From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
Western People - 17 Dec 2003
20, Dec 2003 - 17:43

Three from the Western People:

Anglers’ chief rounds on Govt. over ‘false promises’

The government has been accused by the President of the Trout Anglers Federation of Ireland of false promises and election buying propaganda. Ballinrobe’s John Paddy Burke says the Federation is grossly disenchanted with the broken promises in relation the River Robe catchment plan and has warned that it will be a ‘hot’ election issue in this region next June. "When the former Minister for the Marine, Frank Fahy T.D., launched a special angling programme in Carrick-on-Shannon prior to the last General Election, he announced an allocation of 30 million euros. "He also launched the River Robe catchment plan one evening in Ballinrobe Golf Club premises and said he was delighted to sanction 100,000 euros for what was to be a pilot scheme to solve pollution problems of the river," said John Paddy Burke. "What a joke. We are now told there are no funds so what was the purpose of the exercise except to fool the people. It does not inspire much confidence in the present regime by the 18,000 members of the T.A.F.I. that I represent nationally.

Squabble over decentralisation plans

Mr Des Mahon, the Mayo county manager, has assured members of the authority that the council will not be found wanting when it comes to assisting the process of decentralisation to the county. He was speaking at a meeting of the authority in Castlebar when Fine Gael members and the Labour Party member expressed reservations about the timing of the decentralisation announcement. It was suggested that the plan announced in the budget by the Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy was merely an "election gimmic" in the run up to the local elections. Mayo is to benefit to the tune of 290 decentrailised jobs- 140 Dept of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs jobs to Knock Airport, and 150 OPW jobs to Claremorris. The issue was raised by Cllr Johnny Mee who suggested that the minister was guilty of "telling the greatest pack of lies to the Irish electorate in the history of the State."

Castlebar panto production of 'Beauty and the Beast'

In January, 2004, Castlebar pantomime will stage as they have done for the past nineteen years their annual but not always traditional version of tales of romance, deceit, humour, good guys beating the bad guys and always the leading man getting the fair lady's hand. This year is no exception with their presentation of Beauty and the Beast. Life had always been good in the Pelf household, which consisted of the wealthy merchant Philip Pelf, his three sons and three daughters. Even though Mrs Pelf had passed away, the fair Lynette also known as Beauty kept everyone in a happy mood. All except her two sisters Caroline and Marilyn. Their selfishness gave few around them any cause to be merry. All of this changed however when Philip lost his fortune and the family fell on poor times. In an effort to repay his debts, Philip stumbled into a dark forest with an even darker castle while journeying home. He was greeted by the homely hospitality of its housekeeper Jenny Jessop and her lovable son Tony Treasure. But who was the master of this castle and how would this Beast change the life of Philip Pelf, his family and his beloved Beauty forever.... Join the cast and crew of Castlebar Pantomime and find out as they bring this fairy tale to life.

The Robe River is in a bit of a mess alright. Even though a huge investment has gone into the sewage treatment in Ballinrobe and Claremorris farmers are still polluting the river. Mr Fahy appears to have announced quite a lot before the election but the delivery is not living up to the promise. Now where have we heard that before?

The decentralisation story is in all the papers again this week. I note the poll on asking how long will it take to decentralise the various departments seems to suggest that at least half of you think it will never happen and only 11% percent think it will take less than three years! There does seem to be a huge discrepancy between the National Spatial Strategy and the decentralisation plan. Hubs, Gateways, and the like. I think we can just forget any semblance of a plan or planning.

It’s good to see Castlebar Panto in a healthy state again this year with Beauty and the Beast being the hook on which to hang all the usual characters and escapades. Great fun for young and old. It’s a hell of a lot of work for the cast and crew in preparing for the big show too so give them your support. It’s hard to beat live performances – especially the interactive nature of Panto – oh no it isn’t – Oh Yes it IS!.

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