From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
From the Connaught Telegraph - 17 March 2004
21, Mar 2004 - 10:45

Moves to have Croagh Patrick designated as World Heritage site

GOVERNMENT backing is being sought to have Croagh Patrick designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The matter was raised at the annual meeting of Westport Tourism Organisation which heard that enquiries have been made as to how to achieve designation. W.T.O. Marketing Committee Chairperson, Mr. Michael O’Donnell, explains that only the Government can nominate a site for inclusion in the UNESCO -United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation - World Heritage sites programme. "It is past time that Croagh Patrick receives the recognition it deserves," he said. "Westport Tourism Organisation is now calling on the Government to consider the matter and put together an application." There is widespread support in the locality with Murrisk Development Association and the Croagh Patrick Archaeological Committee equally supportive of the nomination. Ireland has only two designated UNESCO heritage sites – Skellig Michael off the Kerry coast and the archaeological ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne in County Meath. Croagh Patrick has a strong case for designation, according to Mr. O’Donnell. With a tradition of pilgrimage going back over 5,000 years from the Stone Age, Ireland’s Holy Mountain attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year. Archaeological findings in the area date back to 200 B.C. and St. Patrick spent forty days on the summit in 441A.D. Excavations show the mountain was also a place of great importance in the pre-Christian era. The discovery of a dry stone oratory on the summit was carbon dated to between 430 and 890 A.D. and is one of the oldest stone churches in Ireland.

Jail for Ballina man who has ‘scant regard for court orders’

A BALLINA man caught driving without insurance has been sentenced to three months imprisonment for the offence at the local court. Seamus McElhatton, 89 Greenhills Estate, Ballina, who has a number of previous convictions for road traffic offences, was also fined €1,350 in total for a combination of motoring misdeeds, had his licence endorsed and was disqualified from driving for 10 years. Garda Des McCann outlined that he saw a car being driven by the defendant at Tolan Street, Ballina, at 4.20 p.m. on August 23 last year. He had no opportunity to stop the man but called to his house that night and demanded his documents. McElhatton denied he was driving the car. He failed to produce the documents Garda McCann demanded. There was no tax on the vehicle and it had no tax displayed. The defendant also failed to produce an NCT certificate. Garda McCann outlined that McElhatton has a number of previous convictions for road traffic offences and was disqualified from driving for ten years previously.

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