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July 23rd 2003

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Congratulations to Times girl Patricia Boyle and husband Eunan on the birth of baby boy, Sean, born on 10th July, a brother for Mark, Luke and Niamh

Recorder turns up

Eric Morrow, wife Mai, daughter Ruth and husband Frank recently visited the World War II crash site on the Blue Stacks. Ambling around viewing the countryside, Mai happened to look down – and lo and behold she saw a tape-recorder lying on the ground. Mai remembered reading in Donegal Times about one that had been lost on the day of the climb with Jim Gilchrist to the site. Picking it up, she brought it back, intending to leave in Donegal Times office.
Some days later, while Mai was visiting her brother Reggie Gilchrist in Coleraine, he mentioned he was on the Blue Stacks a few days previously with a group of twelve. In recounting the adventure, he mentioned how they had all spent time looking for a tape recorder that was lost - about which he had read in the Times.
Mai suddenly remembered - “I have the recorder in the car, I found it the day we were up” she said. Immediately Reggie rang Gary Prenderville who knew the phone number of Michael Gallagher, the man who lost it. Gary rang him and the recorder was returned safely to the Cloghan postman. Both parties met in Ballybofey last Sunday – and the good news is - the recorder still works!

Major Fish Kill at Inver

The two major fish kills that have occured on Inver Bay, have caused the demise of at least 250,000 salmon, according to the Department of the Marine. Three fish farms are affected, Ocean Farm, Eany & Creevin. One of the directors of Ocean Farm, Patrick Gallagher, has claimed that a freak sequence of events, including dredging for prawns, appears to have caused the mortalities, but the Department say there is no evidence that that dredging caused the problem. Tests suggest that the deaths were possibly caused by a water borne irritant, biological or chemical.
Talking to Donegal Times, an Inver resident, who did not wish to be named said that ‘a rot’ on the bottom of the bay might have been disturbed, releasing poisionous gaseous emissions. He surmised that the ‘kill’ could cost the three companies ‘millions of euros’ - and said the smolts put in last April, the first batch of which should have been ready for Christmas, were ‘gone down the drain’ - “somebody”, said our source, ‘is going to have to answer”.
When asked about insurance, the resident replied “sure they have insurance - but if the fish companies are proved to be any way at fault - those boyos (insurance companies) will not pay out”.

The Marine Institute says it hopes to identify the cause of the kill later this week. Dead fish were still being removed from the cages yesterday. Institute scientists are seeking international advice on the kill which is one of the largest to have occured at a fish farm site in these waters.
The Irish Salmon Growers Association has critized the absence of proper state policing on coastal zone managment, and is angry that the Department of Marine should dismiss dredging as the cause, when it has not yet been ruled out by Marine Institute scientists.
The Federation of Irish Salmon & Sea Trout Anglers has renewed its call for an independent inquiry into a fish kill at Inver Bay in June last year, when some 50,000 salmon died during harvesting on the Ocean Farm site. It said local anglers feared that trawling in the area has disturbed those decomposing carcasses which had been ‘dumped’ on the seabed.

Sudden Deaths Shock Area

The sudden death of Morris Tribunal barrister Eamon Leahy (46) sent shock waves through the country last week. The highly respected advocate had been staying in Coxtown House and was found dead in bed there on Thursday last. He was husband of government chief whip, Mary Hannafin. The tribunal, which was due to close down this week for summer break, has now been suspended until September. And indeed our own Mary, Minister for Social and Family Affairs, also suffered a shock loss when one of her drivers Sean Moylan, died while holidaying in France. He is survived by his wife Susan and 4 children, to whom we send condolences.

Guide ‘Rough’ on Donegal

‘The Rough Guide to Ireland’, a popular travel book for tourists roving around our country, has not gone down well with the leaders of ‘Ireland’s Premier Resort’. Labelling Bundoran ‘grim’ - ‘tacky’ and ‘down at heel’, the narrator states ‘It’s hard not to be disappointed if Bundoran is your first sight of Donegal’.
All well and good, but what does this tourist bible have to say about Donegal Town. Well, courtesy of the Four Masters Bookshop, who lent Donegal Times a copy, here it is: ‘Donegal Town is not the most exciting of places, but it is a pleasant enough spot to pass a few hours. A surprising number of tourists visit the town, but the only real reason to stay long is to explore the surrounding countryside, especially the Blue Stack Mountains which rise at the northern end of Lough Eske’.

First Scenic Tour leaves the pier

Declan Doherty, Laghey, with first group to go on the scenic tour

The first Scenic Tour pulled out from the pier last Tuesday morning at 11 am with Declan Doherty at the wheel. The tour encompassed Lough Eske, The Famine Pot, Blue Stack Mountains – Grey Mare’s Tail, pausing at the top of Glencoagh to take in the panoramic views of Donegal Bay. Then down into Mountcharles to visit the old village pump and Ireland’s tiniest cottage - Joe Kelly’s - finishing back in town with a visit to the local Craft Village.
The tour takes approximately two hours and speaking afterwards with some of the travellers, they declared themselves very happy with the trip. Declan Farrell from Co. Meath who works for the Irish Independent newspaper found Donegal to be a lot like Kerry and thought the Famine Pot very interesting. The only complaint was that the commentary could not be heard - this was rectified later in the week when a microphone was installed. There was a full load for the first journey and Declan intends to have a tour each day except Sunday - and if there is a demand he will put on a second. “The first trip was educating for us all - me included and everybody seemed to enjoy it. If we could stop, possibly at the Bluestack Centre and have a cup of tea it would help - also if Joe Kelly’s Cottage was open .” Declan commented.

Drimarone Reunion

With only ten days to go to the Schools Reunion in Drimarone, most of the preparations are now in place. The organising committee are appealing for everyone to notify them if they wish to attend the opening night as numbers are needed for the buffet. Also the highlight of the week - the reunion banquet requires immediate booking. You can contact Betty on 073-37308 or Annie on 073-22174 or Kathleen on 073-22174. As part of the week a special booklet is being produced with stories, poems and lots of photos from the four schools - Ardbane, Drimnaherk, Letterfad and Lettermore.
There is still accommodation available at the Bluestack Hostel for this week and pre-booking is essential contact: 073-35564 oremail

All the fun of the fair at the Ballintra Races

Keeping up a tradition that stretches back to 1941, the Ballintra Races will once again be staged on Bank Holiday Monday 4th August ,at Murvagh Racecourse.
The first of six races will get off at 2.30pm. Collie O’Donnell Ballintra’s answer to Micheal O’Hehir will handle the commentary.
There will be entertainment for every member of the family, bouncy castles, face painting, nail drawing, guess the balloons in the car and, of course, food stalls.
A best dressed lady competition will be a big attraction and there is also a prize for the winning jockey.
Prize fund for the event is in excess of €7000 and the hardworking committee, under the chairmanship of Keith Anderson, assisted by Jackie Carron, wish to thank the generous sponsors without whom the event could not be staged.
So come along to Murvagh on Bank Holiday Monday and join in the fun.

The Donegal Times, The Diamond, Donegal Town, Ireland

Tel: +353-73-22860 Fax: +353-73-22937