From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
Western People - 3 Sep 2003
By The Jaundiced Eye
6, Sep 2003 - 10:54

Flying salmon goes through roof of Ballina house!

Ballina, as the salmon angling capital of the World, has had its fair share of fishy tales but none so astonishing, or unbelievable, as the true story told yesterday (Monday) by Gertie Clarke of the Piper’s Inn in Hill Street in the town. The Clarkes were in their home at about 11.20 in the morning when they heard a loud bang. At first they thought the noise came from within the house but later discovered it was caused by "a fair sized salmon" smashing through the roof. The four and a half pound (2 kilos) salmon was partly through a broken slate on the two storey roof. Pieces of the fish were splattered on the roof and on the ground below.

I loved this one. The photo showed the half-eaten salmon and the roof-tile smashed by the falling fish. The feeling is that the Ridge Pool has a new visitor – an Osprey who grabbed the unfortunate fish from the river. The Osprey is a rare bird and it’s great to see signs of a rare bird like this returning to Ireland even if nobody actually saw the culprit. Of course it could be just a publicity stunt for a local restaurant or the fisheries board? Watch insurance premiums for houses along the Moy taking an upward hike as a result though!

Ocean fm’s belated apology will ‘cut no ice’
The attempts by the Ocean fm consortium to distance itself from "the appalling series of insults it levelled at local radio listeners in the Sligo / North Leitrim/South Donegal region earlier this year will cut no ice with the local people," according to Mary Daly, Station Administrator at North West Radio which is due to go off the air in September 2004. "Why has it taken Ocean six months to seek to undo the damage of its dreadful insults to the people of this region?", Ms. Daly asked. She rejected the claims in the Ocean statement that their submission to the Broadcasting Commission earlier this year had been misrepresented to the public at large.

I can’t remember the detail of the insults during the campaign for the licence by Ocean FM but they were good ones – basically calling NorthWest Radio listeners ignorant country yobbos. The penny must have dropped that the yobbos they insulted are the same yobbos that will actually be listening to them. Much as they might have like to they couldn’t really organise a yobbo mass evacuation - a kind of radio audience ethnic cleansing? Move all the yobbos out of their audience area of Sligo and Donegal and replace them with more hip up to the minute city slickers? No - much better to make amends. It will be interesting to see how different their programme output will be to that of Northwest and Midwest? And if it is different will anyone listen?

Short break flights from Knock
Knock International Airport in association with United Travel has launched a new Autumn Specials schedule which includes a direct flight to Zurich on the weekend of the Ireland –Switzerland match.
The short - break October specials offer high quality packages to the Munich Beer Festival (3rd / 5th Oct), Zurich (10th / 12th Oct), Rome (16th / 20th) coinciding with the beatification of Mother Teresa, and Budapest (24th/27th Oct), fast becoming one of the most popular new short break destinations in Europe.

Woudn’t mind a short break in Budapest meself. Beer Festival – ya! And Rome in mid October could be very nice. Knock seems to be coming on in leaps and bounds. No prices given but assuming reasonable value these should be popular. It’s great to arrive back in Knock and then just be a half hour from Castlebar rather than having to face the trek from Dublin or Shannon back to Mayo.

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