From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
The Mayo News 20 Aug 2003
By The VERY Jaundiced Eye
21, Aug 2003 - 23:33

Travellers "strut their stuff" at Knock Novena

THERE were extraordinary scenes in Knock last weekend when hundreds of travellers descended on the Marian village for the annual August 15th celebrations. At one stage, more than 200 caravans were parked illegally along the roadsides leading to Knock after their owners failed to gain access to car-parks beside the famous Basilica. […..] As if the traffic chaos caused by the dozens of caravans was not enough, locals in the quiet East Mayo village were also forced to cope with an alert on the local water supply after a general coliform bacterial contamination was discovered. In his annual homily at the Basilica, the Archbishop of Tuam, Dr. Michael Neary, spoke of the comfort and strength which the Rosary can give to believers in times of strife, sickness and fear.

James Laffey of the Mayo News writes about the inappropriate dress of the traveller women, the rosary and the contamination of Knock water all in the one article. Excellent stuff – quite surreal – and proving that truth really is stranger than fiction.

When the postman’s away

MORE than 100 households in the Killeen and Killadoon townlands of West Mayo have been left without a postal service because An Post neglected to put the appropriate cover in place to cater for the regular postman’s holiday plans. The bizarre situation has been condemned by Louisburgh-based Cllr. Peter Sweeney who said it was simply unacceptable that a large rural area should be left without a postal service for any length of time.

I’m sure Jerry Cowley would have sorted this one out. And sure – can’t they just use email while Pat is on holidays?


Campaign begins to "free" Foxford-bound artefacts

A SERIES of fund-raising events will be held in Foxford in the coming weeks in a bid to raise the necessary money to pay for the release of two containers of artefacts that are currently under "lock and key" in Dublin Port. The containers, relating to the founder of the Argentine Navy, Admiral William Brown, arrived in Ireland five years ago but have been languishing in Dublin Port since then because the Government is unwilling to pay the appropriate fees to the port authorities. However, locals in Foxford are now hopeful that they will be able to raise the necessary 17,000 euro and "free" the artefacts before the end of this month. Preparations are already well underway in Foxford for the visit of four officers from the Argentine naval training ship, the Libertad, which is due to dock in Portsmouth, England, next week. The officers will arrive in Mayo on August 28th and will be guests of honour at a series of events in Foxford during the following days. They are expected to attend the opening of a new exhibition on Admiral William Brown, entitled "The Images of a Hero" and they will also view the new Brown commemorative stamp, which is to be launched at the end of September.

Another slightly surreal story. Some artefacts they were that attracted a duty of 17k euro that nobody could afford to pay! It’s a bit like the 99MH car in the Dublin car pound that is going to be made into a paperweight if it’s not collected before 3rd September next!

I know there’s a bust of Brown in the middle of Foxford. I was always suspicious though. Surely nobody really believed that this guy founded the Argentinean Navy? Lord of the Malvinas and friend of the ill-fated General Belgrano? But if Argentinean Navy Officers are coming it must be all true! So brush up the old Espagnol and get ready for party next week.

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