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:: News In Brief

Donegal celebrates on the double 31.08.14
DONEGAL is celebrating on the double as the county's senior and minor GAA stars were triumphant in their semi-final clashes today at Croke Park.
Jim McGuinness' men confounded the bookies and left current title holders Dublin shell-shocked after a thrilling display of football culminating in a 3-14 to 0-17 win.
Commentators were left bereft of adjectives to describe Donegal's command of the game both in defence and attack in front of an 81,500-capacity crowd.
Man of the match Ryan McHugh scored Donegal’s first two goals before Colm McFadden scored a third in the 45th minute. Speaking after the game, an elated McGuinness praised the hard work, dedication and character of his squad. He said none of them had wanted to be remembered for their 16-point drubbing against Mayo last year. Meanwhile, the Donegal minors have reached their first ever All-Ireland Minor Football Championship final after beating Dublin by a point in another great semi-final at Croke Park.

Record entries for Waterside Half Marathon 28.08.14
A RECORD 1,900 entries have been submitted for the 33rd Waterside Half Marathon in Derry next month. The number is "testimony to the running craze that has swept the city in recent years", according to the organisers, Derry City Council.
Entries are now closed having reached capacity levels for the event and a great crowd of supporters is expected at the Gransha grounds on the day. Derry Mayor Brenda Stevenson will be taking her place alongside the record number of Relay Team entrants in support of her two chosen charities, Circle of Support for Autism Families and Something Special. She said she was "delighted to see so many local athletes taking part". The event will take place on Sunday, September 14.

Ship ahoy as 40 new sailors join Irish Navy
FORTY new recruits are finding their sea legs after joining the ranks of the Irish Navy.
The latest intake brings to 220 the number of personnel recruited by the Irish Naval Service over the last three years.
The newest trainees, who were sworn in last week at Haulbowline Naval Base in Cork, will be paid just over €350 a week, before tax.
They range in age from 18 to 27 years while just three out of the 40 are women.
The new recruits will now undertake basic training for the next five months before specialising in one of four areas - seaman; mechanics, logistics or communications.
While no formal educational qualifications are required to join the Irish Defence Forces, applicants must satisfy an interview board and recruiting officer that they possess a sufficient standard of education for service. Meanwhile, 130 Irish soldiers are preparing to embark on peacekeeping duties for six-months in the Middle East. The members of the 46th Infantry Group will join already-serving colleagues in the Golan Heights in the volatile Israeli-Syria border region.

Marathon 'run' on Donegal hotel rooms 27.08.14
DONEGAL hotels had a 'run' on their rooms last weekend due to the huge success of the first competitive marathon in the county for more than 30 years.
The organisers report that "almost every hotel room in Donegal was sold out" as runners came from as far afield as Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, the UK and Northern Ireland as well as throughout the Republic of Ireland.
Donegal County Council organising committee member Ciaran Martin said: "All round, it was a fantastic day with the support of the general public and in particular, all of the volunteers, we have successfully staged an event that everyone in Donegal should be proud of. We would also like to thank the public for their patience with the inevitable traffic disruptions but we are glad to report that everything went off very smoothly." To see full results, click here .

State funeral for Albert Reynolds tomorrow 24.08.14
THE State funeral of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds will take place in Dublin tomorrow.
His remains were removed last night from the Mansion House where he was lying in state in the Oak Room, to the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook.
Several thousand people filed past his remains to pay their last respects to the former Fianna Fáil leader.
Pall bearers from the Irish Defence Forces carried Mr Reynold's coffin, draped in a tricolour, into the church. The mourners were led by his wife Kathleen, along with his seven children and extended family.
Many tributes have been paid this week following Mr Reynolds death at the age of 81. Cross border tributes also flowed in recognition of his significant contribution to the peace process. He played a major role in the brokering of the Downing Street Agreement in 1993. Derry Mayor Cllr Brenda Stevenson said: “Albert’s achievements in terms of paving a pathway for peace in Northern Ireland were remarkable and will long be remembered in history. I offer my sincere condolences to his wife Kathleen and his family.”

Funeral arrangements for Mountcharles man 22.08.14
FUNERAL arrangements are being arranged for the Mountcharles man whose tragic death was at the centre of an Ebola scare last night.
The HSE confirmed today that laboratory test samples on the remains of engineer Dessie Quinn, 45, who had recently returned from working in Africa, have proved negative for the deadly virus.
"Infection control procedures, which had been put in place as a precautionary measure, will now be stepped down," the HSE today said in a statement.
It expressed its condolences to the father-of-one's family and friends for their loss.
It was said today that Mr Quinn's grieving family had been treated insensitively when news of the suspected Ebola link to his sudden death became public.
Gardaí were called today to the family home of the deceased man in Mountcharles to help move along a large crowd of national and international media who had gathered outside. The family have requested all media to respect their privacy at this difficult time.

Musicians urged to apply for grants 20.08.14
DONEGAL'S amateur and professional musicians, groups and ensembles are being urged to apply for grants under a €210,000 Government fund announced today. Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, confirmed the funds under the Music Capital Scheme 2014. The scheme, supported by her department and managed by Music Network, provides grants for the purchase of musical instruments to both non-professional performing groups/ensembles and professional musicians. "Ireland is renowned for the wealth of our musical talent and it is important that we continue to nurture our musicians and to aid them in improving their performing ability," said Minister Humphreys. 163 awards have been made since the scheme's inception in 2008. Application forms and guidelines available at .

Elderly woman dies after car hits fence 19.08.14
AN elderly woman died yesterday after a car crashed into a fence in Bundoran. Gardaí are investigating the single vehicle accident at The Ross, Bundoran, at about 3.50pm. The 82 year old woman was taken from the scene by ambulance to Sligo Hospital but was pronounced dead en route. The road was closed to facilitate a forensic examination. Any witnesses are asked to contact Bundoran garda station on 071 9841203, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111 or any garda station.

MEP welcomes action on ‘nomad cattle’ 18.08.14
NORTH and West MEP, Matt Carthy, has welcomed moves to address the anomaly arising ‘nomad cattle’ being traded from south to north.
Mr Carthy welcomed moves by Northern Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill who has approved an application under the voluntary labelling scheme to address the anomaly. The Sinn Féin MEP said beef imported from the south and slaughtered in the north cannot currently be labelled with a single country of origin.
He said this had been used in recent months by processors "to penalise farmers selling so called ‘nomadic cattle’." “Minister O’Neill’s decision, which I understand has been endorsed by Minister Simon Coveney, will allow such cattle to be labelled as Irish and will hopefully ensure that processors and retailers have no reason to reduce prices as the practise of trading cattle across the island of Ireland has been long-standing," he said.

Man who died at Fanad named
THE man who died after falling into the sea at Fanad Lighthouse yesterday has been named locally as John McCourt (58), a photographer from Co Antrim.
Two crews from Lough Swilly RNLI in Buncrana and the rescue helicopter from Sligo were tasked to the scene around 3pm when Mr McCourt was spotted falling from a height of 50m into a sea gulley. Weather conditions at the time were gale force, according to the RNLI. Mr McCourt, who is undertood to have been widowed in recent months, received CPR at the scene but was later pronounced dead at Letterkenny General Hospital. The victim was an award-winning photographer and member of Antrim Camera Club.

Omniplex to screen ‘Good Will Hunting’ 17.08.14
THE Oscar-winning Robin Williams' film ‘Good Will Hunting’ will be screened at the Omniplex in Derry next week to raise money for suicide prevention charities.
The showing in Derry will take place on Tuesday, August 26 at 6.30pm and simultaneously at 21 of the other Omniplex complexes across the island of Ireland including Cork city, Carlow, Longford, Armagh and Enniskillen. Donation per seat is €10/ £7 and all money raised will go to Pieta House in the Republic and PIP Programmes - preventing suicides through education - in the North. The event is being organised in memory of legendary actor and comedian Robin Williams who died last week as a result of a suspected suicide. More information and bookings click here .

Man's body recovered from sea
A search operation near Fanad Lighthouse has ended this evening with the recovery of the body of a man in his 60s.
Two crews from Lough Swilly RNLI in Buncrana and the rescue helicopter from Sligo were tasked to the scene around 3pm when the man was spotted falling into the sea from rocks. The casualty, understood to be a photographer from Co Antrim, was airlifted to hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Libraries host history evenings 14.08.14
LIBRARIES in Donegal are to host a series of history lectures based on the theme 'Ireland and Donegal in the Revolutionary Era 1912 – 1923. The lectures will be delivered by Dr John O’Callaghan from St Angela’s College, Sligo. Dr O’ Callaghan's thesis concentrated on the 1912-1923 period and his teaching, research and publications concentrate on the revolutionary period and its commemoration. The lectures will be held in: Carndonagh Community Library on Thursday, August 28 at 7pm. (074 9373701); Ballybofey on Tuesday, August 26 at 6pm (074 9175384); Leabharlann Phobail Ghaoth Dobhair on August 27 at 6pm (074 9560862); Central Library, Letterkenny on September 3 at 7pm (074 9124950) and Bundoran Community Library on September 4 at 7pm. (071 9829665). The events are free of charge and refreshments will be served. The event will also include a musical interlude with music from the era. Booking is essential at the phone numbers above.

Donegal students collecting Leaving results 13.08.14
JUST over 2,000 Donegal students are collecting their Leaving Cert results this morning. Results are currently available from schools and will be available online from midday.
The local students are among almost 57,000 school-leavers picking up their results nationwide. Figures show there was a 27 per cent rise in the number of maths students choosing the honours paper. The rise can be put down to third level institutions awarding 25 bonus points for anybody who passes the higher-level subject. The Donegal Youth Service are inviting any students who want to discuss their results to drop in to its offices at Port Road in Letterkenny today or to contact the service on 91 29640.

Gardaí appeal for crash witnesses 07.08.14
GARDAÍ have appealed for witnesses to a fatal crash in Co Donegal in which an elderly man died. The collision between two cars happened yesterday about 7km outside Donegal Town, at Mullanalanphry, at 3.30pm.
The victim, who was in his 80s, was the sole occupant of one of the cars. He was pronounced dead at the scene and his remains were removed to Letterkenny General Hospital. The sole occupant of the other car, a woman aged 64, was also taken to hospital where her injuries are not believed to be life threatening. The road reopened last night after being closed for a time for a forensic examination. Any witnesses are asked to contact gardaí in Donegal Town on 074 9740190, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

Courteney picks up Derry accent
HOLLYWOOD star Courteney Cox can do "the best" Derry accent, her future mother-in-law has revealed.
The A-lister picked up a few local phrases from her fiance Johnny McDaid's sisters during their recent vistit to his hometown. The Snow Patrol star's mother, Pauline McDaid, said: “The girls were teaching her a few (phrases). And with her being an actress, she can do the best Derry accent," she said. “She wanted to do normal things, like go up the town and do her shopping.” The retired art teacher said all the family have warmed to mother-of-one Ms Cox. “We all love her,” she told the Sunday Life newspaper. She also revealed how singer Ed Sheeran, who introduced the couple, joined them to mark Johnny’s 38th birthday at her home in Culmore, Derry.

Guitar festival to teach Rory riffs 04.08.14
A FESTIVAL is offering guitarists a workshop dedicated to the playing style of rock legend Rory Gallagher. Players will get to explore the unique sound of the late music genius at the 12th City of Derry Guitar Festival later this month. The course will be taught by rock and blues guitarist Ted Lynch who has played at home and abroad for 25 years. "Students will focus on two of Rory’s pieces - one from his earlier years and an acoustic blues piece from his later production," said a spokesperson. The course is open to players of all ages and abilities who will then get to perform at a festival gala concert. Details of course fees and other information available at .

Michaela Foundation appeals for Gaza donations 04.08.14
A foundation set up in memory of murdered schoolteacher Michaela McAreavey is appealing for donations to help the children of Gaza.
The Michaela Foundation is urging people to back its 'MF4GazaKids Campaign' to raise money for Save the Children's humanitarian work in the besieged territory.
Michaela (27), daughter of Tyrone senior football manager Mickey Harte and wife of John McAreavey, was killed in her Mauritius honeymoon suite in January 2011.
"Like many people and organisations, Michaela Foundation is horrified by the death and destruction in Gaza, particularly the suffering of innocent children," the foundation told Facebook followers.
"As a child-centred organisation we believe that all children’s rights should be respected and that they should be protected."

Service to mark 190 years of the RNLI 31.07.14
A special ecumenical service is to be held at Knock Shrine to mark the 190th anniversary of the RNLI.
The service will be held in the Basilica at midday on Saturday, August 9 and will celebrate the charity’s work in saving lives at sea while commemorating those who gave their lives in the service of others. Last year, RNLI lifeboats in Ireland including Co Donegal launched 1,087 times with its volunteer crews rescuing 1,278 people and saving 45 lives. Those figures show an average of 21 launches and 25 people being rescued a week in 2013. Some 25 per cent of those lifeboat launches took place after dark. There are currently 44 lifeboat stations in Ireland and 57 operational lifeboats at Irish stations. RNLI community fundraising manager Anthony Hiney said: "The ecumenical service will celebrate the work of all our selfless, dependable and courageous volunteers who do so much to save lives at sea while also allowing us to remember and honour all those who have gave their lives in the service of others."

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