From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
From the Connaught Telegraph - 10 March 2004
By The Jaundiced Eye
16, Mar 2004 - 10:22

Garda saw girls being thrown from car windows after speeding vehicle flipped over

WESTPORT District Court has heard of a serious case of dangerous driving in which a Dublin man lost control of his vehicle and it flipped over a number of times before coming to a rest on its side in the middle of the road. Amazingly, the driver and his four passengers walked away from the scene with only minor injuries. The accident occurred at Cregganagopple, Cregganbaun, Louisburgh, on April 19 last year. The defendant, Keith Fitzhugh, 23 Cloiginn Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10, did not appear in court and was convicted in his absence. He faced a raft of charges including dangerous driving, driving without insurance, and driving without a licence. He was fined 1,500 euro in total, had his licence endorsed and was disqualified from driving for three years. Fitzhugh, a worker in Delphi Adventure Centre at the time, was also sentenced to three months in prison, the warrant not to issue on the condition he commits no road traffic offences for two years. He had no previous convictions.

Perhaps it’s a credit to car manufacturers that people can walk away from crashes like this. But reading the many similar court cases in which young men driving fast and losing control it really does underpin the reason why insurance rates are so high for this age group. Have you been tail-gated recently by a boy racer lately while driving along comfortably at 63mph on a national route? A year ago things had slowed down I thought but tail-gating is back in fashion again folks! It shows too in the number of deaths – they have jumped by 20 in comparison with the same time last year. The car manufacturers can only do so much to protect us from ourselves.

Appeal on hotel levy ruled invalid

AN appeal to An Bord Pleanala against a whopping 2.07m. euro levy on the developers of a proposed Castlebar hotel has been found to be invalid by the planning appeals authority. Letterkenny-based developers, P. Reynolds, M. Hegarty and P. McDermot had appealed the decision of Castlebar Town Council to impose the record levy for a 92 bedroom hotel, seven retail units, nine office units and a multi-storey carpark, with 675 spaces, at Castle Street. Now An Bord Pleanala has ruled that the appeal is invalid. However, an appeal to the Board by Dunnes Stores over the granting of planning permission for the hotel complex is still active and being considered by An Bord Pleanala.

Well all I can say is 'good' - in view of the history attached to this particular bunch of developers. The manner in which they demolished the listed convent building for one doesn’t endear them to my heart.

Muirsin Durcan's poignant photo of the Statue of Our Lady during the illegal demolition of the convent.

Future of Castlebar Community Games in doubt

THE future of Community Games in Castlebar is in doubt unless there is an infusion of new blood, a leading official has warned. Castlebar have been told by the Mayo Community Games Executive to hold their annual general meeting in the Welcome Inn Hotel, tonight (Wednesday 11th Mar) at 8.30p.m. to fill positions and elect a committee to run the games in the town. If no committee is formed the town will not be eligible to participate in Community Games for the coming year. "It would be a travesty if Castlebar were to be excluded considering the importance of t the games to the children of the town and the success that Castlebar has enjoyed over a long number of years", said Mr Michael Brophy, Mayo Community Games Public Relations Officer.

The Community Games is a great old institution. I’m sure every house in the Parish has trophies and medals in places of honour marking their children’s achievements for running, jumping, playing ball or for more leisurely pursuits such as chess and painting, whether won locally or at the national games at Mosney. But major events don’t just happen. If you are a parent you can’t complain if the local games cease and your kids have to hang around idle all summer because Castlebar can no longer participate in the National Community Games. So get out there and volunteer – don’t leave it to the few who try to organise everything in the town. New blood is always needed in all these voluntary groups.

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