Local Papers Commentary
On-street parking charges coming to Castlebar
On-street parking charges coming to Castlebar
And probably about time too. It’s impossible to get parking in town these days – what, with Argos and all. Ah! yes but it’s another stealth tax I hear you say. The price of our current low (?) income tax regime I guess is purchase taxes and other charges such as parking charges? I see barriers too at the car park near the library getting ready to take your money whenever you want to borrow a book or go into the council to get planning permission for your property portfolio. There’s to be a four-hour minimum for casual car parking in Castlebar. So what if you actually work here in town? Shorten the working day to four hours? Yeahh!! That would suit me! But naw – afraid not – there's going to be a 15 euro per month charge for anyone who works in town and has to park there all day. Of course you could switch your working hours to begin after 6:30pm and end before 8:30am in the morning then you won’t have to pay anything. Or perhaps you could switch to the bike or shanks mare and leave the car at home – think of the greenhouse gas savings you would make. But of course the real burning question is - will we be able to order our monthly parking tickets online? The motor tax system works a dream. There's no doubt - zey haff vays and means ov taking your money!
Westport’s water scheme finally gets the go ahead
A date for Westport regional water supply scheme has finally been set. The scheme, which has been up for discussion for the last 20 years, is finally scheduled to commence in 2005. Westport Deputy, Michael Ring, was told by the Minister for the Environment that work on the supply from Srah would get underway in the New Year. "This scheme has been somewhat like an elephant in gestation, it has taken a long, long time.
Are the Council are putting more and more eggs into the one basket? Westport’s water will now be taken from Lough Mask too; just as the drinking water for most of the rest of the county is. What if something happens to Lough Mask? What about all the housing on the shore of Lough Mask – those septic tanks right near the lake - seeping into our drinking water? Of course they are perfectly acceptable to our councillors in spite of advice from their staff. As each source gets polluted the council has had to retreat and retreat like the cavalry under attack from injuns. They have shut down one water supply after another as smaller lakes and groundwater sources gunge up with overflowing septic tanks and cow manure and pig slurry seeping into the sources for group schemes. And where do they retreat to? Lough Mask of course. So let’s hope Lough Mask is treated with the respect it deserves. Keep it clean folks! (Ah! but what’s that cry? "Gissa Section 104"? Is that a certain councillor I hear calling for a Section 104? Is that a plaintive call for planning permissions for more new septic tanks in Srah or Tourmakeady or Aghagower? Ah no? Sure that would be absolutely impossible – don’t we have to protect the drinking water supply for pretty well the whole county apart from Belmullet. I could be mistaken - sure maybe ‘tis just the cry of wind over the Partry Mountains – crying section 104, 104, 104, gissa section 104?)
Recruitment goes ahead for Dialysis Unit
What would the papers do without statements from TDs and councillors about our health services? They would have to write whole tranches of original material instead of regurgitating the politicians' press releases? In this case it is good news of course – even if they say newsprint doesn’t accept good news stories. So hot on the heels of the opening of the orthopaedics unit we get a new dialysis unit right here in Castlebar. Let’s hope though that it won’t mean that only certain types of dialysis can be undertaken - in the manner that only certain types of orthopaedics can be undertaken here, for example. The first operation in the MGH orthopaedics unit was apparently a hip replacement for a patient of Dr. Cowley. Complex surgery and great to have it in town. But strangely - very strangely - if you break a leg, finger or an arm - guess what? You STILL have to go to Galway. The Galway consultants apparently require that they treat our minor breaks, etc. Yes folks they are still treated in Galway – even for a ‘simple’ plaster on a hairline fracture, for example, you have to go to Galway. But if it’s a hip replacement Castlebar’s the place – no problem! So let’s hope the kidney dialysis unit dialyses all kidneys no matter whether they are left kidneys or right kidneys. But it’s no joke to have to travel up and down to Galway for kidney dialysis a number of days each week – usually while you are waiting for a transplant. (So sign up on those donor cards as a gift to humanity over the Christmas.) We shall see whether the dialysis unit is all it is cracked up to be in Dr Cowley's press release. An orthopaedic unit that doesn't set broken bones is certainly not quite all it was 'cracked' up to be back there around election time.
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