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Launch tonight of NUIG alumni branch
GRADUATES of NUI Galway from Donegal or those now living and
working in the county are invited to the official launch of a new
Donegal alumni branch tonight.
The university's alumni officer Colm O'Dwyer said: "For many years
Donegal has been one of our largest contributors of students. Each
year we see up to 400 students from Donegal attending NUI Galway."
One guest alumna speaking up for the new branch tonight will be
Joanne Sweeney-Burke originally from Downings and now living in
Galway. She also has both her companies, Media Box and Digital
Training Institute, based at the campus' Business Innovation Centre.
The launch takes place on Thursday, March 6 at 7:30pm in the Mount
Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny. For more details call 091 493750.
Car crash alert system by 2015 06.03.14
AN automatic device to alert emergency services the minute a car
crash happens will be fitted in all new cars and light vans from
October 2015, under draft EU laws agreed this week.
MEPs in Strasbourg gave the green light to legislation which will
make it compulsory for car manufacturers to install the eCall
system, despite resistance from the motor industry.
Midlands-North-West MEP Jim Higgins, a member of the European
Parliament’s Transport Committee, said manufacturers had given
“grossly-inflated” cost estimates for the eCall system of €300. In
fact, he said the actual price for the device is €100. “It’s an
excellent device, because it lets the ambulance, police and fire
service know the exact location of a collision within minutes of it
happening. And as we all know, getting somebody to medical services
within the first 60 minutes of a crash is crucial to mitigating
their injuries and saving lives,” said the Fine Gael MEP.
Another advantage of the eCall device, which is already available on
a voluntary basis, is that it can gauge the seriousness of an
accident and it can be disabled if, for example, your air bag goes
off and you feel you don’t need emergency services.
EU probes cross-border beef "limbo" 06.03.14
An EU Commissioner is to investigate claims that Irish farmers
are facing anti-competitive restrictions on the cross-border trade
of livestock. Internal Markets Commissioner Michel Barnier has
agreed to examine concerns raised about dramatic price cuts being
imposed on cattle born in the Republic but reared and slaughtered in
Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness said beef from these animals is
being downgraded to a lower price because it does not meet the
labelling designation of born, reared and slaughtered in the UK.
"Irish farmers are suddenly not able to sell their cattle in
Northern Ireland because they are labelling their beef, in
accordance with EU rules, as Irish-born, British-reared and
British-slaughtered. This is something supermarket buyers do not
want, and they are giving lower prices for that meat,” she said.
Ms McGuinness said the situation is resulting in a freeze on
movement of cattle going from the south of Ireland into the north
for finishing, which was a traditional pattern. She also said it is
leaving Irish-born cattle in the north in “limbo” as many sellers
cannot find a slaughter house to take them.
€1.45m award for Gleneely girl 05.03.14
A seven-year-old Inishowen girl with cerebral palsy is to
receive a €1.45 million interim payment under a settlement of her
High Court action.
Ruby Leanne McCandless from Gleneely allegedly suffered the
condition as a result of her mother not being referred to hospital
with symptoms of pre-eclampsia. Ruby Leanne has diskinetic cerebral
palsy and will need care for the rest of her life, the High Court
heard. It heard that her mother, Christina McDaid, had high blood
pressure at the end of her pregnancy in 2006 and should have been
referred to hospital immediately.
It was alleged in the action against the HSE that there was a
failure to diagnose and treat Ms McDaid’s pre-eclampsia at the
earliest reasonable opportunity. A smiling Ruby Leanne and her
parents Christina and Alan posed for photos outside court yesterday
after Ms Justice Mary Irvine approved the settlement and interim
Free briefing on new building regs 04.03.14
DONEGAL construction companies and sole traders are invited to
attend a free briefing on the country's new building regulations and
Construction Industry Register of Ireland (CIRI).
The new building regulations took effect on March 1 to clamp down on
black market and dodgy operators.
“There seems to be a lot of confusion about the CIRI construction
register and the new building regulations, so we hope this briefing
will help clear up some of those misconceptions," said Construction
Industry Federation director general, Tom Parlon.
"We’ll be outlining clear, easy to follow information about the
regulations and CIRI, how they will operate and what changes they
will mean for construction companies and sole traders." The briefing
will take place in the Sligo Park Hotel at 4pm on Wednesday, March
12. CIF members and non members are invited to attend. Attendance at
the briefing is free, however all those interested in attending are
asked to register in advance by contacting Brid Cody on firstname.lastname@example.org
or by calling 021 4351410.
FF publishes post office proposals 03.03.14
FIANNA Fáil has outlined proposals aimed at securing the future
of local post offices.
The party said it recognises that post offices are a "strategic
community asset that must be protected".
The detailed proposals include increasing the commercial activity at
post offices including providing internet/business hubs; expanding
financial services and making post offices centres for all state
payments and bills. Donegal FF deputy, Charlie McConalogue, said the
value of local post offices to Donegal communities could not be
overstated. "Our proposals offer the Government an alternative. They
offer a chance to strengthen the post office network at a time when
rural communities desperately need to hang on to their local
amenities," he said.
Locals rally for Gleneely post office
PEOPLE in Gleneely have launched a bid to ensure their post
office remains open.
They held a public meeting on Monday in Gleneely Colts clubhouse
amid fears their branch may be under threat after the current
postmaster retires with nobody set to replace him.
Local Fianna Fáil election candidate Mary McCauley was at the
meeting and praised all those who attended.
She said it was clear how important the local An Post outlet was to
the local Gleneely community.
“This meeting shows the power of the community and shows how a
community can highlight an issue that is important to them," said Ms
"Inishowen communities have lost too many local services over the
last number of years and we cannot let Gleneely ost office become
"As my party’s local candidate for the area, I am working with my
colleagues, sitting councillors and local TD Charlie McConalogue to
highlight and push for the retention of Gleneely post office," the
FF candidate added.
The meeting was also attended by Sinn Féin Deputy Páraig
MacLochlainn, SF local election candidate Albert Doherty, Labour
councillor Martin Farren and FF candidate Martin McDermott.
Meanwhile, Deputy MacLochlainn has written to An Post seeking
clarifications about the future of the Gleneely outlet and asking
for an extension to the March 7 deadline for public consultation.
Deputy MacLochlainn urged An Post to take into account Gleneely's
location in a Clar area of disadvantage and asking whether any new
postmaster or post mistress could receive grant aid or an interest
free loan to help them with start up costs.
Ó Cuív to host CAP meeting in Inishowen
FIANNA Fáil's agriculture spokesman Éamon Ó Cuív will be in
Inishowen next week for a public meeting on changes to the Common
Agriculture Policy (CAP).
Local T.D., Charlie McConalogue invited his colleague to Donegal for
He said “We want to hear the views and concerns of farmers in
Donegal about the new CAP deal. There are genuine concerns that what
has been agreed is a poor deal for farmers in the North West
region". The meeting will be held at An Grianan Hotel in Burt on
Thursday, February 27 at 8pm and everyone is welcome.
Smoky coal ban delivers cleaner air
A BAN on smoky coal has delivered cleaner air to Letterkenny in
less than a year, the local authority has said. An environmental
report shows a "significant" reduction in air pollution since the
ban was introduced last May. Donegal County Council yesterday
thanked householders for complying with the law and choosing
smokeless fuels such as smokeless coal, wood, turf and similar
compliant products. "Donegal County Council encourages members of
the public to report instances of the flouting of the smoky coal ban
which will result in enforcement action being taken by the council,"
the local authority said in a statement.
Peter McLaughlin added to Fine Gael ticket
THE Fine Gael line-up for May's local elections has been
announced - and it includes Buncrana's Cllr Peter McLaughlin. The
party's general secretary, Tom Curran, said the party’s executive
council was "happy to confirm" that the long-standing local
councillor had been added to the ticket for the Inishowen electoral
area. It followed a public spat after the Buncrana man was initially
dropped from the ticket.
The party said Cllr McLaughlin had "impeccable credentials in the
political and voluntary sectors".
He now joins sitting councillors Mickey Doherty, Bernard McGuinness
and John Ryan to contest the local elections to Donegal County
Council on May 23.
Mr Curran said: "The party’s executive council believes Fine Gael
has put in place an excellent team in the Inishowen electoral area.
We are very confident of success in the local elections to Donegal
Man arrested in Buncrana murder probe
GARDAÍ investigating the murder of Andrew Allen in Buncrana two
years ago have arrested a man today. The man, who is in his 40s, was
arrested this morning in Co Donegal. He is currently detained at
Buncrana Garda Station and investigations are continuing. Derry-born
Mr Allen (24) was murdered at his home at Links View Park, Lisfannon,
on the outskirts of the seaside town on February 9, 2012.
Donegal gardaí in €400K cannabis swoop
CANNABIS herb with an estimated street value of €400,000 was
seized during an operation in Donegal last night. The
intelligence-led swoop involving the Garda National Drug Unit,
Customs officers and the Donegal Divisional Drug Unit took place in
Castlefin shortly after 8pm. One man in his early 30s was arrested
and is currently being detained at Letterkenny Garda Station.
Investigations are continuing, said a spokesperson.
Bugging claims "disturbing" - MacLochlainn
INISHOWEN TD., Pádraig MacLochlainn has described as
"disturbing" allegations that the State's garda watchdog may have
The Sinn Féin deputy who is the chairperson of the Oireachtas
Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions said the
allegations were of "immense public concern". He has called on
Justice Minister Alan Shatter to have the reports investigated as a
matter of urgency. "This report from the 'Sunday Times' that the
Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) had to seek assistance
from a British security consultancy without the apparent knowledge
of Minister Shatter and the Government to investigate GSOC's
suspicion that they were being spied on is remarkable. That it is
also reported that their phones were bugged, emails hacked and Wi-Fi
compromised is disturbing and will be of immense public concern," he
Eight death crash trial adjourned again
THE trial of a man charged with dangerous driving causing the
deaths of eight men has been adjourned again. The case was put back
after a fresh psychological report on the defendant, Shaun Kelly,
Hill Road, Ballymagan, Buncrana, was submitted by the defence.
Prosecutors told Letterkenny Circuit Court they would now need to
have Mr Kelly independently assessed, it's reported. The two-car
crash happened on the main Clonmany to Buncrana road in July 2010.
The trial was due to begin on Tuesday but has been adjourned until
May the course be with you 27.01.14
FORGET the cookery - people in Inishowen are being offered free
classes in how to build a robot. Inishowen Development Partnership
is offering places on a new course in ‘electronic engineering robot
design and programming’. The course is FETAC Level 4 and will run
over 10 weeks in February – subject to demand.
"Participants in this course will learn to build a range of low-cost
miniature robots using the most up-to-date modern technologies,"
said a spokesperson
Classes will begin on Thursday, February 27 from 10am to 2pm in
either Carn or Buncrana. Please call Mary or Denise on 93 62218 for
more information or to leave your name if you are interested in
SF presses for charities watchdog 20.01.14
SINN Féin is pressing the Government to establish a new
The party has brought forward legislation for debate in the Dáil
this week which, if supported, will force the coalition to establish
a new Charity Regulatory Authority by May of this year.
Sinn Féin justice and equality spokesperson Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD
said: “Fianna Fáil in government enacted the Charities Bill in 2009
but did not commence its provisions consigning the legislation to
its shelves of empty promises.
“One of the key provisions of the Charities Act is the establishment
of a Charity Regulatory Authority which would ensure much greater
accountability and transparency across the sector.
“There is no doubt that public trust and confidence in the charity
sector has been damaged due to a small number of organisations.
Revelations of generous salary top-up payments and gold-plated
pensions paid from charitable funds at the Oireachtas PAC Committee
hearings are proof that the sector needs urgent regulation," added
Donegal taxpayers got raw deal - FF
DONEGAL'S Fianna Fáil councillors say the "temporary absence" of
one them led to Fine Gael "ramming through" a reduced budget for the
local authority that will see services "cut to the bone" this year.
The party's whip on Donegal County Council, Cllr Ciarán Brogan, said
the Government party had demonstrated "highly cynical behaviour"
that flew in the face of democracy.
"The so-called Campbell Deal imposes a huge burden of extra demands
on taxpayers throughout Donegal. There has been no attempt to reduce
costs for local businesses, no investment in council housing stock
and repairs, no investment in unfinished estates and no investment
in our crumbling roads network," he said.
"Meanwhile our local water infrastructure - that is worth millions -
is just being handed over to Irish Water - Fine Gael’s new Super
Quango that’s already wasting tens of millions of euro of taxpayers’
Cllr Brogan also warned that local businesses will be targeted to
meet additional costs of €375,000 in Donegal County Council’s
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