DONEGAL TIMES

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June 14th 2006

Calling Cllr Kennedy
...Are you receiving us?

OPINION

r town that I thought I’d never see. People are complaining of being pyschologically intimidated and a form of facism appears to be raising its head. Secret committees are allegedly in session that the general populace knows nothing about and from which a moderating voice seems absent. Now there is talk of the Sunday nationals being contacted to disseminate a particular agenda for the titillation of the masses. All this appears to have started from the night of the public meeting in the Abbey called by Cllr Jonathan Kennedy. We are not intimating that Cllr Kennedy has anything to do with these activities - however he seems to have gone to ground at least as far as the local press is concerned.
Before our last issue we phoned, left messages and faxed questions to the councillor, but received no answer. We did the same for this issue. The late Peter Kennedy, as we noted in our tribute to him, prided himself on his open door policy. It would be a pity if his son closed it!
When a person puts himself forward and is elected or co-opted as a public representative, as well as the photo-shoots and being present on the big occasions he/she takes on the nitty-gritty - the work behind the scenes, the unheard of graft, the answering of communications, the clinics, the little deeds on behalf of the community, and many other actions and services performed quietly out of the limelight. These are what make a successful public figure - also being candid and forthcoming on matters of public interest. Perhaps if we ask the questions in an open forum, we might have more success in getting answers. So here goes:
•Forget the ‘no hand, act or part’ - who left the leaflets naming members of the Keeney Consortium on seats the night of the public meeting organised and run by you? ‘The buck stops here’, applies in regards to this act which could only have been carried out to ferment further divisions in the community. •After this public gathering, did you hold a follow-up meeting to set up a committee? •If so, is this a sub-committee of the Chamber or a stand-alone organisation? •Who is on this committee? •Who organised the handing out of petitions for signing around the streets of Donegal Town (and even the AVS) a few weeks ago - who composed and got them printed? •You promised the Times answers to all points in the Keeney letter received at the meeting, within a short time - it’s now two months since the gathering and we haven’t heard them yet.
The honeymoon is over, Johnathan - responsibility and accountability must take its place. When people contact this paper but are afraid to have their names mentioned, there is something wrong.
Take my advice, dispense with the secrecy and bring everything out into the open.
We, and our people, await a detailed answer in the near future.

Mea Culpa

An ‘Opinion’ piece in our last issue on St Catherine’s Well spawned a lot of interest. We received copies of correspondence from Barry Sharkey obviously written over the years to various people and organisations in which he seems to be offering the religious and historical site to the people of Killybegs, possibly in return for being allowed to develop adjoining land. We also received phone calls from people who visit the Well regularly and swear by the stations practiced there. But we were wrong to single out people of Killybegs for neglecting anancient graveyard.
Last Friday, I paid a visit to the Old Abbey in Donegal Town and, while the gravestones have been restored, the general areas was badly overgrown, students loitered amid the ruins, and there was heaps of empty beer cans and litter lying around. Surely a guard could park on the pier and take an odd walk through this sacred site - it wouldn’t be long before this would have the desired effect. As for maintenance - that is another story. Jackie Gallagher and his crew did a great job - but it needs to be continued on an ongoing basis.

The good ship ‘Dún Na nGall’ takes to the water in Killybegs

waterbus, got its first taste of Irish waters when she made her first trip from the slipway at Mooney Boats to the syncro-lift pier in the harbour.
The boat was slowly winched down the newly built slipway at the yard until the rising tide picked her up and she floated majestically into the harbour waters. Then, hooked on to a tug boat, she glided through the water and out the bay - a breathtaking sight for all who watched - and a big relief for all the hard-working team at Mooney’s. It all went like clockwork! While ‘Dún Na nGall’ made her way to the pier, workmen aboard checked out various functions and, as she berthed, a proud Sean Quinn and Daniel Ward helped tie her up.
The standard of workmanship on the boat is second to none and all down to a team of up to 20 people who meticulously oversaw every aspect of its construction. Their reward came as they watched the vessel float serenely across the harbour on Thursday evening. The reason for the launch was that Department of the Marine personnel were arriving the following day to survey the boat and Caterpillar had to commission the engines before they could be started.
It was also a proud day for Lee Mooney, sales manager of Mooney Boats, and his father Michael “We have previously built three ferries for Lough Derg and one for Tory Island, but this is the largest. It is always a relief to see the vessel in the water and, even though we would have had our ups-and-downs with ‘Dun Na nGall’, it all came good in the end and, the fact that the sun is shining is an added bonus. The architect Hugo Van Der Swan is excellent and, as we speak, he is on his way to view the boat in the water” said Lee.
Our new waterbus will be able to carry 160 passengers and crew, with the added feature of a bar which can seat up to 45 people. Tipperary Water have sponsored the painting of the boat which carries its colours and logo. By coincidence these are the same colours as the Four Masters GAA - blue and white.
The official launch will probably be in the first week of June, but Billy took her out under her own power last Saturday and said she performed ‘magnificently’.
Good luck to the boat and all who sail in her.


The Donegal Times, The Diamond, Donegal Town, Ireland

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