DONEGAL TIMES

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January 25th 2006

The remains of the late Jack ‘Cowboy’ McMullin are removed from St Patrick’s Church for burial at Clar cemetery. The former GAA great died on Friday 20th January. Photo: Jason McGarrigle

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Positive thinking

When one of Times foot-soldiers on operational duties was informed by a top-brass of the Chamber that this paper was “too negative - there is plenty of good things going on in town”, I decided my troops (all three of them) needed a good talking to. “This pessimistic outlook has to cease” says I “from now on positive thinking and bright and breezy stories are the order of the day – stories that will bring joy to our readers and lighten up the dark dreary days that are in it”. I could see by their worried faces that I was asking for a lot – but I can be tough when need be. “Now get your thinking caps on and produce” I ordered.
I knew it was going to be a long session.
But my squad were not found wanting – after two hours, Patricia’s face lit up. “We could say that, with the continuous obstructions to commercial developments setting up in town, there is less traffic around, so the residents are healthier by not having to breathe in excess lead emissions and carbon monoxide”.
Margaret was next “How about claiming that the delay in progressing the sewerage scheme is an advantage as there is reduced disruption on the streets, traffic can flow more freely through town - and there is less noise and dirt”.
Then one of our ace contributors, Paul O’Sullivan, came in. I explained our predicament – that we were being castigated for not being positive and were trying to formulate an ‘Opinion’ piece that would blow these accusations out of the water. Paul took a seat - it looked like this would take a while.......

Continued in print edition of Donegal Times

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New Donegal Bay Waterbus on

schedule for Springtime launch

By Jason McGarrigle

The new waterbus is on its way! Sean Quinn, CEO of the Donegal Town Enterprise Scheme, told the Times “We are aiming for St Patrick’s Day”. The new boat is currently in Mooney’s Boatyard and “the fine tuning is being done. The cladding is completed and now it’s just the fitting out of electronics, security - and some other minute details” claimed Mr Quinn. The waterbus committee are considering a name for the new vessel. The frontrunner at the minute is ‘Tirchonaill’ but the committee is welcoming suggestions from the public - if you have an idea for a new moniker, just let the waterbus office know and they will consider it!

Finance
The new boat is costing in the region of €800,000 and according to the Enterprise Group’s financial director, Daniel Ward, is “financially on schedule, Mooney’s are doing a fantastic job. The construction is top class and the finished product will be second to none.
“We have sourced as much as we can locally” continued Daniel. “The building is being done in Killybegs; the CCTV installed by Jimmy Melly of North West Alarms and the seating is coming from Eurocoach in Gweedore”. The committee have a guaranteed buyer for the existing bus who will pay the full asking price of €100,000, provided he can get Department of Marine class 5 status for calm water excursions. The committee don’t envisage any problems with him obtaining such clearance but nevertheless there are also 7-8 other groups expressing very strong interest.
The new waterbus, costing €800,000, will be funded by grant-aid of €530,000, the sale of old bus for €100,000 - and already €47,000 has been paid off from last year’s earnings. The committee has loan approval of up to €160,000 to cover any shortfall. They expect to be able to pay off any bank debt without problem, based on the turnover and profit from last year. Indeed, according to CEO Quinn, the committee is confident of ‘substantially improving on profits next year with the increased capacity of the new waterbus’.

New Jetty and Marina
The incoming waterbus will require a new jetty to be able to berth beside the pier and “good progress is being made on securing this in plenty of time for the new boat. Both Minister Mary Coughlan and Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher are working very hard to help out and it will be in place before the new vessel arrives” asserted Mr Quinn.
Local boat owners and visitors to Donegal Town will be able to avail of the old jetty when the new boat takes up its berth. This jetty will be relocated for security and safety reasons. The Waterbus committee have also gathered all the background information needed for a new marina and have passed the grant application forms and construction quotes to the Donegal Bay Boat Club who will work under the umbrella of the Enterprise Scheme to obtain funding for such a development. This marina will be for use by locals and visitors to the town.

VIP for Donegal Town
The Times is reliably informed that a VIP has promised to christen the new boat. Waterbus chairman, Cllr Sean McEniff, has apparently secured the services of An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern TD, to come to Donegal Town to officially launch the new waterbus. Committee members were tight-lipped when asked and wouldn’t confirm this but said they would let the Times know “as soon as plans were finalised”. Indeed if Bertie came to town this would be a great coup for the hardworking committee as they would be assured of national media coverage. Well done to all involved in this successful project.

This is an edited version of the front page story.

Full story only in print edition

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