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Local Papers Commentary

Western People 7 Jan 2004
Jan 13, 2004, 19:06

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Casting an eye over planning

Only two applications for planning permission were examined by the North Western Regional Fisheries Board in recent weeks, a meeting of the Board was told in Ballina. Mr. Vincent Roche, Chief Executive Officer, told the meeting the Board had sent a query to Mayo County Council pointing out the requirement to consult with the board in cases where there is a threat of water pollution and requesting that all relevant applications be referred to the Board for comment. He said that during the period, decisions were made by local authorities in 30 cases with permission granted in respect of 25 of these and refusals issued in five cases.

Ex-priest Noel tells of his turbulent years

1997 was a year that many Mayo people will never forget. It was a year when the Mayo football team got through to the All-Ireland Football Final for the second year running. Having lost to Meath the year before, their hearts were set on taking home the Sam Maguire. But, unfortunately it wasn’t to be and Kerry was the victorious team on the day. It was also a year that the personal lives of Mayo priest Fr. Noel Forde and Mayo businesswoman Pauline Staunton were sprayed all over the tabloids, for all the wrong reasons. Six years on Noel Forde speaks about those turbulent late 1990’s. He talks about leaving the priesthood and about his new life now, in an exclusive interview to RTE’s Nationwide reporter, Mayowoman Maria Mullarkey this Wednesday night, January 7.

‘Technique’ blamed for air accident

The Aviation Authority Investigation Unit has issued a report on a plane accident that took place at Knock International Airport in May, 2002. The report has found that the accident, which involved a privately owned American Grumman Goose amphibian plane, was caused due to the use of a landing and rollout technique that was unsuitable for maintaining directional control on the runway in the prevailing crosswind conditions that existed at the time of landing. The accident took place on a runway at Knock International Airport at 2.30 p.m. on May 26 2002. During its landing rollout the aircraft veered to the right. As it did its left retracted wingtip float made contact with the ground. The left main undercarriage collapsed and the left main wheel separated from the aircraft. The plane left the right side of the runway and came to rest with its nose at near right angles to that surface. The flightcrew and the passengers exited the aircraft unaided. There were no reported injuries or fire.

The hype over planning objections seems overdone when the low number of actual objections by fisheries boards and An Taisce is taken into account. A few of the papers this week outline the numbers of objections and they are very low in reality.

Noel Forde hit the local papers this week following his TV interview. A nine-days wonder I think and it does reinforce the call for maried priests at a time when the number of priests is declinng very rapidly as vocations dry up.

I don't remember this particular crash at Knock being reported at the time - perhaps because no one was injured. But it seems that Knock like other major airports around the country is properly regulated by the Aviation Authority and all accidents are investigated and reported upon. So if you're flying into Knock heed the warnings about cross-winds!

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