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October 9th 2002

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Minister Mary and Pat the Cope - Take This Message to Bertie

Do we, the small people, have to sit here, mute and helpless, while an increasingly demented American President leads the world inexorably towards a global war for which he has no mandate. Have we any way of getting across to our leaders that what Dubya is up to - we want no part of. Bertie, along with yes-man Tony across the Irish sea, seems to be willing to do anything to demonstrate his servility to the Bush cause. It is time we stood up and protested. Fianna Fail representatives and activists in this area must let the views of the people be known to those at the top. Minister Mary and Pat the Cope - take this message to Bertie and cabinet - We Irish have no quarrel with the Iraqi people, who have suffered enough. We do not want war.


Congratulations to Charlie and Brigid Gillespie, who celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary with family and friends at Harvey’s Point on Saturday 28th September


Mixed-use development unanimously approved by Council

Local Councillors join Developer Danny Keeney and project investors outside Council Offices in Lifford after vote.
Back: Paul Duncan, Cllr. Thomas Pringle, Cllr. John Boyle, Cllr. Sean Campbell.
Front: Cllr. Peter Kennedy, Jackie McGroarty, Diarmuid Barry, Danny Keeney.

The long awaited Revlin Park project was given the go-ahead by Donegal County Council at their meeting on 30th September 2002. The proposal, which was supported by all 25 Councillors attending the meeting, paves the way for the construction of all the site development works required to accommodate the exciting mixed-use development which incorporates a Garda Station and Court House; a Fast Food Restaurant; 2 car showrooms; a retail warehouse with a gross floor area of 2,044 sq. metres for the sale of bulky non-food items; a 3 screen cinema; a 100 bed-four star hotel; 40 holiday apartments; a 40-bed Nursing Home; a Health Centre; an Education Centre; a Community Centre accommodating a swimming pool, hall, crèche, children’s adventure play area and meeting rooms; Business/Office Units and a Linear Park.

In their report to Councillors, planning officials acknowledged that the development of the site would act as an equilibrium to developments on the other two main arterial routes into the town centre (Super-Valu on the Ballyshannon Road and Drumlonagher on the Ballybofey Road) and concluded that the proposal accorded with the provisions of the County Development Plan 2000 (as varied); the Retail Planning Guidelines 2000 and the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

A separate application for the erection of a new Tesco supermarket on the Revlin Park site has still to be determined by the Council, but the Councillors will vote on this proposal at their next meeting, following the adoption of the Retail Strategy for County Donegal.

Speaking on North West Radio last week Councillor Peter Kennedy, who proposed that the application be granted, said: ‘At long last we have good news for Donegal Town. I had great pleasure in proposing the development at Revlin and hopefully, come mid-October, when the retail strategy comes up, the other development that wasn’t included in this proposal (the Tesco supermarket) will be included. ........ Many letters of support have come from people who think it is a mighty achievement for Donegal Town ..... it certainly is what the town needs and thankfully it came to pass ..... too many times we have been criticised about not doing enough to get development into Donegal Town. We have been trying very hard and our work has now been rewarded.’

The granting of the planning permission for the development is a milestone in what has been a long and arduous process for the consortium of local Donegal Town businessmen behind the development. Spokesman for the group, Danny Keeney, told Donegal Times that he and the entire consortium were ‘absolutely delighted’ with the decision reached by the Councillors. They wish to thank Councillor Kennedy for proposing that planning permission be granted for the scheme; all of the other Councillors who voted in favour of it and the businesses and people of Donegal who have supported the proposal from the beginning.

Seldom has a proposal received such overwhelming support at local government level where Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Independent Fianna Fail, and the Independent Councillors all voted in favour. Mr Keeney stated support such as this clearly demonstrates that the proposed scheme is acceptable to our elected representatives by providing local employment during construction and upon completion - with enhanced shopping, leisure and recreational facilities for Donegal Town.

Danny said that the proposal addresses what he sees as major deficiencies in the provision of retail, leisure, business and educational facilities in the south west of the County. It creates an opportunity to provide facilities sought after by the community and would act as a catalyst for further investment and development in Donegal Town. Although Danny is involved in many prestigious projects throughout Ireland and the UK he is particularly delighted to get the go-ahead for the Revlin scheme which has been a personal crusade for him.

In recent years he had become increasingly frustrated with the way Donegal Town has trailed behind other similarly sized towns in Ireland which have seen massive growth in retail, employment and leisure facilities. He is particularly anxious that the people of Donegal are provided with the amenities that are enjoyed by residents of other towns in the country. He felt that the granting of the proposal gave a massive boost to morale in the town as people have been waiting a long time for the scheme. He was keen to emphasise that although the Council have not yet approved the supermarket application, Tesco Ireland remained fully committed to the town and are excited about becoming the anchor tenant in the scheme. He is hopeful that the application for the supermarket will be approved at the next Council meeting.

Provided there are no appeals lodged with An Bord Pleanala against the granting of planning permission for the application, Danny said that he hoped to commence works on the site before the end of the year. He confirmed that he was in discussions with potential operators for the hotel, nursing home, car showrooms, cinema, business units and education centre. He is hopeful that the sale of sites for these uses could be completed soon and that detailed applications for the buildings proposed would then be submitted to the Council.

On behalf of the consortium Danny would like to thank the design team and consultants involved, especially Derek Scott, his Planning Consultant, whose local knowledge and professional expertise proved invaluable in achieving a successful planning consent for the scheme.

Everyone at Donegal Times wishes to congratulate Danny Keeney and the consortium of other business men for gaining planning permission for the Revlin Park site. We, and the vast majority of people in Donegal Town and its hinterland, are looking forward with great excitement and expectation to this development which has been proposed by local people for local people. We urge the Council to grant permission for the supermarket at their next meeting. The entire town was bitterly disappointed that the Dunnes Stores proposal was refused permission by An Bord Pleanala. We are determined that the same doesn’t happen with the Revlin Park proposals.

Aerial view showing Revlin site outlined in red

The Donegal Times, The Diamond, Donegal Town, Ireland

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