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June 26th 2002

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Are We Ready
for Lift-Off?

A new sign erected out behind LIDL declares ‘Acquired by Vico Property Group for proposed retail development. All enquiries to Meehan Auctioneers, Bundoran or Insignia Richard Gunne, Dublin.’ The notice displayed on the site states Application to Planning Authority ‘We, William Reid & Vico Properties Ltd. make application to Donegal Co. Council for permission for erection of 5 retail warehouse units (totalling 4645 sq m gross floor area), 1 leisure unit at first floor (totalling 930 sq m gross floor area) associated car parking, servicing, landscaping and customer and service vehicle access from existing entrance serving Lidl supermarket at land to the south of existing Lidl supermarket Clar Road, Clarcarricknagun, Donegal Town.’

Donegal down through the years has been the town that always felt itself by-passed by outside capital investment, private or public, causing it to fall behind other centres of growth. This is now changing, with the town in line for a number of major developments.

If the projects presently mooted go ahead in their planning application form, we will have a major retail, commercial and services complex at Revlin; Council Offices, fire station, hotel and decentralised departments at Drumlonagher, and, in the same area, the fruits of the above plans by the Vico Property Group for the site behind Lidl. Add to these projections, plans to demolish and re-build on the old cinema site, the application for which details warehousing, retail, offices and apartments filling the space.

With work now started to provide the town and environs with a new sewage and water infrastructure and the Donegal Enterprise Committee well advanced in their plans for a new tourist office, marina and water sports centre down at the far pier, it all adds up to a massive vote of confidence in the future of this area and trust in the ability of south and west Donegal to sustain this level of economic activity.

If some move could now be made to clean up and develop the whole Bosco, Mart, Clearys School, CIE garage area, to provide the facilities this town presently lacks in the recreational and tourism related sectors, we could again hold our heads up and move forward, confident that we would have a product equal if not better than any in the country.

But to achieve this will require more than outside investors voting with their wallets. It will also require strong community leaders to provide support for these entrepreneurs. It is disappointing that the position of town manager has not been filled. Let us hope that the Community Chamber is still actively seeking such a person. It is imperative at this stage that we have positive people in positions of responsibility, both to protect our interests and to actively lead us forward in these times of great change and forward investment.

Nine Happy Girls - One to Get Happier!

The fateful day - nine friends line up for a photo at the Ladies Mini-Marathon in Dublin never dreaming that the Lotto ticket purchased shortly before by Cathy Faulkner was to win her €640,000. Back: Siobhan O’Driscoll, Martina Ward, Cathy, Theresa McGroarty, Margaret Begley, Breege Shovlin, Margaret Warnock. Front: Bernie Kane, Margaret Johnston.

For this, the eighth Donegal Town Summer Festival, running from Friday 28th - Sunday 30th June, the committee have lined up another three days of action-packed fun for all the family with music, dance, comedy, funfair, fireworks, air-sea rescue display, Lady Nuala competition, and much more.

This year’s festival promises to be the biggest and best yet with The Chevys, Bagatelle and the comeback of Rock Stewart on the main stage along with Marian Bradfield, Addiction, Knoxville Sound and Mary B among others.

Once again the Children’s Day will have all the old favourites and some new ones too with The Bear in the Big Blue House making his first appearance in Donegal.

We would like to pay tribute to our sponsors Heineken (Irl.) for their support once again. The businesses and community of Donegal Town are also of vital importance and we would like to thank them for their courtesy and support in our fundraising campaign. A special word of thanks goes to An Garda Síochana, to all our helpers and to anyone who assisted in making this festival possible.

The Donegal Times, The Diamond, Donegal Town, Ireland

Tel: +353-73-22860 Fax: +353-73-22937