DONEGAL TIMES

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August 25th 2004

Most visitors take the tour bus to see New York but  Pauric Curristin took to the skies. Here he is 15,000ft above the Big Apple with an instructor on his back (just in case he got blown off course and ended up back in Laghey!)

Marching Bands

A marching bands display will take place on the Diamond on Sunday 5th September at 2.30pm, courtesy of the Civic Group. Bands from all over the county will appear and there will be a free disco in the Abbey after the show.

Raising the alarm!

Margo & John Duggan and Mary Clarke, Dungannon, Tyrone, who raised the alarm when a middle-aged man jumped off the big pier last Thursday. After calling an ambulance, Cora Keeney from the Waterbus office, threw the struggling man a life bouy, with the help of which he managed to swim to the steps where Captain Billy and John helped him out. By this stage the ambulance had arrived and took the distressed patient to Letterkenny Hospital.

Victor left holding the (pink) baby

The lady who had contracted to lease the shop premises from Victor Kearney has pulled out of the deal - but not before she had painted it a bright pink, just a shade lighter than Victor’s colour when he heard she wasn’t taking it.

Bennett moves in to test ground

Last Friday morning a digger moved in on Mrs Browne and Mrs Sweeney’s lands to test the site and soil for foundation purposes. Margaret Gallagher spoke to Eamon McCafferty, Bennett Construction, who said they were carrying out preliminary work and that the development had not gone to planning yet.
The story of Bennett’s aquisition of this site, in our last issue, caused huge interest and seems to have taken the Donegal Town community completely by surprise.

Don Byrne launches new book of poems

Last Friday night a large crowd gathered in the Nesbitt Arms Hotel, Ardara, where local author Frank Harvey launched Don Byrne’s book of poems ‘Soft Shoes and Sunshine’.
Don is a man of many talents – bike shop owner, maths teacher in Rosses Community School, and a poet. Before reading some of his splendid verse, Don paid tribute to a lot of people who helped him along his way, mentioning in particular Frank Harvey who, he said, led by example, having written three books of verse himself.
He thanked his teachers mentioning, in particular, his primary school principal Donal Whelan and Marius Harkin in St Eunans. Don also said that he owed a lot to his maiden aunt Kathleen for her love of words - and love of him. In 1980 Don said he gave up the cigarettes and had to find something to keep him busy. With a deep love for the English language he decided to write poetry which was short and portable.
Don paid tribute to the Killybegs writers mentioning the late Noelle Vial, Phil McCloskey, also Joan and Kate who read some of his poems in 1990 and liked them. “These poems belong to the people of Ardara whom I thank. In 1992 I was supposed to publish the book but didn’t. I gave the box to Kate and Joan containing the stuff and told them to either publish or burn it as I had it for long enough – thank God they published it.” He thanked his family Dallan and Donal and especially his wife Mary. Don finished the night by reading two poems, separately dedicated to his mother and father.
Don’s book is on sale in the Four Masters Bookshop, priced €10

Enterprise Officer to step down

Donegal Town Enterprise Officer, Sian Breslin, is not renewing her contract when it expires on the 17th September. She told Donegal Times this was for family reasons and her wish to follow a new career path. Indeed the permanent position of town manager seems to be under threat at present, as funds necessary to retain the post are running out. Sian told the Times how important it is for the business people of Donegal Town to come together and agree to finance this position for at least another two years. While in office, Sian said she had raised over €500,000 from funding agencies, with a pending application for €115,000 - and a marketing grant worth €31,000 being evaluated at present.

AVS Leaving Cert results

Ronan Gillespie, Francis McMullin, Sean McDermott, Brian Heeney, John O’Sullivan in good spirits after receiving their leaving cert results at the AVS

The Principal of the Abbey Vocational School, Mrs Mary Ann Kane, said they were very pleased overall with the Leaving Certificate results in the school:
“We had 175 students sitting the exam and I would like to congratulate each and every one of them. Generally speaking, students were rewarded for the hard work and effort they put in. We had several students who achieved in excess of 500 points and we are particularly pleased for those students who have achieved their personal best.
“Students who sat the Leaving Certificate Applied in our school, in keeping with other years, performed exceedingly well.
“Many students who had completed Transition Year did very well, which points to the merits of the Transition Year Programme and the benefits it brings.
“However, despite all the hype, it is important to remember that if the results did not turn out as expected, it is not the end of the world. There are plenty of options and possibilities available for everyone. The Leaving Certificate, although important, does not measure all the talents and potential of a young person.”

Eat, drink, and climb the Donegal hills for less than £100stg

A group of hoteliers from Donegal Town has found a way of combining technology with a little imagination to buck the trend in the present tourist climate.
In part, it was simplicity itself. Donegal Town has excellent hotels, a range of high quality restaurants, and the Blue Stack Mountains on its doorstep, it just simply needed to bring all these things together into one package, and this it has done for less than £99 stg.
We couldn’t believe it ourselves when we did the sums, but it’s true, you can get two days guided walks with experienced North West Walking instructors, 2 nights Bed & Breakfast, a 3 course evening meal in Dom’s Bar, and the legendary Harvey’s Point 5 course Sunday Carvery, all for under €145 (£99 Stg). Declared one participant who partook of this offer ‘I couldn’t stay at home for that’.
So far two hillwalking weekends are planned for September 17th and November 12th, but already more high value weekends are in the pipeline for golf, watersports, drama and culture.
For more details visit www.donegaltown.ie, where booking online is now possible.

Sound of Music

The childrens choir in ‘The Sound of Music’ in Inver

One of the biggest entertainment projects ever undertaken in Inver, the staging of the musical ‘The Sound of Music’ at the Community Centre, is presently at the dress rehearsal stage, complete with a cast of over sixty adults, children and musicians.
The magnificent stage built by Martin Rose (Crab) and his crew over the past three weeks is an indication of a first-class show, which opens this Wednesday, 25th August, and runs until Sunday, the 29th - starting each night at 8pm.
The lead role of Maria is being played by Deirdre Doherty from Carrick, but with Inver connections. Kay McAleevy is directing, and Tina and Paul Coughlan are the musical directors, but Anne Harvey has the biggest task of all: assembling up to 200 costumes for the various scenes.

French Market Returns

Those of you who enjoy continental atmosphere and food can look forward to the French Market returning to the Diamond for four days from 9th – 12th September.

Mary B launches new CD

On Monday, August 16th, Mary B welcomed a host of friends and show-business stars to a packed Abbey Hotel. The occasion was the launch of her latest CD ‘Letting go’. Pictured with Mary B are husband Paul and Seamus Magee


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