Monaghan Road tragedy

Gardai in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan are investigating a fatal road traffic collision in Castleblaney on the 15th Jauary 2015.

The collision occurred at approximately 5.45pm at Cooltrimegish,Castleblaney on the Ballybay to Carrickmacross Rd( six miles from Ballybay). When a car collided with tractor pulling a feeder. The driver of the car a male(70yrs) was injured in the collision and was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes, Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The driver of the tractor( male 54 year) was uninjured in the collision.

The road is closed to facilitate a forensic collision examination and diversions are in place.

Witnesses to the collision are asked to contact the Gardai in Carrickmacross on 042 9690190, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

Kilkenny animation studio on second Oscar nomination

Following the announcement of the Oscar nominations today, Green Party Environment Spokesperson and Kilkenny County Councillor, Malcolm Noonan has congratulated Kilkenny based animation studio Cartoon Saloon on being nominated for its second animated feature, ‘Song of the Sea’.

Speaking following the announcement, Cllr Noonan said: “It comes as no surprise that Tomm Moore and his team at Cartoon Saloon were nominated again. ‘Song of the Sea’ is a beautifully crafted film, developed in their now distinct style that was honed so well in the previously Oscar nominated ‘Secret of Kells’. From humble beginnings, Cartoon Saloon has blossomed into a wonderful Irish success story, built by gifted young people here in Kilkenny, the home of Irish craft.

“Indeed, Cartoon Saloon has brought the art of animation back to life in an era of computer generated animation. This is why I think they have once again come to the attention of the Academy; what they do is unique and artistically stunning, with every frame a work of art in itself.

Council appeals to public to exercise caution due to severe weather warning

With a severe weather warning in place from Met Eireann (Status Red) for this evening, tonight and into tomorrow, Donegal County Council is appealing to the public to exercise caution and to be aware of the risks with high winds and localised flooding in various parts of the county.

Met Eireann is forecasting that winds will reach speeds of 130 km/h and up to 150 km/h, highest in exposed areas with rainfall of 25 to 35 mm expected. Members of the public should not place themselves at risk on the road or on exposed areas like coasts or hills and should ask themselves if they really need to travel. It is likely that there will be some traffic disruption from fallen trees and localised flooding in areas.

Donegal County Council will continue to monitor conditions and staff are on standby responding to emergencies.

In the event of an emergency during business hours call 074 9153900.

In the event of an out of hours emergency call 074 9172288 for Roads Service or 074 91 72399 for Water Service.

The public can keep up to date with road conditions by following us on Twitter @roadsdcc or @donegalcouncil or by checking out the Councils dedicated Winter Weather website at www.donegalcocowinterweather.ie.

Armagh win in atrocious conditions

The Donegal Fermanagh game scheduled to take place in Ballybofey will now be plated this Sunday, but there were some brave footballers out this evening as Armagh remained in the hunt for a Dr McKenna Cup semi-final spot with a 2-11 to 0-14 victory over St Mary’s in dreadful conditions at the Athletic Grounds.

Gavin McParland grabbed both the Orchard goals as Kieran McGeeney’s side fought back to win by three points.

North west in middle of Storm Rachel

100 kilometres winds have already been recorded across Donegal and the north west.
Worst of the latest red alert severe weather warning indicates major problems between mid night and 9am Thursday morning.
Schools have been cancelled in most locations after an advisory from the Department of Education earlier this evening.

Minister Alex White condemns attack on Paris office of Charlie Hebdo

Minister for Communications, Alex White T.D., has made the following statement:
“I was appalled at the murder of twelve people at the Paris offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo this morning. This is an unacceptable attack on the core value of freedom of expression, in the media and elsewhere, that underpin democratic societies. It is also a human tragedy and my heart goes out to the families of the victims.”

Time for one Garda Ombudsman – Mac Lochlainn

Responding to news that the Chairman of GSOC, Simon O’ Brien, has resigned, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has called on Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to replace the current three person Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission model with one Garda Ombudsman as is the case in the North of Ireland and as recommended by the Oireachtas Justice Committee.

Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:

“The resignation of the GSOC Chairman, Simon O’Brien provides an opportunity for Minister Fitzgerald to make a change to how this important organisation is led.

“Last year, we in the Oireachtas Justice Committee recommended that there be one Garda Ombudsman as is the case in the North of Ireland.

“Of course, it is now standard practice in Ireland and across Europe for just one Ombudsman to lead the oversight of policing or other public services.

“This allows for a clear and authoritative decision making process with better accountability. Of course the Ombudsman will rely on the advice and guidance of his or her team but the buck stops with them.

“Legislation will soon pass through the houses of the Oireachtas giving substantial new powers to the GSOC. The organisation must be properly resourced and structured to meet its responsibilities to the Irish people. It’s time for one Garda Ombudsman to lead that change.”

Doherty Calls on Government to Immediately Publish Findings of Working Group Report into Job Creation Following Gaoth Dobhair Hotel Closure

Sinn Féin Donegal South West TD, Deputy Pearse Doherty, has described the announcement by management of Gaoth Dobhair’s ‘Seaview Hotel’ that the venue is to close as ‘extremely sad and deeply regrettable’ and has called on the Government to immediately publish the findings of a delayed working group report tasked with examining job creation and economic development in the Gaoth Dobhair area.

“This announcement of the hotel’s closure is very disappointing and has of course come as a huge blow to both the staff and management at the Seaview Hotel.”

“The decision to close the hotel is of course particularly upsetting given that the hotel’s staff and owners now begin this New Year with such an uncertain and bleak outlook for the months ahead – my sympathies go out to all of them during this distressing time.”

“This is the second hotel in Gaoth Dobhair to close in the past few years with Óstan Gaoth Dobhair also owned by the Boyle family closing recently.”

“The company has been a huge provider of employment in the area for decades. In fact, I can speak of my personal sadness at this news today as one of my first jobs growing up was working for the family in one of their hotels.”

“I understand that the owners have cited increasing overheads and costs as a contributing factor which ultimately led to the closure of the business.”

Rise in long term female unemployment a worrying trend – Calleary

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Dara Calleary TD has described the rise in the number of women on the live register for over a year as a cause of concern which needs a dedicated government response. There are now 56,312 women out of work for over 12 months.

Deputy Calleary commented, “At a time when all other categories are showing declines it is disappointing that unemployment in this category is going in the wrong direction.

“The European Commission previously identified the high cost of childcare and the loss of secondary benefits such as medical cards and rent supplement as significant barriers to employment in this country. This is likely to be a particularly acute issue for many women and needs to be tackled so that no one is penalised for taking up a job that becomes available. In addition the Family Income Supplement scheme needs to be reformed so that it supports people getting back in to the workplace.

“The number of people on activation schemes is now at an all-time high of 86,160. We need to study more closely where people who come through these schemes subsequently end up to assess if they are effective. The OECD has proposed that the Government “prioritise the engagement with long-term jobseekers and increase the number of caseworkers supporting them, through internal redeployment”. This does not appear to have happened to date with many activation schemes unfocused in nature and more concerned with massaging the jobless total than actually providing meaningful skills to help people find employment”.

Garda appeal follows New Year’s early morning Donegal road death

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to a fatal road traffic collision in Ballyshannon Co. Donegal on the 1st January, 2015.

At approximately 1.50am a 33-year-old female pedestrian was fatally injured when she was struck by a van on Main St., Ballyshannon.
She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her body was removed to the Shiel Hospital.
The driver of the van, a male aged in his 50s, was uninjured. The scene is preserved to facilitate Garda forensic collision investigators. The road is closed to traffic and diversions are in place.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Ballyshannon Garda Station 071-9858530 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.