Corrib gas project pipe surfaces from seabed

Believed to have come loose following recent heavy storms

Sligo News File.

Shell EP Ireland has said a Corrib gas project pipe which has
surfaced from the seabed in north Mayo is used to discharge
“treated surface water” from the Ballinaboy terminal to the sea.

The 800m pipe, spotted on the sea surface by local fishermen
crossing Broadhaven Bay on Friday, was installed under licence
from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2009. It is believed
to have it come loose following recent storms in the area.

The incident is being investigated by company specialists  and
the EPA. It not thought there is any risk of pollution.


Sligo County Council Road and Traffic Report

Report for week commencing 16 March 2015

Sligo News File Online

Sligo CoCo Pic 1 






  • N4 Hughes Bridge Widening Works

 Full details available on


  • N17 at Cloonacurra

 Verge improvement/drainage works will continue on the N17 at Cloonacurra. A stop-go system will be in operation. Minor delays expected.

  • Templemanor Estate – N17

Verge improvement works will be carried out on the N17 at Temple Manor Estate. Traffic lights will be in place. Minor delays expected.


  • Pavement testing works will commence on Thursday 19th March at the R296 in Bunnanadden and the R293 at Ardree Td.  Traffic Management will be in place and minor delays can be expected. Works are anticipated to last one day.
  • Drainage works will continue on the R294 at Lough Talt. Traffic control will be in operation with significant delays expected.   


  • Road works will be continuing on the N59 in Ballysadare (between the entrance to Millview Park and theBallina side of the current 60 kph speed limit zone), expected completion date is June 2015.

 Associated traffic delays should be expected over the course of the contract duration.

 Sligo County Council and Gerald Love Contracts will endeavour to minimise the effects of the works where possible and regret any inconvenience which may be caused. 


  • Pavement testing works will commence on Friday 20th March at the R293 in Ballymote town.  Traffic Management will be in place and major delays can be expected. Works are anticipated to last one day.



  • Footpath works will commence at Lynndale Estate, Maugheraboy.  Works expected to last 2 weeks.
  • A MEWP Licence has been granted for works at Castle Street Sligo. The footpath will be closed in the vicinity of works and pedestrians are asked to use footpath on opposite side.
  • A Hoarding Licence has been granted for No. 16 O’Connell Street, Sligo. Pedestrian access will be maintained.
  • A Scaffolding Licence has been granted for Pearse Road, Sligo. Pedestrian access will be maintained.


  • Drainage works are ongoing at Carrickhenry and will lasta further week.  Pedestrian access will be maintained.


  • Pothole repair and drainage works will continue in the Ballymote area. Traffic control will be in operation. Minor delays expected.


  • Pothole repair works will continue in the Enniscrone area. Traffic control will be in operation. Minor delays expected.
  • Drainage works will continue in the Enniscrone area. Traffic control will be in operation. Minor delays expected.


  • Pothole repair works will continue in the Tubbercurry area. Traffic control will be in operation but no delays are expected.


Task Force recommendations must be implemented without delay – Mac Sharry

Draft report calls for increased Fair Deal funding

Sligo News File Online

Senator MarcMacSharry, Fianna Fail.
Senator Marc MacSharry,
Fianna Fail.

Fianna Fáil Senator Marc Mac Sharry has welcomed the recommendations contained in the draft report of the Emergency Department Task Force.  It has proposed a range of measures, which had been previously flagged by Fianna Fáil to tackle Emergency Department overcrowding.

Senator Mac Sharry commented, “Many of these recommendations are proposals which have already been suggested by Fianna Fáil, but which have been ignored by the Health Minister to date.  The report calls for extra funding for the Fair Deal nursing home scheme to reduce the number of delayed discharges. This is something we have been appealing to the Government to do since last summer, when waiting lists for the Fair Deal scheme began to rocket.

“This Government has allowed the Fair Deal scheme to spiral out of control.  Waiting lists reached an all-time high of 15 weeks last year, placing a massive burden on already overstretched hospital resources.  The resulting crisis in our Emergency Departments, which was felt so acutely in January, and which continues to pose a risk to patient safety, was forecast last October, but Minister Varadkar failed to take action to try and prevent it.

“As a result of the gross mismanagement of hospital budgets and the Minister’s reluctance to tackle the deteriorating situation in our Emergency Departments, the problems are now infiltrating other services within our hospitals.  Schedules surgeries have had to be cancelled, resulting in growing waiting lists and longer waiting times for patients.

“Minister Varadkar must begin thinking outside the box.  I have previously suggested the possibility of abolishing the means test for the Carer’s Allowance, which would allow people care for a family member in their own home rather than subjecting them to extended hospital stays.  This in turn has the potential to reduce the number of delayed discharges and free up additional hospital beds.  This measure also has the potential to create savings within the health service by reducing the need for nursing home care and using the €900 a week fee to provide alternative services.

“It is imperative that these recommendations, once published, are rolled out without delay.  The health service is already in the midst of a series of crises and patients and frontline staff are bearing the brunt of a system which has been deprived of funding and good management.  It has taken Minister Varadkar more than 4 months to address the problems facing our hospitals; he cannot afford to wait any longer to bring in measures to remedy the situation.”

Department of Health


‘ A marriage (made up of man and woman) is not the same as the union of two people of the same sex.’

Pope Francis 1

Author: David Quinn
Date: 11 March 2015

In 2010, Argentina legalised same-sex marriage. At the time, Pope Francis was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. He voiced his strong opposition to the proposal. This is quite contrary to the common misconception that he is silent on the issue.

 Since becoming Pope, Francis has reiterated many of the things he said in Argentina.

 We reproduce below a letter Francis (Cardinal Bergoglio as he was then) sent to the head of the Argentine Department of the Laity, expressing his support for a pending march for the family.

 In the letter he sets out his reasons for opposing same-sex marriage. We highlight what we believe are the most pertinent arguments.

Letter dated July 5, 2010, sent by Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., Archbishop of Buenos Aires, to Dr Justo Carabajales, director of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference (CEA)’s Department of the Laity, lending his support to the March for Family and Life on July 13, 2010 outside Congress.
 Dear Justo,
 The CEA’s Commission for the Laity, in its role as citizens, has taken the initiative of organizing a rally in response to the possible legalisation of the same-sex marriage law, and of reaffirming, at the same time, the right of children to a father and mother for their upbringing and education. By means of this letter I would like to lend my support to this expression of the laity’s responsibility.

           I know, because you have told me, that this will not be against anyone, for we do not want to judge those who think and feel differently. However, now more than ever, on the eve of the bicentenary, and determined to build a nation that embraces the plurality and diversity of its citizens, we also want to state clearly that we cannot make the same that which is different: social co-existence demands the acceptance of difference.

           This is not a question of mere terminology, nor is it about the formal conventions of a private relationship; we are talking here of a bond of an anthropological nature. The essence of the human being tends towards the union of man and woman in reciprocal fulfillment, attention and care, and as the natural path of procreation. This confers on marriage both social transcendence and a public
character. Marriage precedes the state: it is the basis of the family, the basic cell of human society, and as such is prior to all laws and the Church itself. That is why the passage of the Bill would constitute a real and grave anthropological step backwards.

           A marriage (made up of man and woman) is not the same as the union of two people of the same sex. To distinguish is not to discriminate but to respect differences; to differentiate in order to discern is to value appropriately, not to discriminate. At a time when we place emphasis on the richness of pluralism and social and cultural diversity, it is a contradiction to minimize fundamental human differences. A father is not the same as a mother. We cannot teach future generations that preparing yourself for planning a family based on the stable relationship between a man and a woman is the same as living with a person of the same sex.

           Let us also be aware that, in seeking to advance a supposed claim on behalf of the rights of adults, we may be setting aside the far greater right of children (who are the only ones who should be privileged in this situation) to rely on models of father and mother, mum and dad.

           I ask that both in your language and in your heart you show no signs of aggression or violence against any of our brothers. Let us Christians act as servants of truth, not its masters. I ask the Lord that He accompany your event with his gentleness, a gentleness that he asks of us all.

           I ask you, please, to pray for me and ask others to do the same. May Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin take care of you.

 Yours in brotherly affection,

 Card. Jorge Mario Bergoglio S.J.

Published courtesy of the Iona Institute

Government must act to protect rural economy – ICSA

‘Issues outlined in the Save Rural Ireland position paper must be top priorities’

Sligo News File Online

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and President of the ICSA Patrick Kent.
The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and President of the ICSA Patrick Kent.

ICSA president Patrick Kent has said that the issues outlined in the Save Rural Ireland position paper must be top priorities for the Government.

“Access to high-speed broadband is the modern equivalent of access to electricity, and unfortunately it appears that successive governments are showing a similar lack of urgency in extending this service to rural dwellers as their predecessors did in relation to electricity,” said Mr. Kent.

“From a farming point of view, critical schemes such as the new Basic Payment scheme and greening top up as well as the GLAS agri-environment scheme are increasingly pushing farmers towards on-line applications and follow-up.  Government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture are insisting that more and more business is done on-line.  The approach is that paper is the past,
yet successive Governments have been too tardy in ensuring that the necessary broadband infrastructure is in place for many farmers in rural areas.

“This document makes a number of clear-cut proposals on the issue of rural broadband, particularly the provision of technical clarity on what will happen at the end of the National Broadband Plan, the reduction of civil engineering costs and the provision of support and advice to community groups, and I would urge Minister White give these proposals serious and urgent attention. Rural dwellers are as entitled to comprehensive broadband services as their urban counterparts, but are quickly being left behind.

“The closure of rural post offices is another development that must be arrested if rural communities are to survive,” continued Mr. Kent. “Post offices provide a wide range of top-class services at local level and it is logical to suggest that ways of expanding these services should be examined, rather than cutting them off. The post office should be the hub of each local community, and ICSA is firmly backing the call to suspend the closure of rural post offices at least until the report of the Post Office Development Group has been issued and adequately considered.”


Rural 2A number of national bodies with common interests have come together to fight to protect and improve existing the existing standard of life in rural Ireland. They intend highlighting the issues currently affecting the social and economic development of rural Ireland, and seeking change in government policy in these areas. The bodies involved initially are Muintir na Tíre, The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association, The Irish Countrywomen’s
Association, the Irish Postmasters’ Union, the National Forum of
Community Flood Committees, Macra na Feirme, and the Post Office Users’ Group. Together these bodies represent over 100,000 members and further bodies have expressed interest in joining the alliance.

In its initial meetings the group has identified five immediate core issues it wishes to have addressed:

• Rural Broadband

• Post Office Viability

• Control of Scrap Metal

• Insurance in Flood Areas

• GP cover


Millions of euro for sports clubs – apply right away says TD, Tony McLoughlin

‘Extra €40 million for Sports Capital Programme in 2015’

Sligo News File Online

Tony McLoughlin, TD, Fine Gael.
Tony McLoughlin, TD,
Fine Gael.

Sligo-Leitrim Fine Gael TD, Tony McLoughlin has urged Sligo sports clubs to immediately submit applications for funding under the Sports Capital programme.

“There is no time to waste!,” he said.

Speaking following the announcement by Minister for Sport, Michael Ring TD that an extra €40 million has been secured for Sports Capital Programme in 2015, Deputy McLoughlin said it is very welcome that, once again, funding under the programme “will be provided to local clubs and local organisations around the
country in the coming year.”

He said: “The new scheme will be the fourth year in which a sports capital funding scheme will have been put in place by the current Government, further underlining Fine Gael’s commitment to the development of sport and recreational activities throughout the country.

Ladies Gaelic“This is of course good news for sporting clubs and organisations in Co. Sligo, who have been a major recipient of Sports Capital Funding in the past, with almost €1.5 million being allocated to the constituency in 2014.

“Money spent on sport is money saved on healthcare down the road,” he said.

“According to the Department of Sport, 90% of Sports Capital recipients say it has helped them to increase the numbers of people involved in sport.

“The €40 million for 2015 brings to €130 million the total amount available in the Sports Capital Programme since the Government re-opened it.

Reminding sports bodies that “there is a two-step process for any club or organisation wishing to apply for this funding” he said Sligo clubs planning to apply “must register on the online system on before 5pm on Friday, 10th April 2015 (if not already registered). They must then get their applications in online before 5pm on Friday, 24th April 2015.”

Sligo Sports Pic


Higher rate of suicide amongst jobless young people – Senator Kathryn Reilly

‘Those not engaged in education, employment or training three times more likely to attempt suicide than working compatriots’

Sligo News File Online

Senator Kathryn Reilly, Sinn Fein, Cavan
Senator Kathryn Reilly,
Sinn Fein, Cavan

Sinn Féin Senator and Youth Affairs Spokesperson Kathryn Reilly has stated that a study recently carried in The Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine highlights how governmental ineptitude and inactivity in response to the youth crisis is having a detrimental effect on the mental health of young people.  

She said:

“A recent study carried out by the College of Psychiatry of Ireland’s scientific journal The Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine has outlined how young people who are not engaged in education, employment or training (NEETs) are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their working compatriots.

“The report recently released which was entitled ‘The association between economic inactivity and mental health among young people’ outlined that the study is very current in terms of the Ireland of 2015.

“The report went on to detail the worrying trend of an increase in suicide ideation among young people in the NEET category. Given that suicide ideation is among the first issues which can eventually lead to suicide attempts, it is vital that the government look at areas where cuts to services and amenities in local areas is having a negative impact on young people obtaining access to education and training services as well as employment opportunities.

“However, we should not lose sight that this is a political issue; community services have been cut under this government, young people have been the victims of ageist social welfare policies perpetrated against them, funding for educational services has been cut, and mental health funding has not been forthcoming, amongst much more.

“The easy thing to do in this instance is to pathologise young people; however, the government needs to empower these people who have a wealth of talent and vision which can contribute to a positive future for Ireland. The only way this can be done is by implementing comprehensively a function Youth Guarantee and by putting funding back into local areas for services and amenities.”

ICSA deplores lack of roundtable progress

‘Too much slippage on the commitments given.’

Sligo News File Online.

ICSA National Beef Committee Chairman, Edmond Phelan
ICSA National Beef Committee Chairman, Edmond Phelan

ICSA beef chairman Edmond Phelan said today that he was
disappointed at the progress of the beef roundtable so far.

“At the November roundtable there was a commitment to a
full review of the QPS scheme by mid-2015 but, so far, we have heard nothing.  Also, there seems to be no urgency to set up the sub-group to look at bull beef production agreed at the January meeting.

“I am concerned that there is too much slippage on the commitments given.  A lot of the issues that caused so many problems in 2013 haven’t gone away.    Many farmers are not happy with the QPS system and the way in which it has been utilised to Irish Cattledeprive farmers of a QAS bonus.   “Farmers must have the option of being paid outside of the grid but still be eligible for the bonus where applicable . This needs to be looked at in the context of the beef roundtable talks,” concluded Mr Phelan.