Secret of Ballyshannon’s Green Lady to be revealed

The identity of a legendary Ballyshannon personality which has been a guarded secret for over 200 years will be publicly revealed in the Abbey Centre on Friday 7th November at 8.30 p.m. A night of ghostly tales will include a world premiere of a ten minute short play entitled “The Green Lady” starring Patricia Keane and Conor Beattie . This amazing story has been traced to Canada where emigrants from Ballyshannon brought the story with them over 200 years ago. How this story was lost back in Ballyshannon and how it will be heard publicly in the town for the first time in over two centuries is an event not to be missed. Places that feature in the story include Assaroe waterfall, the old Barracks and Abbey Assaroe. The identity of the Green Lady and her lover are revealed and a whole new twist is put on this popular story. The original research for this tale was done in Canada by the late John Ward former editor of the Donegal Vindicator. Well known author Soinbhe Lally has written the script for this new version of “The Green Lady.”

Local historian Anthony Begley will deliver the talk entitled “Ballyshannon’s ghostly past including links to Dracula and Frankenstein.” Mary Shelley who wrote “Frankenstein” and Bram Stoker who wrote “Dracula” both have close family ties to Ballyshannon which will be revealed. Short readings with Conor Carney and Patricia Keane are included. Lots of strange happenings such as headless horsemen, grave digging, goblin children, apparitions, and the dangers of searching for buried treasure will ensure a night of fun, mystery and suspense. This night of ghostly tales including “The Green Lady” on Friday 7th November is in memory of Kathleen and Louis Emerson of County Donegal Historical Society and will form part of the Allingham Arts weekend. All the family are welcome and admission is free.

Sligo and Leitrim suffer medical card cull – Mooney

Almost 1,500 cards removed in last 12 months-

New figures have revealed that almost 1,500 medical cards have been taken from people in Sligo and Leitrim in the past year. The statistics were contained in a reply to a Parliamentary Question to the party’s Health spokesperson Billy Kelleher.

Senator Paschal Mooney says the cuts are proof that Government promises to protect the sickest and most vulnerable have been broken once again.

“I am shocked by the drastic reductions in medical cards in Sligo and Leitrim. These figures reveal that the numbers have been slashed from 43,384 in September 2013 to 41,899 last September. More than 300 of these were 70s cards, which fell from 9,080 to 8,738. These cuts have had a significant impact on people’s lives.

“For years the Government tried to cover up the fact that it was carrying out a full scale cull of medical cards. They refused to accept that they were subjecting some of the sickest and most vulnerable people to months of unnecessary anxiety and stress as they targeted cards in a bid to cut costs. Despite the issue being raised repeatedly by Fianna Fáil, Ministers only admitted to the scale of the cutbacks during a backlash ahead of the local elections.

“These latest figures reveal the extent of the cuts, with almost 1,500 people in Sligo and Leitrim losing their cards over the course of one year. It is appalling to think that the Government is continuing to remove cards from people with serious illnesses and disabilities, as well as from people over 70. I have been contacted by numerous families whose loved ones have has their cards withdrawn or who have been denied their cards on appeal. The Government’s handling of this fiasco has been contemptible and is creating fear among sick and elderly patients, which I believe is completely unnecessary”.

How healthy are Irish people? New Healthy Ireland survey will find out.

The Department of Health and Healthy Ireland have launched a major nationwide survey to find out: just how healthy are Irish people?

More than 10,000 households have been randomly selected for the nationwide survey which is designed to provide vital data on the state of the nation’s health. It will start in the coming weeks and results should be available as early as April or May 2015.

The Healthy Ireland survey will provide a snapshot of key indicators which influence our health, right across the population. These include:
· Nutrition;
· Alcohol consumption;
· Smoking;
· Level of physical activity;
· weight management;
· wellbeing.

“If we’re going to help people to stay healthy, we need to have an idea of how healthy they are. So this new survey will be really useful in making sure that the right policies are in place. It will also tell us what areas we need to focus on in future”, said the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar.

“The Healthy Ireland initiative was set up to improve the nation’s physical and mental health. We haven’t had a comprehensive survey since 2007, and there have been huge changes since then. On the one hand, more people are more aware of the importance of diet, lifestyle, health, wellbeing and mental fitness. But as a nation, we now face even bigger challenges on obesity, stress, diet and many other areas. So there’s a big job ahead of us.”

“This new survey will give us a really up-to-date picture of the nation’s health, and will provide vital data. The results will give us a baseline set of data telling us how healthy or unhealthy Ireland is. We can then use future surveys to assess whether or not our policies are working. It’s entirely voluntary, so I want to thank in advance any people who agree to take part, as their participation is of enormous value.”

Kate O’Flaherty, the Director of the Health & Wellbeing Programme in the Department of Health, said: “The interviews with people in the selected households will commence in the coming weeks and continue until April 2015. Those households selected will receive letters inviting them to take part in the Survey. I would like to assure people that the data collected will remain confidential at all times.”

The last similar survey was SLAN 2007 conducted more than seven years ago, so there is a huge need for more up to date information.

This new survey is being conducted by Ipsos MRBI for Healthy Ireland, the cross-Government initiative designed to put people in charge of their own health.

Leitrim GAA weekend results

LEITRIM: JAFC – Kiltubrid 0-7 St Mary’s-Kiltoghert 0-14; ACL D2 – Mohill 5-8 Glencar-Manorhamilton 3-6; Leitrim Gaels 2-7 Dromahair-St Patrick’s 1-11; ACL D3 – Carrigallen 1-6 Gortletteragh 2-10; Ballinamore-Sean O’Heslin’s 1-18 Aughavas 1-6;

St Eunan’s through to Donegal senior championship semi final

St Eunan’s of Letterkenny are the first team through to the semi final of the Donegal senior football championship after a well deserved win against Four Masters in a windy MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey tonight. The Cathedral town men dominated from start to finish with a goal in either half.

St Eunan’s 2-10
Four Masters 0-6

Under floodlights and with a 8pm throw in, there was a good crowd in attendance, despite the weather.

Eunan’s surged into a 1-3 to 0-0 lead after just 15 minutes and had increased their tally to 1-6 Masters put their first scores on the board to leave the half time score 1-6 to 0-2.

They continued their dominance in the second half but despite the Donegal town side showing a marked improvement on their first half offering Eunan’s marched onto the 2014 semi final on a score of 2-10 to 0-6

Eunan’s also triumphed in the reserve championship quarter final after defeating St Michael’s of Dunfanaghy on a score of 1-7 to 0-7.

Appointment of Suicide Crisis Assessment Nurse (SCAN)

There are a number of new developments underway within Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan Mental Health Services that will promote and support better mental health and wellbeing. These initiatives are in line with the national framework entitled ‘Vision for change’ which has been developed to improve mental health services.

Strengthening community mental health and wellbeing is best delivered through a partnership approach and the local mental health services have been active in working with Health Promotion, Education and Training Board, and key voluntary agencies such as Mental Health Ireland, Grow, the Samaritans, Foroige and Family Resource Centres.

These developments include the appointment of a Suicide Crisis Assessment Nurse (SCAN).
As part of the national clinical programme for mental health suicide prevention a new service is being launched in Sligo. A SCAN nurse has been employed to support General Practitioners (GPs) within the Sligo town area who may have concerns about patients who are having thoughts of suicide, this service will ensure that appropriate supports can be given to people who are struggling with thoughts of suicide. This service will be available as of the 27th October 2014. It will be accessible and prompt in responding to GPs requests for assessment of individuals in suicidal crisis. It is envisaged that this service will be extended throughout the wider Sligo/Leitrim area in due course.
Access to the service will be via a single mobile phone number, giving GPs in the practices operating out of Sligo Barrack Street, Primary Care Centre a direct access to enable a speedy referral and an immediate discussion of the case. The SCAN Nurse will work in collaboration with GPs, individuals in crisis, specialist mental health services, and other non statutory services, to implement a health/social care plan to address the risks and care needs of the individual.

Tobin’s of Letterkenny success

Tobin’s of Letterkenny has won the National Q Mark for Hygiene & Safety in the Forecourt Category at this year’s EIQA awards. This is the fourth year in a row that Topaz dealer Eddie and his team have won the forecourt award at the Excellence Ireland Quality Association awards. Pictured receiving the award from the MD of EIQA Irene Collins are Annette Tobin, Marian McGarrigle and Eddie Tobin.

Donegal must not follow what happened in Wicklow

Letterkenny Sinn Fein Councillor Gerry Mc Monagle is seeking assurances from Donegal County Council in relation to the security of RAS tenants who are unable or refuse to pay their water charges.
Cllr Mc Monagle was speaking after letters from Wicklow County Council were sent to RAS tenants advising them that failure to pay water charges would jeopardise their tenancy.

Cllr McMonagle said;

“This is a very disturbing development. We have families being made homeless on an almost weekly basis while thousands of others are struggling to make ends meet. Now a local authority has threatened RAS tenants with eviction if they are unable to pay water charges. This is just not good enough and I am calling on Donegal County Council to refrain from following suit ”.

“I will be writing to the Minister for Environment asking him to address the issue of Local Authorities issuing threats to RAS tenants who cannot pay water charges and insist that he puts a stop to this bullyboy type of behaviour by local councils”

Cllr Mc Monagle concluded by saying “I hope the Minister responds to my request positively. These threats are an absolute disgrace and make a mockery of claims that the government wants to end the hardship of the low paid and unemployed. These people will not be paying water charges because they can’t as they have been pushed to the edge by seven years of austerity.”

Government slashes over 3,000 medical cards in Mayo – Calleary

Figures released to Fianna Fáil have revealed the full extent of cuts to medical cards in Mayo with 3,095 cards slashed in the 12 months to the beginning of September.

The number of medical cards in Mayo has been cut from 67,218 in September 2013 to 64,123 last September, this includes a reduction in the number of over 70s medical cards by 309 (from 13,151 to 12,842).

Mayo Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary has condemned the cuts.

He commented: “These are appalling cuts and have had a major impact on people’s lives. I have consistently pointed out that the Government was engaged in a deliberate and disgraceful attack on people with medical cards for the last two years. We now have clear evidence of the scale of the cuts. In one year alone over 3,000 medical cards were taken off people in Mayo, over 300 of these were medical cards for people over 70 years of age. Many of the people hit by these decisions are facing very difficult medical conditions.

Verdict at Kivlehan inquest requires detailed study and response – Mac Sharry

Fianna Fáil Seanad Health Spokesperson Senator Marc Mac Sharry has responded to the verdict in the inquest into the death of Dhara Kivlehan this evening.

Senator Mac Sharry said: “Tonight’s verdict of death by medical misadventure in the case of Dhara Kivlehan following care at Sligo General Hospital is very serious and will have to be studied in detail. At the outset I want to extend by deepest sympathies to Michael and Kivlehan family on their tragic loss.

“The recommendations made by the jury in this case should be looked at as a matter of priority for the Minister for Health and the Health Service Executive. Ireland has a very strong record of maternal care but where issues have been identified and recommendations made to improve patient care they should be taken fully on board.

“This matter will now refer to the Medical Council and I believe the HSE should immediately review staffing levels for our maternity services. The West / North West hospital group is an area that needs particular attention. It is essential that staffing levels are in line with best nation and European standards.

“I look forward to raising all of these matters with the Minister for Health in the coming weeks in the Seanad,” concluded Senator Mac Sharry.