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:: News In Brief

Top law firm hires Derry graduates 01.10.14
The Mayor of Derry Cllr Brenda Stevenson has welcomed news that prestigious US law firm, SmithDehn LLP has employed its first wave of Magee University media law students. She also welcomed the partnership between SmithDehn LLP and the University of Ulster, saying it was "a fantastic opportunity for the students to get the opportunity to work with a company with such an extensive client portfolio".
“I am delighted that SmithDehn LLP has acknowledged the talent and skills of our students at Magee and rewarded their commitment and dedication by providing them with unique opportunities to work in such an exciting industry.
The new recruits will now get to work with some of the biggest names in the movie and TV industry such as HBO, Paramount Pictures and Channel 4. Cllr Stevenson said she was confident the company would announce additional recruitment opportunities in the near future.

Extra 70,000 join credit union
01.10.14
IRISH credit unions have increased their membership by 70,000 to 3.3 million, a new report shows. The report from the Irish League of Credit Unions also revealed that loan arrears had been significantly reduced.
Independent MEP Marian Harkin welcomed the figures, adding: “While there is evidence that the Central Bank is prepared to be less restrictive in its attitude to sound credit unions, it is obvious that it is unnecessarily slow to ease lending limits and to permit the introduction of services such as debit cards.
"The credit union movement deserves to be more actively supported by the Central Bank and the obvious lack of relevant staff in the bank needs to be addressed. This is necessary in order to ensure that the current momentum of the movement is maintained and encouraged to maintain their vital role in providing citizens with essential competition to other financial services," added Ms Harkin.

Doherty slams ministers' water tax perk 01.10.14
SINN Féin finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has described as "outrageous" that ministers can claim tax back on water charges on their second homes in the capital. The perk is as a result of the Dual Abode Allowance. “All ministers and junior ministers with a second home in Dublin can now claim back their full water charges at that house from their taxes.
“This is despite the fact that Enda Kenny in opposition promised to abolish this allowance. This outrageous revelation is another smack in the face to hundreds of thousands of families out there who will face water charges from tomorrow," said Deputy Doherty.
“To my knowledge Enda Kenny and his ministers are the only people who will be able to claim back their water charges from their tax bill. The fact that each of them earn above €130,000 a year won’t be lost on anyone.”

'VAT drop creates 756 Donegal jobs' 29.09.14
SOME 756 new jobs in the food, tourism and hospitality sectors have been created in Co Donegal since the reduced VAT rate of 9 per cent was introduced in July 2011, according to a report by the Restaurants Association of Ireland.
The report also shows that more than 20,000 new jobs were created nationally as a result of the VAT reduction.
The association's ceo, Adrian Cummins said: “As this report proves, in terms of creating new jobs in the food and accommodation sector, the introduction of the new VAT rate in July 2011 has been a major driver of local employment growth. 756 new direct jobs have been created in Donegal alone, with 21,633 new direct jobs created across the whole country.” The report also says the newly-created jobs also resulted in savings and gains for the Irish exchequer by getting people off welfare and upping the PAYE, USC and PRSI take.

New canon at St Eunan's Cathedral
29.09.14
THE new Dean of Raphoe, Arthur Barrett, has welcomed and installed a new Canon in St Eunan’s Cathedral, Raphoe. Rev John Deane, is rector of the grouped parishes of Ardara, Glencolumbkille, Glenties, Inniskeel and Lettermacaward in west Donegal. Ordained in 2002, Canon Deane was previously a non-sipendiary minister and served in Stranorlar until 2008. That same year he was appointed as Bishop's Curate in his current parishes. In 2012 he was instituted as rector. Bishop Ken Good commended the new canon on his "faithful and resourceful ministry in his parishes and in the wider community and diocese".

Deer driver, please be careful
29.09.14
DONEGAL motorists are being urged to be vigilant during the deer rutting season. The season runs from late September to early November and can pose hazards to drivers as deer can get agitated and disoriented and wander onto roads particularly in the evening. The Wild Deer Association of Ireland believes up to 500 traffic accidents may be caused each year during the deer mating season.

Big jobs fair for Donegal 23.09.14
THE Department of Social Protection will co-host a Recruitment Fair in Co Donegal early next month to match prospective employees with employers.
The event, held in association with European Employment Services group EURES, is one of a number of jobs fairs being held in various parts of the country.
A spokesperson said employers had found the fairs "a valuable source for recruiting clients, providing information and networking with other employers and service providers".
The Department of Social Protection will pay for exhibition stands and interview facilities (if required) for participating companies and will also include firms' vacancies on the promotional and advertising for the event.
The fair will take place in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, on Thursday, October 2, 2014 from 10am - 4pm.
Employers who want to register for the event are asked to contact Bernadetta Gaspari in the department's co-ordination unit at bernadetta.gaspari-mcguirk@welfare.ie or phone 087 1322407.
On receipt of a completed registration form, participants will receive all relevant information on the event.

North West Science Park opens in Derry 17.09.14
THE official opening takes place today of the £12 million North West Science Park headquarters on the Fort George site in Derry. So far 23 tenants have been secured for the cross-border park with local software company 8over8 secured as the anchor tenant. The park which has received EU peace funding, is being operated in partnership with Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT). The 50,000 sq ft Fort George building will house software, telecoms and digital media companies and is "a significant milestone in the development of the knowledge-based economy in the North West cross-border region", said Mayor of the city, Cllr Brenda Stevenson. “I am confident that this much-needed investment in the new science park at Fort George will act as a catalyst to stem the so-called brain-drain of our young people leaving the North West to seek career opportunities further afield, and encourage further inward investment in this region," said Cllr Stevenson. Meanwhile, said the council would maintain its focus on expansion of the University of Ulster’s Magee campus "to fully maximize the investment opportunities presented by the opening of the state-of-the-art science facility in the city".

Major EU conference for Donegal
17.09.14
DONEGAL County Council is to host a major European conference which will see up to 100 delegates from various countries visiting Letterkenny over the course of three days next month. The conference is being organised by the Assembly of the European Regions (AER) in partnership with SmartCare and the ENGAGED network. It will attract regional policy and decision-makers from countries including France, Denmark, Italy, Turkey and the UK and will focus on e-health, independence and inclusion in the 21st Century. The event, from October 20 - 23, will involve three-days of political debate, seminars and workshops. For registration details visit  www.aer.eu .

Arson attack destroys Newtown Orange Hall 15.09.14
DEPUTY Pádraig MacLochlainn has expressed "solidarity" with Inishowen's Protestant community after a weekend arson attack destroyed Newtowncunningham Orange Hall. The fire was reported about 8am yesterday morning. It took several units of the fire brigade to bring it under control. Most of the roof, interiors and many items of Orange Lodge memorabilia were ruined in the blaze.
Deputy MacLochlainn inspected the damage with members of the local Orange and Protestant community.
“Those responsible for this attack represent nobody but themselves. Anybody with any information relating to this incident should bring it immediately to An Garda Síochana," he said. “I sincerely hope that those responsible will be brought to justice. I also want to convey the solidarity of the entire community in Donegal with the minority Protestant community at this time. I have no doubt that that community will unite together and rebuild the hall," he said.

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