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:: Letters to the Editor
Parents can direct their child's education
As the first phase of the national parental survey on school
patronage draws to a close what will the results mean for Irish
Much opinion has been given in the media about the volume of
response rate, good or bad - but this is missing the point.
The real power of the survey is that parents for the first time,
have a chance to direct the future shape of the Irish educational
This bottom up approach, which has been the defining characteristic
of the Educate Together movement, is giving parents a role in
infrastructure planning that will serve that State and all patron
As for survey numbers and their ultimate meaning, there is a simple
conclusion to be drawn. In all five areas that have published
results one patron body was a clear first choice, Educate Together.
Also in each of those areas the numbers of parents that selected
Educate Together were amply sufficient to support a viable school.
There, surely, is the answer to the fundamental question on this
whole process. Is there sufficient demand in distinct areas across
the country to support the establishment of schools under alternate
Yes there is. The results of the remaining 38 survey areas that will
emerge in the coming weeks will also show viable support for many
more schools under alternate patronage models.
11-12 Hogan Place,
An open letter to An Taoiseach from Donegal Action Against
Further to our request for a deputation with you at the
Letterkenny Institute of Technology, which was declined, we would
like you to read this letter on behalf of those people in Donegal
who support Donegal Action against Austerity. Apart from the issues
raised recently regarding the household charges, septic tank and
water charges, it is now apparent that your government is hell bent
on incurring further hardship and austerity on the people of Donegal
by implementing major cuts to the people most in need in our society
i.e. HSE cuts to home help hours and medical departments, cuts to
child benefit, the closing down of rural schools and libraries,
increase in fuel costs and reduction in the number of Garda stations
throughout the county which affects the people most in need in our
society and the centralization of the Coast Guard service in Donegal
which could jeopardize the lives of our already demoralized
You, when in Opposition stated, "You cannot cut and tax your way out
of a recession". We ask you to reconsider and review what you are
intending to do, as you are contradicting your former statement.
You, currently, are trying to cut and tax your way out of this
recession. You have went against your own word which is on the
record. Is the leader of this government a man of his word? By
implementing these cuts and taxes you are going to take us deeper
into a recession none of us can afford. It is jobs and outside
investment that is needed to save this country from economic
depression. By increasing taxes our economy will experience a
financial meltdown of enormous and unprecedented proportions. The
poor and working classes do not have enough income to pay for
austerity. Your austerity measures will just lead to more and more
job losses. Can't you see the disaster ahead of us if you continue
your policies. Are you not listening to the people? Donegal has a
24% unemployment rate when the national average is 14%. What are
your plans for helping deprived areas? Are you ever going to listen
to the voices of the people? Not only are we being squeezed
financially by the banks, but our Government whom we look to uphold
the Constitution and protect the people from 'banksters' is actually
taking part in the pillage of this country and its natural
We urge you to stop playing politics and start protecting people.
The ball is in your court, it's not too late to stand up. Show some
leadership. We trust that An Taosieach and his Government will see
the error of your ways and pull us back from the brink of disaster.
Implementation of these policies will leave Donegal like a rural
Seamus Kee (chairman)
Joe Murphy (pro)
Donegal Action Against Austerity
Seeking Doherty-Linneen information 12.07.12
I am wondering if any of your readers may be able to assist me
in some family research.
I am researching the Linneen family name.
Mary Doherty, daughter of John Doherty, born about 1849, was a
resident of Inishowen, County Donegal, before emigrating to
Australia where she married Mark Linneen in Sydney in 1900.
Mark is the son of my great grandfather, Cornelius Linneen, a
resident of County Clare, before emigrating to Australia about 1860.
Any information about Mary or Mark would be greatly appreciated.
If you are able to publish this request I would be most grateful and
hopefully your readers may be able to assist.
89 The Fairway
I object to constituency shake-up 25.06.12
I would like to voice my objection to the redrawing of the
constituencies in regard to Sligo/north Leitrim/ west Cavan/ south
Donegal. This seems to be completely in contradiction to the
avoidance of county boundaries being breached.
I believe the south Donegal constituency would be better served by
remaining as part of a single Donegal constituency with five seats.
Donegal is traditionally a rural constituency and south Donegal
particularly so, with Sligo town being a urban area. I would
question whether the focus of any elected representative would focus
on the demands of such to the detriment of outlying areas.
In previous elections, two Sligo candidates and one Leitrim
candidate have been elected. I cannot foresee any Donegal
representative going forward from our small area to stand for
elections and do not believe that our area will be effectively
To date we have excellent representatives in the south Donegal area
and believe the area would be better served by Donegal
representatives and within the Donegal constituency.
'Join our 'No Home Taxes' Dáil protest'
The homes in our Republic are under attack and it is time to
shout stop. The Government wants to make the people pay for the
recklessness of domestic and foreign banks and financial
speculators. Taxes on our homes, whether it is the household charge
or the septic tank tax, have to be opposed. These are the only taxes
that we can refuse to pay and we should not pay them.
We are organising a "No Home Taxes" protest against both the septic
tank charges and the household charge outside Dáil Éireann on
Wednesday, 29 February. We would like to invite as many of your
readers as possible to join us. Meetings and protests against the
septic tank charge have happened all over rural Ireland and this is
an excellent opportunity to come together to demonstrate our
widespread rejection of this and the other charges. The septic tank
tax is particularly aimed against rural Ireland. Our protests have
so far had an impact on Minister of the Environment Phil Hogan with
his decision to reduce the registration free from €50 to €5.
But this is not the main issue. Our main demand is that the State
should pay for the upgrading and maintenance of our septic tanks.
The State, with the help of taxes on rural Ireland, funds all the
urban water and sewerage treatment plants. Indeed, in its most
recent report the Environment Protection Agency says the Government
must fund improvements in 50% of the State’s waste treatment plants
in urban areas. We in Rural Ireland Against The Charges demand
equality with our brothers and sisters living in urban Ireland. The
money is there - the Government has earmarked €1.5 billion for water
and wastewater treatment in the next five years. 10% of that money
would suffice to cover the cost of bringing septic tank systems
throughout the Republic up to standard. It would also provide
much-needed jobs for construction workers.
The main points of our campaign are:
1. We are totally in favour of clean water;
2. We accept that septic tanks should be fully functional;
3. We demand that the cost of remedial work should come out of
At the end of the day the issue is all about equity and fairness.
Funds must be spent upgrading rural waste systems in the same way as
upgrading urban waste water systems are being upgraded. We all pay
our taxes and deserve an equivalent level of services.
Anyone prepared to support our protest at the Dail on 29 February
should contact me (see below).
Pádraic an Táilliúra Ó Conghaola
Tel: 087 7682933