From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
Mayo News - 3 Sep 2003
By The Jaundiced Eye
6, Sep 2003 - 11:00

Health Board Chairman opposes smoking ban

THE Chairman of the Western Health Board and the nurse’s representative on the Board have spoken out publicly against the proposed smoking ban due to be implemented in pubs on 1st January next. A third Health Board member told colleagues at the Board’s meeting in Galway on Monday that he felt "sorry for publicans who would be expected to implement the smoking ban". Cllr. Val Hanley, Board Chairman and outgoing Mayor of Galway, commenting on recent media reports in which he was stated to be using his Health Board position to make his opinions public, said he would not be gagged from speaking his mind. "I know I can be accused as Chairman of the Western Health Board for using my position to make comments, but as part of a democracy I can speak out and I will. I am in a very difficult situation. I am a publican and I have to be very careful how I promote that side of my business."

A good one this. The HEALTH Board in favour of smoking. Perhaps the logic is that health boards would be defunct if you didn’t have as many people suffering from heart disease and lung cancer due to smoking?

Comeback story brings smile to Pee Flynn’s face!

THE former EU Commissioner, Mr. Padraig Flynn, says he has been enjoying a good laugh after a local newspaper reported he was planning a dramatic return to local politics. Following the report in which it was claimed that Mr. Flynn would attempt to secure his daughter Beverley’s seat in the County Council elections next year, Mr. Flynn has confirmed there was no truth whatsoever in the article. Speaking to the Mayo News, Mr. Flynn stated: "There is nothing quoted by me in any article that has been written on this subject and I am just laughing at it. They wrote this story in the Connaught Telegraph but nobody contacted me and I haven’t heard from any of them since either. "There was a meeting last Wednesday night of the Castlebar Cumann in which there were two proposals to run for convention, namely Sean Bourke and Aidan Crowley. I proposed Sean Bourke, naturally, as the outgoing councillor and he was delighted. And that was it. This matter was never even mentioned."

EEK! Imagine having Pee back on Mayo County Council? Of course the expenses would be good and might come in handy supplementing his various pensions. His support for Sean Bourke of course throws some interesting light on the report in the Connaught that suggests that Aidan Crowley is going to be Bev’s successor.


Erris wind farm faces uncertain future after flurry of objections

BORD na Móna’s plans to build Europe’s largest wind farm in Bellacorick have been dealt a severe blow following a decision by local residents to lodge an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against the proposed development. Seven other appeals have also been lodged by objectors to the project while Bord na Móna is also appealing conditions attached to Mayo Co. Council’s grant of planning permission. Bord na Móna is developing the project in conjunction with Hibernian Wind Power, an ESB subsidiary. The wind farm will have a maximum generating capacity of 320MW of electricity which could supply seven per cent of the country’s energy needs.

First the gas pipeline now the expanded windfarm? North Mayo has a long tradition in the energy business supplying electricity by burning up the blanket bog in the local area – thousands of acres have been burnt to provide electricity over the past number of decades. The 20 wind turbines there already were Ireland’s first demonstration that wind energy is a viable renewable alternative to fossil fuels. Putting the 320MW worth of turbines on the already destroyed bog of Bellacorick is a good idea. The bog is not going to recover - the damage is done - so why not replace the small power station with a much larger output of renewable sustainable source of electricity? It would be a pity if this went the same way as the gas pipeline.

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