DONEGAL TIMES

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September 28th 2005

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Find out what this picture is all about - Do like this happy gent and get your hands on a copy of Donegal Times today!!!

Major hotel planning granted for Revlin

Read all about it!!! - in the print edition of Donegal Times

Killybegs By-pass .... Landowners consulted

At the request of Donegal County Council a public consultation was arranged by the Killybegs Parish Council to discuss plans for the proposed town By-Pass. In June last, the Council had called a meeting to discuss the proposed routes with residents and a ‘preferred’ route was suggested at that time. Submissions were requested and this consultation period ended on July 1st.
The Council took note of the submissions from the public and made adjustments to the ‘preferred’ route at two points with these in mind.
The consultation meeting on September 19th last was requested by the Donegal Electoral Area committee a couple of weeks ago, with written invitations sent to the affected landowners.
The meeting in the Tara Hotel proved very lively and interesting with many residents asking questions. Just under a hundred people attended to discuss the proposals with the three elected Councillors - Pringle, Boyle and Byrne, as well as Peadar Thomas, Area Manager Roads, Jim Bonner, Executive Engineer, Road Design and Simon Haran of Central Planning Unit. Most people attending the meeting voiced their opposition to the ‘preferred’ route and were concerned that the Council had adjusted the route to facilitate developers and some were worried about the effect of the road on the value of their properties. The Council officials stated that no final decisions would be made until an extended consultation period had passed and all submissions were examined.
In light of the discussions and comments from the residents, the Council has decided a further consultation period of three weeks before final decisions. Asked for his opinion, local man, Councillor Thomas Pringle, welcomed this extension and strongly urged everyone to make submissions in writing, ‘Unfortunately in the run-up to the meeting, a lot of misinformation had been disseminated and people were not aware of the facts of the situation - it was great to see such a large turnout and to listen to what people had to say - this will ensure everyone’s views is taken into account.’
Council officials informed the meeting that no money had been allocated for the by-pass by central Government and it would be some considerable time before plans were finalised.
Maps are available in the Council Offices, Bridge Street, Killybegs, and the Public Services Centre, Donegal Town. Submissions should be made to Road Design Office, Donegal County Council, Lifford.

Happy 21st, Dana!!!

Happy 21st to Dana McNulty, Ardatole, (front middle) who celebrated with family and friends at a party in the Abbey Hotel. Back: Kelly Boyle, Charlene McLaughlin, Michelle McLaughlin, Sonia Bustard, Gillian Davin, Leanna Dunlevy. Front: Michelle, Dana, and Kathrina McNulty
Photo: Jason McGarrigle

Pay and display raises income of €200,000!!

Details in print edition of Donegal Times - subscription information at bottom of page

Auction of land realises substantial figures

An auction in the Abbey Hotel on Thursday 22nd September saw 3.3 acres at Ardeskin sold for €825,000. Three punters in the crowd of about 40 pushed the price from an opening bid of €500,000 to the final figure. Solicitor, Eunan Gallagher, acting for the unknown client, placed the successful offer and, despite gentle coaxing from auctioneer Keith Anderson, no one was prepared to go further. At €250,000 an acre, Mr Anderson declared himself ‘pleased’ at the outcome and said that demand for residentially zoned land around town remained ‘vibrant’. The land sold was part of the estate of the late Ambrose Mohan.

(Map available in print edition of Donegal Times)

Hannas in Chicago

John Hanna and daughter Amanda Jane (Hanna Hats) with Sinead O’Grady (daughter of Seamus Muldoon, Castle St) and her daughter Clodagh along with Aisling Meehan St Joesph’s Ave) and her daughter Shannon. Sinead and Aisling, who reside in Chicago, were shopping in the Mall there when none other than the Hannas stopped them looking for directions!! It’s a small world!!! Unfortunately, John and Amanda who were in Chicago on business were catching their flight home that evening but Sinead and Aisling are looking forward to seeing them again next year!

New Development Officer sought

An advertisement appearing in local and national papers (but not Donegal Times) seeks a new town Development Officer. Listed as initially a part-time position, full details of the post, together with application form, are available from Donegal Town Community Chamber Office on Quay Street. Phone: 074-9723760. Completed forms and relevant CVs must be returned to the office before 4pm. on Thursday 29th September.

Democrat changes hands - again!

You couldn’t blame the poor craturs down on Quay Street for feeling a bit perplexed. If the ownership of the business you worked for changed hands six times in little over a decade, you’d also be a little puzzled. And so it must be for the boys (and girls) of the Democrat - as they beaver away to get out another issue, they must wonder who are they producing it for.
Firstly there was the King family who sold to the O’Carrolls who transferred to Trinity/Mirror who passed on to 3i which subdivided into Local Press which has now divested to Johnston Press for a consideration of €95m. With its simultaneous purchase of the Leinster Leader Group and previous acquisition of six titles from Scottish Radio holdings, Johnston has now become one of the largest publishers in Ireland with 24 titles.
The purchase of Local Press brings into the Johnston company such illustrious names as the Derry Journal, Donegal Democrat, Belfast Newsletter, Farming Life, Foyle News, The Sunday Journal, Letterkenny Listener, Belfast News and City News.
I wonder would any of those boys spending the big bucks on both print and sound media in Ireland have a few bob left for a small title above ‘Forget-Me-Not’ in Donegal Town?
Postscript: This story actually broke on Friday 16th September with major articles on it in the next day’s Indo and Irish Times. On the following Tuesday 20th, Ocean FM news breathlessly announced the already five day old news and ran it on all bulletins for the next 12 hours.

Letter to Editor re: Website

Dear Editor,
I have to raise a concern that I have in the direction in which the Donegal Times is heading in regards to its website.
Having moved away from the locality in the late 90’s, I have relied on the coverage provided in the Donegal Times to follow the latest happening in and around the town, and surrounding areas. I have to say up front that I do not have a subscription to the print edition, rather my family sends out a quarters worth at a time.
The website had always been an interim fix for me, and was a great snapshot of what was in store in the print editions to come. However, much to my dismay on the 18th September I was met with ‘CONTINUED IN PRINT EDITION OF DONEGAL TIMES’ banner that had been placed on its pages.
In this day and age of mixed media content, rather than moving forward and embracing the future, a decision has been made that has in my opinion taken the paper a step backwards.
I understand that there may be a variety of reasons that are not apparent to me as to how this decision was arrived at. (Maybe if I had a subscription to the print edition I may already have the explanation that I am looking for!)
My point is this: Rather than cutting back on the content and losing a valuable asset, I believe that the paper should do two things:
1. Place more of its content online. Go back to the original days at the Town website, where the majority of the main features were carried online. Increase the amount of articles to include notes in relation to Births, Death and Marriages etc. I am sure that the majority of articles are written, or transferred into a format that would be conducive to ‘cutting & pasting’ into whichever web editing software that the current webmaster is using.
By increasing the amount of coverage, you are exposing the visitor to more content. More content increases the amount to time spent on the site. More time spent on the site, increases the likelihood of a return visit or, referral of stories. The possibilities here are what need to be looked at closely.
By doing the above, it may allow you to offer mixed media advertising. If you look at the B&B ads on the Town website, you will get an idea of what I mean. Again, I am presuming that you currently offer print ads only. Why not offer mixed media advertising? For example, for a 10% extra per-edition fee you could offer the advertiser this service thus offsetting the associated cost for adding more content.
The vast majority of people, who buy a print edition, will continue to buy the print edition regardless of what content is available online. For the small rise in subscriptions that you may gain (I think time will bear me out on this) by cutting back online content is, I believe a missed opportunity on the papers behalf. This leads me to my second point:
2. Have an online subscription option. Rather than e-mail the office and having to go through the back and forth of information taking, there are secure e-commerce plug-ins that would allow a user at anytime to input their information, choose their relevant subscription and pay for it all in one transaction. Minimal human interaction in the process, no misspelled names or missing digits in a credit card numbers.
If I choose to subscribe at 11pm here, there are two chances that I am going to get the response when I am still in the mood. The online transaction catches those people who otherwise have no patience. I would bet a Euro that if this was done itself you would see a larger gain in subscriptions versus placing ‘CONTINUED IN PRINT EDITION OF DONEGAL TIMES’ on the website.
Please accept my apologies if I have offended the paper in any way. I personally want to thank you and staff at the paper for the Trojan work that has been put into its production. I merely wanted to point out the possibilities and maybe start a dialogue within the office, which I think would stand to both the paper and its readership.
Best regards,
Ronan O’Doherty,
Dover,
NH, USA

Editor’s note:
Sorry, Ronan, no can do. Any of the options outlined in your letter would require technical and administrative resources far beyond those we possess in Donegal Times. Also it would not be fair to our advertisers on whose support we are dependant - and to whom we are very grateful. While we are a ‘not for profit’ enterprise, we still have to pay our bills, and need the income generated by paper sales. So from now on the web-site of the Times will be merely an appetiser for the extremely good value print edition. With the Times site receiving up to 300 dedicated visitors per issue, if even 20% of these converted into subs, it would give us a welcome boost in revenue.

ALSO AVAILABLE IN PRINT EDITION:

•Property at Barnesmor advertised for €1.2 million

•New Manager at Ocean FM

•Travellers site not permanent

•Entertaining Programme in store at annual festival

•Tidy Towns results

•Planning for multiple unit development sought for Tully

•Progress report on Drumlonagher development

•Death of well known publican

•Inver, Drimarone, Barnes, Frosses and Townawilly notes

•Kennedy Calls for Planning Team

& MUCH, MUCH, MORE

DON'T MISS OUT!!!

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