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Scéal Dún-na-nGall ar an Idirlíon / County Donegal on the Net News
News Vol.8 No.1 January, 2007    Holiday In Donegal in 2007!

New Year's Eve Storms
Twenty thousand houses across the West were without electricity on New Year's Eve as storm force winds of more than 130 kilometers per hour battered the County. The storm was second only in severity to that which hit Donegal on the millennium eve in 1999.
Thirty-four people were rescued by helicopter from Tory Island off the Donegal coast on January 4th due to the continuing severe weather. There had been no ferry service to or from the island for over a week and the 34 islanders had to return to the mainland to go back to college and to work. Tory island Parish priest, Fr John Boyce, said it was the worst weather on the island for the past 20 years. Tory, which lies sixteen kilometers off the Donegal coast, has a permanent population of only 150 people.

Ten Years Online!
Donegal & Dún na this year celebrates ten years online! The website received 660,000 hits in 2006 and the monthly email newsletter is now read by over 10,000 people with an interest in Donegal worldwide. If you have news to contribute or would like to advertise on this website email

Black Holes in Donegal?
Noted physicist Pace VanDevender gave a lecture about a ball lightning strike in Donegal in 1868 at the Albuquerque Astronomical Society at the University of New Mexico, on January 6th, 2007.
Dr. Pace VanDevender discussed his progress of 9 years into a 30 year project to understand the energy source behind extreme ball lightning and its possible application to energy production.
He has been investigating an energetic ball lightning event at Glendowan, County Donegal for the last 3 years. New geomorphological and carbon dating results support the reported displacement of over 100,000 kg of water-saturated peat in 20 minutes by Extreme Ball Lightning, probably by magnetic induction from a very compact source weighing over 20,000 kg. He has an hypothesis of a Gravitational Equivalent of an Atom (GEA), a primordial black hole with an unstable orbiting plasma, as a possible explanation of the event in Donegal with far reaching consequences for our understanding of energy creation.
Pace VanDevender was vice president of Sandia, the US national security laboratory involved in a variety of research and development programmes, sponsored by the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, the Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security.

New Book on Duffy's Cut
In June, 1832, a group of 57 Irish immigrants from Donegal, Tyrone, and Derry arrived in Philadelphia. They were brought to Chester County by a fellow Irishman named Philip Duffy as labourers for the construction of the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad, Pennsylvania’s pioneering railroad.
Within six weeks, all of the men were dead of cholera and possibly violence, and were buried anonymously in a ditch outside of Malvern.
The Duffy’s Cut Project is an ongoing archival and archaeological search into their lives and deaths and seeks to provide insight into early 19th Century attitudes about industry, immigration, and disease in Pennsylvania. The new book is entitled The Ghosts of Duffy's Cut: The Irish Who Died Building America's Most Dangerous Stretch of Railroad By William E. Watson, J. Francis Watson, John H. Ahtes, Earl H. Schandelmeier.
With the help of the Chester County Emerald Society, the authors obtained an official State Historical Marker for the site in March, 2004, thereby putting Duffy’s Cut on the map of history.
There will be a radio interview on the Duffy's Cut Project on January 21st, 2007 on Pennsylvania C-Span to air at 9 pm. For further information see PCNTV and The Duffy's Cut Project website.

Plans to raise WWII Plane
A Canadian group plan to lift a second World War bomber that sank off the Donegal coast in August, 1945. A new US Coast Guard study will help locate the aircraft on the sea-bed next summer. The four-engined Halifax bomber (number LW170) was forced to ditch while on patrol from a base in Scotland. The aircraft remained afloat for seven hours before it sank and the crew were rescued by a passing ship. From May to August, 1944 the aircraft flew 28 combat missions to Germany and France and helped destroy German heavy guns before the invasion fleet landed on D-Day June 6th, 1944.

Public Against Road Carnage
Susan Gray, the Inishowen based Chairperson of the Public Against Road Carnage group, insists her organisation's campaign for mandatory blood testing of all drivers involved in road traffic accidents will succeed, despite the fact that the Garda Commissioner, Noel Conroy, has not told Gardai they must test all drivers who crash.
A directive from the Commissioner's office issued in November, insists officers should test drivers they suspect of having drunk alcohol, except where such individuals are in need of medical attention.
Mrs Gray recently met with Commissioner Conroy and asked him why the directive did not explicitly order gardaí to test all drivers involved in road accidents. The Commissioner told her he could not say 'must', only 'should', because to do so would effect the constitutional rights of the driver.
Mrs Gray is seeking to close the loophole in road traffic legislation and, having gone thus far, Mrs Gray's Group will now focus attention on persuading the Minister of Transport to change the Road Traffic Act so that drivers involved in road accidents have to be tested by law.

Beidh Sult ar ais arís Déardaoin na seachtaine seo, 11 Eanáir. Beidh an club ar siúl mar is gnách sa Bull and Castle, in aice le Jurys Inn, Teampall Chríost. Osclóidh na doirse ar 9.00 p.m. agus tosóidh an ceol beo gan mhoill ina dhiaidh sin. Eolas breise faoi na haíonna le fáil ag: Club Sult nó (01) 675-3658.

Index of the Best Websites on Irish Stuff - Online Ten Years!

Rubbish Threatens Inishowen Water Supply
The discovery of over 80 tons of waste just metres from an Inishowen resevoir ignited fears of a public health risk just before Christmasand prompted a clean-up operation on the shores of Lough Fad. The resevoir at Lough Fad supplies water all along the East coast of Inishowen, from Greencastle to Muff.
Donegal County Council's Waste Awareness officer, Suzanne Tinney, said that there was no immediate threat to the water supply. Hovever Inishowen Wildlife Ranger, Andrew Speer, said the area is of very special interest, not least because of the discovery of a pre-historic fish species in the Lough several years ago.

Weekend Fiddle Workshops
Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí are holding monthly Fiddle workshop in the Highlands Hotel, Glenties. The next workshops are on January 20th and February 17th, 2007 with more dates to follow.
The classes feature tuition in Donegal fiddle playing for intermediate and advanced fiddlers. Intermediate level classes are taught by Peter Campbell, a great lead on to the advanced level classes which are taught by Vincent Campbell. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn a specific local repertoire and style from two of the masters of Donegal fiddle playing. For further details email .

An tAontas Eorpach
Irish has now become a formal working language in the European Union. This will mean the addition of 29 translation jobs as well as work for freelance interpreters in the EU. Only regulations adopted by the European Parliament will be available in Irish at an annual cost of €3.5 million Euro. The adoption of Irish as an official EU language only came about because of the concerted lobbying efforts of Irish language speakers worldwide.

Defibrillator Training
Training in the use of a defibrillator will commence soon with the Irish Red Cross in Malin Head. A new defibrillator is to be purchased and kept in a central location in the Malin Head area. This scheme will initially be operated on a voluntary basis. Twenty-five people have already volunteered to part-take in training.

Cairn at Clogherchullion, Doochary

Passage Grave at Clogherchullion, Doochary  ©2007

Shell to Drill off Donegal
Shell Ireland have not ruled out the possibility of drilling for gas off the Donegal coast.
A number of Shell officials met recently with Donegal County Councillors to outline County Donegal's possible involvement with Shell's Corrib Gas Line Project in Mayo.
Shell hold two licences for exploration 150 kilometres off the coast of Donegal. Mark Carrigy, Operations Manager for the Corrib Project, told Donegal Councillors that Shell has already drilled two explorative wells off Donegal and that the company have completed a 3D seismic survey over the recently acquired licences in the Rockall Basin. Bidding for site survey work is to commence in 2007.
Cllr Pearse Doherty expressed his opposition to Shell's handling of the situation in Mayo as well as their 'appalling reputation on an international level.' Cllr Doherty pointed out that Shell's involvement in Ireland would not guarantee any security of supply for the people of Ireland.
Meanwhile Shell 2 Sea held a protest outside Údarás na Gaeltachta offices in Furbo, County Galway on January 12th to object to the the decision taken by Údarás to allocate what Shell 2 Sea sees as a prime industrial space, namely the former Carraig Donn factory on the Údarás na Gaeltachta estate in Belmullet, to assist the oil company in building its controversial onshore gas refinery at Bellanaboy.
According to supporters of the Shell 2 Sea campaign, this decision means Údarás na Gaeltachta are grant aiding a multinational oil company in a project that is endangering the lives of people living in the Gaeltacht. They also argue that this financial support for Shell will not create any new jobs in the Gaeltacht, rather it will help subsidise the transfer of Shell staff from Dublin to Co. Mayo.

Donegal News on Air
News from Ireland can be heard in Pennslyvannia on 'Echoes of Erin' WEDO 810FM on Sundays from 1.00-2.00pm and online at Echoes of Erin. The show is hosted by Diane Byrnes, former Grand Marshal of the Pittsburgh St Patrick's Day Parade and the doyen of everything Irish in Pittsburgh. If you want your Irish Goods or Services to reach the Pittsburgh Irish then advertise on 'Echoes of Erin' by emailing . If you are in Sydney you can listen to Sydney Irish Radio 107.3FM on Sundays from 7.30 to 9.00am local time (see Sydney Irish Radio) while Brisbane listeners can catch Mike Cunningham's show on 4EB 98.1 FM with Patricia Sharkey's 'View from the Hills' on Saturdays between 12.30 and 1.30pm.

Holiday Houses and Cottages available for Rent in Donegal

Buncrana Pantomime 2007
King of Arcadia, an original story by Neil Doherty, will take place in St Mary’s Hall, Buncrana from Sunday January 14th to Saturday February 3rd each evening at 8pm sharp with a Sunday matinee at 3pm. Booking on 086 2072496 and 086 2072497. The last night performance is already sold out and seats for the last two weeks are selling fast. Seats available from 14th-20th January. Book early to avoid disappointment.

Burns Night and Ceilidh
Newtowncunningham PWA Burns night Supper and Ceilidh will take place in the Presbyterian Church Hall, Newtown on Friday 26th January 2007, commencing at 8pm. Music by The McElhinney Ceili Band. Admission €10.

Lord Laird to Stand in Donegal?
Ulster Unionist peer Lord Laird of Artigarvan has said he is considering running for a seat in Daíl Éireann in a Donegal constituency. Lord Laird (58), whose ancestors hail from Donegal, is the head of the Ulster Scots Agency.
He said: 'It's time to put the search lights on every dark corner of Irish society and to raise a British and Ulster Unionist perspective on every occasion. I suspect that the Republic is full of Unionists and we now want to test the Irish institution. There is no support in place for members of the Protestant community in Donegal and I will be there to support all pro-British citizens and Ulster Scots living in the county.'
Lord Laird pointed out some interesting facts about Donegal's civil service and An Garda Síochána. He said: 'Of all the employees of Donegal's civil service, only one per cent are Protestant, a figure which seems very low when you consider that nearly 15,000 Protestants live in the County. As well as that, did you know that only 13 out 12,500 members of An Garda Síochána are Protestant, one of them a woman and also the highest-ranking being a sergeant.'

Oyster Contamination in Lough Swilly
Lough Swilly oysters have been contaminated with the bonamia parasite by dredgers entering the Swilly from Lough Foyle, according to Mr Alex Carlin, Chairman of the Wild Oyster Association.
Mr Carlin, who represents 28 local oyster fishermen, said the bonamia parasite has the potential to wipe out oyster stocks in the Lough and cannot be eradicated.
Following reports of the parasite in Lough Foyle last June, Mr Carlin is outraged that proper controls were not put in place to prevent contamination between the loughs and that not enough had been done by the Department of the Marine to monitor and control the passage of vessels into the Swilly.
The Department of the Marine have issued official movement restrictions to oyster operators and guidelines to operators of all shell fish vessels to wash all boats, nets, dredgers and equipment with fresh water. There are now only three fisheries left in Ireland not contaminated with the bonamia parasite.
Mr Carlin said the Wild Oyster Association raised the issue of cross contamination with then Minister for Marine, Pat the Cope Gallagher, two years ago and called for all dredgers to be banned from entering the Swilly but nothing was done at that time. The Department of Marine appear not to have enough officers to monitor the situation.

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