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:: News In Brief

Cathaoirleach wishes yachts safe passage 25.06.15
DONEGAL County Council cathaoirleach, Cllr Ciaran Brogan has wished Greencastle skippers and crews all the best in their Round Ireland trip to raise awareness of Sailability Ireland. The three yachts to be waved off on Friday are 'Kind of Blue' skippered by Gary Crothers; 'Dream Machine' skippered by George McCormick and 'Aaraura' skippered by Michael Cavanagh. A fourth yacht 'Ferdia' skippered by Michael O’Farrell will later join the three.
A total of 45 crew will take part in different legs of the journey, with ten sailing the complete course. Of the 45 taking part, eleven people have a disability.
A ‘Greencastle Fun Day on Shore and Water’ will take place at the new pontoon funded by Donegal County Council and The Loughs Agency on Friday between 11am and 3pm. The action will then switch to Greencastle village where the boats and their crew will be cheered off on their journey.

Condolences on Berkeley tragedy 19.06.15
A Book of Condolence has opened at the Guildhall in Derry following the tragic deaths earlier this week of six students in Berkeley, California. Five of the six were Dublin students on J1 summer visas and had been celebrating a 21st birthday party when a balcony collapsed. Another of the victims was a young Irish American woman. Mayor Cllr Elisha McCallion said: “Derry and the city of Berkeley have very close connections and we have a lot in common. Berkeley, like Derry and the wider North West region, is known throughout the world for its promotion of civil rights and the work it has done to promote equality. We have close links to its university and the two cities have much in common in terms of our history."

Woman dies in Donegal crash 19.06.15
Gardai in Ballybofey are continuing their investigations into a crash that claimed the life of a young woman this morning.
The accident happened in the townland of Trentabouy, Convoy, on the main Letterkenny to Sligo Road at about 7am.
A female driver in her late 20s was fatally injured when the car she was driving collided with a truck.
Her body has been removed to Letterkenny General Hospital for a post mortem. The driver of the truck was uninjured. The road is currently closed for a Garda forensic examination and local diversions are in place. Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to contact them at Ballybofey Garda Station on 074 9137740, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666111 or any Garda station.

Three Inishowen fisherman rescued
19.06.15
THREE Inishowen fishermen were rescued last night after their boat suffered engine failure and they drifted out to sea without communications. The operation to bring the men to safety, involved the first emergency tasking of Lough Swilly RNLI's new Shannon-class lifeboat. The alarm was raised about midnight when the men, from the Glengad area, failed to return to shore. It is understood the fishermen were wearing the appropriate life-safety equipment. Portrush RNLI and Greencastle Coast Guard also joined the mission along with a number of local fishing vessels who located the men at about 2.30am.

Churches condemn "evil" murder attempt 18.06.15
LEADERS of the four main churches in Derry have issued a joint statement condemning the attempted murder of a police officer in Eglinton this morning.
The statement was made by Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop Ken Good, Dr Robert Buick and the Rev Peter Murray.
It reads: "We are appalled at the despicable attempt to murder a police officer in Eglinton this morning, and thankful and relieved that the attack was thwarted.
There can be no justification for the attempted murder. It was wrong. It was evil. It was reckless. The police have said those who left the device endangered not only the police officer but other people living in the area.
"Like the vast majority of people in our community, we had hoped that attacks like this had become a thing of the past. The use of violence has been rejected repeatedly and overwhelmingly by our community, so today’s attempted murder was an assault on us, too, and on our aspiration for a better society.
"Our people want to move forward – together – towards a better and brighter future. The bombers seem intent on taking us backwards and keeping us apart.
They must not succeed. We, as church leaders, offer our support and prayers to the police officer who was targeted this morning and appeal for anyone with information about the incident to share it with the PSNI."

€3m green light for Cockhill Bridge 12.06.15
SOME €3million in funding has been awarded for the long-awaited construction of a new bridge at Cockhill.
The news was welcomed by Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue who said: “I am delighted with today's (Thurs) announcement that Cockhill will finally have a new bridge. This has been a long standing issue for the people of Buncrana and North Inishowen but it now appears as if we are approaching an end game with the construction of a new bridge finally in sight." He praised local campaigners and local representatives from all parties who "worked together" to secure funding for this project.

Donegal urged to enter food awards 12.06.15
BLAS na hEireann – the Irish Food Awards has urged Donegal food businesses to make sure they get their entries submitted to this year’s contest before the closing date on June 17.
Chairman Artie Clifford was in Donegal this week for the Food Tourism Workshop hosted by Letterkenny Institute of Technology. He said Blas na hEireann is the biggest competition for quality Irish produce on the island of Ireland.
“It was started to accredit and reward the passion of the Irish producers and the quality of the Irish product. It is only open to producers from the island of Ireland where the product is produced in Ireland," said Mr Clifford.
The competition, founded eight years ago, is open to all food producers, large and small. More information from www.irishfoodawards.com .

More Donegal elderly in their own home 08.06.15
DONEGAL has the highest percentage of older people living in their own homes, an MEP has revealed.
Independent representative Marian Harkin said: "Despite the fact that Donegal has a higher percentage of older people than nationally, there is a much lower percentage in long term residential care - 2.8% in Donegal as opposed to 4.5% at a national level.
"This means that there are an additional 480 older people being managed at home with appropriate supports than would be the case if the national percentages applied to Donegal." Ms Harkin made her comments at a recent Health and Ageing Conference in Letterkenny. She described the Donegal figures as "a very significant achievement" adding that it could "truly be called an age-friendly county".

TD calls for more Garda resources
08.06.15
INISHOWEN TD Pádraig MacLochlainn has expressed concern at the latest crime figures showing a 15% increase in serious crime nationally.
Citing new Central Statistics Office figures, he said the number of assaults, thefts and burglaries are up 15% in the last year.
The Sinn Féin TD said: “While these figures are alarming, they unfortunately do not come as a surprise. This is the knock-on effect that Sinn Féin warned of while this Government drove forward with its austerity plan and was intent in cutting back on the vital resources that our Gardaí needed to do their job.
“There is a direct correlation between these figures and the closure of rural Garda stations, the lack of investment in Garda resources, and the delay in lifting the recruitment moratorium."

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