The Live Register Blues Band, who are turning into a regular feature at the event. Next up were the very talented duo "Acoustic Breaks" with a wealth of experience behind them. Singer songwriter Jim Carbin and Paul 'Skippy' Meehan, entertained the crowd with some excellent slide guitar sounds, combining their own materiel with a Bluegrass , Flamenco style . They set a mellow groove for the remainder of the first half of the night. The lads will hopefully be featuring many times again before the end of the summer. Our in house D J Kieran "funky old school" Cambell was not around this time as he was competing in the annual Coolshannon stone spreading championship were he came first and win for the first time.ever. Stage Director Jimmy Gallagher was doing an excellent job organising the various artists so the sets flowed continuously for the entire night. Indeed Jimmy made an impromptu performance of his own playing a set which included Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing'. Damien Edwards 'IBO Acoustics' again provided the sound and did the desk. His expertise is much appreciated which frames the Club with a professional sound. Also worthy of thanks are the latest sponsors; The Abbey Hotel, Simple Simon's Health Shop, the Blueberry Restaurant, Peter Dunnion Motor Services, Beleek Co Fermanagh . O' C. Bookmakers, the Diamond Donegal.and Denis Gorman's Barber shop Donegal town €1,150.00 has been raised to date from our sponsors, which will be donated to a local charity later this summer. Part two of the night kicked off with Daniel Vito Kelly's excellent band with both Rosa Byrne and Eoin Travers on Guitars . Daniel proved what a versatile musician he is by drumming as well as playing guitar...and doing vocals. Guitar man Andrew Begley played an impromptu blues set with a very smooth clean style with Morgan Ferriter on Bass and myself on drums. Its great to see young talent carrying Blues Music to their generation because they know that its the roots to all modern music. If you can play the Blues you can play anything.
The penultimate act of the night was provided by Oisin Cannon from the Mirenda Rosenberg Band who was on the same stage two weeks ago. Oisin on vocals and acoustic guitar with Bluestacks Backers by the Ferriter brothers Morgan on bass guitar and Enda on keyboards, and Brian "sticks" Cannon on drums, he performed Pinball wizard among others. He has become a regular feature on Mondays and is one of the most popular artists performing, with very strong vocals and acoustic guitar joined by Skippy and James Carbin, the lads played on much to the delight of the audience. The Final set proved to be the biggest surprise of the night when the young and very talented Emma Hughes from Laghey took to the stage. Singing songs by Led Zeppelin, the Doors and Eric Clapton, she had the crowd eating out of her hand with her huge stage presence. She was then joined by the equally talented Ryan Mc Closkey on lead guitar with some serious soloing which made the hair stand up in the back of my neck , "yes that one hair I have there" It was hard to believe it was their first performance in the club as they took to the stage like seasoned veterans and thats what we are all about. We would like all Musicians to come down any Monday nite for 9.30 .play a few tunes and have a bit a craic. On behalf of the Club I would like to thank all the Musicians who have joined us in giving their time and skills to this. By Greg Gorman

Doors open @10pm FREE entry. Abbey Hotel Donegal Town Send an email to or join Bluestacks Jam Club on Face Book or Bebo.

Looks like there was a decent turnup too (thanks to Danel V. Kelly for the pic on Facebook).

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pavesi on the Balcony

The lads do an acoustic set on BalconyTV in Dublin:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dunkineely Windfarm Denied

Proposals for a windfarm near Dunkineely were turned down due to landslide fears:
... Among the objections were the proximity of the windfarm to domestic dwellings and the devaluation of homes with one home just 600 metres from the proposed windfarm.

An Bord Pleanála was asked to examine the decision in the light of article eight of the European Human Rights Convention which addresses the right to privacy in home and family life.

Accepting the appeal the board referred to the findings of the Peat Slide Risk Assessment which found that there was a significant depth of peat on the site and that the consistency of the peat was extremely weak across the site.

The board said construction of the proposed development could pose "an unacceptable risk of peat failure and landslide in the area of the site, with consequential risk of water pollution in the area".

A windfarm in a bog may have been related to a landslide in Kerry last year:
And perhaps in Galway in 2003:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sandhouse is back in business

In October it was reported that the Sandhouse Hotel in Rossnowlagh was on the market. The General Manager, Paul Diver, is taking over the running of the hotel and saving the 50 jobs associated with the hotel. Good luck Paul and staff, maybe you have a successful 50 years.

The general manager of the Sandhouse Hotel in Rossnowlagh, Paul Diver, and his team are to take over the running of the hotel. They say this management contract will secure the future of up to 50 jobs.

Mr Diver said he aimed to ensure that the Sandhouse retained a reputation for quality and high standards and identified the wedding market as a potential growth area for business.

The Sandhouse was originally built in the early 1950s as a fishing lodge.

Trains return to Barnes

Neilr recorded an historic event of the first trains to pass through the Gap in over 50 years.

In case you can't tell these are very well made scale-models! :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

3D Flyover of the Diamond

To make up for the lack of recent posts, here's a 3D flyover of the Diamond created by ChungaFlomper

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Donegal Town Summer Festival Kickoff

Taken from the Donegal Town Summer Festival's Facebook page:

Donegal summer festival official launch in the reveller bar this thur the 18 th @ 9 with BBQ followed by live music by HUNKY McCOYS BLUES BAND

See their Facebook page (you need a Facebook account) at:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Donegal & Irish oysters are threatened:
A campaign to highlight the threat to native oysters is being launched this afternoon outside Leinster House, with a document being presented to TDs and senators ... The launch was to have taken place tonight in Buncrana, but John Mulcahy of Save the Swilly says it was decided to take it straight to the heart of the decision making process.

More carry-on around the border:
"Parts of south Fermanagh are now considered 'no-go areas' for PSNI patrols because of the CIRA which has established a stronghold in certain areas," said a security source. "As a result, there is no effective policing of villages like Roslea, Lisnaskea, Newtownbutler and Donagh in Fermanagh ... Gardai stationed along the border have been instructed to monitor and record the movements of the suspects and search their vehicles on sight following recent incidents in Northern Ireland. The document provides gardai with the names, addresses and details of vehicles used by the suspects, who live at locations in counties Tyrone, Fermanagh, Donegal and Cavan ...

At least three of those named are believed to be members of the CIRA army council, which directs the terrorist organisation's operations and is responsible for its strategy. These men, who live in Donagh and Newtownbutler in Co Fermanagh, are said by security sources to command a CIRA unit that has carried out bomb attacks against the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Two others named in the document live in the village of Swanlinbar in Co Cavan, and are regarded as key CIRA strategists who provide support to activists in Fermanagh. Other suspects live in Ballyshannon and Bundoran in Co Donegal and Coalisland in Co Tyrone.

And the former speaker of the British House of Commons was holidaying in Northern part of the County:
Michael Martin fled the media spotlight after he was forced out of the post of Commons Speaker last week amid anger at his failure to tackle MPs' expenses. The Scottish politician opted to travel to Ireland and spent the weekend in the subdued surroundings of Portsalon in Co Donegal.

Residents in the village revealed that Martin was a frequent visitor to the area where he was treated like one of the locals. "He's a very nice gentleman. He was here last year and stayed for a week on that occasion and he came back again over the weekend. "He's a very ordinary very nice man," a local source told the Herald.

Sure, he's a wile nice fella, and David McWilliams think that Donegal folk are too nice to their politicians:
Speaking to the Donegal News after the event, he said Donegal people needed to stop looking to politicians to bail them out of the current economic mess. From having talked to a lot of people here, there is a lot of genuflecting to politicians in Donegal and that's unusual because they're not going to do anything for you."

He also claims that Ireland should drop out of the Monetary Union. Sometimes I think David talks some sense, and other times I think he's off his trolley.

A charity founded in Donegal has won 2 awards: was established in Ballyshannon in 2004 by Keith Corcoran of Laghey, Anna Lally of Rossnowlagh and Ruairí Keenghan McKiernan from Ballyshannon.

The charity has been awarded the Junior Chambers International National Award for Social Entrepreneurship ... The team have also picked up a prestigious Net Visionary Award, winning the 'Social Contribution' category at the 2009 awards ceremony in Dublin.

See for more information about SpunOut , whose goals include empowering young people.

Donegal beachs are safe:
Popular bathing spots in Donegal have recieved a good rating in a new survey on water quality ... Nine areas across the country found to be non-compliant with EU water quality standards. The EPA says last summer's bad weather, which resulted in overflowing drains and excess run-off from land, added to the poor result ... Bathing spots under the auspices of Donegal County Council fared well however, with all 19 found to be compliant.

Like hip-hop? Well maybe you saw 2 of Donegal's hip-hop artists on the "Full Circle" tour in May:
Paul McMullan, better known as Mugsy in his hometown of Letterkenny and Willie Gallagher, aka FreeState, from Muff, will this weekend take to the stage at one of Dublin's most famous live music venues, Eamonn Doran's in the heart of Temple Bar. Already an integral part of Donegal's Hip Hop Scene, the two rappers have joined forces with fellow artists from North to South to bring Irish Hip Hop to the masses ... If you would like to find out more about the Hip Hop Scene in Donegal why not log onto or .

Rory Gallagher Tribute Festival 2009

I totally missed out on the Rory Gallagher Festival in Ballyshannon, which was at the end of May.

Thanks to wawuschel for the pic!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Barnesmore under Moonlight

Another great pic from Mark

Barnesmore under Moonlight
Originally uploaded by Pitmatic


Sorry for the sporadic news reports! If anyone wants to submit any articles, stories, news stories, tall tales, or photographs send them on:

The Indo has an interesting story about how the poor weather in April/May was affecting Donegal tillage growers. Let's hope the recent good weather has improved things:
The continued poor weather is taking its toll on crops and growers alike. Many growers are tearing their hair out at the sight of miserable crops or crops deteriorating in front of their eyes.

All crops need a period of growthy weather and certainly need a dry spell so that land can soak ...

On my travels through the country, I was fortunate to visit Donegal last week. I am always impressed by the endless optimism of Donegal tillage growers and their willingness to do the best job they can considering the weather conditions they have to put up with. When I arrived last Wednesday night, the growers who attended were a little downbeat as rain and wind had been constant for the previous three days and, to top it all off, about three-quarters of an inch of heavy rain was dumped on the area in the previous three hours. Land is very wet, probably akin to the conditions you might see in January.

Way up north they have a lovely new bridge connected the Fanad & Rosguill peninsulas, but a crappy road on one side where 2 cars can't pass each other:

Editor of the Tirconaill Tribune, John McAteer, lives near the narrows.

"To be fair it's a masterpiece of a bridge and a disaster of a road - the road is basically as bad as you can get.

"There was money for the roads four or five years ago during the boom times and there was an understanding that a new road would be built to the bridge from the monument of Kindrum which is about 4km away."

Fianna Fail TD Niall Blaney, a supporter of the project, admitted it was disappointing the roads were not upgraded at the same time the bridge was built.

BT won't be cutting jobs in Ireland (North or South). And if your up in Letterkenny, you can look forward to BT improving their network (I assume this means better connectivity and greater bandwidth by tapping into the network hub in Derry):

Meanwhile, the company announced a multi-million pound project to upgrade its network on both sides of the border in the North West of the island. It will extend its 'next generation network' by directly linking Letterkenny in County Donegal with Londonderry, Belfast and Dublin.

And BT got the contract to handle phone calls to the emergency services, which will mean 50 jobs for Ballyshannon, and 50 for Navan:

The revamped 999 service is designed to cut response times with exact details on the geographic whereabouts of distressed callers using their mobile phones.

Michael Norman, of BT Ireland which won the contract for the new system, said it would allow emergency services to get to the scene in the quickest possible time and could potentially save more lives ... BT Ireland said it will be creating up to 100 jobs at Ballyshannon, Co Donegal and Navan, Co Meath after it was awarded a €10m contract for the service. The two centres, along with a third overflow centre at East Point in Dublin, are expected to handle up to five million emergency calls from the public every year.

The service will be staffed by multi-lingual operators who are able to deal with emergency calls from non-nationals living in Ireland, according to Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, speaking at the jobs announcement in Co Donegal. The first emergency calls are expected to be handled in the centres, at the Ballyshannon IT Centre, Portnason, and at the IDA business park at Athlumney, Navan, in November.

BT Ireland won the five-year contract from Eircom, which currently operates the existing service and is preparing to hand it over in the coming month.

However the Tánaiste, Mary Couglan, was in Ballyshannon to announce the 50 new jobs where the 75 laid-off at a building supplies firm gave her a hostile reception:

Emergency call-answering service chiefs are stepping up a campaign of awareness that the number to call is 112, the only SOS number in use across Europe, but not yet in Ireland or Britain.

The Tánaiste received a hostile reception from protesters representing 75 staff who became unemployed when a building supplies company went into liquidation in Ballyshannon last week and another 22 workers at the Britvic depot in the town, who are to be made redundant next month.

The protesters jeered Ms Coughlan, who is also job creation minister, when she arrived to announce the opening of the new call centre.

What I want to know is why are they changing the emergency number?

Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, who visited Donegal yesterday to announce the Ballyshannon jobs, said she expected that 999 will be eradicated as Ireland's standard emergency call number within a generation.

And why can't they use both 112 and 999?

And are ye a musician? Well the Abbey is starting a jam session June 1st, see for more info:

There's heroin up in them there hills:

The drug was seized in a raid on a 100-year-old cottage in the hills outside Lettermacaward in the early hours of Sunday.

And newly hatched baby eagles:

A PAIR of golden eagles have hatched two young chicks in Glenveagh National Park. John Gormley TD Minister for the Environment, Heritage & Local Government said the Golden Eagle Project has previously suffered from setbacks due to poisoning but it was positive that two chicks have hatched ... In 2007, this breeding pair in Glenveagh National Park hatched two young but the second chick died and disappeared after only six to eight days. Because of this, this time the weaker chick was removed and examined before it was placed in the care of an expert falconer in Glenties, Pedro Soltani.

Sunday, June 07, 2009


See the election results on RTE:

And listen live:

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Well sorta! Sorry I haven't posted much in a while, I've been wile busy at the new job, and just haven't had the time or motivation to work on the blog. Some of those posts can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 40 minutes or more and after a long day at work sometimes it's hard to concentrate on something for that long, and to actually write something that makes sense.

Anyways, I came across this story on the Irish Times' site, some fecker went joy-riding on the Aranmore ferry. There was a chase, and the fecker beached the craft and did a fair amount of damage it. Also, look at the commutte one of the co-owner's has to his job at Finner, a return trip of 216km every day!
... Louise said: “They got to within about 500 yards of the Realt na Maidne and whoever was on board must have spotted them then for he just put the foot down and the ferry disappeared off behind a peninsula.” But by now word had spread and other people were watching from the island and the mainland.

Mr Boyle, the ferry co-owner, said: “He rammed the pursuing dinghy and then hit a rock while going in and out of rocks before beaching the ferry and making a run for it but he was caught by some local boys who held him until the gardaí arrived.”

A man in his 30s was arrested at about 8.30am ... The ferry was towed to Burtonport. Gardaí said there was considerable damage done to it.

Mr Boyle (36) is a long-distance commuter with a difference. He travels a 216km round-trip by ferry and car every day from his island home to his job as a garage fitter at Finner Camp near Bundoran where he is an Army private.

He started his ferry company three years ago when he realised others, like him, would return to live on their native island if there was a suitable ferry service to help them get to work on the mainland.

More posts in the near future! If anyone wants to post some article themselves let me know, I can give you access to post them directly on the blog, you can e-mail them to me and I can post them, or you can even e-mail a blog posting directly to the blog (at it's top-secret e-mail address) and it'll automatically be posted on Donegal Friends. Leave a comment if your interested.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Pavesi in Dublin: Friday June 5th

Pavesi will be in Dublin on Friday June 5th at The Sugar Club. The Sugar Club is on Leeson Street. Last time they played in Dublin they were in Slatterys.

If your on Facebook you can RSVP here:

Friday, June 5, 2009
7:25pm - 11:25pm
Leeson Street