Recent Events

Sligo News File Online

A small group assembled in Sligo to demand that more immigrants be housed locally and nationally. It is not clear who they were or if there was an organisation behind the campaign. There seemed to be little public interest in the demonstration.

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Farmers are in Brussels demonstrating against plummeting farm industry prices. It is happening only five months after agri leaders were invited to celebrate the ending of the milk quota system over breakfast in the Department of Agriculture, and hear Agriculture Minister Coveney speak of a glowing future for the milk sector and the evolvement of 5,000 rural jobs from milk production activities.

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Criminals are running riot as homes, businesses and farm enterprises are being raided almost with impunity. Attacks are commonplace; many now fear the spate of out of control incidents is the forerunner of worse to follow – thanks to Coalition closure of local garda stations, and the fatal rundown in garda manpower and backup resources.

                                                                                        
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Fianna Fail TD, Sean O’Fearghail is critical of the secrecy that surrounded the confirmation of the Hazel Hotel in Monasterevin as a centre for refugees, according to Kildare FM. The hotel is owned by Ballyrider Limited, a company reportedly in liquidation, and the subject of recent High Court proceedings taken by the Revenue Commissioners to remove the Limerick-based liquidator. Up to seventy immigrants will go through the 24 room centre at any one time, the Department of Justice and the Reception and Integration Agency have stated. Some months on, they will then be transferred to one of six locations throughout the country. Syrian immigrants, it’s said, have already been resident at the hotel for some time past. Deputy O’Fearghail is said to be critical of the secrecy surrounding the development. Kildare FM quotes him as saying that he is “disappointed that this has been shrouded in secrecy…, given that the Hazel has been selected now to house asylum seekers. I think it’s absolutely essential that there’s communication with the schools and also with the health services to ensure that the local community can respond and meet the needs of the people that are going to be brought to Monasterevin by the Department of Justice.”

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Fine Gael and Labour are said to be at odds with each other over the number of immigrants to be allowed into the country. Minister for Water, Alan Kelly has indicated the intake may be in the thousands. As far as is known, however, he has  given no clue as to how he proposes to provide accommodation for the thousands of Irish children and parents at present desperately trudging the streets of the state in search of a place to live, and if they will be housed before the thousands of immigrants he seems to want  to open the country to arrive in Ireland. Many of the Irish homeless families are living in vans and cars, dependent on public and private water and sanitary facilities. Are there among the 14,000 householders now offering to take in immigrants people willing to offer a room to homeless Irish families on the same basis?

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We are still waiting to hear what concrete measures Sligo County Council has taken to prevent future contamination of the bay at Enniscrone. The resort has lost both the Blue Flag and Green Coast award owing to the condition of the bay, or the failure to meet requirements  set down in the EU Directive for bathing waters. To date, no information has been circulated about the nature and extent of upriver tests/investigations, or how the Bellawaddy River, which flows into waters of the beach, is being monitored. It is not the first time that the Blue Flag has been pulled from Enniscrone. The council website indicates that water quality in the resort is good.