Articles in Category: Local News

Pringle says Letterkenny Courthouse should be preserved as a community facility

Suggestions that a “superpub” could be developed

Suggestions that a “superpub” could be developed at the site of Letterkenny Courthouse in two years time have been criticised by a Donegal TD.

The Courts Service are expected to shortly begin work on the new courthouse building on High Road, and Deputy Thomas Pringle says the current building should be used as a community facility when it becomes available in 2017.

He’s now asked Junior Minister Simon Harris to meet with the community sector in the town to discuss the building’s future.

After recent media reports of commercial interest in the current courthouse, Deputy Pringle says a community facility would be far more suitable.

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Canning says sewage problems on Donegal estates must be tackled urgently

A Donegal Councillor is claiming an even more pressing problem is to be found in housing estates in Donegal which are not under council control.

Cllr Paul Canning says there are problems developing in the treatment facilities on many such estates, but no agency is taking responsibility for them.

He says Donegal County Council and Irish Water need to discuss this issue as a matter of urgency.

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Golden eagles in jeopardy

Urgent action needed to save the golden eagle reintroduction project from failure.

The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) is urging Ministers Simon Coveney and Heather Humphries to save the golden eagle reintroduction project from failure.

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Ecologists have long suspected that the project to reintroduce the golden eagle in Donegal is failing, and the Golden Eagle Trust confirmed their suspicions last week.

The group said that there is not enough food in the Donegal landscape to sustain the birds.

No chicks were fledged in 2015 and only one in 2014, and as the parent birds age time is running out to build a viable population.

The Golden Eagle Trust said that "the situation is critical... if there was a better food supply within the territories of the four pairs, it is likely some chicks would have fledged in 2015.”

Eating habits of the golden eagle in Donegal indicate low numbers of their preferred prey - the eagles have been observed catching crows and badger cubs, instead of the hares or red grouse they are seen eating in Scotland.

The project, which commenced in 2001, is now at risk of failure.

The IWT said that the threat faced by golden eagles is indicative of the ongoing decline in the health of upland habitats in Ireland, mainly due to uncontrolled burning, turf extraction and over-grazing by sheep.

“It would be tragic were golden eagles to go extinct again, after all the hard work put in by the Golden Eagle Trust and others," said IWT Campaigns Officer Pádraic Fogarty.

Their loss would represent a huge blow to Donegal, not least from the tourism potential that these birds present. Sadly the lack of any management plan for Glenveagh National Park or surrounding ‘special protection areas’, or any conservation measures to protect the eagles is now placing the future of golden eagles in Ireland at threat.”

The IWT is calling on Ministers Coveney and Humphries to urgently introduce a Burren-style farming scheme that can improve conditions in the uplands, not only for golden eagles but for the many species that also rely on it.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Now editorial team. During office hours call 074 9112700. You can also email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at any time, or send a text to 086 792 2103.

The search for missing Derry man John Concannon focuses on the Burt area today

Mr. Concannon has been missing for almost two weeks now.

Family members believe because Mr Concannon suffers from dementia, he could have went back to his mother’s birthplace in Burt and the last sighting of him was getting off a bus in the direction of Donegal.

John’s brother Micheal Concannon is appealing for more volunteers to help in the search.

Cranford AC compete in the Nationals in Santry.

Cranford AC athletes represented club, county and province in the Nationals, which were held on Sunday, in Santry, Dublin.

The club's U12 Girls, competing in their first National Cross Country Race, joined over 200 athletes, running well and being led home by Caitlin O Hara, Sophie Curran, Nazara McFadden, Ciara Donnelly, Aoife Giles and Orla Neely.

Oisin Kelly, competing in the U12 Boys event, had a good run, finishing in 12th place and being award with an All Ireland medal. Oisin was also a member of the Ulster team who won gold. Max Roarty followed him home in 35th place, followed closely by Liam Donnelly, Cian McMenamim, Oran McMenamim and Conor Neely.

Molly Trearty, in the U14 Girls' category put in a gutsy, strong performance and an impressive finish, finishing well up the field. Kevin Logue and Eoin Kelly flew the flag for Cranford in the U18 Boys' event, with both athletes running a strong race and finished confidently. Cranford AC have expressed their gratitude to coaches Eamon Giles, Ernie McElhinney, Joe Boyce, Rose Gavaghan, and Bridie Trearty and to all parents who travelled.

Next up for the club is the Nationals in Waterford, on 6th December, with nine Cranford athletes set to compete.

Judge bans jewellery thief from entering Falcarragh

Romanian mother-of-two banned from entering the town for 12 months.

A Romanian mother-of-two, who stole over €819 worth of gold rings and bracelets, from a shop n Falcarragh, has been banned from entering the town for 12 months. Florica Rostas of 29 Booth Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 and 8 The Beeches in Ballybofey, appeared before Letterkenny District Court this morning charged with theft and handling stolen goods at the Bluestack Shop, Falcarragh, on November 5. She first appeared in court last Monday with her co-accused Monica Rostas, 14 Sweetbush, Tallaght, D24, when it was revealed that the pair used “slight of hand” techniques to dupe a shop assistant into handing over €819 worth of gold rings and bracelets.

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Garda Niall McGuire gave evidence that they responded to a call from the shop staff after the women entered the store. They had been looking at the jewellery and “tricked” the shop assistant by pocketing the rings and leaving without paying. They were arrested later and made admissions. The items were recovered and an order was made to return the jewellery to the store owner, Neil Collins.

Monika Rostas was fined €150 last week while Florica Rostas, who has three previous convictions for theft, was remanded to appear in court again this morning.

Judge Paul Kelly was told that Florica Rostas, 31, survived by selling The Big Issue magazine and was a widow with two small children who has lived in Ireland for the past nine months.

Rostas on handed a four month sentence suspended for 12 months on her own bond of €150. She was ordered not to enter the town of Falcarragh during the period of the bond.

"If I see her in court again, she will be going to jail," the judge warned.

#Womenbeyondborders breakfast conference provides inspiration for business women

Breakfast Conference in the Inishowen Gateway Hotel

womenbeyondborders.jpgA Breakfast Conference in the Inishowen Gateway Hotel, Buncrana has heard that business women from all over the Donegal and Northern Ireland are eager and enterprise is coming to the fore in Donegal and Derry and it’s being led by women.

The Donegal Women in Business Network and Derry Women in Enterprise hosted the event and succeeded in inspiring many business women throughout the area. The line up of guest speakers were non other than Wexford’s Samantha Kelly, “Ireland’s Tweeting Goddess”, and boy did she inspire every lady in the room with her own true life story and the need to ‘tweet’. Samantha’s success is down to her passion about assisting others to get on and how to use Twitter as a fantastic marketing tool for business. Samantha won the Tweet Inspire award last month at the Inaugural Rabo Tweetie awards and was winner of the Bank of Ireland Start Up Hero Award in 2014, as well as appearing on Dragon’s Den and other TV programmes. Samantha has a knack for getting brands trending on Twitter. If you want your brand seen, she’s your girl! Award winning leader in her field, Samantha’s customer service skills and sprinkling of Twitter magic will enhance any brand image and brand awareness and even get you direct sales from Twitter. Her story was not only interesting but once again, hugely inspirational. I think every business lady in Donegal and Derry will be tweeting for their business after Samantha’s talk.

Other guest speakers were Leona Kane, owner of Broighter Gold from Limavady in Co. Derry. Leona told her story about how she founded Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil after deciding to try the oil from the seed grown on her husband’s farm when she ran out of olive oil for cooking one evening. She spoke about how much easier it is to sell a product that you are passionate about, and it means so much to be able to sell a product that is grown, processed and marketed direct from your own farm. Leonas company was recently awarded the Économusée (Artisans at Work) for NI through the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust. Leona was hugely inspirational and she is very much more than just a ‘farmer’s wife’. She is a mother, wife, business woman and a hugely inspirational role model.

Kathy Donaghy, a local award winning journalist, from Inishowen, who has worked for several national newspapers including the Irish Independent where she was public affairs correspondent before leaving to work in the RTE newsroom, told us about her career and how she re located to Inishowen with her husband Richard and their two young sons. She now works as a freelance journalist and is also a qualified pilates and children’s yoga teacher. She also runs creative writing courses for children. Kathy told her amazing true life story about how and why she moved from a busy high profile media life in Dublin back to her native Donegal.Her belief in signs confirmed that the family move was right when she came upon the quote, “jump and the net will appear”. Finishing her talk today with these words was very inspiring for the many ladies who are considering the move to self-employment and new lives for themselves.

Denise Devlin from Positive Parties finished the event with her party pieces, getting all the ladies in the room dancing and laughing and networking through good vibes. This was a little unconventional for many but it got strangers talking and was a hugely successful exercise to end the event with.

A number of representatives from the local Donegal and Derry Enterprise organisations also spoke and encouraged more women to take the leap into self-employment. A number of schemes are available to assist and information was provided.

The ladies all succeeded in connecting, sharing and inspiring each other throughout the morning. And what better to leave an inspiring event knowing that after listening to Ireland’s Tweeting goddess Samantha Kelly she had  #womenbeyondborders trending in Ireland and the event and tweeters were live on Tweet Beam throughout the event and and all the ladies left feeling that they too can take their business or their business idea and know that networks like Donegal Women in Business and Women in Enterprise Derry can help them succeed through networking.

Second day of volunteer foot search gets underway for missing man John Concannon

A second day of a volunteer foot search for missing Derry man John Concanon got underway yesterday.

johnconcannon.jpgThe 71 year old has been missing since Tuesday 10th November.

Mr John Concannon was last seen on the Lenamore Road getting off a bus. It’s believed Mr. Concannon, who suffers from dementia, took the wrong bus from Derry City Centre.

Yesterday, it was estimated that approximately 100 people took part in the search. Both Gardai in Donegal and the PSNI in Derry with and an underwater search team along with volunteers have already carried out extensive searches on both sides of the border. So far, there have been no sightings of John Concannon. Police are once again  asking anyone who has seen Mr Concannon to get in touch with them at Strand Road station, or call Gardaí if he has been seen in Donegal.

He is described as being about 5’6″ tall, of medium build and with grey hair. He was wearing a black and grey beanie hat, a black coat, checked shirt and navy trousers.

Donegal man fined for illegally docking puppy’s tail

A Donegal man was ordered to pay a total of €605, after pleading guilty to illegally docking the tail of a puppy

Cathal Crawford of Ballyarrell, Killygordon, Co Donegal was ordered to pay €355 in costs and a further donation of €250 to the ISPCA at Letterkenny District Court today.

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Judge Paul Kelly said he would consider imposing the probation act if both costs are paid by January 21st 2016.

The case related to an investigation in March 2015, when Crawford attempted to place an advert to sell the puppy online.

The ISPCA was alerted and subsequent enquiries led to a visit to Mr Crawford’s home by ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley and Garda Sinead McLaughlin.

There they found a three-month-old German Pointer puppy with a docked tail.

The puppy was later given into the care of the ISPCA and subsequently re-homed.

It was established the docking of the puppy’s tail had been carried out without the involvement of a veterinary surgeon, which is contrary to the Prohibition on Tail Docking and Dew Claw Removal Regulations from March 2014.

ISPCA Inspector Kevin McGinley said: “The law has changed and people need to respect that fact. What may have been standard practice in the past is no longer permissible now”.

Since March 2014 it has been illegal for a lay-person to perform any procedure involving interference with the sensitive tissue or bone structure of an animal, including docking of tails and removal of dew claws.

HSE pledges to end “wage discrimination” against home helps in Donegal

Donegal Sinn Féin TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn today called for an end to what he described as wage disrimination by the H.S.E.

In June of this year it emerged that the H.S.E. in the county have been witholding unsocial hours premium payments from around 500 home helps in Donegal.

Deputy MacLochlainn says he has now received a commitment from senior H.S.E management at national and local level that all monies owed would be paid by Christmas.

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33 year old man charged with Natalie McGuinness’s murder in Sligo

Oisin Conroy, of The Mews, Mail Coach Road in Sligo, appeared in Sligo District Court this morning with a heavily bandaged head and wearing a blue hoody

Sergeant Patrick Harney gave evidence that Mr Conroy made no reply when he was charged with murder in the early hours of this morning. Defence barrister Keith O’Grady requested that his client get all the appropriate medical attention in custody, and said that this is a case where the defendant will require psychiatric evaluation as a matter of urgency.

Judge Kevin Kilraine asked whether Mr Conroy was a suicide risk. Inspector Paul Kilcoyne said that Oisin Conroy’s injuries were self-inflicted and that he s a threat to himself. Judge Kilraine remanded Mr Conroy in custody to Castlerea Prison on two conditions; that he have psychiatric care in custody and that he is placed on suicide watch.

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