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Health check-up for the nation 15.04.14
A MAJOR survey of the nation’s health is to be undertaken looking at
key areas such as diet, alcohol intake and sexual health.
The Healthy Ireland Survey will take place annually over three years
and will poll a representative sample of the population in private
households over the age of 15.
The project is part of a ten-year national framework to improve the
health and wellbeing of people in Ireland.
The Department of Health recently invited tenders for the
undertaking of the survey which "will report on key indicators of
lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, physical
activity, diet, sexual health and wellbeing to monitor the key
trends and policy impacts in those areas".
Is your child safe in your car? 15.04.14
AS many as three-in-four child car seats may not be fitted properly
increasing the risk of death or serious injury to children in a road
accident. The Road Safety Authority's Check it Fits service is
providing free checks in Co Donegal this month.
Donegal road safety officer Brian O’Donnell urged parents not to
miss the demonstrations. “This is a fantastic service and is fast,
convenient and free of charge,” he said.
Check it Fits demonstrations will be held at the following locations
at the same time of 10am - 5.30pm:
Lidl, Donegal Town on Thursday, April 17
Letterkenny Shopping Centre, Port Road on Friday, April 18
Aldi, Neil T Blaney Road, Letterkenny, on Tuesday, April 22
Forte Shopping Centre, Neil T Blaney Road on Thursday, April 24
12,000 pieces of gold for Brian Boru 15.04.14
A SPECIAL €20 gold coin bearing the face of Brian Boru will be
launched later this month to mark the 1,000th anniversary of the
Battle of Clontarf.
The miniature commemorative coin features an artist's impression of
the bearded Irish High King on one side with the Brian Boru harp on
The Central Bank coin has been designed by Irish sculptor Noel Hoare
and has been struck in fine gold proof. It is 11mm in diameter, 0.5
grammes in weight, and will have a limited issue of 12,000 pieces.
The coin has been minted to mark Boru's victory at Clontarf on April
23, 1014. Noel Hoare said his design was inspired by coinage from
"When I entered the Battle of Clontarf coin competition I came to
the conclusion that a coin similar to the coins of the period would
be suitable," he said.
The coin, priced €48, will be officially launched by the Central
Bank on April 30 but can be pre-ordered now.
Top Irish paintings under the hammer 15.04.14
TWO seascapes by Irish artists Jack Butler Yeats and Paul Henry will
be auctioned next month in London.
Jack B Yeats’ work 'Island Men Returning' is an oil on panel painted
in 1919, depicting two currachs pulling back into harbour.
'Boats at Sea' an oil on canvas by Paul Henry was completed and
signed by the artist in 1936.
Each painting is valued at between €72,000 and €97,000 and are from
private British and Canadian collections. They will be among the top
lots at Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art Sale on May 28. “We are
thrilled to be offering these two exceptional works by such stellar
Irish names. Both featuring boats at sea and never before offered at
auction, they present a golden opportunity to acquire a fresh and
rare marine painting by two of Ireland’s most famous artists," said
Bonhams head of Irish art, Penny Day.
Election register deadline looms 14.04.14
People who are not registered to vote in the forthcoming
elections are being urged to get on the Supplementary Register of
Electors before the May 6 deadline. Independent European candidate
Senator Ronan Mullen said members of the public could check whether
they are on the voting register by simply logging on to
or visiting their local city or county council offices. Those not
registered can complete a supplementary application form available
from local councils, Garda stations, libraries, post offices or
online "It's important that people make their voices heard at
election time. Exercising your right to vote is essential for the
healthy working of our democracy - a fact that can sometimes be
forgotten," he said.
TD concerned about Junior Cert changes
A DONEGAL TD has warned Education Minister Ruairí Quinn that it
is "extremely unwise" to abolish all independent assessment at
junior cycle level.
Deputy Charlie McConalogue said there was just four months to go
until the changes begin to be rolled out in schools across the
country. “It is extremely unwise of Minister Quinn to continue his
blind pursuit of abolishing independent junior cycle assessment,
while teachers remain gravely concerned about the impact on students
and educational outcomes.
"The teachers that he is expecting to introduce these reforms in
matter of months are currently engaged in industrial action because
they were not properly consulted and their concerns were ignored. My
party is fully supportive of the need to reform the Junior
Certificate and that is why the previous Government set the ball
rolling. However I firmly believe that the outright abolition of all
independent assessment is not the answer."
"Banks have fatally undermined personal insolvency" - TD
IRISH banks' intention to veto any Personal Insolvency proposal
involving a write-down of mortgage debt has left the system "fatally
undermined and useless" for many mortgage holders, according to Sinn
Féin. Donegal T.D., Deputy Pearse Doherty said Bank of Ireland and
Ulster Bank had both outlined their positions to the Oireachtas
Finance Committee. "The policies of these banks mean that the
Personal Insolvency Act is now useless in its current form for many
mortgage holders," said Deputy Doherty. "Minister Shatter must now
look again at the whole process and urgently bring in the necessary
changes to remove the banks’ veto."
Diabetes nurse for Donegal children
THE 143 children in Co Donegal with diabetes have got some
welcome news that the recruitment of a specialist paediatric nurse
for Letterkenny Hospital is to get underway shortly.
The announcement came following a meeting yesterday between Donegal
Diabetes Parent Support Group and Health Minister James Reilly.
The issue had been highlighted in the Dáil by a number of Donegal
Deputy Thomas Pringle congratulated the parents' group for "all
their hard work which has led to this result". The group had handed
in a petition to the department calling for the urgent service. “I
eagerly await the recruitment of this specialist nurse, which is the
first big step towards providing a centre of excellence for diabetes
in LGH that we so badly need in the North West," he said.
Quarter of Donegal farmers over 65 07.04.14
MORE than a quarter of working farmers in Donegal are aged 65 or
older, latest figures show. European election candidate for
Midlands, North and West, Ronan Mullen, said more measures were
needed to attract young men and women into farming.
"Over 28 per cent of farmers in Donegal are over 65. The viability
of small farms is important not just for the farmer and their
families but also for the local communities, economic development
and ultimately for consumers to ensure a reasonably priced supply of
quality food," he said. " He called on the Department of Agriculture
to launch a comprehensive information and awareness campaign
highlighting the benefits of a career in farming for young people.
"When farming thrives, communities prosper," he added.
Donegal "left behind" on broadband 04.04.14
LARGE areas of Donegal remain without access to a quality
broadband service, a local T.D., has said.
Deputy Charlie McConalogue has now demanded a progress report on the
implementation of the National Broadband Plan and the Rural
Broadband Scheme in the county.
“This National Broadband Plan, published by the Minister for
Communications Pat Rabbitte in 2012, promised to ensure that high
speed broadband was available to all citizens of this country. But
it seems that Donegal is being left far behind," he said.
“It followed on from the Rural Broadband Scheme, which sought to
provide a service to previously unconnected homes by the end of
2012. That scheme did not meet its targets. Only 25% of the homes
targeted by the rural broadband scheme have been connected to
broadband as part of this scheme. The real impact of the scheme is
yet to be seen. I fear the National Broadband Plan is heading down a
similar route," he added.
Derry company dresses 11,000 border staff
A DERRY clothing firm has picked up several industry awards
after supplying new uniforms to 11,000 border and immigration
officers in the UK.
Hunter Apparel recently supplied a whopping 250,000 bespoke items of
uniform including dark blue shirts and trousers to Border Force and
Immigration Enforcement staff at Britain’s sea and airports. Hunter
Apparel said the new uniform had been praised "at the highest
levels" in the Home Office in Whitehall. The textiles firm picked up
gongs in the best business manager; best managed major contract and
best bespoke work-wear uniform design categories at the recent UK
Fashion and Textile Association Awards. It shared in the awards with
Border Force. Border Force programme manager Samantha Heilling said
staff had a new uniform they were "proud to wear".
€3.5m for disaster management project
EU funding of €3.5 million has been awarded to an Irish-led
project that will help countries prepare for a large-scale disaster
such as an explosion or flood.
University College Cork is to lead an international consortium
tasked with developing "a new standard in crisis management" capable
of operating across borders.
The three-year project titled Securing Health Emergency Learning and
Planning (S-HELP), will be co-ordinated by UCC’s new Centre for
Security Management Research. The HSE, the Public Health Agency in
the North, Sweden's Lund University and Israel’s national aid
society and blood bank service, Magen David Adom, are among those
signed up to take part.
The new project will develop systems for managing all four phases of
an emergency situation: planning, preparedness, response and
It will also examine what happens in the aftermath of a major
disaster including its effects on mental health. One of the training
exercises to simulate a large-scale disaster will involve the HSE
and its counterpart in the North.
Donegal children need diabetes nurse 02.04.14
DONEGAL TD Thomas Pringle has called for the recruitment of a
clinical paediatric diabetes nurse at Letterkenny General Hospital.
He said the appointment was a "matter of urgency" for the health of
about 143 Donegal children.
“As it stands there is currently no diabetes nurse covering
paediatric care for these children in the county who have the Type 1
form of the condition, which in this day and age is ludicrous," he
told the Dáil.
“These children can use an insulin pump to cut down on the number of
daily injections they have to get, but the nearest centre of
excellence for pump therapy is four hours away in Dublin. This is
highly unsatisfactory for these children’s needs and a great burden
on the families who are already struggling to manage their
children’s condition," he added.
He praised the work of the Donegal Parents Diabetes Support Group
and Donegal branch of Diabetes Ireland for highlighting this issue
and said he would keep pressing for the appointment.
€36,000 to repair Greencastle road
FUNDING of €36,000 has been allocated to resurface the Poundtown
road, from the crossroads to the fisheries college. Announcing the
allocation, local Labour councillor, Martin Farren, said the money
had been negotiated at a recent Road Services workshop in Carndonagh.
“Earlier this year €100,000 was spent re-aligning and resurfacing
the Drumaweir and Church Brae sections of the road and this further
allocation should see the job completed. The Poundtown road is in
poor condition at present but a series of water main bursts over
recent years has delayed repairs. I would hope that resurfacing
works can be done before the summer," said Cllr Farren.
Buncrana parking plan slated 01.04.14
BUNCRANA local election candidate, Joe Murphy, has hit out at
plans to abolish the half-hour free parking in the seaside town.
People Before Profit candidate Mr Murphy said free parking in
Buncrana should be increased to two hours "to send out a strong
signal to the people in Inishowen and further a field that we want
Mr Murphy, a leading member of Donegal Action Against Austerity,
said the group would launch a petition in the coming weeks in a bid
to get the local council "to reconsider" its plans.
Top committee orders 'Lost at Sea' review
A EUROPEAN Parliament committee has asked the Irish government
to review the Donegal Byrne family's ‘Lost at Sea’ case. MEP Jim
Higgins said an official letter has been sent to Minister Simon
Coveney, from the high-ranking Committee on Petitions asking for
clarification as to why the Byrne family “was not treated with more
equity and fairness”. It follows last month’s petition by Mr Higgins
and Danny Byrne before the Parliament's Petitions Committee
requesting that the Government compensates the Byrnes, according to
recommendations by the then Irish Ombudsman, Emily O’ Reilly.
“Importantly, the committee has now formally asked the Irish
government to conduct a full review of the case relating to the
Byrne family so that they may obtain justice,” said Mr Higgins.
Daffodil Day underway 28.03.14
VOLUNTEERS are out in force throughout Donegal today to collect
funds for the Irish Cancer Society's Daffodil Day. All funds raised
will go directly to fund the work of the society across research,
advocacy, services and free nationwide care. More than 4,000
volunteers nationwide will be selling fresh daffodils and daffodil
pins aiming to raise €3.45million.
Candidate welcomes move on roaming charges
LOCAL election candidate for the Foyle, Mary McCauley has
welcomed the news that the European parliament will take a vote to
abolish roaming charges in the coming weeks.
It is widely expected that the vote will be passed, allowing for the
abolition of roaming charges by the December 15, 2014.
“This has been a major issue for the Foyle, due to our proximity to
the border. The service that has been provided to the area has
simply been below-par for years. We have been overcharged for a
non-existent service and I am glad to see that we are nearing the
end of roaming charges," she said.
Europe candidates vie for Donegal votes 28.03.14
DONEGAL is getting a fuller picture of the candidates who will
appeal for their votes in the European elections in May.
Roscommon T.D., Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan is the lastest to confirm his
intention to seek a MEP seat. However he faces stout competition
from popular sitting MEPs Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher of Fianna Fáil,
Independent Marian Harkin and Fine Gael duo Jim Higgins and Mairead
McGuinness, writes Jessie Magee.
Other hopefuls for the four seats in the sprawling constituency
spanning 12 counties include Independent Senator Ronan Mullen, Sinn
Féin’s Matt Carthy, Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins and Thomas Byrne
of Fianna Fáil.
Last week of library amnesty 26.03.14
IT'S the last week of the Donegal library fines amnesty so
members are being urged to get overdue books back before the end of
March. Any outstanding fines will be waived for this month only.
It's an ideal opportunity to turn over a new leaf and return to the
library with all it has to offer. The Donegal library service is
also offering a €50 gift voucher for the best excuse for why books
are late. There will be a voucher for an adult and child. For more
Senior ambulance official meets Porter family
THE deputy director of the HSE’s National Ambulance Service has
travelled to Inishowen to meet the family of the late Maura Porter.
Ms Porter (70) died after being knocked down near her home in
Carndonagh five days after Christmas. The Irish Times reported that
Dr Cathal O’Donnell was due to meet the deceased woman's husband,
son and daughter in his capacity as chairman of the incident review
team investigating events that occurred on the night. The local
woman waited almost 50 minutes for an ambulance to attend her after
Do you need a Design Doctor? 24.03.14
DONEGAL people whose homes need a makeover are being invited to
apply for the next series of RTE's 'The Design Doctors'. Homeowners
who've outgrown their space with a lack of storage, drab or dated
décor, wasted rooms or nowhere to entertain are eligible to apply.
"The Design Doctors will show people how best to invest in your home
with the budget you already have, to add real value to your living
space," a spokesperson said. Families, couples or individuals whose
house or apartment is proving a negative in their lives can email
or call Ciara on 01-6468243.
Young driver seriously injured in crash
A young driver has been seriously injured in a crash near
Letterkenny in the early hours of this morning. Gardaí are
investigating the single-vehicle collision that happened at about
12.50am. The 23-year old man was the sole occupant of the car when
it collided with a stone wall at Drumnohoagh on the Letterkenny to
Derry Road about 2km outside Letterkenny. The man was taken to
hospital where his condition is described as serious.
The road is closed for a forensic examination and diversions are in
place. Gardai are appealing for witnesses or anyone who may have
been on the Letterkenny to Derry road between 12.30am and 1am. They
are asked to call 074 9167100, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800
666 111 or any garda station.
Troika “got it wrong” say MEPs 18.03.14
FIVE Irish MEPs have blamed policies by the IMF, ECB and
European Commission for growing levels of unemployment, poverty and
emigration in bailout countries, writes Jessie Magee. They were
commenting on a report passed by the European Parliament following a
four-month inquiry into the Troika’s activities in Ireland, Greece,
Portugal and Cyprus. The text written by Spanish MEP Alejandro
Cercas acknowledged that the Troika may have “saved economic
accounts” in the four countries. However, he said it failed on
numerous counts by condemning ordinary people to “misery and
joblessness”. Among the Irish MEPs who endorsed the report were
Labour’s Emer Costello and Phil Prendergast, Independents Marian
Harkin and Nessa Childers and Socialist MEP Paul Murphy.
“We were standing on the sidelines, powerless to influence what was
going on,” said Ms Harkin. Mr Murphy added: “The best excuse they
can come up with is ‘The Troika told us to do it.’ Did the dog eat
your election manifesto too?” he mocked.
Bronagh commits to hospice 18.03.14
SINGER and actress Bronagh Gallagher has signed up to help
terminally ill patients in her home city of Derry. The Commitments
and Pulp Fiction star has been named the first charity patron of the
Foyle Hospice. The local star now hopes she can help the hospice
reach its challenging fundraising targets.
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