Mayo’s team set sights on quest for gold
THE National Community Games finals are often a stepping stone to greater things. With the second weekend of competitions fast approaching, a number of athletes from the Castlebar area are busy preparing for their respective events in the hopes of obtaining a national title. Many Irish athletes who have gone on to achieve international recognition started their career in Mosney over the two weekends in August and September. Up to 15 athletes and a basketball team from the Castlebar area are part of the 281 strong Mayo contingent who will travel to the games. This is the largest group ever from the Heather County to make the journey in what will surely be one of the most successful games for Mayo.
I see Castlebar Rounders teams swept all before them at the Community Games. John Maughan’s daughters won gold medals as team members – perhaps a good omen for this weekend’s replay. The Irish Olympic team was beset by gloom and doom over the past 10 days or so until…. Well thank God for Cian O’Connor and his gold medal. I was listening to the jumping on the car radio last night – almost as good as dancing on radio – but at least the mics picked up the sound of the horses' breathing as they turned and jumped and the clatter of four-points being added every time a horse knocked a bar. Luckily the bould Cian, or his horse should I say, didn’t knock too many bars. He certainly lifted the gloom. Not only that but the weather has improved, Mayo are definitely going to win SAM next month and I can just FEEL the economy growing apace – it’s all basically psychological and young O'Connor has set the positive mood. Soon we’ll all be driving Audis!
New hotel is part of Turlough’s rebirth
A new 23-bedroom hotel with parking space for up to 70 cars is planned for Turlough Village, Castlebar. The new development, for which planning permission has been granted, is planned for the centre of the village on the main street. Permission has been granted for the demolition of an existing public house and a dwelling house currently on the site. The proposal is for a 23-bedroomed hotel with a function room, bar and lounge, cold room and storage. It also includes a three-bedroom two-storey detached residence plus split-level parking for over 70 vehicles. The new owners will not have to apply for a new bar licence as a seven-day one presently exists on the site.
Every time I pass Turlough I am amazed at how an almost derelict village has revived. The wonderful Museum building side by side with the old gothic of Turlough House. Crowds outside the Round Tower smoking in the evenings. With a hotel and perhaps a shop or two might it will be an example of what rural revival should be about.
Water shortage prompts uproar in Ballina
There was in chaos in Ballina at the weekend as hundreds of people were again deprived of their water supply as a result of ongoing problems in some areas within the town. For the last two years, the residents of the Creggs Rd, Sligo Rd and Knocknalyre Estate have been subjected to horrendous conditions caused by the poor water system in the region. Ballina Town Cllr Willie Nolan has criticised County Manager Des Mahon, stating that Mr Mahon needs to take decisive action to rectify the situation immediately.
Water Wars in Ballina? Nothing is more upsetting than turning on the tap and have nothing come out. We can’t survive without water. I don’t think Lough Conn is running dry but more likely the pipes transporting the water to homes in Ballina are falling apart and leaking more than they are delivering so pressure is dropping. Easily fixed. Other water shortages are not so easily fixed though. Imagine your life if you spent all day every day walking to and from a dirty polluted well as so many women do in Africa. Water is extremely heavy at a kilogram per litre and a family require a fair few litres per day. Not the couple of hundred of litres that each of us in Ireland flushes away every day - but for drinking and cooking you still need that few vital litres of water each day to survive, especially in a hot climate. And just as importantly a lot of water is needed to grow your food. The catastrophic Darfur situation is effectively a war based on real water shortages played out between the nomadic Arabs and the settled Africans with the former slaughtering the latter. Drought and water shortages precipitated the crisis in the first place. We can fix the pipes and solve the 'uproar' in Ballina but disasters like that at Darfur are not so easily solved especially when we are busy burning up our planet as we pump more and more carbon dioxide into the global atmosphere that we all share.