From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
From the Western People - 6 October 2004
By The Jaundiced Eye
9, Oct 2004 - 13:35

Traffic havoc at Knock Airport

A new automated car parking system at Knock Airport has caused havoc with motorists experiencing delays. The Western People received a number of phone calls from irate motorists who claim that they experienced hour long delays in the airport’s carpark. The new system, where car parking charges must be paid inside the airport terminal, has caused confusion for motorists with cars being abandoned at the exit gates when drivers realise they’ve forgotten to pay inside.

A second complaint about Knock Airport in this week’s papers. This very week I saw someone having to return to the ticket machine in the airport foyer because they were unable to leave the car park within the allotted 10 minute time slot that the ticket was valid for. He had paid the full parking fee and the machine took the money and time-stamped the ticket. But the jam-up meant that he couldn't get out within the time allocated and the barrier wouldn’t let him out! He had to return and pay again -presumably with his car still at the barrier due to the queue behind him! No wonder queues build up - it's chaotic. It's simply not possible for the 220 people that had just disembarked from a big Airbus to get out of the car park in the allocated 10 minutes. So please can we have a longer timestamp on paid-up parking tickets? Another complaint was that parking for just about 8 days (e.g. coming off a one week Friday to Friday holiday flight) required you to pay for two full weeks – 25 euros for 8 days rather than having a daily charge as well as a weekly charge. The final complaint is that the credit card machine seems to be out of action more often than it is in action. This adds to the queue at the cash payment machine and delays in getting out of the airport. Come on folks – sort it out or you will lose the inherent goodwill that people in the West have towards Knock Airport.

Anglers enraged at ‘slur’

Anglers who are members of the Ballina Salmon Anglers Association are angry over a statement from the North Western Regional Fisheries Board which referred to "greedy" anglers on the Moy. Mr Christopher Egan, Secretary of the Association said the statement on angling from the Fisheries Board was misleading and did not indicate the number of salmon returned to the river by anglers on the Association waters. He said that for five days they were fishing they had 200 local and tourist anglers on the river. The Fisheries Board reported 198 salmon were caught but they failed to say that one third of these were released. There were about 130 fish between 200 anglers over five days. "That is not what can be called greedy," he said.

There are greedy anglers out there. Not all anglers are greedy and maybe the specific group that the BSAA refer to did stick to all the bag limit rules but are they seriously saying that every angler sticks to the rules?

John Carty out in cold as West ignored in reshuffle

In the run-up to the Taoiseach’s long-awaited Cabinet reshuffle, speculation among Fianna Fáil supporters throughout Mayo, suggested that Fianna Fáil Deputy for Mayo, Mr John Carty TD, may well have been in the running for a ministerial position. Fianna Fail supporters in the county hoped that the Knock-based Deputy Carty might be appointed to the position of Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture. Deputy Carty is acknowledged as an expert on agricultural matters and worked in Davitt House in Castlebar prior to his election to the Dáil in 2002.

I for one would not like to see the man who issued that scandalous statement during the Citizenship Referendum getting anywhere near a government department. His statement declared that during his time working in Knock Airport there were floods of illegal immigrants coming through – he never gave us a count - just an impression of indeterminate, massive floods of black people coming through Knock Airport on a daily basis that we needed to vote against urgently. (And shame on the papers who published that particular statement uncritically at the time). Presumably he wanted us to rage against them in case they would take our jobs and our ‘wimmin’. It was scaremongering of the worst type. We don’t need racist politicians representing the West.

© Copyright 2004 by Castlebar - County Mayo -