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Scéal Dún-na-nGall ar an Idirlíon / County Donegal on the Net News    Vol.4 No.8 May, 2003    Holiday In Donegal in 2003!

The Only Way is Up....
Not ones to blow our own trumpet... but Dún na is now online via satellite broadband, making us the first Internet based company to utilise satellite technology in Donegal and proving that where there's a will there's a way!
While broadband by fibre is promised in rural areas of the Country it is not envisaged that it will be widely available for several years, making satellite technology the only way up!
As we are at 650ft above sea level that makes Dún na the highest situated Internet Studio and Art Gallery in Ireland!
We have also taken to the airwaves with monthly 'View from the Hills' reports which are broadcast live on WEDO-AM Radio 810 out of Pittsburg. The 'Echoes of Erin' show is broadcast between 1 and 2 p.m EST on the first Sunday of every month and can be received in parts of Ohio, Virginia and Maryland as well as in Western Pennslyvania. The show is hosted by Diane Byrnes who, for fourteen years, has been keeping folk up to date with events in Ireland. Our next Report is broadcast on June 1st.

Mickey Joe Harte ©
Mickey Joe Harte

GO! GO! Mickey Joe!
Mickey Joe Harte is No.1 in the Irish Charts with his single 'We've got the World Tonight'. Mickey, from Lifford, has become a household name in Ireland since he won RTE's search for a Eurovision Song contestant to represent Ireland. Mickey is now busy rehearsing for the Eurovision which will be held in Riga, Latvia on May 24th and he will also open the 36th Mary from Dungloe Festival with an open air concert on July 27th.
Ballyshannon is set to host the biggest ever tribute to Rock & Blues guitarist, legend Rory Gallagher. The Erne town is set to become the focus of attention for Gallagher fans throughout Europe, with a three day event starting on Friday 30th May.
According to Festival Chairperson Barry O'Neill 'there are people converging on this the 1st International Tribute Festival from Holland, Germany, Spain, America and throughout the UK'.
The Festival is set to feature Rory Gallagher's former band members on Gerry McAvoy, Lou Martin, Brendan O'Neill, Mark Feltham, Dennis Greaves and Australian Gwyn Ashton.
Ronnie Drew, formerly of The Dubliners and a very close friend of Rory Gallagher, will play a Special Concert on May 31st at Ballyshannon's Abbey Centre. Drew was due to travel to the USA but rescheduled his plans to ensure that he could perform at the Festival.
The late Rory Gallagher's 'Wheels within Wheels' CD is currently at No. 20 in the Irish Album charts. For further information see the Festival web site Going to My Hometown.

Top of their League
In football Finn Harps have moved to the top of the National Eircom League with their win over Monaghan United. The Harps defeated the Monaghan team by one goal to nil.
Newly established football club, Fintown Harps, held a money-raising dance in the Mill Wheel, Fintown on May 2nd. There hasn't been a football team in Fintown for over 20 years and the team are busy practising to start their trials for the Donegal League.
Illes Celtic defeated Lifford Celtic in the final of the Ulster Junior Cup at Diamond Park, making a hat trick for the boys from Inishowen.
The committee of the Donegal International Car Rally are busy with plans for this year's rally which takes place on June 20th-22nd. The Donegal rally is considered one of the toughest in Ireland and brings thousands of visitors to the County.

Oil off Donegal?
The Shell subsidiary, Enterprise Energy Ireland, has announced that early results indicate a hydrocarbon find on the Dooish Well off the Donegal coast where they resumed drilling on May 1st. The deepwater well lies in 1,478 metres of water, 125km North West of Donegal, in the Rockall Basin. Enterprise Energy Ireland have been exploring the Dooish Well for three years but given the depth of the water there are operational difficulties and it will be some time before the significance of the results are known. This year's drilling programme is expected to take between 50 and 80 days.

Gas Explosion in Letterkenny
On May 2nd there was a gas explosion at a new apartment block in Lower Main Street, Letterkenny. Several apartments were badly damaged and 5 people were taken to hospital, one with severe burns.

Gorse Fires Rage across Inishowen
This Spring Donegal has experienced some of the worst bog fires on record in the County. All 15 local fire brigades together with members of the public were involved in fighting the various fires across the County. The fires destroyed thousands of acres of gorse and bogland, extensive plots of forestry and private property as well as a hundred acres of turf.
A large quantity of the fires are believed to have originated from the burning of hill vegetation which is illegal at this time of the year and, together with the unseasonly warm weather, meant that the fires got out of hand. Thirty six hectares of state forestry were destroyed and the amount of destroyed private forestry is not yet known. Joe Gatins, Regional Officer for the wildlife service, Duchas, fears the fires could be devastating for many of the breeding birds across Donegal, especially for Moor Fowl, grouse, snipe and curlew populations.

Columbia Three Protest in Letterkenny
Donegal man Jim Monaghan together with Niall Connolly and Martin McCauley are the currently imprisoned in Bogata. A road protest was held in Letterkenny in the first week of May to highlight their plight. For further information on the case see Bring Them Home.

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Cuairteoirí Speisialta Chugainn i dTír Chonaill?
le Dominic O Brolchain

I mbliana beidh ceann de na hocáidí spórtúla idirnáisiúnta is mó a tharla ariamh sa tír seo ag dul ar aghaidh i gceann míosa sa cheantar thart ar Bhaile Átha Cliath, - Na Cluichí Oilimpeacha Speisialta. Agus beidh bailte ar fud na hÉireann páirteach san fhéile mar óstbhailte ina mbeidh na lúthchleasaithe agus a lucht tacaíochta ag stopadh ar feadh ceithre lá roimh thús na gcluichí. Idir an 16 Meitheamh agus an 20 Meitheamh beidh clár d'imeachtaí ar siúl in achan bhaile ar fud na tíre ina mbeidh na lúthchleasaithe ag stopadh- an tIúr ina measc.
Is cuid an-tábhachtach den fhéile scéim seo na n-óstbhailte. Tá 177 baile páirteach sa scéim cheana féin agus tabharfaidh siad aire do lúthchleasaithe as 166 tír ó chuile cearn den domhan. Tabharfaidh an scéim seans do na lúthchleasaithe sos agus scíste a bheith acu tar éis a n-aistear agus cuirfear áiseanna traenála ar fáil dóibh le cuidiú leo déanamh réidh do na cluichí. Foghlaimeoidh siad faoi chultúr na hÉireann agus foghlaimeoidh muintir na hÉireann faoi chultúr na gcuairteoirí fosta. Bhéarfaidh muintir na n-óstbhailte na lúthchleasaithe go Baile Átha Cliath agus ar ais le linn na gcluichí.
Ach lena chois sin beidh na lúthchleasaithe in inmhe aithne a chur ar mhuintir na háite agus cairde nua a dhéanamh sa dóigh is go mothóidh siad sa bhaile i gcéin. Beidh muintir Macau ag teacht chuig Bealach Féich agus Srath an Urláir, is beidh muintir Oileán na Tríonóide agus Tobago ag teacht chuig Leitir Ceanainn mar aíonna. Tá mé cinnte go bhfaighidh siad togh an aire ó mhuintir fhial Thír Chonaill agus go mbainfidh siad sult agus taitneamh as a gcuairt anseo.
Seo an chéad uair a reachtáladh an fhéile spórtúil domhanda seo taobh amuigh de Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá. Beidh na cluichí ar an imeacht is mó spóirt a bheas ar siúl áit ar bith ar domhan i mbliana.
Tiocfaidh seacht míle lúthchleasaí, trí mhíle traenálaí, agus ocht míle de lucht leanúna, gan trácht an 166 oifigeach, an 30,000 oibrí deonach, an 1,500 iriseoir agus an leathmhilliún lucht féachána a bheas páirteach fosta. Sin isteach is amach ar trí cheathrú milliún duine ar fad - gan daoine a bheas ag féachaint ar na himeachtaí éagsúla ar an teilifís a chur san áireamh.
Beidh níos mó ná fiche spórt i gceist agus osclóidh Uachtarán na hÉireann Máire Mhic Ghiolla Íosa i gcuideachta Nelson Mandela an fhéile i bPáirc an Chrócaigh ar an Satharn 21 Meitheamh. Máirfidh na cluichí naoi lá - an imeacht leanúnach spórtúil is faide a bhí ariamh sa tír seo.
Níl aon amhras faoi dtaobh de ach gur onóir mhór don tír seo na Cluichí Domhanda seo a bheith ar siúl inár dtír. Cuideoidh sé linn uilig díriú orthusiúd bhfuil bac foghlama acu agus féachaint ar na féidearthachtaí atá ann dúinn uilig nuair a chuireann muid chuige. Guím gach ráth ar na háiteacha i dTír Chonaill atá mar óstbhailte, agus ar ndóigh ar na lúthchleasaithe, agus tá mé ag dúil go mór leis na comórtais féin a fheiceáil.

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President MacAleese on US Tour
President Mary MacAleese visited Chigago and attended the Re-Imaging Ireland Conference in the University of Virginia in early May. The President caused consternation in Ireland by pointing out the over dependency on alcohol in this Country. A lively debate followed her speech however none of the conference participants pointed out that the increased pressure of living up to the 'Celtic (paper?) Tiger' economy is too much for many in our society and is also reflected in the increased suicide rate in the North West where unemployment is currently at 15%.
The North West Alcohol Awareness Conference welcomed the President's comments and a more open debate on the subject. Among the Re-Imaging Ireland Conference participants from Donegal were Irish language poet Cathal O'Searcaigh and Brid Rodgers, Donegal Person of the Year 2002 and current Deputy Leader of the SDLP. The Conference also hosted an exhibition on Traditional Fiddle Playing in Donegal and Tyrone in the 1970's.

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Job Losses in Letterkenny
There was a shock announcement at the end of April of 250 redundancies at the Unifi Textured Yarns plant in Letterkenny.
Unifi has been in operation in Letterkenny for nearly twenty years and has approximately 700 employees with an annual wage bill in excess of 17.5 million Euro. The news is devastating to the local economy where job increases were expected following Letterkenny's designation as a Gateway Town under the National Spatial Strategy which is part of the National Development Plan.
The job losses are another indicator of the demise of the Donegal textile industry where there have been thousands of redundancies in recent years, notably at Fruit of the Loom, Magees, Nena Models and Comer Yarns.

Malin Head Top of the Hot Spots!
April 16th saw the highest temperatures ever recorded at Malin Head with the weather station recording 20.2C, making Donegal (and Ireland's) most northerly spot warmer than Nice and Rome (17C) and the holiday Island of Ibiza (15C) on that date.

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