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Local Papers Commentary
From the Connaught Telegraph 4 Feb 2004
By The Jaundiced Eye
7, Feb 2004 - 10:28

Cancer cutback will cause 464 women’s deaths

The breast cancer screening service is not to be initiated for women in the West of Ireland until 2005, it has been revealed. The shock delay will result in 464 sufferers in the region going unchecked and dying from the disease. The service was expected to be rolled out early this year to begin screening a population of 57,588 women in the Western Health Board region, as well as Sligo, Donegal, Leitrim, Clare and North Tipperary.

The 464 number is based on the detection rate so far in the Eastern region. We all know a woman in our family or circle of friends who has died of breast cancer. The chances of survival are very much dependent on early detection. To say we can’t afford to save these lives – more than the total killed on our roads nationally each year – is tragic. The same health board, however, did find the money to enter into a costly court case against Castlebar Parish in an attempt to stop Masses being said in St. Mary’s Church and shut it down. They lost the case. Presumably the lawyers got paid for this ill-judged waste of public funds? There were also a lot of people on trolleys in A&E this week.

Regional Assembly deputation meets road and rail chiefs

A deputation from the Border, Midland and Western Regional Assembly met with the Chief Executive Officers of the National Roads Authority and Iarnrod Eireann in separate meetings in Dublin last week. The deputation which was led by Chairman of the BMW Regional Assembly, outlined their concerns at the low level of expenditure in both the National Roads Programme and in mainline rail in the BMW Region under the National Development Plan.

This piece was on the same page as a letter from a retired train driver who was saying don’t hold your breath in the matter of the re-opening of the western rail corridor. I suspect that the ‘Regional Assembly’ shouldn’t hold their breath either once they made their submission. And who the flip are the regional assembly in any case?  I don’t remember ever electing anyone to the ‘regional assembly’. Can you name anyone who was elected to the ‘regional assembly’? I suspect the NRA and Iarnrod Eireann representatives will be asking themselves the same questions.

Castlebar student wins top Rotary award

Congratulations are extended to John Lohan, Springfield, Castlebar, winner of the Rotary Youth Development/Leadership Competition which is supported by Marks and Spencers and the European Parliament. John is a leaving Certificate student at St. Gerald’s College, Castlebar, a member of Castlebar Young Fine Gael and is chairman of St. Gerald’s College Student Council. Interviews were held at the GMIT in Castlebar, co-ordinated by Ms. Vivienne Kyne, chairperson of the Youth Committee, Rotary Castlebar, where John was chosen for the regional final in Ballina when he was elected as one of the winners. John will travel to Paris and will also visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Feb 20th when he will be one of 24 young people representing Ireland, North and South, in EUROSCOLA 2004.

Who says today’s students are apathetic and only care about pop music, drink and sex and clothes? Youngsters like John fly the flag for Ireland in the European Parliament – participating in a mini-parliament with similar selected representatives from schools all over Europe - and doing us proud out there. There have been quite a few winners from Mayo over the years and I suspect that they are all doing extremely well in their chosen careers. Watch this space as they say...

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