From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
The Connaught Telegraph - 24 Sep 2003
By The Jaundiced Eye
27, Sep 2003 - 23:13

The Connaught Telegraph – Durcan saga

The Connaught Telegraph-Frank Durcan saga lingers on following a motion which was adopted by Castlebar Town Council calling for a resolution to the crux. I again repeat why contributions by the said councillor are not being reported by this newspaper: He (an elected representative) roared at one reporter ‘scum’ and accused another of being a ‘spy’ while taking photographs of his children. Both individuals were off duty and attending public functions with their families when the insulting remarks were made.

The article written by Tom Gillespie continues with a long list of Councillor Durcan’s escapades/transgressions over the years and again explains why the newspaper had called for Mr Durcan’s resignation due to filibustering which resulted in delaying or abandonment of Council meetings. Mr Durcan took grave offence when called to resign by the Connaught Telegraph apparently and hence the personalised verbal attacks reported on some of the Connaught Telegraph’s staff. The sting is in the last couple of paragraphs, however, where Mr Gillespie states that ‘this newspaper respects the wishes of the elected council and will agree to the spirit of the motion’. So perhaps the saga is at an end? True to his word the paper this very week contains an article about the other continuing saga – the Christmas Lights in Castlebar. Having promised to help fund the lights, the Town Council have run up against a hitch in that the Department of the Environment have refused to allow the Council to take out a 240,000 euro loan for the scheme. I quote from the Connaught again:

"Councillor Frank Durcan said the town manager, Mr Ray Norton, should be made to resign over the matter after leading the members of the sub-committee a merry dance. "

So Frank Durcan is still calling for resignations but gets offended when someone calls on him to resign. Sauce for the goose and sauce for the gander springs to mind! In fact Frank Durcan’s name is littered all over the CT this week. I love the local papers!


Mayo’s contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions

The way we use energy and therefore the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) we are emitting into the atmosphere has started to have adverse effect on our climate. Extreme weather patterns are affecting us and there is little doubt left that we are experiencing climate change. What’s to be done? In order to aid in the fight to reverse climate Change Mayo County Council recently switched over a number of its electricity accounts to green electricity. Green electricity meaning pollution free energy from clean, green renewable energies i.e. wind power, solar, tidal, wave, etc. Mayo County Council are using approximately 1,690739 kWh of green electricity, which has a CO2 saving of 1,424 tonnes per annum.

It’s good that Mayo County Council are taking the lead in this area. I know a lot of industrial users are switching to Airtricity and similar green suppliers. I look forward to seeing the new turbines above Castlebar go into action over the winter months. I noticed the recent works connecting the underground high-tension cable to the local sub-station at Windsor. 

 I suspect though that, while the council list off a long list of potential renewable sources, in fact the only real source of green electricity they are using is wind-generated. I don’t know of any solar powered electricity generator in Ireland. You can put solar electric panels on your roof nowadays replacing roof tiles but it hasn’t exactly caught on big time around Mayo so far. (I don’t think solar electric panels have reached the Bungalow blitz book of house designs yet.) There was an experimental wave system off Charlie Haughey’s Blasket island way back, in the 1970s or early 1980s, but I don’t think this is in commercial production. The nearest tidal generated electricity is in France on the Rance, which has a very impressive tidal range indeed. But unless Airtricity can specify which electrons to accept from the interconnector they are more likely to get electricity generated by a fast breeder or mox reactor.

But that's only nit-picking - so good for Mayo CoCo for doing something it and chilling out a bit and less of the usual hot air. At least insofar as the CO2 they have eliminated so far from the atmosphere goes anyway whatever about the Council Chamber over at the Aras. So let’s hope they continue to promote energy conservation especially in their building and planning guidelines with heat pumps, geothermal where available, combined heat and power, district heating, biomass fuels, rail transport and all the usual energy conservation and renewable systems available. And when it finally arrives of course hopefully they will promote hydrogen transport, hybrid systems and refuelling stations around the county.


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