Posts Tagged ‘ Donegal ’

News in Brief-Ulster Bank and Centra in Trouble As Burglary Victim Forced To Pick Gardai Up

A priceless piece of art in the National Gallery has been damaged in an isolated incident. The only work by Claude Monet owned by the National is now having repairs to a hole made in it by forty-seven year old Andrew Shannon from Dublin. Details are still unclear as to what was done to the painting or why but one thing is certain the work, ‘Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sail Boat’ won’t be worth much Monet anymore!

      Centra have had a slap of the wrist after including an alcohol offer on an advertisement for Child Allowance day reductions. The company was criticised for appearing to suggest forty bottles of Budweiser were the best thing to buy with your benefits as 1 in 11 children in Ireland live with a parent with an alcohol problem.
        Fianna Fail Senator Averil Power said, “Centra’s cynical promotion is insulting to parents who are struggling to pay for the basics and certainly won’t be spending their money on beer.” But the cake, ice-cream and biscuits also part of the advertisement are presumably the kind of necessities that are top of their lists? Specially as 1 in five Irish children are obese. Two for one on fags I say! Buy a gun, get one free! No?
Fancy some government debt? Try eBay. Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has done particularly well at auction selling off €500 million in short-term government debt. The bills sold, reach maturity in October, no interest is paid on them and the government must pay them in full when they reach maturity. Noonan called the sale a, “very important milestone on Ireland’s continuing path to recovery”. I just hope he understands it more than I do.
       A quick round of applause for Ulster Bank Chief Executive, Jim Brown who has said he will turn down this year’s bonus after the unmitigated disaster that has been Ulster Bank’s computer problems. Thanks Jim.
And while we’re at it one for An Post. They spectacularly spent €80,000 on eight Italian-made Cargo scooters for use on Dublin’s mail routes. They were painted, branded, tested and trialled and found to be useless. The scooters have now been sold to a businessman from Letterkenny who bought each bike at a reduced price of €1,500. I’m sure he thought it a redletter day.
       A victim of a burglary was forced to go and pick up Gardai after she was told there were no patrol cars for them to use. The woman, from Newtowncunningham in Co. Donegal initially reported the incident a her home, before being told she had the choice of waiting for the nearest patrol car, which was 9km away at the Carrigans station, or collecting the Gardai herself to investigate the incident.
Guards aren’t the only ones who have stopped cruising, after the announcement of a split between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (see what I did there?). Katie Holmes, most famous for playing Joey in Dawson’s Creek and Tom for being a seriously strange Scientologist, are now set to play their biggest roles yet in an acrimonious and media maintained divorce.
In other more interesting news; Pudsey, the pooch that won Britain’s Got Talent with his dancing owner Ashleigh, has signed a publishing contract worth £350,000. That’s right he can dance, he can write, but can he do his own stunts? ‘Pudsey: My Autobiography’ comes on the tail of Roy Keane’s dog Triggs also releasing a biography this year. Who will be next, Bo Obama? Tinkerbell Hilton? It’s a dog’s life.

Two Arrested After Journalist Murdered In Dublin

Two men have been arrested in connection with the murder of a highly regarded journalist in Dublin city centre at the weekend.

The men, who are both in their 20s, are being held at Kevin Street and Pearse Street Garda Stations.

Former Irish Independent journalist Eugene Moloney (55) died following an alleged assault on Camden Street on Sunday morning.

Mr Moloney was making his way to his home in the Portobello area on Dublin’s southside when the alleged assault occurred. It is believed he was punched in the side of the head and may have been robbed as he lay on the ground as his wallet and identification were missing. 

He was taken to St James’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Gardaí have appealed for anyone who was in the area between 3.45am and 4.30am on Sunday morning to come forward.

They upgraded the investigation to a murder inquiry following the post mortem examination.

Gardaí are examining CCTV footage of the area and have spoken to a number of people in relation to the incident.

Mr Moloney had worked in the Irish News before joining the Irish Independent in the 1980s and was currently working as a freelance writer for the Irish Daily Mail after returning to Ireland following a lengthy period of travelling.


Premier League Stars Who Began Careers As Fledgling GAA Players

With the Irish GAA League and the English Premier League having just finished up and players, fans and commentators already looking forward to the summer’s Championship, Irish News Review takes a look at footballers who might have made it big in GAA were it not for their love of the beautiful game.

5 – Stephen Hunt

Stephen Hunt currently plays in left midfield for Premier League side, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and for Ireland’s international team. Born in Laois he spent most of his childhood in Clonea-Power, County Waterford and grew up around hurling and Gaelic football. The two local villages were GAA centres, one football and the other hurling and he recalls his first image as that of a hurley in his grandmother’s house. “It was more hurling, hurling, hurling, to be honest, when I was little.” He built for himself the reputation of a quick corner forward and had he kept going, may have challenged further stars in that position years later – Dan Shanahan or John Mullane. Evidently the young Hunt had some measure of talent; he represented Waterford at both under-16 level and at the Tony Forristal Cup. His father joked that he committed a mortal sin in GAA circles by selecting soccer over hurling. Hunt began playing at Waterford County where he met future Manchester United star John O’Shea and soon moved across the water as a trainee with Crystal Palace. Following four years at Brentford FC he left Griffin Park to ply his trade at Reading and Hull before transferring to Premier League side Wolves in 2010, where he still plays today, still known for the speed and work rate playing as a teenager for Clonea-Power GAA.

4 – Niall Quinn

Niall Quinn, noted for his ability as a striker both in the air and on the ground, is often considered as one of the best soccer players the country has produced. Some, however, may not know that it was in Gaelic games he got his first sporting start, and still continues to shine. The young Quinn excelled in both sports, playing his football for Robert Emmets in Dublin, and underage hurling and football for the Dublin inter country team, playing in the All Ireland Minor Hurling Championship Final in 1983. He turned down a potentially lucrative offer to play Australian Rules football before settling on soccer as his sport of choice. After an unsuccessful trial at Fulham he joined North London giants, Arsenal, signing a professional contract at just seventeen years of age. March 1990 saw his transfer to Manchester City where he became a huge favourite of the Citizens. A bad injury ended his City career and he finished his football life at Sunderland, returning soon after his retirement with an investment consortium, eventually securing their survival in the Premier League. But his love of Sunderland was matched by that of the Gaelic games and following his retirement from football, Quinn returned to the Gaelic arena, winning a Junior C county title with Kildare club side Eadestown.

3 – Denis Irwin

Denis Irwin, born in County Cork, was one of the most consistent players to ever play under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, part of the treble winning team of 1999, and chosen by Bobby Charlton was one of the best players the club has ever seen. In his younger days, however, Irwin’s future was supposed to be played out on not on the pitch at Old Trafford but those of Croke Park and Páirc Uí Chaoimh and he was mentored by John Allen, whose own future would see him manage the Cork senior hurling team to an All-Ireland Championship in 2005, not to mention back to back Munster titles. Irwin himself saw his sporting career elsewhere and he began with Leeds United, then playing in the old football Division Two and was given a free transfer to Oldham Athletic. In perhaps one of the bargains of the century, Alex Ferguson signed Irwin for £625,000 in 1990 and the rest, as they say, is history.

2 – Shane Long

Born in Gortnahoe, County Tipperary, Shane Long was born into a county with a rich hurling pedigree. A talented athlete, it was perhaps no surprise that he played both Gaelic football and hurling for local club Gortnahoe-Glencoole GAA before graduating to the Tipperary minor team under Babs Keating. He playing in Croke Park in the All-Ireland Minor Semi-Finals in 2003 and 2004 as a forward with some pace, unaware he would be back again in the not too distant future, this time in the green shirt of the Irish football team. Long had also played youth soccer with St. Kevin’s in Two Mile Borris before moving on to St. Michael’s in 2002 and then Cork City two years later. Reading coach Eamonn Dolan, whose brother Pat managed Cork City, saw promise in Long and fellow Cork player, Kevin Doyle and Long signed for the English club in 2005. Despite an excellent final season for the club he signed for West Midlands side West Bromwich Albion in August 2011, marking his debut with a goal against Manchester United. Long was reputed as a fast paced hurler with a potential for goals and during his Premier League career thus far has done little to change that reputation.

 1 – Seamus Coleman

Rising Everton star, Seamus Coleman, recently went on record to state how his early background in Gaelic football helped establish himself as a Premier League footballer. “Gaelic was always my number one,” he told The Guardian. “I played bits and pieces of soccer but I didn’t have a serious commitment to it.” As a young lad in Donegal, Coleman regularly played for the underage teams and he believes this gave him a tougher edge over his opponents and a distinct disliking for play acting indulged in by bigger names, something which would be ignored by a Gaelic referee and laughed at by the supporters. Though he felt Gaelic football was his calling, an opportunity in soccer came a-knocking when Sligo Rovers offered him €150 a week to join their side. Following a recommendation from former Rover’s player/manager Willie McStay he was signed by Premier League side, Everton where he has managed to break into the first team on the right side of the park and was nominated for a PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2011. Gaelic football remains an important part of the Donegal man’s life and he still keeps up with the fortunes of his old club, Killybegs.

Transition Dun Laoghaire

Going back to using common sense is what Transition Dun Laoghaire is all about. In a time of a complete lack of confidence in government decisions and the financial system as it stands a group of people in Dun Laoghaire has formed and joined up with a larger network called the Transition Network. The group who are tired of all the negativity surrounding the recession are working together to create positive solutions within the Dun Laoghaire community.  The first step has been creating a community environment. In recent years we have all gotten quite removed from existing within a community atmosphere and become fairly isolated. In years gone by it was perfectly natural to call into your neighbour for a chat and a cup of tea but more and more of us have moved away from that way of life.

Transition towns are a grassroots network of communities that aim to build community resilience as a positive response to climate change, economic instability and peak oil. Adaptability is at the heart of resilience and the transition movement considers resilience as ‘ more than sustaining current models and practises but instead rethinking assumptions about infrastructure and systems that should lead to a more sustainable, resilient and low carbon economy’ (Transition founder Rob Hopkins, 2011). The Transition town movement began in 2004 in Kinsale, Ireland. It has since spread rapidly to 900 towns worldwide and counting. Transition towns within Ireland include Galway, Skerries, Sandymount, East Clare, Skerries, Clonmel, Donegal, West Cork and Wexford.

Activities of Transition groups range from community gardening, skill sharing workshops, harvest celebrations, film evenings. Transition Towns are not a protest group rather a pro positive action group within the community they exist. Empowering people to go back to growing their own food constitutes a large part of what Transition is involved in. As fossil fuels such as oil become scarce, prices rise, causing hardship for families, it makes sense to produce food a lot closer to home. Part of Dun Laoghaire Transition includes a Grow It Yourself (GIY) group who meet every month to discuss and learn more about growing.

Transition Awareness week was run in early March with two movie and discussion evenings and a skill sharing day. Facilitators included Permaculturalist Robert O’Brien and GIY Sandymount  founder Cath Dev. Participants learnt how to sow seeds, improve soil quality, make a raised bed, compost successfully and the principles of permaculture. A World Cafe run by Alex Duffy was held later in the day and included a 7 minute meditation with a discussion on Inner Transition afterwards.

The group currently has 61 members and growing. The next event is a two day skill sharing and film event to be held on the 31st March and 1st April. To join the group and find out more about future workshops and meetings you can join the Facebook group or contact Leeanne Timony on 086 4039868.

By Leeanne Timony

People Power The Key To Save Finn Harps

The very existence of one of Ireland`s famous football clubs is under severe threat unless they can stump up €48,000 by December 21st.

Finn Harps, a club 100% owned by its fans, are staring at a bleak future unless they can attract the necessary funds in order for the clubs application for the 2012 season to be processed.

After a Special General Meeting on November 6th , Finn Harps chairman Joey O`Leary issued a rallying call to all supporters to help aid the survival of the club founded in 1954.

“ We have a huge task in front of us but I am more convinced than ever that if everyone pulls together this Club can have a very exciting future.  Other Football teams have come and gone over the years yet despite everything this famous old club is still here.  Our Management and coaching staff are certain that given time they can develop a team that will compete with the top sides in the Country.  The New Stadium project will help generate revenue and Jobs in the County so there is a lot to look forward to. Again we would we grateful if supporters and the Public would support our current and forthcoming fundraisers”

There are numerous ways in which fans can help save the Ballybofey club and keep League of Ireland football in Donegal. Any well wishers can buy shares in the club, donate money, buy a ticket for the clubs monster draw (€10), buy a Super 4 Lotto ticket (€2), purchase a Harps of Donegal CD or any other merchandise and enter the 500 club for a fee of €27.50 monthly. The club are also seeking numerous volunteers to help with the running of the club.

Buying a share in the Ballybofey club will cost €317.50 but will make you a part owner of the club and entitle you to a vote at general meetings. The club is owned by roughly 500 shareholders at present.  

Harps are well established as one of the leading community based initiatives in the North West and it would be a terrible shame to see the club be resigned to the history books.

The Football Association of Ireland must step up to the plate and do their bit to hel ensure Harps survival and you can do your bit to help keep League of Ireland football in Donegal.

Click here to see how you can help save Finn Harps.

Alternatively the Finn Harps Chairman will welcome your calls on 086 6000017.

Grief for McCallion Family As Teen Walks Free

The family of slain Garda Robbie McCallion were left disgusted yesterday, after a teenager avoided a jail sentence over the manslaughter of their son. 

Jamie McGrenaghan(19)  of Gortnathraw, Cashel, Kerrykeel, Co Donegal, was acquitted of his manslaughter yesterday.

McCallion, 29, died two weeks after he was struck by a car that McGrenaghan was driving in March 2009.McCallion and  two colleagues had responded to a call regarding a stolen car at 4.30am on the morning of the incident.  The gardaí attempted to block the path of the vehicle, which tried to ram their car but instead hit McCallion.

McGrenaghan had stolen the car earlier that night in Letterkenny with another man. In court, he said he panicked and was trying to escape. He also stated it was never his intention to hit the Gardaì.

McGrenaghan has pleaded guilty to endangering the lives of Gardaì Shane Lavelle and Joanne Doherty on that faithful night in Donegal. He  will be sentenced next week.