From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
The Western People - 14 May 2003
By The Jaundiced Eye
18, May 2003 - 18:37

Castlebar counts down to Special Olympics

The Western People outlines the programme for the Venezuelan Special Olympics team in Castlebar. D-day for Castlebar is June 16 when 154 Venezuelan athletes, coaches and officials arrive in Castlebar and the Host Town Programme of Special Olympics 2003 begins. The Venezuelan delegation will arrive in Castlebar on Monday, June 16 in Castlebar by coach following their arrival and registration in Dublin. Castlebar Special Olympics Host Town committee has made arrangements to accommodate the athletes in Lough Lannagh and The Traveller’s Friend Hotel. The athletes will be based in Castlebar for 4 days and this time offers the athletes a chance to rest after the long flight and also to experience Castlebar hospitality. The athletes will train each morning for an hour’s duration. This training will be quite light with the emphasis for their stay on rest and relaxation. The Venezuelan athletes are participating in 13 different sporting categories ranging from Aquatics, Athletics, Basketball, Soccer, and Equestrian to more unusual sports such as Powerlifting Roller-skating and Bocce. Then on June 21 the eyes of the world will be on Croke Park for the opening ceremony of the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

Lets hope there are no hiccups between now and then. A lot of people have put a lot of time and effort into the Special Olympics and the big day is nearly upon us. It is difficult to imagine the disappointment of those towns and even more so the teams of athletes that as of time of writing at least are to be barred from travelling to Ireland. The minor inconsistency that hundreds of passengers can alight here on a daily basis having come from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc. in a totally uncontrolled fashion without any restrictions makes a nonsense of the whole decision. It is quite, quite discriminatory even if it wasn’t intended that way.

Affordable housing a big hit in Westport

The new affordable housing scheme in Westport was welcomed with open arms at a meeting of the Westport Electoral Area this week. The first phase of the scheme has been completed and ownership is currently being transferred to purchasers. The other two phases of the project will be completed in the next two months. Cllr. Frank Chambers said that he had visited the scheme and was very impressed with the whole project. "This is a major scheme and a great opportunity for the people of the area. The homes are of excellent quality and hopefully there will be many more schemes such as this to follow."

Indeed it is to be hoped that this type of approach will be used more widely to break the stranglehold of property developers and rip-off merchants.

The Moy is getting greener but who cares?

The Western People obviously cherishes the River Moy with almost weekly reports on angling or environmental issues. A report in this week’s edition asks why the Moy has gone green in Ballina starting off follows. "Anyone who doubts the serious extent of pollution in the Moy should take a trip to the Quay area in Ballina and have a look at the river banks. On both the Quay side of the river and the Belleek shore there is a bright green growth of moss or other form of algae. The growth has occurred in the last six weeks or so and it is so serious on the Belleek side of the river, it resembles a green, grassy shore. Up until a few years ago, the river banks and the growths on the shores, have been brown in colour. As well, in recent weeks, the large mud/sand bank in the Moy at the Quay, has developed an extensive area of green growth."


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