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:: News In Brief

Arrest made in Andrew Allen murder case 10.04.17
A man has been arrested in connection with the murder of Andrew Allen at Lisfannon, Buncrana, five years ago.
The man who is in his 50s, was arrested on Saturday, April 8 in the Donegal area.
He is currently being detained at Letterkenny Garda Station under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, 1939 as amended.
Mr Allen (24) from Derry, was shot dead at a house at Links View Park, Lisfannon, on the outskirts of Buncrana, on February 9, 2012. Gardai have made a number of appeals for witnesses who may have seen anything suspicious in the days leading up to or on the night of the shooting. Anyone with information can contact Buncrana Garda Station on 074-93 20540.

Donegal hosts Hiking Europe Project
DONEGAL played host last week to European partners from Spain, Italy, Germany, Croatia and Austria for the third Hiking Europe Project Steering Committee meeting and training session. The first day of the meeting was held in the beautiful setting of Glenveagh Castle with day two taking place in the Silver Tassie Hotel in Letterkenny. The Hiking Europe Project aims to promote rural hiking routes across four European countries, namely Ireland (Donegal), Spain (Catalonia), Italy (Emilia- Romagna) and Croatia (Dubrovnik-Neretva). More information at .

Derry to London flights begin May 2
THE new Derry to London Stansted route will commence on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Tickets are currently on sale for the new route. For more info visit .

McConalogue slates Mica delay
DONEGAL TD., Charlie McConalogue has criticised continuing delays in the publication of the report by the Mica expert panel investigating defective building materials. He said: “The expert panel was set up in February 2016 to examine problems caused by MICA in concrete blocks, which were used to build homes in Donegal and Mayo. The panel was due to report back in May (2016), and although the document has been handed over to the Minister it has still not been published," he said. The FF deputy described the hold-up as "simply unacceptable", saying thousands of homeowners had been "left in the lurch and are extremely frustrated".

Jesuits call time on Pioneers
THE Jesuit order has called time on its historic links with the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association due to falling vocations and ageing priests.
The Jesuits founded the non-drinkers’ group 120 years ago but their involvement will cease at the end of this year.
The Pioneer Total Abstinence Association (PTAA) is now seeking donations as it makes its transition to a lay charity in early 2018. The association's project co-ordinator Raymond O'Connor said the need for its work is "greater than ever" in Ireland today. “Many families and homes have benefited greatly from the individual pioneer’s sacrifice from alcohol - benefits in terms of health, finances, peace and harmony in the home, enhanced relationships and community volunteering," he said. The PTAA has some 130,000 members in Ireland compared to about 500,000 at its height in the 1960s.

Black swan flies into Claddagh
A BLACK swan has stunned wildlife experts after being accepted into the famous white flock at the Claddagh, Galway.
The striking bird with its vibrant red beak has made herself at home among the large local flock of mute swans and has been attracting many visitors.
Mary Joyce-Glynn of Galway Claddagh Swan Rescue believes the adult female may have escaped from a private collection of exotic birds in Ireland or the UK.
"We were initially afraid the resident flock would turn on her but thankfully she seems to have been accepted very well," she said.
"The Claddagh swans are a non-breeding flock so they are not territorial or aggressive."

Bunny dug up by digger
A BABY bunny has been rescued in time for Easter after being dug up by a digger. The JCB driver got a shock when he spotted the rabbit kit in the excavator bucket as he moved earth in Co Cork.
It is the first baby rabbit of the season for Kildare Animal Wildlife Unit who are currently caring for the cute creature.
The unit's Dan Donoher said the young animal had a lucky escape during the excavation works. "We would ask people to have a scan over the area and check it out especially this time of the year, to make sure there are no nests. We would also ask people to heed the hedgecutting regulations," he said.

Donegal books of condolence for Martin McGuinness 22.03.17
BOOKS of condolence in memory of the late Sinn Féin leader Martin McGuinness will open today at council offices across Co Donegal.
Books will open at public services centres in Carndonagh, Lifford, Letterkenny, Donegal Town, Dungloe and Milford. A book will also be available to the public at the former Town Council offices in Buncrana, hometown of his late mother Peggy.
"Cathaoirleach Cllr Terence Slowey, on behalf of the elected members, management and staff of Donegal County Council, extends his deepest sympathy to the family and loved ones of the late Martin McGuinness, former Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, who passed away in the early hours of yesterday morning following a short illness," the local authority said in a statement this morning.
For funeral arrangements, click here .

Book of Condolence opens for Martin McGuinness 21.03.17
A Book of Condolence has now opened at the Guildhall in Derry in memory of the former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness who died today.
An online book has also opened where people can express their sympathies. The online messages will be attached to the original Book of Condolence when it is handed over to Mr McGuinness' family. Sign the book here: .

Donegal TDs round on DEIS omissions 14.03.17
DONEGAL TDs have slated new procedures that have excluded some "clearly disadvantaged" schools from receiving DEIS funding.
Deputy Thomas Pringle said schools across Donegal "are outraged they were not included in the recent round of DEIS allocation, despite clear evidence of concentrated disadvantage present in the pupil cohort of those schools".
“No consultation was carried out with the schools directly, no application process was in place and therefore no appeals process was made available to schools questioning the Department's decision," he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Charlie McConalogue said the Department of Education and Skills has admitted that significant errors were made in adopting the new system.
“Minister Bruton must explain how these errors arose and what action is being taken to address them. He also needs to outline what methodology is being used to select schools," he said.

Fears for "dying" Ibrahim Halawa
THE family of Dubliner Ibrahim Halawa (21) who has been imprisoned without trial in Egypt for over three years say he is dying. The young Irishman's aunt visited him yesterday and says he is suffering from a skin disease "as a result of the inhuman hospital prison he is held in, a hospital of which not even animals can survive in". His family say the young man's blood sugar has dropped to 34 and he was kept in a solitary confinement cell for 48-hours.
"Ibrahim is dying and we as a family will hold both governments responsible for anything to happen to him. We're running out of time. We urge the Taoiseach to at least secure his release before it's too late," his family said in a statement.

Concern appeal on East Africa Crisis
CONCERN Worldwide has today launched an East Africa Crisis Appeal to raise €25 million to help support 1.8 million people urgently in need of food assistance due to drought and conflict across the war-torn region. The Irish International aid agency has deployed Emergency Response Teams to cope with the worsening humanitarian situation in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, where more than 20 million people are in critical need of food, water and shelter. For more information visit .

Warm welcome for new rural bus route
A new bus service for South Donegal and North Leitrim has been warmly welcomed. Local Link has launched the new six-day-per-week service linking Kinlough to Ballyshannon via Bundoran with seven return journeys per day. A demand-led rural service will also be incorporated to the new route in the Glenade, Ballintrillick, Tawley and Buckode areas. The new route will also connect to the Bus Eireann Sligo/Galway and Enniskillen/Dublin expressway services. The route, run by Fureys of Sligo, will be serviced by a new 171-registered Mercedes bus with low floor wheelchair access, the first of its type to enter into service in the Republic of Ireland. Fine Gael TD for Sligo-Leitrim, Tony McLoughlin welcomed the new route.

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