From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
From the Western People - 18 Feb 2004
By The Jaundiced Eye
22, Feb 2004 - 16:12

Castlebar hotel plan on hold
A hotel complex which has been granted planning permission by Castlebar Town Council will not be developed until lands have been acquired for the building of a road into Castle Street car park. Castlebar Town Council have placed a levy of 2.07 million on the three hotel developers, P. Reynolds, M. Hegarty and P. McDermott from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. The condition is to ensure the necessary road from the Barrack Bridge area is built to ease traffic congestion.  The development, which has been discussed on a number of occasions at the Town Council meetings and for which a material contravention had to be passed by the members is for a 92 bedroom hotel, seven retail units, nine office units and 675 space multi-storey car park at Castle Street, Castlebar.  Much controversy has surrounded the development since the developers acquired and illegally demolished the building in May 2003. Following an out of court settlement, the developers agreed to pay the council 100,000 which is now being put towards the development of a play ground at Lough Lannagh Village.

I look forward to seeing the road at Barrack's Bridge being opened up and helping to ease the congestion that develops daily leading into the Bridge Street/Linenhall Street traffic lights. It looks like our free car parking in the Castle Street Car Park is coming to an end, however, so enjoy it while you can. Soon you will be swinging up and down the ramps of a multi-storey and paying for the privilege! But obviously this is a long saga with the demolition of the convent being the nadir of the whole affair. We do need more hotel rooms in the town - quite badly - so 92 additional rooms are most welcome. It's still not enough to allow Castlebar to host a really big conference or gathering though - you gotta go to Westport if you want to run a big conference.

Tragic story of recluse sister
An inquest in Westport yesterday (Monday) heard astounding evidence of the reclusive lifestyle of an Aghamore woman who was found dead in a bedroom in her isolated cottage last summer. The jury at the inquest into the death of Agnes Lyons, Carrownedan, Aghamore, Ballyhaunis, found that she had lain dead in the bed she shared with her sister for 356 days before her body was discovered on August 4th 2003. A verdict of death from self-neglect was recorded while the absence of organs in the heavily decomposed body meant that a cause of death couldn't be established. Agnes Lyons had lived with her brother Michael (Sonny) and sister, Mary Ellen, at their home in Carrownedan since she returned from England in the Sixties but the reclusive lifestyle of the sisters meant that they led a secret existence even from their brother who shared the house with them. They would only emerge from their bedroom when Michael was out of the house and he hadn't seen them face to face for a number of years, he told Coroner, Mr. John O'Dwyer. It was only when Mary Ellen became very ill on August 4th 2003 that she called him and he discovered the frightening sight of his other sister dead in her bed.

This is certainly one of the saddest stories that you will ever read in a local newspaper. According to Dr. Mick Loftus it is not an uncommon situation for elderly people to live in isolation like this even when sharing with family. Alzheimer's disease can be a factor in some cases where an individual's normal social skills deteriorate and they simply hide away. The message is obvious I guess - don't assume that just because a number of elderly people are together in the one house that everything is fine and dandy. No harm to check things out discretely if they happen to be your neighbours and you haven't seen one of them in a while. Even more so of course for the single old person living alone although most of us are more aware of the need to check on elderly neighbours in this case.

224 new houses are planned for Castlebar
Developments within the town of Castlebar are far from at a standstill if the Town Council's recent planning list is anything to go by. Among the applications to be listed is one from Kamer Construction Ltd, which has been given the go ahead for 224 houses on the Newport Road. The company have been granted planning permission by Castlebar Town Council for 148 three-bed terraced dwellings, 60 three-bed semi-detached and 16 two-bed terraced houses at Snugboro.

It looks like the town sewage problem has finally been sorted out? I noticed the pipe laying crew dropping the new sewer pipe into the ground along the side of the N5 there for the past few months. They seem to have finished up in the last week or so. USSR and USA have been highly visible around the town almost on a daily basis for the past number of years checking out our underground sewerage and water systems with their troglodyte robots and cameras. The lack of sewage treatment capacity had been putting a damper on expansion within the town for a considerable time. So presumably permission was granted for this big block of houses on the basis that the new expanded treatment capacity will actually be available by the time they are occupied? Hopefully so - or else you will be reading about the objections to be lodged in next week's paper.


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