From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
Western People – 19th March 2003
19, Mar 2003 - 17:05

300 lives per year in the West lost to smoking.
A new campaign has been launched by The Western Health Board in an attempt to wean people off cigarettes and tobacco. The publicity around the campaign reveals that over 7,000 Irish people die each year from tobacco related diseases and afflictions and that 80% of smokers are hooked by age 16. It is also shockingly revealed that up to a quarter of the adult population in the Western Health Board region continue to smoke despite previous campaigns. In 2000 almost 800 people in the region died of heart disease and over 900 from cancer - out of these figures over 300 of these deaths could be directly linked to the effect of smoking.

For Sale - Big Island - Big Price Tag
For those with deep pockets seeking a reclusive hideaway in Mayo this week's Western People may have the answer with the revelation that Bartra Island on the Moy Estuary is up for sale. The 367 acre island boasting extensive beaches, grazing lands and a large house in need of repair, has a guide price of €3.5million. The property is presently owned by Sean Simon of Boyle who purchased it for around £300,000 back in 1997. A golf course development designed by Nick Faldo was mooted for the island some years ago but this never came to fruition.

Pride in the name of Doran
The Western gives considerable coverage to the death last week in Cheltenham of Doran's Pride, probably the most famous Mayo horse since The Moore's Coronna won the Chester cup in 1846.

Michael Gallagher devotes an extensive article to the story of the famous horse and his owner Tom Doran from the village of Shragraddy near Bangor Erris. Gallagher says that while the horse was loved by many all over Ireland he was revered in Erris. Doran's Pride won the Stayer Hurdle in Cheltenham in 1995 and ran in two Gold Cups. He officially retired after the Ballinrobe Races last year. But as Gallagher's article says, in spite of his retirement, he was a racer and a hero who didn't want to fade away and so, last week, he had his last tragic run in Cheltenham, which ended with a broken leg necessitating him having to be put down.

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