DONEGAL TIMES

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April 28th 2004

We need Answers

When raw sewerage started rising from a manhole outside his door to flow down the road, Willie Joe Stewart went on North West Radio to highlight the issue. A blockage outside Cliffview House had been rectified by council workers but then the problem moved further down to Meetinghouse Street.
The question is - where next? In what state did the contractors leave our sewerage infrastructure when they pulled out last month? While they were on the job, nobody wanted to criticize - we willed them to succeed in finishing this phase and move us closer to the wastewater system that we have craved for decades. We wondered why they finished a street, closed it up, only to return weeks later to dig it up again. We wondered why they built high manhole structures in the river at Castle Street, only to go back, knock them down, and build smaller ones. We wondered - but we said nothing. But now questions have to be asked and we need our local politicians to start asking them. We also need a clear statement from Mr Jim Houlihan, Director of Services, Donegal County Council.
Among issues to which we need answers
•How close to finish is the current phase of the contract that was being worked by Conway Bros?
•Are Conways coming back to finish this phase?
•If not, what is plan B?
•Have Conways a bond in place that will compensate the council if a different contractor has to be brought in to finish their work?
•Will the next phase, i.e. pumping stations and treatment plant proceed without delay?
•Is the money in place for the next phase?
•Have tenders gone out for the next phase?

Take 17 - Crew and cast listen to Norah’s instructions as they ready for action in O’Neill’s Bar

Local girl directs film in Letterbarrow

Cast and crew enamoured with Drimarone hospitality

For four days last week O’ Neill’s Bar, Letterbarrow, was taken over by a film crew and cast under the direction of Lough Eske girl, Norah McGettigan, daughter of Grainne and the late Peter. ‘A Song for Rebecca’ is the second film directed by Norah, the first being ‘The Waterfight’ which was shown on T.V. last week. O’Neill’s Bar is the set of a rural pub where the wake of a young girl is in progress. This is gatecrashed by a stag party - and from there the story progresses....
I asked Norah why she picked O’Neills for the scene “I travelled around the country in search, only to find, on my own doorstep, that the Letterbarrow pub has the old style without the kitsch – it’s the real McCoy. There are 30 of a cast and crew, all staying at the Bluestack Centre and 20 local extras”. Among the professional actors and actresses, the most famous to us would be Frank O’Keefe of the Abbey Theatre, Gemma Doorly, Fair City and Jason Neilson, Fair City.
Speaking with Gemma, better known as Sarah, the sandwich bar assistant from Carrickstown, she expressed her delight at having got the part. “I live in Rathgar, Dublin and do my Fair City acting in RTE, Donnybrook, so filming here in Letterbarrow, with the birds singing and the beautiful countryside, is just wonderful. We stay at the Bluestack Centre and socialise in O’Neill’s - though some of the crew went to Schooners Bar in town last night. O’Neill’s bar has a terrific atmosphere and a great pint of Guinness – better than Mc Coy’s” Gemma laughed.
And for all you big Fair City fans out there, Gemma, or is it Sarah, let us into a little secret “there is a big wedding taking place in Carrickstown come June - and it’s not me…..”
Norah McGettigan is studying script-writing and directing at the National Film School, Poland, and, along with Marius Matzow Gulbrandsen Cinematopographer, this is a final year project - one that will be completed by Christmas.
Norah would like to thank Brendan and Aideen O’Neill and the Bluestack Centre for their kindness to crew and cast - also the local extras for their patience and co-operation.


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