When Sean McEniff was elected Chairman of Bundoran Urban Council for about the 25th time last week, he divested himself of the opinion that local legislatures would be better off if they forgot about politics and all worked together for the betterment of their communities. After listing priorities for his year in office, Sean finished by saying I know that I will improve the town enormously over the next 12 months.
We here in Donegal have traditionaly tended to look down on the seaside town, dubbing it cheap and tacky. But that was then - this is now. Bundoran has changed - it now boasts a plethora of facilities and amenities that make it the envy of similar resorts throughout the country - and leaves our town in the shade. We could learn a lot from the way Bundoran has reached this position.
Having its own town council is a big advantage - with monies collected from rates and charges spent locally. But also the way the town has rowed in behind its leaders is important, (with one conspicious exception). That is the lesson for our town - we need to get behind our new executive officers and give them full backing, if we are to extract ourselves from the mediocrity into which we have sunk over the past years. Also it is important that our traders allow run the bank standing-orders in order to finance the very neccesary reforms and improvement that we so vitally need. Already those are happening - small things - but they all add together to make a difference.
In the short run, a lot can be done in cosmetic terms to brighten up the town. The long term perspective is more difficult - a determination of how we see ourselves in ten/twenty years. In this respect, the most important thing is to guard our assets, so that short term gain does not interfere with the bigger, larger-view picture.
Along with the bay, the part of town with most potential is the Cleary school, CIE garage, Mart, Bosco Centre, running track, area. Nothing should be done here until an overall blueprint is drawn up. This could become a terrific recreation and theme retail complex, incorporating all that is neccessary for open-air / wet-weather sport and pleasure enjoyment, including all the services that a popular area as this requires.
Already a road has been constructed, bisecting the green area beside the Bosco - nothing more should be allowed happen this important asset before the roadmap is prepared. Indeed, so important is this, that private sector developers, with experience in this type of operation, should be invited in as consultants, with a slice of the action if neccessary.
Over and above the Bosco area, the River Eske could become much more of a feature in town. The concept of of a walk from Magherabeg Abbey to Lough Eske should be relisted. A town park behind the Castle is a realisable dream. The Abbey and Revlin walks need to be upgraded - and, of course, the development of the pier area, to cash in the benefits of the new sewerage scheme, is a must.
All these and more - our new town executive and planning officer have their work cut out - we wish them well!
Salthill House En-Fete
Enjoying the garden party at the Mountcharles venue are Mr Howard Temple, Eamon Monaghan, Mrs Maureen Temple and Keith Anderson
Local Man Ordained
Peter Thompson Elevated to Diaconate
An uplifting and dignified ceremony was celebrated on Saturday 28th June when a large crowd gathered in St. Columbas Cathedral, Derry, for the ordination to Deaconary of Peter Thompson and Adam Quigley.
Glebe man, Peter, son of Alrick and Valerie has spent five years studying, first reading Biblical Studies and Music in the Queens University of Belfast, where he met his wife Jenni, followed later by two years at the Church of Ireland Theological College, Trinity College and the Irish School of Ecumenics (Milltown), where he pursued post graduate research into Methodist-Anglican relations in Ireland. Next June he will take his vows and be ordained Priest. During the past year Peter has worked in the parishes of Belfast Cathedral and Stillorgan and Blackrock, Dublin. He is now serving as Curate of All Saints, Clooney, with Strathfoyle in the city of Derry.
The ceremony started at 3 p.m. in the majestic cathedral, conducted by Rt Revd Ken Good, Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, assisted by the Very Revd William Morton, Dean of Derry, and a host of assembled clergy of many Christian denominations.. Prayers and hymns intermingled, the soaring voices of the choir resonating around the lofted ceiling, decorated with the busts of ancient scholars and lit by rays of sun streaming through the magnificent stained glass windows.
A sermon by the Dean, spoke of the career of the two divinity students to date and asked for the prayers of all present to help them face the challenges that lay ahead.
Following the prayers of the people, the ordination ceremony was conducted by the laying on of hands by the bishop. The newly ordained deacons were vested in a stole, the symbol of their sacramental ministry, then presented with a New Testament, symbolic of their commission to preach and teach.
Many had travelled from Donegal Town and environs to witness this important milestone in Peters life. After the ceremony, all gathered around the new Deacon to offer congratulations and best wishes, while our photographer, Jason Mc Garrigle, captured many great photographs (see page 11).
Lastly, all repaired to a nearby hall where a much welcome repast was awaiting - there Peter got on stage to deliver an impromptu address of thanks.
We wish the young Deacon every success and happiness as he progresses along the path of his chosen career.
Peter is the third person from the Donegal Group of Parishes to be ordained in the last three years. Revd Ivan Dinsmore was ordained Deacon in 2001, and priest last year, serving his curacy in Glendermott and New Buildings, the parish next door to Peter in Derry. Revd John Deane was ordained Deacon last year and Priest on the 15th June this year, serving as Non-Stipentary Curate in Stanorlar, Meenglass and Kiltevogue.
Peter says thanks:
I would like thank all those who travelled from Donegal to be with me and support me on what was a particularly special day in my life. I would like to thank those who sent cards and gifts, and who contacted me to assure me of their thoughts and prayers, even though they could not be present. I am particularely pleased that people of many Christian traditions were able to join with me and participate fully in the Eucharist, and it is our prayer that these relationships, this communion, will continue to grow and deepen between individuals and between our churches. Please continue to remember me in your prayers, particularly as the ordination to Priest approaches next June, and feel free to drop in for a coffee and a chat if you are in Derry at any time.
Revd Peter Thompson