|Vol.2 No.6 September 2000
(This page is archived as it initially appeared online - any broken links are subsequent to publication)
The Donegal Association of New York is on a recruitment drive and would like new members to participate in social events as well as attend monthly meetings. The Association is 104 years old and would like all Donegal people in New York to join the Association!
Anyone with a link to Donegal through birth, parentage or marriage is welcome. Even if you cannot join please contact the Association to help create a extended community and take part in their social events. Contact Sean McGovern @718 464-2358
Alternatives to Pylons Campaign Heats Up!
It is not often that I have to eat my words but my comments in the last Newsletter on Tom Gildea and Harry Blaney not speaking in the Dáil during the last year were, in the case of Tom Gildea at least, a little presumptious. While Deputy Gildea may not have spoken he has been working away behind the scenes to secure a number of improvements in the County which were announced in late July, including extensions to Killybegs Harbour and road improvements in his constituency. Subsequently Deputy Gildea met with the County wide Committee of the Alternatives to Poles and Pylons group and listened to their fears and objections to the erection of 100 kilometres of of overhead power lines from Binbane to Gweedore, the Derryveagh mountains, Creeslough, Churchill and Letterkenny via new electricity sub-station at Arduns. Deputy Gildea announced his full support for the group's objectives to route these power lines underground or under the sea.
Over seven hundred people attended a benefit concert in aid of the Alternatives to Poles & Pylons Campaign on the 27th of August. Those who gathered in support of the Campaign were treated to a wonderful night of music, song and verse from Máire Brennan & Band; Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh & Dermot Byrne; Terry Monaghan, Pól Brennan and Cathal ó Searcaigh. The large attendance clearly illustrates local support for the Campaign.
A week later Poet Cathal O'Searcaigh and artist Deirdre Brennan (sister of the famous singers Enya and Maire Brennan of Clannad) denounced the sacrilege which they fear will be visited on Donegal by these monstrous pylons on Gaeltacht radio. Deputy Gildea joined them by telephone and again gave his whole hearted support to the objectors to the scheme.
What can the people do? They are saying loud and clear, just as the people of Counties Cork, Mayo, Waterford and Roscommon are saying, 'We do not want these power lines to go overground'.
The Government, the masters of the semi-state Electricity Supply Board, should listen - the people have spoken and no matter what the reason - be it health fears, the loss of the beautiful landscape, the devaluation of property and the loss of tourism $, they must listen. Indeed it would be a foolish Government who ignored the will of the people.
Fine Gael TD Dinny McGinley wrote to the ATP Campaign in late June voicing his support for the ESB's plans but seeing the overwhelming support which the Alternatives to Pylons Group is receiving in the County he has made a dignified U-turn and is now in support of the Campaign to put these lines underground.
The President of Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams, has written to the campaigners to voice his support while Sinn Fein TD for Cavan/Monaghan, Caoimhim O'Caolain, has offered his vote of support in the Dail should this become an election issue. The local Green Party have also voiced their support for the anti-pylon Campaign.
The ESB's says that it would cost too much to put these lines underground but there has been no independent analysis of the cost of an underground line which would in fact provide more local employment than the ESB's overground plans. The