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April 28th 2004

Captain Billy makes unexpected good samaritan trip on Waterbus

Bond of the sea comes into play in boat rescue

Photos & Text by Jason McGarrigle

Eliza K stranded near the Green Isles

When Nicholas Davin’s new boat ‘Eliza K’ broke free from its moorings at ‘The Hassans’ early morning, Wednesday 21th April, the local businessman was lucky to have good friends around Donegal Town. By lunchtime that day the word had gone out that the boat was lying beached at Ballhill and by 6 o’clock that evening a number of mariners had gathered on the pier ready to help out. Jody Gysling in his RIB and Maurice and Richard Timony in their boat were first to head out to the stricken craft. They were closely followed in the waterbus by the crack team of Billy Bustard, Patsy Kelly, Eamon O’Donnell, David Bustard and Tommy McGroary. As Nicholas himself was in London, the mission was co-ordinated, in his absence, by Killybegs Harbour Master, Patsy Kelly.
Luckily, the evening of a very high tide - this conspired with the plan hatched by these experienced mariners which was was to attach a rope between the waterbus and Nicholas’ boat and, using the high power of Billy’s waterbus engine, tow it back into the water.
Rather than to tie a rope onto a single point on either boat, a harness was put all round the Waterbus and similarly around ‘Eliza K’. Then a rope was tied between each harness. This method ensured that the full weight of the load was not carried by one particular part of the boats but rather each vessel was bearing the stress all around their hulls, minimising the pressure on any one point.
By 7 o’clock the Waterbus was attached to Eliza K. After some tentative tugs on the rope without a budge, Billy decided to ‘give it some welly’ and slowly but surely the boat shifted from its beached position. On board Eliza K was Maurice Timony and Leslie Bustard who, once in safe waters, fired up the engines and floated the boat away from danger. They then returned it safely to its berth at the Hassans. Just as the boat was being secured, Maurice received a phone call from a worried Nicholas, but the Bridge Street newsagent was able to cheer him up with the good news that his new craft was back in the water - and everything was under control, thanks to the local team who turned out to prove that the camaraderie of the sea is alive and well around Donegal Town.

Richard Timony coordinates the tow-rope between the two boats and hands it over to Eamon O’Donnell and Patsy Kelly

Local Media Appear ignorant of South Donegal Geography

The collapse of Tullyhoniver Bridge on the road between Glenties and Frosses has caused much inconvenience to motorists who would normally use this route. But not as much as some reports in local and national media would have us believe. Talk of a 20 mile detour to get from Glenties to Donegal Town is a nonsense. Even our own Donegal papers don’t seem to know local geography – with the Derry People, The Donegal Democrat and North West Radio claiming that motorists must now detour to Ardara and travel via Five Points outside Killybegs to Dunkineely and back into Donegal Town, adding 20 miles to their journey. Of course, this is not the case - you simply turn left in Ardara, come over Ardaghey and, bingo, your’re here – total detour – approx 5 miles.
However the disruption should not last too long. A council spokesperson confirmed that workers are preparing to replace the bridge with large concrete slabs and would be confident of having the temporary structure ready to open by May 7th. The hope now is that monies already allocated to the R262 will not now be used up on the bridge. Pat the Cope in confident this will not be the case “I’ve already approved €600,000 for that road but I would be anxious later in the year to try to secure a special grant for this bridge. But the priority at the moment is to get the road open again as is easily one of the busiest regional routes in the county” said the Minister.

Speedy Shift

When a bus driver last week abandoned his vehicle in the middle of the road outside the Abbey and went for something to eat, his action had unexpected consequences for him. Stuck in the ensuing traffic jam, when a lorry could not pass, was a high ranking member of the garda who was not amused at the resulting traffic chaos. Exiting his car in the middle of the street, he directed the lorry, who narrowly got past the bus, thus allowing the traffic, which was lined back past SuperValu, to flow freely again. This top-brass then headed for the barracks and, within minutes, a squad car was flashing its way up Quay Street containing a member of the force who photographed and took down particulars of the offending vehicle, the driver of which got a nasty surprise on his eventual return. After a lengthy talk with the guard, he was sent on his way.
A traffic jam at this time of the evening when the buses arrive, is a daily occurrence - but rarely is the driver’s fault. Most often, when they arrive on the Diamond, their bus parking spaces are taken and they have no option but to position themselves outside these. The solution to all bus parking, letting off and picking up, is that it should take place over at the CIE station, thus freeing up the town centre, allowing traffic to flow.

Public Services Centre opens at Drumlonagher

All you need to know about our new public services centre

To provide services to south county customers that are more convenient, responsive and flexible, Donegal County Council has decentralised the delivering of a wide range of these through purpose-built offices in each of the electoral areas. The fifth of these offices opened at Drumlonagher, Donegal Town on Monday, 19th April.
From here, customers will be able to receive information and application forms for the full range of council services and apply to this office for those services. Initially customers will be able to •tax their cars, •apply for a driving licence, •get permission to connect to a public water main, •apply for planning permisson, •get permission to connect to a sewer, •get approval for the opening of a public road, •make requests for housing repairs, •pay a bill.
The Department of Social and Family Affairs, Department of Agriculture and Food and the Revenue Commissioners have also relocated staff to purpose built accommodation in the new centre.
In addition, an independent information unit has been established in the office. This unit will provide information to customers on a wide range of public services, provided by a variety of agencies, including the County Council, the North Western Health Board, the Department of Social and Family Affairs and FAS - and to refer customers to relevant agencies where appropriate.
The operation to open the new offices at Drumlonagher involved the relocation of more than 40 council staff.
Opening hours at services Centre:
General Service 9am-12.30 pm/1pm-4.30pm Monday – Friday
Motor Tax Services: 9.15 am - 12.15 pm/1.15 pm – 3pm daily.
Contact Number 074 9724400

Chris Scoops tidy sum on RTE show

Congratulations to Chris Darby, Hall Demesne, Mountcharles, who won €24,300 on Winning Streak on Saturday 17th April. Chris is deputy principal of Colaiste Colmcille in Ballyshannon. Chris bought his winning ticket from Sheerin’s Londis, Main Street, Mountcharles.

Jarleth Burns retraces childhood holiday location

Accompanied by TG4 cameras, former Amragh GAA star, Jarleth Burns arrived in town at the beginning of the month to trace the house in which he had spent manys a holiday in the late 70s and early 80s. After visiting three different locations, Jarleth found the house where he and his family had holidayed, with the help of Danny Dunnion. John Joe and Josephine Quinn’s house, Drumenny, was the place. “Before I left, my father gave me the directions but those were belonging to 20 years ago and didn’t include the by-pass. But when I saw the house, the childhood memories came flashing back - the most vivid being the sound of the corncrake when I woke up in the morning” said Jarleth.

93% smoking-ban compliance in Donegal

Talking on North West Radio last Thursday, Health Board inspector, Cora Murray, declared herself pleased at the level of compliance in the implementation of the no-smoking law in Co Donegal. Ms Murray claimed a 93% compliance rate from the 213 inspections carried out so far. While congratulating employers, staff and customers on a job well done, she said she was not surprised at this as the inititiave had a high level of public support. Cora said that the first months would be used for compliance building but if blatant disregard for the law is found, inspectors would consider legal action.
Ms Murrays comments came just days after a similar statement by regional Tourism Chairman, Sean McEniff, who said he had changed his mind about the no-smoking ban after seeing how enthusiastically it had been implemented and adhered to by hoteliers, bar owners and the general public.

Donegal Co-op Mart Ltd.

Since the special meeting of the mart shareholders in the Mill Park, the committee have had many discussions with representatives of Keeney construction. These meetings have considered the design of the proposed new mart at a site in Tullymornin near the Tullyearl junction.
At their last meeting, the final plans were accepted by both parties and these plans will now form part of the planning application which will soon be lodged with the County Council.
The committee have also had meetings with their solicitor and the contracts have been sent to the legal people acting for the developers. The committee are very happy with the progress made to date and are hopeful that contracts can be signed very soon. This will allow the project to go forward to the satisfaction of both parties.
The Co-op’s Annual General Meeting will take place in the Mart canteen on Wednesday 12th May at 8.30 pm.

The Donegal Times, The Diamond, Donegal Town, Ireland

Tel: +353-74-9722860 Fax: +353-74-9722937