Sligo Deputy calls on Health Minister, Taoiseach and Chief Medical Officer to publicly disclose what’s known about the Pandemrix ‘flu vaccine

The vaccine was administered in Ireland in 2011 when ‘other EU countries had launched investigations into it and potential links to narcolepsy.’

‘There are serious questions to answer here.’

Sligo News File.

A TD is demanding clarification surrounding what he has described as the “Pandemrix controversy.”

Marc MacSharry TD

Fianna Fail Deputy Marc MacSharry said the biological preparation “was administered in Ireland in January 2011 as a stopgap for the normal winter flu vaccine.” At the time, however, “other EU countries had launched investigations into the drug and potential links to the sleep disorder narcolepsy.”

He said:

“There are serious questions to answer here.

“Despite my raising this issue in the Dáil only last month, the answers remain outstanding.

“The fact that the vaccine was recalled, only weeks after it was reissued in January 2011, has never been explained.

“Neither the Minister for Health, the Taoiseach or the Chief Medical Officer has offered any clarification.”

“Photo calls and crisis commentary are no longer acceptable when the culture of deny, delay and defend is clearly the most common denominator in the mission of those charged with responsibility for patients’ lives.”

Stating that “the time had come for answers” he was now calling on the Health Minister, Taoiseach and the Chief Medical Officer “to clarify what was known and when.

“It’s over 7 years since this drug was administered, at a time when investigations were underway in other EU countries.

“Silence is no longer acceptable – we need answers,” he said.

TD ‘disappointed’ Irish Rail has turned down his request for a Carrick-on-Shannon/Sligo commuter service

Rail chiefs ‘not satisfied demand would offset the costs.’

Sligo News File.

Irish Rail has refused to provide a morning commuter service between Carrick-on-Shannon and Sligo.

Rail service bosses have told a local TD that “it is not satisfied that customer demand would offset the costs.

Eamon Scanlon says he’s disappointed at the decision.

The Deputy said: “My office has been dealing with a significant number of queries from people living in Carrick-on-Shannon who work in Sligo. They have to drive every day, despite the fact that there is a train station in the town, which could be providing a commuter service.

“I recently wrote to Irish Rail outlining the situation and highlighting the fact that there are a number of trains parked at Sligo station on any given night, which could be utilised to provide the commuter service.”

The service, he said, has indicated that it would “re-visit the proposal at the next timetable review for the Sligo line.”

Children among thousands of people to have died under Belgium’s euthanasia laws

Legal for doctors to end the life of a child of any age.

Sligo News File.

Three ill children have been put to death in Belgium.

According to reports the children, aged nine, 11 and 17, were suffering from cancer and other conditions. The lives of the three were ended by lethal injection.

Mercy killing, as it’s often described, is legal in Belgium, the country in which the EU has its headquarters.

It’s stated that the fatal injection was administered to the three children between 2016 and 2017.

Belgium amended its euthanasia law in 2014 to make it legal for doctors to end the life of a child of any age, at their request.

Under the measure, parents can overrule their child’s wishes to be put to death.

Killing by lethal injection was performed on thousands of Belgians between 2002 and 2016, most of them elderly.

Additional to Belgium, human euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Colombia, Luxembourg, Canada and India. Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, South Korea, Japan, and in the US states of Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Vermont, Montana, Washington DC, and California.

It is understood that a Bill is soon to be brought before the Dail to enable those over 18 with a “clear and settled intention to end his or her own life” to be put to death.

At present, the Government is proceeding with speed to clear the way for abortion, the legalised killing of infants in the womb following the shock result of the referendum in which a majority of the electorate voted to remove the Eighth Amendment right to life of babies from the constitution. Media accounts report that the government is proposing to open hospital abortion facilities in the Republic to women from Northern Ireland. This is in spite of the pressure already on the Republic’s health service where
nearly a million patients have been left waiting, in some cases for years, for urgent medical procedures.

Meanwhile, legalisation of abortion in Argentina, the homeland of Pope Francis has been blocked after senators voted against the move. Anti-abortion activists greeted the decision with fireworks and shouts of joy. More than 90% of the country’s population is Roman Catholic.

ICSA chief welcomes Hogan’s comments on drought assistance

‘Commissioner has indicated that support to fix drought problems is possible which includes buying fodder.’

Sligo News File

ICSA president Patrick Kent has welcomed confirmation by EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan that state aid could be provided to deal with the damage caused by the drought and that flexibilities around GLAS rules should be forthcoming.

Patrick Kent, president ICSA

He said:

“ICSA has already called for a hardship fund to help those most affected by the drought, particularly low income cattle and sheep farmers and cereal growers. It is now time for the Minister to take immediate action.

“The Commissioner has indicated that support to fix drought problems is possible which includes buying fodder. He has confirmed that the purchase of fodder can qualify for aid as either material damage or income loss.

“However, this now requires a commitment from the Irish government to put some funding in place. This will be a real test of
whether the government cares about the incredible hardships faced by farmers this year. ICSA is not looking for an open cheque book; we want aid targeted at the most vulnerable farmers in the less profitable sectors.

“ICSA also welcomes the positive response for flexibilities around schemes and derogations from greening requirements. For example, it has already been confirmed by the Commission that there will be derogations from the three crop rule and to allow land lying fallow under ecological focus areas to be used for growing feed.

“ICSA also wants to see farmers to be allowed wrap bales on LIPP areas in GLAS and to have the deadline for spreading fertiliser extended beyond 15 September. We also need flexibility to allow
tillage farmers to sow westerwolds or other Italian ryegrasses which means abolishing the 15 December restriction.”

Gardai still searching for a group believed to be foreign nationals reportedly found in a truck in Portlaoise

Group fled to the surrounding area after the driver opened the door of the lorry

Sligo News File.

Gardai are still investigating following an incident in which a number of people thought to be foreign nationals bolted when the doors of a truck were opened in Laois.

It’s understood that the driver of the lorry, said to have travelled from Spain to France and on to Rosslare port in Wexford was opening the doors when the group dashed from the vehicle to the surrounding countryside.

The nationality of the various individuals believed to be five men is unknown.

The incident reportedly occurred in an area outside Mountmellick.

Gardai are asking for persons with information to contact Portlaoise Garda station on 057 8674100.

Last August gardai discovered six foreign nationals – three women, two men and a boy – in the back of a truck in Stradbally. The driver raised the alarm when noises were heard in a refrigerated container which had been unloaded earlier at Rosslare.

High Court appoints examiner to South Sligo industrial operation

Firm established more than 60 years ago.

Sligo News File

An interim examiner has been appointed to a South Sligo manufacturing plant.

Tubbercurry-based Basta is a long-established maker of door handles, locks and hinges.

The firm, which employs nearly 50, was set up 65 years ago by the Gallagher family.

It was recently purchased by John Murphy and Dermot Foster

Drought is not a reason to build costly Shannon – Dublin water pipeline across Irish farmland, warns ICSA

‘Fix the leaks in the existing system instead of jeopardising the livelihoods of the estimated 500 farmers along the proposed route.’

Sligo News File.

The ICSA has warned Irish Water not to use the current dry weather as an excuse to force a pipeline from the River Shannon to Dublin across Irish farmland.

Seamus Sherlock, chairman ICSA Rural Development Committee.

Irish Water published the route of the controversial development in 2016, announcing as well that the project would cost the people a phenomenal €1.2 billion.

The company has repeatedly insisted that drawing water from the Shannon is the only solution to the threat of drought and taps running dry in Dublin. It’s reckoned that population and economic growth in the serviced region will generate a demand for an additional 330 million litres of water per day by 2050. 

However, the plan is being strongly opposed not least by the ICSA whose rural development chairman Seamus Sherlock has said the present water restrictions in the Capital are in place because of leaks in the existing infrastructure.

It’s estimated that nearly 60%% of Dublin’s water supply is lost through holes in the city’s pipelines.

“There is no justification for anything other than fixing those leaks and certainly no valid case for jeopardising the livelihoods of the estimated 500 farmers along the proposed route” said Sherlock.

He added that “it makes sense to fix the current problems with the pipe network and then reassess the situation. Only then will we have certainty around future water requirements and alternatives to building a cross-country pipeline costing over one billion euros can be considered.


“What makes no sense is to pipe water half way across the country for it to leak back into the groundwater through faulty pipes,” he said.

Government housing thousands of migrants in centres throughout the country.

Migrant accommodation centres in Kerry, Waterford, Cork, Sligo and other locations

Sligo News File

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan.

Some 5,442 migrants from 17 countries are currently being housed by the Government in accommodation centres across the State.

Details of the location and occupancy of the centres have been given by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan include:










King Thomond Hotel

The Bog Road, Lisdoonvarna



Ashbourne Hse




Kinsale Road

Cork City




Wellington Road







Clonakilty Lodge

Clonakilty, Co. Cork



The Towers

The Ninth Lock, Clondalkin, D.22




St. Margarets, Finglas, Dublin 11



Hatch Hall

28 Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2




The Proms, Salthill



Great Western House

Eyre Square



Atlas House (Killarney)




Atlas House (Tralee)




Johnston Marina




Linden House

New Road, Killarney



Park Lodge









Emo, Portlaoise




Glentworth Street, Limerick



Mount Trenchard

Foynes, Co. Limerick



Richmond Court

Richmond Street, Longford



The Old Convent








St. Patricks




Globe House

Chapel Hill



Bridgewater House

Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary



Atlantic House

Tramore, Co. Waterford



Ocean View

Tramore, Co. Waterford




Ballytruckle Road



Viking House

Coffee House Lane



Temple Accommodation

Horseleap,Moate, Westmeath







Carroll Village