In Mullinasole for the Blessing of Boats and Raft Race - Leanne McGrath, Laghey; Sarah Sheldon, Indianapolis; Maggie McCafferty, Chicago; Bridget Sheldon, Indianapolis; Liam McCafferty, Chicago; Sheila McCaffery, Chicago; Sean Sheldon, Indianapolis, Cathal Feeney, Killymard; Rosin Feeney, Killymard. Photo: Paul Sinclair.
Have high level political approaches being made to Keeney and Bennett?
Donegal Times is led to believe that, following its editorial in the last issue, seeking a meeting between Keeney and Bennett, a request has been made at high political level to seek contact with both parties. A message delivered to the editor of this paper conveyed the news that one of our most senior ministers is on the job - hopefully this is so! It is our firm conviction that if the principals of those two companies got together and agreed a joint enterprise, it could create the most magnificent, imaginative and aesthetically pleasing town centre in the country. We would sincerely ask Mr Keeney and Mr Bennett to consider the political representations - and give a welcome to the Ministers suggestions.
ACCENTUATING THE POSITIVE
People are fed up reading about the mart, Bennett and Keeney a friend told me after the last issue - could you not write about something else?
Right enough, these subjects have been taking up quite a few column inches over the past months but, in defence, the future shape of our town is at stake, so I dont apologise for keeping the topic to the foreground.
However, for the moment, let us forget malls, marts and models and accentuate the positive, both old and new.
And, despite what people think, there are positives, not least our position in the midst of so much natural beauty, a paradise for outdoor pursuits, most of which however are enjoyed by the visiting enthusiast, rather than the native.
The playground is a welcome addition to the town and credit must go to the Chamber sub-committe which perservered with the project through many difficulties.
Even moored at the pier, the waterbus is a big attraction, but when she sets sail down the bay, the Dun Na nGall is majestic, a huge commitment by the Enterprise Group that adds immensely to the hospitality sector in the town.
The re-commencement of the sewerage scheme is very important. When completed, not only should we have state-of-the-art wastewater and treatment facilities - but, for the first time in living memory, a clean bay, opening up this natural amenity to a host of activities. May it quickly be finished.
A sometimes forgotten segment of our society is the considerable number availing of adult education courses. Whether run privately, or by the VEC, these have made a huge difference to many people and made available opportunities that otherwise would not have been open to them.
The Farmers Market on the Diamond, has, once a month, created a buzz around the town centre. As long as it is adequately policed and confined to dairy and craft products, it is a welcome addition and re-confirms the towns old position as the premier market centre in the area.
The castle and old abbey are the towns most famous historic sites, and through the adventures of Red Hugh ODonnell and the scholarly works of the Four Masters are known to historians and scholars the world over.
A lot of mainly voluntary and FAS work over at the station has seen the Railway Preservation Society expand consistently over the years. But the people in charge will not be satisfied till they get at least as mile of rail on which to recreate the glories of the old Donegal.
The pedestrianised Diamond is a big asset - and it was a pleasure, over the past glorious weeks, to see the numbers availing of its space to meet, and socialise.
Also the two river walks are a lovely way of tracking the river Eske out to Donegal Bay and the view from the far end of Revlin takes in the McManus Estate, St Ernans, the Islands, Mullinasole channel and Murvagh Golf Club.
And we cant finish without including our voluntary groups and associations in the positives, stretching from the Bosco, clubrooms, underage and senior sports volunteers, to SVdP and our social organisations - they all do great work - hats off to them.
Also to our Council men who, from early morning, toil to keep our town neat and tidy, a hard task especially after weekend nights.
But, this areas biggest asset is its people. Whether in manufacturing, hospitality, sales or other services, we are the front-line ambassadors for our area - and, in my opinion, we dont let it down.
So it is not all gloom and doom - we have a lot going for us. Needless to say, we would welcome more commercial development - but not just, as one of our leaders said recently any kind of development. We want projects that not only attract people into the town centre, but are also aesthetically pleasing and fit into the fabric of a town that is both historic and progressive.
Reports of top level changes at The Boast
Reports are circulating of changes at the top of The Boast. Editor Daniel Brown is supposedly moving on to a new paper in Derry recently bought by the River Media Group from Colm OCarroll. Who is taking his place is not clear - but the name of veteran journalist, Paddy Clancy, is being mentioned. A new deputy editor, previously with the Farmers Journal, has also been appointed. Whoever takes over will have a huge job to boost the rags circulation which has remained at dismal levels since its launch at the beginning of June.