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April 23rd 2003

| Front Page | Other Stories | Jetstream Donegal | Donegal 30 years Ago | Sport |

So What Happens Now

So the Yanks and Brits have conquered Iraq - the easy part is accomplished. Now let’s see what they do. Having blown away most of the governing infrastructure, they are left with a country that has no police, no judiciary, no supervisors, no businessmen, no civil servants, no ministers, no records - and a populace that will quickly turn against its invaders if they don’t quickly come up with the essentials of basic living - food, water, electricity and medical care.
With Iraq so badly on its knees after ten years of sanctions on food, medicines, arms etc., a couple of dozen Irish Rangers could probably have slipped in and taken out Saddam and the only damage might have been to the pub where they held their celebratory party. And now the Yanks want sanctions lifted. What about the reason these sanctions were imposed in the first place - Weapons of Mass Destruction - remember them. Having gone in all guns blazing and blown the country apart, let’s see how the Yanks manage to put it together again. Don’t forget these boys are already policing Afganistan - and Syria is in their sights. Go get ‘em, Georgie!

Phase One of Donegal Town Main Water Scheme Finishes
Locals fear raw sewerage to be pumped into Bay

Local Boat owners and pier area residents have expressed concern that the current sewage works in town will come to a stop when stage one finishes in a few weeks time. By then Conway Brothers, the main contractors on the scheme, expect to have all piping fully connected as far as the pier. Having made great progress, it now looks as if this is as far as work can go as no contracts have been issued for phase two, which entails taking the sewerage out from the pier to a purifying station at Drumkeegan This is because the contractor has been told that the tender is not ready for pricing. Even if ready, and the money in place, sources say it could take 3-6 months for the Council to award contracts.
The new system will accommodate a larger volume of sewerage than the existing one as it also incorporates the Mill Park Hotel, Old Laghey Road, and Mountcharles Road. There is speculation that this larger volume of untreated sewerage will be released beside the slipway at the big pier. As the contract for the next phase isn’t ready, there is the potential that the old sewerage system will be left in place, weeping sewerage all around town and into the river - or that the new system will be turned on which will allow raw sewerage to flow directly into the bay alongside the slipway. It is been said locally that it could indeed be up to five years before substantial more progress is made, during which time raw sewerage will continue to enter directly into the bay. And not only into the outer bay but, if new system is operational, the increased pressure of one outlet, combined with incoming tide, will force the waste further up-river.
However, talking to Donegal Times, Cllr. Peter Kennedy said he is led to believe that sewerage will not flow directly into the bay and that he is meeting Council officials today (Tuesday) to discuss the matter. He also said that the second phase has been advertised and “there will be very little delay”.
Local boat owner, Eamon O’Donnell, told this paper that even though we have had some of the best Spring weather in years, he will not put his boat into Donegal Bay until he can be sure of the position regarding sewerage.

Eileen Kennedy and Cornelius Carr who were married in St. Agatha’s Church, Clar on Saturday 12th April.

Vandalism in Mountcharles
National School Attacked - again

St. Peters National School Mountcharles is now officially the most vandalised school in County Donegal. For a village of only 300 people, this is an alarming statistic. The breaking of 19 panes of glass at the rear of the school on the weekend of April 13th was one of many incidents over the last five years. A follow-up Garda technical examination took place at the scene and inquiries are continuing.
Many of the children were visibly upset and frightened at the sight of broken glass strewn everywhere and the resulting visible Garda activity that followed. Some pupils leaving in June will have seen their school targeted every year of their 6 year education. The school has a young and dedicated teaching staff and attacks like this have an obvious morale sapping effect on teachers, caretaking and maintenance staff.

Unsocial Behaviour
Attacks on the school have been part of a trend of vandalism in Mountcharles for a number of years, with a small minority involved. However more recently the frequency and seriousness has visibly escalated and is a cause of great concern, especially for the elderly who feel vulnerable and afraid. Incidences which have occurred include:
•Burglary, malicious damage and theft at the local Garda Station.
•Random scraping and kicking of parked cars.
•Verbal abuse and intimidation of an elderly man whose car was forcibly stopped.
•Rocks left on the Glencoagh road and burning tyres wheeled down the By Pass.
•Nets at the G.A.A. pitch cut on numerous occasions.
•Break in, burglary and criminal damage to a house at the Shore road.
•Theft of a van on Main St., later recovered in Longford.

Locals involved
Those involved are well known to locals and Gardaí. Two male youths from the area are before the courts on some of the above charges but cannot be named for reason of age. One of those failed to appear at a court in Longford last week for theft of the van.

Parental responsibility
On one occasion, when notified by Gardai in Donegal Town that her son was in custody, the mother of the youth (who many believe to be the ringleader) told Gardaí she would only come in if they paid the return fare for the taxi.
There is understandably much anger and bewilderment in Mountcharles that youths educated in the local school and living in the locality, some availing of State assistance, should want to or be allowed to terrorise the community for so long.

Attempted Robbery
Last Wednesday an attempted robbery took place at the Post Office. The intruders gained access at dinner time and tried to break into the safe, which fortunately had a time lock. The Gardaí were alerted immediately and gave chase to the culprits who made off on foot. Those responsible were from outside the area and Gardaí are following a definite line of inquiry.

This article is in response to phone calls to this office from many different people voicing their concerns after the school incident last week. None wanted their names mentioned.

The Donegal Times, The Diamond, Donegal Town, Ireland

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