Closure of rural post offices averted.

‘Future of network secured.’

Sligo News File Online.

Tony McLoughlin, TD
Tony McLoughlin, TD

Amid fears upwards of 700 local post offices were set to close, Sligo-Leitrim Fine Gael TD, Tony McLoughlin has revealed the future of the services has been secured.

The Coalition it seems is proposing to establish a dedicated business development group with a mandate to “examine opportunities to deliver more government and commercial business through  our post offices.”

McLoughlin says this has come about as a result of a Government review of the post office network announced earlier in the year.

He describes the seeming bold new future now being mapped for the service as the Government “moving towards making our post offices the front office of government.”

The business group, he states, will seek ways to increase the level of government and commercial business going through the post office network.

‘Savage assault’ on member of ICSA National Executive.

Warning on buying goods through advertisements.

Sligo News File Online.

ICSA Leinster vice-president Joe O’Toole has warned farmers to be vigilant when responding to sales advertisements.

“We have recently received a disturbing report of a savage assault on a member of our national executive who had responded to an advertisement of a jeep for sale. He was given directions to a particular location which turned out to be a cul-de-sac, and he and his girlfriend were viciously attacked when they arrived there. He ended up in hospital, and it was only by pure luck that no
money was taken,” said Mr. O’Toole.

“Reports from around the country suggest that this may not
be an isolated incident, and people need to be vigilant.”

“Obviously these are matters for the Gardaí, but ICSA is urging people to take every precaution in such situations. We would advise that people only arrange to view or pay for goods in a safe, public
location and never go alone. If you have any suspicions, report them to Gardaí.”


‘…processors have no intention of abiding by recent agreement.’

Sligo News File Online.

ICSA Beef Chairman, Edmond Phelan
ICSA Beef Chairman, Edmond Phelan

ICSA beef chairman Edmond Phelan has accused Meat Industry Ireland of completely disregarding the recent roundtable agreement.

“It seems quite clear that meat processors have no intention of abiding by the recent agreement. They are ignoring the commitment to end dual pricing and are showing total disregard for the roundtable process,” said Mr. Phelan.

“Once again the factories are showing their clear disdain for the primary producer, the farmer on whom their business depends. How can farmers be expected to have any confidence in this process when factories obviously don’t take it seriously?”

“Factories have also been dragging their feet on expanding the Quality Assured bonus to include all steers and heifers and to date there has been no engagement with farmers on this.”

Splash up a storm in aid of North West Hospice this Christmas Season!

Three annual swims in County Sligo in coming weeks.

Sligo News File Online.

North West HospiceWhy not splash up a storm and help raise funds for North West Hospice this festive season?  Three annual swims will take place in CountySligo in the coming weeks: Christmas Day Swims at Mullaghmore and Lough Arrow and a New Year’s Day Swim at RossesPoint.  Another swim also takes place this year in Lake Gulladoo, Carrigallen, Co. Leitrim in aid of North West Hospice. All proceeds from each swim go to North West Hospice and these funds go directly towards the provision of essential palliative care services for people living with life-limiting illness in the North West region.

Lough Arrow Christmas Day Swim.
Time: 1pm.
Location: Flynn’s Pier, Lough Arrow.
Contact: Mary Moran on (086) 8733485
Sponsor cards: Available from Mary Moran.
Additional details: Hot whiskey, mulled wine and soft drinks will be served alongside a DJ spinning tunes.

Mullaghmore Christmas Day Swim.
Time: 12 noon.
Location: The Pier, Mullaghmore.
Contact: Bridie & Michael Watters (087) 2531878
Sponsor cards: Available from Michael Watters
Additional details:  Hot whiskeys will be served and fancy dress is encouraged!

Lake Gulladoo Christmas Day Swim.
Time: 12.30pm.
Location: Lake Gulldaoo, Carrigallen, Co. Leitrim
Contact: Cathríona MacManus (086)3136264
Sponsor cards: Donations can be made on the day or sponsorship cards are available from Cathríona or North West Hospice
Additional details: Soup & refreshments on the day, fancy dress is welcomed!

Rosses Point New Year’s Day Swim
Time: 2.00pm.
Location: The Yacht Club, RossesPoint.
Contact: Winifred McDermott (087) 6335450 or North West Hospice (071) 9143317
Sponsor cards: Donations can be made on the day or sponsorship cards are available from North West Hospice (071) 9143317
Additional details: Soup and mulled wine will be served up on the day.

Speaking about the festive Swims, Bernadette McGarvey, Community Relations Manager at North West Hospice, said “We are sincerely grateful to everyone involved in organising and participating in these annual swims in aid of North West Hospice. These Swims give people the chance to have a really fun afternoon with friends and family while raising vital funds for our local hospice. 

“To maintain our current level of service, we must raise €1 million every year through fundraising events, voluntary contributions, donations and bequests.  This is a huge challenge, but it is one we can meet through the continued support and generosity of individuals and groups in our community like all of those involved with these annual swims. ”

North West Hospice provides specialist care with compassion for those living with life-limiting illness and their families, in Sligo, Leitrim, South Donegal and West Cavan. 

Further info: Bernadette McGarvey, North West Hospice
 (071) 9143317 / (087) 9030887 /


Fianna Fail to back same sex ‘marriage’ referendum – Kelleher.

‘As a republican party we believe there should be no law…that discriminates against certain citizens.’

Fianna Fail spokesman on health, Billy Kelleher has said his party
will be supporting the Coalition referendum on same sex ‘marriage.’

Billy Kelleher, Fianna Fail front bench spokesman on health
Billy Kelleher, Fianna Fail front bench spokesman on health

Kelleher told News Talk Breakfast this morning that “yes, we’ll be campaigning for a Yes vote.

“Clearly as a Republican party we believe that there should be no laws on the statute book that discriminate against certain citizens.”

“One thing I worry about”, he said, “is the highjacking of debates and referenda by extremes on both sides and middle ground being torn apart.

“There’s a lot of people out there, middle Ireland, who want to deal
with this not only in the context of compassion for people but just to ensure every citizen has equal and fundamental rights in this republic.”

Sligo Regional Hospital shoots down Colreavy ‘stolen cancer equipment’ claim.

‘Mammography equipment not stolen from hospital at any time.’

Sligo News File Online.

Sligo Regional Hospital-Saolta University Health Care Group has rejected claims reportedly made by Sligo/Leitrim Sinn Fein TD, Michael Colreavy that cancer equipment was stolen from
the hospital.

General Hospital Sligo Speaking under Dail privilage, Mr. Colreavy, a former HSE employee, allegedly stated that “mammography equipment was stolen overnight from Sligo General Hospital by agents of the
Health Service Executive some months ago.”

He is also said to have asserted that the equipment was purchased “following fund-raising by local people in Sligo, Leitrim, south Donegal and west Cavan.”

But now the hospital and Saolta have hit out at the apparent allegation, stating that “mammography equipment was not stolen from the hospital at any time.”

Explaining the position surrounding the equipment, the hospital and Saolta have said in a statement to Sligo News File Online that “it is important to clarify that mammography imaging equipment at
Sligo Regional Hospital was decommissioned recently as it was more than nine years old and did not meet current guidelines.

“Even if repaired it would suffer from inadequate detector size, inferior imaging performance and inability to fit up to date software.

“It is not acceptable from a patient safety perspective to maintain or retain equipment that is not fit for purpose. Our priority at all times is to ensure the delivery of safe patient care.

“This equipment has been purchased from SRH funds.”

The statement adds that “…the ultrasound machine which was largely funded from donations following fundraising led by the former Mayor of Sligo, Rosaleen O’Grady, and the hundreds of
other fundraisers who took part in the Inner Relief Road Walk in Sligo in 2005, is still in use in the hospital in the Maternity Services, having been assigned there a few years ago.”

Sligo’s Twist Soup Kitchen forced to close.

Daily meals service for needy hit as building placed in receivership. 

Sligo News File Online.

Concern is growing for the welfare of upwards of 70 people in need
following the closure of the Twist Soup Kitchen in Sligo.

Sligo Twist Soup Kitchen
Sligo Twist Soup Kitchen

The facility, which provides meals on a daily basis, was forced to
cease its activities after the building was placed in receivership.

Founder of the facility, Oliver Williams, is attempting to reach
agreement with the receivers to allow the service to continue.

A health issue has been raised by the HSE over the location of
toilets. Separate toilets for users of the facility are also being
demanded. Mr. Williams believes this can be resolved if agreement
can be reached on the future of the soup service.

He has told local media of his disappointment at the turn of events,
stating “We keep hearing about the recession lifting on the east coast,  but no way is it happening in the west.”

Every day, he said, people are being stretched to the limit. “Single
mothers in housing estates are struggling and there are children going to school hungry.”

The closure of the High street facility comes weeks after the County Council adopted a budget in which upwards of €50,000 is understood to have been earmarked for a golf tournament.

Despite repeated promises, the county council has to date failed to provide Sligo News File with a copy of the annual budget as adopted or publish it for inspection by the public on the council’s website.

Jamie Rooney Of Mayo National Citizens Movement reflects on water charges protest in Dublin

‘Powerful message delivered to government hell-bent on keeping its head buried in the sand.’

Sligo News File Online. 

A Chairde,

On Wednesday December 10th, this country saw a massive 3rd wave of citizen protest in what can only be described as a powerful message, yet again, being delivered to a government hell-bent on keeping its head (and ears) firmly buried in the sand. The proverbial ostrich is nothing new to the Irish people who have been, and will continue, piling the pressure of citizens’ organised movements onto those deaf ears in Leinster House.

The National Citizens Movement Mayo brought a max. capacity coach to Dublin to represent north Mayo, while a mirror effort was carried out from Castlebar – the home constituency of our Dear Leader, Enda Kenny.

Representations of other National Citizens Movement local branches brought their gatherings to the event also – coming from Donegal, Galway, Wexford, Dublin, Westmeath; to name but a few.

Despite the cold weather that was in it on the day, the atmosphere was not only electric and positive all-round, but also entirely family friendly. Old, young, male, female, unemployed, working people, & pensioners took their voice to the national table once again.

The only negative on the day was the obvious and visible presumption by An Garda Síochána that, despite a national rally cry for that a PEACEFUL protest was organised, An Garda Síochána prepared for the IMAGINARY riots that are happening elsewhere in austerity-hit countries. Do they still not understand that WE THE PEOPLE in this island are willing and able to convert our rage, anger and emotion into a loud and voluminous VOICE?? To see An Garda Síochána have Kildare St. and Molesworth St. closed to the public, preventing them access to THEIR OWN parliament is an insult to the form of democracy that they so dearly cling to and shove down the throats of the ordinary decent citizen. To see the RIOT SQUAD and CANINE UNIT standing in wait only added to the level of disgust they managed to reinforce in the eyes of the citizenry on the day too.

On the stage, there was an cross-section of anti-water charge and anti-austerity support from Independent TDs, party TDs, experienced national and international protesters (offering the power of their hindsight), trade unions and their umbrella group (Right2Water), and revolutionary music to bring a binding resolution from the stage to the crowd – that “we are here to stay and that we are a force to be reckoned with!”. In the words of Paul Murphy TD: “Look at us now!”.

Staring right back at that chorus up on the stage, was a representation of ALL classes, ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, political affiliations, and interests of the common good, which echoed every single sentiment presented over the loudspeaker in unison like a chorus – in fact there were many choruses throughout that afternoon.

Let us be clear about one thing and ONLY one thing now, the people of Ireland now know that WE have the power and, to borrow from a great band of a protest generation 40 years ago, we are “taking it to the streets”.

We now no longer heed the official An Garda Síochána crowd estimates, nor that of RTE, as we have come to know that they cannot count any longer! When you have a 90% disparity between the UK National Broadcaster, BBC, and the Irish ‘National’ broadcaster (more like STATE broadcaster if we’re really being candid here) estimates of the crowd present – then we have to start looking down the direction that the questions which are being raised start to point.

We would like to pay thanks to those HONEST media staff who are not bound by their own whips in their organisations and who can air the truth that we as citizens are entitled to – we will continue to work with you guys, in parallel with calling out the CULPRIT media groups who seek to subvert the Irish public opinion.

The next huge wave of protest will be at a local level again on January 31st, and will overwhelm the nay-sayers – like Michael “Let them have their last protest” Noonan, and Enda “It’s not about the water, is it?” Kenny. We shall keep shouting in their ears until such time as they realise the humility they should have had all along, and truly sit down with the ordinary citizen to hear their concerns. In the interim, a self-organisation of local groups will continue to grow and they will continue their localized protest actions in order to repeat those messages that our leaders are vehemently continuing to seek refuge from

Is mise le meas,
Jamie Rooney
PRO – National Citizens Movement (Mayo)