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November 28th 2001

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Glenties man buys McGroarty's

Phonsie O’Donnell, Meenadinna, Glenties, son of Annie and the late Neilly, has purchased McGroartys for a sum in the region of £1 million. Phonsie, who now lives in Brooklyn, New York, is married to Rita, a nurse formerly from Cavan. They have four children, Mark (10), Brian (6), Sinead (4) and Katie (15 months). He has three brothers and four sisters. Nicola, the youngest, is going to manage his new premises.

Phonsie, who has his own construction company in Brooklyn, has lived there for the past seventeen years. He has no immediate plans to move back home, though in the wake of the recent disasters, he has of late thought more and more about returning.

Phonsie has no previous bar experience but when this property came on the market he became interested and after looking at the turnover figures for a three year period, felt it was a business with potential and a worthwhile investment. “I phoned my brother Pat on the Sunday and asked him and Michael Cannon to go to Dublin on the Wednesday for the auction and to put a bid on McGroartys for me. I always liked Donegal Town and felt if there was a town in the county in which I was to set up business it would be Donegal”.

Phonsie went on “I have no immediate plans to do any renovations though I may consider a restaurant upstairs in the future. Nicola, my sister, is going to manage the business and the present staff, which includes three chefs, are staying on. I intend to follow in Mc Groarty’s footsteps - they have done a good job so why change it.”

Asked if there were any other partner involved in the purchase, he replied “No, there is nobody else involved, I have always found in business, that partners are not a good idea. If you can stand alone you are better off.” When pointed out the he was the second Glenties man to purchase a bar in Donegal he laughed. “I know Daniel but there is no connection”.

He went on to talk about the name “I think it is in our best interest to leave the name McGroartys for a while - I have discussed this with Jackie and he has no problem with it - down the road I may change it. I like the Gaelic names but have nothing in mind at the moment. December 3rd is the take over date and due to my Fathers recent death there will be no celebrations that will come later”.

The Donegal Times wish Phonsie and family success in their new premises and the McGroarty family well in their retirement.

Person of the Year

Last year we used a panel of local worthies to pick Eamon Harvey as our Donegal Times Person of the Year for his voluntary work with youth and to honour his appointment as coach to the Irish Paralympic team in Sydney. This year, we would like you, our readers, to make the decision. Below is a form onto which we would like you to write the name of the person you consider would deserve this honour. These forms should be returned to us before Friday 30th November. The only constraint is that the person must come from within this papers circulation area, whose perameters are Ballintra, Barnes, Frosses and Dunkineely

Click here to e-mail us with your nominee and reason for nomination.

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Appeal

On Saturday morning the 17th of November, 1,662 gift filled shoeboxes left Donegal Town en route for Romania with Feely Freight. These boxes are Christmas gifts for needy children and, in many cases, the only Christmas gifts they will receive. The Shoebox Appeal, which is organised by operation Christmas Child, is part of Samaritan’s Purse, a registered worldwide charity. The response to the Shoebox Appeal this year has been fantastic, with a number of schools becoming involved and the shoeboxes coming from a very wide area in South West Donegal, Leitrim and Sligo. On behalf of the little boy or girl who receives a Christmas Shoebox, a big thank you to all who helped with the Shoebox Appeal by either filling, helping to fill and collecting shoeboxes. A sincere thank you to all who helped on Saturday morning and in particular to Feely Freight who were also responsible for transporting the shoeboxes.


On our way around distributing the last issue of Donegal Times we were met with constant accusations of “You’re a week late”! Well, we were not! The paper is published on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Now, maybe three times a year it just happens that the gap between the 4th Wednesday of one month and the 2nd Wednesday of the next is three weeks. This happened between October and November and will occur again between January and February 2002. So sometimes you have to hang on longer for your Times, but when it arrives it makes the wait even more worthwhile!

Keeney Construction make fresh application

A fresh planning application has been made for the huge development at Revlin, Donegal Town, with a change of access. The fresh application was necessary because after discussions with the National Roads Authority, it was felt that a priority junction would best serve the development and not a roundabout as in the original application. To deal with the application requires a material alteration to the Co. Development plan and the developers feel that this will be completed prior to Christmas.

Bluestack Ramblers

Presentation to Jim Gilchrist by Bluestack Ramblers, John McGroary and Bernard McGlinchey.
John explained that, in a roundabout way, the plane crash was responsible for the formation of the Bluestack Ramblers
because of the number of visitors asking to be taken to the site of the plane crash,
they decided to form a Rambling Club. The plaque reads “You inspired us to ramble”.

The Donegal Times, The Diamond, Donegal Town, Ireland

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