Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Scotsmans

A great pic of The Scotsman's:
The Scotsman's Bar, Donegal Town

Thanks to Flickr user Salmon Leap for the pic.

Now, do ye all know why it's called The Scotman's? It's because The Scotsman's was owned by Willie Gibson and his wife (whose name I've forgotten). Wille was from Scotland, hence the name of the pub. The front of the pub (where the window is) used to be a wee grocery shop. When I was a kid I used to get wafers and sweets, and the Ma would send me down to get sliced ham, and sometimes a half-block of HB Raspberry Ripple.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bluestack Jammers: Pavesi

If you like Pavesi they'll be playing at the Bluestack Jamclub tomorrow night (Monday Aug 24th).

Sheep Racing

Found on YouTube (thanks to FinnValley for post it), a sheep race out in Leghowney:

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bear Grylls in Donegal

See Bear Grylls scale Slieve League:

Thanks to Senna over on for posting about the video.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

James McAllister RIP.

James was my Uncle (through marriage), he passed away last week after a courageous battle with cancer. James was a good man, and he'll be missed.
As per the death notice:
Family flowers only. Donations in lieu to Sr. Magdalene for Solace or to any member of the family or to Robert Faulkners undertaker.

Thanks to the Donegal Democrat for reporting on this (and I hope they don't mind me borrowing most of their article):

Donegal Town's St Patrick's Church was packed to capacity last Monday week for the funeral Mass of James McAllister. A leading local businesman, starting up his drinks distribution company over 30 years ago, in recent times passing same over to his son Fergal.

His popularity and the esteem in which he was held was reflected by the huge numbers who attended at his Mass, celebrated by Fr Willie Peoples PP, Tawnawilly.

In his 73rd year, his courageous and lengthy battle against cancer, displayed great Christian fortitude and the overall positive attitude James had to life and his great love of Donegal. Among his many passions was political debate and would think nothing of spending several hours in a casual street meeting discussing the current state of the nation.

A person possessed of a great social conscience and kindness, he often made readily available the company lorries at no charge for either community events or to the ordinary individual seeking to just move house furniture. A great ambassador for Donegal and all things associated. In recent years his taxi business ferried visitors to countywide historical areas, where James’s detailed knowledge always was to come to the fore. A fact that his customers always appreciated, which left a positive lasting impression of Donegal in their minds.

An avid sports enthusiast, had a great love for hurling which he always attributed to the fact that his late parents originated from the hurling heartlands of Galway and Antrim. For many years he also followed the trials and tribulations of the Irish Rugby team. A life long member of Donegal Town Snooker Club which he regularly visited during the course of his illness, to meet, debate, socialise and have the ‘craic’ with friends. On the GAA scene, even though an avid Donegal supporter, his admiration of Tyrone, their style of play, and manager Mickey Harte was no secret, that he often spoke of this team as the ultimate at their sport. One of James lasting memories was meeting Mickey Harte when the Tyrone manager visited him at Donegal Hospice in Letterkenny a month ago.

Born in the heart of Donegal Town, the McAllister family lived in Quay Street, with their late dad, Charlie, a member of the Garda Siochana who was respected and loved by the community he served with distinction. A period of sadness which James often spoke about, was the untimely death of his young brother Johnny, the youngest member of this large family, drowned in a fishing trawler accident off Howth Head in the 1970’s.

As the funeral cortège of James McAllister wound its way to St Agatha’s Cemetery Clar, many were seen to openly weep a the loss of a true Donegal man whose passing has saddened the hearts of the community he loved so much. Sincere sympathy is extended to his wife Isabel, daughters Tracey and Petrina, sons Romauld,Fergal, Charlie, Darragh,seven grandchildren, brothers and sisters, all other relatives and friends.
I hear that the priest said at the funeral, that when he arrived at the house to give James the last rites, James muttered at him:
Your late.

Bluestack Cheque Presentation

Pic from Greg.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


If your at the Newport Rhode Island Film Festival, go catch Cecilia McAllister's film titled "Butterfly" at 1pm today.


Sean Needham Record Release Party

Sean's new album "Time is a Friend" is out and after a great gig at the Bluestacks Jam Club, the main record release party will be at Whelans in Dublin on Friday August 14th. This will be at Whelans Upstairs and as far I can tell the gig starts at 11:30pm and is free in before 10:30pm. But, if you don't pay the cover, buy a CD from Sean! If I've the details wrong, please post a comment and correct me.

Whelans is really easy to find, it's on Wexford Street about 10 minutes walk from the end of Grafton Street, or just head straight up St George's Street and you'll be there. Funnily enough I used to live just a few street away on Synge Street, which our landlady told us wasn't named after J.M. Synge the writer, but after Joe Synge (or similar) the builder, who built most of the houses on the street ... :)

Here's a map, tis wile easy to get to. If your driving from Donegal, just dump the car at a friend's house or at the hotel as you'll never get parked. Just do the bus and a taxi and the end of the night.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Tullan For the Township

World's Largest Surf Lesson in aid of the Niall Mellon Township Trust at Tullan Strand near Bundoran! They did it before in 2007 & 2008, show up on August 22nd 2009 to make this the world's largest surfing lesson and help people living in South African townships:

World's Largest Surf Lesson in aid of the Niall Mellon Township Trust

Saturday August 22nd will see the third annual Tullan For The Township event taking place at Tullan Strand Bundoran, with Live Music all day including Red Kid, Onya and The Dead Flags, and fun activities for all the family with Pony Rides, Beach Games, Face Painting and a Tullan Pirate's Treasure Hunt

All money raised on the day will go towards the Niall Mellon Township Trust annual Building Blitz, Carol and Seamus Fallon and Killian O'Kelly are volunteering to help build, adding to the thousands of homes already built by the charity.

Carol and Seamus would like to extend their utmost gratitude to everybody who helped to make last year such a success, all the participants, organisers, bands, sponsors, volunteers and everybody who came out to watch, there is a clip of our Guinness World Record attempt now on the Gallery Page and we hope to make this years event an even bigger success

Image courtesy of Tullan for the Township.

Sean Needham at the Bluestack Jam!

Sean was at the Bluestack Jam and it sounds like it went well, per this message from the Bluestacks Facebook Group:

Throughout the past few years Donegal singer songwriter Seán Needham has been bringing his blend of 'upbeat acoustic rock' to audiences across Denmark and Ireland . His music style been compared to Van Morrison and Jack Johnson. Seán will launch his second album 'Time is a Friend' in Whelans of Dublin on Friday 14th of August 2009 but the exclusive Bluestacks Jam Club prelaunch met all expectations and once again raised the bar of what this is all about. Along with his wife Ester and the now very well established ''Bluestacks Backers'' house band, he so suprised his fans new and old that all they wanted was copies of his new Album which he generesly signed.

Seán Needham recorded 'Time is a Friend' in Denmark where he now lives, with the help of producer Julian Falck of Mofus.

Seán released his first album entitled 'Loosely Based on A True Story' in Ireland in 2004. The single 'Hey Juliet' was play-listed on nation and regional radio stations across Ireland and earned him much publicity and support slots with major artists including, Tracy Chapman, Diana Krall, and The Divind Comedy.

Find out more about sean and his music at the following links.


The Independent
"His song writing really stands out. He never sacrifices melody on the altar of earnestness and what a gift for melody he has."


Loosely Based On A True amenable, slightly confessional,'s a record that infiltrates you when you least expect it. Stylistically, Needham is different...replacing whingeing indignation with a sense of clarity and reason'


'Sean Needham has got a powerful voice and his band play to a highly polished degree of sophistication'


'Uptempo acoustic rock is the main flavour of the music...Lyrically there is a lot of spirituality to his songs...Needham is at his best when he sits down to tell a story...all told, it's an impressive debut'

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Unemployed? Get a new education?

LYIT will have 40 places available to allow unemployed people to retrain and develop new skills:

Forty Postgraduate places will be made available for unemployed people in Letterkenny Institute of Technology.

Its part of the Governments plan to retrain and upskill workers who have lost their jobs during the economic downturn.

The courses are due to start in September and are in the areas of science, engineering and technology.

I think this is a great idea and could be fantastic way to improve one's skills and education, plus going back to college can be a great way to network, make new friends and acquaintances and beats the feck out of being on the dole.

However, what no-one is saying, is that even if LYIT provides valuable skills and an education, you'll probably still have to move to Dublin or further afield to get a job. That's not the fault of LYIT, but there's not a wile load of industry in Donegal and the farming, building, and "holiday home real estate market" doesn't need a wile load of scientists or programmers.

What's also needed is entrepreneurial spirit to create businesses and jobs, because obviously the government can't and most of the international companies that show-up eventually bail when the government handouts run out. Look at Donegal Creameries; using a Donegal strength (agriculture) and our relatively unspoilt land to create Ireland's largest organic farm. Something like could be used to leverage a Donegal strength and could you imagine shoppers around the country clambering for pure Donegal milk and spuds?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sean Needham

Great funny video, and song from Sean Needham:

I didn't even know he from the town until Sean G. facebook'd me the video.

More videos from Sean are available on his Youtube page.