From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
From the Western People - 26 May 2004
By The Jaundiced Eye
30, May 2004 - 21:11

Crime TV comes to Castlebar

Castlebar’s closed circuit tv system (CCTV) which is designed to help in the elimination of crime and vandalism was finally put into operation last week. The ‘community based’ system was promoted and put in place by a concerned group of local business and professional people headed up by Mr Iarla Duffy. It cost 90,000 euro to set up phase one of the scheme and the project was financially supported by the Castlebar town council and the local business community. Speaking at the launch Mr Duffy (chairman) hailed the scheme as "the first of its kind any where in the country." It was achieved by the hard work and co-operation of various community groups, the local Gardai and the financial backing of the business community in Castlebar. "The project itself is almost two years in the making and stemmed from concern expressed by local community groups and the Chamber of Commerce in Castlebar that an ugly trend had been developing nationwide whereby locals felt intimidated to walk down their streets at night.

Smile you're on TV. Some people on the Castlebar bulletin board are already asking if the CCTV has reduced the crime figures in Castlebar! The evidence is that it works in the areas where it is installed. Some suggest that it pushes crime off the main streets into side streets. Even if the latter is true it probably will reduce the overall number of aggravated assaults, fights and general melees and disorder that occur after the night clubs finish. Most of the rouble arises when the hungry hordes – granted suffering from an alcohol-driven metabolic imbalance - descend on the fast-food joints looking for that fatty acid fix.


Castlebar college puts Western Lakes under the microscope

A three day conference on "The Great Western Lakes: Ecology, Heritage and Management" will be held on the Castlebar Campus of the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology on 25-27 June this year. The conference is organised jointly by GMIT and the Centre for the Environment, Trinity College Dublin, and supported by the Heritage Council, Mayo County Council and the Western Regional Fisheries Board. The seminar aims to identify the challenges and options for the preservation of the lakes and catchments of Loughs Conn, Cullin, Carra, Mask and Corrib, according to a media briefing held last week. The evidence of the negative impacts on the ecology of these lakes highlights the pressures on them. Efforts to maintain their high quality status have not been totally successful. A growing body of information is now available on the nature of the problems, and this conference will present summaries of this information. Themes addressed over the first two days of the meeting will include local heritage, ecology, water quality, agriculture, landscape, tourism, sustainable development and public participation. The third day will consist of workshops to discuss options and solutions to maintain or improve the quality of the lakes and their surrounding areas.

This sounds like a most interesting way to spend a weekend. The big lakes in Mayo and Galway are probably the single greatest long-term asset that we have. But we really don’t give a hoot if one thousand anglers head out to fish on any given week on Mask or Corrib. Somebody has this peculiar idea that you can’t eat scenery. Tell it to the B&B owners.

Sludge spill prompts Ballina anger

A member of Ballina Town Council has expressed concern about the ongoing problems at the infamous sludge treatment plant in Ballina. Cllr. Padraig Moore, who has been campaigning for the removal and relocation of the drying plant, has said residents at Belleek Lodge and The Quay are tired of having to put up with stomach-wrenching fumes from the facility. Cllr Moore has also expressed concern at a recent incident in which sludge that was being brought to the plant by lorry was spilled on a public roadway. The Fianna Fáil councillor said he had since learned that the plant was being used to treat sludge from Achill, Swinford, Crossmolina and other areas while Ballina’s sludge was being shipped to Galway where it is stored and later spread on certain type of agricultural land. "The question I want answered is why if Ballina’s sludge is being shipped out – causing spillages and a danger to the public – are the residents being asked to put up with these stomach-wrenching fumes. Why isn’t the drying plant located in the areas where the offending material originates from?

Ah yes the old NIMBY response. So it’s just as well people in Ballina don’t do ‘Number Twos’ as we used to delicately call them in the old days? If Ballina people didn’t sit on the toilet on a daily basis then there would be no sludge generated and they could move the drying plant somewhere else to where people did produce such ‘motions’? Problem solved! But ah! great nostalgia for the old days when we were allowed to dump all that old sewage sludge straight into the sea.

© Copyright 2004 by Castlebar - County Mayo -