From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
Connaught Telegraph - 2 april 2003
5, Apr 2003 - 21:36

New Sports Section

The Connaught introduces a new sports section this week. A large format pull-out section edited by John Melvin starts off with a large colour photo of St. Gerald’s College basketball team in action. Saints pass another A-Level exam with All-Ireland honours reads the headline. And the score? St. Gerald’s Castlebar:45 Colaiste Eanna Rathfarnham: 39 giving Castlebar the All-Ireland League title to add to their Cup Title already garnered. A very exciting game is recounted and JM suggests that St Gerald’s are now the force to be reckoned with in national schools basketball.

Arctic Char still present in Lough Mask

Good news from the Western Fisheries Board. Arctic char the famous glacial relict species that has lived in the western lakes since the last Ice Age is hanging on in Lough Mask. Recent stock assessment by the fisheries board confirms that these pollution-sensitive fish are still present in "The Mask". (Long may it last because they have gone extinct in Lough Conn and Lough Corrib in the past 15 years – after 10,000 years of survival there. Scientists believe this is due to the combination of farm slurry and phosphate runoff, septic tank seepage, sewage works, forestry and peat harvesting which in combination have wiped these beautiful and rare fish. These are in truth "Canaries in the Mine" – we drink the water from Lough Mask. So it is really good news to know that they are hanging on in Mask – you will be able to tell your children that you remember when Lough Mask was so clean that it had Arctic Char living in it!)

Of all the cheek!

Mere weeks after Castlebar Town Council initiated legal proceedings against the Letterkenny-based ‘developers’ who demolished the listed Convent of Mercy building on Rock Square, the culprits have applied for planning permission for a 10M project – 63 bedroom hotel and multi-storey carpark. It will be interesting to see how this one develops as the council has previously refused permission for a 400-space carpark on the site two years ago.

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