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Scéal Dún-na-nGall ar an Idirlíon / County Donegal on the Net News
Vol.6 No.8 August, 2005     Holiday In Donegal in 2005    Hire a Guide to Donegal     Fleadh 2005

Alternatives to Pylons, Donegal
The Alternatives to Pylons group in Donegal (ATP) are annoyed at the Electricity Supply Board's full page advertisements published recently in the Donegal papers which again propose erecting 110kv pylons through south and west Donegal.
Several of the routes marked on the published map were virtually the same, making it look like spaghetti junction and, as no townlands are listed, consideration of their proposals is impossible.
In their advertisements the ESB list not one, but eight routes, and have not specified which of these routes they are seeking planning permission for or if they intend to apply for planning permission for all eight routes listed (See ESB Map).
Nowhere have the ESB offered any alternatives to the overhead cables and steel pylons which were rejected by the planning board three years ago so it would appear that the ESB have not taken into consideration the opinions of the many who objected previously.
A positive approach to environmental energy policy would promote reliable local generation via Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units and biomass rather than overhead cables and pylons in order to preserve the donegal landscape.
Although it may be attractive from an engineering perspective, there is no need, even for the foreseeable longer term, to bring a 110 kV connection to west Donegal. The ESB’s proposals would grossly over-provide for the West of the County with a capacity of 126 MW to serve a demand of around 10 MW.
Even when the factorys were full of workers in Gweedore the highest demand was for 16MW and not 126MW as is presently proposed. Surely this can only be to take power away from huge wind farm developments?
Why, for instance, is much of the route passing through state owned forestry and mountainous areas if not to facilitate  wind farms rather than augment Donegal’s electricity supply?
The Danes, world leaders in wind generation with 20% of their electricity supply from windfarms, are now in the position of having to buy back electricity from Germany rather than selling it such is the inconsistency of wind power generation while the local Council on the Isle of Mull in Scotland have declared the island a wind farm free zone as they realise that such developments would ruin their tourism industry.
Rural Donegal has not received any of the benefits of the Celtic Tiger so why therefore should we have the worst elements? If undergrounding is good enough for Dublin and for other Irish cities why should the Donegal countryside be any different?
Unless the ESB begin to operate in an open and transparent manner and consider the real importance of our environment their plans will fall short once again. Email your objections to [email protected]

the view from the Hills...

The McBrearty Campaign Continues
The Campaign for justice for the McBrearty Family continues. Frank Junior made a particularily fine speech at a recent campaign meeting in Whynne's Hotel on July 28th, 2005. You can listen to his speech at Indymedia

Sinn Féin Protests at Sell-Out of Offshore Licences
Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse Doherty has said he is deeply disappointed that Minister Noel Dempsey has sold off Donegal's natural resources in offering 1650 square kilometers of sea off the Donegal coast to Shell and Ireland Gas and Oil plc for exploration.
Cllr. Doherty said: 'I find it quite remarkable that Minster Dempsey has offered licenses, in which the highly flawed 1992 licensing terms for offshore oil and gas exploration and development will apply. The 1992 Gas exploration legislation represents a bad deal for the Irish People with no royalties going to the Government and an extraordinarily low rate of taxation, all of which Shell will be able to write off. At the time of this legislation former Minster Ray Burke, against the advice of senior officials in his department, held a meeting on his own with the oil companies after which the terms and conditions previously attached to licenses were changed dramatically in favour of the companies.'
'In 2001, the then Marine Minister, Frank Fahey, said that in the event of a significant discovery off the Donegal coast during that year that the Government would seriously consider changing the 1992 legislation. Yet in 2003 the Junior Minister for the Marine, John Browne, speaking in relation to the Donegal find, said that results clearly demonstrate the presence of a working petroleum system and, as such, have profound implications for future exploration. It is reckless in the extreme for Minster Dempsey to issue new licenses without first carrying out a major review of the 1992 legislation. The time has come for this Government to start putting the interests of the Irish People before the corporate interests of the oil and gas companies', the Sinn Féin Councillor concluded.

New Book on Donegal Town Rural Schools Reunion
The Donegal Town Rural Schools Reunion, [Clar, Copany, Townawilly, Barnes, Tullynaught, Drumnahoul and Lough Eske] was attended by hundreds of people reliving their school days. It was a great event for all who attended. The Reunion Committee have produced a book on the schools and researched some of the older schools, Leghony, Spearstown and Golard and included them in the book. It is over 200 pages of information and photographs on the schools - plus the School Registers, some dating from the mid 1800s. They are selling fast. If anyone is interested in sending for one they are $22.00 [American] or €20.00.To Ireland, €12.50, England £12.00 (these prices include Postage). Send cheques payable to Margaret Graham, Rathneeny, Laghy, Co Donegal, Ireland.

Call for Reduction in Excise Duty
The Automobile Association (AA) of Ireland has called on the Government to reduce excise duties on petrol and diesel, amid warnings that the cost of fuel will continue to rise for the remainder of the year. The AA has claimed that the average price of diesel has risen by 10% per cent in the last four months and is predicting further rises in the coming months. Currently the average cost of petrol in Ireland is $4.60 a gallon.

Lough Finn
Lough Finn

Clar Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2005
The world renowned Irish Music Festival is in Letterkenny this year between 22nd and 30th August. There will be on street sessions throughout the weekend and traffic restrictions will be employed at all routes into the Town. See Competition details at Fleadh 2005
Dé Luain 22ú Oscailt Oifigiúil - Seomra na Gaeilge - 4.30 L.Y.I.T.
Amhráin ar an tsean nós as Tír Chonaill 8.00 -Ionad Sr. Constance
Dé Mairt 23ú Scríbhneoirí Thír Chonaill léacht agus caint le Noel Ó Gallchóir 4.00 - Arts Centre
Dé Céadaoin 24ú Turas Báid go hOileán Gabhla Drámaí Gaeilge 4.30 - Halla na Ceolchoirme, Meánscoil Loreto
Déardaoin 25ú Comortas Ceoil do Ghrupai Scoile ó bhun scoileanna i nDún na nGall amháin (amhráin dhátheangacha) 2.30- Halla an Choláiste, Coláiste Adhamhnáin
Tráth na gCeist as Gaeilge 8.30 - Clubtheach, C.L.C.G. Naomh Adhamhnáin

Salmon Farming Dispute in Lough Swilly
Marine Harvest Ireland (MHI), a subsidiary of the world's largest salmon-farming conglomerate - Nutreco, is again attempting to expand its operations in Lough Swilly. A Scoping Letter circulated by MHI proposes a doubling of the firm's licensed tonnage in the Donegal lough to 2,000 tonnes, targeting Portsalon, one of Ireland's most beautiful scenic spots, and an expansion at Anny Point, near Rathmullan.
In a previous licensing decision, MHI was allowed to increase production to 1,500 tonnes from 1,000 tonnes, on condition that it used two sites. However, it has not produced any fish at the Binnawheelmore or Callagh sites, and as such its maximum permitted tonnage in Lough Swilly remains 1,000 tonnes a year. In December 2003, a licence granted to MHI for a salmon-farming operation near Portsalon was overturned by the Aquaculture Licences Appeals Board (ALAB). The company is now attempting to re-apply at the same site, which is in full view of the scenic Fanad Drive and within Ballymastocker Bay, the location of one of Lough Swilly's two Blue Flag beaches.
The ALAB decision in 2003 was clear-cut, based on the over-riding conclusion that the Dooanmore/Portsalon area is an unsuitable place for fish-farming.
In a single stroke, a multinational company is seeking to re-apply for one Swilly site refused categorically by the highest aquaculture licensing body in Ireland, and it also appears to be asking the Irish Government to legalise operations at another site which have been "outside the licensed area" for many years.
For further information see Save the Swilly Campaign

Mary From Dungloe
The popular winner of the Mary From Dungloe Festival is Katie Armstrong from Philadelphia who was presented with a number of gifts in Dungloe. Katie works in the neo-natal unit of her local hospital in Philadelphia. ‘I'm honoured at having been chosen as the new Mary from Dungloe and to take this title back home to Philadelphia and to the Donegal Association there. It was fantastic to represent Philadelphia and winning is way beyond my wildest dreams,‘ she added.
The Festival is worth over 4 million Euro to the local economy.
The Loch Finne Festival took place during the weekend of August 13th and 14th with a Tug o' War competition, fising on the Lake, a Walk around the Lake, Train rides on the narrow Gauge Railway, a Barbeque & Traditional music, Vintage Car Rally and the Annual High in the Hills Motor Cycle Rally.

A to Z of the Best Irish Sites

Dial-up still dominates in Ireland
Despite an increase in broadband usage in Ireland, over 60% per cent of Irish households are still connecting to the internet via dial-up modems, according to a report by the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg). The survey shows that although the number of households using dial-up has fallen from 84% per cent in 2003, over 60% per cent were still connecting to the net via dial-up by the end of the second quarter of 2005.

Richard Gilpin Gigs!
Richard Gilpin's first two albums - Beautiful Mistake (2002) and 33 (2003) have been selling well and the Band will start recording album number 3 around October. Some forthcoming gigs: Friday 26th August - Bridge End, Ballyshannon; September Sat. 10th - Harbour bar, Downings; Sat. 17th - The Anchor, Falcarragh and Sunday 18th - The Chasin' Bull, Bundoran. For more information visit Richard

Available to Rent in 2005
Mountain View Cottage, Derrylougháin, Gweebarra, Donegal

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