From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
From the Western People - 9 March 2005
By The Jaundiced Eye
12, Mar 2005 - 17:03

Highest train delays occur on Westport line

Train delays are worst on the Mayo line, according to punctuality figures published recently. The figures show that out of all the routes in the country the highest number of delays occurs on the Westport to Dublin line. Last year only 81% of the trains travelling from Westport to Heuston Station were on time or fifteen minutes within the time of arrival compared to an average of 90.2% on all routes. Iarnród Eireann admits they are disappointed with the figure for the Mayo line. However, they argue that the poor result is due to a number of incontrollable reasons including track work and problems with locomotives.

Trains, or lack of trains at least, seem to be high on the agenda this week in the local papers. I must say I was a bit annoyed with the huge poster displayed in Tesco’s car park here in Castlebar a few weeks back showing what looks like a TGV speeding westwards ho. The implication seemed to be that this was now the quality of engine plying the Westport line on a daily basis. As usual, though, the West has to wait – for at least three more years – by which time the next crowd of government yobbos will be well ensconced in their own gravy train. Will there be a train to get you to Galway or Limerick or even Dublin for an early morning meeting? There will be many more ‘incontrollable’ reasons to ensure that there will not. A single track that doesn’t allow two trains to pass each other by is just one of many physical ongoing cause of delays. But the lack of planning and foresight and the ignoring of the future needs of the west are the main problems. The legacy of the brown envelope culture still haunts us.


It’s hard to beat the genuine article: the Ballina salmon

The unthinkable and the unbelievable happened last week when a salmon caught at Pontoon, on the Moy system had its picture taken and appeared on the "Western". One imposter salmon was bad enough but two salmon – a second one caught at Foxford – appeared glistening and shining on the same "Western". These were not Ballina salmon, they were not caught on the Moy Fishery waters and, above all, they were not caught "ahind" the boxes at The Weir in Ballina. To all the legion of angler, and those in the angling lore of Ballina, they were not in the strictest sense real salmon; they were not Ballina salmon.

A tongue in cheek article in the Western People which perhaps proves the rumour that Padraic Flynn once had a task force assessing the feasibility of diverting the River Moy through Castlebar in order to improve our tourism business! The funny thing though is that Ridge Pool still had not produced a single fish to anglers when the article was written and the Fisheries Board were actually offering free fishing there until the first real Ballina Salmon was caught!


Campaign begins in Ballinrobe for broadband funding
Following an invitation from the Minister for Communications Mr Noel Dempsey TD, Mayo County Council are this week being urged to prepare and submit strong proposals for the provision of high-speed broadband access in Ballinrobe. Having recently identified Ballinrobe as one of 47 towns suitable for broadband technology, Minister Dempsey chose the South Mayo town as part of the broadband action plan, which invites proposals from local authorities to sell such towns as suitable locations for broadband investment. With this is mind, it is obvious the Minister has placed the ball firmly in the court of Mayo County Council and it is up to them to act accordingly. Mayo Fianna Fáil Deputy, Mr John Carty TD, has expressed a strong interest in this particular campaign and is willing the Council to take a step forward on this issue.

I would advocate that people interested in broadband fire off an email to all of their local TDs in order to emphasise how important real broadband is today and for Mayo's economic future. And not just if you are lucky enough to live in an urban area and can expect to benefit from the roll out of the non-eircom network - but send one even if you are living in one-off housing land as it is important to emphasise the huge deficit facing rural housing.

Unfortunately I looked but could not find an email address or web page for the above-mentioned Mr Carty TD who is apparently a big fan of the Internet. The Dail's own website has web pages and email contacts for many TDs but there is no website listed for the bould Mr Carty. Surely he's not just talking the talk but not walking the walk?  Of course the same website has Bev still listed as a member of Fianna Fail too so it may not be his fault.

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