Monday, June 08, 2009


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.

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